Post execution blues
Post Execution Blues
Summary: Conversations about the execution and more.
Date: Early 20 ACH
Related Logs: Execution Marine Style

Sitting in a chair in the corner of the dimly lit room is the form of Dane Ramiro. His right arm is now out of the sling and he's writing quietly in a journal. Aside from him, the observation deck is completely cleared.

Rycard enters the room and closes the hatch behind him. He seems a bit depressed as he moves, head slumped, hands in his pockets and his pace slow. He almost drags himself across the floor as he moves on over to find a seat where he simply crashes down; letting out a deep sigh as he comes to a rest. Eyes aimed at the distant stars… Or perhaps something further away still.

Looking up from his journal, Ramiro watches the ensign enter and seat himself. Taking this as an opportunity to sip some water, he brings the bottle to his lips and then sets it down again. Screwing the cap back on, he turns back to his journal, writing in it quietly.

Private Nico Lex enters the Rooster's Nest with a bottle of water in hand, and a stack of books in the other. She glances this way and that, then crosses the room to hole up on one of the couches furthest from the hatch, near the back. It's not sneaking, exactly. But she is a marine hiding in the Obs with a stack of books. Textbooks, even. She clicks a pen, and flips open the largest book to somewhere near the middle.

Rycard slumps where he sits, hands still in his pockets. He sighs yet again, eyes ever locked on what ever can be found beyond the stars outside the large viewports. His mind burdened by thoughts. Thoughts that weighs him down. Another sigh. Hands in his pockets. The eyes reflecting the weight on his consience. On his soul.

Running his hands over his face, Ramiro looks to the scar on his right arm for a moment. Letting out a sigh of his own, he downs the last of his bottle and stands. Stepping across the sofas, he slides open the bottle and moves to the water dispenser to get some more.

Pvt Lex bows her head over her books, strands of long blonde hair spilling free from behind her ear. Though most of her hair is back in a tail, she seems to have missed some. Since she's off duty, it's unlikely anyone will bark over that, right? She glances up a little as someone goes by, her eyes noting only the legs and shoes. She scribbles some notes in the margin of the text, open to what looks like (and is!) a complex IED.

Ensign Rycard leans forward, resting his elbows against his thighs, looking down at the floor instead. Closing his eyes, Rycard fishes out a small amulett from around his neck and begins to quietly pray, "Lords of Kobol, who guards us all. Praise be unto your names. Take my heart, and cleanse it. For it is in need of cleansing. I have witnessed evil. And fear I have been tainted by it. Take my heart, Lords of Kobol. And cleanse it."

Ramiro offers Lex a smile before Rycard's words start to reach his ears. Blinking slowly, a look of concern crosses over his face as he moves to sit himself near Rycard. "Hey, Ensign…you okay?" He asks.

The scribbling of the blonde's pen pauses as she hears the man across the way praying. Lex nods to Ramiro, and an answering smile begins to bloom, but her eyes also go to Rycard. She sits up, and peers over. No words from her. Not yet. The smile falters, and her expression settles into something more neutral.

Rycard looks up from the floor, ever leaning against his own legs though. He looks briefly at Ramiro before he turns away again to look at the floor. "It's alright" he says. A moments silence before he suddenly smiles, the kind of smile without hope in it. "O.K" he says. "You know the story behind that phrase, corporal?"

"No…I don't." Ramiro says, giving Rycard a concerned look. Sitting near the middle, speaking with the distressed Ensign, he blinks a few times. "I'm familiar with the phrase though, I've said it a few times myself." He adds, his arm no longer in the sling. There's the lines of a very nasty scar visible in the upper right bicep.

Lex does a little eyeshift from the pilot, back to her textbook. She swallows slightly, and tips her head down again, blonde locks falling to shield her eyes. The writing resumes, quietly, though she is actually listening to the two men converse.

"O.K" Rycard says, eyes never leaving the floor. "It came about during the first Cylon War. It stands for Zero Kills. My Grand-dad used to talk about it. An OK day was a day with zero casualties… Okay… Good… Great." A sigh. A long, deep sigh. Rycard then leans back into the seat, slumping yet again. Eyes locked on far away stars. "You know… A POW has certain rights. As soon as he surrenders… He is not to be mistreated… Or shot. An enemy" he says and suddenly smiles. "An enemy you are not allowed to kill." The smile fades just as sudden as it appeared. "But a traitor… Him you can kill all you want. Because he is not just an enemy. He was a man you trusted… A man you believed in. So its O.K to kill him. Okay…" the young Ensign sighs yet again, but it does little to ease his troubled heart. "What sepparates one enemy from the other? What sepparates justice from vengeance? What makes something… O.K?"

