Jason, Maria, Jake & Katya
Three Days Ago
The moment Katya heard the reason Jake and Maria had asked her to join them. Katya gave a small nod as her mind started to tick over. Thinking of Elora who she had already planned on helping if it was needed and Serah who Katya knew she had not made any exact plans to assist. Finding when she thought of Serah her mind drifted back to how Atty went after Elora. Something that still bothered Katya given she had to engage Serah to stop her.
“I see.” she muttered listening to the pair as the continued to speak. Make a slightly confused face as Maria mentioned they wanted to help Jason. Katya have no idea why he might do something stupid.
Hearing Jake ask it was a bunch of stuff they wanted her help with Katya mentally sighed. Thinking for a moment as he asked if the charges Serah was up for where just or should be dropped.
“Hmmm …. I think given the circumstances they should dropped.” she stated sounding like she was thinking hard about the question. However after a moment she shook her head and set it aside for a moment having a question to ask the pair of them.
“Now tell me why would Jason need help?
"...I'm surprised that you hadn't noticed it ma'am...back at the meeting area where Lorenzo was addressing us...the moment Jason heard about what happened to Serah, he looked liked he was about to explode. Trust me, I'm percetive about these things", Jake responded.
"It didn't help either as to how...well..."sloppy" Lorenzo was about it...I mean, "dispissed"...really...", Maria added with an eye roll.
As Jake answered her question starting with he was surprised that Katya had not noticed she gave a small huff her eyes shifting to Maria as she spoke of how sloppy Lorenzo broke the news about Serah charges.
“I have a few things on my mind, Elora she’s … nevermind. It’s complicated …” Katya said trailing off as her eyes shifted to a security camera.
“I might ask you to help me in return. But I can’t speak of it in the open. After we speak with Jason.” she added a moment later. Think out of all of her squadmates Maria might know what the Son was. Given she had picked up on Maria had some sort of history with the elite.
“Anyway let's just go see Jason and you two can go over everything in detail. Although I find it odd you’d ask me over the captain. I’m sure if you asked her she’d offer to help a little bit.”
"...if you mean Elise, I'd rather not...losing her eye...and my outburst when I saw Elora and that...Cruxi in containment didn't help matters...besides...I..."
Maria trailed off at that as if she seemed concerned about something. Jake noted it but simply said, "Come on...let it out..."
Finally, Maria said, "Ok...I just trust you more...there I said it..."
"And yeah...we also want to talk about Elora as well but as you said, when it's appropriate ma'am", Jake then added.
As the trio approached Jason's room door, Jake said, "I hope Jason isn't in a rage. If so, we're going to die of young age."
Letting out a sigh, Maria knocked on the door.
Sitting on his bunk, the boy was staring at the ceiling. Occaionally his eyes would close and flash back to various scenes of his life. Though he was quickly yanked from that state by a knock on the door. Sitting up and pulling on a tank top, he went to the door and opened it. Members from the squad, though he feared he didn't know their names. "Is uh... something up?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
Jake was the first to speak because he immedately noticed something when he saw Jason.
"...word up Jason. Glad to see your not on the floor. Though with knuckles like that, you lose a fight with a door?", Jake said, point to Jason's knuckles.
Maria was about to let out another sigh when he noted Jake's observation.
"...oh Jason...please tell me you didn't beat up some poor crew member", Maria then said with a shake of her head.
"I uh... who are you? Don't even know me and the accusations are going around. No. I beat the shit out of the punching bag. Turns out seeing your girlfriend arrested for bullshit upsets you. Something I can do for you guys?" He asked, still a bit unsure as to why they were all showing up at his door.
The when the opened the door and Jason seemed calm. Katya was pleased although it quickly faded when Jason asked if something was up. As she turn her mind to the matter at hand. Listening as Jake and Maria asked about his knuckles which Katya had noticed although had no intention of mentioning unlike the other two.
The moment Jason asked who they were. Katya gave a loud sigh.
“Jason you should learn the names of squad mates. Anyway I’m Katya the boy is Jake and that’s Maria.” Katya stated pointing at herself then Jake and Maria as she spoke their names. sounding a little annoyed Jason did not know who they where. Given she had taken time to memories names that face’s that go with them.
“Anyway we want to help you with Serah’s charges. See if we can get her off.” Katya added a moment later.
"That and to make sure you didn't...well rage so much that you either get yourself thrown into containment or worse, did something to hurt Serah's chances at helping her out", Jake then added to Katya's comment.
