PHD #216 New Friends and Old
New Friends and Reunions
Summary: Andrea is welcomed to the berthings by Marko, and learns that an old friend is still alive.
Date: 31 Sept 2041 AE
Related Logs: none
Marko Andrea Astra 
Pilot Berthings and Starboard Hangar Deck
Post-Holocaust Day: #216

The berths are quiet as Andrea sits on her new bunk, carefully removing items from a badly weathered bag and setting them about in the space, attempting to personalize it in some way. As she pulls out a teddy bear, she gets a bit hung up in a moment, then takes a deep breath and stores it in one of the darker corners. It was always good to have allies, even if some remained hidden.

Marko emerges from the head, clad in a towel and steaming slightly in the air-conditioning from a hot shower. "Oh, hey there." he calls, waving with his free hand towards Andrea. "I take it you passed your background checks?" he asks gently, making his way towards his locker.

Looking up, Andrea spots Marko and smiles, and scootches off of the bunk to say hi. "Yeah, apparently. The Major just signed for me and moved me here… gonna be a Black Knight, I guess. Sorry we never got to really formally meet yesterday. I'm Andrea Demarcos. "Hosedown.""

Marko smiles and nods. "Marko Scaurus, AKA 'Flasher', ECO, Harriers." he says by way of introduction. "Eh…'ll forgive me if I don't shake hands." he comments, looking down at his current state of 'holding up the towel with his handshake hand'. "I'm sorry about all that, by the way." he adds, flipping open his locker. "Guess you've heard the bad word. Cylons have found a way to look like us now. It's got everybody's paranoia level pegged to the max."

"Yeah, I bet. And Spiral being Spiral doesn't help anything." Oddly enough, there is no anger or bitterness in that, just a simple statement of fact. "It all makes sense now, I guess. Though to be honest, after all that time alone… if the first human looking things to find me had been Cylons, I'd have been overjoyed until about 5 minutes after they shot me."

"Yeah, his sphincter was a little on the tight side." Marko replies, snagging a fresh pair of skivvies and a t-shirt from his locker and ducking out of sight. "Ever since Warday, this place has been weirdness central." he comments as he dresses himself. "How long were you down there?" he asks, tossing his towel over his shoulder as he reappears.

"216 days…" Andrea says quietly, wandering back to her bunk to give him some privacy. Gods, the poor guy was fresh out of the shower and here she was getting all up in his grill. How desperate was she looking, right now? "Short of some communication via HAM radio most of that was alone. Makes it good to be here, weird or not. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to getting in a Viper again."

"Damn…" Marko replies, whistling softly as he snags a plastic bottle out of his locker and moves to refill it at the drinking fountain. "Hell of a long time to be alone." he says. "Who were you talking to on your HAM?" he asks, cocking his head curiously.

"We called ourselves Skytalkers. Couldn't give too much information, in case Cylons were listening, but we each had callsigns. I was one of the lucky ones… my pa's bomb shelter was built after the first Cylon War, and we had enough money that it was pretty well stocked, water, food, anti-rads." She smiles, and glances at a picture of a jolly-looking old farmer that she's hung in her bunk. "Others blinked out, bit by bit. Radiation, sickness, starvation. At least two were found by the Cylons. There was one, though. Northern Lights. Brilliant woman, she was collecting children she found and caring for them. Her batteries died more than a month ago, though. I'd send us looking for her, if I had any idea of where to look."

"How many kids did she have?" Marko asks quietly, taking a long pull from his water bottle before refilling it again. "Did she ever say?"

Andrea racks her brain for awhile. "At least six. Maybe more, though they didn't have much food and sickness was always a problem. It wasn't just her at first, but the other adults were sick, and in the end it was just her and the children." She shakes her head. "I never found any, though I don't think I was looking as hard as she was."

Marko purses his lips thoughtfully, leaning his back against his locker door as his tired brain tries to put the pieces together. "Six kids…." he echoes at length. "Tell me, was she…..pregnant?"

Andrea nods absently. "Gods, I can only imagine the calcium loss that caused her, combined with the malnutrition. She was well along when she finally signed out. I had some of mom's nursing books, and I'd hoped that I could…" suddenly she cuts off, and looks over at Marko, inquisitively. "Wait, what made you ask that?"

