2237-09-23 - Just A Few Hands

A few winning hands of Triad turn into something a touch more confusing and a new face finds solace in the Taurans aboard.

Date: 2237-09-23

Location: Crew Lounge

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 543

Jump to End

The lounge is full of off-duty personnel tonight. Several pilots are watching a couple of their own on the VR machine, some racing game or other. There's something playing on the TV -- some old Leonese movie -- that no one's watching. And there's a game of triad going -- mostly marines, but a pilot or two in the mix as well -- making jabs at each other as they play. Gage is there, leaning back and looking at ease, his cards face down on the table as he waits for the others to make their decisions about whether to fold or add to the already sizable stack of papers in the midst of the table.

It's the first ship that Sarita has served on that wasn't a hospital ship. Most of her postings over the course of the war have been ground-side. It's a strange environment and a loud, crowded one at that. She's spent a lot of time in sickbay and the medical lounge there, but that becomes stifling after a while. Even surgeons have to escape the stench of antiseptic, blood, and shop talk after a while. The view of Sagittaron from the Obs Deck became a touch nauseating after a time and so... she's found herself here, in the Crew Lounge. The Captain haunts the hatch for a moment; dressed in duty blues, with the buttons of the jacket partially undone. No lab coat in evidence, either. She's off-duty, but recently enough to not have fully changed. Her hair is in a braid, but done long enough ago for a few wisps to have come loose.

After taking in the room for a moment, she ventures towards the card game, hovering nearby to watch the hand play out.

<FS3> Gage rolls Wits+Triad: Good Success (7 7 6 4 4)

One of the pilots and a couple of the marines fold. There's some cheering from over by the VR games but none of the card players look that way, not with the game so close. Finally, it comes down to Gage and a young-looking Lieutenant. The pilot's confident, throwing in extra papers to call Gage's cards. With a sudden grin, the marine flips them over. It's three up, and it makes his fellow marines cheer -- while the pilot and his friend scowls. Normally on such a large pot it'd be customary for the winner to buy the loser a beer, or something -- but Gage just collects all the papers, undoubtedly 'IOU' or chore slips -- and stuffs them away, grinning.

There's a look of scrutiny on Sarita's features as the game narrows down to the play between Gage and the Lieutenant. She's studying both men intently as they make their final bets; searching for any tells or signs of who might be bluffing (if either is). When the cards are revealed, she lets out a breathy sort of laugh herself, giving a small shake of her head. She only moves in a few strides towards the table, dropping hands from where they'd found their way into the pockets of her duty jacket. "Will there be another round?"

One of the marines snorts. "Depends if Tomak is still in, since he's tapped us all out." Gage is busily stuffing all his winnings into pockets, before his glance slants up towards the new arrival. There's a brief expression -- grimace, maybe? -- before he gives a half shrug of shoulders. "Someone's got to step out, though." The Lieutenant very definitely doesn't, sitting down again for the opportunity to win back some of his share. "Looks like you gotta buy your way in, Hargrave," Gage says, with a brief smirk, as one of the other marines collects the cards and starts shuffling. A couple of the marines are glancing curiously at the doctor, interested in what she might have to offer.

"Tapped you all out? Surely not." Sarita looks to the men at the table, then over to Gage himself. It's just a fleeting glance; perhaps she caught the expression and took it as a grimace. She moves closer to the table, considering. "Perhaps you'll let me buy my way in cheaply, as I've never been very good at Triad." She reaches into one of her pockets, pulling forth a wallet. A couple bills are pulled out and placed on the table, fingertips firmly atop them. "Maybe teach a girl how to play better?"

One of the marines groans. "Not the, 'I'm hopeless teach me' play. Not falling for that one again," the marine says, immediately standing, his friend going with him. "Enjoy getting your asses kicked." Gage shrugs his shoulders, gestures towards the free spot next to the Lieutenant in invitation. "You want to learn to scrub my shorts? Feel free. If you really want to learn to play, aint gonna hold your hand, Hargrave."

As the two marines depart, Sarita can only shrug as she takes the free seat. "Their loss," the woman admits with a look to Gage. "I honestly am rubbish." She manages a bit of a fleeting smile, sliding her 'buy in' towards the center of the table. "I imagine I am quite capable of scrubbing shorts. I have to do my own laundry, just like everyone else in the Wolves, Tomak." As for hand-holding, she rolls her eyes and leans back, crossing one leg over the other. "Fine. Deal them out."

With a frankly baffled look, Gage says, "You want to lose? Aint gonna stop you," he says, with a sudden grin. "Don't think you'd be so blase if you'd been sweating in them down in the Sag sun for 24 hours." Gage glances to the marine dealing out the cards, as he leans back, looking just as confident as before.

A little bout of laughter in the corridor beyond announces Ines, who enters the room backward, waving at whomever it was she was walking with. When she turns around she has a thick, folder-sized portfolio held against her middle with one arm, and the other hand has an instant-film camera in it, of the type that produces square pictures that people shake unnecessarily.
One sweep of her eyes across the room spots familiar faces. She meanders that way unhurriedly, smile small and curious, though it grows in greeting as she stops behind the chair of the marine dealing cards. To face Sarita and Gage, of course. "'Allo. Always games of chance with you two, I see."

