Note to reader: This is a rough draft of the rewrite, so there will be lots of mistakes. I write the entire book in one go, then edit, so it’ll be a while before I fix this.
Talia placed a hand on the shower wall and then looked down at the floor as the steam caressed her. Water beat down on her silver hair, running down in rivulets, as she looked at her other hand. Pasty white skin, like that of someone who had been out of the sun for a year, covered her hand and the rest of her body. She stared at it for a couple seconds, then closed her eyes.
What was she?
Why was she alive?
Those questions rattled around her brain, never ceasing, always haunting her, every minute since her reawakening. What was the rationale behind the one who brought her back? Did she not do everything that was asked of her and then some?
She never asked for the eggheads to create her, to cosign her to spend her entire life, except for short breathers meant to allow her and her sisters to remain sane, to combat. Neither did she have any say in the fact that the powers to be made her, and her sisters, dopamine addicts-in order to make them fight. None of it was fair; cruel beyond belief described things fairly.
Hot water ran down her neck, between her breasts, and then down her baseboard stomach as she leaned back against the wall. Talia closed her eyes as she slid to the floor and then pulled her legs tight to her before placing her forehead on her knees.
The cascading water washed away the tears as she started to sob. Everything that mattered her was gone, lost to the flow of time like dust in the wind. The Republic, who she had served her entire life for, didn’t exist. It was a mere memory in the history of the galaxy. Dirrnyg, her son, the only time in her life when she allowed herself to be a parent, gone for so long that even his bones had turned to dust, and then scattered throughout Gahlza’s surface.
Yet, here she was living still, continuing, even when there was no war to fight. Entire cities rose, fell and rose again as the cycle repeated itself-all while she watched. Generations of soldiers and sailors, too many to truly remember the faces, came, fought and died, and she trundled on. The politicians were born, achieved power, lost power as another generation took over, while she lived another lifetime.
Over the centuries of her life, fiction writers wrote about immortality and how it could be a positive. Talia would look at the words on the page and then shake her head, rueful thoughts filling her mind.
There was one thing that she had learned in her twenty-thousand years of life, was that immortality did not live up to the writers’ lofty expectations. Instead, immortality, or near immortality in Talia’s case, proved to be more hell than heaven. To see people born, live and die while she trudged on. Battle after battle, colony after colony lost, as The Dragus continued to gain ground.
She sat there, letting the water pound down on the top of her head, and just let the emotions flow. They would be docking with Ireland’s orbital station, which she left Methos to handle. Reyes would be waiting to see her and, to be honest, he was the last person in the galaxy she wanted to see. The coming confrontation over the Valiant and the cruiser’s ownership would be bruising and would leave her annoyed, and ready to snap someone’s head off. However, she did not have a choice, the conversation had to take place.