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The cold wind tossed her hair across her face, and Leta pushed it away with her wrist, but mostly, shock paralyzed her for several seconds. Simply put, she couldn't understand what she was looking at, even though the sight was incredibly familiar: The bronze metal mass of the Dionysian, its rusted open ramp, and coming down from it, its captain. Leta absorbed this last detail in particular, everything from the snow already mixing into his thick red hair, to the smirk on his face, to his casual loping stride, and ...

"I'm hallucinating," Leta mumbled, to herself but also to her new company that was approaching. "I'm hallucinating and you're a mirage."

"Afraid not," said Fiearius, barely biting back a broad grin. Although they spoke via COMM every few weeks, she hadn't seen his face in ten months, and it unnerved her that he'd simply shown up without warning. That wasn't how it was supposed to go. When the Dionysian was scheduled to head to Vescent, Leta would hear about it - either from Gates, Javier, Cyrus, or Fiearius himself - and anticipate the arrival with some trepidation. If the Dionysian was at the base, it usually meant something bad on the war-front.

It also meant for something confusing in her personal life. Even with all the years between them, she and Fiearius had never quite figured out how to properly act around one another. Polite and professional felt fake. Intimate and personal felt confusing. Distant and cold felt simply horrible. Sometimes they went through each emotion in the span of an hour. They were probably friends - good friends - although she'd never once called Fiearius her friend before. Uncertainty hovered between them like a fog, and they'd always lingered in an odd grey area that made Leta's stomach clench up at the sight of him.

"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?" she asked, failing to conceal her alarm. "What's wrong?"

Before Fiearius could answer, the tiny figure of Kalli squirmed to be let down from Addy's arms. Her mother relented and put her down on the snowy ground where, blonde curls bouncing, she ran in a circle around Leta's feet and squealed, "A'iya Leta!"

Clearly, if Fiearius was on Vescent for horrible, macabre reasons, he wouldn't have brought his young niece with him. And knowing that, Leta finally felt her first real swoop of happiness: her family was here. There was no one on the base she'd gotten close to like she had Cyrus, Addy and of course, their daughter, whom everyone was madly in love with (especially Fiearius).

"Look how big you've gotten!" said Leta, crouching down to her legs, scooping up her niece and burying her face in her hair. Kalli shrieked with mirth and yelled, "It's snowing here!"

Smiling at Leta, but looking puzzled, Cyrus said, "Wait, did he really not tell you we were coming?" He looked to Fiearius. "I thought you were kidding about that."

"And I thought she liked surprises," said Fiearius innocently. "Listen, can we move this reunion party inside before I freeze my a - er, before I freeze," he amended quickly, as Addy threw him a warning look and Kalli looked up at Fiearius interestedly.

Together they swept back inside the crowded but warmer hallways of the base, shutting the wind outside. Leta put Kalli down and held onto her hand as they walked down the concrete hallway. As Kalli started chattering ("A'iya Leta, my dad said I can play in the snow!"), Addy asked, "So you're living here now, aren't you, Leta? Because of the riots?"

Leta forced a smile that came out more as a grimace. "Yeah, someone didn't defend me when I said it wasn't necessary," she muttered, casting a bitter glance back at Fiearius.

"What, you're still complaining about that?" Fiearius replied, looking perplexed. "You forget I saw that apartment you had before. All that furniture. Curtains. Things you like." He gestured around at the grey slate surrounding them on every side. "This is clearly much better."

Cyrus rolled his eyes at his brother, then added to Leta, "The thick walls must be nice at least."

"And the view," Addy put in, as a few soldiers fresh from the gym walked by. Her eyes trailed after them and she nudged Leta suggestively, earning her an amused glare from Cyrus.

As Addy laughed and seized Cyrus's hand, Leta herself shrugged. "I'd rather be out with the people. At my clinic. Helping." Mentioning her clinic made her heart clench a little. The events of this morning may have been briefly swept aside by the Dionysian's arrival, but the bad news was still looming off to the side of her mind.

But she pushed it away again as she realized, "You still haven't answered my question. Why are you all here?"

It was Kalli who responded. "Holiday!" she cried, her bright eyes shining. "With snow!"

Addy laughed and explained, "We haven't left Archeti in - gods, how long has it been?" She looked to Cyrus.

"Nearly a year," he filled in, his tone heavy.

"A year!" Addy exclaimed, shaking her head. "But things are finally starting to come together and we're seventy percent certain New Genisi will go on without us for a couple weeks so when Fiear mentioned he was headed to Vescent, we thought it'd be a good time to tag along."

"The community in New Genisi is pretty great, but I think it's good to get out every once in a while, especially for Kalli's sake," added Cyrus thoughtfully, dropping his hand on Kalli's head, who had taken to cheerfully swinging Leta's hand back and forth. "There aren't many other kids around still. Plus, she really likes the snow. We didn't get much this past winter."

But there was still one mystery left. Leta glanced back over her shoulder at Fiearius who was conveniently not paying attention to the conversation. Or at least pretending not to. "So the real question," she asked, catching his eye, "is why are you here?"

"I like snow too?" Fiearius guessed.

"You hate snow," Cyrus pointed out dryly.

"In fact, you've done everything in your power to avoid it," Leta added. "Last time you were supposed to attend a strategy meeting here in winter, you faked a Dionysian mechanical error and forced eight Carthian bigwigs to come to you on some backwater moon."

He shrugged. "It was summer there."

Leta stopped in the hallway abruptly and Fiearius nearly plowed into her as she glared up at him. "Fiear…Why are you here?" she asked again, more sternly this time.

Fiearius glanced at Cyrus and tilted his head, which was a message he seemed to understand. "Alright, we're gonna go get settled in," said Cyrus. "Guest quarters still in the same place?" he asked as he took Kalli's hand from Leta's.

"Yeah, just tell the cadet on duty who you're with, they'll find a place for you," Leta assured them, her eyes on Fiearius.

As they walked away, Cyrus leaned down to add to his daughter, "And then maybe we'll look into sledding," which made the little girl shriek in excitement and put a smile on Leta's face.

But then she turned back to Fiearius and the smile vanished once more. "Okay. Explain yourself."

Fiearius laughed and shook his head as he kept on down the hall. "Still as demanding as ever I see."

"If you're on Vescent in the middle of winter, you must have a damn good reason and I want to know what it is," she said simply. "If that means ordering an admiral about then-"

"Captain."

"What?"

"Captain," he corrected, matter-of-factly, "Not admiral."

"Sorry, Fiear, but you are an admiral, whether you like it or not. You command a fleet in a war. You rank equal to Gates. You're an admiral."

But Fiearius just brushed her off. "I prefer captain."

For a moment, Leta considered arguing further. But then she realized it was probably fruitless. "Fine. Captain," she emphasized, "Last time we spoke, you were out by Ascendia tearing apart a Society base. And now you just show up here? Without even a word of warning." He opened his mouth to say something but she cut him off. "And it's not because you think I like surprises. Why are you here?"

Somehow, miraculously, he seemed to recognize that he wasn't going to get out of this one. So he sighed, looked down at her and admitted, "I'm only here to see you actually."

Leta's brow furrowed at once, suspicious.

"Business, not pleasure," he amended quickly and then grinned. "Don't get too excited."

Fiearius' 'business' was not something Leta was sure she wanted to be involved in. Most of it took place on the front lines, sneaking onto Society bases, assassinating Society leaders, flying reconnaissance in Society space. Leta had always gotten the impression that Gates and the other Carthian higher-ups would have preferred their partnering admiral take on more of a command role. He should have been in offices and war rooms and strategy meetings to determine where best to send the vast fleet of rogues and criminals at his beck and call.

But in traditional Fiearius fashion, he ignored all of Gates' requests and continued to barrel head-first into whatever danger presented itself to him. And who were the Carthians to argue? Their agreement put Soliveré and his fleet separate to their direct control so they had no ground there. Fiearius' heroics had brought in waves of good press and support they could never have garnered on their own. And besides all that, he'd been hugely successful. Or so she had thought until now.

"What kind of business?"

"Important business," he answered carelessly. "But not time sensitive. It can wait."

Leta closed her eyes, exasperated. It was just like Fiearius to assume she had all the time in the span to spend being humored by his antics. "Not time-sensitive to you, maybe," she sighed. "You can't just come in here and disrupt everything for me, alright?"

Maddeningly, he laughed.

"Glad to know this war isn't ruining your terrible sense of humor," Leta muttered bitterly.

"Listen," he said, putting a hand on her shoulder as they walked and leaning a little closer to her ear. "We'll get to it, I promise. But not here." He tilted his head towards a group of Carthians as they passed.

"Where then?"

Fiearius no longer seemed to be paying attention. "I've gotta meet with some people about a thing," he said, ignoring her question. "And no doubt you've got places to be."

"Actually, yes, I was on my way to-"

"Is that funky little bar still around? The one just outside the walls?" He didn't even wait for her answer. "Nine o'clock?"

"I can't do nine, I've got-"

"Nine," he said again, firmly, catching her eye.

"So you're asking me to turn my whole schedule upside down for you."

Fiearius grinned and turned down a hallway to part ways. Before he disappeared around the corner, he glanced back over his shoulder and called, "It's good to see you," and in spite herself, Leta softened.


For the first time in months, Finn had awoken at an early hour - not with a raging hangover, nor surrounded by empty bottles. Filled to the brim with energy, he got dressed quickly and was downstairs in minutes. Everything was laid out before him, clear and bright. He felt clear-headed and more focused than he'd been in months.

He was going to find Callahan today, and he was going to kill him.

