PHD 230: Visage
Summary: The Kharon XO hops over to the Hestia to gawk at the interior or the superior vessel. He gets a familiar tour guide.
Date: PHD 230
Related Logs: What Lies Between Us

An outpost for the MPs, this room also serves as a secure waiting area for passangers waiting for the fleet shuttle. Once upon a time, famous members of the press or political dignitaries used to be tucked away in here while waiting for transport back to the Colonies. There's a single desk in here, on top of which holds the shuttle manifest so all off-duty personnel's travel can be documented. A scattering of plastic chairs are pressed up against the bulkhead and there's a coffee urn and water dispenser for those who are waiting on their security clearance to be approved to come or go.

Praxis enters into the Security Area, where the person manning it goes through the regular checks; confirming identity, taking firearms… in fact, Demitros had a sidearm on his belt that he places down on the table and that is removed from him - from that point forward the Kharon XO finds one of the seats in the waiting area and hunches over, waiting for his escort to arrive. His elbow is propped up on his knee and he's resting his cheek in his palm. It's evident that from the expression on his features that he's been fairly disappointed with what he's seen here.

For at least 10 minutes they've kept the XO waiting in the room…mostly because his escort had to dig out an actual clean pilot duty uniform, figuring it to be appropriate for escorting an officer from the carrier around. Sadly enough, it still seems to be a little dity, laundry day having been several days ago. The hatch squeals and thumps open, and the tall blonde woman steps through the hatch. Her hair is about shoulder length, and she looks at the man sitting there…a casual, passing glance mostly; the way he sits obscures his features enough that it's not immediately recognizable who he is. "Kharon XO, Sir? Looks like you've been disappointed to this point, but there's still more to show you, I'm afraid."

Praxis doesn't move right away when he hears the new entrance, as he's still rather exasperated and very far away from being excited or anything. Suddenly the prospect of exploring a battlestar isn't something to be excited about anymore if the people that line the halls detract from the experience. With a sigh he finally stands up and brushes off his uniform, ensuring everything is straight and unwrinkly before he finally turns to face the escort that stands near the hatchway. "I am Captain Pr-" As soon as jade eyes lock onto that all-too-familiar visage, the very one that flashes through his nightmares and remains pushed to the back of his mind, it takes all of his might to keep from simply crumbling under the sight. "Excellent," he mentions to himself. "Camille has undoubtedly gone too far with herbal treatment. It would appear that her latest cure for the common cold somehow introduced hallucinogens into my system." The emotional onslaught causes Demitros to grab and hold onto the nearest tabletop to steady himself just in case he falls backwards as a result of syncope.

"Oh my gods…" the woman says with a gasp; one hand slides up to her chest, palm resting on top of the golden wings that are above the breast pocket. "Praxis…can it be?" Her blue eyes are locked on him, totally, completely focused on him, as he grips and steadies himself on the furniture. Rather than use the furniture, she steps forward, instead electing to use him to steady herself. "Praxis…look at me. It's not a hallucination. If it is…we're both dead, or both on the same hallicinogen simultaneously, and you know the probability of that is extrordinarily low." While she seems more emotionally stoic than Praxis, her breath comes with deep, ragged sounds, and tears are already forming in the corners of her eyes, which have become a little more wrinkled in the past year. "It's me…it's you. You're alive." She slides one hand around his far shoulder, and the other on the near arm, pulling him close, leaning her head down to rub her cheek against his.

Praxis blinks, and he blinks hard, before he struggles to even lay his eyes upon her. It has come as such a hard shock throughout his system that it's affecting him physically. Suddenly she comes in closer and he's finally able to accept the reality. "Kallisto," he says in order to let her know that he recognizes her back. Never really before has he been this comprimised emotionally. It only makes sense though that Kally is stronger than Demitros, because well…she's the older sister. Pulling her close into the embrace and squeezing tightly, he takes a deep breath. "I was not willing to hang onto hope that you were still alive and aboard the Hestia for the very reason that you were a reservist," he explains, shaking his head and staring into the dead space over her shoulder wide-eyed. "I don't think I could have handled the disappointment that would have come with such high hopes - but it is so very fortunate that you are here."

