PHD #250: A Little On the Side
A Little On the Side
Summary: Leyla brings Bran in for a quick heads up on a new project and gets one of her own.
Date: 03 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Canceron and Beyond
Bran Leyla 
Ready Room
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Post-Holocaust Day: #250

Only the two screens behind the podium seem to be illuminated today. And only a single figure seems to be making use of this inbetween time in the ready room. At one of the chairs closest to the dais, a table has been opened up, starcharts and grid maps laid out in front, as Leyla goes over what looks to be recon images of shipping lanes and transport vessels.

Bran could knock or some such if he really wanted to, but he doesn't bother. Instead, his booted footfalls carry him from the entrance down towards the woman beyond. He's in his off-duty greens and in the process of moving closer he's speaking up: "All right, so what's this all about? I'm pretending to be a very important and busy man, you know."

"Close the hatch behind you, if you would." Leyla pauses the snapshots, seeming of everything spacedark and wonderful, before she looks up from where she's working, "Do you have any copies of your mission logs from when we were on the Stussy?" Hunting piwates, yo.

Bran, in hindsight, turns back around with a quick pivot and makes sure the room is secured as per Leyla's impromptu orders. He then returns to walking towards her and comes to an eased stop a short distance away. One boot is lifted and placed at the beginning of the dais with him giving a look around the room, taking in the screens. He doesn't have a good look at the charts in front of Leyla, but the ECO knows what it all is with even partial glances. He works in the stars, after all. "I've copies of most everything, really, but trick is finding them these days," the breadth of his shoulders is lifted into a shrug, lackluster but noticeable, "What's up?"

"Then I hope you're good at doing tricks. Because I'm going to need every log you can scrounge." Leyla pushes aside the charts, at least enough that she doesn't look as though she's speaking to the man as an afterthought, her attention shifting to the ECO now standing not more than a few feet away from where she's sitting, "Contingency planning." Clearly, that seems to be what's up. As she finally comes to her feet, a hand reaches for the remote, keying up a second set of images, these from the raptor, of what is most likely Canceron. Crawling with Cylons at ever major…and minor mining operation in range of the raptor's cameras.

Bran begins to quietly laugh if only because he doesn't initially believe that she's serious. It fades when she directs her gaze towards his and he knits his brows, briefly, quieting down before stiffly nodding. "I can do that," he offers appreciatively. He begins to step up further in order to stand before the table, folding his arms over his chest as she begins to stand. His attention drifts away from Leyla and aims itself in the direction of the screens again, the images. "So the contingency plan involves… us, pirates, and - what is that? - a frakload of resources gathering. I'm all ears, Aydin."

"At best estimates, the Cerberus was rated for twelve years operating time on the reserves of tylium she brought with her out of Picon Anchorage. Since then, we've had massive fuel expenditures. Everything from engagements with the Cylons, to salvage and rescue operations, to fuel offload to supply the rest of the fleet as well as the new civilian freighter. Which guzzles fuel like I've seen some marines guzzle alcohol." Leyla flicks through a few more of the images she and Flasher managed to gather during their dead stick run through Canceron airspace, "We also planned for being able to refuel in the event of any emergencies. As you can see, Canceron is no longer a viable option." If for no other reason than there are a frakton of Cylons roaming around. "Which means, that if things go to shit…and things have seemed to have a tendency to go to shit, we're going to need to get fuel somewhere. And that means our old hunting grounds. Raw tylium fields, processing plants, storage depots. Right now, unless I managed to miss someone in the air wing roster, you, me and Poppy are the only people left in service who have more than an inkling of what's out there in the lanes." So…guess who's got a new job?

Bran presses his tongue into the inside of his right cheek for a time and a half as he switches his gaze briefly away from the images and towards Leyla. He's listening to the pilot explain things. Given that it's all rather straight-forward and understandable, the man doesn't pipe up with some form of interjection. "Now, look, I'm all for helping out with this," he's got a pretty good hold of things, figuring there is only about two others outside of the room that they are in that would know about their hunting grounds. "But," he starts, unfolding his arms and holding his right hand up with a short, expressive gesture. He points to the images momentarily as he explains, "This is some wild space we're talking about. We sure don't know what's out there nowadays either. Are you sure about this gambit?"

