PHD #092: Visiting the Wall
Visiting the Wall
Summary: Tillman and Sophronia visit the wall and discuss philosophy. One of the CMC's MPs happen upon them.
Date: 30 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: TBA
Alessandra Constin Tillman 
Deck 9
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Post-Holocaust Day: #92

It has been something Alessandra had promised she'd do since well before the unfortunate mission to Leonis, something she has been wanting to do to try and lay those she lost to rest and perhaps gain herself a bit of peace at the same time. Tillman's presence was requested in the form of a quick note left for him but she hasn't waited; standing here for at least ten minutes, she is simply taking everything in, looking at the photos left by others while holding the two she has with her close to her chest, over her heart.

Tillman makes his way down the hallway at a slow pace. Every time theres a pass through the hallway, he can't help but look at all the faces and candles. Small memorials to those lost can't help but draw his attention. It almost seems a blasphemy to carry a sidearm in here. Approaching Alessandra, the man stops beside her and faces the wall. "Lotta love in this hall, Allie."

Alessandra's gaze slides slowly, almost lazily towards the Major when he arrives, her head bowing slightly in greeting. "Indeed, sir," she agrees swiftly. "And I'm about to add a bit of my own." The photos are drawn away from her person and held out, shown to Clive; the one held in her right hand is of her and her parents, her father dressed in a Colonial Navy officer's uniform while Allie, who is all of perhaps six or seven, and her mother are both wearing sundresses. The scene in the back show men and women dressed not unlike her father and seem to be at a base, perhaps either leaving on or coming back from a deployment. The second is of a group of cadets in dress uniform, one of whom is her, at a club. They're celebrating something it'd appear as they all have broad smiles on their faces and a beer in hand. "I miss them."

Tillman looks to the photos as he puts his hands into his pockets. He doesn't seem to want to touch them. "Dad's a good looking guy, Allie." He smiles a touch. "If he could see his daughter now? Imagine the pride on his face. All those cadets, too. They'd be telling all their buddies about you. 'Yep. Allies still fighting. She's out there giving it her all.'" He looks to her, then. Its not hard to imagine that he feels the same way. One of his own photos is already posted. One that includes him.

"Thank you, sir. That means a lot to me." Each photograph is kissed after Alessandra voices her appreciation of Clive's words and then tacked into place, placed side by side where they can be easily seen without covering up the others around them too much. "I never thought I'd be here. Where I am now, I mean." There's so much she could be talking about but she doesn't clarify just yet. "I am sure that can be said by everyone, though."

"I don't think any of us really thought we'd be here. Truth be told, sometimes I wish I could have been with my family. I feel like I abandoned them if I think on it enough." Tillman drops his eyes and moves to sit on a crate behind them, one of many empties left as benches. "You mean in terms of the wing and everything forced on you? Or standing here, memorializing your loved ones?" The man finally looks up and scans over the faces arrayed around them. Smiles, laughs, grins. Birthdays and bars. Gone.

Alessandra chuckles a bit, shaking her head. "You didn't abandon them, sir. Honest. You didn't know…" Reassuring the Major is what she wants to do but what words she manages to get out kind of dies on her lips, those that did sounding so flat to her. She winds up just giving up and sitting by Tillman, turning some so she can look at him as well as the pictures. "Both, really. But maybe a bit more of the former, sir." Not that she's complaining, mind you. She's just simply stating the facts.

Tillman doesn't comment on his own family, instead leaning back against the wall and letting his eyes trail through all the photos. "Its a lot to handle, Allie. I'm in the same place. I don't think either of us really wanted this, did we?" His aged eyes glance to her and back to the wall. "But we have that duty to all these people. We walk down this hall and the eyes of humanity are upon us. All that love and hope? Futures hoped and planned for?" He shakes his head. "We owe it to them."

There's a moment where Allie's silent and still, a span of time that is more than long enough to make it seem like she might not say or do anything but it passes and she's soon talking once more. "It seems like this is what the Lords have had planned for us all along. Talk about a rude awakening." The pictures are looked at one more time before she turns away, pivoting in her seat so she can lean back against Tillman. "We owe it to ourselves too, Clive. It's about us just as much as it is everyone else. Unless…we're not leaving humanity behind by doing this, are we?"

"If the Lords had this planned the whole time, I have a bone to pick." Its dead-panned and not intended to be funny. Tillman is probably the kind of guy who would try to fight them. He doesn't even blink when she leans against him, either. Its almost expected. "I suppose you're right. We do sorta owe it to ourselves as much as them. But are we leaving humanity behind?" There's a long breath and he looks away from the eyes and faces. "We're leaving the crew behind, Allie. They won't know or understand at first. If we die before they know, then we've abandoned them. These people here on the wall?" He finally looks back to those faces. "They know. The Gods know. We know. We're doing this together and that stands for a lot."

