2237-06-20 - Shedding Skin

Recon returns to the berthings to uncoil, wipe the mud away, and lament the wounded

Date: 2237-06-20

Location: Berthings

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1156

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The heavy footfalls reverberating on the deck plating are the first sign of an incoming party from planetside. Kyle is first in line, with her kit turned in and her weapons checked in, she's reduced to sweaty and muck-water stained tank tops and duty-green BDUs as she pushes her way through the hatch and over the well doorway. Hair a ratty mess of brown, sweaty hair, she's peeling at the last vestiges of her bun. The rest of her hair is shaken free and, lacking the energy to actually climb up to her high bunk, Kyle Costello dumps herself into a chair. It scoots a foot before her shoulders bend over the back of it, arms dangling to the floor like low swinging knuckles of an ape.

Erin's got blood on her. It ain't hers, but that's blood. Lots of it. It's what happens when you have to half-carry someone who's been hit in the face with a bullet.

Chilly? That's an understatement. She's downright pissed. Thank goodness she left her weapons and gear back at the landing deck for the support crew, or else she'd want BANG BANG BANG in all the wrong ways. But she didn't leave behind her prize, and she pulls it out: a nearly-full bottle of bronze liquor.

Judging from the bottle itself, it's probably expensive. The glass is ornate, and there's a stopper on top that seems to be embossed in filigree. Not that it matters to a trash panda: Erin pulls the stopper, tosses it haphazardly onto her bunk, and then takes a swig.

And it is passed over to Kyle. "Welcome to the Timber Wolves, Krima." Grumpy-panda.

It's actually a ways -- minutes -- behind Kyle that Wagner shows up in the barracks. The woman had to be shuffled off to medical first. Being punched square in the boob by a nannybot is -- perhaps surprisingly -- no joke. Especially when it results in a broken rib. She's sans most of her gear when she returns to the barracks; jacket and shirts in hand, chest wrapped firmly in bandages. Her hair is down, braids hanging limp and damp by her cheeks. She looks half-asleep on her feet as she steps through the hatch. The corner bunk is not her first stop. Her 'official' bunk is, the dirty jacket and tanks dropped on the floor as she tugs open the locker, leaning heavily on the frame. The bandaging showcases a good number of the scars she's collected over the past couple of years. Unlike Erin, she has not collected a lot of fresh blood from this mission. Or if she did, medical got her cleaned up enough.

Being one of newish pilots around, Katja has gotten more graveyard CAPs than she's used to, but such is life. She got back a little earlier and crawled up into her bed, still in her flight suit, lamenting how the shift in her schedule has made it feel like she's only gotten five hours of sleep. The pilot is just dozing off, her foot hanging down off the side of her bed, when the sound of the returning Marines wakes her. Her leg jerks and she looks down to see just which ones have made it back. She blinks as she focuses on the state of them, and all that blood, then she sort of falls out of her bed, her reflexes saving her yet again. Her flight suit is undone and peeled down to her waist, revealing her double tanks. "Hey..." she says after straightening up.

Arms back, head back, neck...up. Kyle's hair falls downwards as, for a few seconds, she's in the universe's least intentional FLASHDANCE pose. Her throat strains in a death rattle as Erin passes her. Mud still streaks down from her earlobes and under her tanks. She's muddy. Really.

"That was not the drop I wanted to break in on." Fingertips twitching, Kyle straightens and grabs the bottle from Erin. "But thanks. Frak, I forgot how much drops like that amp me." Swig first, more words later. She begins to offer the bottle back to TrashPanda, but instead, passes it Charlie's waym standing to make it happen.

"How you doin over there, Spec. RNs put you on a strict diet?" Kyle asks with a voice strained from the harsh liquor, flinching as Katja rolls out. Messy hair flings. Droplets splatter all around.

"Engh." Erin makes a face at Kyle. "After a while, I got used to not choosing. Frakkin' lucky to survive any of them, I figure." Then, after a headshake, she begins the process of taking off her clothes: fatigues, shirt, and tank top. And dumping them all atop her footlocker.

While she does so, the short Marine gives most of her attention to Katja. "Hey. Didn't mean to wake you." But Erin didn't really keep her voice down either. "Frakkin' mess down there. Ingvar nearly died. Ghost frakkin' froze." She makes an indelicate sound. "Frak, Spectre nearly got taken out. Like, frak." She pauses in disrobing to hit her bunk in frustration.

