PHD #060: Wherefore Art Thou
Wherefore Art Thou
Summary: Idle chatter on the Deck suddenly turns deep; Damon explains why he does what he does.
Date: 27 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Bannik Damon Mika 
Hangar Deck - Port - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #60
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

"I'd say we had enough to do when we had enough hands to fully crew the department and just routine maintenance to work," says Bannik. He and Mika are walking over towards a downed bird over onto the side of the hangar deck. He seems to be explaining something about its condition to her: "Best I can tell, the firing interchange is fried. It's not linking about ten percent of the time."

Thought she was frowning before? Brows create a crevice just above the hilt of her nose, now. "How in the hells he'd do that?" Mika? Almost -stalking- towards the craft in question, slow, steady, sleek, as if the giant object were in fact her prey. Rar! Har har! "Sounds 'bout right though." No matter how it happened. "What testing didja do?" Approaching the ship, small hands glide over its surface, nearly petting the thing, as if to comfort its cold, metallic heart.

Damon looks tired as he ambles onto the Deck, not wearing his coveralls. Looks like he's not on shift or anything, just… kind of wandering about. He meanders about, checking this clipboard or that clipboard, but his eyes just seem to scan over the pages without actually reading. His aimless path takes him toward Mika and Bannik, whom he greets with a weary smile and a nod.

Eyes have managed to follow the line of the ship… before shifting with keen awareness at the approaching Other. "Wandering 'round aimlessly isn't gunna refresh you." Just in case the PO wasn't aware of it. To Damon she continues, "Whatchoo goin' on about, just rambling, seeing nothing? You need drugs for sleep or a psychiatrist for balance?" She's serious. Clearly has no medical background, but it doesn't mean she's not diagnosing based on past knowledge.

"Well, I took a look in with the pen light and it looks like the number five relay is the one that's down. Manual says to just pull the board and put in another, but that's not exactly easy to do with spare parts in short supply." Bannik, despite being the wunderkin of the Deck, is still a manual-bound sort of techie. It's what he learned in A-School. Then Damon comes near. "Hey, Damon."

"Hey - hey, Bannik," Damon replies, blinking a few times. A little slow on the uptake. "Nah, I'm just, can't sleep, is all," he says to Mika with a shrug. "It's fine, I just come down here and find something to work on for a bit and I'm usually good after that." He doesn't sound too sure about that. "How's things on the Deck? I've just been running back and forth so damn much I feel like I'm missing out on all the good stuff."

Mika's attention snaps quick-fire back to Bannik, fierce scowl barely kept in check. "Damned straight we can't just trade it out. Here." Shifting her Work Bag of DOOM, the dry comment that escapes is not out of disrespect, mind, but lacks any serious emotion. "A bit lighter. We've got some time to do actual re-checks and full repairs rather than bandaging and triaging. 'Sides, I think once they get their sleep," everyone else, that is, "It'll be time to start looking into modification possibilities. Amp up our pilots' babies. Make 'em spin." Figuratively. Not literally. "Whatcha tried for sleep, PO?" Abbreviates it, despite protocal, Mika situating herself to the panel where the relays lie.

Bannik shrugs his shoulders. "Busy. Crazy. Out of parts. Out of sleep. At least CIC is back together so that I can focus my attention back to the Deck full time. But really, we don't have the supplies needed to put our birds back in the air in perfect condition. Mika was just about to take a look at the weapon hard point that's misfiring."

"I hear you," Damon grunts to Bannik. "And I know you've been workin' your ass off. Been hearing nothing but good things from the pilots and elsewhere, by the way." He looks over to the indicated ship, then back to Mika. "Tried for sleep? Oh, you mean meds? Nothing, I'm fine. Don't worry about me." He waves away her concern - if it's concern - and leans against the Viper. "And can it with the PO shit, yeah? From you, of all people." It's a good-natured comment, accompanied by a grin.

"No. Meds'll frak up your mind, make you dependent, make you slow, and eventually make you useless." Or so sayeth she. "Teas. Herbs. Meditation. Fighting. Crying. Praying. There are things the soul needs for release every day, before it'll let you rest. You know it, P-.. Damon." Always impersonalizing, as much as possible. Still, there is a familiarity to his name, less alienating by far. "No sleep, and you start to frak up something big. You know it, so quit bein' stubborn. Could use a drink m'self though." The last words? Well, let's just say Mika's distracted, picking through wires, examining everything within. "Damon's right, y'know, Bannik. You got some hefty kudos goin' on for you."

"Yeah. Well. Kudos and two cubits'll get me a bad cup of coffee in the galley. And I don't drink coffee." But even as Bannik tries to play down the praise, a smile plays over his lips, touching his eyes as well. "But how are those nukes going, Damon? Hear you're in charge of them."

