PHD #239: Finding the Lead Lining
Finding the Lead Lining
Summary: Even Marines can feel feelings and be deep and stuff.
Date: 23 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Lysander Madilyn 
Observation Deck - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
With a quiet view to the stars, this tends to be one of the more popular 'quiet areas' of the Cerberus. Up front is a small-unseated area for ceremonies or other activities while the seating rises up behind it. Each level rises up behind the one before it, comfortable chairs and couches set up for crewmembers to relax, get some work done or even take a nap. A large armored plate is lowered during Condition One to protect the interior against a breach in the glass.
Post-Holocaust Day: #239

All things considered, the observation deck is quiet. It's not the middle of the night which leads to the planet far below being illuminated, revealing the swirls and troughs of cloud formations against the backdrop of distant continents and the pearlescent blue of far-reaching oceans as the sun rises against the horizon. Sergeant Lysander is one of the few folk mingling here, seated to the right of the entrance and far down from it. He's at a couch. In his hands is an old notebook, pencil tucked behind his right ear as he looks to the sunrise.

The quiet, that's just what Madilyn was counting on in coming down here at this time. Like quite a few others down here in the early morning hours, she is carrying a book…two actually. One is slender and the other is quite a bit thicker, both bound in leather, and looking rather plain. If Lysander is up on a couch, there's no way he should miss the marine CO entering, even in off-duty threads. She enters through the doors near to the front, and thumps up the platforms toward the middle of the room to find a chair.

Lysander leans back in his spot, rolling his head along his shoulders as if to wake himself up and return to staring out into the void of space. Aerilon looks fairly decent from this vantage point. He wrinkles the bridge of his nose at a thought and reaches up to take his writing utensil, jotting something down onto a page saved with his right hand's forefinger, and then he's closing it back up in order to stand. He misses Madilyn's entrance but he doesn't miss catching sight of her as he moves to an aisle in order to leave. Garret doesn't leave though; instead, he ends up coming to stand near to the Major. Offhandedly, he murmurs a question, "Couldn' sleep?"

"Couldn't sleep. Up early. It's the same thing on these damn ships," Madilyn replies with a bit of gripe to her voice. "Messes up the body's natural patterns, even if they do try to keep the lighting low at 'night' and brighter during the 'day.'" Of course, that's a pretty weak defense, given that she's been serving on these ships for some time. Of course, when she sits and the books become more visible - one is just a plain journal, the other thicker one is the scriptures - one might get a clue as to what's keeping her awake this time.

Garret raises an eyebrow questioningly but rather than try and poke holes into her answer, he simply gives a shrug of his shoulders and a short, stiff nod. He gives a look to the books and since he hasn't been told to get the frak away the marine shifts his weight, debates, and then moves on to join her. The books are looked to again, in particular the thinner of the pair. His is similar. His has also seen better days, much better days. "An' in your lack of sleep you… write? That's surprising - sir."

"Soothes the soul, wouldn't you say?" Madilyn is looking at Lysander's own selection in reading material. Or in this case, his writing material. It's battered, looks like a journal, and there's a pencil tucked back behind his ear. "Unless you're drawing, which is…well, I'll call it the same thing." One of her eyebrows is raised a little in curiosity now. Is it writing or drawing?

"Uh, somethin' like that, I guess," Lysander doesn't push it one way or another but it's mostly because he would rather not play Devil's Advocate. He knows she's right. He doesn't argue against it, or her - for once. The man sits up somewhat and looks down at the notebook in his hands, brushing over its worn out surface with his right palm. "Writing," he answers, judging the question by her expression. He offers a wry grin. "I draw a mean stick figure though."

"Boy I'll bet. I'd put good money on the fact that the only curved shapes on your stick figures are located on the chest, as well." Somewhere on the ship, someone absolutely must've just dropped dead from a heart-attack, or gotten sucked into a Viper engine intake, or gotten pulled out an airlock, because Madilyn just made a boob joke. Granted, it's as high-brow as you'd expect from a Caprican, but it's there. "I like to include pictures with my writing, but I don't dare embarass myself by drawing. No, no…I use what photos I've got. Thankfully, I brought more than my fair share aboard with me. The beauty of digital formats."

"For me to know, an' you to find out," counters Lysander and rather than directly respond he enjoys the thought of deflecting. He goes to speak up further, to joke in turn, but then simply looks on fairly crossed and angles his attention to the thicker book she has. "I don't have any pictures with my things," he trails off with being so honest about things and then looks up to her. "I think mine is just a psychologist's gold mine, so to speak, in a sense at least. No photos, but a lot of words, there are a lot of words."

"I'll remember that when we need to come looking for evidence then," Madilyn ripostes to Lysander's own comment about it being a gold mine for shrinks. "I think it's a requirement or a law somewhere that women have to bring lots of photos with them wherever they go. Being a good law-abiding citizen, I have to keep a lot with me. Going on the offensive, she cracks open the thinner of the two volumes, to the interior cover. "You know, some people here would die for this information," she says as she holds up the photo taped inside the cover. It's her family.