Crew members watched curiously in the cargo bay as Finn strapped a gun to his hip, then a knife, then slipped another gun into the waistband at the small of his back. Seconds later he was trekking down the open ramp of the Beacon and into the city of Tarin, Alyx and Cai at his side (Daelen had refused to come). All around them, the city square bustled, oblivious to the three people crossing quickly down the path with purpose in their steps.

"Are you sure you want to be here for this?" Alyx asked Cai, and it was true that Cai rarely came along for jobs that could turn bloody - and this one most certainly would. Though his skittishness in the face of danger had faded, he still had an unshakeable tendency to freeze under pressure and his busted leg wasn't the most useful in a quick getaway. Typically, Alyx and Finn took on the more dangerous jobs alone.

"If he's got any Un-Frees around or information on the whereabouts of any, I need to grab it for the Conduit," Cai explained and then flashed Alyx a knowing grin. "Besides, who else is going to save you two when you get into trouble?"

Alyx mustered a polite, but skeptical laugh. "Right. Just...stay behind us, okay?"

Finn, however, wasn't concerned with their chatter. His eyes were locked on the street addresses that they passed. Thirty one, thirty two, thirty- He stopped suddenly. "We're here."

The apartment building was non-descript, innocuous - a bit run-down, perhaps, but a woman was hanging laundry out of her window and children were playing on the stoop. Clearly, Callahan had taken refuge here as a regular citizen. Just another soul trying to make his place in the world and not someone who sold and traded living people. Not the monster he was.

Without hesitation Finn moved inside the foyer and bounded up the dark narrow stairway ("Apartment twelve," Alyx had said). He found the number on the door, he marched right up to it and shifted his balance, about to kick it down with all the rage in his body when Alyx grabbed his forearm.

"Finn, hang on," she whispered angrily. "Look." She nodded toward a small device above the door. Finn hadn't noticed it. It was hidden in the shadow of an overhang, a small, shiny black thing. A security camera. "He's probably ready for us. We need to take this carefully."

Finn's expression darkened. Carefully? If Alyx thought he was going to wait one more second to give a vicious ally-trader what he deserved, she was crazy. "Maybe there's another way around or-" she was saying, but he didn't care. Shaking his head, he muttered, "'I'm ready for him," under his breath and then, in one motion, much to her chagrin, he swung his heel against the weakest point of the door, making it crack and fall with a thud.

Alyx groaned her distaste, but her gun was in her hand in an instant and she didn't say a word as she followed Finn over the broken door, and inside the apartment. It lay silent - eerily silent. Finn glanced at Alyx. Alyx glanced at Cai. Cai shrugged and then they split up, each taking a different path into the dimly lit rooms.

Slipping his own gun into his hand, Finn pressed through the apartment, ears alert for any sound. The carpet crunched underfoot, he could still hear the children from the street, but the inside of the apartment was plunged into quiet. It was a normal sort of apartment. The walls were a non-offending light tan, the furniture, what little of it there was, was non-descript and generic. It didn't seem like the home of a vicious criminal, it could have belonged to anybody.

But whoever it belonged to, they weren't here. The bedroom was empty, the kitchen was empty. He whipped open a pantry door and found nothing but shadows and cobwebs. The hallways, too, were quiet as a tomb. The more he searched, the more Finn's hopes plunged and his desperation rose.

Finally, after digging through a pathetically empty closet, he marched, frustrated, back into the main room. Both Alyx and Cai were standing by the front door. Cai had already holstered his gun and Alyx, a woman who was on her guard even in comfortable situations, looked practically relaxed. Clearly, their searches had been just as fruitless as his.

"No," Finn muttered, practically seething as he approached them, "No no no, this cannot be happening."

Alyx exchanged a worried glance with Cai. "Finn…" she began, hesitant.

"Don't tell me he got away. Don't tell me he's left already," Finn growled, pacing the living room furiously, feeling an incredible urge to puncture a hole in that perfectly nondescript tan wall.

"Maybe we can figure out where he's headed next," said Alyx quietly, but Finn just groaned his frustration.

"No, you don't understand!" he insisted. "This was it. This was supposed to be it. Today. We were so close!"

"I know, believe me I know, but-"

"Where the hell is he?!" Finn demanded, but before Alyx could answer, Cai, looking suddenly alarmed, crossed straight through their conversation across the living room, stood before a set of tall green curtains and looked down.

"Uh. Guys - "

Raising his eyebrows, Finn hurried after Cai and what he found made him halt so sharply Alyx nearly ran into him. Amongst the light coming in beneath the curtain, playing across the carpet, was something else. Something dark. Something red. Blood.

Finn found himself holding his breath as he tore back the curtain, revealing the open door onto the balcony beyond. And sprawled out on the concrete balcony floor was the limp body of Callahan, his limbs fallen over the ground at odd angles. His eyes were wide, startled, and vacant. Crimson pooled from his middrift, a river of blood flowed toward their feet.

"God," Alyx breathed, breaking the tense silence at last. "This - this must've just happened - look how fresh the wound is … "

"And I can take a guess why," said Cai quietly. Their eyes fell toward one detail in particular: part of Callahan's ear had been chopped off cleanly. Just like an ally. But that wasn't all.

"He was stabbed in exactly the same place he stabbed me," Finn muttered, feeling the hair rise on the back of his neck as his hand subconsciously rose to touch the spot where the scar still ran across his chest.

As he stood there, gazing at the body, Finn felt nothing - no pity, no sympathy and no validation. It may have been a victory, but it didn't feel like a victory. Callahan was dead, that was what he wanted, right? Then why did this sight fill him with such a vicious sense of wrongness? And before he could think to do differently he heard himself growl, banging his fist on the balcony railing, "Who the hell did this?! Who else was here? How did this happen?!"

Unsurprised by Finn's unpredictable moods, both Cai and Alyx simply blinked at him.

"Well, if my source knew he was here, he had to find out from somewhere - who knows where else the information went?" she said, crossing her arms over her chest.

"The important thing is that he's dead," Cai suggested softly, but Finn yelled, "No! You don't get it! I was supposed to do it. He was mine!"

Cai regarded him with a mixture of concern and confusion, but Finn couldn't look at him anymore. He couldn't look at Alyx. He couldn't look at Callahan's corpse either. He tore back into the living room, brushing past the both of them. "This wasn't how it was supposed to be! This isn't how I wanted it. Five years! I gave five years to killing this man and someone else finishes him?! How? Who? I fucking need to know who did this!"

"Well, we might be able to find out." Alyx caught his eye meaningfully, then tipped her head upwards. Finn looked up and saw what she was looking at. Something small, black, shiny. The security cameras.

In the blink of an eye, Finn rushed through the apartment to the bedroom where he'd seen a console screen. Cai and Alyx crowded beside him, and Alyx typed something into the keyboard. And there it was. Hours upon hours of security footage. She chose a recent one, from only the night before. The screen showed Callahan moving around the apartment, speaking on his COMM, reading a book. Alyx scrubbed through the footage, and then, it happened so fast Finn almost missed it - a shadow moving behind him -

"Stop," Finn hissed. "Play it there."

They all froze as the footage continued: Callahan was picking through his bookshelf and didn't notice as a small hooded figure crept up behind him and suddenly, as far as Finn could tell, held a blade against his neck. They struggled, and the hooded figure was small but powerful and confident in the way they rammed their knee into Callahan's stomach, grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved him into a wall, making the bookshelf overhead rattle.

In the struggle, they moved off-camera toward the balcony. There was no sound on the footage so Finn leaned in, his nose almost touching the screen. He watched as the hooded figure withdrew their blade and planted it right where it belonged: Callahan's gut. Whoever they were, this person could fight. There was something oddly familiar about them …

As Callahan writhed on the ground at their feet, the figure re-sheathed their blade swiftly and briskly, business-like. Their hood had fallen off in the fight, and when they went to adjust it, that was when Finn caught a glimpse of the assassin's face and his chest stilled.

Corra.

Caelum Lex Pt. 3 Chapter 2: Purpose
Caelum Lex, the sci-fi, adventure, action, romance, space pirate serial! Chapter 2 of Part 3! In which the Dionysian's purpose is unclear and Finn's purpose is very clear.

First: Caelum Lex Chapter 1: Medical Attention
Previous: Caelum Lex Pt. 3 Chapter 1: Five Years
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Murky rain water flooded the path, stirring around her ankles, as the girl took a careful step forward down the cobblestone street. She couldn't remember it ever raining enough to flood like this, but then again, she'd never been to this part of the Fall's End before. Certainly not alone. The buildings looked stark and cold, completely unfamiliar and bizarrely distorted in the moonlight.

With some internal convincing (it'll be fine, don't be silly, she's just around the corner, she wouldn't leave you -), the girl picked her way through the cold water and halted between two buildings.

In a voice she hoped sounded braver than she felt, she called, "Mom?" into the alley.

The sound of distant rumbling thunder overhead answered her.

But it wasn't thunder, was it? she thought curiously. Thunder didn't grow closer so quickly like that. The rumbling grew louder, and louder still, until it was roaring in her ears like a freight train at full-speed.

"Mom?" she called again, more fearful now.

All of a sudden, as if she'd been struck by lightning, she knew: she had to leave. She had to leave this place and never come back. Her mother wasn't here. Sloshing through the dirty water, she sprinted through the streets, but the water was growing higher and higher, first circling darkly around her knees, then her waist; she tried swimming, picking up her arms, but the water was up to her nose now and flooding her mouth and throat.

