PHD #121: Correcting An Oversight
Correcting an Oversight
Summary: Trask seeks Penelope's assistance in correcting an oversight.
Date: 27 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: Full Colors
Penelope Trask 
Engineering - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #121
Pipes, conduits, and cramped passageways. Heat and the smells of sweat and machine oil. Engineering is a maze of hallways that run deep into the aft of the Cerberus. Dotted with a few storage rooms, offices, and workshops, this section of the ship is constantly staffed by a huge team of professionals. From the main fuel tank feeds to the massive FTL drive room, no other part of the ship is more important than this section that provides propulsion and life support to every section of the battlestar.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Lt. Paris (not to be confused with Lt. Parres — like that needed to be more frakking confusing, right?) has been on light duty since Leonis, crutches and a rather unwieldy cast putting many of her regular responsibilities out of reach. So she's not nearly as greasy and grimy (or as content) as one might normally find her towards the end of her shift. Right now, she's parked at one of engineering's terminal-crowded workstations, one hip perched on the smidgen of clutter-free deskspace, poring over maintenance reports. She takes an absent sip of long-since-cold tea and scrunches her nose, pulling a disgustipated face. "Ugh."

Trask has been called graceless when it comes to collecting favors. In all fairness, that's not really true. Shameless, however, is another matter entirely and as much a law of the universe as is Penelope being a jelly bean junkie. See, someone graceless wouldn't have bothered to bring a bag of those coveted candies that were acquired from the 1 Cubit store in Kythera, which, by the by, he did. Not only that, but the man comes bearing a large cup of his beloved Deck coffee, black, and of an oh so perfect temperature. "You're decidedly lacking your usual polish, Henny Penny," he nonchalantly remarks at the sight of her abnormal lack of grease and grime.

"I know," the snipe laments, frowning at the crumpled and coffee-stained report in her hand. "I'd give anything to be out welding in an EVA-suit, right now. But there's still several weeks to go before the cast comes off…" She glances up, then double-takes, her grumpy expression softening, the corners of her mouth tugging slowly upwards. There's a smile! It even makes it to her eyes, sweeping away the cobwebs and discontent. "Are those for me?" Kal? Chopped-liver. Jelly beans? Win!

Chopped-liver? Pshaw. Trask may not be filet mignon, but he's at the very least top sirloin, even if his personality is closer to a different, neighboring cut of meat — aka, round steak. "I figured you don't get to the Deck much," he replies, offering that cup o' joe. As for the jelly beans, "These are just a jury-rigged dowsing rod." To find a particular gimpy, freckled, curly-haired, Aerilonian lass.

Penelope sets aside her paperwork, taking the candy and coffee, all smiles and aglow. "You're dear — thank you." The Taurian's rewarded with a kiss on the cheek, Penelope's hand resting a moment on the opposite side of his face. "Shame about the beard," she notes sympathetically, as though of a departed friend, fingers brushing his shaven cheek as she withdraws her hand. "I prefer my men clean clean-shaven, but it did look rather dashing — as beards go." She takes a moment to savor a sip of coffee, and speaking of gimpy Aerilonian lasses, "How's Maggie?"

The kissing of his cheek and the half-cupping of his face prompt a small smile that's both pleased and wry. Odds are that he'd have made himself at home, regardless, but Penelope pretty much just invited him to park it on the edge of the desk, whether or not she intended. "It /was/ hella sweet," Kal concurs, idly rubbing the back of his left hand against a jawline that now only sports the typical onset of stubble that most men acquire by the end of the day. "We'll always have Kythera, though." Faintly, he smirks. Returning to the topic of gimpy Aerilonian lasses, the Taurian nonchalantly replies, "Knocked-up."

Penelope promptly snarfs her coffee. She cough-wheezes for a few moments, rifling through the clutter until she finds a reasonably clean paper napkin from some long-ago working lunch. "Oh," is all the manages at first, visibly reeling. "Uhm…" She shakes her head. "Right. Odd decision." She starts to say something, then stops. Starts to say something else… and stops. Stops starting to say things and starts. "With… ah… Clive Tillman, Junior? I presume?"

"Unless she frakked someone else on Beltaine." So casual is his delivery. "They were still at it by the time I collected my things and went to go sleep in a Raptor, so I can't say whether or not she was dancin' 'round someone else's Maypole after she crowned his." Yes, they really did wake him up with their ruckus and made it otherwise impossible to get any rack time. Yes, he really did get his shut-eye in a Raptor, that night. And, yes, he just used Maypole euphemisms for all that frakking.

"Holy Hecate," sighs Penny, shaking off the shock, now just looking a bit weary. She rubs her eyes, then takes another fortifying sip of java. "And she's keeping it, I presume…" Sort of a rhetorical query, that. Why else would it even bear mentioning? She frowns, sucking on her teeth as she thinks the situation through. "I can't say what I'd do in her shoes, to be honest." But she isn't in those shoes, thank the gods, so she doesn't dwell on it long. Instead, she smiles sidelong and leans into Trask a bit, giving his shoulder a nudge with her own. "So, you're going to be an uncle!"

