Three recon marines walk into a Mess Hall. They discuss, among other things, a possible Pyramid League.
Location: Mess Hall - Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1026
Lunch. Well, late lunch. There's naught but sandwiches and fruit left over at the cafeteria, for the weary and hungry. There's a bunch of it, but that's all to choose from, much to the dismay of some of the Timber Wolves.
Others, like Erin, make due. She has meticulously skinned a pair of apples with a knife. The remnant crumbs of a sandwich or two are evident on her plate. She eats quietly and slowly, slicing off bits of fruit while she goes over what appears to be a handbook of some kind: hard cover, but about the size of a novel.
The Aquarian sits in a corner, curled up like a cat on a chair. Reading. And, no doubt, spying in on the conversations around her, of which there are few of any salience. Except for a pair of gossipy rookies, talking about who's got eyes for who. Erin occasionally looks over at them.
Sergeant Lyn Arda is looking better today than yesterday, and much better than the day before. She still has a small bandage covering the stitches on the right side of her forehead, but there is no green tinge to her skin from nausea, so her headaches have clearly come down to something manageable. That also means she's now starving because the post-concussion headaches kept her from eating.
The Ghost grabs a couple of sandwiches and a pear from the chow line, and scans the room for a spot to sit. Preferably with low volume people.
Off-duty or between shifts, take your pick. Charlie, either way, is not in uniform. She's in BDUs and dual-tanks. It just means the bandaging at her shoulder is visible. It's light bandaging at this point... which she is scratching at as she makes her way along the food line in a sort of disheartened fashion. Like a few others. Seems someone missed proper chow time. She ultimately ends up with a few items and finally starts her way towards a table after grabbing a mug of coffee.
Oh look! Scouts! Erin's people. So, she calls at them from her corner table. "Arda. Wagner." It's a quiet sort of call, despite her unfurling and standing slightly to invite them. By their last names. So very formal.
And then, she sits back down, shuts her book, and runs her hands through her hair, as if she were worried that it was out of place or needed to be smoothed. Erin doesn't appear to be injured from the recent skirmishing.
"Uh -- " There's a pause, presuming everyone comes over to say hello. " -- hi." Beat. "You guys've looked better?" Awkward.
Lyn responds to the call, shuffling her way through the tables to Erin's. "Hey, Chilly. Looked worse too. Should have seen me two days ago," she notes with a smirk. She settles into a seat with an aching of muscles unused to several days off. She glances over at Charlie and her own bandages. "How are you holding up, Wagner?"
There's a look over as her name is called and Charlie finally angles in that direction. She plunks down her tray on the table before finally following suit... except its her ass into a chair. She sinks into it, making a sort of chuffing sound in answer to looking better. There's a glance in the direction of her shoulder and finally in a sort of shrug. "It's about good. Just weeps sometimes." The way healing wounds do. Keeps her uniform from getting stained. "Me? Fine. Hell of a lot better than Calhoun." She sounds rather grouchy from that one. Last she'd checked, Evan was still stuck in medical from the other mission that a sniper had frakked up. The woman takes a long drink from her coffee before finally starting to unwrap from of her food. "Ugh. I hate missing the hot lunch."
Erin peels a bit of fruit away, and eats it slowly. Crunch, crunch, crunch. She gets a good look-over both women, and then murmurs, once clearing her mouth: "Or Dorn." She makes a face, and then adds, "There goes my only man-crush. Note: people I begin to like get shot apart."
Her dead-pan tone, and subsequent snicker, suggest that she's mostly kidding.
"At least the operation went well, as a whole. Or seemed to." Erin gestures at herself with her knife. "I was lucky. Had a couple of shots zing passed, but -- " Shrug. " -- my luck'll run out soon enough. Guess I'd better save up for a headstone."
Lyn unwraps a sandwich, gives it a cursory sniff, before shrugging and taking a large bite out of it. She is clearly unconcerned with being seen stuffing her face. She swallows the mouthful and grunts. "Damned sniper that rang my bell got away. I don't like these evolving tactics. Are the toasters getting smarter or are there humans helping them?" she wonders aloud.
"Damn shame about Dorn. I hear his wife is going for proper marine training while he's recovering, so... Not all bad in the end, I guess." Better to be in recovery than dead in the end. Charlie's not even eating yet. Hungry, but not that hungry. She shrugs in Lyn's direction. "It's called tactics. Wouldn't say it's smarter. Just algorithms, likely. The one we took out, it was just painted. So at least it's not new tech. Calhoun and I talked. He wants to start doing drills once he's out of medical. So it's our turn to get smarter."
