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Adstreia / Re: Into the Abyss [Draco!]
« Last post by Draconian on Today at 12:21:03 AM »
It was jarring.

Harlequin Kingschilde had never counted on having anyone sort of decide they were looking out for him. In the span of a few months since becoming a Pilot, since being ported to desert hell. He'd gained himself a strange ragtag family that he wasn't all that sure he wanted. Having people close meant being able to lose them. Harley played with his finger tips nervously while they walked, glanced at Grisham when he pat his shoulder.

If it were anyone else he'd have probably offered a quick blowie in a closet but... No. Grisham wasn't like that. Of course Harley had subtly tried. Pushing boundries. Trying to see if Grisham was just shy and didn't want to look like a total pig. Something. Nope. Nothing. Harley had even fallen asleep on the guy like a child and nothing.

He supposed this was what it felt like to have a dad.

Harley kept his eyes down casted while they walked. Half listening to Grisham talk about where they were going and how amazing it was. Or something. Harley stared down at his weird feet and shifted his stance wider so he could keep his balance. The arm helped and he tensed for a moment before relaxing. Right. This was Grisham.

The guy who made him a fucking nightlight of all things. Something that Harlequin would never admit to using when he slept alone - which was as infrequently as possible.

"I'm not scared of much," He said softly, voice echoing ever so slightly in the large empty room. He cast his strange eyes up and shivered at the cold - real cold! - and just stared. Eyes wide, mouth falling open ever so slightly. He pushed his hair from his face and did a small spin, looking around the room at all the stars. "Wow," He breathed. Then he paused glancing at Grisham before turning away.  "So... Why are you showing me this? 'Cause it's pretty?" He took a deep breath and frowned, "You feel pity? Do we go play catch after this? Grab a burger and talk about sports?"
2
Adstreia / Re: Even the Toughest Walls Can Fall [Lion]
« Last post by Lion on October 18, 2017, 10:29:38 PM »
Before he even had a chance to speak she was pattering on. The girl had been back in Adstreia for just a while longer than he had and already she was talking fast and still..something was off. He could feel it coming in small waves, and his eyes honed in on her posture, even as she just held that gun in a semi-relaxed position. The muscles at her shoulders were tense and there was a vein at the base of her throat that refused to abate.

Grisham knew that posture, and knew it well.  The tone of her voice let on enough, and if he wasn't an empath he could tell enough from that alone that all of her pistons were firing, making her on edge.

"Stop," he said. His voice was actually soft and he motioned her to put the gun down, and he stepped forward to pull the visor fully off her head. The simulation could wait another day. It wasn't going anywhere. This however couldn't wait. And from the look in her eyes, it was only going to get worse.

"I know you apologized. Yavul told me. And I know you're a trained Pilot, one of our nation's finest," he said and motioned her to follow him. "Let's take a walk around the jets. They're closing down for the night. Everyone's going on home, or transferring out and doing boring night work. Watching the monitors and all that. And you, you're doing a sim run. I ain't mad. I'm just worried."

Grisham pursed his lips and furrowed his brow, trying to think back to when he had a conversation not completely unsimilar to this. With his therapist, and how pissed he felt when all they wanted was to give him pills.

"Sparrow, how are you feeling?" he began, walking out into the flight bay taking her with him, just a gentle tug on her sleeve.  He was wearing his jacket over his jump suit, and the cool air that filtrated itself through the vents above them. "I haven't had a chance to really talk to you since I got back from DoSaM."
3
Adstreia / Re: Even the Toughest Walls Can Fall [Lion]
« Last post by Blink on October 18, 2017, 10:00:37 PM »
Just as Sparrow was about to melt into a full-on panic a familiar voice snapped her back to reality. In a flash, the simulation ended and Sparrow slipped off the visor, revealing that she wasn't actually in a cave but standing before Grisham with a fake gun. The rest of what had happened already seemed like an unimportant blur.

"Listen..."

