2011-02-08: Helpful Words


Index_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Summary: Travis hears some needed words from Index.

Date: February 8, 2011

Log Title: Helpful Words

Rating: PG-13

Barnes Academy - HoloQuad

Stepping into the HoloQuad one would almost forget that they were in an underwater school. The sky changes to reflect the time of day, sunny with clouds during the day to night time reflecting what the Northern Hemisphere would look like without light pollution. Sunsets and Sunrises are even reflected in the room. It's impossible to tell there is a ceiling up there. Plant life, benches, fountains and pathways make the room look like a luxurious park and unlike the sky, the rest of the room is real. Sometimes a breeze passes buy and the room is always a comfortable temperature giving the students a way to feel like they're outside enjoying the fresh air.

This is the first time since Travis has come back to the US that he's stepped out of his Mom's suite. He just needed to actually get out but the problem is you can't step out from your own head. He's sitting against one of the trees with two arms holding his legs to his chest, two arms holding something against his chest and his he rests on his folded arms on top his knees. He not sure how to deal with what happened or who to talk to since he isn't keen on letting his Mom know everything that happened. She doesn't need to worry more.

Wearing his sunglasses, Index walks through the HoloQuad, whistling a tune to himself. At a certain point, he seems to lose tune, and takes a few moments to get back in. During this time, he notices Travis. His expert people skills tell him that the young man is probably not in a particularly bad mood. He heads over and sits across from the student, a short way away. He raises his eyebrows, "You okay, there?"

Travis looks up at Index and sighs. "No…not really." He admits as he unfolds his legs and puts what he's holding down on his lap, a picture of him and what looks like a younger him and older version of him. "Just, trying to figure things out. When my mind is occupied I'm okay but as soon as the thoughts starts creeping in, I wanna throw up again."

"Yeah," says Index, nodding slowly and looking off as if he doesn't have anything more than that to offer. His gaze does return to Travis, though, and he says, "You went through some tough times. I wouldn't expect you to be hunky dorie. That kind of thing… it can leave an impression on a guy."

"I just, I don't really have anyone here but my Mom talk to talk to. My Mom and Rashmi but she was there with me and probably not the best person to talk to about it." Travis says with a sigh. "I saw it sir, my father get shot and killed. I watched him get killed when I was fifteen and while I was there…I had to kill someone. And two more people died because of me, how do you live with that? It makes me no better then the men who killed my Dad."

Index nods at Travis, listening to him intently. "What made the person who killed your dad do that?" He glances off and then removes his sunglasses, fiddling with them in his hands, "And what made you kill someone?" The older man shrugs and says, "I've been in a similar place to you before. No details, classified, but… I can't say I know what it's like, because what happened to you happened to you, not me, but I can relate."

Travis looks at Index. "I'm in the same boat as you. I can't tell you why my Dad was killed. I told you too much saying that." The fact that he's in the witness protection program isn't even on his file. "But while we were they, anything I did that they didn't like, like talking back and not doing what they want, after a while when beating me didn't work, they told me they would beat Rashmi instead. After a while, it got to me. I could take it but I couldn't take knowing they were hurting her because of me. So I agreed to do what they wanted and my first test….there was this other boy. They made us fight, kill or be killed. I wouldn't have done it, I probably would have died out there if they didn't tell me that if I lost, they'd kill her too. And I did it." He says tearing up a bit and looking down at the picture of him and his dad. "They would have killed her if I didn't. But I didn't know, the boy I killed had the same stipulation. By killing him I killed this girl as well."

At being told that Travis's situation is classified, Index just nods and says, "It happened. Things like this, they happen. And it's agony, I know, it's tough. You're never going to get over it. You're always going to remember that face. And that's okay. Because… even if this is a bad memory, you did what you thought you had to, in a bad situation, a worse situation than most people are even able to think properly in. You were battered physically and psychologically." The sunglasses vanish between his fingers. "And? Those are decisions that aren't meant to be made. It's not your fault you were in that place, forced to make that decision. Nobody chooses to deal with impossible decisions."