She gasped and choked as the water turned blood-red, and a man's face appeared, his veins protruding, his mouth grinning. His gnarled hands reached out, seized her neck like a ragdoll, and squeezed.

But then, like she'd been slapped in the face, Leta snapped her eyes open. Her heart was pounding, her chest heaving in desperation, as if she'd just sprinted for her life. Icy sweat doused her forehead.

It was a dream, she told herself, massaging her throat and drawing sharp breaths. Just another bad dream. And it was over.

Nightmares often twisted through her uneven sleep like this, but she was grateful no one was around to witness her embarrassing reaction as she woke up. It was just a dream, she repeated to herself, stubbornly, as she sat up and put her bare feet to the cold floor with an air of resolution: time to begin another day.

Across the small room, a sliver of wintry sunlight slanted in through the lone window. Fresh snow glittered along the nearly-frozen river outside. Shivering, she rose to her feet, splashed water on her face in the bathroom and dressed quickly, though she made a point to avoid wearing any dark green: these days, the less people who affiliated her with Carthis, the better.

Throwing her satchel over her shoulder and pulling her hair back into a loose bun, she stepped into the hallway. The usual morning rush greeted her: chatter, urgency, a sea of people hurrying from their bedroom quarters off to their posts. This was where Carthis' volunteer staff lived. A year ago, Leta had an apartment of her own along the harbor. A small place, a bit shabby with its yellowing walls and sagging furniture, but it had been hers.

And then the riots had begun.

Not long after the fall of the Society on Vescent, dissent had started to take root. A large sect of people wanted the Vescent they had always known back. Carthis started to morph from 'hero' to 'invader' as their stay continued on and on through the years. Sure, the military provided aid and some semblance of stability in the power vacuum left by the planet's previous ownership, but citizens were shaky with their loyalty, some were starving, and all were scared. It was little surprise to anyone then, when a small group of armed rebels had decided they wanted Carthis gone for good.

Fatal shootings filled the streets. Arsonists set fires on every block. The military had set up barrages and contained the rioting, for the most part, but walking the cobblestone streets of Fall's End was hardly safe anymore. Five years after the Battle of Fall's End, Vescent was nearly in as much chaos as it had been before Carthis ever arrived.

So now, at the insistence of a couple admirals and for her own safety, Leta called the Carthian base her home.

Weaving through the crowd, she crested a staircase and was unsurprised but pleased to see a familiar face. Leaning against his usual wall where they met every morning was Nikkolai.

"Morning, doc," said the twenty-four year old, forcing a tired smile over his face, his blonde hair still springy and overgrown. In his arms were a bundle of files and paperwork, just like always: after years aboard the Dionysian, he'd finally left about two years ago now and joined Leta on Vescent as her personal aide.

At first, Leta had privately hesitated - Nikki, sweet, silly, kind, but unreliable, join her here? Didn't he want to stick close to Javier and his home ship? But he told her he wanted to help the war effort and that he had no function on the Dionysian so she had accepted. Since, he had proven himself time and time again as her confidante. And one of the few people she completely trusted.

"Sleep okay?" he asked distractedly, falling into step beside her. He threw her a glance as he rifled through the papers in his arms. "You look a lil pale."

"Thanks, Nikki," Leta laughed, holding open the door for him as they marched into the main hub of the base.

Easily sidestepping a particularly impatient officer, Nikkolai said, "So. Morning updates for ya. That reporter's been hounding for an interview again. He left a bunch of messages early this morning. Kind of desperate. Little pathetic," as he dug into his folders.

"Again? Gods, he's persistent."

"Maybe he just likes you." Nikkolai grinned, but it was short lived. "Still, he won't even tell me what he wants to interview you about so if I were you, I'd keep giving him the run-around," he went on, business-like again. "Oh! And that order you put in for a new CT scanner? I'm pretty sure it'll come through next month. Got a confirmation late last night."

"About time," said Leta. "What's going on at the clinic?"

Nikkolai visibly flinched, but he pressed on dutifully. "Well. That old guy with the bad fever yesterday? He woke up completely fine. I think this flu is finally passing through. Ms. Opail went home this morning, so we'll have her bed ready in case anyone new needs it. Oh and Mr. Laika's surgery went off totally smoothly."

Leta slowed to a stop in the middle of the hallway and tilted her head at him. "That's all great news," she pointed out and he nodded. She narrowed her eyes. "So what was that flinch about?"

Now, Nikki grimaced. "Well. There's something else."

His face fell, and Leta sensed a sudden shift in her mood. Her eyebrows rose. Danger loomed.

"What is it?"

"Well … " Nikkolai sighed, nodding toward a quieter alcove. He frowned deeply. "God, I hate giving you bad news. And listen, Leta, it's still up in the air I think. Nothing's been totally decided yet, but - " His eyes widened with apology. "Carthian leadership has been talking about finally converting our clinic into a military med station. They want to take it. For real this time."

Carthian commanders streamed past in a hurried crowd. Leta hardly saw them. Her mind filled with the sight of her clinic, her most ambitious project and the one that she, privately, was most proud of. Only a small brick building on the far end of Fall's End, it had grown to be so much more. Under a team of volunteers, it'd become a free clinic for the injured or sick, and something of a homeless shelter and food pantry for people who had been displaced by the war and riots, but refused (or mistrusted) military aid. These days, it was crowded with lost people.

The military had wanted to seize it for months. Under their control, it would be filled with armed guards and Carthian doctors. Their reasoning was extensive: they could provide more funding, they could provide more treatments and equipment and resources, more food, and it would be cleaner.

But Leta knew there was more to it than that. Her clinic was situated in a region Carthis had little control over. It had become a safe haven for those less pleased with the current leadership and though no one had ever outright said it, everyone knew that it had become a breeding ground for rebellion. It was no wonder Carthis wanted their own people there to oversee it.

After a horrified, shocked pause, Leta said, seething, "Wait here. No - better yet - Nikki, go to the clinic, make sure the Carthians haven't done anything yet. I'll meet you later."

Turning sharply, she joined the stream of people. Behind her Nikkolai called, in sudden excitement, "Yell at 'em real good, doc!"

Minutes later, ignoring curious glances as she stalked down a private hallway toward a row of offices, Leta slammed her palms into a set of broad silver doors.

Inside, surrounded by bookshelves, Admiral Gates sat behind his oak desk. Leta barely registered his sunken appearance before she growled, "I need to talk to you. Right now. My clinic isn't up for negotiation -"

But Gates already had an audience. Seated in front of his desk was some man in uniform, surveying Leta with disgust.

"Excuse me?" the man scoffed. "Who are you? You need an appointment to - "

"Get out, Cadia," Gates added absently to the man, who looked abashed. "Adler, come in."

Leta side-stepped from the doorway as it closed with a snap, leaving her with Gates alone. She wasted no time in approaching his desk. "This is completely ridiculous. You're taking away a free medical clinic from citizens? In a city that's suffering post-war? How can you live with - "

"Adler." Gates did not look angry. His gaze was steady. "Sit down."

"I'd rather stand," she snapped. "What're you going to do with the people who live there right now? The second you take it over, they'll leave and have to survive on the street."

"Please," said Gates calmly, holding up a gnarled hand. "Sit."

Leta hesitated, clenching her fists at her sides. Then she stepped sideways and dropped into an armchair. When she opened her mouth, Gates said, "We're not taking anything away from you, Leta. As far as I'm concerned, the clinic will remain under your tutelage. We'll simply provide funding and more staff."

"And guards and cameras and more eyes to spy on these people. Not to mention that damned thing." She gestured dramatically to the great Carthian symbol painted on the wall. "You are taking it from me, and all the people who feel safe there."

"Safety is all we care about," Gates went on. "We'll expand security. Which is a good thing. It'll be safer. We'll pull in a full staff, bring in all the beds you need, we can expand the building, treat dozens more. Leta, it's downright irresponsible for you to refuse our resources."

"You don't understand," said Leta, almost laughing. "People feel safe there because there aren't Carthian soldiers with rifles at the door!"

For a moment she thought perhaps she'd finally gone too far. Gates had thrown her out of his office before; it wasn't unprecedented.

But to her surprise, the man across the desk gave her a rather twisted smirk. Then he leaned sideways, pulled a drawer out from his desk and thudded down a tall, narrow decanter of copper liquid. Bourbon. Two crystal glasses followed. He poured an inch into each glass and slid one toward Leta, who sat there blankly.

"I know," he admitted at last, releasing a long sigh as he sipped his drink. It was only eight in the morning, Leta thought, but then again, Gates looked like he'd been up all night. "I know, Leta, and I'm not blind. I know it's not just the rebels. I know how the people feel."

"Then listen," said Leta eagerly.

He smiled at her around the rim of his glass. Briefly, Leta noticed (rather uncomfortably) that Gates looked more aged and weathered than ever. How old was he now, Leta wondered - nearly seventy? Lines filled his face, his eyes sagged. And he wasn't exactly lean and fit, either.

"I shouldn't tell you this," he said suddenly, putting down his glass. "But clearly, you need to hear it, or you'll never leave me alone." He flashed her a dark look and went on, "This morning was the first meeting we had that's focused entirely on leaving."

Leta didn't know what to say. Shock hit her and she blinked slowly.

"Carthis is on our way out, Leta. It'll be a slow process - it might not be pretty … " The older man shook his head before aiming his eyes at her meaningfully. "But soon your city will be yours again. Alright? You can build all the damn doctor's offices you want, I certainly don't give a shit." He reached for her full glass, since she hadn't drank from it, and grunted, "Now please. Get out of my office."


