AWD #079: Still Gotta Eat
Still Gotta Eat
Summary: Enlisted discuss the aftermath of the mess hall massacre.
Date: 26/03/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Treason
Melpomene Sera Toby 
Naval Enlisted Berthings - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Housing a couple thousand naval personnel is never easy, but the fleet has managed for many decades. The enlisted barracks are divided up into sixty-bunk berthings and spread out across Deck Three. Each bunk has a small blue privacy curtain to keep out the light and prying eyes, but at least each individual has their own space. The drawers beneath each bunk and the lockers provide additional storage space. Between each stack of bunks is a single table that comprises a single section, each barracks holding five sections that are divided by thin bulkheads.
26 March 2005

In order to expedite the laundry process, and to take advantage of a somewhat cleaner if harder-to-access folding space, Melpomene has schlepped her entire net bag of dry, clean laundry back to the bunks. Just ignore the fact that she likely had to drag it at least part of the way. Cut then to the image of one petty officer bending over to lean inside a bottom bunk's privacy curtain to pick laundry out of a bag and fold it up neatly into piles laid out on the mattress. Obvious to what prying eyes might be around, she just hums a tune and folds, folds, folds that warm laundry before it wrinkles!

Sometimes, there are days when a girl just doesn't have enough hands. Apparently, today is one of them. Sera's got a big ol' filebox, complete with a stack of loose reports piled on top of it, in her arms. This means she doesn't have anything else to carry her breakfast sandwich, which consists of some sort of frozen-and-then-microwaved egg and sausage thing, with. Except for her teeth, which the half-eaten and half-cold goodie is currently wedged between. Classy, Sera. Classy. She scoots past one of the tables, carefully navigating her way through the narrow aisle by swivelling her hips sideways, trying not to bump into any of the scrambling crew doing their morning prep routine in the process.

Toby had not slept terribly well and the prospect of greeting the new day with energy and enthusiasm was unlikely to get anywhere. He's manage to get himself out of his bunk and showered though, which is making him feel a little more human and less walking dead, but he's still planning on stopping by the mess to drink around his own body weight in coffee before he has to be on duty in the hanger bay though. Walking back into the birthings from the head his hair is still damp, although the towel round his shoulders testifies to the fact that he has at least made an effort to stop it dripping down his back. Heading back down towards his bunk he follows a similar avoidance path to Sera, edge, swivel, turn, breath in. The joys of military life.

More than once in her glorious quest to fold laundry (and find the golden fleece?), Melpomene finds herself forced to stand up straight, press against the bunk, and allow others to pass by. "Whoa, watch out. Paperwork coming through. Caution: bureaucracy at work," she jokes as Sera wiggles past with the tremendous file box. Is it taking advantage if the woman's mouth is full and she can't quip back?

There's an eyeroll and a shrug from Sera — perhaps it's one of agreement. Nobody likes inventory reports, after all. Not even the person filing them. She scoots past until she reaches the end of her row, where the box is set down with a dull, heavy thud. Hands free, she can now actually take a bite of her sandwich, chew it, and swallow, all while holding the thing (gasp!) in her hands. "If I didn't file my weekly twenty pounds of reports, I'm, like, ninety percent sure the gravity in the ship would need to be adjusted to compensate for the decrease in mass."

Progress is slow but steady as Toby starts to wonder why he didn't try and claim a bunk slightly closer to the door. He's almost home though a bereaucracy shaped blockage appears infront of him. Spotting the women chatting he figures that he can either go round the long way or take the riskier option and try and squeeze though. A glance to scope out option a reveals a steady stream of people going the other way so option b it is. "'cuse me," he says as he gets close enough to Sera, "coming through."

"I bet it does wonders for your figure too, huh? No upper body day when you have to lug that stuff around!" As Toby approaches, Mel once again has to go to the completely vertical. This time, however, she chooses to have her back to the bunk and gets up on tip toe, trying to play like a movie theater patron and get skinnier by getting taller. "Whoa, hey, new guy! C'mon! Watch it! I just took my clothes out of the dryer!" Melpomene exclaims in response to post-shower dampness transfering from upper-body to off-duty threads as Toby squeezes through.

