Eva and Niemec wind down after the battle. Food is consumed, water is wasted, the shelf life of men is discussed. (NSFW)
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 8 & Head, Officers Berthings, Deck 7
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 877
||~ NSFW Warning: Nudity ||
"Probably educated? Are you not sure?" It's a teasing tone. Niemec is working towards more light-hearted things as the adrenaline of combat ebbs off. Angling into the Mess Hall, she doesn't quite release Eva's arm, but does ease up a bit. Not as if they'd have any worry of people calling frat. Same rank. No chain of command issues. But it angles the woman towards the mess line. It's there that Antonie releases her. "You get the brownies. I'll get coffee and meet you-" she looks out over the hall before pointing at a corner table, not yet occupied. "There." And then she's off.
"Probably, um..." Eva pauses, having to actually think back to what she said, "Properly, properly! That's what I meant to say. I told you I needed a sandwich." Eva doesn't seem to pay much attention to the hand on her arm, or rather, she doesn't seem to have any concern for how the gesture might be seen by the rest of the crew. It's Niemec, and it's good, so she's happy with it. "Yes, sir." A light smile, as she heads off to retrieve the designated confection, picking up a tray while she at it. She also picks up that sandwich, something with a questionable meat product, and a bowl of the stew Oliver's got on special for the month. She's still not fond of bean-like textures, but she'll eat it in his memory. Once she has the tray piled into a mound, having had to shoot a few enlisted the evil eye, she heads back to join Niemec, sliding the tray on before she settles into a seat opposite the raptor pilot.
And there is, at the table, coffee. Niemec doesn't know how Eva takes hers, so there's a selection of sweetener and creamer as well. The Raptor pilot is dumping sweetener in her own, grinning at Eva as the redhead approaches. "We'll have to start putting sandwiches in your Viper. Can't have you getting hungry and forgetting what you're supposed to be doing." She's still teasing, but it's ebbing into a comfortable banter. "So how did the Mark II handle anyway?"
Eva offers a, "Thank you," for the coffee, taking her own with extra cream and only a dab of sugar. "I probably could do with a snack tray of some sort. Maybe I'll see about putting on in there. Re-purpose a first aid kit or something." She actually seems quite serious about it, all things considered, "And there I'll be, shooting Cylons with one hand and eating a fruity oaty bar with the other." Once her coffee is tended to and cooling, she digs into the sandwich, showing the sort of relish for mystery meat that can only come from a childhood of eating canned questionable food. "Much more responsive than what I'm used to, but I'll probably need to do quite a bit more flying before I get it just the way I like it. The stick's a little looser than I like. I tend to fly aggressively, and if the stick isn't tight, I can't get exactly where I need to be when I need to be."
"I can't knock the fruity oaty bars," Niemec agrees, leaning forward to nab a brownie from the plate-o-snacks. "I've heard a few folks complain about this and that on theirs. To be expected, I guess. Can't be as networked and computer heavy as the old ones. I hear the fly-by-wire was completely redone." She tears off a bit of brownie to eat. "The Raptor flew well. Bit more responsive than I'm used to. Came in handy with those raiders, I gotta admit."
"I think people are generally going to complain. You know how it is. You get used to a certain bird, you get to learn all of its quirks and foibles. And when you have to switch to a new one, everything seems wrong, even if it isn't really. You just want what was old and comfortable back." Eva finishes the sandwich, and pulls the bowl over to herself, digging in, which grabbing a brownie, alternating between the stew and the dessert as if that were the most normal thing in the world, "Well, you've got the worst gig of the two of us. You have to break in a new ECO too, in addition to the ship."
"Could be worse even then," Niemec points out, tearing off another piece of brownie to nibble on. "Could be a total rook. Hooter may be rough around the edges, but she did her job well. I wouldn't complain having her ride with me again." Reaching for her coffee, Antonie takes a long drink. "Tauron doesn't have a whole lot of new ships. Or even ships in great condition. It's nice to have something I know should work proper once it's off the deck."
