Jason: Tours of Duty Part 2

Jason: Tours of Duty Part 2

April 14th, 2178

...Connection Established...

Static frosted over the video feed. The downside of being out in the middle of nowhere.

"Hey, you." Jason said as the quarian's face came into view, "Bet you didn't expect to see me again so soon, huh?"

It had only been three days since he set off for his current tour. It was always difficult getting reacclimated to life onboard a ship. Especially after living a normal life for months. He could still almost smell Mina's scent on his clothes.

"I was hoping not." she admitted with a dejected sigh. It wasn't a low blow. Jason had promised he would call before his first assignment. Mina wasn't exactly in favor of it, but she wasn't going to tell him no. It was hard to miss somebody so much, yet dread the idea of them getting in contact with you because of the danger it meant they were in. But if it eased his burden a bit to speak to her before doing what he needed to do, then so be it.

"I know." he agreed, his omni-tool jostling around a bit as he struggled to keep it from moving around in his bunk, "We got called up first. That's just how it is sometimes. On the plus side, that means we should be moved to the back of the rotation after tonight." His hands were folded together in his lap. He spoke slowly and quietly, a far cry from his normal obnoxious, loud behavior. Mina understood, though, he was probably mere hours, or even minutes away from boarding a hostile ship. It had to be stressful.

It was tough on both ends. For months at a time, they felt like a real couple. They lived together. Went out. Did all the things normal couples did. But so long as Jason agreed to another tour, it would always be on borrowed time. Mina knew the Alliance was important to Jason. She didn't dare try to talk him out of it. But she also wondered if he was there for the wrong reasons. Was he just trying to impress a man that he so desperately yearned for the approval of? A man that was no longer even around to give it to him?

"That's good at least." she said. It was small talk. It was bullshit small talk. He was about to rush headlong into people trying to kill him, and they were making small talk.

The mood was uncomfortable for a number of reasons. He wasn't nearly as frantic as he was during his first tour, but it was obvious that his nerves were a wreck. Part of Mina just wanted to reach through the screen, shake the living hell out of him and shout, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF!?" Another part of her just wanted to hug him and tell him it would all be okay.

"Alright, Romeo." a voice called from off-screen. Mina recognized the voice as Gage, Jason's squad leader. She had met him a few times. He seemed like a good man and Jason practically worshipped the ground he walked on. "Tell our girlfriend we gotta go protect the galaxy."

Jason lowered his gaze and chuckled a bit. It was a guarded, but genuine chuckle. "You heard him, Mina. I've gotta go. I'll see you soon. I promise."

Mina angled herself as if she may be able to look past the bounderies of the holographic display and get a view of Gage if she tried hard enough, "You take care of him, Gage!" she shouted, "If he gets hurt, I'm going to kick your ass!"

The man's infectious laugh came through the omni-tool, "Yes ma'am!" he responded, "Don't you worry 'bout a thing, I'll keep him safe out there."

"I love you, Jason."

"I love you, too."

...Connection Terminated...

The connection died and Mina shut down her omni-tool. She glanced around the apartment, considering a few projects to keep her mind off of things, but she knew she'd just end up sitting at the kitchen table until she heard back from him. Her heart would jump into her throat the moment her omni-tool began to beep as she wondered whose voice she'd hear when she answered. Jason, coming off a combat high, eager to let her know he's fine? Or Gage, unable to look her in the face as he delivered bad news?

Jason stood from his bunk and got a pat on the back from Gage as he maneuvered to gear up near his footlocker. "You got yourself a good one, Jason." the man said as he began to suit up, "Don't you go breaking her heart."

Jason pulled on his gauntlets with a scoff, "Not gonna happen. You ever just get this feeling that something was meant to be?" he asked, casting a sidelong glance at the older man, "That's what this is. I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with her. I just... I feel it, you know?"

"Squads: Bravo and Echo to Deck 3 for breaching preparations!"