Alyx stalked out of the Beacon's bridge, leaving her companions staring at her in confusion. Without a backwards glance, she marched straight down the hall, purpose in every step, her mind racing. They needed to move quickly. If they waited, it could be too late. But it wasn't far, the Beacon was fast as ever, they could be docked by morning.

Her steps quickened.

The command deck was silent, save for the thump thump thump of her boots on metal grating. Most of the ship's meager crew was below, lounging and relaxing as the ship made its way from their last supply drop on the edge of Synechdan. There had been a lot of lounging and relaxing as of late, with work becoming more and more scarce. Even the work they did take on barely provided a pittance. To the crew, Alyx blamed the ongoing war. Import and export business had stalled while clients were preoccupied fighting the Society, she told them. War-related supply runs were rarely granted to outside ships. There was just no work to be had. That's why things were slow.

Though she, and probably everyone else, knew that wasn't the only reason.

Without a moment's hesitation, Alyx hit the door controls to Finn's quarters and stalked inside. The stench of cigarette smoke hit her nostrils, with an undertone of whiskey. Cheap whiskey. Emptied bottles sat on the table, on the floor, the night stand.

She couldn't really say she was surprised.

These days, Finn wasn't the man she once knew as her captain. His injury, Corra's fleeing, and then, worst of all, the loss of Archeti had destroyed part of his spirit. Apathetic, emotionless, and grumbling, he'd largely lost interest in finding jobs for the Beacon, and most of the unpaid and frustrated crew had dismantled and left. He never showed up for meals and was rarely found in his captain's chair. Once upon a time, he'd swaggered around the ship like the best pilot the span had ever seen. These days he only emerged from his room begrudgingly, like a surly teenager. Alyx had largely taken helm of the Beacon, and more than once, Finn had insisted she take the captainship officially. "Just go ahead and have the ship already," he groaned. "You want it, I can tell." Alyx had refused.

Sometimes, a glimpse of the old Finn came back - he'd get an unusual burst of energy and plan out the next few weeks of work, a long-lost glint in his eyes. But then he'd slip back into his habit of sleeping all the time, smelling strongly of stale drink, haggard and annoyed. Quite simply, Finn had been in a bad mood now for years.

In his room, Alyx was unsurprised by the display of alcoholism, and even less surprised to find a new woman in Finn's bed. She shrieked and scrambled to cover herself with the sheets. Alyx recognized her as one of the passengers they'd brought on only a few days ago. Well. It certainly hadn't taken long for her to end up here.

Alyx watched dully as Finn sat up, his hair a mess, a murderous look in his eyes. But then his anger fell away and he simply groaned. "God, Alyx, you could knock y'know?"

"Can I have a moment, cap'n?" said Alyx innocently. Then she looked his naked form up and down in judgment. "And some pants please?"

Without waiting for his answer, she turned and stepped back into the hallway, ignoring the ensuing argument between lovers that went on behind her. Part of her wondered if Finn would emerge at all.

But today he must've been in decent spirits, or at least, too tired to argue. He pulled himself into the hallway, fully dressed in wrinkled clothes, an unlit cigarette already in his mouth, muffling his voice as he grunted, "The hell is it?"

"Isn't she married?" Alyx mused, glancing at the doorway. But then she said, "Come with me, I need to show you something," and started off back towards the bridge. Perhaps it wasn't appropriate for a first mate to be barking commands at her captain. But ever since she'd taken the job after Corra left, she'd found a lot more got done if she did.

Finn followed her all the way to the bridge where Daelen and Cai were waiting. Daelen's arms were crossed over his chest and his stare stern as the two of them entered.

"Wait." Finn halted in the doorway, suddenly suspicious. "Is this an intervention? Again? God, you three, you need to lay off, I'm fine - "

"You're not, but we'll discuss that another day," Daelen interrupted steadily. "Alyx," said Daelen, turning to her and pointing accusingly at her console, "please explain this. And please tell me you're not really suggesting-"

"Hush," Alyx scolded him. "Finn, c'mere and look at this."

She pointed at the glowing console screen.

"You know how I feel about this," Daelen went on in that fatherly disapproving tone that drove Alyx up the wall, but before she could argue, Finn said, "Wait. "Is this-this is legitimate? You're sure?" as he stared fixedly at the screen.

"I trust this source," Alyx confirmed. "If he says Callahan's on Tarin, he's on Tarin."

And knowing that was more satisfying than Alyx was willing to admit. She had never even met the man personally, but when Finn told her of him, she'd learned to loathe him all the same. For pulling the Beacon into his ally-trading scheme. For nearly killing Finn. And whether he was a contributing factor or not, for chasing Corra away.

They'd had their tendrils out in all manner of places for the past five years, searching for him. At first, Alyx had thought Finn's obsession with the hunt was mad. There was no trace of him. No whispers. No clues. Callahan had probably died on Archeti when the planet fell. But Finn had refused to believe it and sure enough, pieces started to fit together. Hints started to pop up. She, like him, began to believe that he'd made it out.

Most of their leads in the past had turned out to be false. Pranks, on occasion. Or worse, traps. But this time, Alyx had a good feeling. This time, they had found him.

"Look, I understand this man is scum," Daelen said, less scolding and more concerned this time. "But what good could come from this? Every time we've gone after Callahan before, we ended up in trouble and no closer to your goal. Which, by the way, is not really a healthy goal to begin with…"

"You don't get it," said Finn bluntly. "You don't understand what he's done. What he's still doing. There are dozens of shipments of allies from all across the Span to the same guys we took them to every month. They're his. I know they're his."

"You don't know they're his. You're assuming," Daelen replied shortly. "And holding onto it, hunting him like this, it's not hurting him. It's hurting you."

Finn just shook his head. "It will hurt him," he spat bitterly. "If we catch him."

Suddenly Daelen turned back on Alyx. "I can't believe you're supporting this."

"I can't believe you're not," Alyx snapped back. "He's a slaver. He needs to be taken down."

"Then we should report him to the Conduit and they can send proper force to deal with it," Daelen insisted. "You may be a fighter, but the rest of us are not. And what if this is just another trap? We can't afford any danger right now and you know it. If we don't make our meeting with the supply warehouse? They'll give it to someone else and we'll be out of credits, out of fuel and grounded with no work for who knows how long."

Reasonably, Alyx knew he was probably right. The ship's coffers were running dry as is and if something did go amiss, it would only set them back further. But they were so close. After five years, she could feel it right beyond her fingertips.

Flustered, she turned to the fourth voice in the room: Cai. "What do you think?"

These days, the Beacon had been running less as a dictatorship and more as a committee. It wasn't that Alyx didn't trust her captain, but-well actually she didn't. But in place of strong leadership, they had a balanced trio in the three long-term crew members. Alyx was the capable force of action, Daelen was the logic and Cai brought the heart. The morality. And more often than not, his voice was the tie-breaking factor.

Now, he sat in his chair with his legs crossed on the seat, his chin in his hand and a thoughtful frown on his face. At first, he didn't answer. So Finn cut in.

"Why are we even arguing this?" he demanded. "We've been looking for this asshole for years, we found him, let's go."

"It's irresponsible, risky and could bring down the entirety of the Beacon," Daelen said shortly.

"But if we don't get to him now, he could move and anyone else could be too late," argued Alyx.

Finn looked straight across the room and met Cai's eyes. "He's an ally-trader. You know what your answer has to be."

Cai met his stare firmly, but he was still quiet. The wheels of calculation could be seen turning behind his eyes. The others waited with bated breath. Until finally.

"We should go after him."

"Finally!" Finn exclaimed and marched across the bridge to the pilot's seat.

No one asked for an explanation, but Cai gave one anyway. "We should go after him for Corra," he said and even Finn grew quiet. "It's what she would have done."

Alyx felt a sharp pang in her chest. They had all lost a friend with Corra's departure. She'd left a hole in the ship that was never again filled, not for any of them. Finn had been focused on the notion that eliminating Callahan would manage it. Or alcohol might do the trick. Or burying himself in mundane tasks or simple pleasures. But Alyx knew it wouldn't. Nothing could. Corra hadn't been seen by anyone in five years. She'd sent a grand total of four messages to Leta and Leta alone, mostly to assure her that she still lived. But as much as Alyx and the entire crew hoped otherwise, after five whole years? She wasn't coming back.

But even now, people got still when her name was mentioned. And this time, no one, not even Daelen, argued when Finn said, "Alyx. Set the course for Tarin."


Cyrus' palms hit the floor and he squinted into the dark space beneath the bed. A sock sat crumpled in the corner. A few candy wrappers littered the edge. From the back wall he caught the glint of plastic eyes on a fluffy teddy bear's face staring back at him. Not what he was looking for.

With a tired groan, he pushed himself to his feet and swung his eyes around the room. Clothes spilled onto the floor from the dresser he'd already torn apart. The closet was in shambles. He'd rummaged through the packed baggage twice. Where the hell were they?

Frustrated, he marched from the room. On the way out, he caught an unfortunate glimpse of himself in a mirror and barely recognized the man looking back at him. When had the circles beneath his eyes gotten so dark? When had his hair gotten so shaggy? Probably sometime between installing New Genisi's first energy core and his seemingly neverending search for lost footwear.

"Addy?" he called, ducking through the door into what they'd affectionately dubbed as the dining room (in actuality, it was far too grand a title for the tiny space of the modular metallic home in which they had simply shoved a table). Addy was standing over an array of blueprints, talking through them with a man named Petro who would be taking over for their duties while they were gone. Cyrus was supposed to helping, but he was distracted.

