MD# 251: Air Wing Wake
MD# 251: Air Wing Wake
Summary: Orion's Air Wing gathers in No Man's Land at a wake for the fallen.
Date: 15/12/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Casey Diaz Donovan Fox Idris Jacob Niko Rowan 
No Man's Land
On the edge of a deserted area of the ship, there is a makeshift airlock with a sign on it that reads, "The only escape pod you'll need." The main compartment beyond opens up just inside, made larger by the gutting of adjoining spaces. Immediately to the left just before the bar, there is ladder and hatch leading upwards with a sign that reads, "Cellar." The bar is made from repurposed consoles and behind it is a sign with the various brews available. Emergency oxygen masks line the counter just below the bar top and look curiously well maintained. At the far end of the space, a small stage is bathed in light that spills down through a large gaping hole in the ceiling. The raw metal edges of the hole look as if they've been chewed away by some kind of explosive carnage. Small cargo containers and crates haphazardly line the stage while larger ones are communally arranged along with two triad tables. Embedded in the walls along the opposite of the bar are six old escape pods with the hatches propped open to provide more private seating.
Mon Jul 02 2049 (MD #251)

The Air Wing wake is an informal send-off — anyone can show up and have a drink (or many drinks) in memory of the fallen. The CAG has arranged for one corner of No Man's Land to be reserved for the event and Niko, beer in hand, is among the few who have gotten a bit of an early start. The aging viper jock is dressed in his off-duty tank and T-shirt with his beat-up old leather 'Lucky Strikes' flight jacket over the top. No dress grays, no formation, no speeches by Command. Instead there is a table set aside with photos of the recently killed pilots and ECOs, along with pitchers of beer and bottles of booze, along with amble cups and glasses.

Carrying a bottle of what the bartender swears is beer, though from the scent rising from the bottle Diaz isn't entirely convinced that it isn't paint remover, the viper pilot drifts through the room toward the table where the other pilots are converging. A solemn nod is aimed at the CAG before she takes a handful of origami cranes out of one pocket and sets one in front of each picture.

Fox wanders in as he was told there was alcohol. He's dressed in a loose button up short sleeved brightly flowered shirt that falls to his hips. Cut off jeans and sandals show off his darkly tanned legs, and the shirt his tanned arms. The short blond hair gives him a beach bum look as he strolls in and looks around the place, "Is this even legal?" He wonder aloud as he smiles, red bloodshot eye's scanning the joint. He pulls a pack from his breast pocket and flips out a cigarette, or something rolled in white paper at any rate. Returning it to the pocket, he pulls out his zippo styled lighter and lights it. "Far out." He says softly, bobbing his head in approval.

Idris has arrived carrying one of his sketchbooks. Currently Idris is dressed in a white cashmire light weight turtleneck that is casual dressy and looks expensive. Slightly snug, it shows off his fitness. Sleek charcoal dress pants of thin, high quality wool have sharp creases up the front. Shiny black patent leather dress shoes with a thin matching belt complete his attire. No jewelry of any kind is worn. As he approaches the bar, 'Vogue' stops to look at the photos set out of the lost ECO's and 'Timber'. He quietly opens up his sketchbook and lays it out with a couple of drawings of Ben Cross he had made.

Arpay ears sometimes make bars a little bit unpleasant. In-ear adjustable hearing protection helps. A bit. Rowan always thought the things made her look dumb, little metal circles resting over her ear canal, but she likes to go out, so they're a necessary evil. She's wearing a halter-neck dress that looks like she made it from a bunch of old t-shirts, and she very probably did. She sticks with her boots for footwear. Never know when you're going to have to hoof it. She winds her way through the crowd until she finds the Air Wing corner, helping herself to a drink as she looks at the photos, and the drawings. "Huh," she says, very nearly into her glass. She jabs the drawings with her finger. "That's amazing."

"Diaz," Niko greets the Ensign with a tip of his glass. Her paper cranes get a thumbs up. Nice touch. Then he overhears Fox's question and excuses himself to make a response to the ECO. "You accusing the CAG of breaking the law, Lieutenant?" He gestures the man toward the ad-hoc memorial, and the drinks. "Fleet sanctioned ceremony." Looking back that way, he too spots Idris' sketches and goes to stand beside Rowan to give them a look. "Nice," he agrees with the Nugget, then turns to Vogue. "Didn't know you were an artist, Captain."

