|Summary:||Epi stops by the Sec Hub for a status check & the CAG drops in to retrieve his weapon.|
|Date:||PH222 (27 Nov 2009)|
CEC Kharon, Deck 2, Security Hub
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #222
OOC Time: Fri Nov 27 13:31:53 2009
A pair of staggered desks flank the entrance, one occupied during most hours by a desk sergeant, and the other rotates between other personnel. In the back is a bank of monitors on the port wall in a 180 degree view. The arc of stacked flatscreens is under the watchful eye of an MP or three during most hours of the day, and recorded for review otherwise. These monitors are visible from the S2's desk (directly across on the starboard wall) and the station set just in front of them. One of the feeds always on display is a feed of the Brig. Other secure areas have been wired in since warday. A Colonial Marine Corps flag hangs proudly in the corner, accompanied by pictures of Marines in action and paintings depicting famous battles of the Cylon War and other actions. An armored door at the far end of the room displays in bright white lettering 'Primary Small Arms,' and holds the main locker for storing the rifles and explosives aboard. A hatch midway through the room leads into the Small Arms Range.
Salazar sits at the CO's desk, wearing her usual ensemble of boots, black fatigues, black tee, sidearm, knife, tags, and, today, a slight line of tension to her shoulder, which is also visible in the set of her jaw. A large empty storage bin rests on the decking beside her desk, lid nearby. There's nothing on the desk, nothing in the bin. Nothing in her hands. She sits, and she waits.
Epi walks in, moving a little slowly, but with a bit more bounce than before. She looks rested. Someone's been following orders. Of course, she stops short when she sees Salazar. The salute is automatic, though the 'ohshit' look she gives the S2 is as well. She looks from the S2 to the desk to the bin then back again. "Afternoon, Sir."
It's good when people follow orders. The more people that follow orders, the less likely it is she'll haul off and shoot Damon or Homer the next time they push a button when she's in a bad mood. There's a pause before her eyes find the petite marine, and Salazar's hand comes up to return the salute. "Afternoon, Jarot." The S2 takes a breath, and then rises from her chair. She leaves the box where it sits. "Feeling better?"
"Aside from projectile vomiting all over Jacobs last night, Sir, feeling much better." Then she flashes the woman an all too innocent smile. "He was trying to make a point and poked me in my bad shoulder. I was proud of him, though. His first question wasn't to ask if I was knocked up. It only took one explanation for him to figure out why I hurled." She's so proud of the medic.
"Projectile vomit all over Jacobs." Salazar repeats the phrase, and a tiny hint of a smile quirks the corner of her lips. That kind of thing would brighten anyone's day. Well, maybe not Jacobs'. "Did you sock him after he poked you?" Sal would have. Then again, she did the same thing to the CAG last night. Also to prove a point.
"Nah," Epi replies with a grin. "I was too busy throwing up on him. He was nice about it, though. He checked me out to make sure that I wasn't infected. I'm just about good to go. I have to take it a little easier for a day or two, but then I'll be back to normal." Her head tilts a bit to the side. "How about you, Sir?"
Salazar shakes her head slightly, "This is all just cosmetic." She indicates her neck and should briefly. That may not be what Epi meant when she asked, of course. "It'll work itself out. Have you checked on Swift today?"
"He was asleep when I stopped by," she says with a sigh. "Which is a good thing. He's running a fever, off and on. Got an infection somewhere." No, she's not quite happy about that. "Have you had your coffee today?"
Sal usually mainlines the coffee, but there is no mug in evidence on her desk, or recently washed. She glances over to Jarot, then shakes her head, "No. No, I haven't." She thinks on it a moment. "PFC Torres should be ready for discharge any time now. Medical's been a little lax in sending out their memos this week." Must be a back log, what with all the new patients. "Jarot, if you'd like to give some demo pointers to the new recruits, to see if any have potential, you're authorized."
