AWD #171: Each One Should Mean Something
Each One Should Mean Something
Summary: Dio finishes Sera's tattoo before Toby joins them for some related conversations
Date: 25/Jun/2013
Related Logs: In part a follow up to Trojan Tattooed
Diomedes Sera Toby 
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.
AWD #171

Tattoo Gun? Check. Diomedes had taken time on Sera's tattoo- a few weeks here now since the initial inking, outlining and beginning to fill. Today he could finish it, and it look properly professional- just as if it had been done in some fancy shop pre Warday. With everything- including paper towels- set out on his bunk he goes to find the particular Trojan woman he actually gives a crap about: Sera. "So." he begins, as he finds himself near where she usually holes up. "I was thinking it was time to finish that tat. Its had more than enough time to heal up."

It's not like it's particularly hard to find her. Sera only has a handful of places where she likes to 'hide', some of which are pretty obvious — like her bunk. Or in this case, the table right outside it, parked between the rows. She's got her files stacked up on the table in front of her. Paperwork. Always paperwork. Welcome to being a PO. There's her headphones, too, though. A necessity of living in the berths. There's an awful lot of neighbors noises to drown out. She reaches up and tugs one out of her ear, letting the wire dangle over the back of her hand. "What?," she says to Dio, a little too loudly. No wonder. There's the tinny sound of a wailing guitar streaming through the miniaturized speakers.

Dio laughs. A quiet thing. "Got a minute?" he then says, giving a nod down. "I think its about time to finish up that tat." he says to Sera, "It should be really well healed up. Perfect to finish the fill, and do the detail." That, and somehow, Dio had gotten his hands on some proper tattoo ink. Strange, maybe, that he'd save it for someone he was doing a freebie for. But, well, Sera's a special case. "What are you listening to, anyways?" he asks of her with a cocky sort of half smile. He takes a seat on the bunk near by, luckily empty of its normal occupant. No hurry here, Dio's always been one to fully enjoy what time off he has- even if he's getting so much less now with his new 'Crew'.

"Here." She doesn't answer his question. Not the one about the music, anyway. She simply sticks her hand out to him, offering to split her earbuds with him. For a brief second, it brings a flicker of nostalgia to her face — a smile, yes, but one that's short life is rather sad, before the expression dies away. "My arm's healed up pretty nice," Sera replies, rolling up her sleeve to show him. It's nothing but smooth, tan skin with the lines he's drawn now a permanent part of it. Though her eyes flick briefly to her files, she swiftly replies, "I got time." A little too eager, maybe.

The earbud is borrowed, popped in a moment to listen to just what Sera was blaring. Dio's looking at the tattoo with a practiced eye, giving a nod. "Healed up really nice." he agrees with a smile. "I've got it all set up over on my bunk. We can get this all done here." Dio stands slowly, tugging earbud out to place it on Sera's desk. "I'll meetchya over there, Serbear."

Sera's taste in music apparently trends towards the crunchy and low-fi varieties — stuff that sounds like it was recorded in a dirty bar, or someone's garage, or in a dusty basement. Johnny Cash is her kind of man. She hits the pause button, pulls out her other earbud, and wraps her music player up so she can jam it in her pocket. The files get left where the are, but she doesn't head over to Dio's bunk yet. She stops to peel her boots off, shoving them in her locker so that they rest atop an unopened mail package from back in December. It'd be rude to trail her grime all over his rack, after all.

Dio started back to his own little area, pausing only a moment to look back and check if Sera was following. An unopened package- Dio was almost certain he could guess. Rather than say much else as Sera did her own little get ready ceremony, Dio headed on to his rack to wait for Sera as he double checked his gun, and that precious little vial of ink.

Well, surprise surprise. Under all that grease and oil and the constant stink of tylium fuel, Sera is actually a girl. As she strides over to Dio's bunk barefoot, there's a hell of a site — toes carefully painted a blinding shade of… pink? Really? (Yes, pink.) She parks her butt down on the edge of his bed and unzips her hoodie, so her arms are free. Her nose wrinkles a bit. S'cold in the big metal ship, at least by her standards. "So how're the new pins suitin' you?"

Indeed. The pink catches Dio's eyes, and he gives Sera another little look. She was a special sort of girl, to be sure. His pillows are spread out, giving both ample room to lounge and hang out. He covers his lap in paper towels, a few more near by- along with some plastic wrap. It was likely some of the protective wrap that sometimes covered pallets of parts hidden away under the deck. He checks the tattoo gun again- the thing gives a healthy sounding hum. Cleaned and maintained and ready to go.