It's short-lived anger. There are probably others in the berthings, trying to get a wink in.

"It wasn't pretty, and we're all lucky to be alive." Finally, Erin kicks her boots off, and flops down on her bunk, pissy and miserable. And waiting for the bottle to be returned to her.

"Thanks," Charlie says of the booze, accepting the bottle. She takes a long swig, braids sliding along her shoulders and leaving small trails of damp mud as they do. She passes it back. Or to Erin. Whichever of the two ladies are nearest. "No diet nor light duty, thankfully." She prods at her side, wincing briefly. "Barely cracked, thankfully." She kicks off her boots and starts peeling out of the rest of her fatigues. From the locker, she grabs a laundry bag to stuff things into. "Lotta missions we been on aren't pretty." She glances sidelong at Erin. "The one where we lost Jayne... and Courtois got hit by that rocket. That was worse." She suppresses a shudder, tossing the bag into the locker before starting to dig through the pile of her and Evan's clothes on the bunk proper for something to wear to bed.

Katja walks to stand by Erin, a step or two away to the side. "Sounds awful," for a recon mission at least. Katja's known and flown enough Marines around to know the basic principles of what is supposed to happen or not happen on recon missions, like not getting shot up. She chews on her lower lip and then peels off to finally change out of her flight suit. "At least you all /are/ still alive..." she says weakly as she pulls on some cotton shorts and a tshirt after shedding her bra. Then she leaves for the head with a rag and comes back with it wet. Without asking, she walks to sit on edge of Erin's bed with the rag for a beat or two before offering it to Erin. "Got a little something of someone on your face."

"Dee-Dubbs is right, Erin, too. That was a mess, but we made it back." Kyle bounces on the toes of her boots twice, swinging her arms around in a wide angle to limber up. "I'm gonna have to go visit Jonas and make sure he's doing alright, but I frakking hated holding to orders like that. I'm sorry, ladies." Kyle looks to Erin and Charlie before she's reaching behind her head and tugging off her tank tops. The black sports bra beneath is approved, name-branded, and streaked with mud into the tight covering.

"But I wasn't gonna let you guys high and dry, on my word." The tanks are thrown to the floor and Kyle reaches for her belt. When it sags free, two stars are tattooed over her hipbones. Regulation skivvies. Uninteresting. "I knew if I did that, Deathwish and everyone else's frakking dates up here would have skinned me alive, yeah?" Kyle snorts and kicks off her boots, then tries hopping out of her fatigues. It's not working. Kyle growls and pinches her toes over one pant leg, using it as a pincing point to un-slime from her pants.

"Not to change subjects," Kyle looks over to Charlie. "But I knew a Courtois a long time ago. Back home on Cap."

Erin lets out a noise of agreement and exasperation, somewhere in between. "Yeah. We are. That's something." She sits herself down on the edge of the bed, and takes Katja's rag. "Thanks." Spit. And, crudely, she wipes her face. It's really hard to give a shit about how one gets blood off one's face.

Instinctively, she reaches out to take the bottle of hooch to take another swig. Then, Erin passes it to Katja. The corner of her mouth twitches upwards for a moment. "At the very least, we'll have that rematch." Beat. "You know, when I'm not frakkin' dazed." Sigh. "Four frakkin' mega-toasters, just -- " Grumble. " -- frak. Lucky. Very lucky." That Jonas took all of that damage. Poor guy. Chivalry ain't dead, but it'll sure get you dead.

Erin pops the stopper back on the bottle, and sets it by her locker. Then, off with the skivvies for her. Bedtime is naked time, apparently. However, something sort of stops her as she's about to take off her bottoms. "Wait, Krimbo -- the frak's that about DW's dates?" She squints for a second, and then, as if she realizes she's not wearing anything, tucks herself under her sheets, sliding down just behind Katja's rump.

"Ghost shouldn't've come after me as it was," Charlie opines, fully stripping down to tug on a pair of simple shorts and a Queenstown Bay tee. Uncaring of the brief nudity; preferring to just be out of the clothes and into something else. She even finds a towel in the pile and moves to a chair to set herself down. The sniper leans forward to start carefully working excess water out of her braids. "She should've headed for the exfil. I would'v gotten there." Probably. "Evan'll just be glad I wasn't shot. Frak's with the frakkin', y'know? This?" She gestures chest-ward before returning to working on her hair. "That's fine. Job's the job. It comes first. Social life comes second." She glances sidelong towards Kyle at the question. "Your buddy named Geoff?" She sounds a bit uncertain... and hesitant to hear the answer.

