|And Back At the Pilots' Ranch|
|Summary:||While command commands and marines jabber, the pilots also exchange predictions of what's to come.|
|Date:||PHD 225 (29 Nov)|
|Related Logs:||Warm Hearth|
Red Squadron Berthings
Leda is at his bunk reading a book since he has the berthings to himself and so he can read when no one is looking. "One makes you smaller and one makes you taller." He says softly to himself as he read. He idly flicks a page and he begins reading the next one. In his mouth is a cigar which is also idly ashed as he reads.
Matto unzips his flightsuit again, to the waist, and strolls after Nadiv, wandering to his locker, "Hey, N, can I keep some needful things in here while I grab a shower?" he asks. Nadiv knows well enough the collection of needful things Kisseus habitually keeps on his person. Toes does, too, at that. But the other Red Squadroners might be less aware.
Roubani is tired. As most others are by now, with the impact of tonight starting to weigh down. "Of course you can," he murmurs back to Matto as he steps over the hatch threshold into 'home'. His gloves removed from under arm, they're tossed up onto his bunk. Komnenos isn't far behind the two. "Leda."
Samantha is currently asleep in her bunk. Sadly, hot bunking has oddly been working between her and Thorn, as they're on different CAPs, different shifts, and rarely get to share. Of course, it's sad because they LIKE to share…even if it means the bunks around them are actually able to get some sleep. She's still passed out in their now-shared bunk, one arm flopped over and hanging free of the edge of the curtain.
Thorn walks into Red berthings — his temporary home — with an uneven, exhausted gait. His flightsuit is streaked with blood, and the upper half is unzipped and crumpled around his waist. There's a light dusting of blood and dirt on his face as well, courtesy of Solon II, and his hair is tousled and matted with sweat. He leans against the edge of 'their' rack, running a finger lightly up Samantha's arm as he lights a cigarette. Anton manages a mild grunt of greeting to Castor before addressing Matto and Roubani. "T' an extent, I'm probably seeing something what isn't there. But…" There's a shrug.
The book is all but slammed shut and thrown behind him as he hears people coming. He straightens up and looks over at Matto and Roubani then Sam and Thorn enter and he plays it cool like nothing is wrong. There is nothing to see here people move along, just a man, sitting here, puffing on a cigar, puff, puff, puff. He then gives a greating to everyone as a shiny new change of subject, "Alright someone spill since you lot spent forever in there when we were ordered to clear. What did you learn?"
"Thanks, N," Kissy smiles as he opens up the locker and takes a brief survey. He's seen the inside of the locker before, of course, but now he's endeavoring to re-create something of a divestment ritual long established in his own locker, and finding a proper space for everything is important. Finally a bag of gummies is pulled from an inside pocket and set on a shelf. An inhaler, extracted next, is placed next to it. And a free hook to the bunk side of the locker is found on which to hang the medallon drawn out third. "We were just loitering in the corridor, Tinners," Kisseus explains, and, the ritual being completed with the utmost care, he begins to shuck the rest of his flightsuit, peeling up his undershirts as he shimmies out of the trousers.
Roubani tenses slightly at the sound of a slamming book. Startle Reflex Setting: High. "Not…very much, sir. Honestly. We were rather shooed off." He leaves Kissy alone to put his things down as he will, shrugging off the top half of his flightsuit.
Samantha stirs behind the bunk, her smile unseen, but a few moments after that gentle run of his fingertips cross her arm, the arm responds by reaching down and wrapping gently around the front of Thorn's shoulders, pulling him closer to the curtain. A heartbeat later, Sam's head and the bare line of her shoulders peek out the side of the curtain, drowsily resting her chin on his shoulder…"Hey, handsome…" She murmurs, eyes still half shut…"You smell like shite." She hasn't quite seen the blood yet, or the state of any of them… And then Castor's words catch her mind and her eyes shoot open, staring across at Roubani and Matto. "…What…the frak…happened??" Sam can, apparently, sleep through anything.
There's a different kind of sigh from Thorn as Sam's arm wraps around him, a wholly contended one. "Right. An' you smell like roses fresh out th' bleedin' cockpit, too." His voice is lightly teasing, but weary. He straightens at the sudden look of horror on Sam's face, and he steps back to give her a look at him. He's sweaty and dirty, but with no visible wounds. "Not t' worry, love, it's not mine," he adds hastily, before finally peeling off the 'suit altogether. "Little action on the ground. We…" Eyes flick around the room as Thorn glances to the others. "We found a battlestar." No, sometimes he's not the best at dramatic delivery.
