2236-11-05 - King of the Mountain

Cate interrupts Jacob's training match for a painful reunion.

Date: 2236-11-05

Location: The Gym

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 854

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Gym Deck 8

Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:25pm ~ 11/05/2236

Light panels in the ceiling cast a subdued light on the gymnasium. The floor in the front section is padded, intended for boxing or self defense practice. Punching bags, large and small, hang from the ceiling. The back of the room is devoted to exercise equipment. Treadmills, free weights, and weight machines of various descriptions.


Jacob is no longer a talkative person. The smile is gone, the jokes are gone, little more than anger and guilt is left. A shell of the man he used to be, though there are times where he's more like himself, buried under the layers of emotional and mental callouses. If he can do nothing more than then shoot apart Cylons, well, that's not a life wasted. And spending time with one of the two things he leaves for himself reminds me there are still things to enjoy. Like standing in the ring with head and chest padding and hitting gloves, taking a sparring match with someone he's taken under his wing to train.

One can tell it's Jacob by the array of tattoos on his shoulders, chest and arms. Nothing so tribal like someone from Tauron, more the kind you expect to see from a gang-banger or drug dealer.

"Keep your arms in." he tells the younger Private, who's trying to get a punch in, Jacob keeping his hands up. "C'mon. Body, body, short jab. Do it." The padding of thudding gloves strike the pads on Jacob's hands, which are meant to be hit. "Move in, back out. In, then out." he grunts. "Don't overthinkit. The thinking comes with practice. Again, Body, body, short jab. One day you're gonna fight someone with a longer reach than you, you have to get past their arms to get to them."

Cate has finished with her duties for today, which weren't too much since everyone's still getting settled. Now, dressed in her recently-issued CF sweat pants, T-shirt and zippered jacket, she's exploring some of the off-duty areas. And so her wanderings bring her to the gym. Eyes drift over the equipment, and can't help but be drawn to the sparring ring. She stops short, doing a double-take. Yeah, she knows those tattoos all too well, even if she no longer feels like she knows the man wearing them. A flood of emotion washes over her, feelings that she's tried to push to the back of her mind since seeing him in the hangar last night. But she can't hide forever. Crossing her arms, almost hugging herself, she forces herself to approach the sparring area. The look on her face is more dread than anger, though there's a shade of the latter as well.

Jacob never got the tattoo they share covered up. It's still there, seen on the inside of his arm. But for the moment, no, he doesn't notice Cate, too much into the training.

But that doesn't mean there aren't others watching. Another would-be boxer is standing near the ring watching, noting Cate out of the corner of his eye. "You looking to get training too?" he asks lightly. "Can't blame you. As much of an ass PeeDee is, he's a helluva trainer. Think he's in the wrong line of work, dude should've gone professional. Shame what happened to him."

"Up! Up!" Jacob barks at the Private. "No, don't cock your arm like that. Frak. You looking to get dropped? Only use a hook when their guard is down. You see my guard down? You pull a hook like that and you're asking to get leveled."

Cate is off in her own little world, eyes locked on the fighters. Well, one of the fighters. Seeing that tattoo in particular on his arm hits her like the punch the wayward private just tried to land. But she does eventually realize that the other guy is talking to her, and slants him an unreadable look. "PeeDee?" The unfamiliar nickname gets a squint. She doesn't want to ask. Doesn't want to know. Frak it all, she just can't help herself. "What happened to him?" Keeping her voice low, ostensibly to not disrupt the fight. But mostly to go a few more minutes without him noticing her.

"You new? Yeah, you look new. Me an PeeDee go back aways. Been hanging around with him for about a year now. But uh, PeeDee. Punch-Drunk. It's no lie the man drinks." The other man seems a bit hesitant to really say much more. "More than he should, I say, I've had to cover for him a couple of times."

The hesitancy increases a bit more and he jerks his head to take a few steps away from the ring. "Look, I shouldn't of said anything, but it's not like it's a huge secret or anything. He doesn't talk about it, though one night in the barracks on Virgon we were both smashed while on leave. Right before the Cylons shit started. Talked about some stuff he did on Hibernia, how he did a lot of things he ended up hating himself for. He didn't say what, only that it ended up hurting someone he really cared about. I'm going to guess it was a woman. I mean, the only reasons you drink is either to forget someone who died or someone you lost. But, y'know, drunk confessions being what they are." A shrug, almost helpless. "The man doesn't want any friends, doesn't try. I mean, I care, but there's only so much you do for someone who seems to have a death wish. You know what the casualty rate for Recon is these days? Well, he volunteered for it." Then he scratches at his jaw. "Like I said, he doesn't talk about it, but I'd say whatever he lost he hasn't let go of it. Mainly, I'm just telling you so you know not to pry into stuff that he's more likely to punch someone out for. And I've been hit by the guy. Losing a tooth sucks."

