PHD #021: Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Summary: Tisiphone seeks Atreus and Trask for some answers. They provide ones she doesn't want to hear.
Date: 19 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: Coordinates
Atreus Jayden Tisiphone Trask Zosime 
Hangar Deck - Port - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #21
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

The hatch adjoining stairwell to hangar opens, and in slips Tisiphone. Bruises are shifting from blue-black to greens and yellows, the bandage over her eye a grudging formality rather than a necessity, and her left arm's out of its shoulder-sling. Her double-footed limp has eased to a faint wobble. Little steps, little steps. She's looking for someone as she makes her tentative way into the room — chin lifted, eyes flicking this way and that over those busy with ship repairs and recalibrations — and maybe praying she's not asked to salute.

One particular ship has a scaffolding erected next to it. Atreus is currently hanging upside down, his knees and ankles locked around the metal. His arms are extended above his head, or below his head, into the open hatch beneath him. "Just a little more, Trask. Can you get it from there?" Parts are arrayed on the scaffolding's platform with a plethora of tools beside them.

Dressed in work coveralls and steel-toed boots, the Trask in question is the Jig who has become quite a fixture on the deck. He, too, is demonstrating the monkey gymnastics of a seasoned knuckledragger. "I sink so," he replies, which is what 'I think so' sounds like with a socket wrench held between his teeth. With a bit of coaxing and elbow grease, his end of the large piece is maneuvered into place. Yay for teamwork, especially when there is no way a single person could accomplish the task.

Tisiphone isn't /skulking/, per se — the deckies are a competent lot, and they'd make it their business to stop someone trying to be furtive. She's unobtrusive, though, as she continues to search, keeping to the most low-traffic route she can. Footsteps pause as she spots Trask, and she hesitates, intent wavering now that she's acquired her target. She presses on with determinedly until she hears Atreus's voice — at which point there's a creep of relaxation along squared shoulders. She pauses at a safe distance, watching for a few seconds before announcing herself: "Chief. Sir." Voice raised just a touch, to be sure it carries.

Pulling his side of the strut, Atreus nods, then grins when Trask's adjustment lines the thing up perfectly, "There! Right there. Now, hold it steady. Soldering in five." One hand moves from his handhold to pull a torch from the parts layout. "Five. Four. Three. Two…" Clicking the control on, "one", he fires it up, the goggles he is wearing protecting his eyes from the sudden, white-hot glow. The torch flares for a moment, then another before it is turned off, "Okay. Clear to bolt." When he sets the torch back on the scaffolding, he peers around the strut, though forgoes saluting for the moment, "Ensign. Good to see you up and around." Swinging back into place, he waits for Trask to secure his side.

An Ensign up and around? Even though the ECO really isn't in a position to see who it is, the voice is female, which means it can't be Marko. So, Trask makes an educated guess, whilst he goes about securing some bolts. "Think it can wait a moment, Apostolos? Like, say, when we're /not/ running the risk of a plummeting, crunchy death." His tone's not harsh despite the sardonicism. Besides, hanging upside down and twisting in all sorts of weird angles from such a height really is rather dangerous. More so with only metal to break one's fall (and bones). "Got the first one," is then relayed to the Chief.

"Good to be around again, Chief." Tisiphone looks a bit like she's got a devil on her shoulder, telling her to flee, while the angel stands behind her with a pitchfork to jab her forward. "Um. Y-yessir. All the time in the world." She takes a step back, and her shoulders twitch — the start of parade rest, unless her body reminds her otherwise. Eyelids squirm at the edges for a moment. She's not the most patient, but she /is/ curious. It serves the same purpose, here.

Atreus's wrench spins, then again, "Two and three done up here, Trask. Good for yours." The man's voice does a strange sort of flip-flop from calmer that the strut is coming together, though strained still from hanging upside down and twisting awkwardly. He nods, though it is certain that Tis cannot see it. After a moment, he offers, "You can come sit on the scaffolding, Ensign. If you don't want to stand. The strut isn't going anywhere at this point."