"Oh Praxis…yet more proof of just how very different you and I truly are…" Kallisto says with a sigh, but at the same time, smiling, with tears beginning to roll down her cheeks. For a long moment, she holds tight, embracing him. "I never for one moment stopped hoping you were alive. In some dark times, it was the thought that somewhere, in the darkness of space, that the only surviving link to…better times was still alive. And now…Captain? XO?" When she pulls back from the hug, rather than stare into space like he does while he talks, she busies herself smoothing out the shoulders and front of his uniform, crumpled and a little wrinkled by their long hug.

"I knew you would have hung onto the thought," Praxis says with a knowing nod at his sister, parting from her and looking down at his blues and watching her hands get all the wrinkles out. This was oddly reminiscent of when he was just a kid and she spotted something wrong with his suit. In many ways, Praxis -is- still just a kid, in the sense that he's probably the youngest Captain in existence. "You are aware at how shielded I make myself - how I never set myself up for failure but instead guaranteed success. You…" He pauses, a saddened expression on his face. "…have fallen a long, long way. However, it would appear that the both of us now have something fortunate to hold onto for the time being." A finger gently touches down on his Captain pin, "Ah…yes. Our commanding officer was killed while I was serving as Tactical Officer. The Colonel gave me his old position; and here I am. Did you know I get my -own- room?" He'd never boast about anything to anyone except to his sister. In fact, this feeling injects so much happy into his system he cannot help but grin widely, something shown very rarely on his features. "What about you? I'm certain you have many an exploit to retell."

While Praxis goes on, giving the short version of what's happened to him, Kallisto is content to stand back some, smiling and nodding, genuinely proud and happy over the achievements of her brother. She lets the comment about falling a long, long way go…for the moment; she's acutely aware of just what the Cylon attack has taken from her…and she'd dare say that it's far less than what it's taken from Praxis. Quite the opposite, she'd imagine, as it's given him a chance to succeed and be promoted…all while she's been mired in perpetual lieutenant pilot status. The mention of his own room makes her chuckle. "You always did value your privacy. Shame your room was never bigger than mine," she jokes, dryly. "As for exploits?" She flicks the rank insignia on the sides of her uniform collar. "Hardly. I'm just a humble pilot."

Praxis reaches forward and clasps a hand on Kally's shoulder. "I'm sure you're doing great. I fly a desk, you fly a viper. Your life has got to be more exciting than mine has been," Demitros says with some sort of humor in his voice before he straightens up. "We can continue to talk Lieutenant, but I believe there is a tour in order for me. I suppose I have to find out just how much better this vessel is than mine. At least it is all not too bad."

Talk about not being able to live something down! Now he outranks her? Outrageous! "I believe anything is better than the bucket I've seen from our observation deck…Sir," Kally replies with a not-so-hidden smirk. What's to say a rivalry can't be completely cordial and follow military protocol? Leave it to a Demitros to figure it out. Straightening out her own uniform, and wiping the tears off her cheek with the back of her hand, she opens the hatch, and motions for Praxis to step through. "After you, Captain."

"You're treating hot waters there, Arturis. That bucket has saved my behind on more than several occasions." There's a very matter-of-fact tone about everything he says before the Kharon XO begins to stroll out and into the open hangar bay. He considers very briefly making her call him 'sir' after every sentence…the subtle amusement that could be gleaned from that sounds something worthwhile. He'd continue their conversation on the other side of the threshold.

