To most, it had been a shining Victory. Perhaps for Liana it was as well, but even as she tried to bask in the reflected glory of the successful defense of the Elkin Family Citadel, sadness swept over her.
She hadn’t flown. She’d stayed behind. She’d watched her brother undock and fight, while she had stayed safely tucked away inside of the Astrahus, watching from relative safety, unable or unwilling to shed someone else’s blood even for her new friends. He wasn’t even in her Alliance-he was officially a Pirate-and even he was willing to fly in defense of Captain Elkin. Part of her felt ashamed that she wasn’t helping, but part of her… part of her was glad that she wasn’t out there with everyone else. She couldn’t stand suffering… she couldn’t stand death.
Watching out of one of the large, reinforced windows near one of the primary docking bays, she had gasped as multiple ships exploded under the combined fire of two dueling fleets of Battleships, their crews-or what was left of them-scattering into escape pods, the tiny emergency craft slowly burning towards the closest bit of safety they could find. Friendly or not, they all came to the Citadel. Sprinting into the docking bay nearby, she was one of the first people there, and she instantly pressed herself into helping with triage. Usually absent-minding, Liana focused for once as she helped the Doctors and Med-techs staunch bleeding, treat bone breaks, plasma burns, decompression and blast injuries, more… She watched two horribly burned crewmen scream in pain as they were pulled from their escape pods, what was left of their broken, melting bodies writhing uncontrollably as they died. It wasn’t even until it was all over that she realized that she was shaking.
Flashbacks of fire and space, and a ship falling apart around her.
Fear not of dying, but of losing those she cared for again.
Shame for not doing more… and for being alive.
Emotion was boiling over inside of her when she finally saw Argos after the fight had concluded. Having exited his pod after docking his borrowed Abaddon, he had successfully engaged the enemy fleet without losing even a single ship. Smugly approaching her, that haughty gaze of his faltered almost imperceptibly when he spotted her. He knew without a word passing between them what was wrong, and he knew that this was the one thing he would never be able to help her with. The look that Liana gave him was searching, pleading... she was clearly trying to understand him like she always did, and he knew it. She wanted to know why he was able, and willing, to kill so many people… and to not even feel anything after doing it. She loved him, that was clear to them both… but it was something that even after all of these years she had never been able to reconcile within herself- her love for a brother who willingly went out and killed others… and not for a cause, unless that cause was just the death and suffering itself that he inflicted… or maybe it was just the ratings and ISK he’d get when he sold the holovid footage later.
She ran, and Argos let her run. He didn’t even pursue her-he knew that it was pointless. As soon as she reached her quarters, Liana quickly stripped out of her blood-stained clothes. Throwing them in the bin for later disposal-she’d never wear them again-she stepped into the shower, not even noticing that the water was freezing cold. Scrubbing herself clean of the blood of the people she’d tried to help, the crimson pool slowly swirling down the drain, a resolve that she’d never felt before began to creep into the back of her mind. By the time she stepped out, water dripping on the floor, Liana had made up her mind. She’d fly next time, but not to kill. Not to harm. She’d do everything she could do to preserve life-if not the enemies, then at least her friends. She’d seen enough of death, and she couldn’t stand to see any more.
Slipping into her bed, not even bothering to dry her hair or anything else, Liana curled herself into a ball under her sheets, and sobbed herself to sleep.