"Toasters have a small edge because of technology. Our edge is adapting and changing quickly." Erin draws in a breath, and then cuts off another piece of apple for herself. Munch, munch, munch. A thoughtful chew.
Another topic. "Heard you're from Aquaria, Arda." Chilly pokes at herself with her knife. "So'm I. You from Heim?"
Lyn swallows another mouthful of sandwich; the first one is disappearing quickly. "Drills are a good idea, but the idea that the Cylons are just getting better from algorithms doesn't sound any better. Learning is learning." She shakes her head a little at Erin. "Nope, was born at Arctic Station Thula. Dad was stationed there. He died in the attack on Heim though." She grimaces. "My brother is in the CF too, raptor pilot."
"The adapting quickly is the important part. They watch us and use what we do against us." Charlie shrugs. You just sort of... deal with it, as it were. There's no changing it and after a while of railing against it... you get tired. She finally starts unwrapping a sandwich. Might as well begin eating or else someone in medical might yell at her. Plus, the other two are discussing 'home.' She's got nothing to provide there.
"Ah." And that's all Erin has to say about that. Few words? Yes, she is of few words.
"Guess what we ought to be worried about -- " She shrugs her shoulders loosely. " -- is whether we're predictable. And, if we are, we need to shift strategies. They don't get tired, they don't need to sleep, and they don't squabble about taking orders." Erin frowns a little. "So, whatever we may know about war may not apply to them."
Pause. And a sigh.
"So, before the last mission, Dorn suggested something to me." She looks at the two women. "Either of you play Pyramid?"
"That's really the biggest issue. They don't get emotional burnout or fatigue. Relentless is a perfect term for them," Lyn murmurs. She takes a bite out of her pear and chews it thoughtfully before swallowing, and gesturing in the air with the wounded fruit. "But yeah, they imagination. If we start doing things in a more unpredictable fashion, I think we can throw them for a loop." Lyn nods her head "I do play Pyramid. Love it. Not great at it but love it."
"A shame they're built so that the humidity and all doesn't affect them. Remember those days? When the damp and heat was a problem for their electronics? Damn shame we fixed that before they turned on us." Charlie makes a face at her sandwich, dropping it back on its wrapper. Maybe she should skip eating. The woman reaches for her coffee, instead, leaning on her elbows. "Mmmm. Pyramid? I play sometimes. It was good exercise back when I still surfed."
"Mm." Beat. "Dorn suggested piecing together a Pyramid league. Something for us to do in space, I guess." Erin gestures vaguely with a hand. "Thought, maybe, pairs? Trios? Whatever -- just something to do to, I don't know -- " She makes a vague, circular gesture with her finger. " -- stay loose, I guess? Be social." Snort. "Not that I'm familiar with either concept." Dryness.
For a moment, Erin forgets that she's holding a knife, and simply bites into her apple. "Better than going bikini-bopping or whatever Kovac organized on the beach before we shipped out."
"Sounds good to me," Lyn admits. "Might keep us sharp between missions at the very least. There's only so much time one can spend in the gym without going insane." She starts in on sandwich two and eyes Charlie's untouched food.
"It's not like we have access to a beach," Charlie points out. And she'd be one for going to beaches anyway. Surfer. Picon. Water is the girl's jam, as it were. She nurses at her coffee and isn't even looking at her food. The sandwich, it'd seem, has put her off. "But a Pyramid... I dunno about league. That seems like a lot of effort. Especially with how rapid-fire these missions have been, lately. I'd say maybe just sort of put out the call for regular meet-ups. Just let people know we'll get together for it. Maybe make it a regular PT cycle. Instead of getting on the treadmills, play Pyramid instead."
"Mm." Erin frowns for a moment. "Wonder if the higher-ups'll complain." She explains. "Last time I played with Dorn, I may have busted his nose open a little." And then, she explains further. "He just -- I don't know, my hand, his nose, his face -- and I was running forward, so I ground the heel of my palm just so." She doesn't sound embarrassed by it, but it's clearly nothing she considers to be her best moment.
"I'll see what I can do. Maybe I'll just -- " And then, Erin trails off. And shrugs. That's all, apparently, she had to say about that. Awkwardness from her chair.
