2019-11-27: Give Him Another Chance

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  • Log: Give Him Another Chance
  • Cast: Loren Voss, Lydia Seren
  • Where: Assyria Base
  • Date: November 27, 2019
  • Summary: Loren returns Ivan's knife to Lydia. This results in no misunderstandings or panic whatsoever.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    In the end it was on his return to Assyria base that Loren was reminded of something.

    Retrieving it from where he'd left it -- sealed inside a plastic bag and left with the other things he'd discarded between then and his most recent orders -- he had taken the time to clean it off, first.

    Before setting off like a man possessed, in search of the one he needed to see.

    It wasn't as if it were difficult to ask around about her, in the end.

    There are two Lambs on base that haven't been fully conditioned -- though the difference may only be by technicalities in her sense -- and one of them...

    ...stands out, perhaps.

    "There you are," he says, once he finds Lydia. "I'd begun to wonder if you had wandered off again. Does your minder know--"

    He stops, and shakes his head. Of course her minder has to know. "...Tch. Forget it."

    He's not going to say he understands what the top brass is up to. But he's also not going to go ask stupid career-ending questions.

    It's then that he takes a step towards her.

    "Do you know a young man who goes by 'Ivan'?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia was recalled back to Assyria Base to meet back up with Rachiel Medry, her official handler who was put in charge of her because of 'issues' with her 'temperment'. Lydia also has no idea about the other non-fully conditioned Lamb otherwise she'd be spazzing out more.

Instead, Lydia is in the local gym doing pushups which might be seen as strange since ...they do nothing for her body but perhaps it's a custom she's used to from earlier than that particular realization. She is pushing herself back up to her feet when Loren arrives.

"Rachiel? She just got transferred and we're meeting up soon."

She pauses a bit and then seems to remember--she stiffens a bit and says, "Captain." She grimaces because even she can tell that if she was going to be a disciplined soldier here she should've said Captain first before saying all that but it's honestly hard to get all professional with Loren when he's appraoching her like this! It doesn't get her in the mood! She's new to this, he should help her out!

"Ivan?" She asks, eyes widening. And then she frowns very deeply. "Oh geeze... he caused trouble didn't he? I told him not to."

She pauses and then adds, "Uh, that is to say...yes Captain. I know an Ivan. Yep. Yes sir."

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He stands there for a moment, regarding her curiously as she finishes up... pushups. He wonders, unkindly, if she's aware that they're not going to do anything for her.
    Not anymore, anyway. His gaze darkens, growing a touch distant.

    "...Oh." He's silent for a long moment.

    "So she's here," he finishes at length, on the topic of Rachiel. Maybe...

    ...it's better they don't cross paths. After all, it's because of him that her brother is... He looks away, gritting his teeth.

    'Captain', she says and that brings him back around to the present proper; here he pauses as it dawns on him -- again -- that this is his official title now.

    Was that a part of her... no, not even indocrination, honestly. But he doesn't even know what was done to her.
    He'd be a liar if he said it didn't make his skin crawl. Thinking about it. Thinking about her. Thinking about a familiar face, addressing him like...

    But he shakes his head, more to shake those thoughts off than anything else. The Major had said, back then--
    And he's one of the elect. This is her lot in life. ...That's all.

    "You told him not to cause trouble, did you?" He just pulls a face that's at least as much world-weary as it is disgusted. "Hmph. Looks like he didn't listen."

    This is the point when he brandishes the throwing knife Lan had helped him extract from his chest. He holds it out towards her and watches her face, searching for that moment of recognition.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia misinterprets what Loren means by 'Rachiel being here', figuring it was more a missed memo than secret backstory. Not asking important questions because you don't have any reason to ask them is also pretty Xenogears. Regardless, Lydia has been concerned about Loren's well being since their last meeting. It's not even that she particularly likes him, but the guy feels preoccupied in a worrisome kind of way. She does not have her 'mother's' empathic ability or anything so she can only really get the vaguest sense that something is up.

Well, she supposes if Ivan caused trouble and she was some hot shot army captain she'd be preoccupied too.

"Well there isn't a second Ivan I can turn on to make him do what I want, not that I...." She sees the knife. "....would."

Her eyes widen. She connects some dots. Ivan must have ambushed Loren. Or someone... And--

"What...what did he do? What happened to him?" She asks. Loren can see panic rising in her eyes. Fear. Uncertainty. She can imagine scenarios where Loren would present her with Ivan's knife and none of them are pleasant. Fact is, she was barely able to ask because she knows Ivan rather well right now and Ivan biting off more than he can chew and paying the ultimate price is definitely an ending she can think up.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "He tried to kill me, of course," Loren responds, brow beetling as he notes panic rather than recognition.

