2011 06 02: What You Want

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Mission Name: What You Want
Date of Mission: June 2, 2011
Locale: Training Area, Division HQ

After a leg-sweeping incident, the two get to talking.


Alex Geoff

Geoff is going a few rounds with one of those fancy training dummies. They probably even have electronics inside that read the force, accuracy, and potential lethality of blows that reads out in the lab. Geoff is showing no mercy to the poor blue foam-covered torso, raining blow after shattering blow on it. His gray wifebeater is soaked down the chest and the middle of the back, so he must have been at it a while. He's not a huge guy, but it does look like those hits pack a wallop, much as one might expect from a good Division agent.

Alex has been over on the other side of the room, sitting silently on the floor at the edge of a mat, while an instructor goes over some hand-to-hand basics on a poor volunteer. As the lesson wraps up, most of the recruits begin to pair off in order to practice what they've just learned, but Alex instead silently gets to her feet and slowly but surely drifts away from the group in a way she's learned will usually allow her to escape attention. She heads over towards the dummies, and in the process, spots Geoff, recognizing him from the other day. Sidling up to the one beside his, she first gives the training dummy a long look and then glances over at the agent. "Hey," she offers in lackluster greeting.

Geoff doesn't even take the time to look at who's beside him before he drops down and does a swift sweep kick, taking her legs out from under her, his expression totally blank. Only when she's on the ground and he's upright again does he seem to even see her. After a second's dead stare, he leans forward, putting out a hand to help her up. "Sorry," he says. "You surprised me."

Surprised, Alex goes down, the breath knocked from her. She glares up at him, angry and yet seeming slightly like a confused, kicked puppy. Rather deliberately, she refuses the hand up, rolling to a shoulder and then pushing herself up with one hand as she dusts herself off with the other. "I surprised you," she asks somewhat incredulously, before modulating her tone to continue: "Whatever. It's training." She's a bit angry with herself as well for not being better prepared for the attack.

Geoff puts his hands up, palms by his shoulders, to show he means no harm. More than just sweaty, he looks baggy around the eyes as though tired. "Nothing personal," he says. "Didn't know it was you."

Alex is slow to drop the defensiveness, but she does relent somewhat grudgingly, tugging her tank top straight and then rolling out her shoulders. "No harm done, I guess. You always attack everyone who says hi? I might wannna keep that in mind for next time." She glances back over her shoulder to see if the little scuffle has brought unwanted attention to her, but everyone seems occupied with their own training.

Geoff drops his hands to his sides. "If you'd been another four feet away, I would've seen you before I hit you," Geoff predicts. "But I was concentrating, so like I said, you startled me." He doesn't seem all that apologetic about it, as if being startled inevitably leads to knocking someone on their ass. Must be terrible if a spider lands on him while he's trying to read the paper. "I didn't hear you come in. You're quiet."

"Yeah, well, next time I'll be prepared," Alex vows, giving him an almost suspicious look. Whether it means she'll be sure to greet him from further back, or just dodge the next attack, well, it could go either way, really. She shrugs then as she leans a shoulder against her own training dummy. "Floor's padded. And I don't like to be noticed too much. Doesn't usually go so well, y'know?"

"You mean here, or in general?" Geoff wonders, picking up a towel from behind the dummy and wiping off his face and close-shorn head. "'S good to be quiet, there's just some people it ain't a good idea to sneak up on."

"I wasn't trying to sneak up on you," Alex points out a bit defensively, but without too much excess attitude. "And… both, I guess. Here especially. At least when I'm trying to get out of class," she adds, nodding towards the knot of recruits training over on the other side of the room.

"Yeah, I know," Geoff says. "But now at least you'll be aware of whether other people in a room know you're there or not. At least…with /me/ you will be…" He offers a quick, cold smile, then glances at the other recruits. "What's the matter? You don't wanna make friends?"

