|Lee|| Lee over the past week had been setting up regular patrols, just him and one other member of the Guardians. Nominally, this is for patrols to be done with the new CO. In actuality, he's been talking to people. Getting thoughts and opinions. With Rexus posted out in Texas, there's still a certain.. lack.. of leadership seen in ED. Something that should be changed.
This latest patrol has Krysta and Lee walking along the long road in power armor. It's been an uneventful low heat that's baked them while they walked, seeking out potential trouble. Lee finally triggers that internal comm to reach Krysta in her armor. "I've been thinkin 'bout what ya were sayin. I'm interested. I think we could get a good thing here.. with someone actually from militia. But.. I ain't got the funds fer new armor and crap, eh?"
|Krysta|| Krysta was walking along, more or less bored as nothing seemed to be around them. When he keyed that internal comm, though she paused. She had been aware of his other one on one patrols and figured it was her turn. So when he spoke she paused a moment and then moved along again.
"Permission to speak freely." They were on duty after all...
|Lee||Lee slowed a little when Krysta paused, but didn't stop. At her request, there's an invisible nod as that helm didn't give away the motion from Lee. "Granted as long as we ain't in combat, Krysta. Out here, only thing ya got is talkin, often, eh?"|
|Krysta||Krysta sighed softly though it was still captured by the comm. "Lee.... We will find the money. Hell, I will help pay for it. I have crap for rank but I can still support you." She stopped and turned toward him, stepping into his path so he had to stop as well. Her tone of voice made seeing her face moot. "Are you willing and able to step up and become a leader I would gladly die for?"|
|Lee||Lee paused as Krysta stepped in front of him. There's a moment of silence over the comms. "Krysta, I dedicated my life ta protecting people. Protect them without them knowing it was even happening. I ended at least a dozen wars by the time I was 20. I joined at the age of 18." There's another pause. "I joined the militia to protect people again. We need a leader that has that in mind and is willin to step up. I'm willing. I'm able. So I am going to do just that. If you're glad to die for that? That's on you. But it'll be a cold day in hell that I send people out to die so easily."|
|Krysta||Krysta paused, listening to Lee's statements. And then there was silence. It stretched long between them... And then she reached up and removed her helmet. Her face was stern, some might even call it angry. "Show your face." Her tone carried a command that no Initiate should have the experience to utilize.|
|Lee||There's more of a pause, then Lee finally reaches up and unlocks that helm, opening it and pulling it off to rest on his hip. Lee's demeanor is calm, focused as he'd stare at Krysta, studying her. He didn't say anything and it wasn't that he quite reacted to her command. More that he was interested in what she had to say it seems.|
|Krysta|| She was aware by his demeanor that he was not responding to her command. She had no right to command him to begin with, but it had also been a challenge of sorts. The fact that he could spot the nuance in her actions brought her more confidence.
When he removed his helmet she seemed to relax, the anger draining from her expression. She shook her head slowly. "You don't know much about me. Hell, no one does. So what I'm about to say could mean jack all to you, Lee Knight. But listen well because I don't say things like this lightly."
She stared him straight in the eyes. "You impress me. I don't have the kind of ability right now that you do as far as ranks go. No one is going to listen to some Initiate that sacrificed a rank just to switch divisions. But /YOU DO/. You can take this pathetic organization and turn it around into something to be feared. Right now the Enclave has no worries about attacking us. The Militia is nothing to them. But under your leadership, IT COULD BE. And if the way to get you up there is to help pay for armor then so be it. I'm a mercenary too. Caps are not given lightly."
|Lee||Lee watched Krysta, face carefully neutral as he'd let her speak her piece. Those greys were cold as steel as he'd watch her. It's only when she's finished talking that Lee would finally react, a small nod is given in answer. "So be it. If I know I have people under me that has that knowledge and dedication? Then I will make fraggin sure that if anyone thinks to attack El Dorado? They're gonna be dreading the Militia.. not scoffin." Lee would draw up formally and salute Krysta. "I ain't gonna let you down, Krysta. I swear it." After a moment, he'd shift and carefully re-don that helm. "We need ta keep movin. We're still on mission and on schedule."|
|Krysta|| Krysta watched his lack of a reaction to her little speech and expected him to snap at her about bad mouthing command while on duty. But when he spoke, meeting her challenge, accepting it.. When he saluted her and promised to not let her down she blinked.
