Aelagi waited impatiently at the FluxGuts Depot for the arrival of her erstwhile Commander – inwardly fuming over his tardiness. She had been there for nearly 20 minutes, and they had clearly arranged the time, and…

Pilot RazorsKiss has arrived at this station

About time, she thought bitingly.

“Heya, Aelagi!” He called out, with obviously false cheer. “So, what did you need again? A Whistle, and?”

“An Antiflux, as you know full well.” She replied, with patent sarcasm.

RK winced, and turned away to access the inventory panel. He tapped in several codes, and when he turned, his face was calm. They waited in silence as the drone transferred the cargo to her ship. “Going hunting, then mining?” He inquired mildly.

Equally calm, Aelagi replied, “As the mood strikes me. Yes.”

“Good hunting.” Razor gave her a slight smile, walked back to his ship, climbed aboard, and was off.

Pilot RazorsKiss has left this station

She sighed, not for the first time; wondering whether things would ever get less awkward.

Probably never, she thought.

The next day

Aelagi turned her Interceptor nimbly, lining up the Manta for another pass. She already had him down to armor, and was about to finish him off.

I hate Mantas, she thought.

She missed with a series of wild shots, none coming even close to hitting the Conflux as it raced by.

That wasn’t my thought, she realized. I barely know these things well enough to care one way or the other. Sure, they were dangerous, and needed to be destroyed, but hate? I’m not the one who lost their mother to these things!

The seething wall of energy crashed through the interior core

Stop it!

She shook her head to rid herself of the image, and focused on her target once more. Calmer now, she lined up, squeezed the trigger, and fired.

The Conflux fighter tore apart in an eye-searing flash, and she was flashing through the expanding cloud, already searching for another target. Her grin was a rictus, but she didn’t notice.

Over f5 moments later

Aelagi: You know, this reminds me of something a Ter… Solrain philosopher once said. “It’s like deja vu all over again.” That’s what fluxing is like.

Aelagi: I’m not sure I like the feeling.

At Quantar Core


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