BCH #001: History and Cigarettes
History and Cigarettes
Summary: Silas finds out a little more about Arkat, and Arkat gives a little ship advice.
Date: 2.26.2041
Related Logs: None
Silas Arkat 
Enlisted Berthings Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Designed specifically to house a small Marine contingent, this berthing is one of the smallest on the ship. The bunks are arranged in standard formation in the classic over-under configuration and lockers dividing each one. However, the lockers here are a bit larger than most elsewhere on the ship to accommodate the bulky combat gear associated with the security details of the crew that lives here. Tables are spread out for use through the area with their standard allotment of chairs.

It's all quiet in the Enlisted Berthings. Apparently, the ship is busy, under siege, or everyone's just taking a little break somewhere else. Everyone but one. A leg dangles from a lower bunk, the curtain drawn closed and draping over the thigh of some clean sweatpants while black shoes are piled haphazardly on the floor below. From behind the curtain is the sound of a Sergeant smacking the interior light with a fist. That, or his 'private time' is too horrific to contemplate. "Quit! Bein'! Stubborn!" is grunted out between smacks.

"Frak." That's the soft utterance that's heard just as the newest Private on the boat stumbles in through the hatch. She's only been aboard since the day the BS Cerberus departed dry dock. She flips some still dripping hair out of her eyes, pulls a large (on her) towel tighter, and skitters toward her bunk and locker. She still hasn't met most of the squaddies, being so new. At least, not officially. And there's little to no eye contact that happens even so. Eye contact makes her uncomfortable, especially with SSgt King.

THUD. CRACK. "…" After that jarring moment, there's naught but silence from behind the bunk curtain for a few seconds. Then a few more. Finally, a meek little cough emerges, followed by Sgt. Arkat Galyian sliding out of the bunk, nochalant as can be. Bending down and scooping up his shoes, he only realises there's someone else as he stands upright. Great awareness, this guy. "Oh! Er." Shit. He straightens, and attempts what could be considered a look of 'Innocence', with his face trying to look neutral. Fingers tap at his thigh. "Shit. Hello."

Silas pauses at her locker, one hand on the hatch. The rather bizarre noise from the bunk down the way does grab her attention, because she's never heard it done quite that noisil — oh shit. When the other marine emerges, with no conspicuous zipper sounds or other clothing things, she averts her eyes before eye contact is even made. "Er. Hi." She yanks her locker open, disappearing, just for a moment, almost all the way behind the door.

The fully-dressed Arkat blinks, watching the private disappear into a locker with a raised quirk of the brow. It takes longer than it really should for realisation to dawn, but when it does… Oh. "Oh! …OH! No! I… I broke the light. It was flickering and I was trying to reseat it and now there's-" His hands animate, waving everywhere wildly despite her not looking. "-A broken light." With a little more dawning realisation, his rapid explaination makes way for snickering. His face creases. "Ha!" Snicker. A hand tries to cover his mouth to no avail. "I broke somethin' on a crazy-advanced ship o' war! My mom would be -so- proud."

There's a long pause, and some shuffling around inside the locker, while Silas goes for some offduties. Toes appear peeking out of the locker door, then dark hair, and a single eye. She peeps around the locker to take a lightening fast glance. No eye contact. She ducks back behind the cover of the locker, and shimmies around to drag on clothing without flashing anyone anything. "Yeah, but is the story of how you broke your light one you can tell your Mom?"

By the time she glances, Arkat has his shoes on and his thumbs are shoved into the pockets of his sweats. He looks remarkably bewildered. "If I could tell her? Ayup." He starts to rock on his heels, head craning forward a little in an obvious sign of curiosity about this… thing hiding behind a locker door. "I'd just say it was like the time Ajax tried to beat me to death with a shoe when he came home t'find me showing baby pictures of him to his new girlfriend. Except it was a fist. And a lightbulb n'not my face." After a while, he can't help but add "Y'sure you're in the right place? You're not a snipe that got lost, are ya?"

"Well, why can't you tell her?" It's kind of a dumb question coming from a marine whose own parents are both deceased, but Silas asks anyway. She's actually almost comfortable talking to people through the screen of a locker door. There's a shimmy when she drags on her sweatpants and her towel falls. A hint of some kind of tatau along her left hip, in dark blue ink, is briefly glimpsed. The design is inticate, but it happens too fast to identify whether it's a shape or just a patterened adornment. "… What?" That comes after the snipe question. It's soft, but nonetheless sort of that 'did I hear you right? omg' tone.

