PHD #072: Just Don't Slip Up
Just Don't Slip Up
Summary: A tense meeting between the Anadyomene group's new CO and the Viper squadleaders.
Date: 2041.05.09
Related Logs: Part I: Into the Forest.
Covington Daphne Kulko Laskaris Quinn Rojas Sitka Tisiphone 

Kulko looks slowly over the group for half a minute, then digs out and lights another cigarette. There's more vigor in his voice when he speaks again. "Listen here, y'all. Skipper's not gonna write us off so quick, and he's right not to. There's folks out there that ain't given up on us yet. Don't go givin' up on yourselves. Week or two from now, we'll be breathin' that sweet canned air, eatin' them powdered eggs in the galley, and bitchin' about eight hour CAPs. Just gotta get from here to there." He takes a long inaugural drag, then snaps off a salute. "Roll out in two hours. Hop to it." He moves shortly thereafter towards Laskaris and Sitka. "Captains, y'all got a moment?"

Rapping knuckles on the non-bulletstopping helmet clutched in his hand, 'Possum' throws a grin to the departing Dally. "Anyone wantin' a twenny-minute catchup on how these crotch-weasels work, hit me up. Better gettin' used to it now than on soil an' woodland terrain."

As Kulko gives his final bit, Lasher pushes himself off the ATV and grabs his blouse. Holding the green jacket loosely in one hand, he takes one last power drag on the cigarette before carefully rubbing the thing out and slipping it into his pocket. Seems that he's taking a page from Sitka's book on cigarette conservation. His head turns back to Kulko as the lieutenant calls to him and Shiv. "Sure, LT," he says with a glance at the older man as he moves to join Kulko.

"Yessir." Tisiphone unfolds her legs to dangle off the edge of the crate, then pushes herself down to the buckled tarmac. She immediately digs into her pocket, rummaging out her rumpled pack of smokytreats, eyes following the two Captains and Kulko as they move away.

Sitka's own salute is considerably less formal than the Lieutenant's, but at least he makes an effort. Nominally. Dallas gets a faint twist of his lips that doesn't quite qualify as a smile, once she's released him from the hug, and he's about to amble back off for the bunker when Kulko beckons him over. A brief hesitation. Then, "Sure thing, Lieutenant." He ignores the butt pat, hands off his cigarette to the woman, and turns to approach the tactical officer and fellow viper Captain.

Like she has a 6th sense for smokes, and maybe she does, Dallas reaches back just in time to accept the smoke from Shiv. Her fingers scissor what's left of it, and gives a flourish with her wrist. "Don' work too hard!" Off she goes, sliding the smoke into the corner of her mouth to puff while she approaches Rojas, passing just by Tisiphone. She pauses as a pack of smokes come into view, and tips her cig up to the Ensign, "Need a light?" She holds it there for a moment if yes.

Kulko doesn't quite huddle up with the squadron leaders, but he might as well be. Thumbs dig into his belt loops as he addresses the Captains quietly. "Weren't supposed to go this way. Sure as frak didn't want it to. But we're here, and we gotta keep goin'. Gods put me here for a reason, an' I'm gonna get this job done best I know how. Need to know you're both onboard." The intensity as he looks between the two older men is tempered with marked apprehension.

"Uh-? Oh. Yessir." Tisiphone blinks her attention over to Covington, her pensive expression shoved away by the bubble of startlement. "Sorry. Dallas." They had The Sir Conversation already. "Thanks." She'll lean forward and quickly light up off the cherry before leaning back. "Three days of food. You figure there's going to be anything worth hunting in there?" The way her mouth prims, she's doubting it, herself.

Dallas' smile lingers. She winks as Tis and nods, "No problem, darlin'." She mms, and glances around. "Never know." She doesn't stick around long, though. "We might could get lucky." Always cheerful is Dallas. And when she runs out of cheerful stuff to say, she keeps her yap shut. "Man, I miss cupcakes," she mutters around her cigarette, before she continues on to join Rojas briefly. She leans in, says something quietly, asks after something that sounds like 'hohos', then taps his shoulder and heads for the bunker once more. Destination: Mysterious.

Lasher's arms are again folded, and he leans slightly forward, voice low as he replies to Kulko. "On board with what, exactly, Lieutenant? Signing my fortunes and those of my people over to a freshly minted jig with no experience outside a classroom?" Pulls no punches, does he? There's a shake of the head. "Not much of a sales pitch." A brow raises.

Tisiphone watches Covington move away toward Rojas, pulling another lungful of smoke off her cigarette as she does. As she exhales, her eyes flick back toward Daphne, whom she watches with faintly-lifted brows — a sort of mute '…well?' questioning.

