PHD #318: Bacon Bets
Bacon Bets
Summary: Shiner and Van lay down a bet.
Date: 10 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: The one where Shiner gets sent to Sickbay.
Shiner Vandenberg 
Behind the two hangar decks, the Cerberus' Galley is the largest room on the ship. Nearly half the size of a football field, the eating area is made up of long lines of stainless steel tables that can be folded up and placed against the wall for larger events. Individual seats are the standard military issue, boring and grey with lowest-bidder padding. The line for food stretches across one of the shorter sides of the room while the kitchen behind works nearly twenty-four hours a day to produce either full meals or overnight snacks and coffee for the late shifts.
Post-Holocaust Day: #318

Some people can't stand to leave the berthings without a shower. Some people aren't picky. The S-Three is more concerned with getting food. Her hair is a mess and is simply tossed into a loose ponytail. Yep, she just woke up. Late morning in the galley and most people have drifted away. She was probably on a late shift the night before. She's in a grey t-shirt and sweatpants that say 'MARINES' in big block letters down the leg. Sitting at a table by herself, the woman pokes slowly at the eggs in front of her and seems to be losing momentum towards an end. There's still some 'bacon' on that plate too - or whatever the Navy likes to pass as bacon.

Shiner yawns widely as he settles into the seat opposite Vandenberg, a bacon and egg buttie on his tray, along with a tall glass of juice. He still looks somewhat the worse for wear, but a full 48 hours off duty is doing wonders for his complexion and general tone. The bags under the eyes are still there, but he's no longer actually shaking, and he no longer looks completely out of it. "You going to eat that, sir?" he greets, fork poised over the marine's bacon.

Vandenberg looks up at the man on his approach and smirks. Yes, she recognizes that face in this room. "Well, well. Mister Wright. I take it you're feelin better?" She looks to where his fork points and she quirks a brow. "This may be Navy bacon, but its the only bacon we've got. Surrendering bacon is like giving up your gun. You want it?" She flips the fork into a more stabbing hold. "Come and take it." Yep, that's a big playful grin on her face. "Seriously though, you doing better?"

"Nobody stands between me and my quest for bacon!" Shiner insists with a grin. "Thankfully, I already nicked extra from the chick serving. She thinks I'm cute, I know it." Tone becoming more serious, though, he nods, chewing briefly on his lip. "Yeah, much better, sir. Thanks, yeah? I mean for… yeah. Um. Sorry for everything I said, sir. I didn't mean it, you know that, right? And thanks for not throwing me in the brig or anything."

"Not even the Colonial Marine Corps?" Natalie challenges with a light chuckle. "Ballsy little frakker, I'll give you that." She waggles her brow at him and takes up a piece of bacon to nibble on. The woman leans forward in her chair, then, setting her elbows on the hard top. "Look Dave, you were all messed up on something. I don't know what and I never bothered to ask. Its not that I didn't care, I just didn't want to give the impression that I was investigating." Another bite and she smiles at him. "Besides, I didn't take it personally. Though I did think your remark about sleeping with me only if it was purely casual was kind of interesting," she prods with a growing snicker.

"The doc reckons it was just being tired, and some of the fumes from the shit we work with," Shiner admits, somewhat embarrassed. "I guess maybe I wasn't following all the instructions exactly, maybe." He clears his throat, half smiling in return. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say all that, sir. It just kind of came out. I wasn't thinking." He pauses to take a bite of his buttie and thus prevent digging himself any further into the hole.

"Yikes. Well I'm glad that was the only side effect. That stuff can be lethal." Natalie shakes her head and settles back into the chair. She lifts a leg to pin a knee to the table. "Apology accepted, though. Don't worry your pretty head over it. Actually, if you want someone to thank for me not busting your balls, talk to Lieutenant Evan Doe. Raptor pilot. He has convinced me to take the route less travelled in my world for awhile. See how I like the view." She smiles easily. The woman looks pretty relaxed. And actually happy. "I hope Damon didn't kick your butt too hard, did he?"