She could only guess what the 'We need to talk' bit was about. She had upset his best friend and now... well now was time for her to pay the price.

"I already sent out an apology message. I know I was wrong and I know that I antagonized them. I don't know what came over me. I was just so mad and I felt like...." She stopped, swallowing the last bit down.

"It doesn't matter what I felt because I was wrong and I am a trained Pilot. I know better."

Sparrow had even terrified herself on why she did it. It was like something just took over and she couldn't control it. Just how she was terrified by what had just happened in the simulation. She knew it was social suicide if she ever let it show she was losing control like that. Pilots that couldn't control themselves were defective merchandise. She had to fall in line again... she just didn't know exactly how to do that.

"It won't happen again."
4
Adstreia / Re: Even the Toughest Walls Can Fall [Lion]
« Last post by Lion on October 18, 2017, 09:25:52 PM »
Grisham didn't have to be present at the moment that mess had exploded. In a way he was somewhat relieved he wasn't, and alternatively disappointed that he didn't have the opportunity step in when Sparrow was actively present. Something was off. Even more pointedly was a normally cheery man into someone that clearly had no patience for anyone's shit. And what was more, he didn't have to.

But that wasn't the issue at hand here.

He and Sparrow needed to have a chat because ever since she'd been back from the Wastes, there was a different air bout her. Even if she did all she could to hide it, some things just seeped through like a sponge that was overful and couldn't hold anymore no matter how hard it tried. The rivulets of emotion penetrated Grisham's psyche.

There were some things he just couldn't block out.

"She's in the Simulator," one of the grunts in the flight bay directed him. Grisham nodded in thanks and when he found his way there, he waited a moment outside the door before barging on in. This couldn't wait. Even if she was in the middle of a sim.  Maybe especially because of it.

Grisham thrust open that door and when her back touched his chest, he paused, waiting there and...then she shot him. Slipped, panicked, didn't even wait to hold her fire and those rubber tipped bullets plopped uselessly to the ground. Gah, why did she have to get that gun?  New stock and all that, but there were waaay better rifles.

"Sparrow," he murmured, rubbing at his chest where the fire was concentrated. "Take off the visor," he murmured and the sim ended as he called out and activated a switch on the far wall.  "We need to talk."
5
Adstreia / Re: Mistake After Mistake [Mara!]
« Last post by Blink on October 18, 2017, 09:09:57 PM »
The unlocking and locking click of the door seemed to calm Sparrow just a bit. She was sure now that the door was locked so that she could place her attention where it really belonged.

"Hey..." Sparrow scooted closer to Vaas while she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I'm not hiding anything I promise. Just been a little on edge since everything." Moving her free hand she pushed back some of his hair in hopes of seeing those beautiful steel eyes again. "It's all just temporary."

Sparrow truly did believe all of this was temporary. It was all just nerves she had yet to kick from the ordeal. She didn't have time for it to be anything worse. Other things were more important, like catching up on work or making sure all the jets had that damned pilot assist program removed. Maybe even doing a few extra sweeps within the dome just to be sure they didn't have any faults in the barrier. Yeah... just a few extra sweeps.

In her eyes, she wasn't lying. Maybe holding a little back but nothing more.

"Vaas..." Biting her bottom lip she edged in closer again, gently placing her lips on his cheek before sitting back. "Make me some damn food would ya?"
6
The Rest of Aedolis / Re: I'm not mad, just disappointed. [Marak, Goblin]
« Last post by nephero on October 18, 2017, 08:52:24 PM »
Looking between both of them, it was more than clear that they had gotten the message. He didn't even need to be in their heads; their body language was more than enough. These were two Pilots who had well and truly learned their lesson, and actually learned it. None of the posturing, the wounded-puppy antics, none of the 'woe is me I've been blamed for everything' that so easily crawled under his skin and set every last nerve on fire.

