A couple of Wolves talk disciplinary actions in the aftermath of the bar brawl in Caprica.
Location: Argyros Naval Air Station Brig Lobby.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 508
Some time has passed since they were transported back to the base. Already, a handful of their fellow Wolves have been taken out to give their statement. The lobby isn't very flash -- there's a handful of uncomfortable looking benches around the edges, a sink for water, and not much else. Gage is not one of the Wolves lucky enough to depart yet, though. There's a definitely dark-purply bruise beginning to show along the marine's jaw. Good news is whatever cut he has in his mouth has stopped bleeding, and the cut on his arm has slowed enough to a slight trickle that he's not bleeding all over anything. He's lying on his back on the floor, smoking. The smoking is earning a grimace, though, probably because of his jaw, but he seems otherwise happy enough.
The floor is clearly the superior place to be, though Ines is sitting -- for now -- with her back in the corner, knees up and angled together, her elbows resting atop, forearms and hands left to dangle. Eyes lidded, she listens to the smattering of conversation that circles the room and the occasional dulcet sounds of someone being sick in the lockup section.
Some thought or other eventually inspires her to ask a question, and she stretches out one foot briefly to nudge Tomak's boot so he knows who it is that she's speaking to. "Have you been in the brig before?"
And out from the interrogation rooms walks Charlie. She has no cigarettes -- those had to be left with Gage -- as she does, but she does have an ice pack. One side of her face is pretty much just a mass of bruising. The sniper's done with her interviews and she makes her way over to where Tomak lies and plunks herself down to sit next to him. She prods the engineer in the shoulder, holding the pack to her face with her other hand. "Gimme a cigarette." Though she doesn't smoke on missions (it's no good as a sniper), she does tend to when out drinking. And tonight qualifies as a 'definitely need to smoke' situation. There's a lift of her chin to Ines. "They talked to you yet?"
Gage's attention shifts from the roof (there's nothing exciting there -- but maybe he was counting the tiles) -- to Ines. "Me? Nah. I've a spotless record and I'm a stellar rolemodel." Even if he weren't putting it on so thick it'd be easy enough to tell from his wry sarcasm -- not to mention the fact that he's entirely at ease about being here -- that he's lying. "Wagner'll vouch for me," he adds, with a brief grin that quickly turns into another grimace. He shifts -- just enough -- so that he can pull the packet from his pocket and offer it to Charlie.
The look of absent curiosity turns into an exasperated roll of the eyes. "Please! Maybe I was giving you credit for being able to avoid getting caught."
She glances up when she hears the door open, as she has every time it opened, and this time she winces openly in sympathy. Is still wincing when she shakes her head in answer to the question she's asked. "Not yet." Pale eyes track to the door as someone else passes through it going the other way and it closes again. Her brow ticks up as she looks at Charlie. "How was it?"
The pack is accepted and one of the cigarettes shaken out. Charlie pops it between her lips before tossing the pack onto Gage's abdomen. He's the one lying prone, he can deal. She does have her lighter on her and she lights up, taking a long drag before she breaks out laughing around the smoke even before she manages to exhale- in response to Ines' attempt to 'give credit' to the Tauran. This brings pain to her jaw and she winces, leaning forward as she presses the ice pack to her jaw. "Nnnn- ths guy? C'mon, if he fled the scene of every fight, how would he show pride over his work?" She's clearly teasing. As for how it went, there's a shrug. "Same as any other time. Who was there. How'd it start. Who threw the first punch. Yadda yadda. Just don't name names other than who's already here and we'll be fine." The last is said in a very low voice. Wolf solidarity.
Propping his non-injured arm under his head -- presumably so he can better see the pilot's expression -- Gage gives a low chuckle. "Aint that lucky, usually," he reflects. "Mostly deserved," he adds after exhaling a curl of smoke towards the ceiling, grinning briefly at Charlie's summation of him, before wincing again. He, too, glances towards Charlie to hear her answer to Ines' question, nothing bothering to reach for the pack that the other marine tosses onto him. "Asshole Capricans," is his offer for 'how it started', wry.