Diomedes looks up at the question, positioning Sera's arm across his lap. An alcohol pad quickly cleans and disinfects the area, the man starting work before he answers. "Just fine, I guess. The paper work is a right bastard." Dio's got surprisingly nice hand-writing for a former Minos Street-thug. Almost as if he were someone who enjoyed a good bit of free-hand writing- perhaps a bonus of the tattoo art studies. "I've got my crew working well, though, even if we've been accused of cutting up too much." Dio just gives a bit of a lift of the eyebrows, "But as long as they work through it all and keep in communication we get stuff done faster. I'm surprised at how by the book they all are. Keep quoting me regs on how we're supposed to fix things- honestly, I'm thinking those regs were written in peacetime. There are a lot of little things I think we could do to increase performance across all the ships, viper or raptor. Maybe even those Predators."

"Means I did a good job trainin' them," she says with a wry smile, which tugs one corner of her mouth up farther than the other. Like she knows it'll drive him nuts and is trying to hide the fact that she finds it funny. The needle she's used to, so she leans back against the wall of his bunk and tries to find somewhere she can stick her feet to keep them warm, without moving around too much. "But if you've got ideas, pass them along. We just have to make sure they're safe before tryin' them out." Safety regs. Always with the safety regs.

Shift over and with his time allegedly his own. Toby has evidenly decided that his first port of call should be the showers as he returns to the berthings once more lookiing freshly cleaned and with a towel still draped over his shoulders to catch any last drips from his hair. Making for his own bunk he only has to pause a couple of times to let others pass before he gets close enough to spot Dio and then, a moment later Sera. Giving them both a brief nod he ditches the towel and the clothes he'd evidently changed out into the bottom of his locker then turns to offer a more detailed greeting. "Is that round 2 or 3 then?"

The buzz is single toned, changing only slightly when the tool is placed to arm. He steadies it all, holding the flesh flat as he injects that ink. The particular Trojan Woman (The tattoo one, not the pink toe-nailed one.) Dio focused on started to come into better definition as he went through the process of shading, and adding details. Dio took the work seriously- buzzing away as the woman's helmet starts to look distressed. Little paper-thin scars appearing on her face- the 'subject' of the art a beautiful girl who'd clearly been through rough times. She was still strong there, in art, regardless of what would almost certainly could be a tears held back in defiance of whatever messed up world the 'tattoo' lived in. He truly put his whole care and skill into Serbear's ink. "Round Two. Let it sit a little between the first and second. Should be pretty much finished here today. Maybe one more session just to make sure the blacks are properly black." Dio says up to his fellow Tauron. "I've got the traditional gear in my locker, T. Just let me know if you need something." Taurons got the traditional tattoos for free, so the scuttlebutt went.

"Hey, Shacks," Sera says tersely. It should be obvious why. The outline isn't so bad. Shading? Shading frakking hurts. So does getting inked on the soft, thin skin of her inner wrist. She's got her jaw clamped tight, which — aside from the occasional tic in her cheek — is really the only indication she gives of being in pain. "How's it goin'? You gettin' off the early shift or headin' over to start the afternoon?"

Toby hadn't spotted the pink toenails at first pass but now he sits himself down on his book and looks across he becomes suddenly aware of them and blinks briefly in surprise before recovering. "Off the early," he replies as he manages to drag his eyes away from Sera's feet to her face, "been inspecting the BA tanks all morning, thankfully they're all looking in servicable nick." THen to Dio he nods solumnly, "I'll let you know. There was one I was thinking of, but I'm not so sure any more, not since skinjobs get to bunk up with Colonials too. But yeah, I'll let you know."

"Just let it flow, Serbear." Dio says as he takes a moment's break to daub her arm clean of any blood or extra ink. The woman on Sera's forearm had fully taken shape. With years of practice, now, Diomedes steadily and expertly finished the rest of the fill, gave it another daub and double checked the work. A rare drop- a little Vaseline is smeared over the fresh work and the plastic wrap is taken around it just as if it were a bandage. "Alright. Should be set, now. Might want to do one more touch up in ten to fifteen days."

