MD #223: Stay and Fight
Stay and Fight
Summary: Atticus approaches Yari about how to proceed once he's freed.
Date: 26/11/2017
Related Logs: None
Yari Atticus 
Mess Hall - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The Crew Mess on the battlestar 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.

Morning studies and follow-up PT are done, which puts Yari in a little window of time to freshen up and feed herself. Like any self-respecting 'lady', she has sped through a shower, quick rinse at best. Too many people were passing through between shifts to comfortably linger. So here she is, midrats on plate, stuffing her face like she hasn’t eaten in days. Mmm. Sandwich.

Atticus isn't sure if he's technically allowed to be in the Mess before third shift or not, but he's been in the library for a few hours this morning, and the MPs with him don't seem to be objecting to him following his stomach. Thankfully, the place is quiet and it doesn’t take long for someone to explain the system to him and for him to emerge at the other end with a tray of food and some coffee. At first he seems to be opting for a table where he can sit on his own, but once Yari is spotted he pauses, considers, then alters course. He doesn't sit immediately though, instead he keeps his tray in his hands and asks from the opposite side of the table, "I'm sorry, do you mind if I join you?"

The corpsman's jaw is getting a workout, chewing furiously to disappear the food before someone can call her to sickbay for laundry run. A small piece of wilty lettuce is on its way toward escape, dangling out the side when Atticus pops up and jerks her one-track mind off its rails. Yari looks up, then aside like she’s expecting Gunny or some other watchdog lurking nearby to gauge her reaction and/or police the situation. There isn’t. Swallowing, she offers a brief nod of head to the bench. "Sit."

Atticus clearly agonises for a moment as to if he's expected to take the seat opposite Yari, or opposite and along one. It's awkward, he doesn't know the social rules, leading to him taking a guess and setting his dry down opposite. His two guards, neither of whom have trays, also take a seat, one to his side, and one on Yari's side of the table but a chair or two down, so they can watch both directions. "Thank you," he replies once he's settled, well, more settled, he's clearly still anxious about something. Most likely the large room and just how many people could be in here at one time. Having a real knife and fork is weird too, but he tries not to show it too much as he slowly samples the food he'd picked out. Oddly, there's no fish. "Do you mind if I ask you something," he then says, after a couple of mouthfuls, watching carefully to try and gauge her reaction as he sips his coffee.

Yari watches his hands more than his eyes - something that would make her melee instructor pissed, but some habits, feral as they might seem, are slow to change. Also, there are pointy things in those hands. Another glance goes to the MPs, then back to her nub of sandwich. "Go ahead," she decides with a quiet mutter and eyes him warily over the rim of her juice.

Atticus can tell she's uncomfortable, but sadly some foods can't be eaten with your hands, so he has to keep the cutlery. He does try and get the cutting out of the way first though, so he can put the knife down and just use the fork. Small talk seems inappropriate, so he cuts straight to the point and asks, "why did you decide to work in medical?" Then, for context, "I need to figure out what I want to do. Something that’s useful. I doubt I can sit and make electronic copies of books for the rest of my life, and I know that sitting and reading everything in the library isn't going to help defeat the Skath. In some ways though you must have been in a similar sort of situation? How did you decide?"

Yari isn’t sure what she thought might have come out of his mouth, but a decently good question wasn’t anticipated. She sips thoughtfully and finds that lettuce on her face. Frak. A thumb makes a casual pass by to redirect the morsel into mouth. "Wasn’t much to decide," she relays and turns her stare down to some bits of crust. "I couldn’t stay on board the Norton forever without earning the bread fed to me and my children. When I saw Mum come on board, looking through the wee ones, I wanted to follow her. She didn’t know me, but she told me she was stationed on board the Orion…so this is where I went. Aren’t farms need tending up here. Isn’t wool to spin. But there are things need sewing. People." She takes another sip. "I knew some doctoring things already. Gram used to be a medic, in the second war. Used to watch her make medicines to smuggle to those hidin in the wood when Skath came. Later, the loyalist bastards took me away, gave me to one of their own. A doctor. He had lots of books in his study, thought I hadn’t seen him hide the key. So I read, when I could. Till he found out."

Atticus listens as he eats. He's not quite shovelling it down, but he doesn't seem particularly keen on making this an overly long lunch. Long enough for a conversation though, as he stops eating to reply. "My dad was a marine, here on Orion for part of the second war. Commander Petra said he thought I might like being an MP, but I'm not sure if that's because of my dad, and of what I used to do.." He stops there for a moment, aware of just how Yari would have viewed the Skath's idea of 'keeping the peace' He looks down a for a moment, ashamed at both his past and how quickly he'd managed to lead the topic into a conversational minefield. "Sorry," he says, still looking down at the table, "I probably shouldn't have bothered you."

"I know what you used to do…" Yari murmurs, "A far cry from practices here." She looks about as miserable as Atticus feels after speaking the question. "Although there is a soldier here who uses dogs. Just imagine not the same way.". Or so she hopes. way her face has paled, she's probably imagined the possibilities. "We don’t beat our women or hang or quarter dissenters, but knowing how to obey orders and hold your own against an opponent are marketable skills. I'm sure you'll learn what it is they expect from you and how best to perform. Like me, I’m not sure you've an alternate option, do you?" She slams back the rest of her drink like it's whisky but thankful it's not, then wads up her napkin into a neat ball on plate.

Atticus shakes his head slowly. "Commander Petra said I could go to Pitchfork, if I wanted to farm or explore. I don't think I could just plough a field though. Were there no war then I'd probably go for the exploration option, the opportunity to ride, see a new world.. But I can't, not while the Skath are out there." Noting that she appears to be finishing her meal he slows down a little, to give her the chance to bail if she chooses, then asks, "you've been onboard for longer, seen things here I haven't. Where would you put me?"

On the bottom of her shoe — the thought comes too easily but graciously unspoken. "People, my Piraean people, would not know you from the next refugee. Different accent, a bit, but they've never known a cleric, cannot sympathize with your story. But they would not know you, who you were, and that ignorance would keep you safe. Maybe you'd learn to use your hands to make things grow. Nurture life. Maybe you'd establish a family for yourself. I often wish I'd stayed behind, 'stead of letting some stranger raise my boys, my little girl. But with proper education, more training here, I can do much more for them, for my former townspeople then I can now, so presently, a transfer would benefit only myself. You know how to fight. Now that you see things more clearly, I suggest you apply your skills to the preservation of humanity, rather than subjugation of it. Stay and fight. Learn what it means to be a real man." Says a woman.

Establishing a family was something I was supposed to do on Picon," Atticus admits, "but I never seemed to get round to it." He nods to the rest of what she says though, uncertain for a moment if she's talking in general, or the Corp specifically. Rather than ask outright he drains about half of what he has left in his mug and says simply, "I suspect I should speak with Sergeant Ynyr then. See what he suggests, or indeed, if he'd have me. Still, there are other marine branches if he wouldn't. Thank you."

“I find Sgt Ynyr to be a reasonable man. Empathetic. Perhaps he'll give you good counsel." In Yari terms, good luck, pal. The thought of encountering Atticus on a more routine basis, let alone in the barracks, puts a knot in her belly, but this is war. need all the good guns one can get. She stands and offers him a curt nod, one to the MPs, then lifts the tray. "Time for rounds, " aka laundry, and she's off!

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