Chapter 38: The Truth Pt. 3

“That asshole,” was Corra’s summation once Leta (with a little help from Cyrus) had managed to explain. Already half an hour had passed since the fight that had driven Leta to the Beacon, but she was still reeling. Her hands were shaking in her lap. The calming hum of the empty bridge had done nothing to soothe her, nor did the tea and whiskey Cyrus had made, nor Corra’s assurance that she had expelled Fiearius from the ship and set some of her best guys on the job to make sure he stayed that way. She still felt adrift in some vast ocean barely able to keep treading water.

Corra’s feelings were a little more concise.

“That fucking, lying asshole.” She paced the room in a fervor. “I shoulda shot him. I really shoulda.” She turned on Cyrus who was slumped in the pilot’s seat looking as exhausted as she felt. “Why didn’t you let me shoot him?”

Cyrus lifted his shoulders in a hopeless shrug. “‘Cause then he’d be a fucking, lying, bleeding asshole?”

Corra stopped pacing and crossed her arms over her chest. “The hell’s wrong with that?” she muttered under her breath.

“I don’t think I can talk to him,” said Leta, her voice hollow and empty. “Or see him. Or even look at him.”

“Then we’ll go,” Corra said at once, as though it were the most simple solution ever uttered. When Leta looked up at her in surprise, she went on, “We’ll just go. Cyrus and I will go back to the Dionysian, grab your things, bring them here and we’ll leave. Today. Right now.”

“You mean — “ Leta was almost afraid to say the words aloud. “Move to the Beacon?”

“Why not?” Corra’s eyes shone with eagerness. “You want to get away from Captain Shithead? We’ll take you away from him. He’s toxic. His problems, in their vast quantity, are contagious and you don’t need him. Just come with us. We have plenty of space. Good work coming in, so we can easily afford to feed one more. We don’t get injured that often so you might get bored, but the crew’s great, the facilities are great, I’m here.” She stalked over to Leta and picked up her hands. “Join the Beacon. You’ll be much happier here, I know it.”

Leta couldn’t speak. She felt an odd sensation in her chest — painful, but hopeful.

“I don’t know if that’s really–” Cyrus began, leaning forward in his chair but Leta cut him off.

“I think that’s a good idea,” she said at last, her voice gentle. Corra beamed. “I’d like that.”

Cyrus’ jaw dropped. “Wait, what?”

Corra, however, was ecstatic. She gripped Leta’s forearms and bounced on her toes and let out a squeal.

“You’re right,” said Leta quietly. “It’s time. I said I’d only leave the Dionysian when it was time. And — it’s time.”

“Yes, let’s go!” Corra agreed, releasing her and flitting across to the navigation console. “Where do you wanna go? A vineyard on Rossind? Shopping on Tarin? A casino in Genisi? Without Mr. Wanted-By-Everyone-Everywhere, we could even do a tropical getaway on Paraven?”

Leta smiled weakly. Corra’s glee was almost, but not quite, contagious. “Remember we always said we’d visit the hot springs just outside of Vena?”

“You got it!” Corra yelped. “We’ll go anywhere you want! By tonight you’ll be saying Fieari-who? I guarantee it.”

Cyrus finally got to his feet, looking dumbfounded. “You can’t be serious,” he said, staring between the two of them. “What, just–whisking away. Just like that. Isn’t that kind of unnecessary?”

“Unnecessary?” Corra repeated. “It’s completely necessary.”

Cyrus ignored her and looked desperately to Leta. “Look, I know you’re mad at him, but c’mon. You can’t just leave. I mean, what he did was shitty, but this, fleeing on the Beacon…isn’t this kind of ridiculous?”

Corra’s glare was sudden and intense. “Wait, please tell me you’re not defending him?”

“What? No! No, of course not,” Cyrus said hurriedly, “But you can’t just leave like this.”

“Cyrus,” Leta pressed softly. “I’m sorry. But I think it’s time. I’m no help to Fiearius — in any way — if he can’t even tell me about something like this. He needs a doctor he can talk to. And I’m not clearly that person anymore.”

“But what about the rest of us?” Cyrus despaired. “I know you just want to get away from Fiear and I respect that, but if you leave us here? I don’t know the first thing about withdrawals or getting people through them or anything! And what are we supposed to do in the meantime? We can’t afford to stay docked here much longer than a week. The Society’s still tailing us. We’re severely low on cash. And, incidentally, rations. And even if we figure all that out, there’s still the matter that my brother, hate him all you want, could die without medical care that I can’t give him. I’m not defending Fiearius, I’m asking for help.”

“Cyrus. Of course I don’t want Fiearius to suffer, but I can’t–”

But another voice interrupted her, warm and kind. “You’ll have help.”