"As sure as I was when Boots set the op on my table, Toast signed off on it and they gave me you, Poppy and Pickle to round out the team." Leyla finally sets down the remote, one of the screens showing data on last known sanctioned mining operations, the other projections for the asteroid field the Stussy was last stationed in, and may yet live on, as wreckage, if nothing else, unless they went back to the fight. "Our job is to find the best possible sources, hopefully those the Cylons might not have gotten to or destroyed yet, and then figure out a plan for getting us there and finding how to retrieve the fuel we need to top up our stores, and…if possible," though her tone says it's not likely, "Find a way to stockpile a reserve we can access at need." Yes, wildspace. Where the fields are always moving, nothing is where it was yesterday, and a wrong turn could send you spiraling down to make a new crater in an old rock, "Not much choice left, Pens."

Bran looks pointedly towards Leyla after asking his penultimate question but it only then leads into his lifting his right hand and rubbing his forefinger and middle over his like-sided eye, thinking. He lowers the hand when the image changes and his eyes look up to it while his hands drop down to the table and his weight is placed against it. His expression stiffens, from brow to jaw but with a huffing exhale he stiffly nods as well. "But only because we don't have a home," the Colonies are gone now, "But say we do restock, full and well, even get a reserve on one of the ships of the fleet, where does that take us? The Gods no longer have a plan, so what's yours?" By this question, his expression has softened but still there is an expectant look given to Leyla as he turns once more away from the images.

"To keep going until I can't. I don't think that far ahead. I don't have the luxury. I knew going into accepting my commission that this would be my life. That my life wouldn't be mine anymore. That I would belong to the fleet. And I'm alright with that. We get this op sorted, I move on to evaluating the data from Canceron, probably coming up with some theories on the cylon's next plan. We'll be leaving Aerilon sooner or later. We'll move onto another colony after that, and another, until there aren't any left." Leyla seems completely at peace with it all, "What happens after that isn't here yet. When it is, I'll make plans then."

Bran, a man of being practical and realistic, and all sorts managerial, makes a distinctively distasteful face at Leyla's response. "I'm just saying," explains the man with a low sigh, "As much as I would enjoy the thought of living for the moment, I don't want to walk into a trap. I don't want the future to become an abysmal trip to the Underworld." He pushes his weight off of the table and rises into the fullness of his height, his palms lifted up and sweeping out in front of him. His voice is low but the strength of his focused tones carries well across the distance between the two of them, conversationally so. "It," he pauses, gaze flickering to the images, "I'll have the logs to you by the end of the week, if that long. I know it's outdated by now, but," he briefly grins. They do know it'll help. "What's the schedule look like for all of this?"

"The whole point of planning for things like this is doing what we can to ensure that we don't walk into traps, or if we do, that we can find a way to walk back out again. If you've got some pipeline to command, and you can figure out what it is they're planning, then feel free to share it with me. But until I get some inkling of what's going to be happening, all I can do is focus on the work I have on my plate. You know me better than to think I spend any time thinking in what-ifs. Facts I can work with. Facts I can extrapolate from. Facts I can use. Ifs and Maybes and Possiblies don't fit into my world." She does nod, at his assertion, "I'll be meeting with Poppy and Pickle as well, before I bring you all together to get your ideas and get some plans started." Schedule? "You know Boots." Which means as soon as possible, if not sooner.

Bran idly snorts and saves his comments to himself. In his opinion, it's far better that way than speaking his mind. A pen from his right pocket is plucked up and he rolls it along his right knuckles before twisting it patiently between the pad of his thumb and forefinger. It's all just a set of his usual of tics. His attention is split between the two of them, Leyla and the images, but his gaze is held with the images. He lowers his brows momentarily. The pen stops. "All right, I can work with that. Was there anything else?"

"Not unless something else comes across my imaginary desk. I've only got the two projects working, at the moment, and it was made clear to me that this one should take the priority. I've been reviewing my own mission notes, trying to come up with a few possibilities to bring to the table. Been down in the hangar a bit picking through Payback's brain, trying to see if I can use his experience to extrapolate anything from his service in the first war that might be useful for us now." Yes, the young pilot has been seeing quite a bit of the old salt in recent days, since Toast plucked him out of relative obscurity.

Bran holds his pen in half of his fingers and rubs his jaw with the rest of his hand, listening to her with an eased nod. He doesn't speak up readily this time around but he gets to it and begins to reply in turn. "Good stuff, I guess," he really agrees, for the most part. "I guess I ought to go on ahead and get to this though." There's only so much paperwork and files he needs to go through, there's not a lot in the long run. "It's the only thing on my end. Finished our work the other day," he adds that as an afterthought and begins to step back, not to leave but to give himself space.