"Addy, have you seen the purple boots? The ones with the - y'know - " Cyrus was looking for the word 'fluff' but he couldn't find that either so he just made a poofy motion with his hands.

But Addy just shook her head. "Sorry, sweetie. Have you checked under her bed?"

Cyrus mumbled a vague response before sliding past her to look through the wall cabinet as she went back to explaining, "So we need to make sure the team designing the main square leaves room for this unit." She tapped the blueprints. "They keep fighting us on it because they want the space for, I don't know, another restaurant or shop or something."

Petro tilted his head at her. "How are they expecting to power any of these restaurants and shops if they don't have the energy inlet?"

"Exactly!" said Addy. "They're being stubborn and greedy. The coalition heads likely won't make a decision 'til after we're back, but we need you to keep putting pressure on them so this doesn't slip through the cracks, okay?"

Petro nodded, typing a quick note on his tablet. "Of course. It's ridiculous though. You and your husba-I mean, partner, sorry-you're New Genisi's energy experts, and yet they really continue to fight you on this?"

On his knees on the floor, as he dug through a cubby hole(that held everything from Concordia decorations to miscellaneous bits and pieces he'd ripped out of their shuttle), Cyrus snorted. "If people just listened to scientists, this whole city would have been completed a year ago."

It was probably an exaggeration. In truth, New Genisi had come an impressively long way. After the terraform had stabilized a few years back, the surface of Archeti had been an empty, untouched landscape, rough and wild and devoid of animal or human life. Today, it was home to some three hundred thousand people, mostly refugees, sprinkled with a handful of aspiring families and business-owners looking to start fresh and of course the ever present vultures looking to feed off the struggling vagrants. But where Genisi once stood a proud and sturdy city, it was now mere clusters of prefabricated portable buildings amidst neverending construction sites. It had come a long way, but it still had a long way to go.

Cyrus had been involved with the project from the get-go. Rebuilding Genisi had been on the table from the day it fell and he had known, even then, that he was going to lend his knowledge and experience towards it. He hadn't known, however, that he was going to end up jumping in head-first. If they were going to do this, they were going to do it right, which meant New Genisi would not be the smouldering pit of a city it once was, but rather a shining beacon of technology, efficiency and modernity.

Energy was Cyrus' 'thing', so to speak. It had been his area of study all through school and continued to be his focus at Sonnete. He knew the fastest, cleanest, most efficient ways to spread power through any ship you put in front of him. A city, he was a little less familiar with, but really, he'd thought four years ago, how different could it be?

Very different, as it turned out. It wasn't just the planning that was difficult, it was the bureaucracy. Everyone had an opinion on what went where and how and why and unlike a ship where Cyrus had the power of final decision, New Genisi was a public beast. Those other opinions mattered. Even if, as far as Cyrus was concerned, they didn't make any sense.

Fortunately, he had Addy. "They'll listen," she was saying, smiling down at him. "Eventually. We might just need to stop appealing to their heads and take a few shots at their credits."

She was his rock, to say the least. He hadn't known what to expect when he'd told her that he wanted to go to Archeti as their energy consultant. But if he had to choose a reaction, her actual "Let's all move there and I'll be a consultant with you," would be the one he picked. And after three years living in this tiny little tin can of a house together, he didn't know what he could have done without her.

"Noted," said Petro, jotting more on the tablet. "You two don't have to worry at all. I'll handle everything while you're away. Hell, when you get back, the whole thing will be installed already, just you watch."

"Then you'd be a miracle worker," Addy laughed, grasping his shoulder. "If you need anything, we'll be a call away, alright? Don't even hesitate."

"Nonsense, I'm not going to spoil your family vacation," Petro shook her off as he headed for the door. "Have a great time, I'll see you when you get back!"

"Thank you!" Addy called as he walked out and Cyrus stood up to join her at her side. They stood there in silence for a moment, watching his back, before Addy turned to him at last. "You still can't find them?"

"They're not here," Cyrus insisted with a heavy sigh. "I've looked everywhere."

"They have to be, where else would they be?" Addy pointed out, crossing into the living room to check the closet he'd already checked three times. Cyrus hovered, defeated, in the doorway, ready to say 'I told you so' when she came up empty.

"Why can't we just pack these instead?" she asked, producing a pair of black boots from the abyss, but Cyrus shook his head.

"Those aren't warm enough. It's winter there, remember? She'll freeze!"

"We're raising her on Archeti, dear, she doesn't have our sensitive desert blood y'know."

"Our blood is exactly what she has," Cyrus argued, "She'll freeze, she needs the purple ones." Addy just eyed him a beat longer before he added, "And those aren't waterproof."

She couldn't argue with that. Emerging from the closet, Addy stepped back and put her hands on her hips. "Well. We've got to get to the docks. Is everything else ready to go?"

"Of course. Everything's packed except the boots, it's-," Cyrus began to assure her, but was cut off by a sudden shriek from outside.

Both Addy and Cyrus bolted out of the room, to the front door that was wide open, and felt the panic drain. Kalli was standing on the threshold looking up at the sky. Well, standing wasn't right. Bouncing.

"Ti'hma! P'ahti!" the four year old cried in elation, seizing both her parents' hands as her dark curls danced up and down around her face. "Look look!"

Cyrus followed her line of sight to where the dark shape of a ship was descending towards the planet. It was still a ways off and difficult to see, but he squinted his eyes and could just barely make out the rusted patchwork body of the Dionysian.

Cyrus smiled and leaned down to hoist Kalli into his arms. She giggled with delight and continued to bounce as he held her. "You excited for our trip, issyen?" he asked and she only bounced harder in response.

It had become a sort of running joke around the New Genisi settlement. No wonder Cyrus and Addy were the local experts on power, they'd say, when they spent all of their time raising a literal ball of energy at home.

Cyrus felt Addy's hand at the small of his back. "Sweetie?" she cooed softly. "I think I know where the boots are."

Cyrus looked over at her in confusion, but Addy was glancing at Kalli's feet. Her feet which were contained in what looked like chunks of pure mud. But as he peered at them, he could just barely see something beneath the brown gunk: a hint of purple fluff.

Cyrus groaned and Addy sighed, turning back into the house. "I'll go get the hose."


"How'd it go?" said Nikkolai eagerly, his voice breaking the static through the COMM device in Leta's ear. "What happened? Did you fight? Did you win? Did you yell?"

"A little," Leta admitted, somewhat amused. She held her fingers against her ear as she zig-zagged through the crowded hallway toward the base's exit doors. She'd already wasted half her morning here, and she was eager to get the clinic. "I'll tell you everything when I see you. What's happening over there?"

"Everything's good," said Nikkolai, and she could hear distant chattering voices behind him - a busy morning, no doubt. "We've already restocked the pantry, and the waiting room is crowded, but nothing urgent. And another round of flu shots came in, tomorrow we'll ... "

But Leta wasn't listening anymore. She'd just seen something that halted her in her tracks.

The broad glass window to her right overlooked the ship docks, and unless she was very much mistaken, she could spot a rusted warm orange-brown metal monster lowering into place. It was like a mirage, or a ghost, and Leta felt like she'd been punched in the gut. It'd been nearly a year since she'd seen it. The Dionysian.

" ... still have plenty of left, but we'll never finish -" Nikkolai was saying.

"I'll call you back," said Leta hollowly, lowering her hand from her ear. Eyes widened, she crossed toward the doors and stepped outside. Icy wind gusted against her flesh, tossing her hair across her face, but Leta felt nothing but shock as she watched the ship's ramp lower slowly, creaking and groaning with age.

She was still reeling (what was it doing here? Was something wrong? Why hadn't anyone told her it was arriving today?) when a high-pitched "Leta!" rang out from the cargo bay and tiny footsteps pounded down the ramp. Leta's mouth fell open, partly to respond, partly to laugh, and partly in just pure surprise at how big Kalli had gotten as she bounded towards her, but the little girl only made it a few steps before she was snatched into her mother's arms.

"Hang on now, you don't even have your scarf," Addy scolded, though she chuckled as she expertly draped the purple cloth around Kalli's struggling form.

"Hey, Leta," was the second greeting, from Cyrus as he strolled down the ramp after his family as casually as if they saw one another every day.

And finally, there was the flash of red as the Dionysian's captain descended from the ship. Though not as much red as she remembered. The roots of Fiearius' hair had taken a sharp turn toward grey since they'd last met. He'd only aged a year, but the war and admiralship had taken its toll on him physically. Still, behind the tired eyes and gaunt cheekbones, there was still the same hint of mischief she recognized.

Leta could do nothing but stare at each of them in turn, unable to process that these people were actually standing before her, until Kalli, with a wide grin that matched her father's, shouted, "Surprise!"


<p>

“There can be no victory without sacrifice. For everything gained, something must also be given away. It is the natural order of the Span we live in. No success comes without loss …. ”

Hazy gray rain fell to the ground in sheets, flooding the cobblestone walkway. Watery-cold wind rippled through Leta's hair and tossed her black dress around her knees. Around her, Fiearius’ old pirate crowd, families and citizens of Vescent, and soldiers and pilots from Carthis all filled the courtyard. Leta planted herself in the back of the crowd, rigid as a statue, as Gates' rough, hoarse voice carried over the audience. Sounds of people crying, sniffling and wiping their eyes, punctuated his words.

