PHD #233: Flight of the Freighter
Flight of the Freighter
Summary: Damon, Leyla, Radcliffe, and Sofia witness the freighter making her way into space for the first time since repairs.
Date: 17 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: All the logs pertaining to the finding and repair of the freighter on Aerilon!
Damon Leyla Radcliffe Sofia 
Observation Deck - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #233
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

There's few people here, the majority of those not here either working or catching up on sleep while the few here are getting some necessary downtime. Radcliffe's one of the latter, this being her location of choice for the afternoon with nothing but a flask to keep her company and a blanket to huddle under while she watches the stars. There's a thoughtful frown upon her face as she falls into her head, something that must be troubling if her expression is any clue.

Of those falling under the 'catching up on sleep' category is Damon, though he may not have intentionally placed himself there. He's all stretched out on a couch, one leg hanging over the edge, his head propped up almost 90 degrees against the padded arm. There's a book - "FTL Fundamentals, Fifth Edition" - lying on his chest, open to somewhere around the middle. His hand is still holding it, so he must've still been reading it when he fell asleep. Most people have just pointed and snickered so far at the dead-tired Interim Chief, probably for that line of drool running down the side of his face, but now they start casting dubious glances his way as he starts snoring. Loudly.

It's the sound Damon makes with that gets Brina's attention and she slowly rouses, blinking. "Oh man, who started the sawmill…" she mutteres while looking around only to suddenly beam when she realizes who the source of the sound is. Clearing her throat, she gets to her feet, blanket left behind while her flask is held in hand, the container full of rum brought with her to where the deck chief slumbers. He's watched for a moment before an urge to be impish hits and she leans in close to blow warmly against his ear. Hopefully it won't cause him to freak out and flail but it'll be worth all the bruises he might inflict upon her if he is.

Damon turns to his side and curls up a little bit when Brina blows on his ear. "…No…" he mumbles, his words barely coherent. "…not taking your shift…" He smacks his lips loudly a couple times, and goes right back to snoring. The book on his chest slooooowly slides off, hitting the floor with a quiet thud. That's what does it, though, and Damon blinks his eyes sleepily. "Wha… huh?" His eyes are slow to adjust, but when they do, Radcliffe is the first thing he sees, right in front of him. "Gah! What the frak!" He bolts upright, the trail of drool trailing from his cheek to the couch cushion.

Radcliffe grins. "Should have just kissed you instead," she says while still semi-leaning over the back of Damon's couch. "Maybe you would have turned into a prince and asked me to marry you, hmmm?" Looking at the drool, now, she wrinkles her nose and whispers, "God, Damon, wipe your frakking face off, dammit." Reaching out, she offers him the flask, willing to let him have the first pull.

"What?" Damon asks, bewildered and confused. He's still in sleepymode. "What's wrong with my fa - oh." He wipes with his sleeve, getting most of the drool off. There are lines on the left side of his face from the couch he's sitting on, and the book he was reading (FTL Fundamentals, Fifth Edition) now sits on the floor. He accepts Radcliffe's flask with a suspicious look, first at her and then at the flask, before shrugging and taking a shot. "You ever try to kiss me in my sleep, expect to be flung to the farthest wall in the room the second I wake up," he mutters, rubbing at his forehead. "Ugh. How long have I been asleep for? I feel like shit."

The Chief might feel like shit, but a certain raptor pilot is feeling like she's on top of the world! Ahem. The door to the Obs Deck, if it could be flung open…and it can, is flung open (BANG!), and the small woman barges in, okay, maybe charges in, using whatever talent she has for evasion to avoid tripping over her own feet as she runs and checks her chronometer at the same time, "Sofia, come on, it's almost time!" Leyla actually looks, wow, almost cheerful, as she makes her way over to the viewing port, holding up her hands as though she planned to press her face to the glass.

