PHD #321: Lunchtime Meeting
Lunchtime Meeting
Summary: Mark and Callie speak about their life prior to Warday and discuss the message she sent, among other things.
Date: 13 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Mark Callie 
Colonial Pete's
Colonial Pete's is the long-awaited successor to Kythera's Aquarian Pete's, though this version is more bar than strip club. Not that there aren't any strippers here, in fact there's even a raised platform complete with pole built just for them. The majority of the room, however, is dominated by mis-matched tables and chairs and a long bar. Lighting is haphazard, the harsh fluorescents that came with the place usually left off in favor of lower lighting from scavenged lamps and even a bit of neon rustled up from somewhere and hung behind the bar. There's a pretty decent sound-system playing a wide variety of music, and a couple of low-tech bar games, like a mini pyramid hoop. There are always a few burly-looking guys around to keep an eye on rowdy patrons, and especially to guard the doors to the back rooms, where the stills are kept along with (rumors say) a few private alcoves for those willing to pay extra for one-on-one time with the girls.
Post-Holocaust Day: #321

Its crawling towards lunch. Most of the Elpis is going about their business but Pete's is barely operating. There aren't even any dancers on the poles yet. What would be the point when the place is nearly empty? One of three patrons is Mark, clad in a civilian suit that looks like its been subtly mended. His short hair might be a military give-away but the stubble on his face tends to keep those suspicious away. Which he likes. The man is sitting at a high table, sipping a beer. There's a small plate of peppers and tomatoes in front of him and a beer to help wash it down. He's reading something on a piece of paper.

The peace is interrupted only slightly when Callie arrives, a jingle of tools in belt pouches a near-musical chime that announces her presence. Casting a look stage-wards first and then around the room more fully, she doesn't see any familiar faces, yet. Hands pushed into pockets of a pair of old loaner coveralls that were made for someone much taller, she meanders closer to where Mark is sitting, her expression one part pensive and three parts thoughtful.

Its the jingle. Its always the jingle. Snipes recognize it like children to sleigh bells. Mark is reaching for a salted tomato when he lifts his eyes slightly to look towards the new arrival. "So the tables have turned. Couldn't find you in Engineering. So you found me? Or are you just stalking me, now?" There's a telltale smile to his features.

Her eyes narrow suspiciously until she can place the voice along with Mark's face, Callie response borne from nervousness. Once he's recognized she smiles broadly. "Well, hello, Mister Makinen. I am sorry. I got called to help with a water flow issue." She won't go into details as to just what that water flow issue was out of consideration to the fact that Mark is eating. "I take it all is well?" She looks casually to a seat and then him again, silently asking if he'd mind company.

"Ain't a thing." Mark finally finishes his movement for the tomato and takes a bite. He points to the seat across from him with his pinky. "Go ahead. Just doing some reading at the moment. Trying to establish whether or not this woman just made a lot of enemies or only a few." That smile spreads and turns the note in his hand. Its the one written by Natalya. "Good reading." He's careful not to go spouting opinions just yet. Especially in Pete's.

Looking at the note, she tilts her head as she makes a quick scan, her face falling to a neutral mask which does nothing to betray her own feelings on the subject. "The fall out of that will be interesting…" Cracking a slight smile, she raises a hand afterward, trying to catch the attention of one of the severs which she manages to. "I had sent a message to you." Not sure if Mark got it or not, she simply leaves it at that.

"I think she'll make a lot of friends in the military with this. But if she's a civilian that may not be the best thing right now." Mark turns the note back around to glance over a few points one more before its dropped to the table. Another bite of the tomato and he's nodding. "I got it, sure." He dusts the salt off his fingers and lifts the beer for a small sip. Mark has probably been nursing it. "The Navy offers civilian contractor positions if you want to do work but would rather not enlist. We've got a few people doing that. The downside is that you'd be taking orders from just about anyone. Of course, the same would be true for the first stretch of an enlistment." Mark sniffles, swiping a thumb at his nose. "You'd have to get mandatory damage control training as well as potential EVA prep. I won't say we don't need the help, but I want you to be aware that Engineering has lost a few people since this all started. That department will send people anywhere they are needed."

