MD #056: Everything you wanted to be
MD #056: Everything you wanted to be
Summary: Adeliza & Renee have a long talk about why they became the people they are, what drives them & what doesn't.
Date: Sat 03/Jun/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Adeliza Palermo 
Living Complex - Piraeus
The living complex is a little more relaxed than the tempo and feeling of the Marines' section of Sheridan. The civilian population lives in this area, including the government contractors, construction workers, and CIDSR personnel. Most of these individuals have been assigned quarters in small prefabricated homes that have been roughly lain out in neighborhoods. The mess hall and Checkpoint Charlie's are both located at the edge of the civilian area and are more central to the fenced compound, as are the Pyramid Courts.
Tue 19/Dec/2028 (IC Date)

With her hands hooked into her hip pockets, Renee is taking in the evening air and heading toward the pyramid courts. The warm summer evening is made comfortable with a gentle breeze, the sound from the court carries, a game already in progress.

The breeze ruffles the short strands of Adeliza's hair across her face. Her right hand tucks some of them behind her ear, but most of them are tugged back out again to flutter around her head. She visibly perks at the sound coming from the pyramid courts, and then gives Renee a look, bouncing a little on the balls of her feet as they walk along.

"So…wanna go see if we can join the game?" Renee wonders after casting a sidelong glance at her cousin, laughing at the look on her face, the slight bounce.

There's a snort in response. "You're being funny, aren't you?" Adeliza states, more than asks, then tilts her head. "We? You play Pyramid?" There's a comic turn of disbelief in her tone, and she dodges a little to the side to stay out of range of physical retaliation.

Laughing, Renee elbows Liza and makes a face sidelong, "oh hush. I'll never be as good as you, but I love the action, the adrenaline. I at least don't trip over my own feet and fall face first into the court."

"Well, then, you're already better than Fawkes," Adeliza replies with an unrepentant grin. She gives a sigh. "It is a rush, being in the game. There's nothing else happening in all the stars and all the worlds when you're competing.

"Now, that I believe," Renee agrees. "I feel like that when I'm in combat and the LAV is responding perfectly, like it's a perfect meeting of mind and machine. Everything else fades away, just this one moment, one target at a time, one salvo after another."

A silence falls on Adeliza's side, and she shifts her gaze steadfastly towards the courts, listening to the noise. She shoves her hands deep into the pockets of her jacket, stretching it a little, her steps grounding to the pavement a little more.

Pyramid Courts - Piraeus
Pyramid courts are here for those who enjoy playing and watching the sport. Courts are separated for different games to be going on at the same time. A tiered seating area is placed on the left and right sides of the court. Lower benches are also in place around the court edge.
Tue 19/Dec/2028 (IC Date)

Stepping through the fence that edges the stands and court, Renee eyes the game in progress but asks, sidelong, "What's wrong?' in a quiet voice.

Adeliza lifts a shoulder, and her gaze becomes more calculating as she assesses the players and the game in front of them. "Nothing," she replies, giving a little cough and then clearing her throat. She gives a shout as a score is blocked at the last second, and the play goes back the other way.

"Not gonna fly," Renee counters as she studies her cousin, sidelong, shifting the sun shades down her nose to eye her over the edge. "If something is bothering you, share, maybe i can help."

Lifting her arms to rest them on top of the low wall behind the low benches at one edge of the court Adeliza lays her forearms one atop the other. She leans her chin on them as she watches the play continue. Her hair falls forward on the left side of her face. "Just… it's different. Talking about… shooting… things. Now."

"How so?" Renee wonders, resting her arms on the wall and leaning forward. The game is observed, but only periphery, her focus on Liza and their conversation.

"Since.. you know." Adeliza says helpfully. She starts to rise on her tiptoes, lifting her head to shout, but then she subsides. "The big ones always think they can just go straight through everyone, and don't need to pass."

"Since the rounds we're firing aren't training rounds, and there are real people or machines at the other end of the firing solution?" Renee wonders, offers this, in a quiet voice. "We may not be at war," and there's an unspoken 'yet' in her voice, "It's harder… and easier than expected to take lives."

"Since I know what it looks like when people blow up into little tiny pieces," Adeliza retorts, and then pushes away from the wall, scowling as she walks back towards the fence that sets the boundary on the courts.

Exhaling a quiet breath, Renee watches as Liza paces away and back, her hands once more tucking back into her pockets. She waits until liza paces back, "Which part is worse? How horrible it was to see bodies blown to bits, or how easy it can be done, or that we live in a world where this is normal?"

"All of it. None of it is 'worse' than the other," Liza tells her, but she doesn't pace back. She's headed away from the Pyramid courts, and she turns to walk backwards a few paces. "This is what you wanted all your life. This is what you urged me to join." Then she turns and pushes at the gate and bolts out.

Swearing in a quiet voice, surprised, Renee bolts after her cousin, hurrying to keep up - to catch up. "Wait! Liza wait, damn it," pouring on speed and putting the extra inches of leg length to good use.

The younger woman is only walking fast, so it doesn't take long for Renee to catch up to her. ""You have to have a backup plan," she said. "Join the military, it will be great," she said." Adeliza tosses out. ""You have an amazingly agile intellect, have you thought about military intelligence?" he said." She waves her hand through the air and kicks a pebble across the way.

