PHD #432: That Thing Called Hope
That Thing Called Hope
Summary: The snipes have it. So does the visiting marine. That's not always a good thing.
Date: 04 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Pewter/Fishing logs generally.
Ciro Gallagher Mark Sofia Ximena 
Engineering - Deck 11 - Unused Storage
Pipes, conduits, and cramped passageways. Heat and the smells of sweat and machine oil. Engineering is a maze of hallways that run deep into the aft of the Cerberus. Dotted with a few storage rooms, offices, and workshops, this section of the ship is constantly staffed by a huge team of professionals. From the main fuel tank feeds to the massive FTL drive room, no other part of the ship is more important than this section that provides propulsion and life support to every section of the battlestar.
Post-Holocaust Day: #432

Maximum space for maximum efficiency, or something. A series of long flat crates are set out on the floor, with a minimum amount of packing material. That's sort of a premium. But everything seems to be being handled with unusual care. Widgets and doodads and whatits. The Chair sits alone, just on the far side of the hatch, its usual occupant on the floor at one of the half empty crates, legs folded beneath her. Ximena's working diligently, moving as much as she can to try to get the crate filled. Bit of a jigsaw puzzle really. "These are the hoses for the tank on the left wall, Sofia?" You can say one thing for Engineering. During the runs last year through the colonies, they really did scavenge everything that wasn't nailed down(and a few things that were).

Sofia is here too! She seems to be in a good mood, despite a quiet cautiousness that lingers. She smiles. She watches over their little room and all the crates for a moment, perhaps just a bit proud of Ximena's efforts. She settles nearby and nods. "Yeah, we found them in storage," She smiles over. "There's bits for filters too," She considers. She's careful, though.

Just entering engineering is Gallagher. There's something to be said about starting your shift…you never know what you're gonna find. And this is one of those situations as her attention is drawn by the crates and everything else that has been set up here in engineering. Slowing her pace, she casually makes her way over to where Ximena and Sofia are located. "Hey…" She says tentatively, as if not wanting to break their focus. "So, what's going on here?"

"I'm sorry that we weren't able to salvage more glass for the tanks." Most of what they have been able to build has had to be metal, with little 'port holes' to look through. "Maybe we'll get lucky, if we ever get back to a colony with salvage." She continues packing, as close as possible, trying to put in as they'd be pulled out, all color-coded to go along with the plans that were tucked in as soon as the crate was opened. "Sir." That to Gallagher, as the EE walks up. "It's for the park." The one they've been working on for months now, when time allows. "We were stuck over here for so long, we did most of the work in unused storage, instead of on the Elpis. So we're moving everything over now."

"Hey. Don't be sorry," Sofia smiles and looks over. "Your feesh tanks will be awesome," She nods. "And it's really not so much area - fish farms at home that I remember … they had lots of fish together. It's current," She explains and smiles. "So as long as you have good water flow and current, you can keep lots of fish in a space," She nods. She helps pack and mark things. She pauses as Gallagher arrives. "Hello sir," She nods. A smile as Ximena explains. "It'll be awesome." Sofia seems to think so. She's near Ximena and Gallagher, explaining some of the metal and glass and crates.

"Ah…so that's what's going on, hmm?" Gallagher smiles. "Looks like a fair bit to get moved over." She tilts her head slightly. "Do you guys need any help with the packing at all? I'd be more than happy to help." Sure, maybe she's probably got other stuff to do as well. But it's all part of the job, in the end.

Lords help Ciro Sondray, who's ventured down to deck eleven on his own to visit the small number of people he knows in engineering. Wearing his off-duty clothing, the tall, muscular marine makes his way down the row of pipes in the direction of the familiar voices. Avoiding the pipes all around him as if every single one is burning hot to the touch, he finally turns a corner to see them working on their project. Coming to a stop, he finds what appears to be a safe part of the wall and taps his knuckles three times on it.

"We'd be glad of the help. Poor Shim was in here earlier, and he had to make a trip to medical. If you'd like, you can get started on that box just to your left. That's some of the piping for the central tank." Ximena scoots further down along her crate, using her hands as easily as someone else might use their feet. "Well, you're the person who actually knows about fish, Sofia. If it were left to me, I'd probably end up putting two species together designed to kill each other off. Like those fighting fish." Hence why it was the 3M's designs that were built out by the people working on the project. "I've never known you to feel the need to announce yourself, Sunny."

Sarge! Sofia grins and waves. "Yeah," She nods. She pshts at Ximena and waves her hands. "Nonsense, I insist you are at least 50 percent of this. You have worked super hard." Beam. At LEAST. "Maybe more like 80 … I haven't done stats in awhile," Her eyes widen. "And that's ok! We learn. And um, fortunately fighting fish aren't edible. They're cute." Smile. She wriggles her fingers. Feesh! "Hi Sarge. How are you? Wanna see our project?" She looks to Gallagher and nods. "I hope we find lots of good ones."

