PHD #439: Hippie Shit and Crazy Pills
Hippie Shit and Crazy Pills
Summary: Vandenberg fields a rant. Special guest star: Evandreus
Date: 11 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: He is Not a Coward, I Believe
Constin Evandreus Vandenberg 
Marine Officer Berths - Deck 6
Almost an afterthought, this is the smallest berthing on the ship. A few short rows of bunks are set one over-top of the other. The lockers here are a bit larger than most elsewhere on the ship so as to accommodate the bulky combat gear associated with the security details of the officers that live here. A single table sits in the center of the room with chairs arranged around it loosely; more available than there are bunks in the room.
Post-Holocaust Day: #439

Into the early evening the Marine Officer Berths are quiet as there is apparently only one occupant. Van is up in her bunk with a controversial book on religion (that non-fiction bestseller) with her lamp on. There's a few earbuds being used, too. She's in her tanks and sweatpants looking like she's just being lazy for now. A foot taps against the wall of her bunk with the beat of the music, the gentle sound of fabric rubbing the only obvious sound around but for the general hum of the Cerberus.

The hatch being hauled open may or may not catch her eye, but if it does not then the off-duty Elf in his boots, trousers and tanks will seek to catch her attention with the thump of a fist knocking on the bunk wall beside her foot. Hell, he'll do that even is she does notice him coming; Constin looks to be in a bit of a Mood (tm).

Van notices the hatch open and onl gives it a glance until she see's who it is that's come rolling into the berths. Whoa. She marks the page in the book and sets it down, using her free hand to tug the earbuds out. "Hey. What's kickin, sport? Looks like someone just kicked your dog." She sits up more, making room in case he wants to jump up.

"Vandy. What is it about faith that makes folk so frakking stupid?" Constin wonders without preamble. "I will NEVER understand how folk can be so damned keen to believe in a bunch of big bastards with fluffy beards on the Lords-be-damned mountaintop. And I DAMN sure will never understand why good sense goes out the damn airlock, and folk can just call it 'faith'. And these sunsabitches are smarter than me!" He doesn't take a seat, just yet. Still rather wound up, is Elf.

Van only quirks a brow as the man dives into the subject. If she's immediately offended it doesn't show. She just sits up straighter, folding her legs under her. "Most people are afraid of death and that when they die, life is over. With religion people don't feel so insignificant to the universe and it gives them a sense of security in death. Other people take different things away from it so that's boiling it down pretty basic. Maybe even unfairly. But if you take that system away from them, it gets pretty cold for them. People go nuts. Plenty of wars fought over religion, too. I've never seen so many people go batshit nuts over another topic. Good, honest, intelligent people just lose their minds." She shrugs.

"DamnNATION," Elf mutters with a bullish exhale through the nose. "Had words with Chief Damon. Asked him to at least give Bannik some slap on the wrist for abandoning his post in the middle of a battle. You know what he said? He refused, because he believes Bannik- and I shit you not, this is what he said: 'Bannik went because it was the will of the Gods'. Can you even believe that horseshit?"

That Elf went to go talk to Damon about Bannik is enough of a surprise to Van that she tilts her head, blinking owlishly at him. But at the end, she dips her head forward, incredulous. "I'm sorry, what? The GODS sent him?????" She doesn't look happy. 'Downright pissed' might be a better term.

"Yeah. Gave him that same damned look m'self. I musta missed the memo, cause last I checked Zeus didn't have no frakking place in this boat's chain of command," Elf growls back. "I shit you not Vandy, he refused to punish him at all, because the Gods wanted him to act a coward and abandon his post during a mutiny. Can you beat that?"

"Uh, right. Exactly." Natalie just stares at him. "Look, I understand Gods, Colonies, Corps.. but randomly assigning responsibility for actions to the Gods is a frakking dangerous precident. If we arbitrarily let people blame shit on the Gods and let it fly as an excuse, how about we just blame that on everything? What is this hippie shit??" She looks like she might twitch. "Is someone slipping us crazy pills???"

Evandreus arrives from the Deck 6.

"I know!" Elf nearly hollers back in frustration as Natalie details the disastrous precedent. "Swear to whatever's listening, it damn sure feels like it," he growls to the Captain's last. "Bunch of weak-willed pansy-assed sunsabitches," the big marine snarls.

