AWD #297: It's Not About You
It's Not About You
Summary: Kostas sets Jena straight about the Marines at the House on the Hill.
Date: 30/OCT/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: House on the Hill
Leightner Jena Reed Kostas 
Observation Deck
The Obs Deck is one of the more quiet areas on the Orion where people can come to get away from the hustle and bustle that goes with of the rest of duty on the ship. The front of the room is a very large armored glass window to allow a dominating view of whatever is out ahead of the battlestar. Seats rise up at even levels, plush chairs and couches provided for the crew to relax in. During Condition One an armored plate is lowered down to cover the view and prevent the room from becoming a hazard and seal tight.
AWD #297

Leightner is sitting in one of the chairs, reading some papers with a case about the size of a laptop computer in his lap.

Jena walks into the obs deck wearing sweats and her hoody, athletic shoes. She looks around a moment before walking to the window and looking down at Piraeus. "Hey Ian," she greets him without looking back. Shoving her hands in her pockets, a faint jingling sound heard. Leightner is on one of the chairs reading some papers with a case about the size of a laptop computer on his lap.

Leightner looks up smiling when he sees Jena, watching her move to the window, he slides the papers back into the case. Watching her at the window, his smile fades slightly, "Jena?" He says, some concern in his voice, as he rises, moving towards the window beside her, case left in the chair.

Kostas strides in to the obs deck, apparently off duty if the fatigues are any indication. She's got a folder tucked under one arm, and a pen behind one ear, her expression distant. The ensign sidles over to one of the couches near the door, and seems prepared to set up shop there. Or at least plunk her butt down in it, boots up on the low table in front of it, folder in her lap. She opens it, revealing what looks to be scratch paper, and scowls down at it before plucking the writing utensil from its resting place.

Obviously Reed has been trying to catch the Ensign for no sooner does she enter the Observation Deck that the Corporal does as well. Though he walks at a much more leisurely pace. He has a report folder under his arm as well and, after pausing to see where Kostas is going to end up, goes over to her "Here's the report you wanted, Sir," then with a smile "And some other info you may be interested in as well." He holds out the folder, his eyes scan those gathered there, he nods to Leightner and to Jena before he turns back to the Ensign.

Through the reflection on the window, Jena sees the Ensign and the Marine from last evenings mission. At the moment, she only offers a friendly sort of nod before she looks back to Leightner. "How are you?" She leans back against the window, taking her hand out of her pocket and brushing her fingers over his arm.

Kostas twirls the pen idly in her hand a few times, though it's more switchblade than majorette. At Reed's voice, she looks up, though some of the stone melts in to a half-smile. "Thanks, Corporal," she says, by way of greeting, closing her own scratch work and tossing it to the table by her feet. "Guess we got t' get shit together fast if we wanna hit it, neh?" She takes the folder, with a grateful inclination of her head. "'Preciate you bein' on th' ball. Soon as we take care of biz, we settin' up some intramurals too." If she notes the other two, she doesn't show it, perhaps giving them their privacy.

Leightner looks to the Marines entering, giving an upnod to Kostas with a smile, then nodding to Reed, as he looks back to Jena at her touch, he tilts his head, "Alright." He says, leaning against the window next to her, "How are you?" He says, more concern returning now as he scratches the side of his head, considering the Pararescue woman.

"Yes sir," Reed says, still standing before the Ensign. There comes a hint of a smirk "Who will be up against, any more thoughts on it, Sir?" His fatigues are perfect, his attention stance matches. He looks at the folder he had handed over. "I was talking to one of the intel types that I was in basic with. It seems that they have been watching the canners on Picon, Sir." Not news, surely. He points to the folder he handed over "Some good info in there. Sir. Thought you might like to see it."

"No matter how many times I see it, it bothers me still," Jena tells Leightner, dropping her hand back to her side. "Not necessarily death.. but the way it finds some people. Marines. And we have to leave them behind." She reaches into her pocket and touches the metal inside. All seven. "I know you know.. we basically do a lot of the same things. How do you deal? I mean when I'm there. I'm sort of in the zone, but when I'm not, I carry all this baggage with me."

