State of Regret
Posted on Tue Jun 23rd, 2020 @ 12:09am by Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick & Mauricio Arnaldo
Edited on on Fri Jul 10th, 2020 @ 5:16pm
Divided We Fall
A Mission Post by 1st Lieutenant Mauricio Arnaldo & Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick
Mission: Divided We Fall
Tue Oct 16th, 2018 @ 6:07am
It had taken Mauricio the better part of a week to stop waking up in panic. Even when restrained to his bio-bed in Sickbay, he would often wake from his sedative-induced slumber in complete distress, trying everything he could to escape again. They tried moving him back to his quarters, hoping the familiarity would ease him back into his transition away from the Bubble. But he would only find a way to get out, bury himself somewhere deep within the middle of the ship and refuse to budge. Security were getting sick of prying him out storage rooms and jeffries tubes.
Finally they put him in the one place he couldn't escape: The Brig.
Surprisingly this worked wonders for him. Something about the forcefield keeping him within, or the cold bare nature of the cell; whenever he woke it seemed to immediately calm him back down again. It helped to snap him out of his panic. Now he only woke up screaming very occasionally, which was quite an improvement. He would fill his days reading, meditating, or receiving Counselling. He would find himself getting to sleep without the sedatives, and was slowly learning to come back to normalcy.
Eventually, he felt so calm he decided it was time invite Fick down for a meeting; to apologise for the way he acted and to show that he was on the mend.
Fick walked into the Brig and leaned against the wall close to the Marine's cell. "It's about freaking time. Since when do prisoners get to decide who they get to see? I tried to see you before, but nooo... How are you feeling? You look better..." He eyed Mauricio. He'd really missed the Marine. Even if he was with K'Laus, Fick hoped that he could at least salvage a friendship.
"Prisoner isn't quite the right term," Mauricio replied, immediately breaking into a smile as Fick appeared. He had hoped his friend would come, but had doubts as to whether Fick would actually accept his invite. "It's more of a voluntary sabbatical from society. And I'm doing well, felling a lot better thank you. I'm so glad you came."
"So why you still in there and I'm out here? That looks like a prisoner to me," Fick said, jokingly. "I mean it's kinda cute and all... but come on. This is a little much to be cute." He grinned. "I'm glad you're okay. I was really worried about you. Why wouldn't I come?"
"I'm just happy you did. And looks can be deceiving." Mauricio smiled, as he gave a nod to the security officer standing guard. The officer nodded in reply and pressed a few buttons on his console. There was a slight shimmer as the force field dropped and the officer brought around a small picnic basket. The Marine received the basket with a sly smile, before sitting back down on his bench. "Come, have a seat."
Fick eyed the basket suspiciously as he went over and sat next to Mauricio casually, not worried at all about anyone being unstable. "That better not be rations we're going to pretend is other food..." he joked.
Mauricio laughed deeply, "The real thing. I promised to be good and they offered me a reward, I chose this." He opened up the basket to find it filled with various goodies. Serrano ham, chorizo, Mahon cheese, olives, romesco sauce, and pita bread. "Buen provecho!" he proclaimed as he pulled out the foods and laid them onto the bench.
Fick honestly expected rations, so the actual food was a nice surprise. "I don't know what you just said to me... but it smells delicious. I hope that means, let's eat this food... What is that?" He pointed at the chorizo. "I mean..." he wiggled his eyebrows a little. "I know what it looks like, but what's in it?" He grinned.
The Marine let out another laugh. "Spanish sausage." He replied, raising his own eyebrow. "It's a delicacy. Trust me, not everyone can handle the heat."
Fick burst out laughing. "I bet they can't! I bet you say that to all the girls..." he joked. "Thinking you're slick and clever and stuff... it's cute huh? Those girls think you're cute? Big 'ole Marine Spanish smooth talker." He grinned broadly. "I'm disappointed though." He looked down at the chorizo and sighed heavily, with dramatic shoulders rising and falling. "It might be the only Spanish sausage I ever get to try..." He shook his head sadly.