Alessandra nods a bit. "Well, don't get too cheeky with them, Major. Might turn you into a bull or a boar or whatever it is they do to people who piss them off." Where a statement like that might be taken as a joke during lighter conversations this is said seriously although Allie can't keep herself entirely serious for too long. "Maybe they'll turn you into a nanny goat. I hear goat milk is good. Could continue to serve the crew by giving us…" That's getting to be a bit too far fetched even for her and she can't help but to giggle. "Gods, Clive. Anyhow…uh, yeah. The crew. This is why I was hoping to get a letter to Captain Laskaris. I'd like to explain it to him. Makes me wish they'd hurry up and get their asses back here. Might not be able to fill him in on everything but at least I could say…something. Maybe goodbye. I dunno."

"For killing fifty billion people? It'd take more than that." The humor just doesn't find him. He settles on the picture of his family, listening quietly. At the end, the man remains quiet for a stretch. "I believe that when they get back, they will confirm our fears. Most likely they will join us, if not physically, than in spirit. We may never see it, but those people down there are warriors. They won't let it stand. Like how we won't. Writing him a letter probably won't help. It'll also endanger us. Wills and resignations can be explained. A death letter written to someone on Leonis?" He shakes his head. "We're past that, Allie. The Point of No Return left when I went to Major Cavanaugh, Major Hahn, and Commander Laughlin."

"The Point of No Return," Allie echoes, sobering greatly in no time. "You know, I've read about this in the books my father loved reading. The military intruige ones. I always thought that was silly. But here we are, doing what was written about." Looking down at her lap, her fingers are laced together loosely, those taken some interest in. "I wish I had told Anton that I care for him before everything happened. Before he made Captain and everything. But what's done is done. I just hope he'll realize why we did it."

"Yeah. In space physics its known as the Event Horizon. Where its no longer possible for light to escape from a singularity. In military terms we generally refer to it as the Operational Momentum. ..I prefer the first term. We can see it coming. We know what has to be done. We have to face it. Run as fast as you want, it will still find you." Tillman stares at the picture of his family the whole time, face blank and voice quiet. Two officers leaning on each other, both armed, talking about a topic like this. Its a good thing they're alone. "I'm sure he knows, Allie. I argued with my eldest daughter the last time I saw her. But she knows I love her. My wife was worried about me when I left and begged me not to leave for this cruise on terms like that with that girl. But it happened. I think at the end of it all, we know what mattered to who."

Alessandra nods. "Event Horizon has a bit of a nicer ring to it. Sure as frak nicer than the other. And especially compared to the Point of No Return. That sounds so fatalistic. I loath fatalism." Anyone who knows Allie well knows that she might fall into bouts of depression or moments where she'd love to do nothing more than bang her head against the nearest bulkhead but rarely will she ever allow for herself to succumb to fatalism. When Clive talks about his family and what happened before he left she leans a bit more against him, her way of showing her support without going as far as turn around and actually hug him. "It wasn't like you couldn't not go. But hey. Like you said. Your family knows that you love them. And..maybe Anton knows I love him too, right?" Or so she can hope, at any rate.

Tillman and Alessandra are sitting on an empty crate that's been left in the Memorial Hall. She's leaned back against his shoulder, the discussion quiet while they look at all the photos and candles. The XO seems fairly focused on the photo of his family. "Fatalism isn't so bad when you look at it through the lenses of realization and resignation. You see what has to be done and you don't have a choice. Sometimes that means giving it all up. Especially when you're faced with what we are." The Major leans a bit more into her, the same support shown. Its going to be done by the two of them. He couldn't -not- support her. "He probably knows, Allie. If he doesn't right away and we don't pull through? He will. We're not doing this for personal gain. We're doing it for them. And the people on this wall."

Constin steps out of the Ship's library, a trio of books held in one thick-fingered hand. The marine pauses at the sight of the Memorial wall- impossible to miss from where he stands, and for a moment, the big man considers quietly, before turning his steps toward the mass of pictures, and tributes. At first, Tillman and Alessandra aren;t noticed as anything more than two faceless people sitting on a crate near the memorial.

"I guess you're correct, Major," Alessandra drawls before standing, a few nervous steps bringing her closer to where she just put up a few pictures. A finger is lifted and drawn over the one of her as a girl with her parents, her lips pursed. "Well, now it's just a waiting game," she offers while turning to look at Clive, her gaze first flitting to the MP as he arrives. The side of the Corporal has her falling silent immediately, Constin given a nod as a means of greeting and nothing more.

