On Eva's last day on Scorpia, she encounters a familiar face. Once again, things are both heavy and light.
Location: Beachfront Hotel Patio, Argentum Bay, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1005
Sunset has long passed, as has the moonlit evening of dancing that followed after. A farewell, before Eva and Evan parted ways, each returning to their own corners of the bay. Some sort of contact information must have been exchanged, or perhaps the crewmembers are just easy to find, as most of them seem to be staying at the same small handful of hotels. Now...morning, a leisurely breakfast, something light, fruit, small pastries. Coffee. And Eva, seated on one of many hotel patios, having selected one of the tables closest to the railings, looking, incidentally, not down to the bay, so much as out into the streets of the city proper.
To follow would be supremely awkward, bordering on the stalker end of things which is why the coincidence of crossing paths can not be over stated. The fact that they are in the same area is a stark reminder of just how the world works; that the incidence of noticing someone after meeting them for the first time increases. In this case, Evan is speaking to a group of four, what look to be rather fresh nugget pilots, as he is walking along the railings of the patios and the streets. "Yes, so what I'll do is drive you out to Cliffside. There, my friend Enrique will take you up the cliffs and then set you up with some sky gliding. It's a blast. After that, you let Enrique know what you'd like to do next and we'll roll from there." The smile on his lips looks genuine as he's back doing what he does best; playing tour guide.
As Evan walks the streets, several of the Scorpian population that is passing by make small talk with him, offering nods and grins. One woman even comes up to get her picture taken with him before she giggles (girlishly) to her friend and darts off. Popularity or something else at play perhaps, but the perception of being locally liked is certainly able to be gleaned.
Eva, catching sight of the familiar figure walking down the sidewalk, as well as being stopped for what can only be described as a selfie, gets her attention. She's not from here, and that's unmistakable. No one of her colouring would survive on this planet unscathed, and so she might be forgiven for not recognizing the man as anything more than just a passing acquaintance she met on a lonely beach. As he comes close enough to speak to, she calls over, "I feel as if you have the advantage of me. A local celebrity I know nothing about."
Hearing the voice, familiar enough now considering the previous night's conversation, Evan turns and spots Eva at her table. A smile is offered to her and he finishes instructions for the group he is with who start off on their own for their day of adventure. Walking over towards the woman, he leans against the railing when arriving. "No, no. Not a celebrity. Infamous for something very stupid a couple years back that a few people remember is all. I'm sure people in your hometown recognize you and the like."
Eva leans back, leaving room at the railing, a hand indicating the free chair across from her. Either a walk to the gate or a hop over the railing will be required though, if her company is joined, "And I suppose I need to go and check the local paper archives to discover exactly what it might have been?" A wrinkle of her nose, at the last, "That's...not something I like to think about, truth to tell."
Looking at the offered chair, he hesitates for a moment and then jumps over the railing and goes to sit. Settling himself in, there's an awkwardness and hesitation in weighing how to respond to the prod for information. "Early in the war, there was a group of civilians that were trapped. There was a few of us who helped get them out of trouble and they made it into a thing. Really was more overblown than anything. A publicity stunt type thing to help gin up support."
Eva's hands rearrange the serving plates, so that you can serve yourself, or not, as you like. A hand signals for a waiter to add whatever drink might be required. The pot on the table, is already full of coffee, which she uses to refill her own mug, "Ah...that's awkward, I can imagine. No one really cares about the reality of what you did, they just want to use it as a feather in their caps. It doesn't matter what you went through, only how they can use you afterwards."
Getting some coffee for himself after Eva fills her cup, Evan lifts the brew to his lips and takes a sip. Setting it down he looks over at the woman and nods his head. "That's precisely it. So it's one of those things that I tolerate for the sake of tolerating. So you seemed to hint that home isn't home anymore?" At least, that's what he picked up from her words. He sips the coffee and leans back in his chair.
Eva takes a long while to consider, before she retrieves an orange, hands making short work of the already scored rind, peeling it easily, "I wouldn't say that it isn't home. But in many parts of Hibernia, the Virgons are not well received. There have been decades, more, of fighting for independence. Joining the Royal Navy, in the minds of many, wearing the red coat, as it were, is seen by many as a betrayal of Hibernia generally, and the Celtan people specifically."
"I see." Evan responds and nods his head a bit. "You know it's kind of a similar thing here on Scorpia. The Clans that have been in conflict with each other forever, and now we're trying to get them to unite? And then unite further with the Colonial's as a whole." His shoulders lift a bit and then he smiles to Eva. "It's a whole new world for all of us I imagine." Sipping the coffee again, he asks over his cup, "You had a pleasant evening and morning though?"
