PHD #392: Drink To Forget
Drink to Forget
Summary: Too bad it never works.
Date: 25 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Herak Sawyer Keenan 
Colonial Pete's - MV Elpis
Colonial Pete's is the long-awaited successor to Kythera's Aquarian Pete's, though this version is more bar than strip club. Not that there aren't any strippers here, in fact there's even a raised platform complete with pole built just for them. The majority of the room, however, is dominated by mis-matched tables and chairs and a long bar. Lighting is haphazard, the harsh fluorescents that came with the place usually left off in favor of lower lighting from scavenged lamps and even a bit of neon rustled up from somewhere and hung behind the bar. There's a pretty decent sound-system playing a wide variety of music, and a couple of low-tech bar games, like a mini pyramid arena.

There are always a few burly-looking guys around to keep an eye on rowdy patrons, and especially to guard the doors to the back rooms, where the stills are kept along with (rumors say) a few private alcoves for those willing to pay extra for one-on-one time with the girls.

A large black chalkboard that once adorned Cerberus' Ready Room hangs behind the bar. Scrawled on its surface beneath a crude picture of a steaming bowl are the words 'SOUP OF THE DAY: MOONSHINE.'
Post-Holocaust Day: #392

Colonial Pete's is doing brisk business since Condition 2 was lifted. Military personnel have a lot of vouchers to spend, a lot of leave built up, and a lot of steam to blow off. The bar is crowded now and Herak is working it, serving out moonshine to all comers. A dark-haired stripper twirls on the pole to the bet of Leonis club music, and appreciative audience. Everyone is enjoying Condition 3.

Sawyer really should be no exception, but there's actually the rare case when she comes to Colonial Pete's in a /good/ mood. She seems to fall into the category of a depressive drinker, and she comes to the bar to hide from the rest of humanity. It's a surprisingly easy thing to do, among this crowd. The journalist threads her way through the collection of people, weaving towards a spot at the end of the bar she's come to think of as hers. A spot she hasn't been able to frequent since the bump to Condition 2.

"Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in." That's Herak's remark as Sawyer bellies up to the bar. He limps over to serve her, offering her a jowly grin. "Thought the toasters mighta swallowed you up, darlin'. What'll you have?" He doesn't mind depressive drinkers. They probably make up a large portion of his clientele these days.

"If it isn't old hop-along himself. You've been keeping up well." Sawyer forces a smile to the man as he wanders over and she slides up on a stool that is blissfully vacant. She can almost cover up the weary sag of her shoulders. Almost. "I guess I'll be getting whatever this'll get me. You told me last time I was in that you barter for better than the still swill the drink vouchers will get you." The blonde slides a blister pack of mecidine onto the counter in front of her, keeping it partially obscure with the weight of her fingers. "Antibiotics."

The drugs get a surprised look from Herak, though he has the sense to keep his reaction mild. "Got some whiskey from Aerilon, and this'll run you a tab on as much as you want for the night," he says, discreetly pocketing that. He takes some more time to get this for Sawyer, trying to be somewhat subtle as he pours from an area under the bar and shifting a glass in a mug across to her. "What's got you breaking into the top shelf tonight, Averies? You look like you've had a hell of a day. This about that Rene-Marie frakker you were asking on last time?"

"Great." Is Sawyer's only response to the selection, not necessarily caring of the particulars, just that it's better than the rice wine or potato vodka or whatever the hell they're churning out back there. "Life was much more simple when it was filled with Rene-Maries." She lifts the glass and toasts the bartender with it, taking a conservative sip as much as it looks like she wants to just swig it. "How many convesations have people started with you by asking 'you ever been in love'? I don't want to be cliche."

"About as many as you'd figure. Love is one of the top reasons to drink," Herak replies to Sawyer. "And the answer is, yeah. I have. Take it you have, too. If you're breaking into the good stuff. If it's Rene-Marie, I'll tell you straight up, doll, he ain't worth it. Don't know what kind of game he's running, but it's one this ship'd be better off without."

There is a little shake of the journalist's head, "Rene-Marie? I'll tell you the truth about him. Some day." But not today. And he's clearly not the precursor to this visit. She looks down into the amber depths of her glass, swirling the glass lightly on the bar's top and watching her fanciful-colored reflection as it waivers. "Do you believe that drinking to forget actually ever works?"

Herak doesn't answer Sawyer right away. His response might cut into her bill, after all. But finally, he shrugs and grunts. "Nope. It'll keep you number for awhile, but you don't stop thinking about her. Or him. Or…not sure which it'd be in your case." He grins at Sawyer, perhaps hoping for the mental image that'll come if it is indeed a 'her'. "There're a lot of truths I want to know about Rene-Marie. Let me ask you something. He's a guy who gets favors for people. Whatever they need, seems like he's got an angle in. You figured out how he does it?"