"Oh, she has to, at this point," Trask asserts, sounding as though Quinn has no say in the matter. "That kid's cursed me with Captain pins." Which really cannot be verified because he's in his off-duty greens, which means no visible markers of rank. Facetiously, he concedes with a sidelong look of his own, "I suppose that 'uncle' is more socially acceptable than 'the man who owns Quinn's baby'."

Dark eyebrows climb to confer with Penny's hairline. She tilts her head this way, then that, trying to get the measure of Trask's veracity. "Kal Trask, are you telling me that you now outrank me?" she asks, grinning. She shakes her head quickly. "And the owning the baby part — speak slowly and clearly for those of us in the cheap seats. Use small words."

Sardonically, he smirks, "There's no such thing as a Jay-Gee being a Squadron Leader. The CAG's decided to humor me and call it a 'long interim' appointment." The way he rolls his eyes is a good indicator of how he feels about that. "Maggie's not coming back, though. Already was made the new LSO while the rest of us were working on our tans." Kal never wanted a command position, yet that's what he has. "I figure when her belly begins blossoming, the pretenses will be dropped." Ergo, the kid cursed him with Captain pins.

About 'owning' said baby, he explains, "Before she was evac'ed, Mags asked me to take over the squad while she'd be off the flight line 'cuz of her leg. With the utmost reluctance," is stressed, "I agreed. Now that there's nothing temporary about this temporary assignment, she so owes me. That kid so owes me. The price of my freedom doesn't go any lower than her first-born child." Spoken like a true troll.

Penelope snorts. "Kal Trask, as though you'd want or know what to do with a first-born child. They're incessantly noisy, time consuming, and make lousy paperweights. Leakage issues." She smiles all the same, warm and wide. "Congratulations then, O Captain my Captain. However dubious and unwelcome you may find the honor." Another sip of coffee is taken as the snipe considers the news, dimples mirthful and deep. "Well, then… as much as I'd like to flatter myself that this is a social call, I imagine you found your way down here to discuss building things…" she pauses, then adds sweetly, "Sir?"

The eyes? When he's called Captain? They roll. Dramatically so. "Don't get ahead of yourself, giddy as you are about my 'good fortune'." The air quotes are audible. "That dubious and unwelcome 'honor' isn't mine until the CAG lets the rest of the squadron know what she, I, and Quinn already know. I suspect she's letting me build a tolerance to the full El-tee pins so I won't die from pin poisoning when she gets around to making my non-interim status official." Joy, oh joy.

Back to the baby, the man irreverently points out, "I never said I was taking care of the thing. Just that I own it. I don't have the time or interest to deal with feeding, burping, or any of the other figurative and literal shit that comes with a kid. Cinnabun gets to deal with the bun in her oven." While already on the subject of being owed, Trask slinks into nonchalant shamelessness and says, "Maybe it /is/ a social call. I mean, that sounds so much nicer than calling it a business transaction. I've held up my end." Puckishly, he looks at the bag of jelly beans.

"Lovely as these random acts of courtship have been…" See? She hasn't forgotten the chocolate and shampoo, "I'm still several drinks away from putting out." Another demure sip of coffee hides her smile. "So what is it you want to build, duckie? A castle in the air? A city on rock'n'roll?"

'Oh, really?' is the look leveled at the lady. With all the naughty charm of an impish little boy, he smiles, "I see that the value of jelly beans has gone up. Last I recall, the going rate was a blowjob." Whether or not he actually intends to collect is left to hang in the air with his mischievous mirth. One… Two… Three… and he's glibly relaying, "I wanna make a statement. In order to do that, I need to build this…" Reaching into one of his cargo pant side-pockets, Trask retrieves a small scroll of paper, which he starts to unroll atop the flattest, cleanest part of the desk available. Judging by the contents, it's evident that he's an engineer, for it's not a sketch but actual draft work. Stark lines and dimensions for what looks like a display case of some sort. "I dunno what kinda materials are available, but it needs to look nice and be structurally sound enough that it won't fall off the wall whenever we get shot to shit."

Penelope rolls her eyes at Trask's appraisal of jelly beans, smirking as she shifts her weight off the desk — the better to view the plans. "It's the new world economy," she sighs, clapping the man sympathetically on the shoulder. "The cubit's fallen through and the resultant barter system's all wonky. I'm sure you'll be back in blowjobs in no time, luv." She sweeps back her hair, hands on the desk as much to steady herself as holds the plans flat. "Materials we can work out — I'm the high holy empress of scavenging and making do…" The drawing is given a moment of scrutiny. "And what is this, exactly?"

Without missing a beat, Kal quips, "Well, if the current going rate is a frak, it is what it is." To answer the question, he replies with dry cheek and 'duh' overtone, "A statement." It is then that he levels a somewhat stern look at the High Holy Empress of Scavenging and Making Do. "Look, I understand that daydreaming about us sharing a hot and heavy frak in that one alcove thirty paces from here is distracting, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd pay attention." Oh ho ho.

