When the Bullets Fly
When the Bullets Fly
Summary: Markovic and Trey compare Confed to the shipping industry.
Date: 0200 Hours 2657.335
Related Logs: None

Officer's Messhall…

The wardroom is not terribly busy, given the majority of the ship is on its 'night' cycle, so the non-essential personnel tend to be in quarters asleep. Currently, Pip sits at a table, eating from a tray. The end.

In walks 160 lbs of trouble, relatively speaking. He wanders up to the food line, does his time there, and gets a metal tray with chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes for his trouble. The side of corn and the coconut pudding for dessert is, of course, strictly optional, but the kid takes some anyway. He wanders towards his CO, probably against better judgment, "Captain, can I sit here?"

Pip looks up from his own chicken, and tilts his head. A moment of quiet contemplation, and the Captain asks, with a bit of hope present in his voice…"If I say no…will you go away?" A flash of teeth, and he actually has the nerve to go back to his meals, taking another bite of potatoes(or what appear to be potatoes), before finally pointing at a seat across from him. "Sit down, Trey." And then? He's looking at the 2nd Lieutenant with clear expectation. He wanted to sit? He'd better talk.

"Sure!" It's so bright and shiny the way he says it, too. But since the seat across from the Captain is being kicked out like that, he takes it, "Sorry, sir. I just wanted to experience all the power at this table for myself." He cuts into his chicken, "Live the energy." He eats some, too. "Wow… that's really… really not good chicken. I guess when you have a captive audience, you can get away with things."

The strange words out of Trey draw another long look from the Captain, whom leans forward slightly, and frowns. "Lieutenant? Tell me the truth." A pause, and he adds.."Just how high are you right now?" Waiting patiently for an answer, Pip cuts off a chunk of his own chicken, and tosses it into his gullet. A few chewing motions and…"The government does love the lowest bidder, Trey. After the Firekken campaign, I heard the poultry tasted real enough, for a month or two." Did he wink? Yes.

"Sir, I'm not high. Just a little shaken up, that's all." the rare admission is covered up by a mouthfull of corn followed by the pudding. Seems he's skipping dinner. "It's a lot harder shooting aliens than, you know. Each other. Always made me nervous when I was in shipping. I think pirates just about scare me shitless inside."

"Pirates are worse than Kilrathi, Trey. They prey on their own kind…they rape, and steal…and.." A shrug, and Pip shovels another mouthful of potatoes into his mouth. Fork settles onto the tray, for a moment. "My family has a tradition of pirate hunting stretching back a thousand years, lad. And, I'm quite pleased with that neat little bit of business that we did." Not sure if that helps at all, Frethan adds…"You did well. You didn't hesitate, and you managed to do more damage than you took. I don't think you need to let yourself get shaken up over it."

"I know, actually. Kilrathi just sort of… well they're hairy psycho space assholes, like I said." He shrugs to himself, "It's pretty simple with them. I just didn't like the reminder of the sort of people I used to deal with as an occupational hazard, you know? It's a little different with me than your other pilots." He chuckles and begins to attack his food… not to eat, you understand, but apparently that slice of chicken is now the hull of a ship and he's slowly cutting through with his fork to, oh, I don't know, storm the TCS Dinnerplate. "It's kind of like they went to school, and I learned it in the real world?"

"I'm a little surprised, really. I figured that someone who's had the problems with them would've been a little more…enthusiastic…about killing the bastards." A pause, and Pip doesn't resume eating…instead choosing to take a sip of what appears to be a soda variant. Not booze. Amazing. "Most of us don't sign up with having the expectation of having to kill other people, anymore. Most think only about your hairy psycho space assholes." Yes. He repeated their new title, word for word.

Markovic arrives from the TCN Officers.
Markovic has arrived.

"I -did- want to read them their rights, didn't I?" explains Trey with a shrug. He's nearly through the first bulkhead! Steady.. steady… and done. He dips the fork inside and removes this first piece of armor. It won't be long now! "But it's not like that. I sort of figured I wouldn't have to hear their scumbag laughs and general douchebaggery…" He looks up sharply, "Am I allowed to say douchebaggery to my superior officer? Uh… anyway, I was getting used to putting on my tightly whiteys, I guess."

"I thought their rhetoric was rather refreshing after the Kilrathi….oh….I'll flay your skin, and kill your children, ape. So frightening." Pip seems quite serious about his preference for pirate taunts, even. "You can say douchebaggery to me, Trey. Just don't say it about me." When he can hear about it, anyway. The two men sit at a table in the mess, eating(or in Trey's case, playing with) some of the usual substandard chicken and fixings. "You're getting used to -what-?" Something didn't track for him, clearly.