Epi simply nods to Salazar then moves over to the sludge pot. It doesn't even take her a moment to find a mug and fix the S2's coffee the way she likes it before bringing it back. "I promise not to blow them up, Sir," she comments, tone a little dry. "So, do you want me to hold the bag while you beat the shit out of it or do you want to sit with me while we create some little charges to handle things we need them to handle? You're not the type of woman to want to sit and talk it out over a glass of chianti and a box of tissues. Unless I miss my guess, you really, really need to hurt something right now."
Salazar is easy when it comes to coffee: black. She only over sugars it when it's extra thick and strong, the likes of which will burn holes in the stomachs of those not used to it. But then it's done with a honey and sugar combo with spice. It's a Nikos thing, don't ask. She takes the mug. "Gracias," she murmurs under her breath, then takes a sip. Eyes dark as the hot liquid find the other woman again, then she's silent for a beat. "In this situation, I would normally tap Peri. He's the only one who can safely withstand full on attack, and even if it broke something, he wouldn't take it personal." She smiles slightly, but it's gone quickly. Maybe she's spending too much time around Marek. "The bag won't cut it."
"Then blowing shit up it is," the little woman says with a small smile. "We can work on mouse farts. I've got a containment unit set up at the range for practice." Likely something she's tucked away. "I've been trying to figure out some explosives we could use for centurions. There's got to be something. Do you know if anyone's worked on getting something that will stick to that metal then blow it the frak off?"
Salazar shakes her head, "Shaped charges just blow back. When I was down there, I tried a few things. The only thing that makes a dent are the frag grenades, but you can't use those close quarters, and we're almost exclusively close quarters when we engage them." Particularly on the vessel. Anything powerful enough to make a dent would also kill everyone within a larger range simply from the force of the blast. Stupid human fragility. "We can whip up some shit to give the new meat a thrill." Siiip. She nurses the coffee, hours of caffeine deprivation catching up at once.
Epi's quiet for a bit, mulling all of that over. "I wonder if our scientists would be able to find something that might, I don't know, eat through that shit." Her nose wrinkles and she turns for her own coffee. "Maybe even a delayed charge in one of the AP rounds…" Her mind is working, clearly. "Get the round in there, then blow the fraks up from the inside. EMP charge would knock us out…" Yep, she's thinking. Yep, there's the lovely scent of burned synapses.
"If we could make something stable enough to mimic an explosive round." Salazar is quiet for a moment as she think on it. "We're not exactly well stocked on AP rounds or explosives." She thinks on that for a moment. "It's been a while since I got whimsical with ammo."
"No, we're not exactly well stocked," Epi agrees, cradling her mug. Oh, right. The ADD Demo expert is now drinking Marine Sludge coffee. Stuff must be like a sedative to her. "But we don't exactly need to have a lot. We can test on the bits of bastard we have, and see if we can jury-rigg some other great, fun things we DO have." Ahhh, always optimistic. "I'd really like a way to jam those guns."
"The one in the corridor clicked empty right before we took it out." Salazar shakes her head at that, though resumes a different line of conversation before she goes back to thinking about the battle and resumes the pissed off fugue she's been sliding in and out of since. "The machine shop has everything we'll need."
Epi lifts her cup and smiles a little. "Shall we head down there, then," comes the quiet suggestion. "I'm afraid to leave you here alone, Sir. If certain folks walk in, you'll rip them apart, and Major Cass will be pissed about the arterial spray on his desk."
"This is more of an off duty project, but we can request to have an ammo press sent up." Surely they have an ammo press. Salazar thinks on it for a moment. "I'd be depressed if they didn't have one." Then she'd have to go rooting through storage. "Peri does like to make custom ammo, but I don't know that he would have brought a press…" That seems a little excessive for a duty station.
Epi moves to settle her hip against the S2's desk, studying the woman for a moment. "Tell me about him," she asks quietly. "What kind of ammo did he like to make?"