Marko doesn't reply at first, just sips at his water bottle as his brain does it's best impression of a hamster wheel. "Ha!" he says finally, doubling over with laughter. "Cause she had twins in Bunny's Raptor!" he hoots. slapping his knee with his free hand. "We found her! She was way the frak up north with her kids." he explains, trying to settle down. "We were on a scouting mission…Little buggers barfed in the bird on the way back." he snerks.

"Wait, she's…" Andrea crosses the room so fast one might almost think she'd made an FTL jump. "She's alive? Northern Lights is alive? She had the babies… and the kids… oh thank the gods!" And just like that, she grabs Marko and kisses him full on.

Marko meeps and tries to get away, but it's no use. He's too tired, she's too excited and, well, a liplock ensues. "Hey, hey….." he says, trying to wrestle free. "Astra's fine, so's her kids…"

After a few seconds, Andrea disengages and leans her forehead against his. "Ummm. Sorry." But the smile is practically glowing. "I… I'm sorry, but do you know where I could find her?" Her eyes look into his, searching. "Oh, gods, she is on the Cerberus, right? Not planetside?"

"Yeah, she's in med bay, last I heard." Marko replies, smiling back even as he backs away discreetly."Babies are cute as buttons. Other kids are …eh…I dunno where they are, I guess they're on the starboard hangar with the other civvies."

Oh, no. She hasn't released him yet. Another quick kiss and THEN she lets him go. "Thank you so, so, so much for telling me this. And for the kisses. You're cute, you know?"

"Heh, yeah, my fiancee's always telling me that." Marko replies, chuckling softly. "I think she's full of it, but, what can ya do?" he shrugs. "But, eh…yeah, she's alive and well. Frak, talk about small worlds." he laughs, shaking his head a little. "Aerulon's downright tiny."

"Seemed pretty damn big once the radios went quiet." Andrea says, but her mood hasn't been spoiled. "Fiance, eh? Well, if she wants to kick my ass, it was worth it. She's a lucky gal. Look, great to meet you, but…" Her smile returns. "I need to find a friend."

"Heh, well, there's a few of them to be found, I guess." Marko replies, blushing. "Should've seen the shitstorm we found on Saggitaron." he sighs at length. "Turns out, it isn't a rumor or propaganda…the Saggies really are out of their frakking minds." he notes. "Damn near got my head blown off."

Andrea nods as she pulls her shoes on. "Gods, yeah, Saggies, well, some of them, were a headache even before the war. Guess they had their reasons, though, and the Cylons can't have improved matters." She walks to the hatch. "Uh… medbay is… where?"

"Thanks for the warning," Andrea says on her way out. She then glances around and gives him a smouldering look. "And hey, we Aerilonian farmer's daughter gotta keep our rep somehow, right?" She then smiles and blows him a kiss. "Thank you, again and again."

"Heh, you did 'em proud." Marko calls as he hauls himself into his rack. "Just don't tell my fiancee." he winks. "She's a marine and a hell of a lot tougher than I'll ever be." he chuckles. "Tell Astra I said hey if you see her."


Part of the refugee "camp" is settling down for the evening, growing more quiet, with tarps and blankets and curtains being pulled, especially in the area where the few families rescued are staying. In front of a set of tarps, a thin woman sits on a crate. Beside her is a smaller crate set on rockers, and she is pushing this back and forth with her foot. In her arms is a scrawny waif of a girl, drifting off to sleep, who she also rocks. The woman is singing softly, a gentle lullaby.

There is a stranger in the crowd, her face not recognized by any there, to the point where she even has to have a brief conversation with the Marines before they let her pass. Her face searches the crowd, those who are still awake, with a sense of deep anticipation in her eyes. She walks quietly, glancing around, listening. When she turns down one row, she hears the song, and walks over, her smile growing as she sees the children. "Astra Koios?" She asks quietly, not wishing to disturn the sleeping little ones.

The woman looks up, her brow furrowing. She nods briefly, then motions to the sleeping four-year-old. She rises and moves within the shelter of the tarps, and nestles the girl in a pile of blankets in a side-turned crate rather than a bed. Then she comes back out and smiles. "Sorry about that. I wanted to get Petra settled. Yes, I'm Mrs. Koios. What can I do for you, ma'am? Ah… sir?"

