2237-09-30 - How To Win At Triad And Princesses

Akeso swindles some (unsuspecting) marines out of their hard-earned cubits.

Date: 2237-09-30

Location: Crew Lounge

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1436

Jump to End

The lounge is almost never, barring Condition reasons, really empty. It's slow, though, with a vast swathe of the on-board population dirtside for daylight, much of the rest sleeping off of the nightshift. At the ping pong table four people are deep into a game. The dart board is busy, too. Two of the tables have people sitting at them, shooting the shit, and at a third there's a marine sitting alone, rocked perilously back onto the hind legs of his chair, feet up on the edge of the table and a book in his hand. The sweatpants, sneakers, and zip-up hooded sweatshirt suggest the gym is an eventual destination, since he doesn't look as though he's been working hard at much of anything yet.
There's another array of books on the table next to his feet, and at least one magazine of the very popular 'nice cars and hot girls' variety.

Even in a slow period, there's usually a game of Triad going on -- which is why, when Gage walks in, wearing his off-duty dual tanks -- he exhales a sharp breath, brow furrowing as his gaze flickers over the tables, then towards the other occupants. Disappointment registers in his expression, and lingers as he approaches Noah. "Where is everyone?" he asks, grimacing.

It's a long beat before hazel eyes tick up from whatever it is Noah's reading, landing square on the new face. Another long beat before he rolls his shoulders. "Frak if I know. Maneuvers with the RM?" The (absolutely unaccented, very obviously Caprican) drawl that follows is dry, amused. "Those Virgons sure love to march."
He turns the page, and then tilts his head to side-eye Gage. "You lookin' for somebody specific?"

The Caprican drawl earns a narrowing of eyes from the Tauron marine. Or maybe it's the amused tone that comes with it. Gage shifts weight onto his heels as he considers the other marine for a beat or two. "Maybe," he says, after a moment. "You play?" he asks, his precise meaning perhaps more clear when he draws out a deck of Triad cards, setting them down on the table, before he twists one of the chairs around and settles himself down, leaning on the backrest.

'Maybe' gets a skew of Noah's brows, something skeptical about it -- in a 'that's a weird way to answer that question' sort of way. Still, he doesn't ask, and when Gage drops into a seat Noah drags his feet off of the table and lets his own chair drop down onto all four legs again. He lets his book fold closed, and tosses it aside into the rest, eyeing the deck of cards. "I've been known to make poor decisions," is how he chooses to answer, with a slow grin, lazy and wry.

Despite himself, that answer earns a low-throated chuckle from Gage that suggests he's just as familiar with poor decision making models. He starts shuffling the deck, then, eyeing the other marine as he does so. "Tomak," he offers, presumably by way of introduction.

There's an easy way about Noah, most of the time. Not just the lazy smile, but the way he leans forward into his arms on the table and the way he watches Gage shuffle, eyes lidding. Underneath that air of almost leonine repose, though, there's something else. Readiness, of a kind. All of the energy he has, and isn't expending. "Westlake." He watches the shuffle for a beat or two more, then leans back and turns his head, lifting a hand to use it to whistle: short, sharp, piercing. The other two tables of soldiers glance up, but only the one table continues to look, like maybe Noah had been chatting them up earlier, and they're an auxiliary part of his current social circle. "C'mon. Some of you better pad out this pot, or this game's gonna be over in a hurry."
A few glances are exchanged, and then three of them get up, chairs scraping.

Gage gives a bit of a grunt as the other marine offers his name, continuing shuffling. He's not doing anything fancy, not showing off. Just the basics, ma'am. "Caprican, huh?" he asks, with somewhat of an inscrutable tone to it. Noah's whistle draws his gaze sidelong towards one of the other tables, giving a brief smirk as he continues to shuffle while some other marines walk over to join their table.

Gage and Noah are sitting at one of the octagonal tables, currently by themselves -- Noah has a stack of books next to him, and a few 'hot girls and nice cars, two great things that go great together' magazines -- but there are three people getting up from one of the other tables to join them.
Noah settles back into that forward lean against his elbows, and impassively studies Gage out of the corners of his eyes after that little question. The easy demeanor remains in place, to the extent that he lifts his chin and drags a thumbnail over the stubbled cut of his jaw, squinting, as his gaze turns away.
"Cap City, yeah." Pause. "Sounds like there was a hell of a dustup before the Dauntless took off again." This pause is longer, ends with one of his brows arching and that sidelong gaze returning. Still mellow, but it has an edge of almost idle curiosity, now. "That gonna be a problem?"

Akeso doesn't make much of a splash with her entrance, she's just another khaki uniform amongst many. The only difference between her and the next marine is that she has a book tucked under her arm. So that's cool. She's literate. It looks like something serious too, not a rolled up copy of Aleksander's Gunz'n'Girlz or Noah's Fast and the Flexible, either. There's a look towards the library shelf like she's just come in for a new read, but spotting Gage, she takes the long way and detours to the octagonal table. She nods.

"Might be," a problem, presumably, though it makes Gage, unaccountably, give a low laugh. "Depends. You an asshole like most other Capricans I've met?" his brows go upwards, challenging. A couple of the marines that have joined them roll their eyes, like this is not a new story from the Tauron. "C'mon, Tomak, we gonna play or what?" Grimacing, the Tauron flicks the speaker a couple of cards, pausing at Akeso's approach. "Ma," he greets, briskly, fingers flickering towards a seat in invitation.

