PHD #011: Of Petrels and Cows
Of Petrels and Cows
Summary: Sitka and Rojas bond, in their own way. Old men bonding is weird bonding.
Date: 09 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Sitka Rojas 
Viper Squadron Naval Deck - Battlestar Cerberus Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close

Viper Squadron pilots call this home. Berthings line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each stack of berths and a round table sits in the center with chairs around it. A hatch at the end leads to the communal Head that the Raptor pilots share.

All's quiet in viper land. Save for the occasional, muted sound of metal contacting metal. Sitka's slouched at the edge of his bunk, in fatigues and a tee shirt with N A V Y stamped across the back, apparently cleaning out his sidearm. He's got several pieces of the assembly arranged on the blanket beside him, and is going about his task with a familiarity that may seem at odds with his status as a part-timer. Well, ex part-timer.

The hatch creaks open. Sure, it's brand new and part of the shiny, shiny ship but it's more atmopsheric if it creaks. There's a slim chance it's just Rojas making the noise with his mouth as he swings it open, but you wouldn't believe how much more effective it is than going 'Anybody naked?' before walking in. He's not, despite the recent shower. There's the T-shirt of his off-duties, sans-tanktop and a pair of sweatpants accompanying a small towel around his shoulders, shower-bag held in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Where Sitka's got familiarity with military life, Nathan has… a fleeting squaintance. It shows as he makes his way to his own bunk, face suprisingly perky but body nervous.

It takes the Captain a full fifteen seconds, post arrival of shower-fresh, coffee-toting Ensign, to look up. One couldn't precisely call him vapid or lacking in situational awareness, but he does on occasion tend to develop a slight tunnel vision for what he's doing. This might be one of those times. "Hey, Nathan," he murmurs, blue eyes flickering over the man briefly before vanishing under his lashes again. The dismantling continues as he disengages the slide from the barrel, muzzle pointed at the floor despite the weapon being empty of bullets. "How're things going with the Chief?"

Nathan doesn't so much 'sit' in his bunk as he does 'Sag', as if the artificial gravity dial got turned up a few settings too high and his spine is paying the price. It explains the slump in his shoulders and the fact it almost looks like it hurts for him to turn his head, peering out with dull brown eyes before the shower bag is flung somewhere into the corner with a metallic thud. "Think I gave a good showing, and we've got a path to follow towards what the crap happened." The sigh in his voice and the lack of any Aerilon twang betrays any confidence in his voice, as well as the oncoming 'But.' "But it's a computer issue, if anything. Not my forte. Installing and maintenance? Sure. Going through lines of code? No."

Must be an old geezer thing. Ibrahim's exhibiting much the same posture-ruining slouch across the room in his own bunk while he cleans out the Five-seveN. His eyes come up again for a moment when he hears that sigh, and the other officer's perused in silence while he finishes describing the situation. "A computer issue? But still no idea what caused it, huh? Or whether.." A soft grunt as he slaps the magazine back in. "..whether it'll crop up again." He pauses to inspect his handiwork thus far. "I'm sure the Chief's already considered it, but what about just ripping out all the additional programming packed into the mark sevens? As a stopgap measure, at least."

"They're thinking someone cracked open the GNP and shoved… something in there. As to what? No idea." It seems Nathan's initial perkiness extended to only looking awake. His entire body language is someone not geared up for what's going on. Although, who the hell is? While Sitka gives a little check on his Five-Seven handiwork, the Ensign reaches into the back of his bunk, disappearing for a few seconds from the waist up only to return with a stuffed… cow? Cartoon style, like an overly-happy child's toy. Without realising, Sitka's stance is mimicked; Toy turning over in his hands instead of a gun. "And it's an idea, but they need at least a couple of them with the systems intact to test. Plus-" He waggles the toy, as if to prove a point even he doesn't know. "Look at these… kids. I don't doubt the last time they touched a Viper without guidance and stabilisation systems was back in flight school on the Twos or trainers. Not to mention Sevens without any computer assistance handle like ass and want to fly themselves into the nearest rock." Sitka gets a quick glance. So does the gun. "I mean, you might be able to pull it off, but some of these kids would just be asking for suicide." The cow gets squeezed. It moos. "I don't think I could do it, and I know what to expect." Ah, modesty. True, but still.

