PHD #096: Before the Storm
Before the Storm
Summary: Coll and Constin argue in the Brig just prior to the mutiny. Realizations are come to.
Date: 2 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: Mutiny and Coll converge here.
Constin Coll 
Main Brig
Tiny and cramped, the Main Brig seems designed to be claustrophobic. The steel bars lining the three cells have been set into the steel bulkheads on each side. Inside each cell is a stainless steel toilet and a bunk that might be too short for some of the taller crewmembers. The dreary conditions don't seem to be helped by the presence of a Marine guard who is there twenty-four hours a day, as long as a prisoner is in custody. The whole room is under surveillance via camera system in the Security Hub and every visitor must sign-in and abide by the rules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #96

The brig has been a busy place, of late. Marines in battledress blacks had brought Morgenfield in the prior night, and escorted her back out again a short while ago. But it is in the standard on-duty tans that Constin walks in wearing, to double check on the status of the brig. The big man appears to have been taking an inventory. "Morning, Coll," he voices, a few hours behind the chronometer.

Coll looks up from her stare at the newly arrived Corporal. "Morning? You been to sleep yet, Const?" Its a serious question. "What's goin' on?" Its not a casual remark on his life. Marines in black mean there either has been or will be action.

Constin frowns a bit at the correction, before sniffing once. "Yeah. For a bit," he mutters in answer to having slept. He rarely can, after an action. "Had a hostage situation on the flight deck last night," he states simply at first. "Counter-Sabotage operation. Hostage took a minor wound to the left foot."

Counter-sabotage. That gets her full attention. She's up quickly and at the bars. "Constin. Don't bullshit me. Did you catch the motherfrakkers who have been bombing our ships?" Its said quietly but her knuckles are white, fingers wrapped around the iron. The look in her eyes burns with intensity. "Is she one of them?"

Constin eyes Coll evenly as she steps swiftly to the bars. He pauses a moment, wheels quietly turning, before he states, "We took two suspects into custody, as part of the Counter-Sabotage operation," he settles on, at last. That's the most confirmation he can give, on duty.

"Who is the other? I recognize that woman. Mo-something. Bitch works on Vipers mostly." That fire in her eyes is building. "Const, don't leave me hangin' here. Are these the motherfrakkers who set me up?" Coll's fingers tighten around the bars. "Is it even possible or likely its them?"

"You want me to tell you?" Constin demands shortly. "You want me to compromise the investigation and give these frakkers even the littlest bit of a chance to slip through the cracks? Frak's it, Laurie as soon as ah have final word on this, you'll be the first one outside of the MPs to know."

The Crewman meets his eyes, that intensity staring right back at him. Her lips purse hard enough to turn her face red and apparently that's all she needed to hear. Her head turns slowly to look across the cells to where the other woman had been sleeping. So close to the enemy all night long. Coll's eyes shut slowly and she takes a deep breath. After a few moments her eyes open and she looks back to Constin. There's a little more calm and control to her now. "Who was the hostage? Are they okay? Other than being shot in the foot of course."

Constin lets out a slow breath through flared nostrils and nods. "Yeah. Scared, and she'll need a new boot, but otherwise just fine. Deck Specialist the Subject grabbed on his way to the hangar. Far as ah now, she's due to get discharged today. Might be back on shift already."

"Grabbed the Specialist on the way to the hangar," she repeats. "Piece of shit. I hope one of you shot the sunuvabitch." Yeah, Coll isn't in a sporting mood. Not after all this. "Preferably in the groin or kneecap." She shakes a head. "Were you apart of it directly?" Coll asks, looking up to him with a tone a little more personable.

"Yeah, we shot him. A bit," Constin answers in the first understatement of a day which will likely see many, many more. "Needed to keep him alive and we did." The latter question is met with a nod. "Yeah, ah was. Had to pad mah resume before the exams, yeah?" he jokes deadpan.

