Status

Recent Statuses

9 mos ago
Current "Funny how a melody, sounds like a memory."
10 mos ago
Fuck. I made myself sad again. Stop it, you mean SOB. Stop. Thanks.
3 likes
10 mos ago
I have become a TF2 character. I bought a real hat, and not just a six-pence! My inner 80-year old has escaped!
1 like
10 mos ago
Marry Chrysler
1 like
10 mos ago
I see ya'll sneaking at my profile, and to you I can only say this! Merry Christmas and happy grey hair!
3 likes

Bio

-The bio will be added once the profile user can be bothered to finish it. Right now he's probably busy doing nothing and stressed about more. Please come back later. Have a nice day.

Most Recent Posts

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Alexander Polawski
Location: The General's Office -> On the way to Medical
Skills: N/A
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Seconds became days and weeks, even months and years for Alexander as Aeron accepted his need to talk, prompted by those four simple words; "Then let us talk." Alexander took a deep breath, filling his lungs with much air to carry him through this insurmountable mission he had just set himself out on - to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The truth, which he'd been told many times by Freedman, would allow him to pass through that painful obstacle and finally move on. And so he needed as much air as he could, before he started telling Aeron about…

A knock interrupted Alexander from uttering a single coherent word, making him hold his breath in suspense, the knock taking him by complete surprise. Who was it? Before he knew it, Doc Michael entered Aeron's office, paying Alexander little attention. His presence was probably not an issue to the doctor, after all they both knew about Aeron and what was killing him from the inside. His presence only disheartened the old veteran though. From the sound of what little conversation he and Aeron had, things were only growing worse.

And he couldn't help but feel an immense pride in seeing Aeron outright refuse the wheelchair, yet a bottomless sorrow knowing where this was going. Even in the face of Death, The Dragon stood tall and strong as example for his men. This time however, Death would be the last one standing.

The entire interaction was brief, allowing Alexander to remain with Aeron alone as he was asked to follow him for the walk. Alexander, having forgotten to breath throughout the conversation, let out a long breath and taking in another deep one, before nodding woefully to him. He got up on his foot and prostethic, approached his old friend and gave him a disheartened smile. "To the end of the World, General. Come on, Aeron, grab my arm if you need."

Holding out his arm for Aeron to grab onto as support, Alexander pushed aside his own troubles for the time being. His need for confession could wait, when Aeron needed him the most. And in that sense, Alexander felt happier, knowing he was still of use, if only for an old man fighting a losing war against cancer. With or without helping Aeron, Alexander would open the door for him and follow him out into the hallway, then outside into the streets and the hospital. "I have to give it to you. You're one stubborn old bastard, with all due respect. Glad to be by your side, old friend."

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Nigel Cooper
Location: Bus -> Gaskins Still
Skills: N/A
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With Nigel's proposal for resiprocal training in the art of war being accepted by the self-claimed non-expert, the Neo-Roman felt slightly more confident in their ventures as of today. Calling Ash an expert might have been a fancy florishing of words on his part, but in true comparison Nigel was still very much the novice when it came to handguns. He'd always used his sword after all, and that was both quiet and efficient enough for his own liking, so the need had never arisen.

Times changed though, and even he understood that. Now at least he had someone to help him on that unknown path that was the future.

The time for Ash to talk had not ended though, with a new matter which the new-world soldier decided to put his weight behind. The plan, or at the very least A plan going forward. The plan was as simple as it was sound, though the explisite inclusion of modern firepower was a tactic Nigel wasn't too familiar with, very least at this close range. Thalia's inclusion of stealth was a warm welcome to him, prompting Nigel to reply. "Fairly, though nothing compared to yourself. I can be quiet when the need arises…" He even managed to keep his mouth shut at that point, instead of going off on a long Latin quote about silence and whatnot, as if making a comedic point in contrast. Nigel simply took a deep breath and continued with another comment. "We head out as quietly as possible. As lain upon us earlier, we are not fighting time itself, so silence and patience are virtuous in this battle."

Looks like Nigel managed to sound ancient again. TouchΓ©.

It didn't take long for the bus to arrive at their designated drop-off point, an intersection before their planned foraging duty up north. Their target, a food mart. Outside the 'fresh' air caught Nigel in the face as he disembarked their galley on wheels, stretching out on the way out as if cramped inside CMB. His senses sharpened quickly as he mentally ordered himself to return to duty, a retired legionaire put back into service for the Empire. No sooner than they'd been given their final orders and Team B had ran off like Iberian skirmishers, Nigel turned to his group and looked them up and down. They all looked prepared, as prepared as one ever could be in this world of death, blood and fire.

A lone road kept going north from their position, treelines on all sides and far away in the distance the sight of a rooftop. Flat and industrial, that had to be their goal for small campaign. A road kept going to the east, encompassing a small overgrown field of what had probably been farmland, while the left contained more trees. Fairly simple, as long as they weren't being watched.

"North it is then, though let's head on the left side of the road. If we encounter resistance, may give us more cover..."

A pause from the now sword-wielding Roman came as a hushed reaction to something his eyes saw. In half a year Nigel hadn't seen one of Them, not this close and in reach of him. A certain instinct took posession of him, his hand gripping tightly around his sword - a fine blade, though sadly not his own beloved Gladius he'd carried into CMB. Eyes narrowed and locked onto the shambling Servant of Hades off in the distance, he breathed slowly and reminded himself of the threat of life outside the Walls.

A single Walker, off in the distance. Yes, they still existed out there. It didn't seem to notice them, at least not for now as Nigel eyed it like a scout keeping watch for a passing Gaul band of bandits. A brief look from Nigel onto the others told them he was ready to go deal with it at a moments notice, as he waited for it to wander off or approach them.
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Alexander Polawski
Location: The General's Office
Skills: N/A

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Alexander drew in a long drag of breath, letting it out again with a heavy, drawn out sigh as he took in of Aeron as possible, just like he'd been taught by Freedman over the past six months. He'd learned that keeping those happy moments, filled with good people and the comforting company of his friends, were amongst the few things that kept the old veteran going those days. Yes, the list of reasons to live had grown longer since he first joined Camp Mexico Beach, but on the top three of that least, Aeron could be found…and now Alexander did his best to remember as much of the General as he could. For when he was going to pass over to the hands of the Father, the old veteran wanted to keep the fond memories, even if they were painted by Aeron's worn face.

