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 Quota [Plot]

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PostSubject: Quota [Plot]   Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:34 pm

Christian hadn't said a single word to the older woman, Cora. She was the head of the Prescott family, and known mostly for her service in Cohort Four. Christian knew this, and yet, knew for sure there was nothing to exploit in what he knew about her. She had three kids, with a perfect track record of fire and ice powers and good military service. She was a doctor as far as Christian knew, and worked at Saint Julius Caesar Memorial Hospital. All of this information learned, and what good did it do him now? There was only one other important thing of note that she was, Christian supposed; She was also probably going to be the last citizen of New Rome that Christian would ever speak to.

He opened the doors to his barracks, and unlike the harsh tone of the Senate House, he used care here. Cohort Five would still use these doors long after he was gone. He knew he was leaving behind at least some good people. He didn't wait for Cora, he continued forward, reaching his bunk. He had to make some miracles happen here. He needed to get Corinne's watch and get it in her bunk and his mother's old Vicodin bottle without either being detected, while being watched. He also wanted to leave Rowan a note. Wasn't like he had a ton of options, with a set of trained eyes being on him. Still, he had to try. If he failed, what was the worst she could do? Kick him out? That was already underway.

He slung the bag Alexander had handed him off of his shoulder and onto the small desk near his bunk. The first thing he reached for was the one thing that had served him since his first year, even when weapons had failed. Christian snatched his imperial gold handcuffs from their usual spot, placing them on his bed. "I don't suppose you're going to tell me what the hell this is all about?" Christian muttered.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:03 pm

Cora respected the fact that he didn't want to talk or say anything. It wasn't the first time she has escorted someone back to their barracks or escorted them outside of camp. It had happened a few times over the span of several years. Each one was a little different. Definitely some hostile ones, some were far more willing. It was all a process. It was all for the greater good of New Rome. The difference here was, Cora felt like Christian could have been of good use, except he had to go in too far. He either already knew too much or was at the verge of knowing too much. He was more a threat at this point to what they were doing, and she knew that meant that he had to leave.

It was hard. Cora always tried to look at things from another point of view. If it were her own children being kicked out, she didn't know how she'd take that. She loved each and every single one of her children, and she wondered if Christian had parents that felt that way. From her memory Christian had been here for quite some time. Never really left to visit his parents. That made her gather the conclusion that he wasn't very close to them. A sad thing, but it happened. Some people definitely weren't fit to have children.

As they got to the barracks she watched him. "All I can tell you is that you either already know too much or you're too close to knowing too much. Even saying that, I'm stepping a little out of line. I can't say too much beyond that." Cora spoke with a soft yet firm tone. She came in and sat on a bunk across from where Christian was.

"If you want I can check your hand before you go. I understand if you wouldn't want me to, but as a mother I would have hoped someone would have at least made sure my children had a good chance out there. Again I do understand if your answer is no. Figured I'd put forth the offer." She said calmly with a small smile.

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:08 pm

Christian stayed focused. He was thankful for all the training invested in him as a Centurion. Too often, you could forget one of the most important things told to you during promotion testing. "Don't let your emotions get in the way of your mission." How many times had he broken this rule? Too many. Everyone did. But Roz's words rang in his head now, whether she was in that coup or not, those words were what would get him through this. He tilted his head back to watch her as she spoke. She sat on the bunk across from him. That was Lennie's bunk. He didn't even know how she was doing, or if she was even alive.

He knew he couldn't do anything about that now. He ever so slightly tilted his position so that his back was covering his activity. He wasn't going to make a move yet. Corinne's bunk was the one next to his, which meant he'd have much better luck slipping the watch under her sheets on the way out. He kept taking things from the setup of his bunk and placing it on his bunk. His notebook had been what he had been using as a daily task reminder. He placed that on his bunk, along with his folding knife, Lennie's hachet, his canteen, and his pugio. His armor rested under his bed, and he had a pretty good idea that they wouldn't want him running around with New Rome leadership attached to him anytime soon. Anytime, ever, he figured.

"You'd think it'd be the guy who stabbed my hand in the first place that I'd be mad at." Christian replied after a long silence. "Now all I can think about is who he was, and what happened to him." Christian didn't let it get to him, he had a lot to do still. He glanced his head back to her. "What are the rules here? What can I take and what can't I? I'm assuming you're going to want your gear back."
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:16 pm

Cora looked around in the barracks. She was fairly sure they all looked the same. However, the fifth looked a lot tidier than the fourth. The fourth had always been a little messier, but they generally had a lot of fun. "One of my good friends used to have the bunk you did." She spoke softly. Cora had remembered a lot from her days in the legion. She had been in the fifth barracks before. Her and her friend Julia were often going in and out of the barracks.

