|Summary:||In which Cidra Hahn celebrates her 40th birthday among friends.|
|Date:||11 Aug 2042 AE|
|Related Logs:||Carrier Landings! is referenced.|
|The Sacred Circus — Gemenon|
|The Sacred Circus is the heart of Lampridis Town proper. Though it's ringed by a traffic circle that leads west to Lakeshore Way and east to the Boulevard of Doves, the square itself has been reserved for pedestrians only, not that anybody these days has much use for cars. To the north rises a large, ancient fountain whose ingenious plumbing system still functions five hundred years after it was built. A marble swan, wings extended, rises up from all four cardinal corners, streams of water spouting from beaks toward a central obelisk more than forty feet tall. Its sides are covered with reliefs of the goddess Aphrodite, each telling the story of one particular mythological lover.
To retain "local flavor," the square itself was never paved over, and the ever-present bomb damage has done a number on cobbled stone. Though only a few of the many shops lining the Circus survived the devastation, most of the signage remains intact, advertising restaurants, hotels, and the occasional hole-in-the-wall selling kitschy souvenirs. The electric lamps around the square have been replaced with wood-and-oil torches lit at night, offering a romantic — or medieval — feel, depending on who you ask.
But most remarkable of all is the sturdy brick building directly opposite the fountain that still functions as a temple to all the Lords of Kobol. Though its conical roof has partially collapsed, the Pantheon's inner sanctuary remains intact. A bucket full of chalk hangs beside the door, and on all four walls appear a few hundred messages in just as many different hands.
|Condition Level: 3 - All Clear|
|Post-Holocaust Day: #531|
Sofia is a sneaky snipe. Or at least she tries. Owls are sharp eyed and Sofia's convinced the CAG has super powers. She's been quietly rustling up favors, decor and - well, tarps. But why would she need tarps and cloth really? The answer is apparent! Word is spread though deckies and any avenue of gossip she can. The tarps have been used to make impromptu tents of sorts (Okay, so it's mostly cloth suspended in the air but its's SHADE) near the swan fountain. A few tables are set with food and drink (fruit! Not MUCH mind, but a few!). There's a couple of pies, and everything is laid out as artistically as possible. An Aquarian was here(TM).
There's a couple of wrapped presents on a second table, the square being used as a staging ground for now. It seems apt, to be near (but not ON!) the temples and fountains. Or so she thinks. Sofia herself is running around in her civilian clothes, helping set out the drinks and adjusting things so no one gets crushed by a falling tarp. "I hope I did this okay…"
Somehow, word has gotten out that the CAG is turning 40. And she did nothing to stop the celebration. In fact, unlike her 39th birthday (which was a strangely guarded secret in the Air Wing until Sawyer Averies informed people it had taken place), this one she's celebrating openly. Cidra's taken a day of leave and is down on Gemenon. In her off-duties, Athena tattoos on display on her bare arms. She's also barefoot. Randomly. Presently she's lounging at a table with a drink of some sort of fruity variety. Strange a place as Gemenon is, it is Cidra's home, so it's only fitting that she pass her 40th birthday here. "This was very kindly done, Wolfe," she says with the faintest of smiles to the little engineer. "I am unsure what I have done to deserve it, but I thank you for your friendship."
Unlike the CAG, the SL of the VAQ-141 "Harriers" isn't in his off-duties. As generally is the case during planetary operations, Trask has been spending a lot of time patrolling and conducting recon in-atmo. Whether or not he's recently ended a shift or is slated to start one isn't readily evident. All the same, he's here to at least make a cameo appearance, with aforementioned blonde journalist who squealed about Cidra's birthday last year in-tow. Cradled in one arm is a wrapped bundle. His free hand just happens to be holding one of Sawyer's as they navigate through the bustling street. "Toast," he greets, with a hint of cheekiness, "Not going stale just yet, I hope." A nod to Sofia. "Wolfe."
Devlin arrives straight from CAP, it seems, his Viper seen coming in for a landing some time before the ensign makes his way down through town to the party. He's still trying to get rid of a bad case of helmet-head as he goes, ruffling fingers through his hair as he wanders down towards the canopy and those gathered beneath. He lifts a hand in greeting as he heads up, waving, "Hey, guys. Happy Birthday, Toast!" he adds to Cidra as he spots her.