"...and I'm sorry for butting into your personal business with Serah but...some of us do care Jason. It's just...something I haven't done in awhile", Maria then said.
"Shit. Lead with that next time. How do you think we can get her away from that freak?" He Immdiately asked. Now interested since the idea of Serah getting off had been mentioned.
"Well first off, I put in some requests from my recon division to try to get together the "recordings" of that last battle. My recon drones did pick up as much as possible before they went down. I'm also trying to-...wait hold on."
Jake then pulled out his tablet and began looking through information on something.
"Ah here we go. I just got auido recordings of that battle. It's...a bit dramatic but you can litterally hear Serah telling "Atty" to stop and not kill Elora generally. That and...well my contact did warn me about that nasty yell I heard before that part temporarily cut off. That and I have the sync rates when that Cruxi sprung it's trap on my team members here. Serah's sync goes well below zero percent. But yeah, with that I can prove that Serah was not in control of her framework so she isn't at fault", Jake explained.
"...not only that but...frameworks going "berserk" is...rare but not new...I've personally dealt with those...situations in the past", Maria added but seemed to trail off at the end there for reason.
For Maria though, just mentioning that brought back some unwanted memories when she was Miss Split Personality with Seven...
Hearing Jake mention he could send a few request to get recording of the battle. Katya shook her head. She was about to say she could acquire them easily given it was her werk transmitting anything Jake might have picked up when he suddenly said he got the audio recording of the battle. Katya giving Jake a very suspicious look given they only copy of the audio records were in her werks data banks and the reports she sent directly to the captain. Beyond that she had not transmitted them to anyone else.
“You know those recording are not exactly open to anyone.” Katya mentioned unable to stop herself form mentioning that fact.
“Still I can provide a more complete audio recording along with my werks visual records. Which could show further show Atty was not under Serah’s control.” she added a moment later. Katya thinking for a second.
Katya truned to Maria thinknig for another moment before opting to speak.
“Maria I need to ask? How where not as badly affected by the scream as me and Serah? Does your werk have some sort of shield ours lacks. As I think if that is the case we could use that to show that squad is ill-equipped to deal with Cruxi attacks on our minds. I’m sure the military is on some level aware of such Cruxi weapons and if anyone knows it would be Lorenzo. Not that asking him is an option. Aware or not I think we can get her off by arguing and prove the events leading to her attacking an allied unit was an extenuating circumstance. Which if I recall my regulations should be enough to get her off.”
"So, then what's the plan to get Serah out? Who are we getting this to? How are we keeping the guy with the recordings not available to anybody from getting into legal trouble?" He asked, wanting to see if the group before him had much of a plan beyond breaking Serah out. "I'm also not certain how I can be of much help. I just blew the station up from the outside."
"...I'm afraid I can't go into details but it's generally my unique sync system. I'll tell you more once we clear up things here", Maria then said.
"First off, I maybe apart of this team now but I'm still with recon division. And basically asking for intel on prior battles isn't anything illegal. Hell, I do it just to keep up with any new enemy units we may have come across. Though I do apologize for going over your head ma'am Katya", Jake then said.
Jake then said, "Jason. You can help by first off, trusting others. We know your angry but just don't do anything rash. Heck, if it goes so far as to a courtroom, you can testify on Serah's behalf. I mean, just to show that Serah wasn't some unstable wackjob before the mission. Bottom line is, the more pilots trust her despite these charges, the better."
As Jason asked who they would be getting this too Katya thought for a moment. Only half listening to the conversation as it continued. Giving Jake a dismissive hand gesture as he apologised to her for going over her head.
“Just don’t make a habit of it.” she stated as she continued to think for another moment.
“I think Captain Ritsu would be our best bet. She our squad commander so I she’d more than likely involved in some manner anyway and from what I’ve seen she seems like a reasonable person. I think if we gave it to the captain. She’d at the very least look over what we give her. I think if we can present her with solid argument she’d back us. Not to mention she in a better position pass it along to whomever it needs to go to. So unless one of you knows some high ranking official or officer who could get involved and would support us I say Ritsu is our best bet.” Katya said looking at the other three to see if they had any suggestions or idea of three own on who to present this to.
"No offense ma'am but...I don't think Captain Ritsu believes in the whole "mind control" stuff...or TK or any of that related stuff. I had told Maria about this concern of mine on her", Jake then said.