Coll doesn't really seem to have a reaction to the idea of him being shot. Though the part about him needing to be kept alive quirks her brow. "For questioning. Right." She is very evidently -not- a cop. For so many reasons. "Hadn't thought about that. So if these two fraksticks start singin, they might be able to prove someone innocent. Purely in abstract terms that would neither confirm nor deny their involvement in a case that may or may not currently be open about one Lauren Coll. Of course." Of course. She's not being playful. She's serious. Though the last gets a twitch at her lips like she might want to smile. Her stature lifts a touch. "Really? Are you?"

"Purely in theory?" Constin drawls back, allowing a tight half-smile. "Ah'd be a piss-poor Em-Pe if ah counted entirely on a couple singing pieces of trash to prove something like that. If ah was worth a damn, ah'd be working a number of leads for that, any one of which could clear the aforementioned Lauren Coll. Is it Lauren? Thought your name was Laurie." Huh. Shrug. "And ah've got a frak-ton of work staring me down over the next couple weeks.. No way of knowing how it'll turn out, but given the choice? Yeah, ah'm thinking ah will."

Seeing such a gruff Marine smile is infectious. Especially for someone in her plight. Probably means more to her than she realizes. "You're an angel, Corporal Constin. But I think I get your drift. Thanks. And yes, my name is Lauren. I've been called Laurie, too. But seriously? I was.. am..? in a cell. What was I going to do? Argue over details of my name?" Some of her real personality appears with the touch of humor. Her hands drop from the bars and dive into her pockets. The green duty blouse has been left unbuttoned and hangs off her like a regular overshirt. But that grin can't be helped. "You're going to try?? Constin!" She nearly squeeks it. "That's so awesome! Do you want help studying?? Need anything? Can I help somehow? You're out there doing all this crap and working my case. I feel like I should pay you back somehow." Her mood just took a turn for the much brighter, letting her forget for the moment what's going on around her. A friend has good news.

"You could've," Constin chuckles briefly back at the rhetorical question of whether she could have argued the details of her name. "Got a couple suggestions from the Ex-Oh.. he took the same thing way back when," he notes, before continuing. "If there's anything ah could use some help with, ah'll be sure to holler at you. Been reading quite a bit during down time.. Overland nav, close order drill, radiation control.. that kinda stuff."

Coll shrugs. "Name's a name. Whatever. Not like a callsign." Those're important. "Sounds like some interestin' stuff. I'd bet a sack of sugar the Navy's is a good deal different, but we had a lot of pretty general stuff on ours. Might also wanna look at vocabulary. They use it to gauge things like basic intelligence. If you need to work on yours, check that out. I know you ain't got a sock for a noodle but I figure bonin' up there wouldn't hurt, either. Feelin good about it? Like you might be able to pass on up?" She nods with the last question, some unconcious encouragement.

"Well, not if vocabulary is part of the frakking exam," Constin drawls back with a raised brow and bone-dry grin. Stretching out his shoulders in a small shrug, the corporal answers more directly, "Ah figure if they want an officer ah'll pass. Service jacket's good, Major thinks pretty well of me. Ah can manage the books, given enough time.. It just don't come natural. And you're right," he adds. "Got at *least* two socks rattling around upstairs."

"True enough. Especially under the circumstance." Coll nods her head repeatedly. "But even outside where we are and what's going on around us, I still think you could do it. The military always needs people like you who have really made that effort from a rough life and come a long way. Its not just a PR thing they play on, its true about quality. Life experience counts for a lot, Const." She laughs gently to the last, as well. "Well luckily you're using those socks to sop up some good stuff, then. Knowledge doesn't come naturally, but a healthy thirst for it goes a long way. So does the desire to kick some ass with what you know."

"See- that last bit, ah've got in spades," Constin chuckles. "Well ah'll tell you what. Ah go ahead with this business, so do you," he prompts. "Ah toss my hat in for Oh-Cee-Ess, you get you ass in gear for a run at Air Wing, yeah?"

