PWD #30: Passing The Torch
PWD #30: Passing The Torch
Summary: Ella and Noble meet for the first time. A veteran of Piraeus welcomes the newcomer.
Date: 07/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Immediately follows the eve/nts of Pollution Done Right
Ella Noble 
Checkpoint Charlie's
The first structure completed on Piraeus was a 'recreation center' that was thinly veiled as such. Checkpoint Charlie's is in every other way a blue collar bar with an unsurprising bent towards the military establishment. Camouflage netting hangs from the ceiling with some kind of dried vine tangled throughout. On the walls are pictures and mementos of times past on the planet they currently reside on. There are a few billiards tables smuggled out to Piraeus specifically for this location, along with card tables and an fully functional line of taps and kegs mounted to, perhaps unsurprisingly, a beat-up but taken-care-of oak bar. The matching stools and wood tables seem to indicate that the construction workers may have disassembled someone else's bar back on the Colonies. The story even goes that the name is taken from a former bar on Aerilon that happened to resemble, very closely, this particular establishment.
Dec 06, 2004

Ella is back at the bar, where Noble left her, the gifted drink still barely touched in front of her. The other two women have departed, but another man has taken Lola's place at the bar next to Ella. He's been here for awhile, if his drunken leer is any indication, and he appears to be trying to chat her up. Ella rolls her eyes at whatever his last line was, and quips back, "Really? Has that line /ever/ worked on anyone?"

The crowd never parts for Noble when he's not carrying a gun. This means that he'll have to round the tables and sideways walk through standing bodies on his way back to the bar. He almost passes Ella, assuming that he just hasn't found the group of three women that he was speaking to last, but the tone of her voice reaches his ears and he's forced dead in his drags. With a swaying of cigarette smoke from the one that dangles between his lips, he makes brief eye contact with Ella. She's alone. Alone? He looks over her shoulder, then to the man whom she's speaking to. Oh, they left. He seems to say, and then straightens to listen to what the man has to say next. After all, the man has his barstool.

"Well as a matter of fact…" The drunk fellow chuckles, then leans in a little to say, "You know, you have the prettiest eyes." Ella leans back a little, a disgusted look on her face. She happens to catch Noble's eye about then, and gives an elaborate big smile. "Leo! Hey, I'm glad you're back."

That little smirk of recognition crosses Noble's face. Leo's the code word for get this guy off of me, which as most marines normally are, Noble is more than obliged. "Hey there, little sister." Noble replies to Ella, giving her a subdued wink as he plants a hand down on the man's shoulder. It's friendly enough, but it gives him a little nudge back away from her with a less than friendly air of that's more than enough. Clearing his throat, he plucks his cigarette from his lip with his left hand and moves into the gentleman's field of vision. "Hey, I know this is awkward and everything but we're here doing a working lunch type thing, going over for some stuff from tomorrow. Can I have her back for a bit, pal?" Of course…always lead with polite.

Ella's smile turns to one of relief when Noble steps in. The drunk's first reaction to Noble's hand on his shoulder is to sneer in annoyance. "Me 'n the lady here were just getting to know each other, /pal/," he replies, his speech distinctly slurred. Ella jumps in with the polite approach as well, clapping him on the shoulder. "Yeah, y'know it's been fun and all, but really… I should be getting back to work with Leo here. Thanks though."

"Pal is right, pal." Noble replies to the drunk, giving the man another friendly, let's-not-make-this-an-issue smile. "Honestly, I hate to do this, too, because you seem a good enough guy, so let's do this. I'll give you this voucher." He sets one of his drink vouchers down next to the ashtray. "And you get yourself a couple of beers, enjoy yourself, do your thing. I'm not taking this lady from you. She's not mine to take, you know, but frak it all when things get necessary that necessary things get done and we'll talk bar soon." Noble speaks in utter confusing-tongue, throwing out a sentence that makes no sense whatsoever while he reaches behind Ella. Nudging to guide her up by the small of her back, he starts to lead her away from the bar towards one of the tall tables with matching high-chairs closer to the pyramid ball toss game.

"Just…walk natural and caaaasual, Ella." He snickers. "Your wingman has arrived."

The drunk just looks kinda baffled by Noble-speak, a deep frown knitting his brows. He picks up the voucher though, and then points to Ella with an exceptionally cheesy thumb-and-finger point. "Next time, darlin'."

Ella just gives him a wry smirk. "Yeah, we'll see…" She scoops up her drink and goes along when Noble nudges her out of her seat. They're barely a few steps away when she adds under her breath, just loud enough for Noble to hear, "When hades freezes over." She shakes her head, and then glances over at Noble. "Who knew I'd get to use the Leo card so soon, eh? Guess I owe you one." She smiles as she sits at the high table. "Thanks, wingman."

Noble spares a quick glance to the bar before coming to a stop at the empty table. His arm departs from her back and he motions for her to sit, waving her forward with his cigarette marking the air like a glowstick. He glances her over to see that she isn't harmed, not that she would be. The drunk was likely in far more danger than she was.

