Here there be monsters

Maybe the old man was right after all. Damn!
I did not believe him at first, no one did.

I was doing my regular run through New Edens
web of wormhole systems. It was a day like most others.
Empty systems, with little evidence of activity.
This was until I entered the system with designation J161138.

Ancient relics, temples, databanks.
A whole system full of riches, all mine for the taking.
Over a dozen, and no protector in sight.
My probes were running hot as I uncovered them all.
“Here I am”, I thought: “From being a petty thief in the
dark streets of Caldaris decadent corporate overlords,
to Arwen Estalia, finder of fortune”.
I entered the first site, blitzing through it.
The weeklong training surely paid of. Then another one.

But for a system this rich it was quite. Too quite.
Space felt like an all enclosing giant lake,
with a unknown horror lurking deep down beneath its surface.
■■■■, I’m starting to talk like the stupid old man.
Maybe that’s what all his metaphors are about.
The ever dawning planet hiding the view on the star beyond -
the promised paradiso.
And if this system is my paradise, then for me the planet would
be the great horror in the lake of Space.

“■■■■, I’m idleing. I hacked this can two minutes ago.
I have to move on”, I thought to myself.
I fired up my scanner. And as if my daydream was foreshadowing,
there were eight combat probes, all within 1 AU of my ship.
There it was… my monster. The thing that lurked.
Showing me its eight ugly, razorsharp teeth as it emerges from the water,
readying to crush my hull.

I froze for a moment. As if my mind already accepted the loss.
But then I thought about the cold nights again, and the riches
in my corgohold.
“No, ■■■■ the old man. He knows nothing about me. Let his weird theories
go to hell. I choose to live the good life. I earned it”.
And that is what I did. I ran away like the petty thief I used to be,
with my pockets filled with a meager amount of valuables.
I warped to the wormhole I came through,
turned around one last time and felt the monster vanishing
in the waters again.

I escaped, but for some reason I wasn’t as happy as I should be.
Maybe it was because of all the sites I had to leave behind,
but maybe it was about my decision after all.