PHD #347: Tangents
Summary: Aboard the Elpis, Leyla and Mark talk tangents…and fashion.
Date: 9 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: None specifically, yet.
Leyla Mark Dorian 
Elpis Bridge
The Elpis' bridge is both small and cramped. It might hold a dozen crew at peak capacity, with all of them elbow-to-elbow, but primary operations can be managed with a much smaller complement. The captain's console and three navigators' banks seem the most-used, though the cargo bay monitor is equally worn: it's crucial, after all, to keeping control over fragile or otherwise fussy loads. This area is constantly guarded by MPs, and access is heavily restricted.
Post-Holocaust Day: #347

Tension is high, aboard the MV Elpis. And it is times such as these that it pays to have salvaged some clothes from Aerilon, or Sagitarron, or any of the trips that were made to Wreath of Roses and Tauron, if only to allow a member of the military to blend in in a way that a uniform simply does not allow. So much so, that the small, darkly blonde woman is more an impression of herself than the real thing. At least as much as can be seen of her, as she flits her way through the corridors, walking the way she flies, quick and light, never staying in one spot for too long. Long enough to offer a glimpse of her face in the docking area, a flash of her profile in the corridor, a flash of familiar hazel eyes in engineering. Full frontal, as it were, comes only as she gets to the bridge, having managed to evade most of the crowd, pausing as she stops at the marine guards posted on the outside of the door. Her dogtags are shown, as is her military ID, pulled from the back pocket of the jeans that seems as out of place on her as the long-sleeved fitted black sweater she's pulled on. The appropriate security phrases and whatnots, before the Marines step aside to allow her into the bridge.

Mark is already there doing his own thing. He's at the damange control and engineering monitoring station. A clipboard and a cup of coffee occupy his hands while his eyes are looking over the instruments. He's travelling in his own set of civilian clothes, today. He can't even be assed to wear the green duty pants as they tends to be another dead giveaway. Nope, for him it's jeans, tennis shoes, and his black-and-white ginger tropical shirt. But hearing a woman's voice, he looks up towards the hatch and smiles. "Lieutenant Aydin," he greets. "How goes? Civilian clothes seem to be a little more relaxing on you." Mark gestures to her jeans and sweater with an appreciative nod. He looks like he'd be better suited to a beach party than the bridge of a star-faring vessel.

Leyla doesn't pause, as she makes her way into the room, heading, not for the console where the ChEng is working, but towards the pilot's seat, currently occupied by a dark-haired, olive-complected man, probably in his late thirties. "Dorian, you go on ahead, I've got the next shift." A grateful look, and a barely covered yawn, as the civilian pilot rises from his seat, favouring, only slightly, his left leg. "Thanks, Leyla. I don't mind telling you I'll be looking forward to getting more than four hours sleep." The slightest limp, as he makes his way out of the room, offering a, "Be seeing you, Captain," to Mark, before he ducks out, heading towards the crew's quarters. Once the other pilot retires, Leyla's attention shifts to Mark, her tone cool, not cold, but her usual uninflected standard. "Captain Makinen. I'm fine, thank you. I see they let you out of your cage." A glance down at herself, "I was lucky enough to be able to keep a few of the things we've salvaged. Easier to get around here as things stand." Leyla settles into the pilot's seat, keying up communications, "Cerberus, this is Sweet Pea. I've got the pilot's rotation on the Elpis for the next four hours." A moment later, the reply, "Copy that, Sweet Pea. Pilot's rotation, four hours."

Mark watches the woman pass through to the pilots seat and settle in, paying no attention to whats in front of him as if he were waiting for a response or to figure out what she's doing here. Oh! She's flying. That would certainly make sense. He sips at the mug of coffee and smirks to her remark. "They had to. I'd tossed out a promotion, settled a project breakthrough, and nearly topped a work detail on Gun installation. They figured that if I stayed much longer I would probably do something drastic." He looks back to the instruments. "Yeah? You look good in them. They suit you." Mark is looking at the console and not her. Probably a sign that its a genuine compliment. "I was able to salvage a collection of these badass shirts from one of those Knossos raids. You only able to get a few things or was that your one and only selection of sets?" He lofts his eyes back to her with an ease about him.

