Ghost in the Machine - Black Squadron
Ghost in the Machine - Black Squadron
Summary: The bomb doesn't turn up in Black Squadron's quarters, but a certain Raptor captain finds herself facing a situation nonetheless.
Date: PHD099 (26 July 2009)
Related Logs: Ghost in the Machine logs

Thea's pacing. What else can she do at the moment? The rest of the Riders are either here or out on the deck, as they're supposed to be.

The door opens and Thorn joins them, a stormy expression on his brow. He stamps out his cigarette in the first convenient spot he sees before stalking over to his bunk, tossing his sidearm down on the bed and pulling off his jacket. So much for trying to make himself useful.

Thea looks up, head cocking to the side. "What's up, Thorn," she asks quietly, tension in her voice.

"I don't have a frakking clue," Komnenos replies, a hint of irritation in his tone. Well, maybe more than a hint. "Other than the fact that someone is evidently running around with stolen G4, there's a fire in engineering, and the blighters in CIC feel threatened enough t' call for a Marine fireteam." He lights a cigarette as he begins to pace furiously. "While I'm here, cooling my heels and waiting for something t' happen."

<kachunk, lights go out>

"Frak," she says softly, shaking her head. "Doesn't sound like we can do much from here except hold…" She goes still and silent for a moment. "Alright, people," she calls quietly. "Keep close to your racks, close to your position." One hand reaches out. "Thorn, take my hand and I'll guide you toward a bunk. I'm holding it straight out in front of me."

And then, something does happen, namely Kharon losing all power. "Frak." Thorn echoes Thea's sentiments precisely before walking slowly towards where she was standing, waving an arm blindly in front of him, searching for her hand. Nothing, nothing, noth- there. Anton's hand brushes another, which he takes into his own with an iron grip.

Her hand is cool against his, grip firm and tight. She's not going to let him go, period. Fingers wrap around his as she gently tugs to guide him in. "You're good at this. Play grope in the dark often," she teases, trying to lighten things up a little.

"Um, not really," Komnenos replies, tension as heavy as the accent in his voice. Guided by her hand, he walks slowly in towards Thea, still apprehensive despite her best efforts. Normally, he'd have some kind of smart remark or innuendo to shoot back with, but his heart doesn't seem to be in it at the moment.

Thea guides Thorn's hand to the end of the rack then lets him go. "Deep breaths, Thorn," she says quietly. "We can't do much more than wait, for now. The lights have gone out before."

"I'm not afraid of th' bloody dark," Thorn retorts quietly. "It's the sitting around while everything goes t' the hells, what gets me riled up."

Thea is quiet for a long moment. A very long moment. "Thorn," she says softly. "I'm terrified of the dark. I'm…I'm frakking terrified of the dark." There's a note in her voice of quiet fear that goes beyond simple fear. It's like throwing someone phobic of snakes into a pit of them.

Thorn looks over at her in surprise, not that she can tell — or even that he's sure he's looking in the right spot. "Oh," he says finally. "I didn't think anything scared you," he says softly, his face flushing, as he squeezes her hand reassuringly. "Well, I'm not going anywhere."

When he finds her hand again, he can tell that she's shaking. She's shaking hard. "When I was stationed on Archon, I went down on a training exercise. I was flying without a back seat that day. SAR found the wreckage and determined no one survived. I'd ejected and spent three days in caves with a serious concussion and a fractured pelvis. When the locals found me, I'd been out about a week, hiding in the dark. Insects crawling all over me. Attracted by the blood." Oh, yeah. She's going there.

"I… I can't imagine what that must have been like." Thorn isn't so good with the whole reassuring words thing; he trails off with that sentence, frantically trying to think of something meaningful to say and failing. Instead, he simply puts an arm around her shoulder, giving another reassuring squeeze to show his intent.

The berthings are dark. The ship's dead in the water. Thea and Thorn are standing by her bunk - and he's holding her hand. She's shaking like a leaf. "That's why I can't stand the dark," she murmurs. "I hate it. I HATE the dark." Fear laces her voice.

"Come over here," Thorn directs quietly, leading her over towards his rack. "I keep a flashlight in here somewhere." Luckily, his bunk is directly across from Legacy's, so they don't have to move far — a good thing, given that Thea seems to be quaking even worse as time passes. "Look, I've got t' let go of your hand for just a second so I can climb up there."

