A pleasure it was to be welcomed by one who seemed loving and kind. Taking her seat she adjusted her coat, keeping it straight and perfectly lined up as she gently placed her hands in her lap and gave him a warm and endearing smile. Without hesitation, she spoke in both gratitude and curiosity."You're a kind man, Michael. Generously giving like the son of man- though may we all strive to reach the bounds of the love he shows for us all. I do wonder about the squad in its entirety- but you I find so much interest in right now. Do you mind if I ask about who you are? What you did before the war? Oh! And would you like a snack later? I'd be more than happy to bring you something."
It was a rather high paced flurry of inquiries and responses for sure, but all the more did it speak of just how much she wanted to say to the man who spoke so little.
From Michael's point of view, it felt a little funny that when he mentioned about how he sort of had that strange feeling with Cruxians who tend to romanticize their own religion, one paragon appeared immediately when he called it. What she said was indeed taught in the holy book, but that's not how you normally approach a person, regardless if he or she shares the same belief system. But hey, she was nice, polite and seemingly more than a kind person for Michael to tolerate it. Unlike a certain Cruxian he met on Hill 58.
Regardless, the barrages of questions he was asked too were a little strange, considering the two probably had never met in their entire life. But it wasn't that personal to be uncomfortable. Nothing shameful or worth hiding in fact. His family had been respected mostly, and was never too deep in politics or royalty to be marked as overly pompous or obnoxiously ignorant. "Who I am? Well, aside from being the son of the 2nd Viscount Daunte, I'm just a normal citizen living in Tyrella before being dragged off to war. I was...well am...an engineering student, if this war doesn't affect it in the end."
Michael said. "I grew up to a pretty academic mother and father, and was about to be admitted to university, where my father now teaches, before being drafted, and here I am. I don't have that much of a backstory I'd say, but perhaps you may find it different."
Senja's offer for a snack was also a nice gesture Michael appreciated, though he probably didn't have that answer now. "I'll see if I need anything later, and I'll tell you, is that alright?"
He replied, before trying to get to know Senja more. She did want to know him after all, and that in turn made him also as curious. "How about you? You look a little different than Europans I've met. Are you by any chances from north Europa?"
Nordic citizens are rather unique and interesting. Michael had read about them, but had never been there or met anyone there, so if it's the case, this may turn into an intriguing conversation
Senja listened patiently as Michael described his past to her. Although there was so much more to explore she was more than satisfied to get what she had. Maybe it was early to ask such thing and perhaps it was simply something that would have come naturally through a long term relationship, but this was only so far from war. She wished to know as much as she could without pushing too much. Discovery was its own reward and in her time of searching through the cold there were times when you found a treasure beyond belief. Mmm... but the snow was always gorgeous. Maybe once they were done here, she could return home to lay in it once more where it was the only thing in sight aside from the trees. God was always quite the artist, after all. Never a dull moment."You appear to be a man of talent. Being raised to be an intellectual must have its perks but I also believe there is so much more to it than what you tell. Your own stories of hardships, triumphs, and experiences do not fall on deaf ears when you bring them to me. I'm sure others would love to hear what lovely tales you have to share."
A nod came as he brushed aside the question for now, not wishing to push it any further but so willing to provide should he ask. "As you wish."
She gave a giggle upon being asked if she was from the north. "And your intellect also reflects in your guess. I am from the Eastern Nordlands. Our culture seems to be a bit different from that of the 'mainland' as it is referred to here. Many of you seem to have more color as well, which is evident of the sun's warmer embrace. Given it seems to be my turn to answer, what are your inquiries?"
Senja had a point about that, but...what should Michael say? You're not walking into a library and expect a librarian to give you the book that would entertain you if you just gave the cue saying give whatever. He sure had triumphs, like the time he constructed a working glider with a couple of friends, or his experience going to the far away nation in the east, but it wasn't anything comparing to things like Jean's experience with the White Feather movement. Speaking it out loud out of nowhere would seem like bragging about it. "True to what you say. The whole is not as meaningful as the sum of its parts, but I can't magnify on those sums unless you tell me so."
As an invitation to find out more about the Nordic, Michael felt a surge in curiosity, but was stopped by his own superego, letting only its carefully thought and chosen questions out. "Thanks."
He didn't forget that systematic word in a conversation. "You have good observation. I also notice, your skin color is more white than us, and pretty in its own way. As I read, I believe snow is a very common thing there. How do you find life in a snow-common country like that feel? And, if you don't mind sharing, how you feel about your life so far?"
