Summary: Sen and Roubani play a game of chess, and one small comment starts an avalanche.
Date: PHD065
Related Logs: Hornets' Nests

Kharon - Officers' Berthings

It's late as hell. If you're first shift, anyway, which Roubani was today. First and most of second, as he tends to do. Now he's in berthings, fresh from scrubbing dirt off in the shower and in his "pajamas", which is really just sweats and a T-shirt that has a picure of a pumpkin, then the symbol for pi. Sitting on the couch, he has the end table pulled up and his chess set sitting out, idly fiddling his way through a game against himself. His laptop is open and staring at him, trying to demand attention and failing.

Even after a shower, Sen still doesn't feel human and it shows by the way she shuffles into berthings like a zombie. Sweat pants, sweat shirt, looks like the ChEng is spending a comfy night in. Before she can make it to her locker, she sees Roubani in his little nest of nerd, and decides to amble that way. "Ensign." Reaching out, her fingertip touches the top of the black queen. "Mm. Don't suppose you're up for that winner's match, are you?"

Roubani's hand comes out immediately to stop this mystery person from stealing his piece…oh, it's his boss. He settles his arm back down, giving the board a weary look. "I may as well, sir. I've managed to lock my own self into zugzwang and I'm barely sure how."

Sen moves past to occupy another cushion of the couch, letting him pull around the little end table when he's ready. "You know, they say if you give a hundred monkeys a hundred keyboards and let them bang away at them for a hundred years, they'll reproduce the works of some of our greatest writers, sheerly by happenstance. Even the dynamics of chess are fully defined by their initial conditions with no random elements involved." Chaos Theory in board games. Let Nerd Night begin.

"Chess always has two random elements, sir," Roubani replies, drily. "Its players." His finger flicks at one of his knights, knocking it over, then he uses his good hand and one of his flip-flopped feet to start pushing the table her way.

Sen catches the edge of the table, and helps to move it the rest of the way. "Even then, there's only a finite number of moves and combinations, and only so many possible outcomes. One winner, one loser, or one stalemate. Unless we decide to light the board on fire, that might be new."

Roubani says softly, "If you only play with the end in mind, Captain, then you're missing the best parts of the game." He settles his braced arm into some position where it won't have to move for a while, then nods to her as he starts resetting the pieces. "Woudl you care to flip for white?"

Sen's smile comes easy again, the tensions of the day before left to the day before. "I'll conceed white to the winner of the previous game. Would you join me in a drink, Ensign? I could use one, but I've always felt strange about drinking alone." She looks ready to stand, should he agree, to fetch the liquor.

Roubani glances up from the board. In his brief hesitation is an impulse to say no, then the pause lingers on. "I suppose I wouldn't mind one," he says finally, in a voice that sounds almost cautious about being overheard.

Sen stands up from the couch she was occupying with Roubani. They seem to be playing a game of chess. No really, they were actually on the couch about to play chess. She skirts towards her bunk, and bends to lean into it, retrieving a small bottle of booze and making a pitstop by the coffee urn to grab a pair of mugs. "That's the spirit." The ChEng intones in a sing song voice, then returns to hand out everything, pour, and get ready for their ultimate throwdown.

Roubani has the pieces set up, white on his side. He gently scratches his hand through his hair as she returns with the bottle and mugs, watching the board. He's in his pajamas, which is sweatpants and a T-shirt, a pair of beaten flipflops on his feet and his bathrobe over his shoulders. It looks sort of like a boxer's corner, for geeks. For his part he looks a little distracted, looking at the board but seeing something else until the noise of her return brings him back. It comes out in the chess move, as he opens with an infinitely boring start - Queen's Gambit. He nods slightly to the mugs. "What is it?"

