Van goes to Isolde for some help with a tech problem and gets a tour and some history.
Location: Tech Shop, Deck 5, and Observation Deck, Deck 3, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 861
She intruded into his territory, now he is intruding into hers. Van is back in his blues, and as he comes into the Tech Shop, he halts for a moment as one of the machine presses puts up an almighty clamor, wincing slightly as his shoulders tighten with the instinct to find cover before the aural assault. It ends quickly, however, and he lets out a breath, looking to the first rating not actively working on something. Exchanging salutes, the pilot asks after Specialist Asa, getting directions and nodding the rating back to work as he starts to follow the directions deeper into the tech kingdom.
Isolde is at the back, working on one of the smaller milling machines meant for microfabrication. She is resting her head on her arms while the machine churns away at the three-dimensional rendering for what looks to be a casing of some sort. She looks asleep, eyes closed and breathing steady. She has headphones tucked into her ears, the white cord feeding down to her small music player. As Van gets closer to the computer techy, he will see that her lips are moving in silent lip syncing with the music in her ears.
Van's eyebrows rise upward as he approaches the Specialist and finds her apparently asleep amid the noise. Understanding flashes over his features as he spots that she's listening to music, and he starts to chuckle faintly. He could just flash a polished shoe within her field of vision, but instead he reaches down to rest a hand on her shoulder to get her attention.
The weight of the hand on her shoulder causes her to jump a bit, and she's sitting up quick to pull the headphones out of her ears. "Sorry, sorry, I'm almo -- " Then she realizes who is standing there, and her smile slowly spreads into an unabashed blossom. "Hi." She twitches slightly at the cords of her headphones, and she gestures to a stool. "Here to stay, or just passing through?"
Van draws his hand back at the jump, spreading his hands out in a conciliatory gesture as she starts up. And then he nods at the question, his own smile quirking up the corners of his lips unconsciously, "I actually had a request." He hesitates a moment, glancing down at the stool, then brushes a hand across it to make sure there isn't anything that might stain his crisp uniform trousers and settles down, "I'm looking for two things... a couple of holobands, for P-to-P use only," he's quick to reassure her so she knows they won't be a networked threat to the ship, "and a copy of Seas of Fire or another good 'band game that encourages teamwork. Something open so we can play it P-to-P."
Isolde is amused when he brushes his hand across the stool, and she props her cheek in her hand, elbow on the counter. The requests draw her brows up slightly, and she looks thoughtful. "Holobands aren't going to be easy, but... I might have a few sources, but it's gonna cost you." Her mouth twitches slightly. "As for the games... I got access to those. I don't have the recent update to Seas of Fire, because, well... I've been here for three months straight." She tilts her head, expression curious. "You trying to do some stuff with the Air Wing?"
Van nods, "I asked my Dad to send one to me, but it'll be a few days. I figured that if anyone might know who has the personal holobands on the ship, it would be you." Settling into the seat, he leans forward just a little, his hands resting on his knees. It's not a comfortable looking posture, but it is very upright. "He's sending the latest patch, but something to get people started would be good. And yes, we aren't going to be out in our ships all the time, so we're going to need some way to build camaraderie and esprit de corps."
Isolde snorts. "Why did you think it would be me? Am I a nerd or something?" She offers a twitch of a smile before she looks over to her microfabricating in passing, and then back to Van. "I'll see what I can do." She rests her head back down on her arms, jaw settled against her forearms. She looks up at him, brown eyes thoughtful. "Anything to build up the spirit of cooperation." There is something dry, but amused in her tone.
"Alpha nerd, or so I hear." Van chuckles faintly, resettling his feet and following her glance to the microfabricator, then looking back to the lounging techie, "Now is that cooperation within the Air Wing, or between the Air Wing and Tech Support?" Studying her for a long moment, he arches his brows, "This is where you're most comfortable on the ship, isn't it?"
"Maybe a bit of both," Isolde says with a small shrug, but broad smile. "Definitely cooperation between us." Her tone is all levels of teasing -- quite delightfully. She then looks around as he comments on where she is most comfortable, and then grins again. "Yeah, it is... the catwalks above the hangar is good, as is observation deck, but I like it here... these are my people." She is, of course, speaking of all the techs, not Taurons. She stretches slightly, leaning back on her stool to look at the pilot.
Van gives that little curl of his lips that is his faint smile at her teasing, nodding, "And is that a nice change?" Apparently, he can still do a little bit of that, although when the machine press goes at it again behind him, he starts, grasping for the stool beneath him as if he were going to dive off it, but restrains himself, slowly sinking back onto the seat and doing his best to collect himself. "Observation deck? There's an observation deck on Galactica? What does it observe?"