Bell wanders onto the Obs deck. A little aimlessly. She's still in her duty fatigues. Probably just came off her shift. Or is about to go on.

Ramiro looks down to Rycard and offers him the best comforting look that he can. Reaching out, he squeezes Rycard's shoulder and gives it a pat. "I'm no expert on the matter, Ensign. You should probably contact Lieutenant Karthasi, the chaplain, regarding the matter." He pauses. "Just don't lose hope, allright? Breathe, relax, and think softer thoughts and you'll find your center." He says before stepping back up towards where his journal was. Offering Lex another nod, he catches Bell's attention with a wave as he sits back down, notably closing his journal and setting it aside.

Lex's pen stills on the page. Her voice is soft when she speaks up, though her words carry well through the space. "Betrayal is one of the greatest sins. You expect an enemy to attack. That is his purpose. Betrayal destroys more than its target, and that kind of mistrust and suspicion can spread. It's like a disease in that way." Her grip on her pen is adjusted, and she goes back to writing. "It is never OK to kill someone who was once a brother, but sometimes it is necessary."

Bell catches Ramiro's wave and wanders in his direction. "Hey, Dane. Hey, Lex," she offers to the two Marines. A less casual, more polite, "Sir" is given to Rycard. She chews her lower lip. Having caught just enough of their conversation as she entered to get the gist of it. "You guys talking about Corporal Mercer?" She says his name in a hushed sort of way. Somberly. Or as if, if she speaks too loudly, his zombie might jump out from behind a bulkhead and devour her brain.

"So its necessary to kill your brother, but not the enemy that surrenders?" Rycard says, eyes never letting go of the stars. "Why? What's the difference? Both are enemies, arent they? Would you kill a spy? Even spies have rights as POW's." Rycard lets out another sigh, and then looks down on his pendant as he holds it up. "Athena must know" he then says. "Goddess of wisdom and warfare… She must know, right? Or perhaps her brother, Ares… Surely the God of bloodshed must know if its right or wrong to kill a traitor." He lets go of the pendant and shakes his head, "What wretched beings we are, we mortal men. For are we nought but dying sparks, compared to the raging flames that are the Lords of Kobol. Truth is like a sun. Behold truth, and be blinded by it. So much easier then, to turn away… And rest comfortably, in darkness. So say we all." He leans his head back, and the young ensign takes a long look at the ceiling. Allowing his mind to wander. To what place… Who knows.

"Yeah…yeah they are." Ramiro says from his sofa. Taking up the closed journal, he slides a pen into a small pocket on the inside and sets it on the coffee table. Running a hand through his brown hair, he looks to Lex. "I wholeheartedly disagree with execution. It's against my spiritual beliefs, and I believe that there's too few of us left to do that." Ramiro says quietly, looking to see where Bell chooses to sit. "But on the flip side, with so few of us left…trying to kill those of us that are left could be unforgivable." He pauses, flattening his lips to look to Bell. "Seems as of late all our conversations turn this way. Sorry." He says, not letting his mood drop into a dark one as he picks up his journal and thumbs through it.

Lex glances up as Bell greets. She lifts her hand holding the pen and opens her hand in a pretty still wave. She shrugs a little at the mention of Mercer. Sensing Rycard's questions are rhetorical, or perhaps just leaving them to the Gods herself, Nico returns to notations in the margin of her textbook. She flips the page, leaving the IED diagram behind. "I don't think we should lower our standards or change our protocols because the tank is running a little low."

Bell sits not far from Ramiro, folding her legs up under her. Feet on the couch. She looks pensive and generally sober about the whole affair. Which suits her usually perky face strangely. "I don't know what to think about it. It's just weird, thinking about a Marine being shot by our people. I mean, not like I'm defending him or anything but…it's just weird." Her deep thoughts on the situation.

Rycard just sits there, lowering his head to allow his eyes to study the sparkling stars in the distance. Returning his hands to his pockets, he remains silent, slumped in his chair, looking with absent eyes into the dark abyss of the endless void… perhaps trying to look into his own soul. "When you free the sword from the scabbard" he eventually says, almost with a whisper, "Ask not whom to kill… But whom to spare." A brief moment of silence follows, with a sigh, as if the ensign gave thought to his own words. "Why kill… When you dont have to."