    "If it weren't for... outside intrusion," and the fact that he didn't want to have someone bail him out of jail (particularly not on Filgaia), "I would have returned the favor."

    He pauses, considers the knife in his hands, and then rationalizes that technically, she's got a lot worse on her if she were actually capable of doing damage to him or anyone else and hands it over to her, handle first.

    "But unfortunately for me, he got away. So, no, as far as I'm aware, he's still among the living and breathing. Of course, if he keeps up with challenging Gebler officers..."

    He shakes his head, as if to underline that point.

    "...He won't remain there for long. Listen, you. Seren." He settles, it seems, on a name to call her at last. "Whatever you're doing with other Lambs isn't my business and it's your minder's problem if they're letting that happen. But if you want to see that boy die, you'll let him keep trying to play hero."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia stares at Loren. And then she slowly takes the knife. She does not stab Loren with the knife, in fact she seems more dumbfounded than angry.

See, when Loren showed her Ivan's knife she KIND OF ASSUMED he might've been killed. And that is why she is showing PANIC. Because she doesn't want Ivan to DIE. Especially not because of his stupid ambushing of Gebler agents! Agents who, notably, had nothing to do with her 'kidnapping' in the first place!

"You...really have to work on your people skills, Captain."

She shakes her head. "Like I said, I told him not to. I'm not 'letting' him do anything--" She pauses, eyes widening as she realizes that by Loren's perspective, Ivan is her lamb or something like that. Her cheeks silver fiercely, embarrassment easily overpowering any irritation she might have had. "Oh I see what you mean. I'll talk to him again but I'm not gonna lie to you and say I can stop him if he's really determiend. But I'll do my best to discourage him. If he doesn't listen and is killed..." Lydia sighs. "...Well, I don't like killing people so I don't know what I'd do. I guess OS will figure it out."

Her hand grips the knife handle tightly. "Anyway, it's not your fault so he shouldn't be bothering you about it. What does he expect you to do about it?"

Her hand pulls in Ivan's knife into her body. Loren can still see the bulge in her arm, though, so she doesn't seem to be disincorporating it so much as just letting it sit there instead of, like, in a pocket. "Thanks for bringing it to me."


"What's my problem?" Rachiel asks from juuuust off screen as she approaches Lydia and Loren, pushing up slightly dislodged glasses and faintly out of breath. "Oh, Captain," She snaps a salute, infinitely more expertly than Lydia ever will. "Sorry for interrupting, sir. Lydie and I had some training to do."

Lydie gives Rachiel the most deadpan expression available as if she's willing herself to die on the spot.

"Oh you wouldn't believe what happened! The major helped with my briefing. You remember Leah, don't you?"

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He, in his infinite wisdom, had only thought to bully her about the attempt a bit, and had not in fact thought about how it would look.

    Should he have? She's just a... a project.
    Why is he even thinking about this, anyway? Why does he care?

    He glances away, as if something else were on his mind, still.

    Which is naturally when Lydia remarks that he should work on his people skills. "What do you mean by--"

    But she goes on. Ivan isn't hers to control. Ivan might not listen. She'll try, but she can promise nothing.

    "Well, you had better get through to him," he continues, folding his arms over his chest. "Next time he tries to kill me..."

    I was sloppy. I should have finished it there. Next time, he could get lucky.

    "...I'll kill him first," he responds after that moment's thought. "Maybe that can be your motivation, Seren."

    It's not his fault, so he shouldn't be bothering him about it?

    Loren shakes his head. "It's all the same in the end to them."

    A statement that could be applied to either party in this, probably.

    He watches a moment -- unease spooling in his stomach -- she simply absorbs the knife into herself.

    He tries very hard not to think about something... wearing Lan's face, consisting of a similarly optionally-liquid body.

    He shrugs when she thanks him. He looks away.

    AND THEN--

    He about-faces towards Rachiel, paling (yes, it's possible!) upon seeing the younger woman.

    The room seems to sway for a moment. He hears (he thinks? he thinks) the memory of her brother's scream, before the communications had shut out entirely.

    He swallows slowly, a difficult task with a throat that has gone bone dry.

    "Ah... Medry," he croaks, shifting his attention ever so slightly as he searches out the nearest door or alternative entrance. ...The window? Wait no those don't open and it would be hard to explain what is he even thinking.

    'You remember Leah, don't you?'

