…so cold…where am I…WHO am I? Something bad happened…but so cold…so…tired….
Valorna was uncomfortable. It seems like she’d been crouched there under the bushes for hours, watching the activity in the village, waiting for some sign of her father. It was funny, so far all she’d seen were women and children.
“Where are all the men?” she mumbled under her breath. “This just isn’t right, there has got to be something I’m missing” she whispered to herself.
Suddenly she felt something small and hard press into her back, “Looks like we have a pretty little spy here…” a rough voice said. “Stand up, slowly, and turn around, no funny business or you’re dead, understand?” a second voice, harsh and demanding questioned.
Nodding her head, not trusting her voice Valorna slowly stood and turned around to face her captors, gazing at them in shock she saw two tall handsome men. One looked to be in his early 20’s maybe just a couple years younger than herself, the other though, him she knew….”Jacob?” she whispered, not trusting, or believing her eyes.
Zachary Edgeworth looked from his father to the strange young woman, not understanding for the world what the hell was going on. He sure as hell never heard his father speak of a daughter, in fact, his father never spoke of his past at all. He knew nothing of his father from before he came to the village.
“Dad, who the hell is this girl, and how does she know your name?” Zachary demanded. “Valorna, is it really you? I can’t believe it! VALORNA!” Thomas cried dropping his gun and swinging her up in his arms. “Zach, put the gun down, this is your cousin! It really is!” Thomas cried joyfully.
Zachary lowered his gun slowly, in shock. “My cousin? Dad, are you sure?”
“Oh, I’m sure, and I know someone who’s going to be very eager to see her too.” he said. “Valorna, come with us to the village, there is someone there that you really need to see, she can tell you about your father.”
Valorna bent down to pick up her day pack, binnoculars and canteen, hoisting her pack, she gazed curiously at her cousin, “So your Zachary huh? The last time I saw you you were just a toddler, I guess you don’t remember me do you?” she said sadly. “I’ve been looking for my father for so long now, I never expected to find you and Uncle Jacob though.”
As they walked down the long winding path to the village, Valorna told her uncle and cousin of her life, about the Ralpha Dogs, her schooling, and her search for her father. As the village came into view, Valorna grew quiet, knowing her journey may finally be coming to a close. Stopping in front of a modest house Jacob looked at Valorna “This is the house of Enid, our village doctor…and your fathers wife” he knocked on the door and waited. As the door opened Valorna saw a lovely kind looking woman around 45 years of age.
“Jacob! What brings you here today? Is someone hurt?” She asked only then noticing Valorna “Oh my, and who is this lovely girl? Zachary, have you found a new friend?” she asked playfully. “Enid, this is Valorna” Jacob said simply.
“Valorna? You mean this is Vhann’s daughter? Were you seen by anyone? Come in girl, and hurry!” she cried. “You two know what to do” she whispered in a small frightened voice as she shut the door behind her and Valorna.
“Come sit with me child, we have little time and alot to discuss. You’re in very grave danger as long as you stay here, so we must work quickly!” she said urgently.
TO BE CONTINUED….
“Thank the Gods! They’ve given up, guess I’m not such easy prey for those assholes after all!” she chortled. “Now to check with my scanners, just to be sure, it’s like Erbo said, it’s not good enough to see what’s in front of your face, you gotta watch your six too!”
The scanners confirming that she was all alone, she extended the scan to search for life forms, a very specific life form, one that had both Gallente AND Minmatar dna. “Come on daddy, I know your out there, talk to me!” she murmured.
Suddenly, she got a hit, SEVERAL hits, about 68 KM away. “It looks like a small colony, but either he’s there, or there is someone else in my Daddy’s situation, I have to find out!”
to be continued
Valorna Edgeworth was anxiously pacing in her quarters back at Ralpha Dogs HQ as she struggled with the latest assault to her personal code of ethics. “What do I do? I hate all the killing this life has brought me to. I mean come on, they have me out there killing people who are freeing slaves…he was a slave once…did they recapture him?”
Valorna stops in the middle of her room, lost in memories of her childhood, recalling her father, still missing after all these years, oh how she missed his easy smile and the way he was always ready with a hug when she was hurt. “Where are you daddy?” she whispered as a sob caught her throat.
“Val honey? Are you ok?” It was Selena, one of her best friends here at the Ralpha Dogs, and she looked worried. “Oh, Selene, I can’t stand it, I have to try to find him!” Valorna whispered brokenly.
“It’s the mission from today, isn’t it? It’s got you missing your daddy again? Girl, you gotta know that by now he’s either dead, or good as…I know it’s hard, but sometimes you just gotta let go.” she said reasonably. “Look, you stay here and think about it, and let me know what you want to do, you know Erbo and I are here for you, no matter what.” she said as she headed for the door.
As I sat down on the bed I took out an old vid mama shot of daddy swinging me up in the air like I was a bird and I realized then, I had to go, Selena didn’t know it but I had heard news, news that daddy was still alive, but he was FAR away, all the way over in lowsec.
“I can’t ask them to go with me, I can’t ask them to take the risk, I’ll just go tonight, after they’ve fallen asleep. God, please help them understand” I laid down on my bunk then, for what would possibly be the last time, with tears streaming silently down my face…”Forgive me Selena, forgive me Erbo, but I have to try…”
The next morning, Selena and Erbo spoke of Valorna’s issue over breakfast…
“I know you’re worried Selena, but she would tell us if she’d heard anything new, I’ll tell you what, why don’t I go over to her quarters and talk to her? It’s her day off so she should still be here.” Erbo said reassuringly. Selena touching Erbo on the arm looks at him carefully, “I hope your right my love, but I have a bad feeling about this one, why don’t I go with you? Between the two of us she’s sure to open up.”
And so they make their way over to Valorna’s quarters, unaware that she’d left hours ago in her new Thorax.
As they made their way out of the transport, Erbo knew immediately that something was wrong. Val ALWAYS listened to her music full blast in the morning while she worked out, it was part of her routine, and she NEVER missed it! Erbo and Selene looked at each other, faces full of worry and they both ran as fast as they could that last 200 feet from the transport doors, Selena pushed the switch to open Vals door and what they saw made them freeze, it was empty, except for an old vid, and a note. Selena picked up the note and read:
Dear Selena and Erbo,
I hope you can find it in you to forgive me, but I can’t let you risk yourselves for my family. I just have to do this, I recieved word that my father may still be alive, so I’ve gone to his last known location, deep in lowsec. I’m so sorry, I love you both, and pray that you can forgive me.
Love always, Valorna Edgeworth
To be continued….