"Sir," Diaz replies to the CAG with a nod and a subtle lift of the beer bottle that she's carrying, then shakes her head a little at the exchange about legalities. She starts to take a drink from the bottle then hesitates before actually doing so and lowers it again as more pilots begin to show up, nodding to each in turn before she meanders through the room again to have a discussion about music that ultimately culminates in music being played over the speakers that are paired with the small stage.

Captain Bloodfeather smiles a little at Rowan, "Thank you. Ben was easy to like, and easy to draw." The best of them is Ben sitting on top of his bunk making spit wads ready with a Raptor sketched in the background sort of as a collage. Fox gets a look, then 'Vogue's attention goes to his CAG. "I used to draw often and play the piano. It passes the time when off duty." Not mind you that he's seen a piano since the war resumed. Idris slips free to go to get a drink but lays a hand briefly on Diaz's shoulder in silent greeting. Wine would be his preference but isn't generally available, so he must settle for something less couth.

Fox says, "Not at all." He looks around at No Man's Land and says, "I meant this place." He grins and looks at the arranged photo's and gets a gander at the drawings. He understands this is a wake and doesn't want to sully it. Then he hears piano. He perks up a bit, turning to the Captain, "Is there a piano around here? I can get a guitar I think. Know any other musicians?" He gives a half slant smile, slightly bloodshot eye's eager to know more.

Idris now has a drink in hand of dubious nature - it being blue and having a tiny ornamental umbrella of all things dropped into the edge of the squat glass. It does not however smell fruity nor sweet. "Sadly no." He answers Fox, "Not that I have seen. However, eventually a keyboard of some kind or another might turn up, perhaps." A taste of his strange drink as he considers the questions further. "I hear there is a Marine who has begun to organize Friday evening musical sessions on the Observation Deck but I rarely have that particular time free of my duties to attend."

Niko nods as Diaz slips away toward the music, then turns to continue the conversation near the memorial. "No kidding?" he says to Idris. "I'll ask the Marines to keep their eye out for a piano." The logistics of that might be a problem, but he's undaunted. Then Fox's question causes the CAG to lift his glass to indicate the photo of one of the lost ECOs. "I heard Blues was good. Never got to hear him play."

Donovan makes his way to the wake. He is a little on the late side but he had some reports that had to get filed from his stretch on duty officer. He makes his way in and finds a drink. He starts to make his rounds greeting the other pilots and ECO's that are attending. He pauses by Idris. "Sir." he says and then he nods to Niko. "Sir." he then turns and looks over towards Fox. "Glad you could make it." he greets the Raptor pilot. He then spots Diaz. "Hey Diaz." he says and then takes a shot, half pause and another shot. He clears his throat and then starts looking for a place to sit down and settle in.

Diaz smiles at the Captain even as she carries her drink back to the bar and orders something else that, once it arrives, is that neon green concoction that she had the last time the air wing was having drinks. Green. Neon. Yes, that's exactly what it looks like. "It's not that it'd be hard to find, it's that it'd be tough to load onto a Rhino without damaging the piano wires. It'd almost be better to just dismantle it then reassemble it once we get it back on board," she suggests as she carries her drink with her back to the gaggle of pilots. "Hey Corric," she calls in return before fixing a look at the sandal wearing man. "Have we met yet?" she asks, offering one hand forward, "Diaz. Viper pilot," by way of introduction.

Fox steps up to the bar, "Surfer on Acid." The bartender looks at him funny and Fox leans on the bar itself, "Four parts. One part coconut rum, one part yagger, two parts pine apple. Make it neat please. Ice hurts my teeth and is bad for the vocal cords." He turns to the room and puts his elbows on the bar to lean back against it. He watches for a while and listens. What better way to get to know a bunch of strangers he is going to have to work with. He may be stoned, but he is very attentive.

