Summary: Hera's CO gets a surprise birthday party.
Date: 3/21/09
Related Logs: None


Training Classroom Hera - Deck 4

128 ACH 24277 Souls

This training classroom boasts raised stadium seating for twelve. Each chair has integrated massage system, climate controls, and video emplaced desktop that slides out from the floor, adjustable height and lumbar support. The front of the classroom has a computerized video display with a 120 inch vapor crystallized mini-hyper definition display that can display any training film or data required.

----< Condition Three - Duty Area >----—-

The guests to Hera were met and guided to the Training Classroom - well, those who didn't already know the way. The classroom has clearly been decorated for a party - but tastefully. Given the relative lack of things, well, creativity has been employed. Remember those yellow Peerless t-shirts? They've become streamers, of such a size that they can be reused later on. A table has been set up with punch and heavy appetizers, the finest a creative and culinarily frustrated chef could come up with. There are even a few balloons. Pep is currently dashing about, out of uniform, putting the finishing touches on everything. The room looks less like a training classroom and more like a comfortable place for a gathering of friends - even down to the slightly lowered lights.

Zaharis is late, but gee, like that's a surprise. Having waited to get Adele cleared through hera security, he walks upstairs with her, carrying a small box wrapped in a T-shirt rather than coloured paper. Convenient or lazy, you decide.

Adele is likewise holding onto a package, wrapped in what looks like clippings from a scientific magazine. She enters with Zaharis, casting a thoughtful glance around the classroom.

It would seem that Salin has managed to find time to pull away from what ever has been keeping him locked away in his quarters for the past little bit. Making his way through the corridors of the Hera, he heads up the stairs and to the fourth level before slipping over towards the entryway to the classroom. Once at the door, he adjusts his tunic ever so slightly before opening the hatch and slipping into the room, pausing long enough to take a quick look around.

Micah is fashionably or unfashionably late, depending on who got here before him. The ne'er do well's dressed in crisp blues, and has actually bothered to tidy his hair and polish the scuff off his boots for this little fete. Hands shoved into trouser pockets, and something wrapped in torn and crinkled paper under one arm, he ambles in — notably sans ball and chain — and ducks out of the doorway.

Greje has no idea where she is or where she's going, but wanders in like a lost lamb after whoever it was who led her here. After a few more moments of 'confused and lost,' her usual mild-mannered smile settles in its usual home among her features. She looks for the hostess, first, but settles for giving Jesse a somewhat broader smile and a silent wave. Her other hand clings to the strings of a smallish cardstock bag, green in color, a small gift bag with an actual tissue serving for tissue paper.

"I hope this doesn't take too long," Rhea's voice comes from outside the classroom. Louder than strictly necessary. Possibly to warn folks outside she, and the gentleman she's leading, have nearly arrived.

"I should've worn bermuda shorts," Zaharis mutters to Adele. He keeps his arm where it is so her hand can rest slipped under it, raising both brows as he glances around. Faces, faces. Greje receives a small two-fingered salute, then he glances behind him at the sound of voices. "Ah, shit."

Once people start trickling in, Pep switches from bouncing around the room and into hostess mode. There's a smile on her face that stretches from ear to ear, chasing away the apparent fear that she'd throw a party for Reed and no one would come. "Come in, come in," she says, making her way over to Zaharis and Adele. "They're on their way…" Whoops. And there's Rhea. If possible, Pep's grin widens. "And…they're here," her voice lowers. "At least we have doctors available if we scare him too badly."

Reed is lead by his girlfriend into a trap. Ahh, as is always the way. He smiles to her, "Well, I'm sure the Engineering paperwork will be ready for you to handle." He replies to her as he's lead toward the Training Classroom. Dum DUM DUUUUUUMMMM!

Adele gives Zaharis a light smack to his bicep. "No, you're supposed to say 'surprise,' not 'ah, shit.'" Her admonishment is quiet, however, as the man of the hour has apparently arrived. She's certainly not going to be the first one to shout surprise, though - Adele is the type to blend in with the crowd, not lead it.

