PHD #061: Pictures at an Exhibition
Pictures at an Exhibition
Summary: A random meeting in the Library turns to a lively conversation.
Date: 29 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: n/a
Villon Rime Penelope Aurola Kai Oberlin Marcion 
Ship's Library
Racks of books extend deep into this room, nearly darkening the overhead lights towards the back. The shelves are neatly labeled to each category with nearly everything represented here. Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance, and everything down to comic books has been loaded up onto the shelves. A smaller research area at the back has a large table for maps to be opened-up. Nearer the door is a small library of movies that covers some of the most recent blockbusters and flows through some of the more campy movies from about two decades before. Next to the door, a Petty Officer can usually be found at a desk to help someone checkout their selections.
Post-Holocaust Day: #61

With much of the Cerberus formed up into dinnertime queues, the ship's library has gathered an extra calmness about it. Lieutenant Rime stalks the aisles in her duty blues, the top two buttons undone to show her as off-duty despite the uniform. An oddity, for this ship — instead of the Battlestar Cerberus patch, her jacket bears the patch of the Missile Frigate Praetorian.

The library is calm, yes, but certainly not empty. Sitting at the starboard corner of the room — a place calculated to limit her exposure to interested eyes — is little Emilie Villon, ensconced in an olive blanket that hides nearly all of her wispy frame from view. Her wide eyes are glued to the pages of a book that looks more suitable for a coffee table than a battlestar's library, full as it is of eight-and-a-half-by-eleven-inch landscapes on glossy, high-quality paper. Only the faint crinkling of a silver-wrapped protein bar announces her presence to the curious, its wrapper glinting dimly beneath the harsh incandescence of a distant light. Nom nom nom.

Starboard corner. Treatises on military tactics and weighty tomes on maneuvering doctrine are hidden back there. Poor choice for a hiding spot for little Emilie, this once, as Rime comes around the corner at a purposeful stride and finds herself looking at someone where she was certain no one would be. She jumps slightly, takes a step back, then offers a quick, apologetic laugh as she steadies herself. "Oh! Pardon, I'm sorry, there's never anyone back here."

Penelope is also already present — I swear — tall frame made taller by the stepstool that allows her to reach the tippy-topmost shelf of the stack in which she's lurking. All that might alert one to her presence is the muttering. And the swearing. Which is soft at first, but finally culminates in an audible, exasperated, "Sons-of-motherfrakking, wall-eyed, clap-snatch whores: what is it about the Library of Caprica Classification System you people do not understand?" Allllll-RIGHTY then. Someone can't find their book?

Bwuh? Bright eyes blink altogether too quickly as the girl opens her mouth to reply — an unfortunate decision given the fact that she's in the middle of a particularly large nibble. A trail of crumbs clings tightly to the fabric of her blanket as that protein bar tumbles ever so slowly to the ground until it hits the deck with an audible thump. Man, that thing is denser than it looks. And then, in a shy soprano so soft it might as well be a whimper: "I — I know." Her voice is more delicate than she is. "It's — you know, uh." Eyes flash closed, pained, at the nearby muttering. "Why I — I — you know, why I'm here."

"I wish I'd thought of bringing a blanket to the library with me," says Rime as she looks at Emilie. "That's a great idea." It's a quick, keen look, somewhere in the middle grounds between 'curiousity' and 'scrutiny'. Her faint smile never wavers, though. "I didn't mean to interrupt your supper. I'll just be a moment. What are you reading?" Unluckily for Penelope, but luckily for Rime, the Library of Caprica Classification System has held true when it comes to military tactics. Whether that's because of the weighty matter of the books, or because the books are so dry and tedious nobody but Command checks them out is another matter entirely. She tilts her head, scanning the spines of a swath of navy-colored books.

"If you ladies were a book about Demeter classified and shelved by an utter moron, where would you be?" Penelope asks generally, stalking around the stacks nearby and into view. She cups her chin in her hand and frowns at the shelves a moment, then turns abruptly to query, "S for 'Agriculture'? Don't bother positing that it might be anywhere under B - Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion. Because that would make sense."

