PHD #117: Cut the Flak
Cut the Flak
Summary: Alessandra and Constin catch up, post-Leonis, in the Galley
Date: 23 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Alessandra Constin 
Galley - Deck 9
Behind the two hangar decks, the Cerberus' Galley is the largest room on the ship. Nearly half the size of a football field, the eating area is made up of long lines of stainless steel tables that can be folded up and placed against the wall for larger events. Individual seats are the standard military issue, boring and grey with lowest-bidder padding. The line for food stretches across one of the shorter sides of the room while the kitchen behind works nearly twenty-four hours a day to produce either full meals or overnight snacks and coffee for the late shifts.
Post-Holocaust Day: #117

It's late. Far too late for a proper dinner to be had. Still, the workload being what it is around the Cerberus, this week above even those prior, food must be taken when it can be had. So, Constin has made his way here, limp steadily fading and wrapped splint on his upper right arm.

There's another figure here despite the late hour, it being Allie who has arrived awhile ago, a few folders in tow which has since been placed to the side so she can glance through them while catching a late supper. Her banaged left hand is used to flip through the numerous pages while the right is used to lift her food or drink to her mouth. She doesn't see the MP yet as she's busy raking through the fourth of twenty-three pages, a report on supply needs versus usage.

Constin picks up a few items off the cafeteria line, nothing that requires much by way of utensils, and steps toward the sea of tables. The piles of files and the Alessandra at their center catches his eye and the marine moves toward her, with the word of greeting given of, "Sir."

The voice is familiar enough that Allie doesn't have to look up to know who has addressed her, her gaze kept on her paperwork for a bit longer while his greeting is returned. "Hello, Corporal. How have you been?" That page is finished and the folder is closed, everything put aside as she now takes a good gander at the Marine. "It's good to see you back on your feet. Please. Feel free to join me."

"Much obliged, sir," Constin returns to the invitation, and setting his tray down on the table facing Allie. "Back to light duty, which means a frak-ton of paperwork," he mutters, eyeing the collection of files arrayed around the pilot. "Not that ah meant to complain about it to you, or anything," he adds dryly, settling into the chair. "You, sir?"

A finger is tapped against the topmost folder, Allie smirking a bit as well. "Same position although I think I'm almost back to being fit for duty. Need to run by Medical and get myself cleared, though." Taking another bite, her nose wrinkles at her sandwich, it being whatever passes for lunchmeat around here. "Man. I think part of me really misses eating rations."

Constin takes a big bite of his own sandwich, finding nothing amiss with it, he eyes the generic 'lunchmeat' and then takes another bite. "Food's what it is. Ah meant to ask," he recalls a moment later. "Coll said that she'd put a datastick in your Viper, down on the World. You find something like that, sir?"

"Yeah. I got it. It's locked up in my locker. If you guys want it back I can get it to you later once I get a bit of sleep." Allie looks like she could use more of that, sleep being something rare for her since she learned of Captain Laskaris' death, it something she has only gotten in little bits and pieces. "I can't begin to tell you how good it is to see you recovered. Coll? Is she alright?"

"When you get the chance," Constin returns with a nod. The question of Coll draws his reply. "She's fired up something fierce, right now. Has this idea that's kicking folks into high gear, from what ah can see." The statement is almost rueful, though accompanied by a tight grin. "Helluva thing to see."

Alessandra gives up on eating, finding that she just doesn't have the stomach for what's left of her meal; thankfully there is not much left so there's little to go to waste. The mention of Lauren and the idea has Allie raising a brow. "Dare I ask," she starts only to then shake her head, her mouth curling into a bit of a smile. "I'll ask her myself." Clearing her throat, Allie begins to look at the man right in his eyes, her own narrowed slightly. "So tell me, Constin. What do you think of Coll?"

"You should. Something about a hybrid launch platform for some of the Parnassus heavy missiles. More technical than ah could follow, but a few of the pilots seemed real charged up about it." Another big bite of the sandwich is taken and chewed as Allie asks that last. "Coll? Trust her as far as anybody alive or dead. What of it?"

