BCH #002: Of Jump Drives and Llamas
Of Jump Drives and Llamas
Summary: Chief Merrell and Ensign Apostolos have a poolside conversation covering FTL drives and llamas and many things in between. Several other crewmembers come and go during their dog-paddling.
Date: 2041.02.24
Related Logs: None.
Hawke Kulko Merrell Nostos Sitka Tisiphone 

--[ Athletics Area ]-----------------------[ Deck 12 - Battlestar Cerberus ]--

A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.

-=[ Condition Level: 3 - All Clear ]=-----------------------------------------

Later in the morning, the pool is somewhat empty. A random guy who -has- to be a Crewman judging by his age, is swimming laps. Merrell is more or less floating around the pool lazily. The woman has a form that probably doesn't lend too many men to be pleased that is stays hidden beneath dingy, loose coveralls all day. Not that she seems to notice in the pool, though. Her eyes are closed until a hand knocks into the wall and she looks up to the bulkhead above.

Tisiphone pads out from the changeroom in the regulation swimsuit with a pair of goggles bouncing against her collarbones. The swimsuit looks like…well, like a one-piece women's swimsuit would look like on a boy. Absurd, fairly awkward, and unnecessary. She'd probably swim in trunks, were she allowed. She pauses at the edge of the pool, staring out across the water with pale, unfocussed eyes, as she snaps her goggles into place. Now she looks like a bug-eyed alien boy in a woman's swimsuit.

Merrell looks up to see the woman and smiles. "Hey." She waggles her fingers from the float in the water, causing the liquid to splash gently. "I've seen you around before, right?" Her body slowly starts to sink in the water as she speaks, dark hair spread out like a spiderweb behind her. "I think you're a pilot?" Her smile almost seems wistful.

Tisiphone blinks somewhere behind her bug-eyed goggles, focus returning as her gaze slants down to Merrell. Teeth touch bottom lip, dimpling it uncertainly as she regards the other woman. She's trying to remember — and fails, for she ventures, "Sir?" When drawing a blank, assume the other person is higher on the totem pole. It's worked for her so far. "I- yeah. Ensign Apostolos, Black Knights." She hops into the pool, briefly submerging before popping back up with a splutter and a wipe of her head. "Sorry. I'm blanking on your name." She sounds rather embarrassed to have to 'fess up.

Merrell laughs lightly. "Yeah, you're new to the fleet. Only time I think I ever get that is from Crewmen. Its fine, though." The short lady doesn't even stand high in the pool. "Robin Merrell. Senior Chief." A hand lifts from the water and chucks a thumb over her shoulder. "Engineering. I live life in the dark." A short chuckle. "Thought I had seen you around, though. I was up fixing a storage locker near the winger's berthings yesterday. How're you liking things here?"

"Tisiphone," the Ensign offers to Merrell, as further and less formal introduction. "Senior Chief?" A second appraisal. Tis seems impressed and, somewhat ironically, envious. Taking a light, floating pace back, she starts to tread water, head and shoulders bobbing like a lazy metronome above the water. "I'm…" She considers her answer. "I'm not getting lost every time I leave the berths anymore. People are recognizing me." A tiny hint of smile. "I'm… I'm getting there. It's a dream of a first assignment, don't get me wrong. It's just so overwhelming."

Sitka tromps on through the busy gym, and shoulders his way through the hatch that leads out to the swimming pool. After taking a brief gander at the two crew members treading water at the far side, he veers off toward one wall, where he slides his duffle to the floor with a thump. His fatigue jacket soon follows, dogtags jingling as he sheds clothing.

Eyes watch Sitka as he enters the room but fall quickly back onto Tisiphone. There's a quick nod and smile for the bug-eyed Saggi. "Yeah. First battlestar deployments can be like that. My first one? They had to give me a radio to walk around with because I was constantly getting lost on my rounds. Talk about embarassing for a Petty Officer First. Augh!" She rolls her eyes, Merrell's light laughter puncuating the echoes of the pool. "So you really are fresh out of the academy, then? People are recognizing you..Sounds like a good start. Crazy change of pace from living on the colonies. I had a heck of a time trying to adjust." Her Tauran accent slides easily across her tongue.

