PHD #271: A Meeting of Minds and Music
A Meeting of Minds and Music
Summary: Ensign Davis meets Cameron properly and under more pleasant circumstances.
Date: 24 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Not Out of the Woods - Ground
Cameron Davis Elpis 
Observation Deck - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
With a quiet view to the stars, this tends to be one of the more popular 'quiet areas' of the Cerberus. Up front is a small-unseated area for ceremonies or other activities while the seating rises up behind it. Each level rises up behind the one before it, comfortable chairs and couches set up for crewmembers to relax, get some work done or even take a nap. A large armored plate is lowered during Condition One to protect the interior against a breach in the glass.
Post-Holocaust Day: #271

His work schedule has been rather erratic ever since he joined the crew of the Cerberus. Some days, some nights, sometimes days and nights merging one into the other during double and even triple shifts. It makes it difficult for Cameron to find time to spend with Elpis, the little girl often found huddling by herself when he comes 'home' to their pair of cots, waiting for him. Which is perhaps why he tries to spend more of his nights working and his days with the child that has adopted him instead of the other way around. The observation deck is nearly empty at this time of day, everyone either eating breakfast or working or still asleep. So the pair of them sit, Cameron staring at the stars, Elpis staring at him as his fingers strum over the strings of the guitar cradled in his lap, playing a song he learned while traveling along the coast of Aerilon long before the world came to an end.

Nearly empty makes it perfect for study; making it nearly empty is someone studying. Davis is dressed in her tailored blues, a stack of binders and notebooks beside the stately chair she sits in. It is an old, stately wingback, no doubt scavenged from some ruins on a whim. As the strains of music make it to her ears the Ensign starts to tap her toe. She hums softly while reading over formations and fleet-scale maneuverings; it isn't until the hand hanging over the arm of her chair starts drumming the rhythm with pen on binder that she becomes properly conscious of her own reactions.

The song clearly could use some drums, the guitar a bit lonely all on its own till Cameron starts singing along. He can hold a tune at least, but his voice isn't trained for singing, that much is clear. Still, it's a pleasant tenor. "Ships may come and ships may go, As long as the sea does roll. Each sailor lad just like his dad, He loves the flowing bowl. A trip on shore he does adore, With a girl who's nice and round. When the money's gone, It's the same old song, "Get up Jack! John, sit down!" Not perhaps the most appropriate song for a child, but Elpis doesn't seem to mind, her hands slapping lightly against her knees in rhythm as she rocks from side to side. Cameron's eyes drop down to the child, his lips curling into a tender smile as he rolls into the chorus. "Come along, come along, You jolly brave boys, There's lots of grog in the jar. We’ll plough the briny ocean, With the jolly roving tar." Ocean eyes lift, rising past Elpis to where Davis is seated, his lips quirking in a pleased sort of way when he catches her foot tapping and her fingers beating a rhythm with the pen in her hand.

Suddenly when she looks down, the page has gotten into the song as well. Letters and numbers grasp hands and sway, consonants pick up vowels and join the jig. Sure, Davis tries to school the iconography back into place, but even her inner marm voice sounds distracted by the music. Before another verse is done she has set the notebook aside and approached Cameron's seat with a smile on her face and a tapping of fingers and toes.

Smiling broadly as Davis gives in to the music and comes to join them, he gestures with a nod of his head before continuing on with the song. "When Jack comes in, it's then he'll steer, To some old boarding house. They'll welcome him with rum and gin, And feed him on pork scouse. He'll lend, spend and he'll not offend, Till he's lyin' drunk on the ground. But when the money's gone, t's the same old song, "Get up Jack! John, sit down!" And then Cameron calls out cheerfully, "Everybody!" as he wheels into the chorus. Apparently Elpis has heard this one before, because her mouth opens to form the words, even if no sound comes out. "Come along, come along, You jolly brave boys, There's lots of grog in the jar. We'll plough the briny ocean, With the jolly roving tar."

The Ensign smiles down at the little girl as the wee'an lip-synchs. Davis sticks to clapping and swaying, not having caught the lyrics quite yet but familiar enough with the pattern to reach out unconsciously about mid-torso level when the song is done. Looking at her empty hand brings a pouty frown to her face and the woman remarks, "I miss the drinking part of drinking songs."

