PHD #131: Colonel Pewter's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Colonel Pewter's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Summary: Playing Triad with the CO.
Date: 7 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Constin Alessandra Tisiphone Sofia Rachel Parry Pewter 
Recreation Room — Deck 9 — Battlestar Cerberus
This huge room spans quite a lot of floor space, the support beams crisscrossing at even points throughout the room. The two sides are divided fairly between the Enlisted and Officers with an unseen line more or less running down the center of the room. A couple pool and card tables sit in no-man's land with a series of regular mess tables at the rear of the room, nearest a counter full of minor refreshments like coffee and bags of chips. Magazines and reading material are spread out over the couched seating areas and a few televisions are set-up with a couple of video game systems made available.
Post-Holocaust Day: #131

The invitation comes on beautiful crisp A4 paper bearing the watermark of Battlestar Cerberus, written in hard and blocky script that could only have come from the left hand of Colonel Andrus Pewter: 'You are cordially invited to a soiree of sorts,' it begins, 'during which you will have the opportunity to win the Colonel's booze.' It's a sentence that really needs no explanation, and the beautiful red-headed yeoman charged with hand-delivering each invitation isn't terribly much inclined to give one if she's asked. One gets the feeling, though, that this isn't the sort of dinner party from which you beg off with illness or various other excuses — which might be why said yeoman confidently ordered enough food for seven when she dialed the galley three hours ago to notify the cooks of their task.

Said food has been laid out buffet-style on a navy blue spread: decently appetizing appetizers made from non-perishable ingredients, but hey, presentation is half the battle. Sitting beside it is none other than Yeoman Parry herself, parked in a chair with a massive book in one hand and a kitten in the other. And shuffling the Triad deck at the head of the felt-covered card table is the man behind this latest bout of madness, whose duty blues are unbuttoned to reveal a pair of clingy grey sweats.

Gasp! That could earn a snipe a lot of favors and treats. Sofia is boggled she was invited, but - well - she's not about to turn it down, even if her poker face is … wanting. She smiles at the woman delivering politely though. Well mannered snipe at least. And a KITTEN! Sofia flashes a smile at the tiny, fuzzy critter. "How cute." Wait. Should she be saluting that cat? Sofia just looks confused for a moment and then - it's Pewter. There's a faintly awed look on her face. Sofia's in high company. And she's boggled.

Is it some kind of joke? Some terrible lottery where they lure the pilots in with promise of free upper-echelone booze? Tisiphone would fall for it every time. She steps in through the hatch with a moment of hesitation — is it too bizarre to be true, or /just/ bizarre enough to be true? — then continues in, pale eyes flicked toward the Colonel. "Figured it might be a prank, Sir," she greets him. Voice scratchier than her cigarettes would explain, a faint wheeze still clinging to her breaths.

Well, it takes a bit of work on Allie's part but with a promise made to return to to her bed in the sickbay after the party ends she's allowed out, looking ragged but none the worse for wear regardless. Dressed in off dutys and with invititation in hand, she drifts into the appointed party place, the food gaining her attention before those here do. "Oh…hi," she eventually greats in a voice that's still a bit harse, the hoarseness making it hard for her to speak louder than a few notches above a whisper.

Constin had gone through the buffet line early and eaten his measure of the appetizers with habitual haste, as he regarded the room's most recent entrants. In mere moments, the marine had killed his snacks and stepped toward the table, to take a seat. "Sir," the sergeant greets the boat's CO, his voice- always slightly higher in pitch than one might guess by his size, made to seem even higher by comparision.

And Rachel… of all the med staff to be invited, it's Rachel. Not that she's unwilling, but as she comes in she jokes, "right, cause you know what I'm good at? Triad? Nice to see you aupright Allie."

"Evenin', y'all," rumbles the colonel from his seat, jerking his head at the five seats arrayed in a half-circle before him. "Glad y'all could make it up here on such short notice, hope y'all best have brought something to bet. As for why it's y'all here and not some other schmucks for me to beat down, ask Red Parry there, mm? Highly scientific method of selection, she tells me."

"I drew names from a hat, sir," is her arch reply, an unflappable half-smile on her face.

"She's a sharp one." And Pewter chuckles deeply as from beneath his seat he withdraws a magnificent bottle of brandy. "Ex-Oh," he explains, for those who aren't in the know. "Dupre-Gouveau — and I'm talking official Virgan, not the knockoff moonshine y'all get in starports, see, and y'all know it's real 'cause it's got that little flag in the corner, right here. Aged six years in oak, — not a drop of caramel touches this belle, not one. Highest chip count after seven rounds takes her home, and may the best colonel win."

