Living Regrets


candy_icon.gif sanderson_icon.gif

Scene Title Living Regrets
Synopsis Sanderson and Candy talk about the past on their night watch.
Date November 26, 2009 (11:00pm Madagascar Local Time)

C-130 Crash Site


In all her life, Candace Allard has never seen this much rain.

Some portions of the American south get torrential rain like this, but not ever so long-lasting or as oppressive. In the dead of night, with only the glow of a pair of chemical lamps shedding that eerie pale greenish light inside of one of the nearby tents, the jungles of Madagascar look like they could come alive at any moment, and swallow the hydrokinetic whole leaving no trace she was ever there.

"So… You ain't never been in the army, have ya?" Thankfully for Candy, she's not alone in the heart of darkness. "Never thought I'd be either, really. I was getting ready for college out west when my brother joined the Marines. Right after September 11th, you know?" Blue eyes peer towards Candy's partly illuminated form where the pair rest on watch beneath a cliff outcropping near the waterfalls. A loud peal of thunder and a flash of distant lightning shines bright off of the wreckage of the downed C-130 sunk halfway into the lagoon.

"Seemed like the right thing t'do at the time, you know? The army, gettin' back at the bad guys." The marine cracks a lopsided smile, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them, black boots pressing down against the canvas tarp the pair are seated on.

"My brother got shipped off to Afghanistan pretty much straight out of basic. He came back different, never was the same, really— guess war does that to people." Resting her chin on the back of her knees, Sanderson's focus does distant. "When the bomb happened, I did what my brother did. I had a teaching degree in criminal psychology, wanted to be a professor… Fucked up my life squarely when I left for Bragg." Turning her head to the side, Sanderson looks towards her younger watch company.

"Got sent off to Iraq, before anybody knew what the Evolved were." She lets out a bitter laugh, "When the world got turned upside down, I didn't get to go home. I was stuck out there in the desert for two years…"

Candy nods her head a little as she listens to the litany. To others the rain may seem oppressive, and gloomy. But too Candy, its a blessing, its her very best weather and she glories in it. Knowing that at any moment she could literally strike out and kill someone without having to expand the energy to make her enemies blood vessels burst. After a while though, her attention turns back to Sanderson, "Yeah… my life didn't start getting fucked up til I was locked away with the key thrown away." She turns to look at Sanderson and she asks, "Have you ever felt like you were going to die of thirst?" She smirks, and turns to watch the rain come down. "Knew I was… different… from when I was about sixteen. When I could make water do all sorts of crazy things. Used to practice with the pipes in the walls at my house, would drive my parents crazy when they'd turn on the faucet and the water wouldn't come out."

She lets out a wistful sigh, "Then I made a mistake. The guy was hitting on me, he was about ready to rape me. And I accidently killed him. His blood was all over the alley, made him burst like a ripe fruit. Then they came after me, managed to sink two coast guard boats before they got me. I was trying to run to Staten Island, you see?" She shakes her head a little, remembering those days, those days when she was innocent, when she actually felt something for killing her fellow men and women. "Then the tossed me down a hole. And, when it became apparent that at some points I was resisting their attempts to suppress our powers, I got thrown into an even deeper hole." Her eyes turn to look at Sanderson while she sits there, before she finally gets around to what she wanted to say, "So, no, I've never been in the army. But, I've been mistreated by this government. I've had my very rights stripped of me. And not because I was born with an innate talent. No, that would be too easy. The icing on the cake, yeah? I was made this way by my parents. I wasn't even supposed to grow up like this…"

Candace trails off as her mind goes back to the rain, and the water that gurgles all around here. Listening to the sound of her favoured element, the one thing that she can say she loves, and that loves her back with an equal degree. "Though, to be honest, I wouldn't trade away the power to kill a man like that in a thousand years. There is something that is really /so/ fascinating about watching a man explode in a cloud of pink mist…"

At the topic of Candy's ability, Sanderson pales some under the greenish glow of the chemical lamps. Her blue eyes focus on the hydrokinetic, never quite meeting the other's gaze in the way you don't stare down a wild animal; Maybe to Sanderson, that's what Candy is. There's an uncomfortable nod of her head, then it turns to rest her chin on her knees again. With the humidity and the rain, her arm aches sorely where it's bandaged by now coppery-stained once-white cloth.

"I'm… sorry." Spoken as if it were somehow her fault. "But, you know… that's all behind you now. The CIA is going to clear everything for you when this mission is over." Optimistically assuming anyone makes it out of Madagascar alive. "I… I didn't have it quite as hard as you when I found out what I could do. But— it was like I became somebody's property." Sanderson's brows tense, and she stares down at the way the rain splashes into the pool of water at the lagoon.

"I was stationed out in Tikrit when the blood tests finally came to our base. Every single enlisted and commissioned officer had to take it. Just a pin-prick to change your world, right?" Sanderson cracks a faint smile. "As soon as my test turned positive, I didn't know what to do. I mean, I knew there was a guy from the Army at the president's press conference back in 06, he could move shit with his mind, so I knew they weren't going to shit-can me. But all the same, I was scared."

Exhaling a sigh that blows a wet lock of hair from her face, Sanderson looks back to Candy. "They put me on a plane and sent me back home. I was stuck in Virginia for a couple months, lots of faceless bureaucrat types poking me with needles and asking me if I was good at anything. Took them a while to figure out what my ability was, and…" She looks uncomfortable, "…what I could do with it."

