PHD #031: Running Out of Air
Running Out OF Air
Summary: Tisiphone stops in to find out why Temperance has disappeared for the better part of a month, and she and a few others hear more than they expected.
Date: March 29th, 2041 AE
Related Logs: I've Been Where You Are
Temperance Evandreus Tisiphone Sitka Sawyer 
Raptor Berthings - Battlestar Cerberus
The Raptor squadron pilots and ECO's call this place home. Berths line the walls with a locker between each one. A table and chairs sit in the center and there is a hatch to the Pilots Head, which connects to the Viper Squadron Berthings.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post Holocaust Day: #31

The bunks are surprisingly quiet, give or take a few snores here and there behind some curtains. But in one bunk, a Temperance sits curled into a ball, staring off into space at the nearest wall. She's got a small blanket pulled up around her shoulders, and there are huge, dark circles around her eyes. She breathes, she blinks, but she doesn't do much else.

Evandreus contributes mightily to the chorus of snorers in the room. All the more pronounced inasmuch as he never bothered to close his curtain up before hugging Greg up to his bare chest and tipping his head back and a little to the side, mouth open to megaphone the noise out into berthings. Flat on his back, legs spread to just slightly more than shoulder width. Maybe if someone poked him to roll ober he'd quiet down some.

Herein the real reason Temperance has been so much of a ghost — the dread Bunnysnore. Tisiphone enters from the hallway, looking pale and a bit wan, herself, as she sweeps her eyes across the room. The sonorous rumble from Evan's bunk brings a wry twist to her mouth and a gentle eyeroll toward the heavens. She continues into the room, bringing her left arm up to rub absently at the back of her neck as she moves, and spots not only Temperance's curtain open, but the occupant within, as well. "Temperance?" she greets, steps slowing to a halt. It's a little cautious-sounding.

Temperance has become immune to the snoring, though a few extremely loud snorts here and there cause her to wince. But when Tisi enters and calls her name, Temperance slowly shifts her eyes from the wall to the other pilot's face, and cocks her head slightly. "Tisiphone," she says, testing the name out on her tongue. "Tis iph One. "What're ya doin' here?" Her voice is rough, if one can tell past the accent, and emotionless, which is out of character for the redhead.

Evandreus's efforts to use Gregor as a blanket seem to be failing, and, as his open curtain lets in a fresh gust of re-circulated air, he actually goes so far as to heave himself up to his side with a snrrk that cuts off his snoring and replaces it with a sleep-laden murmur of nonsense syllables as he grabs for a blanket to pull up over his shoulders.

"Couldn't sleep. Was looking for Bunny," Tisiphone answers, readily enough. The mention of lack of sleep is matter-of-fact, at this point, as if she's run out of energy to care about it any further. Maybe cohabitating with the monkey on one's back will be more productive than flailing against it. "You've been pretty scarce," she adds. Understatement of the Month, that one. She's still treading carefully. "Haven't seen you poke your nose out in ages. How you feeling?" She parks the edge of her backside against the table nearest Temperance's bunk.

"They're in th' mines," Temperance mumbles, by way of response. She pulls her blanket up closer around her, but it doesn't seem to help the wave of shivers that start to run through her. "They'd head fer th' mines. S'what they all do. Mines th' safes' place ta be, everyone always says. Sittin' in th' dark, cause lamps t'would eat up th' air. In th' c-cold." She stares at Tisi, /through/ Tisi, and her eyes are raw. The dark circles around her eyes seem so much darker. "Tha's how'm feelin'. I'm feelin' like I oughta be in th' mines."

Evandreus is just close enough to the surface of his slumbersea to hear something that sounds like his name — or, rather, military appellation — up in the upper air. Like some sleep-addled dolphin he breaches the surface just enough to waver one dark green eye open and try to catch onto the register of the conversation. the most gratifying upshot of all of this, of course, is that he does not begin snoring again.

"Have you talked to Captain Quinn about it?" Tisiphone asks, head canted just slightly. "She always seems really-" Her mouth squirms a moment as she considers her wording. "-warm. Like she's got a big family, and would understand, you know?" Again, her mouth twists uneasily, and she looks down from Temperance to her scuffed boots. "You'll end up out an airlock if you hang onto the would've-could've too long, Temperance." Odd to hear a tone of warmth in such bleak words, perhaps.

"Ain't talkin' 'bout woulda-coulda's," Temperance shoots back bleakly. "They'd hear a'th' attacks, but they ain't near no major city. They'd 'ide out inna mines. They're either starvin' righ' now, er suffocatin' dependin' on 'ow many went w'them." She's silent for a moment, those dark blues boring holes into Tisi. "Ain't talked ta Quinn, nah. Ain't talked ta no one. Did m'shit. Ran CAP. Did wha' I were told. Ain't even talked ta Damo - " She shakes her head, adjusting the blanket again, though it really doesn't need it. "Heard ya were in th' medbay, couldn't even go ta see ya. Jus' sat 'ere. An' thought 'bout th' mines. Swear ta th' Gods, I can feel 'em starvin', air gettin' lighter. Hear 'em screamin', specially Ronan. He's only twelve." On the word twelve, her voice cracks a bit, and she bites down on a cracked dehydrated lip, drawing a bit of blood.

