PHD #163: The Desk-Bound Snipe
The Desk-bound Snipe
Summary: Recruitment for IIG continues.
Date: 8 August 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Ex-Cop MP
Cora Penelope 
A place where one finds engineers.
Post-Holocaust Day: #163

Ah, the joys of light duty: paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. Presently, Penelope is buried in it, the stubble of her recently denuded head just visible among the stacks of reports, work-orders and requisitions. Somewhere among it all, half a sandwich has gone missing. That's somewhat disturbing. More disturbing is the cup of coffee she's discovered, an island of fuzzy green mold floating about in the sludgy black. She pulls a disgustipated face and sets it aside.

"Lieutenant Paris," Cora greets Penelope as she approaches the desk. The intel officer is off-duty, it seems, though the sympathetic glance she casts over all of that paperwork suggests it may not be for long. "How are you?" she asks, helping herself to the chair opposite the engineer's desk.

"Lieutenant Nikephoros," Penelope responds, hurriedly shoving a dangerously listing tower of reports back into line. She eyeballs it until she's reasonably certain it's not going to sneaky-tip in the other direction, then comes out from behind the desk, taking a seat in the chair beside Cora. "Things have officially reached crirical mass in the paperwork department when I can't sit at the desk and actually see people on the other side. I'd offer you something to drink, but I'm reasonably sure a work order for repairs to the local coffee machine was just added to the pile. Otherwise, I'm all sparkles and unicorns. You?"

Cora eyes that tilting stack for a moment, just a little warily, shifting subtly in her chair to be better placed to catch it should it decide to fall in her direction. As the snipe changes seats, she offers a friendly smile and nods, "That is a problem. And thank you, but I'm fine without coffee as it is. You're in charge of all the work orders and repair reports and things these days, I see?"

"Yes, well, since I've proven to have such a dainty constitution," Penny shrugs, rubbing a hand absently over her scalp, "this is about all they've found me fit for." She rolls a shrug. "It's work and it needs to be done. It's better than laying about in sickbay, and despite the purgatorial aspects of paperwork, it's slightly better than being dead. At least there's coffee." She pauses. "Or there was." Another pause, perhaps wherein the snipe re-evaluates the whole 'better-than-dead' thing. "Anyhow. What can I do for you?" She lifts her eyebrows.

"I was sorry to hear the radiation affected you so significantly," Cora offers, and despite the stilted wording, she at least appears sincere. "It's strange how it does that - takes some people so much worse than others." Like, say, her. She does not say that specifically, hardly needing to while she has all her hair, and continues instead, "Actually, your current work is… fortuitous." She leans back in her chair somewhat abruptly, reaching into a pocket to draw out a pack of cigarettes. It's offered to the snipe and then she takes one for herself, looking idly about the office as she lights it. Only when that subtle once-over has been completed does she explain quietly to Penelope, "I've been tasked with forming a special interdepartmental investigative group. I'd like you to be a part of it."

Penelope accepts the cigarette with a smile of thanks, leaning over for a light before drawing deep. She lids her eyes and exhales a contented plume through her nostrils. "Mm. I've been trying to cut back — but gods, I do love smoking. Thank you." She tilts her head, eyebrows lifting again, hazel eyes taking on an inquisitive glint. "Sounds interesting. What sort of investigation's afoot?"

"You're welcome," Cora replies with a smile, tucking the pack away as she admits, "I've cut back from Kythera, but once you get rid of the ones you only smoked because there wasn't any food, it gets a lot harder." She tilts her head to blow smoke off to her northwest, and then turns back, expression sinking back into seriousness as she informs the snipe: "The Top Secret sort. This conversation, and the existence of any investigative body is strictly classified. We'll be meeting soon, at which time I'll fill you all in as to our purpose. But I can tell you that your access to these records would be invaluable help."

"Allllllright," Penny drawls out, clearly intrigued. She watches Cora a few moments, as though trying to tease more details into the silence — but when it's clear no more is forthcoming, she simply nods. "Count me in, then. I really won't be able to sleep nights unless I find out what's going on, so I can't really say no." She takes a drag of her smoke, quirking a smile. "Interesting recruitment technique — killing cats by curiosity."

"Excellent," Cora replies with a nod as Penelope agrees. That praise of her recruitment techniques brings a twitch of humor to her lips, her expression twisting very slightly, into something faintly smirky. "I believe it likely to be effective. As well as a useful security measure. When I said this was Top Secret, I was not exaggerating. It has been classified to that level by the CO. So should anyone ask, I came to see how you were doing. Which," her smile tilts into apology for a moment, "I ought to have actually done sooner. But I am pleased to see you about again, Paris."

Penelope shakes her head with an amiable smile, dismissing the apology. "Concern noted and appreciated — but I'm just as glad no one's gone and made a big deal over it. Life goes on." A hand passes unconciously over her stomach and she stands, drawing once more from her cigarette. "Thank you, though. It's good to be back." She nods. "I'll be mindful about the content of our conversation, you've my word."

Cora stands as well, eyes flicking briefly after that hand-to-stomach gesture as she nods, and then replies of life, "It does, yes. At least so far." Her smile is a curl of black humor that fades quickly into something more neutral and then another friendly (if narrow) smile. "Good," she nods, "I'll be in touch soon, then. Don't get too far buried in the meantime," she says, rapping a knuckle against the desk before making to leave.

"I look forward to it, and I'll do my best," Penny replies, cigarette bobbing between her lips as she speaks. She ashes into her palm, then tips the ashes into the brimming bin beside the desk. A report is lifted from atop one of the stacks, scanned and frowned over. "Frakking coffee machine," she sighs, then looks around for one of her colleagues. "Lennox! Where the frak is Lennox? We're the Maintenance and Repair department, people — when something goes wrong in our own kitchen? Just fix it. I've got enough sodding dead trees on my desk."

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