Chuckling softly, the doctor notes, "Well, if yer free this comin' Sunday, there are plans fer a Kitchen Party down on the Starboard hold." Cameron's normally elusive accent has been shifted by the song toward his native Aerilonian for a moment there, his lips quirking as he hears the change and chuckles because of it. "We found a whole barrel of aged whiskey in one of our last runs, which we've been guarding just for this occasion. So you can have the drinking as well as the drinking song if you like." Elpis frowns slightly and thumps the ground, making a gesture toward her lips like a cup. "Aye, you can drink too, Elpis, but not what we'll be drinking. That's for adults only." Another small pout from the child, but she is mollified by the fact that at least she'll be able to participate at least a little bit. Reaching out a hand past the guitar the man greets, "Cameron." He's clearly a civilian by his clothes, but there is a badge warm around his neck that indicates he has security clearance, the name there noted as Dr. Cameron Adair.

Davis initially has that tense, forced smile; word of the cask changes it subtly. There's a sparkle in her green eyes, a little ripple of relaxation shivering visibly down her body from head to toe. "I'll… I've got to stand watch so my ratings can go," she murmurs in a distracted, husky tone, "But maybe for a little bit…" The hand brings her out of the tumultuous ethical quandary. "Davis Hathor," she states, her voice still milky from withdrawal. "We met in the firefight, remember?"

He's seen that look cross a lot of people's faces lately, which honestly saddens the doctor. He certainly doesn't blame the crew of the Cerberus for not being able to single-handedly save every person on every planet. That's just ludicrous. And he's seen for himself just how hard they work and try to do their best to survive and save as many people as they can. "I know, I know, there's a lot of tension but those that aren't willing to play nice have agreed to keep to their own side of the hold and the powers that be have given us permission to throw the event and invite anyone who wants to join us." Leaning in conspiratorially, Cameron whispers, "I've even heard a rumor that Col. Pewter himself will be coming to do some of the cooking!" He blinks in surprise and then shakes her hand enthusiastically, replying, "Gods yes. Sorry, at the time I was in doctor mode and you're the only one that I didn't have to treat that day, thank goodness."

The giggle and an enthusiastic 'o' of her lips at his insights turns into outright laughter as he recounts the day. "Aye well, I'm glad I only ruined my knickers down there," Davis teases, nudging the doctor's arm with her elbow. She then crouches down, smiling at little Elpis. The levity has brought a light tint to her chirpy, rolling accent. "And who might you be, angel-pie?" she asks, voice pitched higher for the girl.

Elpis watches the interaction between the two adults quietly, her eyes far older than a six year old's should be. At the sweetly asked question, she gives Cameron a wrinkle-nosed look before offering the woman her hand in a very adult sort of gesture. But she doesn't reply. "This is Elpis," Cameron offers instead. "She's not big on talking, like at all, but she understands what you're saying." One of his hands reaches out to tug on one curling strand of brown hair, the girl squealing and shifting just out of reach with a gleam in her eyes, the serious demeanor gone in a flash. Turning to Davis, Cameron concurs wryly, "I think all of us needed to do a bit of laundry after that."

Davis ohs again, making a small production of the apology with a hand on her chest and a bow of her head. "My apologies, Elpis. I'm Davis and pleased to meet you," she states, giving the hand a firm pump. The playful exchange gets a laugh from her, and then the Ensign seats herself on the floor. It's partly for comfort, but also a way of subtly disarming the uniform. As if wearing a skirt, Davis keeps her knees together and both of her calves tucked to the side. "So you're the keeper of the old drinking songs, hmm?"

The girl forgives easily and readily, giving Davis a large smile and a hefty up and down pumping of her little hand in an exaggerated handshake. "Wellllll," Cameron returns with a wry smile, "I don't know if I'm the keeper of said songs, but I know a few. Kinda impossible to live on Aerilon and not know a few. Though ironically I know more songs about the sea than the drink, though they do often go hand in hand. Must be a liquids things." His head tilts to one side curiously as he asks, "When we met, I didn't get a chance to ask you what you do here? By your position behind the tree I figured out you weren't a Marine, but beyond that I haven't got a clue." Elpis leans forward and taps the neck of the guitar, which causes Cameron to give a small 'oh' of apology, his fingers arranging themselves before he begins to play again, just a simple little reel without lyrics for the girl to enjoy.