Mauricio stared back at Fick and shook his head. "You are unbelievable. I get you a nice picnic, with real food this food, and all you can do is turn it into something dirty." Unfortunately Mauricio was holding a chorizo as he was lecturing, and it wobbled suggestively in his hand as he spoke. He popped it into his mouth and chewed. "That's the last time I offer you mi salchicha española."
"Awwww dang it, but feed me..." Fick begged cutely. "I don't know how to eat this stuff. Do it and I never said I didn't love that you had a picnic brought down here. Because I do. I'm glad that became our thing. It really meant a whole lot to me in the end. Like a whole lot." He was looking at Mauricio with all seriousness now.
The Marine leaned back, his head resting against the cold Brig wall. "It's like antipasto, or tapas, man. Just grab what you like and eat it. You can try wrapping the ham around the olives, or dipping the chorizo in the romesco sauce. The feta's nice too, even for me. I'm usually allergic to most cheeses."
Fick had just put his fingers into the feta cheese. "This is cheese? It's all wet and crumbly. Should it be like that?" He seemed concerned for the state of the cheese, but he did pick up a piece of ham and eat it, followed by some olives.
"Yes!" Mauricio laughed. "It's not processed or the replicated goop you're probably used to. It's actually Greek and very traditional, but also better for you. I can't stand that other stuff." He dipped some pita into the spicy sauce, added some chorizo, and ate it hungrily. "How's your Klingon going, then?"
"He's good. I dunno. He's sort of hard to get information out of sometimes. Some pretty bad things happened... in the bubble... after you." He shrugged. "It's still good. How are you doing?" Fick started to make himself something of a sandwich with the sausage and the pita and the cheese. "But how are you doing?" He dipped the end of his sandwich into the spicy sauce and bit into it. After only a few chews his eyes widened. "Whow that's hoooot..." he said around a mouthful of food.
"I mean, I have to sleep in the Brig to stop myself from having a fear-induced nervous breakdown, but other than that I'm peachy." Mauricio shrugged, pouring Fick a drink from a canteen and handing it over to him quickly. "Spicy, huh?"
"Uh yeah... way more spicy than I was expecting. Wow... make my nose run." He took the drink gratefully and sipped at it, holding the liquid in his mouth to cool his tongue. "Very good though. I like the flavor of the sausage with how tangy the cheese is." Fick shook his head. "Can't they lock you in your quarters? Do you have to stay in the brig?"
Mauricio shrugged, "Maybe soon? I don't know." He took a deep breath and decided to explain what was on his mind. "Anytime I feel like I'm back in the bubble I freak out and try to hide somewhere. It's less... It's not a conscious choice, you know what I mean? It's like I've developed an irrational fear. The Brig's the only place I can wake up in that doesn't induce total panic. I'm calm here."
Fick reached over in an attempt to take one of the Marine's hands. He wanted to just hug him, but he didn't think that would be as welcome. "I'm sorry. I wish there was something I could do. Is there something I can do?" he asked with concern. "You know... when you're all better and out of here... we're going to find you a boyfriend." Fick nodded like this was a fact and not a suggestion.
"Oh," Mauricio murmured, his face conflicted. He pulled his hands away and stood, turning to face the Brig corridor outside. "I'm not sure that's such a great idea." He said, his tone careful but distant. "I feel like I have a path ahead of me now, that only has room for one."
Fick's eyebrows furrowed and he frowned. "What? What are you talking about? Hey... you don't get to quit on me. That's crap!" Fick stood up as well. "Not after everything that happened. You've got a lot to offer someone. Hey! Look at me!"
Mauricio sighed loudly before turning around. "That's not what I mean. I just can't pretend the other world never happened. It's made me realise how precious life can be, how important it can be. I need to fulfil my purpose in life."
