Doing Your Civic Duty


vf_dirk_icon.gif vf_kaylee_icon.gif

Scene Title Doing Your Civic Duty
Synopsis Dirk finds out exactly how much of a team player Kaylee is…. n't.
Date November 16, 2011

The Hub: The Common Area

Printers, computers, and photocopiers are a thing of the past. The resources needed to power them aren't just given out to anyone in the Hub, that's a reserved privileged. But something has been nagging at the back of Dirk's mind for a while, something that can't just be put to the populace with a rousing speech or a whispered word here and there.

They are all dying.

The waves of hopelessness that come from the people who live here is only compounded and added to with each death from scavenging missions. As their population dwindles, they supplies become more scarce as a result. Something needs to be done and Dirk remembers the old ways from the old world. You need to spend money to make money, this has graduated into you need to spend resources to get resources. With that in mind, he painstakingly wrote out a pamplet and made hand written copies. He wasn't going to drain resources on this, even though it's important.

He's been in the common room for about an hour, talking to whomever would listen and handing out those pamphlets. We Need to Breed and It's Your Civic Duty to Have Children are two of the headers on the trifold sheet. Approaching Kaylee, he holds one out for her to take.

"I need you to read this," he says in his most serious tone. "And no, before you say it I'm not trying to take advantage of anyone."

There is some serious hesitation when the pamphlet is held out to Kaylee. Maybe it's the colorful cover that is trying to convince her to do her civic duty or the fact that he is giving Daddy's daughter the time of day. The telepath had been watching him with worry from her shadowed corner of the common room. Watching him get closer and closer. Until…

Reaching out, Kaylee finally takes the pamphlet. "Dirk," she offers in a sort of awkward greeting. "I see you are keeping busy."

Or he has too much time on his hands.

Brows furrow, though amusement tugs at the corner of her mouth, as she looks at cover of the handwritten public service announcement. "You can't be serious," Kaylee sounds like she wants to laugh as she looks up at him. The look on his face, tells her he is very serious about this. "Dirk… " There is a warning there in the tone she uses to speak his name. "Does Edward and the President know you are handing these out?" She glances at it again with a touch of horror. "This isn't dad's idea is it?"

"I sent a copy to both of them," Dirk responds easily enough. Whether or not Ray and Rickham deigned to read it is another matter. "It's serious Kaylee, it's something we all need to think about. We're dying and we're going to go extinct if we don't even think about it." That compelling argument is right in the pamphlet itself. The colorful hand drawn picture of the baby on the front cover was provided by one of the children, it made the piece more endearing.

"And no, it's not your dad's idea," his bland response is indicative of the fact that her dad might not have even weighed in on the subject. "What the virus isn't killing, Vanguard is. Do you want them to be the only thing left on the world?" He furrows his eyebrows together and shakes his head. "I don't, I want to see couples bringing some joy into the world instead of waiting for what they think is inevitable."

"And what you are proposing is adding more fodder to the flames?" Fingers flip open the flaps giving it only a cursory look, but she does admire the artwork. The kids did a good job, if the purpose was to be endearing. Dirk really knew his marketing…. However…. "Dirk… This isn't a world to bring kids into."

She waves a hand to indicate the room around her, "You really want to doom kids to live out a Fallout-like existence in a bunker? Never seeing the light of day? Or the color of the sky?" Something Kaylee sorely missed herself. "At least, until it is there time to go out and stand in the line of the sniper's scope…. All for the survival of us all."

The pamphlet is offered back. "Pass," Kaylee says flatly.

"I'm proposing that we don't sit in shadowy corners like piles of misery waiting to die," Dirk spits back as he rips the offered pamphlet and adds it back into his pile. "And if you don't remember Kaylee, the world hasn't been a place to bring kids into ever." There have always been excuses from somewhere. Plague, drought, holocaust, nuclear threats from Cuba, for as long as history has been written, there's been something.

He heaves a deep sigh and his expression more grim as he frowns at the woman. "You people have no hope and you won't even try to provide yourselves with any." His words have a venomous touch to them, not because he's aggravated at the people themselves, just their attitudes. "None of us want to be here but as long as we're just existing and not trying to do something better, nothing will change. Babies will give people the drive to make a better world instead of… this."

"I dunno. It's a nice corner." Kaylee isn't even phased by the backhanded comment, leaning back in her chair and bringing her booted feet up on the table, crossing them at the ankles. "I'm quite content here…. No misery here." A lie, no matter how you spin it.

