AWD #086: Cookies And Congratulations
Cookies and Congratulations
Summary: Petra belatedly catches up with Kelsey to offer his congratulations on her promotion and pinning.
Date: 02/04/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Kelsey's pinning
Kelsey Petra 
Piraeus - Pyramid Courts
The Pyramid courts down at the compound on Piraeus.
04/02/2005

At the appointed time, the sun is high overhead and provide a very nice warmth to the day. Halfway to summer and the heat feels good after the dull cold sometimes found on the ship. The picnic tables over by the Pyramid courts are mostly unoccupied, though. Except for Kelsey. She's in civvies for once, opting for a faux-vintage hair band t-shirt from a tour probably before she was born and shorts. There's a backpack with her, the gal leaning back and just smiling up to the sun with closed eyes. Kelsey looks about as demanding as a bouquet of flowers.

Ironically, there are two people on the ship that have seen Petra in anything OTHER than some sort of uniform or fatigues, and well, Kelsey's one of them. So of all the people, she's one of the few that might NOT be shocked to see him crunching his way across the dirt and gravel in actual jeans and a blue t-shirt with a light brown windbreaker thrown on over that. In sneakers, even! With a bag slung over one shoulder and his other hand shoved into a pocket, he slows down as he approaches her lounging spot, murmuring in a low, amused voice, "I see. Made officer and now it all easy street, right?"

Kelsey opens her eyes and grins. "Hell yeah!" she laughs. "I get the bling, I get the time off to go with it. I was just thinking I might need to get down here and work on a tan. I haven't been able to do that in aaaages." Her smile brightens. "Its good to see you in something less stuffy. You need to get away from the blue, though. You should go with pastels. Like a green. Or bright freaking pink. Be bold!" she laughs. "Thanks for coming to hang out, though. Just thought you could use some time to mellow. That, and.." She rises from the table to give him a big hug. "Thanks for the note and gift. I've hidden it away someplace so that I'll forget about it and probably find it when I least expect it."

He laughs loudly at the suggestion of Pink, "I think that might give everyone evidence I really have lost it, but then, Peacock might come back from the dead to dipsmooch me for doing it anyway." While unexpected at first, the hug is settled into and returned after a second or two of hesitation, squeezing her back tightly before letting go, "You're very welcome. You've been busting your ass with training and working your other job at the time and you still pulled it off. That's awesome." A smirk quirks up a corner of his mouth, "You lose that chocolate and I will have to kick your ass on principle, young lady."

Kelsey returns the squeeze and backs out to plop down back at the table. "Sit. That's an order." She grins and pulls the backpack up onto the table to open it. "If Peacock came back from the dead to give you credit for a shirt, you know its a fabulous fashion choice. So, you know, I can only endorse the concept of pink for you. Its all my girl wears. Pink and jeanskirts. The number of scraped knees? Redonkulous." She grins and peers into the backpack. "Thanks, though. It was really tough, but? Yanno? Like my dad used to tell me, nothing in life that's worth having is easy to get. Lotsa of times when I wanted to quit, but the wing was super supportive." She takes hold of something in the bag and looks back to him before pulling it out. "Now, I have something for you, too. This have been pretty much suck lately and this is kind of a reminder of tough times, but every time I look at this picture, I can't help smiling. I've had it in my bunk since we got back but I want you to have it. I think you will understand why I like it so much." She removes a pictureframe of welded steel and hands it over. "I took this after you passed out. I had to pose for it, but it was totally worth it." The photo is from the barn on Picon where they all had to sleep. Emilia is leaning on his left shoulder, sound asleep, and so is Petra. Kelsey is on his left and she looks dead asleep for it also, leaned up against him. All three keeping each other warm. The only light for the photo is the fire and its just enough to illuminate their faces and bodies. "It was a really crappy night and I kept trying to think of reasons to smile. I couldn't. And I was staring at you guys and I realized I was smiling. So I wanted to get in on that and remember it forever. Cuz even when things suck, we still lean on each other."

Petra unlimbers his bag to toss it on the ground under the table, chuckling at the order to sit, and murmuring, "Yessir…" Planting his butt on the table, he cranes his head a bit in curiosity to see what she's rummaging for in the bag, though his gaze shifts up to her face as she starts explaining. He takes the frame and looks down at it, studying the picture while she keeps talking. The expression on his face slowly shifts, the curiousity bleeding off and, just for a moment, leaving something slightly more wistful behind. He's quiet for several seconds, looking like he's going to say something, then stopping himself, then starting again. Finally, he lets the rest of his breath go slowly, still looking at the picture, as he offers, "You know. When you told me that night you had to go off and do something…I didn't think we were going to make it. Four hundred clicks with two people who were not front line combat trained, trying to evade several fanatical elite Marine units. I was pretty sure that you had already read that on my face, and that you were going to go do something crazy suicidal to make sure we COULD make it, because I saw that look on your face when I explained the Piraeus jump codes to you." He blinks slowly, lifting his gaze to refocus on her face, "You're a lot stronger than anyone gives you credit for, kid. Even me. Thank you."

