Geoff catches Priya contemplating space. Geoff and Salvae catch up.
Location: Crew Lounge
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 229
It's hard to deny the impact of the expanse of space ahead with Picon's edges glimmering in the distance at the right angle - its waters impossibly blue and distorted by atmosphere, left against a field of stars. The magazine that Priya had been flipping through is left discarded as she leans against the edge of a table, its eight edged leafs bent and flapping from her fingers. The Tauron is off duty at the moment and dressed for it in her double tanks and pants, the former exposing the mix of tattoos and burn scarring along her left and right arms. The one on her left shoulder is intricate and only newly healed, its design seeming unfinished as if it is meant to carry onto her back.
Geoff walks in already smoking a cigarette, and he's in his off-duties, too. There's something about the edges of his top tank that doesn't look regulation, maybe some kind of black design. He enters and, seeing Priya and her discarded magazine, looks to see how new it is and what the subject matter is. And then that brings his eye to her tattoos. "Hey, somebody on board do that for you?"
The magazine seems to be a glossy travel piece on VISITING THE 12 COLONIES that was very popular prior to the uprising. Priya has dog-earred one of the pages in her abuse of it, which features a glimpse of long golden fields and endless sky as Geoff glances at it. Blinking slowly, the dark eyed woman looks back over her shoulder at him, accent unmistakably Tauron. "The back piece? Yeah. Ringer. Hallie Mata's a damn fine artist. The rest I did myself or are old."
"Oh, you tattoo yourself?" Geoff asks curiously, coming nearer to inspect some of the older work. "Frak, that's cool. Did you do this one?" he asks, indicating a piece that attracts his eye. Someone calls across the lounge, "Ey, Zombie! You're back!" Geoff turns to look over his shoulder and upnods whoever it is, then brings his attention back to Priya.
"Yeah," Priya answers softly, pivoting to face Geoff a little more directly, even if she doesn't stop lazily leaning against the table. Glancing down at the indicated tattoo, her jaw tenses a little, but she nods with a bitter smile on her lips. The complex design is rough, but has an aspect of strength in the dark mark it leaves against her skin. She doesn't address the newcomer beyond a brief nod.
Geoff drags on his cigarette, looking from the tattoo to Priya's face. His expression fades toward neutrality. "Am I bothering you?" he asks.
"No," Priya replies with a shrug of her shoulders. "You're probably saving me from being too maudlin staring out into space." Tossing the magazine onto the table, she taps the tattoo he pointed with interest. "I just did that one right after the frakking uprising. First I've had someone ask about it."
"It's good, that's why," Geoff answers. "But I don't mean to bring shit up." He gestures to a chair. "Can I sit?" He drags on the cigarette. "You want a smoke or something?"
"Kind'a impossible in a war. Ain't it? We're all liable to trip over that kind of shit," Priya offers, nodding at his request to sit. "Nah. Thanks though. I don't smoke since I caught on fire." He can see the burn scars, but she says it like it's a joke. "Priya Tarsis, ECO," she offers.
Geoff nods and shrugs. "I'll put it out if you want," he offers, but doesn't wait for an answer before he proceeds with the introductions. "Geoff Courtois," he replies.
"Frak no." Priya cracks a smile at that polite offer as she waves it off. "I'm used to it. It's all good." Her dark eyes scan over him, head tilting to the side. "Good to meet you. Marine?"
Geoff exhales smoke, which he waves away. "Yeah," he says. "How bout you?" He squints. "You're kinda little. Pilot?"
Priya chuckles at that, shifting a little in her position perched on the table. "Least I'm not scraping door frames. Natch. Raptor ECO. I can fly in a pinch though," she offers. "Your ferry to ground team." As she's heard it called.
Geoff nods a little. "Good to meet you, then," he says. "So hey, don't you get nervous doing a tattoo on yourself? It's like...you only get to do it once, right? No frak-ups."
"The first one you do. It was... a rite of passage in my family," Priya explains slowly. "It gets easier the more times you do it. Like taking that first shot." She mimes setting up a rifle for a shot. "You need to be able to not frak one up for yourself before you do one for anyone else."
Geoff pauses, seeming to think that over. "I like that. That's a good rule," he decides, leaning to pull an ashtray closer on the table so that he can tap off his cigarette. "Would you do one for me if I paid you?"
