PHD #324: Ebb and Flow
Ebb and Flow
Summary: Just another day in the News Room during which Sawyer teams up with Kincaid again in politics and Nataly somehow gets an internship.
Date: 16 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: The Library of Hard Knocks (Sawyer and Nataly's first meeting) and A Delicate Inquiry (Piers Rene-Marie is raising Red Flags).
Sawyer Kincaid Nataly 
News Room - Deck 3
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
This room isn't huge by any means, but it does have all the updated equipment and a small news staff that runs the area.
Post-Holocaust Day: #324

You'd think the news room would be humming following the execution of an Admiral, but it's surprisingly…quiet. If anyone else actually works here, they've been unceremoniously sent away by the woman who rules this particular roost. Said woman is tucked in the sling of her hammock, one leg hanging over the side which idly keeps her swinging. There's a glass resting on her knee, the amber liquid within sloshing quietly with each slow sway.

Danny Kincaid has tried one case in his life. He's lost — well, one case in his life. But that isn't what he's here for — it isn't what he's focused on at the moment. "Hey, Sawyer." He takes an envelope from inside his shirt pocket and passes it off to her, dropping it onto the desk. "Don't you hate how confidential Fleet intelligence memoranda happen to find their way to you through completely anonymous sources?"

There's a slow smile for one of her oldest friends, surprising how short that list is getting with each new death in the fleet. "Danny." Sawyer greets with a hoarse voice, leaning over to rest her glass elsewhere. She clears away the cobwebs in her throat with a harsh sound and then rocks herself smoothly out of the hammock and back to her feet. "If I had a cubit for everytime I had call support and beg them to take me off of the distribution list…good thing I don't mind being poor." Smile quirks to a smirk and she reaches over to finger the envelope off the desk. The hexagonal paper within gets slipped out and quickly scanned for a silent moment. "Piers. What have you gotten yourself into this time." She mutters, then flicks her gaze up to Kincaid. "How long have you known he was military?"

Kincaid lifts his shoulders into an expansive shrug. "Dots got connected a week or so ago when I got a chance to do some more digging into his past with Langer," explains the detective. He goes to perch himself on the edge of the news desk, taking out a cig and lighter for himself. He offers the pack to Sawyer. "I really don't know if he's still military. That was a guess. But it'd be a shame if this got leaked." He nods to the memo.

Sawyer makes a little disgusted sound in the back of her throat, practically slapping the memorandum back down to her desk. "So you figure him for a military plant to pull the wool over the QUODEL's eyes about budget and supply. And in the same memo you say you fear for his safety should his identity be discovered now and then you want me to…leak it. And see to it that exactly what you 'feared' comes to light? Let me know if I'm following you here, Danny."

A long pause. Kincaid pinches the ridge of his nose. "Sawyer, I don't think he's a military plant. I doubt those in the military here actually know that he was Fleet; I doubt they ever got briefed on him." He takes a drag on his cigarette, looking up at the ceiling. "But this is my way to attempt to undermine his power base, to turn his followers against him. I doubt he'll actually get attacked. But he's not a good person, Sawyer. He's not. Even if he's saying things that people need to say."

Sawyer finally takes a cigarette from the pack he offered her, fingers looking a little twitchy as she snags it. "If I'm going to do this," Sawyer tucks the roll between her lips, the thing sticking by virtue of the paper adhearing to the trace amounts of saliva moistening her lips, "then I'm going to do it my way." Her fingers comb back through her hair, pulling the blonde fringe away from her face. Today she looks older than her years. Tomorrow, she'll cleverly cover up the shadows with the application of makeup. "I'm not going to just feed him to the mob."

"Look. I came to you because I knew you'd do this smart, Sawyer. I wouldn't want anyone in on this other than you. Least of all the folks I report to. I know it's distasteful, but this guy has been playing politics like no one's business. We need to play politics back. There's nothing dishonorable about playing the system. You believe me when I say that this guy is worth taking down?" Kincaid looks down at his best friend now, trying to meet her eyes. "You trust me on that?"

