PHD #091: Put Up or Shut Up
Put Up or Shut Up
Summary: Coll and Constin have a late-night discussion in the brig. Minds are changed.
Date: 28 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Coll Fire
Constin Coll 
Main Brig
Tiny and cramped, the Main Brig seems designed to be claustrophobic. The steel bars lining the three cells have been set into the steel bulkheads on each side. Inside each cell is a stainless steel toilet and a bunk that might be too short for some of the taller crewmembers. The dreary conditions don't seem to be helped by the presence of a Marine guard who is there twenty-four hours a day, as long as a prisoner is in custody. The whole room is under surveillance via camera system in the Security Hub and every visitor must sign-in and abide by the rules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #91

Later in the evening once again. Coll got caught up this morning on her own sleep and is wide awake. Her coveralls are still rolled down and she's just staring at the ceiling of the cell once again, lolling her head back and forth and tapping a foot against the metal bar at the end of the bunk. All in all, she looks pretty relaxed.

And once again the changing of the watch takes place. Constin enters the main brig, and the prior guard is relieved, heading out to start his downtime. "Coll," the big corporal greets the resident guest. "Chow's up," he notes, holding up the evening platter of food for inspection.

Coll lifts her head and offers a warm smile for the Corporal. "Heya Constin." She stands from the bunk and is sure to keep her distance while the food is set down inside. She's already a pro at this. "How's things? Give any more thought to what we talked about? Oh! Hey. A guy I know was offering to bring me books. Is that okay? Not sure what the rules are with that…" She rolls her hands with the last question.

The dance of opening door, setting down platter and re-securing the cell is undertaken smoothly. Constin answers her last question first: "He needs to check the books for inspection with the Em-Pe, but that's allowed," he reports with a nod. Returning the table, he settles into the chair, before adding at last, "Ah've thought about it."

"Sweet. Goin stir-crazy without somethin' to read in here. Thanks, Corporal. I'll have him check them in. Make sure he's not sneaking me a nail file or something equally useful for primping." Coll gives another quirky smile with the remark and waits until he's out of arm's length before moving for the sandwich and 'mashed potatoes'. "Oh really? Thinkin' maybe I was right? Or somethin' else change your mind?" Her brow lofts as she sits back down on the bunk, lifting the warm dinner. Well, semi-warm.

Constin grunts a short, "Heh!" of amusement at the quip about contraband primping. "Only said ah was thinking about it," the corporal drawls in answer. "Had a few words, need to have a few more. And need to think in a hurry.. By the rules, ah've got just under a month to apply, if that's the path that needs walking."

Coll nods slowly, a little pride in that smile. "Then you have a -whole- month to study. So what're these words you're needing to have? Need me to spin more webs about duty and honor and all that?" She smirks playfully as she uses a thumb to wipe a crumb from the edge of her lips. "Or do I get to know? Because c'mon. I'm deprived of gossip in here and you're my main squeeze for good times." It would seem that the Coll that wandered the halls before the whole mess has returned in some form. Full of energy and life, she looks like she's ready to run laps.

Constin snorts again, narrowing his eyes to peer with thinly affected ire, "Damnit, Coll- try and keep the good cheer down to a dull roar in there. You're supposed to be frakking miserable." Crossing his arms and leaning back in the chair, he drawls an answer to her former question after a few moments. "Deciding what sort ah want to be. Been real comfortable with the notion of being an En-Cee-Oh for a real long time. Trying to figure where ah'd be of better use."

"Sorry." She puts on a srsly bad faux-pout. Its topped off with a wink and the woman rootches back on the bunk to lean against the wall while she eats. The sandwich is eye'd while he mentions the decision and there's a slow nod before her eyes lift back to him. "Well I assume you want to stay in the Corps, right? What're your options? I'm afraid I'm not too savvy with how you all are structured." He's got her attention and focus pretty well locked-in.

