PHD #287: EVENT - Elpis Ascendant
PHD #287: EVENT - Elpis Ascendant
Summary: Rose and Colonel Pewter give some words on the official christening of the MV Elpis.
Date: 10 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: All of hydroponics and freighter logs leading up to this point!
Damon Lunair Marko Pewter Rose Samuel Vandenberg 
Hydroponics - MV Elpis
Scene desc in log.
Post-Holocaust Day: #286

Encompassing most of the port cargo pod, this area has been reconfigured to host a massive hydroponics operation. A latticework of catwalks and narrow ladders, pipes and transparent plastic enclosures, and grow-lighting surrounds rows upon rows of vegetables at varying stages of growth. Evenly-distributed pump machinery rumbles and clatters along, pumping nutrition-enriched water throughout the quietly moving system. A small portion of the hydroponics area deals with the cultivation of seedlings, providing a plastic membrane for the young plants until they have larger root systems. Rows of tanks line the outside wall, apparently some sort of algae growing facility - greens, ambers, and reds all cast a colorful tint. And at the fore area of the pod, many bins and tables and several refrigeration and packaging stations have been set up to handle the processing of vegetables harvested from this constant process.

There are workers here at seemingly all hours, monitoring the machines and the flow of life-giving water to the thousands of plants, transplanting new seedlings, or harvesting and packaging vegetables that have grown to maturity. At all hours, the facility is guarded.

A small set of rooms at the fore of the hydroponics bay houses a triage and first aid treatment center. The freighter's sickbay is a minimal affair, containing a few beds and some basic equipment. A front desk is staffed by a corpsman at all times, and there's a small waiting area consisting of plastic chairs and some old magazines. A small office, shared by the doctors and nurses who work here, stands privately off to the side, where patient files are kept under lock and key.

Set in the middle 'courtyard' area between main hydroponics and the triage area, room has been set aside for rows of chairs and several fold-out tables. At the head of where the chairs and tables are facing is a makeshift dais where several military dignitaries will be seated, as well as a microphone stand and portable PA system. Set on the tables is a variety of refreshments, most of which comes from donated Cerberus stores, but a small selection seems to consist of the first experimental harvest from the hydroponics efforts: slices of peppers, cubed up carrots and potatoes, and even tomato slices. There is even a limited amount of algae paste, which has been chilled and salted to be used as a sort of "chip dip" - what's to replace as rations in case of an emergency. The adult beverages appear to be provided by Aquarian Pete's new bar - also aboard the Elpis.

Rose is standing up by the dais, dressed professionally and in a white lab coat, chatting lightly with a few folks while the rest trickle in. The population already here is primarily composed of civilians and deckhands from Cerberus, those of which have either volunteered to work in hydroponics or have had an instrumental part in fabricating this impressive feat of engineering.

Vandenberg is neither a dignitary or someone involved in the project. But the Marine officership needs to be represented. Besides, the Liuetenant has plans of her own. Sh'es in her dress greys for the event and has seated herself among the rest of the crowd with a couple slices of fresh tomato (OMGNOM) on a plate. She'll wait patiently.

Pewter is just arriving in the bay, the rotund colonel done up in his dress grays for the occasion. The XO theoretically minding the store on Cerberus herself tonight. He makes his way direct up toward the dais, grinning a toothy grin at Rose as he observes the table. "Quite a spread. Quite a spread indeed, if I may say."

Lunair couldn't not show up. Not since the garden started out of her loathing of fleet peaches and wanting to nibble on SOMETHING. She has her dress greys, most of her civilian garb likely donated. She smiles, seeing Pewter here. She wanders though, to see who is here, what is out and - wow, things are growing and samples are out. She's definitely pleased, purple eyes bright. She smiles, even more - on seeing Rose. She looks amused and waves to Vandenberg too. "Hello sir," She greets softly.

Disengaging politely from her previous conversation, Rose smiles up at the Colonel. Her glasses are folded and tucked into the pocket of her white lab jacket. "Well, sir, what you see there is the future of the fleet's foodstuffs. I hope you like vegetables, because our diet is going to be primarily what you see there. Of course, once things are fully functional around here, I'm sure we can introduce a little variety here and there…"

"Are those peppers?" Damon asks, his voice far louder than necessary as per usual. "That is frakking awesome. Man. Peppers." He picks up a slice and crunches on it. He even tries dipping it in the algae paste, which he doesn't seem to mind too much from the pensive look on his face. The Chief is also in his dress grays and moves about the room chatting with various people for a couple minutes at a time.

"Lunair," Van greets the Jig wit han easy smile. She waggles her fingers at the other officer and goes to take a big ol bite from the tomato. "You've gotta try these. They're fantastic."

Also wearing his dress grays for the moment, and looking a bit uncomfortable wearing that, Samuel looks around the area a bit thoughtfully, studying the various people carefully for the moment.

"Wouldn't mind some meat to mix in, I got to admit," Pewter observes, looking over the table again. Gaze pausing on the algae, which makes him squint from behind his spectacles. "But fresh greens never looked so good as they do right now. Does a body good to see living things growing again. Yes, Ma'am. Does one right good."

