PWD #47: What To Expect
What To Expect
Summary: …when you're expecting to embark on a top secret mission to a 'mining' operation in the middle of nowhere space. Fresh newbs, more seasoned newbs, and a veteran petty officer to all things Orion converge in the mess hall while the battlestar is docked in anchorage.
Date: 09/11/2012
Related Logs: None…yet.
Afton Knox Phin Theo Sera 
Battlestar Orion — Deck 3 — Mess Hall
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.
November 20, 2004 (PWD #46)

1800 hours is close enough to chow time, innit?

Like any good member of a military organization, the first thing Theo did upon arriving on the Orion is find out where the mess hall is and where in the mess hall the coffee is served. He's a rook, one of those picked up during the anchorage, and there's certain disadvantages to that on a long-haul cruise like this. In particular, there's the fact he doesn't know anyone and thus doesn't have a usual table or group to sit with while he eats. Flashback to high school lunch, and he's standing with a tray, trying to figure out where to park himself for some eating.

"Frak this thing is big." Phin McBride at least doesn't mutter it too loud, though Theodotus can probably hear him. He is also plainly and clean-and-pressed, fresh-from-transport ensign. He wanders in with the other rook, perhaps following the logic that if you get lost it's best to get lost in a group. "They're not going to starve us out here. That's something."

A book in hand, holed up near the wall, Afton has her chair leaning back against it, swaying back and forth on the two legs. Smoothing herh and down against the pages, she bites into a brownie absently, dressed in her off duty tanks. Gold blonde hair is in a messy braid that is swept over her shoulder, trailing down her front and inch or two and she brushes at some loose strands that get in her way. Leaning forward again, the two front legs clack agains the floor and she shoves the bread into her mouth, holding it in place with her teeth as she writes something on a nice little steno pad that already is adorned with quite a few more scribbles.

Close enough? Sure! At least one of the Marines thinks so. Knox looks like he could probably use a haircut and shave, but looks no worse for wear or sleep. Just maybe a bit lazy. The Sergeant is in his duty greens and finishing out through the line with his own tray. Fetching up a cup of coffee, his voice is almost hard to miss as he approaches the new officers. "Sirs," he greets quietly. Its almost easy to miss his voice. "You two look a bit new. If you don't mind dining with some NCO's, I wouldn't mind the company. Doubt she would either." The guy gestures lightly with his chin towards Afton and then looks back as he steps off. "Just wanted to offer." A beat. "Sir." He says it with a nod and steps off towards the female. "Petty Officer," the Marine greets easily.

Sir? Where? For a moment, Theo looks like he's about to glance over his shoulder to see where the officer is. He's also rocking the carefully maintained stubble and disheveled hair look, although his looks less like lazy and more like vanity. He flashes a quick, wry grin before running a hand through his hair. "Any newer and I'd squeak when I walked." He agrees with the departing Marine. Phin is given a raised eyebrow, a nod of the chin towards the two NCOs, and an inquiring look with pale gray-green eyes. Coming?

And then, with all the confident swagger of both an ensign (god love them) and someone that actually embraced the call sign of 'Peacock', he joins the NCOs. "Howdy! Mind if I join you? I promise not to get my fresh-out-of-Academy enthusiasm all over everything."

Phin straightens abruptly and half-salutes. Before he remembers he doesn't have to, for a variety of reasons. He tries to play it off as a two-fingered wave, but it fails at being cool. For his part, he's freshly shaved and looks like he honed his posture to avoid wrinkles on the ride over. The Marine who offered the invite gets a friendly grin, though. "Sure. Thanks." He doesn't swagger much, for his part, though he might smirk a little at Theodotus behind his back before he sits.

