AWD #096: Say It Again
Say It Again
Summary: Tierce is working on the hangar deck when he gets a visit from a surprised Sera.
Date: 12/04/2013
Related Logs: None
Sera Tierce 
Hangar Deck
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 #96

The hangar queen. Every flight deck has one. Tierce hasn't been on duty on Orion long, but he's already made a project out of this particularly cranky Viper. He's laying on a trolley underneath the parked fighter, several service bays open as he tinkers with the avionics and electrical systems. It looks like he's been at it for a bit; his orange suit is stained with oil and grease, and there's a few marks to match on the dusky skin of his face.

Shifts started two hours ago and Sera's pretty much never late. Ever. (Except that one time, when someone messed up her laundry.) So she should have been here, instead of striding through the door some time around 10AM. But there's no one standing around giving her pissy looks, no one ripping her a new one. There's just an upnod from one of the SCPOs that's standing in front of the coffee pot, where she stops for a mug and a brief chat with the guy. "….don't think we'll be spinnin' up….," can be caught as a snippet on the air, between the sounds of heavy machinery being put to work. "…Viper count?"

There's a thoughtful frown on Tierce's face as he reaches up and plucks at the Viper's fusebox. Sure enough, there's a burned out fuse in the avionics. Where another deckie might curse or roll their eyes, though, Tierce merely takes it in stride, tossing it to the side. After all, he's dealt with worse. There's a short length of stripped wiring in there as well, which is yanked out and goes the way of that burned out fuse. The trolley slides a few inches to the side as he reaches for replacements in the toolbox; he's got a long enough stretch of wire to replace that which he ripped out, but he'll have to go to a workbench or the storage area to find a replacement fuse. That, at least, is enough to draw a muffled, mild curse from the man's lips.

"Are you serious?," she asks the SCPO, laughing with obvious skepticism. It's a surprisingly warm sound, the kind of laugh that spreads, which utterly contradicts the sober expression she'd been wearing a moment earlier. "Entire section has ripped down that old broad tryin' to….," she trails off, leaning out over the counter so she can get past the empty ordinance rack obstructing a good eyeful of the deck, and the hangar queen, and the pair of legs sticking out from under them.

Further inspection of the Viper's avionics package reveals another problem: a faulty converter in the power transfer network. Tierce snorts. "No wonder the damn thrusters kept cuttin' out," he mutters to himself as he pulls the converter as well. A quick clip here and a tug there, and the busted module is free. It gets tossed to the deck next to his toolbox, and he rolls out from underneath the Viper just long enough to flag down a passing specialist from his crew. "Hey, Harkov," he says over the din of the deck. "Mind grabbin' me another AG-6 converter?" The other deckhand nods and heads for the parts storage bay. "And a couple extra 120-V fuses, while you're at it," he calls out a moment later after the retreating specialist.

Sera stops dead in laughter, as bits and pieces of the PO's request drift over. Her expression goes slack, her face a slate that's been freshly wiped blank and clean. There's a muttered excuse offered to the middle-aged man she'd be talking to, a half-hearted thing that makes him blink at her a few times as she drops her clipboard on the counter and just… walks off without waiting for a reply. She heads straight for Tierce and for the hangar queen, her heavy black safety boots coming to a dead stop next to his head. Her staring. It's super subtle. And by super subtle? Let's go with 'not at all'.

While he waits for Specialist Harkov to return with the needed parts, Tierce keeps poking around inside the finicky Viper's guts. Thus, he doesn't notice Sera's approach right away, leaving her to stand in silence for a few moments before he detects her presence. When he does, though, he pushes himself back out from underneath the ship, still laying flat on his back atop the trolley. "Hey, uh, Chief," he greets her with a quick flick of his eyes to the rank on her collar before meeting her gaze. "Just seein' what I can do with the queenie here," he offers with a jerk of the hand at the Viper. "Need somethin'?" He doesn't flinch from her stare, but it does seem to have him a bit puzzled.

Both of her dark brows shoot up so high, the disappear underneath the fringe of her bangs, which have unfortunately been flattened by the helmet she'd been wearing — and which she really ought to be wearing now, instead of having it tucked underneath her left arm. "Say somethin' again," she orders, though her breath has caught in her throat, turning it into a question when she hadn't meant it to be. Brown eyes are boring mercilessly into his face, as though he's already frakked something up on his new assignment.

Distinctly uneasy now, Tierce slowly pushes himself off the trolley and up to his feet. "Uh." There's a quizzical expression on his face at the order(question?). "Look, I ain't had any other work orders waitin' for me when I came on shift, so I didn't think anybody'd mind me takin' a look at this poor bird." His eyebrow twitches under the stare that keeps boring into him. "But you need me on somethin' else, just say the word."

"Hephaestus's sacred staff," she manages to mutter, before clapping her hand over her mouth to muffle the sound that threatens to come out. Silenced, there's only the hitching of her shoulders to give away the fact that it might've been a sob. She turns away quickly, turning her back to him and hiding her face. Ohhh, holy hell. Is she crying? Is the woman mental or something?!?

