|Summary:||From Pink Floyd to pillow fights to poetry, Paz and Veritas hang out in the Powderkeg.|
The Powderkeg Deck 5
119CE System, Humboldt Quadrant — 2056 Hours 2658.091
Designed to house sixteen officers in some minimum of space and privacy, this is the barracks for the 1087th Fighter Squadron. Bunk alcoves and locker banks alternate along the walls, with privacy screens for the bunks retracting in front of the lockers when not in use. The bunk alcoves themselves are perhaps two and a half meters long and a meter deep, certainly not an arrangement for the claustrophobic. In the center of the room, a pair of sofas and a pair of chairs have been secured to the floor around a small table. A small hallway off to the rear of the room leads to a small bathroom and communal shower, while a door to port opens into a small private stateroom for the squadron commander.
"The lunatic is on the grass…" Paz sings to herself as she sashays into the berthing area clad in towels. "The lunatic is on the grass…Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs…Got to keep the loonies on the path.." she croons tunelessly on her way to her bunk.
Veritas sits on his bunk, he hears her coming, who doesn't and grabs a pillow putting it over his head, trying to drown her out and making a big show of it.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up, Kitten." Paz scoffs, starting to pull skivvies and off duty fatigues from her locker. "The lunatic is in the hall…" she continues, adding a freakishly loony chuckle for a moment. "That is, bar none, the best record ever made. Period. Full stop."
Veritas throws the pillow, aiming to catch her in the back, "The album is great, more your singing that is atrocious."
Veritas' missile finds it's mark, striking Paz square between her shoulder blades. "Oof…" she comments, chuckling throatily as she dresses. "Hey, sometimes ya just gotta sing, ya know?" she replies, pausing to finish pulling her pants on before picking up the pillow and turning to give Veritas a sweetly maniacal grin.
Veritas says, "Hey I prefer my half naked beautiful women silent" He smiles and shrugs, he then reaches for a second pillow off a near by bunk rolling to his feet."
"Oho….A challenger." Paz grins, crouching slightly and starting to circle as best she can in the narrow confines. "You sure you wanna mess with me?"
Veritas chuckles, "Sure…why not" He takes a bit of a combat stance himself, "I am feeling froggy tonight." His pillow also comes up, in a defensive position.
"Heh, okay…let's see what you've got then, Kitten." Paz jeers teasingly, raising her pillow and stepping in suddenly to make an overhead attack on the man's right shoulder.
Veritas smiles and rolls away, attempting to do a passing shot at her midsection as he rolls away from the strike.
Paz's efforts to dodge Veritas's attack aren't nearly so successful, and her middle takes a firm thumping as the pillow bounces off of it.
Veritas smiles and gets a little smirk on his face, "What not even going to put up a fight?"
"Okay, okay, get cocky, Kitten." Paz replies, spinning in to aim a pillow smack to his face.
Veritas takes the hit to the face taking a few steps back from the blow, then turning it into a backward hand stand throwing his pillow up in the air, as he comes to his feet he catches the pillow and throws it at her diving for the nearest bunk.
Paz doesn't bother trying to duck the pillow, but lets it strike her full on as she stalks after her prey with the single-minded intensity of Schwarzewhoosiewhatsits from that antique film.
Veritas is in the random bunk scrambling to grab for the pillow to make sure his is armed by the time she reaches him.
Armed or not, Paz is on the warpath! The young Lt raises her arm high before bringing down the pillow on the first available part of Veritas' body she can reach.
Veritas doesn't reach the pillow in time he turns just in time to see her coming down on him, and he rolls out of the way, hitting the ground as she is over extended he accidentally takes out her legs. In a few seconds it goes from a nice friendly pillow fight to the two of them a jumble of body parts on the floor.
"Okay…okay.." Paz giggles fitfully from her position on the floor. "That didn't go quite the way I'd hoped." she guffaws. "Ow…ow…hehehe…ow…Dammit…I was _robbed_!" she cackles, finding the whole thing horribly amusing.