All it takes is one look at Ines to know that she's never even set foot inside of a brig, much less been sent to one. She listens to the answer to her question with just a little bit too much attentiveness, as though she might learn something about it that she didn't know. Something that might matter. She's not anxious, but she's still got the bright-eyed look of a soldier for whom this is not just a time-sink of an inconvenience.
"Mmhm. I saw a man pour his drink on the Major." Lies are easiest to tell when they consist of truths.
"I lost track of Courtois in the mess. Do you think he's alright?"
"Just tell what you saw, but leave aaaaaany of the Wolves who didn't get picked up out of it. If they press, just say... you forget who it was. Can't remember. Too drunk. Their back was to you. Shit like that. Or fill in the name of one of us who's here or in lock-up. Any one of us will take the fall before we'd see someone dragged in who got away, alright? It's part of the code." The unspoken marine code. Especially for Corporals and below. Once you pass Sergeant, things change. Charlie takes another drag on her cigarette, ashing it on the floor nearby. At the question about Geoff, she shrugs. "Sure he's fine. He's from Cap City. Probably knew a back way out or something."
Gage gives a snort. "Courtois knows this place better than anyone," he agrees with Charlie. "Bet he found another hole to go drinking in," the marine guesses. At Ines' former words, he nods easily. "That's what I saw, too," he agrees, blandly. "Caprican threw the first punch," his hand lifts to brush his jaw, "Got the evidence to prove it," he adds, wryly. His hand lowers, and he picks up the pack of cigarettes, tilting it towards the pilot with a lift of brows in silent offer.
"That's the code everywhere," Ines says with a slightly dreamy smile, small and nostalgic. "With schoolmates, siblings..." She lifts the back of her head up off of the wall to look down over her knees at what she's being offered, and one of her dangling hands lifts, palm outward, to decline. "It's going to be hard enough to keep up with the rest of you as it is."
A few moments of placid silence from her, and then: "What's the strangest thing you've ever been sent to the brig for?" One of her brows arches high, and she's very clearly aiming that question at the both of them.
"Of course a Caprican threw the first punch." Beat. "Even if they didn't." Charlie may be from Picon, one of Caprica's closest allies, but it was the Capricans who were the aggressors. She could tell that. Even if just verbally and with drinks at first. She'll defend her Wolfpack brethren 'til death. Literally in many cases. She considers Ines' question, brow furrowing. "Either... skinny dipping in the middle of the night at a hotel when I was sixteen ooooooor... the time in the Picon military when we stole a rear Admiral's sports car."
With a brief chuckle, Gage drops the packet onto the floor next to his hip. Ines' question earns a long, neutral-seeming look from the marine, a long pause like maybe he won't answer -- while he listens to Charlie's story and chuckles. After a moment, he exhales smoke and finally, he says, "Back when I was in the Tauron army, there was this marine officer, fresh out of the academy. We called him Loose Lips because he had this tendency to do this," he smacks his lips with his fingers, making a faint sound, "Whenever he was really pissed -- which was a lot. Hard for a nugget to control a bunch of marines, let alone fresh out of academy. Anyway, one morning after he'd made us do fifty laps of the base, he woke to find an inordinate amount of cockroaches'd decided to take up occupation in his room. He seemed sure I had something to do with it... no idea why." Except the faint, fleeting grin might suggest otherwise. "Spent the night in the brig. He woke up that day to find a bunch more cockroaches. Turns out whoever had the room before him left a sandwich or something under the bed. Weren't planted or nothing, I just got lucky it was an excuse for the cockroaches I did plant. Catching those suckers was worth it, though," he concludes.
Skinny dipping? That gets another dreamy little smile, and maybe the nostalgia sticks around, too. But stealing the car? Ines' eyes go wide, mouth open, and the short laugh that follows is loud enough as compared with the muted conversations going on that she lifts a hand to cover her mouth loosely. Her eyes glitter. She's about to ask a question when Gage finally decides he's going to share one of his own stories, and she listens to it with increasing wryness. She's better at keeping her laugh to herself when it hits the sandwich punchline, though.
