A few of the Timber Wolves pilots have hit ace... thus, cake is required.
Location: Crew Lounge
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 235
There's not just one... but two cakes! One vanilla, one chocolate. Not overly fancy, but Astraea didn't know what Hallie or Gwyndolen would specifically want and this generally covers peoples' interests, right? Plates, forks, and even a collection of sodas are also set out to be shared. Today, it's in the Crew Lounge, because there's a need for cake all 'round, trut be told. That way, anyone who meanders by might have a slice.
Rather than Pyramid or a movie, it's some cartoons from Caprica on the vid player... because why not? Likely, someone decided something brightly colored and (hopefully) funny was warranted after all the recent missions.
That's the problem with a celebration on a ship in the middle of war: it's hard to arrange a party in which someone or the other isn't on CAP or Alert, or on the way to it. Thankfully, it's the latter for Alain, and so he's been around to help Astraea (read: hover and try to steal bits of the cake at all parts of the making process) in preparation for the party. Now, he's making tea, and kind of hovering near the cake, trying to look patient. "You told them the time, right, Nova?"
"Ya sure yer up fer this, Ingvar?" comes the plain spoken question from Mason as he's walking with Leonie, the two Viper sticks talking quietly to each other as they enter the lounge. "Maybe we should have a signal in case this isn't your thing. Or ya know, poke me in the side and let me know yer leaving so I'm not worrying about you later." he offers in thick Aerilonese accent.
Glancing at the pair of cakes, he smirks. "Looks like Nova went all out with the desserts tonight." he adds as he gets a little bit of a grin. "Better watch it, I barely fit in the cockpit as is."
Priya is dressed for off duty in her double tanks, but since it is a party her half-braid is particularly fancy with multiple fishtail weaves, rather than her usually pinned up style. The tattoo that Hallie has been working on is healing nicely on her left shoulder, dipping under the line of her tank. She slips in with her hands in her pockets, walking in Mason's shadow. The cartoons on the tv earn a raise of an eyebrow.
Gwyndolen arrives right on time, because that's what one does when one is one of the guests of honour. Polite and all. She arrives tidily-attired, hair pinned up neatly. "How lovely," she says to the cakes. Of the cakes. She ignores the cartoons.
"Hi!" Hallie makes her way into the lounge with the slightly-too-hasty manner -- and slightly-mussed hair -- of someone who overslept between shifts and was very nearly late to her own party. Still, she's got a bright smile for everyone as she takes in the presence of cake, soda, and inane vids: all the elements of ritual that go into a party. The cakes in particular earn an appreciative glance. "Frak me, Nova, these are /amazing/. You're going to make all the other ships jealous of us."
Calliope is in one of those fuzzy off-duty hours post-CAP when she really should be sleeping. But there's cake! So of course she's here. "Hi!" The greeting is piped generally all around. She noses toward the chocolate. Though she waits for Gwyn and Hallie to get their pieces, of course. Even in the face of sugar, she's trying not to be rude. "Ringer, Knick-Knack, you guys are awesome. And not just because you're an occasion for sweets. But, you know, also that."
There's a swat -- playful, really -- at Alain's hand the next he goes for a bit of cake. "I've already turned that one ta hide th' icin' from th' last time," Astraea mutters at him, though there's a bit of a grin for the viper pilot. "I did, but y'know how it is. Get off CAP, wanna shower b'fore ya surround yerself wit' people, y'know?" She's at least pressed her own duty uniform before showing up. There's the faint smell of incense around her, still, from the chapel. Save for the tending to her uniform, that's where she came straight from before retrieving the cakes. She was about to say something else to Jigger when Hallie spoke up, turning quickly to the Tauran. There's a smile for her. "Well, y'know, gotta do what I can fer... y'know, ship morale."
"...there's cake," Leonie argues, giving the other viper stick a look. "Of course I'm up for it." She peels away to fetch a plate and fork, and get in line for a slice. A few of the other pilots are given pleasant smiles in greeting, but it's clear what her priorities are.
Astraea may have brought the cakes. But when you need cookies, there's really only one person you call, right? And just now, Eva's just making her way into the lounge, two large tubs in her hands. Industrial quantities. Because such were the El-Tee's orders. Don't blame the messenger...courier. "Sorry, Nova, I swear." It's been a trek, "I had to body check at least a full platoon of Marines. How did you manage it?" The load he sets down on one of the other free tables, near where Alain is making tea. As she opens one, and then the other, the selection is also mixed. One is chocolate chip, the other is an assortment. Everything from sugar to oatmeal...chocolate chip. Because fruits do not belong in cookies. Once her delivery is made, Eva's happy to settle into the back, while the rest of the wing gathers.
