Hard Man; Harder Truths

December 25, 2015:

Deathstroke puts the weakest link through the motions and imparts with some harsh truths.

The Resolve

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Corey Taylor - From Can to Can't


Fade In…

I sweat to god if you quit on me now you won't have to worry about combat, I'll fucking kill you tonight and jettison whatever's left over out an airlock into the infinite void so what parts of you try to heal can do so for all eternity in a shapeless, empty, nothing." Slade growls as he stares into Rant's perspiration soaked face. There does not seem to be any tease in his tone. Ten mile run at what to Rant was 4am-ish, then weight training, then 1500 rounds through various weapons of different makes, calibers, and models, then came the MRE's that she was forced to prepare under live fire conditions, then came the climbing wall with breakdowns on all the various kinds of knots, ropes, and equipment any and all military's in the world use in their own work as well as a terrifying hour of her not being allowed any kind of rope at all. Then came hand to hand combat training, with and without weapons, followed by tactical review classes, then battle field first aid and some basic survival in the wild knowledge. Now it's more running. If one can hurt in places that they didn't know existed, this is how they find all those places. And their close friends.

And it's Christmas. Fucking. Eve.

To make it worse, he's running backwards in front of her and he's been pushing himself harder then her, everything she's done, he's done the same thing, only with 1 hand, or twice as fast, or in the case of the combat training, literally blindfolded (which was more just him shifting his eye patch over to the other eye so that she got to stare into the gaping hole of his socket for the entire exercise, which was creep as fuck), and so it's hard to hate him. Not impossible. Just marginally more difficult then it would be otherwise. "This isn't an outfit for weakness, we don't strive for good enough, for better then the rest, for the best, we strive for /perfect/. In /everything/. You will not bend, you will not break, you will be perfect or you will be nothing." the words are bit off and cut cleanly at the ends like they were carved from a diamond blade, clipped and sharp and almost painfully clear. "Do you hear me soldier?!" his voice raises, expecting an answer.

Maybe it was because she was the weakest link; or the fact that she still cried and fainted when she saw the gore that often times spilled from the stomachs of men and probably flipped and became an irrational mess when she had to do something that she felt in her mind to do. There were no warnings in this training session. Nope. She did it again.. and again.. and again..

Like, who in the world knew that your armpit could ache? There was even a pain in the side of her kneecap and she was sure she didn't bang it. She bled and bled again which was healed by the force of her nanites and by then, instead of glowing EVERYWHERE it was muted down to just the core color of her eyes and often times not at all.

But she was running.. before when she ran, arms flailed as she tried to keep up. Steps were missed and she dripped and probably made a few sounds of an 'urp'. She probably threw up in her mouth a few miles back but now.. she brain shut down and broke the barriers were mental conditioning was on high as well as physical. She even quickly programmed herself to not feel any more pain and to dry up the tearducts to stop her from crying. Cause you have to fake it until you make it around here. She was going to be a soldier.

"YES SIR!" She barked out, voice harsh.. mouth dry, her heart beating at a rapid pace as her lungs and chest feel so tight that she only had a few pants of oxygen left. But damn it, she was going to move. She wasn't going to get up.

No one wants to be sucked out of an airlock, even on a good day.

Deathstroke's eye narrows at her and he starts to run backwards faster. His steps are high, his knees bouncing up to waist height with every step and his toes landing in perfect succession with every graceful hop. No one should make running backwards look graceful. It's unfair. "Damned right." he says firmly, his jaw set. They cross the starting point of the run, which is a lap or more around the external hall that, in theory, tuns the hull of the ship. He comes to a sudden and rigid stop on a two step motion and reaches otu to their gear, plucking up a bottle of water. He tosses it into Rant's chest, hard, "Sip it, don't suck it, you'll vomit." he says in a tone that's quieter and gentler then it has been all day, which means it's only slightly more disapproving then a parent who's discovered you broke into the booze cabinet at 13.