There ARE peppers. Lunair is pleased, to see people and - it's so big! She smiles at Van and wiggles fingers back. "Yeah, they were one of the first plants we started with. Tillman loves them," She comments, but will move to try a slice regardless. "How are you? Look at this turnout, I'm so glad." Sam gets a little smile and a nod too.

"Yep! Growin the greens is a big step. Gotta love this stuff. Cans just aren't nearly as good. I wish I could eat a tomato like an apple. Tap a little salt on it?" Vandenberg looks like she might melt in her chair, sitting back and crossing her legs with a divine smile.

"I'm glad you think so, sir," Rose says, smiling up to the impressively large man, hands clasped in front of her very tightly. Anxiety much? She peers around the Colonel's form at the throng of people - more people arriving, too. She swallows an audible 'gulp'. "Um, sir, perhaps we should get started? The sooner this public speaking part is over, the better, I think." She blinks owlishly, peering about; for someone who's been blind the greater part of six months, everything is very vivid and real to her, now.

Damon slides away from the crowd for one moment to make his way over to Rose. "Hey," he says with a boyish smile. "Everything looks great. You're gonna knock 'em dead. Good luck." Since the Colonel's standing right there, he only gives her a wink; the CO gets a respectful nod and a, "Sir."

Samuel still keeps on moving along at the back of the crowd for now, not speaking and otherwise looking like a quiet and uncomfortably dressed person.

Lunair nods, seeming to agree. Van's smile provokes one on Lunair. "Yeah, I know, right? The fleet peaches and I have an on going rivalry," She admits with a pout and a sigh. She doesn't seem offended when Sam doesn't nod back at least. She allows her gaze to settle on Rose, Damon and Pewter then. All quiet, dignified smiles tonight - Lun's in a good mood.

Pewter lets out a hearty belly laugh, reaching over to clasp Rose's shoulder in a fatherly sort of way. "Good crowd, Ma'am. Fine crowd. But best not keep them waiting. Folks waiting for refreshments'll get more restless than a tick on a Leonis bull in summer time." Whatever that means. Rose is given the floor and he takes his seat with the dignitaries.

Rose, not having seen Damon in quite a while, what, with the freighter going online and other schedule busy-ness. Likely a few days since her eye operation. She closes her eyes when she hears him talking, smiling - yes, it's him. "Sorry, bad habit," she murmurs as she passes him, peering up at his face. "Still listening more than seeing. Wait for me?" And she passes by, heading for the steps to the dais - plucking out her thick black-framed glasses from her lab coat and putting them on before she does so.

She approaches the microphone stand and taps on it gently, making that 'tup tup tup' sound. No feedback! That causes her to smile. "Um, everyone? We'd like to say a few things before the christening ceremony begins." Giving folks a chance to get settled and hush, she produces a folded piece of paper from her coat pocket and unfolds it.

"You'll have to forgive me, I've just gotten my eyesight back a week ago or so and I'm not very good at this reading thing just yet, never mind in front of a… large… audience…" She trails off, eyes going wide, looking at the assembled folk. Gulp. Look at paper, Rose, look at paper. "Um, first, I'd like to thank everyone for coming. Most of you here have had a hand in the creation of this place, one way or another. This ceremony is to commemorate the 'Motor Vessel' Elpis and officially welcome her to the fleet." She pauses at that, letting folks get the applause and cheers out. She puts on a small smile, glancing nervously off to the side towards Damon, but then she taps into her courage reserve and keeps going.

"A few people get my personal thanks. First, Colonel Andrus Pewter and the command staff of the Cerberus, for if it wasn't for their green light this project would never have gotten off the ground." She nods at the Colonel and flashes a quick smile, but continues on. "Dr. Aurora Rourke and Lieutenant Raine Lunair, who are accredited with the spearheading of this project long before I even came aboard. Chief Andreas Damon -" She pauses briefly, glancing to Damon again. He gets his own smile. "- and the entirety of the deck crew, for if they did not exist, this freighter - our new home - would not exist… our futures as productive and healthy citizens would not exist. Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh, for her keen interest in the program and a kind heart. And finally, Dr. Cameron Adair, for whom I will forever be eternally grateful for returning my sight to me, allowing me to assist in administrating this facility without handicap. Thank you, one and all. Oh, and anyone else I forgot!"

Allowing for applause, she turns away from the crowd, trying to hide that tears are streaming down her face - tears of joy. Once she finds her composure, she turns back, saying into the microphone, "I now turn the floor to Colonel Pewter for a few words. Colonel?" And she's quick to take her seat and fish out a tissue.

"Always," Damon replies to Rose as she head off to the dais to speechify. He listens, smiles, and claps at the appropriate times - no wild hooting or cheering this time - though he waves away the thanks when his own name is called, nodding emphatically when she says 'deck crew'.

Daw. Lunair is pleased to watch Damon and Rose. She listens to the speech quietly, blushing when her name is mentioned. Ah, spoiled Canceron vs. fleet peaches. Funny how projects get started. She shies away if anyone look her way - though she joins in nodding and clapping, a smile forever on her lips this evening. It's hard not to be happy, especially at the news of Rose' sight returning.

