Van checks in with Bami and Astraea following Boilermaker Bay.
Location: Crew Lounge
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 246
Van has put away his helmet and neck-ring after his latest flight, but he's otherwise still in his flight suit, likely trapping the suit-funk in for now rather than gassing everyone but peeling it down to his waist. He glances around the crew lounge, nodding to a few folks, as he seeks out his targets.
Bami isn't too difficult a man to find. When not on alert he's to be found in the crew lounge or the mess, and today he's in the former. He's in an off-duty tank and sweats, currently not in the best of moods. He's playing a game of Triad with another Timber Wolf, and the difference in cubits displayed betrays his current failures. "This is bullshit," he grumbles while throwing down his hand. While he leans back and shakes his head, his opponent happily pulls a small pile of cubits to increase his own bounty.
Rather than spend her lunch in the Mess Hall, Astraea has opted to cart it down to the lounge. Perhaps it was due to a crowd of Vanguard-posted marines who were carrying on about some series of bets. She's settled at one of the tables with her plate, drink, and sketchbook. Her duty uniform is a bit wrinkled from he day and the meal has gone barely touched at this point; her entire focus on the book and the sketch she's currently working on. One elbow planet on the table, a pencil in the other hand. She's lost to the world, really, drumming away on the edge of the table as she stares at the page in thought.
Van spots Bami first, heading over toward the card table, "Meteor, looking for an excuse to be dealt out?" The Picon pilot offers a mostly-falsely-apologetic smile to the winning gambler, then spots Astraea working on her sketchpad and gestures over toward the other Scorpian, still talking to Bami for now, "If you have the time and inclination, I wanted to sit down with you for a moment."
"Yes!" the ECO exclaims. "Thank you." He slaps his hands on the, and hops right up after the excuse to leave. He grabs up his remaining cubits, and shoves them in his pockets when standing up. "So, what's up? I didn't do anything did I? If it's about that sandwich I left in the locker I promised not to do that again, and cleaned it out last night too."
There's a muttering from Astraea who finally tosses down the pencil and turns to her plate. Standard mess fare. She draws it near and starts eating, though her eyes are on the sketchbook the whole time. Well, save for a brief, fleeting glance towards Bami at his exclamation. She gives a brief nod to him and Van both, but doesn't interrupt. For the moment, she just assumes they have their thing and she goes back to staring at hers.
Van smiles faintly at the ECO's words, shaking his head, "No, you didn't do anything wrong." He gestures over toward Astraea, then starts in that direction, responding to her nod with one of his own. "Van Newton, by the way. I don't know that we've been properly introduced beyond callsigns." The introduction is accompanied by an offer of Van's hand, although his attention goes to Astraea as he approaches her table, "Nova. I was wondering if you had a few minutes. I wanted to check in with you and Meteor."
"I remember ya, Milkman. From Razor's party. I'm Bamidele Osanyin," Bami responds with a rough shake with his calloused hand. There's a tilt of his head when he draws his hand back, a brow faintly lifted. "I got some time since I ain't on Alert. I hope it won't be too long, though. I am hungry, and I'm thinking about hitting the mess before anything else."
"Y'can have mine," Astraea offers to Bami, shoving her plate his way. It's barely been touched and a bit heavy on the sweets, as is her way. She's keeping the soda, though, but then... there is a drink cart in the lounge. There's a look from Van to Bami, then back. "Check in?" The Raptor pilot looks a bit confused, but sits up a bit straighter. "What 'bout?"
Van's hand is softer, an office-worker's hand, but the clasp is firm enough. "Ah yes. I remember now, my apologies." Astraea may have tacitly invited them to join her, but Van still gestures down to one of the seats at her table, one brow lifting slightly in silent question. His voice lowers slightly as he continues, "I wanted to check in... after Fish's death. See how you were both doing. I know that you were both relatively recently transferred aboard. I don't know what you're backgrounds are, but I know that that sort of thing can be rough -- I lost an ICJPK Marine on an evac mission on Sagittaron, but I know that's not quite the same."
"No thanks. I want something hot and ready," Bami notes with a shake of the head. He pulls out a chair, and plops down it while looking back over to Van. Mention of Fish's passing draws out a grunt and a furrowing of the Eco's brow. His hands ball into fists while the Piolot takes, and he goes to hunching in his seat. "A life's a life, and losing any ain't a good thing."