Can this be the secret to how Trask got such an incredible ass? His abs certainly are getting a workout, as are his arms, shoulders, and legs. Stretching to reach the next bolt on his end, his face takes on a sense of strain that is equal parts hard labor and intense focus. After a moment, "Got it! Movin' on to the last one." Then he's back to maneuvering in ways that look not at all comfortable, yet he takes it in stride.

Tisiphone only hesitates for a moment before accepting the Chief's offer. A new posture means a new range of aches, and a chance for the old ones to go away, after all. She settles carefully onto the scaffolding, turned so she can continue to watch the parts-wrangling, lightly swinging her booted feet. "Thanks, Chief." After a few moments, she ducks her head down toward her casted fingers, scratching very delicately at the stitches curving around the side of her eyesocket. Still she watches. Electronic guts leave her staring like a monkey at a monolith, but practical things, like bolts and welding? That's stuff she can get behind. Trask and the Chief are in for a long wait, if they're hoping she'll wander off in boredom.

Torquing to the left, Atreus stretches about as far as a man of his height can. A grunt and he reaches the wrench just a little farther until it catches on the nut that must be tightened, "Almost." Another grunt and he hisses a little. Yeah, this is how he gets his tight ass, good thighs and torso. "Hah!" The wrench is turned, one extra tug just to be sure it is properly tightened. As he swings back, he pauses to be sure that all of those he is responsible for are tightened. "All yours, dude." Although he could swing up into an upright place, he waits for Trask to be finished. Just because. Also, hanging upside down this way lets Atreus observe Tisiphone from an interesting angle.

It would appear that knuckledragging is like riding a bicycle. Trask is maybe an inch shorter than the Chief, but that doesn't deter him. "Hold on," he calls out, "I just… need to…" That would be a bit of momentum there, faintly jostling the scaffolding. Brow knitted, the man reaches. "There," is grunted, socket wrench locking into the bolt. Click-click-click. Successfully screwed in place. "Whew." For a moment, he just hangs there, catching his breath. Then, with a bit of a guttural sound, he employs his athletic core to sit-up from that upside-down angle. The grasping of the bar is followed by arms, shoulders, and legs pulling him to a spot near Tisiphone. Dropping the wrench, he uses a kerchief to wipe away from sweat from his face and neck. "So." Breathing still isn't fully normalized. "What'cha require, Ensign?"

Combat boots, unpolished and loosely-laced, tied with an overhand knot. Rumpled clothes, unbloused trousers — clean but from a heap, as opposed to a neatly-folded pile. Dandelion-like scalpfuzz starting to bristle. Tisiphone's losing that New Ensign Smell. Under the aches and stiffness is a hint of skittishness — the look of someone who's recently had a strip verbally tore off them, or a swift kick applied. She stops swinging her feet as Trask pulls himself up and folds her arms across her chest, eyes flicking up to him for a moment before they slide away, down to the dangling Chief. "I- well," she begins. "There was a thing I heard from- someone." Evasive. She doesn't lie well. "Thought you might know more and…" Her voice loses volume, getting thready as she inhales. On the exhale: "…at least you'd be honest about what you can tell me, and what you can't."

Once Trask has finished, Atreus curls up to catch the bar above him. Pulling himself up, he swings first one leg up, then the other. Finally, he turns to sit cross-legged on the platform. Working to gather the tools, he clips them to his utility belt, or tucks them into a kit sitting off to one side. "You need privacy, Ensign? You two can use my office if you like. I've gotta put things away and then set up a stress test for the strut, so you won't be putting me out or anything."

Indeed, Trask is honest. Some might say that he's too honest. He'd just consider those people cowards, however. Still, he could stand to employ more tact, but that is a rare occurrence. For whatever reason, he doesn't comment about Tisiphone's lack of spit and polish. That doesn't mean he refrains from being a smartass when she is vague. "You can't get pregnant by someone rubbing your peach fuzz." Brown eyes flick towards the young woman's head. "Well, actually," he continues, "depends /which/ fuzz they're rubbing and with what. It's not impossible to get knocked-up without penetration. Unlikely, but not impossible." So sagaciously spoken. To Atreus, he comments, "Lady's choice."

