PHD #121: Breakdown of Order
Breakdown of Order
Summary: Quite an eventful evening in the Flight Sims.
Date: 27 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Marko Tisiphone Coll Sitka Alessandra 
Flight Simulation
A training room specifically dedicated to honing aerial skills, this area is equipped with several flight simulator pods that allow the pilots to practice maneuvers and tactics without being in a real live plane. The Viper-pods are installed on one side of the room with a little space between them, an attempt to provide a realistic feel for close-range wing training, while a smaller number of Raptor sim-pods are installed on the opposite side of the room from the Vipers. A central computer terminal and overhead display screen sits at the head of the room, where one can input exercises and data to be run in the sims, scroll through score records, and control the training modules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #121

The sims have been Coll's home for most of the day. Her hair, tied up behind her head, is caked in dried sweat and she's in a flight suit with a helmet sitting next to her. On entrance, the woman is sitting at a table off to the side of the room near the Raptor sim and working over something on a pad of paper with a map unrolled in front of her, the helmet holding down one end and a mug of coffee holding the other. She looks like she's been at this for awhile.

Marko is so busy going over schematics and what looks like a few meter's worth of printouts that he doesn't notice Coll until he's nearly walking on her. "Oh, sorry! My bad!" he says, blushing a little as he moves to one of the simulation units and pops the electronics cover, accessing the units brains. "So, I take it you struck out with Quinn?" he asks, cocking his head a little and peering at the map.

The hatch swings open and admits one (1) Tisiphone. Rumpled fatigues, bandana tied across her scalp, and a powerful curiousity overwhelming the weariness she's been dragging everywhere like a leaden cloak. "Hey, Flasher, you in here?" she calls as she dangles in, hanging onto the doorframe, pale eyes casting about.

Seeing Marko approach, Coll blinks and slowly stands from her chair, folding her hands behind her back. She just nods to his 'My bad' with a simple, "Sir." The chart she's looking at is of the space around Virgon. A large swath of area has been circled on the edge of the planet's orbit. The notepad is a series of notations about locations and radio frequencies. "Struck out with Captain Quinn, sir? I'm afraid I don't follow." With the call from Tisi, Coll's eyes avert quickly to the newly minted Jig and her face masks over, expressionless.

"Your idea?" Marko prompts, some instinct in his brain causing him to take a step back from Coll, bumping into the sim in the process. "You know, the fighter?"

Spotting Marko, Tisiphone steps the rest of the way into the room and swings the hatch shut behind her. "You're looking for me?" she calls as she heads over. "What's-" Her question trails off at the sight of Coll; she looks from the other woman, to the flight sim, and back again. "Hey," she offers, neutral, before looking down to rummage up her cigarettes.

"Oh!" Coll ventures a short chuckle as she looks back to Marko. "Oh, no, sir. Actually I ended-up bypassing Captain Quinn altogether. I went straight to the CAG personally with Ensign Weber. CAG told us to get crackin. I actually sent out a memo to you on it earlier, sir. I'm assuming project lead. Still on board?" As Tisi approaches, Coll slides her eyes to the younger woman. "Sir." She does her best to keep a smile down.

"Yeah, I'm still on board." Marko nods, relaxing, or at least, trying hard to seem that way. "What's that you got there?" he asks, curiosity mixed with a hint of suspicion in his tone.

Tisiphone ambles to a halt near Marko, perhaps a step back and off to his left, her attention dropped to the cigarette she's lighting. After the first thick puff of smoke and lung-achingly deep drag, she exhales toward the ceiling and says, eloquently, "Mmn?" Pale eyes flick toward the maps.

Coll looks back to Marko and nods once. "Copy that, sir. This? I'm filing a flight plan with the CAG. Taking a Raptor to Virgon's graveyard. We need to salvage some parts and its the best place to find them. Plannin some sneaky operations, Lieutenant. Congrats on the promotion, by the way, sir." A quick dip of her head. "And sir?" Coll flickers her gaze to Tisiphone's approach and back to him. "I believe the Lieutenant is looking for you."