Ramiro nods with Bell's words. " is weird. I didn't attend." He states, closing up his notebook again and setting it back down on the table. Chewing his lip, he looks over to Lex. "I agree, but I'm not the authority around here." He pauses, reclining back on the sofa a bit, putting his feet up on a footrest.

Bell nods to Ramiro, understanding. "Yeah, I didn't either," she admits. She sounds almost guilty about it. But not exactly sorry. She eyes Lex, and her book, but she has no real response to that. So her attention goes to Rycard. "That's…pretty. In a way. I mean, it's a little morbid, but it's pretty. Is it from somewhere? Like, a book or something?"

Rycard manages to take his eyes away from the stars and turns to look at Bell. He actually offers her a smile. "Its from the scriptures" he says as he smiles. But the smile soon fades and he turns to look back out the viewports. "War" he then says, as if giving the very meaning of the word serious thought. "I war" Rycard then slowly says, "Humanity, is thrown out the window. Be as brutal as we can be, so we can win as quickly as possible. Dont matter what we do; The end justifies the means… Right?" He shakes his head, slowly, as he sighs. "Sacrifice our humanity for the sake of victory… to save humanity… Quite a paradox."

"I take a different approach." Ramiro looks up, over the three of them before resting against the reclined sofa, relaxing with his left arm over the back of it. "Maybe seven thousand of us in this fleet. President Roslin has maybe more, if they're still running. Humanity doesn't have to be thrown out of the window, but trained as I do, I have a responsibility to do everything I can to keep those people safe." He sips his water. "I don't think it's much more complicated than that."

Lex flips her manual closed, leaving it marked with her clicky pen. She picks up her other books, and rises. Something about the conversation has put her in the mood to move, perhaps to shoot something. Marines. Young marines. "Philosophy is for after we kick those sonsabitches back to the cold corner of space they slunk out of." Yeah, definitely going to go shoot something. Oh, marines. Hatch, meet Lex. The blonde strides out into the corridor.

"Umm…" Bell sort-of-replies to Rycard, trailing off. The whole 'sacrifice your humanity' thing makes her distinctly uncomfortable. "But…I mean…we're not fighting humans. We're fighting Cylons. They're…toasters. They don't, like, bleed or cry or anything." The distinction seems important to her. She watches Lex go, just shrugging as to philosophy. This blonde Marine does not try to philosophize.

From afar, Lex posed into the bar: An off duty private strides into the bar muttering about something to do with airy fairies with scriptures jammed halfway up their strata chocolatas, pulls her hair out of the ponytail it's in, combs her fingers through it, and bellies up to the bar. The rubber band from her hair snaps sharply as she pops it onto her wrist. Lex bellies up to the bar calling out a drink order, "Scotch."

Rycard glances over at Bell, the faintests of smiles on his lips. He then turns away to look at the floor, the stars, the ceiling… anything. "I was talking about the man who got shot by the Major today" he then says. "Sure as Hades didnt look like no Cylon to me."

Looking up, Ramiro smirks lightly. He looks over to Rycard and then back to Bell. Not quite knowing what to say, he remains quiet as he shifts his feet on the ottoman. "Nothing's simple right now, which is why you need to appreciate simplicity when it's available."

"Yeah…" Bell hasn't quite reconciled herself with the whole human-getting-shot-in-hangar-bay thing. So she just sort of twists her hands together and mutters. "Nothing's simple…"

Rycard pushes himself out of the seat and starts heading for the exit. In passing, he gives the two marines a friendly smile and a nod. "Be well" he says, "And may the Lords of Kobol protect you and guide you." He moves on, and eventually, leaves the obs-deck, closing the hatch behind him.

"Same to you, Ensign." Ramiro pauses. "Please…heed my advice, go see the chaplain. She can help you where I can't. I have opinions, but I don't have the experience to give you any guidance." Ramiro says as Rycard exits. Pausing, he turns to Bell and gives her a soft look. "How you doin there, Bell? You okay?"

Bell inclines her head to Rycard as he leaves. Watching him go. Face scrunched and pensive. She shrugs. "I guess. I mean…I didn't go. I didn't see it. I…kind of feel like I should have, though."

