PHD #199: EVENT - Wine, the Giver of Joy
Wine, the Giver of Joy
Summary: Good food, good 'shine, bad speeches abound as the crews of the Cerberus battlegroup meet and greet with the crew of the newly arrived Areion.
Date: 13 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: Welcome the Coming, Speed the Going
Bannik Bran Cora Cidra Damon Decumius Evandreus Leyla Kadena Kaz Marko Polaris Quinn Sofia Sawyer Tisiphone Tucana NPC Kepner Riederer Baer Marduk 
Surface of Aerilon
The surface of Aerilon. 100% All Natural and now: Cylon free.
Post-Holocaust Day: #199

Ask any of the poor deckhands now resting in the corner what the most annoying aspect of their job has been for the past twelve hours and you'll receive the same answer: "That motherfrakking dais," followed by a rude gesture toward the raised platform at the center of this forest clearing they've spent the past three hours constructing from scratch. But the words, like most enlisted whinging, are spoken with a lingering pride: pride that in such short notice, they've managed to cobble together a stage such as that, one from which the President of the Colonies would not be ashamed to speak. The flags of each of the Twelve Colonies flap idly in the cool Aerilonian night, arranged in a semi-circle around a podium flown in from Cerberus' naval offices; the crest of Battlestar Group ONE THREE TWO — that familiar rising phoenix — shines a brilliant orange when it catches the light from the myriad torches planted into fresh and loamy soil.

Colonel Pewter sure knows how to roll out the red carpet.

The crowd — made up of three hundred lucky soldiers from the battlegroup granted a night of leave by invitation of their commander (or, in some cases, by lottery) — now mills restlessly as they wait for the ceremonies to begin. Most are eyeing with much anticipation the fresh vegetables being chopped into so many salad bowls by galley chefs under the watchful supervision of PO1 Pridgeon, who's traded in his legendary deep-fryer for the tools of down-home cooking. And his pride and joy? The veritable herd of deer — killed by volunteer Marines riding shotgun in Raptors — turning clockwise on handmade spits, seasoned to perfection per his mammy's homemade recipe, accorded pride of place at the center of the buffet tables pressed up against the trees.

Small wonder, then, that nobody's paying attention to the suits from Areion, currently making small-time chitchat with Pewter, Tillman, and the rest of Cerberus' senior staff not otherwise engaged. The escort carrier's soldiers don't keep to themselves, mingling with the others like men and women starved of real human contact — most of whom are immediately identifiable by their non-regulation grooming standards and their lax view of proper uniform protocol. "They're SpecOps," is the word on the street: "Elites," too, and for once that's spoken more in admiration than disdain. For tonight, the number of humans in the entire known galaxy has grown, not shrunk —

And tonight, for the first time since that black Friday in February, a party will be had.

Poor Deckies. Sofia loves her deckbuddies. For now though, she's quietly admiring it and looks to them, smiling a little. hey, neat, flags. And a crest. Pretty awesome. Pewter really can roll that carpet. She is one of the lucky ones it seems. Oooh, fresh veggies and /deer/? Sofia's eyes are wide as saucers. Wow. She's mingling quietly, smiling politely at people, even greeting a few of the escort carrier's people if she can. She seems curious enough. Elites? SpecOps? Huh? Peer. Well, regardless, the dorky 3M is a quiet, but awestruck and moving presence.

It's a wonder what Sawyer can weasel her way into. That includes limited occupancy gatherins and black cocktail dresses. She really should have thought the latter one through, as the evening air sends a chill up her spine that has her rubbing goosebumps off her shoulder. The reporter stands for a moment, quietly appreciating the stage that's been set for the evening, and then moves further in to join the crowd.

"Yeah, that frakking dais. No, not the podium - the whole Gods-damned thing around it," Damon says to one of the cooks, gesturing to the elaborate display, apparently in the middle of explaining the deckhands' trials and tribulations for the past half-day or so. "Hey, 'scuse me a sec." He extracts himself from that conversation and slides away toward Sofia whom he spotted just a moment ago and tries to sneak up on her from behind. "Smells good, huh?" he asks, nudging her with his elbow. His left elbow, that is - his right arm is recovering from that shot he took to the shoulder at the Cylon facility.

Cidra is strolling about, as 'gussied up' as the CAG gets for any occasion. Which basically means her brown hair is down and she's wearing the ever-so-lightest touch of make-up. She navigates through the crowd, noting the crew of the Areion crew gathered about with intense curiosity. Though it's the reporter she wanders near as this thing gets underway. "Sawyer. Nice dress."

Marko looks around the area curiously, milling around exchanging greetings with people as he passes them, just sort of marking time until the chow's served and the Aerilon crew make their appearance.

Bannik worked and worked and worked and worked. As an Aerilon native, Tyr Bannik was one of the first called on to help out with all of this. Pouring over maps? He did it. Building a dais? He did it. Almost cry when he set foot back on his home planet? He almost did that, too. He's in the process of setting up his keyboard stand off to the side, part of the entertainment, perhaps, for the evening. He's in his greens, a nod to the manual labor he's been doing before this.

It's, on the flipside, not difficult to ascertain how Leyla managed to get permission to be down here. She's working, yes indeed. Well, not really, but she was on troop transport detail, up until the last of the allotted crew from Cerberus and the other battlegroup ships were settled on the ground. But it's not a party without the right fancy wear. And tonight, Leyla went all out, yes indeed. She's in…duh, duh duh…her dress greys. Yep, total party animal this one. At the moment, she's stopped her milling to study the roast beasts being turned on spits. "I'm not used to my food being able to look back at me." To no one in particular. It's just wrong, wrong wrong.

Varying states of dress and grooming definitely describe the Carrier's crew - one such pilot bucks the trend, clad in slick /dress greys/. They look a little faded and worn - but for what it's worth, they are /dress greys./ The dark-haired man is all smiles, as he comes striding like a lion on the prowl into a small makeshift gathering of a few aircrew in the process of meet-and-greeting, from both Colonial battlegroups. "How the /frak/ you doing, boys?" He asks, swirling a cup of something. It doesn't actually smell alcoholic, for those close enough to him. Maybe he's just high on life.

"Doesn't quite go with the fat lip, I'm afraid." Sawyer turns slightly as Cidra joins her, eyes quickly sweeping up and down the CAG. "All the bells and whistles for tonight, hmm? You look smashing though, honestly. Here, quick picture." And before Cidra can protest, Sawyer's lifting a small digital camera from it's cord around her neck and snicking off a fast candid shot. "That'll look nice in the next newsletter." Such pleasantries, delivered so politely. Maybe Sawyer's trying to be on her best behavior after that little bar brawl the night prior.

Kadena's dressed in her dress greys, what few service ribbons she has pinned just so, her hair put up as per regs. She's most likely a bit late, the need to catch up with work over-riding her normal habit of being punctual.

Sofia smiles, unsuspecting. She'd be the stupid antelope that gets nailed from the side by a lion. Oooh, that had to hurt! But then ELBOW! She jerks and almost flails - but restrains herself, settling for a wiggle or a bounce. Aiep! "E- Hey!" It's Damon. She turns and smiles. "Damon!" She chirps. She's glad to see her deck buddy. "How are you? I was worried. I visited Shiner yesterday-" Couldn't find him but - darnit! And there's Tyr too. "Hey, there's Tyr too." She tilts her head. "You guys did awesome on the dais."

Oh, yeah. Dress greys for the spiff. Though there's a vague knot forming in the Bunny's stomach, recalling the last time he had to yank a flight suit over his dress greys and haul ass from an attack the extent of which nobody could even begin to guess. Turning over such things in his mind and tucking his hands behind his back, Evan strolls on from the LZ a pace or three behind the other pilot. He slows to a halt and draws up a shoulder closer to his jawline as he regards the spitted deer. "At least you know it's… fresh, yah?"

Marko makes his way towards his front seater as he spots her. "Heh, there was a time when that would bother me, too." he comments, guesturing to the eyes of the slowly-revolving beast. "Then I spent a few months eating out of cans…Now…not so much."

Cidra blinks and just kind of mildly regards Sawyer as her photo is snapped. It's the same tolerant non-expression she wears, if she can help it, in whatever pictures the reporter takes. "The Colonel wanted us to polish up for the occasion. I am glad my lipstick had not dried to dust." Lips are, indeed, a soft shade of pink. But her eyes are still roving the crowd. And they fall upon the carrier airman who actually bothered to dress up. "Now that is something more worth a picture, I do think. I should say my greetings." And she angles to walk in the direction of the dark-haired carrier-ite. No invitation for Sawyer to tag along is offered, but she likely just assumes the reporter will trail.

Twist. Twist. There we go. Stabilized. Bannik's keyboard set up, he makes his way over towards Sofia and Damon. "Hey! Sofia! Damon!" He puts on his best, biggest, cheeriest smile. He might be overcompensating. "Can you believe it? More people. Other people. And here. On Aerilon."

"Last time we wore these, the worlds came to an end." That's Tisiphone, over yonder, walking a half-step behind Cora, adjusting her dress uniform as she goes. Her boots are mirror-polished (between the well-worn seams), her dress greys are immaculate, though her hair is…uncertainly rumpled. It's been a long time since she's had hair to dress up. Her face, however, is a wreck — despite not having been part of the Gathering of the Cylon-Lovers the evening before, she's sporting a split lip and two beautiful shiners, as well as bruises crawling out the cuffs and collar of her uniform. "I'm not optimistic."

Yeoman Parry is down here too, moving amongst the crowd with uncommon grace: Pewter's pet cynosure, who fills out her picture-perfect uniform to the satisfaction of every red-blooded male (and certain red-blooded females). The NCO-turned-party-planner holds a flute of champagne she doesn't intend to finish, but appearances must be maintained. It's no surprise, then, that Pewter has Red take the stage — and when she steps to the podium, the tip of a knife ringing against the lip of her glass, the crowd falls silent almost before she speaks. "Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please." A small and delicate sip. "May I present the Commander of Battlestar Cerberus: Colonel Andrus Pewter." And the woman snaps to attention as the big man himself trundles up to the podium, a boyish grin on his thick and meaty face.

Damon chuckles at Sofia's reaction. "Aye, the crew did a great job. I, uh, y'know… supervised." The bad arm gets indicated with a quick little headjerk. "Bannik!" He waves to his fellow knuckledragger. "Feels good to be home, yeah?" he asks, giving him a quick sideswipe to the arm. "This is incredible. Feels like something out of a dream, y'know? I almost feel relaxed just being out here."

"Better them than us right about now either way," offers Bran as he approaches the pilots milling about the deer. He squints some while inclining his head to the side and opens his mouth to speak up further before shaking his head. A tip of his chin in greeting is given before he bothers saying anything else. "That one's staring…" Whatever else he's going to say is drown out and the man looks elsewhere, presenting his attention toward the podium.

Trail Sawyer does, but preferably not of the puppy dog variety. More of the curious reporter type who happens to label herself as a friend of the CAG's and thusly entitled to get up to whatever mischief Cidra is getting after as well. Steps pause, however, as Pewter steps up to the podium. She is still working, afterall. Sort of.

"But it's looking at me, Bunny. It's eyes are following me around the place." A stage whisper to Evandreus, as he comes up beside her. Like a meaty velvet elvis. Three cheers for the woman who's never eaten anything that didn't come in a package or off a supermarket shelf. "You, however, might be the only man in creation who can wear that and make it look good." And a smile, as Flasher joins, "Canned food makes me happy. " She won't lie. "But then…so do carrots." Don't even try to figure out how her mind works.

"Uh. Yeah. I guess — " Bannik's voice drops as he looks around. " — Home. Yeah. I don't know about good, but. Yeah." He nods, finally. "How are you, guys?" When Parry gets on stage, his eyes track her like one of those missiles he's trying to program. He may be a saint, but even saints have eyes. When Pewter is announced, he claps politely. Clap-clap-clap.

Cidra's gaze lingers on that carrier airmen. But, feeling them out will wait. To attention she goes as Pewter takes the stage. Whatever mischief she has in mind will be tabled while the CO jaws.

"Look on the bright side. Nobody's going to make you -eat- the eyes," Evan reasons, placing the hypothesis as gingerly as he would set a round-bowled vase of flowers on a table, trying not to spill. Then promptly pushes it off the table and lets it fall to the floor: "Probably." He's returning the stare with a leery look until, surprised, he turns his head, and, about to speak, suddenly holds whatever he was going to say in favor of lending Pewter his attention.

Sofia smiles and nods. "Hey, you're an awesome supervisor," She offers quietly. Then a happy smile for Bannik. She really is happy for the young deckie. Sofia nods at Bannik. "I'm glad for you. I'm ok," She murmurs. A polite clap though, much as the others do on seeing Pewter. Grin. "I'm okay… a litlte bit better," She admits. She looks over towards the carrier and Pewter. "Do you think anyone would get mad if I saved a few leftovers for Constin or the others?" She asks quietly. For now, she goes silent to hear the speech.

"Well, last time you wore them," Cora replies to Tisiphone, not that she's not tugging on a sleeve as well, "I haven't worn these in a year, and they weren't these, anyway." Her grays look brand new, or maybe just perfectly clean. Or both. Her face is un-mashed, just tanned, and her hair is down and neatly wavy. "Not that I'm optimistic either," she replies, "A party on a planet we haven't fully scouted, with the crew of a ship we know nothing about?" She shakes her head a bit, "Well. Let's eat early."