"I see…Bless his soul, Doc, he's a good man. We all can use a little hope now and then, but on this I trust your old bones, Aeron. They've carried you a long, long way, so they know their shit." Alexander's reply was a somber acceptence of the time running through their hands, like the very sand they'd stood in many a time, just the two of them staring out into the blue ocean and in deep conversation…sometimes a deep silence. Another memory Alexander would carry of his old friend. Oh, how far they'd come since 'Nam and the 70's. "Days…agreed. May God see to what we mere mortals cannot change, unless he can find me a good cache of military-grade copper!"

Alexander's somber tone fluttered into a chuckle at his own joke, doing his best to push away the lingering reminders of Death standing at a distance, waiting for Aeron patiently. An image was conjured up in his old mind, one where Alexander himself delivered Aeron to the Afterlife and greeting Death like a familar face…would Judith be there, waiting for him when his time came?

Turning back to the list as Aeron requested, Alexander squinted at his own writing in the dim light of the room, reading it out aloud for Aeron to hear. "Like I said, copper wire. The young fellas down in the basement haven't stored what I requested last time properly, so some of it's been corroding like Lady Liberty herself. Nothing too bad, but if we should find a way to store it dry, and I wouldn't mind some more spools down with me in case something hotwires. Same with screws and LED lights, we can never have too many of them." Alexander explained to Aeron, talking as clearly as the radio operator he'd been four decades ago, clearly giving of the vibe of someone who knew what they were talking about. "Then I'd like to put in a request for the scavening teams; rechargable batteries, tons of them. I know it's already a priority for the entire camp, but I've been dealing in those little suckers half my life and know how to take care of them. Kids these days just keep them plugged in the sockets all night, when they shouldn't be charged more than neccecary. Overcharges them, you know…anyway…"

Alexander kept on explaining his wish for a better trained crew down with him in the Communcations Room. Those he had now worked, it wasn't that. They knew the basics, but Alexander had to remind them what and what not to do with those old radios. It was mostly the younger ones who needed his foot shoved up their asses, but he couldn't fault them. Some of the radios they used were as old as he was. Old and reliable, but clunky to use. He would request himself teaching some volunteers in Education when he had the time. Knowing how to operate and maintain a radio was important to CMB after all.

Then came the last request on his list, the one he'd saved for last…and like last time when he looked at that list, his strength failed him. Alexander looked down on the list, read and re-read the bulletpoint time and time again, though Aeron would be able to clearly read what it said and figure out what it was Alexander wanted to request. Still, Alexander let his head hang down, heavy with the sense of guilt for how he had left his old settlement behind so many years ago…how he'd left Judith's grave back there. He sighed, looked up at Aeron and his tired eyes, and at that moment knowing another question he needed to ask. It had been on his mind for the past half year, spoken about with Freedman and reflected over countless sleepless nights in his bed…the image burned into his memory, just like the napalm burned those kids, and the bullet must have burned through his uniform…

"Aeron…I, I mean…Freedman and I have spoken about this since my first week outside of Quarantine, and…Forgive me, I am not good at this." Alexander shuddered at what he was about to tell Aeron, though equally determined to head through with it. He'd spent so much time, uttered so many words and torn himself apart inwards over this, and now the only thing left was to ask for forgiveness…and it all started with Aeron. "Do you remember Sergeant Jackson, my commanding officer back in 'Nam? Tall, stern black man from the South and as firery as a preacher himself. Do you remember…or know how he died? I…I need to talk about it, with you."

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Nigel Cooper
Location: Training Grounds -> Bus
Skills: N/A

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As they all stepped into and found their seats in the now infamous bus, just as they had done when they first happened upon the scouting party of CMB and decided to join their small piece of civilisation half a year ago, Nigel found himself conversing in the briefest of sense to his fellow passengers about what was to come. He was certain that their briefing of the coming test was not far behind them, but for now Nigel was content to continue exchanging words with those who willed it; for the most part this meant Thalia, at least verbally.

Nigel anticipated the non-verbal response he recieved from the one-handed Amazon warrior, her wordless grunt having become a staple of Thalia to him at this point. It was almost as if he was commucating with a barbarian, not well-versed in the art of diplomacy and orating in finely constructed sentences, though he could hardly fault her. It was he who spoke like the Roman senators and soldiers, not her kind - if one did not count her brother, of course. The "Nnn" was more than enough to get the point across, even for a scholar as him.

The same went for their talk of Ash, who seemed to throw a polite jest in their direction, to which Nigel responded equally. It had not been his intention to forego his inclusion in the conversation, it just so happened…odd. Nigel reminded himself to speak more with Ash, more than they had done before. After all they were military both of them, just from very different times. They had much to teach and learn from another.

That last part of Thalia's observations struck a chord in Nigel. A good one! Nigel nodded approvingly at her words, his eyes taking in those in the bus and very possibly on their team. "Well said, Thalia. Ludemus bene in compania. We play well in groups, as anyone should strive to do when one can. I'm sure we'll find our place in said group once we get out into the field, for our baptism of fire…"

With the bus rolling out towards the gate, like the chariot headed for war awaiting the last gatehouse of its home city, they recieved more information for the coming test. Nigel wasn't wholly surprised to hear the group he'd been put into. Perhaps he'd been more taken back by the inclusion of Wayne, but…so much water had passed under that bridge that who knew how much the reincarnation of Caligua himself had changed? Then again, a fox changed its furs, not his habits. Was Wayne a fox then?

Either way, Nigel sat in deep silence as Maddoc continued the briefing. The task was a simple one in mind, though the neo-Roman knew how much different reality tended to be, certainly out there. Enter the town, move north and scavenge for supplies noted down, then move back and rendevous. Nigel nodded, gesturing that he understood the task at hand and accepted the fairness of it. A test was a test.