"Oh, okay…gotcha." Marko nods, letting out a breath he was only partially aware that he'd been holding. "I'm sorry, Coll. I'm just…Frak, I dunno…" he sighs, shrugging eloquently. "Anyhow, yeah, Money. Bootstrap's given me a job." he says, attention shifting to Tisiphone. "He wants me to code up some new simulator scenarios using the data we've gathered since Warday. Figured you'd be a good person to talk to about the fighter end of things." he smiles. "I mean, if you want to." he adds. "Figured we could start with what's already loaded into memory and start making our tweaks from there."

"Junior Lieutenant," Tisiphone murmurs in correction, around her cigarette. Is that self-deprecation tugging at the corner of her mouth? Hard to say. "Back to Virgon? Pfah. Hope your pilot's a good one. It's a frakking mess out there." She folds her arms across her chest and starts to pace, restless, as Marko spells out the reason for her presence. Her brows twitch and knit together, the longer he talks. "So those six weeks of staring at combat footage might be worth more than telling people they never watch their five o'clock? Shee-it, man." Snort. "But- I'm no programmer."

Coll shakes her head. "Don't sweat it, sir. I'm downbound with a stack of work that's about crushin' me. Between flight quals and the Strike Viper? Eighteen hour days from yesterday on. So yeah, I know where you're coming from, sir." She ventures a short smile to him before looking back to Tis. "Its an generic honorific, sir. But Ensign Weber is flying. I have full confidence in his flying abilities, Junior Lieutenant.." She trails, not actually knowing Tisiphone's name. Just that face and voice.

"No, you're a _Viper pilot_." Marko replies to Tisiphone, a hint of testiness in his tone. "Which is why _I_, being a _programmer_ and not a _Viper pilot_, thought that _you_, Lieutenant JG Apostolos would be the perfect person to consult about how to craft said programs so that they're realistic enough." he explains. "But if you don't want to, that's okay. You can carry on with your crusade to alienate everyone you know." he sighs. "Because you're doing a frakking good job of it so far."

You know those terrible The Colonies' Funniest Home Videos shows, where some poor sod's looking one way while a Pyramid ball screams in from the other to brain him? Tisiphone's reaction to Marko's words leave her with an expression similar to that — dumbfounded and utterly blank with uncomprehension. Her cigarette nearly tumbles out from her lips, she stares at him so dumbly for a heartbeat, two, three… "Wait. Whoa. /What?/ Dude, I-" She plucks the cigarette out of her mouth and waves it at him a little — a sort of re-emphasizing of that whoa Whoa WHOA sentiment. "Back the frak up. Where did I say /no/, I'm not interested? How did- dude. I just said I'm not a programmer. Alienating you? Frak, man." Too confused to be angry. There's that, at least.

Name: Cataloged. Coll just watches the two in silence, her face not even twitching. Apparently she's content to see Tisi get hit broadside with those remarks from Marko.

Marko and Tisiphone are facing eachother in some sort of Battle of the Junior Lieutenants. The former looks testy; the latter looks dumbfounded, as if completely caught off guard by some comment. Coll is standing near a table full of maps, looking on with a carefully neutral expression.

"Well, Holy, hopping Hermes! There's life in you yet!" Marko growls out, straightening his spine. Oh, Gods, he's probably gonna regret this later, but this is something that's been bound up in his heart and stomach since…well..Warday… Shame Tisi's on the receiving end, but she did pop up on the DRADIS. "I know shit was hard for you down there, okay? I get it. I get that you're pissed off." he says sharply. "But we didn't _WANT_ to leave you down there! We did _Everything_ we could to get you back. _EVERYTHING_. And I am frakking fed up with this attitude that you've adopted. What the frak was that with Cidra the other day? What'd she do to piss in your corn flakes? You're home. You're _safe_. Now stop frakking with the rest of us and let it _go_ already_. And Coll, you can _forget_ you ever heard this conversation, or I swear by any of the Gods that happen to be listening that I will burn down your _world_!."

Which makes this a pretty much amazing time for one of the wing's senior officers to waltz in. The Petrels' Captain, to be precise, with a folder tucked under his arm and his olive drab jacket unbuttoned to signify 'off duty'. He gets about three paces before Marko's little outburst, and promptly walks into a table. THUNK. Flappaflappaflap as his paperwork spills everywhere. "Shit."