"Damned right," Constin states to the question of staying with the CMC. "As for mah options.. There's stay as ah am. Maybe make sergeant in another year or so, run a squad. The Major's reforming Dog Platoon- training the volunteers. Might draw that assignment. Barclay ain't been replaced, but more likely Cadmus is for Em-Ay-Ay." He draws a breath and let sit out slowly. "Or.. Put in for a waiver to let me enter into Officer training. But way ah see it, the Corp isn't short of El-Te's."

Coll tilts her head, looking to the ceiling as Constin lays out his options. "Maybe. Maybe not. But I think you've got some value to contribute." She looks back to him, fingers tapping on the sandwich in her hand. "You mentioned that you had a rough childhood. Hard times and hard knocks. Say that the Corps really made you believe you could be something more, right?" A quick dip of her head in his direction. "Why not put that to use, Corporal? We've got civilians from a variety of backgrounds. They're going to need tough love and someone who has seen a huge turn-around in life to show them what the Marines can offer them. Not just in terms of being new people, but I mean in terms of being able to start anew. Be something and someone else. Stronger and better for it. Ever thought about asking the Major to try tackling Dog Platoon?" She quirks an eyebrow. "Maybe offer to organize the squad for training and if you do a damned fine job, see about a brevet promotion? You wouldn't even have to test that way."

"Figure ah'll get tapped for training," Constin notes, with the tone of voice that betrays distracted thought. Coll is repeating her prior bad habits: she's giving him things to think about. "But no, ah hadn't thought of that, before. Figured at most that if Dog Platoon turned out good, ah'd be in line for Sergeant." A thoughtful frown tugs at his expression.

"Offer it up to the Major. Worst thing that happens is that she says no. At the very least you're showing initative, which is another thing that looks very good for officer candidates. Drive and determination." Coll takes another bite off the sandwich and looks throughtful while she chews on it. "Fleet will need leaders. Men and women who want to step up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Sergeant. Zero. But think about the kind of leap you would have made to reach for officer. You know your history. You can't say that the idea doesn't at least make you feel a little pride."

"You are a *bad* influence, Coll," Constin grins, hearing out the idea, and filing it away for future dissection. "It does," he admits frankly. The thought is mulled around in his head for another few moments, before the marine regards Lauren again with the question, "So how many times have you had to repeat yourself today?" he wonders dryly.

"I'm only offering opinions, Mister Constin. If I open up ideas, well then explore them at your leisure. But I'm ore than willing to help you out in any way I can. Even plan out a training structure if you want. People may not believe in me anymore but that hasn't quelled my faith in people like yourself. Sometimes its just hard to hide the good you've got inside. ..and I'm not talkin' about me, here." Coll's smile is insatiable. She, at the very least, seems to believe what she is saying. But the last question gets a short chortle and a look back to sandwich. "Two or three. Ensign Weber, a guy with the Raptor crewdogs, came by today. Prodding with questions. He's got some kind of theory about my being predictable with my habits that made me a target for a set-up. Not exactly something I could take to a hearing but he seems pretty bent on it."

Constin snorts once. "Predictable habits? Well, that and not being attached to anybody and not having any paper trail to back up your record. Ya know- the little details." A shake of his head. "Still. For somebody who supposedly ain't got any friends on board, you don't seem to be hurting for folks at your back, are you?"

Coll shrugs. It doesn't seem to phase her much. "Yeah. Weber thinks someone poisoned my coffee when I was coming off duty or something and it made me sick enough to run to the Head. But not being attached to anyone isn't a crime. Nor is having your paperwork being blown up by Cylons. I can prove I used to ECO if you get me into a simulator or a Raptor. But nobody has ever asked me to so.." She takes a bite of her sandwich again, finally discarding the rest onto her tray. "Yeah. These people coming to see me? Notice the lack of Viper sticks. Or Deck crew. These are the people that know what I've put in for their squadron. They know the long hours I've worked. They want me back because either they don't want to think I'm guilty or because they genuinely believe I should be out there doing work, rather than sitting in a cell. Are these people friends? I dunno. Maybe. But its not like I've gone on a blitz with any of them before. Or even hung out with them off-duty."

