PHD #118: Haute Couture
Haute Couture
Summary: Cidra meets Tycho and Cora in the laundry room.
Date: 25 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: Such Sweet Sorrow logs.
Cora Cidra Tycho 
Laundry Room — Deck 3 — Battlestar Cerberus
Industrial washers and dryers line each side of this elongated room, which typically has personnel moving in and out all day and night. These front-loading systems are designed to withstand the rigors of a military beating and still function as expected. A sturdy set of counters run the length of the room for crewmembers to fold their own laundry and dress and pins or patches before and after the process.
Post-Holocaust Day: #118

This cavernous room hasn't ever been this crowded, filled nearly to bursting by those just returned from Kythera. Colorful civilian clothes swirl in the same washers as bland military gear, and the incessant thundering of countless dryers sends subtle vibrations through the warm metal floor. The air here is humid and heavy, having long since overpowered the industrial-strength air re-circulators installed in the ceiling, and the smell of lemons permeates every corner of the room.

Alone by the hatch is one Tycho Aidos, whose load is comparatively light compared to those spinning and spinning in the machines before him. Freshly showered and shaven, he's patiently waiting his turn in a chair set up precisely for this purpose. Bits of hair still cling to what flushed skin is revealed by his regulation sweats. Resting atop the filthy grey lounge suit in his hamper is a copy of the Colonial Code of Military Justice for which a slender hand now reaches.

Cora enters with a laundry bag as light as Tycho's or lighter, barely a half-load's worth of clothing and towel contained within. She swings it absently from her good hand, the one not bandaged and splinted, as she steps through that hatch, and then stops just inside, beside her unfamiliar fellow refugee, and takes in the crowd and the bustle. "Looks like this won't be as quick as I expected," she comments, half to herself but loud enough to be heard by others, as she steps around Tycho's hamper, glancing at that book, and takes a seat on one of the other chairs next to his.

"Madam." Aidos' soft voice is hardly audible over the pounding of these ceaseless machines, but the faint recognition in his sharp features is difficult to miss. He's one of the survivors the men and women of Cerberus pulled from Aquarian Pete's — one of Kythera's Finest, or so went the rumors, who in that same filthy suit helped guard first Sagittaron House and then Virgon House from any intruders. The book remains where it is, its title partially hidden by splayed fingers that have yet to move. "Or. I suppose it must be 'sir', now. Sir."

Cora glances sideways at Aidos as he speaks, the look longer than a glance, really, as she places his face. "Sir if you've enlisted," she confirms, "Otherwise ma'am, or miss, I suppose, if you were so inclined." She doesn't seem fussed about it one way or another, settling her bag between her feet, the cord draped loosely over a knee clad in those same sweats he wears.

"But 'madam' is out. Understood, sir." A tight, wry smile tugs at Tycho's narrow face. "Protocol must be obeyed." Brown eyes glance over to the row of washers immediately to his left, watching red LEDs tick down the minutes until it's his turn — until with a resigned shrug he's turning his attention back to the woman beside him, eyes closing as he works out a kink or two in his neck. "You will have to forgive me for not saluting. I have yet to get to that chapter in my introductory materials, and I've no experience on which to draw: my old major was not so strict as to force her minions to snap to attention every time a senior lieutenant entered the room." His accent is Caprican — and not backwater Caprican either, but a dialect informed by that aristocratic air so common in the ranks of its capital's nouveau riche.

"'Madam' is for grandmothers and procuresses," Cora replies, "So no, I'd rather you chose something else for me." She eyes the room, that chill blue gaze flicking from machine to machine, guaging her wait-time, and then back to Tycho, with whom she shares that accent, though hers is maybe a bit less studied, a bit more old money than new. "I think I can live without a salute this time," she says, lips curving faintly in just a hint of a half-smile, "Though I might have to jump you in line in punishment for the oversight."

"And now I remember why I always used 'Ms.' instead of 'Mrs.' when addressing women I didn't know." Tycho lets the book lie as his now-freed hand moves toward his neck to scratch at his hair. That wry smile widens as he has to reach up a few more inches than he'd been accustomed to reaching in order to make any sort of contact whatsoever. Talk about unexpected. "As far as punishment goes, you'll have to forgive me for not quailing at the threat. At this point, I doubt even the Fleet could invent anything more dire than spending the better part of four months imprisoned in the only gentleman's club to survive a wholesale genocide."

"It is definitely the safer choice," Cora agrees with a nod, "Men are so much easier, there's no choice at all, practically." She glances up at his hair as that hand searches for it, and then chuckles lightly at his words, tilting her head to one side for a moment, thoughtfully, and then shaking it, "No, I suppose being trapped in a gentleman's club with its customers and employees would be worse even than being trapped in the only upscale jazz bar to survive a wholesale genocide."

"Quite," Aidos says pleasantly, leaning back in his chair while stretching out his legs. Hey, he's short: it's easy. "Oh, and — do not take me for a regular, mm?" A few stray snippets of hair are flicked away from his skin as he sniffs — and thinks better of it, overwhelmed momentarily by the assault of lemony-fresh detergent. "Pete is — was, I should say — an informant for the Department, in return for whose consideration we'd overlook the occasional lapse in his liquor license."