"Ain't nothin' that'll burn off that freeze-dried mess hall meat-burger mess quite like a long career of luggin' heavy cargo from Point A to Point B," Sera says with a lopsided smirk, well aware of the ultra-high opinions of what a long, hard day in the life of a deckhand consists of. Speaking of which, she shoots an upnod to Toby, a gesture of recognition but not warmth. She doesn't smile, for whatever reason.

"Sorry," Toby replies, turning to Melpomene once he's through the bottle neck. He's not noticing any greavous damage done so he leaves it at that, besides, offering his towel would likely just spread the moisture further rather than mop it up. "Still getting used to all this," he explains, then returns Sera nod with one of his own, following it with a brief, "morning."

"I don't know how eager I am to hit the mess anymore." If she was joking before, Melpomene certainly is joking a lot less now. She takes a deep breath, and turns around to finish folding the last few articles of clothing still lying on the mattress. After that, it's time to file them away in the drawers and locker underneath and between the bunks.

There's a visible wince from Sera at Melpomene's comment. Her lips curl inward, disappearing between teeth that bite down on them. Her eyes close in a long, lingering blink as she exhales very, very slowly. "Yeah, well. I still gotta eat," Sera mutters, bitterness and bile creeping into her voice. She makes no attempt whatsoever to hide it.

Toby frowns faintly at the mention of the mess too, apparently having missed Sera's initial comment about it before. Feeling suddenly tired again as he leans against the foot of his bunk he lifts a hand up to rub his face a few times, muttering largely to himself, "Lord, remind me why I thought this was a good idea again?" That done he takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders and starts to pull his coveralls out of his locker.

"Not to be like…overly-nosey about it, but…you two were there? Like, you saw what happened and stuff? Someone went crazy?" Rumors will spread, of course, and better to hear the account from someone there than to hear it from someone two weeks later chatting about it in the head or something. "I was off-duty, so I had no idea what was going on. Just what the brass feeds," Melpomene begins to say. She rethinks, however. "Just what the brass decides to release to the general public."

"Yeah," Sera replies, poking her tongue into one side of her cheek, forcing it to bulge outwards into a super-attractive lump. "We were both there when the shootin' started. A bunch of people were. Heard the whole thing, saw the whole thing. Brass has been real good about spreadin' the word of what's goin' around ship, lettin' people know what they gotta do to stay safe." Her eyes, naturally quite dark in color, only get worse when they're full of the sort of stormy, vicious anger that's starting to creep into them. It's evidenced by the color in her cheeks, too, tan skin beginning to turn red.

"Heard it," Toby confesses to Melpomene, "saw frack all. Too busy hiding under a table kissing my arse good bye. Yeah though, sounds about right. Guy walked in, pulled a gun and started shooting the airwing." There's a brief pause in the account as he finds somewhere to drape his damp towel then he carries on. "Fired two clips by my reckoning then legged it, yelled some crazy shit too, got the pilots all pointing guns at each other." Halfway into his coveralls now he steps back towards the pair to say a little quieter but with a definite edge, "'parently one of 'ems a Toaster, but they're okay with that."

Have you ever seen eyes the size of silver dollars? Like, literally, the size of silver dollars? That's probably about the size that Melpomene's eyes become, big and blue and naive as all get out. "One of our pilots, you mean? Like, in this ship's air wing? Not some pickup from a resistance camp? Holieeeeeee frak." Her lips are pushed together tightly and she stands there holding a t-shirt, listening to the account of the massacre in the mess hall.

