2237-10-11 - Piece By Piece

Erin and Kyle are working on a project for their bunks. Charlie gets dragged in for gossip.

Date: 2237-10-11

Location: Dauntless - Echo Bunks

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1476

Jump to End

"Girl be like my gravy
She drivin' me crazy
Hate me cuz I'm lazy."

Quite possibly the worst hip-hop song ever is playing lightly in the corner of Echo Bunk, but damn if the beat isn't infectious. Not far from the Top/Bottom combo Kyle Costello and Erin Hayes share is a table, and upon that table is a media unit that is droning out the sideways ballcap party anthem that was popular ten years ago in Caprica City. Visions of 'MCs' with sunglasses with one lens popped out bouncing can be seen on the screen, rapping out their terribly lyrics.

But Kyle Costello can't get enough of it. She's in a chair in a pair of short, black regulation shorts and a white tank top, butt-dancing in her chair to the beat as she unrolls a small package of tools before a veritable feats of scrapped parts.

In the center of these scrapped parts? A rather broken bunk lamp that has been busted off of its hinges.

"Becaaaaz I'm tha master of the attack and the plans and the mans wit' our vans." Kyle raps under her breath. "Awwww-shit, look at all these beer cans, Imma toss em' to my fans. Drink up y'all, Drink up y'all..."

As she has said many times, Erin Hayes is, somewhere within her chest, a scientist at heart. Dressed similarly, she also dons a set of jeweler's/tinkerer's lenses over her eyes -- real steampunk, for them Earthlings -- while inspecting the parts that she has gathered before her. She sits down like a normal person should. In one hand, she holds a ball-joint; in the other, a hollow, thin tube that she has drilled a pair of holes in, near the ends. She is about to pick up a screwdriver when Kyle breaks into the anthem's never-ending refrain.

It's enough to make her look up. Her lips curl into a frown. Trash pandas do not work well when they instinctively want to grind or frak. So, Hayes gives Costello a pugnacious gaze, and says, with a squint in her eye and curl in her lip:

"This music's terrible."

And, there. Gauntlet thrown.

Oh. No she didn't.

Kyle Costello sneers her lips and boggles her eyes, making the kind of face one would live in fear of having slapped through their back into permanancy towards Erin. The mockery of language, a nasally 'derrr music terribul' never comes, but Erin doesn't need to be a mind reader to hear it.

"Oh come on, you're trying to tell me that if we weren't on leave by the pool and didn't have a case of frakking beers that you wouldn't dance to this?" Kyle drops an ankle onto Erin's lap and reaches to the table, opening a package of magnets. "Six beers in and hats sideways, I'd bet you fifty cubits I could get you singing it; it's catchy, like the plague."

The music continues, and Kyle's butt-dancing in the chair doesn't stop. With a bobbing head and rocking shoulders, the sniper holds the magnets to the underside of the busted lamp, marking out with a small pencil where the eventual cut will need to be made.

"I grew up on this song. Babe, this was my party jam through high school. Every. Single. Party. Drink up, y'all."

Erin gives Kyle a delicate grin. Sure, she looks amused, but her jaw is set pretty tightly. Irritation? Yes, just a little.

"Look, sugarlumps, we aren't by a pool, though, right? And we don't have any frakking beers." She sets down her screwdriver, and reaches out to the bowl of 'borrowed' screws she managed to ferret out of the tech bay. "I mean, we're trying to put something together, right? Right." So serious. So very serious.

"And since I don't really want this thing on or in my head again, I want to get it done right, so -- " Snerk. " -- you mind changing this, whatever-it-is, into something that doesn't sound like the intermittent braying of a constipated donkey?"

Yep. It's so on now. Relationships are hard.

Kyle slows her grin and stares at her bunkmate/partner/accomplice. Ever so delicately, her chin lifts as slowly as her eyebrows do, peering at the ever-serious woman in growing understanding. By the glimmer in Kyle's eye, mental notes are being jotted down furiously. This song...has a future in their relationship.

"I'll have you know," Kyle begins, hips still rocking as she twists for the media unit. "My dad's garage is basically a radio station with an attached storefront. Up until I got called into this war, which is where I found you, I was spending hours a day under vehicles turning wrenches with everyone else banging their heads to music." Kyle snatches up the media unit and thumbs over the menus. "I do my best work to beats."