Kostas nods to the unoccupied couch, in unspoken invitation. "You got a minute? Or got somewhere else you need t' be?" The pen keeps moving in her hand, restlessly. Though at the mention of intel, her smile grows wolfish, but only for a moment. "Remind me t' show you th' overheads we got at th' Ridge sometime," she offers quietly, but then she's looking through the folder that Reed has given her, glancing back up at him, one brow arched in surprise. "Dayyyum, Dog," she says, but it's in admiration. "I'm thinkin' where there's one patrol, they probably got another. Big area, but—th' folks with the smarts might could give some clues for good spots t' consider." It's clear she doesn't think that it always resides with intelligence. "What's your thoughts, Corporal?" She places the folder on the table, sitting up and smoothing what looks like a map on top. "Or if you don't got time, let's talk about it. Soon. Before they got a chance to switch shit around too much."

Leightner frowns, looking at Jena, "Ye knew them, these Marines, all of them?" He tilts his head, "Not everyone we lose are our burdens, Jena. We pull their tags, an turn them in fer processing, but the coins. The coins are the burdens we carry for our loved ones. Only one person carries the burdens of another. We can't carry them all, or the real loved ones of the dead are left out." He shakes his head, "We have to look to the living, Jena, if we don't we'll be crushed by those we couldn't save."

With a shake of his head "At your service, Sir," Reed says as he takes a seat. He watches her look over the material "I was thinking that it might be good to give some payback for those," he gives Jena and Leightner a glance before continuing, his voice just a tad louder, "Marines." What Marines he doesn't say but it surely should be obvious. "We go in, set up, surprise them, get the frak out." A shrug "Easy as baking a cake, Sir. The troops are ready, most have healed up and itching for a bit of payback."

Jena gives him a reassuring smile, one that lights her eyes. "No, I didn't know them, but does that matter? Someone's son.. someone's brother, someone's friend. A father maybe? What if they didn't have anyone." She sighs, withdrawing her hand. "I'm beating myself up here, aren't I?" Giving herself a quick mental kick, she stands from her leaning position. "Look," she forces a bit of cheer into her voice. "I think that's where we went camping." Course you really can't see it, but she amuses herself no less. Glancing back at Reed, she offers a smile when he says Marines, a nod accompanies. He gets it too.

Kostas glances over to Cruz and Leightner as Reed does, and the professional armor goes up full force, and she turns back to Reed, calm and collected. "Sent word t' the civvies there, 'bout th' farmsteaders. Reckon they be glad t' know we bang up some for their folks too. Picon survivors tough sonsabitches, all 'f 'em." There's a note of fierce pride in her voice, though her tanned face is as emotionless as ever. "Let's hope 't easier than frakkin' bakin', Cassidy. You ever tried t' do that shit? Pullin' the trigger an' taste testin', 's what I'm good for." There's a bit of a smile, but there's a feral hint to it.

Leightner nods as he listens to Jena, "Aye, someones brother, father, friend. People who care an love them. People who would carry their burdens." Suddenly serious now, "Jena, if ye can't close yer hand over those coins an see the faces o those men an women the coins is for, ye have no business carrying them." He pauses, letting that sink in. "If theres no one left ta carry their burdens, ye leave them ta tha gods, an the Corps. Thas why we turn their tags in ta process them. If tha fallen are carrying coins, ye take them, but ye turn them in. Gods, Jena, no one, ever would want someone else ta carry the burdens of their own loved ones. Thas why they accept carrying tha coins in a ceremony. Ye take the coins o those who ye miss but it's always volentary, an if tha coins are lost.." He sighs, "If their lost ta fate, like the coins o me wife an child were, then ye keep goin. Would ye want someone else ta carry tha coins o yer loved ones, knowing they never knew each other?"

Reed smiles as Kostas speaks of the Picon folks "That they are sir. Not sure if I would be so ready to try to set up home with a bunch of canners still moving about." He doesn't mention that he thinks they are a bit nuts as well but the look he has might say it all the same. Laughing "No Sir, actually can't cook a lick," he points to the intel that he has given "Thats all solid info, Sir. If you want," he pauses "Give me one or two Marines, we go down there and get eyes on the ground, double check it, come back, run it up the flag pole to see if we can't get some action and some pay back. Make those canners thing twice about going out in small groups, they stop going out in small groups they stop killing farmers and give the airboys better targets."

"I'm going to, Ian," Jena says quietly. "Gods.. but I left them there. I want to remember to go back and get them, to give them something decent. I know where they all are, all seven of them. The first time, I got all I could but the last two.. it would have risked everyone that was alive, that survived. I promised them I would go back." She lifts her chin almost defiantly. "They deserve better, they all deserve better than some anonymous grave in some random farmhouse with dead Cylons in the same room as them. Out in the field, at the mercy of the elements." She reaches back in her pocket and pulls them out. All seven, her hand closed tightly around them. "Death isn't so bad when they get the proper ending, but these, these are my burden because I left them. What would their family say to that?" She shakes her head, "You don't understand. Anyway, I don't have loved ones, I never have even before the war."