"You didn't have to go if you didn't want to." Ramiro replies, turning to face her from his sofa. "There's nothing against either of us for not going. I mean…" He scratches the back of his neck. "…I guess what I'm trying to say is don't feel compelled. It's not a good time for anybody regardless of whether or not you agree with the order. Don't be so quick to chase that big smile of yers away."

"I know I didn't have to but…" Bell does some more shrugging, not looking at Ramiro. "…a lot of the other Marines did. And, I mean, it's different for you. You *could've* watched it. Even if you didn't believe it was right, if Major Gaelan had, like, ordered you to, you could've gotten through it without…doing something stupid. I just hid in my bunk. It wasn't like I didn't go because I was taking a moral position or anything. I was just…freaked about seeing somebody die. That's not a very *Marine* thing to do."

"I could have lasted through it, yeah, but in all reality Bell I would have had to look away." Ramiro opens up a little, watching her from his sofa. "On the line I pray, hope that keeping my eyes open and keeping calm is what it takes to watch everyone else's back." He smiles quietly to her. "But I get scared too. I didn't want to see it either. So, you're not alone on it."

"But it's different for you. You're brave," Bell says firmly. She takes a deep breath. "Dane…I can handle the toasters. They're just machines. But…if somebody ordered to kill another person…do you think you could do it?" She asks the question very quietly.

"I…" Dane starts, turning and speaking quietly to her over the distance between where they sit. "…I wish I could say that I couldn't." He pauses. "A sniper has to be able to pull the trigger. It's something that I was trained in. I don't like it, but everything's a bit different when you think about how much clearer you can see your target through a scope." He pauses, looking to her. "I just never want to get used to it, if that makes sense? Otherwise, if it were a life or death situation? I know I could. I want to save lives, protect people. I think that's where I hope to be able to see the full spectrum you know? Defense vs. Offense. I think this execution was defense." He gives her a soft look, he runs his hand through his hair.

"I don't know if I could or not," Bell admits, looking down at her hands. "I mean, they talked about it in Basic but I never really thought…" More shrugging. "…I never thought about a lot of this. I don't know if I'm cut out for it."

"Bell?" Ramiro asks, sitting up a little bit to look at her. "Forgive me if this is too personal or direct but…" He pauses, choosing his words. "…if the corps is what you want truly, then please stay. We're friends, family, we'll get eachother through this." He gives her a weak smile. "But you're about the sweetest damn girl I know. You give people around you strength without trying. You're good out there. Just remember that your soldier self doesn't have to be who you are when you're not in battle gear."

"I never really knew what I wanted," Bell admits softly. "I wasn't great at school. I was pretty good at sports but…it wasn't going to be like a career or anything. The whole dance thing was always more about my mom than me. This…I felt like I owed this to somebody. Somebody who'd be a lot better at it than I am."

"Do you know what you want now?" Ramiro replies, reaching to the small table to grab his bottle of water. Sipping it, he sets it down again and turns to look to her. "Do you still feel like you owe this to anybody? Seriously Bell, you are good out there, don't think you're less than any of us. I dunno, maybe us man-folk spend so much time pushing eachother around that it's easier for us to shut off…." He pauses. "Maybe you wanted to do this for yourself? If dancing was more for your mother, you saw the pamphlets? Recruiter told you that you'd find yourself in the corps?" Ramiro dares, speculating. "Bell, you're here. You've survived this far. If you want to be on the line with us, I support you one-hundred percent. I've got your back. But you're also a beautiful girl and there's civilians on the Carina. There's alot of crossroads over there too. Just don't feel guilty. It's hard not to, but don't. This is out of our control."

"I don't want to quit," Bell says firmly. "I actually feel like I'm doing something worthwhile, for once in my life. Even if I'm not the super-best-Marine-ever…it's better than just sitting around and letting all this happen to you. Y'know? I just don't want to let you guys down. And it wasn't about the pamphlets. It was…just something I promised a friend." She leaves it at that. "What I want is to be back on Canceron with my parents and my sisters and my friends. But…that's not going to happen. So this is all I've got."

"Well…when you look at it the right way, Daph…it's not chopped liver." Ramiro replies, nodding softly as he replies to her. He looks up. "You won't let us down. It's about being there for eachother. Weaknesses and Strengths." He pauses, trying to get her to smile. "Besides, you're a badass hardcore cheer squad girl right? Huah?"

