2237-06-15 - Morale Boosters

Aldrich, Eli, and Lyn come up with an idea for boosting the morale of the Timberwolves.

Date: 2237-06-15

Location: Crew Lounge -- Vanguard

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1135

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Unless others join him, Eli is usually alone. Such is the case right now. He's seated not far from the viewport, guitar in lap. It's not the old beat up one he had on Galactica - that one was destroyed at Edson. This is a much nicer and newer one with mother of pearl inlay. He's strumming idly.

Lyn wanders in, wearing her tank and tee combo and BDUs. The bandages are off her shrapnel wounds now, and they look to be almost fully healed. She has a book in her hands, and the title "How to Meditate for Idiots" can be seen. She glances over at guitar and the man before noting, "Had no idea you played, Doc."

Aldrich is still all bandaged up, but he's been released from the infirmary, which Eli surely knows. He's been ordered to take it easy, given that he's still recovering from a pretty severe head injury, but that's just not really Aldrich's style. So into the lounge he limps, looking for something distracting that would also be medical-approved. He spots Eli and Lyn and starts to walk over that direction.

"My last guitar got blown to pieces by the Cylons. I've only had this one a little while," says Eli idly to Lyn as he strums another note. He looks up as Aldrich approaches. "I hope you're taking it easy, Aldrich. I don;t want to order you back to the infirmary."

"Al? Should you be out of bed?" Lyn asks, her brow creased with concern at the sight of the chaplain mobile. She settles down into a seat and sets the book aside. "Well it's good to hear a little music in here that isn't coming from a box." She smiles.

"Well, I can walk, so... apparently," Aldrich answers Lyn. He waits to address Eli's concern until after he has found a seat, and settles in with a sigh. "What do you think I'm doing /here/? If I went back to the chapel, I'd just end up working." After a pause, he adds, "Anyway, I ate today and everything. You should be happy. Play us a song, maestro."

"He's all right. His rack's probably more comfortable than the infirmary beds for long stretches anyway. Potentially quieter, too." Eli shifts, strums a bit, then, "No chapel. Not until you're off the strongest of your meds and you're cleared for light duty." Then, "Eating's good." He looks down at the guitar. "I'm no performer."

Lyn makes a grunting sound that might be disapproval at Aldrich being out of Sick Bay, but she really has zero room to talk. She's always out of there as fast as she can manage. "Do you need someone to do some tasks in the chapel in the meantime? I'm sure they can put someone on a duty roster to clean or whatever else needs doing."

"Well. I mean, I have to go in the morning, for myself. But I'll stay away for the rest of the day, I promise," Aldrich explains, gives the guitar a doubtful look, but then looks back toward Lyn. "No, but that's really kind of you. There /is/ another chaplain around, he just mainly deals with the Capricans."

"Don't let anyone corner you into doing any rituals. If they do, let me know. I'll glare at them disapprovingly," Eli tries another chord and strums. It sounds nice. He starts into a little tune.

Lyn nods at Aldrich's words and she shows him the book. "Had it shipped up from the surface. See? I do occasionally listen to your advice." She settles in to listen to Eli play.

Aldrich gives Eli a sideways look. "Very few people ask for rituals. Most people just want to talk," he points out. "My job is not a very... physically intensive one, you know." His attention wanders back to Lyn's book when she calls attention to it, and then he gives a slow, broad grin. "Well, I'm glad you're taking steps in that direction. If you want other books, I'd be happy to make recommendations." Then he's back to Eli to listen to him play.

"Yes, and it takes both physical and mental energy to heal. Especially in your case, since you got hit in the head." That's drawled in Eli's particularly wry way. He eyes the book cover when Lyn shows it. Eyebrows go up, but he doesn't comment. He's too busy strumming. He's not terrible at the guitar, clearly. It sounds like a ballad - one of those things that never sounds dated, but also felt old the day it was written.

"Sure, send along whatever you think would be good for me," Lyn murmurs to Aldrich. And Eli need not be ashamed of his playing. She can't play a darn thing herself.

Aldrich seems to content to sit back and listen to the song, though he goes a little vague and glassy-eyed as he does. He snaps out of it as the song ends, though, giving a sharp smile and some quiet clapping. "That was good, Eli. Who says you aren't a performer?"

