PHD #303: Matches
Summary: Ryder and Constin argue over Pyramid 'what-if's in the course of catching up.
Date: 26 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Constin Ryder Sawyer Wade 
Deck 9 - Galley
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: #303

"You're out of your godsdamned mind…" Ryder says, punctuating with a fork as he eats his mess mush. After nearly a year of living off of the stuff that could be scrounged from school cafeterias, he is eating with gusto. "Scorpia's squad was going to OWN Canceron this year. No way you were gonna score those kinda points with that piddly ass side you'd put together."

Constin delays the continued demolition of his breakfast long enough to fix Ryder with an eye. "And if I were talking about the Hydra, you'd be right. But seeing as how I was talking about the Krill, you are FULL of it, olf man," he drawls back dryly. "Folk always forget there are three teams out of Canceron, and damned if Mangala didn't have the strongest of the bunch. Frakking Scorpia had no damn gas tank- You even SEE their matches in the second half?"

"No, I was usually asleep by then, because the games were always frakking OVER. By all available hells, with the leads we'd usually built by the half, we could bring in a frakking middle school squad and they'd take care of business until it was all over. Mangala had good legs, I'm not denying that, but it just meant they had plenty of air left for the post-game excuses." Ryder chuckles. "That being, of course, if they were done deciding which of 'em was prettiest so they knew who'd be talking to the cameras."

"Can't teach heart," Constin rebuts, in stubborn defense of the Mangala team. "Problem with Scorpia? Sure they scored points by the bucket, but any time the game didn't go their way they fold. And just no way- Good defense beats good offense," he repeats the oft disputed claim of armchair analysts everywhere. "Mangala would've worn them down and straight up outlasted them, hands down."

Ryder points a finger, clearly with a strongly worded retort in mind, when he suddenly breaks out laughing. "Athena and Aphrodite, here we are arguing over which bit of highly irradiated ash would have beaten the other if the worlds hadn't frakking ended." Ryder sighs. "We need something else to cheer. There's a Pyramid court. We have Marines who want to beat on folks and pilots dumb enough to let 'em. Hell, Civvies could probably field a team, too. At least it would give us something new to take our minds off of stuff."

"You damn right we are," Constin returns stubbornly to the lunacy of the discussion. Belatedly, a dry sniff of something not unlike amusement is given, as Elf takes a big bite of alleged 'scrambled eggs'. "Not a bad notion, I guess. Heard of a few folks on board who played pretty good, back in the day. I sure as hell ain't one of 'em, but…"

"Hence the obsession with Mangala. If you'd known the first thing about Pyramid, you'd have seen its a lost cause." Ryder gives a grin before knocking down the rest of his supposed coffee. "Amazing the stuff they can do with dirt in water these days." He looks around. "Seems you did well for yourself, the whole marine thing. I was wondering, after you signed. You seemed pretty full on with the whole 'after the mines, the corps'll be a piece of cake' thing."

Constin holds up an isolated middle finger to accompany his grin at Ryder's first words, "Frak you, sir." chuckling low in his throat, the big man nods ruefully at the reminder of prior days. "Yeah, that got worn out of me real quick. Now I ain't gonna say the mines didn't leave me one tough as sin sunovabitch, cause they did.. But damnation if the Corp wasn't something else altogether." A dry chuckle. "Drill ended up cracking down on me pretty hard, being as I was such an ass and all." Another shake of his head as he eyes Ryder again. "Best decision I ever made. No shit, sir- I'm much obliged to you."

Ryder laughs at the finger, but then sobers up a bit. "Then the best cubits I ever spent were on that drink I bought you. You clearly were gonna fight SOMETHING, might as well be enemies of the state, yeah? Or enemies of the state in the state. An MP! You actually remind me of an MP sarge I tussled with during my first tour of duty. I thought I was strong, handsome, and invincible. He thought I was stupid, drunk, and disorderly. We had a civilized discussion about it, and…" he gestures to a bend in his nose "Turns out I wasn't so handsome, after all. Good guy. Later pulled some bullets out of his leg as a medic."