Callie places an order for a beer and something salad like, that left up in the air depending on what they have enough of a surplus of at the moment. When the waitress goes she shakes her head, perhaps bemused at how skimpy the server's shorts were. Ah Pete. Always so willing to have his women provide eye candy for the patrons. "I hope she'll be alright," she adds in regards to the note-writer. "She might have very well put her life in danger." Rolling her head side to side, Callie sighs softly as a few loud pops sound, her neck eventually realigning by the time she's finished. "I don't mind being told what to do or where to go, Mister Makinen. Nor do I mind the thought of being made to cover for those lost. Just point me in the right direction…"

"Like I said, people want to fight each other? Drop them off on Aquaria for about six to twelve minutes. They will remember who the enemy is right before they bleed out." Mark doesn't even look at the server or the woman's shorts. He just takes another bite of the tomato. The man is unapologetic about his feelings on the matter. To his mind, humanity is probably better off without those who are from the shallow end of the gene pool. Those would probably not be people like Natalya. "If that's what you want, I won't talk you out of it. Just be advised I've been promoted. I'm now the ship's Chief Engineer. Sadly I have to pretend to take my shit a little more seriously." He finishes the tomato and reaches for the beer, holding it in a hover just over the tabletop. The bottom gets a tilt toward Natalya. "We need wrench turners but I also need people who have critical thinking skills." An education. "How far did you get with college?"

If Callie has anything to add to Mark's words she doesn't do so verbally, the woman instead merely nodding in what might be seen as agreement. He's given a bit of a shy smile once he's done, her bashfulness trying to get the better of her. The mention of his promotion has her eyes going wide, that being something she can not react to, and she actuall begins to applaud his acheivement. "Congratulations," Callie says sincerely. "And no worries. You can be as serious as you need to be when on duty. I will try not to hate you too much for it." Chuckling, she leans across the table just as her order is brought, the glass and plate set to the side. "I didn't get very far, I hate to admit. Just my first year. I started a bit later than most people do when it comes to college. I took a few years off."

Mark waves off the applauding with his beer, shaking his head. "Trust me, this is a position I'd rather be passing along to someone else. Its an honor but a lot of responsibility." The man finally sips at the bottle but holds on to it. "I can't fault someone for starting late," he muses, watching the food be delivered. "I did a few cruises on a battlestar to get my tuition paid for. Difference is that I didn't have my college rudely interrupted by some tin bastards wielding thermonuclear weapons." He shakes his head and the free hand reaches for his last pepper. "So you want to work Engineering. We've got three departments. Maintenance Materials Management: They handle keeping track of all our supplies and what needs to go where. Electrical handles most of our, surprise, electrical needs. They keep up on fixing the physical systems. Mechanical and Repair handles all the hardcore repair work to the structure of the ship. They are not the most important group - as everyone pulls equal weight. But they sweat more. Any of those catch your interest?"

A fork is taken up but she doesn't take a bite yet, instead scooting the plate over in case Mark would like to try it, Callie not minding sharing if he would like to. "What was it like to be in the military before the war," she asks quietly, not wanting to have the wrong ears over hear her question. "Was it as difficult as it seems to be now." The glass is lifted and then sipped from, the brunette not the kind to chug her drink, especially now when it's being rationed and it should be relished. "I rather enjoy getting dirty," she adds after a second. "Never really got into the electrical side of engineering. Didn't have a chance to, yet. And management…does nothing for me."

