After a mission well done, Gage kicks his feet up in the Marine Offices.
Location: Marine Office
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1468
The marine office isn't somewhere most people hang out, by and large by choice -- it's cramped and drab -- which also, perversely, makes it a good place to hang out when you're keeping a low profile. Gage is settled in one of the seats, swinging it back up onto two legs, his feet -- bootless, sockless, and oddly red -- resting up on the desk, one ankle crossed over the other. He's purloined a bottle from somewhere -- a favor, a triad chip cashed in, maybe the canteen -- and is gulping from it as he swings precariously back and forth on the two legs of his chair.
Not at all the sort of place one chooses to hang out, but certainly the sort of place one goes to when they've been relegated to doing paperwork. Note to marines without chic-lets on their collars. Never take a promotion unless you have to. because you end up like Abigail Walker, who hasn't set foot on the ground for nearly a full three-day cycle, but instead has been on mission planning and prep. She's just getting back with a new stack of printouts, rounding the corner and stepping into the room. A second, to catch sight of familiar feet. Don't ask. And then the rest of him. "Tomak. Still alive?"
"Only by dint of a great deal of Gods-damned luck, and Davy's admirable stubbornness and obliviousness to danger," Gage replies with a dark sort of humor, topping the words with a salute of his bottle before he takes another gulp, flexing toes of one foot with a brief grimace. "Brought Arda and the others back. In one piece, even." Which is an achievement all on its own that, after a moment's regard, requires the offering of bottle to the other engineer in turn.
Abigail says, "So...the usual." Abigail sets down the paperwork on the first open desk she can find, because really, who actually cares about paperwork. Also? Everyone shares desks. Hands free, she heads over towards where Gage has propped himself up, "You need an ice bath for those feet? I think someone left a cooler in the meeting room." A hint of something more serious as she hears Gage's assessment, "Including Montjoy?" A nod of thanks, as Abigail accepts the bottle, taking a small sip before she hands it back. She's still on-duty. Alas."
"Pretty much," is Gage's response, accompanied by a earnest grunt to punctuate his feeling on the matter. As for his feet, he winces. "That'd be worse," is all he says, flatly, scowling briefly. Scratching at his chin for a moment, he frowns. "Figure so. Never met the man myself. Looked like he hadn't eaten in a while, so it was probably him. There was a dead guy too, but I don't think he was one of ours." He takes the bottle back, not commenting on her lack of imbibing -- just takes another shot on her behalf, or something.
"Always worse before it gets better." Not that she's advocating pain or anything, "Thanks for that though. I think there will be a number of people I can pass that news along who've been worried after him. I'm sorry I wasn't there for the assist." It's still a new thing to be going on missions separately. "I'd kind of gotten used to tooling around the colonies frakking shit up with you." A hand reaches out, pulling one of the chairs over and spinning it around so she that can sit back to front on it.
The flat look Gage gives Abigail is probably familiar enough to interpret as displeasure at the rote phrase. "Managed without you, Walker," not a thing that anyone likes to hear, and obvious even to the taciturn Tauron, since he goes on: "Aint like you're chained to this desk. If Mercer can get out, you can too. Besides, there's a shit-ton more SAM sites waiting for our attentions down there," he says, with a brief chuckle. Now that's a sentiment he can get behind.
Abigail seems not in the least bit put out or put off by Gage's look, indeed, it seems to tickle her enough that her lips curl into a crooked smile, "Oh, I have no doubt that you did. It's just more fun with a buddy." A shake of her head though, at his comment, "Oh, I know that I'm not, but the trouble is, that so few of the Staffs like to actually do paperwork, that the brass is trying out this new system. We each take turns doing all of the paperwork. I think they're hoping that will break some bad habits. Honestly, I haven't minded. It's been nice to get back into planning the missions, not just executing them." She pops up, briefly, heading over to the meeting room, and probably from exactly the same cooler she just offered, carries back two bottles of water, ignoring the dropping trail she's leaving through the office proper, "You do know how to sweet talk a girl, Tomak. Next thing you know, I'll never want to leave Sagittaron."
Gage's grimace pretty clearly suggests he thinks Abigail's gone nuts over the idea of paperwork and planning being 'nice'. "To each their own," he grunts, with a shake of his head. "Gotta remember to frak up enough never to get there myself," because clearly, he is not a man to lead, nor does he have the ambition to -- far from it. "Sag is a shithole," he says, plainly. "But it's their shithole and the locals seem determined to make it their own again. Hard not to admire that in some way." Another grimace. "Protecting frakking Tyllium mines though? Hoo-frakking-rah."
"I have no doubt that you'll find a way. Most of the junior enlisted sit around, I have no doubt, dreaming up ways to avoid being promoted. Sadly, it comes to everyone eventually." How well the engineer knows that. Abigail sets down one of the bottles close enough for Gage to reach, cracking the other one and shaking off the last of the water, before she settles back onto her seat and take a few long swallows. "I don't admire it, actually. Not when they're shooting themselves in the foot in the middle of a war. if I were one of the locals, I would be cozying up to the CF, getting in good relations to use later one, after the cylons were out, as backup to help me plead my case."
