AWD #021: Moderation
Summary: Phin and Thaddeus chill on the Obs Deck, and share tidbits of wisdom they've learned from Marines in their lives.
Date: 27/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: The Great Paintball War of 2005
Phin Thaddeus 
Observation Deck — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
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.
Sun Jan 27 2005

It's the day after The Great Paintball War of 2005 — the /First/ Great Paintball War, if the bruised egoes of the Marines have anything to say about it — and most of those who attended the Air Wing campout have returned to the Orion.

One of those is Thaddeus — an early casualty in the 'war', having turned his back to the oncoming enemy to bark 'suggestions' to a couple particularly tactics-challenged pilots and catching a paintball for his efforts. Stretched out on one of the couches, he seems to be doing little more than smoking, frowning, and nursing his war-wound; the dull red rubber of a hot water bottle pokes up from behind his shoulder.

Phin indeed back on the Orion. He made it to the end, and glorious victory, in said paintball war, but he isn't obnoxiously swaggering or anything as he makes his way onto the Obs Deck. He spent the night under the stars and lent some manual labor to the construction of the temple, but he didn't linger on the surface as long as some. He enters the deck with his earbuds in, and a music/culture magazine that he likely purchased in anchorage at Virgon. He almost wanders right past Thaddeus, but the smell of smoke makes him stop, and offer the Raptor pilot a polite nod of his head. He even pops his headphones out and says, "Evening, sir."

Thaddeus's chin lifts in a mute up-nod of greeting as Phin goes past; when the earbuds are popped out, he plucks the cigarette from his mouth, ashes it off the edge of the couch — there's an ashtray down there somewhere, some of the ashes probably landed in it — and says, "Nice job down there, Dolly. Thought we might finally get a victory strut out of you." Slivers of his teeth flash for a moment in a faint grin.

Phin chuckles, reaching up to run his fingers through his hair. Or over the top of his now shorter locks. He still seemingly hasn't gotten used to the lack of bangs. He shrugs. "Thanks. It was mostly just luck, though. They had us pinned down at the end, could've gone either way. All I did was stay low and stick with Milkshake. Farm girl can handle a rifle." There is no shortage of admiration for the blonde ECO in his tone. "Get to skip Alert Five for awhile, I think, which makes it worth it. Shift seems to drag forever when you're just sitting there, nothing to do but think."

"Never knew a farm girl that couldn't," Thaddeus affirms, eyes lowered to study the gleaming end of his ciggie. The corners of his lips twitch again, but whatever thought spurred it remains unspoken. Instead, he refills his lungs with smoke, blows it out toward the ceiling. "Doesn't make you a puffed-up prat to be proud of how you did, you know?" he says as he shifts his weight slightly against the water-bottle.

"I'll take your word for it, sir," Phin says, as to farm girls, folding himself into a chair neighboring Thaddeus. "I'm a city boy. Girls I knew growing up were better with switch blades. Though I guess it gets a guy to the same place, once you get past the method." He shrugs, and seems about to leave it at that, unfolding his magazine. Though he doesn't get to reading it beyond skimming. "I mean, I'd rather win than lose. Don't get me wrong. I just…don't want to put too much on something like that. Wasn't real, y'know? Not like you can count on being lucky if it is."

"Fair," says Thaddeus, sounding distracted as he finishes adjusting his slouch into the corner of his couch. He finally gets it Just Right, if the deep sigh he gives is any evidence, then points his cigarette at Phin and his glossy magazine full of beautiful dead people. "'Don't sell yourself too short- nobody will ever pay more than you do.' Something someone told me, once. You're a smart kid, though- just keep it in mind." His head flops back against the backrest and he spends half a minute or so trying to blow smoke rings at the ceiling. Once he finally succeeds at one he says, "You cross-training in the Predators, Dolly, or you letting someone else worry about those things?"

Phin seems not to expect what Thad says as he points to his magazine. Or know quite how to respond. And the ensign's supply of semi-glib, semi-self-deprecating responses is usually pretty bottomless. "Who's the someone, sir?" he finally asks. "Who told you that, once?" About the Predators, he nods. "Yeah. I qualified back in flight school, actually, but my scores were never up where my Vipers stuff was. I never worried about it too much. Didn't worry about a lot of things. Anyway. I've got some sim time blocked out for it. And Milkshake had some extra hours she was going to spend in there with that deckie, Wescott, that she doesn't know what to do with now. So we're going to practice together."

Thaddeus's lips purse, as if he's intrigued by something Phin said. "Wescott finally decide to go back to something she's good at?" he asks. "If wanting to be a pilot made someone a good pilot we'd all be one." He blows out a smoky snort like a frown-prone dragon. "Milkshake did a damn good keeping Butch's ass in one piece. Worse ECOs you could train with, that's for frakking sure."

"Don't know what's going on with her," Phin replies, as to the deckie. "I don't know how good she is at what, really. Might just never have had the opportunity. I probably would've enlisted and gone to A-school, got some experience that way too, if my Academy acceptance hadn't come through." He shifts a little, though he's well upwind of Thaddeus' smoking. "I'll get in some time with a senior officer, too," he promises quickly. Even though the man didn't really object to him working out with another ensign. "We work well together, though. I mean, not that we've flown together in a pilot-co-pilot thing. But we went through the CFA together on Leonis. Used to study together. Worked out well. So…similar principle."