"Cute little frakker." This from Tisiphone, as she paces over to warily eye the appetizers and finds herself near Sofia and Cerberus's fuzzy little mascot. She doesn't reach to pet it, though her head cants a little to the side as she watches it. With an effort, she moves on to the buffet table where, after a bit of trepidation, she snags a few crackers that haven't cross-pollenated with Mechanically Separated Meatstuff. "Brandy, Sir?" she echoes as she returns to the table, around a mouthful of post-apocalyptic hors d'ouvres. "Damn. All's I brought was a carton of smokes." Which she drops on the table, and pats once. Restlessly. She can't have many left.

"he is. And I think he outranks me. A lot," Sofia considers, smiling at their mascot. "Hey lil dude. Er, sir?" Ponder. "Well, I've got thumbs and he doesn't…" But then she's not cute and fuzzy. Since he's on a lap, she doesn't reach for him either. Sofia will take a snack carefully. Her eyes widen at the mention of brandy. "Wow, seriously? Uhhm. I've got my silver tin of Earl Grey from Aquaria… it's kind of expensive." Apparently, a gift before Sofia left home. The good tea. The kind that requires loving dousing in milk and sugar then promptly kicks you to the moon. She does smile, amused at Constin's high pitched voice. "My favorite Corporal." Grin. She takes a deep breath. Rachel gets a wave and Lucky a curious look.

Rachel walks up to the table and sets down a slightly dusty bottle of well aged Leonan wine. If anyone looks at her she just says, "It was a gift. Seesm liek as good a chance as any to break it out."

"I got to go back," is what Alessandra says in reply to Rachel's greeting; at least she's honest about the conditions she was put on so she could attend. "Heard you were the doc who checked me out. Thanks a lot for that." She looks at the CO when he starts to boast about the quality of his contribution to the game's big pot and she grins, holding up her own once he's done. What hers is is one of those fancy pens, the kind that can cost easily $50 in one of those fancy stationary boutiques. "Will this do, sir?" She notices Sofia and the others and gives them a jovial wave, her pallor swapped out for a bit of a blush now.

Constin grins tightly. "Ah generally don't drink anything ah can't pronounce, Colonel. Which is why.." He displays a bottle of his own. "Whiskey. Distilled two times, aged.." he makes a show of checking the date, "Two months. Cerberus brew, never even sniffed dirt of a Colony. And, since it's a frak-ton cheaper than the rest of you all's? Toss in one of Captain Karthasi's special smokes."

"Oh, you /wouldn't/," breathes Tisiphone, pale eyes narrowed at Constin's mention of the Sister's ciggie. It would sound low and deadly — if it didn't have that twingy wheeze, and she wasn't grinning an, oh, you BASTARD sort of grin as she uttered it. Now? NOW it's on.

"Who said I knew how to say it, Sarge?" The jab is deflected with an avuncular smile. "And y'all know what they say, El-Tee Apostolos — if a stranger knocks down y'all's door, y'all give him what hospitality y'all can afford, no more, no less. Course, lung cancer doesn't come up on any of my lists." His sonorous laughter causes creases to form on the fabric of his sweats, which rides up on his belly as he pulls himself up to the table. The deck is handed off to Parry, who traps the kitten against her with her forearm and elbow after she sets her book on the ground. The cards are shuffled, re-shuffled, and dealt with almost casino-like precision, sliding across the worn green felt. The fact that she needs to bend forward to accomplish said task probably won't go unnoticed. Who said Pewter had to play fair?

"Tea, wine, fountain pen — my collection's gonna get big. Chips worth a thousand, I think, that'll do it. Minimum bet's a hundred. Sarge, y'all want to kick us off?"

"No rpoblem. CO2 posoning, never fun," Rachel answers a touch dryly to Allie. They've been seeing a bit of it lately down in Sickbay. "Be right back," she adds before heading out to invade the appys, always one for going for the food. "Hmm, doesn't smell quite as good as that one barbecue, but it will more than do," she adds with a smile as she starts to pile a plate. Then she sits.

Constin leans back in his chosen chair, fingers woven behind his head as the marine turns a great big 'aint I a bastard' grin at Tisiphone. "Best of luck to you, sir," he drawls to the pilot, before getting a chukle out of Pewter's bragging and nodding once. "Yes, sir."