Sera nods, mutely. She's pressed her lips into a thin line, with enough force to drain them of all their color. It's one of those 'if I open my mouth right now, I'm never going to stop' expressions. Eventually, she manages to choke the lump in her throat down. "Redux. Ceres. The guy started screamin' when he stared shootin', about a "Where's the NINE?", callin' out some skinjob as a "traitorous bitch", then took aim right at her an' the rest of the pilots she was sittin' with."

"Precisely that," Toby replies with the faintest of nods to Melpomene, he's still new enough that 'our' feels an odd fit. "One of the ones who got hit too, bled just like you or I would. I mean, I get how they'd look like us to fit in, but fracking bleeding? I ended up covered in the stuff and no way could I tell it wasn't human." Hence not sleeping very well. Dragging a hand down his face once more he shakes his head slightly, "heard they reckon the shooter was another one, based on what he was yelling." There's a nod there to Sera's words before he adds a final, "was alking to one of the others yesterday, Raptor lass, coverfold? Centrefold? Anyway, she said they reckoned here were six different ones out there, but now they're thinkig at least nine." By the time he finsihes speaking he's leaning in a little closer to the pair, keeping his voice low so it shouldn't carry to far, even with the edge to it.

"Well, there's a terrifying thought," Melpomene nods at Toby. "Nine? Instead of six? What's to say there's not an even dozen? Or two dozen? Or a hundred? Or a thousand? If they can look like us, what's to say they didn't build cities like us. Gods, whole cities filled with Cylons in human suits. That's a damn scary thought." The downsides of an over-active imagination combined with the paranoia induced by murderers on the loose and the whole 'end-of-the-worlds' thing, it seems. Unlike Toby, however, Melpomene makes little attempt to disguise the bit of panic in her voice, the paranoia, or even the volume.

"Yeah, well, they've got her an' her frakkin' husband in medbay right now. Gettin' the full-on treatment. Usin' medical supplies for people wounded by those ambulatory tin-cans to keep her from bleedin' out." Her upper lip curls back at the same time her fingers curl inward. She looks about ready to spit in someone's face. "You ask me? If all this is true, an' she really is one of those frakkers? The only place she belongs is out a gods-damned airlock."

"Nothing," is Toby's doom-filled response. "Absolutely. Frakking. Nothing." He even jabs his finger forward into the space between them to emphasise each word of it. Seemingly largely on the same wavelength as Sera he nods in agreement to her words as he shifts his feet ever so slightly so he can lean against one of the bunks. "Damn straight," he agrees, "right after the docs have finsihed cutting it to pieces to see what makes it tick and how the hell we can tell 'em apart in future." Theres a brief pause, then he corrects himself, "no, docs can do that after the airlock. No point in risking shit, just space it. I saw what they did to Tauron, I watched a planet burn. I signup to kill 'em, not hold their hand while the frakking docs patch 'em up." It's possibly a good thing that he had started leaning on the bunk, for he's work up enough now that if he hadn't he'd likely have slammed his hand into a locker. Fortunately now though, there isn't one in easy reach.

"Gods…you think she…it is like, broadcasting a distress call? I mean, if it's a machine, there's nothing to say there's not a beacon going off right now. Maybe they don't like it when they get shot at and decide to call in backup? Shoot…maybe there's a bomb or something inside and if the wrong thing gets poked or if it gets killed or something, it blows!" Thoroughly worked up into a conspiracy-theory frenzy, Melpomene lets quite a few theories echo around the bunk room. "You think that's possible? You think the Cylons are going to find out about the fleet here?" Her eyes flick back and forth between Toby and Sera, looking for an answer.

"I don't know. They might. But since it seems like they've been on board, an' down planet, for awhile now? I think if those metal bastards could phone home from here, they would've by now. An' I ain't seen a basestar jump in over Piraeus yet." Sera rocks back on her heels, trying to maintain her balance. It's not an easy feat, in this hideous safety boots that come standard issue to everyone on deck. "I mean, think about. We're so far out, even us, in this big ol' beastie, sendin' messages to the Colonies would take ages to get there. We were sendin' mail Raptors out to communicate with folks back home. These things? They're people sized. Where are you goin' to fit broadcast hardware big enough to out-strip the signal range of a battlestar in somethin' as big as me, especially when you've got to fill it with enough fake blood an' guts to be convincin', too?"

