PHD #211: Kissing Babies
Kissing Babies
Summary: Sawyer speaks with Kincaid about the future of the Colonial civilians, and later meets Astra and her brood, accompanied by Evan.
Date: 25 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: And dealing with Sawyer's launching political career.
Sawyer Kincaid Evandreus Astra 
Galley - Deck 9 - Battlestar Cerberus
Behind the two hangar decks, the Cerberus' Galley is the largest room on the ship. Nearly half the size of a football field, the eating area is made up of long lines of stainless steel tables that can be folded up and placed against the wall for larger events. Individual seats are the standard military issue, boring and grey with lowest-bidder padding. The line for food stretches across one of the shorter sides of the room while the kitchen behind works nearly twenty-four hours a day to produce either full meals or overnight snacks and coffee for the late shifts.
Post-Holocaust Day: #211

Standard dinner time is long over, now just those that aren't on current duty rotation are lingering about or stopping in for a late bite to eat. Sawyer occupies a length of table, armed with a cup of coffee and smoldering cigarette while she pours over a pad of paper and a few books, furiously making notes. She looks long past an expiration date, with darkening circles under her eyes and clothes that are looking a little rumpled from an extended period of wear.

"On a deadline, Sawyer?" It's just the sort of thing that Danny would ask her. He has a tray in his hand; he's still in uniform. Maybe he just got off of duty or something. He slides into the seat across from her without asking first. "You must be doing better."

Sawyer's gaze flicks up and then back down at her papers, looking between her source (a book) and her paper, and making another quick notation before she smirks and responds. "I can't let them drive me into seclusion, Daniel. Or what's worse, out of my profession. If they want me, here I am. Let them have the balls to confront me in public, the cowards." She uses the eraser of her pencil to push her hair behind her ear, then finally gives the dining man across from her, her full attention. "I'm just trying to educate myself better on the ins and outs of the Colonial government. Speaking of, how goes the defense of Abbot? Up against a trial date yet?"

"Haven't talked to the prosecutor yet. JAG promises me a date any day now, but I'm not the one in the driver's seat on this one. Of course, every day this goes longer is another day we possibly have another confrontation. It's just smoldering." Kincaid sighs and takes a sip of his 'coffee.' "Government? What about it? I did a lot of governmental reporting work."

"I want to re-establish it. Some form of it, anyways. Martial law is only going to get us so far, and being nearly six months since the holocaust and now we are five hundred some civilians heavy…it's time to start thinking about everyone's future, so that the military is merely a facet of the people's voice and is no longer speaking directly for them. I'm talking voting, delegates from each Colony…the whole works. So far, however, I'm not precisely getting the military backing that I had hoped for." Sawyer shrugs in a 'what are you going to do' type gesture. "The sooner Abbot's trial is over, the better. I'm afraid of the outcome, but any verdict is better than none at all. The people need to start moving forward with their lives, instead of just feeling as if they're running from something. The children need education, the adults need some sense of work-pride and accomplishment again."

"How do you make a civilian government? The only thing we've got going is the military ships. What would the civilian government run? You'd need to figure out how to make it a government and not just a middle school student council." Although Kincaid is offering up the difficulties, he does so in a way of laying out the challenges.

"I am to understand there is a search team in the works, to find a secondary ship for all the civilians to be ported over to. Crowding has become a large issue, and housing is becoming cramped. I'm going to propose that this secondary ship become civilian, through and through. Of course, the military will still be there to guard its citizens, but the people need a say again. Starting off small, with a representative or committee there of that can meet with the military in order to assure all needs are being met ond both fronts. Then possibly working up to a full scale election again. It's time for some normalcy."

"Well, start with the ship under civilian control. Don't make a government out of it. Make something happen. Show people that civilians can do more than cower than bicker." Kincaid ticks it off on his fingers. "And that might show folks we need civilian government again. And we might need someone like you." He points at her with his spork. "At the head."

Evandreus arrives from the Deck 9.
Evandreus has arrived.

Sawyer grins wickedly, leaning closer to Kincaid, which isn't much considering there is a table between them covered with work product and dinner. "And someone like you, as my second. You'll consider it, won't you? My first thought was to steam roll this all right into effect, but I think you're right. I'm coming to realize this is something that'll have to be eased back into. So there won't be hackles raised on either side, rather cooperation."

Astra arrives from the Deck 9.
Astra has arrived.