The man doesn't make a move for her salad. Likely he's only eating peppers because they don't have fried chicken strips. Mark would probably be at home in a bar like this on any colony - minus the strippers. With his back to the stage that's very likely not the reason he is here. "Relaxed. A lot more joking around. People didn't take themselves too seriously except the lifers. Most of us were in it for the college cash or job experience. Pilots are exactly the same - maybe a little more angst. War changes things, as you can probably imagine." To her last, he chuckles, nodding as he takes a bite of the pepper. "Then M and R would be more your speed. That's where I have the chair'd Senior Chief. I do most of my direct work with them since, like you, I don't mind getting dirty. I'm usually pretty damned filthy, actually. Clean Engineering officers, to me, reek of lazy. I'd rather get in there and do something than just tell people what to go do. Unless they know better than I do. Not going to argue there."

Stabbing a piece of lettuce finally she nibbles it thoughtfully, the vegetation eventually disappearing. "I couldn't have hacked it myself. I think all that military bearing and crap would have been the end of me. Makes me grateful for those who could. And can. People who can sacrifice…" Shaking herself out of the faint depression she feels threatening to beat up on her, it being something she refuses to succumb to. Falling back on what she knows, she tries to turn the charm up another notch. "For someone who doesn't mind getting dirty you sure clean up nicely. But in all honesty, Mister Makinen, I'm more than happy to work wherever people are needed at any particular time." Offer made, she begins to eat with gusto.

Mark shrugs. "It isn't as tough as some people think. As an enlisted, I actually think things are a bit easier. There is less pressure and more direction. Those who wanted responsibility could get it if they put the work in. Military bearing and all that is just instinctive after awhile. The worst sacrifices made would be those of family and friendships - the latter of which you gain more of in service." He sips at the beer once more, washing down a second bite of the pepper. There's a smile at her compliment. "I might clean up alright but its only temporary, I swear. But sure. I'll have to submit the request to the Marines to run your background one more time and get your clearances. Once that's done I can bring you over and get you introduced around. Might take a few days. Want to keep living on the Elpis or you looking for quarters on the Cerb?"

Callie chuckles. "Well, maybe I could have hacked it. Who can say?" Waving her fork, she gestures almost imperially, looking like a tiny little queen gesturing with a scepter. "Take all the time you need, Mark. There is no need to rush this. As for accommodations, I'll let you know one way or another once I figure it out." Truth of the matter is that she no longer feels safe here since all the problems begain but she doesn't want to worry the ChEng overly much, that causing her to feign having to weigh her options.

"Yeah. Debating the possibilities of the past are generally a waste of time unless they've got a bearing on the future." That's one opinion, anyway. "Well when you decide, let me know. I -think- we have a few bunks open in the Enlisted berths. Whatever floats your boat." The man finishes his pepper and hovers the bottle once more. "So you went to school on Caprica. Found on Aerilon. Where did you say you were from again?"

Conversation moving on, Mark gets a thumbs up and then she follows right along, letting the current carry her. "Actually, I was from a small suburbian community just outside of Caprica City. How about yourself? Where did Mark Makinen hail from?" Being famished, she finishes off her lunch quickly, the fact that she does so ringing home when the tines of her fork scrape against an empty plate noisily, getting her to groan. "Uhm…I am tempted to take a guess. Tauron?"

"C City. Nice. I did my Masters and Doctoral work at the Svenson Institute." Quite a prestigious place. "Lived there for five years. It kinda disturbed me with how clean it was, though." He furrows his brow at the memory. But the guess gets a smirk and a shake of his head. "Nope. Not Taurian. I'm actually from Picon. This tiny little destitute place called Mitchell Park. Dirt poor. Grew up in a trailer park. My only friends were books and this wheelbarrow I had. At least until I hit high school." He grins. "Ever been to Picon?"

Callie can't help but to agree with Mark's assessment of the cleanliness the city was kept in. "Funny thing is that you don't even know how sterile it is until you've been somewhere else. Very stark contrast to…Aerilon, not to put too fine of a point on that fact." Putting her elbows upon the table, Callie makes herself comfortable, looking almost like she's at home when she does. The description of where he came from gets her to tilt her head as if trying to picture that. "No, never been to Picon. In fact, Aerilon has been the only other colony I set foot on."