Salazar shakes her head slightly, and the expression she wears makes it clear there's some kind of story. She moves to resettle into her seat, to cross her legs and tip back more comfortably. Ezra has the best chair, frakker. "He used to etch phrases into his rounds, sometimes parts of prayers, sometimes dirty limericks, particularly if they were a gift for a member of the family. He was most fond of hollowpoints."
The little Marine smiles wryly and dips her head. "Uncle Nuts used to do something similar. Though, one time, after a particularly nasty job, he started etching 'mine not yours' into every round, every bomb, and every piece of weaponry and armor in the armory. Mom damn near killed him when she found out."
"That's something Peri would do, if the words were more like 'Peri Was Here'. Or 'Peri Shoots Better'." Salazar reaches up to brush her fingers over her lips as she smiles, then tucks her hand under her chin, fingers curled. "He played it pretty gruff and professional here, but that man." She hms. "Trouble."
"Trouble," Epi asks with a grin. "He seemed to be the type who'd drink hard, party harder, then come into work the next morning with a grin and torture everyone else who drank."
"That too. You heard him laugh. Imagine that after you just threw up for an hour." Salazar smirks. "Not that he ever caught me with my hair in the toilet. My cousin Addison wasn't so lucky. She was really little, and could take a serious hit. Nobody keeps up with Peri." She glances briefly at the empty box. "I have to clean our his bunk."
"I think he probably went out the way he wanted to. If he couldn't grow old teaching his grandchildren how to drink and shoot, well…I think he would have preferred to go out in a hail of gunfire, taking care of his family." There's a little hesitance there, though not much. Her leg swings a bit. "If you'd like a hand, I'll help. It'll keep my mind off Swift."
Something about the mention of children makes the S2 take pause. She brings her coffee to her lips and rather obviously taking a moment. It's not often Sal displays emotion so obviously, not in duty areas. She forward a little in her chair, takes a breath behind the coffee, then lowers the mug a little. "I'd like to do it later tonight, when the berth is clear for dinner shift. Maybe you could come in and be sure no one else does."
"I'll let it be known that I'm going to be practicing some charge work in there," she says with a dip of her head. "That usually sends them scattering. If that doesn't work, I'll start laying out what's left of the tampons and making noises about needing chocolate." Because nothing sends a man scampering faster than feminine hygeine. "Jacobs and I talked a little about children last night. It was…odd."
The invocation of the tampons brings a smile to Salazar's lips, and her amused eyes find Epi's. "That could definitely be appreciated." She sips her coffee again as children are mentioned, but this time, in a more abstract notion, it doesn't get a tic from her. "It's hard to consider them in a time like this, but there will eventually be life after the war." They have to believe that to make it through. Even if the odds are slim.
Epi finally sits on the corner of the desk, legs swinging. "I'd suck as a mother. My kid'd be the one chewing on detonators, using them as teething rings. Probably playing with primer cord." She takes a sip of her coffee. "One of Uncle Nuts' favorite stories from when I was a kid was the time I ate a whole roll of primer cord. Apparently I was toddling around with one end hanging out of my mouth and the other forty or so feet in my gut." She grins, broadly. "The base hospital wasn't prepared for a platoon of EOD experts invading it. Apparently Mom grabbed the doctor by the balls and told him to fix it. Now."
Salazar's dark brows arch at the family tale from Epi, and she shakes her head slightly at the mental image of a concerned mother getting friendly with tender doctor parts. "That's why you never mess with a large family."
"Exactly," Epi says with a broad smile. "A dozen demo experts and experts in wet work all sitting around a hospital waiting room like worried parents. Someone said something years later about that being the fastest they ever saw doctors and medical staff move. I grew up with, well, somewhere around twenty parents, and for the longest time, I was the only kid in the unit. Mom said I cut my first tooth on her magazines and Uncle Nuts' beer cup."
"I have about 86 cousins deployed. You can imagine how large the rest of the family is. All of us lived in one little town, with only a few going further afield. Blue Earth and every bar in a 50 mile radius perked up every time a Nikos drove by." Salazar smiles briefly, at the memory of home. "I'm going to miss leave on Scorpia." Even if it's an occupied waste now.