Sawyer continues mumbling around her cigarette, now that her hands are occupied with trying to gather her hair into a ponytail. She cut it not too long ago, so it's back to being just a short shock at the crown of her head which she secures with a quick wind or two of an elastic band. "I believe that you believe he needs to be taken down, yes. Trust is a whole other matter." Finally she reaches for his lighter, and after there's a cherry puffed to life, and a long drag taken, she's finally pulling the cigarette from her mouth so she can speak more freely. "I never used to trust anybody, least of all myself." There's a pause as she scratches the side of her nose with her thumbnail. "Don't ask me create propaganda, Danny. I won't do it."

The newsroom is virtually empty. If anyone else still claims to work here, they've been dismissed for the day by the momma bird that runs the place. The mamma bird named Sawyer who actually roosts in the News Room, too. She's currently standing not far off from her hammock in the corner talking to Kincaid who sits on the edge of one of the desks. This late hour, there's only a pool of light near the journalist's sleeping arrangements.

Kincaid blows smoke into the air, then taking another drag on his cigarette. "I'm not asking you to create propaganda, Sawyer. I'm asking you to help me out-maneuver this bastard. I'm asking you to help me beat him at his own game. Because if we let him be the face of civilian leadership? Then we're going to be frakked. We need people like Rose Ibhanas, not Piers Rene-Marie." He shakes his head. "And you know, I get what you're saying? But I wish you'd trust me. I thought we were a team."

Sawyer reaches out a hand to mop at Kincaid's hair. "I trust you." The words come out thick, as if it's not a phrase the woman commonly uses. He might as well have just asked her to drop the 'L' word for all intents and purposes. "And you know how much I despise politics." Smoke curls out from her nostrils like a sleeping dragon as she ponders everything they've discussed tonight. "I'll move on this as soon as possible." And then she's moving to sweep that damning envelope off her desk and into one of the drawers.

The hatch opens and in walks that damn kid, carrying a small bag and accompanied as always by an MP, who is talking to her. "Ok, kid, here it is, but don't take too long, we gotta be getting you back to Elpis soon." Nataly is nodding as she glances about, but then freezes when she sees Sawyer and Kincaid. "Oh, uh, sorry. Just wanted to see the news room…"

Kincaid leans into the ruffle of hair, quirking his little quirky grin over at the reporter. "I know you do, Sawyer. But you love this Fleet. And sometimes you've got to do stuff you hate for the people you love." And then he turns to the opening hatch, towards the MP with the kid. "It's all right, Private," he tells his colleague. "I'll get her back into the assembly area for the shuttle back. You can take off. Bet you've got better stuff to do than follow a curious kid around."

Sawyer kicks the drawer shut with a *CLANG*, perhaps a little bit more forceful than necessary as it punctuates the entrance of Nataly. "You should ask for your Credit back, your tour guide didn't bring you during visiting hours." She responds dryly to Nataly before she bends over and locks the drawer with a quick click of a key that then disappears back in her pocket. "If you want to work here, you'll have to get the proper clearances from the MPs as a contractor." And then she could ditch the MP babysitter, but Sawyer fails to expound on that. "There's a free desk in the corner in the back." Even though there looks to be plenty of other free ones in more optimal realestate of the room, closer to the copier and dark room, etc. "And you only touch the supplies that are assigned to you. By me." Did the journalist just offer her the job? Maybe. Sawyer looks back to Kincaid, a twitch of a smile at the corner of her mouth. "And how much do you absolutely hate me right now?"

Nataly's mouth falls open as the MP leaps at the opportunity to be free of babysitting duty, and Sawyer seems to offer her a job. Just like that? Her eyes go to the desk, back to Sawyer, to Kincaid, back to the desk, and then back to Kincaid. "Wait… you're Lance Corporal Kincaid, right? The one who defended Admiral Abbot?"

