AWD #307: You'll Need Sunglasses
You'll Need Sunglasses
Summary: Kelsey finds Epiphany in a rare off-duty moment.
Date: 24/04/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None.
Epiphany Kelsey 
Observation Deck
The Obs Deck is one of the more quiet areas on the ship where people can come to get away from the hustle and bustle that goes with the rest of service in the fleet. The front of the room is a very large armored glass window to allow a dominating view of whatever is out ahead of the battlestar. Seats rise up at even levels, plush chairs and couches provided for the crew to relax in. During Condition One an armored plate is lowered down to cover the view and prevent the room from becoming a hazard and sealing it tight.
Wed Nov 09

It's not quite Dog shift yet, but it's pretty late in the cycle. Most of Alpha is either asleep or on their way to it… if they aren't down at Charlie's. It means the Observation Deck is prone to being fairly (if not completely) empty. Almost serene, really, since luck would have Piraeus at least partially in view. The lights are kept dim, but enough is coming in through the window that one could read by if they'd like…

…and so someone is. Epiphany is not in her blues. The woman is in the dual-tanks and BDUs. She's reclining on a couch on one of the lower tiers. On the floor next to her sits the binder that's becoming her constant companion and atop it rests a small figurine. One leg is propped up against the back of the sofa and the other is extended, with clipboard balanced precariously on thigh. At the moment, the Captain is holding a sheaf of papers. The top one gets shuffled to the back as she begins on the next.

Kelsey wanders down the side in her sweatpants and tanks. She still has that rank pin on one shoulder. Her hair is tied off in a ponytail and she only has a small mp3 player with her. The earbuds are wrapped around the player. She can clearly see who it is sitting on the sofa and she heads that direction and drops into the next sofa over. Her legs kick out and she smiles over, before looking out at the stars, leaning her head back. Nothing spoken, just silently enjoying the view of the distant nuclear furances and the glowing green and blue ball below them. Peaceful.

There may be a few moments wherein Epiphany either hasn't noticed Kelsey's arrival or is purposefully ignoring the younger woman. In truth, she's just trying to finish the page she's on. It's only after it gets shifted to the back of the pile that she speaks up. "One of these days, I'll find some time to go down there." Pale eyes shift, sidelong, to look at the planet within view. It is, indeed, a rather pretty thing out there. Better than just seeing the darkness of space or the hull of some other ship, at least. "Who manages the farms, do you know?"

Kelsey seems content to sit there and stare out the armored glass in silence. The mp3 player is left alone in her hand and she almost looks like she might fall asleep. She can't even be assed to move when Arrington speaks up. "You should. Bring sunglasses during the day, though. It's very pretty but the star is very white. Sunsets are to die for, every night. It's a piece of serenity to escape to. Like a dream away from the war." She smiles faintly. "Dunno. Probably the botany types and the construction crews. I mostly stick inside Sheridan in the living areas. Got an interest in farming?" No 'sir' or hint of rank, just talking quietly while she stares off at the planet.

"I don't have any sunglasses." The woman has one of the most bare bunks in the barracks. Her relatively short time since joining up with Spree and being transferred could be to blame. "I would have to borrow some." That, said more as a note to herself. Papers rustle as she taps them against her upraised knee to bring them back into relative orders. To the last, there is a sort of thoughtful sound. "It's in my blood, I suppose. I kept a garden on my balcony on Caprica." A hint of wistfulness to her voice, there. Her own place of serenity and one that cannot be returned to.

"When I shipped out I was told I was stupid to bring them on a space cruise. They also told me I was dumb to bring enough bodywash to last me 18 months." There's some satisfaction to her voice, but more to her smile. Kelsey put some priorities first for her own pampering. "There's a small PX on the surface. You can get some sunglasses there. We found a Walmart ship a few months ago. Huge." The young woman gives a low smile at the idea of a balcony garden. "I wanted a balcony garden like that. What did you grow? Flowers? Herbs? Fruits? A frisky veggie or two?" Kels bit of youthful hope and resilience slips through.