Cate follows along, arms still crossed. She listens to the tale, stiffening a bit when the man says Hibernia. She hugs herself a little tighter, fingers digging into her arms. There's a glance at the ring about halfway through the story, chewing her lip. But instead of engendering the sympathy that one might reasonably expect from such a story, it only seems to make Cate grow colder. "Yeah. Well. Sucks to be him I guess," she says, her tone clipped. Without even thanking the other trooper for the warning, Cate marches over to the rack where they keep the sparring gear. Moving with a purpose driven by a maelstrom of hurt and anger, she starts grabbing gear and putting it on. More forcefully than really necessary, truth be told.

"Whoa hey, what're you doing?" the other Marine moves towards as Cate starts to put on gear. "Look, don't go in there while he's training with someone, it really pisses him off." There's eyes now from the other people that have been watching the spar, talking between each other, likely making bets. Seems like this isn't the first time someone has jumped in the ring while Jacob was already busy with someone else. The ring apparently seems to be his kingdom. "The last time somebody did that, they got knocked out."

Yeah, whatever is going on outside the ring isn't any concern of Jacob's. He's training, which means his focus is on the Private. "Look, I get it, somebody new wants to walk in and knock the king off his mountain, but enough of us have tried. And uh..." Though he sees the look on her face and he puts his hands up. "Alright, but when he puts you on the mat, I won't bother saying I told you so. Your choice."

Indeed, the glare Cate casts his way is not the look of someone who's about to be dissuaded. "Fine, you warned me. I don't give a shit if it pisses him off." Actually quite the contrary - pissing him off is quite high on her list of goals at the moment. She fixes the strap on the gloves and then steps over to the sparring area. Though despite the bold words, she does pause at the edge of the padding. Common sense trying to wave a little red flag somewhere in the back of her mind. But it's a fleeting moment, and then she's stepping into the kingdom. Not disrupting the boxing immediately, though. The ring -- which isn't really a "ring" per se but just a padded section marked off with lines on the floor -- is big enough and she stays on the outskirts until there's a break in the action. But definitely making a challenge.

For every time the Private leaves himself open, Jacob reaches forward with a quick movement, slapping on the side of his with his hit glove. "You're leaving yourself open. You've got a longer reach than me, how am I able to hit you like this." The last time though, the Private sees the movement of someone entering the ring and causes him to get smacked sounded in the head. "The hell." Jacob turns his sight away. "Who the frak is getting in the damned ring when there's training going on." It's a heavy, icy tone, once that everyone else has learned the hard way that it's a warning one.

But when he actually gets a decent look at who's standing there, he pauses, and it's him that takes a step back. "Out." is the clipped voice at the Private.

"But, Sarge, I thought we were-" the Prviate starts, before Jacob him off. "I said out!" he barks harshly, causing the other man to back away. He didn't go looking for Cate, she came looking for him. Guess this is how it was gonna go. Slowly, he tears the velcro off his padded headgear, tossing it aside. "If you're going to do this, just do it. I'm not going to fight you." Whatever ferocity was in his voice at the Private has suddenly gone slack, mute.

The coldness of the warning takes her aback, even though she realizes that he hadn't recognized her yet. Cate steps forward, past the exiting private. Her face beneath the sparring helmet is a look of steely determination, and a glare that has never been turned his way before. His unwillingness to fight throws her for a loop, though, and she just stands there for a moment. "Why not?" she challenges, voice laced with hostility. She spreads her arms wide. "What's the matter - worried you're going to hurt me?" There's a bitter bark of a laugh there. "That'd be a frakking first. Or maybe you're just too chickenshit to fight face to face." There are some murmurings from the onlookers at the exchange, perhaps a few bets exchanged, and at least one marine who declares the new girl out of her frakking mind.

Jacob closes his eyes at the barbs, looking a bit smaller than he has ever been. But nor does it illicit him to take a swing at her. "Think I've hurt you enough for one lifetime." he utters with something that might border on resignation or defeat. "So yeah, not gonna fight you. Take your swings, say how much you hate me, do whatever it is you came here to do. Because I deserve all of it."

Some strange looks going on. Since when does Jacob not want to fight someone. Now there's some murmurs going on, then some shrugs.