There's a long pause between her talking and Arkat replying. It's the hip ink. It was totally the hip ink. He saw, and his brain is computing. Taking the smarter option his mind comes up with, the Sergeant moves to sit on his bunk with the broken light, pulling the curtains open as he does so. Hands are wrung together, and a finger taps his palm as he thinks. "Well, I ain't psychic enough to speak to the dead." He's pretty matter-of-fact about it, albeit quiet. There's no shying away, though, especially with how focused his eyes are on that door. "And you're hiding. Either you're a snipe in the wrong place, or you're new to this."

"Oh." The single syllable is soft, but encompasses an 'of course', and a 'sorry' all in one. She digs around in the locker, there's a jangle of dogtags, and then she steps out, pulling her still-damp hair up intp a twist, using the towel to secure it for further drying. She kicks the door closed with bare feet, her boots and socks in hand. "Um… Silas Trista." Her lips purse, then she admits, "Private."

And so Arkat gets a proper look at her face. She's examined for a couple of seconds before he blinks. His mouth may be a little open for a couple of seconds, too. "Holy shit! What are you? 18?" Poor guy. Been a marine so long he forgot women could look cute as opposed to angry. Maybe that's just him and not the marine lifestyle but shush. Somewhere in the back of his head, a voice calls him dirty for appreciating the ink he saw. His hands run across the fabric of his bunk in somewhat of a distracting tactic. For him, that is. Not her. "Arkat Galyian. Sarge. It's a pleasure." Yes, he finally remembers the introduction. It's a little stilted. What? That head-voice is loooooud.

Silas frowns faintly at the exclamation, and it prompts her to make eye contact for the first time since she came into the room. "What — holy mutant eyeb — Uh." She stops herself just in time, as she gets a full on gander at the freaky duel color eye deal Arkat has going on. "Right. Sarge." She about-faces, and scrambles for her locker again. Clearly, there's something in there she forgot.

Arkat moves his hands. They rest behind him on the 'matress' of his bunk, letting him lean a little. The little outburst about his eye gets a slight twitch in the corner of it, but apart from that it seems to be blown off pretty quickly. Hell, he even cracks a smile. "Nice to meet you, too." He.. He can't help the snicker that comes as a result of her general demeanour, though. It's the hiding. It's… odd, yet funny! "Are… you alright? D'you need to walk out, walk back in and we can have a do-over?" Hurray, teasing!

"…No." That's a little petulant, like maybe she sort of does, but doesn't want to actually admit to it. "I'm having an adjustment period." That's said with quite the emphasis. "I'm not used to ships." Translation: "I keep waiting for us to decompressureize-or-whatever and die." Decompressurize. Yep. That's her word.

Arkat nods, softly. "This your first time?" His voice is a little more understanding, a little softer and a little quieter. "On a ship, I mean?" She's watched. Mutant-eye and normal eye working together in perfect harmony, like ebony and… you get the idea.

"Yeees." Silas draws out the word just a little. She glances askance over at another bunk, and something suspicious hanging out from under the blue curtains. It looks like a stripey sock. Needless to say, she does not go investigate. The petite marine slides her hands into her pockets, then glances over at Arkat again. Sort of at him. She glances in his vicinity, surely. She reaches up to scratch the back of her neck. Finally, she says, "I'll be nineteen in six weeks."

[Intercom] Oberlin says, "All stations report in. Prepare for jump to Uram Sector in Five. Four. Three. Two. One."

Arkat cocks his head towards one of the chairs, still watching the little Private. "Grab a seat." It's a gentle little offer, with an unspoken 'If you like' at the end of it. Leaning forward, he lets his hands hand between his legs, elbows propped on his thigh. "Living on a ship: 101. Decompression ain't a worry. Had a hull breach in the last ship I was on, Explosive decompression without protection an' all I lost was the color in my eye. Takes a lot to bring down a Battlestar." The jump alert comes up right as he finishes. With a glance, he very, very quickly adds. "Breathe out. All of it. Lose it all." before… well, doing just what he said. A sharp, heavy exhale to expel as much air as possible.

Instead of taking a seat on the chair, Silas takes a seat on the table, perching on the edge. "That's really funny. Trying to get me with the eye thing…" A glance is cast up, then she looks over to Arkat, closes her eyes, and expels her breath without asking questions.