From the outside perspective; their fast running almost looked rather animated. Being a meta-human, Rant could kick it up a notch and run faster than the average Olympic male. Deathstroke? Probably not faster than him but she had no trouble catching up to an arms reach within him, as that was her current and 'pushed too damn far' peak. And he still looked like he was just skipping along to My Little Pony's themesong. The dick.

The sudden stop has her skidding just a touch, finally doubling over to breathe with her hands upon her knees, chest heaving as she finally stands straight up to catch the water with a back stagger that nearly has her curling and throwing up anyways. "Ow.. I mean Thank you Sir!"

Cap twisted off, water sipped as she was told.. and.. "Guh.. I feel sick." No. Her intestines just grew arms and tried to flex, is all! "I'm not complaining, but I feel like you're singling me out." She sips again, but then braces, kind of waiting for the slap heard round the world.

Deathstroke nods his head, "I am." he admits freely, "You're the weakest of the lot, of the entire team you're the one most likely to fail, to break under preassure." he stares at her as he says it, calling her out without so much of an ounce of shame, "If you're going to get one of us killed I'll be damned if it'll be because you weren't prepared, you weren't sharpened to the finest hone you could be. It won't be me that fails you, I can garuntee that." it'll be her. "You want me to single in on someone else? Be perfect." so that's a heart warming ra-ra speech from the ol' coach.

Ow. That hurt. There was a good reason as to why she turned off the node to her tear-ducts because what he said was enough to make her go crying into her pillow at night. Though, that should be later. Talk about a vote of confidence. She stares at him then, a frown curling her face as she finally takes a huge gulp of water.. which gets caught within her throat to make her cough, her hand pressing to her mouth before she caps it. Screw it.

"Fine."

Ra-ra heard. She was done. The bottle was tossed towards the gear even as she moves towards it, bending to take out the two overly large machetes that was in her little band of cache. Was she going to give him one? Nope. Did the training from Taskmaster and Deathstroke stick? We're about to see. She tucks them under her arm for a moment as she grabs the tablet from her bag, swiping upon the screen to bring it to life, issuing out a few commands to her tablet and soon, she drops it upon the pile.

"Deathmatch then." She finally says. "Alright, not a fight to the death but me and you, toe to toe." Granted, her muscles were screaming, and if the logic was up to Deathstroke, it wouldn't matter in the heat of battle. Thankfully, she just turned off that need to flee and not fight, that fear with just a few strings of code. Screw it, right?

Deathstroke eyes her for a long moment then says flatly, "No." Then nothing, just silence.

And Rant couldn't get angry at the refusal, all emotions were shut down and only logic was set in it's place. Foolhardy logic for someone so young, but logic all the same. "You put me through the motions, you train me to be my best and do not want to see the fruits of your labor by putting it to the test. Why?" The blades were then taken from underneath her arm, then tossed aside to land near the row of bags.

Deathstroke continues to eye her, "Your logic is flawed." he says simply, "You assume I need to fight you to see the fruit of my labor, I don't. I look at you and you are an open book to me only slightly more complicated then an elementary school primer. I can tell you to the second the moment you shut down your tear ducts, because I could see the pores of them close up, I know what parts of you hurt because I see how you favor them in your body language, I know the emotional blocks you put in and when you did it because I could watch the micro-musculature of your face go slack. The harder you try to hide what you are, the harder you attempt to cheat the process of being more then you are the more you prove I made the right choice in singling you out." he pushes himself to his impressive height, "You shut down your tear ducts because you don't want to cry, a better option would simply be to refuse to cry, to make the choice. You close down pain receptors because pain is uncomfortable and it hurts, rather then using it as fuel to power you to more, you would rather ignore its existence and pretend it wasn't there which means when the day comes that you /can't/ turn them off, the smallest amount of pain will leave you useless in the field. You close down your emotions because you can't control them, they scare you because they're outside of your ability to wrangle. At every turn when given the opportunity to stare your own weakness in the face and break it, to shatter it, and rebuild it into the image of who you want to be you instead choose the easiest path, the simple solution, and you turn away from the truth to hide behind a mask of technological solutions. Hiding is no less weak then being unable to run the drills, it's just a different kind." he tosses his water bottle down to join the gear, "I don't need to fight you to see the fruits of my labor, I watch you lose the battle with yourself every day." his lips twist into something of a snear.