With that the bus passed through the gates and found itself out on the road…the outside. Nigel couldn't keep his gaze from taking in what the outside looked like. After half a year inside the safe confines of protective walls, it was indeed a change to see where he'd come from, where he'd fought through to get to safety. Like a Roman merchant returning to the travelling life, away from the comforts and worries of city life, Nigel both looked forward to and steeled himself for what was to come. They could spread their wings, but he knew to beware the eagles hunting them.

Soon they were told to be armed, their names called up for them to decide between two bags of weaponry. Once Nigel's name was called, he decided to take the obvious option of a sword and small side arm, clearly more comfortably with the first. A sword he knew how to swing like Hercules himself, but the gun? He silently cursed himself for not training with the pistol, finding himself look at Thalia, understanding her troubles. Like her, this was something he needed to learn. Nigel even looked over at Ash and gave him a contemplative look, before commenting briefly "You teach me how to use this, " while gesturing towards the pistol, then over to his sword "and I teach you this. I'd like to listen to the expert, after all."
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Alexander Polawski
Location: The General's Office
Skills: N/A

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Standing still and waiting had become second nature to Alexander at this point. One thing was remaining frozen on the spot, making as little noise as humanly possible as you listened to the shuffling steps of a Walker horde passing outside the window of the ruin you took shelter in. Hell, he'd done his fair share of waiting patiently back in his Army days. There was nothing akin to standing (or in more cases than not, leaning half-dazed and baked under the Southeast-Asian sun, up again the embankment defences of their firing position) for hours, even days on end looking for Charlie.

It was another thing to sit quietly, seated in a decently comfortable chair and tinkering with an old radio-set older than most on the base, sipping contently on a cup of coffee. That had turned the "standing still and waiting" routine into something different. Not as shit, one would say.

Alexander stretched his good leg and prostethic leg, feeling age slowly but surely catching up to him. The good food, rest and medical check-ups had improved the old soldier's health considerable since living outside the walls, but there was only so much it could do to the bane of all Man; Time. A sore joint there and a painful movement there, Alexander saw the writing on the wall. And to be honest, he wasn't too bothered about it, not when he finally felt like a productive member of CMB.

No, what bothered him wasn't his own mortality. That he reserved for his old friend.

"Areon! Glad you're awake. Thank you, I'll be quick." Alexander's words were sincere as he saw his old friend peaking through the gab, following his invitation in and finding his usual spot in Aeron's office. While Aeron took his seat on the coach, Alexander reached for an office chair that he'd laid claim to. No reason for it, other than it allowed himself to lean back comfortably and stretch out his back. As if he was the one in pain…

He still remembered it as clear as day, every single syllable and every movement in the General's face as they had spoken that day. Six months had passed, and it didn't escape his thoughts for a day since then, certainly not when he spoke with Aeron like today. The secret he'd carried with him, kept from those who stood Aeron the closest. And as Alexander sat down to both hear and see the effects it had on Aeron, he felt that word pass through his mind again.

Cancer.

Alexander first gave Aeron a puzzled look, a brief hint of uncertainty at the General's question. Had it not been he who requested Alexaneder's presence? The piece of paper tucked into ol' Mugsy's pocket betrayed his confusion however, his earlier rant a reminder of what he discussed with the old, withered man coughing blood. Alexander pulled out the note, reading the bullet points he'd noted down for later…

    *Copper wire
    *Replacement screws
    *LED-replacements
    *Rechargeable batteries
    *Expanding radio training for his staff
    *Request for contact with old settlement
    *…


and all Alexander could muster to ask Aeron, was "You can tell me how you are holding up, my friend. I can see there's no saving you from it, but…does Doc have any idea how long you have?"

Of all the troubles he had down in the Radio room as of lately, nothing was more important to him than Aeron in this moment. The copper and screws could wait. Aeron could not.

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Nigel Cooper
Location: Camp Mexico Beach (Beach) -> Training Grounds
Skills: N/A

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It would seem that it wasn't only Nigel who thought some of the pupils weren't performing as well as they all hoped for, taking in the Professor's solemn worries about Nikki's scores in English and math. Nigel only got a brief glance at them as Manny became the message-bearer for their new quest to find the source of these scholarly troubles, though he would have to agree with the Professor's assessment - no pun intended. She was no Shakespear or Sir Isaac Newton, that was for sure. Nigel sighed at these troubling news, more so with the feeling how much Nikki stood out from the rest of their pupils.

The neo-Roman turned to Manny, with his old wisdom and worn eyes who took the mantle to find out about Nikki's troubles, giving him a respectful nod as a form of blessing on this quest. "Good luck and the Speed of gods on your side, Manny. I'm certain you may uncover some clarity and find a way. I'll do my best when I can, though it may be best for not too many people involved in this at the same time." Nigel said back to both Manny and the Professor, knowing all too well how his own students sometimes reacted when they were flooded with well-intended assistance. Too many people at the same time, and one closes down like a castle under siege.

For this siege they may need more than onagers and ladders. Much more…subtle, diplomatic.

Nigel focused on Manny's invitation to accompany him on his way, setting of a reminding thought about what else he should be doing that day. "Certainly, at least part of the way. I've got to be at the Training Grounds soon, so I'll follow you until then. Farewell Professor, and may…Jeremy! Stop that right this instance! That's a stick, not a sword, and certainly not when Brian is unarmed…" Nigel sighed at the sight just down at the edge of the beach, two boys about to fight. One armed with a stick and another unarmed, not as Nigel had taught them. One day he would teach them properly how to fight like proper little Romans, but fighting with tiny sticks would only occur over his dead body.

