2236-12-11 - Olive Books

Van brings a peace offering to Isolde in the form of books. Nerd.

Date: 2236-12-11

Location: Tech Shop, Deck 5, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 914

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Van's shoulders are tense as he enters the tech shop, and it feels like everyone is glaring at him. Really, they're not paying him a bit of attention for the most part, but that doesn't change the pilot's perception. Wearing his blues, he carries a short stack of thick books bundled under one arm as he makes his way back toward Isolde's work station.

Meatball is going to just have to get over her helmet issues, Isolde has decided as she sets down the helmet and glares at it. She has been working on it for several days now, trying to track down the mysterious feedback that Meatball has experienced every time she goes out in her Viper. The woman is sitting at her work station, arms crossed, and expression stern, yet thoughtful. She would not have seen Van coming if not for the soft murmuring of someone beside her as a head's up. She turns slightly, blinking in surprise at the sight of the pilot, particularly because it appears he is making her way to her station. She turns back to the helmet, staring at it, in hopes of it revealing her next course of action.

Van looks down at the helmet as he approaches, "Meatball's? FIFI." Which is, 'Frak it, Fly it' ie, 'we have no idea what's wrong, because it only seems to have errors when you're using it.' He lets out a breath, then offers out the books, which have titles on the spines like 'Atmospheric Combat Theory and Application' and 'Raptor Flight Performance in Practical Situations.' "Some of my books from flight school. I asked my dad to send them along a couple weeks back. They just showed up."

Isolde looks up to Van, and his offered advice causes a small twitch of a smile at her lips. She sits back slightly, and she nods slightly. "Yeah, I'm about at that point... but she's so very good at complaining. Her callsign should be 'Grease' for being such a greasy wheel." She then lapses into silence as she realizes she rambling. The books are taken almost in reflex when they are offered out, hands closing around them. For a heartbeat, her fingers brush his, and then she's taking the books. She is already examining the titles when he announces where they came from. She looks back up at him, blinking, "You... you got them for me?"

"Too bad there's already a Squeak." Van's finger twitches back from the connection with Isolde's, but then he has the good grace to glance away, grimacing a little in what might be apology. The question draws his attention back to her, and the pilot nods, "Yes. Whether you decided to work toward becoming an ECO or not, you clearly had an interest. And besides that, it was something you wanted to do."

"But, I thought..." The sentiment behind the books is a bit off-putting, and Isolde doesn't know why she feels a sudden weighted pain in her chest. She nods soberly, looking over the books, fingers gracing down the cover of the top one. "I'll take good care of them... and get them back to you." She drops her gaze slightly, expression thoughtful. "Thanks, Newton..." She sets the book in her lap, hands hooked around them almost protectively. She searches her work station with her eyes for a heartbeat, and then glances up to him. "I still haven't heard from Kallas... I don't even know if my transfer will be approved."

Van starts to shake his head at her thoughts, "Everything we do has consequences," he struggles for a moment looking to find the proper term of address to his heavy, almost weary statement. He doesn't find a suitable one, and just settles for leaving it off entirely. "I suppose that life simply means choosing which consequences to live with." Gesturing toward the books, the pilot adds, "Well, even if you don't transfer, you might enjoy the reading."

The techie looks down at the mention of consequences, as if he is speaking directly to her own choices. The weariness is heard, and she shifts uncomfortably on her stool. What's done is done. She looks up after a moment of silent self-deprecation to offer a small nod. "I'm sure I will... I have a lot to learn in not a lot of time, so..." She offers a smile, but it does not quite touch her soft brown eyes.

"No one is going to force you out into a Raptor before you're ready, Isolde." Van's lips purse as he unconsciously uses the Specialist's first name, but he doesn't correct himself or back away from it. "I doubt you'll enjoy it all though. Some of it is... dry even for a software engineer. But these were the useful ones. Or the ones I found useful." In fact, some of his notes and highlighting is inside the books. Many of the notes are... irreverent to the point of being scathing about just how boring some of the sections are.

Isolde starts to flip through the pages, catching some of the bright highlighter and handwritten scrawls. She pauses at one page, tilting her head to read what Van has put there. Then she looks up to the pilot once more, still perched on her stool. "I'll keep that in mind," she says, her smile a bit softer now. There's a long stretch of silence from the techie before she blurts out, "I told my dad... he was... is... really proud that I... chose something that is useful to the cause." Because the Master Sergeant's opinion of Isolde's contributions so far has been quite dismal.

Van starts to step backwards as that silence stretches on, but her words forestall him. A frown flickers over his features, "I..." He bites off his words for a moment, then shakes his head and forges onward, "I have to disagree with your dad. Not that I don't think you becoming an ECO wouldn't be useful, but because making sure the toasters can't hack the Galactica and the Athena is more useful than anything one pilot or ECO can do. I mean, can you imagine if they took her over, vented the atmo, and turned her guns on the rest of the task force?"

"I know," Isolde says, tone steady, soft, and mollifying. "But, he doesn't get that... he never really has." She shifts on her stool a bit, looking awkward as she looks down at the books still in her lap. She starts flipping through the pages again, stops, blinks, and looks up at Van. "Who's Rachelle?"

"He should talk to some of the people who have been around ships that had that happen then." Van's voice tightens as he speaks, but the anger isn't directed at the veteran Marine or his daughter, but out toward the toasters. The question neatly cuts through his anger, however, disarming it, and Van blinks, actually blushing a little, "Oh. Ah... an Academy classmate of mine." He leans forward a little to try to look over the page to see what note she's read, "I, ah, took her to the winter formal not long after that."