The Tattoo seemed complete. Some slight work done to add a hazy sort of background- maybe the world was on fire- or this be-armored Trojan warrior woman was lost in the fog of war. She was clearly proud, despite the fact her helmet was distressed, cracked, and repaired. She held back her tears in quiet pride and strength, and she even seemed to be looking forward- outward to a future she had yet to claim. "Told you it wouldn't take long." he says up to Ser. "We'd nearly finished it last time."

She hasn't peeked at the tattoo — not yet. First, she's checking his bunk. Did she bleed all over the sheets? She's definitely a bleeder. Once that moment of concern passes, that fear that she's ruined the only personal space any of them are allotted aboard, she exhales slowly and leans forward to stare through the swiftly wrinkling plastic wrap. She tugs it up a little, smoothing it out to get a better look. Sera's mouth drops open. She's obviously about to say something but quickly stops, choking back whatever was about to come out of her mouth. It's instead replaced with a thick, quiet, "Thanks, D."

Toby alternates between watching proceedings and sorting a few small things of his own. He's seen it done many times before, had it done lots as well, but it's still one of those things he can watch for hours. When it's pronounced finished he waits for Sera to take a look then peers over himself, although with the cling-film it's hard to see all the details. Still he gives an apprecitative whistle and a nod towards the artist, "nice work," then a nod to Sera, "suits you."

"Ain't nothin'." Diomedes replies simply as he gathers all the various bloody towels he'd managed to collect over the fill and detail session. They all find their way into the garbage. "Glad to do it." Is how he finishes the bit of praise he's received. Nodding over to Toby, a bit of a grin given. "Thanks, brother."

"Someone has to remember Troy," she responds to Toby, her expression turning melancholy. There are, after all, only three Trojans left alive in the entire universe — at least as far as she knows. Fortunately, she hides the expression by slowly slipping her hoodie back on, which results in a subdued grimace of pain as fabric slides across the plastic wrap, and thus over the raw and oozing skin underneath. "What were you thinkin' of gettin'?"

"Credit where it's due," Toby offers to Dio with a smile before shifting so he's lying on his bunk rather than sitting and blocking the alleyways with his legs and feet. As Sera slips her hoodie back on he mirrors her grimace, having done the same thing himself on more than one occasion. Her question though provokes a more thoughtful expression for a moment before he finally answers, with a shrug, "I was going to get the Tauran colonial banner, might have even gone for colour, if there is any of the right ink onboard but yeah, as I said, not so much now."

"I've got some color. Its monochrome, black, for the traditional style, though. Not a whole lot of the color can be easily recreated." Dio says over to Toby- incase he gets the wrong idea about that offered bit of free art. "We won't forget, Ser." the man offers to his pink-nailed friend. "How about you, huh? How's that new job workin' for you?"

"Every time you get promoted, double the amount of crap you're expected to read," she says with a sigh and a nod of her chin towards her abandoned box of files. Okay, so, she takes the work seriously. That doesn't necessarily mean she loves it. Instead of returning to it, she pulls her knees up towards her chin and wraps her unbandaged arm around them, holding them in place. Apparently, Sera's not quite ready to vacate Dio's berth. "You know what you should get, Shacks?"

"It would have been my first," Toby remarks to Dio with another shrug but then an acknowledging nod, he knows the traditions. Loosening his expression a bit, now it's back to more casual conversations, he turns to Sera, "double? I've spent a large part of the last week in the library looking at that gas stuff you wanted, I think if that doubled then I'd have to start deciding which I loved more, food or sleep." Dio then gets am amused and congratulatory grin before he turns back to Sera with eyebrows raised questioningly, "go on then, tell me."

Diomedes doesn't seem in a hurry to send Sera on her way, either. He settles back, pillow behind his back as he gets nice and comfy there just as Sera does the same. He doesn't say much more, at the moment- curious of the exchange now between Shacks and Serbear. Just what did the tiny Trojan terror think for Ink on Toby. "Yeah, that's something I'd like to hear. What's it Toby should get?" he says, grin growing a bit.

"You shouldn't get Tauron's flag. Frak that. Everyone knows what Tauron's flag looks like. No one's goin' to forget that any time soon, especially not with them hangin' in half a dozen rooms an' gods know how many berths on this ship," she says as she nudges one leg towards Dio. "Cigarettes are in my side pocket," she says. Sera's not going to go banging her arm against her leg to go dig 'em out right now. "You should get somethin' old. Somethin' people are apt to forget. Somethin' that was Tauron's before Tauron was part of the Twelve — before there was a Twelve." A beat. "You should get the symbol they raised over Tauron when it was first settled by the Tribes of Kobol. The symbol they flew over their homes when, after years of strugglin' to survive in dark space, they found a place to call home."

