PHD #014: Humanity in Various Forms
Humanity in Various Forms
Summary: Petroski and Stavrian pick up an old conversation, and humanity drifts by wearing many faces.
Date: Mar 12 2041
Related Logs: In the Dark, Doing What Counts
Petroski Stavrian Sawyer Karthasi Sitka Silas 

[ Observation Deck ]----[ Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus ]—
Post Holocaust Day: #14

With a quiet view to the stars, this tends to be one of the more popular 'quiet areas' of the Cerberus. Up front is a small-unseated area for ceremonies or other activities while the seating rises up behind it. Each level rises up behind the one before it, comfortable chairs and couches set up for crewmembers to relax, get some work done or even take a nap. A large armored plate is lowered during Condition One to protect the interior against a breach in the glass.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

The military's insistence on routines has steeped into Stavrian's core, and even when off-duty he tends to keep them. There's a seat he always claims in here and he's in it now, a small couch up on the second level, port side, almost up against the wall. Duty jacket shrugged off and throw haphazardly over the back of the couch, his arms are folded over his slouched waist, feet propped up on the coffee table.

Daniel has been scarce lately, busy with trying to find out infomrmation along with trying to keep his sanity with the latter being much more successful than the former as details are just not really easy to discover as of late. It's only the need to relax that brings him here along with the desire for something hot to drink, that causing him to seek out the coffee urn before anything else. A cup is prepared - the potent brew kept black as not to dilute the caffeine his body's desperate for - and brought with him as he looks around, no one he recognizes being who he finds upon his first inspection of the room. He almost decides to leave but Jesse's finally spied and approched, Petroski nodding hello in a silent greeting so he won't accidentally startle him.

Stavrian's startle reflex is thankfully on low setting today. It takes him a second before he even realizes someone's standing there, his eyes fixed on the viewport. They turn upwards, the shadows of his little corner spidered all over his face. "Hey."

"May I join you?" Daniel looks into Jesse's eyes before tilting his head down, letting his gaze drop to the couch as if elaborating his desire to sit beside him. "You look like hell, Jess. Are you doing alright?" He does nothing to hide his concern, it as easy to hear in his voice as it is found on his expression.

"Everyone looks like hell. You look like hell." Stavrian points this out, not in overly contrary tone but because it's true. He shifts his arms, reversing the way they're folded so the left's now on top. Catching the look at the couch, his eyes cut to the seat. His chin indicates the area, vaguely.

Petroski kind of smirks at that as well as shrugs. He knows it's true. He hasn't looked himself in several weeks now, the change having manifested in dark circles under his eyes and a gauntness that tension has placed in his cheeks and brow. "Thanks. Coming from you, I'll take that as a compliment," he teases as he claims territory at the other man's left, the couch getting him to sigh in relief. "I'm sorry I haven't been around much. Winnie's been keeping me as her beck-and-call boy a bit more than she usually needs to."

"Pool of human resources has gone down lately, I imagine," Stavrian says, with a tinge of dark humor that doesn't come with a smile. He lets his head rest back against the couch, noticing idly that one of his bootlaces is loose. His eyes just go back to the viewport. "Shortage expected to last 'quite some time', says the news."

"That's what happens when catastrophic events take place, unfortunately." Daniel idly sips at the coffee but doesn't seem to notice his doing so, it is so automatic. "Some time? I didn't realize things were that dire." The cup is put on the table, well out of the range of Jesse's feet, it suddenly something he loses the taste for.

Stavrian turns his head slowly, giving Daniel's profile a weird look. After a moment, as if deciding that must have been sarcasm, he scratches his chin on his collarbone and looks down at the abandoned cup instead. "Don't know how you drink that shit."

Danny shrugs a bit but it's hard to tell what causes him to do so. "You get used to it," he manages to say just before a yawn takes hold; it's one of those all-body consuming ones complete with the stretching of arms over head and legs straight out while the body works on getting more oxygen. "…crap, sorry. Anyhow, as I was saying, you get used to it. It only ever really tastes good in the best cafes though. It tastes like crap otherwise."

Yawns are contagious. Unfortunately. Just as Dan's hits the intake zenith, Stavrian picks up on it and buries his mouth behind the back of his hand, turning his face away. He scrubs his fingers into the corner of his eye and exhales a rush through his nose, settling again. "Guess so. Always smelled like shit to me." This banal commentary given, he goes quiet for a few moments. "You can smoke in here."