Vandenberg's eyes lid. "This is frakking done. I'm tired of this crap. This guy has no idea what kind of danger he is dragging this fleet into. The whole frakking LOT of humanity! He damned very well could endanger Saratoga," the Gemenon op, "-if he keeps this up! I godsdamned told Sawyer to talk to him and get him to calm the hell down with this crap. But if he has achieved cult status, that's damned dangerous! People need to be loyal to the chain of command! Not some glitzy kid! If Command can't do anything without his popular assent, then he needs to be cut down. And best frakking early rather than late. You know what kind of frak-all insanity we saw on Sag when those riots started??" She's growing into more of a angry state.

"Frakking civilian on Elpis is printing out copies of that shit. Posting them up anyplace there's room to be seen. That piece of shit he smuggled out of the brig has folk moon brained and wide eyed. Civvies and servicefolk." Angry Elf is angry. "And now his superior officer is backing the bastard. Vandy, too many folk are pinning too damned much on this little piece of shit deserter."

Vandypants is angry. But, for now, the Bunny seems more or less accepting of that which cannot and will not change, having meandered to the hatch of the berths in which he used to sleep away so many hours, letting his eyes trail over Vandy as she yells with a quiet peacefulness not unakin to resignation. It might be considered odd, to those who knows him well, the way he looks at her— Bunny doesn't look at women like that. But, in the real world, it blends into the background noise as the way men generally look at women, and would only stand out to someone rather in the know as a Does Not Compute moment. "Hey, guys," he finally pipes up, waiting to either be told to go away or invited in.

"Yeah, I saw," Vandenberg deadpans. "I was over there a few days ago. Saw it pasted up on the wall. Someone even left a copy in Pete's. I'm about ready to stab a motherfrakker in the eye." She grunts out an angry breath. "And yeah, you got any damned idea whats going to happen if this turns out to be an ambush? Or what that could mean for the members of this recon if we come back with bad news? You do realize we could be branded as heretics? I swear to the Gods, Elf, I'm really getting sick of this shit!!" 'Angry' is a massive understatement. Seeing Evan at the corner of her eye, she shoots a look at him but doesn't say anything.

Constin draws a breath through clenched teeth to answer Vandenberg's escalating ire, when the distinctly casual greeting of 'Hey guys' reaches his ear inbetween hearing and returning angry words. A sharp turn of his head toward the entrance hatch fix a hard blue stare on Evandreus. The breath drawn to answer Vandenberg is given crisp and clipped to Evan: "Sir, unless you got business here, I'ma respectfully recommend you get the frak out."

Evandreus meets the hard blue stare with a gaze yielding, but unable to be perturbed. As if the anger shot in his direction were going straight through him and hitting the wall on the other side. They hold there for a quiet moment, then the dark green, languid gaze slithers to Vandy once more, as if for confirmation, and then back to Constin. "Sure, guy," he tosses out into the room he never quite entered, words holding their own with a carefree serenity, immune to the vitriolic charge in the atmosphere. The anti-rage. "Vandy, when you have a sec," he tells the woman with a small pull of his lips into an unaffected smile. Presumably he means that she should come and chatter with him, but he leaves it at that, rapping a few times on the hatch by way of a casual farewell before he turns and ambles back down whence he came.

Natalie doesn't even blink at Constin's direction to Evan. The woman just watches with the same burning anger on her face. That Evan isn't even effected by the anger seems to just fuel Vandenberg's own seething emotions. "Its going to have to wait, Lieutenant," she aims at him, jaw nearly clenched. Whatever has her angry, this is apparently the King of Bad Times. The Captain watches him go before turning back to Elf. "You got any ideas how to deal with all this godsdamn nonsense? We roll back here and Bannik starts going apeshit that our judgment is bad if we don't like what we see? We're going to have to walk everywhere armed. Frakking religious, peacenik, hippie, shitbags turn violent when you dare threaten their fragile little existences.

Some project serenity, others radiate restrained anger. As Evandreus turns away, Constin is definitely among the latter as his stare shifts back to Vandenberg. "I don't answer to Colonel Zeus or Commander Aphro-frakking-dite," he returns shortly. "I'm more worried the dumb fraks will start offing theirselves if the truth ain't what that little bastard tells them it was."

Evandreus looks back over his shoulder to mouth 'okay' silently to Vandy, giving her an encouraging nod. And then strolling on past the edge of the hatch, he pauses, there, along the wall, as something overheard catches his interest. And so he rests there a moment, hand against the wall, thoroughly intending to move on. It's not eavesdropping if you just happen to be passing by, is it? He steps a further step down the corridor just to be sure he's out of the line of sight of anyone inside the room, and bends to one knee, there, by the wall, to re-tie a bootlace. Can't be too careful, after all.