Hawke follows not too far behind Sitka, eyes scanning for an open part of the pool. Merrell and Tisiphone both recieve friendly nods, as does Sitka, as the robe is removed and placed to the side before Hawke dives into the pool, starting his laps for the day.

Tisiphone's Sagittaran from twenty paces out, it's true — at times like this, when the bracelet's not there to tag her, the accent's smeared thick as homeopathic poultice over everything she says. "Yeah. Graduated…three weeks? Four weeks ago now, I guess. Damn. A month, already." Time flies, little Ensign. "Petty Officer First…" She tries to juggle ranks in her head. "So you're new to here, but not new like me." There's a questioning glance behind her pop-eyed goggles. Not sure that she's right. "How-" she starts to ask, trailing off when she spots Hawke. She watches him until he dives into the pool, then looks back to Merrell.

Sitka peels off his tank tops, and heaps them atop his duffle along with the jacket, before dropping down to unlace his boots. Dark, intricate ink covers his left arm from shoulderblade to fingers, usually covered up by long sleeves as it is. Once he's left in his swim trunks, the pilot rolls out his shoulders and neck experimentally, then takes off at a short sprint for the five or six steps between him and the pool itself. Thankfully, Tisiphone and Merrell are at the other end. Hawke, well, all bets are off.

"Geez. No kidding on that fresh Ensign scent," Merrell teases lightly. "Don't worry it, though. Before you know it the cruise will be over and you'll have six months and lots of flight time. And? You might even know how to navigate a battlestar." She winks. "Little hint? You'll see steam pipes overhead with lots of numbers on them. The first number is the Frame Section. The lower the number, the more Fore you are. Second number is the Deck. Third is which corridor, numbers listed in rising form from port to starboard. Its like a coordinate system." Her voice floats all over the accent casually. "Yep. Started here about a month ago? But I've been in the Navy for about nineteen years. Bounced all over the fleet, too. Couple Destroyers. This is my third Battlestar."

Tisiphone listens to Merrell's navigational tips with Fresh Ensign Dedication, giving a slight nod after every few words. "Coordinate system," she murmurs, a wide but crooked grin splitting her mouth. "Frakkin' awesome." She doesn't explain her sudden glee, instead saying, "Nineteen years. Damn. Still happy? I mean-" She starts backpedalling. "Sorry. Non-com. You don't have to be here until the end of time. If you're here, of course you're still happy." How awkward.

Hawke hits the water paddling, and soon has a decent backstroke going, eyes closed even through turns. His lips move slightly as he does, though not making any noticeable noise. He is listening to the world around him, as well as he can through the water splashing over his ears.

It's about three seconds between the start of the sprint, and the sound of the other pilot hitting the water. He resurfaces a few moments later, shakes the water out of his eyes, and eases into a breaststroke. His path takes him along the edge of the pool, so as not to plow into anyone else.

Merrell backs up to the wall and lifts her arms up onto the edge, lifting herself up just a bit to stretch. She laughs again at the remarks, nodding. "Yeah. For the most part. Obviously its not all flowers and gumdrops. But its worth it, for sure. Of course, that's coming from someone who has put time into rank. So take that with the grain of salt its due." Her smile is easy and seems to match the drawl. "But I know people who have stuck out until retirement and never rose above C-P-O. In my opinion, you have to like what you do and be able to roll with the variety of assholes you meet. What about you? What's your time in tell you so far? Think this might be something you want to do for awhile?"