Alessandra looks interested as well but she doesn't ask, it sounding like it'd be a bit more technical than she could comprehend as well. "I see. Interesting." It's filed away as something to ask Coll about later. When she's questioned as to why she asked Constin about his thoughts on Coll she simply shrugs and smiles, one akin to that the Cheshire Cat might give Alice. "Oh, nothing. Just was curious, Constin." That just might be believable if it wasn't for that smile.

"Uh-huh," Constin drawls knowingly. "No need to play matchmaker, sir. Ah know you pilots all got one track minds, but.." he needles with a short-lived smirk.

Alessandra coughs and then sighs, shaking her head. "Okay, fine. Look, Constin. I like you. I like Coll. Enough to want you both to be happy. And maybe happy together." Closing her eyes, she takes a moment to pinch the bridge of her nose as if in effort to stave off a headache which has suddenly come on. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to pry. I just think you two are very well suited for each other. That's all." Great. Second time that she has managed to get her foot in her mouth in a very short span of time. Lovely.

"No need to play matchmaker, sir," Constin repeats evenly, he affects a brief smile with the words, before choosing another subject. "What's on your plate, here?" he wonders, eyeing the stacks of files, and leaning his left elbow on the table. The first half of his sandwich is finished in a double-bite.

'No need to play…' Allie mulls over that, realizing that it could mean one of several things but Constin sufficiently distracts her with that question which gets her to look down at the folders. "I'm trying to play catch-up. I had left a lot of paperwork undone while everyone was stranded, thinking Captain Laskaris would return to do it. But, since he was killed, I realized that I need to start picking up the slack. Go me."

"As if casualties didn't have enough downsides already, yeah?" Constin returns with a shake of the head. "What was the bill for the Drop Day? Have the final casualty lists, yet?" Setting his hand flat on the table, the big marine sits back in his chair as he awaits the answer.

"I guess. Right now I would just love to have Lasher back so I could give him a big hug." Allie is one step shy of falling into a funk over this all. "Not a full count, yet, no. I'll be having to get my ducks in a row and figure all that frakking shit out so I can file it with the CAG." Shuddering, she pushes the small pile a bit further from her, the pilot not wanting to look at them.

"Never met the fella," Constin states simply, starting in on the second half of the sandwich, chewing a moment before he asks "What was he like?" with his narrow blue eyes turned up from the late night snack, to the grieving pilot.

Alessandra gets a bit of a distant look in her eyes. "He was stubborn and impossible to deal with more often than not yet, once you were able to look past all the gruffness and stony exterior, he could also be sweet and compassionate and delightfully frustrating." Odd mixture of traits for her to mention but hell, she makes it all sound like they're redeeming qualities.

"That don't make a whole lot of sense, sir," Constin comments at first. "Don't suppose it has to, though. You know him well enough to say how he'd have wanted to go out?" the marine asks a moment later.

"What about that doesn't make sense," Allie asks, wanting to clear up any confusion all that might have created. "And no, I didn't really know him all that well, really. Not as much as I would have liked, at least. But even then, I get a feeling that he would have wanted to die like he did. After helping other people." The drink she forgot about is grabbed for and sipped from while Allie shrugs.

"That you make 'impossible to deal with' and 'frustrating' sound like good things," Constin answers curiously, before taking another bite of his recently neglected sandwich. After chewing, he adds, "Bout all thats left to do is go out in the best way a body can. If he managed that, good on him."

Alessandra chuckles. "Maybe I am a bit biased when it comes to the subject. But even then, his faults were very much a part of him as everything else. Yes, they weren't redeeming qualities but even then, Corporal. When you care about someone the bad oftentimes doesn't exactly feel like it is. Bad, I mean." Her 'juice' is polished off and the now-empty glass is put aside, it along with her tray placed to the side to be taken away later. "Was it a good death? I guess so. Feels a bit…untimely, to me."

Constin chuckles dryly at that last, dropping the half eaten snack back on his tray, to muse, "Don't imagine a death ever did feel 'timely' to anybody not doing the dying. Hell, ah've felt ready to die a couple times. Would bet you have, too. But you think folks looking in from the outside would say it was 'timely'?"

Alessandra shakes her head. "I'm sure that it feels that way to the majority of those dying, too, Constin. I mean…you know. They are on their death beds or laying somewhere. Death's close…I'm sure that if someone has a heap of regrets or things left undone that it would seem like they're nto ready." Allie falls quiet, not sure how to follow that up.