"Yes, this is what I have wanted my entire life. I pushed myself, trained harder, ran faster, pushed and shoved and made sure I stood out every step of the way. It was, is, my life. Its everything I want to be," Renee admits readily, staring at Liza in confusion.

"Yes," Adeliza agrees, spinning around to face Renee. "Everything you want to be. /That's/ everything I wanted to be!" she stabs a finger towards the Pyramid Courts. "I didn't want to be picking pieces of a man much admired by … everyone, out of my face!" Her voice shakes, as does the hand she lowers to her side and curls into a fist. The little scars stand out against the red of her cheeks.

Renee's expression is briefly shocked blank at Liza's words, one hand outstretched, "I never meant. . I never wanted you to do something you didn't want. I wouldn't have suggested this if I'd known you were going to be hurt. You know that?"

"No, you never did. You never thought about what death means to people who don't grow up around it," there's a sting and a brightness to Adeliza's eyes. "And people who don't grow up around it have no idea what it is until it happens to them."

"No," Renee admits quietly as her hand lowers to her side, fingers curling. "I didn't think what it would be like for you, or anyone else. I only thought, I only think, that those of us who can stand, stand and fight, for those who can't? Those who never had a chance to do so? Those of us who can stand, must. Should. In the name of those who can't, in the name and memory of the people who have died, or will, if we don't stand for them." <re>

"Oh, that's just marvelous," Adeliza coughs out. "Just go all noble and lofty about the calling because you can handle it just fine. All those fine ideas might make you strong, but they don't do a damn bit of good when I wake up in the middle of the night." <re>

"No, its not marvelous or noble or lofty. It's about doing what needs to be done, its about shouldering the burden, and taking the nightmares that come with. And no one," Renee pauses, sighs, "no one has to take it on their own. I never asked it of you, Liza. When you have nightmares? Come find me, I usually haunt the obs deck around three am."

"I thought you're not supposed to have nightmares," Adeliza snorts. "Everyone is supposed to be all…" she waves a hand and shrugs, turning around and wrapping her arms around herself.

Renee exhales a low breath, "Would that it were so. But I have nightmares. I see the faces of the dead. Of the ones we didn't save. Of the ones we lost along the way."

"I think I would prefer those nightmares," Adeliza mutters. "I don't know that many dead." She kicks at a pebble on the ground, and then looks off. "I see you. Mom, Dad, Kieve… friends, family. And the bomber coming up and putting his arm around them… and pushing the button. It always starts out as a perfectly nice dream. We're having a picnic, we're shopping, we're somewhere fun. Then he appears out of nowhere, and he screams "tyrants!" and I see someone I love…" she can't finish the description of what she sees.

With a quiet breath, Renee eases a step closer but doesn't invade Liza's personal space, her hands still sunk into her pockets. "That's perfectly, logically, realistically normal. That's the same fear that grips us all, it also drives us. It can cripple us, or become a fire that fuels us."

"I don't need it to drive me. I need it to go away," Adeliza grits out angrily. "It's enough." She raises a hand to dash angrily across her cheek. "Just…. stop."

Exhaling again, Renee nods, "ok. I recognize that the things that fuel me, that drive me, that guide me, do not have the same effect on you. And I'm sorry, I never meant to push you into service, or put you in danger or hurt you in any way. I love you, Shrimp. If I could take this nightmare from you, I would."

Adeliza flaps her hands at Renee. "I know, I know. I'm not really blaming you," she says wearily. "I just… I don't know. I went into tactical and intelligence because, well… I mean, I can shoot at paper targets all day. I can talk about the numbers, and the positions, and I can listen to the radio during the fights. But… I don't know…" she trails off with frustration at her inability to articulate

"It's the difference between paper targets and real flesh and blood. Between training sims and puking after a real battle is over," Renee suggests, her voice gentle. "Does it help to know that you aren't alone, feeling like this? That these feelings are a healthy, human, standard response to extreme conditions?"

Adeliza tilts her head skeptically towards Renee. "I know it's human. And I know I'm really, really, human. But you, and your family, I've always thought there was, you know, something different about you guys. How you handled things. I don't know, that it didn't get to you."

For a long moment Renee stares down at the ground, expression carefully smoothed over, as neutral as she can make it and only speaks when her voice is level. "It gets to me, to us. I'll always wonder if my dad is alive somewhere, if he even remembers us, the family he had before the APF took him. Knowing that my, our, aunt died in the war, giving her life for her friends, the people she'd fought and lived beside? Knowing that she's still here, a part of us? That matters. I hate them. The APF, the machines. Every family they tear apart feels like my family. And that hatred, that rage, it fuels me, it burns inside and the word 'Wrath' is not big enough. Every APF fighter could be my dad. What if he had a second family? What if I have half brothers or sisters out there and someday I gun them down, unknowing? These people are just like us, they believe what they believe, and if we can't turn them? We have to kill them," she pulls one hand free to run her palm over her face, sighing. "We are only different because we've already given those we love to the Cause, if that's the way to put it into words; lost, like thousands of other families. And the only way to make it stop is to win. Once and for all."

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