"But she's higher rank...and like it or not, closest to Lorenzo...unless...Jake...I hate to ask but your family...the Armstrongs...are there any high ranking you can call a favor in?", Maria then asks.
Maria knew she had made a mistake when Jake closed his eyes as he suddenly looked at his tablet again, clamming up. But then again, her family history wasn't exactly the best one either.
"...I'm sorry Jake-", Maria was about to apologize when Jake cut her off.
"No no. The question is legit. I just felt like I got bit", Jake then rhymed.
"...Jake seriously. I know you don't like talking about such things", Maria then said.
"Yet I don't think...Miss Armstrong has the pull to get it to the big wigs above Lorenzo's paygrade...then it looks like Ritsu is really our only safe bet. The evidence isn't really the problem. It's getting it to the right people without them screwing around with it is the problem. I was saying before that not everyone is going to support us on this. Somebody who doesn't like us see's this, they'll screw us over "legally"...it's sad really. Were in a war with humanity on the line yet there are a handful that still want to act like...trolls to use internet lingo", Jake then said.
Jason raised an eyebrow as they all went back and forth before him. "None of you know me, beyond my name and that I'm the guy who blew up the station. Not sure you're in a position to be telling to avoid doing anything rash. I had no intention of doing so, hence why I went after a punching bag." He said calmly, sighing before falling silent for a few moments. "Now then. Ritsu may be our only safe bet, so we'll talk to her first. If that falls through, then other options will be considered. Lets tackle one part at a time instead of getting all upset about what may or may not happen, Jake." He said, looking towards the boy who had just gone off about others screwing around with them. "Now then, we going to go get things started or what? Because if not then I am going to go see about visiting Serah."
Katya stood and listened at Maria asked Jake someone form a family name she did not recognise. But from what she gathered seemed to will connected. But it seemed the idea was a no-go as Jake seemed not like having the named mentioned. Leaving Katya to think Ritsu really was their best bet unless the got someone else form the squad involved and they had connection to someone high up.
Katya listened as Jake spoke of people screwing them over. Although she had her doubts anyone would bother to do so. Katya sure the military would just want the matter resolved quickly as possible. The only one she could see maybe trying to screw them would be Lorenzo but she had her doubts he’d bother. Given right now he was far too busy playing with his newest toys. Which made Katya hope he wasn't being too hard on Elora. Katya wishing to see her again to know if she was okay and hoped the old man would release her soon although she doubted it.
When Jason spoke mentioning if they going to get thing started or not. Saying he’d go see about visiting Serah, Katya looked at Jason for a moment thinking it would properly be for the best if he visited her.
“I think for now you seeing Serah would best. Let her know she not on her own. That and I’m sure it would do you some good as well. I can tell you from experience the brig is not nice place to be.” Katya stated looking at Maria and Jake for a moment before looking back at Jason.
“We of us can handle the rest for now. So go see Serah keep her company for a little while. Katya said her tone implying she was not suggesting in more telling Jason to go visit.
“Also if she up to it. Ask her about what happened, getting her account of what happened might be useful. As for speaking with Ritsu Jason I think we should leave that till after we having everything. It’ll be a lot harder for her to dismiss us if she had proof staring at her in the face.” she added a moment later, before giving a sigh.
"Then I guess we have our game plan. I'm already on it so when I'm done compiling the evidence and data, I'll let you look it over Katya. For now everyone, just sit tight and do your usual things. And yeah, Jason. Just visit her and show support. Hell, tell her there are even others pulling for her so to not give up. And like Katya said, if she's in the right frame of mind, talk to her about what happened. I'll try to use her testimony too if possible", Jake said.
"...then it's all on you Jake", Maria said.
"...drop the ball and I fall...doing my best, for success...", Jake responded.
Maria let out a sigh but smiled a little at that. She might as well start getting used to that part of Jake.
"...well then...with that out of the way, what else should we talk about? Katya. You wanted to talk about Elora?", Katya then asked.
"Speaking of which, I'm also trying to put together data on her too. But unlike Serah's case, Elora's is tougher. She was a P.O.W. and most likely forced to do things against her own will. Anyone above Lorenzo's rank can easily say that she's compromised-", Jake started but Maria stopped him.
"Jake. Just do you best...besides, I get the feeling that Lorenzo himself wants to keep her around because of her abilities. Still, any evidence there would help."
