PHD #032: Sound and Fury
Sound and Fury
Summary: Tisiphone and Pallas have a chat that ends with him angrily throwing things. Again.
Date: 30 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Pallas Tisiphone Merrell 
Observation Deck - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #32
With a quiet view to the stars, this tends to be one of the more popular 'quiet areas' of the Cerberus. Up front is a small-unseated area for ceremonies or other activities while the seating rises up behind it. Each level rises up behind the one before it, comfortable chairs and couches set up for crewmembers to relax, get some work done or even take a nap. A large armored plate is lowered during Condition One to protect the interior against a breach in the glass.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

There's a few off-duty personnel floating about the observation deck. Some people lounging in the couches, chatting and playing a game of Triad, others people reading or studying something or other, but just about everyone is here with someone else. And then there's Pallas, in the corner, alone. He lounges sideways in a couch, legs dangling over the arms, just inches away from the glass. On his lap sits a pad of graph paper with all sorts of sketches and formulas, cradled against his left arm which is still in a sling. He taps the pen in his hand against the glass in an erratic and very irritating way. Lost in thought.

"Sir." Casually issued in Tisiphone's voice — who has, it seems, ghosted in while the LT was lost in thought. She's parking her behind on an armchair's armrest across the walkway from him, digging up her rumpled pack of cigarettes. Something else in the pocket, too; sounds like a handful of beads. "Was wondering where you went to kill your time off."

Tap. Tap. Taptap. Taptaptaptaptaptap. Pallas starts bouncing both ends of the pen off the glass as he looks up to the voice. "Apostolos," he says. The name is all but sighed as he looks down to his pad. "I mix it up every day so inquisitive Ensigns can't find me." Right, because so many inquisitive Ensigns are seeking out this guru. The pen takes a short reprieve from being the annoyance generator and scribbles something down on the pad, moving in wild frenzied strokes. And then a quick drink from a flask wedged in the cushion of his couch. "I hear you're just about as useless as I am right now."

"Guess you've run out of places to hide, then." Pale brows lift over a paler forehead with Tisiphone's droll observation. "It's good, though," she continues, after lighting her cigarette. Some nondescript brand from Picon, a well-loved but unmarked steel zippo. On a breath of smoke, she concludes her statement: "This place. Rest of Air Wing seems to hit the rec room when they're wanting to chill." Sweet, sweet seclusion. Until the Ensigns come home to roost. The comment about her uselessness is mulled on over another drag at her cigarette. "Seems that way. Two more weeks before the cast's off, I'm pretty sure. I think the sling would be worse. Easier to pull off in frustration."

"I was hiding out in one of the Raptors. Then a knuckledragger came in to look at something and just about shit her pants, so I figured I'd… relocate." Pallas smirks and starts tapping his pen against the cap of the flask instead, satisfied with the more tinny, hollow noise it makes. He's absorbed in the page for a moment, then flips back two pages to reference something. A couple notes are scribbled into the margin. "Tried that," he says. "CMO told me another three weeks, CAG gave me a 'I was like you but then learned my lessons' story." He rolls his eyes. "Coming up here just to give me cancer?" he asks dryly. Of course, he smokes heavily himself.

"What, are you bitching I didn't offer one?" A quick flash of teeth as Tisiphone smirks, reaches again to her pocket. She's tapping one out of the pack before she thinks to lift her brows at Pallas, for actual confirmation. Not that she stops pulling the ciggie out — even non-smokers are probably accepting free smokes as a matter of habit, by now. "Honestly?" she says, flicking sleet-blue eyes up from the cigarettes to Pallas. "Killing time before I'm staring at another four hours of crosslinked flight footage. Needed a new face to get up into. We haven't spoken much. Ding-ding-ding." The LT's the lucky winner.