His smile fades as his eyes flick over to a spot on the deck beside his feet. "Samantha Berger," he murmurs. "Brutally murdered in Morningvale last December. Pete called me with a lead the morning of." For a while, the only sound is the loud thumping of the dryers. "I survived because somebody shot a nineteen-year-old girl three times in the chest for eighty-seven cubits and a cell phone. Huh."

Cora glances down as he stretches out, momentarily guaging the space and deciding that to do the same wouldn't work out quite as well for her. "I was giving you the benefit of the doubt," she replies regarding whether he was one of those customers, leaning back if she can't sprawl forward, listening as he speaks. She's silent for a moment after the last, letting the whirl of wet clothing punctuate his statement. Finally she says, "It would be flip, I think, to say that at least she didn't die for nothing." Another moment, and she shrugs a little, settling back even a little further, hand lifting from the drawstring tossed around her knee to trace the edges of her splint, "I survived because my brother frustrated me and an old friend stood me up."

"For nothing." Tycho's expression turns momentarily grim. "Fair. I suppose I should be glad that Mayor Rayburn did not manage to entirely void the city of violent crime — but I was glad of that before the bombs," he adds, tone level. "Homicides were interesting. Traffic stops were not." The man's gaze is veiled as he regards the crumpled grey blazer in his own hamper, its fine lapels stained with dirt, blood, and Gods only know what else. "Not much of a friend, was he?"

"I never would have thought I'd live in times that are too interesting," Cora muses, "But…I think these might just be." She falls silent then, looking at that suit on the top of his hamper, long enough that she still is when he asks that question and after another beat she shakes her head, "No, not for a while." She shrugs a little, and then looks up, asking, "You're keeping that suit?"

Aidos knows when not to chase down a particular line of questioning, acknowledging her non-explanation with a noncommital 'hmm' and a quick, brief nod. "My concession to sentiment," is his answer. "I purchased it upon being promoted to Detective. Wool — finest Aerilonian. I might well have selected the sheep myself." Though with what money that purchase was made only he really knows. "Quite considerate of the Fleet to offer free dry-cleaning — for the dress uniforms, no doubt. The quartermaster is still trying to find one my size." That wry smile returns as he regards the baggy sweats in which he's now dressed. "I suppose that putting up with sartorial indignities is just another cost of living, these days."

"I knew some of the better tailors offered extensive customization but I didn't realize that went so far as choosing the sheep," Cora returns, "Talk about full-service." Her brows rise at the mention of sartorial indignities, and she does not quite scoff, but her expression nears it for a moment, and then she smiles, wider than before and more wryly, "You wouldn't call this a sartorial indignity if you'd spent four months wearing someone else's clothes."

Into the Laundry Room comes Cidra. In her off-duties, ruddy brown hair hanging loose to her shoulders, so no rank or any other identifying marker is immediately apparent. Her left arm is bound up in a sling, but her bare right arm and shoulder sport a great deal of ink. Cult tattoos, if one is in the know about such things. In her good arm, she hauls a duffel bag of laundry. Not a terribly full one. She is down a wing, after all, and such this trip probably only amounts to a load or two.

Tycho sniffs sympathetically. "No," he agrees, "I would not. And as far as choosing the sheep is concerned — it makes a difference, but whether that difference is worth the price?" Another elaborate shrug as he observes Cidra enter the room, eyes lingering on those tattoos — cataloguing them, no doubt, while the gears whirl inside his head. "Probably not." Her smile is matched by that same tight grin. "As I said: it is a concession to sentiment. Now as then."

"When the price is half the point, anything's worth it," Cora replies to Tycho, lips curving slightly. She too looks up at the neweset arrival, nodding politely to Cidra, glance slipping over the tattoos without specific recognition. She looks back to the man beside her and nods, "Fair enough. The dress I was wearing at the time was pretty well destroyed early on or I might have done the same. Everything else I got rid of when I got here. Just as soon never touch any of it again."

Cidra deposits her duffel atop a free washing machine with a soft "Umph." Cora and Tycho are eyed as well. And not recognized. Dark brows arch a notch. "A good eve. Are you perhaps new arrivals to the ship? I have not seen you here before, I do not think." Her drawling accent wraps oddly around some words and phrasing.

"Another reason being male is so much easier," says Tycho, echoing the blonde woman's words from earlier: "Our formalwear is mercifully low-maintenance and far more practical. To have survived the destruction of humanity only to suffer the aftermath in a petticoat and evening gown? The horror." His words are ever so dry, and a whisper of amusement lights his pointed expression. And — what! — a free washing machine and he missed it? Oh well: ladies first, right? "A pleasure, ma — " He catches himself. "Sir. Tycho Aidos. Private Aidos." Whatever.

"Too true, despite your tone," Cora replies, "Though it was a cocktail dress, actually. More manueverable, but far less to work with. And heels," she adds, nose and lip wrinkling briefly at the distasteful memory, "Three inch heels are just about the worst possible shoes to be wearing during the apocalypse." She looks up as Cidra addresses them, nodding, "Yes, sir," though there's a slight pause before the title, before she decides to follow Tycho's lead, "Lt. Cora Nikephoros."