"Anytime." Noble replies, sliding one hip onto his stool and motioning for one of the waitresses. "I mean, I hate to steal you away from that prime specimen. After all, you're a girl in a bar, how could being a girl in a bar not mean that you wanted the attention, right?" He smiles to her, offering her one of his cigarettes. "So did everyone bail on you, or was I being too weird and now they're hiding from us?"

The drunk has merrily cashed in his drink voucher for another round that's probably the last thing he needed. But he doesn't seem to put off by the whole thing.

Ella smirks. "Oh, yeah, it's completely understandable. I suppose it's cruel of me to lead him on so…" She gives a theatrical sigh, then glances back to where they were sitting. "I'm not sure actually. I went over to say hi to someone, and when I got back they were gone. Maybe they're hiding from both of us."

"Well…frak it, their loss, right? I'm glad you stuck around, this way we'll get to hang out a little bit and I won't be stuck feeling like some solo operator. If that happened, you never know, I might end up making a bad call like that guy did." He laughs a little, pausing for a drag from his cigarette. "Not that I'd ever use cheesy lines like that. I'm Simon. I think I've seen you around before, but we've never really met." He offers a hand to shake.

"Cheers to wingmen, then," Ella says with a smile, lifting her glass in a slight toast. "I'm Ella. Nice to meet you," she reaches over to shake his hand. "I actually just came on at the anchorage. How about you?"

"Really? You look familiar. Maybe I'm just crazy." Noble replies, giving her hand a firm squeeze and then promptly tapping a glass against hers. The beer is cold on his lips and the frosted mug gives it that chilled-over taste. When he's finished, he sets the mug back down on the square, paper coaster. "I'm actually on my second hump. I'm one of those guys that didn't get much leave time between the two legs, so I'm getting a little bit extra down here." He taps his cigarette over the ashtray, eyes on hers. "So what do you do and where'd they pick you up from, Ella? Are you a fresh rook?"

"Or maybe my evil twin managed to get assigned to the same ultra top secret 'deep space mining op'," Ella says with a chuckle, using actual air quotes with her fingers. "Most likely you just saw me around the mess hall or something. I'm a Corpsman. Nothing special. Spent the last couple years on an assault landing ship. How about yourself? How'd you end up here?"

"Here? Oh, man, Ella there's not really much explanation to give about that, but I'll do my best." He shuffles on his barstool just a little, settling into some kind of uncle jessie's about to tell you one posture. He furrows his brow and looks across the table to her, idly thumbing the handle of his beer mug. "So…I wasn't really going anywhere to begin with? I was working motor pool out of Big-Cap and someone fingered me to be an optional on this long eighteen month deployment with outrageous pay? I signed on. I…" One of his eyes narrows, the other bulges a little bit. He deflates just a little, smiling as he doesn't know quite else how to explain it. "…just kind of went with it. I figured this would be an easy-as-frak post, and it has been. It's cake, you're gonna love it here, Ella, even if it's a little quiet."

He lets a pregnant pause fall into place, lifting his chin a little. "But you don't mind the quiet so much, right?"

Ella plays along with the uncle jessie routine, leaning forward with her elbows on the table and an expectant (and somewhat bemused) look on her face. She smiles to the explanation. "Well, I didn't sign on to a mining op expecting fireworks, so I suppose 'quiet' comes with the territory." She shrugs a little. "Bunch of the guys on the last cruise got a little stir crazy, nothing much to do, but I didn't mind it so much. Change of scenery." She taps the edge of her glass and eyes him skeptically. "You don't strike me as the kind who loves the quiet."

"You know, it's not the quiet so much as the cramped quarters. I think that if I could get a bunk or maybe an apartment with a morning walk to the base down here I'd be aces, but really up there all I have is a bunk and this well-worn path between the barracks, the head, the mess, and three or four other places. If you just so happen to be in the Rec and pick up a video game controller and see a stream of high-scores in awkward three-letter acronyms or SDN, then you've got a pretty good log of what I've been doing the last year or so." He smiles just a little and stubs out his cigarette, unable to hide that he's really not as bored as he tries to play. Something about the security of not having much to answer for in life at a boring post makes him secure. It's the edge of the colonies, and he's found a cushioned easy-street of a job.

"So…you know…" He smiles a rather boyish smile to her, lightly tapping the side of his head against the wall for emphasis. The little chuckle is thrown in for flavor. "…if you have any hobbies or ideas to help me from going out of my mind, I'm all ears, Miss Ella."

"Yeah, I can understand that. Living aboard ship takes some getting used to. 'Course for me - I grew up in the big city, so all this space is something different." She chuckles. "You've already beat me to my suggestion, which was going to be video games. Cards? Pyramid?"

"I do cards, yeah, a little bit of pyramid." Noble takes up his beer and salutes her with the mug. "Maybe the new blood on the ship will give me new people to talk to, right? We've got a Triad game we pack in from time to time. It's a little bloodthirsty, people betting on bottles of hooch, oranges, chocolate, other sundry items. If you're interested I could come by and bring you along one of these days." He reaches to the back of his head, scratching softly. "I feel like I'm talking your ear off. What about you? You're from a big city you said? Which one? Folks? Brothers…sisters…dark shady past working for crime lords?"