"The woman's a twenty-nine year-old journalist, and you'd think that she was editor-in-chief at the Caprican Times — " Which is roughly the stature of the New York Times. " — before everything happened." But Kincaid says it with a smirk and a smile. It's affectionate ribbing. He holds out his hand to Nataly, offering it to shake. "In the flesh. Nice to meet you, Miss …" He trails off. Add your name here.

"Don't look so shocked. This way I can at least keep a damnable eye on you." Sawyer mutters at Nataly, stepping away from Kincaid to go retrieve her drink from where it was propped by her hammock. Yes it's alcoholic. But technically it's after hours. "Maybe not before everything happened, but I damn well am now. Editor-in-chief. That has a nice ring to it. Still a step down from President Averies and Vice-President Kincaid." Is she kidding? Hard to tell, really. "This is Nataly, the newest thorn in my side. Nataly, stow the crap at least for tonight. Danny's here as my guest, not to play a game of twenty questions."

"I… uh… but…" Check out Miss Teen Loquacious. "Uh, ok. Yeah, what she said. I'm Nataly Rassvet, from over on Elpis, Tauron before that…" Nataly looks back at the desk, still operating at just about four poses ago. "I was over for some training and…" she takes a deep breath. "Sorry to interrupt, I could probably chase down that MP, if you don't feel like being saddled with me."

Kincaid shakes his head. "It's fine, Nataly. A mentee of Sawyer's is a friend of mine. I'll do your background check interview and get you hooked up civilian contractor credentials so that you don't need an MP to walk you around here all the time." Apparently, the two of them have some sort of deal going here, Sawyer and Kincaid. "Assuming you want the job, that is."

Sawyer makes a little noise in the back of her throat right before she takes a sip of her whiskey. It sounds like a grunt. But then again Sawyer's been a little surly since Abbot's trial. "My hero." She says flatly to Kincaid before sinking into a chair near him. Her bare feet get propped up on the desk next to the MP, "One big happy family."

"Yeah, about that…" Nataly says, still trying to catch up. "I'm sorry, Kincaid, if this is rude, and I don't mean to ignore you, at all, but…" her attention swings to Sawyer. "Why? Just yesterday you were saying that I should go and…" she pales. "You're gonna have me write a column on needlepoint, aren't you?"

Kincaid holds up his hand. "No worries, Nataly. I ask her that all the time." He smiles over at Sawyer and arches an eyebrow. "But, hey, Sawyer. You can be wry at me all you want, but would you prefer if Miss Nataly here had to go through the normal credential process? Get her folder shoved at the bottom of a massive pile done by MP's who would rather stand sentry than do background checks?"

"You have to start somewhere." Comes the only half-teasing response to the inquiry about needlepoint. "Like I said, it's so I can keep an eye on you. Someone convinced me to give you a chance, just so you don't shit all over yourself and my profession in the process." Sawyer's tells Nataly before her foot nudges Kincaid. "Push it through, push it through. And be nice to me, you big brute, or I'll do something really awful like cry and then you'll be enslaved to me forever. We should see if we can wrangle her a bunk in Guest Quarters too." Because Sawyer soooo isn't sharing her hammock.

Nataly techincally hasn't accepted, yet, but is finding it difficult to directly contradict the ongoing discussion of her being brought on board. After all, she really wanted this, not twenty-four hours ago. "I… I would have to stay on Elpis. I'm taking care of my aunt, and she isn't doing so well, recently…" she glances back to the desk in the corner. "Captain Ryder will vouch for me, if you need. He kinda led the survivors I was with on Tauron. Or Lt. Vandenberg, if an MP would be better. I've been working with her, too."

"Lieutenant Vandenberg is our training officer, not Military Police, but we'll let that one slide where you learn the hierarchy, kid." Kincaid flashes a grin. "I'm real sorry to hear about your Aunt, though." He at least manages to work that into the rapid-fire banter going on about her future. "And if Sawyer here vouches for you, that's pretty much got it settled for me. Captain Ryder. He's the doctor we picked up on Tauron, right?"

