A Discuss Ting Breakfast
A Discuss-ting Breakfast
Arc: None
Summary: Several pilots talk about the recent events over bad food in the Officer's Mesh.
Date: 2659.102
Related Logs: Kitty on the Rocks
Participants: James Phillip Walsh Paz

Phillip enters the officers mesh and finds the room fairly empty with only a handful of naval officers and a couple of pilots eating food that appears to have been recently cooked. "Ah early to first meal," Phillip says to himself. He begins heading toward the food area where the day's meal appears hot out of the kitchen with only a small fraction of it removed.

James is sitting in a corner of the mess with a half eaten plate of food in front of him and a book carefully wrapped in a sleeve to one side. He's sipping from a coffee mug as Phillips enters and lowers it to wave in greeting with his free hand.

Walsh stumbles bleary-eyed into the mess, not far behind Phillip. Since, by a quick inspection, they're in no immediate danger of running out of food any time soon, he decides on resolving the more pressing of issues first. Caffeine. Lots of Caffeine.

As James waves, Phillip notices him and gives a quick wave back with a nod of acknowledgement before heading to the service line to start picking up some food. No telling when the mob will rush in. "Hmmm…what is on the menu today," Phillip says softly as he looks down the line: mystery meat, sausages, greens, carrots, some rolls, and everyone's favorite: Mac and Cheese, not even the military can get that one wrong. Let's just hope they don't run out before getting some supplies. Phillip decides to take a chance on the mystery meat and moves down the line already picking up some greens.

James picks up his fork with his left hand and takes a bite of one of the sausages which he hurriedly follows with a swallow of coffee. It's only after lowering the mug that he notices Walsh and waves the fork holding hand in greeting to his fellow Stiletto pilot.

In his sleep-addled, decaffeinated state, the signal gets through to him that -someone- is waving in his direction. The specifics of the matter, decides some part of his brain, should be put in some internal buffer to be analyzed later. In the meantime, the order goes out through the nervous system: Raise hand, rotate elbow in waving motion. Coffee. Now.

As Phillip places some greens on his tray, he turns his head to the right and spies Walsh. "Oh hey, Sam, sleepy I take it," Phillip says while he places the ladle back into the greens trough.
Speech detected. Target: this. Walsh turns his head in the general direction of the incoming sound waves, and the visual recognition portion of his groggy brain grinds into action. Phillip. Pilot. Callsign: Iceblade. Verbal response recommended. "Hey. Yeah. Just woke up, and I could really do with a few more hours. Coffee will have to do for now, though."

James says, "What happened Ozone, pull a midnight patrol or are you just having trouble sleeping or something?"

Phillip chuckles a bit and says, "Yeah, I've been there a few times, myself." He then looks down and moves along the line to pick up a roll and some good old M&C…make that a lot of good ole M&C. Hey he's hungry and nothing else tastes that good.

Mug filled to the brim with precious black ambrosia, Walsh takes the first tentative sip, and declares it good with a long, exhaled, "Ahhhh!" James catches his attention, and he turns in his direction to reply. "Mm. Think it's all this sneaking around in asteroid belts." He takes another sip of coffee. "Fucking roids," he says with a slight roll of the eyes.

James nods, "Yeah flying through rocky lane is far from my idea of fun as well. Probably why the cats put so many outposts there. Though watching them crash into the rocks is always good for laughs."

Phillip finally places the ladle back into the M&C trough, gets a tall glass of water, and quickly grabs a fork and knife before heading toward James. "Yeah, I nearly crashed a few times in there in fact," he says as he approaches James.

Now that Walsh is on his way back to being a functional human being again, he decides to work towards the next most pressing need. He grabs a tray and places his coffee and a plate on it, then works his way down the line.

James nods, "I got close once or twice myself though I think I actually got closer the first time I had to fight in an asteroid field. Of course that one had cat gun stations in it if I remember correctly."

Phillip listens to James as he takes a seat across from him and attempts to cut up the non-so-tender and rubbery mystery meat. A quick "Wow" is heard from Phillip after mention of cat gun stations. Then Phillip takes a bite of the mystery meat and his chewing slows to a crawl with slightly widened eyes and a large frown on Phillip's face.