"The world works in strange ways."
She said referring to his comment about how he should be more mad at the guy who stabbed his hand. A lot of times Cora always wondered what life would have been like if she had died instead of Julia. Survivors guilt was a surprising thing to have. The legacy of Chione had felt it a lot for the the ten years following the death of her best friend. By this point in time Cora kept the head on her shoulders strong and she didn't conform to weakness in such a way.

"Camp Jupiter property stays. For example armor. You get to take one weapon and Lindsey's hatchet. I haven't checked on her in awhile yet, but so far she's still been stable. She'd want you to take the hatchet with you though. Anything else that is personally yours you can take. Clothes, items gifted to you, stuff like that."

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:44 am

A lot of emotion boiled over Christian as she mentioned Lennie. Did she think Christian would appreciate her words just because they were kind. His hand reached under his bed, where he kept the bottle. He'd never been more grateful that it was empty than right now. No pills meant no noise. He took one last breathe, and gripped the bottle with his fingers. The bottle was one of the easier parts. If she saw it, he could always make an excuse. But he didn't want Cora to see or know a thing about him or his mother. He turned his head back to make eye contact with her, while his hand took the bottle.

"Listen, I know I'm on thin ice." Christian spat out in a defiant tone. "But I'd appreciate if you didn't speak on the behalf of my people. They don't like you or your family. Most of them would kill to have the chance you and your kids had." Maybe he was being a little harsh, but he certainly didn't feel that way. Christian moved his body to stand and look at her, and during the rotation, he hugged the bottle to his side, slipping it in his pocket quickly during the rotation, to avoid her seeing it.

He didn't have a lot of questions to truly ask on this process, and those he did have, he had to save for more important moments. He simply kept the eye contact, waiting for her to reply, however she chose.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:09 am

Cora didn't say a whole lot. She just looked over the familiar places. She understood how hard it was for friends and family when a loved one was in the hospital. It was something she dealt with a lot. In fact Cora was Lennie's main doctor at the Saint Julius Memorial Hospital. When she wasn't she had the girl she trained herself working, Joan. Joan was fairly good at what she did and after medical school Cora took a huge interest in her and took her under her wing at the hospital.

"I understand the information upsets you. I'm just relaying my information to you as I am one Lindsey's doctors and I am doing the best I can. I have one of our best with her right now. I never leave her alone." Cora spoke with a softness in her voice and remaining calm and speaking in a more slow tone.

"Not everyone is going to like you or your family. I've accepted that over the years. In life we can only do the best we can with the cards we are dealt. Despite my family being dealt a good hand in life, we often prefer to take it away and have our legacies earn it. Work for it. We all have chosen our own paths. My half brother for example left for a life out there. If my children so choose to follow in a similar path to their uncle, I wont be upset at them. For generations my family has either been in the fifth or fourth cohort. My great great grandfather when he first came to New Rome, he was placed in the fifth cohort. So was his sister. He's always wanted his family to be humble and kind. To earn what we have. His own father was quite rich. Did some fiances or something for the railroad. His father tried to give him things. Tried to buy his love, Nolan wasn't the biggest fan of that, so he decided to do right by his daughters and wife. He loved them unconditionally and made them earn what they had. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of this to change your mind. I know it wont, but this is my family and these are our ideals and values. We are more than thankful for where we are, so if someone wants to hate us for simply being who we are, then go for it. Like I said, not everyone is going to like you." The legacy of Chione said as she looked him in the eyes. Still speaking with the same calmness and softness in her voice.

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:53 am

Step one was finished, which only left three more to go. Christian didn't bother to reply to her, not yet. He returned to his former position, on his knees, in front of his bunk. He took his armor, and placed it on his bunk, and began to detach pieces from it. He'd expected to ride his last year out, and keep his armor. It was bittersweet, to look at what had served him so loyally for so long. Some pieces had been on there for so long, he didn't even remember when he'd put them on. He separated every piece he could think of, making a pile of modifications he made and pieces New Rome had directly given him.

"I'm sure you earn it all, fair and square. Nothing more fair than what you're doing right now." Christian muttered to her. He turned his head back for one single second, to shoot her a look, before turning back. "You really think Caelia was chosen for Centurion based purely on her abilities? You truly don't think your status brings privilege, do you?" Christian asked in disbelief. He stuff some of his possessions in his bag, and turned back to his bunk.