So, Dio reaches into Sera's pocket, grabs her smokes and takes out two. One for her, of course, and a stolen one for himself. He reaches over and grabs a lighter from beside his bed, and lights up his own- fire held up moments later for Sera's coffin nail. "Just show me what it looks like and I bang it out on a piece of paper." he offers, that cigarette grabbing motion having taken him that ever so slightly closer to Sera, when adding the lean over for light-up. Almost leaning shoulder to shoulder.

Well that causes Toby to pause. Tilting his head back to Sera as she speaks he takes his time to mull that over carefully, have a good think about the meanings and symbology of it all before nodding slowly. "I'd have to have a look, see if I can find what it looks like, but yes," he answers slowly, thoughfully, "yes, I think you're right." Dio then also gets a nod, "I'll see what I can rustle up." Well, thats the afternoon's plan sorted.

Sera grins, satisfied with her suggestion. She may not be a Tauran herself, but if there's one thing she knows, it's the pride that comes from having nothing and still somehow winning the struggle to survive. The cigarette is pinched between her lips, which are forever glossy with some peach-scented goop she stubbornly wears despite working on the deck, despite it being the supposed apocalypse. She leans in to suck the flame up into it before resting back on Dio's wall. "Ain't no point in gettin' a tattoo just 'cause it looks pretty. You can always hang that on your wall. If somethin' is goin' to live on your skin, be a part of you… it'd best mean somethin' important."

The Tattoo Artists can't help but agree, despite the fact he's kept a notebook of which women on the ship have requested tramp-stamps. That's information idiot horn-dogs might be willing to pay for- and Dio's nothing if not interested in enjoying the free-time he's got with some 'nicer' things if trade can supply, and the Military can't.
"I don't really have much respect for a meaningless tattoo. Doesn't have to be.. regular. But it can't be just because you want a butterfly or a unicorn over your ass, or an anchor and barbed-wire around your bicep. Sure signs you're dealing with idiot people." Dio gives his opinion, just laying it on out there. "I was thinking about checking out some plants down on the planet. See if I couldn't make dye out of them."

Toby rolls a sleeve up a little to show just one of the pieces of ink that he has recorded on his flesh. That one happens to be text, in Tauran, but he has others, images, traditional patterns, the works. "Each one should mean something, or tell a story," he agrees with a brief nod, "mark something important." He's thinking now though, trying to work out where to even start looking, library probably, and most likely a converation with one of the clerks as well. Oh well, it's not like they aren't etting used to him asking for odd stuff now. "Won't claim to be an expert," he admits to Dio, "but I'll help any way I can if you need it."

Sera blinks a few times as she looks at Toby's tattoos. And then, for whatever reason, she starts to giggle. She tries to hide it, but it's really not going especially well for her. Having taken in a few lunguls of smoke, it's now pouring out of her in puffs she can't quite hide. What in the world is so funny is anyone's guess.

Dio's focus on his cigarette, and rambly conversation is broken by the girlish giggles Sera found somewhere deep inside her. They had to be deep- he's really not sure he's heard the sound before. "Woah now, what's that?!" he teases, giving Sera a sudden grin. "Is that my Serbearus giggling like a *girl?* Best not let the others hear. They might think you've got a sweet, gooey center." Or, as Dio's jesting eyes say, to say 'discover' Sera's almost always hidden gooey center.

Toby eyes Sera for a moment as her amusement becomes evident and raises a questioning eyebrow, it's an amused one though rather than interogatory. Turning then to Dio he tilts his head towards Sera and as if to ask 'any ideas?' Shaking his head a little as it seems Dio is at a loss as well he pushes himself off his bunk once more. "Much as I'd love to find out what's got you so amused, I skipped breakfast so I'm going to go try and beat the queue this time. If you want me to grab you anything, sugars and to some degree salts are good after getting ink done, you have until I'm out of earshot to yell." That said he grabs his hoodie and slides it on over his arms as he makes his way back towards the hatch.