Petroski grins, the fact that Jesse catches the yawn-bug from him getting a smile that is almost warm. "You look cute when you do that. Might need to make you yawn mor…" Uh-oh. Someone forgot to remind Daniel that the word is highly suggestive and just saying the y-word is enough to make one do so. Pressing his lips tight together, he inhales deeply in through the nose and then out it, trying to fight the urge to do it right out, all so he might break the vicious cycle which is starting to come into being. The reminder of smoking has him fishing for his pack of fumarella and his lighter but when he finally speaks it's not on the subject of partaking in one of his vices but rather something entirely different once he's sure he's done yawning for a second time. "Hey, Jesse? Rememeber the last time we were in the library? You were about to tell me something. Do you remember what it was you were wanting to say?"

Stavrian, thankfully, is not a second-yawner. Better lung capacity or something. The comment about how he may look when doing it goes unaddressed in the interest of rubbing his eye again, which lasts for a while. "Yeah." He clears his throat softly. "How far did I get?" Honest question. The interruption had thrown him off like a mack truck hitting a mini.

One of the long cigarettes is withdrawn and looked at before it's lit, the fuming item then held away so the smoke won't waft into Stavrian's face, Daniel polite if nothing else. "You mentioned the insurgency and that's it, really." Not much to go by but it might be enough to jog Jesse's memory.

Stavrian pulls his feet off the table, loose laces and black soles thumping gently to the floor. "Yeah." He sits up and forward, leaving his back curved as his elbows rest on his knees. "Frakking mess." Again, for some reason, he looks at that coffee cup as he talks. "I said our 'city', but it wasn't really that. I don't know what they'd call it on Caprica. 'Shithole' was probably the official term." He pauses, watching the cup rim. "It started from inside…I remember I was walking with my brother. Everyone had radios on, and you could hear this broadcast over and over. We heard this rumbling and then the gunfire way off. I remember the echos. He made me run." He lifts his eyes, the blue flickering between two stars. "Everyone stuck it out for a while, but eventually it got so bad that people started to leave." A pause for a breath, or a renewal of memory.

Petroski doesn't speak, letting the story be told without interruption. He does encourage Jesse to continue whenever he pauses with a nod and as much of a smile he can muster, it also being his way of lending what comfort he can at the moment. The smoke from his fumarella rises towards the ceiling in lazy whisps, the stream distrupted only by the motion of his hand when he brings it to his lips for a drag.

"You'd look out the window and there'd be another house dark," Stavrian tells the stars, and then the coffee cup once more. "You didn't know if they'd gone or if they were dead. You couldn't stand on the street. We left too, after it got so close that they shot out our windows." He rubs his nose, pinching the end with his fingers. "They put us in this camp, right before the Colonial forces started coming in. It was pretty shit, no running water, no nothing. Tents and dirt, and not enough food. My little sister was crying all the time, because she was so hungry. It was shit, but it was what we had." He reaches for a second cup on the table, tea that he'd abandoned so long ago that it's stone cold, but it's liquid enough to sip before going on.

"I am sorry, Jesse. I had no idea," Dan eventually murmurs. He looks down and then sighs, clearly troubled. He doesn't speak further but it's clear that he understands now, even if just marginally, the story having been related enough to make him realize just why Jesse had reacted the way he did the other evening when he had picked the poorly-worded phrase which had upset him. With a lack of words now, Petroski leans over and reclaims his coffee which he sips at, the cup trembling as his hand starts to shake.

Stavrian doesn't say anything for a while, his tongue feeling out the edges of his bottom teeth. Then he starts again, and there's a subtle change in his voice. Lower now, and tighter. "We'd been there maybe a month when this asshole showed up. I don't know who he was, I just remember his voice. Classy accent, Picon or something. Nice clothes. Shined shoes, long coat, clean hands. Politician maybe, who knows. I remember I was sitting there with my father on this shitty cot in this shitty tent, and he walked by us with a couple Marines. And I…" His cheeks tense, as if the memory itself had suddenly taken on a sour taste. "…remember the way he looked at us. He said 'Gods, it's like a trough of pigs'." His voice, even quiet as it is, punches the syllables like a needle point through thin paper. His lips close, pressing together. "And it wasn't about the fact that it was dirty, Daniel. We knew it was. But…" His hand opens, pushing palm down over his knees, and his blue eyes finally find Petroski's face again. "Up until that moment, we'd had our dignity. And I have to ask anyone…anyone who can do something like that: How in the gods' name can you even begin to say you want humans to be treated as humans, when you yourself won't even call them men?"