"You could try to fling me but I think it'd be hard to do that while I'm punching you in the face at the same time," Radcliffe says while still leaning over the back of the couch poor Damon had accidentally fallen asleep on. "I don't know. I haven't been here long and didn't notice you here so it's anyone's guess. And hey, you feel like you look, huh?" The jab might seem harsh but she can't help herself. She'd say more but the hatch being flung open noisily has her glaring and her attention's frakked to hell. "Godsdammit. What the frak? I swear…did they start letting kids run around unattended now," not bothering to keep her voice low.

"Coming!" The snipe is scrambling along behind. Sofia is not really built for speed a lot of the time. She smiles, seeing Leyla barrel on ahead and slips after. She's not in /as/ big of a hurry, but seems happy to soak up the happiness around. Radcliff gets a smile in turn, though she blinks and peers at the viewing port for a moment. "Huh?"

"Almost time? Almost time for what?" Damon mutters groggily, further confused by Leyla and Sofia's entrance. Pulling a face at Radcliffe, he leans down to pick up the book, taking a quick skim over the crumpled pages that landed facedown. "Yeah, this still makes no sense to me at all," he says, closing the book and setting it aside. "What's going on?" he asks Leyla and Sofia, glancing over to them.

"Okay, we've got a few minutes, I think, to catch our breath," despite the pilot not looking out of breath at all. "You recall me sending word down to Engineering?" Something along the lines of 'Crewman Wolfe, report to the Observation Deck Immediately. Pass the Word.' Leyla finally turns back, "Well, you'll see in a minute." That actually seems to be said to both Sofia and Damon, since she looks at one, and then the other, before settling on Radcliffe, "And no, as far as I know, children are still required to travel with their Military Police escort."

There's no answer from Radcliffe herself as she's allowing for the others to speak while she listens but while she's quiet she's not still; reaching over sloooowly, she begins to tease her finger along Damon's jaw once, trying to get a rise out of him. For as much as she had questioned as to whether the other were children or not she's not behaving in a very mature manner, herself.

"Yeah," Sofia nods. "Um, cool." She smiles up at Leyla. "Sorry, running was never my strong point," She admits. Sofia goes quiet, seeming to agree with the MP escort comment. "It'd be kinda ugly if a kid got lost in the ship or something," She wrinkles her nose. All sorts of hidey holes. Then her eyebrows lift at Radcliff's teasing Damon's jaw. "And I thought that was a /joke/." Gasp! But she promptly peers towards the viewport. If she doesn't see it! It doesn't happen!

"Gah, what the - " Damon jumps up to his feet and flailslaps Radcliffe's finger away. "You might think it's funny to do shit like that here, but Gods help me if rumors start circulating. I'll take out your kneecaps with a jack handle." Still, there's a good-natured tone to the threat. Utterances like that are commonplace on the Deck! "Well, whatever it is has got you pretty excited," he says to Leyla, "so it must be good." He saunters on over to the viewport to watch, too.

"Okay, looks like we have…30 seconds…20…10…" In between the countdown, Leyla speaks back, without looking back, to Sofia, "I would never use the ship's intercom for such a frivolous thing as seeing how fast you can make it from deck eleven to deck three, Sofia." Leyla scoots over, to make sure there's room at the window, despite it being plenty large for quite a few more people to be looking out. "That would be completely unprofessional."


And into the middle of the battlegrouping formed by the military vessels, into that hollow of open air where so many training flights and rescue missions have begun, the dull, patchwork, hulking bulk of the Aerilon freighter winks into formation with its now sister ships.

Sofia totally saw it. Her eyes are wide as plates. LE GASP. Sofia just nods at Leyla and smiles. She almost giggles at the comment on her speed. She just shakes it off to listen and stand near Leyla. "True…" She watches as the count down ticks. Then, wink! There it goes. Her mouth opens a little in a grin. "Awesome. Look at her go." Beam.