Angelus makes his way into the athletic area and he has a black robe around him as he stops to hang the robe before he moves to the diving board. The Caprican steps slowly onto the board and he bounces once, twice, and on the third time he shoots up into the air a good meter and a half as he dives into the pool. As impressive as the air time is his landing is not as he went higher than he expected and he lands with a resounding popping sound onto his stomach. There is a general amount of flailing for a bit before Nostos manages to drag his ass over to the side of the pool so he can take a breath as he utters, "Son of a bitch."

The splash of Nostos' bellyflop brings Hawke out of his stroke, shaking his head and smiling. "Smooth, Nostos. Apparently you shouldn't pick fights with the pool anymore than you should with the deck." His arms calmly tread water.

With the pool getting busy, Sitka pauses at the end of his second lap and hooks his elbow over the edge for a quick breather, and to take stock of how much space he has. His hand's dragged over his face and flicked free of water, blue eyes tracking Nostos as he dives in and flounders a little. Nope, no emergency rescue necessary.

Tisiphone's head comes around with a snap at the sound of Nostos's accidental belly-flop. "Da-a-amn," she mutters, caught between shadenfreude and sympathy. As she looks back to Merrell, something in her question seems to make the Ensign a bit bashful — she wobbles a bit as she treads water, mouth screwing up at one corner as she chews the inside of her cheek. "Well," she says. "It's- You'll just laugh, and I probably deserve it, but…" She grins crookedly down at the water, then looks up at the reinforcement beams and the tracks of lighting. "Think I'm in for a rough ride, but there's no where I'd rather be." Once she's decided to come clean, the statement is pure, gleaming honesty — or maybe squeaky-clean Ensign enthusiasm.

Angelus looks over at Hawke, "Hey, if you think you can do better I say we have a pannel that has been selected from those who have gathered here to judge who is the best diver in the room. The stakes are bragging rights and the ability to say 'I told you so'." When Tisiphone weighs in Angelus says, "Hey they can't all be winners, you forget I'm from Caprica and not Aquaria." Though he does manage a grin as his chest is a bit red but hardly damaged, one could say his skin was suddenly startled by the water. As Sitka looks over at Angelus the pilot throws a two fingered salute from his perch in the deep end as he pulls himself out of the water to try again; since if nothing else the man is stubborn.

Merrell watches the man flop all over the pool and gives a dry snorth, the turn of her lips crooked in its own right before looking back to Tisiphone. "Nah. No laughing. You're new to all this. No sense giving you hell over it. Takes determination." She listens to the rest and wets her lips, nodding. "You know? I felt the same way. Promise. I signed-up and decided I was going to have a rough time of it. And I did. But eventually I started liking it more than..I dunno- Feeling intimidated by it? But if you already want to be here like that, good. You said, I think, the squadron is Vipers? What got you in?" With Nostos bragging about his Caprican, Merrell slides her eyes towards him and that smile drops away.

An eyebrow raises as Hawke is challenged. "So I would have to… what? Not bellyflop?" He smiles. "It just seems that everytime I see you you're inflicting deep tissue injuries on yourself. And then you try to cover with bravado. I get it, you're a pilot, you're invincible." He shakes his head. "You try being a surgeon, sometime."

Kulko meanders into the gymnasium in regulation sweats, a towel slung over one shoulder. He whistles to himself, a jaunty tune in a major key, pausing to consider his options, and swinging his octagonal dogtags around two fingers, lifeguard style.

"I'd challenge you to a good diving match. I just belly flopped on accident. And you and I both know not to call you out, Doc, I'm not pulling bravado with you and you can trust me on that. Besides, all I've got is ego since pride left about two years ago." There is a grin on his face as he doesn't explain why he lost his pride only that he did. "Besides, Doc, next time you'd be likely to pop me in the jaw for pissing you off. All I'm saying is one fun dive." He notices that Merrell is no longer smiling and he says, "Um, no offense to whatever I said that made you upset." A beat, "What did I say to make you upset? He looks over at Tisiphone, "Come on, someone? It could be fun. One good clean dive?"