Petroski takes a deep breath to calm his nerves, the shaking of his hand eventually ebbing once the butterflies are quelled. "Now I see why I had stepped on your toes by saying what I did. I am deeply sorry, Jesse. I…" Closing his eyes, he struggles with words, the fact that he can't figure out how to put his feelings into words frustrating, causing him to just grunt for a moment until he simply gives up for a moment. Awkward silence passes as he looks into the cup he holds, taking in the black liquid as he struggles. "Uh…yeah. Look. I'm…sorry." Lame. Lame enough to make him blush which he does from the roots of his hair clear down to well past where the collar of his shirt covers.

"Don't apologize to me, just…" Stavrian turns his attention to his knee, without lowering his head. "Don't be him." Simple three monosyllabic words, but it says what it needed to. He turns his head, rubbing the back of his neck. "If you're going to do something, you need to do it right. Do you know what the health standard is for sanitation for that space and crowd? What the essential medications list is for a disaster shelter? The stages of transitional settlements, and the differences between risk and host camps?"

Petroski shakes his head. "I won't. I'm not." Swallowing hard, he is still looking down, unable to look at the very man he's speaking at, perhaps too ashamed to do so. "No, I don't," he then continues, "But I want to know so I can help insure the refugees's comfort, health and safety, Jess. That is what I've been wanting to learn from the beginning. That is why I want to speak with those in charge. To make sure our peopple will remain happy and healthy." Drawing one last hit from his spent smoke, Daniel puts the butt into the disposable cup, it releasing a satisfying hiss when extinguished by the coffee.

"You never asked to learn," Stavrian replies, folding his hands between his knees. "Let me tell you something about command, Daniel. They have the same interests you do. But they need you to be on the ball first, not for you to need them to get you on the ball." He pauses a moment to let that sink in. "I have all my shelter training material from the Kildare earthquake if you want it. And I have some other books on my computer. I've been doing this a while. I'll give them to you if you want — read them first and know what you're talking about. I'll help you understand them. So when you do go to command you can tell them exactly what you need, and that is how you get them to listen."

Petroski darts a look in Stavrian's direction, his turn to bristle a bit perhaps. He is thankfully able to temper both his tone and his reaction, however, his voice still held at the polite level he almost aways uses conversationally, his body still mostly relaxed save for the lines of stress that age him. "I was expecting the information to be given to us by Command before any such request had to be made, hence why I never did." Deflating some, he slouches, the back of his head pressed against the back cushion at it's center rather than closer to the edge, Daniel looking rather like a spoiled child who has been thwarted somehow. "I'd like that. To read what materials you're able to lend me, I mean. Thank you." Sighing, he reaches up and runs his hand through his hair, causing the wavy mass to stand almost straight up.

Stavrian snorts quietly. "Little tip. Us and command? It's just like the human body, Daniel. That cerebrum up there, the Admirals and the Majors, they may be processing the biggest picture. And right down around Lieutenant, that's the cerebellum where it comes together and gets nice and fine tuned, and the orders get sent down the spinal cord from there. But where it all starts is us. We're the nociceptors, we're the baroreceptors. We're what pick up the first sensations and send them up; without us, they have no idea what the frak's going on." He pauses and lowers his voice, extending a hand cautiously. "But don't tell them I said that."

Petroski nods. "I see that now that you've put it that way," he murmurs while struggling although this time it's a fight to sit up again instead of to find the right words, the couch a bit to soft and comfortable to make straightening out his posture impossible. "Frak…godsdammit." Grumbling, he eventually gives up and smirks, a boyish grin given to his compadre. "You'll have to pay me for my silence. A bribe. Although…I can't think of anything good off hand, so."

Stavrian is sitting up on that couch again. Second row, by the wall. He's in his duty camos, though the jacket off and tossed over the back of the couch. Petroski's sitting on the other end, with a cup of coffee. "Trust the little people. We're wise. We have to be; we do all the work." This is wry, but accompanied by his first sort-of-smile of the evening, managing to twitch its way onto his lips through the exhaustion. "I'm bribing you with books, isn't that enough?" It is to him, apparently, as he goes on in a quiet voice. "They don't have everything. There are some additions I was actually writing, myself." So much for that. "But I'll teach you that part."

Petroski's cup is put on the table, it having been rendered undrinkable thanks to the smoke he put out in it just a moment previous to now. "Trust the little people? Jesse, you do realize that I'm one of the little people as well, don't you? I'm not a delegate or anyone of great importance. I am simply a number-crunching, fact-finding peon who just happens to have a bit more clout than some because of who I am employed by. Gods, please don't alienate me or elevate me above my station." Rolling his eyes, Danny looks around but then grins evilly although what it might be is left up to guess upon as he's not speaking.