Blink. Blink. Blink. There are a number of points in Marko's diatribe where Tisiphone comes close to cutting in, her mouth opening on a short breath ready to throw angry words his way, only to get shut back down by his subsequent words. When they finally come to an end, they leave him catching his breath and her looking like she's forgotten how to breathe. "The frak, man?" finally makes it out, the uninflected syllables clashing with the sharp and brittle stare. "Yeah, I- yeah. I copy just fine."

Coll lofts a brow as the conversation kicks into high gear. Oh shit. She just keeps her quiet until Marko speaks to her. "Sir-" It's worded as if she might be about to say something to him other than what comes out. Lords, she suddenly looks like she wants to, though. "Aye, sir." But seeing Sitka roll in, her eyes flick to him quickly. She recognizes the Petrel's CO instantly from the Deck. "Cap'n on deck," she allows gently, straightening a touch from her 'At Ease'.

"Okay then…" Marko replies…taking a long, deep breath. "You're my friend Tis, you always have been. I hate seeing you like this." he adds in a lame attempt to be conciliatory after lashing out so hard. Coll's call of Captain on deck has him reverting to a damp assed greenie, coming to attention instictively, as if he understands the line he just crossed…

Cap'n on deck, indeed. Almost literally for a second there. "Hey there, PO," he greets Coll, dropping into a crouch briefly in order to gather up the dropped papers. "I'm, uh, I'm off duty. So you all can go back to whatever you were doing, before you pop a gasket." A faint smile, blue eyes sliding briefly toward the flight-suited tech with a quizzical furrow of his brows. He doesn't ask. Yet. Instead, "I'll even pretend I didn't hear all that."

She might not be wearing Ensign's pins any longer, but Tisiphone's reaction to Coll's call is just as prompt and parade-ground perfect as Marko's — until she sees who it is they're all playing it by the book for. The startled rigidity fades, but in its place there's a sudden, raw flush crawling up her neck and across her face. Caprica City stores would market the colour as Humiliation Red. She brings one hand up, scrubbing at the back of her neck, as she turns to look in the general direction of Away From The Captain, muttering to Marko as she does. "Anything else, man?"

"Sir." Crewman Coll nods to the Captain and falls back to her prior smidge of slouch, turning her eyes back towards the pair. The junior-est of the junior enlisted looks like she wants to throw daggers between the both of them.

"No…that..that about covers it." Marko replies, some part of him refusing to shrug this away. "Sorry, sir." he adds for Sitka's benefit. "Just a little…something…" he replies. "It's passed now."

Of course, as luck would have it, an announcement happens to crackle over the intercom right about then, summoning the Captain away to the flight deck. Such is the danger of being the seniormost air wing officer not facedown in his rack, right now. With a little huffed breath through his nose, he tosses the last of his paperwork atop the table, and turns back around to head for the hall. "Hey, none of my business," he tells Marko on his way by. Tisiphone and her Humiliation Red are given a somewhat more pointed look, and then he's out the hatch and gone.

Sitka has left.

"Right, so." Tisiphone folds her arms tight across her chest, all stiff-shouldered as she stares a hole through some distant spot in the room, smoking like her life depended on it. "It'll be- I describe their tactics, or demonstrate, or- whatever, and you work your programming magic to make it reproduceable in the sims?"

Coll continues to look on between them for a long moment before dropping her eyes back to her work and just sitting back down. She takes up the pencil and starts writing again while her eyes focus back on the chart. Somemight choose to get offended that a Crewman would drop like that but hey - she doesn't exactly look like she cares.

Oh, right, yes…words and actions have _consequences_….And here they come, Oh, Gods, here they come, thundering malevolently. "Yeah, that's the plan." Marko replies, sighing. "We don't have a lot of time…." he adds hesitantly. "But if you wanna take a day to stop thinking I'm the big asshole I feel like I am…." he shrugs. "And, Coll, I'm sorry. I know you wouldn't have repeated this….."

The raw pink is still draining away from Tisiphone's face. "No, it's- whatever, it's fine." She unfolds one arm to pluck the cigarette from her mouth, ashing it with an agitated flick. "Being honest doesn't make you an asshole. You said what you wanted to say." Another flick-flick-flick of her cigarette before it's tucked back between her lips. "What's the current definition of 'not a lot of time'? A week from now, or yesterday?"

