PHD #310: AW MWR
Summary: The new morale officer passes muster with the CAG.
Date: 2 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: More Than Just Ashes
Cidra Klaxon Leyla McQueen Roland 
Pilot Berths
The battlestar's pilots call this place home. Bunks line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each pair of bunks and a round metal table sits in the center, furnished with simple but comfortable steel chairs. A hatch at the rear of the room leads to a communal head.
Post-Holocaust Day: #310

"Klax, hush, you've got to be quiet. How are we ever going to make a good impression like this?" Leyla is speaking as seriously and purposefully as she ever does, all the while working on polishing a cage? Yes, a wire birdcage, apparently, and, given the sound of painfully cheerful chirps and twittering, something that most decidedly was not in residence in the berthings before now, goes along with it. She's standing over at one of the free tables, cleaning supplies and recycled paper and whatnot set out as furtively as one can do anything in the berths.

Cidra is just making her way back through the hatch, into the berthings. She's dressed in her flight suit but she doesn't look like she's actually *been* flying recently, and she's nominally off-duty. Living in Condition 2, she's likely just decided its easier to more or less live in the thing. She heads toward her locker, but of course the twittering makes her pause. And turn her gaze toward Leyla, and her feathered friend. "Sweet Pea," is her dry opening greeting. Gaze going from Leyla, to the bird, and back to Leyla. "Your little friend is vocal."

If Sweet Pea were the type of woman to jump out of her skin, this would be the time for her to do it. Instead, however, she simply spins around, trying to put herself between the song bird and the raptor…pilot. "Toast, yes, he's. I think it's a he. He's a bit upset I won't let him out of the berthing." She won't mention that she'd already had to chase him out of a few people's bunks. "I didn't realize you'd be back so soon." Leyla turns, holding out a finger, onto which the small mass of yellow fluff and feathers(he's still recovering, doncha know), obediently hops. To be carried over to the CAG, "We were going to do the introduction right." Since it's no given Cidra will let the canary stay.

"Just came off my turn on Alert status. Well, more or less. I took some time the library. I do not read often enough these days. I should more. It clears my thoughts in a less…drastic way than other measures." Not that Cidra embellishes on what those other measures are. All she does at first is watch the canary. Oh so curiously. "Introduction? You have named him, then?"

"The least drastic are sometimes the most effective. If nothing else, they don't often lead you to having to apologize after or ask if anyone has any mouthwash." She's just saying. Lots of craziness and drinking going around at least before Condition Two. Leyla lifts her hand, holding out the bird, his head tilted curiously as he studies the new face. He gives a tentative chirp, as if to gauge his situation, as Leyla attempts to hand him off, before he breaks into song, chest puffing up. 'Lookit me, I'm fabulous!' "Yes. This is Klaxon. Cleared by Captain Nikephoros, ready to report for duty." A consideration, "Well, he needs a little fresh food and good water, but he seems fairly healthy."

"So say we all," Cidra says wryly, as to that first bit from Leyla. She continues to watch the bird. Inscrutable. Though there is, perhaps, a hint of a smile behind her eyes as he puffs up. Tinged with curiosity. "This is the creature you found on the moon, yes? I am most surprised he is alive…" She tilts her head at the canary. "He is very small. Klaxon." She repeats the name, with vague amusement. "A warning. It is apt. I cannot say it is not apt." Cidra has just recently returned to the berthings. She's still dressed in her flight suit, sans helmet. Presently she's talking with Leyla, and the little yellow canary in Leyla's hand.

"So were we. He was sitting in the library as if nothing at all were amiss. He seems very trusting, and he's been properly housetrained, if that is the correct term. He must have been surviving on the detritus of the gardens and what water he could find." Leyla tilts her head towards the tiny yellow canary in her palm, "Would you like to hold him? He'll sit on your hand easily enough. Or your head, if you let him get away with it." Not that Leyla has any experience with that, at all. "I was hoping…we could take him on. Like we did the ship's cat. In the berthings."

Roland wakes up with a start from where he sits at one the center tables. He pushes himself off the reports he's supposed to turn in, and blinks a bit at them. Rubbing his face with one hand he picks up the report on top, and gets back to it. He's still in his flight suit, helmet perched on his bunk nearby.

Cidra opens up her right palm, beckoning the bird with a tilt of her long fingertips. She does not invite him to sit on her head. "Much curious left behind on Wreath of Roses. And taken from it. Perhaps you are not the strangest of it, little Klaxon." She does not answer Leyla's request right away, but she does let the little thing perch in her hands. Watching him, in that mild way she has of watching things. "Good morning, Blue." Said without looking away from the canary as Roland stirs.