When he reached up to put his helmet on she reached out and put her armored hand on top of it to stop him from doing so. Her face showed a rare emotion... Hope. Followed by pride.
She stayed there, her violet eyes meeting his.... Almost like she wanted to say something, a look on her face that was near pleading and then... she closed her eyes and withdrew her hand and her body. Stepping out of the way and putting her helmet back on as well. Her voice through that comm was quiet. "Aye, Sir."
|Lee||Lee paused at Krysta's hold on that helm. Greys studied those violet eyes. He didn't say anything, simply watching her as she'd show that one moment of actually, truely trusting in him. When she steps back, he would indeed don that helmet, a firm nod given at her response. "Let me know when we're followin up on it. I got resources I can tap too. So, just need to know when. Ifn ya ain't wantin a stronger armor.. I'll prolly give mine ta my fiance, Krysta." Once she looked ready to move, he'd travel again. Afterall.. patrol is patrol. Even if it's empty.|
|Krysta||Krysta sighed softly. "Come by Devlin's house when you're off duty. I'll give you the jetpack and work out the caps then." She continued walking, keeping her eyes out for ds they went, but was rather quiet for some time. "Your fiance is a lucky woman."|
|Lee||"Roj." There's a moment, then a soft chuckle given as Lee glances at Krysta a moment, before returning to that sweep. "I dunno. I know I'm lucky ta have her.. and there ain't a power on this planet that'd keep me from her.. It's just that simple.. Lucky fer me? She's hella tough.. so it ain't like there's things out there that'd take her easily either.."|
|Krysta||"As your friend, as your subordinate, as the person that is going to have to go ballistic on someone if they fuck with you... Don't say that to anyone else.... It means she's a weakness and can be used against you." She was not upset as much as strategically concerned. "It's good you have someone that can pick up your pieces, though. There /will/ be a time when you will shatter under command. She can put you back together while I keep guard."|
|Lee||Lee is silent for a long moment before that click of comms happens again. "I know, Krysta. That's why I'm only tellin you 'bout it. Because I know a stratigic weakness when I see it.. and ifn I'm gonna be a lead? Then I know that's somethin gonna be looked at.."|
|Krysta||Krysta paused to consider Lee for a long moment then continued moving along. "At least you can admit it. But don't worry. Enclave doesn't like hostages and the rest we can deal with easily enough." Well, they didn't usually like hostages anyway...|
|Lee||Lee is silent for a few moments. "There's a reason I was never with someone 'fore the war, Krysta. Then there was the great sleep.. And.. now I'm in what anyone of that time would call hell. Command is command.. But havin friends.. and a wife? That helps ta make hell a little less.. intense."|
|Krysta|| Krysta sighed softly. She felt for Lee, really. He was a strange combination of hard and soft that could be a serious advantage... Or a fatal flaw. But it was uniquely him and she liked it either way. But his speaking of The Big Sleep again got her attention. So, she thought, he wasn't just screwing with me.