Coll keeps on writing. "Damned right I wouldn't have, sir." Again, it sounds like there's a lot more behind her tone that she wants to say but she witholds. Scribblescribble. "Last time we were out at Virgon, either of you want to venture a guess at Cylon fighter cover?" Still writing. "Light, medium, or heavy?"

"Coll, tell me what is you have to say." Marko replies, steeling himself from the onslaught he knows is probably forthcoming. "I lost it a little back there, you wanna tell me what a fraktard you think I was , fine…I can take it…I deserve it." he says. "I just want both of you to know that it wasn't really personal….The words started coming and I couldn't stop them…."

"Last person she's gonna ride you for laying into is /me/, man," Tisiphone says with a smoky snort, finally glancing back to Marko, "but- it 'wasn't really personal'? C'mon. If you're gonna lay your guts out, or have someone else's out in front of you, frakking own it." Her mouth twists over the flat words, and she turns toward the exit.

"Again, Lieutenant Apostolos, you don't know a thing about me." Its not exactly 'speak freely' but apparently its enough for Coll to feel like that's what was said. The pencil is set down and she looks up between them for a moment before speaking up - even as Tis turns to go. The gist of it seems to be directed between the both of them, though. "The shit I have seen from this wing in the past few days is godsdamned unreal. Its like children bickering over which part of the sandbox they pissed in and now own. We've got officers openly flaunting authority and frakking with the chain of command on one end and on the other we have officers dressing down others in front of another person. A junior enlisted, no less. I won't comment on your questioning of my integrity but you two need to figure out what your malfunctions are and put some riggin tape over that shit. You got problems? Deal with them like adults and officers. We all got problems. CAG oughtta be slinging people up by their frakkin ears. This is the fleet, not preschool." The Crewman settles her gaze on Tisiphone's back before looking back down to her flightplan.

Marko blinks once, blinks twice, then blinks thrice as the last of the stress bubbles away into space….leaving him with no other recourse than laughter. A quiet, satisfied laughter that just bubbles up from his guts and can't be stopped.

Tisiphone makes it to the hatch and turns to watch Marko laugh for a few beats before that bland stare turns back to Coll. "We've got E-what, ones?- thinking they've somehow earned the right to criticize. Things are frakked all over. You keep your cute little enlisted nose in the shit it belongs in, hey?"

Coll slowly rises from her chair and aims her gaze at Tisiphone. "You don't want to recognize Lieutenant Sophronia as your squad leader? Fine. Your call. But that means that you? Giggles, here?" She chucks a thumb at Marko. "Neither of you are Jigs, either. You want to set the example of flaunting authority and ignoring rank and position? Cool. I'll follow right along."

"Heh……lighten the frak up, Tis.." Marko hoots, unable to stop his giggile-fit. "She's right…" he says, settling down somewhat. "We're not at our best….We're _all_ frakked up….And that's just how it is…And don't _you_ get looking too righteous, Coll." Marko calls stabbing a finger in her direction, chuckling anew. "You're just as frakked as the rest of us….Just as tired, just as strung out…" he says, gasping for air between what's becoming steadily hyrsterical giggles. "The Cylons look like now…so, shit……we're all going to die!"

"The fewer clues you've got, the harder you run that mouth," Tisiphone points out. "Lucky's my squadleader. CAG says so. CAG's worth listening to. You catch a lick- one single frakking /lick/- of news that I'm countermanding the authority of my squadleader out there where it matters? /Then/ you've got something to mewl about. Until then? Give the frak /up/ on this 'recognition of squadleader' horseshit. You haven't a frakking clue." And with that, she's out.

Tisiphone has left.

Coll glances to Marko as he laughs through, mentioning her name. There's fire in those eyes. She's all ready to fire off a reply to Tis when the woman disappears through a hatch. The Crewman looks like she wants to put her fist through something. "Undermining authority is frakking mutiny. We shoot people for that shit these days." The woman stares at the door until one last huffed breath takes her and she looks towards Marko and quirks a brow. "The hell's wrong with you, Flasher?"

"I don't _know_!" Marko confesses, and doing so elicits a fresh chorus of laughter from the man, one that drives him to his knees and leaves him pounding on the deck, oblivious to the welling bruises . "Everything is so _FRAKKED_…I can laugh,,,or I can cry….and I'm _tired_ of crying….We are, officially, up the biggest, widest, most insane white-water-ish Shit Creek in the history of Shit Creeks……" he adds, gasping for air between guffaws. "And there's no way out……….."

