(Sorry for the terrible delay)
The next day after meeting the new Neo-Crusaders, Katrina awoke in her chambers, ready to leave for Falrena, and her next mission.
Katrina: "I should really try for a change of scenery in here."
Katrina walks over to a table, and examines her beamsword. The chrome hilt had lost its luster after years of use, but her personal weapon had never failed her. Its bright pink blade always felt more like a close friend when it was activated; her blade was truly unique.
Katrina: "Pity I've never thought of a good name for you,"
Katrina lowered her blade and examined her armor. It was lightweight, manueverable, and had never let her down. The thin metal plates and underlying mail were forged from the rarest metals in all Calvaria, and was designed specifically for her. Despite having seen countless battles, it still looked as new as the day it was forged.
Katrina grabbed her gear and prepared to leave. She enjoyed the brief moments of peace she could get at the palace, though not as much as she enjoyed being out fighting the enemies of the empire. Still, a warrior needed her rest. She left her chambers and walked slowly through the labyrinth of hallways, corridors, and passageways that made up the palace, admiring the decorum of the place. The very palace itself seemed to be alive with magic, at times it felt like the very walls were watching her. The dark passageways were quiet and calm, and were illuminated only by torches; depite living in the twenty-ninth century, the Emperor still preferred the dark, gothic feel that dominated the palace and its features.
Katrina kept walking until she reached a large door, beyond which came the noise of battle that she knew all too well. She stepped inside to investigate.
Byron: "Come on, you brute! I thought you were supposed to be a Knight!"
Fiengar: "Well, I don't kill Calvarian Knights for a living!"
Byron and Fiengar finished their duel and turned to face Katrina, who had managed to take them by surprise.
Byron: "Ah, Lady Candor! Good to see you, as always! Say, mind to give this old warrior a real fight? Fiengar here hasn't been much of a sport."
Fiengar: "I assure you, my blade has felled far more foes than yours!"
Byron: "Aye, but do meager soldiers truly count in the face of a foe such as myself?"
Katrina: "Watch that pride of yours Byron,"
Byron: "Oh, of course, my fair lady. I'm simply discouraged that there are so few adversaries worthy of my skill. And in truth, I found you a worthy opponent Fiengar, as always."
Fiengar: "I found you equally worthy."
Byron: "So, what brings you down to see us today? Hoping to hone your skills a bit?"
Katrina: "Not today, my friend. I'm about to leave on another mission."
Byron: "Another? Well, thats....news. I figured Ben-Jammin would want to keep you around for a while."
Katrina: "Why do you say that?"
Byron: "You mean...you can't tell?"
Katrina: "Tell what?"
Byron: "Oh, I forgot that you aren't as old as us grizzled veterans, you probably weren't able to understand."
Katrina: "I'm seven hundred and fifty-three years old. Just cut to the chase, what is it with Ben-Jammin?"
Byron: "Why, he quite fancies you dear!"
Byron: "I knew you wouldn't understand..."
Katrina: "Thats...thats impossible! Ben's the Emperor! He's better at controlling his emotions than any of us, surely he wouldn't allow one of us to penetrate the depths of his mind."
Byron: "He might be immortal, but he's not invulnerable. Its not that difficult to see, really."
Fiengar: "Well, your love-talk is making me sick. I thirst for battle. If you need me, I'll be in the other training rooms."
Byron: "That's all well and good, you psychotic brute. Go ahead and cut up some droids to quench that undying fury of yours. I should have expected as much from a werewolf."
Katrina stood there, confused. All this time, she knew felt that Ben was infallible, that he was more than just a common immortal. Or at least, as common as an immortal could be. What is the meaning of all this?
she thought. Well, he is handsome, and powerful...No, what's wrong with you Katrina?
The door slammed behind Fiengar. Byron sighed.
Byron: "Everything alright?"
Katrina: "How do you know about this?"
Byron: "It wasn't that hard to figure out. I'm honestly surprised you didn't notice it until now."
Katrina: "Did you...read the emperor's mind?
Byron: "Of course not! Ben's mind is like a fortress; there's no way I could even attempt to reach into his mind without him knowing! He has had centuries of magical and spiritual learning to perfect his defenses! The only way I could know is if...he wanted me to..."
Katrina: "So he just let you know his feelings? Just like that?"
Byron: "He is powerful, but he is a mysterious man. Ben's ways are...well, Ben's ways."
Katrina: "Why do you - "
Katrina's voice was cut short by the sound of footsteps coming from the hallway. Shortly afterward, the tall, intimidating figure of Ben-Jammin the Intolerant stepped into the room. Despite his name, he was a kindly soul, especially to Katrina and her fellow Knights. The four of them; Katrina, Byron, Fiengar, and Ben-Jammin, were the last Knights of Calvaria left after the massacre caused by Valus and the infamous Battle of Myralan. The four of them alone were lucky to have escaped the disastrous conflict.
Ben-Jammin: "Did I interrupt something?"
Katrina felt her blood get hot. She felt a surge of emotion; anger, confusion, joy, wonder, and envy all came pouring in. It nearly overwhelmed her. She was a Calvarian Knight! Shouldn't she be able to control herself better than this? She worried that Ben might catch on to her inner conflict.
Ben-Jammin: "Everything alright Katrina?" Byron was silent.Dammit,
Katrina: "Oh, no my lord. I was just preparing to leave for Falrena." She had nearly forgotten her original purpose there.
Byron: "I was just saying my good-byes to the fair maiden. So, goodbye, and good luck!"
Ben-Jammin: "Indeed. There's a dropship waiting on the fourth exterior platform to take you aboard the Rebirthing
Ben gestured toward the door, and the trio walked toward the landing pad. Katrina tried so hard to mask her emotions, harder than she had ever tried. She felt that every single twinge in her mind was attempt by Ben to discover her feelings. But she would give him a fight he would remember before she gave in.
Neo-Crusader officer: "My lord, we are ready for departure."
Ben-Jammin: "Very good captain. Well Katrina, I wish you luck on your mission."
Katrina began to walk toward the dropship.
Ben-Jammin: "Oh, and Katrina,"
She turned to face him.
Ben-Jammin: "Do be careful."
Katrina nodded. "I will my lord."
His eyes were...captivating. His bright blue eyes glowed from the sheer force of magic that flowed through him. He smiled and stepped back next to Byron. Katrina stepped into the dark interior of the dropship, and sat down just as the thrust from the dropship's engines forced the craft upward toward the sky.
Byron: "You won't find another quite like her, milord."
Ben-Jammin: "Indeed. I have a task for you, Byron."
Ben-Jammin: "Oh, don't be surprised. You knew this was coming."
Byron grinned under his helmet. "Yes, milord."