AWD #004: Dolls and Thumps
Dolls and Thumps
Summary: In which Leo Tiptoft and Phin McBride discuss war and family and sports and things.
Date: 08/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Cylons Attack! logs in general.
Phin Tiptoft 
Viper Berths
Bunks and lockers and stuff.
Tue Jan 08

The Viper berths have been bustling with activity since the Late Unpleasantness. With the fleet at Condition 2 and no sign of a letdown, the pilots have found themselves busier than usual when not flying CAP: running sims, scouring flight cam footage, filing paperwork, and doing all those other unsexy tasks that are the price of the privilege of strapping themselves into a foil-thin spaceframe wrapped a big exploding engine and a pair of guns. It's the part of the job nobody tells you about at the recruiting station — and judging by the haggard expressions of the pilots streaming in and out of the bunks this shift change, it's already starting to wear.

Except on Leo Tiptoft, who's just come back from a post-sim shower. Stripped down to his boxers, the big man is on his way to his bunk to grab a set of sweats. But before he does, he can't help pausing in front of a mirror to strike a couple of poses. "Awww yeah," he mutters to himself, flexing a massive bicep. "Shit, my man. You STILL got it."

It's definitely starting to wear on Phin. He's catching some rack time at the moment. Curtain slightly ajar, but only to let in more light than the small, kind of glaring overhead would allow him. He's got a pair of earbuds in and is focused on reading a paperback of some sort. Though the sound of the 'Awww yeah' is tuned out, he can't help but notice the flexing. His head turns, brow furrowing in a 'Seriously?' sort of look. Before he turns back to the pages.

It'll be some time before Tiptoft finishes up, now that he's started his routine. Only when he's satisfied that he's cut as always does he saunter over to his locker, which is conveniently placed near Phin's bunk. The younger pilot's offered a quick jerk of the head and a massive fist to pound, while Thumper's other hand fiddles with the combination lock.

Phin might chuckle. He just might. Though he manages to keep his eyes on his book while he's doing it, so maybe he's just reading something funny? He pops his earbuds out when Tiptoft offers the head-jerk in his direction. Shoving the curtain back a little more, so he can extend a hand and tap the man's fist. "Yo, Thumper. You coming on or going off?"

"That's what she said?" AYYYY. The fistbump is met with a powerful punch and the usual explosion of fingers. Good man. "Nah, Dolls, getting back. Shot some bugs in the sims. Way easier. Guess the geeks haven't updated the code yet or something to frak us up all good." With a powerful yank, Thumper opens the lock and, shortly thereafter, the locker. A mess of laundry spills out — into which he dives with abandon, attempting to find something clean. "What's the book?"

Phin might wince some at the intensity of the fist-bump, withdrawing his hand and chuckling. "The programs all use data from the old Cylon Wars for their toasters. I mean, you can amp up the difficulty level but…like Storm was saying the other day. Ain't nothing like we dealt with over Caprica. Maybe I'll ask Buttons about it. ECO in the Gentleman Ghosts. He's really into programming. I don't know how much you can upgrade that stuff but…" Shrug. As for the book. "Oh. This? It's one of Bahadur's 'Liberation' novels." He adds, just in case his fellow jock is not in the know, "Tauron historical fiction. It's kind of interesting. He gets into some 'what-if' stuff that's a little out there in the later books, but in this one it's still pretty straight."

"Uh-huh. Not my thing, man. Got bored enough doing real history in school. Fake history sounds even worse. Unless, I donno, like, it involves dinosaurs shooting some Cylon prick with a grenade launcher. I'd read the shit outta that." Leo does his best to look over at Phin while he talks. But in between trying to figure out whether a particular set of undershirts is hygienically safe via the sniff test and trying to figure out how long he can hold out before he has to do another load of laundry, the big pilot's attention is very much occupied. "Anyway, I don't know this Buttons dude. But if he can crank the bugs up, he's gotta get on that. Simming right now's like going fishing with a stun gun. All we're doing is practicing bad habits."

Phin chuckles again. "I majored in History when I was going through the Academy. I have a high tolerance. Umm…no. No dinosaurs in these." He tugs his curtain fully open to facilitate conversation, but he doesn't seem to demand eye contact. He's still laying down, with his head just half turned to look out at the wider berths. "Yeah, we should talk to him. Major Duke, too. He's been really big on readiness even before all this shit, so he might have something in mind already. The programs that aren't pulled from the last war are built around fighting, like, pirates and insurgents and stuff."