"Gotten drunk and hit any of them with a trashcan lid?" Constin quips back with a brief smirk. "Yeah well.. Viper sticks are officers. Officers are asses, ain't you heard?" he grins. Seeing the sandwich get discarded, he notes further, "By the way, since it looks like you're gonna be taking up real estate here for a bit longer, the shift will bring in a washed set of clothes and sheets for you, in the morning."

"I make no promises about beating anyone with trashcan lids. In either direction." She returns the cheeky remark with an equally cheeky smile. "Officers are asses. But Raptor crews are also officers. We're more team players. We like to look at everything involved rather than just whats in front of us. Sort of like how a Marine fireteam might operate. Its a team effort, every time. Viper pukes run out alone. We never forget that we're interdependent." We? Apparently someone is forgetting that they aren't Raptor crew anymore. "Yeah, thanks. Grab a shower while I'm at it. One of the crap things about being in a cell is that nobody gets close enough to you to appreciate the fact that you do, in-fact, need a bath. Guess I'm just lucky I got a shower before you and I ran into each other. Course, its not like I'm doing tons of sweaty work, either. ..But damn it'd be nice to get some human interaction. Even if it is the Head."

"Yeah, someone ought to tell those Viper sticks that they should run out with someone else watching their wing. Amazing none of those loner, running-out-on-their-own sticks thought of something like that. They could call each other 'wingmen', or something," Constin razzes Coll at her comment, with a knowing grin. Her latter comment draws a grunt. "Ah'd say its one of the better things- that nobody gets close enough to nose you." A dryly amused sniff, before he notes, "You can request minimal escort to the showers once a day, by the way."

Coll rolls her eyes and just -looks- at Constin. "Uh huh. Keep runnin' it, buster. I'll… I dunno. Give more menacing looks or something. But you know what I mean. They fight as teams. ECO and pilot teams? When those form? Its a tough bond. Wingmen rotate assignments every so often. If a Raptor crew decides to gel? Comin' in between them is like trying to cut armored glass with a spork. I flew with the same pilot for five years. Almost every mission. Her and I?" She shakes her head. "Sisters aren't that close." She ignores the comment about her own stink and nods to the showers. "Cool. I'll take advantage of that. Going to assume I can't linger there. Just in for business and out, right?"

Constin regards Coll with crossed arms and a generally amused demeanor throughout her -look- and answer. "We got something similar in the Cee-Em-Cee.. Call it the order of loyalty from highest to lowest: your squad, your Gods, your Corp, *then* your Colonies," he notes with a grin. The marine nods to her last question. "You guessed it. Business and out."

"Right. Same thing. Well your first duty? Its always to your pilot or ECO. Whoever your opposite is. Then? Then the Navy. Maybe. We used to get some real crap tasking." The woman lifts a finger and points to the patch tatt'd to her arm. "YGBSM. You Gotta Be Shitting Me. Luckily, you always had your teammate there to face anything with you. Its more than a force multiplier. Its strength. I was never more proud of anything than my time with the Warlocks. Nothin. Not even graduating from the Academy."

"Course not," Constin comments simply to Academy graduation being secondary. "Academy's nothing but the door in. What matters is what you do inside." Her explanation of YGBSM earns a barked chuckle from the big corporal. The description of the teamwork gets a pair of nods. Not something he's immediately familiar with, but the nature of teamwork is something the soldier understands very well.

Coll lifts her chin a little, eyeing him with that smile again. "So maybe I'm telling the truth? Maybe I really did all that junk I claim, mm?" She tilts her head to the side. "Or am I still suspicious as hell because I didn't know any survivors from Picon? Two-eighty out of..what? Five thousand and change? No surprise. I don't think anyone else made it off that Deck."

