AWD #374: Predators and Portents
Predators and Portents
Summary: The hard work of a pair of deckies is interrupted by an MP who insists on being cryptic.
Date: 30/06/2016
Related Logs: None
Toby Niamh Lleufer 
Hangar Bay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
AWD #374

It's ten to shift change and Toby is on deck a few minutes early, taking advantage of the few free minutes to double check his duty roster for the next few days. Satisfied that there's no need to gripe at the Chief he tucks his helmet under his arm and scans the maintenance lines to judge just how badly the airwing have been treating their toys today. It's doesn't look too busy though, and most of the ships damaged a few days ago are back on the line and ready to fly.

The (possibly) latest addition to the crew is present and accounted for. Bright red hair pulled back in what was once a neat ponytail, but now resembles something more like a birds nest, and clashing horribly with her coveralls. Niamh is so focused on the damaged Predator, murmuring under her breath as she runs her gloved hands along the craft, slowly making her way around it. Obviously getting ready to start repairs.

With the influx of new faces from Picon having slowed after the initial burst a couple of months before the new face on deck does not go unnoticed by Toby, and, one assumes, others. As luck would have it though, his docket has the wounded predator at the top, so he heads over. Needing to be inside, not underneath he dumps the clump helmet of the wing, then starts to haul himself up so he can check things inside the cockpit. "Shackleton," he notes to the other as he eyes a particular gauge, his tone blunt but his accent is unmistakably Tauran. "Survival systems, got to check the damage to the controls didn't hit anything my end."

So intently focused on what she's doing, Niamh doesn't notice Toby's arrival. At least, not at first. Mumbling under her breath as she carefully arranges the tools she's going to need, or at least, thinks she's going to need. Double checking and triple checking her pockets and tool belt. Then the other's words sink in and she starts in surprise, stepping back and away from the craft and stumbling over her own feet. "Oh… um…" She rights herself and approaches cautiously, "Callaghan?" Niamh doesn't sound certain as she stares up at where the man is no doubt occupying the cockpit, "I'm new… I was just getting ready to…" Her Standard is heavily accented by her own Tauron heritage.

Toby looks, in all honesty, only vaguely interested at first, but he nods to the name, and will at least try to remember it. Then something clicks in the back of his head and he studies her for a moment before asking in hi native language, «Tauran?» It's a simple question, but he seemingly wants to make sure his ears aren't lying to him. Work is stopped for a moment as he waits for a response.

Honestly not expecting to be acknowledged, Niamh is about to get back to work when the question comes. She stops again, hands running over her pockets, checking them obsessively while she doesn't quite look directly at Toby. «Yessir.» The Crewman replies, flashing him a quick, blinding grin and nodding her head once, before distracted eyes focus on the Predator as she shifts restlessly from one foot to the other.

Toby snorts a faintly derisive laugh then comments dryly, «I'm about as much a sir as you. Rank is Crewman but frak that, either Shakleton or Toby, depending on how formal you're feeling. Just transferred in?» New face after all, but she might be one of the rescued Minoans. «If you need the cockpit just give a yell, if all is well I won't be more than half an hour, but can pause and give you time as required.»

An MP arrives in the hangar. The Marine Sergeant looks around, his pale grey-blue eyes picking out those who are wearing Deck's orange coveralls. Lleu starts to walk through, wearing his usual MP gear and armed, but doesn't have any other MP's in tow with him so he's probably not come down to take anyone to the brig on this trip. Ynyr studies the Deck crew he sees but he's looking for someone in particular so he keeps moving through the hangar slowly, sticking to the safely designated areas non-Deck are permitted to use. It isn't until he spots Toby that his course slightly alters and he heads over in that direction. Even so, he's mindful of ares he shouldn't go so Lleu gets a close as he reasonably can then stops, "Hey, Shackleton. Could I have a minute?"

"Uh…" Niamh flinches slightly then shrugs and grins, «Habit. Everyone's sir, or Sir.» Seeing as how he's going to hole up in the cock pit for a minute, she moves toward the ship again and starts opening up one of the panels that will allow her access to the ship's engine. «Yep… just transferred in, I..» Her words come to a shambling stop as the MP arrives and addresses Toby. She flicks the Sergeant a quick look, but since this has nothing to do with her, she starts mumbling under her breath, apparently addressing the Predator as she tells it how she's going to get it all fixed up and good as new again.

Toby is, as it happens, half way into a predator cockpit. Hearing his name called he looks over to the advancing LLeu and frowns faintly as he tries to work out what the marine wants with him. Crouching slightly, so he ends up sat on the cockpit edge he then nods once. "«They always phrase it as a question,» he notes to Niamh, «but I get the feeling that no isn't an answer they'll accept.» Then, to Lleu, "what can I do for you Sergeant?" although he makes absolutely no effort to move.

Ynyr doesn't seem to mind. He offers Niamh a hint of a smile and a faint nod, friendly like, though it seems the left side of his face isn't very mobile so it's only a half hint of smile. Then his gaze shifts back to what of Toby he can see in the Predator, having caught a glimpse of him going into it before. "Nothing to draw you from your work. I see you are busy. But would you mind terribly to come find me later? I'd like to talk with you a few minutes and it's not urgent, but I think it's important."

