PHD #027: E For Effort
'E' For Effort
Summary: Philosophy vs. facts goes awry in the Galley.
Date: 2041.03.25
Related Logs: None.
Bell Kai Malone Davis Tisiphone Angelica Sitka 

Galley — Deck 9 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #27
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.
Condition Level: 2 — Danger Close

Bell is seated far from the entrance, off in a corner of the room. He's by himself, in Navy offduty-coveralls. On one wrist is a cast of some nondescript polymer, in an equally nondescript off-white shade. There's a plate of pasta in front of him; he pokes idly at it with the fork in his good hand. He doesn't look happy or unhappy - just sort of existing.

A door. Simple enough, yes? A door is sitting there, pleasant as can be, minding it's own business. That very same visage of stone-like quality closes. Opens. Closes. Opens once more, a small little, "Huh," followed by a click or two, and a woman appearing 'round the corner. Not entirely kept, mind you, though the lass has at least bathed. Eyes linger on something beyond the precipice even as she steps further in, belatedly glancing about the room. People? If they be there, they're gathered in, interested eyes shifting from one to another, before and randomly she's sitting next to a stranger. "Pasta will help replenish your energy, if not necessarily your strength. You'd do well to eat it. Where'd you get the caste and how? Is it good? Terrible? Even if it's terrible, you may as well eat it, shame to waste food." Not -quite- rambling. Not quite sensical in her manners, either. Intrusive and not. But overwhelmingly? Curious. Outright, damn-right, gods'-right curious

Bell doesn't notice the newcomer until she's talking to him, that lost in thought is he. He takes a moment before answering, studying her intently. Evidently satisfied, he answers her queries in turn. "I earned the cast when I was forced to eject from my fighter at the conclusion of an engagement. A derelict ship's FTL core detonated near to my craft. The ejection handle caught on my glove, holding my hand in place while the charges detonated. Thankfully, the force of the explosion rendered me unconscious, so I was spared most of the pain." He twirls a bit of the pasta onto his fork, then sets it down. "It's chow. Civilians have a funny way of using 'chow' as a synonym for 'food' in general. It's not. Food is food. Chow is chow. No sense in complaining about it. Who are you?"

Ah, the suppertime crush. Tisiphone enters along with a stream of others, distracted by a black-bound book with no writing on its spine. She's got it balanced somewhat awkwardly against her cast as she reads, glancing up every few moments as if to will the line to move a little faster — or make sure nobody butts ahead of her.

Who she is? Isn't answered right immediately, though the logical path would be to answer the easiest answer last, and ask questions later. Or at least polite. Instead, Kai queries quickly, "Explosion? From a shot or from something else? How was the trajectory? What did it move and inflect upon? Distance? OOo, OOOO! Also, is that truly thankfully, being rendered unconscious? I heard unconsciousness does a number on the brain, depending on the method of joggling but more often than not detrimental if you're boxing and I imagine being hit by a blast given that I've made the very same would very much be like being hit by an insulated glove meant to spread over the width of the head rather than inflict open wounds." A breath, even if it isn't a gasp, and Kai continues onwards. "Chow. Food. Is there really a difference? Nutrients, then. Kai." Yep. That's her answer, one leg slung over the seat as the other cuddles against the inner portion of her thigh. "You?"

Malone steps in not too long after Tisiphone, heading in the direction of the line a bit thoughtfully. Humming something under his breath, a bit absently.

"Luckily, my Viper took the brunt of the blast. As for the details, I couldn't tell you. I was more focused on ensuring my safe return to Cerberus." He looks to the plate longingly. "There is, indeed, a difference, and if a month onboard hasn't taught it to you, I suspect you'll learn soon enough." He extends his non-injured hand. "Jeremiah Bell. You can call me Doc."