Giving a little nod to Ximena, Gallagher sits herself down and starts work on putting pipes into the box. Glancing up as a new face arrives, she gives him a little smile and a nod. "Sergeant." Looking at Sofia and Ximena, she asks, "Is there any…you know…electrical aspect to this that you guys need help with at all?" She can't help but ask. Electrical things are her speciality, after all.

Carefully stealing his hand back from the wall, Ciro folds his arms across his chest and steps just a little bit closer. He's only being cautious of the walls, of course, but he moves rather slowly as he glances over their inventory of supplies. Watching the floor, Ximena's the first he looks to. "I wouldn't want one of your snipes turning with an armful of pipe or wrench to hit me in the face." He replies, quick on the draw as he gives Gallagher a heavy nod of his mohawked head. "Lieutenant."

Stepping in closer, he looks to Sofia, raising his brow. "So…if I'm hearing right you weren't kidding when you were mentioning the whole fresh fish idea? Is that what I'm looking at here? An actual attempt at some kind of hatchery?"

"Of course. It's going to be quite a job running all of the filtering systems, as well as the lighting. Since we'll be raising the fish for looks as well as for consumption, and none of their ecosystem is natural," read, no nature to take care of things like cleaning the water or breaking down dead and waste matter, "we'll have to run everything mechanically. Which means a lot of wiring and a lot of problems with keeping it all from shorting out." Ximena goes back to packing as the big marine makes his way further inside, "I can't reach your face. I can, however, get in a good shot at your knees." There's no real threat there, however. it seems more humorous than anything else, "We're going to do out best. I made a promise to the Commander. And all of us who worked on this agree that we need something like it."

Sofia smiles at Ciro. Then she pouts. "Why would I kid about that? It's gonna be cool," She nods. "I've been reading about lots of new fish, since mine were all ornamental," She admits. She watches the others, smiling once more. She nods at Ximena. "Yeah. But fish poop scoop duty could be good training or punishment. Or both." Her eyebrows furrow. She lets Ximena speak and grins. "It's true. Her kneeshot is deadly." She seems glad to compliment people. She nods solemnly at the last bit. "Protein is important and fresh food is um, good for the soul I think." She is solemn and happy all at once. "Do you know much about pumps?" A peer to Gallagher.

Gallagher listens to Ximenia carefully as she packs away the pipes. "Well, I should be able to help with all of that. We'd wanna get just the right amount of power to be supplied to all of this. But that shouldn't be too too difficult to figure out." She smiles. "But yeah, I'll be happy to help do that." All in a day's work. She chuckles at the banter between Ximena, Sofia, and Ciro, shaking her head slightly, before turning to Sofia to answer her question. "I know a bit about pumps, yeah." She may have to do some extra reading up, but not terribly much.

"No doubt about it, Wolfe, if Alteris were so inclined she'd shoot me in the kneecap from over there. What she doesn't know is that I was captain of the getting-the-frak-out-of-the-way team in high school. Don't tell her that, though, she'll aim higher." The marine says with a certain sarcasm as he finds a spot on the wall with few pipes. Moving over to it, he crouches and rests his elbows on his knees. "Well…I don't know much about fish and hatcheries other than they're tasty. Should I clear out and let you nerds get to work?"

"You want a slap, Sunny? You can work with Gallagher and get that second crate packed while Sofia and I finish that one. And we've got to get them down to the raptor afterwards." Actually, Sofia and Ximena have a bit of a headstart, but that's only because they were already working when the other two started out, "That's my thinking, Sofia. Hydroponics is great, don't get me wrong, but we can't keep living on packaged meat. And even that isn't going to last forever. I have no idea where we're going, but we need to work on more sustainable food sources. because I'm sure as hell not eating that algae unless I absolutely have to."

Sofia listens with a smile. Her green eyes are a bit bright, and she nods at Gallagher. "Or if you're good at netting fish … that'd be good too. I might fall in." Sofia wrinkles her nose. Then she grins faintly at Ciro and pouts. "Nerds! Ps— okay, that's fine. Um. You could help us gather fish later." Nod. "Ximena is still mighty though," And as far as she's concerned, the queen of the fish tanks. She thinks so. She nods at Ximena. "Yeah…" She takes a deep breath. "I actually don't mind the algae but it's not for everyone," The Aquarian is nothing, if sensitive. She smiles again. "That's all really true." She grunts and helps stack something neatly.