"CO2 poisoning?" Pewter's eyebrows shoot up behind his horn-rimmed glasses. "I read about that. What happened? Oh, and. A hundred here." The chips are pushed forward after he glances at his hand.

Alessandra sits down and looks up as the cards are delt, her expression blank. "I'm sure it'll be an experience we won't forget regardless of the outcome, sir," she says to the CO, maybe kidding and maybe serious. Frakking hard to tell with her expression. She tosses in her bet while Pewter asks his question, her head shaking a bit as she tries to figure out how to answer that. "I'd hate to ruin the mood of the evening so will refrain from talking about it till after I win the pot, sir."

Poor Aless. Sofia looks sympathetic. "Um, sure, 100." She'll match the bet. She does look to Cons and the cat. She grins at the Colonel's confidence, seeming pleased and amused. Fortunately, Sofia's immune to any cleaveage based distractions. She has plenty of her own after all. She grins.

Having thrown in an entire carton of ciggies for a shot at The Big Prize, Tisiphone's betting with cubits, tonight — those she's won from other games, typically against the Sergeant over yonder. She tosses them into the pot and picks up her cards, eyeing them unhappily. No card-player, she.

Rachel tosses her own in, looking /very/ confused by her cards. "Yeah, well, all I know is what gets brought in, none of the why," Rachel smirks. She too doesn't warrant cleavage distraction, so doesn't even notice.

"That rough, huh." The colonel holds his hand close to his belly before chucking a pair of cards onto the table. "It's bad business, y'all, bad business." His tone dips past 'friendly' to become rather grim — because really, this isn't something one jokes about. "Deck's workin' like monkeys, if y'all will pardon the language. We'll be gettin' to the bottom of this."

Constin tosses in the requisite century worth of chips into the pot as he thumbs through his cards. "One card for me," he drawls, tossing one hexagonal card into the growing discard pile. "Helluva thing, sir," he mutters to the CO2 subject, frowning.

"CAG was so upset she swore," says Tisiphone with her scratchy wheeze, rearranging her cards as if it might make them better. She glances over at her carton of ciggies. Don't leave me, cancer sticks. "Never thought I'd hear /that/. Two for me." She throws her discards over into the pile.

Alessandra discardss her two and then shrugs. "I wouldn't say it's bad, sir," she comments conversationally. "Because it's worse than that. It's a cluster frak," Allie not even stopping to think that swearing while talking with the Colonel might not be a good idea. "But yeah. I'm sure you'll hear about it soon. Big events kind of tend to gain you higher ups' attention." She tosses in another 100.

Sofia looks sympathetic with Tis. "I can imagine… it sounds really scary," She admits. Sofia seems quiet though, tossing in her 100. She peers at her cards, green eyes almost going totally cross. Hmmm. That's gonna get stuck that way.

"Can /anyone/ actually tell me what happened? No one who came in could say shit, and the only person with any idea was out of it," Rachel asks as she toses her own coin in and starts shuffling her cards about.

"Call," says Pewter, setting down another set of chips before him. "And looks like the CAG isn't the only one," he drawls, smile-smirking at Alessandra and the doctor.

"No shit?" is Constin's brow-raised comment on the recent cursing of the ship's CAG. "Rather not, sir," he notes to Rachel. "Ongoing investigation, and all. Hell, ah think those are two of my most-spoken, least appreciated words in the language? 'Ongoing investigation'." A snort once as he builds his hand.

"I'll send an official request then. I can't keep them from ebcoming bodies unless I actually know what is going on," Rachel answers, her eyes looking up as the cards are all laid out. She doesn't look at all surprised she didn't win.

Tisiphone flicks a glance over toward Rachel. "Like I said last night. Our breathing mix was poisoned. The frak you gonna do about that in Sickbay?" She snorts, and lays her cards out with a grimace. No joy for her, either.

"Discretion, valor, whatever, Sarge. Y'all need anything from me on that, just let me know. And — whoa, girl." Pewter rocks back in his chair, causing it to creak beneath him as he examines the hands. "Godsdamn, El." He can't be arsed to say the rest of the surname. "Got me good, there."

Alessandra lays down her triad only to sigh when she sees just how awful she is at the game. Too much time on the Pyramid court and not enough time at the card table, it seems. "Awww…frakkers." Her left knee begins to bounce as she looks from face to face, pausing on Constin who gets flipped a one-finger Colonial salute. "Frak you, Con."

"Stock up on oxygen?" Rachel answers, looking back over at Tisiphone and laughing of all things.

