MD #261: Belated Birthday Present
Belated Birthday Present
Summary: Emily gets Atticus a new blade.
Date: 25/12/2017
Related Logs: None
Knox Emily Atticus 
Armory - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Behind the thickly armored hatch is the Marine Corps Armory, one of the most secure places aboard the ship. Its entrance foyer is dominated by a solid steel desk bolted into the deck, one capable of functioning as a bunkered position hardened to withstand nearly any kind of incoming munition. The desk is cordoned off from the room's storage compartments by a veritable forest of thick steel bars. And in those compartments are cases overflowing with rifles, pistols, grenades, and various other sundry dealers of doom and death. While not nearly as extensive as the armories aboard assault ships, the Armory's stores still contain more than enough ordnance to render it one of the most well-guarded rooms aboard.
12/07/2049

Knox has been running Atticus hard, and not just literally. The training tempo has been designed to beat Atticus down mentally and physically in order to push him beyond his limits. For a man his age, its grueling. Coop kept telling him that Emily could do it harder and faster, so what is Atticus' excuse? Nonstop, though since the action on Picon, Knox has let up a little with it. He's kept it a little light for Atticus with the wounds and focused heavily on classroom time. After dinner, Coop told Atticus that there was someone waiting for him in the Sec Hub and that the person had rank on him. Knox marched Atticus down there and inside.
Emily is standing at parade rest outside the guarded armory door, in her full cammies. When Coop approaches with the Recruit in tow, Knox speaks to her, "Private Benning. The request has been granted. Per our discussion earlier, you will instruct the recruit on what he is about to see and when there will be such a time that he will be able to carry it. Understood?"
"Aye Gunnery Sergeant!" she tells him quickly.
"Alright. I'll escort you in. You two will not leave my sight for one second, or you will both be recycled into the first day of Basic. Is that understood from both of you?"
Emily is quick to give a verbal affirmation, glancing then to Atticus.

Atticus had mostly been hoping that his first day out of sickbay would end with an early night, but he probably should have known better. He's tired, and pretty much everything aches still, but apparently he is not yet destined for his rack. There's a weariness to him as he arrives in the SecHub but he's clearly still curious, and that curiosity only grows when it turns out to be Emily that's waiting. The exchange between the other two turns some of that curiosity into confusion, but he doesn't ask what's up. In fact he just stays quiet until Knox asks for confirmation that he's understood the penalty for straying. "Aye Gunnery Sergeant," he confirms, much as Emily just had. He might not know what the frak this is all about, but he can at least agree to stick close to the Six.

Getting the nod from Atticus, Coop slices a hand at the armory door. "Specialist, open the armory." The MP goes about it and pulls the door open. Coop walks in first and signs everyone in. The MP in the concrete-based cage buzzes them through and Emily leads the way, Coop gesturing Atticus to follow her. Atticus might be surprised. It sure isn't like anything he has seen before. Racks and racks, going on for almost 100 meters. Rifles, machine guns, recoilless rifles, anti-tank missile systems. Palletized ammo. Body armor. There's enough munitions just in this room to take down four or five kingdoms just like the Benning's. But Emily ignores it all and walks him down to a locked cage. Within are lines of dress uniform sabers for the NCOs and Officers. There's also the swords that have been confiscated — as well as Atticus' own he was detained with. Coop moves forward to use a key to unlock the wire cage and opens it, stepping back several paces. "Private, Recruit, carry on. At ease."

Emily stops and looks back to Atticus. She gives him a quiet, low smile. "Atticus. I have made many mistakes since I came aboard this ship. Some of it has been in misleading you when we first came aboard. I betrayed your trust, and I believe and hope we have worked past it. I have had to do much soul searching and I am still working. It was wrong of me to insist you maintain your Knighthood. You may not seek anything, but you once again have my apologies. Not long after that night and discussion, I came upon a smith on Mother who I commissioned to make something for me. It has always been intent upon you. I desire nothing in exchange, only to have it help demonstrate my faith in you going forward. I will stand to your side, as you have stood by mine for many years." She takes a breath. "You may view it now. Upon graduation from basic, it will be yours to carry in battle. Understood, Recruit?"