Kai mentions helpfully, "My entire family?" A single eyebrow arches as the story is told, "Is a doc. No offense, Bell, but you're outside family boundaries right here and now, see? And, it'd be odd to boot. How 'bout I just call you Bell - since you really are a far cry from the ballroom-dancing-flirtatious-lash-batting female type, and call it good?" A considerable pause is given the food on his plate, before eyes draw to the room - right interesting people here - and back at him. Pointedly. "Food's a think we take for granted. Like air. Or not being blown up. Or keeping a shiv out of one's kidney. Chow. Food. Gooey green splooge? It's all good. So what are you?" Huh. "Um, I mean besides human. Position, man, position! What is it?"

"Gods Above and Below, man. They're all the same. Just /take/ one." Tisiphone says this, with tired exasperation, to the fellow standing in front of her who flips through the first few wet trays in search of a dry one. She's shot a dirty look for her commentary, but it spurs him into grabbing a tray and moving into the food lineup — a moment later, she does the same.

Bell smiles wistfully. "I was a professor of philosophy at Caprica City University, and an adjunct professor at the Caprica Fleet Academy. Then my part-time job became full-time, and now I fly Vipers." He glances up momentarily, then back to the talkative sort beside him. "Well, no. Now I review flight data recorders until the doctors give me permission to get back in the cockpit. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, /non/?"

Malone pauses as he listens to the people in front of him, before he grabs his own tray, humming a bit louder now, even including a bit of whistling once in a while. Yes, someone's having a good day so far.

She too follows that glance, right straight up to Tisiphone, who is busy explaining the balance of the universe to an entirely too indecisive man. "Huh." Right, does he not get it? Kai has no idea, but sympathy? There's a spark of it for the woman she's staring at, before eyes switch away, squirming over the crowd as she answers Bell. "Might have fallen What constitutes might? I assume you do not mean strength, at least not in the traditional, bulging bicepts-throw-planets sense, yes?" A peek back at Bell, apologetic, and Kai coughs, "Not that I mean… Not that…" A blazing set of red dots surface and she's looking back at the crowd. Malone? Eyeballed, watched carefully, commentary for another. "Gods, you know. As it were, what kind of data do you sensor? What nuances are reported? Are you only back to the cockpit when your arm works or what? And, is it broken or are they just decorating you for your efforts?" There we go, eyes returning to the man at her side, complete with a lopsided grin.

Bell is less than amused, clearly. He eyes his cast with scorn. "I'm to go back in the cockpit when the doctors are satisfied that I've regained use. And quite frankly, I'm told it's a miracle the damn thing wasn't severed. Ms. Apostolos!" Bell calls to the pilot on line. "If there's anything there that grew on a vine or a tree, get me one."

Tisiphone takes advantage of the fact that people gather around (reconstituted, instant) mashed potatoes with (edible oil product, artificially-coloured) butter and (mechanically-separated, re-formed) chicken fingers more than the lentils and rice, and ducks ahead in the line. Her head snaps up at the sound of Bell's voice, turns to give him a sidelong look. A mute nod is thrown his way, and then she's skipped ahead again, to the end of the line where the fruit bowl and beverages await.

"And then he was like, 'blaw blaw blaw, article this, fleetpub that, blaw blaw.'" Just who the redhead is talking to isn't clear, but she's in line with Malone and Kai and the Tisiphone. Possibly them. She's been relating a story to the dinnertime crush in general since they merged in the hall. "So y'know, I said to him, y'know, look. I've got one week left here, we've already gotten our wings, y'know, and once I process back into my squadron it's another month before I've got a duty day. Somehow I think my boots are the last of your worries, kay?" Davis, more properly Ensign Hathor, rolls her eyes. "Gods, you know?"

Malone turns to look over at Davis as he hears that, stopping his whistling for the time being. "All very interesting," he offers, before he moves to get his food. Looking down at it for a few moments, then around the room rather carefully.