Yeo-what? Damon doesn't seem to blink for the longest time as Parry takes the stage. "Uh, the, what?" he mutters to Bannik, eyes still captured by the woman on the dais. "Woman like that in the Fleet, she must've gotten rode more times than our oldest Viper," he grumbles once he's got enough of his mind back to speak again. And then he realizes that Sofia's, like, right next to him. "Er, sorry, Sofie. That's the knuckledragger talk comin' out in me." Awkward throatclear. "Nah, I doubt anyone'd mind if you did that."

Leyla would so say something right now, as Bran comes up to make it a neat foursome, but just before she can do more than get her mouth open, the announcement is made, and she turns to face the stage, standing as much at attention as one can, without head cover or a salute. Still, the Colonel gets all of her attention, even if she does have to stand on tiptoes a bit to see past a few heads towering over her and blocking her view.

Marko chuckles and shakes his head a little. "As far as we know they won't make us eat the eyes." he comments to Bunny. "This is Aerilon, after all." he smirks, then comes to semi-attention as Pewter makes his appearance.

"Fewer SSLF. Let's look at it that way," says Tisiphone to Cora, sotto voce, as Colonel Pewter takes the newly-made stage. She flashes a mirthless grin at the other woman, re-splitting her lip in the process. "Frak me," she mutters, pressing the edge of her thumb to the raw spot, eyes on their CO.

"Hey!" Bannik snaps at Damon, whether he out ranks the Specialist or not. "Don't say that. You don't know what kind of girl anyone is just by looking at her." Surely Parry would appreciate the young guy defending her honor. Right? "You don't even know a damn thing about her virtue." The tone almost is whiny, though.

"This thing on?" Pewter begins with a low, amused chuckle, tapping the microphone with one bulky finger. A low whine issues over the speakers — somebody in the Deck crew is going to pay for that with double cleaning shifts, no doubt — but if the colonel minds, he doesn't show it. "Nice to see y'all get some use outta them mothballed greys. Me, I spent ten minutes punchin' a new hole in this belt to make this business fit. My man Bulge don't cook like that on the ship. Do y'all?"

"No, sir!" the good chef hollers on cue, ladel in hand.

"No sir, he says." Pewter's grin widens to show rows of yellowed teeth. "Two hundred days of eatin' his slop while gettin' shot at by terrorists, mauled by bears, nailed by an ATV — and yeah, some Cylons here and there — and yet here we are. Here y'all are." The man shakes his tremendous head as his hands come to rest against the corners of that podium. "Guys in my office wrote me up a nice fancy speech." The speakers whine again as he adjusts his microphone's fit. "I say nice, I mean nice, too. Got lots of fancy turns of phrase or some business like that. But y'all don't need nothin' like that from me, so — " What papers on the podium are gently pushed aside. "I just got two things.

"Last night, we lost good people. Good soldiers. All honors to their service." His beady eyes fix on the CAG's made-up face for just a moment before they move on to survey the assembled crowd. "Not the first time we lost good people. Y'all know that. Won't be the last, neither. But we're still here, and by some godsdamned miracle, there's more of us now than when we started on twenty-six February twenty-forty-one." The man offers an appreciative nod to the Areion's command staff waiting respectfully in the wings.

"So my people want me to tell y'all we're gonna take it to the Cylons like we took it to them above Sag. That we'll be standing on Picon Fleet HQ by year's end. Raise morale or some shit." Pronounced like sheeeeeeyit. "I can't do that. Maybe in another two hundred days, the only things roastin' are gonna be those beautiful ships up there. Hell, I can't say." Yeah, Pewter is incredibly off-script now. "But I do know one thing." Suddenly, that devilish smile of his returns. "Don't know about y'all, but after seein' y'all do y'all's business over the last two hundred days, I gotta tell you: I'm startin' to like our odds."

And with a final awkward cough: "So say we all."

Damon's not much of a one to care about rank or protocol - anyone who's worked with him probably knows that well. So when Bannik snaps at him, he actually cringes a bit out of embarrassment. "Didn't mean to think aloud," he says apologetically. "You're right, Bannik, but hot damn if you don't sound like you're half in love with her just from lookin' at her." Pause. "Not that I don't blame you or nothin'." He shuts up to listens Pewter speaks and echoes, "So say we all," with the rest.

Sawyer respectfully waits until Pewter has rumbled off his 'So Say We All' before she snaps off a quick picture, the flash flaring in the already illuminated clearing. There. Obligatory photographic history? Check. Her voice joins others in the automatic echo of the Colonial version of 'amen, brotha'.

"Honors to their service," Cidra mutters after Pewter says taht under her breath when his eyes fall on hers. She does meet his gaze with her cloudy blue eyes. "We remain." Murmured so soft it's likely only Sawyer can hear. Though she raises her voice for the last to add a firm, "So say we all," in echo of the CO's.

Bannik runs a hand through his hair at Damon's allegation. "Well," he says finally. "I mean. No one said there was anything wrong with /looking/." But even as he says it, his voice sounds soft, even guilty at letting the words cross his lips.

Sofia's eyes go wide at Damon. She giggles a little. "That's okay," Sofia shakes her head. "I've been visiting Shiner almost every day." She looks a little self conscious. At least her uniform is /binding/ and suppressing. She blushes at Bannik. "Well, it's okay. I'm sure she's fine whether or not - she's um, sensual," She offers quietly, a compromise. She doesn't mind the tone. But now Pewter has her attention. A wince at the wine. She grins at the chef's banter with Pewter. Hard not to giggle again. She takes a deep breath. She tilts her head, listening. She likes the CO it seems. She looks to Damon and Bannik, grinning. "So say we all," She echoes softly. A gentle pat to Bannik's shoulder. Aw..

The craggy visage of Skiron "Papa" Baer goes slack as he, in his little corner of the Areion's pilots, stares on down towards Pewter as his speech is recited with a simple shove into the shoulder of the more boisterous junior pilot. He points at the man and simply gives out a tight applause as the man is done speaking. Even this is grave.

"That is something," Cora replies to Tisiphone before turning to listen to the CO's address. What she makes of it is hard to tell, but then, that's not precisely a surprise. "So say we all," she mumbles, and then, after a beat of waiting to make the movement less abrupt, she turns to look around, asking the ensign a bit more quietly, "There's got to be a drinks table here somewhere, right?"

Better late than never, Maggie Quinn steps out of where ever she was hiding, perhaps just relcutant to leave the shuttle that brought them down. Home. She's home. Her home colony, the familiar green, familiar mountains… even the familiar scent. Something tight and aching has clutched at her chest from the moment she saw the horizon from the Raptor, and now the LSO actually steps into the large gathering, looking out over the landscape more than the people. Her green eyes are glassy with unshed tears. She might blame it on hormones but, truthfully, it's just home. Speaking of hormones, she definitely does NOT fit in her dress greys. The slacks are jury-rigged buttoned below her quite noticable pooch of pregnant belly. Her jacket is unbuttoned overtop of a very non-regulation, but lovely empire waisted shirt that looks like it was hand sew, but with care and expertise.

If this were any other place, and any other end of the world scenario, it would be difficult for anyone to take Andrus Pewter seriously. Looking as he does like he could be anyone favourite grandpa. Well, old dad anyways. But there's no mistaking that in this incarnation at least, fancy words or not, he's ever inch her commanding officer, and Leyla's answering, 'So say we all', comes smooth and bright and easy. Call her a dreamer, but if he says it, she damned well believes it. He's that sort of Colonel.

Tisiphone slants a somewhat dubious look to Cora, sidelong, before clearing her throat. "So say we frakking all, Sir," she mutters. A glance around, as if she's looking for a piece of wood to knock her knuckles against, following that statement. She nods quickly to Cora's question and replies, still quiet, "Yeah." A point of her chin toward one of the tables. "Saw them stacking bottles over there."

A huge grin spreads on Damon's face. "Nah, ain't nothin' wrong with looking," he confirms to Bannik. "Careful, though - you'll make Sofie jealous!" He gives Sofia a wink. "I swear I just heard someone say 'drinks'," he says, perking up and looking around. "All this speechifying is thirsty business. Can't have a proper celebration without a glass in hand, right?"

"Yeah. Well. Can't help but wonder about — my girl. And my Mom. And —" Bannik's voice trails off. "I was thinking of maybe asking the CAG if —" Again, he trails off, his eyes settling on Quinn. He says to his companions, "Excuse me a sec?" And he sets off after the pregnant LSO, crossing the field towards her. Once he's close enough, he opens his arms, looking to give her a big hug. They're farmhands together. Officer or not, he seems to figure she needs the support.

Evandreus doesn't quite get around to echoing back the common rejoinder, something about Pewter's speech not sitting well with him. Granted that there's plenty about the speech that could be taken as disheartening, but a rising sense of panic has Evan's heart racing, his neck uncomfortably warm with a flush underneath the collar of the greys that suddenly seem way, way too restrictive of his air intake. He manages not to go so far as to pull at the collar, but, "Ah, I'll be back in a sec," he tells Sweetpea, once he finds his voice again.

"Uh huh, there was going to be some drinks," Sofia nods at Damon. "I may see about saving my share," And giving it to poor Constin or something. She poitns, "I think I see them over there, but I don't know if it's time just yet," She admits. She blushes at the jealous comment. "Understandable… I'll hope for you," Sofia promises. Given her family is pretty much radioactive ash or mist, it's nice to hope for Bannik's. She smiles seeing Bannik going to hug Quinn. "There goes the sweetest little dude ever. Like,ever."

"So say we all." Marko echoes firmly, clearly starting to appreciate Pewter's more laid-back approach, and it's never bad when someone tells you you're doing the impossible pretty well.

Cora looks the way Tisiphone's chin is points, peering through the crowd to try to make out the tables mentioned. "I'm not seeing them," she admits, "But, I mean. I can't imagine Pewter throwing a party without alcohol. Not with the appreciation he seems to have for the stuff. Like that bottle I should have won at Triad." The TACCO's nose wrinkles faintly, and then it's her turn to jerk her chin demonstratively and suggest, "Let's go see."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa — you guys got one more of these to sit through. Good gods it's great to see so many new faces out there." The highest-ranking of the Areion lot, who doesn't wait for the polite applause to end before he bounds to the podium in Pewter's stead. His flowing blond hair flutters in the cool, smoky breeze, framing to unkempt perfection that great, craggy smile. "Last time I went to one of these, the world exploded. Hah!" Yes, Tisiphone, he stole your line.

"You know, I remember telling myself when the reports came in, I said 'Rudy, you've lived a hell of a life. No shame in going out now.' But when I looked at my recon photos, I couldn't see any Cylons." The word is best described as ripe — with disgust. "Try as I might, all I could see — every picture — every one! All I could see was the face of my ex-wife going 'Rudy, you're still going to have to pay me alimony once you're in Hades' and — let me tell you — I'll be damned if I'm going to give that old hag her cubits before I have to."

The tall woman standing behind him allows herself a slight little smile, but she at least will say nothing.

" My ex must be wondering what's taking Hermes so long to guide my spirit down to Hell. Well, I've got another reason to tack onto the list: the men and women of Cerberus, who went out into the black and saved our bloody hides. And after talking things out with my people — Alke Riederer, my XO — " A theatric gesture points to the woman beside him. " — Skiron Baer, my CAG, he's called 'Papa' — " Swaying behind the podium like a conductor of old, he picks out of the crowd the only fellow wearing a hat. "We figure it's the least we can do to return the favor. So, like your man says: here we are. I'm Commander Rudy Kepner of the good ship Areion, and we're reporting for frakking duty."

And without waiting to see how he's received, he's descending from the dais, but not before the microphone catches one final sentence: "I hear somebody promised moonshine."

Maggie wasn't exactly expecting a hug, sort of trying to stay back and hidden until she got ahold of herself, but when she sees her fellow Aerilonian coming there with arms outstretched, she can't avoid it. She doesn't push him away, though it's a moment's hesitation before she returning Bannik's hug tightly, her head shakign a bit. "…T-they said… it wasn't hit as hard… Aerilon got lucky… I didn't think it'd look the same. -Smell- the same.." She whispers to him, beneath the speech so she doesn't disturb other's listening. But her brain isn't really processing speeches right now… or anything other than Aerilon's blue skies and green fields.

"Not time yet? There's no wrong time for booze," Damon quips, starting to make his way over. But not without spending a moment watching Bannik head off to give Quinn a hug, which turns that big grin on his face into a sort of sad smile. "Yeah… he's a different one, all right," he agrees with Sofia. "Definitely polar opposites, him and me, I think. I'm loud and crude, he's kinda meek and… y'know, smart. If the world hadn't ended, I'd've said a guy like him wouldn't make it in the Fleet as a knuckledragger. But now…" He shrugs and glances over to Sofia to see that she's actually blushing from his earlier comment. "Hah! You are jealous!"

Cidra listens through the new commander's speech but, when he points out the SpecOps ship's CAG, that is where her eyes go. Tracking this Papa thing, and his hat. Eying them as best she can across the party. Curious. Very curious.

"No kidding, right?" Bannik keeps his voice low as well, so it can't be heard over the din of the speech. "It's just — so, so, real. But we're here, huh? Home." He squeezes the LSO tight, just holding her as long as she wants to be held. Tears are somewhere there behind his glasses, but he tries not to let them show.

Leyla's attention swings back to Bunny, as his voice reaches down to her, not quite as clear and easy as she's become used to. And that's worrying. And so, if he goes, she'll follow, with a polite word of excuse to Bran and Marko. Close enough to make certain he knows she's there, but not so close that she's crowding his space, in the off chance that her presence is unwelcome. It's a quiet, 'I'm here', and left up to him if he wants to accept it or not. Yes, there's like a hint of attention for the second speech ongoing, but at the moment, the crew of the Areion isn't family, and that includes her CO. Evandreus Doe is.

