ALT #394: Can I have A Word?
Can I have A Word?
Summary: Toby draws Sera aside for a quiet conversation. A punch may or may not be thrown.
Date: 04-05/Feb/2014
Related Logs: Have You Made Any Progress?
Toby Sera 
Hangar Bay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
AWD #395

The bays may be busy, and crowded, and noisy, but if you take care in your preperations, it can still be possible to manage to wrangle a few minutes of private conversation with someone. Of course, it makes things easier if you're working on the same bird and that's what Toby has managed to wrangle this time, or at least he hopes he has. It took a bit of creative shuffling of his work list but if he's correct then the airframe he's appraoching now should be the one that Sera is working on at the mement. Fingers crossed.

The woman's shoved so far up the nose of a Viper that she could easily pass for a neon orange booger, if not for the boots. Granted, it could be anyone crammed up there, being as the boots could belong to anyone. But that unmistakable muttering in Trojan is all too obvious — no one else on the deck speaks it and no one else speaks it so freely when swearing. Totally oblivious to Toby's presence, a wiggling hand comes wandering out from underneath the metal, waving vigorously for a socket wrench.

Toby may not understand the exact words, but he's been around on Orion long enough now to be able to take a good guess. Certainly he's identified them as words not to speak in polite company. Or at least, if he ever finds any polite company that speaks Trojan. Resisting the urge to thump on the top of the viper to announce his presense he instead ditches his own clipboard onto a wing and goes to crouch down by Sera's toolkit before asking, "what to you want Chief? Spanner?" Then, in a slightly more serious tone he asks, "once you're done in there, can I have a word?"

"Hex head," she mumbles, her voice muffled by several layers of metal panels. A shimmy to left, a shimmy to the right, and she's sliding — ass first — back out so she can get an eyeful of whoever it is that's talking to her. "What do you need, Shacks?," she says, even as she holds out a greasy hand towards him for the aforementioned tool.

It takes Toby a moment or two to locate the tool in question, but he has it in hand as Sera emerges. "That one?" he asks as he holds it out for her, just incase there was another hiding somewhere, then he takes a quick glance around to check there is no one else terribly close. No mention is made of the nickname he dislikes, instead he just turns back to Sera and says almost aprehensively, "five minutes of your time and a promise not to judge or leap to conclusions until I've finished?"

Well, hell. With an opening like that, what else can she do besides pause and then arch a dark brow at him. "Well, go'on," she says simply, even as she's plucking the wrench from his hand. "Just give me a minute, yeah?" She flips it over to make sure it's the right size, then scrambles back up inside in order to tighten the loose nut that she'd found.

Toby figured a brow rise or two was on the way and just keeps his expression relatively neutral as she takes the spanner. "Sure," he replies as she moves to finish the task at hand and he uses the time it takes her to go retrieve his clipboard so it looks more like he's actually doing work rather than just loitering. It doesn't take him a whole minute though, and as that time elapses he leans against the nose of the viper to await the return of the Chief.

When she's finally finished, she crawls back out, boots hitting the deck with a thud. One hand drags through a few loose strands of her hair, as though that might actually fix the mess that's been made of it while she was climbing around in there. "Anyway," she says, fussing a bit. "What was it that you wanted to tell me?" An eye flicks back up the hangar bay, towards the door. In short, does it need to be discussed in private?

Toby follows her glance back up towards the hatch, considers for a moment then gives a faint nod in both thanks and agreement. He'll take the greater privacy of elsewhere if she's willing to take the time away from the deck. Clipboard under one arm he turns in that direction and starts slowly so she has time to grab her gear if she wishes. "I know this ain't a great time, but I'm off in half an hour an then I've got to go talk to Ensign Haddon, the marine investigating the sims stuff. Routine interview apparently but he's wanting to chase up any issues at all that anyone is known to have with airwing and outright asked me a day or two ago if there was anything else he needed to know about me that wasn't in my record or rumours he might have picked up."

She frowns at the thought; frowns deeply. It's not an expression that sits well on her face. It wasn't meant to bear that sort of weight. "Look, Shacks," she says, trailing behind him as she heads towards the hatch. Sera keeps her voice low. "I know we all got problems with the flyboys, but as far as I'm concerned, with Shepherd probably dead an' the Nine shot up, I don't have to like them… but I don't think they're worth the trouble, either. Figured you felt the same."

Casting Sera a sideways glance as she says that he is momentarilly stuck for how to reply. In the end he comes up with, "you figure about right. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd love to wipe that smug expression of Raynor's face, but it's not like I'm going to start plotting and planning to blow the lot of them up is it?" Stuffing his free hand deep into a pocket he pauses at the hatch to let her go through first. "It's just, well," he glances to the other side of the hatch to ensure there's no one lurking there before he continues, "look Chief, I'll put it bluntly. My past ain't exactly all shiney and nice, and there some stuff I might have to tell him that I'd rather not. It's got frak all to do with this, but while it looks bad, it'll look even worse if he finds out later from someone else. Thing is," and here his voice gets even more awkward than it has been, "you and Dio have been about the closet thing I've had to a family in a while and if this shit is going to start to spread then I'd rather you heard it from me first."

