AWD #018: Similes
Summary: It's like death. Or maybe like Pyramid. Phin and Tiptoft shoot and banter about getting flung into space and/or drowning.
Date: 24/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: I Alone Escaped to Warn Thee and I Was Drowning in subtext; Into the Fire in regular text
Phin Tiptoft 
Fitness Center — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
Smelling of sweat and grease, the Fitness Center is a place where individuals can come to work out or just work off stress. The area closest to the entrance is taken up by two very large sparring pads with a pathway down the center, each pad removable to reveal a Pyramid court beneath. The walls beside the pads hold lockers for everything from pugilist sticks to boxing gloves to rubber guns, though deadly weapons are strictly prohibited in here except by authorized personnel such as on-duty Military Police. Standing goalposts for Pyramid are also kept against the wall. Past the pads are a vast number of nautilus machines as well as free weights to lift. At the back of the room are workout bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, and stairclimbers. There is an entrance to the pool at the rear as well as a locker room to the side.
AWD #18

Phin is killing his off-time in the Fitness Center. He got out of the pool not long ago, and his hair's still wet from it, but he just changed back into his sweats and continued to hang around. He's presently playing a game of one-on-zero with the Pyramid hoop, tossing the ball between his hands and taking shots from various angles. Some of these he even makes, though it's plain why he never got to first string on his high school team.

Tipoft is not sober. Which is to say that he had half a beer at Checkpoint Charlie's when a deckie dared him to take a shot. He stumbles into the Fitness Center with a loopy grin on his face, a wet towel wrapped around his body — which is just as well, because he is wearing a very brief set of swimming shorts that leaves very little to the imagination. En route to the pool to cool down, no doubt. "Sup Dolls?"

Phin is cold sober, for his part. Not that that's unusual. Even on his jaunts to Checkpoint Charlie's, Dolly will typically nurse a single drink for hours on end more for social purposes than real drunkening. "Hey, Thumper," he greets the other pilot distractly as he bounces his ball off the ball. So it comes back at him. He catches it, tossing it between his hands. Then, experimentally, he throws it at Tiptoft himself. It's a straightforward toss, meant to be caught.

Tiptoft sticks one hand up in the air to grab the ball. This a maneuver he has mastered. Of course, he misses. The ball sails over his head and ends up somewhere near a treadmill, and by near, what is actually meant is that it smacks a very attractive blonde in the head. She falls. Thumper laughs. And then flexes his muscles in case she's looking. Aloud, though: "Shit, bro. You play?" This, accompanied by a jerk of his head toward the goal.

Phin winces as the ball hits the blonde. "Umm…sorry," he says quickly, padding over to retrieve it. He flashes her an abashed half-smile that will probably not get him the mileage it normally does with blondes. "Little bit," he replies to Tiptoft. "Made the team back when I was at the Ares school." He adds, "Second string. But I got some play time a few times a season." A very few.

"Bet it felt frakking good when you stepped onto that court, yeh?" Thumper slams a massive arm around Phin's shoulder, a toothy grin on his face. "Godsdamn, I remember the first time I took the field in that blue-and-white." The colors of Kingston State University. "Crowd got up and started chanting. Tip. Tip. Tip. Tip. Tip. Homers, yeh? Saw me rock some street ball; knew I brought the fire. But shit, that first game I played? Zero points. Sucked. Nerves, my man. But I'll never forget the feeling." The man's suddenly pensive. It's an odd look for him. "Never forget it."

"Yeah, it was great," Phin says, without any huge amount of enthusiasm. But he's at an enthusiasm deficit where Tiptoft is concerned, just by nature. He eyes the man a beat, like there's something he's thinking about. But, whatever it is, all it leads him to do is ask, "You want to play HORSE or something? I've got a few off hours to kill still. Goes by quicker when there's an actual game. I couldn't sleep tonight." The ensign has not been sleeping particularly regular. Not that he's drawn attention to it.

"Only if you wanna get crunched." Of course, given his current state, Thumper may well be on the losing end of this game. "I'll even go first. Ball." Any talk about sleeping and nightmares and whatnot is ignored, willfully or not.

Phin rolls the ball to Tiptoft this time. Across the floor, so he has no excuse not to be able to snag it. Then he jogs back to the Pyramid area, to watch the other man shoot and wait his turn. "Cool."

"H, motherfrakker!" Into his throwing motion he goes, and though he's rather inebriated, he manages to nail the shot from the neutral zone opposite the top head. The big ball clangs against the side of the goal before falling into the cage.

"Nice!" Phin goes to pick up the ball, tossing it between his hands as he positions himself, more or less, at the same angle that Tiptoft shot from. He takes a beat to concentrate, taking a deep breath and letting it out slow. "So…how're you doing lately, man? I mean, since Caprica. I've heard ejecting can really frak with your neck." He shoots. He…misses. H.