He shook his head and turned back to Manny leaving, waving goodbye to those pupils paying attention and following his last dentist up from the beach. There were topics he'd yet to reply to Manny, including a certain phrase. "Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power. Not many in the civilised world learned that tongue for the past decade, least of now. But to me it still holds power, brings me closer to that old world of great civilisations, ideas and heroes, as silly as it sounds. Perhaps it's of less use that your wisdom of nylon and teeth…" Nigel mused as they walked down the streets of CMB, being oddly reflective of his own strangeness. Perhaps his time amongst 'normal' people had soothed his Roman ego? Nigel sighed again, looking up at Manny with a half-smile. "You surely find me strange, Manny. Forgive my eccentric nature, but let is be thankful we both make this place a better place…anyway, see you later. I wish you Fortuna with Nikki. Oh! If you happen to see Hunter…tell him Nigel looks forward to see him again. "

And with that Nigel hurried of, on his way to the Training Grounds to fulfill the second nature of his being. For half a year he'd been the scholar, teaching others what he knew and trying to improve the lives of others. As he arrived at the slowly growing gathering of people, including Thalia the Amazon, Ashton the Soldier, Tatiana the Mother and Wayne the…something, Nigel longed back to that other part of him. For did not the senators of Rome swap their place in the fields of politics and knowledge, for the fields of war when they were called? The duality of Roman society called on Nigel, giving him a reinforced belief in what he was about to embark on.

"Nigel Cooper, Education. Signing up for teams for assignment." Nigel reported to Maddoc, standing as tall and proudly as he could in front of the man, attempting to ignore the bantering in the background. Mostly Wayne, who's voice still shrieked like the storming seas past the Pillars of Hercules. When and if noted down, Nigel took his place and listened intently to Maddoc's briefing of what was to happen. It was orderly and frank enough, noting the seriousness that still lingered over a 'simple' test. Outside of the walls, nothing was simple.

Nigel followed the group into the recently arrived bus, giving a polite nod to Hank at least as he entered and found a seat. He wasn't doing this to be social, though he did not mind it if he could find more common ground with Ash and Thalia than as then. No, he was doing it for CMB and himself. He needed to remain sharp and strong, and helping the settlement on the outside did just that. Still, Nigel turned over his seat and waiting for the arrival of Thalia, to which he would comment "Hello Thalia, good to see you. Let us hope our exchange of fists and swords have prepared us for today. Though I assume we will be tested on our skill with firearms as well? That must be Ash's speciality then, at least better than me. "
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Alexander Polawski
Location: Admnistration/Communications -> The General's Office
Skills: N/A

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"I told you, keep the wire bundled up and dry. You never know when you're gonna need more wire for these radios, even more in this climate where it rusts faster than a baseball heading for the sky. I'll write it down and hope we can request more, but I sweat to God…"

Six months. Six months of change and rediscovering ones place in the new life of Camp Mexico Beach. Six months of battling through his own personal Hell, then transforming into arguably the most redeeming six months of Alexander "Mugsy" Polawski's life, all things considered. With all that had happened and was continuing to happen, the past half-year had brought purpose to Alexander's life in the form of two shapes; one of Freedman and The General, and another in a radio-set.

Well, one of many radio-sets. The passing six months had shown that Alexander was to be promoted to Head of Communications of CMB. It really shouldn't have come as a surprise when one thought about his past experience as a radio-man in the US Army, including how to properly communicate over the radio-waves and how to fix the sets when they broke down. One could think this was Alexander's reward for marching out on patrol with a radio tower strapped to his back without being killed, or a worthy semi-retirement for an old veteran of Uncle Sam.

Whatever it was, Alexander was happy to be handed this responsibility, jumping at the opportunity to show he still knew how to work a radio. That included berating those who could talk sternly to about the importance of regular mantainance. Alexander shook his head in annoyance, but only in a professional sense as he wrote down yet another item on his list of requisitions for the Communications Center. Fresh wiring was underrated, especially in the Floridian climate that reminded ol' Mugsy all too much of 'Nam.

Alexander checked the clock on the wall, recognizing that the time approached the allocated meeting he had with Aeron. The General, as he attempted to call his old superior from days of both their youths. Old habits were hard to change, right? With a quick pen stroke on his notes, Alexander excused himself from Communications and made his way out of the room he and Thalia had cleared out half a year earlier, making his way upstairs and towards the office of a certain General.

Aeron. The Dragon.

Freedman's session with the old veteran had done a hell of a lot to…what was the word? It wasn't "Fix", as Alexander's memories continued to haunt still. As he walked effortlessy down the hallway and ending up at Aeron's office door, the word came to him. "Distract", that was it. Knocking on the door and waiting for the usual voice to summon him, he found himself replaying a memory he was fonder over. Nothing special, but it did involve himself and a few others fishing out on the pier in peace.

Memories of good times, resembling the good old days. A fragile hope he held that he could spend his coming birthday just like that. Fishing. It did help to drown out the sounds of mortar shells falling.

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Nigel Cooper
Location: Camp Mexico Beach (Beach)
Skills: N/A

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"We might be done with the Midterms, young alumnus, but that does not mean I won't be appraising your competence outside of class. I've got my eyes on you…but have fun."

Nigel's words harkened back to a distant past, one in which his role inside of CMB was theatrically similar to the one he inhabited back in his old life. Even his intonation revealed that deep inside of his soul and mind, he was a teacher at heart, though now one wielding a sword and pen as a matter of life and death, not mere wages. Nigel let one of the pupils run along down to the beach where a group of others awaited him, following him with his gaze for a moment before shaking his head with a surrendered chuckle. No need in taking his harsh words to heart. Kids would be kids.

He just hoped he'd done his job well enough.

Nigel walked calmly down to the beach, sighting Manny making conversation with the Professor as the celebration picnic for the end of the Midterms unfolded. While Nigel hadn't had much time to get to know the old dentist/doctor before they became integrated parts of CMB, they'd grown to speaking terms while they both worked under Education. At least the less-than-expected time Nigel spent inside actual classrooms teaching the camp's pupils, as he'd been assigned to teach the more adult members in the arts of War. More specifically, the ways of the Romans and Greeks, as he knew best. No longer was he frowned upon when orating about the sword, shield and superiour formations of his adopted forebearers. Certainly to himself he liked to think he was seen as more of a Mars, rather than a Sportacus. (Not that the lable ever left him, sadly…)

It wasn't the neo-Roman's intentions to evesdrop on what Manny and the Professor conversed about, partly concealed by the soft breeze of Neptune himself greeting Nigel's arrival at the shores of his domain. He did however overhear the word "Medieval", learning skills at a young age and inquiries into the state of the Midterms. Making his presence known and respectfully placing himself by Manny's side, Nigel let his eyes sail out onto the open seas, his ears listening to whatever was spoken. "The sooner they learn the skills we can teach them, the better. Some skills and feats cannot be learned from a book, sadly, so the Medieval-label is quite spot on, Manny. Ipsa scienta potestas est."

