Ash & ThaliaLocation: Education Center (M)
Ash looked to Nigel, sitting beside him, to gauge his reaction to what was going on. He didn't want to make an overt move to crane about and try to read other people and draw attention to himself. Quite frankly, what he was hearing from the witness stand didn't seem like the kind of thing that was conducive to a continued presence in the community. Ash had hope that Hunter might turn himself around a little, just enough to realize that this was his best hope for survival and that maybe, just maybe, the presence of others might give him purpose greater than himself. It wasn't too unlike what he felt about the military, once upon a time. But Ash had to respect the fact that his experience in uniform was probably very different from Hunter's. That, and absolutely no one had a good time of it following the Outbreak. Most people were damaged in some way, everyone had their own versions of PTSD. It was unavoidable. But some were more damaged than others. Some were damaged to the point of being a threat to those around them. Doc Froggy came to mind. Ash hoped that this was not the case with Hunter.
Far from having such altruistic journeys of thought, Thalia looked upon the the exchange with vague amusement. Her mind started to do what it usually did in instances where the conflict was a possibility - she plotted potential actions from active parties and thought to countermeasures. It took her a second or two to realize that the hint of a smile was forming on her face and she felt her muscles tensing in anticipation of a fight or flight response. Or was it a subconscious play at a preemptive strike? That would be foolish from this distance. Plus, she no longer had a sidearm. In any case, realistically speaking, there wasn't anything to do. There were armed guards present to handle any trouble. And so far, no direct violence was threatened, just a word and confrontational sounding attitude. Thalia's expectations were still colored by the world outside of the walls and she knew it. Another way that she and the defendant were alike, Thalia noted. Regardless of how this turned out, it was a huge cautionary tale. Her lesson learned? Train to get back to her best, remain loyal to her friends, and (most importantly to begin with) stay under radar. If the time came to demonstrate the sliver of darkness that partly identified her bloodline, make sure it was for the benefit of those backing her. And naturally, enjoy the show. There was much to learn here.