|Elliott||The FBC base isn't quite as familiar to Elliott as the TerraSave offices. He's still learning where things are. He pulls up at the strap of his bag, adjusting it on his shoulder, as he walks slowly, uncertainty etched in his expression as his eyebrows crease. His tongue touching his upper lip unconsciously as he looks around in search of something, he's leaving one area after some quiet surveying of some of the FBC troops. Now, El is trying to find his way.|
|Trixie||Sergeant Trixie Mackenzie steps out of the barracks, closing the door behind her. She drops a hand to a bulging thigh pocket, then shrugs. "I'm never going to break that habit," she murmurs, shaking her head. "I have GOT to get out of here."
Spying Elliott, she walks toward him. "Looking for something, Citizen?" she asks. "Got your ID handy?"
|Elliott||"Hmm?" El lets out, a single brow arching, as he turns his head to bring his gaze to Trixie. His striking blue eyes lock on her as he dips his head in greeting, regarding Trixie as he takes her in and remembers. "Elliott," he corrects in turn, flashing an amiable smile as he extends a hand. "Still trying to deal with the uniforms not fitting well?" he says in a teasingly friendly, accented tone even as he shifts his stance, pulling up at his bag before stuffing a hand into his pants pocket. He pulls out a wallet, which he flips open to reveal his medical I.D. with another charming smile along with it. "How are you, Miss..." He stalls for a moment as he works to recall her name. "Mackenzie?"|
|Trixie||"Always. When I'm not dealing with mosquitoes, ungodly heat and humidity, and resource limitations so ridiculous that we should just pack up and go home to save Uncle Sam the trouble of paying for us being here," Trixie replies wryly, stooping slightly and squinting at the ID for a moment.
"Oh, yeah... I remember you. The UN shrink. Well, besides being overheated, dehydrated, demoralized, and generally miserable, I guess I'm fine," she replies, sardonically. Though the wry smile doesn't reach her eyes.
|Elliott||Elliott bobs his head in a couple of understanding nods. "Uniforms and hot days don't mix too well, do they?" he comments lightly, shoulders lifting an inch as his smile flickers lightly. His smile brightens as she remembers him, nodding as he slips his wallet back into his pocket. "That's me. It's nice to run into a familiar face." His chin lifts a tad, letting his gaze roam off briefly. "I was looking for the cafeteria," explains as he shifts his gaze back to Trixie, regarding her curiously as he angles his head, eyebrows lowering expressively as he looks thoughtful. "Hmm," he lets out, shrugging casually, "sounds like you could use some time to decompress. Are you heading out?"|
|Trixie||"Try not at all. The armor doesn't help," Trixie replies sardonically. "Cafeteria's this way," she adds, moving to lead the way.
The mentioning of the word 'decompress' has her almost instantly wary, as she bears some of the grunt's instinctive mistrust of authority connected with a medical or psychology degree. "More like back out. But not until tomorrow. I get bounced over here from Coro maybe every two weeks for administrative crap. I guess even in the digital age, some stuff still requires paperwork," she explains.
|Elliott||"You need some type of cooling cloth so you don't overheat," El responds with a light shrug. His head swings around to glance toward the direction she faces. "Oi, thank you," he says appreciatively as he moves to follow, pulling the strap of his bag when it slips a little. He hmms, giving a little shrug. "Always good to have backup on paper, I guess." He offers a plain smile. "What's happening over in Coro?"|
|Trixie||"Let's see... we do a lot of sitting and swatting mosquitoes, treating sunburn, watching the Bolivarian Army nurse hangovers, ducking snipers the Bolivarian Army missed 'cause they were hung over or getting a hangover, shooting snipers... hm. Yeah, that about covers it," Trixie replies wearily, listing it all off on her fingers. Sardonic seems to be her native tongue these days, and her smile has a bitter edge to it.
She pushes through the door to the cafeteria, holding it open for Elliott. "Enjoy the air conditioning. You never get near enough time under it," she advises softly.
|Elliott||Elliott chuckles softly as he gives his head a little shake. "I mean, what's the goal for the, er-- Is it a town?" He dips his head appreciatively, flashing a smile as he lifts a hand to rest against the door and follow. "If you're going to be heading back there, would you mind if I accompany you? I'm sure there's something I can assist with." Even if it's just checking on everyone's emotional state.|
|Trixie||"Town under siege... trying to pry it away from some Generalissimo-turned-warlord, and theoretically return stability to the region. Real wacky theory, I say... I've /seen/ the Bolivarian Army in so-called action, and they don't impress me... but I don't give the orders," Trixie muses. "And we've got orders to escort UN people around as needed, so I doubt anybody will complain. I'll check it out with the office, just to be sure, before we leave, so it won't cause you any more trouble than necessary."
