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Luck Is A Skill


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Yeah. That's me. That's the girl. That's the trooper.

You're probably wondering how I got here...

 

I was running a good deal. A little bit of psychic-ery here, a quick two-step with a few bugs there. It all started back on Mars. You see, I had life made in the shade. I had it good. While I was growing up, I had a thing for fortune. My mum' always told me I was top of my class. Could've been a contender. Then the Progenitors had to go laughing their happy asses all the way to the core-worlds, ice the Sky Marshall and kick off the biggest Civil War the Federation's ever known. Skip forward a few years and you've got me, missing my bio-dome, knee-deep trudging through the mud with the rest of the apes. This is for you new people; Kids? Stay in school. Don't do drugs. If you're from Rhohan? Invest in a weapon and learn how to shoot it. Never trust The Man. Don't you ever join the Mobile Infantry. Most importantly, above all else? Make sure your last meal isn't a deviled egg and a Pencyltucky trail-bar from Mars.

 

 


Vasilica Malenkov
Luck Is A Skill

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|Citizen ID|
43714-48361-VM

|Citizenship|
Federal Citizen - Psychic

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|PLACE OF BIRTH|
Armstrong,
Mars

|DATE OF BIRTH|
11/05/2276 [Age 25]

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|BRANCH|
Department of Paranormal Warfare
Office of Special Services

|Unit|
Office of Special Services, Special Task Force 6-3
24th Pathfinder Unit Group, Fox Company, First Platoon

|Previous Tasking|
Office of Special Services, Special Task Force 6-4
58th Corsairs, Delta Company, Second Platoon
 
Office of Special Services, Special Task Force 6-3
58th Corsairs, Delta Company, First Platoon

|YEARS IN SERVICE|
3 (2298 - Current)

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|PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION|
 
A thin and sinewy trooper, taller than some. Described only as a ramblin', amblin', gamblin' bitchin' bespectacled rockstar from Mars, Malenkov would probably insist that she's nothing special to be gawked at or paid attention to. A generally-quiet woman of dark hair and tanned complexion, her cultural origins may be traced back to a group of Terran colonists from Brașov. She carries a faint accent, having a tendency to roll her Rs and wind up a little harsh on the consonants. Despite this, her inflection and vernacular are both pretty good when it comes to her grasp on the Federal-standard language.
 
Her watch looks cool, but it's a cheap Chinesium knock-off. Sorry, killer.
 
|HEIGHT|
5'6''/167.594 cm.
 
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Mortal Reminders

i) A Machete & A Hit Of Rum

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Mfuni, Rustle and Heever bought the farm.

You found your fellows drinking in the bar.

You weren't so sure it was appropriate for you to partake.

Top told you otherwise;

"Ain't nobody on this ship not one of us."

-----

For better or worse.

You'll remember that.

Maybe if you weren't such a chickenshit, you'd actually believe him.

When is it going to get through that thick skull of yours?

Far is the reach, Malenkov.

 

ii) Air & Esoterica

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Spc. Vasilica Malenkov (left) & 2Spc. Beckham Carignan (right) at the Allillon gala. - Circa 2301 (colorized)

 

 

You almost left.

Beck stopped you.

"Grab some air by the water. If you don't change your mind, I'll let you go."

You spent an awful lot of time talking about yourself.

You don't generally.

It makes you feel pretentious.

You answer questions, but you don't typically engage.

That night you engaged.

-----

You knocked back more drinks than you told yourself you would.

Part for the nerves, part for the fun.

It's alright to cut loose once in a while.

You'd hate to wind up like your father, wouldn't you?

You've been thinking a lot about Audrey, lately.

About the letter you never sent.

Your last words were an argument.

You got cold feet about it, and you'd take it all back if you could.

You should have mailed that envelope.

-----

Audrey.

You're probably wondering a whole bunch of things, reading this. I'm going away. Probably forever. I've signed on with the Federation effort, and they're getting ready to ship us all out to Iskander come the 11th.

I'm feeling both happy and sad, and I'm still sitting here trying to figure out how that could be. On one hand, I may never see you again, may never see my family again. In light of this, there are some things I want to get off my chest. My whole life people have been trying to convince me of how smart I am; Tell me that I'm clever, that I'm funny, that I'm real bright. 'Should have been a doctor', you said. Your face, my little sister, when I said I was getting into soldiering - but I'm digressing. I think I'm the dumbest smart person in the world then, looking at where I'm about to end up. Though, there is a small morsel of satisfaction to be had, being the first to set foot in some place unbeknownst to the rest of mankind. To accompany this, there is a feeling of dread at the thought of never seeing the people I'm thinking about while writing this letter.