Marko manages, though just barely, to make it in time for the opening remarks. Not wanting to cause a fuss due to his near tardiness, the young ECO picks out a quiet spot near the drinks table to sit out Rose and Damon's opening statements, which he does while sipping something orange-ish tasting and nippy with alcohol. His wife's daw always brings a smile to his face and before the Colonel can get started, he nabs another glass for her and makes his way to her side.

Samuel adds to the applauds as he hears them start, looking around a bit more carefully now. Offering a grin over at those he knows that was mentioned.

Pewter adds to the applause heartily, big hands clapping together, and stands with a grunt when Rose is done. Getting up to the microphone. "Now, now, I won't make this long. I'm sure we all want to share in some of the good greens and all we've got laid out here," he says, booming voice filling the room. It has a merry ring to it tonight. "I ain't got much to say anyhow, excepting it's my great pleasure and honor to welcome this here ship to our Fleet. We ain't had much to celebrate since Warday, but we got something today, and it's more than just a place to grow some vegetables. This ship's a home to people who ain't had none in lots of months. But more than that, it's progress. It's a step forward. Building this meant we all believe there might be some kind of future out there for us. And that's a mighty fine thing, indeed.

"Now, I was never much on the classics back in my schooling, but I remember this much. Elpis means something. Name means hope. Personification of hope. This old bucket may not be pretty in places, but there's hope in her, and I'm damn proud to have that flying with us. Now, dig in!" And with that, he leaves the mic. Old man wants to fix a plate.

Vandenberg waits until the end and lets off a solid amount of applause, the woman smiling. She hasn't been with the fleet that long but she can definitely understand what it all means. As people begin to rise from their seats, she slowly moves from hers but doesn't head towards the tables just yet. The Lieutenant moves off to the side and holds her now-empty plate lightly in two hands. She looks like she's just waiting for someone or something.

Lunair pauses. Husbandovision - ACTIVATE. And there's Marko! She smiles, seeing him too and waits for him, so there's no fuss from her shuffling about. She will join the applause after Pewter, pleased as punch at the speech.. The civvies are happy and everything is coming up awesome. She looks to Van too. Beam. "Oh, thank you dear. We should load up and say hi to Rose and Damon huh? How are you? I get to come here AND see my husband," Everything is coming up Lunair! Heck yeah.

"Heh, good to see you too." Marko smiles to Lunair as he passes her the glass. "I have no idea what this is, but it tastes good." he chuckles. "Just be careful with it, when they're not serving it to the customers at that bar, I got a feeling they're using it to clean stuff." he winks. "Yeah, we need to say hello to them." he nods at the mention of Rose and Damon. Vandenberg is giving a polite nod and a little wave.

Damon claps when Pewter finishes. He glances back to the food, then to the drinks, but makes no move though it's clear he wants to hit the goods before they get stripped bare by the others. But it wouldn't be proper for him to attack the booze and produce before congratulating Rose and all, so he stays put. Good boy.

Rose gives her own applause, motivated back to her feet by Pewter's words. She then lifts her glasses off the bridge of her nose, dabbing at her face with a balled up tissue. "Gods, I'm such a child," she whimpers to herself, laughing through her obvious emotional upwelling. But it's clear that while she's joyous, the tears signify something more. She picks her way carefully down the side steps of the dais and finds her way to Damon nearby, smiling up at him. "Yay?" She asks of him, again laughing through sniffles. "I don't like public speaking. I don't care if they say I'm good at it."

Van nods in return to Marko, giving the man a brief flicker of a grin. She looks over the crowd for a face she recognizes but comes up short. The paper plate is set aside onto a table next to her and she clasps her hands behind her back, looking like she is on duty except for the faint turn of a smile.

Samuel stills moves around in the background, shaking his head a little bit as he glances around the area a bit thoughtfully. Looking rather lost in thought for the moment.

"Like it or not, you did just fine," Damon says, slipping an arm around her waist and giving her a quick squeeze. He wipes some of her tears away, checks over his shoulder to make sure that Pewter isn't within hearing distance, and adds quietly, "Your speech was better than the Colonel's." He grins and starts to walk over to the food, and since his arm's around Rose still, she's either coming with him or escaping his embrace. "And this, I mean, this is amazing," he says, indicating the fresh vegetables. "Is that your algae stuff there?"

Lunair smiles and accepts the glass. "Oh well, I'm a Marine. I eat anything that doesn't eat me first I guess," She considers wryly. She might snag an item or two along the way, so she doesn't disrupt anything, but she'll inch over towards Rose and Damon. "Miss Rose," She nods, greeting the woman warmly. "That was a lovely speech. I'm really glad everything came together so well," She beams. She really does seem happy. And it's Damon too. "Hello there," She nods, politely. "It's good to see the deck crew out here too."

Rose follows along with Damon, showing no signs of disengaging or pulling away. In fact, she's all smile, now, tears and anxiety rapidly forgotten. "The green is what you're eating," she explains. "It's more or less all protein with a dash of carbohydrates and essential oils. It's not something you'd want to eat exclusively but we can mass-produce it if the main hydroponics system fails. The gold and the red… that's my fuel. That's what you slipped on." And, curiously, she reaches for the hand that Damon broke just over a month ago. "You're mostly healed now, yes? Doing your exercises?"