Berthing is really one long hallway that leads back to the Central hub, with little pods off each side. Each 'pod' holds twenty bunks that are inset directly into the bulkhead which gives a modicum of privacy when the grey curtains are closed. A three rung ladder is affixed to the metal casing separating top and bottom bunks, giving access to the former. Every unit has a small shelf at the foot of the bed, as well as individual reading lights. Towels, blankets, sheets, and pillow cases are all in that same drab grey color which makes them indistinguishable from each other when they come back from laundry.

Lockers are between each set of bunks marked by louvered metal doors with combination locks, providing additional storage for the service members. In the central space of each pod, the ten bunks share a long metal table and chairs. All the bunks are merely labelled with a strip of masking tape with the crewman's name written in black marker.

Some time later, after trudging the Kharon XO through all parts of the battlestar, both functional and functionally luxurious, from the hangar decks, to the sickbay, the gym, pool, observation deck, and of course what access to CIC he's granted, the two wind up back in the Silver Squadron berthings. "Well, it's not my own room, but I do have my own bunk," Kally exclaims stepping through the hatch. "I think I might have managed to stow away a few cigars, and I strongly doubt there will ever be another moment as nice as this to share."

The tour is interesting. He's never been on a battlestar before even before PHD 0, as he always flew as an ECO out of Caprica until the accident. Not a pilot. Praxis follows Kallisto into the Silver Squadron berthings, peering around as even on the Kharon pilot berthings were a strange and foreign land to him. "Your own bunk? Words can not describe how proud of you I am that you were given your own place to sleep aboard the vessel. I am aware that perpetual Lieutenants are treated like refuse, but they have really done you kindness, here." It's horribly obvious that he's being extremely dry the whole way through. "Cigars?" Brows raise to the ceiling when she mentions she's going to share some with him. "I've never had the … pleasure … of indulging."

"I was saving them for my return trip, of course. To share with Kyle after completion of all flight training, inlcuding tube launches and pod landings." She need not finish that statement, of course, since they both know what happened to…change those plans. "Unfortunately, Hestia is not so starved for talent that we have to promote our TACCO mid-cruise. And leave it to you, Praxis, to be the only fleet officer too stuffy to never have enjoyed a cigar!" she jokes, pulling back the curtain of her bunk. Inside, papers taped and pinned to the interior walls of the sleeping space rustle from pulling the curtain back. Leaning in, she rifles through some books, pads, and pencils at the foot (what she's made the head) of the bed. "Ahhh, here we go!" she exclaims, pulling out a small silver case, with four semi-independent cylinders. She slides the top off, and with the smell of aged tobacco wafting out, she stands from the bottom bunk and offers one.

"Who knows. Maybe Admiral Mehra will have me replaced," Praxis mentions, although now he has a much more serious tone to his voice. He watches as the curtain gets pulled aside, eyes immediately falling upon the sheets of white that line the inside of her bunk. There are by no doubt familiar faces. His brother in-law, his nieces and nephew. As mired in military life as Demitros had gotten, he'd missed them all too. He just never mentions to anybody what he's lost because he's by no means special. The Tabaccoless TACCO withdraws a cigar from the case and smiles at Kallisto and then pops the item in between his lips. He pauses and mentions, "I suppose you have to make the ignition…I lack the means to do so."

"Cut first, then ignite. Once again, big sister has to show you how to act like a man." A little self-depricating humor in this case. While she may not have a cutter of her own, one is found easily enough in the bunk of another known smoker; two quick cuts and it's back in place. The same pilot volunteers their lighter as well, one of the sturdy stainless ones that'll light forever if given fuel. Then she ducks back into her bunk once more, and pulls out a ragged, well-loved pad of paper. "You know…before we stumbled onto Kharon, I couldn't bring myself to draw you. If I had, it would've meant you were…gone." The cigar is lit, smoking, as she takes a seat at the table in the middle of the berthing, somewhat inexplicably beginning to tear up. "When we met Kharon though…I knew I had to. To make sure you weren't gone, to have something to look forward too," she says, not looking at Praxis. She's flipping through the pages, some half-finished Vipers and Raptors in there, before she finally ends on the same picture she was working on several days ago in the low light of the observation deck. "It's not quite finished, but…it's something. Now I can make it perfect, with the subject sitting here with me," she says, practically beaming at her brother, tears streaking down her cheeks, as she reaches out to take his wrist and hold firmly.

