Kyle and Lyn sit watch at the primary rendezvous.
Location: Burned Out Apartment Complex -- Near Arborfield
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1161
The night has been long and filled with icy tension. Kyle and Erin were the first to arrive at the rendezvous point in a quaint burb of the greater city. The apartment complex, with its dozen buildings, boasts a half-burnt sign at the open gates that reads '-URN ESTAT' between two palm trees carved into the woods.
The corner building in the complex is next to a busted gate, across the street from a housing complex, and has fresh sight lines down two driveways with high visibility across the other buildings. Three bedrooms. Hardwood floor. Dried blood and punched in walls with plaster raining down onto the carpet? It's not a hotel, but it's dry and there's still some water in the tank of one of the toilets.
It's here that Kyle Costello has spent the night with her boots against the wall and her back against her pack, rifle cradled between her legs, to keep watch out of a crack in the smoke-charred window. After a harrowing moment of movement in the complex, Kyle's worry for Lyn, Charlie, and Mercer died down a notch, but she's been hard-wired for attack all of the way through dawn.
Now, with lidded eyes and a face spattered with mud, she continues her watch. Tired eyes keep focus on the window while she sips from her canteen...counting the ticks on her wristwatch.
Lyn has been checking on Trevor's leg wound, changing the bandage for a clean one. He's sleeping after a dose of morpha for the pain. Well the physical pain. Being the sole survivor of the resistance group he'd been a part of for a year has to be a hurt meds can't dull. She imagines if Aquaria hadn't fallen so fast, she and Erin would probably still be there, on the ground, fighting for every last scrap of their homeworld like this guy.
Arda rises from her crouch, with her knees protesting mightily. She's stiff, sore, slightly cut up with shallow wounds from the gunfight last night, and everything still feels damp as it hangs on her. She scratches as the scab forming over the graze on her chest, beneath her gear; it itches. She slides down the wall next to Kyle and sets her rifle in her lap. "Still clear?" she asks quietly.
Kyle's reply comes, at first, in the form of a slow, sleepy nod of her head. Up and down, the mud-spattered face rises and falls. The strand of hair that had been glued to her cheek all night cracks and breaks free. The canteen lifts, dripping water past her teeth, and when Kyle swallows, she does so with a bite to her teeth. It's not ambrosia, but it feels like pouring milk over sandpaper.
"Yeah." Kyle whispers, then spares a glance to Lyn at her side. A blank look at first, but Costello manages a weak smile and a gentle bat of the side of her fist against Lyn's knee before hazel eyes swivel forwards, again, to keep watch. "You need a set of eyes while you catch some sleep, you go right ahead." Kyle blinks, slowly. "I've got a little bit left in me before I need to rotate out for recharge."
"I'm fine. I'm used to not sleeping," Lyn says quietly. The nightmares that haunt her have done so for over two years. She can go on 4 hours with a catnap now and then. She settles down at another nearby window to watch out through it. "Trevor is going to share what he knows with CF Intel. He's been down there, at ground zero, for a year. He's the only one left of his resistance group."
"I had a year between tour-discharge and recall. I was," Kyle holds up two gloved fingers, thumb a pinch away from forefinger. "This close to being on some kind of normal sleep cycle." Kyle lowers her hand back to her knee and twists her neck, looking in the general direction where she last heard Trevor, but there's a wall there. It's a token effort. "Definitely more valuable than a box of kittens, but really," Kyle looks back to Lyn, voice lowering again to a throaty whisper. "Was glad to see you and Specks come around that gate."
"And with nary a scratch," Lyn says with a tight smirk. "The resistance group blew our quiet extraction, anyway. I couldn't leave them to die. It's just not in my makeup. I was heavily involved in Search and Rescue back on Aquaria." She begins disassembling her rifle to clean it. She doesn't seem concerned with it being in pieces. She has enough other weapons on her to arm a militia.
"Shame I missed seeing that dance. I heard them throwing all kinds of confetti at you two." Kyle replies, one eye drifting closed in a lazy wink. Her lips close, then open to say something, but the tongue stalls in midair. Ratty, brown ponytail shakes and Kyle continues. "You did what you felt you had to do. You don't owe me an explanation, you know?" Kyle shifts her hips against her pack to get comfortable. "One of these days I'm probably going to have to make the same kind of call. Until then, my opinion's textbook."
"I don't like having to make calls for other people. If I take a risk, it's on my head. I don't like putting others at risk. Probably why I'm still a sergeant." After 17 years in. Lyn calmly wipes the various parts of her rifle, oils others, taking care of it after it took care of her in last night's kerfluffle.