"Yeah, that's a concern, too. The problem with religion is that people can't accept different ideas once they get it into their head that what they've learned is true. And they will do anything to retain that truth. Even if it means they have to die for it - because dying in the service of a religion is often portrayed as heroic." The Marine Captain's anger is still there, churning like magma just below her voice. It singes the edges. "We will have to watch for suicide bombings, murders, attacks, and gang-style warfare. We're talking about non-believers retaliating for any kind of inflammatory junk we see with the believers. If Bannik heads this thing up he could very quickly become an enemy of this fleet as dangerous as a Cylon. Is there any way at all we can charge him with something if we really need to? I don't mean illegally drawing up charges - but any loopholes or anything?"

Constin shakes his head to that last. "Not a damned thing. Damon dismissing all charges cut out anything I had on him. Hell, I can't even limit printing and posting of his little 'I am a cylon collaborator' letter," the MaA notes with ire. "Now, all we got is him with his free speech and a lot of folk exercising their freedom to be stupid. Besides," Elf adds, "I really gotta wonder whether- even if Bannik does break the regs- Chief Damon would agree to charge him with anything. He cited the frakking GODS as being on Bannik's side, Vandy," Constin repeats tersely. "Not only do I got no grounds, I got an obligation to keep the little shit alive and unharmed while he goes about polarizing the whole damned fleet."

Natalie shakes her head, the anger still there. It lights her eyes in the way that only rage can color an expression. "Look, worst case scenario, we bust Damon for Fraternization. That doesn't just apply to romance. That's a CO showing a preference for an individual under them. If any other member of the Deck had done that and he would have punished them, Damon's ass can be nailed to the wall. But that's pretty shitty, I don't mind saying." Even her accent has becomed a clipped, more severe end to the normally lazy meanderings. "I've about had it with this crap. I don't even know whether or not to hope we find out its a trap anymore. But I'm gonna be damned concerned if we find nothing."

Constin mutters back, "As for Damon, yeah it'd be shitty. But there's gotta be law and order. We took frakking oaths to follow the damn rules, and its long past time folk balled up and started doing that again." Another bullish snorting exhale. "Requested a meeting with O'Hare, to get his take on this shit. Depending on what he says, that just might go down. As for the rest?" He scowls. "We find what we find. Ain't no post-it notes, dumb-frak teenagers, or deluded Deck Chiefs gonna change that, one way or the other. But from where I'm standing? Worst thing possible would be all of this reg-breaking, exception-making deluded horse shit of Religiosity to get tolerated and allowed."

"I read a book in college that was about the key to cleaning up a city gone wrong. It directed that, and this is true, it starts with police officers enforcing small shit. Get back to the basics. Somebody doesn't throw a salute, kick their dick to the dirt hard. Someone smokes a ciggie when the lamp is on or someplace they aren't? Vouchers gone. This has GOT to stop. I'm right behind you on this." Natalie takes a long breath, her own emotions bullish. "I've done a lot of dumb shit. 'Cowboy' being the big one. But this isn't about risking my own life. This crap is risking the whole of the rest of humanity. Not a single damned thing is more divisive than religion except politics and those are two things people die and go to war for. Frak this crap." She reaches over and holds up her book. "This? Caused heart attacks when it came out. People bitching about heresy and the Gemenese Fundies went apeshit. This is just a godsdamned non-fiction book! Bannik is talking about real events. You talk to Corrath and urge him to talk to Pewter, brother."

"Big Sister? I don't kneel on Sundays, but when it comes to this shit, you're preaching to the frakking choir," Constin returns with a snort. He eyes the book as she brandishes it, not recognizing it apart from being irrelevant to the conversation, except as an example. "I'll have words with O'Hare. And Mathers, and Willows if it comes down to it. This is gonna gut us all if it dont get stamped out."

"Yeah. It will. If people are already letting their subordinates get away with this crap - when he openly ADMITS to quitting his post - no sir that cannot stand." Vandenberg kicks her legs out and lifts a knee to rest an arm on it. "When we talk to command about final orders, I'll make sure we talk to them about this, too. Elf? I do pray. Every night. But this is out of control." At least she seems to be calming.

"Huh. Didn't know that," Elf mutters to word that Vandenberg prays daily, in much the same vein he had previously noted that she came from a family where ponies are a unit of reward. "Yeah. Shit, got no damn idea who to leave in charge while I'm out." A frown. With Corrath's recent transfer, this is a fresh cause for worry. He gradually comes back to the earlier comment, to buy himself thinking time. "Never spent much thought for Gods and such. Hell, even if they are real, don't change a damn thing."

