Gray delivers cigarettes to Yelena. They discuss the 'Cage Lowjack' novel.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1565
Many of the Dauntless are savoring the beach. It's been months and will likely be months more once they ship out once again. Yelena Reznik is new, but she's been with Taskforce: Phoenix long enough now to know how it goes. Soak up all the sun and fresh air you can before it's deck lighting, deck lighting, and more recycled air.
Thus the woman reclines on the shore, on a beach towel. She's got one of the rental umbrellas angled over her to cut out the worst of the sun. In a dark green bikini, hair braided, and sunglasses on, she looks like any other beach goer. The book in hand as to the whole 'image.' It's one recognizable to a Timber Wolf, too... That Cage Lowjack smut.
Gray is also on the beach...in his case, for a swim alongside the suntan. Being able to relax somewhere /not/ involving indoor lighting is such a relief (not that he didn't end up with time on the ground, but laying back with a book in hand is generally ill-advised when the local cannery is shooting at you). Having got through landnav quals relatively early didn't hurt, either...
Yelena gets a nod from Gray as he appears next to her...almost magically producing a pack of smokes in one hand. "You asked for one of these last night?" he asks, nonchalantly.
The book is lowered and Yelena sits up further, looking at Gray over her sunglasses. There's a grin at the magically appearing pack of cigarettes. "I did," she says finally, looking up at the man. "Sorry we disappeared on you. I had a need to walk on the beach. There's just something about the cold air, under the moon-" she sighs, theatrically. "How much do I owe you?"
Gray grins at the question, slightly amused. "I think I got a free drink last night, so we should be about even. If you insist, I'd take another drink..." he muses before sitting down and looking up at the sky. "I can't blame you. Even after seeing the stars from...well, up there..." he gestures into the air. "...there's something special about seeing them from down here."
"I don't have any alcohol on me," Yelena admits, gesturing broadly with the book still in hand. "Just a bottle of water." She does finally accept the pack, tucking it into the small bag she's brought with her. "I've been on a couple ships over the past year," she says, squinting up at the sky and the few clouds there. "It's beautiful in space, but it's not nearly the same experience."
"Exactly," Gray agrees. "And a lot of my so-called downtime lately has been up there." Then it's back to the smokes... "And I can take a rain check on the drink. Swimming was part of my plans." Beat. "So, what's the book?" he asks, admittedly having paid more attention to other details (such as a habitual scan of the crowds every-so-often) than what Yelena was reading.
"I can buy you a drink sometime, no problem." Drinks are cheap and easy to obtain. Having cigarettes on hand in space? Not so much. They go fast. Booze takes longer to disappear. When he asks about the book, Yelena flips it in her hand so the cover can be seen. It's the Cage Lowjack novel. "Someone on Kratos gave it to me before I left in exchange for a book I had. It's..." she furrows her brow. "Interesting. Not very well-written, really, but amusing."
Yeah, drinks? On a ship? Say it ain't so! "Is Kratos a ship or a moon?" Gray asks earnestly. He's got no hope of keeping all of the ships in the fleet straight, but sometimes he loses track of all of the celestial bodies in the Colonies. Scratch that, he's never had full track of them to begin with...and of course, some names show up in both categories. "Never read any of them. Amusing, you say? How so?" he follows up on the novel.
"Kratos is a cruiser with Taskforce: Phoenix." The one with the Galactica. "Similar size to the Dauntless, really." Yelena taps the book against her leg, looking thoughtful. "I've only been on one moon. Visited Minos, once." Tauron's settled moon. She glances down to the book itself at his question. There's a snort of amusement. "There's just the one book. And... I dunno. It just seems outright outlandish at times."
"What's Minos like? I've never been there." Gray admits...prior to joining the Fleet he'd really only been on Caprica and Saggitaron for more than a vacation (and Tauron was /NOT/ happening, considering his background). "Over-the-top?" Gray asks. To be fair, 'The robots rise up and try to overthrow us all' also seemed like an outlandish story idea growing up (there might've been a movie on that topic once)...until he apparently got cast in the Real Life Adaptation of it.
"Minos isn't anything fancy," Yelena assures Gray. "Mostly a mining colony, really. There's some scientists up there, but I have no frakkin' clue what they do." She finally dog-ears a page in the book to set it aside. The cigarettes he'd brought are dug out and she opens the pack. One is taken out and the pack held out in case he wants one as well. While she waits for him to decide, she digs out a lighter. "There's this whole... bit with a cucumber. I mean, seriously? A cucumber? In a romance novel? I'm not sure what the author was smoking."
Gray nods along in hearing about Minos...and accepts the offered cigarette to smoke alongside Yelena as she talks about the 'bit with a cucumber'. He might normally prefer a cigar, but...well, it would seem rude not to accept the smokes he bought her. "I dunno, there's some pretty strong stuff out there if you know where to look...or so I've been told." Producing a lighter as well (he came prepared!), he offers Yelena a light. "I mean, I know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar..."
The assistance in a light is welcome as Yelena has no immediate luck finding a lighter. She takes a drag on the cigarette before leaning back on her elbows, stretching her legs out. The umbrella overhead keeps out the worst of the sun, but there's still plenty to bask in. "So... maybe not fumarella leaf or even weed, but-" she looks over to Gray, grinning over her sunglasses. "Maybe chamalla? I imagine writing a novel on chamalla is easy, but the visions you'd have..."
