PHD #220: Get Busy Livin'
Get Busy Livin'
Summary: Lysander pops in on Ximena, and before the day is out, she pops him one too, and not in the good way.
Date: 05 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Lysander Ximena 
Hangar Deck - Port
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Post-Holocaust Day: #220

Sergeant Lysander only lingers amongst the flight decks when coming or going with regards to an assignment dirt-side. It leaves him with a speedy entrance or exit and nothing more, but as the time passes by with his being stationed aboard the Cerberus he has thus decided to linger around this time. He removes his combat helmet as he steps away from a freshly landed Raptor. The rest of his squad disembarks and begin filtering out here and there but he gives off a short nod before pausing there. This early into the evening, he might strike lucky in finding Ximey. That leads the man into stepping to the side and in the direction of a snipe and simply asking.

The snipe in question, a small little slip of a girl, probability one hundred percent that she was recruited for her ability to wedge herself into the smallest of spaces in a raptor, looks up at the marine. And then promptly around, in a classic, 'um, is he looking at me? Oh frak.' sort of pantomime. "You want the Chief?" A moment, as the thought registers, "Oh, you mean the other chief, yeah, she's…oh. I'm not really sure. Hold on." The little snipe, 'Redman', reads the name on her tag, steps back, getting herself into a firm, feet apart stance. And when she speaks again, it's a sound very nearly approaching a sonic boom. Well, not really, but she's clearly got a voice big enough to stretch across the deck when work is underway, "Alteris! You've got a visitor!" And…she promptly plops herself back down, flashing her most winningest snipe smile at the Sergeant.

It doesn't take but a few seconds, for Ximena's voice to answer the summons, coming from…not more than a space of five feet from where she was just bellowed for. "Thought you'd have gotten used to looking down to find me, Garret." She's, at the moment, mostly hidden under an open panel, working on what looks to be a gorgon's knot of pipes and wires in the wall. Only her feet and half of her calves are visible, if you aren't crouched down to see past the panel hanging at a ninety degree angle.

Lysander lifts his brows to the responding question from the lass and goes to speak up but with a deft shake of his head he doesn't interject, not yet at least. She catches on though and he gives off a short nod. A smile in thanks and he takes a step back to her yell, given the surprise on his face he turns his attention to her and quietly laughs. A low breath is taken. "Thanks, thanks," before he reaches up to rub the right side of his ear. Though he takes the moment to massage his ear there is still a lingering grin plastered over his expression. He turns in place to the responding call and folds his arms over his chest, smiling to the familiar voice.

"Guess I enjoy surprisin' you, Xim." He sniffs and then clears his throat, a generalized little gesture of nothingness before he shoulders his rifle and bends down at the knees after walking a couple of steps closer. He watches her legs for the time being. The rest of her is still under there. "How're you holdin' up?"

Ximena takes a moment, peeking out around the panel to the man heading in her direction, dropping a wrench down to the floor to root around in one of her pockets, most of which likely is not visible from her position. The sound of the wrench is, though, audible, so it might be a clue, just before she finds what she was looking for and sticks a hand out, offering a small blue case, complete with a pair of noise dampening ear plugs. The same sort as what she's wearing, that are made to lessen higher decibel sounds, but still allow speech communication, "I'm good, you know? Can't complain. Heard you been spending a lot of time on the surface." Now that you're closer, it's easier to see that she's laid out on one of those dollies usually reserved for moving around under vehicles.

Lysander removes his gloves as the wrench is dropped and he tucks them onto the back left side of his belt. With his right hand, he takes up the case and holds it in the light. The smile has since naturally faded but that doesn't stop him from appreciatively opening it and placing them on. It helps. It helps a lot. "I'm always going to like it more than these here things," is admitted by the man before inclining his head to peek under. He then glances over his shoulder towards his pack and gear, he'll properly store them in a bit, after the conversation, and then directs his attention back to so much machinery and above all Ximena. "I can find a way to get you down there if you want. Might need a couple of good hands to work on some things, like that freight' that was found. If you want."