Whoa. Loud. "Dunno," Emilie mumbles, resting her head on her raised knees so she doesn't have to look the irate newcomer in the eye. At the same time, she's pushing her book across the deck, fingers lifting its leading edge to make sure its laminated cover doesn't deform should it get caught in a rivet. The left is entirely black save for the photographer's name and location, written in tiny white font in the bottom right corner; the right, however, displays a lonesome shore at dusk. A seemingly endless driftwood fences stretches out into the distance, brown-black stakes like brutal slashes across a pure and magnificent sea. "Home," she murmurs. "V — V — " There's an audible gulp. You get the idea.

<OOC> Villon says, " for the visual learners"

Rime straightens up from her tome-scanning and looks over at Penelope as she comes around the aisle and into view. She grins at the question, grins wider at the further parameters, as if very familiar with such wild goose chases. "Demeter? I'd try remedial math OR introductions to poetry. Just don't tell me if I turn out to be right, okay?" Such things would hurt the head too much to contemplate. She turns back to Emilie at the sound of her book being pushed along, glancing with undisguised curiousity at the pages. "That looks like-" The grin falters, and slim brows draw together as she looks from the photograph to Emelie, then back again. "You're Virgan?"

Emilie's shrinking and stammering eventually draw Penelope down from her high dudgeon, netting her full attention. The engineer tilts her head, a frown creasing her hazel eyes as she leans one shoulder on the shelves, folding her arms. The little Virgonian gets a long moment of compassionate consideration. "You alright there, luv?" she asks, finally settling into a library-appropriate tone and volume. "No one's going to bite you." She flashes a wry smile. "Unless you're the person committing crimes against the Library of Caprica?" She looks at Rime suddenly, startled by the suggestions. "Remedial math…" she murmurs, suddenly beaming. "Sodding brilliant!" Off she goes to the QA section, without waiting for poor Emilie to respond. Perhaps she feels the girl is best left uncrowded and in the hands of her fellow Frenchie — er, Virgan.

Villon's head bobs up and down once, then twice; her small frame shifts uncomfortably beneath the comforting olive blanket as her eyes follow Penelope's departing backside. No, not that way — more like a rabbit nervously following the progression of a hawk as it soars through the forested sky. "Mmhmm," is her (nearly inaudible) reply. "Meridien." Just the faintest hint of her native accent slips into that quiet voice, lending it a remarkable musicality that vanishes almost before it appears. "B — b — by the sea, but not — you know, not here, just — there." The town should be more than passingly familiar to anybody from the area: a small fishing village whose placement in the most recent edition of Solitary Globe: Eastern Virgon rapidly transformed it into one of the Colony's more popular 'off-the-beaten-path' destinations — taking it off aforementioned path in the process.

Aurola slips into the library, proceeded by the distinctive sound of her walk. Four steps and a pause, before four more steps are taken. Under one arm is a thick folder, and the other clutches a rather large leather-bound book. She nods her head to the attendant of the library, as she makes her way towards the back, rather ntent on finding her own little table that is out of the way for whatever it is she has planned.

We all know what happens when the Virgan tourist industry turns its locust-swarm of a gaze upon a quiet, peaceful town, too. Rime casts a glance back to the navy-colored tomes she was eyeing a moment before — as if someone's that likely to take the one she needs — before crossing a few steps closer to Emilie. A bit like a waitress might do, she crouches down and folds her arms across her knees. "No kidding? Saint-Gervais, me. Up the Camargue from you, right at the edge of the Provincial Park. Tourist town. You know." There's a fond scornfulness in the single laugh that accompanies that last sentence.

"My papa — that's how he worked." Emilie reaches for the book and turns the page, leaning forward in a motion that brings her just a bit closer to the blonde: crouching Rime, whose company is far less unsettling than that of hidden Penelope. "For guests. In our houseboat — hostelboat? You know." Small thumbs twiddle with the edge of her blanket as she regards the next in the series of photographs: row upon row of beached fishing boats gleaming red and orange and a magnificent shade of yellow beneath the sparkling summer sun. A little smile lights her otherwise solemn expression as her index finger lingers on a solitary crab that clings to one weatherbeaten hull, its desperate claws clutching madly at the netting in which it's caught.

Aurola manages to find a table that she likes, conviently located next to the others in the library, perhaps she does enjoy a bit of bustle while she works. The folder that she takes out from under her arm is marked rather prominently as belonging to Essenarous Industries, and Aurola calmly grabs the notes returning to he place she last left off as she spreads things out on the table almost obsessively, making sure that each stack is perfectly squared and organized so that she knows exactly where and what everything is.