Breathing in the fresh, salty sea air, Nigel let his head turn towards his two fellow educators. One had a clear view into his mind, while the other had one of his mouth, and he wasn't sure which one he dreaded the most. Further away from them however, was one he feared not in the slighest. Amelia, the newly-divined teacher for the younglings stood watch over the little barbarians that they were. In the best of sense, of course, as they could be made into good Romans after all. A fellow teacher now, and a steady cliff who Nigel held onto as he had dived head-first into the game of Dungeons & Dragons! She cared for the young kids, so he settled with giving her a big wave and keeping to the two others.

"Thank you, Manny, for your check-up on my teeth by the way. I was fearing I was going to pull it out myself…again, but you did it…well enough. Anyway, their grades? Nihil novi - Nothing new under the Sun. Some have done their work as expected, and some are in need of more assistance…which goes for both the young and old, but you did not hear that from me."
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M) -> Streets of CMB
Skills: N/A

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And so it was written. Signed, sealed and delivered - less in the sense of a certain Stevie Wonder song and more akin to a Roman decree that announced the beginning of several wars. It had been decided. Hunter would stay, under guard and evaluation for the passage of six moons, but he would be staying. Again Nigel let out a deep sigh, though whether or not it was of relief, he couldn't quite tell. Honestly he'd take most sentences handed out to Hunter, save from his certain death. He would nod in agreement with Ashton's words of wisdom, one he knew all too well from where he perviously called home.

It set a precedent, one not easily changeable. Nigel couldn't recall how many people they'd turned away from the safety of their walls, simply because "If they let in one, then they'd be flooded in a matter of weeks…" It wasn't shame he felt, it was pure survival after all. No, it was melancholy if anything. Like Ash said, it was never simple. Thankfully Hunter's fate would be of that, not yet.

Nigel rose up from his seat, Thana's set of rules echoing in his mind as he decided to leave the pair alone. He read the writing on the wall, as the trial was effectively over now. There were no reason for him to stay there. No one needed a Roman educator or Legionaire now, which slowly dawned on him as he took one step after another towards the exit. Perhaps in time they would come to find his presence invaluable, even pleasent, but now? Nigel tried to hold these thoughts at arm's length, attempting to stay focused on where he wanted himself to be.

Stay focused, do your best to teach, train and prove your worth with the blade, and perhaps one day he too would find a home in Camp Mexico Beach. Not simply a settlement or shelter, but a true home, in both body and spirit. Perhaps this was Nigel's way of experiencing loneliness. If he did, he kept it to himself, the anti-social figure he already was.

Passing the two older survivors on his way out, Nigel kept moving, unable to miss his old reenactment friends and even Erica. Hopefully she would still be there for him. Perhaps even new friends were an option? Only time would tell.

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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M) - Out in the streets of CMB
Skills: N/A

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The only things Alexander managed to do before the whole trial was over, closed and moved on, were to give two people long and thoughtful looks, before they moved on. To Hunter the old veteran gave a reassuring nod, as if to tell him the best of luck and to put faith into those who would handle him, like he himself had done with Freedman and Aeron. Speaking of which, Alexander gave the last look to the former Dragon, now General and the simple Aeron. This one was different, weighed down not by mere emotions or hopes for the future, but coloured by years of toil. If Alexander had uttered any words to his fellow old soldier, it might have been something akin to "Let us hope there is indeed hope left for men like him, and like us."

Alexander shook himself out of that stupor upon hearing the familiar voice of Manny, per usual dragging him away from his deep thoughts and back to the reality he found himself escaping from every so often. With a slow nod and deep sigh, Alexander turned to Manny and spoke back to him in a struggling voice. "I really hope so, Manny. I really do hope that, for all our sakes…" His darkened past lingered in the back of Alexander's mind, but the reassuring tone in Manny's voice gave him the lifeline he needed to move on. It was moments like this he wished he'd met Manny many years before.

Our ol' beloved Mugsy took in one long and final breath, straightening himself up as he got on his feet and followed Manny's lead. He was glad Manny had good ideas like this, for it was easier to follow him than doing it himself. A smile and weight lifted later, Alexander nodded to Manny and slowly followed his fellow Baby Boomer outside. "Sounds like a good idea. These old bones aren't used to sitting down like they were before. Not to mention I'm starving. What were they serving today again? More cassarole? If so, sign my up."

Out onto the streets of CMB, Alexander wondered for a moment why Manny had stopped as they were passed by the Roman actor…teacher, whatever he was. A moment away from asking why, he too felt lack of rain pouring down on him. It was a pleasent change, one that brought a genuine smile to his face as he stood there with his friend. Friend. Even that put an even broader smile on his old face. He deep breath and his shoulders lowered down, Alexander planted his hand onto Manny's shoulder, telling him he was there. "Almost makes life worth living, doesn't it? Come on, let's get some grub while I bother you with my sailor's tales. Ever been to Bermuda before, Manny?"
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Like Nigel had alluded to moments before, the die had been cast. Closing arguments had been given and the Plebian opinions headed, so now it was only a matter of time before the dice finally landed, revealing their divine judgement in the form of numbers. Would Hunter's lucky number show up, or those of dread? Nigel certainly didn't know, only familiar in such cases from Ancient Rome and judicial cases not of this world. He was a historian, not a lawyer after all!