"Maybe I just have too much of my dad in me. Waving a wrench in the air, barking about the frakkin' crazies on TV then pointing the thing at me and my brothers. Do this, do that, bullheaded, stick to your guns." Kyle's cheek hollows, sucked in to be chewed between her molars before it releases. "I respect you taking this stuff on yourself." Kyle frowns Lyn's way, an apologetic downturn of lip. "My dad woulda taken the blame, too."
"Yeah well, the ship's shrink is trying to get me to let go of some of the related guilt. I'm trying to, but I think it's going to be a long haul in that respect. I'm my father's daughter too, and he felt responsible for everyone and every thing under his command." Lyn inspects each piece carefully as she cleans it, looking for any defects that could wind up blowing up in her face. Last night she was clearly touched by Hermes the way she dodged gunfire in the open, she's not taking any chances.
"My old man was motor pool, but wanted to be Captain Skull. I think he runs the shop like he ran his garage on base, so he was more the type to expect everyone to be okay with everything so long as the littles beneath him didn't get blamed and he did." Kyle laughs under her breath and palms her own forehead, rubbing at the frayed nerves with thumbs that press against her eyes, making the little stars come out. So tired, it feels so good. "But, for what it's worth, I think you give a shit about people. That's something I can trust in better than some chickenhawk L-T, which is probably why I'm getting way comfortable being on the lineup with you."
"Thanks, but I know I messed up at Cape Shediac. Seeing that nannybot frakked me up. I hadn't seen one since," Lyn trails off a bit and grimaces. The shrink said talking about it helps. "Since Aquaria. I was one of the last people who left. I went on a week long recon, trying to find survivors for evac. I had a really, really bad experience with a nannybot just before I was picked up."
Kyle trains one eye on the window, though her head turns, nose pointing towards Lyn. One ear and one eye counts as watch, right? In this way, humans tend to point their 'voice' towards who they're speaking to, even if they're not giving them full attention.
"I like to think that we weren't born to do and see shit like this, Lyn. These robots are fucked code and inhuman logic. I-" Kyle lifts a shoulder. "I'm not an expert and I'm a decent shrink over beers, but so what if you don't mind me saying?" A beat. "You went in after Specks. I give zero fraks that you froze up. You went in after your girl and you she's sleeping somewhere over there a week later. Shitty win, but a win, right?"
"Yeah, but I should have sent Jonas back with you, instead of going with his suggestion that he blow something up as a distraction. I should have known better. He's no good at being stealthy. Back on Aquaria he was basically a moose crashing through the woods out there in the field. I knew better." Lyn sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. "Just another thing he can blame me for in a long, long list."
"Right." Kyle breathes lowly, head slipping down a measure before neck muscles tighten and catch the lowering descent. Lashes made unfashionably dark through pondwater hood over hazel eyes. "And his pretty, blonde girlfriend and her big opinions and the chatter and the," Kyle rolls her wrist, finger twirling through the air. "All these feels I hear about. Hearts with little belts tugged with bands tight enough for a size one dress. It's no frakkin' wonder you've got so much shit in your head." Kyle offers with a tilt of her head to watch a pigeon poke around an old dumpster.
"My opinion on how I would have done it means shit, Lyn." Kyle whispers. "But I'm on your team and if I ever think you're off base, I'll let you know. I can promise that."
"Thanks Costello, I appreciate it. And as for his girlfriend, if he's happy, it's all good. He should be happy. I loved him once, with all my heart, too much maybe, and it ruined what we had. She can hate me all she wants, but as long as she makes him happy, I can't hate her." Lyn shrugs a little. "I can take the beating. I've survived worse. And I have friends now, to put me back together when I start to get broken again."
"Stationed with an ex sounds like a bad time. I expect you, as my Sargn't, to keep that from happening to me." One of Kyle's eyebrows lifts as she watches the pigeon head-bang as it walks. Pecking at insects, the skinny, sky rat of a creature waddles off behind the dumpster. She sighs vacantly at the window and rolls her head Lyn's way. "Let me know if my name gets slatted onto the friends checklist, alright? I've got your back, Arda."
"I will, Kyle, but for now, I need to grab a few hours shuteye. I'll wake the next in the rotation. You should sleep some too, we still have a long haul to get out of here," Lyn says quietly. Then she finishes reassembling her weapon and goes to sack on out her bedroll.