PHD #131: These My Good Works
These My Good Works
Summary: Constin questions Borenstein again.
Date: 6 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Blood Of Us All
Borenstein Constin 
Main Brig - Deck 6
Tiny and cramped, the Main Brig seems designed to be claustrophobic. The steel bars lining the three cells have been set into the steel bulkheads on each side. Inside each cell is a stainless steel toilet and a bunk that might be too short for some of the taller crewmembers. The dreary conditions don't seem to be helped by the presence of a Marine guard who is there twenty-four hours a day, as long as a prisoner is in custody. The whole room is under surveillance via camera system in the Security Hub and every visitor must sign-in and abide by the rules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #131

The hour is late, but really- when a man is bound to a medical bed, being fed through an IV, and with all bodily waste being carried away by catheters, with nothing to do but lose weight, a man has nothing but time. PO2 John Borenstein recieves a visitor once again, as Constin enters his holding area with the words, "How you doing, Johnny?"

"Alive," is the big man's answer, tone flat but courteous as ever. "Which, I suppose, is what you want." Strapped down as he is, he can't quite manage to life himself up and wave, but that, too, is probably what the MP wants.

"Yes, yes it is," Constin drawls back, walking around to the foot of Borenstein's bed to place himself squarely in the prisoner's line of sight. "Yanno, ah figured you'd be the one to crack first, Borenstein. Gotta say ah'm a bit surprised to find out it was Morgenfield. Same Em-Oh as what happened to Villon: Cee-Oh-Two cannisters in the pilot's air line. Then she tried to take a page outta your playbook- tried to hijack a Raptor and jump away. But there's a couple things ah havn't quite pieced together yet- was thinking maybe you could fill in the blanks for me…"

"I'm barely alive," Borenstein points out, lips curved into a thin little smile. "I think my memory might be going, so you'll have to bear with me for a moment while I delve — " His chest heaves as he coughs, the bed rattling beneath his shaking weight. "Pardon. While I delve into my memory banks to see — wait. There it is. I seem to recall telling you I had nothing to do with anything that wasn't the Captain's Viper. Like it or not, the truth doesn't change just because you want it to."

"Yeah, and you're gonna stay barely alive for a long time, Johnny," Constin returns. "Think ah've heard that before. Which is why ah'm not gonna be asking you about what YOU did- wanna ask about what somebody else did, this time around. See, what ah can figure? Villon suffocating on her own exhaust out in the black don't serve much of a larger purpose.. But it does match up with another recent Em-Oh, which leaves me standing here thinking Villon was murdered as a dig at you. Punishment maybe. So you reach back into those memory banks and see if you can conjure up who might want to screw you over like that."

"That's better," says Borenstein, showing two rows of perfectly white teeth as he smiles. "You're using your head, now. Just a pity you didn't use it sooner, but — there's naught to be done about that, is there." He shrugs — or tries to shrug, given how his arms are tied in place. "I kept my head down. I never fought anybody, I never got in anybody's face. I just went about my business doing my job — keeping Vipers running so your Admiral could send more warm bodies to death in his beautiful refurbished machines, because gee golly, we can replace the people, but we'll be damned if we let the Vipers go without a fight." A hint of disgust worms its way into his voice, which — hardly used though it is — still remains as sonorous as ever. "The only thing I can think of is Sparker getting on my case a few months ago, but I already told you about that." Sparker being the recently-deceased Morgenfield, of course.

"Yeah, ah've never been the sharpest tool in shed," the MP snorts back. As Borenstein keeps going, eventually coming to Morgenfield, "But that's where it break down, Johnny," Constin mutters, frowning in thought as he pulls up a chair beside the bound Borenstein. "Because even if you never got in anyone's business, some body was damn sure into yours. And ah still have the nasty feeling you know who that might be." A breath slowly drawn and let out before he asks, "Were you really trying to get off the boat in that Raptor, Johnny?"