Kelsey watches his reaction and crosses her arms on the table, watching him patiently. At the end, she looks down, smiling, and shakes her head. "We're only as strong as the company we keep. You're very welcome, though." She lifts her eyes back to him with the same light expression. "Well, you'd told me I had a mission. Annnnd I really hate to fail. Like, really hate to fail. This one time I wrote a paper my freshman year of high school, right? It was a five page paper about the Virgon aristocracy. Nothing super important, but my teacher, Mister Bellweather, gave me an F because I forgot to use footnotes. Admittedly, that wa the point of the paper. But I was sooo angry with him that I wrote a ten page paper about why I deserved an A, complete with footnotes and references to my own paper, which was also stapled to it, and I did it in one night." She holds her chin up. "He didn't change my grade, but I made my point. Everyone else in the class was very impressed." Hmph! "But you gave me an assignment. It sucked. It killed part of me. But?" She takes a long breath. "But I think it was apart of me that was going to die anyway. A little thing I clung to about trying to remain above it all and not get involved emotionally because this is adult stuff. Well? At least that part of me died on Picon with someone I trust. I'm alive and here. I'm smiling. I'm a pilot and an officer. Annnnnd?" She reaches quickly into her bag and comes out with a small bag of cookies. "I have cookies! The Precioussss.." she laughs and opens the bag to offer him one.

Petra's is thick with amusement as he comments, "Gods…the aristocracy? The only aristocracy my father acknowledged were the folks that wore flight officer pins - that was the only nobility in his book. He wanted me to be a stick jockey so bad his teeth hurt. I think he coulda exploded the day I got accepted to the Academy." He starts to reach for the bag, then stops himself, arching one brow to give her a very superserious, skeptical look, "You didn't bake these yourself, did you? I know I said I want to die in peace on this planet, but still.." then snags one quickly before she can yank the bag away, offering a more amused, "Thank you."

"Now, now. Don't be a brat and look giftcookies in the chips," she chides with a smirk. Oatmeal. She takes one out for herself. "And damnit, I happen to be a very promising chef. My daughter happens to love the hotdogs and mac n cheese I make her. And the grilled cheese. Why I could practically open a daycare center based on my culinary skills." She takes a bite and sighs. Into her bag again and out come two small boxes of milk, like the ones handed out for breakfast cereal. Powdered, like all milk on the ship, but whatever. "Someone baked cookies last night at Charlie's. One of the Raptor monkeys brought me back a couple." She opens her milk and takes a sip. "So you went to the Academy like a very impressive young man would. Did -you- want to fly? Or did you want to become a prima ballerina and just not have the toes for it?"

Petra munches away happily, taking small bites to savor the cookie while he listens. "Well, you know, if we somehow bring this all to an end, we're sure as hell going to need a daycare or three here. One thing that the end of a war brings on? People frakking like bunnies." Says the colonel that was born 9 months after his father was discharged from the Navy after losing his leg. Apparently the rest of him worked JUST fine, "Actually, I wanted to play Pyramid for the Red Devils. Sure, I was interested in the Navy…I was a wargame geek, and I studied all the major naval engagements of the War, even wrote one of my major papers on where Admiral Hasic could have saved his fleet rather than it turning into a heroic last stand that wiped them all out." He pauses for a moment to shove the last of the cookie into his mouth and munch on it before continuing, "But by my last year of high school, I knew it wasn't going to happen. There were just bigger, faster kids on the varsity team, and I was doing good to just be on the team - starting was out of the question. So I sort of settled for the Navy - my second choice, I guess you could say. Ironic that settling is what saved my ass, I suppose?"