Shiner notes wryly, "Yeah, go figure. I was the one who took Lieutenant Doe down to sickbay for being out of it, too. That's like irony or something." He wipes his mouth delicately of a trace of egg yolk. "Nah, the Chief's been really cool, actually. We're stood down for 48 hours, ordered to go get some sleep and relax." He gestures to himself with an easy smile. "Look! No ovies! I actually look like a real guy for once, not some kind of lovechild of a pumpkin and a toolbelt." Settling back in his seat, he takes a moment to watch her before asking casually, "You about to go on duty, sir, or..?"

Natalie grunts out a laugh at the mention of bringing Evan to Sickbay. "Ain't that some shit." She continues nibbling on the bacon, nodding. "I heard something about the Deck and Engineering standing down. Well deserved. I know they were working you all into the ground. Its why I figured you were on stims or something. Its also why I didn't lose my shit at you. Ya'll got enough to do and worry about. Glad to see you up and back to yourself, though." His last question gets a shake of her head. "Not for about ninety minutes. Figured I would grab some grub, be lazy, work through some problems of the mind. You back on shift soon?"

"Still on my forty eight," Shiner replies, casually poking an end of sauce covered bacon back into his buttie then licking his finger. "Well, if you're just kicking back and shit, never mind, then. I just figured maybe I'd go get some pool time in, and wondered if you wanted to join me for a bit. I heard you guys were training in there and all… and I've barely been for a proper swim in weeks."

"Sure thing. Looking to run the course or just hang out in the shallow end?" Natalie lofts her brow. Time to sit by the pool? Or just hang around in it? Hell yeah. This is a Good Thing. "I can use my downtime for whatever I want. I'm not Watch Officer so I dont technically have to be in the Hub right on time as long as I am doing something duty related. Perks of being a platoon commander - you get to make a lot of your own schedule." She winks at him. "Pool time can go towards PT or I can run the course again."

"How about a wager," Shiner suggests, lifting an eyebrow. "I challenge the Colonial Marine Corps that I can beat your boys' best time in the pool, and the stakes are tomorrow morning's bacon ration."

Ooooo. Betting. Betting and water. This could be good. "Fair enough. We betting on course time or swimming end to end in a simple race?" Another careful bite of her bacon. Mmm savor.

Shiner considers this. "Well, I put out the challenge, so I guess you get to choose your weapons. I was thinking laps, but I guess we could run your course. Laps for bacon. The course winner gets… something else?"

"Fair enough. I'll take that challenge. You're on, Mister Wright." Natalie chuckles nodding her head. Beat a Marine in fitness? By the Navy? Don't be silly. Such things aren't possible. Or something. "If you can beat our course times.. well let's just see how badly you get beat on them." She pops the rest of the bacon into her mouth. "We goin' now or you want to postpose so you can train for it?" She grins. Nab the chance for more bacon? Yesplz.

Shiner pops his last mouthful in, holding up a finger as he chews, then swallows. "Give you time to psych yourself up for losing, you mean?" He snorts, rising to his feet and rolling his shoulders. "So what do I get when I win your course?"

"False bravado is still false," Natalie counters, tapping her fork in the air in his direction. When he rises, though, so does she. "You beat our times, you're going on the operation to cut us into the hull. That's what you win." Is that supposed to be encouragement? It sounds like it the way she says it.

"Can anyone say 'stitch-up'?" Shiner responds, rolling his eyes. "Man, if I have to show you guys how to do everything around here…" And with that, he's off, leading the way through the ship towards the pool area, with only a brief detour to his locker for trunks and a towel.

"I could always show you how to throw a guy to the ground and make him bleed," she offers, leaving the Galley and heading the opposite way. Vandenberg has gotta stop and get her own stuff, too.

The Pool
There's water. Locker rooms. Its a pool.

