Memoir: R&R

Flashback Scene
2037 AE

It's been many long months that the Volans has been away. Exercises, wargames, and even a bit of real military intervention here and there - the crew has earned themselves a bit of R&R now that they're docked in for some refitting and resupply alongside other Fleet ships doing much of the same. "Don't know why they keep fixing up this old bucket," Pallas says as he passes through the docking station. He's in his uniform with a small bag slung over his shoulder - he's either going for a short stay off-ship, or he doesn't expect to need much. "Better off stripping it down for salvage at this point. The thing's a Gods-damned liability."

Andrea "Hosedown" Demarcos smiles as the old man goes off about the ship. "She was in the battle that forced the Armistice. Maybe the Admirals are scared that if they strip her down, they'll have to hang 'em up, too?" Her own pack is a bit bigger. Never know what she'll need once down there, right? She nudges him with her shoulder. "Cheer up, Spiral. At least it means extended R+R, right? There are worse things."

"What, like Deep Throat almost running his Viper into a formation of Raptors?" Pallas snorts, recalling a botched maneuver from the most recent wargame. "I'll have to drink long and hard to try and forget that one." At the checkpoint, he tosses down his pack, opens it up to be inspected, and steps through the detector. He's done this too many times to count - or care. Once on the other side of the checkpoint, he glances back to Hosedown and her luggage. "You really think you're gonna need that many condoms for just two weeks off-ship?" he asks.

Andrea just shakes her head. She's gotten used to Spiral by now. Well, sort of. As she drops her bag for inspection and walks through, she looks into the bag as it opens. "Not so much condoms and condom attractors. A girl needs her options." The maybe over-enthusiastic search of her bag also reveals, temporarily, a teddy bear. "Ahem. And some security, of course…"

Pallas eyes the teddy bear. "Riiiiiiiight," he says. His bag is quick to get tossed back to him - all it's got is a change of clothes, bag of toiletries, and a notepad. "Pretty sure the only attractor you need is that blood-belching chasm between your legs," he notes, nodding his head to the corridor before them and what lies beyond - the anchorage. "This place is jam packed with Fleet idiots who've had too much time lonely out in space, too much drink in their systems, more money than they know what to do with, and not enough time to figure out how crazy and/or stupid the cockholster they just knocked up really is." Speaking from experience, Spiral?

Andrea picks her bag back up as they head out into the anchorage. She gives Pallas a wry glance. "I'd be offended, Spiral, except I'm not entirely sure you're talkin' in the present." A bit of her Aerilonian accent comes out as she talks. "And of course, you got more than your fair share of lonely pilots who find it a bit hard to handle all the liqour being bought for them by the Gods' gift to women, and being treated like a goddess just because they got two x chromosomes." She gives a small laugh. "Still, nice to get stared at. You planning on having fun, eltee, or just walk miserably around another hunk of titanium?"

"That's where you're wrong," Pallas replies blithely. "I was flat-ass broke and brand new out of the Academy. Took her six years to track me down for child support, and I'll never frakking figure out how she did it, because I never gave her my real name." Even as he's talking about the woman he knocked up (his wife? He's definitely never been seen wearing a ring), his head's turning this way and that as he passes by women, checking them out from all angles. "Oh, I plan on having some fun," he says to Andrea as he double-takes at a short skirt walking by. "I think I'll rack up at least three charges this time."

The two pilots walk along the main thoroughfare, jawing at each other as they go. Andrea shakes her head ruefully. "Well, you do strike quite a figure, Spiral. Between your face and demeanor, she probably followed a trail of pissed off women all the way to your doorstep." She elbows him playfully. "'Scuse me, did you by any chance happen to run into a handsome pilot, looked hurt, you thought you could help him, he said something nice about your eyes, then was out the door before you could even get a clear grip on his eye color?" She laughs. "A lot of girls go for the whole 'wounded warrior' thing, or so I've heard. Me, I'm more about the star of the Pyramid team…"

"'Wounded warrior'?" Pallas echoes. "Do I look like a frakking whipped pup to you?" Sure, he might embody that stereotypical Aquarian moody-look, but wounded? "It wasn't her eyes I complimented. I'll give you a hint, though: it sounds a lot like 'eyes'." And it's what he's checking out right now without shame or concealment as a long-legged blonde in heels passes by them. "Star of the Pyramid Team? I think I pulled that once. I think my favorite was Lost the Use of My Legs in a Tragic Accident. Shoulda seen the look on her face when I got up and walked out the next morning without saying a word."