He still found the whole drama breath-taking, himself firmly seated at the edge of his seat as listened intently to Thana's opinion. He slowly nodded alongside her words, the bobbing of his head following her slow, yet determined rythm of speech. "I support that sentiment. A simple execution might be efficient, but…it's not for me to say what is morally right for this community or not, just that it is not Death he deserves. Whatever it is, a fair sentence will not be a light one…" Nigel commented back to Thana, sharing his thoughts with Ash too as he was in the conversation as well. Hunter's crimes were in no terms light, and the punishment should match that…

Like how the thundering sound of collapsing limbs and the fall of Thalia the Amazon cracked through the thick air of suspense? Probably. Nigel turned his head and entire frame in search of the sound, quickly finding its source in Thalia's comedic failure to sneak out of the room. In the end she simply gave up trying, forcing Nigel to stiffle a chuckle out of respect for her. This was a situation not befitting a comedy, and certainly not for someone as skilled as her. Not with her glare of Death, it wasn't.

As Thana had prophesied, the verdic was a foregone conclusion; Guilty. Nigel's rubbing hands indicated he knew that before anyone had told them. Some things simply weren't a surprise. What was a surprise were the options the General gave Hunter. To put it plainly, here there were no "Virtus in media stat." No middle path laid forth with golden bricks, leading to a happy life. Forced rehabilitation or banishment. Nigel held his breath for what felt like years as he waited for Hunter's response, knowing neither option would be pleasent for the young soldier.

In the end though, he let out a sigh of weighted relief at his choice: Six months of getting help. It was no easy path to walk, but in the end perhaps that would finally gift upon him that much needed sense of catharsis? "And so begins Hunter's Odyssey begins…"

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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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The waiting for numbing all of Alexander's senses at this point, the lack of any further deliberations or testimonies creating a vaste void inside the hall used as the court room. Had it not been for the severity of the situation, not to mention the safe presence of Manny still at his side, Alexander wouldn't know how to cope with the void that was slowly consuming him; the uncertainty of what were to happen to Hunter.

To his younger self, now taken out for whatever reasons ol' Mugsy hadn't caught in all the storms that rolled over him. What would his fate be? His heart begged, pleaded and prayed for a sentence that could be considered lenient, or in the very least merciful, but his head and gut? No, just his gut, for that he could trust more than anything else in life after so many years - his gut wasn't so optimistic.

Alexander was shaken out of his daze by the loud crashing somewhere in the room. In an instant the old veteran rose to his feet, ready to proclaim his innocence for…for…the shooting? Alexander stood dazed once again, confusion washing over his face as he saw clearer what had caused those noises. Not booming noises, but simple crashing; Thalia the not-so-stealthy. What she lacked in stealth, not comparable to her slick movements back in Eden, she made up for with her Bostonian attitude, owning the situation like any cool cat would. Manny put it better than he himself could have. "Seems so…we all do probably. Whatever's happened today, everyone's been through something rough…Poor Angel."

The old veteran's hushed response was drowned out by the return to order as the trial went into its last phase; Guilty. Alexander felt his heart break into a thousand pieces, the blackness consuming it slowly but menacingly. To him this was a failure, just one of many he had created and not been able to fix. Choked up and fighting the growing urge to pray for Hunter's fate, it took a few moments for him to realise what happened next.

Aeron gave him a choice.

What? Alexander's watery eyes blinked forcefully, as if trying to blink away the mirrage before him. The option Hunter chose made the feeling all the better, if bittersweet. Redemption, at least a shot at it. For six months Hunter would be kept locked up, evaluated and treated. Alexander slowly found a smile forming on his lips, his gaze wandering from staring relieved at Hunter at his choice, to Aeron with gratitude in his silent thanks, to Manny for a weighed joy, and finally back at Hunter again.

Hunter had taken the option Alexander wouldn't have taken himself, the one he needed but didn't deserve. Now the road through Perdition began, of which Alexander would pray for Hunter's safe passage through each day. Salvation was still an option, for both of them.
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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It made an impact on Nigel the plebian pleads made by various members of Camp New Mexico, all aimed at Hunter in their varying degrees of condemnation and absolution, even if they didn't truly shake Nigel's values to the core. Those speaking their case for putting Hunter in a more favourable light, certainly the words of Alexander the old veteran and Nikki the presumable previous outcast of the settlement, were the most emotionally moving to him. The neo-Roman scratching his chin at their words, speaking like a true early-Christian prophet of the early Roman Empire. Forgiveness and the possible chances of redemption, those were the fates Hunter perhaps needed.

Those pleads were spoken in stark contrast to those who viewed this case in a manner Nigel would have supported whole-heartedly before. Amongst those were Thana, his Athenean mentor and inspiration at the camp. Nigel leaned forward on his seat, antipicating anything but the harsh reality-check that Thana slapped onto everyone's cheeks, Nigel included. He was shaken for a moment at her words, but slowly he began to nod in agreement to her words. Of everyone who'd spoken for or against Hunter, Nigel found himself agreeing with the Athenean conjurer of green life quite compelling.

It wasn't a question of mercy for one single individual. It was a question of keeping the community as a whole safe, and following their own codes of conduct. Giving Hunter special treatment would endanger both.

Nigel's eyes were stuck on Thana while she walked down the isle to sit down beside Ash, still feeling unsure of he should step up to speak. After all, what could he say that would chance the outcome of the trial? Things moved on as expected, and soon Tatiana the Scarred spoke the most harsh, yet truthful words. Nigel's old self would have agreed with her, tossing most modern sense of humanity aside in favour of surviving a world not made for Humanity. Perhaps not putting a bullet in Hunter's head, but still…

Sitting still at the edge of his seat, Nigel watched as the Council went to deliberate on Hunter's fate. Sheer suspense kept Nigel frozen to his seat. The answer, the final answer could not come any sooner. Turning to Ash and Thana at his side, Nigel sighed deeply as he spoke. "I suppose the die is already cast then, isn't it? Now we wait for Hunter's fate to be decided…I fear your words have spoken true, Thana. I suppose the time for wishful thinking is long overdue now?"

