Cate, Isolde, Tavo, and their new civilian companions pass around sparse supplies and talk.
Location: Havison, Picon
Related Scenes: 2237-07-18 - Of Family And Fingers
Scene Number: 287
Ghost town doesn't even begin to describe Havison. Ghost towns are usually just abandoned, and at least have something growing there. Havison has not only suffered through combat and occupation, but it's only been out of Picon hands for a relatively short period, which means that the vegetation hasn't had a chance to grow up to proper jungle heights. Instead, the shrubbery is just a little shaggy, the yards a little above homeowners' association regulation.
And then there's that one house. There's one in every neighborhood. There was a piece of plywood over the front window before the Cylons arrived, and the grass was already at least a foot long, growing up around a kid's sandbox and a variety of push-cars and even a rickety swing set. Inside, the furniture is second- or third-hand, and there wasn't a whole lot to loot in the first place, so it's pretty much intact. The plywood window also means that you can move around without alerting any Cylons that might be walking down the street in front.
Five civilians, two Marines, and one ECO. It's an eclectic group, the civilians looking worn and hungry, having been on the run far longer than the military personnel. They're huddled around the last cans of food collected by the Colonials, Tavo having passed around his waterpack to help choke down some truly horrendous canned bread.
Isolde has been resting, and slowly eating away at Cate's morpha supply -- as much as the medic would allow at least. Her hand is still heavily wrapped, and she has not had the courage to mention that she can't feel her last two fingers, assuming that it will all be okay once they are rescued. She is currently sitting on the ground beside the couch with her can of plain navy beans, and she keeps offering a bean to a brown wild rat that has been stalking the soldiers and civilians once they came into its abode. "Just one more, and then I have to eat the rest by myself," she informs the rat before she offers it one more bean, which it takes from her fingers and darts away to hide behind a mostly empty bookcase to eat it.
"You know, I hear there's good eating on those things," Tavo teases Isolde, sitting slumped against an interior wall. He has the can of 'bread' in front of him, and is poking at the last of it with the point of his knife. Working his jaw and poking at his teeth with his tongue, he frowns, "I'm pretty sure that bread was rat-food to start with." Still, he glances to the civilians, and passes over can and knife alike to the nearest of them, a woman who looks to have come down from 'comfortably soft' to 'waif-thin' since the Cylons arrived.
Cate has been apologetically rationing the morpha, but at least she pilfered another bottle of motrin during one of their forays out to get food. The doctor looks exhausted, having only slept in fits and spurts during their time here. Today she finally ditched her tattered and bloody uniform shirt for a looted cotton t-shirt that hangs loosely over her frame, a little big for her. She's leaning against a wall, quietly watching. "Are you actually feeding that thing?" she asks Isolde, arching an eyebrow.
Curled up next to Cate, dozing against her shoulder, is the little girl they rescued, who's become Cate's little shadow. She still hasn't said a word, not even her name, but that hasn't stopped the pair of them from bonding.
"You eat Mister Whiskers, and I'm gonna retaliate in ways you can't even imagine." Isolde narrows her eyes on Tavo before she tosses a look back to the bookcase just as the rat peeks its head back into view. She eats another spoonful of beans. "Don't worry, Whisk... I won't let T.S.S. eat you." She chews through her bite before she looks at Cate, and she shrugs a bit. "We all gotta eat, and he doesn't seem to want much." Her gaze settles on the kiddo tucked up against Cate, and she smiles. "I think I've been replaced as your BFF though, Doc."
Tavo shakes his head, "Heard it. Even on Scorpia we don't get that desperate." There's a pause, and then he admits, "At least not in my part." It's not a boast, but rather a more sober realization that there are some parts of the colony where rat may indeed be on the menu. He turns his head over to the medic at the ECO's smiling words, chuckling softly, "Yeah. The one mission I forget to bring the bag of candy." The big man leans his head back against the wall, "First thing you're gonna do when you get back to friendly lines?"
"Lords, she named it," Cate mumbles teasingly. Then she squints. "T.S.S.?" Oh then it dawns on her. "The Staff Sergeant?" That gets a brief little snicker, which is accompanied by a wince. A tiny smirk is offered to Isolde's last comment. "Think you've got a little competition." The kid snoozes on, oblivious. She stays quiet at Tavo's game, even as some of the other civilians chime in with their answers.
"Yes. Nicknames are very important amongst us crazy Air Wingers... so now T.S.S. has been dubbed." She flashes a wry smile to Tavo before she offers another small beany morsel to the rat that sneaks out just within reach, seizes his bean, and runs for the bookcase again. She glances back over toward Cate. "I'm really bad at jealousy, too. I'll mope in the corner." When Tavo asks after what she plans to do, she shrugs. "Hot shower, hot food, and probably," and she blushes slightly, "spending time with the boyfriend." Or fiance. Whatever.