Eventually, Penelope makes her way back to the starboard corner — taking care to be a bit less… forceful in her entrance, this time. She offers Villon a reassuring smile, then holds up a volume for Rime to see. The cover reads, Demter and Chthonia: Divine Sorority. "Not in Mathematics," she notes, looking droll. "But would you believe, 'College Life'?" Her lips purse, eyes shifting to Emilie, to whom she offers a small, abashed smile. "Sorry about the loud before, luv. I'm used to being down here when folks are hitting the booze and discussing fela—" She stops, thinking better of finishing that thought, no matter how true it might be. "Right. Anyways. Terrible library manners on this boat. Doesn't excuse me from joining the rabble, though."

Rime's a bordering-on-tall one. It's hard to be friendly when all the other person picks up on is the looming. Crouching is an easy way to temporarily remove the issue from the equation. "Fishing, snorkeling, the works? It must have been interesting growing up on the sea. My papa, he worked for one of the hotels. Fixing the gondolas, everything else the tourists would break." There's the faint suggestion in her voice that 'everything else' was, in fact, everything. She starts to straighten up as Penelope returns, and offers her another grin. "College Life? How the- no, wait, I didn't want to know."

"It's okay." Penelope catches the very end of that smile — as warm and fleeting as Cyrannus' last rays, though Emilie has been sufficiently reassured to giggle at her words. "I — I was eating. Shhhh." It's spoken in a conspiratorial whisper, one that doesn't take much effort to mute. And then, smiling again at Rime's precise deployment of emphasis, she moves to pluck the protein bar from the deck, brushing it off before she starts nibbling once more. Yet still her hand lingers on the photograph, as if by touching it she can somehow transport herself to that distant ocean — as if by closing her eyes she can pretend the battlestar's recycled air is tangy and sweet with brine.

Aurola finishes spreading out her papers as she starts to go over them, teh leather bound book she brought open and filled with her cramped writing as she leans forward to make another note to it, eyes flicking back and forth between papers and book as she quietly goes about her studying.

"And, to be honest, neither do I…" Penelope sighs, hugging the book to her chest as though comforting it, having rescued it from being utterly lost. There, there little tome. "I just want to discover which of our librarians is either possessed of a terrible sense of humor or congenitally insane." Chances of that, though, being slim… she shrugs and leans back against the shelves. Ah, smiles and laughter, however small and soft, are a good sign — Penelope smiles warmly back at Villon. "Good. I'm really not dangerous to anyone but possibly the library staff, and definitely whoever keeps clogging up the coffee machines with teabags. If we're all very lucky, that will wind up being the same person and once I space them, I'll be entirely harmless."

The ghostly-pale Lieutenant's face heralds the rest of him, as Oberlin thumps the latch to the Library's hatch open and swings inside with an ominous-looking stack of paperwork. His duty blues jacket hangs open, about his shoulders and he plods on inside, rubbing at his eyes with the back of his hand, mouth dangling open in a silent yawn.

Sure, people filter in and out of the library at all hours of space, and sure Kai's just another face in the crowd. Yet, for once she's not holding plans, drawings, equations, or other mad scientist props that she's usually found carting. Nope. Bare-handed she is, bee-lining with seemingly aimless drifting. First in the fiction section, next the science-fiction and fantasy section, features absolutely still… unlike the rest of her slowly meandering self.

"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry. I didn't even introduce myself." Rime blurts this after watching Emilie and Penelope talk for some while, as if she'd been working through some mental checklist in her silence. "You guys all know eachother already, I'm sure, but…" She brings her hand up and wiggles the fingers in a silly sort of wave, her smile suddenly rebrightened and wide. "Diana Rime, fresh off the Praetorian, blah-blah-blah." Standing on ceremony so doesn't work with trying to befriend people. "Call me Mel, though."

