BCH #002: Hazard
Summary: Sitka says what most of the Deck has already probably been thinking.
Date: 2041.02.24
Related Logs: The day after: Questions and Cycles.
Santiago Sitka 
Hangar Deck - Port Midship - Battlestar Cerberus Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

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.

The Deck is its usual hustle-and-bustle hive of activity this afternoon. The jumpsuited techs and mechanics and aircrew people are a buzz of activity, traveling this way and that, all engaged in fixing, tinkering, requisitioning, and post-flight checking various machinery. There's only one person up here who really stands out. It's the combo of platinum blonde hair, heel assisted height, all black clothing, and a small notebook secured to a mini clipboard in hand. She has a pen, and she stands just out of the busy zone, making notes on something. The line of her body is straight, head bowed. She only glances up briefly when, in the wake of a rushing crewman pushing a large rolling box of tools and parts past, a slight breeze disturbs the sheer scarf she wears. Green eyes go right back to the page, she takes a half step back, and turns to the side. Scribble, scribble.

Sitka thumps down the stairs that lead to the hangar bay, dressed in full marshmallow gear— that is, a standard fleet issue flight suit, gloves and boots, with a helmet tucked under the crook of his arm. He doesn't appear to be in any kind of rush to get where he's going. Instead, he's taking his time finishing off a cigarette before he officially enters hangar bay territory, bristling with NO SMOKING signs. He hasn't spotted the platinum blonde deck ornament yet, but no doubt he will once he quits studying his navel.

Santiago shakes her head slightly as someone calls something to someone else, that ends in 'frak me sideways, Chalks'. She goes on writing for a while, then pauses, as she's approached by a Deckie. "…" She glances up from the clipboard, then stares. Brief words are exchanged, and she leans in a little to look at the other person's clipboard. There's a nod, she touches the paper, then scribbles something with her own pen. "That looks fine. Thanks." The dirty blonde crewman shuffles off, and Santi goes back to her writing. Or, starts to go back to her writing. She glances down at her hand, where a large smudge of grease or dirt has been transferred to her unmarred skin. Her formerly clean skin. Her delicate hand. "Oh, fffff." She lifts her hand a little away, so as not to accidentally touch her clothing, and glances around for something to wipe it on. That would be around the time she notices Sitka. Yep, while she's standing there doing the limp-wristed 'get if off' stance.

Loiter, loiter. Ibrahim really takes his time with those last two or three steps, and makes sure he gets his money's worth out of the cigarette before crushing it into one of the sand-filled boxes they keep for just that purpose. Dusting his hand off on the thigh of his flight suit, he steps down onto the deck and starts across to the whiteboard showing which birds are down for repair. Just in case his has been pulled in unexpectedly. Enroute, of course, he catches sight of Santiago and her limp wrist, and pauses mid-stride like he's not sure whether he should say hello— or just keep walking. "Problem, Miss Blue?" he settles on, voice neutral. Bland, even.

Santiago's green eyes track the flightsuited pilot's progress. She watches him suck the life out of the cigarette, linger, crush it out, then start forward. Her eyes take a brief perusal of the getup the Colonial Navy saddles their pilots with. There's a brief, hm at the design, though that could be to anything, really. It's the blandness in his tone, when he addresses her, that makes her smile. "Ms." She arches both brows just a little. "Yes. I've been defiled." She lifts her hand, as if in a wave, but backhanded, over her opposite shoulder. One of her knuckles is smeared with grease. To casual observers the stance could be interpreted as Santiago about to backhand the Captain. "I'm dry clean only. You wouldn't happen to have a tshirt on under that thing, would you?" Cotton is less worthy, and the privileged have no qualms asking leading questions such as that one.

It's a bit of a fancier getup than your average light craft suit. These suckers are built to withstand extremes of temperature, fire, provide a token protection against bullets, and block a fair amount of radiation. Which, speaking of, Sitka accepts a couple of pills from the technician that slaps him his pre-flight checklist, and pops them smoothly. Without water. His blue eyes stay on Santiago the entire time. After he's swallowed, "I'm sure you can borrow a rag from the Chief's office. Want me to ask for you?" No comment on her having been defiled, or on whether he's wearing a tee under the flight suit. The former does prompt a very subtle crinkle of amusement at the corners of his mouth though.

There's a moment where Santiago's eyes find the pilot's. It's brief. Her gaze is shortly shaded by her eyelashes as she glances down without a dip of her head to follow. Her attention seems to slide over the suit once more, but that isn't the purpose of the look. She's seen the suit. "Would you? That would be incredibly sweet." The words are delivered in a flawlessly appreciative tone, though she shortly turns on her heel, and stalks across the deck, passing a cluster of wheel locked tool boxes, presumably looking for a clean shammy. Her boots are heavy on the deck, reporting more loudly than the sharper stilettos she usually wears. There's a mutter of something that could have been, "I hope you choke on those anti-rads, you insufferable root chewing tinkerbell," but she's far enough away that only exceptional ears would catch it over the deck noise.

