Alain and Astraea share some rum after a successful mission in which neither of them get shot down.
Location: Berthings, Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1169
The Raptor made it back to the Vanguard... if largely due to the fact that the ship jumped in close enough to serve as pickup for the limping bus. The deck crew wasn't entirely happy, but at least it wasn't another lost ship. Too many more of those and they'll find themselves struggling to fulfill missions before too long. They can only fill out so many, after all. Astraea was behind the rest in having to go through a rather lengthy check-in process while getting chewed out by the deck chief. A hot shower and trip through the mess later finally sees her making it back to the barracks. She's in a pair of literal sweatpants and a Caprican Academy tee; the former low-slung on her hips. There's a towel around her shoulder, one hand tangled up in it as she works at her ears.
The pilot tosses her kit up onto her bunk as she steps in. The handy thing about hers being right next to the hatch.
Alain's viper comes in without a scratch, for once -- something that earns him an approving look from the deck crew; Jigger gives them a cheerful wave that is just as cheerful as when he brings in a banged-up viper. He hits the showers almost immediately, and so by the time the raptor pilot makes it to the berthings, he's settled at one of the metal desks in the midst of the berthings, hair still damp, back straight despite his casual attire. He glances up as he hears someone enter, grinning as he spots Astraea. "Ears burning?"
There's an arch of brow from Astraea as she tosses her towel on its hook in her locker. The metal door is slammed closed behind her as she turns fully towards Alain. The petite -- but curvy -- Scorpian folds her arms, making her way over towards Alain. "Not particularly. Jes' dryin' 'em-" There's a pause as she considers. "Wait... That's onna them Caprican sayin's. Were ya talkin' 'bout me?"
Alain lifts his hands, as if in defense: "No, no. I meant -- thought I saw you getting chewed out by the deck crew. Did you tell him it was the toasters?" He closes the book he has open -- not having got very far -- and regards the raptor pilot.
"Oh, that." Astraea grabs the back of a nearby chair and leans on it. "Well, it was th' toasters-" she reminds Jigger, smirking at him. "That part was rather obvious. But knuckle-draggers gonna drag." As the parlance goes. "They're gonna be cross no matter what, 'cause th' birds are like kids ta 'em." She straightens, going into a long stretch with arms overhead. "He'll git over it or he won't. Either way, mission success an' we all made it home, yeh?" There's a glance towards her bunk, then back to the Gemenese pilot. "You ain't on Alert suddenly after that, are ya?"
"It was, and feel free to use me as a witness, if anyone questions your character," Jigger replies blithely, with a twitch of lips. "Hm. I wonder if it makes them feel better. Never understood that treat-it-like-a-kid thing. Seems like you're setting yourself up for heartbreak." He shakes his head at her latter words, hands tapping against the cover of the book. "Not me, thankfully. Take me a bit to wind down though -- I'm normally more of a morning than evening person," he admits.
"Eh, everyone's got their thing," Astraea says with a shrug. "Some of th' marines 'round here treat their rifles like children. Whatever makes 'em happy, I s'ppose." At his answer, however, she holds up a finger in a 'hold on' gesture and grins, moving back for her bunk. She climbs up enough to get under the mattress into the storage space beneath. What she surfaces with is a near-full bottle of rum and a couple of tin-style cups. The jig returns to the table, hooking her foot behind the chair leg to swing it around so she can cozy up by Alain and sit by him, plunking down bottle and both cups. "Then we," she decides, "are gonna have a couple drinks in honor of a successful mission."
"I can safely say, I never named my rifle when I was a marine," Alain says, with his hand on his heart, utterly sincere. He looks somewhat baffled as Astraea retreats, half leaning out from his chair to try and peer and see what she's doing, but the view is obscured by some of the other bunks, so he straightens, fingers drumming absently. When she returns, his gaze flickers to her hands, taking in the bottle with a lift of brows. "I'm impressed you manage to keep that without someone borrowing it too often to make it useful." Not that he's complaining, given he adds, "Sounds like a fine idea, Nova."
