Man to Man
Man to Man
Summary: Zaharis and Reed share some brutal honesty about friends and foes, more than either one had bargained for.
Date: 16 ACH (29 November 2008)
Related Logs: None

Viewing Deck Support Station PAS - Deck 4
16 ACH 6735 Souls

As the rings on the station rotate slowly, it is never really felt, but the viewport allows a wonderful viewing of space. Here, the four, large panels give a showing that is worth just sitting and watching the stars float by. Seating is more of a lounge, than a theater type. All couches are bolted down, but extremely comfortable for sitting and relaxing. There is even a mini-refreshment bar along the back wall, which is self-serve.

Reed comes in from Passageway.
Reed has arrived.

Zaharis coughs out a breath of laughter, in the middle of trying to smoke. "Looks like fruit juice. Are you sure you didn't get gipped?" He lays the cigarette down to smoulder and takes the glass, passing it under his nose before sipping from it. He takes a second to analyse the taste. "Vodka…apple. Yes, Matt, this is girly."

Reighner reaches out for the glass possessively. "Well, don't drink all of it." He's sitting on a couch with Zaharis standing beside him.

Reed comes into the deck in his off duties, a laptop computer tucked under one arm. He sees the Doctors passing a glass back and forth between them, and smiles, "Hello gentlemen." He greets as he walks to the seating area.

Zaharis rolls his eyes, handing the glass back. Playing keep-away with a full martini is probably a bad idea. Sitting down carefully in one of the opposite chairs, he picks his cigarette back up and glances over. "Reed, hey."

Reighner tosses a casual wave to Reed as he takes another sip of his cocktail. Setting it down, he tells him, "I took two showers, and the Muskeg smell is still on me."

Reed moves to sit, smiling at Reighner, "Are you positive? The decon showers always take the smell out of everything. I have worse time not smelling like Decon chemicals." He lifts his brows, opening the laptop and starting it up, crossing one leg to put his ankle on the opposite knee and setting the laptop on it as the screen goes through startup.

Zaharis settles back, picking up his cigarette after knocking some ash off. He rests his elbow on the arm of his chair, the little orange light flaring and fading as he takes a drag.

"They can't decon this," Reighner answers. He taps his temple with a forefinger, then looks back down to the textbook that was opened on his lap.

Reed nods, "Yes, that's true. they can't, but I have the feeling you're on your way with that." He points to Reighners drink. "Seems like you feel better though." He smiles to the doctor, and looks to Zaharis, "And how about you?"

Zaharis glances at Reighner's glass. He lifts a hand to his mouth, fake-sneezing words into his palm. "GIR-ly drink." A delicate sniffle, then he looks back at Reed. "Fine. You?"

Reighner sucks on a tooth and pointedly continues to read. Sure, laugh it up.

Reed looks from Reighner to Zaharis, "As long as it's getting into the bloodstream properly, I see nothing wrong with drinks that might seem girly. I know some girly drinks that have a massive kick to them." He pulls a datachip case from his pocket. A commercial one, not military, and opens it, taking the chip and slotting it. The Laptop hums quietly. He looks to Zaharis, "And I'm just fine, you missed out earlier." He looks at the man quietly.

Zaharis smiles at Reighner, even if the man's not looking. He glances back at Reed and then at the ashtray, tapping his cigarette on it. "I'm sure. I just had to get some things over to the lab. Some things can't wait." Tap. "Was the crab good?"

"Getting into the bloodstream properly," Reighner mumbles under his breath. He adds, in a full voice, "Thanks boss."

Reed isn't buying it from the CMO. It's obvious from the look on his face. Still, he nods, "Yes, it was. Reece really enjoyed dismantling a decapod. They're going to be out of crabs soon though, so I think that was a last ch-" The computer interrupts him with a piece of music and he looks at the screen, hitting a key, then a different piece of music comes, this one recognizeable as a civilian software company theme jingle, and he hits a key, after a few company displays he gets to the proper screen and selects a few options. "There, installing." He looks back to Zaharis, then Reighner, "What is it you're drinking, by the way?"

Zaharis keeps his focus on the ashtray, then glances at Reighner's glass again. "Some form of appletini, far as I could tell. It's not bad." He looks back at Reed, or rather the computer. "What are you doing?"

