The Beginning of the End

((OOC: Special thanks to John Revenent for allowing me the use of the RP log for this post.))

To say the reeducation program was difficult was an understatement of great proportions. It was not necessarily the classes themselves that Julianni struggled with; her devotion to achieve all that was asked of her was strong enough to push her through what little problems she had. What was difficult for her, was the idea that, (save for attending her classes and reporting in), she was to make decisions on her own.

Despite this struggle, Julianni finally completed the program. She’d been at a stand-still for a few days now, and she couldn’t help but feel anxious about what was supposed to happen. To her, the objective was complete. What was asked of her was finished. She simply didn’t have her next step. As always, she placed her trust in God’s plan, and thankfully was given an answer. However, it came through a most intimidating avenue- a meeting with Taisho Revenent, the Chief Executive Officer of Ishukone-Raata Enforcement Directive.

Julianni felt her heart pound, her nerves threatening to get the better of her. She took in a slow breath, doing what she could to calm herself, then went to knock on the office door, only for it to automatically open. She cleared her throat, her voice finding it’s way out to speak. “Mister Revenent, you wanted to see me?”

The man took a drink from the glass on his desk. Once he set it down his gaze moved to the woman in the doorway. “Please come in.. and it is John.”

She frowned lightly, rather conflicted about the first-name basis. He was the CEO, after all, and the idea that she would simply call him by his first name was direspectful. Her steps led her inside, giving pause by a chair. Once in front of him, she bowed respectfully.

John’s head dipped in a respectful manner in reply. Across his desk, personnel files several in number seemed scattered about, one in particular he appeared to be scrolling through. It didn’t take long for her to notice that it was her own personal history, among other things. “A drink?” He offered, hand in the direction of a liquor cabinet off to the side.

She quickly shook her head. “Ah, no. I appreciate the offer, though.” Her eyes momentarily began to drift towards the cabinet, spotting what looked like rather nice bottle of red wine. As nice as it would have been to have some, she knew how inappropriate it would have been. Julianni’s attention averted back to John.

He shrugged at her decline, then took another drink from his glass. Though there was a grimace, it was largely masked with a smile. “A seat?” He said, gesturing to the empty chair.

At his permission, she took a seat, dipping her head in thanks. There was an awkward silence for a few moments, and she couldn’t help but feel the pressure of the meeting bear down even more. She chewed lightly at her bottom lip, then spoke up again. “…have I done something wrong?”

“Have you?”, came his immediate reply. John picked up the data pad in front of him and seemingly inspected it.

She began to stew over his question, trying to study the actions she had taken to see if they could have been cause for trouble. Throughout her reeducation, she’d never once done anything to merit discipline. In fact, she had largely been like that her whole life. Slowly, her thoughts began to drift towards her life with the Degario family, and what hope she had of there being nothing soon turned into dread.

John looked over the data pad, staring at Julianni. “Well?”

She wanted so bad to dismiss those thoughts. How could he possibly know about Dominius, anyway? “W-well, no I don’t…I don’t think so…” She finally stammered. “It’s…there’s nothing I can think of…”

The older man returned to looking over her profile. “Julianni. Former slave of the Degario Family, Amarr Empire.” His finger scrolled through some more information, and he soon quipped. “Not anymore thanks to the kind people here at Ishukone-Raata. You’ve proven to be a reliable, hard working, and smart individual.” He then paused, shrugging his shoulders. “Or, well, so says Yakaar-haani. Your instructor for the re-education & re-purposing of former slaves.”

He continued on, and so she listen quietly, obediently, her fingers beginning to fidget in her lap. “You’re probably asking why that matters or why you are seated here before me. The executor has to have more important matter to address.”

Her response was a small nod, as she did indeed have no idea why he’d have asked for her. It wasn’t long before he went back into his explanation. “You’d be right. Except you see… I don’t care for the kind regards of a instructor who I’ve never met.” With the flick of his wrist, the datapad was tossed into a stack with various others that were scattered across his desk. Julianni jumped, not having expected such an action. The man was intimidating, and she had no idea quite how to react.

John’s fingers laced atop the desk and he looked to Julianni. “So, why are you here?”

The question took her aback, and she began to wonder if maybe there had been a communication. It could have been a mistake. “You…asked me to come to your office,” she answered with utmost seriousness. If she was wrong, she certainly was going to feel quite stupid.

He grumbled in response. “Yes I did. Let me rephrase. Why do you think you are here? If you’re not in trouble what is the reason, hm?”

Julianni’s brows furrowed as she thought things over. The conclusion she came to was an obvious one, but she still felt somewhat unsure. “I received notification that my re-education was completed. I’ve been at a standstill for a few days. Is this concerning a next step?”

“Yes, you’re a free woman. With a few choices ahead of you.” He answered, taking a moment to unlace his fingers and indulge in another drink. “Only a one other who has completed the process has sat in that chair. Meaning you’ve managed to accomplish what many have failed to do. Catch my attention.” He watched her closely, continuing. “The data collected during your training was impressive. Though, that’s just data. I needed proof you’re capable. Capable of handling the impossible, most of all capable of loyalty.” John’s features wore a serious look. “Can you prove that to me?”

She listened with utmost intensity, waiting a few moments before answering, calculating her next words. “With…all due respect…loyalty can not be proven so simply. It is a trait that must be proven over time.” The woman paused, then lowered her head. “Nevertheless, I am at your service. How would you like me to proceed?”

