AWD #019: Special Snowflakes
Special Snowflakes
Summary: What exactly are the mess hall's meals made of?
Date: 25/Jan/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Ceres Ekho Augie Nico 
Mess Hall - Battlestar Orion
The Crew Mess on the Orion is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.
AWD #19

"Ya need to get out of the damn labs more often, before ya start growin roots." Augie teases Ekho as they walk into the mess hall. "And if anything well keep ya from havin to wear control top panties, it's the food in this place. So, what have ya been up to lately?" the large DCO finally decides to ask.

"You are inordinately interested in my panties, Augustus. Which I completely do not understand, as you have no desire to get into them." Ekho allows the big man to walk in ahead of her, ducking past a pair of too handsy marines making their way out, "Working on reviewing some footage from the raptors that was passed on to me. Just started a project for Colonel Petra." The woman's face lights up, as it rarely does, as she scoots off towards the chow line, "Green!" The jello, that is. "And it has mystery fruit-like bits!"

"Only cause I'm wondering if I stretch them across the landing bay if they'd hold in an out of control Raptor." Augie teases Ekho right back. They carry on like they've known each other for years, as they chatter. "Project for the TACCO? What hoops he's got ya jumpin through?" he asks as he smirks, getting a slab of meat for his plate. "I think this is meat. What ya think, Lin? Meat or someone's science project?"

Direction sense kicks in and Ceres manages to get some info on where the Doctor passed last. Fancy that Augustus is with her. Her eyes fall from her folder and then to the other woman before she tucks it beneath her arm, her scarred left hand hugged beneath it to hold into place. Augie is given a smile before she lifts her voice. "Doctor Lin." She says in greeting and taking to the line with them without a tray. The food is given a passing look before she offers the woman a smile. "I have need to speak to you if you have a moment?"

"Well, I think that would depend on if you were looking in my Galen drawer or my Granny drawer. There are many levels and layers of women's underwear." Ekho seems content to fill her tray with whatever passes as the worst of the worst selections of food. Anything sugary, mostly all preservative or just plain artificial. If it looks even marginally healthy, she leaves it for someone else. "No hoops, just looking into some residue." Of course, the fact that she's being as vague as possible, and this from a woman who can't wait to talk your ear off about her latest shenanigans, well. "I told them not to go in the red frigerator!" And then she pauses, "It won't kill you…" A flash of a smile, before she hears her name and turns, "I'm free. if you'd like to grab a seat."

"You and grannies? Naw, I thought you'd fight that with every last granola bar." Augie says and then his smile goes even fonder for Ceres. "They finally let ya go, love, or did ya just come up for air?" Passing next to her, he plants a fond kiss on the side of the pilot's mouth. "Good ta see ya back to form, instead of mopin' about yer hand."

Allowing the public display of affection, she lets out a short huff of a laugh. "No, still on duty. Taking care of somet hings for the new DCAG. One of them is your friend here. Doctor Lin." She makes a motion with the folder and then moves to join them and even goes a faint brush of her fingers to Augie's arm before pulling up a chair and sitting across from Ekho. "Doctor Lin, it has come to the attention of the Wing that you are interested in being caught up to date in the new workings of the current Viper model and be allowed back into active duty, is that not so?" She asks.

Ekho seems perfectly content to let all the lovey-dovey stuff pass right over her. She's more concerned with the jello she's currently breaking into as she settles at whatever table the her fellow Captain decides suits the three of them, her spoon poking experimentally at the jello's crust. Once she's settled, and the pair have said their hellows, she looks up, "Actually, that is not so, Captain. The only conversation I recall having with any member of the air wing, was with Major Shepherd where I discussed the feasibility of getting outside assistance with training his pilots in flying the Predator, as, for most of the wing, they're a legacy model."

Settling down next to Ceres, Augie pokes at the meat and makes a face at it. "Well, considerin' that we're short handed, Lin, it might not be a bad idea." he offers to the Doctor as he considers the Doctor and back to Ceres. "What do ya think, hon?"

