The Game of Kings
The Game of Kings
Summary: Timon and Roubani play chess, with consequences.
Date: PHD062
Related Logs: When Pilots Invade

OOC note: The chess game played is the Immortal Game (Anderssen v Kieseritzky, 1851). For notation and move-by-move diagrams for the curious, click here at the top game.

Kharon - Game Room

19:45. It is TIME! FOR…not really all that much, truth be told. Chess is exciting to that particular class of people who hear 'leather bound' and think books instead of brothels. Roubani's been down here for a little while as he waits for Timon, and presumably anyone going to be cheering from Timon's corner. Sort of like the wait last night, only his version of 'taping up' involves getting absorbed in a book open on his knees.

Like a lamb to slaughter comes one Timon Stathis, whose skill behind the controls of a Raptor will not serve him here, in this place, against that man. "Ensign Roubani," he calls in greeting — gamely, as if he's already resigned himself to the inevitable. Then, quoting from memory: "Every man then sacrificed to the immortal gods, praying to escape death and wars killing zone. Agamemnon, king of men, sacrificed an ox, a fat one, five years old, to Zeus, exalted son of Cronos." The lieutenant takes his seat opposite his opponent, his off-duty uniform gathering at his waist as he bends. "Know where I can find a spare ox, Poet?"

Thea slips into the berthings in her uniform, though in the process of taking her hair down. While seemingly relaxed, she has that air of "Captain on deck" about her, distant and professional. "Lieutenant," she says quietly to Timon, glancing briefly at the board. "Ensign." She doesn't stop to talk.

Nine had gotten here earlier, along with Roubani or maybe even a little earlier, having caught wind of the engagement and not daring to miss it or not get a good seat. Like hte place is going to be jam packed. She's perched on the forward end of an arm of a sofa, not far from Roubani, where he reads, her head perched between her uplifted knees, though it rises as others start to wander in.

The underground geek world of the Kharon has been a buzz with talk of the chess throw down. This is the proud pocket protector wearers version of last night's fight night, and so the creme de la creme of the taped-glasses and high water pants boasting have shown up to cheer, bet, or otherwise leer at the chess match between Roubani and Timon. Sen's unashamed to be among them. She enters the game room with her blues jacket off, but draped over her arm as if expecting to be called back to duty at any time. "Boys." She greets simply as she winds around for a place to sit behind and off to the side of Roubani, no doubt who she's backing in this game of good versus evil, white against black.

"If you're speaking solely about build and disposition," Roubani replies mildly to Timon, "I suppose Captain Marek might do in a pinch." He closes the book over his fingers and puts it aside, with a little reluctance. Always when things are getting good. "Lieutenant Komnenos didn't come?" Eyes flicker towards Thea and he nods politely. Well there's one Raptor in the corner. Versus his TWO engineers in his! Haha beat that. He half-smiles at Sen and also at Nine. "Sir. PO."

Hale has come later and rather quickly from the Messhall all the way past the lounge and into here. He's not even pausing to stop at one of the pool tables, or a card game. Rather he, hurriedly with lit cigarette in hand and his duty jacket left somewhat opened, has made a bee line for where the Chessmatch is to have occurred. "Did I miss anything?" Hale asks to the first person whom seems to be the closest to him. Sadly, probably for her Sake, this is Captain Sen. and then Rabbit mutters mainly out of the blue "I'm putting five cigarettes on Roubani.."

"Now I wish I'd listened to you, Captain, and gotten more sleep last night." There's a bit of strain in Timon's voice as he delivers to Legacy what for him counts as a profuse apology. "This young whippersnapper here's going to eat me alive. As for Thorn, his brain would probably explode after two minutes in the audience, and I need my ECO alive so he can crunch numbers for me. Anyway. White or black, Ensign?" Ivory's brown eyes examine the newcomers with some care, though he doesn't bother introducing himself. One-track mind and all that.

Nine's back straightens as her boss comes to join her in the cheering section she's staked out behind Roubani, a couch, in fact, and she offers her a timid sort of smile. "Are we allowed to make bets?" she wonders quietly. And by 'we' she of course means 'I,' since the rules about gambling with NCOs are iffy.

Legacy dips her head to Sen as she moves by. "Captain," she says quietly. "PO," this, of course, to Nine. "Lieutenant," this to Hale. She moves past the gathering to a chair a bit away from the group, pausing only to call quietly over her shoulder, "You'll do fine, Lieutenant."

"Sir, don't be so hard on yourself," Roubani says, with an empathetic half-smile. He digs a small coin from his pocket, scooting it over to the nearest person. Which happens to be Nine. "We'll flip for white. You call."

"Tails," says Timon, cracking his knuckles. "I'm told it never fails."

Nine's cheeks blotch up in their usual pattern of embarrassment as she's suddenly called into the center of attention, and after a moment's staring she takes the coin and simply does her best not to drop it on the floor, leaning out and flicking it up with her thumb, catching it and slapping it into her other hand before peeking.

"Heads," her meek voice calls out, and her arm stretches out to show the coin for validation, since she is decidedly a spectator of bias.

"Captain." Hale rattles off around his cigarette towards Legacy and then nothing more as he is focused on what seems to be the start of the game, and well the gambling odds-after all he does have five cigarettes on Roubani-perhaps a smart choice, or it could be that Hale is just loyal to his squaddies, current-and injured.

Sen ticks a finger off her head to Legacy as she passes, "Captain." She greets likewise, then turns her attention back to Hale. "Nothing yet. They haven't even begun. I don't smoke, but I'll put a nip of liquor on Roubani, too." She smiles slightly, then shifts in her seat to fish a lollipop out of her pocket. It's going to be a sad day when her inexhaustable supply of hard candy is finally actually exhausted. The wrapper crinkles loudly as she peels it off the cherry flavored disk.

Roubani purses his lips in attempt not to smile as Nine announces the call. He has the grace, at least, not to heckle the poor Lieutenant's choice of coin side loyalty. He merely makes his move, bringing out his king's pawn two spaces forward. "Cigarettes, liquor…whatever shall be my prize, I wonder."

Legacy settles in her chair, pulling a small book from her pocket. While she's a good bit away from the group at the chess board, she's not completely out of there sphere of interest. While the book gets opened, she glances over toward the action every so often.

"Then Ivory shall take black, and with the flip of a coin the game is decided." Timon straightens in his chair, examining the Ensign's first move; then, as if by rote, he too advances his king's pawn two spaces. "Your move."

Komnenos strides into the room, his eyes still somewhat bleary from the previous night of light sleep, but the mess hall sludge seems to have given him a jolt. The game already seems to be under way, so he tries not to cause too much commotion as he enters. As he sees bets being placed, however, he can't resist getting in on the action. "A pack of smokes on the Ivory Tower," he booms; if he wins, great, if not, well, his prodigious reserves are back out of hack, so the loss of a pack won't hurt him too badly. Besides, if Timon does lose, the prize of an entire pack ought to make somebody happy.

"And thus does he accept the King's Gambit," Roubani murmurs. His gimpy right arm, bound in its restrictive brace, rests on the table where it won't be bumped. He's left handed anyway. King's bishop pawn gets moved up two spaces to settle beside its kingly partner.