Evandreus comes up for air to find the world still gone to shit and twelve-year-olds suffocating in mine shafts. And he lays there, quiet, a moment, as if, if he willed it so, sleep would coe and take him away from all of this again. But it doesn't. All the same, he doesn't interrupt the moment.

There's a long, long pause before Tisiphone speaks. During the silence, she shifts her seat slightly and digs out a rumpled pack of cigarettes, lighting one up and immediately dragging hard on it. "You can't keep thinking about this, Temperance," she finally says. The words are not /impatient/, but they're very firm, the edge carrying through her own weariness. "I'm serious. You have to- find a way past it." She frowns faintly at her own words, and falls to studying her boot-tips once more.

"They're /suffocatin'/, Tis," Temperance pretty much moans. "Righ' now. Ma's tryin' ta barely breathe, 'cause she thinks it'll give th' others more time. Pa, Kieran, an' Aidan, they're whisperin' 'bout shootin' themselves, so's the other get their air." So much pain, in her voice, in her eyes, in her whole shivering body. "Suffocatin', an' I'm 'posed ta swallow tha' down, laugh an' giggle an' eat an' make friends." She shakes her head once, and just keeps going. "Tell me how I'm 'posed ta do tha'."

Evandreus lifts a hand to the side of his head and finally shoves himself up onto an elbow, turning in his recumbency for something more Socratic. A few shallow breaths of his own, and he tries his hand at the conversation. "It'll be over soon, Tempe. If it's not, already." This, meant, from the tone, to be comforting. "They'll just have to bear up under the terror a little bit longer. Then… it won't be a problem for them anymore." For them, perhaps emphatic, to express an unspoken contrast.

The hatch to the raptor berthings grinds open slowly and clangs shut, presaging an ubquitous thunking of combat boots across the deck. A dark-haired pilot in rumpled olive drab fatigues, with a cigarette dangling from his lips while he pats down various pockets for.. "Anyone got a spare lighter?" He pauses upon spotting the various weighty expressions going 'round, blue eyes flickering to Temperance last. "..uh. Everything all right?" Well, obviously not, Sherlock.

Tisiphone's pale brows keep knitting together as Temperance speaks, the stitches curled at the edge of her eyesocket twitching with the movement. "Yes, Temperance. That's exactly what you're supposed to do!" It's snapped out louder than intended, her tenuous patience split and tangled back on itself like a piano wire gone PING. "The- the same godsforsaken thing as the rest of us are doing, frakking faking it 'til we start making it again!" An angry flick of her cigarette's ashes at the other woman's bunk. No psychiatrist, she, and evidently scraping the very bottom of her own emotional barrel. She pushes herself upright, her agitated look landing on Sitka. "Yeah. Here," she mutters, left hand shoved down into her pocket for her own lighter.

"They're still /'live/!" Temperance yells back. Although given her zoned out state before, maybe the yelling is a sign of progress. "An' I know it! Can't eat when they can't, can't get drunk, can't even get warn even when I want ta! When I know - " her voice breaks again, " - when I /know/ they couldn't a'made i', then maybe I can move on. Jus' can't righ' now, I jus' can't." Hot, slow tears start tracing down her cheeks. She glances up to Bunny and nods. "They couldn'ta made it down there fer much longer than a month," she whispers. "I jus' gotta wait little bi' longer. Jus'…few more days." Her eyes slide to Sitka, but she seems to have completely pushed the very embarrassing episode in the shower out of her mind, and she doesn't seem to recognize him at all.

"Then… you just have to bear up, too," Even tips his head forward in a wobbly sort of nod, sleep-crusted eyes fixed loosely on Tempe. "You'll go through it right along with them. And when it's over, you can be relieved for them. Happy for them, yah? They'll have made it." He holds Gregor on his lap and slides his legs out of his bunk, squinting, next, toward Cubits and Shivers.

That agitated look thrown the Captain's way doesn't seem to bother him, misdirected as it was. After a few moments' further appraisal of the situation, he even ventures out of the hatchway, and withdraws the unlit cigarette from its perch between his lips. "O'Sullivan, right?" he asks the redheaded raptor pilot, as he swings around one of the chairs at the table, and settles in backwards while waiting for Tisiphone's lighter. Evandreus gets a small smile when he looks over, and his stuffed rabbit a thoughtful glance. Like, where have I seen that before?

Tisiphone's about to hand her lighter — a scuffed and unmarked steel zippo — over to Sitka when something Temperance says turns her back around from him. "A few more days, and then a few more days, and then a few more days after that? Everyone's gone, Temperance. You should be hoping it was quick, not- not clinging to the thought of them slowly smothering in a godsdamned mine so you can pretend they're alive a little longer. How frakking selfish is that? Bloody hells." She turns away completely this time, offering out the lighter to the Captain with a bit of a stab.

