PHD #020: Lasher 1, Money 0
Lasher:1, Money:0
Summary: Gifts turn to tension in the Viper Berths over the botched salvage missions.
Date: 2041.03.18
Related Logs: All the Tug of War logs.
Kulko Tisiphone Laskaris Evandreus Sitka Pallas 

It's mid-shift, and the Viper berths are as quiet as they ever get. The curtains on Tisiphone's (bottom) bunk are open. Having no particular reason to do anything, she's still in her pajamas — a pair of boxer-briefs and a black, threadbare, man-sized black T-shirt — and is smoking in bed, blowing lungful after lungful of smoke up at the roof.

Kulko knocks twice, then enters without waiting for a response, peering about the unfamiliar territory as he closes the hatch behind him. He's in immaculately pressed duty blues, and one hand is behind his back. "Tis? You about?"

"Stephen? That you?" Tisiphone's voice, from somewhere deeper in the room. There — wincingly pushing herself up to a seated position in one of the bottom bunks. Either there are a lot of meticulously tidy flyboys, or there are a lot of empty racks. "Shit, braving Club Viper? What's up?" She pulls her bare feet out from under the blanket, rotates the ankles cautiously, then sets her feet on the floor.

"The one'n only," Kulko admits, approaching the occupied bunk and delivering a bow with a flourish of his free hand. "Brought you somethin' to, ah… aid your recovery," he offers by way of explanation. "Plus I ain't never seen where they keep y'all when you're not in the cockpit. Looks alot like where we rack, to be honest."

"Yeah? Serious?" says Tisiphone to Kulko, her unbandaged brow lifting slightly with surprise. "I sorta liked to think they kept the featherbeds and quilts for Command." Dream big, little Ensign. She's sitting on the edge of her bunk, still in her pajamas, a half-smoked cigarette held in her casted fingers.

Kulko slides a chair from the center table to the space adjoining Tis' bunk and straddles it. From behind his back he presents an object wrapped in old DRADIS printouts, but which, from its outline, is clearly a 750ml bottle. "May it make your time without your wings just a bit less frakkin' miserable."

The Black Knights squadron leader seems to have just come off of CAP, if the flightsuit and the sweat-tousled hair are any indication. A cigarette is clutched in one gloved hand; the spoils of vict— well, another mission survived, anyway. There's a grunt of greeting for Tisiphone, followed by a slightly longer look at the unfamiliar other ensign as Lasher makes his way to his own rack, cigarette smoke creating a wispy trail in his wake.

Ah, now there's a thing of beauty. Tisiphone looks up from taking a drag off her cigarette — it's a weird sippy-bird sort of motion, ducking her head to her arm, rather than bringing arm up to her face — and a ghost of a smile comes to haunt the edges of her mouth. "This what I think it is?" she asks, sotto voce. She makes no motion to reach for it, though — instead looking over at the hatch as it opens. The barely-there smile flits away, and her eyes grow hooded, tracking Laskaris's route through the room. "Sir." A quiet murmur, as he passes.

"You're damn right," Kulko affirms, glancing Lasher's way as he enters and offering up a crisp salute with his free hand, but making no effort to rise from his chair. "This will bring me officially to half a'what I brought on board… in just about three weeks. At this rate I'll be drinking Deck-brew by summertime. But I'd hate to waste the whole case on m'self, so…"

Another grunt from Lasher for Kulko, and he impatiently returns the younger man's salute with a halfhearted one of his own. Stifling a yawn as he props the cigarette between his lips, Laskaris unzips his flightsuit, oblivious to any attention or lack thereof as he strips down to his skivvies. The grizzled lieutenant turns to his locker, making a couple swipes at his hair with a hand towel grabbed off the shelf. He finally speaks, his words apparently directed for Kulko. "Careful with whatever shit the deckies cook up. Shit'll make ya go blind." His tone is flat, no way to really tell if he's pulling the ensign's leg or not.

