AWD #063: Upgrades in Hades
Upgrades in Hades
Summary: Cole and Phin discuss falling in and out of love (with flying metal death traps), and some other odds and ends.
Date: 10/03/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: I Was Drowning and, umm, some Cole Aerilon/Magpie ones. I'm just picking Sharing Burdens.
Cole Phin 
Ready Room — Deck 2 — Battlestar Orion
Capable of seating every member of the wing with space to spare in its stadium organization, the Ready Room has more than two hundred seats and is the largest room on the ship dedicated to single briefings. Sections of desks were manufactured specifically for this and wrap the width of each level of seating, rolling leather seats positioned at even points through each row. The walls have the tenant squadrons' patches painted on individual panels as well as a Kill Board up to the left side of the dais and podium, the Training Board on the other side to log progress. At the rear hatch, on a barren section of wall, is the framed and cased photo of 'Bad Dog' Ruegger.
AWD #63

Phin is off-duty. So he's being super-fun and spending his free time…in the ready room. He's even still in his blues, though at least the jacket's unbuttoned. He's alone and the lights are low, so he can get a better picture of what's playing on a vid screen down front. He's watching CAP footage, from the look of it. His own, given the time-stamps. Notepad's out, and he periodically takes down some scratch. The circling of Piraeus and the fleet that hangs above it aren't particularly thrilling viewing, but he's paying close enough attention to it. He's slouched in a chair, drinking coffee from a ceramic cup with the 'Argentum Bay Silverstars' logo on it.

A column of smoke raises up from the tip of Ari's cigarette as he enters the Ready Room. He too looks as if he's off duty, judging by the fact he's stripped down to his dual tanks. Seems as if he had one little piece of business to take care of before retiring for the night, and so he enters the dim Ready Room with a stack of octagonal folders clamped in one hand. "Ah, I remember being a young Jiggy overachiever too. You kids are so cute."

Phin turns his head, pausing the footage. He lets out a "Heh" at Cole's words. "Hey, Janitor. When was that? Back in the olden days, when horses pulled battlestars?" He kids, of course. "Anyway, I don't know about that. Just try to have a look at my flight tapes every now and then. Not just the combat ones. Bumper used to say, back when I was in his class in flight school, that you learn as much from watching what you do normally than what you do under pressure. Easier to track your habits, y'know?" Ah, Duke. Long gone from any active service. "You can turn the lights up if you need to. Won't make much difference."

"Back when I was young and foolish, and in love." There's a fleck of a smile from the man, the light from the footage reel reflecting off his white teeth. "Nah, leave them down. I'll only be a second in the files." Janitor takes another puff of his cigarette before he settles it in an ashtray on top of the filing cabinet in the corner. He opens a drawer and ruffles for a moment, tucking his folders away in some sort order. "I was just giving you shit. I wish more Sticks spent time with their footage." He retrieves his cigarette and starts up the row towards Phin, his lanky legs chewing up the distance with ease. A flop puts him in a seat next to Dolly.

"In love?" The choice of words makes Phin smirk, but it's not a sentiment he really disagrees with. "I hear that, man." He might very well mean with the damn planes, and assumes Cole means the same. Phin is nothing if not an enthusiastic little aerobat about jocking his Viper around. "Don't think you've fallen out of it, though, from what I can see." His nose twitches some at the cigarette smoke, but it's fairly distant from him, and he doesn't complain. Not like he doesn't get it from everyone close-quarters in the berths, so he's accustomed enough. "What're you working on? I mean, you don't mind my asking."

"Just housekeeping." There is a long pace where Cole does nothing but toke on his cigarette, his eyes locked forward on the images on the screen. One leg lefts to prop a boot up on the seat in front of him. "I get the sweats." He confides quietly. Not something a Captain should be confiding to a Jig, but there it is. Not currently acting as the SL, and it being the end of days and all, Cole is taking a liberty. "When I sit in the cockpit now, I get the sweats."

"Oh?" Pause. "Oh." Phin nods, smile sobering, and he takes a moment to just drink on his coffee. Not SL indeed. A situation Phin hasn't asked about, though he seems content enough flying under Holtz. And seems to have accepted that as the new normal, even with Cole back. "Since when? I mean…you don't mind me asking? Since Aerilon or…?"

Cole says, "Yeah. But I've got to get off this light duty shit. It's going to kill me." Cole's nails scratch at his tattoos, making white lines across some of his ink. "I keep reviewing my cam footage from that day. I don't know how I survived.""

"I thought you were gone, yeah, when I saw your shoot burning," Phin says. "Figured we were going back to retrieve your body, make sure you looked pretty when you got a proper send-off. Which…I mean, I figure we still owe each other if…" Vague finger gesture into the emptiness of the Ready Room air. "Sorry. That's…morbid." Though it's plainly something he thinks about from time to time.

"If we bite the big one. Nah, it's okay. We've got our own mortality starring us in the face. If we /didn't/ talk about it, there would be a bigger problem. But thank you, for saying you'd make me look all dashing for my last hurrah." Cole smiles slightly in the darkness, an expression that seems a bit fond if anything. "Shit. Seems like you just came onboard a week ago."

"Little over three months. Maybe four now," Phin replies, half-smiling himself. "Yeah. It's kind of surreal, when you think about it. Redux and Talkshow and all the pilots who'd been here for the last tour kept telling me I'd be bored of my ass. Nothing but training missions and flying circles around a bunch of scientists. Looks good on your service jacket, though. Good for the Captain-by-thirty plan." He snorts. A pause, and more coffee, and he admits, "I dream about it sometimes. Well, not exactly it but…that's what I think it's about."