"Sparky." The callsign makes him smile as Idris greets Donovan. A hand is laid upon his other viper pilot's shoulder and over all, Captain Bloodfeather is somewhat less aloof than he used to be. Less stoic and stuffy, more apt to smile. "Glad to have you, all of you." A subtle nod to Niko, "Mother may have more room for a piano than the Orion, should one be found. Either way, I would be pleased to resume practice." Idris lifts his glass, "To our fallen comrades. May we never forget them."

Rowan gapes at Diaz's drink. "I want, like, three of those," she declares, though she's still nursing her beer. She doesn't feel quite right jumping into the thick of things. After all, she's still a nugget. One sim and some CAP time away from full duty, but that gap is palpable right now, and she knows her place. She lingers at the edge of the area.

"Sparky," Niko greets Donovan with a small lift of his glass. "Glad you could make it." Then he chuckles as Diaz returns with a bright green drink, only to start talking about how to get a piano aboard. "Am I hearing the start of a plan, Diaz?" he asks the Ten. Then he turns to Idris with a grin, "One of your pilots is showing some initiative, Vogue." He nods for the observation about space, however. "If we let Mother have it, we'll need to work out a trade." But then he's reminded of their purpose here when Idris makes his toast. The CAG raises his hand and his voice, calling out. "Okay people! I've got a few words to say, but if anyone else wants to share something about the fallen before I do, go for it."

Idris gives a nod towards Donovan and offers low to his CAG as an aside, "Corric will make an excellent future Squadron Leader." If he lives long enough.

"But we lose access to the piano when we're not here," Diaz points out even as she grins suddenly at Rowan and hands her the one she just ordered. "Here, I'll go fetch more," she volunteers and goes to do precisely that and by the time she's back the CAG's remarks have made the gaggle of pilots settle down somewhat. She's returned with not one but three more of those neon green drinks, all balanced neatly on a serving tray. "Stupid human tricks," she confides to Rowan in a low voice. "I can balance one of these on my head, with drinks, and no spill any of them." She sets the tray on the table as she slides into an empty seat and helps herself to one.

Jacob ducks his head a little and makes his way in with a bottle already in hand, slowing down when he sees how many people are already present. A flicker of a smile touches his face for a second, but when his attention gravitates towards the table of pictures and mementos, he sobers a little and joins in with the toast he apparently walked in on, adding a grunt of agreement before upending his bottle. Someone apparently hunted down a bottle and headed over the moment he was clear of CAP…

Fox gets his drink and raises the glass for the toast given. He brings it to his lips and takes a sip. His face sours, lips seems to pull together in a tight kissy look, his eye's close and then he breathes out shaking his head. Panting a bit, he bobs his head slightly and takes another sip. The result the same. "Lemon huh? No pineapple huh?" He looks at the bartender and the bartender only shrugs, going to make another drink. Fox doesn't say any more, just turning back to listen some more. He knows this wake if for this crew, he was hoping for a brass band playing ragtime, but this is their party.

Rowan blinks when Diaz makes those green drinks happen. "Whoa." She gets up, walks over to where Diaz is sitting, and gives her a big ol' smooch on the cheek before grabbing one herself. She grabs a chair, herself, and sits down. She knew the dead. She just… can't find the words. So she drinks.

Donovan raises his glass to the fallen. He laughs softly and shakes his head when it is said that he would be a good squadron leader. He too migrates over towards Diaz and her homemade Viper fuel. He picks up one of the glasses and snags a chair. "It would he great if we could find a piano." he says. "I been keeping my eyes out."

When it's clear no one is ready to step forward yet, Niko goes ahead. "Okay! I'll keep this short," he promises. " I'm not going to get all religious on you, but there is something everyone needs to know." The CAG gives a meaningful pause here before he says, "Death is not the end." Maybe he's had too much to drink already? "How that works, what exactly comes after, I have no frakking clue. But there is something, and the people we've lost — family, friends, brothers and sisters in arms — they're still out there someplace, watching over us." As crazy as this may sound to some, Niko looks absolutely serious; and despite the implications of this 'truth' he at least seems comforted by it. "So no matter how bad things may get, remember: all those people know what you're going through, and you're not alone. They've got your back." The CAG gestures with his drink, indicating the little memorial on the Air Wing table, and the photos of the fallen. "We've lost some good people — they stepped forward and gave it everything they had, and I'm proud to have served with them all. And now I'm trusting them to watch over us while we keep up the good fight." Here he turns to raise his glass to the photos of the lost. "Here's to Timber, Edit, Zoot, Blues, Mike, and Blackwell." He up-ends his glass and drains it.