"I keep it fairly well hidden," Astraea explains, uncapping the bottle to pour them each a healthy amount. At least two fingers worth. "An' iff'n ya tell anyone 'bout it, I might hafta hurt ya." She recaps it and slides a cup towards him. Her own is lifted. "To a mission where neither of us found our asses on th' ground."
"Should've paid more attention," Alain laments, in response to her explanation. He watches her pour, lips twitching at the amount she puts in. With a lift of his hand, he says, "I promise I'll take it to the grave," as he collects the cup from her, lifting it to his nose and taking a breath first. "To coming back in one piece," he agrees, before he lifts the cup to his lips, swallowing the contents in one hit.
In turn, Astraea downs her own easily. It's good stuff, too. Proper island rum. Smooth, but strong. She closes her eyes, breathing out slowly through her nose as she savors it. The cup is held to her chest for a moment before she sets it on the table by the bottle. The woman's eyes flutter open once she inhales again. "I swear ya've rubbed off on me. I heard 'bout some of yer exploits an here I am goin' from managin' ta com back wit'out a scratch ta bein' fairly burnt up." She's trying to keep on a game face, but it's fairly difficult to hide the fair fear in her eyes. No one likes facing that much near-death in such a short period of time.
After he's imbibed the rum, Alain exhales, nodding his head approvingly. "That's properly smooth. From Scorpia?" he guesses, leaning forward to set his cup down, before examining the bottle. "Makes me curious what the ambrosia the Colonel gave me will taste like. Not enough to open it yet though," he adds, hastily, with a twitch of lips. He's silent for a moment at her last, gaze flickering towards her, taking in her demeanor. His stays mostly light: "I, uh, do not recommend following in my footsteps," he advises, wryly. "This one time, I ejected at the last moment, came down through the trees... swear I was pulling sticks out of places for days." He pauses a beat. "It's something you never get used to, but get used to expecting, I guess -- especially here. Picon's been a hard fight for us."
"Mmmhmm. A distillery outside of the city I'm from," Astraea explains, pleased by his approval of the rum. She arches brows at mention of having ambrosia from the Colonel. Obviously curious. "What'd he give ya that fer?" The woman leans for the bottle, making to pour more. Less, this time, but still at least a shot's worth. "I hope ta never have ta eject. Generally means somethin's happened ta my backseater." Dead or gone by some other fashion. "Picon's m'first... real fight," she admits in a lower voice. "'til now, I've jes' been servin' patrols an' th' like 'round Scorpia. It's... pretty damn quiet 'round there."
"Really?" Alain's both surprised and pleased, silent a moment. "Sure you don't want to save it? Or -- do you have plenty more bottles stashed away somewhere?" he wonders, with a sudden, amused suspicion. "Ah, well, Colonel promised a bottle to whoever scored highest in the piloting trials. Turns out a few of us aced it. Decided to save the bottle for when I need to be reminded of those few days of just... relaxing on the beach in Scorpia. Figure I'll need it, sooner or later." His expression changes minutely, something understanding creeping in. "That... must be quite a lot to adjust to. If it helps, I wouldn't have guessed it, so at least to my eye you're holding your own."
"Ah. I passed mine. Didn't ace it, but, well.. I'm only a jay-gee, after all." At least she didn't fail either end of the trials like some. "Missed th' promise of ambrosia. Mighta tried harder if that were th'case, but I made it aboard when y'all were in th'midst of 'em an' got tossed in th' deep end." As for how much rum she has- Nova doesn't answer. She jus thrusts the cup in Alain's direction. There's a slight twitch of a smile at his praise, as it were. "Thanks," she says finally. "I've... well, I've had tough situations b'fore, so I s'ppose that helps. An' most of 'em ain't been wit' an entire ship between me an' them, y'know? So it's... easier in some ways. But harder in others."