At Lunair's approach and greeting, she turns to greet her with a smile… looking right at her. "Miss Raine," she reciprocates, bouncing on the balls of her feet a little. Happy Rose is happy. "Thank you, that's very kind. I had to thank you. If it wasn't for your initial research, we wouldn't be here."

Damon groans when Rose brings back that painful, embarrassing memory. "You just had to remind me," he chuckles. "Hand's pretty much good as new. Or good as old, anyway." He makes a show of moving his fingers, balling his hand into a fist, and sequentially uncurling each finger. "See?" He doesn't answer whether or not he's doing those exercises, though. "And your eyes? How're they doing?" He stops and smiles to Lunair. "Hey, El-Tee," he greets. "It's the real deckhands that actually did the work who deserve to be here - and there are a couple of 'em about - but mostly, I got sent instead. I'll have to regale 'em with tales of crisp, fresh vegetables when I get back."

"Quite a do you've got going here, Ms. Rose." Marko says with a smile, giving Damon a nod as well. "Gotta say, when we found this ship, I didn't think she'd ever clean up this pretty." he adds. looking around and nodding. "How'd the transition go with regards to the hydroponics?"

Poor Damon. Lunair looks amused. She smiles at Rose. "I'm glad you're feeling better too," She nods. Then laughs softly, "Because one spoiled brat hated peaches, she snuck her own houseplants on." Lunair winks. She's not above making fun of herself it seems. "I'm very happy it's turned out so well and ended up in good hands," To be truthful, it probably would be far too much for Lun to keep the hydroponics to off-duty only as ordered. So perhaps it is a relief too. "This place looks wonderful," She nods. A happy home for their civvies. Horray! She smiles at Damon too. "Well, you're the strangest looking imaginary deckie I've ever seen," When he points out that the real deckhands did msot of the work. "I'm sure they will be even happier when things really get growing." She goes quiet, as Marko speaks and nods. Van gets another glance too, but she is content to listen as much as she speaks.

Vandenberg slips away from the wall, taking up her plate. She ghosts her way across the room and moves for the drinks first. Something pink-ish is taken before she moves to the food. Another slice of tomato here, a pepper there. A little dab of the dip is deposited on her plate. Lunair gets another nod in reply. The Lieutenant seems content to move about on her own.

Rose wraps both of her hands around the hand Damon was flexing, apparently reluctant to let it go, either out of guilt or just because she's glad to see him. "The hydroponics are just mass-produced from the specifications and materials we retrieved from Colchis University," she explains, her voice quieting a little. She misses her alma mater. "Once the freighter was made spaceworthy, it was just an issue of setting it all up, and ensuring water pressure and containment throughout the system. Quite simple really, but a lot of elbow-grease." To Lunair, she nods. "Typical growth-to-harvest cycle is currently set at four months, staggered of course. We should be generating two thousand tons of peppers, legumes, fruits and leafy greens every year. Give or take. That's more than enough for the fleet at twice its current numbers." She gives a firm nod, and smiles a little, looking proud of the effort that's been put into this place. "I never thought I'd be a hydroponics nanny."

"Strangest and the strongest," Damon says with a grin to Lunair. "I figure if I'm gonna be an imaginary knuckledragger, I might as well be a good-looking one." He holds Rose's hands when she wraps them around his previously-injured hand. "Two thousand tons a year?" Damon asks, clearly surprised. "That's… a lot more than I thought. Not that, I mean, I really have a frame of reference for how many thousands of tons of peppers a Battlestar can eat in a year. But it sounds like a lot." He pauses, frowns, and looks at Rose. "Is it a lot?"

"Well. it certainly looks like you've got a handle on it." Marko grins. "If I can offer some free advice, keep a very sharp eye on your pumps." he chuckles. "The ones we had on the Cerb about gave me fits until me and Lun got 'em dialed in." he adds. "But for two thousand tons a year of fruits, greens and peppers, I will gladly volunteer to take a watch or two." he smiles, wrapping his free arm around his wife's waist.

Aw. Rose and Damon are adorable in Lun's eyes. She nods and listens quietly. "Ooh… yeah." She didn't really had much to work from on specifications. Poor Lun. "That's good," She nods. "I'm really glad." She laughs softly. "Nothing wrong with that. Think of yourself more as a queen of tomatoes," She offers. "It's a good job," She nods. Or so Lun thinks. "Those're impressive numbers." And pleasing ones too. Food for fleet! She grins back at Damon. "Fair enough." She goes quiet and looks to marko then nods. "It's true. I almost had to fish Marko out a few times." Sigh. "But I bet she's got it under wraps," A little lean on Marko. "I'm glad to help out when I can too. I suspect we have lots of civilian bodies too. Tomato watch, the most terrifying watch of all." Dun dun dun!

Rose shrugs a little, looking up at Damon. "Assume three pounds of food per person per day. That's greens, fruits, legumes. Assume two-thousand humans. That's three tons of food a day, or about a thousand and change tons of food per year. Supplemented by algae for protein and B-vitamins and you're good to go." Clearly, she's done this math a dozen times before. "It's not a permanent solution to humanity's food needs, but it's a good start. Oh, and whatever waste we generate just goes right back into the system, once it decomposes. Neat, huh?" Nerd girl beam! And then a faux-serious sagenod: "You have to watch out for those tomatoes. They'll get you." Blink.