"Making ace is no joke," comments Priya, positioning herself near Hallie with a smile for both her and Gwendolyn. "Beat me to it." Astraea gets a slight smile and approving nod for the cakes, Alain just gets a nod. Hello.
Alain looks not the least bit repentant at the swat from Astraea. It's when he spots Hallie and Gwyndolen in particular -- the other pilots too, but mostly the guests of honor -- that he perks up. "Congratulations on Ace, Ringer, Knick-Knack. Chocolate or vanilla?" his head bobs towards the cakes because, like Calliope, he has to wait until they've had their slices first. He flashes a grin at Eva as he notes the cookies she's brought, groaning briefly. "Definitely not going to fit into my suit. And Sweetheart is right," he beams at Priya. "It's definitely worth celebrating."
Since Kell has Alert-Five duty in a little bit, he enters the Crew Lounge with his flight suit already on, planning out his schedule so that he has a window to enjoy the party for the new aces. He is one of the last ones to arrive, noting the two cakes already, looking impressed already. Then Razor's gaze shifts to the new aces that are present, "Congratulations on making ace, Ringer, Knick-Knack, and Nova." He calls out to the three, including Astraea even though she made the cake for the other two. "Because of you three, we get cake." Since that is obviously the important part.
"Definetly worth the 'gratuations." Mason adds, as he gives Gwyndolen a grin. "Hey, LeBossier, ya meet Lieutenant Ingvar yet? Goes by Axiom." He's at least going to try to introduce the other pilot around and network her in with the others he knows. "Leonie, this is Captain Gwyndolen LeBossier, or Knick-Knack. Served with her when I was on Leonis. Which.. have to wonder, yer parents name ya Leonie after the colony?" he asks curiously, before noticing Priya in his shadow and gives a warm smile to her.
"I'm happy to provide excuses for cake and cookies to everyone," comments Gwyndolen a little dryly. "I promise to try very hard to shoot down more toasters to provide many, many more occasions for sweets. It is the least I can do for humanity." She clears her throat. "Vanilla, please," she says to Alain. "And thank you all. Of course, I needed everyone to watch my back to bring anyone down." She glances at Leonie at her introduction, and offers a hand to Leonie. "A pleasure, lieutenant. Axiom."
"Thanks, Jigger," Hallie replies. The question about cake flavor earns an even wider grin, because she knows /exactly/ why he's asking. "Chocolate. Definitely chocolate." Kell's comment earns a laugh. "That's what we three will be remembered for, probably. Not our military records, but just 'Because of them, we got to eat cake.' Nova especially."
Leonie has her mouth full of cake by the time Gwyndolen addresses her, so all she can do is mumble something incoherent and offer a hand with a little dab of frosting on the thumb, in return. After she's swallowed, "It's Axion, actually." A darted glance to Mason. "Nice to meet you. Thanks for the cake." Her eyes twinkle.
"That's what I said." Mason offers dryly. "Axiom." Ah, the Aerilon accent.
Alain earns a light punch in the arm for the use of her callname, but Priya says, "Damn right I am. This is more sweets than I've seen in awhile though." Mason earns a wave as she passes through his sight lines. Calliope gets a look and a slight smile in greeting, bundled together as all the pilots are.
"I give 'em most of my cubits an' trade chores," Astraea admits, a bit sheepishly, to Eva when she inquires. For Alain's look, there's one after him. She leans a little after the Viper pilot to murmur something, but looks back to the others as they speak up. She makes a bit of a face after Kell, when he speaks of her. There's even a bit of red across her cheeks. "Well, ah- let's eat, then, yes?" And already some people are, which helps. She grabs a slice of cake for herself, along with a soda before angling towards one of the sofas.
"Yeah, MAJOR thanks for this, Nova," Calliope says to her fellow Raptor pilot. "The next time we're someplace where I can hit up a candy store, I owe you. Like, a dozen." She gets a piece of chocolate cake once it's remotely socially acceptable to start grabbing cake slices. Alain gets a little smile-and-nod in return, before she digs in. "How's tricks, Jigger?"
Helpfully, Alain cuts a slice of vanilla cake for Gwyndolen, offering it to her on a plate with a fork. "Good choice," he approves. There's a wry -- not too apologetic -- look at Hallie's grin, before he slices up some of the chocolate for her, with plate and fork. "Nothing wrong with being remembered for cake. Ow!" he makes a face at Priya. "What was that for, Sweetheart?" He probably really has no idea why, to judge by the baffled look. "I'm good, Soundbite. How's the design for that tattoo for your callsign coming along?"