"I'm alright," she insists when, in fact, it's clear she's not. But she goes with Thorn, trustingly. It really IS a measure of trust that, despite her fear, she goes along with the pilot.

Komnenos' open hand brushes against metal just before his knee would have slammed into Timon's bunk. "I'm letting go, now," he informs Thea as he does just that. He feels around for his bed, then gingerly pulls himself up to his top bunk and begins rooting around in the shelves behind his pillow. There's a fusillade of muttered curses and rustling sounds as he frantically searches for the flashlight he keeps stowed away for late night reading purposes.

Thea remains exactly where she is, stock still, shaking. "Hurry Thorn," she murmurs. "Please?" The Raptor Captain reduced to begging.

Matto is not a creature meant to crawl about in the dark, but, not having been too very far from berthings, he eventually makes it back there, groping his way along the walls and keeping his eyes closed… not that it matters, but if he imagines he -could- see if he -wanted- to, it helps… somehow? Anyhow, soon the muttered curses are luring his boot to clank against the threshold before sliding over, then the other steps over suit. "Kitten?" he calls, hearing her, shaken as she is.

"I'm trying… There!" And suddenly, mercifully, there's light, even if only the meager shaft of light provided by a maglite. Hurriedly, Thorn hops back down from his rack, twisting the flashlight to provide as wide a beam as possible as he takes a shaking Thea's hand back in his. "Everything's all right. You're not alone, y' hear me? You're not in the dark any more."

It's quite clear Thea's shaken - and relieved when the light comes on, despite the fact that it hurts her eyes. Her bad arm is pressed tightly to her abdomen. "Thank you," she murmurs. "Kissy? Are you hurt?" Her hand is in Thorn's, fingers wrapping his in a death-grip.

Matto's eyes are closed when the light comes on, but the change from pitch black is noticable even behild closed lids, and so he opens them again, squinting into the light and then finding Kittenface, heading toward the table, "No, no I'm fine. Are you all alright?"

Thorn's only interruption as Matto and Thea talk is a soft, "Here, let's go sit back down, hm?" He looks at the still-shaken Raptor Captain with no small amount of concern as he leads her back over to take a seat on her bed, or whereever she feels like going.

The Raptor Captain looks kind of like she's seen a ghost. Her face is the color of skim milk and she's shaking. Yes, she looks about to throw up, but she's managing to hold it together. "Sitting will be fine," she agrees, letting the other two pilots be strong for the moment. "They'll tell us when it's alright to move."

And just then the hatch opens and the lights of a 4-man Marine Fire Team can be seen. "Ladies and gentlemen," Epi calls in her nearly little girl voice. "Please remain where you are. The Commander has ordered a search of the ship."

Matto looks more or less as alright as he's looked on average of late. Weary, that is to say, and maybe looking a bit wan himself in the torchlight, concern for the Legsykitten evident, but otherwise he's content enough to rest his hands on the back of a chair and lean forward in a casual slouch. The hatch already having been open (or at least it was when he skulked through it a moment ago), he turns his head toward the cluster of marines and the shade of his head in the torchlight gives a quiet nod. He stays standing by the table so as not to get in the way.

The amusement written on Salazzar's face is hidden by her hand as she reaches up to brush her hand across her cheek. "This includes your bunks and lockers. If you have any lotions, oils, or other personal items of a goopy nature, please warn me verbally before I shove my hand into your stash." Salazar notes, with a deadpan expression. She, like her cousin (MSGT) Peri Nikos, has mastered the deadpan. She makes her way to the first bank of bunks and lockers, and begins a visual search with a tiny flashlight which matches, but is a much smaller cousin of, Epi's flashlight.

"A search?" Komnenos asks, an eyebrow raised. "What the hells are you looking for?" He stays where he is, though; even if an official-sounding 'request' from an armed Marine wasn't enough, Thea's still got his hand in a death grip, essentially preventing him from moving. He stays seated next to her, not interfering as the fireteam moves in. "Nothing like that in my locker, but if I find any of my cigarettes missing, it's your arse, Nikos."

"Thorn," Thea says quietly, a hint of warning in her voice. "Now's not the time. I have some lotions on the bottom shelf of my locker. A few…bottles." There's something in her voice when she says that. "Kissy? I'm fine. Just a…not used to the dark." Nope, no admitting weakness in front of hte Marines.

Epi goes to the other side of the room from Salazar and the other two Marines spread out as well. "There's a small amount of G-4 missing," she calls over to Thorn. "Have you seen it?" Hey, it's worth a try, right?

