Made of Metal
Made of Metal
Summary: Xanthus and Mars have a chat on CAP about many things, of shoes, of ships, of sealing wax, of cabbages and kin— no, wait. Mostly Mars' apologizes for beating up Xanthus' pretty face, they argue and he punches her to punctuate his point. Ow.
Date: PHD 63
Related Logs: None

[Wolf-9: Mars] It's not exactly glamorous duty, CAPs, but it's duty nonetheless and something Mars is quite used to. In the cockpit of Wolf-9, she sits at the controls and leads a leisurely patrol of the air space around Kharon. Something is on her mind, clearly. Because instead of letting silence reign, she asks, "Jester, you there?" Uh. It's on shortwave radio, no chance of it making it to the ears of folks on their home ship.

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] That Jester's been quiet is something of a miracle in and of itself. But then he generally knows where the line is and is irritatingly good at standing one inch behind it at all times. It's a talent. His face still more or less looks like it's been rearranged in a way not dissimilar to the deck chairs on the Titanic, but he's getting better. Behind the cockpit of Wolf-1, the other pilot glances towards his wing and responds with his usual cheer, "Only when I'm not sleeping, Rainbow." He stresses his wing's new callsign a little bit. A mock. A taunt. But he generally means well.

[Wolf-9: Mars] A sigh comes over the coms as her callsign is used. Again. From the look on her face, Mars is trying to get used to it, but then again, Xanthus can't see her face. "Look. I just… I wanted to apologize. For kicking you in the face the other night." Dear gods, she actually sounds sincere. "Even though you deserved it." Ah, there's the catch.

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] That gets a pause. Wolf-1 switches sides, apparently deciding that Wolf-9's 5 is going out of style and it's time to live life on its 7, instead. He also sounds, curiously enough, ever so slightly guarded. Most might not notice it. "For hitting me during fight night? Don't worry about it." There's another moment of silence, and then, "Sorry I didn't get a couple licks in, that's all. You de-stressed any?"

[Wolf-9: Mars] "Not really. You didn't hit me back." Mars glances over her shoulder by her starboard wing, noting the change in Wolf-1's positioning. It's back to staring forward then, adjusting her grip on the stick as she speaks again. "I'd heard about the Marines bluster before. Hadn't realized it was to the point of being delusional." Pause. "It was a nice change of pace from the who is frakking who crap in the berthings."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "If it's any consolation, getting hit didn't exaaaactly cool me down any." Xanthus keeps steady on Mars tail, "I'd be happy to return the favor later if you want, but you'll have to stand still for me." Glib amusement, like he's takes nothing seriously. That he adds, "Some stress never goes away." has an out of place quality to it, though. It's casual like everything else he says, but it's not quite… right. "I miss my last ship. They kept us in line. Even if I danced all around it."

[Wolf-9: Mars] "It doesn't help when the CAG is off with migraines or shooting herself or whatever the story is now. And don't get me started on Captain Legacy's moods. Captain Malek is pretty straight lace, but… it doesn't look like any of them are trying to rein in some of the dumbass shit that's been happening." Grumble grumble, gripe. Mars seems to realize she's going on, because she goes silent for a good couple of seconds. She returns with: "There's no way I'll stand still for you. I will allow you to chase me, however."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "Only CAG we've got. And the Captain's alright, but the cat's laid back when he doesn't think anyone else is taking a peek. I figured that out real fast." Jester continues off behind Rainbow, though his replies are tame. He knows, of course, where the line is and how not to cross it. "A challenge, eh?" He closes in on Wolf-9, decreasing the distance between the two space craft, "I frakking hate it out here." admits he without any explanation.

[Wolf-9: Mars] "I hate it too." Mars' voice is oddly soft with those words, like maybe there's something stuck in her throat. "It just seems like people are just going through the motions… They certainly aren't giving this war or whatever you want to call it, their total focus. Too busy acting like Academy cadets on weekend leave." Pulling in a breath, she asks, "So, what if it was a challenge? What are you going to do about it?" Her thrusters flare a little and her viper picks up some speed, changing vector slightly positive in the z axis.

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "Of course not. You look into the sun lately, Indy?" Xanthus follows, drifting off course now to to stay nearer to Wolf-9 in the long run, when they reconverge. "Not sure if you've noticed, but I'm going through the motions, too." He doesn't sound comfortable being this honest, "Got my hangups to keep me from thinking about it." His craft starts to come back into place, coming a little closer to the other one, now. Rather than answer her other question, he just asks, "You ever think of home?" And he hits the burners a bit more.

[Wolf-9: Mars] "Sometimes. Mostly in the context of 'oh gods oh gods, now I'm stuck with these people forever.'" Mars steadily curves the arc of her trajectory over the Kharon, circling the ship about it's center of axis. "You've still been more on task than some people with larger and shinier pins on their collar." Wha. A compliment? "I can deal with the Colonies not being there any more, but these people I'm supposed to be standing shoulder to shoulder with? I don't respect a lot of them. That's what I'm struggling with." Pause. "You aren't okay." It's phrased as a statement, not a question.

