The character has become universe independent. Questions in the box.
NSFW things will be cut and tagged appropriately.
“Well, you certainly are lucky.” The reporter writes down the two names and circles them, meaning to look up those two later. “That’s all I’m asking for, soldier. Personal experience. Like I said, that sort of stuff is way more interesting to the readers than facts and numbers. Personal stories, something to get them right in the gut.” They’ve been standing still for far too long, she decides. Looking up from her notebook, she sets off at a leisurely stroll, wondering what else her guide will let her see.
“Aw, but I like long stories.” Duchess grins. “Tell me anyway, huh? I won’t complain or nothing. I won’t even laugh.”
“Luck?” Eagle asked, looking slightly confused. “It’s not luck if you’re picked for Recon’s Alpha Team. It’s luck that I can still use my left arm, though.” She added. Shadowing Duchess with quiet boots, Eagle pondered how best to answer the story question. It was a story with a lot of personal things to it. How best to shorten it to something powerful, but not personal?
“Hmph, I guess I can…” Eagle replied, looking at the silly grin. This reporter was like the rest of the ink-slingers. Weird, a bit crazy, and definitely not someone she’d sit and have another drink with. Thankfully, having her around was only for the one day.
“The short version is that I was sent out on a mission with a partner. Partner and I managed to… track a target on the other side of the Colorado.” Eagle started, finding a way to keep it simple but retain detail. “Some Legion Legate who was trying to join with the main force at Fortification Hill. We got rid of him, and we were chased for a few miles across the wasteland. Had to shoot to keep them from catching us, so every so often we had to turn around to shoot.” Eagle started to mime the last shot they’d taken. She turned halfway and stood with her arms like they held the rifle. This she explained. It was evident by the way she was standing just how the shot could have gone through. “One of those times, right close to the lake, the lucky bastard in red got me as I was turning. It burrowed under my shoulder blade.” She let her balance return and stepped back to the earth. “Kind of a weird spot to get shot. It had to be cut out.”
It dawned on Hazel a second too late that perhaps asking about it was not the best idea, particularly given that Eagle seemed to be in a more fragile state. “Probably feels like I was digging at some scars with a knife…”Hazel thought as she listened to the sniper’s explanation, remaining stoic face throughout it.
Again Hazel nodded, though this time Eagle was not looking to see it. The sadness in Eagle’s voice hurt more than it had to listen to her story, and she was glad that Eagle wasn’t looking up at her. Hazel doubted she could look her in the eye. “Dammit…I’d take a court martial over having to hear something like this from a friend,” Hazel thought bitterly. But that was the point of it all, wasn’t it? Eagle hadn’t spoken out of anger, she had been genuinely concerned. She legitimately felt that it was her duty to protect her friend. It wasn’t an attempt at guilt tripping; no, it was merely trying to get through the thick, seemingly unfeeling exterior to show Hazel just why she’d wanted to tag along.
“Get your gear. Let’s get moving.” Hazel said quietly. “If we’re going out to this ‘Divide’ than we’re going to need supplies. New Vegas would have what we’re looking for, right?” The larger woman walked over to the bedroll and for the second time extended a hand to Eagle.
The miserable looking thing on the blankets stirred slightly. Eagle’s hair part away from her eyes as she sat up under her own power. She put her hand out and placed it on Hazel’s. It looked storybook, like the princess taking the hand of the prince upon his stallion. In this case, however, it was a narrow, battered sniper and her female prince with atomic-powered armour.
“I think so. I think the only thing I can’t get there is… well a better face mask or something. My scarf isn’t near thick enough for that.” Eagle said quietly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think I was really imposing.” The sniper mused. She picked up the strings she used to tie her bed roll and set to work with that.
“We won’t be able to go to the Divide right away. I have to tie things up at Camp first.” Eagle sighed, pushing around the worn pieces of fabric. “I’d drop it all to go with you, but the I wouldn’t be able to afford the gear I need to get.” She added sheepishly. “So we can go to Vegas, but then I need to set things up with the NCR so I don’t end up completely broke.”