"Wager some more, Thorn," calls the Raptor pilot from his seat, not bothering to turn — he recognizes the voice. "I'll do my best to lose so your deathsticks go somewhere else." Meanwhile, the advanced black pawn takes the proffered sacrifice. "First blood," Timon notes with a slight grin. "I like to live dangerously."

"Hope you don't mind losing your smokes, Thorn-my brother in arms here, Poet's going to rake th' board. There will be blood." or so Hale softly exclaims as to make his point, otherwise he will keep quiet so as not to disturb the game going on quickly. A glance is passed to Sen, and an eye on the sucker before he simply nods "Thanks Cap'n.." but the rest is lost, all lost as the game begins.

Thea's sitting apart from the group, a small book open on her lap as she relaxes back in her chair. While she's clearly not part of the betting pool going on around the chess game, she does seem somewhat interested in the goings on. She's in her blues today, hair down - which generally signifies off-duty. Her eyes move among the gathered, though seem to focus on Komnenos and Timon for some reason.

Sen pops the candy in her mouth, the hard sugar clacking against her teeth. She's sitting vaguely behind Roubani, in the dubbed 'home team' section, versus Timon who gets to be the vistor as he lost the coin toss for color. Her Blue's jacket is folded over her lap, as if she's not expecting to stay long, but wanted to make a show for her Engineering Ensign. "C'mon Roubani, he wouldn't know what to do with a Rook if you left your King wide open in a classic Doedevsky move." Ah, geek smack talk.

With all the Raptor pilot's bemoaning the cigarettes, Roubani takes the opportunity to fish one out of his front pocket and light it up. Perhaps solely to annoy Timon now. He smirks at the capture of his pawn. "Touche'." He brings out his king's bishop through the diagonal now opened up, settling it two spaces down from that initial pawn.

Kai drifted in at some point, hands habitually tucked into the pockets of his duty blues. That the smack talk's already started might be indicative of the pilots involved, or possibly only the Engineering officer's skill. Quiet, he watches the goings-on from a short distance away.

"Figures." Timon pauses to think, chewing on his lower lip as he does. Then, he moves his queen along her open diagonal, placing her squarely on the side of the board. "Check."

"Hah!" Thorn barks at Timon's caustic remark. "Better not throw the game on account of that, you. I've plenty more where these came from — and I'll just be even more annoyed than usual."

Roubani smokes in silence, elbow on the table as he regards the board. What was that about four-move checkmates last night? He doesn't chuckle, giving no sign as to whether that was or wasn't just a stupid mistake on his part. His king's shifted over one space to the right, moved to where his bishop had started out.

"Can't castle anymore," Timon observes — not that Poet is likely to need reminding — and moves instantly to seize the momentum. Up two squares goes the pawn guarding his queenside knight to threaten the white bishop.

Roubani's singed eyebrow ticks up slightly at the choice of move, and smoke curls from his nose. "Who says I meant to run?" The bishop he'd moved out slides one more diagonal slot to the left, taking the pawn that Timon had just moved. Parry, riposte.

Ahhh, the heart-pounding, breath-catching excitement that is a chess game. Thea's head cants slightly to the side as she watches not the board, but the faces of those surrounding it. As she spots Kai, the Raptor Captain offers him a nod before going back to her dual perusal of the room's occupants.

Komnenos turns back to Hale after his ribbing of his crewmate. Business comes before idle conversation. "I dunno, Rabbit, Ivory's pretty sharp himself — for a mere flight suit insert," he adds with a laugh. He makes cracks about pilots, sure, but he never means it in the way he would if he were talking about Marines. ECOs and pilots are of a kind, after all. "I'll give Roubani some credit, t' be sure, but I doubt this'll be a walkover."

"Pawn for a pawn. I'll take it." Timon turns his attention to the other side of the board, leaning his head against his left hand as he considers his position. Then, hesitantly, he moves his kingside knight toward the center of the board, his eyes fixed on white's sole advanced pawn.

Nine leans forward in silence among all the chatter, coin clenched in her hand as her hand draws back toward her. As she edges forward it becomes lees and less apparent how she's even staying seated on the inch or two of sofa arm she seems to be clinging to with her feet, her face half-hidden behind her knees as she watches the game unfold.

"Your kingdom for that horse," Roubani reaches for the board. King's knight is brought out, suddenly threatening that queen that Timon had used so boldly a few minutes ago. "What will you do to protect the one you love, Lieutenant?"

Kai is either really absorbed in the game going on, or his mind's just a million light years away. Legacy's nod is returned absently, but he makes no effort otherwise to draw attention to himself. The smell of a cigarette being lit however, prompts a brief foray into his pockets for one of his own. Addict.

Sen doesn't have the annoying habit of smoking, no, but she does rival it with the way she eats candy. She sucks on the lollipop noisely, moving the stick from one corner of her mouth to the other and back again, like a steady tick tock of a metranome. She leans forward, clearly in anticipation. Some people have Pyramid matches, the ChEng has chess as her favored spectator sport.

"Oi My Bro-" and he quiets as a few moves are made, before he's looking right back up towards Komnenos "Poet's a classy bit of work. mind sharp as a surgeon's scalpel. Soon enough his guts made will bring about the healing you pilot clearly needs. By that, I mean Ivory's going to fail." a sniff as he looks down to the game at hand. Sure Hale's got a mind for tactics, just not these tactics.

"Lose tempo or lose the only girl I have on the board?" asks Timon rhetorically. "Nothing doing, she's going backwards." As indeed she does, shifting two squares until she's touching the base of the pawn behind her.

"Keep her dance card empty…" Roubani's dark eyes focus on Timon a moment as he half-smile. But for that queen he doesn't go. His queen's pawn is advanced one square and suddenly white has solid control over the centre of their board.

"Take the center, Ensign." One of Timon's spindly fingers rises, twirling brown hair around it like yarn around a loom. "I'll do what I can to protect the rest. Knight to h5." Threatening to fork the white king and rook, he doesn't say — not that he needs to.

Kassia walks into the game room, after hearing there was some great challenge between to equally matches opponents. She has to stop though a few steps in because there's a back in her way, which could belong to anyone with a frown she places her hand on their back and peers past. "Excuse me, I just wanna peek and see what's going on." She says, as she leans around them she looks up to see whom it is. Quickly she takes back her hand and looks a little embaressed she's had never touched the CAG. "I'm sorry sir." She says stepping back a little.

It's around this stage of a chess game that it becomes easy to spot beginners. They react to each move separately, scrambling to block a piece that immediately threatens one of theirs. Roubani does no such thing. He shifts his king's knight to the right wall of the board, directly under Timon's knight.

"You seem awfully sure about that, Rabbit," Thorn says slyly, choosing to ignore the fact that Roubani controls the center for the moment. Komnenos knows enough about the game from his parents — chess aficionados themselves, though Anton himself had never really dallied with the game himself — to know that things are rarely decided in the first third of the game. His eyes glint mischieviously; the wheels of his mind keep on turning. "Care t' make things a little more interesting, then?"

Legacy smiles a bit at spotting Kassia, though there are tiny little worry-lines in her forehead. She nods to the woman then turns her attention back to Komnenos and Hale, more curious about their interactions than the game going on.

And like the neophyte he is, Timon moves once again to the attack. His queen, having turned tail, counterattacks — up and around the developed black knight. At least he has the dignity to endanger two pieces: Roubani's knight and bishop, for those keeping score back home.