"Tea, sure, but that's just… what I drink," Damon answers, rubbing at his face. "Working and working out, mostly." At the mention of nukes, he squeezes his eyes shut for a moment before responding. "The nukes are… safe. For now. I'm not so much in charge of them, I don't think, as just kind of… looking after making sure they're stored properly, I guess. I keep checking up on them compulsively, in any case."

"Then find someone to off on." Have sex with. Damon knows Mika's lingo, doesn't have to spell it out for at least him. "Compulsiveness in that… area… is… justi-what do we have here?" Ooooo, woman is interested, she is. Hands fish through her bag without even having to look, a few tools procured, hung in various places - pockets, along her shirt line, wherever is convenient. And then? The woman begins her true work. And finishes her sentence. "Justified. Always thought we should be stricter on… controls over weapons. Cylons easily walk into our ships, and with the rumors floating around… Well… What's to keep them from accessing it, you know? Limit it, lock it down. Make it a kill zone if we have to." Absently talking again, one hand forces some stray locks back to Mika's disgust. Stupid hair.

Bannik looks confused at what is flying around now between the two, the lingo turning his head. "Uh. Yeah. Well. I'm sure the Marines will shoot anyone stupid enough to get close without twice-signed orders, you know?"

"That's pretty much the gist of it," Damon says, nodding in response to Bannik's words. "A fireteam guarding each locker at all times, nukes don't get touched without orders from both the Admiral and XO. But I just can't stop looking at them." It's that same awe in his voice as he got when he talked about that Cylon Heavy Raider - an almost childlike fascination. "They're so… small." He shakes his head and rubs at his face again. "Well, I almost had a thing going on with one of the pilots, but… I think that's gone to shit," he says to Mika. "I'll be fine, don't worry 'bout me. I'm always restless when I get excited. I'll manage."

Creeped. Something shifts within Mika, visible and palpable, but not in way that is easily definable. "Why… are you excited?" The same statement, after all, was made with the mention of nukes and excitement and fascination therein. Woman has a right to ask, she does. Eyes drift to Bannik… to Damon… to Bannik… and back.

Damon blinks, the question catching him off-guard. "Just all the… everything that's been happening, I guess," he says, unable to really find a good answer. "Getting shot by Cylons, you know, disappearing on a mystery ship that jumps on its own, nukes, and all that." He closes his eyes for a moment again. So tired, but can't sleep. "And I mean, that's just the most recent stuff. It's just been… insane. It's a lot to take in sometimes. My head spins just thinking about it." He gives a see-you-later nod to Bannik as he's called away by some others across the Deck who have need of his expertise.

Her job? Interrupted. Immediately. By Mika's choice, and no one else's. Tools left aside, she comes from under the ship, standing before Damon point blank. "It's understandable. Most people don't experience violence, an' they sure as hells don't get it all at once. It isn't insane, but if yer not dealin' with it, it gets to be, Damon. Minds want to make sense of things, emotions don't care - they just -feel-. Both are real. Reconciling is a hard shitty thing to do. But you gotta do it, Damon. Alcohol. Fighting. Sex. Prayers. Combinations? Find a reason to continue on, find a reason to make sense of it, and your mind and body will take care of the rest." A pause, and she asks, "I'll box you, think'll help?"

Damon snorts at that, bemused. "Me, box?" He shakes his head. "Yeah, that might help me go to sleep just 'cause you'll end up knocking me out in two minutes flat." He's got big arms, but he does't know how to use 'em, really. "There's no sense to be made, really - that's the conclusion I've come to," he says, now kind of staring off toward the far wall. "It's all like a, a surreal dream. Continue on, yeah, we'll always try to carry on… but reason? There's no rationality in any of this." His eyes focus back into reality and he gives Mika a weak smile. "But that's okay too, you know?"

"Meh. Knockouts aren't good for the brain. Does somethin' weird to personalities and thought tracks." Mika's not for it. Bruises? She doesn't care squat about. "Why d'you think there's no rationality?" Considering, she is, which is more than she'd give pretty much any other person. Arms fold as she leans against the ship. "Because you do not see it, or because you think it's really not there?"

"See it? Reason?" Damon asks, trying to gather his thoughts. You can hear the gears spinning in his head. "Mika, those mechanical bastards wiped out everything we know, killed just about everyone we love. And they'll kill us too, if they can. For all we frakking know, we're the last remnant of humanity. Every time someone on this ship dies, we come that much closer to extinction. And the best part is, we - we humans - we created these frakkers. It's all just…" He makes a spinning motion with a finger. "It all comes around in circles, over and over again. Everything does. It might have patterns, we might be able to make sense of some things, but… reason? No, I don't think so."