Ella sips at her drink. "Never played Triad, so I'd probably be eaten alive. But maybe I could come watch sometime? I'm sure it beats watching the same vids over and over in the Rec Room." She shakes her head. "No crime lords, but I did once 'borrow' a car with a Tauron kid from the neighborhood." Actual air quotes again there, and a grin. "Does that count for an honorable mention?" Shrugging slightly after that, she says off-hand, "As for the rest of it - I guess I'm pretty boring."

"Boring? Oh come on, no one's really boring. There's just people that think they're boring." Noble replies, challenging her just a little bit. "Take your honorable mention for example. This kid you borrowed the car with? Who was driving? Because that means either you were willing to steal a car to meet up with this person, a boy, right? That or he stole a car to get time with you." He slips a cigarette from his pack, pausing to offer her one. "Why Corpsman? What moment in your life mad you want to be a doc and not a rifle?"

Ella smirks at his challenge. "Yeah, okay, maybe I was trying to impress him a bit. Run with the bad boy crowd for awhile," she admits, a little sheepishly. "He got it started, I drove. Criminal masterminds, I tell you. We just wanted to joyride for awhile, always put them back where we found them. More or less." She chuckles a little at the memory, then shakes her head to the offer of a cigarette. "No thanks." The question about her career choice causes her to take a drink as she reflects. "/That/ is a question that will definitely take more than one beer to answer. Is this even beer?" She eyes the drink skeptically.

"Mostly, I think? I have to admit I wasn't really sure what was in it when I handed it to you, but it looks like a beer that's had a shot of something dropped into it." One of Simon's eyebrows crooks towards her in an almost apologetic way. It looked like a good drink at the time, and the nature of the operation on Piraeus made it very unlikely that someone would drug the beer.

He casually lights his cigarette and sighs a small cloud of smoke away from her. It's only polite. He holds it to the side of the table so that her non-smoker's lungs will remain chaste and pure. "So this guy, old boyfriend of yours? Less creepy than your most recent boyfriend?" He grins, teasing her with a nod of his head in the direction of the bar. Her other boyfriend has passed out.

"I see it comes with a stellar recommendation," Ella smirks at the beer - or whatever it is. She shrugs. "It's good, anyway." She follows his look at the bar and just shakes her head in amusement. "Definitely less creepy, but that wouldn't take much." Another sip of the maybe-beer, and she asks, "So what about you? Any criminal escapades or creepy ex-girlfriends to dish about?"

"You had to ask that, didn't you?" Noble gives her a red-handed look and sits up a light straighter on his bar stool. Shoulders up and arms out, he rests the heels of his hand against the tabletob. "So, I'm just going to come out straight and tell you that I've got a million good party stories, stories about shit we did back at school to the other school's mascot, that sort of thing. I was one of those guys, I don't know, maybe I still am a little bit. It's always in there somewhere." He gives her a mature look with an almost embarassed shrug of his shoulder, as if to say that he's not ashamed, but there's probably more stories than anyone well adjusted should have. After the shrug, that ever-confident, relaxed look returns to his features. "I'll spill if you make me say uncle or ask really nicely. As for exes, I've got a couple of good ones, a couple of bad ones, but no current ones that I'm writing back home to or anything. What about you? Are you writing home to anybody, any boyfriends?"

Ella flashes a grin at his response. "Well, sounds like a million good stories to pass the time on a quiet cruise. But since I owe you one, I won't make you spill tonight." She waves a mock-serious finger as if to say but just you wait. At his latter question, though, the smart-alecky bantering grin tightens into a thin-lipped frown ever so briefly. "No. Nobody to write home to." She shrugs it off, taking a sip of her drink, "Hardship cruise without the hardship. Can't argue with that."

His eyes follow her finger as it points to him and his head tilts in challenge to her threat. The smirk at the corner of his lip, however, speaks volumes. He probably won't mind a little prying eventually. "Yeah, it's nice to get away and live a little free for a while." He inserts on his own, reaching out for his beer. He takes the mug into his hands and tips it back, downing the last of its contents directly into his gullet. He slips off of the barstool and leaves the mug behind. Most of the patrons have already started to leave, and the bartender is starting to prepare the place for close. That's their queue. "You know, Ella? I'm really glad you stuck around." He looks to her, then to the bar. "You wanna escort me back to the checkpoint, make no one tries to beat me up on the way back?" It's his way of offering to walk her home without assuming that she can't take care of herself. He knows it's obvious.

"Yeah, me too," Ella admits when he says he's glad, the frown giving way to a slight smile. She finishes off the last of her beer - can't let that drink voucher go to waste! - and then stands up. Though his offer is transparent, she goes along with it readily enough. "Sure, I'll walk back with you. Never know when one of those creepy trashy gals might try to ambush you."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License