"The only person on the Orion with any seniority on those damn Predators is the Old Man Himself- and I doubt he's got the time for training." Smirk. Thaddeus ashes his cigarette again, thumbnail flicking the filter a couple or three times more than necessary. "My sergeant," he says abruptly. His pale eyes blink back into focus on Phin. "Back in the Marines. My sergeant told me that. Never forgotten it. It's moderation, maybe- moderation in everything. Humility included."

"Moderation. Right." Phin's eyes flick to the window, and the view of Piraeus is provides. "First Marine I ever met told me I was a punk who couldn't drive stick worth a damn." Which makes him chuckle, albeit wryly. "Then he saved my life. Me and my brother's. I know what I am, sir. I am…really, really lucky."

"Might've just been telling the truth. Maybe you can't drive stick worth a damn." Thaddeus's teeth flash again for just a second. He considers his cigarette again, thumbnail making it waver back and forth between his fingers. Moderation in all things, he said — including privacy, it seems, because he looks up again and asks, "So what sort of fix were you and your brother in that the Marines pulled you out?"

"I couldn't. Car had the dents to prove it," Phin says with another soft, wry chuckle. The question does not get an immediately satisfying answer. "I got better, though." He settles back into that chair, watching the stars. "Was just one Marine, sir. Singular. Wasn't like you're thinking. It was just some bullshit from a long time ago." Another stretch of silence. Phin guards his privacy fairly closely, however sociable he might sometimes manage to be. Though, after a beat, he does reply, "He was a colonel, retired. We stole his car. It was one of those big Picon-made jobs. Heavy town car. Drove like a boat. If we'd stuck with a Caprica assembly-line automatic, probably could've cleared the city before the cops tracked the plates."

Thaddeus's only reply for several seconds is his cigarette dangling, unsmoked, between his fingers, and his eyebrows climbed up his forehead. "No shit?" he finally says, a tone of warm amusement in his voice. "And here you are now, clean enough to squeak. Hunh." Colour the Captain surprised, by the sounds of it. "Sounds like he made one hell of an impression on the both of you. Funny how the big shit screams in outta no where like that, isn't it?"

Phin shrugs, blue eyes shifting back to Thaddeus. Not without some effort. "Everything looks spit-polished in an officer's uniform, sir. Anyway. Instead of chucking us to juvie he cut a deal with the 'Bay city judge, had us sent to an Ares school. They take 'reform' cases." As well as plenty of students from hardcore Ares worshipping families, or just military folk who like the discipline for their kids. "I hated it. It was a road somewhere else, though. Take what you can get, right?"

"Mmn." Thaddeus pulls a final drag off his cigarette and frowns at his boots. With a sigh — and a faint wince that twitches at the corners of his eyes — he leans forward and crushes out his cigarette in the ashtray resting on the floor. "Hated some of my tattoos, after the fact, but never did get one of something I hated at the time." There's a mild lift of one eyebrow at the Viper pilot, Just So. "You're right, though," he continues, neatly negating the need for Phin to defend his tattoo. "Take what you can get- might be the only thing you will." He chuckles softly. "Shit, and my flask in my bunk. I'd drink to that."

Phin looks down at the scripture he does, indeed, have etched into his right forearm. "A lot of stuff there…the Lord of War tells you to live your life in a way I've never really felt like fit. Ares is…not big on humility. Or a lot of other things. Gave me something, though. And there were parts of it I wanted to keep. Like this one." He touches the script. "You can be grateful to somebody for saving your life, even if they turn out to be kind of an asshole." He half-smiles. "Mostly I just wanted to remember…yeah. Take what you can get, because it might be all you get."

"Compassion. Temperance. Moderation. Mercy. Who needs that shit anyway, right?" Insert one /very/ wry smirk, here. With a huff of breath, Thaddeus pushes himself to his feet and collects his water-bottle, eyeing it as dubiously as a child eyes a spoonful of medicine, before he looks back to Phin. "Not everyone learns to make something out of what they're given, Dolly. You did good for yourself." Before the compliment can dangle awkwardly in the air between them, he gives the Viper pilot another up-nod and starts to amble toward the door. "Time to sack out. Enjoy the rest of your night."

"Right. Those things." Phin's half-smile crooks into a smirk. He shrugs. "I knew a lot of kids who deserved a second chance for more than we did and never got it. I got lucky and did what I could with it. But thanks, sir." Before the man goes, he adds, awkwardly, "Umm…look, not like I have any secrets from the Fleet. They do a pretty thorough background check before enlistment, everything anybody needs to know about me's in my file but…" Another shrug. "…I mean, some stuff's nobody's business, y'know? Don't know why I got to thinking about it tonight."

Thaddeus pauses at the hatch and looks back at Phin. "Don't sweat it," he says. "I'll keep it quiet." There's a brief, barely-there grin, and then he turns for the door.

"Cool," Phin replies to Thaddeus, focus going back to space once the Raptor pilot is gone. He just keeps looking at it rather than his magazine, popping his headphones back in and giving himself a soundtrack to think by.

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