And so the ship jumps, with all the effects that breaking the laws of physics drags along with it. When everything is settled, Arkat takes a deep, deep breath in, grinning at the woman on the table. "Stops nausea. Dunno why." He offers in way of explaination. "Think it's something to do with the sudden shift. People breath in and that screws something up." See? He can help! "And it wasn't a joke." Grin.

Silas doesn't seem to be buying the eye thing. She glances over, then drags her backpack up with her. She thunks it onto the table's edge and digs around inside to pull out a large black sketchbook, pages stuffed with various things. Bits and string stick out the side, along with some wrappers and various things glued in. The binding creaks ominously when she opens it up to soemwhere near the middle, then pages through some pages full of taped in photos, heavy marker scrawl, and notes tacked in. "It kinda did help, thanks. I mean, usually I just feel like someone scraped my innards like the inside of a pumpkin."

Arkat's head tilts like a curious pup at the sight of the backpack. When she opens the book, the Sergeant stands. Yup, without even asking, he wander/saunters his way over, moving behind the table so he can have a look at the pages without pushing into her personal space. That's including the extra couple of inc-feet Saggies usually have. "Some folks get nauseous. Knew a Private on the Charon who'd hurl. Every damn time." he gives as an explaination.

Silas winces a little at the upchuck story. She can only imagine the horror of having a squaddie blowing chunks every.single.jump. The page that's open is a collection of photographs of a scraggly, pitiful landscape near Fort Argus, on Sag, should one be familiar with it. The photos aren't particularly inspired, but they serve well enough. They're black and white, and there's some scrawl between them. Her handwriting, well, it's… girly.

The Sarge's attempts to squint at the words are for naught. It's simply impossible at this range. There's… A long silence. Of course he feels a little awkward. He expected… well, not photos of home. It's his turn to scratch at the back of his neck. "What're you having trouble with. Ship-wise?" Yup. He changes the topic. Plus he likes talking about ships. Kind of a win-win.

The pen Silas drags out of her bag is … pink. She glances over her shoulder. "Sometimes I get a little lost." She uncaps the pen with her teeth, then idly chews the plastic while she takes pen to paper, and finishes off the middle of a sentence. Large words, at the bottom of the page, proclaim: SO LONG SUCKERS. Maybe not her most favorite bit of Scorpian realestate then. She leaves the book open, just a moment, for the ink to dry. "But then I made a map. Every time I get lost, the map gets bigger." She pats the sketchbook.

"Ah, frakit." Arkat gives a dismissive wave, trying to conceal a little smirk. "I still get lost. Hell, I was on my last boat for like, nine years and STILL didn't know where shit was." A little pause, and he watches the patting of the sketch book. "Just act like you own the place when you ask where somethin' is."

"I ever ask. When I ask, I … just always get the person who wants to play frak with the Private." Silas is pretty quick on the uptake most times, despite her newness to the gig. She is, afterall, Saggie. She'd be really frakked if she were a Caprican. "Where did you say you're from?"

[Intercom] Oberlin says, "Action Stations. Action Stations. Prepare for Combat Landings. Stand by for combat jump in Three. Two. One. Commecing FTL jump!"

"Just act like you'll headbutt them if they screw with you." Arkat offers as a piece of advice, palms pressing into the tabletop for a little support. "It' got like a… twenty percent chance of working. Tops. Better than nothing." She gets another little grin before he heads toward his own locker, flipping the combination and sticking his head right in there as the announcement comes over. He's got just enough time for an "Aw cra-" before… yeah.

"Do you think I look like someone who looks like they would headbutt someone?" Silas glances up at Arkat, then flips her book closed. She shoves her pen into her mouth to re-cap it, then slides it up behind her ear. "Great." Jump. Again. She shakes her head, then reaches up to pull off the towel, once the jump's over. Her hair is left to air dry after she reaches up to comb her fingers through.

After the jump's complete, Arkat returns to the table with a packet of smokes, shoving the door shut with an elbow. "Nope. That's why they wouldn't be expecting it." A chair is pulled out, and flipped around so he can lean chest-first onto the 'back' of the metal frame, tapping out a rolled cigarette from the pack of… non-rolled… That's a question for another time. A match in his fingers strikes against the metal chair, and his face glows orange for a moment before he's sending wispy grey smoke towards the ceiling with a satisfied smile. "From Picon, to answer your question. Hence why I've been in this outfit for…" He mentally works it out, then winces. "Over half your life."