"I — I don't, actually, you know. Know. Her." Slowly, surely, clarification comes — but before she gives her name, there goes Penelope with those oh-so-casual references to homicide. Villon swallows hard, leaning back and dragging the book with her. "I'm — well, so I'm really Emilie — " With the emphasis on the last syllable. "But — Snag's okay, too." The young pilot huddles into her blanket, seeking out what warmth she can find in its thick wooden curls. Meticulous fingers smooth out her snack's torn foil, pressing it together and folding it lengthwise before tucking it into a pocket. Then, it's onto yet another page — of a magnificent toucan that stares mischievously at the viewer from its nest. Polly wants a cracker.

"Belated welcome abord, Mel. I'm Penny, one of the snipes hereabouts…" Penelope tilts her head, shifting attention from Rime to Emilie. "An' I don't think we've been properly introduced, but…" Then the introduction follows. "Right. Emilie… Villon, isn't it? Air wing." She nods. In M&E, you change a lot of lightbulbs, hang out in a lot of ductwork — you hear things. "Very nice to meet you both." She glances aside, more working a kink out of her neck than anything, and catches sight of Oberlin. By way of greeting, she makes a horrible, cross-eyed face at him.

That gaping yawn-look ends and Oberlin's mouth starts to close, and before he can say anything else, that silent gesture morphs into something else. A large, somewhat disgusting-sounding rumbling cough. He brings the back of his hand to cover his mouth belatedly as the *HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK* noise subsides. Penelope looked like she was going to get more of a greeting than this, but he just ends up looking a little taken aback. "Sorry." He mutters, squinting at the others. Villon, Rime, in turn. "Oh." He keeps on walking in that direction.

Aurola murmers to herself as she stands up a little in her chair, fingers going into her pocket to fish out reading glasses before she leans forward to look again. "Hmm," she murmers as she turns back to her book and makes a couple notes in it.

Her head sticks out from one of the many rows, introductions caught, names placed to faces, a few even recognized. Oberlin? Graceful, but that's to be expected out of any man. A snuff of amusement from Kai, and it's back to browsing she goes, maintaining radio silence.

Penelope swallows what looks like a bubble of laughter at Cal's taken-aback look, watching him from the corner of her eye as he passes closer… closer — and BAM! Quick like the ninja, a long arm snakes out and the associated hand grabs his sleeve, reeling him in. "You know the little girls that kicked dirt on you in the playground were the ones who liked you, aye?" she checks, grinning. "Have you met Mel and Emilie, mate?"

"Just Snag." The diminutive ensign is almost swallowed by that blanket as she finally settles down, her head dipping towards her knees in her attempt to make herself as inconspicuous as possible. Besides, Villon — 'vee-YONE,' when broken down into overly simplified syllables — sounds far more pretentious than she'd like. Small wonder, then, that she makes herself even smaller when she notices the fact that Penelope has just picked said surname out of thin air. "H — how — you — I mean, were you — watching?" There's a long, dubious pause as she looks Oberlin's way. "Me," she finishes, that fluted soprano fading away quicker than a siren into water.

The longer Rime watches the conversation flowing around her, the more she starts looking faintly guilty about it all. Finally, she speaks up again. "I better grab my book and scram. It's been really great to meet you guys, though. Knowing my luck, your XO will barrel around the corner wondering why I haven't given him my revised papers yet, and find me here lollygagging…" A terrifying thought. After drawing the tome on maneuvering doctrines off the shelf, she adds, "I usually grab chow about 1830, maybe I'll catch you in the galley?"

A quiet sigh. And a shrug. One book - fantasy, no less - is pulled into Kai's hands, brows drawing downwards minutely as the cover is studied all on it's own. Not even cracked, that book. Might think a book was foreign to her hands. The commotion about? Noticed, but not engaged in. Listened to, drawing half a smile, but leaving be.

Penelope nods solemnly at Emilie's question. "My spies are everywhere." Then, breaking into a grin, "Dunno how I picked up your name, luv. Just did. Heard it somewhere, as is wont to happen. We're eerily onmipresent, us mech-and-repair folks." She grins even more broadly at Rime's anxiety over being caught out by the XO. "Major Tillman? Pshaw." She shakes her head. "I'll throw a few jellybeans, he'll be completely distracted and you can make your escape. Half a stale sandwich also works, in a pinch." This recommendation for escaping the Big T is delivered with great affection and respect, however. "Good on you, Mel. Nice to meet you — hope to see you about."

