I never intended for this week to happen the way it did. If I'd known what would happen, would I have done anything to change it?
Zean, an acquaintance I met through Smak, dragged me into a bar one night. It seemed an alright sort of place, mostly frequented by capsuleers aligned with the Angel Cartel, so I went back a few nights later just to relax. I got talking with a Jolly-Rodger type named Hilion, and a raw rookie fresh from the University of Caille's capsule-piloting course. A couple nights later, I had some spare time, and the rookie was there again. His name was Caellach and he wanted to change the world for the better. I nearly laughed at that -- the idealism schools instill in their students is both amusing and sad at the same time -- but I managed to hide it because he really seemed to believe what he said.
About that time, the shit hit the fan; someone went nuts and knifed the bartender, and the bar's internal security turrets took the attacker out, along with most of the drinks on the bar. Some random Jin-Mei wannabe-politician started getting snarky about the situation and got a few teeth knocked out for his troubles. Caellach would have gone to the man's aid, but I held him back; fellow or not, when someone brings trouble upon himself, you don't want a share in it.
Cael had his own issues to work around. Uni cultivates idealism, it seems. Between myself, Kimochi Rendar and... someone else, I can't remember her name, we got the poor boy thinking about what he did. Really thinking, and he did not enjoy having his illusions shattered. The idea that the people he attacked might see him as little better than people like me had clearly never occurred to him. Governments are corrupt; their agents' only interest is in self-promotion, and the only way Cael was going to be a guilt-free defender of the people would be to go independent. Of course, being a rookie, going independent would be suicidal, so we started considering alternate routes for him.
It started to get late, and Cael had got incredibly drunk, and he apparently hadn't made accommodation arrangements with the station. He didn't even have a ship, having arrived pre-pickled via InterBus. I offered to let him kip on a spare bunk in the crew quarters on my Taranis, and he agreed. If he hadn't expressed any interest in me, that might have been the end of it; but he did and it wasn't, and he woke up the next day in my bed with a hangover and a massive grin.
I ought to have seen that possibility a mile off, but in all honesty the thought hadn't crossed my mind til he was standing there stumbling over an apology for kissing me. We ended up spending the successive three days together.
In the meantime, we managed to get Cael pointed towards a faction-neutral humanitarian corp. Well alright, Preli Light Industries are aligned with the Angel Cartel, but unless an idealist wants to go into politics, there's no way for them to actually be effective witout pissing governments off somehow. And idealists don't survive very long in politics.
I attended a party that Saturday night at the Three Sisters, a bar in Jel which had a pool in the lower level. I wish I'd known about the pool beforehand, but they had spare swimsuits available, so it wasn't so bad. Cael couldn't make it, which meant I had to suffer an otherwise stellar night with the wannabe Gallente politician attempting to weasel his way into my bed. He really was a slimy character, and it took bloody ages to get rid of him. Aside from that one downer, the night was fantastic, and I've not had so much fun in ages. A lot of people made impressive spectacles of themselves, some people won ships as a result of their antics. At the end of the party, I wandered drunkenly back to the room we'd arranged for the night, downed the requisite pint of water, and curled up next to Cael.
The boy was starting to become a habit, and I wasn't certain how I felt about that. He was a sweet kid, still very much innocent in his way of looking at the world, and I found that endearing. Would being around me be too much for him to retain that innocence? Jorge had a history before we met; I'd never needed to worry about him. But Caellach?
I would have to keep an eye on my Prince Charming, I decided, and say something if I saw him slipping too far.