AWD #451: Bad News
Bad News
Summary: Randy tells Knox about the bunker full of bodies that was found on Pireaus.
Date: 15/09/2016
Related Logs: Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Brace of Favours, Recruitment
Knox Randy 
Pireaus - LZ
See log body for desc…

After they left, the Raptor flew right back to the ship and discharged the crew. Kelsey went off Gods know where, but she looked shaken. Asking around about Knox, the duty board says he's right back at work. He's working the LZ at Sheridan doing air traffic control. A lazy shift. And that's where she finds him. With the weather chilly and edging towards cold, the clouds overhead keep it a little warmer by insulating the planet. Smells like snow and the peaks along the valley are steadily turning while. Knox is parked in the makeshift control tower - which gives him a view twenty feet above ground level. With plexiglass and a space heater, he's got a small DRADIS dish and a bunch of radios hooked up. He's in his duty greens with a rifle to the side. Legs kicked up, he's reading a book. The angle gives him the ability to glance to the screen and one headphone on with a boom mic, he casually works the normal flow of Raptors and shuttles up and down.

Randy tugs at the front of her bomber jacket and pulls it in closer around herself as she makes her way to the control tower. Curiously, from where he is, it's clear she's not in uniform. No big surprises though. Her typical black jeans can be seen. A minute or two later, she enters the tower, "Hey Coop…" She did take the time to talk to whoever he's reporting to today ahead of time and requested relief be standing by since finding out bad news while doing air traffic control is a recipe for disaster. She stands just inside, her hands stuffed into the pockets of her jacket.

Hearing his name, Cooper lulls his head to the side and looks over at Randy. "Hey Rand. What's the haps? C'mon inside, it's warmer in here." He pops a bookmark into the page and glances over at the display, then back. "You look cold and a little… serious. Something happen?" She isn't in uniform so it's not a recall order for an operation.

"Nah. Come walk with me. Someone's coming to relieve you. I have some news." Bad news in the military is like simple algebra. X is your damage. Solve for X. You can see it coming a mile away with a trace amount of deduction. She doesn't move, clearly waiting as he is for relief to come. She's not cracking jokes. That sparkle in her eye is hardened into something less ephemeral and more inexorable, like death, fate, or really bad indigestion. Randy has a new resting bitch face. She ducks her head out to shout to the incoming man, inquiring whether he's who they're expecting. She leaves first so they can properly deal with their business and handing off without her interference.

Knox's low smile fades. Well that's not good. "Who died?" he asks suddenly, standing. It isn't meant as a joke and it doesn't come out as one. He tugs off the earpiece and hauls on his jacket to follow her. Knox gives the replacement guy a quick rundown and then ducks out, zipping up the coat. "Randy, don't frak with me. Who is dead? Amos? Rakes? Ynyr?" he asks as he hops down the few last stairs, moving with her.

Randy's already down most of the steps by the time Knox catches up and slightly surpasses her at the end of the stairs. "It's not like that." She falls in line with him, not really walking them anywhere in particular…just around, well once they get out of the restricted area that is. Finally, she turns to lean against the side of a building, as if coming out with it. Was she working up the courage? Trying to find the words? "We found what I think was the central command bunker for the planet…or at least, one of the last ones left. One whole wing was hermetically sealed." She says the last part slowly, as if possibly realizing something grave, but she continues on. "There were bodies everywhere. Your ancestors. Your people. And you can feel them there…trapped." Randy's gaze is dull and empty, lost.

Knox walks with her, trying to keep his patience. But he recognizes when someone is getting away from ears. When she turns and leans, he looks right at her. Randy can watch the impatience melt away to something of disbelief, then anger, then stricken sorrow. The guy starts to say something and blinks hard before looking away. Very away. Arms move and he tries to shove his hands into his pockets. They miss and it leaves his hands awkwardly grasping before looking back at her. That wasn't what he was expecting. Somehow its worse, on a level he never thought he'd run into. he just stares at her, jaw shaking a few times before he clamps it down. "Bodies. My- my people. You found my people. Here." The guy is visibly upset with this. "Gods, Randy, are you frakking with me because this isn't funny." A hard swallow, "Were you there?"

Randy simply stands still as Knox cycles through his reactions. She watches, absorbs it as if it were a part of some kind of penance. One just feels /bad/ and guilty and horrible in the aftermath of this kind of exposure, regardless one's true role in it. "Why would I ever frak with you about that?" It's a sincere question and the slight raise in her voice signals the hurt before she abruptly backs off and shuts it down. "Sorry," she mutters. "Yes. I was there. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was where the call to Captain al Yamoha came from telling her there would be no relief before she died. It's just a theory. I saw their dog tags, and their insignia. I don't know if you want to watch the headcam footage Knox. You can't unsee it."

Knox is clearly distraught, if that's even the right word. The simple idea of what's being discussed has already wrung him out and it's a first for Randy, maybe everyone, to see him so raw. He's suddenly vulnerable. There's clearly no understanding about al Yamoha, but the rest he seems to follow. She's barely finished when he nods quickly. "Yes. I want to see it. Where is it?" The urgency is there. Maybe answers to questions he doesn't know to ask. He knows where he's from, but not who he is. Not when it comes down to where they all came from. Or his people.

Having great capacity for empathy has only meant pain for Randy in her life and knowing that she's not experiencing one fraction of what the other person is. No part of her wanted to see Cooper like this, to have to tell him it. Doing so makes it even more real. It leaves marks on people she's come to care for. "This was done off the books as a training op. I'm probably going to get some flak for it, but I plan to file a full report." Randy looks up at Knox and says, "The ghost Captain who looks like a Five directed Toby Shackleton to these coordinates after he asked her what they were fighting against just before they died. What did them in essentially. This place was the answer…and there's a hatch that has a keypad next to it that somehow has power. I need to go back with the proper equipment. Once I've filed my report, I'll make the footage available to you if I can."

Knox almost looks stricken as she says she doesn't have it with her. The rest of it seems like it might sort of been lost, like noise. He's never seen the soldiers, never experienced anything with them. But he can see the look in Randy's eyes. He knows what she saw wasn't easy. He tries to bite back tears, but his eyes are already glassy. "You-" Eyes close and he ceases the line of thought. A tear runs rapidly down his cheek. Left hand lifting, he shows her a palm before turning and walking slowly away. There's nothing else he can say. Coop needs to be alone. For all the machine or artificial he might be or have been, he's unmistakably human there. No idea where he's going, he just heads for the gates while he tries to process this.

Randy has said everything she could say, but nothing she should have. This broke something in her. That's what he finds. A different Randy. She simply nods silently, in mourning for her friend and his loss. She slips away from the area as quietly as she drifted in. There's no way she's working the rest of the day, but then, she knows she has a report to write. She'll stop by Charlies to refill her flask so as to keep her company during the task for the evening.

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