"Gemenon for me," she says quietly. "It's where the unit was last stationed." There's a hint of sadness in her eyes. "Most of them stayed together until one of them died or was forced to retire. If they were injured or too old, they'd hole up in whatever town was nearest the base and work from there. No one ever really left." There's a little smile at that. "I guess, now, we work on building a chosen family. We've got good marines here, for the most part. Just gotta keep some of 'em from humping legs."
"It's not a problem so long as they choose the right legs to hump. I've had it up to my neck with the bizarre behavior. No piece of ass is worth risking the entire unit." Salazar may be making a pointed remark about any number of the marines lately, or it could just be one of those things officers grouse about. "The Major is down for another couple of days. I'd like to have a positive report for him." As positive as is possible given the recent losses. "The Brig is as home to rotating murderers isn't my idea of efficiency." She doesn't say it, but there's a definite growl of irritation in her voice when she mentions the brig. The Master at Arms is in hot water.
Epi watches her for a moment and then dips her head. "It's…strange of late," she allows. "Really strange. People are just damned weird." And that's all the gymnast has to say on -that- matter. "So, how much trouble would I get in for asking you to distract the CAG for a few hours? He won't miss a t-shirt, right?"
"He's been griping about everyone swiping his clothes since I gave you the last one," Salazar replies, as she finishes her coffee, and sets the mug on the desk. "He only has a couple left, and I have definite dibs on the monkey one." She's been trying to get him to give that up for weeks. Zero joy so far.
"Next locker search," Epi promises, dipping her head. "Accidents happen, y'know? Especially in pilot bunks. I think Case's locker is the only safe one. Besides, you'll be sharing a locker with him before too long. That means he can just suck it for a little while."
"He'll come for it, Jarot. He's laid down the law." Sal seems amused, but serious there. Boy the lecture she got the last time she removed something from his locker. Well, if you can call that a lecture. "I can't believe Peri won't be there."
And Epi simply smiles at the first part. It's a Mona Lisa 'you'll see' expression. But the smile fades and she nods. "I know," she says softly. "And I'm so sorry. He was a good man. But I think he'll be watching out for you."
"I know he will." Salazar, like all the Nikos, has a deep faith in the Gods, and believes completely in ancestral power, and the ties that persist even through death. "It's tradition, in my family, to be escorted to a new life by a close older relative. Usually, it's a woman, but Peri was going to do it for me."
The little Marine is quiet for a moment as she furiously goes over that in her head, brows pulling together slightly. Hrm. An older relative. But then she suddenly brightens. "Carry something of his with you," she says. "Something he was close to and loved. That way he'll be escorting you. Oh, he won't be walking with you and glaring, but it'll be there just the same. Maybe his favorite gun?"
Salazar hmms. "I'll be wearing a red dress. There's really nowhere to put Peri's favorite .50 cal." Talk about a serious weapon. "Though I could just carry it in lieu of flowers. Can you see the chaplain's face?" Or Karim's for that matter. She rises to head over to the coffee pot to grab up a refill, passing that empty box beside the desk again. "Which reminds me, I need to request the body from medical." Ghoulish discussing corpses and weddings in the same sentence.
"Hold it facing up with a few paper flowers in the barrel," Epi advises. "Because, really, where the hell are you going to get actual flowers ANYWAY. Just so long as you don't point it at Marek, it'll be fine. I promise to make sure it's only got one bullet in it. Besides, it'd work very well for keeping those weird Saggies at bay beforehand. I'd feel better if you were armed with one of Master Sergeant's weapons." She falls silent again, head tilting. "Special burial rites?"
Salazar nods, just a slight movement of her head, chin dipping a bit. She fills the mug almost to the brim — not her usual. It's one of those days. She replaces the coffee pot with a light thunk, and stands there for a moment with her back to the other marine. "Shooting the groom on the wedding day is generally seen as a little rude, although it has happened before. Flesh wounds mainly." Which means it's also happened more than once. "They really bleed after a few drinks." She turns the coffee mug on the top of the filing cabinet, orienting it for her left hand. "We burn the bodies of our dead. There's just something creepy about floating around in space forever."