"Tomak." Sarita leans his way slightly, an elbow resting on the table. "If you had any idea the sort of fluids that end up on my person over the course of a day in surgery, you would understand why I give no fraks about the state of your shorts." She just shakes her head at his show of confidence before looking to Ines as the pilot approaches. There's a shrug from the Canceronian woman as she leans back in her own chair. "I'm trying to learn to be a better player, is all."

"Gotta keep myself occupied," is Gage's casual response to Ines. He flickers a hand at the chair next to Sarita. "You want a chance at scrubbing my shorts too, feel free to join." One of the pilots at the table, a young lieutenant, snorts. "Going to be you doing that for me, marine." Gage gives the pilot a look, and then another of those grins. "Hargrave is a glutton for punishment, all right," is all he tacks onto Sarita's words.

The amusement that sparks in Ines' expression over the doc's riposte -- nobody gets covered with mystery fluids as often as a doctor, she's sure -- curdles on her expressive face when Gage offers her a chance at scrubbing his shorts. Her expression crumples, brows knit, skewed, skepticism exquisite. "Mmm. So tempting, Tomak, but somehow I'll find the will to resist." She rounds the table and drops into one of the seats at the table just behind them, setting her portfolio and camera down and watching the cards dealt.
"Cards were never something I played much. Too much math." She looks momentarily amused. "Calculating odds was never my strong suit."

"Perhaps someone should have a talk with your NCO, Tomak, if you've got so little to keep you occupied." The threat might be worse, coming from a Captain, if there wasn't a smirk toying at the corners of Sarita's lips. She leans back to look at Ines, settling in behind them. "What, not going to help me put him in his place, Kestrel?" There's a sort of pout, but it never quite reaches fruition for Sarita's smile. All she does is gesture to the marine shuffling and dealing the cards. "C'mon, hurry up. The torture of losing so slow is killing me."

<FS3> Gage rolls Composure: Success (7 5 5 5 5 4 3)

"Aint supposed to be about calculating anything. You're supposed to feel it out." One could get the distinct feeling that Gage considers card-counting totally cheating, if his grimace is anything to judge by. He takes his cards from the marine dealing with a nod, gives a little peek of the cards, and lets them sit face down as he throws a paper into the midst to stay in the game. "I'm plenty occupied, Hargrave, but if you want to pull rank, aint much I can do." Maybe he doesn't see the twitch of the doctor's lips; he seems focused on watching everyone's reactions as they get their cards. He himself manages to keep a largely even expression as he does so.

"Ah?" Both of Ines' brows arch at Sarita's almost-pout. "Doc, I've already cost you your second win against the marines. I couldn't bear to be the reason for the third." She's flipping open the portfolio -- it contains a pad of good paper, a clutch of envelopes, a nice fountain pen, and other stationery supplies -- when she's corrected about card-playing, and Gage receives a thoughtful look that can't seem to decide if it's amused or incredulous. "'Feel it out?'" Pause. "Like, commune with the cards, or something?"

<FS3> Sarita rolls Composure: Great Success (8 8 7 7 7 3 1)

"Thankfully," Sarita offers to Ines, as if Gage weren't even there, "he didn't win that race either." She turns back once her cards are dealt and looks them over. Whether she's actually a good player or not, the surgeon at least has a great face for it. There's not even a twitch of her brow. She might as well be reading a post-op report. Whatever may be on the cards, they're enough to keep her in the game as she puts in her bet to stay in the game. "Kestrel, could I bother you to get me a drink?" From the refreshment area in the lounge, surely. "I don't trust these guys if I leave the table."

The pilot receives a flat sort of look from Gage, that turns into something baffled. "No, not like... eh," he gives a grunt of frustration, apparently giving up -- for now -- on trying to explain it. There's a game to win! Everyone's got their cards, and there's a round of discarding, Gage staying in as the pot climbs and one of the pilots drops out. "Frak. As I recall it, we smoked you. Got a bad memory for a doctor," he says, scratching at his jaw. He seems to take the insult of their trustworthiness in stride, though the lieutenant gives Sarita a dry look. "Gee, thanks Captain," as he, too, tosses in a slip, clearly determined to win his share back from Gage.

"That's true. What was his name? Brend?" Ines slides a sheet of blank paper free of the rest, pulls the fountain pen from the loop, and looking downward to do both of these things makes the smile she half-crushes by pressing her lips together a little bit less obvious. Gage's aborted attempt to explain himself makes it even more difficult to quell.
At Sarita's request, she glances up and with one brow winging upward nods, sliding out of her seat and setting her pen down. "Sure. What do you want?" And then, mistakes are made: she leans, hand on the back of one occupied chair, to open that question up to the table. "Anyone else, since I'm up?"

"Oh, not you, El-Tee," Sarita offers, mockingly saccharine-sweet to the man. "I'm sure you've never once cheated in your life." She trades in a couple cards during the discard round; hell-bent on staying in herself as she tosses more into the pot. There's a sidelong glance from dark eyes to Gage as he mentions her poor memory. "At least we didn't damage our car on the way up, Tomak." When asked what she wants, there's a glance towards the 'fridge, cards held close to her chest. "Mmmmm. Coffee, black, please. You're a doll, Kestrel."