"Right…" Praxis mentions about cutting the cigar, staring at the stick of tobacco like it were some sort of alien. He allows Kallisto to sever the end of it, and then subsequently set it alight. It's then he places it between his teeth, and if Kally were to look at him it would be abundantly clear that Demitros has never had one. He looks just so strange with it. Despite that little bit of humor, ears then open to listen to his sister as he too helps himself to a seat, arm resting on the table while he looks at the octagonal-shaped paper she withdraws. Brows furrow -ever- so slightly when he spots those tears welling up again; it's hard to push down the pit that resides in his stomach because of it. Jade eyes finally fall onto the rendition of himself, a wavering laugh made as he too beams right back at her. "I can't believe that after so long you remember almost exactly how I look. Maybe that's why you draw so well, Kally. You remember how everyone looks. In a way I envy you - I spend so long just trying to forget everything so it doesn't hurt anymore. With you, I think the visages in your life stick with you. However, in that same way I know it hurts a lot more than I can comprehend." His free hand comes to rest upon the one on his wrist. "Maybe I should attempt to remember like you instead of ignoring everything that was important. You do great even without my face here. But I'll let you finish - maybe I can show it off."

"Is there…anyone on the shp you'd want to show this off to?" To Kally, this is a hobby, a way of remembering, a way to pass the time, and something she's done as long as she can remember. She doesn't show them off much…but it's no secret that she does it, hence the callsign. People to this point have respected it enough not to ask her to do it as a gimmick, for fun, or anything in that vein; they've left her to it as a way of coping. Some people play pyramid or lift weights. Some go to the firing range. Some get greasy and dirty learning the ins and outs of their Viper. Others go to the library. Sketch…sketchs. "If nothing else, it'll save you from having to turn your head so much when you're at the mirror," you know, on account of the eye thing. Of course, she's touting her skills a little; they aren't gallery-worthy, but they are pretty good, on account of having done this for more than 20 years. To the rest of his comments? She just lets them settle in the berthings, no need to reply. It's just the way they've always been; she expresses, he impresses.

Express, impress, stab at each other's pseudo-insecurities, repeat. Though suddenly something seems to smack Demitros right in the face at the very moment Kally asks him who he'd even want to show it off to. She knows he's not much of a social person, so what he's about to say might shock her a bit. "Ah…Kallisto, I'm not certain how exactly I'm supposed to deliver this piece of particular news, but I have been engaged to … " It's difficult to finish his sentence. "Well, she's a Doctor… and she's older than you … " Suddenly, he rubs his face a little bit. "Camille." He's never been embarassed about her before until now, but that's likely because he never talks about her. Now that his family is here, this complicates everything. But now -there's- a conversation piece.

"Oh my gods!" she exclaims! "You're engaged?" She apparently needs to have him repeat or confirm or something, since she seems to be in a bit of shock herself. "Camille? A doctor, hm? And she's…how much older than me?" No congratulations, just that narrowing of the eyes, that instinctive, big-sister sort of protective reaction. This is pretty different from schoolyard bullies picking on the chess-club kids though. "I mean…that's great! That's really great Prax! Now I know I'll have to finish this illustration, and then pass it along when I meet her!"

Demitros nods his head slightly. If he weren't so fearless he would look pretty intimidated by her exclaimation. However, instead he focuses on puffing smoke from his cigar, which makes him inevitably cough as a result. Once a chess club kid, always a chess club kid. He smirks just a bit when she asks that protective question, eyes narrowing when he explains, "A little bit older." Whether that is true or not, it's unclear. "I'm sure she'll get a kick out of the drawing though as I did." He pushes his glasses further up his nose a little bit. "I actually feel somewhat bad…"

"Hmm? Why do you feel bad? Because you know she's going to have to wake up next to you every morning?" Kally replies, stretching out a leg to kick him under the table a little, lightly. As she sits, leaning back, puffing on her cigar, she's drawing. Though she's not looking at Praxis but once every few moments, she definitely is listening and thinking about the conversation.