"I'll see about gettin' clearance. Pick your team an' have 'em ready to go, but we gotta clear it first," Kostas does manage to refrain from rolling her eyes. Something that Leightner says catches her attention, and her gaze is drawn back. What she sees then darkens her face. "It's not about you, Cruz. Those marines did what they were trained t' do. That couple died on they own land. That's shit. People make their own choices. How *dare* you think that you better than th' gods, sayin' who gets t' die how. You bein' selfish as hell. Those marines ain't your burden. Neither are those farmers. And what kinda shits you take us for? Th' extraction teams going t' get the marines back, and th' farmers gonna be buried by their own folk remainin'." She rises to her feet. "WHy ya think we looked for 'em? To *mark* it. So that they do get a proper burial, and t' bring 'em back when the frakkin' weather allowed it."

The grin and the nod that was on Reed is gone as Kostas starts talking to Jena. He remains silent, not his place, but watches the two closely. He even stands just aster the Ensign does, hands clasped behind his back.

Leightner recoils slightly, eyes widening at Jena when she says he doesn't understand. A second or two after she stops speaking he licks his lips, then Kostas speaks and he closes his eyes, not looking at her. He rubs a spot in the center of his forehead brow furrowing. He starts to say something, then winces and rubs his face. "Jena, I know what yer struggling with. I've been thar, believe me." He looks like he's been completely derailed.

Jena, who is still holding them, turns when Kostas addresses her, schooling her face as neutral as she can get it. "Yes, Sir. I'll turn them in now." And that's that. Without another word, she turns on her heel and walks out.

Kostas's gaze is stone cold as she watches the PO leave, eyes narrowing, as if she isn't sure that she trusts that those memorials get turned in—but is willing to decide to, for the moment. A muscle in her jaw leaps a few times, before with iron will she forces her wiry body into some semblance of something other than a ready-set posture, though her eyes are still a trifle more narrowed. "Let's hope th' payback hits an' hits hard," she says quietly to Reed. "Though we gotta make sure the folks on th' ground know it might mean some more attention." The pen is carefully tucked back behind her ear.

Reed does not comment on the interactions between Kostas and Jena. He does watch the parajumper walk out of the observation deck, a slight sigh. He turns back to Kostas "I am sure they will be turned in, Sir." Even if he has to make sure himself. He nods about the payback "I'll get an observation team, get the on the ground intel, then we can set it up for some serious hurt, Sir. Be good to hit them out of the blue instead of us always waiting for them to initiate contact."

Leightner turns from the room, walking to the chair he was in and collecting his case, tucking it under his arm as he starts out. He's not commenting on how that went, or what happened on either position. He's simply taking his leave of the room.

"I'm sure they will," Kostas says to Reed, with a roll of her shoulders and a soft crack of her neck, apparently willing to let it go. There's still a tension about her, but the armor is resettling. "Aye. I think we got the time, an' I'll fight f'r 't, but likely we just get th' one shot." She shakes her head slightly. "Some frakkin' paperwork that I don't mind doin' for once. Anything else ya need from me, 't make it happen?" As Leightner passes, she nods in farewell, clearly not expecting much of a response.

Leightner nods a simple goodbye to Kostas and Reed in turn as he takes the hatchingway out.

Reed just nods in response to Kostas's assurance. "One shot, I'll take it, Sir." He pauses a moment "Sure would like to get Lance Corporal Jast on that heavy again. We can possibly set up some claymores as well. Get the right time, get them in place before the canners show up, we would have them boxed." There comes a shrug "Need some demo types though. You get it approved, Sir, I will have you a good team."

Kostas chews at her lower lip in thought. "Normally I'd ask Ynyr t' go with EOD, since I know he got field trainin'. Elsewise, it's me that got th' trainin'. Dunno how I managed t' pass th' bar, but that's what I used ta do, before War Day. Scary, neh?" Her lips quirk into a smile, though now that the less familiar are out, the armor softens and there's a bit of sadness there. Only for a flicker, though, before the flash of a grin is back. "Ya might get stuck w' me. But I'll see if I c'n wrestle some other chops up too."

