PHD #051: Swift-Footed Creature
A Swift-Footed Creature
Summary: Sawyer gets a nugget of news.
Date: 18 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Clankers logs.
Rejn Sawyer 
News Room — Deck 3 — Battlestar Cerberus
This room isn't huge by any means, but it does have all the updated equipment and a small news staff that runs the area.
Post-Holocaust Day: #51

The newsroom used to be a bustling hub of QUODEL members, working on reports to submit or getting assignments from back home that required some desk time. Now that there is no 'back home', the majority of the traffic has tapered off, and work ethic has shifted dramatically. So it happens that Sawyer is working solo this morning (as much of the morning that's left, and time is all relative anyways), sitting at her appropriated desk and hunched over the keyboard. It looks like she's spending the majority of her time looking at a blinking cursor, for there isn't a whole lot of key clacking going on over there.

The silence suits Allan Rejn just fine. The portly bureaucrat trundles into the small newsroom as quietly as he can, and with him comes trailing in the sweet-sharp smell of a cigar just recently smoked. He's holding a pair of tumblers in his left hand and cradling a bottle of whiskey under his arm. Judging from the alcohol level in its translucent brown glass — or, for that matter, the faint residue still lining the bottoms of said tumblers — it seems he's had a rather long night. "Evening, Averies," he grunts, letting the hatch click closed behind him. Bright eyes cast about the room, looking for the most comfortable chair.

Sawyer's red rimmed eyes glance up from her computer screen, the whites cracked with lines of red that indicate she's been staring at the screen for far too long already. She leans back in her chair, which lets out a squeak of protest from the movement. "Is it evening already, or has yours just never ended, yet?" A tired smile lifts the corners of her lips.

"Can never tell on this godsdamned ship." The tumblers come tumbling down — see what he did there? — onto a nearby desk, their wet bottoms thudding dully against stacks of newsprint: draft articles meant for publication upon Cerberus' return to Picon that now serve little function beyond scratch paper. "Need to go bug a doctor and score some vitamin D pills. Not quite the sun, but — " Rejn groans as he sets himself down in front of said glasses, drawing his legs together so they'll fit between the armrests of the revolving red number he's selected. "It'll do. Drink?"

"Sure, why not." Sawyer concedes to the thought of a drink before it's even really her 'noon'. "I guess the good news about billions of people being wiped out, is the waiting list for a liver transplant got remarkeably short. Of course, so did the donor list." The journalist finger combs her hair back from her temple, tucking the blonde strands behind her ear. "So are you celebrating, or commiserating?"

Rejn has already started pouring out two glasses. The neck of the bottle clinks delicately against the rims of one, then the other; his practiced eye measures out two fingers' worth into the bottom of each before the whiskey is capped and set aside. "Neither," he grunts, a thick palm reaching for the closer of the tumblers. "Pop said it best: you don't need a reason to start drinking. Just start drinking and the reason will come. Cheers, Averies." Narrow eyes lock onto the woman's face for a brief, indifferent moment before he tilts his head back and knocks back something between a sip and a gulp of the burning liquor. "Working on something?"

Sawyer fingers the glass a bit before finally taking a grip on it. She lifts it in salute to the quip about his father, but sips instead of shooting the liquor. It burns enough as it is, and her eyes bear the wince. "Trying to work is more like it." Her first words are a little raw with the sting of alcohol. "For one blessed day, I didn't have writer's block and I shot out that piece about Sarkis as easy as giving someone driving directions on how to get to my house. Now? Now, I'm bloody well stuck again, and I'm not sure /what/ I should even be writing anymore."

"What a frakking joke." Rejn swallows hard, wiping off a few droplets of whiskey from his bristling moustache. "Sarkis, I mean." His throat bulges forward as he informs that name with as much contempt as he can muster — which is quite a lot. "I'm surprised Mikey told you to let the truth come out. There's going out in a blaze of glory and there's going out in a frakking murder-suicide, and Sarkis' shit wasn't about going out in a blaze of glory. Godsdamn." A note of exhaustion weaves its way through the man's surprisingly high voice. "Word in the street is that the new XO's got you working as 'ship's historian,' whatever the frak that means."