"I consider a lot of things, Sawyer." Kincaid gets to his feet. "But yeah. I'll think about it. You take care, huh? I need to get back to work."

Sawyer leans back to return to her mass of papers and books she has sprawled out over a table, sharing kind parting words with Kincaid before he scampers off to the luxurious life of being an MP. Before she retakes her pencil, she just sits quietly, staring off into the distance as if replaying their conversation over in her head in order to suss some things out. A cigarette is plucked from its ashtray, smoldering ever closer to the filter, and it's lifted to her lips for another long drag.

Hands gripped onto handles with wrists bent down and thumbs extended to hook over the fabric of the back of the chair, Evan pauses on the threshold— "Bump," he announces, pressing a boot down on the piece of metal at the back of the chair, tipping the forewheels upward and sliding them over the lip of the hatch, then rolling the back wheels over same. "Want me to push you past the grub line or find a spot for you and go brave it on my own?"

A handful of children flock into the galley, all of them in ragged clothes that are patched and cobbled together out of remnants, tatters of things in patchworks as clean as can be gotten. Six of them are walking, gaunt waifs, all of them, boys and girls between the ages of six and eleven. They are accompanied by a thin woman in a wheelchair, who has three more children tucked into the chair: a little girl about four years old, and two infants hardly more than a week old. Her cheeks are hollowed and her fair hair is listless. She looks up as Evan bushes her forwards and she smiles. "I'd like…" she begins, and then chuckles as the two oldest boys hop up and down a little. "I think if you find a place for us, Zander and Nestor.. oh sorry, *and* Tomas… would like to help with the food."

Sawyer glances up when Astra and her brood are invading the galley, a faint smile touching her lips as she looks from the infant laden woman up to the man that accompanies them. Evan, Evan and Evan, it must be. She shakes her head with a little quiet laugh and goes back to her work, outlining something on her tablet of paper.

Evandreus spots Soybean about the same time that she spots him, and she gets a mischief-flavored grin for her troubles. "Hey, Kiddolettas, want to go meet the next President of the Colonies?" he asks of them. "Then, yeah, we'll four go play waiter," he tells the boys, heading on down toward the Soybean's table.

"We can get her oggogaff?" asks the youngest girl standing, Thera. "Autograph," Astra corrects, her smile gentle. "And you may ask her, if you remember your manners, Thera. All of you." She reaches up to the youngest boy and tweaks his nose. "She's working, so we mustn't take too much of her time." She looks again to Evan, smiling, and the little girl in her anms clings to her, sucking her thumb. "Bunny, we won't really be disturbing her, will we?"

As she hears Evan's voice, and the intention in his words, Sawyer starts collecting her various papers and tidying her work area so it's a little bit more hospitable. "Not disturbing at all. In fact, I rather could use a break." She's close enough to the door that she gathered little bits and pieces of that exchange. She quickly stamps out her cigarette and disperses the remaining smoke with a quick wave of her hand so it doesn't bother the delicate noses of small children. "And let's not count our chickens before they hatch, Evan. We haven't even made the first step into reestablishing a government." Sawyer rises and leans across the table, extending a hand to Astra as she's wheeled up. "Sawyer Averies, investigative journalist, ship historian and apparently, budding politician. Congratulations on the birth of your children, ma'am. I hope the latest supply raid was able to benefit you and your children."

"She used to live with us in Pilot berths, she's already plenty disturbed," Evan jokes with a winsome little squint-smile in Sawyer's direction, guiding the chair up along the end of the table. "And until I hear about someone running against you, my money's on you, all the way, hon," he goes on to joke. He's up, tonight. Like, way up. Almost manic in his joviality. Whether that's a good sign or a bad one is anyone's guess— but maybe the kids are just rubbing off on him. "Alright, let's see, what're we bringing back with us?" his brain darts off in another direction, eyes scanning over the chilluns.

"Food!" cries the eldest, though he contains himself until Astra is settled. She smiles and nods to Sawyer. "Astra Koios. Artist and… art teacher. And mother." She strokes Petra's back. "And thank you. I heard about the supplies. I'll be glad to get them in something decent. It's kind, everything…" She bites her lip, then tilts her head. "I… if there's any help I can be, when I've recovered some… I was hoping to talk to someone about setting up a school for the children aboard." A glance over to Evan. "If they have any sort of milk, that would be wonderful. And fruit for all of them."