Vandenberg sips at her drink, lifting it to greet someone across the room but she doesn't head that way. The beverage gets a short sip followed by a second glance to its contents to make sure it wasn't designed as a chemical weapon. The Silent Lieutenant meanders her way through the crowd to a nearby table and sets up a post there with her drink and food, dipping the pepper into the green paste and giving that a go. She looks pleasantly surprised by it.

"Well, yeah," Damon says with a 'duh' tone of voice. "I mean, doesn't everyone assume that?" A grin breaks out across his face, and he can't help but nudge Rose in the ribs with his elbow teasingly. "It is neat, though. And more importantly, it's tasty. Speaking of which. 'Scuse me." He slips away quickly to grab himself a little plate of assorted vegetables. Er, that is, to grab himself and Rose a plate of assorted vegetables… to share. When he returns only a moment later, he's already stuffing his face with peppers. "They're so crunchy," he says, holding up the piece he just took a bite out of. "I can't stop eating 'em."

"Heh, that's because they're awesome." Marko laughs, moving to snag a tiny little portion for himself and another for Lunair. "Oh, did Lunair mention any of the other stuff she and I had been talking about?" he asks, passing Lun her plate and taking a nip from his orange-flavored firewater.

"Well you better! That's for everyone to share, you lummox," Rose chides Damon, although it's done in a playful, kidding tone. That doesn't stop her from grabbing a spear herself. Chomp. Blink. "Wow. They really are good. It's remarkable what applied sciences, some water and fertilizer extraction can do." She doesn't mention where the fertilizer comes from; that makes science icky. "What about?" Rose asks Marko, hand in front of her mouth politely as she chews.

Van continues taking off bits of the pepper strategically. Such things should be savored and taken down with proper authority. Years of honing your skills in battle can provide the tactical advantage in avoiding breathing fire everywhere and burning down the new ship. That and precision sips of that drink - which seems to be tasting better with follow-on sips. Spotting potential trouble, though, Vandenberg leaves the finished plate and takes her drink. Passing by another Marine, she says quietly to him, "Go easy, Jenkins." The man gives her a toothy grin that she returns before wandering towards the group.

Lunair looks amused and watches Damon and Rose for a moment, grinning. Deadly tomatoes indeed. "Exactly. All delicious and plump," Wily tomatoes. "That sounds wonderful. Though you're probably right." Humanity can't stay on ships forever. "That's very tidy and efficient," She nods. Lunair pauses. "Oh Marko! You didn't have to. Thank you, She beams adoringly at the ECO. It's apparent that Lunair adores the man in spades. "We've talked about a lot of ideas. The Doctor seemed interested in eventually growing grains and cereals but …" She hms softly and almost giggles as Rose chides Damon. Daw. A nod at Van.

"Yeah, but," Damon reasons, "I'm a part of the 'everyone' group, which means they're for me to eat, too. So I'ma eat 'em." Crunch munch munch. He makes short work of exactly half the peppers on the plate and leaves the other half for Rose. The carrots are next on his hit list; he crunches as quietly as he can as he listens to the conversation.

Marko nibbles at the peppers on his plate as he smiles back to Lunair. "Heh, I'm your husband, silly." he teases gently. "What good am I if I can't get you food?" he asks. "Mmm…and these are fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing them." he adds for Rose and Damon's benefit. "Yeah, the cereal crops. Got a few ideas about how to start 'em, but I dunno if we've got any seed stock." he explains, nodding. "And those damn grapes are still on my 'to-do' list." he grins once he's chewed and swallowed. Someone learned a little bit of ettiquette at OCS, if only a little. Van's chiding of the other marine earns her a chuckle and a slight shake of the head.

Rose chuckles softly, and begins picking at the food on the plate Damon's holding. "Grains will prove to be difficult… I think we'll need a lot more real-estate in order to properly grow and process them. Might be best if we save that if we find a safe planet to set down on? Grain domestication… hmm." She glances up at the approaching Marine, and she gets an inviting smile.

"You keep nodding at me, Lunair, eventually I'm going to think you're hitting on me. If that's the case, its a lost cause without buying me a drink." Greetings as only Vandenberg can deliver them. She sips at her pink concoction in the meantime. "Lieutenant. Lieutenant. Chief. Ma'am." She nods to each in turn, smiling. "Wanted to give you hardy congratulations, Miss Ibbhanas. Well done, ma'am. Don't think there's a member of this fleet that ain't pleased as a pig in-" She rethinks that one. "Fertilizer." Ahem. "Thanks for the effort you and Chief Damon's people have put down." There's a nod to Damon as she says his name.

"Yeah, space was my big concern about them. Grains don't handle crowding well," Lunair frowns. She almost giggles at Damon. Oh deckies. Then a smile at Marko. She nibbles a pepper too. "I like you for more than your food bringing skills, admirable as they are," She beams at her ECO of Doom. Aw. She looks thoughtful. "Grapes would be nice, as fruit - don't kids love those - and for drinks. You can dry them to make raisins too," Practical plants. She's well mannered at least. The approaching Marine gets another smile. Though her eyes widen at Van's greeting and snorts. "I'm very happily married, but I am a gentlewoman and a scholar. I always buy dinner first," She affirms with a nod. "Yes, this is all wonderful."