The smile fades and twists like she just bit into something sour. "Glad you got the desire, Constin, but that last bit?" She shakes her head. "Unless I get everything against me cleared? Its not even considerable. And I went and did those sims? Simple exercise and I practically aced it as a test. Turns out the CAG was watching." She flashes her eyes before rolling them as she steps away from the bars. "Frak that woman. Said I was 'passable'. I don't know what kinda report Ensign plans to write about me, either, but he seemed pleased. I think he just wants an ECO or something more, though. CAG's the one I hafta impress. As it stands, that's not going to happen. But if you don't test for officer, I'm going to keep getting arrested so I can sit in here and bother the hell out of you all day long about it." She glances back over to him with a small smile.

"Good," Constin nods to the news of the test. "Good," he adds to the CAG watching, and he sniffs in dry amusement at her last 'threat'. "What you expect, Lauren? You even seen an instructor worth a damn stand up and cheer?" he wonders, amused. "If you kicked ass, she took note, don't doubt. And as for that bit about getting cleared.." He allows a small smile back at her. "Got a good feeling about that."

"I'd expect something more than a snorted comment about being a passable ECO. Maybe some godsdamned encouragement? She's been nothing but stonewall about everything. She's the one that filed charges. Probably hopes I'm stuck in here forever." She'd probably spit on the CAG if she thought she could get away with it. Coll -really- doesn't seem to like her. But the last gets a second look from her. She blinks at his smile. "Wait..anything I can know about?" Its practically Coll's version of begging. Probably doesn't even realize she's holding her breath with those saucered eyes.

"Ah really do wish ah could say," Constin voices with a shake of his head and short glance down. Looking back up almost immediately, the marine adds, "But you might be wanting to spare some thought for that Air Wing transfer, Coll. Like her or not, Hahn needs good people. The boat needs good people."

Thsoe shoulders fall a bit as she deflates. Frak. "Godsdamnit. I just wanna know what's going on," she sighs. Its a general complaint, not a bitch at him. "Its almost worse than when I was in here against my own signature." Almost. She makes a gesture to the cell door. "Can you open that for a moment, please? Just ease my nerves? I'm not goin' anyplace." Coll sets down on the bed again and turns to face him as she leans against the wall. "Hahn doesn't know what she needs. She's got an attack pilot chomping at the bit who is on the skids of her damned life and she offers shitty comments that sink that pilot into holes? I spent half my night bawling into my pillow. She's got not godsdamned heart. For the boat, though? Sure. It ain't about her. Its the same reason I kept goin' to work after everything, Const. Its about the crews. Its about putting it on the line because that's what we're trained to do."

Constin looks aside to nod to the marine on watch. The request is enough and the barred door slides open. "You've had a frakked up few days, Coll," the big man mutters in the second of the day's great understatements. "Ah know it would've been nice for ya to see Hahn get all teary-eyed and swoon or some shit," he drawls dryly. "For all you know her review of the sim glows in the frakking dark. Officers need bluffing faces.. see, that's another spot ah've got covered," he notes, expression slipping briefly back into the stoneface he'd been wearing upon first meeting Coll. "Besides, like you said: it's about the boat. About doing what you can do and giving another nugget another few weeks to learn their business before hitting vaccuum. S'where you belong."

Constin looks aside to nod to the marine on watch. The request is enough and the barred door slides open. "You've had a frakked up few days, Coll," the big man mutters in the second of the day's great understatements. "Ah know it would've been nice for ya to see Hahn get all teary-eyed and swoon or some shit," he drawls dryly. "For all you know her review of the sim glows in the frakking dark. Officers need bluffing faces.. see, that's another spot ah've got covered," he notes, expression slipping briefly back into the stoneface he'd been wearing upon first meeting Coll. "Besides, like you said: it's about the boat. About doing what you can do and giving another nugget another few weeks to learn their business before hitting vaccuum. S'where you belong."

Coll watches the door slide open and seems to relax a little more. just the physical barrier being removed helps. But true to her word, she isn't moving. "Const, I didn't want her to get teary-eyed. I don't want her to get happy or come out of her shell. I've got nothing left if this stands. I don't need tough love. I don't need stonefaced bravado and bullshit. I need -human- contact." She cups her hands in front of her like she was praying for rain. "Its times like this I wish I could call my mom," she asides quietly, head falling against the wall. To the rest, Coll shrugs. "I'm not a nugget, though. I've got more total flight experience that most of Quinn's Ensigns combined. I've been flying since one of them was in middle school. I'm frakking -good- at what I do. I'm not some doe-eyed Viper jock with delusions of self-image." She' getting riled again. "I may not be able to fly worth shit but I can plant a frakking missile anywhere on a godsdamned target. From any range. Hell, I can even make field repairs to systems! And this shit happens then suddenly I'm cast aside from everything. And she thinks I need to be told I could have done better? No! She can kiss my ass. Even if she writes a glowing report. All I care about anymore is just getting back out there."

