PHD #458: Cheerleaders and Sharks
PHD #458: Cheerleaders and Sharks
Summary: Poms and Poppy have a quick chat about Gemenon and what the future holds.
Date: 30 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Keenan Khloe 
Pilot Berths - Naval Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
The battlestar's pilots call this place home. Bunks line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each pair of bunks and a round metal table sits in the center, furnished with simple but comfortable steel chairs. A hatch at the rear of the room leads to a communal head.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #458

The middle of the Battlestar Ceberus' operating day is drawing near, and the berths that most of the warship's pilots call home is sparsely populated. Only a few bunks sit with their curtains closed, signifying likely a sleeping body within. In the center of one of the rows is a table, and at this table Ensign Keenan "Pom Poms" Raios is sitting quietly with a book in his hand. Freshly showered from a return from CAP, he seems to be getting in some quiet time.

Seldom seen in the berths unless it's cleaning time, laundry time, or rack time, Captain Khloe "Poppy" Vakos is often on the move, either handling the duties of a squadron leader, or on CAP, or doing PT. Quite married to the job, the stoic and sometimes bitter-biting Poppy is rarely seen lounging around and otherwise enjoying what others would consider quiet time or downtime. And true to form, the Captain comes in, duffel slung over her shoulder, uniform jacket unbuttoned to the midriff as if she just hastily donned it. Her Viper helmet is in hand, and she heads straight over to her locker. A quick turn of the combination lock (another rarity in the berths: a lock on a locker) and she begins unloading what appears to be freshly cleaned clothes and other assorted gear into her locker. Doesn't make a lot of sense why the Captain has her helmet and flight suit (yes, the suit gets unpacked and stowed, too) when doing laundry, but, she's a bit odd.

The sudden arrival of the Captain causes Keenan's attention span to be torn from the book. His eyes raise to watch what appears to be a post laundry/duty Viper pilot unloading her gear into her locker. However, the helmet in her arms does force one of his eyebrows to tilt upwards. Turning the book over in his hands, he sets it down on the top of the table to hold his place and reaches for the soma braid on his wrist. Rubbing it and giving it a turn so that it settles into place, he clears his throat loud enough to get Khloe's attention. "Need a hand over there?" He asks, nodding at her helmet. "That's quite the payload."

"No, I'm fine," comes Khloe's terse reply. In fact, she seems to know where everything goes by sheer muscle memory, as she's able to unpack in quick time. It's like she never left boot camp. Everything has its place; everything is folded or rolled in a certain way. Once the majority of her clothes are stored, she gives a quick glance over her shoulder to look at who offered. "Oh. Poms." She doesn't know the bus driver particularly well, so that's the extent of her greeting. "Just laundry," she states, stashing her helmet and flight suit into her locker, where they belong, as if casually to say, don't mind these, these aren't here.

"Yeah…I'm going to have to head down later to do a bit of that myself." Keenan replies, his head tilting back towards his bunk behind him where a stuffed duffel bag rests. Reaching out for a small mug, the wooden beads of his soma braid tap against the warmed ceramics as he slides his fingers through the mug's handle. Bringing it to his lips two-handed, he takes a sip from the bitter coffee within. "It's been a little while, but I checked the rotation. Looks like we drew the same CAP tomorrow. You know of any pattern change-ups I should study up on ahead of time?"

Khloe shrinks down her duffel and begins rolling it up so it, too, can be stowed. "Nothing fancy. Standard textbook elliptical barcap," she offers. Looking down at herself, she realizes her uniform jacket is open, and begins to button up with a frown. It's not like she's bare underneath, what with the standard undershirt and tanks, but it's still a gesture made as if she thought she were naked - or at the very least her fly was undone.

Keenan's mannerisms are polite, doing his best to approach the idle conversation like a small ant trying to figure out how best to address the scorpion…only with far less fear. The Captain's reputation precedes her, and aside from a few recent commendations Keenan is a barely acknowledged entity in the Air Wing. "Well, that settles that, then." Keenan offers, setting his mug of coffee down. His face scrunches up at the bitter aftertaste the liquid leaves. Then, Keenan silently glances over his shoulder, looking for more signs of life before he drops the big question. "So…what's your take on Gemenon, if you don't mind me asking? Scuttlebutt says a group of marines already headed down that way. Any word on whether we're gonna get to patrol some atmo?"

Once buttoned up, Khloe shrugs her shoulders and pulls her jacket flat, as if seeking the perfect placement for the jacket around her upper body. It's not a sensual gesture; no more than what one does when putting on a suit jacket and seeking out the best way form the garment to lie the way its supposed to. "Gemenon," she repeats, frowning. "Why is everyone frakking hard-up about Gemenon? It's a trap. I've said so to Toast, I've said so to Marines. No matter what they are telling us, it's a gods-damned trap." Well, Keenen certainly opened up a can of worms. Her scowl settles on him. "Don't tell me you're one of those starry-eyed hopefuls that is looking to lie down with the enemy after they obliterated our race."