"But what do I do from here sir?" Travis asks. "I don't know, I just feel kinda lost. It's over but do I just go on living like normal. It doesn't feel right. If feels like I owe those three something. And I don't even know if what I did to that guy, Nero, was right. I wanted to do so much more but I didn't want to kill him." He takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. "When my Dad died, it took a while to get back to normal. With this, it doesn't feel right. Why do I get the right to live when they didn't?"

"Hard call," says Index at that question, "but there's nothing much you can do for the dead except remember them. I could tell you every person I've killed or who's died because of something I've done. Well, no, I can't, it's classified, but you know what I mean. It doesn't go away, and you won't go living on like you did before. And the only reason you have the right to live now is that you /are/ living. There's nothing you can do about that. Not without making them meaningless." He scratches his forehead lightly and adds, "'course, I can only tell you what I know."

Travis nods. "Thanks sir, that helps." He brushes his hair back with both hands and takes a deep breath. "It's just this isn't easy and I'm trying to deal. At first I liked being over there, I liked helping but by the end it was a nightmare." He shakes his head. "Sorry sir, just a lot of this is confusing to me."

"No need to be sorry to me, you've got a lot on your mind," says Index, crossing his legs and leaning forward slightly, "And sometimes there are situations in life that turn out worse than you could have expected or hoped. Things turn sour… And I know, that's not easy to deal with. It never is. You know?"

"It took me about a year to get over Dad's…well not get over, I'm still not fully over it, but get past it." Travis says. "I guess it's similar, I just have to go on. Just sucks. Really sucks. I never though I'd have it in me to do that, especially after Dad got killed."

"It's like I said… it's more the situation that brought that out've you. Honestly? We all have it in us. When you're at that point, well, that's that," says Index, nodding along at what Travis says first, "But yeah, it sucks to be stuck like that."

"Yeah, but I don't like thinking that we all have that in that. It means that tool was right." Travis says as he has no love for Nero. "It's not the getting kidnapped or beat on that bothers me, I've been beat up bad before, it's fact that I've taken a life. It….it sits like a brick in my stomach. Sorry, I know I'm beating a dead horse just, dunno sir."

Index shakes his head at Travis and notes, "I know. And it's hard to get past taking a life. And… just because that tool knew about something, doesn't mean he's right about anything. He used something he was right about to do terrible things. Things that /are/ wrong. Things that should not happen. Things that are never right. But you're not like him, you know? You know what happened there was wrong, every bit of it. And that makes you every bit better than him."

"I used my powers on him. I wanted to take away the use of his hands." Travis says. "I..don't know what I did exactly but I burned one and froze the other. I didn't want him to be able to hurt anyone with his own two hands again. I didn't want to kill him cause I didn't thing he was worth it, but I wanted him to suffer to know what he did was wrong. Does that make it a bad thing?"

"Well, why did you do it? Did you do it in order to give justice to a man who would not otherwise know any justice? Or did you do it just 'cause you wanted to see him squirm in pain?" asks Index in return.

Travis shakes his head. "No, I didn't want to see him squirm in pain, I just didn't want him to be able to do it anyone else. I want him to know the pain he caused other people and to live knowing that his empire crashed and he wouldn't be able to use his two hands to hurt or kill anyone again."

"Then what you did wasn't wrong. Well, not in my opinion. I'm sure there's some monks who'd disagree, but you gave him justice where otherwise he'd be free without punishment," says Index, shrugging. "Maybe it wasn't the best way to deliver justice, but it was a way that you could do."

Travis pushes himself up so that he's standing, hugging the picture to him with two arms still. "Thanks Index, sir. I..needed to hear that. I'm going to grab something drink and then head to back to my Mom's suite. Try to get some sleep or maybe just..spend time with her."

Index nods at Travis and hops back up to his feet, putting his sunglasses back on out of nowhere. "And… Keep your chin up, eh?" says the professor, before he begins to wander off, continuing to whistle his song as if he hadn't lost the note at all.

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