Tamlin finally tracks down Gustavo. Apologies all around.
Location: Gym, Deck 8, //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 898
One would expect a Marine the size of Gustavo to be in one of the padded sparring circles, at a punching bag, or even working at a weight machine. But no, he runs on one of the treadmills at a slow, steady pace, the sort of pace that doesn't look all that fast until it's half an hour later and you've passed all the sprinters. Sweat stands out on his face and darkens the front and back of his tanks. Eventually, he slows to a walk with the press of a button, collecting a towel from the bar of the treadmill and starting to wipe down his head and face.
A happy proponent of the gym, it's not unusual to see Tamlin down in these environs. But her attire might be a bit unforgiving for someone looking to work out. She's still in her coveralls, though, from the look of it, she tried to get most of the dirt and grime off of her hands and face, before she started wandering through the ship. She even tried her hand at straightening up her hair, which, after a long shift can give one the look of quite pronounced helmet head. It's only the mats on the floor that soften the clomp of her boots as she peeks in, spying the man she's looking for, because really, how could you miss him, and heads over towards the treadmills. She comes up just as you're wiping off your face, "You're a hard man to track, Staff Sergeant."
Gustavo peeks up over the top of the towel as he's addressed, working to bring his breathing slowly back under control as he continues to walk in place on the treadmill, "It's because I'm small and sneaky. Like a cat." His voice, outside of the clatter of combat, is deep, but not the earth-shaking rumble one might expect from a man quite his size. "What can I... do for you, Dorn?"
Tamlin's nod is grave, as is her expression, "Yes, I've heard that about Scorpians. They like to get you when you're not looking." Just the outer corners of her mouth curl towards the end of that affirmation, a small, but yes, genuine expression of humour. That humour remains in her expression as she continues, "So, right. The principal called me into the office, and I've been ordered to try to make nice with you....Lest you strangle me in my sleep."
If anything, Tavo's own humor fades somewhat at Tamlin's description of Scorpians, and he notes, "You might be surprised." Wiping off his neck and shoulders with the towel, the big Marine hangs it over the treadmill's bar once more as he punches an even slower pace into the machine, trailing down to something approaching an amble rather than a fast-walk. "I don't consider myself a violent man, Pee-Oh, but even if I was, it wouldn't be in your sleep." His words come easier as he regains some of his breath, "And making nice because you've been ordered to..." He shakes his head, then asks, "Do you understand why I was upset?"
Tamlin nods, not at all put off by the change in the big man's demeanour. "I very likely would be. As you can imagine," she waves at herself, "given my elocution," a nod to her rather highfalutin accent, sadly no Caprican street rat here, "I have not had much cause to meet very many Scorpians, even during my time in the service." A shake of her head, as she remains as she is, hands sliding into the pockets of her coveralls. "Thank you for allowing me to sleep a little easier." And finally, that humour fades and she's just, well, Tamlin, speaking with genuine sincerity in her voice, "Well, I was ordered to, Staff Sergeant. I thought you deserved to know that, rather than having that fact come back to you later and you doubting my words. Because the truth is, that I had intended to come and see you regardless. What I did in the field, undermining your orders, was wrong. I should have trusted you to keep me safe down there, in the same way that I trust the Chief to keep me safe when I'm up here. And I'm sorry that I didn't trust you. I should have."
Gustavo uses the time given to him by the deckie's words to slow to a full stop and step off the treadmill, taking up the towel and using it to wipe down the machine's grab-bar and then draping the gray cloth over the top of his head and tucking the ends into the neck of his undershirt so that it makes a sort of cowl. "Yeah, you should have." The Staff Sergeant billows out the front of his shirt a few times, and then rests his hands on his hips, "But I know some people, especially really smart people, have problems snapping to. They wanna know 'why.' Do you know 'why' I gave the order I did?"
Tamlin steps back, not out of fear, but rather, simply to give you more room to move away from the machine you've been working out on. She turns to the side, in case you need to step past her into the gym proper, "I don't know if that's true, about smart people wanting to know the whys, as that's not a term that I would use to describe myself." She considers the question, before she replies, "When the Chief asked me why I decided to disarm a booby-trapped grenade, I told her it was because it was just a job. Not so different from doing demo on the deck when you've got ordinance loaded into a malfunctioning bird. Something that I had been trained for. If I have the training, and you give me the right tools, I can do the job. The job that I was being asked to do down on the planet was not anything I was trained for. I did not have the tools or the necessary skills to do the job. So no, I don't know you gave the order you did."