“Hmm.” Duchess sniffs. “Well it’s an admirable goal, anyway. Still. I wasn’t planning on losing my lunch all over wounded soldiers.” She decides to drop it, though. Her questions are more important. The reporter makes note, however, of Eagle’s protectiveness, mentally if not in her little book.
“You have a lot of respect for your higher-ups, don’t you? That seems sorta rare, in a soldier.” Duchess chuckles lightly. “I haven’t been able to get much out of your brothers in arms, but what I have managed to get is usually not all that complementary of the brass.” That’s a bit of an exaggeration, if anything. Soldiers, as a general rule, love to complain. Eagle doesn’t seem to be the standard soldier, though.
Noticing the rolling of the shoulder, Duchess lifts an eyebrow.
“I do. They’ve not thrown us into things we can’t handle. At least… Lieutenant Gorobets and Major Polatli haven’t. Again, I can only speak of my own experience.” Eagle said. Defending her commanding officers was easy. Polatli was too busy to really have much say in the battles. He mostly handled paperwork on injuries and reports on Legion movement. Gorobets spent his days planning defensive strategies… and training the unfortunate replacements.
“Yeah. War wound.” Eagle agreed quietly. “Long story, like most people’s. Not exactly interesting.”
The fact that Eagle felt such a degree of attachment to her gave Hazel pause to actually stop and think, not just argue reflexively at what Eagle was proposing. That didn’t change the fact that she was uneasy with the idea of bringing Eagle along, nor did she think it particularly wise that the sniper was more attached to her, an outsider, than her own unit. She opened her mouth to say something about unit cohesion, but stopped herself before she could get a word out.
After a moment Hazel nodded slightly. Looking at Eagle she could tell that the sniper was rather upset, though whether from what she’d confessed or out of fear of further rejection she did not know. “Why don’t you feel any attachment to the others?” she asked at length. Better to dodge the real issue, even if just for a minute.
The pause between Eagle letting her feelings be known and Hazel’s reply was long. It felt heavy, seemed to drag along the sand, and made Eagle want to cry. When Hazel finally did speak, Eagle felt even worse for saying anything at all.
She took a moment to collect her thoughts. It was like staring down a wall with the intention to break it bare-handed.
“They… don’t understand. They don’t know… exactly what it’s like to lose someone… who was close.” Eagle pondered out, stammering. She couldn’t find the right words, and it felt so awkward. The sniper raised her right hand to rub at the bridge of her nose. “And when I try to talk about it, it’s… it’s a personality clash. Betsey tries to hit on me, Spades, Sterling, and Bitter-Root ignore it and tell me to ‘keep my head in the game, ‘cause that’s what keeps me alive.’ The LT said I should get therapy, but he forgets what happened the last time. They just about had to handcuff me to the bed to make me stay the whole term.”
When Eagle finished explaining, she sighed and turned her back on Hazel. Acting busy, she started packing her gear. It was a failed attempt at trying to play it off as nothing. She ended up face-down on her bedroll after folding it neatly in half.
“Fuck it. Go on. Go be an… a soldier. For that faction.” Eagle whimpered. She turned her head ever so slightly. “I’m not sorry I met you. I’m not mad, or scared, or think less of you ‘cause of your faction.” She sniffled, then rubbed at her nose gently. “You’ve been more of a friend to me than anyone else. I’m sorry I… asked.”
Duchess frowns as Eagle ushers her out of the tent. Secretly, she’s grateful to get out of the close, blood scented air, but she’s not about to let on how much it was affecting her.
“Wh-I wasn’t going to get sick.” She gives the other woman an indigent look. “You’ve gotta give me more credit than that.” With a huff, she writes down the soldier’s words. So far, she’s doing a pretty good job of keeping her cards close to her chest. Duchess thinks for a moment, tapping her lip with her pencil.
