2236-11-30 - Officer's Mess

Officers have dinner with the admiral and discuss the Cylons and colonial tensions.

Date: 2236-11-30

Location: Ward Room

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 901

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Table of Contents

Late Shift

Officer's Mess. An old naval tradition of gathering the shipboard officers for a friendly supper. Of course, on a Battlestar it's a little tough to get the hundreds of officers all together at once, so the admiral is just having a few separate dinners with a sampling of folks from various departments. "Attention on Deck!" one of the other officers calls when the admiral comes into the ward room. "At ease," Admiral Bauer says crisply. Heading over to the table, which has been set with plates and a nice centerpiece, she sits down. "Evening all."

Dinner with the admiral. Niemec expressed, to other Wolfpack members, that she wasn't sure if she should be pleased or utterly terrified. Sure, invites were going out to most (likely all; she only knew the Air Wing sorts) officers, but it still felt a little... stand-out to receive one. Enough that the Raptor pilot had her blues freshly cleaned and pressed just for this evening. The Tauran woman does stand a bit stiffly when the call goes out for attention, shoulders loosening only marginally when Bauer bids them to ease. Antonie sits only once the Admiral has, leaning to look to the centerpiece before casting a look around the table at the others who had the pleasure of this particular meal.

Paige arrived early to dinner with admiral, making sure she was dressed to perfection in her uniform without a hair out of place when the noted figure arrives. She stands there at attention when the admiral comes to join them, confident in her manner and displaying an ease in these type of social settings that come from being on display for most of her life. She takes her seat when the time is appropriate and it's clear as she places her napkin on her lap that she is not adverse from a formal setting.

Eva arrived with the main press of officer being shepherded to the Ward Room. She's in her blues, smartly starched and put together in her most presentable. Off to the side, so as not to block the hatch, she straightens and snaps to attention as the Admiral walks in. This is the first time that she's actually had a chance to see the Admiral up close and personal, so she doesn't mind doing a bit of staring as she walks in. At ease, of course, means only slightly less straight than she had been. Thankfully, she's not in this alone, and she slides into a seat beside Neimec. Of note, she does place the raptor pilot between herself and the Admiral.

"Thank you all for coming," the admiral says. Even though they were kind of ordered to. Not really a formal order, but more of a suggestion that it's their turn. "I wanted to meet with people before we left Scorpia, but, well, the Cylons had other ideas." A ghost of a smile touches her lips briefly before she says, "I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to meet most of you, so if you wouldn't mind just going around the table and introducing yourself..." There are a few other officers here as well, a pair of Operations guys, a doctor and a pilot from the other squadron.

There is a sidelong glance for Eva when the redhead settles. Largely bemused, at least, for the Viper stick's choice in seating arrangement. Niemec grabs her napkin and carefully arranges it. She's mostly parroting others. It's clear the Tauran is not used to such things. It's even painfully obvious that she's trying to downplay the tattoos a bit. Angling her hand away from the admiral, for example. When the call for introductions comes up, it circles around to the brunette far too quickly. She takes a slow breath, before offering: "Captain Antonie Niemec, volunteer from Tauron. Raptor pilot." Simple enough, though the words come out in sort of a rush; composed, but ill-executed.

Paige smiles at the admiral's Cylon joke, giving the appropriate amount of warmth the injection of humor. She waits her turn as people start to make introductions around the table. When they get to her, she states, "Captain Paige Victoria Graystone, Raptor ECO from Caprica formerly with Inter-Colonial Joint Peacekeeping Taskforce stationed at ICJPK base Beacon in Sagittaron." As she gives her name, there is most likely some stiffening from others at the table that recognize her connection to the notorious family that brought the Cylon menace to light. She doesn't show anything more than polite interest as she introduces herself, not reacting to any that might find offense.