"Better to bring a sacrifice when coming before the oracle," Pallas says, reaching out to pluck the cigarette from Tisiphone with his 'bad' arm. Doesn't seem to be bad at all, since the motion is executed smoothly before returning to its resting place. It's lit with a match, and the smell of sulphur momentarily hangs in the air before being blown away with a thin stream of smoke. As for the match, it's put out with a snap of the wrist and carelessly tossed blindly over his shoulder. He's not the one who's paid to clean it up. "Maybe that's because I just don't have much to say to you," he says with a shrug.

Tisiphone makes a noise best translated as, "Pfuh!" as she snorts a lungful of smoke at Pallas. "You don't have much to say to /anyone/," she points out. It's not accusatory, really. She doesn't have much of a foot to stand on. "You run into Professor Bell yet?" she asks. Never 'Doc', or 'Lieutenant' with the Petrel — always 'Professor'. "Spent a lot of time on your flight footage the last couple days." She leaves it there. A little challengingly, maybe, as if she's baiting.

"What, the weekend warrior?" Pallas snorts. "Does it really take you two days to realize that I'm no young-buck Viper jock?" Still, something about people reviewing his flight footage might be making him uncomfortable, because he shifts in his seat a bit and drums his fingers against the pad, looking away from the Ensign. Another drag of the cigarette is followed by a quick shot from the flask. Which still hasn't been offered to Tisiphone to reciprocate the cigarette she gave him. "I'm older than the CAG and still flying as an LT. There's nothing worth watching my footage for."

There's a bit of a red, candy-like button in there; when Pallas snorts at Bell's credentials, Tisiphone's shoulders stiffen and she sits back a touch, sleety eyes frosting over. "So you're sulking, then?" she jabs back on a breath of smoke, pointing the freshly-reddened cherry at him. "A-bloo-hoo-hoo, nothing worth tracking down a bitter old man over. You think maybe I brought up the godsdamned footage for a reason?" She forces the stare away, takes a breath. She'd be all full of sweetness and light if she could just slaughter a punching bag for two days straight. Honest.

Pallas makes a show of wiping away fake tears from his eyes with a sniffle. "Did you, now?" he asks, leaning over on the arm of his chair, inches away from the cherry she points at him. "Tell me then, Money Shot, what you found so utterly fascinating about my footage." Straightening up in his chair, he rearranges himself into the model of classroom attentiveness. The pen is put down on the pad, which gets flipped back to the first page, and put aside. Gods, there's a lot of sketches and mathematics on that pad. Even his hand is folded into his lap, the cigarette dangling from his lips as he continues to smoke it, ash falling all over him.

"Gods, no wonder you're smoking yourself to death in solitude," Tisiphone mutters, flicking her cigarette irritably at Pallas. It's an equal-opportunity sort of irritation — at least she's aware she's been baited, herself. There's some manner of breathing meditation that goes along with her cigarettes for a few seconds — inhale, count to three, slowly exhale and repeat — before she reorganizes her thoughts and looks back to the prim-and-proper act across from her. "You maneuver for shit in atmo, for one," she starts off. "It's like looking at my own footage, though at least you keep a straight line." A wry twist, there, though she doesn't leave time for a comment. "Like you're tethered. You get out into vaccuum, and it's like flipping a switch. Your angles of attack change completely, and you /move/." A pause there, for another lungful of smoke.

"You were the one bemoaning that we hadn't spoken much," Pallas points out. How can someone be so gleeful while remaining dry and sarcastic? It's like he takes pleasure in being contrary, and Tisiphone's mutterings are yet another trophy for him. He actually listens as she speaks, though, interested in her analysis of his flight patterns. "Planets pull me down," he says at last, relaxing back into his irreverent position. He flips his pad open again and turns one of his sketches toward her - varying planetary masses and gravitational pull strengths all overlapping one another, it looks like. Most of the equations are scratched out. "Freedom and flight are - " he retraces the outer circles several times, highlighting them. "out here." The cigarette gets killed on his flask - he doesn't smoke it down to the filter - and tossed.

