2237-07-22 - What Of Your Gods?

After Islesboro, Astraea catches up with Alain in the temporary barracks. She's saved a cot for him and has questions about Ares... after they get sidetracked.

Date: 2237-07-22

Location: Biscayne Hangar

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 300

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One of the last ones in by nature of having to pick up two downed Viper pilots, Astraea is also one of the last to return to the berthings. She's got food in hand, but is freshly bathed. Deliver her injured to sickbay to be checked out (or at least to the hands of the medics), hit the showers, then swing through the Mess Hall. The galley had been opened since the entire ship had its fighting corps disgorged for the battle and was (and still is) a nigh madhouse for hungry pilots and marines to deal with a need for protein after a battle hard fought (and won).

The Raptor pilot, however, was in search of more quiet surroundings. With her hair freshly free of braids, in sweatpants and a Caprica Academy tank, she seeks out the more quiet surroundings of the barracks. Specifically, another pilot's bunk. She's circling towards Alain's own berthing, in search of the Gemenese pilot as she eats a sandwich; a plate with a few other items balanced in her other hand.

Alain rolls Piloting-4: Success (6 4 2 2 2 2 1)

Post-combat can be a difficult time for any pilot, perhaps doubly so after a near-miss. It's not his best landing, but he manages it in one piece, all the same. It's habit, perhaps, that sees Jigger inspecting the state of his viper -- not great, judging by the talking-to he gets from one of the deck crew. Granted, after the talking-to, he gets a thankful hug from the woman -- who turns out to be from Picon with family in Islesboro. Tired, and hair-flattened, he heads for a shower, then towards his bunk, looking like he's not sure whether he wants to eat, sleep -- or both at once. His brain is clearly not engaged yet, since when he sees Astraea nearby, all he says is, "Nova?"

For a long moment, Astraea just stands in front of Alain's bunk as she debates where to check next. He wasn't in the mess. The lounge, perhaps? Or the chapel? The sandwich she's eating is consumed as she mulls the options. The woman is about to set off for one or the other when she hears him speak her name. At first, she starts to offer the plate, but that's set aside on the bunk beneath his instead temporarily instead so she can take a few steps forward to put her arms around him in a hug. "Saw ya go after that one Raptor." Likely when he tried to cut it off, just before she was called to go pick up Farm Boy. "Not th' smartest thing." There's a hint of a smile in her voice, all the same.

Alain's reaction is surprise, mostly, in response to that hug, but he does, after a moment, wrap an arm around her and return it with a somewhat dimmed grin. "Banshee had my back," he says, in a manner that's meant to be reassuring. In his mind, it probably is. "How's Farmboy and Jar?" he asks, while his stomach growls. Hm. He slants an eye towards that sandwich. "You know... better eat that before it leaves crumbs everywhere. Arda is pretty fierce," he says, ruefully.

It was a much further ride 'home' than expected for all of them. Which meant longer to bathe. Longer to get wounded to where they could be checked out. And longer to retrieve food or find places to settle. Astraea's grabbed some of her things from the ship, like most probably have, and has found a place in the new 'makeshift barracks.' It's there she sort of hovers and waits. For someone in particular. She's stuffing her face with a sandwich and those that have come and gone (mostly to drop things off before going to get food or to explore the starport) have been nigh-pounced by the Scorpian as she waits and paces.

Post-combat can be a difficult time for any pilot, perhaps doubly so after a near-miss. Not returning home to the Vanguard makes it worse, somehow. He manages to find a change of clothes and the showers, at least -- so that's something after a tough battle in a hot cockpit -- and he's almost looking human. He does look exhausted, though, as he walks into the makeshift barracks, casting about for the nearest unclaimed bunk to, well, claim. At least until he spots Astraea, anyway, angling towards her. "Nova?" It's a question and greeting all in one.

There is a cot and Astraea points, helpfully, to it. "Not taken." Sure, it's next to the one she's claimed. It's probably planned, but she's not going to admit to that right here and now. What she is going to do, however, is step in to meet him and hug him. It's a fierce sort of hug; the grateful kind of thing. He wasn't shot down and they both made it through that mess. A basestar. The vanguard being damaged. Two of their own going down. Cylon-flown Raptors. "Saw ya go after that one Raptor," she mutters. "Not th' smartest thing."