With a grunt, Gage's, <<Caprican goat-frakker,>> in Tauran is almost inaudible. Not quite, though, as he watches the other players keenly. Ines' lean on the table earns more than just Gage's attention -- pretty much everyone is looking at her for a moment. There's a chuckle from one of the marines, "Beer," and then, "Flat white," and, "Anything with a lemon twist," which is probably a frakking-with-her-request, given it's from Gage. Leaning back in his chair, Gage eye-rolls Sarita's response to the LT at the table. "Just means you didn't want it enough." Another of the marines drops out.

One of the side-effects of having an animated face is that sudden flat looks have that much more impact. Ines pairs hers with suddenly lidded eyes, the expression catlike in its theatrical disdain. Only that, before she pivots away with a squeak of boots on the floor, gone some moments to open the fridge door and root around in there, trying to figure out which of those requests can be filled, and which genuinely earned that little look from her.

...She's new, okay?

When she returns, it's with three cups of coffee, one black, one definitely over-creamed, and one with a twist of lemon. These go essentially where you'd expect.

"Someday, you'll have to tell me what that means," Sarita says of the Tauran Gage mutters. She doesn't know what he's said, only that she's heard the same phrase before. To his comments about wanting it enough, she grins a bit as she pays in for the next -- and final -- round. "Is that so? You damaged your car 'cause you wanted it badly? I thought you helped some pretty lady or another." There's a knowing sort of look in her expression and she leans back only when the coffee is brought, smile shifting to one of gratitude for the pilot. "Thank you."

Clearly, Gage didn't actually expect Ines to come up with a drink with a lemon twist. He opens his mouth, side-eyes her a moment as if about to make some smart-ass remark, and then just shuts it again. <<Thanks,>> is what he says, instead. Gratitude or not though, he doesn't seem about to reach for the coffee, because... lemon twist. "Managed to do all that and still win," Gage allows, "And stop trying to play for time. You in or out?" It seems to be down to them and the LT.

Ines looks awfully pleased with herself as she sinks back into her seat, leaning back and crossing her legs at the knee. "You're very welcome." That's to both, presumably. She's had reasons to be wary about speaking anyone else's language casually since an incident that remains unresolved, but he started it, right? So it's probably safe? <<We can't have Marines getting scurvy.>>
Tauran, coming off of a Leonese tongue -- even one that enunciates carefully -- is a strange fit. "I say call," she advises Sarita, in flagrant contradiction to her earlier claim that she couldn't bear to see the woman lose again. "You'll get more information about how he plays his hands then, right? Stands to reason."

"I bet you cheated," Sarita says of the race; still ruffled about the loss that day, surely. She chose the wrong car to ride in, perhaps. Boys versus girls and her desire to beat the Tauran marine aside. When he accuses her of playing for a time, she furrows her brow and tosses in enough to call, yes. "Show your cards, Tomak." Caring more about what he is holding than the Lieutenant, it'd seem.

<FS3> Gage rolls 2: Failure (4 4 4 4)

<FS3> Gage rolls Wits+2: Good Success (8 8 7 6 3 1 1)

<FS3> Sarita rolls Wits: Success (6 4 4 4 3 1)

This time Ines receives another look from Gage when she speaks Tauran, and fluently at that. Surprised and, maybe, a hint of wariness too. <<Didn't see you give any to anyone else,>> he finally says. And he's still not drinking it either, how ungrateful. Sarita's call has him glancing at her instead, though, amused. He flips over his cards -- it's a full up. The Lieutenant grumbles -- he only has a one pair of twos. Gage's gesture to Sarita is an almost impatient, 'your turn', as he leans forward to look.

"He did cheat. He started before us," Ines says lightly, without any real investment in that fact. She lifts her cup in both hands, leaned back in her seat, and holds the mug in front of her lips, watching the round of cards -- and the reaction to what she said. That is: how she said it. It causes a little crease between her brows, and as she takes a sip she pivots in her chair to angle herself back toward her own table, setting the mug aside and pulling her abandoned sheet of paper and pen closer. "No one else asked," is the explanation he gets -- in Standard. She uncaps the pen, begins to write.

The Lieutenant's cards give Sarita a sense of satisfaction, but Gage's? Those don't at all. There's a look of frustration in the woman's face as she reveals her own; two pair. She sighs, tossing hem down as she leans back, picking up her coffee to take a long sip. She swallows, muttering a "Damn you" across the surface of the mug in Gage's direction. "Deal again."

<<One comes after two in a countdown,>> is Gage's bland counter to Ines' accusation of cheating. "Figured you couldn't remember." That's clearly a lie, especially since he's grinning. Clearly not sorry, though. He's obviously just as not-sorry about winning, either, grin widening as he sees Sarita's cards. Again, he collects the pot, to the obvious disgruntlement of the lieutenant and his friend. The pair of them stand and leave, ignoring the engineer's pleased look. Sarita's request to deal again as him shaking his head. "I'm not that much of an asshole. Maybe you better join the pilot's games," he jerks a thumb after the retreating pair. "They'll be good to practice with; they're complete rubbish."