"Hot shower," says one of the civilians. "Twelve hours of sleep," says another. "Mani-pedi," says one man, to blinks from several of the others and an un-self-conscious shrug back. The last says, "Hot food that doesn't come from a can," is the final answer from the civilians.
Tavo nods at Cat's assumption on the title, "I figure I'm being paid back for calling Ensign Asa 'The Ensign.'" He listens to each of the responses, nodding slowly at Isolde's in particular and using his (relatively) uninjured right arm to shift his lean against the wall. "All sounds pretty good to me." He gives Manny the mani-pedi man a sidelong glance, "Haven't tried that sort of recovery though. Me, I guess I'm looking forward to toilet paper." He grins broadly, then shakes his head, "Naw. I mean, I am. But how about a nice soft bed I actually fit in. Even if I'll have to wait for that a bit longer."
"Well, you're a better conversationalist. She's cuter though." Cate offers a wan smile to her friend, a rare sight on her face these days. The smile fades to a more concerned look down at the sleeping child. "And it's fiancee, Iz. Don't demote poor Newton." After Tavo's comment, she chimes in, "I think you'd have more chance of that down here than in the bunks." This house they've crashed in at least has a couple bedrooms. Cate deflates a little then, the bout of good humour short-lived when she thinks about the ship and how very far away it feels.
"Great. I've been given the nice personality award." Isolde is all smiles as she converses with her friend, and then she snorts slightly at the reminder. "Okay. I won't. As long as he gives me a hot sandwich the moment we see each other again." And she's not even meaning for that to come across the least bit dirty. She does look toward Tavo then at Cate's smart response, and she laughs slightly. "Yeah. I bet there's a nice bed upstairs, T.S.S." She catches Cate's deflating, and she offers the woman a smaller smile.
The mention of 'fiancee' draws Tavo's eyebrows up, and his "Congratulations," is added to several others from the civilians. He does, however, have to press his lips together to stifle a comment about how dirty the request from the ECO could be, a faint hint of red touching his cheeks as he glances down. The big man nods acceptance at Cate's note, chuckling -- and then wincing a little through the pleasantly-light haze of motrin. "Yeah. Probably is a bed up there. But I'm in no position to enjoy it. Suppose I should've been more specific. I'll just keep looking forward to liberty over Scorpia then. Whenever that happens."
Cate isn't above making the dirty joke, though it sounds forced. "Hot sandwich. Is that what they're calling it these days?" Her brow creases there for a second, but then she's distracting herself from unwelcome thoughts by mother-henning Tavo. "You could go up and rack out for a while, you know. We'll wake you up if there's trouble." Though the trouble will probably wake him up all on its own.
The congratulations causes the ECO to smile and nod her thanks. But then Cate responds, and appropriately, Isolde blushes and throws something at the medic -- a bit of trash, nothing hard nor significant. Then she shakes her head and settles back into the couch as Mister Whiskers re-emerges looking for beans. "Sorry friend, all out. You'll need to ask someone else." She flashes a smile toward Cate before she sinks her head back. "If you don't take up the offer, I'm gonna." She looks sidelong to Tavo now.
Cate's joke appears to be permission for Tavo to chuckle again, holding his shoulder this time to make sure that he doesn't jostle it. He accepts his knife back from one of the civvies, wiping the blade off on the filthy leg of his camo pants and then sheathing it sideways again at the small of his back. "Haven't heard any of those rumors going around yet. Sandwiches, that is." And again, he blushes a little, even if he extended the joke himself. Shaking off Cate's offer, he waves to Isolde and then Cate in turn, "Why don't you two crash out if you can find a big enough bed? I got like... what... four solid last night?" Solid-ish. "Tomorrow we can start looking for a good LZ and trying to catch the right kind of attention."
"I'm already being used as a pillow," Cate points out, gesturing at the little girl. "You go, Iz." She looks at the other civilians. "I'm sure there's more than one bed up there too if anyone else wants to rest. We'll stand guard," she promises.
"I'm not even going to argue." Isolde pulls herself up to her feet as her rat friend runs back to hide somewhere. She yawns wide, showing her teeth and tongue and then she sighs heavily. She rubs at her hand, looking over the bandaged limb. Then she smiles to the civilians, two of whom take Cate up on the idea. The three start for the stairs, Isolde taking the rear. She glances to Cate, smiles, and offers her friend a small head-bob before she gives Tavo a really god-awful salute. "T.S.S., Doc." Then she heads up the stairs.
