PHD 277: Wings
Summary: The end of an era.
Date: PHD 277
Related Logs: Flight

Deck 8 — Mess Hall

Yeah, it's smoke time. Surgeon fishes in his pockets and comes up with a cigarette himself. Seems he's starting to hoard the stogies. "That.. and good booze. Damn."

Her poor brainmeats! "As well as it can be. It was a traumatic head injury, and while all the fleshy bits are healing nicely, they won't know how that exactly affects my synapses till a while from now. Symptoms can appear a month, two months, even up to a year after the injury. But I'm not sure I trust the word of the doctors who thought my perkyness and cheerful disposition was brain damage." Reverie wrinkles her nose at that and lets out a slight grump before drinking some more coffee. "Fortunately, I'm not a pilot so I'm confident I can still do my job like I'm supposed to." She's at a table with the CAG and Logan eating breakfast.

"Unfortunately," the CAG counters, sliding a bent cigarette between his lips and flicking his lighter to life, "I need even my backseaters able to fly in an emergency." The smoke is lit, and the zippo tossed atop the table next to his half-filled coffee cup for the time being. "So you'll go up once the doctor says you can go up." Breakfast, for the Captain, amounts to a cigarette and a cup of joe. Breakfast of champions, right there.

There's something odd about Timon Stathis this morning, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he isn't carrying around as much work as he's wont to do. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he's making a beeline for the protein bars — after all, he's been subsisting on those for almost as long as he's been aboard the Hestia. No, the oddness is in his dress, for Ivory probably hasn't looked this professional since receiving his commission so many years. With his freshly-pressed blues, combed-back hair, and impeccable posture, he almost appears ready to recruit unsuspecting graduate students for the Fleet. And aloud? "Spider," he says, after that protein bar has been obtained. His comrades are ignored for now. "Do you have a moment?"

Cass looks up and nods to Timon. "Hey man. how goes?” He glances over to Tycho; "You think he'd let you out of flying for a moment longer than the docs allow?"

"Dr. Polydeukes released me, but I guess I'll speak with her about it. My understanding was that you're the one who decides when we go back up. But I suppose you'll want to consult with her." Reverie says with a soft sigh though she doesn't frown about it. Pouting would be bad at this point. She peers back towards Logan, "I'll just need these CAT scans done sooner."

"I have about fifteen." Moments. He probably means minutes. Marek tips his head back to exhale a stream of smoke ceiling-ward, then back a little further to regard — upside-down — Timon approaching the table. He takes note of the neatly pressed uniform, then adds, "If it's a date you're after, I'm afraid I'm a married man." To Reverie, "We'll discuss it later."

Scarred hands stuff his silver-wrapped snacks into the pockets of his uniform as Ivory looks from Surgeon to Reverie to the hatch. "It goes," is the man's surprisingly short reply; further elaboration is not forthcoming, though an apologetic expression does cross his face. "Sorry for interrupting. Can we do this outside, Captain? This'll only take five." Moments. Minutes. Whatever. The joke about the date has evidently fallen flat.

"I… uh… what?" Now Reverie's confused. Did her brainmeats misfire? She blinks blankly at the CAG and shakes her head before she looks at her uniform. She did feel like celebrating and going out with style afterall. She then peers back towards Logan with raised brows mouthing 'What is he talking about'? in reference to the CAG of course.

Shrugging to Tycho, Cass nods a bit and waits for Kai to answer Timon before saying anything much. He looks to Reverie and asks; "So I heard you had a good talk with Booster the other night."

Disclaimer given, the Captain shoves his lighter (with the CMC logo featured prominently) into a pocket of his flight suit, and finishes off his coffee. The cup's collected with two fingers looped through the arm, and his cigarette's tucked between his teeth as he shoves his chair back and rises. "Take it easy, Lieutenant," he tells Logan, rapping the man's shoulder with his knuckles on the way by. "You too, Ensign." And then he's prowling off for the hatch. If he's caught on to Reverie's confusion, he gives no indication. Then again his head seems a bit more in the clouds today than usual.

Ivory is hard on Spider's heels, checking his steps to keep pace with the shorter man. "Sorry," he says again — but by now his voice has become curiously blank, and when he thinks nobody's looking he winces in pain. Somebody tied his boots too tightly after getting out of bed.

The hallway outside the mess hall is fairly bustling with crew moving to and from their duty posts. Rather than obstruct the flow of traffic, Marek begins moving toward the stairwell, cigarette held discreetly between two fingers while he navigates the sea of officers and enlisted. "What's wrong," is his gruff lead-in to conversation. Maybe he noticed the wince back in the mess hall. Maybe he's a little more perceptive than he lets on.

Sure, the corridors of the ship are a little more crowded than usual, but if Ivory's learned anything from his time aboard the cramped carrier Kharon, it's that there's privacy in numbers as well. And so Timon doesn't mind talking once he's left the mess, using the CAG as a plow to cut through the crowd. "The CMO chased me down the other day," he says without preamble. "To give me an update on my flight status, or something like that. I won't pretend to understand the medical stuff he threw at me, but — " Wide fingers drum against his palm as he looks up at the ceiling, suddenly unsure how to proceed. "Something about scar tissue, internal bleeding, and my organs tearing apart if I pull Gs in flight." He'll let Spider fill in the blank.

Kai slants a look sidelong toward the taller pilot as they navigate the ship's busy hallways. People generally get out of a flight suited pilot's way pretty quickly, especially if it's the CAG. So obstructions are the least of their problems. He watches the man for a long few moments, then turns away again. Thud, thud, thud. A couple of CIC technicians in olive drab are sidestepped, and he turns off down another A-frame corridor. "I'm sorry." It's quiet, and Timon may or may not be able to pick up the subtle thread of self-recrimination there.