Alessandra has arrived.

Coll just -stares- as Marko collapses onto the Deck. She's nearly standing over him, the red from her face slowly draining after Tisiphone's haughty exit. The man is on the floor, pounding it with his fist and cackling. He's already causing bruises on his hands. Something between horror and confusion finds its way onto her face. Dressed in her flightsuit, she lifts a foot and uses it to shove the man over onto his back in a fairly forceful move. She steps over him quickly, stradling him and standing. Leaning forward, she grabs him by the shirt to lift him off the floor. "Lieutenant Scaurus! Pull yourself to-godsdamned-gether." Woman looks like she's about to slap the silly out of him.

There's very little to announce Allie's arrival, her normally quiet nature done did the rearing of its head, leaving her almost cat-like in how she moves with only the barest sounding of sole against deck to be heard. Leave it to her to arrive now, leaving her to gawk at Marko and Coll, her expression bordering on incredulous. "What the hell is going on here," she asks, her steath-mode shattered to frak when she does, her voice rising in volume and in pitch, the brief question punctuated with a mouse-like speak. "Coll! Are you out of your mother-frakking loving mind!? Get the hell off of him right NOW!" Just what she needs. This on top of every-frakking-thing else.

"It's okay…..Duckie." Marko calls, chuckling throatily as he tries, and fails, to shrug his way out of Coll's grasp on his shirt. The failure seeming particularly hilarious to him…"Heh…I'm just….dealing with it." he sniggers, almost crazily. How and why the leaden foot of the situation found him at this moment, he has no idea….but it finally did. A good look at the man would reveal the sheer exhaustion he's operating under. A look into his eyes the 'thousand yard' stare of an animal just aware enough to know it and it's fellows are being hunted to extinction….

Coll whips her head around to see Allie in the doorway like she's ready for another fight. It fades quickly, though and she looks back to Marko. "Allie, Flashers frakking lost it, sir!" the Crewman calls over her shoulder. "Beating his hands to a pulp! Flasher, godsdamnit!" Nope, she's still not getting off of him. "Help me, El-tee! Get his ass to his feet!" She steps off to the side, still holding onto his shirt.

Alessandra looks at Marko and then to Lauren, her expression now sad and confused instead of the lost and angry it was just moments before. "Frakking…everyone's losing their godsdamned minds," she laments while reaching out, seeking to grab Flasher by the collar of whatever he's wearing, seemingly preparing to 'scruff' him like a mother cat would her kitten. "Frakking Moneyshot acts like an insubordinate bitch, Flasher…what's next, Lauren? You going to try and off yourself or something?"

<FS3> Coll rolls Athletic: Success.
<FS3> Alessandra rolls Athletic: Success.

Marko says, ""I'm…heh…I'm better now." Marko replies, holding his his hands up. "I'm _really_ tired." he adds, his tone of one giving Confession. "I just need to sleep….for a day or think you could do that for me, Duckie? Get me out of rotation for a day and let me get some frakking sleep??" he all but begs. Yes, Marko Aemillius Scaurus has finally hit the wall.."

Coll hefts him up. By the expression on her face, it hurts. Probably those latent chest wounds still lingering. "Yeah. Apostolos was just here. Bout decked her. Flasher let loose at her just before he went to giggles. Course, that's probably my fault." Coll tries to guide him over towards a chair, a dry laugh to Allie's last question. "I got better things to do, el-tee. I'm not skippin' out when I just got my shot back into the wing. You're gonna have to kill me." She glances up towards Alessandra with a flicker of a smirk before looking to Marko's hands. "How those knuckles feel, Flasher?" she asks, reaching for them.

"Oh Marko. I'm not sure what I can do, really. I guess I could write you up and request you be taken off of the rotation pending psyche evals or something…" Frowning, Allie darts a quick look to Coll, remembering their own arguement from a few days back, it putting a bit of steel into her spine. "Yeah. I'll do that, Marko." Chewing on her lower lip, she waits until they got him seated before letting go of his collar. "So. Tis again, huh?" The hand that had ahold of Marko's shirt is released and it's ran through her hair, sending it askew. "Huh…oh hey? Going to be flying again, Lauren? Congrats." The words come across as a bit flat due to Allie feeling suddenly weary but there's a smile and a warmth in her eyes. Hopefully that'll make up for the lack of emotion in her words.