Isolde's instincts take over, and the small hand of the Hacker rests immediately on his thigh, as if to anchor him gently. She looks up at him, brown eyes just a touch concerned. Her hand doesn't leave, but remains a steady presence. "It is a nice change," she says softly. The mention of the observation deck draws a soft laugh from her. "The stars, Newton... do you want me to show you? Maybe get out of all the noise for a bit? This thing -- " she nods to the microfabricator, " -- has a couple hours left. I just like watching it work."
Van's breath comes a little quick in the wake of his startle, and he doesn't even notice the hand at first, "I'm fine, I'm fine." He's not. Although that is about when he notices her hand on his leg, the warmth spreading through the blue cloth of his pants and over his skin. "Just... loud, sudden noises are a little too close to explosions for me." Carefully, he shifts his hand to pat hers, and then starts to stand, the lean muscles of his thigh punching under her fingers. "And yes, the observation deck sounds rather nice, if you're sure it wouldn't interfere with your duty here."
"No one will even notice I'm gone," Isolde offers, smiling up at him. She stands as he does, tucking the stools under the bench. She locks up her tablet with a couple brushes of her fingers, and winds up her headphones and music player. She tucks them into her pocket of her duty greens, and then nods her head for him to follow. "I hear that happens," she says, voice soft and confidential, "my sister has worked with soldiers with shell-shock." She hesitates. "You should talk to someone... if you are still unnerved now and then." She nods to a few techs as they pass, heading for the hatch.
Van rises to his feet as she does, brushing off his butt without a second thought. The pilot grimaces at the words 'shell-shock,' immediately starting to shake his head, "It passes. I talked to a doctor back at Pee-En-Aitch-Cue." He is about to go on, and then remembers he's not talking to another Picon, and explains, "The Naval Hospital where I was rehabing." He follows her back out through the tech shop, winding through the machines and ratings. Once they reach the hatch, he quickly changes the topic, "What are you listening to? Something distinctly Tauron and overwhelming for us mere mortals?"
"Okay, okay," Isolde relents, offering a small smile. "I just know that you should talk to someone." She tucks her hands into the pockets of her greens, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and showing off the tattoo on the inside of her left arm. She walks alongside him, pausing at the hatch when he changes topic. "Oh, uh... no, actually." She shuffles her feet a bit awkwardly. "I really like this steel guitarist from Picon... Willis James...? There was a Picon microfabricator with our team early on... he introduced me." She actually blushes at the height of her cheeks beneath her tawny skin.
Van's eyebrows rise up once more as she mentions who she's listening to, although the explanation causes him to chuckle, nodding, "Yeah... my sister..." and then he trails off, his face tightening as he glances down. A moment later, he swallows the lump in his throat and continues, "My sister went to a couple of his concerts. I heard he was singing the anthem at the C-Bucs-Panthers game in Hyperion when the toasters frakked us." The blush registered well enough, but he has to smother his grief and anger before he can note not-quite-as-casually-as-he-would-like, "What, did you think I would assume you were listening to him because of me?"
"Yeah, he was," Isolde replies. She catches the brief change of emotion within the pilot, and she smothers the instinct to provide extra comfort again as they step out into the hallway. She guides to the stairwell, walking like a woman who knows where she is going. When he offers the not-as-casual-as-he-would-like note, she starts to laugh. "I know pilots have a big ego, but I can't imagine it to be that big." She offers him a small smile. "But, if you need the ego boost, I can say something about how you inspired a journey into Picon music. I'll even sell it with a wistful sigh."
Her words bring a little upward twitch of Van's lips, softening some of the harsher emotions still boiling under the surface, "Oh no, I'm not worried about my ego. I thought you might be blushing because you thought I would think..." that doesn't help clear much up, and Van runs the palm of his right hand back over his bristled hair. There are another half dozen paces down the hallway before he goes back to the tougher subject, "My sister and her wife were at the Colonial Fair when it was hit. That's why I..." A little gesture of his hand says 'froze up,' or 'looked sad,' or perhaps both of the above.
"Think that I'm still a bit interested, despite our promise to start over with new introductions?" Isolde asks the question casually as they continue along the corridor. She doesn't wait for an answer on that, listening instead to the small story he offers. She frowns, all flirtations dropping away. "I'm sorry, Van," she says, words almost whispered. "Triton really did awful things to you, didn't it?" She knows it did, but there is a certain weight around Van that she can't seem to lift, even if she hasn't been trying for long. She stairs up the stairs, leading him up two decks to get to the observation deck.