"No, it's okay, Chief. It- I was looking for the both of you." And there they were, bonding over bolts in a stroke of sweaty serendipity. She turns a little more to face in their direction, and pulls her legs up, drawing knees toward her chest, back against one of the scaffolding pillars. Compact Ensign is compact. "There was a- someone talking, yesterday." Lying by omission would be effective, if it wasn't Tisiphone doing it. Still, she keeps trying. It's better than lingering overmuch on comments about peachfuzz. "About jump coordinates on one of the Raptors we salvaged. Some secret anchorage in Polaris Sector." Or not-so-secret, considering. "Some- avionics team pulled all this info out, I guess? But." Deep breath, and her eyes again sweep from the Chief, up to Trask. "I figured you'd be able to tell me whether it's all a bunch of shit, or not."

Atreus nods to Trask's comments, a twitch of his lips evincing amusement or distaste. Hard to tell, really. He clears his throat a bit, "As long as the lady's cool with making the choice in the first place, dude." Bonding over wrenches and sweat seems to work pretty well. When he is invited to stay, the Chief relaxes back onto the platform, his upper body supported by a forearm. Looking up, he almost seeks Trask's gaze when Tisiphone's query is expressed. Both brows lift and he looks squarely at the young woman, "Now, who would be irresponsible enough to spread that kind of a rumor?" His tone is quiet, interested and almost gentle in its softness.

A quick, sidelong glance is cast towards Atreus. The kind that wordlessly conveys 'sounds like you need to chat with someone'. The Jig trusts the Chief to handle in-house affairs, though. When it comes to asking about a bunch of shit being a bunch of shit, it's upon Trask that the Ensign's eyes fall. Stretching out his neck and rolling his shoulders a bit, he points out, "My days of being able to officially speak on behalf of an avionics division ended when I entered OCS. And since I was a knuckledragger before I was an officer, I'm not the sort to unofficially speak on their behalf." Which is part of why the Deckies don't mind him being around.

Who would spread that kind of rumour? Atreus is able to keep Tisiphone's gaze for a second before she squirms it away — so fascinating, the worn creases starting to form on her boot-toes — and it's bald on her face; she's about to lie. "I didn't get his name." She hustles along; if the next words come quickly enough, there's no time to pry the previous ones apart. "Sir-! I don't- I'm not trying to-" Her expression's somewhere between wary and pleading when she looks up at Trask. "Can't you just- please- /tell/ me if you can't tell me anything, and not dodge around it? Love of the gods, I wish I hadn't heard it in the first place, I swear." That's painfully honest, at least.

Atreus's tone is quiet now, though he sits up rather than remain lying back, "Look, Hotshot. Think about what you are asking. If either of us say that we can't talk about an issue, it is tacit agreement that there is something not to talk about." He kind of smiles, a shrug beginning though it does not finish, "In addition, it's really difficult to answer a rumor when the telling about it is bracketed by lies." His tone remains gentle, though there is a spark of something caustic in his glance.

"First of all, Ensign: don't lie to the Chief." There's something about Trask's expression and tone that expresses 'seriously, you are not fooling anyone, so stop acting like a moron'. That said, he matter-of-factly continues, "Apostolos, did it ever occur to you that, if you /were/ supposed to be informed of something, it would come via the chain-of-command? Admittedly, too many chains-of-command are full of clueless jagoffs, but that's beside the point. I've known Major Hahn for many years, and she is in no way either clueless or a jagoff." Whereas Constantine has a spark of something caustic going on, Kal looks impassive bordering on bored.

He also is neither confirming nor denying anything. Damn rhetorical questions.