Oblivious until Knox speaks that sweet soft voice in her direction, Afton looks up with a sweep of her green eyes. Grasping at the bun in her mouth, she munches on her bite, pen pinched between two fingers, book in the other and she lifts her chin to him in greeting before she swallows. "Sargaent, good to see you again." A genuine smile curls her lips until it slips a little to notice the newest arrival and new face at least to the PJ. "You got a shadow there, Coop." Green eyes sweep from the JFAC to the strutter and then to the next who just takes his seat. The woman sits up then, setting her food down and dusting a hand to her pants. "Sure, seats are free. I charge for the conversation." A friendly smile lights her face and she nods her head to the newcomers. "Petty Officer Afton St. James."

Knox doesn't wait for Afton to finish her greeting or anything. He just sits down. She doesn't get a say in the matter. He sets down the coffee first, then the trya, then his ass into a seat. "Shadow? Naw," he says with a small smirk. "Hope things are going well for you." He reaches for his coffee and looks up as the other two approach. "Don't pay up. Its a dirty trick. 'Conversation' is just a euphamism for 'evaluate prospects for taking advantage of', sirs." He sips at his coffee. "Sergeant Cooper Knox, sirs. You're both pilots? New to the ship and all that?"

No damage report available. Make sure Phin is a valid PC, NPC, or vehicle name. It could be they have never taken any damage.

"Ensign Theodotus Apostolos." Beat. "ECO." There's a good natured grin at being confused for a pilot, for all his quick correction. He's got a well-trained, smooth voice, a surprising baritone, if mellow and light. He slips down into a seat easily, tray and all. "I just came up earlier today from planet-side."

"How much?" Phin asks Afton, smile crooking. It's followed by a chuckle, though, to make it plain he's joking. "I'm a pilot." And there is pride there, even if he still doesn't manage his companion's swagger. He takes note of the other ensign's name. He maybe hadn't processed it, himself. "Ensign Phin McBride. I finished Viper quals on Picon a couple months ago. Had to wait for my clearance to come in after I put in for this assignment. Still not sure quite what I put in for." Which plainly excites him more than a little.

"The Sargeant just says that because he fell for it a couple of days ago." Tsking at him she looks to Phin, amusement clearly writ upon her face as she gauges him. "Well this one's on the house, sir." She pulls her book back and then closes the steno, marking her place and moving them to the floor so that she can make new room for tablemates. "Welcome aboard, I take it we are all new then to this stationing?" She asks, leaning in to her tray to continue plucking at what is left of her food. Though the excitement from the fresh faces brings further amusement and a glance towards Coop.

"Hey, an ECO. Cool." Knox's voice keeps that same quiet quality, his enthusiasm understated and subtle. "Always good to meet more of you all." He then looks to Phin and a slow grin spreads. "Viper quals. Slickshot McBride, how about that, sir?" Its the slow and friendly words of someone who is probably used to a slower pace of life or grew up with it. There's a short roll of his eyes and a soft laugh as he sips as his coffee, Afton's words pulling the reaction. He catches the look and smirks at the Ensigns. "Mining. Right. Pee-Oh Saint James has a fun tale about that." He finally sets down the mug and reaches for his fork to pick at the pasta he scooped up.

There's a wrinkling of Theo's nose at Knox's smirk and words. "Really, now?" He asks, looking up from his food to consider the two with his pale gaze. "Does this mean I'm not going to be expected to perform wondrous feats of astro-navigation using the frakked-up computers on board a Raptor?" Is there a hint of disappointment at that? Ensigns. Gods love them.

Phin chuckles again at Knox, shaking his head. He doesn't quite blush, but he does take a moment to try his coffee. It only prompts a slight grimace. He's at least Navy-acclimated enough not to mind the taste too much. "I don't know about that. You both with the CMC detachment? I've got a brother in the Corps. Should be here in a day or two, actually. We managed to get assigned together, but I got a better flight out of the Colonies."

"Never. I have no tales. I think you hit your head, Coop." Afton lifts a hand, scratching her nails to her neck and then leans her head into her hand, watching the Ensigns. "Well it seems odd to have a JFAC onboard if this all a space expedition." That is a look to Knox before she regards Phin, a brow lifting. "Well no, I am Navy. Pararescue." She explains, making a motion about the table. "Get to work with all of you, though mostly medical. But when on a rescue? I get to know the Raptors and marines rather well. Suppose we could all be rather chummy." She pauses, "Who's your brother?"

