2236-11-29 - Bullseye and Milkman

Calliope and Van talk callsigns, share a smoke.

Date: 2236-11-29

Location: Officer Berthing

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 899

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Van Newton has probably been spending too much time on his new holoband. Pushing it up his brow and rubbing at his eyes, the pilot swings his feet out of his top bunk, ducking his head to avoid hitting it so that he can sit at the top of the short ladder that provides access to the top bunk. He wears the paired undershirts and sweats of someone very, very off-duty, and fumbles around at the head of his bed, pulling out a crumpled up cigarette pack and a box of matches.

Calliope is more recently off duty than Van, but still very much off. She's coming from the showers, blonde hair hanging in wet fly-aways around her shoulders, towel draped around her neck. Dressed in hastily pulled-on sweats that are a little rumpled from having been stuffed and then un-stuffed from a locker. She looks tired in that way that one is after a long day, but not so much exhausted as restless. She bypasses her bunk to proceed straight to the center table, where she flops with a relieved "Foomph" down into a chair.

Van tucks a cigarette into the corner of his mouth, gets out a match, strikes it, and lights up the coffin nail as he upnods to the Ensign. Shaking out the match, he hops down to the deck and crosses to set the match down in the 'Redtails' ashtray in the center table, "Looking forward to getting back out there, Drake?" And then he pauses, eyebrows raising slightly as he remembers something, "Oh yeah... what'd the CAG think of Bullseye?"

"I think he wanted to laugh. But he didn't. I guess that's what they pay you the big bucks for." Calliope flicks some wet hair out of her face as she turns her head toward toward Van. Slight grin pulling at her lips. It has a self-deprecating slant, particularly right now. "It feels like an invitation to take more Cylon gunfire up the ass. I'm afraid I'm going to get a reputation." She reaches into her pockets for some cigs or her own. They're Leonese. A cheap bran popular at spaceports on the colony. "Can I steal a light?"

Van draws on the cigarette, passing the matchbox over to Calliope as he does, "You mean it's not because you're a crack shot?" Given that he's the one who suggested the callsign... he's probably giving her an excuse, especially given the faint smile that tugs at one corner of his lips. Another pull from his cig, and he blows a stream of smoke up toward the air vents at the ceiling. "I meant to sit down with you and... ah... Tarso? Tarses?" He snaps his fingers, coming up with, "Tarsis. After that first fight. Did anyone talk to you two after? Besides the standard debriefing."

Calliope snorts at Van. A loud, nasal sound at odds with her more dulcet Caprica City tones. "I didn't hit a frakking thing. But A for effort. Thanks." She takes the match and sparks up, taking a few quick puffs. "Tauron?" It's said fondly, on the verge of a laugh. "But I think she's official-like called Tarsis, yeah. We got a debrief and a...congrats for not getting the ship blown up, I guess? It was hectic, and the mission reports just keep coming in from Tauron."

"Tarsis the Tauron. Now that's a mnemonic I can remember." Van settles down across the table, only then realizing that his holoband is still up on his forehead and pulling it off. The 'band is set down on the table, and he leans forward to ash his cigarette in the tray. "That's better than a lot of people get these days, but how are you doing with it? I wouldn't know, but you don't seem to have started drinking a lot more than usual, or any other particularly warning-sign-y behaviors, but I know the first fight affects everyone differently."

"Rhythm must've been how they matched us up in training, since I'm Calliope the Caprica." She snorts again. Which makes smoke come out her nose. In a puff that looks less like an accident than a trick she's perfected over the years. "It was very 'we are the worlds.' She's good people, though. Watching anything good?" The finger now holding her cig is gestured to his holoband. His own question to her gets a shrug, more smoking, and a stretch of quiet. Finally, she replies, "I mean. It's what we signed up for, right? Tarsis has been burning to get hand-to-hand with toasters. Finally got our shot." It's not really an answer, for her part at least. More glibly, "Plus, I'm more of a club drug girl. And those are in short supply here. So I don't think I'll end up on a ship-wide bender anytime soon."

Van nods at the first point, his brows lifting as he considers it. The question draws his eyes down to the 'band, and he shakes his head, "Oh, no, I was just trolling for mats on Seas of Fire. I'm starting to think that non-Picons just don't enjoy the game as much, which makes it rather difficult to get a group together." He lets the cigarette smolder between his fingers as he listens to the description of the reactions -- such as they are. "I know that I wasn't ready over Hyperion, and I had already done a tour with the ICJPK over Sagitarron then. If you need someone to talk to before you go on a ship-wide bender, just let me know."