"Don't back down now, just do it. "

No, no, this is not how this was supposed to go. Not how it played out in her head. Cate's face twists, the anger giving way briefly to bewilderment in the face of his words. But she clings to that rage like a lifeline, unprepared to deal with the alternative. "I came here to fight you." She steps over to scoop his discarded helmet up off the floor and shoves it at his chest. "Put the godsdamn helmet back on."

"No." Jacob takes the helmet put in his chest and tosses it away. "I'm right here. Hit me, beat the shit out of me. Do it. Everything I did, I deserve it. Every swing. I already hate myself. And I'm already dead. I don't sleep, food has no taste. So you might as well do the one last thing I've been waiting to happen. Wondering when you, or one of you would come looking for me, finish the job." A half-shrug. "Well. Here I am. Do what you came here to do. So just do it." There's a look at her, then a headshake. Before his shoulders tense a little, taking a step toward her. "DO IT ALREADY!" he bellows at her. "FRAKKING HIT ME!"

She expected defenses, justifications... but the raw self-loathing Cate sees in his face causes a flicker of uncertainty to cross hers. She takes an involuntary step back when he advances. For all her bravado, a tense, angry, bellowing Jacob is an intimidating figure. But she doesn't hit him. There is very little satisfaction to be gained in decking someone who's standing there begging you to do it. Instead she strips off her own helmet and lets it fall to the mat, stepping in closer so they're eye to eye. "You're godsdamn right you deserve it," she hisses at him. Then she switches to Celtan. She doesn't know how much of their lessons he actually recalls, but that doesn't stop her. "(In Celtan) You lying, backstabbing, motherfrakking son of a bitch." The tirade starts off with fury, but by the final word there are tears in her eyes, and the quaver in her voice can be more attributed to the pained look on her face than anger.

It's gotten really quiet in the gym, and apparently everyone is catching onto the fact that these two have history. And it looks like it's not the pleasant kind. There's no satisfaction in her not striking him, maybe annoyance because he really did want her to beat the crap out of him. But there's nothing. Then a nod. "Don't worry, I'll be dead soon enough. Some Cylon will give you what you're looking for." Yup, not only does he hate himself, but he's looking for an excuse to die. He's not great in Celtan, but he knows enough to understand it. "Yeah. Yeah, I am." he finally agrees. "I lost you, Tommy is dead because of me and dad would be spinning to know what I did. What I agreed to. And there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it." A sniff, and there's a hint that his voice might crack. "It doesn't mean anything to you, but everything about me wasn't a lie. Dad, mom, Jena, boxing, the projects. All of it was true. Don't believe me, go search my file. But, that doesn't matter. I know what I did, and I have to live with that-" There's a lot of things he might say, that might mean something, but he shakes it off. "You don't care what I have to say, only the fact that I'm not dead yet. Won't have to wait too long, I bet. So, I'll save us a lot of time. You can't and won't forgive me, I came to peace with that a long time ago. So, I'll just stay out of your way from now on. Make sure you get a bottle when my casualty report comes in." He turns then, moving to leave, stripping off his gloves and throwing them at the bulkhead with a sharp smacking sound.

Cate doesn't know how to respond. She doesn't know how to make sense of the swirl of anger, hurt and perhaps - against her better judgment - a tiny bit of pity that threatens to overwhelm her. So she says nothing during his whole tirade. Just stares, an unpleasant expression on her face. It's only when he starts to go that she turns to say to his departing back. "Everything that mattered was a lie," she says tautly. "I don't even know your name." And that admission, after everything they shared, causes her to wipe angrily at her eyes. And it's only then that she seems to have become conscious of the other people around, looking suddenly embarrassed. Fortunately the gym wasn't all that crowded to begin with, and most of the onlookers by the mats have at least made a passing effort at trying to pretend that they aren't totally eavesdropping. Even if they totally are.

"Right. So not me personally, just what I was. Got it." is the only barb that Jacob has energy for, but even that is energetic as a limp noodle. "Let's ignore the fact that I hated what I wat doing, or the fact that my dillusionment never really went away after the wedding. Let's just say I didn't realize what I was apart of only after I left. That it really sunk in. None of that matter though, not to you." Grabbing his duffle bag, a flask is produced out of it, the top unscrewed and a hearty pull it taken from it. Almost like it's air. Almost certainly it's alcohol, but the way he drinks it, either he's used to the burn or it's water. But who puts water in a flask. "Jacob Marx." And if she doesn't stop him, he leaves.

"You're right," Cate calls after him. "It doesn't matter." Except it does, judging by her expression. Much as it grates on her to realize it, and she couldn't begin to admit it. She turns and stalks off in the opposite direction, tearing off her sparring gear and chucking it in the vague direction of the rack. Poor gym etiquette, but hell if she cares.


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