"I went through Academy on Caprica," says Tisiphone to Merrell, voice pitched lower to, hopefully, keep it from carrying. "Four years on that planet." She leaves it at that, but there's a Meaningful Look shared with the engineer. Her head and shoulders bob above the water more vigorously for a few moments, as she rotates while treading water, reconsidering the others in the pool. Back to Merrell: "Yeah. Black Knights: Bold But Faithful." She seems equal parts proud and embarrassed by the slogan. "I had my eye on Engineering, actually. One of my professors turned me into a bit of a math geek." Totally against her will, of course. "But- I tried out a flight sim, on a dare, and…" She ducks her head to one side, in a sort of swimmer's equivalent of a shrug. "Never looked back."

The Meaningful Look is returned to Tisiphone. Merrell nods once, slowly. "Yeah." She knows what that means. "Yeah I never had the mind for flight. I've been up in my share of Raptors but my eyes are always drawn to the instruments. I don't think I have the patience to keep switching between looking around at the stars and the gauges." She keeps her own voice low now, too. But there is a suprise on her face with the mention of Engineering. "Good stuff. Well if you ever get the itch, hunt me down. I can show you a few things, but I'll readily admit most of my work is administrative. Problem solving and junk like that. Not a ton of math. That's more officer work. We just get dirty and fix things. Scrape knuckles, curse a lot. Sounds like your track is working for you, though. Good to hear you like it so quick."

Sitka smiles, just slightly, as he observes the exchange between Nostos and Hawke. Not that he can hear much of any of it, from where he is. Clearly not interested in getting into a competition of any sort, despite what may be considered his obvious competitive proclivity as a viper jock, the Captain pushes off the edge and begins his next set of laps. This time, they take him right by Tisiphone and Merrell. Splash, splash, splash.

Kulko follows his ears through the hatch to the pool, looking over the occupants and arriving just in time to catch Nostos' challenge. "I'll take you up on that," he calls to the pilot. "Standby." He heads for the locker room, double-timing it.

Hawke shakes his head. "Later, maybe. Still got my laps to get in, Nostos. Careful how you hit, though." And he goes back to his strokes.

Kulko re-enters the hatchway, setting his gym uniform and dogtags on the bleachers and starting to stretch poolside. "Alright, let's see what you've got."

"Actually…" Tisiphone's gaze sharpens behind the ridiculous bug-eyed goggles she's wearing. "I'd love a tour. And- Well. My friend would kiss my boots for a week straight if I could bring her along. Her dad's a hot-shot engineer somewhere else in the Fleet, and this stuff's in her blood. I'd love to just see…" She trails off, bobbing again as she gestures at Merrell, the pool, and All Points Beyond. "…what makes this beast go. It's-" She stops short, reconsidering her words. "-so cool," she finishes. Not what she was going to say.

Nostos drags his ass out of the water and he goes back to the diving board, stubborn pilot is stubborn, this time he tests the board, once, twice, and on the third time he almost clears a five feet up in the air and he manages to do a flip in the air before he lands in the water. If there were judges he probably would have earned 4.5-5's across the board but he isn't a professional diver. He stays under the water for a while and the he pops up in the shallow end near others as he is in the pool for fun and not for exercise.

Merrell grins, the gesture bright and surprisingly cheery. "I think I can make something happen. Got a few rules back there but I don't think its anything you can't handle. And sure, if you have a friend we can probably accomodate. We're pretty busy with making a few repairs to some systems but I'll take you back personally." She lowers herself off the side of the pool and rises back out slowly, wiping the hair from her face and water from her eyes. "Its interesting if you have the drive for it. The systems are pretty complex. However if you have a solid interest in it, you might get some good entertainment out of it. We can probably get you back to the FTL drives but the reactors are pretty much off-limits." Apologetic, lopsided smile again.

