2237-06-04 - A Mountain of Issues

Cate and Lyn decide to try some mountain climbing therapy for their complicated lives.

Date: 2237-06-04

Location: Scorpia

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1084

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With shore leave running out, Cate has come down to Lyn's little cottage unannounced to see if the other woman is around.

It's fortuitous timing, as Lyn is there, returning the key to the owner. She has her duffle bag of stuff in hand, dressed in shorts and a light top, her hair back in a stubby tail. She looks to be in decent spirits at least, if a little sad to leave the cottage and R&R behind. She turns to spot Cate and gives the woman a smile. "Doc! What are you doing here?"

"Hey Arda," Cate offers a friendly smile in greeting. "Packing up? I was going to do some climbing before we left. Thought I'd see if you wanted to come with."

Lyn plucks a pair of sunglasses out of a pocket on her bag and puts them on. "I could stand to get some climbing in. I'm game," she slings the duffel over her shoulder. "Will have to rent the equipment though. I didn't think to bring my gear down with me. All I saw was beach and ocean." She chuckles.

"Cool. Thought I remembered you saying you'd done some climbing back when we went up that mountain." Cate seems pleased. "I know where we can get the gear. Calhoun showed us a place the last time we were here. I've got a jeep for the day, so we can head out whenever you're ready. Didn't know if you already had plans or anything."

"We did a lot of search and rescue out of Arctic Station Thula. A lot of it on the slopes of a volcano, in crevasses, glaciers, you name it," Lyn explains. She shakes her head at the question of plans. "No plans here, I was just going to go back to Vanguard early." God she's dull. Or she's not wanting to run into some people planetside. "Lead the way, this should be more fun than running on a treadmill in the ship's gym anyday."

"Sounds intense," Cate says, impressed by the description. "But yeah, this'll definitely beat the gym." She slips her sunglasses into place and starts heading for the street where a jeep is parked. "I've never been climbing in snow. Doesn't sound quite as much fun when you're freezing your ass off." She unlocks the doors and goes around to the driver's side. "Enjoy your shore leave?"

"Colder is the least of your worries. Icy patches, thin ice covered in powder so you don't know it's unstable until you put pressure on it, avalanches, volcanic tremors, volcanic fog. I haven't even got to the lava yet," Lyn quips. She seems to have reveled in the difficulty of her homeworld and the place she grew up in particular. "But on the bright side, no mosquitos." She climbs into the passenger seat, tossing her bag in the back. Cate's innocent question has her stiffening a bit. "Some good parts. Some not so good. But having a real bed and a bathtub was heavenly."

Cate listens to the list of hazards and smirks. "Yeah, so, not terribly fun then." She turns on the engine and waits till they're both settled before pulling out. "I know what you mean. It'll be hard going back to those coffin bunks." She spares the other woman a brief glance, noting the stiff posture. "Which would you rather talk about? The good parts or the not so good parts? Or the mosquitoes? Mosquitos are always a nice safe neutral topic. Everyone hates mosquitos." Cate flashes a grin there.

"Challenging can be fun!" Lyn insists, before she leans an elbow on the window ledge of the jeep and rests the side of her head on her fist. "I don't know. The good stuff was relaxing, having you and Al and Tucker visit. Seeing Jonas' little sister alive and well and part of the Wolves now, playing a little Pyramid with Tavo and Al." She pauses. "The burgers were good too?" Lame. Nice try Lyn.

"To a point. I mean, I like free climbing - that's a challenge. But thin ice, avalanches and lava is like... a whole other level." Not in a bad way, though, judging by her smirk. "Well, I'm glad it wasn't all bad. Ingvar has a sister? Didn't know that. You heard from your brother at all lately?" There's a tentative note to the question, as you never know when such a question will end up walking into a land mine. She takes one of the access roads and starts heading out of the city. "It's weird how little I've driven in the last five years."

"Several sisters, a brother, nieces and nephews too," Lyn says quietly. "Leonie is the only one we know of that survived the fall of Aquaria." She shakes her head at the question about Jackson. "Haven't talked to him since Jonas came aboard. He's sent me a few messages though. He's fine. He just has a way of pulling things out of me and I don't want him to get distracted by my drama." She looks over at Cate. "How about you? How did your leave go?"