Sen glances up as her name is paged over the intercom. Sigh. No rest for the wicked, or at least the Chief of Engineering. As she slips to her feet, she crunches the lollipop's existance to dust between her teeth, moving to shrug her duty jacket back on. "Best of luck, chums. You'll have to let me play winner sometime." Maybe she can do more with a chess board then just be a spectator.

"It's fine," is Kai's terse evaluation of the unexpected hand on his back, and the sheepishness that follows in its wake. He briefly meets the Ensign's eyes, before returning his attention to the game at hand. Not like he has anything but the most rudimentary idea of what's going on over there. An intellectual, the man is not. "Captain," he murmurs politely to the ChEng who passes them on her way out.

Roubani glances up as Sen moves to go, wiggling his fingers at her. Bye boss. Then it's back to the game, concentration starting to sharpen now. His knight's moved again, taking its L-shaped course right to that queen's direct left side. Out of danger? No, but to take that knight would be suicide; Roubani's pawn is waiting in position on the diagonal.

Kassia looks up briefly and sees Legacy looking at her, she looks a little confused at the expression but manaers to smile before she goes to meet Kai's eyes, she drops them and back off. Standing next to the door frame she leans against it, angled so she can see into the room and the chess playing pair.

Hale nods once towards Sen "Cap'n.." There's a glance towards Kai, before he's looking back towards Timon with a slight smirk, and a dying drag of his cigarette, nursing the current one so it lasts. "Seems like he's got th' center of the board. I don' play mate-but I figure that's a good thing.."

"I'm sure Poet could make that happen, Captain." Timon appreciates Thorn's loyalty, but he at least is under no delusions. His self-effacing admission is accompanied by a soft chuckle as he discovers his attack blunted by an unexpectedly aggressive move. "Well then," the pilot murmurs. "Once more unto the breach, men, once more." Up one square goes the pawn in front of his queenside bishop, attacking once more white's pesky bishop. This time, with backup.

Sen offers smiles to people in departing, then she slips out of the hatch quietly. Someone will have to do her smack talking for her.

"How more interesting mate? You've got a pack up.." asked as he glances back towards Thorn for a second. it appears Hale is listening, even if he is paying his best attention to the chess match, which the small serious scowl-might denote. Concentration. Learning and watching all in the same go.

Nine's heart sort of leaps about inside of her at the move that sets the knight by the queen, and her knees unbend a degree or two in a corresponding bounce, but she doesn't as much as cheer aloud. She's not a shouty sort of person, on the whole. But this is exciting.

Roubani chuckles under his breath. "Come on now, Lieutenant. You're playing well." It's not patronizing, it sounds like an honest compliment. And now, Timon's pawn is threatening that bishop on the left side. In war, some men will do anything in their power to protect an injured man back to safety. Roubani, however, leaves the bishop be. His king's knight's pawn is moved up instead, far in the background.

Kai's eyes shift, too, to the conversation between Rabbit and Thorn. Just watching for the time being; he doesn't look like he plans on getting involved in it, any more than the game he's casually observing. A cigarette's pulled out finally, lit, and smoke sucked gratefully into his lungs.

"Flattery," says Timon, his tone jocular. Once more Timon's advance is beaten back. With a last longing look at the bishop just waiting to be taken, the lieutenant accepts his fate and moves his knight back one and right three — his right, that is. The weathered piece lands adjacent to the white horse, safe from harm. "And I was just about to send you packing to the brig for striking my men." Looks like Ivory's bad at puns, too.

Legacy offers Kassia a small smile, then goes back to the book that's open on her lap, head bending, hair falling over her face.

Kassia nods her head at her Captain before her eyes settle on the two playing chess against she's shifting on the door frame, trying to mind a spot where the bulkhead is not digging into her side. She doesn't have too much padding there.

Roubani picks up his kingside rook, shuffling it one little space to the left. Threatening anything? Nope. Blocking anything? Nope. What the heck is he doing?

With the eagerness of a man half his age, Timon's hand drops toward the pawn threatening Roubani's bishop, taking it posthaste. "Bet you expected that, didn't you?" Whatever. He's captured more pieces than his opponent has. Surely that's a good thing, right?

Komnenos grunts. "This early in the game, doesn't mean too much — though for now, Roubani's got th' superior position, I'll give you that. Right now, they've only traded a pawn for a pawn, though; wait until midgame, when positions are set and pieces start dropping like flies." His voice is taking on a lecturing tone, almost like that of a teacher's. It doesn't sound like he's being purposely patronizing, though; it sounds more like habit than anything else. He pauses his lecture on the finer points of chess, however, as he notices the way Hale is nursing his smoke. "They're not for nursing, man, they're for smoking. Here." Komnenos pulls out another cigarette from his seemingly endless supply and hands it to the Viper pilot. "As for how much more interesting… well, you're so sure Poet's going t' wipe the floor with our Ivory, hmm? Tell you what: I've got a bottle of ambrosia — the real stuff, mind, not one of those cheap Caprican knockoffs — hidden away. Was saving it for a special occasion. If Poet wins the game up by five pieces or more, I'll split it with you." He suddenly grins as Ivory takes a bishop, but hopes it doesn't scare Hale off. "But if my friend the Raptor jock wins — well, I'll leave it t' you t' think of adequate collateral."

Did Roubani expect that? Who can tell. He arches a brow, his pinky absently scratching the tip of his nose. "Blood is blood, Lieutenant." His rightmost pawn is brought up two spaces, now threatening the queen that Timon left out there.

Timon's queen, once idle, now springs to life, fleeing from the pesky pawn that just so happens to be guarded by its very own knight. "Popular gal, isn't she?" the lieutenant notes, even as he facilitates the queen's retreat. Back one square she goes, pushed right up against the wall of infantry protecting black's idle king's side.

Roubani smiles. His hand's already coming out as Timon's retreats, and the same pawn is moved again one space, again threatening Timon's queen like a cat creeping up on prey.

Hale seems unconcerned, but that is his game face-same face seen by countless who have faced off with him in pyramid. Still Hale looks towards the offered cigarette and shakes his head as for it being offered. "Fine. Along with your pack, I assume.." a chuckle there. "I've for a bottle of Poor Richard's hidden, I'll split it with you- if your man wins." Simple there. Rum for ambrosia-which seems to denote- how the Leonian thinks of his colonies spirits. And game face is back down, with a huff of smoke.

"Persistence is a virtue, Ensign." The black queen only has one place to go — where she was before — and that's where Timon places her. "Plan on keeping her dancing all night? It's not like she's playing hard to get."

Roubani's queen, now having an open diagonal towards the distinct battle line drawn by his pawns, is scooted up into the fray. Now one of Timon's pawns is stuck between four white pieces, but what exactly the Ensign could do with this little clusterfrak isn't all too clear. "Please, sir. I'm not heartless."