Kulko nods appreciatively at the display, waiting for Nostos to resurface before offering up some lonely sounding applause. "So what was that first one? Slow playing your hand a bit?" The Canceron heads for the diving board himself. He bounces gentle a few times, swings his arms in wide circles in a grandiose display of 'I-know-what-I'm-doing-I-swear', before springing up into the air. He doesn't attempt anything nearly so flashy as Nostos, but arcs neatly at the apex of his descent and pierces the surface of the water with minimal splashdown.

Finishing his laps, Hawke slowly pushes himself out of the water, allowing the drip to go while he catches his breath. Gods, he needs to keep up on his PT. He smiles at the diving, then heads for a towel.

"I'd love to see the FTL drives." Tisiphone sounds disturbingly close to reverent. Maybe she imagines the FTL being held within an Ark of the Covenant in some incense-filled room, or something. Belatedly realizing how she sounds, she gives a weak chuckle and scrubs at her shorn scalp, sinking lower into the water as she does. "Um. Yeah, of course. That's understandable. I'd be honoured to get to see anything in there at all." She treads water in a circle again. Fresh appraisal. The good doctor finishing his laps there. Surprisingly good diving going on there. She watches Hawke climb out of the pool, then finishes rotating back around to face Merrell.

Nostos claps and even whistles as Kulko makes his dive, "That is how you do it!" Angelus shouts out as he looks over at Tisiphone and Merrell and then back to Hawke as he watches the old man pull himself out of the water. The pilot say nothing however because it would probably mean a needle in a very bad place the next time he went to medical or even worse his temp would be taken rectally.

"No problem. Those drives are pretty big. We saw schematics of them back at AIT, but seeing them in action is, uh..well they're pretty awesome." Merrell laughs once more into the water, treading the water under her. "So what else are you into? Other than flying and enjoying some giant machines doing crazy things?" Robin keeps it light, enjoying the conversation and company.

Kulko surfaces near the edge of the pool and swims Nostos' way. "Don't believe I've had the pleasure," he notes, treading water and extending a hand. "Stephen Kulko. That was one hell of a dive - were you varsity or do you just swim a lot?"

Tisiphone isn't panting for breath yet, but her voice is getting a little thready. Treading water can be hard work, doubly so when one lacks the usual gods-given floatation devices. "Mmh," she says. Thinking. "Reading." She grimaces apologetically. /Not/ very exciting, she knows. "I used to hunt. Really liked that, but it's been a while." Still not a very good answer. She treads water in silence for a few seconds before her expression lights up. With a crooked, I-dare-you-to-laugh sort of grin, she tells Merrell, "I knit."

Merrell nods along. But its an effort to stifle her smile with the last. "Knitting?" The Chief lofts her brow. "Somehow I did't peg you for the hook and yarn." A little good-natured sarcasm for the new friend. "I can see hunting, though. What kinds of things do you generally knit? More for clothing or just whatever strikes your fancy?"

Nostos takes Kulko's hand, "Angelus Nostos, Halo, JiG, Viper Jock, Black Knights." The information is spit out quickly to get the fomalities out of the way. His grip is firm and strong but not overly aggressive, "I took lessons as a child, my Mom wanted me to be the perfect little Caprican boy. Emphasis on perfect." The way Angelus says perfect hints at a bit of disapproval in his Mother's intentions. "So, I did a lot of things as a child." He then grins, "Though that was a good dive yourself. I was impressed. Were you in varsity?" Angelus looks over at Tisiphone, "How much yarn do you need and what color or colors do you want?"

"Yeah, yeah," mutters Tisiphone, though good-naturedly. "I know, right? My-" She gestures vaguely. "-family made a lot of things by hand. Neighbours had sheep and a couple llamas. It worked out well. Takes a lot of time — nobody ever seems to realize it — but it's…well. It's satisfying. Meditative. I figure it won't be much more than socks and gloves while I'm aboard, but I've made-" Merrell is saved from a knitting treatise by Nostos's question; she rotates a little bit to look toward him, seeming a touch nonplussed. "It's… it's okay, Halo. I- if I had any more yarn in my locker right now, my flight suit wouldn't fit." She's getting embarrassed. She was taking a risk dropping the K-bomb in conversation, and now she's getting called on it. "But- I'll remember that." There's a wicked glint behind her goggles. Never, ever tempt a knitter with promises of future supplies.

