Saturday, May 5, 2012

Making Sense of Things

"Hey, Harriet!" Rhia called out to the leader as she walked by in the hall.

"Yeah?" She stopped, and fixed Rhia with a rather hurried look.

"Where's Adrian? Tyler's gone and gotten himself stuck in another booby trap and can't get himself out."

"Oh!" Harriet smiled. "Adrian's on a mission right now after a Sue. We have a video feed to the battle; I was heading on my way down to watch. Want to come?"

"Sure!" Rhia brightened. "So how long are Adrian's battles usually?"

"Oh, depends on the Sue. This one doesn't seem all that strong from what our machines have told us, so this one should be quick."

The control room was somewhat crowded. It seemed that news of Adrian's battle had gotten around. It was a condition that Tash had given Adrian after he had come back from a battle almost dead. It was there in case that he needed backup and was too stubborn to ask for it. Of course, Tash was the one who decided if he needed backup.

Speaking of, Tash had a front row seat to the monitor and was keeping a stern eye to it. Others crowded around in her other various seats or just stood. Excitement was strong in the room and Rhia felt it as soon as she passed the doorway.

"Oh, you're just in time, Adrian's about to take the Sue down!"

Adrian stared the Sue down, his trench coat flapping slightly in the wind. It was easy to tell that the two were unevenly matched; the Sue didn't know what she was getting into.

"I'm giving you one last chance, surrender now or die."

The Sue scoffed. "You think you can take me down? Please, you probably can't even-!" The Sue never got to finish her sentence. One moment Adrian was front of her, the next, he was behind her and there were small, bright red lines appearing all over her body. She twitched, and fell apart. The Sue, being a completely fictional character with such a small written base to support her, dissolved into dust soon after.

Back in the control room, Rhia was shocked at this display of power. She knew Adrian was ruthless when it came to defeating the enemy, but seeing it was a whole different thing. She could hear cheering in the background, but it wasn't as loud as it could have been to Rhia's ears. Everything was on a lower volume. She turned around and made straight for the door. No one stopped her.

The day passed quickly enough, and Adrian's mission faded from the forethoughts of Rhia's mind. But then agents started heading to bed, and Rhia found herself unusually restless. She shrugged it off and went to bed, changing into an oversized t-shirt and sweatpants.

Sleep would not come. Thoughts of Adrian's battle kept coming to mind. The Sue was alive, gloating, and there. Sentient and living and then, just, wasn't. It turned Rhia's stomach and kept her from getting comfortable. She tried turning on her other side, but that didn't work. Flopping on her front didn't either. After two hours of this, she decided to get up and get a cup of hot chocolate.

(Why can't I sleep? It just doesn't make sense the Sue had to go but…)

Rhia found herself pacing in the kitchen, her thoughts running in circles like a dog chasing its tail.

(Sues die if they don't surrender no ifs ands or buts but this one was alive they're all alive and it doesn't make sense why would they be like this if they were alive?)

Shaking her head to get rid of the thoughts didn't help. And the churning feeling in her stomach just got worse. The hot chocolate did nothing to put her to sleep.

(It's just a sue why do I feel like this I shouldn't she had to go she didn't surrender and she was alive!)

The door to the kitchen was whipped open as Rhia stormed out. She didn't know where she was going; all she wanted was to go somewhere. Her feet led to a door that she hadn't seen too often.

(This is Cristoph's room how'd did I get here of all places I thought I was headed the other direction!)

With a few moments thought she decided to see if Cristoph would talk to her for a bit, if only to distract her.

She shuffled her feet in front of the door to his room, but wasn't afraid to wake him up. He didn't sleep much, after all.

She went to reach for the door to knock but found it retreating from her; she looked up, Cristoph was there, an eyebrow quirked up, much like Spock would do. "Is there something wrong, Lady Rhia?"

(Wait, what? I, I didn't make a sound—how'd he know?)

She opened her mouth, thought about it for a second. She was losing her nerve and knew it. "Ah. (Yes, yes there is and I'm not quite sure what to do about it.) No. Sorry for bothering you." She took a step to continue down the hallway.

"You can come in, if you want."

Her grip tightened on to her cup of halfway finished hot chocolate. She followed him into his room and immediately noticed the smoky smell. (Incense, maybe…candles?) Algazdun peeked at her from behind one wing, and then went back to sleep. Either the eagle didn't consider her a threat, or he just didn't care. The former was most likely.

There was a rope hanging from the ceiling on one side of the room, with a small loop at the end of it. Cristoph had been meditating. (It's still swinging. He got off it quickly.) A small cot sat in the opposing corner. It looked very untouched.