Constin chuckles openly at the story. "Ain't that funny how other folks never seem to agree on how pretty we are?" The bemused marine drawls. "Yeah, an Em-Pee. You know, when I young and stupid- well, younger and stupider," he amends with a wry twist to the words, "I was actually pissed they weren't sending me in for Demolitions or Focused Heavy Weapons? Actually said out loud, 'Why the frak we need cops?'. Heh!" An unhurried exhale. "Swear to whatever's listening it's the best damn work I could've done. No shit: met my wife because I'm an Em-Pee," he notes with a tight grin.

"A wife, eh? Good to hear that was a good thing. Lotta youngsters like you give a pretty girl their name and get nothing but trouble in return. A man needs some age before he knows what to do with a wife. Say… year or two older than me?" Ryder smiles. "She must have been amazing. Tell me about her."

Constin barks out a short, sharp laugh at the 'a year or two older than me' line. "No shit, sir. Heh." A drawn breath. "Well, let's see. She came out of backwoods Virgon. Big a hayseed as you ever did meet- listened to that tin-guitar kinda music. Stubborn as hell, and made of pure guts. Wouldn't have complained if her tits were bigger-" he throws in as a joke, before going on, "She's the one who started kicking my ass into high gear. When Warday hit I was still a Corporal. Never had much an urge to make more outta m'self, before that. Heh- no shit: first met her when I detained her on deck for mouthing off and refusing to comply with an inspection." A chuckle rises up in his throat with the memory. "Nice to meet you, honey- you're under arrest."

Ryder smiles as the story starts, laughing out loud at the tits comment. "If this turns into some story about fun things that can be done with a pretty girl in restraints, I may have to cover my innocent ears." he chuckles. "Love-hate at first sight?"

Constin chuckles again at the quip, "Nah. She knew she was outta line, was just her way." The line about restraints gets a chuckle, but another shake of the head. "Think I'd have to bind her up? What you take me for- a pilot?" Leaning back in his chair, the big man chuckles, and crosses his arms. "We got along plenty good, but wasn't til after Anadyomene we hooked up. Damnation that was a piece of business. You heard anything about it?"

Ryder shakes his head. "Name is familiar, but not much more. Maybe from your medical records? I was probably working on burying myself deep enough to get clean water at the time. An op that went sour, I'm guessing?"

"Old timer, there ain't been many more sour. Half the ship's crew touched down on Leonis, before a big Cylon counterattack chased the Cerb off, and left them stranded. We get word back by way of Raptor that they're still alive. After Abbott gets arrested, Major Tillman puts together this plan, see- Involves getting a team of volunteers to make a twenty-plus mile long Hay-Lo jump from low orbit.. Volunteer only, no support, operating for twenty four hours in hostile territory, only extraction is what we can find ourselves on the ground. This team has to prep a wing of Vipers at this old nuked Airbase, so that by the time the Cerb jumps into Leonis space, we can sneak attack the Cylons with a battlestar and two wings of fighters."

Ryder whistles between his teeth. "Sounds nasty, for sure. So what happened?"

"Cylons made us about an hour before the pilots got there," Constin notes. "Had this Vulcan model minigun rigged up onto the hulk of some blasted ship to cover the hangar. Lauren worked in ordnance and avionics, y'see.. She had this real talent for making shit go 'boom', and we'd rigged up a couple perimeters of explosives to cover our flanks, before the Centurions started marching in. Held them off long enough for the birds to get in the air, and we'd salvaged a couple Raptors to ferry our asses off the rock. We lost Peters. Cadmus got off without a scratch, cause he's the luckiest sonuvabitch alive. Jenkins and Cambell got hit, Lauren and me both took six bullets. But the Vipers got up, Leonis got evac'd, and we got out. Pulled a medal for it."

Ryder raises his coffee for a second in a silent toast. "A job well done after being given a shit salad of an operation. That's a pretty intense twenty-four hours. I can see how you'd be partial to someone after going through all of that."

"Yeah. That alone'd probably do it. But shit- she volunteered for it, just cause I was leading the ground op. She was the jump lead, trained up the rest of the team.." A shake of his head. "Never thought they made women like that." Taking up his own cup, he returns the toast. "Believe it or not? We only ended up getting married because she was set to go officer. Would've been breaking frat regs, and all," he notes with a bone-dry grin.

"And when you find one like that, you sure as frak don't let her get away." Joe thinks for a moment as he sips his coffee. "Any regrets?"