Merrell listens with an ever-growing smile. "No kidding. You used to make a lot of things by hand. That's sooo cool." Leave it to a woman who works with her hands all day to be enamored with that idea. "I can see that, though. First, because- let's be honest- llamas are awesome. I saw one once at a zoo and get to pet it? SO soft." Her smile is brilliant, reaching her eyes. "But I never thought of making clothes as satisfying. I've had to mend some things years ago but I've never made something I could wear. I hear that stuff can be pretty warm, too. Cold where you grew up?"

Nostos looks back at Tisiphone, "Just tell me what kind you need and what color. I know a guy." Angelus then turns back to look at Kulko as he waits to find out if the man was a Varsity swimmer or not.

Pulling the robe back around him, Hawke waves out of the pool. What, he was in a room with women in swimsuits and never attempted to chat them up, or even obviously oogle them? How can it be????

Kulko offers up a quick salute. "Good to meet you, sir. No, I was a rugger in secondary, but I grew up near enough to the coast that we spent our fair share of time int he water." He looks inquisitively at Tisiphone, "You hunted, you said? What for?"

"Dude." Oh, gods. One of Tisiphone's happy topics has been touched upon. Big, eager grin. Intent goggle-eyes. "Llamas are awesome. You know how people say, get a donkey to guard your sheep? Frak that. Get a llama." Ensign Apostolos, cosmopolitan girl. Something brings her up short, the grin wobbling on her face but not quite falling off. Probably the realization that she just waxed poetic about llamas. Treading in pure embarrassment now, she looks over at Kulko, considering a moment before she says, "Um. Bit of everything in Xenos, really. A lot of rabbits. Pheasants. Deer in the autumn. Sustenance hunting." It's the fancy term from the fancier colonies for people who hunt as practicality, rather than pleasure.

Merrell laughs at the excitement over llamas, grinning. "And they're just cute as hell. They lay down and they don't look like they have any legs. Just giant cuddly caterpillers. Is it true that they spit everywhere? I mean, its pretty nasty but I think I could overlook that for being able to keep some around Engineering. I could put a pack on them with tools and lead them around like a trolly! And next time someone tries to give me attitude?" She cocks her neck side to side then looks sidelong as if to her phantom llama: "Fluffy? Show the man some leg! *pow!*" She snickers, splashing a bit in the water. "So what else did you get to do? I always wanted to live on a farm but I kinda grew up in the city. Trapped in the concrete jungle as it were." Seh makes a face, clearly a little jealous.

Kulko nods slowly, maintaining eye contact as if re-evaluating the diminutive pilot with the fruity liqueur. "Right on, right on. Can't say it was ever 'hunt or starve' back home, but we weren't exactly looking for trophies, either. Used what we killed." He falls silent, half treading water and half leaning on the side of the pool. "What's a llama taste like?"

Nostos pulls himself out of the water, "Well, I should get going but do take care." He looks back at Kulko, "Find me some time so we can catch up." He looks over at Tisiphone and Merrell, "Ladies." He says as he moves to get his robe. "Take care."

"Naw. Not at all." Despite having just sworn to herself to ix-nay on the aama-lays, Tisiphone immediately defends the beasts. "Cats scratch when they're pissed off. Llamas spit. They're- yeah. Yeah. Totally like you said. I mean- put you in a cage and have Cylons grope you all day? You'd spit at them, too." Her endurance is petering out — she's starting to pant a bit, face flushed despite her being mostly submerged in water. "I can respect that," she comments to Kulko, after catching her breath a bit. "I won't knock on someone being able to enjoy a supermarket now and again." A quick grin.