There's a tch from Ines in response to that, the little notch between her brows deepening as they stitch together, but it's different than the previous one. She glances that way sidelong, and the corner of her mouth quirks a little, footing regained somehow.
She pauses in her writing and lifts her head to turn it completely when it becomes apparent from the muttering that Sarita lost her bet, one carefully kept brow arching slowly. "I've never heard of anyone playing just one round of cards. It's traditional to keep playing to win your chips back, isn't it? Or until someone goes home in their skivvies?" Her entire grasp of this game clearly comes from popular entertainment.

"What are you two talking about?" Sarita can recognize the Tauran, but that's the extent of it. There's a narrowing of her eyes between Ines and Gage both, but she watches the two pilots depart the table. There's a frown at Gage as he refuses to deal again. Her jaw tightens, marginally, as she considers. "One more. You and me. You choose the bet. Cubits or laundry or whatever." She's vexed, now, that he's trying to beg out after she's just sat down. There's a sidelong look to Ines and the woman gestures with her mug. "They left. You're still here. C'mon, Tomak. We all agree that you're an asshole, so just embrace it."

"I've got plenty enough to keep me going for the next two weeks. Maybe even three." Gage's brow goes upward at Ines' word, chuckling a bit. "Think we usually save strip-Triad for shore leave." There's still other marines at the table, the dealer shuffling the cards. "You seemed determine to lose, Hargrave. Doing you a favor. Ought to take it. Besides, there's no fun trying to beat someone who doesn't know how to play." He's acting all casual, and even reaches for his coffee, clearly forgetting it's got that lemon twist. He grimaces after he's swallowed, clearing his throat as he sets the cup down, and even pushes it a little away from him so he won't forget.

"Ah. Sorry." The apology is genuine, changing the shape of Ines' eyes as she looks up at Sarita. "He was taking issue with my claim that he cheated. He said that one comes after two in a countdown." A flicked look at the Marine. "With that look on his face, I think we can still rest easy in knowing we have the moral victory, doc." Because she is completely confident that everyone bought their lie, brassiere on the exhaust pipe notwithstanding.
She watches Gage reach for the cup of coffee. Realizes, in doing so, what might be about to happen; her eyes widen, the curve of her mouth pulled inward until she can bite on her lips to keep from making a sound while she prays to some god somewhere to please let this happen, oh my god. And then it does, and somehow his subdued reaction is even better than if he'd spit it out. She shoots Sarita that wide-eyed look, then puts her head down on her table, struggling to swallow a laugh.

<FS3> Sarita rolls Composure: Success (7 6 5 4 3 2 2)

"I told you, I want to learn how to play. I can't learn if I don't play, can I?" Sarita stares at Gage for a long moment before letting out a frustrated sound. She starts to say something else, but swallows it back, tightening her jaw instead. All she does is pick up her mug, watching Gage with his own. The woman just sits back in the chair, looking over to Ines instead. She manages, in the end, to just watch the pilot almost passively. Almost. There's a bit of a pained look that pulls at the corners of her eyes.

<FS3> Ines rolls Composure: Success (8 8 5 3 3 3 2 2 1)

Gage glances between Ines and Sarita and their definitely-not-laughing expressions with a suspicious narrowing of gaze. "You in or out, Tomak?" the dealer asks, impatiently. "Deal me out for this hand," the engineer grumbles, reaching for the cup. "Going to get a real drink." Unless she protests, the dealer throws some cards Sarita's way as Gage stands and not-quite-stomps off to find a decent drink.

It...takes Ines some time to recover, but she does eventually manage to avoid succumbing to the weird laughing-weeping hybrid that's so tempting for those few, strained moments, particularly once she gets a look at Sarita's face. It's safer when Gage takes his leave for her to sit up again, and knuckle lightly at her lower eyelids, where a thin rind of glittering moisture sits. "Ai, gods," she says, typically dulcet voice absolutely strangled. She sniffs, glances at the doc. "So stoic," she says, and risks setting herself off all over again.

Sarita is sitting at a table with a number of other soldiers and, until moments ago, also Gage; they appear to be involved in a card game. Ines is sitting in a chair at a table adjacent, and in front of her is a stationery set and barely-started letter.

And during all that not laughing, Akeso strolls in wearing her duty khakis with the tail end of a yawn being smothered with a loose fist. She'll stop just inside, dark eyes sweeping a circumspect look from one corner of the lounge to the other, settling finally on the card game. There's some interest there, so she definitely notices the recently vacated seat and the Marine that had his ass parked there moments earlier. She watches him and when he's stomped close enough, she upnods past him, asking, "How crooked is that game?"

The Canceronian woman watches Gage go, half-heartedly buying into the next hand. She said she was in, so she's in. Sarita takes a sip of her coffee before setting the mug aside. She picks up her cards and ponders them, brow furrowing a touch as she looks sidelong at Ines. Lowly, in Leonese, she asks, << Why does he hate me? >> It's clear, surely, who she's speaking of. The surgeon is clearly off-duty; no lab coat and the jacket of her duty-blues is partially unbuttoned.

Slowing at that upnod, Gage stops and examines Akeso for a moment. Apparently her bearing is marine-like enough that his tone is casually at ease: "No more so than any other game. Although fair warning, I cleaned most of them out," he says, patting his pocket with a brief, fleeting smile. He takes a step to continue his original direction, pausing a second, "You want a beer?" Apparently he's giving up on the cup of coffee he's holding. Maybe it has to do with that twist of lemon that's visible.