"To be honest, I'm not feeling having so many new pilots in the Air Wing, not that we have any say in it. I'm just saying, I don't know that having so many pilots and ECOs who barely have confidence in doing their own jobs working on an untested ship every colony is looking at." She continues her dual assault on the food, pausing after a particularly big bite, holding up a hand as if to say, 'Just a sec.', "I wonder if we shouldn't bring up having some sort of training flight for them, get them more comfortable. It's all well and good, get comfortable in the air, but I have never liked the idea of throwing people to the wolves. Takes too long to train new ones. We can't churn them out like the Cylons can."
"Funny how that's turned out. A bunch of Captains and then Ensigns. Maybe they expect us to be good role models." Niemec finishes off the brownie and reaches out to grab another. Before Eva can finish it off, of course. She does arch a brow as she waits a sec. "Might not be a bad idea. There are the holobands in the ready room, if we don't want to try to convince Kallas to let us use the birds themselves." She picks at the brownie, wrinkling her nose. "True. But it's not on us to know the hows and whys of the upper brass."
"Now, while I will readily admit that I don't have any experience with holobands, no VR headset is going to give you the feel of your specific ship. Sure, you could do it as a team building exercise, but you know you need to get in there and actually work with the ship. So, I'll see if I can bring it up to him at our next briefing. Although, I suppose that depends on whether or not the ships come with a training mode, or if that got wiped when they did the retrofit." Eva finishes her stew, settling back and taking up the coffee instead. "I suppose not, but I think I've just seen too often when the people in charge don't really have a good idea of how a unit should function. I mean, sure, you want to give us rooks, fine, but give us the means to get them up to speed, before they have Cylons on their asses."
"I have no idea if they have a training mode, but-" Niemec's shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. "When I spoke with the CAG about some training flights, he was pushing the holobands instead. I'd say give it a shot? Asking him, I mean, but..." She finishes off the brownie and leans back a bit in her seat. "Don't hold your breath. May be fuel concerns keeping him from it. I'm not sure what the fleet is like in that regard." New forces, new rules. She looks down at her mug, tapping fingertip lightly on the side. "I'm trying to think of something we can do to wind down and it's rather limited, isn't it?"
"I can be very persuasive, I'll have you know." Well, she does make a face, so probably she doesn't think her chances are that good, "If they can afford to build this behemoth, they can afford to keep that tyllium refinery ship pumping out fuel. That's all that I'm saying. I'll just say, 'Look, you either want us to be at our best...or you don't.'" Eva sips her coffee, "Well, I haven't thought that far head, I just know I need to probably get out of this flight suit and get a shower. There'll probably be a few showers free, as we made a pit stop at the mess."
"I'm sure you can be persuasive," Niemec offers after a long moment, flashing a grin over the top of her mug. "I mean, here you are talking me into taking my clothes off." She finishes off the coffee and sets the mug aside. "But a shower sounds glorious." Another bit of brownie is grabbed as she shifts. "You ready? Eat the rest on the way?" See, she knows how to woo.
"Does that normally require a lot of talking?" Eva answers the grin, as she wraps the last of the brownie she was working on into its plastic wrapper, preemptively ducking to avoid the other woman's backhand. She'll wait for the Tauran woman to join her though, before she heads towards the hatch, stepping out and turning back to the stairs.
The tray with plate and mugs is easily discarded in one of the waiting bins on the way out. "Depends on the person," Niemec offers as she falls into step with Eva to head towards the berthing level and the head. "Some, it takes little to none. Others could talk until they're blue in the face and have no chance." She's not saving her last bit of brownie, nope. That's getting eaten on the way.
Eva tucks her brownie into one of the pockets of her flight suit, because that's not gross or anything. Eh, whatever. She did wrap it in plastic. "Where am I, on that scale?" It's sort of a weird question to ask, maybe, but it's an honest one. Most pilots tend to mouth off, and flirting is sort of a thing. But, as a general rule, they'll also avoid potentially difficult situations. Always possible to say something and not mean anything by it.
"Hmmmmm..." Niemec plays it up a bit, taking her time to answer. She lifts her arms and laces her fingers behind her head, elbows winging out just a bit. "Yoooooou..." There's a glance over and a sort of broadening grin. "If you'd taken me off to some private corner to prove the lack of a third nipple in the laundry that day, I wouldn't have protested." It's not a direct answer, but it should suit.