Booted feet are heard in the hallway approaching the hatch, then turn to head into the security hub rather than continue on past. The owner of said boots appears to be the CAG, freshly released from sickbay and sporting a limp that's slightly more noticeable than his usual. He's in navy duty fatigues, his right arm resting in a sling, and what looks like a small pistol in his left as he heads for the S2's desk. It doesn't appear to be his standard fleet-issued sidearm.
Epi's perched on the edge of Salazar's desk, one leg swinging like a little hyperactive metronome. "That makes sense," she says, nodding. "Both about the flesh wounds and the burning. It all depends on where the flesh wound is, though, and how much blood you want. I mean, I figure shooting the groom in the ass is perfectly acceptable. That way he'll never forget his wedding night." Ahhhh, it's deep thoughts by Epi time. As the hatch opens she looks over, blinks, and promptly falls off Sal's desk.
Sal turns from the coffee maker sometime after the hatch opens. She takes a careful sip as her dark eyes come up to note the owner of that distinctive gait. She glances over the CAG toes to hair, pausing at various injuries to watch the way he moves and judge just how much he may still be hurting. Her eyes pause the longest on the sling. She does not the weapon, but seems unconcerned by its presence. "He'll never forget the wedding night either way." There's that smirk, alive and well.
Kai pauses in his approach as Epi promptly slides off the S2's desk, her ass meeting the floor with a WHUMP that the security cameras almost certainly just caught. He raises a brow slowly, and studies both the Corporal and the Ensign in turn without so much as a hint of a smile. "I think you just lost your hood ornament, Nikos," is offered drily. He takes the last couple of steps to Salazar's desk, slides the weapon atop it, and turns it so the grip is facing her. Then, if Epi hasn't clambered to her feet yet, he offers his left hand silently.
Poor Epi. From her perch on the floor, she just stares up at the CAG. It's like she turns utterly stupid in his presence. She's got that wide-eyed look on her face, though there's no drool - not yet anyway. "I think she lost that years ago, Sir," comes Epi's unthinking reply. There's a beat, a brief pause, then she reaches out to take the CAG's hand, moving carefully so as not to hurt either of them. "Thank you Sir. Wedding present, Sir? Do I need to go, Sirs?" Her attention bounces between the pair. Throughout it all, her coffee cup remains clutched in one hand - thankfully empty.
"It's ok, Captain. She's tough." Salazar seems unconcerned about the Epi-tumble. She's a gymnast, after all. She steps past the CAG, leaning over her usual desk to take the weapon. It has undoubtedly become obvious Salazar's told Epiphany Jarot about the impending nuptials that were interrupted by the inception of 42. "Just returning my back up weapon, Jarot. We don't exchange gifts in public. This is a duty station." It's a gentle reminder. Salazar puts her coffee down to check the small sidearm briefly, then reaches back to slide it into the empty inner pants holster at the small of her back.
Kai gives Epi a bit of a wan smile upon mention of wedding presents. He briefly meets her eyes once she's on her feet, and takes a step back so as to give her her space. "Not on my account, Corporal." His gaze flicks back to Salazar. "Ensign." It's both a greeting, and a reminder. Of what, isn't precisely obvious, though he does look expectant.
In typical Epi fashion, the young woman squeaks quietly and pulls up into a salute. It lasts just a moment before she slips off with the S2's coffee cup, apparently intent on playing coffee girl today.
Sal's eyes find Marek's as she turns from putting the gun back where it belongs. Her eyes flick after the other marine, and she watches Epi abscond with her freshly heated mug, complete with coffee, but says nothing about it. "… What." That's spoken to the pilot before her eyes return to him. Slightly distracted.