Sofia blinks, her eyes go wide. "I think I just got schooled." Constin totally rocked the hand. "Here I thought I was doing pretty well…" Sads. Sofia is no so much at this Triad thing. She laughs softly. Her eyes widen at Ales. "Well, I'm glad for him then." She seems pleased enough. "Heeey, I got in the double digits this time!" She's also happy she's improved her game, such as it is.

"Large Triad, Green high," Constin declares, cracking a brief grin as he rakes in the sizable pot. A narrow blue eye flicks up to Rachel at her complaint, "All due respect, sir?" he drawls to the woman. "Money Shot has a point." turning a proper smirk aside to the Colonel, he tips a non-existant hat. "Gotta say, ah love playing cards with folks who don't know when to fold, sir."

Constin tacks on, with a smirk toward Alessandra, "That would be a violation of frat, regs, sir." Constin is a bastard when he wins.

"No point in folding if you're playing for cubits," retorts Tisiphone, flipping a hundred-cubit chit in her hand. For a moment, it looks as if she might flick it at the oh-so-smug Sergeant; then her edgy grin returns, and she tosses it into the pot.

"Y'all best not be talkin' to me, Con, and my twenty-three points." Look, see? Twenty-three! "And Doctor, color me a bit confused, but don't y'all usually have O2 down there in Sickbay? Cause if y'all don't, that's a big problem. Two bigs for me." That's two hundred chips.

Rachel laughs and shakes her head, "Not enough if all we get is asphyxiation cases." She does nod her head towards Money Shot, "Like I said, i'll ask officially, and only for what I need to do my job."

Sofia grins at Constin. "It's not always fun just to fold…" It's not like Sofia can drink her tea anymore without risking turning purple, a heart attack or psychosis. Although the purple thing might be an awesome party trick. "See, lookie. I even got totally double digits." She is pleased with this. Her eyes go wide at the CO. Oh snap. At the talk of business, she goes quiet, looking thoughtful. Not really something she's ben told a lot about.

"See now, sir?" Constin drawls to Tisiphone, "Thats where we differ: you're playing for cubits. AH'M playing for booze so fancy ah can't even say what it's called. In for a hundred." He tosses in his fresh chits after checking the new hand. He grins aside at Pewter as the CO folds after the big leading bet.

"What else are we gonna do with these damn things, anyway? Reminds me to start using the bills to light my smokes on, though." Tisiphone snorts again — which triggers a tight cough or three — and tosses more cubits toward the pot.

Alessandra glares at Elf who is tweaking her competitve nature something awful. She doesn't grace him with anything more said and is in fact quiet all around, the game what she is focused on…

"Large mixed, red high, suckers," Tisiphone murmurs, laying her cards down with a slow, almost malicious grin. Something suddenly occurs to her, and she glances quickly to Constin's hand. Whatever she sees there makes her bark a laugh of relief.

Rachel laughs as she loses again, but then again, she had no llusions here. "Right, so who gets to steal my money next?" she asks lightly, nibbling still at the food on her plate.

Constin echoes Tis' barked laugh with one of his own. "Shit, lost with a Large Green. could've been worse though- ah could've had a Large RED high and lost, like you did last time, sir-" he chuckles to Tis who takes the early lead with her big win. "Got five more hands to win it back."

"Hey, this hand is even better than the last," Sofia's makign progress. Only to be derailed promptly by Tis' hand. "Oh wow." Schooled even HARDER. "… good thing I don't do this for a living," She's bemused, but still pleased for getting better and the company. There's a look to Lucky. She's sympathetic at least, and a grin at Rachel.

"Huh." Pewter's gaze lingers on the doctor as he tosses his cards into the pile — the whole lot of them — but he doesn't say terribly much at all. "Oh, and Red, y'all forgot to stack the deck like I taught y'all," he adds, laughing and pushing his glasses back up on his nose. "More of this and I should find a new Yeoman, cause see that business down there, Red? I had nothin' to beat that business down there."

"Whatever you say, sir," Parry answers gracefully, pulling the cards to her chest and shuffling once more. "I would unbutton my duty jacket, sir, but I'm afraid the regulations don't permit it." The kitten mews once, twice — as if to amplify her point.

"Now I didn't say do that, now, did I?" Pewter does his best to affect an indignant look, but it's one that fades into his usual easy grin. "C'mon, out with the next ones. Bring 'em to pappy."