Praxis grins a little when the foot comes in contact with his shin, a slight shake of his head in reply. "No, nothing like that." There's some amusement to be had in that notion, however. At least Demitros can laugh at himself. "As far as she is concerned…as far as anyone on the ship is concerned, you don't exist." A finger rubs gently at his nose while he admits this. "I haven't really talked about you at all. Though I'll feel a little bit less terrible if you tell me the same thing about me, then we're even and you don't have to be pissed."

"I'm not going to say I haven't talked about you, because I have. But I'm not going to say I'm angry, because I'm not. That's just how you are Praxis." Indeed, her voice is level, maybe even a little indifferent about the whole thing. Again, that's the difference between brother and sister. "But people were surprised that I hadn't produced any pictures of you. I think that's one of my biggest regrets. I didn't bring but the most scant selection of photographs with me when I boarded for reserve training. Now I wish I could rethink that decision."

"Pictures.." Praxis remeets Kallisto's gaze easily. "Do you think we could look at what photographs you do have?" He seems hopeful when he asks this question. It's not that the sketches weren't good enough or anything like that, though. He also just may be curious at what assortment she did bring along. "I don't suppose you have any of Mom or Dad." There's a little smile as he lets the past in his mind get opened up again. "Gods, we were spoiled."

"You more than me, as I recall. I don't think I can stand to hear one more person say how the first child is always spoiled more," she says with a smirk, even as she sets down the drawing. "I confess, the photos I do have are a little more biased towards my family…Kyle and the kids. But there's one of Mom and Dad, of course." Once more she returns to her bunk, this time diving into the shelf to withdraw what was once a fat wallet. It has pockets, a checkbook that's half-empty (and isn't about to be used any time soon), ID cards and the like. The important thing, of course, is the accordion-style photo insert, which she passes over and lets Prax examine. There's a half dozen pictures of her children, of course, individual school photos and group shots, a handful of the whole family, husband and children, a holiday shot with the kids and their grandparents. There's an old one of their own parents and themselves, in much younger days, too.

"Yes, well…I seemingly recall receiving our reports back from school and I disctinctly remember scoring higher than you in every regard. I realize it is difficult to live beneath the shadow of your younger brother, but I believe you were treated fairly." Praxis though, understands fully that Kally would keep more pictures of her family than of theirs. They were her world, a world that the younger Demitros sibling wasn't too gigantic a part of thanks to his commitment to the military, but still one he appreciated. "I must confess that whenever I visited I always tried to impress my values onto Allistair when you were not looking." He stares at that particular photo for a time, smiling a little bit and shuffling through the rest. "Sneaky, I realize."

"You're terribly naive if you didn't think I was aware of that the whole time, Praxis. I…" Her voice wavers a moment as she looks for the correct verb tense. "…was…am his mother." Before she can continue the rest of her thought, she closes her eyes, leans forward, and puts her face in her palm. "There's not much…at all, that a 7 year old's mother isn't privy to," she manages to eek out between sobbing breaths. Clearly there are other factors at work here beyond just losing her children.

Praxis smiles just a bit and shakes his head, not surprised that she was able to figure that out. Though she wavers and breaks for a moment, and at that point he puts down the pictures and slides his chair over to sit alongside her, draping an arm around her shoulders. He doesn't say anything at this point in time other than, "If you feel you ever want to talk about it I'll be right here with my ears open. I don't know if you've found anyone to fill the gap in between but I'm here whenever you need me, now." Perhaps there's some comfort in just simply having someone, now…


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