AWD #008: Of Fire and Blood
Of Fire and Blood
Summary: Holtz asks Sebastian about the fate of his homeworld. He doesn't take the news well.
Date: 08/01/2013
Related Logs: Recon of Helios Alpha
Holtz Sebastian 
Rec Room
With several smaller rec rooms spread throughout the ship, this one is the largest by far and is the primary recretion location aboard the ship. Longer than it is wide, with several hatches in and out, the room is divided by load-bearing beams that section it off into even thirds. There are a dozen tables, couches, and coffee tables set up — though all of the tables and chairs are the drab metal of the rest of the fleet. The couches seem to have been purchased privately and moved in here at some point in the past, heavy use and careful patching evident. Magazines are strewn around randomly, as are racks of books, plus a couple flatscreen televisions set up. Along one wall are several billiards tables, along with a bar for coffee and snacks.
January 13, 2005

It's the morning after the deputy CAG and his ECO returned from Helios Alpha, Raptor crammed full of critically wounded people from an apparently still-contested Picon. Sebastian has a large cup of half-finished coffee at his side as he sits in front of one of the TVs, playing Call of Cylons. The coffee looks like standard Colonial Fleet brew: dark as sin, thick as mud, and enough to send someone ass over appetite; the ECO is drinking it like it's water.

Lieutenant Kurt Holtz sits alone in the rec room, slouched in one of the metal chairs with a folded-open magazine clutched in one hand, not far from the TVs and Sebastian. A steaming cup of tea sits on the table in front of him. A hand reaches up, idly scratching the stubble on his face as he flips through the magazine — an old sports rag from Tauron, apparently. The cover says something about the 2003 Colonial Pyramid finals… not exactly recent news. It doesn't seem to matter much to Holtz, though, who barely seems to even be reading the thing judging from the distant expression on his face.

Maybe before the war the ECO spent his CAPs playing Call of Cylons on his ECM station. Either way, the dark-eyed Canceroni is holding his own for most of the game. But with a snort of disgust, he throws the controller down as his lil' marine is completely frakked. "Raiders don't do that." He says in disgust to the screen, grabbing his coffee and giving it a deep drink before rubbing his eyes.

Holtz tosses down the magazine; it lands on the table with a soft sound. His head turns to one side, drawn by Sebastian's sudden statement, as he takes a pull from his own mug. "Yeah, well, I think the programmers just assume if they get it wrong, most of their audience is too dumb to know any better," he remarks sardonically in the ECO's direction.

"They didn't even get the KEW right." Sebastian says wryly, "So much for 'real military advisors'" He shakes his head. "Still, I guess if I want the real thing, I know where to find them." Somehow, he makes that sound moderately cheerful, although his dark eyes are tired-looking.

"Eh, they probably found a couple old retired paper pushers desperate enough for a paycheck to make up some bullshit and call it military realism," Holtz snorts. Then he's quiet for a moment, a thoughtful look directed at the other man… and then abruptly, he snaps his fingers. "Hey, Booboo." He stands up, crosses over to the couch where Sebastian is sitting, and leans down, bracing himself with his hands against the back of it. His voice is quiet. "Didn't I hear you were slated to backseat the Alpha recon with the DCAG?"

Sebastian's dark eyes quietly regard Holtz, taking in the tattoos and his general demeanor. He then closes his eyes briefly, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly as he shifts to face Holtz. "Yes." He says, voice equally quiet and calm. "Guessing you're wanting to find out the skinny? Pop a squat. I'll tell you what I can." He smiles, wryly.

"Yeah," Holtz says as he moves over, grabbing a seat across from Sebastian. The Viper pilot leans forward, his arms resting on his knees. "I heard from one of the other recon crews there were still survivors on Picon," he adds a moment later, a wooden expression on his face. "So I guess they're not just bombing the frak out of everything, then." Is that hope in his voice? "What about… what about Tauron?" The older man's eyes fix onto Sebastian's, worry warring with the faint remains of hope on his features.

Sebastian doesn't have to say a thing, really. His expression is full of enough regret and empathy that it speaks volumes. But he speaks slowly, all the same. "Tauron is glass." He says quietly, calmly. "They hit it hard enough to turn the surface to glass. The surface is glass and fire, with constant fire storms and high enough radiation levels to kill a man in less than a day, even if he could survive the fires."