Thank all the Gods of luck and fortune for that one, because it meant that A) he had chosen very, very well in his recruits. They might be new, they might not yet have the experience, but their hearts were in the right place and could still be gently guided where they needed to go. And B) He did not have to absolutely lose his shit all over again for the second time in one day.

He took a deep breath, letting it out in a little sigh once they'd both said their peace, and couldn't help the twitch at the corner of his mouth for it all. His personal life might be entirely in shambles, but at least he still had the assurance he wasn't complete shit at his job. That was something he still had going for him.

"I know both of you came at this out of a good place. You came into the fight for your friend. I'm never gonna be mad at anyone for that. Nishi, you're not in trouble, okay? I ain't gonna make none of y'all do anythin' humiliatin' for this. This wasn't you roughhousin' where someone could get hurt, this wasn't you causin' damage to the reputation a' the squad. This was you fightin' on your squadmate's behalf."

Yavul tapped at the side of his glass with his left hand, the rubber-lined edges of mechanical fingers making an odd ringing noise. He still needed to get used to that. He considered the Kitsuni for a moment, took another swig of water, and continued.

"But not everythin' needs fightin'. Let this be your first lesson in where an when t' bring the hammer down, an' how hard. You're still young, an' thankfully we're livin' in a time what's more forgivin' to us. Just understand that such things ain't permanent-- nothin' ever is. You gotta consider that it might not always be forgivin' times, and I won't be around forever t' help, much as I'd like to be.

"Y'all are both good kids. I'm glad you're understandin' what I'm tryin' to say. So, let's get back to what we should be doin'. Somethin' about a spider hunt this weekend. Y'all still fixin' to go to Havanah's Candidate's party?"
7
Adstreia / Even the Toughest Walls Can Fall [Lion]
« Last post by Blink on October 18, 2017, 07:24:29 PM »
She knew she had fucked up, and not just a minor fuck up either. Sparrow had managed to not only outrage the entire Valkyries squad with a small comment but also their commander. Their commander who also happened to be a very near and dear friend to her own. She had already sent out her apology, but even she knew that wouldn't protect her from Grisham once he found out. Ever since she could remember he had been the one to reprimand her for such outbursts. Between him and Seiteki Sparrow could feel the shame stares on her back, even if they didn't know yet. They had that much of an influence over her.

Back in Candyland Sparrow having an outburst like that would have been nothing out of the normal. But that was years ago and she had been taught better than that. She knew better.

So why did she do it?

Another question Sparrow didn't have an answer to as she stepped into the simulation room. Maybe if Grisham saw she was working his wrath would be less horrifying. Doubtful, but something she hoped for nonetheless. There was a new batch of assault rifles that needed testing anyways, so why not do it now while trying to hide?

Leaving little time to worry about anything else Sparrow grabbed a sim version of the rifle and signaled for the simulation to begin. Quickly the room twisted into what looked like the inside of a cave. The sound of condensed water dripping in the distance with the musty scent of wet and aged stone filtering through. She was fine for the first few minutes, walking through the cave with the site of the rifle up. Thankfully the scope had night vision, meaning that as long as she held it up, she wasn't affected by the darkness.

"Everything's okay, everything's okay, everything's okay." Her whispers reverberating off the cavern walls as she continued pushing forwards.

With arms shaking and unsure footsteps with each stride Sparrow was clearly not herself as she advanced. It would have been almost like watching a Candidate go through a sim for the first time.

In Sparrow's mind she wasn't walking through a cave anymore, but tucked away in the small rock outcropping she lived in for almost a week. The smell was almost the same, triggering her version of reality to take over. That lizard was out there, watching her. It was flicking its tongue tasting her through the air.

"Someone will come they always come I'm not going to die out here I'm not going to let it get me. Can't let it get me. Don't fall asleep don't fall asleep. You're not tired stay away, don't close your eyes. Don't let it get you." More rambling as she tensed up. Sparrow had completely forgotten she was even in a simulation. As if she was never rescued and never brought to safety.