    He'd mostly tuned out what she'd been saying but this drags him back to the here and now. "I... do?" he starts, then coughs, and tries that again: "Yes?" A pause. "Is she in?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Well I'm not going to get mad at you for defending yourself." Lydia says. "It was kind of you to give him another chance." Uh is that what Loren was doing? "I mean, like, thanks for not killinghim the first time." Motivation, huh. Yeah, maybe she was too wishy washy when they last talked. She understands why Ivan wants to stab Solarians and sure, it's one thing if he tried to go for Krelian or someone actually responsible for what happened...but Ivan slashing at ANY Solarian isn't just dangerous for him it's dangerous for everyone.

"And thank you for bringing it to my attention."

But then an entirely different drama is going on.

Rachiel seems pretty calm, maybe even friendly. She is relieved that Loren did not call her out on asking a stupid question.

"I believe she's still on base." Rachiel says. "She really surprised me with her strength. Ah--I mean, of course she is strong, but seeing it in person on the job--it's a different experience."

Rachiel glances to Lydia for a moment before looking back to Loren. "My job is to look after her, but don't hesitate to call on me if you need me. I am decent with the Blade Arts, you know?"

"If by decent she means she keeps making me look pathetic." Lydia grumps.

Rachiel smiles brightly and says in a sort of blunt and friendly tone that indicates she just doesn't see how this would sound to the average observer. "Oh Lydie, it's your lack of practicing that makes you look pathetic. You can't blame me for that."

"Ha ha ha." Lydia says, not laughs.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    Frankly, Loren is pretty poleaxed to hear that that was what he was doing, either, if the look on his face is anything to judge by.
    But he exhales a breath all the same, he glances away from her. "Fine, but remember what I said. If he tries that again, I'm not responsible for what happens."

    He was trained as a soldier and while the battle arts might not have been on the agenda...

    ...other things were.

    And he cannot -- will not -- permit a Lamb to best him. Or kill him, for that matter.

    And then Lydia thanks him.

    He doesn't look her in the eyes. He simply shakes his head and lets out a sigh. "Sure," he says, at some length, and begrudgingly. Even Lan's attempts to civilize him only go so far.

    And then a certain person comes on in and upsets the applecart of Loren's current emotional balance.

    "Oh. I had thought she might have..." he starts to say, only to trail off, shaking his head. Focus. He has to focus, especially here and now.

    His gaze dares tilt Rachiel's way.

    She's younger than him. Her brother had been...

    Older... than him? It was a training accident in Jugend. The others were fellow students.
    The instructor? No, he doesn't think...

    He can't remember.

    He stares at Rachiel as she talks about her skill with the Blade Arts. Or to be more exact, he stares through her.

    Why can he remember everything about the accident except... that? Why was he flying with her brother?

    He realizes after a moment that she was probably expecting him to say something.

    "That's... that's good," he hazards, a noncommittal answer if there was one. "Keep her out of trouble," he adds, for good (?) measure.

    He can remember their screams and yet can't...

    His gaze drifts between Lydia and Rachierl both for a moment and he can't help but like he's losing it again. His grip on reality, perhaps.
    Or maybe just his mind. If anyone finds out what's happening--

    He'll get sent back to Solaris, and that will be the end of the only thing he still wants, the only worthwhile thing left for him.

    He takes a step back, feeling like he isn't entirely contained in the bounds of his own flesh.

    "If that is all, Medry," what was her title, did she have a title, does he know it? too late now, "then I will leave you to it," he finishes, turning his attention towards the door and the certain freedom it promises.

    His head's spinning. He needs to get out of here.
    Get some fresh air, maybe.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia and Lan might have more in common than Lydia realizes though that's obviously true is that one thing they have in common is that they are both working for Solaris now and Lydia still has no idea about that. One day!! Even with Lydia's biases here definitely being for Ivan, she can't really blame Loren for not wanting to be murdered.

Naturally while Loren is in this strange way, both Lydia and Rachiel are giving him concerned looks, though Rachiel's is probably a more extreme expression here. The operator reaches out as if to steady him but thinks better of it and pulls her hand back.

"Yes captain," Rachiel says, watching after him---until he's gone and she rubs her hands down her face. "ugghhhh I made a bad impression... My big mouth!!"

She looks to Lydia. "Well I'll just have to take it out on you o/~"

"Wh--what did I do?!" Lydia steps backwards. "I didn't do anything...! It's not my fault!"

"You can do the third form three hundred times today right??" Rachiel is smiling again.

"No! It's not fair! Noooo...!!"