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "Nobody is." Xanthus stays on his wingmate. He doesn't sound right at all. Xan does not speak like this. He's the life of the party, you know. "I'm not supposed to be here. I mean for real. I'm supposed to be on Caprica. You know, being lazy actually saved my frakking life. I miss it." He does not specify what he misses, "They're all coping however they cope, you know."

[Wolf-9: Mars] "If they don't start coping more privately, I'll put them out of their frakking misery. I don't want to die because someone in our squadron doesn't have their frakking head on straight. And that includes you, Jester," Mars replies, a tad harshly. A second or two later, she speaks up again, "I wouldn't call that lazy. You're just lucky. And it may not be easy surviving a holocaust, but at least it's a life. It may not be the best one, but it's life." Unexpectedly, she jerks her stick upwards, pulling high and away from Wolf-1 and putting on a heavy burn.

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "What, you think you're doing alright?" Wolf-1 chases right after Wolf-9, burning hard, though the other pilot's clearly edging away from him. "You put on a good show, but I can see the cracks. It's all very, very surreal out here, but I feel like keeping air between my teeth, not hanging myself on some stupid noose." He adds, hitting the afterburners again, "And I feel like chasing, sometimes."

[Wolf-9: Mars] "It doesn't matter whether I'm doing alright or not. As long as I do my damned job and I don't get any one else killed, who cares?" Mars states with more than a little bit of sharpness in her tone. "I will not go on a rampant slut fest to make myself feel better. And I won't act out and start food fights because I can't handle being one of the last humans in the galaxy. Boo. Frakking. Hoo." Then: "Chase me all you like, Jester. You'll never catch me."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "Veeeery convincing argument. Who's the one who needs convincing?" Xanthus sounds a bit amused as he flies behind the other pilot, "No, I don't think you'll be going on a rampant slut fest either. I also think you need a good sock in the mouth more than I thought." He burns after her, though the other pilot's just not going to get caught, by the looks of things, "And yeah. Looks like you're right. I'll never catch you. And with you so far ahead of me right now, it'd be a real shame if the toasters came by, what with us now in nothing that even resembles formation, huh? Got your head screwed on tight or what?" He laughs.

[Wolf-9: Mars] "I just wanted to see you in action, speedy," Mars says over the coms. "Clearly, we need to run some drills next CAP… work on your dexterity." This is all delivered in her usual dead pan. She throttles back, letting Xanthus form back up if he wants and adds, "Do you want to sock me in the mouth because I made your face less pretty, because I'm right and you can't stand it or because you think I'm being superior and/or insensitive about the whole thing?" Pause. "Let me point out, I don't care any which way you slice it."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "No. Because you either need a good pop in the face, ooor you need to get laid." Xanthus responds with his usual self-amusement, "I mean, it doesn't have to be one or the other, but you're so pent up you could probably run that viper on steam, alone." He does form up on her, "It's got to be pretty lonely on that private island of yours. That's all I'm saying."

[Wolf-9: Mars] "It's more like a penisula. A well fortified penisula. There's walls, a moat and a gun with a machine gun in a tower." Squinting back at Xanthus through her cockpit glass, Mars grumbles unintelligibly under her breath for a few seconds. "I think there's enough laying going on to do me just fine. I'm not about to spread just because the world is ending and I need something to take the edge off."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] "There's so much laying going on you'd think the crew's trying to repopulate the species by itself." admits Xanthus who just cannot seem to get in front of Mars unless she's going to let him. "I just wanna know why you give a hoot what they're doing. You know, we're really not all that different, you and I. We just play on opposite sides of the court."

[Wolf-9: Mars] Mars doggedly outmaneuvers Xanthus, though there's a few grunts of exertion over the coms. Finally, she starts lining up for a landing on the Kharon. "I don't want anyone else to die either, okay? We are all we've got." Then a com switch, an audible click over the line, "CIC, this is Wolf-9, requesting permission to land the CAP."

[Wolf-1: Xanthus] Xanthus comes in after Mars, "Novel concept, Miss Manners. Look me up some time. You really /could/ use that punch to the face." Amusement to the last, "Hey, you know… maybe we could get you a pedestal to stand on. You'll look great!" The cracks in Jester's armor begin to sew themselves shut in record time as he follows in for the landing.

[Wolf-9: Mars] "I have the ball," Mars calls over the line, definitely more forceful than she needs to. Her viper speeds in to it's landing. There may be more sparks as she lands than is normal.

Mars isn't long for her viper. It looks, in fact, like she's trying to hurry through her post-flight in order to get off the deck quickly. She's already got her canopy down, clipboard filled out and handed over and is in the midst of scrambling down her ladder. "No, there were no problems," she reiterates to one of the deck crew. "That ventral thruster is working great, whatever you did worked." Then it's off and away as she starts for the stairs, helmet hanging from her right hand.