Van shakes his head, a faint smile flickering at her question, but then he addresses the more dire -- and dour -- point first, "No, the toasters really did awful things to Picon." There's a little bit of stress on the two differences from her statement as he quick-steps up the stairs, "Anyone who says we can talk with them, or that we shouldn't be fighting them, or that they were justified... they're just dead wrong. They're monsters, and so is Graystone for creating them." He blows out a breath, letting some of his righteous anger hiss out between his teeth as well and working his shoulders to try and unclench them.
Isolde looks down as they take the stairs, moving up to Deck 3. "Yeah." She doesn't say anything else as they scale the last set of stairs, stepping out the hatch onto the deck. "I'm glad you made it out of there," she confesses as they move to the hatchway that leads onto the observation deck. "I did think about you now and then... I didn't know very many people from the other Colonies. Sometimes I wondered if you made it through okay." She then twists her hands in the pockets of her uniform pants. Her gaze lifts as they step onto the deck -- all glittering stars peeking around the infrastructure of the shipyards and the curve of Scorpia. The lush blue loveseats are scattered around, giving people a quiet place to sit and observe.
The first confession falls on Van's lowered head, but he glances up at the techie as she continues. He shrugs slightly in embarrassment, "I... might have mostly convinced myself that you were never planning to come back in the first place." His eyes turn around the observation deck for a moment, catching on the arc of the planet below, but then he looks back over to Isolde, "That didn't keep me from wondering though. When I heard that Tauron had gotten hit too." Reaching up to touch her shoulder lightly, he gestures toward one of the seats, waiting to follow behind her toward it. Once she's started in that direction, he goes back to an earlier comment, "And yes, that's why I think that you're still a bit interested." With him walking behind her toward the loveseat, it's hard to tell whether he's teasing or not.
Isolde hides her small disappointment at him writing her off, even if the following reassurances try to alleviate some of her disappointment. She nods soberly when he mentions Tauron getting hit, though there is a certain dryness to her reply, "The Cylons didn't hit us. They turned on us, sharp and sudden." Not that it didn't happen the same way in the other Colonies, but the Taurons put their trust in machines too quick. The touch to her shoulder turns her to the seat, and she draws out her hands -- and headphones and music player -- as she moves to take a seat. She blinks up at him in the wake of his belated reply, and she pinks slightly. "Oh, well..." She's not refuting it.
Van's smile shows just a hint of teeth at her blush, and he settles down onto the same seat, far enough that their shoulders aren't touching, but not a whole lot further than that. "The blush is nice." He flexes his right leg as he leans back in the soft couch, loosening the muscle as he turns his head out toward the view of the shipyards and the planet behind, for all that his eyes trail behind the turn away from Isolde, "Yes, I think I've found my second favorite place on the ship. I'm a little shocked it exists on a warship."
Isolde waits for the warmth at her cheeks to fade, fiddling with her music player as she does. She looks up at the viewport across from them -- a mostly star-filled field. She glances his way at his comment on his second favorite place, and she offers a soft laugh at his surprised comment. "Why? You have to find peace somewhere, and this is as good as anywhere else." She looks over at his leg, and then back out at the field once more. She starts to unwind the headphones slowly from around the music player. "People are going to come here to find some peace. Kind of like we are."
"Not the sort of thing you find on Picon ships." Van considers his thoughts, drawing words together carefully, "Form yes, but still function, and I guess we just assume that people will get their relaxation somewhere else." His eyes flick up from the view of the planet 'below,' around the room, and then he leans a little nudge into Isolde's shoulder. "So I dredged up my family. What's your family like?"
"Well, we already know Picon ships are simple and plain, and lack any kind of ingenuity," Isolde says, tone matter-of-fact. She flashes him a wry smile before she looks back down at her music player. The nudge to her shoulder rocks her a bit, but then she settles hers into his. The question after her family draws a slight shake of her head. "Oh, where do I begin..." She looks sidelong to him. "Traditional. Unrelentingly. Completely opinionated. My dad had been a supporter of the Cylon integration, so now he's fighting hard against backlash. I am a terrible disappointment, from my wayward youth to being coerced into enlisting to avoid..." She gestures, evading the more illegal parts of her past. "Stuff. Trust me, being interested in a Picon would probably be a bonus at this point."