As soon as she makes the transfer, the wrench is picked back up, and she works on finishing up the repair she was making before she had her 'visitor', "I know you are. But they can be beautiful too. I learned that after the first time I was on Sagittaron, you just have to be willing to look beneath the surface." A bang of the back of the wrench on the fitting, and she sets the tool down, "I'm all done down here." With that, she moves to scoot the dolly out from under the panel, "I'd like that. Never spent much time on Aerilon, except on shore leave. Couple of days was all. Would be nice to help get that ship running. But it's not going to be pretty when it is."

"Beneath the surface is a whole lot more of metal," offhandedly comments Lysander but he doesn't push the topic much more than what Ximena has stated. It just leaves an awkward taste in his mouth and he doesn't go as far to, this time around, state that it is a coffin in a void. He listens to the goings on beneath the panel and out of sight. She begins to move out and he takes a partial, somewhat awkward step back - thanks to kneeling down - in order to give her ample room. Still, he sits right there for her and smiles when he can see her face. "Life ain't much pretty either, but we strive on." That confidently reassuring look lingers and he asks as well, "Need a hand while I'm down'ere?"

"Miles and miles of metal to get lost in." Which, given Ximena's tone, is all for the good, yes it is. But she too doesn't press, she knows how he feels about life aboard, "That'd be great, I don't know where it rolled off to. I swear it has a mind of its own." But there's no shame in the hands she holds out to him, the same hands that circle around his waist, as she uses him as a support, needing a few minutes to force her body to keep itself upright. It's more him holding her up than her holding herself up for a long while, or perhaps still. She couldn't remain standing without him or something else to prop her up. "Ready now," simple and easy, as she turns her head, trying to track down sight of her chair, "I see it."

Garret gives a soft nod of his head and reaches out with both hands, taking hers as he rises into the fullness of his height. He shifts with a practiced ease and adjusts his posture to support hers, arm looping underneath hers and around her waist. He looks around with her and then turns his head to where she looks, grinning briefly. "Destination set, we toddle off into the sunset once again," but he's not feeling particular poetic. He is, however, feeling like a marine and begins walking her towards the wayward chair: one step at a time.

Ximena's lived, struggled and worked long enough with this man that she's long ago set aside any shame she might feel in using him to move herself around. Indeed, they've gotten to where he knows exactly her pace, slow at best, but smooth and slow or halting and slow, just by the first few steps she takes. And so, off they go, Mena's movements, halting as they are today, after a long shift in uncomfortable positions, making the journey from the panel, which she nudges closed, around the workbench and tool kit and towards her chair; an exercise in patience, and the ability to ignore pain, "Couple more feet and I'll be okay."

"Sure about that?" Lysander's tone of voice brightens once more and though there is the usual of strain in assisting another person from one point to another there's still the tell-tale sign of merriment. He shan't let life keep him down, at least publicly. A half-smile rests over his expression and he looks from where they are to where they need to be. He's teasing though. "I could always carry you again. You seemed to like it, Xim." But, there comes a time where the marine has to let go of the older woman and let her do her thing. He knows her. Still, he lingers with her even with letting her go, just in case things go proverbially south.

"Yeah. I started walking again." Which means, really, finding some deserted place down on some deserted deck, and walking with her crutches until her body gives out, or she has to choose between giving up or passing out. Still, there's an easy camaraderie between the two, male and female, "Who wouldn't want to be carried around over the hills and dales of Sagittaron in the heat we just got out of? All I was missing were some grapes." Once she's just at the chair, she reaches out a hand, using it to lever herself away from the marine and around into her chair. The change that comes over is surprising even if it's a change you've seen before. No more halting, no more stuttering in her steps. She works the chair like a pro, moving smoothly away, before she spins around and comes back to settle herself next to the Marine, "Where were you heading back from?"

There's a wry, quieted laugh, out of it all, thanks to Ximena's words: grapes. It helps in forgetting the grit, the heated ache, the pain. The right corner of his mouth tightens into a smirk and he is given the chance to stand where he is and watch her. He folds his arms over his chest and shifts his weight from one boot to the other as she comes in to settle next to him. "We were about a hundred-fifty klicks west-southwest of Ewe Aerilon, helped in recon an' checking over some town. Completely abandoned," he pauses. With the beat that comes to rest over the conversation's shoulders he unfurls his right hand in order to gesture towards the exit so that they may walk and talk at leisure. His thirty kilogram combat gear won't get rid of itself, sadly. "I didn't bother harping when one of my teams raided some pub."