"My situation didn't allow for anything like that." Epiphany's voice doesn't speak to pity, just simple fact. There's plenty of folks in the same boat. The flotsam that Orion has picked up in the months since the Orion returned. She goes quiet again for a time. Either reading or debating what other things she could pick up on Piraeus. Might be nice to not feel like a drifter forever. "Herbs, mostly. It's in the blood, I guess. I had a brief fantasy that I could find time enough to help out on Piraeus, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon."

"No, it surely did not," Kelsey observes quietly. Her voice doesn't carry pity, either. No angst. Her time on the ground was more than enough. The Ensign lets her mind drift, probably thinking over her time past in the last few months. What all had happened. Who she had become. Why. The voice brings her back and there's a quick smile, however quiet. "People find their own ways to work through what they've seen and experienced. A lot of people drink. Smoke. Maybe getting some dirt under your nails might be a little cathartic." She's smarter than she lets on initially. "The nice thing about Piraeus is that so much of it never asks you a question. It's just… there. It doesn't need to understand. It rains, the wind blows, the seasons pass and pay us no mind. Would it be so bad to make time?"

It may be easy to get the idea that Epiphany was likely a workaholic even under the best, peacetime circumstances. Now? With the Colonel's request? The woman's only anchor is her work. She doesn't know how to go off the rails. Being in off-duties and reclining is the closest she gets. Another page is turned and the whole lot of it fussed into place on the clipboard. "I'm not sure I understand, I'm afraid. What do you mean that it never asks a question? It's a planet." Imagination, lost. The clipboard is propped against her upturned thigh and a pen produced. She's making marks, but her free hand has fallen from the side of the couch; fingertips drifting over to grasp at the figurine perched on the binder.

"I was doing okay with flight training. Til I got shot down on Picon with Petra. Bancroft did it. He says a lot of things about what I did." Her eyes drift lower. "I think about what I did. About what I had to do. Almost did. It wasn't long, but it changed me. I came back here and people asked me what happened. I still don't talk about it. People here wouldn't understand. Same way people here aren't gonna understand you. And it'll be hard to understand them. Questions that are hard to answer on both sides." Her gaze moves up to look towards the planet a little more. Those arms hug herself as she tucks her legs up a little, leaning her head to the side. "You can go down to P and sit alone in the grass. Feel the sunshine. Close your eyes and feel the wind in your hair. Nobody is there to ask you questions you don't know how to answer. It's just you and the wind and the star and the grass. You're so small in comparison. It feels wonderful." No, she's not crazy. Kelsey is far from it. She's just found a different kind of serenity. No boozing or stim junkie, the young mother found another way.

Fingertips lose their grip and the small toy clatters against the binder. Epiphany grunts faintly and tosses her clipboard down towards the other end of the sofa. She's listening, but she's soon also leaning forward to reach up under the piece of furniture to find the thing. It doesn't work, so she's soon crouching down to get a better angle. "I've honestly never been good at quiet or relaxing. Someone told me earlier I need to find something." And here she is, clearly off duty, and still working. The pressure doesn't stop even with the added pins. Her words are slightly halting until she gets ahold of what she's looking for… leaving her to lean back on heels and brush some dust off. Should Kelsey look over, it's a small bear figure; one standing up on its hind legs. The sort of thing a child might play with.

Kelsey glances over at the rump in the air and there's a low smile. Her gaze goes back to the stars and the smile drifts a little. She isn't a downer, just very much the dreamer at the moment. Abstract like some Leonesians. "Maybe. Do you think you need something?" The question isn't so much insightful as it is curious. "A lot of people on this ship think that because they have something to say, that its worth listening to." Clearly she does not agree with this sentiment. Her eyes drift over to look at the bear, then to Pip's face, then the bear. "It's cute." They both know its a children's toy. Kelsey doesn't directly say anything to it though.

"I don't know what I need anymore." It's said in the way of someone who had to put aside their needs and wants for so long that they've forgotten what they were. Epiphany doesn't recover her clipboard as she sits again. Instead, she just leans forward with elbows on thighs, staring at it in the low light. "She would put something in my pocket almost every morning. Just… a game she played. I always thought it was her way of enacting a promise to come back."

