PHD #299: On the House
On the House
Summary: Colonial Pete's never closes, it just ebbs and flows. Cadmus talks life, death, and suicide runs with an officer and a bartender.
Date: 22 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cadmus Vandenberg Herak 
Colonial Pete's - MV Elpis
Colonial Pete's is the long-awaited successor to Kythera's Aquarian Pete's, though this version is more bar than strip club. Not that there aren't any strippers here, in fact there's even a raised platform complete with pole built just for them. The majority of the room, however, is dominated by mis-matched tables and chairs and a long bar. Lighting is haphazard, the harsh fluorescents that came with the place usually left off in favor of lower lighting from scavenged lamps and even a bit of neon rustled up from somewhere and hung behind the bar. There's a pretty decent sound-system playing a wide variety of music, and a couple of low-tech bar games, like a mini pyramid hoop. There are always a few burly-looking guys around to keep an eye on rowdy patrons, and especially to guard the doors to the back rooms, where the stills are kept along with (rumors say) a few private alcoves for those willing to pay extra for one-on-one time with the girls.
Post-Holocaust Day: #299

"Some, I guess. Or nothing, but just a different way of looking at it. Like… Everyone you know dying, that's a thing. But then everyone who's left gets up and starts it too, and you don't even stub your frakking toe? That's something else," Cadmus mutters. He stares off toward a patron - a bearded gentleman who's largely been minding his own business - and squints at him, as if attempting to figure out what his job might be. "It's like, half the time, Sir? I don't even know what the frak I'm doing anymore. People fight, I break it up. Something needs to get shot, I kill it. But the world's moving and I'm standing still." He chuckles a little. "And some of 'em, I figure they maybe had the right idea, doing themselves… but nah, because frak you, Cylons. I'ma make you work for it…"

Vandenberg and Cadmsu are standing near the bar dressed in their full combat loading - rifles and all. Normal patrol stop for a pair of Marines, though. Van sniffs once more at the glass in her hand and tests the taste. She licks her lips, pausing other movement. Yep, this is water. She tosses the glass back and drinks damned near the whole icy glass in one go. She eyes the glass for a hasty second before sliding it back onto the bar. "Know the feeling. Saw something like that on Aerilon. Except the stubbing toe part. I got shot up plenty. Never easy watching your people go. Lose a lot of close friends since the fighting started?" The Lietuenant kicks at a piece of gum stuck to the floor before looking up. "The easy way is just that, Lance. Its a damned selfish maneuver, too." Way to use gloves, Natalie. "Ain't a damned person left alive that shouldn't make the sons of bitches work for it with every last ounce of strength."

Herak is at the bar, tending it. The crowd is thinner than it was before Condition 2, but civilians can still drink, and there's still engine cleaner-like hooch to serve them. Presently he's wiping the surface of the bar down with a rag, talking idly with a scantily-dressed, redhaired waitress/stripper who's presently off-shift and enjoying a drink. Colonial Pete's never closes. It just ebbs and flows.

Cadmus sucks in a deep breath, shoulders rolling in an approximation of a shrug. One hand fiddling idly with the zip ties on his belt, he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. "Eh," he grunts, "Something like that. Sometimes I think they were friends. Sometimes I think they just happened to be there when something happened that I expected I'd remember. Maybe that's cold, but I think that's how it has to be." He pauses to toss his helmet down on the nearest table. "But it sucks for El, man. I didn't even know his ass was married until after she got smoked. And now people saying she's a cylon… I couldn't even bring myself to go to the service."

Vandenberg lifts a chin to the bartender. "Can I get another big-ass glass of ice water? Hotter than a whore's hole up in here." She peels the strap off her own helmet and lifts it off. Probably wouldn't be so damned hot if she wasn't wearing her own bodyweight in gear. "No reason you can't be close to people, Lance. Fear of losing them is a pretty poor excuse." She tosses her helmet onto thetable beside Cadmus'. "Knew and was close with almost every squad leader at my last combat posting. We lost people, but it means something. Always made me try harder to look out for my people. Some people call it a flaw." The Lieutenant shrugs and looks around. The comment about Elf's dead wife gets a surprised look wheeling back at him, though. "No shit? I figured you would have. Seems like you and him might have been close." She looks back to the rifle across her chest. "I confront him about the whole thing to see how he stood up to criticism about her potentially being a Cylon. He didn't like that one bit. She turns out to be one its gonna get interesting. Guy looked like he was going to disentangle my insides from my neck with a twitch of his shoulder."