Eli hums along a little bit as he plays. He doesn't quite start singing, but he comes close here and there. He shifts the guitar in his lap when he finishes the song. "Being okay at the guitar and being a performer are two different things."

Lyn claps when the song finishes, giving the doctor a genuine smile. "Well, you do fine for an audience of two, Doc. That was nice."

"Entertained me," Aldrich claims, and relaxes a bit further into his chair. "I'd say you should play for your patients, but I wouldn't want to ruin your reputation."

"It's exceedingly difficult to keep up a grumpy reputation on a ship this size," says Eli grudgingly. "But yes, music therapy would be a bit too nurturing for my reputation."

Lyn props her boots up on another chair and settles back. She can lean back again, after taking all that shrapnel to the posterior of her body when the trucks were blown up. "Tell me about it. People all trying to be my friend," she quips, giving Aldrich a pointed look.

Aldrich raises an eyebrow. "Aw, don't tell me that has stopped you from trying?" Lyn just receives an innocent look before he leans his head back to close his eyes for a moment. "I think Mikolas is just softening him up, to be honest."

Eli gives Aldrich a look as he returns to idly picking at the guitar. Like before, it slowly turns into more of a tune and less of aimless picking. "Yes, because he's so incredibly soft." A beat, "People are very dogged in the Colonial Forces when it comes to making friends."

"I can't imagine Kovac softening anyone up. Making them crazy? Sure," Lyn quips with a grin. "Or is he just like that with everyone but you, Doc?" She snorts softly at Eli's words. "Persistent, yeah."

Aldrich snorts faintly. "Mikolas is a large-breed puppy who is very concerned with making everyone think he is a grown up dog. But he's still a fluff ball, behind all that growling." Or so Aldrich claims. Maybe it's just the head wound.

"Ohh, you don't want to spread that around or let him hear you say that," says Eli as he plucks out a slightly ominous note. He looks at Lyn, then shrugs. He's a private guy. Seems he's not eager to disclose.

Lyn chuckles. "I'll have to remember that, next time he says something that makes me want to punch him. No offense, Doc."

Aldrich chuckles faintly. "Doesn't mean he's not irritating," he offers, and then adds, "He ate the first bite of the chocolate cake Lyn baked me. Just to prove that he could."

Eli chuckles softly at the cake thing, but stops himself pretty quickly. "The more you react, the more it encourages him." And he never reacted. And look what happened.

"He ate the first bite?! I didn't even get any of that cake!" Lyn glowers, and Al can probably tell she's mentally plotting to make Mikolas those 'special' cupcakes the talked about.

Aldrich snorts faintly. "/Not/ reacting encourages him. As does reacting with anger, sternness, kindness, humor..." He opens his eyes and looks toward Lyn, a bit guiltily. "Well, he /did/ give it to me when I promised him I didn't get blown up on purpose. Though really, it would be a pretty impressive feat of timing if I had."

"Trust me, something does work," says Eli. "Because do you really think I'd be with him if he was always like he is with you guys?" He flips the guitar around and settles it into his case. "He was probably trying to distract you from things. And uh, he wanted cake."

"I'm still not feeling too great about how that all went down. Their tactics are getting better. More... human even," Lyn shakes her head. "They took out an objective in a stealth ambush, and retreated when they achieved it, to minimize their losses."

Aldrich scratches a little at the edge of the bandage on his head, frowning faintly. "Yeah, well, somehow I think your method wouldn't work for the rest of us." There's a gleam in his eye that suggests he's joking, but then he grows a little more serious at Lyn's comment. "It was bound to happen. They were always programmed to learn..."

"I'm glad I'm not a tactician. I'm not sure what would be harder to guard against: machines or humanoid machines." Eli stretches and rolls his shoulders back.

"But they seem to be learning and adapting far faster than we are. Things are getting dicey. We're winding up badly wounded, with our equipment blown to hell, and they can just make more of themselves without having to wait 18 years to make them a soldier." Lyn scowls.

Aldrich smiles faintly. "I guess we'll just have to hope that our Lords can beat up their god." He clears his throat a little, and changes subjects. "You know, I've been thinking we need some sort of a morale booster. We should have a talent show."