The books beside the fast and flexible -- very funny -- are as far away from the content of those glossy pages as it's possible to get, unless one is a person with very, very peculiar tastes. Which, given the print above Noah's bunk? Might be the case. Regardless: one of them concerns machine cognition, another looks like a bound copy of some treatise on heuristics. Dry. Very, very dry.
Might be. Noah seems to take that with equanimity, nodding slowly. His expression doesn't change much save to take on a thoughtful cast, and hazel eyes travel the other man at the table like they're accounting for what kind of trouble that could be. The followup, though, draws another of those Puck's grins out of him. Wide and bright, it narrows his eyes, dominates his expression with excessive wattage. Tilts back in his chair again, though not as far, and laces his hands behind his head. "Shit. I have my days," he admits, wry.
Then he flicks a look up at the approaching Akeso, and tips his chin up in a little up-nod of greeting.

"Tomak," Akeso greets in similar fashion and with only the briefest of hesitations, she slides into the indicated chair before one of the other marines can claim it. Her book is set on the table and pushed aside where it won't be in the way, it looks like a treatise on holistic medicine the kind of stuff that's popular with the Sagitts. There's a nod at Noah, and a longer, measuring look, then a tap-tap on the table top. Looks like she wants to be dealt in.

The answer from the other marine draws a snort of what might be amusement, if brief, from Gage. "Best rob you for all your worth while I'm at it, then," he concludes, flicking the Caprican some cards, and Ma too -- even as she's tapping at the table. Apparently Gage takes the mere sitting of seat to be request to be included, insofar as Triad goes, anyway. Having never played with either marine yet, he remains watchful, taking a glance at his own cards, before gesturing towards one of the other marines that joined them. He holds up two fingers as he tosses two cards into the middle -- and Tomak flicks him two cards. Noah than receives a similar, lifted brow of inquiry. After a moment, "Ma, meet Westlake, probably Caprican asshole. Westlake, Ma, grunt-loving medic."

"You are going to be sorely disappointed, brother, by all I'm worth," Noah muses, dropping his chair to the floor again and reaching out to rest his palm on the table, fingers up, the better to catch the two cards spun his way. He aligns them and then uses his thumb to flip up the interior edge for a peek. "On which related note: they're not paying me anywhere near enough to fight marines, so if you could limit your unholy vengeance to the card table that'd be great for me."
Akeso's assessing study he answers with a wink, though his neutral look doesn't change. He doesn't object to the way Gage chooses to introduce him; there's a faint glimmer of amusement in his eyes, but it's low-key, gradually sinking back into that easygoing laziness he exudes.
He's in, apparently, and he moves his hand sideways over his cards in a declining gesture. He'll be keeping them.

"That could be confusing in the field, so I'm going to call you Wetlake," Akeso says matter of factly and without malice while not really looking at Noah at all, "Unless you have a better nickname." At least she's kind enough to append an out for the Caprican, incase he doesn't like his new name. Meanwhile, she neatly slides her cards to the edge of the table, aligns the edges, raps them to the tabletop and lifts them up again to carefully fan them to see what she's got to work with. Afterwards, she discards one and raises her finger for a replacement.

There's a definite grimace from Gage at Noah's use of the word 'brother'. Still, the Caprican's words receive a grudging acknowledgement: "Marines don't come for the pay, but the beer and bullets and explosions." Surely that's a universal truth they can all get behind. He flicks Akeso her one card, before he sets the deck down, and cups his hands around his own cards as he lifts the edges of them in a moment of study. He selects one card as well, tossing it on the table, before drawing one for himself. Ma's new nickname for the Caprican earns a rumble of a laugh, not really withheld. "You got a problem with es's, Ma?" he asks, as the other marine at the table throws a handful of cubits into the middle of the table.

If Noah notices the grimace, it doesn't show. He just digs around in a back pocket until he finds his wallet, then calls the round and as he's tucking the wallet away again, cubits now in front of him on the table -- not too many; he wasn't kidding -- he skews his brows dubiously at the medic. "How is 'Wetlake' not confusing on the radio? Lakes are wet more often than they're going to be west, Ma."

Akeso scoops up her card and adds it to her hand, not revealing much in the process. Did it make it stronger or weaker? Hard to say. She's got a stony expression on. "Easy to mishear things. There was a guy, North," She begins, distractedly, since she has to lean and search her pocket for some cubits to stack on the table before her. "He gets dinged in the head by a sniper when he's taking a piss in the bushes. So everyone in the patrol hears the shot, and his friend starts yelling 'North! North!', looking for him and half the squad thinks he's spotted the sniper and it was confusing. So, you're Wetlake." Story time thus concluded, she tosses some cubits in the pot. Raising a minor amount.

Free time! That means the Crew Lounge is one of the possible destinations that Aleksander seeks and this time he does, the usual magazine of 'Gunz n Gurlz' tucked under his arm. Also, his usual couch is free, much to the Tauran's delight and as he makes his way over to the comfortable seat, his gaze shifts over to the activity at the Triad table. People are playing... and two of them he knows. Very interesting. So he can't help but begin to detour in that direction.