A piano and violin arrangement is found, and the hip-hoppety-git-down disappears, replaced by the sonorous tones.

"I believe in compromise."

Kyle sets the media unit back onto its kickstand perch and reaches for the box cutter that went missing, suspiciously, from a meeting room.

"Were things pretty quiet when you worked or studied back home as a kid?"


Erin slips a set of lenses over her eyes, and then focuses on her work. Her tongue sticks out from pressed lips as she lines up and threads a thin screw to connect her joint to the thin, metal tube.

"My parents'd spend, like -- " Beat. " -- hours just going outside, coming back in, checking sensors and readings, putting down their notes."

Erin sets down her work for a second, and then searches the parts on the table for another, similar ball-joint.

"Like, it seemed -- it would, like, hours before anyone said anything to one another. And then, we'd just -- "

She finds one, and then looks for another thin screw in the bowl of re-commissioned parts.

" -- like, eat. Go back to work, or read. And that was just one day: we were on that glacier for months." She sighs. "Months."

And then, she laughs, half-heartedly. "My life sucked."

Kyle sets down the strips of magnet onto a cutting board. Using her thumb, the box cutter ratchets out to a short length. The edge of her thumb locks the cutter into place, and shortly thereafter, Kyle is leaning forward in her own point of seriousness. Such is required to cut straight. Magnets these strong don't come cheap.

"I, gods, I can't imagine how isolating that must have felt. Sounds like solitary confinement at a pen'." Kyle lowers her voice, lips pressing together and rolling as the box cutter lines up to the pencil-drawn line. "Growing up on Caprica, I think I always assumed kids had it the same everywhere. I'm sorry."

Kyle tilts her hazel eyes to Erin's mouth, then back to her work. She grows silent as the box cutter pierces through the magnet and separates it into two pieces.

"Does my privilege bother you?" Kyle asks quietly. "Because I'm going to be honest. I'm making it a point of pride of mine that if your life sucked then, that I might be making it better."

For the moment, there's no response. That's because Erin has to put another pair of holes in her tube, which requires the mini-drill. Actually, it's some odd boring device that seems to have been put together with wire, some spare parts, and tape. Where she came upon it is anyone's guess.

"Hmm?" The raccoon looks up and blinks at Kyle from behind lens-covered eyes. Which she quickly flips back up. "Privilege? What are you talking about?" Beat. "I'm just saying, like, it -- I mean, growing up kind of sucked because I didn't really have any friends." Another beat. "No, check that, I really didn't have any friends."

She puts her goggles up on her forehead, and looks at what Kyle's doing. "Hard to say if life's better now, though, right?" Erin's smile is as rueful as can be. "My parents are dead. My planet's blown to shit. But -- " Shrug. "I mean, I've got a place to be. Friends to talk to now. And, for whatever reason, someone dumb enough to actually let me sleep with them. Can you believe that?"

She pulls her goggles back on. "You know what sounds like hell to me? High school. The backbiting. The power-jockeying. Sounds like a whole lot of bullshit to me. Like, who gives a frak who's dating who, or what clothes they're wearing, or any of that? Is that all kids had to worry about on Caprica and elsewhere?" Snort. "Because I sure as shit wouldn't miss that."

And then, she's fitting the tube with a joint, and slowly threading a screw to fix them together.

"Privilege, I mean, no like I was privileged or anything, I'm not a Greystone or anything." Kyle rolls her eyes at the idea. "And not like I have anything to be ashamed about, but I hear all kinds of stories about poor people with shit lives in weird colonies, and even though-" Kyle presses her wrist between her breasts, thumb holding the box cutter carefully away from her neck. "-my family is considered middle-poor on Caprica, I'm getting the feeling like we might have been rich by comparison to some of the Gemenese, or those Tauran assholes."

Kyle twists her head, casting her ponytail back down over her shoulder. She sets another magnet down onto the cutting board, and hunches back over her work.

"I dated someone once who was rich. Someone in high school. I felt so weird, like I needed to avoid getting fingerprints on everything I touched, including them." Kyle continues. "Which is why I wondered that, about you, even if I'm soooo dumb." Giggle. Kyle bites down on her lip while she cuts.

"High school was fun." Kyle continues. "Sure, it was a little bit like all that stuff in scripture about the war and Kobol and backstabbing, but I was popular. So...I guess I had fun." Beat. "Maybe too much fun, ifffyannowhatImean."