"Oh. Oh — okay, I guess." This, to Penelope; and for Rime? "Wait?" Villon reaches up in an attempt to grab Rime's attention, but all she manages to do is brush her hand briefly against the woman's leg. "The book." Tentatively, the pilot folds it closed and pushes it back in Mel's direction. "You — you can have it, if you like." A pained look flashes across her face as she scrunches it up — lost in thought, perhaps. "I — I — I mean, I can't — I don't need help remembering. You know." The fact that the officer might have no real idea just what she's nattering on about doesn't occur to her. "Things," she adds, less helpfully than she intends to be.

In the face of his, well, accostment, Oberlin takes the whole thing in stride. He opens his mouth again attempts to form a coherent response, and lets out another hack, smelling like coffee, cigarette smoke, or some horrifying combination of the two. "Hmm. Huh. You know, it's been a long night." He explains, somewhat dismissively, as if this should be an answer to damn near everything and anything. Nice to see you again, though." He says affably enough towards Penelope before taking in Villon and Rime. His eyes widen somewhat, which doesn't quite belie their bleariness. "Oh. /You!/" He says as he studies Rime. Apparently he's been warned. To Villon - "Hullo." Unfamiliar, but affable enough.

Aurola continues her studying of her scientists' notes, gathering up the ones she's already looked over and sliding them back into the folder, letting out a heavy sigh. After two nights, she's only halfway through.

Penny wrinkles up her nose at Oberlin — this face a bit more sincerely digustipated than the goofy one she greeted him with — and pats herself down. Instead of coming up with cigarettes (as one feeling themselves up in such a way normally might), she produces a small tin of Altair's Flabbergastingly Powerful Mints. She pops open the lid and presents them to Oberlin, doing nothing more than raise her eyebrows to convey the strong suggestion he take one.

Again, Mel crouches, and looks from Emilie to the book, then back again. "Thanks. I'd love to. I haven't had a chance to look at anything in this library like this. I was starting to wonder if there was anything in here that wasn't one of these." She raps her knuckles against the military tome, then reaches out to collect the glossy Virgan photobook, scooping it up with the other under her arm. "Hey, you know, I get about fourty-five minutes of time ever night between shift and rack to veg out. Come swing by the Rec Room sometime. We'll talk while I paint my minions." A sunshiny smile is beamed down on Emilie before she stands — straight into Oberlin's accusing pronoun. "Me?" A quick glance to his pins before she continues. "Did the XO send you? He did, didn't he?" She's busted. She just knows it. She juggles the books and starts doing the top button of her jacket up.

Emilie wrinkles her nose as she wriggles free of the blanket, flicking little crumbs of granola off of its finely-woven wool. Her bare arms look pale and smooth beneath that bland ceiling light, their muscles — just slightly defined — flexing ever so gently as she moves. "I like to paint," she offers faintly, slim fingers toying with the silver ring on her pinky. Round and round the knuckle it goes, spinning in time to her thoughts. "If you want, I can — I can help?" Another dim smile interrupts her words, this one for Penelope and that haggard man whose breath causes her to scrunch up her nose in distaste. Yeah, is the implication. Good call. But aloud? "Saint-Gervais — between pages seventy-five and eighty-three. The river gets its own section. Twenty-six." More rapid-fire blinking. "In c — c — case you were interested," Emilie concludes with significantly less assurance than before.

Well. It's a book. A weird looking one too, one that still has Kai confused, but it doesn't mean she won't step to, bringing her new found… um… 'treasure' to the counter for check out. A gander at the patrons around, and she mumbles something to the Holy Book Overseer.

"Oh. I get it." Oberlin's voice is undeniably dry. "Excuuuuuse me." He says, reaching for the mint with a swift swipe of his other hand. There's a bloodless smirk shot towards the Engineer as he pops it in his mouth now, carefully doing it in such a way to avoid breathing too much on anyone. "Thanks. I /think/." Villon's visible disgust only earns a bit of a widened smirk at that.

Before too long he leans again to glance over at Rime with a slight craning of his head. "No, ships aen't that big. I remember hearing that some of those tricks you guys pulled out of your collective ass had your name attached to them. Really. The XO doesn't have me on a leash." He makes a distasteful face, scrunching up his nose. Much like he smelled his own bad breath.

Good. Yep. Escaping from the library, book in hand, and steps swift. Get. Kai. Gone.