"Where...? Where do you even find -- nevermind. I don't want to know. And the car? How? Why? What did you do with it?"
There's a laugh from Charlie at Ines' reaction- to both stories. "The car, well, all we did was move it. To the other end of the parking lot. Out of his assigned spot and clear to the far end where all the butterbars and visitors and shit had to park. Nestled it nice and neat and hidden." She's grinning big, reaching for the pack once she finishes her cigarette. The ice pack, a cheap one, has gone warm and she drops it to her lap as she lights up another one. "Sadly we'd mapped all the cameras save one new one, so they caught us and we got a few nights in the brig for it, but since we didn't actually take it off the base-" She shrugs, still grinning, "just NJPs all 'round."
"He made jokes about how we never crack a book, never learn anything. I learnt a lot about where to find cockroaches." Clearly, Gage considers a challenge more motivation than any amount of yelling (or, presumably, lip-smacking). He twitches the packet closer to Charlie when she reaches for it, while he crushes his out. He doesn't reach for another, yet, though. Who knows how long they might be in here for. "Missed a great opportunity for a joy ride, Wagner. Bet Correa would like that, she has a decent taste in cars," for a pilot, is the inferred, if unstated addition.
Such an innocent prank, the one with the car. Ines is obviously tickled, imagining it all happening as Charlie describes it, but something about it all makes her shake her head in what looks like wonder. Wonder that she makes over-dramatic when she looks at Gage again. "You're a bloody cockroach whisperer. It's not something you can put on your CV, is it?"
The allegations against her get a winsome smile, tilted toward innocent. Not convincing, though. "I used to love to drive. I would land in the brig for something like that, I think, and maybe it would be worth it."
"Well, we considered finding an engineer to cut the thing in half so we could weld it around the flag pole, but we couldn't find one in time. We knew we'd get caught if we ran around the base hollering for someone with an arc welder." Charlie just grins broadly at Gage, then casts a look towards the desk. "Think mebbe we should try that to one of their officers?" This, asked sotto voice. "Or... would that be pushing our luck too much?"
"Probably wouldn't," Gage responds to Ines' suggestion of adding to his resume, after a moment's consideration. "In case I ever have to use it again. Bit hard on a ship, granted. But one day." He pushes himself up to a seated position, crossing his legs as he glances at his arm, inspecting it for a moment. His brows go upward at Charlie's suggestion. "You think they'll let us within an inch of them after this?" He snorts. "We'll probably be running laps of the base with full kit for the rest of our time here, if I'd to guess." Because no one does physical punishment like marines.
"Cut it in half...?" Ines looks properly shocked by the suggestion. "A nice car, like that?" She tuts her disapproval, but there isn't really any substance to it, and she's quick to laugh again at Gage's response, though it turns into pointing at him, fixing him with a look. "Just remember you can't use it on us. You told us the story, now we'd know. We're immune."
Talk turns to what's going to happen after they're all released, and about that, she knows nothing. "What does the air wing do, when there's disciplinary?"
"Oh, come on, they've got to give us some time off." Charlie grins broader, turning the cigarette in her fingers. "Or we just sneak out of those lovely rooms we're in one night and do it then." She gains a wistful look at that. "It's going to be a shame when Evan and I have to return to bunks on the Dauntless." Her train of thought shifts at Ines' question and there's a shrug. "Not a clue."
"Think that'll stop me?" Gage asks, with one of those knowing sort of grins. For navy punishment, he gives a shrug. "Aint never seen 'em doing laps. Probably stop 'em flying. That'd make most viper jocks explode," he speculates, chuckling. "You got something in mind, Wagner, I'll play along." He's not that hard to convince, rubbing at his jaw again with a wince. "I don't know. Capricans have awfully soft beds."