Captain Bloodfeather smiles at Diaz, "If you can convince Commander Petra and Admiral Io that the space taken up by a grand piano in the Observation Deck is worth the effort, for the sake of morale, I shall be very pleased indeed. It is good to remind ourselves sometimes of other things more pleasant than war." He too quiets down to listen as their CAG leads off for why they have gathered here.

Idris lifts up his own glass to what Niko says at the end, "To Timber, Edit, Zoot, Blues, Davis, and Blackwell, hear, hear!" The little umbrella is plucked out of his glass and tossed over his shoulder before 'Vogue' downs his drink. He may yet feel guilty about having lost Blackwell.

"Ow!" Rowan yelps. "That's my eye!" She glares at the Captain. "I mean. Uh. Sir." She downs her drink quickly, shrinking.

Fox raises his glass to Niko's speach, "Far out." He says softly at the thought of spirits being in the room looking out over them. He looks around slighly, half a grin on his face. Then takes a sip from his glass. His face puckers again and his eye's slightly water, as much as the THC in his system allows them to water. He pulls a breath and smacks his lips together, as if that will change the taste in his mouth.

Jacob stays quiet while Niko gets to speechifying, easing himself a little further into the gathering place and shooting a couple of glances around at the other faces. When he offers a toast, Jacob lifts his bottle and joins in, "Hear! Hear!" and stops long enough to realize he has indeed killed the bottle. A look of perturbation crosses his face, looking around for the supply. Must refuel!

Diaz aims a look at the CAG that is 2 parts surprise, 1 part curious, and the last part somewhat wide-eyed and tough to define. As result she lifts the drink she's holding and says, "To all the voices that are lost," in a quiet voice before she takes a larger drink from the glass of neon green alcohol that she's holding, which is probably a bad idea. She makes a startled sound that turns into a laugh, sort of a watery laugh as she wipes at her eyes with the back of one hand. "I'd really rather have a piano on the Orion," she admits and nods at Corric. "If we could just fine piano wires, really, we could shop the frame ourselves. The keys are just levers that apply a specific amount of pressure, and the little hammers are the same. It's the piano wires that are the tricky part." She then waves to Jacob, "Grab a seat?" she calls by way of greeting even as she's wearing that thoughtful look again. "I could pitch that, sir," to the Captain before she takes another, slightly smaller, drink from the glass she's holding.

Speech and send-off toast accomplished, now Niko has to refill his glass from one of the pitchers before he can resume drinking. He's said his bit and now the CAG takes a step back to drink, watch, and listen. If his expression is unusually reflective — well it is a wake after all.

Donovan is drinking and he too raises his glass to the fallen and he says. "Don't worry… Voodoo will keep em in line and make sure they are ready and waiting when we all get there." he says to the room. Nothing more by way if what exactly that means but there it is. He finishes off his glass and heads to get another, returning and he nods. "That's more or less it… specs for a tuning fork are easy… just the time and effort to make it once we had the wires." he pauses and scratches his chin for a moment. "Maybe them folks the Marines made friendly with might have some kinda lead on something like that… they gotta have some sorta instruments there." he says, thinking aloud, taking a big gulp of the drink and almost killing himself. He seems to have forgotten what he was holding in the glass.

A refill if found for his glass as Idris listens to what Niko has to say. Rowan's outburst saves 'Vogue' from having to make any comments to Niko's religious philosphies. Idris turns sharply, sets his empty glass on the bar, "I am so sorry. I meant no harm. You are all right?" Good thing he didn't toss the glass! Diaz draws his attention and Bloodfeather looks thoughtful, "Strings are no real difficulty to fabricate either. But, a real, properly aged antique grand piano duly rescued from the ravages of war and the Skath would be a far worthier prize. If possible. There could be no comparison to the sound, much like the difference between a new violin freshly made, compared to a genuine Stradivarius."