It was Daelen in the doorway, his eyes kind and a little sad. When Corra cast him a look of concern, he held up his hand and went on, “Despite what we say captain, the Beacon doesn’t have a need for two physicians. Leta can take my place here and I’ll take hers on the Dionysian. And we’ll get through it.”

Cyrus couldn’t have looked more relieved. “Thank you,” he breathed, closing his eyes.

“So it’s settled then,” said Corra, clapping her hands together. “Daelen will go to the Dionysian, Leta will stay here, Fiearius will realize how big of an idiot he is — and we’ll all get through this.”

Privately, sincerely, Leta was not sure that they would. But she said nothing as everyone murmured agreement.

“I’ll go get your stuff together, alright?” said Cyrus quietly, catching Leta’s eye and giving her a look of encouragement. He squeezed her shoulder, and he and Daelen left the room, leaving heavy, confused silence in their wake.

Corra beamed at her, clearly excited.  “So. Ready to go then huh?” she said, but Leta was finding it difficult to speak. Her throat suddenly tightened.

“I don’t know if I am. But I don’t know how I could stay, either.”

“Leta, it’s alright to leave! Daelen’s a great doctor, you know that, I know that, everyone knows it. He’ll handle things on the Dionysian just fine. Don’t worry about it. Fiear’ll get through this like he gets through everything and come out the other side just as much a piece of space trash as he was when he went in.”

As much as Leta wanted to laugh at Corra’s words, to really agree with her, she couldn’t. She felt herself dissolving, and Corra reached out and took her shoulder.

“I really can’t believe Fiearius didn’t tell you,” she said quietly, which made Leta’s eyes swim with tears.

“I knew it was too good to be true,” she admitted, bringing her hands to her face.

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18 thoughts on “Chapter 38: The Truth Pt. 3

  1. Prodigy_Newling

    And Fier really just has a way with words this chapter, doesn’t he? The real tragedy here is that Cyrus will be seperated from addy.
    Also, Fiear is gonna be out of a working condition for a month, so it looks like Cyrus is gonna need to step up again.

    Reply
  2. hoshinofokkusu

    And it stings so much because it’s kind of true…

    Not only is Fiearius a crap person sometimes, well most of the time, but Leta really SHOULD have opened her eyes and realized that past actions, thought processes, beliefs and priorities doesn’t just disappear seemingly overnight. People CAN change put it is a long and most often drawn out process. She should have seen this coming and been prepared for it. The feminine need to change her partner strikes again.

    Reply
    1. khronos Post author

      I’m not really sure it’s fair to call that a ‘feminine need’…in any case, perhaps Leta should have been more prepared, especially given Fiear’s history of screwing everything up pretty consistently, but he did say, quite explicitly even, that it was his intention to change right from the get-go. He WANTED to change but his expectations of leta being able to facilitate that were unrealistic.

      Reply
  3. Skeetsmb

    Does Corra have to be so irritatingly clueless? Was she dropped on her head when she was a baby and that is why she acts the way she does. Anyone else out there diggin her?

    Reply
    1. adinfinitumspero

      Yeah, I’m less fond of Corra than I was at the start, but the more I think about it the more I appreciate that having a genuinely Stupid character makes the story more realistic

      Reply
      1. khronos Post author

        …can someone explain to me what she did here that was so stupid? I won’t argue that she’s a little tactless and sometimes acts on impulses rather than thinking it through, but stupid? Especially here. I don’t follow.

      2. adinfinitumspero

        If one sees two friends, or even strangers, that are arguing and know theyre a couple, its by far one of the worst decisions one can make to get in the middle of it, especially by adding even more confrontation. It just seemsthat of all the regular characters she shows the least ccapacity fir planning, forethought, or even thinkingwell I her feet. Everyone, and evrevery character, makes bonehead moves, and I respect that that is shown Inthe writing. However her character long since seems to have abandoned tactless and impulsive and veered straight into brainless. I don’t mean any offense by that, and if you feel I’m misreading thevcharacter you’re writing, well I suppose you would know, but thats the read I’ve been getting since before she even gother own ship

      3. khronos Post author

        Oh no offense taken. You’re certainly entitled to your interpretation and I’m aware it’s our writing that’s lead you to it (something we may have to amend haha). I was more concerned that people seemed to think her standing up for Leta was a stupid decision. I get what you’re saying, but I can’t say I agree. If they were just arguing, that would be one thing but if someone is physically running away from another person, regardless of if you know them or not, it’s probably better to take the benefit of the doubt and assume they have a good reason. It could just be a tiff but they could be in legitimate danger and how terrible would that be if no one helped just because they didn’t want to get involved :/ So while Corra may be not the brightest of the bunch certainly, in this particular case I maintain that she did the right thing.

  4. Raven

    Yes, she did do the right thing when she stepped in. I would have done the same thing, even fully being aware of the fact that doing so does minimize the chances of the couple making up if the initial argument is interrupted.