"Heard some guy on the holo the other day talking about those who didn't study history being doomed to repeat it." Tiptoft eventually finds some clothes he deems marginally acceptable and squeezes himself into them one great arm at a time. "About some hot celebrity chick who got all coked up in her limo but still might have a career, and how she should get off that horse before she gets like the other hot celebrity chick who got all coked up in her limo and now has to leak sex tapes to get attention. But you get the idea." The big man chuckles. "So you tell me, Mr. History Academy Grad. What horse should we have gotten off of that we didn't get off of so now we gotta go through this Cylon bullshit again?" If that makes sense.

"Frak if I know, man," Phin replies with a snort at the 'Mr. History Academy Grad' thing. It sounds like this is a thing that's actually been weighing on his mind. "I was thinking about that last night. I mean…why? Why now? Before, during the last war, it was about revenge. I mean, it's ugly, but you can understand it if you look at it. This…they were quiet for forty years. Just sat over on the other side of the Armistice Line, them doing their thing, us doing ours. So far as anyone knows. Like, I can't figure they just suddenly stockpiled all the nukes they needed or were having a bad day or something. There's got to be a reason."

Tiptoft grunts, stuffing his ample legs into a pair of faded blue sweatpants with the number 17 emblazoned on one cheek. "You ask me, it's 'cause we didn't kick their metal frakking asses hard enough last time around. Forget this First War, Second War bullshit." Because folks have already started talking about the 'First' Cylon War. "Far as I'm concerned, Dolls, we never really stopped being at war. Our own frakking fault for sitting around like a bunch of babies holding our weewees for forty years while they stepped up their game."

Phin makes a non-committal sound. Tiptoft might take it as agreement, or just a grunt as he rolls over onto his stomach. So he can still lay while talking with the other pilot, and face him a bit more easily. "Maybe." He does not try to engage in any deeper dialogue about the possible reasons behind the war. "You ever been in combat before? I mean, before that clusterfrak over Caprica and Gemenon."

"Me?" Tiptoft lets out a harsh, barking laugh. "Hells no. Only joined up like three, four years ago? Sat aboard Battlestar Solaria running, I donno, spacelane protection missions for my first tour. Had a couple of smugglers show their faces this one time. Buzzed their bucket of bolts so close I'm pretty sure I saw the cap's eyeballs. But actual shooting?" Thumper shrugs, plopping himself down on a nearby chair. "Green like the rest of us. Or most of us."

Phin nods. "Yeah. I think most of us is right, except the ones who've served in places like Sag, or Tauron during the Pacification or something. I talked to the other pilots when I first got assigned here and some of them talked about wargames and pirates and stuff but nothing…" He lets out a long breath. "…nothing like that. It's almost surreal. Like a nightmare or something." A pause and he asks, "You're from…Virgon, right?"

"Nightmare? Dude, nightmare is when they start growing tentacles and sucking out your brain. Or go invincible. Or whatever." This is meant to be encouraging. "Long as they don't do any freaky shit and die like they should, I'll sleep just fine." Leo faux-yawns very much like a grizzly bear would yawn, perhaps hitting Phin with a blast of his minty-fresh breath. But the bravado appears to crumble just a bit when the other man mentions his homeworld. "Yeah," he says at length, drawing his shoulders in to rest his palms on his knees. "Virgon."

"Tentacles?" Phin mutters to himself. He is not encouraged, but he is confused. Shrug. He doesn't ask anything more about Tiptoft's home colony, just nods, somber frown settling on his features. "Yeah. I grew up on Scorpia. Still got a lot of friends on Leonis, though. I went to the Academy branch there. I'm hoping the bus drivers'll bring back some news about what's going on with the rest of the universe soon. I heard they were being sent out so…"

"Yeah. I've heard frak-all from Virgon, too. Almost makes me want to stow away in one of those recon Raptors to see what's what." An unaccustomed smile causes Tiptoft's wide face to crease in a somewhat boyish manner. "Pretty sure Mum's already sharpening her kitchen knives. Woman's a beast. Used to tell us stories about living through that Hibernian separatist bullshit. Damn." Beat. "You got family?"

There's a beat before Phin answers. He repositions himself in his bunk, onto his back, so he's staring at the ceiling again rather than Tiptoft proper. "Got a brother, but he's on the ship. He's enlisted in the CMC. I put in for this post so we could serve together. He's fine. Got hit in the leg when they sent the Marines down to Caprica, but I guess it's not anything serious." Another pause and he adds, "My mom's still on Scorpia."

"Shit, he's here? Damn. Lucky you." Leo looks away from Phin to consider the pile of semi-clean laundry trailing away from his locker. Clean-up will wait. "I got lots of folks down planetside." Virgon, he means. "Mum, Dad, two sisters. Oh, and a brother. And one of the sisters just made a kid, so I guess he's family too. Oh, and another brother. Kenny. Marines, too. Might've told you about him. He took leave to hang out with me before I came aboard." Thumper shakes his head fondly. "Kinda wish I was there, you know? I can just hear Mum shrieking GRAB THE RIFLE AND SHOOT 'EM 'TIL YOU DROP, LIONEL — " The man's deep voice cracks, and not only because he's trying to imitate his mother's high soprano.