"You're the man in the know, Herak. Do you have any theories?" Only a few timid sips in, it is with incredibly lucid brown eyes Sawyer fixes the Bartender with. She might have come in here to drown her woes, but in temporary lieu of that, she'll take the distraction of working one of her longest running stories to date.

"No theories, just questions," Herak says. "Thing is, Averies. I know a thing or two about the market in trade around this ship. Scrounging is hard. Frak, I can barely manage to find good liquor these days. This Rene-Marie guy doesn't seem to have any problems getting whatever somebody asks of him. In exchange for a 'favor.' My question, who's his supplier? It ain't like we can just pop out to the corner big-box store. Or invade the supply closet over on that Battlestar."

"Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor? For a price, of course." If Sawyer knows anything further about Rene-Marie's sources, she's not giving them up so easily. "Not exactly the type of fairy tale your parents told you as a child, now is it? So you don't have any theories, but If you can find anything out for me? I'll discover something else to pay you in, and I won't even expect liquor as a return." And it's /now/ that Sawyer finally tosses back the drink, draining the glass in one throat burning gulp.

"My theory is, he's got some kind of line into the military," Herak says. "I mean, it don't make sense any other way, does it? Being able to get his hands on anything anytime he wants. Only folks with easy access to supplies like that nowadays are in uniform. Which is pretty damn funny, way he's all 'Help, help, I'm being oppressed' all the frakking time, but I can't figure it anyhow else." He refills Sawyer's whiskey without bothering to ask her if she wants another. He assumes.

You know what they say about assumptions? They make an ass out of a reporter once she's had one too many. Thankfully, she's only begun her trip in that direction, so any similiarities to an ass are purely coincidental. "It's the epic story of the have-nots and the want-for-naughts and those that figure out how to get around those particulars. Like one pretending to be the other." There's a pause as her eyes trace back up to Herak's. "Have one with me."

"Supply and demand, darlin', but the supply's got to come from somewhere. That's how I figure it," Herak says. At her request, he lets out a deep chuckle. And reaches under the bar for a glass of moonshine. Apparently he has one ready that he sips on regularly. "So. Who are you trying to drink away tonight? Never did give me a straight answer. Reporter who won't talk is sort of…ironical."

"He doesn't matter." Fingers form a comb, and Sawyer pushes them back through her hair to pull the blonde strands away from her temple and tuck them behind an ear. "For one night, I just want him not to matter. Is that okay with you, Herak?" Her glass of Aerilon whiskey gets extended to clink against his of moonshine.

Herak looks Sawyer over with a sideways eye, but he finally just clinks her glass and nods. "Whatever you want, darlin'. I'm here to serve. Asked before if I'd ever been in love. Answer's yes. A long time ago. That was frakked up a long time before the Cylons burnt everything to the ground, though."

"I imagine love's the same, no matter how frakked up the world around it is. Boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy fraks everything all up." Sawyer gives a half hearted-smirk at her joke, though it's just as self depreciating as much as anything else. "No offense."

"That's a sexist and unfair assumption, babe," Herak says, though his defensiveness isn't that strong. He takes a drink of his shine. "Not far off, though. Her name was Ruby. She was a singer in a club in Leontinia. Bluesy stuff, y'know. Voice like a muse, except when she was screaming. Which, with us, was most of the time." He snorts. "She got tired of my bullshit, left me and took our kid when my matador career went to shit. Didn't see much of her in the last few years. Or my girl. Lily was her name." Another drink and he adds, "My daughter."

Ah, that's the real kicker. A kid. It's enough to knock Sawyer's little smirk back down to the frown she's much more comfortable toting tonight. She could give him some sympathetic line, an empty gesture like patting him on the hand or rubbing his arm, or she could just lift her glass and murmur a quiet, "To Lily." And honor her the only way that seems fitting at the moment. With another drink.

"To Lily," Herak affirms, knocking back his full glass of shine at that. Not that it seems to shake him much. The big man can probably put it away pretty well. "Wasn't much of a father to her when she was alive. Ruby and me split when she was just little. She is…she was fourteen last year. I wasn't much of a family man."

Keenan arrives from the Elpis Corridor.

"Things are easier on the road. No accountability. And then eventually you forget how to even really relate to someone beyond just a passing fancy. It came to the point where I wouldn't even buy a houseplant anymore, because I'd forget and come home to a wilted twig. The gods forbid I ever bought a goldfish." Sawyer is sitting at the bar in an otherwise packed Pete's, the celebration of returning to Condition 3 has yet to wear off. While nursing something that looks like it decidedly did /not/ come from the still, she's engaged in what seems to be serious conversation with the bartender. "I don't know what made me think I could pull off a relationship." It seems Herak's own reflection has brought out one of her own where she had been previously tightlipped.

Colonial Pete's is packing them in tonight, music playing loud, a brunette on stage stripping in time with it, plenty at the bar. Herak is one of those manning the bar, but he doesn't look like he's working too hard at the moment. He's serving Sawyer, and lending her an ear. "Some people are better off alone. Frak, I always was. I can barely remember my marriage, and it didn't last. That's the bitch of it right now, though. We're all stuck together, and the Fleet ain't big enough to pick up and move to another town in."