"You say 'nerds' like it's a bad thing!" Gallagher says to Ciro, grinning. "And yeah, you could always help. I mean, eight hands are better than six!" She nods decisively. "Or I could always get you to help me piece together the wiring for this." She says in jest, laughing a little bit, shaking her head and going back to the stacking of pipes.

Ciro looks to Ximena, then to the crate, then to Ximena again. The dry look on his face looks as if it's almost about to say that she can't boss him around. Rising with a rather sarcastic sigh, he lazily walks towards the second crate. His arms reach above his head until a soft pop echoes from his shoulders. The quiet grin on his face is "You'd all better treat me nice. When we run out of food and start eachother eachother, I am going to be king. You would all be wise to be in my good graces." Yet another dark thought wrapped up in satire from the man from Canceron. Cracking his knuckles, he stops at the crate and looks it over, figuring out exactly how he's supposed to pack it. "For the record, though, I'm a fan of this idea. The moment I get a fresh bit of fish on my plate I'm going to owe you all a favor."

Ciro then looks to Lieutenant Gallagher and nods, stepping over towards her to assist her with the pipes. "Nerds aren't exactly an entirely bad thing, but it's all I've really got to fire back with. I'm the low end of the pay grade and I don't use math very often. So when you con me into doing the heavy lifting? You're nerds."

There look to be a total of five crates that need filling. Each has its blueprints, the pieces that go in it, and a small amount of packing material for those spaces that can't be filled otherwise. But from the looks of the storage area, there are parts on parts yet to move over. A turn of her head allows Ximena to catch a glance at Ciro's rebellious expression, and a free hand rises to tap the brass on her collar, a quirk of her lips following. Not that the Ensign makes much use of her pins in day to day operation, up to and including not correcting people when they still call her 'Chief', but yes, she can be the boss of him. "I'll be happy to get what we can, but I promised the Commander he'd have his fishing hole, so if nothing else, we need ones large enough to catch. Which means we'll need to find supplies as well. Lords only know how I'm going to convince the Chief," that would be the ChEng, "to go along with that."

Doobie doobie doooo.. Mark was probably on his way someplace. He's been working short shifts lately to recover from something not strictly identified. With these short shifts come him wandering the hallways 'off duty' for work deeper into Engineering and away from stalking Light Colonels or Command that might find him. Why he needs not be found is apparent when he walks by the hatch, notices the noise from inside, and returns and steps inside. The man has his orange coveralls tied around his stomach. Rather than regulation tanks he's wearing a hair metal t-shirt and the aforementioned Aquarian Lounge Camo. The Major's pins have been haphazardly affixed to his lapel in case someone needs to find him. Because, according to strict logic, wearing the pins visibly makes you easier to find. There's a cup of coffee in his left hand and his right is tucked into the waistband made by the tied-off arms. "Present," Mark blurts in reply to Ximena. "What the happy hell is up, kids?" At least he seems conversational, eyes travelling over the activity.

Sofia watches the others for a moment. She sticks her tongue out at Ciro. "King Mohawk!" She beams. "But I prefer a commitee…" She ponders. She shrugs and smiles. "And I'll keep that end mind. I think there's stuff you can lift here," She nods to Ciro. She grins at Ximena. "You are going to be a super popular snipe if you get a fishing hole going." Sagenod. "What we can do is try to catch a range of sizes, so we can replenish. Breeding size ones and/or fry would be turbo awesome." She taps her chin. "One step at a time." Her fingers splay and she grins. She looks over, seeing Mark. She waves. "Hello!"

Gallagher grins at Ciro. "Con? Well…I guess we do con sometimes." She smirks. "And yes, I suppose that we'll want to be nice to you, should we have to…you know…fight each other for food and the like." She shrugs. She raises an eyebrow at Ximena. "Well, you'll do fine with the chief, I'm sure?" She clears her throat, going back to the packing up of supplies, when yet another voice speaks up from nearby. "Greetings, Major." She smiles up at Mark.

Blueprints. Son of a bitch. Ximena pulls rank. DOUBLE son of a bitch. Mark? Not so bad. Ciro's brow lowers and offers the out-of-reg major a formal man-to-man nod. Grunting, he lifts up one of the heavy pipes and moves it over to the packing crate. Setting it down on the lip, he eyeballs the blueprints, making sure that he's not putting it in at the wrong place. "King Mohawk is right, and no…there will be no committees." His lip curls into a quiet smirk. "When I rule there is only my …" He pauses, looking to Mark, suddenly deciding whether or not he should actually be joking about cannibalism in the presence of so many officers. A rare moment of sheepishness falls over his features as he turns back to his work. "…wait, are these pipes numbered in some kind of order, Alteris?"