"You'll- let's- grab a drink sometime. I'll show you how to throw dice, it'll be great." Tisiphone's words sound a little flat. She's putting on a good 'ignore the purple elephant in the room' routine, pointedly Not Looking at Lasher, while utterly failing to keep it casual or at all concealed. There's a comment nearly able to burst free of her mouth, trapped at the last second as she gnaws at a well-chewed spot on her lip, instead. "You brought a whole frakking case with you?" she marvels at Kulko. /That/ thought, she can distract herself with.

"Ayup. Thought it'd be enough to last me till the next time I got some shore leave and went home…" Kulko trails off, glancing at the deck for a moment before handing over the bottle. "Just glad to share the wealth, and I hope you enjoy it right properly." He looks to Lasher, nodding pointedly. "Hades yes it will, sir. Spose it's a good thing I ain't gotta fly."

"Lasher!" Bunny, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any elephant issues, stepping in as he does with a friendly enough call of greeting to the first person he happens to spot. While nekkidness ceased to phase him a long time ago, somehow it seems almost out of place enough in these berthings, with its quota of people who change inside their bunks with the curtain drawn, to draw Evan's attention, if just for the briefest moment. "How're you doing?" he wonders, then, turning to smile at Kulko and Cubits, "Hey, guys."

Modesty, it seems, isn't one of Lasher's flaws, as he changes clothes in full view of every Tom, Dick, and Raptorbunny within view. Eyes shoot over to Evan as he finishes pulling on a fresh pair of tank tops. "Oi, Bunny," he greets the younger man with a sharp nod. "Passable, and you?" As for Tisiphone… well, even a man as socially oblivious as Anton Laskaris couldn't miss the look she was giving him. Or, rather, pointedly not giving him. There's a short pause, before Lasher moves away from his bunk to take a couple steps towards where the ensigns are standing. "If something's on your bloody mind, Ensign, spit it out instead of stewing there like a peckish little schoolgirl, eh?" His brows knot in a scowl.

Tisiphone awkwardly transfers her cigarette from one hand to the other so she can accept Kulko's gift. "Thanks, man," she murmurs. A glance up at the man's face, her smile determinedly struggling back into place. "I mean it." She doesn't put the bottle away in her locker; it's laid out at the foot of her bunk, instead. "Bunny, you know Stephen?" she calls to the Raptor pilot. "He's-" -not being introduced further, at the moment, as a sudden black expression takes her. Aiming that look up at Lasher, she says, "Whatever would I have on my mind, Sir?" Deliberately obtuse, and probably the Ensign's first ever sarcastic 'sir'.

Kulko rises from his chair, at that, returning it to its proper place in the center of the room. "I'll leave you to it, Tis. Get better, yeah? Drink your frakkin' milk. Sirs. If you'll excuse me, I'm due in CIC. That DRADIS won't watch itself, y'know?" And with that, the Ensign excuses himself from whatever is about to go down.

Evandreus didn't know the guy's name, but that— that's hardly a surprise, "Stephen," he repeats, nodding to the guy on his way out. How long that'll stay in his head— who can tell? But now the tension that had been lurking beneath the lines of his blissfully clear social DRADIS shows up red on screen. "Woah, woah," he adds to the discussion, lifting his hands, "Calm down a sec…" he says— to whom? Both of them, seems like. "Why don't I make you guys some tea and you can sit down and talk this out without all the snarlibits?"

Lasher's normally pale face takes on a ruddy complexion. Kulko's departure goes unnoticed, or ignored. As is, evidently, Evan's entreaties for calm. His scowl deepens, and his accent thickens. "Don't start that shit, Ensign. Either start talking, or shut the frak up and keep your bloody eyes in your head. Your choice. But you'll spare me this bloody sarcastic sandbagging shit. You hear me?" He takes a long, angry drag from his cigarette.

With various pilots injured, or their birds down for repair, patrol duty lately has fallen a little more heavily on the shoulders of the hale. The Petrels' hapless squadron leader being one of those, judging by the amount of time he spends in a flight suit. He ambles into viper berthings with a creak, a groan and a thunk of the hatch behind him, and does the tired-pilot-shuffle toward his locker. Half a glance is spared Laskaris and Tisiphone, on his way over, and Evandreus is the recipient of one (1) weary smile.