"Yeah. Yeah," Tisiphone murmurs distractedly, her true attention focussed on the sketches. There's recogntion there, the gaze sweeping down the diagrams with brief consultations of the accompanying equations. "I always figured the best place for a dogfight would be two-thirds of the way between the planet and moon, about there." A gesture, albeit not particularly precise, with her rapidly-dwindling cigarette. "Just enough that you're getting a touch as you flip back over. Like swapping trapezes. G-limiter'd be screaming in seconds, but frak it'd be a trip until it did." She blinks at the end of that, her expression flickering through a 'did I just say that out loud' sort of grimace, before leaning back again. "Uh." She clears her throat and flicks ashes at the floor. "You don't blast through after a kill, like- some." Evasive. "Could be reflexes-" Or the dwindling thereof. "-or experience. I couldn't tell."

Interesting. Pallas gives a fractional headtilt as Tisiphone muses aloud. "Not a lot of places that would have ideal physics for that kind of maneuver," he notes, eyes carefully watching hers. "Escaping one and just dipping into the other. Frak that up and you'd be dust before you even hit atmo on the moon." The pad gets flipped to another page, but turned away from her again as she talks about blasting through. "Could be," he says, not answering the unspoken question. "When you have the experience, you'll know for sure." Tap, tap, tap. Yet another kind of timbre from his percussive pen as he drums against the spine of the pad. "Like 'some'," he chuckles to himself. "Like who?"

"If it's all the same to you, Sir? You'd just write it off as 'Weekend Warrior' stupidity, and I'd just get pissed at you for doing it." Tisiphone flashes a brief, humourless grin at Pallas before taking the last drag off of her cigarette and crushing it out in the ashtray. "You- your flight's so much more… assured? …in zero-G. It made the… /pause/ stand out. Take it with a grain of salt, you know? I'm six weeks past graduation. I watch all this crap, trying to imagine it's /me/, and your footage? I kept wanting to tell you to stop holding back and just kick it."

"The biggest difference in Viper Combat in space is that maneuvering changes altogether - if you can break the modes of atmospheric, planar thinking." Pallas shrugs again and looks out the glass, eyes focusing on the vast swath of nothingness before him. "Six weeks or six years out of Flight School, doesn't matter. I know they teach this shit, but too many people can't abandon gravity. Can't leave behind what holds them." He points with his pen at nothing at all, tracing the flight of some invisible Viper out there. "You can kill thrust, drift, flip perpendicular - frak, you can fly sideways or just spin the frak out if you want out here. So no, I don't just kick it. I might look like a drunken insect, and I might shoot like an epileptic, but I frakkin' fly." Ooh, has Tisiphone struck a nerve? His words are more defiant than defensive, but it's more or less all the same in the end.

She's a little chastised, maybe, or startled into meekness by the defiant words. Tisiphone looks away from Pallas, cigarette-less fingers twitching restlessly. Rather than dig out a fresh one, she stands up and just slouches her hand down into her pocket. "Yeah. You do," she confirms, unnecessarily. "Don't forget that bit, eh? And- uh. Before I go." Which she's decided it's Time To Do, apparently. "One last thing. You aware of how your wingman got injured?" Her expression is tightly-shuttered, all of a sudden. Unreadable, beyond cautiousness.

Pallas's head snaps back around to her so fast you can almost hear his aging neck crack. His eyes are ablaze with what can only be called incoherent rage. That's probably why he doesn't say anything for a long time, just sits there looking at her. Glaring. "Injured," he repeats when he can finally speak again. "Burnout hasn't been awake in thirty-two days. He didn't frakkin' sprain his ankle. He's in a Gods-damned coma." His face crumpling into an expression of disgust, he turns away and seeks the comfort of his flask. "Injured," he spits out. "I know what frakkin' happened out there to put that naive bastard in the state he's in now. I don't need to watch any frakking footage to remember. I was there, I watched it happen." This time, he doesn't just take a quick shot from the flask, he downright drains whatever's left in it. "What the frak kind of question is that, Ensign? You think I'm so far gone that I can't even lead a frakking section?"