“ … we stand here now in the aftermath of a great loss indeed. Much greater than perhaps any of us could have known. Here, in this moment, we are all united. Vescentian, Carthian, Exymerian, Archetian. All of us have suffered to come to this point. All of us have lost. And in our solidarity, we mourn for those that couldn’t be present today. For those that will never be present again. A great loss. A shared pain … “

Fiearius stood beside her shoulder, holding a dripping umbrella over their heads. Leta thought Gates wanted Fiearius up front -- he was probably supposed to give a speech too. Nearly half the ships involved in the battle for Vescent had fought under his name -- but he made no motion to leave her side. She didn't look at him, but she guessed his expression was empty and tired. These days he always looked empty and tired.

“ … In the wake of pain and loss, however, we find hope. A menace has been defeated. A planet, this planet, has been loosed from its shackles of dictatorship and control. The Society influence has been wiped out and Vescent is free. Many lives have been lost, our hearts are broken, our spirits battered, but it is not in vain. Freedom comes at a cost and the price this time was high. But freedom, true freedom, is what we have achieved.”

But they didn't ask for this, Leta thought to herself, with a burn of anger. Vescent was liberated of the Society. But the rebels had done only as she asked them; they didn’t know they were going to their death ...

And then there was Amora. Everytime she thought of her, Leta felt as if a gaping ragged hole punctured her heart. Amora had been the first person to truly welcome Leta aboard the Dionysian. The person who made all the breakfasts and all the dinners, who required that everyone gather twice a day; the person who unabashedly barked at Fiearius to be quiet; who mothered Cyrus and fussed over his hair; who baked Leta a cake and her favorite Vescentian meal on her birthday.

She was dead? How was that possible?

Finally Gates’ speech ended, and the memorial ended with a chime of ringing bells. Slowly the crowd retreated indoors where it was warm and dry.

Leta lingered, sliding a glance to Fiearius. He looked back at her, saying nothing. It had been nearly a month since the day the Dionysian had crash-landed on this planet. A month since the two of them had sprinted for their lives through the streets.

Fading, still-healing cuts marred his face and hands. But even as his body healed, with each passing day, Fiearius was looking less and less like his old self. He looked...older somehow. Quieter. More somber. It was a transformation Leta recognized. She saw it in herself every time she looked in a mirror.

“Do you believe that?” she had to know suddenly. “What Gates was saying? About the dead being the necessary sacrifice for freedom?”

Fiearius didn’t answer at first. He eyed her with a curious thoughtfulness. “Everything has a price,” he said at last. “Do you not believe it?”

“It sounds like bullshit,” she decided. “Something people say to try and make me feel better.”

“Didn’t work then, I guess.”

“No,” she said abruptly. “It didn’t. The rebels didn’t need to die for Vescent to be free. Neither did Amora. Or the people of Archeti. Or Finn -- “ Her voice halted in her throat. “There’s no big important spiritual reason for why he’s suffering right now.”

He nodded, in what she thought might be agreement. Then he sighed, bowed his head and started down the path, gesturing she walk with him.

“Do you know what Ridellians say about death?” he wondered, and Leta admitted that she did not. “They say that when you die, your soul ascends into space. All the souls of the recently passed form a nebula. And that nebula one day, with time, will become a star. A dov’ha. A god. And in that way, each generation takes its place in the pantheon of the skies and continues to shape the future of the Span long after they’ve left it.”

Leta couldn’t help herself. “You die and you become a Ridellian star god?” she muttered, and she could hear the derision in her voice. Fiearius cast her a sideways glance that made her regret her tone. He was, she realized a moment too late, dressed entirely in the Ridellian mourning color and discussing the very culture he’d been raised in. “I thought you weren’t religious,” she added in apology.

He let out a quiet chuckle. “I’m not. And you’re not wrong. It’s ridiculous. And probably made up to make people feel better about the inevitability of our mortality. But.” He shrugged. “There’s something comforting about imagining my cranky chef as a god up there scolding me for all my choices for all eternity.”

Leta felt herself smile for the first time that day. “Maybe you should start praying.”

“Maybe you should too.” Fiearius looked up at the sky and touched two fingers to each of his shoulders. “Better safe than sorry,” he agreed. When his eyes met Leta’s again, his smile faded. “My point is. Maybe bullshit isn’t all that bad.” His stare fell away from her again as he muttered, “If it gets you through the day.”

Leta wasn’t quite she was making it through the day. At least not this day.

“Maybe,” she said quietly.

They stood in silence, save for the rain hitting the umbrella above their heads. For a moment Leta thought he was going to reach out to her -- he was watching her closely and expectantly -- but all he did was clear his throat.

“Anyway. Gates won’t let me hear the end of it if the Dionysian leaves tonight without me having a chat with him first.” He handed her the umbrella. She took it, but he didn’t let go just yet and caught her eye. “I’ll see you later, okay?”

Leta nodded, watching over her shoulder as he retreated from her. Quite simply, she had no idea what to do next; no clear inclination of where to go or who to see. Perhaps she’d head to her old room in the Dionysian? Or find her childhood home on Fall’s End? For several seconds she stood alone blankly, the rain drumming on the umbrella, until she blinked and realized Cyrus and Addy were watching her from beneath an overhang.

Cyrus looked worried as she approached. “Does he seem alright to you?”

“About as alright as can be expected.”

Cyrus didn’t look appeased, but then Addy broke in, her voice gentle, “And how about you, Leta?”

The question caught her off guard. Was she alright? The bruises that had covered her neck and arms were gone. Her wounds had faded toward scars. There were few physical indicators left that she’d been in a battle at all. But that hadn’t prevented the chronic nightmares that haunted her whenever she shut her eyes. Dark visions of a burning city, rivers of blood and the looming face of Arleth Morgan. And that was only when she could sleep at all.

But all she said was, “I’ll be fine.” And as Cyrus nodded at her second unsatisfying response, Leta was pressed to fill the silence with something less personal. “So the Dionysian’s all fixed now? I’m surprised, that was quite a crash.”

Cyrus grimaced and Leta thought she saw a touch of guilt in his face. Fortunately for him, Addy responded on his behalf. “Oh, it wasn’t so bad actually. The hull took some brunt force, but the engine was mostly intact. She’s stable enough to limp back to the CORS to get her body refitted.”

Leta muttered something about that being good news, Cyrus nodded his agreement and long silence lapsed once more. It seemed to be happening a lot lately. Moments when no one knew what to say. Uncertainty dominated. Until finally someone broke.

This time it was Cyrus. “What’d you think of the service?”

“It was fine,” said Leta vaguely. Then she cracked a wry smile. “I liked ours better.”

The night before, they’d had one final dinner together in the mess hall of the Dionysian. Candles had been lit, Fiearius cooked a tremendous meal and Maya opened a bottle of bourbon and led a toast to the lost member of their crew. It was a somber affair that had ended with unexpected news: as she held Cyrus’ hand and smiled nervously, Addy announced that she was pregnant.

The whole room erupted in happy gasps. Cyrus looked like he was about to faint from anxiety, but he was also grinning from ear-to-ear. For the first time in days, Leta smiled, too.

Staring at the soon-to-be-parents, huddled together beneath the flowing gutter, Leta asked, “So -- what’s next for you two then?”

Cyrus cast Addy a furtive look, but she smiled at him which seemed to be his cue to answer. “We’re not really sure,” he admitted, but didn’t sound all that bothered. “For now, we’re just going to get the Dionysian back to the station. And from there?” He looked over at Addy and slipped her hand into his. “Just...figure it out I guess.”

Leta couldn’t help but mirror their smiles. But it was wiped away the moment Cyrus turned to her and asked the one question she’d been dreading. “What about you?”

Luckily, Leta was saved the trouble from answering: just then, a Carthian officer approached, entering their fold.

“Dr. Adler, Mr. Solivere, Ms. Atelier. I apologize for the interruption, but I have good news. We’ve received word from the station’s med team.” The man smiled. “Finnegan Riley’s latest surgery was a success. They’re reporting that he’s finally stable and in recovery.”


 

The bright white room was blurry, and it slowly swam into view, as if he were coming up from underwater. Finn opened his eyes and found himself lying against the stiff pillows of a hospital bed. His whole body ached, but his abdomen was absolutely throbbing with a dull, pulsating pain that made his face twist into a grimace.

The light grew less blinding and he began to survey his surroundings. An infirmary. Not the Beacon’s. A Carthian insignia formed a dark blur on a nearby wall. And beside it, seated in a plastic chair with a magazine in her hands, was a woman with turquoise hair he recognized instantly.

"What the hell happened?" he tried to ask Alyx, but his voice came out as more of a groan. She looked up at him at first in wide-eyed surprise, then overwhelming relief and finally, a wide grin broke over her face.

“Oh thank God, you’re finally awake,” she breathed, tossing her magazine to the floor and standing to her feet. “They said it would be any time now, they said it would work and you’d wake up but I didn’t really--y’know--believe them.” She reached around his head to straighten out his pillows. “How do you feel? Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? Food? Water? Well I guess that’s what the IV is for--”

With a great effort, Finn held up a hand to silence her. She clamped her mouth shut and he managed, “What happened?

“You don’t remember?” She tilted her head and smiled sadly. “Oh, Finn. You’ve been in and out of surgery for nearly a month. Unconscious the rest of the time. We almost lost you.” Apparently feeling this story was worthy of some gravity, she sat down on the edge of his bed. “You got stabbed. Callahan. He got you real good.”

“Bastard,” said Finn absently, his voice was hoarse, like he’d been out all night in a smokey bar. Now that she mentioned it, the story felt familiar. The man’s face flashed in his mind’s eye. The knife. The blood. It was all coming back to him. Except …

“How’d I get here?”

“Corra found you and dragged you back to the Beacon.”