"Sure thing, Shacks!," she calls out between giggles, up for eating just about anything he brings back. Ten years plus in the military and she's gotten used to eating whatever the cafeteria serves — even when she doesn't like it. And then she's back to laughing to herself, though her lips roll inward and clamp down into a thin line as she tries to hide it.

Dio finishes his cigarette. Smoking it down to the butt- nothing left to smoke. Its stamped out in a convenient ashtray. "What's so funny?" Dio finally asks as the self-laugh comes back, "I can always throw you a flash if that's all it takes." He lifts his shirt and shows off a single Pec- "Its okay. I know I'm man pretty." He assures Sera with a growing grin of his own.

The funny thing is, well… that's almost exactly what she finds so funny. The giggle turns into an outright cackle and she almost chokes on her cigarette in the process. One hand reaches up to pound on her chest so she can remember to breathe. The other hand reaches over to give Dio a light slap on the stomach, the back of her hand landing with a quiet smack. "Will you," she chokes, "stop?"

"Why would I want to do that when I'm *clearly* just about the most man-pretty man on Deck?" Dio says, both hands going behind his head to give a flex before he's slapped on the stomach, "Ah, not my sensitive organs!" he laughs as he pulls the shirt down after a moment. Grinning wide in Sera's direction. He'll wait for the laughing to subside, at least a touch, before he looks in Sera's direction. Pink Toe-nails. The smile on her face. Those always peach-flavored, pinkish lips. He almost looks like he wants to say something.

Sera's look almost immediately turns suspicious. Or, well, her eyes do. There's still the ghost of a smile lingering on her face, but years of overseeing kids straight out of A-school means she recognizes when someone's got a smartass, know-it-all comment to make that they're just barely holding. (That and she's looked in a mirror once or twice before.) "What?," she asks him, both brows shooting up so far they disappear under her bangs.

Dio looks up, again into Sera's eyes. He smiles: That sort of cocky half grin of his noticeably absent. This smile was a touch more genuine. Perhaps a touch more shy. "I like your laugh." The man says as he leans back before looking far-off. "Its something I wish I heard more often. You deserve more laughter."

Such a serious thought, of course, can't be allowed to sit there very long without Diomedes then cheekily admitting (And not for the first time.) "I like it just a little more than them scandal shorts of yours." Casanova you are not, Mr. Alexios.

No. No, maybe he's not. But it does make her laugh again — not that same 'about-to-choke-on-her-cigarette' laugh. Something a little quieter. "At least someone appreciates my better qualities," she intones dryly, though it's not quite clear whether she means that infectious laugh she has, her willingness to prance around the berths in the aforementioned outfit, or the legs it shows off.
"See, an' here I was, just thinkin' to myself that half the crew is covered in ink I can't see, an' I can't really go askin' them to show me without soundin' like a pervert. But that tryin' to get a peek without askin' would be even worse, when I had to explain to someone in the JAG office that the reason I was peekin' through the curtains in the head was 'cause I just wanted to see the tattoos. But I don't have to worry about that, do I? I can trust you to be walkin' around after some girl with your tongue hangin' outta your head, an' then no one'll think twice about little ol' me."

"You can trust me for a whole lotta of things, Serbear." Dio says back, his turn for an eyebrow raise at the story that follows. "That right? Been caught peepin' for 'tattoo's', huh?" he starts to laugh himself. A quiet thing that fades into that half-grin he seems most comfortable wearing. "I'll have to keep my eyes out then for someone tampering with my curtains. What's the world coming to when you can't trust the ladies not to sneak a peek?" he playfully laments, just shaking his head. On chasing 'some girl', Dio laughs again, "I'm a lot of things, Sera. A dog ain't one of them."

It seems that Toby's quest to beat the queues has been successful for he's back in the berthings already with a bottle of energy drink sticking out of a pocket and a bag of read salted crisps in one hand. As he approaches his bunk again he tosses the bag towards Sera, taking care to aim for the side that hasn't just been punctured repeatedly. Just before he sits back down he retrieves the drink to and passes it over, stating as he does so, "possibly overkill, but I figured better safe than sorry."

There's something about the word dog…. one hand reaches up to her collar, feeling for a cord that isn't there. "Yeah, well. I've dated one or two of 'em. I don't recommend it. So…," she trails off, as Toby reappears. Perfect timing. At least, perfect timing as far as she's concerned, because it means she can conveniently change the subject to things that have nothing whatsoever to do with her feelings. Oh, yeeah! "Hey, Shacks. Thanks!," she says, brightening up, even as she gets beaned with a bag of chips. "Now I can leave salty plasma ooze all over Alexio's bed." Cheery little thing, isn't she?