All of the levity drains out of Ines' face like sand from a balloon pierced by a needle when that Leonese reaches her. She regards Sarita for some silent moments, lips parted and expression blank with mild surprise that gradually transitions into something else. Uncertainty or unease. Caution. She ticks her gaze from the doc to the Marine -- spots Akeso there when she does, and raises her hand to wave, whether it's caught or not, recognizing her from Bunkroom E the other night -- and then back to the doc. It's still a moment before she says anything. <<I don't know him that well, but if I had to guess, he would probably tell you if he did. They don't seem shy, Marines.>> She taps her nail on the side of her mug, an outward sign of some inner debate.
She's still not sure how much comprehension Sarita has for Leonese, so she shifts gears when she makes up her mind: "Just ask if you're worried. I mean...not now, obviously. But it's better to just have things out, isn't it?"

Well, that definitely takes the gleam out of Akeso's eyes, the fact that Gage has already emptied the other players' pockets. She wrinkles her nose not at the offer of beer, but at the ongoing game. On that second look she recognizes two faces and lifts a hand in greeting, returning Ines' gesture. "That's a shame. I guess I'll wait... and have a beer." She doesn't smile or anything, in fact, her expression remains sort of unfinished and neutral. Only her ears perk a bit, perhaps to the Leonese being traded at the table. After a moment or two of eavesdropping, she looks back to Gage to put a direct and unwavering sort of stare on him, "Where do they keep the beer on this tub, and is it as bad as the Caprican stuff?"

As the hand begins, Sarita turns back to it. She stays in until the discarding round and whatever she receives doesn't improve her odds enough. The woman folds and just sits back to let the marines still at the table finish things out. She picks up her coffee, shaking her head at Ines. << I don't think he is that, >> she answers, in Leonese. Comfortable enough with the language, perhaps. Her accents is entirely that Virgan-touched Canceronian, yes, but while she's not fluent, she's at least able to carry on a conversation. << He hates me though. I feel it. >> She looks back to the game, sipping at her coffee as she waits for the betting to finish and the hands to be revealed.

"Try again in a few days," is Gage's advice, a fleeting smile of presumably approval for Akeso's indication she'll wait until there's something to win. While she's looking towards the table and lifting a hand, he's already taking a step to resume his path, pausing at her question and the apparent intensity of her look. Brows go up, and then he gives a low chuckle of approval. "In the mess. Not as bad as Caprican beer. Not as good as Tauron beer -- but you can get the latter in the Canteen at least." After a pause, "Tomak," is his introduction. "Aint seen you about the tin can before."

It's good enough Leonese for Ines to understand it, but comprehension has no bearing on helping her decide how to respond. She folds her hands around her mug and interlaces her fingers loosely, watching the medic's profile with eyes that contain something similar to, but not exactly like, a kind of worry.
"I don't know," she says, eventually. "I can't say." She sounds apologetic, and there's still some of that in her expression as she glances back around at the object of all of that sudden gossip. Eventually whatever reactions this left-hand turn into uncharted territory have stirred up cause her to shift restlessly, leaning to drag her camera over and set the mug aside, briskly turning to a different subject. "Do you write letters often, Sarita? Do you keep in contact with many people?"

"Ma, Akeso. I'm your new medic." Akeso replies, still keeping her expression plain, but perhaps a touch more thoughtful than fully neutral now. The stare relents, if only so she can give the man a once over, like she's trying to size him for either a body bag or get a feel for how well he might avoid such an end. Whatever the determination there, she narrows her eyes a touch and asks him, in perfect Tauran, << You a dirt eater, Tomak? >>. It's not asked in a mean way, more some kind of check. A test?

The surgeon doesn't continue the train of thought, but she does look back to Gage and Akeso with a fleeting frown. Her coffee is drawn up once more for a long sip as she glances towards the stationary that Ines has brought along. "Sometimes," she offers finally, keeping one eye on the end of the game she's dropped out of. "But not often. I write to my brother and sister now and again. We're all... bad about remembering, I suppose." There's a fleeting sort of smile, there. When the game finally does finish, it's down to two marines, both with three up and one with numbers just barely higher than the other. Sarita looks relieved to have dropped; only a pair in her hand. She hands over the cards, glancing back towards Gage and Akeso: "New hand." It's an offer mildly made, as if she doesn't expect either of them to show interest.

Apparently Gage is used to that sort of once-over, especially from medics. He gives a grunt. "Could use another. Hear Dorn didn't fare well after that wall collapsed on us in Caprica." He doesn't seem too broken up about it -- like he didn't know the other medic that well. There's a slight tension that creeps into his shoulders at Akeso's question -- at the perfect Tauran, too -- scowling briefly. He can't fold arms across his chest since he's holding that cup still, but he does shift his weight to try and loom a little, since he has a height advantage, tone full of challenge: <<What of it?>> is returned in sharp Tauran. Either he doesn't hear Sarita, or he's too busy trying to stare down the much shorter medic.

