There's a new arrival to the Wolves. She didn't quite get her paperwork done yet...
Location: Mess Hall
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 281
1800 hours and all's quiet in the Mess Hall. Two Viper pilots are considering the relative merits of peanut-flavored protein bars vis-a-vis chocolate-flavored protein bars by the snack counter. A deckhand sways in time to a beat audible only through her bone-white headphones while she gyrates around a broom doing double-duty as a guitar. And a small woman wearing Marine fatigues sits alone at one edge of the room's hexagonal tables. With a banana in one hand and a pen in another, Corporal Camila Ines Aiuru de Silva -- yes, that's her full name, as evinced by the approximately seventy thousand pages of indoc paperwork in front of her -- is busily signing her life away to the Colonial Fleet.
When one thing is off, everything is off. Right now, everything is off for one of the members of the Timber Wolves recon unit. One Corporal Charlotte Wagner is not quite operating at full capacity and it likely shows... at least to those in the know. To anyone outside of the squadron of enlisted and officers that work as an 'elite' SpecOps unit within the Colonial Fleet taking up space on the ship, she's just another pesky marine underfoot. In BDUs and dual-tanks, the off-duty sniper is kicking the proverbial can. She circles into the Mess and overhears the pilots, scoffing absently at the pair of them as she does: "Both are just flavored sand."
And then it's off to peruse the coffee pots. Time to find which one is most fresh. Just so happens to be mere feet from where Camila goes through forms in triplicate.
Camila spits out the pen cap on which she's been chewing. Dark eyes linger on the title of her current tormentor -- MC-O-0183a ("ONBOARDING: Declaration of Colonial Citizenship; Employment Status; Dependents") -- for the second or two it takes her to realize that what the other Marine has, she now wants. With a grunt pitched somewhere between resignation and disgust, she kicks back her chair and drops her pen. The pilots look up with disapproving scowls ("Use your library voice, for heaven's sake"); the oblivious deckhand swings her hips indecently; and Camila gets in line behind her fellow squid, her face wrinkled in distaste. "Smells like Viper fuel," she mutters. "Some things don't change." Her banana hand cuts a path through the air for emphasis.
"Viper fuel has the added benefit of letting you see the future." Charlie has chosen her pot of coffee and pours a mug, leaving just enough room for a heap of sugar and a dash of cream. She side-steps to leave Camila the selection of Pot A or Pot B while she does the doctoring of her own mug. "That future? Sickbay. Every godsdamned time." As if she speaks from experience. The relatively short, herself, marine finally steps back with caffeine in hand and takes a careful sip from the not-quite-overfull mug before she risks it spilling somewhere (likely herself). There's a look to Camila, then to the recently-abandoned paperwork. "I'm pretty sure they don't actually read it all."
"Ha. Well, they'd better read that one." Camila smiles a tight little smile. "Big brass says this gig comes with better life insurance. They best not forget who gets the cash when the time comes to pay out." Her Standard is lilting, musical, and accented by a childhood spent on Scorpia. "How's that for morbid." The Marine sticks her banana below an armpit as she sidles past Charlie to snag herself a mug. Into that mug she pours aforementioned Viper fuel with smooth precision; exactly five seconds later, the pot's set back down on its heated platter with its handle perpendicular to the wall. "You're a Marine?" Her head jerks toward Charlie's off-duty uniform. "Nice to meet you. I'm Camila." Beat. "I'm new." Beat. "You knew that."
Speaking of Viper fuel, a Viper jock walks into the mess hall and instead of a casual pace of one that is off-duty and relaxing on his down time, his steps move with a purpose. He is most likely not going to be lounging around slowly staring at his food. There is a brief glance at the two Marines that are present, even a nod in greeting before he goes to the section where premade sandwiches, wrapped in plastic, is waiting. Grabbing a tray first, he then takes two of the sandwhiches before skipping the fruits and desserts, and also surprisingly skipping where the bottles of water wait. Instead, he is moving to the coffee station, grabbing a mug and then the pot of hot coffee.