Eli blinks. "Talent show?" Suddenly he's regretting proving he can play the guitar. "Would that really boost morale?" It certainly wouldn't boost his.

"Sadly, I don't have any performance talents," Lyn murmurs, "but that sounds like it would be fun. Maybe we could throw something at people who are terrible."

"I'm not sure it would boost morale if we throw things at people," Aldrich points out, mildly. "Who is going to take a risk joining in if they know people are going to throw things if they don't like it?"

"I've been thinking about this one ritual we had on Scorpia. It's called Prometheus' Fire. It was used before clans went into battle with each other." Eli lifts a shoulder. "It could work here."

"How many people will be cheered up if someone gets up there and sings like nails on a chalkboard?" Lyn grins and counters. She arches a brow at Eli. "Oh? What's it all about?"

Aldrich raises his eyebrows. "Oh, now there's an idea..." he agrees, apparently pleased by that idea. To Lyn he starts to explain, "It's a ritual on Scorpia where--" He stops, realizes what he's doing, then grins crookedly and gestures toward Eli. "I ought to let you explain, shouldn't I?"

"Ah, I should've figured you'd have heard of it," says Eli to Al. He clears his throat. "A ritual on some parts of Scorpia, yes. Before the clans would go and beat the shit out of each other for no good reason," ahhh, home planet bitterness, "..the clan would gather to take a shot of Prometheus' Flame, which is a special liquor. But honestly, anything that burns like hell going down works. And then there's a chant, a sort of rallying cry. It was supposed to put the fire of the gods in your belly."

"Sounds interesting," Lyn admits. "Where are we gonna get enough booze for everyone though?"

"Back on the Galactica, someone had a still," Aldrich observes, with a smirk. "But I don't remember who or if they got transferred here with us..."

"What, you never heard of Miko's still? That was the first time we met, believe it or not. He tried to convince me the stuff he was taking from the supply cupboard was for legitimate purposes." Eli snorts. "Everyone only needs a shot. And obviously the people on duty probably shouldn't do it."

"Well, get it set up and spread the word. We definitely need the morale boost," Lyn notes. "I can maybe bake something too. Cookies or cupcakes or something."

Aldrich shakes his head. "I guess I should have known, shouldn't I? Well, anyway, there's your booze source." He glances to Lyn. "I'm not sure cookies are in the spirit of the thing, but I doubt anyone is going to turn them down."

"Maybe cookies for the on-duty people. Eat the cookie when everyone else takes the shot. Pipe the chant throughout the ship." Eli clucks his tongue. "But I don't know if we could get the brass on board."

"If they're gingerbread cylons they get to bite the heads off of?" Lyn asks Aldrich with a grin. She holds up her hands at the mention of brass. "Don't look at me. I'm already on Mercer's shitlist and I'm sure Ryan's too."

Aldrich lifts a shoulder a little. "Well, we could try something less intoxicating and just don't ask permission," he points out, thoughtfully. "They don't have to know everything."

"The whole idea of it is to feel unity and get fire in your belly from the gods. If there's only a few of us in on it, it isn't going to have the same effect." Eli shrugs. "I mean, there are other less loud rituals I know of. I'm not in to the clan bullshit, but I remember feeling...inspired with this one. Even as a cynical teen."

"It's worth a shot," Lyn says softly. "I'm gonna go check my supplies and see what I've got available to whip up. Let me know when you figure out the arrangements," she says with a smile as she stands and reclaims her book.

"Technically, it's a religious rite," Aldrich points out. "So if you want to gather up a group of people and bring them to the chapel to drink Prometheus's Flame, I'll vouch for you. As long as no one gets hurt." He looks up as Lyn announces her departure. "Oh, all right. Well... Take care. I'm glad to see you're trying the..." he waves vaguely toward the meditation book.

"On Scorpia, people get hurt after the religious rites, not during," says Eli with a rough chuckle. "Maybe we could do it with the pilots, then with the marines. In small groups over a day or two." He lifts a hand to Lyn. "Thanks for being a co-conspirator."

Lyn gives Aldrich a small smile and a wave for both, before she departs.


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