Well, that settles the fact that he's not in trouble, at least. Tierce's guarded expression turns to one of concern — albeit, bewildered concern — when she turns around and covers her face with her hands. He looks around, but it's a busy morning on the deck as usual, and no one else is paying attention to the pair of orange-clad knuckledraggers standing next to the hangar queen. Exhaling, he reaches out, laying a hand on Sera's shoulder. "Hey, Chief, you all right? Somethin' wrong?" His voice is quiet once more, probably barely audible over the sounds of voices and heavy machinery echoing across the deck; he doesn't want to draw attention.

Since she's still got her helmet balanced under one arm, that only leaves her one hand free. It can't do double duty, covering her mouth and dabbing at her eyes at the same time. So Sera settles for the latter, which makes it obvious it's not sobbing she's trying to hide. It's laughing. She is, apparently, doing that thing women sometimes do — suddenly burst into tears when they're too happy to keep it in. (Which is surely a sign that they're all nutters, brains somehow wired fundamentally wrong.) Sera breathes out slowly, before managing to choke out between her laughs, "Ohhh, good gods. You're Trojan. I haven't seen or even heard of another Trojan since War Day, except for my baby sister."

"Yeah, sure am." For the first time, Tierce smiles. From Sera's use of the word 'another' — not to mention her own accent, which is a near carbon copy of his own — it's not hard to identify her as a Trojan as well. "Guess there probably ain't many of us left, huh?" he asks wryly, his hand falling back to his side. "Worked for Olin before I signed up. Me and my dad helped keep their shuttles flyin', even if all they gave us to do it was spit, duct tape, and prayer." Snort.

She turns back around, rubbing at eyes that have gone a bit red. Fortunately, the tears stopped long before her nose did that whole 'swelling like a potato' thing. "Ohh, good gods," she whispers again. "They just pulled Ellie out of a prison camp on picon a few days ago. I thought maybe I was the only one." The lump in her throat is forced down by a thick heavy swallow. It gives him a second to prepare himself, the poor guy. There's things which Sera has a deep and abiding respect for. At the moment, Tierce's personal space and need to, y'know, breathe are not among them. There is hugging. There is so much hugging.

"Hey, PO, I got the — " Harkov announces his return, but he's cut off by a scowl and a violent jerk of the head from Tierce, and the specialist quickly finds some other place to be. "<Gods, I'm sorry,>" Tierce says softly in the Trojan dialect, as he finally begins to comprehend her reaction to him. "Oof — " He isn't prepared for her to throw her arms around him, but he takes it with aplomb, returning the embrace firmly, if not quite so vigorously, a heartbeat later. "<It's a terrible thing. But you ain't alone, Chief. You got your sis back,>" he adds in the same language with a bittersweet smile, "<and now you got me to kick around if you need it.>"

One last sniffle, then she sinks back down onto her heels and, mercifully, takes pity on his ribs. She shuffles about two steps back, to a more professionally appropriate distance, like it just sank in that for the second time in a week, she's having an emotional breakdown and being a total weirdo about it smack in the middle of the deck. "Sera Jane Rutlii. Chief Petty Officer an' Section Head of mechanical, as of just yesterday mornin'. It's good to have you on board the Orion, PO. If you need anythin', anythin' at all, you just come find me or my sister. Ellie's still settlin' in herself, but I know she'd be damned glad to see you."

Tierce mentally kicks himself, as he realizes when she introduces herself that he hasn't even told her his own name. "Dominic Tierce. You can call me Dom if you like, though, most people do." He gives a self-effacing grin at that. "I'm technically in avionics, but I can do a little bit of just about everything what needs doin', so just holler if you need a bit of old-fashioned Trojan elbow grease, huh?" His grin widens, and there's a nod at her last. "Still gettin' settled myself, so I just might take you up on that one, Chief. Be glad to meet your sis, too. Always nice to hear a familiar voice, ain't it?" He shoots her a wink.

She starts laughing again. It's not the border-line hysteria of being emotionally overwhelmed again, but a low, good-natured chuckle — the sort of laugh that most people can't help but echo back at her. "Yeah, yeah it definitely is. An' here I was, worryin' I was goin' to have to teach one of these boys from "miner's boys" down here how to talk like a real rockhound." There's a shake of her head, which makes her ponytail sway. "Let me know when you get unpacked, yeah? We've got a party goin' on tonight — for Ellie, with a bit of a good old fashioned wettin' down. I'll introduce you around to some of the rest of the crew. Medvedev an' Shacks, if they ain't on duty, an' Alexios, if the dumb frakker hasn't earned himself another night in the brig."

"Oh, yeah? Sounds like a delightful bunch," comes Tierce's reply. He sounds like he actually means it, too. His eyebrow quirks. "Wet-down, huh? Who got promoted?" He hasn't been on board long enough to get properly hooked into the gossip mill, it seems — but he does know the reason for that particular ancient ritual. "Sounds good. Ain't been asked to pull a late one yet, so I don't see why I couldn't make it down. Be glad for the break."