"The Caprican has a point," Gage observes, managing a not-overly-friendly tone to the word 'Caprican' as he waits for his turn to bet. "Why not just call him Wet?" is added, with a brief smirk, that turns into a low chuckle at Akeso's story. "She has a point," he acknowledges, with a lift of brows towards Noah, as if to say, 'what now?' It's his turn, and after a brief glance at his own cards, expression unwavering, he raises on top of Ma's cubits. The other marine immediately snorts and folds, while Gage's gaze slants towards the new arrival. "Davy," he says, in easy welcome, with a nod.

The way Noah is looking at Akeso -- brows knit, one higher than the other -- says he's not buying her reasoning, but he finds the insistence at least a little bit entertaining. With a shake of his head, and a drawn breath he expels as a sigh afterward: "Whatever creams your doughnut, doc."
He shoots Gage a by-no-means-serious, sour and incredulous look, sitting up and holding his hands out to either side of him, palms up. Oh, you're going to take her side? Like the Tauron hadn't made his stance on Capricans abundantly clear; like this is a surprise. He's watching the game under all of this banter, and he briefly considers calling Gage -- but then the other marine at the table folds, and Noah follows suit. There's another of those lazy, hundred-watt grins as he settles back to watch the round play out. "Yeah, that's a good idea. Just say 'wet' over the radio anytime you're talking about me. Nobody's gonna get the wrong idea."

"North survived, but forever after his name was Pissbush." Akeso quietly notes, as if that's the ultimate moral of the story. "Rough translation... It sounds classier in Leonese." As many things do. Never once does she smile or make like she's just pulling Noah's leg. Super serious medic, is super serious. That doesn't change until she follows Gage's nod and greeting and looks up at Davy. "You're looking better. I guess you didn't need a head transplant, after all." That's when she actually smiles, waving the other Tauron closer to her for unknown, but probably not fatal reasons.

"Tomak," Comes the greeting in turn as Aleksander nears the Triad table, "Let me know when you guys have room for one more, if you're all still playing for a bit. I've got cubits and cigarettes to wager." Magazine is of course not included. He does fall silent as he listens in on the coversation, apparently the table is chatting about nicknames that some may have been given while serving. When Pissbush is mentioned though, the Tauran can't help but laugh as he looks to Akeso and says the word in Leonese, then laughs again as he certainly finds it funny in that langauge as well. As for how he is doing, his free hand does go up to touch the bandage over the gauze that is covering his wound, "Yeah, stitches are either coming out tonight or tomorrow." When the combat medic waves him closer and actually smiles, he suddenly gets suspicious and there is hestitation before he does move to her side of the table as requested.

"At least nobody's going to mistake that for a direction. Or," Gage considers for a half-beat, "Maybe they will. But it'll be entertaining, if so." He certainly sounds pleased, chuckling to himself. Akeso's story earns a lift of brows, as if disbelieving. "Never name me, Ma," he says, flatly. Maybe it's a distracting technique, since immediately after, he flickers fingers towards her cards. "Calling or folding?" Raising isn't an option, clearly. "Ought to be done in another minute," he adds, to Aleksander, with a knowing sort of smirk at Akeso, like he's sure she'll fold any second now.

Noah catches the laugh that sneaks up on him in his sinuses as a snort. He cants back lower in his chair, props a foot on the center post of the table underneath, arms banded loosely over the breadth of his chest. "Everything sounds better in Leonese," he agrees, gaze trained on the tabletop and the cards still sitting there, waiting to be revealed.
He glances up when a second Tauran accent makes an appearance, and he has an up-nod for Aleksander too. "I'm sure I'll bust out in a hurry." He doesn't sound too cut up about it, though.

Akeso doesn't look at her cards again, but calls and raises again. Like before, it's not a significant amount, but it is a raise. The cubits are added to the pile as she stands and with cards pressed to chest, reaches over to poke at Davy's head injury, or rather the bandages. "That's good. I couldn't tell just how deep it was in that light, but I didn't see any brain coming out." Somehow she doesn't make the obvious joke about him lacking brains to spill. Instead she seems genuinely pleased that he's okay. When she turns back to the game, there's an affirmative nod for Noah and a bit of a shrug for Gage, "Tomak isn't confusing. You can keep it, until you do something stupid."

"They didn't rob you of your last cubits already, did they?" Aleksander asks with amusement at the newly transferred rifleman, Noah as he makes his way to Akeso's side. He does look at the pot growing in the middle from Gage's raise to the combat medic's re-raise, a light whistle released between his lips. Then he is poked out and he can't help but jerk his head back, out of range of the prodding finger, "A little higher and there may have been some spillage. Thanks though." He does look to Tomak to see what the other Marine will do, call, raise, or fold.

"Never cared for Leonese," is Gage's bland opinion. After another drop of eyes to the table -- but not, perhaps notably -- another look at his cards, the engineer considers the cubits Akeso has added. After a moment, he adds just enough to call, gaze going back towards her. "Won't take long, then," he allows, with a brief, chuckled grin. "Though I wouldn't object if a big play worked and you ended up calling me Tank-Killer. Though again, that could get confusing."