Moving further into the room, Salin is offering a quick nod and a warm smile to each of those that arrived before him. Then, he's moving further into the room and over in the direction of the bouncing Pepper, to whom he offers a warm smile and a murmered, 'Nice job'. But it's then that Rhea's voice is heard from outside and he's turning to look over towards the door, a faint grin slipping across his lips.

Micah continues to lurk off by the side of the door, shoddily-wrapped gift under his arm, and a look of intense discomfort on his face that could be attributed to either constipation or social discomfort with equal ease. But if nobody else is going to talk, he damned well will. "Happy frakking birthday, Colonel," is pitched toward Reed as he's escorted in by Rhea.

McKenzie has been standing off against the wall for some time now, honest. She darts Pepper a quickly winked smile when she spots the young woman. Salin is given a quick once over, but her attention is turned toward the door. Delighted anticipation rises in her eyes and she shifts forward just a little.

"Are we supposed to…hide or something?" Zaharis seems to ask Adele and Pepper at the same time. Though then micah's shouting and he snorts. "Kay, guess not."

Greje only notices the voices when eveyone else turns toward the door, and then she freezes up, somewhat, awkwardness stealing over her. Parties were never really her thing. You could tell by looking at her. She looks rather more dressed for a job interview than a party, and she stares at the door, trying to prepare herself to be ready to make some sort of vocalization when they come in.

Rhea opens the door to admit herself and Reed, to the 'Happy birthday' call. Or 'Happy frakking birthday', depending on how you want to phrase it. She chuckles, turning a broad grin to the colonel. "Happy frakking birthday, Reed."

Pepper grins over at McKenzie then slides over to where Salin is, tucking her hand into his as the door opens. Just after Micah's birthday greeting goes out, followed by Rhea's, Pepper's chiming in with her own "Surprise!" Yep, the Training Classroom just became a cacophany of at least four people making different vocalizations along the same lines. Reed gets welcomed to his own frakking birthday party.

Reed steps in, assaulted by the wellwishes and sudden sight of the Classroom turned into a place for a party. Streamers, things everywhere, people, familiar faces everywhere. He blinks and smiles, "Wha-" He looks to Rhea, and grins, then Pepper. Laughing, he points at her, and puts his arm around Rhea, grinning hugely as he pulls the Genesis ChEng to him then, starts to the main body of the party.

Zaharis was in the middle of lighting a cigarette when the rest of the room shouted surprise. "Dammit, I missed." He exhales smoke in a quick stream, king of cheer that he is.

As Pepper takes his hand, Salin is squeezing it quickly before watching as Rhea and Reed make their way in. Micah's greeting brings a soft chuckle to his lips, followed by a quick shake of his head. But, it's only a moment later before he's offering his own 'Happy Birthday' to the unfortunte … or fortunate Reed.

McKenzie lifts her own voice to join the others, "Surprise and happy birthday." She winks at the man, grinning like an idiot as he pulls Rhea in with him. The saying that 'there is safety in numbers' is applicable in more ways than one. Laughing, she speaks to Zaharis, "So? Do it now."

Even Micah can't help but let a small smile sneak out. Not that he knows the man terribly well, everyone knows he was only invited as an attache to Eve. He stays out of the way of well wishers for the time being though, probably so he can shove his gift at the man and get out in record time.

Greje did manage to make a noise. It might have been a 'surprise' or a 'happy birthday,' or something that started out as one and ended as the other. Still, she smiles warmly, and as the surprised party begins to laugh, she does, too. Then, a deep breath. Well, the hard part's over.

Adele watches Reed and Rhea come in, smiling in their direction. She does add her own vocalization - a subdued, polite one, indistinguishable from the rest - and even throws in a mildly cheerful wave for good measure. She elbows Zaharis in the side as he lights up.

Rhea laughs and gives Reed a warm kiss. On the cheek. No tongue or any of that in front of the kids. "This might take a little time after all," she says wryly, broad grin on her lips. "This was all Peters' idea. Not bad, huh?"