"It's just my eye, sir. I've got two of them, and they're weird Arpay eyes anyway," Rowan says good naturedly, rubbing the affected eye with the heel of her hand. She does help herself to another green drink. She gets drawn into the piano-making talk. "I bet we could talk some of the knuckle-draggers into helping. Get some of the fussier parts machined."

Jacob glances over at Diaz when she calls at him to take a seat and he wiggles the fingers of his free hand at her, "I'm gettin' there. Needta replace mah empty. Its disrespectful to not be drinking at a wake. Or, you know, something like that." A new bottle switched out for his old one, he offers a bright grin at Idris and Niko, "Sirs!" and saunters right on past to find a chair to plop his butt with a thud. A curious look is shot between Idris, Rowan, Diaz, and Donovan before he finally asks, "Are you all actually talking about building a piano? From, you know, scratch?"

Fox quirks a brow at all the piano talk and says, "Going to build a piano? To bad we're no where near Picon. I could take to three of them just waiting to get picked up." He chuckles and knows right where they are, abandoned buildings from the occupation, left to sit and rot. He takes a sip of his drink and his face contort again. He shakes his head and sets it on the bar, "I can't do this. Lemon is good for the voice, but this." He pulls a drag from his cigarette, "Felfer carb." sliding the glass away from him. He turns back to the room.

"It's still hard to think about ghosts without thinking about resurrection," Diaz admits as she drains the last of the neon green drink from her glass and sets it down before she waves down a waitress (server? person who provides drinks when asked nicely) to order another round for the table. "I've read the reports about the ghosts that the fleet has interacted with since the last war, I've never seen one myself," and aims a nod at Corric. "The specs are rather straight forward, it's not like we have to re-invent the concept of a piano from the ground up. And hey, think they might?" she wonders only to eye the Captain for a moment, a bit of a frown furrowing her brow. "Well we could, sure, but an upright piano would be easier to transport. I suppose if we loosen the wires and take the legs off of it, wrap it snug with a tarp, I bet we could stand one on it's end to make it fit," there's the fine gleam of speculation in her eyes now as she gestures to Rowan. "I bet we could talk the marines into helping us move one if we can find one," She then nudges one of the newly arrived drinks to Jacob, so now there's two lined up in front of him. "We could, yes, but.. maybe we could just find one? Faster, all the way around."

Fox draws Captain Bloodfeather's interest right off, "Picon? Aren't the Marines involved in some recon there currently? Going to lift off people who are endangered or something like. Not my wing, but the Gentleman Ghosts." He sips his drink then Idris adds, "You should speak with Major Ynyr." About a piano, right. Bennett might laugh her ass off. 'Vogue' looks to Diaz, "There is no comparison between an upright piano and a grand piano." Ah, but no reason she would understand. Idris falls silent and extracts himself from that well meaning conversation to return to the photos and drawings of their dead. Then, after a few minutes he finishes his second drink and wanders off to find the Arboretum.

Jacob mmms softly and leans back to take a long drink, then gives Diaz a side-eye, "I notice yer skipping over the important bit. If we get a piano, we better be lockin' that down. You dont get ta touch it if you cant PLAY. Im not gonna go out to the Obs Deck to enjoy the view, to the sounds of a cat havin' its nuts pulled out through its throat." He even shudders a bit for emphasis before taking another drink.

Fox shrugs, "Resinence." He says as the difference between grand and upright. He finds himself in this conversation. "I can give directions to the places I know that hold them. An upright would fit in a Raptor easy. Rhino with no trouble at all. But…" He looks from one to another, "Isn't it dangerous down there?" He looks to Jacob, "Lessons could be offered for those who want to play it. He looks to Donovan, "Unless you want to." He grins and chuckles, "But I'll believe it when I see it." He laughs and pulls another drag from his cigarette.

Diaz promptly looks speculative…. again. "Are you saying you're going to loiter around and guard the piano, just in case I decide to launch an audio assault of some kind?" She taps one fingertip against the glass that she's holding, "I bet I couldn't convince the major, but I bet I can talk the marines in to it. It's a challenge. Marines like challenges," she seems pretty certain of this as a statement of fact. "All we need are the dimensions, after all, the dimensions of the hatch on the Rhino are an absolute factor. Therefore, the dimensions of the piano will dictate which type can make the journey."