Damon doesn't know what to expect as he watches out the viewport. Is it going to be a meteor shower? A Viper formation exercise? He gets more and more excited as the countdown progresses, and then - the freighter, that busted-up old freighter that he helped repair, shows up in formation with the Fleet. He opens his mouth, says nothing, then closes it again, overcome by the gravity of the moment. But a smile slowly spreads on his face as his eyes stay locked on the freighter.

"That's your ship out there, Chief, Petty Officer." And it is, as it was Damon's Deck crew that lead the work of doing repairs to the ship, though they did have help from the crews of the other ships, in order to keep the work going almost around the clock. And still managed to keep up work on their own ships. Alas, that there is no longer any overtime pay in this man's military. "And yours, Crewman." Engineering is just as responsible, having worked doubletime to get both the sublight and the scavenged FTL drives up and running and all of the ship's systems, including the rebuilt hydroponics, along with the Deck crew. "Your departments are what got her back up in the air." As it were. Whatever else you might say about the pilot, Leyla gives credit where it's due.

Reaching out, Radcliffe goes to touch Damon again but this time it's in a gradulatory clap to the shoulder, that being something he shouldn't have any objection, playful or genuine, over. "Congtats, you guys." She is still looking out the large window but now her attention's divided, her glance drifting from the hulking ship to Damon's face and then the others, using their reflections to do so by.

Sofia looks to the others, "No more or less than anyone else," She offers modestly. Sofia is but a humble crewman. "Yeah, but it needs pilots too…" She points out. Sofia goes quiet, beaming at the others. "It's a nice ship. I hope they enjoy it," Sofia considers it.

"That's right, Sofie. Ain't one person or department who can lay claim to that ship. We all worked, we all helped." As much as that sounds like nonsense feelgoodery, Damon sounds like he earnestly believes it. He also sounds kinda choked up. "Thanks," he says to Radcliffe, giving her a nod. "I never dreamed it'd be Fleet-worthy this soon. I guess I'm glad I fell asleep here, 'cause otherwise I might've missed her." Turning to Leyla, he asks her, "Have they named and christened the ship already?"

Leyla shakes her head, finally looking away from the bulk of the freighter, which is, quite likely, now mostly powered down and idling, while the crewmembers from the other vessels run her through diagnostics post first FTL jump. "Not that I've heard. I don't even think it's been cleared yet for anything other than crew to board her for work details. I don't think they're ready to start moving over the civilians, that's for sure."

Radcliffe chews the inside of her cheek as what is said versus what is asked is mulled over. "I'd like to help if I'm able to," she offers after some rumination on the subject. "Not sure what I could do but if it comes down to it, please feel free to let me know." She draws her arms across her chest and around each other, almost as if cold.

Aww. Sofia smiles at Damon. "Hey, you're like the King of Deck. It's ok!" She beams at Damon, amused and happy all at once. "I wonder what name they will pick?" Sofia seems curious, peering at the ship. She looks over. "Yeah, it'd be a total waste of work to make the inside all nice then poof no FTL or something like that. I bet they'd love to have you," She offers to Rad. "Most of us were pretty busy."

Damon visibly relaxes with relief when Leyla answers his question in the negative. "I'd figure they'd put together a big commissioning ceremony or something for her, yeah? I was hoping I hadn't missed anything of that sort." He grins at Sofia and fake-punches her shoulder. "King of Deck? I don't think I could sign my memoranda with that as my signature block, as much as I'd love to." Then, as though drawn magnetically, his eyes slowly move back to the freighter. "I'm sure we'll still be doing tons of work with her," he says to Radcliffe, his voice taking a faraway sort of tone. "It'll be our engineers and deckhands repairing and maintaining her for a while, until the civilians can start looking after themselves completely. If they get to that stage. So I'm sure you'll get to know her inside and out, don't you worry."