Do me one last kindness before I set foot into the great beyond. Well, three now that I think about it. Firstly. Keep that chin up kiddo, while I'm gone. Dad's been departed for a while now, and you've got mum to look after. Make me proud, would you? Secondly. Never pass up a good thing. I've always felt alone. My whole life, for as long as I can remember. I don't know if I... like it, or If I'm just used to it. But I do know this: Being lonely does things to you - and feeling shit and bitter and angry all the time? It eats away at you. I'm thinking some time away from the world will change that. Lastly? Well. Just hear me out, one last time.

I had a good shake at life and it's been wasted on a whole lot of nothing. You know how things are, and I'm sorry you drew the short straw between the two of us. I'd give you the world if I could. So, here's a piece of advice, it's free this time; Don't do drugs. Stay in school. Learn how to fly a ship. Get real good with a sidearm. Never trust The Man. Above all else? Don't grow up to be me.

Stars are the limit.

Love, Vasi.

 

iii) A Crowbar & A Six Second Fuse

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A long time ago.

Your mother gave you a metaphor;

"Life is like a piano.

The white keys are the good days.

The black keys are the bad ones.

One day you wake up and realize that you need both to make music."

-----

You froze up and you didn't know what to do.

You saw him reach for his belt.

You and Messier both had your guns out.

Why didn't you stop him?

You stupid fuck, you could have saved his life.

Instead, he had to save yours.

-----

In the middle of a broken plaza.

Illuminated in a cone of light.

Two troopers.

One slim.

One sturdy.

They are on the city stage.

But only one of them knows their lines...

-----

You won't hesitate again next time.

Far is the reach.

See you in Hell, gunner.

 

iv) Cold Storage Air & Pills Hard To Swallow

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"How do you process it?"

"I suppose it depends on the day.

Lot of the time I sit and try to think on it."

 

"Do you succeed?"

 

"Succeed how, exactly? In keeping it down?"

 

"If your idea of 'processing' is keeping it down,

that might be why it isn't working, lass."

 

-----

You spoke for an awfully long time.

You were honest with her.

More honest than you tend to be about yourself.

Maybe she can help you.

She gave you a lot to chew on.

A lot to think about.

As if that hasn't been all you've done, lately.

-----

Your whole life people have told you how lucky you are.

You can't help but wonder if you draw it from other people.

You keep coming out just fine.

But every time you do, someone else doesn't.

You fell down a dune and Winchester died in your place.

You hesitated to shoot and Jacobson died in your place.

How many more is it gonna' take?

What's it going to be, Malenkov?

A lead pill, a shallow grave, or are you going to stand on a pile of ashes?

-----

"Some days I wake up and I'm alright.

 

Others I wake up and I'm drowning.

 

I feel like my head's being held underwater -

and I'm screaming, and ah-...

 

...- Instead of coming back up for air,

I'm just sucking down water.

 

And I'm getting heavier and heavier."

-----

You woke up in a hotel room and started rambling about the end of the world.

It's not your normal everyday doom-crying, either.

Something truly colossal is approaching -- the Gloaming. The Culling.

The Bloodletting of Unimaginable Proportions.

Until now you've been *pleasantly* vague about the precise nature of this cataclysm.

No more!

Put the Bloodletting on the burner.

*Really* figure out what's threatening the fragile physical reality you just found yourself in.

 

v) Inner Workings & Lucid Dreams

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Outskirts of Armstrong, Mars. 2295

 

What is life? Only visions.
When I die, I'm coming right on back for you.
Who am I? An illusion.
Would I lie? I'm coming right on back for you.
-----

"Desert's a funny place, Vasi. This your first time doin' a spacewalk?" asked Logan. He was your best friend, some'd even call him the 'love of your life'. You'd kill to have realized that a few years sooner. Time's a funny thing, you figure, looking back on it; luck can win you a whole lot of things, but it can never win you love. At least, that's what you tell yourself. You're not so sure you'd like luck to do you that solid, anyhow.

 

"Yeah," the younger you replied. "The cycles are funny, s'all. It's the dead of night, even though it's the middle of the day back in the dome."

 

"Didn't you pay attention in school?" he chastised you. It made you feel awfully small. You wanted to impress him; that's why you came, after-all. Now you just look stupid. "Cycles are twenty-four hours. That's just the body rhythm. That's galactic standard time. But Mars is forty minutes past that in its solar cycles. It catches up over the years. Throws the whole time off wack. It's why we've got the simulated light in the dome. It takes an awful lot of years for that to happen, mind you. It's like a once-per-couple-generations thing." You envied his intelligence. It drove you crazy. He could answer any question you threw at him. Suppose that's what it's like when you grow up with a Memory Man. What are the odds of two psychics growing up in the same community, in a little glass dome like yours? Astronomical. It's got to be. Is that luck, or fate? you wondered. You still think about it in the waking world.

 

These lucid dreams of yours are funny things. They've always tickled your fancy. They stop and give you time to ruminate and reflect. That doesn't happen in the real world. Everything keeps moving and it's on you to keep up with the rest of it. You're only the main character in your own head. Thank God for that. It lets you sit back, blend into your surroundings as best as that purple cap of yours allows.