"Just what I've always wanted," Diomedes begins at Sera's offer, "Stained sheets." The bald, tattooed man says leaning back as he does, reaching over to grab the guitar that sits not far off. Lazy strumming, that was the answer to whatever was plaguing him now. He's no guitar wizard- but he knows the chords of a few lazy songs well enough to fake his way through the song. "So, what's for dinner, Shacks?"

"That's exactly the reason I did it," Toby replies with a very serious look and slight nod, "nothing to do with keeping you healthy at all, just pissing off Dio here." Deciding this time to sit rather then sprawl he rests his back against the partition before answering Dio's question, "there was some sort of stew which I stayed well clear off, but the pasta thing was edible at least." There's a faint shrug before he adds, "pudding looked crap though, so I skipped that too, couldn't even tell you what it was it looked that bad."

"Sounds absolutely amazing." Dio says softly, as he leans up off his rack. He puts the guitar to the side- puts his tattoo gear in its proper place and locks up his locker. "So, I'm going to go get chow. Feel free to hang out, whatever." Dio said, giving a wave towards his bunk. "I'll be back when I'm done." But, he's likely to take his time. He always does.

"Ahhhh, no one can provide a gourmet meal quite like the Navy. Except maybe the Marines, an' I ain't touchin' what they eat in the field." Cause gods only know what's in that mess. She blows her hair back out of her eyes instead of brushing it back, because her hands are busy fiddling with the package of junk food that was brought back for her benefit. She'd been all prepared to get crumbs all over the place, too, when Dio gets up. And it's just not right to go making a mess out of someone's rack when they're not there. So she scoots to the edge of the bed, frowns when her bare toes hit cold metal, and does this sort of prancing little tip-toed dance back to her bench. "Good luck findin' somethin' edible, man," she calls out after him.

"Better than bread from a trashcan." Dio replies, giving a wave, and off he goes. One of those promised Hots while he departs the cot.

"Believe it man," Toby replies to Dio with a marked lack of enthuiasm, "good luck though, you may need it." As the newest PO heads off he turns back to Sera and motions briefly towards the crisps, "need a hand?" Turning so he can still see her from his bunk he waits till she gets settled at teh bench again then asks, "any word from above on that plan yet, or is this a no shop talk conversation?" He had missed the start, and indeed a large part of the middle so he wants to make sure.

"No word yet," she says as she gets the bag open. The energy drink might be a different story with her arm all achey and sore. She sort of squints at it like it's a traitor, not a problem to be tackled. "An' we were just talkin' about how all the Taurans I know are covered in ink I never see, an' how I'm goin' to come off like a total perv if I try to get a peek. You can call that shop talk if you like, but it's more like shop gossip, an' you don't strike me as the little ol' blue-haired lady type."

"Little ol' blue-haired lady?" Toby asks, looking faintly confused, although he does give a quick acknowledging nod to her initial answer. Back to the tattoos he comments in an unbothered manner, "you ever want to see mind then feel free to just ask." Then a brief pause before he adds a clarification, "most of mine anyway. It's kind of a thing we do though, doubt you'd find many who don't have some at least. In my part of the planet is was part of becoming a man, or woman, and we do that long before the fleet will let you list."

"All of mine are religious," she explains. Well, except for the new one. But memorializing an entire culture is religious in a way, isn't it? One chip gets popped into her mouth, crunched on thoughtfully. She's about to say something, about to make a comment on Tauran tattoos, when she snaps her mouth shut instead. "Symbols of the gods I serve, though I don't really expect anyone understands that any better than they understand your markin's."

"I've got a few religious ones, all the text for a start," Toby admits, not pushing for the details of Sera's unless she wants to give them. "A few of the others too, some are various other Tauran things, both the traditional patterns and more contempory." Like the pyramid team logo for example, that one isn't religious, no matter what some might say. "All mean something though, but yeah, don't reckon it'd be easy for another to read right."

She's not prone to cough up the details, really. Some of them, though, are easy enough to see. The hammer on her right wrist, symbol of Hephaestus. The peacock feathers wrapping around one ear, symbol of Hera. "I would like to see them some time. I think they're beautiful, but I have no right to wear them. I'm not Tauran, by blood or by birth or by citizenship." The last, it seems, is a bit redundant… but every paper she has calls her a citizen of Virgon, despite a Trojan accent so thick, she could choke a moose with it.