Reed shakes his head to Rhea, "I figured." He looks around, each person, another greeting comes to him to be chased away by the fact that there's so many people and they're all looking at him, so he claps his hands, "Gods, this is great." He moves in, "Thank you all, this is.. Just.. wow."

Zaharis grunts as he's poked. "What?" He slides his arm around Adele's waist, glancing around them for an ashtray. The search takes about half a second before he forgets about it, shifting the T-shirt-wrapped box in his arm.

As Reed points to her, Pep affects an utterly innocent expression and grins back at him, laughing. "Come in and welcome to your birthday party, Colonel. Drinks and dinner are on the table, so please, everyone help yourselves." The table actually holds a variety of alcohol - though not much of it. There's at least enough for everyone to have a couple glasses. Where she found things like wine is a secret she'll never give up. But there's wine, brandy, scotch and, of course, the more non-alcoholic punch and juice. A pot of coffee is percolating in the corner. There's a good selection of food, but clearly not an excess. Concessions were made to the times. Off in another corner is a streamer and balloon decorated table with a few presents on the top - the gift table, apparently. Squeezing Salin's hand, she breaks away and starts to drift over toward Micah, blending into the crowd as Reed and Rhea take center stage.

As though given a 'cue', McKenzie moves to the table where the alcohol is. Moving with a quick step, she reaches the end with the non-alcoholic drinks and pours herself a glass. Sipping it, she angles around the end and finds a convenient place to perch so she can watch the doings.

Zaharis can totally sympathise with Micah. To the point where he even flicks his lighter and offers it, lit, towards the pilot. Solidarity.

A gift table? Greje actually looks right past it a few times before her eyes lock onto it and she busies herself setting the little green bag on top of it. There. Of course, now she has nothing to do with her hands, and so they slip behind her back and endeavor to form a great knot back there as she lurks back forward, not pressing, just waiting on a turn to give her regards to the Colonel while aknowledging that there are others here to do the same, and those who know him much better than she does.

"Mmm, coffee," Rhea says, leaving Reed to his own devices and going to get herself a cup. A little wave is given to Zaharis and Adele. She'll mingle once she's properly drugged up with caffeine.

Adele still holds onto her gift as well - she must have missed the present table in her haste to make herself and Zaharis arrive at a reasonable time. She leans into the arm that goes around her waist, her gaze flicking from Reed to the spread of refreshments. "Ooo." She says it just like that, with three Os.

Reed grins, looking around and moves to the table with the refreshments, nodding to McKenzie. "Glad you've got duty tonight, Mack." He tells his XO with a grin as he selects a glass of something alcoholic. "Alright, I'm impressed." He moves back, looking over the people. "I was seriously not expecting this."

Moving over towards the beverage table, Salin pours himself a small glass of whiskey, though he doesn't immediately lift it to his lips. Rather, he looks over towards Reed, giving the man a quick smile as he lifts his glass in his direction, "Here's to many more of these to come, Colonel."

Pep slides through the crowd, moving like a little red ghost. On her way to Micah, she stops next to Greje, letting the men take care of the lighting up. She only gives the cigarettes a brief look. "Sister," she says quietly, smiling at the holy woman. "Thank you so much for coming this evening. Can I offer you something to drink? Perhaps a bite of dinner?"

Zaharis eyes his gift and its unorthodox wrapping, then the table. He looks at Adele and shrugs, reaching over to set the box down by whatever others are there. "One more for the loot bin." He pulls a drag off the cigarette and half-covers his mouth, lowering his voice into a loud foghorn sound. "Carter's an old faaaart."

McKenzie winks at Reed, a grin warming her gaze, "Why'd you think I pulled it, sir?" She lifts her glass in a near toast, her eyes bright, "Didn't wantcha even thinking about goin' up there tonight." Almost self-consciously, she smooths the skirt of the dress she wears. "Your job, Colonel, is to enjoy yourself. Yeah?"

"Ta, sir," the pilot mutters, obliging the offered light with his cigarette between two fingers. Puff puff, hope Reed doesn't mind being smoked out of his own party.