"Gods, that's be somethin. Me standing in a room with fifty kids that belong to other people." She looks off into the distance. "Could be worse. Could be my fifty kids. Yikes." She snerks and looks back. "One is enough for me for now. Besides, I'm Kelsey Wescott. I've got big, important things to do." Flex! Grrr! "Gonna be Admiral one day and own this planet. Everyone will wear velvet capes except the pilots, who ride into battle wearing only socks and togas. I shall appoint you as official Lazy Ass and your job will be to set the example for my relaxation time. Afterall, if Admiral Princess Wescott doesn't get her R&R, she gets cranky. Can't have that." She takes her last bite of cookie. The rest has her nod and look off. "Yanno?" A long breath leaves her. "I think about that a lot. Like you just weren't fast enough to be a Pyramid pro andyou just happened to be a wargaming geek. You came to the Navy. Something that worked against you, or maybe hampered your plans, and something you did in your basement with like two friends brought you here." She looks back and tilts her head as she smiles up at him. "If I'd never had my daughter? I wouldn't be here, either. I like to listen to other people talk about what brought them here because sometimes I think its really weird. The little things that brought us to this point. Of all the twenty billion people on the colonies… why us?" She gives an odd shrug. "We're not exactly perfect examples of humanity. just.. weird."

Petra snickers softly, "You with fifty kids? I'll get you a banjo and some coveralls real fast. Though I think I could handle the title of 'official lazy ass', so you let me know how that goes, and I'll keep my application warm." He reaches out to grab another cookie and the offered box-o-milk, then lays back across the table, to stare up at the clouds, "Makes you wonder sometimes if the choices were yours, or if the Lords and Ladies changed something to make it happen. I know when the Valkyrie came in for its major overhaul, I really really did not like the idea of sitting at Anchorage for the better part of a year waiting on the old bird to have her guts ripped out and replaced, and my skipper said 'you know, Marcus, you're gonna piss me off if you leave me, but the scuttlebutt says if you're really interested in eventually getting that 'Junior' taken off your name, you need to go have a chat on the other side of the Anchorage.' If I hadn't? I'da been in the debris around Caprica right now. So yeah…it does feel a little wierd. Makes you wonder, huh?"

Kelsey laughs. "Seriously. Fifty kids. I am not a clown car, guys!" she cackles. "I dunno, though. I haven't really given any long term thought to where I might be after the war. Everything has been so short term. I haven't had time to dream again. I guess maybe it might not be so bad, right?" she offers. "And not just me, bucko. You should think about what you want to do after this whole mess is decided," she prods to the air with her half-eaten cookie. She tips it into the box of milk and takes another bite as she glances up, then off across the valley. "I don't know. Like, remember I said I didn't remember pulling my ejection handle in the Raptor?" Kels shakes her head and looks back at him. "I couldn't tell you, really, why I was so taken with the idea of having a kid at sixteen. I still have no idea. I just knew I it was something I had to do. I had my doubts, but every time I woke up to a new day?" A long breath leaves her. "I dunno. Like the Valk for you, I had my girl. I took a philosophy class in high school which was mostly a joke, but my teach asked us to all consider something once. She asked us to think about whether or not we truly had any say in our actions. Science says we are governed by unlimited possibilities decided moment to moment, but what really places us here? Why are you here in this moment? What will you do with this moment in ten years?" The young woman shrugs, having no idea what to do with it. "Went over my head at the time, but I've been thinking about it recently. …You religious?"

Petra rumbles low and deep in his chest, sucking some milk out of the box before he comments, "That's a loaded question. Is religeon part of my life? Not really. Do I have conversations with Ares? Occassionally. I had a couple of, well, visions before the war started, where Im pretty sure Ares was warning me that bad things were coming, and that we needed to have faith and hope to move on. Didnt make sense much at the time, but now it does, and he's mostly right. I'm not saying you even need to believe in the Lords and Ladies…you could be one of those monotheists…as long as you have faith in something, that there is more than this, and that we will get past it. Because if you don't? You don't have much of a reason to go on. You'll give up."

Kelsey nods, though she seems surprised at the mention of a vision. "Wow." She blinks, holding her cookie over the box. "I guess that makes sense." She looks away again, thinking on it while she eats another bite. "No, not a mono. I sorta follow our normal stuff but I haven't seen anything that would really blow my mind. Truthfully? Anything could have happened in that cockpit after you left. I don't know that I would call it divine intervention. Not like your vision." Her eyes turn back to him. "I don't have a lot of faith that I'll make it out of this alive. Its a nice idea, being able to plan. But I'm slowly coming to terms with a lot of it. I've moved into a very dangerous career field. I'm starting to.. slowly.. accept that my family is gone. But I'm rebuilding it. Refocusing myself. I suppose to some it could be a depressing outlook but I've found it a little calming. There's that old saying that when you accept death as apart of your life, you lose your fear of action." She shrugs lightly, holding an easy smile. "I'm getting there. If the Gods are real? I'll see my family again and that idea makes me happy. If they aren't, well I'd better do my best with the time I have to do whatever I can to help the people I care about come home." She grins. "Or share cookies with them."