The hatch opens and the Cerberus' favorite (or least) Reporter walks through, distracted as she navigates down the into the room by packing a pack of cigarettes with quick firm thwacks against her palm. She glances up just so she doesn't trip over something as she weaves further into the room. If Sawyer's eyes catch on anyone else's she offers them a quick tick of a smile. Catching a thread of conversation coming from Petroski and Stavrian, she slips in that direction as if drawn by their voices.

"I meant," Stavrian replies, mildly amused at the protestation, "Trust in how command works, from those of us that look up as well." He settles back, bracing his elbow on the vertical cushion of the couch and resting his cheek against his closed hand. His posture doesn't seem to know if it's being open or closed, his other arm staying in a crosswise barrier with his hand on his knee. "We're all in the Bullshit Cutting business. Just some have sharper knives." He hasn't noticed Sawyer yet, actually talking as he is right now.

The arrival of Sawyer is missed by Danny as well but his not having noticed her is due to how he's about falling off of the couch, his slouch now so boneless that he's almost utterly unable to keep himself off of the floor. "I will defer to you and the others as needed, Jesse. Thank you. Not just thank you from me but from Winnie as well. I know she'll appreciate your willingness to help me." Peering out into space, Daniel pauses a bit before he asks wryly, "So since you're bribing me with books I guess that means that my demanding a kiss as one is out of the question?" Yeah, roguish Daniel Petroski can only be super serious for so long before he has to crack a joke or flirt or something to lighten the mood.

"I'm sorry, am I interrupting?" Of course she is, that's what Sawyer does best. Or maybe she just wanted to alert them to her presence before any such lip lock occurs as payment, repayment or bribery? Interesting. She flops down onto a nearby couch and starts futzing with the cellophane wrapper her nail trying to find that little plastic flag that'll let her unzip it open.

Stavrian's usual reflex to cracks about kissing another party is to crack back about being married, of course. His lips even move to start, pursing into what would've been the first syllable, and there they just…stay. Right then he hears Sawyer's voice and he looks up instead, his thumb running up the side of his wedding band. "No problem," he murmurs to Daniel, his voice slightly distracted. He clears his throat softly, looking back at Sawyer. "No, no." A long hesitation, then a motion of his chin towards her cigarettes. "You mind if I bum one of those?"

Karthasi arrives from Deck 3.
Karthasi has arrived.

Petroski snorts at first and then laughs outright, that being at Jesse asking the woman if he can have a smoke. "Interesting that you ask the lady for one and yet never have asked me…" Sniffling in false offense, he looks up at Sawyer and shrugs, his lips pursed. "Guess the brand of smokes you enjoy is more to his liking." A shoulder is lifted and he finally gets to his feet, his ruined cup of joe picked up so he can throw it away while on his quest for a fresh cup as well as whatever snackfood might be present here.

Sawyer flicks open the lid of the hard pack, tapping her finger along the rows and counting with soundless numbers formed by her lips but not vocalized. She pauses partway at Stavrian's request and flicks her eyes open to make sure he's taling to her and not to Petroski about liplock anymore. "Sure. Just. Gimme a sec…" Back to counting. When she gets to a certain number, she pulls that cigarette out, flips it upside down then sticks it back in the pack. She then holds it out to Jesse, "Just don't take the lucky." Presumeably the cigarette that's now the odd one out of the group with its tobacco end now facing up. A bit of a smile is giving the fellow QUODEL member. "This cheap ass marine grade kind? Guess there's something to be said for going generic."

"I've never had that kind," Stavrian gives by way of explanation. 'That kind' presumably being Petroski's. He sits up enough to reach over and pull a smoke from Sawyer's pack, and then settles back again. His ankle pulls up over his knee, less a comfortable slouch than another slide on the slope towards 'closed off'. "Thanks. Guess I'm just used to this smell."

Sitka arrives from Deck 3.
Sitka has arrived.

Yes. It is time for a smoke. It's… way past time for a smoke, from the vaguely harrowed, half-worn-dead look Greje's sporting when she finally hits the observation lounge. She fusses at a pack of Fumie Plusses in an effort to extract one with fingers which, on close enough examination, can be seen to tremor slightly while her eyes glance fitfully here and there, noting those already here with a pallid, sickly degree of a nod.