"Only that it couldn't last longer," Constin drawls without hesitation. "Nothing's forever though, yeah? Well, least not on this side of dying," he adds with a short chuckle. "We had maybe.. three months. But damn, wouldn't trade those for anything. Never thought I'd find a girl AFTER the end of all things," Constin adds with a wry twist to his lip.

Ryder sighs, and looks down at his tray. "I envy you that, son. Never felt right for myself. Plenty of women, of course. In the corps, as a medic, Gods, in medical school… but never THE girl, if that makes sense. Maybe when we're stood down I'll ask that pretty el-tee of yours over to the bar to talk." He pauses. "Or is she the like to talk my ear off?"

"Vandenberg?" Constin clarifies with a chuckle. As if there is more than one unmarried Lieutenant in the Corp. "Shit. She's one of them 'playful' sorts. Looking for a good laugh. Get her talking about that Hay-Lo training she jumped along on, and that's like pulling the cord."

Ryder laughs along. "Gotta see if the Corps officers are up to snuff, you know. Sure, they can organize a strike team and shoot a fly in the eye at a thousand paces, but can they banter with an old man and remind him why he doesn't just hide away in officer country all day? THAT's the question." He grins. "Odds are, I missed my chance and didn't even really register her when she was there. How it goes, yeah? Always sorta figured I'd get married when they finally marshalled me out for a civilian advisor. Find a pretty girl whose tired of the young punks. Never really thought about it too much, though. After all…" he finishes his coffee. "Who'd ever leave this, right?"

"Never planned to," Constin notes with a chuckle as his eye is turned around the Galley. "Always figured I'd go career. Just figured it's be a bit longer of a career, yeah?" Lip curled into a grin, he regards Ryder. "There ain't no shortage of banter on this boat. I'd say if you were holding out for a good lift off the World, you picked the right one," he adds deadpan.

"Well, you can excuse me for wondering, seeing as to how we started off with you pointing a gun at my school bus." Ryder deadpans right back. "I could just say, there he is, all these years after I recruited him and he's menacing me with a look like I'm a pilot claiming to be a superior officer." The deadpan breaks and Ryder smiles again. "Then again, maybe I should woo one of them, see how they do if you housebreak 'em. I mean, a bit of real work and maybe they'd be okay. What is a Viper besides highly advanced combat armor that flies?"

"A pressurized containment suit to keep the ego in," Constin returns, matching dry quip for dry quip. "Lauren was slated to be an Eee-Cee-Oh aboard a Raptor, so suppose I shouldn't write off the entire species of Air wing.. But she'd sock me one if I lumped her in with Viper sticks," he notes, a chuckle re-emerging. "No shit, though: there's a few worth passing words with. Ain't talking purely about knocking boots, but definitely worth words."

"Well, words'll have to do. This is a fairly young boat, any girl who wants to knock boots with me clearly is working out some daddy issues." Ryder shakes his head, then looks over. "If you don't mind me asking, what happened to Lauren?"

"Some cracked civvie on Sagittaron grabbed a gun and sent a half dozen shots into her chest," Constin recounts evenly. "Hollered some line of shit about her being a Cylon and shot her. Damned shame," he notes in the first of the day's great understatements. "Only just got clearance to bury her last week."

Sawyer arrives from the Deck 9.
Wade arrives from the Deck 9.

"Frakking Saggies." Ryder sighs. "Having Cylons who look human could only make their paranoia worse. I buried more than few friends that they killed." He glances at the clock. "Looks like I get to play babysitter again, soon. Another trip planetside. Apparently getting bitten by those dogs inspired confidence."

"Yeah," Constin grunts simply to Ryder's initial words. To the latter: "Slated for dirtside assignment m'self. Will try not to give you anymore work, but no promises. I ain't so good at dodging," he notes in the second of the day's great understatements.

Even soulless witches need to eat, and thusly Sawyer Averies has drug herself away from her computer long enough to grab some chow. She's still dressed like she's on an away mission with the military-types, though maybe she's planning on attending this afternoon's soiree as well. Around the ship though one thing marks her clearly as Civilian: she's wearing a lanyard with her credentials instead of a pair of dog tags around her neck. Grabbing up a tray, she heads into the queue, offering a tired smile on whomever's on KP duty today.