There's a nod towards the seat that Van indicates. Astraea takes her plate back. When Van mentions Fish, she stares very hard at it for a time. The Scorpian woman takes a long breath and she finally shrugs. "I'm... workin' on it. D'ya know if Cherry got in trouble fer her orders?" There's a glance up to the Viper jock. "'Cause if she did, I feel mebbe... they oughta write me up instead."
Van shrugs a little noncommittally at Bami's words as he settles into the seat before him, "I don't know about the first part of that. But I definitely get feeling that way." Nodding a little to Astraea, he takes a moment, then answers, "I think Whisper understands. For what it's worth, I don't think that Cherry, or you," he cuts his eyes over to Bami to include the ECO, "did anything wrong. I probably should have disengaged with my bandit more quickly. If I had, maybe Fish would still be alive." He glances between the two, "If you want to handle this one your own, or with other parts of the support network, I certainly won't complain. But I want you to know that my door," he smiles faintly at that, then corrects it to, "my curtain, is always open."
"If it comes to it, I should've lied about it and told them he was gone for. I tried my best to save him, and I failed him. I was the one that requested Ast- Nova to stop for him, and she put in the request to Cherry. Beyond that, I was the one that failed to save him after all of that risk, and only stabilized what were his last few hours." There's a slight shrug from Bami as he leans back in his seat and pulls his hands to his laps. "As for me, I've already gotten over it, and am just getting ready for the next time we need to be in the air. You can count on me as ya need me."
"I'd already volunteered us fer SAR," Astraea reminds Bami, frowning in his direction. "All I did was ask again, when ya brought it up." She shifts slightly in her chair, taking a deep breath. "I jes'... worry 'bout th' Picons gettin' angry at us since they lost two of their own 'cause of it. Pickin' up Fish meant two less of them that I couldn't take on. An' th' mission was fer evacuatin' them." She doesn't quite look up from her plate. "So it's kinda like we lost three rather'n one."
Van shakes his head at Bami's suggestion, "I don't think that lying to mission commanders is the way to solve things, personally." There's even a faint smile alongside the words, "You did what we all would do for any member of the Timber Wolves, Meteor -- everything you could." He weighs the man's claim, but nods, apparently accepting it at face value, "I know that everyone in the Timber Wolves can be counted on." Astraea's comment causes Van to frown a little, "I thought we got everyone off the Ester? I know there wasn't anyone in the water when Razor and I made our pass." He sits up a little straighter in his seat, if such a thing were possible, "Did we miss someone on the fantail?"
Bami nods, his mood growing darker as they talk. "There wasn't room for them all. Fish and I took up too much space, and I was busy trying to save him. If I'd put mission over rescue, they'd be fine. I knew that he might not make it, and I still kept him there. I should've shoved him out, let those last Picons in, and got my ass back in my station. I may have done everything I've done, but I failed twice and we lost three lives for it."
"I heard there were," Astraea says, frowning with a look to Bami. "S'no like I was able t'check. But there were still men there when we left 'cause we couldn't take 'em on." She lifts a hand to rub at her face; a mix of distressed and agitated. "We had t'get Fish back, so I wasn't able ta go back an' get more, y'know?"
Van relaxes just a touch again as the two respond with second-hand news rather than first-hand, "You had a squadron-mate who was wounded and alive. There's not anyone in the Picon Navy or the Colonial Forces who would say you did the wrong thing, Meteor." Van's features sharpen a little, "And you can take it from someone who is a member of both." He lifts his right hand a little to put it on the table, showing the Picon Naval Academy ring on his ring finger. "But I'll tell you what. I'll ask around, see if I can find out if anyone was left onboard the Ester. I'm sure that I knew someone whose father or mother went to the Academy with the captain." That would be the Major in command of the destroyer.
"I read ya, Newton." His gaze flits to the clock momentarilly, and then back to the pilots. "Any kinda recompense I need to pay I will, even if it means it'll come out as nothing. Beyond that, I'm not too hard to find on the Vanguard, and leave don't look to be coming any time soon."
Both hands now rise as Astraea scrubs at her features. The woman takes a slow breath. "It'd be good t'know," she finally decides, words muffled behind her palms. Sitting up, she reaches for her sketchbook and pencils. "I gotta go." No explanation is given and her food is abandoned as she rises to her feet. "See y'all in th'bunks." And then she's off. Maybe to find elsewhere to work on her drawing.
Van nods to each in turn, "I'll see if I can find out as soon as possible, before we ship them back, and then I'll let you know. Stay sharp, we've all got your backs, just like we know that you've got ours." With that encouraging nod and a faint smile, he pushes up too.