"Yeah, we found a Battlestar and I don't know what to make of the new command? I mean what if we get reassigned?" He looks around the room, "I mean you guys are my family." He then looks over at everyone again and he frowns, "Well, hopefully we won't get reassigned." Leda then takes a puff of his cigar and he looks a little worried.
Roubani ducks quietly into the head as they talk, holding a pair of sweatpants and a fresh T-shirt. WHen he comes out, just a few seconds later, he's out of flightsuit and into the new clothes. No public disrobing for him.
Matto manages his way out of his boots and gathers up the flightsuit like a shed skin, folding it and setting it along one side of Nadiv's locker, then just pitching his undershirts and, soon, underdrawers as well in with the Poet's dirties. They'll certainly be able to tell the difference come wash day, right? About as bashful about being nekkid as he ever was in Black Squadron, he looks back toward Tinners briefly, but doesn't comment, turning back toward Nadiv as he reappears, drawing out a towel from the locker and holding it up with a 'can I borrow?' sort of look.
"Frak…" Sam breathes out gently, ducking back behind the curtain so she can pull into a tank top before she slips it open and swings her legs down, coming to stand near the changing Thorn. "…I…I doubt we'll be reassigned. I mean, we all work best together… We know each other. It'd make no sense…" She reassures, rather firmly, looking across the men present for their thoughts on the matter… reading their faces. She leans over, helping Anton up with his flight suit…just doing what she can to assist the man, though she does pause and pull him into a brief kiss before properly releasing him.
"Well, that's probably up t' our new Admiral, isn't it?" Thorn's indignance isn't focused on Castor, or really anyone in particular. "Who knows? There's arguments for integrating th' crews," he continues bitterly, but doesn't elaborate. "Ask me, it'd be daft, but… no one is." Asking him, that is. He gives a soft "mmrf" of surprise as Samantha kisses him, and his features soften somewhat. As she pulls away, he goes back to peeling out of his dirty clothes and pulling a fresh set out of Sam's now-crowded locker. "I suppose we'll just have t' see, at that. They'll bloody well do what they do, eh?"
Leda looks at Sam, "They were already eyeballing our birds and I hope it was because they want to send us spare parts." He then looks over at Matto and Roubani and he smiles for a moment and then takes another puff of his cigar, "On the other hand Sam, this is the military, they decide all sorts of things that don't make sense." He ashes his cigar as he watches Sam kiss Thorn and he shrugs, "We will have to wait and see."
"I would not," Roubani comments quietly as he heads back towards his locker with his flightsuit, "Be surprised, quite honestly, if we simply…moved." He clears his throat softly. "I mean, really. With the Kharon in the state she is? We're barely flying. And if they do wish to compress, they have very limited options where this ship is concerned." He blinks as he notes Matto standing there NEKKID and coughs softly, motioning to the towel. Yes, take it!
"…A battlestar, eh?" Sam breathes out quietly, considering that possibility…"A bit more room… it'd be nice, maybe. Wonder if their birds are lookin' better than ours… though I'll miss the occasional double CAP…won't be necessary if we're over crewed." Until more people die. She gives a little wolf-whistle at the nekkid Matto, grinning to him and Roubani, before she looks back to the changing Anton and just openly stares. "You could at least shake your hips, handsome, if you're gonna give us a show. Show Kissy how it's done…" Relaxed and comfortable, she and THorn are finally falling into the old married couple stage of things.
Matto does take it. And even unfolds it, wrapping it around his hips and tucking it closed. For Nadiv's sake, of course. "We could always just have a vote and promote the Knight to Commander and Cortez to Admiral. I mean, who makes those decisions now, anyway? Then we'd match them rank for rank. But N's right. Kharon's looking closer to scrapped every damn day," he says as he makes for the showers. "And our Vipers aren't looking too hot, either. Unlike their pilots, of course," he adds, with a smile cast back for the boy before he gives Sam a 'now, now' kind of eyeing, though with a playful grin, and scoots into the shower.
"He's right," Thorn chimes in after a long pull of a cigarette, with a jerk of the chin at Roubani. "Forget integration, reassignment, whatever. Strip this bucket for parts, cram us all in on Hestia… solves a lot of logistical problems. Hestia could use the parts, I think, and Kharon's days as a fighting ship are over." His eyes narrow. "But then that gives you a whole bloody new set of issues. Now you've got two crews for one ship. Two commanders. Two XOs. Two CAGs. Who steps down? Who takes a back seat? They've gone daft over there if they think our people will be happy playin' second fiddle t' theirs." The accent thickens as Thorn gets more animated. An eyebrow crinkles in Sam's direction, and after a brief pause, he very deliberately goes back to what he was doing. Anton's not bashful, but he's no exhibitionist, either.