With his tray loaded with what Walsh hopes to be mostly-edible food, he heads over towards the other two pilots. "Well, I tell ya. I'm mostly willing to fight whenever, wherever, -what-ever, within reason of course, but 'roids freak me the fuck out." With a wistful expression, he adds, "My own brother bought it in an asteroid collision. Trying to evade a Kitty missile."

James winces when he notes what Phillip is eating, "You decided to chance the mystery meat? I heard a rumor that is made from any cat corpses they manage to recover, though where the current source came from is unknown." He then looks towards Walsh, "I'm sorry about your brother Ozone."

Phillip swallows the terrible tasting mystery meat and gulps down some water. "Yuck!" he says before responding to James, "Well I've tried the sausages before and I can't stand the taste." After hearing about Walsh's brother, Phillip look him sympathetically and saying, "In an asteroid field? Real sorry man. I lost my own brother when the cats torpedoed a destroyer. It's actually the reason I'm here."

Walsh nods forlornly in Phillip's direction. "Pretty much the same here. Got the news while I was in hospital. I was already thinking about a change in careers, and I figured, I couldn't get too much closer to death than I already had been." As an aside, he adds, "'tis a brave man who willingly chances the mystery meat…"

James winces and nods, "I never had any siblings but my dad was a fighter mechanic on a carrier that took a torpedo to the hanger he was assigned to when I was 8. Originally I was going to follow in his footsteps but someone saw my test results and talked me into transferring to fighter training and the rest is history as they say." He takes another bite of his meal after speaking.

"Damn cats." Phillip says quietly before digging into his mac and cheese (the main course after all).

Walsh loads up a forkful of -something- off his plate and shovels it absently into his mouth. He chews a little, then starts to speak, etiquette be damned. "Heh. I was supposed to be the civvie of the family, one brother in the 'rines, other SF. Just couldn't sit by any longer."
James nods grimly in understanding, "Hopefully once we make it home we'll discover someone has managed to figure out how to win the war quickly. They've had plenty of time to think about how to by now. I just hope they haven't done anything stupid like list us as presumed dead before we get back."

Phillip looks up after swallowing another spoonful of Mac and Cheese. "So how is your other brother doing?" Phillip asks reservedly but with a faint hope that he isn't bringing up more painful memories for Walsh.

With a half-shrug, Walsh replies. "Haven't the faintest, to be honest. Last I heard, — and unofficially at that,— he got himself involved in some hush-hush covert ops outfit." With an ironic grin, he adds, "Can't imagine what that's like…"

James nods, "Been there done that, briefly though they forgot to give me a T-shirt when I got back. Still I'll take the promotion I got in exchange," he says "I'm sure he's doing fine Ozone," he adds before sipping his coffee again.

"hmmm…" Phillip says as he looks curiously at the two but says nothing more about things he shouldn't even be asking about. "Uh so, any thoughts about those Talons we spotted?" he asks before making some attempt at eating the marginally palatable collard greens.

Walsh picks further at his food, as the others direct words in his general direction. He mumbles something of an agreement to James, but Phillip's question piques his interest. "Some sort of civvie vigilante group? Seems they might have a base of sorts in the 'roids somewhere? Sure were quick to scarper when we turned up."

James says, "A pirate group, or miltia force which got cut off behind cat lines perhaps." He frowns as he tries to recall if the Talons were in service when the cats had first invaded the sector.

Phillip finally finishes off the greens and downs some more water, thank goodness for tall glasses. "They definitely seem to do a good job of holding out considering the cats have had this system for a good long time now," he responds. "I bet they've been raiding cat supplies."
Apparently, it is still too early or too late for some to be eating breakfast, so the mess hall is still sparsely populated though a couple of more people are trickling in. Spread around the room are a couple of small groups of pilots and naval officers. One group in particular is James, Phillip, and Walsh seated in a corner of the room.

Paz makes her way down the serving line, looking haggard and annoyed.

"Whatever the case, they seemed to be holding their own fairly well when we got there." Walsh replies, though his attention is mostly on the newly arrived Captain. "The million credit question is what were they doing there in the first place?"

Phillip notices Walsh's attention turn toward one of the people coming in. Oh hey its Paz, "Boy, something really seems to have pissed her off." Phillip comments before turning towards James and saying, "Oh remember that Hhriss piloted by that human who was just running circles around the other three Hhrisses. A real ace for sure." Phillip brings his hand to his chin in thought before adding, "Hmmm… Strange to see that great a human pilot who isn't working for Confed."

