Sterga finally asked me about her parents. I sensed she wanted to ask. She knows I was there, demanding to know why I let them be killed. I am ashamed for the part I played in their deaths.
I found out where the couple was and chose to assist the authorities in their capture. I sought a peaceful end to the standoff, but was very inexperience at my role as a savior. Not that it is an excuse for my part. Sterga was the first criminal outside of street thugs I apprehended and only due to a tip; her parents would have been my second and third. One of the novice officers fired off a shot, unintentionally. I was not prepared to react and two people died for it.
She did not speak to me for several days after nor did she come to bed. When she finally spoke to me, Sterga said she understood my feelings and did not blame me. She is still angry, but has forgiven me for my part. I have not even forgiven myself.
I have been traveling to Las Vegas more frequently in recent days. It may be time to relocate north, but I worry about leaving Sterga by herself. She approached me with an idea: we could move into a nice neighborhood with a library. There seems to be an opening she has already been hired for. The link seems to be much more than just one of giving orders. I did not realize she could sense my feelings as well. It was something I had not considered; one of my abilities is to feel emotion of those around me. Sterga’s are more powerful than normal, but I attribute that to our constant close proximity. It is instead part of our link.
Tomorrow, we move into a new home in the neighborhood suggested. Sterga having found that as well. The new place is larger than this one with an extra room for us to use as training. Yes, she has extensive training as an assassin and in self-defense, but insisted I teach more. Her swordsmanship is impressive. She also expressed interest in helping with my work. I will need to bring her along at some point, as it is my duty. I suspect she may go out on her own if I do not indulge her soon.
Since we have been in Las Vegas, Sterga decided to pursue a degree. I am very pleased by this progress, although her choice is an odd one. She studies the immune system and plans to get a degree in nanoengineering. I knew she was highly intelligent, but with how quickly she advanced through the material, she will have a bachelor’s in less than a year. Absolutely amazing. Sterga never ceases to surprise me.
We have been going on patrols and providing the authorities aid together. It has gone very well as Sterga is an excellent partner. Something new to this link developed yesterday. We were grossly outnumbered by thugs. Somehow, Sterga was able to use my divine flame on her sword. Unfortunately, the sword was destroyed and her hand badly damaged. I insisted she stay home to recover for a few days. We argued about it until I convinced her she would be helping no one at sub-optimal performance.
I had to respond to an emergency call today on my own. While I was gone, Sterga had a nightmare, an exceptionally horrific one. She was passes out from binge drinking by the time I returned. This is what I feared. I know I will need to let her be on her own at some point, but I was hoping it would be after she became strong enough to avoid this scenario.
These weeks have been trying. Sterga continues to drink heavily, so much so that she cannot help with my work and is slipping in her studies. She was arrested twice for making a fool of herself in public. The judge ordered her to go through AA classes or go to jail for a year. Thankfully, Sterga has chosen the classes. I know she struggles with her alcoholism and does desire to recover. We will see how the classes help. Perhaps she will be able to continue as normal before reaching the bottom.
The classes, with my support, have helped turn Sterga around. She has not completely stopped drinking, but it is far less than before. We have decided not to work together for now, as not to be overwhelming. She has returned to University, easily catching up and excelling once more. Sterga is taking advantage of the free time not patrolling gives her, burring herself in research instead of bottles.
For some reason, Sterga wishes to pursue a career as a bouncer at one of the nightclubs. Her idea is to confront her alcoholism by surrounding herself with drink and resisting, it will help her recovery. I managed to convince her that it was too early in treatment for her to risk relapse. I’m sure we will revisit this issue in a few weeks.
Our training at home has continued. We are exploring the limits of this link. It seems Sterga can borrow my powers to enhance her own abilities. Using my flame is not without consequence. She injures herself when using it. Her left hand and arm had severe burns. They are healing well, but it leaves her unable to write. She is relearning to use her off-hand in case such a problem occurs again.
Sterga went ahead and sought work as a nightclub door guard. She hadn’t bothered to inform me of her decision, waiting until I was patrolling. Why must she be so stubborn? The extra income will be welcome, I suppose. My duties are needed less and less as another hero has started work here. With the added nights free, I can stay home with Sterga.
I have been thinking of relocating to Millennium City where heroes are needed far more. Many terrible attacks have occurred since its rebuilding and gangs have set up within the walls. The opportunity to expand my skills by training with others also has appeal. I have not brought this up with Sterga yet.
At the very least, I will wait for her to finish obtaining her bachelor’s in immunology and pharmacology, which should be shortly. “Sin City” is not a fitting place for her to recover. Sterga has not gotten into much trouble, but has two arrests. It hasn’t been a year since our move!
Before making a decision, we should visit the city. Sterga has next weekend off, so is a perfect time for a vacation. I’m sure she’ll figure my intention out even if I don’t share.