Gustavo shrugs his broad shoulders, but doesn't seem to show any need to move more than a couple of steps away from the machine, bending over to rub at his thighs for a short moment before straightening up again, "You and Asa were able to get the Raptor flying again, I think that counts as 'smart.'" There's a pause, and then he adds, "Do you want to know why?"
Tamlin shrugs, hands still in her pockets, eyes following your movements, before she looks back up to your face, "Maybe what Asa does. Computers, and programs and that sort of thing. I'm a mechanic. Not any different than the mechanic that fixes your car at home. I'm a monkey with a wrench. What you do takes much more smarts, in my opinion, as it requires you to both understand the people you are commanding, as well as your enemy forces and the ways in which combat and engagement can shift and change in real time." As you question, she nods, "Yes, of course. Not only because I know that it's more than likely that I will end up in that same position again, and I'd like to know that I can be an asset to the team and not a danger."
Gustavo studies the smaller woman for a long moment as she protests her lack of smarts, but he doesn't continue to protest. Instead, he merely nods, "Okay. So two pilots who know what they're doing crashed a ship. We run into toasters with at least one missile launcher, and they've got the high ground. That makes staying where we were and goin' to the Raptor death traps. We got real lucky that you two knew what you were doing, that the bird wasn't broken too bad, and that the toasters didn't come back. Any one of those things goes tits-up, and we're all dead, clustered around the Raptor."
Tamlin stands quietly, listening, "Okay, but wouldn't we have been just as dead if we never went to the raptor and they just keep shooting at us, picking us off until we were all dead? Or if we waited so long to repair the bird that they had time to bring in reinforcements?" She slides a hand from her pocket, "And for the record, and I cannot speak for Asa, but I did not, initially, run towards the raptor because I wanted to get over there to fix it. I did it because I was out in the open, with a weapon decidedly ineffective against the cylons, and I was afraid." She's not too proud to admit that, "I didn't like being shot at, so I ran with Marx, who happened to be heading to the raptor. But I ran towards cover, and with someone who would be better able to defend me than I could defend myself."
"If we stayed right where we were? Yeah. We'd be dead as frak." Tavo doesn't sugar-coat it. "That's why I was trying to get us into a fighting retreat. I expected you and Doc and Asa to grab cover, then move back when Bennett and Kinney could cover you. I made a mistake though," he doesn't seem to have any problem admitting this, "I figured you'd grab cover where you were like Doc and Asa did. I should've been specific." And then he gestures slightly, a sort of 'to continue' roll of his hand, "Marx wasn't supposed to stay at the Raptor, just check for bodies then come back to where I was coverin' him."
"Believe me, Staff Sergeant, I was only too happy to take cover. It's what I tried to do. The raptor was the closest big thing I could see to hide behind." A tilt of her head, as the SSgt continues to outline the plans he had for Marx, "I'm sorry that I didn't know that. I really have very little concept of how marines operate in the field. None of the tours I've done, even when I was at a base under attack on Caprica was anything like this. I always knew exactly what I needed to do, so I knew exactly how to adjust to keep doing the job." She takes a moment for thoughtful consideration, "Do you ever teach combat...well, what would you call it, formations, strategies?"
"That's another thing then. You've gotta keep situational awareness." Gustavo gestures around the gym, "Because I told Marx to check the Raptor for bodies. And if a guy my size can find cover in the rocks, someone your size can." At her question, he shakes his head, "Drill Sergeant's one job I've never had. Not mean enough." The last is accompanied by a brief flash of his teeth. "But it might be we need to run some here on Galactica, because if we're gonna drag non-combatants into fights more often, they should know how to react. That means following orders, and suggesting alternatives while following the orders. First thing you can learn... vehicles are ammo-magnets. Nothing draws more fire than a Raptor, a truck, or a bunker. Rocks make plenty good cover, and they don't draw fire."
