PHD #433: Building Up
Building Up
Summary: Ciro takes on an 'apprenticeship' of sorts.
Date: 05 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: That Thing Called Hope.
Ciro Ximena 
Aerospace Facility
The fourth largest single room on the Cerberus, the Aerospace Facility actually appears larger than the Galley because there isn't a kitchen. The only separate area is a large cage at the rear that contains all the cutting, welding, and air tools necessary for assembling nearly anything. Although primarily for assembling new Vipers and Raptors or fixing large parts of current ones, just about anything on the ship can be fixed here. Raised areas of the deck stand in for tables and an intricate crane system runs along the ceiling to move anything too heavy for crews to situate on their own. On both the port and starboard sides of the room are huge elevators that drop down into the floors for projects to travel to and from the Hangar Decks.
Post-Holocaust Day: #433

The Areion did more than shoot up pilots and leave holes in the fleet's security big enough to fly a carrier through. They also left a frakton of ships that need to be repaired. And contrary to popular belief, that isn't handled by the deck, as a matter of course. That's mostly handled by the engineering brigade. And so it is today, as pieces are being cut down and worked into shape to serve as replacement parts for the planes in need of them on the hangar deck. Most of fabrication is brute work, done by machines with only the final planing and polishing done by hand. And at the moment, it's fairly quiet. the pieces have come down along the line, and the few remaining snipes are sanding and smoothing rough edges down to the required specifications. And this part is easy enough for Xim to work on. A hand sander burrs softly, as she runs it along what will eventually be the new fuselage of a viper, humming along to herself, as much to keep herself company as to keep the rhythm of the work.

The evening before Ciro had tapped his knuckles on the wall to announce his presence, something that Ximena Alteris had noted that wasn't his typical style. She was more than correct. He didn't like to announce his present much anywhere, save for when he does in the loud, barking commands that his life as a marine demands.

His presence is first made aware by the light squeal of aluminum over deck-plating as a chair is dragged up from its position behind Ximena. Carrying it under his arm, Ciro sets it down backwards and straddles it next to her on the assembly line. He's in his off-duties again, this time with a pair of heavy gloves hanging from his back pocket. He's lively enough to be obvious that he's slept, and as he leans over the back of the chair to watch her work the shark's tooth around his neck sways.

"Is it rewarding putting all of these parts together, memorizing every moving part and bolt number in the blueprint?" He asks, glancing to her from his distance.

Ximena's hands keep up the steady rhythm, though she powers down the sander to a sleep slow enough not to gouge pieces out if she messes up. She's almost finished the entire piece. Working her way down from course to light, no doubt. "I suppose it was, twenty years ago, when I first started, Now, not so much. I think I just do it without thinking about it. I'm not ungrateful, though. The Navy took me in after the marines ran out of uses for me, and I appreciate that. I'm not sure I would have managed as well on the Elpis."

"I think you're probably right." Ciro leans back, folding his arms across the top of the chair. He's careful of steaming pipes, but he doesn't seem so afraid of her sanding work on the Viper's siding. "I get the sense that going back into civ-pop would take a piece of you away. My spotter used to call it being a dog. Some creatures are just bred to do certain jobs, and if they don't have those jobs they just stare at the wall waiting for some sort of leash." He looks back to her sanding work. "Everything get over to the Elpis okay?"

"I never wanted to be anything but a marine. Riled my Dad something fierce. he had dreams of me waltzing my way through the Academy. Following in his footsteps. Of course, I was seventeen and in the middle of my 'rebellious phase', thumbing my nose at the Alteris establishment. truth is, I never felt at home anywhere but there. Now I fit, but it's like a square peg jammed in a round hole. It goes in, but only because I banged on it hard enough to grind off the corners." Ximena doesn't seem at all offended by the comparison, "Safe and sound. We should have everything set up soon. All we'll be missing is, well, pretty much everything alive."

"I'm going to destroy your current moment of suspense, Xim. We're still in orbit of Gemenon, and all manifestos aside they're probably going to get the fish from there. It's either that or there's some sort of fish-pills we haven't been made aware of." Killing her with sarcasm, he runs his hand through his mohawk and leans in again. This time he rests his head on his elbow. "Not that it's anything related, but I may be scarce in the future. I'm taking on a new training regiment."

"Probably isn't certainty. They may not allow us to make use of the raptors that way. We're not going to a colony that's devoid of cylon presence, like we did a few times before. The cylons are actively engaged there, even if they are 'supposedly friendly'. The sander powers down completely, and it's replaced by a hand sander, and the slow and steady motions of the work, "You heard the ChEng. This project isn't a priority." A glance over towards the man, though her hands don't stop, "You happy about that?"