Eva places her own napkin, once they've mostly all settled at the table, eyes moving along the table, as if to see what everyone else might be doing. She's been to a dinner or two in her time, but clearly, the experiences have not some enough to make her at all comfortable. I mean, there is an Admiral in the room. Perhaps sensing her current wingman's discomfort, should Niemec's hand still be under the table with her napkin, Eva will reach over to touch the Tauran woman's wrist briefly. At Paige's instruction, she offers slight nod, a faint curl of the lips, a sign, not of dislike, but of solidarity with the ECO. Once the introductions come around to herself, she offers, simply, "Captain Evangeline Thorne. Viper Pilot, Hibernia, Virgon Royal Navy."

Bauer nods to each of them in turn, and doesn't seem surprised by the names, not even Paige's. She was briefed on who was coming, but still needed to put faces to names. Although one of the operations guys frowns when Paige is introduced. "Is there a problem, Lieutenant?" she asks him evenly.

"No ma'am," he backtracks awkwardly. "No problem." Many of the militaries use 'sir' exclusively for officers, but some still say ma'am. He's an older guy from the Virgon RN.

"Good, good. Because I hope that we can all save our energies for the real enemy, and not waste them frowning at each other." She gives a nod to one of the mess hall crewmen, who starts bringing food over. "Be assured, knowing which fork is which is not going to reflect on your next performance evaluation," she says with that same faint smile.

There's a thankful glance to Eva from Niemec and a sort of smile. It's a bit strained, but more for the discomfort than anything else. No, no looks nor cringes directed toward anyone. She does, finally, reach for her water to down a good drink. There is a smile for Bauer's words, regarding their performance evaluations. Some may manage to chuckle, but the Raptor pilot doesn't. She's just going to look forward to the meal... since -- one hopes -- it'll be at least marginally better than what the mess is offering.

Paige gives a smile as the admiral defends her to the other officer that took offense at her family name. She nods as Bauer encourages them to leave their differences behind and seek harmony among the crew. She doesn't seem put out by the formal silverware and clearly by the confidence and demonstration of manners knows how to eat at a formal setting. When the first course is brought out, she'll navigate the place setting like a pro, having attended many state dinners in Caprica.

Eva is not above staring at what other people are doing, and as the first course is brought out, she does pay more than a little attention to precisely what Paige is doing. Although one might expect that most formal setting are similar, it doesn't hurt to watch the Caprican ECO who is likely more familiar than Eva will ever be with the sorts of dinners the Caprican Admiral is used to. "Thank you for the invitation, Admiral Bauer. And for the consideration." Not all ship's captains actually care to meet their underlings.

"My pleasure," Bauer replies to Eva. For those paying attention, she's not perfect with her 'high society' table etiquette, though her manners are quite appropriate for polite company. "We seem to have a few pilots here. How are the new ships holding up?"

Oh, Niemec isn't above looking, either. There's more forks and spoons than she knows what to do with. The woman is aware they must have a specific purpose... but what it is? No clue. So she casts glances towards Paige and others who appear comfortable. Her hands hover over the place setting until she feels at least marginally confident in what to select. "They're doing quite well. The updates to the Raptors have been especially appreciated on SAR missions. The larger standard med-kit was a smart addition. You never know what may happen, even on CAP."

Paige quietly eats as Bauer talks to the pilots about the new ships, taking advantage where she can to enjoy the meal that is of higher scale than the typical lunch hall. She doesn't mind the other officers looking at her to take cues in the formal setting. For those watching her closely, she gives silent cues to make it easier for them to anticipate what silverare is needed for the next course.

"They've been a joy to fly. As you can imagine, there are any number of us who have not had the opportunity to fly the most up to date models. Being able to put the birds through their paces, in and out of combat," Eva pauses, lips quirking into a slightly self-deprecating smile, "I've been reminded of how much I first enjoyed flying when I was a rook." Eva offers another slight nod in Paige's direction, a thanks for her assistance in proper dining etiquette. "And what about your own new ship, Admiral? Are you pleased with the Galactica?"

"Yes, I can see where that would come in handy," Bauer agrees with Niemec between bites. She nods to Eva. "I'm glad to hear it. Actually that's how I feel about the whole ship. Even setting aside the size, I've never been on anything so new and updated. Although it seems ironic to talk about being updated when those updates involved stripping down so many of the computer systems."

