AWD #637: Wahptor vs Wee-con
Wahptor vs Wee-con
Summary: Toby bumps into Kelsey's sprog down on Piraeus, so naturally he starts to teach her to speak Tauran.
Date: 18/3/17
Related Logs: None
Melissa Toby 
Sheridan - Piraeus
Despite the number of civilians, it is impossible to forget that this is a military mission given the surroundings. At all hours there are Marine patrols moving in and out of the area and there are tracked anti-aircraft guns at several locations inside the fenced town, guns pointed high into the sky.
With power flowing freely from the reactor, the lights illuminate the gates and main area all night and during the day if the clouds become thick. Pathways and roads lead all over the town and to various locations within. A tall sign has been erected to point in the direction of some of the sites with one arrow pointing vertical that reads,
HOME: Classified
AWD #637

The main drag between the landing zone and everything else in Sheridan is pretty much a big market for the refugees. Stalls have been set up and people are selling wares. Being that the war is still going at this point, people keep their flat expressions. They aren't on Piraeus for vacation. They are refugees. But as kids do, they tend to forget to be sad. "Thanks GG! I love you!!" is shouted from a young lady of about 6 or 7 years. She has dark hair and big expressive blue eyes that almost look green in the sunlight. She's standing at a clothing stall. There's someone there that is offering to do custom designs - either print, paint, or needlework. Trade only, it seems like the lady running the stand is doing well. But she's handing over an oversized black hoodie that has the unmistakable visage of al Yamoha from the waist up in her full battle gear, the face unsmiling, sunglasses on. The words 'See This' are written underneath. Al Yamoha seems to have another fan.

Toby needs, as he periodically does, a fresh pair of black gloves. It's a big downside of wearing them all the time, they need replacing, especially with no professional glove makers having yet found themselves resettled at Sheridan. Still, there's usually something that will suffice at the market, and so he's having a browse before starting on his solitary walk into the wilderness and up to the old mine site he found a few months ago. Recognising the voice of Kelsey's sprog he casts his eyes about until he spots her, then gives the kid a flash of a smile, "your mum know you're idolising other women?" he asks lightly, clearly teasing the youngster, "you want one of those with her on, she'd love that."

GG turns to see Toby and smiles a bit, but is busy trading with the lady who made the hoodie. The girl looks up to see Toby and hugs the hoodie to herself, twisting back and forth at the hips. There's recognition there. The mention of her mom, though? The pure joy seems to slowly drain from her face. Its like someone gave her a puppy then told her 'whoops, wrong kid'. She just slowly shakes her head. "I want one with Lilah. She's my hero. I wanna be like her when I grow up." Except living. Cuz yeah.

Toby gives Melissa a cheery grin, to hopefully indicate that he was just joking with her, then nods to the comments about The Captain. "Yeah, she's pretty cool right?" He has no idea what sort of lingo kids are using these days, so guesses blindly and hopes he doesn't sound too stupid. "Not a bad hero to have, got to admit, you've obviously got fine taste."

The trade seems more or less complete and the lady at the stall heads behind to get something else. GG glances over, having heard the exchange, and leans closer to Toby, whispering, "Don't mention her mother please. Kelsey hasn't come around in months." Which may be something of a shock. And it may also be telling as to just how badly the war has damaged this adorable kid's mom. And its clear that as things steer away from mom, the girl seems to start to brighten again. "The coolest. Nobody will ever be cooler. She saved Mattie Carmack from being eaten by a big scary animal." Sagenod. "And she sits with me some nights when I have bad dreams 'bout Picon. I wanna be brave and smart and protect kids who have bad dreams." She considers. "But I also wanna be a Doctor. And the President. I used to want to be a Wahptor pilot but.. Not anymore."

Toby does indeed look surprised, but he gives the older woman the briefest of nods to say that he agrees to her request, before turning his attention back to the kid. "You mind saying 'Hi' to her for me when you see her next," he asks, as if he's entrusting her with an almost sacred mission, "I don't get to see her as often as I'd want, she's too busy off being a hero." Or at least, that fits the narrative Melissa seems to have, so it'll work for him in this context. "A doctor and the President?" he then asks, "my my." Given what was just said to him he doesn't reply to the bit about raptors, but instead focuses on the current aspirations. "You know, I reckon someone who is brave, and smart, and protects kids who have bad dreams would be someone who'd make an excellent President."

Melissa hears the requested mission and nods quickly. "I can do that. You're Mister Shackleton, right? I met you before I thinks." She almost seems skeptical. She has very similar mannerisms to her mother, but not quite the same. There's been definite and prolonged separation between the two. Toby can probably imagine Lilah being tickled that she's on a piece of clothing. "Doctor and President. And I wanna be in Miss Lilah's Wee-con unit. They're all suuuper cool." She rolls her head back with that, the enthusiasm and grin returning. And there's a little bit of preening pride at being told her plans of colonial domination are proper. "What about you, Mister Shackleton? What do you want to be when you grow up?" A worthy question for any adult.