Thea peeks up from her book at Roubani's comment, a brow arching slightly. Clearly someone's not conversant in chess. The expression on her face is clear bafflement as she tries to figure out whether they're playing chess or engaging in thermonuclear war.
Once moving quicker than bullets from a Viper's KEWs, Timon's play now slows considerably as he considers Roubani's latest move. "You'll either move your bishop up, trapping my queen, or — hmm." The pilot scratches at his nose, deep in thought. Brown eyes flick across the board — from his knight to White's line of pawns and back again. "There. Pawn to e5, exposing an attack on my rook." He grins ruefully. "Clever, Ensign. I've no choice." Backwards goes another of black's advanced pieces — the knight, this time, returning to his stable at the back edge of the board.

Kai just continues to watch. And smoke quietly. Blue eyes back on the game, even if said game might as well be midgets in a marching band, for all he's able to make sense out of it.

Thorn smiles in satisfaction. "Right, then — you're on." He offers a hand to shake on it. With his other hand, he pulls out another cancer stick, this time for himself. "All right, Ivory, you've got a real wager riding on you now… don't you disappoint me, what?"

Nine watches white swarm, her eyes going mildly unfocused for a moment, her cheeks still blotchy red from the excitement of the match, though they occcaionally are overcome with their usual pallor when one of the combatants makes a move.

Roubani just watches while Timon's forced to undo so much of his earlier development on the board, his pieces aggressively controlling the centre now. but you know what they say, it ain't over. He brings up his queen's bishop through the hole in the white-around-black cluster, slurping up Timon's pawn that's trapped in the middle. It now threatens Timon's queen as well. His eyes flick up from the board, watching the Lieutenant.

"Now you're giving up cigs and booze, Thorn?" Timon says — louder, this time. "I commend you for your devotion. Ghostriding to the end, my friend." His queen, meanwhile, continues her panicked tarantella, scrambling backwards diagonally to escape the pursuing bishop.

Roubani abandons pursuit. What a gentleman. He reaches for his queenside knight, which had been sitting on the back rank filing its nails till now. It's brought forward into the largely uncontested left side of the board. "So skittish."

Kassia fishes in her pockets for her smokes and gives a pleased mutter when she finds them, she takes one out with her teeth placing the packet back and lighteing it up. Back to watching and listening the word play is as good as the match.

Timon's queen is safe for now, but at what cost? Each of his other pieces, queen and a lonely pawn excepted, are holed up where they started — safe but ineffectual, with no chance at swaying the battle in black's favor. "Time to fix that," Timon murmurs, capping his internal monologue with a whispered four syllables. Then, his king's bishop slides across the war zone, coming to a stop directly adjacent to his solo pawn.

Nine wavers on her ungainly perch as the sweep-and-attack of the bishop through the swarm pushes her constitution. Has anyone ever been brought to swooning at a chess match? Nine stands and treads backward a few steps, not unlike the dark queen in retreat, straightening her back and settling back against the wall to continue to watch from a less precarious position.

Hale offers his own hand across to shake the offered from Thorn. And a grin passed between the Aerlion pilot and then back to the game at hand. With that Hale's fallen silent again. Hand to Roubani's chair in silent support-for the Ensign who doesn't like to be touched-See Hale remembers some things.

"Now, now, Ivory, have a little faith. Saying you're going t' lose is the first step in losing," Komnenos chastises his pilot smugly. "I'm almost certain your opponent there would wipe the floor with me, but you wouldn't hear me kvetching about it." He looks at the board with a practiced eye; Roubani may have the better position, but for the moment, Timon is up a piece. If he can keep it that way going into endgame, he's got more of a chance at victory than he gives himself credit for. Fairly big if, though.

Oh, now it's on. Roubani smiles slightly at that move, sucking lightly on the tip of his thumb before moving. Same knight, brought forward again in counterattack. It lands directly to the right of that adventurous bishop.

Kai glances at his watch briefly, then back to the game. Or at least, somewhere in the vicinity of it. After several unfocused moments, he finally stirs. A few steps are taken toward the table, where the ashtray presides, and his cigarette is put out after one more lengthy pull from it. "Good luck, boys," he murmurs, slipping something out of his jacket pocket. It's a little bottle of booze: Aerelon whiskey, to be precise. "For the victor. Hell if I know who that'll be, at this point." Timon's shoulder is given a pat, and then he turns to trudge off for the hatch.

"Going for the queen again, eh? Looks like — wait a minute." Swoon again, Nine, for even a chess-nugget like Timon can see the brilliance of this one. Brown eyes widen as he sees a step ahead: the advancing knight can, if he so chooses, place black's king in check while threatening the queenside rook. Simultaneously. "Can't stop that, Ensign. Guess its time to open up the board." And Ivory's queen whistles down to the opposite corner of the field, taking white's pawn and threatening a rook of her own. Then, to the departing CAG — "For my sake, I sure hope Ensign Roubani here is open to a prize split." Timon grins. "I'm getting a bit thirsty." And he never drinks.

Kassia looks up briefly from the game, to give Kai a brief nod as she comes towards the hatch, she moves out of his way as he passes and lets him proceed out. She's then looking at the game again.

Hale still shows nothing on his features even as Timon starts to grin. A chew of the inside of his cheek, as arms fold over his chest. Indeed, now he's entirely focused on the game- trying to see how this will end. However, Hale is no Nostradamus in blue jeans-nor is he Bobby Fisher come and gone. What he is, is a very confused sports jock-watching a nerd competition.

Thea watches Kai go for a moment then simply turns her attention back to her book, fingers stroking over the pages as she flips one to the next.

Roubani's eyes flicker up, noticing Kai for the first time. Then it's back to the board. For all his moves that haven't really taken all that long to think out, now for some reason he doesn't move for quiet a while. His eyes watch the board. Not fidgeting. No funny faces. And then? Instead of protecting his men? He slides his king's bishop out from the cluster on the right side, developing it to the left. It blocks nothing, and to those who know what they're seeing, it's pretty spectacular. An offered sacrifice of not one, but two rooks.

"Are you offering me both of them?" Timon blinks once and then he blinks again, but this time around he can't for the life of him figure out what the clever ensign is up to. "I know what they say about gift horses, but I suspect this one might be from Troia." A shrug: he'll take it. Down swoops his developed kingside bishop, moving forward four squares to accept the sacrifice. The gods are greedy today. Then, to the audience: "What happens if I lose but I've got more pieces, Thorn? You still have to give up that ambrosia?"

Roubani chuckles quietly. At Timon's commentary rather than the board, for he's gently sucking on his lower lip now. If this were a more bloody sport, this would be about the time several people in the audience fainted from sheer anticipation. But, well, it's chess. Still, from the focus in his eyes, one could hardly tell. That left side rook is still in danger and yet no, he doesn't protect it. A centre pawn is moved up. What the hell?!

Kassia finally decided she's seen enough and goes to slip out, chess was never her game.

Timon ignores the marching pawn, so eager is he to snatch up the other of Roubani's two rooks with his long-suffering queen. The vicious woman takes up residence in the very corner of the board, throwing the remaining white rook to the ground. More exciting than boxing, this. "Check."

Roubani's answer is extremely simple, moving his king up and diagonal to the left away from its aggressor.

Nine's swooning fit seems to have passed without incident, though all the hairs at the back of her head are straining painfully against their tight braids as the board makes her hackles rise in trepidation. What's going to happen?

And now Timon's attack seems to have lost its rhythm — none of his pieces are in position to threaten the white king, even in its current precarious position. The lieutenant stops to think once more, dipping his hand down toward his queen not once but twice — retracting it both times. Then and only then does he turn his attention to his back row, moving his queenside knight up to the edge of the board — the first time it's moved all game. It's a passive turn, this one, devoid of tempo or elan.

