AWD #085: Surreal
Summary: Knox and Maia speak, he shows her something she could never explain.
Date: 01/April/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Maia Knox 
Security Hub
The beating heart of the Marine Corps' presence aboard the Orion, the Security Hub is the main dispatch station for all security and armed response personnel aboard the ship. Staffed to the gills no matter the day or time, there are usually a half-dozen armed Marines stationed here at all times — tasked with keeping tabs on the smaller patrols roving throughout the ship. Mahogany desks line the bulkheads to port, most of which are filled by grunts doing paperwork. In a pinch, Marines use them as benches while gearing up for patrols or raids. At the rear of the room, two flags — one bearing the Colonial Phoenix, the other bearing the Marine Corps insignia — flank a single massive hatch leading aft towards the Armory. To starboard, a smaller hatch leads to the offices of the Battalion's Headquarters Company and to the detention cells beyond.
Awd #85

The SecHub is busy as usual, but the number of fights has some extra activity moving around. Knox has retrieved his sidearm and is working on some paperwork at a desk near the armory. He's already taken up his assault vest and there's a rifle leaning against the desk. Apparently he's do up for a patrol sometime soon. The majority of people giving him looks are the non-Marines coming through or those trying to get a look at him from the hallway outside the hatch.

The discussion had ended rather abruptly with Maia having her say and walking out. Once back out in the security hub, she looks around for Knox. At the moment, the Raptor pilot is unarmed cause she's wearing her off duties. Approaching the desk with a somewhat weary expression, she finally offers a nod. "Sergeant Knox. You wished to speak with me?" The set of her shoulders is stiff, her back straight, her hands clasped behind her back, her expression cautious, but there's no hate in her eyes, no mistrust.

Knox looks up at the approach of Maia and holds up a finger. "Thanks, sir. One sec." He finishes writing something onto a typed report and sticks it into his file. Standing, he zips the vest and takes up the rifle and helmet. He gestures to the hallway and starts walking. Once out there, he glances to her. "Sir, I saw what you were doing in the hallway yesterday. I've no intention of reporting anything to anyone about what I saw, though. I just wanted to ask about that, if I could?" There's some obvious concern in his voice.

Her expression turns suddenly stoic, "You don't have to report anything to anyone about it." There's a brief silence before Maia fills it again. "Ceres," she practically spits the name out, "did that already. Straight to the MP, all about me brandishing my weapon. I have a deposition to give to Lieutenant Morgan, and I have requested the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Petra when I give it. Was there anything else you would like to know?" Her words hitch at the last, letting on she's more upset than her demeanor is showing.

Coop lets off a long sigh, hanging his head. "Oh for fraks sake, Cer. Why does everything have to be difficult?" he whispers to himself. The stress is showing on his face. Do skinjobs have a breaking point? If they do, Knox might be heading that direction. "Great. Just frakking great." He slows to a stop and looks to Maia. "Sir, I don't agree with Ceres' actions. But I think she's just trying to do the right thing. She-" He swallows. "She hasn't been awake this long and she's trying to adapt to humanity and this is some of its worst conditions. She doesn't know how to react and sir, I know for a fact, she's scared shitless. She'll never admit it, she's too proud to admit it, but I can see it in her eyes. I can try and make excuses for her all day, but I know it doesn't fix anything. Fly? Fight? Die? She can do that. It took me five years to get to where I am sir. Ceres has had about six weeks." He looks down and there's more concern on his face. "Sir, I get worried when people pull guns. Its bad enough that people fight over us. But when guns come out, people die. That's a line I can't deal with. I know you didn't do it for me, but whatever reason you did it for? Tensions are too high. Humanity is already in such a bad place. It can't afford to fight itself at the last outpost of freedom, sir."

Reliving the scene in her head, hearing the threats, seeing the sneers, the jeers, then the fists flying and striking repeatedly the pilot who was doing nothing to fight back, Maia knows she would do it all over again. The anguish in her eyes is too great to be hidden so she looks away. "They could have killed her," the whisper escapes unbidden, "They would have, I think. Things were out of control, she had no one.." Her same words play in her head again and she repeats them. "Everybody needs someone. The human race doesn't work so well alone, we all gravitate to one another. How could I let them just hurt her?" Because she was bleeding, there was no doubt it hurt her. "I know it wasn't right to pull the gun. It won't happen again. I'm not going to be wearing it anymore. If I'm not in the brig after the deposition today that is."

Coop nods. "Yeah, I know, sir," he whispers. "They probably would have tried. But she has me, and she has others who are willing to stand up for her." Coop looks up from the floor to Maia. "She's my baby sister, sir. Nobody feels this hurt more than I do. All I want is to give her a chance to live and breathe and experience what its like to really smile and be her own person. Its not working out." He swallows. "Ceres and I made a pact, before we started on this course. We resolved that we would never kill a human except in defense of this fleet and that this fleet must be protected at all costs. We are failing in our own chosen mission, sir." He leans against the wall and looks back down. Leaving? Heading out? Exile? …Death? "That's all I ask, sir. Try to defuse. The worse the fights get, the worse the situation is. Eventually something is going to spill over and there will be no turning back. Either things defuse or its going to escalate. I just know that Ceres and I both feel strongly that we can't be party to violence against you all. We aren't worth your division, sir."