"What's there to talk about, Sir?" Tisiphone's still sounding awfully seditious. Agitated, too. Her mental editor is doubtless shrilling at her to shut up, shut up NOW, shut up five minutes ago. She doesn't leave any time to answer — apparently she /does/ have a few things to talk about. "How was CAP? How's your new wingmate? It's great to know you reward stupidity with what she wanted in the first place, /Sir/." The muscles near her knees twitch as she nearly stands up from her seated position; the movement knocks a long pillar of unsmoked ash off her forgotten cigarette.

Evandreus, ignored. Eheu! He looks to Sitka, returning an imploring look for the smile, as if attempting to recruit an ally in all of this with, y'know, pins, before he speaks up again, voice a little more firm than it usually gets. "Guys. Seriously. Chill out. Getting cheesed off at one another isn't going to help anything. Cubits, drop the tone. Tell your SL what's the matter so you can discuss it like -evolved,- -human- people. And dude, Lasher, don't provoke her," he adds, to the guy.

"Oh, sod off," Lasher sneers back in Evan's direction. Oh, he's in fine form today. "Barking orders in here. Who the frak do you think you are? After I'm finished tearing this demented little cueball's vocal cords out of her throat, maybe I'll go t' you, next," he spits furiously. "And you," he continues, a long finger jabbing the air in front of Tisiphone's direction, "know exactly frak, so I'll thank you t' watch your bloody gob before you really cross a line!" His cigarette is thrown to the floor, and he advances a few steps towards her bunk, eyes narrow and arms folded across his chest. "Did it ever occur t' you t' think — actually think — about why I made the change? Did it?"

The lesson in politeness from Bunny prompts a tiny twitching of Shiv's lips. He might be a little amused, but it sure isn't obvious with his back summarily turned to the other pilots. Once he's got his locker open, he reaches for a handle-less coffee cup on the top shelf, and proceeds to rummage around in it. Spent cigarettes, few of them more than an inch long. Smokes aren't precisely in short supply, yet, but Saggies are masters of the scrimp and save. For a time, it seems like he plans on staying out of the tiff going on behind him. But when Laskaris speaks next, the Captain pauses, and turns to regard him levelly. "Hey. Lieutenant." A cigarette (or what's left of it) is tucked between his lips, and he yanks down the zipper on his flight suit a few more inches. "Give it a rest." Judging by the way he makes direct eye contact there for a second, it's quite possibly an order.

Evandreus's tone startles Tisiphone — she looks over, sleetstorm eyes a mess of fight-or-flight adrenaline, then down, struggling for a steady breath. She doesn't have much time to practice counting to three, because Lasher's barrage of words begins. Head up, spine stiff, pinned there like a bug on a mounting-board until the end of the tirade, by which point she is well and truly cowed, eyes sliding away toward her knees, then the ground. "I- no, n-no, Sir," she replies, voice cracking. Lasher:1 0:Money.

Evandreus looks into Lasher's eyes as he turns the tonguelashing onto him, reaching out with one hand to hold onto the back of a chair. He doesn't seem to particularly think the Lieutenant will actually do physical harm to him, so he's not running— yet. "I don't issue orders when I'm not in uniform, and I don't think I've been barking," he offers, voice resuming its usual genially casual cadence. "If you feel like I've stepped on your authority, I apologize. It wasn't my intent," he concludes.

"No. Of course not," Laskaris replies to Tisiphone, rolling his eyes in mid-sneer. "Frak's sake." Another step towards the bunk, and Lasher's voice does subside some. "We are fighting for our lives here, woman. And I am doing everything that I bloody well can t' try and see that you lot all come through it with your skins more or less intact. Your sudden preoccupation with Lucky isn't helping matters. She's no longer your section lead. Don't you think, perhaps, that there's a reason she isn't anyone's section lead right now? Hm?" If there is, Lasher doesn't explain it outright as he turns to meet Sitka's eyecontact. "Internecine issue, Shiv, I'll thank you t' let me deal with it," he calls out, brow crooked. Even gets a grunt and a wave of the hand.