Markovic strolls through the hatchway, lifting her boot over the lowrise and scans the room quickly as she heads for the line. She lifts a hand, making a gun out of it and levels it at Jenthson. Pewpew! The lady winks and moves over to grab an orange, dipping into the bowl quickly and stepping off. She slowly meanders her way towards the pair. "Evening, sportfans. What is news?" Leave it to Marko to make a common phrase sound awkward.

"Flying professionally." Having cut entirely through the first layer of chicken breast, trey begins on the second, working inside of the hole he's cut in his quest to reach the TCS Dinnerplate and presumably acquire all the treasures contained within. "Douchebaggery it is!" He grins to himself and pauses his operation to have some more coconut pudding. Yes. His dinner is going to be sugar. "Err, where was I? Right. Professionally. Look. I mean, it's kind of a mindjob for me. Trading ships don't run like corporations, you know. I was sort of getting into this 'we are the goodguys and we're clean and prim and we fight evil space tigers' thing. Bam. Along come my old friends, Starfucker and the Fuckhead Gallery… I can, you know, say that too, right? As long as it's not about you?"

"The kid is having a rookie moment, Markovic. Not much else." The pistol-fingered greeting causes an eyebrow lift out of Captain Jenthson, but he waves toward a seat at their table, as if suggesting that she take a seat. Attention returns to Trey, and Pip nods with some understanding, though he does his usual thing, and tries to suggest the quickest answer…"Trey? We're still the good guys and fight evil space tigers. We…just also happen to fight the evil space douchebags. And, most of us aren't very prim." A hand curls around his glass of soda, and a long drink is taken, before returning it to the table. No complaint is given over that choice of words from the 2LT, either.

"Fun times." Markovic slides herself into the indicated seat next to Trey. She glances between the two as they talk with a bemused smile. Fingernails work at teh orange peel, slowly getting little chunks off. "Aye. Jenthson is right. Most of us are about as clean cut as.." she looks back to the orange "-hippies. Just. Not hippies. Other end of spectrum." More peel comes off, getting dumped onto the table.

In only moments, Trey will be through the second layer of armor and one step closer to his ultimate goal. He cuts ever so carefully… deliberately, like one wrong move could alert the cops and this entire operation would be a bust. Trey, you see, won't let that happen. "Space hippies is what I'd call pirates, sir. No… Confed's pretty clean cut. Or at least they look like it to everyone else." His eyes stay transfixed on the criminal operation before him, and not at anyone on the table, "Glad I'm keeping it together, though. Problem with spacers like them is that they just don't know what they're doing. They're in it for a quick buck and they get a quick buck. Better spend it fast, though."

"Well. It doesn't particularly matter if they know what they're doing, Trey. We do. They're fucking over their own kind, at the worst possible time." A frown, and Pip is nearing soap-box territory. "At least the Kilrathi have an excuse. Their our mortal enemies, assholes to boot, and have this whole domination and subjugation mindset going on. Pirates are just greedy assholes that aren't worth the warheads we wasted on them today." And, the marines who likely got fucked up a little, boarding that freighter they disabled. "You're doing well so far, kid. Just stop thinking so hard about the shit that you can't fix, or change. It'll get you killed."

Dejana finally cuts through the peel and leaves its remnants on the table. She bits into the orange like it was an apple, getting juice all over her cheeks. Expecting it, she wipes at it with her hands as she chews. "When I was out in Hawking Sector they were more common. There was less of a threat from Kilrathi and they would pick off trade ships. They started to scatter, though, when the kittens showed. More naval presence. I am surprised to see them this close to the front lines. But you have a point, Lieutenant. It must be a quick venture for some or they do not get to enjoy the spoils." She leaves the rest uncommented on, taking another apple-style bite from the orange.

Steaadyyyy…Steaaadyyyyy….with a soft -klink-, Trey strikes paydirt, having cut through the final layer. He presses his fork into the meaty chicken. Let the fools eat their terrible fowl. Tonight, Trey dines on… well, actually there's nothing on the other side except for a metal tray. Oh well. He looks up, "Well, it's just one of those things, I guess. I'd expect things to get a lot rougher in Gemini just because the Kilrathi came to town. This is -big- for opportunists like them. I mean, I know they say war is good for the economy, but that's just a huge understatement." He holds his arms wide for emphasis, his cutting tool in one hand, which drips a glop of brown gravy to the floor, and his fork in the other.

"Eh." Markovic slides a seed out from between her lips. Classy. "That is actually -only- a saying. War is terrible for an economy. Normal production ceases in a few sectors and it has a ripple effect down the line. It is the classic 'butter and tanks' comparison used so often in economics classes." She takes another bite, taking her time chewing. A single finger wipes at the juicy parts on her chin. "I know what you are saying, though. With naval forces engaged with bigged, taller, and furrier problems, it provides them the opportunity to hunt more freely. I would liked to have pursued them back to their carrier but we had a mission to finish. It may be worth a recon to go find that boat."