"That would have been a bit gauche, wouldn't it? Like taking someone into the back of your car." I mean, not that any place in a ship is any better, given the lack of privacy, but you know how it is. Eva clears the last steps down to the officer's berthing, turning to step into the head instead. "I swear, one day I'm going to recruit a minion to clean my flight suit." Because THAT is the absolute worst downer of this whole pilot thing.
"Oh, quite possibly, but it means you don't need to talk much." There's a pause and Antonie looks over to Eva, flashing a bit of a smile. "Not that I mind your talking. Promise." She follows along into the head, finishing off the brownie and already starting to unzip the flight suit. The dual-tanks beneath stick to her torso. "Just gotta make it to Colonel or Admiral or one of those. Then you get your own private bunk and can order folks to do your laundry for you. Until then? We're stuck doing it ourselves." She plunks herself down on a bench to tug off her boots. "Or winning rounds of Triad and making the losers do it for you."
Eva strips with the usual lack of self-consciousness. She's been at it too long to be embarrassed, no matter what the company. You just get to where you just don't notice. Once she had boots and suit off, she sets the suit carefully aside, to avoid getting any water on its delicate parts, her clothes just tossed in a pile next to her feet, before padding on bare feet back towards the showers. No drapes, as it turns out. "I'm just looking forward to O-5, then I can just have a single bunkmate, instead of having to live like a heathen."
"I dream of just having a single bunkmate," Niemec offers, stripping with the same lack of fanfare. After a decade (before, really), you just stop caring. Once your fellow (male, mostly) pilots get past the juvenile aspect, it's just another part of life. In her case, yes drapes. But manicured! Hey, gotta have pride in something somewhere. Even if it's mostly just for you. She leaves her tags on, but pulls her hair out of its ponytail on her way to the showers proper. "If only because of the peace and quiet. One person going in and out? Better than a goddamn squadron all on different shifts.'
"Especially when they're male and Virgon." Eva shakes her head, fingers working her hair out of its usual braid, "There were times when I thought I was living my worst nightmare. Now I just wish for peace and quiet and not so much posturing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like a man as much as the next woman, but, I just," she shakes her head, pausing to turn on the shower, dabbling her fingers to check the temperature. "I keep hoping they'll promote me soon, I just hit time in grade. But I'm not hopeful."
"Men under thirty are a pain in so many ways," Niemec agrees, fussing at the tap herself. Fiddly things, they are. One day, that angle is the right temperature. The next, not so much. Go figure, frakups even on a new ship. "Some of 'em aren't so bad, but the rest... Seems they need a decade to really figure out what their teenage hormones did." Once satisfied with the shower, she ducks under and tilts her head back into it. Enjoying that first rinse, as it were, for the initial sweat and grime that the flight suit loves to stew. "You never know. I figure I won't see it for a while. For all I know, they reset the clock with moving me into this unified navy."
Eva clearly likes hers scalding hot. Lobster Power, yo! She steps under, turning her face up to the water, the skin immediately taking on that boiled look that only a fair-skinned Celtan can do so well, "The trouble is, that once they hit about 40 or so, they start waxing nostalgic for the good old days and then they turn into teenagers all over again. Once her face is sufficiently boiled, she turns, wetting her hair and doling out a bit of soap. She's not picky and just uses the standard paint stripper they provide free. She's not fancy enough to bring her own.
"So you're saying men have about a ten year window of being worth our time?" If there's any guys milling about, well, too bad. Women get their own form of locker room talk. Niemec is laughing, even as she starts soaping up her hair. Her own soap? Nope, the Tauran doesn't have that. She'll just use what they provide. Her wages can be better served elsewhere. "So maybe making eyes at a woman wasn't a terrible plan after all."
"That's exactly what I'm saying. That's sort of the trick to men. You get them while they're useful, take what you need, then when they start nagging you, you tell them something embarrassing, like, 'You're balding', cut them lose and move on to the next one." Eva is quiet for a short while, not wanting to get too much soap in her mouth. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be real conditioner. Alas. "But, you know, that could possibly be when they're the best trained. Get then when they already know what to do. I'm too old to be teaching a youngster."