"Don't sigh at me, Mister. And that purpose is?" Fick asked. He was quite a bit shorter than Mauricio. Even though the Marine was bigger, Fick didn't seem intimated in the slightest and continued to cop an attitude, narrowing the gap between the two of them. "How can you talk to me about "precious life"... and then tell me it only has room for one?" This last statement involved air quotes and some arm waving.
The Marine shook his head. "I joined the Corp for a reason, and lost the support of my parents in the process. I didn't come here to bunk with somebody, play house, and raise a family. Heck, there's a reason I barely have any friends. Well, one friend." He raised his eyebrows to Fick. "I need to spend time recovering from what we went through and then head back onto my purpose. That's what lies ahead of me."
"What reason? You're being really vague and cryptic and horrible! How can you say that? So what if you're in the corp? That doesn't mean you can't... I mean... don't you want someone to share that with? Oh I'm a big tough Marine! I don't need anyone! I call bullshit... You gonna tell me that what happened between us was only because of the stupid bubble crap? That you don't want that in your life now?" This also involved some hand waving and hands on hips. For some reason this seemed to be personal for Fick.
"I don't mean to be." Mauricio sighed, "You're overreacting. I simply don't see marriage and children in my future. Not everyone does."
"I didn't say anything about marriage or children. I said boyfriend... that rarely has to do with marriage or children. At least where I'm from. I just meant that you shouldn't do it alone, but you got all waxing philosophical about the rest of your life..." Fick eyed Mauricio and then sighed and then seemed to give up. He sat back down and stared at the floor. "Do you have any idea what you dying did to me?"
Mauricio tried hard not to scoff. He looked back at the man and frowned, “Do you know what dying did to me? Dragged out of the ship, helplessly, into empty space. Feeling my skin freeze over and the air squeezed out of my body. I still relive it every time I close my eyes.” He stopped himself from getting choked up and sat back down on the bench too. “I can’t just move on from that. I’m not sure I ever will.”
Fick sighed, the corner of his mouth quivering a little. "Nevermind..." he said softly, the words filled with emotion. He crossed his arms over his chest and hugged himself, pressing his lips together and biting down hard on his inner lip to keep himself from crying. "I thought that you being alive again would help me feel hopeful again... but it's just making it worse. Maybe I should go..." All his effort didn't stop the tears from slipping down his cheeks. He wiped at them angrily, but he also made no move to actually go.
The Marine turned back and leaned on the bench. "Tell me what happened after I died," he said softly.
Fick took a deep breath and explained. He told the Marine everything about Nyx and Rochester, about Shae and Cailus and then slowly about what he himself had done. The explaination was not without tears and long pauses to catch his breath. It was apparent, when Fick was done explaining, that regardless of the realness of their existence in the bubble the effects of it had been very real. Even if Fick continued to believe that it was a non reality situation, it had still taken its toll on him emotionally.
Mauricio was shocked to say the least. He took a moment to absorb it all in and studied the face of his friend for a moment longer. Finally he said, “I’m sorry you went through all that. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed someone.”
"You don't have to apologize. It's not your fault you were sucked into space, I forgive you. I just... I missed you. I kept thinking about how much fun we could have had." He rubbed at his face. "When I found out it wasn't... this reality... I hoped maybe... I dunno. I dunno what I hoped... I'm sorry. I'm the one that let everyone down," Fick said, not making eye contact anymore.
“No. The crew let you down,” Mauricio said firmly. “Everyone should have been looking out for each other. A person doesn’t just get up one day and make that decision, the one that you made. I’m sure there were signs that should have been taken more seriously. Looks to me like everything fell apart when they needed to stick together. I’m glad that it wasn’t our reality. The more I hear about what happened, the worse it seems.”
"It wasn't their fault either. They had their own thing going on. No one really even noticed." He shrugged. "I just... I was really looking forward to having a friend like you." He finally looked up at Mauricio. "I felt like at least that part was real... but maybe it wasn't either."
"It was." Mauricio replied, finally give a smile again. He took a very long, exaggerated breath before turning back to the food. "Let's just finish this picnic, hey? I feel like we've waited a long time to have this."