Trey puts his flatware down, and neatly folds one slice of chickenbreast on itself, then slides it into the hole he created in the other chicken breast. "Depends on if you're producing or shipping. A war means there's a major supply line issue, you know? Not just for Confed, but Confed policies are unrealistic, so they'll choke private businesses that need things they can't get… then you've got the people doing legal shipping for Confed on the side, the people helping to resupply them, the pirates who prey on it all… mercenaries to guard convoys. It might be bad on some levels, but if you're a spacer? Oh, this is just the best thing that ever happened to you."

[Jenthson leaves in a hurry due to a RL issue. —Editor]

The dark-haired Captain quirks a brow at Trey as she chews. "Yes. True." She leans back in the chair, still watching him. "What is important to keep in mind though is that such a small percentage of the population are spacers. Sure, they benefit heartily. But all the colonists who were depending on those same contract crews to get them their off-world needs suffer the consequences. Pirates just make it worse. Personally, I am glad we get to shoot them. It is the most selfish profession I can think of. Except for those people who work in overpriced coffee shops. Cannot legally shoot them, though. Pesky laws and all." She shakes her head and looks back towards the line as she takes another bite off the orange.

"I guess that makes sense." Trey's tone is bright and readily accepting, but he's attempting to sound genuine. "I went directly into trading, so it's not like I've ever had to think about it from their perspective. I'm just moving goods around and I know they're usually really happy to see us. But it's sort of like they're glad someone's playing the rigged game because someone has to, I guess. But pirates…" He bites his lip, "They're the worst."

The Captain nods her head slowly, eyeing whats left of the orange in her hand. She's dribbles some of the juice onto her flightsuit but seems indifferent to it. Clean cut, she is not. "Of course they are glad. People need goods. If you are set up on a colony that does not produce paper, thing about everything you need from off-planet. Maps, school supplies, boxes, cardboard of all types.. toilet paper. I do not know about you but some of those? I would probably be in a very frosty mood if I was without them." Again, the pirates are left uncommented upon.

"Oh, sure. Sure. Can't do it all yourself. Not even Earth can." Earth is spoken, of course, with reverence. Or with scorn. Take your pick! "This really is bad chicken, though. I should just switch to fruit or something, sir. This is a way of dieting I wasn't really planning on. So…" He peers at Markovic, "Can I ask you a question? I mean an iffy question, sir."

Markovic nearly snorts at the mention of Earth. She smiles, still eyeing the orange. "People can accomplish amazing feats through teamwork and determination. Earth did it by itself for millenia. Now? Things are different." She finally pulls out a slice of the orange, picking at the seed as Trey asks the question. There is a quick glance to the man beside her and then back to the slice. "Sure. I will assume you are tactful enough to avoid certain subjects, though." Its said with a light smile. Fingernails finally get the seed out and she pops the slice between her lips. Nomnomnom.

"Why is my commanding officer 46 years old? He's old enough to be my dad. Did he piss in someone's grapefruit? He said something about a court martialing and I know -that- isn't good." Trey begins to make deft incisions in his chicken breast, carefully turning it into the beginnings of a world war one era plane, if world war one had been fought with poultry, at least.

The dark-featured brunette shrugs. "I have not asked him about that. He was a First Lieutenant when I met him a few weeks back." She peels chunks off the last slice of orange, eating them quickly. "I will assume something happened that was rather displeasing. Courts Martial are generally career enders, too. I think that when the time is right, he will tell. Remember to be tactful about such things, though. Most officers do not like to discuss the darker parts of their careers. Some prefer to not discuss the higher points, either. Everyone is different. But Jenthson is a good man. He has my full confidence in the cockpit, which is where it counts. Everything that happens back on the ship is just beans and franks."

Trey scoops up the rest of his coconut pudding, then follows after it with corn. These, it seems, are what he's really having for dinner tonight. "Oh, I figured it was one of those questions I shouldn't ask. I just wondered. I won't bring it up again, sir." And then it's back to the chicken plane. He cuts a slit into the tail section and then shoves a smaller piece of chicken in there, as well. It's got flaps now.

Markovic shakes her head. "It is not that you cannot ask such things. It is legitimate to wonder. There is nothing wrong with questioning your surroundings and even your superiors from time to time. Orders are one thing to be followed, but personal questions on character can easily bleed when you have situations like his. Some people wonder why I am still a Captain at my age and have not been selected to lead a squadron yet. That is a personal question that can lead to judgments about ability as an officer. I think what is most important, though, is that if these questions are answered, it be done so constructively. So that Lieutenants like yourself can take lessons away and make better decisions about yourself and those around you." She pops the last slice of orange into her mouth.

