— white ribbon
THE morning of an expedition would always be tense. The air would always feel much thicker than it normally was. The Scouting Regiment base would always be so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. That's just how it was. Everyone knew there wasn't going to be zero casualties. Everyone knew that there would be one or two or ten people who died on an expedition. But no one ever knew if it would be them. That's why those mornings were always so tense.
Kalia got used to those mornings. Somehow she managed to ignore the thick tension in the air and make her comrades crack a smile. It warmed her heart seeing them smile. She never knew if she'd see them again, so it made her happy to leave a lasting impact on their lives, even if it was just for a mere second.
That was another thing Kalia had gotten used to. Watching her comrades die was something she became accustomed to. It was inevitable. It was what she signed up for when she joined the Scouts.
There was a select few people who she knew she could count on. Who she knew would live long, happy lives because of their skill. Her squad, the Special Operation Squad that she lead along with Levi.
Kalia and Levi both held undeniable talent. They were both considered to be humanity's strongest soldiers because of their high kill count. Surprisingly, their different personalities seemed to work well together. In fact, Kalia was one of the only people Levi was able to tolerate. They were given the Captain titles only a few years back and were allowed to hand pick soldiers who they deemed as elite. In total, they picked four members, all of which who were incredibly talented. Together, their squad had up to over 200 kills.
Kalia liked her members. They were like a family to her. A family that she had to keep an eye on sometimes but a family nonetheless. She cared for them and each and every one of them held a special place in her heart.
"Good morning, Petra," Kalia said as she walked by the woman. From her peripheral vision, she saw the ginger haired woman tense up at the sound of her captains voice. "At ease," Kalia chuckled. "How are you? Walk with me to the sables, hm?"
Petra nodded and fell into step with Kalia. "I'm okay," she said quietly. She let her shoulders fall slightly. "Although, I'm a bit nervous." Her eyes perked up at her own words. She quickly backtracked. "But I'm always a bit nervous before missions! I'm fine, don't worry!"
Kalia chuckled again and shook her head. Petra was a few years younger than Kalia. But Kalia noticed that Petra still had the nerves of a new recruit. Sure, it was normal at first, but Kalia noticed how Petra was delayed in her actions at times, putting herself at risk. She always came through in the end, but Kalia wanted the young soldier to trust herself a bit more.
"Whatever you feel is normal," Kalia began, her voice warm and welcoming. It reminded Petra of her own mother. "Just know that those nerves should go away once we leave these walls. Out there is a world we know nothing about. A danger presents itself to us every time we set foot out of these walls. You need to trust yourself a bit more."