Max nodded in response to Silverwind's comments, taking into account what the wise old hand that was his commander had to say. The chaos of it all, Max had to say, was something he enjoyed and somehow used to his advantage. Where others saw distractions and problems, he saw flexibility and the ability to rip up the playbok that normal warfare almost rote-demanded. In particular the fact that they were theoretically on the guerilla side meant that they could use more disgresion to
"Aye, sir- nothing for granted in a place like that it sounds like. I can work with that." Max said, chuckling as he heard the engines kicking in, the aircraft wobbling and erupting into noise. Well, that was the end of long meaningful conversations, the lion chuckled....and probably as Silverwind said, a good time to grab a seat.
"Yeah, you're about right there...I'm gonna grab some sleep till we're closer in. I need a bit of headspace, Colonel- I'll be back in a few." Max understated, almost a classic trait, knowing full well a "few" meant a few hours in reality...
Grabbing a seat in the seated area of the stealth transport, the lion knew that the quicker he got some shut-eye in, the better. Less time to think about just how insane this was about to be. He loved it, but sometimes it took putting that away into a small part of his head, Maxwell considered to himself. Just remember perspective, he thought to himself. You're gonna fling yourself out of a plane in a heavy piece of metal, fly it into a potentially teeming LZ and try and land under whatever conditions, wind or gunfire came. Then came the harder bit- not dying after that, operating deep behind enemy lines and as if there was a cherry on top, making sure none of his team came to any harm. In an almost strange sense, he could live with death, after all, the operations him and his team did put him harm's way more often than not. It'd be a tragic event, sure, and his family would probably be horrified by it, maybe just annoyed at themselves for not stopping him. But same time, Max took solace in the fact that he owned his own choices. Flawed as they were, he was an indivudal who cared for those around him, not a collectivist who was urging to find his own self. Perhaps that was fatalistic- but in other ways, Max knew that it was right where he belonged, in all of this chaos and fighting.
Keeping the pilot's helmet on his knee and his head back against the transport's divider in the back, the lion exhaled as he looked out to the distance, almost disconnected for a moment from the situation. As much as he didn't want to think, thoughts came back to him, rapid rate. Almost like a harrowing memory of sort. Beneath the exterior of the fun-loving, quirky and rebellious lion was a hardened and conflicted operator, the look on his face reflecting an almost vacant and soulful expression. Lions were perhaps odd like that- leaders, figureheads, the brave Arvarans that they looked to for guidance and courage. Generals, politicans, lawyers, police officers. What a lion Max wasn't, was the one lion that had that civility about him that came with absolute ferocity. That look of chivalry, the look of someone you trusted to be graceful and civil just seemed to splinter more and more when he looked to his siblings at times. It made him the outcast, the isolated one in his mind, leaning towards the ferocity more than the smart and sleek look a lion had. If you looked from an external point of view, that wasn't the case. But Max saw it as that, and in his head, that occupied his thoughts.
The reality was that instead of a noble, chivalrous almost idea of what a soldier would be protecting their country was bullshit to him. It took a fear, a teror equivalent to what they were fighting to make them scared. Someone to make the bad guys remember, they weren't gonna sleep at night well because people like him were coming for them. With whatever tools or methods required, it was just the order of things. And after a while, like Silverwind had, Max thought to himself, you stopped thinking too much about the details. It all sort of became one blur. From an external view, perhaps it was almost like a PTSD-like symptom, a mind that was already just unable to keep laughing it all away permenently. That did help, but there were one, maybe two things that stuck. Stuff that he hoped didn't show, or come through. But it was one that ran deep, that thought of acting in cold blood, or just letting horrifying things happen before your very eyes, helpless. Watching a distant thermal image go limp after a shot, or watching the sight of civilians being forced into a truck at gunpoint from afar felt disenchanting, almost like he was removed from the situation, especially in something like a GEAR. A lesser mind would have lost it by now, or at least, chosen to walk away while they still had control. Still, Max knew he was in it now, and it was better he was in that slot than anyone else. More capable, more willing, and more importantly, able to compartmentalise it when it absolutely mattered. Better more damage were to happen to some poor bastard with a gun than a civilian on a train back in Solernia, the lion mused- and that wasn't even on his mind anymore. But it was there, somewhere. Someday, he knew he'd suffer badly for it, but till then, and so long as he kept up a life that gave him exitement and constant occupation, he wouldn't deal with those chaotic concequences for a while.
Max had to think sometimes, it shouldn't have been this way. He should have done something meaningful with himself. Quit a year ago, taken the pay, joined the police, maybe his sister at that law firm, the place she always thought he'd succeed. For such a messy haired-character he could clean himself up, turn straight-edge and live a civil life doing that exceptionally well. It wasn't like his intelligence would hold him back, he was plenty smart enough for it, and plenty street-smart to thrive there. But he was too stubborn, too unwilling to change. Too set on this path now, one that had already caused him all manner of shit. Pushing that thought aside was hard, an overriding one almost as he itched his eye a little, noisily yawning as he mulled his wired up mind over a little more.
"You sleepy, Max?" Anna playfully commented, Max giving a middle finger as the jaguar chuckled, setting down her own equipment and strapping into her seat.
"A bit, Anna...you know, you could do actually resting rather than bouncing off the walls before an op. Meh, leave me to it." Max replied cooly, eyes shut as he knew roughtly wherabouts Anna had sat herself down.
"Ah, but you know me. Where's the fun in doing what we do without feeling like total shit? Ahh....screw it. Sleep tight, dream warrior." Anna added, bumping Max on the shoulder as he chuckled, setting his head further back and setting off to sleep. By the time the noisy aircraft had actually left land, Max was snoring and on his way to cutting out his mind for a while.