MD #151: Blind and Stupid
Blind and Stupid
Summary: Toby talks to Niamh about leaving the Deck
Date: 06/09/2017
Related Logs: When Hades Froze Over
Toby Niamh 
Naval Enlisted Berthings - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Housing a couple thousand naval personnel is never easy, but the fleet has managed for many decades. The enlisted barracks are divided up into sixty-bunk berthings and spread out across Deck Three. Each bunk has a small blue privacy curtain to keep out the light and prying eyes, but at least each individual has their own space. The drawers beneath each bunk and the lockers provide additional storage space. Between each stack of bunks is a single table that comprises a single section, each barracks holding five sections that are divided by thin bulkheads.
MD #151

For most of the last five months or so Toby has kept his head down and his nose clean. He's not been the most social of people, but when you're almost 60 and most of your work colleagues are in their late teens or early twenties that’s possibly not too surprising. Keeping to himself he's tried, but largely failed, to get his head round the Arpay enhancements on the fleet's small craft and as such has generally been stuck with the scut work, as that doesn't tend to involve anything that could ever be described as 'quantum'. In the past couple of weeks though, since shortly before the rescue of civilians from Piraeus, his moods have been oscillating. He's clearly been trying to keep the levelness of before, but there's flashes of almost unprovoked anger, and periods of almost crushing sadness. Not that he's been letting at least the second of those show mind, or at least, not to those who don't know how to read him. Right now there’s an air of quiet determination about him as he heads through the near deserted berthings towards Niamh's bunk. «Chief,» he asks quietly, so as not to disturb the sleepers, «you got a few? Need to talk to you about something.»

Niamh has been busy, as she always is. And she has not been blind to Toby's swinging moods. Nope. She might not say anything, but she's aware. It's her job to be aware of how her crew is doing. So, she's not surprised that the older Crewman eventually comes to find her. She's currently sitting on her bunk, much as she has done since she first came aboard the Orion, drawing in her notepad. She's obviously off-duty, for the time being, dressed as such, at any rate. But when Toby approaches her, she pauses her drawing and fixes bright green eyes on him, head tilting slightly. «Of course, I always have time.» Or she at least /makes/ the time. A hand pats the bunk, inviting him to sit, if he likes.

Toby takes a quick glance at the bunk above Niamh's to ensure it's empty, then moves as if he's about to accept her offer before stopping himself and taking the option to lean instead. He first folds his arms across his chest, then, after a moment, unfolds them and stuffs them in his pocket instead. «Chief,» he starts again, in a manner that suggests that what he is about to say doesn't come easily, «you need to know, and I'm sorry to drop it on you like that, but better you hear from me and not through a load of paperwork landing on your desk. I'm.. I'm looking to transfer off the deck.»

Niamh watches Toby shifting and fussing. One brow quirks upward but she waits patiently, setting aside her drawings completely, to focus on him. «I see.» She murmurs softly after he's done informing her of his intentions. «Well, we… I'll miss you. A lot.» She pulls in a slow breath, staring down at her hands for a long moment. «What brought on this decision?»

And there is the reaction Toby had been dreading, or part of it at least, but really, he has nothing else for it but to push on through and finish the explanation. «I still haven't got a fraking clue what I'm doing with the new tech, can't get my head round it cos it makes no fraking sense. What does make sense though is the need to deal with as many of the APF and their ilk as I can. I mean, I know what we do is important, and I'm not trying to say it isn't, but I need to get hands on. To see them fall, to avenge those they took from us. Each and every single one of them needs to meet an unpleasant end, and I intend to do all I can to ensure that happens.»

For the longest time, there's silence from Niamh. She keeps her eyes focused downward and she seems to be focusing on her breathing, carefully in, carefully out. There's a slow nod. «I can understand that, I suppose.» She murmurs quietly, keeping her words slow as a hand lifts pushing a wayward strand of hair behind an ear. Her fingers tremble and she drops them to her lap, twisting them together to keep them still. There's a sudden huff of only sort-of amused laughter, «Life can be a strange, strange thing.» The Chief shakes her head and looks up, appearing like she might say more, but stops herself. «Well, you know I'll do nothing to stop you. If that's what'll make you happy, I won't stand in your way.»

«I'm not sure if happy is the right word,» Toby admits quietly, «but the thought of easing their souls to rest is just about all I have left.» One soul in particular, but that’s by the by. He feels oddly better that she's looked up at him, the staring at her hands had been making him feel like he'd just ripped away a kid's puppy, but eye contact helps. «Thanks Chief,» he notes with a nod, «I promise I won't be a stranger. There's few enough of us left that we have to stick together, no matter what.»

Niamh stares at Toby, long and hard. Eventually, she wriggles her way off her bunk, pushing to her feet. There's an intense sadness in her eyes as she watches him. «I can't decide if you're blind and stupid, or intensely clever.» She says after a few minutes. Then pushes her feet into her boots, «Or maybe I'm the one that's just blind and stupid.» The Chief huffs out a breath and shakes her head, «Take care of yourself, Toby.» The little redhead reaches out to squeeze his shoulder once before she starts for the exit.

Toby can't quite meet Niamh's eye, not for that long anyway, and just before she moves he drops his head. He's not the most touchy-feely of people, but he doesn't move away from the hand on his shoulder, and once she starts to leave he turns his head to follow her. «Blind and stupid,» he mutters at her back, «that’s pretty much all I've ever been.» Then, with her gone, he turns and retreats to his own bunk for some quality 'staring at the ceiling and hating everything' time.

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