To judge from the look on Ines' face when grounding is the answer she gets, she's probably one of the pilots he's talking about -- the sort that get itchy if they're landlocked too long.
"The beds are nice." Sighed, in agreement with Charlie. Some preferences take a lot longer than three years to change. "But to be honest, I'd like to just...go. Back to whatever passes for normal with the Wolves, so I can start to..." She lifts a hand, splaying her fingers as though she could pull the words she wanted out of the air. "...start to...get on with things. Caprica feelings like a holding pattern to me."
"I'll confer with Evan... whenever they let us go-" there's a look to the door, back to the interrogation rooms. Charlie puts out her cigarette, but doesn't go for another. "He's good with pranks. Mebbe nothing right away, but I bet we can come up with something to leave a lasting reminder about why the Wolves aren't some PR campaign." Oh, she picked up on that tidbit. For Ines, there's a knowing nod. "Most of us feel that way. I want to be back in the field, too.
To judge by Gage's twitch of lips, he doesn't miss Ines' expression. His brows go up in mute surprise for a moment at her latter words, however, before he observes, "Guess you've never actually been out with with the Wolves, other than training stuff. Must be hard. Gotta impress those other viper jocks with your," he waves his hand, vaguely, "Moxie," he finally decides. "Us marines, we're used to waiting. Waiting to be airlifted to the ground. Waiting for dark. Waiting for a patrol. Waiting for air support to save us from a tank." He chuckles. "Me, I don't mind being here." Here, the base, presumably, rather than explicitly here, outside the brig. He gives an agreeable nod towards Charlie, and opens his mouth, when, "Tomak?" with a grimace, the marine pushes to his feet after stashing a cigarette behind his ear, tossing the pack at Wagner to guard. "See you later," and he trudges off towards question time.
'Moxie,' Ines mouths silently, brows quirked in a very 'who says that?' kind of way. He's not wrong, though, and she knows that. Even to her outside eye, life as a combatant on the ground seems like a whole lot of hurry-up-and-wait. Long, boring stretches of nothing, intercut with more excitement than anybody actually wants.
She watches him get up and head into the -- office? -- and then lets her attention fall back on the sniper in front of her, studying the mottled colors still asserting themselves on her face. "I think I'm in your bunkroom now." Knows it, actually. Remembers the names. "I'm Ines." Pause. "You've got a lovely bouquet starting." Gesturing at the bruises.
Gage mentions waiting for air support for a tank and Charlie just grunts, lowering a hand to her stomach in memory. She catches the pack, tucking it into a thigh pocket on her BDUs. She moves to press her back to the wall, slouching there. "Yeah? Hall C?" There's a sort of cheshire cat grin. "Suppose I should apologize in advance. Calhoun and I share I bunk." She doesn't expand. She doesn't feel the need to. At the gesture, she just nods, shrugs. "I've had worse." Some of the scars show. She's still growing back hair on one side of her head. There's some jagged scars on her left arm, where it looks like something with huge teeth tried to take a big bite out of her. Among other smaller pockmarked scars here and there.
Calhoun and I share a bunk. Ines' brows go up, but the reaction doesn't seem to be negative. "It's not my first bunkroom," is what she says, both shoulders lifted just slightly. She rolls her head over to the side to keep her eye on the sniper as Chuck settles against the wall, and in so doing gets a good look at the hair growing in -- and various other assorted leavings from war.
There is always curiosity. There is rarely a question to follow. She may be green compared with most of the other Wolves, but she's not that green.
"You've been with the Wolves a long time?"
Strange as it is, this is the first time since she arrived that she's had the opportunity to ask these kinds of questions of...well. Anyone.
"They're better than the Vanguard. We were all in one big room. Smaller bunks. On the Dauntless we have a sort of... lounge of our own. Smaller than the main one, mind, but the bunk halls branch off of it. It's not bad. Bit more room. Bit more privacy. Fewer people snoring." And slightly fewer frakking. Unless you're stuck with Charlie and Evan. At the last question, she bobs her head in a nod. "Since the beginning... and before. Some of us-" She draws a knee up against her chest, draping her arms around it. "Have been fighting together since they launched the Galactica. We weren't really the Wolves yet, there. Sorta-kinda, but not really." She shrugs. "We served on Tauron, then Canceron... once they formed the Timber Wolves, official-like, they put us on the Vanguard."