She pauses at the door to lethim pass, so he can pick the table. "Maybe you could help me? I requested an appointment with an Army shrink on the boat over, but it's been deferred until we leave Bolivar. I might be flipped out or dead by then. Or both."
|Elliott||Elliott nods slowly as Trixie explains, his gaze sliding away to look around the cafeteria even as he listens to her. A hum of thought escapes him as he glances toward the floor briefly, eyebrows expressively knitting before El gives a shake of his head. Looking up, he's offering a smile to Trixie before he gestures casually with his head and makes his way through the cafeteria. "That'd be brilliant, thank you." He nods. He slows to a stop to turn to Trixie completely as he lets out a questioning, "Hrm?" One brow lifts and he bows his head marginally to her. "I'd be more than happy if I can help you out," he responds.|
|Trixie||Trixie gestures toward the tables in invitation. "Look, ever since that fat hog Tom Thomas broke that totally bullshit story on the BBC news about the F.B.C. shooting civilians in Paris, this team's been getting nothing but the shaft. Seriously. Budget cuts, procedure-thumping inspections, the /works/. It's not on paper, but everybody knows it. We can't walk five paces without stepping in another steaming pile of paper-packed, red-taped bullshit. It's even scuttlebutt that that's the whole reason we're stuck in this grody mosquito farm."
She puts a hand to her forehead. "Look, I went regular Army after Raccoon City, out of some probably-misguided sense of duty to never let something like that happen again... I was Guard there, during the outbreak. I didnt volunteer for the F.B.C., but somehow I wound up here anyway. Don't ask me how, or why. Between killing a few hundred or so things that should already be dead, some of which used to be my neighbors, getting blamed for things we had no part in, and doing some posturing dictator's job for him, I'm seriously wondering how much more I can handle."
|Elliott||Flicking out his tongue briefly to wet his lips, Elliott turns his gaze around the room after approaching said table. He sweeps his gaze curiously over some of the occupants, taking notes. Hearing Trixie speak, his unforgettable blue eyes drift to regard Trixie. El lets her speak without interrupting, and, well, listens with a sympathetic heart, bobbing his head in acknowledgement. "Sounds rough," he says understandingly. Studying Trixie thoughtfully, he states casually, "Anyone would rightfully be stressed. Do you have any stress-relief activities you take part in?"|
|Trixie||"Does swatting mosquitoes and shooting at the snipers the Bolivar Army perimeter guards can't seem to keep out count as a stress-relief activity? Seriously, unless I'm here, I'm sitting in a war zone in the world's largest mosquito farm. That's a stress-/generator/, not a stress-reliever," Trixie replies, shaking her head. "This place isn't much of an improvement, either. I just don't get any time to speak of that isn't spent taking care of unit business or basic needs. Sometimes I can get a few free hours before the helo back to Coro leaves. Then I look around for something to do and try not to get heatstroke."|
|Elliott||"I wouldn't call that 'relieving' stress," El remarks in a light-hearted tone. His lips give a mirthful quirk as he shrugs coolly. Tapping the back of a chair lightly as he steps past it, he glances towards the concessions, but turns his gaze to Trixie again to nod as he listens. Again, he doesn't interrupt, approaching the concessions as he focuses looking over the food. Releasing a quiet sigh, Elliott glances to Trixie. "I would definitely like to be out there to offer assistance. And do you like reading? Writing?" he adds as he offers her a smile. "Even taking a little time just to write your experiences could help when life gets barmy," he suggests helpfully.|
|Trixie||"I wouldn't, either. I'm mostly too busy watching for infiltrators and doing mission prep to do much reading. But I do keep a journal, and I write in it when I have time," Trixie replies, seating herself at the table and leaning on her elbows, which rest on the tabletop. The forearm of the slung M4 thumps against the bench, and it is suggestive of her level of fatigue that her instinctive movement of her hand to steady it is weary, halfhearted, and never completed. "I doubt the F.B.C., the Army, or Bolivar would find it flattering reading, but I don't much care. It helps a little to get the bad feelings out. Some of them, anyway. Sometimes I think if I got them all out, I'd be like a deflated balloon."|
|Elliott||Elliott takes a moment to select something to eat, pays, and turns to step back as he takes a seat in an easy, relaxed manner. His incredible blue eyes focusing on Trixie as she talks as he lets out a short chuckle. "That's the brilliant part about writing in a journal," he points out as he smiles warmly, teeth briefly visible. "You can write whatever pleases you, right?" His gaze lowers as he works at unwrapping the sandwich before lifting his gaze to Trixie. "If you get tired of writing, I could always lend an ear if you'd rather voice anything," he offers, lips curving pleasantly. "I don't go blabbing when people open up to me," he assures. Lifting one half of his sandwich, El slides the bag the other half rests on a little ways across the table to offer it to Trixie while he asks casually, "So do you have a range where you guys can practice shooting?"|
|Trixie||"Unless some barracks thief finds it. Which wasn't a serious issue until we came /here/. Hasn't stopped me, though." Trixie looks up at Elliott, her eyes meeting his, which is how they learn that they share having incredible blue eyes. "Really? I'll... have to think about that offer, Doc. And we definitely have a range, though I don't spend much of any time there even when I'm here. Unless I'm ordered to, which almost never happens. Maybe if I weren't sweating myself to death in Coro, I'd be over there more often. Makes me envy the garritroopers stationed here instead of there."