Priya cocks her head at that and then shrugs. "Sure. What are you thinking?"
"I dunno yet," Geoff says. "Just been thinking I might want a new piece. Had to leave for a while and then came back. Never really came back to anything before." He drags on his cigarette and shrugs again. "So I don't know."
"Well, when you know let me know," Priya offers with wry tip to her mouth. "That sounds like enough of a reason to want a record of it to me." Pulling the magazine into her lap, she tears out the page she dog-earred early and folds it carefully before sliding it into her pocket. "Its not really hard to find anyone in the bunks."
"Yeah," Geoff agrees. He looks Priya up and down. "You seem like...quiet. No nonsense. You always been like that?" He glances to the page Priya tears out. "Not to be nosy. I'll see you around, anyway."
Noting Geoff's look, Priya offers quietly, "They don't look like that anymore." It's a glossy picture of Tauron fields, spreading out into the horizon in sheaves of gold and green, almost impossibly flat with nothing but the broad sky above it. "Do I?" This seems to catch Priya by a bit of surprise, lifting a hand she runs it back through the hair on the unshaved half of her head. "No nonsense, yeah. It's been a... rough week. Rough war." She laughs at the irony of those words.
Geoff snorts a little air from his nose in a sound that isn't quite a laugh. "Yeah," he agrees. "I don't know what's gonna happen or anything but like...We're gonna fight like hell."
"Sure as hell what my plan is. I think the rest of the wolves feel the same," Priya agrees with a hint of a wolfish edge to her mouth. It's too dark to really be called a smile. "How'd you wind up here?"
"Money, I guess," Geoff says. "They pay okay, the CF. And it's steady and all." He crushes out the end of his cigarette. "That's not good enough for some people but...I frakkin' fought to come back when I didn't have to so they can all go frak themselves now."
"As long as you're here to kill the frak out of some cylons, I don't care if you're here for money," Priya says bluntly. Her shoulders angle in a sharp shrug. "Can't say I blame folks for caring, considering some of us - this is all we've got left. Hit back the way we've been hit."
"That's what I'm here for," Geoff agrees. "And yeah, I get it, some people lost everything. But some of us didn't have much to start with. All of that shit like a family and a house and all that people are fighting for, I don't know how I'm s'posed to fight for that when I never had it. But I'm fighting. So." He shrugs. "Anyway, they're moving on Caprica City now, I heard."
There's a moment of silence as Priya considers that, dark eyes fixed on Geoff like a hawk. Then, she nods in understanding. "Works for me." There is a frown at his mention that they're moving on Caprica City. "That where you're from?"
"Geoff!" Salvae looks surprised to see the marine, but he grins at his mysterious arrival. "How are ya now?" he wonders on his way into the lounge, tone-deaf to the seriousness of the conversation in progress.
"Yeah," Geoff answers. When his name gets called, though, his head snaps up and he focuses on Salvae. "Oh," he says, trying to look casual and not startled. "Hey. I'm back, ready for action," is his answer. "Keepin' everybody feet warm while I was gone?"
Priya nods at Geoff's answer, opting to remain silent as the two Marines greet each other. She does raise a hand in greeting to Salvae who she knows in passing at least.
"Oh, you knows, lots a little feet scamperin around these days," Salvae says, giving Priya a nod hello. "Sard to keep up." He finds his way to his favourite spot on the couch and plops down, setting his knitting bag by his feet as he sorts things for a moment, "But, you know, ya gotta do your best, eh?" When not worrying about clear comms chatter, he relaxes back into his aerilonian accent a bit more.
"Guess so," Geoff answers. "I never tried to outfit an army before. How long's it take to make a pair of socks?"
"I'll let ya'll catch up," Priya decides, hopping off the table. "Let me know when you want that tattoo, Courtois." With a slight wave to Salvae, she slips off and out of the lounge.
"Spose it depends, really. How big the feet, how lit the knitter," Salvae grins sheepishly. "Onna good day off, I spose I could knock off two pair, if I were really goin ard," he estimates. "Usually slower'n that though.
"That's pretty good, though," Geoff says. "Prob'ly take a beginner forever." He looks up when Priya departs and lifts a hand.
