"Where do bad people go when they die?", asked a young girl looking up to her hero."... For as much as it has pleased Almighty Maker to take from this world the spirit of our brothers, we therefore commit their remains to the Wind-of-the West, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Those of us which are alive and remain shall each of our songs be caught up together with our kin to herald their eternal absolution and vindication, and so shall we ever be with them, and they with us, for all time..."
In the driving rain of a backwater world, funeral pyres burned as far as the eye could see, choking the sky black with soot and spirit. Families of rags and mud gathered among a preacher, solemn and silent. The women did not weep. The children did not look away. The men burned."Executor Hinkelmann has taken action to formally revoke any and all charges that may have been placed against Oniseki-haani. Her record has been cleared regarding the unfortunate incident that lead to her court martial under Taisho Revenent's command."
Across a thousand channels on ten thousand worlds, talking heads argued among themselves over the news while recordings of a small Caldari woman reading a prepared speech cycled on repeat."... that their bodies so broken, their lives so wantonly defiled, should be overlooked by those who sail the stars. That these fathers, mothers, and children alike be forgotten and ignored; that their hopes and dreams be so casually thrown away; their trials and tribulations lost to statistics. That justice should not find their memory here in the world of men..."
High-powered slug-throwers and pistols were passed around. Rusted tools of war once thought harmless, once forgotten by the peaceful people. The preacher flung his fist in the air, clenched white-knuckled in the freezing rain, infuriated on behalf of the crowd long since numbed to the pain of loss."Only that it came shortly after the bloody affair between the Internal Watch and a rogue member, that ultimately lead to the discovery of mass graves within the Syndicate region in late YC116. Many continue to speculate this was the cause of her formal resignation, and the resignation of John Revenent. Though no formal statement from either party has been made to confirm this."
The recordings continued. Massive fueling gantries were retracted from carriers. One by one, rolling away from warships that gassed off in the hangar while sister ships began to slip out on launch. The Internal Watch logo emblazoned on their hulls glinted gently among the station lights.".. we plead to Cold Wind himself to forgive us. We plead to Cold Wind to grant us the same unjust mercy he showed her. We plead because we will not lay down with our lost brothers so easily. We will not fade. We will not disappear. We will not forget. We will get what we deserve."
"Where do bad people go when they die?"
Katrina knelt and smiled, brushing her daughter's hair back.
"They don't go anywhere, sweetheart. They remain alone."