He opened up his notebook, flashing through the first few pages, and then further, until he hit a blank one. Only so many good times to pick. He'd have to wait for her to speak again, and even that was a hope at best, that this plan would work.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:13 pm

Cora sighed a little bit. She had dealt with more than her fair share of teens that got bratty or sulky. Her children were some of them, but also other peoples children too. For example the Davenport kids, or the Virgo kids, or even the Julius kids. It was just something that happened. She remained silent for quite sometime and listened to what he had to say. He had his points and she could understand why people could have felt that way.

"I believe her abilities have gotten her places, more than her status has. My other children aren't in a position of leadership. Marina and Roy are just legionnaires. I don't even think either of the two have desire to be centurion. Caelia however, she's always expressed interest and she's always worked hard. She takes her job very seriously. She spends her nights in the barracks. She knows her cohort quite well. Maybe her status to give her a nudge, maybe you're right, but that's not something I could change. If I could, I honestly would. I don't want any of my kids to feel they get any position they have just because I'm their mother. I want them to go out there and work hard. Just like Nolan had to, just like Corinne had to."

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:44 pm

Everything she'd said had angered Christian. To compare her and her families lives to the ones who normally slept in these bunks. So many of his friends suffered from abusive homes, parents who had addictions, or got violent, or kicked their kids out whenever they got mad. How much trauma could Cora possibly shrug off in so few words? Even still, Christian's plans and emotions were all debunked in a single instant. She said Corinne's name, and Christian's head snapped back. His original plan was to leave notes for her and Rowan, and pray one of them wasn't involved. Now he had an opportunity that might turn out to be nothing, and that was assuming his plan worked. He never used this power, and the few times he did, he used it on people, not paper.

In incognito fashion, Christian pointed to the paper of the notebook, by loosening his index finger ever so slightly. He kept eye contact with the older woman. There was a lot to talk about, but only one thing on his mind now. He hoped this would work. "What do you know about Corinne, and what she struggled with?" He asked. He knew she didn't just mention her name on accident. You didn't talk about your family and then mention a virtual stranger.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:53 pm

Cora, hadn't realized she had mentioned Corinne's name. She kept it hidden from anyone that wasn't her family for so long. She didn't even mean for it to come out. It was too late to back out at this moment. She couldn't just retract it all. Cora knew that. She knew she just put herself in a vulnerable position. Either way, whether he knew or not didn't matter anymore. He was going to be gone, and Cora knew she was the last person he'd talk to from camp.

Letting out another sigh she looked Christian in the eyes. "Corinne is the first born of Gabriel Giroux. Grew up being taken care of by a nanny mostly and when her father wasn't busy working on the railroad they spent time together. Corinne has a younger brother, he came about after she left for camp. Then I know Corinne had her quest, everyone she knew died on that quest, she had the ability to freeze herself. Eventually when she was thawed out, she was found again. Ever since she's been struggling due to no family or anyone from her past. I know that much. Before in her time, she struggled in her cohort to make a name for herself then. She was dedicated. Her cohort was very found of her according to what Nolan had found out. Corinne is related to my family." Cora said in conclusion. Her eyes dropped from looking with his.

She didn't say anything further. The legacy of Chione didn't know what else to say at this point.

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:22 pm

This was it, Christian figured. The time to get something to happen was running short, it was now or never. Even still, he worried. He had to keep pressing her forward, but not far enough that she cut him loose from this chance. Christian almost felt sociopathic for taking advantage of a social and emotional situation like this, but it was the only way.

"So you're telling me that Corinne came back from frozen hell, and you just left her there? The Prescott's have been her family this whole time, and you couldn't gather the courage to go and tell her once that she had people still?" Christian felt a lot of anger, but even still, it wasn't time to act out, it was time to control. A small part of doubt existed within Christian. Was Corinne in this coup too? Rowan, Sophia, Roz? He was only going to have one chance to leave one bit of lasting impact. Corinne was the most likely to be an outsider, and he made his choice. Every egg was going into this basket.

Christian glanced his head back. Now was the time to make a play while she was looking away. He could tell she had shame, and as dishonorable as it was to play with manipulation over combat, Christian's back was against the wall. He gripped the pocket watch from under his bunk, and slid it into his front pocket. He glimpsed back up at his notebook, and the first small glimpse of hope rose in his chest. His index finger still pointed, every word he'd said was on the paper.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:42 pm

"It's not that we don't want her to be a part of the family. Marina's middle name is named after Corinne. We'd love nothing more than to invite Corinne over, just some things were too soon to mention." Cora spoke softly. It wasn't exactly her choice. But Cora couldn't say that to Christian either. She knew what she could and couldn't say. Speaking of why she didn't tell Corinne that was something she had to take to the grave. Even her children had asked her once or twice and she just didn't have an answer for them.