"I imagine it must be doubly difficult for the clansmen and women who choose to serve in the CF. They probably consider you doubly traitor; to the clan and to the colony as a whole. One of my squadronmates, who is from Tauron, has been facing something similar, though I don't know how much the clans there would correlate with the clans here, but she's mentioned the same feeling of animosity from her clan there. A smile in returns, "Undisturbed, at least. I managed to avoid most of the people coming back from the party."
"Do you regret it? Missing out on the party that is. They got all those stories and experiences and you just spent your evening sitting on the beach with a stranger?" Evan offers questioningly, moving to try to shift the topic away from clan conflicts. A topic that seems to have him a bit more discomfort. "When do you ship out?"
Eva shakes her head, "Not in the least. I spent what was very nearly my last night in good company, with good conversation. A beautiful sunset, and dancing in the dusk. If that wasn't what a place like this was made for..." a slight shrug, "More likely they got all of the hangovers and the walks of shame the morning after." A thoughtful moment, "About a day and a half now, I think. I'm scheduled to head back to Galactica and move my things over to the Vanguard. No word on where we're deploying, sadly."
"Ah, I've heard of those ships. Been a lot of talk around them. There is a good number of folks I've encountered that seem to be revolving there." Looking at the coffee cup, he looks up and past the rim towards her. "Last few hours on Scorpia then. Any last requests or things you want to do before shipping off again, now's the time."
"This leave has been a long time coming. The road's been rough the last few months, the few weeks, in particular," the fingers of her right hand rubs at the still newly healed scars on her left,"and it doesn't look to be getting any easier, so I can't blame people for wanting to get as much fun in as they can." A careful look, studying the man across from her, "I would say that this is nice, but it smacks too much of the usual sort of tourist. I'm not interested in buying your services."
Pausing, coffee cup almost to his lips, Evan shakes his head slowly at the woman and peers at her over the brim. "Naw. No such offers today, even if I wanted to. Unfortunately, and this may seem shocking, but I have gasp, a responsibility to attend to today. A grown up thing." He looks, with mock expression, shocked and dismayed at his own situation.
Eva tilts her head, pausing in mid spoon, as she was about to drop some sugar into her coffee, eyes studying your expression. "Somehow, I don't think that that actually is such a shocking thing. As you say, your job is about giving people the fantasy they think they want when they come here. But their fantasy isn't yours." She finishes the movement, spooning the sugar into the mug, before stirring, "If I am, however, keeping you, then I apologize."
"Nope, not keeping. Don't have to report for a couple of more hours." Evan explains with his standard smile, setting the coffee down and leaning back in the chair. "It's so amusing to me how you phrase it, the fantasy. It isn't make believe you know. I don't just sweep in, get a woman to swoon and carry them off for some torrid love affair. Most of the time I arrange vehicle rides or show people good fishing spots."
Eva shakes her head, lifting the mug to sip, sampling the coffee, before she sets it back down, adding a bit more cream, "I actually wasn't referring that at all. But a place like this...it is all about creating the fantasy for a tourist. It's taking the staid businessman and helping him to feel as though he were actually adventurous. Helping the housewife to feel as though she were rich and glamorous; the miner who spends every minute of every day trying to put food on his table, that he doesn't have anything else he needs to be doing but sit at the fishing hole and drift idle. It's about creating an atmosphere that helps people to live out their fantasies, regardless of what those might be, in a way they might not be able to in their own lives."
Pondering the words over for a few minutes, Evan shrugs and then nods as if relenting to the ideal. "That sounds reasonable I suppose. Or at the very least, I can help figure out where to get your drycleaning done." He moves to lift the coffee to his lips but before he takes a sip, he grins around his cup and asks, "So how did the sand removal go?"
Eva's smile brightens her expression, "You can do that on the way out. I do have my dress uniform to press, right before I roll it up and throw it in the bottom of my locker." That's said with humour. Easy enough to find a drycleaner in a hotel. "Slow, sadly. Two hands make slow work."
"Yes, two hands is rather limiting." Evan concedes with a chuckle and nod. "Then again most things do seem to go better with a partner of some kind, whether it's sand cleaning or even laundry." The playful teasing and hinting continues for a bit before he sets the coffee mug back down and glances about the patio.
"So much for all of those scientists who insisted that having opposable thumbs was the answer to all of our problems. It should have been the buddy system." Eva reaches for another orange, though she hasn't even finished with the first, almost as if it were something to do to keep her from fidgeting, "Expecting company? And should I be shielding you or pointing you out?"