"They're quite popular in the Piconese pubs," she notes of the songs. "The pubs themselves were brought back by Piconese mercenaries. There was a sort of intuitive connection that hard-fighting soldiers and hard-working Aerilon farmers found, and it's stuck through the centuries. Despite the Caprification fad lately," Davis notes, rolling her eyes at the very idea. "I'm a big fan of the whole New Wave of Electric Music that came from that, you know," she declares with a nod. His question is answered in quick fashion, a finger tapping at the pilot wings pinning her jacket open. "I'm a Viper pilot," the Ensign declares, then removing the hand from her bosom to jerk a thumb over at the volumes by the wingback. "But I'm cross-training to Intel. Sacrifice one line pilot to get better tactical analysis, and maybe we can come up with a weakness—or at least understand the underlying heuristic patterns of Raider behavior." This is followed by a laugh and some warmth in the cheeks. "'Heuristic,' yeah, I think I need a pair of bottle-thick glasses just for saying that."

The music that Cameron plays is old - folk music - suited for an acoustic guitar and other more esoteric instruments. It's the music of tradition, handed down for generations. So very not current or modern or pop, let alone New Wave Electronica. Grinning Cam notes, "I wouldn't know about such things. I was something of a nerd during my college years and after. More studying, less drinking, and very rarely did I find myself in a pub. It's only since I've been back on Aerilon that I've been rediscovering my roots. It's old-fashioned, but I like it." One brow lifts though as he assures, "That's not to say that I can't get down and dance with the best of them. Just as long as they don't point and laugh, it's all good." He chuckles softly and grunts like a Neanderthal, "You use big word! Me scared."

Davis laughs freely, reaching out for the doctor's shoulder to give him a friendly shaking. "It's alright, I won't let anybody know," she mock-consoles, then rests her head on the arm of his seat. Idly she reaches out to poke at Elpis' arm, once to get her attention and another time to tease the girl—and maybe give her a little game of poke-back to play while the adults talk. "I almost flunked out of university doing the core classes. I had to go before the Captain and answer for a 2.0 GPA two or three times," the woman reminisces, "But then we got to the hands-on courses and I could storyboard or do some camera or production work when the thinky-writey stuff got dull."

The little girl squeals again as she is attacked from a new quarter, her fingers now wiggling threateningly as she grins at Davis and looks for a break in her defenses. "Och, now you've done it," warns Cameron with a smirk. "The Great Tickle War of 2041 is about to commence… for about the 50th time this year." Elpis bobs and weaves like a boxer, as much as one can bob and weave whilst in a sitting position before her fingers dart forward toward Davis' exposed right flank to tickle! "You are too kind," Cameron wryly drawls as he waits to see how poor Davis will fare against those tiny and nimble fingers. So small. So sneaky! Again Cameron's eyebrow lifts as he echoes, "Storyboard? Camera? You were a film major? How did you end up a Viper pilot?"

The Ensign is an easy target, not taking her erstwhile victim seriously. With only one eye open she lazily twirls her finger; Elpis may have to thrust her shoulders inside of Davis' reach, but the girl finds a sensitive enough spot along her ribs to elicit an electric jolt and a whooping yelp. "Y-yes," she replies with a distracted, sly flatness to her voice. The attack has made her wary, gotten her heart racing and finger-foil dancing a figure-8 before her little attacker. "I went the Picon Military Academy for Ladies, and they had a scholarship programme with the Picon Space Guards." A thrust is deflected and tried again, the girls glancing wrists and arms repeatedly. "Umm, I'm not really sure how I ended up in the Petrels, it just sort of… HappeWAGH!!" She looked up at Cameron for the last word, and paid for it with a tickling!

This time Elpis squeals with laughter as she manages to get past Davis' weak defenses! Huzzah! Flush with success she continues to lean from side to side, her tongue caught between her teeth as she looks for an opening. Her unsuccessful attacks do not deter the little girl. No indeed, they only make her all the more determined. And at this final moment, this revealed chink in Davis' armor, the little girl goes in for the kill with the determination and ferocity of a small badger! She tickles mercilessly, giggling furiously and once she has been deterred she throws her thin arms about the Ensign's neck to give her a hug, still giggling victoriously. Cameron, meanwhile, has only raised his brow up higher as he echoes, "The Picon Military Academy for…. Ladies?? You're totally frakkin' with me, right?" he returns somewhat incredulously. "What, do they show you how to properly keep your pinky finger extended whenever you take the stick?"

Davis grabs the little sprite up in her arms, squealing with laughter even after the squirming fingers stop. "Little munchkin," she snickers, ruffling Elpis' hair. She manhandles the kid onto her lap, a hand rubbing circles in the space between the girl's shoulders. "Not quite," comes her mirthful reply. "Pee-MAL is a secondary school. It gets a bad rap for being a place to send at-risk girls instead of a juvenile facility, but really it just arms girls with the strength and confidence they need to be successful ladies. Not," she notes, making sure to meet Cameron's eyes as she explains something she finds a key difference, "just men with boobs. Strong, successful ladies. World of difference."