"Nah, just a call. But I didn't sit down with much. Wasn't expecting a game." The pile of books and a couple of magazines next to him suggest he was already here before the game got rolling. He watches the medic assess the other marine, then shifts his attention Gage's way, entertained. "I get to like it because I have absolutely no frakking idea what any of it means. It just sounds good in the dark." His half-smile widens a fraction, and then two beats later: "Are you guys gonna flip those cards over for a look or just keep playing tiddly-winks with your cubits?"

Akeso floats a suggestion in Leonese, just to be like that. It doesn't sound very much like Tank-Killer, "Mon petit bout de chou?" As for playing tiddly-winks, she looks across at Gage, back to the others and finally calls. No raise this time. The correct number of cubits are taken from her small line of stacks and placed with finality in the pot.

For now, Aleksander remains silent as he watches as cubits are being thrown in and then waits to see what the hands will be from both sides, eager to see who will be scooping up the decently sized pot. And perhaps to mentally make a note on how each player's pay and how much they are willing to put into the middle with their hand strength.

"We can wait for you, if you want to lose a lot more," Gage, being his usual oh-so-friendly self, notes to the Caprican. The latter words earn a roll of his eyes. "If you're after Leonese Princesses, Wetlake, Davy has first call," he flickers fingers at the other Tauron, with a brief grin. That fades soon enough at Akeso's suggestion? of a name. "Far too frakking fancy for my liking. Also, you can't yell it out quickly." When Akeso calls, he considers not his cards, but her for a moment longer. When she calls, he raises, with a sudden grin.

"See? Even the insults sound angelic." Actually, Noah has no idea whether or not he was just insulted, but he's a quick study and Akeso has a way about her. Call it an educated hypothesis.
For the first time since sitting down at the table, Gage gets a derisive sound out of Noah. "I'm not after anything. Princesses least of all." He turns that dubious look up at Davy, as though trying to factor that piece of information in. "What do you want princesses for? Talk about high maintenance." He glances down again just in time see Gage raise again, then lets his head drop back to rest against the back of his seat, reaching out to drag his book back toward him. Settling in for the long haul, apparently.

"They do, but sometimes I like to swear like my mother, in Tauran." Akeso admits as she takes her sweet time deciding whether she's going to sink more cubits in a possibly lost hand or not. That's no audible humming, but she slowly tips her head from one shoulder to the other, eyes Gage impassively for a long five seconds or so and then finally matches the raise. "It's more... satisfactory. Like kicking a person in the teeth rather than slapping them across the mouth with a glove." There's a glance aside and an arch of the brow of the talk of the Leonese princesses, but if she has an opinion, it stays in her head for now.

<FS3> Akeso rolls Wits+Triad: Success (8 7 5 2 2)

<FS3> Gage rolls Wits+2: Good Success (8 8 6 5 1 1 1)

<FS3> Akeso rolls Wits+2: Good Success (8 7 7 6 4 3 2)

"Shooting low, huh?" Gage replies blandly to Noah. As for why Leonese Princesses, he gives a half shrug and a gesture to Davy. Clearly he doesn't get it. His lips twitch upwards as she calls again, and, with a, 'so be it', gesture of shoulder-shrugging, flips his cards. He's got two pairs, one of tens, one of fives. It's a decent hand, by itself, but is it enough?

Shooting low, huh? Noah glances at Gage and rolls his shoulders, that half-smile lingering, albeit only a phantom of its former self. He says nothing -- an ambiguous, essentially meaningless response. Outside of egregious innuendo or the occasional sly quip, he has zero interest in discussing whatever passes for his private life. And anyway, the cards are finally getting flipped over, so there are plenty of other things to talk about.
He leans forward in his seat to have a look at Gage's hand. Shifts his attention to the doc after that, one brow up.

There's a sudden, all too bright smile from the medic, and a snap of her fingers. Akeso has it! The nickname Gage really should be sporting, or maybe would be if he were in the Legion or alone in the dark with her, "Mon rayon de soleil." She says it softly like a seductive caress, leaning in over the table towards the engineer as she does. In the same motion she takes her cards from her chest and spreads them out languorously to reveal the triad equivalent of a full house. It's enough to beat the Tauran's hand. She's sporting enough to give him a most innocent of looks, like 'golly gee, I don't know how that happened - I must just be lucky, I guess', all the while reaching out to gate the far side of the pile of cubits with her arms and pull slide them back to her side. "Merci."

When Gage reveals his hand, Aleksander nods his head slightly as if to agree that it is a pretty good hand, but when Akeso reveals hers after the flowery Leonese, the rifleman can't help but widen his eyes slightly, "Wow... that was certainly unexpected." He looks over to his Tauran brother and shakes his head slightly, "As suspected, never be lulled into a false sense of security from that always calm demeanor she has." Now even Davion has reservations about wanting to sit down to play a few hands.

There's a sharp exhale of breath from Gage at Akeso's bright smile. He knows well enough that moment when he's done, and it's visible in the slight slump of shoulders and the tugging downwards of the corners of his mouth. And there, when she reveals her hand, a flat grimace. "Well-played," he admits, grudgingly as he reaches for the cards, rather than the cubits, as he'd no doubt hoped, shuffling them for another round. <<Frakking trisky,>> he adds in Tauran, apparently forgetting Ma speaks it. Or maybe not forgetting.

