AWD #001: Fading Hopes

Thaddeus, Cruz, Holtz, and Afton share what they know in the wake of the Cylon attack, none of it good.

Fading Hopes
Summary: Thaddeus, Cruz, Holtz, and Afton share what they know in the wake of the Cylon attack, none of it good.
Date: 06/01/2013
Related Logs: Warday logs
Cruz Thaddeus Holtz Afton 
The Head is the area on the Battlestar to find showers and bathrooms and this is one of many throughout the ship. Male and female crew members share the area equally as space is at a premium on fleet ships. There are half a dozen shower stalls and enclosed toilets as well as urinals along the wall. The room, an L shape dogleg, has the entrance open into the sink area. There are four sinks on the left and four on the right sitting back to back in the middle of the room.
AWD #01

At condition two, everyone is riding that tense long assed line that seems to stretch from one day to the next. The head is curiously empty, minus one man. Clad down in his blacks-the tall Marine doesn't account for much. His rifle is leaned against the small bench he's plunked down on betwixt the rows of showers. Head bowed, a cigarette remains clenched between his lips-while a crinkled photo is held in his hands. Eyes seem transfixed on the spot-even before his big fingers slide up to take the cigarette from his mouth-so as to ash in his upended Helmet.

Cruz offers a faint sigh, before his smoke comes up to catch his lips. And the cherry flares to life once more. Smoke filtering out of his nostrils like a bull.

Condition One means you're too busy to think. Condition Two means all those thoughts you didn't think during Condition One start leaking in through the gaps.

And at this point, all bets are off whether Condition Three will ever happen again.

Enter Thaddeus, shedding his flight suit as he walks, feet dragging like the floor was magnetized. His cheeks have two days of stubble, and from the look of the shadows under his eyes, they haven't seen sleep in two days, either.

Cruz looks up as someone else comes into the Head. His own eyes hooded from sleep. Another drag of his cigarette, before he is shifting on his seat. "Captain." comes the deep, voice of the Staff Sergeant. Likely a very familiar voice to Thaddeus-again he is ashing into his helmet once more. "Water's not heating right. But cold will work." A bit of warning there-even as Holtz comes in. A brief glance to the other pilot, before the marine in his blacks is moving to tuck the picture back into his vest, under the armor.

Pale eyes with a hectic stim-shine flick over and lock on Cruz for a second. "But I've been so good," Thaddeus says to the Marine, the humour flattened out to a deadline. He leans up against a nearby patch of wall to work on some of the more stubborn latches. "Any word come down yet on the other colonies?" They all got a fine show of Caprica and Gemenon last night, after all.

Holtz's nose twitches at the acrid smell of smoke coming from the bench where Cruz is sitting. He eyes the man's cigarette for a moment, but says nothing. A glance is directed towards Thaddeus instead, and Holtz gives his head a short shake as he pulls a razor from his kit. "Heard nothin' yet. But if they glassed Caprica…" He leaves the sentence unfinished, but his expression doesn't seem to hold out much hope for the other colonies. He splashes a handful of cold water on his face with another grimace.

"Caprica was hell." Cruz intones. "I am surprised we made it back with what we had." And there, he rubs his nose for a moment. Comfortable with the cigarette there, as his flack jacket is patted for a moment. "Virgon got hit hard, and we lost anchorage. I dunno how the ship yards are doing, or if the Naval HQ on Picon still stands." A shrug there as he looks down. Big hand moves down to wipe at his boot. A glance is given to Holtz and he snorts. "I think Gemmenon was sent back to the Elysium-Caprica still had a fight rolling."

A shower, long overdue has been taken and Afton steps out from around her stall and tucks the edge of her towel in just below her arm. Carrying her small caddy of shower goods, she rubs a hand up to her scalp and then presses her fingers through the locks of hair. A smile is faintly offered to the three and manages to a 'hello' as she sets the caddy down on the edge of the sink. Their conversation keeps her quiet, til the mention of Caprica having a fight. "A fight we had to leave." Its an offhand comment.

"Waiting for word on Picon HQ," says Thaddeus, the words mumbled a bit as he wrestles with the releases on his boots. Once they're free, he steps out of the suit, leaving it slumped against the wall like a snake's skin. Each ankle is rotated, toes flexed (most of them cracking and popping as well) and he sighs. "Good thing you weren't still planetside when they called two minutes to jump," he says, lifting eyes to Afton. "Heard some of the ECOs got a stack overflow when the Raiders launched."