Aurola looks up as her ears catch something that cause her to pause. "You people use leashes? How quaint," she says, before her eyes go back to her notes, a page flipped as she fills it with her writing before she starts again.

Penelope grins her approval as Cal takes the mint-hint, nodding. "I'm here for you, ducky," she assures him. Hey, subtlty is overrated. She pops a mint, herself, then offers the tin to the pilot. "You smell fine, as far as I can tell, luv," she assures Villon, "I'm just offering — they're 'Flabbergastingly Powerful' but also tasty."

"The tricks that nearly schooled the Fleet's newest and shiniest war-machine?" Rime arches one arched brow even higher at Oberlin. Amused, and a little challenging. "Yeah. That was me." Maybe a little smug. Maybe. "I'll catch you in CIC, okay? He might not have you on a leash, but I'm new enough around here that I'd better stay on the bounce." A final look, back to Emilie, and a reassuring pat-pat to the photobook. "First thing I'll be looking at, soon as I'm done with these papers. Yeah, if you love to paint? Definitely come by. It'll be great." She looks genuinely enthused — and frustrated that the mysterious 'painting of minions' can't be immediately set-to. She again raises her hand for one of those silly finger-wiggling waves, before booking it out of the library at double-time. Pardon the pun.

The only reason Snag's about to snag one of said mints is because she saw Penelope eat one first. Cocking her head to one side like the toucan in that picture, the young pilot examines the proffered candies with a critical eye, eventually settling on one dusted just so with fresh and ‘flabbergastingly’ minty powder. It's set with surpassing precision in her mouth — and then — suddenly — she coughs sharply and absolutely not as quietly as she'd like. "Whoa." A pause so she can gasp for breath. Yeah: this is going to nuke Oberlin's breath. And belatedly? "L — l — leash?"

And even more belatedly, after another high gasp, comes a brief wave in Rime's direction. "Nice to — meet — " But before Emilie can finish, the woman is gone. Awwr. Sad pilot.

As one walks out, another walks in, with Lt. Alex Marcion padding his way into the Library, nodding to others as he heads towards the research section. He looks a bit distracted, however, muttering something about "black holes" and "the quantitive affect on space-time curvatures". You'd be hard pressed to guess if he is in a good or bad mood.

"Uh huh. Nearly schooled. Nearly." Rime gets a petulant look from Oberlin, something along the lines of professional pride. "Good thing we're only fighting /cylons/ now." His nostrils rear up like that of an enraged horse, as he watches the woman go and turns back to the remaining two. Unlike Villon, he seems to be riding the mint tide pretty well, and taking it in stride. Then again, considering all the horrible things he probably does to his taste buds on a regular basis, these things are dulled. "Wow. These /are/ flabbergasting." He says to Penny, not trying to hide the deadpan aspect to his voice. "And there's no such thing as a leash on /my/ watch."

"I only expect them to neutralize your breath, ducky, not actually take it over the top into 'minty,'" Penny assures Cal, patting the CIC officer's back. She glances over her shoulder as the muttering about the continuum draws nearer, flashing Marcion a smile. She doesn't necessarily expect the distracted Lieutenant to catch it, but… hey… solidarity among the snipes, yo.

Aurola looks up when she hears more people enter and a some leave, her eyes looking over the frames of her reading glasses as she takes in the newcomers, before her attention is right back on the papers in front of her.

Marcion actually does catch the smile, wonder of wonders, and stops to return it. "Evening… er, it is evening right?" He glances around, looking for a clock. "Sorry, been holed up in Engineering for awhile." His vision focuses for a moment. "Oh, mints? Could I have one? Lunch left odd taste in mouth…"

Villon, for her part, lives up to every inch of the Virgan stereotype, delicate palate and all. The horrors Fleet food inflicts upon her taste buds on a regular basis are too terrible to describe in words, not that she's capable of doing much in the way of talking. Certainly, she doesn't seem inclined to say more than a few incoherent 'mmphs' which can pass for greetings, thanks, and goodbyes. And without any explanation save a glance at the bracelet on her wrist, the beads on which start rattling as she walks, she's tiptoeing her way through the stacks, blanket drawn about her slender frame like a cloak —

Gone, as they say, like the wind.

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