“So you don’t think the loss of life here has been too great? There are those who wonder why the NCR is bothering fighting such a bloody war over some dam out in the middle of the desert. Do you think it’s all worth it?”
Eagle scoffed. “Sure you weren’t, ink-slinger.” She sighed. “I’m just trying to look out for my… my people.” She looked at the camp. It was more of a scan of the horizon line - something Eagle had grown used to doing regularly. It kept her alive. “I take care of those under or equal to me, as the ones above do for us.”
“I don’t have figures for casualties.” Eagle replied simply. “The Hoover Dam is an important thing to take. It supplies electricity.” She shook her head slightly. “I can’t really say. That’s a personal thing. Some guys would say it is, some would not. I can’t speak for the army as a whole, just myself.”
The sniper grunted and rolled her left shoulder. The aches of the muscles below were becoming uncomfortable. It was a result of being in the bloody medical tent for longer than it took to grab a roll of gauze wrap. It was strange that a soldier could have such a low tolerance for blood, but that was how Eagle was. She lived and breathed distance killing, and never really wanted to see her work up close. Being in the tent was close enough to that and she hated it. She was a soldier who hated what it had done to her.
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To storage your memories first you should live them….
In Case Of Trouble - Bastion OST
The Enclave soldier soaked up Eagle’s words with rapt attention. It wasn’t exactly a precise description, but it was more information than Hazel had. All she really knew about the place was that it had once been called Hopeville, and that the nuclear missiles stored there had been detonated recently. The fact that Eagle knew next to nothing about it made her all the more curious. Either the NCR hadn’t been involved at all, or more likely they had covered it up. Eagle would be too far out of the loop to hear anything but rumours.
“It’s nothing I can brag about, Eagle. I know how to dress wounds and I’ve got the perfect angle to work on you,” Hazel replied, her voice sounding far away, as if she were lost in thought. “Not like I dragged you out of a scorpion nest or something…” She had only just heard Eagle’s words, being too distracted with thoughts of this “Divide” and the marks on the redhead’s back. She wondered just how similar the scars on her own back were to Eagle’s, and whether the journey out to Hopeville would inflict more upon her…Tracing the other woman’s scar felt almost like plotting out a course on a map.
Hazel did her best to avoid Eagle’s questioning look in regard to the scar. But she locked eyes with her when she insisted that she follow. “I’m not some fresh recruit straight out of basic, Eagle!” she argued, wondering why her friend was so insistent on following. The journey there alone would be lengthy, and there was no telling how long she might have to spend in the wreckage to determine just what had happened. Having someone along would only complicate things. “This is my mission, you’ve got no right to drag yourself into it. Besides, you said it yourself, the place is deadly. Why in the hell would you want to go tramping headlong into it?”
As Hazel pondered Eagle’s information, the redhead turned the rest of her body around. She sat facing the crouching blond with that same look of determination. If Hazel really looked, there was an edge of fear to it. But only just enough to force the determination that much more.
“I know.” Eagle replied. Hazel was anything but fresh out of the bunker. She had the haunting look that Eagle was familiar with in her own eyes. The eyes of a soldier. The eyes of someone who’s lost people, and watched enemies die. “I know, but Hazel… Hazel if you died…” She grunted, bottling down the emotion. “I already have nightmares about you ghosting me around with Sagebrush. I don’t need the reality. I don’t want to be alone.”
She poked at the blond’s knee, which was closest. Hopefully that would ground Hazel again. “Hey, look, I’m no rookie either. The thing about the being alone, that’s real. My squad mates keep to themselves.” Eagle grumbled, looking a bit disheartened. “You’re the only one who’s bothered talking to me beyond ‘hello, how are you? Did you snipe that guy yet?’, yaknow? Makes me want to spend no time with them. Rather spend it with you.” The redhead tucked her right arm back into her lap. That had been harder to say than she’d have liked. Eagle couldn’t keep eye-contact, and her gaze lowered to her sand-coated boots.
Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk by Ryan Griffith
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