Called Out


bf_alia_icon.gif elisabeth_icon3.gif

Scene Title Called Out
Synopsis Alia has a few words for Liz, though they're not particularly angry.
Date November 22, 2017

A Refuge

She's packing up a small satchel to take with her back to the main spot that she and Cassandra and Aurora are using as sleep space after dropping off the stuff she's scavved in her most recent run that the three of them don't need. There are far too many people who need the things they all find, and far too few resources. Liz only ever keeps the ones that they really need for survival, sharing everything else where she can. As she ties the satchel up, though, she has to pause for a long moment and look around. The despair is enough to eat at the soul sometimes… and she's holding on tooth and nail to the promise that there is a way home. That even if it's not this next jump, Richard believed they'd be home by the end of 2018.

She's not sure she believes it…. not with the time differential that Odessa suffered. But Elisabeth has to believe in something or risk falling into the darkness as she nearly did in the first weeks of the Virus world. She sighs heavily, not immediately spotting familiar faces here, and makes ready to slip out again to go rendezvous with her child.

It isn’t hard to understand why a grease and dust stained Alia wouldn’t look familiar. Not that it’s the one that Liz is most familiar with anyway. But the woman silently nods a greeting, then holds out, of all things, a chocolate bar. Scavanaged from a vending machine most likely. Still sealed.

“Aurora?” she both asks after and implies the bar is for in the same statement. Yup, this Alia is very economical for words. At least this Alia seemingly has adjusted. And perhaps more surprisingly has found a few other old bits of tech to scavenge and repair into minor creature comforts. Like the ipod hanging from her belt.

It’s also obvious by the look on her face she’s got more on her mind then just Aurora and Liz.

Glancing over as she's approached, it does take her a moment but then Liz smiles. "Alia," she greets with genuine pleasure. She hasn't seen much of the other woman since they landed. "Oh… oh geez, that's sweet. She'll love it. Thank you." She never turns down things for her daughter. "She's doing way better than I maybe expected… I guess she's pretty resilient." She grins. "I'd like to take credit for that, but honestly I think it's maybe just her personality." Though she worries every day.

Tilting her head, she asks, "how about you? How are you holding up?"

Alia shrugs. “… living. Free.” She pauses, and grapples for words a moment. “One knew we were headed… _here_, not where we thought.” Alia has never been one to beat around the bush. And her shortness of words usually makes telling when she’s frustrated or cranky and short with someone tricky… This time it’s pretty obvious she’s upset with the fact that someone was not, as the saying goes, sharing with the rest the class.

“Been nice not jump blind?” Alia finally offers in conclusion.

Sighing quietly, Elisabeth has to nod. "Yes, it would have been. And I tore a strip off his ass for it, too. I'm sorry, Alia. I… there are no words to apologize enough to you and the others for what he did." She looks genuinely regretful and seems to be taking the burden of anyone's anger over it onto herself. "I can't make it right. There's just… nothing I can do or say to excuse it. But I am sorry."

Shoving a hand through her shortened, much lighter hair, Liz admits, "I can't say I would have done differently in his shoes… he honestly believed that saying anything might change his daughter's fate. It doesn't by any stretch excuse him. But… I have to admit that I understand his terror. If it had been Aura…" She shrugs just a little. She would like to think she'd have handled it differently, but she also has the benefit of hindsight.

“Him knowing already affects?” Still, Alia’s expression softens. “…glad still useful here. Lots of tech, of one listens.” She frowns thoughtfully. “good to be helpful, this place, home messed up, this worse.” Alia hesitates, then tilts her head. “So, did he at least give us a map of next jumps?”

"Sort of… at least, as well as he understands it. And it's predicated on a lot of assumptions, too," Elisabeth admits. "If it all goes the way it was predicted, the next place we'll land is a world where the polar caps melted." The admission is hard. "I have no idea what we'll find there. I have no idea if you'll want to continue on with us, Alia. It won't be a fun ride. And I have no idea if we'll ever actually make it home. I … have hope." She forces a small smile. "Someone got a message to me that there's a possibility. But… I don't know when or even if that possibility will ever actually appear."

Alia smiles, a little. “What, stay here? No, they catch on to me sooner or later. Then get ugly.” She pauses, “though, will you and others be okay with, um, dead weight? I am no survivalist.” And a terrible shot, as at least one person who's been trying to help her work on that has learned. She knows her biggest value is her specialty, and that isn't really useful in a world that's mostly under water.

“…need to find another rabbit hole first, worry that second, Alice.” Her tone says she's chiding herself.

Elisabeth ffts. "Never refer to yourself that way again," she tells the technopath. "Survival can be taught. Skills are just that — some you'll be better at than others. But they're teachable. You are not dead weight. Nor are you replaceable." She calms a little. "I don't want you to stay here either… it's going to be a lot of years before this place settles. I don't know, though, how safe the next one will be either." She sighs. "I will back either choice on your part, Alia. I…"

She pauses. "The Alia of my world, she was … my friend." It's the first time Liz has really ever talked about Alia of her world. "I was the commander of a FRONTLINE team… and I was also working with the underground, like the one they have here only different. A security company. I brought her on board there to help me… and I got her captured my Humanis First because of that job. She was trapped in a machine for months. I can't live with myself if that happens to you because you got dragged here with me."

Alia tilts her head, then smiles, then shakes her head. “My Choices. My Consequences.” She smiles. “Guess best try to scav some fishing gear.” She laughs a bit, and gives Liz a rather tentative, shy hug. “I be careful. Promise.”

It's the first time any Alia has really offered that, but Elisabeth is all about the hugging part. She returns Alia's hug readily. "Do that." She smiles a little. "And if you bring me some decent, non-mutated fish, I will figure out a way to make a Thanksgiving dinner, okay?" It's not likely to be much, but … given their world? She'd like to remember that they do have some things to be grateful for. Not the least of which is each other.

“Meant for after jump,” Alia notes, but grins. “See what can do. Gotten good at finding old systems still running at least.” She laughs a little. Wait, is -that- how she found the chocolate? Listening for an old computerized vending machine that is somehow clinging to life? Maybe. “We’ll make it.” She reassures Liz, a broad grin on her face.

The audiokinetic forces a small smile for Alia, her expression carefully neutral on that comment. They have no choice but to make it. Elisabeth holds tightly, every minute, to the thought that if she keeps putting one foot in front of the other, keeps moving forward, something will give. She'd almost come to believe that staying in Bright was to be their fate… had almost found complacency there. She probably should have known better, but five years is a long time. And now she is dragging her child through hell. Losing her baby is not an option. "The alternative isn't one I'm willing to contemplate." The only way out is through.

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