It's a wee whiley later that Shiner emerges from the changing area at the pool, stripped to his ever so sexy Cerberus swimming gear and bouncing on the balls of his feet as he warms up.

the Marine Lieutenant had to go up a few extra flights to get her junk but managed to get back down in a reasonable time. Shiner is only going to have to wait a few minutes. The bottom of the pool is still covered in armored plates, too. There's barely enough room to swim over the top on one side. The other side of the length should be fine. When Van comes out, its the standard suit for her. Wheee Military Clothing. Yay. Standardized. Augh. She has a towel around her waist but it won't take long to notice two things on her back - the sheer number of cuts and scars (and chunks taken out) that run the length of her back and shoulders, a little down her arms as well. There is also a beaten tattoo that's under the damage. "Ready to get your ass handed? How far you swimmin? I could only remember the fifty and one hundred meter times." The watch is still on her wrist. It gets a glance.

"How far will it take before you admit defeat?" Shiner asks amiably, running a hand through his hair and briefly touching the back of his neck. He heads for the deep end, launching into a particularly flashy dive, just to show off, before surfacing through the bubbles and flicking his hair back from his face.

That's probably not a good question to ask a Marine. "Sorry, I've heard of that word. I just- I just don't actually know what it means. So, it could probably be a few miles. At least." She takes off the towel, tossing it to the side and just hopping in. The Lieutenant is under for a few moments before coming back up suddenly and shaking the water off her face. "Whew. Okay, THAT woke me the hell up," she quips, wiping the water from her eyes.

Shiner rolls onto his back, lazily swimming a few strokes over towards her. "One day's bacon ration for every mile, then," he challenges in a relaxed drawl. "I do like bacon."

"That's not a bet, punk-ass," she laughs. "I've got nothing to win and everything to lose! Hell, I might be able to do at least mile. Every year my company had to requalify on swims. Full gear, swim four hundred meters. With your rifle." Of course its been more than that since the bombs dropped buuuut. Vandenberg shrugs, drifting herself a little deeper so she can tread water. "What do I get under what conditions? And don't tell me you can't do a mile. I saw the dive." Busted.

Shiner considers this, grinning. "Well, other than getting to see my fine body outswim you, which is a prize in itself… if you win, you get /my/ bacon ration."

Natalie tilts her head back with a throaty laugh. "Takes more than a good midsection to impress me, Wright. You know how many stupidly fit people we've got in our company? Hell my Platoon Sergeant has about six percent bodyfat. That man is frightening shirtless." She floats onto her back and smiles up at the ceiling. Ahhhhhhhhh. "What am I supposed to do? Swim farther? I saw your dive, buddy boy. You want to beat my Marine's times? Or you want to try and race me?" By the sound of her voice, the last may not be a good option for Shiner. And she's probably fairly sure he's faster.

"I'll race you once on the flat," Shiner decides, shifting to tread water. "Six laps, winner gets the bacon. Then once on your course thing. If I win, you have to wear a stupid hat whenever you're off duty for a week. If you win..? Your call."

"I'll tell you what. Six laps, full combat gear, loaded rifles, and the ruck must have gear. I won't just beat your six laps, you might be hard-pressed to finish." For all Shiner's capability, he -has- to know that its not that simple. It can't possibly be. "The ruck is thirty pounds. Rifle and simulated ammunition is another fifteen. Accessory gear is eight. These are dry weights and everything must be worn as if you were landing on a hot beach head." She drifts across the pool, legs dangling under the surface lazily. "You beat our time on the course, I already told you what you've won. Your ass is going on that mission. Marines fight to do that. But I understand." She just looooves to egg people on.

"Bring it, Bootneck," Shiner replies with a smirk, moving to the shallow end. "Kit me up. Let's see if you can keep up. Did I mention I trained as a lifeguard, right? Before I signed up for this circus."

Vandenberg just grins like an idiot as she comes off her float and looks at Shiner. "Trained as a lifeguard? That's nice. Know how to do hand to hand combat in the water?" Its the last parting comment for him before she swims over to the side and disappears into the locker room.
Fifteen minutes later she returns with two sets of gear weighing her down. Dummy rifles and uniforms are dumped on the concrete in front of her. "You want to inspect your gear before we do this or shall we just quit waggin jaw and go for it?" She kicks her ruck to the side, pulling on combat blacks and boots.