Between the woman and the girl there is much squealing and laughter, Cameron watching them both with an indulgent smile upon his face. Elpis settles happily in Davis' lap and accepts the affection without complaint. As for Cameron, he seems interested in the distinction that she makes with regards to her education and experience. I think it's the term 'ladies' that seems so very… inappropriately appropriate. It's very… formal and dignified. I would have gone with 'women' rather than 'ladies'. The latter seems a bit too tea and crumpets. But yes, I have noticed that many of the female crew here, mostly the Marines and army raised women, are very," and here he pauses, not really wanting to say 'men with boobs' even though Davis just did so, and instead finishes, "masculine. One of the 'boys', as it were, which I have found confusing at times."

"All ladies are women," Davis states instinctively, "but not all women are ladies." She takes a deep breath and, while combing through Elpis' hair with her fingers, recounts a tale. "In ancient times on Kobol, the Duchy of Colchis was at war with the neighboring state when word came of an army marching on the capital. Instead of battening down for a siege, the Duchess ordered the granaries opened for a feast and took the young ladies of the castle out on horseback. They rode hard past the foe, who laughed at the sight of women riding double on each horse." Her gaze is cast on the view of the planet out the window, the sparks of space debris igniting in the atmosphere like torches in the night. "They were not laughing when news came that their wagon train had been burnt to the ground. When the foe's rearguard came to investigate, they found the ladies standing with spears, formed in orderly ranks of foot next to their horses. The Duchess accepted the swords of the invaders, fed the men and escorted them to the borders. This is how the Dragoons and the Picon tradition of armed ladies came to be."

Both man and child listen to the story with interest, Elpis twisting in Davis' lap to look up at her face as she talks. This story, of women warriors with spears and horses and swords clearly appeals greatly to the little girl as her lips are curled with a secretive and pleased sort of smile. Cameron can't decide which is more entertaining; the story or Elpis' reaction to it. "Oh boy," he replies with a wince and a chuckle. "I know what Elpis is going to be pretending during 'make believe' with the other kids for the next month or so." Sure enough, the little girl grins fiendishly at Cam before scooting out of Davis' lap and giving her a kiss on the cheek, presumably in thanks for the story, before she runs off, skipping with one hand before her holding onto invisible reins the other resting on where the hilt of a sword would be. His eyes flicker back toward Davis, his fingers starting a new song as he asks, "True story?"

"Aye," she replies softly, her eyes following the rejuvenated young girl. "The Duke is in some of the holy scrolls. For centuries his wife was called a witch in some versions—if you studied theatre at all you might recall an ancient play called the Witches of Colchis. Picon traces much of its culture to the Duchy, it's why we have such a tradition of mercenaries. When the women can defend the home, society can accept the loss of a few adventurous soldiers of fortune. And, as the Academy made clear, when the women can take care of themselves, the desire to do so doesn't confuse them as much when gender roles start to change."

Shaking his head, his hands now resting upon the body of his guitar, Cameron just listens with interest. "Never had time for theater or anything 'fanciful'. Picked the guitar years after school…" But he looks interested, his mind already turning over this new found fact and pondering it. "We need to hold onto our heritage - our music and our theater, our art and our dances. Maybe…. maybe at some point we could put on a play of sorts? Something to boost morale, something for people to work on during quiet times. Maybe not now, but… hopefully? Some day?" But his thoughts are cut off as Elpis 'rides' up and tugs imperiously upon Cameron's sweater sleeve, rubbing her stomach pointedly. With a soft chuckle, the man rises up to his feet and offers to Davis, "My apologies. It would see that female warriors require sustenance as much as male ones do. As a result I, her trusty squire, must go and fetch her victuals." And, at Elpis' frown of confusion, Cameron explains to her, "Yes, yes, that means breakfast." She claps her hands and jumps up and down eagerly, now pulling on his sleeve all the harder. "Sorry to cut you off in mid-story," he replies as Elpis starts to drag the poor doctor away. "I hope you can swing by for some food and drink and maybe a dance this Sunday?" And then, with a chiding, "Elpis, really, you're stretching my sweater…" and an awkward wave of farewell, the utterly browbeaten man is dragged out of the observation room in search of food.

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