AWD #559: Permission To Speak Freely
Permission To Speak Freely
Summary: Angelis comes to talk to Amos again. The conversation is not easy.
Date: 01/01/2017
Related Logs: I Must Respectfully Decline
Angelis Amos 
Battalion HQ - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The headquarters room is the primary command location for all Marines associated with the battlestar or accompanying fleet ships. The walls and desks are covered with maps, photos, and satellite imagery - as well as clocks indicating the current time in each colonial capital city. Secure phones are bolted to each bulkhead, and for added insurance, each desk possesses its own encrypted wireless unit with its own independent wiring. The small room is always manned by a wireless operator and a duty sergeant, at a minimum, though it tends to be a hive of activity during duty hours.
AWD #559

So after a lot of procrastination and an excessive amount of time spent in the gym, including a rather punishing sparring session with a certain MP, it's a somewhat battered looking Lance that limps into the Battalion HQ. She's finally got her hair back in braids, and her knuckles free of bandages. But there's a bruise blossoming blue along the underside of her jaw, and she's got a distinct limp going on. She stops just inside and pulls herself to attention, waiting on the Major to recognise her presence. Her fingers flex, pulling on healing knuckles, but that's the only sign of movement.

Amos has been back from Libran for long enough to spend a few hours in medical and then be released back to his bunk. Or, in this case, his office, although he's only planning on stopping long enough to check nothing has gone horribly wrong in the time he's been gone. Resisting the urge to grab a coffee he is instead sipping from a glass of water as he scans the reports that seem to have accumulated in the short time he was gone. Once the presence of Angelis is noted he glances in her direction briefly, then silently beckons her over.

Angelis limps forward, having missed the mission because of being injured in sparring the day before. Her fingers keep flexing, pressing hard against the injured leg, as she comes to a stop at the Major's desk. She stares at him silently for a minute, her expression carefully nuetral. "Permission to speak freely, sir?" She asks, voice low as she fixes her eyes at some point beyond his shoulder.

Amos stares back, apparently having no particular inclination to talk, or perhaps just not to talk first. Once she speaks though, it's perhaps becomes clearer as he rumbles back in a gravelly tone that suggests talking isn't all that easy at the moment, "granted."

Angelis nods once and shifts slightly from one foot to the other. Then she takes a breath, knuckles pressing hard against her bruised thigh. A low hiss of pain between her teeth. "I turned my pins back to you because I don't feel like I earned them. I've never asked for anything that I haven't actually earned and I don't believe in accepting anything that I haven't fought for. It's like claiming a kill as your own when all you did was shoot it after someone else did all the tracking. It's easy to kill something when it's in plain sight." She wrinkles her nose, a small sign of emotion before it smooths out. "Anyway. I know you don't think much of me. And why should you? I'm just cannon fodder. But whatever, I've been convinced that I should come and ask you if you'd be willing to reconsider that promotion. And I'm not just asking because I got asked to. I'm asking because I know I'm a better soldier than Anderson and I know I'm a better leader than him, even if you don't see it." Tabi really is speaking freely, literally. She's blunt and to the point but still doesn't look directly at the Major.

While there's a lot in that that Amos could reply to, give the state of his throat and lungs he has to keep things brief. "No marine," he starts, then drops a couple of small words, "just cannon fodder." That much hurts, so he takes another sip of water and just about manages not to cough. He listens to the rest impassively, he did give permission to speak freely after all, and isn't about to recind that on a whim. Once she's done though, he takes a little more water onboard before attempting a scratchy reply, "you think you deserve those pips," he starts, not as a question but a statement, "prove it to me." A cough, although not a bad one, it briefly crosses his mind that he might be able to get more neuence across if he wrote his answer down, but that seems like the wrong tone. "If you refused straight off, then thought, perhaps. But you thought for several days, then refused. Need leaders who step up, not down. He stepped up. Prove I can trust your judgement, commitment, you get pips. Not before."

There's a long silence from Angelis. Then her eyes snap to focus directly on the Major. "Well then, Major. Perhaps you ought to be around to see me perform before you make judgements like that. Because I /am/ a better soldier than Anderson. Just because I'm not up your frakking ass like he is doesn't mean that I'm not worthy of them. The fact that it took me a couple of days to decide, maybe you should ask /why/ it took me a few days to decide. Because when you handed those pins to me on the Raptor, I was heading planet side to find the Lieutenant to go try find the pilot. Then the next day was spent preparing for that. I gave my pins back to you, the following day when I gave you my report. So before deciding whether I'm good enough based off of a singular instance, maybe you should bother to ask." Despite her hard eyes, the Lance keeps her tone completely nuetral. She's not yelling or throwing a tantrum, she's pissed, yes. But managing to keep her voice low and even. She doesn't even flinch knowing the potential backlash from her words.

"Can I suggest," Amos starts, his voice rough but he's not reaching for water just yet, "that implying I am biased won't help your cause." He's struggling, that much is clear, but there's clearly more he wants to say. "I know you have the technical skills," cough, "or would not have given you pips. Need more though, beyond Lance. Not about better than Anderson or not. He's irrelevant to your promotion. You need to prove to me that you are ready, and you failed in that. Nothing to do with him, just you. You want those pips back? Go away, think about what the Corp needs in it's NCOs, and show me you can do that. That is all there is to it."

Angelis stares at Amos. Stares at him long and hard, blood draining from her face, fingers flexing again, open and closed, open and closed, her jaw setting itself to a stubborn tilt. Finally, she takes a careful breath, holding it and releasing it slowly. "No." She says finally. "I didn't fail. I don't make decisions lightly, and I had far more important things on my mind." She says finally, still keeping her voice low and calm, "Which you would know if you actually bothered to learn anything about the people under you. But you obviously don't, and so because of your complete lack of interest in who I am as a person, I will probably be a Lance forever and /you/ will never know what kind of NCO I /could/ be. I'm not a rank chaser, Sir. Never have been, never will be." And then, that said, Tabi doesn't even bother waiting for a dismissal. She just turns around and does her best impression of stalking away, despite the limp.

"Lance Corporal," Amos replies sharply as she turns, "I did not give you permission to leave." He waits to see if she stops or not, then continues, "you failed yourself, and you need to see that. You did not make the decision lightly, yet here you are only scant days later. Think on that. Think on the attitude you displayed in here. It is not my job to get to know you, I have a war to fight. I have hundreds, no, thousands of marines I am responsible for, not just you. Think on that too. I gave you a chance to show me what you are capable of and you turned it down. Now you try and blame your own mistake on me. Consider yourself lucky you are not walking out of here with Private's pips Lance, because right now that is the level of maturity you are showing. When you can see that, and can mend your attitude, then come back, but not before then. Dismissed."

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