Jacob rumbles softly and smirks at Diaz, "No, I mean I'll be stayin' the hell away from it, is all." He pauses to suck down another drink, taking in a deep breath and letting it go before rolling a shoulder at Fox, "I sure as hades hope someone does. Either that or I'll be taking bets for how long 'fore the first 'the piano is off limits' post from Command." That idea seems to amuse the hell out of him.

Niko listens for a bit, satisfied to see people talking in a relatively stress-free environment for once. He has time to finish another glass of beer and refill before making his way over to the conversation near the memorial table. "Quickdraw is right," the CAG adds his two cents. "We want a piano, it's going to need some looking after." He glances around No Man's Land. "Obs Deck may be a better place for it than here." As for getting an entire grand piano off one of the Colonies, here Niko is less positive. "If we are on a planet to evacuate people, we're not going to give up space for a piano. Now — if this were a one-off 'salvage' mission put on by the Air Wing? That might be a different story."

Donovan is working on yet another drink and he half shrugs. "I think both is a good answer to that." he says. "I am sure that we have a little different style and composers we know… people would be more well rounded with more than one teacher." he offers. "But I would be glad to teach anyone that wanted to learn." he admits. He looks over to Diaz and he nods to her. "You know… now that I think of it, they really do seem to get a kick out of the little challenges like that don't they… the Marines that is." he says to her.

Fox shrugs and says, "Can we drink there? Drink goes better with live music."

Jacob chuckles softly at the responses and shakes his head, "Hey, Im not in charge. If the Powers That Be like our Fearless Leader over there thinks he can swing it, then I'm all for it. I play with the toys in the back of the bus. Tell me who I gotta blind or blow up to make it happen, you know?" He grins and winks, leaning back to suck down a large portion of his bottle, stifling the belch before asking, "So when we goin'?"

Casey wanders in from one of the corners with a straight up bottle that she's grabbed by the neck. She's not wearing anything fancy. An old jacket over her tanks and some BDUs. Her hair looks a touch greasy and a few locks dissheveled, eyelids heavy as she smokes some hand-rolled cigarette. She doesn't usually smoke either. She wanders over to the table and shifts her weight over to one leg as she stares at all the pictures. The bottle is lifted for a swig.

Diaz lets out a laugh as she lifts the glass she's holding in a toast to Jacob, "Alright, maestro, we'll make sure only qualified piano players are allowed to use the piano. And piano lessons will be held with the hatch door sealed shut and hours clearly posted," added with a wink. The CAG's words make the viper pilot turn a pensive look slowly around the table then the room at large, "Music is as vital to the soul, sir, as food and water. Without art, without music, without imagination and creative expression, part of that which makes us a people, a civilization, withers. So we make it volunteer only," there's that nod again to Corric and to Fox as well, the ECO she hasn't actually been introduced to as yet, "and we come up with a way to offset the fuel investment by bringing back more than just a piano," or two. "We grab what ever civilian gear we can lay hands on. Clothing, shoes, etc. The Skath have to have supply depots of some sort."

Fox lets out a nervous breath and looks to Diaz, "I was with you till you said Skath. Picon isn't what it use to be, I'll testify to that. If you're going to get people from there, good on you. It'd take a single ship for a piano, and I doubt that'll get past regs. But you really think we could pull it off, I'll go." He pulls a drag again and looks to Jacob, "I sit in the back of the bus too, so we'll need a driver and some muscle." Is he really concidering this, so it would seem.

Niko is with the knot of pilots and ECOs talking near the memorial / drink table, and he spots Casey heading over. He flashes the ECO a grin, but seeing her headed to look at the photos, the CAG gives her a few minutes before interrupting. So for the moment he turns back to the piano discussion. "On the record?" he says to Jacob's question, "No." And while the beginning of Diaz's pitch doesn't do much to convince the CAG, the last bit is more persuasive. "Skath won't have a piano. But if we /did/ find a place where we could get one /plus/ a lot of other salvage? That might be 'on.'" Now that Casey has had a moment, Niko takes a step toward her and lifts his glass in greeting. "Hiker. Glad you could make it. Lucky for you, you missed my speech. But if you want to say a few words, go for it." Also at the memorial table are few offerings: origami cranes in front of each photo and some sketches of Ben.