Well, guess what! Pilots do have to eat as well. Condition two gives little time for people to do stuff outside duty, one of those things, would be to eat. Wade steps inside the area wearing his flight suit. More than likely, he is scheduled to go on CAP shortly after he eats. The man looks around for a moment and then steps forward, taking a few things here, a few things there…basically just building a nice meal. And they say you shouldn't eat before flying…that's crap.

Ryder can only laugh. "So every doctor who has ever treated you will attest." He shakes his head. "Good to be down there, but a tad frustrating, sometimes. I mean, what's the point of being a Captain just to have some eltee tell you how to take a defensive position?" He grins. "So long as they knock off trying to fit me with a pistol, though, I think I can go awhile without shooting a commanding officer. That's always so hard to explain, after."

Constin snorts out a short laugh at Ryder's complaint. "Well, to be fair, sir: The boat's Chaplain is a Captain too." A big, shit-eating grin curls at the MaA's expression as he needles the ex-marine at the table the two share.

Sawyer seems to be sticking to bland foods, and vearing far away from the mystery meat slathered in brown gravy so that at least it will have some taste. Rolls and rehydrogenated potato flakes make it onto her plate and as she turns to find a table she spies Wade not far back in the queue. She makes a nod at an empty section to the man as some silent invitation to join her. Where's that empty spot? One table over from Constin and Ryder, of course.

Military food, you gotta love that. Wade contemplates the options for a moment, or the lack of options. Still, when he is done with his menu building process, he looks up only to find Sawyer offering a silent invitation to join her. His gaze moves to the empty table and he nods to her, offering a faint smile. He also spots Ryder and Constin. With one of them, he shared a few words in the past, with the other…none. After he picks up something to drink he turns around and makes his way sitting down at Sawyer's table. "Decided to appear and get something to eat?" asks the man, sporting a smile.

"Yeah, but has he also dragged a squadmate a few miles while slogging through those damned swamps while insurgents were taking potshots?" Ryder starts grousing, then calms down, a bit. Maybe. "Through eight feet of snow, up hill, both ways? Frak a Virgin Goddess, I sound old, but its true." He grins. "Ah, hell. A few months telling a bunch of civvies what to do and I think I'm ready to command the whole frakking Battlestar. Nevermind me. Just wish the kids would listen to reason every now and again."

"She," Constin corrects Ryder's pronoun, with a tight grin. "And yeah, old timer, you really do," he needles further, cracking a chuckle. "Should sit you and Cincinnatus down in the same room, and have some kinda.. Old grizzled showdown." The last couple mouthfuls of food are wolfed down, before the big man takes note of the pilot/civvie pair that have occupied the adjacent table. Glancing back to his now empty tray, the big marine drawls to Ryder. "I do believe it's time, sir," rising to his feet, and picking up the tray and cup.

Sawyer slips around a chair then settles into it, pushing her tray onto the table in front of her. The salt shaker is reached for to season her potatoes but when she find it empty, she doesn't bother to get up and try to track some down. "It wasn't my first choice, but wouldn't you know, there's no room service aboard this boat? What kind of luxury cruise liner is this." She crooks a brighter smile at Wade before lofting up her fork and poking at her food selection. There's a glance over her shoulder as the people at the table next to them stir for the mission, her eyes landing on Constin for a long hard moment before they shift away again.

Wade chuckles softly at her first comment and shrugs casually "Yeah well, you can't say it's not a fun place tho" says Wade, smiling afterwards. When she looks over her shoulder, he looks in that general direction as well, finding his gaze falling on Constin and Ryder. He doesn't really look that way as much as Sawyer does, he just looks at his tray and takes a deep breath. First, he takes a sip from his water and then starts poking the food with the fork, gathering a mix of things to take the first bite from.

"I'll old man that old bastard straight through the bulkheads," Ryder grumbles as he stands up, holding his tray to deposit. Seeing and recognizing Sawyer, he gives her a smile and pats her on the shoulder as he passes. "Hey there, lass. Finished your write-up on our little jaunt? Am I properly heroic in it, or just another old guy?"

Constin's two even words for the table they pass are, "Sir," to Wade, and "Ma'am," to Sawyer. With the bare basics of etiquette observed, the marine continues along to deposit his dirtied tray, and turns toward the door out without another word.

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