Shaking her head, Sanderson looks back to her feet again as an errant lock of brown hair falls from behind her ear to frame the side of her face. "Before all this shit happened, I was told I was going to be a part of FRONTLINE. No choice in the matter, just assigned to a team they were planning on forming in Massachusetts. I was going under ability training in Chicago at some real hush-hush facility when a call came in that I'd been hand-picked by the President to lead a team into Madagascar. I didn't even know what was going on, I couldn't tell my family anything. I just disappeared. If I die out here, I don't know if they'll ever even know what happened to me… know just how in danger they were…"

Closing her eyes, Sanderson rests her forehead against her knees. "I thought I'd be married at 26."

Candy smirks a little while she rests there, and she replies, "I didn't even get to tell anybody back home that I was living. I had just met a really nice girl too." A roll of her shoulder is given before she says, "Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk." Her eyes go back to Sanderson, and she smirks, "But you really think it will all go away, huh? That just because the CIA says that all is forgiven, that it'll go away? Will that take away the daily nightmares? Listen here, Missy. I was kept in a cell, I was withheld any kind of liquid, because of their fear that I would get away. When it came time for them to make sure I didn't die from dehydration, they'd knock me out via a shock collar. Hydrate me through an IV line, and then leave and wait for me to come back to. I knew thrist unending, my throat was dry and needy every single day I spent in the damn cell. And there wasn't a thing in the world I could do about it."

Candace shakes her head while she stands there, and she laughs at the other ladies sadness about being married. "Do you realize what my life should have been like? I should grown up like a normal kid, I should have had a normal life. Instead, I have this ability that was given to me, for no other reason then to see if it would work." She smirks a bit while she sits there, and replies, "In some alternate universe, somewhere, there is a Candace Allard who is a perfectly well adjusted woman. Or.. actually, she wouldn't be called Candace Allard, she would be Noriko Amagi. I would have grown up with my real parents, instead of my foster parents."

Her eyes look into the rain, as she sits there, completely dry and comfortable thanks to her powers. "No, instead I'm in the godforsaken jungle, being shot at and taking more lives. And do you know the funny thing about it all? Do you, Sanderson? I suppose you don't. Six months ago, no matter how messed up I was, I would have never taken the life of another evolved. Ever. Then I went undercover with Humanis First, infiltrated their cell in New York City. Now… now I could kill you while you sleep, and I wouldn't feel a goddamn bit of regret. Nothing, no remorse for killing a single soul on this planet, or killing thousands. Do you know who you have to thank for that? The government of the United fucking States. They created a monster, Sanderson. And I intend to fulfill that role, one way or another."

It's silence that rewards Candy's speech from Sanderson, protracted silence and a tension that never quite leaves her. Just the sound of the heavily falling rain, the roar of the swollen waterfalls, and the hollow ping of the rain hammering on the wrecked plane's remains.

"It's never too late to change…" Sanderson says with a hushed voice, more to herself than anyone else. As she looks back to Candy, there's that tension still in her face. "I do think the government will pull through, try to make up for— for whatever made them do that. We may not wind up national heroes, but some day when the world does find out about how close to nuclear war they were, they'll read about us in text books. Candace Allard, Noriko Amagi— none of that matters. If you want to let life turn you into a monster, then you do. Look at Gray." She nods her head towards the tent he's now occupying.

"He's a serial killer, hundreds of evolved over the years, but he's here by his own choice now. If he can change, and not kill the lot of us just for being interesting to him, than you can too. You want to be that way, fine, but you won't ever be happy. Only you can change what you've been handed, lemonade out of piss in this case…"

Sanderson looks back down to her feet, eyes half-lidded. "I don't think anyone's forced to live their life one way or another. We all have choices, we just have to be strong enough to actually make them, and not just go along with what's handed to us because it's easy or convenient, or helps us make excuses." There's a furrow of Sanderson's brows now, defiant. "You're going to get a second lease on life when you get out of here… Whether you choose to live it as Candace Allard the killer, or Noriko Amagi…"

Sanderson's eyes turn back to Candy, her expression intent. "That's your choice."

Candy smiles faintly as she looks at Sanderson, and she responds, "He is only here because he'll get the government off his back for all the murders that he has committed. Truth be told, I look up to that man there." She shrugs her shoulders, her eyes going off into the distance as she says, "And no, I won't get that choice. There will always be another madman bent on riding the world of evolved. There will always be more people who are scared of change. And there will always be me, sitting there, the one who wants to fan the flames just a bit. The one who wants to see the world dissolve into utter chaos so that she can claim her small fiefdom of land."

She turns her head to the other Evolved, and says, "You can't tell me that you haven't thought of it. With our powers, we could rule the world. We /should/ rule the world. These others, they know it too. And they fight tooth and nail against it. But, they'll be the ones who're crushed. Because what can you do when you have evolved who can summon tsunami's at a whim. Blow your blood through every orifice and pore in your body just with a thought. You can't do a damn thing against that. Your only hope is to kill them while they're sleeping."

She gives Sanderson a hell of a gaze while she sits there, lip curling into that feral smile, "No… one day, I will finally tip the scale. I'll tip the scale to war, the United States will fall along with other countries. And a new World Order will rise up from the ashes of that Doomsday, and I will sit and watch it all. Wait for the perfect moment to seize my own territories. And history will remember the name of Candace Allard, as the woman who set the world on fire." Its really all the little Asian can do to not start laughing manically. Though, she does toss in a couple of chuckles.

Hunching forward where she sits, Sanderson's brows furrow as she swallows tensely and looks down at her feet. There's a silence, more palpable than the last as her gaze goes distant. "If that's the way you'll have it…" She murmurs, fingers tightening just a little into her pantlegs in the abject horror of how Candy describes herself. After that, the silence awkwardly doesn't lift again, and Sanderson doesn't make the extra attempt to try and reach out to the younger woman.

All there is left in the Lieutenant's mind, garnered from this conversation, is the one simple truth that Candy shared with her. You have to kill them in their sleep.

It might just come to that.

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