PHD #065: Nukes, then Tea
Nukes, then Tea
Summary: Damon and Kai cross paths checking on the nukes.
Date: 4 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Damon Kai 
Deck 5 - Fire & Munitions - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #66
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Orange Deck coveralls are not a common sight on this deck, but Damon has been making himself a regular presence here as of late. He is constantly and obsessively checking in on the tactical nuclear warheads stored in the arms locker which were taken from Parnassus Anchorage; after that explosion on the Deck that happened, he's been making himself even more of a nuisance. And here he comes yet again, metal clipboard tucked under his arm and dark circles under his eyes, greeting the fireteam posted as sentries with a nod. "Anybody been through here?" Since the last time he was here, what, three hours ago?

"Private Kaja Zaranj, sir" is called out, actually stepping out of the storage unit and closing it with a solid 'click'. Straightening, she offers a stoic expression (to say the very least) at the newest arrival. But linger on his eyes her do not, the stark green-greys shifting to take in ever detail of Damon, including the clipboard, though eventually her gaze returns to his. "I heard you were making rounds. Is it part of duty, sir?" Respectful words from the woman who disarmed the bomb. Doesn't look like she's slept in the last 48 hours, either, though to be fair Kai holds it together a hell of a lot better than most.

"Just a Petty Officer, Private Zaranj, and more petty than most," Damon replies with a grin that looks strangely askew on his tired face. "Damon's just fine. Us knuckledraggers are a bit more relaxed, I think." He allows a small chuckle at that as he comes closer. "And yes, I check in every once in a while." Every handful of hours, more like, every single day. "I just… have a muster I do a couple times a day." The clipboard gets a rap of the knuckles. "Truth be told, it's not because I don't trust you to guard the thing or because I think someone's gonna get by you. This little sheet with my initials on it covers my ass just about as much as yours, I think."

"I'm just off duty, sir. This was a personal check on my part." At least she's forthright about it. "Your boy Bannik wasn't involved, so you make certain you let him know a private's got his back on this one." The rumor mill just -sucks-. And Kai? She's assuming he knows exactly what she means - big assumption, perhaps, but given that she's obsessing over safety, it's pretty clear why. "Don't mind an extra pair of eyes, long as that's all it is, either." Mistrust? Naw. Just being cautious, maybe. "Thing is, you need to start suspecting people you know and don't know, because what happened on the deck was too specific and too skilled and too clearly meant to disable your ship shoot and explode all evidence, aircraft, and person for it not to have been done by someone who can easily blend in. But I know it wasn't Bannik. Call it a mixture of instinct and field knowledge."

"Don't call me 'sir' - I work for a living," Damon rattles off that stale old line with a good-natured smile. But then his expression darkens once more when Bannik's name is mentioned. "The investigation will determine that," he says - and it's a practiced line by the sounds of it. Of course the whole ship's been alive with murmurs and rumors lately. "But for what it's worth, I'll let him know. Because I can't honestly believe that he could do something like that." Shaking his head, he makes his way through into the arms locker for a brief moment - just long enough to check the warheads, make sure they show no signs of being tampered with, and initial off on his muster sheet. "Looks good. Like it always does," he says, a bit of tension releasing with a sigh as he emerges into the corridor again.

She follows easily enough. "I trust Lance Corporal Cadmus, and he is a fact-driven man who will be heading the investigation. -Is-." A shake of her head, and Kai offers a very faint smile. "Sorry, these last three days have shot my internal timeline a little. I'd suggest though that if you discover anything out of the ordinary, even minute, during your searches that you report it to Cadmus. He's got his own, mind, but it doesn't mean we all can't assist in the think tank." Fingers rough through her mane, capturing a hand full at the crown of her head and resting there for a second… before finishing through, punctuated by a cast look by Kai. "Need coffee or anything? From what I hear, you're not taking many breaks, if any, either."

Damon lets out a long sigh, but one that's definitely overdone. "It's not that I don't take many breaks. It's just that I don't know what to do when I'm off-duty, so I just go back to work," he answers. "It's all right, though. I'm not as bad as I look, honestly, or I wouldn't be on the Deck working on ships. Lance Corporal Cadmus, though, I'll have to keep that name in mind." Since it seems like they're both headed away, he walks with Kai. "Tea is more my thing, but… yeah, that sounds good. Haven't had one since the afternoon."

"What sort of tea?" That surprises her - a man who drinks tea. More specifically, a man who works on Deck and drinks tea. "'D say whiskey's more mine, but in this uh… 'boot camp'…" Which is so far gone she's merely a working Marine now, "Forbids alcohol." And there she -does- sigh, a tiny little whisper of a thing that indicates just how much Kai misses that taste. Not an addict. Just liked it. One hand scrubs at her face, bringing a bit of blood back into her cheeks as she walks, the movement an unconscious one.

Damon shrugs. "I'll take any tea the ship's got, honestly. I just never got into the whole coffee thing. Probably because my father never drank the stuff, he was always drinking tea." A pause. "Then again, he was always kind of the odd one out from all his… peers." They walk in silence for a moment, and then he looks over at her with a curious glance. "You're not allowed to drink… at all? Even when we're at Condition Three?" he asks. "All the Marines, or… just some?"