"Unfortunately, the only type of fruit we have anymore is in a can and drenched in sugary syrup. Not that I think the kids would mind." Sawyer flashes a full on grin and settles back down in her seat. Papers are stacked on top of books, keeping her hands busy for the time being. "Actually, that's one of the reasons I'm trying to form some representation and structure among the Civilians. The children have been without education for six months. It's time to start rebuilding some normalcy, some routine, and some future. It's good to hear I have a volunteer."

"It's the best fruit salad -ever,-" Evan tells the children. "Drenched in syrup and preservatives, just like nature intended," he grins at Nestor, then taps him on the shoulder with a friendly knuckle. "C'mon." Astra gets a nod at the rest of her directives, and the Bunny starts to herd off those of th group volunteering to be his extra hands.

"Syrup? Frakkin-A!" Nestor cries, then coughs and looks down after Astra give him The Look. "I mean, great sir, wonderful, sir. Coming now, sir." He grins, and then he and his younger and older "brothers" line up, looking about almost warily before they leave Astra's side. The little girl in her arms looks up, and she trembles a little, staring around. "pa…. pa…" she whispers, looking up at Evandreus with wide, round eyes.

"Thank you Evan, I appreciate it." Then, after quelling Nestor, Astra nods to Sawyer. "My husband and I started a school, actually. He did a lot of the paperwork, but I'm familiar enough with the process. Of course, we'll want to adapt traditional curriculum for our current circumstances. And…." she sighs, her mind hopping from place to place. "And what do we prepare them for? DO we even have a place to go?"

"I'm not going to get your hopes up, Missus Koios. But the fleet is at least working on finding something with a bit more elbow room for our growing masses. For a while, we'll be transient at best, but that's no reason the children should know the basics. Reading, writing, mathmatics…cultural awareness…all these things can't be lost merely because we don't have a solid rock under our feet. So as to what we're preparing them for? I'd say, at this point, we're preparing them to carry on a legacy." Sawyer's eyes trail after Evandreus. "He's a good one. Been through a lot. I think your children are just the key for him."

Evandreus lets his helpers pick out their own meals under the stipulation that they either finish their plates or find someone else to finish them for them. He herds them along in line before him, overseeing their process of picking things out to the line attendant without hovering too much or interfering— letting them get the feeling of doing it on their own while standing by as a safety net. He takes two trays, himself, and apportions out mess for those remaining by the table on his way through, while the lads go about getting enough of… just about everything… to pass around. Bowls of the fruit salad are acquired by the half-dozen near the end of the line, though the boys are also fascinated by the jell-o dessert.

"To carry on a legacy, but also the skills to build a new future," answers Astra with a nod. "Our school was for children four to fourteen, teaching primary education with a focus on culture and the arts. In short, we taught artists and gave them a good general education in addition." The woman smiles, then looks down, blinking her eyes hard for a moment. "I'm given to understand that, other than my flock, there are only about twenty children on the ship. That should be a managable start." She strokes Petra's hair. "He's good for the children, too. They all adore him. Even Petra, and she's terrified of everyone who isn't me or the children.

The boys fill their trays with as much food as they can carry, doing their best to contain their excitement enough to not drop the trays. "This is great," Tomas squeaks. "There's so much choice, and… and no one's shoving ya out of line so's you can't even get nothing. And better than those shakes in sickbay." The eldest boy shakes his head. "Hey, remember what Mama Astra said. It's food, and we should be grateful. Even if it does taste like toilet."

"Self expression is just as an important tool as the rest. If you'd like to give me a sample curriculum, I'll include it in my proposition to Command?" Sawyer drains the last of her coffee, and starts to drag her books off the table. "It was really lovely to meet you, but I have about three more people to meet with before I'm finally able to sleep tonight. You'll excuse me? Tell Evan the elder I said goodnight."

Four people, five trays, duckline back toward the table, Evan kidly reminding the boys to use both hands to carry the trays while he himself does nothing of the sort, waitering with both arms full until he can put oth trays on the table. "Leaving us, lovely?" he asks of Soybean, "See you later. Where are you staying, nowadays, anyhow? I didn't see a forwarding address."

Sawyer hugs all her books to her chest, moving around the table to lean into Evan and give him an air kiss to the cheek. "Yes, I have to run. Thank you, though, for introducing me to your friend and your lovely namesakes." She straightens away, taking a step towards the hatch. "I still have my bunk in berthings. But if you need me, I'm usually found in the news room, sleeping on my keyboard. Good night, all of you." She smiles one last time, then skitters out of the hatch.

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