Constin shrugs with his left shoulder. "Maybe. All ah can say is if ah'd gotten cut down before making the hangar? After the birds were in the air, after Jenkins hauled Coll's stubborn ass inside, and the rest of the team was away?" A shake of his head. "Swear ah'd have been ready for it. Other folks might not have liked it, but.. Would've gone down swinging, with the mission accomplished. Can't ask for more than that."

"I'm not sure where I stand on this subject," Allie sighs out. "Think part of me embraces the idea of a good death while the rest of me fears it. Not sure why." She shakes her head and chuckles faintly, a sound that is more a stuttered exhale of air than anything bearing emotion. "But it'll happen when the Lords deem it's time to. Can't fight it."

"Like hell you can't," Constin snorts once in answer. "Shit, sir- fighting it's just about all we've got left to do, ain't it? This Captain of yours is finally done fighting. Ah'll give him the credit of saying it was on HIS terms, not the frakking Gods. Just like you, just like me. We take our stands, take our shots. That ain't any God, that's US."

Alessandra looks at Constin like she can't believe what he just said, her mouth held open and her brow lined when it draws downward. She almost says something but stops herself, this when she realizes he might be right. "Yeah. well…no, you're right. I guess. Gods, Corporal. I am…I dunno. I just…this sucks." Period.

"Yeah it does," Constin allows to Alessandra's last, before dropping his narrow blue stare from the pilot to his meal, and back again once thick fingers grab hold of the sandwich once again. "But it's what we've got. All anybody can do, is the most they can, with what they've got, for as long as it needs doing." A bite taken of the bread and ambiguous meat product, around which he concludes, "That's all."

Alessandra reaches over to scratch her left hand, wincing when doing so drags the relatively smooth bandaging over the still-tender scar tissue. It distracts her from the conversation for as long as it takes the scarring to stop throbbing, that taking a good thirty seconds before she can speak. "What we've got is slowly being used up. What then?"

"Then it's gone," Constin answers simply. "Until then, it's not. Ain't a thing in the world simpler than that." The pilot keeps his eye, even through the last bite of his sandwich.

Alessandra laughs. "I wish I could see things in the same light you can, Constin. Feel like things would at least feel less complicated if I could." Reaching over, she pats what of the MP's arm or hand that she can, smiling. "I am glad we have the chance to talk like this. Away from the business of work and preparing for missions and all the crap." This is ended with a nod.

Constin nods once, commenting, "Things generally ain't as complicated as they get made out to be. Lots of details, sure.. but in the end it all boils down to something pretty simple." He offers, "Welcome, sir," before dropping eyes again to the tray and picking out the next dinner-course leftover to go down the hatch.

"Human nature," Allie utters; another itch of her hand has her grumbling and then she is working a finger up under the place where the gauze has been wrapped around the space between her thumb and that first finger trying to get rid of this latest itch with much better results as the cotton-like stuff isn't being ground into any raw spots. "Ahhh….anyhow, it's part of what we are. Doubt you'd find many people who don't in one way or another."

Constin nods in concession. "Fair enough," he mutters around a mouthful of cold dinner roll. "Still. The ones who cut through the flak are the ones that get shit done." He glances up with a tight grin. "Here's hoping you can cut through the flak, sir." The roll, minus one big bite, is held up toward Allie, as if for a toast.

"Yeah. Well, you know me. I'm all for getting shit done." Allie's lacking for anything to return the toast-like gesture so she touches a couple fingers to her brow, giving Constan a wink at the same time. "We'll get it figured out. Little steps at a time. Less likely to stumble." The hand that was used to salute her conversation partner is slipped behind her neck, her fingers used to knead at a tight spot or two.

"Here, here," Constin returns with a wry curl to his lip, before taking another bite of the rapidly diminishing roll.

Alessandra stands up, sweeping files, tray and glass up as gracefully as she's able to, the folders being tucked under an arm which frees her hands to hold the other items. "I should go back and get to work. Lots of catch up for me to get…caught up on. See you later."

"See you later, sir," the marine returns with a short nod, before looking back to the platter of food and going about disposing of the stuff as swiftly as possible. Dinner, to Constin, is a necessary evil at best.

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