New Caprican Marine meets Veteran Caprican Marine. Spoilers: Sagittaron still hot.
Location: Sagittaron, Tyllium Mine
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1426
Unrelenting heat batters the surface of Sadah Province. The apron of this particular mining operation boasts light fortifications in light of the recent attacks, but patrols are a constant and necessary fact of life, and the terrain is difficult for vehicles, even of the rugged stripe employed by the CF -- which means a lot of marines putting their boots to good use.
The locals aren't thrilled with the presence of soldiers -- neither the Virgon Royal Marines, nor the Wolves -- and tensions seem to sit at a perpetual simmer. Pair the hostile environment with just-shy-of-hostile natives and the recent hits taken by both the Marines and the Air Wing, and Operation Watchtower is already a long way from being a good time.
Not that Noah knows that, yet -- though he's learning quickly. He's fresh off of a transport, with one night of sleep aboard the Dauntless, and now here he is, standing in the furnace blast of hot air and sweating into camouflaged fatigues beneath battle dress, trying to squint through the glare of light off of his own perspiring face.
Geoff is sweaty as hell, and does not appear to be in a good mood. Of course, they've paired him with this rookie he's never met before, that might not be helping. Or maybe he's annoyed about other things. He wipes sweat from his temple onto his shoulder. "Hey, Marine," he says. "You stayin' awake over there?"
The sound Noah makes in response to that question is like a laugh, but there's not a lot of humor in it -- a baritone rumble in his chest. He lifts his arm, swipes at his crown with his wrist, and then slants a look at Geoff's profile, drumming up a half-smile like a knife, sharp and bright. "Oh, yeah," he drawls, a shine on his tone. His Standard is accentless; absolutely Caprican. "On the edge of my seat, over here."
There is no seat.
His dry followup, gaze flicked back out over the sere landscape. "You can almost see the sand sweat if you look hard enough."
Geoff gives a little smile. He sounds Caprican, too. Low-class. "No wonder it stinks around here, if all this sand is sweating." Any actual smells in the area are probably coming from the mines where who knows what machinery, fuels, and underground cases lurk. "Where you from, Cap City?"
Noah tilts his head like he's checking how his deodorant is holding up. "Definitely the sand," he says, rolling one shoulder in a contained stretch. Standing still for long periods of time remains one of his least favorite jobs.
"Cap City. You too?" Dark brow rising, he gives the soldier nearest to him another look, and adds: "You been with this outfit long?"
"Yeah," Geoff answers about his hometown, and then to the next question: "Since before it was The Wolves." He glances over at Noah. "You're a big mother-frakker. Got that good nutrition growing up, huh," he says. He's probably just teasing.
Predating the actual formation of the unit is worth another look from Noah. A thoughtful one. It's pretty quickly demolished by the grin that follows, brilliant enough to draw out the faintest suggestions of what will one day be crow's feet at the outsides of his eyes. "For sure. Foster kids dine out on taxpayer cubits every night, didn't you know?" The grin tempers a little, but that sharp wryness sticks around. "Nah, I don't know. Mom waited tables at Carpe Noctem." Another glance, to see if Geoff recognizes the name: an upscale restaurant. "Leftovers were a thing."
Geoff takes a hand off his weapon for a moment to scratch his chest. Where sweat is starting to bleed through a couple of layers of fabric. He seems to approve of Noah's reply to his remark, looking at him from the tail of his eye again. "That's a pretty nice place, at least."
The heat shimmer that rises off of the sand and stone makes it difficult, sometimes, to scan the horizon. Noah tries to keep his attention on what he's supposed to be doing -- looking for trouble -- so anytime he looks at the marine he's assigned with, it's brief. "That's what I hear." Not that he would know first-hand.
A pause. "But man, some of these other guys." He chances a look behind him, turning his head to look past the cliff of his shoulder at the soldiers milling in the background. "I mean, goddamn. What does the CF feed you people?" Tall Noah is; stocky, he is not. "At least I know if I get shot in the ass somebody'll be able to drag me back out of the shit."
Geoff half-smiles. But he seems intent on his work, too. He looks back out at the sand. "You see that big Aerilon farmboy on the recon team? 'S ridiculous." He glances back to Noah. "Yeah, some of those mooses I dunno what we'd do with."
"We'd suck it up, buttercup," is the easy response, automatic enough that it's probably clear this is something commonly said in whatever specific unit Noah transferred out of. His eyes tighten. "If I did see him I don't remember. I landed facedown on the Dauntless and then it was up at the ass crack of dawn for this." The silence that follows is longer. "Heard the Wolves were on Caprica before this, though. Our neck of the woods?" His brow quirks. "They couldn't just transfer me before you took off, right? Had to wait, make sure I got a nice fat dose of FTL first to lag me out." Leaning, he spits. Everything tastes like dust down here.
"You mean you just came in yesterday?" Geoff asks, eyebrows climbing as he looks out onto the sand. "Yeah," he says, somewhat subdued. "We were at Cap City. But...guess things were kinda crazy."
A nod is enough to answer the first question, particularly since the latter is more interesting. There's a silence that spools out for a while before he speaks again, like he was weighing the wisdom of that. "There was some chatter. You know how it is, though." Hazel eyes narrow into the glare. "Never know what to believe."
He doesn't go so far as to ask what happened, but the invitation is there, if subtle -- in the arch of a brow and brief glance.
Geoff shrugs in response. "You don't know what to believe whether you're there or not," he answers. "I don't frakkin' know what happened, but one of my friends was missing after it all went down."
Noah's expression contains interest that tilts toward pensive, but whatever thoughts he might have about what he hears, he keeps them secured, close to the chest. Even his tone is taciturn. "Shit. Sorry to hear that."
There's plenty in that to chew on, which is what he's doing when somebody says his name. Two sets of bootfalls draw up behind their post. "Westlake, there's a drivetrain that needs looking at. Thomas is taking your post."
Both of Noah's brows shoot up as he turns, but the speaker gets a short nod, and Geoff a loose, wry salute as he turns to go. "Courtois right? I'll see you 'round."
At least he has the decency not to look smug as the other marine steps up to occupy that hotbox of a post.