Sitka's expression turns slightly quizzical when Kulko asks his question. A faint notch between his brows, and a creasing at the corners of his blue eyes, which skirt just shy of the tactical officer's. Lasher's words only deepen the impending frown, and he addresses the younger pilot mildly, "I seem to recall, Anton, that it wasn't too long ago you got your own pins." And to Kulko, "You make sure to listen to your senior crew, like you have been, and I don't have an issue at all. Bartholomew named you as her second. I assume she knew what she was doing."

"Not for nothin', sir, I ain't pitchin. I'm tellin' you we're gettin' off this rock." Stephen raises the smoke, watching the cherry flare a moment, then exhales a lungful up to the irradiated sky. To Sitka, "No, sir. Skipper did. But we're down here, and they're up there. Might be fresh minted but I know what I don't know. You see somethin' don't strike you as prudent, you pipe up. Wouldn't expect nothin' less. Meantime, let's get our people home. Together."

"Ain't the same, Shiv, and you bloody well know it," Lasher retorts mildly to Sitka at the mention of pins. "Barto also didn't know we were headin' into the biggest clusterfrak this side of the attacks on the Colonies." Slate-colored eyes latch onto Kulko. "We've already gotten a first hand look at some of the things you don't know, Lieutenant, and I'd be a damned liar if I said I was at all pleased. Or encouraged." There's no acrimony in his tone, just flat, blunt honesty. His arms cross over his chest once more. "You want to know what I think? Personally, I don't think it's prudent leaving you in command at this point." A shake of the head. "You're in over your head by my reckoning, Lieutenant."

Daphne wanders off, doing Daphne Things, leaving Tisiphone to smoke her cigarette and eavesdrop. Not that she can, very well, at the distance she's at — all she really catches is the rise and fall of words and the way they heat or cool with the shifting of emotions. Still, she settles herself on the cracked tarmac, one knee drawn to her chest, the other leg stretched out in front of her, and takes her sweet time with her cigarette.

Sitka's already looking faintly distracted as the 'meeting' progresses. The grease under his nails, and caked in the crevices of his knuckles is examined with alacrity while Lasher speaks, and his eyes come up slowly as the man reaches the end of his spiel. "Hey.." He brings his hands up, palms forward, and takes a step back. "..if this is going to turn into a lord of the flies moment, I don't really want any part of it. You're both welcome to arm wrestle, puff up your chests, or see who can piss furthest if you like. I'll be in the bunker, helping Nathan out with the vipers if you need me."

"I reckon startin' a mutiny on an enemy-held planet is a hair or two less prudent than followin' that newly minted JiG," Kulko counters tersely, hazel eyes meeting the Laskaris' stare. "Ain't a question, here. I've got an objective, a plan, and resources, and godsdamnit I'm gonna execute. I don't tell you how to fly, but you want to run this show? Draw your sidearm, sir, an' finish what the tinheads started, because I weren't askin' your permission."

The first time really out since everything happened, and then only because Trask managed to be the heartfelt hero again and dug up a dusty old wheelchair somewhere in the medical storage, Maggie's finally rolled outside just to get some air. Trask off for a cigarette, or just time to think, no longer needing to stand quite so fierce a watch as he had, Quinn's tired, muddy green eyes, slightly pinched with pain she can't entirely hide, trace over the few gathered around… She doesn't look entirely like death, but there's no colour left on her ashen face beneath those familiar freckles.

Tisiphone still can't hear exactly what's being said over yonder where Sitka, Laskaris and Kulko are talking, but it sure looks like it's getting Real Serious all of a sudden. Her chin lifts, sleety eyes sharpened and intent.

"A plan." Lasher smiles thinly. "Like putting Vipers in the air every night so the Cylons can watch our progress day by day? Or almost indulging some damnfool deckhand in her proposal to strap people and equipment to a frakkin' Viper? Yes, positively brilliant planning there, Lieutenant. What a fool I was to question your tactical acumen." OK, so he's probably laying it on a little thick now. "Well. If'n the only choices are follow your lead or put a bullet in your head… fine. Not much of a choice, is it? Just remember what Shiv said, and we might have a chance to get out of this with our bloody skins intact."

Sitka's already turned on his heel by the time Kulko begins speaking, and is headed off along the tarmac, and in the direction of the bunker at a steady, though not overly hurried clip. His trajectory takes him roughly on an intercept course with the wheelchair'd Quinn, whom he nearly blows by before spotting. "Maggie." He stops moving, and ventures an uneasy smile as he takes stock of the woman. "Hey. You, uh, you sure you should be out here?" With the sun having gone down, it's getting chilly enough to raise gooseflesh on the man's exposed arms, causing the dark hairs to bristle up like a pipecleaner. Tisiphone and her eavesdropping are briefly noted, but not addressed.

