The Five left the Eight; a wandering Spartan who was cut to the to the truth. He came through the forest for his people, carried the acorn to greener fields,And with family and friends, found peace once again.
– Seenan the Wise
Neresa put down the data pad and wiped the tears from her face. It had been a long time since she had felt this sad. Reading some of that old poetry she had written to cope with Breanne and Karled suddenly disappearing just was not helping matters much. She had wanted so much to find Breanne again and now that they had a happy life together, she began to realize the emptiness of her life. She had a wonderful daughter and yet at times a strange and equally dangerous surrogate family. Life in station with the pirates of VETO was nothing short of an ever present danger and yet the Guristas who came to visit the station seemed very normal to her. Being on friendly terms with a pirate faction did have certain benefits, that being placed on the ‘blue list’. Things were going well but she still felt sadness was on the horizon. She wanted to take Breanne and leave. It was something that she felt she needed to do, but how to tell Ga’len and the rest of their ‘family’. That was the troubling matter. Suddenly her data pad signaled that she had received a new message.
If you and Breanne would join me for dinner this evening, I have some news to share with the both of you.
“Well, perhaps this should be the time to break the news..,” Neresa whispered to herself.
Leainati was busy working in her quarters. The reports of pirate activities in the region were a lot to sort through and a lot of activity meant that the good times were once again visiting upon VETO. Although she was not a Capsuleer, her assistance in intelligence gathering and analysis was helpful to the many of the Guristas who were traveling through the region. Being the brother to one of the VETO pilots, her brother, Ga’len, surely had it’s benefits. However, things were becoming far too routine to her liking. It was time for a change.The door to her quarters chimed. As she looked at the camera panel by the door, she could see Neresa and Breanne were standing outside. “Computer, release the door, authorization code alpha, bravo, two,” Neresa spoke to her data pad, the door unlocked and swung open.
“Why hello there, what can I do for you two?” Leainati asked.
Neresa replied, “I wanted to know, did you receive a dinner invitation from Ga’len?”
“Why yes, I just read it moments ago. Do you know what is going on? This seems a bit sudden,” Leainati inquired.
“I have no idea,” Neresa answered, “I was hopeful that you knew. I also wanted to talk to you about something that might cause a bit of a stir.”
“Computer, close and lock the door,” Leainati commanded and the door promptly closed. She continued, “Well, I know that he’s invited a few members of VETO to join us this evening, not sure what’s going on, but that can wait. What’s troubling you?”
“Nothing is wrong, it’s just, well,” Neresa struggled with the words, “Breanne here is getting older and to be honest with you, a pirates life is not what I want for her. I want her to be free to explore, to wander and to grow.”
Leainati softly interrupts Neresa, “And you think that it’s time to part ways?”
“Well,…” Neresa continued to struggle with the words, “Yes and no. I think we need to leave, but I don’t want to ‘burn the bridges’ with these people. They are decent folk and they have been kind.”
“I know what you mean,” Leainati confessed, “I too have been wondering if this is all there is. Perhaps it is time to leave. We should talk with Ga’len over dinner, see if he’s been thinking the same thing.”
“Agreed, perhaps it’s time to retire from this life of danger.” Neresa mused, “I hope this doesn’t upset Ga’len too much.”
Ga’len was busy working over a table in his extended quarters. From the sight of things, he had been busy making a grand meal for many guests. The smells of the sweet meats and the various ancient dishes that he loved to make, things called ‘Ginger Pork’ and ‘Panang Curry’. All this food had filled the room with a powerful smell of warming comfort. As he placed the last serving dish upon the table, the door chimed.
“Ah, they are here,” Ga’len whispered to himself.
Ga’len unlocked the door and invited his guests in. He warmly hugged each of them as they walked in. “Please,” Ga’len spoke with a warm tone, “please, have a seat at the table.”
As everyone took their seats, Ga’len filled each of their glasses with their favorite beverage and motioned to everyone to begin serving themselves of the feast he had prepared. Once every glass was filled, he too placed a sampling of food on his plate and sat down at the head of the table.