It's lucky Sawyer has the gams and the long stride to keep up with Trask, though holding hands with him seems far from a burden. "Hey!" The journalist says a bit out of breath as they draw up in front of the birthday woman. In the grasp of her other hand is a large manilla envelope that seems rigid with its contents. She frees a finger from that burden to swipe along her brow, catching wisps of hair that threaten to get in her eyes. "Cidra, Happy Birthday." The envelope gets thrust in Cidra's direction, but then she's quickly withdrawing it. "Presents. Presents are later, right?"
And then there's a people who will take just about any opportunity to dress up. Like Psyche. In she struts in a wine-red dress and four-inch heels, bling sparkling in her updo, mani/pedi immaculate. She pauses at the periphery of the gathering, doing a turn like she's showing off for the paparazzi. "I'm here!" she announces, striking a pose. "And bearing gifts!" So she is — a shallow rectangular box, the kind shirts and other garments used to come in, and a smaller box on top. Both have been tied up with strips of fabric in a profusion of colors, ribbons fluttering as she crosses to the birthday girl. "For you, sir."
Sofia pauses. She smiles over at the CAG and seems happy. "Thank you, but I didn't do it alone," She admits. "And you definitely deserve it. You work hard for all of us and - um, you're welcome." She's genuinely appreciative in turn. "I thank you too," Beam. She straightens a bit of cloth to make sure nothing falls over. And there's an SL! "Sir." Smile. "Um. Please help yourselves," She nods. "Happy birthday!" This to Toast. Sofia is genuinely happy, just a bit flustered and making sure she hasn't forgotten anything. She pauses at Sawyer. She glances to Cidra. She's content to let the CAG choose when to open gifts. "Hello and welcome," She smiles, greeting people.
Well, frak it, this might get certain pilots in the brig but…you know, who cares. Yes, there's a lo of recon in-atmo being done, there's a lot of patrolling being done and that means that not only Raptors are seen, but Vipers are seen as well. Now, there are three particular Vipers that appear from the east, they are flying in V type formation, the three of them are Mark VIIs but the one leading has some type of nose art. It was said that Cidra liked air shows, right? Right?
The two Vipers following the lead open up, one going to the left and the other going to the right; the lead keeps going forward and even pushes the throttle, creating a sound blast as the burst of power from its engines fire up. The other two Vipers make an arc and starts flying back towards the lead, following a collision path and not slowing down. A few seconds before the crash happens, the lead tilts the nose of the Viper upwards, one of the others keeps straight and the last tilts the nose downwards, missing eachother by inches. Another arch is done by the three of them this time, making a 360 wide roll and coming down again, thee three of them together, starting to spiral in complete coordination. They move pretty close to the birthday area, still spiraling, making twists and turns. Now, the three Vipers start to go up, up, up and the two escorts open up as the lead goes supersonic, the explosion clearly heard and the wave spotted. YAY airshows.
The escort Vipers appear again on sight, and they quietly move to the landing area. The third Viper take a little longer to appear but soon enough, it does, moving to the landing spot as well. So many birds today, fun times. The canopy of the Escorts open up to reveal two Mighty Lions pilot, Scarecrow and Short-Fuse. The man and the woman jump down from the birds doing thumbs up to eachother. The third canopy opens and a Black Knights pilot jumps out, that would be Wade, moving with the other two towards the gathering. "Happy Birthday, Toast," offers the man with a merry smile. Short-Fuse kisses two of his fingers and point them to Cidra "Happy Birthday indeed, you look more beautiful than ever ma'am" and then Scarecrow, she approaches Cidra and smiles at her. "Happy Birthday, Toast," says the small girl.
There's a bit of movement off in the distance, behind an abandoned building. A house, to be specific, two floors, modest, and still standing, damage from the war or no. It's a few hundred feet away from the little gathering but there can be several figures spotted — humanoid. And two who are far too big to be human, or organic, for that matter. Centurions flanking the pair of humans, a male and a female. They pause their movement in plain sight and one of the humans — well, humanoid figure, turns to apparently speak to the others, human and Centurion alike. They're too far away to really be heard, but there is a kind of exchange. The speaking humanoid figure goes on alone while the others stand and wait — this humanoid starts to approach the crowd, alone, as his or her compatriots watch.
Cidra does not notice the humanoid figure's approach to the little party. She's caught up in watching the Vipers, which she ventures from the table to get a better view of. "I should have them reprimanded…" Though she says it with a smile, and softly. In fact, the CAG's inscrutable expression looks decidedly…touched, by the display. To the approaching Mighty Lions, she laughs. "I suspect Captain Matise, at least, was in on that little display? Well, I shall have to have words with him later. It was, I must admit, well-flown. And very…sweet. Ah. My pilots." And that warmth in her voice remains as she turns to greet Trask and the Devlins. And Sawyer, of course. "Gifts were not necessary. But I thank you very much. Put them on the table. We shall have some food and drink first, as Specialist Wolfe has been wise enough to see what this planet has to provide. There is much bounty left here, even if it likely shall not remain so for much longer."