"Drinks, now there's an idea," Damon says brightly when Vandenberg mentions them. "Thanks, El-Tee, I'll pass that sentiment on to the Deck crew. Whaddaya say, Rose? Want me to grab you drink?" He passes the plate over to her. "How 'bout you two sirs?" he asks Marko and Lunair. "If we grow grapes, we could make wine… and with grains, we could make beer, right?" Damon thinks of practicality in alcohol applications. "Let's repair another ship so we can grow 'em, then!"

"Careful, Lieutenant." Marko replies with mock severity. "I am known to be a jealous man." he smirks playfully. "So, how's things in the Marine Locker these days?" he asks pleasantly. "Yeah, yeah, I know, hon." Marko nods, turning back to Lunair and Rose. "But…I dunno…call it a hunch. Worst case, we try it and we fail. Best case, we find a way to get around the problems." he shrugs.

Rose giggles at Vandenberg's abrupt change of tact-ics. "You don't have to worry about swearing, Lieutenant. After all, I'm dating this," she says, elbowing Damon lightly; more like a pointed lean than a sharp gesture. Smiling innocently up at him, she says, "Yes, please, dearest. It's not like I have very far to go after a few drinks. And I'll take whatever whiskey we can find, and failing that, your awful deck shine. Although I believe Aquarian Pete actually makes a substance that can be enjoyed rather than that burning fire-water you gave me at your promotion." Innocent smile is innocent. Nodding to Marko, she says, "We could always attempt it in a controlled environment and see what kind of numbers we can get. Yield is most important; if we can't produce enough seeds to mill in a timely fashion, it will be relegated to 'luxury' status, and will probably not be made as the space can be used for more profitable crops."

Lunair's words catch Vandenberg and she doubletakes at the Jig. "You're married? Really?" Awkward pause. "I mean, not that its surprising. Just- I-" Best to regroup and take a sip of that drink. "I was totally in the dark. Well there go my chances." The Lieutenant snaps fingers and looks away, sighing dramatically. Marko addresses her, though and then it alll comes together. "Oh! To Scaurus? Nicely done, Raine." There's a reassuring nod of approval. "Eh. Same ol, Flasher. We show up, get shot at, try to convince other people not to shoot us. Gettin antsy. Haven't fired a shot in anger in weeks," the Lieutenant grumps slightly. She then shrugs to Rose. "Something about setting the example. I dunno. They whisper it in your ear once or twice at OCS. I usually don't care but when in Grays I've gotta be something approaching professional." There's an unsaid 'unfortunately' hanging on the end of her words.

Lunair laughs softly and blushes. "We hyphenated our names because having two of us with the same rank and last name could get confusing fast," SHe points out. "I'd rather not get woken up for CAP and I doubt he wants to help drag unruly people to the brig or file papers," She smiles faintly. An amused look. She smiles at Marko and kisses his cheek lightly. "It's still the nicest broom closet on board." Beam. "We'll see how it goes huh?" She promises at least. She looks to Rose and Damon. "Tch, I hope he treats you well!" A wink. She's teasing a little at that. "I'll keep an eye out for good grapes then, fruit is good and pickier eaters might take it up over veggies." Not to mention fruit tends to handle being dried better. "And yes, we're stealth married. They work hard," She nods. Poor Marko. She takes a deep breath, less eager to shoot than many Marines. "We'll see how it goes." A promies.

"Me?" Damon says innocently, wrapping both arms around Rose when she leans into him. "I don't frakking swear, Gods-damn it. Why do you always gotta be making shit up to put me down?" He purses his lips to stop from smirking at the exchange between Vandenberg and Lunair. "Right, drinks," he says, and vanishes once again. When he returns, he's holding four glasses. "Whiskey for my lovely lady," he says, turning one glass toward Rose. "And… luck of the draw for the remainder. C'mon sirs, who's feeling lucky?" He presents the remaining three glasses to Lunair and Marko, each of them holding liquors of different colors.

"Heh, no thanks, Damon/" Marko replies. "I got CAP soon and after finishing this little beauty, I'm gonna need some sober-ups from sickbay." he smirks, holding up his cup, still half-full. "Heh, yep, raisins, fruit……." Marko adds, voice trailing off thoughtfully. "But yeah, we'll see. And what she said." he adds for Vandenberg's benefit. "We don't exactly get to see a lot of each other, so every time we do's special." he adds and moves to plant a little kiss on Lunair's forehead.

Rose accepts the glass with both hands and takes a careful, tentative sip. Licking her lips and nodding once it doesn't melt her face instantly, she then takes another small sip. "Excellent. I'm not dying." She beams at Damon, then nods enthusiastically at Lunair. "Grapes would be divine. Do you know how long it's been since I've had a glass of wine? Ages! Hmm. Why are we prioritizing our crops based on alcohol requirements?"

The Lieutenant nods between Lunair and Marko a few times. "Makes sense. Just kick your husband in the ass to get promoted and then you won't have to worry about it. Don't be putting things on one of my fellow Marines, Scaurus!" Vandenberg leers at him menacingly, but its a farce that cracks into a grin. Another sip of the drink. Natalie is trying hard to keep from downing the whole thing. Some people were born to abuse their livers. This one is an O3.