"Frak." Ximena doesn't look over at the ChEng just immediately, instead, her eyes scan the room, for all appearances looking as if she were trying to find the best place to get some cover. Finally, she seems to pick the big marine as the best cover of all, and scoots a bit so that inadvertently on his part, but still, he's between her and the Major. "You're not trying to pack the pipes in based on the blueprint are you?" Ximena can't help it, she passes a glance to Gallagher and Sofia. A non-nerd among nerds is a frightening funny thing. "That's for after we take then out on the Elpis. Just stash them in there as neatly as you can." For just a moment, the woman looks as if she were debating. "Well, you see, we've sort of been working on a side project," which was so super secret that even the ChEng didn't know about it, "for the Commander," not really but close enough, right? "And we're getting ready to move everything we've done so far over to the Elpis."

Mark lifts his mug around to each greeting. "Evenin. I was just strollin by, on my way down to the FTL hall. Heard a bunch of grab-assin from the hallway and decided to check it out. Course, makes sense. You got some schmoe with a mohawk rollin around up in here." Mark tilts the mug at him. "Godsdamn, son. I haven't seen a haircut like that since a mirror in college. Righteous. Course my girlfriend at the time saw it and said it looked like I had a squirrel's tail on my head. Broke up with me because apparently i 'loved it more than her'." But he quirks a brow. "Trust me, Marine. You can't hurt my feelings. I just get worried when you hurt my snipe's feelings. Then there's Trouble." He grins and sips at the mug. The man then ambles over towards Ximena and fixes her with a purposely overly-hairy eyeball. "Siiiiiide project? Do expound, my chair-bound cohort."

Sofia smiles at Gallagher. Then a pause. She glances between the others. Currently, Sofia sits at the bottom of the rank totem pole - which amuses her tremendously. She can't not smile now. She stifles a giggle at King Mohawk. "Only your mohawk, yes. Or maybe your railgun." Ponder. A shrug. "Here, I can show you," Sofia offers to Ciro. Poor Xim and Mark. "This project is mostly Ximena's really." Sagenod. She smiles at Mark, looking amused. She goes quiet, content to let the officers chat for a moment.

"You've always got your ear out to make sure everything's fine here, don't ya boss?" Gallagher grins, throwing a sly grin in Ximena's direction as well, as she talks to Ciro. She doesn't say anything, though. Not yet. She giggles a little at Mark's story. "Oh, come now. I can't believe it. We all know us ladies just love it when you pay more attention and love your hair more than us." She snorts, continuing to sort.

Well, if you're going to die, might as well go down in a righteous flame and all. "Back when the Commander tapped me for OCS," that would have been then Colonel Pewter, "I mentioned that maybe we could build him a fishing hole on the Elpis." And since she can no longer use Ciro as cover, Ximena just scoots back and returns to work, "It was never really an official thing, because we didn't know if we'd be able to pull it off. You know, not having fish, or anything else. But we've been putting together a little something in one of the unused bays on the Elpis. It won't be anything like the old garden ships we used to have, just a place with some greenery, which we don't have either, mind, and a couple of tanks, some in the walls, one in the deck. Everyone's pitched in when they can what they can." But there's still the point that resources are at a premium. Even if everyone who worked on this thought it was a worthy and necessary project.

"Either way, Sofia, I'm going to need snipes to build my throne." Railgun? King mohawk, otherwise known as Ciro, turns his head and slowly raises his eye in Sofia's direction. His eyes lid slightly and he huffs in an inward manner, an almost dopey manner of acknowledging that what she just said was funny. His eyebrow twitches as he ignores the chatter between Mark and Ximena, letting the blueprints fall to the floor. "Oh so I'm not supposed to use the blueprints to pack the pipes, only to make sure that they're in there for the unpacking. How thoughtful of you, Alteris, letting me know this now. I was about to accidentally eat this thing. Oh, and Chief, I thought you should know that she brought me down here initially to try to keep you away from this project. She said it wasn't because she didn't want you to find out, but that you would be ineffective with helping." He sticks his tongue to one of the molars inside of his mouth, dropping a bus or two.

"Don't worry sir. I won't hurt your snipes. I'm just the help." He sidelongs, stuffing the pipe into the crate with ease.

"Mostly Ximena's, eh?" Mark asks rhetorically and glances to Sofa. "So you all are just followin orders, eh?" He then tilts the mug at Gallagher. "….No. But that's only so you guys won't tattle on me for my own indiscretions." He clicks his teeth with a wink to her and looks back to Ximena. The Major listens along with a blank face, the only break is sipping at the coffee. And just when she finishes and he could explode at the massive waste of resources.. "Huh." He nods a few times. "Thought about trying to incorporate hydroponics into it at all?" he offers easily before looking back to Ciro. Orly? His gaze aims back at the other officer and his brow quirks. "You hired this guy? Didn't you used to be a Marine? What were you thinking?" he chuckles out. Snipes snipe. At each other.