Harumph. Closed-mouth about the process as he is, a disapproving little… half-sniff (yes, that is in fact all she dares) is given the lack of information, and it is by sheer will alone that Bell isn't beaten upside the head with questions from the un-illustrious Kai. "Miracle or not, aren't you curious as to when it will be useful? Sure, the progress seems long to a patient, especially a persnickity man who'd rather be lecturing or flying than dealing with 'chow', but how can you let that hold you down?" And "Who's that?" The attention given Tisiphone clearly marking her out as a 'who's that' sort of gal. "Do you know other people here too?" Malone… This Davis girl… She's watching 'em all. "Also, what's a girl gotta do to disarm a bomb anyways? Is -everyone- going to keep their chaps shopped and let it ride like no molecular interaction with bi-particular freedom exists?"

Angelica comes strolling into the galley, "good food today, you think…well, food I'm sure." Shifting the bag at her side a bit. She glances around the room a couple times, as she rubs her hands together. "remember ketchup this time, yes don't forget that…" as she makes her way over towards the line.

A salad-bowl is filled with sliced orange wedges to the point of overbrimming. Tisiphone takes a step out of the line, then, looking back toward Davis and Malone. "You should've known better, man." This said to Davis, weary and wry. "Frakking boots. Daphne and I had a bet going whether /our/ parade ogre was going to measure the laces against the regs." Eyes roll heavenward, making her stitches twist against the side of her eye. She tips her head toward the throng of people and tables and starts making her way into the crush, heading toward Bell and Kai.

"That," Bell intones, "is one of the more talented pilots I've had the pleasure of flying with. And crashing with. As for the wrist… well, of course I'm curious. But my doctorate is rather less useful than the sorts that could answer that question." Persnickety? Who you callin' persnickety? "What in Hades are you referring to? A bomb?"

"Inorite??" Davis chirrups, looking back and forth between Tisiphone and Malone. The back of her hand goes to her forehead in exaspiration. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhmigod, what a bunch of dinks - yesplease, thankyou," she asides, grabbing some food when it's her turn. "Mmmmm, mashiemashies…"

Malone loads up some food, before he looks around for a place to seat himself now. Looking rather lost in thought at the moment. That whistling's back though. Can't be good, can it?

She moves for… well, for really the first time, long flowing dusty dress shoved slightly in between her legs, palms resting there as Kai leans forward. Whistfuly, no less. Until the sight of an oncoming woman has her asking through whispers, "No, seriously, who is -" She's talking over the man, but stops short, turning gaze to point very strongly at Bell. "Well, yes, of course. Bombs. Cablooey. Smash. Kaboom. Oopsi-daisy. These are what most say. Me? It's just a piece of cake. Figure out the ingredients, and the bake cycle, and you can eat it in no time without an inch gained to your waist." Brows draw downwards, one finger shoving into her locks, tugging lightly. "No, that's the wrong analogy. I cannot seem to get them straight. Yes, I know what an analogy and no sometimes I do not deliver them correctly, but for all that is holy if there ever be you must understand what I am saying: Bomb." A conclusion. The woman actually came to a conclusion. "You know everyone here?" Davis and Malone are not the only ones fingered in this crowd. "Being a professor, you have to have sharp memory, details and all." And a wave. To the strange woman speakin' 'bout her frakkin' boots. "Hey." A greeting. Off-handed. "Is it chow or food?" The populous must know.

Angelica crosses her arms, as she looks at the food of the day. Spying the ketchup…she scoops up a bottle of that right off. Slipping it into a pocket, she next gets a tray. "Should we start with desert…thats an idea…"

Tisiphone is undeniably talented at crashing, at least, given the stitches, the cast on her right arm, and the lingering stiffness in her left shoulder. At least she doesn't look like she took a trip through a martini shaker filled with space debris, anymore. Some people have issues eating next to a bruise collection. She clears a couple abandoned trays off Bell's and Kai's table, shoving them over to the next, then parks her behind on the chair next to Bell. "Professor," she greets him; to Kai, a steady though not necessarily unfriendly stare, followed by: "It's galley slop."

Bell raises his plastic cup of bug juice to Tisiphone at her declaration. "So say we all," he affirms, before draining some of the powder-mix. Then he's reaching for the bowl of orange slices. "The day they figure out how to make fruit out of algae, we'll all be frakked." A few slices later, to Kai, "Are you asking for a bomb to defuse? I'd be careful what you wish for, in all honesty."