Opening the folder to look at Ekho's service jacket, she taps her pen onto the piled papers. She lifts one and considers it, "After a month of training, I think you could be cleared for full release to use the current model of the Viper but if you were only looking to help train the predators that is doable. WE are likely going to need the help, either with logging hours or actually flying." Redux admits and glances up at her, "Shortbus, what is it you really want to do. If you got he chance to fly again, would you take it?"

Ekho ponders the questions coming at her, picking the mystery fruit out of the jello as if it were gold. "We're all of us short-handed, Augustus. There's no a single department that isn't feeling the strain." Once Ceres asks her the hard question she sets aside the jello, "If you had asked me before all of this started, Captain, I don't know what answer I would have given you. I never loved flying, but I was good at it. But now? These are the facts, as I see it. The Viper wing needs more pilots. Would I be willing to get qualified on the new vipers and dust off my wings somewhere other than a sim? Of course I would. Do I think that that's the best use of my talents? No. And I'll tell you why. You lose a pilot, you can train a replacement. It's not fast and it's not easy, but you could take someone with no experience and get them up to speed. If I go out there and I die, there's no one going to replace me in Sciences. Everything that I know dies with me. Just like poor Doctor Phareem. All that knowledge and experience is gone, and we have no way to recapture it. And now I've got projects coming in to me from Command that might well make or break our survival. How could I tell them, "No, I think I'll go off and fly a plane."

Augie considers for a moment as he takes a bite of his meat. "Shortbus?" he asks her. "Where the hell ya get that from?" he asks Ekho. "I thought it'd be Thunderthighs or some shit." He chews on his meal for a moment. "Ya know, considering that I've pondered more than once askin the lass next to me if she'd be interested in bein Missus Garrido, I'd kindly appreciate it if ya not call her 'expendable and easily replaced'. But let's face it. Any dick can swing an axe. I'm the expendable one. Ceres took years to learn her trade, and ya, Lin, yer the special snowflake. But it's good that yer tryin to be at least a little useful."

The pilot stays quiet, listening to the officer's words for a moment or two before looking down to the folder and reading over something. Augie is offered a glance up without her head tilting to do so, tapping her pen for a moment before she lets out a breath. "You are a logical woman, factual and this is true. Right now there are more pilots than there are scientists in this outfit and you are needed at your post. This does not mean you shouldn't train. I highly recommend you do. Now, I say this for several reason," She holds up her hand, ruined as it is. "I nearly lost my ability to fly from shrapnel and a burn. The wing loses me, they lose years of experience. Yes we can train up pilots but they don't have the instincts of years or hours in the sim, plain and simple. We can hope they have natural skill, most won't." Pausing, she tilts her head. "Now if you train, it doens't mean we shove you in a bird every time we have the call for it, but should Piraeus be found, should Orion come under attack? Waiting here is going to make you sore, I should know. I hate waiting here. Not knowing. Science is not going to last beyond how long this boat stays flying right now. So when the need absolutely comes, if I were you, I would want to be able to claim one of those birds and make it rain."

"I always had my head in a book. I got my MA and did most of my PhD while I was still billeted as a pilot." Sometimes, the fact that Ekho sees most thing logically is not always a good thing. "You can appreciate all you want, Augustus, but the fact of the matter is, that a competent instructor could take someone with the bare minimum of flying experience and churn out a nugget in three months. The piloting skill set is finite and can be replicated. The experience that Captain Delacroix brings to the table is everything that came after that training. I'm not a special snowflake, I just happen to be the snowflake that isn't as easily replaceable." A beat, "You really should take him up on his offer, you know. If only for ready access to his cigar collection." But then she nods, a bit more seriously, "As I said, Captain, I would be willing to bring my skills up to speed. I would also be willing to train your pilots in the Predator. But only with the understanding that circumstances would have to be very dire for me to scramble with the wing."