"Ahh, lords. Could you imagine? Having to teach someone what's what and where? Ugh." An Ensign does sort of scuttle out of the room before he even begins shaving. Poor kid. There's other heads! Niemec doesn't even notice; she's busy washing her hair. Thankfully, it's neither too thick nor long. "I was married once. I guess I'm not too keen on... on going through that all over again. I miss having companionship, but that's about it."
"Right? The first one or two times, you know, it's sort of novel, but after that, just no." Eva turns to the actual washing now, glancing towards Niemec's staff, even if she can't see the woman, "I didn't know that you'd been married. I got close once, it was all arranged when we were kids, but then I decided to join the military and his family wanted him to have a stable home-life, with a wife who would cook his meals and raise his kids." She sounds, for the briefest moment, terribly sad.
"Had a kid, too." It's out before Niemec can stop herself and she just sort of goes silent for a time. The woman is shuffling over in her side of the shower, fussing with soaps and the like. When she finally continues, her voice is pitched a fair bit lower. "They... were in one of the cities bombed on Tauron. Early on." She's soon rinsing off, tilting head forward into the water to get all the remaining soap out. "Sorry. Didn't mean to, ah, y'know. Sour the mood."
At least her head and hair are free of soap, as Eva steps out of her shower, dripping suds as she heads over to where she last saw Niemec. There's not much room inside the stall, but she can manage to get in close enough to touch the skin of the Tauran woman's bare back, made easier, one supposed, by the fact that the woman is under the water and turned away from her, "I'm sorry, Antonie, and you didn't."
To her credit, Neimec doesn't jump. She does, however, push her hair back and turn, sort of squinting at the slightly taller Eva. She scrubs a hand over her face, schooling her features back to something more smooth and calm. "We've all lost something. Whether it's... family or home, but-" she shrugs and lifts a hand to move an errant bit of the redhead's hair aside. Once she can see again. "It's why I signed up. I want to destroy those damn things."
Eva waits until Niemec turns to face her, studying the woman. Her expression is gentle. Not pitying, just...empathetic. She steps forward, suds, soap and all, and slips her arms around the other woman, unless she protests. And there's nothing overtly sexual about it, just a need to share skin contact, and closeness and comfort. Her voice is soft, barely audible above the water, "I heard someone say once, "Never trust a hug, it's just a way to hide your face." But sometimes, it's okay to hide your face.
The brunette may be surprised at first, it's true. She doesn't reset the hug, however, and soon slides her arms around Eva in turn. Antonie isn't crying... or if she is, it's silent and lost to the hot water. She does, however, laugh quietly at the words the other pilot offers. "Can't say I've heard that one before," Niemec admits, squeezing the other woman a bit closer. "But it works." There's a moment of quiet before she offers, in a low voice: "Thank you."
Eva will hold on to Niemec for a while longer, offering whatever sort of comfort one can, in a shower, covered in soap, in front of god and everybody. "Thank you for trusting me." And it did take trust for Niemec to share something of her past. She'll release the other woman, but gently. "Switch, after you?" She'll step back, so that Niemec can rise off again.
There's a bit of a smile at that. Trust, yeah. Even if it was a slip of the tongue, initially, it meant something. She could have stumbled past it. Made something up. "Well, we've seen battle together, yeah? I don't care what the marines say. Don't need to shed blood to be sisters-in-arms." A slight twist on the term. When Eva steps back, Niemec nods and shifts to turn the shower up before rinsing off again. At least she doesn't need to get the hard part (hair) clear before stepping aside to let the redhead have the water. In the meantime, Antonie grabs them both a towel and there's one being held out for Eva when the other pilot is ready. "It's why I don't have... extensive contact with my family. This is sort of my... break. Step away and clear my head by killing toasters."
Eva rinses off easily enough, actually pulling off the whole pink/red thing without looking as though she completely clashes with her hair. "Thanks," she offers, as she accepts the towel, drying off briskly, "Sometimes it can be difficult when you have your family looking up to you. Especially when they might have ideas for what you should be doing that doesn't fit with what you want to be doing."