"Frak. Things going how they are, I'll be dead or back to the Tauran Military well before then," either of which, to Gage, seems preferable to actually being in a position to have to lead, judging by his flat expression. He eyes the water, then her, then smirks, leaning forward -- or rather, setting all legs of his chair flat against the floor -- to set his bottle aside. He grabs the water, takes a few good swallows, opening his mouth in a, 'see, ma, I swallowed it' expression before he goes back to balancing on the chair's back two legs. "Eh. To them, we came because of the Virgans, and the Tyllium, not because we give a shit about them. After so long, aint hard to see how it'd be hard for them to believe otherwise even if everything we were doing didn't just back up that assertion."
Abigail finishes fully half of the bottle of water before she recaps it, swinging the bottle from her fingers, the water sloshing as she bangs it gently against the back of the chair she's leaning into, "Let's hope for dead. You come back a war hero and you know what they'll do to you on Tauron. Next thing you know, you'll be tooling around like Rothschild, shaking babies and kissing hands. Another curl of her lip, as she sees him take the obligatory sip of water, "If I were them I wouldn't give a shit why we came. I would want to throw us at the cylons as often as possible, to get rid of the problem so I didn't have to. You don't have to like someone to use them to further your own goals." A beat, "Also, I wouldn't say th CF gives a shit about them either, as far as they goes. They're not in the business of liberating humans from their own kind."
"Aint nobody making me into a poster child," Gage says with a certainty backed by dark humor at the very idea, chuckling briefly. "Babies would cry, photographers would prefer a shot of the fuzzy background behind me." The Tauron's head tilts as he regards Abigail. "We have a saying on Tauron. <<Don't bite the hand that feeds you, unless that hand is also oppressing you. And then bite it off, too.>>" It sounds harsh and guttural in his native tongue. "It basically means that freedom is everything, but if you have to kow-tow to get that freedom, it aint worth shit. Maybe there's still enough Tauran in the Sagittarans that that's true for them, too."
"You'd be surprised, actually. Sometimes people want the good looking one. Sometimes they want the one who's actually been on the ground doing the work." Still, she shakes her head, at Gage's comment, listening, intently to the words, though she doesn't speak Tauran. The sound of it seems to interest her, "While I can agree with the sentiment, I can't agree with the execution here. I mean...think about it. If it were you. You're fighting an occupying force, in this case, the Virgons. Another enemy comes in, the cylons. A third force comes in, that's the CF, that wants to get rid of the second force that you're fighting that you don't have the capability to fight...why would you get in the CFs way? If nothing else, they're retrying to get you back down to only having one enemy you need to fight. It just doesn't make sense."
Gage gives another grunt. "Well, if they need someone, Davy can have it. He took out a frakking heavy raider single handed." No small feat, and enough to impress even the engineer, it would seem. His arms fold across his chest as he teeters back and forward, shaking his head after a moment. "It's been too long to think about it rationally like that, Walker. After so many years, it's just... emotion. Years of putting up with someone else's shit. Instinctual, in a way that never leaves you. Everyone's out to frak you just becomes a way of life."
Abigail's lips purse into a whistle, "Impressive. I was sure it was going to be Chance that had that honour. he just looks the type." Not that Davy isn't big...but Chance is on a whole other level of large. A shift of her shoulders, "I suppose I look at it differently, being from Picon." One of the few colonies that has never been under the control of any other power and always fought off all attempts. "But as far as I can tell? Emotions don't win wars. They never have. Knowledge, planning and the careful use of resources do that. You let emotion get in there? And you're just going to be dashing yourself against the rocks and wasting precious resources and lives in a battle you'll never win. In effect, you end up doing the job of your oppresors for them. But hey, if the insurgents don't want our help, that's not on me or you, or anyone else in the CF."
"It was something all right," and enough to make Gage grin at remembering it. He lets the legs of the chair click down onto the floor again, this time pushing to his feet with only the mildest of grimaces. "Not saying it's smart, or it's gonna help them. Just how it is," the Tauron says with a shift of shoulders in the barest of shrugs, as he reaches for the water and downs just about all of the rest of his bottle. And then he eyes the other bottle, not without some regret, as he lifts it, uncapped. "Better get some food on top of that. Hungry, Walker?"
Abigail lifts her own bottle, finishing it off entirely, a hand flicking it into one of the recycling bins they've also added as a new feature to the offices. Single stream and all. Which usually means, on most colonies that it just ends up being dumped in a landfill somewhere, unbeknownst to the recyclers, but hey! It's the thought that counts, right? "How it is is stupid." And that's all the woman has to say about that. As Gage looks to be rising, Abigail does as well, "I never turn down a chance to get in a meal or a few hours of shut-eye. Lead on, I'll provide your backup."
The grin Gage flashes her says it all: just like old times. He leads the way out, walking more carefully than usual.