Silas' eyes follow the smokes as they're brought into view. She doesn't say anything, but the eyes are glued. "… What did you say?" She glances up, finally, and mentally rewinds to the words that just came out of the other marine's mouth. "Oh, what does being from Picon have to do with how long you've been in service?"

Arkat watches her face as she watches the cigarettes and their result. It's recursion! Kinda. "Dad was military. I was born on Picon. It's a miracle I didn't come out of my ma spouting CMC recruitment slogans." The packet appears on the table again. It slides her way. Arkat's hand may have had a little something to do with that. It's impossible to tell, though, seeing as it's up and scratching along his neatly-shaved scalp in the blink of an eye. "How 'bout you? Share the story, Bootie."

Silas' fingers spider across the table, headed for the smokes as they're offered, like she hasn't had one in days. Swipe! "Saggie. I didn't like it there. I enlisted. Now I'm here." She reaches out with that tattooed arm, and drags a smoke from the pack, before flipping it up to her lips like a lifetime smoker. Given her age, that couldn't have been that many years. Then again, Saggie. "Adiv." Is the name of the town she grew up in. She doesn't elaborate. "Fire." Need some.

"Better reason than most." Arkat offers with a slight shrug, striking another match and holding it out with one hand curling around as if to protect it from the wind. Smoke escapes from the side of his mouth as he does so, patterning off to one side before hammering on the ceiling for freedom. Ignore that he's watching her with a hint of curiosity. "Seen enough 'I wanna shoot something!' for a lifetime."

Silas leans over to light the smoke on the match. "Thanks, Sarge." The words are quiet. She sits back up, dragging on the smoke like a woman trying to breathe life back into herself. "I don't wanna shoot nothing," comes a quiet confession, "But my grades ain't good enough for nothing else."

Arkat nods as he waves the match sharply to extinguish, dropping it down on the table and letting the smell of burnt matchy-chemicals join the wisps of smoke. "You'll be fine." Whaddya know, Mutant-eye can be reassuring. "I've fired my weapon…" His eyes roll upwards, watching the smoke as he tries to figure out times and dates. "On two occasions. In eleven years. And now you're on a battlestar. They don't call us in for cargo hijackings or things like that." He seems pretty confident. Elbows rest on the table as punctuation while the Sarge makes a little 'O' with his mouth. Smoke rings wobble their way out and across the room.

"I know, and that's what I hope for. I mean, this outfit isn't even supposed to deploy on ground missions, right? I should be…" Silas lifts a shoulder in a brief, halfhearted shrug, "You know. Fine. Like you said." Saying things like that is the best way to jinx the frak out of them, but the little brunette marine doesn't even have that thought. She watches the wobbly little smoke rings puff out of the other marine. "You ever kill anybody?"

Arkat blows a couple more rings, even after the weighted question. Watching them disintergrate and drift, the cigarette is gripped by a middle finger and a thumb. His forefinger rubs on the bridge of his nose, and shifts in the chair as if uncomfortable, turning to look at the little marine. "Yeah." It's a mixture of defiant honest and shame in his voice. "Just on one op, mind you."

"People die all the time," Silas finally says, smoking her cig like it's something a little harder, between index and thumb, the smoke cupped in the shelter of her hand. "I shouldn't have asked that. I'm sorry."

"Families don't usually blame me for people who die of natural causes." Arkat scrunches up his face, even adding a sarcastic poke of the tongue. Don't ask how he makes it sarcastic. It just is. Taking another drag, another plume of smoke goes skywards. "And it's alright. It's a pretty fair question. I screwed up once, people died. An unpleasant deal but… part of the job." He's still upbeat, but quiet. It's an odd mix.

There's a long moment before Silas asks, as she glances over. "Friendly fire?" Her dark eyes fix on the other marine's eyes. She doesn't do that so often, but the topic of conversation has gotten pretty personal. Maybe she makes exceptions for those instances. She goes back to smoking quietly, tendrils of it curling over her hand, and slipping from between her fingers.

The eye-catching is returned in kind for a moment before Arkat's free hand is brushing over his close-shorn hair. Then, he's standing to walk to his locker once more, letting the cigarette dangle in his hand by his side. "Nah. Few folks decided to declare their dislike of the folks tryin' to keep the peace on Saggie by raidin' a station and keeping hostages until things got sorted." Once more, his locker is rummaged within, and a small tin box about the side of his palm comes out. It's brought to the table when he continues "I screwed up. Made two bad calls. Got more civvies than I'd like killed." NOW he's quiet. Talkative, but not exactly yelling it from the rooftops.

