Status

Recent Statuses

5 mos ago
Current "Funny how a melody, sounds like a memory."
5 mos ago
Fuck. I made myself sad again. Stop it, you mean SOB. Stop. Thanks.
3 likes
5 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
6 mos ago
Marry Chrysler
1 like
6 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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M) -> Streets of CMB
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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?"
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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…"

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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?"

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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...
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.


━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


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.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


Nigel noted the brief, yet emotional testimony of the older soldier, Alexander, feeling a sense of sorrow simply watching him as he clearly didn't feel comfortable sitting up there. Why? The Roman scholar couldn't tell, simply observing him silently, but with an understanding look as the old man finished and limped back to his seat beside his fellow old man. He didn't know it then, perhaps never would, but he could only imagine what old Alexander had gone through to be moved in such a way by Hunter's outburst of Greek theatrics.

The trial wasn't about Alexander though, but Hunter, and Nigel sat patiently while he observed intently what testimony followed. Nikki was call forth, questioned about her relationship with the troubled youth. Nigel remembered how the two youths had socialised back then, and contemplated how far Hunter had fallen since then. Games of Pool, relatively friendly conversations and drunken words of encouragement, how was his story going to wind up? How would the Golden Yarn of Fate be spun?

Then the heavy charges were put forth against the accused Hastati, in the words of none other than Macsen, who told in great details. While the events were told, Nigel found himself digging his face deeper and deeper into the palm of his hand. To him the reprucations for his negligence seemed fair, but Hunter's reaction had been…well, Nigel didn't have words really. It didn't help when others came forward to continue this Greek tragedy, not to mention the following evidence.

Televised footage.

At every turn and crossing, Hunter had made critical strategic mistakes in the battle for social inclusion. In short, Nigel thought Hunter had done everything in his power to make things worse, even if he didn't think so himself. Everyone he met, perhaps aside from Nigel himself for some strange, divine reason, Hunter had managed to insult. To say the least, the young soldier had a Herculean feat before him if he was to convince them he wasn't a danger to their small society. Even Nigel was having second thoughts to Hunter now, the pragmatist taking hold of him like before. Perhaps it was for the best if Hunter was simply thrown over the city walls?

Only time and Hunter's words would tell, and Nigel waited with baited breath.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


Alexander's hand shook uncontrollably, struggled to not show itself in a position of weakness as the old veteran was finally dismissed from testifying before the court. He got back up on his one good foot and good peg-leg, limping determindly back over to his old seat beside Manny. It had been hell, a kind of hell ol' Mugsy hadn't been exposed to for years at this point. Years of trauma had been dug up, and in a matter of mere minutes it had played itself out before his tearing eyes as he had tried to answer their questions.

As he tried to not think about the traumatic flashback Hunter, Tatiana and others had unknowingly brought upon him by causing that scene back in Quarantine. His fleeting eyes crossed Hunter's for a moment, two soldiers from different times meeting in a world not made for them. Or perhaps made perfectly for the two of them?

Alexander shuffled hurriedly back to Manny, quickly seating himself as his good hand gripped tightly around the one shaking, as if in the middle of an enemy mortar strike that just would stop. Ol' Mugsy's mind was so focused on the trembling occupying him that he didn't see Manny reaching out for him. When he did, his face shot up and stared wildly at Manny, but grew calm and comforted once he recognized the familiar face looking reassuringly at him. He did good?...perhaps he did?

The old veteran's face grew less stiff, frightened, and began to take the deep breaths he so desperately needed to keep going through the trial. He had done good, answered to the best of his abilities…if Manny said so, then he would try to believe that. "I…thanks Manny, thank you." The words were equally short and thankful, glad to have Manny by his side as the trial kept dragging on.

Things only kept turning from bad to worse with every single word spoken up against Hunter. People might have gotten a really, really bad impression of Hunter at this point, but Alexander? He couldn't force himself to think he was a horrible human being…because he had to believe that he himself wasn't one. It was to awfully easy for the old soldier to see himself in the young soldier, decades apart but still suffering from a trauma that hadn't fully healed. Only difference was that Alexander had been coping with it since the 70's and had a wife to help him, and Hunter had not.

It was still painful to hear the testimonies of those who'd witnessed Hunter's outbursts and himself watch the footage of him lashing out. Honestly Alexander didn't know what to think; was he a sorry piece of shit who desperately needed CMB to recover, or was he a sorry son of a bitch who deserved to be thrown to the wolves? He…he didn't know, desperately wanting to find some redemption for the young man. Or was it redemption for himself he sought?
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


Iustitia fundamentum regni. Justice is the foundation of a reign. That and other phrases so well uttered in the foundational language of Latin rang through Nigel's mind as the trial recommenced. Throughout the week or so they'd stayed at Camp Mexico Beach, Nigel had gone through the opposing extremes of his attitude towards the military settlement. At the one hand he'd been cautious following Erica, Hank and Wayne into that bus and through Quarantine, not certain that the militaristic nature of a modern citadel would suit him and his morals. On the other hand, his time spent inside the protective walls of a Bastion of civilisation had given him reason to stay, integrate and even assimilate into the larger population.