"Is there shooting?" Calliope asks, of the game. Intrigued. She's quiet again after his offer. She doesn't immediately take him up on it. But she does nod, and her sparky blue eyes soften a little. "Thanks." That's all she says for a beat, before asking, "Is that where they started calling you Milkman? Sagittaron?"

Van nods at the question, "Yes. You play as a naval warship. Like, an actual aquatic one. You start as a cutter, work your way up to frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and battleships. Sometimes the destroyers are better than the larger ship though..." he trails off, shrugging a little helplessly. His enthusiasm dies away a little as she asks about his own callsign, and his lips twist a moment before he nods, "Yes it is." He tries to brazen through, "Would you believe that my squadron leader said that when I was along, it seemed like every mission was a milk run?"

"I was into stuff like Street Wars and Syndicate Games back in uni." Shooter sims about gangers and spies, lots of first-person stuff in digital alleys. "I was kind of shit at the vehicle levels. Irony." Calliope laughs, a little at her own joke and a little at his answer. "That doesn't sound exactly bad. I mean, nobody gets their sweet, sweet ass blown up on a milk run, right?"

Van chuckles at the joke, lifting up his left arm and displaying the rather nasty shrapnel scar on his forearm, "I tried Street Wars, but I never could get into it. Not enough vehicle levels." He seems to remember the cigarette between his fingers then, ashing it and taking a slow drag, "Actually, Captain Goff said that all I'd ever be doing was milk runs, but the joke was on the Captain. Since finishing Viper training, I haven't seen a single milk run."

"I dug the avatars," Calliope admits, of Street Wars. "I had a purple mohawk and wicked tatts. This was very important to my ruling the corners." She taps her cigarette on the edge of the ashtray to dislodge some excess ash. "I don't think milk runs exist out here." It's muttered half to herself. "Is this like you thought it'd be? This..." She makes an all-encompassing sort of hand-gesture. "...all of it?"

Van considers the question for a long moment, sucking on his cigarette thoughtfully. Blowing smoke up toward the ceiling, he shakes his head, "If Hyperion was like anyone thought it would be, they had a suck frakking mind. And after Hyperion..." he shrugs a little uncomfortably, "Nothing is the same, but nothing is that bad. Having a real bunk that doesn't take mortar rounds every couple of days, having a full squadron around you... there's a lot less urgency, even if I'd rather be spending more time out there popping toasters."

"Caprica City was bizarre, after everything came down," Calliope says. "Parts of it, you'd never know anything happened, now that they've rebuilt. Other places...the Cylons ran everything in the lives of a lot of people. Not just security. They were butlers, drivers, they took care of their kids..." She shudders. "...there was bombing and fighting but a lot of people were just...in there own homes, before they even knew what was happening." She takes a long drag. "Like nobody ever thought it could happen."

Van listens, nodding as he does. "Hell, I took an autocab piloted by a Cylon what... a week before the Uprising? If it had been a week later, I'd be dead. Now I like to think that I shot that metal bastard down somewhere over Hyperion." His lips tighten, and he draws harshly on his cigarette, "Because there isn't a Hyperion anymore. Just ruins, and half of them underwater."

"So much is gone..." Calliope swallows and looks away from Van for a moment, at the smoke rising up from her dwindling cig. She's quiet again, then finally clears her throat. "At least I feel like I'm doing something now. What I can." She does not sound entirely sure of what this is yet. And she has to put out the smoke, before it burns down to her fingers. "Anyway. I should hit my bunk. I am frakking exhausted. Thanks for the light. And...thanks." For what else, she doesn't elaborate on.

Van stabs out his cigarette in the ash tray, nodding sharply, "Yes. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't in a position to start paying them back." He hauls himself out of his chair as well, gathering up his holoband and setting it carefully back on the shelf over his pillow, "No problem. We have to look out for each other." His fingers rise to his lips a moment, miming taking a drag from a cigarette, "Smokers, that is." Then he kisses his fingers and taps the picture of the two women stuck up over the outside of his bunk, murmuring something, "You'll do fine, Drake. You've got the skills."

"I am so frakking glad to be bunking with smokers. You have no idea." Calliope tosses it off glibly, but the smile she gives Van is sincere. And surprised, at the compliment. She holds onto it as she heads back to her bunk, hauling her lanky frame up and collapsing into it.


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