"Yeah, chamalla..." Gray agrees, thinking for a second on the idea. "You'd think you'd keep that sort of stuff for writing science fiction or fantasy, though...I mean, with the visions and all? You could come up with some /really/ deep ideas. You then just have to dress it up as if it's...well, just far enough from reality to keep your readers comfortable, I guess?" he suggests.
"Different strokes," Yelena quips, exhaling smoke as she draws the cigarette away. "Maybe the author really, really likes romance novels, but isn't a good enough author to-" she waves the smoke in the air. "write it on their own. So they got a little-" she waggles the cigarette before placing it back between her lips. "help."
"Yeah, that seems likely..." Gray agrees. "From what you said it sounds like he's prone to reaching...so maybe he reached for something special?" Truth be told it wouldn't surprise him if some publishers supplied their touchier writers with some of the stuff to keep them...er...inspired. "Offering them some one-on-one time with a muse can't hurt, after all..."
"Mmm. I don't think a man wrote it. Some things in here are the sort of thing only a woman would come up with." Yelena places the cigarette between her lips, shifting to reach for the book to pick it up again. She turns it 'round a few times. "Honestly... I'm no expert on romance novels-" no more than any military woman stuck alone for months or more, "but it seems a... vanity piece. Something someone wrote for the sake of writing it. Makes you wonder why."
"Maybe to cross it off their bucket list?" Gray suggests, taking a drag on his cigarette. "If they sell some copies to friends and family, it's probably no more expensive than going somewhere to jump out of a perfectly good airplane." Beat. "You could also have more than one author. Two people working together, or one gets brought in to fix up an author's vanity piece to at least sell on the smut market and they slap a pseudonym on it? Like trying to fix up a bad movie that a director got to make in exchange for their last hit?"
"Only Kobol knows," Yelena opines, tossing the book back on her bag. She leans back; back flat to the towel. One knee up, the other leg stretched out. All the better to soak what rays make it past the umbrella. She fixes her sunglasses in place before puffing on the cigarette a few times. "It's better than the novel I gave away, at least."
"Oh? What was that one about?" Gray takes his life in his hand in asking; if it's steamy enough it might just break his mind. He also manages to lay back on the beach, letting his back press into the sand. /That/ is a nice feeling.
Closing her eyes, Yelena lets the physical part of her world narrow to the cigarette, the sand, and the heat of the sun. Everything else is far and away. There's the crash of the surf, the salt-laden breeze, and the general sounds of the world beyond... but with her eyes closed, it all seems so very far away. "It was some garbage... hoo-ah book. This fantasy race of warriors finds out about Colonial marines and tries to emulate them." She laughs, exhaling smoke. "It was so bad."
Gray snorts as Yelena elaborates on the book. Wow... "Dear gods, even /we/ wouldn't emulate ourselves half of the time..." He snorts. "Then again, sometimes the new guys do this with the veterans way too much." He takes another drag on his cigarette, listening to the surf crash. "No chance we ended up taking them on and beating the crap out of them because they were just playing dress-up but not 'getting it', is there?"
"Oh, I've seen fellas right out of boot that..." Yelena lets out a low whistle. "The war rips it out of them fast, but Lords if they aren't annoying at first." The men and women who join to fight the Cylon threat and look cool while doing it. She opens an eye so as to reach out and ash the cigarette without getting any on Gray. "Oh, frak me, I don't know. I couldn't get more than a third of the way through it. That's why I traded for this thing. It seemed... equatable."
Gray nearly chokes on a poorly-timed drag when he helplessly laughs at the trade. After coughing on the unintentionally dramatic draw on his cigarette (and finishing it in the process), he grins over at Yelena. "Sounds like you got the better end of the trade!"
"Careful. I'd hate to have to recussitate you. That'd be work." And she's off-duty and sunbathing. Don't make the doc have to put on her docterin' hat! Yelena pushes herself upright to sit, finishing off her own cigarette to stub it out in the sand. "Well, I think this book is more entertaining than... well, ridiculous, so maybe I did."
Gray takes a deep breath before laughing off the bungled draw. "Wouldn't want to do that to you. Don't want to make you want to make me pay for it the next time the canners put a hole in me." Because there /will/ be a next time, given his luck. "So, were you planning to just read? Or swim?" he asks.
"Hey," Yelena counters, waving the cigarette butt at him before she tucks it into an outside pocket of the bag she has with her. "I am very good at what I do and every bit the professional." Though maybe not as good as some of the Wolves docs, but she'll learn that later. And as for what type of professional? They'll learn that, too. "I... meant to swim, but then I got distracted." By the book or sun or both.
Gray chuckles at the distraction bit...and at her loud protesting at being professional. "I'm looking at hopping in if you'd like to join me..." he offers with a nod to the water.
There's a considering look for the water as Yelena considers. She finally kicks off her sandals and starts getting to her feet. The sunglasses, however, stay on. "Sure," she says, as she stands. "Lead the way."
Gray tosses the remaining cigarettes he bought and a small bag he has with him onto the blanket Yelena was relaxing on, and grins. "Right this way..."