"I am," Toby confirms, "or you can call me Toby if you prefer, and yes, you've met me before, a while back now though." Months at least, he can't recall exactly and doesn't try too hard unless it turns out that that was the last time she saw Kelsey too. Being asked about his own wants though, that gives him pause before he offers perhaps a slightly sad smile, "me? I want to be able to live somewhere where I don't have to fight any more. I can't remember what that was like any more, but I want to make a world where there is no need for it, and everyone is.. kind." It's a remarkably candid answer by his standards, even if the end is phrased slightly to reflect her dreams.

"Okay, Mister Toby." He's going to get a 'Mister' whether he likes it or not. Deal. "I'm Melissa. GG and my teacher call me Mels. And so does Sarah, she's my friend. She's from a moon near Tauron." Its easy to see this girl takes herself seriously and isn't afraid to assert herself. Already there's differences between mother and daughter - though unsurprising. Melissa hasn't been ground down under bootheel by a hellacious war. But she listens and looks a little sad for him. "My GG says that fighting is good for the right reasons. But not all the time. She says it fways the soul." Fray. She doesn't know what the phrase means, she just repeats words sometimes. She just looks up at him and then down at her hoodie. Then back up. She holds the hoodie out and up to him. "Do you need this?" Having assigned special meaning to the clothing, it will clearly be a comfort blanket of sorts for her. "Mels, no, …Sorry, Mister Shackleton," GG starts in, trying to save a purchase that was likely expensive for them. "She's got a streak about helping people."

"Minos," Toby replies, naming the moon in question, then a thought crosses his mind and he asks quickly, "do you want to learn a few words in Tauran to say to her? To say 'hello' it's" «hello» " and 'do you like my new jumper is'" «do you like my new jumper». "I bet she'll be dead impressed." Assuming this Sarah speaks Tauran of course, but he hopes that she will, the Minoans he's met all have. As for fighting he nods once to the older lady, "she's right. Sometimes you have to, but it's nice when you don't." As the offer is made he's shaking his head gently even before the intervention occurs, "no no, thank you, but no. That's yours, and you should treasure it, it has your hero on after all, and she'll be there on it to remind you always about how cool she is, and you are."

"Minos!" Melissa is definitely impressed with Toby's apparent mind-reading abilities. She even nods her head vigorously at wanting to learn. She repeats them back a couple times, wanting to make sure its right. She even says hello to the lady at the stall who just looks too pleased at the little Pican girl excited about Tauran. But she looks up between the adults at the inability to offer the hoodie to Toby, she seems to understand. "I just thought maybe you needed someone to look out for you." Nodnod. "Sorry, Mister Toby." She then points to his gloves, "Did someone die?" Melissa knows.

Toby straightens a little as Melissa practices her new words, it might just be a few, and he doubts she'll keep them long, but the idea that even a small part of the language might not die with the planet is oddly pleasing. He skips over the bit about having someone to watch over him, he wishes he had one too, but doesn't feel up to explaining to a seven year old what it's like to be alone. "There's no need to apologise," he replies honestly, then looks down at the gloves as they're remarked upon. "Lots of people did, lots and lots. Lilah says they're starting to find their peace though, so maybe one day I won't need to wear them anymore, but not yet I think."

Melissa does seem attentive to what Toby is saying. She isn't dumb, that's for sure. Kelsey's never been super bright and it seems maybe her spawn inherited something from dad. Listening to his point about who died, she makes a sad face. "You mean on Tauron. Sarah's mom wears gloves too. She stopped. Sarah said she stopped cuz they made her mom cry all the time." Everything is simplified at her age. "Do they remind you to be sad like Sarah's mom?" Simplified, but maybe not always correct.

"They remind me why I need to fight," Toby replies, dipping his head a fraction, "they remind me what was lost, and what reckoning must be brought." Bloody vengeance, with a side order of robotic genocide if he has his way. "They can mean slightly different things to different people though. I wear mine for Tauran, others were their's for individual loved ones, there's no real wrong reason as long as you are true to yourself. Mine are getting tatty though, so I'm looking for new ones. Have you seen any while you've been at here today?"

"But Mister Toby, you said you want to go someplace where there's no more fighting." She reaches a hand out for his and looks up at him, trying to hold his hand. Or get him to hold hers as it were. Just like her mother, Melissa is worried about him. "That would make me sad. Are you angry a lot? About Tauron?" Perceptive little shit, too. "Can you be true to yourself if you don't wear your gloves?" Melissa begins tugging his hand to come with her. She's going to lead the way.

Toby glances quickly across to GG, to make sure she isn't going to object to Mels dragging him off to who knows where, but assuming she's going to indulge the kid then he will too. "I want there to be no need for me to fight," he corrects slightly, "but yes, I do get angry, and I get sad, and I remember the good times, and the bad ones." He has no good answer for the last question though and simply shrugs using the arm she isn't towing him with, "I'll let you know when I work that out for myself."

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