"The size of the Galactica is... intimidating at times," Niemec admits, quietly. Once everyone is eating, she does seem to relax a bit. Not so worried about using this or that fork. Or whether she's using the proper hand to pick up her drink for a sip. "When it comes down to it... In some cases, the updates are better for us in a war of this scale than the computer would have been... compromised or not."

\ "I am glad to see our teams are taking precautions by removing the systems," Paige admits, giving a comment on Bauer's remark on the computer systems, "Hopefully, we'll be able to make the adjustments." She gives a flash of a smile, "And yes, I've been enjoying the chance to test out the simulations, get a feel for the new ships." She does make a point of adding, "And Galatica...truely a wonder."

"I wonder," Eva offers, as she works her way through the meal, "If this isn't precisely what we needed. In a viper, for example, it is nice to have automation, have everything done for you short of working your throttle." She pauses, lifting her napkin to her lips, before she places it back in her lap, "But that doesn't necessarily make you a better pilot. Sometimes, it can even make you lazy, complacent. Perhaps this new ship, and the ships most of us are flying are really a test of our human capabilities, without computerized crutches."

"Perhaps you're right," Bauer grants. "Become too reliant on computers, and pretty soon you don't know how to live without them. I still wish there would have been a better way for everyone to learn that lesson, though." She nods to Paige. "And yes, it truly is amazing - especially when you consider how it required all the Colonies to come together. Both in resources and now in manpower." She takes another modest bite of her supper.

It's here that Niemec largely falls silent. Quite likely to allow others the opportunity to say their pieces. Perhaps the medical officers to chime in. Or maybe... she's just run out of things to say for the moment. There is also the chance that the Tauran is enjoying the meal. She's certainly eating as if she is.

Paige murmurs, "Too much of anything is not a good thing. And yes, I hope in time, history will allow those that come after us to learn from our mistakes." She takes a sip from her glass, "But we will not loose our unity when we prevail." There's a little smile and it's clear that Paige is a glass half full kind of person.

"Unfortunately, it seems that, at least from what I know of Virgon's, as well as the other's Colonies histories, it is often the hardest lessons that are both the most necessary and the ones we remember the most." Eva considers, before continuing, "I don't mean that to say that what is happening now is right or proper, just that I think we can use it to make us better, rather than allowing it to defeat us."

"Just because one company screwed up their software and allowed their soldier bots to get away from them -" The Lieutenant that was chastised earlier can't resist a sharp look at Paige there. "- That doesn't make all computers evil. We wouldn't have this ship, the FTL drives, medical technology - none of it. The only mistake here was putting too much trust in one man's ego."

"That's pretty ironic coming from a royalist," notes the other pilot, whose accent marks him from Sagittaron. "I think the Captain's right."

Bauer seems inclined to just listen, for the moment.

There's a slow draw of breath from Niemec as she shifts, leaning to catch a look at the Lieutenant. "Ego is an issue we all have, at some time or another. I wouldn't say it's the singular issue. It was not his ego that led to Caprica, Tauran, and many other colonies taking to the Cylon program so readily. We - our people - did that on their own."

Paige gives a half smile, "One man's savior is another man's boogie man." She doesn't bother to rise to the bait the Lieutenant is giving as he attacks her uncle's company, choosing to get philosophical, "And evil...that's a strong word and often the view changes depending on the angle. I'd rather just focus on the task at hand to decommission the flawed mix of hardware and software. Learn from our own arrogance and mistakes." She gives Niemec a smile as she points out that not just Graystone Industries make mistakes. Everyone in this situation at high levels did.

Eva nods at Niemec's words, "Not all computers are evil, no more than all people that bear the same name, or are from the same colony are evil, good, or however you choose to stereotype them. We all had a hand in leading ourselves to the fate we find ourselves faced with." She sets aside her fork, lifting her glass for a sip of water, no wine or anything stronger here, "The only thing that matters now, is how we choose to act in the face of the difficulties ahead. Do we continues to let our petty differences, our squabbles between colonies and cultures, our need to place blame so that we don't have to accept responsibility help the Cylons defeat us, or do we do what we were brought here to do, which is to come together as a unified front." Either they train up Captains to be philosophical, or the Wolfpack is out in full force as all three members seem to have similar takes on the situation.