 

"I knew that," you lied.  He didn't answer you right away. You were about to speak again when he piped up, finally.

 

"You expect our first real date would be a hike in a pair of enviro-suits in the dark of night?" Logan wondered.

 

"Is that what we're calling this?" you jabbed back. Why did you do that? He was interested in you, you fucking idiot.

 

"Hindsight is twenty-twenty, Malenkov,"

Garret was right.

 

You-

-----

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I thought good times could last forever
Long nights and perfect weather
I tried to never say never, but I was wrong
The wildness of those days couldn't last for long
I woke up on the beach one day and found that she had gone
The rains had come, there was no sun, I felt so deadly tired
After thirteen days of loving her I felt like I could die

-----

Your thought cabinet was interrupted when Victoria came to have a word with you.

She snapped you out of it.

It's not good for you to get in your own head, anyway.

Wilkes caught you holding her hand.

Felt awkward.

-----

She took you up to the bridge.

You caught a glimpse of the stars.

You weren't your usual self today.

You upset her.

And that upset you.

 

vi) A Golfing Hat & A New Set of Clubs

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Well hello, Harmony.

Whatcha' doin' for free?

Yeah, get on your knees; you freak.

And please, please me.

-----

You've spent the past few weeks on Iskander.

A crash course for power armor.

A fast-track on combat diving.

They moved you up a notch in the world.

Your kind belong with the men in black, now.

-----

The running gag is that they call them golfing trips.

Funny, that you've always talked about loving golf.

Funnier yet, that you're awfully good at it.

Butt of the joke being that you're good at it in both contexts.

-----

Your new family's tight.

You like Murphy, he helps you feel at home.

You rib Candy because you're insecure.

You joke with Henley because she makes you nervous.

You're not sure if you've got something to prove.

Or if it's all in your head.

-----

Find your headspace.

Show them what you're made of.

A tool just as sharp as the rest.

In sanguine et sudore, veritas.

 

vii) New Brothers & Mother's Forbidden Mason Jar

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You think you fit in with your new brothers.

It's been a smooth few days.

You've kept your head down.

People seem happy to see you again.

Murph and Candy think you're some kind of lucky charm.

-----

Are you the reason they came back?

Killed the Royal?
They seem hell-bent on thinking so.

At least, that's what they told you.

-----

You contributed to the mission.

Your intuition sent them in the right direction.

They think you're a cool cat.

You think you're a cool cat.

You'd do anything for them.

You reckon they'd do the same for you, now that you're blooded.

You wouldn't have it any other way.

-----

Adversius Omnibus Tyrannis

Umbram Fugat Veritas, killer.

They even let you keep the jar.

 

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viii) Hotel Rooms & Fuckboy Blues

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Your undercover assignments suck.

There's a part of you that laments what you are now.

You never thought you'd say it.

But you miss the Mobile Infantry.

Not so much the fuck-shit assignments.

You miss the people.

-----

You've spent more time in a hotel room than you have fighting.

You sit around more often than not.

You're not the warfighter you used to be.

You feel old as time.

Like you're falling out of your place in the universe.

-----

Some you miss more than others.

Some you even think twice about.

If it came down to it, if you had to make a choice.

You think there's one thing you'd say to them.

Tell Murphy, tell Cassidy;

You'd tell them you had to go and see about a girl.

 

ix) Baseline Tests & Blank Thought Resets

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"You've taken a baseline test before, miz' Malenkov?" she asked you.

A mousy woman, not very old.

Older than you, surely.

But not by an awful lot.

"Yeah," you answered.

Short and to the point.

You didn't want to be here.

But you didn't have much of a choice.

 

Baseline after a big operation's usually mandatory.

Lets them know if you're fucked up, up there.

Are you fucked up?

 

"Very good, miz' Malenkov. Recite your baseline."

She's sterile about the procedure.

She isn't your friend.

She's just doing a job, but that bothers you.

You can't quite put your thumb on it.

Your baseline was what they used to gauge how well you could concentrate.

It's how they train psychics under pressure.

Build up the mind, a muscle like any other.

The hard questions always made you nervous.

 

"For we die every day; oblivion thrives.

Not on dry thigh-bones but on blood-ripe lives.

And our best yesterdays are now foul piles;

of crumpled names, phone numbers and foxed files."

 

"For every day we die; oblivion thrives.

What's it like to watch a comrade die? Die."

"Die."

You repeat the last word.

You ignore the question.

If you dwell on it, you're left from baseline.

If you're left from baseline, they get worried.

 

"What's it like to watch someone you love die? Die."

"Die."

You have the luxury of not knowing.

 

"Are you willing to die for the Federation? Die."

"Die."

Yes.

But it kills you to say it.

"What does oblivion mean to you? Oblivion."

 

You stop for a hair.

She noticed.

 

"Oblivion."

You close your eyes a better person.