"No." Borenstein's smile falters just a bit. "I was trying to make you shoot me so I wouldn't need to go through this." His wide palm opens, the only gesture he can make to signify his current condition. "Or, assuming you guys failed, I'd have jumped to Leonis and let the Cylons do their thing." A low, quiet chuckle sets his chest a-rumbling under the heavy cloth straps. "Your man Maragos knows how to aim, I'll give him that. Which, if not for the present set of circumstances, would be comforting." He, too, pauses, bullish gaze flicking over to where Constin has just sat down. "But if you ask me — and you did — I'd say you're going about this all wrong. Emilie's a tool, in your book: the crowbar somebody used to make old Borenstein cry like a baby." Or leap up in an attempt to strangle aforementioned Maragos. Same difference. "But maybe she's object and subject, if you'll pardon that turn of phrase. Mm?"

"Villon's a casualty in mah book," Constin corrects, eyeing the restrained '45'. "Obviously, any target can serve multiple causes. But specifically her? Seems aimed at you. Sure, it panicks the boat, knocks a pilot off the line, chips away another life off a pretty frakking small tally.. But any number of pilots could've been that target. And ah don't buy any 'random chance' bullshit." Nostrils flare with another drawn breath as he regards Borenstein anew at the last turn of phrase from Borenstein. "How close WERE you two, anyhow?"

"I tried to break her arm." Borenstein's searching eyes settle on Constin's face before drifting back up to the ceiling. "I know in your book that makes her my wife, but — " That low chuckle seems oddly amused by that jab. "She was young. Twenty-four: a damned baby, practically, and one of the worst pilots I've ever seen in my entire career. And I saw the violence she did to her Viper — I watch gun footage of all my birds to see how they're being treated. She had no business being in a plane, but. She did it anyway. She did it anyway because it was the right thing to do." His fond smile slowly fades until it's displaced at last by a dullness devoid of affect or expression. "So I tried to break her arm." The massive deckhand shrugs, his tremendous shoulders rising an inch or so off the bed. "I couldn't."

"Damned near does," Constin sniffs dryly back to domestic violence making them man and wife. "What'd she think of you? Anything more than the 'get the frak away from me' thing?" The drawn breath is let out. "Tell me something else, Johnny," Constin drawls, leaning forward to set forearms across his knees. "Why didn't you just take that sidearm you picked up and blow out your own brains? Why bother with that hostage business. Why bother going for the dummy explosive that was sitting there?"

"I don't know," is Borenstein's answer to his first question, spoken with deathly finality. "I'll never know, I guess. Sparker tried to get her to file a formal complaint after I was reassigned. She wouldn't. I never asked her why." Defiant eyes snap shut for a fair few seconds; then: "Same reason I couldn't snap Emilie's wrist in two," he murmurs. "Pride. Cowardice." The vaguest of smiles. "Mostly cowardice."

"Huh," Constin grunts at the answer. "How'd you find out about the explosive in the closet, John?" he wonders a moment later. "Was pretty frakking clear you knew you were being watched, and ah gotta wonder how you knew that. Not the sort of thing you could just hear happenstance, is it? Would've taken somebody doing least a little bit of digging."

"You hardly made it a secret, you know." Borenstein's face jerks into a semblance of a smile. "I'm senior. I've been in for a while. It's my business to know when things are being moved around in my Deck. And — remember that word, Eleftherios? Pride? Mostly that. Behold my works, ye mighty, and despair. You know."

"Yanno half mah friends can't even say that name proper?" Constin snickers back at Borenstein's use of his name. "But figures if you were fixing to go down, you want folks to see it." Another deeply drawn breath fills the moment between words and he drawls, "Now.. last time you swore up and down that you had nothing to do with the warhead that left Raptor Three-Oh-Five dead in the water, right?"

"I'm glad you understand me properly. And as for the other matter, half of your friends probably descended from a family tree that resembles a stepladder, so you'll forgive me if I don't display anything in the way of shock." Another rumbling chuckle before Borenstein sobers once more. "And — well, I woudn't use exactly those words, no, but sure."

