Rolling her eyes a bit, she says, “Of course I don’t want to be miserable.  That’s silly.  I just wish I had known my purpose in life to try and do it before giving up.  That’s why I gave up.  When you guys came to visit us, everyone was so excited to meet the double of that System Guard you mentioned from the Milky Way.  You guys looked right at me and said something like, ‘We don’t know who you’re supposed to be, but hi!’  That made me feel unimportant, but I smiled and still enjoyed the company.  It’d be careless and irresponsible to blame my actions on that, but it sure didn’t help.  I felt like an extra character, like what I did was insignificant.  The things that Allure offered me felt so good and took away my feelings of loneliness and emptiness.  I was among friends who wanted me.  In reality, I was always surrounded by that, but my eyes were blind.  I was always around people who loved me and wanted to have me around.  They didn’t love me because I was someone else.  They loved me because I was Red Fire.  They laughed at my jokes…and at my seriousness, but that’s okay.  I was a fierce warrior.  Everyone was afraid of me and Angel Rocket, but not in a bad way.  It was like, ‘Oh ho, Red and Rocket are so cool!  Don’t mess with them, or you’ll be sorry!’  But I let everyone down.  I was the leader, and I actually convinced myself that I wasn’t important.  So now, I have to deal with losing what I sold in exchange for something that claimed to give what I already had anyway.”

    Handing her the helmet once again, Owan says, “Well, you’re starting to make my job easier in the conversation, but are you actually going to act on that wisdom or continue to give in to your emotions?  You want to sit in a pity party, thinking about your past, but is that what you should do with what you just said?”

    The sight of her helmet still stings.  The pros and cons of taking it back argue in her mind until two other voices speak up.

    “Someone’s gotta’ lead us out of here, captain.  I hear the military court on Juniper is exactly our type of thing, if you’re interested.”

    “You’re still my hero, Red Fire.  I still love and respect you, even if we are stuck here forever.  I’m sure the stores on Juniper have all the stuff like I left at home.  I can just buy new things and get a house here, and you can both live with me because I remember how well you were with paying bills on your own, Red.”

    “Oh, thanks, Roko,” Red says sarcastically to this subtle insult genuinely meant to be a kindhearted offer.  Her two sweet friends insist that she is still their beloved commanding officer.

    “Okay, class,” Owan says, clapping his hands, “I believe there are two lessons here.  Number one, what have we learned about sin?”

    “Don’t do it!” Roko yells.  “It’ll get you dead.  I hate being dead.”

    “It will change you,” Red says.  “Sin will make you stupid, make you lie and make you paranoid.  It starts small, with little compromises, but won’t stop until you’re too far gone.  With a temptation like that of the physical nature, you can’t let your emotions or circumstances dictate your actions.  If I say God is good in the happy times and then something bad happens to ME, how narrowminded of me to discard everything I know about science, history, logic and so forth in saying ‘Oh, I had a bad day, that must negate everything I know about the Bible.’  Sin will steal your heart and make you cruel to those you love, whether directly or subtly.  You’ll lose your sense of caring, or at least being able to know what you should be giving those you care about.  You might neglect, bully or mislead them because your judgment is impaired by sin.  In the end, you’ll be stuck living in regret as you remember things of the past that you’ll never have back.  Even if I am revived and go back to my position as leader, that won’t change all the horrible things I’ve done.  I have to live with those scars forever.  God can forgive and heal, but it’s not worth the pain to carelessly depend on His grace to be our backup plan.  Don’t be stupid.”

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