Or imagine that you can imagine such a thing.

And it goes on, and on, and on like that.

Project yourself into the air, and float into a weightless night.

"Are you afraid it'll swallow you whole? Oblivion."

"Oblivion."

Yes.

And your life wouldn't have amounted to a goddamn thing.

You retain composure.

For now.

"Is there something waiting for you there? Oblivion."

Your throat got tight.

You couldn't swallow for a moment.

 

"Oblivion."

She saw your eyes get glossy.

A notion too far removed to mention.

-----

 

Armstrong, Mars. 2286, December

 

"Oh, crap, Vasi! Uncle Yuli's going to -kill- us!"

That was the first thing you heard when you opened your eyes.

She was looking down at you, wide-eyed and looking mortified.

She never wanted to hurt you.

 

"Hey, way to go, slugger,"

Eugene piped up with a phrase oozing sarcasm.

Enough-so to feed the entirety of a small village.

He patted his sister on the back.

 

The last thing you could remember was horse-playing with a pair of sticks, you and your cousins.

You couldn't have been any more than ten or eleven.

It was a pass time of yours.

You could feel your nose bleeding.

 

"I didn't mean to hit her in the face!"

Eleanor fussed, she always did.

That's what you loved about her.

She reminded you of you, if you weren't such a fuck-up.

 

It wasn't the first time this happened.

It wouldn't be the last, either.

You never told your father.

You kept them out of trouble, until you couldn't anymore.

 

-----

 

 

"Not on dry thigh-bones but on blood-ripe lives. Blood."

 

"Blood."

Blood.

"Do you ever feel like there's blood on your hands? Blood."

"Blood."

Every day.

She knows.

You can see it in her face.

She can't read your mind, but she hasn't got to.

That guilty look on your face says enough.

"Do you have a hard time washing it off? Blood."

"Blood."

You're afraid to try.

If you never do, you can convince yourself it might wash off.

 

Your gut clenches.

You know what's coming.

Don't ask it.

Please, don't ask it.

"Would you spill the blood of a loved-one for the Federation? Blood."

Fuck.

"Blood."

The answer's quick.

Your intuition saved you this time.

"Do you ever think about spilling your own blood? Blood."

"Blood."

You don't even have to think about it.

You're not a manic.

You don't want to hurt yourself.

You're drowning, but someone else is holding your head underwater.

"And our best yesterdays are now foul piles. Yesterday."

"Yesterday."

"Has war tarnished any of your best yesterdays? Yesterday."

"Yesterday."

You came to terms with that one a long time ago.

"If you could do it all over again, would you? Yesterday."

"Yesterday."

No.

You might not meet Her again.

 

 

-----

 

November

 

"-I'm- not afraid of you," you told her.

That made her smile.

So many people were.

But not you.

 

You held her hand for a long time.

It was a funny thing, that.

"Exactly one of the reasons I enjoy having you around."

That was her answer.

 

It tripped you up.

You had to stop and wait a minute.

Nobody's ever said that to you before.

It was like lightning in your bones.

 

-----

 

"Of crumpled names, phone numbers and foxed files. Crumpled."

"Crumpled."

Just like you.

Dread of the superego.

Cessation of both the ego and the id.

A basin of trapped anima.

"Are you afraid of tarnishing your relationships with others? Crumpled."

It's screaming.

It's thrashing.

Trying to get out.

You didn't even catch the question at first.

 

A heartbeat, then another.

It's less like a metronome.

More like a nervous ditty.

One you sing or hum compulsively in complete darkness.

"Crumpled."

"Can you feel yourself breaking down? Crumpled."

"Crumpled."

Yes.

But who do you tell?

"Are you afraid of a particular relationship crashing down? Crumpled."

Stop it.

She's getting close, and you don't like it.

You can feel it under your skin.

"Crumpled."

"Is it a he, or a she? Crumpled."

She knows.

Your eyes blinked at 'she'.

It's a subtle tell.

But it's enough.

"Crumpled."

"Do you love her? Crumpled."

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Crumpled."

 

x) Concussions & Character

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Your fist connected with the poor Lance Corporal's face.

He never saw it coming.

He thought he had you.

You're not a very good boxer.

-----

You're just lucky.

That's how it goes, isn't it?

One lucky punch.

The big swinger goes down.

-----

 

Camp Richard DeSoleil, Iskander. January, 2299

 

The crowd had gathered around and money had exchanged hands. Lieutenant Wilson always was fond of the fight pit - the Corsairs remind you an awful lot of your first unit in that way. Always fighting. Always punching their way out of something-or-other. Most of them had no idea what you were at the time. A few of them had an idea that you were a psychic and that had them on edge. One Lance Corporal Manderville was about twice your size and he had a way with making people laugh. You were usually the butt of the joke, being both new and a Talent. Every greenblood fought at least once. You went through the pit and you were officially one of Wilson's Wildmen.