Constin doesn't grin as she starts getting pissed, but he was close for a moment. "Bout damn time," he drawls, leaning a raised forearm on the edge of the open cell door. "Point one, this weren't sudden, Coll. You were hiding, before and it's a whole lot better to see you done with that. Frakking light at the end of a shit tunnel, it is. Point two? You up for a friendly wager?" he challenges, the grin creeping back into his eyes.

Coll looks frustrated, turning her face away from him. "I was hiding because I was trying to prevent this whole shitstorm from happening so I could get back out there. I'd still be on the godsdamned Deck right now working if I had just shut the frak up instead of listening to you." Or someone might have fragged her by now. She turns her eyes back on him with the last. "I have nothing to wager with but sure. I'll hear it before I agree."

"So instead of being on the flight deck, you're looking set and determined to make it back into a Raptor. Yeah, ah'm a bad frakking influence," Contin drawls back. "Won't say it was worth all the shit you've had to swim through, cause it ain't. But make something good out of this, girl." Canting his head to a new angle, the corporal offers, "Ah'll make you a deal: whichever of us has to call the other one 'sir' first, owes them a real drink."

"I'm not determined to do anything. I've got frakking skills I think the Harriers need. Instead, I get snubbed. If anything good comes of this? Then it does. I can't make anything happen, though. I'm a friggin E-one again. I couldn't demand a glass of water from another E-one without getting chuckles. All I can do is rely on the pity and potential good will of someone else." Coll says that like she wants to vomit. The idea alone just seems to make her ill all over again. "Sounds like I'll be getting you a drink. If I can find a bottle of something. I had a stash of shit back in my locker in the berthings but I can almost gaurantee that it and my bunk have been trashed by now. I'll figure something out."

Twenty four hours earlier, Constin would have made the terse comment 'You cant make anything happen hiding in here!' and the big man goes so far as to draw a breath to voice that retort, before the memory of what is due to happen today catches up to him. He's quiet for a moment. "When you get a chance, you frakking take it, alright?" the marine voices, quiet and even. "Long as you're breathing you've got a chance to make a difference. Don't you ever let go of that." He checks the chronometer and steps away from the open cell door.

Coll was gearing up for another fight with the man. She blinks. His words have her sitting up away from the wall, nearly rising from the bed. Eyes flick to his watch and then to the wall. "Make a difference? Don't let go?" She takes a few breaths. "Const. You never back down from a fight. Especially like that. What's going on?" Her expression serious, there's some thinly veiled concern there.

"Ah'm not backing down. Ah'm gearing up for one," Constin answers flatly, turning to take his leave from the brig. H-Hour minus thirty. The door opens even before Constin gets to it- a medical gurney wheeled in with attached IV bag, and a very displeased looking medical staffer being escorted by two marines in combat blacks. On the gurney is the unconscious and badly wounded John Borenstein.

Coll's plight again forgotten, she rises off the bed. Her entire posturing would best be described as 'hyperalert' once she see's the man being wheeled into another cell. "Frakking Borenstein's the other.." The woman's head whips back to look at Constin. "Oh shit. Something serious is happening." Lauren stops at the opened doorway to her cell. "You be frakking careful, Corporal. That's a damned order." Suddenly, its very cold and lonely without a firearm of her own.

Constin gives Coll a look back over his shoulder as she speaks up about something serious happening. The stoneface is back in place and the look betrays nothing in the moment before he turns back toward the foor out. "Secure the Brig," is his audible instruction to the marine in the Deck 6 central area, before the Brig's door is moved closed, and the pressure seals turned.

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