And then, shortly after that toast Davis singsongs, "Ding dong Doc Bell!" She reaches up briefly to finger-wivvle at her fellow Snow Petrel. "Oh thanks you don't mind?" the broad-shouldered Ensign asks Tisi quickly, hardly waiting for one half or the other of a breath before sitting down beside her.

Making his way through the crowds over to where the other pilots seem to have gathered, he pauses for a few moments, "Room for one more here?" he asks, after a few moments of pause.

"It's been too long, in truth. I'm a little antsy. Senator Aishan was always rather good at forming a crowd that'd protect him and another to kill him and never was it necessary for his hiding, but I miss it, you know? Sad. Ok. And don't send me to any psychologist - I grew up with those, too, fraggit, and I know all the jargon - but I just miss the whole… I did it…. -thing-…." She finishes lamely. Fingers? Ok, well, it's not like it's the 'Hand' from the Addams family, but still a quasi-noodle finds its way into her mouth. From Bell's plate no less. "What's yer name?" To Tisiphone. No slang, per say, just lazy speech through some nomnomnom goodness. "And why do you consider it slop? I imagine they feed very well here, making quite certain their crews are very well fed and cared for, in order to prepare appropriately." A pause, consideration, down-turned brows… and Kai asks candidly, "This is not so?" And if the question is to their table? A grand gestured hand to the seat empty, even if she's looking at other people right now. Peerpeerpeer.

Angelica grabs some silverware and fills up a plate with various thing. She then makes her way over to one of the tables, and sets the tray down. Slipping her bag off, and hanging it on the back of her chair. She plops down into the chair, getting out the ketchup. Slapping the bottle on the bottom, she puts ketchup on pretty much everything.

If Bell takes the entire bowl of orange slices from Tisiphone's tray, she reaches over and takes about half of them back, one at a time. Otherwise, the cast-wearing Ensign seems unfazed by the fruit thievery. She gestures with her fork at an empty spot, beckoning Malone to sit. Davis gets a nod dipped to her and a, "Yeah, sit," as her attention turns to her own plate — the usual Mount Lentil formed there. After the first mouthful, she looks up at Kai, chewing slowly. Another few moments of staring before she says, "Tisiphone. Yours?"

"Ms. Hathor," Bell greets casually, inclining his head and offering the younger Petrel a smile. "How has the great black void been treating you since last we spoke? Any kills to report? The side of your Viper is looking somewhat… sparsely populated." He slides the plate of pasta over to rest in front of Kai, focusing on his fruit. One slice at a time.

Sitka strolls on into the galley with a coffee cup looped about two fingers, and in the process of lighting a cigarette dangling from his lips. The Captain's in his fatigues this evening, jacket habitually undone, dark hair habitually askew, like personal grooming isn't too high on his list of priorities.

"Err, Kai I s'pose-" And without breathe she pushes onward, "You get in that explosion with this'm?" A digit indicates Bell directly. "Can you tell me about it? Close-lipped and ornery 'bout his noodles, that's what he is." It's in tandem with Bell's words - somehow not disrespectful, not overlapping, perfectly in time without probably the intent to be. And punctuated by a second noodle finding her mouth by way of fingers. Chewed, as it were, voraciously, savored for far longer than most might, and without the drama to accompany it. Sitting with this conglomerate of oldies, Kai's just plum interested in meeting the new ones.

"Uhmmm, yeah," Davis murmurs, looking to casted-up Tisi and Malone who looks… Malonely. "About that." She's certainly avoiding Bell's gaze. "… Omigods mashies!!" she suddenly chirps, changing the subject from her distinct (ie, empty) kill list to the fact that her mouth is suddenly overstuffed with mashed taters. The fresh flier shrugs and points at her cheeks with a bewildered glance of wouldya-lookit-that.