Constin shrugs at Coll's words. "Maybe you did," he notes evenly. "And maybe you did everything exactly like you said, and have told the truth about every single thing since coming in here. But what ah believe about that has nothing to do with what circumstances look suspicious, does it? Admittedly.. you'd be a piss-poor saboteur, cutting up your own project with all your own prints everywhere." As for the last he admits, "Hell, ah've been on Cerberus for months and still don't know half the folks ah pass by on a given day."

"I'm going to choose to take that as to mean that you don't really believe I killed anyone." The smile loses its play and regains its warmth. "Thank you. Even if its not required. But I agree, I'd be a pretty piss-poor sabotuer. I tend to be blabby anyway. Dunno if you noticed." Coll edges in a little bit of a preen. "I know, I don't exactly look like I'm clean cut. But I mean, really. If I am guilty and I *had* killed those pilots and I'm just lying really well…? Then its no big surprise and no big loss when someone gets the bragging rights of killing the collaborator. But if I'm telling the truth? And I really am honest and I want to help out like I claim and I'm a good ECO? And I'm remanded to a position where I can't do any good? How much does that hurt the fleet? Probably not a lot. But in the long run, I'm a loss." Some people might find it unnerving for a person to talk about themselves in such abstract terms.

"Ya don't say?" Constin drawls deadpan, at the talk of blabbing a lot. The marine's smirk re-emerges briefly a moment later. "Why didn't you ever put in for ECO qualification?" he wonders a moment later. "They're training the Hyperlights, now. Obviously, they need flight qualified personnel. Obviously *now* the CAG ain't likely to be too thrilled at the idea, but.. why not before all this?"

"I almost did, actually. When I first got on board. I was gettin' ready to file a note to the CAG when we started gearing for the Panrassus Op. We ended up finding all that ordnance?" Coll shakes her head. "I'm good with that stuff and I like doing it. Everything we recovered had to be tested, some of it needs to be refitted, and we've pulled some FASCINATING shit off that place. Frakkin' stealth cruise missiles. We don't even have anything to launch them and I kinda wanna build something that can." She waggles her brow. "But yeah, its a moot point now. Frakkin CAG has ice in her veins. I'm probably more likely to get accepted into Medical than I am the Wing, now. Fact is, I could probably have worked *in* the Hyperlights to train nuggets. Lotta young hotshots struttin' their shit around the Hangar Deck wearing Ensigns pins and thinking they know how to frequency hop."

"Huh," the big marine mutters at the talk of high tech goodies. Rumors had made their way around, but it was never really his concern. "Well. Hope ah'm ten kliks off in this, but I'm getting the feeling that a few more rough CAPs will find use for anyone with the skill and will to take the front line. Even veins full of ice won't be wanting to throw a lot of nuggets out to the cylons, when they're not ready."

"Yeah, same. Worst thing for a knuckledragger is hearing that your crew didn't come back when you send them off. Nobody ever talks about it, but you secondguess yourself. Wonder if maybe you frakked up somewhere and something didn't work that got them killed." Her smile has lost its humor but its still there. "Truth be told? I don't even know how I would handle it out there. Everything we ran in my wing was training. Sure, it preps you well but nothing really prepares you for the real thing, I guess. I'd much rather have been accepted to the wing here on Cerb for the merits of my skill and hard work than on attrition. Course, now that I think about it, its kinda sickening to think I haven't volunteered yet. Lettin' all those green crews run like they have.. And die." Yeah, she actually looks a little sick with the realization, too.

"Was gonna say.." Constin mutters on the heels of that last. "You've had a helluva lot more training than the nuggets who are next in line, now. What you'd *rather* doesn't have much of a place beside what's needed. Same for any of us," he concludes dryly, unfolding his arms, to grip the edge of the table with one hand, forefinger indly tapping its surface.