Cygnus has not been seen much of late outside of services and the Chapel. One might draw the conclusion that the Kharon's Chaplain has been consumed with the preparations for his friend who's job he now fills. After all, something beyond the usual, simple military funeral service would be far more fitting for a deceased Padre. Which is a moniker Cygnus still hasn't wrapped his brain around being called. Of course, when first he steps into the Officer's berthings, several scrolls and books in hand, one could be forgiven if at first they had no clue who the priest actually was. The formerly rich, lustrous hair has given way to what can only be described as a 'buzzcut', short all the way down nearly to the scalp. At first, the man appears completely distracted as he heads over to his rack and sets the various literature on his shelf, though once he spots Roubani, the priest visably tenses.

Sen balances the cup on one knee, then reaches forward to mirror his move by nudging forward her own King's pawn so it faces off against his. "Ambrosia. I'm boring." She informs Roubani simply, before taking a sip. Her eyes flick up to find Cygnus as he comes throught the hatch, offering him a one finger wave, though she's never spent much time with the man to call him out by name, rank, or job description.

Roubani advances his own game with a move and then tips his head, rubbing his eyebrow with his ring finger. Headache or something on his mind, who can tell. He picks up his cup, looking at the liquid inside for a time before taking a single swallow. His eyes come up over the rim of the mug and spot Cygnus standing there being tense, and he softly clears his throat. His ears gain a faintly embarassed flush and he murmurs, "Would you rather we played elsewhere so you can work, sir?"

"No, that won't be necessary, Mister Roubani." There's a hint of distance in Cygnus' tone when he speaks, the former warmth that usually suffuses his demeanor when dealing with the Ensign is notably lacking, though as to the cause of it, who knows? A smile is offered to the ChEng along with a murmured, "Captain, hope the evening is treating you well?" The shelf by his rack gets rooted through and several different texts find their way into his hands.

Sen offers Cygnus a rather warm smile when he greets her, her eyes dipping back down to the board casually as she pulls out her Knight and moves him infront of her bishop's pawn, king's side. Say that ten times fast. "Very well, thank you Chaplain." Her attention returns to Cygnus for a moment. "But thank you for not asking us to move, saves me the hassle of telling a Chaplain where he can stick my rook." She teases lightly, before sipping again at her drink and going back to the board to watch Roubani's next move.

Roubani answers the move by moving his queenside knight out, jumping over the first row of pawns. At Cygnus' tone he keeps his eyes down on his hands, not risking saying anything else.

A wink is shot in Sen's direction as Cygnus begins to chuckle, "Depending on which set of rumors you listen to, I might actually enjoy that." Bending and leaning across his bunk, a few more scrolls are pulled out in place of the ones he's set aside. "No need to move at all though, I was just stopping in for some different texts, actually."

Sen clucks her tongue, likely at Roubani's move more then the Chaplain's words. She brings her King's bishop out of hiding, pushing him in a diagonal until he gets to C4. If Sen notices any tension in the room, she certainly isn't commenting on it. "Much like Engineering, I suspect religious work is never done."

Roubani picks up his bishop, making a move that mirrors hers on the left side of the board. He picks up the mug with the alcohol in it, using the rim to stay hidden behind while he drinks from it.

"That is a comonality more than likely. Endless work?" A shake of the head is all Cygnus replies at first, "Lately it's been… Well with the…" The words trail off for a moment, and Mac has to pause and draw in a deep breath to keep his voice even and level, "With the funeral tomorrow, there's been a lot of extra things to take into account."

Marcon arrives from the Hallway - Deck 1, Fore.
Marcon has arrived.

The game rages on, in terms of chess, which means they aren't taking hours for each move. No pieces have been taken off the board yet, though, and the dance continues as she moves her pawn forward to B4, kittycorner to the bishop he just advanced. "I'll be sure to stop by, pay my respects." Because it's the polite thing to do, and Sen for all her grease and crassness, is still a good officer. She's sitting with Roubani on the couch, the pair playing chess.

Pushing the door open with his foot while carrying a tray, Specialist Marcon enters the room and looks around in interest. He'd been in the officer's bunks before, but they always disappointed him. He always expected something flashier. Doing his best to salute while balancing the tray, he stands at attention. "Excuse me, sirs, but it's a bit quiet in the mess and I thought you lot might enjoy a snack. I used some of the flour and sugar I stashed away for a rainy day… fresh cookies, sirs, though we seem to be running low on milk."