"They blew the anchorage?" Holtz stares at Cruz in disbelief as water drips down his face. "Frak me…" he mutters, along with a stream of particularly pungent Taurian curses, as he runs his razor under a stream of water from the sink. Something that could almost be hope stirs on his features. "So there's still… there's still people alive on Caprica, Sergeant?" A glance is directed at Afton as she emerges from the shower, though his gaze doesn't linger, as it might have other under circumstances.

"If I was them, I'd take out the HQ. It makes sense." Cruz says somberly before he is moving to rise and come around to another sink. His cigarette is mashed into the basin before he is looking for a trash receptacle. There's a glance back to Holtz. "That's what's reported. Blew it to hades open asshole." A cough and he's walking back to his helmet-taking time to stoop and grab it up. "There were." Arkadios confirms. "I don't know about now. The battle in the Capital was falling fast when we lit out." There's a glance to the PJ for a moment. "You'd get bored without me, Captain."

"Lucky, sir, maybe. Wish we had more birds on the ground to get those people off, left a few that were likely to make it behind." The PJ offers and rubs lotion into her hands and works on her shoulders and neck - part of daily routine that looks not about ready to fail despite warday. "We are not likely to get another chance." But she was listening, "Virgon..its gone?" She asks faintly, her brows furrowing. She is pulling out her tanks and dropping the towel and tightening it around her waist before pulling them on, her dog tags dancing at her collarbone. "Makes you wonder, how long have they been preparing for this with ships of that amount and that many raiders? How did we not know or catch whiff of something?" She pauses and furrows her brows, but then doesn't say anything, yanking at her shorts and pulling them up and on under the towel.

"Of course it makes sense. But there was also enough firepower there to turn the whole Twelve Colonies into a cinder. Surely…" He trails off. Another look over at the PJ, and Holtz nods in agreement. "Shit. Those chrome bastards have probably been prepping this ever since the Armistice." It's the only conclusion apparent to the naturally suspicious Tauron. Holtz looks back at the Marine before he brings up his razor and starts scraping away the stubble from his cheeks. "Frak!" Holtz's razor bites into flesh, and a trickle of blood starts to run down his neck. There's another muffled curse as he brushes the blood away with a finger.

"You lick someone once." Cruz begins for a moment, before he's running his fingers under the water, briefly. Only then is he reaching inside his helmet for the collected cigarette ash in there. "My mother would say: You make sure they don't come back up. Step on the throat. kick out their balls Arkadios." there, the Yparanan accent showing in light mimic of his mother. And there he reaches up with black smudged finger tips to draw out a thick DELTA on his forehead. Likely some culture sign of morning. "You're yanking against the grain, Sir."

"The Rest likely had something to do with it," Afton murmurs finally, listening to the other two nodding at something that is said as she pulls out some bandages from a small medic kit, stepping back to get a better look in the mirror. The woman begins to roll up her top, adding absently, "A dead snake can still bite or somethign to that affect." She adds and then is tracing her hand over the wound on her stomach, raw, red, blistered, bleeding every so slightly. But she stops, looking at Holtz as he cuts himself. She drops her bandage and reaches down for some gauze and pulls it apart. One she wets with cold water and then hands it to him. "Cold will stop the blood flow and then press this to it to help." The other is to help collect the blood. "Slow and easy wins the race."

"Smart woman, yer mother," Holtz mutters. The razor is rinsed off and rises once more to the unbloodied part of his neck. Scrape, scrape, scrape. He pauses midstroke as Afton offers him the gauze. "Frak's sake, it's just a scratch." He looks at her for a moment, his eyebrow furrowed as he focuses on where she's tracing along her wound. "You look like you need this more'n I do." After a long pause, though, he reaches out to accept the offered gauze, and his eyes seem to thank her, even if his words don't.

"She thought so." Cruz replies, before he is placing his helm on. And there's a look to his gun. A march back, as it's snagged. ONly then does he seem to notice Afton-realy notice her. "Hey." a means of greeting and goodbye. "If you get off time- grab me before dog three. I'll need to wake up before I rotate again." He's done two so far. Third won't be bad. Needs to keep busy.

"Just a scratch, of course sir," Afton replies but it seems she is not backing down, that gauze offered til he takes it and she settles back at her sink. She grabs at the bandages again, hesitating as she glances over to Cruz, "Sure…I can do that if I don't get put on staff rotation in medical." A nod of her head to him and a wan smile. Securing the edge of the bandage to her waist, she begings to wrap the sore wound. "Sir, you are a viper stick, right? What are the numbers?"