"It's war. Morbid is required." Charlie takes another long drink of her coffee, turning more fully to face Camila. "Wagner. Corporal. Timber Wolves." She lowers the mug a measure. "New to me," she amends. "Can't say I've memorized all of the Vanguard's own marine contingent." Her own accent is fairly... non, as it were. The Piconese don't seem to have much of one; at least nothing outright notable. However, anyone who may have followed surfing competitions roughly a decade-ish back might recognize the woman's face. She was top of her game on Picon and set to go inter-colonial... before dropping out and enlisting. There's a look for the newly arrived viper as she moves a few steps back and clear further of the coffee station lest there be risk of an officer's ire. Instead, she reverses his order of operations and aims herself for the sandwiches.
"That's my new unit. Looks like you'll be seeing a lot more of me, whether you like it or not." Camila's smile turns wry. "Never lived on a ship before. It's like Itauna City all over again." The capital of Yparana Province, whose overcrowded privacy-free favelas are known to news junkies and disaster tourists across the Twelve Colonies. "You been in space much, Wagner?" she calls across the mess hall, drawing more disapproving stares from the two Viper pilots down the way. "It's frakkin' weird. Don't know where the gravity comes from but I feel, like, ten pounds lighter." Her eyes dart side-wise toward the flight-suited pilot by the coffee pots. "Not you," she amends. "You look like you've been in space whole heaps." The Marine pauses, chewing on the bottom of her lip. "Sir," she adds. Just in case.
Though the upcoming mission may call for it, Kell isn't bold enough to just take his coffee black. After pouring himself a mug, he adds two packets of sugar and then some milk before looking for a seat. The spot that the Ensign chooses isn't far from where Camilla has her paperwork set up, it is the next table over. Taking a sip of the mug of coffee, the Viper pilot winces slightly as if he isn't use to the taste but then begins to unwrap one of the sandwiches, a simple ham and cheese. Before taking a bite, Camila's clarification is tossed his way, causing Kell to glance at her with an arched brow, "Less than you would expect. My previous station was on Libran, 'LAB Citadel', this is my first posting in space."
"Never before the war," Charlie answers Camila after picking up a few sandwiches. If the glares from the other Viper pilots -- not Wolves -- bother her, she doesn't show it. Perhaps she's adapted. Likely she's adapted. The non-care of a marine used to setting off the nerves of the jocks. "Haven't lived off a ship since- well, except for that stint on Canceron. Briefly." She makes a bit of a face. That was ill-fated for the Galactica team before those that became Wolves found themselves here. The sniper moves towards the table that the newcomer is largely taking up with her paperwork, setting herself down. "You get used to it. Mostly. Still miss sunlight though."
"Shit yeah I miss sunlight. Mama kept on trying to push one of those happy lamps on me before I left. Now I know why." Camila leans into the nearby bulkhead so she can take a deep swig from her mug. Condensation drips from the tip of her nose -- the coffee is scalding hot, not that she appears to mind. She's drinking it black, to maximize the ratio of caffeine to not-caffeine. No sitting for her; she's had quite enough of paperwork for one afternoon, it appears. She's also been quite careless with the personal information she's left visible: namely, page 36 of Form MC-O-0183a, on which she's declared her colony of citizenship as ... Leonis? How peculiar. "Closest I came to real flying was jump school," Camila says to fill the ensuing silence. "Bad billet for the bus drivers and their cleanup crew. The first time we did HALO, three-quarters of my stick booted all over the deck. And they gave us meatball subs for lunch, too."
Looking back to his sandwich, Kell was about to take a nice, big bite when Camilo mentions the Marines that were training for paradrops resulted in them hurling their lunch all over the interior of the Raptor they road in. That causes him wince and furrow up his brows, the image definitely not a pleasant one. "Not the first time it has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last. Some people just aren't used to being in the sky. Especially when they're not in control." Now the Viper jock takes a bite into his sandwich, then another quick one. Time is limited.
There's a snort of amusement from Charlie as Camila shares her story. "Gotta love the ones who lose their lunch in jump school. Our jump master advised we didn't eat beforehand. Some listened. Some didn't. A few guys brought snacks with them on the Raptor." She rolls her eyes a bit. "Things got pretty damn colorful at the end." Overall, none of it seems to be affecting her appetite. Must be a marine thing. She's just settled in, found a bit of table not covered in paperwork, and begun unwrapping one of her two sandwiches after setting aside her coffee.