Komnenos crinkles an eyebrow in response. "Well, then it wouldn't seem t' count as a pushover, then, would it?" Thorn is silent for a moment, though; Timon has a point, as their wager didn't cover that particular possibility. "Maybe in that case, we'll just have a sample of each other's hooch and call it even, then." He looks over to Hale for confirmation. "'Sides, from the way things are going now, it looks t' be a moot point anyway. Unless yon Poet has a nasty card up his sleeve he hasn't shown yet." Down two rooks and a bishop, at Thorn's last count, and holes are starting to open in Roubani's position. For now, the tide seems to have turned in Black's favor.

And that's exactly where Roubani wanted him. The Ensign moves up his kingside knight, which had been idling near Timon's back battle lines. "Check." Roubani takes a pawn while he's at it, too.

The lieutenant doesn't talk — not now, not here. Timon’s only response is a grunt of acknowledgment, and even that is softer than usual, barely cutting into the silence that has settled around the room. At length, he lays hands on his king, lifting and holding it in the air for a full five seconds before placing him gently — oh so gently — adjacent to the idle queenside bishop.

Roubani picks gently at his lower lip. All his attention's on the board, the voices in the background having faded away some time ago. He picks up his queen, the jewel in his crown, and slides her up in front of Timon's bishop. Right in the path of Timon's knight, staring down his king…and baring her throat in sacrifice. "Check."

Timon's posture is tense, is intense, as he surveys the battle's wreckage with solemn countenance and lidded eyes. Then, very quietly: "Beautiful, Ensign." Up goes his embattled kingside knight, whose felt-covered base knocks prone white's last and greatest offering.

"Allo.." comes Hale's voice before he's taking the nigh dead cigarette from his lips. there's quick movement to go and grab an ashtray and put it out, before he is coming back over towards the table. And then it is back into the foray or so it seems as pilot is riveted in place.

Queen having given her life for a spectacular finish, Roubani inclines his head to Timon. He makes a single bishop move up into the vacated space, pinning Timon's king. "Checkmate."

And before Roubani can formally declare victory, Timon's hand has already tipped over his king, which now falls to the ground with a truly final thud. Only now does Ivory relax, tension seeping out of his body as he exhales a breath he didn't realize he was holding. "Good game, Ensign," he says, standing up and offering his hand — grace in defeat is the hallmark of the intellectual, after all. His smile is wide and genuine. Then: "Wow."

Nine's poor heart threatens to pound right out of her chest, less in excitement, now, more in something like the thralls of beauty as things all fall together behind Queen Iphigeneia. A deep throbbing for the sacrifice and the sack. The word is the final blow, and she holds her hands over her chest, face drained of color.

Ahhh, the game is coming to an end. Thea's been keeping an ear out for at least that much. She glances up, head tilting to the side slightly. "And the victor is," she calls quietly, a question lilting the last word up.

Roubani is no Marine after a fistfight. The civility of this might even be called poignant, as he stands up. The offer of handshake spurrs that moment of hesitation that it always does, no matter who it is, but he extends his hand to meet it after drawing on courage. "You too, sir. I don't think I've -ever- had to do something like that before." His tone's all approval for Timon's playing. Thea's question he doesn't answer, way too self-conscious to blare it out.

"Poet one, Ivory nil." Timon, for his part, knows brilliance when he sees it, and no shame stops him from raising Roubani's hand up above his head. All hail the conquering titan. "Honestly, you got me going for a bit. There were a couple of times I thought I had you — but that was your plan all along, wasn't it?"

"And Boom goes th' dynamite." is all that Hale can utter before that rather jocular bit of laughter spills over and crescendos, as the Ensign gives the deathblow there. "Oh Bloody hell Poet, that's th' damnedest thing I have ever seen." a shake of his head for a moment before he is looking over to Thorn "I'll take that pack, an split it with th' snipe-We'll figure booze out later." A wink to the ECO, before Rabbit's slapping the back of the unmanned chair. "That's was bloomin' something. You got yourself an eye for strategy Poet-bloody.."

Komnenos gapes at the wreckage of the chessboard, stunned at Roubani's sudden finish. He hadn't seen it coming at all; but then again, that's why he'd never made much of a chess player. Good with tactics, but poor with strategy. He turns to Hale, a stricken expression on his face as he takes out a fresh pack of smokes. The loss of a pack hurts more than he would ever let on, despite his supply, but he's learned that one doesn't last long in the wagering business aboard ship if one reneges on a wager. He hands them over resignedly, but with good humor still on his face. You win some, you lose some. "Enjoy them, you two — and for my sake, give one t' the winner. He earned it," he says, with a self-deprecating smile; would that he'd been smart enough to back the winner, but sometimes loyalty counts more than victory.

"Hardly, sir." Roubani's poor face is now flushed red as his hand's pulled up. He does, in good game, V his fingers into brief victory symbol, making a comical face of embarassed but happy suffering. "You played fantastically, just…left yourself open here and there. They add up. It could have very easily gone the other way." And that ain't no joke. He chuckles at Hale and Komnenos, shrugging his good shoulder. "If only it worked so well everywhere. But the Lieutenant here shouldn't go without praise. That was a difficult game."

"Oh just you wait, Ensign." Ivory grins again, still a bit drained — yeah, he's a geek like that. Shoulders sagging, one hand rises to wipe a bit of sweat off his brow. "Next time your Viper's engine cuts out and you need a quick pickup, just you wait: it'll be me out there, and I'll ask you to define reflective equilibrium and the liberal principle of legitimacy before I pop my trunk and reel you in." Dropping Roubani's hand, the lieutenant moves toward his ECO, fist ready for a pound. "And you, Thorn." His grin grows wider, if possible. "You're nuts."

Legacy just shakes her head, smiling faintly at the combatants. "Congratulations, Poet," she calls quietly. "Good game, Ivory. Nice to see some friendly competition for once."

Hale catches the pack in his hand and there's a shake before he's tapping the pack-yes packing it all nice and hard right there before Thorn's eyes, just so he can see that his losses will be used as soon as possible. A look is given over to Nine "Oi, get y'r little paw out here an I'll tap you out five.." After all that is what she wagered. One is laid out on the table for Roubani, and the rest are pocketed. "Alright gents, I gotta suit up for CAP. Riveting game.." A wink and a nod to Roubani "Good job brother.." and with that he's off to that voodoo he does so well.

Roubani now laughs a little bit at Timon's rebuke. It's a rare sound from him, even quiet as it is. He nods a goodbye to Hale and plunks back down on the edge of his seat, fanning his face. Mental exertion, phew. His eyes flicker to Thea and yes, he smiles at her.

Komnenos' smile returns. "Oi," he says in acknowledgement, "you bet your arse I am." He sticks out his tongue, while crossing his eyes at the same time. "Wouldn't have it any other bloody way, either." He pauses, looking at Ivory. "Ah, well, at least you didn't lose me my booze," he finishes teasingly.