After a moment, Alain eases closer. He hasn't anything to put on the cot to claim it, so doesn't. His reaction is surprise, mostly, in response to that hug, but he does, after a moment, wrap an arm around her and return it with a somewhat dimmed grin. "Banshee had my back," he says, in a manner that's meant to be reassuring. In his mind, it probably is. "How's Farmboy and Jar?" he asks, while his stomach growls.

Leaning a bit into his arm, Astraea takes a bit of comfort from his embrace. When he mentions Aubrey, however, she does lean back with a bit of a sigh. "Right. She's... yeh, she's always there, ain't she." She swallows, looking back to her cot. There's some food, stacked up. Grabbed from where the makeshift galley was getting people fed, post-combat. She picks up a sandwich, thrusting it out to him. "They got on my bird of their own accord an' medics grabbed 'em up soon as I landed. Wasn't gonna get in the way. No one seemed too grim, so I think they'll both make it."

Alain releases her, not trying to conceal his furrow of brow at her reaction to his mention of Aubrey. "She's my wingmate," he says, like it should be obvious. "Been through a lot together." He looks grateful when she pushes the sandwich in his direction, taking a bite, chewing and swallowing before he manages, "Thanks, Nova," with a smile. He looks relieved at her mention of the other two pilots. "That's good to hear. Last thing we need is another MIA." He takes another bite, glances around, then back to her, "I guess we're going to be hear a while, till they find us another bird."

"She's also got th'hots for ya," Astraea points out, grimacing faintly as she gives word to it. "I mean, y'all work so well t'gether, why wouldn't y'all wanna be like Cherry an' Farm Boy?" She looks down at her feet, trying to fight against the flush she can feel at her cheeks. This is not how she wanted this to go. Not at all. She lifts a hand, scrubbing the heel of her palm at one cheek as she finally looks up at him. "Or 'til they fix th'Vanguard, but it sounds like most of our birds ain't flyin' either. Funny, yeh? Fer once I come back wit' onna th' few operational ones."

She takes a deep breath, looking away as she tries to collect herself. "I... I wanted ta ask somethin'. Uh, 'bout religion. If, that was okay."

There's a mix of emotions that cross Alain's face, before he settles on a long exhale that might be a sigh. "That doesn't stop her being able to have my back when I need it." He takes another bite of the sandwich, but does so slowly, maybe to give him some more time. He glances at her, aware of her flushed face, before he turns attention to the rest of the barracks, as if to give her some semblance of privacy, however momentary. "My bird wasn't looking too good when I left," he admits. "Think there's going to be a lot of bored pilots around here very soon..." it's her latter question that surprises him, brow going up. "Of course." He gestures, as if to say, go on.

Moving the few things on the cot she's claimed aside, Astraea sits down. The food she's grabbed is picked up also and deposited in her lap. She sort of gestures to the space next to her in offer that Alain can join her if he wants. She follows that up with an offer of another sandwich before she starts unwrapping one for herself. "I'd been wonderin'... why Ares?" After she asks, she looks up. Most of the blush that had begun to darken her cheeks further is already gone, though a hint remains. "If... if it's too personal a question, just lemme know."

Using the offer of a new sandwich to finish off the current one, Alain sits down after a moment, accepting the fresh food. He's silent for a moment, not surprised or reticent, just picking his words carefully. "Ares... has always called to me. I grew up listening to stories of all the Gods, but whenever I heard his stories, they spoke to me. My family's always served the Gods. Always will... in one way or another," he says, after a pause. He glances sidelong at her, curiosity obvious in his expression as he chews and swallows.

There's a slow nod as he explains and Astraea offers a small smile Alain's way. "It's just... I mean, y'know how rare it is. Someone from Gemenon even bein' part of the fleet. I know y'all respect all th' gods, but I always thought mebbe Ares would be seen as..." She purses her lips, "it's hard to say. He seems to glorify war more than I would think most of your people would like, I guess." She looks over at him and grimaces slightly, "I'm sorry. I'm... I don't mean to be disrespectful an' I'm sorry if I am. I just wanna understand."