"Huh?" Deathwish looks over to Kyle when she mentions dates and her name. Oh look, there Kyle is in her skivvies. "You know you didn't need to spit on that," but she shrugs, clearly not caring. She takes the bottle and takes a little swig, smiling back faintly to Erin. "Good. Because today didn't count given we were just frakking around." She gives the bottle back to Erin so she can put it away. At Erin's question about her dates she just smirks and says, "All the dates," as if she was overflowing with them. Katja can't help but steal a cursory glance (while trying not to stare) Erin's way when the Marine approaches, but doesn't seem likely to move just yet...Nope.

"What?" Kyle looks up from her downward cast eyes, chin to collar, looking past the tight-held line of sports bra material to her washboard belly. Damned buttons on new BDUs. Eyebrows lifted and smeared with mud, Kyle shakes his head. "No, I said Dee-Dubs and everyone else's frakking dates. You guys seem close, but frak, I saw Specks with a guy, Cate with a guy, there's like...six people off the top of my head I'd be getting the evil eye from." Kyle shakes her head and waves a hand towards Erin, dismissively, glancing out to Katja with a lift of her chin, eye contact brief. No pun intended. "You wouldn't skin me alive, would you?".

"Yeah, Jee-Off Kwar-twar." Kyle laughs and finally hops out of her pants, half-falling into the unocuppied bunk beneath hers with a huff. Oops. She kicks the BDUs to the floor and checks the curtains for mud, wiping away some. "We hung out a few times back in the day. You saying he's here?" Kyle looks over to Charlie with a pointed look. "And hey," Kyle points to the darker-skinned woman. "I'm glad she went in for you." Kyle smirks, then turns for her locker.

"Me too." Beat. "Because you were a bit far for me, and I didn't want to have to run and get you."

Once Erin's settled into her bed, on which Katja is or was sitting, she turns onto her side. "I wouldn't think much on it, Kriminy." Beat. "Things happen. Objectives change. Frankly, I'm probably being melodramatic about it. Whatever." Snort.

"Think I'll get some sleep." Good idea. Erin reaches out to squeeze Katja's leg gently. "And thanks, Madsen." This is said a little quieter, and with a note or three of genuine gratitude. Maybe something else. "I expect there to be half a bottle left when I wake up, so tell any frakker that comes to steal a swig that I will gut them like a stuck pig and eat their entrails if they touch it." Grumble.

As an after-thought, Erin unbinds and musses up her hair for that good ol' tousled bedhead look. And shuts her eyes.

And Erin adds, in a mumble: "Movie night tomorrow." Zzzz.

"Evan would only get mad if I got hurt by you not following orders," Charlie points out to Kyle, lips twisting in a bit of amusement. She points towards the corner bunk. "Evan Calhoun. The one who you threatened to roll around in mud and all. Again, don't. I already do enough as it is." She finally twists the rest of her hair up in the towel. In that way that all girls just innately know. "Well... I mean, I'm glad Arda did. Sh shouldn't've, but I'm glad she did. I wouldn't want to be trapped down there with that thing." Standing from the chair, she starts her way towards said corner, stopping by Kyle after a glance towards Erin and Katja. She bites her lip and reaches out towards the new girl. To try to stall her, briefly. "Sorta. Kinda. He was. There was... we raided a compound, to rescue hostages. It went bad- real bad. He's back on Scorpia, recovering. We hope he'll be back soon." Her lips twist in sympathy. "I'm sorry."

"Damn. For a second there I thought maybe I got more people interested with my wild charm," Katja says with a shrug. When Erin squeezes her leg, Katja reaches out to squeeze Erin's hand for a brief moment. "Sleep tight. I can't watch over your booze. I just got back from CAP twenty minutes ago. I'm passing out too." She gets up and reaches to pull the curtain shut for Erin, stopping when Erin mumbles plans. "Deal." She leaves Erin be and glances back over to Kyle and Charlie, noticing a moment of empathy passing between them. She doesn't intrude.

"Oh, that guy." Kyle bites her lip, pinning a smile. The cage door to the locker rattles open with a squeak and a towel is pulled out, followed by a shower kit; the latter is set down on the table. "Well tell your boyfriend I'm a team player and I'll do my best to take care of you in return, out there." Kyle pauses as Charlie hovers near her. Their eyes meet, though Kyle tugs her lips to one side, half-dodging the empathy; too fresh on the mission to feel the burn. "Hey, he's in one piece. Good for him. Beats having to hear worse news about someone you know." Kyle dips her chin. "But thanks."