    But I agree with everyone who said that Corra acts like a clueless dumbass.

    For fuck sake. Leta still had the chance to make up with Fiear. Or at least attempt to and give conversing another chance. Calling quits just like that, without talking to the person in question? For fuck sake. Especially when the person has horrible, painful and hellish weeks ahead of them.

    How does Corra react? She seizes her chance! She’s been wanting Leta on Beacon ever since she got the ship. She just goes on a HAPPY and EXCITED rant about how Leta can finally join her. Her friend, although happy for the chance to get away, is still mourning over what seems like an end to a relationship with some she loves. Instead of comforting, she’s acting gleeful over getting something that she wants. She purposely spoke in a way that made sure there was almost no chance of them getting back together, just so she’d have her friend on her ship.

    She might have stood up for her with Fiear at the beginning, but this part of the chapter puts her intentions in question. Was she doing it drive a wedge between them by taking an opportunity when she saw one? Or did she simply forgot what being a friend means AFTER acting like one?

    If a friend acted like that after I had a fight with someone I care about, I would call them out on it. Corra is too eager for this to be the end, and too insistent to get her own way.

    She’s not supporting. She is interfering. Selfish, clueless, dumb bitch.

    Sorry, it left me quite frustrated. I’ve come to care about Leta as a character and seeing her left only with someone like Corra to depend on is heart breaking.

    Rant over.

    -Raven

    Reply
    1. khronos Post author

      Well thank you for at least clarifying a reason for why Corra’s getting so much hate although I could have done without the sexist derogatory language… I think I’m starting to understand though and a part of that is our own fault for not making it clear what happened here. It was never Corra’s intention to drive any wedges. Leta wanted to give up and leave, but she was reluctant to do it because she felt guilty. Corra, being her friend, saw that and decided that in her time of need, she should support what Leta wanted and therefore gave her an easy out to follow that desire with no judgment passed.

      Maybe she should have convinced Leta to give Fiear another chance. But why? He made it pretty clear he didn’t trust her which is a pretty fundamental problem in a relationship so why send Leta back into something like that? And remember that Corra knows Fiearius and honestly doesn’t trust him that much herself. In the immediate moment, problem: Leta upset, solution: take her out of the situation. And if she changed her mind and wanted to go back to him in a few hours? They’re on a spaceship, she can do that. She didn’t even suggest they break up. She just said ‘let’s get the hell out of here and go on a vacation’. That doesn’t have to be permanent if Leta doesn’t want it to be.

      So okay, blame Corra for enabling Leta giving up on the relationship if you really like, but at no point was she doing anything but being the best friend she knows how to be. It’s Leta who agreed. It’s Leta who left. And it’s Fiearius who drove her to do it. It’s their fault. Not Corra’s.

      And that’s my rant 😛 Over.

      Reply
      1. Raven

        It was not my intention to sound sexist, even if it appeared so. My response would have been entirely the same, even if we were speaking about a man. Any curse word I use tend to be cross-gender.

        With that out of the way, I stand by my original post. I might have sounded a bit harsher than the circumstance warranted, but the points I made remain valid.

        It could be that the writing is not as clear, simply giving the impression that Corra is way too keen to ship Leta off, but that is the impression I got and judging from the comments, so did some of the other readers.

        Anyone who has ever had a fight with someone they care about knows that during arguments, when one gets angry, they tend to say things they do not mean. I sure am guilty of that myself.

        Leta’s decision to leave things like this is not really the topic, so I’ll refrain from commenting on it as tempting as it is. It would take too long.

        Talking a friend into running away from their troubles, to leave a broken, sick man behind to deal with the torture to come as he will without a word of goodbye, is not how I see a best friend acting.

        I can’t say I have ever been betrayed by a space pirate, but I have been in a few situation like this. I’ve gotten bad advice and some truly good ones. Dropping things just because I didn’t want to face them? One of the worst.

        That is all. Maybe my own experiences are clouding my mind and I’m not giving Corra a fair chance. Hell if I know. Just giving my opinions.

        -Raven

      2. khronos Post author

        Oh I will totally take responsibility for the writing not being clear enough, I am absolutely sure that is a huge chunk of the problem and if we ever do a second draft, it’ll definitely be fixed. What we intended was that Leta wanted to leave the Dionysian. It obviously didn’t end up looking that way in what we published. So our bad for that haha.

        And I’m not slighting your opinion at all, you’re welcome to have them and they’re totally justified! What Corra did is not what I would have done either. Not at all. But I still don’t think that she deserves so much insult for doing it. Was it the best suggestion? Probably not, but since when do people make the best suggestions under pressure? Rarely 😛 Cut her some slack guys, is all I’m sayin’.

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