"King of the Deck, very posh, Chief." Finally, Leyla turns away from the viewport completely, looking at the three people clustered close to the glass, "I'm thinking, if there's enough interest, that Bertha might be able to fit a couple, three people into her cargo, when she goes to deliver the next load of supplies we're taking over there." You know, just if anyone might want to see the ship up close and personal. "I hope that they will. She deserves something special. Not too shabby for a ship that's been little better than someone's grain silo for however many decades she was on the surface."

Radcliffe darts a quick look towards Leyla and nods. "Well…just let me know," she repeats, nodding assertively. "The name will definitely have to fit the ship but perhaps it's something the civilians should be allowed to decide. Give them more of a sense of ownership and pride." She quirks a quick grin as she adds, "King, huh? Had you peg for a Queen, myself," the ribbing friendly. "But yeah. You're damn good, Damon. Real frakking good. At what you do. And it shows."

Sofia smiles a little. "Yeah, I'd be kinda sad if I missed it too," She admits then laughs at the fake punch. "That'd be awesome though. Maybe electoral viceroy or something equally ominous?" She wiggles her fingers at him before looking back to the freighter. "She's sturdy, and sensible." Not really /beautiful/ but sense is a beauty in itself right? She listens to the others a moment. "I don't know. It takes a good amount of time to train a deckie or an engineer." She shrugs at that. "Depends on what kind of government they come up with too," She notes. Sofia grins at the Queen comment. "Thanks for calling me over."

Damon rubs the back of his neck, embarrassed. "Thanks," he says to Radcliffe. "Feels good. To see her up with the Fleet like this." He turns to Leyla and jerks his head toward the freighter. "Remember when we first found her? Derelict and destitute, that's what I thought. Guess you really can't judge a ship by her hull." Finally tearing himself away from the viewport, he moves back to the couch he was sitting on to reclaim his book. "I'm sure there's civilians who might have mechanic or engineer-y skills who can be trained up on specifics pretty quickly," he says to Sofia. "Still, getting enough people for them to run that whole ship by themselves'll probably take a long time, yeah." He smiles and shrugs. "That's all right. That just means I get to visit her often, I hope."

"Rocks and groundcover growing up around her deck, like she'd settled into life as a metal mountain." Well, not mountain, but you get the idea. "Your teams," and by that she means Deck and Engineering, "Are what brought her back." A shake of her head though, to Radcliffe, "I just drive the bus. You all are the ones who're going to be calling the shots. And the Marines, I suppose. Guess they have to work out the security issues. But I imagine, yes, going to be a lot of military on that ship for quite a while."

Radcliffe shakes her head. "That really won't go over well at all, I don't think," Brina injects her opinion before, with a sigh, she shifts to turn away, that being after she looks at her watch. "Think I'm in need of a catnap before shift starts. See you guys later." Affording Damon a wink and the others a quick wave while a smile is given to the others. "Take care." Jaunty salute and then she's gone, off to curl up in her bunk, her blanket claimed on the way to the hatch.

Sofia considers Rad a moment. "Sleep tight," She smiles and waves. She looks amused. Sofia glances back to the others, watching Damon too. "Yeah…" She agrees. "I'm sure it'll come together," She agrees. And a nod. "King of /two/ Decks." She sticks her tongue out. "We all did really." Sofia is just a snipe! She shrugs and looks to the ship. "I think we're all intertwined way more than some of us would like." She sighs.

"One Chief, Two Decks. I like it," Damon says to Sofia with a wink. "Speakin' of naps - " he picks up the book he was reading earlier - "I guess I should put this away and get in my coveralls. See what's on the docket for us greasemonkeys today." The book gets waved to the others instead of his hand, and he starts to make his way out from the Observation Deck. But he pauses in the middle of the room and looks back one more time to the freighter, swelling over with pride. "We really did it," he says. "And if we can do that, then we can do this. Not just survive, but thrive. That ship there is hope." That's all he has to say, so with an enthusiastic smile to all those around him, he heads out.

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