MD #228: Not a Your Mum Joke
Not a Your Mum Joke
Summary: Yari comes to talk to Atticus, then Melissa gets to find out that Kelsey has been visiting other people
Date: 22/11/2017
Related Logs: Bad Night
Atticus Yari Melissa 
Brig - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The battlestar's brig is comprised of a line of four individual cells organized in separate walled-off bays. Each cell is six feet wide by eight feet long and possesses a bed and toilet. Whenever even one cell is occupied, so too is the metal desk and chair at the entrance hatch — and backup for the guard is never far away. Each cell has had their bars specifically reinforced to prevent a Line member from being able to gain access or escape. Brig rules are posted behind the desk on a white panel with blocked black lettering.

It's afternoon, and has been so for long enough that Atticus' lunch tray has already been removed by the duty MP. Still dressed in fleet PT gear he's currently sat on his bunk with two books and his tablet. One book he is clearly reading, the other he's scanning in page by page using the tablet, it takes time for the OCR software to work though, hence the first book.

So this is the brig. Yari treads through the hatch like a cautious mouse, both hands clutching her little tablet like a lifeline. A quick but efficient glance about the desk and its occupant make note of the 'rules' posted there, despite having read them and committed to memory every line in the manual. She gets rules. Appreciates them. Makes life onboard a little less nerve-wracking. "Corpsman Sawyer reporting to check on status of Mr Ommanney," she informs the guard on duty. /Her/, yes. Of course they sent /her/, spicy seafood extraordinaire. Perhaps anticipating what's churning behind that brow of piqued curiosity to greet her, she adds "I've not brought any midrats," and makes a show of turning out pockets. No smuggled goods here…

Does not immediately look up, not until he's finished his page, and set the tablet to work on the book he's scanning. Only then does he look up and see who is here. He's the only inhabitant, so it's either a guest for him or the MP. Noting it's Yari he isn't immediately sure how to react, so instead waits quietly to see if she's here for business or pleasure.

After getting the nod to help herself, Yari does her best to not appear intimidated by the heavily barred faces of penalty boxes surrounding her stride forward. They seem roomier than her box, at least. Course, she was only /in/ said box for 8-10 minutes of trial. Then the real fun began. "Atticus," she greets coolly and passes a swift glance over his homework. "I'm here to discern your post-discharge condition. They'd like an update on how you've been. Feeling. Any increase of headaches or…other symptoms?" A few fingers drum once on the back of her half raised tablet, eyes watching him like a hawk in attempts to sight any malaise herself.

The books that his 'homework' appear to be old but well-kept copies of various novels, certainly not the kind of thing you'd expect him to have been able to pull out of the ship's library. Setting them and the tablet aside carefully he stands when it's clear Yari is here officially, but keeps a cautious distance back from the bars. Listening to her questions he shakes his head slowly, "no, not since they died away." The first day or so after Miri did her thing were really quite bad, but not so since. "I mean, no headaches or such, there was the Ghost, but I'm told that's just a thing that happens, and not a sign I'm going crazy." He makes a joke of it, gently, not wanting to antagonise the medic.

Was that….humour? Yari isn't sure what to make of it, and lowers her eyes to her datapad. "I'm glad to see your newfound liberties are being spent productively," about the books. Precious, precious books. Either she's typing something in with elementary speed or simply fidgeting. Both are plausible possibilities. "A ghost on ship?" She clarifies, looking back up with a /little/ show of concern knit into her brow.

Hatch open, hatch closed. Melissa is in her flightsuit, top unzipped and tied around her hips. Casual look for the former Captain. She's got a small baggie that gets checked with the MP before she continues down. As she walks, she knocks on a bar. "Knock knock, Sir Atticus." Arriving, she crosses her arms and leans against the bar. "Came down to check on you. I can come back if I'm interrupting." There's a glance to Yari as if asking it of her also.