"Indeed," Bauer chimes in to agree with them, staving off the reply that the Lieutenant was about to make. "It was hardly one man alone who put Cylons in so many homes and so many armies. I think history will have plenty of time to judge how we got here. They will have the luxury of learning from those mistakes. Providing we defeat the Cylons and ensure there is a history still to be written." That said, she cuts up another bite of food and changes subjects, "Tell me, Lieutenant -" this to the engineer, from Scorpia. "Is Argentum Bay as lovely as the vids make it look?"

Eva is happy to allow the Admiral to lead the conversation away from topics that might have resulted in a brawl in the ward room. Because really, Bauer should at least have a month of quite duty before she has to start putting down those sorts of riots. She'll even remain in her seat, adding to the conversation as she can, occasionally encouraging Niemec to peak up, which the tauron will just shoot her dirty looks for, and generally getting as fat as possible as quickly as possible, all on the Admiral's dime. Everyone knows Admiral's get the best spreads.

Early Shift

Officer's Mess. An old naval tradition of gathering the shipboard officers for a friendly supper. Of course, on a Battlestar it's a little tough to get the hundreds of officers all together at once, so the admiral is just having a few separate dinners with a sampling of folks from various departments. This one is a little earlier than usual, for those who have later shifts. "Attention on Deck!" one of the other officers calls when the admiral comes into the ward room. "At ease," Admiral Bauer says crisply. Heading over to the table, which has been set with plates and a nice centerpiece, she sits down. "Afternoon all."

Today's representative from the stokers is Atarah. Uniform freshly pressed and not yet having started her shift, she's even looking strangely presentable. As the admiral arrives she stiffens to attention,then relaxes as the instruction is given. With the formalities over as moves to take her seat and smiles a polite and friendly smile towards the OC, "good afternoon, and thank you for the invitation."

There are a few other officers here as well. Bauer nods to Atarah while everyone is getting situated. "My pleasure. You're with engineering, yes?" There's no obvious insignia to that effect on the uniform, so she's probably going off personnel rosters.

Doctor Eli Cadmus is only here because he owed one of the other doctors a favour. Doctor Temple switched shifts with him when he wanted to catch a stream of a concert. She called in that favour when it came to filling one of the representative spots at this little get-together. Normally, Temple wouldn't have minded going, but she wanted to ensure that Eli didn't ask favours of her again unless it was really important.

So herre is Eli, in his not quite as freshly pressed (but not out of order) uniform. Hair that was just barely uniform code-compliant has been controlled by a bit of product. He looks decidedly uncomfortable as he pulls out his chair.

Atarah greets her neighbours at the table as they sit, then, once she's happy with the placement of her chari she turns back to the admiral and confirms her department with a nod, "ah, yes. Engineering. Formly with the Aquarian navy, but I transfered by wya of the yards at Scorpia." Theres a fainthint of awkwardness about her, as she's not used to conversing with people above the rank of captain on a regular basis and there's only one chance to make a first impression, but she's not doing too badly on the nerves front.

"Terrible what happened to Aquaria," Bauer says, a note of quiet sympathy in her voice. "We're glad to have you here with us though." She glances around the table. "And everyone else, thank you for coming. I like to get to know the crew." As much as practical on a big ship, anyway. "If you wouldn't mind going around and introducing yourselves..."

Eli, it seems, is not going to jump to introduce himself. He stays quiet for the moment. He'll let some other keener break the ice. In the meantime, he sips from a glass of water at his place setting and tries not to look quite like someone took a squat in his oatmeal.

Van seems fine to break the ice, nodding his agreement with the Admiral's statement on Aquaria and putting in, "Lieutenant Junior Grade Van Newton, sir. Viper pilot with the Wolfpalk. From Picon," as if the accent didn't identify him as upper-class Picon to begin with. "Thank you for the opportunity for some enforced socializing, sir." That... might actually be a joke.

