Funeral for a Friend
The mood in the Ralpha Dogs’ headquarters was decidedly somber. The members were assembled there, each in their dress uniform, much like the standard ones except of a finer, lighter material. Most of the seated members looked pensive, though some–Selenalore and Valorna among them–seemed to be on the verge of tears. Even the normally non-emotional El Tigrgra seemed downcast.
At the front of the room, LexxEva addressed the assembled company.
“Brothers and sisters of the Ralpha Dogs, we have gathered today to pay tribute to our brother Belthin, who unexpectedly perished earlier today in a clone-transfer accident. This young man had not been among us long, but we knew him to be a true and good person, committed to our success as much as any of us. We grieve his loss, and we remember his life as a true brother of Rho Alpha Delta, of the Blood and Mind, united in effort.”
She looked to her right and nodded. Erbo, from his position next to Selenalore in the front row, stood and faced the rest of the Ralpha Dogs. “Honors…hut!”
The corporation members stood and raised their right fists in the Ralpha Dogs’ salute. Erbo looked from one to the other…to his fellow Gallente, Val and Selena; to the young, fresh Amarr face of Zephira; to the hardened Minmatar Orlith and Cecelia; to El Tigrgra’s angular Caldari features. All, he could see, were as saddened by the loss as he was.
“We commend our brother to the deep,” intoned Erbo. “Requiem aeternam donum eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.”
Outside the Assiad III station, a tiny metal container, smaller than the capsule that had once contained its occupant, drifted away…away from the station, away from the star, away from life.
. . .
In memory of Belthin, who may have been just an alt that had outlived his usefulness, but was a Ralpha Dog nonetheless.