PHD #007: Men and Minefields
Men and Minefields
Summary: Sitka and Stavrian walk the minefield of the last week.
Date: Mar 05 2041
Related Logs: None
Sitka Stavrian 

[ Hangar Deck - Starboard ]--[ Midship - Battlestar Cerberus ]
This Hangar Bay is filled with boxes, crates and other various supplies that are needed throughout the ship. Most have been moved to one end and lashed with tarps to keep them out of the way. The place has gone from extra ship storage on one end and the ability to house over 450 people on the other end. Whatever could be made into cots has been set up like a huge barracks. Some areas have been made more presentable with a few items that belong to the person holding onto their small area in this world.
Marines guard this area 24/7 and food is brought in cafeteria style, feeding people out of vats and buckets as they line up with their plates. One area has been tarped off to the side, that holds canvas showers and sinks. The 'Head' in this area has to be cleaned daily since it is a temporary military bathroom setup, due to there is no way to flush it out through pipes.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

With the starboard hangar bay currently filled with over four hundred people crammed cheek by jowl together, on whatever spare cots, mattresses and blankets could be scrounged up in storerooms, space is at a premium. Privacy is nonexistent, and the press of this many bodies in one place lends the place a warmth and a mustiness. Not too far from the stairwell, a few crates have been situated for people to sit, eat, and converse. It isn't too difficult to spot the lone military man amongst the civilians; he's dressed in ever so slightly rumpled blues that probably haven't seen much use, and sporting a head of dark, close-cropped curls. The woman he's speaking with is rattling something off at high speed in a rough, coarse sounding dialect spoken in southern Sagittaron, interspersed with spoonfuls of soup. The officer, himself, is not eating.

Stavrian is crouched down by a cot, medical kit open on the floor while he changes a dressing on a young woman's hand. One of the waitstaff from the Cerberus' christening ceremony, still wearing her rumpled black suit pants and a donated old sweatshirt that reads 'KOBOL COLLEGES' across the chest. They talk in quiet voices while the medic works, the woman having those empty, shellshocked eyes that anyone in disaster relief is all too used to seeing. As he finishes up he packs his things and stands, murmuring quietly to her, and she nods, lying back down on the cot and curling on her side. The blackhaired JG snaps his kit shut and starts towards the supply area to restock some antiseptic, passing close to the makeshift dining area.

"..a keni qene ndonjehere ne Saharsa, ne kohen e pranveres? Pak lule qershi, ata—" The stream of commentary from the dark-skinned woman cuts off as Stavrian passes close by, prompting the blues uniformed pilot to look up briefly. And do a bit of a double-take, when he spots who it is. "Hey," is offered with a slightly self-deprecating smile. After a second, he reaches across to touch the woman's hand, and starts to his feet slowly, to give the medic plenty of time to refuse his next words, "Need some help there, doc?"

"A'lshash nur, khala." Stavrian begs the woman's pardon for the interruption, with a slight bow of his head. The honorific is formally respectful, though his accent? That's right po' trash, right there. "Hey. Sir." /That/ honorific is jammed on as an afterthought. He scratches his nose, casting an eye at the supply tarp. "I've got to dig through a bunch of boxes if you really felt like getting dirty. But I don't want to pull you away."

The woman flashes Stavrian a smile, then speaks a few more words to the man who's been keeping her company for the past little while. "Shjok, shjok." It's soft, easy to miss in the din of voices competing to be heard all around them. "I'm not on shift for another.." The pilot checks his watch briefly as he rises to his full, terribly imposing height of five feet and eight inches. "Fourty-five minutes. I think I can handle a little dirt." Turning back to the woman briefly, he murmurs, "Une do tke kthehet par te pare neser. Me falni." He stumbles slightly over a few of the words; his own accent isn't too different from Stavrian's, what little can be discerned of it.

"You sure?" Stavrian's right brow tics up and he glances down the pilot to his boots and back up. "Don't want the CAG on my ass for getting your lace pantaloons all grimy." His lips twitch at the Captain. After another polite nod to the woman at the table, he inches by where she sits. "Mdree al mandeilan pakhat maten." He'll return her company unhurt, he promises. There's no stumbling in his own pronunciation, that almost more natural than how he speaks Standard.

