PHD #239: Falling Forward
Falling Forward
Summary: Cidra and Constin philosophize.
Date: 23 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Cidra Constin 
Athletics Area - Deck 12
A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.
Post-Holocaust Day: #NUMBER

Cidra is on one of the weight machines and, from the sweat streaming down her face and covering a good portion of her sweats, looks like she's been at it for awhile. She's laying on the machine, engaged in leg-presses. Which tends to be how the CAG spends her PT time. She's not big on exercises that don't directly relate to the strength/stamina-building required for piloting.

Constin is where Constin tends to be: posted at a heavy bag, ducking and weaving in between combinations of punches, each thrown with a sharp exhale as the big marine throws in three-minute periods, punctuated by one minute breaks. One such break is heralded by the piercing beep of the timer, and Elf rests gloves atop his head and just breathes for a moment, letting himself drip. The leg pressing CAG draws a short nod, but no word until another two breaths have been drawn and let out. "Sir."

"Sergeant." It is grunted between presses. Up, down, up, down, up, down. Gods only know how many repetitions she's done. She's intent upon it, seeming to direct all her energies at those weights.

Constin keeps his gloves overhead to improve the air intake as he observes the Major. A short shake of his head to clear the sweat from his eyes and a shift of weight from foot to foot are the big man's movements. "Understand we're approved a Raptor for jump training." Breathe, breathe. "During maneuvers. Any body I oughta check in with to prep that job, sir?"

Cidra finally stops her repetitions, easing her legs off the weights. For a moment she just sits on the machine, downs water, and pants. "Any of my Raptor personnel can assist you in specific scheduling, Sergeant. Lieutenants Trask is the squadron leader of the Harriers and a natural point of contact. Lieutenants Aydin and Doe are also readily available. Run things through me if you like. It does not matter overmuch. Just tell us what you need and we shall see it gets done."

"Just wanted to avoid bothering some folk who didn't need bothering," Constin returns after a nod. Another couple deep breaths follow the words before he wonders evenly, "You got a few free ticks, sir?"

Cidra mops her brow with a towel around her neck. Cloudy blue eyes ticking to focus on Constin. "I have a few, Sergeant," she affirms to him.

Constin alternates light rolls of left and right shoulders, to keep his arms loose, as he makes his reply. "Recall you saying you was close to being a priest, once. Figured to ask: dead folks ever talk to you?" the sergeant drawls simply.

Now *that* gets Cidra's attention. And seems to unsettle her. Mildly, but any show of outward emotion from the generally composed woman is a notable thing. "No." It is said with a hint of frustration. She clears her throat. "There are those who are…attuned to such things. Spirits. Dreams. Omens. I was…the gods never touched my mind. Never talked to me. Down on Sagittaron I thought I felt…" She trails off, shaking her head. "But even that was ephemeral. Perhaps I was never…worthy, of such communion."

"Huh," Constin grunts back flatly in wordless response. A fresh breath, drawn in slowly, precedes a more proper reply. "Hell, sir- 'worthiness' might have frak-all to do with anything." A short shake of his head and another intake of air.

Cidra tilts her head at Constin, rising so she can draw closer to him. And speak with him more privately. "Why do you ask these questions, Sergeant?" A pause and she adds. "It shall go beyond us. You have my word. I have…of late I have been troubled by dreams. Thoughts of the dead. Thoughts of the living. Questions I cannot answer. I…I can understand how these matters can trouble the mind, I suppose I am saying."

Constin regards Cidra anew when the Major rises and draws closer to inquire further. The gravity with which the CAG addresses the question causes the sergeant to lower his gloved hands and answer with a minimum of profanity. "Lauren had a few words for me," he states after a moment. "And it don't matter to me whether or not anybody believes it, or whether priests say it's true or not.. I'm at peace with it. Just wanted.. to get a notion for what a religious sort with their head screwed on straight thought of it."

Cidra's eyes turn very thoughtful at mention of Coll. For a moment, it seems she is about to ask some particular question in regards to that. But it doesn't come. What she does say is simply, "If your wife spoke to you in a dream - and I believe spirits do have the power to do such things - and you have found peace with what she said…I think she well could have. And I envy you, Sergeant, to be blessed with such peace."

"Any little bit helps, yeah?" Constin drawls back with a brief grin at the mention of being blessed with peace. "Don't get me wrong, I ain't in any hurry, sir- but when my number comes up to check outta this life?" the marine notes, easily, "Won't regret it even a little. Know what I gotta do, and know what's waiting when it's done. Guess that's as much peace as anybody can expect, ain't it?"

"The dying is easy, Sergeant," Cidra says with the barest hint of a smile. "If I threw myself into the oblivion tomorrow in defense of this ship, I would consider it a well-spent thing. It is the living with which I struggle to find my peace."

"Hell, sir- the living ain't no kind of trouble. It's kinda like a Hay-Lo jump, really.. We took the plunge outta the bird when we decided to fight this shit out. The living's naught but the time between when we jumped and when we land," Constin opines with a tight grin. "Just gotta carry on ahead til we hit the dirt."

"The trick is figuring out how to carry on, I do suppose. And when you need to pull your shoot," Cidra says. Blue eyes remain thoughtful, even somber, but that smile lingers on her lips. "I envy you having found that as well."

"Always got told being easy to please was the sign of a simple mind. Not sure that's something worth envyin', sir," constin grins tightly back. "Well, the ..metephor," he recalls the desired word after a half-second of thought, "Ain't exactly perfect. This life we're living out ain't got a chute, and we only get to jump once. But damned if it don't feel like falling, instead of moving forward sometimes, yeah Major?"

"Feels like flying to me," Cidra says. "Always has. The thing about being in a plane, Sergeant, is you think you are in control. All the perfection of aerospace engineering, all the training, all the fine coordination with your wingman…but it is an illusion in a way. The control. There are a thousand little variables you cannot account for that can change your course at any moment, a thousand little things that might pop up on your DRADIS and surprise you. It is terrifying. And it is glorious. You fly until you fall."

"That's one edge I've got on you then, sir," Constin returns dryly. "Jumping outta a bird? there ain't any kind of illusion you've got a damned bit of control. All you can do is carry on and pick your moment." A slowly drawn breath as the marine recalls the experience he describes. "Can't think to hard about how to fall- you just do it. Maybe it's a blessing of being enlisted, but I can't think to hard about how to live. Got a job to do, and I do it til I can't do it no more. As easy as falling, that."

"I think the idea that it is different for enlisted and officers is much bullshit," Cidra says with a sort of wry humor. Profanity from her is rare, though it comes out casually enough now. "You have a care for many lives under you. We all have our duties. How well we manage them is an open question, but we all do as we can. Perhaps it is more like falling than moving forward many days, though."

Constin barks out a short, wry chuckle at the Major's first words. the rare profanity serving only to let the big marine relax a measure more. "Whatever direction it is we're going, Up, down, forward, sideways.. Don't make that much difference, really. All that matters now is the end of the road, and how we stare it down when it comes." A deep breath drawn following that.

"So say we all," Cidra says simply. "Fall well, Sergeant Eleftherios Constin." She even pronounces his full name without any trouble. She seems to rather like all the syllables. "I shall just try and keep flying." She slips past him on that note, making to take her leave of the athletics area.

"Keep flying, Major Hahn," Constin returns with one last brief grin to the departing Cidra. A short nod, as the CAG takes her leave, and the marine goes about the lengthy process of peeling off gloves and handwraps.

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