His reply to her comes in the form of a tilting of his head, meeting her scowl with a sarcastic expression. "What, and risk the entire remainder of the human race by leveraging it against my psychological need to hug some mud?" He smirks, shaking his head from side to side. "No, I'm not one of those guys. I'm not one of Bannik Tyr's crowd either. I don't know exactly why we'd trust Cylons after what they did but…" His voice takes a mock annoyed tone, almost laborious in nature. "…but if they tell Pom-Poms to drive down there he's gonna have to." He smirks. "It's all good, Captain, you're preaching to the choir here."

Her nod is sharp. "You're not one of mine, Poms, but even so I'd tear you a new exhaust port if I knew you were one of those worthless fraks," is her supposed response-in-agreement. Khloe snorts lightly, shaking her head. "We fly where we're told, and die when we're told. Wouldn't have it any other way. If the brass decides we're to go to Gemenon, then that's what we do. Doesn't mean I'll like it any more than you do, but it's up to us to do our job so those idiots - " Presumably, Tyr Bannik and his bunch. "- can hold hands with twos and elevens."

"Well I haven't exactly breached the topic with Bootstrap, so there's no telling where he lies on the issue but I don't see my opinion on it changing. I'm the spiritual sort, but if there's any carrot on a stick that'd be used to suck us into a trap it'd have to be using our exhaustion and need for peace and quiet. It just makes sense to me. Everyone's lining up to dictate what the Lords think and say. It's…ugly." He shrugs, turning in his chair to face her better as he folds his arms across the pair of tank tops that cover his chest. Soma braid or not, he's a skeptic. "Frak…I want time on land and a break like everyone else but I don't want to get used to the idea of the war being over until it's really over, you know?"

Arching an eyebrow and looking skeptical, Khloe asks, "Why is it that everyone except me is looking forward to break time? Maybe that's the problem, Lieutenant. Too many soldiers are looking for the Elysian Fields, except that they're not willing to get there the hard way. No, Lieutenant, the day I take a break is the day I'm too old or slow to fly. Or I'm dead. There'll be no rest for me until we win or they kill us all."

"Well, don't tell Bootstrap that I'm needing a break, that's not what I meant. Maybe you're thinking about it the right way and I'm not, though. Get breaks and leave and…" He motions with his hand as he speaks. "…kids and what you're going to do after the war off your damned mind until the war is actually over, right?" Keenan asks, eyebrows knitting together with the question. "I guess maybe people praying for the finish line is why this Gemenon stuff's working so effectively right now, and maybe the Cylons are offering it up to us. Hook, line, and sinker."

Khloe's laugh is short and bitter. "Kids? You're kidding me," she says, shaking her head. "See, that's the problem with most of this fleet. You treat it like a job. A beginning, an end, thank you sir, you are honorably discharged into civilian life to do whatever it is people do. I entered the military because I had no other goals in life other than to shoot up home-made morpha. This," she says, spreading her arms and gesturing to either side, as if to encompass the entire battlestar. "This is my life, Pommy. And I'll be frakked if I ever leave." She nods slightly towards the hatch. "You know where the sunshine and lollipops are, they're that-a-way."

"I didn't exactly join myself over a deep need to serve the people, to be honest. Now that I'm in I stand for my oaths, of course, but believe me. I know where you're coming from." Keenan replies, scoffing quietly at her mention of sunshine. "Though I guess it does bring a really good question into play, Poppy. Say this ends with us winning and we've got a whole handful of irradiated planets and absolutely none of the shit we used to have to make our daily lives easier. There aren't going to be scores of engineers to keep the power and sewage running. We're not going to be able to just step into a grocery to get food." He plants his booted feet on a chair, watching her face. "What then? What if we're not needed?"

Khloe affects a sardonic grin. "Human nature, Poms. It'll take a while, but humanity will get back to doing precisely what it does best: killing each other." She eyes her watch, and that smile fades quickly. "I've got to be somewhere. Enjoy your book." And with that, the Viper Captain closes her locker and gives the combination dial a quick spin. "And, Poms… so far, I've got no bones to pick with you. You're not bad, for a bus driver." Uncharacteristic gesture of friendship from Poppy, that is. The Captain gives a quick nod and then heads for the exit hatch in a purposeful stride.

"You're like a shark, Poppy. Keep huntin." Keenan offers in exit, the words hurled at the woman's back. As she disappears from sight, he gives a slight shrug as if to say 'she's got a point' and reaches for his book. Turning it over in his hands, he lowers his eyes to it, finding the spot that he left off from.

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