"Like completely rebuild the FTL drives from the ground up?" Leyla continues the conversation, but her eyes and her hands are turned to the task of confirming the course of the big ship, making certain all of her flight systems are functioning, and checking the status of the FTL drive. Pilot first, pilot always. "Thank you. I've never given much consideration to my clothing. I'm either wearing it or I'm not." The only holdover from Leyla's standard uniformed or flight suited best, are the black gloves she's never without. Well, she's never not wearing some sort of glove on her hands, whether they be her extensive collection of black ones, her flight suit gloves, or the ones that she wears while working on the deck, or down in the machine shops and foundry. She has gloves like other women have shoes. "I can see why they were left behind." Once everything's set to right, Leyla settles into the seat, curling her feet beneath her, "No, I managed to put together a few things. One of the perks of being at the front lines of salvage and rescue, I suppose."

Mark snorts, chuckling. "Actually, no. That was about a month ago. We needed those couplers before we could jump. Had to salvage some off a crashed frigate on Tauron. Lemme tell you, that was one helluva job. And not in the best way, either." The man shakes his head and sips at his mug. He walks across teh bridge to the navigation console and checks on his clipboard. "Really? I'm not a fashionista, in case you couldn't tell, but I always try to have a little fun with wearing something. Tropical shirts are tops, lemme tell you. They breathe well, they're comfortable, and these? These are silk!!" Ohh yeah. Big Pimpin ChEng. "You can see why they were left behind?" Mark moves over to the flight controls, standing beside her and checking over the encrypted IFF frequencies.

"Well, I am certain the fleet is glad of the work you did. Having to salvage what we need has been the worst part of this, all of this. Although the day we pulled the FTL for the Elpis was a good day for the deck and engineering." The upside to flying a shift aboard the civilian freighter, is that it's quite, peaceful. The downside…is that it's quiet, peaceful. There's rarely much excitement. And hardly a thing to keep you occupied. Leyla's eyes track the ChEng, as he rises from his work station, as it were, and moves to his paperwork, "I've never put much though or stock in clothing. But if I did, I would certainly NOT wear anything like what you've got on." A decided nod, as her eyes take in every inch of the shirt, "It's hideous. And I mean that in the worst way possible."

Mark shrugs. "Salvage ain't so bad. The ships are in pretty good condition, actually." He flips a rocker switch to TEST and a few lights turn on. Eyes move over them. "We've got enough fuel for another six years at our rate of consumption. If we increase our combat tempo, probably five, but we'd be out of ammo before then. But none of that matters because we won't have food nearly that long. Plenty of water but we need more than that." He flicks his pen over the clipboard and stops as she comments on his shirt. He gives her a sidelong look and tugs at his shirt. "This. This is a nice shirt. I love this shirt. This shirt loves you, too. Its even easy on the eyes. You're lucky. I could've worn my lime green one. Keep that in mind." He grins at her from that sideways look. Did he just threaten her with a color?

"I don't mean the act of salvage is bad in and of itself, it's what I've spent most of my career doing. What I mean, is that it is going to become increasingly difficult to find the supplies that we need to keep the fleet going. And that includes fuel, though I have made inroads into plotting potential tylium sources, already refined." Shooting space piwates obviously came in handy, "We will have food that long, if the hydroponics and the other food production schemes get and stay off the ground." A knitting of her brows, "That shirt does not love me. That shirt is assaulting my eyes like a drunk Marine in a bar brawl. I would almost prefer the lime. Then I could just be blinded by its incandescence."