"Not even in Condition Three," confirms Kai, features falling ever so slightly. Not happy about it, she, but she's careful to keep it out of her tones at least. "It's for all Boot Camp participants. Although the rest of them were slaughtered in the latest Cylon attack." Kai's the only one out of her class - hell, out of half the Marines - that survived. "Which I get. For me, they want to force me to find a way to sleep without the assistance, even if they're trying to pawn off pharmaceuticals as a replacement." And hell if she'll ever take those. "My uncle always preferred the herbal types - those to infuse and 'enrich the soul with natural potency'." She's quoting him, and the memory draws a bit of life to her eyes, a sparkle not there before. "A family full of every scientist known to man, and just about all of them drank tea, 'cept my brother. And me, now. In careful doses, the stimulation can assist the body. Just never learned the trick with tea, and when I needed potency I couldn't get enough into my system." A glance over at Damon as she explains, "Had to go several days without sleep at any given point. What was your pop into?"

"He was, a, uh - " Damon clears his throat and looks away. "Sorry. I just haven't thought about him in a while." It takes a moment for him to get back under control, and he continues as though nothing ever happened. " - factory manager, for the most part. He was the reason I got into, y'know, mechanic-y stuff." A faraway smile lights his face as they walk on, his eyes looking ahead but not really seeing anything before him. "I'd just go to the factory after school or something and look at the blueprints and schematics, and he'd teach me all sorts of stuff about the robotics he had in there and what they did. Then I'd start to thinker around a bit, and…" He shakes his head abruptly, coming back down to earth. Or down to Battlestar, anyway. "Sorry, I didn't mean to - just kinda got lost in my mind there for a second." A turn in the corridor - hopefully, she's headed to the stairs like him. "Sorry to hear about the… uh, slaughter," he says awkwardly. "I got shot a couple times myself, but I'm mostly all right now. Just a bit jumpy, that's all."

"Death is a part of life. It just reduces our ability to fight. That they targeted and knew where the marine berths were, compared to, say, the citizens, is a little interesting. And," Kai adds, casting another glance, and a friendlier smile to Damon, "Please don't apologize for remembering. Memories are what make us -us-. To remember the good, that's a gift we have. It would be a terrible waste to cast that aside, and a disservice to those who gave us those moments." A brief touch to his arm as she responds, hand disconnecting easily enough seconds later. And the stairs? She's headed there as well, likely to find sleep in a few.

"It… it is, I know, but it's just… hard to remember sometimes," Damon says plainly, obviously struggling with the recollection of his family. "I decided to go drinking and partying instead of going home to visit them the last leave I got, and that's a bit of a weight on my conscience." Selfish in some ways, maybe, but what can you do? "It's just - I mean, I know it's not healthy, but - it's mind-blowing thinking to yourself, if you could have a second chance at being yourself, say, three months ago. Even if all this was going to happen anyway. I know I'd've done everything differently."

"You would not be where you are, you would not have grown to understand, you would not be in a place to do everything differently. Humans are great at looking at the past and learning from it, but we're terrible at anticipating the future because we're silos. We, until much later in life, can never truly appreciate how short a life is until something cataclysmic rocks our worlds. To feel guilt is normal, Damon, but at some point you will need to come to the realization that that chance is gone, and you have the chance now to make it what you can, to find those people around you and hug them randomly, to say thank you, to visit. It's respectful to those that have passed - a ritual to show they impacted you greater than you expressed then - but it is respectful to yourself and others." A faint smile, and Kai mentions wryly, "Easier said than done, howdy don't I know." A quiet sigh as she reaches the impasse of the hall where she is due to divert from his path. "Damon, I am glad to have met you. And I am glad that you and I talked." Her smile is a bit embarrassed now, but she admits, "You've actually restored a little faith in me. Might even be able to sleep tonight." She says it jokingly, but there is more than a kernel of truth in her statement.

Damon stays silent as Kai talks, unsure of what really to say in response. "I'm… glad too?" he responds, but is obviously caught a bit off-guard by the Marine's frank admission. "I guess this is a bit heavy for a first conversation, isn't it?" he asks with a grin. "I know what you're saying is right and it's true, it's just… hard to think of it that objectively, yeah?" He lets her go first as they reach the stairs, following just beside and behind her. "Let's go grab some tea - or coffee, whatever - and maybe we can find a way to work a little bit around this 'no alcohol' thing you've mentioned…"

Laughing quietly, she peeks upwards at the man to her as she turns to address him. "I'm not certain I can honestly find a way around it. I have this failing, which is speaking truth to the people who I respect." Well, and those she trusts. Limited few right now. "But if you have a clever idea, maybe you don't tell me about it, and I can just… work it in?" A loose grin at that, and a shake of her head. "Heavy for a first conversation, yes, but it's the first time I've smiled in a long while, -sir-." NOW she's teasing. "Coffee and tea. Perfect. Are you one of those men who has to lead the way, or are we good walking together?"

"As failings go, I think that's a good one to have," Damon says with a crooked grin. Since he's already following after Kai, he figures that her question doesn't really need an explicit answer. "Oh, I wouldn't call it a clever idea, really. Just that when you make friends on the Deck, well, they take care of you. Alcohol becomes the least of your worries by that point." There's a wicked grin on his face that she totally can't see, being mostly in front of him. "But, like I said, all good things in time. Over tea. And away from curious ears." And onward they go, to tea and beyond.

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