Veritas shakes his head, and his hands slide to her belly, where they are tangled, and he tries for the worse possible move at a time like this, he goes for the full on tickle.
Oh noes! A tickle attack! "Oh, okay, now you're playing _dirty_, man." Paz half growls, half giggles. "This oughta gentle you down some." as she reaches for a rib to poke.
Veritas tries to dodge the rib pokes, but doesn't give up on the tickling, "Gentle me? You want to Gentle me?" He chuckles, "Watch your tongue woman!"
"Watch your fuckin' hands and I'll watch my tongue!" Paz giggles, poking with more insistence now. "Now either let me go or I'll graduate to biting."
Veritas smiles softly, "Promise?" He winks at her but does start to get up.
"I cross my heart." Paz grins. "And hope you die." she chuckles, disentangling herself and starting to find her feet.
Veritas can't help one last parting smack on the Ass as he turns back toward his bunk.
"Heh, you're on your way to owing me dinner and a movie, slick." Paz winks, wiggling the aforementioned derriere a little as she goes for her own bunk. "So…that CAP was about the most boring thing in the history of boring things." she sighs, climbing up and stretching out.
Veritas says, "Next shore leave you have a deal, as long as you wear a dress." He smiles and plops on his bunk, "I know…it's been quiet lately all the <switches to Kilrathi for a few words> Are apparently on vacation, not that I am completely complaining."
"Damn, Kitten, how the hell do you do that kitty talk?" Paz says, frowning a little. "You sound like you're spitting up a hair ball or something." she snerks. "That, or you've been using your tongue for toilet paper." she giggles. "And I have absolutely no problem with wearing a dress." she adds. "I'm told I look real nice in one."
Veritas smiles, "I'll be the judge of that, though I wouldn't be surprised if you do. Kilrathi is a rather….difficult language to master, as it is I think I prolly speak it with a atrocious accent."
"Well, look at it this way, by the time this little fracas is over, you'll be one of the few remaining speakers of it and nobody'll care." Paz shrugs matter-of-factly. "I've got the phrase book they hand out. Can't get out more than three words at a shot without strangling."
Veritas says, "Well you never know when they will need translators for the bombed out ruins of their cities, who knows there might be something important down there for archeologist some day."
"True enough." Paz nods. "Cause we'll be all a-gog for their ancient litter boxes after we've wiped the Great Formica Counter top of the Universe with their dead bodies."
Veritas says, "Human nature I think wanting to learn about the past, after you just finished making it the past.""
Paz nods, chuckling softly. "Again, you've got the right of it. I'm just looking forward to it _being_ the past." she sighs. "Think we've all had enough of the Kilrathi to last us at least one eternity. maybe two."
Veritas says, "We've been fighting them as long as I have been alive, I am hoping the end is coming up soon, but if not, well at least we have one of the best jobs in the universe till then."
"Hell, Kitten, we've all grown up with the war." Paz replies, shrugging again. "But this time it's in my back fuckin' yard, dude. That kind of offends me….like, a _lot_." she adds, real anger entering her tone. "The hell did we ever do to them out here? We're so far from where this shit started it's not even worth talking about."
Veritas says, "I don't think they care about individuals, They are now just killing to kill, which you have to admit is kind of where we are too. It's become us or them, the why doesn't matter any more;."
"Yeah, think you've touched it with a needle." Paz replies, pulling out her medallion of St. Joseph of Cupertino and giving it a kiss. "Well, God willing, this ends with all of them, or at least _most_ of them, dead."
Veritas nods, "To the end of the war then, whatever it takes?" He grins and stretches, "and Dinner and a show next shore leave."
"Whatever it takes." Paz nods, searching through the assorted mesh bags she's hung up around the back of her bunk's shell until she comes up with a bottle of water. "What kinda show you gonna take me to?" she asks, unscrewing the thing and taking a lusty swig before offering it to Veritas. "No worries, if I've got cooties, you've got 'em by now too."
Veritas smiles and reaches over to take the bottle, drinking deeply before handing back, "I don't know, what kind of show do you like?"