Toby's comment makes Niamh laugh, then immediately throw the Sergeant another look, this one coloured with a hint of nervousness, in case there's a fist or something headed her way. Then, being a good little Crewman, she puts her head down and gets back to talking to the Predator, telling it all about how beautiful it is and so on. The panel set aside, Niamh pulls on a head lamp and gets down to work, checking on the interior of the craft's engine, still chattering away.

It's not that Toby doesn't trust marines or anything, but well, he doesn't trust marines. "You came all the way down here to ask me to come find you later?" he asks. "What is so non-urgent but important that you can't discuss it here and now? Since you're here and all." Niamh gets a quick glance, to make check what she's doing then he turns his attention back to Lleufer, still not moving from his perch.

Lleufer waits and hearing Toby out, he reaches into his uniform to draw out a piece of paper that is neatly folded up. It has torn edges, a scrap of paper which he unfolds. When it's flat enough, he says low, "It's about this." The small piece of paper is held so Shackleton can see what is drawn on it clearly even from the cockpit of the Predator, if he bothers to look. The pencil is shaded thick enough to make a dark circle line, within which is white again but with a smaller round circle in the center all darkened in as well. Much like a target, an abstracted eye, or a planet's orbit around a sun. The symbol is only shown for a moment before the MP folds it and tucks it back into his uniform. Lleu watches Toby carefully to try and see the other man's face and see if there is any readable reaction.

Niamh is busy, busy, busy. Getting into her zone now, she's only peripherally aware of the other two men and whatever it is they're talking about. Her head has practically disappeared inside the Predator and her voice is muffled, but constant. Suddenly there's a silence. Her head pops out and she snatches a notebook from her pocket. Pulling the pen from the binding, she scrawls something down, her green eyes staring off into the distance. And then she's back to work, carefully resorting her tools, ordering them in size and use as she resumes her constant murmur to the craft, talking to it in a mixture of heavily accented Standard and her native Tauron, like it's a living breathing, sentient life form that will actually respond.

Oh there's a reaction all right, several infact. Recognition and surprise vie for first place on his features, tempered a moment later by suspicion and even a touch of concern. "Later then," he agrees once he trusts himself to reply in a flat tone, questions such as 'where the frak did you get that' trying to force themselves out as he does so. "Anything else?" he follows with, before glancing to Niamh and asking, «is it going to mess with what you're doing if I power up the auxiliaries once the Sergeant leaves?»

"Nope, that's all. I appreciate it, thanks." The MP doesn't say anything else at all. As Niamh's busy too and working he doesn't bother distracting her. Toby gets a polite nod from the MP and the Sergeant turns and starts back the way he'd come. If he can understand any Tauran they are speaking, he gives no indication of it and minds his own business.

Suddenly finding herself addressed pulls Niamh from her zone with a snap and an audible thump as what's probably her head hits on something, followed by a grunt, then a cheerful «Nope.» Aware of the Sergeant leaving, she pulls her head out and absently rubs where she whacked it, looking around briefly. «Go right ahead.» Toby gets a curious look, and it looks like she might ask some inane question for a moment, but that passes and she steps away, righting her tools and letting the other Crewman do his thing. The notepad comes out again, and the pen gets to work, while she shifts restlessly from one foot to the other.

«Okay,» Toby replies, «powering up.» Although he does give her a faint tilt of his head before pointing silently to his helmet in case she wants to borrow it. That thump did not go unnoticed it seems. «So, you were saying before we were so rudely interrupted, you just transferred in. Picon? I know we've picked up a load from Colonel Spree lately.»

«Mmm…. yep.» Niamh replies, a little distracted by whatever she's doing on that notepad. «Ship I was on got blown up. Sort of. It's not operable. Anyway, spent a few weeks in med and now I'm here.» Long story short. She stares down at the notepad, sighs and tucks it away again. «This place is pretty cool though. Haven't had a chance to see much except the Mess and here. Gotta hit the Fitness Center soon. Before I get fat and can't move properly. You been here long? You look like you have.» As the words pour from her mouth in a mostly cheerful waterfall, she's busying herself, re-aligning her tools, and generally straightening anything that's not nailed down to sit at right angles to the other.

«A few months,» Toby replies as he gets to work again inside the cockpit, «got sent to P from Picon a couple of months into the war and decided I'd rather do something to fight back instead of just sitting on my arse so I enlisted.» Again, a simplified story, but this isn't the time or place to be exchanging detailed backstories. «Been down to P yet?» he asks conversationally, «there's a decent bar there if you can get the leave to go.»

«No… haven't even been here a month yet. Been too busy to get any leave.» Niamh moves back toward the exposed engine and gets to work again, tweaking and tightening and doing things in there. She is extremely methodical and careful, really taking the time to make sure that everything is perfect. «Maybe I'll get to go sometime. I enlisted because I… needed a change.» Pause, «And plus I get to work on these beauties instead of Freighters and well I know those back to front and inside out and these fighting craft are just so….» There's no words, just a blissful sigh.

«Freighters eh,» Toby repeats, «yeah, I can see why they might get dull. Expect prolonged periods of boredom here too mind, they're just punctuated by times when everything is utterly crazy. Oh, and if no one else has warned you yet, there's a tarped off bay in the other hanger deck, got a marine guarding it. Don't go near unless you have to, the marine'll get twitchy, and the smell.. well, it's not good. We've got a captured raider there, and some of it's innards are biomechanical and have rotted.» Then, with those words of wisdom imparted, he lets her get on with her work as he gets on with his.

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