It would be hard to find a better listener than Ines. For all the time that Charlie's talking, her eyes remain on the other woman's battered profile, letting her head settle back against the wall again. She's very quiet, at least until it's clear Chuck's done talking. "And you said you were thrown into the brig at sixteen. You look..." Thoughtful. "You can't be older than I am. So you must have been military Before." When she says the word, it's possible to hear the way that's a big B. Before the Uprising.
"Well, sixteen was a jail cell 'til my folks showed up," Charlie admits, looking a touch sheepish. "I surfed, back on Picon. Professionally... Until I got bored when I was eighteen and I, yeah... enlisted." She bobs her head in a slow nod. "I was, am, is marine." There's a sort of lopsided grin. "Lot of us in the Wolves are. Or were at least ICJPK, or Reserves. Shit like that." She gives a one-shouldered shrug, picking up the ice pack they gave her to see if any shred of cold remains. Nope. Alas. She drops it back down again. "Guess it's part of why we're here. Experience."
The clarification about the skinny dipping incident gets an impish smile from Ines. It lingers until the last thing Chuck says, when it wanes, and she rolls her head out of its angled tilt, straightened. Her gaze tilts up, watching faint blue veils of smoke wind past the overhead lights. "You, maybe. Not me. I didn't come from a military family, I never -- Before, you know. I didn't plan to join it. I wouldn't have wanted to." She pauses, then looks amused, and a little self-deprecating. "I wanted to do the opposite, actually. Diplomat work." There's a brief silence. "The transfer surprised me."
There's a laugh from Charlie when Ines mentions military families and she shakes her head. "Oh, no, no. Trust me. My family ain't military. I joined up on a frakkin' whim. You know how teenagers are. I was bored with surfing and thought oh-ho, marines, why the frak not?" But she's suited for it. She's one of the best designated marksmen in the Colonial Fleet. It worked out. "My father's an author and my mother's a baker. We're as far from a military family as you get, don't worry." To the pilot's last, another shrug. "I don't know pilots. Dunno how they pick 'em. But the Wolves are a family and you're a part of it now."
"Ah?" That correction gets a genuinely surprised look, and in the moments afterward Ines visibly reassesses her own thinking. She's not prone to culture shock, but it comes in small doses -- like the thought that there are people who would join something like the military at a whim. Thinking back to her social circle and its priorities and concerns at that age... "Hah," she says, to herself. It's a dry, disenchanted sound.
When her eyes meet Chuck's again, it's with a subdued smile. "I've just assumed it's because I'm really...really angry at robots." It's a joke. It's clearly meant to be a joke. And then again, it's a joke that looks like it has a little tiny bit of what she suspects is the truth in it.
The edge bleeds out of it, yielding to complicated things. Things that hinge on the word 'family.' Shadows move on her throat, betraying a swallow. "It's an honor." She wants to wince at the cliche of that, but it reads as authentic.
And then the door is opening, and someone is saying her surname.
There's a laugh at the 'really angry at robots' part and Charlie shakes her head. "You, me, Bob. We're all angry at the Cylons. I think that's a given if you're part of the Fleet." She winces in the wake of the laughter, lifting a hand to touch lightly at her cheek. She rests her palm there, looking to the door. There's an upnod. "You're up, El-Tee. Just remember. Only people there were the ones they picked up and you'll be fine."
Once on her feet, Ines dusts her hands on the sides of her trousers, and as she passes Charlie, she tosses her a low thumbs-up. "Got it. Thanks for the pep talk. I'll see you."
And then she's gone.
The lobby isn't very flash -- there's a handful of uncomfortable looking benches around the edges, a sink for water, and not much else.