It's less that she wins the hand than the style with which she does so that has Noah sitting back in his chair with his eyes lidding and his grin wide and sharp enough to nick a vein. When it gets like that, full strength, it draws out the very faintest suggestion of what will one day probably be crow's feet at the outer corners of his eyes. He has the kind of smiles that seem like full-body affairs.
His laughter is more subtle -- just the plane of his chest shaking a time or two, and the cords in his neck closing around whatever might try to escape. Hazel eyes take in every disappointed nuance of Gage's expression, but he -- probably wisely -- says nothing about the loss. All he contributes is a low whistle.

Akeso's newly acquired cubits are carefully stacked up as she waits for the next round, smile evaporated as she concentrates on the careful ordering of her coin. It has to be /just/ so. When it is, she looks up again at everyone else, Aleks gets an especially long look as if she's concerned for him. Maybe it's all the standing he's doing. "So?" She prompts, sort of out of the blue, but also because there's a bit of a lull and quiet to fill. Not that she seems the type to be uncomfortable with silence or anything.

Though his Tauran brother lost the hand, Aleksander can't help but laugh again in amusement. When Akeso levels the short and rather open ended question at him, he turns his gaze on her and shakes his head, "What you expect me to sit down and dump my credits onto the table after seeing /that/?" He doesn't exactly say no though as he releases a sigh, "Very well, deal me in for the next round. If it happens a second time, then I /will/ be worried."

Gage isn't exactly the talkative, social type to fill the void of silence, so he just focuses on dealing. He's already assumed Aleksander is 'in', and flips cards towards the empty chair he's nearest, along with the others. <<At least offset my loss, brother,>> he remarks with a flicker of amusement in Tauran. And then: "I'm sure Ma will go easy on the new kid." A thumb towards Noah indicates the Caprican.

Noah barks a sound that's a little bit like a laugh. "Yeah. She seems the type. Real, uh." Slant look at Akeso. He unfolds his arms and sits up again, drills his fingers on the table once. "Soft bedside manner." The words aren't especially dry, but neither does he make any effort to be convincing. When the cards are slung out for the next round, he intercepts his the same way he did last time, still in the game.

"I'm not a nurse," Akeso firmly notes, "If you find me at your bedside, I'm not there to fluff your pillows." Or treatment in general, her tone suggests. She'd be there for, uhm, other reasons; sexy ones or murder-y ones. Either way, no mercy. The cards she's dealt are captured with one hand and when the last is slid under her palm she scoops them all up for a peek. There's not much of a reveal there from her, whether they're good cards or not, she merely reaches over and takes the ante off the top of the nearest stack and holds until it's her turn to throw in.

Putting his magazine down off to the side, Aleksander takes the empty seat where the cards are being dealth and begins to lean back slightly in his chair, working the kinks out in his neck as he waits for the dealing to finish. When Gage mentions that Akeso may go easy on the new guy, Davion can't help but laugh again, though by the sound of it he doesn't believe a word. Picking up his cards, he studies them briefly but doesn't rearrange them, perhaps having learned that some better players may deduce a pattern.

Snapping his fingers, Gage is quick to leap on Noah's casual comment, "Soft Ma, that's what they call her." Or what he does, for however long it lasts, or however helpful it is to winning a hand. He dutifully hands out cards for those that discard them, though -- after a brief squint at his own cards, elects to discard a single card, snorting at Akeso's words as he adds his cubits to the pile. "You know," he says, as the cubits clink down, "Since you outrank us all, Ma, you ought to do us a solid and lose to help us lower-paid grunts out."

If the look on Noah's face is anything by which to judge, he's strongly inclined to suspect the murder-y ones. Wary skepticism dominates his expression as he tilts his head to have a look at the flipped up end of his dealt cards. And, that done, he makes the following observation, though it doesn't sound like a value judgement: "You're a little scary, Soft Ma." Doesn't skip a beat, picking up that cue from Gage.
He sits back in his chair, discards a single card, antes up. "Yeah, right? Do your part for morale."

"How about I just fold since you've dealt me a hand of hot garbage?" Akeso kindly offers, and doesn't wait for a reply. Her cards are dropped face down and pushed away as though they were, in fact, trash. She barely wants to touch them. "They used to call me Minouche." Which she pronounces mee-noosh. "Which is almost the same as a Soft Ma, but has a nicer flow, I think. And it doesn't make me want to stab anyone, which I think, also, is good." Not that she's angry, she's just saying, her tone and expression decidedly neutral, if not mildly amused.

Without looking up from his cards, Aleksander says, "You guys still on about nicknames? Leave it to the pilots, they're the ones that need fancy callsigns and stuff to stay special. I'm perfectly fine with my own name and just chewing up toasters with my teeth." Then he reaches for his own cubits with a hand and decides to start the action, a modest bet to start with. "Now, let's play cards."

Credit where it's due, even Gage has to chuckle, if briefly, at the Caprican's assessment of their new medic. "Think it's part of their training. Tough love, ecetera. They go to the same school as all drill instructors." A brow lifts at Akeso's words, adding, "Play the hand you're dealt -- or don't," he adds with a slight brightening of countenance when she folds out. "Minoch?" yeah, he misprounces it. But he's a grunt, not a linguist. Aleksander's words earn a grin, as he, too, throws in a handful of cubits to match.