Erin makes a snorting noise. She and Kyle are at one of the tables in the bunkroom, apparently working with a pile of what appears to be junk. The Trash Panda as something that looks like a metal arm -- with thin tubes and ball-joints -- in her right hand, a screwdriver in the left. And Kyle seems to be working on getting some magnets shaped.

"I dated a Greystone." Beat. "I mean, I slept with one. It wasn't bad. But, man, did she have a temper." Headshake. There's a note of regret in her voice. "Not sure what I did wrong, but she sort of lost interest, I guess. Maybe I wasn't interesting enough." Shrug. "Oh well." Erin doesn't seem to believe that; of course, she's the most interesting adorabeast on the ship.

"Look, don't worry about me." Erin jabs her screwdriver in Kyle's direction. "Seriously. I get a little jealous of others sometimes, but, for the most part -- " She rummages through the junk pile after putting her metal arm down. " -- I'm good. Really. Aside from Ensign Harte, I'm pretty sure everyone would rather kiss me than kick me. And that's saying something for a short girl that nearly bit the head off some bitch blonde pilot."

"I totally missed the boat on seeing that happen. Was she the blonde you chewed out, no joke intended?" Kyle asks with a feral grin, slicing down through the last magnet with sniper precision. The box cutter makes that wonderful noise as it is reeled back into safe position. "Is it wrong that I kind of wish I could have floated around to see all of this? Because the going rumor on Caprica were the Graystones were a bastion of shit that don't stink, but we would have been more than willing to take their cash for auto work."

Kyle bats the screwdriver away with the closed knife, a parry and riposte, followed up with the sneak attack of a bouncing heel on Erin's knee.

"Seriously, though?" Kyle sets the magnets down in their staging area next to the lamp. "In high school I played pyramid. I dated a few cheerleaders. I think I was always in the part of that group that no one frakked with, so I avoided a lot of it. There were a couple of fights that I was in, but really, the dances, the parties, a lot of that kind of went smoothly for me. There was one time-" Kyle sits up straight and swings her ponytail around to face Erin. "-ONE TIME someone mouthed off to me about being a southside bitch, and I pushed his face into a water fountain. Oh, you'd have loved it."

Fresh off a patrol and through the showers, but not yet having hit the mess -- got to wait for the hot food service to do it right -- Charlie pas her way back from the head towards the bunk halls. She's still squeezing at her braids with a spare towel, though otherwise back in the dual-tanks and BDUs combo of the off-duty marine. Her path takes her past Echo bunk and she slows, glances in, and sort of hovers. But, people are busy; being snuggly and playing with, er, tools. Actual tools. One imagines. Hopes?

So if there's a look, she'll give an upnod, otherwise? Easiest to just slide on towards the 'fridge in the small lounge area that acts as a hub for the Wolves' lodging area.

Yes. Real tools. Not tools of mass seduction.

"Mm-hmm." Snort. "Can't really see someone picking on you. And living, that is. Guess stakes go up when you grow up, hmm?" Erin frowns as she just can't seem to find the right -- oh, wait, there's a Charlie.

"Chuck!" And again. "Chuck!" Erin waves the other Marine over. "Kyle and I are building a lamp. Totally good for us Marines: it's fixed by magnets, and will have this neat swing-arm on it in case you're reading." And this would be why she's building a well-articulating swing-arm. "Found some parts lying around. Maybe found some where they weren't for free. You want to build?"

This is probably the Marine-Nerd version of Lego. At least they aren't playing Lasers and Feelings.

"Anyhow, look -- " Erin's eyes return to Kyle. " -- point is, don't worry about me. This pilot -- no, not Captain Greystone, just some other bitch, I don't know, I nearly punched her in the face." Marines. Sigh. "No, Captain Graystone and I are totally not a thing any more. Mostly because I'm pretty sure she passed me up for Ensign Harte. And we know how that went."

She then gently moves Kyle's foot out of her lap. "Now, you stop that," Erin admonishes lowly. "You're distracting me."

"O-kaaay, fine." Kyle rolls her eyes as her heel bats against the floor. "But you'll tell me if I get the reputation for being scary, will you? I don't want to be scary. Someone can pick on me just fine; I wouldn't want people not to fuck around with me. I'd miss getting some shit."