Aloud she said, "I don't know much about 'before' but I'm here. I was your friend before I was your subordinate." Officially anyway. "So... When's the wedding?"
|Lee||Lee glances over at Krysta again, then chuckles quietly over the comm. "I'm glad ta call ya friend, Krysta.. As fer that.. she's an ex-legionare slave.. She.. dun know much about weddings.. or rings.. or anythin like that. Frag, I dun even believe in any of that religious bull crap. So we were just gonna get matchin tattoos on our finger.. ring finger, eh? She said Matt was wantin ta put somethin together fer us.."|
|Krysta||Krysta stopped in her tracks and turns to face Lee, for what that was worth considering her full body armor. But her exasperation was plain in her voice. "You have GOT to be kidding me." She was standing there, hands on her hips in that armor, making an almost comical pose if her tone hadn't been so serious.|
|Lee||Lee slowed as Krysta faced him again. Stopping to study Krysta for a moment, he'd tilt his head to the side slightly. "Pardon? Krysta.. I ain't knowin jack 'bout that crap.. eh? So I'm totally wingin it here.. what is it I'm missin then?"|
|Krysta|| Krysta reached out and poked Lee in the chest with a metallic click. "Okay, look... I like the tattoo thing. It's smart even. No one can steal a tattoo. But you don't need to be religious to have a wedding ceremony. She doesn't know anything about weddings? A former slave? She probably wasn't allowed to even think about them, huh?" She sighed softly
"I don't know how I'd feel... But the wedding and the wedding day are more than just a bunch of bullshit you wade through for the gods." She got annoyed then and popped her helmet off again so he could see her face. "I knew a woman that had a great big wedding. She always told me that when her husband was off leading the Gunners and she was sleeping alone in our bunker with the lab rats," She was clearly indicating herself in that label.
"When she was alone at night, memories of that day kept her warm. The girl gets to be beautiful. Makeup and hair and a dress and everyone waits on them, treats them like royalty even if only for that one day. Then after everyone's done eating and celebrating and dancing, all in her and your honor, the groom takes her home like a prize, and shows her just how he feels about her."
She leaned back a bit and shook her head. "That's the point of a wedding, Lee. Fuck the gods. It's to make a memory that will never leave either of you."
|Lee||Lee slowed to a stop as Krysta would lay it all out for him. He'd reach up to remove that helm, watching her as she'd explain what she knew. It.. sounded realistic to him. Frowning, he'd nod a little as he'd look down a moment. Finally squaring his shoulders, he'd look to Krysta and nod firmer. "Then I'll need to find a wedding planner. If you know someone, please let me know, eh? I'll talk ta Matt.. see what I can find fer gettin it all set up.. fer sure.."|
|Krysta|| Krysta smirked faintly as he seemed to listen and then accept what she said. He processed it and accepted it. She had some odd ideas, it was true, but what she'd heard as a kid even between torture sessions had been the stuff of storybooks.
"I mean, don't overwhelm her, yea? But make it an experience, not just a tattoo. Shit. Legion still brand their slaves..." She made a face and looked around. "At least it's you. You won't hurt her. In any way." She seemed to look distant then for a time, as if comparing situations.... Then she turned back with a breath and her expression was far more like a big sister.
"I don't know wedding planners. But you're an officer now. Doesn't that come with perks? Let the Guardians in on it. Might build morale too." And at that, her face darkened a bit. It was only for a moment but then she lit up and looked at him again. "Actually, that might be the best idea. If the Guardians are involved and they come to like her, they will step between her and danger like a shield if it came to it." Yes, Krysta /was/ always thinking strategy.
|Lee||Lee purses his lips and finally nods slightly. "I'll certainly think on it, Krysta.." Putting the helmet on, he'd glance at the HUD and point. "We're at end of patrol. Let's finish up.. As for the Guardians.. I may. But that also lets everyone know who it is.. to attack me. So.. it's a balance of risk and reward."|
|Krysta|| Krysta chuckled, putting on her helmet too and using the comm. "It also means that if any of them betrayed you, I'd get to slit some armored throats." She was not to be underestimated in vengeance, that was certain. Still, it was ultimately his choice. His and his fiance's of course. Krysta was just there to taint his mind with ideas.
His final comment got a chuckle then a more formal. "Sir." As they turned around and headed back. A quiet patrol... And quite a bit of conspiracy. There was some part of Krysta that wanted to protect Lee as much as follow him. She wondered idly if she would ever be tested in those feelings....