Ar-r-rgh. Thwarted by a combination of her own hypocrisy and words of wisdom. Tisiphone looks back and forth between Atreus and Trask, the pleading glimmer fading away to something duller and more sullen. "The hell, man? Someone going around telling everyone that the rest of the Fleet's waiting for us, and you can't even put the damn rumour down so we can stop hoping?" Her shoulders give a small twitch; were they more cooperative, it would be a restless shrug. She's out of steam, at the end of that — no leverage, all her cards out — and sourly twists her mouth up. "Tyr," she says to Atreus. Grump. "Just a kid."

Atreus darts Trask a quick, if faint smile before he turns his attention to Tisiphone, "Think of it this way, Ensign. Rumor is born of any number of things for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are fairly harmless, like whether someone's wrench was spotted by the pool. Sometimes they are more dangerous. Like… Someone's wrench was spotted by the pool and it had blood on it." He shrugs, the motion almost relaxed. "In this case, I can see Bannik wanting to cheer a friend who was injured. Give her something to hold onto. The intent is probably harmless. The trouble is, though if that rumor is true, it means one thing. If not, it is cruel. Now, from a military standpoint, if such a thing existed, it would need to be examined for origin, location, meaning. A scouting party would probably be sent. Depending on what is found, the ship would then be told and a jump planned. When I hear dross like that? I file it away until I hear something of substance from command. If I don't ever hear? Toss the data as chaff. I am sorry, Hotshot." More softly, then, "Tyr, huh? I'll have a talk with him about it."

The lesson isn't over. "Ensign, Crewman Bannik is not moonlighting as a Tactical officer. Also, as you put it, he is just a kid. So why, pray tell, would you put stock in his 'analysis'?" Yes, the quotes around that last word are audible. Trask's delivery is bone dry and his manner of phrasing far harsher than the Chief's. It does get a little more caustic when he adds, "I know that you're not stupid, yet you insist on trying to prove me wrong." Unsurprisingly, he's still neither confirming nor denying the accuracy of the rumor in question.

"I didn't 'put stock in his analysis'," Tisiphone defensively retorts. Of course, she did. She wouldn't be here in the first place, if she hadn't. "I just- I just-" -can't come up with anything else to defend herself with, it seems. Pwnt. She untangles her legs and turns toward the edge of the scaffolding, preparing to clamber down. Once she's half-turned away, the admissions come: "I- sorry. You're right, you're both right. It was stupid to ask. Sorry for taking up your time." No passive-aggressive tone, there; instead it's somewhere between dull and meek.

Atreus does not comment about Trask's admonitions. Rather, he remains focused on the woman, "Nah. It's never stupid to ask. Just be a bit careful about whom you ask. I never mind answering when I can. But you can trust the CAG, Hotshot. She's smart and honest to the gods has your best interests at heart." Which is not to say that the CAG would give a different answer, "And trust command. If something can be said, it will be. The Old Man and the XO're both stand-up guys." When Tisiphone is about half way down, Atreus begins to descend as well.

This would be the part where Bootstrap dangles some carrot, which he does while following the other two back to ground level. "It's not stupid, Apostolos. You didn't know any better and now, hopefully, you do. I mean, frak. Critical thinking was briefly covered in OCS, but we're talkin' 14 weeks versus 4 years." Clearly, Kal doesn't think much of the Colonial Fleet Academy. "Like I said, though, I know you're not stupid. Common sense, though… Well, you're still fairly young. If you don't start acquiring a lot more of it, though, and relatively soon, you won't be around long enough to become a geezer. Shiv's counting on you to inherit his mantle of senior citizen Saggie."

"Yeah. You're- yeah. You're right, Chief." Tisiphone wincingly gives her torso a stretch and twist once her boots touch ground. Pensive, a touch skittish — looks like she was just given a one-two combo of answers she didn't want with a garnish of light dressing-down. The mention of Shiv startles her out of her brooding, eyes flicking back up to Trask with a bemused frown. "He-? Yeah, yeah." With a snort, she tries to (gingerly) shrug the comment away, clearing out from underneath the scaffolding so it's safe for the two men to clamber down as well, and turning to depart.