Nine slides a leg down off of the sofa arm, then stands up completely, uncurling from her habitual huddle. "That was lovely," she adds her own commendation to the players. "What? Oh," she remarks, uncertain, to Hale, then looks to Roubani again, "If you want these, too," she ventures, holding out the five cigs she was tendered, "You earned them better than I did. You can have them— if I can keep this," she opens up her other hand to show the coin from the toss, having been kept clutched in her hand the game long.

"No. No I wouldn't." Timon's voice has quieted down considerably, the adrenaline rush complete. "So. Kai's gift." The last remaining item on the agenda, it is, and Timon isn't one to forget it. "I'm off duty for a while yet, and I suspect the rest of you are as well." This, with a pointed look at his CO. "Captain Legacy," he calls, cognizant of his misstep the previous night. "Join us?"

Roubani looks up as Nine offers the cigarettes to him. "Thank you, PO." The corners of his eyes briefly crinkle with the smile, and he holds out his hand. "Very much appreciated and…yes, of course you can have the coin. Keep it safe, alright?"

Legacy returns Roubani's smile then glances to Timon, tilting her head slightly to the side. If there was a misstep the night before, it clearly doesn't show on her face. "Thank you," she says, closing her book and sliding it away before making her way over to where the pair of seated. "It sounded like a rather intense game. Congratulations to both of you. Though it looks like Engineering has bragging rights for the time being."

Nine wraps her fingers around the smokes and turns her hand upside-down to deposit them in Roubani's hand, lowering her head in a gentle nod, "I will," she agrees, quietly, but with a subtle enthusiasm, as if she were about to go on, but decides against it, only offering Roubani a shy smile and looking about to meander off. The officers are doing their officer things?

"Sure you want to do that, Ensign?" Ivory's nimble fingers are already pulling off the shrink-wrap from the top of the bottle, crumpling it up before shoving it into a pocket. "Coin seems to be a good luck charm for you, Poet. I'd put a hole in it and wear it around my neck, if I were superstitious like that." Then comes a rare sight indeed: Lieutenant Timon Stathis is drinking. Like, alcohol. A lengthy swig later and he passes the whiskey to Roubani. "Cheers," he offers, having gulped down the burning liquid in a second or two. "You can stay too, Nine, if you want. The more, the merrier." And with that he slumps down into a chair, a loopy smile on his face.

Having settled his wager with Hale, and given Ivory the appropriate amount of grief, Komnenos steps to Roubani. "Very nicely done, Poet," he says softly, knowing the ensign isn't much for loud accolades. "Perhaps one of these days you'll show me how you did that," he adds in complete seriousness. He hasn't kept up with the game this past decade or so, not since he still lived with his chess-fanatic parents, and he'd forgotten the thrill it could be. With two proficient players on board, at least, maybe it's time for him to start honing his instincts again.

Roubani gently rolls his left shoulder, stretching his back - it's ached nearly constantly since his arm was shattered. He chuckles quietly at Timon and shakes his head. "I believe luck travels, sir. Trying to catch and trap such a spirit…well. That's one way to ensure it never comes round again. The PO will care for it now." He gives Nine another little smile and then nods once to Komnenos. "Thank you, and I would be very happy to, sir." Quite so, from the sound of his voice. What can he say, the Ensign likes chess. He stands up, keys and multitools and every other trick of engineering's trade jangling on his belt, and extends a quick, "I just need to call down to Eos. I'll be back if she doesn't need me in early." And to the wireless he drifts.

And so Thea settles near the two men, quirking a brow as one walks off and the other drives into a sleep-deprivation alcoholic stupor. Just shaking her head, she turns back to look at Nine and Thorn, listening to their conversation.

Nine looks vaguely tempted by the offer to stay, especially in the presence of the God. Dionysus, that is. But she looks down at the coin in her hand and other needs overtake her somewhat. She looks back toward the group, "I… that's okay, thank you… I need to… go…" she bites at her lower lip for a moment, "… place," she finally finishes up. The phrase, of course, for which she is verbally groping, is, 'I'll be in my bunk.' 'Cause the chess game? Was -that- hot.

Komnenos watches the PO stammer her way through a sentence. He looks at her askance; odd little thing, that one. Anton isn't one to judge, as he's not precisely well adjusted himself. As the crowd begins to disperse, he too turns to find a new distraction, and indeed he finds one. Captain Legacy has moved to join the remaining inhabitants of the room; Thorn hadn't even heard her approach. He was going for another cigarette, but mindful of the Cat's objection to smoke, he stops himself in mid pat-down. "Hello, Captain." His gaze lingers on the contours of her face for a long time; probably too long. "How're things?" he asks, almost guardedly. He feels his body tensing up involuntarily; whether or not his sudden stiffness is noticeable, though, he has no idea.

Legacy offers Thorn a warm smile and dips her head. "Go ahead and smoke, Thorn," she tells him, having caught the pat-down. "It's fine, I'm upwind. Thing are going well, and yourself? Did you enjoy the game?"

Roubani hangs up with Sen a few minutes too late to see Nine's exit, and in the grand scheme that's probably for the best. He makes his way back towards the table with his now-normal jingle-jangling sounds, punctuated by the soft thumps of his combat boots. The chess board in final battletorn position is still there somewhere, having surrendered its need for attention to the booze bottles.

Matto bursts in, suddenly, having fed and showered and groomed self substantially in the time it took for the match to finish up. "Hey, did we win?" he calls out on entering, bounding over the lower edge of the hatch and then slowing to a stroll.

Thorn nods, and finishes his personal ritual. Out comes the pack and a lighter; just as quickly they disappear, as yet another miniature paper chimney is burning in his mouth. "That I did, sir. It's a little more suited t' my sensibilities than watching aircrew and Marines beat the frak out of each other, at any rate." He decides to sit down, before he sprains something. "Oi, Kissybear," he hails the Raptor pilot in greeting. "Unfortunately, yon Poet turned the tables on our Ivory rather completely. One moment, he's up two rooks and a bishop, then —pffft!" He makes a slashing motion across his throat.

"Kissy." Timon, once content to allow the conversation to flow around him, speaks up just as Roubani sits down, waving his hand to the man approaching behind him. A bottle of whiskey is resting on his thigh, held there rather loosely by his hand. "Alas, the honor of the 4th SOS must needs be defended by another. Or, in short, what he said." Ivory jerks his head at Thorn, offering once more the bottle. Best get that away from him, everybody.

Yon Poet's face just went red again. Roubani slides into the seat by Timon, as their combined forces of geekery probably make it the safest place to be. If he committs a terrible faux pas, the splat will hit the Lieutenant instead. He smiles a little at Matto. "Hello, Kissy."

"Of course we won," Thea says quietly, nodding to Roubani with a grin. "Poet took home the championship, but Ivory put up a hell of a fight." She quirks a smile, though doesn't say much more.

"Oh, that's too bad, guy," Kissy offers Timon, coming around to give him a comforting sort of hug, "But we all love you anyway," he assures him, "Hey, good job, Poetryslam," he adds, to the once-Viper jock. "As long as you both had fun, that's what counts. And I wasn't here to fall asleep in the middle of it." Because he likely would have. "Oh! Thornytoes, you didn't the thing— did you?" he asks obscurely, cocking a brow mid-huggle and glancing toward Roubani demonstratively.