Both hands cram into her pockets. The uniform is hardly flattering to begin with, but now that she's got an extra set of bulges at her hips, well… that's just downright attractive. Who doesn't like a woman in lumpy dayglo? "Look, Shacks, if you're goin' to tell me that this involves the Ha'la'tha, you ain't the first. Maybe the first on the Orion with the background checks an' all, but you ain't the first Tauran that got himself in some shit that I've had on my deck. So don't worry about it." There's a bit of a shrug, but it's also a hell of an assumption — a pretty offensive one, too. And she seems so damned casual about it.

There's actually a brief flash of anger that crosses Toby's expression when that organisation is named and his fists clench, hard. Not only do they clench, but the right one flies hard and fast, impacting solidly with the bulkhead between himseld and Sera. The sudden pain of impact seems to help though and after a deep breath or two he turns his head away, spits and then looks back to Sera, shaking his head as he does so. "No," he replies, still through slightly gritted teeth, but he's getting it under control. "This has nothing to do with them, but if you do ever find out about any onboard, let me know. There's a few souls need vengence yet."

Sooooo, maybe Sera's not quite as accustomed to Taurans as she thought. After all, as Toby's fists go flying towards the bulkhead, she damned near jumps out of her skin at the sudden loud, dull thud of fist slamming into metal. "Shit, Shacks!," she says, with something akin to a squeak. Her eyes widen and she looks down at his hand, torn between concern and shock. "Sorry…," she mumbles, not really sure what else to say.

Toby stuffs the hand in question deep inside a pocket. It hurts, but then that's not to surprising given what he just did to it, if it keeps hurting he'll get it checked out later. For now though he just takes a coupld of deep, steadying breaths then glances round to see if that attracted any undue attention. Luckily, all seems quiet and so he mutters back to Sera in acceptance of her apology, "you weren't to know." It takes a moment for him to get his brain back in gear and work out where the conversation was going before the sudden diversion, but once he's got it all square then he's off again. This time though, he really is cutting straight to the point as he says simply, "long and the short of it is I helped fight a war against colonial forces. Mostly marines. They invaded, we faught back, they occupied, we faught back. Lots of people died, in the streets, in houses, in ambushes. You name a district of Antioch, I lost family and friends there, so if he asks if there's anything else he needs to know, he might hear more than he bargined for."

Sera stares down at his hand for a moment, concealed as it is within his pocket. Her brows furrow together, forming a deeper line than they really ought to be able to right between them. Seems it's a face she makes a lot. "Alright," she says, considering his statement with a few, slow, thoughtful nods. "But then you went an' signed up anyway, an' you've been fightin' the good fight since. So maybe you don't bleed blue. Big deal. I signed up for the money, pure an' simple. If I weren't gettin' paid, I wouldn't have signed up just to go wavin' the Colonial flag an' thumpin' my chest, neither. It happens. Long as you can honestly say that you got a reason to be here, to be on our side — an' you do — I don't see what the problem is. Maybe he won't like it, but most officers get their noses out of joint any chance they get. He don't like it, he can come ask me about you."

Toby listens silently as Sera makes her reply, his eyes never quite leaving her face. As she speaks though, the tension slowly starts to bleed off him and his shoulders in particular start to relax once more. When she's done he offers a short nod, followed a moment later by a quiet, "thanks Chief." A deep breath and a slow exhale come next and then he straightens slightly before replying, "thats how I see it to, basically at least, but it caused trouble on Picon when a load of marines found out." He can't remember off hand how much he told her about all that but it's not something he particularly wants to dredge up right now so he leaves it there. "I'm wanting to take someone in there with me, just in case. Someone who knows me, not just some button polishing JAG Lieutenant. I know I should go to my Chief about it, but would you?"

"You mean 'cause I got myself a reputation for mouthin' off to my betters when I think they're unfairly stompin' on my crew?," she asks him, point blank and suddenly sporting a smile. It suits her much better than looks of worry or concentration do, even if it is all smug and mischeivious. Woman knows that she's gone and ruined what was pretty much a respectable career before War Day by running her damned mouth, but, well, she doesn't exactly have a family to feed anymore, does she? There's a shrug of her shoulders before she stuffs her greasy hands in her pockets. "Sure. I'll go."

Toby can't help but grin a little at Sera's response to that. "Well, I was going to say that I could trust you to have my back," unlike others, "but if you prefer to put it that way… Thanks." Shifting round a little so he can lean his back against the bulkhead he so recently assaulted he adds, in a lighter tone, "you can even tell hi out how I was good and didn't give Raynor a knuckle sandwich in the mess that time."