Eli actually peeks his/her head in frowning and holding a meticulously wrapped item and frowning as he slips all the way in, still standing up straight, so not relaxed and just turning the gift around in her hands and edging towards the table where gifts may or may not be and edges towards that to put the gift down and then scan the area for something very very specific. Cake Radar.

Reed doesn't seem to mind the use of Tobacco in the party, as he laughs at McKenzie, nodding, "Aye. I'll do my duty." He lifts his glass to Salin, "Thank you, More birthdays for all of us." He says, and takes a drink, moving to people to shake hands and welcome them, moving first to.. Greje, "Sister, welcome, thank youi for showing up." He says with a warm smile. And yes, he starts making the circut of everyone.

Adele follows suit, setting down her gift as well. At Zaharis' foghorn shout, she slips away from him to approach the refreshment table with her eardrums more or less intact. She pours a glass of whiskey and a glass of wine, smiling primly at others near the table, then moves quickly back into familiar territory, handing off the harder drink to Zaharis.

Greje smiles warmly at Pepper, "I'll wait for the birthday boy to get his fill, first," she tells her. "Thank you for inviting me, this was a very sweet idea," she adds. "Is that…" she quirks a brow as she looks over, "Real liquor, though?" she asks. Mmm, liquor. But then Reed's here, and she gives him a broad smile and a handshake, setting her off-hand on the outside of his in a warm gesture, "Happy birthday, Colonel Carter," she tells him, "It was really the least I could do to come. You've been such a great help to our department, and I really want you to know that I appreciate all of your patience and understanding." She swallows, after all that, as if the sentiment were near to moving her to tears, then coughs and laughs a little, letting his hand go so that he can continue greeting the guests.

Raising his glass to his lips, Salin is taking a quick sip of the liquid before lowering it back down as he takes a moment to watch Reed make the rounds from person to person.

Rhea gets herself a cup of coffee, inhaling the scent of it with a long sniff before sipping. "Oh, yeah…" she murmurs under her breath. Sweet, sweet coffee. That gotten, she slips over toward Adele and Zaharis. "Yeah, sad what old age does you to, really," she sighs to Jesse with a chuckle. As if both of them weren't fast approaching this ancient mark.

Micah finally spots the gift table, and relinquishes himself of the tattered little box he's been carrying around since he arrived. Cigarette still pinched between two fingers, he wanders over to the drinks table to pour himself a glass of scotch and check his watch. Five minutes, ten, and he can probably get out scott free.

As Reed slides in to do the greetings, Pep slips away, giving him a grin over her shoulder and a quietly spoken "all real" to Greje. Feet take her over toward Micah, though she's careful to stand away from the cigarette smoke. "Congratulations, Lieutenant," she says softly to Micah. "And thank you for taking the time to come this evening. I hope that you'll feel comfortable celebrating YOUR good fortune with us, as well?" Apparently, this type of setting is where Pepper comes alive.

Reed grins to Greje, "Of course." He says, moving on to appear by Eli. Boo! He offers a hand to shake to Eli, "Sheriff, good to see you, thank you for coming out. A complete surprise to me, I can admit. Good to see you."

Zaharis sucks on his cigarette, answering Rhea by giving her the finger as smoke rolls from his nose. Such endearing manner. Then he accepts the glass from Adele with a wink at her. "Thanks. How's the wine?"

McKenzie already gave the Colonel his present, so hers is not sitting on that table. She lifts her glass in a near toast to the birthday boy, her nod encouraging. "Know you will, sir." Rising from her chair, she angles toward Salin where he stands. When she gets close, she speaks to him quietly, "Evening, sir. I'm Captain McKenzie. Pepper's friend." Yes, she is the XO, but figures the man is aware of that. The fact she stated is more important for now.

Eli turns to regard Reed for a few moments before grinning and turning to take the offered hand, shaking it firmly and offering the man a pat on the shoulder. "I wasn't gonna come, sir, but I figured I'd make a showing. Congrats sir, naturally."

