2237-10-12 - The Mess At The Asylum

Two Marines sit down at the same table, and end up chatting about life, the universe, and how one of them must be nuts to love their job.

Date: 2237-10-12

Location: Mess Hall

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1480

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Gray has a tray of food, or so he's told, in front of him. He's confident that the coffee is, in fact, coffee (nobody wants a mutiny, after all) but he's not quite certain of the food. As he's glancing down at it and trying to figure out just how hungry he is, however, he fails to notice the sudden arrival of another Marine at his table. "Oh...hey, didn't see you there." Yep, he's zonked as well, and he's now assuming that he just failed to notice Geoff when he sat down. It's been one of those days. Or weeks. Or probably months, at this point.

Geoff looks up. "Oh," he says. "Hey." He pokes at the squash-like substance. "What was your name again?" The CF really should start doing name badges.

"Anderson. Gray Anderson." Though in his uniform he clearly doesn't look like a secret agent. "And...yours?" he asks in return, the shame of not knowing someone else's name now far less of a concern.

"Right, Anderson," Geoff answers. In his defense, it's a somewhat forgettable name. "Geoff Courtois," he answers. "You've been around awhile, right?"

Gray nods. "I was with the unit before we transferred, but..." he shrugs. "I got reattached a few months ago. And you?" he asks, biting the bullet and taking a bite of his food.

The mention of reattachment makes Geoff squint at Gray in some interest. "Yeah, since back then," he says. "I was out for a little bit, too. But I cam back like...I dunno, a couple months ago."

"Glad I'm not the only one..." Gray offers. People come, people go... "What do you do?" he asks.

"Shoot and get shot," Geoff deadpans, jabbing his fork into a chunk of squash. "Why, what do /you/ do?"

"Mostly get shot, it seems..." Gray asks, doing much the same. "And fall down on the climbing wall. And occasionally blow things up." Yep, been a fun month.

Geoff looks Gray over. "You been okay, lately?" he asks. "Spend much time in med bay?"

"More than I wish..." Gray admits. Getting shot put him in there. So did the scaffolding landing on his leg (he was told he was lucky it wasn't a break). And the tumble...well, that only got a look-over. "I was told that if I showed up again they were gonna give me frequent flyer status. What would that get me, an extra-legroom stretcher and a free checked bag with each surgery?"

"That or an infection," Geoff says with a wan sort of gallows-humor, as he pats down a pocket to find his pack of cigarettes. "But your luck's sure to change."

"Need a light?" Gray asks, fumbling for a lighter to offer. "Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. So far I've come away with nothing but light duty from any of it. It could /always be worse." It could, after all, be raining.

Geoff smiles a little at the offer. "Thanks," he says, taking the offered light once he's got the cigarette in his mouth. "And yeah. It could always be worse." He takes a first drag and then pokes down some of the food. "So where you from?"

"Depends on who you ask." Gray produces a cigar and lights up as well. "Mom's from Sagittaron, dad's from Caprica, and I grew up in a corporate compound, which effectively means I'm from nowhere."

"A corporate compound?" Geoff asks. "What's it mean to grow up in a corporate compound?"

"Uh, think like a gated community." Gray offers. "Dad oversees Tyllium refineries, the natives don't necessarily like that, so management's families basically live in something halfway between a military base and a country club so nobody decides to kidnap them." Shrug. "It also means that Capricans say I'm Sagittaron and Sagittarons say I'm Caprican, so I get the best of both worlds." Or not.

"Uh /huh/," Geoff answers. Maybe he's a little amused by the idea of rich and powerful people having to wall themselves into a special compound. "So if you're rich what are you doing here?"

"I flunked out of uni on Caprica." Gray says this quite flatly. "Dad wouldn't pay for a ticket home and told me to get my shit together. /Dad/ may have money, but I sure as shit don't."

Geoff lifts his eyebrows a little as he drags on the cigarette. "Interesting." He looks Gray over thoughtfully. "I'm not trying to be rude," he thinks to add belatedly.

Gray takes another couple of puffs. "Eh, don't worry about it. Besides?" he grins. "I think dad's been getting through the war with shelter-in-place drills and that sort of crap. I actually get to shoot back. I'm having a /lot/ more fun than he is." After another thoughtful puff, another grin appears on Gray's face. "I mean, would you rather be sitting behind a desk?"

Geoff smiles in return. "I've never sat at a desk," he says. "I've stood at a desk. And at school we had those little tabletops on the chairs."

Gray chuckles at the idea of full-grown-Marine Geoff sitting behind an elementary school desk. "Neither have I, unless you count take-your-kid-to-work day. It's...not a streak I want to break, either."

"Guess that's why you didn't do so hot in university, huh," Geoff teases lightly, flicking ash onto the floor and then shoveling a little more food in.

Gray takes another puff. "Yeah, that didn't help. It was...well, I wasn't ready for it then." Going to school on a different planet from home probably didn't help. "So, how'd you end up here?"

"So, what, you want to go back after the war?" Geoff wonders, setting down his fork. At the question, he shrugs. "Signed up for the CF and ended up being assigned here."

Gray shrugs at the question. "We'll see when we get there. Going back would be nice, but...hell, I dunno what I'd do with a degree. It tends to result in a desk job..." And Geoff's explanation gets a nod in acknowledgment.

Geoff drags on the cigarette again. "Well, what's your dream job, if you're not a desk jockey?"

Gray thinks for a moment on that, puffing some more. It's a question he hadn't given a lot of thought to in...well, a while. "This is pretty close. Might look into private security. Generally a little less...exciting."

Geoff snorts smoke through his nostrils. "You wanna shoot guns for a living?" he asks. "You're crazy."

Gray looks around somewhat dramatically. "Well then I guess I found the asylum."

Geoff extinguishes his cigarette in a compartment of his tray. "Well. I probably need to get ready for my next shift. But it was nice talking to you. Gray Anderson, right?"

"Yep." Gray finishes off the first half of the cigar, cutting it so he can smoke the second half later. "Geoff Courtois as well?" he asks to confirm. "And apparently I'm needed back in my padded cell..." he says, grinning to make it clear that there's no barb hidden in the gentle verbal jab.

"Uh-huh," Geoff answers. He doesn't seem offended by Gray, more amused. Whether that's a compliment or not.


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