"The five seven, Ensign." Marek's tone remains dry, and his mannerisms somewhat subdued today— even for him. Blood loss, surgery, and being kicked out of sickbay the minute you're back on your feet'll do that to you. He too glances after the retreating Jarot for a second or two, briefly skimming her with his eyes before turning back to Salazar. "I'd like a word or two with you, as well, though that can wait until you're off shift."
Epi's back a moment later with two mugs of coffee - one of them is a clean mug. It's placed on the desk near Kai. Yep, even though Sal's not only her friend and boss, Kai gets served first. "Yours needed topped off, Sir," she says to Sal, not quite meeting the other woman's eyes. "I've…err…I've got to see a corpsman about…" Thought flail. She looks to Salazar and inspiration hits. "Tampons." She pulls into another salute, looking juuuuuuuust about ready to take off as soon as Salazar dismisses her.
Oh, right. That. "It's always about the weaponry. Hades, man. You're worse than I am." She turns again to brush just by the CAG, and heads over to the weapons locker. She's in mid stride when Epi invokes the tampons once again. There's a snort from her, that sounds suspiciously like the beginning of a belly laugh before she chokes it down and clears her throat. "Very well, Corporal." There's a breath as she reaches for the pad to the small arms locker. "Proceed with acquisitions." She taps in the code, and opens the locker once the lock disengages.
"I don't let anyone touch my weapon, Nikos. Personal preference." He keeps an utterly straight face there, despite the double-entendre that could be read into it. "Jarot." The diminutive marine is given a crisp left-handed salute in parting, his expression indicating that he's heard all he needs to about her mission of acquisition.
The dismissal comes and an expression of utter relief crosses Epi's face, only to be frozen, as she is, by the CAG's mention of someone touching his weapon. Hand halfway out of the salute, she just stands and stares at him. The wheel is turning like it's powered by hamsters on speed, but that poor hamster's damn near dead. Her eyes drop for the briefest second then zip right back up to the CAG's face. The only other movement? A few blinks. She went there. She got popcorn. She got the t-shirt. She got rickrolled.
Salazar removes the weapon from the locker, counting in from the side. It's in a rack of almost identical weapons. She checks it briefly, pops the mag, reloads it, and flips the thing around in her hand to hold it by the barrel. She does not turn around. She does not turn around, and she does not say a word. Salazar's back remains to both the other marine and the pilot. She could be holding her breath, and her shoulders might be shaking juuuuuust slightly.
Well, this is awkward. With Salazar off fetching his sidearm, Karim doesn't even have any backup against the pint-sized marine. He notices the direction her eyes go, and he clears his throat quietly before his lips turn in a brief, and obviously uncomfortable smile. "Have a good evening, Corporal." He glances at Salazar's shaking shoulders, blows a breath out his nose, and limps over for one of the chairs near her desk. Talk about rickrolled.
Kai's speaking again pulls Epi out of her trance. Poor girl turns about sixteen shades of red as she looks from the S2's back to the CAG. "Damned shame," she says, shaking her head. "Utter damned shame. I mean, really. He could get all the touching he could handle. With a weapon like thaa-a-a-ah shit. That was my outloud voice. Sirs." And -gone-. Her voice was choked on that last word. It's likely the CAG won't see Epi for the next few weeks, given the way she's probably going to be hiding in closets every time she hears that limp.
The S2 reaches up and quietly pulls the Small Arms Locker closed. She secures it with a snik of the hatch. By the time she turns around, all traces of amusement are gone. Her expression, once again stoic, remains so as she crosses over to her desk, and slides around the side of the CAG's chosen chair. Her hip almost brushes his shoulder, and she reaches down to present him with the Five-seveN, grip first. "Your weapon, sir." She breathes in very slow on the heels of Epi's latest words. She opens her mouth, probably to say 'stow it, Corporal', but the little marine is already a running shaped blur of smoke. Or something like that. It's amazing there's not an Epi shaped hole in the bulkhead. "She's highly caffeinated."