"The deep end is the only end the Timber Wolves know," Alain admits, with a smile, that only brightens when she fails to answer his question about her stash of rum. He reaches for the bottle, and leans to refill her cup -- another two fingers -- before his own. "I know what that's like. Before I went to OCS I served as a marine with ICJPK. Still hard for me to see raptors taking our marines out and not being with them. But then... I don't in the least miss the wet socks, the bad food, and the long walks everywhere."
There's a bit of a smirk as Alain refills her cup, Astraea glancing up at the other pilot as he does so. She shakes her head slightly, but doesn't protest. All she does is lift it to down the contents. When he mentions the ICJPK, she purses her lips for a moment. Either to think or let the liquor burn its way down. Perhaps both. Finally, she offers quietly as she stares down to the empty vessel in her hand: "I have a lotta 'ppreciation fer th' ICJPK. They saved m'life. In a coupla ways. Almost joined 'em m'self, but went ta Academy, instead an' found my way here, ultimately."
A few moments after her, Alain also downs the contents of his cup, with an exhale of appreciation. He nods, slowly, at her words. "In a way, they're like... the parent of the CeeEff. Can see it had to change, though. ICJPK was meant to keep peace. That's clearly not an option with the toasters," he says, slowly. His lips twitch upwards, "Funny, thinking about the ways life could've been different. If you'd joined ICJPK, or if I hadn't gone to OCS and stayed a grunt, might never have met."
"Y'got a point, there. An' they needed a... bigger point of oversight, which th'ICJPK didn' have, I s'ppose." Astraea sets her cup on the table, next to the bottle. She closes her eyes for a moment. She's a small thing; the alcohol is likely setting in at this point. "Mmmmm." It's meant to be a thoughtful sound, but there's a hint of harmonics to it. A hum, in truth. She shakes her head slightly, opening her eyes to look at him, lips twitching into a brighter smile. "Are y'sayin' that'd be a bad thing, Jigger? If it weren't me, it'd be some other Raptor pilot gettin' shot down wit' missiles an' shit over Picon these last few days."
Jigger sets his cup down, although he keeps one hand loosely curled around it, tapping in an unconscious manner. "Of course that's a bad thing. Some other pilot might not've had a secret stash of really great rum to take the edge of," the Gemenon pilot replies, with a low laugh. "Speaking of," he exhales slowly. "That stuff's really kicking in. Probably should find my bunk while I still can." With a last tap of fingers to the glass, he says, "Thanks, Nova." For the rum, presumably, as he pushes to his feet.
"Me, too," Astraea agrees, when Alain speaks of finding his bunk. "Else I won't be able ta climb in." The perils of a top bunk. She stacks the cups and presses to her feet. As she does, she reaches a hand out towards him. It may be to keep her balance, fingers grabbing for his upper arm. But it may also be to stall him, just briefly. "Thanks," she intones, herself. "Fer havin' my ass out there. I mean, I know, we gotta as Wolves an' all, but- I like knowin' yer watchin' over me an' all."
Alain looks briefly surprised when she reaches for him, his expression transforming into something warm as he grins. "It's not a bad day's work, watching other people do work." Well, except for all the toasters in the middle, anyway. "You're welcome," he adds, patting her hand where it rests on his arm, before he eases away. He takes a step away from the table, then abruptly pauses and turns back to collect his book, with a somewhat rueful expression, before trying that again. "Night, Nova."
"An' now a few marines know we do more'n jes' sit around on our asses when th'Raiders come callin'," Astraea adds, grinning back. She withdraws her hand, finally, picking up the bottle as well. There's a glance towards the book. "Don't forget," she notes, suddenly. "Y'owe me those books on religion from yer colony at some point." She's drunk, but not so drunk as to forget the books he'd promised to lend her. Clutching her bottle, now a fair bit lighter in hand, Nova turns to make her way back to her own bunk... calling over her shoulder; "Night, Jigger."