"Give me the pack," Mena offers holding out her arms for it, once she's sure she's strapped herself in securely to the chair, "I might as well sherpa you for a while." Still, she's happy to let him set the pace as they move through the deck, "I haven't heard of any just yet, but I hear they found fresh berries all over the countryside around basecamp." After so many months of living on grit and determination, fresh food, any food at all still seems like such a blessing, "I wouldn't have either. Those are good barter items." Even before the war everybody knew that. "You bring back anything good for yourself?"

Lysander makes a thoughtful noise of complaint at her offer and he knits his brows briefly together, debating. He leans slightly forward in order to peer questioningly down to her but she most likely won't ever let him get away with avoiding it and so he begins to release the catches to his pack and shed it. The equipment is placed gingerly under the woman's care and he sets their pace for this walk. It's slow and casual, lackluster. He's in no rush to officially step into off-duty this time around. "That'd explain so much pie…" He trails off, almost with a sickly shade to his tone. There is such a thing as too much pie for this man. He lifts his chin a bit to her question. The marine reaches up to a pocket over his chest and draws up a closed compass. There's no chain but the ring at the top is still attached. Some sort of leaf and earthen print has been stamped into the golden surface and he holds it out for her to take.

Mena settles the pack comfortably in her lap. Hey, if you can't feel much of anything you might as well put it to good use. No need to worry about the weight putting her legs to sleep. They've gotten about midway though the deck, by this point, moving around and sometimes under obstacles, when the compass is handed over, "You…got yourself." She pushes the springlock, likely expecting what anyone might expect, a chronometer of some kind. She pauses now, longer, and more deliberate, "A compass." One arched brow, as she looks up and over to the man, "You got yourself…a compass."

The Sergeant finishes in reaching overhead to guide himself beneath something he doesn't pay attention to beyond a cursory glance. He looks at her and then continues walking with her. He has to look over towards her once again when she repeats herself and he slows down just a bit further as he replies in turn. "No, I think I'm perfectly fine with my sense of direction. But, for you, I got you a compass. It's better than the standard issue ones you used to get." He grins and moves to a place a hand on her shoulder. "For me, well, was hoping I'd get a smile, or a laugh - c'mon, you know you want to."

Mena's mouth opens, but not a sound comes out. Rather, it forms an almost comical 'Oh', before she remembers to shut it again. Careful hands turn the compass over, sharp eyes taking in all of the details, before she finally does offer that smile, before she looks up the distance required to meet the marine's eyes, "Thank you, Garret. It's beautiful." There's a moment she she stops to consider, before she speaks again, "I didn't get you anything. Well, you can keep the earplugs. You need them on the deck, it's regs." But she does seem inordinately pleased at the gift.

"Aha, there's the Ximena I've come to know," is murmured by Lysander right about when she looks into his eyes and thanks him, heartily so at that. He warmly smiles and moves his hand to her opposite shoulder in order to offer as much of a hug as he can given their positioning. He's standing. She's seated. He's remembering to slowly walk with her roll. "I'll keep the plugs then, promise," and speaking of he moves to remove them and put them back in the case she had given him. They're pocketed. These days he's not pushed to follow regulations by the exact. "We've been through far too much, an' came out well enough together. That's gift enough."

The hug is returned, warmly at that, before the journey begins and then ends again. They've finally arrived at one of the freight lifts, normally reserved for moving equipment, wounded personnel and supplies around between decks. Smelly and dirty, they're not usually intended for personal use but, given the circumstances, allowances have been made. "Every day above ground is a good day." A hand presses the button to bring up the lift. "Where you heading?"

There's another thoughtful sound. He enjoys making them. Lysander comes to a stop before the lift and gives a glance over his shoulder to the rest of the expansive hangar deck. "And we need those," comments the marine with regards to good days. He can fairly easily ignore the strong smells of the area. It still makes him temporarily wrinkle his expression. "Marine country, need to get this all checked in an' tagged for the day." He looks over to her. "Comin' with?"