Stavrian's crack gets a small smile out of the Captain. Enough to crease the corners of his blue eyes with amusement. "Real funny guy, doc." He lifts his chin, and starts unfastening buttons on his jacket, starting with the one that keeps the top flap flush with his shoulder— and displays his flight qualification wings. "Come on." And he starts off, with a roll of his shoulders to loosen them up. "Show me what you need done. Oh.." He pauses about two steps away, and glances across at the slightly taller Lieutenant. "And it's Ibrahim, by the way. You can save that 'sir' stuff for the CAG, when she shows up at your door with a big stick."

Stavrian's jacket was already open, which could signify that it's warm in here or that he's actually on off-duty time. "Ibrahim, fine." That's sort of gruffed, as though being less formal with a Captain took more work. "Jesse," he puts out there, after a while. "You can save the 'doc' for, you know, the doctors. When they show up at your door with a lawsuit." He gets to the tarped pile of supply boxes and puts his kit down, grabbing an edge of the heavy black covering and starting to yank on it. "This off, then I need to find a box with antiseptic in it. It'll be marked. Guarantee it's under every other box in the heap, because that's the way it always works."

"Jesse," the pilot repeats, thumbing off the last button on his jacket and stepping around to help with the other side of the tarpaulin. The blue tee shirt under his uniform, now clearly visible, reads: CLEARWATER GLIDESCHOOL across the left breast. "I'd think they've got better things to do than hand out lawsuits, with things.." Heave, grunt. "..the way they are." With the combined effort of both of them hauling on the thing, it finally slithers off and crumples to the deck. "What'll it be marked with?"

Stavrian turns his head, looking past his raised arm at the Captain. As if sharing a secret, he lowers his voice. "'Antiseptic'." His brows arch and he gives the man a grave little nod, then looks back at the boxes. The term 'heap' was accurate, still disorganised in the haste to move everything necessary up here. When he talks again, the mild teasing's evaporated. "How are things?" He asks without looking at the man's face, leaning down to grab the first one in the haphazard pile.

Hey, nobody ever accused pilots of being the sharpest tools in the shed. Nevertheless, Stavrian gets a look for his little elucidation, before Sitka drops into a crouch to begin scrounging. A few boxes are picked up, turned over, scrutinised briefly, and set aside. He works steadily and diligently; maybe someone should put him up in sickbay, doing inventory. "Hmm?" The question seems to strike him out of left field, and he stares at the box in his hand for a few seconds before shoving it aside with its brethren. "Fine." Seconds tick by as he searches. "Some days are better than others. I'm sure you can say the same?"

"Mm." Stavrian turns the box in hands until he finds the handwritten mark on the side. 'CPR masks'. He turns around and pushes that aside, slowly creating a mirror pile behind him. Now he glances at the pilot again, for a longer, before his attention goes back down to the next box. "I know your folks are breaking their backs down there. We appreciate it." That's said as quietly as the din will let him. "You…just had some time to kill, or what?"

The noncommittal sound is evidently taken as a 'yes'. Ibrahim happens to glance up from his box of 'surgical wipes' just in time to spot the medic's study, though eye contact is not directly made. He tosses the box aside lightly, shuffles closer to the main pile, and continues with his search. "They're keeping it together remarkably well. I'm proud of them." The subject of conversation's leached any residual warmth from his voice, leaving it low and brittle-sounding. "You guys are busting your asses, as well. I guess we do what we have to do." Another box of surgical wipes. "Yeah," succinctly answers Stavrian's query. "You?"

"Yeah." Stavrian's just as succinct about it, not leaving enough by way of actual tone to betray any underlying currents. Another box is pulled and checked — blister pads. "Told you. Bottom." His expression's wry as he turns around, putting that on the back heap. "Oh. Here." He balances his weight on his bent legs, heels comfortably against the floor, and digs about in his pocket until he comes up with a bright green…lollipop. This he extends over and waggles between his fingers. "Doubt Trask shared with the other side of the tracks. Want one?"