Toby feels no compunction at the idea of going topless in the berthings is Sera does want a look, but he does just make the a quick mime of doing so first to ensure that she's cool with here and now as opposed to the more nebulus 'some time'. "They are yes, he agrees, and I'm glad that there is at least one traditional kit still around and someone who knows how to use it." A brief tilt of the head towards Dio's bunk, "there's still kids and they're still growing into adults, they'll need his skills when they turn of age."

Sera nods. She's curious, and not really bothering to hide that fact. She does smile at the mention of children, as well as the reference them needing Diomedes's skills, but the expression doesn't quite touch her eyes. Jealousy, perhaps. There were far fewer of her people to begin with, and even fewer who survived. "He should teach someone. One of the others. Just in case."

Toby slips of t-shirt and vest to reveal flesh all the way down to his waist. There are indeed a fair number of tattoos, some of which are obviously composits built up over time, but others seem to stand alone. The most recognisable is probably the Tauron Bulls' logo on one side of his ribs but there is also a distinct bull theme, even skillfully hidden amonst the geometric patterns across his chest, a good proportion of his back and some of his arms. On closer look, some of those geometric lines are actually made of small text, as is a glyph that looks like a stylised sun. Ditching his discarded clothes on his bunk he shifts down the room a little so Sera can see and nods to her remark. "Yeah, and I doubt there'd be a shortage of volunteers. Kits and ink might be a limiting factor though, not sure fleet would see them as a priority for resources."

"You can make ink yourself, if all you're doin' is black line work. People in prison have been doin' it just fine for decades," she says, leaning in to squint at some of the hidden lines of text. It must present a hell of a picture, really — Sera bending over Toby's back like it's a book. At least she has the sense not to mouth the words as she's reading, though. "Kits? That's a different story. We could probably cobble somethin' together, but… if it's ritual you're after, it won't be the same…"

Toby seems happy enough to stand still as Sera explores his ink, turning as and when she feels the need to study a different bit. He nods silent at the commend about ink then shrugs as she notes that ritual things might be different. "No sure how specific the specs are," he admits, careful not to shrug incase she's looking at that bit now, "never got into that side of it myself, always had others who would. Dio likely knows though."

"What does all of this say?," she asks, without hesitation. Nosy. "You said that it was a text. Is it part of the Sacred Scrolls?," she says, following one particular line by tilting her head and trailing her fingertip along it's edge — one inch over the text itself. Sera's oblivious sometimes, but she's not quite rude enough to touch someone else's tattoos without asking them.

Prison Tattoo, Enter Diomedes. He cruises the racks after his feed, finding himself near Toby and Sera soon enough. He gives Toby's tattoos another look. Dio could be considered an enthusiast. "You can make blue." He says, looking over to Sera as he joins her taking a look over Toby's back. "Looks like a prayer." he answers Sera's question with a chuckle. "It doesn't cleanly translate, is the thing. Talks about the sun, here. Some about brother here. Dash in some honor and comradeship with a depiction of war and combat… Sort of religious feelin'. Tattoed on flesh… Its a Prayer."

Bits of various texts," Toby answers, looking back over his shoulder as he does so. It seems rather off to be talking to an empty bunk afterall. "Passages that struck a chord, ones that seemed fitting at various important times." Dio's arrival catches him by surprise though and the first he knows of his fellow's return is when his voice starts translating the ink. There's a hint of a moment's tension but then he just relaxes and waits for Dio to finish before nodding slowly. "Sort of, yeah. Bits of some," he admits.

"It's really good work," she says, before sinking back into her seat and returning to her bag of chips, which she holds out in offering to the pair of them, despite the fact that they've both already eaten. "Most of mine is much more simple — black line work. Not even any shading, really, save what we just finished up today." Without really considering Dio's reaction, she wrinkles her nose at the memory. Apparently, Sera does not like shading needles very much. Oww.

Dio gives it a nod, "Only foreigners get bad tattoos." he says with a grin and a look towards Toby. "Well. I'm glad to have popped your cherry then, Serbear." he says with a laugh when her face turns. "It wasn't that bad. You've had worse." he tells her, "You use the pain, Sera. You let it unlock. Release. You got this to remember or to honor, and the pain is an important part of it."