Fotilas wanders in through the hatch with his hands in his pockets and a light smile to his face. A quirked brow looks around the room. His 'fashionable' tardiness probably wasn't intentional, either, but the near-sheepish expression that his smile attempts to hide. He lingers near the hatch for a few moments, glancing about to the party-goers. He's never been Mister Social.

Micah is just taking a sip of his drink, when Pepper sidles up to him. Mouth full, he swallows before answering with an awkward avoidance of eye contact, "Aye, Eve sends her apologies, but she's on bedrest at the moment.." He lowers his voice to a mumble, "The baby, and all. Uh.." Congratulations. Right. "'s not a big deal." Liar. "But thanks, Ensign. Real nice of you to plan this for the Colonel."

Adele grins at Rhea, looking between she and Zaharis. "I wouldn't know," she says, drumming her fingers up against the curve of her wine glass. Sure, there's only about three years between hers and the ChEng's ages, but that's three years' worth of rubbing it in right there. At Zaharis' question, she pointedly takes a sip of the red liquid, then responds, "Almost as sweet as you." Delivered dry, just like the wine. But she does follow it up with a light peck to his cheek.

Reed grins to Eli nodding. "Well, come on in, grab some food and enjoy yourself, Sheriff." He smiles as he moves on, stepping around till he moves up beside Micah, then looks to him smiling, "Jig." He says, offering a hand to shake, "Welcome to the party. Tell Eve that we missed her, but hope she's doing alright." He nods, then looks to Pepper, "You outdid yourself here." He says, pausing before moving on to the nest set of victims.. er.. guests.

Rhea returns Zaharis' obscene with finger-gesture with one of her own, and a wicked laugh. Sterling senior officer behavior on display there. She turns her head to follow Reed's progress through the crowd. Her eyes linger on Greje, and she offers the priestess a little nod and smile, but she stays where she is for now. Snorting at Adele. "Just wait, Pike. Fair skin wrinkles real quick."

Pepper reaches out to touch Reed's arm as he's about to move off again. "Not Jig," she tells him quietly, grinning at Micah. "Lieutenant. He apparently lost the Jig somewhere between here and Genesis." She dips her head to Micah, the smile fading into concern. "Please send my best to her? I have some reading material if she'd like something to keep her occupied. There's plenty to take back to her and if you stay long enough, you can take some cake with you." Cake. What every pregnant woman needs.

Looking over towards McKenzie, Salin gives a warm smile before offering the woman a quick nod, "A pleasure, Captain. Pepper mentioned you on several occassions." A pause and he's laughing softly, "All good, so there's nothing tow orry about there."

Eli nods firmly to Reed. "Yes sir." Then she looks from person to person before edging towards where the food is, worrying her bottom lip and keeping to herself.

Zaharis goes, "Oooooh, burn," at Adele's answer to Rhea. The scars on his face pull tight as he grins, squinching up his eyes at the cheek kiss. He slides an arm back around Adele's waist, letting his hand rest on her hip. The women are talking about wrinkles, and any trained man knows to keep his mouth SHUT.

McKenzie laughs a bit, her gaze bright and clear. "Didn't expect that there would be, sir. She's wonderful." Inclining her head, she lifts her drink and turns toward the door, "Scuse me? I've gotta dash up t' CIC for a bit. Might be back later." Waving across to Pepper, she tips her glass Reed's way before heading out so Draevers can join the festivities.

Greje drifts into motion, almost seeming not to motice her own feet moving as she's lured to one end of the refreshment table by the irresistible call of Dionysus. On the way she crosses eyebeams with Rhea and gives her a friendly but still faintly deferent smile, an inclination of her head. Nearing the liquor, she lifts her head again, her back straightening, "I hope Evelyn's alright?" she asks Micah. Concerned.

"Only in the presence of sun," Adele answers back. What a pleasant reminder of the fleet's current state of limbo. The civilian woman makes a face at her own joke, shrugs, then glances around. "Nice turnout," she observes mildly, having another sip of wine. "Was it difficult to keep Reed in the dark?"