Suddenly feeling much older than her age, Maia presses both hands to her temples, closing her eyes. "I don't want anyone hurt. Especially the innocent and Ceres has proven she's innocent. Almost naive in some things. I can't change the minds of everyone else, but I can stand firm in my own beliefs. I believe that command should be followed so that's what I do." Dropping her hands to her sides, she looks bleakly towards the Cylon. "I'll do what I can to diffuse things from now on. No more weapons. I just.. Gods, they had murder in their eyes because they don't see her as a person. What can I do?" Waving off the sir part, she shakes her head, "Maia is fine, Kane, Centerfold, but don't keep calling me sir." There's a brief moment where she falls silent, but she fills it with another question. "What's it like? Having a sibling, I mean."

"Vocal support is enough. Let Ceres know. Be there for her. Talk to her. I can talk at her all day but she needs human interaction. Treat her like a person and I think your personal rewards will speak for themselves. You're helping someone, a soul, grow and mature." Coop still looks sad and stressed. No wonder he couldn't stick around and deal with Luc. "Don't endanger yourself.. Maia. But anything helps." The last has him look up to her and he let's off a long breath. "I.. I can show you. Its something that only one other person knows we cando, but its not vital to intel and is just one thing. When you have time to unlock the potential of your mind, I'm actually confident you could do it, too. It might be a bit shocking, but I won't hurt you." He holds his hand out to her. "If that's okay, take my hand for a moment and close your eyes."

Being there for Ceres. Maia could do that, she would too, if Ceres was agreeable. "I'll talk to her, see if she's interested." There's a slight lift to her lips at the mention of seeing a soul grow and mature. "You make her sound so young, so innocent. I can tell you have deep emotions for her." Her smile quickly disappears though when his same sad and stressed look remains. "I won't endanger myself, but I'm not going to allow anyone to hurt her. I.. can't." The request has her lifting her hand and looking at the palm of it as he speaks, the hesitance clear in her expression but there is a lingering trust and curiosity that refuses to deny the invitation to learn more. "Shocking?" Reaching out her hand, she pulls it immediately back before taking a deep breath and extending it once more, taking his hand. After a long look, she tightens her hold and trustingly closes her eyes.

"She is young, Maia. Six weeks is all she's had to try and become her own person. Innocent?" Coop shakes his head. "No. There are no more innocents. But she is trying to grow." He just watched her with the rest, infinitely patient. There's no malice or entertainment there. Coop just holds his place and waits. "Just relax," he says quietly. He closes his eyes as well. What happens next…
Maia is, in her mind, on the Obs Deck. She's looking down past hands that aren't hers to see herself in Marine trousers. The emotional distress is present, the kind of tearing pain at a heart than brings some people to tears. Inside, she can feel, is a war between stress, frustration, and selflessness. They vie for control and all she can think about is Ceres. Her sibling. The love is overpowering, the desire to hold and protect her from everything that's happening around them. The responsibility. The words that follow are not hers, but are the sound of Knox's voice, coming from her in her mind. "…When I arrived here, I woke her up, we scrubbed the mission and set her free. My last orders to her were to follow the orders of the officers appointed over her, never kill a human, and to protect the fleet at all costs. Then that was it. I put her back to sleep, then woke her up for the last time about five or six weeks ago." He stares at the floor, fighting the internal urge to just quit and roll over. To devolve into tears. "She's my baby sister. She's woken up, adapted, and has tried her best to be the person that she wants to be. She's only just started to learn to smile. To learn about happiness. This is so unfair. She hasn't had a chance and there's nothing I can do to protect her."

Slowly, after the last words, it fades away. Its not like being yanked out of a sleep, but more just that a memory fades. Coop gently releases her hand and is there looking at her with the same sad expression. "That's what its like."

When her hand closes in his, Maia wasn't exactly sure what to expect, would he show her what he was capable of or what he had done?… When the answer came, she realizes it was none of that. He was sharing himself.. who he is. And it was heart wrenching. She could feel his emotions, his despair, or that's how she was interpreting it. "Ceres," the single word a croak from a throat filled with a knot of unshed tears, choking them back. Her free hand braces against the desk, holding herself up with the sheer overpowering love she can feel from.. herself? No, no.. Knox. She was Knox. Somehow. They would never harm a human here on Orion. Gods what a gift he was giving her. The solid reassurance that they meant only good for the humans. It was almost crippling, the emotions weighing on her for Ceres, and twin teardrops escape from beneath her closed eyes leaving silver trails down her cheeks.
When he finishes talking, suddenly the weight of the burden just lifts and she feels light, free almost from the overwhelming emotions of before. "Oh Knox.." That it was real is evident in the trails of tears, she releases his hand gently and lifts her hands to wipe them away. "How do you even breathe with such a weight on you?"

"Minute to minute, sir," he says quietly, looking down. "I know what I feel. I don't know if its how you all feel emotions, but that's me." He clears his throat. "I'm sorry if that was more than you were expecting or if that hurt you. But that's who we are to each other. That's how I feel about things here. I'm spent. We don't have a lot of options left." He hands his hand from the sling on his rifle. "Dunno if its smart to tell people about that or not. Might not be. Some lunatic will probably think I programmed you or some idiocy," Coop says quietly. "Just, you know, you asked what it was like. I can't describe it. 'Love' feels right, I guess. Anyway, sorry to take up your time, si- Maia. Thanks for listening." He nods to her once and turns to go.

"If I remembered what love felt like, I would say that was the same exact thing. As it is, it's more powerful than anything I could have ever described.. thank you for sharing it with me. I'll talk to Ceres, I'll hang out with her if she'd be willing." Shoving her hands in her pockets, Maia regards him steadily. "If I can do anything," helplessly she shrugs, not sure what one single person could do. "I won't say anything about it but Knox, what you have is special and what you feel for Ceres is.. beautiful." Clearing her throat when she realizes she's waxing poetic, she looks a little uneasy, but with herself not him. "I better go see if I can get that meeting in, thanks."

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