"Hell, even the name sounds girly," Reighner says, flashing a brief frown. Nonetheless, he takes another drink.

Reed lifts his brows, "Apple martini? Thaaats not girly." He pshaws. "A Moonlight Stroll, or a Fuzzy Kitty, those are girly drinks." He looks to Zaharis "This, loading a new video game up. Came in on the last supply ship and, well, I been a little busy."

Zaharis leans his head back, rolling it to looks back at Reighner. "It's really not, Matt. If there's no fruit slices on the rim or little paper umbrellas, you're pretty safe." His head moves slightly, eyes turning back towards Reed. "I'd say a 36 year old has no business playing video games, but then I'd just burn in hell for hypocrisy. What'd you find?"

Reighner leans over to look at Reed's screen briefly. He scratches the back of his neck as he returns to reading.

Reed looks from his computer to Zaharis, "This is Chosen of Olympus 2. Just came out, the big RPG sequel. I ordered it along with a few other titles and I'm now getting the time to load it up, finally."

Zaharis stubs out the cigarette, after making sure he's smoked straight down to the filter. "Don't think I remember that one."

"I remember video games," Reighner says. "Last one I played was Beyond." It's at least a ten-year old title. He drinks the remainder of his martini.

Reed nods, "Big time RPG. takes forever to get through it, manage everything that you have, come up with combinations, work out abilities. In game tutorials for everything." He shrugs, watching the loading and setup taking place. "Course the way I'm working now, this thing's never going to get finished." He looks to Reighner, "I remember Beyond. That was fun."

The tea that Zaharis had made when he first got up here is stone cold now, but he picks it up and has a good sip anyway. "Beyond, yeah. Was sort of like…what was that…City of Wings or something like that? Flatmate in medical school loved that game. Theme music drove me bonkers."

Reighner starts humming the song. He glances at his watch and closes up his book, preparing to leave.

Reed picks up the song with his humming, joining Reighner smoothly.

"Frak you both," Zaharis comments, not unkindly.

Reighner interrupts his humming just a moment to say, "See you guys later." He puts up his empty glass and textbook and walks toward the hatch.

Reed stops his humming and says, "Later, Doctor." Cheerily, and looks at his computer, still waiting.

"Goodnight, Matt." Zaharis sips his tea once more and then abandons it, digging in his pockets for his cigarettes.

Reighner leaves for Passageway [o].
Reighner has left.

Reed looks to the hatch, "Well, he seems to be doing better."

"Yeah, little by little." Zaharis watches Reighner leave, then flicks his lighter to life. "Never pegged you as a video game guy."

"RPGs, mostly." Reed says scratching the side of his neck. "Been playing them most of my life, one way or another. Stimulates creativity, problem solving, tactics. All the good stuff. One of my teachers in the academy liked pulling tactical problems on us from RPGs, and he had me pegged when I started giving my answers."

"I've got a few ported onto my handheld," Zaharis pulls an ankle up over knee, comfortably. "You've probably played them already in your vast experience, but you can scavenge and see if any are new to you."

Reed nods, "I'm sure that I've got a number of titles you'd be interested in as well. I'm sure we could swap a few titles." He looks at his computer, "If this thing will ever be done installing." He sets the laptop on the next chair, and rubs his face. "But, we found evidence of the resurfacing of the supply building." He thinks for a moment. "Can't imagine any of the supplies would be of use, but I can't imagine they're going to not want to try to find it."

Zaharis raises a brow slightly at Reed's slow-ass computer, then looks back at its owner. "Overturn every stone, I suppose. Can't really afford not to now."

Reed nods, "Quite true. Still, all I have are the schematics of the building they made in the files, and nothing about the location of it applies anymore. It's somewhere on the landmass, but it's not going to be simple to find." He scratches the back of his neck as the computer chimes and he pulls it up. "I had no idea the Grooonks had communial colonies like that. At least they didn't come up to us and say "Give us our king back!" that would have freaked me out." He taps on his keyboard a little setting up the game. "Would I like to register this game online with the company? Under the circumstances I would LOVE to, but I don't think that's going to frakking happen." He pauses, then looks to Zaharis, "Oh, frak let's hope it doesn't need a patch."