"It may be none of my business," Shiv murmurs, turning back to his locker as he starts working his arms out of the flight gear, "but it's pretty poor form to start throwing your weight around in here like a thug fresh out of nugget school. Just tone it down, and I'll keep my nose out, all right?" The sleeves are tied off around his hips, and he scrapes off his tee shirt with a jingle of dogtags in order to pull on a fresh one. There isn't so much as a trace of heat in his voice. And the eye contact? Long gone. He's not afraid to back down from a challenge, it seems.

The thoroughly-lambasted Tisiphone doesn't look up. Shoulders bowed in slightly, head ducked, fingers trapped between her bare knees; an impressively meek, duck-and-cover posture she's copping. "'msorry-" Clears her throat, and pushes a bit more volume out past shallow breaths. "Sorry, Sir."

Evandreus moves his other hand to meet the first on the back of the chair before he pushes gently off of it and heads around the side of the table, lips drawing tight together and one corner downward in a sad kind of glance as she turns (in his eyes, at least) into the very reason Yelling Is Never The Answer. Tea, on the other hand, is the answer, more often than not, so he starts up making good on Tisiphone's rain check.

The apology from Tis serves to break Lasher's stride quite neatly, and slowly the purple-faced rage settles into a sallow look of exhaustion. That hard, narrow eyed expression doesn't completely fade, though it looks as if the man's said his peace on the matter. For now. What's left of it is directed at Sitka. He looks as though he's about to say something else to the older man, but checks himself with a minute shake of the head and an imperceptible sigh. For the moment, he returns to his rack, cigarette in his hand as he busies himself with something in his locker.

Sitka probably misses the look that's directed at him, along with whatever's left unsaid. He merely lights up his cigarette, tosses the zippo back into his locker, and positions his locker door so he can observe his unshaven face for a few seconds in the mirror. A hand is run slowly through his hair, lethargic, like everything else about him today. "How're you finding the book, Apostolos?" he queries of Tisiphone, finally shutting the door.

Tisiphone doesn't move much until Lasher strides away and the sound of him opening his locker is heard. Finally, after clearing her throat several times, she starts to uncurl a bit, untrapping her fingers from between her knees and fumbling for her crumpled pack of cigarettes. "It's- it's very odd, Sir," she murmurs, attention on her cigarettes as she draws one out and promptly drops it. Collecting it off the floor, she retreats back further into her bunk to light it up.

Evandreus does not put anything besides tea in the tea, for simplicity's sake, using a spoon to shove the bag about in an effort to hasten the brewing before he lifts the mug and shuffles on back toward Cubits' bunk, coming up alongside Shiv and giving him a quietly grateful smile before he shuffles along a little further, crouching down to hand up the tea in silence while she talks lit with Shiv, his interest piqued. "What book?" he wonders, to both or either.

For his part, Laskaris stays out of the conversation. Probably for the best, or at least so appears to be his thinking. He stays only long enough to grab a few things from his locker — a pair of sweats and a water bottle — and shove them into a duffel bag before slamming his locker shut and making for the hatch.

Sitka's focus is on Tisiphone for a long while, and the way she uncurls herself slowly from that bomb-shelter look she had a minute ago. The expression on his face is a strange one. "Social commentary," he explains quietly, taking a drag from the cigarette on his way over to his bunk, which he sinks down atop gracelessly. "It was written fifty.. yeah, I think about fifty years ago, by a prominent ex-patriate. I don't think he dared outright insult the other colonies, so he couched it in tongue in cheek satire." His mouth twists to the scarred side in a brief smile, which seems half aimed at the wandering-by Evandreus. Blue eyes land on the raptor driver for a second, then shift to the departing Lasher, and remain there. "Catch you in the sims later, Anton," he calls over. He'll let Tisiphone give the book's title, it seems.

Tisiphone has gone to ground in the bottom corner of her bunk, snuggled up into the corner with her knees drawn up, bare feet worked in under bedsheets still unset from this morning. Kulko's gift, a corked, unmarked 750mL bottle of amber liquid, rests near her foot. She's smoking her cigarette with harsh, quick little puffs; when Evan nears, she puts the cigarette into a tiny clay ashtray on her shelf and reaches forward for the mug with a quiet, "Thanks, Bunny." Slightly louder, as she wedges back into the corner, she says: "Water Babies. No, The Water-Babies," she corrects herself.