 

The guy to fight you was the last greenblood to get blooded. They'd never had a psychic get blooded before - mentioned that they usually had a pike (or two) up their ass, and weren't keen on scrapping with the infantry. You? Well. You're not awfully big, but you sure like to hit things. He squared up with you and you weren't even sure you were ready for it. You still had your cigarette in your mouth and you hadn't even had the opportunity to take your glasses off. He came at you in an effort to catch you off-guard before your hands were even up. Unlike the Corsairs, the Wildmen fought dirty. That's where they got their name from. On and off the field, one wasn't all too sure what to expect from them. Wilson himself was a wild card, and his men took after him. You reckon that's probably why you are the way that you are today.

 

Monkey see, monkey do - and you're one hell of a chimp.

 

You tripped over your feet and in a mistaken fluke wound up staggering right under the blow. Everyone thought it was deliberate. To this day, you wonder if it looked cool. You hope so. Your arms came up and he turned around to face you, having practically just switched spots. You sent a punch his way and he damn-near broke your arm grabbing it and kneeing you in the hip. You staggered backwards and he came at you.

It was all whirlwind, heat and flash. You stepped forward and threw your arm back. You think it's the hardest you've ever hit somebody. You broke your hand on his face and he folded like a bad hand of hold'em.

 

It put you in the hospital for a week.

 

It put you in the Wildmen for life.

-----

The devil's inside all the detail.

The tittle runs wild under veil.

Coming together in the pattern.

Fit tightly like a dovetail

 

xi) Fear & Loathing In Vespucci

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And in that time I was alone,

So many years without my home,

I made brothers of a different kind instead.

-----

The last thing you remember was Cassidy's elbow.

Then black.

You went out like a light.

Ten pounds more and you'd be dead; that's what Danny told you.

-----

"Don't tell me what I'm fighting for."

 

"You don't know what you're fighting for."
 

"No wonder your sister hated you."

 

Does Cassidy hate you?

 

Do you hate Cassidy?

 

"Vasilica?"

 

"Vasilica?"

 

"Malenkov, look out!"

 

"Malenkov!"

 

"Nice going, Melon."

 

"Hold on, Vasi!"

 

"Melon?"

 

"Vasi!"

 

"Feeling better, Melon?"

 

"If he weighed about ten more pounds, he'd have probably cracked your skull."

Still enough to crack your trust.

 

"What do you mean you're enlisting?"

 

"What are you going to do, be some kind of hero?"

 

Do you feel like a hero yet?

 

"Do you even know what citizenship means?"

 

"I'm drowning, Cassidy."

 

You're drowning, Malenkov.

 

Reinmann saw you cry.

How're you going to look him in the eye, now?

 

"Grenade!"

 

"Cap's down!"

 

"Vasilica, how long until they're ready to move!?"

 

 

You think Cap's gonna die?

 

"I don't think I wanna' see you ever again."

 

"Audrey, don't -"

 

She closed the door in your face.

You should have mailed that letter.

-----

You woke up in the medical bay.

You weren't expecting to see Danny looking down at you.

You especially weren't expecting Maddie to visit you.

You two talked for a little while.

-----

You got some things off your chest.

It made you feel a little better.

You still feel neck-deep.

But you're not below the surface.

-----

Cassidy almost killed you.

That didn't bother you.

It cut deeper that he lied to you.

It cut deeper that he hit you while you were down.

-----

What he said about Audrey killed you.

 

xii) Family Values & Instruments of Surrender

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Mother don't worry, I've got a coat and some friends on the corner.

Mother don't worry, she's got a garden we're planting together.

-----

You think it's time to forgive Cassidy.

You can't stay mad at him forever.

As much as you might like to.

You won't let yourself.

-----

He's like your little brother.

An idiot and a pain in your ass.

But still a little brother.

And still, you'd do anything for him.

-----

You've always told people one thing.

You told them we don't choose whom we care about.

You want to see him make it through to the end.

You want to give him a reason to start smiling again.

-----

You want to give him what you couldn't give Dawes.

 

xiii) A Reaper & A Cross of Black

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You're not sure what to call it.

Did you break bad?
Are you just following your friends?

Or is there something else in that twisted little head of yours that's got you here?

-----

You're the last member of an old breed.

The Office of Special Services.

They hardly exist these days.

You've got memories; that luxury is still afforded to you.

-----

You drove out into the desert with the new generation of black.

Ashe, Vahl, Roberts, you.

They listen to you in a pinch.

Maybe they even respect you.

-----

Are you one of the old men, now?

You think that just might be the case.

They all seem like kids to you.

Wear that brave face, little lamb; maybe they'll confuse you for a lion, yet.

-----

Tech Sergeant looks good on you, by the way.

 

xiv) Private Doubts & Traitorous Thoughts

Spoiler

bf8cbc6a5ad67d058e215a31e37564d2.jpg

In the wet starlight and on the wet ground.

The lake lay in the mist, its ice half drowned.