Suddenly, the new woman is crying, large brown eyes full of tears. The smile never goes away, though. "My name is Lt. Andrea Demarcos. I'm a viper pilot… just reinstated after being rescued from Aerilon." The smile gets even bigger. "My fellow pilots call me Hosedown, though. My old callsign."

Astra reaches in a jumper pocket for a clean handkerchief, but when the woman says 'Hosedown', her face goes pale and she staggers a little before sinking down onto the crate. She blinks rapidly, staring. "H-hose…" SHe swallows hard, and then is weeping too, shaking a little with the force of her emotion. "Oh gods…"

Andrea sinks to her knees in front of the other woman, and laughs softly as she wraps her arms about her. "I just heard you'd survived… I was telling a Raptor pilot about the Skytalkers and you and all your children and he said they'd found you, that you'd had babies… twins? My gods, Northern Lights, I thought for sure that I was lying when I told you rescue was coming…"

"I thought… oh gods, when I… when the battery ran out, I thought I'd never hear from you again." Astra bends to hug the other woman, her thin form still shaking. "You were the last, the last person I heard from. I missed you so much…" A soft hiccup. "Yes, twins, and all of the other seven, too. I'm adopting them. I'm all the family they have left." She shakes her head. "I actually was in labor when they found me… delivered the twins in the back of the Raptor. Oh gods… Hosedown… it… I'm not dreaming?"

"Gods, I hope not, because if you are it means we're both still trapped down there." Andrea is positively glowing. "They found me yesterday… or the day before? I was refitting a freighter, hoping I could get it spaceworthy. They're going to do it, refit it to be a proper home instead of this refugee camp. And me…" her smile grows. "I'm going back to the Vipers, and I'm going to be the one protecting you when the Raiders come."

"Let's make that 'if they come', all right? It sounds much less ominous." Astra draws away, then just sits there a few long moments looking at the woman. "Me, I'm trying to get a school organized for the children. There's about thirty of them. Gods, only thirty. Mine included." She sighs. "Would you like to see the twins? I named them after the pilot who delivered them. So there's Evanthe Phaedra and Evandre Phoebe." She motions to the makeshift cradle. "About two weeks old, now."

Andrea turns, still kinda glowing, and looks into the cradle with a smile. "Gods, Northern, they're beautiful…" She looks up. "I'll thank the gods for the Thirty now, and especially for having you to teach them." She rocks back on her heels, then turns back to Astra. "I have a lot coming up… getting to know my wing, getting reaquainted with the Viper, and I should probably get some sleep. Dunno how well I'll do with all the noise of the ship, though. Got used to the quiet. Not the loneliness, though. I may have swapped tonsils with the poor kid who told me about you."

"It's hard. I don't sleep a lot… and the girls don't let me. How about swinging by when your duties permit? You can see all the kids, then. Awake." She stifles a sob and rubs at her eyes. "I will thank the gods tonight that you are alive. Oh. Wait. Before you go…" She gets up and darts into her "room", and comes back a half-minute later with a folded bit of cloth. Well, braided strips of cloth, stitched together to form a scarf. On the scarf, odd-shaped patches are sewn, and each has a different name on it. "Northern Lights. Espie. Dogscratch. Hosedown." It is all the skytalkers, or at least the ones Astra talked to, and she smiles and hands the scarf to Andrea. "For you."

Andrea takes it slowly, her eyes turning sad as she reads off the names. She then shakes her head to rid the tears. "I'll mourn the lost later. For now, I'm too busy being grateful you're alive." Another hug. "Thank you so much, Astra. For keeping me sane down there, and being alive up here. I'll be around as much as I can manage. You'll need a hand with so many little ones." She kisses the woman on the cheek. "I can't believe its you."

"Thank you… for giving me hope when I needed it… Andrea. For not being one of the Lost." She hugs back, holding fiercely for a long moment, then letting go. "I don't have any words that are right for this. Thank you. Just… thank you." SHe wipes tears away once again. "If you stay much longer, we'll be here all night talking. Bawling."

"Plenty of time for that when we won't wake up the babies," Andrea says with a smile, then she steps back. "I will see you soon, dear. I promise."

"Just let me look at you one more time," murmurs Astra. She sits very still, just looking at the other woman, and then she offers a teary smile and a wave. "Go on with you now, Hosedown, and get some sleep. May the gods watch over you. Ears open here. Good night."

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