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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Alexander was frozen for a good moment. Like a deer standing locked on the spot before the bright headlights of a speeding car down the road, the old veteran's eyes were stuck on Hunter for the briefest of moments, even if they felt like a lifetime. Something about his face caught his attention, and the movement of his mouth struck him coldly down into his very core. The most modest pair of words ever strung together, even if they were without breath, would stick with Alexander for the remainder of his old days on this Earth. A brief nod towards Hunter and a good seat later was all the response the old veteran could muster.

A "Thank you", and Alexander felt himself strangely intertwined with the yound soldier with enough troubles to rival himself. A "Thank you" for a brief string of words, a feebly attempt at a defence, an audible prayer for another lost soul. Alexander had done all that he could in his position, and now the rest laid in the hands of the Council, the Dragon and God.

Alexander sat firmly seated in his chair, silently listening on and off to what the others would speak about Hunter. The cases were made both for and against him, to the surprise of no one. Even Alexander saw their points clear as day. He wasn't stupid after all…but…he couldn't allow himself to fall to the levels of Thana and Tatiana - the Russian lady who'd given him the calming reassurance he needed after The Episode - even if he agreed with their logic. Hunter had fucked up, plain and simple. Sergeant Jackson would have given Hunter an ass-whopping harder than the VC ever could have, and then some.

Now? Alexander found comfort in the words and presence of Manny, even if that presence was merely being seated next to him. Every little bit helped, didn't it? Freeman's words echoed through his own troubled mind, napalm-filled bombs shattering his train of thought every time he found himself dragged back to what Hunter reminded him of. Being locked up for six months under the watchful eye of a shrink? It sounded harsh…

Then again, perhaps that was Alexander had needed after all. Perhaps that is what would have helped him overcome all his troubles, fears and trauma from years of fucking up? Who knew? Perhaps being locked up for half a year could have forgiven him of his two biggest sins; shooting the two most important people in his life - Sergeant Jackson back in 'Nam, and his wife Judith of the coast of Florida...

...Either way, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall...
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Nigel, with his awe-stricken attention aimed straight at the epic spectacle of Troyan propotions up on stage, could only just hear the hushed words of Ashton sitting beside him. What he lacked in active hearing though, he made up for in nodded agreement. So many words had been spoken, so many lies deconstructed and images torn apart before the very eyes of the audiance attending the trial, that what Ash pleaded Hunter to do had been his fairest attempt at redemption. Without turning his attention away from Hunter and the Professor exchanging verbal thrusts of weaponry up front, Nigel nodded to Ash's words.

"Nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare, Ashton…"

The neo-Roman straigthened himself up in his seat, his forward-leaning stature making his back stiff as the proceedings continued forward. If it had been bad before, this was turning into a Teutoburg Forest-moment in history. In other words, a complete and utter shit-fest as his students would have called it. Rather than absolving himself or painting himself in a more favourable light, to Nigel's eyes this was a downhill slope going straight into the depths of Hadens himself at this point. Words were exchanged, heated passions fired into the testimony and a less-than-favourable spectacle made of Hunter. The Professor, whether you liked her or not, proved to Nigel that she was not one you'd want on your bad side.

To him it seemed the clear-cut answer was to throw him to the wolves, so to speak. Nigel didn't like the thought of exiling Hunter, but the pragmatic Roman mindset spoke volumes in times like these; Hunter had made a very good case against himself, and it was difficult for Nigel to see how he would remain inside the comfort of CMB's walls without great reprecussions, even for how much Hunter had grown on him. But it wasn't friendship and kindness that had built the Roman Empire, nor his own survival all those years at the hands of Hades' minions…still, when the chance was given for them to speak up, Nigel pondered on what he could or should say.

In the end he didn't know what he could say in good faith to help Hunter. The die had been cast, the Rubicon crossed, and now all roads led to Rome. So he was surprised to see so many lining up to speak at the end. Perhaps most of all two people: Thana, who he understood to not have much to do with Hunter, and the old veteran named Alexander.

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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Time and strung-together strings of sentences flew past old Alexander, his weary state of mind dipping in and out of attention as he blinked his eyes tightly. Up and down, closed and open, trying to clear the foggy memories that drew a heavy haze over his vision - Hunter's words ringing all too familiar in the old veteran's ears. Why he joined the military when he didn't like authoritiy figures? Hell, why did Alexander join? In the same lane as the young soldier on the stand, it didn't have to do with a love for the armed forces.

No, like Hunter the reasons were his family. Family and friends. Family he hated, friends he loved. Not the same completely, but enough for Alexander to see a mirage of himself in the form of Hunter sitting up there, defending his own actions. Blink. Blink. Hunter was back, and so was Alexander in his seat.

Alexander felt a bead of sweat run down his forehead, down his chin and dangling effortlessy on his chin as more words were spoken, questions asked and statements made faster than an approaching hurricane north of Cuba. The Professor was really getting down and dirty with Hunter verbally, who clearly was shaken by it. Alexander couldn't blame him in the slighest. Had it been him up there, at that age? Hell, who knew if he'd done any better.

The latter part of the testimony didn't fare well for him…Hunter, that was, though the old Veteran still couldn't find it in his heart to judge the kid too harsly…he was just a kid for God's sake! A fuck-up, messed pile of contradictions who needed some serious help…but still just a kid. A kid who, in his mind, focused his issues onto those brass-chested bastards who sent him out to do those things, instead of blaming himself…like Alexander did.

And then Heaven itself called down upon him. So it felt at least when the Professor announced they would be given the chance to voice their thoughts on Hunter's fate. It wasn't anything like the Military old Alexander knew, with its strict set of rules, regulations and round-house kicks over your sorry head. Should he say something? Did he even had anything to say? The old veteran felt the black hole inside of him expand once more, filling his whole chest with the power to drag him into it and its terrible contents of trauma. But…if he had been up there, would anyone have spoken in his place?

The world shook underneath his feet as he stood up on his good foot and pegleg, one slow step after another as he approached the stage, more determination and fear drenching his stature. The old veteran was marching into battle, if for the one last time. Alexander gave the Professor a humble look, perhaps fearful of her oraly wrath from moments earlier, as he took stage.

