Character: Daron Neris, OCs Genre: Diary Summary: With his life in shambles and his inner demons tormenting him, Daron is given a chance to redeem himself for his crimes and do some good in the galaxy. This story is a offshoot of Adalias and my story From Slavery to Aristocracy, though it should be able to work on its own as well. Thanks to @Adalia-Durron for the beta and support. Had never thought I would be writing down something again, thought the rest of my life would be nothing but smashing rocks in prison, to return utterly exhausted for a few hours in a cell and then back to work the next morning. Not that I deserve any better, that the fate of a murderer, well attempted murderer in my case, but that´s hardly a difference. Every night I am back in the hospital again, every night I press the pillow onto her face, and every night no one comes to stop me, every night I become a real murderer. Tried to tell myself that I was just acting on my families orders, that it was nothing personal, just a part of the great game, but that's no excuse, as there could never be an excuse for what I've done. And so when my family turned on me, denounced me as a lunatic who had acted on his own I ended up in front of the court alone, with no one to blame but myself. The worst was the media, the holocams pointing at me through the whole ordeal. I knew my life was gone anyway so I pleaded guilty, evidence was dooming me anyway. They gave me fifty years, so maybe if I could live through the decades of hard labor I might have been able to get out as an old man. An old man with nothing left in the world. Thought about suicide in there, but that felt too easy for me, I deserve to suffer, to go through the punishment I was given. And now? I'm not in prison anymore but my body hurts more than it did in the weeks of smashing rocks behind me. They call it "training" here but to me it feels more akin to torture, some of the other recruits have mocked me, called me a pampered Noble and that's probably true. There are times when I miss it, my old life, my bed, my holo books, being allowed to sleep for as long as I want, just having a good time with friends. But then I realizes the reality, how I revoked my right to all of that with my actions. I don't know if I should be here, if this "chance" that was given to me is something I truly deserve. Master Ramiel says that's one of the reasons I was chosen, because they could see my guilt and self hatred over what has happened in the last few weeks. He is probably the first person to show me any kindness since Adrian Malek spared my life. Sometimes I wish the young Malek had just run me through with his blade and ended this, but Ramiel tells me to stop thinking about what was and what could have been. It was also him who encouraged me to write this diary, saying that many new recruits who struggle with their past do it to be able to reflect and then let go of it. Don't think I could ever let go of the memories of spiking first Garth Redan's drink to have him put up a fight with her and then hers so I could pin it on him. Or of my hands pressing down the pillow onto her face. But Ramiel is right, there is nothing I could do to change it, it happened and now this way has lead me here, at the southern edge of the galaxy, a recruit to the Order of the Dawn. In a time that seems ages ago I remembered reading about them in a history book. An ancient military order sworn to protect the galactic south from Nagai and other raiders. Or at least that´s what they claim to have been, in modern times they are little more than a dumping ground for veterans with no place to go, younger children of nobility their families want to see removed from the inheritance and criminals who offered a chance of redemption by joining the order. Criminals like me. Three days ago they made me the offer, and now I´m here, on some forsaken world near the southern edge of the galaxy, a cold and dangerous world, where me and the other recruits are now trained and tested on our abilities, if we succeed we will become members of the order, if not... well those who are here voluntarily can try again next year, but for prisoners like me it would mean going back to smashing rocks for the rest of our lives. In my youth I used to dream of becoming a hero, defending the galaxy from evil, but growing up I became the opposite, part of the evil I sought to oppose. But it seems the universe sometimes believes in second chance and maybe, just maybe, if I can make it through the training, I can hope to make up for at least some of the suffering I caused.