Giving Hallie a grin, Kell can only incline his head in response, "We take all the victories we can get, large or small." And cake may actually be one of the larger victories for some. Waiting for his turn, he grabs a slice of chocolate cake when it is free with a bottle of water, apparently choosing to avoid the sodas and whatnot.
Hallie accepts her cake from Alain with a nod of thanks, digging in. She has a mouthful of chocolate when Alain mentions the tattoo, and so has to swallow hastily before she can chime in with, "I'll help, if you want, 'bite. Though I still want to sit down with all the other artists, and design some piece of proper ink for the whole wing."
It was a light jab the lift of Priya's eyebrows seems to indicate at Alain. "The callsign," she answers sweetly, snagging one of Eva's cookies. "I've already given Soundbite enough crap for it, Jigger. Although - I will admit it's growing on me."
Grabbing one of the bottles of water, Mason seems to be forgoing the cake tonight as Gwyndolen and Leonie talk, he's taking a moment to take in the rest of the room. His hand rests on his still injured abdomen, which may be the reason why he's skipping the sweets as he gives a casual smile. "I did my one introduction, it's on ya from here, Leonie."
Eva does her part, ensuring that everything is taken care of, allowing the younger members of the wing to enjoy their celebration. Very likely, she has a list and is checking it twice. But she doesn't linger long, leaving the pilots to enjoy their victories. She does find a small container, in one of the storage cabinets, into which she slips a good selection of the cookies, ebfore she starts to make her way out of the lounge.
Calliope chuckles to Alain. "Good, I think. I need to get it done. I think I'm going to get the bullseye first. Because it's easy and just to go, like, chronological. I should, like, get myself scarred in order my names, right." She looks to Priya. A little awkwardly. "Hi. Uh. Priya. Would you still be cool with doing a tat for me? I mean if you don't have time that's...also cool."
Gwyndolen is unconcerned by frosting-smeared handshakes. There are worse things to found on hands, after all. "You're welcome," she tells Leonie. "At least in the sense I am only the excuse for the cake. There might be another excuse for more cake next week. Is anyone about to make ace? Perhaps we should help."
Enough people have cake that it's acceptable for Alain to grab his own slice -- which, after a long debate, settles on chocolate. "I like your callsign," he tells Priya, with a grin. "It was a good choice," he adds, with a flickered look at Calliope. Nope, not sorry at all. Collecting his plate and his cooling tea, he moves goes to join Astraea on the sofas, setting his mug down on the coffee table before he digs into the cake.
Turning towards Hallie, Priya cocks her head curiously at the mention of the wing tattoo. "I heard a little about that. From the sounds of it - I'd be damn proud to wear it," she opines. "The piece you've been working on for me is beautiful." It is also unreadable to anyone who doesn't speak Tauron. Those that do can read that it is a memorial verse, acknowledging the dead with a few Tarsis names amid it. Blinking at Calliope, she seems almost surprised that it's in doubt. "Of course. I'd be honored to do that for you," she says quietly.
Hallie smiles back at Priya. "Speaking of tattoos... would you be willing to do one for me?" she asks after a moment. "I feel like I ought to get a proper Tauran design added on to commemorate making ace."
There's a sort of brighter smile from Astraea when Alain sits down with her. The woman might usually try to mingle a bit for one of these parties, but this time she seems happy to get it kicked off and just settle in and let things go on. She's half-watching the vid screen, but turns towards the Gemenese pilot. "We still need ta go over those books ya got," she points out quietly, waving her fork at him before having a bite of cake. She's gone with thin slices of each type. Overhearing mention of tattoos, she's reminded. "You wanted a couple, didn't ya? Ya know what?"
Alain doesn't seem to have any interest in the cartoons, perhaps primarily because he has cake. He's mindful enough to swallow his mouthful before he answers Astraea, "You know where to find me," he says, wryly. "And, yes. The squad tattoo -- whenever it's settled. I'd also like something of Ares. I've seen a few different ones, but I'm open to suggestions, if you've got something in mind?"
"Cool!" Calliope says to Priya, with a quick smile. "I'm not sure when I'll have time, as hot as things are on Picon right now, but I'll totally make time once there's some room to breathe." That smile turns to Hallie. "What are you thinking of getting done? Like, what kind of ink says, 'Ace!'?"