Sawyer quirks her lips in a lopsided grin, more wry then having any true mirth in it. "Notice how I didn't use the term 'murder-suicide' though I desperately wanted to. It got published with the caveat that Command got to read it first. And by read it, I mean go after it with a big frakking black censor pen. Though they were surprisingly light with it. And being the ship's historian basically means I just regurgitate what is posted in the AAR forms that sometimes filter down to me. 'On this day, we got our asses kicked and we ran away'."

"Damn straight we run away. I'll frakking toast to that." As, indeed, he does. Rejn's suit crumples as his arm rises into the air, its shoulderpad bending from the strain; then, down goes another sip-slash-gulp. At this rate, it won't just be Sawyer with bloodshot eyes. "Thought you were better than that, Averies." Out comes the jab like a surprise left hook.

"Haha, cute. Really, going after the jugular like that. But if you're going to insist on blood shed, at least pour me another drink so that it dulls the pain." Sawyer nudges her glass back towards the man for a refill. "It's just another job, Allan. One that keeps me valuable to the ship and her command instead of being shuffled off like cattle down to the hangar bay. It means a bunk instead of a cot, and not having to stand in line to use the Head. And making nice with Abbot means I have clearances that a reporter can only /dream/ of. Now, I just need a reason to abuse it."

Rejn allows himself a short chuckle as he fills the woman's glass before topping up his own. Never let it be said that the former secretary begrudges his people a drink. "That's more like it. I'd ask how many balls you've crushed during your career but I've got a feeling I wouldn't like the number." Is that tone — fondness? "You know when I said I didn't have a reason for drinking? That's a frakking lie and I can't believe you let me get away with it." That brief, gruff chuckle returns. "I have it on drunken authority that the admiral's thinking about a draft." And suddenly the man's avuncular attitude has vanished as he switches from pleasure to business with the flick of a switch. "You too young to understand that word?"

"Are you too old to understand this hand gesture?" Sawyer gives him the one fingered salute with her left hand while the other retrieves her glass of whiskey. "So it's come down to what's more important: the common good or hanging on to what shred there is of our diplomatic society. I never thought I'd be so torn as to which side to take. I'm assuming that's why we're bathing our livers in a nice ten-year-old oak barrell distilled, right?" It's just a guess on the whiskey, or more like a stab in the dark.

"Disgusting, Averies. Crass." Says the man who, having downed another gulp of Barrister Ten — well played, Sawyer! — now uses it to gargle. The resulting 'ahhhh' of satisfaction causes his not-insignificant belly to sway back and forth as he kicks his chair ninety degrees to the right. Battered dress shoes crash loudly onto the desk where his whiskey's at. "I'd be fine with it if we were running, believe you me, but somehow I don't think flight is foremost on Mikey's mind, which means we're going to be throwing a couple hundred souls into the Cylon meat grinder all for the sake of that idiot's ego. Id. Whatever. Freshman psych was thirty-three years ago." Eyelids close beneath those tinted lenses, brows knitting beneath his receding hairline. "Admiral Once More Unto the Godsdamned Breach."

"So I take it you're throwing your hat into the 'run away as fast as frakking possible'. Maybe find some planet in some distant galaxy that we can plop what's left of our collective asses down and try to hide out for the rest of our days, while repopulating like mad rabbits?" Sawyer looks at Rejn with objectivity, not looking herself like she's formed a firm opinion on the matter one way or ther other.

"My hat, my suit, my pants, my glasses, and my two hundred and forty pounds." Rejn washes down another flurry of words with another copious swallow. "We're, what? Four thousand souls, give or take a few hundred here or there, maybe a couple hundred more if the admiral persists on doing the Cylons' job for them. If you really think they'd miss us if we just up and left, you should find a doctor and get your head checked — if any of them survived being shot up by bulletheads the other day." A long breath, thick with saliva. The heel of one shoe hits the linoleum desk; the other props itself up above its partner. "Pour me out another shooter, yeah?"

"Now I'm your bartender?" But it's only fair, he buys and she flies as the saying goes. Sawyer touches the lip of the bottle back to each of their glasses with a heavy tink, though hers hardly needs but a splash to get it back up to its previous level. "I think the overall mentality is still that we need to seek some kind of revenge. We're not even two months out from the holocaust. Maybe as time presses on, we'll lose more and more of that urge to fight. "Right now, this little regroup out in the middle of no where is right where we ought to be. But I think something needs to be done about this draft."