"What, that I'm going to be scarce or that I'm taking on a new training regiment." The words roll off of his tongue slowly, not quite convinced that he is actually telling her the truth. It's his way of letting her know that someday in the future he might be unable to be contacted. He was hard enough to find anyway.

Lifting his shoulder in a noncommittal shrug, he leans back slightly as if she's going to be sending chips of plating into his vulnerable eyesockets. "I can only spend so much time in my bunk. It's been nice the last few weeks coming out of my foxhole. Nice being some sort of variable term for another word I can't think of. Either way…being appreciated by the job's never a bad thing."

"Both. Either. Whichever you feel like admitting to at the present moment." Ximena herself is pretty much easy to find. She's always always either in her bunk, in the head, in the galley or in engineering. Eat, sleep, work and occasionally take a shower. There are no shards or other flying objects, and the man's motions don't go unnoticed, "For a marine you are seriously easy to spook. Grab some glasses from the workbench." Her eyes return to the metal, the sander leaving pretty spirals in the surface, "Is that what they're calling it now? Appreciation?"

He turns his head to spy the bench behind them. "I work with my eyes, you work with your hands." His rationalization isn't expanded as he rises from the chair and goes to grab a pair of the protective glasses. Sliding them over his eyes, he secures them at the back of his head and takes his seat once again. "Don't tell Captain Vandenberg I used that word, she'll make sure that I take a few extra shifts so that I go back to being a dog like the rest of us." He smirks. "Perhaps utilized is a better word. You know how it is. We're a collection of meaty tools that get pulled off of the rack and put to use, and when we're not being used we're put in places to stand still to make sure that certain people don't go through certain doors."

"I work with more than just my hands." Ximena pauses, setting aside the sander to use a fine bristled brush to whisk away the metal dust from her work, and then longer still to clean the pad before she starts again. "Such is the life of a marine when they're stuck on a ship. That's why the MP billets always seemed so hard to fill. It's easier to be a loaded gun, if you're in someone's hand, than if you're sitting on a shelf."

"We've had our share of action-junkies that just continually chomp at the bit for a moment to fire off and make loud noises. I managed to get assigned as the squad leader for one of the more vocal ones, but while I don't need action to keep moving the guard duty takes its toll. So I decided last night I'd be coming down more often to help." He glances to her, watching her for a moment before looking back up the assembly line. "Last night you said the words: "for now" when I asked if we were done." He keeps his voice low. "Why?"

There's a slight twist to Ximena's mouth, a slow smile, before she turns her attention back to what she's been working on, "That runs rather contrary to you being scarce." Not that she's pointing that out or anything. Except that she is. "So there must be some other sort of action you're looking into." A lift of her shoulders, a shrug, at the question, "Because some things take time."

"Certifications. I'm not exactly trying to get pinned with any more rank, but if I have to choose between standing in place and learning something new, I might as well keep moving forward." He replies, turning his head in her direction. Watching her directly now, his lips pull into a tight, flat line. His fingertips drum on his forearm. He's winding up for the toss. "I wanted to say thank you for what we were talking about the night before, and apologize. I was rude to you. You didn't deserve that. I understand that you were trying to be supportive."

"There's always another hill to climb over, right?" That's the Marine way, isn't it? Ximena finishes with the hand sander, switching out for yet another tool, this one a hand held flex-shaft, with the sanding bit attached. The holes for the rivets have already been cut out, but they need smoothing out. The work really does never end. She does pause in attaching the proper sized bit, as she hears the man's comment all of her attention settling on him, giving him the focus he deserves, "You don't need to thank me, but you're welcome. And don't apologize. i knew what I was going to be getting when I went in."

He establishes eye-contact with her, presenting her with the slightly cold wall that he gives everyone else, save for the fact that he's actually talking about it for a change. Staring, he slowly nods his head and then breaks the eye contact, finding something else to focus on. "I suspected as much. Let's just not make so many of our conversations about my bullshit and more about other people's bullshit. It's easier to throw rocks at other people." He smirks, a line of laughter meeting his eyes. "You need help with anything?"

Ximena's eyes are frank, thoughtful, without being judging, but when you break eye-contact, so does she, "Have you ever done any work gunsmithing?" There's always the third option, which is to neither talk about your problems, nor other people,s but instead focus on things that fit all the right parameters.

"That might not be a bad idea, but no. I've worked in the mines, so I know a thing or two about boring, so working on the rifling might be somewhere in the right neighborhood." Ciro finds some sort of safety, a common ground to speak about, and he hangs onto it. Looking back to her, he pulls off the safety goggles and watches her from the side, continuing to speak about things that don't give pieces of himself away. "I'm assuming you get those scrapped parts down here, too? Do we even have anything that can re-mold old parts into being useful?"