"Living fast." Tiptoft grabs the ball from where it lands; fortunately, this time it doesn't nearly kill an attractive blonde. He'll shoot from somewhere close to where the "O"-shot should be taken — and his nonchalant approach means he sends ball clanking against backboard before it bounces over to Phin's feet. Yes. That was a pass. He totally meant to do that. "Do I think about it? Sure, man. But they shot my bird full of lead and I'm still walking around, so there's that. Counting my blessings. And besides — the first lesson my old FI taught me? I'll never forget it. So there I am in this Viper in atmo, and Moustache dives for the deck. So I follow. He cranks hard to staboard. I follow — and then my shit starts to stall, yeh? So there I am just wigging the frak out, and I bug the hells out of that turn. Like, jack back the stick and shoot for the troposphere, bug the hells out. Next debrief, Moustache tears me a new arsehole. 'You gotta fly like you're already dead.'" Tiptoft shrugs. "So that's what I do, man."

"Fly like you're already dead…" Phin just repeats it. "Heh. Apt, I guess." He shoots. He scores. It was an easy one. The ball's retrieved, and tossed back to Tiptoft. "I've never had to eject, except for drills and stuff. Must be a trip, out in the black like that." Pause. "So…what's it feel like?"

"I saw my high school sweetheart's tits." Thumper closes his eyes in remembrance of better days. "Happened in a flash, really. Barely had time to take off her blouse in my head before, zip, in came Butch to save my ass."

Phin crooks a half-smile that doesn't quite reach his blue eyes. "Were they good tits?" It's part forced joke, part genuine question. Inquiring minds. Not that he waits for an answer. He says, in a way that tries to sound casual but fails, "I was thinking it'd be kind of like drowning. If you were out there long enough for your oxygen to run out."

Thumper doesn't take a shot. Instead, he cradles the ball in his arms, cocking his head at Phin with that same pensive look on his face. "Can you swim?"

"Yeah," Phin replies, not looking at Tiptoft now. "Grew up near the beach. Used to spend whole days there with my brother. Surfing, too, when we were a little older. Went under a few times. Those currents can be a bitch." He shrugs. "Always managed to pull out of it, though. Or somebody'd come and pull me out. Only needed to have that done once."

"Riptide, baby. Heard of those. Me, I do my swimming in a frakking pool." Thumper plops down, folding his legs together and flicking the ball Phin's way. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT HIM. "Hey. This is a metaphor, right? Simile? I can't frakking remember. Something about getting shot down."

Phin isn't looking, and so gets hit in the shoulder. He swears softly under his breath, less at Tiptoft than his own lack of attention, and bends down to pick up the ball. He shoots. He misses! A wince as the ball clangs off the board. "Simile?" Shrug, as he jogs over to reclaim it. "Whatever, man. Just making conversation." He lobs the ball back at Tiptoft. Another pause and he asks, "Have you…umm…dreamed about it? Since it happened. Or…before it happened…?"

"I had my nightmare, Dolls." Thumper smiles wanly. "One year of my life getting shredded in the Gemenon press. All my bros up and leaving. Girlfriend, up and leaving. Coach looking at me like I had just sold the Colonies out to the frakking Cylons or some shit. Or shot his puppy." He leans forward, pressing his elbows against his knees. "Flying? It's just my job. I live, I die, least I'll do it standing straight. The PED bullshit? That wasn't just a job, yeh? That was me. My pride. How I'd be remembered. Didn't need to dream any of that."

"Whatever, man," Phin says, looking back at Tiptoft now. "You frakked up. Or…maybe you didn't. I don't know. But it was one thing. It's not your whole life, y'know? I mean, you got beyond it. You're here, right? Nobody can take that, wherever you got here from."

"Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, enough about that. I'm just saying: you got a gift, you don't waste it. Like me." Tiptoft chuckles darkly. "Dolls, look. I saw you out there, man. You were flying like you had Hermes's frakking sandals glued to your arse. Maybe you being scared shitless out there's why you flew like that. That's probably how I do. Gods always have a reason for everything. And what they say to you, how they say it to you? Just gotta scratch below the surface to find the real message. 'Cause they hate lazy frakkers who take them at their word."

"Message. Yeah." Phin mutters it more like he feels the need to put words back into the air than as a real response. Though he does look like he's thinking on that. What he makes of it is tough to tell. All he says finally is, "Whatever helps you out, man. I don't believe in signs or…cosmetic messages or whatever. Just luck. Good and really shitty." Shrug. "Anyway. Umm…I gotta bail. Hit the showers before my shift."

"Sure. Yeah. I gotta take a couple of laps, anyway. In the, um, pool. Thing." Thumper gestures vaguely at the relevant hatch. "Hey. Keep that head up, yeh? Know I keep on saying it. I must sound like a busted record by now, to you. But you keep on thinking about getting capped and sooner or later? You will be. So stop thinking." The big man chuckles again. "Shit, it's what I do."

Phin stops in mid-step, though he only half-turns back to Tiptoft, and offers him a shrug. It doesn't really acknowledge any of that, except in a sideways sort of way. "Yeah. Right. Later, man." And off he goes.

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