"You'll have to show it to me once you're ready." After all, if he means the design he was working on, she needs to give the okay as well, "But there's no rush on it. Whenever you're ready. I'm sure you've been busy. Haven't seen you around the berthings much." Not that she's been around much herself, but…"I'll let you know as soon as I have a date picked out for when we can all get together without the sky falling."

"I like it." He says it plaintively, skilled in the use of holding back the fondness for his own work. The man trails off with a lengthened breath though and in comes a lightened smile to brighten his neutral expression. "That's just a difference in schedules, and I haven't seen you around as much either." Bran glances to the side for a sudden and hesitant moment but then he's back to speaking up. "Perfect," is his initial response and what follows is casually stated: "Quinn might want to chat with you, too. About some stuff, so I guess we'll all have to bunk up with new loads of work for a while."

"I'm sure you do. But if it works, we'll have to see about hunting up someone to do the work. And schedule for the recovery." Getting your flesh cut open, by skilled hands or not, takes some time to plan and work out, not to mention the recovery afterwards, "Any idea on what she wants to talk to me about? I know it can't be Bertha. I brought her back without a scratch from that last recon."

Bran offhandedly nods when it comes to the tatau work and since that portion of the conversation has gone and neatly wrapped itself up he doesn't reopen it. Instead, he stands there and returns to loosely folding his arms over his chest. There's another nod of his head and then he shrugs with that lingering smile of his. It's rather nonchalant. "I think it'll be about me, and you, but nothing bad. You're all right."

Clearly, the man knows more than he's letting on. And clearly, Leyla's going to need to pry it out of him, "Don't let this uniform fool you, Sam. I'm still the same woman who grew up on the same streets you did." Which means, more of less, 'don't make me cut you.' "What exactly is it about you and I that she wants to talk to me about?" Clearly the 'you're all right' isn't doing very much to pacify her.

"That's not the only thing that uniform is doing to me," Bran almost struggles in getting that out with a straight face and since things are lightening up and plans of potential suicide are cleared away for the time being he holds up his palms innocently. He flashes a brief, almost-apologetic smile to the woman standing at the other side of the table. Rather, he doesn't look to be scared that she is going to be leaping over the thing at him any time soon. "I helped her to the berths. We talked… I was a complete gentleman, by our standards," by Black Country standards, "And since I have no idea how the female mind works… I don't know specifics. I just thought you'd like a heads up."

Leyla's eyebrows quirk, as she listens to the supposedly portends of doom from the Bran camp. "I'm not really sure why you think I would be be bothered one way or the other by you talking to Jugs. Or even if you did more than talking. She's a good woman, and she deserves some comfort in her life. It can't be easy for her, in the situation she's in. She didn't grow up where we did." Where single mothers are as common as flies on you know what, and babies end up in dumpsters as often as they end up in bassinets, "And you deserve the same, even if it is only the comfort of conversation. We may be the closest thing each other has to family, but I'm not going to suddenly turn into the little sister," little being a relative term, given they're barely a year and change apart, "who sticks chewing gum in the hair of every girl that gets close to her big brother."

"Well, true," follows Bran while placing his hands atop his head casually enough while he listens to her response. He opens his mouth to speak up in reply but then trails off, tapering into a slow and patient clearing of his throat. He returns to smiling and drops his hands back down to his sides after rubbing his left eye. "I'm just saying, well, we did do more. Everyone thinks we're together," he's switching back and forth between Bran and Quinn and Bran and Aydin. "I made sure Jugs knows we aren't and I do need more. More than…" He doesn't finish that with shrugs once again, "She asked if you'd be jealous."

"I figured it wasn't just talking. I always knew you had a thing for redheads. Remember that TACCO that made the rounds doing our first year in flight school?" Funny, the things you remember out of a lifetime of things to be remembered, "I'm sure everyone does. I am quite good looking, and you're not so bad yourself. I mean, two good looking people couldn't possibly want anything else to do with each other except frakking." Sarcasm much? "I've no reason to be jealous, and no desire to start. I'm actually happy, for both of you. Whatever happens."

"I don't think it's ever just talking, but let's leave my past love life out of things?" Bran asks of her, rather than demands it, most likely due to the sudden rise of embarrassment that chokes his words and makes the man hold onto his breaths. It is a fond memory though and he clears his throat into his left fist. His pen has long since been pocketed. "Camaraderie, frakking, they go hand in hand, but thanks." He smiles to her and nods. "I'm blaming you, for whatever happens, but here's to having something to fight for."

"Don't worry, Sam, I'm not going to start telling her all of the stories I've collected on you over the years." Leyla settles back into one of the empty chairs in the ready room, not the one directly by her work, though, so that's a plus, "I don't know about hand in hand. I think it's perfectly possible to frak someone you hate." She looks back over at the final sentiment Bran offers, "If that is the worst thing in the world you come to hate me for, I'll gladly take your scorn."