Speaking of long-legged blondes, here's another, though she's not in heels so much as dress blues, the pins on her collar marking her an ensign. She is carrying a stack of folders under one arm, and while they are somewhat awkward to tote along at her hip as she is doing, the weight of them, at least, seems not to bother her. When she spots Andrea and Pallas, she looks at their uniforms for a moment as if tryin to place the pair of them, and then turns her steps their way.

"Yeah, because 'Wounded Pyramid Player' is soooooo much better than 'Wounded Warrior'," Andrea says, rolling her eyes. She follows his eyes and laughs. "Tangle with that one, you deserve everything you get… including the obligatory trip to the Med Bay for some shots." Her own eyes then follow a few pilots sporting the 'Captain Tightpants' look. "Still, no harm in looking." Spotting Cora, she laughs and nudges him. "Got another blonde on an intercept course. Should I be a jilted ex-lover protesting that I'll never be satisfied by another man so much as you?"

Pallas narrows his eyes at Cora as she approaches. "Don't recognize her…" he mutters, but turns his face away regardless. "But it's not like I keep a frakking scrapbook of all the women I've lied to, slept with, and vanished on." He just avoids women who walk toward him with a sense of purpose as a general rule - especially ones that don't look like they're completely smashed. "…just came off Battlestar Asteria," he says loudly as Cora gets within earshot. "Lieutenant Matthias Tryphon. Nice to meet you." He finishes off the fake greeting with an offered handshake to Andrea.

Cora walks towards Pallas and Andrea with purpose, and does not look at all smashed. She might, on second thought, look just the slightest bit lost, though, and when Pallas introduces himself, there is a moment of surprise. "Ensign Cora Nikephoros," she replies, "Intel. I'm supposed to be delivering these reports to…" she glances down at the folders and lists off, "Volans, Hydra, Boreas, and Kelaino?" Her head tilts slightly, as if hoping these might ring a bell and the officers will know why she is telling them without her having to explain it.

Andrea takes the proffered hand and smiles. "Andrea Demarcos, Battlestar Volans." Likely anything tying him to his own ship, even HER real name, would annoy Pallas, but he had to know by now what a hopeless liar she was. She then looks over to Cora and takes the introduction in stride. "Wow, they're really running you all about, aren't they? I just came off the Volans, and the main hatch is over that way. Dunno where the other ones are, though." She starts to offer a hand.

"Volans? Yeah, I hear she just came to port," Pallas says. He can more than make up for Andrea's lack of lying ability - though he does give her a 'seriously?' look as he shakes her hand. "Instead of running around trying to find four different ships, I got an idea for you," he says to Cora with a small sly smile beginning to grow. "You'll find people from all those ships at the bar, which is where we're heading." He gives her another look-over. "Long-legged blondie working Intelligence? No wonder she's tasked for deliveries," he murmurs to Andrea out of the corner of his mouth.

"Nice to meet you, Lieutenant, Ensign," Cora nods to them both, glancing between them as they speak of the Volans. She looks around at the hatch in question and nods, "Ah, okay. Thank you." She shakes Andrea's hand and then lifts a brow at Pallas as he gets that sly smile, and offers that suggestion. She can see him talking out the side of his mouth, but she doesn't appear to make any effort to eavesdrop, merely observing. After a moment, one shoulder lifts slightly and her chin shifts and she replies, "Sounds efficient to me."

"Lovely!" Andrea says, and gestures forward as they all walk towards the bar. "Just got out of Operation Poseidon's Children. Did they have you Intelligence types working that, too?" Poseidon's Children had been a major wargame, half of the fleet had been involved. Even now that all was said and done, she wasn't entirely certain who had won it, though their own wing had done well for itself, all told.