Moonshine there is, aplenty: casks of it "donated" (read: confiscated) by the good soldiers of Bravo Company, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, rolled out and un-tapped by a fireteam of MPs deployed to keep the ravening masses in line. There's salads, steaks, and the requisite saltine crackers for hors d'oeuvres — and, would you believe it, a pair of bagpipers droning out the beginning of a familiar country melody while behind them a solo violinist from Areion unlimbers his fiddle and leaps with abandon into the dazzling arpeggios that signify a virtuoso's touch.

Eat, drink, and be merry. Gods only know the next chance you'll have.

He's here. really. Just hiding amongst the shades of grey. His face itches and his body feels like utter frakking shit. Still he's down here on the ground with everyone else, enjoying Shine..and uh is that deer? All the same he's got himself all situated in close proximity of the booze fly zone, and he's got several lovely black lines on his face. Nothing like stitches to make an officer look like a badass.


So Kaz, is not a badass, but he can always pretend. And with the pipes and the fiddles going, there is a small frown showing on the ECO's face. This place is a lot like home right now.

Minus how shitty Leonis, was.

Maggie holds on for a few more moments, her head against Bannik's shoulder, fingertips rubbing against the back of his dress grays for a few heartbeats before she finally pulls herself back, breath catching in her throat. She's not sobbing, but her breath has caught in her throat just a bit. She just nods in quiet agreement to him, forcing herself to let him go so he can go back to the others. "Thanks… hun.. and yeah… We are. Home." She whispers quietly, voice almost numb with shock about it all.

A hand touches Cidra's elbow, just enough for Sawyer to garner her attention. "Excuse me a moment, Cidra. I saw someone I need to rub elbows with. Vigorously." Take that for what ever you like, but the Reporter is fading into the crowd on a new mission.

Tisiphone starts backing slowly through the crowd, pale eyes narrowing in purple-black eyesockets as she ties names to faces. Areion's CO, XO, and CAG — there, there, and there. "Sure would like to know what the frak that gun was," she mutters to nobody in particular, before turning to make a proper beeline for the drinks table. When Kaz is spotted, a faint grin is flickered at him before she calls, "How's the ear, man?"

Other-CAG is looking at Cidra, too, puffing on a cigar he's produced from the pocket of his leather jacket. There shall be no drinking for him: the man needs nothing to wash down the strips of deer on which he's nibbling. And, because he's a gentleman, Papa Baer is going to approach her first. "How do, Major." It's spoken in a deep, rumbling voice that promises everything, or so romance writers might say. Puff-puff-puff goes that cigar, which hangs loosely from the corner of his mouth; his plate of meat is handed to a passing waiter for disposal. Then, he's taking off his fedora — slowly.

He's preening, Lt. Gabriel "Fiasco" Marduk is in his Dress Grays, having downed the cup in his hand and somehow in the course of speeches, managed to accquire something more clearly resembling some local variety of swill. He's cradling it like it's 20-year-old cognac. "So. Say. We. ALL. Old Man's right about the Lords, man. SOMEBODY GAVE US THE BIG GUNS!" He hoists the drink to the sky in yet another of a series of theatrical gestures and hoots.

Sofia looks a little amused by the speech, eyebrows lifting. She stays near Damon, respectfully allowing the Aerilonians their time. She smiles, and nods at Damon. "Hey, don't be so hard on yourself!" She chides Damon lightly. "You're awesome." She nudges him. "And he's got guts," She notes. Then she pouts at Damon. "I am /not/. He's engaged! What kind of hussy do you think I am?" She puts her hands on her hips. She listens to the second speech, smiling at the Areion people and will greet them in passing. She does look a little amused at the CAG, though her smile at Cidra is respectful. Oooh, moonshine! Sofia nudges Damon, "Hey, I see it now." She nods as it's tapped. "Wow. That guy's awesome." At the violinist. She boggles at Fiasco though. "Pilots are strange."

Food and drinks? That's about the proper motivation to get Marko ambling over in the direction of the appropriate tables. The young ECO gives the Aerilon's command crew a long, measuring look before nodding his head to himself. Someone apparently has no problem buying the scuttlebutt.

Kaz turns his head to Tisiphone for a moment, as one hand goes up and rubs where that sharp, missing piece of flesh is. And there's a faint frown. "Well." he adds looking back to the other pilot, "Missing." Eyes still watch Tisiphone for a moment, before he's letting his shoulders drop a little bit-and he relaxes. "Sorry for talking shit about your colony back there." On Sagitarron he means to say. "I was rather cut up at the time." as opposed to being stitched back up, right now.

Evandreus gets just past the treeline and lets the last of the speeches follow him about as perceptibly as Sweetpea's presence behind him. He knows it's there— but he couldn't say one way or the other about what was or wasn't said. He bends his knees, resting his hindquarters against a tree and lowering his head down toward his knees for a moment, sliding his right hand up underneath his left armpit, hand covering the reverse-c shaped scar hiding underneath his uniform. He looks up, then: "Something's going to happen." Most vague prediction ever.

"Do not rub too hard, Sawyer," Cidra says, a little wryly, to the reporter in parting. But the major has elbows of her own she wants to rub. She half-turns to stride in the direction of the Other CAG. But she sees him coming first. He is eyed up and down. Gaze very direct, though there's little in it but weighing assessment. And a lot of curiosity. The fedora, in particular, earns a quirk of her brows. "How do. Papa, is it?" The call sign is said a little wryly. "I am Toast." Right hand extended to him. As if for a shake.

Sawyer leaves, heading towards the Tiny Plot Rooms [Out].

"Toast. The pleasure is mine." And the fact that he's a superior officer be damned: Skiron Baer is going in for the hand-kiss, moving to raise those delicate fingers of hers to his lips. And if she recoils, well: the guy's style involves a fedora. You know he'll roll with the punches. "And please, pardon Lieutenant Marduk." Baer gives the over-enthusiastic pilot an inscrutable look. This one promises … nothing good. "I will deal with him at a more appropriate time, if your bartenders — " Spoken oh-so-dryly, for said bartenders are wearing blacks and armed to the teeth. "If those men do not get him first."

Bannik lets go of Quinn and takes a step back, giving her a small, sad smile. "Yeah. We are. Have a good party down here, huh? And if you ever want to talk or pray or anything just —" He pauses. "Just look me up, huh?" He flashes her a more genuine grin and heads off towards his piano, to join in the entertainment and music for the eve.

Quinn gives Bannik's arm one last squeeze, nodding slowly to him with a small smile through those glassy eyes. "I will, hun… I will." Maggie murmurs gently, letting him go back into the crowd. She doesn't move to mingle yet. She's just watching. Shock is an odd thing.

The hand-kissing earns a slight widening of Cidra's eyes. She might blush. Faintly. Though she does not recoil. "No apologies necessary. This is a merry occasion, and we have had few occasions for such of late. I shall admit, I thought myself taken by a hallucination when I saw your Vipers. I had not thought I would see a waterfall of good Colonial ships not of me and mine again. I am very glad I saw true. And the pleasure is mine." And with that, she leans forward to kiss him. Briskly, once on each cheek, if he also doesn't recoil. The gesture has no romance to it, but rather a sort of sisterly ceremony.

"Pfft, engaged," Damon says, waving away her protest. "Engaged ain't married. 'Sides, you've been through the end of the world together. That's gotta count for something, yeah?" He waves and nods and smiles to various people as they make their way through the crowds, trying to get to the alcohol. "We're all strange," he retorts, looking through the crowd. "Well, I guess I should just speak for myself. I'm strange." But before they reach the booze, his attention is pulled away by something a ways off. "Hey - grab one for me, wouldja? I think I recognize that guy, and he's definitely not from Cerberus." And before Sofia can even respond, Damon ninjas his way into the crowd.

Tisiphone presses at the split in her bottom lip again, glancing at her thumb for any trace of blood. None? It's time to reopen the wound with /moonshine/. She tries, with no success, to liberate an entire bottle from the battledress-black bartenders — dress greys bedamned, it's more /efficient/ to just give her a bottle, man! — and instead settles for three glasses with as much oily-clear liquor splashed into them as they'll give. One to Kaz, the other to Cora; she lifts hers to them and mutters, "Here's to seeing Sagittaron, and getting the frak back off again." Down the hatch.

Daw. Bannik and Quinn make Sofia smile. She puffs at Damon. "I am not that kind of Snipe," She folds her arms, noding firmly. "It does. he's my best buddy," She bobs her head. Sofia smiles and nods, following along. "I am too," She notes. Sofia is pretty strange. "Okay! Should I grab one for him too?" She asks quietly. If no one protests, she'll fill a flask for poor Constin at least. And Damon's drink. She herself abstains though, figuring a flask for Constin occupies her share. She'll follow Damon with two glasses filed in hand towards the new enlisted. "Ooh, I see them now."

Once Bunny's hunkered down, Leyla moves in, needing less effort, on her part, to reach down to his level. Party over there, but there's something serious going on in here, and for the time being, that has her attention. "I know it is." There is and will be no clear path, not in this lifetime. Leyla settles, opposite the taller pilot, reaching down to work off one of her gloves, the effort it takes to make such a gesture evident in the somberness of her expression, "Tonight, tomorrow, a week, a month, a year from now. This isn't over, Bunny. But it hasn't come yet." A beat, "Don't lose yourself in the past. Or forget the present in looking to the future. We're here, now, in this moment. And this moment is precious." That said, she offers her hand, her words shifting to her native tongue, soft, sybilant Taurian, "Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa." «Let us keep close together, not far apart.»

Cora starts paying attention again just in time to be handed a glass, having been spending her time seeing if those shiny new captain's pins will get her that bottle Tisiphone has already failed to liberate. Apparently they will not. Yet. She turns back around to blink at the ugly pair of pilots and just nods and replies, "So say we all," before drinking deeply.

Marko ambles over to pick up a glass of moonshine, nodding to Tisiphone and company. "Interesting speeches." he notes with a hint of a smirk. "So, what you guys think of the new addition to our flotilla?" he asks, sipping at his drink.

Baer accepts her gesture with just the barest whisper of a smile. "It was supposed to be the end for us." Somehow, the man manages to enunciate his words despite having that cigar stuck in his mouth. "The Cylons found us. Tracked us. I don't know how." A light shrug. "We knew they had a base in orbit above Sagittaron. Fire the Gun, eliminate the base, take as many of them with us as we could." The CAG chews thoughtfully at his cigar. "No base. Instead, we find two frigates and a battlestar." Smoke, Cidra? He offers, brown eyes meeting hers for a little longer than perhaps proper. "Plans changed."

Kaz offers a strained smile to Tisiphone for a moment before he is raising the glass of clear-ish liquid up. "Slainte mates.." and down the hatch it will be going. It's enough to make him close his eyes for a while-while his kidneys and liver now scream at him for doing that. However, the rest of his nerves are happy. Blinking, Kaz is letting eyes slip over to Cora, and there's a faint..Well how do you put this? Stare. And then he's nodding. "So-I could use another drink." Short, gruff. To the point. It's perfect.

And the new enlisted sees Sofia as well. There, with the salads, are a pair of them, one male, one female, both of whom are wearing casual NAVY sweaters with orange ribbons tied to their right arms. "Yo," she calls, waving for Sofia to join the little gathering. "Got big plans for that flask?"

"You know it's your duty to share," he adds.

"With your sisters — "

"And brothers — "

"In arms," they finish together.

"I thank you," Cidra says, gladly accepting the smoke. She's all about eye contact, generally and so she meets his gaze most intently. There's still that weighing quality about the way she observes him. Kissing aside, she's still very curious. "The base we did attend to. Some months ago. My commanders can fill you in better than I. Though that does bring to mind. That is quite some weapon your carrier has at its disposal. I have only seen its like once. When we took down that base, come to it." A pause. "Its deployment involved an abomination…" Prim "Ahem." "That is. A humanoid Cylon plugged into my Raptor mainframe."

Hey! Sofia beams at the two and blushes. "No, not really. I was going to bring it to a friend who can't make it, so I won't have any. Where'd Damon go? I got his glass- aww, don't tell me he bailed." She pouts, puffing up a little. She grins, as the two alternate speech. "Well, I guess these are your glasses then," She smiles up at them. "Here, I'm glad to share." Beam. Her bright green eyes are happy, fellow enlisted are always welcome. "May I ask your names?" She tilts her head at them.

"No. Really. Did you /see/ that shit, Scooter? I swear you could have seen that toaster's eyes bug out." Fiasco continues to meander through the crowd. "So what do you say we see what kinda damage we can cause over here." An exasperated-looking Petty Officer suddenly gets an arm around his shoulders as the pilot swoops up on the poor guy and he marches on towards another cluster of hapless Cerberus-crew.

Decumius enters the room, with a couple of other dudes from his group. How does one know they're from his group? Well, they've got no dress greys, for one. Secondly, not only do they not have dress greys, they also do not have any regular uniforms. Indeed, the best they can muster are (now clean) desert uniforms, designed to be worn under body armour. Their sleeves are rolled up, to try and make them as casual as possible. And they look very nervous, and very out of place, these three skinny marines do. But they also look for something in particular:


"'ey," Tisiphone greets Marko, the majority of her breath still evaporating away on the moonshine fumes. "Think /interesting/ is as much we can hope for from speeches, that's what I think," she says to him. "You tried this… stuff yet?" A wiggle of the empty glass. "Think fuel must taste like this." Her gaze wanders over to the muckety-mucks nobbing their hobs, and she says, presumably to Marko, "Dunno what to make of 'em yet, other'n they like to drive us through flak rings."