"Revenge." Rejn snorts, his cheeks bulging outwards to produce the sound. "Ever been a bureaucrat, Averies? First thing you learn if you want to get anywhere in that frakked-up world: you make it personal and you've already lost the game." The man takes a long and luxurious sip, pausing to enjoy the flavor — or the memory that warning has summoned up in his mind. That story, though, remains untold. "They killed my horses, kid. They killed my beautiful frakking bay and my mare-frakking stud and two of my sleek gleaming colts, and how I'd love to grab a Centurion in my bare hands, tear out its innards, and shit down its neck." The profanity flows ever quicker now that it's been lubricated by another tipple; beads of sweat dribble down the man's flushed face. "But — but. We get out, and we live with it, because between being dead and revenged and being alive and unavenged, I'm taking the latter. What needs to be done?" A question out of nowhere, flashing quickly out of that stream of words.

"First we need to spread the word to the rest of the remaining civilians. Creating a draft takes away what's left of our rights as Colonial citizens. Then we need to protest the movement, while encouraging those who might want to join up to go ahead and do so and take some of the pressure off the others who would rather remain non-military. We could even build up a civilian work force, who are /willing/ to work for the military without all the silly saluting and rank structure." Sawyer looks down into her glass of liquor before finally just downing it in one long painful chug. "Because let's face it, you and I are both able bodied enough to be enlisted. And I don't look good in frakkin' khaki."

A small smile spreads across Rejn's wide features as Sawyer goes on, causing his moustache hairs to poke into the bottom of his nostrils; the resulting sneeze nearly sends him toppling off his chair, causing the precious whiskey in his glass to come dangerously close to spilling. There's only one way to stop that from happening: drink the rest, which he now proceeds to do. "Met someone like you when I was with CANUD," he observes, gruff voice tightening with his throat. Man, that whiskey really is strong. "Took a rubber bullet to her eye. Put on an eyepatch, sewed our logo on it, and went right back on the morning shows. Frakking stupid, her." The man fingers the gold band on his left hand as he talks, tapping grimy fingernails against its dull forward edge. "Anyway."

"Your sense of survivalism is only topped by your laziness, my friend. Neither of which are particularly good traits to have when you're slapped into a uniform. Besides, what did you expect me to do with this information? Sit on my hands? You came to me, and spilled the beans and your liquor because you want something out of me. So spit out your motives, Allan." Sawyer's tone has become as dry as the whiskey they're drinking.

"I want you to stop sitting around being Mikey's official stenographer." Rejn's manner hasn't changed, but there's something about those words that might make Sawyer sit up if she's paying attention — a whiff of something that suggests the man isn't as drunk as he appears to be. "You've got a pen and an in with your best buddy Mikey. Use it — because the people sure as frak aren't going to listen to me, and I want us to be long gone when the Cylons do find their way to Sector Six Six Wherever, since you can bet they'll be bringing far more than five piddly nukes." Rejn pushes himself to his feet, trading his glass for his bottle as his dress shirt rides up on his belly, revealing just a flash of pale skin. "Life or death, Averies. Not just you or me — I could give a shit about you or me — but for humanity." Free hand readjusts the fit of his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Write about that."

Sawyer has that look of inner reflection, like there's some idea bouncing around in the back of her skull that she just can't quite get a handle on. She doesn't seem to take much offense to his words, if anything, he's just fueling some fire in her that's been slowly dying out to just embers. When she first came on the ship, she was stirring all sorts of shit, and now she's just been letting all of that fizzle. Chalk it up to a meanful spout of depression after the holocaust, but the old Sawyer is trying to claw it's way back. "I could, but my spellcheck always gets caught on the word 'asshole'." She quips back, even without really thinking about it.

"Fix it." Rejn's gaze rests on top of the woman's blonde head, lingering there for a brief moment before he harrumphs and tightens his grip on his bottle. "Night, Averies."

Sawyer looks after Rejn's departure with an odd sort of look on her face. One that clearly says, 'shit, I consider him a friend'. It's not a comfortable place to be in for a journalist.

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