Roubani, in the meantime, is doing his best imitation of a part of the scenery. Being out of the conversation gives his mind time to go back to what was distracting it before, which has gained volume enough to draw his brows together into wrinkles. He moves his bishop, taking one of Sen's pawns, then his eyes flicker to the side at the sound of another voice.

Cygnus had been just about to head to the hatch when the cook steps into the berthings. And offers… cookies? For a man who is normally seen eating very little, his eyes pop open wide at the sight of the tray in a way that suggests that suddenly he could eat a horse. Two cookies are nicked from the tray, a soft purr rolling around in the back of his throat. "I hate to eat and run, but I have a scheduled appointment." A bite is taken from one of the treats and the preacher audibly /groans/ out loud in a manner that sounds far more sexual than simple culinary appreciation. "The Gods love you, Specialist. I never thought I'd get to enjoy a cookie again in my life." With that, Marius doffs a quick little salute in Sen's direction - with the cookie - and starts heading for the hallway.

Sen merely quirks a bit of a smile as Roubani removes her pawn from the board, but black presses on, and another pawn comes off the front line, backing up her bishop in the 'c' column, moving only one slot forward. "Cookies!" Well, if there is one thing to get the Captain's attention, it's sugar. "Who needs milk. I have Ambrosia. Bring one of those over here, will you? If I move, I'll lose track of the Ensign's thought process." A lazy salute is offered the departing Cygnus, but her eyes are back on Roubani's face. "You think any harder, Ensign, and your forehead is going to permanently wrinkle. I passed the sample off to medical, by the way. The CMO was intrigued and gave it priority."

Marcon grins at the sound of his cookies being so enjoyed. "Sir, yes, sir. Enjoy them sir." Walking over to the table, Marcon carefully places the tray and hands over the requested cookie. "If I may be so bold, sir, ambrosia might not be the best choice. If I may be even a bit bolder, its a waste of a good cookie AND a good drink. If you had any Aquarian Rum, however, that would suit the palatte perfectly."

Roubani gives Marcon a vague smile. "To some people these cookies are like life sup…port…" he trails off, abruptly, and his eyes go to Sen. And there they sort of hang for a second, looking at her. Like really, that's quite a stare for a second. Petit mal seizure? No, his eyes are focused, soemthing twitching its way across his brows.

Sen locks eyes with Roubani. Cookie? What cookie? Chess game? They're playing chess? Even the poor Specialist is forgotten for the time being, and the ChEng just simply stares at Roubani like they've just come to some conclusion. "Life support." She repeats, sounding breathless like she's just run a marathon and collapsed at the finish line.

Marcon looks back and forth between the two officers, clearly confused. "Well, thank you, sirs, but I… is something wrong, sir?"

It is not often one catches Roubani like this. Staring, mouth open, slightly pale. If he locked his brows together any harder, skin might come peeling off his temples. "They have life support. Oh my gods." He stands like a shot, banging his shin against the table leg and not even noticing. "Specialist! I'm so sorry." He snatches two cookies off the tray, shoving one between his teeth. "Heavenly! I've got to go." He almost trips over his chair, getting around Marcon.

Sen turns to Marcon, offering an apologetic smile. "You've just witnessed a brain storm. Sorry if you forgot your umbrella. You'll excuse us, though? I think we've just cracked something rather large…" She's standing too, no way the ChEng is going to miss this. "Sorry, terribly sorry." She's apologizing all the way out the hatch.

With a sigh, Marcon salutes as the two officers steam out of the room. Momentarily alone, Marcon takes a seat, and munches a cookie while looking at the board in front of him. "Bloody Gemenese opening. No wonder their games last for frakking ever." Standing again, he grabs his tray. Maybe some of the engineers were hungry…

Roubani is in a T-shirt, sweatpants, flip flops, and a bathrobe. Where the hell is he going? Wherever it is it's at top speed, with a cookie in his mouth. Oh the examples engineering sets for underlings.

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