"So you have met them too." Baer hands over the cigar, his fingers lightly brushing against the other pilot's palm after the deed is done. He's certainly not lacking for confidence, though anybody observing won't note anything excessively improper. "Believe me, we have worse names for them than 'abomination.'" His smile widens incrementally but darkens significantly. "But our gun? That comes from no Cylon, unless you think Admiral Madeline Hauck was an agent." Such is the power in that name he doesn't feel the need to explain it. "Secret project. Very hush-hush." Without looking, his hand snatches away the glass of booze in passing Fiasco's hand, taking it for himself. "Hard to explain to the wife."

"We learned to eat out of cans." That's from the Bunny, whose recently shaven cheeks are wet with a sheen of panic-sweat mingled with a few slow-pricking tears, and is followed up by a queer little noise like a hiccup duct taped onto a cough wrapped up in a plastic wrap laugh that won't quite stick. Unfastening the neck of his uniform and getting in to the inside pocket where his inhaler's kept, he takes a medicated breath and slides the rest of the way down onto the forest floor, crossing his legs. "I'm sorry. I keep getting this feeling, like…" he shakes his head and then finally manages to look at Sweetpea. "It was a hundred days after the bombs fell when we were on Leonis and things… were really bad. Now it's been another hundred days and… I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, I guess."

"So that's what I'm tasting." Marko replies with a chuckle. "Thought it smelled familiar." he nods. "Yeah…so I'm hearing. Sounds like a bunch of cowboys, to me." he says, turning to follow Tisiphone's gaze towards the backslapping brass. "Which pegs them as either special ops or flat out crazy."

Quinn finally pulls herself out of her reverie, shaking her head slightly, sending frizzy braided red pig tails around her shoulders. She's here for a party, not for staring at home and wondering… So she forces herself to draw in a breath, straighten up, and head over towards someone familiar at least. Even if she can't drink, she can try to relax. Maggie makes her way in Evandreus' direction, he being the closest person to her down here…

Cidra's eyes keep on Other CAG as he brushes her palm. Brows arching. Inscrutable. Though she doesn't slap him. So…that' something. "We have met them, yes." Her tone as to the abominations is flat. "Admiral Madeline Hauck?" Blink blink. Perhaps she should not be surprised by the name, but she is. A puff is taken as soon as her cigar is properly lit. "I know a little of Admiral Hauck's work." There is a hint of disapproval in her tone, though she keeps it veiled. If anything, she's more curious now. "We had a brief overlay at Parnassus. I can get you our reports of our time at the facility. If you will…show me yours." Pause. "Concerning the abominations, of course. And the other encounters your aerial troops have had with the Cylons since the attacks. Best if we pool our resources, see what we can learn from what the other has experienced."

The enlisted woman takes the lead: brown hair, big muscles, capable of downing a single bottle without feeling the effects — or so it seems, judging from the four or five empty cups she's holding in her left hand, one stacked one atop the next stacked atop the next. "Fiona. Most people call me Fee. Him, he's Niner." Gulp.

"Nine fingers, see." The enlisted man waves his left hand about — a left hand that's missing a ring finger. "Lost it when it got caught up in a Viper intake. Burned right off. Still can't feel straight."

"We're VX-1's gang," the woman continues, smacking her lips. "They break 'em, we fix 'em. Damn. Feels nice to be able to say that straight."

"Before the war we were ordered to lie," Niner adds. "Mechanics. Civilian. Whatever. Our man Reggie bragged to a nice pair of legs and got rolled up by Colonial Intel. Taught us a lesson right good."

"Joy's been officially /killed/, sir." Fiasco says, with a sudden salute, looking all the more ridiculous in his rumpledish dress grays as he eyes Baer's stolen bounty. "Oh. You're talking about /that/." A little bit of the younger man's levity fades as he starts to listen in to the conversation between the dueling CAGs. "Oh. Uh. Sorry to interrupt, Sirs." Another salute, this one is shot to /Cidra./ "EVOCATI!" With that, he goes to wander towards the nearest source of replacement booze.

If Leyla seems put out that her gesture wasn't accepted, there's no trace of it on her face, as she too settles onto the ground, the conflict between dress greys and grass be damned, gloves right hand on one knee as she sits with her legs folded beneath her, ungloved left on the other, "We've learned to do a lot of things we never expected or ever wanted to do." A nod, as Bunny recounts the days. "You're looking at a cycle, waiting for the circle to come around again." She doesn't ask after his inhaler. He has his medication, and for the time being, he looks alright. She does, however, reach into a pocket to retrieve a scrap of cloth, folding it neatly in hand, before she'll attempt to use it to dry his tears. "Do you think it will, in your heart? Or are you just afraid it will?" The LSO's approach is noted, the pair far enough away that anyone headed in their direction bears noticing, Leyla's weight shifting, in the event that LSO trumps pilot and she needs to depart.

"Evening, Marko," Cora greets the newest arrival before arching a brow at Kaz. "Did they take your tongue along with your ear?" she asks as he stares wordlessly, before her lips, noticeably un-split, a unique feature among current company, curve into a smile. "Another drink it is." She holds out a hand to collect his glass, and then looks to Tisiphone and the ECO, fingers wiggling to collect theirs as well as she heads off to get refills, returning swiftly thereafter with a round for whoever wanted it.

Hey! It's the Marines she met the other day! A smile at the skinny Marines and Decumius. Sofia waves at them, warmly. She boggles. "Fiona and Niner, pleased to meet you," Sofia bobs her head in a sort of curtsey. "I'm Crewman Sofia Wolfe. Usually just Wolfe," A shrug. "I see. That's pretty neat. I'm 3M, so I am the soddering iron fairy," She smiles softly. She blinks. "Really?" Her eyes widen. "Oh wow. That must've been tough," Hush hush top secret stuff. They seem to impress Sofia, at any rate. Though the youngish snipe is fairly dorky and easily impressed. If none of the glasses will be taken, she'll hold them for the Marines. She's a good mannered Snipe.

"Control yourself, pilot." Baer's rumbling voice is almost sensual in its intensity — in stark contrast to Fiasco's brash yelling. "And I was thinking the same, Major." If he's surprised that she knows not only the admiral's name but also the location of her research base, he doesn't show it, his grave expression remaining exactly that. "I am made to understand that your people have intelligence of a different sort. Captured enemy assets, including — " He takes a little sip of his drink, brown eyes focused on Cidra over the edge of the cup. " — your former admiral. I would be most interested in what he has to say."

The three desert uniform clad marines wander around for a few minutes, mostly ignored, until they find the table. A table with plates and plates, filled with salad, deer meat, and booze?! The ravenous beasts begin filling their plates and their cups. Decumius's green eyes are as wide as they'll go, and and he's got a big grin on his face. He turns to his nearest cohort and says, "Look at this! Frak, imagine a month ago thinking we'd be wining and dining? Dig in! I can't wait!" They're totally oblivious to everything else. Even lots of pretty women.

Kaz flicks eyes from Marko, back to Tisiphone when he is turning to pass his drink over to Cora, leaning in briefly only to let out "I'll show you that tongue.." before he is snapped back into his easy stand of his. "Evenin mate.." Kaz says to his unfamiliar squadmate-unfamiliar in as much as he hasn't talked to Marko-much if ever. Hand reaching out for the newdrink! "Thanks, Cora." muttered, out before he is looking to whom they are oggling. "Eh, Flak ring wasn't that bad. I didn't eat it.." Mind you he and Toast musta been blessed by the gods.

Tisiphone snorts at Cora as she hands her empty glass over. "Can't scream worth a damn if they take your tongue. Choke on your own blood." Immediately after saying it, her expression freezes as her mental editor shrieks about private voice versus out-loud voice. "Eh," she finishes, weakly, scrubbing at her imperfectly-coiffed hair as she looks back to Marko. Smalltalk. Quick. Find some. "One of 'em ran their mouth about us being /regulars/ on the comms yesterday," she says to Marko. "So, uh. Yeah. Creme de la creme." She makes a brief wanking gesture to accompany the froofy language.

"Wolfe. That's a hard name." Fee grabs one of Sofia's proffered glasses before knocking down the contents posthaste. "You been in long?"

"Cause we're lifers, we are." Niner takes the words out of his mate's mouth. "Got the damage to show for it, too. Finger's not the only thing on me busted up."

"Frak yeah it ain't. Man's crooked dick got sawed right off when he tried to hump the machine shop," Fee adds, eyes sparkling. Maybe she's a little more toasted than she appears. "So where's your damage?"

"Evocati," Cidra murmurs wry at the boisterous pilot. Lips twitching toward a bare hint of a smile. Another smoke. Puff, puff. She doesn't handle the thing as deftly as a cigarette, but nicotine is nicotine. "Do not fret over him. This is an evening to celebrate. Come together." And he can make of that what he will from her. Brows do another arch when he mentions the admiral. "As would I. He has said little since he was removed from command. Truth be told, we have not been assured he is an…abomination. But the evidence was too much to leave him in command is there was the possibility." Blue eyes go a touch wide. "Have you encountered…models, others, like him…it?" She's not sure which pronoun to land on.

Cora lifts a brow at Kaz at his rejoinder, but then she's off retrieving drinks, and then she's back delivering them again, lifting her own for a long swig. Yeah, she's trying to sip moonshine. It almost works, but she does redden faintly and blink slowly, head tilting just a little as she swallows down the burn-inducing liquor. "Fair enough," she says to Tisiphone in reply, a little bit hoarse now for a moment until she clears her throat, and then snorts faintly at the description of their new friends. "I've yet to speak with them, really," she admits, watching the Areionians and adding, "I probably should, at some point."

Evandreus's hands are occupied in his act of self-medication, first, and then in the act of returning the medication to its place, leaving the collar of his dress greys less than properly done up as he eases his weight to the side, resting his shoulder against Sweetpea's, closing his eyes as she wipes up his face. "Is there a difference?" he asks her in reply. "I don't even know what to be scared of, anymore." Eyes open and find hers for the duration of the the last few syllables, before they shy off again and rise to Quinn, one hand finally disentangling itself from the other to raise in a wave to the Mumsie one.

"Regulars?" An unfamiliar voice echoes Tisiphone's choice of small-talk. It's the tall woman from the stage, whose low alto sounds amused over the din of the party. "That was Birdie, I wager. He means no offense, but you must admit: it was your pilot who asked to change ships." You have to admit: Riederer has a point.

When she gets closer, Maggie realizes just how close Evandreus is wrapped up with Sweetpea, and that the subject of the conversation isn't really meat to be a public one. She gives them both a quiet wave, "Hey… didn't mean to bother. You two relax. There's booze back there… when ya want it." It's Maggie's best attempt of makign a smooth exit before she ever makes an entrance. She really doesn't want to disturb. So, with that, she turns upon the ball of her foot, turning to walk away, back to the crowd, just a touch aimless.

"Just one." Baer looks away from OtherCAG for a brief moment of contemplation, and it's with surpassing deliberation that he sets his fedora back on top of his head. Talking business, see. "She called herself Fields. An intelligence officer, if you can believe it." A short little sigh substitutes for the contempt any other man would express. "Miss Fields is no longer with us." And Cidra can make of that what she will from him, as his eyes have swiveled back to land on hers. "You still have my cigar, Major Hahn."

A polite smile as the glass is taken. "Hard name?" Headtilt. "Um. Since the Cerberus got launched or so," She considers. "Really?" She boggles at the Deckies. They must find it hilarious to have a young snipely audience. Sofia's eyes go wide. "Um. Well, I got shot a few times, almost been electrocuted, a roof beam on fire with tar fell on me once, almost got stepped on a few times… I think being a deckie is more dangerous than engineering though. I'm not sure blowing up almost counts though," She seems thoughtful, deciding to leave /out/ the mental trauma. She's young, but stubborn. "But Deck crew are like family, so," She shrugs and smiles. "I try to keep the wires going to their deck," Nod. She really does seem to keep her deckies well watched and cared for at least. She's a good tool faerie. "You guys sound really tough and like you've been at it way longer than me though…"

If it makes Tisiphone feel any better, Kaz turned off his inner editor years ago. Still eyes remain focused on the regulars for a second. And then he's shaking his head before he is looking to the unfamiliar voice "Hm." however the ECO is not admitting to one thing or the other. Instead there is a look to Cora, and an arm is crooked. "You wanna go make friends? Or are you afraid my face'll scare all the boys from the yard?" A tease, but the arm remains out. "Or maybe a dance..They got a fiddler."

Wank wank wa-oh, hello. Tisiphone's wheat-white brows shoot a little up her bruised face as she turns a bland stare on Riederer. After a second or three, the stare sharpens. Not quite /wary/, but the Ensign's paying more attention to her words in the newcomer's presence. "And then blew herself to bits in the flak ring instead of choosing an RTB, yeah," she affirms. A quick, ungenuine flash of teeth. "She's one of our best." The glass is lifted, then drained in a gulp.

"Frakdamn!" Fee declares, her voice carrying loudly over the din. "Sofia Wolfe, torn to bits and here she is!" The woman rocks backwards on the balls of her feet. "Next drink's on me."

"On them," Niner notes, pointing to the Marines.

"Which means it's technically on her," Fee finishes, putting her arm around the brave little engineer. "Come on." No, Sofia, you really don't have a choice, not unless you want to test your mettle against her bulging muscles. "One shot for each scar, and on until morning!" A feverish grin. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

The three Marines sate their hunger by stuffing raw vegetables and dear meat down their gullets with alarming speed and enthusiasm. Seriously, it's hard to get more manly than that, except by washing it down with copious amounts of booze, which they do. It's a shame that they no longer have their massive Reconnaissance Platoon beards, or else they would easily take the cake as the most hardcore people in the room. In any case, Decumius, one amoungst the three, lets his gaze search the room as he pounds down still more alcohol, pouring himself a new drink as soon as he's finished the one before.