"Pyramid has one thing the treadmill and the shooting range don't. Teamwork. We need to start working better as a tactical unit. Trusting each other. Realizing when we need to be supporting instead of aggressing in a situation," Lyn agrees. "I'm guilty of it. I was so intent on shooting up a couple Cylons during an evac that I didn't notice the snake monsters until Walker was fatally injured by one." She gives Charlie a look. "You gonna eat that?" she asks, gesturing at the sandwich.
"Doesn't sound any more dangerous than drills," Charlie points out. She doesn't seem bothered by the risk of injury. But then, marine. Officers could be different. There's a look towards Lyn at the query. She blinks a few times at Lyn at the query before shoving the sandwich over. "If you can stomach it, have at. I'll stick with coffee."
Erin seems to agree. She nods in Charlie's direction acknowledgingly, and then just -- well, she focuses on what she's got. Her fruit. She takes another bite from her apple, and then looks Lyn. Nothing more to say, so she says nothing. Not that she isn't a little forlorn or disconcerted by that.
"So, Arda, is your brother -- " Clears throat. " -- is your brother on board?"
Lyn snorts at Charlie. "I haven't eaten since I got shot in the head. This is the first time the headache wasn't so bad I was nauseous," she explains. "I'm starving. I'd eat a boiled shoe if you put some butter on it right now." She shakes her head at Erin. "Nope, still flying with another group at the moment. He told me he's trying to transfer here, though."
"Then eat." Charlie seems to have no problem with someone taking the food off her hands. She goes through her fits of this. Not eating, that is. Someone else eating it makes it less obvious that she isn't. "Transfer to the Vanguard or to the 'wolves? Do the Wolves allow that? I thought we were like, handpicked."
"I presume they'll pick others and ship them to us as some of us head home, like the Dorns." Erin picks up a napkin and wipes off her knife meticulously, absently. "Figure, the Navy'll probably need some more fighter pilots at some point, right?"
Pause. "So -- " She clears her throat again. " -- I, ah -- either of you two meet Kovac? One of our docs." She snickers. "He's funny. I like him." Actually, he's a down-right asshole, but who's judging? This is small-talk, and Erin seems horribly uncomfortable attempting it.
"Canceron detail. Not the Wolves no," Lyn replies. "Though they might hand pick him. He's a damned fine pilot, and way better at Pyramid than I am." She takes the sandwich gratefully and begins eating it. "I haven't met him, no. Just Doc Rhodes. She got chewed up pretty bad by that snake thing too. Wonder if she's doing ok."
"Ah, Canceron detail." Kovac. Charlie is trying to put together the name, but finally shakes her head slightly in Erin's direction. "I don't think so, sorry. Probably will eventually-" she scratches at her shoulder again. "If the canners keep getting in lucky shots." That's what she'll call it, at least.
"And stairs." Because Erin's a jackass like that, pointing out others' foibles. But she's good-natured about it, and smiles thereafter at Charlie. "Never know when those stairs'll get you."
And then, the Aquarian turns to the other. That is, she puts her attention on her. Small-talk still seems to hurt. "And, like -- what's your story, then?" Beat. "Is it like mine? You know: planet gets hit; you sign up; you get good; and then, you're in the Wolves?" Bite into apple. Crunch, crunch.
"I really hope that shot to my noggin was luck. If they're just that skilled, it's way worse," Lyn chuckles. She looks over at Erin and smiles wanly. "Nope. Dad was Aquarian Militia. Jackson and I joined up the moment we were eligible to follow in dad's footsteps. We stayed at Thula, but Dad was transferred to Heim. He died in the attack. We went with the rest of the militia to join the Libran forces. Then I got rolled into the CF when it was formed, and plucked for the Wolves a short while ago." Charlie's sandwich is now gone as well, and the Sergeant finally seems sated.
"And stairs," Charlie offers in a dry tone, but opts not to expand further. Because stairs. She looks down to her coffee once the mug is empty. "It might not have been luck. Sniper rifle. Scope. You were in the area it was already aiming. If I'd had another minute or two..." She sighs finally. The woman starts getting to her feet. Maybe for a refill. Maybe to leave. She doesn't seem ready to explain.
Erin remains where she is. Lyn's story checks out; else, it doesn't elicit an immediate response, it being so very reasonable. And Charlie, well -- it's not polite to keep someone from their coffee.
And then, there was silence. The absence of anything material to talk about -- or the belief that there is no such material -- shuts Erin up finally. Having cleaned off her knife, she places it next to her fork. And both are adjusted to rest neatly on the tray she has her things on.
She looks to her book for a moment, visibly draws in a breath, and then resumes looking at Lyn directly. Because.