"Yeah, sure." As the lift arrives, Mena reaches forward, rather than down, to pull up the door. "I still remember what they were like. And I still know how to get people to move out of my way." In she goes, before she spins the chair around, to allow her to face you for the short ride down to the marine deck, "So tell me about your squad. What do you think of your new crew?"

Lysander positively beams at the thought of company, or maybe it's simply having been the fortunate idea of checking in on Ximena in general now that the two of them are fairly acclimated. He grins as he steps into the lift and leaves his back to the entrance upon closing, facing her in turn. "Experience is all over the place, an' I don't think they've seen heavy combat unless it involves the frakton of shit a toaster can toss at us. They're good people though. I've got a pair of strong team leaders to man my fire-teams." He might be young, but he's been in the proverbial game for a while now.

"Maybe we'll find a tank, one of these days, and I can come out with you, again." Certainly, her time with Lie wasn't standard CMC operations, but they did learn how to work together. And there's something to be said for the ability to brace a really frakkin big gun with a chair. Mena may well have lost what some might consider to be everything, but she's found ways to make the chair work for, and not always against her. But six decks later, and the lift is coming to a stop, and she offers, "The button to open it is on your side."

Lysander bites down on his bottom lip in taking a momentary lapse of speaking so that instead he can simply listen to her. "Maybe," is mentioned in reply and offhandedly, his attention turning internal for a lingering moment. He turns around slowly and folds his arms over his chest, briefly, since he has to reach out for the button. After looking to her and then pointing his gaze forward, he offers, "I'm glad at least we made it."

With the door now open, Mena powers forward to pull the door up, and move outside, spinning around in the direction of the berthings. She may not live here, but she knows where they are. "Yes, we did. And that's something to be grateful for. Sometimes…most of the time I don't know why I made it. Why not Benny, or Sina. Or even Cassel, of all people. I mean, he couldn't put two and two together, but he could sure as hell keep the frak off you when he had to." Still, they've all fallen, or left to frak knows where.

"Because life sucks or somethin' — bear nuts," with the latter being dryly muttered instead of cursing outright. He looks to the rifle at his side and then in the direction of Ximena and the equipment in her lap. He shifts his weight to the side and turns to head for the security hub and the armory beyond. "Let's get some things squared away before I enter into the zoo that is my life." His expression is warm enough in spite of the dry tone at which he speaks. It won't take much but a handful of minutes and he would rather avoid paperwork, and when it's all done and he can head for the enlisted berthings: "Let me change that, not because it sucks, I just don't know anymore."

"Not everything about life sucks." But Mena will allow him his indulgence, as she moves into the security hub with him, patently ignoring the MPs looking at her wondering why precisely there's a greasy, oily engineer carrying gear into their little domain. The pack is easily handed over, before she does a quick spin and sets herself up close to the door, "We're all trying to figure thing out, you know? Nothing's the way we thought it would be. I didn't think I'd be back on a ship again, but here I am."

Lysander begins to walk back in the direction of Ximena with the exit as a backdrop. His attention is on the former rather than the usual of the latter. With a forced smile, he reaches up with his right hand and combs fingertips anxiously through his dark hair. "We switched places, you know - when Cerberus found us - we did." The hand is lowered and pocketed and the force within his smile weakens and wanes though it leaves behind the remnants of the smile. He doesn't go into detail beyond that but he does come to a stop in front of her. "I think about things, the way they are, were, will be. I think about them too frakkin' much."

"Maybe we did, sure, but that's just cause it's my turn now." Mena allows the man to walk out of the room before her, giving the security center a final once over, before she heads out into the hall and sets herself to follow the marine's lead, "It's not good to think that much. Gotta think about today. Yesterday's gone, tomorrow might never come. Gotta do it one day at a time, one hour, maybe, like we used to."