A blurry shape stepped off the reedy bank.

Into a crackling, gulping swamp and sank.

-----

I can't tell you how I knew.

But I didn't know that I had crossed the border.

Everything I loved was lost.

And no aorta could report regret.

-----

A sun of rubber was convulsed and set.

And blood-black nothingness began to spin.

A system of cells interlinked within cells interlinked within cells interlinked within one stem.

And dreadfully distinct; against the dark, a tall white fountain played.

-----

So what can stop one from effecting the transition?

What can help us resist the intolerable temptation?

What can prevent us from yielding to the burning desire for merging in God?

We who burrow in filth every day may be forgiven perhaps the sin that ends all sins.

 

xv) Real Human Being & A Real Hero

Spoiler

17544d82619b16fe23a58424ba492db4.jpg

You've come an awful long way.

You met Murphy and Cassidy as a Specialist.

Now you're an officer.

Those are some mighty big shoes to fill, sport.

-----

You're not sure if you're ready for it.

You've never led men a day in your life.

Now you've got a whole handful to look after.

There's a question gnawing at you.

-----

Is it good for you to follow in his footsteps?

You know how he ended up.

What if you wind up all the same?

Faced down in a shallow grave with a bullet in the back of your head?

-----

You envied that boy, up until he broke his back and lost his mind.

You read his final letter.

It makes you sick to think about it.

If not Sorrenson, maybe you'd have done it yourself if he told you what he was going to do.

----

It begs an awful lot of questions in the back of that stupid little head of yours.

What would that make you, if you did do it?

You'd go to Hell for fratricide, if you aren't already.

The same for treason.

-----

Light and dark, good and evil.

To you, it's just two sides of the same coin.

Call yourself saint, call yourself sinner.

You're both killers in the end.

 

xvi) Shed Responsibilities & The First Day of The Rest of Your Life

Spoiler

a81db75a4ccc8d8b8b5f2677d974384f.jpg

 

You stepped off the boat on Eden.

You didn't think twice about it.

You didn't look back.

You never boarded with the rest of the Corsairs again.

-----

You left the armor.

You left the rank slides.

You left your rifle.

And you left your pack.

-----

You took your Reaper.

You took that baseball cap.

You took The Mason Jar.

And you left the rest.

-----

It's hard to say what you'll do now.

Maybe you'll settle down.

Maybe you'll suck-start that sidearm of yours.

You don't know what to do with yourself.

-----

You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Vasilica Malenkov.

You'd get to see Murphy again.

You'd get to see Cassidy again.

You'd get to see Audry again.

-----

Leaving this world is not as scary as it sounds.

 

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Relations
 

Stole from McMann

 

- Friend   Liked - Approval - Acquaintance - Neutral - Mixed - Disliked Hated -

█████

(#'d Left-to-Right)

1. Thoughts of you professionally

2. Thoughts of you in general

3. Relationship Status

4. Interest in you (Amiable/Friendly, None, Curiosity, Professional, Secretive)

5. Do you have a personal use to Vasilica? (Yes, No)

/ † = Deceased / ® = Retired/Transferred

 

V. Bellamy

██

Spoiler

You're not sure how you feel about her professionally.

Lack of exposure, maybe.

-----
Outside of work? She's kind to you.

You like that an awful lot.
Maybe a little more than you'd like to admit.
Your time spent at the gala was pleasant.

You don't think you'd have preferred to spend it any other way.

-----

First, let's make this absolutely clear.

No one is saying you're an *actual* superstar in the groupies-and-cocaine, riddled-with-hepatitis-C, strikes-a-lionesque-pose-with-a mic kind of way.

You’re not Guillaume le Million or Davy Dewis, no.

You're a *metaphorical* superstar.

You bring that rock-and-roll authenticity and passion to a line of work where people don't expect (or want) to see it.

Where, some would say, it doesn't *belong*.

 

B. Carignan

███

Spoiler

"She agreed to go with you. So be you."

You haven't been in a fight with him yet.
Whether he's good or not is uncertain.
Reliable? Probably; he's made it this far, hasn't he?
-----

Outside of work? He's a friend.

An anchor even, maybe.
You figure if God can hear you when you're afraid, so can he.

You reckon he'll be the last person to judge you for it.

You'd go out of your way to look after him, if it came down to it.

-----

Jamais vu.

The opposite of déjà vu.

Not *already* seen, but *never* seen.

Everything that should be familiar appears strange and new.

Like some half-forgotten day in your childhood, only *now*.

That's the feeling you've been having.

And for who knows how long?

 

D. Phillips

███

Spoiler

His job is to help people.

You can't help but find that somewhere between here and 'admirable'.

Even if you've never seen it first-hand.

-----

You don't spend much time with Danny.

Part of you thinks you might like to.

Part of you is afraid he'll talk about his feelings.

He's an emotional guy and sometimes you think something's wrong with you.