Returning, Daniel's now in possession of a fresh cup of coffee and a bag of chips, the latter being one of the last remaining snack type edible thing to be found until the machine can be restocked by supply. Plain, they are probably not bad as far as quality goes but was picked over for something flavored. "You just need to ask if you'd like to try one," he offers easily to Jesse whose explanation was just caught. Sitting back down, he looks around, not noticing anyone else, again. Darn lack of situational awareness which only gets worse as he's leaning over to whisper something to Jesse only to then lean back quickly while offering him and Sawyer both a cheeky wink.

Sawyer quirks a brow at the wink from Daniel, bemusement clear on her features. If there's one thing that's dangerous to raise in a Journalist, it's curiousity. Damn things are worse than, and more wiley then, cats. "You're welcome, Stavrian." Nope, not on first name basis with PA yet it seems. Maybe not ever. As the priestess enters, Sawyer sparks up her own cigarette. After the initial inhale, there's the telltale cough of someone not quite used to smoking. HACKHACK.

Stavrian's blue eyes lift as Petroski mutters to him. Tension crawls across his brows, not quite confusion so much as an inability to process. He blinks slowly and gently scratches his temple, the gold band on his left hand shining briefly as it catches the obs deck light. His own cigarette goes unlit, as if instantly forgotten the moment it was asked for. "You alright?" He murmurs to Sawyer. And then, past her, he spots the priestess. His chin raises a little, lips thinning as he sits up more. "Sister?"

Silas arrives from Deck 3.
Silas has arrived.

Word of the memorial held a scant few hours ago for the wing's fallen, will likely have traveled around the ship by now, as such things tend to. Judging by the morose faces seen in the corridors since, this was not a beer and orgies sort of remembrance. One such blues-uniformed refugee from pilot country happens to make his way onto the observation deck, not far after the priestess. He pauses a moment to procure and light a cigarette, before sliding his hands into his trousers' pockets and heading for one of the viewport windows. The hacking, of course, draws his attention for a moment, his eyes settling on the blonde reporter trying to swallow a lungful of smoke.

Not far behind the smoking pilot is a little marine. The dark haired Pvt. Trista skirts around the edge of the seating, and picks a seat to drop into. She slings a leg over the arm of yon chair, and opens a large stuffed sketchbook over her lap. She grabs an unlit cig from behind her ear, and pops it into her mouth. Click-click. A large plastic clicky pen appears in her hand.

"Oh gods, Jesse. I'm joking. Trying to get you to smile. Surely you don't think I was serious!?" Petroski is still grinning like a fool so it's hard to tell if he's serious or not up until the point where he bumps his shoulder very quickly and very carefully against his to prove that yes, whatever he had whispered was indeed a joke. He doesn't say anything further as he's looking around, noticing new faces finally, one being familiar, that being the Sister, while the others are stared at as he tries to figure out if he knows them or not.

Sawyer covers her mouth and gives a few more little strangled coughs, her face a bit red from the strain on her lungs coupled with just a hint of embarrassment. "Yeah. Fine." She eeks out, then takes a few gulps of air to appease her body with oxygen. "Smoking's a bitch." But well, that's not going to stop her now, is it? Looks like it's smoke break in the Observation Deck, with everyone in some sort of repose with a cigarette except Petroski who's snacking, but it's only time before he gives into the peer pressure.

"Hello Jesse," Greje enunciates, equal weight laid upon each syllable as if the whole thing were one word. Her eyes keep on the stairs in front of her as if she didn't quite trust her feet to take her down the stairs without missing an edge somewhere and sending her tumbling. She finally manages one of her smokes from the pack, taking approximately the least efficient, most distracted path to the extraction possible. She finally makes it up to the second row and into a seat.

"I-…" Stavrian's words get cut off by the shoulder bumping, which causes him to tense up like a shot. People everywhere all of a sudden and the mood of the room abruptly shaken, he almost physically has to reboot, rubbing his hand over his mouth. He clears his throat quietly, focusing back on Karthasi. He, Petroski, and Sawyer are also on the second row, making this easier. Sort of. "Do you…want some tea, Sister?"

Sitka half seems like he might approach, just for a split second. Then the impulse passes, and the Captain resumes his path toward the viewport window instead. Smoke wreathes his features as he comes to a halt in front of it, hands in his pockets, and gazes out.

Sawyer missed the Captain's entrance amidst her body rejecting the thought of smoking, but on the second or third toke she realizes he's up there by the window when her eyes finally stray that way. She leans forward, resting her arms on sofa in front of her. "Ibrahim…" Sawyer ventures. "…you alright?" Used to seeing him in a flightsuit, there's a quick tick tock gaze of his blues.