Anton quickly yanks the bottle away from Ivory, for the older man's own sake. "Don't know who thought giving you that was a good idea — everyone knows you can't hold your liquor," he snorts. He takes a pull from it; he's not scheduled for CAP today, so he can drink freely, should he so choose. Thorn blinks at Kissy; he follows Matto's eyes to Roubani and back, but obviously isn't comprehending. "Um. Thing?"

"I'm sure he could have crushed me if he'd wanted to." There will be no man-sandwich between Roubani and Timon if the lieutenant can help it, handing off the liquor before scooting into the corner of the couch to make room. "No, Poet knew what he was doing every step of the way, feeding me high piece after high piece to keep my mind off the real threats. Just looked like a close game, like how Thorn there pretends he knows the meaning behind every word of Bear-babble he spews." Ivory accepts Matto's hug with a faint smile. "And this one here pretends to be a dolt." That would be a compliment.

Roubani also catches that exchange between Matto and Komnenos that seems to concern him, his brows sparking together in a rather comical expression of concern. He crosses his legs, cradling his braced arm in a posture that's come like second nature in the last month or so. "Oh, but I certainly didn't," he admonishes Timon lightly. "I think around the eleventh move or so, that's when you went a little south. I should think if we played the same game up until then and you rethought it, you would win."

The Captain settles back in her seat as the men chat, simply looking from one to the other. Fingers absently, idly, toy with the bullet around her neck.

Matto looks a little relieved that Thorn had completely forgotten about his own ill-considered exhortation. He stands up again to grin down at Timon and then flop down, since space is being offered, "Hey, just because someone knows his demonstrative pronouns doesn't make him bright. It just means that once upon a time he was compelled to write out the whole damned chart enough times that it's thoroughly entrenched in his brainmeats." Then, so as not to kep Thorn baffled, and also to clue in Poetryslam, he leans toward the latter, "At lunch I told Thorn that he should go on ahead to the match, and in a momentary lapse of judgement I told him that he ought to give the winner a kiss on my behalf."

"Oh! That thing!" From anyone else, that would sound odd, if not creepy, but from Kissybear it's par for the course. "Um. Well. I don't know… You're here, now, so… I mean, he may not like it, coming from me. Maybe you should do the honors." Thorn should have probably known better than to think Kissy wasn't actually serious, but oh well. He's obviously suddenly uncomfortable, though; whether it's from the thought of kissing another man or simply from the idea of physical contact period isn't quite clear.

"Same mistake I always seem to make in these sorts of things," says Timon, who — for all his poor strategic sense — still manages to summon up the relevant play in his head. One arm moves to drape around Roubani's back, dead weight searching for a place to fall without making too much of a mess. "Tempo, tempo, tempo — but the bishop was right there." Then, at Matto: "Tell you what, Kissy. Nevermore shall I use the words hic, ille, and iste in your presence if you make Thorn carry out that promise." Hey, he's the loser. What does he care?

Roubani stiffens when Timon's arm goes around the chair. He sits forward and away from it, resting his arm down on his knee. At Matto's revelation and Kom's reaction he clears his throat softly. "Would I be allowed to select a champion in my stead?" He asks, weakly. "Captain Legacy might help if I asked her nicely, I'm sure."

Poor Thea. She just blinks at Roubani for a long moment, a touch helpless, then to the others. "I wonder what I just got volunteered for," she murmurs quietly.

"I actually kind of -like- iste. Or I guess I should say istum," Kisseus chuckles. "It's so like the children of Romulus to have an entire word dedicated to sneering," he laughs, leaning back, himself. "Kisses, Captain, if you want them. You just have to pretend to be Poetryslam for a moment."

"Do be kind, sir," Roubani implores Thea, weakly. As to her having to pretend to be him. Something nobody should have to do.

At that last, Komnenos' face reddens even further, and he starts stammering again. "Oh. Um. You mean— I thought—" He looks belatedly over at Ivory, who's obviously starting to get more and more of a kick out of seeing his ECO suddenly put on the spot. "Don't you start," are the words Komnenos' tangled mouth finally settles upon, directed at Timon. Kissybear seems to be enjoying himself, as well. Only Roubani looks as equally embarrassed — but then again, he just found a way to duck out of the situation, even if it did just make Thorn even more flustered. Komnenos isn't objecting too much, though; he's not about to admit it, but there's a growing part of him that wouldn't shake his head at a chance to kiss the Cat, given the chance.

Timon doesn't seem to notice Roubani's discomfort, for his arm stays right where it is — danger close, as a member of the CMC might say, to the Ensign's uniformed back. He's got bigger fish to fry: namely, Poet's suggestion, which he meets with a strangled laugh. "I thought the spin-the-bottle fad died in secondary school," he says wryly. He, too, looks a little flushed, though whether it's from embarrassment or from the whiskey none but he can tell. And he's had but two shots! "Hi horum his hos his," the lieutenant adds to Matto. "You can be more persuasive than that." Thorn and Thea, for their part, receive curious looks.

Thea narrows her eyes briefly at Roubani then looks to Timon, first. "Ivory," she says quietly. "Hands off my favorite engineer." Ahhh, Cat for 'minenotyours.' She looks pointedly at his arm then back to Timon's face. Luckily, there's a hint of a twinkle in her eyes. "Alright, fine. I stand as Ensign Roubani's proxy." The 'you owe me, Roubani' is silent - but he can see it in her eyes. Her attention goes to the other men present. "Who gets what?"

Thorn clears his throat. He's finally beginning to compose himself, but the expression on his face is still rather sheepish. "Well, ah, sir, the promise was I'd give a kiss t' the winner of the chess game. Poet here being the winner, he's offered up the, um, honor to you, so it looks t' me like I'll be kissing you, instead." Yep, he's still blushing like a self-conscious schoolboy. He's obviously not sure what else to say, so he just clams up and waits for the next development.

Roubani looks instantly comforted when Thea steps up to the close personal contact plate. Phew. So she gets his firstborn, he can deal with that. Timon's arm on the chair doesn't seem to bother him so much now, though that could just be because he can't see where it is anymore. He looks like he might be tempted to smile now, though it gets very politely chuffed behind the back of his closed hand. Poor Thorn.

Matto isn't eager to push anyone into anything they don't want to do— in fact, he more or less thought the deal had been cancelled on Roubani's having won the contest. But if people want to amuse themselves with kisses, he's certainly got nothing against it, and he smiles softly to Ivory, "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atq' amemus— rumoresque senum severiorum unius omnes unius aestimemus assis."

"And right when I just got comfortable." Yup, that's the liquor talking, using Timon's voice as proxy — usually, the lieutenant's personal bubble is a good thirty klicks wide. Obligingly, he drops his arm onto his lap, barely missing the top of Poet's head in the process. Bushy eyebrows go up at the rest of her words. "I'll take another swing at that bottle, Thorn," Timon adds. "Looks like you're going to be otherwise occupied." Then, to Matto, eyes closing: "O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!"

The Raptor Captain's lips turn up ever so slightly at the goings on and she just shakes her head. "C'mon, Thorn. Get on with it, m'dear." A pause and she's looking at both Matto and Timon. "If I get infected with anyone's sapiens or hear of any rumoresques going around, I WILL get my revenge."

Roubani is now quite lost, being neither one of the star-crossed kissers nor part of the conversation in Latin. He rubs the tip of his nose with his pinky and gives his watch an idle glance, crossing his legs.