"Just get me off rotation for today's hop..Duckie.." Marko replies at length. "All I need is eight hours' of sleep." he adds, brightening at the prospect, forlorn as it might be. "I'm so sorry for letting everybody down….But I can't think or see straight anymore." he sighs, a full measure of shame in his tone.

"Yeah, thanks." Coll gives a quick nod to Allie. She's more concerned about Flasher, though. "Uh, no. Don't psych him. It'll screw him." Lauren is thinking fast, glancing over the man. "Flasher? Think you can tell people you accidentally slammed your hands in a hatch? Or do you wanna go talk to someone from the head-doctors?" That country slides out of her so easily. Those blues slide up to Allie again, questioning. There's deep concern there.

Looking down, Allie fights the urge to just give up and walk out, the frustration she is directing at herself inwardly causing a faint line of annoyance to creep up onto her brow. "Yup. I'll get you out of it. You just sleep." Looking at Lauren, then, she raises a brow slightly, her expression not changing. "Under the circumstances, they wouldn't yank his wings from him just because he needed to talk to someone, Coll. It isn't like he's trying to…" Not daring to finish the sentence, she shrugs and falls quiet quickly, not wanting to accidentally put any ideas into Flasher's brain.

"Frakkit..I'm _Fine_!" Marko declares angrily. "Now if you'll both excuse me, I've got four hours of rack time coming up. Forget I said anything.." he grumbles as he staggers his way out of the compartment.

"I don't trust the shrink-wrappers. One of them took my flight status, sir. Damned if I want that to happen to anyone else." Coll sounds more than a little protective, and she's not even his squadmate yet. When the man finally gets up and storms out, Coll is left blinking at his retreating form. "Uhm. Okay." She then looks to Allie. "So. Uh. Hi. Sir."

Marko has disconnected.

Reaching up, Allie rubs her fingers over her temple, trying to rid herself of the dull thudding which has begun. It's hard to tell what she's feeling right now but it's fairly easy to guess that her brain's going around a few hundred lightyears an hour. "I don't know what I'm going to do with her," she murmurs before she looks over, watching Coll. "Yeah. Hey." This is the first time she's seen her since they fought the other day and she's a bit leery. "How have you been?"

Coll ghosts another smirk and shakes her head. "Well? I can see why you're so damned stressed. Wing seems like its about at its breaking point from the people I've met." She puts her hands on her hips, keeping her eyes on Allie. "How about you, hon? Handling things alright?" That same concern is there. If Coll is still mad (or ever even was), she doesn't look like it. Or sound like it.

"At least Marko isn't in my squadron," Allie mumbles around a mouth that's dry, now, making her sound almost like she's talking around a mouthful of something. "Not that I'm any less concerned for him." Shaking her head slowly, she turns and sits down, opting for the deck instead of the chair Flasher's ass was set in just a few moments ago. "I am fine, really. Been mulling over stuff. What you said the other day." The rubbing stops and she stretches instead, fighting the urge to yawn. Perhaps Marko isn't the only one in need of sleep.

Deck is good. The table is full of junk like charts, notepads, and a flight helmet. Coll lowers, too, sitting onto her knees with her feet behind her. "Yeah? Mulling in a good way or a bad way?" She's not too far from Allie, just under arms length. Even if she's in uniform, Lauren looks too spent in her own way to think of protocol of ranks.

Lauren's not the only one to be too spent to concerned about ranks and shit, Allie herself too distract as well as worn to worry overly about it. "I'm not sure if it can be catagorized as being one or the other, Coll," she answers after thinking about it. "Just got a lot to do, feel like I got very little time to do it in and even less time to figure my shit out." Rubbing her nose, she has to pause before she asks, "Did Moneyshot do anything to cause Marko to go apeshit on her or was it unwarented?"

The Crewman grooves her head in a little nod. "I guess I can understand that. I never made squad leader so I don't have a good grasp on that pressure. Especially not in combat. But I'm behind you, for whatever that's worth to you. Get your shit handled one step at a time. Nobody does it all, not all at once." To the question, she sighs. "Apostolos was a bit of arrogent, but what else is new from a Viper stick? To be honest, I was a little surprised when he kicked-off at her. I actually took him down a notch for it..which is when he kinda giggled out and broke down."