Zaharis watches Reed the whole time the man talks, the cigarette burning away between his fingers. The look on his face is not quite a smirk, more of the kind of half-smile people get when they're making a private observation. The silence makes it worse.

Reed looks to Zaharis, "What?" He looks at the screen, pulls the datachip, puts it into the case, and presses a button on the computer, sending it into a power down cycle, then closes it and sets it on the next chair.

The sort-of-smile fades. It's not an unkind expression, but it is more serious. Zaharis takes a drag off the cigarette and exhales slowly through his nose, watching Reed for a few seconds more with those dark eyes. "You have a little thing for Rhea, don't you."

Reed blinks, another shifting of gears from what was on his mind when he hit the power button of the computer. He rubs the back of his neck, "Yeah. And she knows about it, and we discussed it and, since then, I've been put into a bit of a strange and awkward position."

Zaharis nods a few times. "Before you get too paranoid, no she didn't tell me. I can just tell. Hey, situations aside, I don't blame you. She's smart, she's gorgeous, she's a frakkin great person."

Reed nods, "I believe you. But she.. also thinks, hopes she's still married. I respect that, even if I can't say I believe it." He looks to the side, looking at something in his head, as an expression comes to those eyes that is never seen in his expression, sheer horror. His breathing quickens and he swallows, "Oh frak, it's gonna kill her.." He whispers.

"No, it's not." Zaharis rests his head back against the chair. "It's going to hurt her. A lot. But it's not going to kill her. I'm not going to let her fall that far. And neither are you." He draws in a breath and exhales it slowly. "Look, her husband's the best friend I ever had." He's using the past tense, acceptance is looming. "I promised him on my life that I'd take care of her if anything ever happened to him. I didn't think that check would ever have to be cashed, but reality just got frakked six ways to Sunday and I know that. I've got to take care of her. And you're going to help me."

Reed swallows, the horror turning into a glare into space, and he takes a strong sniff, clearing his nose, and closing his eyes tightly, gritting his teeth before bowing his head, turning his mind away from what he was looking at, and looks to Zaharis, then nods. "No, no I won't let her fall that far. I survived it once." He gets back on more firm ground now. "I'm with you."

Zaharis hasn't looked away once since this started. "Alright. So get over the strange and awkward shit, cause that's not what she's going to need. If there had never been an Ephraim Zimmermann I'd be happy as hell to see you guys together and…you know, maybe, one day. Whatever. Right now we're going to look out for her, you and me. Glad to have you aboard."

Reed shakes his head, "Strange and awkward shit. The strange and awkward shit is a piece of data I've had in me for a while now the I couldn't lay down for the blow it would deal out. The fact that everyones come to feel in their bones and no ones come out and said. Least of all Rhea."

Zaharis nods and spreads his hands slightly, smoke still curling around his left hand fingers. "Talk to me, Reed."

"I saw it." Reed swallows. "The Carina is a sports center. A platform for the holding of sporting events and the transmission of those events into the Colonial networks via the CSN feeds. They were hooked into the entire Colonial news service during the attacks." He sniffs, "Heph Arjadny. The Comedian? He's alive and on the Carina. He found my name somehow and sent me a message as a member of the Military top brass. During the survey of the Carina I went to the CSN offices and he showed me the feed records." He looks back into space, "A coordinated Cylon nuclear attack against the Colony Home Worlds. Simultaneously. Within minutes of each other. And I watched those feeds. Reporters from all twelve worlds. Some lost in static, some where you could see the flash, the shockwaves.. the screaming." He looks at Zaharis. "There are so mant military protocols, battle formation strategies, fallback positions. You can't launch an attack like that, not without wiping out the entire Colonial military fleet. Completely. Every ship that could be called would be, they would all throw themselves at the Cylons before they would let something like that happen. But it did. I saw it."

Zaharis listens, never once looking away. His expression is tough to read, attentive and pinned to the words but thoroughly unsurprised. They only shift away for a second once Reed is done, glancing at the stars beyond the viewport and then back. "So that's it."

Reed nods, "So I took a copy of the feeds, sent a tech to lock down the data so it couldn't be gotten at again and gave the data to Fotilas after the staff meeting where I called for Dust Off." He rubs his face, "And so many people are holding out hope. And I've been nodding and smiling at them." He sits back in his chair. "Frak."