"Made a kid?" That brings the grin back to Phin's face. He even keeps it from being a smirk. "Congratulations, I guess. And I don't know. Not sure how much good anybody'd do back on the planets right now. You can do more here, right? Smashing bugs." He employs the other pilot's own turn of phrase for the things. "Besides, Caprica's like the center of everything Colonial, and Gemenon's right next door. So you got to figure, that's where they'd hit first. No reason to think the rest of the Colonies are like that until they tell us otherwise."

"Hells yeah. Virgon dies hard." Leo gives a furious nod in agreement, tapping his foot against the deck to emphasize particular bits of Phin's argument of which he approves. He gets especially loud when it comes to smashing bugs. "And yeah, made a kid. Like, damn. This little factory inside her or something that goes chuggachuggachugga for nine months and then goes like CHOOOOOO one day and — pop. Gwyn Marsdon. One year two months. Or something like that." The pilot beams with pride. "Already big enough to beat the shit out of the rest of the kids in that nursery. Gave her a little Pyramid ball for her birthday. She's gonna wreck it."

Phin rolls his head to just stare at Tiptoft as he describes the reproductive process. "Wow…" He has no other response. "Umm…nice." He clears his throat. It takes him a second to say anything at all. "Uh…Bear doesn't have any kids. Neither do I. So I don't have nieces and nephews or anything. Never been married, split with the only girl I thought about doing it with like two years ago. I don't know. I guess I didn't have much back on the colonies I was holding on to, too much. That's one of the reasons a mission like this appealed to me. Aside from the double hazard pay, I mean."

Tiptoft leans forward in the little chair, which groans mightily under the strain. "Hey, me neither. Girl-wise, I mean. Well there was this one, but she bounced the day I lost my appeal. Like, boom, I hear, I text her, and then she just ups and leaves." He chuckles, singing a little snippet of a song: "She take my money — when I'm in neeeeeeeed. But nah, it's all good. Just go with the flow, you know? And get some when you can."

"Some good times," Leo quickly amends. "Not the — you know, bawm-chicka-bow-wow. Necessarily."

"That blows, man," Phin says sympathetically, as to the girl that done Leo wrong. "I've never had any cubits to take. It was just…it was obvious it wasn't going anywhere, and I figured it was better to end it before I left Leonis than to let it drag out and get all weird, y'know?" Shrug. "Yeah, you've got it right. Just…go with the flow. Good times. And stuff." He chuckles at the invocation of porn music.

"There you go — " Tiptoft grins widely, kicking his left leg atop his right knee as if to demonstrate how chill his life philosophy makes him — a quick motion that is executed with far too much power for the chair. " — oh WHOAAAO!" The clatter of chair against deck is quite rapidly followed by the sound of two hundred pounds of man slamming hard into the deck. Lucky for him, his fall's somewhat cushioned by the stacks of laundry littering the ground. Which he now begins to gather up into his bountiful arms, as if that's what he planned to do all along.

"Whoa, dude!" Phin exclaims. Leaning out of his bunk, but not entirely exiting. It didn't look fatal. "You OK?"

Tiptoft's only answer is a long, gut-busting laugh, muffled by a pair of socks — not entirely clean — dangling over his head to cover his mouth. Flipping over onto his stomach, he slams out ten push-ups like nothing and pops to his feet, sending more laundry flying (and causing an exasperated ensign just passing by to take the long way to the hatch). "AWWW YEAHHHHHHH."

Phin starts to try and say something, but finally he just laughs as well. It takes him a minute to stop. "I believe you." He sits up, idly stretching his arms, and finally dropping out of his bunk. He has to search around for his shoes. "Reminds me. Maybe I'll hit the pool. I can't sleep lately."

Tiptoft, who at this point has started to kick his clothes back toward his locker, looks up with some concern. "Bad dreams?"

Phin shrugs, and non-answers. "I guess. But they're just dreams, right?" He tugs on his shoes. Blue eyes do tick curiously up at Tiptoft as he ties them, more intently curious about the man's response on the subject of dreams than might be normal.

"Sure frak you up good when you got them," Tiptoft agrees. He bites the bottom of his lip. "But just dreams, yeh?" A question meant more as a statement than anything else. "Besides, nothing a few good slams in the gym won't take care of. Ball hard and you'll be too damn tired to do anything but sleep."

"Yeah. Just dreams," Phin repeats. "I usually go swimming. It works everything. You don't notice it when you're doing it as much as the treadmill or something, but your muscles are absolutely done in after you've spent a few hours doing laps." He heads over to his locker, rolls the combination, and ducks in to grab his suit and a towel.