Mark chuckles. "Really? Shit, Lieutenant. Check your charts. We've got everything this fleet needs to survive a hundred years floating out there." He looks back to the panel and marks something off. He then steps around her flight chair and to a navigation screen. Finger punch into it and he swings it out to show her. Its a map of the space around Virgon. A huge swath of it is marked as a No Fly Zone. "Virgon Graveyard. Something like sixty percent of the fleet's remains are out there. Some of it is fairly intact. Food stores, munitions, aircraft parts, medical equipment and supplies. Maybe even water in some of the tanks of those destroyed ships - though most of it is probably frozen into bricks." He sniffs, touching his thumb to his nose. "The bitch is that apparently the Cylons are patrolling it heavily. We ran into a guidance system problem over on the Praetorian that we weren't sure about. I was going to need to run a risky experiment and we needed parts we didn't have. That's the only place we could find it. Well.. needless to say I never did the experiment and we worked around the issue. But its out there. I don't think anyone from the battlegroup has been out there in awhile." Mark stops then and looks at her. "This shirt isn't capable assaulting anything except the Gates of Awesome." He holds out a corner of it. "Here. Just feel it. Tell me you don't like silk shirts. Tell me. I double dare you."

"But for how long is it going to stay there, Captain?" Leyla rises, moving over to the screen she's been directed to. "That looks quite a bit like the space above Picon did, the first time we did a recon there. The second time, when Pens and I flew back and did our recon run, we found four basestars, four full cylon raider wings, and not a scrap left of metal anywhere in its near or far orbits. Whatever scrap was left behind after their attack they are harvesting it all at a prodigious rate, and using it to build more ships. They were using the remaining orbital platform above Picon for just that purpose. And our last recon to the Graveyard showed that the cylons are salvaging materials as we speak. By the time we return to Virgon, if we ever do, they may well be nothing left to return to." Leyla's eyes shift, back down to the shirt in question, "I have never owned, nor have I ever worn a silk shirt." There's a decided frown, but she finally tugs off the glove off of her left hand, reaching out the touch a small patch of the shirt, careful to make certain that there's no way she'd touch either the Captain's hand or his person, "Soft," before she moves to slip her glove back on. "But still terribly unattractive."

"See? This is why I listen to the people who actually get to leave this ship." Mark smirks, shrugging. "Dunno how long it will be there. I did a lot of the trajectory mapping and backtracking on wreckages after Leonis. Doublechecked a lot of work. Sixty percent of the fleet is a lot. We lost..what? Fifteen? Twenty, above Picon?" He then stops, his own face frowning. "Where are they building these ships? I mean, that is a LOT of harvesting. They can't be jumping it all back to their homeworld can they? Or wherever the hell they came from. That would suck down way too much gas." He blinks away the idea. "Anyhow, roughly thirty percent of the wreckage would have reached escape altitude from Virgon within five years. Twenty would spend the next fifteen years crashing into Virgon. The rest would hang around Virgon for about one hundred years." He steps off after she touches the shirt, satisfied in being correct. "When you don't have to look at it, you mind less. Why? Because its silk. So, mind if I ask why you seem to enjoy gloves so much?" Mark glances to her and back to his clipboard. Flip.

"Even if you cannot leave the ship, you can still read the reports that we make available after we return from our assigned missions. Now that you are the Chief Engineer, it should not be any trouble for you to gain access to the full reports we have on file. And those include the written information as well as the full sensor suite recording from our raptors. They might help you make a better assessment of the situation and our resources." A dip of her head, "Or our potential resources." There's not a shred of disdain in Leyla's voice. It's a simple statement of fact. As the ChEng he has higher clearance now than he did before. "They were using one of our own orbital platforms above Picon. On Caprica they were using a ground yard, building inside the shell of the atmosphere. They are not bothering to return to wherever they came from. They're building right above and around the colonies. And why shouldn't they? It's not as if anyone has the power to stop them. Certainly not this ragtag fleet." Once the ChEng has moved away, Leyla settles back into her chair, "Yes, when I don't have to look at it, I do mind less." Clearly, the woman has no fashion sense. "I don't enjoy gloves, as a matter of course. I wear them out of respect for the dead." A mourning tradition then. "It is the way of my people, the family and culture in which I was raised. It distances us from others, as death distances us from the one who was lost." Except it's been nearly a year, and she rarely, if ever takes them off, except when she's showering and it can't be avoided.