"Not a problem," the pilot answers, affably enough. Hey, he might actually be making an effort to help her out. His eyes stay on her face, even as her eyes do the little scenic tour over pilot country. He's already pulling back before she turns to stalk away, and takes just a moment to check out her ass in the leggings before trudging off in the direction of the Chief's office. He probably didn't catch that last bit given the noise on deck, unless he's got superhuman hearing.

Santiago wipes her hand on a bright orange rag, found perched atop a particularly dented up box of tools. That is, she wipes her hand after copious poking around at the rag with her pen's tip, to find a clean spot. It takes a moment, then she's carefully wiping away the grease, rag stabbed into place with her pen, so she doesn't have to touch it with her other hand. Just in case. It's the prissy hand-wipe of a woman who acts like her nail varnish is still wet. The problem with deck rags on Deck tool boxes is thus: You think you've cured the grease problem, but really, you've just made it worse. "Motherf—" She turns again, and stalks her way across the deck, to resume almost her exact position. Her chin comes up, eyes close, and she breathes in a slow, meditative breath. Counting to fifteen. 1, 2, 3… "Frak." 4, 5, 6. "Seven, eight," Nine, ten, elev — "Breathe." —en, twelve, "One more week at the most." Thirteen, fourteen, "Okay." Fifteen.

At least she has plenty of time to fuss about before the Captain returns. But return he does, with a relatively clean rag bunched in one gloved hand, and a cup of coffee in the other. "Miss." It's spoken after a quiet throat-clearing, when she reaches about ten in her countdown. His dark brows make a little upward motion, and he holds up the rag for her to accept.

Santiago holds up a finger in the universal 'wait' gesture, then finishes off her counting. There's a slight roll of her neck, then her lashes lift, and green eyes turn to the pilot again. She doesn't correct him this time, but blows out a slow breath, and reaches out to take the rag from the man. "Thank you, Sitka." She swallows on the heels of the words, then goes about wiping off her hand. The gesture is slow and assured, rather than agitated as it was before. Long lashes lower, the darkness and length of them suggests she's wearing at least partial false ones. Vanity or costume. She is silent for a moment, then says, "You have karyukai ink." Her eyes rise, and fix on Sitka's again. "Have you visited Aquaria?"

It's hard to say whether he really has the time to stand around, jawing it up with prissy civilians when that viper of his ain't going to fly itself. But aside from a subtle glance at his watch, Ibrahim gives no indication he's in any rush to depart her company. "Not a problem," he offers, again, to the thanks. A bark goes up from one of the senior deck crew, possibly to avert a collision between two teams each hauling a dolly full of equipment. "Yeah. A number of years ago." A fleeting smile's in evidence, just for a second, though it doesn't touch his eyes. "I hear you're one of the Aquarian attaches. Nice place." Eye contact, mind, is neatly avoided.

Santiago doesn't turn around, but she does perk an ear, with just a tip of her head, as the bark goes up behind her. Though she doesn't move from the spot she's in, standing this close, it might be obvious she pays at least some attention to the goings on on the Deck. "It is. It's beautiful, and almost entirely water. If you're a fan of blue." Santiago's lips twitch slightly. "If you like fish. Algae. More fish. More algae." She scrubs at her skin longer than is necessary, folds the rag, and continues as she speaks. She watches the man for a moment more, then her eyes return to her hands. "It's cultural, isn't it? Avoiding eye contact. We Aquarians are much more liberal with our social interaction." The clipboard remains tucked under her arm, she continues to eradicate the memory of grease from her skin. "I've seen the Petrels fly," she finally says. "You don't suck." Her politico slips just a bit.

"I am," replies the Captain, the soft words tinted with just a hint of mirth. "I was in Sakai province for a few years, for uh. For school." It could be the truth, or it could be an unnecessary coverup. He transfers the coffee cup to his free hand, so he can sip from it. "Something like that, yeah." To the eye contact remark. He's unapologetically dismissive about it. And then she's changing the subject again, and he looks like his brain's still trying to catch up. "Thanks, I think." Ever so dry. "What part of Aquaria are you from, Miss Blue?"

Santiago glances up, just briefly, as Sitka mentions the Sakai province. There's a beat, then her eyes return to her hand. She turns it over to examine the slightly reddened, but otherwise spotless flesh. The Aquarian considers the Saggie's words, and then chooses to reply only to the last question. "I was born in Tottori." She tri-folds the cloth neatly in her hands, dirty portions cleanly encased within. "But my family's estate is located in Tama, which is also where Blue Sun Shipping's home office was built. It's a busy city, with a lot of military traffic." That could explain some of her attitude about the servicemen aboard. Could. "I don't spend a lot of time there these days." For geographical reference, she adds, "It's just South of Sakai."

Tottori. "Tottori. Rings a bell." His eyes are briefly drawn by a passing technician, and he reaches out with his free hand to touch Santiago's shoulder with his fingertips. It's a brief contact, with a practical purpose: to keep her from being mowed down by the dolly. "I guess you must've had to deal with a lot of rowdiness. Give a serviceman the first leave he's seen in months, and it's like turning a rutting bull loose on a herd of heifers." After a somewhat awkward pause that could, but doesn't, lead to him cutting the conversation short, "What does your family ship?"