"Nah, I trust you," Shiner decides, pulling himself clear of the water and starting to gear up. "And… wait… combat? Did I miss a memo somewhere? I said /swimming/."

"Trust me if you like. You said you were a lifeguard? Great. So you won't panic if you start to sink." Natalie shrugs on the pack and straps it up. "Here," she says and moves over to him. "If you start to sink and you can't take the weight, drop everything to the bottom. These two clips here and here-" She takes his hands and sets them on the bottom of the rucksack where the straps meet the bag. There are two plastic clips. "Quick release. Squeeze and pull and the pack will fall away directly. Do -not- clip your sternum strap. If you try to dump it will catch on your neck and take you down." She's serious about this, though she smiles a bit aggressively as she gets to the last question. "Swimming, yeah. Marines fight everywhere they go. You make it a contest, we fight to win. You made the bet, though. You only want to swim, go for it. Just remember that any piece of gear you drop must be retrieved. Full combat gear means everything you leave with reaches the other side unless you quit." She takes up the rubber rifle and pushes it to his chest. "Strap this to you with the sling. Lose your rifle, lose your life."

"We haven't met, have we?" Shiner notes, clipping the pieces in place. "I don't quit." The rifle is duly strapped to his chest and he takes a few paces to get used to the weight. "Ready when you are, mermaid."

Vandenberg lifts the helmet to him while strapping her own on. "Good to know. Means I know just how hard to lay the hits on." She's kidding, right? There's a wink as she leads him over to the section of the deep end without all the armored plates sticking up and steps away from the edge. She motions him closer to take a hold of his backpack like the scruff on a puppy's fur. "Uh huh. Ready." Her hand rests on the clip of his rifle sling and grips. The Lieutenant just smiles up at him. "Lead the way, Mister Wright. Right behind you." Halo! Ding!

"Ladies first," Shiner insists, looking back over his shoulder suspiciously. He adjusts his rifle across his chest, rolling his shoulders. "Not that I don't trust you, but I don't trust you."

"Fair enough. Watch and weep, kiddo. The swim starts now." The Marine Lieutenant releases her grip on the strap and pats it once. "Watch the entrance so you don't kill yourself trying. Diving is not advisable." Another pat and she flicks her fingers, releasing the clip on his sling. The rifle clatters to the ground and she's already taking off at a dead sprint towards the edge. As she does, her body straightens as she spins, turning her ruck towards the water to take the brunt of the hit. She falls in easily and it almost looks like a flailing backstroke but it seems to be pretty dang effective.

So it's going to be like that, is it? Shiner loops a foot around the rifle sling, taking a running jump and twisting in the air as demonstrated ably, rifle clattering along behind him until he enters the water. Immediately he begins to strike out in a powerful backstroke, not bothering to unhitch the rifle from around his foot, teeth gritting as he starts to power up the pool, trailing it behind him.

Natalie watches the man splash in right behind her and grins. Spitting back water, she laughs. "Very nice entry!" But then he's swimming. Holy shit, he's fast! Natalie powers through her backstroke. Given her size compared to the ruck it almost looks like a spasm but she's managing. Her experience with it is helping. But its barely going to manage coming towards the end of the first lap.

As Shiner begins to draw level… well, it's time for a little cheating of his own. He grips on to Vandenberg's ruck with one hand to hitch a ride, taking advantage of the momentary respite to draw the rifle up into the other hand and finally reattach it to himself. Thanks for the lift!

"Ackgmphbt!" Natalie flusters, hand gripping on to the pack. THAT slows her down she's still trying to swim, though. She eventually sputters to a stop as he gets the rifle back up. The woman grabs the rifle in her sling, flips over onto her stomach and uses the end of the barrel to stick between him and the ruck, anchoring herself on by the front sight post. Its given a solid yank and turn as she latches her own self on. Both hands holding the rifle, she turns back over, taking a huge gulp of air. "Ditch or drag!" No, this Marine isn't going to fight fair.