Lids lower as she considers the administrator in front of her, calculating and considering, but then she is chuckling. "Besides, Dirk." Her arms go out slowly as she says, "Who in this whole shit hole would want anything with the boss' daughter? Much less that." Kaylee shakes her head slowly. "You, sir, are barking up the wrong tree." Unlike people like Isabelle, the telepath has avoided those kind of physically relationships…. Well, as far as anyone knows.

Kaylee sighs a little, unable to keep up that act for too long without feeling like shit. Dirk wasn't a bad guy after all, so she offers a little more gently, "Look… I get what you are trying to do. I do. It's noble." Her head shakes slowly, looking a little sad. "I don't think anyone wants to risk more pain… You remember the news stories about all those babies. People are scared."

"You don't have to have a baby yourself, you know," Dirk says, his frustration turning to sympathy as he takes a seat near where she is. Just close enough that they can have a serious conversation but not too close that it might set her off. He's considerate enough for that. "And I remember all the death. I was there for it."

He remembers way too well.

"I don't mean for people to start doing anything that moves just to get a kid," he adds, trying to explain. Again, the pamphlet is held out to Kaylee. "I just want people to think about things and give them a reason to start trying instead of dying." The pamphlet is left between them and he taps it twice with his index and middle finger. "Maybe if you can just be an advocate for it? If you could just think about it?"

"Yeeeah… Again, I got to pass on that." Kaylee eyes the pamphlet with distrust and a desire to push it away and put distance between her and it. "You are better off getting someone like Lynette to do that." She can't help but roll her eyes at her own mention of the woman. "Her and Ruiz are…. Probably the best poster…" what is the best word for that… since neither were kids. "Procreators for you. You convince her to go along with it all, shouldn't be too hard to get the rest to follow."

Kaylee can only stomach so much of the public affection from the two of them.

A glance is cast out into the room, feelings tucked behind a mask of not giving a shit "I'm better off just sticking to the shadows." A look is angled at the little guy sitting near her. "I don't have the hope you need… I want out of here." The edge is back in her tone, but she finally, does takes the pamphlet again. "But…. if it will make you… happy." She isn't sure she can handle his pouty face again. "I'll pass on the word to…. someone." See… She can be helpful.

"And what are you doing to get out of here, Kaylee?" Dirk's point bank question is coupled with a raised eyebrow. "Drinking yourself stupid? Sulking? That's really helpful." He pulls the pamphlet back and adds it into his pile again. They were handwritten and fairly valuable to him, so he's not prepared to waste one.

"The way you're going, Kaylee, the only way you're going to leave is in a body bag." He gets up from his place at the table and presses his lips together, "You could really be something. You could be an inspiration to people. Instead you're whingeing and boo-hooing about the same exact problem that everyone here has to deal with. Guess what? You have family. There aren't many people here that have that anymore. Stop bitching, pull up your panties, and be someone."

At first, the words hurt, but then a sort of cold anger settles into Kaylee's stomach. If you could cut flesh with just tone alone, Dirk would be bleeding when she says, "Fuck. You." Each word is enunciated, edged with the chill of her anger, eyes just as cold. "Don't talk about what you don't got a goddam clue about."

There is no sudden movement towards him, she isn't really like that, but she does lower her boots off the table so that she can lean towards him slowly. "Ask my daddy sometime about why I can't be someone. I'd be someone in a heart beat, if he'd let me." Kaylee offers Dirk a slow smile, "Unfortunately, like you said…. I have family and you know what…. He'd probably be happy if I focused on that." There is a jerk of movement, to point at the brochures.

"But you know what, Dirk… That ain't who I am." Her eyes narrow a little as a part of her imagines what it would be like to insert a thought in his head… change everything he's thinking. "He knows that… and I think he might be why he's keeping the princess locked in the tower." A smile curls on her lips, a bit of something else that she doesn't normally let people see reflected there. A glint of mischief and darkness beneath the surface. "Cause, he knows what she is capable if he doesn't." Maybe he's even afraid of it?

She sits back again and waves him off, dismissing him. Her easy going smile returns, bright as ever. "You know who you should give one of those too? K-mart. Maybe he can share it with the other Scavengers." She brightens a little more. "Even better, Izzy. Everyone visits her."

What Dirk doesn't do is take the rejection and excuses to heart. Instead he gives Kaylee a smile and nods once. "You know, those are really good ideas, Kaylee." Standing he reaches forward his hand to sweep the part of the table where her boot was clean. "Thank you for the suggestions." He's being gracious and kind, because honey attracts more bees and all of that.

"I hope that one day you'll actually find something or someone that makes you happy," he says in a very sincere manner. There's worry etched across his features, worry for her specifically. "Because dying in a pit of misery like this is a waste of such a beautiful person."

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