"Frakkin'a huah!" Bell manages, pumping a fist up in an attempt at Corps spirit. It's somewhat forced. But she *is* an ex-cheerleader. She's good at forcing perk. "It's almost like thinking about it is harder. When we're out on the line, and it's just you guys…it's like there's nothing else you *can* do, y'know? Like, people are counting on you, so you *make* yourself not frak up."

Well next time we're on point, kneeling down to cover a hallway or an exit or something, just prentend someone's going to run up and jump on our shoulders, then someone's gonna get on theirs." He grins. "Make the pyramid." He smiles. "Find that spot that keeps you calm, hang onto it." He grins. "That and take some leave whenever you can, hit the Carina, find yourself a guy that you like if you can. You've got to keep bailing out the stress or else you end up like Gars."

"Gars doesn't seem *that* bad," Bell says. Like she actually means it. "I mean, maybe he hasn't been *totally* smart about everything, but he's a good Marine. If I was more like him, I bet I'd have a way easier time here." She nods a little. Resolved to emulate the wisdom of Gars. But she turns to more pleasant subjects. "You been on the Carina? What's it like? I haven't been over since…you know. The whole toasters-boarding-it thing."

"It's nice. Restaurants, sports bar, indoor environment with a lake. They even have a pool there." Ramiro smiles to her. "I got a voucher to stay at the hotel there and the beds are insanely comfy. I even got to sleep in." He smiles. "Seriously, take your leave and go there. It's a good slice of moment."

"A real bed? In a room? By yourself?" Bell smiles. "I almost forgot what that was like. That *would* be awesome. Maybe I'll go over. Now that it's cleaned up. I guess we'd better take our leave while we can. You never know…" She trails off. Not filling in the rest of that sentence.

"Well yeah, by myself I didn't get a double and…" He pauses, blushing a little as his mind catches up with his sentence. "Tell you what, I'm on light duty right now and can still take some leave time. If you get cleared that you can go over, let me know and I'll show you around over there. It's a pretty big ship."

Bell giggles at Ramiro's expense. "Dude! It's okay. I *so* don't need to hear about your sex life. Unless it's, like, juicy." She arches her eyebrows at him, laughing some more. But she nods, about the leave stuff. "Yeah, cool. I've heard it's really nice. And kind of bizarre, given how civilization has like, crumbled everywhere else. But I would like to see the stadium."

"No, trust me, you don't need to hear about it. I'm a single guy." He shrugs, laughing a little in respose as he scratches the side of his head. "Though Wulf gave me all of this advice about dating that about made my head explode. Watch out for that guy." He stands, grabbing his notebook and turns to look at her. "Allright, so we'll arrange it, head over there." He grins. "Saw some of the ducks chasing a kid last time I was over there. You wouldn't believe how surreal it is. Completely different environment."

Bell's eyes widen at that. Wary. "Lance Corporal Wulf?" She clearly does not consider him the best source of romantic advice. "It didn't involve, like, devices, did it? Eww. I'd talk to someone else about women, if I were you." Warning given, she moves on. "Cool. I'll put in for a day. I haven't seen ducks in *forever*."

"No, Lance Corporal Wulf told me something along the lines of finding a pretty girl, hitting her over the head with a club, and dragging her back to my cave." Ramiro laughs, shaking his head and smiling down at her. "To which I tried to explain to him that I just like to let things come naturally. Then he accused me of liking men." He adds with a roll of his eyes. "Allright, I've got some more paperwork to file. I'll see you around, if not on the Carina then."

Bell nods shortly. "A club's a device. And, ugh! Men are so weird. I mean, not you. But men in general. What, because you don't act like a total ogre it means you're into dudes? That doesn't even make sense. I mean, I'd think *guys* would be more into the whole clubbing thing." She shrugs, standing. "Anyway. I've got to be on shift soon. *Don't* club a girl if you want to ask her out. It's *not* way charming. Later."

"No…a non-ogre would invite her to the Carina to have lunch by the lake." Ramiro says with a small grin, his back to her as he steps towards the door and exits. Personally congratulating himself on an internal level for that last line, he heads down the hallway.

Bell blinks. Face scrunching thoughtfully. Processing. "Did I just get a date…?" she asks herself. Pondering this turn of events in her standard thoughtful manner. "Sweet!"

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