Silas hunches down a little as Saggie's brought up. Every time someone in the unit brings up violence, it's always got something to do with her home. She smokes in silence, then glances over at his hand. At length, she finally says, "Shit happens."

"Ayup." More smoke drifts the the ceiling, and Arkat leans forward in the chair to open up his little tin box, checking the contents with a quick peer before sliding it over. It's amazing he's not joining Silas in hunching down, actually. Must have gotten over it. "It's why they don't want me promoted. Got that lovely big black mark on my record of 'This guy is a screw up.'" He air-quotes. Then his head nods at the tin box, all battered. It's like a small child's lunchbox, without any decoration whatsoever and a rusty latch. "There was a kid. About 7. Thanks to me, she didn't have parents anymore." Ok, now he's hunching. Quite a lot, actually. "Know what she said? 'You did your best.'" He's getting a little into the story now. It's been a long time since he's had to tell it to anyone, and everything's coming back. "'You did your best.'" escapes again with a hint of the man being totally incredulous at the idea. Then.. his head shakes. "She gave me those." Box. box containing two soma braids, one surrounding the other. One metal, one leather. The connotations are a little obvious.

Silas glances over at the little box. She thinks for a moment, then reaches over to touch it. She shifts the box around, to face her, then hooks a finger over the edge to draw it in so she can look directly down into the contents. When she actually gets a look at the contents of the box, her fingers come off of it like it burned her. Her arm is dragged across her body, as if it could escape the socket and skitter off on its own. "Geez."

Arkat snaps the lid shut on the box when the point is made, then drags the tin back to his side of the table. A long, long drag of the cigarette follows, and an even longer exhale sends plumes upwards. "I know, right?" His head shakes a little more, eyes dropping to glance at that little box. "I mean, she's 7. It was probably meant to be sweet, but.. godsdamn. Why didn't she just give me a card saying 'THANKS, ASSHOLE.'" The last two words are acommpanied with hand gestures signifying some kind of giant, invisble banner.

One might notice that a soma braid is absent from either of Silas' wrists. She opens her backpack, and shoves her huge journal into it, apparently content to let it sit for now. There's a slightly uncomfortable silence that falls between the marines — at least it's uncomfortable on Silas' side. "Forgiveness is hard to come by. Some Saggies believe if you take a life, it's your duty to live well to honor it." Or maybe that's Tauron families. You know, it's hard to tell, because she was raised by both cultures. Probably why her accent's a little wobbly in places. "That's creepy." She finally notes, ala the somas he keeps. The giving or the keeping, she doesn't specify.

Arkat's cigarette burns out. Without any ado, it's instantly replaced by another, which is lit with yet another scratching noise along the table. "I kept 'em to make sure I don't screw the pooch again." He explains, mouthful of smoke and all. "Creepy as all get out, mind you, but it's either I keep those, or I get the nightmares back. This way's more fun for creeping out the booties and doesn't result in my bunk getting coated in a cold-sweat. Win-Win, baby." Aaaaand there comes the smirk.

Silas glances over, but makes no comment about the nightmares/sweats, the booties, or the baby thing. She slides off the table, and takes a few steps over to the locker to open it up and stow the backpack. The backpack itself is old and ratty, and looks abused. She kicks the locker closed. "I got some PT to do, Sarge. Thanks for the smoke." She raises it, finishes off the last drag, and grinds it out against the locker.

"Anytime, Private." Arkat raises his cigarette as if it's a glass of whiskey, then resumes taking a hefty drag of smoke. "You need anything-" he continues through the resulting haze "Feel free to ask. We were all new, once." As if it's a period on the end of a sentence, his chair is rotated to face the right way, and his feet go up on the table in a comfortable lean. The guy's on break. The Private gets one last departing smile, then a foot drags the tin towards his lap, where a piece of paper is pulled from the underside of the lid. Break time is private time.

Silas shoves her hands into her pockets, and nods back to the Sergeant. She's quiet, though, as she approaches the hatch. "Thanks. I mean, thank you, Sarge." There's a little stumble over some words, and then she's headed out, to the corridor and she ship beyond.

Arkat's mouth is open to reply as his head turns towards the hatch, curled smile on the flanks of his mouth… But Silas is already gone. Instead, an uncaring set of lockers get the suddenly quiet "No problem." Then the berths are quiet, with only the sounds of a cigarette being slowly whittled down to nothing and unfolding paper to fill it.

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