A small twitch of the brow indicates Pallas' surprise when Cora actually agrees to come to the bar. It's quickly suppressed, though, and he gestures with a hand, letting Cora go ahead. "Ladies first." He falls in step with Andrea and leans over to murmur again. "Definitely the delivery girl, not a lot of intelligence going on. Hell, I'd be surprised if she ever makes it past Lieutenant." His decision to let the Intelligence Ensign walk before him has another benefit besides quietly insulting her behind her back: her back itself. Or her backside, anyway. He points at it, gives the thumbs-up to Andrea, and mouths, 'Oh yeah,' with the appropriately appreciative facial expression to go with it.

"Yes, Asteria was involved in that as well, as I'm sure he mentioned," Cora indicates 'Lt. Tryphon' with a gesture, "I was actually detailed to liase with Tactical during the games, it's a kind of hybrid Intel/JTAC program." She precedes the older officers down the hall for just long enough to allow Pallas to get a good look at her ass and make his assessment, and then she turns, standing sideways for the couple of paces it takes for them to catch up with her and her to fall in beside them. "So what did you think?" she asks Pallas, and for a moment, it might seem she was talking about the view. There's a beat, and another, just long enough to wonder if she's doing it on purpose before she adds, "Of the games?"

Andrea shakes her head as they walk. New chick was from the Asteria, which likely meant that she already knew Pallas was full of shit. She also vaguely remembered some talk about the Asteria's CO pitching a fit during the games, an Admiral… Nike… uh oh. Suddenly she has a barely controllable case of the giggles. "Oh, oh sorry, just remembered a joke one of my eltees made this morning," she leans a bit on Pallas while she catches her breath.

Oh shit, she's from the Asteria? Pallas glances over to Andrea and mouths, 'Frak,' just before Cora turns around. When she asks the first part her question, he opens his mouth as if to speak, pauses, and eyes the long-legged blonde. Then comes the second part of her question. Aha. "Well, I was in more of an observatory role," he answers. "Taking a back role, so to speak. Assessing and evaluating and all that. I'd love to get involved, get right into them - they look like they'd be a good frakking time." The games, right? That's what they're talking about? "I'm not that funny," he mutters to Andrea when she leans on him, his eyes still on Cora.

"I've always been told they are," Cora replies, still looking at Pallas with that blue eyed gaze that is somehow simultaneously sharp and blandly flat, "It can be difficult to evaluate objectively, from my perspective." As Andrea laughs she looks at the ensign, and then nods at the explanation given. "Ah," she replies, and then shifts the conversation abruptly to something safer, asking, "Which departments are you both in, if you don't mind my asking?"

Finally getting herself back together as they walk into the bar, Andrea signals for a waitress as they find an open table. "I'm Air-Wing, a Viper pilot with the Volans Star-Hawks. Pretty new, actually, just a few months out of Academy." She picks up a menu and takes a look. "Aaaaaaaand… looks like a lot of Ambrosia. I'd kill for some Aerlionian Whiskey."

"I don't know, it was pretty easy from where I was standing," Pallas says. "Then again, sometimes I focus too much on one thing and lose sight of the bigger picture." Translation: now that she's facing him, he's moved on from checking out her ass to the rest of her. He's mastered the art of looking with his peripheral vision while his main focus is on the person's face. "Also a Viper pilot," he says in response to her question, hiding behind the facade of checking out the menu in order to avoid getting more specific than that. "Aerilonian whiskey?" he snorts to Andrea. "Just drain a glass of Ambrosia then huff Viper exhaust fumes. Pretty much the same thing."

"Well, I'm glad you were able to get a good vantage point," Cora nods to Pallas, "It can be difficult, balancing the need to stand far enough back to be able to see but without putting yourself out of the action entirely." She takes a seat and then nods, "Both viper pilots. That always seems like the most interesting place to be during these sorts of exercises. You must have enjoyed it." She eyes the drink menu for a moment, and then shuts it, apparently having made her decision easily.

"Says the guy who can choke down Aquarian Rum like he ISN'T drinking fermented Dolphin piss…" Andrea snaps back, then closes the menu. "It was lots of fun, if a bit hairy. One guy in my team almost got himself killed along with a team of Raptors from the other side." She shrugs. "All part of the fun, though. I got four simulated kills myself, and that was just playing mop up duty." She looks around for a waitress, disengaging a bit. She's only here to be a wingman, afterall…

"It can be difficult," Pallas agrees eagerly. "Especially just standing back and watching, even with a good perspective. I like to be right into the shit, as deep as I can get, hitting hard." Not even a flicker of a smile on his face as he puts down the menu. "The observation serves well, though. I can usually get a good sense of what I'm getting into. Then again, it's completely different when you get into the game. Having a good wingman helps." He draws out a pack of smokes from his pocket, taps one out with a deft movement, and offers it to Cora.