"Oh I imagine you'll be expect to perform that regardless, sir, especially if the rumors are true," Knox replies to Theo, his own fork digging at the pasta. He eats through the rest, eyes drifting between them. As he finishes, his head shakes a little to Phin with a glance towards Afton as if awaiting her answer before he speaks 'up' once more. "Aye. She's Navy but I'm in the Corps. Just coming aboard, myself, sirs." No mention of who that JTAC might be. "One of my mates is coming aboard also, he's in the Marines. Just kind of a functionary thing for us. What's your brother do, sir? Military Police?"

Sera arrives from the Fore Corridor.

The Mess Hall isnt TOO busy because most people in port flee the ship. But there's a few clusters of people. Off to the side is a group of four people looking rather fresh to the ship, most are eating dinners. Two Ensigns, a Marine Sergeant, and a Navy Petty Officer.

"JTAC? Huh. Strange." Theo's eyebrows rise to his artfully disheveled hair, but he doesn't say anything else as he chows down on his food, pale gaze going from one to the other consideringly as he listens.

Phin shrugs. "They had him tasked to heavy weapons in his platoon during his last tour, when he made Sergeant," he says, with no small amount of pride. "He didn't mention exactly what he'd been tasked to. I guess he'll find out soon enough. So will I. CAG could have me flying taxis from the ship to the surface bar for all I know." Though he plainly hopes not. His brows also arch at the JTAC talk. Not that he asks any questions, but he's plainly listening close to everything said. Like a newb sponge.

With little left on her own tray to eat, Afton falls to listening to the others. She tugs at her messy braid and sits back and nods to Phin. A slight smile curls her lips and she pushes her book and steno under her seat with her boot, toeing it into place. "Do you have a pilot yet, sir?" The woman asks Theo, considering him. "I have been meaning to hit the deck and meet up with a few of you. Always good to know who's going to drive me around all over the place."

Sera saunters into the place with the stort of easy stride of someone who is not, in fact, the new kid in the cafeteria trying to figure out which table is for the jocks and which table is for the nerds. On the contrary, she heads straight for the counters without bothering to even look up from the tablet she's reading, save for that sort of vaguely aware 'Am I going to crash into anyone?' occasional pedestrian stare, which involves watching for feet more often than watching for faces, familiar or otherwise.

"Oh cool," Knox replies to Phin. "Heavy weapons is a tough crew. Good people. They're always there, ready to blow something up with more firepower than you need," he praises softly, but that smile has some very positive qualities. The last, plus Theo's words, have him nod. "Aye. They don't normally send the crews from close air support parties around lightly. If they are around, its probably not going to be a lot of them sitting around. Training and then more training and then coordination. Mining doesn't seem like its up a JTAC's alley, sirs." Its a lot for the man to say at once apparently because he falls quiet, taking up his coffee to watch the new woman walk in over the brim of his mug.

Theodotus is a fastidious eater, taking care not to get any food on him or his clothes. "Haven't got my pilot yet." He tells Afton with a wryly crooked grin, "I haven't really met anyone except the pilot that taxied me up from the surface. Lt. Thaddeus something or other." Knox gets a shrug of one shoulder. "Whatever it is, we'll know in a few weeks, once we pull out. The fact we're pulling double-hazard pay and there's JTACs certainly makes it exciting." He grins. "And my classmates told me I was out of my mind to accept a deep space mining gig! Ha!" Phin is given a quick look of agreement at his hopes of not being stuck at taxi-duty.