Cidra listens to Cora's description of the cocktail dress. Just sort of absorbing it. Expression inscrutable. "Ah," is her final response. For her part she replies, "I am Major Cidra Hahn. Nikephoros?" She tries to place the name, failing. "You were among those extracted from Leonis I do presume, yes?" As she asks the question, she begins sorting out her laundry. All military fatigues. Nothing civilian in the bunch.

"Major. 'Toast.'" Don't follow Tycho's lead: he's going to be saying 'sir' to everybody and their mother, polite soldier that he is. "I am glad the pilots found you when they did, for your sake and ours." Despite himself, the man winces — at the memory of the battle in the clearing, perhaps, or the thought of running about the wrecked streets of Kythera in stilettos. "I can only imagine," is his graceful concession to the woman whose name he's just discovered for the first time. "I had shoes, once." Wistful memory. "At the bottom of the Elpeus, now. Ruined." And the sneakers that were their replacement? Those he didn't keep.

"Yes, major, that's correct," Cora confirms to Cidra, "And let me say I'm glad as well. Your efforts and those of your squad were impressive to say the least. Not to mention crucial." Tycho's shoes draw a hint of a smile for that wistful tone, and she nods, "Mine were of help breaking a window. They didn't survive long." She absently tucks a stray edge of the bandage around her right hand back in under the splint, glancing down at her own laundry. Then Tycho's, and that book's title is finally read and she asks, "You're planning to be an MP, I take it?"

"Toast is my callsign, yes," Cidra affirms to Tycho. Expression growing even harder to read when he speaks of her particular adventure on Leonis. "My pilots accounted themselves most admirably, both on the ground and in the air. I owe my men my life. All told I escaped the incident most fortunate." Though she does not sound as if she feels herself particularly so, fingers of her good hand idly picking at her sling. She looks curious of Tycho's status as well, though she does ask Cora, "Where were you stationed last? On Leonis proper?"

"What a noble purpose for such a wicked thing." He's talking about Cora's heels. "And I do not believe, Major, that any of us escaped." Her inscrutable expression is matched by the former policeman's neutral tone, which betrays not a hint of what that might mean. As for the book? "Your Marines just cleared me today," he confirms, gesturing to his haircut: the high-and-tight inflicted upon all members of the CMC by barbers with absolutely zero sense of style. A bead of sweat forms on the bridge of his nose, flicked away with a quick, precise jerk of his head. "Evidently, Man has not stopped murdering his fellow man despite there being only a few thousand of him left. Comforting, in a way. It keeps me employed."

"And such an undignified end for such a coveted item," Cora replies further of those heels, adding by way of explanation, "They were Farinaes." A luxury brand, stupidly expensive and fanatically adored, the sort of shoes some women kill for, speaking of homicide. Not that Cora seems at all broken up about their loss, more on Tycho's side of things from the sound of it. She glances back at that new haircut again for a moment as its indicated and then looks back to Cidra, shaking her head. "Atlas, major. BS-126. I was on leave on Leonis while it was at Virgon."

"Farinaes." Cidra repeats the word wryly, blue eyes regarding Cora. Her tone holds no sign of homicidal adoration for said shoes. She gets her load of laundry going. One doesn't have to separate much when everything is more or less the same color. The station gets more interest from her. "Atlas. Ah. I have heard of the ship, as I have heard of many battlestar designations, but I cannot say I knew her well." Blue eyes shift to Tycho. His words come as unexpected to her, and stiffen her posture some. "Evidently. Though I pray such things shall be dealt with quickly."

"The more things change, Major, the more they stay constant. As I said — comforting." To him, maybe. "And — those heels. Ah." Spoken as one half-syllable that rightly should be two or three, clipped off before its natural end. "Tana — my sister — had several pairs." Tycho leans forward, resting his elbows on his thighs, his forehead on the backs of his palms. "Where half the point is the price, yes?" There's a hint of mirth in his voice, though the somber man doesn't venture anywhere near laughter. "I doubt the two of you would have gotten along. They were her trophies — but she was always vapid." Words of condemnation devoid of true venom.

"Just those," Cora confirms with a quirk of a smile as Tycho echoes her earlier description. She nods a little at the description of his sister, offering, "I had a sister-in-law like that." Then she falls silent, smile sliding away well before she looks back over at Cidra and shrugs, "Not many that can now, sir." With that, she rises, smiling faintly, crookedly, as she lifts that half-bag of as-yet unwashed laundry. "If you'll both excuse me, I think I'll come back when it's a bit less stiflingly hot in here. It was nice meeting you, Private Aidos. And you, Major Hahn." She salutes Cidra, and then waits to be dismissed before exiting.

Cidra returns Cora's salute, albeit with the bare minimum of protocol effort. They're in the laundry room, and she doesn't appear that hell-bent on protocol. She lets attempts at further conversation quiet then, absorbing herself in the work of her laundry.

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