Bell offers a salute to his squad leader across the room, but doesn't go so far as to shout. Instead, he sinks his teeth eagerly into another wedge of sweet, juicy orange. The conversation is allowed to ebb and flow around him.

Tisiphone's chewing slows further as Kai asks her question, her gaze sharpening from neutral appraisal to flintiness. She swallows, runs a tongue over her teeth, then says, "Someone made a dumb mistake and nearly killed a bunch of us killed." Pale brows lift in a sort of 'anything else?' challenge, eyes on Kai's for a beat or two before dropping back to her food. Mount Lentil's western face starts getting eroded with her fork. As she chews, "Frak, you and yer goddamn 'mashies'." The quotes are audible. "They're not even /real/, they're- they're /powder/." The logic has never worked before, and doubtless never will.

The Petrels' Captain happens to spot Bell's salute just as he's finished lighting his smoke, and is on his way to grab a cup of coffee. He offers a small smile in return, but also doesn't bother shouting a greeting across the room. Ducking his head, he stops off at the table with the coffee pot, and fills 'er up to the brim.

"Everyone makes mistakes, and nearly everyone makes mistakes that are detriments to others. Just as good-intentioned choices lead to death, decay, and chaos." A light shrug of her shoulders, and momentarily Kai's mouth is occupied by a few more noodles - she's stealthy and obvious at the same time, treasuring each before returning with - "To believe that death or injury could have been prevented is to discourse on the intent of what is behind it all, and to discourse on such would be to question the Gods themselves, also a very unwise move. Besides which, we all die. Would you rather suffer in bed with cancer riddled through your bones as you cough up blood and deficate on your comrades or die in battle in some sort of idealistic attempt to save a dying race?"

Bell stares at Kai. Just /stares/. For a good minute or so. Then, in his best 'Now-you-listen-to-me-young-miss' tone, "Certainly everyone dies. Does that mean that I, or my compatriots, want to die because of someone else's adolescent frakup, not three weeks after we narrowly escape being turned to radiation and dust? Of course not. This certainly /could/ have been prevented, by closer adherence to tactical doctrine and not getting so damned greedy." Blue eyes are locked, now, on the civilian. "You weren't there. You don't know what happened. Tread lightly."

"Mungmrnfh!" That's talking with your mouth full, albeit with lips sealed. Davis nods wide-eyed to Tisiphone in the place of words, which come after a big gulp of juice. "I know right! I tried real mashies once, it was so nasty, there were like clumps of potato in the mashies my god I thought somebody dumped some kittybox crunchies in there!" With a mischievous little giggle of "nee-heeh!" she casts a glance at each one still at their table, then looks down at her plate and whispers, "mmmmmashies…"

Tisiphone looks up from Mount Lentil, fork paused mid-shovelling. Her tongue touches a raw spot on her bottom lip as she looks across to Kai. The fork goes down, and she starts to speak, counting on her fingers as she does. "First: someone made a dumb mistake and nearly got a bunch of us killed. Anyone who was there-" Which you were NOT, the look clearly says, "-is aware of this. Second: Discussing this is, somehow, questioning the Gods? With all due politeness-" Which isn't much, considering that icy and very intent glitter. "-you have less than zero of an idea what you're talking about. Third: When you're out there dying instead of mouthing platitudes? We can continue this line of conversation."

The seat next to Bell, roughly midway through his chastisement of the civilian, is dragged out with Ibrahim's boot and subsequently claimed by the Captain's none too delicate frame. "Evening, Jer," he greets his fellow squadmate quietly. Davis and Tisiphone each get a small smile across the table, but he doesn't seem too keen on raising his voice over the already animated conversation in progress. Easing back in his chair, he brings the cigarette to his lips and listens in, an eyebrow raising slightly as he starts to get the gist of the conversation.