"Theater." Paz replies, pronouncing the word as 'Thee-a-tah'. "Opera, plays, anything like that." she replies with a giggle. "Of course, on our pay, we can't afford that, so maybe just find us a good antique movie house." she offers. "There's a few of them in this sector. We're not exactly high on the priority lists for holovid distribution." she chuckles.
Veritas says, "Depends on where we port, we hit New Constantinople I have some connections. For that matter I don't have a lot to blow my pay on, a pretty girl and a bit of Shaq-Sphere is as good as any."
"New Const…Wow…you do breathe the rare air, don't ya?" Paz replies, sipping at the water bottle thirstily before offering it again. "Got some of his plays loaded on my readers." she says, gesturing to the dozen or so little PDA-sized devices snug in their respective holsters. "Man's a _genius_."
Veritas says, "Oh she does teach the torches to burn bright/Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night/Like a rich jewel in an Ethop's ear/Beauty to rich for use/for earth to dear/ So shows a snowy dove trooping amongst crows/as yonder lady oe'er her fellows shows/did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight/For i ne'er saw true beauty till this night."
"Swoon!" Paz giggles throatily, laying the back of her right hand over her forehead and flopping against her bunk. "I didn't know you were familiar with him. How's this just now coming into the light?"
Veritas says, "My parents run a cheap space dock bar on New Const' I had the run of the station as a kid, picked up a lot of that high faluting stuff, always loved Shaq, "We few, we lucky few" and all of that."
"Heh, sounds nice, in a ratty kind of way." Paz murmurs. "Kind of like where I grew up."
Veritas smiles, "Eggs and corn beef hash for breakfast, beer for lunch, They had a local Zero G "swimming pool" with no water in it that I use to spend afternoons in looking out an observation window.
"Heh, sounds kinda nice." Paz replies. "Bet you had air conditioning." she chuckles
Veritas nods, "Full climate control, though that station tended to be kept a little cool by most planetary standards year round."
"Heh, so what's it like growing up inside one of those tin cans?" Paz asks. "I mean, don't you get stir crazy after a while?"
Veritas says, "Not if it is all you've ever known, I will say that the first time I hit planet side, I felt very uncomfortable, out in the open with nothing to protect me."
"I can see that." Paz nods, frowning a little at so alien a thought. "It was the other way for me. First time I went shipboard….felt like being packed into a sardine can."
Veritas says, "And now?" He smiles, "did it ever fully go away?""
Paz shrugs a little. "Some…I've learned to compensate by being a super-nester." she confesses. "If you're only gonna have a small amount of space to live in, make it as absolutely home-y as you can."
Veritas says, "Oh really, guess that is one idea of nesting, so how homey is your bunk?""
"Pretty homey." Paz grins, turning to look at the heaps of mesh bags, poster cut outs and photo collages that adorn her rack. Not to mention the cartoon-animal print sheets, fuzzy blankets and carefully arranged bits of bric a brac. "I'm happy."
Veritas says, "Good, cause I would be afraid to see what you would be like unhappy""
"Most wise people are." Paz giggles, nodding sagely. "How about you? How's Casa de Kitten holding up?" she asks, turning to peer into her squad mate's bunk.
Veritas looks around, he has a nice warm fuzzy blanket, and a couple pictures of what you would assume is family, a little shelf with some books "I've always believed in packing light, may it is the space born station kid in me"
"Heh, well, yeah, I can see that." Paz chuckles, nodding. "After all, don't they portion your personal gear out in grams or something?" she asks. "Sorry, son, I'd love to buy you that baseball cap, but that'd put you fifteen grams out of weight. Might send the whole station out of orbit." she giggles teasingly.
Veritas says, "Not quite that bad, but generally yeah. We learn to live light, especially because a lot of the weight allowances we did have went to restaurant stocks."
"Can't imagine living like that…or….I couldn't until I joined the service." Paz sighs, stretching out again. "So different in New Illyricum." she adds, a note of homesickness in her tone. "Harsh, mind, but in different ways."
Veritas says, "Tell me about Illyricum?" He smiles softly, and he looks at the top of his bunk."