Petra shifts his head a little and watches her out of the corner of his eye while she talks. Is she kissing up? No, Kelsey doesn't kiss ass, but he eyes her for a moment anyway while he listens. He does smile a little at her last comment, but remains quiet for a little longer before he speaks, "I told you on Picon - I don't think we're going to win. At least, not as everything stands right now. But see, I'm not the researcher, the dreamer, the hero that comes up with the solution noone else could dream up. I take what we have, and I try to come up with the best way to use what we have, to hurt them as much as we can, for as long as we can, and keep everyone that's still alive, alive. I depend on everyone else…the department heads, my intelligence officers, and people like you, to think outside of the box, as it were, and come up with something that might end up being the miracle that saves us. That's probably why I don't make plans. I'm in my 40s, Wescott, and I think I'm in love with someone who can't love me back. No need to make personal plans - I'll just see what life is going to hit me with next month."

Kelsey shakes her head, her disagreement coming lightly. "Nonsense," she says, smirking. "You are the hero. You're our hero. You're the one we all interact with at the tip tip tippity top of the chain. You make the magic happen. Sure, people get fussy and angry, but so what? I'm only twenty. I look back on the last five years and think about all the decisions I've made that made people angry or that I've lost friends over. Heck, when I had my baby? Every last one of my friends except one guy abandoned me. All of them. Not everything we do is popular, I guess. But we make the best decisions we can, right? I don't tell my little girl about where she came from because it would, if even understood, only hurt her. But that's the crush of being a parent. When do you do talk about that stuff? They're going to get angry. But that's why parents are hero's, right? Because they may not have all the answers, but they make sure the kids are okay and their heart is in it." She takes another bite of the cookie and laughs lightly. "Stop talkin about love like its impossible. Love is always possible. Why can't the future Misses Colonel Petra not love you back?"

Petra mmms and smiles brightly, but doesnt answer right away. Instead he munches on the rest of the cookie, and starts off murmuring, "These are really good. Steal more of these when you can…" A drink of the milk, and he slowly sits up, groaning a little with the effort before reaching out to lightly tap Kelsey on the forehead, "Because she's in love with someone else, and the ship has enough interpersonal problems right now without me complicating matters. Something will happen, I'm sure. I might end up in love with someone else, but be honest - this is probably the largest amount of free time I've taken in a very long time. I saw at least one CIC officer doing a doubletake at me in jeans, heading down here." He pauses, amusement still warm on his face, "I sorta made the Navy my family after a while. Its been good. I'm not unhappy, and that's a lot better that a lot of people, hmm?"

Kelsey scrunches her face with the tap, chuckling. "Well whomever this lady is in love with, she better wake up and smell the TACCOs." Kels waggles her brow. "But you need to take time for yourself. That's one of the reasons I was like 'Bitch, rawr! You better come hang out or I'll keel haul you and that's serious on a battlestar! Rawr!'. You don't get out enough, and if I didn't come after you, you'd never get off for your own personal time." She pushes the last cookie in the bag towards him. "Yours." She finishes her own and lifts the box of milk. "That is better than a lot of people. And that's what I was getting at about dealing with my own loss and rebuilding. The Navy is our life now. Its all we have. Its a big, fighty, angsty, drama-filled family. Its actually a bit like being Pican." Nodnod. "Or maybe Tauran. but its our family now. We gotta look out for each other." She taps her finger to the picture. "Even when things suck, we lean. Keep each other warm. Cuz if I don't drag you down to the surface for cookies, who will? Holtz? Unlikely. Besides, I think he's the type of guy to discourage cookies because they might crumb his bed and chafe and he doesn't want his pilots to be chafing." Uh huh.

"Thats…" he starts, and trails off, looking thoughtfully at the cookie bag, before taking the last one, breaking it in half, and handing her one of the halves, "…I don't know if we have that anymore, Kels. We have lynch mobs on the ship…they just haven't killed someone yet. The moment I hear that Redux' viper destroyed itself due to 'mechanical failure'? I think we're done for. Its a line. Once you cross it, you're just frakked. So you want something to be religeous about? Pray anyone considering that has a moment of clarity."

"Eat your whole cookie, boy, or I'll cram it," she threatens with a friendly smile. The rest has her lift her chin and look off towards the sky, where the Orion is probably parked. "I think… you might be right. But I also think that we're human. We look for reasons to band together and also to fight. I choose to believe that we're better than that. If Redux dies? Well, she dies. My opinions on that are irrelevant. But its never too late for us until every single person stops caring. Me? I'm twenty. I can't even drink in Charlie's. I don't want to kill or hurt my fellow crew. A barfight is one thing. People killin other people over Cylons? Or disobeying orders to kill?" The woman shakes her head. "Not my cup of tea. But its never too late for us. Its only over when there is quitting." And Kelsey doesn't like to fail. Or she'll write a ten page paper on why mutiny is bad. With footnotes.