This is probably what passes for eloquent conversation amongst guttersnipe Sagittarians. With a faint smile at their predicament, Sitka continues his work of sifting through the boxes of medical supplies, even as the Lieutenant starts digging in his pocket. When the lollipop's produced, his smile falters. There's an awkward pause, and then he shuffles forward, still crouched, to accept it. "Thanks. Is this, uh. Some kind of bribery?" The stick's rolled between his fingers a couple of times, and the pilot seems momentarily entranced with the cheap piece of candy.

Stavrian is on Sitka's right side. As he draws his left hand back his plain wedding ring catches the light. Back to boxes, grabbing another one off the pile. "Yeah," he mutters. "Starting small but by the time I get to butterscotches, I'll expect a joyride in that Viper." It comes out without the bite of sarcasm that it should have.

Sitka's eyes linger briefly on the ring, then all but vanish beneath dark lashes as he tucks the lollipop away in a pocket of his trousers for later consumption. "I fly a mark two," he points out glibly, "You want something fun, hotwire a seven." Shoving a couple of boxes aside, he drags out a heavier one from underneath, and spins it around to hunt for a label. "So, uh." Bingo. Though he doesn't call it just yet. "Are you. Were you married?"

"Wouldn't know the difference," Stavrian admits, as to the Vipers. No flyboy in any sense of the word, this one. The question makes him look over in stages, eyes going first to the corner of a box in front of him, then to the Captain. Then, back down, re-reading the box label in his lap. "Yeah." Neat avoidance of a verb tense. "I, um. I'm sorry about your wife." This, he looks back up to say. The words are low and sincere.

Discussing this stuff is like trying to traverse an old minefield, barefoot. You know most of the blowing up's done, but you never know if you'll step on something that hasn't quite detonated yet. And you won't know, until you do. "Yeah." The word is uttered softly, and drawn out on an exhale of breath. A tiny smile is in evidence at the corners of the Captain's mouth, but it's mirthless and quickly vanished. His eyes tick up again to the medic's face. "Kids?" He still hasn't mentioned, or realised, that he's found the antiseptic.

Stavrian keeps his yes on Sitka's face until that monosyllabic answer, then his attention goes back down. The box is pushed away, another pulled out. Work goes on. "Yeah. Daughter's almost four. There's another…still have two months." He clears his throat quietly, brows furrowing at the print on the box. "You?" It could be the world's most casual conversation between two men if it weren't for the tone. It sits there like a bubble.

Sitka's lips press together slightly when the child on the way is mentioned. There isn't much one can say to that, not without coming off as either heartless or disingenuous. Or both. So he opts for silence, thumb rubbing absently at the scar that skews his expressions to one side. "Uh. Three." He looks up briefly, then back down at the box he'd pulled out. "Three kids. My oldest is fourteen.." A fine tremble starts in his voice, and moves to his hands, and he clears his throat quietly. "Hey, I should be getting back to berthings. Shift's in twenty, and I've got to suit up still." He presses his palms against his thighs, and begins easing back to his feet. The box is left where it is.

Stavrian's head has turned a little, eyes looking sort of at Sitka's shoulder as he speaks of his children. His mouth drifts open…and then the bubble bursts, and instead of talking he draws in a sharp breath instead. "Right. CAG kicking my ass and all." His tone's snapped back to normal like a rubber band relaxed from being stretched, though it's still very slightly off. "Hey. Be safe out there, okay?"

Sitka nudges the box closer with his boot, as if to say 'check this one', then ticks two fingers casually off his forehead as he turns to depart. "I hear she has a mean left hook," he murmurs. Two steps away, hands shoved in the pockets of his blues trousers, jacket crumpling against his forearms. He turns, and walks backwards a couple of paces. "You too. Take it easy, Jesse." There might've been more he'd intended to say, but he's either too far off or lost his nerve; pivoting once more, he trudges off for the stairs.

Stavrian looks down at the abandoned box and pulls it closer, tilting it up on its edge to see the markings. 'Antiseptic'. Fingertips drum the sides of the box and he exhales slowly, raising his head. His jaw's tensed — but there's a voice behind him calling for a medic and he just stands up, taking box and kit with him.

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