Then a flash across the site of the rifle. Something was ahead and so she pulled it up close but took a step back as her movements grew more frantic. Sweeping from side to side she tried to catch glimpse of it again, only scaring herself by the lack of anything coming up as she continued to back up.

Then she bumped into something....

All at once all the tension released as her finger pulled the trigger, releasing round after round of nerf bullets into the air at the emptiness in front of her. From her throat came a blood-curdling scream as she continued to let round after round go before the clip finally ran out.

"Come out you son of a bitch!"
8
The Rest of Aedolis / Re: I'm not mad, just disappointed. [Marak, Goblin]
« Last post by GoblinFae on October 18, 2017, 06:08:43 PM »
Her gaze quietly bounced between the pair as they discussed a future that all prayed would not come but still was always a possibility.  She took her commander's word to heart, reflecting on how it was true, Sparrow was her sister-in-arms. Friendly rivalry and banter was one thing but hurling barbs was bound to leave scars and grudges. That was the last thing Nishi wanted. Her days at the ATC were so close behind her still and she recalled the faces of all the people she had trained and studied with, the friends she left behind that someday might become members of other squads just like she did. It made her feel sick with regret.

She accepted the glass from him, completely unable to look him in the face as her head hung low against her chest. So far only Razican had received the brunt of the lecture but there was no doubt in the young Kitsuni's mind that hers was coming next. She had let them all down, her commander, her squad, her fiance. Nishi could only imagine what the second lecture would be like. One thing at a time though.

Her voice was soft and trembled slightly as she spoke. At the ATC, the biggest thing she had gotten in trouble for was not catching onto things fast enough. This offense was a whole different galaxy though. "No," she started, her small hands wringing the glass tightly within them. "The Commander is right. While you may know Pilot Eleria, I...I forgot my place and I got us all in trouble. And I'm so sorry," she whispered, as she fought back the urge to cry in shame. She was stronger than this. She could not just come to pieces at the first sign of reprimand. Nishi was a Valkyrie and it was high time she acted like it.
9
The Rest of Aedolis / Re: I'm not mad, just disappointed. [Marak, Goblin]
« Last post by Marakai2.0 on October 18, 2017, 05:16:19 PM »
Oh, shit. Even though Yavul's voice didn't carry a tone of anger, Razican could just feel the disappointment. After the Boss finished speaking, Raz just stood there, his fists clenched and pulled tight against his thighs.

Raz knew he had alot to learn when it came to leadership, but Yavul's words were the hammer that drove the stake home. True, he knew that this was supposed to be something he could learn from, but that didn't mean it hurt any less. But this also didn't mean that he had nothing to say.

He had a stance, an ideal, driven home both by his time in the ATC, and as a Pilot. Even further driven by his time in the Valkyries. And he would defend it.

"With all due respect, Sir...."

This already sounded like he was about to argue, and inwardly he winced - that was not the case, and he dearly hoped Yavul wouldn't see it as such.

"....I don't see just the Valkyries as my family. Each and every Pilot in Aedolis could call me 'brother,' and I wouldn't bat an eye. When push comes to shove, I'm not gonna shove back. I know who the enemy is. When the time comes, I know who I'm pointing my rifle at."

He sighed a bit, and continued. "I don't want to sound as if I disagree with you when I say this. But just know that each and every Pilot - regardless of who they are or whether or not I'm friends with them - can count on me to lay my life down for them. We're more than Squads, or even Pilot's. We're Brothers and Sisters in arms."

After this, he lowered his gaze to the floor. His point was made, but he didn't feel any less bad for saying it. "But...you know that, and it would be foolish of me to think otherwise. I just want you to know...I'm aware of what's on the line, and I know who I'm fighting for."
10
Haviah / Tricky Shopping [Draco]
« Last post by Moonie on October 18, 2017, 04:50:56 PM »
Everything was always backwards, upside down, inside out, and wrong in Sashi’s world. A normal person would be more comfortable when in their street clothes and happier when out shopping than when working, but of course she couldn’t just be a normal person. Despite the jeans, sneakers, graphic t-shirt, hoodie, and jacket all being far more layers than her scrubs, somehow Sashi felt more vulnerable and exposed wearing them.

