2237-07-08 - What Do We Fight For?

The loss of Fish and the surrounding circumstances are causing some moral questions in the wing.

Date: 2237-07-08

Location: Chapel

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 228

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In spite of their efforts, Fish did not survive. It wasn't even a matter of getting him back in time. He was hit too hard and ejected too low. There's been a lot of chatter about the moral implications it all presents. Her Raptor could have held two more of the men from the Ester if she hadn't picked up Fish. They all know the risks they take. Some feel the Viper pilot should have been left behind in favor of those on the sinking ship while others feel that attempting to save one of their own was the more vital choice. In the wake of others recently lost -- such as Flats -- it's often a heated discussion.

One Nova feels, at times, like she's at the center of.

The Chapel serves as a good point of escape. Especially with the viewport. She's in her duty clothes and while they're a bit rumpled, they're a sign that she might actually be avoiding official work-type things. Sitting in a front pew, the pilot is a bit slumped forward and just staring out into space.

After an after-mission conversation with the Aldrich, Bami was happy to head to the chappy. He'd collected a few books he'd brought along when coming to the Vanguard, and after last night was more than happy to trade a few for more on Aldrich's home. However, his arrival is a somber one. He still has the books in tow, and dressed in his off-duties. Dual tanks, bdu trousers, and shoes that haven't yet been tied. He clears his throat after catchign sight of Astraea, and sits in the pew behind her. "I didn't miss the Chaplain did I?"

"Huh?" Astraea's response comes a full minute after Bami's question. The woman stirs herself to action just a bit, sitting up a little straighter. She lifts a hand to rub at her cheeks -- eyes? -- and turns a bit to look behind her at the other Scorpian. "I dunno. Ain't seen 'im." There's a small shrug before she looks back to the front and the viewport there. <<It's like looking at a lie in real time. It seems so peaceful from here.>>

<<My grandmother used to say something all the time. 'There ain't such a thing as peace. Just stability between the conflict.'>> Bami's shoulders sag with the memory, his voice going low. <<She and grandfather were around for the fighting between Osanyin and Afolyan when we were still independant. The type of fighting you used to talk about, but nothing to blow up. They had the guns and planes. We were supposed to be much bigger, but never really had the might or the numbers to stand against them and the others.>>

A shrug follows, and he sets the books down at his feet. <<I used to think she was just this foolish old woman, that I loved...>> He makes that point with a brief smile and a chuckle. <<...But I always saw it as useless platitudes that didn't mean a damn thing today. Turns out I was off by a frakking coutntry mile.>>

<<It's a very Scorpian thing to say,>> Astraea answers after a minute. <<I'm not sure it'd work on other colonies. Maybe Tauron and Sagittaron.>> She leans forward, planting elbows at her knees so she can press her face against upturned palms. The woman lets out a long sigh. <<I think Cherry made the right call?>> But she doesn't sound entirely sure. A little, perhaps. <<He was one of our own, but they- they were going to die otherwise.>> Those on the ship. It was sinking, burning, being attacked. She slumps in her seat, slowly, arms falling limp at her sides as she stares out at the viewport again. "I feel so lost."

Another shrug comes as Bami leans back in his seat. There's no overt resposne from the ECO. He whispers a small prayer under his breath, likely to sound like inane mumbling. <<She made the right call. If I were in Fish's shoes, and the choice was me or all those people I'm always choosing myself. He wasn't just shot down though, but the frakking pieces of shit shot him on the way down because frak us. Right!?>>

Bami's raising his voice in anger, and it takes a look around the chapel to calm him down again. <<He might've been like that ECO, and wanted to live. Not to die like that. Ya know?. I know I can't speak for Fish, and didn't know the guy well enough. I don't really know any of you at the end of the day.>> He clenches at his pants until his hands are balled into fists clutching fabric. <<You were right. I need to get rid of this worry. This care. Maybe if I make the right shot, shit like that doesn't happen again. Somebody like Fish or the rest of us gets to live. Even if it means I gotta take their place - they get to live.>>

<<The men on that ship wanted to live, too,>> Astraea points out, quietly. <<They were our objective. Our orders.>> She pushes to her feet, shoulders hunching as she hugs herself, aiming towards the window. <<He died and essentially took two of their lives with him. Three dead, when it could have been just one.>> There's a bitterness in her voice. <<We go out there, Bami, knowing we could die. We have to. It's why we're her. Why we're part of the Wolves. We could have fought to stay on Scorpia, either of us. It was quiet there. Easy. I never shot at a Cylon, let alone had one shoot at me.>>

<<No, I couldn't. I heard stories of how bad things were, and there was no way I'd take some milk run of a job.>> Bami pauses, gaze briefly moving the pilot before sliding forward once more. <<Being here cemented that I made that right choice. Seeing that little girl down on Picon started it, but I can say I finally see it. You're right about Fish, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't trade my life for his or the others in a heartbeat. The only thing that really matters is the next mission, being prepared in the time between the one after that, and doing wahtever's asked of me that'll help the CF.>>