Leda looks at Roubani for a moment, "Move? Seriously? Move? Do you know how much shit I have squirelled away here for trades and things I need?" A puff is taken from his cigar as he says, "It would take me a week along to move it all without being seen and then where would I put all my stuff on the new ship?" He then says, "And what would happen to Papabear and Mamacat? They'd be demoted or at least they wouldn't be in command." He looks at Thorn, "Oh, they'd choose their own over any of us. Now, we could work in tandem and have two ships with fighter capability but if we merge the Kharon side just gets eaten."
Roubani's face is red. Which gets better once there's no outright modesty violations in his immediate vicinity. He tsks softly at Kisseus and heads by, off towards his bunk. A nod Thorn's way. "Well. The logistics of upper command is theirs to figure out. Though I would assume the power-in-place on Hestia would stay in place. Unless there is some glaring issue of seniority of service." He glances at Castor as he hefts up to sit on his bunk. "We don't have two fighter ships. We have a battlestar and a battered, beaten carrier that is about to collapse."
Samantha nods in affirmation to Roubani's words, even if her eyes are all for Thorn…"Yea. I mean… we're still in the military. There's still a chain of command. It's not thrown out the window while we're on our own… we're military officers and we serve in a military chain. End of story. I think we can handle it. It's what we were trained to do." Sam seems actually rather calm about it all, scooping up Thorn's dirty laundry now and balling it up tightly to tuck in the laundry bag at the very bottom of her locker.
Matto looks dutifully tsked-at, but still smiles for Nadiv as he passes by. Once in the shower, he de-towels again and hangs it on the door. "In terms of squadron leadership, even if we do go live over there, I don't see why they wouldn't keep Marek and Legsy in command of Red and Black squadron, respectively. Then have the two squadrons on Hestia with their own proper leadership. At least at first. Easier than full integration, could be great for complex missions, too. Kharon vipers have x part of the mission, Hestia vipers concentrate on doing y…" Kisseus trails off as the water starts up. He might still be talking, but it's hard to hear, and he sure can't hear anything out this way.
There's a startled glance from Thorn as he goes to pick up his dirty laundry, only to find it already removed. He murmurs thanks to Sam, taking a pull from his cigarette then offering it to her as he nods to Roubani. "I don't expect the admiral or her XO t' step down, of course. But if they're going t' integrate our crew into theirs, then they bloody well better integrate it, if y' know what I mean. Put our people in command positions they have the seniority for." Eyes move to Matto. "Could work. We still at least have th' pilots t' mostly fill out two squadrons, even if we're short on birds. But Hestia can handle that, I'll wager." At that last, Komnenos' voice is a mixture of sarcasm and envy. Hell, that behemoth of a ship probably has a whole damn production facility on board.
Castor looks over at Roubani and he says, "Well, I mean I know we got hit bad in the last one but I mean we also don't know what kind of shape the Hestia is in either right? And if we are leaving the Kharon behind then that means stripping this entire ship down since we will need the parts." Castor says, "Pulling it all anything useful goes." He begins thinking in his head as his mind shifts from stuff that they have on the Kharon to the things that make up the Kharon that the Hestia might need and he then looks over at Thorn, "Well, where ever Papabear goes I want to go. Not that I get a say in it."
"I daresay they haven't got to do anything," Roubani says, mildly. "This is the military. We owe our loyalty to our chain of command, whoever that is deemed to be. They may have trust to earn, but if it rocks the boat so hard that we cannot function, then we are not doing our jobs. And I trust that Cortez and Demitros will act as they must." He reaches down, pulling a boot off. "But, anyway. We won't know until at least tomorrow."
Samantha nods simply to Thorn, shutting her locker with her hip and stepping up to him to lazily, still mentally mussy with the last fingers of sleep. She wraps her arms around him from behind and drowsily rests her chin on his shoulder as he smokes, just perching and leaning there for simple comfort…"Not our decisions to make or to bitch about. Our jobs are to fly birds and take orders. As long as I can keep doing that, I'll be a happy woman. End of story."
Matto doesn't contribute anything further for now as he slumps in the shower, turning up the heat, turning up his face into the scalding spray and billowing steam, letting it soak his sinuses and throat, then tipping his head down into it, wetting his hair before applying some shampoo.
"Y' can't sit there and pretend like it's the same bloody military we signed up for. It's not," Komnenos says to Roubani. "We've seen we can't even trust all of the people on our own ship. How do we know who — or what — we're taking orders from?" He looks defiantly to the others. "I don't know what th' rest of you think, but I'm starting t' believe Ozymandias was… what she says she was. All we know, could be more of them on Hestia. And we wouldn't have a frakkin' clue who they were." Thorn's expression is a little pinched, but his tone is still fairly even, if emphatic. "I've no problem with following orders, mind. But I'm not about t' be burned for letting my guard down too early, either."