Kyle swallows. Wetting her lips, she rakes a finger through tangle-infested hair and turns to say goodnight to Erin, but she's already in her bunk. Flat lips.

"Are you trying to get people interested in your wild charm, sir?" Kyle laughs and steals the bottle back, cradling it against her shoulder before she bends back and takes a swig. The bottle sloshes. "So, can I ask a stupid question, you two?" Kyle waits. "We're all bunked in here and I'm seeing jobbers with brass, and brass with jobbers. There's, like, zero issue with that? Do I understand correctly that it's totally legal for me to fly in the officer's club?"

"She said half, yeah?" This asked of Katja in regards to the booze, because Charlie is eyeballing that bottle. She had one swig. Erin won't fault her another. But then Kyle mentions that word. 'Boyfriend.' Wagner scoffs. Almost too fast. "He's not my boyfriend. We just sleep together." It's the worst kept secret on the ship, really. Or at least in the Wolves. Everyone knows except the two involved. "I think I could dig up where he's convalescing on Scorpia, if you wanted to send him a letter. But yeh, he's alive. He'll even recover." She shrugs slightly, letting go of the other woman to alter her trajectory towards the bottle of liquor in question. There's a glance over her shoulder towards Kyle when the question comes. "Uhm... So long as they're not like... squad leaders, staff, shit like that. Y'know, direct line of command."

"Ha. Well, I'm still single so..." Katja shrugs, but then tilts her head. "I'm not bunking up with anyone...yet." She glances over her shoulder at Erin's bunk. The pilot shrugs to Charlie. "At least half I think?" She's so sleepy eyed she can't even remember from a minute ago or so. "Apparently what she said," Katja answers Kyle with a thumb towards Charlie. "It's a bit incestuous I've noticed," for those coming from their home militaries it may be, depending on regulations there. She laughs softly at that. "So have at it?"

"Leave it to the colonies to get us all working together and then, all of the sudden, you put a bunch of in-shape people on a boat with other in-shape foreigners." Kyle scoffs right back at Charlie with a roll of her eyes. Leaving them with the bottle, for now, Kyle scrubs at her face and outright ignores her skivvies status, catching sight of herself in her locker's mirror is enough to make her feel like a mud-beast. "But this is good to know, I'd hate to be the weird one if some brass asks me out." Kyle closes her locker and comes free with sweats in one hand, grinning over Charlie's shoulder to Katja. "I like how you said yet, there, Dee-Dubs. Tricksy. Mysterious. Limited time only kind of yet that was, wasn't it?" Kyle whistles lowly. "Well, boyfriends, girlfriends, or not, I'm not looking to start no drama and wedge in on anyone's shared rack schedules. I'm too new for getting shanked."

"Well, if she's mad at me over a swig- I'll make it up to her." Charlie scoops up the bottle and uncaps it, taking said swig. It's a healthy one, but certainly doesn't lower the volume to even nearly half. Or 'at least half.' There's still a fair bit left in the bottle. She'll offer it out to Kyle. If the other recon turns it down, however, the woman will tuck it into Erin's locker for safe keeping. No need to risk leaving it out in the open for some lunkhead to make off with while they're not able to keep an eye on things. She does scoff at Kyle. "If someone asks you out while also sleeping with someone else... I'd say that's on their head, not yours."

"Like I said. I'm not bunking with anyone," Katja says with a little more emphasis, as if almost complaining that this hasn't happened yet even though it's only been a few weeks since she joined the Timber Wolves. Maybe she's not used to...going without. "I mean seriously. 'Yet' kind explains it. I've only been here like two or so weeks or something? I wouldn't mind though if someone decided to jump me in my bed," she muses idily as she heads over to her rack and climbs up to lay on her side to talk while relaxed.

"Adult rules or high school rules. Either way, beats Gemenon rules." Kyle takes the bottle from Charlie, who tilts it back for a sip. The burn hisses past her lips, and she holds the bottle to the light, judging the amount left. Another swig is taken before she's finding the cap and sneaking it into Erin's locker, herself. "You two are gonna be hell on everything I got kicked into my skull during regs-recital back home. Dunno whether I'm afraid of this place or in love with it."

