“sometimes i feel like… like i got shoved into some alternate reality, all of a sudden, as of labor day 2313. and that it’s not fair for me to complain about it, because it wasn’t me that got abducted and it wasn’t my empty casket that was lowered into the ground. but, y’know, the least people could do would be treat me like an adult, if i’m going to be doing the work adults refuse to.”
“You’re right, Pidge. … I’m sorry.”
“i just… i feel like there were so many opportunities for people to do the right thing, and i wouldn’t even be here. like… like they send the mission to europa instead of kerberos. no kidnapping. everyone comes home safe. or you go to kerberos, and the empire sees you, and they don’t do anything about it. or maybe, if the empire took all three of you, they would have let you go after interrogation in the main fleet. or even if you got kidnapped, the garrison didn’t sit on that information, they either got a team of actually trained pilots to go out and investigate or they told earth about aliens. or, even if they sat on the news for three months and didn’t release a statement for that long, they still told the truth, or maybe even a white lie, say they don’t know what happened but you’re not dead, just missing, and they’ll take care of it. or when they find out how persistent i am about getting answers, they do something about it, if only for me and mom.
“or maybe, instead of kicking keith out as a disciplinary issue the second he turned eighteen, they kept him there, and the energy still led him to blue, only this time they find her faster, way before may, and blue picks someone like—like adam to be her paladin, instead of lance, who was still a minor when we left for space. or they realize that having a transfer communications student come on board right after they expel their most gifted pilot ever is a coincidence too large to be ignored, and i get expelled and courtmartialed so that i never end up researching alien radio chatter from the roof. or, who knows, maybe someone could have gotten their head out of their rear for long enough to realize matt’s clone was walking around and give me a sideways glance and boot me gently. we failed that sim so many times—each of those was an opportunity to tell us no, you need more training, you need more time, you’re not ready.
“even when we went to arus, you could have said something. allura could have done something. if the lions really are cued into her life force, she could have talked them out of letting lance and i pilot them until we were old enough. we had seven people, five adults, for five lions. but no. nobody did anything, about any of it. instead, we have this swiss cheese situation where all the holes line up perfectly, and no one who had a chance to change anything ever lifted a finger, and i’m listening in from a military property on the right radio signal on the right night to catch your pod when it comes crashing down to earth, and i end up in a castle where a princess that has no authority over me tells me that some ten thousand year old kitty has already chosen a child to pilot her.”
Sniff. Pidge scrubs the end of her sweatshirt sleeve across her face. “it’s fucked up. it’s so fucked up. why didn’t anyone stand up for me? why didn’t anyone try to do the right thing? is it my fault for being too stubborn? i just feel like there’s some way i could have avoided this…”