Is this the first time Greje's ever taken a cigarette out of a pack? It isn't, by a long shot, but nobody looking on might think so unless they happened to know better. Finally, defeated, and more than by just the enigma of the packing, she tosses the pack onto the seat next to her and presses her knees together, hands landing limply on her lap as she watches the pilot up by the windows. "That would be lovely, thank you, Jesse," she answers the medic, her politely clipped Caprican accent carrying the words out for her.

Petroski stands again, the bag of chips left unopen and set upon the coffee table for anyone who might want to enjoy them although the coffee is taken with him. "I think I am going to go and make an ass out of myself somewhere else for a while. Jesse, how about we meet in the library in a few evenings. You bring the book and I'll bring the gift." Jesse will know what he means by that. "Do take care, all," he tacks on then, that spoken a bit more loudly so perhaps it'll reach Sitka's ears along with the those of the others who are closer by. Pack of smokes and lighter tucked away, he tosses Stavrian a slight, two finger salute before exiting.

"Sure," Stavrian says under his breath to Greje. "I'll be right back." He puts his unlit cigarette down on the table and stands up, inching past Sawyer's chair towards the aisle. Petroski gets a simple nod in response on his way to the hot water, a glance shot to Sitka's back as he passes by.

Sitka smokes for a few moments in silence, evidently lost in that simple little pilot mind of his. He doesn't seem to notice the priestess watching him, and he doesn't seem to notice the little marine private curling up in one of the chairs. People come and people go, and if you're lucky you won't end up next to a couple making out in the not-quite-dark. It's when he turns to ash out his cigarette in one of the trays welded into a chair's armrest, that he finally replies to Sawyer, "I'm alive." It's not spoken drolly, but with the ring of flat truth. "How've you been, Miss Averies?"

Silas grabs hold of the sketchbook, to keep it in her lap while she contorts around, a hand retreating down to her lap, then around to the outside of her thigh. One could presume she's going for a lighter. She glances over to the standing, smoking man, for only a moment. One look at the posture answers a question posed by someone else.

Karthasi keeps her eyes ahead, her hands, still, on her lap, knees together and feet apart in an awkward, gawkish posture, watching the pilot in front of her with her mouth just slightly open. She blinks, slowly, now and again, and mumbles a word of thanks to Jesse as he goes to fetch tea.

Sawyer pulls her legs in closer to the chair to let Stavrian slip by without impeding him, though he's offered a small smile and a murmured word to the passing man as he goes off to make the Priestess some tea. "I suppose that's the best any of us can hope for." Gets said back to Sitka, before she touches the filter back to her lips, another inhale which has her eyes crinkling up at the corners. "Writer's block." A simple answer for the Captain. As if such a thing is like just shouting she had cancer, the Journalist flicks a quick glance around to see who might have overheard that omission, eyes drifting over the woman with the sketchpad and the rather worn-thin priestess.

Stavrian's eyes meet Sawyer's a moment as he goes by. Nothing said, but the eye contact at least passes the message that he heard her. A minute or two passes before he gets back, bearing a mug of hot water. No teabag, but the water's already turning a soft color, something having been put in there already. "Here, Sister. Warm your hands." Personal conversation to the wayside, the role of caregiver is one he slides easily into. His eyes flicker to Sawyer and Sitka as they talk.

"I had a teacher tell me once," Ibrahim confers quietly to the reporter, "that the cure for writer's block was to stop writing, and start listening." His gaze marks a brief and desultory path to her face, smile worn thin, but fleetingly present. And then, as if he's got some kind of sixth sense for priestlings, he turns just enough to snare Greje's green eyes with his own. And simply watches her for a few long, uncomfortable seconds. In the bustle of people moving in and out, he still hasn't spotted the marine with the sketchpad.

One of Silas Trista's qualities seems to be that she can enter a place, and remain largely unremarked. That is until she speaks, or is asked a direct question. All bets are off after that. She finally digs a flip top lighter out of her pocket, the CMC logo raised on the side. Flick, flick. A flame leaps to life, and she touches it to the slightly off color cigarette in her mouth. The paper's a darker color, a rich brown, unlike most cheap smokes. This one burns with a pungent, though not unpleasant spicy scent. Those familiar with certain brands from Sagittaron might recognize the blend as one originating in Petah, a coastal city on the Southern continent. It's inexpensive locally, and about three times as bad as regular smokes for the health of the lungs. Snap. She clicks closed the lighter, and squirrels it away again. Her pen is touched to paper, finally, and loopy handwriting spiders across the page. Scribble.

