AWD #083: The Only One I Got
The Only One I Got
Summary: Sera reads Dio in on her Cylon project; he has a few ideas for one of his own.
Date: 30/03/2013
Related Logs: That Special CMC Touch
Diomedes Sera 
Deck Storage
Taking any one of five elevators down to the below decks brings the individual to a heavily armored storage area. There are not any sprinklers here, though. Large, ominous vent shafts travel to the side of the pod and will open once the call is made from Damage Control in CIC or by the Deck Chief. The reason is that this area serves as the munitions and ordnance storage for the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators. Pallets of bombs, missiles, guns, bullets, and every type of deliverable munition in between is stored below decks, as well as the extra parts of all the aircraft aboard. Cameras monitor this area and the only access, outside the elevators, are sets of hatchways which are guarded at all hours by Marines.
AWD #83

Below deck it was quiet. There wasn't the noise of the deck crews. There wasn't the noise of the Vipers or Raptors. There was just the camera- and the marines who guarded the doors. Whistling to himself, Diomedes was taking his time as he pulled a replacement part for a faulty bird just above on the repair deck. The part, a fuel impeller, served to readily mix the fuel for the engine. Prepping it here saved Dio time and the stress of having to deal with other deckhands- So here he sat, near a pallet of like impellers while he checked the part out and ensured it was in proper order.

It's easier to hear Sera than to see her, at least at first. There's rows and rows of shelving stacked high with everything missles to extra flathead screwdrivers down in storage, and it all takes up quite a bit of room. So at first, she's just the thud of her boots against the metal floor and flashes of orange glimpsed in the cracks between boxes. Probably just another deckhand, easy to ignore, until the familiar voice of the Petty Officer rings out, "Alexios? You down here?". Of course he is. She followed him as soon as she saw him heading towards the elevators, after all.

"Yeah, I'm over here. Impellers, house-wares and pillowcases." Diomedes answered loudly, while he turned the two sides of the impeller to ensure they reciprocated properly. "Smooth." he said to himself after a moment, rising to his feet and looking around. "What's up, P.O?" he wondered, as he hefted the metal thing to rest it on his shoulder, with a little wince. That side still hurt- but at least he wasn't ripping stitches.

She's got her sidearm on her. Of course she has her sidearm on her, even if only the dumbest of the dumb would fire a pistol down here. There's places to hide and that frakker is still loose on the ship, which would explain why she's looking over her shoulder and around the stacks like she's worried she was followed, too. "I wanted to talk to you," she says. "Alone." Well, okay. Maybe that's the reason she's looking around like a Paranoid Polly.

"Well, just you and me for quite a few rows. Them marines don't ever leave their posts." Dio said, as he looked towards Sera with a touch of uncertainty. "What's up?"

She presses her tongue into her cheek for a minute, 'causing it to bulge outwards. Eventually, she swallows and says, "I've been workin' on a project. So far, it's just me an' one Marine I'm about to pull into it. I don't have a choice there. I need the help. The whole this is down on Piraeus. Off-ship, under the guard of the MPs. It could make the difference for the resistance on Picon an' Aerilon if I manage not to frak it up. I saw what you did in the mess the other day, an' I figured… well, I figured if there was someone I could trust to bring in on it, full access, it'd be the guy who is pissed off enough to full-blown beserker rage on a toaster with nothin' but a lunch tray." One hand reaches up to scratch at the nape of her neck, a nervous tic, though she'd never say so. "You interested?"

A moment of silence followed by a second moment of silence. "Well, if you need the help, sure." he says, "But, what is it that's so secret you have to come after me here in the bowels of this bucket?" he wonders, eyebrows knitting together as he tries to figure this one out. "And that toaster deserved it. Honestly, I wish I hadn't left my tools at work. It have been better with my wrench."

For just one second, Sera grins. For just one second, she isn't being sarcastic or bitter or angry or bossy. There is, it seems, still a person under the face she puts up. And that smile? It's infectious. So's the laugh that follows. "Gods damn, man," she mutters, before shaking her head. And then she sighs, the grey cloud slowly creeping back over her. "Well, you remember a few weeks back, that ship they salvaged? There were Centurions aboard. Blasted to bits, sure, but we still had the pieces. So I convinced command to give 'em to me to pick apart, put back together again. See how they work. And how we can kill 'em faster."

Dio grins, though he's not quite sure why. Its a fairly bright thing, white toothed and wide. "Yeah.." he says, signifying he has a working memory. "So.. wait." he blinks. Once. Twice. "Wait. You're putting them /back together/?" Despite being a pretty bright guy, Dio seems wholly confused by the idea of putting Centurions back together. "Well." he says, after a moment. "I guess that makes sense. And I do like to watch those tin-men fall apart. So. Yeah, I'll help you."

Sera nods once. "I don't really want to get 'em up an' runnin' again, but if I have to in order to figure out what makes the damned things function, then I will. As it is," she says with a slight sniff, or maybe it's a snort, of derision. "The first thing I did with 'em was yank all of the bullets out an' figure out how many the Centurions hold. They're pretty much intelligent, walkin' machine guns. The damned things hold four hundred rounds. Four hundred." A beat, and then, "That's why I'm bringin' Fischer in. Ballistics testin'. See how fast an' hard we can return the favor."