"Ah, man, that's rough," Cate remarks with obvious sympathy about the state of Jonas' family. "I'm glad your brother's okay though." She hitches a shoulder at the question about leave. "Same as you I guess - ups and downs. You know, I'm not easily distracted by drama if you ever need an ear to bend. I'm also shit at minding my own business, so... feel free to smack me upside the head if I pry too much." The city recedes in the background as they enter the foothills of the mountainous rainforest.

"I tried to find them. It's what wrecked everything between Jonas and I," Lyn admits, finally telling someone other than her ex and her confessor. "The base was under attack, the whole planet was. Heim was destroyed and my father was there. They said no one lived. Jonas came back, injured, from being attacked by a cylon while leading it and a scientific group out on the mountain. I had been trying to raise any of his family on the radio, but there was nothing. Before he got to AST, A Libran raptor came in asking for volunteers to be dropped off around Aquaria to look for survivors and call them in for pick up. I wanted to find his family." She grimaces and looks over at Cate. "So I paid a guy to knock Jonas out and get him on an evac bird because I knew he'd tried to go with me. Dunno if you noticed, he's not terribly stealthy."

Cate listens quietly. She diverts her attention from the road for a second to glance over at Lyn, looking a little confused. "I think I'm missing the part where you going off bravely to find his family screwed things up between you. I'd think most people would be grateful?"

"He didn't know. I didn't find anyone alive. I buried children, grandparents, executed civilians. I hadn't even processed Dad's death. When they picked me up a week later, because the planet was considered a loss, I failed my Fit for Duty eval. Was in treatment for 6 weeks. By the time I got out and talked to my brother, he said Jonas was so furious with me. I didn't know he'd been planning to propose, that he and my dad had been planning to surprise me with it, or how bad he'd needed me there to cope with everything. So I just�didn't go back. I ran away like a coward. A coward." She shakes her head a little, rubbing her mouth with a hand a few times. "I was supposed to be in Heim instead of my father. There was a conference. They were doing enlisted evaluations for possible movement into officer training, so I could eventually take over his job running AST. I didn't want to leave Ingvar that long because I was dumb and in love and insecure. So my father died, the one man who might have been able to hold Aquaria against the cylons." At least in her mind.

Cate continues to listen quietly, a sympathetic frown settling on her face when she hears the story. "That really sucks, Arda. I'm sorry." She chews her lip for a moment. "But I think you're being too hard on yourself. From what I've heard, not even Zeus himself could've held Aquaria against the Cylons. And c'mon - he's your dad. Don't you think he would've rather you been the one who made it out?" She then asks, "Did Ingvar not try to look you up?"

Lyn shakes her head in regard to her dad. She can't talk about him just yet. Seeing his picture in the bar on Scorpia was bad enough. She takes in a steadying breath. "He blames me for not contacting him. Said he listened for news of me on the radio frequencies or whatever. But if he'd asked my brother or mother where I was, they would have told him," she says, frowning, as if she hadn't considered that part. "But he was grieving. As far as he knew, his whole family, AND my father whom he was very close to, were dead, and his girlfriend had run away without a word."

"Well. Sounds like you don't have all the blame at your feet then. You were both grieving. You didn't reach out, but neither did he." She continues to drive, leaving the city further behind. "Still a hard thing you went through. Getting your heart broken sucks even in the best of circumstances. When the world's falling apart around you? Ten times worse."

Lyn nods and lets out a breath she'd been holding. "Thing is, he's moved on. I never did. I haven't been in relationship since Aquaria fell. And my Dad, he wanted so much more for me. But I always manage to piss off the brass and not get promoted." Thus being a sergeant with 17 years of military experience. "I know I need to just grow up and get over it but part of me is still clinging to some stupid hope that it won't work out between him and Walker and he'll come back. But I promised not to interfere in his happiness, so here I sit. Wallowing in self pity and pining away for a lost love like I'm a damned teenager."

"Moving on is hard," Cate says, pressing her lips together. "Friend of mine used to say: 'The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing'." Her smile turns sad there for a few seconds, before she offers. "I know what it's like to have to live and work with someone you're pining after. Sucks ass. Best I can offer is a sympathetic ear and a pretty mountain to climb."