"I know that the Admiral gets a woody every time someone mentions Pred training." Augie says with a smirk as he considers, "Ain't that Kelsey kid wantin to learn to pilot or some shit? Maybe Lin can help out with those?" he suggests, and then he laughs. "Lin, if I knew ya wanted my cigars, I'd offered them before ya let yerself go and filled a shortbus with kidlets." It's a gentle tease, but he glances towards Ceres and back forward again. He doesn't say anything more on the Missus Garrido talk as the DCO fidgets with his food. He's just some backwoods axe slinger. You can find a dozen more like him on aisle six of any Mega-Mart.

"You sounded as if you were unsure, Captain, that is all. THen I will put you down for training pilots with the predator as well as coming up to speed with our current Viper model." She pulls out a schedule already picked out. She considers it, looking over the write out and then fills in a few things. "These are sim schedules for the wing. I kept a slot open on these highlighted days in case you accepted. I will leave it up to you when you have time to train a group on the predators." She explains and then notes open pockets. "These are open hours on the sims, you pick the times, we will bring the pilots for you, sir." She says and slides the paper over for her. "I will alert the DCAG of your choice. And it will be understood that all will be at risk for you to need to hope in a bird." She offers a smile.

"I did not 'let myself go', I am 'keeping myself in' quite nicely, thank you so much. Remind me, if I see Mat again, to tell him to punch you in the face." Her voice is actually wuit cheerful through all of that. Ekho picks back up the jello, whose crust has now softened a bit, "I am unsure. But I also know that this is one of those times when I have to do what is necessary, if not entirely desirable." She spoons some of the jello into her mouth, before she starts looking over the schedules, using her free hand to pull the papers over in her direction. "I'll arrange my schedule to suit these times. We're more flexible down on Deck 4 than you are. Once we decide on times, all I would ask, is that you mix the Viper and the Raptor pilots. A mixed group makes it easier to teach and to learn." Since each side brings one half of the knowledge required to the table.

So a doctor, a pilot and a DCO walk into a mess hall. Oh wait, they are already sitting at a table. Ceres and Augie are on one side, sitting closer than regs should probably allow, while Ekho is on the otherside. Augie snags Ceres' pen to write something on Ceres' folder before he laughs. "Ya tell Mat that when he's ready to challenge me fer the golden gloves again, he can drag his balls off the ground and come find me." finally, he explains to Ceres. "Ekho's brother was an old friend of mine back before the Impervious went to hell." he comments, "Somehow, he convined me to come stag to his sister's weddin', probably wanted to pawn off that ugly ass bridesmaid on me, instead me and the Doc here became fast friends."

Grabbing at her pen again, Ceres stares at what is written on the folder that hold Ekho's name and settles her hand over it calmly. She pulls it towards herself and then nods her to the Doctor as she is the only one without food. Eying the jello as the scientist glances over the schedule for the sims. Redux sits up a bit straighter and waits. "Very well, mixed group then." She turns the pen about to write something and stops, pressing her hand back over the writing on the folder as she lets out a breath. Eyes flicker over to Augie before she pushes her chair to rise up and tuck the folder under her arm. "Pick three days a week, sir. I will get the pilots rotated in and out for you properly so they are each there once a week. We would appreciate you finding those who grasp it faster and then we can spread the training down into teams of natural talent to those that need more tiem to work on it. Pairing them up that way will also cut down on your hours needed to oversee."

Nico comes off the food line with a half-empty tray of food, and a flask filled with a clear liquid. Probably (hopefully), it's water. He peers around the mess, considers an empty table, and then has a second thought of things. He makes his way to the table where the others are sitting and standing, "This table isn't about to be free, is it?" His body language suggests he's looking to join them if not. It's in the way he tilts his tray and his head, like he's asking something other than what he's saying.