"Our gunny ordered us not to eat either. But girl, I am. Telling. You. MEATBALL SUBS!!" Camila's laugh is harsh and abrupt. "Tasted as good coming up as going down." Her eyes flick over from Marine to pilot to gauge the man's reaction. She can't quite hide her smirk. "Hey, that's pretty philosophical. Bet you'd be less understanding if that were your bird we wrecked. Gods I never saw Dasher so pissed." The smirk suddenly fades as her expression turns cloudy; callused fingers tighten around the rim of her mug. Quick; time to change the subject. "Been with the unit long? Who's cool and who's crazy? Other than -- " She makes a vulgar gesture at the pile of forms she's avoiding. "Other than the squinch-assed el-tee who wants all that signed before the graveyard shift."
This is not going to be a very delicious meal, especially with Camila recounting just how delicious her meatball sub was after tasting it twice. It suddenly feels like the Marine ran over his stomach, then put the truck in reverse and ran over it again. But he must eat so Kell forces himself to take another bite, washing some of it down with coffee. "Oh, the Raptor pilots and deckies that had to clean up were plenty pissed. Back on Libran, I had a friend that flew the Raptor dedicated to Marine training. Had one /really/ frakked up instructor that would feed his Marines a nice, big meal from the mess and tell them they will have the rest of the day off. Then towards the end of the meal, announce a sudden change of plans. Jump training." Shaking his head, the Ensign remembers how much his friend bitched at him about days like that.
"Well, I've been here since the Wolves began," Charlie offers, finishing half of one sandwich and going for the next. Nope, her appetite is still perfectly intact. The rest of her? Maybe not so much. She looks like she didn't get enough sleep; dark circles under her eyes and her braids look slightly unkempt. "Was with the initial crew of the Galactica, as well. There's a few of us knocking around here." Which marks her, then, as one of the 'old guard' on board, if one could call part of the Wolves taking up precious space on the Vanguard that. She looks over to Kell, taking in the state of the pilot. "Hey-" she squints. "You're that pilot that got show down recently, aren't you."
Whatever gibe was on Camila's lips is bitten back when the other Marine drops that bombshell. Her mouth snaps shut as she trains her unblinking gaze on the pilot's face. This'll be interesting.
Another bite, then another bite, then ano... nope, the bite stops there as does the chewing. Kell looks from his food to Charlie, surprised that she was able to link him to that incident. It's not exactly a secret but being labeled as 'that pilot that got shot down recently' is certainly a punch in the gut, especially before an important mission. "Yeah, I'm that guy. Was downed on the wrong side of Paran City when the Cylons made their push." The Viper jock sees no point in lying or trying to be evasive about it. It happened.
It's what happens when everyone bunks together. Word gets around! Faces get partially remembered! Charlie squints at Kell as he explains. She shakes her head slightly, picking up her mug for a long drink. "Lucky you made it back," she explains, after she swallows. "Unlucky more that you didn't land somewhere nice." There's a glance over to Camila, features tilting into something mildly sympathetic. "Poor time to be transferred in. Picon's... not an easy theater. Not by a long shot. It's hard down there."
"Mmrf," is all Camila has to say, at least at first. Her expression softens incrementally as she weighs her next words, although the mess hall's harsh light does little for her angular features. "Hey, no judgment, but sometimes it just looks like you made it back in one piece." She pushes herself off the bulkhead to tap the pilot in the shoulder with a fist, to the extent he lets her. "Me, I go wild on the gun range. Like therapy, but you don't have to talk to anyone you don't want to. Just saying." And with tacit invitation given, she chugs the rest of her coffee and sets her used mug on a tray -- in front of which she pauses momentarily to rearrange the mugs so all their handles are lined up the right way. Then she walks toward Charlie and her papers, her footsteps coming slower than usual. "Well," she says after a long pause. "Good hunting." Targets one through six thousand: forms, in triplicate, embossed with the new Colonial seal. Because unification changes everything and nothing.