There's no discomfort on Karthasi's side of the brief mingling of eyebeams. There's not much of anything there, really, as if her body were just sort of a placeholder marking the spot where Greje once was, but isn't, anymore. She shifts her eyes on up to Stavrian as he approaches. Hands reach up thereafter and take the mug, wrapping long, pale, and, yes, quite cold fingers around it. "Thank you," comes sketching along the expression of a breath in something closer to a whisper than before, and she lowers the tea to her lap, and her eyes to the tea.

"Mmm. The problem with that, is I'm on a Battlestar full of people who don't like to talk." Finding an ashtray, Sawyer ticks what little remains of her gnawed off thumbnail across filter and knocks some ash off. "See, I can tell you what your shoe size is, or when you can't sleep well by the number of times you toss and turn in your sleep, but I've been bunking above you for how many weeks now? And I still couldn't say how you got your callsign or what caused that scar above your lip." Everyone else is being quiet, so she might as well talk.

Not that Stavrian could tell if Greje's hands are warm or cold, as his fingers slide down on the mug to avoid touching hers as he hands it over. He sits down on the edge of the table, keeping the mug's weight in his own hands until he's very sure she isn't going to drop it. "What happened, Sister?" He asks her finally, keeping his voice down. Sawyer may be the better small-talker, but Sagittarians have that blunt gene. And since nobody else is asking, it unfortunately falls to him.

Karthasi's eyes track the tea in the mug, seeing what of it she recognizes and what not, attributing to every Lord and Hero his appointed herb in her mind as if by rote. She doesn't drop it, and the warmth, at least, stops her hands from their tremor. She lifts it, after a moment, to take a shallow sip, then lets it in her lap again. "Nothing happened," she tells him. "Robin passed away. There was a memorial for the air wing," she goes on, enumerating quietly the patent facts.

Sitka's amusement is brief, and a bit lackluster. "I guess there's that," he concedes, blue eyes dragging back to Sawyer when the priestess drowns her gaze in her tea. Rather than settle properly into a chair, he rests his butt against the edge of a seat back and brings the smoke to his lips again; the bolted-down furniture creaks slightly under his not insignificant weight. An exhale, and a sniff, sniff when he picks up the scent of Silas' homegrown cigarette. "What about a.. a human piece? I mean, ditch the political commentary, and the digging up dirt. These people are trained to clam up when grilled by the media." That last part is spoken rather low-voiced.

There's a ruffle of fingers through dark strands of hair as Silas reaches up, plucks the smoke from her lips, then makes with the habitual gesture. She exhales the spicy scented smoke, her view of the stars compromised, for a moment, by a temporary haze. The curled fingers in her hair hold the cig aloft for a time, the dully glowing cherry like a deep orange beacon to warn pilots off of flying too close. Her pen continues its path across the paper, biting into it, and edging around a taped in photograph of a dimly lit Battlestar corridor. She listens to the flow of conversation around her, medic to priest, reporter to pilot, and so on. "Somebody should collect stories of the colonies." She clears her throat softly. "Y'know. So we can remember them."

"Yeah." Whether the response is about Merrell or the memorial is unclear. Maybe both. Stavrian leans forward, putting his elbows back on his camo-clad knees. "I didn't know you knew her so well, or I would've told you myself. I'm sorry." The last is not said as an apology for what came before it, the slight pause before it separating it from the previous thought. "Is there anything I can do?" His eyes flicker away just once, towards the voice he doesn't recognize.

"I'm starting a newspaper. Well, newsletter really. It'll be heavily censored and fine combed by Command, no doubt, but it's something." Sawyer tells Sitka first, then turns slightly in her seat to include the up-until-now quiet Silas, and the others by default. "It's going to be open to contributions from personnel, annonymous if need be. I've also been tasked with being the ship's historian. So." Her voice pitched quieter at the mention of Merrell. "No way around the political commentary."

"She and I were… I don't know. How close can two people be after serving so short a time together?" Greje asks, a hint of— something, at last, making her ever-so-politely-pitched voice waver. "I don't know, Jesse. I just don't know, I—" she looks up at him, again, eyes dry, "I didn't feel anything," she admits, dry-mouthed in spite of the tea. "Phaedra told me and I didn't feel… anything. I knew her. We were amiable in one another's company. She's dead and I don't…" she doesn't reiterate. Eyes pivot toward the pilot in front, again, then back to the Medic. "A hundred and forty seven names on the hangar deck and… nothing."