"I prefer line to shade," Toby states in agreement, turning round to face them once again when it seems they've finished studying his back. Slipping down into a seat alongside the table he makes no move to cover up as of yet but instead simply nods to Dio. "Yeah, part of what makes it mean things. Sort of 'no pain no gain' only a bit more meaningful if that makes sense?"

"I know," Sera says to Dio, her voice dropping low. It's barely more than a whisper when she says, "But as far as I know, there are only three of my people left alive, in the entire universe. Three. Including me. You could tattoo every bit of my skin, cover every hint of flesh with black ink. It still wouldn't be enough — not for all of them." Once again, her lips curl inwards. When she exhales, it's very slowly. Carefully. Her head shakes once, ponytail bobbing.

"It was funny the folks who would visit my Dad for an 'authentic' tattoo." Dio begins, just a little reminiscing. "He was usually happy to oblige. Made a thing of it. He always treated it like it was your first, you know?" he asks, more of Toby than of Sera. Culture bros. "These," he says to the Geometric crown of 'wings' "Is because I was a King." That word had a certain significance. "This is a classic warrior line." he motions at his chin, the single line there from his lip. "They've all go their stories. All got their meanings."

Toby nods his understanding as Dio goes through his, then makes an attempt to include Sera so ths doesn't just discend into reminising about Tauron. "Was there any sort of Trojan traditions? Most of the mining comunities I lived and worked in had a load, some seemed widespread while others maybe just for that one pit." Okay, so the tats aren;t a mining thing, but it's as close a link as he canthink of off the cuff.

Sera squints at Dio. Her expression seems thoughtful at first, though it eventually twists into a lopsided grin. A cheeky look, though not quite enough to wash away what's lingering in her dark eyes. "…I always thought those wings were there to hide the fact that you went bald before you were thirty." She's got it coming now. She knows it. Fortunately, Toby is rather remarkably large — like every other Tauran she's met — and thus is very convenient for slinking behind. She smiles up at him innocently. Y'know, just in case.

"I can have a tattoo for two reasons." Dio quips back, giving a grin in return. "If I grew my hair, you couldn't see the tat." he finally says as he still tries to get around Toby a touch to give her a look at such an innocent smile, "Its black." he finally says.

Toby glances one way to Sera then the other to Dio before just grinning a little and shaking his head. He doesn't move to allow Dio easy space for a retort, but neither does he move to block the smile. "So which of you is the rock and which the hard place?" he asks, sounding amused, before peering at Dio's head a moment to see if he can spot if this revelation is in fact true.

"Liar. I ain't buyin' that for a minute. You're as bald as a newborn babe," Sera retorts. "That's just there so the ladies think you've got hair, 'til you're already close enough to have them cornered." Now she's just being mean. Making cracks like that, and putting poor Toby in the middle. He doesn't have a shirt to grab onto, so his arms'll have to do. Girl's turning him into a tree. Clutching both sides, and ready to duck behind him regardless of which one Dio tries to come around.

Sera gets a second look, Dio giving her his own bit of a narrowed eye. "Oh, tryin' to hide now, are you?" he asks, edged on by the way Sera seems to try and 'get away'. If the girl wants to be chased a little, who's he to argue? Dio gives a little lunge around Toby's side, really only trying to give Sera a playful little shove. "Going to call a man out like that and just hide behind Toby?!"

Toby manages a not particulalrly agrieved sounding, "Oi, leave me out of this," but doesn't move to actually break free. Dio's final question does seem to amuse him though and he offers back to his fellow, in a light tone. "Well, what can I say, I'm always happy to shelter a damsel in distress should she require. Unless their a skinjob. But then I guess they don't count as damsels so scratch that, any damsel in distress." Foling his arms across his chest, assuming Sera's grip is high enough to allow him to, he then realises what he's just said and glances to the CPO. "Damsel and distress being figurative tersm of course." Yeah, he likes his balls and wants them to remain right where they are.

It's the sort of thing that riles Sera normally, and with good reason, if they bother asking around. But at the moment, it's convenient. So, hey. Whatever! "Damsel in distress? Forget that, Shacks. I'm you're superior officer! Too valuable to lose in combat. You're to ensure my safety at all costs," she informs him. Ohh, it's an order. "So hold him at bay, while I retreat to the cafeteria!"

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