Salvae nods his head, "Oh ya, my first wearable sock took me about a week with all the frakups. If you were gonna get started in knittin, I'd recommend scarves and blankies for the first stretch." He glances to the television, "And somethin ya don't have to pay attention to goin on in the background, like a Mudhens game or somethin."
"I dunno if knitting's my thing," Geoff says. "Not really a ...sweater kinda guy or anything. It's great, just..." He shrugs, smiles briefly, and starts hunting for his cigarettes again, patting down his pockets until he finds them. "Although like sometimes you see a great piece and it's just like an amazing knit, I guess."
"Oh yeah, spose it depends where you're from," Salvae nods his head, "People always say Aquaria's the cold one, but I doubt they've spent a winter huddled up on the plains of Promethea, suckin up the ice winds off of Lake Minotoa in the winter." He gives a shiver. "Though, to be fair, they say it only feels colder cos the summer's so blazin hot. Not many places in the colonies get the eighty degree variance every year."
Geoff smiles and shrugs. "Spend most of my time indoors," he says. "But I love the beach. Best part about this frakkin' war has been shore leave on beaches."
"Oh yah, nothin like getting drunk in the sun," Salvae chuckles, remembering the last beach party. "I hope we push the toasters offa Picon, looks like it used to be a nice place when I'm flyin over it."
"Listen," Geoff says as he gets a cigarette lit, "I just got back. How bad does it look?"
"On the ground?" Salvae winces, "Planetside's maggoty with toasters," he says. "Two cities have fallen since we got here. Scuttlebutt is the toasters have manufacturing going on somewhere on the planet. Swhy there's so many of em." He shakes his head, "But, before ya gotta worry bout the ground, ya gotta get there first. Never seen so many heavy raiders before. Even at that air show I went to before the war."
"They keep getting frakkin' stronger," Geoff mutters. "We gotta eradicate the manufacturing, right? I mean like...we're never gonna win if they just keep making more."
"That's the theory, I spose," Salvae nods his head, his needles clicking away. "Bet they to that shit on their basestars, too. I wonder which is better for manufacturing? Doing it in space, or in a gravity well?"
Geoff curls his lip in disgust at machine efficiency. "Dunno," he says. "But like...are there sabotage teams we can volunteer for? Something?"
"I imagine so," Salvae nods his head, "You good with the boom-boom, GI?" he wonders, glancing up to Geoff. "I'd think most of the old factories have gone up in smoke by now. Wouldn't surprise me if there were new ones, though. Those crafty sons a bitches gotta keep coming from somewhere, right?"
"No," Geoff says. "But I can protect somebody who is." Claims the guy who when last seen was getting blown up, himself. "Well, how do they get new shit up and running so frakkin' fast?"
"No idea." Salvae pauses his knitting a moment and looks up, thinking. "I wonder if they all have the same personality matrix? Like, they all come out likeing the same things, or if there's some sorta RNG out there giving them variables?"
"Liking things?" he asks. "What do they have to like things for? They're tin cans. I thought they just had extermination programming."
"You never seen those nannybots? One of the oldguys in town had one so he could stay at home. It could carry off a half decent conversation, so I hear." Salvae says. "Sure, the centurions probably don't jaw on about the birds and the bees, but the software's still floatin out there, right?"
Geoff laughs at that question, spreading a cloud of smoke as he does so. "Nannybots?" he repeats. "Maybe at the hotel. But I never had a frakkin' conversation with one. I thought they were just like 'bleep bloop feed the baby' or whatever."
"Some for sure," Salvae nods his head. "Word on the street was the oldman took bonerpills and used it for a frakbot, that's why when the war started he was found in the condition he was." He shrugs his shoulders.
Geoff wrinkles his nose again, dragging on his cigarette and looking aside. "So some of 'em like stuff, you think? Like...what?"
"I dunno," Salvae says, looking back down to his knitting as he gets going once again. "I bet they have health freaks that go on and on about 10W30's benefits over 5W20 in the Picon Sunbelt, though. Or they prank each other by tossing in a lock washer onto their buddy's bolt or something." He grins, imagining two centurions pantsing another one.
Geoff frowns at the idea of centurian frolics, then exhales a long stream of smoke. "Well...if they do have things they like...maybe they have weaknesses we've never thought of."
"Who knows?" Salvae asks. "We need some egg-heads in the Timberwolves, someone who knows what they're talkin aboot."