Atticus nods once to Yari, then points to the next cell along, "in there. I was in there too at the time." Then he asked to be moved. Haunted cell? No thanks. "One of the ship's pilots from the last war," he continues, "or so I'm told. Was sat in the corner and talked to me for a while. I reported it Lieutenant Zahav and Sergeant Ynyr when I saw them, but they and Commander Petra said it was real." He's clearly still weirded out by it himself, but he does at least seem to largely believe them. Mels' arrival catches him unawares, and he's almost startled by it, but recovers himself quickly before returning her greeting with a nod and a clarification, "please, just Atticus. Welcome back though, I'd've thought you'd had your fill of it here."

'Sir'. Yari's inner hackles are then oddly smoothed by Atticus' polite refusal of such title and she affords the entered pilot a small, sideways smile and nod of "You're of course welcome," before her gaze turns nervously to eyeball the adjacent cell. "I was not aware they were here, too," is all she says about the phantom visitor and lifts a hand to brush a curl off her forehead. Her fingers linger over the contusion there for a little rub, then hand falls to her side. Was it only a dream, then, after all? Must be. Her sons aren't on board, and this isn't her house. But news of Atty's encounter has got her spooked now, nevertheless.

Melissa only catches part of the point about ghosts. Something about something being real. Only half listening, probably. But Atticus recognizes that face. "Okay, Just Atticus, as you wish." Her Pican twang is probably the most casual thing on the ship. "If you prefer I can go and not come back. But unfortunately for you, I actually care. Somethin' about emotions close to the surface. Its one of those things I do that annoys me, but I'm a slave to it. So I either accept it and try to have fun with it, or I go bonkers trying to ignore it." Her hand lifts the bag. "I brought you bacon because I am your hero. Say it, 'Melissa Wescott is my hero.'" Her eyes drift to Yari and she gives her a wary eyeball. "You okay? You look like someone just walked over your grave or whatnot."

"It's not common, apparently," Atticus replies to Yari, in the hope that helps, but then his attention is drawn to Melissa, saying cautiously, "actually, I was told you'd be back." He doesn’t say exactly by whom, not yet, but instead waits to see if she's curious enough to ask. Eyeing the back in her hand he tilts his head slightly then looks to her, "it's not powered is it? Like the eggs?" He's clearly interested, but not quite prepared to jump through her hoop just yet.

<FS3> Yari rolls Presence: Failure.

"It's nothing, I'm sure," Yari flashes a fibber's smile back at the bacon-wielding hero. Her own Pican accent is subdued, having melded with the general mashup of dialects on Piraeus. "Silly superstitions." Or ptsd. Picking at something invisible under her collar, she makes an effort to focus on the bacon and rewind her memories back to the cottage life and contented grunts of live pigs. "From the livestock on Pitchfork?" she queries.
"Told I would be back? Well that's probably not exactly a reach, yanno? I came to see you in Sickbay, too. Held your hand, talked things over. It wasn't a date or anything but I'd like to think you don't hate me. I don't even know if you hated me before you-" Melissa flits her hand at him, "-changed your mind about stuff. Did Petra tell you I would? If so, he'd know." His last question has Mels look to Yari. "He wants to know if the bacon is powdered. That's adorbs," she laughs a little. "Here, Sawyer, you tell me if the bacon is powdered." Mels reaches into the bag and offers Yari a piece of bacon. A piece to be eaten in front of Atticus. And savoured. Mmmmmm. All he has to do is say those words. Mels looks back at him and holds the bag up by her head, shaking it side to side. "Oh I have no idea where they get bacon on Mother. Its not rat and it tastes like bacon so I'm happy. Probably a planet they trade with."

Atticus is now aware of both Pitchfork and mother, so Yari and Melissa are spared another round of catch-up questions at least. Instead he looks long and hard at Melissa, clearly trying to work something out in his head, before his eyes flick to the next cell once more and he shakes his head. "No, not Commander Petra," he starts, flicking his eyes to Yari and he continues, "I got a visit from a Ghost, they said it." It's a cop out, and he knows it, but he can't quite bring himself to say exactly who with a third party present. At the sight of Yari getting bacon though he caves on her demand. "Frak it, al right, Melissa Wescott is my hero. Can I have some bacon now?"