Jacob murmurs, using his bottle to conceal it somewhat, "You'd be surprised what Command lets folks get away with, notthatidknow…" He clears his throat and takes another drink, then smiles winningly at Diaz, but is diverted enough by Casey's entrance to lift his bottle towards here and his voice, "Welcome! Grab a bottle. You got catchin' up to do!"

"Proximity," Diaz makes this single declarative statement, as though it makes all the sense in the world. "Erhm.. no.." she eyes Fox with a look that is a little perplexed, "no, it isn't what it used to be. But neither is what's left of Aerilon or any of the other colonies, let alone what they've done to Piraeus. But.." and she too waves to Hiker, "it's all about a persuasive pitch and logistics."

Casey doesn't really acknowledge the people beckoning her or encouraging her to drink beyond holding up the bottle of liquor she already has…without looking over. She's quiet for more than a few seconds after the Colonel addresses her too. Instead, she shakes her head. "Thanks though…I should probably sleep this shit off." She takes another pull from the bottle and stifles a small burp. "Just came to pay respects." She wasn't at the memorial service. She looks over when she hears 'Piraeus.'

<FS3> Fox rolls Singing: Success.

Fox says, "I'll let the talkers do the persuasion. I'm more of a song in the background kind of guy." He looks at the all the pictures of the dead and it stiffens his back, "They all look so young." He says, moving to view them better. Glancing back, "All heros, right?" He walks the line, bobbing his head slightly at each one. He reaches the the end of the row and stops. He turns to the rest of the people in the room that are of the Orion. "I .. I didn't know any of them. I'm just glad to be here with all of you now. If you don't mind, I offer this." He pulls a breath and lets it out slowly, getting his barings. He stands up strait as if going to attention, hands at his side and chin up, eye's gazing upward. He begins to sing in a simple tune and on key:

We stand before you lost in the haze. There isn't a time I remember. The many times we were to gaze, upon this memory lingered. Oh Johnny went off and got into the frey, we honor his life as we pray. This is our rejoy for the job that was done and we seek his memory in the rising Sun." The song has to many verses for him to remember, so he hums a verse aloud and then lowers his head in silence.

"You might at that," Niko offers cautious support for Jacob's comment about Command, but it's clear he's not speaking as the CAG. Then he nods for Diaz's comment. "Recommend you focus on the logistical advantages, then throw in the morale factor as a bonus." There's a respectful nod when Casey declines to join them, and Niko doesn't push it. Their lives are not exactly low stress, and people need be able to deal with it in their own way. Fox's offer of a song gets a bit of a dubious grin, but hey, the ECO isn't a terrible singer at least? The CAG lifts his drink in salute when the song is done. "Don't know where that's from, Xandor, but it's not bad."

<FS3> Diaz rolls Singing: Success.

Diaz's head lifts as she listens to Fox, quietly humming along once she recognizes the words and only rises once he finishes. "And to those of you that remain," she sings one of the later versus in return, "stand beneath the moons and sun, know that the fight is not over, is only just begun. Our daughters and sons, those loved and lost, paid one and all the ultimate cost," she rises to her feet and walks over to join Fox, resting one hand lightly on his arm as she does so. "Hear my voice, hear this song, and know one and all that the fight goes on."

Jacob quiets a bit at the singing, letting his attention gravitate for a moment to focus on Fox and then Diaz. Rumbling his approval, he lifts his bottle in a salute, 'whoop'ing softly, before leaning back to suck down the rest of it. Realizing he's already done with his refill, he lumbers up to his feet and makes his way back to the refreshments, "Well, that's going way too fast…" He mutters something lower under his breath at a couple of the pictures, while he grabs a third bottle

Fox joins Diaz in the chorus, his voice ringing out in a more triumphent tone, "Oh Johnny went off and got into the frey, we honor his life as we pray. This is our rejoy for the job that was done and we seek his memory in the rising Sun."

Casey nods to Niko briefly without saying anything more. Her eyes wander to the singers momentarily. She waits, listening, and then finally moves off before their song comes to an end, disappearing into the shadowy exit, the glow of her cigarette brief.