Bird feet are a strange thing. Hot to reflect their higher body temperature, and soft, quite apart from the fact that their skin is well, sort of birdy reptiliany which would naturally imply cold. With sharp claws, which Klaxon uses very carefully, as he flits off of Leyla finger and settles himself in on Cidra's hand. Any port in the storm. He's not singing now, but rather chirping in Cidra's general direction. "I've been going over the numbers from the estate. I should have the written report for you in the morning." Leyla glances aside, "Blue, nice to see you awake."

Roland straightens up a bit when he hears his name. He blinks a bit in surprise, looking over at the pair. He clears his throat, and nods over, "Sir… Sweet Pea." He pauses, and looks down the reports, "Good to be awake…" He picks up the paperwork he has in front of him, and sets it aside, moving on to the next. He runs a hand through his hair, and glances from them to the bird, and back.

"He sings prettily enough," Cidra notes, urging Klaxon to sit on her fingertips. Which he does with an earnest little hop, continuing to trill. He's obviously a practiced house pet, whatever else he may be. She listens to him for a moment, then directs her attention up to Leyla. "I trust, Lieutenant, you will take it upon yourself to keep him in food and water, and mind the cleaning of his cage?" Tone just a little wry as she asks it. As if one of her kids were going to bring home a pet. But she's not rejecting the idea. "You would do better to sleep in your bunk. Easier on the neck," is noted to Roland.

Leyla is standing not far from one of the tables, seemingly in conversation with Cidra, Roland a few tables beyond. And in Cidra's hand, a brilliant yellow canary, with delicate white feathers on his wings. "Yes, of course, Toast. I brought him back, and he'll be my responsibility. But I think he'll be good for the berthing." Leyla pauses, looking back to Blue and then returning her attention to Toast. "It's been a long time since we had any reminder that life goes on." And Klaxon certainly is that, to have survived so long after the abandonment of Wreath of Roses. A single life, surviving amidst all of that decay.

Roland nods slowly, in agreement with Cidra. He sits at one of the tables, paperwork spread out in front of him. He picks up another report scanning it for a moment, before setting it down, "I think the outlawed sleep when…" He pauses, and picks up another report, "Frak me I'm done…" He stands up pushing his chair back, "I'd headed there now Major."

"What do you think, Blue?" Cidra asks of Roland, extending her be-birded hand toward Roland. "Shall we keep him?" A hint of merriment in her tone. That she's asking may hint she's already made up her mind about the future living arrangements of the bird. In a moment of strange whimsy, she extends her hand upward. Allowing the thing to sit on her head. Which it does, little claws feet mussing her bunned dark hair as it perches. And continues to twitter.

The familiar *creak* of the hatch wheel is heard as the latch turns, and the door from the deck outside comes swinging on open to admit a wild-haired, rumpled McQueen who clearly missed some steps between 'duty' and 'offduty.' Probably the shower, to be honest. His thick brows knit as he walks in, wordlessly, clutching his duffel bag to his side.

It's only with a supreme force of will that Leyla does not burst out laughing as the hopefully, soon to be morale officer perches on Cidra's head, looking for all the world as though this were the most normal thing a bird ever did do. Thank goodness for the arrival of McQueen, to shift Leyla attention, as she and Klaxon await the verdict.

Roland stacks all his reports, and shoves them in a folder, making a bee line for his bunk. As he hears the question he turns to speak his mind about the confounded bird. One looks at the bird on the CAG's hair, and he smiles slightly, "Well Sir… What better place for a bird to bunk than in pilot land?" That being said he takes to his bunk, not even bothering to move the helmet there, or pull the curtain closed. In moments he's dead to the world, complete in flight suit, with helmet at hand.

"Queenie." Cidra's head turns, still with canary perched upon it, at McQueen's entrance. She eyes him, and his duffel bag, up and down. With no particular expression. She just has a way of mildly eyeing things in a vaguely weighing manner. Faintest of smiles is offered to him. The bird continues to sing. With a soft chuckle, she finally affirms to Leyla, "He seems a jolly enough little creature. And less trouble than some of our current inhabitants. I do suppose we can keep him."

"Toast." Comes McQueen's faintly flippant reply, lines appearing on either side of his mouth as he edges towards his locker, flitting his head a little to one side to spy the CAG, as well as her companions both human and avian. He juts his chin upwards a little and ventures a quick inquiry, the urban working-class Leonitian accent framing his speech with a touch of harshness for all the humor in his words. "So how'd you convince that poor bastard to fly into /this/ coal mine?" His pale blue eyes drift from the lock that he begins to fiddle with, to the bird.