"Yes," Atarah agrees seriously, "we were lucky." Millions weren't. But, this is a dinner, not a funeral, so with the doctor apparently keeping quiet she follows the pilot in the introductions. "Good afternoon, I'm Lieutenant Atarah Scorseby, engineering. As I mentioned I was previously seconded to the shipyards at Scorpia, where I was invovled in the design and construction of these first battlestars." Her piece said she looks round the table to see who's next.

The other officers introduce themselves around the table. Eli would be next, but before him is a Captain from the Argonauts squadron, who's from Leonis. "Terrible what happened to Aquaria, to Picon, to Leonis... so many of our people dead. I am for one looking forward for some payback."

So, it's him now? He doesn't sigh, but he looks like he wants to. When he speaks, he sounds quite monotone. "I'm Doctor Eli Cadmus. Lieutenant, if ranks are important. I'm a surgeon, but because this is the military, I do a little bit of everything, from vaccinations to bypasses. I did a tour with the ICJPK where I spent time in mobile field hospitals close to the action. Then I spent some time in the ER of a military hospital. So I know what it's like when things get rough." Colony, it seems, is not readily offered.

Bauer nods to the introductions. "Indeed," she agrees with the Leonese pilot. Another pilot turns up to whisper something to Van, who has to excuse himself to deal with a problem he reported with one of the Vipers earlier. "Duty comes first," she says with an understanding look. She gives a nod to one of the mess hall crewmen, who starts bringing food over. To Eli she notes, "I'm sure we'll be grateful for your experience before long."

"Unfortunately, yes," says Eli rather plainly to his commanding officer. He is, as it seems, not the most sparkling conversationalist in these settings. He looks with some jealousy as Van exits. He sure wishes he had some duty to come first right now. Someone should break a leg just for him.

Dinner itself is uneventful, filled with strained small talk of a bunch of strangers on their best behavior in front of the big boss lady. Bauer, it seems, is not the most natural conversationalist. But she does her best to keep it moving with polite questions about the ship or their home colony. When everyone's finished, she thanks them all for coming. As the other officers are beginning to filter out and the two mess hall crew members are starting to clean up, Bauer calls to him expectantly, "Dr. Cadmus."

The way for Eli to be on his best behavior is to speak as little as possible. He interjects only when he has something truly worthy to add to the conversation. Otherwise, he just listens politely. He visibly relaxes when they're all dismissed, and he tenses up again as he hears his name. "Yes, sir?"

"I couldn't help but notice you didn't mention where you were from," the admiral points out mildly. Unlike everyone else during the introductions. "I know there have been some reports - few and far between, thankfully - of clashes between crew members. Particularly those from different clans. I wanted to know if that's been your experience."

Eli hesitates, then smiles awkwardly. "Nothing like that, sir. It's just...unlike some, I don't wear my colonial pride on my sleeve. I'm not ashamed of where I'm from, but I'm not about to go shouting ra ra Scorpia either. And yes, it's been my experience that blood feuds run pretty deep among Scorpians. I'd like to try and avoid someone pulling a knife on me because they're pledged to destroy anyone with my affiliations."

Bauer ahs softly. "Understandable on both counts. Well, please don't hesitate to let your commanding officer know if you do have any trouble. Feuds may run deep, but they have no place here. We wouldn't want to lose an experienced surgeon to friendly fire."

Eli chuckles softly at a thought he has in passing. He waits a moment before expressing it. "Funny. Most people probably keep their colonial affiliations close to their chests to avoid conflicts with other colonies - not their own compatriots."

A tiny smile touches the admiral's lips. "Yes, well, every colony has its quirks. Hopefully, in time, where you come from will matter less than what you do here." She glances back at the busy mess hall crewmen briefly to say, "Thank you gentlemen." Then back to Eli. "A pleasure speaking with you, Doctor. If you'll excuse me, I have some paperwork waiting for me. The one constant across all the colonies, I think."

"Ah, yes," says Eli with a little smile. "Thank you for the dinner." He takes that as a dismissal, and rocks back on his heels. It's times like this he really wishes he had private quarters. He could use a little time with just his own thoughts.


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