"Yeah, not a lot of subtlety to being thrown to the floor," Alex concurs wryly, rolling her eyes slightly but not seeming terribly put out now that the moment has passed. Crossing her arms over her chest, she shrugs a shoulder. "Not exactly in the mood. Besides, it's hard to make friends when you're beating the crap out of one another."

"Just remember that these are the ones who'll probably stop short of beating you to /death/, and you can't get that promise from everybody." He crosses his arms, too, looking over at the recruits. "I didn't make a lot of friends, either."

"Yeah, yeah. It's too late now anyway, everyone's paired off," Alex points out. "Sucks to be the new girl." Not that she sounds like she cares all that much. "I'll be a good little soldier and play along tomorrow." She looks back over at him, arching an eyebrow slightly. "You want me to say that I'm surprised?" she offers wryly.

Geoff blinks at Alex. "No," he says. "I know how I come off. But fuck everybody," he says. "I can be fake in the field; I don't have to do it here. You better learn to fight real good if you don't want friends, though."

"I never said I don't want friends. I guess I just don't see the point. We're all dead men walking anyway, right?" Alex points out with some of that patented teen jadedness. "Look, don't worry about me. I can handle myself. I'll do what I gotta do to survive, just like always." She shrugs again, straightening up and rather abruptly turning her back on the practicing recruits.

Geoff shrugs. "Everybody dies," he says. "But nobody says you can't have a good time beforehand. But do whatever you want. They don't force you to be friends or anything."

"Yeah, I'm sure if I just make a few friends, this'll seem just like summer camp," Alex points out wryly, cutting a brief glance towards that ominous reflective window that stares in upon them from Operations. "They force us to do just about everything else. Wouldn't be surprised if they did that too."

Geoff shrugs at Alex. "Feel however you want to feel about it," he says. "Whatever they might tell you, you're still allowed to be pissed."

"Well good. 'Cause I got plenty of anger to go around," Alex replies darkly, narrowing her eyes towards the window, before looking back to Geoff. "So why are you here, anyway? Training for some sorta mission or something?" she asks, changing the subject as she gives him a more thoughtful once over.

"No," Geoff answers, glancing over at the training dummy. "I just can't afford a regular gym membership on the money I make in my cover life. So whenever I want to work out, I come here." 'Work out' meaning make a training dummy glad it was never alive in the first place.

"Oh. That makes sense I guess. Sucks though," Alex replies without too much sympathy in her tone. Life sucks. It's pretty much just a fact to her at this point. "But at least you don't have them all over your ass anymore." She resists the urge to look back over her shoulder at the trainer again, wise enough to realize that's only going to get her caught.

Geoff shrugs. "Yeah, I guess," he says. "But maybe you heard me talking to that guy Argyle yesterday. Even when you're full-fledged, people think you need their advice. And you still gotta jump when that phone rings."

"Guess I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it," Alex muses with another shrug. "If I survive that long," she adds with some dark humor. It might not even be entirely a joke. "They call a lot? A life spent jumpin' might be worth it to be able to go outside or watch TV again…"

"Not that much," Geoff says. "I've only been on two calls, and they make you do the first one before you graduate, because you have to take somebody out." He stretches, cracking his back loudly. "Otherwise, I hang out outside, do my job, go to clubs, watch TV… That part's better than the Army."

Alex draws in a deep breath, nodding a few times as he mentions the requirement to take someone out before leaving this place. She's still adjusting to that bit of news, apparently, her jaw set firmly as she eyes the dummy for a moment. "Yeah, well, that doesn't sound so bad," she replies after a moment, referring more to the freedom than the killing, obviously.

"It's pretty good," he says, "Although it's a crap shoot what kind of job they'll hook you up with. I don't know why they make some of 'em so goddamn Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…"

"Who knows why they do any of this," Alex replies quietly, casting another glance towards that large window. "Probably because they can. You just got the luck of the draw." She looks back to him with a wry grin, shrugging her shoulders.