"New Illyricum? It's an Archipelago on Erewhon…..Southeastern Dauphin Sea…Biggest island in the chain's about a two hundred miles lengthwise, call it about ninety the other way. The rest's all these little atolls, anywhere from a hundred to fifty, even twenty square miles. I grew up on one of the small boys, place called Saul's Freehold. My great-great grandfather secured the stake hold rights." she begins
Veritas says, "Saul's Freehold, what did you family do for a living?""
"Pops ran a little shipyard. Nothing terribly fancy, mind. Kind of like a Kwik Lube for ships running the New Illyricum trade line." she explains. "Fuel, basic repairs, a little basic structural work, had a heavy lift crane and some of the basics for a dry dock, but we weren't certified as one by any means. Basically, if your ship needed a bag of fuel, some dents hammered out and a few tweaks to your avionics, we had you covered twenty four-seven." she smiles proudly. "Whole family worked there, me included when I got old enough."
Veritas smiles, "See now I am getting pictures of you covered in oil, never a good way to start the day, well at least not when sleeping in a public bunk room.
"I worked on the electrical systems, perv." Paz giggles, kicking the empty space between their bunks. "My brother taught me." she adds. "Not that hard, really. Just have to learn to read the fuckin' schematics and it's pretty self-explanatory."
Veritas smiles, "Your assuming a person can read, that's more then I expect from most grease monkeys." He shakes his head, "You know your never going to reach me from there, you have to pull the bed closer if you want a piece of me.
"Eh, I wanted to kick ya, I'd've done it when you were tickling me." Paz chuckles. "And mind your tongue talking about grease monkeys, you're referring to the most of my family there." she adds a little more seriously. "Though, honestly, I think the only reason Rafael taught me electrics is 'cause I could crawl my scrawny ass further into the conduits than he could." she snerks.
Veritas smiles "I ain't got nothing against Grease Monkeys, and trust me if you know me well, you will know have the time I am talking out of my ass"
"Heh, duly noted." Paz replies, stifling a yawn. "So tell me more about where you're from." she asks. "New Constantinople always seemed like the furthest thing from us back home." she says, turning on her side to face the man. "We'd get some of the adverts they piped out. Always seemed so glamorous."
Veritas hmmms softly, "The Station is like a little city, most of it is like any planet side place, only all the buildings are connected. It was a lot of offices, the upper side, they had the balls and the plays, and the opera. They had the parks even. I spent most of my time on the lower levels, near my parents place. Sometimes friends would get me into a play or something, when there were extra seats, always near the exit. People were dressed like they do in stories, I would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
"Wow…that must be something to see." Paz replies, nodding. "So that covers the hoi-polloi end of things. What was it like down where you and folks were? What kinda trade did you have coming in?"
Veritas says, "Everything, the width and breadth of humanity, and even a few who weren't quite human." He shakes his head, "It made me dream of things…but well, they were silly dreams.""
"Heh, that sounds familiar." Paz sighs, nodding a little. "No wonder we chose the military…" she says, stifling a yawn behind her fist. "Home was tough, this isn't much of a switch."
Veritas yawns a little himself, grinning some, "Yeah well. i tried my hand as a poet for a little while, but got booed off stage, so figured if I couldn't see the stars as an explorer, at least I could see them as a fighter pilot.
"You write poetry?" Paz asks, cocking her head a little. "Okay…you gotta read me some sometime. Even if it sucks the ass out of a dead rhinoceros, or you think it does. Never can tell."
Veritas says, "Feathers fall from the sky
Like Cherry Blossoms in the wind
Padded weapons shatter
Hand to Hand Attack Defend
Rolling on the deck
Mercy given, acceptance of surrender
A dress a meal a nice evening out
Greased up goddess to dream of, inside my fur."
Veritas rolls over, pulling the fur blanket over his head.
"That's not so bad, really." Paz murmurs sleepily…."Keep workin on it.
Veritas says, "Sweet dreams,Tizona" He closes his own eyes and is out shortly."