Another short laugh comes and Evan shakes his head, "No. Just looking about. It's a habit really, to see who is around. Sorry, did not mean to give you the impression I wasn't paying attention." He looks at her working on the orange, notes the unfinished one and with a smile, almost shy, asks; "Do I make you nervous Eva?"
"Ah." Eva's nod has something of the familiar in it, as though she recognizes the need to keep your eyes up and yourself aware of your surroundings, "You didn't. You just suddenly had the look of a man who sees a photo opportunity coming his way and wants to do anything he can to avoid it. or, alternately, sees a mark coming into range." At the question, her own eyes fall, studying the orange in her hand, noting the one already on her plate. And then, because apparently, lying isn't her thing, "Yes."
Evan ponders a moment then nods his head, "Why is that? That you're nervous around me?" He asks it as casually as if asking what the weather might be that day, or what sort of pyramid team she likes. He even leans back and sips his coffee in the casual conversation. "I don't think you want me to leave, correct?"
Eva gives the question due consideration, as it deserves. There really isn't much in the way of duplicity in her, at least not in this regard. "Most of the people I have known in my life fall into a set number of categories. The good salt of the earth people. The arrogant, entitled people. The dutybound. Those who rail against their duty. Those who live with ghosts. Most of them live their lives along a very straight path, whether they know it or not. Their lives seems to have a center. Yours doesn't. Or, rather, what you've chosen to divulge to me about your life." Laughter, at the question, "I am, if you couldn't already guess, one of the dutybound. It's nice to be in the company of someone who isn't. But I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't allow you to do as you please."
Evan listens, actively, nodding at moments and hmming at others until finally after a few moments of silence passes, he sips his coffee. "Duty bound and living with ghosts." The statement seems self directed, an individual assessment of himself based on the categories that Eva provides. "And it makes you nervous, that I don't wear such on my sleeves?"
Eva finally does start to work on eating the oranges she's peeled, setting aside the coffee for now, because really, that would be gross. "If those two do apply to you, then I would say that you have mastered the art of deception. At least as much as it allows you to hide that from the casual observer, such as myself." A shake of her head, "No, not that you don't wear them on your sleeve, just..." Eva shakes her head, words falling silent, "It's not important."
Again he finds himself nodding, although slowly. Evan ponders over the last three words more than anything, eyes casting downwards for a moment to examine his shoes before looking up. "Not going to press. Don't want the last hours here on Scorpia to be anything but a wonderful breakfast." That smile comes back, much like the first one from the beach, where it just doesn't quite get to his eyes. "Shopping on slate for today?"
"Why do you do that? Is it just habit, to pull the mask on, or do you think you need to, to preserve your image?" Eva offers one half of the fruit to you, "I would imagine, that part of what makes this place so satisfying for tourists, is that they can do as they please, in the knowledge that quite likely, whomever they see or whomever sees them, is a stranger. Someone they will, quite likely, never see again. As I am to you." A stranger, that is. "So why the lie?"
Evan accepts the offered orange and starts to pick at it some, shoulders shrugging. "We all lie. Everyone does, in some facet or another. For myself, it isn't intentional so much as a way to just be. I'm not disingenuous. It is more of not letting people get close. Like you said, it is a stranger sort of situation. I doubt many people let their closest friends in, much less strangers, right?"
"Well, I can't fault you for that. Especially as I've spent most of my military career creating a persona that allowed me to survive in a sea filled with people who seemed to feel their sole purpose was to disabuse me of any notions that I was anything but second class." Which goes without saying because...Virgon Royal Navy vs every Hibernian ever. Eva retrieves her mug of coffee, likely cold by now, but she seems not to mind. "But it is exhausting. I hope that you have at least one person you can be completely yourself with."
Evan is quiet for a bit then with a small smile, perhaps sad at the corners he glances up. "That sounds rough... to constantly feel like being an outsider, to being less than someone. I'm sorry to hear that." But the question about his own life, about his own situation just gets him to glance down and then finish the orange he had been picking at. "This was nice, I enjoyed it. I probably need to get changed however. This meeting I'm having apparently is one of those important things. Gotta get the uniform on and everything."
"Don't be. It was the price I payed for caring about something that was bigger than me. I've never had chance to regret it." Indeed, her tone is anything but 'woe is me'. Eva offers a smile, with perhaps more sympathy and sadness in it than joy, "Yes, it was. I may never see you again, Evan. But I hope you know that I enjoyed our dance. And I was glad to know you." She rises, to see him from the table.