Bran slowly nods and then looks around the ready room before taking a handful of steps forward. It brings him back to the work she previously had laid out. The remains of such is given a glance over, now that he has a temporarily better vantage point, and then he nods to himself before stepping off and aiming to sit next to her. "Hate is just what spices it all up. Pure, unadulterated passion and such," he sits back, glancing over to her. He smiles. "I used to look down at you," and he doesn't mean literally, "Now I love you. You can take my scorn too. Now we've just to find scores and scores of tylium - because I just want to settle down now. Find some peace."

"I suppose so. I can't say I've ever frakked anyone I hated." A light shrug, "But I'll take your word for it." Leyla's eyes track the man, as he moves from where he's been standing, over to the table, and finally into the seat next to her, "I know you do. We're not the same people we used to be." But her expression is serious, set in that bullish way Sam knows so well. The Aydin has made up her mind, "I will always do everything in my power to help you find that peace. Even if it means finding it before you do." Yes, Leyla would die for Sam, if it came to it. That's what family does for family.

Bran goes to speak up in countering the hate-frakking part but then in reflecting over what he has just said himself he dutifully nods and holds his peace about things. In agreement, he nods at Leyla's words. All of this has, more or less, mellowed them the frak out and he isn't one to complain any time soon. It's appreciated. It's appreciated so much so that he begins to quietly smile again. "Gods willing, and with the way we run this star, that won't be happening for a long while." He says it fondly. "Same goes for me. We'll die of really old age, live to see it all and then some, or otherwise I'll take a bullet for you before you for me." He can see himself dying for her.

"You know, it's too bad you don't smoke, and I don't drink. This is certainly the time for it." As mellow as if they were sitting on a beach, with little drinks complete with umbrellas. Still, Leyla, when she pulls her pack of cigarettes out of her cargo pocket, does at least offer the pack, even though she knows it'll be turned down, before she shakes one out for herself. A moment of silence to light it, before she settles in, kicking up her feet to rest on the table she was working on, "Just as long as I don't end up needing help to get to the bathroom. If I ever get to that point, you need to just put me out of my misery."

Bran whistles lowly and quietly under his breath, appreciatively, as he looks blankly forward in the direction of the table and then the monitors off before them. He glances over at the offer to cigarettes and lifts a hand in declining. It's not as if they didn't know that was going to happen though. "I love times like this though," he finally murmurs aloud. "And hey," he adds while sitting back in his chair, placing his hands casually over the muscled flat of his stomach, "When we get that old, we just go wherever and whenever we want. We get the future generations to take care of us for providing them good times."

Yes, they both knew it was coming, and so there's no offense taken as the offer is waved off, and for a little while, Leyla seems content to sit and smoke, though, as a consolation prize, she does pull a bag of jerky out from her pocket and offers that instead. "That's because you like to take naps in the middle of the day." Puff, puff, puff. "They better believe I'm going to milk this for all its worth. You know the sort of cool stuff I could have been doing right now?"

A snack is offered and a snack is taken, Bran finding himself enjoying this offering and rolling the bit of jerky between his fingertips as he thinks. The bag is then returned, of course, and he raises a strip to his mouth, leaving it there to slowly bite down. There's a noise coming from him, a bit of a choking laugh at that, and he shakes his head. "Naps are a beautiful thing is all, beautiful things ought to be cherished and never taken for granted," he chews a bit and then holds up the strip he's working on, using it instead of a finger. "Flying a boring cap, that doesn't have the stress of potential death. Or is it the death that makes our lives… exciting?"

"I don't know. I mean, yes, we had to face that every day on our last duty station, and it is something we trained to avoid, with the understanding that it might come to pass. But before all of this happened, we were at relative peace for forty years. There wasn't, for most people, a threat of death to keep them going. So something else must have kept them pushing themselves to the limit." Leyla extends her arm, ashing her cigarette away from where she's sitting, "Some other excitement."

"Ah well, frak it. We drew life's short end of the stick and have to live with the consequences of all this. Gods be damned, eh? We most definitely deserve to piss anywhere and everywhere. We've the skill to survive suicidal missions, after all." Bran tips his chin respectfully to the thought and then looks over to Leyla and nodding. Briefly, his expression sobers up. It's almost as if he would like to say more. Instead of that, he contents himself in chewing over more of the jerky. Offhandedly, "I love the peppered stuff."

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