"Hon, they do keep me locked in a cage all day. I'm a Senior Chief. You think they let us out to go play?" Merrell laughs. "Nuht uh. You see me spitting? But then again llamas have that whole fuzzy-cute thing working and they are totally a glamour pet on Caprica, I think. So they can get away with it. Capricans probably just shrug off the complaints and accuse other people of not being multi-cultural." She snickers at her own remark, not bothering to hide the mild disdain for the 'rich folks'. "Doin alright, Ens? Wanna hop out for a second? Sit on the wall and discuss our llama trolley concept? I think I could totally make it work."

Kulko offers up a quick salute. "If y'all will excuse me, I'm going to finish up my laps."

Tisiphone watches Kulko swim away for a few seconds with a touch of a grin. "Fellow Ensign," she says to Merrell. "Few of us got together last night, rubbed elbows. Strength in numbers, you know?" Her grin widens. "Next time a Lieutenant comes looking for blood, we'll get in a protective circle like muskox." She gives a final flurry of strong swimming strokes, then paddles to the pool's edge, folding her arms over the edge, breathing hard.

"Oh yeah?" Merrell does a short backstroke towards the edge of the pool with Tisiphone and lifts her arms up onto it. Considering her curvy phisique, she looks to have some strong shoulders. Probably an avid swimmer. "I can appreciate that. On my first cruise we kinda did the same thing. We had the Nosewipers Anonymous Meetings. And yes, that was our name." She grins. "We'd all get together and drink in closets, away from NCO's and officers. Bullshit and carry on. Lies and Cries. It was a lot of fun. Those were actually some of the -best- years I had in the Navy. There's lots of honorifics down the road but I don't think I've ever been closer than with those men and women. We'd lie, cheat and steal to cover each others asses. This feel like something you all can do like that or just kinda impromptu meetings of the Oh-Ones?" The dusky woman just smiles at the younger woman, her own glory days riding prominently in her mind. Getting old sucks.

For a second, Tisiphone looks faintly…shifty? Guilty? She's a touch more guarded than she was, a moment before. "It was…kinda impromptu," she says carefully. As she continues to speak, the guardedness is smoothed away, replaced with a bit of a harried tone. "I'm- I'm sure it's nothing compared to what's been happening in Engineering or Command or anything, but- where I'm standing, it's like they're testing to see how ragged we can get before cracking. No different than flight school, except new ship, everyone's a stranger, trying to impress everyone else…Daphne and I finally just said 'screw it' and tagged every Ensign we could find. Just to be in the same place at the same time and finally get some names right."

Kulko calls out from the far end of the pool as he pauses in between laps, "And my frakking head still hurts," before continuing on.

Merrell grins, watching Tisiphone. "Hey, I don't blame you. We kept our group a secret, too. I've got no cause to tell anyone." A glance to Kulko and back. "Especially if there's boozin' involved. Just be wary about that with the ban in place. Don't want a bunch of Ensigns brigged. But I'm not going to go telling anyone." The Chief probably has better things to concern herself with. "I understand, though. I've been there. Just looking to band together and have some comraderie. Its good for teamwork, in my opinion. But I should get going. Its been good chattin with you, Ens. What was it? Tisiphone? I hope I got that write?" she asks meekly, offering her hand to the woman.

"Tisiphone. Tisiphone Apostolos," the Ensign confirms. The handshake's accepted, returned firmly and briskly. "Robin. I gotta say- well." Lopsided but genuine grin. "Folks I've really enjoyed talking with, they've all been where I least expect it. Glad you were swimming today. I'll see you 'round."

"Yeah, same. Always good to make a new friend. Even if you are wearing pins." Merrell slides a wink to the woman before she hops out of the pool and moves for a towel. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you around. Take care of yourself and Gods bless." There's a quick nod and she moves off for the locker rooms.

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