"Mhm," comes the quiet you're-welcome from Bunny, only a tiny auditory hiccup in the flow of the conversation. The slamming of the locker draws a quick glance from him, but he doesn't yell after the guy, or move to follow, just noting his disposition and accoutrements and giving him a kind of nod farewell if he happens to look his way. Otherwise, on with the conversation: "Is that the one about the little blue people?" he wonders. "I mean— ostensibly." In deference to the satirical nature of the work.

Laskaris stalks from his locker towards the berthings' exit, pausing only to grunt an affirmation in Sitka's direction. Evan gets a tiny, wooden little nod in mid-stride, and then he's gone.

Sitka taps a little ash off his cigarette, which peppers the deck by his boots, before responding to Evan, "Nope. They're, uh.." Discussing literature is not one of his stronger points. " can borrow it after Apostolos is done, if you like?" His eyes stay on Lasher until the Lieutenant exits the room, and then he gives a silent little shake of his head. The smoke's brought to his lips again shortly thereafter.

Tisiphone slurps at her tea in silence for a long while before she awkwardly sets it beside her hip on the mattress. Cigarette is retrieved, and she's back to harsh, quick little puffs — there might be some sort of calming meditation in there, between the clouds of cancer-causing smoke. She watches Evan and Sitka as they discuss The Water-Babies, but her eyes never raise higher than chest-level, and spend most of their time on the rumpled blankets her toes hide under. "You'll really like it, Bunny. I know you will."

Coming in to contribute to the carcinogen content of the room is Pallas, or Spiral, or LT Ellinon, or 'Oh Gods, not him again' - depending on one's level of familiarity with the man. A recent release from the sickbay, he's still got his left arm in a sling, though he looks to be doing otherwise better. He holds a small folder of papers in his right hand which he tosses over to his bunk. One of them falls out and lands spinning on the floor: it's an AAR. "Frak-up reports," he explains just in case anyone's curious, picking up the stray paper and returning it to the folder.

"Sure, if you don't mind," Evan agrees. "I'm still finishing the book I have out from the library, though, so… no rush, or anything," he assures them both with a little smile that edges toward something like his goofily genial manner of pre-warday. It fades after the snippet of littalk drifts off, though, and, voice canted cautiously toward the sympathetic. "You gonna be okay, dude?" he asks the tremory pilotess before he peeks back toward Pallas. "Eh?"

Shiv's cigarette is finally spent, stub of a thing that it was in the first place, and is dropped to the deck and ground out with the toe of his boot. "Guess I should hit the showers," he informs the pair, before shoving back to his feet again. His route to his locker takes a detour past Tisiphone's bunk, whose shoulder his hand lands on for a moment. A slight lean, and a low-voiced murmur in her ear. Then he's off to fetch his towel, soap, and a change of clothing. Pallas gets an informal tick of two fingers to his forehead in greeting.

Tisiphone looks down at her cigarette as the Captain speaks to her, watching the wavery curls smooth out to a straighter ribbon of smoke. She clears her throat very quietly as he draws back and says, "Believe it when I see, Ibrahim. But- deal." A glance up at him, though it's brief; he's likely already turning away. At a louder, more conversational tone, some of the flatness starting to leave her voice: "I'm fine. Just- just rattled. I'm fine."

"Captain," Pallas says, raising two fingers to his own forehead in return. No hostility or sarcasm for Sitka? It appears not. Seems like he has some for Evandreus, though. "Frak-up reports," he repeats for the man, flicking the folder with an overgrown fingernail. "All the parties you've been crashing without me. Except instead of parties, it was birds." He takes a seat on the edge of his bunk and starts undoing his boots with his one good hand. He's gotten surprisingly efficient at it lately. The left boot is off within fifteen seconds. "So," he says conversationally, "missed me, huh?"

A rough-voiced chortle is the Petrel's only reply to Tisiphone. Shower implements obtained, he bumps his locker door shut and moves off for the Head with a world-class slouch. Probably best he doesn't stick around to hear about those 'frak up reports', anyway.