Currently clad in rather nondescript dark clothing, Malone approaches the party area a bit slowly. He looks around a bit carefully, before he approaches the main group, humming a bit as he moves. "Happy birthday!" he offers to Cidra as he gets close enough, offering a bit of a smile. "May there be many, many more…"
Devlin turns at the mention of presents, reaching into a back pocket and pulling out a small, rectangular parcel wrapped in what looks like notebook paper. He blinks at Psyche, and then laughs, shaking his head, "Man, we didn't coordinate at all. Either you're way overdressed or I'm way underdressed." He gives her a teasingly significant look, the sort that says clearly it's the former. His gift is set on the table with the others, tucked under someone else's, out of sight. "Was that Drips?" he asks of the display as it finishes, "Awesome."
Short-Fuse clears his throat and shakes his head, "Yeeeeah, well, it might be good if you /don't/ tell Matise that we did that." The large much chuckles amusedly and then Scarecrow jumps in, "We can always say we were held at gun point, yes…yes I think that would work" she smiles as well to this and nods her head. "Uh…food…" says Short-Fuse and immediately walks away, going to get some of that! Scarecrow lingers a little longer and looks around "Well, enjoy your day, Toast" and with that, she is off as well, probably to prevent Short-Fuse from choking to death on food. Wade just places his helmet on a nearby table and rubs his fingers over his eyes.
Watching the air show, one corner of Trask's mouth twitches with amusement. It's quite possible he's mentally cracking one of many jokes that Raptor jocks crack about Viper sticks. Even so, unspoken puerile humor aside, it was an entertaining and skillful display. "Nice to see you're good for somethin' other than blowing up the Evocati CAG, Drips." Depositing the gift he brought onto the table — said bundle seemingly not having any heft at all — the Taurian can't help but quip, "I am a bit disappointed that I was not rocked like a hurricane, though." Because every frakking air show always plays that song.
Psyche rolls her eyes at the Devlin, smirking. "Overdressed is always better than underdressed," she opines, putting her gifts with the others. When she returns, she twines her arms around his neck and cleaves to his side, kissing his cheek. "Besides, you look hot in anything. I gotta seriously stress my wardrobe to keep up."
Whoa. Sofia is briefly distracted by the airshow. She smiles. "That's awesome!" She chirps. She moves to make sure jugs are set out. For the moment? She is quiet and content to watch. "Please help yourselves," Nodnod. She looks around. She looks to the tables, and glances over - She offers a slight wave. "I'm really glad to see everyone coming out…" She admits, eyes wide. "Although I don't know many party games." Or many that the CAG would approve of
Sawyer slips her envelope under the package that Trask has deposited on the table, causing his to roll slightly askew. Frowning, she picks it up, puts it back and makes the 'stay' motion with her hands as if silently communicating with a dog rather than a birthday present. With a satisfied smile, she turns back to Cidra and the others, tugging out her sundress that is a recycled piece of wardrobe from the Quinn/Bran wedding. "Last year we only pretended to do carrier landings. This year we get the real thing."
Cidra turns that smile to Wade. "Was that display your idea, Drips? Well, it was if nothing else a fine exercise in aerobatics, so I cannot be entirely cross with flight pulled off so well. And I shall take it as a fine gift. Splash!" A nod of her head to the next incoming Viper jock. "I have had many more than I would presently like to admit. I must say, I never thought my fortieth would come back on this world…" Her eyes go up to the sky again. Expression turning somewhat bittersweet. She clears her throat. "Anyhow. Sit. Drink. This world was once well-known for good wine, and there is some of that still left in this town. As well as water and real fruit juice, if one prefers to partake in such a matter." Mention of carrier landings keeps that smile on her face, though again it turns wistful. She idly reaches into her pocket to withdraw the prayer beads she often carries with her. Well-worn olive wood, with a crudely-carved little owl charm, which she fingers idly. "I do not know. I enjoyed those carrier landings of last year rather much."
In the distance, the humanoid figure gets closer as it emerges - well, humanoid, definitely. Cylon Model Two. A black denim jacket carelessly slung over the shoulders of his form, which appear to be wearing olive drab green fatigue pants and a simple black t-shirt. A black backpack is slung over his shoulder as well. He stops momentarily to turn back and study his compatriots who still wait patiently behind the old, abandoned building, before eyeing the gathering of Colonial personnel with a pensive gaze, still yards and yards away. Shrugging, he continues to approach them.