"Ships." The reply is brief, amused. It's a question she's likely answered many times. With the touch to her shoulder, she glances away, to spot the technician incoming, and moves just a step closer to be sure she's out of the danger zone. She takes a little step back, claiming the space just on the edge of conversationally intimate. "Military freshly released on Tama receive the highest number of reprimands and non judicial punishments I've ever heard of within the limits of a single country, let along city limits." Her arms slide in close to her body, tucking the clipboard in against her chest. "Obviously, Ramon began the business as an exporter of various fish and fish based products. It's unavoidable. He is a man who knows how to get what he wants, and he absorbed other shipping companies, and branched out from there. Today, BSS is one of the largest exporters of fine vessels in the Colonies." There's an unspoken air quote in there somewhere. "The much more interesting, unspoken bit is that my family is very supportive of the arts. What Ramon doesn't know, is that he personally provides a yearly scholarships, upwards of five hundred thousand cubits, to skin and street artists, for University, in Tama, Tottori, and Inagi."

The touch is gone before Santiago can even turn to see what its impetus was. Saggies probably err on the side of a little more personal space than most, so there's no attempt to close the distance that's re-established. "You sound like a television commercial," answers the Captain with a slight smile, which promptly vanishes into the sip of coffee he takes. "I'm sorry, who's Ramon?" Apparently politics isn't a staple of his.

"It's not so much a commercial as a paragraph from a press release kit," Santiago replies, without missing a beat. The faintly amused quirk of her lips fades. "Ramon Vega Blue, the third, is the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Sun Shipping, also the Cultural Attache, and close personal friend," She presses her palms together, and gives a little mock bow, "to the Aquarian Quorum Delegate." The ridiculous string of titles is just that — ridiculous. The bow is an acknowledgment of the necessity and formality of it. She doesn't clarify her relationship with the CEO/Attache, but there are only three real possibilities, given her age — mistress, trophy wife, or daughter. A political man would be able to narrow it to two. An Aquarian or Tauron politico wouldn't need a hint to put Santiago's face with 'daughter, trouble' status. "None of it means a damn thing, unless you really love to sail. Or fish. It's good for the Aquarian economy, and that keeps the tourists coming in. And the military, in search of recreation, relaxation, and release."

Sitka opens his mouth to answer that first remark, but wouldn't you know, Santiago just barrels right along. He shuts it again, hoists up his helmet where it'd begun to escape his grip, and smothers his mild amusement in another swallow of coffee. Gods damn, a cigarette would be lovely about now. "There's a few good places to surf, too, off the Nankan reef, if you like your watersports on the risky side. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, though." He might just be forming his own conclusions, regarding her relationship with this Ramon. Trophy wife probably isn't the first thing that jumps to a Sagittarian's mind. Mistress though, wouldn't be at all out of the ordinary for men like him. "Afraid I've got a patrol to make. It was nice to see you again, Miss Blue. Good luck with your.." Assessment? That might sound a little mocking. He tosses back the last of his coffee, and checks his watch.

Santiago's eyes are considering, as Sitka makes reference to another specific location on her home world. It's a look that's hard to read. "I know. I do. And I have the scars to remember it by." She doesn't elaborate, not that she was asked. "Though the attempt at regret in being called to leave my engrossing presence is, on the surface, appreciated, you and I both know that a pilot would almost always rather be in the cockpit. To do my job here, I don't need luck. Just eyes. And a pen." She raises that. "Well equipped." She holds out a hand for the coffee cup. "Good hunting."

One gets the impression that during the entirety of their conversation, half of Ibrahim's attention was elsewhere. He's polite, barely, in the way that a baseball bat can be polite if you don't swing it too hard. However, when she makes the astute observation regarding his preference for the cockpit, his blue eyes come up to meet her darker ones. Just for a heartbeat. She finally managed to get his attention, it seems, on a level beyond the superficial. "Keep your eyes open, and get rid of those ridiculous shoes while you're on the deck. You're a hazard to yourself, and everyone else. Be lucky you found me before the Chief, or you'd be barefoot and they'd be on their way to the incinerator." He relinquishes the cup after a second's hesitation, salutes her with his helmet, then breaks away to head for his red and white fighter just as an voice crackles over the intercom requesting that the flight lead report for pre-flight.

"Ouch," Santiago replies, though the word is soft, and spoken only after Sitka's finished and is already on his way. She doesn't sound particularly offended. Amused, rather than chastised. "Thanks, Pop." She does glance down at her boots, and then up. Noting several nearby Deckies barely hiding their amusement, several having turned away or ducked behind stationary objects to chortle at her expense. Sitka probably just said what several of them have been thinking since she arrived, and it's clear from the reactions. "These are 750 cubit Kamis. Over my cold, dead body." That last bit's muttered, and it's unlikely anyone else hears it.

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