Whether Phin is at what should be his mess hall clique table, who knows. He has no status quo to stick to yet. Knox's words about heavy weapons guys gets a laugh. "That sounds like Bear. Yeah. He's the best at that kind of thing." He's proud of his brother's abilities in the area of making things explode. "We just got aboard. A little ahead of schedule, though after I finish this I should probably report to the CAG. Or…whoever's on duty to report to." Theo gets an enthusiastic nod. "There's got to be more going on down there than mining. What've they had you guys doing so far?" He asked like a boy eager for storytime.

"Well not much really, just got here so be familiarizing myself with regs and keeping to my gym time. Really thats all we can do before being briefed on what we are exactly doing for the mining operation. My guess is that won't be til we break dock anyways." She lifts her apple juice and sips at it and then notes Knox' gaze and follows it towards Sera as well. A silent questioning brow is turned to him as if to ask 'friend'?

It is necessary to put down the tablet to survey the available foodstuffs, which Sera does with a vague wrinkling of her nose. "Ugh," she mutters, mostly to herself. That expression is easily readable — first time in port in eighteen months and the best they can manage is this? "By Aphrodite's left tit, they can't ship us some frakking apples from down planetside or something?" Still, there's an upnod aimed at one of the cooks, which means she's either trying to mitigate her complaining about the selection available or recognizes him. One of the two. Either way, she's got a tray of food at the end of their brief exchange.

The Marine looks back to Theo and dips his head to him once. "The pay is the most interesting part, to me," he says in the same tone. "Crew composition is one thing, but the pay goes all the way up from what I understand. But you may find out sooner. I think they are mostly concerned about secrecy while we are in port." The coffee gets another sip and the fork takes up some of the broccoli. He shrugs to Afton's look. No idea. Looking back to the two Ensigns an almost embarassed smile crosses him as he looks down. "Marine CO has me going over the logs of other teams that have been up and on the mission for the last eighteen months. Apparently we're coming on at the midpoint of the operation." He clears his throat alittle and looks up. "Ah, rumor on the decks is that we're not mining, sirs. Not in the traditional respect. I-" He seems about to continue when he spots Sera seemingly knowing a cook. Knox lifts his mug of coffee towards her and seems to request she join them by way of gesturing. "She looks like she knows people. Maybe she knows what is happening."

"Want to ask her?" Theo asks with a slight broadening of his grin. And he rises in his seat, waving to Sera as if he knows her. "Hello there! Come join us?" He calls out in his rich baritone, friendly-like. Whoever she is, he's blithely sure she isn't going to take too much offense at his casual tone. Worst comes to worst, and she ranks him, he can play the newbie card.

Phin looks up and over at the person Theo is calling to. He offers Sera a grin which is friendly, but decidedly less demonstrative. He's probably still wondering if he should salute this one. "Well if it's not mining, then what do the rumors say we're doing out here?"

Afton offers a smile to the woman that the boys seem to be summoning, well Theo is rather exuberantly so. Tapping a finger to her tray, she reaches out for the last of her roll and begins to munch on it.

Sera cocks one dark brow at being so, uhhhh, exuberantly summoned. She flips the lid on her tablet over and tucks into a spot on her tray where it can be (relatively) safely balanced before sauntering over to the group of four. "Let me guess," she says with the sort of amused expression of someone who has answered the same question three times today. "You're new to the Orion and can't remember which hallway to take to get back to your bunk, right?"

Even if he's quiet as a mouse in church, Knox apparently doesn't lack for confidence. "Might as well ask her. If she's been around, it won't have to be rumor, right?" he asks. To Phin, he shrugs. "Rumors say we're going to be hitting the dirt on a new colony, sir," comes the whisper. He /tries/ really hard to suppress a grin, but he just can't bring himself to keep it entirely away. The words from Sera get a smirk as he lifts his coffee and he glances to the others. "Nice idea, but I have another question. Have you been down there yet?" 'Down there'? Nice choice of words, Coop. "I mean, you know, to the dirt. Where we are going. What's it like?"

"What he said." Theo said, jerking a thumb at Knox. "Nice to meet you. Ensign Theodotus Apostolos. So what do you know about the assignment? I've heard all kinds of odd things, and so has everyone else."