Trey manages to assemble the tail section properly. After some careful cutting, the wings even look relatively good. In truth, it doesn't look much like a real world war one fighter plane, but that was an awful long time ago. Trey's eyes gleam at the thing, but his hand does not reach forth to fly it around the mess hall. Thank god for small favors. "I guess that all makes sense." That's his response, though once the question of why Markovic is in the position she's in is brought up, his eyes do peer around, as if something shady and secretive was just hinted at. Animated looking is probably a good way to describe it. "Military's a strange place."

She smirks at his expression about the comments she makes about herself. "Natural curiosity is good. Do not be afraid of it. Questioning your environment and accepted norms can produce results that others may not have seen. It can also get you in trouble." Her eyes trail over to Jenthson's plate that was left, eyeing the contents with suspicion. Trey's last comment gets a light laugh. "Ohhhh too right. But it is a life people either grow to love or hate. Those who hate it tend to get out as Lieutenants or junior enlisted. What do you think of it so far with your career? Is it something you want to stick with or is it not quite befitting your taste?" Its an even tone, the Captain not looking for any particular answer.

"I think that a regular paycheck is not something I will ever get used to for as long as I live, no matter how long that is." Trey glances at Jenthson's plate as well… particularly at his coconut pudding. "I'm still trying to figure out what to use it for. They already feed me, and it's not like there's too much to spend it on except for drinks. We really need to dock at a decent space station where I can really just blow all my cash. At first the only thing I could think to do with it was blow it all on drinks and women."

Dejana tilts her head away sharply, smiling at his first remarks. She looks like she might laugh but is content only to smile in the moment. "Aye. The feed us, clothe us, house us, all of that. When we get someplace I am sure you will find plenty of ways to burn your hard earned cash. When you get up into First Lieutenant, though, and beyond? You plan long term. I have quite a bit saved up for when I get out. My first purchase will be a shiny red convertible, though. With a big obnoxious engine. And a great stereo. The stereo is key." She lifts a finger, looking back to him, as if to bring the point home. "The stereo may be the deciding factor on what kind. Then? Maybe a house someplace quiet. But beyond the paycheck.." Her hand drops and she looks back to him while her hands fold in her lap. "Is this something you might want to pursue as a career?"

"Oh, well, uh… I'm a reservist," as if that explains everything. "I guess, well, it's not like I'm real Confed. And I don't think I've ever thought that far ahead. I thought I was getting fancy when I thought about the next crew to join." Trey laughs playfully about it, lightly. "I guess? I've been up here for a long time. It's sort of nice to feel legitimate for once. I mean, it is what it is. And you've -got- to be kidding me about the convertible. They'll put any stereo system in it you want, if you pay them enough. I'd just get a really fast ship, though. Big engines, big thrusters, handles crazy. Sort of like a Stiletto or something.

Markovic shrugs. "So what if you are reservist? That does not preclude you from going active duty. You can do whatever you like in those regards. Success in this profession is heavily dependent on how badly you want something and how hard you are willing to work for it. It is very similar to the private sector in that way, but there is better structure and benefits. The only downside? You can get killed." The last comes out as if she is commenting on unfortunate weather when she plans to stay home. "I try to be frugal with my money. I like cars, though. So I will probably just find something that has a good stereo without the extra cost. But once I get out, no more flying. Nyeeeeet, spasiba. I will keep my feet planted on the ground. Probably move back to Serbia and live near Pristina. It is beautiful there."

"Spacers get killed, too." notes Trey while creeping his spoon towards Jenthson's coconut pudding. It's almost like he thinks nobody will notice if he does it quietly enough. "It's just that they're usually running from the things trying to kill them. Here, we're looking for them. You know… I've never actually been on a planet before," remarks Trey with an easy gaze, "With a name like Pristina, it probably has to be good. Why no flying, though? You're probably the first adult I've met who works in space for a living and would even talk about leaving it."

"True enough. Personally I prefer to be the hunter than the hunted, though. The distressing damsel does not suit me." Marko reaches across the table and just pulls Jenthson's plate across. She takes up whats left of his chicken in her fingertips and takes a nibble. "Never been on a planet? How does that happen?" She blinks, casting a confused gaze back at him. "Did you not do basic flight training on Earth?" She blinks a few times and looks back to the chicken. "This -is- pretty bad. But yes, Pristina is wonderful. There's an ancient airbase there that was turned into the regional Museum of Conflict. It is fascinating. It talks about the history of Yugoslavia going back to the fifteenth century." She takes another little bite while she ponders her answer to his question. "The military is not a place I can go far in. I am too opinionated. And even once you go far, then you stop flying. See, flying is the only reason I stay in. I thoroughly enjoy it. But I have had my fill. I am good at it and have done some amazing things. But I believe the high of my career lies behind me. If I were to leave the military and continue flying I think it would only make me meloncholy for days that lie behind me and living in the past is something that I hate. I like to look to the future with plans and hope for new experiences that better me." She -really- is a philosophy major.