"I believe so." Sawyer murmurs into her glass, taking another sip. Likely she's a little fuzzy around the edges but she can hold her liquor and the effects of the alcohol aren't readily apparent beyond the casual lounge she's taken up. "I have no problem with you staying on the Elpis, but you'll be separated from the Cerberus should the ship move to Condition Two. Yeah," There's a crinkle of paper as it burns down with another drag. "For the time being, I'll vouch for her. Pending she actually sticks around. So what about it, kid?"

Running, running, running, stop. Moment of truth time. "I… uh…" her first instinct is to run to somebody, anybody, and ask them what they thought. This was kinda huge, after all. But what the hell, she was eighteen now, a woman, and needed to start claiming this stuff. Besides, if she was earning for herself and Aunt Cicely, this would be lightyears better than whatever Hydroponics shifts she could swing for herself. "Ok," she says, and then takes a breath and repeats herself so as to sound more sure. "Yeah. I'll do it."

"Having someone on Elpis when it goes to Condition Two isn't such a bad thing, Sawyer." Aw, look. Kincaid is actually standing up for the kid now. Or at least selling her a bit. "Civilians are a big part of the Fleet now, at least as far as the dynamics of things. You need a civilian correspondent there while you're here. Get all angles on the coverage, you know?"

"Aw, look at you going to bat for her. I'm beginning you think you have a soft spot for newsies. And here I thought it was just for me." There's an exasperated sigh, far too dramatic to be realistic. Sawyer's feet slip off the edge of the desk, allowing her to rummage in the lap drawer. "As soon as you get cleared by Kincaid here, come back by and I'll give you this." She holds up the laminated ID badge that clearly says PRESS on it. "After. We go over some ground rules."

"Rules." Nataly repeats, absent-mindedly pulling her notebook out of her overalls bib pocket, opening it with a small smile at Kincaid. "Like, uh, Boss Lady prefers her coffee with sugar and two creams, 5 minutes before shift starts?"

Kincaid shrugs his shoulders. "Maybe I like newsies. Maybe I just like giving you a hard time. Maybe it's the two of them combined, in which case Nataly here is a double threat." He crushes his cigarette out in a nearby ashtray. "Or maybe I just actually knew something about news reporting before I gave it all up to carry a gun and be The Man. All possibilities. Who knows, though?"

There is a bark of laughter from the woman who has otherwise lacked much mirth this evening. "Next time, next time." Sawyer gives Nataly a 'calm down' gesture. "First you have to clear the red tape. Then we talk shop. Frankly I'm in no position tonight. I'm thinking of crawling in to bed and sleeping until the /next/ holocaust." She slips to her feet, abandoning her drink on the desk. "Danny here was just like me before the bombs fell. Old habits die hard." She leans over the man, giving him an affectionate kiss to the forehead. "Alright. Out of here, both of you. Get her ass on the next shuttle back to the Elpis and I'll go curl up with a nice story about a Virgan man with fancy scarves."

Nataly has gone from scared to confused to excited in a relatively short period of time. "Ok, and yes, ma'am." She then gives Kincaid a hug. "Ok! Wow, wasn't expecting this. Guess I'm glad I interrupted you." She is looking around in a hurry, as if to take this all in, but then gives Sawyer a smile. "Careful, that sounds like that Rene-Marie guy. Probably easy on the eyes, but then he talks and you're all caught up in how slappable his face looks." She grins. "I have some of… my aunts… Caprican Romance Novels, if you'd prefer the swooning to the slapping."

Kincaid looks confused at the hug, but returns it with an odd, awkward sort of patting motion to the girl's back. "Yeah. Absolutely." Pat. Pat. "Just trying to make sure the Fleet is getting good info, that's all." He then releases the girl and glances over at the reporter nearby. "Sleep tight, Sawyer." He leans up and returns the kiss to the forehead with a kiss to her cheek. "Come on, Nataly." He pats the younger girl on the shoulder. "I'll get you back to the shuttle."

"Sorright. I've got first hand access to A grade porn, but you might want to consider putting those novels on the book exchange. It keeps reading material fresh." Sawyer turns her back on them both, trusting that they can see themselves out. "Goodnight."

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