"I think I can find my bunk…sir?" Phin is unsure of the rank to Sera, but he goes with it just in case. "Ensign Phin McBride. We just came in on the last transport." Obviously. "We were just talking about this assignment. Seems…interesting. Like, we were trying to figure out why anyone would offer double hazard pay for a mining op."

Afton looks up when Sera gets close and she gives the fellow femme a nod and a an amused quirk of her lips. Once they are done introducing themselves she pipes up, "Petty Officer Afton St. James." She grasps at her tray, drawing it back a little to again, make more room. She looks to her as well, wondering over what might be said regarding the mission.

"Petty Officer Sera Jane Rutlii," comes her reply, with Sera Jane mashed together as though they were somehow part of a single name. Her Trojan accent is readily obvious, as she makes no attempt to mitigate it, let alone hide it. Which probably makes her perfect for a mining mission, right? She slides her tray in next to Afton, where she promptly plunks her ass down. "As for the mission, I was stationed on Orion for the whole cruise. And let me put it this way: if this were a deep space mining mission, don't you think some mining mega-corporation with credits spilling out of its pockets would've hired a crew of civvie grunts to go crack some asteroid open? Why would they send out an /entire battlestar/ with a full crew getting double-hazard from lowliest little recruit all the way up to Admiral?"

"Sergeant Cooper Knox," is all he says by way of introduction in that almost painfully quiet voice. But he listens to the whole of Sera's explanation and his smile slowly spreads. When she finishes, he glances to Afton and nods once. "I think what I heard was right." As his eyes drift, he meets both Phin's and Theo's eyes for a moment. "I'd say its probably a safe bet you aren't going to be plodding along a boring asteroid field." Coop turns his eyes back to Sera. "Tell me you've been down. What's it like on the surface? Do we have anything down there yet? Any people living?" His voice /actually/ seems to have reached normal conversational volume.

"I was almost looking forward to astro-navigation in an astroid field." Theo murmurs, wryly, before he takes a deep drink of apple juice. He doesn't add anything else to the conversation because, to be frank, Coop's already covered all the questions he has.

Phin's Scorpian accent has clearly been through long attempts to mitigate it, though he still drawls some. For a second he looks like he might apologize for sir'ing Sera. But, after some thought, he doesn't. "Well…no," he says, to all that. "Obviously not. That's what's got us so curious, Petty Officer." He sits up all curious and eager for storytime.

Leaning into the table and her head onto her hand again, Afton adopts the silence that accompanies one listening in all regards. Pushing that messy braid back over her shoulder, she casts a look to Knox only briefly as he continues the line of questioning. Promising is the information forked over and she swirls what is left of her own apple juice.

"Well, we're pretty much going to be in the middle of frak-all nowhere and there isn't really a Space-Mart set up selling bulk sized boxes of cereal for our convenience. So anything you think you're going to miss for a year and a half? Shove it in your duffel now while you have the chance. And it's /cold/, so I'd highly suggest bringing your extra pair of flannel jim-jams." Which, somehow, Sera manages to say with a straight face. It's not an expression that lasts long, as she's soon trying to stifle an easy, bubbly laugh — the sort that catches on. Probably because the idea of a Colonial Marine in anything that could be called "jim-jams" is just /hilarious/, as far as she's concerned.

Knox gives a short nod to Phin as he explains the source of their curiosity. Afton gets a wink, which is probably the most excitement out of him anyone has seen in years. But with the mention of JimJims, Coop finally gives a normal laugh and he leans back in the chair with his mug of coffee. "Don't worry, Petty Officer. I packed my pink and purple heart flanel pajamas. My diamond tiara, though, I generally solder onto my helmet." Sagenod. "So its cold. Nice. So we're going someplace where you can apparently sleep. And its cold. And nobody is coming back for a good while. Well, at least the eighteen month thing wasn't a lie." He grins and looks to Phin and Theo. "Sound interesting enough, sir?"

