So here I am, it's 1:30 am, I have work in another six and a half hours and another half an hour until my copy of skyrim has finished downloading. I could sleep, but you and I both know that's not what's going to happen. Thankfully, I think I can function at work on muscle memory alone, but in the meantime I have half an hour to kill and what better way to squander it than with a bit of creative writing?
He was tired. So very tired but in some ways that helped. The harsh training lesson was muted and he found his body and mind settling into a subconcious rhythm that his lessons had entrained into him. His mind reached out without effort. He felt the ship, it's sanguine hull bristling with psionic energy nestling in the safe coccoon that was it's powerful plasma shields. A solitary home and fortress in the void of space.
It was deliberate, he was to have no distractions until graduation. Hence why the ship's crew was skeletal in number, but he felt them nevertheless; the Khalai Protoss, the ship's technicians, their minds pulsating like a heartbeat.
Their feelings were transparent; unlike the two others who were in the simulation room. They were... enigmas, their minds did not seem impenetrable at first but his training had been very effective. Their minds were... layered. The outside was transparent, but they had a hidden wall separating the rest of their psyche.
Before he could dwell on it though, his thoughts were again interrupted by those ancient sapphire eyes gazing at him. He knew the Judicator could read his mind... and not just read it. He never used to feel uncomfortable about that fact, so why should it bother him now?
He spoke so as to banish his discomfort, "Judicator, you never told me you had such strategic prowess. Those last few simulated campaigns were... exceptionally challenging."
"Executor Aeolus, it was never my intention to push you to such limits. Truth be told, I find it... unethical," mirrored the Judicator, emphasizing his distaste at the word "unethical".
The Judicator continued but with a tone of pride, "A particular member of the Conclave took an interest in your training. I was reluctant, but Judicator Hephaest was insistent. He set up the last 2 campaigns for you and assumed the role of your opposing general."
On cue, the staunch Judicator Hephaest stood up to speak.
"When the Conclave selected you to be raised as an Executor of the Fleet they knew you were the best candidate to prioritize the survival of the military and civilian assets when completing objectives. However they felt there was a slight danger of you... "overdoing" it."
Hephaest continued, "After testing you myself, however, I am inclined to believe that their concerns are invalid."
Hephaest then completely dropped the rest of his formalities with a lighthearted smile.
"Aeolus, you will be one of the best Executors we have ever been blessed with."
The Judicators let that last statement sink in for a moment before Hephaest let the other Judicator speak.
"We can see you are weary. Get some rest, young Templar and tomorrow we shall return to Auir for your formal graduation and immediate assignment."
The Judicators left him alone.
Aeolus lay on his bed. He was still tired but something niggled in the back of his head. The Judicators of the Conclave were always religious and political heroes. They were infallible, holy, they knew what was right and wrong and selflessly devoted themselves to making sure that everyone was on the Right path. Under the guidance of the Conclave, the people were one with one another; one gigantic happy empathically linked being.
Tonight though, he had discovered they had a hidden layer. He never knew that, never felt it there before, but then again never before in his life had he felt the ship. The Judicators had always preached the divinity of sharing your mind and all it's secrets with your brothers and sisters of the Khala, but the truth is they weren't actually practicing what they preached. And worse, they hid that little hypocrisy as a secret in itself.
This was a result of the training... he knew it. And Aeolus knew that those two Judicators already knew his little revelation...