Cristoph himself didn't turn to look at Rhia until he had positioned himself on his meditation spot. Crossed legs in an Indian style, hands on his knees, he looked up at Rhia.

(Oh, no. Now what do I say he's looking at me so expectantly and I just kinda walked here I didn't know where I was going and I wish he would stop staring at me.)

Hot chocolate had never looked so interesting before. "…What did you do when you first realized the Sues would have to die if they wouldn't surrender?"Her voice was quiet, like it always was when her emotions were confusing the heck out of her.

(Died? They never even lived, what do you mean died all she did was go poof into dust and it isn't fair she was alive!)

"I dealt with it." Again, Cristoph proved himself to be very much like Spock, his words bland and void of emotion. "You?"

"I'm not quite sure yet."

(They have to die. Sentient and feeling and happy and they have to die?)

Cristoph nodded and closed his eyes; seemingly to meditate, leaving Rhia quite bewildered as to what to do. She could leave, as Cristoph's actions felt like a dismissal. Or, she could actually say some of the words that were bursting to get out of her head. But standing there looking into her now cold hot chocolate worked really well as a third choice.

"The Sues are alive."


"And they don't even get to truly live."

Cristoph didn't respond to this, but they both knew the answer.

"I don't get it."

(How could she just go poof into nothingness there was something there!)

Cristoph gestured to the part of the floor next to him. Rhia sat down and realized that her chocolate was sloshing out of her cup from her shaking hand. She put it down in front of her and watched as the liquid inside stilled. "She was alive, and sentient and happy and a person and she just went poof! Into dust! How could she just go poof, Cristoph?"

"They weren't meant to exist, Lady Rhia."

She shook her head. "I know, but it just doesn't feel right."

(What do I do about this sick feeling in my stomach how do I get it to go away?)

In a surprising display of affection, Cristoph reached over and wrapped his arms around Rhia. She leaned into the hug, needing the warmth after the emotional chill that had fallen around her shoulders.

"We all get that feeling, Lady Rhia. It reminds us we're human."

Rhia blinked. "Hey, your arms are shaking." They were. It was just a small tremor, but enough to notice that something wasn't right.

"This… the soul remembers, even if the mind doesn't."

They stayed that way for a while, until Rhia fell asleep. Cristoph wasn't surprised. He thought about taking her back to her room, but decided against it. It was easier to lay her down on the futon he never used.

He also thought about going back to his meditation. He shook his head and got out the journal he had received on Christmas instead.

"Any specific memories I may have are still blocked. Meditation does not help to recall them objectively. It is frustrating. The memories are there; behind such a solid wall that I cannot break through no matter what I try.

Something happened today that I did not expect. Rhia is very open with her emotions, and realized that sometimes the Sues will die when push comes to shove. This disturbed her enough to keep her from sleep, and for some reason came to me. I do not know why, I am no expert when it comes to emotions. She could not understand how something as alive and vibrant as a Sue, no matter how evil would rather death over life. There one moment and not the next. And, perhaps, I have not comes to terms with it as much as I thought. I could tell she was shaking from the hot chocolate in her cup, and she could tell I was shaking when I wrapped my arms around her. I do not even know why I did that or why my arms were shaking.

She is just a teammate and friend. But she was confused, and came to me of all people. For all intents and purposes, she should avoid me like the plague. I do not know what I did to earn such trust. Who knows what I did before I came to the Society? Was I a thief, a murderer, a fighter, a warrior? All I really know are the skills I have and my name.

She fell asleep next to me. I moved her to the futon as soon as I was sure she wouldn't wake up. I'm not going to use it anytime soon. It is amusing how she can fall asleep anywhere."

Cristoph looked up from his journal to check on Rhia. She had turned over and had one arm reaching over her head. Her mouth was open and small snores were coming out of it.

"It seems that Lady Rhia is also a very active dreamer. How can one person move in place so much and not wake up? Then again, Lady Rhia has not been known for sitting still. She dances when she cooks, fidgets when she's drawing, and taps her foot when she's writing. She'll even fiddle with her hair; grabbing small chunks of it and braiding it if there's nothing else in reach. In fact, why do I notice her so much? It is odd. I've even found myself humming songs that she will play in her kitchen every now and then. It doesn't make sense.

Then again, this is the Society. Very little makes sense here."

Cristoph shook his head ruefully and closed the journal. He walked up to a specific area of his room and knocked on something wood and got a hidden panel to open. He placed the journal inside and closed it again.

"Did you think I would tell you exactly where I put my journal?" he said, a small smirk on his face.

The fourth wall rumbled.

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