The Captain's relatively quiet while Rojas speaks. Which, really, is pretty much how things have operated for the past few years. Nathan talks, Ibrahim listens. Especially where things out of his purview and realm of knowledge are concerned. There's an occasional click, click to mark the quieter pauses, a slight scent of smoke filling the space between them as the stub of a cigarette he'd been holding all this time is finally brought to his lips for a pull. And a faint, almost self-deprecating smile at one of the last things the man says. "They could be trained. Not that I'm saying it'd be easy, prudent or even advisable. I guess it'll be the Chief and the CAG's call, anyway." His eyes flick up to the stuffed cow when it moos, and remain there. "Either way, your help's been invaluable. Nobody I'd trust more with the guts of a two. What the frak is that?" The query's injected seamlessly into the conversation.

"Cow." Nathan waggles the toy in reply, a small smirk alighting on the corner of his mouth like some kind of cliche'd similie for a smile. He puts more effort in the smirk than the similie, that's for sure. "Well, mascot. Used to keep them around the repair yard perched in all kinds of places. They kept me company on late-night jobs when everyone else was at home." He tilts his head a little, in understanding that that may have been a really weird thing to admit. It's a good contrast, though. Talkative nutjob with a cow, Sitka with a gun. Years of existence summarised. The cow moos again. "I usually bring some when duty calls, reminds me of the workshop. Bunk's full of 'em. Goddess stole my lizard." It's so matter-of-fact it's almost unbelieveable.

What's even more telling of the times, is that Ibrahim barely even reacts to all of this. The cow. The mooing. The keeping company on late-night.. "Too much information, Nathan," he murmurs, the scarred side of his mouth pulling up in some facsimile of a smile that also comes off more like a smirk. He finishes cleaning off the firing pin, screws it into place, and briefly palms the gun in both hands so he can check its sight. No, he isn't pointing it at Rojas. Or his cow. "You know she doesn't like being called Goddess."

"Of course I do." Rojas actually snorts a little, mixing it with an off-eye roll. "Why d'you think I said it? Girl stole my lizard." He shrugs his shoulders, raising his hands (and cow) at the same time. "Well, I threw it at her. I'm pretty sure it's still in her bunk because I never got it back." For a guy his age, he sure can pout like a 6-year-old when need be. When Sitka does something particularly important to the sidearm, Nathan squeezes the cow. What? He's making the Ensign feel like he should be doing something productive. There's not much to be done so… cow.

Sitka shakes his head slightly, and barely manages to smother the twinge of amusement that threatens to slide across his lips. "You know, here's a revolutionary thought, Nathan.." Smack, as he doublechecks the empty clip and smacks it back in before pushing slowly to his feet. After thirty seven years, his body probably doesn't want to move like it once did. "You could ask for it back. She might even oblige." He slants his eyes toward the other pilot, giving him the sort of remonstrative look that his three children have no doubt been the recipient of, on more than one occasion. And then he turns for his locker. "By the way, she should be moving back into regular rotation in the next day or two. So be gentle, all right?"

"She was in her underwear and pouty from the whole 'everyone's dead' thing." Remember on his various reports how it stated Nathan had a very simple view of things not involving repairs or flying? Yeah, there's your proof. The entire cylon holocaust summed up as 'the whole everyone's dead thing.' He's also got a little embarrased smirk on his face, like he knows he's far too old for that crap but couldn't help it. "For some reason I seemed entirely unable to risk making her sad."

Hey, everyone's got different coping strategies. Maybe Nathan's just involves reverting a few decades, intellectually. There's no response from the Captain when the 'everyone's dead thing' is mentioned. Though there might be a sliver of tension in his shoulders, easy to spot in the bristling of muscle beneath his tee shirt while he spins the combination on his lock. "She's a good kid. Resilient. She'll pull through." That, or he's just trying to convince himself of that fact.

Nathan holds the cow. Both he and the button-on eyeballs of the squishy bovine watch the Captain's shoulders twitch at the words, and both with Nathan hadn't said anything almost instantly. "Keep telling myself the same thing, Ibrahim. That and I'll feel better once I actually get to watch something i've shot explode with my eyes and not just on a damned computer simulation." He was so close on warday. Damn callback order. He averts his eyes to the cow quite quickly after, but the toy keeps staring at the captain. It's a rude little bastard.