"I've never been opposed to the aggressive approach," Cora tells Pallas, "But there's something to be said for at least a degree of subtlety. It can be underrated, I think, among certain sets. Thank you, no," she replies to the offer of a cigarette, turning back towards Andrea to reply, "Sounds dramatic. But four kills is good for straight out of flight school, or so I hear. Nice work." She smiles, her lips faintly crooked with humor as she says, "I'll have to make a note for my intel files, in case we run up against the Volans again."

Andrea looks up, and offers a smile with teeth. "Yeah, tell them to gun for the little girl in the rear guard. Make things easier for our aces." She gives another look around, then taps the table. "Guess they're letting the customers come to them, I'll head over to the bar. What can I get for you two?"

"Subtlety?" Pallas asks, considering the thought. "A bit of finesse is required, certainly. A certain open-mindedness and flexibility allows you to adapt to any situation or position you get put in - even when you're being ridden hard by a superior officer." When Andrea offers to grab the drinks, he gets up and protests, "Nah, I'll buy the first round. You two ladies stay here and talk behind my back. What's your taste?" He points back and forth between the two of them.

"Or an inferior," Cora tacks on to the end of Pallas's sentence, "You never know precisely where the pressure's going to come from, in the military, as I'm learning." When the man gets up to get drinks, she specifies, "I'll take a Brygddr on the rocks, with a twist," naming an expensive Piconese vodka. She turns back to Andrea then once the lieutenant is gone and just lifts a brow in question.

Andrea glances up at him and shrugs. "Whatever Stout they're serving. I'm feeling a beer now more now anyway." As he walks away, she turns back to Cora and returns the raised brow. "Must be fun in Intel. All the cloak and dagger and talking in code." She lifts a chin to Pallas as he heads to the bar. "You like picking your poisons?"

Pallas looks impressed by Cora's order. Or maybe he's impressed by her innuendo. "Well, we all learn the same truth eventually - the Fleet fraks you good from every which way," he says. With that happy note, he heads over to the bar to order up the drinks. Or he would if the bartender weren't busy running in every direction. Looks like there's one bartender and one waitress for the entire bar. While they're not really swamped with customers, having only two people working is obviously not working out very well. So he waits, periodically glancing back to the table to try and make out what they're discussing.

"Seems like talking in code isn't just for Intel," Cora replies to Andrea dryly, sitting back in her seat and setting those folders down on the table. At the mention of poisons in relation to Pallas she chuckles and asks, "Is he that bad? I can't say I'm surprised. Still, if he's friends with you he must not be a complete waste."

"Not nearly as bad as he'd like to think he is…" Andrea says with a smile, grabbing some peanuts from the dish on the table. "It's possible that a girl could do better… also possible that she could do a great deal worse. If you fancy a good time, no strings attached…" she smiles and shrugs. "It's the stuff R+R is made for, right?"

Cora slings an elbow up over the back of her seat as she gets comfortable, watching Andrea and then chuckling as she nods, "Something like that. And good to know, thanks." After a beat she inquires, "Are you speaking from experience, or just observation?"

What kind of wingman is that! Could do better, could do worse? Good thing Pallas that isn't around to hear that description of him - he'd probably design a coat-of-arms so he could get that emblazoned as his personal motto. Expectations are kept fairly low with Spiral. "Demeter's Own Stout, Brygddr on the rocks with a twist," he announces when he finally returns to the table with drinks in hand. For himself, he puts down a short glass of what smells to be whiskey, neat.

Andrea shakes her head with a smile. "Plenty of observation, but nothing more. I'm not the kind he likes." Looking up as the drinks arrive, she grabs the stout and takes a deep drink. "Ahh, bless our lady of sacred fermentation. You can smuggle all the booze you like onto a battlestar, but just try to get a halfway decent keg of stout without the President doing an inspection." She raises her glass in a faux-toast. "Cheers, Matthias. May you always hit where you aim, and never claim it was a miss."