"Well, we'll do our best, sir. But, you know, sometimes little snippets escape without our realizing it." Gallagher smiles sweetly at Mark before turning to the others, listening intently but not saying much else, for the time being.

"Uh huh," SOfia looks amused. She smiles at Ciro. She grins a bit. "Yeah, that's how we unpack and install things." Her eyes widen. "You're not supposed to eat blueprints." She pouts. "And teasing about that is just mean." Her eyes widen. Blueprints are SACRED. She nods at Ximena. "It's true. I've been kind of nudging it along…" She won't throw Ximena ENTIRELY under the metaphorical buss. She grins at Mark. "Yes sir!" She adds hepfully. "He wasn't thinking, we put out the bear traps," She offers helpfully. "But it would be nice to have aquatic plants and fish for a clean source of protein not in the shape of a cube."

"You're welcome, Sunny." Ximena's hands pause, as she studies the ChEng. And since he doesn't look to be demoting her anytime soon, she continues, "We did and we didn't. Hydroponics is its own thing, and this will be built separately. Because while we do want it to be a way of growing protein sources, we also want it to be a place people can enjoy. And hydroponics, while useful and well-designed, doesn't lend itself well to sitting around and idling away your time. So we have considered ways, as Sofia said, to carry the plant-side over and we're working on ways we could recycle the waste for their use, it's not completely integrated." What was she thinking? "I was thinking when he's not shooting things, he's not half bad for manual labor." But that's said lightly. It's obvious the former assault engineer thins well of the current Sergeant, "There's a box over there, if you want to get started." That's to Mark. And there are three actually, that are not yet packed at all.

Making sure the pipe is secure, Ciro takes a step away from Mark and Ximena in the direction of the next pipe to stuff into the crate. "If the blueprints tell me to eat the blueprints, then I eat the blueprints. It's as simple as that." Ciro says over his back to the rest of the group as he stops near Gallagher. "What they don't understand just yet is that the hair is something that I do so that I'm never expected to do any sort of face work. Then I …excuse me." He reaches in for another pipe, and with a grunt he picks it up and moves it sidelong so that he won't bean Gallagher with it. "…then I end up getting stuck being treated like the gorilla I am by people with the ability to draw straight lines. Nevermind my near mastery of physics." He murmurs, stepping past Mark and Ximena to start placing the next pipe.

"So I can blame you, too, Wolfe? Niiiice. Always good to have extra names to add to the report." Mark shoots a grin at Sofia and then looks back to Ximena. "Eh. Yeah, makes sense. Though if artificial grav ever goes out that's gonna be one helluva mess. I call dibs on watching you mop. Sounds alright, though. But if we need these parts and we're already out of supply, they're comin out of that section of the Elpis first. Make sure we can salvage without too much heavy work." But he glances to the boxes and shakes his head. "Yeah, you wish, dontcha? 'Fraid it'll be a day or two more before I want to try lifting much. I was heading down to the FTL hall to check on a few things. Number Two reactor ran tests this morning. Its maintaining criticality but it dipped a few times. Wanted to verify couplings after all that wonderful junk we did for Kepner's Gun." He steps out of the way for Ciro and shrugs. "So I'll get out of your hair. Lemme know how it all works out. If you need any help past tomorrow, hollar my direction." He heads off for the hatch and turns to look to Gallagher. "Oh hey, el-tee. You able to get anything back yet on that topic we discussed?" The ChEng doesn't look to be in any hurry with it.

"Yeah." Sofia grins back at Mark. "It's not fair to let one person have it all," She waggles a finger. "Got cha." She nods. She tilts her head. "It's good to see you out and about sir. Maybe you can help us net fish sometime or something." The idea of watching Mark net fish amuses Sofia tremendously. She looks to Ciro and pouts. "Well, they are not for eating." She puts her hands on her hips. "And you're not ugly. You are just mohawky." Sagenod. She looks to Gallagher. "It's good to see you too. Um. Want some help with any lifting?" She goes quiet as the officers speak again. She looks pained at mention of that Gun. "I still feel horrible about that. At least Captain Belgoin seems sane…" Sigh. She goes quiet then.

Gallagher shakes her head in amusement at the turn the conversation has taken, sighing. Looking at Mark, she shakes her head. "Not too much yet. Working on the details though." She explains. "I'll let you know if I know anything, though." She nods and smiles. "It's always nice to see you!" Her attention turning to Sofia. "And I won't say no to help." She says happily.