"Me," she says a lopsided smirk. "Command sent someone down to storage yesterday mornin' to corner me an' ask my opinion about some of the problems on the ship. I gave it to 'em, an' the dumb frakkers handed me a pair of pins, anyway. How crazy's that, huh?," she asks as she slides her helmet out from under her arm, holding it limply at her side in one hand. The hand gets planet squarely onto her hip, elbow jutting out alongside her. "So the drinks are on me, tonight."

"Oh. Heh, didn't realize." Tierce shrugs, grinning. "Well, congrats, Chief. Good to hear the brass ain't got nothin' against straight talk." His eyes follow her hand to her hip when she strikes that pose before flicking back up to her face. "Well, if you're buyin', I definitely can't turn it down." He chuckles. "Guess I'll be seein' you tonight, then?"

"Definitely. It won't be hard to find us," she says, poking her tongue into her cheek for a second before her lips — which she's got covered in that glossy goop girls wear, even here in the hangar bay — stretch into a lopsided grin. "I mean, what with the hundreds of bars we've got down on the surface, it ain't like you're goin' to get lost lookin'. An' if you do, just follow the trail of ugly old coveralls leadin' to the lake. Sooner or later, somebody's goin' to get tossed in besides just me."

"Hundreds, huh?" He grins at the sarcasm at her tone. "Well. I think I'll manage. After the tunnels and shit back home, how hard could it be?" Another wink is followed by a laugh. "Hope so. It ain't a party until folks're drunk enough to start tossin' each other in the water — and besides, I never knew a knuckledragger that couldn't do with a good dunk after a day on the line."

There's another shake of her head, her eyes rolling up towards the ceiling. "Man, you ain't kiddin'. You'd think between Troy an' bein' a decade in, I'd be used to the stink by now. But tylium fuel? That stuff clings to everythin'. It's worse than tryin' to get dog shit off your shoes. One of these days, I'm just goin' to install a hose right next to the hatch, start blastin' people the second they step out into the corridors."

Tierce shudders. "Ain't gotta tell me twice," he replies with a nod. "Been on flightlines since I was twelve." He snorts, giving an eyeroll of his own as he folds his arms over his chest. "I swear, I can still smell the shit in my sleep. Never leaves ya. Barely know what fresh air smells like, anymore." He cranes his neck and nods to Specialist Harkov, who's again loitering at a distance not quite within earshot of the conversation, but at the signal from Tierce, the younger deckhand approaches and hands off the parts he's holding to the petty officer. Tierce, in turn, places them gently on the floor next to his toolbox.

Sera cuts the conversation short as Harkov comes over. She does, after all, have some shred of a reputation as a hardass left to try and preserve. There's a nod offered to him, an acknowledgment, but she's clearly waiting for him to leave before continuing on with, "That's the one good thing about bein' out here. That planet down there? She's still in one piece. Positively pristine. There's one town, half-built, an' it's ours. Everythin' outside it? It's trees an' green, for about as far as you can go, til you hit the beaches, an' then the seas."

Harkov, for his part, wastes no time in getting the heck out of there once he provides the parts Tierce had asked for. But really, what specialist in his right mind wants to interrupt a conversation between a couple senior NCOs, even ones without Sera's reputation? "You know, I… I've never seen that much green in person," Tierce says dreamily. "Much less the sea. Not on the ground, anyway. From space, sure. Never left Troy 'til I signed up, then it was basic and A-school on Tauron, then space assignments from there on out." He grins. "Bet it's somethin', though."

"You can see it up on the obs deck," she says, pointing her chin towards the hatch. "Same deck we're on, no less. Sheridan, the town they've been buildin' down there? It's summer there, just about, so everythin's bloomin'. But if you're up there long enough, if you're careful? It's winter down south. You can see the snow an' everythin'. Big white fluffy piles of it clingin' to the rocks an' the trees. It's heavier than it looks an' soaks right into your clothes."

"Oh, sure," Tierce replies with a shrug. "Seen it from the obs deck already. They had me off bed rest for a bit before they put my transfer through all official-like… had to do somethin' with my time. Ain't had a chance to actually go down there yet." He smiles in anticipation. "Sounds like I might have to make a habit of it, though."

"Well, you've got the chance to come down tonight. All the more reason to do it, y'know?," she says with a sudden grin. "It's almost paradise. Would be, if they could just get the frakkin' hot water runnin'." There's an eyeroll — a melodramatic thing that must've been the envy of teenaged girls across the Colonies, once. "Anyway, I should actually get to work, before people start thinkin' I've gotten fat an' lazy thanks to my new pins. I'll see you tonight?"

"I hear ya, Chief. Believe me, I ain't plannin' on missin' it," Tierce assures her with a wide grin, before looking back to his tools with an apologetic shrug. "Yeah, same here. This sucker's got a laundry list as long as my frakkin' arm," he says with a sigh, chucking a thumb over his shoulder at the hangar queen. "Don't worry, Chief, your reputation is safe with me." He gives her a little wave. "You bet." And with that, he's headed back down onto the trolley and wheeling himself under the Viper once more.

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