Alessandra grins. "I really don't have the luxury of learning one step at a time, Coll. I got to hit the ground running so I got to pull it together now, if not sooner. But I appreciate that as well as your support. Been feeling kind of alone as of late. Nice to know that I'm not." This is where Allie would do something like pat her on the arm of something similar but right now she's fighting her own demons, the urge to distance herself having returned, it making her almost aloof despite her obvious need for companionship. "I am worried about Tisiphone," she manages to get out. "She's never been this bad. Not that I've noticed, that is. And I did her a disservice by dropping the ball like I did when I was trying to be fair…since it was a 'first offense'…" Verbal airquotes, "…and all that. Or at least I thought it was. Hindsight…"
GAME: Save complete.

Coll finally allows a smile. "So you're gettin it." What? Is Lauren just playing mindgames? "Yeah, you'll be alright. Just..I know how it is to be alone, Allie. Nobody makes it that way." Coll slides off her legs that she's been sitting on. "I don't know her, but I know her type. I was a little like her before I got busted. Fast-trackin my ass like that. All afterburner, no compass heading? What she's doing is damned near mutinous, Allie. Eventually there's going to be an incident. She's going to get sacked from the wing or worse. I don't think bein fair with her is gonna work. She's got no respect."

Alessandra nods slowly as she pulls her knees to her chest, her arms crossed casually over those bent joints once they're close enough to her upper body in a not-quite self hug. "I got it," she kind of repeats with a wry grin. "Told you I would. I just got to remember that this is not a popularity contest and I'm not running for class president. This is a matter of life and death, literally and figuratively. And I refuse to be the kind of SL who gets people killed." Extending the index finger of her left hand, it's bounced a bit, a momentary venting of pent up energy, a slight motion which is as quick as it is minute. "That's it. No more first chances. Not for her or anyone else. Time to start shaping them into what I know they can be. And they'll either come to understand why, and maybe even appreciate it, or they'll come to hate me." The finger is curled back in, drawn along with the rest into a loose fist, her jaw tensing as she feels the fire of resolve begin to burn in her belly.

Coll just grins at Allie. "This? Right here?" A pause. "This is why I did what I did a few days ago. Take someone who is afraid of getting mad at someone under them? And you make them mad. Do whatever it takes. I really wanted you to hit me. To get angry and vent that out. I'm glad you took the lesson to heart, though. This is exactly what you should be doing." Lauren leans to the side, propping herself up with her hand. "You're stronger than you give yourself credit for. You love so much, even in the face of adversity. I think what you're starting to get is that sometimes that love just has to hurt them as much as it hurts you. Just remember that you don't have to shut your own self down. Have your own friends outside the squad. We're here for you if you need us. Promise."

"To be honest, I wanted to do a lot more than just hit you, Lauren. But then I had to wonder if my doing so would be any better than how some others have acted. Would I have been stooping to the same level they have? It made me feel so ill to think that I could be going down the same path they choose to. And that's a path I can't go down." Feeling old, Allie pulls her arms away and then stands slowly, groaning a bit before continuing. "I'm sure there will be plenty of chances for us to beat the shit out of each other and very most likely it'll be done so out of anger. But right then? Was not the right time in any respect." A short sniff is given in lieu of a chuckle, that being the only form of amusement she shows. "Thanks, Coll. And I'm here for you too. And the others. That'll be fact for as long as I have breath. And just wait. You and everyone will see that I can do this. I WILL do it and then smile ever so sweetly at those who didn't believe."

Coll nods a few times slowly. "And I wouldn't have fought you for it. I was ready to be thrown in the brig again. Or be sent back to Sickbay. No charges against you, not as long as the goal was served. Sometimes?" Lauren smiles a bit. "Sometimes your own health, welfare, and career has to be shoved aside to help someone else that needs it more than you do. When it pays off? You know its worth it." Watching Allie rise, Coll begins to also. "Heh. Yanno? I said somethin pretty close to Sergeant Constin last week. That man got me so fired up and pissed off? Convinced me to stow my shit in one simple phrase. Got me so fired up, I just looked at him and told him to basically kiss my ass and watch it get promoted. Five days later?" She pinches her flightsuit with a smirk. "And I ain't done yet. I challenge you to do better. Think you can?"