"Law-abidin' citizen," he raises an eyebrow questioningly and leans back, looking to the books and then to Madilyn. Whatever he was going to say is kept under wraps for the time being and he instead offers a polite smile. It's almost innocent, almost. He begins to fold his arms over his chest as he watches the book being opened and he inclines his head to the side in order to catch better sight of what's initially within. "That's rather… nice, actually."

"Even were I not your cee-oh, I'd expect you to say that, you realize," she adds, letting him take a look. "You're perhaps one of…well, maybe the first person at all on this ship to see this photo, not counting random sightings when I've been writing, of course." The picture is about as Caprican as they come: the staged family portrait. At least it's not in a studio! In fact, it seems to be in their living room. Madilyn is seated, a young blonde daughter of about 5 sitting next to her; a similarly-blonde son of about 2 in her lap; a tall and distinguished looking man of about 40 with slightly mussed brown hair standing behind her. They're dressed up in what one might call their temple clothes.

"Well, I'm not kissin' your ass, sir, literally or metaphorically speakin'," admits Lysander. He doesn't take his eyes off of the picture either when he comments in turn, and it bodes well that his comment is the only interject he puts up with. Instead of become a chatterbox, he listens to her. "Were you happy back then?" It's a quiet question that leads to him clearing his throat and relaxing, adding further, "I mean, when you were with your family, like that." He looks down to his notebook then and unfolds his arms in order to hold it there at his lap. After a lingering moment, he looks to Madilyn and her response.

"Now that's a loaded question if I've ever heard one," she begins to answer, while closing the book up and sitting it on her lap. There's no rush to answer the inquiry, and she doesn't force the response. "Of course I was happy. What mother would say she wasn't? What wife would say she wasn't? We were well-off, which made it easier, certainly. I know that others who didn't have that advantage might say otherwise. There were moments of frustration, of course." Almost inexplicably, she just starts to smile, and shakes her head. "You haven't fought a battle until you've argued with a 7-year old." A palm is laid over her mouth, thumb downward at the chin as she turns to look in the direction of that arm. "I somehow think she would've been more of a hellraiser than I was, which is shocking since I like to think I was always there a lot more for her than my mother was for me."

The Sergeant opens his mouth in an effort to speak up, to try and explain himself, but with a moment's hesitation he purses his lips together and lowers his attention back downwards. He shifts his weight within his seat as she begins to speak. His gaze lifts in the direction of the world beyond, to Aerilon, and then he glances sidelong at Madilyn. "I don't make it a regular occurrence to fight kids," his tone is hollow, despondent, with an undercurrent of awkward teasing. He stiffly smiles before reaching up to comb his right hand's fingers through his hair. The hand lingers at the back of his neck. "Not one anymore then?" Hellraiser, that is. He's also since eased back down. "Because, these days, easy to raise a bit of it, but uh, well, I only asked because the last time I took a family portrait like that, where I was happy, with family, I was about ten."

"It was about every other year in our house. Mostly just at the times when everyone started school, started new jobs, started something fresh and exiciting. There were times when family expected it more than we were wanting to have the pictures taken, but…" she starts to say, but before she can finish she just gives a huff into her palm, and shakes her head a bit. "Well, we see their true worth now, don't we?" Another little shake of her head brings her back to looking at Lysander. "As for the hellraising…I don't pride myself on being 'that guy,' as I hear it's called. There are different ways people excercise judgement and impose their will. In my case, there's always folks to whom I can delegate the hellraising."

"I hated my parents," finally admits Lysander and he speaks up in reply with a woefully wistful tone, "But, like you say, go figure, takes losing things to really find their value. I could've done a lot better by them. Joined the Corps because of them, I used to raise a lot of shit back then." He had looked up when she looked towards him but it's just a passing glance once more before he turns forward. He taps his notebook's cover a handful of times with the index finger of his right hand, a tic of an action. It's then opened to a random page. He wryly grins. "Sounds like you're putting yourself above the act. I like to think that causes all sorts of stress. But that's just my opinion."

"Well, the heavy bag down in the gym is a pretty good stress-reliever. So is hiking through the muck looking for wayward XO's," Madilyn replies, giving a little shake of her head. "As for joining up…we're not so dissimilar there. I joined to spite my mother, I think. I thought. I don't know anymore. I could've had a cushy ride to Caprica University had I wanted that. I thought I could make a name for myself in other ways." She just wasn't planning to make a name for herself as one of the last humans alive, though.