Wade nods to Cidra and says "Aye, Toast…I remember something you once told me about Viper flights and thought it would be a good idea" the man shows a soft smile to her and nods his head "Happy Birthday" His attention turns to Trask now as he speaks to him "Well, I can also do some finger painting and…sometimes I sing while in the shower." A nod is offered to that and then a half-snort. He looks around to find his flight team and sees that Short-Fuse is already stuffing his mouth with food. Wade shakes his head at this and smiles. "Hey Decoy, Bubbles…"
Psyche rests her head on Devlin's shoulder, smiling wistfully at the mention of carrier landings, as well. It's possible she might get a little verklempt, and has to blink a bit rapidly. She swallows. "Shit," she laughs. "That was a good frakking time." She lifts a hand in greeting to Malone, "Hey, Tommygun!" Then to the group, brightly. "Hey, remember when — " Abrupt stop. Screeching halt. Her eyes are drawn to the approaching figure. Blink. Blank. Slack shock. "No frakking way…" she whispers.
Devlin laughs at Psyche's words and shakes his head, slinging one arm around his wife and using the other to remove his sunglasses and hang them from the v-neck of his t-shirt. "Hey, Drips," he waves to Wade, "And Splash, and Boots and Sawyer," he ticks people off as he goes around, "And Sofia, and… did I get… close enough." He gives up trying to get everyone else for the moment and grins at the CAG, "Those carrier landings were awesome. The bits I remember, anyway. I bet we could arrange doing them again, if you want! I'd be game."
Sofia seems genuinely happy for it all. "That was really awesome," That to Wade. Sofia nods and helps refill one of the water jugs. She peers carefully at the Two, looking thoughtful. At Cidra's bittersweet moment, she stays quiet, seeming unsure for a moment. "There's a spare table I think if you wanted to do those Landings," Sofia points out helpfully. At least she cheats and comes with built in landing gear? She smiles at Psyche and looks around.
Ever one to leave the booze to others, Bootstrap opts for the non-fermented kind of fruity beverage. Picking up a cup, he gives it a sniff, and his face crinkles a bit. Setting that down, he takes a whiff of a different color juice that proves to better appease his sense of smell. Tentatively, he sips and doesn't take long to decide that it passes muster. And so it's that he snags a cup for Sawyer, too. By the time he returns to hand it to her, what appears to be McQueen enters his line of sight. And since it's part of his shtick to say something irreverent, he does so. "Yo, Queenie." Even if it's the wrong Two, everyone else seems to think it's the former Black Knight, so it doesn't matter whether or not it actually is. "You bring more Rejn pr0n?" Yes, he pronounces it like prawn.
Malone nods a little bit as he hears that, and turns to offer a half-wave and a grin in Psyche's direction as well. About to say something, he pauses as people seems to look over at the approaching figure, and turns in that direction as well. He keeps silent for now, though.
Sawyer offers a sly smile to Cidra, "Then you should like your present. Don't forget, I got photographic evidence from last year. Well, part. It's part of your present. The rest is on the ship and to be given later." When Trask deposits a glass of juice in her direction, her smile clearly softens and she murmurs a little thank you. If she misses the alcohol, it doesn't show. Of course, she nearly chokes on her first sip when Queenie shows up, or more specifically: the way Kal greets Queenie showing up.
Cidra picks up the souvenir-style pottery cup she had already filled for herself. It contains a bit of red wine which may well have been grown in this region prior to the nuclear holocaust. "I perhaps shall not partake in landings this year, as I am aging. If nothing else, I shall need a bit more of this before I can be persuaded to it." She smiles at Sawyer, and is about to say more about gifts when she spots McQueen. He is *watched*. But neither immediately greeted or dismissed. "What brings you here, then?" The question is rather neutral in tone.
Oh, indeed it is McQueen, in the flesh. No ifs, ands, or buts about that. His thick eyebrows knit and his face is a bit drawn, but as he takes a few steps forward, he looks back over his shoulder at the Cylons in the distance and then back to the group again, slinging the backpack off his arm.
And then Trask speaks. "Yeh. Well, y'know. I figured I only had /one/ chance in this life to do that and I took it." This is directed towards the Raptor pilot on McQueen's part. "Couldn't resist. And you know what they say. Anyway, /that's/ certainly not bloody why I'm here."