Castor looks at everyone and the when Thorn speaks he begins to nod in agreement, "Did you know, she put that bomb in my locker? We trusted her and fat lot of good that did us." He says, "An ounce of prevention is all I'm saying. I'll follow orders but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open."
"And we can sit and pretend that if we don't keep some semblance of order, we're lost," Roubani replies to Thorn. His voice never raises. "If we go to pieces over each other, we're even further of sitting ducks for the cylons than we have been." He draws a breath in throgh his nose, pulling off his other boot and sliding it onto the shelf. "I am not saying march blindly in. But I am saying there has to be a balance. We are still at war."
Samantha frowns at Thorn's slightly more than paranoid words, her arms tightening around him, just a bit, rubbing one reassuring hand across his stomach. Not really a massage, but a calming, quiet gesture of reassurance. "…Anton… the cylons are machines. Metal. Robots. Not Ozymandias. She was crazy…sadly so. But everything that's happened is enough to break a few. Sadly, she was broken. Yes, we're at war. We keep our guards up…but we do our frakking jobs, too."
The universe is probably glad that Kissy didn't hear Toes actually claim to believe that Jules was a cylon. 'Cause, well, he's only seen her in passing, but he's pretty sure that there isn't enough make-up in all the conquered colonies to make a cylon look like that. But soon enough he's done soaping and rinsing and generally pinkening his skin with the hot spray, and the water cuts off. He towels off some, and is drying his hair, towel over head as he wanders back in, drying behind his ears with his fingers.
"I'd heard." Thorn nods to Castor. He looks back to Roubani, one bushy eyebrow crinkled. "Rock an' a hard place, eh, Nadiv? How far do you go t' either side? How far is too far?" Thorn comprehends the problem, at the very least. A moment later, he stiffens as Sam speaks into his ear. "Don't patronize me, Samantha," Anton replies tiredly. "Too many bloody coincidences. And when coincidences conform to a single pattern, chances are it's not coincidence at all. Machine? Sure, she didn't look like one, but she definitely wasn't one of us."
"If I were using espionage against an enemy," Roubani remarks, quietly, as he pulls his legs up. "I would do so in a way that undermined their structure. Encouraged widespread mistrust as much as possible, got them to fall into chaos. That is the power of such things, fear. Not to say it isn't warranted, but we can't turn a blind eye to the fact that this may be just what they want. After all, if all they wished to do was kill, then they're certainly wasting time, now aren't they." He nods slightly to Thorn. "Anton, do you remember what I asked you on Scorpia, our first night? I said that every war has turncoats. And every war does."
Samantha rolls her eyes quietly, sighing as she plants a kiss against the side of Thorn's neck, still loving even when he annoys her, and then pulls away. "…Not much we can do to change anything. So why bitch. Now…you wanna frak or am I going back to bed alone?" She asks him flatly, giving him a pointed look and then gazing up to her bunk. "The offer is there, crankypants." His hair is getting ruffled either way, trying to break his bad mood in anyway possible, before she looks back to the others…"Everyone…just relax however you can… we're off duty and it don't matter until tomorrow. Just enjoy it."
Leda looks over at thorn, "And then she died before we could put her up to the firing squad? What the frak man?" He looks over at Roubani, "I'm not disagreeing with you I'm just saying open eyes are a good idea since I don't want to see anyone else I know dead or end up dead myself." He shrugs, "The Hestia might be in good shape and maybe we will end up there and if we do I will play a long but I still think looking is a good thing because if we go the blind devotion route then the metal could manipulate us into a place where they could kill us all at once."
Matto doesn't even know what turns the conversation has taken, and, once he's got the water out his ears and the towel around his waist again, he doesn't even seem keen on catching the thread again, only returning to the side of Nadiv's bunk, looking up in a silent inquiry.
Roubani's dark eyes shifted to Castor at some point, head not moving. And there they've stayed for what pushes up against an uncomfortably long time, level and quite unreadable. Then they turn away, looking down at Matto, and he gently pats the mattress next to him. Good kitty, come on up.
At this point, Thorn is too damn tired to argue… and it could well be that his exhaustion is helping fuel his seeming paranoia. Whatever he's about to say is cut off by a yawn. After a consternated look around the room, he nods to Samantha. What, she expected a different answer to that question? For now, the argument is tabled as far as he's concerned. He scurries up the ladder to her bunk and slumps on his side, scooting over to make room.