The thought of actually wheeling all the way over to the group, when Margaret can hear the tense conversation and heated debate from there, it's an exhausting one. So, when Sitka pauses to address her, nearly slipping past, she manages a quiet, white lipped smile for him and just settles into staying put, right on the edge of the doors, just out far enough to take advantage of some fresh smelling air, not the stale, sickly stuff of inside. "Maybe not… but… couldn't lay there any more. Needed a distraction." She admits quietly, voice somewhat raw, no power behind it. But she's awake and talking. It's certainly progress.

Okay. That's looking considerably less tense. Tisiphone's chin lowers as she lifts her cigarette to her mouth, and her eyes flick away, briefly, tracking Sitka's progress over toward the Harriers' Captain. She leaves the cigarette perched at the corner of her mouth and lifts her hand further, scrubbing restlessly at her scalpfuzz.

"Ain't the time to be lettin' blokes down easy, LT," Lasher says with a shake of the head, his tone still carrying a slight edge to it. "Sometimes you gotta know when to be brutally honest. That time is now." Their conversation seems to be proof enough of that. "Hurt feelings aren't worth lives." There's a long look at Kulko's face, then his hand, but Lasher finally takes it. When he does, he uses the grip to pull Kulko in closer, his voice quieting to a harsh, throaty whisper. "Just don't slip up, Lieutenant." His highlander accent actually makes it sound like 'leftenant', but who's keeping track?

It's not just air, it's real air. The down home good stuff, rather than the recycled oxygen they've been breathing for the past two months. Dragging a pair of gloves out of a back pocket of his BDUs, Shiv offers a small smile to the Harrier Captain. "Well, bored or not, you might want to be resting up while you can. I think we're moving out tonight, once they're done measuring their dicks over there." He hitches his chin in the direction of Laskaris and Kulko, and begins pulling on the gloves as he takes a couple of steps back, toward the bunker. "Sure you don't need a push somewhere?" And Tisiphone, if he manages to catch her eye, gets beckoned over.

Quinn flickers her eyes to the side, searching for Trask, but he is taking a much deserved break so she turns her head back to Sitka, giving a faint nod. "I… probably could use some assistance, yes." It's humbling to have to ask for it, Maggie half choking on the thought she can't even get around on her own at the moment, but she tries not to look too discouraged. Stiff upper lip and all that. Everything considered? She got lucky. "…Moving out…" She exhales slowly, savouring that air one last time, "…might be wise, but yes… lets hope they can get things together enough because this… this isn't a time we can afford to be at odds. Period. Hope someone reminded the boys of that."

Kulko does his best to keep his face a stoic mask, but there's no disguising the brief moment of startled surprise as Lasher makes his point. "Noted, sir," comes the Canceran's response as he quickly regathers his composure. "Been more'n enough of that already. Now let's get a frakkin' move on before our friends come callin' round again."

Been caught eavesdropping, once when she was five. Tisiphone's looking Sitka's way when he looks hers, and she pushes herself to her feet a moment later. She slaps at the backs of her legs a couple times, dusting the gritty asphalt fragments off them, before she heads over. "Yeah?" she asks quietly, caught somewhere between pensive and curious.

"No arguments there," Lasher mumbles curtly. Abruptly, he turns away from the younger man and heads off, away from the conversations still in progress, in the direction of the ATVs. His green blouse, still held loosely in his off hand, is slung over a shoulder as he goes for a cigarette. His body armor and other accoutrements, recovered from the bunker, are carefully loaded onto one of the ATVs with the other kits.

"The boys," Sitka assures, grasping the handles of Maggie's wheelchair, "are well aware." Surely he has more he'd like to say on the topic, but discretion being the better part of valour, the Captain — as he's wont to do — keeps his trap shut. Pivoting the wheelchair about, he starts guiding it back toward the bunker. "You mind helping me out with getting the vipers prepped?" he asks the approaching Tisiphone. "Since you seem to have some time on your hands."

Tisiphone glances back over her shoulder for a moment, the pensive hesitation stronger on her pale features, then turns her attention back to Sitka with a nod. "Yeah. Of course. You bet," she replies. Her voice is still a touch quiet. She takes a final drag off her cigarette, then drops it to the tarmac and crushes it out underfoot before following after the Captain.

Kulko runs fingers through his hair and seeks refuge in the comforting poison of his cigarette. Those won't last long at all, at this rate. He shoulders his armor duffel, left right where he started roundabout sunset - alone on the ruined tarmac, with more questions than answers.

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