"Hells. Just do everything and call it cross-training. Least that's what Coach used to do. Anyway, you ever want a gym buddy, Dolls, just holler. Maybe get a pickup Pyramid game going or something." Tiptoft slams a meaty fist into the pile of clothes in his locker to make sure every piece of it stays put, and then swings the door shut. "No worries — I'll go easy. Or maybe even do some coaching on my own while you amateurs duke it out on the court. Assuming the CAG stops riding us like a two-bit."

Phin nods, as to gym buddies. "Yeah. Cool. I made the team back in school, but I was going to one of the Ares schools the cults run, so I never made it off second-string. They say they don't recruit, but kids from the city schools who can perform get offered spots all the time. Anyway, it'd be fun, even if we suck. Just get some games together, blow off steam."

"Frak that noise," Leo agrees. "Couldn't get into those prep schools even if Dad could afford it. Me, I came up with the rest of the Kingston crew, just banging around balls on the street. Coach took a leap of faith, cut off some rough edges, and gave me a shot. Owe that man everything, really."

Phin smirks. "Prep school?" He laughs. "It…wasn't exactly that. But the Cult had to grant you acceptance. For one reason or another." The Ares schools have a reputation as reform schools, though they're also places particularly devout parents choose to ship their kids to 'build their character.' "And it got some of the guys out of the harder-core area schools on Scorpia, so they took it. I don't know how many of them ended up with any shot at the pros. After a few years with the Brothers, they usually ended up convincing you to do something that served the glory of the Lord of War or something." He rolls his eyes. Perhaps hypocritically, Viper jock that he is.

"Might've been a few. I don't remember that many. Think one of the top points on Picon U's '94 team came out of the place, or something like that, but I never met the guy. Rake, I think. Yeah, Jimmy Rake. Just saw him rip it up on the highlight reels." This might be why Tiptoft doesn't know too much about history: nearly every neuron in his brain has been dedicated to retaining useless Pyramid trivia. "Anyway. Lord of War, huh." The big man leans back against his locker, both eyebrows raised. "That why you joined up?"

Phin considers that a moment. It's not so much that he's unsure of the answer, but that he knows it and doesn't particularly like it. "Yeah. I guess." He leans against the wall next to his locker. "I felt like…I don't know. My brother was going into the CMC, a lot of the guys there go into the military. I don't really…don't get me wrong. I don't practice. There's a lot of…stuff about the Cult I don't really think is right. The right way to be. But I was grateful for what they'd done for me, and there were parts I liked. The discipline. The way they taught you to focus. And I wanted to fly. Always had, since I did paragliding when I was a kid so…I mean, I don't know what would've happened if I hadn't gotten into the Academy. I talked with my brother about joining the CMC but…" Clearly this didn't appeal. "…I don't know. I guess I did feel like I owed them something, though."

Tiptoft is actually a decent listener once he puts a mind to it, and he's picked up enough social cues over the years to know when to interrupt. So when Phin drops that explanation, he zips up, folding his arms across his chest until the younger man finishes. And when he does: "I get you," the big man says, his sheepish grin causing a few years to drop away from his face. "Me, I was kind of a frak-up as a kid. Graffiti. Knocked in this asshole's window with a rock, once. You know. Without Coach nailing me to the wall every time I stepped in it, I'd be just another Kingston rat, still. Fixing cars in Dad's shop. So I get you."

There's a touch of surprise in Phin's blue eyes, but he smiles. "Yeah, me too. I was kind of a punk, I mean." Shrug. "And…yeah, they were kind of assholes, in a lot of ways, but I still got a lot out of it. So…I don't know. You take that and you do what you can with it."

"Damn straight, man." Tiptoft grins, pushing himself upright and moving to throw a massive arm around Phin's slight frame. "Go with the flow, Dolls — AND GET SOME, YEH?" This last is almost yelled into the man's ear, loud enough to cause a surprised pilot to drop his diary on his foot.

Phin is not exactly puny, but he had no trouble getting in under the max height and weight requirements to jock a Viper. Still, he's used enough to such things that he shoots a bro-y elbow at Tiptoft he laughs, and h. "Damn man! You want to make me frakking deaf? OORAH! Or something."

"Hey, NOW you're talking." Tiptoft pushes the guy aside with an amiable stiff-arm. "Hey, keep that chin up. Like I said the other day: the game's four quarters. And we got all sorts of time on the clock. Speaking of, I gotta crash. Drew a frakking oh-dark-bullshit CAP. You know." Spoken as he starts to trundle to the bunk.

"Later, dude. Don't work too hard in over-time or…something." Phin does not have an unlimited number of sports metaphors. But he tries. He offers the other pilot a half-raise of his hand that is sort of a wave, and off he goes.

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