Tillman watches the woman rise from the crate and move to the photo, a touch of sadness evident on his features. "It is. Just remember what I told you about your father, Allie. Hold your head high, Lieutenant. We do these things for others." The XO doesn't seem too concerned about the appearance of the Marine, though. He dips his head to the man as he rises from the crate. "Corporal. Light reading?"

Acknowledgment from Alessandra draws Constin's attention more fully, and the MP returns the nod, curtly. "Sir," is voiced quietly, narrow blue eyes habitually taking in the detail of that holstered Five-seveN. A shift of the man's regard toward Tillman draws a matching word of, "Sir," before the circuit of his stare finds another sidearm on the ship's XO. The subject of his reading, draws a glance to his own texts, and the answer: "Touching up, sir." The spines of the three books are held toward Tillman: an overland navigation textbook, close order drill manual, and the standard history textbook of the CMC.

Alessandra blushes a bit and clears her throat. "I'd like to apologize for the other day, Corporal. I shouldn't have snapped at you like I did while you trying to do your job." She notices the way the Marine looks at Tillman's weapon and it causes a momentary pang of panic to hit her right in the heart, the pain it causes almost physical in nature. She doesn't dare comment upon it just yet, it being something she'll address only when needed. "How have you been," she then asks him.

Tillman notes the glance but doesn't say anything. One of the great things about being at the top is that you don't have to answer questions. At least, most of the time. The XO moves a bit closer to Allie to stand by her as he reads off the labels on the books. "No kiddin'." A smile slowly curves across the lines of his face. "I remember being enlisted and reading some of those, myself. Might want to also consider looking at 'Fires and Support' if we have it. Book by Lieutenant Colonel Markus Alrando. Has a few tips and tricks that weren't in the edition of Overland that I had to study from."

"It comes with the job, sir," Constin returns his eye to Alessandra to reply. "Ah appreciate the apology, but it's unnecessary." The question 'how have you been' gives him pause, as the corporal has no ready answer to a social question. Blue eyes tick habitually more narrow, before Tillman's comment draws his attention back from Alessandra. "Fires and Support, Alrando," he echoes, filing the title and author mentally. "Ah'll look that up, sir," he notes with a nod of thanks.

Alessandra's grossly out of her element here so she stands and listens, taking in the conversation between the Marines with only a blink here and there given as a means of showing she's at least paying attention.

"Don't mention it. Just hope it helps. They might've combined them by now. That was damned near twenty years ago. Best of luck on the studying, though, Corporal. We need men and women with drive." Tillman nods once more to the MP and glances to Alessandra. "So what'd you do to this guy? Chew him out?"

"Not sure what the exam would look like these days, sir," Constin answers Tillman with a dry grin briefly tugging at his expression. The good humor is muted, but not entirely erased at the manner in which the XO phrases his question to Alessandra. The marine remains silent, since it's the pilot's question to answer.

Alessandra reaches up and puts a hand to the back of her head, feeling more embarrassed when Clive questions her as to what happened between Constin and herself. "He asked me to get a message to someone and I told him I am not his secretary and to send it down himself." She's downplaying it greatly, the fact that she was downright bitchy left alone although whether or not it remains just between her and the MP is left to be seen as he just might elaborate if he sees fit to play ad-libs and fill in the blanks.

"Oh I imagine it hasn't changed too much. War is still war. Leadership is still leadership. Just the way it is. The Corps has that pretty finely honed, Corporal." The XO sounds pretty sure of it. Though Alessandra's response gets a quirked brow. He glances between the two. "Getting snippy, Lieutenant? Any particular reason you couldn't help the guy out?" That brow lofts as he inclines his head towards her expectantly. Its not a serious interrogation but more of a playful scolding.

"It was a strained situation, sir," Constin elaborates on the subject of their prior interaction. "Had just detained a deck Specialist." He won't go into great detail, leaving the depth of the interaction to Allie, and simply providing a bit of context.

Alessandra clears her throat and looks at Constin, first and then to Tillman himself, acting like a child who got into trouble with another child who are then in need of collaborating their stories. "It was just one of those things, sir," she adds. "Was kind of grumpy to begin with and then was given a shock by seeing the Specialist being detained. Corporal Constin was the unfortunate target." This is where she'd try to tack on a smile but darn it, now she really feels like a kid getting chided by a parent.

"Ahhh okay. Yeah an Ensign brought that up to me the other night." Tillman waves a hand dismissively. "Don't worry about it. As long as the Corporal is sure to hold a grudge and try to bust you for drunk and disorderly, I'm sure everything will turn out for the better. Right Corporal?" He slides a grin to the man.

