A.E. 375 -After the Omicrome Incident

She picked a table in the middle of the room because it was the only one with no one else sitting at it. Several men attempted to join her as she drank, but she cowed them all off with a dangerous glance. Though she was small and unimposing, she was in a foul mood. She had been for weeks. It was why she drank in the first place. She started out quiet, remorseful, and at the edge of tears. As she became increasingly drunk, the tears leaked out drop by drop. The muttering started half way through the third beer. By the tail end of the fourth, she talked to herself loud enough for the nearest tables to hear. She ranted in a world all her own, oblivious to those who stared, or pretended they couldn't hear her. She didn't know how many details she let slip, how many names she cursed under her breath.

"If I hadn't saved his life...," she muttered, "I didn't know. How could I know? He wasn't... bad. He never seemed it."

One of the servers passed the table with a worried look on her face, "Barkeep has said you've had enough."

She took the half full pitcher of beer off the table. A hand reached out and took it off her tray...

"Damn him. I couldn't stop him. No one could stop him. If I hadn't saved his life...,"

The hand refilled her glass, "ironically, it's the only reason I spared you when you left,"

Her head snapped up at the sound of that voice. That clear, calm, commanding voice. Her vision was blurry through her tears, but he wore a hood anyways. She didn't need him to remove it to know who she was talking to, but he did regardless. As the black fabric pulled away from his short cropped hair and sharp, angular face, the noise of talking was replaced with the sounds of scrapping chairs and moving feet. It was a well known face. It was well known that when you saw it, you ran. The building emptied rapidly, but she didn't notice. Soon enough, it was just him and her. She couldn't take her eyes away.

"Although, I will admit my attraction to you played a part. You always were beautiful."

His hand swept down her face, caressing her cheek softly and twining a few strands of her long brown hair between two fingers. She tried to push her head backwards, but the chair prevented her. She shuddered in disgust to be so near him, but her breath froze in her lungs when he unzipped her vest and shoved his hand in. It appeared a second later holding a small blue crystal on the end of a silver chain.

"It was brave of you to steal this when you left," he said, pushing the small button on the filigree. A hologram appeared in the air. A woman, tall, blond, slender smiled at them. She held a small child. He waved at them, smiling as well. Then the picture faded.

"I didn't think you'd need it, seeing as you don't have a heart," she stabbed.

He only smiled weakly, the corners of his lips tugging upwards only momentarily, "things are not always as they appear. When we started working together I never would have imagined you with a conscience. You must have unlocked half the doors in the galaxy for me and skimmed quite a bit of the profit off the top."

"But I never killed anyone!" She yelled, "I never killed kids!"

"No. But you've never had your child killed either."

"That doesn't justify it! How many were on that station?"

"Five hundred and thirty seven," he answered as if by rote, "and over twenty thousand adults. Five thousand robots and non humans."

She gripped her glass so hard she was surprised it didn't shatter in her hand.

"I shouldn't have saved your life."

"Perhaps. Should I leave you yours, to suffer into your cup? Or should I do what you're obviously unwilling to do and end it? Which is the mercy?"

She jumped up from her seat and pointed a pistol at him. She squeezed the trigger, but the safety was still on. She was too drunk to realize what was happening before she fell forward. He caught her, dropping her back into her seat.

"Maybe you have had too much," he moved the pitcher to another table, shook his head, and turned to leave. She didn't move again until the clink of his combat grade boots on the metal floor faded from hearing.

Slowly, she pushed herself up. Her hands shook as she leaned on the other table, trying to slosh the liquid from the pitcher into her cup. She felt the warmth as he pulled up against her, a sharp pain as the knife slid into her side. His hand once again went to her pocket and pulled out the crystal she had stolen from him when he caught her.

"Unlike you, I don't repeat my mistakes a second time."

This time, it wasn't just the sound of his footsteps which faded. Her vision slowly grew dark as she lay on the floor. Then there was nothing.