"Done an' done," quietly replies Garret. He can do all of the physical training he could ever want, nearly whenever. He was also there in search of Captain Archer, of course. The grin of his lingers but soon enough it starts with naturally fading away. He looks down to the page and presses his tongue into the side of his cheek as he listens to her. "Well," he starts, gesturing with a hand, "Hey, lucky you, I enlisted right off the bat of things, would've never been able to make academy-grade material. Now I'm jealous." Lysander as an officer amongst the marines? He shrugs. "If it's of any consolation, least you've got a name 'round here."

"For what that's worth. If this trial that's going to happen for the admiral sitting down in our brig goes in an unexpected direction, I might now have that name long beyond that." Madilyn gives a wan little smile to all that. "Sometimes I think I've gotten myself in way over my head. But then, who hasn't? I have a feeling that we're just one very big thorn left over in the side of those tin-can bastards after their little plan went awry."

Lysander's grin brightens briefly, for what it's worth. He raises an eyebrow questioningly and then sits back in his seat, turning in it enough to where he has one leg raised and can look in Madilyn's direction. "Could call the lot of us roaches, or lambs, if you want, but thorns has a nice ring to it." He pauses from speaking up further and casts his gaze downwards before moving to hold up the notebook to her. It's a poem, or a portion of one, two columns worth of words and it doesn't have a clear-cut beginning or end. "For what it's worth, I don't think you're in over your head. We've survived this far, writin' about death and holocaust, an' a faint glimmer of hope aside, we sure as frak'll keep surviving."

"If there's one thing that those of us remaining have shown, it's that we're really quite good at that. Do you ever think that sometimes, those Cylons keep coming afterus just because of that? Because no matter how coordinated their little strike was, us being here flies in the face of their vision for how the world should be? They can't just let us go, even though we really couldn't do much of anything except aggrivate them, in the same way that flies might annoy us." Of course, people pretty much swat at flies every time, without fail, no matter how long it takes or how little threat they pose, just because they're there. Madilyn shifts in the seat a little, looking out the front window of the observation deck at the orb of the planet out there. "It's sad that when I had a sight of Caprica like this every day, it wasn't anything special."

"I figure everyone tries their hand at rationalizing the reasons why. I also figure everyone likes to think their reasoning is better than the person next to them, unless they've come to exacts one way or another. I like to think that flies don't get bothered when they find a space of their own." Lysander speaks slowly and casually, and in spite of the weight of his words, as he begins to sit back and momentarily close his eyes. Flies, that's a good one. It might show up in his writing. He whistles lowly under his breath and inclines his head to the side so that he can look at the planet as well. "Does that mean it's special now?"

It's a long, silent moment before Madilyn answers. While the question lingers in the air, she keeps looking out the window at the planet turning slowly…or is that just an ilusion given the orbit? Astrophysics and the like were never her strong points. "I've resigned myself to the fact that Caprica will never again by my home. Maybe for someone else's children. Or their children's children." Not her children though, it seems. For obvious reasons on one hand, but she's not that old. "When it was still my home, when I could've gotten a view like this any time I wanted, I neglected it. We were invincible then, our battlestars and Vipers bigger and smarter than the first time we beat back the Cylons. And now that Caprica is a hive of Cylons and we're too small and too ill-equipped to take it back…"

The silence is long enough to make Lysander glance over towards the Major questioningly, wishing he could read minds and the like. He gets his silent request though and she returns to talking and so he returns to listening. Idly, he flips through pages of his notebook and the poetic writing therein just so he can jot a few things down in passing. "I never got sights like this, ever - been in the dirt an' mess of things all my life," he could pass for being jealous once again and even a touch anxious. He tries to smile. It doesn't reach his eyes, barely even the rest of his tired expression. "But, hey, I hear that change is good. Has to be a silver linin' somewhere in all of this, eh?" He looks to Madilyn at that.

"They don't pay me to find silver linings in things, Sergeant. They pay me to find the lead linings and polish it up really well, so as to look like silver." Oh, she's a sneaky one that Madilyn. The way she smiles wryly at that means there's some highbrow humor going on there: one would have to know that lead rapidly tarnishes when exposed to air, even if it's lustrous when freshly cut or polished. With that, the conversation seems to over, as she gives a small groan and stretches from the chair. "Consider my soul soothed. Now, I have to hope that what few hours of sleep I can muster tonight will be enough to get me through even morning PT."

"They still pay you?" It's mock incredulousness from the Sergeant as he counters with his own joke. Cubits are useless these days with the collapse of civilization. He enjoys the thought of there only being moral fiber and willpower that keeps them from being anarchic. Then again, he's also quietly laughing to her play on words. A light smile goes about brightening his expression and at her words he remembers he should try to get some rest himself. The man comes to a stand, easily rising back into the fullness of his height. "Why, I'm glad to be of service then." Service, talking is a service. "Sleep, sure you can, one of the things us flies do best." With a nod, he lingers long enough for a response and then makes his way to the exit with a lingering smile; soul thus soothed.

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