Oaths of Allegiance
Edward found himself in the centre of a windswept plaza. With him stood his Academy classmates and other peers, all dressed in identical gunmetal grey uniforms as he was. A storm was gathering overhead, and the gales that tore into his body heralded its arrival. Storm Wind themselves were approaching, to watch and observe Edward take his oath in their presence.
He swallowed the lump that was stuck fast in his throat. One by one, the cadets were summoned to the podium, where each one would take their oaths in front of their comrades, the spirits of their ancestors and of course, Storm Wind. The latter is the patron deity of the Caldari Navy, and a considerable number of significant events are held during inclement weather.
The frigid conditions never sat right by him, but could he show weakness in front of his peers?
A commanding voice pierced through the thunderous clamour of the storm. Whatever complaint he was issuing in his mind, it was suddenly irrelevant.
“Officer Cadet Adams, come forward.”
Without much thought, Edward’s legs took him to the Commandant. Once he was in front of the Commandant, and his peers by extension, he snapped to attention and offered a crisp salute in a swift motion. The Commandant held his stare, his harsh grey eyes piercing into Edward’s.
Breathe, Edward. Breathe.
The Commandant returned the salute, dropping his hand to his side. Edward likewise dropped his in turn.
“Place your hand over your heart and repeat after me.”
He did as he was commanded, following orders without hesitation like a good State soldier. His palm flattened against his chest; fingers extended outwards. He spoke after the Commandant, enunciating every word in an articulate and clear manner.
“I, Edward Horatio, of the Line of Adams, do swear that I will be a courageous, dutiful and honourable soldier.”
The cacophony of thunder rolled down from up high, and rain began their descent from the heavens, bombarding the plaza.
“I swear true allegiance and fidelity to the Caldari people. To uphold our way of life and to preserve our identity from all threats.”
Rain coalesced on his cap’s visor, droplets falling off the edge. Nature assaulted both Edward and the Commandant, but neither would bend. This was but another test, to see if he was worthy.
“As Storm Wind and the Maker are my witness, and my ancestors are my guide, I am bound by duty until released by death. This I swear.”
This I swear.
Edward mused to himself, now overlooking the City of Rhamnus from his perch, in the Northern Colonial Commonwealth. A place where, all those years ago, he would never have imagined he would now reside, let alone be in service to.
The Federated Union of Gallente Prime.
Of course, it was not a decision he made lightly. The mere idea of permanently leaving the Caldari State would be enough to cow even some of the most stoic, unflappable Citizens. To forsake everything that one knows, severing themselves completely from their family and what defines them from birth.
And yet, here he was. He gripped the balcony’s edge as he rationalised his decisions internally.
The Federation had long since been presented to him as an entity which was unforgivably evil throughout his life. Nonetheless, Edward had been shown a completely different vision of the Federation, through his friends, through his lovers and through his experiences. It was not evil, not by design or intention of those that sought to build a better future with the Caldari as part of an interstellar family amongst the stars.
The State had long since become unworthy of being the representative of the Caldari people. It had forsaken their ancestors’ culture and way of life so that a privileged few could secure their holdings earned through treachery and deceit – founded on treason and blood, rather than the given consent of those that identified as Caldari. The few that remained, the Federal Caldari, have more claim to being the rightful representatives of the Caldari than the State ever would.
The State’s dependence on the Empire for political and economic support has made them susceptible and has unduly influenced them to adopt more and more facets of Imperial thought into State life. Given the chance, the Empire would subjugate the State and with it, enslave all those that reside there.
The State Armed Forces’ disastrous performance in the Collective Invasions of YC122 only affirms his belief that they would not withstand the Empire, should their ‘friendship’ turn sour. Only the Federation has checked their further expansion across New Eden, the incorrigible guardian of liberty and justice.
For this reason, amongst others, Edward would resolve to support the Federation and through that support, live up to the oath he took all those years ago. To protect the Caldari people, until the day that he dies his final death.
This I swear.