Now as the trial continued its due course, he just hoped their conduct towards Hunter would be founded in justice. Right makes might, or Might makes right.

The following lines of questioning aimed at the row of witnesses made him reconsider that hope, more specifically the insistance on what Tatiana the Scarred had actually told Ash. Again and again people were asked what the Russian woman had spoken, and none elaborated. Nigel was no different, well mostly. "Ibidem. As stated by those testifying before me, I do not speak Russian. I assumed it was an internal matter between Tatiana and Ashton, and with the absence of intervention of our guards, I'm not certain that single event alone can explain Hunter's following outburst…"

The image of Tatiana's scars running down her back gave him reason enough to not push on what he thought about the case. Like he said, he didn't speak Russian, so his subjective opinions weren't solid enough considering this was about Hunter. Looking seriously at the Professor as she continued her questioning, Nigel the neo-Roman took a deep breath as he tried to construct a mental timeline of the events that followed. "How much time passed? Not long, only a few moments between the aforementioned scolding and Tatiana tending to Mr. Polawski's broken cup of coffee, then Hunter iniating his dramatic monologe of a Greek nature. I found it…should I say, ironic in the greatest truth of the word? Worst of all I found it being all bark, no bite, but threatening to worsen the already tense situation the Quarantine room found itself in. And then…the fight between him and Beatrice. From what I understand and could see, she incapacitated him, warning him to…well, behave I suppose. He took it to heart, in the end at the very least. As mentioned by my fellow witnesses, it de-escalated after that. In my opinion, it sounded as if she was protective."

Nigel returned in the end to his seat, his eyes rising up as the old veteran rose from his own seat. Alexander Polawski, the same person Tatiana had gone over to clean up his cup, sure looked shaken as he took the stand. And like that, Nigel once again found his whole presence intriguing.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


To say Alexander was shaken, was an understatement. His demeanour had been calm, collected and quite cooperative back in the Mess Hall when he spoke with his fellow Baby Boomer. With Manny, Alexander allowed himself to smile, laugh and sigh in understanding sadness as the two old men exchanged tales of their past lives. Boats, spouses, what made them happy. Alexander would nod in agreement, sad agreement to everything Manny told him. It had been then he realised how much he didn't know about his friend, perhaps as much as he didn't know about himself. And yet Alexander couldn't help but chuckle at what Manny had said first; that he looked forward to being dragged onboard a nice, comfortable boat. Yes, even through all the pain both of them had experienced, they could share some good times together. Alexander looked forward to that.

Back in the Auditorium and the trial of the young soldier, Hunter, Alexander sat silently but squiemishly on his seat as questions were asked, witnesses called and more people brought forth to answer an never-ending barrage of questions. The worst part of it wasn't how much shit was being brought out of the woodwork on Hunter's character, or how the Professor seemingly decided to focus in on what the Russian lady had or hadn't said. Perhaps Alexander time growing up during the Cold War should have prepositioned him against Tatiana by default, being a "dirty commie" like in the good old days?

No, the worst part of it was how little Alexander could actually say.

Limping up to the stand and clearing his throat longer than he had done so far, Alexander struggled to find the words he wanted to say, any way of answering the questions asked to him. He'd collected enough information from the others answering to possibly give a bullshit account…but he couldn't.

"I…your honour, I…don't speak Russian, so I…I don't know. I just, I just wanted it to stop. The screaming…I didn't see, couldn't see anyhing of what was happening at that time. Like Thalia…Mrs. Carmichael said before me, I…" Alexander felt his heart beating like a racing car engine inside his chest, his pulse increasing and breath growing short as the images of that day returned to him. With great strength Alexander attempted to remember what Freedman had taught him, finding happy memories to keep him going.

"Sorry, let me rephrase. I…what Hunter said, I thought something…something bad was gonna happen to him, you know? Charlie gonna get him…" Alexander reached for his head, an intense pulsating pain shooting through his body taking hold of him as he slowly remembered what he had seen…thought he'd seen. It had been a memory, just a vision, right? He struggled to catch his breath, his old and worn fingers grasping tightly around whatever he could find to stable himself as he forced himself to continue. "I don't know, I cannot recall. Thalia helped me find a chair…long day…very, very long day…Exhausted." At this point, Alexander's face was pale as a sheet, sweat running down his face as he struggled to stand upright. His past was catching up to him, like it had been waiting nearly fourty years.