Xanthus's reply to Mars last comment is nothing more than a verbal shrug. He comes in for a relatively uneventful landing by comparison. Once he's helped out of his craft, he pulls his helmet off and starts up the stairs, "Hey! Sunshine!"

There's no halt to her footfalls, but Mars doesn't run. She does look at Xanthus and give him an extra sour look. "That whole conversation never happened. Just FYI." Stomp stomp stomp of bootfalls on the deckplates. "And for the record, I don't think I'm better than anyone else here… I just think maybe I have a valid point that a distracted soldier is much more likely to be a dead one."

Xanthus rolls his eyes and doubletimes up the stairs after Mars, "Yeah. Yeah. And I'm a math prodigy who got bored of books. Hey, Lady Stoneface. I had another of my bright ideas."

Mars draws up short and deadpans, "I'm not going to sleep with you."

Xanthus rolls his eyes again and snorts loudly, "I said a bright idea. You're so acidic you'd probably melt my dick off."

"I'd break you." Mars rolls her eyes right back at Xanthus and resumes walking. "So what's this idea that you've had?"

Xanthus pauses, then shakes his head, "Well, I was going to just lean over and give you a peck on the cheek, since you seem more frigid than a walk-in freezer, but then I got to thinking… well, no." He shrugs, "You got to talking. And it sort of occured to me that I'm going about this all wrong, see?" He's walking with you, and seems to have more to say.

"I'd have punched you," Mars declares as they keep walking along down the Kharon's corridors. That helmet of hers is kept handy. She even swings it a little, just in case Xanthus forgot it was there. "I don't know what you're talking about. Get to the point, Jester."

Xanthus shrugs, "The point? Sure. How about the next time someone opens up to you, you don't act like a complete and total bitch, you dig? It's not that it isn't entertaining to watch… and it's not, you know." He raises an index finger and chuckles, "Make no mistake about that one. But that's juuust the sort of shit to keep people's heads on good and backwards. Now, I figure you were probably hoping for a full 360 degree rotation or at /least/ a winding number or two, but this isn't topology."

"What's a topology?" The way Mars delivers that line, it's clear she knows, she's just doing it to brass Xanthus off. "Actually, it is. A whole lot of people enjoyed me emasculating you the other night in the ring. I am who I am and I don't make apologies for it." The helmet is thrust in generally the direction of the man's chest, substitute for a finger poke as she adds, "And if that was you opening up to me, then you fail at life."

The pop to the face more or less comes from the heart, if one can tell such things by the way the knuckles feel on ones face. While not built up like a true jock, Xanthus is still in the military, and this time he connects with a nice solid /thud/. His eyes arch somewhat and his brow crinkles, "You're a real piece of shit, Indy."

It's not like she didn't sense it coming. Hell, the guy TOLD her he was going to do it. But she sure didn't expect it like this. The punch hit's her right in the face and she goes sprawling back a bit, off-balance, til she hits the far wall with a thud. Blinking, she straightens up and glares at the man. "And you're a gods damned sissy."

Xanthus looks genuinely angry, "Someone else had to come from that fraking ship and it had to fraking be you!" The followup is lower. He goes right for the stomach this time, "They're all fraking dead and all you can do is be snide and sarcastic!"

Oh, she sees this one coming. And she lets it hit her. Mars doubles over, back against the bulkhead so she doesn't quite go down, but she isn't at her full height anymore either. Nope. The helmet is dropped with a clatter and she wheezes for a second or two. "Feel any better yet, Xanny? Or should I mention a few of their names?"

"You're not made…" Xanth pants, "You're not made of metal. Just out of bile." He frowns quite deeply, "You wouldn't stoop that low. You'd have to stop feeling high and mighty." He steps towards her, looking conflicted but not all that enraged. His fingers are opened, not closed. He breathes a weak chuckle, "Or spent overtime on being the delusional chick. Nobody on this ship even frakking likes you."

"Didn't really concern me before. Doesn't really concern me now," Mars manages as she uses the bulkhead to push herself back to her full height. "Your concern /for/ me and my fragile ego is touching, though. Now, if you'll excuse me, my high and mighty throne awaits me." She reaches down to grab her helmet back up, eyeing Xanthus the whole time.

"Fragile." Xanth laughs, "Only thing about you that's fragile is your tenuous grasp on reality." He starts down the hallway, stooping only to pick up his own helmet where he dropped it, himself.

"Xan Xan, you always say the nicest things about me." Mars rolls her eyes at the man and turns away, heading in the opposite direction. "If I were you, I'd work on your strength training exercises a bit more."

Xanthus stops. He's not taking another step forward, at least not right this second. Instead he's peering down the corridor, "Yeah. I probably should."

Mars pauses and glances back over her shoulder. "You coming?… you need a shower as bad as I do."

"Start the festivities without me. I'll be along." Xanth is scratching his chin, and then continues on his way, presumedly to the head.

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