Probably not — but Timon's face has gone quite rigid as they walk, and he's doing his best to shade his face away from the CAG. For a long time, he doesn't respond, lost as he is amidst his jumbled web of thoughts, and it almost seems as if he didn't hear what the other man had to say. His next words contribute to the illusion: "The sawbones said he's going to keep on monitoring the situation," Ivory offers, his tone blank. "Said there's surgery to remove the worst of the tissue, but it’s invasive, and neither Hestia nor Kharon has the personnel or the resources to pull it off with any chance at success." The man slows as he speaks, pulling up next to a stack of crates that reach to his waist. "You'll have a report on your desk in a few days, but I wanted to tell you myself."

It's similarly difficult to tell what's going through Marek's mind during that long swath of silence, though he needn't turn his face away to achieve the obfuscation of emotion. His face is the same mask of half disgruntled disinterest that it ever is, his slouched posture not doing much to help his lack of stature. When Timon stops, he follows suit. Pivoting on a heel, he turns to face the younger pilot. "I want you to look into physical therapy. Talk to the Major, he might have, uh." A passing crew member seems to distract him for a second. "He might have some ideas." After a long, uncomfortable pause, "After my accident, they told me the same thing." He'd never fly again. "Though I had the best of the best facilities, which.. well. I want you to look into it." Blue eyes meet dark, and hold there.

"I tried that argument already, sir." Six months ago it would have taken a dozen space tugs and a fair bit of arm-twisting to drag that last syllable out of Timon's mouth; today, though, it comes easily, naturally — just like his low, sheepish chuckle. "Come on. You know I didn't walk in there without some inkling of what he was going to say — and what I'd say in response. I can show you my pre-meeting notes if you want." Dull fingertips scratch at his nose, rubbing at the kink in its bridge. It's unclear whether or not he's joking. "An hour in the gym per day, two hours in the gym per day: it'll do my girlish figure good, but it'll have absolutely no effect on internal scarring. And seeing as we can't exactly summon up a medical barge by snapping our fingers — " There's mild humor in his expression that doesn't quite reach his voice, as soft and mild as ever. "Well, I guess this means you have to make my interim professorship permanent."

Pre-meeting notes? Ivory? Sadly, the man probably isn't joking, a probability Spider seems to take in stride what with his waving off of the offer. His cigarette's toked from one more time, a flick of his eyes left and right, and it's tossed to the deck behind one of the storage crates and crushed out with his boot. Nobody saw that. Concession is a slow thing to drag out of the Captain, and it's given only after two minutes and no less than twelve crew have passed them by. "I'll have a word with the CMO, myself." Ok, so not quite concession. "Don't think I'm letting you get fat and lazy, Stathis. You're on double PT as soon as I can confirm with him. I'm also moving you to the Aces, and putting you in charge of raptor sim training."

"Double-PT? Reminds me of the old days." Timon, whose own deluge of words has left him rather dry, is silent for those two minutes and twelve passing crew. That little reference is the best he can muster as his smile widens — and then vanishes entirely when his eyes drift closed. Leaning against the A-frame, the weight of his thirty-odd years comes crashing down over him at last: his shoulders slump forward, his legs buckle at the knees, and his hands brace his body against the bulkhead behind. Then, very slowly, he's fumbling with something on his collar before setting it down atop the boxy metal crates nearby: a pair of burnished brass wings, polished until they gleam like gold under the sharp lights above. "Never wanted to make Captain anyway," he breathes, words melding together until they're indistinguishable from a sigh.

The wings left sitting atop the crate are studied for a few seconds, and then collected in the Captain's indelicate fingers. His nails are kept short, which doesn't prevent them from being caked with dirt and viper grease. He turns the little brass pin over in his palm briefly, then gives it a short toss and catch. "Knew a kid once, back on the Pegasus.." This again. Some things never change. "Who swallowed his flight pins on a drunken dare. CAG made him fish them back out again. I shit you not." He almost manages a grin at the joke, if it can be called that. Almost. A glance at his watch tells him he's got about three minutes to be in the hangar bay and be starting his pre-flight, but he pauses a moment to close his hand over Timon's shoulder. "It's not all it's cracked up to be, anyway." Seems like there might be more he's got to say, but the man's never been particularly eloquent. A soft grunt seems to suffice, instead, and he begins to move away.

"Karim," says Ivory — the first time he's ever used the man's first name. Awkward hands tug at the base of his lapel, smoothing out a nonexistent wrinkle; eyes glance over at the top of Spider's head before turning back up to the ceiling. Lips open and close as he considers his next few words, most of which he decides to swallow before letting them out. Then: "Be glad I didn't take a dump on the deck and make you get mine the hard way," he murmurs, throat pulsing, voice raw. It's probably not what he'd originally intended to say — but arms crossed across his chest, shoulders pressing hard into the hull of the ship, he sure doesn't look like he's about to say anything else.

It's often what's left unsaid, that sticks with a man. Making light of a situation that's anything but, is just damage control. Marek's a few paces away by the time his first name's invoked, and it prompts a second or two of eye contact as he's about to round the corridor. He pauses, and ventures, "Few of us might be heading to Harry's tonight. You're welcome to join us." Antisocial creature that Spider is, when he says 'a few' he probably means 'me'. "But make sure you don't get too skunked. Need you up and at 'em at the crack of dawn. I've got a stack of training drills with your name on them." And then he ticks off a salute, smothers whatever the hell might be going on behind his inscrutable facade, and thumps off around the corner and out of sight.

Ivory's right hand rises into the air at the invitation, holding within it an invisible glass. That's one pour for the Gods, that's another for the lost — and then, tilting back his head, he kills the rest of his drink, tossing the goblet behind him like Deucalion and his stones. It makes no sound when it falls.

Just the way he wants it.

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