pain is weakness leaving the body
It was starting again, the intense headaches that Camilla hadn't felt but once before, a month prior. She was awake, laying in the dark. She could see the time ticking away on the clock next to the bed, she wasn't sure why she still had a clock really. The green glow got on her nerves sometimes, but it was there, almost like some sort of security blanket. A rememberance of a time before all these phones and things. A time when you had to use your phone after 2100 or pay more. A time when you had to change your number if you moved. Maybe that's exactly what it was.

Pain like this made her remember her three months at Parris Island. Three months of exhaustion, of pain, of pushing her body to the brink and then pushing it even further. She remembered people getting stress fractures, of sprains, of other injuries. She recalled how her body screamed at her, and how each day she went to bed thankful for sleep and each morning awoke begging for more. But it was worth it, it made her stronger, it made her able to face anything. And those thoughts, through the filter of the headache, are what got her out of bed. Those thoughts pushed her to not repeat last month, and stay home. Those thoughts got her in front of the mirror, where she could look at herself. Look herself in the eye.

She breathed out, standing in front of the bathroom mirror, her eyes taking her face in. She let her body adjust to standing there, letting the light filter into her eyes from the darkness before. She pushed her back and shoulders to be straighter, this wasn't who she was. This was weakness, weakness she'd already fought through. She was a Marine, she was the best of the best, a headache shouldn't put her down like this. It might hurt, but she was fine, the doctor said so last time. So she had to fight, to push, to be the best she could be. "You aren't this weak. You are a Marine, you are a soilder, you are stronger than this," she repremanded herself.

The voice in her head perked up. Was it a voice? A person? She felt crazy calling it an actual human being but she felt like that. It felt like that. Whatever IT was, was curious about what she was doing, who she was being and how she was talking to herself.

"Get it together Marine, you've been through worse than this. You've hurt worse than this. This is nothing. This is in your head. Your mental is stronger than your physical. If you don't pass out then you have more to give. Stand up straighter, focus, push through. This isn't what will break you. This isn't what will get you down. Now get dressed, and go to work." She needed this pep talk of sorts, this demand of herself. She wasn't some weakling. She was Camilla Cain, strength was in her blood and a headache wouldn't stop her.

Now I get it, you're a soilder. A warrior. Like me. Camilla didn't know what that meant, but as she focused on one foot in front of the other she started to get flashes, memories maybe? A story in her head? She saw what the thing inside of her knew, felt, was. She saw a warrior, someone like her. Different but similar. Strength and sarrow, pain and weakness, things that had to stay and things that had to go. This person, this person who had a name, that was sharing her head, they understood. They were a warrior, they were a fighter. They had power and strength and if Cami was willing to fight this, then so where they.

She wasn't really sure what switched in that moment, but she felt better. Lighter. She still hurt, her head was stil throbbing, but she knew she could survive it. She'd survived a lot in her life, a lot of loss and pain and this was purely physical pain. Physical pain was the easiest pain to survive. She pulled on her clothes, brushed her hair and looked at herself once more. "When we get time, we are going to talk. You're going to tell me who you are and how this happened." She didn't know if the voice would do it, but she was done. She needed the voice to do it and do it now.

I'm Cassandra. And we have a lot in common it seems that was something to know and learn. But did she want to know that? She had asked. So now it seemed like she'd be told.