2237-10-22 - Of Cowboys And Commandos

Old friends from Picon touch base with some ribbing about hobbies and talk of the state of the squadron.

Date: 2237-10-22

Location: Mess Hall

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1504

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Thankfully, Charlie came out of her first mission post-injury with only a light wound on her arm. It could have been worse, but she has found herself taken off active roster for another few days. She went out too early and pulled some things. It's somewhat between shifts at the moment in the Mess Hall. No hot food available and things are quiet; the bulk of marines and pilots off on some assignment or another. The marine herself is in BDUs and dual-tanks, seated at a table by herself. She's got a few sandwiches in front of her; one unwrapped and partially eaten. Most of her focus is on an Aerilonian cowboy novel. There's some bulk under the tanks around her abdomen, indicative of bandages, and a fresh bandage on her left arm.

The woman is much more scarred than she was coming off of Picon. The most notable is lower down on her left arm; a series of jagged wounds that look like something with very large teeth tried to take out a chunk of her.

"Still like those rugged shit-kicker books, eh Char?" A playfully teasing, gravelly baritone familiarity rolling out into the quiet mid-shift mess. A voice from the past, with only a few scattered penpal videos here and there between. The voice of none other than Pieter "Pudge" Raines, chunky ECO wiz and apparently new arrival on the Dauntless. For he's standing there, chunkier than before, little more prematurely gray-threaded in his ever-present beard, but looking like himself, only wearing CF duty greens (strained a bit over gut and thighs) with the Timber Wolves designations on them. And grinning that lopsided, almost mischevious sort of grin of his as he's striding his bulk over towards her table, jewel-bright sapphire eyes aglitter. "How ya been, C? You know, other than the getting chewed up on missions when already injured just like old times?" Oh yeah, couldn't resist that jibe any more than teasing about the books like he had before.

"They're still some of the best shit out there. Realistic people on adventures that don't deal with machines. Or technology in any way." A sort of pipe dream, at this point in time. Humanity was the architect of its own demise. Charlie sets the book down, reaching for her bottle of water as she looks up at Pieter. There's a sort of snort from the sniper before she takes a long drink. "Not much I can do when they call for the best shot," she intones, recapping the bottle. It's the partially-eaten sandwich that she picks up next, reminded now of her meal. "I'll heal, then go a few weeks without issue, and it'll happen all over again. Seems to have become the trend as of this past spring."

"Hey, just cause we're having to fight the toasters we made don't mean all technology's bad!" Pieter's protesting in old form as he's flopping his bulk down across from her, lopsided grin unphased, though eyes go a touch more serious as he admits. "Then again I usually don't have to be right in their glowy-eyed faces like you, so suppose it's a bit different." Her boast about being the best brightens the gaze again with a snort of amusement, though the fatalism of the remaining tries to strain it. By the end, he's just shaking head ruefully and reaching up to scratch at his thick beard. "Eh, seems to be a lot of that going around I guess. Sounds like you all have done some great stuff while I've been off with Manticore, but also that you've been through the shit too. Haven't heard anyone suggest I should regret having gotten my unexpected transfer papers though. Good squad?" Reassurance seeking? Maybe, or maybe he just trusts her judgement and she's one of the few he could ask honestly.

"Naw, not all technology's bad. I just sometimes like going back to basics. Fishing. Cooking over an old stove. Sleeping under the stars. It's... quiet and refreshing." And an apt description of how she spent most of their last leave. The woman takes a bite of her sandwich, chewing thoughtfully. She finally shrugs, "We've done what we've gotta do. Hasn't always been perfect. We frak up plenty, too." Another bite, this one washed down with a long drink of water. "Mmmm. Good squad? I don't know many of the pilots. The ones I do know are... I dunno, maybe they don't take things as seriously as they should? But to each their own." She leans back a bit in her seat. "But we've... tightened up since we all first gathered together on the Galactica, before we were even the Timber Wolves."

Pieter gives a big shudder to the first as if shaking off something icky and mutters. "Not I. Give me a nice holoband game and some sugary snacks to that effort any day." Wry grin and the man's actually producing from some pocket on his greens a little bag of candied nuts as if in emphasis of that ideal. He grabs one and pops in mouth before offering the bag out to her whilst listening to the talk of the air wing. It amusingly seems to relax him some, but then Pudge was never really a great one to take things seriously. At least outwardly. Defense mechanisms being what they are. At the end of it, he's nodding and either leaving the candies out or tucking them back away, depending on if she took up the offer. "Good fliers though I assume or they wouldn't have made it this long doing half what I've heard reported. What about the groundpounders? Good team? How do they get on with the bus drivers?" Raptors and marines can have interesting relationships, depending on how often violent evacs and set downs have been needed and the like.