"Ah." Cidra eyes the cigar between her fingers. "Forgive me. I was enjoying it perhaps too much." Another languid - and rather inscrutable - puff is taken, before she passes the thing back to him. Holding it deftly between her long fingers for him to retrieve. "What did it look like? This…abomination?" She adds. "We have encountered several models that pose as women ourselves. "The one I spoke from my Raptor called itself Eleven. Dark of hair and eye but fair skin. Younger. Twenties, perhaps. I think, were it truly a girl, it would be accounted rather pretty. We no longer have it upon our ship. It…burnt itself out over Sagittaron when we took the facility. It went by other names as well. Some of people encountered a copy of it upon Leonis where it called itself…Yazdah."

Marko finishes his drink and moves to snag some food while it remains.

"One is human the other is animal. Reason or fear. There is a difference. There's nothing wrong with being afraid. It's human, Bunny," Leyla continues, as she dries his eyes, his cheeks, the touch much more tender than might be usual for the woman. Again, that deep seated knowledge of fear and pain, and the attempt to ease it. But for the time being, she remains as she is, shoulder to shoulder with the man, dropping her hand away only once the task is done, "Then don't be afraid. Or if you have to be, remember that the opposite of fear is hope. And one doesn't exist without the other." There's a break, in the thought, as Quinn approaches, and then, well, tries to make her escape. Oh no you don't. But the words that come after are gentle, "Captain." A pause, and then, "Jugs, come and sit with us." She may be new to the Harriers, but she knows, at least some of the stories about the LSO and her boys. And if Bunny needs anything, it's more of his family around him. Mama Bear especially.

"After she was ordered," Areion's XO adds gently. She's snacking on a salad, having decided the venison really isn't for her. "So there is that, I suppose. Discipline is good." The blonde gazes into the treeline, as if she expects a wolf or something significantly more malevolent to come charging out of the brush. Her handsome features flicker in the reflection of so many torches. "Does your best have a name? Do you?" Goosebumps run up and down her bare arms: she's tied her own NAVY sweater to her waist, leaving her only in her sweats. "I am Riederer, in case you didn't pick that out. Rudy's speech might not have made that clear." Because his speech was basically about his ex-wife.

A deep blush. "It's mostly that I'm kinda bad at ducking…" Sofia admits shyly. Her eyes go wide at the arm around her. Squeak. At least Sofia is soft and squishy? She looks up at Fiona. "S-sure … I think." She has doubts about her alcohol tolerance. But then her face goes red. "Oh." She's not so sure about the showing off scars thing. A bit more shy and sober. Though she boggles at the Marines quietly, smiling at Decumius. If only she could send SOS via telepathy. "Well. Maybe a little drink…" She can't take /all/ of it, the pilots and Marines would eat her soul. But her liver sense danger already. Still, she didn't refuse. She's just … shy about it. "Couldn't hurt." Right. Try.

Cora considers Kaz and his arm for a moment, even as she replies, "I'm not sure your face wouldn't scare men from the yard at this point." But… "Very well, let's go terrify the newcomers with our jigsaw ECO and see what they do. It will be a good test." She smiles, a slender crescent of black-ish humor, and downs the rest of her drink, slipping her free hand into the crook of the LTJG's elbow and heading over towards Cidra and her evil twin CAG with the hat.

Decumius isn't completely socially retarded, even if he has been divorced from society for the last… 8 months. It matters not! He catches Sofia's gaze, and shooting back a couple of more drinks (then refilling, of course), the desert clad Marine ventures over towards her, abandoning his buddies. But they like to hunt alone, anyways. "Wolfe!" He calls as he ventures through the crowd, pushing people who probably severely outrank him, squeezing through until he's very close, and approaching.

And get the cigar he does, Baer's larger hand enveloping hers for as long as it takes for OtherCAG to surrender what is rightfully his. "It is a most enjoyable blend," he agrees, his mouth opening slightly to catch what smoke drifts upward from Cidra's lips. "And — no. This one does not sound like yours. This one was blonde. Wiry. Strong." Papa drinks again from his cup. "This one wounded four Marines with nothing but her hands before we — incapacitated her." Forcefully, he doesn't add. "So yours, this — 'Yazdah.' It died when you destroyed the facility?" If Cora and Busted-Face Kaz are noticed, they're ignored. So better for Baer to admire the particular scenery in front of him — in his ever-so-subtle manner.

Evandreus rests his hands for a moment on his knees, then lifts one for Quinn to use to steady herself if she wants to come and sit with them, uncomfortable as the lumpy tree-roots might be for sittings. He looks almost abashed at having been caught at crying— a strange expression on a fellow as emotionally open as he is. A sniff, with a 'heh' hot on its heels. "Hope and I don't really get along anymore," he replies. "I kept it for so long, and then— did everything I could to get rid of it. You're right. There's not much to be afraid of if you cherish no hope or desire in your heart. If there's nothing you can lose to which you're unduly attached." "Hey, mum. Sorry we snuck off. How's the party going?"

Marko returns with a plate of food and begins munching at it hungrily. "Gods….actual food. I don't believe it." he sighs, fetching another glass of moonshine to wash it down with. "Anybody see where Sweet Pea went off to?" he asks, looking around. "And where the frak is Lunair?"

Discipline is good, the Arieon's XO says, and Tisiphone takes the opportunity to clear her throat, lift her glass for the final few drops she didn't get on the first gulp, then clear her throat again. "Our /best/," she says, emphasizing it as if to suggest Opposite Day is ended, "you've met already. Major Hahn's over- there." A glance through the crowd to the distant CAG-on-CAG cigar party. As for herself, she offers a hand and introduces, "Ensign Tisiphone Apostolos, Black Knights. Good to know you, Sir." It's… good manners, almost. And everyone who could bear witness is out of earshot. So it always goes.

"Make frakking way for Sofia Wolfe!" Dee hollers at the top of her lungs, and to her clarion call flock several other members of VX-1's deck gang — identified like these two by the orange around their arms. "Hero of the regular fleet, a right real badass — "

"Gonna need ten at least," Niner tells a Not Amused Marine. "One for each of us."

Lies, of course. They're all for Sofia, and as soon as the terrible troublemakers are out of the MPs' visual, they're spreading out their winnings — fourteen shots — before the diminutive snipe.

"You know this monster?" Dee asks Decumius. "Sounds like a frakking legend." A loud burp. "You hear me, Wolfe? A frakking LEGEND!" Drink up, dearest.

Maggie's eyes flicker down towards the lumpy tree roots. That's a long way for her not quite bendy body right now. She's not ungainly yet, but she's definitely feeling her middle age, her frakked knee, and her non existant waist line. She chuckles just faintly. "If I get down there, Bunny, Sweatpea…I ain't gettin' back up. 'sides, I left my fiddle back with the Raptor. I have a feelin' I should go be pickin' it up." She lilts out quietly, even her accent a bit thicker just for being home. "But… the party isn't bad. Needed… when you two are feelin' up to it, you should join." She advices, gently, worried…"I'd ask what is wrong but… well… I don't suppose we have enough hours in the day to answer that question." Still, she falls quiet, giving room for either of the two to explain why they're hiding off. Why Evan looks like he's been crying. But then, Maggie looks like she has been also.

Cidra might blush again when Other CAG's hand brushes hers. She just might. It's dark, so it's hard to tell. Though her underlying manner is still serious, as the conversation continues in this direction. "Blonde?" A touch of surprise. "No. All the 'female' abominations we have encountered have been dark of hair. Not that that cannot easily be changed with a bit of bleach. Anyhow. Our Intel officers have photographs and descriptions of the known models. I am sure…we shall show you ours if you show us yours. And it was not the same creature. But a…thing like the thing that called itself Yazdah, yes. There do seem to be many copies." Her attention is focused on Baer as well, but not so deeply that she doesn't notice the approach of something on her periphery. Cora and Kaz are blinked at. "Ah. Speaking of." Is she just a *little* sorry for the additional company? Perhaps. It's subtle.

Hey, that is lieutenant busted face to you! Still, Kaz just looks between the two CAGS, before he is gently clearing his throat. His hand still clutching that glass of his hard. "Excuse me, Major.." He doesn't know what Baer is, and isn't bothering to look at the moment. "I just wanted to say.." Yes-what did you want to say, stitches that is more important that CAG flirting? "You did good the other night- flying. We didn't want to interrupt.." Well, that is a bold faced lie. "Just wanted to let you know, it was a pleasure riding with you."

"Black Knights." Riederer repeats the squadron name with the respect it's due. "VF-154. Beer Battersby's pilots, correct?" Sharp eyes consider the pilot before her as she nibbles on a little leaf of lettuce. "Yours is a squadron with history. You acquit yourself well."

Oh gods. Oh gods. Sofia's eyes are as wide as saucers. "O-oh, I'm not really braver than anyone else not really,

It takes Leyla a genuine minute, to grok Quinn's comment. It's not that she never realized the LSO was pregnant, but, well, non-breeders rarely think about the problems the gravid encounter. "I managed to lift the roof off of a building with my hoist cables. I could juryrig a harness for you." But, yes, she can see the trouble, and doesn't press for Quinn to settle with them. "Then don't fear. Just go on. Fight until we can't, live until we don't." All go, no quit. But she was asked a question, if as gently as possible, and she does answer. This is Maggie Quinn, she's going to find out sooner or later. "It's a hundred days out from Leonis, two hundred days out from the attack." The most subtle way she can think to convey the words of her fellow pilot. "The world is coming around again." She looks back at Evan, "And the food is still staring at me."

Baer might smile again when OtherCAG's hand rests in his. He just might. It's dark, so it's hard to tell. "Bleach, perhaps. Or a feat of genetic engineering. A simple matter, to change the color of hair when you are birthing humans out of whole cloth." Level gaze settles on Kaz's shattered face before resting on Cora — for a long, long while, until the man remembers he's still holding onto the Cigar, and Toast's hand with it. Fancy that. "This is your ECO?" Baer lets go of the pilot's hand to tip his hat Kaz's way. "You do fine work. But you have a fine teacher, there is no doubt. Madam." A polite, cool greeting for the newly-minted Captain.

Lieutenant Busted Face and Captain Additional Company, to be precise. Cora smiles politely at Cidra and Baer, nodding in greeting, "Major, Lieutenant Colonel. I thought I would come introduce myself. I apologize if we're interrupting. Though I did hear intel mentioned, I think?" she admits, "If you're looking for access to ours, you'll be looking for me soon enough anyway. The man's greeting is taken in stride, though her gaze narrows faintly as she looks at him and finally offers, "Captain Cora Nikephoros will do, thank you."

Oh gods. Oh gods. Sofia's eyes are as wide as saucers. "O-oh, I'm not really braver than anyone else not really," Sofia looks flustered now. She's having doubts but - there really isn't any backing out now is there? She's redder than a naked beet after sunbathing. Oh well. She seems shy, smiling at the Deck Crew. "Are you suer we need that many I mean-" The MPs get an apologetic look. She's sorry, she really, really is. Her liver's about to experience Tillmanerian levels of pain. Oh dear. "A-ah, we just met actually. He's a very cool guy."

"She's the first frakkin' sympathetic person I've met in a long damn time! I don't count SSLF in that ,cause, usually, they were trying to shoot, stab or blow us up. And well, toasters…" Decumius laughs loudly, far more loudly than he needs to. It might be on purpose. Or maybe because he's injested a lot of very strong alcohol in a short period of time. He pulls out a smoke, and lights it. A grin is evident on the Marine's face as he observes Sofia's shots. "Drink up, Wolfe! It's a party! My first party since February! Don't dissapoint!" Apparently, instead of rescuing Sofia, he's condemning her loudly with the others she's met. See? He's even got an arm around Dee and Niner, now, despite having just met them. He howls loudly.

"Major Battersby and his odds-and-sods, yeah. Not bad for a bunch of Sagittaran crop-dusters shoved into flight suits." Tisiphone falters, her expression twisting up oddly for a second. "Old- ah, friend of mine. Made me memorize the squad history when she- we got our billet." Ensigns. So dutiful. She shuffles her weight slightly, manners slipping away into nerves, her restless glance noting a sudden dearth of familiar faces. "If you'll excuse me, Sir. Moonshine rental to pay."

Marko finishes his dinner just in time to spot Sofia looking pained and put upon. He might not know the woman very well, but he's bored and helping her out would be something to entertain himself with. Polishing off what he vows to be his last glass of moonshine…ever, he starts strolling in her direction.

"Modesty's not getting you out of these," Fee declares, slamming a hand into Sofia's back. "So you said you got shot? Cylon, right? Triple-tap, bam bam bam. Let's go, Wolfe, let's go!" And she leans into Decumius long enough to take a long and powerful gulp right out of the man's outstretched cup. She's got to keep herself entertained, too.

"And don't forget the electrocution," Niner proposes. "That must be two, right? One for the positive lead, one for the negative — "

At this rate, Sofia is going to have a very short night.

"Not humans," Cidra corrects Baer. Firmly on that point. "They wear our faces and flesh but they are abominations against right creation. More evil things I consider them than even the toasters. Even the Raiders. Their existence is a black sin." Ahem. Back to chit-chat. "Nikephoros. Chicken." The ECO actually earns a bare hint of a smile. Additional company or not. "I lack a regular backseater, but he was flying with me when we encountered one another, yes. This is Lieutenant Junior Grade Kazimir Meszaros. Callsign Chicken. And it was a pleasure with you as well, Meszaros. More than a pleasure. I do suspect it saved my backside on that little adventure a time or two. We should do it again sometime, preferably with less flak."

