Jason: Tours of Duty Part 5

Jason: Tours of Duty Part 5

May 23rd, 2183

Chris opened the front door to his house with a practiced swipe of his omni-tool. It was Friday, and he always spent Fridays with his old Alliance buddies down at the bar. 'The Mildewed Maiden'. The drinks were much better than the name implied, honest.

A loud clank rang out from the darkness further in the house, followed by the sound of shattering glass. Was he being robbed? A lifetime of training immediately kicked in and Chris moved for the Predator stashed behind the living room shelving unit. His eyes darted around the room as they adjusted to the lack of lighting. The moon outside gave away to a large hole in the living room window.

"Shit..." Chris muttered to himself. He slowly backed up towards the door, thinking better than to hunt down an intruder himself. Walking in on someone in the middle of a robbery is a good way to wind up shot. No, he'd just go outside and call the police. If the intruder exited through the front door, at least Chris had the means to defend himself now.

"....Uncle Chris...?" a voice called out from the veil of darkness blocking the kitchen from Chris' view. It was a familiar- quite drunk- voice. It was Jason's voice. "Is that you?"

Chris breathed a sigh of relief and quickly turned the living room lights on. "Jason? What in the hell are you doing here? When did you even get in town?" he asked, confusion washing over his face as he looked at the mess of glass all over his living room floor from the broken window.

As his gaze travelled to the kitchen, there was Jason. Now illuminated by the dim lighting of the adjacent room, Chris could see that he was sitting on the floor with his back propped up against the cupboard. A small pool of blood had formed beneath him, dripping from a nasty gash in his left arm. A broken glass was in a number of pieces all around him, but it didn't seem to be keeping Jason from his drink. He merely held the entire bottle of rum in one hand and slugged a large portion back.

"I-... I'm sorry, Uncle Chris." Jason slurred, "I must've lost my keys..."

Chris marches towards his nephew, laying his pistol on the kitchen counter as he approached the drunken man. "Jason, what in the hell is going on-..." he began, brimming with concern over the disturbing scene in front of him, but his eyes quickly shot to the bottle in Jason's hand, "Is that-... Seriously? You're drinking my good stuff?"

"Mmhmm. It's good."

Chris let out a groan. He wasn't angry, he just had no idea what else to say. 'Thought I was done with this shit when you joined the Alliance.' he caught himself thinking, and was immediately overcome with guilt.

"Come on, Jason, on your feet." Chris instructed, wrapping his arms around Jason and hooking each one under each of the drunk man's arms in a sloppy attempt at helping him up, "What in the hell has gotten into you?"

"She's gone." Jason said with a chuckle that very quickly steered into a string of sobs. He was mostly dead weight, but once he was lifted high enough, he gripped at the edge of the counter with his free hand to keep himself upright.

Chris reached out and grabbed the drunk man's wrist, turning it a bit to get a better look at the wound. "Ah, shit. You probably need to get this checked out." he sighed, not entirely sure what Jason was rambling on about. "Who is gone? What does that mean, Jason?"

Jason slammed the bottle down and Chris winced as he partly expected it to just erupt into a shower of glass and expensive rum. Thankfully it didn't. The younger man reached over and grabbed a dish rag to quickly tie a makeshift tourniquet around his arm, much to the dismay of his uncle who was now making a mental note to replace that rag.

"Mina." Jason continued to slur as he looked over his sloppy work with his arm. Ah well, the bleeding seems to have slowed. "Just-... Just shot her."

Chris quickly seemed to snap to attention, placing a hand on each of his nephew's shoulders and giving him a slight shake, "Wait, wait, wait, wait. What!? Mina was shot? Who!? Why!?" he asked, suddenly understanding why Jason is before him in his current condition. "Why didn't you call me? Why aren't you with her!?"

Why didn't you call me? It was a sobering question that Jason mulled over in his head. Why didn't you call me? The answer floating in his head sounded ridiculous to himself, even in his drunken state.

"I don't know. Someone just-... just shot her..." the young man said, giving a half-hearted shrug. "I didn't call because-... I didn't want to bother you."

"That's ridiculous!"

Yep. But it was true. He had always been a bother to Chris, even if his uncle wouldn't outright say it. He was forced into the man's life when Chris' brother- Jason's father- passed away. He stole years of the man's life, forcing him to raise another man's son, not to mention Jason wasn't exactly the easiest of people to deal with.

Chris' expression softened as he repeated his nephew's words in his head. Another pang of guilt shot through him. Is that the way he had made Jason feel? As if he was just 'a bother'? "I-... Jason, you wouldn't have bothered me, that wouldn't have-... We're family, for fuck's sake... Is she alright?"

"She's gone." Jason repeated. "Dead." It came out cold, and it was. The emotion was drained from Jason, replaced by a whole lot of alcohol and sleepless nights.

There was a long silence between the two men as the older of the two lowered his eyes to the pool of blood on his kitchen floor. He had no real words of wisdom, no fatherly advice, no motivational words. He opened his mouth to say 'I'm sorry.' but the words never made it out.

"I'm sorry, uncle Chris." Jason said, beating the man to the punch. It was a defeated and dejected apology, "I-... I shouldn't have broke your window. I just-... didn't know where to go. Mom and dad are both-... and now Mina-..." His eyes went glassy as a sob escaped, "I can't go back home. Not without her there. I feel-... I don't have anyone left..."

Chris wanted to hug the man who had been the closest thing to a son he had ever known, but it just wasn't in his nature. He swallowed his own emotions and squeezed Jason's shoulder, looking him straight in the eyes. "You've got me, Jay. You know that. And this is your home, too. You stay here as long as you need to, you hear me?"

Jason gave a short nod as his hand creeped back towards the bottle beside him.

Chris gave a loud sigh as he noticed the subtle movement. "Just-... calm yourself, alright? Let me grab a couple of glasses.