"Everyone seems sane, until they're not. I'm more worried about the effect all these changes we made to our systems will have on us the next time we see them again. And I have no doubt that we will." Ximena finishes off the last of her crate, before she works to pull the lid on top. Ratcheting the lid closed is enough to set that one aside, before she scoots over to the next crate. This one's easier, full of wiring and plastic piping, "We're working on ways to cover over the central tank if things go badly. we've got all the metal from the hull where we cleared the space to place the tank." She carefully avoids insuring that the tanks can be salvaged at need, but it's not a flat out no, "if you need help with the engines, that takes priority. I can finish up in here."

As they enter a topic of conversation that he's really no help at, Ciro digs deeper into the work. Taking a look at the piles of supplies that need to go into the crates, he starts what can only be described as some boot-camp level project work. Grabbing as much as he can in one load, he moves quickly, stocking the last of the crate's contents before moving onto the next. Lowering his brows as he lifts, he comes to a stop near Sofia and Ximena, putting some plastic piping into place in the heavy crate. "Our systems changed?" He asks, way too late to enter the conversation. "What does that mean?"

Mark quirks a brow at Sofia. "Horrible? Frak 'em." Mark was one of the more beaten to hell hostages. He then looks to Gallagher and nods a few times. "Sweet. Well no rush." He then shakes his head to Ximena and waves her off. "Nah. Probably nothin. I'll see ya later." And with that, the Major and his fly-ass tropical shirt depart.

"See you sir. Be well. Nice parrots." Grin. Sofia noticed. She sighs and nods at Ximena. Sofia is helping shuffle and sort. She doesn't seem eager about the idea of undoing their fish tank - but it is a sad priority that. "Yeah, I can pop back onto shift soon. And of course," She'll settle in to work alongside Gallagher then, splitting her attention. She smiles at Ciro. "Um. I can explain. Have you used a computer much?"

"One of those things with the keyboard?" Ciro smirks. "Once or twice."

"See you later boss." Gallagher says to Mark, looking over to the rest of the group, nodding to Sofia as she starts helping her carry the boxes.

Ximena, being not much in the box carrying department, settles in for finishing off the other crates, which move much more easily than the first two, being lighter and easier to pack, "I'll send some people around as soon as I can, Sir," that to Mark. "Whatever happens, it'll be a beautiful thing, for a little while." But then dreams always are, until they die. "We made a number of changes to the ship's FTL drive and to it's ECM systems when we were with the Areion, to support the it weapon. I don't know all of the details, but a lot of it involved being able to link up with their systems and use our power to supplement theirs." Ciro might be late to the conversation, but he's still a part of it.

"Well, we linked our networks together - think lots of computers that talk to one another -" She pauses and nods as Ximena explains. "That Gun is kind of freaky though. I went on one of the missions to a place hit by it … it seems kind of cruel in a way." She wrinkles her nose. "But then I guess I'm not -too- surprised. I just feel awful I bought into it, for many reasons." Sighs. SHe's content to leave lighter things for others. She smiles at Ximena. "It will be for a long time. People love fish, to watch, catch and eat. We'll make it work," She promises. She looks to Gallagher. "So that's that."

"Ah, so now that they're gone all of this stuff you guys set in place for that cooperation is frakked, and it's either got to be rolled back or designed with the new configuration of the fleet in mind?" Ciro asks, raising a brow as he finishes the work on one of the crates. Packing in the blueprints with the supplies, he lets Ximena do the final checks before marking it as acceptable. "So let me get this straight, this isn't going to be a hatchery. People are actually going to be putting fishing poles in this shit?"

"Rolled back would be my preference. We have no idea what backdoors they might have built into our systems along with the modifications we knew about. And we can't afford for them to be able to override our systems in even the smallest degree." With the big stuff out of the way, Ximena turns back to the group, "The raptor should be ready to load out down in the hangar deck. If you all can get those onto the freight elevators, we can get this stuff moved over." The third crate done, Ximena scoots back over to The Chair, pulling herself up into the chair with practiced determination. Once she's settled, she moves back, to allow what can go out to go out.

"That sounds about right," Sofia agrees. "Make sure it's all uninstalled." Sigh. She really does seem to feel guilty about the whole thing. She shakes her head. "Thanks." Smile. Then she looks to Ciro and nods. "To a point. I think we'd have the smaller tanks feed into a big one and just let the edible-sized ones get caught. It's no good if all the babies get caught and there's no small fish to grow big. I also suspect there would be reasonable catching limits." Only so many fish can be supported and so on. "Oh um. I hope you don't mind me naming you boss on this …" She admits shyly to Ximena in passing. More guilt!

"Makes sense. Even if they did buckle up and get the frak out, last I checked they almost nuked the ship. That would have definitely ruined my year, not that it hasn't been sufficiently a pile of shit to begin with." Ciro replies, stepping over to the first crate that's ready to move. Brushing some of the sweat from his brow, he waves the front of his tank tops to vent some of the heat from his body. "Well…I'll eat a fish but I'm not so much the fishing sort. I'm not above trading vouchers for food if it gets me something better." Ciro offers, lowering his shoulders and pushing the first crate towards the elevator.