There's a brief laugh from Antonie at that, rifling the towel through her hair before she starts on the rest of herself. "You mean like how I should have stayed back home and asked for a transfer to Tisza, so I could serve the family's interests as well?" Here, too, more tattoos are visible. Like the ones on her back. And the two marks on her sides. A black marriage tattoo on her right... and a brand of the same on her left. "Trust me, they've tried. I needed the time away. If I get the option to transfer or muster down the road? I'll consider it. Right now, well... Here we are. Over Tauron. I have the opportunity to take out some of those frakkers."
"Yes, exactly. I don't know your family, but I don't get the impression that you would have been very happy, if that's the right word, being at home serving your family's interests. And sometimes...you just need to decide on what's right for you." She pauses, twisting her hair up into a turban, tucking the end of the towel in at the base of her head, "I hope to one day get to the point where I can do that." She frowns, turning in a slow circle, "I feel we have miscalculated, Antonie."
Where the other woman wraps her hair in the towel, Antonie wraps herself in it; tucking it beneath her arms. "What's right for me is to keep busy." There's a soft laugh from Niemec as she starts padding over to her things. Bending over to pick them up without losing the towel is tricky and she does briefly loose it to fall away to just be caught under one arm. It's here that she looks over to Eva. There's a grin. "Yes. We'll have to make a bit of a run for the barracks, won't we."
Eva goes over to collect her things, gathering them up, and then looking down at herself. "Well, frak. I'm not an Ensign anymore." She pulls the towel down from her head and pulls it around herself, holding it in place with her flight suit and off-duty togs. This does not help her hair which now looks like a frizzy mop. Damn the humidity. "Race you back." She flashes a grin, as she heads for the hatch.
"Neither of us are. I barely remember the days." Sure, Antonie's not that old... But on a ship where she's at the upper end of the age range of the thousands aboard? She's got room to talk. The Raptor pilot is balancing her things as Eva makes the challenge. Niemec snorts, making to follow... and if she can, push past for the handful of paces to reach their berthings.
Niemec will win handily. Eva, perhaps like many a pilot that Niemec knows, is not strictly that comfortable on the ground anymore, and she runs a bit like a wounded giraffe-like-animal. Whatever, she, she's trying to juggle a full armload of clothes. That's her story. She finally makes it inside, having only lightly careened into that poor Ensign who, scared out of the head, was peeking to see if it was safe to return, "Sorry about that." She'll head for her berthing and some real clothes.
That's part of being a medic. Sometimes you don't just park and let the injured come to you. Sometimes you put it in neutral, hop out, and run to pitch in. Niemec is still trying to catch her breath, however, as she drops her thinks at her bunk. The woman laughs, suddenly, shifting her towel to work it through her hair. Naked in their own berthings is less than the Head. "Did you see the look on that poor kid's face? I'm guessing no one's taught him anything yet."
Poor Eva's hair is getting bushier by the minute. No wonder she almost always wears a braid, "Well, it's going to be sink or swim sooner or later, when his bunkmate brings someone home for the night." The first time that happens, that is going to be disconcerting, "Maybe I should have come in sans towel, you know, throw him in the deep end." She starts rummaging in her locker for some clean sweats to lounge in, slipping into them in record time.
"Oh no, don't mark the Wolfpack as the squadron to go to for biology lessons." Antonie is laughing as she does much the same. Into the sweats and a fresh set of the dual tanks. Her own hair is straight enough that it just falls, damp, against her neck and shoulders. Niemec does, barefoot, make her way towards Eva. There's a bit of a squint at the woman's hair. "Want some help with that?"
"I'm just trying to be helpful. You know, friendly inter-colonial relations. Well, not that sort of relations. I could be his mother." Not really, but close, "I've got some product in my locker with my comb. It's the only thing that keeps me from looking like a dust devil."
"Uh-huh. I'm sure there's some equally doe-eyed girl that'll be happy enough to share his bunk or find some access corridor to teach him things." Niemec is laughing. The woman tilts her head towards a chair at the table in the center. "Grab 'em. Let's see if we can tame this before you go frightening some of our bunkmates."