Ryven stared into the mirror, examining his face, knowing it as his but somehow feeling detached from it. He still wasn't sure he felt at home in this skin, even though it was the only one he'd even known. It felt loose, like clothes that fell baggy on an emaciated frame. This week had been one both old friends and new environs.
When he had come back to the Manor he had run into his old friends, his old lovers. First had been Shalee, which had awakened many old memories and some old feelings which he had thought dead and buried, but had only been hastily buried. Then, the next day he had run into Kat. This too had been a tumultuous meeting, though he had managed not to let it shake him as much as the previous meeting. They had talked, largely joking and friendly, as though none of their history lay between them. But, that couldn't really be the case, could it? No. History is ignored at one's peril. Still, he wondered when he would see her again.
He had just joined No.Mercy, Shalee's new home. He wasn't sure why he had done so, but before he knew it, he had swapped his old Amarr uniform for the colors of Triumvirate. They seemed like a decent enough outfit, though, he was till getting used to things.
The truth was that while it had only been a few months since he had been in a cockpit, in reality he had aged considerably. Something happened down there on that moon. Something transformative, something transcendent. He had stepped out of his little shack on the moon and was suddenly thrown to the ground. He had tasted blood and his teeth hurt from the impact. He lay face up and suddenly he had passed out of space and time and lay there, cold and naked beneath the stars as the universe spun above him endlessly. Days passed like years, hours like weeks, minutes like days. Each moment was interminable. He relived his every moment in a continuous loop, his life displayed before him in harsh focus. He watched the shared memories of the man who was born Ryven Haijikioten, a child born with an unquenchable fire and an even more insatiable thirst for violence. There was an innocence there that could never have survived, and Ryven mourned every time he watched its passing. He wept with every time he watched himself pick up the broken body of Leela before perishing together in the flames. He trembled every time he watched the Other take over and hunt his prey. He watched and watched and watched until finally his torment ended. The universe resumed its ponderous pace. Time flowed in the manner it had for his entire life. All was returned to normal.
Except for him. He would never be the same again.