Alain shakes his head, slowly. "It's not disrespectful to ask questions, to have a curiosity." He lowers the sandwich into his lap, as he says, "Each of the Gods have different facets. And, in many ways, they are a reflection of aspects of us, and vice versa. To deny that to war is in our heritage would be doing us all a disservice. Still," he grimaces, gaze briefly distant, "Reconciling Ares' nature with the peaceful nature of Gemenon was the major reason I felt compelled to leave. I needed to serve Ares, still, but I couldn't do it on Gemenon."

Biting at her lip briefly, Astraea looks at the unwrapped sandwich in her lap. She's torn off a bit to eat, but she hasn't yet touched the rest. "I'm sorry you had to do that," she says quietly, finally. "I know a lotta folks lost family, but..." She looks over to him, brow furrowed in sympathy. "I... know what it's like t'hafta leave. If... y'ever wanna talk about it, I'm here. I dunno what they thought or iff'n ya can go back or whatever, but if ya ever need someone, Alain-" She shrugs, but takes a breath, looking back to her sandwich before picking half up. "For what it's worth. I think you do right by Ares. Especially days like today."

"Why?" Alain asks, quickly. "I'm not sorry. It's what I was meant to do. My father was upset for a time, but my mother finally convinced him it was the right path for me. I write to them a lot, though I can always tell it's mother's voice, never father's, responding." He gestures with his nearly-eaten sandwich, "When you think about it, that's just normal family problems. It's nothing like here -- hearing some of the stories, being close to people with family here and elsewhere that are hit with war." After chewing the rest of the sandwich for a moment, he gives her a very smile. "Thanks, Nova," he replies, presumably on both counts. "I'm hoping, if we're going to be here for a bit, maybe we can find some other way to pitch in. Not sure what, though," he says, through a yawn. "Maybe I'll sleep on it a bit."

"Oh." Astraea looks a bit flustered again, looking away. Her hands shake a bit, but she stalls them by grabbing at the pants she's wearing by her knees. "I... just assumed. I- I sorta had to leave. Without... anyone knowin'- like- uhm." She shakes her head quickly, looking back to him with a smile that's clearly forced. "That's my fault. I shouldn't've assumed like that an' I'm sorry. I'm glad yer mother understood, at least. That's good. An' from all I hear, Gemenon is still largely ignored by th' Cylons, so they're alright, yeh?" She takes a deeper breath, sitting up straighter. "I'm sure they'll find a way ta keep us busy. We're th'Timber Wolves. Can't leave pilots like us just sittin' around. They'll get us out there workin' somehow, else we'll be gettin' ourselves into trouble. Can't have that."

Dusting crumbs off his pants and onto the floor, Alain gives a wry, reassuring smile. "They're fine, yes. I'm grateful I don't have to worry about them. I can only imagine what it's like for those fighting above their homes, knowing their families are down below." He's silent a moment, glancing away across the barracks as a pair of marines walks past. "Wonder how they made out. Heard a couple of raptors took off for Biscayne Bay after we bugged out." He glances back at Astraea, grinning. "Oh, I'm sure we can find a way to keep ourselves occupied... but you're probably right. Brass knows better than to leave us unattended." He gives another yawn, grimaces, and apologies, "Sorry. Long day. Might see if I can get some shuteye. Thank for the sandwiches... and the talk." He pushes to his feet and strides across the few paces to the empty bunk next to hers.

"There were... situations every so often over Scorpia," Astraea offers in a quiet voice. "Never a lot. It's been relatively quiet there, y'know? An' never anythin' over Argentum, thankfully, but it... it makes somethin' in yer blood boil. You can feel it through your veins." She looks down at her hands, flexing them. "I've only fought there an' here. It's a different sort of adrenaline, I think. Both sorts make me feel alive, but in diff'rent ways." She takes a deep breath, looking up at him as he stands. There's a small smile for the man. "At th' least, we can mebbe find some time to decide where you want that tattoo. Work on it a bit if I can get my gear off the ship."

"Sounds like a plan," Alain says, as he settles onto the bunk. Creaaaak. He shucks his boots, then stretches out fully clothed, throwing a hand over his eyes. Like a true ex-marine, doesn't take him long to get to sleep. It really has been some kind of day.


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