A hundred days since Leonis. Evan's eyes find his knee as his own euphemism is tossed back into the air by someone else other than him. There were several months on Leonis, after all. But a hundred days, precisely, since that day in Rutger Tower, the Bunny's own personal apocalypse. His eyes rise to find Mum's again and he squeezes her hand, even if she doesn't use it to come down to the ground with them. Just keep going. It sounds easier than it is. But he clears his throat, "We should— go hit the party. We can't miss mum's fiddle playing, yah?" Just keep going.

Kaz offers a faint smile back to the Lieutenant Colonel. "Thank you, sir." And there, to the hat tip, the ECO is raising his glass before flicking eyes over to Cidra as one brow raises, just barely. A sip and he's looking back to the Captain in close proximity. Yup, he's smirking slightly before hiding behind the facade of his drink. To the introduction, 'Chicken' is grinning a bit harder, even if it strains on that lip of his. "I agree sir, though even if we have to deal with flak-I imagine we can handle it." Besides they did get an awesome light show.

His drink freshly confiscated by the more hat-positive of the two evil CAGs, Areion's loudest pilot has managed to duck away from the fray long enough to secure a new, if-empty glass. Lt. Marduk has his sights now set on some way to fill the thing. The vessel is cradled by an open palm with two fingers as he edges around a couple people. "Scuse me, people. I got a date with a Maenad or two and they're buying." The grin he's wearing is positively shit-eating.

"Captain Nikephoros, then." Baer offers a little hat-tip to the newcomer, as unreadable as the CAG. "We shall of course extend our complete cooperation to your unit. You shall encounter no difficulties on our side of things." He's squinting in the dim Aerilonian night, trying his best to make out Cora's face. Not obviously, mind you, but it's there if you're looking for it. "As for the flak, it was necessary." Oh, and something that's just occurred to him: "Rudy — Commander Kepner — will not order your pilots about again without reason. At the time, we merely deemed it easier to order than to explain." The discussion of abominations is allowed to slide. Maybe later, privately, they can air out their respective grievances.

"It is good to know your history, Ensign Apostolos." Riederer's low voice dips lower still, and indeed, she imparts the word with a very obvious reverence. "And as your history tells us, there are no regulars in this war. In any war of this sort." The XO crosses her arms behind her back, her head tilted to one side as she considers the young pilot who might well be half her age. "You excel or you die. And more shall be culled before this is over." A small, private smile. "Dismissed, Ensign."

Sofia is blushing like mad. She swallows hard. "Yeah… a few times," Sofia pushes the tips of her fingers together, shyly. She looks up at Fee and glances to Decumus. He's not helping. Aaah! Then she watches Niner like he just set himself on fire. "Okay…" She looks to Decumius again. "Well, you weren't trying to kill me. that's the first step in meeting someone see…" Her eyes widen more at Decu's howl. Oh lords.

"My XO concurred with those orders, as did I," Cidra says to Baer. It's a subtle acceptance of the subtle almost-apology. "I understand that at times in combat one must risk everything to preserve that which is greater still. My pilots understand that as well. Fight and fly and die, yes?" Said with a smile, though it doesn't touch her eyes this time. Tone a little somber at that, and manner getting a little less casual. Moreso even than it was when she was chatting about skinjobs while - yes - flirting. She clears her throat. "Papa…That is, Colonel Baer was just telling me they had also encountered an abomination upon their ship. And they have been informed, it does seem, of our…situation with Admiral Abbot." Still 'admiral' from her, suspected skinjob or not.

Decumius stares at Fiona like the woman has invaded his house, shot his dog and ransacked his safe for all of the money therein. He's outraged! He stands there, mouth agape, unsure of what to do. So he just strikes back at her however he can - by grabbing two of the shots, and downing them. "I'm on /your/ side, Wolfe!" He says, staring at Fiona. "See? I'm no buddyfrakker!" A sour frown, which lasts only a moment, takes his face. "My first alcohol in forever, and you're stealing." It's replaced by a grin, though he sticks he raspberries at Fiona.

Quinn gives them both a small smile, and though she can't sit down, she leans over to kiss Bunny's head gently at the explanation. "100 days. Enough time to breath. Yes… more shit is going to happen… but, for right now, we can stop and breathe…" She whispers, mainly to both of them, earning up to her momma bear title for a few moments. With that reassurance, and a quietly grateful look to Leyla for watching over Bunny, Maggie does begin her quick step (only slightly waddling!) over to the raptor she came in on. Fiddle retrieval on the horizon!

Excel or die. At least there's someone else at this party with a nice, practical outlook on life. Tisiphone lifts her empty glass to Riederer in a makeshift salute, inclines her bruised head just /so/, and replies, only, "Sir." With that, she's making a steady(-for-now) and brisk departure. There's moonshine rental to pay — and some food to find, in hopes of soaking up some of those two glasses of moonshine on an empty stomach.

"Yes, the XO reviewed and confirmed the orders you suggested," Cora confirms Cidra's wonders to Baer with a nod. Kaz and his smirking gets a glance, and probably would even if the smirk weren't distorted by that line of stitches. She turns back to nod at the Areion's CAG, replying of his offer of open communication, "I'm glad to hear it." As for the news about a skinjob on the experimental carrier, both brows lift and she asks, "Can you describe it? Does it sound like one we've seen before, major?"

"Oh, that's bullshit." And whether or not the Marine will let her, Fee's pushing past him to pick up a few more shots from bored Cerberus MPs. These four are slammed down in front of Sofia with a baleful — and playful — glare at the Marine.

"Two as punishment for each one you get someone else to drink for you," Niner explains, and he too is patting Sofia on the back. "Just like the Cylons. This shit keeps on coming and coming until you kill them all yourself."

"But she won't have a frakking problem," Fee declares brightly. "Will you, Wolfe? Bring the frakking hammer to it already, go go go!"

"I cannot say for sure, Captain." Baer doesn't seem miffed by the fact that he has to explain all this again. "Ours was blonde. She called herself Fields. She is no longer with us. Toast — " And he points out the CAG by resting his hand on the woman's shoulder, just for emphasis. "Toast can fill you in. As for your admiral, Alke — Lieutenant Colonel Riederer, that is — " It looks like the command staff is on an entirely first-name basis. "Alke was curious as to why a Colonel was leading your Fleet. Alke is also indecent enough to ask." There's evident fondness in Baer's voice. Small wonder, then, that Areion's men are so well-informed. "Rest assured, we have no spy in your ranks." Just in case anybody had that niggling suspicion.

Kaz lets himself fall silent right here, as the talk goes to the notions of skinjobs. Again a raising of his drink as more booze is dropped down with a mutter of: "Fly, fight'ndie.." quickly scrolled out, before he is looking back to the Captain, brow back up as info is passed back and forth. Looking into his empty glass, there's a look to the Baer. "Well there go my sleepless nights."

Just keep going. It's what Leyla does every day, it's the only thing all of them can do. "One day at a time, Bunny." A nod, and a genuine smile to Quinn, as she takes care of Bunny the best way she can. And…perhaps the way he needs. And in the midst of it, Leyla slips her glove back on, "No, we don't want to miss that. I'm certain I can find us a prime seat. Maybe even fix you a plate." She's small, but she's scrappy! Bring it on, Marines! The look from Quinn, just before she leaves in acknowledged, with a slight nod of her head and a look of understanding in her own eyes, before she pivots herself back up to her feet. Having not so far to go as Bunny. Again she offers a hand, in case he needs it to rise.

Cidra shakes her head to Cora. "I know not, the description I did gather was quite brief. Papa…" Ahem. "Lieutenant Colonel Baer and I were discussing other matters." A blink at the hand that goes to her shoulder. Not that she shirks from the contact. Brows are arched yet again. She lets it stay where it is for the moment. "We did not die the other day, though, Chicken," she says to the ECO with one of those somber smiles. There's a hint of flash in it, though. Toast might, /might/ have been rather invigorated from her trip through the flak. She subverts it better than many of the young Viper jocks, but she's as much an adrenaline junky as any of her pilots deep down. Eyes lift back to Other CAG. "We shall have to fly together again soon. Ideally under less…hot circumstances."

"Ensign." Alke Riederer doesn't leave with Tisiphone Apostolos. Instead, she stands by herself at the edge of the clearing, her hands still folded behind her back, minding not in the least the chilly breeze that now sweeps across the party. Maybe she fancies herself in some Romantic painting of old, her trim figure silhouetted against the fire as her long hair flutters in the wind; maybe she simply wishes to enjoy what remains of her salad — deposited for the moment on a nearby table — in something resembling peace. The fact that Evandreus and Leyla are having A Moment nearby does not disturb her in the least.

"Eek." Sofia's eyes are wide at Fee. "I didn't really ask him to but … okay…" Sofia seems dubious and carefully picks up a shot. Welp. Down the hatch. It immediately becomes apparent she doesn't drink often. That's - strong stuff. "W-wow, do you guys drink that often?" She has a new sort of awe for Fee and Niner. She's /trying/ at least. Though she's kind of afraid to find out what happens if she passes out or doesn't get them all.

"Sooooooooooo. You getting waylaid by Pops, here?" Unfortunately, somebody let Fiasco into the drink stores and he manages to amble up Cidra-way, Cora too, and Kaz by proximity all get a dose of the extroverted pilot as he raises his drink. With one hand initially and later clasping his free hand around the base of the cup, obviously remembering what happened to the /last/ one.

"We've yet to have a blonde one reported," Cora replies to Baer with a slow nod and then a more brisk one for the idea of Toast filling her in. "If you have a photo on file I'd appreciate if you sent it over as soon as possible." Her lips curve briefly at the joke (right?) about a spy in their ranks and then nods, "I'm glad everyone is becoming…informed." She looks at Cidra for a moment and then turns abruptly to the others, hand shifting into Kaz's elbow once more as she says, "Perhaps I ought to go meet your XO so we can discuss getting files transferred and the like. It was nice to meet you, Lieutenant Colonel Baer. Enjoy the rest of your evening, Major," she adds to Cidra before giving a little tug to draw Kaz away with her, Fiasco getting a brief look and then the offer, "You look like you need another drink," to try to lure him off as well.

Evandreus grabs Leyla's hand with his own and pushes himself up, moss smudging the butt and back of his dress greys in a direct example of why dress greys aren't great for sitting on the ground in. Once he's on his feet again he brushes himself off somewhat. "Thanks, Peapod," he tells her, mouth settling into a game half-smile. "It was… funny, earlier. You were talking about canned food. Used to be all I'd ever eat." He looks to the unfamiliar figure posing between the trees. Offers her a wave.

"I'm not going to be able to take much more before I'm loaded." Decumius admits to Fee, bowing his head at her. "I'm outta 'er already. Givin' 'er hard, but not as easy as it seems. Look at me - skin and bones. I don't got nothing to absorb it with!" He protests, matching the four shots Fee slams back. But not well, the last two are taken with a wince, and the last one itself provokes coughs. He takes a long drag from his smoke to counteract the booze. "That's not fair, dude!" He says to Niner. "She's light."

Kaz is grinning again, in spite of himself, and the CAG's correction of the other CAG's name. And with nothing more left in his drink, it seems that the ECO is forced into a brief hemming and hawwing. However it seems that with the tug Kaz is being relieved of CAg talk. Awesome. "Uh, sure." and he's nodding. A glance given to the Captain as he is eager to follow her leave. The other pilot, is given a dubious look-however he's not handing out any invites. He's just walking.

"Less hot, Major?" This time, Baer doesn't smile, though his eyes might be twinkling beneath the brim of his fedora. "Assuredly. Though I should say that we have grown used to fighting within our own ring." Of flak, he means. "It — evens the odds. I admit I almost cannot remember how to fly in an engagement where we have numerical — " Good gods, Fiasco. " — superiority. Which leaves me in a far better state than my fine friend over here, whom I suspect will not remember anything." Another little sigh from Papa Baer, one that testifies to only a little exasperation. "Very good to meet you both. I am sure I will be seeing you again soon enough, and then we shall make sense of these women and their hair."

"I think this is the time where I start looking the gift horse in the mouth." Both hands slip around the cup as Fiasco takes a healthy drink, ignoring the probably bitter aftertaste and the terrible fume burn one gets from such low-grade substances. Hiding the smirk at Cora in the brim of the cup, he gulps. "Nah. Why bother. I mean, what could /possibly/ go wrong? You offering?"

"Well….now what?" Marko asks himself, looking around after realizing Sofia's probably enjoying being ambushed. As for himself, Marko is really not much of a social butterfly.

Sure enough, there's the fiddle, just where she left it carefully strapped beneath a seat, just incase the landing was rough. Maggie scoops up the case and comes back out, looking a very odd mix between professional and Aerilonian farm girl. The professional is wearing most of a dress uniform. The farm girl is clearly pregnant with braided pigtails, a soft blue empire waisted shirt, and a fiddle in her hands. It's that farm girl that marches up to the biggest clot of people at the gathering and asks, in general…."We all up for some music?"

"Good hunting, Nikephoros," Cidra says to Cora. Barest hint of a smile. And a wink. You blink, you miss it. Attention back to Baer as Cora and Kaz head off. Head tilting as he speaks of fighting in his own flak. "That must up your casualty rate quite appreciably," she observes rather gravely. "How many souls did you launch with?" Since turnabout is fair play she adds, "Our Air Wing contingent was more than three hundred Vipers and Raptor crew when we left drydock at Leonis." There were a Hades lot less than that in the air over Sagittaron when they met up, of course.

