Chapter Twenty Two - Invictus

Taking the Invictus to Savorn

The MileLong was finally loaded. As
it moved into space I let it get to the
edge of my scanner range before
leaving the Pier.

The Invictus wasn't built to crawl

The route was an easy straight to Savorn. To reach the planet of Savorn and
NOT touch Dalmar space.

We'd taken on a Gennie named Gye. I'd thought it was Gye.
Well, it was Gye, but not our Gye. This Gye was a brother of our Gye.
Our Gye was dead.

I don't know if I'm supposed to feel anything for someone who had spent his
days ignoring me. Still, what pinged was that there wasn't a physical mark
this wasn't our Gye.

He was a clone...sure..but somehow...not exactly. A clone who wasn't exactly our Gye.
Our Gye had something this one didn't.


Cilla & Donnie

Donnie took it hard, cause soon as we quit Port he'd hit his cabin. I gave
him as much time as I felt right, then strolled.

He was drinking. Sitting there, drinking, like it was a career. I found a nearly
clean glass, poured a few fingers, waited.

"He told me, Gye died a hero. Told me he was Gye and he'd take his
brother's place. Like a replacement part. Like..." Donnie took another
drink. "If that's how they see themselves...how can I..."

"How did Gye die?" I asked.

"He got away in the Viper, got to regale them with his adventures. Then went
out on one of their ships, Dalmar attacked, ship exploded."

Donnie took another drink, starts to rheumanate, not about then; not about
that Gye, our Gye, but this one.


Eugenics

Donnie is looking at me, then to the door, seeing something...

"I'm coming up the gangplank..." he muses in that two breaths from tears
voice; ".. see this one. This Gye, coming towards me. I'm grinning, right?
Think it's Gye, but it's not Gye. And he, this one, he introduces himself as
Gye. As if he can walk in and take his brother's place."

Another swallow.

"It's like some fem walking up to me saying, I'll take Cilla's place, like you aren't
real, complete, alive, whatever, I don't know...do you know? Do you know what
I mean, Cilla?"

Donna takes another swallow, gives me his eyeballs.


"He doesn't grok it. Y'know? That guy...that Gye, doesn't grok it. Like, I'm Gye,
I do the Gye thing. And it's like...robots. Y'know? This one's broke, you get
another...you know?"

I know what he means. Maybe I wouldn't have caught it if I hadn't known Gye,
our Gye. But I have. I have and I know Gennies think of themselves as clones
of the other. Or whatever.

"I knew he was dead. If he wasn't he'd of contacted me." Donnie decides.

"How close you get to him?" I asked.

"I don't know. But I felt that...I don't know what I felt. I don't know what I feel."

I know what he feels. Grief. Mourning. Loss. Our Gye was as close to me as this
one. Meaning, wide berth. But Donnie tried to make friends. Maybe he had.

We all lose people in life. But I think, when you lose someone who has made
you his only friend, it's more painful.


The Light comes on

There wasn't much I could say or do, so I finished my drink and left Donnie.
Left him and made it my duty to warn the crew not to pick the scab. I don't think
I really had to, outside of Guthrie the others caught the currents.

I double avoided Gye.
This Gye.

Let a day roll, take my lie down, my fun up, then back into my seat.
I felt easy as I piloted towards Savorn.
After all, as most pirates were Sagir and as the MileLong ship is coming from
Sagir with Sagir crap, they shouldn't attack it.

When that hit my brain, it answered every question I ever had, starting with the
day Madame Rhyse demanded we take a Eugenic on the Presidium.

She'd put Gye here for the purpose of annoying Dalmar. Hoping they'd attack our
ship. Knowing when they did she'd have the opportunity to link with Sagir.

Once she linked with Sagir, that was the end of Piracy. Sure, send a nice big war
boat to play security, but know no one was going to attack. Wny? Why would
a pirate ship attack a Pirate Ship?

It wasn't a gift to Sagir, it was buying protection for Hawking. I bet, if I got Ian to
hack into Hawking, their usual losses due to Piracy, and the Insurance premiums
they had to pay, was more in one year than the Invictus cost.

And it all made sense.

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