“Corra,” he repeated quietly. His vision was coming in more clearly now, and he realized the room was absent the person he wanted to see most. “Where is she? Please tell me she’s giving Callahan what he deserves.”

Suddenly, Alyx’s expression fell. Apology stirred in her eyes.

“Maybe?” she guessed, and Finn was instantly suspicious.

“What do you mean, ‘maybe’?”

She averted her eyes and fiddled nervously with the edge of the blanket. In a quiet voice he’d never heard Alyx use, she began, “Finn … ” which made worry bolt through him.

Grimacing through the white-hot pain in his middle, he lifted his head and sat up. “What happened? She -- she’s alright?”

“Maybe. I don’t really know. I think she’s alright, I hope--”

“Alyx,” Finn cut her off sharply. “Where. Is. Corra?”

“I’m sorry, Finn,” Alyx whispered. “She left.”

Her words hung in the air heavily.

“Left?”

“She wouldn’t say where to. Just that she had to go. And then--she left. Caught a ride on a Carthian cruiser and -- look, I’m sorry, she just completely disappeared.”

“So she’s not with the Beacon,” Finn finished, trying to wrap his head around this news. “She left the Beacon. When -- when I was like this?!” he growled. “I can’t even get out of bed! What about our ship?”

Alyx’s forehead creased in confusion. “Finn, the Beacon’s fine. It’s just docked for now and the crew’s--”

“Who’s taking care of it?”

“I am,” Alyx hurriedly explained. “Just until you’re better. You really shouldn’t get so worked up, in your condition --”

But Finn was already shaking his head. “This is insane. We have to find her. Contact her and make sure she’s alright and bring her back here.”

“She doesn’t want to be found, Finn.”

“Why did you let her leave?!” he demanded.

“I didn’t let her leave,” Alyx snapped. “She told me she was leaving and she left, I wasn’t exactly in a position to stop her.”

“Did you even try?!

“Of course I tried! But she’d already made up her mind. She--she said she had to go. That she--” Here, Alyx inhaled shakily. “That she couldn’t face you after what she’d done.”

“What she’d done?” he repeated, sitting up straighter. “What does that mean?”

Alyx shook her head. “I don’t know exactly. I think she blamed herself for your injury. But--there was something else. She--did something or, I don’t know, gave something to the Society? Something that lead to--Archeti…”

“Archeti,” Finn interrupted, closing his eyes. A wave of sickly nausea made his head swim. “What happened?”

The look on Alyx’s face said it all. As did the reluctance in her voice when she mumbled, “They’re already planning to rebuild  … ”

“How many?” he pressed quietly. His voice was growing thin. “How many people were lost?”

Alyx’s voice -- he could not believe it, he’d never seen her like this -- cracked and splintered with emotion. “There are only estimations,” she said. Tears threatened her. “Too many. Far too many, Finn, they--” Her eyes clamped shut and she clenched her fists. “They say millions…”

“Millions?” he heard himself mumble, feeling lost and numb. What was she even saying? He wracked his memory for some understanding. The stabbing, he remembered. Corra finding him, that was coming back. Then--the earthquake?

“It’s gone, Finn,” Alyx croaked, shaking her head and brushing tears from her eyes. “Archeti’s gone.”

Finn had no words. He couldn’t even think. Corra was gone, Archeti was gone, his home, his family. He’d been stabbed and nearly dead for a month and now that he was finally awake, everything had changed. Everything was different. More empty.

In that moment, he felt none of the pain that was plaguing him, no sorrow for his losses, no despair. He was merely a husk of a person, a shell, and he fell back on his pillows with a soft thump as Alyx quietly took his hand and squeezed.


 

“So! What do you think of the new facilities, then?” Gates asked briskly, surprisingly energetic for a man his age, and a man who had just led a huge memorial service. Fiearius followed him down the long narrow hallway, looking around the new space.

Soon after the attacks, the Carthians had begun to build a makeshift base in the old Society docking complex. It hadn’t looked like much then, but as they walked through it now, it was beginning to look a little more sturdy.

“It’s...nice,” Fiearius commented as he peered through the doors they walked by to see what was inside. Lots of green fatigues and Carthian tech by the looks of it. “I guess.”

“This section is being converted into offices for those assigned to the rebuilding of Vescent,” Gates explained, either oblivious or purposely ignoring Fiearius’ skepticism. “We’ll move the barracks from the east wing out to the subsidiary building and there’ll be a whole new meeting room where they are now.”

Fiearius could only nod in vague interest. Frankly he wasn’t that concerned about Gates’ decorating plans. He was more concerned at the moment with the young cadet busy painting a stencil of the Carthian insignia on the wall. He wrinkled his nose in disgust.

“This is all starting to seem very permanent,” he pointed out dryly.

Gates cast him a look. “As permanent as it needs to be,” he replied, his voice even. “Vescent is in shambles. You’re aware of that. We may have liberated the planet from the Society but it still has a ways to go in terms of recovery. The least we can do is oversee and help them through that process.”

“Sure, of course,” Fiearius agreed, still nodding slowly as they continued on through the complex. “Just thought it might be nice to get some Vescentians in here. They might have some opinions. Since it’s their planet and all.”

Gates stopped walking and regarded Fiearius with a kind of amused curiosity. “Captain, we have every intention of bringing in a chorus of Vescentian voices in the coming days. This is their home and Carthis intends to keep it that way. We’re here to help. Nothing more.”

Fiearius paused a few yards down and looked back at him. “And I’m sure Vescent being a key strategic position against Ellegy and Exymeron have nothing to do with it,” he mused, tilting his head at him. Gates, however, just laughed.

“If we’re going to continue to work together, we’re really going to have to work on those Satieran biases of yours,” he remarked as he joined Fiearius and they matched their strides again.

“Nah,” said Fiearius with a lopsided grin. “Keeps ya on your toes.”

“Indeed it does,” he agreed. “And on that note, now that your ship is back in order, we’ll have to soon discuss next steps."

Fiearius nodded. “The Society’s probably already got something cooking. I’m sure there’ll be little doubt what comes next if we wait long enough for them to put it in action.”

“I’m afraid you could be right. We’re at war now. A sloppy start to one. But a war nonetheless.” Gates pushed open the door and Fiearius was met with a gust of cold wind as they stepped back out onto the streets of Fall’s End. The rain had finally let up, but the ground was shiny and wet and the air smelled like the salty sea. Together they stood looking out at the skyline, hazy and cloudy as it was.

Finally, Gates turned to him. “It’s good to have you on our side, captain.”

Fiearius glanced over at him. Gates was a strange character, one he had yet to fully figure out. He seemed to transcend Fiearius’ natural distrust of Carthians, but he wasn’t so transcendant that Fiearius would say he trusted him. The jury, as it were, was still decidedly out. But he was certain of one thing.

He smirked at the man and shrugged his shoulders. “It’s good to have a side to be on.”


 

“Is it always this fuckin’ cold here?” Fiearius grunted, rubbing his palms together as he trotted down the stairs toward the water. Leta laughed.

“It’s spring. This is actually unseasonably warm.”

Leta guessed it did not feel particularly warm to Fiearius. A salty breeze rose as they walked the docks toward the Dionysian. Purple clouds swirled overhead, and there was a hint of thunder in the air. Forks of lightning lanced across the sky.

Slowing to a halt, Leta suddenly felt an odd pang: she really was home again.

Fiearius must have noticed the look on her face. “You alright?”

“It’s just strange. Being here.” She looked back at the city, much dimmer than she remembered. Power was still out in some areas. A few buildings that had once dominated the skyline hadn’t survived the battle. It was Fall’s End, but --

“Part of me feels like I never even left at all. And the other part has never felt so out of place in my life.”

He moved to join her at her side. “The woe of the well-traveled I suppose,” he muttered thoughtfully, shoving his hands into his coat pockets.

Suddenly, as she gazed over the dark churning water, she was struck with a memory. “Did you know this is where we first met?”

“What, Vescent?” He eyed her suspiciously. “Yeah, pretty sure I was aware of that.”

“But here, specifically.” She took a few steps further into the dock. “Right here. This is where the Dionysian was. Dock C.”

Fiearius followed her, his brow drawn together in astonishment. “How the hell do you remember that?”

Because she’d never forget it, she thought at once. She remembered that day in vivid, colorful detail: she’d agreed to follow a panic-stricken Cyrus to this very spot to help his injured brother. On the Dionysian’s ramp stood a towering figure, his handsome face dark and twisted in pain as he’d yelled over the sound of the rushing waves. It was her first image of Fiearius. I should’ve known, Leta thought absently, that you would be trouble.

Aloud, all she said was, “It was only a year ago.”

“Just a year? Feels much longer, you’re fucking exhausting.”

Leta just shook her head, ignoring him.

“I wonder if it would have gone differently,” Leta felt herself mumble. “On Vescent. If I’d been here the whole time, I mean. If I could have helped the riots, or actually done something, or … ”

“Hey.” Fiearius’ voice was sharp, and his eyes burned on her face. “You did do something. We wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for you.”

Leta felt herself nod, but it was an empty sentiment. Since she’d killed Morgan, it felt like the Carthians had talked of little else. Their praise made her uneasy, almost nauseous; little did they know, there was nothing heroic about how she’d killed him. She’d been backed into a corner like an injured bleeding animal, fighting for her own life and no one else’s, and she’d barely slipped away. But the Carthians acted like she’d assassinated the man for Vescent, and that Delia had died honorably ...

“Speaking of your valiant efforts,” Fiearius said suddenly. “I almost forgot. Gates asked me to give you this.”