…And moments afterwards, Fiasco turns back and shoots Baer the most naive of looks. "Hey, situational awareness, sir. I'm in control of the situation!' He then turns back and glances at Kaz and then Cora as he starts to drift behind them, tassels on his dress greys fluttering in a light gust of breeze.

"You're talking to a genuine frakking war hero, here," says Fee, hooking her arm around Sofia's neck and squeezing. Hard. It's almost like the older deckhand has taken the little snipe under her wing, literally. "And frak me if I'll have you call a genuine frakking war hero 'light.' Isn't that RIGHT, Wolfe!"

"Course it's right," says Niner. "Come on, girl, shit's fresh from the stills. You clear this up, we bring you over to our bucket and show you how we hush-hush top-secret sons of bitches make hush-hush top-secret booze."

"Sure," Cora replies to Fiasco after a moment, though the smile she offers afterwards is too encouraging to seem precisely genuine to those who know her at all well. "I don't think we've met," she adds, "This is Lieutenant Kaz Meszaros, I'm Captain Cora Nikephoros. You are?"

Over by a tree, a veritable tower of a blonde woman, thickly built and easily topping six foot two, dressed in off-duty tanks and one of the Aerion's crew, slumps down on the ground with a drink in her hand, apparently laughing at…nothing in particular.

It'll take a moment before Riederer waves back, and then — suddenly aware of the figure she must be cutting — she moves to tie back her hair into a far more professional bun. No haste, mind you: she moves with as much grace as a dancer from the ballet in spite of advancing middle age. "It is not my intent to interrupt." She's just curious, is all, which might be why she doesn't really look away, even when one of her soldiers topples to the ground. "Carry on, soldiers." And she even favors them with an encouraging smile before she moves to listen to the music.

"Lt. Gabriel Marduk. CEX Areion." Fiasco easily rattles off with a lazy swipe of his arm, spilling a few drops of hooch onto his fingertips and shaking them off, grinning exuberantly towards Kaz first and then Cora. "See you people already met Grumpy Bear. I…Sorry 'bout that. So, excuse the dumb question here, but I'm still trying to figure out how the /hells/ we ended up in your backyard. Or you in ours. Not that it really matters, I guess."

She has to dig in a bit, to support Bunny's weight, but Leyla manages, as she settles herself once he's on his feet, "You're welcome, Bunny. Always." There's a hint of amusement, at Bunny's brushing off, until, penny drop, she realizes grass isn't just for the other guy, and goes through the motions herself. That done, she turns to look back at the feast, "I know what you mean." Canned, tinned, processed. Fresh doesn't much exist in Derry, only on special days. "You in the mood for anything now?" Her eyes slide back to the rest of the party, settling on a new face, which seems settled on them. Softly, "He iti wai kowhao waka e tahuri te waka." «A little storm and then a rainbow appears.» Every problem has a solution.

"Three hundred." Now that's a number that hits Baer hard, and for a moment he sags against the OtherCAG's side. "Gods. Three hundred." He, too, can count. "I assumed Cerberus left spacedock with less than a full complement. Rare, really, that an entire Wing flies out on FCQs." Final Carrier Qualifications, for the uninitiated. "I — I am sorry." And his low, rumbling voice becomes nothing more than a whisper. "Areion had six Vipers, two Raptors. Expanded hangar deck. Madeline's — Admiral Hauck's — idea; our ChEng's design. She is dead, as are a third of my pilots." Papa takes a long, slow drag.

This is going to hurt. It's going to hurt a lot. Sofia blushes as Fee hooks an arm around her neck and squeezes. Squeak. Sofia squirms a little and blushes. "S-sure?" She seems dubious. She looks apologetically to Decumius. Deep breath and - she'll try to down them quickly as she can without thinking. She may end up throwing up later, maybe even mere moments. But it would mean a lot to know how to set up a still right? Right. CHUG WOMAN.

Kaz offers a faint half grin to Cora, before he's shrugging. There's another glance to Fiasco, as it seems he too is coming along. "What's your name, mate?" comes the twang from Kazimir-might as well be friendly, when closing up on another's wing, right? Isn't that how it works. Luckily, Fiasco does gve a name-thus ending Kaz's further questions. "Oh don't worry mate- we were wondering the same bloody thing. Ain't that a laugh? Ships passing in the night, an what not."

"Well, Miss," Says Corporal Lucius Decumius, "in the interest of inter-ship and Colonial relations, though I been on Cerberus for 'bout a day and a half, I will indeed back down." He leans back against the nearest hard, immutable surface in the hopes that he won't move too much. And he's slurring words already. "Uh-oh. War hero or not.. you, you can't even take that, devil woman!" He points at Fiona.

"ONE!" That's from Fee, devil-woman that she is, who — while Sofia isn't looking — now moves to snatch the flask meant for Constin from the meek little snipe. Girl's thirsty.

"TWO!" That's from Niner.

"THREE!" That's from the whole frakking crowd, who've now linked arms around Sofia and her table, their heads knocking against each other as they count down each powerful shot. With each one, the entire circle shifts — first clockwise, then counter-clockwise, then clockwise again, marking out rhythm with raucous laughter and joyous shouts.

"Breakdown in communication, maybe they didn't know we'd smashed their base in Sagittaron orbit?" So theorizes Tisiphone, having rejoined the throng, lighting a cigarette gingerly against her swollen mouth. "Thought they were jumping away to safety, and surpri-i-ise?" Narrow shoulders jostle in a faint shrug aimed at Cora and her menfolk; even the moonshine can't convince her she's a tactician.

Maggie might not be allowed to pilot much any more, but she's got a wonderful sense of timing still. She watches the drinking games which have started, a little touch of a jealous grin crossing her lips as she waits for everyone to slam their shots down post-count down and then suddenly she cuts into a quick, happy sort of reel that was made for all night drinking in a bar during the fall season. It's a dancing song, but not a sober one. Maggie's bow moves expertly fast across the strings as she begins providing the appropriate background music for this whole mess.

"No, we were fully outfitted. Plus a couple of Reserve that were aboard for training," Cidra says. "Well. They wanted to put on a show for Quorum. Remind the Colonial government why they had paid the cubits to have the thing built. Got their money's worth, too. We did perform surpassing well on our F-C-Q." Memory of that brings another of those faint smiles to her face. Bittersweet his time. "The Cylon attacks hit us hard. Cerberus had gone back to Picon. Our glorious return. Picon was hit…very hard. And these last months have not been easy, either." She touches his arm as well now. Albeit not the one occupied with smoking. She likes a cancer stick, herself, and knows her priorities. "All honors to the service of you and yours as well."

"Nice to meet you, Lieutenant Marduk," Cora replies to Fiasco, retrieving a refill of her glass as they reach the drinks table that isn't surrounded by dancing deck crew and such. She doesn't bother trying to sip this time, just knocking the moonshine back and then acquiring three more, offering one to each of the lieutenants with her. "We're not really sure either," she agrees, cutting off as Tisiphone reappears and nodding, "Could be… but probably not, given how easily they seem to be able to pass information. I suspect they all knew about that. Could just be bad luck. Or did you know you'd find them there?" she asks Marduk.

And behind the LSO there suddenly appears those two bagpipers, whose bulging instruments are loud enough to smash the eardrums of Quinn — and her baby too. They know the song, too — and the moment the pick up the tune, Areion's fiddler moves up as well, his wild-eyed gaze watching appreciatively as his opposite number does her thing. Then, with a snort, he's inverting her melody, embarking upon a dazzling variation of the old Aerilonian standard — and challenging her to do better.

Evandreus puts on a smile for the woman caught in the midst of an artistic instant. Not necessarily a false one— his eyes warm with a muted, furtive empathy that broadcasts an understanding of the impulse. But it's a candle or two too bright for the rest of his expression, no less. "Hey, no problem. I'm Evan," he introduces himself, "And this is Leyla. We were just…" he looks to the Taurian woman who… keeps speaking to him in Taurian, despite the richness of his Leontinian accent. "We were just about to head for some grub. Want us to bring you back something?" And there's a woman laughing, who gets an indulgent sort of smile. Looks like the liquor's flowing, too.

Quinn hasn't had back up in years. Even if the bag pipes are half deafening and Maggie does momentarily leap in shock, she turns a double take over her shoulder at the pair and grins like a cheshire cat. She shifts her body, turning inwards and back a bit to make room for them in her little corner, almost a small performance area developing itself. And then there is her -mortal enemy- (not really, but that's what this show down is coming to!). Maggie lets him invert the melody, pausing a moment to catch her breath as she listens to his challenge. The expression on her freckled face flickers immediately into 'Bitch, please.' And she's picking up her bow again, starting in on his melody and making it even more elaborate. Challenge accepted!

Areion's XO watches Evandreus smile, and for a moment she feels like she understands the man. Maybe it's something in the way he talks. "Evan, you say." Seeing as he doesn't salute, she doesn't bother. "My name is Alke. And thank you, but no. I am — not hungry." One hand reaches for her bowl of salad while delicate fingers pluck out one (1) slice of cucumber on which she can chew. "You are Cerberus, I presume."

Well, Fiasco isn't one to turn /this/ down, really. Finishing his current glass, he reaches for the next proferred drink and snatches it up with the most obvious case of fake sleight-of-hand ever put on display, tossing it to his lips as he keeps looking around at all the new faces. So /many/. "Two ships passing in the night. Give me about five minutes and I can come up with a suitable joke on that one, but —" trailing off a moment, his head inclines a fraction to one side. "Um, well. We knew there was /something/ there. Don't know how much I can readily — or easily explain. We didn't know that someone had already taken care of it /for/ us." There's a tentative smirk on his part as another loud noise comes from the nearby tree. The tall blonde woman slumped against it continues to laugh hysterically at something going on near the dancers. It's almost completely drowned out by the noise of the music now. "P.O.! CORDIS!" Fiaso bellows and waves excitedly. "Daaaaamn. She's not normally like that." Is all the pilot offers, aplogetically. "Seriously. She's from here, after all."

Marko spots Leyla and Bunny and makes tracks to join them. "Where the hell did you two go off to?" Marko asks, cocking his head a little. "What's wrong with Bunny?"

Poor Sofia. She definitely might not notice the flask being pinched. Here she thought she'd be kind and bring dinner and a drink to poor Sarge. Maybe she will if she doesn't chuck all over her shoes. Or pass out and end up with profane graffiti on her forehead. "I- I promised to bring Sarge dinner and a drink too … at least I-" She cuts herself off. Gotta finish. Turning green. She has to smile at the musical competition though. Get 'em Quinn! Uh oh. She's not feeling so good. Must. For. Cerb. DAMN THE LIVER! MAN THE TORPEDOES! Or something like that. Is she channeling Tillman? The XO is her totem Officer right now. How did she let herself get lead along like this really? "Take what?" As Decumius points it out.

"So say we all." Baer's tone is grim, almost resigned. "Your man Colonel Pewter. He mentioned other losses." The tall man offers Cidra his cup of moonshine while he chews a little longer on the end of that cigar. "Bears." He chuckles — the first time since they've met that he's done more than smile. "I would hear that tale, if you want to tell it."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Quinn:Fiddle vs Areion:4
Quinn: Success Areion: Good Success
Net Result: Areion wins.

"Don't worry, m'lady. Just DRAAANK!" Dec yells out, hooting again. He leans closer to Sofia and says, "You're cut off after this, bringing ya back to Cerberus. I'm done too." Well, he's done /after/ she's done. So he grabs a few shots of this horrifying grain liquor for the road. A few being four. He coughs, after each shot.

Cora takes a long drink and nods at Fiasco, replying, "We will hear it from your Command soon enough, I'm sure, you don't need to wrack your brain." Her smile is polite again and then she turns to look at the woman he shouts at, eyes narrowing slightly. "Maybe you ought to check on her," she suggests, before adding, "I have to go speak to our XO for a moment, though. Would you excuse me?" This to Marduk. Kaz is apparently expected to accompany her as she lifts a brow at him and adds, "Coming, Meszaros?"

"Only two minutes?" Kaz says back to Fiasco- There's a joke there somewhere. Hoever the ECO is not linering on it. Instead he is powering away the moonshine like a champ. Before he's turning to catch the incoming Tisiphone. A half nod to her, before he's eyeing his empty glass once more. And there another window. A faint smile as the arm crooks again. "Yeah, I'm coming." Easy go right there. Off to go and tag along with a blonde? Very hard life this one leads.

They call Areion special forces for a reason: they fight better, fly better, and fiddle better than most officers in the Fleet. And with an infuriating, teasing smirk, the carrier's resident virtuoso leaps atop a table, plates scattering, glasses flying — and up goes the tempo as flecks of rosin fly forth from his strings. There's Quinn's variation, repeated exactly after one hearing — and then comes an invention of his own, the old-time rhythms punctuated by the tapping of booted feet against laminated wood.

"I…do not drink overmuch. It musses with the sense in a way I do not particularly care for," Cidra says. Though she does take the moonshine. "In the interests of…support inter-ship relations, however, I will have a cuppa." She sips it. And promptly makes a face. Not. Smooth. She coughs delicately before saying anything more. "The bears I missed alas. Those were faced by our field team on Leonis, of which I was not a part." The music, of course, draws her attention. And a grin. "My LSO is Aerilon born. And a fine fiddle player. I have not heard her take it out since Beltane." Cloudy blue eyes up at Baer. "Auspicious night, this."