"Oh? And what kind is that?" Cora asks Andrea before Pallas returns. She watches the drinks being passed out and then nods politely, "Thank you," to Pall—err. Tryphon. The other ensigns remark about sneaking a keg on board earns a laugh and the suggestions, "Laundry bins," before she lifts her glass not for the toast but for a sip.

Pallas raises his glass and clinks it with Andrea's. The scotch is sipped slowly, appreciated, and put back down. "Likewise." He sits back and enjoys his second cigarette, listening to the two of them go back and forth on the logistics of smuggling a keg aboard. "Pay off a deckhand," he suggests. "They're always hauling big stuff in and out. Offer them some of the keg and some cubits for keeping it hidden, I'm sure they'd go for that."

"I'll have to give it a try. Hard to imagine the deck officer ignoring the Demeter's Own delivery truck pulling up to the anchorage." Andrea smiles, taking another deep draw on her glass as she looks about. "Must be early in R+R. Doesn't look like anyone has started a fight, yet."

"Having a deckhand involved would probably help," Cora agrees, "What you really need—" she breaks off as another officer abruptly appears at her elbow, leaning down to mutter something about somebody looking for her. The ensign grimaces, and drains her (nearly full) drink in one smooth motion before setting the glass down and gathering up her folders. "Apparently my presence is required elsewhere," she tells them dryly, picking up a cocktail napkin and producing a pen from a pocket. She scribbles something down and tosses it in front of Pallas. "Eight," she says simply before adding to Andrea with a friendly smile, "It was nice to meet you. Good luck in the next set of games." She tips a nod, and heads off.

"Don't say that too loud," Pallas says to Andrea with a grimace. "Lords only know what frakking moron within earshot might take that as an invitation to brawl." He glances over his shoulder - the bar's still fairly empty. Most of the people who just got off the Volans are probably hitting up the strip club and party spots instead of a mostly-dead joint like this. He looks up from his scotch when Cora suddenly has to leave to be greeted by a cocktail napkin with a hotel name and room number. "Eight," he repeats, giving her a smile. As she walks away, he points to her posterior again, gives the thumbs-up to Andrea, and this time says aloud, "Ohhhhhh yeah."

"You as well. And watch your six." Andrea joins Pallas in watching the Ensign leave and then laughs to herself. "I'm impressed, Spiral. I don't suppose you could teach me the mystic arts of subtle seduction, could you?" She chuckles more as she takes another drink. "Think she'll be there? She is Intelligence, after all."

"Subtle? What part of that was subtle?" Pallas asks with a laugh, pocketing the napkin. "She might. She might not. I'll try to get a second lined up just in case one of 'em bails." He leans back triumphantly and raises his scotch to her in toast. "Good support. You might just be a better wingman in a bar than you are in a Viper." Is that a compliment or a backhanded insult? "See, all you need to do if you want to pick up is simple. Stand on a table, take off your shirt, and yell, 'Last man standing wins!'"

Andrea finishes her beer with a gulp and smiles at him. "Depends on the kind of guy I want to bed. The sort to win that contest would just carry me behind the bar and get it over with. Sometimes a girl likes some romance." She glances down at herself. "You think the chest would be the way to go? I always thought my legs were my big winners."

Pallas snorts over his glass. "Take off your top and your pants if you want to be sure," he suggests. "That's usually a pretty clear sign of intent." He scans the bar all around, looking for his next victim. The thirty-nine-year-old Viper pilot is on the prowl, and he's not stopping until he gets a confirmed kill. "Romance," he scoffs, mostly to himself. "It's all a bunch of lies and facades, that's all romance is."

Andrea looks over and snorts. "Spoken like the true pessimist. Does being worlds-weary ever get old, Spiral? Ever feel like having a girl cuddle up to you and telling you that you were the best she ever had, even though you know damn well she's had better?" A glass suddenly appears at the table… Ambrosia. The delivering waitress indicates a couple of pilots in the corner. Andrea sighs. "At least they didn't put a frakking fruit salad in it."

"What's the point?" Pallas asks. "If I know she's lying, and she knows she's lying, we might as well tell the truth to each other. Dressing up the truth with pretty words don't change facts." He's got a true poet's heart, that's for sure. He eyes the ambrosia with a suspicious eye and looks over to the indicated pilots. "Guess you won't have to take your shirt off after all," he remarks blandly.