Alessandra takes this loss a bit better as she didn't suck that bad this time but she is still frowning. The next hand gets her to purse her lips and then another round of betting is made, this one a bit higher. "Maybe I'll get lucky this time."

Kitty! Sofia grins at the cat. "Wow. He really is a teeny commander," She is amused. She smiles at the CO. She's in decent spirits. She's pleased all around really. Fidget. Her poker face is horrible though. She looks thoughtful. Tilts her head. The tip of her tongue sticks out a little. Hrrrm. Hmmmmmm. She frowns. Peeeeers. As if staring hard enough at the cards would get her some winners for sure.

A table-full of Triad players, and Tisiphone's the only one who glances to the Yeoman, not entirely wholesomely, at talk of unbuttoned duty jackets. It truly /is/ the end of the worlds. "You ever tie me on a red high again, Sergeant, and I'm burning the frakking deck." Pale brows lift. "Just so's you know." She counts out her cubits and throws them in.

all of a sudden Rachel sneezes, setting her cards down face-down, not folding, as she goes to blow her nose. Looking up at them all she admits, "i'm allergic to cats." Clearly this does not sit well Rachel who is looking arather longingly at the animal.

"The way we're going for each other's throats, I'm inclined to think that this is going to wind up being a short game," Alessandra says, that bein in regards to how fast a lot of them are going through their chips. Of course that fact is doing nothing to slow her down and is in fact spurring her on, the pilot betting 200.

Unfortunately for Tisiphone, Parry's all about being wholesome — which might be why not a single hair seems out of place in the yeoman's impeccable coiffure, or why she graces the ensign with a cool and distant smile that promises absolutely nothing at all. As for allergies: "There's pills for that, sir, I'm sure," the woman observes, her free hand rubbing the dark patch of fur between the cat's perked-up ears.

As for Pewter? More chips enter the pile, which will leave him with a paltry sum indeed if this doesn't go his way. "Life's not worth livin' if y'all don't live it," he observes dryly. "Y'all holdin' up rightly?" Spoken aloud to everybody at the table as he reaches behind him to snag a saltine cracker on which the chefs have smeared something that may or may not be cream cheese.

Tisiphone narrows her eyes at her cards, and looks across at the Colonel. "Is that your last bottle of brandy, Sir?" she asks him, flicking a brief grin, as she throws in her cards.

"Nothin' I can't win off Laffo when I see him next," says Pewter, who rearranges the cards in his hand with pursed lips and narrowed eyes. "And — and yeah, Red, now that's more like it. Uh-huh. Get y'alls chips over here."

Alessandra snorts. "I'd be doing better if I wasn't playing against a bunch of dirty cheaters," she half jokes, half accuses. She is joking more than the latter but with how dry her throat is and how level of a tone she is speaking in it sounds like it's more a case of the latter. "You all are hiding the frakking ones!"

Rachel looks down at her own dwindling chips, "Yeah, I might end up out of this round if the bets go too high."

Tisiphone's sleety eyes creep over the top of her cards and linger on the dwindling reserves of Sofia, Alessandra and Rachel. "Mmm-hmm," she agrees with the doctor's assessment, picking up a two-hundred cubit chit and tossing it idly in her hand. "You just might." Another quick and toothsome grin.

Her eyes widen. "Awww, I finally had a good hand." Sofia boggles. "That is crazy." She looks to her pot. She nods, "Me too." She takes a deep breath. "That's okay, I've been having fun," Sofia smiles a little at Tisiphone, amused.

"If you suspect impropriety, Lieutenant Sophronia, you are of course welcome to leave the table." Parry meets the other woman's gaze with her unblinking eyes, angling her head as few degrees as necessary to convey an acceptable level of politeness. "Despite the Colonel's insinuations to the contrary, I've been doing nothing of the sort."

"Damn straight she's been doin' nothin' of the sort," rumbles Gravel in mock disgust, chucking his hand at the table. "All the corrupt brown-nosin' yeomen in this fleet and I get the only one who didn't sleep through the Honor, Duty, and Integrity slideshow at Basic."

"It was a tremendously compelling slideshow," the yeoman says, a faint flush coloring her cheeks.

Constin takes the next hand dealt out with a chuckle, after buying out early from the prior round. A tight grin eyes the six cards he's dealt, and the sergeant raises the initial ante to "Two hundred," with shoulders stirring in a slight chuckle.

Sofia frowns and sets her cards down, "I don't think I can make this pot." She blushes a little. "How embarrassing." She grins at the two. A look to Parry. She looks to the CO too. Hee. An amused look. Now to watch!

