12.24.3013: Futility
Summary: After the resort, Cedric spends days in research, coming to his own life-changing theory about the entire war, then discussing the nature of hope, humanity, the purpose of their conflict with Lyrienne
Date: Oct 27 2013
Related: The Resort Logs
Cedric Lyrienne 

Cedric and Lyrienne's Apartments
More penthouse than mere apartment, the floor plan for this abode involves open spaces and minimal dividers. A small foyer opens up into the main living room painted a soft, muted grey to give the impression of clean lines and simplicity. Holos in frames of Cedric, Lyrienne and their family adorn the walls of this exceptionally tidy space. Platinum disc awards for music granted to Lyrienne over the years have been given a place of honor on the wall opposing the entrance. Modest couches crowd around a coffee table upon which sits one of Cedric's model ships.

The other rooms within the home consist of a normal layout: a kitchenette and dining area are ajoined to the living room, a master bedroom, two seperate other bedrooms for their children, and an office that Cedric and Lyrienne both share containing his desk and her grand piano. A balcony from both the master bedroom and kitchen area lead onto a hanging patio that offers a sprawling view of the rest of the Ring from down below.

Dec 24 3013

Futility - noun
1. pointlessness or uselessness("the horror and futility of war").
2. the quality of having no useful result; uselessness.
3. lack of importance or purpose; frivolousness.

It's been a couple of days since their reunion at sea. Since then, Cedric has been a bit distant, there's been stuff obviously on his mind. He made sure she saw doctor at the hospital to properly treat her and then took her home when she was allowed to be released. But even on the ship there was something bothering him. And whenever asked why, he'd just say he was 'thinking' but wouldn't say what. This lead to two days of Cedric being gone to the Academ, bringing back particular files with him and then spending time in his study. This doesn't mean he didn't pamper Lyri to hell and back while she recouperated. He made sure she was always comfortable and if she needed anything, he got it for her. But when he was doing that, he was working in his study.

She may of even overheard three different conversations with someone at Naval Intelligence, asking about particular subject matter, usually revolving around the oringinal colonization of Cantos, or the Fifth World. Every time he tried to devle too deep, he'd be told that that information was above the clearance he had, which was already fairly high. It's led him to sit in his study, pouring over what information he did know, as if there was something very important he had to know, trying to tie all the peices together.

With an injury to her shoulder, Lyrienne hasn't been particularly bed bound. And once the worst of the pain eased so that she could focus on more than just holding it at bay, she was out and moving around the apartment. She's played music, for the most part, though she can only sit at the piano for so long. When she can't any longer, she sits in a chair with her tablet, composing. Once that's gotten boring, though, she goes looking for her husband, peeking around the door to his study. "Ric, honey?" she calls in softly. "Are you okay?"

Ever since getting back from the island, Cedric hasn't been sleeping well. Less than usual. He'd get out of bed late night and look at the same series of paperwork that he's pinned to corkboard when he usually leaves his finished roster assignments for his ship. Here, particular peices of paper has peices of string leading from one part to another, and he's standing back, staring at it. At the center is a paper circle, labeled 'Cantos'. Another off to the side, labled 'Imperius' and one final one labeled 'Earth'. He's rubbing at his chin, a frown on his face. "Hrm?" he looks slightly to the side. "You alright, sweetheart? Need anything?"

"Just some reassurance that my husband isn't partaking in the family madness," Lyrienne answers him with a small smile, stepping into the room to take a look at what he has pinned up. "What is it you're looking for, Ric?" she asks, moving to his side and following the lines of string with her eyes.

"Something's been bothering me since the resort." Cedric replies. "This Hostile we had killed, another screamed at us that we had killed it's pregnant…wife? Mate? That we, I killed his or her family. I was so angry, it was the kind of audacity that they blame us for killing them when they invaded our resort on our planet. Then don't come here, I said. It then screamed at me that we 'abandoned them'." he explains, looking back at the board. "That statement sat and bothered me, it's been bothering me. I had never been told that in reference from a Hostile, and I wanted to know why he or she would say that. So I spent time at Academ, going over the colonization records of the Haven system. Most people believe that the colonists on Cantos were wiped out or killed by Hostiles. Or were little more than clone drones by some other race, using creatures made from human DNA to fight us. What if it's more complicated than that, what if this entire war has passed because of a series ouf mistakes and misunderstandings?"

At that point, he starts to show her how all the strings connect to another and how they're all related in his idea that this is happening from something that could've been prevented.

Lyrienne tilts her head slightly, watching and listening as he explains his thoughts. "I'm not sure they aren't our own people," she says, shaking her head. "Our people were left there. It's just…Well. I suppose I always sort of thought that they'd started experimenting on themselves, and maybe went a little bit mad with it." She reaches up, brushing one finger along the scar near his eye. "It's been a very long time. What started out as little things like this could have turned into what we see now. People getting cybernetics early on. Rites of passage. Growing up with them and adding more and more." She pauses, thoughtful. "I wonder what the resources are like on the Fifth World. If the entire population is cybernetically altered, they must be going through minerals and the like at an accelerated rate."