Alessandra nods. "Yeah, well I'll remember that the next time you decide to get snippy with me in an attempt to teach me a lesson." It wouldn't be something Alessandra would enjoy doing but she has gotten to the point where it will little to get her to where she'd be unable to exhibit self-control. "I know about having to put your well-being on the line for the sake of others. Got that one down pat, I think. And it's something I hope will become noticeable to others. I do have their best interest at heart. They are whom I care about. But right now it's going to be a struggle, one I'm going to tackle head on and one I refuse to lose." Coll's being fired up seems to be contagious, the way the woman is raring to go making Allie become so as well. "I'll do better, Lauren. Just you wait and see. I'll be one of the best damn Squadron Leaders to ever serve."

"Maybe next time? I'll have something guaranteed to get a reaction out of you. Something you won't see coming. Whatever it takes, Allie. We do it for love because that's about all we got left." But listening to the rest, Coll looks a little dubious and playful. "Oh yeah? You're gonna make me wait, sir?" Yep, there it is. That measure of professional respect, again. "Course, that's sort of a lofty goal. Make you a deal, el-tee?" Lauren lifts her chin. There's a good amount of pride in her. Since Leonis, the Crewman has just been on a railgun of confidence and pride. "Its hard to measure respect. But I got about two weeks or so before I'm repinned and crewdoggin Raptors one more time. You keep this attitude and follow through? I bet I can find you a bottle of your favorite booze somewhere. You lose? don't wanna lose." She grins. "What's sayin, sir? Think you're up for hackin this bet?"

Gambling is a nasty vice and something one shouldn't indulge in too often but in cases like this it serves as motivation as well as a distraction from one's troubles. "Yeah, that sounds good," she mutters before laughing, giving in to the delight of it all. "If I don't win…what?" Might not like the answer but hell, she is curious as to how Lauren's going to complete that thought, if she does, Lucky wanting to see what is on that mind of hers. "C'mon. Spill the beans. What…" Her mouth twitches at the corners before she allows the smile to take hold, it along with Coll herself doing magic on the mood she has been in.

"Well? I don't think I wanna take anything from you." Coll runs her tongue around the inside of her lower lip as she looks at the LT devilishly. A scratch at her chin as she shifts her stance. "Then you owe me…" She waggles her brow. "Let's make it interesting. If you -don't- keep it up? Then you have two months to make Captain from the date I'm pinned. By any means necessary. Deal?"

Alessandra looks up while reaching up and around with her left arm, scratching behind an ear while trying to do a bit of math. "That might be a bit difficult, seeing as how I haven't been a Lieutenant for very long. Would take something pretty damn spectacular to get me promoted." It's not a statement of defeat but simply fact. "But sure. I'll take you up on that, Coll. Consider it a bet." Reaching over, she offers her right hand, willing to seal the deal.

Coll claps her hand into Allie's and gives a solid shake to match that firm grip. "Then here's to my oweing you some booze and you not oweing me something spectacular, Lieutenant." Another final pump of her hand and it drops away. "Its been a pleasure doin' business, sir. So, now that you're ready to kick some ass? I need to sack out. Only got four hours of sleep last night because I had a date with a cruise missile. Spent most of today here in the sims. Six hours in these things? Worse than what I remember of the real thing. I still gotta file a flight plan with the CAG by tomorrow afternoon, too. Work work work work." Coll grins. She's in her element and loving every second. "Damned proud of ya, sir. Just want you to know that." With a quick wink, Lauren steps off for the table to clean up some of her mess. She's on her way out.

The shake is returned in kind, the grip Coll's hand is held in equally as strong as the one her own is, it lacking the weakness that self-doubt and worry creates. "Yup! It's a bet." Grinning, Alessandra lets Coll go upon her stating that she's in need of sleep, it prompting her to look at her watch. "Get some sleep for the both of us, alright? I need to get some work done. Got wing assignments to write up, letters to get done with and sent to the proper people and a squadron meeting to start notes on. So…yeah. No sleep for me, yet." Watching as Lauren starts to tidy up, Allie prepares to leave herself.

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