A long pause as he lifts the backpack and sets it down. "Lo, Bubbs." He catches Psyche's reaction rather sheepishly. And then he looks over towards Cidra. Equally neutral. "Um, so, right. I don't know if this is specifically /for/ you because I don't really think something like this can really belong to anyone. But I wanted you to see it. It was recovered in the Temple. Which means it's something you need to see, and something you need to know."
Wade turns his head, looking at the Cylon as he approaches and then focuses his attention on what he is saying to Cidra. He is not that far away from where they are so listening is not really a problem. When he Cylon-dude greets Bubbles, Wade looks at her for a couple seconds, but moving his attention to the other man right afterwards.
Not to be impolite, McQueen does eye the others, offering Sawyer a sheepish grin. "Welcome back, lady."
Devlin glances down at Psyche and frowns, and then up to spot McQueen, and frowns. It's somewhere between unhappy and confused and thoughtful… with a strong emphasis on the confused and thoughtful. Especially the confused. He passes off one of the glasses of wine he's acquired to Psyche and takes a sip of his own, just watching McQueen in silence for the moment.
"Yes. I recall that. I cannot unrecall it," Cidra says dryly, as to the subject of Rejn porn. "I am curious how you obtained that…item." It sounds vaguely like a question to McQueen. Well, he's here, she might as well ask. As for the contents of the backpack, curious CAG is curious. "Whatever else that temple may be, it was a blessed place to the Laughing Goddess in its day. I would very much like to see this item."
"I knew it," Psyche whispers. "Myrrah frak her father, I knew it." She accepts the wine that's given her, but it's clear most of her reflexes are on autopilot. She probably won't know she has a glass in her hand until she needs to throw something at someone. Looking at you, Number Two. She stays close to Devlin's side, staring at Queenie with such naked hurt and rebuke anyone'd think he just killed and skull-frakked her puppy.
"Oh, hey," Kal calls back to Cairn with utter aplomb, "I got a ton of mileage outta it. Hells, it was almost as if it were /my/ birthday." Case in point? The reactions of Sofia and Cidra. And then, of all the inopportune (for his twisted sense of humor, anyway) times, now is when Trask's digital alarm starts to bee-bee-beep, signaling that he needs to get going for his next shift. "That'd be me," he announces, as if it weren't obvious. "Sorry to miss show 'n' tell." Looking to Sawyer, he adds, "Pics or it didn't happen." Then, to the others, he bids a parting, "Peeps," and to Cidra, "Happy birthday, and all that."
So it is, cup of juice still in hand, that the SL takes his leave.
Sawyer covers her mouth with the curve of her hand, choking back the last bit of juice in her throat and only managing to twiddle some fingers at McQueen in greeting. But even near death by fruit punch won't stop her from inching forward to see what happens to be in the Two's bag of wonders. Distracted by shinies, she only kisses her fingertips and waves goodbye to the Raptor SL with a promise of, "See you later."
Malone listens in quiet for the moment now, pausing a little bit as he looks between the others present.
"Well - to answer one question, I can't bloody give away /all/ my secrets, can I?" McQueen utters faintly. "Just wanted to say it was a quid pro quo exchange. Won't happen again." He clears his throat and covers his mouth with the back of his hand as he sets the bag down, opening it, and pulling out a forearm-sized marble statue. Of a Goddess. It's not Aphrodite though, but — Athena. At the base, there is an inscription in extremely old, old writing. You would need to have some kind o' scholarship to make out what it means. "So, yeh. And isn't it funny that people start hating you the moment you come clean? Not that there isn't a reason for it. But that's not why I'm here."
"Our Patron Lady of Truth…her sacrifice remembered in her passing, She will live eternal. She share Her blessing…" Cidra reads the words on the statue softly. And rather breathlessly. Long fingers reaching out to gently touch it. "This was found in the Temple of Aphrodite? How…remarkable. I…" She looks up at McQueen. "Thank you. I will present this to our Ecclesiastical services. It is a fine relic, and should be preserved, as the memory of the Wise Lady and Her guidance must go with us, wherever we eventually find ourselves." A pause and she says to McQueen. "It is time for more gifts, I think. You may stay and take a cup of wine, if you want." It's not the most gracious invitation in the world, but she doesn't shoot him or call him an abomination. So there's that. "I have already seen Lieutenant Duncan's, and the air show was plenty, so I shall not demand another from him. Sawyer, you and Boots brought some things, I think?"
