Laundry day leads to an awkward chat between exes about military rations, making friends and genocide.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 875
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Laundry Deck 8
11/13/2016 ~ 11/13/2236
This is a fairly mundane room serving a fairly mundane purpose. It is one of many aboard the ship. Banks of washers and dryers line the walls, and are going at almost all hours. Tables and chairs are scattered around the interior of the room, and there's a soap dispenser set into one wall.
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Laundry. It needs to be done even when the ship stands on the brink of active combat. Cate is here doing hers. In her fatigue pants and long-sleeved double tanktops, she sits in one of the chairs. Her boots are up on another chair like a footrest, and she's reading what looks like a novel. Hard to tell exactly what it is since the cover's been ripped off.
Jacob carries a sack over his shoulder, finding the best time to do one's laundry is when you haven't done for just about a week. And because he's going to be here awhile, his sketchpad is held under an arm. Though this time it's his turn to be a somewhat hesitant when he spies Cate doing much the same thing. "Should.." he starts, considering. "Should I find another laundry room?"
Cate's eyes flick up when she hears the hatch open - just a quick glance out of habit. But they do a double-take when she realizes who it is. Surprise washes over her face briefly. She still hasn't gotten used to seeing him. She simultaneously shrugs and shakes her head. "It's a free ship. Well. Kinda." If one could really consider the military free. "It's fine." Awkward, but not objectionable, if her expression is any indication.
Nodding once, Jacob doesn't debate that point further, slinging his sack onto the nearest washing machine near him. There's not separating colors from whites here, just starting to dump them in. "Alright." There's some detergent tossed in, along with fabric softener because he's fancy like that before switching it on and letting it rumble. Then, he pulls himself up, sitting on the machine that he's using. "Reminds me of the laundry mat I went to as a kid. Only it didn't smell as nice."
Cate still holds her book in the 'reading' position, but her eyes are not on the pages. Instead they watch him as he prepares the laundry. She nods to his words. "Yeah. Some things aren't so different no matter where you go, I guess," she notes, a strained attempt at normal conversation. But it is, at least, an attempt.
"The only thing I'm missing is the burrito vendor who stands out of the street at the bodega where I'm by bigass cans of lemonade for a single buck. Those were the days." Jacob notes, starting to flip through his sketchbook. "By four of them, load up on cheap burritos, go home and try to beat the water temple in one of my favorite console games." It's idle chatter at best. Something so it's just not utterly silent in the room, beyond the whir of machines.
"Burritos. Haven't had those in ages," Cate observes. Her thumb runs over the edge of the pages idly. "Least the food here doesn't suck." She watches him for a moment, then takes a breath and asks, "How's your head after that match?"
"Cheap place to live, cheap food. But it was good food. Or, I thought so anyways." Jacob utters after a moment. "You haven't been out in the field much, then. Rations, lovely rations. You'll either learn to love them. Or hate them. There's no middle ground on that topic. I've never met someone who who thought they were 'eh, alright'." His face is still bruised a little, but better at least. "I wasn't knocked out, so I call that success."
"I've been out in the field," Cate says, a touch defensively. "And I spent six months on a base entirely cut off from support. There were times we would've been happy to have rations." She shrugs a little then, granting his point. "But yeah. Rations suck. I meant here on the ship." She nods to his comment about his head. "Heard the other guy got put on concussion watch."
"Won't stay that way forever, I'm guessing. Supply lines get thinned if the war drags on. I'd enjoy it while it lasts." Jacob notes. "At least that's how it got on the Defiant. Didn't get resupplied for months. We were debating what condiment would taste the best with cooking lard." There's a bit of exaggerating going on, but it gets the point across. "I don't know why, he was fine. They're just being a bit cautious about it. Still, sucks for him. They didn't need to."
"Cooking lard." Cate's nose wrinkles at the thought. "That's disgusting." She shrugs about the other guy. "Dunno, that's just what I heard. You did clobber him for ten rounds and then knock him out cold," she points out mildly.
"Not so if it's melted, throw in some meat broth cubes and...well, yeah." Jacob isn't going to even try justifying it. "No, I heard he didn't work his shift, I'm just saying he didn't need to. And that wasn't one-sided or anything. If I hadn't knocked him out, I'm pretty the fight would've gone to a split decision. Not sure who would've won then."