Isolde looks up at the anger, and her mouth draws thin, but when the question about Rachelle diverts the conversation to softer, safer topics. "Winter formal?" Her brows arch slightly. "Picon Academy likes its fancy parties..." She traces her finger over the note. "Where is she now?"

"I'm pretty certain that every Academy likes its fancy parties." Which goes to show that Van probably has a lot to learn about Aerilon, Tauron, Sagittaron, Geminon, and Scorpia at least. He sobers at the question, however, grimacing hard, "MIA. She was assigned to Amphetrite," across the bay from Triton, "during the Uprising as a Tactical Officer."

"Oh," Isolde says softly at the answer to her question. She looks down at the book again, and then gently closes it. Her shoulders have tightened up a bit, and she looks somewhere between terribly guilty, awfully uncomfortable, and just a little bit sad. "I'm sorry," she offers quietly.

"It wasn't anything serious." Van runs a hand over his slightly shaggy buzz, "I didn't go in for 'serious' so much before the Uprising." Blowing out a breath, he shakes his head, "But she was a good officer. Or 'is,' and needs to be hauled out of whatever hell the toasters have put her into. Although I doubt the Galactica will get to Picon any time soon."

"Or after," Isolde says more or less under her breath. She looks up toward him at the mention of going to Picon, and she grimaces slightly. "Depends, I guess." She shakes her head, turning slightly back to the helmet with the books still held gently in her lap. "I guess there's a lot of satistics that go into choosing where the Galactica goes."

Van winces slightly at her mutter, although he stops himself from commenting on it. Her notion of where Galactica is liable to go draws a faint shrug, "I think there are going to be a lot of politics that go into choosing where Galactica goes. You'll notice that she went to one of the poorer Colonies first, one that is specifically at odds with Caprica, despite the Old Lady being Caprican. I'm not saying that need doesn't come into it... Tauron clearly needs our help. But so do a lot of other places."

"Guess we need more Battlestars," Isolde offers as unhelpfully as possible. Then she slowly starts off the stool, setting down the books as she does. She closes the opened book carefully as she does, as if she is trying to safeguard the possessions she has been given. She looks up after a heartbeat. "I'm sorry about getting mad at you in the pool, Newton... I know you were just showing concern." Even if it was with a twist of malice.

Van snorts a soft chuckle, nodding, "A lot more." The apology causes him to nod slightly, "Thank you. I..." he shrugs a little bit, "I shouldn't have tried to make a joke." Weak and unintentionally mixed with malice that it was, "I suppose that's just another point in favor of me focusing on duty."

Van's commitment to duty just has Isolde looking a bit more broken-hearted. Even if Cate says that Isolde shouldn't see Van's perspective as bullshit, seeing it as a real opinion just makes her feel worse. "Yeah... guess we were both looking for something that only existed in a small bubble back on Picon." She then shakes her head, looking as if her emotions are catching up with her, so she puts on a slightly watery smile and nods again. "Thank you, Sir... for the books. I'll give them back to you when I'm done. And I'll take your margin notes to heart."

As Van senses the sadness building up in the woman across from him, he shuffles his feet, his shoulders tightening a little for all that he agrees with her, "Perhaps it's something that just doesn't happen anymore, since the Uprising." He allows a faint smile in response to her watery one, "Don't take them too much to heart. I was eighteen-to-twenty-two when I wrote them." She should probably also ignore the dots inside any double-ohs in the book for the same reason. Boooobs.

Isolde offers a small laugh, but it does not carry the weight of happiness that it once did. "Okay, I won't." She hesitates a moment, feeling her cheeks grow hot and her eyes itch with the hints of tears. "That isn't true, you know..." She looks up at him. "In fact, that's the stupidest stance to take... if you have someone trying to kill you and everyone you love because you're human, you're supposed to love harder and deeper, and come together tighter... not avoid the path to falling in love all together." Then she wipes her eyes hastily. "But, that's just my opinion," she adds on defensively.

Van seems on the verge of responding sharply to Isolde's opinion, but instead he takes in a breath, letting it out in a soft, slow hiss, then shrugs slightly, "You might be right. I'm sure you're right about people coming together." He glances toward his boots a moment, "Maybe you're right about the rest of it too. I don't know."

"I hope you figure it out one day," Isolde says as she takes the books, hugging them to her chest briefly before she looses one hand to grab Meatball's helmet. She looks a bit overburdened with the books and helmet, but seems resolute in her decision. "I should get going," she says, still not looking at him. "Work to do and all that." She starts to step away, but something stops her. She glances up toward him, her expression of mixed emotion impossible to mask. "Good luck today."

"Yes, I have to be in the ready room in twenty." Which doesn't leave Van a whole lot of time to get into his flight suit and down to the ready room, especially since he tends to be early most everywhere he goes. Perhaps it was another assurance that he wouldn't linger. He starts toward the door, then stops as they both take steps in that direction. Her best wishes cause him to nod slightly, offering up another one of those faint smiles, "Thank you, Isolde."

When they start stepping in the same direction, Isolde does something she finds deeply stupid on reflection, and turns to start walking the other direction. Because that makes perfect sense. When he thanks her, she just nods, her expression a somber mess of emotions. She says nothing more, retreating back toward the workrooms.

Van glances back in the opposite direction that Isolde chooses, opening his mouth to stay something about her taking the books and helmet into the workroom, then decides that anything he could say would only make things worse. Shaking his head, he continues on toward the door into the hallway, rubbing a hand back over his hair, and then scrubbing at his face a moment, working to get his game face on.


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