Reed just smiles "Sir, you weren't always an Officer," he reminds. As to what that might mean it leaves it unsaid. "But I am sure we could squeeze you into the team, Sir." Now there is the real joke and the smirk on him shows it. "Just let me know what you need from me Sir and it will happen."

Kostas claps Reed on the forearm briefly, kind of a bro-shake of sorts, marine-style. Her eyes still drift towards the door. Perhaps something in that interaction still disturbs her more than she's willing to acknowledge at present, but for the moment she's shaking it off. "A'ight then. Get goin' on puttin' together the rest of th' team, and I'll get crackin' on my end. Have t' finish up these reports anyhow."

That familiar two finger salute is given "Aye aye, Sir." With that he turns and heads out of the Observation deck to places unknown.

Kalum Jena 
Chapel
The chapel is one of the few quiet places to be found on a battlestar. Even rarer still, it's one of the few places that doesn't look like it's part of a battlestar. Heavy blue curtains have been hung from the walls, obscuring the bulkheads. The lights are kept low, adding a certain mystery and gravitas to the space. The central altar is made of a pale grey wood, as are the several rows of pews which extend from it. Laid against the far right wall is a long, low table with several rows of simple white votive candles to be used as vigil lights. Centered among them is a brass plate for burnt offerings from supplicants. Several cushions rest on the floor before the table, where the faithful may kneel to offer their prayers to the Lords and Ladies of Kobol. On the left wall are several compartments which have been sectioned off for private use.
AWD #297

Following the scene in the Obs Deck

"It's not about you, Jena.." Jena tells herself, just sitting back in one of the pews, eyes are opened but it looks as if there are a few tear tracks on her face. Her hands are empty and she's alone in here for now as far as she knows. Was it really selfish? She questions herself silently..

"Usually, when someone says something isn't about themselves…" Petty Officer Kalum begins quietly, leaning up against the hatch. "…It's a little bit about themselves, Cruz." He says in a deep and smooth voice. The PJ motions towards the hatch. "Sorry, hatch was already open, and didn't mean to over hear you…" He drifts forward, and leans up against the back of Jena's pew. "You alright?"

"I was just trying to convince myself or remind myself it isn't," Jena says quietly. She lifts her chin to regard Kalum quietly. "It's alright, I'm alright. Just needed to hear a few hard truths and reminders, that's all." She swipes the backs of her hands over her face. "How are you, Kalum?"

"I'm restless as always." Kalum says with a smile. "I don't want to be up here, but that never changes." He considers Jena for a moment, and her tears. "What hard truths did you have to learn, or maybe be reminded of?" He asks almost gently.

"I guess I was trying to carry burdens that don't belong to me. We left those men down there last night, the Marines. We had to, I understand that. But.. not forever. I kept hold of the coins when I shouldn't have, but I turned them in now, Ensign Kostas ordered me to. I'm not family, I had no right keeping them. I was only holding them until we could get them out.. I made a promise to every one of them. I don't leave people behind unless I have to, but.. yeah.. I frakked up."

"Maybe." Kalum says softly, laying a hand on Jena's shoulder. "Maybe not." The PJ takes a knee so his head is at a similar height to Jena's. "You care, and that is never a frak up. You want to keep your promises, even to the dead. That isn't a frak up. If you fraked up at all, from the sounds of it, you're trying to carry burdens that aren't yours." He intones deeply. "We have a lot of burdens in this life we have carry, no need to add to the weight." Slowly he rises. "If it helps any, our bodies are just shadows and dust in this life, and what made those men who they were was carried across the river Styx by the Ferryman long before you ever got there."

"I hope so.. but as I said in the beginning, I guess I was trying to make it about me. Not intentionally, not… selfishly," as she had been accused, "But just.. it wasn't about me and I understood that. They deserve better. That's all." Jena looks at him when he takes a knee and offers a partial smile, sort of crooked. "You being here to listen helps. You understand, don't you? We deal with death all the time, but it doesn't make us immune to it."

"We're Pararescue Jumpers. You know our motto. It's never about us. So, OTHERS may live." Kalum says as he rises to his feet. "However, that doesn't mean we can't feel for ourselves every so often. You're human. Not a robot. It's alright to have a selfish moment. I think you've learned from this, and don't have to keep worrying about it. There is more work to do tomorrow, so forget yesterday." He pats her shoulder again lightly. "Well, hopefully I helped some… You're right, it doesn't make us immune, but for me I remember my body is just shadows and dust. My soul is all that matters, and no man or cylon can kill that. Pray to the Gods, go have a drink, and I'll see you on the flight line tomorrow…"

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