Paz spots the others and gives a nod before pouring herself a rather large mug o' Confed Coffee and a smaller glass of bug juice. Confed Coffee, all of the caffeine of a cup of joe, with none of that pesky, real coffee flavor. Available at a wardroom near you! At length, she moves to join the others. "He was working for /somebody/," she says, taking a seat and starting to eat her breakfast in a way that involves as little actual looking at or tasting of it as possible.

James says, "It's possible that he was working for Confed at some point. It wouldn't shock me at all if some units ended up in a situation like ours only lacking a carrier to take them home at some point in the war. Militia, which would fit with the Talons we saw. A deep raid gone bad or so on."

Walsh traces Paz's progress with his eyes, somewhat absently, the whole way from chow line to their table. Some of the conversation seems to have sunken in, however. "A human flying a cat-can and schooling the Kitties, you say?" he asks quizzically, still tracking Paz in what he hopes is a somewhat subtle manner.

Phillip looks up to see Paz. "Oh hey, ready for some yummy vittles," Phillip says un-sarcastically before turning back to the two Stilettos pilots. "That could definitely be true. Ingenious bunch to be getting their hands on Kilrathi ships like they have."

"Heh, yeah, 'cause when I think of 'yummies', I think Confed Processed, Pasteurized Food Product." Paz grins cheesily, still eating steadily between her words and sips of wince-inducingly awful coffee. "I don't think we've got enough information to speculate too much, frankly, gentlemen," she says at length. "We all know there's enough pirates and mercs out here to fill at least a dozen penal colonies. No telling who's up to what. War is, as the Romans used to believe, often a very profitable business."

James nods, "Yeah I would be interested in knowing how they got a Hhriss myself. Perhaps they raided a transport for supplies and found it in the cargo or something. I doubt a ground base or station here would have had them."

Walsh is trying, and failing, to appear to be following the conversation. In reality, he's somewhere between falling asleep, moping, and some undisclosed fantasy. In a moment of lucidity, and in lieu of looking a total idiot, he decides a change in subject is in order. Turning towards Paz (as if he wasn't peering in that direction already), He asks, "So, congratulations, or commiserations, on your promotion?" A pause, then, "Oh, and I'm sorry you have to put up with my stupid chatter out there…"

Phillip nods and admits, "Yeah, all this is pure speculation, but they definitely don't seem at all interested in attacking us." Phillip then goes back to picking at this food with Walsh changing the subject. At least the roll isn't making him gag.

Paz nods, polishing off the rest of her food and washing it down with most of the rest of her coffee. "Hey, Cutlass, did you or Ozone ever get a tag on their exit vector?" she inquires, pursing her lips thoughtfully. "I meant to ask after the debrief, but I had about a dozen reams of paper work waiting for me," she grumbles. "Heh, I was just telling Iceblade and Cutlass here about the double-edged sword of promotion, Ozone," she snerks. "The pros are, when I talk, higher ranks actually pretend to listen, lower ranks do what the hell they're told and I get my own broom-closet sized stateroom," she chuckles. "The cons are, every idiot thinks what everyone in my squad does becomes my personal responsibility, endless briefings on topics that neither I, nor anyone else in the briefing including the person giving it, could give a rat's ass about, and about a metric fuckton of paperwork morning, noon, and night."

James shrugs, "I got a partial vector trace but that was all I'm afraid with all the havoc that was going on." He continues sipping his own coffee before saying, "And how much paper can they have with our supply lines cut?"

Walsh nods to Paz. "Yeah, that's about what I thought you'd say," he replies. "As to those Talons; with all those fucking deathtrap 'roids floating about, we're lucky we got what intel we did." He shudders slightly, at the recollection.

Phillip remains silent and listens, finishing off his meal as best as he can.

Paz hrms…."Get me what you've got," Paz says, then pauses. "Better yet, bring me what you got, and maybe we can all sit down and parse it out," she muses. "Also, and this is just mostly note to myself, but anyone can do it, if they have time. Bend somebody in Intel's ear about that 'roid belt. What do we know about it, specifically? Those Fuzzies couldn't have just been there for fun, that doesn't scan," she notes. "And as you just said, Cutlass, /our/ supply lines were cut. But the pirates and mercs have been operating out of this sector for /years/. Who knows what they've got squirreled away out there?"