Constin waves off the option to discard, frowning a bit as he comments, "Think ah might've led a bit heavy. Everybody bowed out but you and me, sir," the marine drawls across the table to his rival. "Let's see exactly how much you like what you drew, yeah? Call."

The on-ship intercom beeps once, summoning Alessandra away — and just as well, too, for she doesn't look like she's got altogether too much left in that pile of hers. "Business before pleasure," murmurs the colonel, sitting back and watching the fireworks unfold: noting, also, the interplay between pilot and marine. "Can't control that, I'm afraid, no I can't." Beat. "Good of her to leave that pen, though." There's that grin again.

"Stuck with the only honest yeoman in the Fleet, Sir?" Tisiphone murmurs, trying — and failing — to sound sympathetic. Her eyes narrow again at Constin as she arranges her cards and lays down. "Large mixed, blue high-" she calls — the same as Constin's. She leans over the table a little, eyes flicking from her hand to his. He's got a green where she has a blue, and it squeaks by. "Mother of-" she mutters, pushing her cards away from her in disgust.

Rachel looks up and waves as Alessandra is called off, wondering where she's off to actually since it's not back to her sickbay bed. She then looks back, ready for the next hand, "Let's see if it stays a bit cheaper this time."

Sofia hrms. She nods at Rachel. "Yeah… I feel like a total amateur here," She admits with a smile. But given her allergies, this might be well for the best. She looks to the CO and grins. "It is a nice pen, sir- er. I mean -" D'oh. She goes cross-eyed and gives up. "Wow. Corporal is on a roll." She is in awe.

Constin does the same narrow eyed stare at Tis' cards as she does at his. "Heh! This feels kinda familiar, don't it?" A look aside to the rest of the table. "No shit, couple weeks back? The El-Tee and me had two matching hands. Large Triads, Red high, frakking i-DENTICAL. Down to the last Blue three. Ended up flipping a subit to see who took the pot."

"And he won the frakking coin-toss," Tisiphone mutters. She /still/ sounds a little sore over it, though she flicks a toothy grin toward the Sergeant as she says it.

Pewter munches on another cracker, having swallowed the thing whole. "Happened to me, once, that," he notes, shaking his head as he shoves a few more chips into the communal pot. "Lost me a dog. Real ornery sum-bitch, that dog, but I liked him. So ugly he'd make the train jump the tracks and take the damn dirt road, instead."

"Damned right, ah did," Constin drawls to Tis' irked recollection of that coin-toss. The marine grins broadly back at the pilot, before chuckling briefly at Pewter's decription of his lost dog. Laying out his hand, "Large Triad, Green-high."

Rachel doesn't even notice that she wins at first, only actually looking at everyone else's cads aftert no one else goes for it. She looks entirely stunned, though the comm beeps just as she gathering winnings. Medical emergencies trump Triad games. "Shit," she says as she stands, "Right so uhm, thanks for the game guys?" She enjoyed herself, but damn, sh wanted to win that wine back.

Sofia is sadly out of the round. She grins. "Wow, congratulations Doctor!" She beams and waves. A sad look, "Aw. Poor puppy." There's a sympathetic look for the CO. She waves to Rachel. "Be well." She's happy to watch though, wide-eyed with suspension. Oo.

Tisiphone watches the first large triad go down and grimaces again, throwing her cards in without bothering to build the hand. "Pfah-h-h…" she mutters, and slouches down a bit in her chair.

Constin takes in his cards with a chuckle. "Gotta say, Colonel.. This is the third pure hand your 'honest yeoman' has dealt me on a run. I'll keep the hand ah've got thanks.." as he waves off discarding. "Makes me wish ah could bet more though, yeah?

Sofia looks sad. "Sorry…" She's apologetic for keeping the hand low. Though, given her luck she may not be in the running much longer. "But I'm glad things are going well," She considers.

Tisiphone slouches further in her chair, and her wheezing starts getting worse. It's a high-pitched sound at the end of each breath — humourously, rather like a puppy might make when yawning. Squeak-*. She rearranges her cards twice before dragging one out and announcing, "One for me."

"Only because you look the most inclined to share your winnings with the rest of us," says Parry, in whose usually detached voice there suddenly appears a faint, nearly imperceptible smokiness. Smouldering alto, much? "I certainly do not intend on eating those cheese and crackers without brandy to wash it down."