"Not hotter than what you can get at Pete's, sweetheart," Herak replies to Vandenberg with a crooked grin. "But I'll get you fixed up." He's obviously listening to the conversation between the Marines. He makes no attempt to pretend otherwise as he fixes a water for Van. It's set on the bar for her to take at her leisure. "On the house." Do they ever attempt to 'voucher charge' for water? Maybe not, but he manages to make it sound like a favor.

"No offense, sir, but I'd give him a hand. Nothing permanent, of course, but… My abiding memories of Lauren were me shouting at her when she was in the brig, because I thought she was whining too much. Both El and I, we keep our own counsel. You're reading me wrong, here, el-tee. The reason I don't get close to people is because they keep getting shot, stabbed, burned, blown up. Hell, one sad sack even got his frakking head stepped on. Meanwhile, here I am, floating along in my magic liferaft.

"No offense, sir, but I'd give him a hand. Nothing permanent, of course, but… My abiding memories of Lauren were me shouting at her when she was in the brig, because I thought she was whining too much. Both El and I, we keep our own counsel," Cadmus notes. He raps his knuckles on the table, and points at Herak with a subtle smile and a thumbs-up. Even if both parties know water doesn't rate a coucher, playing along is free. "You're reading me wrong, here, el-tee. The reason I don't get close to people is because they keep getting shot, stabbed, burned, blown up. Hell, one sad sack even got his frakking head stepped on. Meanwhile, here I am, floating along in my magic liferaft. It's like the universe is ending, and all I have to do to live through it is keep walking."

Vandenberg lofts a brow. Orly?? "No shit? You got man-hoes for rent?" She takes the glass up with a bit of a smirk at the comment about it being on the house. "Uh huh. Much obliged, suh." Rubbing a little 'southern belle' on it, she lifts the drink to her lips for another swig. "I'm still trying to find my place with this group, Lance. My job isn't to make friends. I know Elf is a good guy but I needed to know what was going to happen if I planned an op, shot him off on it, and he see's his dead wife wandering around. Her apparently whining about everything is just a sidenote. I hear she wasn't much liked and apparently for some good reasons. I could give two shits to Thursday about who the hell she was or wasn't. My only concern is the man livin and breathin. I explained things later though and we had a laugh. Right over at that table." She points to a tall table in the center of the room. Apparently this is not a joke. "Think you need something more than to just keep walkin, Lance. Other people are gonna get hurt. Its war. Elf's a walking, talking electromagnet for incoming fire. It doesn't stop him from makin' friends."

"I'll bet ole Pete could set you up with something special. Not a lot of jobs on this boat, so you take what you can get. No service is too good for our men and women in uniform." Herak laughs. "Not that I ever went in for that kind of thing myself. I just pour drinks." He grunts as he shifts behind the bar, slight limp evident as he moves. "Walking's a start. You do it long enough, you'll eventually get somewhere. Whether you want to be there in the end, who the hell knows? Life's a journey, and usually a frakked up one."

Cadmus laughs, suddenly, and nods to Herak with a slowly growing smile. "Yeah, I know I'm going somewhere, but since i have no idea where I want to be going, I guess I can't be disappointed at the station at the end of the road, can I?" Popping a knuckle, he gestures toward Vandenberg: "She's still not hearing what I'm saying. Like I'm choosing not to meet people, or something… But that's okay, because it's just bullshit anyway. Whatever bullets are meant for me always end up in El's face anyhow, not that it does more than inconvenience the bastard."

Vandenberg still looks mildly amused by the idea of some male hooker time. "Tell me, bartender. Oh patron saint of ass deliverance.. Do you all take military booze vouchers for time with these employees or is it something more specific?" Is she serious? Or is this some kind of joke. Her voice is pretty even, though her attention is divided here and moves back to Cadmus on the other side of another sip of her water. "Dickhead," Vandenberg chuckles. "I'm talking about holding on to the people you meet rather than tossing them aside. You're the one talkin about not goin to the whiny wench's funeral-" She's about to say more when the radio crackles and Van turns away. "Copy Sabre Six, Dog Actual downbound. ETA two mikes." She lifts a chin to Cadmus. "Hold your station, Lance. I gotta go see what some sort of fight is about. Be good." Annnnd she's off pounding boots.

Herak laughs a coarse chuckle, nodding roughly to Cadmus. "That's the spirit, kid. My advice? Don't worry about it, because chances are you'll get frakked in the end by life's ugly girl whether you spend your time sweating it or not. Sounds like you got some tough-ass guys watching your back. That's a start. Always best to go to a fight with somebody bigger than you."