"I appreciate it, Cate. It's been hard for me to talk to anyone about any of it the last two years. You and Al have been my sounding board these last few weeks since the past wound up in my face, and it's helped a lot. I am trying, really, I promise. I almost went out to a club last night, but I was just frakking tired." Lyn pushes her shades up on top of her head so she can watch the scenery go by. "And climbing always helps. Can't think of stuff like that when you need to beat a wall."

"Well, I'm glad you've got people to talk to now. Took me a couple years after my last spectacular breakup to even contemplate trying again so... I think you're doing all right." There's a little twitch of her lips there - still a sore subject of her own. But no time to dwell on it. Cate pulls over at some little store on the mountain road, the signs boasting all sorts of adventure gear - sales and rentals. "This is the place. There's a cliff just up the road that's pretty decent. Medium challenge. No lava," she says with a brief smirk.

"You seem to be doing all right with Tucker? He respecting your need to take things slow?" Lyn asks, with a concerned glance to the other woman. "Though I am guessing a lot of soldiers are feeling the need to put down some sort of roots fast, being in the middle of a war. Give them something to keep them going, to come home to, and such." When they stop she climbs out to head into the store and snorts. "No lava! Where's the challenge in that?" That gets a chuckle out of her at least. She picks through the rental equipment, rattling off a list to the guy behind the counter.

Cate hedges a little at the question as she gets out of the jeep. "More or less. I mean, he's trying but... it's like you said. He's moving at light speed and I feel guilty for making him feel guilty when I'm lagging behind. And it would be nice if we could make it through one conversation without stepping on some long-buried emotional land-mine." She offers a wan smirk, and follows Lyn into the store. Leaning on the counter, she lets the other woman take the lead on the gear acquisition, chiming in only when it's a matter of personal preference.

Lyn barks out a short, unhappy laugh. "Yeah, Jonas and I talk, I get some tiny spark of hope lit, and then boom, landmine gets stepped on and the light gets snuffed out again. I've cried more in the last few weeks than in the last 30 years." When they get the gear in hand she carries her half back out to the Jeep. "I just don't get it, why he kept the ring, a photo of us with my dad, why he kept stopping by my cottage, bought me a drink at a bar, was mad when I left said bar so he could have a nice reunion with his sister without having to explain what happened to us to her." She shakes her head. "He always ends up telling me we aren't the same people we were before, that we can never happen again, and walking away. Could his signals be any more mixed!?" She grits her teeth in frustration.

"Oh, man, that's the worst. There was this ECO on Picon I had a thing for at the beginning of the war... he was the king of mixed signals." Cate chucks her gear gently into the jeep and then moves back to the driver's seat. "Like, at one point I made a move on him, and when he shot me down he said with these puppy dog eyes, 'Did I lead you on?' And me I'm there thinking... 'Do you want me to start listing all the times?'" She sighs, lips pressed together in a thin frown. "But I didn't say that. Eventually I realized - he honestly didn't realize he was doing it."

"Maybe Jonas doesn't either. Should I just tell him to stop whenever he does, and point out he's doing it? Maybe I can just avoid him outside of missions. The truth is, I still love him so much it hurts, but he doesn't want me. So I have got to figure out a way to exist with him in the Squadron." Lyn puts her sunglasses back on and just sighs. "I was perfectly ok being an unfeeling Cylon-killing machine the last couple years."

"Wish I had an answer. Last time I really talked to him I stepped on a few landmines and we both ended up in tears. Next day, the Toasters raided our safe house while he and a few others were out on a scavenging run. Haven't seen him since." The tight way she says it suggests that the pain and guilt haven't fully receded. Then she glances to Lyn. "I hope you can figure it out better than I did. That constant battering takes its toll. But I think for all the hurt, it's better to feel something than to just try to be some kind of robot soldier. You deserve better than that." As promised, the climbing area isn't too far up the road from the shop, though it requires taking a dirt road to get there.

"Maybe we need to talk to a shrink," Lyn admits. "Or maybe I just need to get laid," she laughs. She sets up her equipment to begin the climb where the two women can just focus on the task and not the past heartaches.

"Maybe both," Cate says with a soft 'heh'. Then she's busy assembling gear and banishing the unwelcome thoughts by focusing on not breaking their necks.


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