"Don't know a lot of tunnel rats, do you? We would go into tunnel systems by ourselves in spaces barely larger than me. Nothing but a suppressed handgun, NVGs or a flashlight, and a canteen. Boobie traps, venemous bugs and animals, rats, disease, ..and then there was the dead ends you couldn't escape from. Every rats I've met is religious. If you ain't when you join, its not long til you are. The first time you get buried in an explosion? You find 'em. Fast." For the pallor of her skin, its probably something she knew a lot about. "Lead a unit of them for a lot of years. I absolutely pray and I absolutely believe. But not to the point of this insanity and I never ever put anyone else's face in it. Bannik is no prophet. He is a normal kid who went on a ride. When your religion becomes part of your job and it effects your work, you have a problem." Natalie takes a steadying breath. "Even if? How does that not change things?" She tilts her head a bit. The woman isn't offended, though the remark has her curious.

"Oh I knew you were shaft-rat crazy, Nat. Just didnt know you was religious, on top of it," Elf returns, ire settled enough to allow a bit of a jape. He nods once as she goes on, and rolls his right shoulder in a slow shrug, raising his left hand to rub at the joint afterward. When she asks how that doesnt change anything, he considers a moment. "Well.. way I look at is is like this: Maybe there's Gods. And maybe there's some kind of justice in this life. If there is, I'll get treated like I deserve, whether or not I kneel on Sundays or say enough prayers. Or, maybe there's Gods and there ain't no justice. In which case? Frak them all sideways with their own damn statues, I ain't gonna worship no sunovabitch like that." At last he concludes, "Or maybe there ain't no Gods and this life is all we got. No matter which one ends up true, I'm gonna live best I can."

Van's dangling leg from her bunk kicks out slowly to nudge him on the shoulder for the remark. "Plenty of sane people are religious. A good portion of the population believes in some sort of higher power, though it seems less-so recently. A lot of people claim reason and science have killed the Gods." She shrugs. "Whatever." Obviously she doesn't buy that. But his way of looking at life obviously intruiges her. "Huh. That's pretty neat. I hadn't heard that before. Its not a bad way to look at things. But those who live as you do, without prayer or devotionals, aren't necessarily despised as a rule. From the way I've been taught, we are not so much judged on our actions so much as our inoffense to them. Rape and murder aren't crimes of religion. Many of the Gods have done so. Zeus is said to have raped women - though such talk is pretty much heresy in itself. ..Look, my point isn't that the Gods are imperfect. Doesn't matter. But I do believe there is justice. I pray to Athena for wisdom - to help me control myself and make smart decisions. So far its helped me. Sometimes faith, in itself, can help the soul - even if the Gods aren't actually out there."

"Huh. So this is you WITH control?" Elf drawls, deadpan. "Damn. Alright, for you I'll admit prayer must be pretty damned important. Either that, or the prayers ain't been working," he notes, with a tight grin. "As for the rest? Hell. Justice is kinda my business. Won't speak for no Gods." A breath drawn in and let out in a short exhale.

"I'll tell you right now Elf, you've never seen me lose control. Not even close. You frak with my family, though, its over." Annnnd Natalie seems quite serious about that. "Prayer does help me. Even if nobody is listening, it helps me vent and center myself. You organize your thoughts, secrets, emotions, and it all pours out. It can help when you have a lot on your mind. But its not for everybody - like you. You don't want to waste the energy, I won't try and tell you otherwise." Natalie shrugs once more, even if he was joking. She obviously takes the subject seriously. "Justice in the aftermath is more related to those who really screw up their lives. A lot of people believe that everyone must be buried with dirt and two coin and that without that gift to pay the ferryman, your soul will never get to Elysium. You're doomed to wander the banks of the Styx for all time. Assuming for one second that such a thing is real? If you were omnipotent and looked down at all the souls killed on Warday - I'd say a good portion don't even have bodies left. Instant incineration. What do you do with that? I think the Gods gave many a free pass. That, to me, is divine justice. Your brand is a little different."

Constin shrugs once to the former half of the Captain's comments. "Fair enough," he grunts simply. The big marine draws a breath and lets it out. "I'll take mine, and leave divine justice to any divine types. That sure as shit ain't me," he notes in signature understatement. "Right. Obliged to you for the words, Vandy. Needed to bounce alla that shit offa someone."

The officer nods a few times to Elf. "Thanks for telling me. Its good to have all the facts taken into consideration. Anytime you need to blow off steam, I'm good for it. Hell, you wanna take a few swings with your good arm I'll let you kick my ass in the gym." She smirks at him.

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