Log:In the General's Office
Ambrosia is waiting, standing with a little lean on hip against the hologram projector console. In one hand is a datapad, tucked halfway under the other arm by folded elbows.
Merek makes his way into the place, looking about while he settles to stand, offering a salute to Amber, while he shifts both hands so he can come to attention while he speaks, "General." He looks a bit more lanky than usual, also tired.
"Private," Greystorm returns the salute. Stiffly. Her expression remains impassive for now, as mechanical as the movement of her saluting arm. "Punctual. Thank you. Sit." She motions to one of the chairs encircling the projector console while she, herself remains standing. "I'll make this quick, so you can get back to your duties."
Merek moves to take a seat. He doesn't speak, he doesn't try to offer his opinion. He just listens, looking a lot different than he has before. It seems that the situation that this whole conversation is about changed a lot about him also.
"Right," the aging soldier kicks off the proceedings with a gruff little grunt and idly wags the datapad in the air at her side. Its up and down rhythm marks time with the cadence of her speech. "As is circulatin' around by now, I've been out of commission awhile. Gave the docs a scare with the hardware they put inside...seems my guts are as ornery as my head. Which suits me just fine. What doesn't suit me fine is what I've been readin' and hearin' tricklin in during that time about your own little 'medical' adventure.
"The fact that you were not only embarking on, but captured and grievously wounded during -quite costly in terms of our medical supply required to rebuild you -- a personal weapons run unsanctioned by the Resistance is a.....for lack of a simpler, more clearcut term: Problem. It's a problem.
"I'm not sure I've ever had a soldier in my ranks with quite so rampant a death wish or string of poor choices, cept maybe - possibly - for Heksash'Kuri, who had the good graces to pursue a calling elsewhere and free up some room in my datacube for incident reports. So I ask you, Private Black, what possibly possessed you to throw caution to the wind and take out a damn 'want' ad?"
"Unsanctioned is not the term I would use, I inform people when I'm doing things, I thought it'd be as simple as swinging by a market like I do any other time when I'm doing cargo runs or when I'm about," Merek admits, with a nod to Amber also. "The gear which I asked for is for sale for the public also, I didn't use my name for that ad. I have no idea why a Knight of Ren would take interest." He then seems to think a moment, "But, I've learned it was not the best idea, and I'm not making any excuses, I'm explaining why I was looking for it, which is because since I was put back into the army, I wanted a weapon I know to use, especially for missions that are private, since for some weird reason we put the Resistance logo upon our usually weapons."
Ambrosia's eyes narrow. "You need an unmarked gun or blade you ask -- we've got plenty -- or pick one up in a shop, where there's enough other folk who'll blend in, and less likely t'be something they're on alert for. Marked weapons have a habit of finding their way home. Like the rifle loaned to a former merc of mine who made the mistake of putting it back in circulation which enabled me to track his ass and serve it up on a platter, so he may rot while awaiting the inevitable execution."
Greystorm stalks a half circle around Merek's chair, far as the table's position allows. "Who signed off on your pursuit of this item? We cannot protect you, we cannot keep you safe, if you don't take measures - every day - to do so for yourself. This isn't the first time Arcanteel or the Order's had its way with you since your defection, I know. But this is the first time it was purely by your own devise. You weren't on a mission to secure munitions. We plan carefully thought-out raids for that sort of acquisition. And even /those/ have a degree of risk inherent where things could go terribly wrong. But at least we have each other's backs, in the field. We don't strike out alone.
"There's been a target on your back from the day you left their ranks. One that's gotten hotter with time, with every encounter you have with them. Frankly, I'm questioning why the man didn't just finish you off and be done with it, but maybe he's got some human side, some sense of humor afterall, or at least for damn sure, some /creativity/. Black in a box. Ingenius." Ambrosia shakes her head, mouth set into a grim, unhumorous line.
"But y'know what, kid? You ain't the only body around here who's nothin more'n a walking target to the FO and their paid hunters. Take myself, for instance. I'll reckon lots of'em still think I'm dead - and I was - but I've shown my face a time or two since. From afar. You see, I know the security risk I inflict upon us as a whole when I leave safe harbors. I know I'm a walking payday. Ideally, I off myself before they get a chance to do what they do best, but there's no guarantee I'd get that kind of chance. So I stay home. Here. The fleet. Among brethren. I'd love to join you lot on a raid or boarding party or two here and there, but duty declares I stay secure. Cut ties with my kin, with my own children? Yessir. They may loathe me for it, but staying a ghost keeps them safe and it helps keep /us/ safe. Here. Helps keep our fight alive. I play it smart. As boring as smart is....it's necessary."