It's always a sea of mismatched faces, some of them swaying with their conversations or trying to get a better look at the girl on stage. In fact, bodies tend to float around the room when it's packed as tightly as it is this night. When one such sway of the bodies happens an opening is formed, and Keenan Raios slips through towards the bar. Minding his quiet business as usual, he reaches deep into the pocket of his cargo pants and pulls out his voucher. Placing it down on the bartop as he settles in near Herak and Sawyer, he lifts his head to try to get Herak's attention or at least make his presence known to the man serving the piss.

"Don't I know it, because I'd already be gone." Sawyer's worked her way through this second glass faster than her first, now pushing the empty vessel forward for a refill. "Closest I ever came to marriage, was the mistake of frakking my photographer. Hard to blow out of town on a new assignment, when he just gets assigned right along with you. Now I've run up a nasty tab from Airwing." Idle eyes drift over to Keenan as the new arrival, but she's already looking for her new drink.

"Flyboy, huh?" Herak grunts with another of those rueful grins and shakes his head. "You, lady, need another drink." And so he pours her own. From a bottle of Aerilon whiskey rather than the moonshine that's traded for vouchers here. She must've brought in something decent in trade, as the good liquor doesn't go cheap. While he's pouring he catches the wave and looks over in Keenan's direction. He squints, a little surprised, then lets out another laughed grunt. "Well frak me running. That you Raios?" A louder laugh. "Though you'd disappeared off the face of the worlds. Such as they are these days."

"Yeah…yeah it's me." Keenan replies, issuing a sharp, upwards nod towards Herak in greeting. The drink voucher is pushed forward so that it rests near the spongy drink-pouring section of the bar. Catching Sawyer looking in his direction, he takes a moment to double-take between the two of them. "I enlisted." He says with a small smirk forming on his face, having caught the last few bits of their conversation. "Air Wing."

Sawyer rolls her eyes to the ceiling. She might even be mentally saying 'frak me flying', but then again, that's sort of what already got her into this predicament. While she might have been working her drink down in several waves, this one goes down in one fail swoop without even a wince. Once it's empty, she's pushing back from the bar. "There oughta be one or two drinks left on that tab of mine, right? Save 'em for me for another night." Because three are enough to make her nice and fuzzy.

Herak gets a laugh out of that. "This isn't the frakker that's broken your heart, is he, Averies?" He seems to think not, though. "Sit down, kid. Give me a voucher and I'll get you a whiskey. Frak trades. You get ex-employee perks." And without waiting for an answer he pours some of the good Aerilon stuff for Keenan. One shoulder's shrugged at Sawyer. "If you say so, babe. Come and claim them whenever you like. Bottle'll be waiting for you. Drinks are more reliable than people that way."

"Oh no, no that ain't me. Sorry miss. Don't let me scare you off." Keenan replies, issuing Sawyer a cringing look as he flips the voucher in Herak's direction. "I'm a Raptor pilot now right out of basic. I don't get the time to do shit. I'm taking on all of the shit shifts for the moment and get very little time away from the job." He adds, reaching for the shotglass. "How's business, Herr?"

"Wasn't you." Sawyer assures Keenan as she swings her legs around and slips off the stool, doing that pause thing that people do when they're not sure if they have sure footing or not. "I just better call it a night, before I add a bartender to the list." Said bartender gets a little wink in parting, and off goes the Journalist on those damnable high heels of hers. As she goes to slip past Keenan, she plants a hand on his shoulder (maybe to cover up a wobble) and she leans over slightly to mutter into his ear. "Commissioned. You became commissioned. Enlisted implies you're not an officer, which all pilots are. Technically." Pat pat. And off she tries to go again.

Herak watches Sawyer and her heels walk away. Damnable though they are, they do nice thing for a woman's legs. He gets another of those deep laughs out of Sawyer's comment to Keenan. "That's our resident military expert right there. Commissioned, enlisted, whatever. Here's to your new career. What made you go and do it, anyway? Join up." As to the business, he gestures a hand around grandly. "Look around, kid. We're doing better business now than we did back on Leonis. Of course, there's less competition. We're the last open bar in the universe. Nice work if you can get it at the end of the worlds."

"Technically." Keenan replies to Sawyer with a shrug of his shoulder. The self-depricating tone of his reply is evident, and despite the fact that his current grasp on his lexicon has failed him he doesn't seem too concerned. He does, however, take a moment to look over his shoulder to watch her walk away. "You always had good luck at the bar, didn't you?" Keenan says, turning his attention back to the bartender. He takes in a deep breath and shrugs. "I just couldn't keep it going, you know? I needed a change. I started back up and while I liked working here back in the day I just felt cramped in." He replies, lifting his shot glass. "Let's hope that girl doesn't tell my CAG I said Enlisted, right?"

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