"Gotcha. But yeah, do you guys still need me? I don't know whatever Katya wishes to talk about but it sounds important but is it some sort of secret I shouldn't be aware of? I may not like lies and secrets but I'll respect your privacy if you need it."
Jake then started tapping on his tablet again as he seemed to be working on sorting the information he had received on what happened at the Cruxi controlled station from the last mission.
Hearing Jake was already on getting what they needed, made a small smile appear on Katya's face. Able to respect the young man for being what she saw as a hard worker. Although she did note what he said which made the smile fade.
“If you need help with anything Jake just ask. If I have time give you a hand. I'll also send the more complete audio later.” she said looking at Jake then at Maria as she spoke mentioning the Elora. Which caused a slightly troubled look to appear.
“Yes I do but privately. So if no one as any questions and knows what they need to do. Then Maria lets go have chat.” spoke looking at Jason just to make sure everything that was happening was okay with him.
Jake nodded then said, "I'll let you look it all over when I'm done with sorting it out ma'am. Jason, I'll be in touch too if you want to stay in the loop. So we all good?"
Maria and Jake then looked at Jason. Maria then said, "So your good with what we have set here Jason?"
"Yeah. I'll let her know we're working on it and not to worry. Don't want Serah to feel alone." He said softly before turning and heading back into his room. After a moment he found a more presentable shirt and tugged it on. "Real quick though, which way to the brig?"
"I'll show you the way Jason. Afterwards though, I can't stick around to see her. Have evidence to put togther into a presentation that'll get Serah off the hook", Jake said.
Nodding to Maria and Katya, Jake then started leading Jason towards the brig.
Maria then looked at Katya.
"...so ma'am, where do you want to talk about these things?", Maria then asks.
Once Jason and Jake where gone Katya sighed. Looking at Maria as she spoke asking where she wanted to talk about these things.
“Here is fine. Just don’t go repeating this conversation with the others alright. So I’m going to trust you not to do that” she said moving away from the door to Jason's room. Looking around seeing the corridor was mostly empty and those few where no one she recognised so was certain it would not matter if overheard anything although she doubted they would do anything about it.
Taking a deep breath as the expression on her face shifted to more serious one.
“Right so, when I went to visit Elora. She told me I needed to kill something called the Son.” she stated plainly replaying the memory in her head.
“I have no what this Son is, but I assume it a Cruxi of some sort. Which I think she meant our prize for the last mission. But I have no means to confirm it. So given you encountered Cruxi before joining Sigma you might have an idea as to what it might be or know someone who could do so or point in the right direction. As Elora was quite insistent whatever it is it needed to die.” Katya added her expression shifting to one of thought for a moment.
“Also another thing which has me worried is that Elora said she can still hear whatever this Son is in her mind.” she spoke looking away from Maria as expression of concern formed on Katya’s face.
“Anyway that’s the jist of it.”
"...I see...", Maria said as she listend to Katya's story. Clearly, Elora felt the same as Maria when it came to that Cruxi they brought on board.
Leaning against the corridor wall and crossing her arms, she then closed her eyes.
"...yeah I've had several experiences with Cruxi before I came here but...that was when I had "Seven" running around my head...that was a different me Katya...tell me...do you believe in split personalties or schizo frenic disorders?", Maria then asked.
Katya listen to Maria speak intently. Making sure not to miss a single word she spoke incase she said anything that might be of use or help her. Make note that Maria had indeed had run in with Cruxi before being put in Sigma and making another note as Maria said that Seven was different her. Katya only have a very basic understanding of what she meant.
The moment Maria asked her question Katya gave Maria puzzled look.
“Schizo what disorders?” she asked having no idea whatever the disorder thing she asking was.
"...basically, two people in one body. Each half of the brain holds two different people...that's the dummy version of the explanation...or at least...I was until my deadly duel with that Cruxi...then Elora used her powers to jump into my head and...well me and Seven merged together...that's kind of the reason why I now call myself after my late ace of a mom. Maria "Angel" Twilight", Maria said.
Opening her eyes, she then said, "And possibly one of the reason's why she was able to do so was because of my unique sync system. You might have heard of it but some simply call it the T system. Or Telekenetic. In my case, the one on the Neo Angel let's me use my sync energy to weild it as a barrier of sorts all around my framework like a "coating" of armor but through my mind. I can also use it to block...well psychic attacks on my mind if I come across those that can mind read and the like but I'd have to drop my physical barrier to protect my mental one...I can't block both a physical and a mental attack at the same time is what I mean..."