He slid his hand into his coat pocket and withdrew something. It was a small white-gold pin, shining even in the dim light, shaped like the Carthian ignisia. In cursive it read:

Dr. Leta Ella Adler

Awarded for Special Services to the Carthian Military

Special services -- for killing a Councillor, no doubt. Leta’s stomach clenched. Like she needed another reminder of that horrible day.

“He wanted to have the whole ceremony for you,” Fiearius went on. “I told him it wasn’t your style. So here.”

But Leta shook her head, eyebrows raised. “I don’t want it. I definitely don’t want it. Just drop it in the water for me, will you?”

Fiearius regarded her with amusement. Then, to her surprise, he closed his fist and slipped the pin back into his pocket for safe-keeping.

A beat of expectation passed between them, and Leta realized this was it; there was no reason to linger any longer. This was the goodbye.

“So,” he said, more quietly. “You’re really staying here then.”

“I have to,” Leta said, finding it rather difficult to look him in the eye. She stared at his collarbone instead. “You’d stay too, if your home was in shambles.”

Hours earlier, Gates had asked her to stay and help rebuild Vescent, and how could she refuse? If she stayed on the Dionysian, it would be purely for selfish reasons, purely because that was where Fiearius was and there was no reason to pretend differently. Pushing that thought aside, Leta said quickly, “But what about you? Where will you be off to after your ship’s good as new?”

“Not too sure yet. I’ll let all those fancy Carthian strategists figure that out for the most part. But at some point I’m probably gonna have to hunt down Dez and Varisian. If she’s even still alive…”

Fiearius had told Leta what had happened on that rooftop after she’d left. The fight, the rescue, the defeat. And then he’d left Ophelia with Dez who had promised to deliver her to the Dionysian. Unsurprisingly, Leta had thought, neither of them ever made it to the ship.

“Where do you think they went?”

“Gods, not a clue.” Fiearius dug a hand into his hair and shook his head. “I stopped understanding that man’s motivations a decade ago. But I don’t like this ‘could show up anytime without notice’ situation we’ve got going on right now.”

“At least you’ve got a nice big Carthian posse looking out for you now,” she pointed out with a bit of a smile. She knew better than anyone how Fiearius felt about that.

“They tried to assign me a bodyguard,” he groaned. “Can you believe that? Me? With a bodyguard. I get security, sure, but these people take it way too far.”

“I’ve heard they’re going to start enforcing a more strict lockdown here after that Society ship got through last week,” Leta muttered thoughtfully. “No incoming or outgoing ships whatsoever starting next month. Even Carthian.” After a pause, she muttered, “The Dionysian won’t be coming back for a while.”

She could feel Fiearius watching her intently. After a moment, he asked, “You sure you don’t want to come?”

Internally, Leta knew it was not too late. She could have left her home behind again, climbed aboard the Dionysian and just let the Carthians rebuild Vescent without her.

In a lighter voice than she felt, Leta said, “I couldn’t. We already got your new physician all settled in. Don’t want to stop on any toes.”

Fiearius grunted in disgust. “A doctor and a Carthian. The two things I hate most.”

“I know.”

They exchanged mute smirks. Leta felt hers ease slowly from her face as she wondered how long they could do this, how long could they possibly extend this goodbye? Already, she could hear the Dionysian's crew moving through the cargo bay, prepping the ramp, readying for departure ...

Fiearius must have heard it, too. In hastened silence they regarded one another. Then, as if a silent, sad decision had been agreed upon, Fiearius drew closer, leaning in; Leta stepped toward him and lifted her heels; their lips brushed with some trepidation, before they melted into a familiar rhythm. It was a slow burn of a kiss, as if they had all the time in the world to stand together on the dock. His hand gently grasped the side of her face and Leta barely realized her fingers were clasping the edge of his jacket to keep him close.

Slowly, reluctantly, they slowed and parted lips, even as they held onto one another. Leta could feel his lips drag away from hers as she exhaled, eyes closed.

Finally, Fiearius eased away from their embrace, his expression dark and unreadable.

"Take care of yourself, alright?" he muttered, sliding his hand out from hers as he turned away. It made her chest ache to watch, but Leta did not blink as he walked up the ramp, glanced over his shoulder and went out of sight.

For several minutes more Leta stood alone on the dock, listening to the rolling waves and watching as the Dionysian rumbled awake and then slowly lifted from the water, disappearing into the cloudy sky.

END OF PART 2


Caelum Lex Pt. 2 Chapter 51: The Long Goodbye
Caelum Lex, the sci-fi, adventure, action, romance, space pirate serial! Chapter 51 of Part 2! In which we wrap things up for part 2! Caelum Lex will be taking a short lil hiatus, but we'll be back with Part 3 on November 14th! Seeya then!

First: Caelum Lex Chapter 1: Medical Attention
Previous: Caelum Lex Pt. 2 Chapter 50: Morgan
Next: Caelum Lex Pt. 3 Chapter 1: Five Years
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Shaggy by khronosabre
Shaggy
Remember when Fiear was messed up for a month and grew a bunch of shaggy hair and a crappy beard? 

I remember.

Caelum Lex, a sci-fi web serial
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Caelum Lex          Tumblr          Facebook          Contact Me



Hey people, oh people.

Sorry if I've been suspiciously absent lately, been kind of a busy few months at work and at life and whatnot. But I'm still alive and still working on Caelum Lex if you've failed to notice. I'm also backlogged on uploading the art for that though. Oops.

Anyway. News of the day, I'm going to E3 next week! Just one day since goddamn them, it's in the middle of the work week and although I am technically 'in the industry' enough to get in, I'm not 'in the industry' enough for my work to let me leave to go to a gaming conference for 4 days o.o 

I'm pretty psyched though, I've never been. Should be fun. If there's anything you know is being shown and you want me to check out, let me know. Otherwise I'm just gonna try and see everything and then hit up all the after parties with the free booze :P Good plan? Good plan. 

How are you people? Tell me about your lives. I like hearing about people's lives.

Also, there are STILL slots in this silly OC thing. I'm not gonna stop til I hit 15 I guess. Even if it takes me a year o.o Which it will.

For the first 15 people who comment on this journal, I will feature one of their characters. I'll also tell you what I like about them. [I will go to your gallery and pick one character. If you have an OC folder or other useful links, please link it as it will help].


• THIS PART IS OPTIONAL, but it would be nice if you did it ----> If you comment, please do the same in your journal, adding one of my OCs to the list. The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!

1. :iconteryster:
I don't know how I couldn't pick Hauru. She's got spunk, attitude and a great hairstyle. Can't wait to read more of her story in Asternight. Seriously though, that hair. It's perfect.

2. :iconmimmime:
This one's easy, Thomas Hewett of course. Kind, caring, a little messed up, but an all around good guy. His relationship with his sister is particularly sweet. Love reading all the lil stories from his past :)

3. :iconelreniagreenleaf:
Just look at this awesome horse Toa. I've always had a soft spot for that grey kind of horse (pretty sure there's a name for it...) They're just so pretty. And any animal that's had a hard time but still the potential to be great is a story I can get behind :D

4. :icongogorocketgo:
Okay I couldn't find much information about Eira so sorry, don't have a heck of a lot to say, but I love her hair. And her outfit. And she looks like a badass who can stay someone with a sword so I'm down with that. 

5. :iconarteaus:
This is Saint George who is a warrior saint and a dragonslayer who is pretty cool looking if you ask me, but the best part is that he runs a bakery in Nottingham now. Gotta love a dragonslayer that appreciates good pastry.

6. :iconcookei-fox:
Pyxis Reasons for this are easy. Look at her. Aaaawesoooome. Second. Any character named after star constellations are badass. Third. The concept with the personality changing based on the eyes is super interesting and unique, i love it. Fifth. Space. Yeah. Super cool.

7. :iconalchemistmaycry:
Jonathan of course because guns AND swords? Yes. Yes yes yes. Also, I'm a total sucker for facial scarring. What can I say. 

8. :iconrinoa-light-leonheart: It may just be that I'm a sucker for redheads but Nikta. Also totally dig her outfit, I would wear that in a heartbeat except it's never cold here.

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khronosabre
Khronos
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
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:iconarteaus:
Arteaus Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How often do you get around to the Western united states comic cons (if at all?) My wife and I live out in Tucson and there are three just in Tucson, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City alone. The reason I ask is I got my wife interested in you're stuff and I thought it would be a good venue for you to promote Caelum Lex (that and so I can fanboy right in front of you...)
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:iconkhronosabre:
khronosabre Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional General Artist
Aww that's really sweet.  I'm actually a purveyor of the even more western comic cons. SDCC, Wondercon Anaheim, Comikaze (LA). I don't table, just attend (because I have nothing to sell except a website haha) , but I try and hand out cards for CL when I can. But if I ever do hunker down for a table (and believe me I consider it every year...) and you happen to make it out to the southern California area cons (and you should, they're great), I'll definitely let you know :)

PS thanks so much for reading and spreading the word, you're the best!
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:iconarteaus:
Arteaus Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I try my best. We sci-fi junkies need to stick together. If I ever do end up at one of those cons (very likely) I'll look for your table ;)
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JupiterBlossem Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks for the fave! Heart Love 
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:iconfreelex30:
freelex30 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for the Fav! Feel free to watch me to, really appreciate! La la la la 
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:iconwoltz:
Woltz Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconsayhiplz: Thank you so much for the fav!
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HoshinoDestiny Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav!
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1priness62 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Student Artist
ty for fav
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Atilea Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the faves :)
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Eniell Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Naw, thanks hun for the fave :)
The Hunt: Profile - Amal by Eniell
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