"Well, it might be another avenue for you to keep your active and not sitting around on your thumbs." Ximena sets the flex-shaft aside, wheeling away from the place where she's working, to move down further into the fabrication area, leaning forward to pull open the hatch that leads out from the finishing room she's in and into the main facility. A flick of a switch and the lights turn on in steady rows. It's a rather massive operation, all told. "We can remold, but it's not often as durable and space-worthy as it was before. We usually just melt it down and recast it. We're fully capable of manufacturing planes from the ground up."

Following along behind her, the tall, muscular marine lets the goggles hang by their strap from one of his fingers. Tucking his thumbs into belt-loops at the small of his back, he takes a moment to scan the large room, letting out a quiet whistle. "…and I never idea you all had this much space down here, like a whole different world. No wonder your crew's so tightly knit and the ChEng gets away with those horrible shirts." Stepping forward, he moves to walk alongside her in the chair. "I wouldn't know where to begin, but I'm willing to learn." He turns his head, watching her quietly. "Do you have any sort of manuals that I can study, or is this going to have to be on-the-job training." His lips curl into a smirk. "Infect this deck with my level of positivity."

"It is a different world down here. You could get lost down here, or go a whole day without seeing another soul." This is just…Engineering. The heart of the ship. "We have to have the largest facilities. Everything that makes this ship run, from the plumbing to the FTL drives to the waste treatment facility runs on the work of this department. "Oh we have a veritable library. What sort of thing would you find the most interesting? We can start from there."

Ciro goes quiet, turning his gaze back to the facility before them. He doesn't seem so lost at the moment, but the sudden choice to pick a direction is one he hasn't made in quite some time. His brows lower, glancing from machine to machine, recognizing some of the equipment from the repair bays at the mines. "Why don't you get me a book on gunsmithing?" He turns, facing her. "I already know most of the parts and how to shoot them, it should get the ball rolling. If I'm going to pick up anything quickly it would be that." He pauses, blinking slowly. His eyes narrow and he quietly huffs, chuckling deep inside of his chest. "You are recruiting me."

"Not really," comes the answer, as Ximena heads off towards one of the lockers tucked away at the far wall, "None of the gunsmiths are engineers. Most of them are marines, actually. But since it never made much sense to have multiple areas for similar work, most all of the fabrication facilities are housed in here. You'll find the deck here, and the marines, and the navy. We all use some part of the facility when we need to." A quick tap of the lock to open the doors, and she starts rifling through the neatly ordered books. "if you ask nicely, however, I could be persuaded to find you a pair of coveralls."

Moving to stand at the edge of the lockers, Ciro turns his side to them and leans his shoulder against the cool, grated metal. It'll create a waffle-pattern on his tattoo that'll take time to go away, but he doesn't seem to concerned. In silence, he watches her pick through the manuals as he considers her offer. Drumming his fingertips on his bare forearm, his brow furrows. "How nicely?" He smirks. "Ensign Ximena Alteris would you please find me a pair of coveralls nicely?"

"I'm starting to feel a little nauseous." A couple of books are pulled down and offered over, as Ximena wheels away from the locker. "Those should be enough to get your started. Their clean room is over there, the second door on the right, see it?" One thing you can say for Mena, she never likes to stay still. She's already heading towards the supply cabinet, where, pulling it open, a few stacks of coveralls are hidden. A critical eye turns back, studying you as if she were sizing you.

"You're a strange woman, requesting politeness and then your gut turns when you receive it. Your nice for the day is used up. Man-up with the coveralls before I get angry." Ciro replies, hefting the books in his hand. Flipping one over, he skims a few pages from his position across the empty room. He's larger than most people, standing over six feet tall and wrapped in a series of well coiled muscles from his habit of working out to forget. Without a doubt he's in the best shape of his life, at least physically.

"All women are strange, in the minds of men." Careful hands sort and size the coveralls, before she finds a pair that would be suitable. Ciro might be a big man, but so is the current ChEng…and so was the former ChEng, though not quite so large. And coveralls are made to be forgiving. Once the right set is selected, they're set in her lap and the locker repacked and relocked, before she heads back over, "You can keep the glasses. And I assume you already have ear protection from your time on the range."

Glancing to the glasses, he claps the books closed and turns his attention to her once more. A moment of quiet falls over him, watching her as if trying to understand a complicated equation. His head turns, allowing him to watch her from a slightly different angle. The curious look fades from his face as he nods his head. "Yeah, I've got ear protection that'll work just fine. I'll just have to check those out before heading down this way."

"If they won't let you, let me know and we'll get you a set from down in Supply." Once she's back on the main walkway, a hand rising sweeping across their field of view. "Come, I'll give you the guided tour."

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