"Uhm…yes…Alexander Polawski, as told before…I, in my opinon…" Alexander's voice trembled, the old veteran filled up with doubt and fright as he felt every single person lay eyes on him and his worn body. Worn out, tired of all the shit he'd been put through…put himself through. But it was because of that he took stage, finding a sense of courage he hadn't felt for years.

"I cannot with good conscience excuse or even explain the actions of Mr. Monroe…Hunter. He's done what he's done…but…" Alexander cleared his throat as his old, wrinkled eyes looked over at the young soldier, seeing himself sitting there once more. "I'll only ask for anyone, myself included, to forgive his behaviour, as stupid and destructive as it has been…because…because I know that even the most broken of men can be fixed, given time and care. I must believe that. If a man such as myself, young and rising against the world around me can find any sense of redemption…for I must believe that. If I do, and you do, then even Hunter may have a path made for him…by the Lord…by anyone who sees him for him, flawed as he is…"

His words shook with stage fright, his old hands gripping tightly around anything he could hold as he spoke, but he relented. "Hunter, I wish you the best…" his parting words broke his voice in the end, choking up and giving him the great shakes as he stepped down and rushed down the aisle to find his seat beside Manny again. It hadn't been a masterfully crafted speech, inspiring or anything. What it had been, was honest.
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Like the tearful monolouge of a dying hero, unfolding itself on a great stage somewhere in the great era of Greeks, it was difficult for Nigel to witness Hunter began to answer the questions himself. Both difficult and impossible to pull his eyes away from the scene, though not for the same reasons as earlier. The testinomines brought forth had shed light on the strange behaviour of Hunter, his inability to function within the constructs of a military society, safe inside the protective walls away from the nightmare just out of reach. Yes, that had been difficult for Nigel to listen to, but now it was for a different reason.

Now Nigel heard the tale behind the titanic failures of Hunter, and what he himself had to say.

Nigel sat with his eyes glued on Hunter, rarely shifting his gaze over to the Professor who asked the questions as the young soldier's words attempted to fill in the gaps of this tragedy that had probably kept many minds occupied the past week. The details of his words were less important than the bigger picture painted upon the verbal canvas. All in all, Nigel's thoughts flowed towards the same; Hunter was confused, frightened, panicked…Like Heracles returning from a lifetime in war and chaos, was this Hunter's fate? Perhaps Hunter explainted it best, not truly knowing himself why he did and said the things he did.

For now Nigel didn't feel the same sense of shame on Hunter's behalf as before. Now he felt just sad.


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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Alexander's hand remained firmly placed under his bum, sitting tighly and unshakeable underneath him as the old veteran continued to watch and listen to what it was Hunter would be asked about. Or perhaps more importantly, what the young soldier would actually say in his defence, if such a feat was possible at this point. It had been painful for old Alexander to listen to the entire ordeal so far, and the pain would in no way retreat when the real questions would be asked.

Would Hunter's words reflect his own?

It was to his favour he had Manny by his side, or else he would find himself incredibly lonely as his old ears took in each and every word said by Hunter. Each and every pause he took erratically between his jagged words, sounds and breaths of air. Excuses, explainations…the I-don't-know's Alexander knew all too well, unanswered questions that haunted himself to this very day. Especially one phrase stuck out to the old veteran, who felt a sting of pain shoot through his heart when spoken.

"I don't want to die. I don't…think so at least."

Alexander couldn't help but stiffle a sigh, his only tool his mouth closed shut as Hunter's explainations continued. The words echoed through his mind, the thought impossible to shove away, though one he'd thought about himself many times over his long life. Should it be cut short, to easen the pain? A Catholic would say no, but he had seen things…done things…it had always been a possibility.
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Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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And so the die had been cast; The Rubicon had been crossed, and now only destiny awaited the young legionaire who's mouth had gotten him into more trouble that a roaming band of Gaulish bandits. Young Hunter had, again to Nigel's greatest surprise decided to answer for himself. Honestly he didn't know what to expect from Hunter anymore, everything that had come out of his mouth had been a surprise waiting to happen. And now that he was willing to answer those questions about himself, who was to say what he would say? Certainly someone would find the spectacle amusing, but Nigel found it nail-bitingly breathtaking.

Nigel's posture was one of intense observation, head leaded forward and hands clasped together in anticipation for the questions and Hunter's responses. It seemed the whole courtroom felt the same, though Nigel's attention was singledly tuned to the two people ahead. Well, it was until he felt a pair of eyes inspecting him like a fresh set of slaves on the market. Ash had given him a look, one he only assumed meant "What do you think?" So Nigel simply shook his head slightly, giving a hint of him saying "Not good." To him, it would require a miracle for Hunter to not be thrown out at this point. A miracle, or the oratery skills of Alexander the Great.

And Hunter was no Alexander the Great, that was for sure.

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Alexander Polawski
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

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Alexander didn't think much as the questioning followed up directly aimed at Hunter. Didn't, or tried not to. Thinking only made it worse, the black mass of feelings inside of him that is. The calming presence, a friendly touch and reassuring words of Manny had helped to settle the black mess of trauma somewhat in his gut, but not blow it to kingdom come yet. Even the slighest aftershock of…well, either Hunter's painful trial or his own darkened memories could rock the boat…

Thankfully Manny's calming words didn't stop completely. A friendly tone and smile sent his way from his fellow Baby Boomer did its part to pull the side of Alexander's mouth into the briefest of smiles, a slow nod from his own head trying to reassure Manny. Or himself. He soldiered on, like he had done for so many years and continued now. That, and grasp after Freedman's words of wisdom, to find a happy memory.

Not that he had any happy memories inside a court of law, sadly.

The military tribunal continued with Hunter being asked to answer for himself, whatever good that would and could bring upon the troubled soldier. Alexander placed his shaking hands under his butt, holding them in place as Hunter somewhow managed to not say anything stupid. Single-word sentences, clear and precise, unlike the flood of youthful crap from earlier. Surprised Alexander sat fixated on Hunter, trying to blow away any intrusive thoughts that might bring him back to That place. He sat, watched and listened, his fate intertwined with Hunter's.
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