PHD #116: Shore Leave and Old Photos
Shore Leave and Old Photos
Summary: Sitka and Tisiphone have a quiet conversation near the Memorial Wall. Ethan joins them.
Date: 2041.06.22
Related Logs: None.
Ethan Sitka Tisiphone 
Deck 9 — Recreation — Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #116
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

Afternoon. Mid-shift. The corridor outside the recreation room is fairly quiet; just a smattering of crew cutting through here on their way elsewhere, and a solitary fatigues-clad officer thumbing at a photograph on the memorial wall.

The hatch connecting the Chapel to the corridor swings open to the sound of scuffing footfalls and the thin clatterclick of bone beads rattling against eachother. Tisiphone takes a few steps out to prevent gridlock — not that there are many around to contribute — as she starts unwinding the long string of beads from around her left wrist, pale eyes only half-focussed upon them.

Tisiphone's egress from the chapel isn't heeded immediately by the Petrel, lost in thought as he well appears to be. A permanent crease is etched between his brows as he skims his eyes over the picture. Somewhere on Caprica, likely, in the summertime. The clacking of beads being unwound drags his attention away— and there his eyes remain. Watching without really seeing.

She could probably uncoil and recoil the beads in her sleep, at this point, the ritualized gestures so familiar they seem careless. The long, metal-tipped tassels flick against the back of her hand as the beads vanish into her pocket. The long strands are tucked away last of all, twisted around themselves until they fold into a rope before they are. That completed, Tisiphone's eyes stare through the corridor's floor for a long beat before she straightens and pulls in a deep breath. She pushes off down the corridor, eyes sliding over the Memorial Wall as she goes — and there stands a Sitka, looking her way and pulling her back to a halt. "Hey," is all she says, voice quiet.

Sitka has that look about him, briefly. Like he's been caught red-handed doing something he oughtn't. His eyes sweep over her in a quick little head-to-toe and back again, and his lips twitch with a small, crooked smile. "You know, I've always.. I've always wondered something." Turning away from Tisiphone, he re-secures the thumbtack pinning the photograph against the board.

Curiouser and curiouser. Sleet-blue eyes sharpen with it, shedding some of the detached distance she so often leaves the Chapel with, as Tisiphone's head cants just so. "Yeah? What's that?" she asks. There's nothing else from her for a handful of seconds before the scuffing footfalls trail unhurriedly after him. Just as unhurriedly, her eyes wander the collage of photos and letters on the way over.

"Well, I guess always isn't.." Shiv's mumbling trails off after a moment, and he examines briefly the imprint left by the thumbtack on his finger. "I just wonder why they put a chapel on the recreation deck. You know?" The hand's shoved back into his pocket while a few other photographs get absently studied. "Nothing recreational about it."

"No where else to stick it on a Battlestar," Tisiphone figures, coming around Sitka's shoulder to peer with lifted chin at the photograph he repinned to the wall. "Or maybe-" A single snort of laughter. "-figured next to the rec room, they'd reel a few guilty folks in." Her hands slouch down into her pockets, rejostling the beads there.

Sitka makes a little sound in his throat, expression one of wry amusement that swiftly melts back into his usual stoicism. He looks half over his shoulder in order to address Tisiphone, "So what's that make you, then? Come out of there looking like you're dragging a ball and chain behind you. And I saw the look on your face, down at the embassy.." An almost imperceptible hesitation there. "..down at the embassy, when Tyr gave that service."

What's that make her, then? Tisiphone's eyes focus on some remote point beyond the Memorial Wall she's facing, dragging further downward as she thinks. She barely moves at all; then her eyebrows start to twitch, as if at some internal struggle; then she looks up to the Captain and asks, "What did it look like? Tell me what it looked like, I'll tell you what I was thinking."

"What what looked like?" Shiv murmurs, with that little furrow creeping back in again between his brows as he returns to studying the photograph Lasher put up. The glare from the overhead halogens illuminates the wall fairly decently, but casts odd, unflattering shadows across his face, and picks out the silver at his temples.

"The look on my face when I left Tyr's service," Tisiphone says. "Did I look guilty? What'd you see? I'm curious. Humour me before I answer you." The detachment in her voice warms a little with a teasing tone. She leans forward against the ledge around the Wall, weight propped on the balls of her palms. It bares the untanned undersides of her forearms, and the old, smudgy tattoo on her inner wrist, to the candlelight.

A laugh from the Captain, more of a chortle really. "Humour you," he repeats. "Well.." He leans in a little, voice dropping low and scratchy and conspiratorial, "have you ever been to the beach? Been drinking too much, shooting up, got a little too friendly with some.. some chick who was so dazzled by the fact you're a viper jock, she doesn't even care you're high as a kite?" His eyes drop to her wrist, then lift again to her cheek. "Next morning, you've got sand in your crotch, a hangover the size of Caprica City and you don't know how you're going to go hurl someplace, because she's still lying on top of you." He leans away again as a couple of marines pass by, gaze returning to the wall again. "That's how you looked."

The eyes and the slow, amused grin say, I understand, I totally understand, even as Tisiphone replies — evades, really — with a, "Never did get my first shore leave, man. Unless we're counting Kythera." The grin quirks with somewhat black mirth, there.