"I can see why they haven't released it," Zaharis says after a few moments, his tone saying nothing about whether he agrees with the silence or not. He's quiet for a long while after that, though. "She deserves to know."

Reed looks at Zaharis, "No, she deserves to be right and her husband is alive. I would burn every feeling for her out of my soul if it would give her what she deserves." He stops, and swallows, "But given that, one, I'm attracted to her and care for her, and two, this isn't conclusive proof that her husband is dead." He lifts his hands, "Strange and awkward."

"Yeah, well. Life ain't fair, and you work in context of reality, not delusion." Zaharis replies, in a slightly flatter tone than he's had so far. It fades though, and he takes a drag off the cigarette. "Look, there may never -be- conclusive proof. Does that mean we get to sanitise it for her, censor things that are reality because one day in the intederminate future we -might- be able to give something conclusive? That's bullshit and you know it." He exhales the rest of the smoke that didn't come out while he was talking. "She deserves to know."

Reed nods, "Okay, she deserves to know. And I was wrong to not tell her, to crush her last hope." He shrugs, "How? How could I put her into the pain I already know so well? How could I crush her like that?"

"I'm not blaming you," Zaharis says, with a slight shake of his head. "I'm just laying it out." He leans over to crush out his cigarette and sits back, rubbing his fingers over his eyes. "Are you under order not to talk about that tape, or has it just been discretion?"

Reed takes a breath, "Discretion. My discretion. My orders to lock down the data. My techs did it.. Fotilas was absolutely stunned when I handed him the discs, he actually turned pale and blanched, I thought he was going to faint. Since then I've received no orders about it at all."

"Alright." Zaharis takes his hand down and rests it, closed, against his mouth as he watches the viewport. Within those few seconds of hiding his eyes, dark circles seem to have deepened. "I need to think. I've been telling people their loved ones are dead for ten years now, I…just to need to think first."

Reed shrugs, "It bears down on you. Most everyone has come to feel it, to understand it, but seeing Rhea, and Reece… Really makes it a heavy knowledge." He shakes his head, rising, "Take all the time you need. I'm getting some water. Want anything?" He moves to the back of the deck.

Zaharis shakes his head, waving a hand in a no-thanks gesture.

Reed moves, getting a bottle of water, taking it back and drinking half of it. Lowering it with a gasp. "Man I wish I knew something appropriate to say."

"Be honest, that's about as appropriate as it gets." Zaharis gets yet another smoke from the pack. It's been a chain smoking sort of night. "When people are insincere, that's when they frak everything up."

Reed smirks, "Oh, I've got honesty that'll bounce right off your Doctor-Patient confidentiality." He takes a drink of water.

"Alright, then you have something appropriate to say." Zaharis flicks his lighter, cupping his hand over the end of the cigarette despite the lack of breeze to threaten the flame.

Reed nods, "I so wanted Pieter to unleash every ounce of JAG fury on those hacks who frakked up his surgery and left him whispering. He wouldn't do it. He was glad to be alive, and, on that I agreed with him."

Zaharis tosses the lighter on the table and looks back at Reed. He seems to roll wherever the Major wants to take the conversation, nodding. "Priorities help us cope with things at the time. Especially when things look pretty shitty."

Reed nods, "I told him about this research oncologist with a taste for apple martinis.." He shakes his head, "and I spoke with him once more about Farkas the morning before the PAS FTL jump. Never heard anything about it since. I'll have to slap Major Beefcake around and get the story out of him if there is one."

"He's had a consult," Zaharis replies, matter-of-factly. "The procedure had risks we collectively weren't willing to take before…a surgeon isn't a miracle-worker, Reed. Now…" He exhales slowly through his nose. "Now those risks are even more striking. I can't really say much more, it's his business."

Reed nods, pointing to Zaharis, "See? Bounced right off. No, you can't but I can go up to him, and punch him one in the eye and tell him to tell me." Riiight. He's not being literal. No way. "See, this is a strategy. problems too big to tackle head on, dance away from it and let yourself approach it from a different angle." He looks at the computer. "I used to use these RPGs for that, but this thing with Rhea.. too big. Or I'm too close to it."