While Ines listens, she flips up the front of the instant camera and fiddles with a few settings. It's old. Vintage, probably. The colors are all wrong for any kind of modern gadget, and it's worn on most of the edges. Still, it must work, because: "I write to the people I met in basic, and most of the people I knew well after that. Flight school and -- " She flaps one hand, waves it off. "You know. I try to send pictures with my letters. It's something special to get mail with a picture." She twists around in her seat, hoisting the camera in slender fingers, the lens-side pointed at the doc. Her smile is small, but wry. "Do you want to be in one of my letters?"
She fails to glance over her shoulder when Sarita mentions the game, ostensibly too focused on her letter-writing, now.

<<The boys here are all handsome, and the girls look like models. I feel much better there's a mean as frak, dirt eating Tauran around is all. You're very reassuring, Tomak.>> Akeso replies in Tauran, not rising up on her toes to try and eyeball the much bigger guy down or anything. She doesn't laugh, or smile either, she's being dead serious. When the mention of a new hand starting tickles her ear, she glances aside and does smile, but it's a polite no-thanks, without saying as much.

Free time for Aleksander means that he will be relaxing, whether it be in the crew lounge, the observation deck, or in his bunk, it's definitely not the gym or the firing range. He prefers to lounge around than work out or sharpen his skills. Whether it is laziness or arrogance, it is hard to tell. This time it isn't any different as the Tauran walks through the entrance of the crew lounge with his favorite magazine tucked under his arm, Gunz'n'Gurlz, a couple of months old but pretty recent by military standard. He is currently wearing off-duty digs, a pair of fatigue trousers and the military issued brown and grey two layered tank top.

There's a sort of frown at Ines' question from Sarita. One of the marines is shuffling the cards and preparing to deal the next hand. She looks to him and gives a small nod; she's in. At least for one more. "Why," she asks of the pilot in a low voice. "Would you want to put me in one of your letters?" It's not a mean question, but a genuinely confused one. "The people you're writing to, they don't know me. Why- ah, why would they want a picture of me?" She can hear the Tauran being spoken and it's got her a touch on edge. She asks, lowly, in Leonese: << Is he talking about what an idiot I am? He is, isn't he. >>

It takes a moment or two for Gage to process Akeso's words, and he seems to side on it being compliment rather than challenge. Even then, it must be a marginal call, since there's only a slight lessening in the Tauron's expression, though his weight does shift so that he's no longer so obviously trying to lean over her. <<Some of them are models,>> is what he says, with a snort. <<Plenty of grunts to be had, don't worry.>> He nods towards Aleksander as he notices the other Tauron's arrival. <<There's one now,>> and, a touch louder, "Davy."

It might be a perfectly natural question to ask, but it leaves Ines looking momentarily at a loss. Slowly her brows beetle together, the hefted camera sinking by a matter of a few inches. "What do you mean, why? Why not?" This, to gauge from her tone, is a perfectly serviceable answer to the question. Whether she would have followed up on that with something more will remain a mystery for the ages, though. There's that Leonese again. It strikes a spark of surprise in her -- one that carries over into the look over her shoulder, again, because she wasn't actually eavesdropping, for once -- and then gets a flat look in response. "Doc. No. Why would -- " Pause. She sets the camera down in her lap, keeps her expression level, her tone gentle but firm. "You really need to have that conversation. You don't want to come off looking..." Her vague hand gesture means nothing, really. "...crazy." Pause. Apologetic: "Which you're going to, if you start worrying about things like that."

The small Sagittaran medic must be long accustomed to other marines towering over her, so Akeso doesn't blink or flinch away. She stands in Gage's shadow like she's pinning it to the ground and will happily stomp a hole in it and its owner should it do anything untoward. When he says some of them are, in fact, models, she pops a brow up as if she'd like to be skeptical, but she's already seen enough pretty faces to know it to be truth. A glance goes aside to the card table and the photogenic players as if she's trying to conjure up a memory of any of them gracing a magazine cover. Maybe not Gunz'n'Gurlz though. When her attention is directed to Davy, his reading material gets eyed. There's no comment. "Hey, you're the one that implied my home colony was a terrible place. Hi. You're friends with Tomak?"

Hearing his name called, Davion looks in Gage's direction and inclines his head to the other Tauran, then sees the newly transferred medic he saw the other day in Bunkroom E. Instead of heading to the nearest unoccupied couch, he walks towards the two marines, "Tomak, what's up?" Of course assuming that his name was called for a reason. When Akeso mentions the foot in mouth incident for Aleksander, he can only look down for a moment and shake his head slightly. At first he was going to try to clarify what he said but then decides otherwise, "Yeah, you could say that. I feed him cigarettes, he blows things up. Sometimes buildings, sometimes toasters."

One of the players might have graced the cover of a magazine. Or at least looks like someone who did. Is that Amrita Singh? Can't be. Didn't she have a movie come out just in the past year? But Sarita looks just like the Canceron star. "It just seems odd to me, to take photos of someone to send to someone that doesn't even know them." Maybe she's camera shy. The surgeon looks down at her mug and is about to go get refills when cards land in front of her. She looks to them, surprised; she almost forgot about the game. The woman picks up her cards, looking them over. She glances to Ines when the pilot suggests she'd look crazy. There's a frown at the words. "No-" she shakes her head, before dropping her voice again. << He almost called me an idiot because I wanted to play. You were there. >> She looks back to the table and makes her bet; she's staying in this hand.