Geoff heaves out a sigh. "Frak," he says. "I don't really run with smart people. But some of the pilots must be smart, right? Or the preacher's kinda smart."
"Big Al? He's pretty smart, ya, but I think his head's more on olympus than in a circuitboard kind of smart." He thinks about things. "Maybe some of the ECOs might be dialed into that sort of thing. Don't really need brains to fly, just reflexes and a lack of colour blindness."
"Yeah," Geoff agrees, tightening one corner of his mouth. "But I thought pilots had to go to school and all. Do math about trajectories or some shit."
"That's all done in the 'peuter," Salvae says, "General spacial awareness is all that is. The school part's true, but I think that's because vipers are expensive, so they want to have some reason there to cut the potential pool down by making it officers only."
Geoff looks Salvae over suspiciously. "Frak," he says. "Right. So guys like me don't show up and trash the joint." He exhales smoke. "You think I should get a new tattoo?"
Salvae grins, "Well, they let guys like me into the club," he says. Being from Aerilon, pretty much anyone who applied was accepted, the population's so low. He looks up, "What're ya thinkin of? A skull? Skulls are cool."
"I dunno," Geoff admits. "I don't have a clear image, just like...I kinda want to mark it, how I came back." He looks down at his chest. "Maybe on the back, my front's all scarred up."
"Ah, a howling wolf, then," Salvae says. "You thinkin a whole back piece?"
"Not too big," Geoff says, looking over his own shoulder as if to imagine it. Then he looks to Salvae. "You got any?"
"Yeah, got my old squadron patch on my shoulder," he says, putting down his project. He pulls up his sleeve to show off the black ink of two crossed scythes in a stylized 25 beneath a depiction of Aerilon arranged to look like a jolly roger. "It hurt like a motherfrakker, I'd have to be pretty drunk before getting another one, I think."
"I was definitely drunk when I got mine," Geoff agrees, looking down at his arm after ogling Salvae. "Good thing I didn't end up with some motherfrakker's name on me."
Salvae settles back and grins, "Eyah, names are usaually a poor choice," he laughs. "Back home, by buddy Ray's got half the Minotoan phone book writtin on his ass."
Geoff gives a little snicker at that. "Falls fast, huh?"
"Ya, things move quick at the local back home. After a beers in the sun, it's time to head to the bar for the whiskey. Come midnight, people are usually either frakin, or fighting," he says, "Don't usually matter who."
Geoff flashes a brief smile. "I think there's places like that everywhere." He pauses. "Well. Maybe not Gemenon. But. That's what clubs are like back home, too, at least."
"Naw, on Gemenon, they're all trippin balls on mush or something. THen frakkin and fighting," He laughs, then checks the hatch to make sure Big Al isn't nearby to kick his ass.
Geoff drags on his cigarette with a mischievous expression. "You think preacher's holding?"
"I wouldn't doubt it. Back home it was the preacher's kids who grew the good drugs." Salvae says, thinking back to his youth. "Nothing quite like a mouthful of mush during a midnight snowfall."
Geoff exhales a stream of smoke and smiles. "You're not, are you?"
"Who, me? Naww, I haven't been able to find a connect on board. I think anyone who'd try that sort of thing'd be wary of an officer," Salvae says. He shrugs his shoulders, "Prolly not a great idea over Picon with all these alerts, can barely get a good buzz going before getting pulled into a combat patrol."
"Sure, cuz officers don't do that kinda thing," Geoff says sarcastically, flicking ash into a tray. "They haven't put me on a combat patrol yet," he says. "I'm ready to go. I'm afraid they're benching me cuz I was hurt. But I'm cleared."
"There's some big caravan going on today, are you listed for that?" Salvae wonders. He'd seen a bunch of marines gearing up for an escort earlier. "You best believe the toasters are gonna hit a refugee formation marching out of a city."
"Frak," Geoff says. "Maybe I can volunteer. I want to show them I'm ready to get back in the action."
"You should do it, yeah. Go talk to your sergeant. It might get ugly, though. There's so much AA in that area, the air wing won't be able to help you much." Salvae says.
Geoff crushes his cigarette out and stands up. "I'm ready," he insists. "I'm gonna get on the list. Thanks. I'll see ya around."
Salvae grins and nods his head, "Go gettem!"