Ekho snorts, "That bridesmaid was my cousin Daniel. And I thought he looked positively fetching in his dress. You should have been so lucky." Finishing the first of her jello cups, Ekho moves on to the large selection of artificially flavoured fruit snacks, "As soon as I have a schedule that will work with your open availability, I will send it down to you, Captain." She doesn't rise, when Ceres does, but a certain DCO might feel an Ekho-sized foot kick him in the shin, right before her chin tips in the other Captain's direction, "Mostly free, but take a seat, there's plenty of room."

"Ow. Frakkin hell, what is with you people kickin me in the shins tonight." Augie complains, but when Ceres gives a subtle twist of her head, the DCO coughs and sets aside his tray. "Right, kept it warm fer ya, kid." he says to Nico as he rises to walk out with Ceres, slipping his hand into her arm.

"Thanks, Captain. I look forward to hearing from you as I know the DCAG will be as well." She admits and smiles to her, a rare thing but pauses as Nico joins them. New face. Dark eyes linger on him a moment. "I believe Captain Lin is remaining to fish through her jello some more. I am stealing away the DCO however." SHe says and nods to him. "Captain Delacroix." She lingers long enough to get his name before slipping away with the touch t her arm.

"Thanks, Captain. I look forward to hearing from you as I know the DCAG will be as well." She admits and smiles to her, a rare thing but pauses as Nico joins them. New face. Dark eyes linger on him a moment. "I believe Captain Lin is remaining to fish through her jello some more. I am stealing away the DCO however." SHe says and nods to him. "Captain Delacroix." She lingers long enough to get his name before slipping away with the touch t her arm.

"Warm's good. I can do warm." notes Nico as he moves towards Augie's seat, "Lieutenant Gallo, sir. Just transferred into the Gentleman Ghosts." He nods politely, then takes the seat, setting his tray down, "I didn't much feel like eating alone, and everyone's a stranger to me. I thought," He pauses to have a very long pull of water from his flask, "I'd try to fix that. Hey." This to Ekho. The departing pair get a nod of greeting.

"Lieutenant Garrido. Last of the neandrathals, at yer service. I make sure they holes get plugged and yer shit don't burn up." That's the nice way to say he's Damage Control as Augie waits for Ceres to lead them off.

Ekho returns the smile, but makes no attempt to hold the pair back, as they seem intent on a quick and quiet exit. "Yeah, it's not his legs holding him up," she offers at Augie's introduction of himself. "Good to meet you, El-Tee. And you don't need to sir me. Ekho Lin, Sciences. Most people call me Doc or Ekho. Have a seat. You won't be a stranger for long, but I suppose I should take advantage while I can."

"It's nice seeing fresh faces, really." Nico scratches the back of his neck and settles in at the table, "Can call me Nico, doc." notes the ECO, who seems more interested in his water than food or, in this case, conversation. He pauses to have another long drink from the flask, "Sciences. Must be.. interesting being in science at a time like this. What kind of science? If you say you're a roboticist or a computer scientist, I'm going to have to get you a drink on me." He smiles sarcastically, but with a hint of good nature to it. He seems slightly distant and inwardly drawn as a matter of fact, like it's his normal state.

"Where did you rotate from, if I might ask?" He doesn't look quite banged up enough to have been a rescue. "Good to meet you, Nico." She pauses, considering, before she decides to attack whatever the violently green pseudo-vegetable might be on her tray, gesticulating with her spoon. The good doctor does seem to have a prediliction for green-hued food. It's not quite firm enough to warrant a fork, "Sadly no. My speciality is in Biosystems Engineering — kobolforming. But I've also worked extensively in chemical and mechanical engineering. Are you looking for a roboticist or computer scientist?"

"No, but considering what's out there, trying to finish us off, I half figure anyone we have left who's into robotics or computers is probably going to need a series of stiff drinks." Nico isn't even making an attempt at his food… just his water. "Picon." The reply comes flatly. "Picon resistance. They sent me up here to have my appendix out, and then I got reassigned to one of your Raptor squadrons. I'm still getting used to how clean and spotless it is up here."