Her eyes wander from Sitka's face back to the Wall, lingering there a while before she continues with her end of the bargain — what she was thinking. "I grew up knowing I would be Tisiphone, Avenger of Murder, when I was woman, so say we all." It comes out like some old litany recited off scrolls worn away to crumbling. "The eyes and ears and mouth of the End Days we had wrought for ourselves in our hubris and godlesness, before Ananke closed her coils around us all and made it all anew." The cadence is as easy as one's breaths in a deep, dreamless sleep. "And then I left. The Insurgency wasn't going to be my End Days. And the Lords and Ladies gave me a new calling, without my mothers as mouthpiece. They wanted me to fly. So I flew. And then…this. And now I wonder if they weren't right all along, and it wasn't the Insurgency they were seeing, but… all this. Maybe I was wrong all along. About everything." She straightens and rubs at a spot on her wrist-cuff as if it was suddenly itchy. It might be the matching charm to the blurred ink on her wrist. "I guess that's what I drag along." Her pale eyes lift back to Sitka's, and the corner of her mouth tugs oh-so-slightly upward, as if to silently say, well, you asked.

"I know," Shiv answers the first, lips twitching to stifle a smile. Then he's silent, half a step taken away from the Wall so he can peruse it in its entirety: watching the jumble of tacked-on photographs without seeing anything at all. When Tisiphone looks over he happens to be studying her; eye contact is brief, before it's shied away from. "That's a hell of a lot to carry around with you." He falters slightly, as if about to say something more, but it's discarded at the last moment. "Anyway, I don't think you were wrong. You got off that shithole of a planet. Joined the navy. You think too much about that scriptural garbage, you can make anything true." The derision in his voice is soft, but deep-rooted.

"You said it yourself. I think too frakking much." Tisiphone lifts one hand to rub Sitka's upper arm with a light, fond touch. It doesn't last long before dropping away again. With a point of her chin toward the wall, she says, "Anya's up there, you know. Over here." She takes a step away and reaches out to trail fingertips down a ratty old photograph pinned up with a single thumbtack.

Ethan arrives from Midship Stairs.
Ethan has arrived.

The contact's unexpected enough to garner a slight stiffening of shoulders and a tight smile from the Captain, like he half expects the CAG to be lurking around the corner with a video recorder. When the picture of Anya is pointed out, he hesitates and then steps in closer, craning his neck to get a better look at it. Silence.

"She didn't like it when I said her rabbit was too fat to be good eating." Tisiphone shakes her head at the photograph, fingernails catching at a line of dried blood across it before her hand falls away. "Stupid bitch." It sounds more like an endearment, somehow, given her tone. Looking back to Sitka, she seems about to say something, then slouches her hands down deep into her pockets, instead. "Sorry," comes out, belatedly, as she digs her cigarettes out.

With slow step, Ethan walks towards the Memorial Wall. His eyes are fixed on a specific spot for a moment and then he narrows them as if not finding what he is looking for. The man reaches the wall and lifts one hand, sorting through the photographs and finds one, that has been partially covered. That's the one he is looking for. Ethan presses his lips together and moves the picture a little to the right, without covering others, just using some empty space available. It is the picture of a man, and a woman, holding eachother while looking at a camera; and, it seems that the picture was taken for someone significantly smaller. When everything is back in order, he looks at his side and finds Tisiphone and Sitka "Oh, I apologize, I didn't mean to interrupt" says the man with a quiet, respectful tone.

Sitka flashes a quick grin at the epithet that comes out of Tisiphone's mouth, eyes still on the photograph of 'Anya' as if she might come to life if he stares hard enough at her. The amusement of course is gone a heartbeat later, and he watches the Ensign drag her smokes out of a pocket. "Sorry for what?" Ethan's voice nearby pulls his attention away, though the glimmer of recognition in his eyes is faint. "Gulls, right? Hey, no problem. We were just.. you know, just reminiscing."

"For-" Tisiphone starts to say. Her voice cuts out like a switch was flicked as she looks up from her cigarettes with a start. She hadn't seen Ethan there. "-nothing," she finishes, nodding absently to Ethan as she takes a couple steps away from the Wall. To Sitka: "Free smoke? I won a bunch last night." It's a smug grin she's trying for, though it wobbles off her face too quickly.

Ethan opens his mouth to say something but ends up nodding at Sitka's words "Yes, Green Gulls and now Harriers" His attention drifts towards Tisiphone and he returns the nod, silent and in a way, apologetic. "Yes, I was, kinda doing the same, just looking for the picture of my parents" The man looks at the wall again for a brief moment, in silence. The sight of all those people brings a mix of emotions to him.

Right. The Gulls are defunct now. Shiv looks ever so briefly chastened by this, but then Tisiphone's giving him that look. Like the cat that's gotten into the cream. "Naw, I've got to get to shift in.." He glances at his watch. "Two minutes." He tips his chin in the vague direction of the hangar bay. "Promised the Chief I'd help test run a few of the new vipers." He starts to back away, and flashes Ethan a small smile in parting. "I'll give you a hand when I'm off, if you still can't find them. Sometimes people cram pictures on top of others. You two take it easy, yeah?"

"Yeah," answers Tisiphone, her head tipped forward as she lights up in a thick puff of smoke. "Good hunting." Her eyes slide past Sitka to the wall again, moving over the outline of the pictures as if they were a single entity, as she exhales toward it.

Ethan nods in silence at first but then says "Thank you." he looks at Tisiphone and back to Sitka. Another nod appears and he offers "You as well, good luck out there." The man clears his throat and looks at Tisiphone now "I have to get going, see you later, yes?" with that said, he takes a step back and gets ready to leave.

Sitka starts unbuttoning his fatigue jacket as he ambles away, likely in anticipation of being asked to get elbows deep in viper guts for the next few hours. Just before he vanishes into the stairwell, Tisiphone's shot a brief glance as if to say 'I haven't forgotten about that thing you didn't say'. And then with a nod to Ethan he's gone, booted feet clattering down the stairs.

"Yeah," Tisiphone replies to Ethan, as if she's nothing but a smoke-spewing echo over there against the wall opposite from the memorial. "Take it easy, man." She nods to him before tucking the cigarette into the corner of her mouth, then pushes off down the corridor herself.

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