"You dream about being bored? Dayum. A guy your age should be thinking about chasing tail in every port. Not about sitting on his ass and flying looped-d's. What have we become! What have they made us!" Over dramatically, Cole lifts his hands towards the ceiling, shaking them ruefully. A few ashes get knocked on the front of his tanks.

Phin laughs, and the overdramatics especially, though it doesn't quite chase the serious out of his mood. "No. I meant…about the…mortality thing." Less chuckles, about that. "Usually I'm in the Styx, and the Ferryman's got his oar like direct on my neck, holding me under the water. Feels like drowning but…I figure that's how it feels if you have to eject and your air runs out so…same different." Ahem.

"You know what would solve that problem?" Cole asks, his voice pitched in all seriousness.

Phin cants his head toward the other pilot. He doesn't. But tell him, wise old Cole.

"If that damn ferrymen would upgrade to an outboard motor. Oars. How outdated." Wise old Cole spews out wise in spades, and does so with a straight face, ending his statement with another draw from his cigarette.

Well, that was not the pearl of wisdom Phin was maybe expecting. It does make him laugh, though. "Start praying for upgrades in Hades, I guess. Probably as useful as anything else."

"You should talk to Arden about the rest of that shit, though. She's good with that sort of stuff." Ari? Is good at the class clown act and attempting to make people feel comfortable. In part, why Holtz is a better SL and Cole hasn't made any waves about retaking his old position. Holtz makes them squirm when they ought. "Upgrades in Hades." Cole gives a little huff of laughter at the imagery.

"I did, awhile ago," Phin says, as to the chaplain. "She said it wasn't, like, prophetic or anything." It's unclear whether he precisely believes that, though. It's something he's seemingly lived with for a long time, though, so he doesn't squirm when talking about it. He just laughs again. "If you can't find a good contractor in the afterlife, man, where can you find them? No, I mean, it'll happen or it won't. I sweated it for awhile. Wrote a will and everything after we got back from Caprica, that first time. Not so much anymore, though."

"This some backwards way of telling me I'll get over it? The sweats'll get better and I won't feel as if my cockpit is on fire every time I try to strap in?" A sideways glance is given to Dolly, one of Janitor's dark brows is ticked up.

Phin shrugs. "No. I mean, that's not what I meant. Not for me to say. I mean, I sure as hell couldn't tell. I can say you're a better pilot than I am, and that I'd like to have you back out in formation with us, but not like that's going to mean much, either. People deal how they deal with things. Not like I don't have stuff that fraks me up, just in different ways."

"So what's frakking you up?" Cole asks earnestly. Maybe he needs to hear someone else's problems for a change, or maybe he's just giving Phin a chance to confide.

Phin does more shrugging. "I don't know, man. All I meant was…I mean, everybody's kind of frakked, y'know? Especially right now. Figure anybody who says they aren't is lying. And…and this is going to make me sound like I've got my head lodged up my ass with what you went through on Aerilon, not like I can know, but…it's hard for me to imagine anything making me not want to get in a cockpit. Flying's like about the only thing that's ever just…gets me up out of my own head. Rush of it's just like…nothing else. Even when there's the most intense, awful shit going on around you. I think about the first time I did it a lot. I was ten, and my brother and I went on this weekend trip up to the mountains, in this big bus, with all the other little state ward cases from the group home we lived in." Random, out of context Phin Childhood Detail. Maybe in the interests of sharing. He breezes on. "Anyway. They sent us on one of those stupid outings every year, and that year it was paragliding. And it was just…I can't even describe it. It was intense, and I was kind of good at it, and I figured…whatever, even if things suck, if I can do that again, at some point, that'd be pretty sweet." More shrugging. "Haven't hit on anything yet that'd make me feel different, I guess. Might, someday." Unsettling thought, that.

There is a vague nodding from Phin, as if Cole follows his line of reasoning almost word for word. Janitor's fingers pinch at his bottom lip, drawing it out with a pluck. "People describe different things when they get in the cockpit: The rush. The peace. In that moment, that split second before I instinctually ejected? I saw my wife. My wife who has been waiting for me in Elysium for almost two years now. And then she slipped away. And I was alive. And she was gone."

"Rush and peace. It's kind of both," Phin says. It's not something he can adequately describe, but he clearly feels it deep. "Magpie?" When Cole mentions his wife. He explains, "That was the name you said, when you were bailing. Said you were going to join her."

Janitor rubs his face, first one cheek and then over the bridge of his nose. His cigarette has long been extinguished. "Magpie." Cole confirms quietly. "She legally changed her name to Magnola when we got married, but she'll always be my Magpie. I thought I was going to join her, but the Gods have different plans. Guess they're not done with me yet."

Phin doesn't know what to say about the man's wife, and that loss. No wedding ring on his finger, and no indication he had any sort of equivalent back on the colonies. "That sucks, man," is all he eventually lands on. "Do you…actually believe that? That the gods have some kind of plan for you?"

"It's kept me alive this long." Cole smirks, his foot dragging off the seat in front of him, plopping to the deck with a heavy sound. "I'll see you out there, yeah?" That's Janitor's way of words of parting.

"Makes you wonder what the frak the plan is, though, y'know?" Phin looks like he wants to disagree with that sentiment more than he actually does. He nods. "See you out there, Janitor. You ever want to put in some sim time or whatever…you know where I live."

"Sure do." Cole eases to his feet, "Do me a favor, though? Start dreaming about dames in every port. None of this ferryman shit. Young people like you? Need to have hope. Else what the Hades are the rest of us fighting for."

"Why does everyone keep telling me I need to get laid more?" Phin asks. As if he honestly could not imagine. "Anyway…yeah, maybe. Wake up happier, at least. Try not to sweat so much, man. No idea how but…y'know, try."

"Will do, Max Power. Will do." And with that, the Captain filters outs, lighting up another cigarette as he goes.

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