Foot in the Mouth

"Bloody planet's going to the dogs! First the EDF, now Marauders, next thing-…"

Alec Mason gripped his glass tighter than was needed, if not warranted. People were free to say what they thought as far as he was concerned. He'd spent most of his life keeping his head down and by extension his ears as well. Yet now, with Mars finally a free world, the thought of a fellow Red Faction member bad mouth their allies galled him.

"Savages, barbarians, better to leave them to rot-…"

It was just as well the glass was empty. Otherwise the rebel's stench of alcohol would be coming from a source other than his mouth.

"Just send them to Phobos or Deimos. Fear and panic is all they bring."

Screw that. The glass would suffice.

Or rather, as Mason realized, would have sufficed if he'd actually been given the chance to use it. However, as simple a gesture as it was, Samanya putting a hand on his shoulder brought his aggressive motion to a halt.

"Leave it," his friend whispered. "He isn't worth it."

No, but you are, the rebel mused, instantly glad that he hadn't said that out loud. He didn't know how Samanya was able to reign him in while a drunken miner let his voice carry through the makeshift bar the Red Faction had set up to allow celebration of the destruction of the Hydra. Maybe it was from the knowledge that he'd once been as ignorant, that he'd once seen the Marauders as nothing more than a pack of wild dogs. Still, that had been before, not after the people of Mars had banded together to free themselves from oppression. And now this arsehole was letting beer put one of his feet in his mouth.

"And lookee here, we actually have savages among us."

Mason snapped.

It wasn't a spontaneous, reckless action, but it was certainly a motion carried out in accordance with a certain point being reached. That Samanya was the catalyst for such a point was a notion that…well, the miner wasn't sure what to make of that. Either way, this arsehole had yakked on long enough and if anyone was going to put him in place, who better than the "Voice of Mars?"

"Hey pal…gotta problem?"

"Yes, I do," Mason murmured. Dan had taught him to never run from a fight and to not beat about the bush in the lead-up to one. "You're insulting our allies, and the original owners of this planet."

"Owners? Barbarians don't own anything."

"That was how Earth once worked. This is Mars."

Those in the immediate vicinity had displayed some interest in the confrontation. With the Marauder-turned rebel having spoken her mind, that interest doubled in seconds. So did the miner's aggression for that matter.

"You think I care about what you have to say you little slut? You've got your slimy hands all over-…"

Mason snapped. Again. So did the rebel's jaw.

Exclamations reverberated throughout the rebels as the drunkard staggered backward, falling flat on his back as Mason winded him through a kick to the chest. If he had anything to say about such a fast and effective assault, he didn't get the chance. Mason brought his foot down on top of his mouth and anyone whose senses hadn't been diluted by alcohol could tell it was with great restraint that the Voice of Mars hadn't brought down his boot with enough force to shatter the man's teeth.

"This…" said Mason slowly…. "is my foot in your mouth. So either watch what shit comes out of it, or you'll find your teeth falling down your throat."

The rebel lifted his boot. In accordance, given the nature of the murmurs, so did most of the Red Faction's spirits. "Most," however, did not encompass "all." And Samanya's visage, whilst free of blood, was one such example.

"Alec…"

Great, we're on a forename basis…

"What you said, what you did…"

"Yeah?"

"And how you once thought the Marauders were nothing but a pack of wild dogs?"

The rebel nodded. It was potential hypocrisy he'd sensed.

"And how you defended my people just now…"

"…yeah?"

"Thank you."

Mason blinked. He'd done a one-eighty, now Samanya's visage had done a one-eighty as well.

Still, given the radiance of said visage, the miner certainly wasn't complaining.