"Honestly, I've always wondered what they're armored with. Might not need to have hard-ammo if we can figure out a good chemical substitute." Dio says, "Plenty of metals that are reactive to various acids and bases." Though how someone like Diomedes knows that might be a little out there. He's showing his intellect, again. "Rapid oxidation would really just frak their day up, too. That's assuming they're usin' a reactive metal. And, they've got to have some sort of shielding against magnetism." He just shakes his head. "Four-hundred. Each of them is a four-hundred bullet killing machine." Dio just gives a bit of a sigh, "Almost makes you prefer Skinjobs. AT least they only got pistols."

"…It gets worse. The frakin' things? They've loaded themselves up with a caliber just sliiiiiightly larger than is standard for CMC rifle companies. Meanin' they can fire anythin' our troops leave behind. But if some jarhead comes across a Cylon stockpile an' doesn't check it close enough? He could load the thing right into his rifle, try to fire it, have it jam. Or worse, blow his hand off." She chews on the inside of her cheek, trying to keep the anger at bay. It doesn't help. She knows too many Marines. She's loved too many of them. A flash of fury cuts across her face like a thunderclap. "Those things," she spits. "Are made of lies, whatever model you're lookin' at."

Bald men have expressive eyebrows. Dio's eyebrow, a dapper black thing, raises quite high at the sudden rage. His, a simmering slow anger, has cooked in him for quite some time now. "Well. I'm forced to wonder why the old man is protectin' some of them. And why they ain't tellin' all they know on how to moon-stomp their more silver brothers and sisters." he just shakes his head, "I can't believe this shit, honestly. You and me, we still got sense- but… " his eyes get a little more narrow, and he leans close to look at Sera. "You think we oughta take the task in our greasy hands? If one of them is gettin' in a bird, honestly, I can rebuild a viper from spit and tape. It be worth watchin' it go critical to release another soul from shadows."

It's an instinctive thing, her reaction to that gesture. As he leans in, her voice lowers to a whisper. This is how conspiracies are formed. "The trouble is, birds go down for maintenance all the time. So yeah, she's got a frame that's hers. An' three others she might use, too. Somebody else's goes down, an' she's off-duty, they could climb into her seat….," she trails off, swallowing thickly. "We'd have to be real, real, real careful to make sure ain't nobody else goin' near that thing when the calls goes out for Vipers. 'Cause otherwise, we'd just be doin' those tin-cans a favor by takin' down another one of our own." It's not a no. Not exactly. Not even close.

"So." Dio's voice going low as well, "We have to plan it right. Can't go much beyond the two of us- but.." His eyes shift, "I'm thinking during pre-flight- when we /know/ that bird is going forward. And we /know/ who's piloting it- just forget a tool- a nice sharp one near one of the wire controls. Let the steering go out- Ain't no way to control that bird- it becomes a sitting duck. Just a few turns of the stick, that wire frays and breaks." Dio snaps his fingers. " And that bird and tool burn up."

The bruises on her hand are healing. They've turned yellow and are starting to fade. He can see it, as she reaches up to drag her hand through her hair, finger-combing her high ponytail slowly as she considers that. The silence is long. And lingering. "An' if the damned thing cuts in the tubes? Then we're fraked. Not just 'cause it might be found, but 'cause of what might happen if somethin' goes crash-boom in the middle of its launch sequence." She's thinking. She's thinking. There's got to be a way.

Dio gets quiet himself, thinking. "Hey. We got some ordinance that's got a high-heat tolerance, yeah?" he asks of Sera, still quiet. STill low. "Or something we could set to catch on fire near the fuel tank. Something that'll burn in space. Just not until the engines are really heated up.." Dio's smile turns dark. "You think one of us could convince one of 'em to let us bipass some of the safety systems in her bird for, " And his hands come up to finger quote, "Better performance."

"The thing is, it ain't just about gettin' her ass on a one-way ticket to oblivion, much as I wish it was." She frowns, the edges of her mouth turning down sharply. "It's about not gettin' caught. 'Cause with the way the brass is practically breast-feedin' those two, they're goin' to come down like a hammer on any "accidents" that happen so convenient-like. On whoever was workin' the bird, on the lead tech for that team, on the CPO headin' up AE(M), even on the Chief. It ain't just me an' you puttin' our necks out there. It'd be us puttin' our necks an' everyone else's on our crews out there. I want her an' him dead just as much as you. Believe me, I do." Her eyes close. She exhales a sigh. "I'm startin' to think I ain't runnin' on anythin' but spite, these days. But you want to kill Cylons? Let's kill the ones we can get our hands on first. Let's hand the CMC everythin' the need to blast them to ash not just in onesies and twosies, but scores at a time, yeah? An' maybe, just maybe, while we're workin' down planetside, we'll find out these flesh-robots go boom when you hit just the right frequency, or somethin'."