Sitka starts to speak, stops, then curses quietly as he gets the combination wrong. It's a rough little epithet, almost certainly uttered in Sagittarian, which makes everything sound dirtier than it already is. Finally, a snap and a creak of the door opening. "You won't." The weapon's slid onto his top shelf, and Nathan might catch a glimpse of one of the photographs taped to the inside of the door: the Petrels streaking across a Picon sunset in perfect formation. "You won't feel better. You'll feel worse. You'll hate them more. They bleed, did you know that?" He pauses a moment, head turning so he can briefly lock eyes with the other man.

"I do not do that with sheep. Not all Aerilonians- Oh, you were talking to the locker." Nathan's response to hearing Sagittarian is as reflex as ever, only stopping when he notices what it is the Captain is having a go at. Of course, this means he has to look up from the cow, so the locked eyes are easy to find. His smirk from his reflex comment is gone in an instant. It's like his father is telling him that firecrackers aren't as fun if you put them in your mouth. "You mean raiders? Or whatever it is we encountered out there? Yeah." He breaks the lock the second the sentence is gone. "I nailed the one in the scissors following you. It fractured and gooped a trail. I thought I was just seeing shit out of stress."

He was definitely talking the locker. Not that Nathan himself likely hasn't been the recipient of a thing or two from the normally staid Captain. He has to keep his kids in line somehow, after all. There is, however, a typical lack of response to the first thing said. He moves right on without missing a beat, "Raiders. Flying wings. Whatever the hell those.. things.. were." Not one to maintain eye contact for long, himself, his gaze lingers a few seconds on Rojas' profile before drifting away as well. "If you were, then so was I. You know.." He bangs the locker door shut. "..I might just ask the CAG if she minds me going over a gun camera or three. I don't know if anyone else has had time, what with everything going on." Ibrahim's never been much of a workaholic. This is new.

Workaholic? Nathan sees at as more of an addict trying to make sure if that giant pink bunny telling him to burn his house down was real or not. He looks back at the Captain theough a corner of an eye, rolling the cow over and over in his hands with a turn of fingers. "Think I'd join you on that, if you didn't mind. It's not exactly as if I mentioned it to anybody, and I'm not a fan of thinking they did something to our brains as well as the systems." One hand keeps a hold of the cow by it's head, for it deserves nothing better, while the other moves up to scratch at the back of his head. It keeps going, too. If there's an itch there, he can't find it. "What are Petrels the natural enemy of, anyway? I think we need to call them whatever that is."

Sitka heads over to the table, where he drops a stack of paperwork temporarily while slinging on his olive drab fatigue jacket. He looks up at Nathan's query. "Uh." Pause. "Frak if I know. Grubs?" Once he's got his left arm shoved through, he cocks his hand into a gun and points it at the other pilot. "Plankton." And then the right arm gets shoved into the other sleeve, and the jacket shrugged properly onto his shoulders. "Sure, I'll talk to the CAG, and I'll let you know once she gives the go-ahead. An extra pair of eyes wouldn't hurt." The Ensign gets a small smile as he reaches for his paperwork. "Anyway, I've got some reports to file. Take it easy, all right?"

"Plankton suggests there'd be a lot of them, but we swallow them up with glee and gusto." Nathan. Aerilon. Seas. It's like a minor knowledge base! His frown suggests the idea is a mix between awesome and horrific. "I don't think they're wiggly enough to be grubs." He's almost rubbing his chin. He looks about to when Sitka mentions talking to the CAG and paperwork abound. It's a small smile given and returned, with the cow giving an unintended moo as he turns it over once more in his hands. "Yessir. I'll probably head to the library, see what I can find out about Petrels. Y'think one of us would have done this sooner, huh?"

"You'd think," Ibrahim deadpans, shotting Rojas a faintly amused glance on his way to the hatch. He hesitates with his hand on the wheel, then comments over his shoulder without actually making eye contact, "I'm, uh. I'm glad you came along with us, Nathan." It's awkward, and it's possibly not entirely what he'd meant to say. But there it is. The hatch is dragged open, and he ticks two fingers off his forehead before heading out.

Nathan just snickers. It's really the only rational response to Sitka suddenly trying to be emotive in a way that doesn't involve swearing or cusing your ancestors and the boat they rode in on. He returns the two-finger tick with a quiet smile and "You're getting there, buddy. Getting there." The cow moos goodbye as well. It just doesn't know when to butt-out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License