Kai says, "Desire to die or not to die is not a precursor to events, and even arguably with those suicidal just as much chance exists to eliminate or at least destroy the opportunity or chance or what have you to allow the circumstance to fully vet itself. And you're absolutely right: I wasn't there. Know where I was? Disarming bombs. Chance. It's all about chance. Chance that your finger twitches, that a drop of sweat drapes off your brow and niggles the wire in such a way as to activate - or deactivate - the very thing you are trying to disarm." Eyeballs find Davis, but her gaze is a galactic mile or more away. "You'll always have a 'could have', Bell. Always. What's the point from learning from your mistakes and the mistakes of others if you cannot see beyond what happened, and cannot foresee what could have happened instead? We would all be monkeys swept over by lava by now if we couldn't see the past, present, and future. "Why do you think I know less? Do you know who I am? What I studied? Where I come from? Arrogance and assumption are the bastards of death just as well as anything else." And a faint smile. -Faint-. "Died aplenty, lassie. Died aplenty. Just had too many doctors who disagreed, that's all.""

Angelica finishes off her meal, and slips the ketchup back into her pocket. She stretches out her arms a moment, before turning to dig around in her bag.

That's more or less when Davis figures out there's another conversation going on. Davis fills her mouth again with mashie taters, then twists in her seat looking around the chow hall for a familiar face. Oh look, there's the Captain! Sitka gets a little finger-wivvle from her, at Bell's table too. Hullo!

Bell's brow draws together, and he rubs at his goatee with his uninjured hand for a few long moments. Rather than respond, he takes a deep breath. Then another. "Abe," he greets his squad leader with a glance and a knowing nod. Then, back to Kai, a good deal more level-headed. "Ms. Kai. I do not question your courage, nor your fortitude. But just as I would not trivialize your victories or misfortunes, I ask that you pay the same respect to we and ours. It is precisely our inability to see what could have been that makes what /is/ so important."

"I think you know less because of the words that won't stop coming out of your mouth, that's what," Tisiphone replies, sleetstorm eyes still locked challengingly on Kai, across the table from her. "And, until you give me permission to call you 'dumb bint', I'd appreciate you knock it off with the 'lassie'. 'Ensign' works." A long and scornful look up and down the other woman's dress. "'Sir' does, too." Dilated pupils and tension through the bony shoulders and down her back, though her words remain very, very level. And still she doesn't look away.

"But that is the point, and nothing to trivialize: you state 'inability'. The ability to forecast events so perfectly that you could have saved yourself from injury, your comrades from death, your ships from destruction and humanity from it's present course is not within any human. So why should it be you? Why would you be the martyr? The Gallahad? The God Who Could Do All? Death is not to be trivialized, but respected, and by stating that you could have changed it is to underestimate your mates' efforts, as well as your own. Knowing you could have made different actions is one thing. -Thinking- your actions could have changed the outcome definitively is another. Sir." The 'sir' is to both, and for neither disrespectful. But Kai does not back down. Nor does she progress. Where she is is where she is, be it as it may. "To believe yourself capable of stopping what has already become is to deny the reality of what exists. Denial is never healthy, neither moving forward, existing, nor moving backwards."

Sitka blinks slowly, and a little owlishly, at the onslaught of words from the unfamiliar civilian, though affords her a polite enough — if distracted — nod as he smokes. His coffee's left to cool off a little, for the time being. "Hey, Davis," he addresses the pilot at the next table over, tipping his chair back so he can talk around Bell, "come grab me after your next shift, all right?"

Davis nods slowly to Sitka, and after a quick gulp of the last of her juice she shifts out of her chair. "Hmm, ah, I think the air conditioner's broke, it's getting steamy here…" She picks up her try, flashes a tense smile to those at the table, and slips away. Like the ghost of mashies past.

"To think that we couldn't have changed it is lunacy," Bell counters. "An FTL core blew up. We were too close. If we had been farther, we would not have been injured. That is deductive reasoning, plain and simple. No metaphysics required. Definitively, our actions caused a negative outcome." He shakes his head, eyes falling momentarily to the now-empty bowl of oranges. "You extrapolate too much. Of course I don't blame one man, certainly not myself, for the events of February the Twenty-Sixth. But I can, and do, blame myself and the others who were in the causal chain of events on March the Fourteenth for the fact that I am now unable to fulfill my purpose for the better part of two months."