"Lieutenant, sir, like Peters said," Micah corrects, slanting a small grin as he shakes Reed's hand. Yep, there are indeed a set of new pins on his collar, proclaiming him to be a fully-fledged LT. "Ah'll be sure to give 'er your regards, sir." To Pepper, "Readin' material would be real nice, I know she'd appreciate it, and the cake. Though ah'll have to pull the sprinkles off for 'er." Then Greje is approaching, and Micah's looking a little cornered. He offers her a quick smile. "She's doin' fine, Sister. Just needs to take it easy, promise."

Rhea snorts to Adele, but she comments no more on skin or son. The last question gets a chuckle. "Not particularly. He's easily distracted. And I don't think he expected anything like this, anyhow. I've got to hand it to Peters. Any party I plan is usually just a cake and a bottle around an old Triad table. Speaking of cake. I better get a piece before it gets picked over."

Reed chuckles, "Well, my mistake then, I wasn't aware. Congratulations, Lieutenant." He tells Micah, then steps to the side to look at Salin, "Thanks for coming out for this, I know there's no end of the business that has to happen." He takes a drink from his glass, and offers a hand to Salin, "We'll have to go over a lot of it soon."

Eli is carefully helping herself to a bit of cake, ignoring anything alcoholic and the like, juuuuuust the cake, wanting the caaaaaaaaaaake. Mmmmmm, caaaaaake.

Zaharis smirks at Adele's joke. Scientist black humour. He sips at his whiskey, glancing towards the refreshment table as Rhea calls attention to it. "Run for it, Rhea. Before Altair catches the scent of blood and cake batter."

Watching as Reed makes his way towards him, Salin giving a quick nod of his head before flashing the man a smile, "My pleasure, Carter. Figured it wouldn't due to miss the party and it was a frakkin good reason to get away from work." Accepting the hand, he's giving a firm shake before nodding again, "We will, but not tonight. I've been ordered by my better half to leave my work back on the Genesis."

Pep slips away from Micah and Reed, heading away from the cigarette smoke and toward Fotilas, one hand lightly brushing against her stomach, rubbing. There are enough good scents in the air that it's a wonder her stomach isn't growling. Her smile grows even brighter as she leans up on tiptoe to hug Fotilas. "You came," she says quietly. "Thank you."

And yes, there IS cake. In fact, it's being carried in by a flour-covered, slightly chocolate-smeared Germans, rather triumphantly. While not large, the cake is definitely a masterpiece of chocolate, caramel, nuts and coconut. Yes. It is a Germans chocolate cake. Cue groans. Behind Germans is one of the other galley folk carrying a smaller cake, this one with candles in it. Neatly written in red in the creamy icing is "Happy Birthday, Colonel." It's a cake JUST big enough for two people to share. The scent of fresh cake and strawberries follows the young man carrying the smaller cake.

Fotilas returns the hug. "Hey, Pep." The man finally breaks into a grin. "Yeah, I figured it was a good idea to show the face. Leave CIC for once. Good company is a big enticement, too." He looks around to all the people. "So did you do most of this yourself or was it a team project? This is fantastic!"

Reed spies Fotillas, and looks to the cake as it's brought out, the small cake captures his gaze and he looks across it to Rhea, smiling, before he addresses the cake and the candles on it, "Oh boy, well, at least I can handle blowing these out." He says, getting stopped before he gets to the Genesis XO.

Greje takes up a glass of the wine for herself, smelling it with a smile as she hears that Evelyn's doing alright. "That's good. I'll have to go by and bring her some tea, soon," she muses, then, eyes focusing back on him, she returns his smile, if somewhat worriedly, "I'm glad you made it back. How are -you- doing?" she wonders quietly, before the cake momentarily abducts her attention.

Adele's eyes follow the cake in, then flit back to Rhea and Zaharis. She lifts her glass for another sip, then says, "I should probably get something to eat, too." Lightweight that she is. But she waits for Reed to extinguish his candles before she makes any sort of move. Birthday party etiquette, she has it.