Diaz shares a smile with Fox then walks over to pick up another drink and carries it back to take her seat again, "So we need to pick a place that's near enough to a supply depot to make the logistics actually feasible. Get the dimensions of a piano to work the math and the weight, and come up with a diversion to pull the Skath patrols out of position," she summarizes as she props her feet on an empty chair. "I bet one of those fancy noble houses has a piano," said in a speculative tone of voice. "In fact… We could ask Benning. She'd know."

Jacob grunts softly while he lingers at the table, and half turns to regard the singing crew for a moment. With a little more consideration, he murmurs at the passing Diaz, "Okay, I must be a lightweight tonight, cause my head is spinning. Drink a few more for me? Imma go lay my wimpy butt down…" With a smile and a salute of his bottle at the room, Jacob slooowly turns and heads back the way he came.

Fox almost skips to the bar, the song energizing him some what. He orders a shot of whiskey, and a glass of water. He reaches inside his breast pocket and pulls out a pack. Opening it, he fingers through the cigarettes and pulls out one that is slightly thinner and pointed at each end. He smiles wide and lights it. The shot comes and he downs it, holding his composure as it runs down his throat. He pulls a drag and holds it a moment. Blowing it away from those near. "Great tune." He says to the woman, turning to her and saying, "I'm Fox Xandor."

"I haven't heard it in years," Diaz replies as she lifts her glass slightly in salute, "I didn't think anyone else knew the words to it anymore." She eyes the pack of cigarettes that he's holding and her eyes narrow subtly at the skinny one that he lights instead, "Adura Diaz, viper pilot. Nice to meet you, Fox Xandor. You play the piano too, like Corric?"

Fox nods, taking another drag. He holds it a moment longer and blows it away. "I was raised on music. My mother insisted on it, and I found it my escape during the Picon occupation. That's a long story I don't want to tell." He turns to the bartender, "Whiskey." He got a taste. Turning back to Diaz, "I'm an ECO, L T." He pulls a clean breath and gets the shot and shoots it. "I learned that song as a boy, but it applied here for some reason."

Diaz's expression goes a touch more solemn at Fox's words, "We all have stories, L-T, not all of them are the sharing kind. Some are just the.. survived kind," she gives a pretty good attempt at a smile and signals for a refill of the neon green drink she's particularly fond of. "It was particularly fitting, yes. Many things are better with the right music."

Fox smirks, "I guess that is why this crew wants a piano."

"Well, that's one reason, yes," Diaz shakes her head slowly, looking around the room as she answers. "It's also.. about a goal. A challenge. A.. reason. The fight? That's always the reason. We have to win this. Once and for all. But between now and then.. some of the gray areas? Something like this.. it fills in the spaces."

Fox nods and looks around, "This place would be perfect. Room for a crowd, drinks, not stiff." He smiles, "Yeah, I can see a piano here. But I'll play a piano anywhere I find it. Kinda have piano-idic." He chuckles and takes another drag.

"No, not here," Diaz counters with a shake of her head, looking around as Fox does, but perhaps seeing it differently. "One thing you never do, LT, is give away something in trade that you may end up having spent blood and sweat for. We put it on the Orion. That way it goes with us, no matter where the fight takes us."

Fox shrugs, pulling another drag. He sticks his finger in the shot glass and uses a drop of whiskey on the end of the joint to put it out. He places it into his breast pocket and pats it. He looks at the photo's up on display, "Sorry about your loss. I'm sure they were all good people. I understand they're heros one and all. Good on them." He bobs his head slightly and pulls a breath. Turning to Diaz, "Well Adura Diaz, this Fox needs to head back. I think I hear my bunk calling me. Whiskey always makes me sleepy." Half a smile grows and he turns to leave, turning back to her and flashing a quick peace sign, two finger under a fist, then starts to walk out.

"Nice meeting you to, Fox Xandor," Diaz replies as she taps the edge of the glass with one fingertip, asking for a refill as she does so. "I look forward to seeing you in the training sims and out on the flight line."

Fox says in a chuckle, "I've got second shift." as he reaches the hatch and exits.

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