"That's real sweet, sir. But I'm just not that kind of girl," Salazar replies, with that slightly husky voice of hers. She sounds like that kind of girl. "If you see us running, you better keep up." She neglects adding on the 'sirs' there. But she's busy searching for explosive compound. Is someone going to take issue?

"Sorry, sir." The mention of explosives coupled with Thea's warning take some of the wind out of Thorn's sails as he whispers an apology to his commander. It's the frustration speaking. "Afraid not, Corporal," he responds quietly to Epi. A dry "I'm sure," is directed over at Salazar, but after that he falls silent as she goes about her work. If anybody's going to make an issue out of leaving off a 'sir' here and there, it's certainly not going to be Thorn. It would be rather hypocritical of him, wouldn't it?

Matto doesn't much care for being 'sirred' at in the best of situations, and its omission never bothers him even in the most formal of times, much less in an emergency situation. The bin of blue paint has been stashed once more in the game room, so… no goop warnings from his quarter. He turns around and sits on the edge of the table.

Thea relaxes a little and watches the bobbing and weaving of the working Marines. "No luck on the rest of the ship, I take it," she asks, probably needlessly. One of the Marines grunts a bit. "Kissy? You ok," she calls to the other pilot.

Epi, meanwhile, finishes her section. "Nothing here Sarge," she calls over to Salazar. "Well, no explosives." The final Marine calls clear as well.

The taller of the two black haired marines flattens to the floor to do a visual check of the bottoms of the lockers before she goes opening any of them. Yes, she's checking for trips. After a brief but thorough examination, she begins opening and shuffling through the contents of each locker individually. There's a very quiet, "…I did not need to see that," as she kicks closed Kassia's locker. Otherwise, she's professional and thorough. Down the line she goes. Mostly professional, "Hey, Dover. If you explode, I'm taking your shit." This is muttered in a slightly distracted tone. Just an FYI for a member of the fire team, kthx. "Thank you for the assorted warnings and stoic cooperation," she asides to the pilots, with nary a mention of fairies in her verbal address. She pauses on the last locker in her row. "… Clear." She regards the contents for a moment, then kicks it shut.

Thorn simply watches the marines as they go about their search, observing as Salazar pauses by his own locker. "Something catch your interest in there, Sergeant?" he asks in a deadpan as Salazar slams it shut.

"Yeah," Kissy calls back to the Captain, crossing his legs at the ankles and keeping his hands palms-down on the tabletop.

By this point, Thea's calmed down considerably and she offers Salazar and the Marines a wry little smile. "Let us know if there's anything we can do to help," she says with just a hint of distraction. The other Ghost Riders present aren't too thrilled about the marines pawing through - but given the speed and care with which the Marines handle things, the grumbles are quiet.

Epi starts for the hatch. "Thank you, Sirs," the Corporal calls, bouncing out with the alacrity of a ferret on speed. Chances are good she cleared half the ship in five minutes. "Ok, Sarge. Now the hard part. I'm siccing the Lieutenant on the Vipers if something in one of those lockers gives me an STD."

Nikos glances over toward Thorn, though her light does not follow. "I'll never tell, Lieutenant." She pauses, then adds. "I might tell if there were good booze in it for me." She takes a few heavy booted steps toward the hatch, making no effort at her usual stealthy quiet. "Enjoy your intimate evening, sirs. We have a viper squadron to rattle." And by rattle, she, of course, means protect by conducting a professional and thorough search of the Red Berths in as timely a fashion as possible. "Corporal, did you bring any super glue?" She's kidding. Right. What's a marine search without a sense of humor? She and her light make for the hatch and beyond. She asides something else as she goes.

"Oh, now I have t' know," Thorn responds. It's a mystery now, and to Thorn, mysteries are irresistable. "You like brandy, Nikos?" he calls after the marine as he stands up. With the marines finished, and Thea seeming to have calmed, he begins to pace around once again, his flashlight's beam bobbing as he moves.

Matto pushes away from the table as the Marines get themselves gone, and he moves around its circumference and back toward Thea's bunk with the others, plonking right down next to the Captain. "So what happened? Do we know yet?"

A "Hell yes" in Salazar's voice floats back through the still open hatchway as the fireteam moves on to the Red berthings, prompting a grin from Thorn as he lights a cigarette in mid step. Then, the smile is directed back down at Thea, who grabs his hand as he passes. "No need t' apologize, Cat," he responds. "I told you before, I'm always here if you need me," he adds roughly. The 'before' isn't specified, but she likely remembers what he's talking about. He shrugs to Kissy as if to echo Thea's answer; he doesn't know any more about what's going on than they do, and it's obviously bothering him.