Eli double-takes at the cake and just stares with wide eyes, hand moving to her chest as her breath is taken away…or something. "…well I'll be frakked…" She murmurs to herself.

Rhea watches as the cake is rolled in, licking her lips. Her chocolate senses have been piqued. But she avoids diving at it before the typical birthday ritual is concluded. She sips at her coffee, that's more than enough for her to savor for now.

"Ta, sir," Micah replies to Reed as he pulls away. Then in a slightly raised voice before the Colonel can get too far, "Happy frakking birthday!" There's too many brass at this party, and not enough pilots, so St. Germain continues to lurk near the drinks table with the similarly socially-disinclined chaplain, sips of scotch chased by drags on his smoke. "Aye, she'd like that. You know she talks about you, yeah? I mean.. not anythin' official." His brow furrows, and he drifts off when the question about himself is asked. "Ah'm fine." A flickering smile. "Hey, speakin' of which, somethin' I wanted to ask you.. though maybe I ought to drop by later. Not really fit for a party."

Pepper laughs softly as she looks up at Fotilas, cheeks coloring. "A team effort, of course," she tells him quietly. "I'm going to go get something to drink and make sure there's enough food out before I start being social again." She pauses, studying Fotilas. "Thank you, again, for coming," she says very quietly. And then she's slipping away, taking the long way around the room to the refreshment table so as not to get caught between the Cake and people wanting The Cake. Germans puts the big cake down on the table, triumphantly, and shares a grin with Pep before he turns to Reed. "Your birthday," he tells Reed, puffing up slightly. "You cut."

Reed looks around as the cake is brought to him and he smirks, looking to the candles, and takes in a breath, then blows out the candles, making sure they're all out, a light sparking coming from the wicks as they begin to coal up, glowing, the embedded magnesium power sparks slightly, and the candles relight one by one, causing Reed to burst out laughing, "Ahh, I've been had." He laughs then moves to Pepper and Germans, nodding and taking the BIG FRAKKING KNIFE, and nods, "Gotcha." He says, then starts carving the cake into pieces, getting enough for everyone to have a smallish piece, enough to go around.

"Absolutely. Don't feel you need to tend to me. Thanks for putting this together, Pepper." The former XO smirks to the pregnant Ensign before Fots nods to Reed as he makes his way over. "Happy birthday, Colonel. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy." But the man keeps his distance from the rest of the group for the moment. He seems to be content with people-watchign for the moment.

Zaharis looks amused, or so says the smirk on his face. He too is taking the unobtrusive tack tonight, staying a bit off the side with Adele as he watches the festivities.

Greje blushes faintly as Micah lets her know that Evelyn talks about her, feeling oddly awkward at having somehow intruded into their marital bliss. "I like to think we're getting to be good friends, Evelyn and I. We get along, and share a lot of the same ideals," she smiles fondly in thinking on the Psyche. "Oh, of course. Is it about the book I lent you? I had thought to ask you whether you'd thought any more about it."

Adele smiles, the corners of her eyes crinkling (not wrinkling) as she watches Reed deal with the trick candles. As he begins cutting the cake, she leans over to mumble something privately to Zaharis.

Eli stands over to the side kinda, only moving to get a piece of cake when the time comes then go back to her safe place to stand.

Rhea gets a laugh out of Reed's inability to blow out the candles. Chuckling at his expense. When the cake is cut, she moves in for a piece of chocolate stuff. On her way, she refills her coffee cup. "Don't worry if you can't get them blown out, Carter. We all lose some of our strength as we get old," she jokes with a crooked little half-smile.

Micah scratches at the bridge of his nose with a knuckle, eyes darting to Greje's for a moment when she mentions the book. Vague, yes. Vague is good. "Ah'm glad. She needs.. friends. She gets all worried sometimes she's goin' to be cut off from everything.." He trails off, though there's fondness in his voice. More than fondness, he dotes upon the woman. "Cracked it open again, after we got back from the Peerless. You.. want it back, Sister?"

Zaharis chokes quietly on his whiskey at whatever Adele just muttered to him. He covers it with a soft, polite-sounding cough and answers her back just as quietly.