Kell does glance over to the screen showing cartoons a couple of times but he doesn't pay it full attention, instead, his focus is more on the slice of chocolate cake he has while drinking down the bottle of water. He does listen in on the conversation about tattoos, looking slightly interested more in the curious manner than wanting to actually get one. He's clean of any ink and doesn't know much about the intricacies of the body art.
"Me?" Priya looks surprised by that request from Hallie of all people. After a moment, she smiles a bit crookedly and nods. "I would - of course. I'll even do it in the Tauran manner, although the gun is faster." She smiles crookedly at Calliope's quick smile, shifting her hands into her pockets. At Hallie's question, she suggests in Tauron, "<<Five Reclaimed?>>" Vengeance for their many dead.
Finishing off his water, Mason gives a little frown and returns momentarily to Gwyn and Leonie's area. "I'm gonna get back to sickbay. Docs only let me out for a bit to visit." he admits quietly. "Congrats again." he offers to Gwyndolen, before touching Leonie's elbow. "See you around." And with that, he's turning to head out.
"Feel better," Gwyndolen urges Mason quietly. She nibbles on a forkful of cake before opining, generally into the room, "I never did get the point of tattoos."
Leonie is on her second slice of cake, lingering at the fringes of the party as she's wont to do, and talking off the ear of some poor ensign about hyperdrive phase velocities. She looks over when Mason touches her elbow, and flashes him a small smile. He gets a salute with her fork in farewell.
Hallie nods to Alain. "When the squad tattoo design is ready, we'll give it to anyone who wants it." And then she turns back to Priya with a smile. "I think a tattoo is something that you should /receive/. I could try to ink myself for that one, but I think it's better if someone else does it." The comment in her native tongue earns a nod in answer; clearly, that's along the lines of what she was thinking already. But then she turns, blinking at Gwyndolen; for once, the young woman who's so full of words on ritual and ceremony is so caught off-guard she can't find any to answer quite yet.
"I do," Astraea agrees to Alain, mouth twitching in mild amusement. "As fer the squad tattoo-" she leans back, seeking out Hallie. "Ah- Ringer. How's th' art comin' along? Gotten any feedback from folks yet? I got m'gear fer tattooin' on th' last mail run." Which means, yes, Scorpian tattooist in the house now. She, too, seems a bit baffled at Gwyndolen's words and rather just returns her focus to Alain. "Ares, well... mmm. I had a brother who went th' whole flames route, but with yer... predilections," for crashing, "mebbe not? What about... a spear an' helmet?"
Priya lifts a hand in farewell to Mason as he heads out. Her dark eyes lock with Hallie before she nods. "I agree. The ones we leave for ourselves are memories rather than something gained or granted. I would be honored." Really. She holds the other woman's gaze a moment longer before Gwendolyn speaks, a brow arching pointedly. "What is there not to understand?" She asks pointedly.
Finishing the chocolate cake, Kell drains the rest of the water from the bottle before moving to toss the used items into the disposal container. He then returns to the group and says to the new aces, "Congrats again on notching the five kills, I should be reporting to the hangar bay for my Alert Five. Nova, great cake, again. Thanks." With a departing wave to the group, Razor turns to head to the exit of the Crew Lounge as duty calls.
Calliope blinks at Gwyndolen's question. Though she doesn't try to answer it. She does eat her cake with enthusiasm, going back for a second piece. She's had chocolate, so this time she gets herself a vanilla. She settles with it in a place where she can watch the cartoons. Offering Kell a quick good-bye wave and drifting to the outskirts of the party. She ends up idling near Leonie, as things go. "This is really good," she comments, randomly.
Alain grins at Hallie, waving his fork in thanks, "Good to hear." Gwyndolen's words earn a pause, before the Gemenese pilot says, "I didn't really either, until recently. I think it's... useful, to let it say something for you. About you, who you are and what you believe. I believe in Ares, in his strength and wisdom, in his belief in me... and I believe in the Timber Wolves, for much the same reason," with a twitch of lips. He gives a nod towards Astraea as he finishes his cake. "Yeah, probably not so much with the flames. I like the classic look with his spear and helmet."
Gwyndolen squints a little at the pointy pointedness. She brings her fork through her slice of cake, cutting off a small chunk. "I had no intention of causing offense," she says, "My apologies for poor phrasing. I understand that for some it is a tradition--but not so much in my world. So, now, I do not quite understand the significance or reason for marking your skin. Perhaps if you explained what it meant to you?" She inclines her head toward Alain as he does just that. "Thank you."
