Adeste closed the door behind Kay who was the last to leave, then sat back down on the couch and put her head in her hands. Those seven words from Jude had crumbled most of the walls she had put in place since returning to her capsuleer life, and suddenly life didn't seem as easy as she had wanted it to be this time around. She could still hear Jude's voice in her head: "...after what they did to your parents..." and she shuddered involuntarily. They. The Guristas. The pirates. The bad guys. Her mother's killers, and later on, her father's. Since she was five years old, Guristas had equalled all of that to her and as she had grown, she had nurtured a hatred for pirates, and Guristas in particular. Now, the thought foremost in her mind made her want to run and hide: Was she really any different from them?
Adeste knew from experience she could never kill someone with her bare hands like they had murdered her father, but she was destroying pirate faction ships almost on a daily basis through her agent work, and what was to say that there wasn't mothers in those ships, struggling to make a living where they could, just like her mother had been doing when she got caught in that Gurista gatecamp? What was to say that there wasn't a five year old girl somewhere, only now hearing her father receiving the news of her mother's death, starting a life of hatred instead aimed at the Republic or the State? Why is our cause greater than theirs?
Adeste sighed and reached for the bulky bag that Kay had returned to her. She removed the bag and wrapped her arms around its contents, resting her chin on the top of the head of the large, worn teddybear, letting it soak up the tear that had worked its way down her left cheek. She remembered the wonderful feeling of closure from back in 108, when she had found the man responsible for her father's murder and the hatred she had cloaked herself in finally disappeared, but also the doubt in what she was doing while in pod that had assailed her afterwards, just like now. Her subsequent three years planetside had dulled her memories of that to the extent that once she got back in pod, it was easy to build walls around the doubts that remained and keep it all contained, continuing with capsuleer life as it had been once, and picking up with old friends where they'd left off all those years ago with no regards as to what they had been up to while she was gone, as well as making new friends, solely based on personality, never bothering to stop and ask about allegiances.
Well, the walls were gone, and she was now stuck with dealing with the consequences of that. Adeste stood up, still wrapping the bear in her arms, and headed for her bedroom. Maybe some sleep would help sort some of these thoughts out.