On ground, PO Zosime has been checking up on the birds that came back damaged from the disastrous salvage. Though, normally a bright orange suited woman isn't that hard to miss, there are a couple of them skittering here and there on the deck. As the trio climbs their way down the scaffolding, the blonde brushes off her hands with a dirty rag and can't help but respond to Trask's comment with a grin, "They teach common sense in OCS, sir? Maybe we should all've taken it." She hasn't heard most of the conversation, just what's been discussed now. Noticing the wincing and pensive nature of Tisiphone, the grin fades. "You alright, sir?"

Once Tisiphone clears the scaffolding, Atreus leaps to the ground landing next to the woman. Looking up, he catches sight of Zosime and nods, "Hey. Any luck with the bird there?" His head lifts to motion toward the ship the woman was working on, then adds, "Common sense? They try to teach it. But, common sense isn't very common." While the comment is a hair brusk, he lifts a hand that almost touches Tisiphone's shoulder, then does not do so. His hand falls away, and he clasps his hands behind his back. Glancing up at Trask, he motions for the man to come on down.

To the departing Tisiphone, Trask calls out, "Take it easy, Money Shot." It's not flippantly said. In fact, there's something nuanced to it that is briefly reflected in his eyes. Not missing a beat, he then tells Zosime, "They try, but a lot of students play hooky that day." Can it be that he just doesn't think much of officers, in general? "Plus, what the Chief said." Work boots meet the ground and the ECO dressed in the standard Deck coveralls runs a hand through his damp hair. Judging by the sweat and grime, he's been pitching-in during his off-duty time, yet again.

Tisiphone looks better than the last time Zosime saw her in the hangar — just cut out of the remains of her Viper, arm bent the wrong way in her shredded flightsuit. Or perhaps the PO was still engaging in a comradely round of sympathetic barfing with PO1 Damon at the time, and missed it all. Either way, the Ensign looks oddly at Zosime, subjecting her to a sort of puzzled recognition. "I remember your voice," she says, by way of hello. "I'm fine. Hang on to that common sense of yours, eh?" She doesn't explain her odd comment — instead she dips a nod to the taller woman, sweeps a quick glance back around Atreus and Trask, and makes for the exit.

"It's not pretty on the outside, but the inside's what counts," Zosime nods at the Chief as her answer. "Couple more hours and she should be tip top, Chief." The common sense comment is met with a grin and a shrug. "They should rename it, then, shouldn't they? Otherwise people are just going to get confused." Her own deck coveralls are a mess of grease and grime and whatever else collects in a Viper. Despite that, she absently rubs her still dirty hands on them, which doesn't do much good for them. "Bad day to miss, I'd think." Her eyes watch Tisiphone as she makes her way out to hangar, telling her, "You'd probably recognize it better if I was girlishly screaming, like when the Raiders came during that salvage." About her own common sense, she's not even sure she has that much of it, so she doesn't reply to her second odd comment.

Atreus nods to Zosime's information, "Fantastic. Good work, Zosime. Thanks." He glances back toward the bird he was working on with Trask, "That one's about finished as well. Just have to do the stress testing and then firm it up." Lifting a hand, he waves after Tisiphone, "Catch you later, Hotshot." His eyes flicker to the woman remaining and he snickers, "Girlish screaming. Nice. I hadn't gotten a report with that in it. I'll have to talk to Damon about being more complete." Turning a bit to Trask, he nods once, "Thanks for the help. Couldn't have done it without you. At least, not right now. I'd've had to wait until someone else was around."

"It does explain a lot, though, doesn't it?" At that possible cheap shot at officers, Bootstrap simultaneously looks innocent and guilty as all get. To Atreus, he lazily smiles. "No worries, man. Good to know that I've still got it." Once a knuckledragger, always a knuckledragger, it would seem. As far as reports go, he asks, "You did get the part where they puked in their helmets and then put them back on, only to puke again, right?" Because that's the most important bit.