Clunk. The locker door closes and Kyle is stepping back, throwing a towel over her shoulder and preparing to step into sweats. Shower time nears. But first, two curious, hazel eyes swing over to Katja.

"Well." Kyle tilts her head a measure. "I'm covered in slime and about to sneak off to the showers, Kat-ya." Kyle teases, face jutting out with the last syllable. "I wouldn't mind it so much, either, but first." Kyle smears mud off of her neck with a fingertip and flings it towards the pilot. "See what I mean?"

"You thought about spending a night or two over where the deckies bunk? I hear they have pretty good parties." Charlie looks mildly amused, glancing up towards Katja as the pilot settles in her bunk. "I promise, there's enough folks on board that there's someone." She lifts a hand to tighten the towel-turban she's got her hair in. When Kyle mentions Gemenon rules, there's a snort of amusement from the Piconese sniper. "Seriously. I couldn't imagine. Divided bunk halls. Monitors restricting access. Having to request permission to speak to one another." Shudder. She glances towards the bunk she and Evan share, then shrugs. "You could always hang out in the laundry. Worked for me." Because that's totally a common hook-up spot.

"You are covered in slime. Go wash up before someone asks you if you got back from the spa," Katja mumbles from her bed, shooing Kyle off with a languid flip of her hand. "I hadn't heard that. Though to be honest, after my conversation with Hayes yesterday, I think she might get a little pissed if I went and rolled around with someone. Started out as totally casual, on the road to being a great little casual physical thing...then now she wants more but I think that's putting the breaks on the physical. Feels like I got tricked." She doesn't seem to mind sharing this, maybe because everyone's probably still dead asleep, maybe because she's half asleep herself.

"Hah. That move. Slick." Kyle snickers and points a gun-hand towards Katja. One eye drifting closed in a wink, k-pow, the gun-hand shoots at the pilot. "You see, this is exactly why I ask this stuff, Specks, but I-" Kyle steps into her sweats quickly and cinches them around her muscular abdomen. "-am not looking for a party just yet. I just got here. Too many tripwires and don't wanna be that girl. If a month or four drops from now you hear nothing about my private life? Put a gun to my head, seriously, but until then this bitch is being careful." Kyle steps past Charlie and squeezes her upper arm, a silent move paired with a moment of silence. Then she's patting the edge of Katja's bunk, in passing. "You be careful with our girl, Katja. I don't really know anyone yet but if she's holding out on the bump-n-grind?" Kyle turns to walk backwards towards the hatch, bound for the head. "Tread softly. Recon softly."

With that, Kyle giggles and pushes open the door, leaving.

"So it is you." Charlie pauses in the angle she'd started to take towards 'her' bunk. She lifts a hand to scratch at her cheek. "I'd wondered." There's a look towards Erin's bunk as she takes a breath. "Hayes wants companionship. Like... I mean, a real close friendship might do, even, but that's what she wants, even more than something physical, I think. She wants something really, really close. That... person she can trust, maybe love, all that stuff." Wagner tugs a bit awkwardly at her shirt. "I... tried warning her not to just go into something physical when what she wants is the more emotional stuff. She needs to sort that all out. Especially since our lives aren't really suited for it. No white picket fences and puppies in our futures."

There is a snort after Kyle's passing. "If you're not frakking anyone after four months, I will lock you in a Raptor with the hottest trio off the deck I can find and a couple bottles of booze. I promise."

"Will do," Katja offers Kyle in promise and shoots her back from her sleepytime position. "We barely know each other...but, I'll try? My last thing ended pretty badly...and that was years ago. I mean like, real thing." She sighs. What has she gotten into. "Huh?" Katja shifts to the edge of her bed and looks over at Charlie. "Frak, you know what, I was supposed to keep this on the downlow. I really should not be talking when I'm this tired. Don't tell her I said anything please?" At least she's not that careless of a person. "Well that explains it I think. I just don't know if I can give that to her...Yeah. Right. No kids and happily ever after. Frak most of us Aquarians don't even have any family left." She scoots back further to rest her head on her pillow again.

"Hey, if they're hot and know how to rebuild a '03 Tannerworks engine?" Kyle peeks her head back in, eyewaggling. "Then I wouldn't have to feel so bad about them having to fix the Raptor afterwards." Kyle grins ear to ear, holds out her fingers in a twittering wave, twists her fingers by her mouth to signify secrets kept, then closes the hatch.


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