Noah calls, but he's shaking his head at the medic, and then nodding along with Gage's editorializing. "That is the opposite of good for morale. The stabbing thing." That sounds full of judgement. But he does call, anyway, even though he pauses to glance down at his watch. Whatever free time he has, he still needs to cram a workout in, and the clock never does stop ticking.

Akeso knits her fingers together behind her head, like she's being arrested for stabbing someone, but is instead just relaxing and watching the others play out the hand. "Minouche. Or Ma, is just fine. That's who most people want to call for when they're hurt." Tiny shrug. A brow is arched at Noah, but she does her part for moral by not threatening him with death or dismemberment. "I hope you have a comprehensive dental plan, Davy." Cause of the Cylon chewing.

When Gage follows through with the cubits, Aleksander looks up briefly but it seems like he was expecting the other Tauran to join in. When the Caprican also calls, there is an arched brow directed towards the new blood but no comments for now. It seems like Davion is a bit quieter, perhaps Akeso's hand from earlier still having an impact. When it's time for discarding, the Tauran rifleman selects only two to discard instead of the usual three. Does that mean he already has a three of a kind? Or is it just mind games. As for Akeso's comment, only a smirk is answered in kind as he doesn't speak for now.

Giving a grunt, Gage says, "Spoken like someone that's never had a Tauran mother. Frak, if I cried out when I was hurt, my mother would've given me a cuffing, not a kiss. Which," now that he's thinking about it, with a side-eyeing of Akeso, "Seems to fit. Sure you're not Tauran?" It might be a compliment, but then again, it might not be. Of the cards, he regards the other two remaining players for a moment, then throws just enough into the ante. "Call," he says, with a satisfied looking smile. Confident, if nothing else.

<FS3> Gage rolls Wits+2: Good Success (8 8 6 5 5 5 2)

<FS3> Noah rolls Wits: Success (6 3 3 2 2)

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

No raises on the table after himself -- a development that has one of Noah's brows slowly rising as he eyes the other two still in the hand. There's no knowing whether or not he'd have folded his pair of face cards (and an ace) if someone had pushed back more aggressively at him -- maybe yes, maybe no. He flips them over with a lazy flick of the wrist, and afterward unhurriedly stacks the books he brought, and the magazines. Whatever the outcome, it seems it'll be his only hand.

With the calls made by the two other Marines, Aleksander is the one that shows his hand first since he was the first to throw out a wager. It appears that he does have a three of a kind since he discarded two cards in exchange. A pretty good hand, nothing like a full house but certainly respectable. "Trips, since neither of you raised and just called, I'm guessing only a pair? Two pair at most?" He asks with a confident grin. Finally, Davion looks to Akeso and shakes his head, "See-Eff dental plan for us grunts are you medics, isn't it?"

"<<I said most people, not Taurans.>>" Akeso says, eerily enough, in perfect Tauran, like it's her first language. Maybe her mother being one isn't so far off the mark. She does smile just a touch, as if being cuffed for crying is one of her fondest memories. That would explain some things. She's still smiling when Davion lays out his hand and gives it a nod and him, she's the dental plan. "I can take them out, but dentures are beyond my abilities."

The other Tauran's card-reveals a grunt of disappointment from Gage, as he tosses his cards down, face up. It's a two pair, Queens high -- a good hand by many turns -- but not enough in his particular case, just edged out by Aleksander's hand. "Frak. Well, going to have to bum all my cigarettes off you for the next week, Davy." Just like every week. Ma just receives a look for her Tauran, as he gathers up the cards and starts to shuffle them again. One would think he should quit while he's behind, but that's no fun, clearly.

Noah abandons his lost cubits, retrieves his wallet, and puts the rest away. He's slow to rise, turning that unfolding of his frame into a stretch, and when it ends he drops his wallet into his back pocket again and reaches to collect his things. "Much as I'd like to stay and go for broke, there's some heavy shit on the ship that needs to be picked up and put back down again." Weightlifting. Probably? Hopefully. He knocks on the table twice. "See you 'round."
No 'nice to meet yous' or other formal pleasantries -- he just turns to go, leaving his chair empty for the next sucker with cubits to burn.

The mention of dentures has Aleksander frowning at the thought, "Ugh, I hope I don't live to /that/ age, to need dentures, and help going to the bathroom, that would be quite... sad." When Tomak shows his hand, Davion offers him a wide grin before saying, "You can bum them as usual, but I'm going to have to start a tab with you soon." With the number that the other marine has bummed off of him during missions. Then Aleksander's gaze shifts to Noah, waiting to see what the other grunt has only to see the other man giving up, "That bad huh? Some days are just bad for cards, maybe next time."

Akeso tilts her head back and leans a bit to watch Noah leave without much obvious shame for the gaze she directs at his backside. She doesn't look to the table and game at hand again until he's well to the hatch, if not out of it. There's a considering frown for what she's seen then a long breath out as she reorders her focus. Triad. "I thought you were going to go easy on him." She tsks, but she's not that upset. "It's usually the ones that don't want to, that do get old. Fate, I guess. You'll be a decrepit potato sitting out on the porch raving about killer toasters one day. Definitely."

