Heavy Load
Heavy Load
Summary: Rhea gives her opinion on a decision Adele is facing.
Date: 19 BCH
Related Logs: None

Rhea is deep in domestic chores. She's lugged her duffel bag full of her own laundry over from the Genesis. And is armed with another basket belonging to her son. The dark fatigues and spawn-wear are washing right now, another load of lights set on top of the machine to go in when they're done. Rhea's curled up in one of the seats, reading. Not her usual laundry room reading material of a tech magazine or trashy, soft-core romance, either. She's got her nose in poetry. 'A Thousand Lyrics of of Night' by Timon Amichai. Tauron poetry. High-brow stuff.

Adele has her own laundry to do, and she doesn't even bother to go to the dry-cleaning station. Heading towards the washer she always selects and the one next to it, she goes through the ritual that is laundry day. No pantsuits make an appearance, just khakis, jeans and other vaguely beige-ish and white clothing in one washer and delicates in another. That done, she heads towards the waiting area and spots Rhea. She settles into a seat next to the woman, pulling her own reading material out: some biological journal. "Hey, Rhea," she greets quietly.

Rhea puts down her poetry book. Gladly. Smirking wryly at the thing. "Hey, Adele," she replies in kind. She idly massages her temples. As if reading the thing has given her a headache. She tilts her head at the contractor. And her laundry. "So. The recruiters caught up with you and thrust blue and green upon you yet?"

Adele sets the journal down in her lap, giving Rhea her full attention. At the question, she can't hide a look of distaste from forming upon her face. "Yes. Or, I got a memo asking me to go to the JAG office and Jesse filled me in on the rest even though he probably wasn't supposed to." She runs a hand through still-wet hair.

"It won't be so bad," Rhea says with a faint smile. "It's a better situation, in a lot of ways. Not much'll need to change if I understand things. You'll still be on the PAS. Attached to the military, you'll have more security. And more access. Matt, and Reed, need all the good hands they can get right now, I'm sure."

"I'm not going to do it," Adele says after a moment's hesitation. "I don't have the right mindset, Rhea. I'm not military material. I took an oath to do no harm. Instead, I attended a /public execution/ and saw a man's brains splattered from behind, and then I heard the man who did it order his body to be thrown into airlock with the trash." She glances back down to her lap. "I know it's not typical. But I don't want to have to follow an order like that, ever."

Rhea sighs heavily. "You went to that thing, did you?" She sounds surprised. And a little sorry that Adele made herself witness it. "I didn't. It's not that I disapprove. I saw what happened on the Pandora. What Mercer and those with him did…" The memory makes her shudder. "But I didn't terribly want to watch a man die. Even a man like that. Not right now."

Adele shifts her weight in her seat, looking back up from her lap at Rhea. "I don't know what he did," she admits at length, "and treason is deplorable. But I just don't think I have it in me. I admire and celebrate the people who are fighting for our race, and I want to help however I can. But I think I'll be more help remaining where I am." She lets go of a breath, then adds, "We've all had to shift our perceptions for the purposes of war. I don't think I can turn everything I have left over the military. Not in my mid-thirties."

"If it's any consolation, it wasn't an act of vengeance," Rhea says. And she sounds as if she believes it. "He had a fair hearing. The JAG's are proper lawyers, judges. Military justice is stricter than in the civilian sector, in a lot of ways, but it goes out of its way to make sure its people are represented. I…I grew up in a place where the law was anything but fair. This, I can live with."

Adele shakes her head. "I don't fault the military for its law practices. Like I said, I know little to nothing about what went on, and I can't explain why I forced myself to watch a man die like that." She frowns as the memory surfaces, then squints her eyes shut to force it back into the depths of her brain. "But I was already leaning towards no for… other reasons. Maybe I went just to have a more rational excuse, I don't know."

"Adele…" Rhea sighs. "Look. I'm not going to tell you what to do. The military isn't for everybody. It's hard a lot of the time. But…there are some people who treat the Navy like a life. Like the code is part of them. I don't knock it. If it works for them, who am I to say anything against it? But some of us…frak it, I didn't join because I was a patriot or because I wanted to serve the Colonies or defend the homeland or any of that crap. I was a pretty angry kid when I enlisted, when it came to the government. I never quite made my peace with some of it. I wanted a job. I wanted money for college. I didn't want a lifestyle. I was good at the work. I loved the work. I love the people I serve with. But at the end of the day, I take it off. There are a lot of us like that. It's a job. There are certain parts of it that are duty, and you have to learn how to get through them. But it doesn't have to *be* you."

"How can it just be a job anymore?" Adele asks, her brows threatening to meet in the middle, just above the bridge of her nose. "I know you're good at separating. Jesse is too. But he had this whole spiel about how, when it comes down to it, the military owns you. You have to follow orders as they're given, or face the consequences. He…" She trails off, bringing a hand to her forehead.

"He's not wrong," Rhea says quietly. She sighs. "Things are…different now. I've spent practically my entire adult life in the Navy, but I never felt like a soldier. Never expected to be one." It's clear that's changed for her now. She runs her fingers through her long dark hair. "The military's a machine. And you're a cog. Sometimes that's not pleasant. But…it can be very fulfilling, too. People depend on each other. Fight for each other. Fight for the people who aren't in uniform. It'll change the way you live. I won't deny it. But it doesn't have to change the core of you if you don't let it. You might even find something in it."

Adele shakes her head. "I might," she agrees, despite the way her head is moving. "And it would be nice, having that security, the access. Not having to deal with choosing what to wear every day." She doesn't even smile at her own joke. "It's the logical thing to do. I love logic. I try very hard to live my life by it." Now she smiles, but it's a rueful expression. "But my gut, which I've spent my life trying to ignore, is telling me no. I know I don't belong in the military. And, Rhea, I know this is stupid. But if they ever transferred me from research to medical, Jesse and I would have to end things. And he's what I have left. It's selfish and I don't want to take that risk."

Rhea smiles faintly. Albeit a somewhat sad smile. "Is that what you're worried about? Well, I won't say it's impossible, but it could be mitigated. You're more valuable in research and medicine. And you have some separation from that, on the PAS. Technically separate outfits. Two people could frak each others' brains out perfectly within the regs in that situation." She clears her throat. "Not that I've researched the exact fraternization guidelines or anything. Anyway. You can have a personal life when you wear a uniform. It makes things more complicated but, like the rest of it, it doesn't mean you have to stop being a person. If anything, it makes having a soft place to crash now and then even more important."

Adele looks vaguely amused by Rhea's particular choice of wording, but only for a moment. "I still haven't talked to JAG yet. I'll keep everything in mind - your advice and Jesse's. And my gut. Thanks, Rhea. I know it's probably a good move, but I really need to think about it." Her clothes buzzed a while ago, so she stands to go make the move from washer to dryer.

"I wish you the best, Adele. Whatever you decide," Rhea says. Going back to her poems.

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