"I would absolutely love to read the reports going back but its been almost a year, Lieutenant." He stops, then looks to her. "Maybe I just call you Leyla since we're both in civvies? You can call me Mark. I promise, you can still respect me in the morning but I won't hold you to it." He grins and looks back, continuing his train of thought. "I don't have the time to read all of it. Its simply too much. I've got fifty things going on. That's why I like talking to people. Reports give you some good information but a report won't tell you if there was any odd odors when prompted. It won't tell you what it heard or felt if you ask it." While she discusses about the Cylon construction yards, Mark sets down the mug and moves back to Nav. "Ah, so tradition. Gotcha. Please understand that when I ask questions, I'm not trying to mock, merely understand." He clears his throat. "Most traditions encourage people to come together and mourn. Why distance?" This guy isn't going to toss his two cents in. Not yet. Though he seems about to ask another question on that topic when another topic comes back around. "Wait- did you say the Cylons have a ground-based.. static.. construction facility? It doesn't move? Its a big construction zone?" Uh oh. When Chief Engineers get excited, one of two things happen: 1) Flamethrowers or 2) Big Explosions.

"Our recons were much more recent than that. Only a few months ago. But I'm sure you can get whatever information you might need from Toast. And Boots has a good rapport with Engineering, he might also be available." She certainly wouldn't volunteer herself. She is, at the end of it all, only a pilot. And certainly not the person or persons in charge that could get the ChEng the information he needed with a minimum of red tape. "Leyla is fine, or Sweet Pea. Even Aydin, if that suits you better." A moment, as she considers how best to answer the question, "Our tradition emphasizes the importance of the body as sacred, the body as a vessel of the soul. It's safe harbour until it begins its final journey. We do not hold that one can communicate with the souls of the dead after their passing, as some traditions do. And so, the body is our only anchor to the ones we have loved and lost. We mourn the loss of that connection, and before we celebrate their life, we honour it by feeling as intensely as we can, their loss. As much as intensely as we feel the celebration of their lives at their funeral." As for funerals, "Now there is only the mourning. No one remains to bury the dead and celebrate their lives." The death of everyone, or nearly everyone on Tauron, and certainly everyone that Leyla ever knew in the Black Country has put the woman in a perpetual, permanent holding pattern, waiting for a release that can never now come. "If I had been able to provide the proper rites, I would have had the proper ta moko to honour the lost, but I have not enough flesh to mourn all who died on Tauron." A blink, as the course of concersation changes, "Let me check my records and I will give you what information I have."

"I've heard of Boots. I have no idea who he is." Mark just shakes his head. He doesn't sound mad, just wonderous about who this person is supposed to be. He stops to listen to her discuss the gloves and what they mean. At the end he makes a 'huh' sound and steps around to see her more. "Does it help? With the loss, I mean. We all still feel it and deal in our own ways. There's no way we couldn't. I know what the proper rites our for most of mainstream beliefs. Heck.." Mark reaches into his pocket and produces two small coins and a vial of dirt. "Just in case. I know how its supposed to work but I figure its worth a try." To her last, the man simply nods. "I may have something we can use to take it out. The, uh, construction yards I mean."

"Captain Kal Trask, Squadron leader of the VAQ-141 Harriers, the squadron I fly for." Leyla moves t retrieve the bag she brought in with her, pulling out her laptop and moving to set it up at her flight station, careful not to jostle the controls. A few keystrokes of her fingers and she begins weeding through all of the records of the AARs she's read and written over the last year, "No, it doesn't help. If I lived for another fifty years, I could not mourn all of the lost as they deserve." Tradition can be a bitch that way, especially when it means you put a whole side of yourself and your life on hold with no end in sight. "Correction, the only verified construction is the orbital one above Picon. But there are two stationary basestars on Caprica. One above Caprica city, one above Delphi, and similarly positioned basestars in the atmosphere above Libran. It seems as though those two colonies are the ones the Cylons have chosen to 'inhabit'. There are multiple signs of mining on Canceron, but the planet is guarded by no less than twenty-eight basestars and a thousand raiders and heavy raiders."

"Yeah, I know -of- the guy but I've never met him. The only people I ever hear refer to him and engineering are people outside engineering, oddly." Mark shrugs and looks on as she explains further. "That's gotta be a tough burden. I can't imagine having to carry that. I gotta say I was never religious until Astro. Made me start considering death and life and what it all means. I guess the only conclusions I ever came to were those about individuals. Live and let live, right? Whatever helps a person and doesn't harm another or something." The man gives an awkward shrug. Though he shakes his head. He was hoping for that. "Well the stationary basestars would work just as well provided Command doesn't cary about knocking down a city or two. Those missiles I was talking to your backseater about?" Mark's smile grows. "I'm going to try and push for an operational test next week. I want to try for a live enemy target."

