Chapter 4: Old War Friends
"You realize these sessions will continue until a decision is made don't you Captain Tucker? The result depends entirely on you, however our patience has its limits," the boss explained with fatigue in his voice observing the restrained fighter.
Tucker squirmed in his seat only to be reminded that escape was impossible for him right now. The boss sighed behind the microphone as he leaned back into his chair. In the room confining Tucker, he could hear the metal clangs from the boss's fingers tapping against the metal table.
"Is Locus there?" Tucker asked trying to pierce the darkness with his eyes. The reserved soldier's head perked up and the boss stared behind him. He motioned for Locus to come up to the microphone. "Perhaps he will talk to you."
"Why would you even help these guys? And what happened to making things right?!"
Locus remained silent. He reached out for the microphone button with some hesitation. "That is none of your concern."
"I think it is since you fucking kidnapped me!"
"Our proposition is not difficult to comprehend Captain Tucker," Locus began in a stoic tone. "Join us, or risk your life."
"Why are you even working for this whack job?!"
Locus stood back with an agitated grunt. The boss smirked as he watched Locus go back to his original position. "Do you really dislike answering such questions?"
"They don't concern the mission."
"I suppose they don't," the boss conceded turning back to face Tucker. "Captain Tucker, if you must know then I can indulge that curiosity. I suppose it would be better than us constantly running up against a brick wall with the usual session inquiries."
Tucker remained quiet and looked away. The boss found some amusement in this, what a strange person. You ask for something to be explained, and when it is offered on a silver platter, you seem to ignore that offer. The boss closed his eyes, and the little movements in his face pained him. He painted a clear picture of the past and collected the proper words to preach. "Locus and I have known one another for a long time, ever since the Great War against the aliens."
This peaked Tucker's curiosity and he turned to stare back up to the room behind the window. The boss took notice, how easily you are swayed. "Yes, he and I fought several battles together. We belonged to the same unit. We had seen several battles, survived many harsh conditions and forged a strong bond."
A bond, Locus pondered. The boss ignored the surprised gasps from Tucker, and continued with his explanations. "We have both been at the heart of hell, and stood in the middle of the worst sentient life has to offer. War has ways to change a person. It is often said that our upbringing defines us, but the environment we strive to survive in also molds us. We were both molded by war. Due to our circumstances, we were both forced to change, harden ourselves to survive and then without any consideration or aid from others, we were expected to adapt back to human society."
Tucker tilted his head at the heavy talk that was being laid on him. This dude has some issues, Tucker pondered as the boss continued. "Unfortunately, some of us could not adapt to what many consider to be a normal society. We were left to slowly wither away with time, labelled to be mentally unstable war survivors. Can you imagine the ridicule one can experience under such a label even if it is intended to be one of sympathy?"
The boss tightened his metal hands into fists. "Can you imagine the pain of that rejection Captain Tucker?"
Locus studied his old friend with a heavy feeling in his chest. His mind began to wander back into that hell he had survived and unfortunately fell victim to Felix. War has changed us both. It has torn us and at the same time gave us purpose. The boss closed his eyes as he calmly breathed in and out. "You can't even begin to comprehend it, can you? I wouldn't blame you. It's not something an outsider such as you would understand in its entirety."
"And you think that because you are messed up by war, that you can do whatever you want?" Tucker dared to ask. The boss contemplated the question to carefully construct a reply. "As I have said before, our actions are justified. We have our reasons for fighting. You have your reasons for believing what you want to, and thus you choose to fight for that belief. We are all fighting for what we believe in."
"Whatever," Tucker replied again looking away. It seems nothing else will come of our talk today, the boss thought calling in the employees to take Tucker back to his cell. The boss alongside his two bodyguards exited to the main hall. He kept a keen eye on Locus who seemed deep in thought. "Thinking about the things we discussed today?"
"To some extent, yes I am."
"Worry not too much about the past my friend, for great things are to come. We will soon hold more power to bring down a corrupt organization."
Locus watched Justice and the boss enter the elevator. As the doors closed Locus was left wondering, but what type of future will these great things build? Will this help right the wrongs of my past?
Inside his cell, Tucker lay on the bed. He had his arms crossed across his chest contemplatively. "Hey Sigma, get out here."
"How may I be of assistance Captain Tucker?" Sigma inquired as he burst into flames besides Tucker. The soldier sat up looking towards the door, and he could hear no sounds outside. Good. "What's the progress on that map?"
"Here is the update," Sigma replied drawing a holographic map for his operator to see. Tucker was satisfied to see the progress. They already had several levels mapped out thanks to the transfers the employees would do to take him to the interrogation room. But a lot of the building was still uncharted territory. "Can't you do something to get more data Sigma?"
"As I have stated before, I as an inferior fragment have more limits than the fragments before me. Unfortunately this is the best I can do. If we had the other fragments here, then with their aid I could have had a full map by now."
"But we make do with what we have," Tucker replied crossing his arms. Sigma looked towards the door. Tucker quickly became alert when he noticed Sigma's gaze. "Something up?"
"If you get me close to the door and stay there, I may be able to transfer to the outside camera. I could travel from camera to camera for a short distance to further map out the undocumented areas."
"Okay, sounds like a plan," Tucker replied briskly walking to the door. Sigma transferred his consciousness from Tucker's storage unit to the camera outside and began storing his observations to whatever memory he could dedicate to the task.
Locus entered the boss's office and found his friend staring out the windows. "Thank you for coming Locus."
"What did you want to see me for?"
"I have a small task that I was hoping to entrust you with. Our other technicians are currently busy with planning the extension of our space colony. It is a massive project requiring as many experienced hands on board as possible. This is where you come in," the boss said, and before he could finish Locus had already gotten a grasp on where this was leading to. "You want me to take care of the colony's maintenance?"
"Just the exterior maintenance duty, I only ask because I know you are well trained in these tasks. I also would like someone I trust on this task. After all, this colony is so to speak our ark."
"What about your home planet?"
"That world no longer holds any personal value, at least not to me. If I choose to tie myself to it, then I may as well choose to condemn our people to damnation."
"Alright, I will need a shuttle," Locus replied seeing the pain behind the boss's eyes. The boss nodded and pressed a button on his colony wide control panel. "Go down to dock 8C, one of the workers there will provide you with all the necessary tools."
"Thank you my friend," the boss replied before turning back to observe the colony again. Locus left the man in his own thoughts and travelled down to the dock. Getting the equipment as well as the green light, he quickly launched into space. Driving by the colony exterior, he studied for any abnormalities. War…it has torn us just like he said. Had I never been a part of the war, what would I be doing today? Working some low paying job where I would wonder if I will scrape by for the month? Or go and earn myself a decent job with worrying about what others would have to worry about who choose to hold a decent paying job, and perhaps deal with everyday trivialities involved with in trying to be normal like everyone else.
He followed the space station's exterior and curved to the left, and he crossed the bridge like hallways connecting one huge tower of the space station colony to another. If I hadn't met Felix, Chorus would have never happened for me. If I had never been in the war, then I wouldn't be the broken mess I am today. If I had never fought, then he and I would have never met. War is a concept that is given meaning by the different sides of the conflict. I never once thought we were bad in any way, but we had done unspeakable things both to the alien race and our own.
Locus stopped the ship and opened the hatch. He exited to study a slightly dented surface. Planting a beacon on it, he retreated to his shuttle. Ensuring the beacon was active, he continued onwards. Bonds, what I became because of war tore my normal life apart. But war also gave me allies and enemies alike. Bonds which were created by both to help me get to the point I'm at right now, I suppose that is irreplaceable. Had I never been a part of the war, I would not be here right now helping them.
Locus then considered his own ideas and a recent shift in his thoughts. He felt that he questioned the reality around him more and more lately. But he always tried to tell himself one thing, and that was that he was trying to do something good for others. But now, even that was questioned, I'm doing good aren't I?