And just like that, the wooden expression is back in place. Holtz leans back slowly; although his features are frozen as he stares at the ECO, the smoldering glint in his eyes speaks volumes. "Glass," he repeats listlessly, his sonorous baritone quieting to a level just above a whisper. Slowly rising to his feet, he starts to pace in front of Sebastian, his steps short and rigid. His mouth opens and shuts several times in quick succession, but no words come out.

"Minos is more or less intact." Sebastian doesn't lose his cool, calm expression, although his eyes follow Holtz' pacing, and he talks in that quiet, calm tone to give Holtz time to actually formulate thoughts and rein in emotions. "Radiation levels are much lower, all the infrastructure still in place. Except the space ports. I imagine several people fled to the moon from the planet." To slowly die of radiation poison over the course of a year, watching their planet burn. But Sebastian doesn't add that bit.

Holtz might not look like he's paying attention, pacing about and staring into nothingness as he is, but he hears every word. As Sebastian continues, the older pilot's hands start to shake ever so slightly as the words sink in. "Hypatia…" Likely his hometown, from the way he says the name. "… is gone. It's all gone. They killed them all." He finally manages to get words out again, though his voice is cracking badly as the well of emotions he'd been suppressing for the last week or so comes rushing back. Eyes flick back to Sebastian for a moment before going distant again, and a tear rolls down his cheek.

The ECO doesn't bother repeating what he said about Minos, or attempting to offer hope that could be false. "From what I remember of the history books, Tauron was the site of some of their greatest defeats during the First War." Sebastian says quietly, calmly, but with his dark eyes full of empathy. "And it has produced some of the greatest warriors in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. I can't tell you that I understand how you feel, Storm. The recon for Canceron hasn't returned yet. But I can tell you that as long as you and people like you draw breath, what made them hit Tauron so hard isn't dead."

Holtz' pacing has led him away from the couches a bit, back towards the metal wireframe tables where he'd been seated earlier. His green-grey eyes are still flicking about wildly, and his hands snake up almost of their own volition, grabbing handfuls of his hair as a pained grimace stretches across his features. "No, it isn't," he says in agreement, as he directs another look at the ECO. Cold fury wells up in his eyes as the edges of his mouth twitch. "And I swear to all the gods above and below I'm going to make those metal motherfrakkers regret not finishing the job." Hands grip the edge of one of the tables. "Blood calls out for blood!"

And suddenly, a roar borne of both fury and grief tears loose from his throat as he throws the surprisingly light metal table aside; a loud clang follows as it bounces off another table and onto the floor. Another follows in quick succession, the stack of papers and magazines atop it falling and fluttering to the floor. And then his sudden outburst of fury is over, as quick as it began; there's a light sheen of sweat on his face as he sinks to his knees, chest heaving as he gasps for breath.
GAME: Save complete.

Throughout all this, Sebastian doesn't lose his cool. Then again, he is the guy that watched Caprica being bombed without losing the presence of mind to snap pictures when a corpse bounced off his bird. For identifying the body and thus whatever ship it came from. "The colonies are a family. Hurt one of us, and you hurt us all." Sebastian says quietly, "When the time comes, Storm, we will all answer the call for blood."

The ECO gets to his feet, snagging a bottle of water and a towel. "The people of Minos and whatever refugees that could escape Tauron for the moon are still alive. Picon is still standing, and fighting the Cylons down to the kids." Water is offered to Holtz as Sebastian crouches down beside him. "And that's just the little I saw. We'll make them pay, Holtz."

Holtz' hand is still quivering slightly as he accepts the proferred water bottle, whether from the sudden burst of adrenaline or the lingering flood of emotions. He takes a long drink. "Kids," he echoes. "My daughter…" His voice trails off. With Tauron and Caprica both bombed flat, it's likely his daughter didn't even know what killed her. With a long exhale, Storm finally seems to collect himself, and slowly rises to his feet.

The towel is thrown over the back of Holtz' neck after he takes the water, and Sebastian rises from the crouch. "C'mon, man." Sebastian says, nodding towards the exit. "Lets get your ass to the gym." He offers a smile that's wry but not amused. "Can't have you pulling a Dub and breaking the TV. It's the end of the world. Hard to get replacements." For all the levity, his eyes remain empathic.

Holtz offers a pale ghost of a smile in return. "Can't just run down to Colonial Electronics any more, I guess." He nods at the mention of the gym, and grabs the towel, wiping away at the layer of sweat and the streak of a tear on his face. "And if we could… I doubt they'd have much of a selection." Despite the attempt at dry humor, his tone is still somewhat pained. Nevertheless, he follows Sebastian's lead willingly enough, draping the towel back over his shoulder as he heads for the hatch.

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