"Heh. I was pretty keenly aware of how clean it was. Barely any trash around the sidewalks. I think spotted nine or ten cigarette butts on the ground in those years." Mark laughs with the last. "Definitely a contrast, yes. I never got to Aerilon. Shame you never got to see Picon. My kinda place, though I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise." He finally sips at the beer. "Shame you never got to see a lot of places actually. There was a lot of neat stuff out there. Depending on what you were into for hobbies, there was always something to do on most planets."

"I regret not going to see more of the world…worlds. But all I needed and wanted at the time were all things I could find on Caprica. And besides…always thought I'd have time, you know? 'Oh, well, I can take up surfing on Aquaria next summer' or 'I hear Virgon is lovely in the spring. Maybe I'll go someday'." Except there is no more 'somday' or 'later' and Callie feels that familiar pang of regret. "Maybe you can tell me about Picon. Can talk over drinks sometime. You can tell me about your wheelbarrow and I can tell you about growing up with professors for parents."

"I know the feeling. I had always wanted to check out Virgon. I heard they had some great areas near the poles. Quiet tracts with cabins where someone who was inclined could get away from life and just enjoy some peace and quiet." Mark shakes his head. "Oh well." Virgon was hit pretty hard. Not much chance of ever setting foot there again. "Maybe. I sure wouldn't mind getting a few drinks with you. But professers for parents?" He snerks. "No. Nono. My father worked at a textile mill. Mom was a housewife. Both were vets of the first war. They died when I was five. My Godmother raised me."

Callie smiles sadly. "Well, maybe we will have cabins and surfing wherever we wind up next," she murmurs softly, sounding very much like a little girl talking about being a princess or daydreaming about getting a pony for her birthday. "Secure us a place where we won't be interrupted during our talk. I don't think I want to share that moment with anyone else, okay?"

"Psh. Yeah, I hope so. But its not likely. Finding a habitable planet out there is pretty slim. Finding twelve like our ancestors did is remarkable in its own right. There's a narrow band of space surrounding only the right kind of star that requires a specific make-up of chemical components that might provide us some shelter." Mark is nothing if not a realist. He probably doesn't daydream a lot. The man finishes his beer and sets it back on the coaster. "I'll try to find us someplace private but no promises. This fleet has a distinct lack of privacy. Unless you're up for a romantic walk in the FTL hall."

Callie leans in a bit, looking right into Mark's eyes now, unflinching and without a hint of shyness. "The science is important but what is equally important is hope. Maybe I'm…foolish to hold onto it but I'm not willing to give up on the idea that somewhere there's a new home for us. A new…world. A new start." Pause. "I would be careful with that 'r-word' right there there, Mister Makinen, otherwise I might be inclined to think of it as a date." A light tease, a little joke said to keep things from getting too dark and depressing.

"Eh. Hope is great. So is belief. But its one of those things I've been given as a mixed blessing - my education. I finished my other degree on Astrophysics right before this all went to hell. Knowing the science behind it kinda screws me. I wish I could be hopeful, but-" He lets it fade. Mark lives in a world of stress fractures and loads torsional. Where things break sometimes and there is a cause. The man couldn't possibly be expected be religious by any stretch. But he laughs at the last. "Hey, I caught the eyes when you asked me out for drinks. I was just playing along." The man holds his smile. "What you make of it is your own thing. But we'll try and get a quiet place to talk." He seems like he might be getting ready to go.

Mark's not pressured into speaking further when he stops in mid-sentence, it left to hang there, something to be discussed at a later time perhaps. "It takes two to tango, Mister Makinen," she points out playfully. "Look forward to our talk." Chuckling, she slides out of her seat. "I probably should go and get back to work. Am sure someone broke something in the short time I've been gone. Was lovely chatting with you."

"Uh huh. Tango, indeed." Mark rises with her and dips his head. "Aye. Looking forward to it. Thank you for the company, Callie. Best of luck with the breaking of your ship." He grins and steps around the table. "I have some things to attend to myself. I'll be in touch." He winks and heads for the door.

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