Lysander glances aside and towards the hatchway before rolling out his right shoulder into a half-hearted shrug. A small, noisy complaint from the depths of his throat and they are off once again; this time, they head for the berths. "Mmph," another sound is given before he actually responds, distracted by his thoughts, "Can't I just purge the memory? Cut out the scars, honor what's left, try an' move on. What's the point of living if I have to worry and keep my guard up every single day, every hour - every minute of every second?" He pauses in step at the thought and though for that moment he tenses up he returns back to walking with her and out into marine country.

"How is that different from the way you were living life before the Cylons attacked? Didn't you already have to do that during every tour you did in a combat zone before? Life, in that way, isn't much different for you now than it was then. We just have more threats coming at us than we had before." Mena knows where the berthing is, and she heads in that direction, pausing to let you go in first. "I'll be right in." It takes a bit of shifting of her weight, locking and unlocking the wheels of her chair, to get her over the lip of the door to the berthing. A ship in space is really not very handicap accessible. But she's learning to adjust to that too.

"Yeah, if you call that living. I don't think I can anymore." He doesn't speak up further and instead Lysander offers a low and short-lived whistle under his breath. He inhales and steps into the opened entrance with ease but she pipes back up and the marine glances over his shoulder before stopping and pivoting in place. He politely stands there and allows her to work her wheelchair magic before continuing onward. To the least, he isn't far from the entrance within the smallish, when compared to everywhere else, room.

"Then you need to decide on something else to do with your life, Garret. Because if you stay a Marine, that's all your life is ever going to be. If you decide on something else, maybe it won't be so bad, or intense. But we're never not going to have any danger. No cylon threat, not until we've eliminated all of them. Which is not likely to happen in our lifetimes. But if you are going to stay a Marine, then you need to accept that and everything that comes with it. Get busy living or get busy dying." Mena works herself into the berthing, moving as much out of the way as she can, at least staying on Lysander's side of the small room.

Lysander holds up his right hand and gives a brief thumbs up of a gesture before turning away to head for his locker. "Thanks for the inspiration," a touch insipid, but primarily being his dry and sardonic self, he doesn't respond any further for the time being and focuses on changing out of what remains of his on-duty field uniform. Modesty can go kick itself, but he only changes out of pants and shirt anyway. "You know, you make it sound so easy. Like one day I can just flip some switch and be different. And who's to say I'm not already dead? Back and delirious on Sag'." He pulls a t-shirt over muscled torso and then reaches aside for some dull green, standard issue shirt. Looking in her direction, the Sergeant pipes up with a short, "Once a marine, always a marine."

"I was different in the split second it took for that nuke to toss me around so hard it tore up my spine, Garret. I didn't have a choice in that. I didn't get to choose if I wanted to give up the only life I ever lived, stop doing the only job I ever loved, to be tied to this chair. I just had to live with it. It was that or stick a gun in my mouth and blow the back of my skull off. You have the choice to do whatever the frak you want to do in your life. And that's a godsdamned luxury in my book. So crawl your way out of the puddle of your own personal shit you've been wallowing in and get your head back together." Mena will be damned if she's going to let the Sergeant fall into the same trap that killed so many of her squadmates. Sure hands back up her chair, moving her into the portion of the deck by the door where she can turn her chair around.

Lysander stops moving around since the distraction of doing something is not helping anymore. He ends up looking pointedly towards Ximena and his jaw sets itself, nearing to the moment of sparking off something he ought to regret. He keeps quiet though. His right hand comes up with the nail of his thumb he scratches over his upper lip before rubbing his jaw and turning back to his locker. The marine bends down in order to retrieve something stored in the recesses and once he has retrieved it he begins to walk in the woman's direction. "Xim, come back to me when you're finished reading this." He holds out his ratty personal notebook: "Okay?"

Mena has just made it to having one set of wheels over the lip of the hatch when Lysander's words catch up to her and she looks back. They may call her chief now, but she's never going to stop being a Marine, no. And marines lead the way. They don't fall behind. "Yeah, okay." She accepts the book before she tucks it into one of the bags she has built into the chair for all her little widgets, "Get busy livin', Garret." A little bit of a bump-thud and she's fully out of the hatch, and heading down the hall back towards the lift.

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