Is she.....done? It was more than a lungful, that rant, and her face has gone a shade of red, bordering on purple. No surprise then when she pauses for a moment to catch her breath and retrieve a glass from the console top. The water pitcher alongside is swept up in hand and tipped to pour a nice, cool refreshment.
"Well, it wasn't, I admit. I know it is all on me, I was trusting, thinking that it would not be any problem, I learned," Merek mentions. He doesn't add a lot to that, instead he listens to all that Amber says to him, while he seems to consider it a moment. "As for why he sent me back, probably because he enjoys people being through that all and also having nightmares. I don't try and know what's on the minds of those that give in to the dark side of the Force." He nods also at her words as well.
"Probably nothing good," Ambrosia surmises with a growl and sip of her water. "But while we're on the topic, I've spoken with those who collected you, who treated you. I've got eyes on the civilian medical team as we speak, and am in process of corrseponding with them, as well. So tell me. Medical report aside," she wags the datapad. "Have you completed the psych eval?"
"Well, General Organa made sure I always visit my psyche, that said, I haven't had anything but the basics, we don't have a lot of psyches available in the military," Merek mentions, while he lifts his shoulders a bit. "I was scanned by our intel satellite fleet, I asked for them to also check my ship, which is scanned as well, so if there's a civilian problem they would know."
"If there's a tracker problem, they would know," Greystorm corrects. "We got enough head-pickers on payroll to perform what they deem a 'thorough' eval and that's what we've gotta make do with, till someone even more shrinky-dink comes along. But as for you, no more solo runs. No more want ads. If you hear through the gossip train there's a lead somewhere on decent gear, you inform us and we plan accordingly. Clear?"
"Will I still be able to do all my normal Resistance cargo? I do have a pilot assistant aligned with us that can probably manage to do a bit," Merek mentions, while he nods a bit as well. He then seems to think about it, "Clear," he adds. "Though, as we're on the subject, what person would I ask about getting some equipment that isn't licensed also, General?"
"You will take a member from your squad unless personnel is otherwise approved by me. And it isn't /your/ cargo, Black. This is not for your financial gain. It is ours. Who is this 'assistant'? Far as equipment goes, submit to me a request stating item and reason you think you have a need for them in your foot locker." Amber dips a stern brow. "Need for discipline aside...I've had a very different sort of report make its way into my stack. One that doesn't make my blood boil. Sounds like you pulled your head out your shorts long enough to make some /good/ calls. Says you were instrumental in helping the jedi Yuun get to safety, fend off attackers during a recent Op. Proof that you can, in fact, make a good judgement call in the heat of the moment. And that word of commendation is the one thing standing in the way between you and the proverbial door outta here. It's saved your ass. So let's see more of /that/ Pvt Black and less of the one making rash decisions that expose himself during personal errands. It does our war effort a great disservice to put your neck out there for personal gain. Equipment or otherwise.
"My co-pilot is an approved smuggler for the Resistance, I can send you more details on him," Merek mentions, with a nod to Amber, "I understand, I didn't mean it that way, also I will make sure to only travel with the assigned squad mate." He seems thoughtful a moment with those words, "I will do all I can to do a lot better," he adds. There's a nod to the words about request gear also. "And, no more want ads without approving."
"Good," Ambrosia grunts and tosses back the rest of her water. "Now that you're back, in one piece, I want a detailed report of /your/ account of the incident, sent to my 'pad. Consider it an AAR. And consider yourself on a probation of sorts. Anymore stunts and I'll have no choice but to discharge you for the liability you are."
The empty glass clunks down atop the console under the weight of her hand, while weight of her stare remains on Merek. "There is no room for rogue activities in my Army. Every boot falls in line with those beside and those in front. Every eye looks to its commander, every ear awaits permission. And every gun obeys its orders. Doesn't write its own." Staring for a heartbeat more, she then nods and looks away. "Dismissed."
Merek offers a light salute which is to Amber, while he nods a bit also to the words, while he makes a way on from the meeting also.