Lunair looks amused. "I can sip a little, but I suspect the CO might be less than thrilled if I showed up late or drunk," She notes wryly. "Someone has to keep the Marines caffeinated," A wry jab at her own station it seems. She'll take one, eyeing it warily. And a not at Marko. "My poor Marko," So overworked! She smiles and points out, "It's not just alcohol - though that raises the spirits. The fruit is good and easily preserved with or without refridgeration." She beams as Marko plants a kiss on her forehead and teases, "You're lucky you're the tall one in this relationship," She mock-pouts. "But yes, I am grateful for every moment I get to see Marko." A look between Damon, Rose and Van. She grins. "I can't kick my husband. His legs are longer than mine…" Sadness. She takes a sip of the cup she's accepted and hmms softly.

The glass that Lunair takes is rum from the looks of it. Since Marko declines, Damon shrugs and pours one cup into the other, sloshes it around, and takes a gulp. "Aaaaaaaaaagh." He wrinkles his nose, licking his lips. "Not a good mix." A second gulp is hazarded with the same results. "We're prioritizing crops based on alcohol requirements because that's the most sensible thing to do," he answers. "Just imagine how much the Fleet would be improved with wine and beer."

"Heh, call it 'looking after morale'." Marko chuckles, sipping at his own drink judiciously. "You know…this gets a lot tastier the more of it you drink." he says, eyeing the contents of his cup. "Starts to open up, you can really taste the orange in it now." he says, sniffing at the strange liquor curiously. "Heh, the only thing lucky about me's I got the prettiest Marine on the ship to think I'm sweet." he smiles to Lunair. "As for promotions, shout at the CAG." he sighs. "But don't rush…seriously….more responsibility comes with more paperwork."

Rose nods in agreement. "This is why I'm glad I'm a civilian. I don't have any responsibilities whatsoever." She glances towards the rows of hydroponics equipment, almost as if she were rolling her eyes. Then she giggles mirthfully. "You know, I don't know if anyone ever says this, since you're constantly surrounded by other military, but… thank you." She says this to everyone present, more for Lunair and Marko and Vandenberg than for Damon. He doesn't count. "Really. You risk your lives to keep us safe. Nobody says thank you enough, I'm sure."

The talk of more booze has the Lieutenant all that much more pleased but growing such things is not her forte. Consumption? Well that's a different thing all together. "Wine is proof that the Gods love us and want us to be happy. And beer. And hard A." This Vandenberg seems sure of. She eyes Marko once more at 'the prettiest Marine on the ship' remark but once again ends it with a smirk. When Rose thanks them, though, Natalie dips her head. "Much appreciated, ma'am. Though when you have time, myself and the Marines got you all some gifts, Miss Ibbhanas. I can tell you all about it later." Probably a chat to be had in private.

"Stuff and nonsense, have you seen Miss Vandenberg over here?" Lunair smiles at Marko's remark. "Though I'm glad you think I'm quite pretty." A wink. It might get ugly if not… Dun dun dun! Lunair mms softly. "I got rum." She nods. She'll share at least. "Are you alright?" She seems concerned about Damon. Then a deep blush. "Well. I'd always speak highly of you but paper work is a cruel fate," She considers. A smile at Rose and she looks amused. "Thank you. You guys keep us - well, civilians give a lot too, even if it's not always visible," She points out. "You guys are too nice to me."

"It is greatly appreciated, ma'am." Marko echoes the other's sentiment, nodding. "This may sound funny, but thank _you_ for being here to protect." he smiles. "Seriously, the idea that we've got more people in the fleet now is a hell of a relief to my mind. After Warday…."he begins, then sighs, shrugging a little. "Eh…..yeah…."

"Me? I'm fine," Damon coughs. He holds up a finger to excuse himself for a moment, and steps aside to cough it out. Noxious fumes, that drink. Of course, when he's composed himself again, he goes back for a third sip. Learning curve… not so much. "Hooray for the Fleet, hooray for the civilians, hooray for booze," he says, summing up the sentiments all around.

Rose seems mildly surprised at Natalie's words. "A gift? I'm not sure what you mean… why would the Marines get me gifts?" Subtext is not one of her strong suits, which is probably why she's with Andreas. "But whatever it is, I'm sure it's thoughtful." She eyes Damon dubiously, peering at his glass, then back up at him again. "It's a wonder your liver hasn't given up and gone home," she observes. "Did you just mix those?"

Vandenberg nudges Lunair with an elbow, the grin knowing with a hint of thanks. "Good lookin out." Markos words strike the littlist Lieutenant and she tilts a glass towards him before lifting it in toast. "To the civilians. For reminding us why we are doing this and helping the rest of our overworked hides see a future." She tilts the glass back and finish the contents before shrugging to Rose. "Not particularly for you. For everyone. But..later. For now, I'm going to step off and harass one of my Marines." She looks past Marko towards an intended target. "Seems one of them is trying to flirt with some teenage girl. I simply -must- go interrupt." She flashes the grin of a shark smelling blood in the water. "Miss Ibbhanas? Hunt me down before you retire tonight. I'll be around. All? Thanks for the company. Been a pleasure. 'Scuse me." The Lieutenant politely backs her way out.