Tavo smiles at Cate's predicament, "Just means you've got to return the favor, Doc." At the haphazard salute, Tavo groans and shakes his head, "C'mon, sir. You've got to know that you salute second..." Still, he sounds like he's teasing, and he shakes his head. After a moment, he looks over to Cate, "I'll seriously take first watch, Doc. You've been watching over us as hard as all of us have been watching out for Cylons. Need to keep you sharp in case one of us screws up real bad."
Cate snorts softly at the exchange between the other two. She nods to Isolde and watches her friend disappear up the stairs before offering to Tavo. "Iz started off a Specialist, before she transferred to the air squad. Think the whole officer thing is still pretty new to her." The two remaining civilians wander off to the kitchen, leaving the marines alone (save for the snoozing kid). She nods slightly to his offer. "Yeah, thanks, but... it's just hard to sleep." She hitches a shoulder, uncomfortable at the admission. Given their close quarters over the past week, he's probably noticed how many of her short naps end with a jolt instead of a smooth awakening.
Tavo nods, "Yeah. I saw her out in the field back on Galactica. My first mission onboard. Good reactions. Solid tech. Flew plenty good enough to get a junked Raptor back to the ship." The mention of the sleeplessness draws a slow nod, "Yeah. Seems like you get 'elite specops' types together," the air quotes are quite audible, even if they aren't mimed, "you get a whole bunch of people who don't sleep so well. I know Rothschild has some pretty good insomnia, and a couple of other Marines too."
"Oh. Right." Cate frowns at her self. "Forgot you were there." Blaming the mistake on the fog in her brain, she sighs and rubs her face with a bandaged hand. "Gods, I'm tired Sarge. Wasn't this bad on the ship, but down here... having to be on our guard all the time." Her lips thin. "Reminds me of when I was down here before. Anyway." Another sigh. "The rumours true? You and Roths?"
The complaint gets a weary grunt of absolute agreement from Tavo, "Yeah. Having to be 'on' all the time. Drains you." And then he freezes a little at the question that follows, looking down and clearing his throat, "We're friends." There's some evasion there. "Haven't you heard all the journos' stories about her and Eshfield? Now that's the CapCity Romance the masses want."
Cate catches that freeze, and the evasion. She shakes her head, hitching one shoulder since the other one's occupied. "None of my business," she backpedals somewhat apologetically. "Eshfield's hot. The Stingers missed him in the finals."
Tavo shifts against the wall again, "Eh. Shrimp never learned the power game." To most people, Eshfield is not a shrimp. Truthfully, he's not really a shrimp even to Tavo. "And yeah. We did." He's one of those fans, who include themselves with the team, apparently, "And de la Cruz and Sacres. Finals were some shit pyramid." There's a pause, and then he asks, "You really think he's hot?" He may have taken that wrong, "I always thought he kind of looked like a <<entitled asshole who thinks he's better than everyone because he's good at one thing>>." Thankfully, Scorpian has a single word for all of that. "Acted like he owned the place when he came to University on a recruiting trip."
"Shrimp? Isn't he like six feet tall?" Cate could well be mixing him up with someone else. Another one-arm shrug responds to the question about his hotness. "Yeah? I mean, I dunno, it's not like I ever met him or anything. Maybe he's one of those guys who's such a jerk it ruins it." She rubs her face again. "Only CPL player I ever got close to was Sid Cooper. And he was a little busy being gunned down by Cylons to sign autographs." The grim words are accompanied by a weary sigh.
Tavo shrugs a little awkwardly with his good shoulder at the question, "Yeah. Maybe a touch over." He grunts thoughtfully at the description of Eshfield, nodding slowly, "Well shit. Guess that's fair though. Could have also been that whole eighteen-year-old thing. I mean, we're all assholes when we're eighteen, right?" His brows start to rise, "Man, Cooper was..." and then the grim comes in, and he grunts like someone just smacked him in the gut, "Yeah. That'd wipe some of the shine off. Who knows, maybe they'll transfer Eshfield, de la Cruz, Sacres, Lindus, or one of the other pros who enlisted to the Vanguard and you'll get a chance to get an autograph."
"Guess it's a teenager thing." Cate shrugs it off. The grimness lingers, her jaw set in an unhappy line that not even the not even the thought of famous pyramid players can undo. Not when she still hasn't bought into the whole 'getting back' thing. "Yeah, maybe."
"Just my luck, they'll all be <<entitled assholes who think they're better than everyone because they're good at one thing>>." Tavo's fatalism is resigned to other things besides never getting back to the Vanguard for now. "Hey. Check your eyes for leaks if you can, Doc. I'll let you know when the neighborhood watch shows up."
Cate snorts lightly when he remarks on luck, but says nothing about the pyramid players. The suggestion to check her eyes gets a puzzled look, then she nods. "Oh. Yeah, okay." She'll try at some point. For now though, she's content to lapse into a grim silence.