"Suvivability." is the one word from Cedric. "I'm sure military force was one of the applications, but from what I've read about Cantos the planet is a very harsh enviroment, on the level of Volkan and Ignis are in terms of hostility but likely different climate. The cyberization, I believe was because it was a way to survive. Because something happened with their Waygate. They couldn't repair and we never tried to rescue them." He breaks away to look at the polished wood case of the number of accomadations for combat and valor during this war that he's received. "I've been killing my own people. The same people I made an oath to protect the day I joined the Academy. And we're doing this because they think we left them out to die on Cantos. Did we? Was that our governments intention all that time ago? Or did we try to communicate with them, did we send a ship, did we do anything? Did we even bother?" He rubs his hand over his face. Now it's become clear why he hasn't been sleeping well. "What if they're not insane? Just angry. Very very angry at being, in their mind, betrayed and left to die on an all but barren planet. It's not even a pratical war. Fought over land, or resources, or ideology, but a damn misunderstanding. Millions have died over a 'misunderstanding'."

"Whatever happened, Ric, it happened millennia ago," Lyrienne says quietly, shaking her head. "And even if we did abandon them, even if they're nothing more than colonists we couldn't help, they're the ones who decided that the appropriate response was to come here and try to kill us. Not even the people who abandoned them. The descendants of the people who abandoned them." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "How many times have we told Lyssie it's not all right to hit Marus just because he won't pay attention to her? It's a completely different scale, maybe, but the exact same principle."

"I -know- that, Lyrie." Cedric replies. "Those who's hands are bloody have been dead for centuires, and we're so far removed from guilt, I doubt most people besides historians even know this happened. I had to do more than a bit of digging to get this far. I understand that, but think about the lives that could've been saved if something had been done. Millions? Billions? More? Or something more. Or…I don't know. What is the cost going to be? We changed our entire society because of this war, our entire basis of government and become more warlike than we should be. For a mistake? Our entire society devolved into a damn feudal system just to fight this war. All because of a misunderstanding? Where does it stop, Lyrienne? When do we stop demanding that blood be paid for blood spilt? Who's the real monsters here? Them, that they didn't question their motives after so much time had passed. Or us, because we never bothered to question 'why' and just gleefully went along with it. Because, honestly, I've never asked why. Not up until this moment."

"Cedric, if we can't change it, then it's foolish to suffer over it." Lyrienne wraps her arms around his waist, resting her cheek against his shoulder as she looks over the notes again. "I've had a request in to see the captured Hostile for some time now. I don't know if it will ever go through, but if it does, I can try to ask her. See if anything you've found here fits the narrative they have. But what do we do with it?" She grimaces. "I'm not sure it changes anything. I doubt they'd stop trying to kill us if we just told them we're really sorry about what happened, and would they like to move back in?"

"I'm aware of that." Cedric frowns. "But what's the alternative? Killing each other other until one side is left? And that's being generous and saying that there will even -be- a side left. Somebody needs to do something, make the attempt at trying to….negotiate. Something. It doesn't have to be this way. Why should it? We cannot be held for the fault of our ancestors. There has to be something different that can be done. We've been so wholly focused on war that…we never bothered…" he shakes his head. I'm not saying an apology will be enough, it's either we continue fighting until one side wins, or we can try to prevent this from becoming another forty years of conflict. Wouldn't you like to turn thirty, see Marus graduate from school without the threat of conflict over our heads?" He puts an arm around her. "WOuldn't it be nice if you knew for certain that I'd come home every night?"

"I would like all of those things," Lyrienne agrees quietly. "The question, though, is whether or not there are enough other people, on both sides, who would also like all of those things. The Hostiles started this, so it's sort of key that they actually want to stop. We can't just stop fighting and hope they don't actually slaughter all of us. If they were ready to step back, given that we've never actually assaulted their world, don't you think they might have started with something other than attacks?"

"We'll never know if we don't try. If somebody doesn't try." Cedric points out. "And if we fail at that…then at least we know that the attempt was made, even if it wasn't heeded. I'm still willing to anhilate their entire race, Lyri, make no mistake, but it's the last thing I'd want to do. Ask me yesterday and if I were given the ability to do so, I would in a heartbeat. Now…now I'd rather try doing something that didn't invovle the countless deaths of humans on both sides. This is the terrifying thing about war, Lyri. Our enemy isn't some soulless creature that we don't feel remorse about killing. It's given the enemy a face. It's a little different when you know you're killing something that you can relate to."