“So, I guess you are all wondering why the sudden invitation.” Ga’len continued, “I have an announcement to make and I know it’s not going to sit well with some of you.”
Everyone glanced around to each other, Breanne’s face filled with a look of worry. Ga’len looked at her, smiled and reassured her, “It’s okay my acorn, it’s nothing bad.”
“Little acorn, you used to call me little acorn, remember?” Breanne continued, “besides, your angry that we are leaving. That’s why we are here!”
A look of shock filled Ga’len’s face and as quickly as it had come, it turned into a broad understanding smile. “You are not so little anymore, you are growing up.” Ga’len continued to smile broadly and looked at everyone at the table before continuing, “And no, I am not upset with anyone here, rather very much relieved. I wanted to tell everyone that I too felt it was time to leave. This is why I asked you all here.”
Everyone stopped eating and they looked at their host, they all seemed to hang on the words that were floating in the air.
“In ancient times, pirates who had been very successful took it upon themselves to either press their luck and end up very dead or they would be struck with a moment of wisdom and actually ‘retire’ their eye patch and cutlass,” Ga’len continued, “I’ve been very lucky and I think it’s time that I retire.”
“So…” Lacrimae began as she wrapped her mind around Ga’len’s words, “well,…can I have your stuff?” A broad smile extended across her face.
“In a word, yes.” Ga’len smiled just as broadly, “I have already made arrangements to have various items delivered to several members of VETO as well as several billions of isk to be distributed to various people’s accounts. Other items will be placed in the general corporate stores for all VETO members to benefit.”
“Ga’len,” began Leainati, “Neresa and I have been chatting about leaving as well, but we didn’t know how to break the news.”
“Well, it would seem…” Ga’len’s eyes began to water, “that it’s time.”
Mashie Saldana began to speak, “My friend, I have to say, this is a bit sudden, but I do understand how you feel. Times are changing and life for us old pirates does begin to wear you down. I wonder how Verone will handle the news.”
“Agreed my friend, ” Ga’len responded warmly, “I feel as if I have plundered enough. I have a huge fortune and it’s time for me to settle down. As for Verone, I have already spoken with him and he expressed that he was sad to see me leave, but he understood my reasons and wished me well.”
Breanne leaped up from her chair, threw her arms around Ga’len and began to cry, “Please please, don’t leave us behind.”
“My acorn,” Ga’len began, “I have no intention of leaving you behind. I want you, your mother and Leainati to come with me.”
“But where will you go?” asked Lacrimae, “It’s not like you can wander the stars forever you know.”
“Indeed, “Ga’len responded thoughtfully, “I had a little place built on a planet in the Tash-Murkon system. It’s not very far from Oris where I was born and close to where I began my life as a Capsuleer. Seems like the good place to bring that life to a close and settle down planet side. Of course, everyone in VETO is welcome to come and visit, if you can get into high security space safely that is.”
“So, back to good ole TMP then?” Leainati asked.
“Yes my sister, but we will not be alone in our new home, ” Ga’len continued, “we have old friends who will be joining us there. Tanitel and Seenan are already there waiting for us.”
Leainati’s eyes began to water, “Seenan will be there? How?”
Ga’len smiled as he spoke, “Well, when you have been a pirate a long as I have, you learn where the cracks are in the legal system. Yup, cracks and well placed isk can do wonders. That and having a name like Galen Grendalis the Fifth tends to get Amarrian authorities to listen to you.”
Ga’len stood up and raised his glass, “So my friends a toast. Here ends my life as a Capsuleer and a proper pirate. It’s time to move onto a new life.”
Leainati stands and raised her glass as well, “Here, here my brother. To a new life.”
Neresa followed, “To a new life my friends, a new life.”
Lacrimae and Mashie stand with tears in their eyes and raised their glasses as well.
Last to stand is Breanne. She slowly raised her glass, smirked with her cute and evil grin and affirmed, “Here’s once to absent friends, twice to absent enemies and thrice to bold new life!”
- FIN -