Kai might be a little amused, or he might have been about to reprimand the young woman his own self. Either way, nothing further is said of his weapon, though his blue eyes follow the young woman absently as she makes a beeline for the hatch. When Salazar approaches with the Five-seveN, they shift away again to meet her own. "Thanks." He accepts the gun, and rests it on the desk in front of him for the time being. "By the way, the new firing pin's working out pretty well. But don't do it again, Nikos."
"I don't imagine there will be a need," Salazar replies, without directly acknowledging the drawing of a boundary. She certainly doesn't agree to it. She stands there for a moment, slightly behind and to the side of the pilot, body in very close proximity. "It's good to see you on your feet, Marek." Her hand touches his shoulder, the left, and remains there for a moment.
Kai reaches for the cup of coffee Epi brought over earlier, lifts it to his nose, and sniffs a couple of times. Yep, gen-u-ine marine brew. He takes a sip from it while Salazar's speaking, then another before sliding it back onto her desk. "Fat lot of good it does now." He tenses, ever so slightly, at the contact. "Sitting there on my ass, while my wing was getting torn apart." His voice drops lower, and he keeps his eyes on the empty bulkhead wall behind the desk. "Felt so frakking impotent."
Salazar's hand tightens on the shoulder as Karim tenses. It's not an intimate gesture, but one that might easily be exchanged between crewmates in any situation. The pressure increases just past comfortable until he either tells her to move it, shakes her off, relaxes himself, or decides to bear it. In which case it remains. "And you will until you get back on flight status." It is what it is, just the truth, not a comfort. "I had to babysit the XO and a bunch of non-coms without the sense to get behind cover while my cousin ate a swath of rounds watching Swift's reckless six." There's another slight increase in the pressure of her fingers, but the tension remains out of her voice. "The difference is what we do now. How we repair now. All eyes are on us."
He doesn't shake her off or tell her to move it, but it does take a few seconds for him to relax. Godsdamned high-strung stick jockeys. "I saw Swift as I was getting out of sickbay. He looked like he'd been through a meat grinder." His head turns slightly, and his eyes trail up what he can see of her body until they finally rest on the blue stars decorating her temple— almost hidden by her dark hair. "He'd better never forget that." What Peri died for. "We're going to have to head back to that shithole of a moon," Karim concludes after a long pause. He doesn't sound enthused.
"Of the three marines hunkered down in the corridor, he's the only one who survived. I'm not really sure how. He will straighten up." Salazar's eyes rest on his hand rather than moving to see his eyes. "Yes. I imagine we burned through a lot of fuel running over the last few days." They certainly burned through a lot of personnel. "We better make it hard and fast. No frakking around." Her grip finally eases off, as the pilot begins to relax a little, though it's slow to ease. Everything by degrees. The shoulder likely throbs for a moment. Much more quietly, she asks, "Do you have enough pilots for a full offensive?"
The CAG nods slightly, but doesn't pursue the issue. Ashe's hers and Ezra's to deal with, and nobody likes being told how to handle their subordinates. A barely audible breath leaves his nose as her hand comes away, and then he reaches for the coffee cup again. And sips. "No." There's no hesitation in his reply. "Not if we run into that baseship again. We're no match for anything that size, even if I had a full squadron, which I don't. The best we could hope for is a suicide run." His fingers toy with the handle of the cup; his nails are blunt and his knuckles slightly rough looking. "I've got a few other ideas I'm working on, though."
"Don't we all." Salazar reaches for her mug of coffee, double refreshed by Epi. She picks it up, takes a sip, and glances at the clock. "Most of my marines are down or green. Injured and experienced is almost as bad as new. At least if this were a battlestar, we'd have the numbers. Frakkin' tiny ass tin can."
There's a grunt from Marek that seems to indicate agreement, and a soft rustle of clothing as he shifts a little in his chair to get more comfortable. He's probably hurting a bit more than he lets on. "You mind if I come crash with you tonight? I figure you've got that empty bunk under yours.." And Kai isn't going to admit that he doesn't want to drag his sorry self up a ladder in his present state.