Gage gives a brief, low chuckle as Akeso asks her question of Aleksander. "A perfect match," he agrees -- with a brief grin for the other Tauran. Aleks was indeed, called over a reason, though it isn't obvious until Gage turns away. It seems the engineer takes Akeso's shift of attention onto Aleksander as a good opportunity to make his leave -- he really wants that beer -- stepping away and then moving towards the door. He's no recon, but he has a determined stride to him as he departs.

Ines isn't playing cards, though she's in the general orbit. She does not appear to be especially modelesque. Good bone structure, maybe, but she's practically always wearing her uniform, even off-duty, and it's in no way flattering.
What she looks to be, at least in this particular moment, is very determinedly patient, in the way that people look when they're summoning up reserves of the stuff. "Doc." One hand slowly reaches out to splay atop the table, a kind of staying gesture. "Rip off the bandage and have the talk, and if the worst is true, then so what? What is one marine's opinion, honestly? But you'll only drive yourself mad with all of this speculation."

Well, Akeso can make do with Tauran 2 if the first one bails. Sure, she did bring up the foot in the mouth incident, but she doesn't seem all that angry about it. There's no rage eyes from her, anyway, nor does she start swinging at him. "Good. It's nice to know what motivates a person." Cigarettes in Tomak's case. She'll take a mental note. "And you? I don't think I caught your name. I like to know, for when I fill out the tags." Still no smile. It's hard to parse as a joke when she doesn't crack even a whisp of a smile.

Expecting more in terms of a question or needing of clarification from Gage, Aleksander is stunned when the combat engineer just turns and heads towards the exit. There is certainly a look of disbelief when the fellow Tauran dumps the new arrival on him, <<He didn't just...>> The words grumbled in his native language as he shakes his head again, making a mental note to subtract a cigarette from Tomak's future allotment. Attention returning to Akeso, Davion is again almost at a loss of words as he has a hard time figuring out of she was joking or not, "Aleksander Davion, Corporal. And I don't think you need to worry about my tags, you can just grab these if I actually go out in a blaze of glory." His free hand goes to his dog tags hanging around his neck.

<FS3> Sarita rolls Wits: Great Success (8 7 7 7 6 4)

"No," Sarita answers Ines, simply. "That is not a conversation I want to have." She finishes off her coffee, turning then to the rest of the game. This hand goes much better for her. A couple rounds of betting and most of the others drop out. There's only a few of them playing anyway. It comes down to her and the marine that's been dealing and in the end? The surgeon actually wins the hand, with two pair versus his one pair. The man was trying to bluff her. With a look of rather immense relief she collects her winnings and pushes back from the table. "Boys, I need more coffee. Have at." There's a sort of tired look for the table as she starts folding the various slips to tuck into her pocket, making her way towards the coffee maker with mug in hand.

Ines sits in silence after that, wtching the doc pack up her winnings, and waits until she's across the room to sigh, lift a hand and press it briefly to one side of her face, eyes closing. When they open she looks weary, maybe a little amused on the side, but the weariness is what's going to win out. She tucks the half-finished letter into her portfolio along with the pen, picks up her camera, and slides out of her seat, taking time only to drain her mug before starting for the door, in search of less distracting pastures for letter writing, maybe. Or alcohol. Or both.

<<He did.>> Akeso confirms in Tauran and finally does smile because apparently being dumped on someone is funny to her. Instead of it being, like, upsetting and hurtful. <<I'm Akeso Ma, and you don't have to keep me entertained if you'd rather not.>> Incase he felt obligated, she's letting him off the hook. She'll even start to move away from the door, giving Ines a nod as she breezes by, and angling roughly towards one of the couches. She checks in on the game with a glance, and from the empty seat finds Sarita at the coffee. Definitely some recognition there. Maybe she's a Canceron movie fan.

And there is another surprise when Akeso answers in Tauran, Aleksander silent for a moment as if he is re-evaluating the situation. He does respond in the standard language though instead of Tauran, perhaps feeling a bit more comfortable doing so instead of using his native language with someone he doesn't exactly know yet, "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Akeso Ma." He does feel bad if he just leaves, especially since he should get to know his combat medics better just in case he needs them while out on the field, "I have to say, you are certainly full of surprises, speaking my language is certainly one of them."

Once her winnings are in some sort of arrangement, Sarita shoves them in her pocket. At the coffee station, she just upends the carafe into the paper cup she's using as a mug. Nothing is added: no cream, no sugar. Not uncommon for medical professionals. There's often no time for specialty orders and you just want your caffeine, damnit. So she takes it black, stepping away to clear the space for anyone else in need of a drink. When she turns to look for Ines- the pilot is gone. This leans the surgeon frowning as she drinks, casting only a brief look towards the medic and marine.

"I didn't know you had exclusive rights to it, corporal." Akeso teases, but she says it so straight it's a bit hard to tell. She can't be too miffed, since once she's found an empty couch to deposit herself on, she gestures to the free cushions to invite Aleksander to join her. There's another glance Sarita's way, as if she's thinking about inviting her too, but she doesn't right then. "Are there any stories in that magazine, or is it all pictures?" She'll then ask with a nod to the Gunz'n'Girlz under his arm. "I had to leave all my books on the Athena."