Matto slides to his side, drawing up his feet and curling up along the inside of the Captain's bunk, looking out past Thea to Thorn, "Should we head to the deck in case we need to head out? We don't… -feel- under attack."

Thea leans back toward Thorn and actually leans -against- the man. She reaches out for Matto's hand, squeezing it gently with her bad one. "No, I don't think we're under attack from the outside." There's something tense in her voice. "And thank you, both of you. It's been a while since I've had an attack like that."

Matto rests a hand over Thea's bad one, then just wraps his arms around her waist from behind her and holds her in a hug that would probably not read quite so platonic from just about anyone else. Still, hugged she is. "Freakouts are thoroughly acceptable, y'know," he comments briefly, curling up on the Cap'n's bunk.

"I was just up in the ready room, and Marek ordered everyone back t' the berthings. We're here if they need us," Thorn replies to Kissy with another shrug. He's surprised by Thea's sudden contact, but he returns it with a hug of his own after Matto disengages.

The Captain closes her eyes as a shudder goes through her. "I'm sorry Thorn," she murmurs. "I just…still have nightmares."

"I told you t' stop apologizing," Komnenos responds with mock anger as he slumps back down onto the bed beside her. "You've nothing t' apologize for. We all have things that get t' us." He hesitates for a moment before continuing. "I, for example, am deathly afraid of spiders," he admits quietly. "When I was a child, I would have a gibbering fit if one got within a few feet of me. I used t' dream about being chased by giant spiders… it'd wake me up screaming in the middle of th' night."

"Not that I'd call that the same as what you went through," he clarifies hastily. "But… I think I can understand the feeling."

Either Thea isn't Thea, or she was scared worse than she let on. She's actually curled herself against Thorn's side. "I'm not fond of them either," she murmurs. "I can still feel the insects crawling all over my skin, into the cuts. It doesn't really hurt, but it tickles. Like nerves way down deep. The dark, though…" Yes, the woman is scared shitless. She's stared down Raiders. Crashed. Been shot. But right now, she's like a child. "I remember lying in the caves, listening to the animals outside. I couldn't see them."

Spiders may have been the wrong subject to bring up, Komnenos realizes as Thea draws in even closer. "Look at it this way… at least they weren't giant spiders with venomous stingers…" he offers half heartedly, wincing even as the words come out of his mouth. So not reassuring, but once again he's at a loss for anything better to say. He shuts up, simply drawing the Captain close in an embrace that's hopefully more comforting than his words.

Her arm wraps around his waist, cheek resting against his shoulder. The shaking continues, almost continuously now. "Talk to me, Thorn," she murmurs. "Please?"

"All right," he replies with a nod. Talking isn't exactly his forte, but for her sake, he's trying. His mind is blank, though, which isn't exactly a help. "Well, um… what would you like me t' talk about?" he asks softly.

"Anything," she says, closing her eyes, curling against his side while the shakes continue. "Anything, everything. Just…talk. Please?"

"All right," he sighs. "Well, I suppose I could tell you a bit more about myself… it's not an exciting story, but…" He trails off as the lights slowly flicker back on. "Looks like things are finally under control," he says with relief, then looking down at Thea. "You still want me t' stay and talk?" he asks quietly, noticing her continued shaking.

She doesn't want to pull away, but starts to. "I…had better let you go," she says softly. "I think you're clear for duty. I'm still flying a desk."

"Right, then," he replies after a pause as she pulls away. Is that disappointment in his voice? "I'd better get changed in case they want t' send out a CAP or some such. I'll keep you posted." Slowly rising from his seat, he heads over to his locker and begins to throw on a flightsuit. "If you need anything…" Thorn adds hesitantly, his voice trailing off in midsentence.

By the time he turns back around, her legs are up under her chin, good arm wrapped around them. She looks worse now than when she reported back on the end of the world. "I will, thank you," she tells him - though her eyes are focused elsewhere.

Komnenos finishes changing, zipping up his flightsuit as he heads for the door. He hesitates before crossing the threshold, directing a long look back at Thea. There's obvious concern written on his features, and he looks as though he might say something to the distracted captain, but keeps quiet as he slowly turns back again and steps out of the berthings.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License