James says, "In theory they could have just about anything. The hard part will be convincing them to share unless we can get them to feel they owe us somehow. I doubt they'll take an IOU which command would probably ignore even if they did take it."

"Let's hope they do know something," Walsh says, between gulps of coffee, "And they're willing to share. Don't know about you lot, but I don't fancy ferreting around in the 'roids for some outpost that may or may not exist, thank-you-very-much."

After Phillip finishes his meal, what he can eat of it, he checks his watch and sees where it is nearly time for his asteroid belt patrol. He chugs down the last fifth of his water and begins to get up. "Sorry guys, I've got to play in the asteroids again," he says. As Phillip picks up his tray and water glass, he adds a joke, "Let's hope I don't get 'roid rage." He smiles at his joke and the group before he begins to leave.

Paz chuckles softly, rolling her eyes at Phillip's pun. "That was kind of awful, Iceblade," she giggles teasingly. "Seriously, sharpen up, dude. You're on the fast track to being Squad XO," she notes with a feral grin. "You be damned careful out there, you hear me?" she says, suddenly serious in a way previously alien to her usual demeanor. "We need intel, not heroes on this one," she notes.

James facepalms in response to Phillip's joke then says, "Don't mention the words squadron XO please. I keep having nightmares where they make me one and my CO literally drowns me in paperwork."

"Heh. -He's- worried about 'roid rage'? I was starting to go mental just sitting around in that debris field," Walsh says, with an apologetic shrug in Paz's direction. "It'll be me that snaps first… G'luck out there!" He chuckles at James, and says "Hopefully there's enough paperwork floating around by now to keep my advancement prospects sufficiently limited." He adds another amused look in Paz's direction.

Phillip stops for a second and says with a smile towards Paz, "You know I'm always careful, but in all seriousness, we probably won't even find debris let alone a base." Before Phillip leaves, a thought occurs to him, "What do you bet the base isn't even in the asteroids. Oh God, what a waste this could all end up being," he says towards the group. "Well I've got to go," he adds with a nod as he begins to leave to drop off the dirty dishes.

"Yeah, yeah…." Paz replies to Phillip, looking him square in the eye. "Probably nothing at all, but, gotta look just the same. Good hunting out there, Iceblade," she says firmly, encouragingly. "You run across any more Kilrathi, feel free to drown them in buckets," she grins. "Clear skies, oh, and report back to me the second your cleared from debrief," she notes. "Really gotta crank the numbers on those vectors." she says. To the others she simply gives a devil-may-care smirk and shrugs a little. "Hey, if I've gotta suffer, others must suffer. That's been my policy since I joined this outfit," she chuckles.

"Will do," Phillip says as he leaves. A few seconds, later he's heading out of the room, having dropped off the dishes.

James says, "Yeah I personally think anyone stuck with any kind of CO or XO role should have a secretary to deal with the paperwork."

Walsh grins at Paz. Ah, that wonderfully evil, vindictive humour of hers. "Can't fault that. Gotta share the love," He chuckles. "Of course, knowing you, you're probably writing up glowing recommendations, just to spite me."

"/Moi?/" Paz replies, holding her hand to her chest in feigned shocked innocence. "Would I do such a thing?" she asks, eyes wide. "You're getting paranoid in your old age, Ozone," she snerks, sipping at her bug juice and smacking her lips appreciatively. It's the Blue kind, it's real flavor having no corresponding match in nature. "And, damn it, I /hate/ to do it to the guy, but he's the most experienced flier I've got, and I need somebody to bird-dog for me," she sighs.

James says, "Sure you wouldn't" in an amused tone before finishing his coffee and standing. I need to go but it was nice talking to everyone."

Walsh eyes her hand for an envious couple of seconds, before readjusting his gaze upwards. "Hmm. Well, I'll know who to chase down when they start pinning shinies on my chest." Mmm. Chest… He turns to James. "Stay safe, Cutlass!"

"/Good Hunting/, Cutlass." Paz replies, emphasizing the first two words firmly. "You find anything useful out there, be sure to let me know, OK?" she says, nodding to the man. "Well, this has been lovely," she sighs, hauling herself upright, "But I've got a Supply brief in ten that I'd pay good money to miss." she says. "Sadly, I don't have the money to pay, so I gotta be there," she snerks. "Good hunting, Cutlass, you too, Ozone."

James glances back and says, "I will," before continuing out of the mess hall.