2237-05-14 - Inside Combat

Rothschild and Tavo talk after a mission.

Date: 2237-05-14

Location: "Airfield," Kunnar Province, Canceron

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1022

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Nighttime on Canceron is perhaps Eudora Rothschild's favorite time of the day. It is the real reason why she has elected to stay on the surface despite all the back and forth of Marines from the Vanguard. She sits quietly on a long weapon's crate, her injured leg propped up on what looks like a rusted lunchbox. Her pantleg is drawn up to her knee in rolls of fabric, and the bandage tightly drawn around her calf covers up her second wound ever received from the Uprising.

Tavo has had time to wash his hands and face, but his BDUs are still stained with blood. Quite a lot of it, actually, although mostly covering his unwounded left shoulder. His pack and SAW are elsewhere, leaving him with just his service pistol and belt-knife for armament, but he doesn't seem concerned, his hands cradled around a canteen cup of coffee. As he approaches, he nods upward, then slaps the side of his neck in search of a buzzing mosquito, and inquires, "How bad is it?"

"I hear that I will keep my leg." Rothschild looks up as the large Scorpian approaches. The smack to his neck draws a wry smile from her lips, and she digs out something from her pocket. She offers him a tiny vial. "Try this. My mother's favorite concoction for bugs." Whether or not he takes it, she settles back in, scooting over a bit to make room for him if he wishes to join her. "I admit, the pain was worse after we stopped hauling ass back to the Raptor." The very minor obscenity is surprisingly well delivered in her Leonese accent. Some accents are just meant for expletives. "But the right dose of antiseptic and pain killers appear to have done the trick." She looks him over now, expression opaque. "And how bad are you, Gigas?"

Tavo holds out the cup of coffee, taking the vial in his other hand and studying it for a moment. He nods his head at her explanation, and then he lets a perfect straight line fall flat. It would be an ideal moment to make a crack about being just bad enough, but instead he merely shrugs, "Untouched. Aches and bruises from earlier hits, and my arm. But they didn't hit me today." Eventually, he drops down on the crate, popping open the top of the vial and giving a sniff before he starts spreading it on top of his issue bug repellent, "Apparently, I'm getting out of shape though. Running lines never used to be that hard."

Rothschild takes the cup of coffee, though all she does is breath in the scent until he settles down beside her. She watches him with a tilt of her head, but should he look her way, she looks back out at the buzzing night of Canceron all around them. The mention of running lines has her chuckling a bit, and she shakes her head. "Not that I doubt your own self-reflection, Tavo... but I'm sure that it was just the terrain and situation." She rubs the coffee cup between her palms, enjoying the residual warmth despite the cooling heat of the night.

Tavo dabs repellent at his neck, wrists, and temples, then caps the vial and hands it back. Nodding slowly at the response, he shrugs, wincing a little as he does. "Probably. Mostly." He kicks out his feet, resting one boot atop the other and groaning softly in pleasure as he gets the weight off his feet, "That was an ambush. We were able to blaze through it because we're good, but that was an ambush. If we were any worse, they would have pinned us down, and the sniper would have dropped us one after the other. Cee-Bos and snipers. The toasters are adapting."

"Adapting. Just what we need." The Leonese woman looks over toward the man beside her, and then she offers a small sigh that seems to take a bit of the rigidity out of her shoulders. She considers the dark trees, lifting her eyes to the Canceron moon that hangs just overhead. "A Cylon is a soldier, isn't it?" She waits just a heartbeat for Tavo's agreement. "Do you ever wonder who is giving the orders? Making the decisions?"

Tavo grunts at the question, considering it in silence for a long moment, looking down at his hands. "I hadn't. I am now." He pushes his hands against his thighs, straightening up a touch, then looks out over the dirty, makeshift airfield, "Officer-Cylons? Or a collective? All making decisions together? That sounds like a mess."

"All things we will probably never know." Rothschild rubs her hand across her own leg, and then she offers him back the cup of coffee that she has not touched beyond letting it warm her hands. She is silent for a long moment, her dark eyes settled on him. She studies him for a long quiet moment.

"Sounds like the sort of thing that would be good to know." Tavo takes the coffee back with a little shrug, taking a sip and then letting the cup hang in the nest of his fingers, forearms on his thighs. "What's it like for you in combat? Where does your mind go? How do you see it?"

"The likelihood of us ever capturing and interrogating a Cylon is fairly low... Greystone certainly outfitted them with precautions." The Leonese is all very matter-of-fact about this observation. But then she breathes out a slow exhale. Tavo then asks a question she has never been asked in all her interviews. What was it like, how did you manage, what did you think about. No one asked about where her mind went. She considers the large Scorpian, allowing silence to drift between them for a moment. Then she looks back at the buzzing darkness. "To a place of controlled panic." She then dips her chin, almost laughing at herself. "I suppose that is the best place. I feel my heart beat faster, my blood pumps harder, and I grab onto it and hold onto it, and then just use it, I suppose."

Tavo nods his agreement with her pessimistic first statement, as it fits quite neatly into his predominant world-view. He meets her silent gaze readily enough, nodding slowly at her words. "Controlled panic. Sounds useful, but not so good for the heart." There's a reason that he asked, because he adds, "I'm back on the court. I can smell the ball, the sweat. I can almost hear the squeak of sneakers. Everything comes out like motions on the court."

Rothschild listens with the dutiful ear of a comrade, her eyes flickering back to Tavo. She nods slightly, showing her understanding. Then she chuckles slightly, as if reflecting more on her own words. "Perhaps survival is all I'm in for. That's what it was like at Trenoir... it got to the point where I felt... disassociated." She frowns slightly. "Slightly apart from myself. Reinforcements didn't arrive for thirty-six hours, and we couldn't really sleep. It got to the point where I would look at the clock after each hour passed, and congratulated myself for surviving another hour, and challenging myself to survive the next one." Then she clears her throat, and slowly begins to stand, limping a bit uneasily on her left foot.

After having provided what he requested of her, Tavo settles in to hear Rothschild work through her own answer, taking another sip of his coffee but listening intently. "Now you just get to see if you can do more than survive hour by hour." His left hand comes up to brace her elbow as she rises, but he doesn't clamber to his own feet, instead taking a slow sip of the coffee in his right hand, "Find something more than survival to fight for."

The touch to her elbow draws a strangely pleasant smile to her lips, but she quickly hides it by clearing her throat. "I suppose we will see, Gigas." Then she hesitates, and offers him a smile as she tugs a bit at the hem of her BDU shirt. "Thank you, Tavo... for the brief company." She then starts to step away, knowing her intended direction and committing to it without a glance back.

"Thanks for the bug dope, Praety." Tavo lifts the coffee cup in salute, takes another sip, and then settles back in with his forearms on his thighs. A thoughtful frown burrows its way into his high forehead as he mutters to himself, "Cylon command. Huh." Glancing up to watch Rothschild walk off, he looks down again and grunts a thoughtful grunt.


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