"So say we all." Marko replies with a grin, hoisting his own glass before taking a big gulp of whatever it is he's drinking. "Heh, easy, Damon." he chuckles as the man starts coughing. "I thought you knuckledraggers knew how to drink." he scoffs playfully. "Uh-oh." he adds as he swivels his head in the direction of the surely soon-to-be disembowled marine. "Should I call a medic, LT?" he calls after Vandenberg with a chuckle.

Giggle. Captain Cockblock strikes! Or at least Lt. Blue B— oh. Lunair smiles at the words. "I'd get gifts for parties for you," She offers and nods. A grin at Van and she nudges back. "It's true, you are pretty," She states simply. "Don't undersell yourself." Lun's short too, so - she picks her words. "And yeah… thanks." Beam. She's glad for the civilians nowadays. Then an amused look. "Be well. Thanks you," She waves at the Lt. A grin at her husband. "Hm. That doesn't smell like normal booze though. Here, I'll trade you my rum and take that. I'd feel guilty if I let Miss Ibbhanas' beau die."

"No. Maybe. Yes," Damon mutters to Rose. He gives Vandenberg a wave as she leaves and raises a brow at Marko, offering the drink to him. "Care for a sip, El-Tee?" he asks with a wicked grin. The stuff smells like death. Tequila and brandy or something equally foul mixed together. "Oh, I couldn't do that," he says to Lunair, shielding the glass from her protectively. "Besides, I think I'm starting to warm up to it." He takes a sip to demonstrate. "It's like moonshine mixed with nail polish remover mixed with propane."

"Heh, Damon, do I have 'idiot' tattooed on my forehead?" Marko chuckles throatily. "Wait…don't answer that." he says, holding up a hand. "Besides, I'm starting to get a fondness for this." he adds, sipping at what's left in his cup. "Presents…..Hrm….." he muses, glancing significantly in Lunair's direction. "We'll have to see what we can do in that department."

Natalie snickers to Marko, tiptoeing off through the crowd. When she arrives at the enlisted Marine, its a complete sneak attack from the rear. She throws an arm around his waist, leaning onto his shoulder. "Hey, Honeybear! Introduce me to your friend??" The LT's free hand shoots out towards the girl's as if to be shaken. "Hi, I'm, like, Natalie! Like, Spenser's wife..!" Work that blonde, Vandy! The girl looks positively mortified, freezing in place for a moment before giving an angry look to the poor Lance Corporal who just got busted. The young woman storms off while Natalie's arm lifts to the LCPL's shoulders and swings him down into a light headlock. Vandenberg walks him off into the crowd for some quiet words about flirting with underage girls.

Rose nods after Vandenberg. "I will, Lieutenant. Thank you again for coming." She eyes her own drink, which has dwindled down to, well, not much. She then looks through the crowd again, and she gets that pensive look. "Andreas? I… think the crowd is a bit much for me. I'm going to say my goodbyes to the folk here and check up on a few things, hm? Are you going back to Cerberus tonight, or are you staying? At this rate, it's looking like you're going to be need to be hauled out of here, drinking like that." She wrinkles her nose.

A nod at Marko. Then a sigh at Damon. "Yuh huh. C'mon, hand it over so we can get it away from you," Lunair eyes the deck chief. "I think that will be my first gift. Wrestling you so you don't drop dead of alcohol poisoning," She sticks her tongue out. "But do please be careful yeah? Some of that stuff is questionable." Sigh. She pauses and snickers at Van's actions. Oh dear. She puts a hand over her mouth. "Oh dear." She rubs the back of her head. "Well, I'm sure the deckies will be okay if he stays an evening. Maybe you could show him some of the spare beds. The thread counts on the sheets are pretty nice," Lunair beams. "I suspect Marko and I should make sure he's ready for CAP."

Marko has to literally chew on his bottom lip to keep from bursting out laughing as Vandenberg deals with her wayward babe in the most unexpected and elegant way imaginable. The young ECO can't help but smirk as the girl stalks off, trailing steam from both ears. "Heh, I suspect she's gonna take a while to cool off." he comments, shaking his head slowly. "You taking off, Ms Rose?" he asks, offering the woman his hand. "It was absolutely a pleasure being here tonight." he says. "Thank you so much for the invitation." he smiles. "I'll make your excuses to the deck gang, Damon." he adds. "Get some sleep, eat a few peppers." he chuckles. "I'm taking these back with me, see if I can bribe somebody into letting me pickle them." he explains, coiling up the paper plate in his hands carefully. "Heh, no worries, hon, one cup of that paint thinner they're using for coffee in the rec room, I'll be physically incapable of sleep for at least six days."

"I had like three sips of the thing!" Damon protests. "I…" He sighs and relinquishes the glass. "I should go back to Cerberus. It's bad enough I came out here while the crew is stuck working, but I mean, that's just part of the job. If I stay over here, well… I guess as long as I make it back on the early Raptor in the morning, I should be all right." He gives Rose a half-smile. "Go say your goodbyes. I'll wait for you."

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