Those words.. hurt.

Thankfully, Rant couldn't feel them at the moment but there was a tic that happens within her left eye as she listens to the entire diatribe that was.. actually the truth. Rant was always the last one to try to deal with her emotions, she never really liked them and found a way to turn them off. After all of the losses with none of the gains, one was sick and tired of being broken. And now? It was being encouraged.

Her shoulders slump just a touch, her gaze falling towards her bag as her hand lifts, the little glow within her fingers mimics the way the screen lights up and she begins to type and tap into the air. If he could really see the changes? He'd see that everything was slowly drawing away from itself; the opening of her tear ducts.. how her muscles begin to curl.. how stiff she had gotten through the strenuous workout.. how her body ached so badly that hell, those tear ducts.. aside from his words would be made to put to good use. She hurt so bad that she began to tremble, and fight off that tremble by becoming even more stiff. But then that hand falls and the dull glow fades, her eyes soon growing half lidded.

"I only hate you right now because you're right." And he's a dick by nature! But she wouldn't say that outloud.

Deathstroke's hand comes up and iron hard fingers grip her by her chin as if she were a disobedient child and he tilts her head up to look at him, turning her one way and then the other, inspecting her face. His gaze always feels like it's laser focused, as if when he sees you he /sees/ you, but feeling like that and knowing it to be true are two different things entirely. He stares down at her then lets her chin go with a flick of his wrist, "Of course I am." he says simply, "Congratulations, you stopped turning off your fuel for a whole two seconds," he picks up his water bottle again and squirts some of it's contents into his mouth, a swallow and a wiping of his forearm across his chin follow, "so what are you going to do with it?"

Guh. Who would have thought you chin hurts too? Nuts. But she doesn't even make eye contact as she's examined, though a hand does lift to wipe away at her eye, her fingers practically waving with how shakey she was.

What was she going to do? "I.. am probably going to go cry in the shower." She admits. And.. here comes awkwardness there after. "I'd ask you to join but that'd be mildly creepy." She waffles a hand. "I mean I totally have Daddy issues and all but that's just pushing it." She laughs.. snorts.. ow's.. and cries just a little. Just a peench. But in other words? She was just going to do better. Be perfect.

Deathstroke eyes her for a long moment, "If you like." he says simply, "I'm going to the war room to look over the blue prints for th-" his words are cut off as the floor beneath them trembles ever so slightly, a tiny shake, and there's a sudden change in the lighting in the hall they stand in, everything going slightly pinkish red. Slade shoots Rant a look and his hand instantly goes to his hip where the ever present pistol is kept, "That's ne-" and before he can finish the sentence everything breaks apart.

The floor splits between Rant and Slade and a chasm opens up with startling speed, the floor sections pulling away in a neat clean line. Meanwhile the ceiling seems to shift, growing taller in some places and shorter in others while the walls beside Rant begin to move away from one another, widening the area she's standing in at an alarming rate. Slade throws himself backward as the walls in front of him slam together with a metallic clang, cutting off his view of his student and her view of him like a pair of elevator doors with no visible seam. From everywhere within the ship the sounds of metal grinding, gliding, shifting, sliding, echo out like the first rattling breathes of a coma patient suddenly beginning to stir. The pink lights become a more sullen red and the air is suddenly filled with the twisted but beautiful language that Rant has never heard in her life.

So. Who woke up the Resolve?

On the other side of his doors Slade's expression, an angry narrow eyed one, freezes in place. "no." he whispers softly, the language echoing in the halls of his perfect memory like a punch to the gut. His skin tone pales for a moment and he spins on his foot and begins to sprint at his considerably quick full speed down the shifting hall, gun in hand, "Not again." Perhaps it's best he's separated from everyone else, that no one is near. It means no one hears the tremor in his voice.

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