Sal steps away from her desk, and moves over to the CO's spot. She reaches in to lock the drawer, drops a small stack of paperwork in the bin, and reaches for the intercom. She pulls it off the cradle, then speaks into it. "Sergeant Brandy to the Security Hub. Brandy to the Security Hub. Pass the word." The next stop is the coffee station, where she pours her coffee into a different mug. Slosh. "Did you just ask me for permission to use an unclaimed bunk below mine?" She makes her way to the empty desk sergeant's desk.
Kai stays put as Salazar goes to place her call. His mug pauses at his lips, steam trickling over his unshaven cheek and beakish nose while she asks the question of him. He nearly smiles, but in the end, doesn't. "Let me rephrase it in a way that your little marine brain can handle," he murmurs, draining another couple swallows of the brew before turning to watch the dark-haired woman. "I'll be using the bunk below yours for the next few days, until permanent sleeping arrangements are made. I'll probably give mine to one of the raptors. Bunk space is a precious commodity right now, so you'll be sleeping with me. Any objections, Nikos?" His tone of voice suggests he expects none.
Thunk. She sets down the 3/4 full mug on the desk's surface, slaps a new crossword into place, then drops a pencil atop that. The movements are all concise and well rehearsed. She glances over her shoulder, leaning against that desk unnecessarily for a moment. The look is silent, but steady. "… Allow me to make an observation, considering your hands often outstrip your train of thought when it comes to matters where pure reflex and balls count for shit." Salazar turns from the desk to step back toward the CAG. "If you can't make it up the ladder into my bunk, how do you think you'll survive with me in your temporary digs?" There's a really good chance the security cams in here have the audio turned way down, or she probably wouldn't have said that so loudly.
Ok, so it's going to be one of those nights. The CAG's eyes do not waver in their study of Salazar. He sets his mug down again, eases back in the chair, and watches her as she prepares Brandy's coffee and entertainment. There isn't even a glib remark forthcoming, tempting though it may be. "Because you're going to be gentle with me," he supplies quietly, once she's stepped in closer and he doesn't have to raise his voice to be heard. Even softer, "And because you really want to know whether I can satisfy you one-handed." Even with the cameras' audio turned up, it's doubtful they'd have caught that.
Dark brows arch slightly as the S2 waits for the telltale sound of heavy, reluctant boots stomping toward the hatch from parts unknown. Brandy's approach is always grumpy, though he's never as pissed as he lets on to get the summons. Old soldiers live and breathe duty. Her lips part, but there's a distinct lack of words passing through them. Her eyes go slightly unfocused for a moment, and it's quite clear she's following a train of thought. "… Huh." Her takes a breath at last, coming back to the here and now. Her shoulders raise a little, then settle back into a more relaxed posture. Good point. "And that's why you're the CAG."
The pilot flashes a little grin when he spots that look in her eyes, and finishes off his coffee after a brief glance at his watch. All trace of mirth is gone by the time he sets the mug down again. "And I thought it was my winning personality." He starts out of his chair just as Brandy stalks in, his timing impeccable. "Have a good evening, Nikos," reads more like "Looking forward to seeing you naked tonight." But it's all in his eyes.
"I'm not all that interested in that, sir," the marine replies, without a hint of pause. Her eyes wander briefly, and return to eye contact eventually. Her back is to Brandy, which is best for all involved. "Thank you for the input. I'm sure it'll be put to good use." Brandy turns to his desk with a grouse, sweeps the crossword up, and hunkers down over it. Salazar's dark eyes find the CAG's. "Brandy, the CAG's sidearm has been returned. Make a note in the logs." She says nothing more, though her eyes follow the CAG all the way through the hatch.
Kai gives the S2 a curt nod, and a brisk left-handed salute, much as he'd given Jarot a little earlier. He's a bit more subtle with the wandering eyes, but he almost certainly just checked out her tits under the uniform. "Ensign," is the sum total of his farewell for the woman, and then he turns and maneuvers around Brandy on his way to the hatch.