A Tough Message: Zaylus

1st Draft (Unsent)

to the family of ryan bennett

you dont know me, which is probably for the best. if you did, it would make what Ryan did even worse, if thats even po

2nd Draft (Unsent)

To the family of Ryan Bennett

by now the Alliance has told you what happened, or at least everything theyre aloud to. I want to tell you the truth, the whole truth of what happened to Ryan. u deserve that much. It was a nightmare, monsters Ive never imagind before. every one was scattered, we were just doing what we could to get out of there alive. he took a hit for me. a bad one. I don’t know why, I didnt even know what was happening until it was over. i’ll never forget what he looked like, burned an

3rd Draft (Unsent)

i’m so sorry about Ryan. i couldnt stop him. if i could take it back, i would. it shouldve been me

4th Draft (Deleted)

5th Draft (Deleted)

6th Draft (Deleted)

7th Draft (Deleted)

8th Draft (Deleted)

Ifuckinghatethis 9 (Deleted)

fuck (Deleted)

Im sorry (Unsent) (Saved)

To the family of Ryan Bennett

I’m writing you this message because I owe it to Ryan to make sure his family knows the truth of how he died, and the bravery he showed in his last moments. The Alliance already told you something, but they weren’t there. I was. And I’m here to write this because of what Ryan did that day.

I didn’t even know him, not really. My crew and a handful of others were attacked and kidnapped by some kind of slavers. Ryan must’ve been as well, and when we all made our escape, he was running with us. It was chaos. I didn’t know if anyone would make it out alright. I got knocked down, I couldn’t see that something bad was headed my way. Ryan did, and he took that hit for me. Before I knew what was happening, he saved me. Ryan saved my life.

I can’t claim to understand why he did it. That kind of selflessness is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. I wish I had known him. If he was as courageous as life as he was in death, I would have been proud to call him my friend.

My heart hurts for your loss. If I could change anything I would change what happened that day, and bring him back to you. But all I can do is tell you this, and try to repay the gift Ryan gave me, eventually.

May Spirits grant you peace.








The emotional toll coupled with the physical burden of dictating a message with one hand made it a grueling process, but there it was. After two days of near constant effort, interrupted first by the Redrock meeting and a visit to Oxaris, followed by many feeble distracting attempts at cleaning the apartment, he has a coherent message ready when the time comes.

The catharsis of laying his true feelings bare lifts only a fraction of the guilt crushing his chest, but even that feels like a great weight being lifted. He rises slowly from the couch, shaking out his legs as the blood begins to move again. Crossing into the kitchen, Menace glares accusingly up at him as she jealously guards the remaining garbage corralled into her corner.

He sweeps an armful of bottles into the garbage in a triumphant gesture, dropping the bin onto the ground and surveying his work with tired eyes. Not perfect, not even clean by most people’s standards, but a marked improvement nonetheless. Looking down, he plucks an upright bottle from the sink, finding it still mostly full of cider.

Menace chitters an irritable tone from the floor, earning a questioning glance.


She scuffs her feet and glares.

“Oh, relax, huh? It’s better like this.”

Turning back to the sink, he briefly considers drowning the emotional labor of the past 48 hours in dark liquor, but a silent impulse compels him to turn the bottle over inside the drain. He leaves it outpouring in the sink and quickly grabs a jacket from the counter. A mangled grey hoodie- a questionable, although surprisingly comfortable purchase. The dark hue of his armor catches his eye, and he pauses, thinking. Instead, he steps across the kitchen to scoop the rodent, lifting her as she loses grip on the precious remaining refuse.

“Let’s get out for a bit. Got something to show you.”

Safely tucked inside the front pouch, Menace lets out a pleased trill as the door shuts behind them.