Leyla looks over from where she's working, setting aside the laptop as she moves to stabilize the course of the big freighter, "Perhaps you should speak to Captain Gabrieli, then. He worked quite closely with Boots. And when I needed use of engineering facilities, it was the Captain who usually granted Boots permission for me to use them." Once the ship is back on course, she returns to her laptop, "It is not your burden to carry. It is one that I accepted willingly, knowing the cost it would have on my life." At the comment about religion, "I have never been, nor am I now a religious person. I believe in facts, in recorded events and tradition. For me, Astrophysics only enforced that." A nod, as he reveals his master plan, "And have you decided on a launch platform?" As if this were all business as usual.

Mark shrugs. "I hardly ever see Gabrieli. He's usually either trying to get tests done in Sickbay or tinkering with something or another. Most of my time is spent ankles-deep in some kind of mechanical or electrical problem." Which would explain why he's dirty all the damned time. He doesn't comment on the gloves, letting that go. "Not religious but you mourn as if you are. Interesting. Huh. Well people find different paths on their own. Nothing particularly good or bad. I just got a little big too into universal origins one semester and it really blew my mind." He sniffs, chuckling with a nod. "Yeah, actually. If the CAG approves it, I want to have you guys tow one into space. I'll ride out with whomever takes it. The battlegroup can jump away to avoid further danger. I'll arm the missile, target it, and set it to a countdown launch."

"I would imagine now that he is not the Chief, there is very little else he can do." But as she doesn't know the man personally, she lets it go. "Most of the religious people I know spend their time worrying at beads, begging the gods to speak to them, to reveal their divine plan. They look for salvation outside of themselves, rather than create it for themselves. They believe the answers are unknowable, when in reality, they are simply too difficult to bear." But she too leaves aside the questions of religion and tradition, "It might be easier to simply reconfigure the jump with the missile away from the battlegroup. The FTL engine could certainly be recalculated to include the missile within it's displacement field." She doesn't make any attempt to dissuade the ChEng from coming along on his test.

"Same. That's why I don't follow an organized religion or sect. Besides, too many fight over religion. Damned awful shit gets done its name. That's not even mentioning the people that get so caught up in it about answers. Heh. I'm not looking for answers. If I want answers I'll open a book, not the scrolls." Mark taps his pen on the clips board, seeming like it might be coming to the time when he must depart. "Not really a decision for me. I just make the tests as safe as I can. Though I'm not sure I am a fan of something that heavy and valuable attached to a tether. If it slams into you once the bubble collapses it could be bad news bigtime and the Cerb would never even know."

"However, in light of the recent discovery." Not inclined to be a woman who touts her own virtues, she doesn't say 'my discovery' despite the fact that it belongs both to herself and to Flasher, "the scrolls might well become a necessary text to read. Not as a bastion of religion, but as a bastion of facts. But, as you do not seem particularly interested in them, I won't extend the invitation to join me in a reading and fact-finding mission of them." Only a nod, as he voices his concerns about jumping a single ship away, rather than the entire fleet, "If you end up needing pilots to volunteer for the test, do come and find me." Leyla resettles in her seat, not seeming to mind the long, silent haul ahead, until the next pilot comes in to relieve her, eyes focused on the navigation conputers and DRADIS ahead, "Next time, wear the lime. Mark."

"Fair enough. You don't have to let a man of science and religion help you out. But I'll remember this when Colonel Pewter asks me to figure out how to fly that ark and dissect its navigational systems in our labs. Reverse plot the systems. Plot drift trajectories. …Calculate potential departure points." Uh huh. Mark just grins. Its clear this is open to negotiation. "Lemme know if you charge your mind, eh Leyla? I'll keep you in mind for the jump test, though." The man taps the headrest of her chair with his pen before he turns to go. "Copy. Bright Orange next time. I'm on it." Annnd he's off.

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