"Oh, cry me a river," Psyche responds to McQueen's lament about coming clean. She watches the presentation of the statue, listening to Cidra's translation with half an ear. She notices the drink in her hand, finally, and blinks, looking entirely baffled by it. With a shrug, she drinks deeply.
Sofia is sympathetic, if cautious. "Be well," She lifts a hand to Kal. "Thank you for coming," She smiles. Then her eyes widen at the statue. She seems saddened by the lament. Her expression is hard to read, as she simply keeps herself busy listening and tending to tables. A cup is offered to McQueen then. "Yes sir, and there's a few others from myself and Deck." Beam. Although there's a solemn aura to it all.
"Mm? Mm-hmm!" While Cidra can read Ancient Gemenese, Sawyer can speak in a language consisting purely of 'm's because she once more has her mouthful of juice. Hoisting her cup at the birthday girl, she goes to retrieve said gifts from the table, juggling both the envelope and the more roundish package that Kal supplied. "Here here here." She ferries them over in short order, helping supply a distraction from the Cylon Model sized elephant in the room. The first bundle she hands over is from Trask. "From Bootstrap. He thought it would look intimidating on your desk for when you had to be all… CAGly."
"Oh, you know, I do, I do." McQueen says sidelong towards Sofia but just gives Psyche a big, flat shrug. "That wasn't anything other than a funny little observation." Leaving the statue in its new hands, he turns towards Cidra, "Mm-hh. Yeh, this is your day, Toast. I don't think I'll darken it with my presence beyond this — we believe this statue is old. Older than life on this planet. Which means the Temple — well, I don't have any answers. None that are certain." He stoops down to pick up the empty backpack and slings it over his shoulder.
Devlin looks at the statue, watching as McQueen unwraps it and listening as Cidra reads off the inscription. "Her sacrifice?" he asks, but then looks back to McQueen, chewing on his lip. After a minute or three he finally says looks to the cylon and says, "I wanna talk to you. Not now, but… sometime soon. Maybe after," he gestures at the party.
Cidra puts the statue aside, bowing her head in subtle reverence to it as she does so. She's clearly touched by the gift, though still not entirely at ease in McQueen's Cylon-y presence. "I am not averse to intimidating things in my office. I was very sorry to lose my owl statuette in the fire that swept the Navy Offices during our sojourn over Tauron. Many pilots claimed the eyes had a way of following them…" With a soft sigh at the loss, she unwraps the gift. And grins, pulling from the bundle a stuffed owl, handmade from felt and knitted yarn. "Aha!" She holds it up to the assembled party. Perhaps seeing if the sewn-on eyes creepily follow people to her liking.
Sofia smiles faintly. "Alright," She seems to accept whatever choice is made. She watches the present opening for now. "Thank you," This to Sawyer. She appreciates it too! She glances back over. Then her eyes widen at the story. Poor CAG owl. "That's a very nice owl."
Psyche's eyes follow McQueen as he stands with his pack, darting a couple of times at Cidra as she begins on her gifts, but drawn back to the Cylon in their midst. She sighs, finally, and shuts her eyes, turning her head and stepping away. Just so he's not directly in her line of vision any longer. Her hand trails down Devlin's arm to squeeze his hand as she leaves his side.
"And so the legend continues. And then, there's this." Sawyer is quickly handing over the the secondary package. The rigid part of the envelope is a cardboard backer, protecting the sheaf of photographs within that are no doubt Sawyer's contribution to the gift giving.
"Yeah. Sacrifice." McQueen repeats for Devlin's benefit. "Something tells me this wasn't a ten thousand year old recollection. Which tells us a lot about the Time of the Gods on Kobol." He affects a tight knit smile the young man. "Sure. I'll be around. Just look for me." He tosses a wave at the other man. Glancing towards Cidra one moment longer he gives her a curious bit of study; a thick eyebrow raised. "Stay Blessed, yeh?" With that, he tucks his hands behind his back and turns on his heel, meandering off towards the other Cylons in the distance.
Having kept silent most of the time now, Malone looks towards the departing McQueen, "Stay safe…" he offers in that direction, a bit absently, before he looks between the others again.
Cidra takes the secondary package, unwrapping it carefully. She's the sort of person who probably saved wrapping paper in better days. Well, there's more reason to now. Inside are photographs. She looks up at Sawyer, then down at the pictures, just gently looking at them one by one. "Ah…" One hand goes to her lips and, if one is looking carefully at the CAG, they might notice she's suddenly gotten rather misty. "Thank you very much…these are…thank you…"
Cidra passes the pictures around so all can see them. Particularly her pilots. Half are from last year's carrier landings celebration and feature many faces - like Tisiphone Apostolos and Ibrahim Sitka among others - who are no longer with the Fighting Fourteenth. The rest are of the ruins of what must once have been a mid-sized city on Gemenon, though enough of the temples and shops and civic buildings have survived that traces of what the place must once have looked like still survive.