A nod acknowledged Michael when he did in fact point out the awkwardness in her general gesture to openly speak of himself, but it was well placed in her heart. After all, she wanted to let the man know she was open to listen to the tones of his story lay out upon the sheet in the ballad of Michael. That was, at least, a piece of her hope. "Likewise, friend.""Thank you, Mr. Daunte."
She interjected, appreciating his liking for her skin. Returning to the task at hand, she spoke. "I have always loved the snow. Though harsh it can be in particular parts of the year, I do not regret living life in such a wonderland. It comes with its own difficulties, especial of automotive function, but I love its many splendors. The cool upon your skin, the shade from the blazing sun, wondrous nature littered upon a cool canvas of mountains, trees, and rivers. I could say that I couldn't imagine one living outside of its atmosphere- it would be out of negligence to the world around us. To answer how I feel about my life comes in this same view. There is yet so much to explore, and so much love to give. I am content. Through all things, explorations, and hardships there is but that one feeling. What of you, Michael? How do you feel about your life?"
The wondrous nature of the Nordlands, Michael didn't expect any less. Hearing Senja's descriptions of her life, her philosophy and joy for exploring and loving, although a little romantic for him, Michael found it admirable, and worth a learn. It was true that while what she had described were a lot more positive than what Michael had experienced in the latest years, it was probably worth looking her way. Politics, war and social issues is like a drug. You couldn't help but feel like you have to crave more, and when you encounter hideous things, you couldn't turn away from it, nor you could refrain from anger. Perhaps it is best that he focus on the more beautiful side of things. The innocent and pure minded. Nature, animals, children. The beauty that purifies the wickedness in humanity right now."I find most of my life to be fairly kind to me up until recently. You know I was born to an aristocratic parent, well-educated and caring, so my life has been quite easy-going. So this stage of my life has been...well, not so good at first. But I'm getting used to it. Humans do adapt well to changes. Well...some humans. And I find it quite amazing. But I have to thank the squad for the change myself. You're in right now at a good squad, I can say. You'd enjoy your time here."
Unbeknownst to Michael, his enjoyment of a good conversation ends right there."Say, do you-"
With a huge thump. 'What the hell is that?'
It sounded like an artillery shell, but it was way louder than what he normally heard back in training. Did the Federation even have artillery in this camp? It was loud enough that the Squad 1's sapper thought that it was coming from his side. Maybe they just transferred them in. He at first wasn't paying them much mind, and was about to resume the conversation when all eyes suddenly aimed at the sky. Shouts of curiosity and later panic, mixed in with a couple of finger pointers soon drew his attention again.
A black dot. Seemingly harmless at first glance. But upon sight, Michael knew that harmless dot could be the end of dozens of soldier's lives. And it is getting bigger. It's coming towards them!!!"Oh my lord...Ms Senja, get under the table, quickly!"
Despite the plead, Michael still held onto her wrist instinctively, trying to pull her to the ground and to beneath the table they were sitting at just a second ago. He didn't want to lose someone before his eyes again.
He was fully expecting to die right there. Or at least a violent fling of his small and light mass. But by some miracles, he was neither of that. The explosion was deafening, and the shock wave blasting through him was nerve-wracking, but he somehow was fine. The shell had found its place hitting other places, sparing Michael's life for now, but in exchange probably had taken a bunch of other brave soldier's lives. It was disturbing to think about, but Michael didn't have the time for that. "That was close."
He said, turning to Senja, wherever she was. "Are you alright?""Hng!"
The only sound that escaped Senja when Michael tore her from the crafted seating. With her own shattering thud she collided headfirst with the floor. Deafening silence came from her. No movement, sealed eyes, and soft breathing. Limp and exhausted of energy the woman did nothing but lay unconscious for the moment.
Soul seemed suspended in air as a revolving feeling swirled within her spirit. Neither awake nor asleep. No feeling yet understanding. A dialog erupted within.Where am I?Where is Michael?God? Is it my time?...No... It's too soon...Wake up Senja... The broken need you... The hurt need their healer...Wake!
Feeling of limb returned as she hauled her head from the red droplets upon the floor. A soft groan waned as her hands roared across the floorboards. Clutched as a hammer she punched her fist into an anchor, supporting her superstructure with a heave bringing her back to life with dragging vision. Legs awkwardly positioned themselves before evening out and locking in place. Using the momentum of a hard forced push up she threw herself to a crouching position and at crawling speed moved to Michael with that endless smile still upon her person. Crimson river flowed gently to the apex of of her brow."I will be fine, Michael. Can you stand?"