"Hrm? Oh, right. I mean other than that. But I was so freaked out by the entire thing?" Trey's spoon meets its target, effectively scooping up all of Jenthson's coconut pudding in one go. It's had time to coalesce into a cube-like shape, which means he's balancing it on his spoon now. "It almost doesn't count. The gravity was -way- different, though. I guess I know how planetside people feel when they leave orbit for the first time, too." Carefully, he brings it towards his tray. His eyes are almost alight with amusement and cheer, like he just cannot wait to get away with doing what he's getting away with doing. He even looks at Markovic a couple times, as if to make sure she knows that he knows that she knows, or something. PArt of the fun. "They don't like opinions high up?"

"The first time I left Earth I was a little freaked. Like I said, I used to be afraid of flying. Watching the Earth rocket away underneath me was a little disheartening." Markovic nods a few times and continues nibbling on the chicken, little bits at a time. She's too focused on eating Jenth's chicken to notice the glances at the moment. "Opinions? Nyet. Not generally." Nibble. "I have this habit of not bullshitting people. I tell people what I think because I believe sugar-coating is pointless and disrespectful. And in this business? It gets people killed." She sets the bone back on the plate and takes his corn with his spoon. "Generals, Colonels, and Admirals are used to having their asses kissed all day long. When they run into me and make the mistake of asking me my opinion or they take questions? It does not go over so well. I once got thrown out of a briefing because the Colonel in charge of the operation kept fucking up on the number of weapons emplacements when I had flown the recon and gotten shot at two days before. I felt the need to correct him. Four times." Scoop of corn.

"Oh." Closer. Closer…. he's almost got the coconut pudding in his clutches. "So they like to think they're perfect and all knowing. That's a lot more like the rep Confed people have outside of Confed. But you do that sort of thing and you figure that they're keeping you down for it. That sucks if you're trying to advance. I guess," *SUCCESS*. He sets the pudding down on his tray and pauses to make short work of it, then repeats himself, "I guess it's not like you can do things the way we settle them out there. Fist fight. Bare fists if you're feeling nice. With a ratchet if not." A grin crosses his face, and then he asks, "What do you think about the Wing Commander, sir? I heard he got relieved."

"Not entirely. There are some ranking officers out there who have their heart in their jobs. They were their rank as a function of their job, not the other way around. But about thirty percent of those near the top are real assholes. They make the other seventy look bad and tend to be the vocal ones that actually give the Confed a bad name." She glances to Trey for a moment then back to the corn. "If people have a low opinion of you because you are in the TCSF, then that is too bad. You have every reason to hold your head high. I refuse to attempt to reason with people who disrespect the armed forces on the basis of contempt. They should do something -else- with their thumbs instead of putting them to their noses. As for advancement?" She tilts her head side to side. "Some people are set on rank. Some people just love what they do. The best officers are those who remember that they stand where they are because better men and women stood there before them and refused to quit. When officers forget that then they rot from the inside and become stagnant. Like Valentine." Yep, she just said that. "We all owe it to the better officers before us to be honest and have honor about what we do. Valentine was neither honorable or honest. I am glad he was relieved. I have never been a Winco but I can tell you that when you have time for your busty Marine girlfriend to dress you for dinner but not meet your pilots, you are fucking up. Bad."

Trey nods, "Wait. He had a marine for a girlfriend? I thought that wasn't al… oh. Oh. You mean -the- marine. She's, well, not here either." Trey shrugs to himself. "All I knew about the wing commander is that," his eyes do that animated shifty-thing again. It's prone to looking over the top. "Is that he acted like a tattooed little bitch. I mean… respectfully, sir." He smiles and snaps off a fast salute. "And I guess it's understandable to worry about rank. I was on a ship when we had a mutiny, once. I, uh.. don't know the full details, but it was over who got to run the ship and decide where we were going. We were making good money, but some people are just obsessed with making their penis grow. They can't look at girlie magazines like the rest of us."