"I'm afraid I only got as far as not being able to properly get my legs around your waist because of the cast, and then it became less porn and more logistical nightmare," Penny sighs, eyes still on the plans — though she faintest of smirks touches the corner of her mouth. "You'd probably get in my pants faster if you just admitted that you're completely mad about me. What's meant to go in it though? I can make it so that the wall will come down before the case does, but do we need to take measures to ensure the safety of the contents?"

"I dunno," the man muses about the not-quite porn scenario, not convinced by Penny's assessment, "Sounds kinda kinky." A sidelong glance is then cast her way, along with a rascally gleam in his brown eyes. "Where's the fun in that?" he replies to her revelation. "Besides," the ECO idly adds, once more looking at the schematic, "I'm not the kind of guy who does rush jobs. I like to take my time. I'm very thorough." That most certainly can (and is probably intended to be) read into. Despite the directness of the question, Trask isn't quite done toying with his answers. "You mean other than a sentiment and the correction of an oversight? Nothing, really. Well, mounting board. Something that'll look nice and make the medal and missive really stand out."

"A medal and a document. Look! Progress!" Penny shifts her weight, giving Mr. Difficult a good nudge with her hip. "I swear it's like pulling teeth, sometimes." A few more beats of consideration are given to the plans, and she nods. "Well, here's my caveat, ducks — I can build the shit out of it. But as far as the inside goes, we might want to bring someone on who has a bit of art or design background. My mind works in nice, straight lines. On a grid. Ergo, the presentation, if left to me, is likely to be highly functional, highly boring, and about as evocative as day-old bread."

Mr. Difficult is smiling a small smile of self-satisfaction. Evidently, he enjoys being exasperating. It doesn't linger, though, fading as it does into something more pensive. Eventually, he admits, "Yeah. My sense of aesthetic is along engineering lines. The best I could do is wire it for lighting." Which, actually, is not a bad idea if the way he perks up is any indication. Quietly, he hmms, pondering. Then, the thought is tucked away for later review. "You know anyone who knows art? As much as I love Bunny boy, his finger painting isn't gonna cut it."

Penelope shakes her head, frowning. "Raedawn's a — " Ow. She winces faintly, parking it back on the desk once the plans are reclaimed. "Was. A… nevermind. Frak me." She blows out a long breath, taking another sip of coffee. The jellybeans are delved into, and she offers first choice to her generous benefactor. "I don't really know who's artsy, no. I'll ask around. Discretely, of course."

Raedawn? Yeah. She was. One corner of Kal's mouth crinkles at the reminder. It's not something he's going to dwell on, which means he takes refuge in his fortress of flippancy. "I thought you required a few more drinks," for frakking. Maybe the jelly beans are enough. What is for certain is that the ECO eyes them somewhat dubiously. "That shade of pink is rather alarming," True enough, it has an almost radioactive glow. Considering where the candies came from, that really might be the case. "It's kinda captivating. I know I should look away…" This way and that, his head is canted while he peers into the bag.

After a moment, he blinks several times and shakes off the bean's bizarre beckoning. "Uh…" Artsy people. Right. "Yeah. I don't really know anyone, either." Beat. "Thanks," for the help and discretion. The smile is nearly shy in its sincerity. Quickly and quietly, it ends with the clearing of his throat and the casually commented, "You're the only one who knows about it, so, yeah. I'd appreciate it being kept on the downlow."

"Give in to the bean… give IN to the bean!" Penny murmurs, voice pitched low and faux mysterious. "The power of the bean compels you…!" Yep. She's a cornball, alright. On the bright side, leaning in like that puts her lips very close to Kal's ear… and presents a nice angle for viewing her fairly modest cleavage. The latter is probably unintentional. She grins and claims the bean for herself in the end, popping it into her mouth and chewing contentedly. Mmm. High in fructose, red dye number three, and rads. "If I didn't already know, by the memo, that my services are interchangeable with those of Lieutenant Parres, I'd be flattered," Penny smirks. There is, though, a certain softness to her eyes that indicates she is flattered — at least in being among those he trusts.

"I would," he glibly replies, "but I already have this ménage à trois going on with coffee and cocoa, and adding another bean to the mix isn't worth the drama. Besides," is added with a mild turn of his head, eyes seeking eyes, "they're for you." Slick save, there. Trask wouldn't be Trask, however, if he didn't, upon noticing aforementioned modest cleavage, remark, "Your appreciation's been noted." That gaze of his lingers, quite obviously, as part of the punch-line… and, well, boobies. Once he's certain his antics will garner a response, it's time to take his leave. "Interchangeable?" Oh, the mock protest! "Parres is me two-point-oh. There's no way she'd accept jelly beans for a blowjob." And exit… stage right. "Get some polish on ya, Henny Penny. You most sparkle and shine when covered in grime," is called out as he heads on out.

Penny blinks. She quick-follows Trask's eyes, tucking her chin down to see — gah! Of course. She straightens and tugs the neckline of her tank-top up, rolling her eyes once more. There might be a shove or a well-placed elbow to follow, but he's already up and making his get away. "Catch you on the flipside, T-Bone, my pet," she responds, reclaiming her reports with a long-suffering sigh.

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