Kyle switches gears quickly. The Trash Panda's sudden course corrections are starting to wear off on the Caprican.

"Chuckles!" Kyle calls out without so much as looking up. She takes up the busted lamp in question and holds it like a ventriloquist dummy, bobbing the head of the lamp as she squeaks in a low voice. "My parts is missing and Erin broked me, and 'deze two womens needs 'ur helps in turning me into a bomb-ass bunk lamp."

Kyle cuts the voice off and bites down on the center of her mouth. It's an anchor point to throwing her brows up high and wide in a way that might tear her face off with how sudden the suspicious look is cast towards the fellow sniper.

"Or come hang out, but Erin took away my music privileges. So we have classical instead." A beat. "Drink up y'all has been given a penalty flag."

There's a delay in response from Charlie as she grabs a soda from the 'fridge. When she reappears at the hatch, it's with the towel draped around her shoulders and box braids tangled up within it a bit. The woman ventures a bit further into the unfamiliar bunkhall; casting glances towards peoples' personal areas in that way a person can't help. It's not explicitly nosy -- there's no delving in medicine cabinets -- but it's there and she cannot help herself. "Why not just order a new lamp?" Engineer this woman is not, her infrequent needs to mess with explosives aside.

Moving to perch on the edge of the center table, she cracks open the soda and takes a sip. "Can't say I'd be much help. It's not a gun." Which is about the only 'mechanical' expertise she has.

"It wasn't music," explains Erin to Charlie, lifting an eyebrow. "It was more like yelling. A lot of sloshed kids yelling at the same time." She is wearing a pair of nifty, steampunk-y goggles with multiple lenses that can be dropped into place. "Yelling. That's what it was. That's not music, that's a sin against nature."

She sits back, taking a break from the construction business. "Now, we could order a new lamp, or -- " Erin gestures at the table. " -- we can make one. You know what they say about making babies, right?" She grins crookedly. "I mean, you'd know better than me. If I was trying to make babies, I'd clearly be doing it all wrong."

"Because, marines are supposed to be resourceful, right?" Kyle retorts to Charlie as she sets the lamp down. The hinge, broken as it is, gently flops the metallic lamp into a busted spinal column. "And they didn't sell any awesome homemade lamps in the store that could magnetize to the roof of a bunk? AND Erin and I were talking about a project together. So this is it." Kyle waves her hand over the lamp like a game show hostess. "She doesn't have a name yet."

Tsk'ing in silence, Kyle narrows her eyes at Erin, giving her a cheap look of warning. She points to the Trash Panda, finger dotting a line between her eyes.

"Charlie, when we attach a thing to this to hang tiny movie screens or holoband trodes to, we're going to be the envy of everyone in the bunks." Kyle plucks up a bottle of inhumanly strong glue and looks from the two women to it, turning the bottle over in her hands to read the warning labels. "Didn't you have arts and crafts in school, Charlie?"

"Club music," Charlie fills in, helpfully. "Or... well, no, usually that has a good beat." She lifts her soda for a long drink, snorting into the can at the mention of making babies. "No babies for me anytime soon, thank you very much." They've had the discussion, vaguely, in the past -- she and Erin -- and the sniper remains adamant. Anti-baby here. Could be war syndrome, could be more. Either way, she's fairly flat in her diagnosis of it before looking to the lamp again.

"I did," she answers Kyle, glancing back to the other recon lady. "But I was never very good at it. They usually complained to my folks later about how I was wasteful of supplies and shit." She hooks a chair with booted foot, dragging it nearer with a scrape of metal upon deck plating. Planting her feet on it, she looks to the busted lamp, then the nearby bunks. "Mebbe. I don't mind holding a vid player though."

"Club music?" Erin snorts, and puts her hands behind her head. "Yeah. Sure. Like, music you'd want to club yourself to." Of course, she's all too aware that she's bugging Kyle. That's the sort of relationship they have, apparently.

She tips her chair back a little. "Hey, I like vid players too, but I like it when I don't have to hold it." Beat. "You can do other things with your hands free, like eat an apple or two. Hold a drink." Shrug. "Makes rubbing one out easier." Because that was the inevitable, inexorable route that the conversation was going to take.

"So, you were never handy, Chuck? Eh." Erin grins widely. "Just means you had better things to do than play with yourself."