Lyrienne arches a brow at her husband. "Maybe you thought they were alien, Ric. I've always believed they were something we could relate to. Unfortunately, they're something we can relate to that wants to kill us. That's life. Creatures great and small fight for resources, for survival, for themselves and their families. It's true of wolves and lions, drakes and foxes, rabbits and robins. Why would you have thought it would be any different with the Hostiles?"

"Hope." Cedric says, eyes looking down at his feet, then up to the board agian. "I wanted to believe it was different."

"The fact that it isn't doesn't have to mean the death of hope, Ric." Lyrienne presses a kiss to the side of his neck, gentle. "The way of nature is competition. We can't deny that completely. But as humans? As creatures with the capacity to reason, to be more than just animals? We can choose to act differently. And if the Hostiles are human, then so can they. Eventually. If we just find a way."

"Maybe it's selfishness." Cedric utters after a moment. "Maybe I just want to be able to spend my life with my family without having this war hang over our heads. And I know I'm not the only one who thinks as much." He shrugs after another moment of thought. "I think I want to know what I'm not being told. I think there's more to this, otherwise, why is it all classified? And why don't I have clearance? I'm going to be speaking to grandfather, see if I can get the answer from him. If…he's being lucid. In the end Lyri, I don't want to damn both sides to oblivion because of a mistake. You'd think we were better than that."

"I think that's fair," Lyrienne agrees, nodding. "Talk to your grandfather. And if that doesn't make progress, then talk to your father. And if that doesn't work, then I'll talk to Emund, if I have to." Sometimes, it's good to be a member of the royal family. "I'll check on the status of that request to see the captive, as well. And see if I can't get something useful out of my dreams," she adds with a sigh.

"If there's something that he, either of them know about Cantos that we should all know, something that could help stop this before it turns into a winding spiral of death, decay, and ultimately the anhilation of both our countries, then it should be done. I don't know if we can stop the war, I don't know if there's even a point in trying. It might be far to late for any kind of understanding. But if I don't do something and some years down the road, the Intent is in orbit of Cantos, giving the go ahead for a nuclear strike? To glass over and burn their world to ash? If I have to be apart of that, I want to know I did everything I could until it came to that." Turning to her, he places his hands on her hips. "And I can't do this without you."

Lyrienne leans up to press a kiss to his lips, soft and light. "Good thing we're together, then, isn't it?" With her good arm, she reaches up to cup his cheek in her hand, thumb brushing over his cheekbone. "I love you, Cedric. I love that you're the sort of man who can be ready to kill them all one day, then sad that we're fighting them the next. The way you think, the way you reason, the way you fight, and the way you don't want to fight. I love you."

"I thought we were fighting ghosts of humans. Emotionless machines that some abomination of a ancient technology or disease or alien had turned them into and sicc'd them on the rest of us. I never considered the idea that they were actually people." Cedric says, as if he were ashamed of that very fact. "And when I realized my mistake, I thought…it isn't right. There are reasons to wage war, but not over a mistake. Never over a mistake." A bitter laugh follows. "You make me sound like I'm either indecisive or wishy-washy."

"Well, you are a little bit," Lyrienne teases, laughing softly. "But I love it. I love you." She presses another kiss, then steps into the curve of his arms. "You're really much too good for the generation you were born into, Ric. But I think you can make it a better place for being here."

"And I would still be that way, ready to burn their planet to ashes, were it not for that Hostile saying what he or she had." Cedric replies. "I didn't want to think of them as something relatable. Something that I could see and know what it was. Maybe they are clones, like that Sarah. Based DNA off that…one woman, you know her, I don't. But even if that's the case…" his lips thin out. "I'm just a man, Lyri. Nobility and money and power are all just…" he waves a hand. "I'm just a man. But just a man who wants to protect you and his children you're carrying."

"And if they'd managed to kill me, then I have no doubt you would have destroyed as many of them as you could. By the same token, though?" Lyrienne looks up at him. "They came looking for a fight, Ric. If they can't win the fight they got themselves into, it's not our fault."

"If they had managed to kill you…" Cedric expression visably darkens. "I don't like to think about the place I would've gone to. I likely would've slaughtered every single one of them if I could. I don't…really like to think about that."

Lyrienne rests her cheek against his chest. "I know," she sighs. "I know." She gives him a gentle squeeze, then steps back, reaching out to take his hands and start backing out of the room. "So, you've made your connections. We've made our plans. I think that means we should be able to spend some time cuddling on the couch, don't you?"

"I think…" Cedric lets his shoulders slump, taking one last look at the board on the wall. "I think I've been thinking far too much the past couple of days, and not spending enough time with you." he says, looking down at Lyri. "That sounds like something we should catch up on. And how is your arm? Feeling better, I hope?"

"Better," Lyrienne agrees. "But I should probably put it back in the sling before we settle in. It hurts, but it will heal. And all of our group made it back alive. Thanks in large part to the fact that we had several Awakened in the group," she admits. "Otherwise, we'd all have been unarmed and quickly slaughter, I've no doubt about that."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License