"Haven't a clue," is all Toby can offer initially, "who knows what systems they're packing." He's either unconcerned that others are likely over hearing, or too engrossed in the converation for it to register as his attention is kept firmly with there. The logic from Sera gets a nod, it makes sense, but then he feels he has to add, "true, and damn good points, but we can't produce things like that, that walk and talk and breath and bleed just like one of us. It's all possible, or if it isn't then there's surely been enough chances for them to get messages out when there's been recon and such. For ll we know they're letting us find and unit as many suriviors as possible before they get the signal to come here and finish us off like the rest."

"Sneaky bastards!," Melpomene adds to the discussion, contributing the obvious. "This is too freaky man. Way too much. I didn't sign up for this shit, man!" Mini freak out: go! She just flops down onto the edge of the bunk, careful to lean far enough forward to keep from cracking her head on the top bunk. Mostly, she just holds her head in her hands and shakes it back and forth. "Nope, nope, nope. Didn't sign up for toasters dressed up as people."

"None of us signed up for this crap," Sera says grimly as she reaches up to run one hand, the fingers stained grey from too many years of soaking up oil, through her bangs. "An' I don't know what the frak command is thinkin'. They blasted open the enviro-domes on Troy, sank the Seventh Anchorage, an' it crashed right into Virgon. I'd put money down that 99% of the people I know that are left in the whole damned universe are on this ship. An' now they've got one in medbay, all bandaged up." Suddenly, and without warning, Sera slams a balled up hand into the nearest locker. It makes a loud "BANG!" from the force, and she snarls as the pain shoots up her arm.

Toby had had a remarkably similar reaction the day before, when he'd found out, but can find no words of comfort to offer so instead he shuts up and listens to Sera, nodding at the pertinemt points as he does so. "They nuked Tauron til the surface boiled, and I've seen the reports of Minos. Drop a few low-grades so it kills off the human but leaves them able to mine it themselves? Maybe we should find out if they die from radiation posioning too? Eh?" THere's a faint flinch at the sound of the fist hitting the locker but then he shakes his head, pushing himself to stand on his own two feet once more. "Frakking marines guarding it too, like it was a person. Hell, it even married one of us, talk about infiltration."

The sound of a fist on the locker shakes Melpomene out of her little pout. Enough so that she actually gives a little yelp and hops up out of the bunk. "Aiyeee!" she squeals out, ducking down. "Good gods, woman! Are you trying to give me a heart attack, after talking about all this stuff?!" She slowly stands back up from that ducking position and looks around a little skittish.

Yeeeeeeeah. It's going to take Sera a second to answer that question. Mostly because she's biting down on her lower lip, muttering a string of swearing that's incomprehensible when only half her mouth is working, and squeezing her hand furiously as the skin starts to turn red. Owwwwwwww. "Sonuva…"

Toby glances to Sera's hand briefly, then the locker, then back to his own bunk. "I need another frakkin' shower," he announces to the pair, "even talking about this shit.." Shaking his head again he turns to strip his overalls once more and reach for his towel before turning to thread his way through the bunks once more.

"Be careful with punching stuff, or you might have to go down to sickbay…right where you don't want to be!" As for Melpomene, it seems that it's about time for her to come on-duty. Thankfully, it's just a matter of adding the uniform shirt to the off-duty threads and then she's ready to go, showered and laundried for the day and week respectively. "I have a feeling my imagination is going to run wild on duty today." Then she's headed for the door as well.

"Sorry," Sera mumbles, in reply to Melpomene's comment. She could be genuinely contrite for worrying her. Or her hand could just hurt. Or both. Either way, she shakes her head, utterly disgusted with the entire situation, and crawls up into her bunk to nurse her hand and her piles of paperwork alike.

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