"Are you calling me small, Staff Sergeant?" That is said with a flash of a smile, before Tamlin returns to the real thread of the conversation. "I didn't mean Drill Sergeant, just, yes, exactly what you just suggested. I know, for my part, there are many members of the deck crew alone, who have never seen actual combat, on a ship or off of it. And more people beyond who only got into this gig because they wanted the steady paycheck or the money for college afterwards. We're all sailors, but not all of us are soldiers. I would welcome a chance to learn how to be a better soldier." Another grin, "Because, obviously, you've seen my work, so you know I'm a fantastic sailor."
Gustavo reaches out with one hand, aiming to float his palm just over her head and then bring it back over to him... right about neck high. And then he chuckles, "Be careful. You don't want to call most of the Marines onboard 'soldiers.' They'll take offense, even if they don't have any idea what they're talking about. Soldiers are Army. Marines are Marines, and only half as tough." Reaching up, he ruffles the towel-cowl over his hair to dry it a touch, "And to be fair, if you have to play Marine, someone's done something really wrong."
Tamlin tips her head up, straightening her back and squaring her shoulders, giving herself almost a whole extra inch of height, as your hand marks out the difference in her height to yours, "Perhaps I'm like one of those sponges, apply water and I'm suddenly as big as a house. This could all be a ruse, Staff Sergeant." A shake of her head, "I'm sorry, Marine then. I don't want every last one of you lining up to take a shot at me." She rolls of her shoulders that works its way all the way down to a shift of her weight from the heels to the balls of her feet, "I think someone's already done a lot of things wrong. Now we have to pick up the pieces." She slides a hand back out of her pocket, offering it to you, "Are we square, Staff Sergeant?"
Gustavo snorts again, "Me, I'm a soldier in a Marine's uniform, because the Cee-Eff isn't tough enough to have an Army yet." Or, you know, because it doesn't need one. The question causes him to shrug slightly, "I don't know, Dorn, are you going to follow orders next time you're in the field?"
"Here's to hoping that they never do." Because if so, the world will have gone seriously pear-shaped. As for the question, Tamlin lowers her hand, moving to slide it back into her pocket, perhaps thinking that that wasn't quite the right approach, "Yes." Anything else really isn't going to be good enough, is it?
Gustavo shifts his hand at the answer, but the deck crewwoman has already retracted her hand, so he simply nods, "Good. Then we're square. Remind the other deck apes," his tone suggests that's not an insult, at least not to him, "that we don't step out of line on your turf. Maybe it'll help. Maybe." His tone suggests he's not so sure that it will.
Well...that's awkward, as Tamlin notices you offering your hand just as she's reclaimed hers, "Maybe it's not just on the ground we're bound to have misunderstandings, Staff Sergeant." At his assurances on the performance of his men on the deck, she shakes her head, "You've never given us cause to think that you have or would. I'm the one who's given you cause to think poorly of my department. I won't let that happens again." For a moment, the woman manages to look a bit lost or, perhaps fairer to say, out of sorts, "Where you heading, Staff Sergeant?" And, then, as it occurs, "Also, you can call me Tam, or Genie, most every one does."
Gustavo nods definitively, apparently accepting the woman's words at face value. "Everybody screws up at least once. You're doing real good if you keep it down to once. Most people don't." The question as to where he's going next draws a shrug, and a lift of one arm slightly, "Showers. Even Marines don't like it when I come back to the berthings pitted out." There's a pause, and then he allows, "Tavo."
"Male Marines or female Marines?" She lifts a hand, laughter bubbling up, in an attempt to forestall an answer, "Nevermind, you don't have to answer that." Once you offer your destination, she nods, taking another step back, to allow you to depart ahead of her, "Let a girl walk you down? I need to head that way myself."
"Neither. There aren't male Marines or female Marines, there's just Marines. I think they stamp them out of tin." That might be Tavo's idea of a joke, or it could be his idea of an insult. He shrugs at the request, and starts off toward the door, the towel still gathered up around his head.
"Tin. Not the strongest of metals, sadly. Although, I suppose it cookie-cuttering works to your advantage in the field. Though, I have to say, just working on the deck, it can sometimes be to your advantage to have an entirely different perspective. Accept your differences and you can attack a problem from a lot of different angles." With such a disparity in their height, Tamlin has to take two steps for every single stride of Gustavo's, but all is well, as they head out of the gym and into the ship proper.