Walking the halls of DoSaM, doing her rounds, attending to her patients, and even saving a life from a potential mortal wound were all situations where Sashi could feel calm and in control.

It was ridiculous for her to be fine in those situations and then to stand there waiting outside a furniture store feeling mildly ill from the levels of anxiety coursing through her as she watched people passing her by as they did their own shopping. There was a burning desire to just leave and go home, to hide in her apartment and forget that she was supposed to meet Cinnamon there to buy her some new furniture for her place.

The standard issue apartments given to Pilot Cardinals already had perfectly serviceable furniture in them, shopping for “more personal” replacements was pointless. She felt no need to go decorating her place to make it feel homier or any such nonsense. Sashi barely even spent time there anyway. As a doctor she picked up as many shifts as they would let her and happily spent as much time at DoSaM as humanly possible. The only time she even saw her apartment was those brief moments between coming home, hopping in the shower, and then passing out.

Those brief moments and her days off, which she hated, because spare time was just wasted time in her head.

No, if not for Cinnamon she would never have come here. Sashi wouldn’t do a lot of things if not for Cinnamon, and even she didn’t know why she did things because of him. Well she did, but also didn’t because of course everything had to be complicated in her stupid brain.

Sashi didn’t make friends. From the moment she’d become a Candidate she had thrown herself at becoming a doctor so she could help people, save lives, and be useful to Aedolis. Like a lot of people she had wanted her life to mean something and for her becoming a doctor had been the thing she’d chosen to bring meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction to her life.

That was all that had mattered at the time. It wasn’t that she hadn’t wanted friends or hated people, but growing up in poverty meant that she was constantly playing catch-up with Candidates from higher caste backgrounds. She’d had to work harder for everything. Friends could come later, once the real work to get where she wanted was done. Then her world had been completely shattered into a thousand pieces and she never wanted friends again.

Nobody could be trusted because people were fucking terrible.

Until one could be trusted, and wasn’t terrible.

Becoming friends with Cinnamon had just kind of happened. Sashi hadn’t meant to make friends with him. Hell, she hadn’t wanted to make friends with him! He sort of just wouldn’t take no for an answer on it. It wasn’t only him, either, because Grisham had done it too. She wasn’t sure how it had really happened, but somehow people were forcing their way into her life and she didn’t know if she should be annoyed or grateful.

Anxiousness, fear, doubt, and mistrust couldn’t erase the fact that she was just as much a person as any of the other Pilots. Her life was crushingly lonely sometimes, which was just another excuse for her to throw herself harder at work.

The teasing in Pilot chat didn’t help matters at all either. As frequently as she may have commented on their weirdness Sashi knew that deep down it was really her that was different. They could laugh and joke and have fun together in a way that she just couldn’t grasp. It was like peeking into a world she didn’t belong and would never have a real place in.

Hannibal wasn’t wrong about her not ever having a good time, and was probably justified in calling her an old lady on the inside.

That was part of what this shopping trip was all about, though. Sashi knew that she needed to work on her issues and hang-ups. Start slow and work her way up to being more like everyone else, being more normal if such a thing even truly existed. Despite herself, she trusted Cinnamon, and cared about him quite a lot. He was her first real friend since leaving the lower levels and becoming a Candidate. So even though she thought furniture shopping was pointless, here she stood, waiting on him with far more interest in just not being lonely for a little while than actual shopping.

Although when he told her his cousin was coming to help carry any purchases Sashi had seriously reconsidered, but had forced herself to come anyway. If it was Cinnamon’s family then he couldn’t be so bad. After all, she liked Deego well enough. Maybe she just got along with Kulshedra better than humans – wouldn’t that be rich.
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