You're not the consolatory sort.

You never have been.

You don't want to hurt him with your ineptitude when he needs you most.

Maybe it's better for him if you keep at arm's length.

Yeah, that's it; you're doing him a favor.

-----

There's the rationale.

You always were a fucking coward, Malenkov.

 

N. Abiodun

███

Spoiler

You don't know much about her work.

You're not sure you want to.

Part of you doesn't give a shit.

Part of you can't help but wonder, though.

In the end, it's all the same to you; you're both trigger pullers.

-----

Noemi's a strange bird.

You can't put your thumb on whether you like that or not.

You don't think she likes you much.

Why would she?

Your little joke went a little (a lot) further than you'd hoped.

You try to be funny when people make you nervous.

You're always funny around her.

-----

Sparks fall like snow from the bow collector of streetcar no 42.

Slowly down the slope from Voyager Road and then east on the B206, across the river, to where there are no closed factories or ruins.

To study.

At the academy.

Electrical cables run overhead and the bow collector draws across them like a musical instrument.

A flash.

She's standing at the rear window, holding onto the rail.

In a spring coat, waving at you...

 

K. Eliyev

██

Spoiler

You told him about how you don't like what he does.

At least, it was implied.

You were kinder in word than you were in thought.

You don't envy what he does.

Not one bit.

Those metal coffins give you the heebie-jeebies.

-----

He's friendly with you.
You're not sure what he wants from you.

Maybe he just wants to be your friend.

You think it hurts him whenever you bring up the lashing.

You try not to, but your curiosity gets the better of you.

You haven't been a very good friend to him.

You keep jogging his memory about it.

Stop it.

-----

Sometimes you wonder how he'll die.

Will it be on foot, or in a tank?

You try not to think on it.

But we don't choose our intrusive thoughts, do we?

 

A. Dawes

██

Spoiler

You fought with Dawes both before and after the transfer.

He's a good kid.

You feel stupid calling someone kid.

He's younger than you, but he's your superior.

Are you his superior in life experience?

-----

Avery's kind to your kind.

People like you.

That makes you feel good about what you are, when so many other people don't.

You never chose this.

You think Dawes gets that.

You hope Dawes gets that.

(Dawes gets that.)

-----

You reckon if you had to put a face to a hero.

You'd put Avery Dawes' face on it.

They go home in December.

You'd like to see them do so.

If Avery Dawes were a King, you'd be their Lionheart.

Stop thinking about it. Go get some sleep.

-----

You feel responsible.

Things might have been different if you were around for it.

Some of your best memories in the Corsairs are with Dawes.

You made him feel like a goofy little kid.

You were a little anchor away from the burden of responsibility.

Now he's dead, and you're just a kite dancing in a hurricane.

 

H. Garret

██

Spoiler

An old-head engineer.

Though not very old at all.

You're older than her, too.

You wonder if you've enlisted too late in life.

Good at her job, at any rate.

-----

Holly's mostly a friend-of-a-friend.

You don't know her very well.

You get a little worried at the thought.

Everyone has an expiration date.

Is hers near, or is she still fresh off the shelf?

Here today, gone tomorrow?

Or will she die an old woman, with you having missed a life-long friend?

-----

You crack yourself up with how sappy you are.

These people make you think more than you generally do.

You're supposed to be hard.

You're supposed to be a trooper.

Pull yourself together, faggot.

 

F. Springfield

██

Spoiler

You're yet to be next to her in combat.

Still, she's a Corporal.

Can't be all that bad, right?

Time'll tell.

-----

You blew her off at the gala to spend time with someone else.

You blew her off on RnR to spend time with someone else.

You've been an awful friend to her but she keeps coming back.

There's a part of you that's relieved, in that.

You want people to be nice to you.

But you treat them like shit.

You better hope she doesn't quit easy.

Fucking idiot.

-----

Your luck pulls you out of more situations than you're comfortable with.

You're not sure how you'll feel if this isn't one of those cases.

 

V. De Groot

███

Spoiler

You enjoy De Groot's company.

You met her on a fluke in the mess one day.

You guys talk a lot about life.

It keeps you nice and grounded.

-----

You missed your talks while you were away.

You took some time to speak with her when you came back.

Told her a little bit about what you do, now.

There's a part of you that's glad she's still here.

-----

She's afraid to get discharged.

You'd hate to see her go on account of too many lost limbs.

At the same time, it'd be something of a relief for you.

She'd get to do what Dawes couldn't.

 

B. Reinmann

██

Spoiler

He reminds you something of a dad.

The way he talks to people in the medbay.

The way he carries himself.

The way he addresses others.

-----

You're glad he exists.

You're not particularly close with him.

You're not entirely sure you want to be.

Not by any fault of his, despite that.

You're not sure you have much in common with him.

You'd hate to waste his time.

-----

You respect anybody wearing a red vest.

You reckon if you ever need anything, you can go to him.