Geoff snorts. "They just put you where they think your skills and demeanor best fit in mainstream society," he says. "All they want is people not to ask questions."

There's a snort as Alex seems to find something almost funny about that, although she doesn't bother to explain. "So what you're sayin' is that it might be worth listening to Amanda and all her lessons about how to walk and talk like some snotty bitch, huh?" she replies instead with that same wry humor.

"If you want," Geoff says, shrugging. "You're nineteen. Maybe they'll put you in NYU and say you have a rich daddy and then you can buy rich girl shit all day."

Alex looks over at him almost sharply, her eyebrows arching just a bit. "Yeah, maybe. Except then I'd have to go to school. Besides, I doubt I could pass for that sorta thing… And Amanda creeps me the hell out." Idly, she gives the tackling dummy a little jab in the side. Her form isn't terrible, considering she's still a brand new recruit.

Geoff shrugs at Alex. "Then what are you hoping to do when they put you on the street?" he asks. "If you won't go to school, then you'll have to get some shitty job, because you don't exactly look old for your age."

"I dunno," Alex replies with a shrug. "Hadn't really thought that far ahead. The world could end tomorrow for all I know, and anyway, I don't exactly expect them to start asking me what I want. Or if they do, it'll just be to mess with my mind or something. Maybe I'll tell 'em I want to be an astronaut."

"They're not gonna ask," Geoff says flatly. "That's why you have to /tell/ them with what you do and who you are."

"Then I guess I'm gonna end up a druggie with an attitude problem. Least I'm good at it," Alex snarks in flippant reply, landing another idle punch on the dummy's torso. "Long as I don't end up dead or back in prison, what's it really matter? There's worse things than having to work a job."

Geoff snorts in lieu of a laugh. "Doesn't matter," he says. "But you know your ass would be canceled the second you started using, so you should get ready to work retail. Work somewhere good so I can get a discount."

"Not like I want to," Alex quickly amends about using, in a momentary show of good judgement, perhaps. "But I'll keep that in mind, about the discount. I'd hate for you to have to go without." She smirks at him faintly, not really hating the idea at all. "So where do you work, anyway?"

Geoff looks up and smiles a little, though it's a dead smile like all the others. He's probably thinking how best to explain. "Well, I work at a club called Barracuda in Chelsea," he settles on.

"That doesn't sound so bad," Alex replies thoughtfully, giving him a sidelong look. "Better than retail," she points out with a soundless chuckle as she goes back to eyeing her tackling dummy. "Maybe not Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and all, but still, could suck a lot worse."

"It's okay," Geoff says. "But I'm in the show, so it's a little bit harder on you than bartending." He looks Alex over. "Maybe if you're lucky, they'll bump you up to 21 when you get out and you can bartend. I used to make okay money doing hat."

"Yeah, maybe if I'm lucky," Alex replies without much enthusiasm, being a girl who has not seen much in the way of luck in her short life. "Long as they don't try and put me on any sort of stage. That'd be a disaster," she adds with some amusement.

"Then they wouldn't," Geoff says. "They're not stupid. I'm just doing the same thing I was before the war, more or less." He shrugs and hangs on to either end of the towel around his neck.

"I guess we'll see what happens," Alex replies, the humor fading to be replaced by something more thoughtful. "Anyway, I should go get cleaned up before my next lesson, I guess." Her time in her is not exactly her own, after all. "Maybe I'll see you around again sometime. And I'm not gonna let you trip me," she adds warningly.

"Enjoy," Geoff says sarcastically. "And yeah, next time say hello near the door. Then you can run out if I try to kill you." Joke, or good advice? Either way, he heads for the men's locker room.

"I'm not that easy to kill," Alex replies in a lower voice, one that perhaps doesn't reach him as he turns to go. For her part, she begins trudging back to the dorms in order to get changed before whatever they stick her in next.


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