PHD #177: Cockroaches
Summary: What you call those who've survived the Holocaust, forced promotions, and a lack of getting laid.
Date: 29 Aug 2041 AE (but backscened to Aug 22)
Related Logs: Sleeping Hippo, Delicious Zebra
Trask Ulixes 
The Farmstead - Aigosthena - Sagittaron
This is a sad and squalid patch of loamy earth, the blackness of which is broken up every few meters by rotting bits of green. Located on some of the highest ground near the Jharkand Delta, the farm went to seed a while before Warday — making it good only for growing weeds. An old farmhouse is the plot's most notable feature, perched as it is at the very summit of the hill — beside the charred walls of a barn quite recently set aflame. Those rickety structures aside, only two other hints of civilization remain. A poor excuse for a road winds its way down the slopes, its grey-white gravel partially obscured by encroaching dirt, while a small broken-down water pump creaks idly in the breeze, its handle worn by decades of use. The fields themselves have the undisturbed look of once-flooded ground — before the intrusion of men. The remains of broken tractors, plows, and various other farm implements have been carried by rising waters to their final resting place by the base of the farmhouse. Just enough barbed wire fences have survived to mark the edges of the twenty-acre property.
Post-Holocaust Day: #177

Despite the threadbare accommodations in the farmhouse, one Kal Trask has taken it upon himself to fashion some manner of bed out of a row of the non-gunship Raptor's jump seats. It was in there, thus snoozing, that he was when Ulixes first arrived at the base camp. Since sleep is such a rarity for the Squadron Leader, no one sought to rouse him. Yawning and a bit bleary eyed, he disembarks from the ship while in the process of adjusting the combat vest that he's wearing. A heavy pistol in a holster is also upon his person.

Ulixes isn't being held in the traditional sense, that is to say he's not chained up and he doesn't have guns trained on him all the time, but the marine who is keeping an eye on him still lingers nearby. Ulixes himself seems at a loss for something to do, simply sitting on one of the crates not immediately needed for loading or unloading, and stares at the business around him in silence.

With everything now fastened just so, ground crunches beneath Bootstrap's boots when he clears the ramp. Even before that happens, he's already fishing out a cigarette from a crumpled pack that's running on empty. *Scrik-scrik* The lighter's small wheel turns and sparks some flame that the zippo lid subsequently snuffs out after performing its duty. Before he puts either item away, his attention lifts and settles on what appears to be a familiar face. Blink-blink. The ECO is fairly sure that he actually is awake, but one never knows. "Shortcut?" is asked, cigarette momentarily removed from his mouth.

"Yo," Ulixes calls out by rote, without even looking up. Before even a moment passes, however, he remembers that hardly anyone actually knows that callsign here and nobody has called him by it in several months. He looks up with a wry little grin at Trask, "You guys are like cockroaches, y'know?" He glances at the pins on the man's collar, "Lieutenant Cockroaches."

"Shit, you look like shit, man." Oh so eloquent in his observational talents. For all intents and purposes, the Marine might as well not be there. In short order, Trask is trekking over to the pilot, hands extending for a friendly forearm clasp. Still not fully recovered from the 'wtf?' of bewilderment that his old squaddie is alive and here, some of the weariness marking him nonetheless dissipates as a certain elation starts to manifest. Good news is a rarity in this day and age. "Better than Cap'n," is wryly lamented with a smirk and no further explanation. "Besides," is cheekily added, "you've gotta be the frakkin' King of the cockroaches." Surviving as he did.

"We haven't gotten to the formal coronation yet but I figure it's not far off now," Ulixes gives the other man a long look before shaking his head once again, "They must really be hurtin' for top brass. So, this Battlestar Cerberus, be honest with me. Quality tail? Yes? No?"

Puffing away, the pack containing two cigarettes is offered. Cue the boyish insouciance. "S'more like entry-level middle management. Also, it's all Jugs' fault." His being a full LT, that is. "Although, yeah. I suppose we are." Having one XO commit suicide by inferno, one CMO killed by Cylon gunfire, and even the Rear Admiral forcibly removed from command and tossed in the brig for potentially being a skinjob likely qualifies. Oh, but then the pilot asks the hard-hitting and oh so important question. "We have strippers." Which may or may not be true. It's not always evident with Trask's puckish sense of humor. "One of 'em's a redhead, although I'm pretty sure she's a firecrotch for more than her hair color." STDs FTW.

"That's no good," Ulixes says, pulling a face, "If it's all herpes and forced promotions I might have to go and shoot myself right now." He shrugs his shoulders, "Ah well."

"I'd hope she has all her shots by now. If not, the CMC's in a whole lotta trouble. The blonde, though? Safer bet. If she fraks like she moves, that's some Grade A quality tail. An' no shooting yourself. Cylons called dibs. 'Sides, you make a better meat shield alive than dead." As for forced promotions, Trask deadpans, "I'll try not to die or get knocked-up any time soon." Which is suggestive that Ulixes is the heir apparent. Whether or not it's true is another matter. More soberly, he inquires, "It just you?" There is, after all, no other ECOs in sight.

"Was me and Madcap," Ulixes says quietly, a little less jovial now, "Then we ran into some Cylons and then it was just me. We went down with a stick of Marines. There were more than a few birds in the air but I couldn't say where they landed and I haven't seen them since we left the Victory."

Faintly, Kal nods, his own good humor dwindled to an ember. True to form, though, his facetiousness soon enough ignites. "Well, we'll be sure to get you laid before you see 'im, again." Evidently, his primary coping mechanism for dealing with awful events still remains flippancy. "Meanwhile, have some lung cancer." The pack of cigarettes is rattled. "They feed you yet?"

"I got some rations," Ulixes says with a nod, taking the cigarette and leaning forward in waiting for it to be lit, "Not bad. Better than raw bird. To be honest, I was starting to think I was going to be stuck here for the duration. Not to mention finding out it wasn't just Sagittaron? That sucked."

With a flick of the wrist, the zippo sparks and the cigarette is lit. With another flick, the lid snaps shut. "Keep it," Trask says from around his own cancer stick. "I'll hook you up with a full pack." The lighter is tucked away, then his smoke removed to tap some ash. That done, he enjoys a long drag of nicotine, blowing out a few rings. "Sure hope you don't have your heart set on surfing. Most of Aquaria evaporated."

"Frak me," Ulixes says quietly, taking a long drag of his own cigarette with a sigh, "I prefer the pretty girls. How's Virgon looking?"

"Fabulous for a graveyard. Well, apart from the Cylons bogarting all the scrap." More animatedly, Bootstrap naysays, "The frak you do. If you did, you'd've been stationed elsewhere." Har. Har. On a more serious note, although spoken as though he were discussing the weather, "I'll show you the recon images once we're all back aboard the Bitch."

"Frak," the Raptor jock mumbles, shrugging his shoulders and looking off into the distance, "Oh well. So, when do I get a steak?"

The ECO doesn't miss a beat. "As soon as you frakkin' kill an' grill a cow." Puff-puff.

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