Links to all of Series 1 can be found here.
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I was going to not bother talking about my time in the State Navy, rather I thought I would pick up my hunt for Rusack and my run in with him and Blodel, but I realized as I started to compose it that it might seem a little jarring. After all, despite my adventures with the seedier side of Caldari life I still was a patriot that believed that the Gallente were hedonistic and morally bankrupt, the Minmatar little better than savages, and the Amarr religious zealots stuck in the past. It is hard to reconcile that child's cloistered naivete with the man that bitterly left Caldari space as soon as the Navy was done with him and gladly destroyed State vessels for the Republic Fleet less than a year later.
So I'm going to peel off painful scabs and reminisce about people I haven't thought of in years and events that I'm legally instructed to never describe. But any legal power the State had over me had long since faded.
Where to start? Well, might as well be where we left off I suppose.
The recruiter's full spiel was well rehearsed and easily delivered. He was good and he obviously enjoyed his job and, more importantly, believed in what he was selling. For someone with no money, no home, and no friends or family left that could help, the pitch sounded really good: modest income, training in modern and useful technologies, pension and support networks after discharge, and a chance to see the universe. I know that last might sound trite to those of us who travel the width and breadth of the cluster and realize that one seedy station bar is much like the next, but to me back then it added a certain amount of attraction especially since the events of the past week had left me feeling small, insignificant, and ignorant.
I was sold and I asked where to sign up. The recruiter had a good chuckle at my desperate enthusiasm and knew such feelings could change with a good night's sleep. He gave me a voucher for a cheap (but respectable) hotel on station for two night's stay and told me to come back then to catch the weekly Navy shuttle for new recruits. I found out later the shuttle runs every day (moving recruits and enlisted alike back and forth from the Navy installation) but in hindsight the experienced soldier wanted to make sure I wasn't going to wake up the next day with "enlistee's regret".
I crashed that night in the bed and got the best night's sleep in a long time. The next day I was free to do whatever so I mailed my parent's to let them know what I was doing and what had happened to Korannon; whether or not they read the message was up to them but I figured they should know. Then I tried to visit my brother in the hospital but since he was company property now he had been whisked away to a private ward. Fortunately a nurse recognized me and my plight and helped me sneak in for a quick minute to ease me mind. He was still in an induced coma but several advanced medical machines were hooked up to his injured areas and I felt better knowing that he was getting good care and would recover as much as possible from the blaster wounds. The company was good to its word and I only hoped he would get a decent job within the organization after he recovered.
The second morning I woke up early, reviewed everything carefully, checked out, and went to the docking level. There I found the correct hanger and saw the old Navy recruiter standing there with a pad. He smiled as I approached and asked, "Decided to go through with it still?"
"Yes sir, sign me up."
"Excellent, Kirith," he beamed as he handed the pad and stylus over. "I think you're a good catch for the Navy, I'll be following your progress through the ranks. Someday I bet I'll be saluting you!" For the first time in days I felt good. Hopeful for the future even. I smiled back and I meant it. "I hope so," I replied.
I boarded the shuttle, stored my meager belongings and sat in the back in a section marked clearly for civilians. A few other nervous new recruits were there and I introduced myself to them.
"Nice to meet you," a dark haired girl said, "my name is Cryst and this is my new friend Jace." The young man with dirty blond hair gave a handshake and added, "It's short for Jacellon." We exchanged pleasantries and moved into what we knew of the coming weeks as the shuttle disembarked and prepared to warp. My friendly nature worked its magic and soon we were laughing and talking like old friends. For the second time that day I felt really good and the future looked bright, my faith in humanity (or at least in the Caldari version) being restored.