Petra eyes her refusal to take the cookie half with amusement, finally popping it into his mouth instead. Washing it down with the last of the milk box, he finally nods, "Well, we're on the same page there. Don't care if we're not going to make it, I'm not going to quit. Frak em. I'll take out as many of them as I can, using every last bullet I have. If we're going down, I'm going to make sure they remember us for a very very long time, and take such a big bite out of their collective asses, they wont ever sit straight again, hmm?" He flashes a small smile at that and takes a deep breath, letting it go, "Maybe I need to spend one day a week down here with the MPs, hunting those wolves. That's a good way to vent, right? Go kill an animal that wants to make tasty snacks out of you?"

"See? That's the spirit." Kelsey grins and reaches across the table to chuck his shoulder. "Everyone else can quit. You and me? We can take 'em. All of 'em. At once. Its how I'll rise to power and take my throne in CIC." Sagenod. "And hell yeah. You could use one day off a week. Yanno, I hear that if you offer to get the motor pool Marines drunk, they'll let you take a tank out for 'testing'." Fingerquotes. "Now *I* wouldn't know anything about that because as an upstanding member of this fleet who is not of drinking age, I obviously do not handle alcohol." Sarcasm so thick it could fall on a battlestar and crush it under the weight. "But I'm just saying! Tanks could be fun. But killing wolves might also be fun, too." She quirks a brow. "Ever hung out the side of a Raptor and fired a fifty cal machine gun while doing a hundred knots one hundred feet off the deck?"

Petra arches one broe at the last description, "I can't say that I have, though….mmm. Tanks." He actually looks thoughtful, "You know, we need a large space cleared for the new refugee compound. Maybe we just designate a square of forest one click by one click and tell the tankers to go to town on it. Let people ride along and just mow the trees down like big bulldozers…" He chuckles softly, pausing to munch on the other half of the cookie, "I think I'll wait on the Raptor though until the Air Wing stops giving me those looks. I have a bad enough survival rate in Raptors as it is." He winks once at her and leans back on his hands, propping himself up and looking off across the courts.

Kelsey shakes a finger at him. "Now you're on to something. I like this idea. It'd be a real good way to destress, too. Not like grabbin a good toss, but I imagine it would be up there." The mention of the wing gets a laugh, as does the survival rate. "Just offering. I promise, I can crash a LOT better these days, too," she says faux-defensively. "Less crash, more boom. Besides, F those honkies and their angry ways. If we can't get out and remember what its like to laugh and have a good time, what the hell are we all gettin so worked up over? Nothin worth fightin for left. So, hey, you change your mind? I promise. No SAMs. Well, not unless we go back to like Picon or something. You're pushin your own luck there, though. That's MY territory now!" Awwyeah.

Petra grins, "Well, it would just take fuel, and right now we have TWO refineries in orbit…Tylium isn't a problem. Maintenance would be working overtime to fix the dents and clean tree pulp outta the treads, but offer them an extra day of leave a week while we're doing it, and everyone should stay happy, right? Hmm. Maybe I'll have to actually look into that. We didn't hear any griping on Colonial Day." Slowly he leans back again until he's flat on the table, linking his hands together across his chest, "Shouldnt take THAT long. A month? HMM…" He really IS thinking about it.

"Well if you let people fire rounds? You could have lots of fun. Heck, have engineering build a flamethrower for one area. Go to town!" Kelsey laughs. "I think it sounds like a pretty good plan, to be honest. Let the people out to work off some stress. In high school, my friend's dad used to go out into the woods and go off-roading when he was under a lot of stress. He put off the problems for a day, went out, romped in the mud. Came back? Went to town." She smirks. "And we aren't hurting for scrap to build the town with, honestly." She checks her thumb over her shoulder. "What was it? Hera? Wasn't that where we found that live crew with the ghost fleet? You could probably get crews out there ripping them up. Jump back some pretty big pieces. Sure, it'd be a little morbid, but a towns a town. We havelotsa people coming I think they'd just be happy to, you know, not get shot at."

Petra nods slowly, "We have the people, and I think, once we find this Cylon and kill him, we can get them started on construction…I mean, after all, construction is a handful of foremen that know how to build, and a hundred folks that can swing a hammer, right? They don't ALL have to be professional contractors…and if you knew you were building your new home? You sure as hell would be motivated to do it right, you think?" He chews on his lip for a moment and nods, "Yeah. When they get the welcome project finished, we need to get on that immediately. We have scientists that are going to start starving any day now on Pallas."

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