Jayden is coming out from the main stairwell and angles over to the area where the Chief has set his hut. A small drawing pad carried under his arm, as he takes his time to get where he needs to go.

Zosime beams at the praise from Atreus. "Thanks, Chief." Her eyes glance over the scaffolded bird with an appraising eye, nodding her head at that. "They're all definitely looking better than when they came in." As for the girlish screaming, she blushes just a bit - more at Trask's comment about puking - and shakes her head. "I'm sure he left it out only for brevity's sake. It's not exactly like everything needs to be in the report." Like, puking and screaming and nearly wetting oneself. Smiling fakely, but still warmly at the ECO, she adds, "Thank you for making our reports more complete, sir."

Atreus's smile warms to light laughter, "Ah, the puking was the best part, Zosime." He isn't saying whether it was in the report or was missing, "I had the helmets stripped of their padding and rebuilt to keep the scent from impairing later missions." Can't have reactive vomiting start from the smell. "Yeah, they are all looking better. Here's the next part. Every one of the birds needs to have the CNP stripped out and new frameboards installed. We'll get these ones taken care of, then pull the others in, on rotation." That is when Jayden's movements catch his eye. He lifts a hand to wave a greeting to the newcomer.

Even if Zosime had shot him the nastiest look possible, Trask wouldn't care. That's one of the perks of being an irreverent jerkass. Despite that, he actually is being pleasant, and not even relatively speaking. With a scampish smirk, he tells her, "Any time, PO. It /is/, after all, the obligation of a good officer to lead by example." Jayden arrives just when the ECO extends his left hand to Atreus for the purpose of a manly forearm clasp. "Right. I'm gonna jet. I'll see you an' the El-tee Oh-bee later."

Jayden catches the wave out of the corner of his eye, and the pilot nods once in return. His body twists and aims for the spot the group is standing, and a few moments later, he's standing right besides the PO and just in front of the Chief. "Trask," he greets the ECO first, then the other two, "Chief. PO." One hand goes into his side pocket to fish out something. "I apologize for the delay," he holds out a nifty-looking lighter to the deck master.

"Not while it was happening, sir," Zosime adds with a bit of pout, but it's easy to see she doesn't actually mean it. She knows this is all in good jest and she can take a ribbing like the rest of them. "That's going to be what takes the longest." The stripping and reinstalling of the frameboards, then testing to make sure that every one of them is functional. Which will take awhile. She grins at Trask and replies, "So, next time you'll puke first? I'll keep that in mind." The looks that she's giving Trask aren't even what she would consider nasty. She's not really a nasty look sort of person. When he heads out, she nods at him and gives him a wave, "Later, sir." As Jayden approaches, she adjusts to give the pilot a good place to stand and talk to the Chief. "Lieutenant."

Trask's clasp is met and the Chief lifts his right hand to clasp the ECO on the shoulder before releasing him. "Thanks again. You can come hang with the cool kids any time you want." He lifts a hand briefly to wave, then turns to Zosime, "Granted. While it is happening, it sucks." He notices the looks between his PO and the ECO, but they are more a cause for faint mirth than concern. Nodding, his glance lifts to the birds on the deck, "Yeah, true. That will take the most time, Z. Time we don't really have." Then, he looks back to Jayden, "Hey, LT." He lifts a hand in a brief salute, then lowers it when the lighter is brought forth, "Oh, hey! Thanks for bringing it home again."

"Ekonomo," is the ECO's returned greeting, with a mild chin tilt. Playing on something Atreus said, Kal quips to the PO, "Someone's gotta teach the cool kids how to be cool." Back to the Chief, he adds, "I'll have to check with mom, but it shouldn't be a problem," to come hang-out. And if it were, well… he does seem the sort who'd likely sneak out, anyway. With a jaunty, scout-style salute, Trask heads off to peel out of the orange.

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