Coll sets the tray aside like she has very rapidly lost her appetite. She fingers one of the reflective stripes on the leg of her coveralls and bites her lower lip. "Frak," is the whispered word that is first muttered after a moment of silent reflection. Running through the faces that didn't come back, her head sinks a bit without her even realizing. "Gods, you're right. That was soo selfish." The woman's gaze finally lifts to him. "And I screwed the pooch on that whole thing. How many times could I have been out there? My being there could have ensured someone else came home." Yeah, there's a little bit of that horror in her eyes. "Gods, Constin. Wh-" A gentle sigh and she looks away to the wall. "Think I could redeem myself? Earn that back and get out there? You've talked to the CAG, right? Think she might somehow be willing to drop charges?"

"Ah doubt she'd drop charges," Constin begins with the bad news. "But even if she doesn't- and for the record? Ah very strongly recommend you talk to her, lay out what you just said, make a clean apology and see what she says, either way.." he notes as an aside. "You're not sunk even with a Dee-oh-Dee. The worst that the tribunal is likely to do is put a mark in your file and either send you back to work, or bust you down to civilian, and ah know that sounds bad.." he begins, before concluding: "But Laurie? The Hyperlights are taking civilians. There's always room for redemption. That's the whole point of justice."

Coll doesn't visibly respond at first. She's just deadlocked on a point on the opposite wall from her bunk. "The Navy won't take me back if they bust me to Civilian. If I'm not cut, I'm not cut. They sure as hell wouldn't pin me again. No," she shakes her head. "If I get thrown back to the civilians, I'd rather be dead." She just breezes right past that, though. "Okay, I don't suppose you can give me a pen and a piece of paper? Or a pencil?" She looks back to him quickly. "I can't sit on Deck anymore. You're right. I didn't need charges levied against me. I really am derelict in my duties. My Gods, Constin. I feel like I could puke."

"Sink to your right, just in case," Constin offers to that last declaration. "Stand back from the door- you know the drill.." he voices, before pulling a pen off the MP clipboard and searching through for a blank page. He doesnt find one, but there is the blank backside of a page which had jammed while printing, making it useless for record keeping.

Coll is all too eager to follow directions. She glances to the sink but shies away and stands from the bed slowly. Her hands go to her head and she turns away from him while he sets things down inside the cell. Once he backs away, she turns and picks up the pen and paper. Then tray becomes her clipboard as she sets the remains of the sandwich down on the bedsheets. "How do I get this to her, Corporal? Do I need to forward it through your office or can you just give it to her? Or can I just mail this straight out like a memo?" She's writing quickly, but its done only a moment after she finishes asking the questions, eyes lifting back to him. "Think if I plead guilty to the charges or offer to, that might help? I dunno how to handle that and JAG hasn't gotten off their fat asses and sent me counsel yet." Coll sets the paper and pen down on the floor by the cell door and backs away quickly and turns away. Hands on her head again.

"Think you should ask the Major, since she's the one pressing charges.. AND the one you seem to want for your new Ess-Oh," Constin answers to the last part first. "You can hand it over to any Em-Pe, and they'll forward it to Major Hahn, right away. It's part of ongoing business, so we get to be real prompt."

"Frakked if I care about her being my senior officer. It ain't about her. What I was telling you about doing the honorable thing? Standing up for other people and being a leader? Time for me to put my cubits where my mouth is." Maybe she'll finally shut up. Coll settles back down on the bed. "Okay, in the morning I need that delivered. After I hit the Head for a shower and get a chance of clothes. I look enough like shit as it stands and the last time I saw her.. Gods I was muttering something about denials. Augh." She leans her head back against the wall. "Alright, Constin. I need to get rack and think about all this." She moves those eyes back to him, lifting off the wall gently. "Thank you for that. Sometimes it just takes a Marine to give you a good swift kick in the ass. Really oughtta consider what I suggested for yourself."

"Consider kicking you in the ass? Nah, that's just a hobby," Constin returns deadpan. He nods to the details, re-entering the cell after the usual instructions for Coll not to move, as he reclaims the letter and pen. He needs the pen to jot down the prisoner's request to be escorted to the shower at 0800 hours, to coincide with the delivery of that letter. Change of clothes requested, et cetera.

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