"Is she? Darn." Markovic sounds -so- upset about that. "They invited me to have dinner with them once. I was at the table about four seconds before I was made to feel like a third wheel. She kept rubbing his thigh and fussing with the napkin on his lap. I wanted to puke." She rolls her own eyes, pushing the corn around in the small bowl with the spoon. There isn't even a comment about his apology. The Captain is so used to hearing it that it most likely is barely even heard anymore. But she does look up when he mentions a mutiny. "That sounds like fun. Over where you were going, no less? It is a cargo ship or something, yes? Go where the money is. Just stupid. But yes, you are spot on about the ranks. Some military wives are just as bad as their husbands. They prance around the base as if they wear their husbands rank. It is just disgusting. Why cannot people just do their jobs and take pride in doing it well? There was a quote from a famous pilot many, many years ago that said 'Why let rank lead when ability can do it better?' I agree. It frustrates me sometimes." These are probably some rare comments on the matter from the Captain. She's usually a lot more reserved about her opinions to the Lieutenants.

Trey shakes his head, "It's not fun, actually. You've got to remember that we… I mean they." with extra stress on the word, as if to further assert that he is no longer in that business, "don't have the support structure -we- have over here. It's not like they can just radio for help too easily, get another ship to jump god-knows-how-far to help them out. A mutiny on ship the size of a transport, in deep space, means people are going to die. Maybe a lot of people. Maybe only a couple. And if you're lucky, nobody gets carried away and fucks the boat up so it can't go anywhere. You could end up stranded and sending out a distress signal, and -anyone- could pick that up. So, uh… no. Not fun." He considers the Captain's words, "I… didn't think officers were supposed to act like that."

"Yikes. Yes, I can see that being a bit more of a desperate situation. Though I suspect on a military vessel things would be much worse in sheer numbers of casualties. Once that support structure goes out the window, everyone is armed and equal. But the ship would get support rather fast. Civilian shipping? Good point." She shakes her head. "That just reinforces my choice to quit flying after I get out in a few years." She sits back in the chair once more and tucks an ankle up underneath her. The Captain is a fairly small person for all the fight in her. "Officers are not supposed to behave like that. It is demeaning and embarrassing to themselves and others. I just think the people that do it are too stupid to realize it. But then again, that is what happens when you pin kids to high ranks."

"A military vessel has people on it who are trained how to fight and have a fighting mindset." Trey, having eaten all of the food he's going to eat, starts to slice his chicken up into little pieces. Presumably he's going to make chicken salad out of it? Yeah. Right. "I don't know if that's better or worse, but you're probably right. Confed would reassert control over that thing really fast and I think everyone knows that unless you want to end up on the serving side of a shit sandwich, you'd better be one of the good guys when the dust settles. I'm guessing they'd probably execute people for something like that, huh? And don't worry. It's amazing they pinned me to -this- rank. I can't see anyone promoting me. Nobody's -that- stupid." He grins.

Marko scoops some more of the corn into her mouth and nods emphatically, her brow raised. "Ohhhh yes. UCMJ states that mutiny aboard a combat vessel is a treasonous offense. If someone who attempts it is -lucky-, they will get a bullet. Unlucky? The nitrogen and oxygen in your blood will try to exit through your skin when you reach six degrees Kelvin." Just a hair above absolute zero. "I think the general consensus is that mutiny is too hard to pull off anymore due to hyperlight jumps. I will not go into how it could be done, but I think it is possible. And stupid. Like Pip said earlier - to mutiny is to lose sight of your objective and who your enemy is. Nevermind the lack of honor involved." Markovic shakes her head. She smirks and glances to Trey with his last comment, pushing her corn around. "One day you will make Lieutenant and deserve it. We just need to get the wetness off from behind your ears."

"That's why they call it the deep six." Actually, no. That's not at all why they call it 'deep six'. "There's enough trouble without needing to do that, but military people having a mutiny sounds scarier than the real thing, so this conversation is now about ducks, sir." He continues to slice his chicken, "I mean with your permission." Eyes peer back at the food line… back at the coconut pudding, to be precise. He doesn't make good on his threat to talk about ducks, though. "It's taking some getting used to, but I'm sort of glad they activated me. It's nice feeling, you know. Legitimate. It's a new experience for me. I figured I was too old to get surprised like that." At 22. Yeah.

Markovic just shakes her head at the first remark. Smile and nod, Dejana. "Copy that, Lieutenant. Ducks, it is." She takes another scoop of the corn and sets it down, the bowl is probably cold by now. So she reaches for the mug Jenthson had. She's like a vulture! "What? You have never had a legitimate job before? I thought you had said that you had flown with some merchant crews. That is pretty legitimate work, I would think. But trust me Mister Grayson, you are never too old to be surprised. In three years you will look back at yourself at twenty and go 'Damn! I did not know shit!'. Then at thirty you will do the same thing about being twenty five. It is a disgusting cycle. Just remember that surprises are lifes way of reminding you that you are not dead."