"Don't matter wha' I 'ope, matters wha's real," Temperance murmurs back, some of her fire gone again now. "Y'don't know them. Don't know th' whole town. Tornadoes, gunmen, gangs, don' matter. Trouble comes, they go ta th' mines." But the longer she talks, the softer her voice gets. Maybe the more she says it out loud, the more it sinks in for her, becomes less realistic. She's less convinced. She silently nods yes to Sitka, yes, she's O'Sullivan.

"Cubits," Evan's voice, gentle as normal, even if a little rough with the rather recent nature of his wakefulness. He doesn't say more than that, but there's a little note of disapproval in it, a kind of 'be nice, please,' encapsulated in the two syllables. Then, back to Temperance. "They're there for one another. Or they were," he doesn't weigh in on the are-they-aren't-they debate, himself. "One way or another, they'll get through it. You will, too. Don't…" he scrunches his eyes together, stretching out his back. "Don't think of gasping. Think of… hugs. For warmth. Hugs that'll go on forever, now. And as you're thinking of them, they're thinking of you, hoping, wherever you are, that you're okay. Saying a prayer together for you, yah?"

Sitka accepts the zippo wordlessly, with just a brief flicker of his eyes Tisiphone's way as the exchange is made. He opens his mouth to offer something to Temperance, then shuts it again once Evandreus begins to speak. Apparently electing not to deluge the poor girl with yet another voice of sage advice, he ducks his head and quietly goes about lighting his cigarette.

Maybe Sawyer roughly knows Evandreus' schedule by now, or she just has it on good authority that he's in berthings, as the journalist is already talking to him by the time she fully pushes through the hatch. She has her nose to some papers, shuffling through them as she walks, "Hey Bunny, I thought I'd swing by and show you some of the pictures from the other night. Though they get less cohesive the more we were drinking…" She glances up, as if feeling the tension in the room, her eyes quickly tick-tocking between the others gathered. "Oh. Uh. Pardon."

Cu-u-ubits, comes the chiding, and Tisiphone bristles, mouth primmed in a short and defensive line at Evandreus. She seems about to speak, then sets her teeth and just breathes in sharply through her nose, instead. Turning back to face Temperance, she digs her hand back down into her pocket with a rustleclick of beads, and smokes her cigarette for all it's worth. Bunny's got this under control far more than she does.

Whatever it is in what Bunny says, it seems to hit home. Temperance's face crumbles, and she buries it in her hands, sobbing. Curling up into a ball on her bunk, she shivers and cries, and lets what she can go.

Evandreus broke it. And as much as he has no idea whether it was a good breaking or a bad breaking, he's not quite awake enough to go over there and figure it out, right now. Or do much else than take a deep breath, let it out between half-pursed lips in a labially accented sigh: Phhheh. And start scritching the eyeboogers from the corners of his eyes. "Oh. Hey, Sawyer. It's okay, come on in," he drops down from his bunk, leaving Gregor up there to guard the place.

Sitka watches Temperance silently for a few seconds before easing up and out of his chair. The lighter's flipped over and passed back to Tisiphone on his way over, and he eases down briefly on the edge of the weeping girl's bunk, dropping a hand lightly on her shoulder. Something's murmured to her, very quietly, before he climbs back to his feet again. "You kids take it easy," he offers in parting, and ambles back off hatchward.

Sitka whispers: I have an idea. Something that might help. Come find me when you have some free time?

As Evandreus skitters off to do his post-sleepy time ritual, and Temperance is bawling, and Sitka is leaving, and that leaves her with a woman she's never actually said two words to directly? Well. What's a girl to do, besides rub some salt into at least one of the open wounds in the room. "Leaving sobbing women in your wake again, Captain?" A subtle jab in his departing direction.

Oh, /frak/. Bunny's the talker and hugger and put-back-together'er, not Tisiphone. She takes her lighter back with a quiet word of thanks and a twist at the corner of her mouth, then sort of… hovers, uneasily, near Temperance's bunk. "Frak, I'll-" Fix everything? Ri-i-ight. "-get you a drink and something to eat, Temperance." It won't be grandma's chicken soup, but maybe the nourishment will comfort all the same. She heads out the door at a hurried pace.

Sitka pauses near the hatch, his eyes ticking up to meet Sawyer's. Maybe he hadn't spotted her there till that little 'jab', or maybe he was hoping to make a quick escape before she spotted him. Either way, he darts her an uneasy little smile, and reaches out to stop the hatch from closing, after Tisiphone departs. "We need to talk. If you have a few minutes." He nudges it open wider so she can step through first, and hitches his chin in the vague direction of viper berthings.

Her only other choice of company seems to be weepy girl, and Sawyer just doesn't seem to be in that magnanimous of spirits. The photographs get slipped up onto Evan's empty bunk and she pulls her posture to it's full and haughty height. "Of course." And with that, she follows the Snow Petrel's Captain off to have Words. With a capital W.

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