Sitka brows furrow a little like he's either cogitating on the idea of a newspaper with open contributions, or silently denigrating it. "I guess it'll be something to keep you busy," he tells her at last. There might be a touch of distance in his voice, or it could just be typical Sagittarian male charm. He returns to his cigarette, filter touched to his lips as he connects the dots of a distant constellation out the viewport window. The rest of the voices in the lounge pretty much wash over him.

"Wow, yeah. Keep me busy." Sawyer rolls her eyes towards the ceiling. "You just ranked that right up there with knitting socks and playing connect the dots with the rivots in the bulkhead, didn't you?" Her cigarette's not quite spent, but she stubs it out regardless. Shaking her head with a final exhale of smoke, the journalist finds herself on her feet again, and inching out of the row of seat. Seems she's had enough charm for one evening. No doubt she heard snippets of conversation from the direction of the Priestess or can just read the body language well enough to give the woman a squeeze on the shoulder as she passes on the way for the hatch.

"That's okay," Stavrian tells Greje quietly, shaking his head. "You can't feel everything right away, Sister. You just can't, you'd implode. It doesn't make you a bad person, it's just…you taking care of you, like it or not." He moves his elbows on his knees, folding his fingers together. "It'll happen." This last is not said for comfort, per se. It's said slightly lower and after a hesitation, as if he were telling her something from private experience. "You've just got to let it in its time." He glances up as Sawyer goes by.

Silas falls silent again, perhaps also doing the Saggie-think on the idea of a paper with submissions. She drags her hand out of her hair, and tucks the smoke into the corner of her mouth. A long ash forms while she quietly smokes, but she pays it no mind, just writing. "Nothing wrong with connect the dots," she finally says, softly.

Sitka doesn't so much as turn his head, when Sawyer expends the last of her cigarette and starts backtracking out of the lounge. His eyes remain on the blast-proof glass ahead of him, still watching the stars. Or her reflection in the window as it slices away, and is lost to angles and shapes refracted obliquely in the domed surface. There's a slight shake of his head, nothing more.

Karthasi lifts the tea again, taking another sip from the liquid and holding the mug up at the level of her chin, shaking her head slowly, "It's not just this, Jesse. It's everything, it's—" she shakes her head more quickly, face breaking into a grimace of a smile like one holding back tears. When she turns her head and looks up to Sawyer, she doesn't say anything. She tries to look grateful for the gesture, but it doesn't quite come out that way.

Stavrian nods twice, head barely moving. The exterior calm may be, like most people's, a complete act — and if it is then he should've gone into theatre rather than medicine. He glances at Sitka's back, monitoring the other presence that pinged his medic's radar, then Silas, then back to Greje and exhales quietly through his nose. "Sister, I have to go to work soon. I'll walk you somewhere on the way if you want. You need to get some rest."

There's a moment of stillness from the little marine, and then she finally glances over her shoulder. She looks first to the Sister, then Stravrian. She notes their positions and expressions, before she turns almost fully around to eyeball Sitka. Hm. She doesn't say anything, though she does pluck the half smoked cigarette from her lips, and turn back around to grind it out on the sole of her boot. She scrapes it a couple of times to be sure it's out, then sets it on the edge of the chair's arm. Mental notes are likely made.

The stars, finally, cease to hold Ibrahim's interest. That, or his blues uniform is getting too uncomfortable to bear. He sucks in one last lungfull of acrid smoke before dropping the thing to the floor, and crushing it out with the toe of his boot. Then, pushing off the arm of the chair, he slides his hands back into his trouser pockets and slouches off for the hatch. Medic and Chaplain are left undisturbed; Silas gets a glance as if to take note of the face belonging to the Sagittarian brand of clove, and then he's gone.

Sitka heads out of the Obs Deck.
Sitka has left.

Karthasi shuffles the mug around in her hands until she gets a good grip on the handle, and she gives a feeble, half-hearted nod to the offer of an escort back to berthings, moving her other hand to the seat next to her to take up the pack of smokes she'd discarded earlier. She swallows, once, loudly, but makes no other sound, for the moment.

"Come on." Stavrian stands up, using his hands to push on his knees. "Let's go, or I'm going to start telling shitty jokes until you can't take it anymore. And believe me, I've got a lot." This is not too overly glib, but…he might be serious about it in there somewhere. "I'll come by after shift."

Karthasi gets her pack of smokes in hand, leans forward and stands, moments after Jesse does, with a stiffness in her knees to the motion, a long-standing complaint, but otherwise ready enough to be herded along home.

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