Five cycles ago, I left the Ruins of Tau Station for good. I decided to make more of my life.
And I did. By all metrics I can think of, I'm beyond successful, compared to the poor sucker me from 500 days ago. Two ships, enough in the bank to buy a few more, enough equipment stored for a medium-sized army, achieved mastery in two careers, over 90 University courses finished.
But I must ask if I've lost something important in the process.
The local government of Sprit of New York City had asked my syndicate for help, they had an incursion that needed fighting off. An armed mob of 360 was making their way through The Wilds, and we were to... "stop" them before they reached the more densely habited parts of the station.
I took four of my TAU comrades with me, and we mowed them down within less than four segments. All of them unconscious, all of them injured badly enough that would would've died without medical support. Which the authorities assured me they got.
My CORETECHS invents villain names for them, to make it easier for me to fight them. Perp, Rascal, Blade Girl, Looter, Bandito, Buccaneer, Bully Boy it calls them.
Just like me, a mere 500 days ago.
Despite their villain names, they were people, just like you, dear reader. They just weren't trained as well as I was, and their weapons didn't penetrate my armor.
I hadn't even bothered learning about their side. Why were they marching?
I don't believe in easy explanations, like, they were all bad people, and wanted to bring down every order just for the sake of chaos. They knew about the risk, and wouldn't have done anything without good cause.
Maybe they were malnourished, and wanted to protest for more food. Maybe they had tried before, and hadn't been heard, and so they armed themselves to not be ignored a second time. Maybe they wanted to give their kids a better future.
I don't. I just accepted the government's commission, and shot them down. In exchange for a box of stims.
Five cycles ago, I have started gaining wealth and prestige and knowledge, and lost my humanity.