A List With Nothing On It
718 completes its jump, with eight hours and change left of air. The jump, Felix finds, drained nearly all the Raptor's reserves, but there's still nothing on dradis. No Galactica, no Fleet, no Hoshi out of the blue, sitting in space with a copy of Searider Falcon. Just stars, and emptiness, and the hope of the Fleet just beyond dradis range. Eight says she'll send a pulse: if they're in the system, they'll come running in ten hours. That's two more than we've got.
But as luck would have it, Shark and Easy are dead, throats slashed. There are only two survivors left on Raptor 718, and one of them has killed the other four. It wasn't Felix, hands covered in blood from his attempts to revive them; she doesn't answer, just looks him in the eye. But they have enough air now to wait it out. They will live now.
Hoshi and Racetrack complete their third jump, but don't see anything. Racetrack offers another, and Hoshi agrees: Felix wouldn't give up on him, so how can he do the same? On the other hand, Hoshi wonders if there's any point at all, and when he asks if they're crazy to keep going, Racetrack's answer is reluctant but quick. They've reached the end of line. Felix would know that further searches were futile, and eventually, she says, he would give up. That's not an indictment of love, it's an acknowledgement of reality. He wouldn't be seduced by hope; he wouldn't glut himself on it. He would deal with the world as it is, even if it meant finally giving up on love, and life, and Hoshi. Hoshi agrees, and decides to pack it in and head back home. Racetrack's heart breaks for him.
Eight doesn't screw around, admitting what she did. She's calm, and right. They have enough air, now, to make it back to the Fleet. They'll hear the pulse and come running, from the other side of the solar system, and they will be saved. She stripped the pliers, thinking that Brooks would die, and when he didn't, she shot him up with the OD.
"Felix. I picked you over my own kind. Over my own model. I protected you from something you never could have done, but you were thinking all along." He swears she's lying, but he's not even sure anymore. "There is a fine line between ignorance and hope. I would have thought you'd have learned that by now." He refuses to hear it, refuses to see it; it aches sometimes but the problem doesn't exist. He rips the cabling from her palm, screaming. "Felix! You have to open your eyes. You have to see what the world is really like! You gave me the names, Felix! The rest was easy."