Atticus has actually been in the armour before, under careful escort, to maintain his sword and keep the blade in shape after it had been neglected entirely while he was a prisoner. That doesn't mean he doesn't look around at the rows of equipment still though, because he very definitely does, but most of his attention is on Knox, and making sure he stays close enough. At the call to stand at ease he does so, giving Emily a quick glance to see if he can read anything from her. He doesn't interrupt her, just listens, then nods once when she asks if he understands. He's still both confused and curious, but since the answer appears to be immediately forthcoming he waits to see what she has in store for him.

Emily turns to the shelf inside and brings out a drab looking black box. Nothing special about it except that it has his full name (sans 'Sir' or anything else like rank or position) written in flowing white, painted script. She offers it over for him to open. When he does, he opens it up to see a CMC Ka-Bar fighting knife, though the tang grip has been wrapped in the same way, in a similar leather, to his own sword he has carried for so long. The black blade's serrated edge gleams in the low light, showing off the steel. The lettering was done with expert craftsmanship, in the same flowing script and grooved right into the metal. De Oppresso Liber. "To liberate the oppressed. For some units in the Colonial military it is a motto. For us, especially you, I believe it takes on a wholly different understanding. These people live and die free. We know the darkness we venture back into. This is my faith in you." A completely different sort of knighting from a royal. "To the end. We die free."

Atticus takes the box as it's offered, glancing around briefly for somewhere to set it down so he can use both hands to open it. Once that's achieved he flips the lid and eyes the knife inside for a few moments, before picking it up and testing the weight and feel as Emily explains the inscription. He nods slowly, not taking his eye off the blade as he gets used to it's feel, for that way accidents lie. Once she's finished he sets it down carefully again and turns to her. "Thank you," he starts, still sounding worn, but with a smile on his face, "it's beautiful." He seems to struggle for a few moments after that before managing, "I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say, thank you." Then, to Knox, a nod that says about the same before he turns back to Emily with, "I will do my best not to disappoint."

Emily watches with a smile, saying nothing while he looks it over. She just waits, hands clasped in front of her. When he looks over to her and speaks, she shakes her head. "You're very welcome. You will earn this. I have faith in you. I believe that you will use your blades of your own choice now, and I hope this will guide you in your decisions in the future. That is all that need be said." It must have cost her a small fortune in trade, but she still put it down for this. That's no small feat. "Go ahead and close it back up. It is yours upon completion of basic."

Coop looks on with a flat expression. When Atticus speaks to him, he dips his head. "I know. But your ass is going to earn that. When I'm done with you, you're going to know a different sort of pride, Recruit. You might feel like shit right now with everything that's been going on, but it'll pass. You've been cut up before. Keep moving forward. If you finish," Coop never speaks in expectations to Recruits, "you will know you belong to the finest people fighting. Get your shit packed up and back in that locker. I'm giving you the rest of the evening and tomorrow morning to rest. Light training begins again at twelve-hundred tomorrow."

Atticus puts the blade away and closes the box. As he moves to put it back in the locker he has an instinctive urge to check on his sword as well, but manages to suppress it to the point that he just lets his hand bruch the hilt once the knife is returned to its place. He can come back tomorrow morning and oil it if it needs. Stepping back he gives Knox a grateful luck for the time off, he still feels like he could sleep for a week, but he'll take what, sixteen hours or so? Emily gets another smile, and a nod of both gratitude and understanding as he waits for the locker to be resecured, although he does offer another, quieter, "thank you."

Emily steps back while Coop locks up the cage. She looks over to him with the quieter words and dips her head. "I understand." It's all said there. He can see on her face and hear in the words everything that could be conveyed. His appreciation as well as her returned love. She's giving a gift and behaving the only way she knows how. A bit of the stiff upper lip, but he can tell from everything how much it means to her to give something like this to him. This is a two way street. Her belief in him and the gratitude. He's seen it for more than a decade. From anyone else it would probably just be perfunctory with little meaning.
Knox locks the cage then points to the exit. "Out. Move it." He'll follow them on out as well.

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