Stopping before the viewport, Astraea stares off towards the other planets that share a system with Picon. Not even knowing which they may be facing at the moment. It's not a realm of knowledge she really has much strength in. Instead, she just uses it as a focal point before she somewhat slumps against the thick glass. <<Is that all that matters? The next mission? Or is it the lives we're saving? And if it's the lives... how do we dare prioritize one over another?>>

<<I'm lucky enough that I don't have to think about that. My only job is to shoot, jam, and make sure the Timber Wolves survive and that we complete the mission.>> Bami's shoulder's sag as he reaches for one of the books, and starts idly thumbing through it. He stops after a few pages, and looks back up to continue speaking. <<I think I found my own peace with it- watching Fish fade away. I'd never really seen somebody like that, you know. I expected it and was trained for it, but never really like that. Maybe if I was better with medical I could have saved him. Maybe if I was /just/ a bit better of a shot, maybe he doesn't go down. So, yes, the mission is all that matters, and being prepared for it. Making sure I do all that I can because as is?>> He shrugs. <<It's not enough. I don't have room for maybes.>>

<<I can't just focus on the mission,>> Astraea answers, turning away from the view to press her back to the viewport. She sinks against the wall until she's sitting, knees drawn to her chest. Mostly. She's a bit too round for that. Her hips end up turned a bit to the side. She tips her head back against the bulkhead. In comparison to Bami, her voice is low. <<But the mission changes. The mission was to save the men on the Ester. Then it was to save Fish and those men." She blinks, rapidly, as she stares at the ceiling. "I failed both."

Her words get Bami to finally look over to her. He sets the book in his hand aside, and forces himself up from his seat in the pew. From there he moves over beside her against the bulkhead, and slides down in a seat on the floor not too far from her. He's just close enough to reach out, and squeezes her shoulder. <<If it wasnt' for your flying things could've turned out worse for the both of us. We had a Raider on our ass,>> he points out when drawing his hand away. <<But I was so caught up with the ones going after Fish that I wasn't focused on it. I had faith in your flying, and knew you'd keep the both of us safe.>>

There's just a look up to Bami and Astraea, up close, can be seen to have darker circles under her eyes. She lifts her hands and scrubs at her face. Less tears, more weariness. She hasn't been sleeping. <<So more would have died,>> she answers in a wry tone. There's a long sigh as she leans back again. This time, she lets her head tip back against the wall with a dull sort of thud. <<Why can't a mission just go according to plan?>>

There's a long, hard look to the other Scorpian, and then a slow shake of his head. <<I don't know, and the only answer I have is a maybe.>> Bami's found his way to sleep, but at the cost of something else. Even after his last mission, he doesn't look overly tired. Focused. Determined. Still, his shoulders sag when thinking about the last fight on Picon. <<If everything went according to plan we would all be celebrating over a bottle of rum, and wouldn't have this frakking war any more or these frakking clankers putting you all through this bullshit.>>

<<Bring it on. I've got rum and I can get more.>> This offered -- albeit in a quiet voice -- Astraea slumps a bit further against the wall. Her knees angle inward a bit, boots out. Wrists drape against her knees, fingers dangling in the empty space. She let out a small, defeated sigh and falls quiet.

Bami shrugs, and reaches out for her again. He has to scoot over a bit to do so, but grabs her hand if she doesn't pull away. <<Look. You're a damn good pilot, and now you're an ace. If there's ever been a doubt about you laying it all on the line by anybody they're either crazy or frakking simple. If it weren't for you we likely wouldn't have saved as many people as we already have. As for me, I'm a good gunner. A damn good one. But I have to do better. I need to do better. I gotta prove myself. Not just to all of you, but to me.>>

At the moment, Astraea is too tired to resist. Perhaps she's not shirking duty, but actually at the end of a shift. Maybe this was her last stop before bed. She doesn't even look over at Bami. Eventually, she does shake her head. Well, she might be shaking her head. There's two drags left and right before she stills again. <<It won't matter. You've seen how it is down there. We both have. We've heard the marines talking when they return from a mission. We aren't even making a dent and this is just one colony. Nothing we do matters.>>

Bami was at least over his anger, even if just a bit, until he heard Astraea speak. <<Bullshit,>> he responds, and draws himself closer when taking his hand away. <<This is a war, and we won't know the effects of shit one way or the other until we hit the end of it. Even if it it's only stalling until the other Colonies get off their frakking asses, and help with this fight. Every second, every minute, every day, and every goddamned life that passes. It all frakking matters. If it didn't, if it doesn't why're you fighting then?>>

<<I guess I don't know anymore,>> Astraea answers finally, pushing to her feet. She lingers there for a second, staring at the altar before she starts a slow walk towards the hatch.


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