Trey shakes his head, "Maybe once or twice, but Confed takes a pretty big bite out of your bottom line, so you don't make too much money with a completely above-board shipping company. Most boats go unregistered, which means everyone is off the books. We're just a bunch of guys with a big cargo hold, some crazy turret gunners, and a few guys in starfighters for when the pirates say hello." He eyes up Jenthson's mug like he wishes he'd thought of it first, then he sputters a laugh, "This is really the best thing about this gig. When I found the mess hall I nearly shat myself at how big it was. The food's not so great, but… but look at this place." He points to the mess hall in general, "I keep feeling like I'm on station. Just needs endless shopping malls."

"I guess you have a point." Dejana takes a sip of the mug. She notices the glance to it but she isn't offering it up. Question your environment, Trey!!! Or else someone gets the stale coffee first!! "I had seen some pretty awful things with merchants over in Hawking when I was a First Lieutenant. I never could consider trying to fight off pirates without the aid of a couple capital ships. Its a little easier now after some more experience but.." She lets it trail off. Trey might get the idea that Marko has probably seen a lot of things with her time in the Navy and been changed drastically for it. Its anyone's guess what she was like before the TCSF. The remarks about the mess bring her back and she lifts her brow, looking at him with a barely vocalized "Awwwwwww." She grins. "This really is your first cruise, yes? I remember being like that. Starstruck with all the neat stuff and endless food."

"That's really the other reason why a lot of boats go unregistered." Trey lowers his voice a bit, investing a lot of trust in the Captain when he mutters, "Illegal weapon mods. Military grade stuff. Extra turrets… Draymans are cheap, but well defended Draymans are worth a -ton-." And then he's back to normal, "That's how you deal with the pirate problem. They cheat, so you have to cheat, too. But it means everyone's illegitimate. It really sucks. I mean, it still makes me a little resentful of Confed. You said that war hurts regular people… and I can understand that, but Confed hurts merchants. You can't just make these things illegal when the pirates have them." And having said that, he exhales, smiling slightly, "It's cute, huh? Adorable? Well yeah. I've never been on a military ship before. Just transports, the occasional corvette, and fighter craft."

A small smile crosses her face and she tucks her other ankle up underneath her, effectively sitting cross-legged in the chair. "I figured. Nobody wants to be the more lightly armed crew going into battle. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to up-arm." The Captain simply shrugs it away. to his last, she chuckles. "Do not get your hopes -too- high, Lieutenant. It just reminds me of a time long, long ago." She wets her lips and looks back to the mug sitting on her knee. Eyes narrow a touch and she doesn't quite look at him but seems to focus on the area between them. "You said you sort of resent the Confed for that. I guess I can understand. Why did you sign up?"

Trey smirks, "Oh, come on. I've had such shitty success with girls on this ship, I wouldn't even try anything with someone that far over my paygrade." Having said that, his flatware begins to have a sword fight, with the courageous fork dueling with the ever vigilant, but dastardly knife! "Money. I got started because I took a privateer contract with Confed for extra cash, and then I figured that I could do with a little more money on the side, so I signed up as a reservist. I prooobably should've expected that the paychecks came with a string attached, huh?" He smiles up at her like the bird who swallowed the canary.

Dejana laughs, shaking her head. "Mister Greyson, I was not implying that you were hitting on me." The coffee gets a sip, the smile fading as she listens to what he says. 'Mmm.' She takes a breath and looks to him. "I guess I am just surprised." She shrugs and takes a long exhale. "A young guy like yourself with conflicting opinions ups for the paycheck?" She shrugs deeply and looks back to the mug. "I figured most kids signed-up only if they believed in it. But as you said before, it is harder when you do not have a steady paycheck I guess."

"Most kids are fresh out of school and haven't seen the real world yet, either." Trey leans back in his chair casually, "That's what I meant by feeling different from everyone else. They got taught everything. I learned it the hard way. Means they know all sorts of things I don't, but… well, it's different. I'm so used to getting shot at now and having no support that it's kind of just a normal state of things? But sure. The paycheck, not the glory. Glory gets people killed, but I can't deny it's good to be doing this in general. -Someone- has to."

"Fair enough." Dejana dips her head. "A lack of schooling has to hurt, I will not lie. But yes, you have a very different type of education. It is a shame that you are used to being shot at as well. At your age? It should scare the shit out of you to be in a big furball. Though I have had experience with a few like yourself who have held it together in some of the -worst- circumstances possible. It turned out both of them had prior experience in some nasty environments." Markovic watches the coffee in her mug for a long moment after she finishes. Her eyes narrow again, reflecting on something. Her jaw sets briefly before she looks back to him. "Aye. Someone has to do it. I prefer to think that people do it because they are proud to do it, though. Too many egos are afraid of admitting that they do something because they believe in it - which I have found to be true of too many things. Believing in something means having to defend it even when confronted by an angry, unarmed foe with differing opinions. I know I do this job because I take pride in it."