He'd probably bat for you, even in the worst case.

You reckon that's more than you deserve, keeping him at arm's length.

Talk to him sometime, idiot.

 

S. Murphy

███

Spoiler

Murph's probably the one you're closest to in your new station.

You've been pals since before the transfer.

He was the first to greet you when you came back.

You cherish your time with him.

-----

You figure he's got some issues he needs to sort out.

You'd like to talk to him about it, but you don't know how.

Emotions have never been your forté.

He's a man like any other.
He feels, he worries.

And you, you idiot, have no idea what to do about it.

-----

You'd let him down if he ever came to you for help.

There you go again, thinking about your shortcomings.

He likes you for who you are.

Doesn't think you're a freak.

He's happy to have you on the team, and that makes you the proudest you've ever been.

 

C. DuBauer

███

Spoiler

You rib Candy an awful lot.

You're new to his unit.

You don't mean any malice with it.

You just don't want to be the punching bag, yourself.

-----

You figure people leave you be.

Because you're sharp as a whip, and just as clever.

You feel a little guilty sometimes when it comes at his expense.

Despite your stupid antics, you'd do anything for a teammate.

-----

He spoke over your sister's grave.

Then he hit you while you were down.

If her name ever passes his lips again.

The only thing they'll ever write about him is an obituary.

-----

You're sorry for feeling how you did;

But you haven't got the words for it.

 

S. Bishop

███

Spoiler

You've found something of an intrigue.

One you weren't ready for.

A junior Talent with no idea what she's doing.

There's something precious about that, to you.

-----

She's not that much younger than you.

Despite being practically juvenile with her power.

It eases your malaise that you're no longer the only one.

You have someone just as strange as you around, even if you don't work together.

-----

You want to be her friend.

You're not sure why you care.

You probably shouldn't.

She could be gone tomorrow.

You could be gone tomorrow.

-----

You relate to her on some level.

In a way you don't with anyone else.

That's good enough for you, you think.

That's worth the risk.

Just don't let her down.

 

M. Henley

████

Spoiler

You like Henley.

You get the impression Henley doesn't like you.

Somebody forgetting who you are doesn't inspire much confidence.

It probably doesn't matter.

-----

You've worked with her for a little bit, now.

On the field you've gotten to know her.

Not so much off.

Maybe you should try harder.

-----

She doesn't seem the sort to need much consolation.

That's good, because you know how bad you are at it.

Maybe that makes her good for you.

In a strange, disconnected kind of way.

-----

She's a doctor for your team.

You're not sure if you can confide in her, though.

What would she do if you went to her for counseling?

Would she fold you up and put you away, or try to iron out all the wrinkles?

-----

You spoke with Maddie for a while in the medbay.

She's kinder to you than you thought.

She likes you more than you thought.

She apologized for giving you the wrong impression.

-----

Maybe you can confide in her, after-all.

You'd like that, you think.

She listens when you talk.

And you like listening to her when she does, too.

 

R. Wilkes

██

Spoiler

You don't really talk to Wilkes anymore.

She doesn't talk to you like she used to.

She's too important for someone like you.

A friend lost to the responsibility of command.

-----

You tell yourself it doesn't bother you.

(It bothers you.)

Maybe if you were a better friend she'd come around more.

It's probably your own fault; it usually is.

-----

Not that the guilt'll inspire you to treat your friends any better.

It should.

But it never does.

 

CHAS#920 | 'Mom'

████

Spoiler

Your actions towards Mom are kinder than your thoughts.

It perturbs you a little.

It's borderline offensive, even.

That a robot should think it's people.

-----

It claims to feel.

It claims to think.

To you, it's just another hunk of metal.

No different than a ship or a weapon in your hands.

-----

You'd let it die for you every time.

You'd let it die for one of your boys every time.

With that said, it's useful.

You'd hate to waste such a useful tool.

-----

You've never claimed to be the ultimate authority on moral ethos.

Or, in this case you suppose it's robot ethos.

You've never debated the philosophy of what makes someone human.

Or what makes something a person, even if non-human.

-----

Human life is precious.

Human life is worth preserving.

Does Mom realize that?

Or is it just programmed to say so?

 

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I'm afraid I won't be updating this any more with the clearing of the psychic roster.

I want to thank the people who made my time spent with this character special. There've been some golden interactions on the server between Malenkov and a bunch of faces.

The people who take the time to read the things I spend dozens of hours writing make doing these a very cathartic and worthwhile experience for me.

I'm sorry you won't get any more of it. It's been a blast.

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1 minute ago, cat danny 25 said:

I'm afraid I won't be updating this any more with the clearing of the psychic roster.

I want to thank the people who made my time spent with this character special. There've been some golden interactions on the server between Malenkov and a bunch of faces.

The people who take the time to read the things I spend dozens of hours writing make doing these a very cathartic and worthwhile experience for me.

I'm sorry you won't get any more of it. It's been a blast.


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