"In some cultures," Hallie finally answers Gwyndolen, "tattoos are an important ritual. It can be a way of recording the important moments; anyone who knows how to read them can look at the ink on my arms, and know things about me." She rolls up her sleeve, showing a glimpse of the tattoos there. "The things I'm proud of, the things I'm ashamed of, the things that make me who I am. You don't hide any of it." And then she falls silent, to eat a bit more of her cake.
"Thanks fer comin' out, Razor," Astraea calls out to the Libran as he prepares to go. She pauses, briefly, then points- from man to cake. "Take a slice wit' ya. Leave it in yer bunk or somethin', so ya have it when ya get back, yeh?" Everyone needs at least two! She's about to say something to Alain when Gwyndolen asks her question. The Gemenese gets a 'hold on' glance as she shifts a little, turning on the sofa. It does mean jigger gets her hip slightly against his side so she can see Knick-Knack slightly better. "Fer Scorpians it's... clans are important, but ya can't know someone's clan just by lookin' at 'em. So they show.. yer clan, yer family, yer rank, if any. Accomplishments. Mebbe failures, victories. It's like... havin' th' story of you on ya." She nods towards Hallie. "Stuff like that, yeah."
Priya doesn't apologized for her pointedness, simply nodding silently as Hallie explains the element of tattoo as culture, as ritual. "It is who we are. Who we have been. And what we seek to become." Turning from Gwendolyn to Hallie, she pats the other woman's shoulder. "<<I will draw some designs for you,>>" she promises in Tauron. "Congratulations on making Ace again." That is for both Hallie and Gwendolyn, the other acknowledge by a nod before she moves to take her leave.
Alain's mostly silent while others express the importance of tattoos to them, reaching to collect his mug and sip at his tea as his gaze bounces from one to the next, nodding slowly, either in agreement or understanding, at least. Razor's departure makes him grimace for the reminder, and he pushes to his feet. "I've got CAP," he says, apologetically. "Save some for me, will you?" he asks, with a grin at Astraea, gesturing to whatever's left of the two cakes. He moves over to deposit his dirty dishes, giving a nod to the remaining pilots before he departs.
Gwyndolen listens to the explanations. The Leonese noblewoman's fingers rest lightly on her fork. She nods to Hallie, to Astrea, to Priya. "I see," she says finally. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Hallie replies to Gwyndolen. After a moment, she adds, "And since the Timber Wolves are /Colonial/, not just any one colony, making a design we can get inked that has elements of Tauran style, and Scorpian style, and everything else... well, it's important. A way to honor the mixed nature of our wing."
There's a flicker of disappointment across Astraea's features as Alain announces that he has CAP, but she makes a promise to save him some cake. Her own is shifted in her lap as she settles back in. "We've got some crafty sorts in th' squadron," she notes, in the wake of Hallie's words. "So even if ya don't want a tattoo, mebbe we could get some sorta patch or somethin' made, so ya could wear it, in... solidarity or somethin'. I ain't gonna force anyone ta get inked, but I know a lotta folks plan ta an' we're plannin' ta work in elements of everyone's colony for th' design."
Calliope puts away her second slice of cake. Eyeing what's left, contemplating another. She does not dive in for one, however. "I just got off CAP like an hour ago. I think I need sleep. Really glad I got to be here for this. It's important to celebrate the little stuff while we're doing...big stuff. Also, you guys killed toasters awesomely." She gives Hallie and Gwyn a thumbs-up.
"When it comes to killing toasters, I am not sure if there is a difference between awesomely and...unawesomely," says Gwyndolen, "as long as the toasters are dead. Still, thank you." She finishes her first slice of cake and sets the plate aside, nodding to Astrea. "I look forward to seeing the final design when it's done."
Hallie polishes off the last of her cake, and sighs. "I don't have CAP, but I /do/ have a chore shift," she notes. "So I should probably go, too. But thanks for organizing this, Nova -- even if it became your party, too."
"We need some sorta 'fridge in th' barracks fer keepin' cake," Nova mumbles, looking at the leftovers. "But I'll see 'bout puttin' some in y'all's bunks wrapped up nice so it doesn't get too dry." At Hallie's comment, she grimaces a bit and looks apologetic. "I'm sorry Razor said somethin'. I tried ta keep quiet 'bout it. Didn't wanna take way from y'all's party." Pushing to her feet, she finishes off her own slice of cake, grabbing up her soda. "We oughta grab Tarsis sometime soon an' any other artists we might have 'round an' get a few sketches t'gether, post it up, have folks weigh in."
"Don't apologize!" Hallie grins at Astraea as she moves to the door. "You deserve a celebration, too." And then she slips out, off to deal with chores. Because even aces have to take their shifts dealing with that.