"In a way, she's almost better for it. Not being subjected to status, being able to sustain on her own. If we intervened too soon, she wouldn't have become part of your own family here in the fifth cohort. We do want to welcome her into our home soon though."

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:25 pm

The irony was almost thick enough to reach out and grab. Cora, Corinne. It was almost like a cruel joke, left by some smart sucker who time didn't matter to. He listened to her flawed logic, that she wanted to invite Corinne over. The thought almost made Christian sick, to think that in a month, if Cora had it her way, everyone would feel as happy as ever. She couldn't be Corinne's family until Corinne needed it. Until now, he figured. Not if he could help it.

"You'd better hope she never finds out what you did. Alexander, you, Tiberius. Don't know what the hell you're up to, but I know it isn't ever going to work." Christian promised her, glancing back at her. It was time, Christian figured. "It seems to me like you guys don't know anything about bringing families together. Only about breaking them apart." Christian finished, and as he did, he knew it was time. If he milked this any longer, he was putting extra risk that the message didn't go through. Christian ripped the sheet of paper with his message, along with a few sheets after, to avoid ink detection without unfolding it. Christian began wrapping the pocket watch in the paper. He awaited Cora to ask the question; what he was doing. Explaining without being asked could arouse suspicion.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:58 pm

There wasn't much more to say. Cora didn't feel like there was a point in arguing with someone who viewed you so negatively. She wasn't going to waste her breath on this one. She was being kind and she would even continue to do so to the young demigod. Everyone deserved kind interaction, no matter if they were grumpy or not. There was a reason for his remarks too, she wasn't going to ever say that there wasn't. She let it go though.

With a small sigh she lifted her head a bit and heard a bit of wrinkling of paper. She tilted her head slightly and looked at him. "Christian, what are you doing with all that paper?"

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:29 pm

"Pocket watch. My dad gave it to me when I was a kid. He's not really around anymore, it's what I got left of him." The story was identical to Corinne's, granted, he figured this lie was the easiest to use. It had realism behind it. He flashed the paper up to her. Every single piece of him that still connected with Mercury, that still reached his skill as a slippery thief and scammer when he was young, he called for that Christian to come back to him now. The Christian who could lead a Cohort was useless in this moment, doomed to only wish he could succeed. The Christian who was shady, was the Christian that could make this happen. Like it or not, the legacy figured, he was still a legacy of Mercury. It was time to see if he could live up to the title.

Christian stuffed everything else he could in his bag. His personal duty belt, scrap leather, his folding knife, Lennie's hatchet, and his other essentials. When the bag wasn't stuffed, he kept placing more of his belongings in there. It wasn't practical for travel, but it was practical for this moment here. He stuffed it to its absolute last thread, placing the pocket watch wrapped in paper on top, and giving it the illusion of being zipped. He left just enough room for that watch to be grabbed, and because of how stuffed the bag was, he had his plan in motion. He gave Cora a simple shrug. The time was now.
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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:36 pm

The legacy of Chione just nodded. Who was she to question the story? If she did she would look horrible if it weren't a lie. There just wasn't a win in that situation and she knew it. She accepted defeat. If it were a lie, there was nothing she could do about it. To call someone out on losing their father, it just wasn't the thing you did. Even being privileged enough to have a good family and a good home, she knew that just wasn't the thing you questioned.

"Are you ready to go?" She asked standing up from the bunk and began to walk towards the door a little bit.

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PostSubject: Re: Quota [Plot]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:52 pm

This was the legacy Christian would be able to leave behind in secret. He knew what New Rome would see him as; a Centurion who saw times getting hard and dashed. There was no way in Pluto that things would be different. But in a dark and uncertain future, Christian found a light in Corinne, who might be able to carry the torch further than him. Here was his moment, as Cora turned. Whether she'd given up over frustration or sad, Christian couldn't be sure. But it still bought him the perfect moment. His arm shot backwards, now, silently gripping the watch, wrapped in the cryptic note. Corinne's understanding on this would depend on her ability to decipher and trust. There was no way for sure to know how it would work. But it was something.

Once the watch was there, he kept his pace behind Cora. He'd done what he needed to do, and pulled it off. He didn't know what it entailed. He didn't know what trouble he might get Corinne into. Even already, he could feel himself desire to change things on that note. It was too late now though, and it was set in motion. Win or lose, at least he'd found a way to fight back, as he followed the older woman. Finally, the mission was done, and he could speak his mind. Yet, what his feelings told weren't what he expected.

"You're not a bad person." Christian told her, now that he was out of the woods. "You looked after your kids, and they all turned out to be good people. You nurture your community. Just because you're wrong on this, doesn't mean your life is wrong." He chose to not invalidate her existence as a human. He didn't believe Cora ran this pin.
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