"Music to frakking club someone to, you mean," Kyle growls, leaving a dab of clear glue on Erin's knuckles as punishment. She slaps a plastic strip, packaging from the magnets, onto the spot of glue, locking it onto Erin's skin. "Trash for Trash Panda."

Kyle has already begun the process of leaning away from Erin, lifting an elbow defensively and straining the balance of her chair on two legs. Cringing and keeping one eye on her bunkmate, she turns her attention to Charlie.

"My arms always get sore holding the video screen up like that on my back. It'll be like a theater. Besides, you've got an 'other' to hold your stuff up like that, but wouldn't it be better to, you know, have the screen all up there while you lay back and-"

Kyle holds her hand above her lap, pressing it up and down, eyes rolling back.

"To the left." Kyle breathes. "Right there. Yeah. Wait a second, car chase scene-" Insert breathy moan.

Kyle stops, distracted as a light bulb goes off behind her eyes.

"If you're dating someone who outranks you, can they order you to get water after hooking up?"

"S'why you hold the player while someone else gets their hands on you," Charlie points out to Erin, tapping a foot absently against the chair. "But by then I'm not thinking much about the vid." Which is likely why she and Evan mostly listen to music. Less distracting, as it were. "Grew up on the shore in Queenstown," she explains, looking down to the soda. She taps a finger on the edge of the can a few times. "Spent most of my time swimming, fishing, shit like that. Then the whole surfing thing. That kept me busy until I enlisted."

"Whenever Evan's not around, I usually just read." It's well-known the two consistently sleep together and use the other bunk for storage. Awkward tangle of limbs and all, but it's how it's been for months now. At the last question from Kyle, she blinks a few times, then snorts. "If he ever tried that on me," seeing as how Calhoun is a Sergeant, "I'd kick his ass."

"Hey!" How dare someone stick trash to Queen TP? Erin frowns at Kyle, and pulls off the strip quickly, hopefully before it dries. "Ow, hey. That wasn't -- " Grumble. " -- frak." She looks around the room furtively, and, exasperated, unleans herself to go and toss the trash in the trash bin. Apparently, littering is something she won't do, for whatever reason. Everything in its place.

"Look, whatever floats your boat, right?" Erin slowly comes back to the table. Almost like stalking it. "If you like the sound of people screeching, by all means -- play clubbing music. If you like the inexorable quiet of death, then be like me and do your best work when the lights are out, everyone's asleep, and the stashes are unguarded."

That's right. Stalking. Not that Erin's being subtle about it, but she's clearly making her approach to come from behind Kyle's chair. Charlie'd notice. Kyle too.

<FS3> Kyle rolls Alertness (7 6 6 5 4 4 4 4 1) vs Erin's Stealth (7 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1)
<FS3> Victory for Kyle.

"How are things with Evan, anyway?" Kyle suddenly asks Charlie. Inquiring brows want to know. Her defensive elbow drops to cast a quick look Erin's way, and in sensing that she's not going to be hit, the sniper claims her few precious seconds of safety. "I don't hear of a lot of fighting or drama coming out of your bunkhouse, so it can't be all that bad. How long have you two been together now?" Blink. "Are Arda and Chappie the longest couple?"

Kyle, sensing something in the wind, glances down her shoulder to the floor. Her lips push out, pursing and duck-lipping towards the ground, and then all of the sudden.

"Drink up y'all, Drink up y'all," Kyle blows an air-kiss towards the Trash Panda and scrambles out of her seat, racing for the other edge of the table. "Cuz the party don't start without a beer in your hand, an' the master plan ain't for the sober man." Kyle topples her chair in the sudden fox-frenzy of assumed chase, arms flailing, running for the door.

"Gotta pee. B-R-B." Kyle disappears around the corner, then sticks her head back in, fingers snapping. "Coz' the finest Beer Boyz won't let me be."

And then...she's off. Rapping down to the Head.

If one goes by how long since Charlie and Evan began sleeping together, they've got the longest-running marine relationship likely. But the two of them are weird. She casts only a brief glance towards Erin, but makes no attempt to ruin the stalking. Newp. "How long's it been since we were last on leave? A couple months?" The sniper shrugs, but lifts her drink for another sip. "We're good. No reason for fighting or drama or whatever. We frak. We train together. We talk about the colonies we haven't gotten to frak on yet and how we'll check them off the list after the war." Everyone's got to have goals, right?


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