Begin Log....


There was a time I stood in this office, looking out at the Fondor skyline. Often I did this upon being caught watching the Lady I had sworn to protect. I'd never admit that part of my intentions were simply to keep an eye on her, but hey, who wouldn't? But now it's me behind the desk, and some young man is now watching me work. I quietly hope he isn't looking at me like I looked at her.

Can't say the door opens that way.

Either way, he's adapted the same way I did. He takes the silence in stride, relishing the opportunities given for conversation as they arise. One day he'll be rotated out from the posting and I'll get another. He too shall learn, in time. I pray that he too does not look at me like I looked at her.

I admit to being a bit... old fashioned in my sensibilities.

And that's ultimately what this is all about, isn't it? I'm old fashioned. I'm set in my ways. I'm stubborn, irritable and generally gruff.

I don't think anyone would bat an eye if I threw on a moisture farmers outfit, got a tan and came to work that way. They'd probably think I was just finally accepting myself for what I was. But what I'd never thought I'd be was in charge. Not like this.

It's been a couple of months since HK abdicated his throne - literally. That garish thing had gone out the door the first chance I'd gotten. Thank the Stars that Cira had those massive double oak doors put in or we'd have had to have torn down a wall to get it out. The only thing I miss about that droid was his ability to motivate people. For some reason, people liked him. Not I, of course, but others did.

But that's been the story of my life. I listen to my gut on the character of others and, frankly, that causes me to dislike a lot of people I have no tangible reasons to dislike. How do you explain to someone that they opened their mouths and you immediately just... never wanted to hear them talk again? You can't do that without being rude. I no longer have the luxury of being rude.

At least not as often as I once had. I do still retain some leeway on the basis of my reputation. After all, you don't pick up a snake and then complain when it bites you. You knew what the snake was capable of when you grabbed it. You've no one to blame but yourself. But I've had to monitor myself a bit more than normal. Play the game. It's funny, but in some ways I've become happier.

Perhaps that's because Cira is back. Broken. Shattered. But back.

Maybe that's why I feel nothing has changed. She's always been that way. Pieces of a whole, shattered and locked up separate from one another. That was her way of coping with life. Mine has often been putting a slug in whoever managed to offend me the most. That's just how I work, I guess. So many years of killing people I disagreed with and it's turned out to be a hard habit to break.

Thankfully, however, I've adapted better than I thought I would. Part of me worried that it wouldn't matter how hard I tried, the mantle of command wouldn't suit me. But I believe now it was simply because it wasn't time. I'm not a great leader, but I'd like to think I'm effective. That's really all I've ever been. Reliable. Effective. Thorough. Nothing flashy. I just got done what needed to be done.

Which reminds me, I've a woman to take care of. She likely holds herself guilty for what transpired. I know better. She does too. But she doesn't want to admit to it. She's too proud for that. I'd know, really. I'm the same way. That almost put a smirk on my face. Almost. My aide probably thinks I'm crazy, smirking at this datapad. Probably thinks I'm looking at holoporn. Midgets, likely.

I was a grunt once. I know how they think. He's finding the thing he would least like to bone, pegging it on me and then adding 'porn' to the end to explain why I'm smirking. Maybe I should. Just to prove him ri- no, terrible idea. That's the last thing that needs getting out.

"Lord Protector caught watching dwarf rodians shag."

A fantastic headline. Truly.

But I miss being a grunt, I do. It was simple. It was a job I understood. Hurry up, get geared, wait. Take a ride to the battle site. Wait for orders. Hurry to the objective. Wait for the enemy. Kill the enemy. Wait for extraction. Hurry back to base. Wait for new orders. 10 minutes of combat with seven hours of prep. That's what we'd trained for. I've the medals to prove it.

It still boggles my mind that I'm the most decorated soldier in the Protectorate. The only ribbon I've earned that I'm proud of was the one I got for capturing RC. Otherwise, they're all Atta-Boys. 'Congratulations, you showed up.' Thanks. I feel like a great soldier now. Participation trophies. My favorite. I'd earned every medal but the POW one multiple times over, and that's basically my ego talking.

Realistically, I'd never open my mouth about it. I'm too humble for that. But here? In the solitude of my own mind - when the others aren't talking - I can feed the ego all I want. I deserve better. I deserve more. That's why I chased Cira all those years. I thought I was good enough for her. No. I knew I was. I'd like to think she did too. But that would require her to admit to things, like being a person.

Or feeling.

She never will. But I've always spoken enough for the both of us.

Maybe that's the problem. I never give her a chance to speak. But if she had her way I'd have to read her mind every time I wanted an answer. I've never been able to do that. Telepathy was never in my repertoire; sending or recieving. Mental blank. Probably what most people think of me.




...End Log