Sofia tilts her head. She smiles weakly. "Be well," She waves towards the departing Two. She watches Cidra opening the package and smiles. Awww. She looks touched and happy. There's a sadness to it too. Sofia's gift rests in the pile, but for now, there's an appreciative silence.
Once Cidra has passed off the photographs, Sawyer grabs her in a fierce hug with one arm around the Lieutenant Colonel's waist and the other clasping the back of Cidra's head so she can press her forehead against the CAG's and quietly say: "It is your history. May there be many more chapters." The words are sealed with a lip to lip kiss, intimate in the best friend sort of way. SMOOCH.
Psyche doesn't really move until McQueen's had ample opportunity to make good his departure. When she sees the spot where he was standing vacated — she looks, for just an instant, bereft. Then relieved. She breathes in deep and drinks more wine. "Uhm. There are from me?" Psyche offers, handing Cidra the flattish shirt-box and the smaller square one on top, both festooned with colorful ribbons. "Mostly from me."
Devlin looks after the departing McQueen as well, and then down at his wife, touching her back briefly before those pictures making the rounds come to his hands. He flips through them slowly, looking back up only to watch as Psyche passes her gift over to Cidra. "And not from me," he chimes in to add with a smile, "Unless it's something great, I mean. Obviously."
Cidra returns the hug from Sawyer. And the kiss. Mouth closed and in a sisterly manner, but she does it full on the lips. "I thank you, my friend," she says simply to the reporter. That done. On to more presents, and she turns to Psyche, and her boxes. Which she opens gladly. "This was not necessary, Bubbles. But it is very kind."
Sofia looks amused by the exchange. She tops off a few drinks from those who wish it, but otherwise plays audience. She watches the boxes being opened for now, green eyes bright.
Wade reappears again, carrying a small glass of wine "What did I miss?" asks the man now. At some point, he decided to step away to join the Mighty Lions in their feast. He takes a sip from his drink and looks at the group, seeing all the faces and showing a faint smile to them. The man closes one eye and looks at the content of the glass "This is some, strange wine…nice kick, yep" He takes another sip and then clears his throat.
"You're so modest. We love you, get over it." Sawyer makes a swat at Cidra's rump them moves out of the way so the woman can tend to her many tidings. The reporter wanders over in the direction of Wade, lifting her nose to peer into his glass. She rocks back onto her heels with envy in her eyes and a bit of a wink. "Fancy flying, Ace." She comments quietly while looking on to see what other goodies Cidra unwraps.
Malone has gotten hold of one of those glasses of wine as well, taking a sip from it and looking around, a bit contently. "Not bad, the wine," he offers a few moments after Wade's words about it.
"The land on Gemenon is very arid, Drips, but it does produce good grapes. Wine was one of the few exports off Gemenon that brought many cubits onto this world from Outside," Cidra says to Wade. Sipping at her own wine. Before she gets to fully examining her present, that is. Psyche's delivered to her. And it's *very* Bubbles. Cidra, perhaps, will wish she hadn't held it up for full view of her pilots before opening it and removing it. The top box contains a pair of barrettes shaped like pink bows and covered in pink rhinestones. The bottom box…a bikini. Purple, with very large yellow polka-dots, and not much coverage. "This is…something that may have been more fitting when I was twenty, Bubbles. But…the thought is appreciated…" She's blushing, just a little.
Wade smiles at Sawyer and nods to her "Oh, you know me Sawyer, I always do things to try and win your heart" he winks at her and then chuckles amusedly. He takes another sip and clears his throat again "Yeah, very good wine" He licks his lips and leans over to look at Cidra's presents. "Oh come on Toast…you are pretty hot, you know…" he nods wisely at this and then takes another sip from his wine. "Really…really"
Sofia grins and nods. "Um, just a - visit. Presents are now," She explains to Wade. She goes quiet and considers it. "It is really nice," She smiles. She looks amused at the bikini. Ohmy. She hides a smile behind her hand. She nudges her gift into the queue. "I think you're fantastic, you could pull that look off no problem," She nods.