The teasing only gets a scowl in response from Aleksander despite the rather neutral tone. When she heads for one of the couches, he remembers why he was here in the first place, to enjoy his magazine. As he heads for one of the seats as well and on the way there, he spots Sarita, one of the ship doctors, giving her a nod in greeting. Politeness to the medical staff as usual, since they may be arms deep inside him one day. Taking a seat, Davion leaves the magazine on his lap for the time being though he does look down at it, "There are some pretty good articles in it about guns, the latest models that are out, what some of the other colonies are using." The girls, of course, are there for sure and to attract more of an audience as they model holding the aforementioned weapons.

There's a look to the hatch and for a moment, it may seem that Sarita is about to join the others in fleeing the lounge. Ultimately, however, the surgeon opts against doing so. Instead, she makes her way to one of the sofas and sinks down to sit on it. She doesn't settle in fully, no; her coffee is too full and too hot at the moment for that. Instead, she just cradles it carefully as she sits on the edge. There's a sip taken as she looks to Aleksander and his magazine. "Does it ever make you jealous," she ventures, "seeing what you can't have, since the Fleet issues you specific weapons?"

Akeso settles in, fully. She pushes her back into the cushion and sinks in, legs stretching out and ankles crossing. "A Marine doesn't cheat on their weapon." She'll eventually say as her eyelids get heavy and her arms fold together. This of course, being an answer to Sarita's question.

When the doctor joins them at the sofas and tosses a question at him, Aleksander turns his gaze towards Sarita and shakes his head in response, "No, not really. The stuff that the See-Eff issues is pretty up to date and similar to the weaponary I used back in the Foreign Legion. No need for any of the flashy stuff with the extra attachment." Flashy weapons attract attention and that is something that Davion doesn't want. When Akeso offers a more superstitious answer, he can't help but laugh lightly in amusement, "Yes, there is that as well."

"So you read, then," Sarita offers, tipping her head slightly after another sip of coffee, "for the pictures of women?" She lowers the cup, just a bit, finally sinking further back into the sofa. "If it can be called reading at that point."

Akeso keeps quiet then, just listening to the other two now. She wasn't joking about the cheating thing though, or if she was, she was being very deadpan about it. Her eyes half close, but there's still movement behind them as she keeps track of the talk between Aleks and Sarita.

Aleksander looks like he doesn't exactly understand the doctor's question, shaking his head slightly, "The models they pick are pretty, but the info on the different weapons is pretty intriguing too. Guess it may be a hobby for some, reading up on what the other colonies are using, what might be in development." There is a slight lift and drop of his shoulders as Davion offers a shrug. A brief glance to Akeso who appears to be resting her eyes, or napping. "Plus sometimes they give helpful tips, soldiers on the front line writes in about their weapons, what issues they've run into. Quick fixes, or small modifications that has made their lives easier."

"Ah! So it is not just guns and pretty women." Sarita seems to understand a bit better. "It seemed a magazine full of things you could not have, so I though... why bother? It would be like me looking at a magazine of all the delicious food the mess hall will never be able to serve us. Just a way to taunt myself, yes?" She lifts her coffee, shrugging as she takes a longer drink. "But with stories of how to maintain your weapon or tips, that is actually useful."

"You're going to love Sagittaron, Davy." Akeso says as she leans herself more into the corner of the couch where she'll not really fall over if she nods off, "You'll be shot at with weapons from nearly all the major colonies; Virgon, Leonis, Picon, Caprica, Tauron. Weapons of every make and description, and vintage. It's like a violent wonderland of guns." There's a dreamy little smile from the medic then, but it's not without its bitterness.

Never having given thought to why he enjoys the magazine, Aleksander is unable to really add more to what he has said or in response to what the doctor just said, and only a nod is offered in response. Then when Akeso pipes in about what they will expect to run into on Sagittaron, Davion can only release a sigh of resignation, "Won't be the first time I had to duck bullets, certainly won't be the last. Hopefully they will be busy shooting at the Cylons instead of us down there." Of course that is just wishful thinking, since the briefing did mention insurgents.

There's a brief press of lips as Akeso brings up the veritable plethora of weaponry the marines will likely encounter on Sagitarron. They've all seen the briefing and none of them, to be certain, are happy about the insurgents. They're fighting this war to fight Cylons, not other humans. At least, one assumes. Sarita looks down at her coffee, letting out a slow breath. "Well, I hope to only patch the lot of you up from tincan wounds, but I'll do what I must. Just give as good as you get."

"We'll see." Akeso quietly says to that, neutral. Also, kind of sleepily. She does tuck in her chin and lower her head as if she's going to sneak in a few Zs right then and there. "I'll get all of them I can to you alive, Doc."

Looking between the combat medic and the doctor Aleksander can only shake his head again, "Some of us have been doing a good job keeping our heads down and avoiding trips to the doctors, we plan to keep it that way. What we face shouldn't be worse than Picon at least." There is wishful thinking at least. With that said, the Tauran finally takes the magazine from his lap into his hands and opens it up, ready to continue reading from where he left off before, ready to enjoy his off-time now on the ship.


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