"Ohhhh, yeah. That qualifies you for a good conduct award right there — not punching someone in the face." There's a snort that comes from her and she shakes her head, making her ponytail bob and sway. "You want a good cookie medal to pin to your chest for your interview, Shacks? You just let me know. I got three of the frakker sittin' in my locker right now, for all the good that's up an' done me this last year." Her eyerolls. They are epic.

"Don't reckon wearing a medal I haven't been awarded would go down well," Toby, a smile spreading on his features now the tension is mostly gone. "You could wear 'em though, if you like," he teases gently, "kid can't be long out of school, might impress him. Bit of brass you know." Now that the serious business is out of the way he uses the conversation time to slowly and carefully clench and unclench the fist that's still buried in his pocket. He tries to keep it off his face, but it does result in some discomfort. Punching metal walls not big and clever. Who knew?

"They'll look real nice an' shiny against my coveralls, don'tcha think?," she says, striking the all-too-familiar pose of a game show model showing off the lovely coffee pot or card table that a contestant could win. Except in this case, she's demonstrating all the wobbly black rubber pockets on the front of her uniform. Honestly, it's probably the least attractive look that the Fleet could come up with, so when compared to Sera's fluttering lashes, pursed lips, and doe-eyes, all exaggerated for comical effect? She presents a pretty ridiculous sight. Girl knows it, too, 'cause she immediately breaks into a cheeky grin.

"Depends if you washed your hands or not before you put them on," Toby retorts, still smiling. "Although perhaps if we don't then it might stop him from passing across any paperwork. Reckon he's a thorough little sod but doubt he wants his office smelling of the deck for the next few weeks. Besides," he checks the time, "ain't like I've got enough time to shower and change between finishing here and when he wants me in his office, so I guess he'll likely want us out as soon as can be."

"One of these days, I'm goin' to end up givin' that doctor up in medical an aneurysm, showin' up in my coveralls. But that's okay," Sera says with a shrug and the sort of smile that suggests she doesn't like the woman much, if at all. "Course, I wouldn't be spendin' quite so much time there if you boys from Helios Alpha would get it through your thick skulls you ain't supposed to be tryin' to punch holes in the wall, an' hurtin' your damned hands in the process." She shoots him a pointed look. Apparently, his wincing did not go unnoticed.

Let it never be said that Toby can't take a hint. There might be numerous times that he chooses not to, but thats a different matter. Pulling his hand carefully out of his pocket it offers it across, knowing full well that it's about to get poked and prodded as he replies with a shrug, "you're right, hands are too delicate, we should use those thick skulls you mentioned instead."

"Well, it ain't like you're goin' to hurtin' anythin' important by bashin' your head up," she mutters accusingly, even as she's reaching for his hand. Her touch is not gentle. She's feeling for broken bones, after all, not trying to make him feel better. A frown, as she presses down on his middle knuckle. "That hurt?"

Toby feels no grinding, nor sudden flashes of pain, just mild discomfort as bruised flesh is abused some more. "Not to a degree I'd care to mention," he states in reply to the question, not really feeling that he could convincingly argue against her first point at the moment. He slowly starts to clench and unclench again then gives a non-commital shrug, "It'll be fine I reckon."

"I think it's just some bruisin', not a break," she says, letting go of his fingers. "But honestly, why do you have to go an' keep doin' that? You know damned well it's goin' to hurt you more than the wall, anyway. But you still don't stop." She taps her knuckles lightly against his forehead, as though knocking on a door to see if anybody's home. "Thick." And then, "If you're goin' to punch somebody, just punch them. More satisfyin', less likely to break your hand."

"And I'll be fine if I just quote that to the MP as they're slapping the cuffs on I take it," Toby replies as he sticks his hand back in his pocket. "Chief Rutlii said it was okay to just punch 'em cos they're soft and I wouldn't hurt my hand?" He shakes his head slowly, but it's apparent enough from his expression that he's amused by the idea. "I'll give it a try, but only if you promise to come visit me afterwards."

"Hey, I never said it'd keep you out of trouble. I said it'd keep you from breakin' a few fingers, or your knuckles." Guess which one Sera is more concerned about! "Besides, some time in the brig ain't never hurt nobody. They bring you three square a day an' you get to sleep all you want while somebody else does your job." Which is ironic, considering how much she tends to lecture people who get brigged for putting everyone else in danger by being overworked. But hey, no one said the woman had to be consistent, did they? Opinions of convenience!

"Fraking boring though," Toby replies as he pushes himself back off the bulkhead, "and that one marine at the desk thingy. He's a little creepy." Beyond that though he just offers another shrug then tilts his head back towards the hatch. "Guess we'd better get back to it. Got a couple of things I could do with finishing up before going and playing nice with the Ensign. Want me to come and find you when I'm ready to go?"

She nods once, mutely, in reply. There's a reassuring smile, too, brief as it may be. "Best get back to my shift, before all the crewman start whinin' about me spendin' more time with you than with them. You know how they get — all jealous, pride easily wounded when they ain't the favorite…"

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