Senja asked, beginning to wrap hand around arm and back to help him to his feet.”Thank you, Senja. I think I can stand.”
Even though the shockwave really shook him to the bones, thanks to prior preparation, Michael’s injuries were merely reduced to maybe little sores at the joints as they hit the ground first. After a brief moment feeling his body afterwards, Michael rose back to his one feet and a knee, under the support of Senja. It was then that he got full view of the Nordic girl after the chaos.”You’re not fine. You’re hurt!”
He started to guilt if pulling her to the ground would’ve been worse. But what if in the case that the shell hit a little closer than it should have. What if...no don’t think about it now. What’s ahead needs to be done first. What’s to dwell on should be left for later.’I need something...’
He rummaged through all his uniform, until a soft piece of fabric brushed through his hand. His cleaning cloth. And thankfully, it was clean.
Brushing her fluffy silky emerald hair aside, Michael gently pressed the cloth onto the fresh stream of crimson. His other hand now wrapped around Senja’s arm, just like how she did just before, trying to get her back on her feet and back on the table they sat on. ”Have this on, I’ll be right back!”
He needs some proper first aid tool.
After a couple of minutes running over to the medical area of the camp, Michael returned, the sack with the red cross bouncing on its handles. He could just get Senja over to the medic himself, but it seemed like the nurses and doctors were already quite occupied, with the number of casualties and wounds mounting non-stop, and Senja’s injury looked simple. Potentially dangerous but treatable. ”Tell me if it hurts.”
Basic medical training, he should do this fine. Clean the wound, check for debris, disinfect it and then wrap it up. The first part was easy enough, it was a head collision, so there’s little chances of an impaling object - otherwise it would’ve been way more serious. The cloth had somewhat helped with the cleaning partially already. The problem of keeping the bandage in place was usually the more difficult part. Thankfully it wasn’t that high above in her head so a little change in angle when he wrap the bandage could work.
It felt a little bad, as while treating the wound that he probably caused, he had seen and brushed a little of her face. Her skin really was that white, and it was soft, unexpected in a time of war like this. Her smooth hair appeared to be natural, an honest impression of Nordic citizens. It felt as if she didn’t really belong, or deserve to belong in this war. No one does, but if there is a group that least deserves it, she would be in that group, along with Lucia. ”Now that should work.”
It was better than he expected. ”I’m sorry that happened.”
Truly his was a soul greater than his own body. Though it didn't seem to be much, character formed most from the smallest of details. The blood of one's body was worth as much as they were willing to lose to save their own. Any man in his position could have simply registered the shelling to be a reason to flee. Yet here he had been and yet still had he stayed. His priority was not himself. Even as she had told him she was fine he still went out of his way to provide a way to coat and purify the wound. A million thoughts could stop one from helping her. What if the Empire was about to run them through? What if another shell was due? What of his own life? What of his own family? Perhaps that's why she quietly and somewhat open mouth accepted his help. His touch had been gentle as the breezes of the summer night, spirit bursting of warmth where the frozen heart knew no comfort. Perhaps it was overly loving and kind to address him as such for one simple action, but it was always better to assume the best of someone rather than the worst of their character. Giving into thoughts of grief and anger- to judge with cynicism- was to be the downfall of the brokenhearted. No joy can be found in someone who has married themselves to sadness."I have suffered worse in hunting accidents. You're only helping me."
Even as her eyes slightly winced at the cleansing she gave a calm response. Though, she had the distinct feeling that what she was about to see at the bombing sight was going to hurt a lot more. At least he didn't seem so shaken for the moment, but war was hard on many and plenty wanted to go home after even one shelling. She couldn't blame them, especially when it was nearly the end of one's life... especially when it could have been her and Michael's. Though such thoughts faded away as he lay delicately fingers to her person. Now- was time to help those in need."Thank you for protecting me, Michael."
With a smile she tapped the applied bandage and brought herself to his person, laying hand upon his cheek with thumb gently pressed against his chin. Bringing herself closer with grace did she secure her place in his space. With the other hand upon his chest she laid upon his free cheek a soft touch from her lips. It wasn't much, but it told of her gratefulness. Brief and affectionate. The moment, however, could not last.
With determination she stepped away from him, facing the direction of the blast and closing her eyes shut to breathe. "Michael, please, call what help you can. I have to help the survivors. I pray that I still have time!"
With eyes open and breath focused the huntress pressed through the entrance as a predator. Strides of a fearless soldier dug into the ground.
Though it may not have been enough to save them all, it would have to suffice to save the rest.