"Everyone's had a bad year, Sunny. But life goes on, whether we want it to or not. All we have to do is decide how we're going to carry on. Get busy living or get busy dying." Ximena will help, as she can, of course, if only by making sure the way's clear and the freight elevator ready to go. "I don't mind. It's my job to take the flak for everyone else. Comes with the brass. Anything that rains down from this is my responsibility."

"Nonsense. My name is already on the blame list. But you have to promise to take good credit if it comes, okay?" She smiles at Ximena. She nods and sighs at Ciro. WIth that, Sofia will start towards the elevator.

With a loud, dull thud the crate slips into place. Stepping back, Ciro rolls his powerful shoulders to let the muscles relax as he tilts his head from side to side and eyeballs its placing. Sniffing inwardly, he brushes his forearm over his brow and glances over to Ximena. "Yeah…the spacing's good. Shoulda known you snipes were going to put me to work and brought my gloves." He murmurs, speaking not another word about his horrible year as he goes for the next crate. Once again his shoulders press upwards as he presses the flat of his palms to the crate and wheels it, bound to set it into the next position in the elevator. "Now that I think of it, any time you need an extra set of hands down here for lifting and pushing, let me know. The weight-room gets quiet, and if I'm going to lift I might as well do it with company."

Ximena pushes back from the elevator, as everything's loaded in, Sofia and Gallagher heading down with the crates to get them loaded and transported to the Elpis. "I can't believe you just admitted you didn't bring a vital piece of equipment with you. You're losing your edge, Sunny." The clanging of the elevator finally fades, before Ximena heads back towards the storage room, to clean up and close up as she can, "You're always welcome here. We'll find some way to put you to work."

Taking a moment to look into his empty palms, checking for any sort of damage to his hands, the sweaty marine scoffs in reply to her jesting. "Job was able to get done, wasn't it? When I was in boot we had to move some crates and I didn't have gloves, got my hands all blistered up. I'm just lucky I didn't slip and drop anything." He offers, following her back to the storage area. "Do I have to check in ahead of time, or if any time I need some headspace cleared should I just report down here and start asking if anyone needs a lifter?" He asks, turning his head to watch her as he passes by on his way to some scattered containers in need of cleaning.

"If you dropped it, we'd have made you replace it." with vouchers, and 300 percent interest. Once Ximena heads back to the storage unit, she pushes over towards some stacked crates, levering herself out of her chair, leaning all of her weight against the crates as she uses them for support as she straightens out. Sitting in a chair all day takes its toll, even if you can't feel most of it. "Just head down, I'll make sure they know to look out for you. It'll be a help, no matter what you do. Staffing is really becoming an issue."

"How much of an issue? I'm not interested in getting reassigned if that's where you're taking it." Ciro interjects as he grabs the discarded containers for pipe and wiring, moving to place them where the other snipes can organize them on their own time. She's spared a small glance before he turns to go get some more. "Sometimes jogging the decks works when the pool's old. Sometimes jogging the decks gets old. Sometimes there's just shit that can't be replaced and another place to haunt that's different than the last is all I'm looking for."

"You're not going to get reassigned to engineering, if that's what you're worried about. We're just strapped for personnel, with all of the work that we need to do and the limited personnel. if you want to come down and help us move things around, feel free." Ximena remains where she is, working as many of the kinks out of her body as she can, "Seems to be you haven't been doing much else but haunting, in the months I've known you." Ximena will never be the sort of woman who jumps all in everyone's business, but there are those she takes an interest in.

Another pile of scrap is dropped off near her, and for that slight moment he makes eye contact with her. It's a connecting look, as if some sort of veiled warning, though the lowered eyebrows could simply be his ape-face while he's working out. He gives her his back once more, heading in the direction of some discarded spools of wiring. "Haunting, training, working out. I'm not exactly a social creature. The last few times I've dropped into the rec I've seen Wolfe. I think she's trying to use that big smile of her to clear out some clouds." Turning with the spools, he watches her as he approaches. "Got something on your mind you wanna tell me?"

Ximena meets look for look, not seeming in the least put out by the man's expression. There's no move to reclaim her seat, and the freedom and mobility it provides. "You're searching for something." A shrug, or as much as she can manage, given her position and placement, "people don't take Sofia seriously, most of the time. But she sees things more clearly than most people give her credit for." Her eyes settle back on the man working, "No. Is there something you want to tell me?"