"That's some cold shit, man," Cadmus says, shaking his head. "Cold shit. But about as true as you can get. I'm not ashamed to say I like having the bullet magnet in front of me. Hell, it's kept my face pretty so far," he notes, finally stubbing out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray. "So tell me, since I've never been over here before. How's this boat holding up? People losing their shit yet?"

Herak shrugs his big shoulders. "Not yet. Frak, beats being cramped like cattle on in the hangar like we were before. No offense to your accomodations over there, but at least here the girls got a back room and the booze got a shelf. That's something. I think the novelty's keeping the idiots from going off. And I keep a chunk of wood behind the bar in case things get stupid. That keeps things down to a dull roar. What the hell is going on, anyway? Heard a rumor the battlestar blew up. Only not. Hell of a thing."

"Suicide run by one of the raiders. They lodged a dirty bomb packed with a couple tons of explosive in our armor, so when it went off, we ended up with radioactive dust and carbonized titanium all over some of the decks," Cadmus explains. He's slouching now - the relaxed lean of someone who spends too much time standing up, and can't actually sit down due to regulations. "It made a mess, but it's not the end of the world. Basically, I think my ass glows at night now, but that's about it."

"Frakkin' ay…" Herak breathes it out in a low whistle. On that note, he gets himself a drink. Something decidedly bottomshelf. Pete probably frowns on him nipping the good booze while working. But he has to down something, on that note. "You know something? I wonder, if they're so damn keen on killing us, why they don't just suicide run a whole mess of Raiders and toasters and whatever-else-the-frak they got right down our throats. Hell, they're machines. Ain't like it's going to cost them more than some scrap metal and some over-time back at the Toaster Factory."

Screwing up his face into something between a smile and a frown, Cadmus slowly lifts his hands into the air, as if asking the gods the same question. "Back when all this shit started, I asked the same thing," he nots, waggling a finger towards the unseen Cylons all around. "Know what everyone told me? 'They're machines!' they said, 'Who knows!' Bullshit, I said, they don't *wanna* kill us. At least not all of 'em. Some might just wanna frak with us a bit. And guess what, that seems to be exactly what's up. Like… they're arguing with each other. They don't know what they want. And so we keep slipping away."

"Don't want to kill us?" Herak grunts. Dubious. He downs more liquor, leaning heavily on the bar. Not like he's got much more to do but lean and jaw at the moment, with Condition 2 cutting into his military clientele. "Well…frak, maybe not. Gotta ask, though. What the frak do they want? I was on Leonis when the bombs fell. Spent three gods-shit-awful months in Kythera with toasters and those skinjob clone freaks running the place. Grabbing people that'd been lucky enough to survive. Dragging them off to be…frak me, I don't know. Dissected or whatever the hells they did to them. If that's my choice - between dying and that brand of frakked-with - I'll take dead."

Cadmus mimes lifting a glass to Herak, expression suddenly turning grave as his tone is lowered. "Amen to that, brother. Amen to that," he mutters. "I can't say I have ANY idea what they want, but if I did, I'd tell you. All I know is that sometimes they wanna kill us, and sometimes they wanna chase us, and all the time, I'm gonna shoot them when I see them. I don't owe them shit, except a world of hurt."

"I'll drink to that," Herak says. And he does. Gulping his moonshine with feeling. "And wish you luck in ganking the sons of bitches. You sure you don't want a drink? Real one, not water like your boss was having. Hell, come back when our whole situation's a little less frakked up than it is now, and I'll see if I can get you something better than what we invent in the back. Not to disparage Aquarian Pete's fine 2041 vintage or anything, but I like to collect as much of what topshelf booze survived as I can."

"I'll take a raincheck on the drink, since I'm on duty, but if I see any when I'm planetside, I'll bring it back for you. I don't drink much, and I figure it's better off in the hands of someone who'll appreciate it than collecting dust and rads in some rubble, yeah?" Cadmus says. "Last good bottle I had was some fine-ass brandy, and I gave it to a friend. Bitch drank it all 'fore she killed herself. What a waste." It is unclear if he means the booze, his friend, or both.

"Frakked up, that," Herak says simply. Hard to tell if he means the girl or the booze. Not much more he can say to either. Wordlessly, he bends down with a grunt and mixes something up under the bar. There's the clink of glass and slosh of booze and eventually he plops a glass down in front of Cadmus. Brandy. Probably not particularly fine, but he doesn't demand a voucher for it, and 'free' often trumps 'fine'. It's not precisely offered to the MP, but it's left there to take if he's of a mind to. "Sorry." That's all he says, before limping off to clean the other end of the bar. Leaving Cadmus to do with the drink what he will.

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