Van scoffs at the first part, "You should see the little sloop my parents have before you come down too hard on Picon engineering." He listens to her response intently, turning away from the window to pay attention to her expressions as well as her words. He nods slowly, although the mention of 'stuff' and the gesture that accompanies it draws his eyebrows up, and a faint chuckle to his lips, but he doesn't press the point, "It could always be worse. You could go chasing a Caprican." Looking out at the window again, he adds, "My dad's retired military too. Navy Systems Analyst. But Mother is the one who applied the pressure. To all of us. Luckily, my younger sister's the disappointment to them, not me."
"Oh, no... no, no, no," Isolde is on a tear now, though her tone remains airy and dismissive. "My father isn't retired. That's not how the Tauron Marine Corps works... he's a veteran. They don't retire. They just get older, and angrier, and more disappointed in the failures they spawned." She then sighs, shoulders falling as she realizes she's letting too much out at once. She looks up at him through her lifted brows, frowning slightly. "Why? What did your sister do?"
Van's eyebrows shoot up at the correction, straightening up slightly from his comfortable lean to turn toward her. He weathers the storm well enough, however, even letting a little smile creep up into the corners of his mouth, "Yes, that sounds like the Marines I've heard of." And his left hand lifts to squeeze her shoulder gently, "Well, right now she's a waitress. In the town Mother is the mayor of. But she was studying to be an actress. Which apparently isn't a suitable job for a Newton." Nodding across her body toward the tattoo on her arm where the rolled up sleeves show the ink, he asks, "One of the infamous Tauron tattoos? What's this one mean?"
The squeeze to her shoulder seems to disarm more of her frustrations at her father -- who should be able to feel his daughter's wrath from here, but would probably think it was just an irritating breeze. "Well, you tell her that I said she should do whatever it is that makes her happy, as one disappointment to another." Then she pulls her arm in as he notices the tattoo, rolling her arm up to show off the details of the tattoo. She traces it. "Yeah," she confirms. "I got it when... when I... hacked the Caprica transportation network... before I enlisted."
"Ahh. 'Stuff.'" Van considers for a moment, then nods, "But you turned around from there. Cleaned up your act. And now you helped put together one of the ships that's our best chance against the toasters." Leaning forward, the pilot studies her forearm in the dim light of the observation deck, "Of course it would be the Capricans. I assume you didn't do any actual damage, or they wouldn't have given you the option to enlist."
"I didn't finish," Isolde says, almost bashful. "I had intended to shut down their transportation system, but I was careless and got tracked." She shrugs a shoulder a bit, tracing the lines of the circuitry. "I wasn't an adult yet... about a month from my 18th birthday. So, they offered me enlistment." She looks up at him, leaned close, and she finds herself smiling a bit. "Didn't think you were hanging around an almost-convict, huh?"
Van glances up from the tattoo and seems to realize just how close he is, shifting in his seat a little and looking back down again at her arm before he straightens up, leaning back against the loveseat so that his shoulder just brushes hers. "No, I have to say I didn't. That's certainly not the impression you give off, Isolde. More... hyper-competent and in-her-element."
Isolde looks down as he straightens up. She rolls her arm away, brushing her hands down the tops of her thighs. The brush of his shoulder against hers earns a small smile, but she starts to laugh at his compliments. "Well, thanks... but I feel pretty out of my element at the moment." She casually tucks a coil of dark hair behind her ear.
Van tilts his head back slightly as he turns to look at her, "Oh? In one of your favorite places on the ship, in not-bad company, comfortable enough to cut loose on your father... that seems pretty in-your-element to me. Maybe you're just good at hiding it." His eyes turn back toward the windows, and then he suddenly stiffens up, twisting to look at the clock on the wall, "Frak me." Bouncing up out of the comfortable seat, he offers out a hand to help her up as well, "Sorry, I meant to just make a quick trip to talk about the 'bands and game. I'm on duty in the squadron office in five."
Isolde is about to say something, but the pilot is on his feet with a bounce and offering her a hand-up. "O-Oh," she stutters out, disarmed. "Okay." She takes the hand-up, standing awkwardly. "Well, I'll... I'll get you the holobands." She offers a slight twitch of a smile his way. "The squadron office is just three decks down." So says the cruise director.
Van leans back a little to haul the Specialist up, straightening part-way up again to brush a momentary kiss on her cheek, "Three decks down. Got it. Thanks Isolde." His hand squeezes hers, and then he's turning to hurry out at an almost-distinguished quick-walk.
The kiss to her cheek has her blinking several times as the pilot quick-walks himself out of sight. Isolde stands there, dumbfounded for several along moment with her hand on her kiss-brushed cheek. "You're welcome," she finally says, to absolutely no one.