Devlin watches as Cidra unwraps Psyche's present, and blinks. And then blinks again, and looks down at Bubbles. "Wow," he says simply. He pauses, opens his mouth, and then laughs, shaking his head, "Wow. So glad that I said upfront that I had no idea what it was." He laughs some more and takes a drink, stepping over to the gift table to retrieve his poorly-wrapped present, though he doesn't offer it over just yet.
Psyche smiles. "Of course it was necessary. You're awesome and you don't turn 39 again every day." She steps back to give the lady some room, drifting back toward Devlin's side. "I figure nobody really ever remembers your a girl, so even if you never wear them you can look at them and think how pretty you are!" Apparently this goes for both gifts. She elbows her husband and wrinkles her nose. "My gifts are fabulous. Shut up."
Taking another sip from his wine, Malone pauses a bit as he sees the latest gifts unwrapped. "That's nice…" he offers, glancing between the others for a few moments.
"They are quite pretty," Cidra says, putting the bikini carefully back in its box. "And very…you, Bubbles. I thank you." No, she is not putting it on. The barrettes, however, she does affix in her dark hair. Expression still inscrutable as she puts the pink, sparkley things on. Which might be a rather amusing image. Onto Sofia's present next. Perhaps she has less fear of it than anything else from the Devlin family.
Sofia hides her amusement at least. She smiles at the barrettes in Cidra's hair. Sofia's gift is subdued by comparison - a light yellow straw hat with a bundle of incense tucked away. "I wasn't really sure…" She admits. She rubs the back of her head. The incense is a deep, smokey sandalwood and amber, likely for meditation or quiet prayer. Who knows? She blushes faintly. "I hope it's okay." She is aware some people get headaches from perfume after all.
Sawyer's hand flutters to her heart in an amusedly dramatic way. "Alas, it belongs to another. But keep flying like that, and I'm sure you'll win the heart of someone far more deserving." The journalist responds in kind to Wade, her attention caught back by the CAG when sparkly barrettes get snapped in her hair. It's a slippery slope from here to drunken slip'n'sliding, for sure.
Devlin snorts at Psyche's explanation of her gifts and then grins as Cidra puts on the barettes, clearly trying not to laugh and raising his cup of wine to hide it. "Totally fabulous," he assures his wife, grinning, and then sits back to as Sofia's present is unwrapped.
Cidra gives Sofia's incense a long sniff, then inclines her head deeply to the snipe. "This, and the preparations you made, were very thoughtful. There are some storage rooms on the ship which would be good to burn this in, if I can get a free moment. And some lovely places on the planet, which I have not visited in years." She may burn other things along with her incense, but those aren't mentioned. She opens Devlin's present now.
Sofia smiles. She looks up. "Thank you, sir. I am glad you like it," She nods her head. "I wasn't really sure - And I am glad," She murmurs. As far as burning other things goes, as long as it's not setting anyone on fire, Sofia pays no mind. She seems happy though, that Cidra enjoys it.
Sawyer covers her smile with the careful application of a hand, perhaps knowing precisely why that incense would need to be burned in said storage units, no doubt using one smell to mask another. Because everyone prays differently.
Devlin's gift is a battered copy of "The Odyssey," which may have been rescued from a library somewhere, judging by the smudged stamps on the edges. The cover has been replaced with one Devlin seems to have made himself, with the title and an illustration of a ship being tossed about on the waves, while gods peek down from the clouds above. He's a rather good artist. Which plainly surprises Cidra somewhat as she flips through the book. "Decoy, my gods…you put a great deal of effort into this…it is absolutely lovely…" And the CAG stands up to hug her nugget-turned-pilot.
Psyche smiles proudly, stepping back to let the CAG love on her man. "It really is beautiful, baby," she agrees, a sentiment she's likely often expressed in their bunk. About the BOOK, people. About. The book. While he was making it. Sheesh.
Devlin glances down and scuffs at the ground a bit with a boot-toe as Cidra opens his gift, chewing on his lip as the wrapping comes off. "Seemed like a good story for all of us, you know?" he's saying, before the CAG praises it and he flushes a little and shrugs, "I've got a lot of time, you know? I'm glad you like it." He caught off-guard by the hug, but grins and returns it. "Happy Birthday, Cid."
Sofia smiles again. She is for her part, watching the present wrapping happily. She nods. "That's wonderful," She agrees. For her part, she keeps and eye on things, shooing off any bugs that get ideas and making sure nothing spills.
Sawyer cranes her head to see the illustration and title of the book that Cidra unwraps, smiling as she notices the detail that went into the contruction of the gift. "You are loved…" The journalist comments in a singsong voice.