"I think it was the promise of fresh food and water." Leyla steps away from Cidra, Klaxon obviously in good keeping with the CAG, "I imagine some men are easier to please than others." She returns to her table, where she's been cleaning and setting up his nest, "He'll be good for the wing." Yes, there is a slight air of defensiveness. Leyla obviously wants to keep the bird.

Cidra's fingers lift back up to her head, to urge the bird off of it. Perhaps wary of him doing more than mussing her hair with his talons. She lets him keep sitting on her fingertips, however. "He sings prettily." Which is apparently more or less the deciding factor for her. "Fight and fly and die, Queenie. But he is not gone yet, and neither are we. There is something in that still."

"Sir, I sincerely hope you keep the little guy out of the fighting. They're clearly built for reconnaissance. And stale fruit disposal." McQueen mumbles as he continues to fiddle with the lock, working at the tumblers over and over with unfeigned annoyance painted on his features. "Cheap piece of — There!" It swings open with a click. Back towards Leyla. "Oh, looks like you found a little piece of art over there. Where oh where did you dig /him/ up?" For emphasis, one of McQueen's hands trails lazily in the direction of the bird as he mentions 'piece of art' and juts the index finger squarely at the creature.

"Actually, I didn't have to dig him up at all. He was living on one of the estates we visited, the mission lead by the TACCO. Unless you're implying that he was a cleverly planted spy, to be brought into our midst?" Leyla, having cleaned out the bottom of Klaxon's cage, begins to line it with the recycles paper.

"Troubles?" Cidra asks McQueen, as he manhandles his locker. Though the main of her attention is still on the bird on her fingers. She continues to listen to its song, head tilted to one side. "As I was telling Sweet Pea, I find it most remarkable he has survived this long on the leavings there. But to my knowledge, the Cylons have not yet taken to cloning birds. I respect the enemy too much to presume they would waste time on such things. So I deem him safe enough. If he can handle residing with the likes of us."

"Pfft. Let's hope the Cylons don't get ideas. Although that would keep them busy." McQueen spits out a quick, sharp snicker which echoes as he briefly buries his head inside the recesses of his locker, beginning to lift his bag into it and fumbles throughout. "Let's hand it to the little guy. He's made it this far." Sticking an arm inside the back of the locker, he rummages a few moments more, grunting and grumbling all the while.

Paper is carefully placed before Leyla begins to add the accoutrements back into his cage. Three stands at varying heights, his water bowl, and his food bowl. "It would be like a bad horror movie, being dive-bombed by cloned cylon birds." A beat, "Death by pecking." Eyes shift to McQueen, "Need a hand? I'm smaller than you."

"He strikes me as the sort who might have a talent for electronic warfare," Cidra muses, whistling to herself as she takes the little bird back toward his cage. She whistles badly. She rather warbles. "But I do not think we are so bad off that we must make him a Nugget. Just yet." With a wriggle of her fingertips, he's set back into the home Leyla's fixed up for him.

"You'd be like a canary in a coal mine." McQueen's voice echoes a little bit more. "Yes, I know. But in this case it was apt. Also — I think this mine's unsafe. And then I'd have your being crushed on my conscience. And I'd have to get Sister Karthasi to hear my confession —" As the man rambles on, he pulls out of the locker finally bearing some kind of plastic baggie containing — well, no. No mind-altering substances, just dried trail mix. He walks on towards the two other pilots and the bird who needs no pilot, fumbling in the bag's contents. "Mind if I? I'll probably never eat this anyway."

"I fly a raptor, remember? We are the canaries in the coal minds of the air wing. Sent out to test the waters before the rest of the wing moves in. It wouldn't be anything that I'm not used to." But Leyla makes no further attempt to extend her assistance. Klax hops off of Cidra's hand readily enough, hopping onto the floor o his cage, and then around, from the bars to the stands, to the edge of his water bowl. Like a tenant checking out a new place. Hop, hop, hop, onto the topmost stand, as McQueen comes over. "Yes, of course, please."

Cidra steps aside so Queenie can feed the bird as he likes. "I have always preferred to think of the Raptor as the owl to the Viper's hawk. Sharper eyes, keener ears. And so much wisdom." Tone just a little wry, needling the Viper pilot in a good-natured sort of way. Dual-qualified or no on paper, the CAG is at her core a Raptor pilot and always shall be.