Pewter, for his part, chucks a card into the pile. His mind's clearly nowhere near the game. "Still wonder what happened to that pup," the Colonel murmurs, eyes half-closing as he allows himself a brief moment of reminiscing. "Or Danny from Alvarino. I went Fleet, he stayed on the docks, and by the time I got myself some leave, the guy and the dog, both of them are gone." There's a satisfied humph as he leans forward to see what everybody else has got. "Probably out there scarin' the livin' daylights out of Cerberus down in Hades, that dog." Pewter half-coughs, half laughs. "The three-headed monster, I mean. Not this ship."

"We got one of ours down there too, Sir," Tisiphone murmurs, glancing up from her cards for only a moment. "Lasher. Our old squadleader. If he's not down there giving snarling lessons, the Lords and Ladies are dead." It's an odd expression that she has for a moment; fond, yet…/not/. With a deeper wheeze-breath, she sits up again and announces, "Large mixed, RED high."

Constin grins sidelong to the dealer, "Like ah said- don;t drink anything ah couldn't pronounce, yeoman." Grinning a moment deeper he lays out his "Large Triad, Green-high.." before letting out a loud, "Bah! You are a right and proper bitch, sir," he grins across the table to Tis, as she edges him out, this time.

It may be Sofia's best hand ever. "Yay! A Large mixed, Bl— awww," Sadness. She grins at Tis. "Congratulations," She seems pleased. "I'm out this hand," She's used up her bank and seems content to leave it at that. "I think I'm happy. I got the best hand I ever have," Beam. She smiles at Pewter and Parry too. She likes the story, but - she's out of the game.

Tisiphone's face suddenly splits in a grin. "Aww-w-w," she drawls at Constin, faux-sympathetically. She even makes a couple kissy-noises at him to sweeten the deal. "Bring it, man," she mutters, throwing in another hundred-cubit chit after the first. And another, as the Colonel heaps the pot even higher.

Constin eyes the other two stacks of chips remaining to oppose him after sweet little Sofia bows out. "This looks like a proper show down to finish off the seventh, yeah?" he grins tightly from Petwer to Tisiphone. "No body has any reason to fold, and no body has any reason to bluff." A short chuckle shakes in the big man's throat. "This right here? Is when the shit gets *good*."

"That's the way to go out, isn't it." Pewter might be talking to Sofia — or he might be talking about the Lashers and Dannys and the ugly dogs of the world, all of whom seem to hold a special place in his heart. "Speakin' of. I never got to meet y'all's captain, El-Tee Apostolos. And never got to meet any of the others who've passed, either. Likely won't ever, too." There's a curious sadness in his voice, one that manages to worm its way into even his usual good humor. "Ol' man Abbot, he always used to tell me not to worry about it. Men die, y'all know, just like shit rolls downhill." The colonel shakes his ponderous head as he raises, eyes crinkling as he smiles. "Me, I figure I might as well try, and if I can get them cooks down there to make me crackers all special-like, well. That's just a straight bonus."

A nod at Pewter. Either way, she seems to agree quietly. She takes a deep breath and listens. Sofia seems happy to stay and watch. "Yeah…" Sofia worries about her own boss thes days. "I think they might. Crackers are pretty awesome," She admits. But now it's getting good and tense and she's watching quietly. A nod at the kitten, "I don't know who to root for either." She grins.

"Well, Old Man Abbott also told his crew to start killing each other, instead of following the law," Constin notes, bone-dry to Pewter's communicated advice. "So there's some real impolite things ah could suggest to do with the man's advice, sir." A shake of his head, as the two discarded hexagons are replaced.

"He was a good man," says Tisiphone, on matters of her departed Captain, "even if I couldn't stand his frakking guts sometimes." She wheeze-snorts once, and knocks a short little staccato rhythm against the edge of the table with her knuckles. With a heaved sigh, she sits forward and lays out her cards. "Small red triad, frak it to Erebus and back again." It's a pitiful hand. It couldn't possibly win.

"All this killin' makes people do crazy things," is all Pewter says, sighing as he pushes himself back from the chair. "Some of us rise and meet it like we're supposed to do. Some of us — some of us, they don't. All I know is this: it sure isn't near my place to be judgin' him, just like it sure isn't near my place to be judgin' any of y'all. Gods'll sort us all out in the end, I figure, once all this is through." His weathered face breaks into the usual familiar smile, though this one is tinged with a bit of regret. "Just gotta keep on soldierin', just gotta keep on doin' what we do."