It's the sort of look drill sergeants and parade inspectors seem to fuel themselves on — someone pinned in spot by a glare so hard their lizardbrain's too busy going 'oh, SHIT' to remind the lungs to keep breathing. Tisiphone freezes just like that, complexion draining from wan to chalky, at that sudden flare of incoherent rage. It's not until Pallas looks away in disgust that she sort of stutters over a breath and edges away, smooth as you pleasedon'thurtme. "I did exactly what Burnout did, my last time out. Sir." At least she ended up with a cast, and not in a coma. "It's a frakking fair question. Sorry. I'm leaving." The two sentiments are slammed together without a pause; she backs away one more step before turning to leave, post-haste.

The flask is tossed away with a scoff. It bounces off the glass and clatters onto the floor, attracting the attention of anyone who isn't already glancing over toward them. "Fair question. Fair question!" Already, his cheeks are starting to turn red. What the hell is he drinking, anyway? It's got to be something pretty strong. "What the frak is 'fair', anyway," he mutters. He doesn't give any acknowledgement to Tisiphone's retreat. "Must be a word they teach Ensigns." Back to that pad of graph paper, the sketches and equations, except his eyes won't focus on what's on the page. He growls in frustration and throws that, too, whipping it against the glass. Wild-haired and crazy-eyed like some savage man, he picks up his flask and starts to make his own way out, forgetting the pad. Anyone who so much as glances toward him gets a hateful glare from the old pilot.

Robin's head peeks out from the hatch as Tisiphone turns towards it to retreat. Her brow is furrowed, worry written across her face as her eyes flicker between the two pilots. They settle back on Tis after a couple seconds, her face seeming to ask if she's okay without saying a word. In general? To something specific? That's not clear.

Tisiphone takes maybe two steps before violently starting at the empty hatch waiting to provide her escape. It'd be comical, really, if either of the two pilots was in the laughing mood. Perhaps one of the others in the Observation Deck will snicker at the presumably drunk-ass pilots stumbling over their own feet. She utters something in Sagittaran, a tangle of harsh syllables somewhere between angry and pleading, before wrenching her eyes away — straight to the seething Pallas, also about to depart. Maybe there's some sort of Rules of Engagement or traffic rules for Angry People — who gets right of way from who. The Ensign clearly believes it's her spot to Clear The Lane Right Godsdamned Now, because she presses back against the stair-railing, eyes fixed in the general direction of Away, not moving until he's gone.

What's in that look, exactly? Blank shock, at first, as the supposedly-empty hatch is suddenly NOT, then some sort of heart-twisting combination of fear and hope as a wave of gooseflesh crawls over her. The words she's babbling, reflexively, sound like a 'go away', or maybe an 'oh gods please no', but who's to say what real sentiment's in a root-gnawer's speech, anyway?

Seething. That's probably the best possible word to describe Pallas at this moment. If Tisiphone hadn't looked away, he probably would've burned a hole through her skull with his eyes alone. His glares for the spectators are poisonous; the one he has for her is murderous. A chivalrous gentleman might be more inclined to take a ladies-first route to the hatch, or at the very least offer a thank-you. But a chivalrous gentleman he is not. The lane is cleared and he takes it without a second thought, leaving the observation deck behind.

Robin's face drops a bit at seeing the reaction from Tisiphone. Overcome by sadness suddenly, she just nods and swallows. There's no concern for Pallas, even in his rage. She looks away, blinking a few times before she turns and disappears down the hallway.

Not a single look up, nosir. Tisiphone's quite familiar with the timing of footfalls passing close but not slowing, bringing a black look with them. She stays frozen against the staircase-rail, unmoving except for her breathing, until the sound of Pallas's angry departure is well and truly gone. Only then does she slouch a fraction, immediately setting off a fit of dry, thin coughs. Pushing off from the railing, she moves hurriedly for the flung-away sketchpad and flask, scooping it up before making her own exit.

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