"I'll pay it off come shore leave, as always," Gage assures Aleksander, before watching Noah's departure with somewhat of a grimace. <<Doesn't seem that bad. For a Caprican.>> And that's saying something. Still, even with the loss of one of their players he seems keen to try and win back at least some of the cubits he's lost, dealing out cards again without checking, undoubtedly hoping by inertia another round's in the offering. "Doesn't sound like a bad life," he grunts, of Ma's description.

At the mention of going easy on the new guy, Aleksander gives the departing Noah a glance before shaking his head, "Not when it comes to cards and cubits, Ma. I play to win and I usually win." He says, a grin back when he turns his attention back to the table. As for his future, the grin turns into a scowl as a rather bleak picture is painted, "Not if I find that elusive Leonese Princess. Then I will get to live the rest of my life out of luxury and ease." When Gage mentions payment, Davion nods his head as if finding that to be perfectly acceptable since the other Tauran did do so last time. <<He was a Caprican? I should've slow played that hand then, and taken his wallet too. But I guess if he is serving with us now, he will hopefully not be as uptight like the rest of the snobs on that planet. Only time will tell when we are in a firefight with the canners.>>

Akeso rubs her jaw absently until her fingers follow the curve to her ear and she plays with the lobe while she's waiting on her cards. "Could be worse," She agrees, about that retired potato life, "You could end up with a Leonese princess." When her cards number a full hand, she slips them to the edge of the table and from there to her chest. There's no indication that they're any good, and she plucks two from the middle and discards them. "At home the Taurans mostly hate the Leonese." She comments absently, as if she finds the Caprican hate sort of odd through that lens.

<<Toyboy to a Leonese?>> Gage's expressive grunt suggests he, at least, thinks that's a dumb idea. Still, Aleksander's latter words earn a low chuckle. <<Only somewhat of a Caprican-asshole,>> is the engineer's assessment of the departed Caprican. He casts a brief, darted glance at his own cards before leaving them flat, taking and dealing cards for the others as needed. His brow goes upwards at Ma's comment, glancing towards Aleksander. "Where's 'home'?" he asks Ma.

"There is quite a bit of conflict here on Sagittaron, unfortunately, with everyone trying to get their hands on the prized resources." For Aleksander, in his previous life on Tauron, the hate was directed more towards the Capricans than Leonese. "I can't hate the Leonese, they're the ones that gave me a second chance at life with the Legion." He does reach out for his own cards once they are dealt, this time discarding two yet again. The same play as last time apparently. With Gage asking the question, even though Davion already knows the answer, one he stumbled upon purely by accident and perhaps with one foot in mouth, he stays silent so that Akeso can answer it. However, after getting his two new cards, Aleksander starts the bet again, tossing in a few chips, still wary since the combat medic is still in the hand.

"We're parked over it." Akeso answers wryly, with a look down where somewhere below through all the deck plates and armor, there's a beautiful little strife filled planet. Not that she's bitter, nor hugely proud. It's just a fact, and she's relating it. She antes up after she slips her two new cards into her hand. "You were in the Legion too? Did you get your citizenship, or are you going back to Tauron after this is over?" She asks Davy, curious. There's a look to Gage as well, like she's wondering if he's also been a Legionnaire.

Again, Gage discards just the one card, but and sticks it out with a dropping of cubits, though there might be a grimace when he glances in his wallet that time. Still, he seems determined to stick it out, until he wins or goes broke, presumably. "Ah. I wasn't aware." Not that he'd bothered to ask before, go figure. "Must be strange, being here." If that look from the medic is inquiry, he's blithely pretending not to notice.

At Akeso's question to him about being in the Legon, Aleksandr nods his head, "Been in it for years, and I had intended on staying until they booted me here." Sounds like transferring to the Colonial Forces was his choice, which is interesting, "Can't wait till I finish my tour here so I can return to being a Legionnaire." There is not much mention of Davion returning to Tauron, his original home, a subject he seems to be trying to sneakily avoid. When the other two have finished their discards and collected their replacement cards, Aleksander tosses a few more cubits in the middle to push the action, waiting to see if he will have callers or even if either one are daring enough to raise him.

Akeso looks between the pair of mystery men and knows better than to pry much beyond what's offered. It's not like there was ever a shortage of Legionnaires who didn't want to discuss their past. She raises a modest amount, just casually tossing the cubits into the pot without really looking save to count out money. "I never spent much time in the Virgon protectorate. I grew up in a town in the Sypra region, and the Legion deployed me to the Oran province for just about my entire three year tour. Joined to get away from Sagittaron and the joke was on me." She clicks her tongue. It was such a funny joke she forgot to laugh. "Maybe they'll requisition you a princess if you stay in long enough."

Perhaps Gage would raise, if he had the funds to do so. Maybe he's just putting it on. Either way, he watches the others keenly to see if they'll raise, while he sticks with calling, another grimace given as he does so. He seems apt to avoid talking too much about his own plans, instead, "If it helps, our tours usually don't last more than a couple of months in any one area. Just enough to stabilize it. But I'd imagine," with the briefest of grimaces, "We'll be back here, sooner or later."

This time, Aleksander doesn't laugh in amusement at the unfortunate assignment that Akeso drew, having heard plenty of stories just like that where he knows it is an unfortunate situation. However, at the mention of a Leonese Princess being requisitioned for him, he grins again, "I wonder how many years of service it would take for that?" Davion does glance at the amount that Akeso had raised, a modest amount which only increases his suspicion. He doesn't pick up his own cubits just yet, waiting to see if Gage will fold, call, or raise, "Yeah, Tomak is right. Our Operations lasts a month, maybe two at the most. They keep us moving."