Diomedes is quiet. He nods, "Fraked up. That's what it is. If they were on our side, they'd have told us how to win." He just gives a bit of a snort. "Yeah, but you're right. I got hate for days for them who've sent everyone I know to penance without pleasure, and death without release. To many frakin' ghosts." he gives a shake of his head, his mood turning dour. "And us protectin' the ones who made'em. Yeah, though. Lets see what we find out when we tear down and rebuild us some toasters of our own."

It's not something Sera does often. She's Trojan. She comes from a dusty little pit full of people who are born poor and hungry, and after a lifetime of labor, die exactly the same way. She's a deckhand, working a backbreaking job in often dangerous conditions on a ship in the middle of a war. Be hard or break, and that's pretty much all she knows. But there she is, offering one of her hands for a squeeze, with their fingertips that have been stained permanently grey from grease and skin that's only been kept from cracking by careful, deliberate care on her part. "It seems like all there's left is ghosts. Like we're turnin' into them ourselves, sometimes. Don't it?"

Dio takes that bit of comfort. He squeezes Sera's hand, quiet. "I'm not a ghost. Not yet. And neither are you." he says, eyes flitting up to Sera's. A serious expression on his face. "I'm a lot of things, but dead isn't one of them. I'm hatred. I'm anger. I am the defeat that stands with a will, and laughing buries the bits of me that die. I stand with a will in this storm and I am *dangerous.*" he says, as he looks to Sera. "And I expect you to do the gods-damned same." He nods, once. Squeezing Sera's hand again. A gentle motion.

"Have you ever prayed to He Who Receives All?," she asks, defaulting to one of the more common sobriquets for Lord Hades, so feared he may as well be referred to as He Who Must Not Be Named. "I have. I was put into his service the day I was born, blessed before his statue in the temple almost as soon as I let out my first wailin' cry. You look at the dead differently, after that. They don't seem so very far away after all — just on the other side of the riverbank, hidden from your eyes by a thin grey veil." A beat. "Maybe your way is better."

"I don't pray, anymore." Dio answers quietly, and without an ounce of fear, he continues. "Not to Hades. Not to Hephaestus. Not to Ares. Not to any God. I lost my faith a long time ago, Sera. I lost my hope. All the good things I knew are dead. And a machine killed them. All I want, all I /need/ now is Justice. Everyone I know? They're trapped. They're trapped on /this/ side of the River, and the boatman won't take them across until someone's given them Justice. But, that- that very notion. That very thing is Unjust in the worse way. I'm startin' to think that the Gods, if they even exist, just don't care. We're motes of dust. Specks. Nothing compared to the largeness of the Universe. And in the end? Its a choice. You can struggle against all that nothingness, and call it hope. But hope? Hope is like faith. You can't eat it. You can't touch it. And it won't sustain you." Dio's face turns somewhat stony, "But what you can't do, even knowing all that, is despair. Because the absence of hope is /not/ despair, and I've got something to fight for. I've got my life. Its mine. Its the only one I got, and I'm half tempted to think the dead are just bones in the ground without no-where to go after. No paradise, no hell-scapes. Just dust. And if that's the case? Well. I'm going to keep fighting until I find my beauty, until I find my place in the sun. I'm going to be angry, and I'm going to get drunk, and I'm going to frak and feel and know life and live it up while I got it. And during all that? I'm going to *break* every toaster I run across, because they're not alive. They don't feel *shit*. They're *things*. Soulless, emotionless, merciless *things* that deserve to be broken because those *things*… Those *Things* are the ones who killed my hope. They killed my family. And, in a way, they killed me too."

Some people laugh at funerals, because the overwhelming sense of dread is too much, the foreboding aura has to be broken. Sera must be one of them. She really, truly, must be. Because suddenly, she's grinning. It starts out slowly at first, just this wavering thing that has to gain its feet before it can properly creep across her face. And then, soon enough, it's stretched across it, ear to ear. The more he talks, the bigger it gets. She tilts her head up so he can see it. She's not going to hide this one. Not this time. "Good," she whispers. And then, firmer, louder, "Good."

Diomedes nods, a single time. "I need a cigarette." he says, "But, its pretty well suicide to light up down here. Care to join me for a smoke?" he asks of Sera as he nods towards the elevator, reshouldering the impeller he'd been prepping before Sera came to find him.

"I'd light up from dawn 'til dusk, if it didn't mean lightin' up the whole damned ship with me while on ship," she says, shoving off the stack she'd been leaning against. "So yeah. An' I'll get copies of the papers on the project to you, too. Just keep 'em locked up. I don't want 'em gettin' off into hands that shouldn't have 'em. Those crates are too valuable to lose."

"Don't got to tell me twice. I'll keep it safe." Diomedes has long known just how important secret stashes are. His locker has a false bottom for just that reason.

One black brow cocks upwards, as she climbs into the elevator and hits the button to take them back onto the deck with a grinding of gears and the sudden jerk of the floor under their feet lifting. "…You better just keep your black mitts off mine. If I find that the jug of Scorpian rum I won off that last big card game is missin' from my locker, I'm lookin' for you." She's joking, right? She's got to be, with that smirk.

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