It caught her surprised that Fefnir took her hand in his, clearly evident on her face as Atlas took in his finishing words as a response to her own.
Of course he knew; these moments happened again and again over the course of two years… While Model F usually took great care in trying to intercept these, it was an impossible feat to fully block them out in all their nights together. Two years, the soldier thought, were too long a time to be holding on to such 'nightmares'. Too long, too long…
Usually after such an event, she’d go wash her face, walk the house to regain her bearings, calm down on the couch and go back to bed. It usually was good enough… But why had she lingered there this time, long enough for him to stop her here?
And then the question finally came out of Fefnir’s mouth. What was wrong? What was causing all of this? What indeed, and perhaps more importantly, if more so to her, why still? The thought of his worry dawned upon her as Atlas glanced again at his hand holding her own. Could she really hide her past for this long? Of course she could, but not without breaking down, time and time again, where no one could see her, that was, no one but the person she trusted most. Would it really help her to stay silent about this? If it was only going to keep her chained…
Despite shaking her head no, words spilled out on their own, "It’s not fair," the human began, "I should have gotten over this." But what, get over what, specifically? It seemed a hard thing to pinpoint.
Maybe a bit suddenly, Atlas said, “Being a soldier should have prepared me for losses, Fefnir. More so than I already knew. But…” Ridding herself of his gaze now, with a tight squeeze of his hand, “clearly I was never as strong as I thought I was.” Because even as she cast aside the weak masses in her departure, those lost souls clung to her anyway, her only defence to somehow solidify her heart in stone.
And just that had happened… Only days prior to the war, the soldier would no doubt have likely laughed amongst her few friends, but afterwards, with everyone gone, she was a completely changed woman.
Perhaps it was a shock to the system.
Shaking her head, feeling utterly conflicted on this issue, Atlas let go of his hand, letting out a sigh.
"I don’t know, it’s so complicated…" So many factors had her scarred, it was difficult to find the exact causing factor the fire guardian requested. Human tragedy was nothing simple. Even she didn’t understand her own reactions.
At first, Fefnir was willing to respect her privacy once more when she shook her head no to her question. However, the following ramble of words stopped him from dispelling his holographic projection so that she could get back to resting.
He listened to what she said carefully, and the words she spoke made some kind of sense to him. While he had not known much about her whatsoever at first, during his locked down state, he had learned a bit about her by listening, and watching, as it was all he could do at the time.
But now that he could communicate and interact with the world somewhat, he had done research on his own. And all he had found out was that she was the sole survivor of a distant country from a large scale maverick attack.
Perhaps that was what she was referring to?
If that was the case, the old reploid-turned-biometal could identify very much with that. No amount of programming could’ve prepared him for the original cyberelf wars, and the massive death toll it had. The affects of that trauma were just as bad as they were for a human, if not worse because memories stayed, clear as day, in a reploids mind, unless they were able to be deleted.
And such historical memories were too important to simply erase, not to mention the battle experience gained from such a war was vital to his survival henceforth from those days.
However, he knew that humans were more complex in their emotional construction, and so, he knew that if she had suffered as he had (and by the looks of things, she had) then maybe he could help her out a little bit.
"War is… not something that can ever be truly prepared for," he said softly. He looked at her hand grasping his, and he took said hand with both of his, "and nothing can prepare you for total annihilation. No training… nothing. It is something incomprehensible even to those that have been through it… as you and I have."
He blinked once at her and said, “how many years has it been since you fought in that war, Atlas?”
He had had hundreds of years to make peace with his memories, though being a cyberelf for about two hundred of those years had, of course, made his focus be on other things.
Like finding his siblings, for one.