"I know I will be. I'm just on loan from the Free Militia." Akeso smiles, less at what she's said, but more by how careful the other two are being with their cubits. She raises again, this time by more, as if to see if they have the stomach to call. That done, she regards Aleksander carefully, "Several lifetimes for an NCO. Maybe ten if you get a battlefield commission and some promotions." Beat and shake of her head, "You'd probably have a better shot retiring to Leonis and using your wiles to attract one as a civilian. Just don't get shot in the face."

Either Gage is playing cautiously, or he's playing. Hard to tell. Either way, he doesn't raise, just calls again. When Akeso makes her play with cubits -- that were until recently his cubits -- he grimaces and, radiating reluctance, pushes his cards forward, still face down, folding arms and sitting back in a clear expression of defeat. <<Wiles,>> he repeats the word in Tauran, disbelievingly, as he eyes Aleksander. <<Maybe find one to rescue from a castle.>>

When Akeso goes through the options of actually landing a Leonese Princess in what seems to be a serious manner, Aleksander only watches on, not exactly in disbelief but surprised that she is laying out some sort of possible and plausible long term plan. He was about to mention that if the Cylons can't shoot him in the face, some stuffy Leonese noble wouldn't be able to either, but the bandage on his cheek is a quick reminder to watch his words. When Gage chimes in about 'wiles', Davion nods solemnly to the other Tauran, <<Yes, I think I will try to rescue one from a castle.>> Then he tosses in his cubits to call Akeso's raise and waits for her to show her hand since neither he or the combat engineer re-raised.

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

<FS3> Aleksander rolls Wits+4: Good Success (7 6 6 5 4 2 1)

<<That's your best option.>> Akeso readily agrees and as there's no chance of adding more to the pot, she looks to the princess chaser, offers him a sad sort of apology smile and lays down her hand. It's four of a kind. This time she doesn't bother looking innocent about it either, but sits back and arches a brow, waiting for Aleksander to reveal his own hand or flip the table in rage. Either one will probably work. "Have you considered Virgon princesses? They actually still have castles, I think."

Leaning forward to try and sight the other's cards, Gage's exhale of breath might well suggest it was a good thing he folded. <<You'd better find some bar down there to buy us drinks, Ma,>> he grumbles.

It appears that Davion's cautiousness in just calling Akeso's raise saves him money even though he lost the hand, he would usually re-raise with the hand he has but he takes care playing against a new player who has shown such a strong hand. It is the right decision when she reveals her hand, which causes his jaw to drop for a moment. "What the..." He then narrows his eyes at Gage, "Your shuffling sucks." Aleksander doesn't flip the table but he does toss his cards face down, mucking his hand. "Crazy hand, Ma. And no thanks, I'll stay on Leonis."

Akeso dutifully collects her winnings and like before, neatly arranges and piles them all up. She doesn't smile or gloat over them, nor throw any jibes around. Winning that much is jibe enough. <<You're good sports. I'll buy you both drinks, my dirt-eating brothers.>>. Well, okay, that last part is kind of insulting, but she's included herself, given she's half dirt-eater. She rises at that point, scooping up the cubits and making them quickly disappear into her pockets, <<Maybe we can find someone softer to sit in my chair for a few rounds. I don't want to clean you out.>>

"Aint my shuffling. We've got an honest-to-Gods shark in our midst, Davy," Gage corrects the other Tauron with a grumbling look at Akeso. One gets the feeling he's going to be licking his wounded pride -- and wallet -- for some time before he plays with her again. He reaches out to collect the cards, shuffling them again -- but not to deal this time, just habit, perhaps. There's a grimace at Akeso's words. "And play with what?" he mimes turning out empty pockets, although not-so-empty, since he's tucking the cards into them as he pushes to his feet.

With Gage cleaned out, Aleksander grins and shakes his head, <<Yeah, what we should do is that next time we end up on Caprica, we bring Ma along and see if we can find us some arrogant Capricans that will mind very much having their pockets empty at a card table.>> There is a rather feral smile when he says that in his native language, <<No need to find a replacement, we can call it a night on cards. Gonna go lay out on the couch over there and take a nice break.>> It's not like he has been training very hard to warrant a well earned rest.

"<<I'm game.>>" Akeso says about emptying Caprican pockets, even if she doesn't seem to have much personally against them. It's that cold shark blood showing. She'd probably turn on her own, if the pot was large enough. There's a suppressed smile at the pantomiming Gage performs, but she's polite enough to not find it too funny. Not to his face, anyway. Her holistic medicine book is remembered and tucked back under her arm as she starts to move away from the table, adding, "Game over then. Merci bien, mes amies. I'll just go find a book on dental care now."

Now that is an idea a Tauran can get behind, judging by Gage's abrupt straightening and pleased guffaw that follows. <<That, my brother, is inspired,>> he says, admiringly, glancing towards Akeso to see if she's in. When she indicates her willingness, he chuckles, now, mood not quite as dark. "Good deal. I'm off to get some chow -- at least that's free," only a brief grimace at how much he's lost, before he's trucking off to find a meal.


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