John smirked, then moved to take another drink and emptied the glass. “You’re right. Loyalty is something gained. Not granted. So far I’ve done little to gain any such thing from you. Right?”

Her eyes drifted to watch him drink, then lowered at his question. “It could be seen that way, yes. But considering the decision that was made to place me in the program to begin with…I think that speaks for something. God knows I am very thankful for that,” she answered.

“It does, doesn’t it.” He gave another moment’s pause. “So, Julianni. You have a tough choice ahead of you- a choice that many others have made when being processed through our program. Except…you have one more option then they did.”

Julianni’s brow raised as she listened quietly again, straightening up.

”You are free to go wherever you wish. Back to the Empire with a sizable fund to aid you in your new life. Or you may enter into the service of Ishukone or Ishukone-Raata as a full citizen of the Caldari State.” Another pause. “Or, you can utilize your skills to their full potential and become a capsuleer.”

The first two options didn’t surprise her, as she had known from the beginning of the program that they were available when she successfully completed it. However, the third took her by complete surprise. Was he joking? She couldn’t tell. “…a capsuleer?”

“Indeed.”

“There must be some mistake.”

“Are you implying I’ve made one?”

Julianni’s eyes widened and she quickly shook her head. “Wh-…no. No that’s not what I meant to imply. I meant no disrespect. I simply find it hard to believe that such a thing is possible.”

“Plenty of things are hard to believe, yet they happen. Should you seek to entertain the offer you’ll find out just what I mean.”

She was entirely at a loss. To think that she, of all people, had the capability to become a capsuleer? It was both frightening and exciting. “I…what exactly would I be doing as a capsuleer?”

“That is up to you. But, should you decide that Ishukone-Raata is the place for you after all, you’ll be assigned to our financial department,” he answered.

“Forgive me if this sounds disrespectful, but this sounds…strangely simple.”

“Are you interested?” He asked flatly.

And she honestly felt she was. To think that she had the markers for being a capsuleer, she believed it to be no coincidence. “I…believe so,” she answered cautiously.

“Yes or no.”

Again, she thought things through, once again arriving at the conclusion that the only way this was possible was if it was somehow fate. God’s will.

“I am,” she finally replied.

“We’ll see.” John plucked another data pad from the stack and leaned back in his seat. “I’m going to ask you several questions. These are for my sake, as to be honest I’d like to not unleash another self-involved, mass-murdering, idiot onto the masses.”

Her lips thinned at that statement and she blinked a few times, taking in the blunt, worrisome words. She cleared her throat, answering. “A-as you wish…”

“Do you enjoy killing non-sentient creatures?”

“I’ve never killed one, so I can’t say if I do or do not,” she answered honestly.

Slowly, John looked up over the datapad at her.

“But I don’t mean…I meant that I don’t,” she quickly added, cursing herself inwardly for taking the question far too literal.

“Do you enjoy.. the thought of killing sentient creatures?”

Julianni’s head shook. “I wouldn’t, no. Absolutely not.” Her brows furrowed. “Do people actually answer yes to you on that?”

He looked back to the device, ignoring her question. “Would you kill if you heard god tell you to?”

This was something that she knew was impossible, and so she answered with confidence. “I would not be blessed in such a way to be spoken to by God.”

“Do you hold any prejudice against any faction, state, or person?”

Her thoughts flooded with her hatred of Dominius, but it was her voice that found it’s way out before she had a chance to stop the lie. “No.”

There was a small glance from the man, and she did what she could to focus on something else.

“If you had the chance to enact revenge against your holders would you?”

The look of appall at such an idea was readily apparent on the woman’s face. “Absolutely not. Lord Degario is the reason I have faith. My Holder has helped to lead me to His light. I would never do such a thing.”

John seemed largely unphased by her reaction, trailing his finger down the list of questions. “Have you accepted death?”

“Yes.”

“You’re sure?”

“Every day people face their end, as He so chooses. When my time comes, then so be it.” That answer she knew for sure she felt confident in, and it reflected in her voice.

“A choice. Merit, Faith, Friendship, or love?”

“Faith.”

“Power or respect.” He asked stating the two as if they were different.

“Respect.”

The datapad was set to the side, and he looked back to her. “You’ll be contacted of my decision in a few hours.”

Taking that as her cue to leave the office, she stood and bowed at the waist. With how quickly the questions came and the seemingly abrupt ending, she appeared somewhat unsure of just what to expect. “Thank you, Mister Revenent. Is there anything else you require of me?”

“John,” he replied. “And yes, there is one last thing. I may place my trust in you to make the State a better place. Not to give into the temptation of absolute power, not to betray those who look up to the stars with hope and admiration. To be a torch bearer for what is honorable, just and right in our world. Trust is a rarity, worth more than any amount of ISK. Don’t make the mistake in breaking the trust of all those you’ll be leaving behind.”

Her head gave a nod. “I assure you, Mist-…John. I assure you that I have no interest in wealth. All I wish is to be of service. I have no interest in power, either. I simply wish to do my duty.”

“As I said. We will see. Enjoy the next few hours, for they may be the last moments of humanity you’ll have.” He frowned for some reason then rose to gather himself another drink from the cabinet.

It was a strange statement to leave on, and one that felt uncomfortably dark. She frowned slightly, then dipped her head again. “Thank you for your time.” After watching him a moment longer, she then departed the office, wondering just what he meant by that, and what God had in store for her.

 

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