"You learn pretty quickly to just put off freaking out until everything has gone totally wrong and you're fucked." offers Trey, "It hasn't happened y… ok, ok." Trey leans forward and smacks his palms together, "There was this -one- time I was shitting my pants. I was on New Constantinople station when everything just went to hell. That scared me shitless because I couldn't do anything but look out a window. It's where the fleet activated me to fill in all those holes they had, too. And I don't know. You've probably figured out that I'm not about 'proud'. I don't do proud. But I'm here." Trey shrugs again, "I don't get along with people in the 221st too well, 1087th get me a bit better. I really can't be 'proud' when the people I'm fighting with don't understand me. But the cats -are- trying to enslave us all. I figure it's something to do, right?"

"Mister Greyson, I would have freaked out, too. Being stuck on a giant floating target while there is a war going off around you? There is nothing shameful about it, either." There's a little levity there but not much. Whatever was on Dejana's mind changed her demeanor slightly more towards serious. "I think anyone can be proud. Indeed, they should. Especially people like us. We volunteer to do a job that how many other people would rather not? Ninety seven percent of the human population will never wear a Confed uniform. A twentieth century philosopher once said that 'people sleep comfortably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.' Well? You are one of those rough men. That should be an immense source of pride. It does not matter if the people in my squad 'get' you or not. Acceptance and pride are two unrelated matters. What matters is what you know. The only acceptance that should make a difference in your life is your own acceptance of who you are and what you are doing."

Trey shrugs, seemingly unmoved at first, but will probably seem to stir at Markovic's presumably contagious military pride. Or maybe he's just trying to provide her what he thinks she wants to see. "I guess you have a point. I didn't have to do this. I could've just… walked away, huh? I guess that really does give me something to hang my head a little higher about." He nods a few times like he's starting to get it, then remarks, "It's still a funny culture clash. The regulars sort of avoid me. I may be too 'real' even for the other irregulars."

"That is right, Grayson. You can always turn in your wings and go clean toilets. Or resign your commission. Pride in your uniform is one of the tenants of being an officer. When you get promoted and have pilots under your command, it will reflect and define who you are." Markovic speaks on the matter as if it was a fact of life that Trey will have to accept whether he wants to or not. To his last, she tilts the mug with an implied shrug. "If that is the case then that is too bad. Circulating among the 221st may be good for you. There is nothing wrong with the 1087th, mind you, but sometimes those you think you will never find peace with turn out to be your best allies."

"I had one girl crying on my shoulder that we were all going to die." Trey frowns a bit, considering this a bit sadly, "I mean, what can you do? I told her 'sure! probably!', which I guess, in retrospect, probably was not one to file under Trey's Greatest Hits, but I don't think you can be in a dangerous situation until you know it'll happen sooner or later. I don't think -anything- will kill you faster than being afraid of death. We already fly the most well defended ships I've ever seen. I feel like I'm piloting a tank or something. But eh. I don't think we mix with the 221st too well."

Dejana shakes her head. "Yeah, that was not the right thing to say." She sips at the coffee, wetting her lips afterwards. "Everyone dies, true. But being prepared is really the only way to be able to free yourself from the fear. When you have accepted that you -will- die in combat, only then can you become a true weapon to be feared. If you happen to live through it?" Another tilt of the mug. "Then every day afterwards is a gift from God." She sips at the mug once more and fidgets in her seat, slowly leaning forward with her elbows on the table. Its an awkward position for a woman sitting cross-legged but she doesn't look to be in any pain. "Well even if you do not mix well, that does not change anything. We are all still on the same boat. Out there?" She jerks a thumb over her shoulder to indicate space. "We all watch out for each other. Like I said, everything on this boat is beans and franks. What matters is what we do when the bullets fly."

"No, probably not. Was funny in its own sad way, though." Trey smiles to himself, "Wow, Captain. Talking with you sure is fun and lively!!" Each word enunciated overly clearly and enthusiastically. Think he's trying to tell her something? Pay no attention to who started it. It's her fault now! "Sure thing, though. As long as the felines die and we don't, that's all that really matters. I should probably go. I've spoken to you way too long and now I feel like going out to polish my uniform or -maybe- go to the simulators to help contribute to the 'Trey didn't die' foundation." The first part is spoken impishly, almost as if he were ashamed to admit some pride in said uniform.

Markovic could take it as a joke or as an excuse to get angry. Instead, she just lifts her brow at him. "Japanese samurai ethos. These people knew what they were talking about." Its said quietly. Its not a chink in her armor but it -is- evident she deeply believes in it. "Everyone's experience in the TCSF teaches them different things, Lieutenant. Mine has taught me to be ready for anything in any way I can." She just stares at the mug in silence after that until he mentions getting up to go. "Get it done, Grayson. I will see you on the flightline."

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