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When Abalia received a call from her king, she tended to assume that meant duty was to be performed in short order. In fact, no sooner had she seen that it was Hayden than she was already preparing to go wherever she was needed. When she answered, however, and heard the tone of his voice, she realized that this was not something quite so serious. That said, any summons from the king was to be taken with at least some level of seriousness.
To arrive and see Hayden in such a relatively relaxed mood was...striking, to say the least. Not in the sense most might have used the word, but more that she simply had never seen him in such a state. It was something akin to noticing a minor detail on an everyday walk for the first time. Not something mind-blowingly new, far from it in fact, but something interesting simply for having never been noticed before.
“Counsel, sir? With all due respect, I should think that there are others who would be more suited to such things.”
Nevertheless, Abalia took a seat opposite her king as she answered, her hands crossed delicately in her lap as she looked seriously, yet not dauntingly, toward Hayden. Her attention was clearly on him, even as her mind raced with all manner of other things at once.
“But, if you wish it, then I will surely provide.”
Studying her king as he spoke, Abalia listened to his every word carefully, so as to best give her advice on whatever matter he might have spoken on. What she heard, then, was something that pleasantly surprised her, for it was far from an alien topic in her mind. She waited for Hayden to finish, of course, but after a moment or two to ensure that he had finished speaking, the adjutant replied with confidence.
“I have considered this quite frequently, sir. I understand how you feel, and before I continue I must always give my full opinion. Such a system should not be simply for all criminals. Those who wish it should certainly be given access, but do not make it mandatory. It would only be a waste of time to give that freedom to those unwilling to truly commit to it.”
Letting that bit sink in, Abalia crossed one leg over the other, getting as comfortable as she ever tended to, before continuing on.
“With that said, sir, Vastime is on the precipice of war, alongside the rest of the world. I believe you know that as well as I, and I suspect there is little that we would need in the event of such conflict more than people who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of maintaining Vastime's future.”
Abalia felt thoroughly confident that Hayden knew what she was about to say, but nevertheless, he had asked for her counsel, and she did not take half measures. A full explanation was the only proper course.
“I propose a penal legion like those of old, sir. That those condemned to mere sequestration within prison be given the opportunity to instead serve in the name of their nation, and to demonstrate their dedication to reform on the battlefield. They will, of course, be held to a standard higher than even our standard troops, but I would not dare suggest we send them to some lesser force. They will be watched, any hint of insubordination an assurance that they will simply return to their life of incarceration. But those who truly dedicate themselves will be more than mere reformed criminals. They will be agents of your will, and of the will of Vastime.”
That more or less summed things up, at least from Abalia's point of view. If it had not already been obvious, she suspected Hayden could surmise she had already considered this. Truth be told, she had planned to submit this idea of her own accord when she had a bit of time to herself, but doing so in this capacity was perfectly alright with her.
Abalia, for the most part, simply sat and listened to her king as he spoke. His passion was something she admired, and it was nice to see it rear its head again for the first time in quite a while. After all, such behavior was what had first drawn her to serve him and Vastime, and in that sense there was something almost nostalgic about it.
“I would gladly take on such a responsibility, sir. Such a thing is more than simple necessity for Vastime, it is what I would call a moral requisite. Current incarceration systems are all well and good, but how are we to provide more suitable methods of returning to society, and contributing in a meaningful way, without creating such a path for them? Labor may surely be acceptable as well, but this is of course penal in nature, and, frankly, this is far more necessary with the current world climate.”
She spoke calmly, perhaps even plainly, but she frankly had very little to say. After all, she was here to give counsel, but to do so meant to listen to her king first and foremost. She would give her earnest feedback, and do so when she saw fit, but...there was very little for her to say. She was content to listen to him for now, allowing him to simply speak as he saw fit. Though, that last request...