"I packed a couple pairs. With footsies and butt-flap." Theo agrees solemnly to Sera's suggestion. He laughs at Knox's question. "We'll see. Hopefully I won't get stuck with some stick-jock that thinks they were robbed because they aren't in a Viper." He chuckles and slurps at his apple juice some more. "I'll be sure to stock up on moisturizer."

"I'm pretty sure we're not bunking in the same place," Phin says dryly, after Theo's pronouncements about butt-flaps and moisturizer. He's working through his meal quickly. He has no complaints about the food. Which may denote a lack of discerning tastebuds as much as anything else. He considers Sera's words about the comforts of a Space-Mart seriously, though. "Maybe we'll have time to get back and forth to the anchorage a couple more times. It's weird to think about being cut off from the Colonies for all the time."

Petty Officer St. James considers the news and gives a look to Knox at his 'outlandish' excitement. The further description of his pajamas get a snort from her. Theo gets a raised brow and she huffs, shaking her head. "Everyone their own sense of comfort, sir." Her juice is tipped back and finished off, glass set back down with a finer holding just to one side rim as she twirls it absently. The PJ is quiet, considering the news. "So what exactly are we doing, Petty Officer? Got anymore specifics besides it being cold?"

"They'll give you a briefing once we leave port. It's the same thing that they did last time; the way I heard it, even the Admiral didn't know what we were doing or where we were going until we'd long left the anchorage," Sera says as she reaches for her apple juice, which is apparently ubiquitous. "Seriously, though, it's not that bad. I mean, it's not exactly like you're at a spa or something. It's mostly the quiet that gets to you."

The swagger falters for a moment in the ECO, and he looks down at his tray. "I'm kind of looking forward to being cut off for a few years." He mutters so softly he probably doesn't intend for it to be heard. "I don't mind quiet. Quiet is good for thought." He notes, "I'm looking forward to a chance to tinker with some projects I brought with me."

"Footsies and a buttflap," Knox repeats with a laugh. Knox gives the Navy guy a look with it and then looks to Phin. "Should. Last I saw there were steady streams of people in and out of the airlock. I wouldn't think it'd be too hard." He then looks to Afton and nods along, the expression continuing as he listens to Sera. "Well that sucks. Guess I'll just have to go spreading my rumors and causing lots of problems that way. If only someone would just give us the facts," he laments dramantically, a grin on his face.

Phin looks aside at Theo and his muttering, with more curiosity than he's really shown about the other newb before, but he doesn't ask just now. "Quiet I can deal with. It's just strange, not quite knowing what you're getting yourself into. Probably more interesting than doing your first hitch at the Fleet Shipyards or something, though. I'll take it. Whatever it is." His food's almost gone but he nurses his coffee. It can't be any better cold.

Most of the others echo her curiousity but the Petty Officer does not push for more information, she merely nods and sits back, turning her tray long sided for the moment so that she can allow the others more room to eat. Stretching her hands over her head, she nods to Phin, "It's shitty going in blinde, but truly, we won't be. Briefing will enlighten us and well..as Coop said, rumor away." She wipes a finger to the corner of her mouth and drags a hand to pull her messy braid back over her shoulder.

"I think I'm with the Ensign McBride," Knox adds. "The idea of quiet? Probably not a stretch that I might enjoy it." He shoots the other's a smile and sips up his coffee. "But thanks for the chat, everyone. I'm going to hit a shower then rack. I have an early morning." He slowly rises. "Ensigns. Petty Officers. Good to meet you one and all."

"We probably won't be under lockdown until after we're briefed." Theo notes, "If it's a long mission, they'll want us to get all the piss and vinegar out of our system before we're so far out it'll cause trouble." He nods with a hint of respect to Knox. "A pleasure, Sergeant. Feel free to join me for chow and rumor-mongering any time." He then adds, "I don't mind quiet. But I was raised in a place where you were expected to be quiet."