He slows to a stop near the refuse bench, placing the heavy spools on its top. The collection of junk would soon be rifled through for the creative snipes to find some way to put it to good use. His hands free, he gazes off to the side for far too long without a response. "Odds." He offers and then turns, heading for more work. "Odds are everyone's dead. Odds are I'm better off getting over it and moving on." He growls bitterly, pulling a heavy toolkit from the floor into his large hands. Speaking as he works, he makes a point to keep his eyes away from hers, knowing well that she's watching him. "I only got one set of dog tags off a dead body, but until I'm trained to confirm the kills."

Ximena's face softens, sympathy and the recognition of loss in her expression. She moves, carefully, over to settle herself on one of the crates not far from her chair, using her hands to support her. "Odds are the hardest to call, when they're not in your favour." That's gently said, as gently as she can. "We all have our training. But sometimes it isn't about training. It's about what we know inside of ourselves. What does your heart tell you, Ciro?" It's not often Ximena actually uses the man's name, but there it is.

He keeps working. Stopping means he's got to have the conversation while not hiding behind something, which is standard faire for him. "My family was in a major metropolitan area the day it happened. There's no heart in any of that. More than likely the beach I grew up on was turned to glass and all of it's gone, long gone." He turns past her, finding the crank for the crates. His back to her, he scans the floor, busying himself with the search for more to do. "There was a girl. She was CMC. I was unable to be contacted for two months on Sagittaron, and she was trying to get a transfer to Canceron. Back home." Grabbing more garbage from the floor, he heads back to the bench. "I guess this is romantic." He shoves the crank onto the bench with a loud bang.

"I never found moving freight around particularly romantic, no. But if that's what you enjoy, I won't judge you." Ximena's hands remain on the crate, elbows locked to hold herself upright, "A city is just a body, filled with living, breathing people. Dehumanizing it doesn't make it less what it is." A tilt of her head, to be able to keep her focus on the man now banging things around, "Do you know she's still alive…in your heart, or do you hope that she is?"

"Crates are cheap and like it when I push them around." Ciro chuckles bitterly, shaking his head a few times with his back to her. "No, I meant the…" He searches for a word, his back rising and falling as he breaths. "…waiting. Who am I kidding anymore? A year alone was trouble enough, and as every day goes by we're talking another day someone's probably starved to death or the radiation caught up." He calms, and then turns back towards the staging area, busying himself with small scraps of leftover plastic from the pipe fittings. "At what point do you start burying empty caskets?"

"Maybe you'd be better off in Supply then. They never have a shortage of crates." As for the question, the comment, Ximena gives that serious thought, considering the man, what she can see of him, and his words. "At the point where you look inside yourself, at the part of you where they live and you know they're not there anymore. At the point where you accept that you have to live the best life that you can. For them, and for what they loved in you and what they would have wanted you to be. Would she have wanted you to be like this, Ciro? Haunted?"

Nothing is garbage on this deck. With an armful of containers, he slows his gait and comes to a stop near her and the bench once more. There's nothing more to pick up, but sorting it will keep him occupied. After a long, deep silence as he separates the plastics from the metallics, his eyes lid and his chest rises and falls in a quiet scoffing sound. "She'd tell me to do my thing now, but in the afterlife my ass belongs to her." His eyes tilt to the corner of their sockets, watching her in silence before he returns to his work. "You would have liked her. She never made excuses."

"Then why aren't you, Ciro? Why are you living the life of a ghost? Going through the motions, hiding yourself away? If she is gone, then you need to live. Not just for yourself, but for her. You need to store up as many memories and stories and experiences as you can, so that when you do see her again, you can share them with her. It would be a poor thing to see her again, and have nothing to tell. To meet her again only to say, 'I didn't die. but I wasn't alive.'" Ximena shifts, as if she were attempting to take the pressure off of her back, pain bringing a frown line between her brows, but she gives no other indication but that one small one. "I think that I would have. And perhaps if she were here, she would tell you not to use her as an excuse either. Moving on doesn't mean you love her any less."

He slowly turns to face her, folding his arms behind his back as something about the stand-offish ritual of crossing them before him doesn't fit the situation. He's not guarding himself, but he's definitely not playing this one directly with her. They're alone, yes, but this fact doesn't seem to bring him to open up too much. He swallows. "What you're saying makes sense." His eyes connect with hers, and for another short silence he has nothing more to say. That's all she gets. He's heard her, but whatever kick has been delivered to his chest isn't breaking through his screen. "Is everything fine over here the way it is for now?"

Ximena didn't expect a grand revelation. Not from Ciro. Life is hard. And facing it is harder still. But at least she's finally been able to say something to the man. Something he hasn't immediately slapped back in her face. Careful, even movements as she works her way back to The Chair, settling in with something that's not quite acceptance. "Yes, we're done here. For now." Hands on her wheels, as she ducks back out into the hall. Leaving the man to the silence, and what comes after.

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