Everyone looked at him, and for good reason. He was giving his testimony, but to Alexander it was quickly becoming too much for him to handle. Everyone looked at him, judged him, his words and actions, everything. This was the trial he'd never had, though one he deserved to have had since he fired those shots…Mugsy's old lips quivered, struggling to hold back the tears swelling in his eyes. "I don't know anything, I cannot recall…May I be dismissed…please?" His voice trembling, his entire frame trembling, the old veteran wasn't taking being on the stand as easily as before. Something was wrong, very wrong and troubling him. It was moments away before he revealed what he knew, what he'd done and what crimes he himself had committed...what he should have been court-martialed for himself. If he hadn't already taken a piss, he would have pissed himself right then and there.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Alexander Polawski
Location: Mess Hall (C) -> Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


The low-rumbling ambience of chatter, feet stepping on the concrete floor and cutlery scraping against plates and tables, felt all to familiar to the old veteran again. Only Manny's voice managed to hold Alexander back onto their plane of existence or whatever the hippies back in the 60's used to og and on about, holding the mental line against a barrage of small-arms fire from a very known enemy, yet unseen and unnoticed to the naked eye. Only Manny managed to keep him in his old, yet sane shape, not the broken down soldier who served for too fucking long.

He was still broken, but Old Mugsy had one thing Young Polawski did not. Hope.

Alexander lifted his gaze up from his platter of fish, chewing quietly with his mouth closed, unlike some miserable idiots he'd eaten with before. He couldn't remember name, only faces and the sound of teeth chewing violently on a beef jerky too much like rubber. Thankfully Manny continued where Alexander had left off, answering him about fish filets, boating, fishing and…husband?

Then you'll be glad to have an old Illinois seaman by your side, peg-leg and all! I'll teach you the ropes, whether you like it or not." Alexander joked initially, scooping in another spoonful of fish grub into his mouth as he continued to listen to Manny's answers. He listened closely, friendly to what little experience Manny had with the ocean, not failing to see the parallels between his father's relationship and that of his fellow Baby Boomer. He was ready to get some experience under his belt, now that the world had ended and it seemed like a good opportunity to get a good sea-leg, so to speak. Then again, Alexander found a question he felt an urge to ask, as innocently as he possibly could. "Wait, husband? You had a husband, Manny?"

It wasn't meant in the way it must have come out as; gays and homosexuals, he'd spent his fair share of time around those through his life. Honestly he didn't care about whoever you loved, Catholic or not. He'd spent so much of his life pushing away those who loved him and vice versa, that he'd reconsidered that part of life by now. He just…hadn't expected Manny to have had a husband. Then again, he probably missed him as much as Alexander missed Judith…

Alexander cleared his throat after that awkward question, turning to what Manny had actually asked about. "Outside of the Army? My father and I spent many summers out on Lake Michigan back in my youth. We used to fight like Hell back in those days, neither understanding the. But when we were out fishing? Was the only place we could get along…before I went off to 'Nam back in '70. Afterwards I didn't sail until I met Judith. We'd spend many a summer outside of the Coast of Florida actually, those were the Good days…I miss it, you know?"

Time was up though as dinner was over, and Alexander followed Manny's suit to clean up and head back to the trial. Fish shoveled into his mouth and chewed on like Hell as he limped over to deposit his tray, Alexander wobbled after Manny out of Mess Hall, following by his side until they got back to the Auditorium and found their seats. "And for the sake of argument, I was in the Army, not the Navy. Never spent any time on boats over there, neither blue nor brown. Not sure if they had it worse than us or the other way around. At least we could take cover, but they could only duck down in their river boat and pray to God they'd get back alive. Probably something you could ask Thana about though."

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Mess Hall (C) -> Education Center (M)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


It was a most interesting conversation to have, even for the lack of verbal elaboration which Thalia decided to give to either Nigel or Shears about the origins of her armed prowess. The settlements designated Tender of Hair had a fair assessment of Thalia's origins, connecting her fairly well to the man Nigel had unexpectedly become aquainted with earlier; The Shakespearean Joaquin who now was destinied to cross blades with the Neo-Roman scholar. Now that was still an event which the chronicles had yet to put to paper. After his little skirmish with Thalia, Nigel wondered how fighting her kin would fare him.

He didn't comment on it though, fairly certain that the spectacle they'd made in the Mess Hall a week earlier had been far enough. Quoting Shakespear and promising to dual with a CMB native, that was sure to stick to your memory. No, Nigel was far more interested in Thalia and her legacy, only giving Shears a brief look of acknowledgement and a "Now that is what I call an Athenian Sacerdos Dente. I hope I never end up at his arm's opposing side."