"Yeah, thanks for letting us crash your lunch. Or whatever meal cycle we're on," Phin says to Knox as the Marine rises. "I don't quite get how the rhythm of the day works aboard ship. He shrugs, about the briefing. "Yeah, I guess I'll just listen to the rumors until they want to tell us something official. Not like we'll be the first to know whatever there is to know." He turns slightly toward his fellow ensign. "Sounds nice. Where're you coming here from, anyway?" For all that they wandered in together, the pair may not have met before being dropped on the battlestar.

Watching Knox rise, Afton reaches under her chair for her steno and book, curling fingers around the pen waiting there for her as well. She offers a bright smile to the group and nods her head, "I am following the Sargeant out. It was nice to meet you, sirs. Petty Officer." The last is said with a grin to Sera. Pushing herself up, she grabs for her tray and hoists it in her one free hand before stepping back and pushing her chair in with her foot, the slight creak sounding on the floor before she steps back.

Knox taps his two fingers to his temple in a lazy salute. "Gentlemen. Enjoy the rest of your evening." He dips his head to them and cuts a quick smile to Afton before he heads off towards the exit.

"Caprica. Before that, Gemenon." Theo glances at Phin, and grins. "Ship has it's own time. We got here around 1800 or so, meaning it was the good sergeant's dinner we crashed." He rubs the back of his head. "I did ROTC scholarship at Caprica University. This isn't my first Battlestar, though summer cruises really don't count for much, and I wasn't qualified to ECO or fly." And to Afton, with only a brief glance towards the retreating Knox. "Have fun." He tells her with a grin. "Nice meeting you."

Knox leaves, heading towards the Fore Corridor [FC].

Afton leaves, heading towards the Fore Corridor [FC].

"Caprica? Nice," Phin says. "I tried to get into flight training there, but the spots fill up fast. Never did get a chance to see it. I've been on Picon for the last two years doing my piloting quals. Leonis before that, at the Academy branch there." He's an academy puke, then. "Scorpia's where I was born. Haven't been back in awhile, though." He doesn't sound like he misses it terribly. "You've done battlestar time before?" He sounds envious. "Choice. How'd you swing that? Closest I got was practicing take-off and landings on the battlestars in orbit around Picon."

"Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to Caprica University." Theo replies, "Meant I got to go to college, paid for by the Colonial Fleet, in return for swearing every ounce of my free time to them during school, and four years after." His expressive face is faintly sympathetic at the lack of missing his hope colony. "My summers were spent on what they call summer cruises. On the job sort of training to make up for lack of time at the Academy. I did a summer on a Battlestar running errands when it was at Caprica for an R and R trip. Enjoyed it enough that after I got my degree, I decided to go career and apply for flight school."

Phin chuckles. "Doesn't sound too much different from the Academy. They're just a little more formal about reminding you you signed your soul away to the Navy for a five year minimum." He adds quickly, and firmly, "Not that I'm complaining. No place else I'd rather be. I don't know what the frak I'd be doing if I wasn't in the service. Anyway, that sounds like awesome experience."

Theodotus shrugs one shoulder. "If I weren't here, I'd probably be a priest." His tone is faintly sour, and he quickly changes topics. "It was an interesting experience. I started out ROTC just for a way to pay for college. I figured I'd get a nice desk job like most people in my squad did, serve, and then move on to the public sector. But I enjoy the military. And being an ECO is so much more exciting than spending my days trouble-shooting shit as a computer engineer." He cocks his head. "What was the Academy like? I always heard it was stricter, and all my class in Flight School said it was more intense than what I did, made better pilots."

"Seriously?" Phin apparently has a hard time picturing the swaggering young man as a priest. He adds, again quickly, "I mean, no offense. I don't have a ton of experience with priests, except the Brothers of Ares. My brother and I did high school in the Fist of Ares Academy in Celeste." That, too, does not sound like a thing he wants to chat about. "Some of the guys there went straight into seminary but…I don't think that would've been for me. The Academy was challenging but I guess, after the Fist, the rules didn't take as much getting used to for me. The classes kicked my ass, so did the physical training first year. I don't know if it's better or not. I think I was damn lucky to get a chance to do it, though."