"Third and fourth weeks of marine basic are grudge holding, sir," Constin returns, deadpan to Tillman's sly quip. He turns his freshly neutral expression toward Alessandra, and raises his free hand to mime the 'Watching you' with two forefingers.

"Uh…" Alessandra's not a typical pilot in that she doesn't have the overly-huge ego that a lot of her ilk are in the possession of but even then she finds herself fully deflated thanks to the way the menfolk are behaving. "I'll be careful," she gives meekly. Yeah. This is Allie wishing she could turn into a puddle and dissolve into nothingness.

Tillman chuckles to the Marine's remark, the sound hardy and probably not fully appreciated in a hallway like this. "Its important training. Some of the best." He looks to Alessandra and smirks. A hand reaches out to ruffle her hair. "Its okay. The big bad Marine is really your friend. Remember: Semper Fidelis. Though I'm not sure where the Navy and pilots fit into the latter half of that."

"Heh," comes the wordless grunt of amusement from Constin. "Cee-Em-Cess's the very best, sir. Ain't any 'some' about it," if offered with a grin to Tillman, before Allie's discomfort draws his eye again. "Like ah said, sir:" he voices to Alessandra, "It's part of the Em-Pe job. Don't sweat."

"Semper Fi, do or die," Alessandra quips out, the tone being a questioning one which is directed at the XO. "We don't use that phrase directly but I think it's something we all live by regardless of what area in the military we serve in." Hands slipping behind her back, she

"No doubt. Never had to experience Navy basic but I can imagine it'd be a bit like your average day with a planet-side unit. Some running. Cleaning. Maybe go nail a rifle if you have time." The Major just grins. Ahhhh, the memories. "True enough, Lieutenant. Its a different meaning in the Corps, though. There's a lot of history to it. The Navy takes it as a code of behavior. The Marines live it from day one in basic. Its one of the reasons I'm so passionate about duty. Sound about right, Corporal?"

Constin nods once, with another brief grin to Allie's smile and thanks, before he's again answering the XO: "Sounds about right, sir. Eat it, breathe it, live it. And damn well die with it." Despite the words, his tone utterly lacks fatalism. The statement ring more with staunch pride than anything negative.

Alessandra's been taught a lot about honor since Warday and even more so since her return to the Cerberus, it all being a lot less of an abstract concept than it used to be, thus allowing for what Tillman says to her to make more sense. "Yes, sir. I do see what you're saying." Glancing towards the other man, she smiles and nods. "Yeah. You Marines are all about 'living the experience', it seems. That's a good thing, truly."

"Damned right. Always glad to hear that the Corps is still beating that into their recruits. Hopefully things turn out on the positive end for you with the exams." Tillman dips his head to the man and looks to Allie. "About the best thing. A lot of Marines have well-founded egos. Long tradition of service and honor. But.." He trails. "I'm on watch in about fifteen minutes. I need to scoot." His eyes pointedly fall to Alessandra. "Wednesday. I'll see you then. Remember your father, Lieutenant." It seems rather serious with the way he intones all of it. Another nod to the Corporal. "Be safe out there and remember your creedo, Marine." With that, he back off a step before turning and heading back towards the stairwell.

"Always, sir. Thank you, sir," Constin answers the departing XO evenly. He salutes, even though he is off duty, because enlisted are supposed to salute when on-duty officers say things like that and take their leave. Turning back to Alessandra, he notes, belatedly, "Yes we are, sir."

"Yes sir. Wednesday day it is. See you then." As the Major goes she gives him a quick wink, not going as far as saluting him this time. With it being just her and the junior-ranking Marine, now, she sits back down, turning herself so she can look anywhere but the

"Seems to be, yes," Constin answers with a nod. "Not as twitchy as she was on the deck. Hell, she even had a couple laughs, so spirits are holding up pretty well," he reports with a nod. "If Coll's a friend of yours, she's allowed visitors," he notes as an aside.

Allie almost says something but her stomach growls loudly, getting her to blink and wince while her right hand is pressed to her belly, palm down. "Oh. Looks like I need some food. I guess I should get on that right now." Grinning, she reaches out and does something utterly unexpected, most likely, that being reaching out to try and tussle Constin's hair. "Take it easy, Corporal. Semper Fi."

Constin stiffens a bit, caught quite off guard by the hair-tussle. A grin, a bit forced, twists his lip with the words, "Ah'll do that, sir. Eat up," he advises, a dry edge to his words as the pilot step on her way. Once she is gone, a thoughtful frown settles over the MP's face, as he turns to regard the Memorial Wall, unseeing. A finger taps against the spine of the clutch of books held in one hand, as he runs over the potential reasons for two officers to be wearing sidearms without following on-duty protocols.

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