"Yeah. We met, or am I just that easy to peg?" Holtz manages a tiny not-quite-smile of his own. He presses the cut with the damp gauze for a few second to push off the bleeding. Then, a few more scrapes with the razor, and he's done — oh, wait, missed a spot. One last pass, and the razor gets tossed back into his kit. There's a grim set to his mouth as he wipes away the water on his face with a hand towel. "Don't know exactly. We only lost one from our squadron that I know of… but the others weren't so lucky. Fifteen, twenty in all, maybe. And more wounded." All of a sudden, those five kills he was so proud of before taste like ash in his mouth.

"I am sorry to hear that, sir," Afton offers, layers of that bandage building slowly as she adjusts and winds from different angles to make certain that its stays tight. "Fifteen…Gods.." She breathes softly and looks down at the sink. Eye study how she is wrapping and she smooths the edge with her other hand before glancing back up at him, studying his response. "Should say thanks for holding them off..allowing us to get to the ground. DOn't know if I could handle a big piece of flying metal the way you guys do…takes some talent..I just jump from em." There is a light smile there and she adjusts the lay of the bandage again. "And how are you holding up?"

"So am I." Holtz sighs, leaning over the sink with his hands propped against the metal. "I didn't know them. But I have a feeling we're all going to miss them before this is over." He meets her gaze. "Takes balls — pardon the expression — to jump out of a ship going that fast. I about pissed myself the first time I had to punch out of a Viper. We all got a niche to fill. I sure as frak couldn't do your job." He grits his teeth at her final question. "Fine." An obvious lie, even if he doesn't exactly look like he's about to come apart right then and there. "You?"

"Already missing them…the battlestar is a big family. Even if you don't know someone personally? Its likely you know someone that knew them. Its not over either…" Afton, so fatalistic but realistic at the same time. "Balls?" That brings a sharp clip of laughter, odd sounding on such a somber day that the ship itself seems to bemoan the losses. "No sir, just determination. I admit that everytime I jump, there is still a bit of fear in my stomach. It's a healthy thing to have." His reaction is enough to cue her and she nods her head. "Nothing that can be done but to be fine. Keep your running shoes on…" She sobers again and fastens the bandage around her middle before lowering her shirt. Self treatment.

Holtz nods. "If you're not at least a little scared before you go out there, you're an idiot. Or worse." Her bark of laughter is almost infectious… almost. It does, at least, get another wan smile out of the Viper pilot. "Call it determination, call it balls, call it whatever the frak you want. Just… never let it go."

"Determination than, sir." She murmurs and glances over at him, seeing that smile. It causes her's to grow as she looks back into the mirror. "Have you considered what you are doing after this? I have never been one for Pyramid, though I could be convinced. I was thinking about going to throw a few punches or swim a few laps. Nothing helps more than burning off some steam." A quick glance aside to him is made before she tucks away her med kit.

"Hadn't thought that far ahead, really. But now that you mention it…" Holtz raises an eyebrow. "You spar? I know they've got equipment down in the rec deck, but I always preferred an opponent who'd move and punch back." His shower kit gets zipped up. There's a nod when she mentions blowing off steam. "Won't hear an argument from me." He tilts his head to one side, and the corners of his mouth twitch in a burst of mild amusement. "I do like to know a woman's name first, though, before she starts trying to punch me in the face." The Viper pilot jerks his chin down, as if pointing at himself. "Kurt. Kurt Holtz."

Afton's smile grows at his quip and she can't help but laugh, setting her caddy aside and leaning her hip into the sink as she offers back, "Only proper." She admits and there is a growth of a grin, going so far as to catch a warmth in her eyes. She reaches down, grabbing up her caddy and adding, "I could always use a moving target as well, and I won't stand still enough for you to get a bead on me." Rolling her shoulders back, she sighs and nods to him. "Afton Saint James, Kurt, most just call me Af. I hope that is enough to go throwing punches at you, Kurt because I am not giving anymore than that." Amusement curls her lips and then she steps back, brushing past him after retrieving her towel. "See you there?" Is offered back over her shoulder.

"'Course. Anything more would be fraternization," Holtz replies drolly, drawing out the word. He can't quite match her warmth, but a glint of mischief does appear ever so briefly in his own eyes. He gives his face one more pass with the towel before tossing it over his shoulder and picking up his shave kit. "Yeah, I'll be along," he calls out after her. And this time, his eyes do linger, ever so briefly.

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