"OK, no, sorry, that sounds even more disgusting," Cate counters with a grimace. There's a nod about the match, then she says, "Well, it seemed pretty brutal all the way around. But I've never watched a boxing match before."
"Ketchup packets and rice. That's usually the main staple when it's running low on food." Jacob says, starting to sketch on his pad. "That wasn't even that bad. That was pretty average. It gets bad when someone breaks their hand, because once that hand numbs up, they can start throwing it really hard. That's when stuff like broken ribs, swollen eyes, other kind of fractures start happening. It can get pretty nasty. But, there's one thing I learned about fighting. It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit, and getting back and keep moving forward."
"Rice is always a good standby." Cate lets her eyes drift to the pad, even though she can't actually see what he's drawing. His last remark causes her to let out a scoffing half-chuckle, as if something about that struck her as amusing or - more likely - ironic.
Jacob likely knows how that sounds. He also understands the irony in it. But, maybe it's just something he's trying to tell himself, and keep failing to do at the moment. "Yeah." A stretch where things just seem to keep getting awkward. He sighs. "Did you go to that gathering or whatever last night or a couple days ago?" He wouldn't be caught dead at something like that. Doesn't seem like the social sort these days.
Cate doesn't comment on the irony, just letting that slide. She nods. "I went, yeah. Played Triad with a couple people I hardly knew. Wasn't really surprised you passed on it. Don't really seem like the party type."
"I'm not." Jacob utters. "I spent all night making character sheets that I'll likely never play." he admits, continuing to scribble. "Wasn't really my thing. I'm not really looking to make friends with people here. I just work with them. Be a pleasant co-worker, that's about as much as I can ask from anyone else right now." Though, it's doubtful he'd talk to anyone like he's talking to her. He probably wouldn't be talking to anyone at all if she wasn't who she is.
Eventually, he hops out of the washing machine and moves over towards her, eyeing what he's been working on a moment longer before tearing it out of his sketchbook and handing it over to her. It her. As an...elf. In a mixture of armor and robes. Holding a rather nasty looking mace in some sort of action pose. Aaaaand...maybe a little bustier than she actually is. Hard to say why he's giving it to her, but maybe he's just trying to be nice.
Cate takes the picture, not entirely sure what to make of it. "Oh. Um. Thanks." She regards the picture for a moment. "Least you made me a badass." She lets it sit on her table, considering for a moment. Then she blows out a breath and says, "It wouldn't kill you to make friends, you know."
Jacob just shrugs a little. "I've had time on my hands. Keeps my mind occupied." he explains slowly, reading her expression. "Er. It was a dumb idea, I was making characters last night it just sorta popped into my head. The huff at the idea of him making friend is perhaps the last thing on his mind. "Maybe." he finally offers, as if he's just saying it because it's the right thing to say. "Talking to people is a lot harder than it used to be.
The talk of it being harder to make friends gets a grim nod. "Yeah, suppose that's true." She frowns a touch. "But I'm sure there must be somebody else on the ship that likes those games," Cate reasons with a light shrug. "Put all those characters to use."
"Maybe. It's just something I do. Dice and books are easy to store away. Don't take up much space in a duffle." Jacob points out, perhaps a little quietly. "I'm shitty at writing, but good at planning, and I'm running out of things to draw. Because there's only so much damn inspiration one person can get when you stare at the same bulkhead every day. No matter where you go, it looks exactly the same. This...really shouldn't be a problem, this isn't the first ship I've been on but. I'd rather be on the ground."
Cate nods slightly. "Yeah. Guess paper's easy to come by." She doesn't press the whole making friends thing any further. "I don't like ships much either," she admits. "Nowhere to go. Nothing to look at. And the bunks suck ass." She shrugs. "But it's not like we have much choice about it."
"I think most people prefer bases. Then again, I'm sure there's people that just love it." Jacob backs away, having left that drawing for her to keep or throw away at her leisure. "Was only on one ship before this one. People are making a big deal about it. I guess we'll find out what it can do without a proper shakedown." He sounds dubious about it, but lets it stand. "At least on base, you could leave if you wanted to get out for a night. Can't go anywhere. Just sorta stuck." A glance at his washer. "Just had to finish my term and I was out. Instead, just happen to be one of the lucky ones that was in when war breaks out."