"There is no margin for guessing: we -are- the last remnant of humanity. But what does that mean? We're always close to extinction, Damon. We were close a million years ago, eruptions and all that shit on some sort of planet or three. We're always in harms way. As is everything else in existence. It's just that people forget the reality, put the little demonstrations out of their minds… but when faced with the bigger ones? can't deny it. They're held accountable by others who experienced th'same damn thing. Only difference is who sees it. Tha's all." She came from the streets, what does he expect? Mika finds this very little different from her life before.. but there is a difference, no mistake. "What it comes down to, is you gotta make peace, Damon. Without peace or at least a solid footing in yer soul or whatever you want to call it, you can't help others. You can't be effective."

"Peace and reason're two completely separate things," Damon argues, waving his hand in disagreement. "I can, what, make my peace or whatever even if I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to the universe." But that doesn't necessarily mean that he has. "I ain't saying you're wrong, Mika, but Gods know I'm in no state of mind to form a coherent thought right now." He gives her that shaky grin again. "I didn't mean to get in the way of your work, either - I just feel more at home down here than I do in the bunks."

Huh. "Huh," shares Mika. She hasn't looked at it that way, and while the idea isn't necessarily something that sits well, she's listening. "So what mind are you in, Damon?" This is her most pressing question right now, the ship long forgotten. While she doesn't connect with people, there are some she considers 'hers', someone to protect and nurture, in that weird way of hers. Damon is one of the two. "You didn't get in my way, so shut the hells up." Sounds surly, but isn't. "I'm … I'm guessing…." She doesn't like to admit that. He knows it. She knows it. She's just in an uncomfortably honest mood. Doesn't like that one lick, but it doesn't mean Mika won't roll with it. "Why?" A pause, and she states plainly, "I'd rather be under a ship than talkin'." She doesn't like people, for the most part. "But what's your reason?"

What's his reason? Damon looks blank for a moment, brows slowly furrowing. "Because this…" He holds up his hands, indicating the entirety of the Deck. "…this is what I am. It's what I do. It's as close to home as anything'll ever be, now." Some people might be depressed by that, but he doesn't seem to mind one bit. "This is peace. The sound of metal on metal, the roaring of birds launching down the tubes. The shouting across the Deck, the alarms and blinking lights. Mechanical beauty, aerospace engineering, and mathematical precision."

Weird. A meeting of minds that was entirely not intended by Mika, and yet? Here they are. She? Staring at him, a bit in wonderment without that wicked sort of vibe, pondering his essence and words and everything in between. And what comes out? So lame compared to the expanding thought that goes beyond description. "Me too. Guess I cling to it." Which doesn't mean her eyes have left him, her eyebrows have lifted in happiness, or that she's comfortable with any situation. But it does mean she's been probed and trusts him well enough to ask, "Why? I got my reasons. Why you though? I didn't peg you like that."

"Well, I guess I've always been into… machines," Damon says, drawing out his words. Buying time to think to give a real sort of answer. "I tinkered a lot when I was a kid, making little things in my spare time. Designing, creating, refining. It's…" He struggles to explain what he feels, making vague gestures with his hands. "It's tangible," is finally what he comes up with, and his eyes light up for the first time with those words. Yes, that's exactly it - "It's tangible," he repeats, "I'm working with my hands, building or repairing or tweaking, and when I'm done, I can reach out and touch it. It's there, it's real, and it works. It's mine." He looks at Mika, suddenly animated with the passion of his explanation. "Does that make sense?"

"Ok, so you're talkin' truth. And I got it. Ain't different than me, so's to examine…." And yet? Mika's searching: eyes, heart, soul, gut feeling - label it what you will. "You get to see the physical results, your accomplishments in reality, rather than having to guess. Touch, feel, own." She gets it. And? Mika's words are soft, drifting, eyes mimicking the soft fluidity of her words. Self is forgotten and memory drifts… "Why do you cling to it? Why -this-?" It's a question for him… and her.

Damon nods emphatically. "I… hm." That one's a bit trickier. "The people, for one," he says. "The way we work and bond on the Deck isn't like anything else on this ship. Not even the pilots. It's not just work, it's family." But that's not a good enough answer for him, because he's searching for more. "It's… this is…" Long pause. A sigh of exasperation. "Something. I just can't figure out the words for it, Mika, sorry. My brain's half-frakked to begin with." He offers her a wry smile and a shrug. "Why don't I go sleep on it - or try to, anyway - and see if I come up with an answer, yeah? And then I can turn the questions around on you."

"An oath: you sleep a solid five hours, I'll answer any questions you ask." It's that important to her. Damon's known her long enough to understand what a sacrifice that is to Mika. And her look? Again pointed. Understanding. Pushy. "Go sleep, PO." Intentionally offering to get a rise out of him. "Ain't nothin' going to happen here without me wakin' yer ass up, k?"

"All right, all right," Damon relents with a chuckle. He raises his eyebrow at her when she calls him by rank again, but it transitions into a wink. "I'm gonna try and get at least six. Then maybe I'll feel human again." He reaches out and squeezes her shoulder lightly and heads on toward the stairs, humming something under his breath as he goes.

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