"And folks say 'you cant pick your family'," Constin snorts back with a near-smirk tugging at his lip at the stepladder jab, before pointedly asking at the end of Borenstein's answer: "What specific words would you use, then?"

"I would say quite clearly that I had nothing to do with the warhead that left Raptor Three-Oh-Five dead in the water."
"Minus the swearing up and down," Borenstein observes dryly, as an afterthought.

"See, funny thing with that.." Constin answers, unamused. "We pulled your prints off the casing in droves, Johnny. Not to mention a mess of fiber optic cables checked out to you turning up spliced into computer lines." He eyes the enforced invalid a moment, before concluding, "So we either got some body on this boat with your hands.. your codes.. and your face. Or there's something you ain't telling me."

"Or," continues Borenstein, as a schoolteacher would speak to a troublesome twelve-year-old: "Or, you could speak to Support and realize that nobody actually checks what name gets written on run-of-the-mill requisitions these days, not when — " His face breaks into that familiar tight smile. "Not when there's a war going on. I'm sure there are other irregularities in the written record I could help you uncover, all of which would mean absolutely nothing. And prints?" The man shrugs. "Do you think, hypothetically speaking, that I would have knowingly left my proverbial scent all over that tree had I been the perpetrator? I'm a big guy, Eleftherios. Bigger than you. I bet you've been asked to carry big boxes around the office, haven't you? And a missile certainly qualifies as a big thing. Coincidences? Maybe. Take them how you will, but if I were you, I'd be looking for — how do you say it? The dog that didn't bark, hmm?" Borenstein twitches as he tries and fails to scratch an itch on the side of his arm.

"When somebody else was already in place to take the fall for it? And when you just laid there and told me you weren't afraid of having us come after you and gun your ass down?" Constin snorts back. "Johnny, ah think you'd be all too glad to rub your stink over whatever the frak caught your eye at the time." Sitting back in the chair that he'd parked next to the bed-bound Borenstein, he goes on, "You never played cards with me, boy, so ah'll explain a little something to you: ah don't bluff. Ah don't go for the big .. whats the word? Hyper-boley. So when ah say that you're gonna sit on that bed, awake and aware while you live out a long assed half-life, it ain't any kind of empty threat. You got a notion of this quiet bitch you're suggesting? You should be real eager to tell us about it."

"Or maybe this is my idea of Elysium," comes Borenstein's retort. "All the food I could ever want, no job, and truly stimulating conversation." Another artful shrug, or as good of one as he can give in light of his current situation. "From where I'm sitting — lying — the answer seems clear. You said it yourself: Emilie wasn't killed for, uh, how do I put it. Shits and giggles." Words that Constin can easily understand. "I've told you how, if that trimix story was true: she was a creature of habit, and anybody with half a mind to harm her could have figured it out in two days or less." Like him, by way of example, as he recognizes when that dullness creeps in once more. "It's the why I can't give you."

"The WHY don't matter to me, just yet Johnny. Only worth in a 'why' is if it leads promptly to a *who*," the sergeant opines simply. "You're a bastard who did three sets of pushups every day you were locked up. Even dialed up the reps after a week. Figure after this first week? You're down between ten and twenty pounds, Johnny. Ah think you're a helluva lot too- What was that old word? Proud. To be content wasting away, staring at the same bit of bulkhead, twenty-four seven." Rising from the chair, and calling a word outside for the MPs to open up the solitary cell, the sergeant gets ready to leave.

"Maybe," says Borenstein, his eyes flashing open to focus on Constin's departing back. "Or maybe I'm done with me, you, and these my good works," he suggests, smiling thinly through his wiry beard. "Maybe you've already won."

"You might be done, Borenstein," Constin begins as the door opens, before turning to look back over his left shoulder to fix one narrow blue eye on the thinly smiling prisoner, "But ah'm not." Stepping out, the soundproof door is shut behind him, sealing the once again solitary Borenstein.

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