"Probably. Haven't really met any of them yet," Cate says. The drawing stays on the table for now, and she nods at what he said. "Yeah. I mean, even at Triton - we couldn't go far, but the airbase was right near the beach. Used to go down there just to sit and chill when I wasn't on duty." Her brow creases a the last. "Why? I mean, you must be what on your second term already." Meaning he already re-enlisted once since Hibernia. "Why get out now?"
"I only re-enlisted because at the time I didn't think there was much else out there for me. Still that think. I suppose I should be thankful I did, otherwise, I might be dead from one thing or another by now. But, if there hadn't been a war, I think I'd feel worse. Maybe." Jacob describes. "I can't even remember what convinced me, to be honest. Just didn't. Wasn't the money or the free college, gave up on that dream awhile ago." He waves a hand. "Not like I'm leaving or anything. Can't. Suppose it was easier to vanish here. Being another face in the crowd had its perks."
Cate nods, a quiet frown touching her lips for a moment. "Well, yeah, none of us are going anywhere for the moment, obviously. Soon as the war's over, I'm out and going home." There's a sad look there, but she shakes it off and says, "Big ship to disappear into the crowd on."
"You and a lot of other people. Sign up, do their part, and hopefully go home after. Some will stay, figure it's their thing, enjoy the life. Hell, maybe some will prefer the CDF as opposed to their own militaries." Jacob says, leaning against his washer, waiting for it to get done. "With any luck, we'll have homes to go home to. Not just smoking craters in the ground. Because I figure this is going to be long. And drawn out. War of attrition, all that jazz. I hope for you, there's a Hibernia to go back to. Or Picon. Or Tauron. Or...you get the idea." He looks distant, thoughtful. "I'll probably go somewhere where there's not a lot of people. Cabin in the woods. Figure maybe I'll of earned that much." Hibernia isn't home. Not anymore, and not for a long time. Odds are, he couldn't go back even if he wanted to.
"Yeah, well, it's not my thing. I can tell you that now," Cate says with a grim frown. "They kicked us in the teeth surprising us, but we'll get them back eventually." His plan of living alone in the woods gets a little, mildly uncomfortable nod. She might have said something about it, but then her dryer buzzes. Dog-earing a page in her book to mark her place, she tucks it into her cargo pocket and moves over to start scooping the clothes into her duffel bag.
"Remember that." Jacob seems a bit even in that. "Difference between Virgon and Cylons is that the former just wants to rule, clinging to vestments of an empire that didn't know it was already dead. The latter is playing the extermination game. Complete genocide. It's not long about territory or rights with them, it's about survival at this point." There's something about him, saying that, seems visibly bother him. "That is a terrifying thing, isn't it? Can't negotiate with someone who doesn't view it as an option. You can't argue with programming. There's no hate. I would almost prefer they hated us, but, they feel nothing. Soulless, thoughtless, killing machines." He shakes it off. "Holy shit, I'm a blast at parties." he remarks with some semblance of being self-aware.
Cate stuffs the last bits of her clothes into the duffel. "You underestimate them. Some of the messages we got at Triton, some of the things they did... these are not just mindless killing machines. They kept thousands of people alive inside a pyramid stadium for months for Gods-know-what-reason. They toyed with us, like a cat playing with its food." Her voice is thick with emotion. "Then they frakking firebombed the stadium and a few days later they wiped the entire godsdamn city off the map. If that's not hatred, I don't know what is. But whatever you call it, it sure as hell isn't cold, mechanical genocide." She starts to go, pausing at the door to glance back at him. The sadness in her voice is palpable when she says, "Deb was in the stadium." Then she goes to flee.
"I must've had different ones than you. I had ruthless and efficient executions. People shot on sight, no hesitation. Shoot, scan, rinse, repeat. Casual, almost, like it wouldn't be any different if they were pruning a bush." Jacob shakes his head. "I suppose having drastically different takes might say something, but..." He stalls out when he hears about Deb. And that does affect him, to the point where he doesn't know what to say on that. So he says nothing, letting her flee.