Maria then closed her eyes again.
"I know. Your thinking it's all a bunch of...garbage to put it nicely but you yourself wondered why I was able to hold thirty percent sync even after that Cruxi sprung his mental trap on us. Then I suddenly was at a hundred percent sync. Hell, I'm no londer talking monotone or acting all stoic...I'm making normal conversation with you aren't I?", Maria then asks.
As Maria explained what disorder thing was Katya could not help but feel a little lost having little understanding what she was talking about at first. She had never been good with humans. Always better with machines. With the total sum of her medical knowledge was basic first aid which was basic education for outpost dwellers on her world.
But even Katya didn’t understand much of what Maria was saying she did understand enough to know it was this T system that protected her from the Cruxi mental attack. But it also meant it was not something that could simply be replicated.
“I see … sort off. But don’t bother trying to explain it. We don’t have time for that. Anyway yes I noticed you're making normal conversation. I actually feel like can talk to you without it being a chore.” she said rubbing the back of her head.
“Sorry but that’s how it felt to me.”
"But it also means...that I don't have that "killer instinct" anymore...worse, I'm more of a basket case now...Katya...when I saw that Cruxi still alive even though I ran it through with it's own sword...I lost it...even during that fight...I saw an image of it...fighting against mom and killing her..."
Still leaning against the wall, arms crossed, she let out a sigh.
"...sure I'm at a hundred percent sync now but at what cost?...there was a reason...that I was like that too perhaps...my framework even repeated the word I feard...why I was...acting "Seven" all the time..."
Maria's arms then changed in a way that it looked like she was hugging herself...bracing herself.
"...Neo Angel repeated the word "Attachments" across my screen...Katya...that's my worst fear..."
Seeing Maria hug herself Katya felt the need to comfort Maria and a hand reached out and rested on the woman's shoulder.
“Look I don’t really get how you but if I understood what you said right. Look you can’t fight the war on your own. You need people you can trust and count on and I don’t mean just our squadmates I mean proper friends. People you trust because they people you are close to. People when you need to you can lean on and prop you up. To Keep you going in the darkness. To help you weather the storm that is this war.” Katya said give Maria a small smile.
“That was something dad used to tell me.” she said her smile faltering a little as she spoke of her dad.
"...I know Katya...but that's why I fear it...attachments to people, places and things...in a war like this, they all have a tendacy to be destoryed...taken away...I lost my first framework, Setsuka, because of some higher up's say so...only for it to get wrecked in that live fire test the earlier members of squad sigma went through...my mother...shot down in combat...my home...I don't even remember anymore...or even who my dad is..."
Maria was still holding herself with her eyes closed but did feel Katya's hand on her shoulder.
"...yet that's generally what Elora told me too...what you just said...never go it alone...it...just hurts when I'm forced to say goodbye to people, places and things in general...I'm also afraid that something like that will happen soon...from what Elora told you...it could mean that P.O.W. Cruxi we have is a high profile target...Son could mean the son of some powerful Cruxi...and THAT Cruxi is powerful as you, me and Serah felt..."
Maria then opened her eyes and looked at Katya.
"But your right. No more keeping to myself. If something is bugging me like right now, I should say something. But as you saw before, basically saying to kill our P.O.W. is out of the question...unless you want to commit career and life suiside?"
“Losing someone or something is never easy. While I don’t know what it like to lose my home, I’ve lost family My father and sister so I know it not easy. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on I’ll let you borrow mine alright. Gotta keep my underlings in fighting form.” she said giving a small playful smile as she was trying to make a small attempt at making a joke.
The smile only lasted for a moment before fading into a more neutral expression.
“Yeah we just can’t march into it’s holding area and kill it. We’d never get close. But … I think if we get a chance. We should deal with the it. Otherwise, for the moment, I can’t see anything we can do. We’d never get near it. Still telling someone makes me feel better or maybe it knowing you not going to bottle things up so much and learn to depend ofyour comrades a bit more. she said giving Maria should a quick rub before removing it.
“Anyway I think we’ve discussed the matter enough. I need to return to my duties. Thank you for hearing me out. I trust you recall not to speak of this with the others not even your friend Jake, unless I give you the all clear.”
Nodding, Maria then said, "Katya. Thank you. And yeah, bums the word. I won't sing like a bird...ugh...I have to stop hanging around him..."