"Seriously. Not a frakking /clue/." The contemptuous stare is finally flicked away as Tisiphone gives her head a faint, disgusted shake. She picks up her fork again, restlessly shifting her fingers on it before stabbing at Mount Lentil with the grudging listlessness of someone without an appetite. The fork-tines rattle against the plate, as if her hand is shaking, before she tries attacking a fresh cliffside in hopes of tastier results.

"Then blame me. Somehow, I did not make it to the FTL core, did not notify others of the impending explosion - me, no less than an expert in my field, and wise to the way of criminals and to the criminality of humanity - could not warn you nor your companions, your fighters, and certainly not in time. And you, of course, you would have known it. I mean, waking up that morning, you felt it, didn't you? Or you were warned what was to happen, and you just neglected what was to come. Forgot over grabbing some grub or sex or a workout, because your priorities were different than they are now. A perfect explanation." A pause, and no less serious, though without the exhalation to make her point more adamant than a mere statement she means, "Too many of those exist, and none the wiser to the element which lies beneath." No longer sneaking food - not that she's stealthy enough to hide such a 'feat' - Kai manages to suckle a few tainted fingertips plum clean of any afterclingingcarbs. A glance to the woman across from her, and it extends into longer and longer moments. "I know my field. And I know the intent of humans. And I know the intent of non-humans. I also know our capabilities and weaknesses. Convince me. Give me details on how, exactly, you could have known beforehand, -woman-. How you could have known and prevented what happened, and explain to me and explain to Bell and explain to this entire sitted area WHY. YOU. DID. NOTHING." A challenge. But not mean-spirited. Not provoking. Demanding.

Sitka remains mostly quiet during the exchange between Kai and the two other pilots, blue eyes ticking slowly between the various conversants, and occasionally to the dish where he ashes his cigarette. Finally, with that last challenge-not-a-challenge put forth, he clears his throat quietly and attempts to catch the civilian's eyes with his own. Yes, eye contact from the Saggie. "I don't mean any disrespect, miss, but, uh.. to be frank, you're just coming off as rather stupid. Ignorance is one thing, and I'm sure one of these fine officers will be happy to give you the full story, if that's what you're looking for. Otherwise, could you back off, please?"

"Belay that, Ensign. You will do nothing of the sort." Bell snaps back into focus, a glance to Kai and Tisiphone each before he settles on Sitka. "This conversation is concluded. We are two persons, the Ensign and I, who are prevented from doing our jobs. You would have us accept this with glee. On this, we will have to agree to disagree."

Tisiphone's fork stutters across her plate again as she tries to shovel up a mouthful. She shoves it forward, leaving it sunk into the avalanching west face of Mount Lentil, pushing the tray forward as well. She gaze she slashes up from the tray to Kai is the sort of black and murderous look befitting her namesake; the sort of look someone has after weighing the pros and cons of trying to beat someone with their own cast, and deciding in favour of the beating. She's opening her mouth to speak when Bell snaps his words out, leaving her like a gaffed fish for a beat. Tendons stand out in her neck for a second as she swallows, forces her gaze down to the floor, elbows propped on the table, fingers against the back of her head.