She glares at the tabletop, fists clenching. "Except for the part about watching the refugees... I don't go near them anymore, after one of them accused the F.B.C. of turning her town into groaners after we pulled them out of their burning church. That the Bolivarian Army torched with mortar fire that almost killed us."
|Elliott|| Elliott takes a bite of the sandwich, bobbing his head as his gaze focuses on Trixie. His smile flickers amiably, and after swallowing, says, "I mean, I'm always happy to help." He shifts in his seat slightly, setting down his sandwich and slipping a hand into his pocket to pull out a phone. He gestures with it, setting it down beside him as he picks up his sandwich. "You can ring me up anytime." He nods at her answer to the range, humming thoughtfully as he takes another bite. "Do you need a badge or anything special to enter?" His lips twist in amusement as he lets out a short chuckle. "Having some good skill in firing a weapon seems like a good skill to have," he adds with a lopsided grin.
His sandwich lowers a little as El regards Trixie, eyes falling to her fists. He offers her a smile when he murmurs out softly, "There's always someone out there looking to blame anyone but themselves. Sometimes all we can do is remember /what/ we're doing things for." He gives a small tilt of his head and shrugs. "It's a tough world for everyone," he points out sensibly.
|Trixie||"No, nothing like that... not as long as you're with F.B.C. personnel. Maybe I can get you a pass, so you can get in without an escort, since you're U.N. and attached to us," Trixie replies, with a ghost of a smile. "And I'll remember your offer. Let me get your number punched in?" she asks, taking her own phone from a thigh pocket and setting it on the table.
His next words cause her hint of a smile to fade. "That /would/ be a good thing to remember... I can't, anymore. While we're killing groaners and getting mortar fire rained on us by the Bolivarian Army, the news is painting us as murderers, the people we save are blaming us for their town getting turned into groaners, and the Senate is beating on us with a standards book and trying to cut our budget even more. This unit was created to fight the most /nonstandard/ enemies that have ever existed, and we're being pushed to conform to military standards that got the Guard in Raccoon City /wiped out/!" Trixie's voice rises, and the line attendants look over at her as she throws her hands up and slaps the tabletop with both hands on the way down, trembling in the silence that follows. "Ohmi/gawd/, I hate my job..."
|Elliott|| Elliott gives Trixie a smile as he looks to her. "That would be brilliant, thank you," he says appreciatively. Sandwich shifting to one hand, he makes a gun sign with his free hand as he pretends to shoot. Amusement twisting at his lips, he lets out a 'heh,', taking up his sandwich in both hands again. "Something I'd like to get better at," he murmurs out off-handedly. His own phone is turned so that she can read his contact, dipping his head lightly.
A few more bites are taken of his sandwich as he studies Trixie, eating while he listens to her. His hands lower slowly as his attention is focused more on Trixie than eating, both eyebrows arching together as he gives her his full attention, his expression twitching with a slight grimace when her voice raises. "How much longer do you have to serve?"
|Trixie||"Three years, or something close to that. Maybe as much as four. The days run together so much here that I've lost track," Trixie replies, very softly now, the anger and frustration seeming to drain out of her, at least for the moment, leaving her listless and her voice flat, almost wilted, as if from exhaustion. "There are days I wonder if there's anyone out there that /doesn't/ hate us. I'd like to meet them."|
|Elliott||Elliott nods as he echoes, "Three years." His sandwich remains on the table now as he simply watches Trixie, head angling somewhat. "Well I'm here if you need me," he offers again. "What're you going to do when you're out?" he inquires with a curious flick of a single brow, asking casually.|
|Trixie||"I'm grateful. And I don't know yet, besides maybe something where I can forget that I ever heard of the F.B.C. or the Army, or the Republic of Bolivar," Trixie murmurs, wearily shaking her head. "I've been solicited by TerraSave, though I'm not sure why. They're good people, even if they accidentally caused us all this hatred that's getting rained down on us. Maybe I'll go to work for them doing... something. Or go to college, if the G.I. Bill lets me."|
|Elliott||Elliott dips his head as he acknowledges her words. The smile he gives her is a bright, optimistic one as he nods. "You've got an idea, at least." He hums in thought as he drops his gaze, picking up the last bite of the sandwich half he's eaten. "You can use these three years to think about it and find something that /you/ want to do." He stuffs the last of the sandwich in his mouth before looking to his phone, sliding back his chair as he rises. "Speaking of TerraSave," he says on a soft chuckle, wigging the device through the air in gesture. "Don't be a stranger, Sergeant," he says personably with a warm smile.|
|Trixie||"If I /live/ that long without losing my mind. Bolivar seems pretty determined to take both from me. But I'll remember your offer, Doctor. Thank you. Take care of yourself." Trixie looks up, offering a faint smile that dies quickly. The comment about Terrasave is met with a startled stare and a blink, then a slow nod. Even after he is through the door, she stares after him for a long few moments.|