Evandreus looks to Shiv as he leans in, then back to Tisiphone, "He's just on edge. We all are, about now. I'm sure he has reasons for his command decisions, and I know you have reasons that you're upset about them." A little smile. "Of course, none of those reasons actually got -discussed- today," he points out, ribbing her playfully, but with a point behind it. "Maybe if you went to actually talk to him, once he's had a chance to… cool off… you could get somewhere with one another," he suggests gently. Then, Pallas gets two quirked brows, and then a slow grin, "You can RSVP for me, here on out, if you want," he offers. "I'm so sick of going to parties where I just end up getting shot at," he chuckles.

"Command decisions?" Pallas glances between Evandreus and Tisiphone as he pries off the right boot. Lovely foot odor begins to permeate his immediate vicinity. "She get grounded? Relegated to wingman?" he asks. "Hell, mine's still in the sickbay." Both boots get tossed haphazardly into his locker with a grunt, and then it's onto getting himself out of his flightsuit with the one good arm. Which mostly involves moving slowly and contorting about to accomodate his slung arm. "There another 'party' in the immediate future?" he asks. He's been out of the loop for almost three weeks now.

"'Sudden preoccupation'," Tisiphone mutters darkly on a lungful of smoke. It sounds like she's quoting someone or something. "Sudden preoccupation? Frakdamn, Bunny. Morning of the SAR she was so bad I frakking agreed to play /matchmaker/ for her, just to get her to shut /up/ about it." Tisiphone the Matchmaker. How well /that/ would've gone. Especially considering her closing statements: "I mean- what the frak, man? Tell her to frak off, or put your dick to her, already." By the end of that, she's run out of steam and just flicks her cigarette at her ashtray for emphasis.

Evandreus lifts a shoulder, "I dunno. I can only hope not," Bunny tells the Spiralling Shape. "Yah, Duckie got put on Lasher's wing, and—" he pauses, "Excuse me?" he wonders, in reply to Tisiphone's advice. Not angry or affronted, just… confused, for a moment, as he takes the general 'you' for the specific 'you.' Then, after a few moments more than it really should take a Thalattran fellow to figure it out, "Oh. She's, uh… pining. Well, you know that can't happen, right? Now that Lasher's her squadron leader. I didn't know she was doing the whole love thing for him. But I'm sure that's not why he put her on his wing."

"Pining… right," Pallas says, rolling his eyes and looking away. The old man finally crawls out of his flightsuit and changes into off-duty clothing. What's he doing wearing a flightsuit in the first place, when he's been grounded for the past twenty days? "As much as I'd love to stay and catch up with the soap opera that is the Viper Squadron…" He tosses the folder into his locker, too, and kicks the door closed. Organization doesn't seem to be his strong suit or even much of a concern, really - shit's just piled in there with no real care. If it fits, that's good enough for him. "I have this wonderful thing called 'physiotherapy'." He gives the both of them a headtilt, which apparently passes for a fare-thee-well with him, and heads back out.

"Sure, it's not /supposed/ to happen." Tisiphone agrees, technically speaking, with Evan. She seems a bit dubious on the likelihood it's actually the truth of what happens, though. She picks up her tea again, now cooled to a drinkable temperature, and drains it away with visible appreciation. "Maybe it's not why /he/ did it, but she's still getting rewarded for- what she did." Her attention moves away as she shrugs, watching Pallas move toward the door with a slightly pensive look. That'll be her in a few weeks, once the cast is away.

"Good luck, guy," Evan calls, standing, finally, from where he's crouched, stretching out his back. "I've never seen anything like that, Cubits," he lets her know. Because the Jigger has -vast- experience in this sort of thing. Obviously. "But still… that can't feel good. I'm sorry, Cubits. But we don't have too many options open, at this point," he speaks up on Lasher's behalf, if a goodly amount more gently than he had.

A LTJG is infinitely more experienced with matters like this than an Ensign. It can be mathematically proven. Tisiphone looks up at Evan with that jaded sort of 'yeah, /right/' sentiment sharp in her eyes, but the longer she watches him, and listens, the less convinced of it she seems. "You're- Yeah. You're right, Bunny. We don't." Wincingly, she folds her arms across her updrawn knees, chin plopped down to brood on all of what just happened.

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