A faint smile though there is no humor within, a slight shrug of her shoulder that ripples the tattered cloth clinging, and she's moving upwards at Sitka's suggestion. "Consider it done, sir. " Respectful, and nothing more or less. But she spares a long look at both that are named: Bell and Tisiphone. "No. I would not have you accept this with glee. I would have you accept this with the graveness that it is deserved. You lived, and you lived for a purpose. You did not live because you could have foreseen it: you can't have, and such thought is wasted and occupies time you could be using to learn from it. Thinking to strategy and the future, and how you can use what you have learned, your injuries, and the deaths of your mates to move forward. Otherwise, you have just wasted the gift you were given, and that which from few will be spared. A -waste-," looking at his food, then to Bell's face, and then away as her leg unwraps from the seat, "Is a waste. A greater sin there be none, be there any. You lost the use of your arm. Others lost their lives. And still many others live. What future do you choose, Bell? That of total annihilation? That of self-pity and gross self-reflection?" Sharp, piercing eyes switch to Tisiphone, grinding into her own. "Pride? Pride of knowledge and experience when no knowledge of others prods you forward? Or that of action built from knowledge, built from true, brewing power?" Another pause. "You are both clearly powerful in spirit, and skilled in being, or you would not be here." Each word meant as clear and true as the stars shine bright out the bow and the pasta sinks without the reality of wheat and egg and salt. "It is not the lack of skill that kept others from joining, Bell. Sir." Tisiphone. "So why do you fight reality? Why in -truth-?"

Sitka sets down his coffee cup, rests his cigarette on the edge of the ashtray, and pushes to his feet slowly when Kai rises— but continues talking, rather than leaving. "Miss." That's not so much imploring, as he was a moment ago, as his command-y voice. The sort of thing they teach in Captain school. "I think this conversation's concluded." It's spoken somewhat tautly, and he has the physical bulk to back it up. Eye contact, too, is held rather steadily.

Bony shoulders rise shudderingly, hold for a count of three, then sink. The process repeats itself several times as Kai's words continue to roll forth. Stubby, ragged-chewed fingernails scratch short pink lines against the back of Tisiphone's shorn scalp as she curls and uncurls them, again and again. "I'm not looking up until she's gone," she tells the floor. The sound of a thick swallow.

"Ensign. On me," Bell orders simply, leaving the plate of chow for Kai to pick at and collecting the rest of his refuse onto his tray. "We have some flight data to review, if I recall correctly." He rises from the table, gripping the edge of the tray with his good hand and balancing the weight on his cast.

"And I'm gone, at least moving in physicality." A pause, "Not entirely unhappy to disrupt your medium of peace, sir, though I have no tact according to quite… well, everyone. Heal well. Fight another day." It isn't a dismissal, like 'and all that' tacked on would have otherwise indicated. She means it. But she isn't so dense that Kai'll stick around making everyone miserable until the end of time. Unmindful of the skirts which coil around, it's towards the galley doors the woman swings, outwards with a nod to Sitka. She took his order, no question, but she also took Tisiphone's, worded even differently. A shake of her head. "You can stay. Be." Exist. She's finally got the hint. Out the door Kai moves, until out of earshot and eye gaze.

Sitka waits until the civilian's gone, then sinks back into his chair with a slight shake of his head. Ye gads. The cigarette is brought to his lips again, and dragged from with alacrity.

Bell settles back down at the woman's departure. "I'll give you an 'A' for self control, there, Tisiphone." Using her name? Whaaaa? The world is topsy turvy.

"Thanks. I even deserve this one." Tisiphone's voice is thready, and cracks at the end, leading into a cough. It takes another two breaths before the third one pulls her head back up, looking half-drunk on adrenaline. "Mother of the gods." She puts clammy fingers to the back of her neck and coughs again.

There's a slight smile from the Captain, and then a habitual glancing at his watch while the pair of pilots converse. Shit. "Guess I'd better make my patrol," he murmurs. "Someone's got to keep an eye on those gravediggers. You two take it easy, all right?" His cigarette's stubbed out, but held onto as he starts back to his feet again.

Bell offers a salute to the Captain. "Thanks for the bailout, Abe. Don't know if we could have taken her on our own."

"Yeah. Thanks," echoes Tisiphone, still rubbing at the back of her neck and looking faintly dizzied. "That was- frak, I don't know what the frak that was." Her eyes follow Sitka as he departs, then drop down to her plate of cold lentils. Godsdammitall.

It's hard to say whether that was sarcasm or not. Ibrahim, mellow fellow that he is, seems to err on the side of not, and gives Bell's shoulder a squeeze on his way out— and Tisiphone, a subdued little smile. Then he's gone.

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