"My father is a Priest of Apollo at the Pantheon." It's said a hint flatly, "I've heard of the Brothers of Aries." And then he lets it drop. "Well, either way we got through Flight School and here we are." He grins, broadly, and looks around. "Even better than I thought it was going to be. Top-secret mission out in the middle of deep space. We get through this, our careers will be made. Provided I get a good driver and not some shmuck that treats an ECO like a bunch of baggage."

"Whatever you think the Ares Brothers are like…it's probably pretty much accurate," Phin says wryly. He shrugs. "Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to them in a lot of ways but…" Another shrug, and he drops it. "…whatever. Yeah. We're here. That's all that matters." Mention of the top secret nature of the mission gets a grin out of him again. "It is pretty cool. The mission, at least. I don't have to worry about a co-pilot. Closest is whatever wingman they stick me with."

That gets a chuckle. "Bad wingman can be pretty rotten. During Flight School before I went down the ECO pipeline people use to weep when they'd get me as a wingman." He finishes his food, and dabs at his mouth with the napkin fastidiously. "Never could get the hang of the damn Vipers. Takes an instict I just don't have."

"I took to Vipers easier than Raptors for some reason," Phin says with a shrug. "I think because they were smaller. Back in Celeste I used to take summer jobs at the paragliding cliffs. Even got certified to play instructor on the beginner slopes my senior year. Not that it's comparable, at all but…I don't know. You're up there, just the wind and the controls and whatever you can do to ride it out and keep yourself from faceplanting into a rock. You can still feel it in a Viper seat, a little, even with all the equipment. Just the ride and you, y'know?"

"I did better in Raptor, but still not great." Theo chuckles. "Viper seemed to be more about feel and instinct than anything else. And I just don't have the instinct for it." He shakes his head, sadly, "I'm not horrid at it. I passed basic competency and all, but it just didn't click like ECM did."

Phin shrugs again. "I would've tanked the computer courses they required for ECOs. I got through the Academy with a History degree. I don't know. I guess I have a feel for it. Feels good doing it, at least. I'm hoping I can pull some patrols down in planetary atmo, when we get to wherever this mining base is. It's still a little weird flying in space, without gravity and weather and updrafts and everything to ride. I think the only time I ever came close to believing in the gods was when I was paragliding in the wind." He snorts a laugh. Then realizes that might've been offensive to a priest's kid. And quickly adds, "I mean…no offense. If you're into that kind of thing. Just never quite took."

"It's cool, Slickshot." That's said with a grin, as he uses the nickname Knox'd tossed at Phin. "Truth be told, I'm not much for the Gods. At least, not in Temples." He grimaces, "Blame it on my childhood, but it'd take a lot to get me within three feet of a Temple or a Priest." He sets his drink down and stands up, tray in hand. "And on that note, I'm going to go find my bunk and see if they've posted assignments. Hopefully I'll get a chance to meet my driver before he's expected to chauffeur me and my equipment around." He snickers.

Phin laughs, relaxing. "I'm pretty sure that's not what they're going to end up calling me. All my flight instructors said about getting a callsign was, if it's remotely cool, your buddies won't let it stick. But…yeah. I haven't been to Temple since they stopped forcing me three times a week. Childhood allergies. Yeah. Anyway. I'm going to get another cup of coffee before I stow my gear, then see if they've got my squadron assignment and shit sorted out. Later." He adds, "Glad I met you, by the way."

"I dunno. I'm kinda happy with mine." Theo grins broadly. "Bunch of guys in my class stuck me with it. When it's right, it's right. And you'll know it. And so Peacock I am." And he grins even broader, winks, and tosses a cocky salute before he swaggers his way off to drop his dishes off and find his bunk.

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