Adorbs? Yari looks to the bacon and cannot deny the instant rumble of belly. Her caloric intake hasn't increased much since her days as Mrs Dr Baltus, but she's definitely been exercised more and the residual softness of nursing motherhood has been rapidly shrinking and hardening into a leaner form. Yes, she wants the bacon. Before Atticus' humbling admission can earn him ALL the bacon though, she takes the piece and disappears it into mouth with one swift motion. *ChewChewChew*coughChew
Gods, it's good. She sidesteps just a little closer to Melissa and further from the indicated cell. "Least all they did was talk," she muffles from behind a polite palm, around an impolite mash of meat.

Not Petra. A Ghost. Capital-G. Melissa gives him an odd look. "A Raptor crewmember from my squadron, the Ghosts, told you I would be down here again? Or are you talking about rattling chains and a floating bedsheet sort of ghost? …Why do you keep looking at me like that?" Mels hears his relent, though, and grins prettily. "Thank -you-!" she prims before tossing the bag lightly to him. Half dozen pieces of bacon, still a little warm thanks to being wrapped in a napkin/blanket. Yari's mutterings gets a snorted a laugh. "Aw Atticus. Did someone come down here and flirt with you? Give you ideas of some hanky panky?" Mels offers with a waggled brow.

Atticus catches the bag easily enough, and is just sticking his hand inside to claim the first rasher as he shakes his head to Mels' misunderstanding. "No, well, sort of, she had the same squadron patch as you do now, but…" he can't think of a way to phrase it, but then there's the comment about flirting and his face turns to a weird mix of emotions. "Ugh, no!" he replies, backing up a step at the inference that is so vastly wide of the mark, "a Ghost as in a dead person." The bacon is mostly forgotten in his hand as he looks at her for a long time, then finally bites the bullet and comes out with it, "it.. they… she…" how do you gender a ghost? "She said she was your Mum."

"No!" Yari bleats with equal disgust, from a slightly different take on Mel's inference. She swallows it down /hard/ but is made to forget what might've come out next by that tiny detail Atticus adds to his ghost story. Oh. Oh my! The hairs are /definitely/ standing on end now and all she can do is stare at Melissa. It's shameful, it is, but it never occurred to her that those living shadows haunting Piraeus might dwell or originate from anywhere other than there, that frightful night. "Your mum?" she echoes softly. Suddenly, being the offspring of a 'cleric' feels less weird.

Melissa leans back on her hips a bit to look down at the sleeve tied around her hip. A single finger points to the patch. "Your ghost was wearing a Ghost patch just like mine?" That seems to get a little frown. Yari and Atticus might get the idea that her joke was meant because she probably thought they were pulling her leg. This is less amusing. And mentioning her mom? Melissa steps off the lean on the bars and lets her eyes flit from Atticus to Yari. "This isn't funny. My momma died on Piraeus while we were gone. If you're trying to make a gag out of this, you better remember why I was in this brig." She's not about to cry or anything, but the whole line of discussion clearly got a reaction out of her, leaving her upset.

<FS3> Yari rolls Mind: Success.

Atticus locks eyes with Melissa, or tries to at least. Yari isn't being ignored, he just wants to make things very clear with the pilot so she doesn't take things the wrong way. "No gag," he starts, shaking his head gently, "but a Ghost appeared, looked a lot like you, and said she was your Mum. I thought I must have been seeing things, but Sergeant Ynyr and Lieutenant Zahav said no, and Commander Petra seemed to agree with them. She was wearing the same gear you are, but looked younger, maybe Emily's age?" He shrugs faintly, unsure what else to say, "I swear to you on the Me.." he breaks off, realising what habit he'd fallen into and turning away from the pair of them at the shame of it.

Yari doesn't notice Atticus' slip-up, so no hateful looks from her. She's too busy staring at Melissa in a new, slightly horrified light. Wondering. There were a lot of faces paraded through the gallows. A lot. Individuals - some brave-faced, some shitting themselves. Entire families - children not spared punishment for their parents' alleged crime. The methods varied, but the outcomes were most always the same. Death. Can she place this face? Maybe. There were so very many. "I'm sorry," she whispers and drops a glassier stare to her feet.