"I think that's fair. How many of us are sane enough to know what we need anymore?" Spoken like a person far exceeding her years. Kelsey just stares into the distance while the game is explained. There's a twitched smile on her face. "Kids are magic," she whispers. There's that bit of wonderment only a mother has. "That's adorable. And a little bear of all things. What's her name?" Present tense only.

"I had her devoted to Artemis. It seemed… suiting for a girl." And was like passing a piece of Leonis on to her daughter. The bear being the figure she ended up with- a religious sort may take it as a sign, one of the Huntress' sacred animals. The toy is turned slowly in Epiphany's fingers. Parts of it show some wear from similar acts over the past year. The answer to the question comes after a quiet moment, in a weary voice. "Hannah."

"I dedicated mine to Artemis, too. I was a young mom. I felt like she needed extra protection. Good choice." Kelsey approves, yis. Stamped, too. Her eyes drift down to look at the bear and there's that ghost of a smile there. "Hannah." She says the name as if it were sacred. Never to be uttered again. "Ever thought of getting ink? Maybe getting that bear over your heart? Look at it every day in the mirror. No matter what happens or where you go, you have your bear. A little piece of Hannah to keep you company." She keeps looking at the bear. "Lemme guess? Three? Four?"

"You can add getting ink on the pile of things I haven't had time for," Epiphany notes, in a wry tone. "It isn't a bad idea, there just…" Wasn't time. She finally tucks the bear into a pocket. Almost with a reverence. "Five. As of last month." Her hands, empty, start to fidget and she reaches for clipboard and pen. "If I were to get a tattoo, who should I talk to?"

"Ask yourself what if you lost that bear, how much you would hate yourself for not having at least a picture of it? Gone forever." She turns her wrist to show Pip the inside of her left. It's a kids block bracelet with the name Melissa done on the cubes. The ink fades before coming back to the top of her wrist. It's pulled back and she runs fingers over the drawn item. "Never regreted it. My girl is the same age, though. Yours look like her momma?" Her eyes drift back over. "I got mine from a Marine, but he transferred off. You might talk to someone on the surface. The bartender at Charlie's should know."

The older woman seems about to say something, but just holds the pen all the tighter. There's a level of difficulty to all of this. She does glance over to the ink displayed by Kelsey before looking back to her work. A few pages are flipped up, almost mindless. "She has her father's eyes, but he always said she looks like me." Her voice has fallen and broken a bit. In all likelihood, she hasn't spoken a word of this to anyone. "If I make it down to Charlie's at any point, I'll ask." Not that she sounds too certain of the 'when' or 'if' there, either.

Kelsey watches that reaction, listening to the hurt. Kelsey recognizes that for what it is. She's heard it in her own voice. Seen it in the mirror. "You'll make it down there. You don't have a choice. Not because of some philosophical reason or just curiosity. But because you're wing now, hon. Everyone coming in. We may not have formally adopted you, but like I told Bennett earlier.. you prop us, we prop you. Sometimes it seems like we're all out there for ourselves, but at the end of the day we all pray we wake up next to the same people for a reason. It doesn't have to stop hurting." She nods to the bear. "But sometimes, sometimes we know. You're not an island unless you want to be. Sleep well when you get there, eh?" Her voice never lifted above a whisper. Kelsey just slowly rises from the couch. She moves over to Pip and doesn't give her much choice, she just hugs the woman tightly for a few seconds, then backing off without a word and heading for the door.

"Oh, I honestly doubt everyone wants a Captain around when their goal is to drink and get into trouble." It just Wasn't Done at the Academy. Instructors and students kept a very wide berth. Helped cement that proper officer behavior while letting folks burn off some steam when they needed. For Epiphany, it's led to a wall of her own making. One she's not sure how to breach. She's been out of the squadron family game for some time. The hug is clearly unexpected. The older woman doesn't fight it, but she doesn't seem to know how to respond, either. She just freezes in place, as if it's a predator that will get bored and move on soon enough. When Kelsey backs away, she just slumps in place slightly, staring towards the view of Piraeus… As if maybe seeing it for what it is for the first time, rather than a glorified photograph.

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