Matto's smile turns into a beaming grin, "Adest' hendecasyllabi, quot estis," he remarks in reply to Timon. Matto turns, then, to give the Captain a low sort of giggle, "Yessum," he tells her.

"I've always liked dactylic hexameter better," says Ivory, eyes never leaving his Captain. A lazy smile plays about his face as he, for one, finds himself not the most awkward person in the room. "And Black, believe me, solid copy. For as they say, 'Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?' As they say." Having lost one test of intellectual skill, the lieutenant can't help but try and win another. "Thorn. Liquor, please?"

Thorn's got half a mind to smash the bottle over Ivory's head — swing at that, you — but doesn't. He merely hands it to the older officer with a baleful glare as he gets up. An order is an order, after all. "If you say so, sir, but I can't rightly be held responsible for the consequences." The possible consequences suddenly become evident, as in one swift motion, Komnenos draws Thea to him with an arm around the waist, his lips meeting hers. No mere peck, but no full-on make-out kiss, either; Thorn is at least moderately mindful of propreity. It's an audacious move, probably far too audacious; but then again, the conditions of the kiss were never specified, and fortune does favor the bold. After a second or two that seems an eternity, Anton's lips withdraw, and his arm slides away as quickly as it arrived. He takes a few cautious steps back, waiting for the inevitable reaction.

Roubani picks awkwardly at his thumb cuticle, watching his hands. When Kom starts moving his attention's drawn to it by nature, and both his brows loft gently upwards at the Raptorman's rather bold interpretation of 'a kiss'. Well, then.

Thea's quite comfortably glaring at the other two when she is quite roundly, soundly and thoroughly kissed. Her reply to all of that is a decidedly eloquent "Squeak?" followed by the "Mrrr" of what the hell. She is, however, mindful enough of poor Thorn and his reputation to take one for the team - she doesn't squirm away, merely chastely returns the kiss. Who knew the Raptor Captain could be so ladylike? There's a faint coloring to her cheeks as she opens her eyes again and looks first at Thorn, then at Roubani, then at Ivory before settling on Matto. "I believe the debt is paid in full now," she asks quietly, affecting a professional expression.

Matto watches the kiss with a warm smile, one hand moving over his heart, "Da mi basia mille, deinde centum," he tosses in the point that he was originally attempting to make with all this Latinification. "Yes, I'd say so. I never thought I'd ever kiss Poetryslam like that," he points out with a playful smile. After all, it was a proxy kissing a proxy. He tips his head down and looks aside to the Poet, "Was it good for you?" he asks.

"Think you've got to go back for seconds, Thorn. I think you missed a spot, what with the lack of tongue and all." Timon's in a droll mood tonight, it seems, even as he kicks back another prodigious gulp. Gone is his usual custom of sipping delicately from a cup. Then: "Gods, Poet. You sure owe her one, if that's what he'd have done to you. Sucked your lips right off, I mean." Ivory's flush deepens.

Roubani mms in his throat, thoughtfully, before going 'ahem'. Really, he makes that sound, and if he was going to say anything supremely witty back to Matto it's wrecked by Timon's comment. Which makes his face turn red, and he claps a hand against it in an extravagant 'Why me?' gesture.

Matto draws his attention from Roubani to Timon, looking him straight in the eye, "Oh, come now. I would never suck off anything that belonged to the Poet without express permission." He manages to deliver the line completely straight-faced, too.

Thea's cheeks suffuse with color at Timon's words and the playfulness seems to evaporate into nothingness. "You're cut off, Lieutenant," she says quietly, standing and holding her hand out for Timon's bottle. "I'll take this with me. Gentlemen, good game." She dips her head to Roubani. "I wouldn't recommend strip chess, however." Something, somewhere, has embarassed the hell out of the Captain, and she's looking to make her escape - with the alcohol.

Komnenos smiles weakly as he realizes no, he's not going to be turned into a grease stain on the spot for his presumption. Maybe there was some truth to that dumb old saying about fortune after all. Her fragrance, the barest hint of a rose garden, still tickles his nose as he moves to sit back down. He'd kissed his CO, and he'd liked it. He remains silent, though, as Thea suddenly seems hot to escape the room. He can't say that he blames her — but it was still worth it. So worth it.

The Raptor Captain's not the only one who's suddenly felt the need to leave. Roubani slides off his chair and stands up. He glances at the bottle of whiskey, left for the victor but well and stolen. Oh well. He nods to the gathering and clears his throat. "I should get ready for duty. Sirs. Thank you for the game, Lieutenant Stathis." He starts for the hatch.

"Sing, sir." Ivory has the good sense to cap the bottle before handing it over to his CO. Too bad for everybody else. "Sing of rage, of murderous anger — anger which condemned men to countless agonies and threw many warrior souls deep into Hades, leaving their dead bodies carrion food for dogs and birds." Strip chess? The thought doesn't register, so powerfully does classic poetry resound within him when the moment comes. "And what," he asks, turning to Roubani, "would this Ensign say to that so generous offer?"

"I'm not a big fan of carrion, sir," Roubani's voice calls back to Timon as he walks, deilberately obtuse.

Thea takes the bottle and turns toward the door, following Roubani out, without another word.

"Higgledy piggledy— Peleus' progeny— filled up with rage at his country and king— now, of his canine- and avian-nutritive multihellenicide, please, Goddess, sing," Kissy re-phrases with a laugh, then takes a deep breath, "I should probably get going, myself, guys," he drags himself up from the sofa, "Thorny, did you want to walk me home?" he wonders.

"A hand would be nice," mutters Timon, throwing himself upright with a truly heroic leap. Surprisingly, he makes it — the first thing to go with him, it seems, is not motor control but speech control, to the point at which his internal monologue becomes decidedly public. "I think I need to go apologize. Or something. Yeah."

Roubani slips out, having the manners to push the hatch open behind him for Legacy.

Komnenos scowls and shakes his head at his now-sloshed pilot; amazing that that little liquor could actually have an effect on someone, but Ivory's always been a lightweight among lightweights. He ignores the pilot, and turns back to Kissy. "Actually, Kissy, I would, but I… need to be somewhere, myself. Rain check?" Thorn finds it hard to get angry at the Raptor pilot, being that Kissy has obviously perfected the innocent and adorable look, but right now, Komnenos has had his emotions opened to far too much scrutiny to want any further company at the moment. "Sorry, Kiss. I'll be by later, though, I promise."

"Sure thing, guy," Kissy replies, "I'm going to be taking some sim time in a little bit but I'll catch you soon, yah?" he tips his head to one side, "You gonna live?"

Komnenos utters a sound halfway between a hysterical gibber and a laugh. "I'll be fine, Kissy, just — a little overwhelmed by th' moment," he reassures the Raptor pilot. "Don't worry about me. You go and enjoy yourself in th' sims. I'll catch you later, t' be sure." He gives what hopefully looks like a reassuring smile.

Matto lifts a hand to just briefly clap at Thorn's upper arm in a show of solidarity, "Alright, bro. Be well, yah?" he tells him with that brief arm-pat on his way out.

Finally alone, Komnenos relaxes. A giant sigh escapes from his lips, and eventually he, too, gets up to leave, wandering off into the bowels of the ship as he reflects on what just happened.

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