Zaharis shrugs. "Sorry. I don't give up a code of ethics just because all hell's broken loose. Regas learned that too." He brings the cigarette to his mouth for a short drag. "Can't paint things with a broad brush. Everything is different…everyone is different. I'm going to take it as a small gift that at least she has people to give this to her that know her well and care about her. That's a lot more than some people get. I'm not taking that for granted."

Reed nods, "That's what I meant, bounced right off. that's why I like you, you can seperate the stuff from the Stuff, and you know which is important and you keep it there. I like to think I do the same. If I had been under orders to not talk about the tapes, no chance I'd have talked. But you're right. She has a lot more than most people here have. She's better off than Manny, and Manny's pretty well off in the grand scheme." He looks to Zaharis now.

"Yeah, that's why they give us the big pins," Zaharis replies, drily.

Reed nods, "I know, still.." He walks to the viewport, scratching his cheek and looks back to Zaharis, "Frak man, you realize all three of us, you me and Rhea, We're working, we're golden." He snaps his fingers, "Bang Bang Bang, tackle shit left and right. Slow down and take personal time. smack things get sticky."

Zaharis makes a breath of a chuckle through his nose. "Got that right. Can't keep a fleet going any other way. Nice suit you had back there, by the way."

Reed grins, and shrugs, "Eh, one of my outfits I brought with me. you should see my planned Night of Veils costume for next year. I can't really imagine wearing it any other time, but as my grandfather told me once 'A gentleman should always have access to one'"

"Frak, I'm screwed then." Zaharis smirks at the viewport glass. "My one suit was back on Picon, that's shit's toast." His tone does manage to find some incredibly morbid humour there.

Reed nods, "Well, I'm sure that we could find you.." He thinks.. "An.. um.. outfit with your favorite pyramid teams logos on it?"

"Oh boy." Zaharis flicks the cigarette into the ashtray, which has rapidly filled up with the remains of his hours up here. "I think I'll live. I've never pretended to be a gentleman, probably shouldn't start now."

Reed nods, "Well, you don't need a tuxedo, then so you're set." He moves to his previously occupied chair and reclaims it. "So, dancing around again.. How long are your tobacco stores going to last?"

"I don't know," Zaharis replies, sounding unconcerned. "I'm going to smoke them till they're gone and then get on with it. Department's dreading it more than I am; they're the ones who'll have to deal with me."

Reed nods, widening his eyes, "I would imagine they are living in dread of that day, yes." He considers, "We don't really have substitutes. I'll have to ration you out cigars to talk to you, I'd imagine."

"Yeah, I can see that day." Zaharis smirks at Reed. "No really, Lieutenant Sloan. Honest, it's -just a cigar-."

Reed nods, "Really, just a cigar." He smirks, "Sloan. She's a brave little trooper I tell ya."

Zaharis nods, looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "Yep. Holding together."

Reed nods, "Better than she thinks she is." He sits back. "I'm never gonna really play that frakking game. but I don't really use that laptop for anything else, honestly."

Zaharis shrugs. His eyes shift back down to glance at the computer, his head not moving from its rest. "Frak it. You might one day. And at this point…'might one day' is getting to be good enough."

Reed nods, "Good point. I guess right now I just wait and see what happens next, work on becoming more worthy of the gun I have and try to hatch Grooonk eggs."

"Project-oriented, that's why I like you." Zaharis looks at the ashtray and his half-full cup of cold tea. Then, for some reason, over at a corner of the room where a spoon is lying on the floor as though it had been flung there. That keeps his attention for a few seconds, then he looks away and moves to stand up slowly. "Alright, Reed. I'm going to try and get some rest…and think."

Reed follows his gaze to the spoon, and frowns a little, then nods, "Okay. you have an idea that you need me for, I'm in. Same for when you feel like you need to talk." He looks to Zaharis, "Alright?"

"Alright." Zaharis gathers up the folders and envelope off the table. They're the exact same ones he had at the crab shack, despite his excuse given of needing to drop things off. "Same back to you, of course. Anytime. Go get some rest." He heads past Reed's chair, setting his hand down on the man's shoulder, and then heading for the door.

Reed nods, and reaches to his laptop, "I'm for that." He says, rising, checking everything before leaving. "I'm just across the hall."

Zaharis' voice calls back from the doorway, "Yeah, rub it in." And out he goes.

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