"Is it you saying that, or Matthias… whatever the hell your last name was supposed to be?" Andrea glances at the drink and over to the guys, who are toasting her between whispering to each other. "It's one thing to get a drink because you took your shirt off… another to have someone buy a drink hoping you will take it off." She sighs. "Its always a frakking girly drink, too."

"I don't even frakking remember," Pallas admits, finishing off his glass of scotch. He looks around for the waitress to signal for a refill, but she's nowhere to be seen. "Too bad I was in uniform, or I could've gotten really creative with 'Matthias'," he chuckles. "I think I would've gone with something like Freelance Photojournalist." His arm is frantically waved in the air, trying to catch the attention of either the bartender or the invisible waitress to no avail. Sigh. "Maybe it's because you're a girl, ever considered that possibility?" he asks Andrea, rolling his eyes.

"Just because I have a pussy doesn't mean that I am one." She all but dares Pallas to mention the teddy bear with her eyes. "In any case, you cannot simultaneously constantly lie to women and then act all world-weary because they don't always tell you the truth. For instance, I've never lied to you."

Pallas waves away her accusation. "If women were capable of having a one-night stand without getting all Gods-damned clingy and needy, I wouldn't have to lie," he says. A dangerous line of reasoning, that one - she made me do it! "You all say, 'No strings attached,' and then the next morning you're asking when you can see me again." He shakes his head, holding his scotch glass at an angle to see if there's a couple more drops left in there that he can squeeze out. "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. I'll be on my way."

"Can you blame the poor girls that you're just so damn likeable?" Andrea knocks back the Ambrosia and grimaces. "Gah, give me a good whiskey any day over this blue crap." She shakes her head. "I met guys like you all the time before I enlisted. Figured a sweet little farmer's daughter would be an easy mark, yeah? Suppose I saw my way clear to hook up but didn't want to be a port of call. All you had to do was ask him if he still respected you the following morning." She smiles. "Always the player, never thought that he might be the game, every once in a while."

"Oh yeah, that's the problem," Pallas replies sarcastically. Him, likeable? "It's my young, handsome face and honest personality that hooks 'em every time." In other words, not a chance in Hades. "I'm not a player. I just don't want to get entangled in any needy emotional bullshit. If I was going to settle down, I'd've done it by now." Finally, the waitress comes back into view, and he flags her down. "Sex is sex. That's all I'm looking for. End of story."

"Good luck that we're wingmates, then. I can feel myself falling for you with every conversation." Glancing up, Andrea notices that the pilots have ordered more of the infernal beverage and are walking over. "Ok, what'll it take for you to kiss me right now so they go away? A few turns on CAP?"

Uh, what? Pallas looks over to the pilots, back to Andrea, back to the pilots, and back to his wing(wo)man. Oh, come on. At least they're not pilots that he recognizes. "Two of my CAP rotations and two weeks of laundry," he says quickly, leaning in to make it look like an intimate conversation.

Andrea's eyes close for a moment. "You're a frakking thief, you know that?" She whispers, but then she closes the distance between them, pressing her lips to his.

"Yeah, but I'm a thief that doesn't have to do his own laundry for two weeks." Andrea can probably feel the smirk on Pallas' face as she kisses him. But it dissolves in a moment as he starts kissing her back. Gotta make it believable, right? …Riiiiiiight. It can't be pleasant to be cornered into extra duties in order to have a superior officer kiss you, and the fact that he reeks of cigarettes and scotch probably doesn't help, either.

Andrea is just getting into the act when all of the sudden a hand is on her shoulder, pulling her away from him. "Hey now, that's not right, we bought you that drink and you just…" Wham! Her elbow catches his stomach, and then her hand grabs his head and smashes it into the table. "Two weeks laundry for nothing…" she mourns, as the guys friends seem to evaluate what just happened.

Pallas pulls away from Andrea, looks up at the guy that she just bruised up, and shrugs. "Ah, what the hell. This place is a frakking hole, anyway." Standing up out of his seat, he tosses up his chair, grabs it by the legs, and swings it at the nearest of the group. Swing and a miss! But he catches the guy right in the face on the backswing, sending him reeling into a table.

And that's how you kick off a proper R&R.


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