Melissa stares at Atticus while he doubles down. There's no way Atticus could know that her mother looked a lot like Mels. Or how old she could have been when she was flying. The swear doesn't even seem to matter or where it might have been going. She then looks to Yari, suddenly realizing she's from Piraeus also, then she steps back and tries to recross her arms. Halfway through, she decides against it and the whole effort looks awkward and uncomfortable. "So you talk to my mom. And what did momma have to say to you?" 'and not to me.' Jealousy? Maybe a little.

Atticus takes a moment to compose himself again, then turns back to the pair of them. His head is slightly bowed though, and he doesn't quite look Mels in the eye as he answers her question. "She said that I needed to know who I was, and where I came from. That I wasn't two irreconcilable people, but that I to find a way to figure things out." The bag of bacon is sitting forgotten in his hand as he continues, "she told me that you'd be stopping by again, that you'd been demoted, although I think that was only because I called you Captain. There was stuff about questions that are to come, but mostly it was about working out who I am." He's skipped a lot of the details, but now doesn't entirely seem like the right time to recant everything that was said in the entire conversation.

Those are a lot of words from a Ghost, Yari figures. All she'd heard her houseguest say was 'move'. Persuasive gun pointing had dominated most of that conversation. They might've said more, but it was hard to hear around the bawling and whining of two squirmy and one combative children. "Excuse me," she mumbles. "I should report back to medical." And possibly psych. The bacon feels like it might climb back out her oesophagus at any moment and she'd rather not be /here/ when it does. "I'll tell the Doctor you're well," she says for Atticus' benefit, whatever reassurance it's worth to know he's not going to be abducted and returned to sickbay. Melissa gets a tight-lipped smile and nod on her way by. That hatch can't seem to open soon enough.

Melissa looks at Atticus and her expression drifts away from the anger and indignity and more towards general sadness. "That doesn't sound like Momma. Mom was troubled. She never really knew what peace was from what I could tell. My great gramma said that my momma had a heart full of fire and it burned her down over time." There's a look to Yari, then back to Atticus. "Working out who you are?" Mels finally hugs herself and looks down. "My mother visited you to tell you that you should work out who you are. Who are you Mister Atticus?"

Atticus almost suggests that perhaps it must have been something taking Kelsey's form, then stops himself, as that likely would be worse. "She said I was a Colonial, like the rest of you, and that those who'd died on Piraeus three thousand years ago were our lost brothers and sisters. She said I shouldn't just abandon the last twenty years though, that it was part of me, and that I should be proud of the good bits." He doesn't sound convinced by all of it, but he does try and report with relative accuracy. He gives Yari a nod as she departs, then starts picking at the cooling bacon. "Who do I think I am though? Fraked if I know."

Melissa listens, eyes down. The whole topic is clearly still upsetting to her but she isn't running from it. Face it head on and deal with it like an adult. 'Not like mom would have.' That thought crosses her mind and she winces, rubbing a hand over her face. It wasn't fair and she knew it. All those nights arguing with herself over it all. "If my momma said that to you, then you might wanna listen," she offers quietly. "Nobody hated the loyalists and APF more than her. And they hated her so much that they tried to kill her with a suicide hit. She was one of the more famous Sixty. She won a bunch of medals for killing people like you used to be. Momma wouldn't have appeared to you if she thought you were made of shit." Her expression is still pointed towards the floor. "Sounds like you might want to figure out who you are, then. We had ghosts on Piraeus. Even saw a few myself. I've seen them fire their weapons in anger and kill. Whatever they are, whoever they are, you don't want to frak with them. That girl you were just talking to, Yari? We pulled her off Piraeus during the rescue. Yamoha's soldiers killed a lot of the loyalists only an hour or two before we landed our skids on the dirt."

"I listened," Atticus notes quietly, "it just might take some time. It's easier to just say the last seventeen years were someone else, but they weren't, and I need to work out how everything fits." From his tone he means it when he says it won't happen quickly, but he is at least trying. Picking at another piece of bacon he nods as she gives a rundown of Yari's past, but says nothing, there's not much for him too say really.

Silence lingers while Melissa considers how it was worded. She's clearly not upset with Atticus. Maybe her mother, though, for visiting him and not her. The woman sighs and turns to go. "If you see her again, tell her that I love her and miss her." There's a flickered smile before she heads back for the hatch. She needs to think on this.

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