Again Nigel focused on Thalia and their brief conversation, still curious as to her background and what little historical documentation she gave him to work with. Catholic? Checked out, her name sounded befitting one of Peter's Flock from Rome, though her mention of him being another Horseman intriuged Nigel. What else would he be? The only one he thought fit, was Conquest. He didn't voice his mental musings however, simply giving Thalia a silent nod of approval and continuing to eat his meal. Perhaps Thalia's demenour was rubbing onto him as well, or he was getting back at reading people. He thought it best not get on the One-handed Amazon's bad side either way, or better yet get on her good side before they met for an armed duel. He looked forward to having her as a proud sparring-match, and to fight by her side.

It was at this point Thalia decided to show him the card, giving him the briefest of time to deciphere it's coded content before he could give an answer. "…many hands make for easy work, yet this one…Forgive me for asking bluntly, but have you asked Cook about this? It sounds like a phrase connected most fittingly with those inhabiting the Cantine. Too many cooks, you know? If not, I'd like to help if I can, Thalia."

Before he knew it, dinner was over and their presence was required back at the Trial. Nigel hurried to finish his long-sought after meal, clearing away the tray and making his way back to the Education Center and Auditorium. It seemed like most others arrived around the same time, and Nigel did his best to find his previous seat besides Ashton, giving him a polite nod as he scootched past others to take his seat. There wasn't much to say between Nigel and Ash, so an eire silence commenced as he waited for the Trial to recommence.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Alexander Polawski
Location: Mess Hall (C)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


The old and worn-out veteran knew Manny had taken his seat across from before he even looked up from his fishy bits. It was the telltale signs of some shuffling up to the table, the sight of someone in his peripheral vision and the sound of eating. More than anything though was how quiet the person was in his actions, no gaining Alexander's attention and asking for permission, nor the idle chatter that accompanied all military mess halls throughout Mankind's long history. So when he looked up from his bowl of fish chowder and saw the familiar face of Manny, Mugsy didn't seem surprised. On the contrary, the one-legged Baby Boomer smiled at his dental Baby Boomer and gave him a brief aknowledging nod, before returning to his fish.

While he liked Manny when his mouth ran like a monsoon, he found the silent company enjoyable as well. He was no Thalia nor Beatrice, but Manny was just as good.

Alexander ate a few bits of what had to be a meal cooked with not just fish, but a lot of love too reminding him of his wife's late cooking, a saddened smile flashing across his face. Good memories, bad memories, but at least in the safe enviroment of Camp Mexico Beach, Alexander felt it easier to find back to both of those. Freedman's words echoed in the back of his mind once again, eyes looking up at Manny as he saviored the moment just like he'd been told to. "If you're lucky and remain on my good side, Manny, I'll dish you up of my special Polawksi fish filets! Who knows how many varations on fish they can have, especially since this is some of the better Army food I've had. And believe me, I've eaten decade-old MRS' that tasted…well, like shit. Anyway, ever spent any time fishing on a boat? You always seemed like a landcrab to me, don't know many naval dentists."

His conversation with Manny was annoyingly sidelined by a certain voice calling from the stage, harking back to the events Alexander didn't want to think about as he ate. He shook his head, annoyed that he couldn't get five-fucking-minutes without his thoughts being dragged through some pile of shit, one way or another. He sighed, returning to the act of eating in relative silence, though waiting for Manny to respond. Perhaps he could never escape those dark thoughts, but at least he could get distracted from them.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Nigel Cooper
Location: Mess Hall (C)
Skills: N/A

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


Nigel had been privilged to socialise with Thalia the one-armed Amazon a handful of times before, so her brief and stone-walled response didn't come as a surprise to him. She'd been a woman of few words the first week of quarantine as far as he could remember, and the brief conversation they'd had at the bar during the beach party had given him a lesson of her way with words. That was to say, her narrow and precise usage of words, like a Cretan archer firing his arrows sparingly during battle. He'd known this when he gave her an option of silence as he sat down to eat with her, so he had perhaps learned some social skills after all.

Which was more the reason he found her answer as intruiging as he did. First of all she answered him, and secondly it had not been what he'd expected. Then again, what did he expect? He'd learned the way of the sword through self-practice and reenactment, while others out of the neccecaty the world ending brought with it. Her dad insisting, now that was a tale worth penning to a Roman legend!

Nigel slowly ate his fish chowder as he listened intently to Thalia's words, giving a half-surprised response back to Shears as he took a seat as well. "Hmmpf…greetings." he mumbled through eaten fish, swallowing hard as he gave Thalia his mostly undivided attention again. "A priest of War, a war-priest? Seems Fortuna was partly kind to you then, and your father taught you well, Thalia." Nigel answered in brief terms, trying not to push his luck any further. At least she had answered, and their relationship was already established as dueling-partners, so he was happy with what he got. Still was interested in the card Shears handed to Thalia and what it read, more so the look on her face. He couldn't read it though, and continued to eat in silence. Like the Romans before him, prod the defences and know when and where to strike. Not before, nor after.

© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet