Warnings for Story: Possibly OOC Becker, rambling, more than one tense used as an experiment, cheesiness, a lack of military knowledge on the author's part, minor potty-mouth, extensive spoilers (specifically 2x06, 3x02, 3x03, 3x05, 3x06, 3x07 and 3x08. So mainly Season 3 then).
Disclaimer: I'm just going to point at ITV and then run away yelling something about not owning Primeval or anybody in its (in my opinion) much improved third series.
Whilst training at Sandhurst, Becker's instructors had taught the recruits three fundamental rules to govern their lives: Always follow orders; never let your emotions get in the way; and there are no such things as heroes.
Since coming to the ARC, all three have started to fall apart around him.
"Always follow orders." Soldiers are only supposed to think for themselves as far as those thoughts were contained within the fulfilment of orders. Therefore he had done as Lester had said, as Nick as said, as Jenny had said, as far as he had let himself. He had obeyed them because that was his job. Simple as that.
It had started to change under Jenny though. It had almost been like had done what she asked because he had wanted to. Which couldn't be allowed, since a good soldier doesn't have preferences or favourites, or at least not beyond complaints with the other soldiers. And that's what everybody has called him before: a good soldier.
Still, things didn't really change until Christine Johnson took over. She had all the documents naming her as the new head of the ARC, so logically she gave him his orders now. "Never question authority." His rank didn't matter, he could tell; he was just a grunt in this big, messy world of politics.
Technically he did follow orders. He caught Danny and the rest and brought them back with the artefact, just as she had asked. And she never ordered him not to smuggle out that recording, did she? She didn't even know he was recording those words.
Lying to yourself is surprisingly important as a soldier. He had found that out for himself out in Afghanistan, and before that in Iraq. No need to question what you're doing, just do as you're told.
So Becker had told himself that things hadn't changed, even though everybody, including himself, knew it was otherwise. He could see it in the look on Lester's face when he had given him that recording; heard it in Danny's voice when he took back the `Soldier Boy` comment. They knew he wasn't who he had been trained to be anymore.
And he cared. Cares, actually. He honestly cares what they think. Which comes a little too close to Rule Two: "Never let your emotions get in the way." As anybody could have told him, as he was perfectly capable of telling himself, he had compromised a high ranking official out of loyalty, even respect for what they had built here. Suddenly he was getting himself dragged into every situation possible and a few that weren't, then being held back from what was right by the rules because of what was right by them. Including not shooting a bloody dinosaur.
Because really. Dinosaurs. If his old unit could see him now…
Abi's hot-headed, completely illogical run into the future to save her brother made no sense whatsoever. Becker doesn't really have any family, save for the men he had fought alongside who have become closer than brothers. Even so, he wouldn't do anything that rash for them, because they wouldn't want him to. They would know it was a stupid risk that had every chance of failing. Yet on this little team just suggesting they wait for back-up apparently made him the bad guy.
From what he could tell beforehand, from what Connor had muttered while convincing him to do that stupid display to save a pet (why can Becker never say no to these people?), Jack isn't worth nearly a fraction of any of the men on his old unit, and yet Becker had had to help them save him against impossible odds. They had been surrounded by creatures he had never even started to imagine before, and yet his (mostly) calm and reasoned suggestions of waiting for back-up were dismissed. In that moment, he had sworn to himself that as soon as he could, if he ever got out of there, he was going to leave this craziness behind and get back to his old emotionless `Soldier Boy` self.
Except when they had finally reached Jack, he had found himself acting just the opposite of what he wanted: running off, shooting his gun like a maniac, chased by creatures in the bloody future and hoping his ex-instructors never found out about this. While his rational mind was frantically scrambling around for a plan, he had let those emotions take over. Luckily for him, he's very used to turning fear into something useful.
When they had finally got back, Connor had told him one thing, similar but slightly less flattering than Sarah a few weeks before: "You know, you can be a real hero when you want to be."
Hero. "There are no such things as heroes," all of his instructors had yelled at the recruits at least once every day. Out in the wars, thinking you could be the only one to save the day got you killed, nothing else. You could only be called a hero if you broke the rules, and clearly that wasn't allowed. A dead soldier with delusions of grandeur was no good to anybody.
Except lately he's started to think that heroes can exist beyond the wars after all. In so little time, he's seen a lot to impress him.
Connor, Abi, Sarah, all pushing through despite what faces them. Even if it is because he's in love with her, Connor would sacrifice himself for Abi a thousand times and never think twice about doing it again. Abi risked her own life to save her brother, and wasn't afraid to face down a knight (a word he's starting to use a little too casually) for a dinosaur. Maybe Sarah has never taken on an armed man alone with no weapons (not yet, at least), yet she knows what she can do and takes it to the extremes that she can. She is so scared, but she doesn't stop.
Of course, there's also Danny. A man who grew up thinking his brother had been killed by a friend, only to accept the truth and then fight his way into the ARC to stop it happening again. Apart from when the new leader is breaking in, glaring him down or coming up with any other ways to drive him insane, Becker's never been so glad not to have arrested somebody. After Nick, after Jenny, it had seemed impossible that anybody else could take over the team. But that's Danny: never afraid of a challenge, and never beaten by one either.
It's not just the current team either. Jenny could be called a hero too, there when they needed her, even when she was grieving herself. And, when she didn't think she could do it anymore, she knew the right thing to do then too. His instructors always did say that sometimes the best strategy was a retreat.
Before that, there was Nick. Gunned down by his own wife to do the right thing. Becker barely knew the man, but apparently he missed out on something special, somebody a little closer to the better-known definition of a hero.
And Becker hears stories about his predecessor, Stephen. Locked in with those creatures to save lives. More than anything, he wishes he could have met him, to know how he could do that. To know how he could ever follow that.
"There are no heroes." They were wrong, back at Sandhurst. There are heroes, and in more ways than they ever said or understood.
Maybe one of these days Becker will be one too.
Author's Notes: Why? Two reasons: 1) There is not nearly enough Becker love out there, and 2) Clearly the best thing to do when you're supposed to be revising is try out a new fandom.
I apologise for possible OOC-ness and definite cheesiness. This was scribbled rather fast when I was supposed to be learning about Lenin, so I guess you could always blame History… Speaking of which, must be off to argue with pieces of paper about Soviet, Western and Revisionist interpretations. #cries#