And since Evan is giving their given names, as it were, Leyla offers their callsigns, since they're both wearing their wings, "Bunny," she offers, indicating the man, "Sweet Pea," for herself. "Good to meet you, Alke." As for the taurian, as she catches Bunny's look and returns it, it's not like she didn't repeat herself in caprican! She's considerate bull, yes she is! Share your culture, but don't completely alienate the pakeha. "Well, I wouldn't mind a little something, if there's room at your table, when we get back, perhaps we can join you?" See, she can make with the nice nice.

"I have a few brain cells left. Let's just put it this way - you people beat us to the punch." Fiasco chirps, turning his head away. "Don't worry. I'm not one for professional territoriality." He's just beginning to slur those words. Maybe a /little/. But he's holding them together. "Maybe one day we can repay the favor. For now? I'm just glad to look out the viewport and see a Battlestar. And those frigates. I — yeah, I won't keep you people, I suppose." He smirks a bit as Cora and Kaz start to drift away. "Enjoy your evening." With that, he starts after the obviously smashed, tall blonde nestled under the tree.

"ELEVEN!" Fee's feet are flying, now, as — absent any protest from Sofia — she's doing a right number on the alcohol meant for Constin. Her bloodshot eyes are wild, almost Dionysian in her frenzy.

"TWELVE!" Round and round goes that circle, led by Niner's engine-wrecked hand.

"FOURTEEN!" Nobody notices that the count's just gone up.

"TWENTY!" VX-1's deck gang closes in on Sofia's body with hoots and hollers, lifting the girl up on their collective shoulders with a right rowdy cheer. And from the assembled masses there suddenly issues a low, growling bark: "Wolfe. Wolfe. WOLFE. WOLFE!" And louder and louder it'll go.

Leyla shakes her head, a smile coming as Marko finally comes around again, "We've been right here the whole time." As for Evan, "I think he's about to pass out from," she leans in, so that, hopefully, only Marko can hear, "manly hunger." See? Secret-keeper!

Cigarette lit, more moonshine procured — and there's the tell-tale sound of a skinned cat with pipes up its arse. Welcome to Aerilon. Tisiphone watches Cora and Kaz head one way, Fiasco the other, and huffs out a smoky snort to herself. She strolls herself in another direction, careful steps taking her toward the darkness.

The table?! He jumped on the TABLE?! Dammit. Maggie can't -do- that. Her body really doesn't bend like that any more. And he did it without missing a note. She grumbles beneath her breath, clearly having been shown up this round, though her fiddling was definitely up to snuff. She heads over to the NEXT table, looking it over with the slight pause in the music before she looks over to a few only half tipsy Marines. "Come on, boys, use those muscles for something other than lookin' good." And, with their assistance, the pregnant woman actually DOES hoist herself up onto the table. No one can say that Margaret Quinn doesn't have big metaphorical brass balls. She stares over to the other fiddler and grins, only slightly breathless. "Round two. No holding back." And with that, she picks up his melody, only not exactly. There's all sorts of improvisations, loops, starts and stops, and she's going a few beats faster also. Apparently, she was jsut getting warmed up.

"Heh, well, if you're looking for chow, you better find it fast." Marko replies, nodding a little. "They're going through it like wild animals. Can't blame 'em. It's good." he says, then laughs as he sees Wolfe being hoisted to the men's shoulders. "She looks either like the woman who won the Lupercalia, or a sacrificial virgin. Can't say as I'm sure there's a difference."

"A pity," Baer murmurs, his voice raw and hoarse. Maybe it's the cold. "I would have liked to hear of the bears." And the man even has the good grace not to laugh — or even chuckle — when Cidra finds that she's a far better Raptor pilot than she is a drinker. "I grew up on Libran. In the city. No bears. No fiddles. Clean, orderly — soulless. Not like this." The man's cigar flares red and ashen beneath the sky. "I have not seen my deckhands laugh like this." Ever.

"The pleasure is mine. And of course, my table — " Riederer seems almost abashed to call the place she set down her salad 'her table.' "I can save this table for when you return." The tall woman looks askance at what those crazy men are doing, though she makes no move to stop them. Discipline is good, she said — but "in moderation," she meant to add. "So." Uh. "What do you all do?" Work: her version of small-talk. Better than force-feeding shots down their throats, anyway.

Uh oh. Oh no. Oh no. Well, maybe she can refill it before she passes out? Maybe Decumius would be kind enough to remember? Sofia's positively green. Wait, did the count just go up? Oh gods that's not fair! They're cheating! But on the other hand, between the booze and their approval, it's kind of a nice feeling. Until the ground starts inverting itself. Uh oh. Sofia's eyes are wide a splates again as she's lifted up. She's dizzy, so dizzy and it shows. Kind of. "Uwah…" Must. Keep. Lunch. But as an upside, she's not really eaten so - it's a bit easier. She'd better hang onto something because the moment she lets go, Sofia's gonna hit the ground and keel over, just kind of curled up somewhere between passed out and not. But dammit, she finished those shots fair and square. Even if her eyes are wide for a bit before she enters dream's sweet embrace.

Evandreus is manly like that. Fortunately he's too engaged in conversation with the XO to have time to wonder what that's supposed to mean, exactly. "Yah," he replies, Leontinian accent waxing thicker and more noticable, "We're with the Harriers," he specifies. "Raptor drivers." In case anyone was still unaware. He pushes up onto the balls of his feet and peers over to where Mumsie's playing on the fiddle. "That's Juggles— she was our squadron leader, now she's pulling a stint as LSO, seeing as how… well. Yah." She's got the preggers, yo.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Quinn:Fiddle+20 vs Areion:4+20
Quinn: Success Areion: Success
Net Result: DRAW

The only thing Dec says to Sofia is, "Alright, ya done!" He grabs her off of the multitude of shoulders and pulls her with him, supporting the snipe's weight on his desert clad form. He says to Fiona, "You.. we'll meet again." Then, he moves off.

"I did grow up on Gemenon, myself," Cidra says, for her part. "In a city called Shinkirsei. Though it was not anything so large as would be called a city on any other colony, really. It was…Well. Very orderly in its own way, in most parts. Very…different from this." Not that she's complaining about her current environs. "We did not have any bears, either." Pause to sip, very gingerly again. "What class of Vipers do you fly, anyhow? We have mostly Sevens aboard Cerberus, small contingent of Mark Twos as well. I…did not recognize those sticks your lot were jocking, however. Looked fresh from the production line." A look at the deckies. And a chuckle. "Sagittaron was tense for us. Past six months have been tense. The crew needed a release, I do think."

As Fiasco leans against the tree, chatting with the inebriated technician, the two look off in the distance at the dancing crew of the greater Colonial battlegroup. The man laughs at something and continues drinking for a time, more or less apart from the revelry.

"Nobody's sacrificing a virgin tonight." That's all Leyla has to say about that. Whether Sofie is or not, well, you know she doesn't know, but that's not the point, "Don't let them take advantage of her." But food is calling, and something to make the evening seem a bit more…normal. "Well, I'll go get something before it all goes away. I'll get a little bit of everything, Bunny." Sure, she'll end up eating more of it than him, if he eats at all, but it's the thought that counts. "You going to be here for a bit, Flasher?" Hopefully the answer is in the affirmative, before Leyla sets off to brave the marines and other bottomless pits at the buffet line. Insert appropriate mental image of a bull pawing the ground before it charges a matador here.

"Yeah, I'll be around." Marko replies. "Was hoping my fiancee would be down here. Now, go, go…" he adds, shooing her towards the chow line. "You miss this, you'll kick yourself."

"Round two," Areion's man agrees, and this time there is no competition — for he willingly plays second fiddle, so to speak, around the melody Quinn now spins. And if you thought it sounded good with melody and bagpipes both, just wait until you hear it with proper accompaniment: low when Quinn goes high, high when she goes low, in straight time when she's syncopated, syncopated when she's straight. Like two Vipers in formation sings this newest of improvisations —

Like those Viper Mark IIs that suddenly pop above the treeline to delighted shouts from VX-1's mechanics and everybody else. Fee's only answer to the Marine is to slap him — hard — on his ass; then, like all the rest, she's hooting and hollering, fists pumping in the air. "Don't know those birds," she shouts, "but I couldn't give a flying frak about that cause they're so frakking hot!"

But Riederer: she knows the birds. "Petrels," she notes, eyes squinting to examine the numerical designations painted on those old-school Vipers' tails. "Picon Space Guards, One-Oh-One. And your Harriers. Tactical Warfare, yes? One-Four-One?" The woman lets out a long, slow breath she didn't realize she was holding. "History," she murmurs, tugging at her sweater. "It is all happening again." And with a small, wistful smile: "Good night, soldiers."'

Ahhhah. While Maggie would have been well up for a good competition, the working together feels even better. She hasn't played properly in tandem with someone in ages and ages. She smiles wide to him, falling into that fast, expert rhythm of a song they both know so deep it vibrates with the very beat of their hearts. Home music. Memories. Celebration. The reasons farmers lived, feeding the land, letting it feed them, rejoicing the harvest in the autumn as the weather grows colder. And just on the edge of that season too. Maggie's almost tearing up again, but she doesn't let it distract her from the strikingly fast melody she's riding with the stranger on the opposite table. If only she'd ripped off her jacket, this'd be hella more comfortable.

Sometimes you do things for other people. Sofia's not normally the sort to throw her liver to the wind, but heck - she's made friends with the other enlisted, hopefully they can show Cerb folks how to work a still and maybe there's leftovers for Constin yeah? Either way, it's all one big blur. She'd thank Leyla for her concern if she weren't concentrating on not puking. She whispers a thank you to Decumius, though it's probably lost in the din as she fades out. She's probably going to become a Philosopher Queen seeking enlightenment in the Grotto of the Throne of Knowledge with its ivory bowl and cool floor. She might just /attain/ that enlightenment.

"Release. Indeed." Baer has eyes only for the air show, one hand pressing gently against his hat to prevent it from flying off in the backwash. Another rumble of appreciation floats forth from his lips, carried forth by smoke from his cigar. "And — excuse me. Sevens. Same as yours, just unpainted. Madeline put in a requisition order for the testbeds." Experimental planes, developed pre-production. "Some are … tweaked. Most, actually. Rudy's been trying to get them marked." Before the war, evidently. "Each time he made any progress, my pilots just refused to fly." There's that guarded chuckle once more. "So stubborn."

"HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Suddenly, that flyby definitely got Fiasco's attention. "Lookat those museum pieces. Cordis. Cordis?" The large blonde is now reclining against the tree with her eyes closed, obviously having drifted off. Looking up at the the sky, he makes a beeline towards the social activity after patting the passed-out woman on the head. Time enough for evac later.

It doesn't take all that long, thankfully, for Leyla to put something together, mostly because she waited so long for the food, most everyone else has moved on to drinking. A single plate, piled up with enough food for one and a half poeple. Evan being the one, Leyla being the half, before she starts back towards where she left the Bunny, only to find him gone, catching just the tail end of him heading off with a crew that seems to need transport, and Alke looking up at the skies as the vipers fly formation above the party. She didn't hear the question, but being new to Cerberus, and possibly not knowing their pre-Warday loadout, she offers, "Captain Sitka's Snow Petrels. And our Black Knights. His Knights now. They were folded together…after." The plate is kept in hand, though. Fingerfoods. Good for the soul.

For all her faults, Fee is gentle with newbies — and so, snappily, the crew that services VX-1 is depositing brave Sofia on a nearby table, making sure a nearby MP is apprised of her … peculiar condition. And then the mob is racing toward Fiasco with a bowl full of Erik Pridgeon's famous vinaigrette, flinging it in the pilot's face with cackles of glee. They've got shots in hand, and it seems they're all ready to begin the count anew…

Cidra looks away from Baer to watch the little display by her birds above. Smile widening to something more than a hint there. Proud. She even claps. "Surpassing well…" she murmurs. Watching them as they perform their little show overhead. It takes her a second for her attention to return to Baer. "Tweaked?" Curious Cidra is curious. "I suspect my Vipers would not mind getting a turn inside your ships." That *may* have been a double entendre. It may have been. Ahem. "Our facilities are open to your crew as well, if you would like a tour. I would like our people to begin flying exercises together, actually, as soon as can be prudently arranged. It does seem we have found some…reinforcements on both ends. Might as well take advantage of it."

"Folded together?" Riederer pauses, looking backwards as she runs her fingers through her hair. It seems she disapproves, though her expression returns to its regal and polite default soon enough. "I see. Well, lineage is lineage, regardless." And then, again, because one can't ever leave a conversation like this: "Good night." A bare courtesy to paper over what doubt she can't help but express.

"Two great lines, that of necessity, became one. And they've acquitted themselves well enough that neither of those they came from could be ashamed." It's a good spot Leyla is not, by nature, a violent woman, or she might be inclined to pull a Tisiphone and punch someone in the face. That's her wing up there! "Fair winds and full sails, Alke." And with the woman moving off, Leyla takes up and seat at the table to finish her meal. You may still be staring at her, roasted beast, but she's eating your soft parts.

"Tweaked. Minor performance improvements, truly: a thousandth of a second here, a thousandth there. But ours is a business of thousandths of seconds." And this time, without invitation, Papa's reaching for OtherCAG's hand, pressing his lips against her fingers — because it's polite. So chaste, he is. Truly. "I will have Birdie — Dirk, that is, Major Dirk Finch — coordinate things with your people. Tours of our respective hangars. Joint exercises. Hmm?" And with a final faint smile, Skiron Baer drifts away into the crowd, hat perched atop his head —

And above it all the Vipers formerly of VSP-101 soar higher and higher, sped into the heavens upon wings of wine and song.

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