There's a mute shake of her head at the offer of the candied nuts, box braids sliding over shoulders. Charlie pushes them back with a hand swept back from her brow. She tilts her head to indicate the second sandwich and bag of chips she has on hand, even as she chews. After a swallow: "Eh. I mean, no outright animosity, but... The wing was slow to bring air support back on Delphi. Couple of us were hurt by tank rounds as a result. It's... caused a slip in confidence with some of us." She gives a small shrug: she understands, but like he said... He doesn't look these things in the face. She finishes off the first sandwich, brushing crumbs off her fingers. "Some of the pilots seem to want to... think or act like they're one of us marines, too. I'm not sure how well that's gonna work out in the long run. We're not some costume you can put on as it pleases."

Candies tucked away, Pieter takes in the frank observations with a bit of a grimace marring his joviality, a shake of head at the confidence bit. The marines bit just makes him cant his apple-round face in confusion, brows furrowed. "What? Like going on ground runs and trying to keep up? Or you just mean shit-talking on the firing range and in the gym battle ring?" Clearly the latter he's used to and even finds acceptable for the usual competativeness between air and ground, but the former seems a bit more disturbing too him. As a guy who tends to avoid those sort of things like the plague and did what he could to learn from Char on Picon how to hide his fat ass to completely avoid them in rare situation he had to be out on the ground, the idea just baffles him.

"Like pilots joining in our qualifications to try to earn marine quals," Charlie says finally, shrugging. "It's like a game to them, I guess. You don't see us climbing in cockpits to play around." She starts unwrapping her other sandwich. "I don't mind them on the firing range and I'm happy to give advice. We've had enough of the wing get shot down that knowing their way, competently, around a weapon is important. But it's sort of... insulting to have our work treated like it's something anyone can just casually jump in and play at."

"Ah, funky. Can see how that might be yeah." Pieter's agreeing after a time, looking perplexed, but at least getting it a bit more than actually running around on ground trying to be actual marines. By the end, he gives another low chuckle and offers up in usual smartass manner. "I promise you'll never see me trying for marine quals, PT or otherwise!" Yes, because there was such a threat of that! He looks sly though adding with the lopsided smirk spreading to flash teeth. "Though I admit I'd make a sexy damn Gunner and they get to play with all the fun big boomers!"

"You get to shoot a big-ass gun out of the ass of a Raptor," Charlie points out, smirking. "Pretty sure the gunners are jealous of you for that." She tears off a piece of her sandwich, chewing slowly. "But yeah, it's... kinda weird sometimes. I dunno how the other marines feel about it, but it's got me worried about pilots wanting to run along on ground missions. I don't really relish playing babysitter." She hesitates, briefly, in reaching for her water. There's a flicker of dark eyes to the ECO. "No offense."

"Frak me, like I'd take offense at that, Char! I'm only still alive because you played babysitter a time or three back home! I wouldn't want my tubby ass on ground either, nor most of the V-jocks and bus drivers I know except when there's no choice." Pieter's good-natured self-deprecation makes light of it, but there's genuine understanding underlaying it, along with bit of that previous thankfulness he's shown in past for her help during the Fall. Glancing up to the clock, the pudgy ECO let's out a sigh and mutters. "Anyways. I'm glad to be serving with you again, whatever form and I'm glad to see you're still kickin'. Keep it that way yeah? I want to kick back one of these days over a bottle and catch up."

"Well, at least my lessons seem to have stuck. Enough." Charlie does grin, briefly, before finishing off sandwich number two. She eats at a fairly quick pace, but that's marine life for you. How often in the field is eating a 'use it or lose it' period of time, usually no longer than five minutes? If they're lucky. She pulls the chips near, at that point. "I prefer my bus drivers in the bus. That way if I have to book it back, I know the engine is warm and ready." She snorts a bit, opening the chips. "Pretty sure Calhoun would be pissed if I weren't still kicking."

"Wouldn't be the only one. I'll have to ask about how that's going more later now that you can't dodge me in letters. I'm goin' up in my first CAP with the wolves tonight and want to go piss off the deck chief poking at the Raptors ECM consoles and making sure they're tuned." Hey, would you take a rifle out you'd never fired? He's rising his bulk up, grinning his cheshire Pieter grin about the irritation he's going to go be. "Catcha later, Charlie. Good seein' ya." He offers with a wave before heading towards the exit.

There's a snort from Charlie. "I responded to your letters more than I did my parents'." She's just that bad about letter-writing. There's a roll of her eyes as he talks about pissing off the deck chief. "I hear Walsh ain't one to frak with," she offers as he stands. "Be careful of her." The same woman that's travelled with the Wolves to each new ship; poor soul. She lifts a chip in greeting. "See ya 'round, Pie."


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