Stoic

From the Story Arc: Battle Stations: Aftermath

Previous Story in the Arc: Awakening by Krasnaya Zvezda (Friday, April 14, 2006)

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(posted Saturday, April 15, 2006)

The couple referred to as the Krasniye - Reds, as a reference to their hero names Red Dawn and Red Sunset – sat in the living room of their Founder's Falls apartment, the television tolling the news of the day. Of course, the events in King's Row and adjacent zones of Paragon City were the highlights of every broadcast. Heroes rarely flatlined nowadays, between the Emergency Teleport System and the abundance of resurrection powers; to lose so many in one protracted battle was unheard of.

Neither of them were watching the television, which was normal for them – they never really got the hang of American broadcasting. There was a newspaper spread out on the table, crossword half-completed from before they were summoned over the communicator to take part in the recapture of the CCCP base. Sofia hastily removed the old plates from their unfinished meal, replacing them with a new, more robust dinner. Sasha plopped down in the chair and started eating without a word; he had been on the verge of fainting the entire trip home, having expended far too much of his energy that day.

After his third slice of roast, he was able to slow himself down enough to talk, his Russian clipped by his fatigue. “How many did we lose?

Four. Five. I'm not entirely sure,” Sofia sighed, forcing herself to eat. She turned her eyes towards the television for a moment. “There were much more, but they weren't CCCP. We'll find out tomorrow.

Sasha nodded. “It could have been worse. The Rikti -” He cut himself off. Both of them had lost a great deal during the Rikti War. “I am surprised this hasn't happened earlier. The CCCP has put away a lot of villains, disrupted a lot of schemes. The fact Red Saviour gets to retire is astounding. We should be happy we've done so well.

Sasha...

He grimaced under the sharp gaze of his wife and returned to eating. He hadn't wanted to stick around during the aftermath, and his weakness had made a good excuse for them to return home. It wasn't because he would break down, but that he couldn't stand to watch the others break down. The tears had already come to many of them, and he was afraid that his lack of sorrow would cause problems.

He was simply happy that they had won the day. That they had lived.