Parry, too, is quiet, her head cocked to the side as she considers the colonel's words. A quiet, thoughtful 'Mmm' of agreement will be her only contribution to that bit of reflection, moving smoothly toward Tisiphone with the bounty of the evening. Coincidence that her hand lingers a little longer on the pilot's shoulder than necessary? Surely. "Congratulations, sir," she murmurs. "I hope they taught you how to share in kindergarten."

Sofia tilts her head, "I only saw him at like, speeches really." She's a snipe. Low on the proverbial ladder and sadly among the ranks of redshirts. It's always snipes and enlisted. A sympathetic look for Tisiphone but - what other hands lie in wait? She grins though, seeing Tisiphone win. "Congratulations!" She chirps, seeming pleased for the Tisinator.

"Not judging, sir," Constin answers Pewter. "Just saying." chucking his cards down, "Ah've got shit. Small triad-" Constin starts to say, before Tis reveals her own pitiful hand. "No frakking way.." he mutters, looking aside to Petwer as the Colonel plays his own. "No shit? Money Shot takes the whole frakking thing with a *small*?? HAW!" the marine bursts out in a huge laugh, striking the Triad table hard enough to make the chips shake in his humor.

"What? You're- oh, frak naw. You're serious?" Tisiphone actually stands up so she can lean further across the table and look from her cards, to Constin's, to the Colonel's. Her startled laugh twists to a wheezing cough, then stutters back to a peal of…let's be honest. She's cackling. "Hot frakDAMN," she crows. "/No/ /shit/. On a small red." She cants her head, grinning like a fiend, and offers her hand out to the Colonel for a shake. "A pleasure, Sir."

Just saying? "Me too, Sarge," is the colonel's measured response, his hands resting atop crinkled sweats as he peers through those glasses at the soldiers who remain at the table. "Me too." The fact that he's just lost a prized bottle of brandy in such a fashion seems to bother him not one whit; neither too does the fact that he won't be able to stick around to share a congratulatory drink — not that the crowing Tisiphone seems terribly inclined to heed Parry's suggestion. Instead, pulling himself and his substantial gut to his feet, he shakes the proffered hand and tosses off the loosest of informal salutes to those soldiers in the distance who, having seen him get up, now snap to attention. "Back to the grind for me," he says, slapping both hands on the table in satisfaction. "Keep up y'all's good work. Y'all are makin' us all proud out there, and don't y'alls forget it. You too, Red — thanks for settin' all this up. I'll be in my office if y'all need me."

"Roger that, sir," is the yeoman's automatic response, gliding over to the table to pack up tablecloth and table both. "You can take the leftovers back to your berths if you want," she offers, pausing to salute when Pewter turns aroun and makes for the hatch. "I'm sure the others would appreciate it."

Sofia giggles, the cackling contagious. "Sorry, this is the most epic Triad game ever and I'm super glad I got to be a part of it." She's grateful. A smile as she looks up to Pewter. "Thank you for this sir, it was fun," She bobs her head at the CO. She doesn't seem nearly as terrified of him as before. There's still some awe and all. She takes a deep breath. "Thank you all. It was fun. But I guess chores don't do themselves." And given Cerb is still needing love and care - well, Sofia's still got things to do really. She smiles at Constin too. "See, you never told me you were an expert." She takes a deep breath after the giggling.

Constin goes to his own feet as Pewter does, offering a salute more crisp than the CO's informal acknowledgement. "Sir," he offers in parting to the Colonel, before lowering the saluting hand for a shake toward Tisiphone. "Heh. You win this time, sir. That was one helluva thing." Sofia's comment bring s chuckle, the big man's mood unspoiled by the loss. "Expert? Hell, Three-Em.. ah lost, didn't you see? To a damned Red Small." His grin only deepens.

Hey now. Tisiphone may well get around to offering a taste of the brandy. These things can't be rushed — like Colonels can, at the end of the worlds. "One hell of a game, Sir," she calls after the retreating Pewter. She, too, snaps a picture-perfect salute to their CO, before turning to offer a handshake to Constin. "I'll bring the brandy next time we play," she promises the Sergeant, grinning.

Sofia smiles and returns the salute. "Sir. That was great," Sofia smiles. "And haaaaaah. But you had such big hands before," She gestures for emphasis. She's still amused and in good spirits. "Besides, with my allergy getting rid of the tea was a good thing for me." She's pleased enough. "I'm really glad and it's good to see you. I'll see you around okay?" She tilts her head, waving to the others and meanders along out.

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