Shiner doesn't even pause to consider, simply not bothering to propel himself through the water. After all, he only has to beat her, and if she's not moving, neither does he need to. He adjusts his pack, then grips her rifle to pull himself in tight against her like some sort of human catamaran. "Lovely day for a float, isn't it?" he notes amiably as he gets in closer, reaching up around the back of her to repay the rifle unclipping favour from earlier, before shoving one boot in against her to propel him away again.

"Fabulous," Van retorts with a grin. Though when she see's him try to reach for the clip, the woman makes and attempt to duck under but it was the wrong move. The rifle comes unclipped but all is not lost! She takes the shove from his boot and jams her rifle in between his legs. A heavy turn of it, the barrel is still linked through his ruck strap and she tries to flip him over on to his stomach before shoving the rifle back at him and then twisting out to pull it away. She's off, trying to get some more distance then. Thisis going ot be a long six laps and she's already laughing.

Shiner twists with the flip, turning it to a full roll until he's back on his back again, mostly to protect his twig and giggleberries if we're perfectly honest. "Whoa!" he calls out, shaking his head as he pounds through the water once more to catch up. Unhooking his own rifle, he approaches from her feet until he's just about level with her knees. This is where experience pays off, and he gives a solid kick forward to give him enough momentum, then reaches for both her knees, aiming to grip them together and hitch on again, the rifle sling going round them to hold them in place.

Frak. She's laughing, trying to kick her way out of what she knows is coming but there's just no avoiding it. She stops swimming, and bends at the knees, rolling forward as her legs unwind and twist around the rife to strip it away. Shiner can do whatever he wants but Natalie is going to try and toss that rubber rifle right out of the pool. Neener!

What's that? Both hands otherwise occupied? While his own rifle goes flying, Shiner reaches in for Natalie's instead, gripping it in one hand and again putting on that burst of power to drive forwards through the water which only hints at the years of practice he's had in the pool. YOINK!

"You little punk-ass.." Natalie drops her pack, letting it drift away from her in the pool as it floats just beneath the surface. Chaaaaaarge! Its probably enough time for him to pull away but she's waiting for him on the next pass. She's through trying to win. Just wants to prevent him from finishing six laps! If you can't overcome, then make the enemy pay while trying to take you down!!!

Some things are just a losing endevour. But that doesn't stop a Marine from trying. Though trying to stop a human salmon from swimming is only like trying to stop it from getting upstream to spawn. VandenBear just wasn't able to stop him from taking all six. It was a valiant effort, though. She finally climbs her soaked self and gear out of the pool, dripping everywhere while the water still clatters off her. There's bruises and maybe a scrape or two but its all in good fun as far as Van is concerned. There's a huge smile on her face. "I think that was worth losing bacon." She strips off the helmet and drops it on her pack, taking up her hair to twist and drain it like a soaked towel.

Shiner unhooks his helmet, smirking a little as he offers Vandenberg his hand. "Not bad. For a midget. One day I'll have to teach you and your boys how to /swim/, instead of just paddling around in the kiddie pools." He briefly gestures to his cheek, then to her. "You've got a bit of… uh… a scratch there. Um. Sorry about that." Never mind the bruises he's gained for himself through all this.

Vandenberg takes his hand in a big sloppy handshake, the sleeves on her top throwing water everywhere still. "Not bad for a Navy boy," she offers right back with the same big grin. "Yeah, you ever want to give lessons, let me know. I'll set something up. Your ass ain't nothin to disco. Fair set of almond takin the poundin and dishin round." The last two lines are probably her slipping into some complimentry Cancerian hubub. That's her only comment to his remark about her scratch. "I'll hustle the gear back. Good swim, Wright. You want another go sometime, you know where to find me." She's already picking up all the packs. "Just drop that drippy set up at Supply and Marines will see it again."

"Next time it's for the bacon /and/ eggs," Shiner calls after her, heading for the locker room to change.

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