"No disrespect to the Raptors, yeh? The 'first in'. Sorry, I'll admit it was a thinly veiled attempt to keep you from seeing my disgusting semi-contraband. Terrible things lurk behind that door. Some shit no decent person should see." Queenie chirps with obviously overemphasized drama. There's a brief, crooked smile to Leyla which gets extended to Cidra just moments afterwards before turning towards the bird which he has now reached.

Now, he cranes his head forward slightly to get a better look at the little creature before holding out his hand, flat with a small smattering of dried fruit and nuts he produced from the bag placed upon his palm and extends it towards the bird. "Look at you." He says, softly. "You're a miracle of the Gods, yeh?"

"You're assuming I'm decent people, Queenie." But that's lightly said, and offered with a smile, as Leyla watches as Klaxon, clearly as equal opportunity…opportunist, hops down to the hand that literally feeds him, pecking away happily, or as happily as one can gauge a bird's reactions, at the offering. The small thing, indeed a pet, seem starved of its familiar human contact. "Owls we might also be, Toast, but we are very much like those old miner birds, used to warn humans of dangerous conditions, because that is our job too, to see before other eyes can see. I'm not ashamed to do that duty."

"I suppose we all are at that," Cidra murmurs to herself, to McQueen's bit about miracles of the gods. Said in a musing sort of way, like she's not quite sure what to make of the collective miracle that is them all not being nuked. She continues to watch the little bird as Queenie feeds it, still thoughtful. "Grim duty when you put it like that, but it is apt, Sweet Pea. I will not deny it. And we have no shortage of grim duties these days."

For a moment, the man is transfixed on the sight of the bird as he goes through the process of hand-feeding him. As Klaxon proceeds to accept the feast offered, McQueen turns to one side and vaguely targets Leyla only to say, "No. Not necessarily. I was just bein' polite." He laughs a single coarse laugh as the sound is expelled from his throat before turning back to the bird, studying it with carefully narrowed eyes. "That's it, little guy. Look at you. The one little bird who made his way out of the ruined nest. But that didn't stop you, did it? That's /why/ you're a miracle." He finishes softly as the assortment of food is eventually depleted. He waits until Klaxon finishes cleaning it up before drifting his hand towards the perch inside and withdrawing it as soon as the little bird is safely clear. His mouth is now uncharacteristically closed and his look pensive.

"Most of what we live is grim, Toast. But to let the darkness overwhelm the light, however small it is, I don't think is in us. Any of us. Or we would have given up long ago. Gone to join those we loved and lost. A single candle on a dark night can still lead you home." Serious, on the one hand, and then not, as Leyla shifts her conversation between Cidra and McQueen, "Thank you for the politeness, I'll keep it in mind the next time we're on a salvage run and bring you back something in repayment." Klaxon, now fully fed and rather happy, takes a few moments to drink, before he settles in on a perch, still curiously regarding his new people.

Cidra regards the bird in turn for a beat. Blinking at him. He blinks back. They will get on, it seems. Eyes then shift to regard McQueen. Something in what he says catching her a little off-guard, perhaps. But she only mutters a soft, "So say we all, at that." The interplay between the Raptor stick and Viper jock just earns a low chuckle. "We remain. And that is no small thing." A familiar refrain from the CAG, that. "And he does as well." She moves a little away from the table at that. Long past time for her to zip off her flight suit and grab some rack time, while it's grabbable.

"So Say We All." The man echoes Cidra's words, softly and flatly as he turns away and starts to walk back towards his locker, depositing the remainder of the bag on an empty chair. To Leyla. "For when the little guy gets hungry again. They do that." Reaching his locker, he starts to fumble for another bag, one half-zipped with a towel sticking out of it. Ah, shower time.

As he walks away, he continues, "And the one last little bird got away. Meanwhile, a greedy serpent sat bloated upon the fat remains of the bird's brothers and sisters, never once expecting the mongoose to tear its guts out and shit in its mouth." He laughs to himself in a contained little peal. He looks back at the two other pilots over his shoulder. "Thanks for bringing him on board. He'll fit right in." A thin smile, briefly flashing a show of teeth, and he turns back towards the hatch as he heads for the door.

"Thank you. I'll try to get him to understand that treats need to be rationed." Leyla will be getting him something suitable but bland from hydroponics or the galley no doubt. "I just wonder which of us is the mongoose. Sleep well, Toast. Queenie, if you're not out in 30, I'll send in the calvary." And with the group slowly dispersing, Leyla returns to her housekeeping duties. Birds don't feed and water and care for themselves you know. No opposable thumbs.

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