Gobbling up the first sandwich, Kell begins to unwrap the second. "Very lucky I would say. Wasn't exactly a stroll in the park. And I would've preferred to land on a pre-war Picon beach resort." The Ensign then glances to Camila and a thin smile is offered, "I feel like I'm in one piece. But I guess only time will tell." Then he's digging into his second sandwich, eating at a faster pace after glancing briefly at the clock. Each second ticking away is closer to the recon flight to try to get good data on where the missing Timberwolves may be by Havison.
"Pre-war beach resorts were pretty great," Charlie agrees, flashing a smile over to Kell. A tired smile, but a smile nonetheless. "I could do with one right about now, myself." She's working on her second sandwich, as well. Just slower than the first; her initial hunger sated. "Ground isn't easy. Even most of the marines don't spend more than a day down there."
A smirk actually appears as Kell nods his head in agreement, "I think we can all use one right now. Picon is /rough/, Canceron was nothing compared to this current theater." Another bite and then one more, the second sandwich, a roast beef one, is polished off. "Wasn't by choice and it was a bit stressful, I have to admit. You can never get a full rest in, you jump at the slightest sounds sometimes. And when you see the Cylon patrols, your heartrate starts pumping." Crumpling up the two plastic wrappings up into a ball, Razor reaches for his mug and begins draining the rest of his coffee.
"Were you on Canceron the first time?" Charlie finishes her sandwich, leaning back with her coffee. "Well... when things went awry? Not just when we were supplementing the base there. That was a walk in the park. Nice open barracks. A lounge that was damn near a restaurant. A town we could get weekend passes to." She looks almost wistful, if one can manage that in war. There's a nod for his explanation of things, lips tilting into a moue. "You experienced about what a long-term recon mission is, albeit with fewer supplies. Always on edge. Always moving. Even a well-scouted layover for a night's rest can be frakked over by an unknown patrol. Shit ain't easy and not everyone can manage."
Shaking his head, Kell says, "I transferred in right before the Vanguard departed for Canceron. So it would be the second trip, I am guessing." When his trek across Paran City suburbs and back towards friendly lines is compared to a long-term recon mission, the Viper pilot looks surprised and then somewhat thoughtful. "Was certainly out of my element but I do owe my training back home on Libran for making it all the way through without losing my head. Did quite a bit of wilderness training in colder climates when becoming a reservist back home." Another long drink and the mug of coffee is drained. About time to depart.
"The first was on the Galactica, so you got to miss the fun." Charlie offers it in a droll tone that implies it was likely anything but. And she got out before the worst of things, at that. She looks down to her mug, pushing to her feet before making her way to the coffee pot for a refill. "Aren't most pilots trained to stay with their ship? So the signal can be found? So whatever training you had dd serve you well. I had... a lot of survival training in a lot of climates before the war. I've wondered if I shouldn't offer to start... teaching people some of it, but I'm not sure where to begin. Teaching isn't really my-" she wiggles her fingers a bit. "thing."
There is a light sigh at the mention of Galactica from Kell, "Yeah, my original transfer orders were for the Galactica. Then when my flight in was delayed because of that attack on the Shipyards, I got shuffled to this Cutter." There may be initial regrets at losing out on one of the best postings, any of it is gone now after flying with the Timberwolves. "We stay with our birds when we bail over friendly territories or if the skies are clear for immediate evac. Unfortunately, when I went down, there was a Cylon light cruiser right above me and the toasters were shoving a counter-offensive down the throats of the frontline. I watched Paran City get overrun from a distance and had to move. I'm sure they already sent patrols out towards where my Viper went down." With that said, the Ensign rises to his feet and picks up his tray, ready to dispose it, "If you do wish to share your training, I am sure that Major Stirling would be more than willing to listen. I have to go prep for my mission, we received permission to do a quick flyover Havison, to try to find those that went missing in Havison."
"I'd have to run it by my brass first," Charlie points out, making a bit of a face. Is she really volunteering to do more work? But then it might keep people alive. The woman scrubs a hand over her face, breathing out in a small sigh. She lifts the mug for a long drink. "Good luck. It'd be good to see Rhodes back. I've known her since this all began."