"Ah, I get your point. But I don't imagine they'd get much down time. Most of them are running themselves ragged trying to figure out how to fight an enemy that's gotten a hell of a lot bigger than we imagined." She takes a moment, considering the man, "That why you're off your feed? Or are you still getting used to being here and not there?" She pushes one of her jello cups in his direction.

"Or trying to figure out why they're so… human with their hatred." The man shakes his head and just sighs, "More the latter. I'm just not hungry… and trying to foist whatever that is on me was a good idea, but it's not going to work." He flashes a grin at Ekho, and digs into it anyway. The grin fades once he gets it into his mouth, "Huh. I.. well, that's interesting, I guess. What is this supposed to be?" He doesn't like it.

"We gave them bodies of metal, but we built them in our image, Nico. We gave them intelligence. We gave them the ability think, to feel, to perceive how we treated them. To understand the injustice that we perpetrated on them. How could we not expect them to hate us as we hate them? And they had years to fan that hatred out away from the only thing close to a home they had ever known. Understand, I am not condoning what they did. My husband, my children…the gods only know where they are, if they're still…" She doesn't bother to finish the thought. Ekho sniffs, as he seems not quite so enamored of her jello as she is, "It's an acquired taste. This is the secret, you see. You eat the worst things you can think of, then, it numbs your tastebuds, so you don't notice the tragic way they mangle otherwise perfectly serviceable food."

"Machines don't hate. They function. That's all they're supposed to do. This chair doesn't hate me for sitting on it and the other chairs won't give the slightest damn if I break it. Machines aren't supposed to care." He shakes his head and listens to the woman, but can't help but smile slightly, "I notice you didn't answer my question, though. I don't want to know, do I?" He says nothing about missing people.

"We didn't build machines. That coffee pot is a machine, a raptor is a machine. They don't have sentience. We created sentient beings, when we created the first Cylons. That was what, at the time, was considered the great breakthrough. The creation of artificial sentient lifeforms. We built them to do more than function. We built them to be. We, in our arrogance, delved into the realm of the gods. And we suffered for our hubris." Ekho ahs, "I'm sorry. It's green jello, with fruit. I believe it's marketed as lime flavoured. But I'm not sure any lime ever had quite that flavour."

"This isn't fruit. It's a trial." Nico sidesteps the rest of the discussion to focus on the geletin, instead. He holds the cup up to the light and peers at it, "I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, though. Crazy what you can get used to. War, armageddon, the death of everyone you knew… and lime geletin." He pauses, "I didn't think I liked being on a battlestar after I got to Picon. Now… it's an awfully nice place to be on. Picon's a bloodbath covered in dirt."

"Now you're getting it. We have to see if you can make it in these conditions some sort of way. Food is just the easiest test." A shake of her head, as Ekho finishes off her pseudo-vegetable, "Humans are resilient creatures. We can adjust to just about anything. But we have to believe in hope. Or else…why go on at all?" An almost sad sigh, as she looks down at the remains of her meal. "Have you toured much of the ship yet? I'm due back on 4, but if you're interested to see where all the scientists hang out, you're welcome to come with me."

"Not much. I'm still a little sore, but I'm back in active duty as of tomorrow, so I may as well pretend I'm fully healed…" The man finishes his water, "I'm not going to turn down seeing the science wing. Would be interesting, really. Hey… take it easy, alright?"

"I always do. It's either that, or get bits and pieces of myself cryogenically frozen. The labs on four are easy enough to find. Head down, look for engineering and then turn around and walk in the opposite direction. If you see a bunch of civilians running around looking afraid for their lives, you've found the place. Good luck, Nico. Welcome aboard." With that, Ekho takes her tray, taking care of her empties before she head back to work.

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