Pep's just in time to help hand out pieces of cake, laughing softly. Given there aren't many to pass out, she's done relatively quickly and moving on to making sure that the food has been replenished. Yes, she's in full-on hostess mode. But it doesn't last for much longer. Pepper, a slice of cake and a glass of punch head back toward Salin, two forks tucked on the side of the plate. As she passes the computer console, she taps a button. Within seconds, quiet, yet upbeat music begins to play. It's not loud enough to drown out the conversations, but just enough to be enjoyed.

Reed pulls back letting the cake be passed around, looking to Rhea, "Yes, us old people need our breath." He takes a plate with a piece of cake, and moves to Fotilas, and hands him the piece of cake, "Well, Good to see you around, Jameson." He tells the man, grinning, having reclaimed his glass, taking a sip.

omnomnomnnomnomnom…Eli is busy.

Adele has another sip, her eyes glimmering briefly at whatever Zaharis mumbles back. As a couple of paper plates cake make their way towards them, she very carefully consolidates the cake pieces by sliding one onto the other's plate and placing the empty plate on top. Apparently, this culinary delight is being saved for later.

Fots takes the cake from Reed. "Heh, thank you. Good to be here. Figured I should come out from under my rock to make sure the fleet's XO is enjoying himself." The ex-Marine grins and moves off so that he doesn't prevent other party-goers from cake. He stares at the cake as if its been dropped in his lap from he Gods. He wanders over towards the drinks on autopilot while he nomnomnoms on the cake.

"No, no, keep it as long as it's doing you good," Greje assures Micah. "Just… if you want to bring it by to discuss it, it'd probably be best that you not let Brother Karan see you carrying it about," she warns gently. "He doesn't… well… you know," she lets it go at that. And takes a long sip of the God, savoring him.

Oh, Micah has every intention of horning in on that cake. And if Greje doesn't want any for herself, he'll politely excuse himself with something nominally polite mumbled under his breath as he peels away.

Reed grins at Fotilas as the man heads into a corner to eat cake, much like Eli. Germans strikes again." He nods to the Hera Cook approvingly, taking a sip from the glass in hand as he starts across the room to Rhea, Adele and Zaharis. Saving that little group of troublemakers for later in the evening. "What are you two whispering about?" He asks, looking between the CMO and the Civilian doctor.

Rhea looks over at Reed and Fotilas, giving them both a little nod. As if saying 'Be with you in a sec.' But first, she takes her cake and heads toward Greje and Micah. Unobtrusively, so she doesn't interrupt their conversation, but that's the way she's drifting.

The door to the room opens and Isabeau slips in. She pauses just on the inside of the doorway, her glance floating out over those here. If her gaze lingers on one or two of those in the throng, it is only barely noticable. Finally spotting Reed, she begins to angle toward him

Micah mentions, before he goes, "Don't worry, ah'll keep it under wraps." Because he doesn't want to see the fundie start steaming out the ears. And then he's off to get cake.

"The anti-wrinkle effects of chocolate," Zaharis replies to Reed, in a too-mild voice. Yeah, right. "Happy birthday, Carter. You going to open your presents yet?"

Greje smiles at Micah as he goes to get cake, not intent on any for herself, it seems. Content with the wine. Way to bust down that old stereotype of Caprican priests being total lushes, Greje. She smiles to Rhea again as she comes close. "Hello," she greets, looking more relaxed, now, than earlier.

Adele looks kind of guilty when Reed comes over, pursing her lips to keep herself from responding. She just nods dumbly at Zaharis' reply. After a moment, she smiles more genuinely and echoes, "Happy birthday."

"Hey, Captain," Rhea says to Greje with a smile. Relaxed herself. Enjoying the generally festive atmosphere. "Figured I should thank you. Or at least extend my thanks to Lieutenant Karan through you. He let me raid the temple gardens on the Carina for the Colonel's gift. I'd never been in there before. It's really lovely."

Reed nods to Zaharis and Adele, looking between them, "Yes, I'm sure." He says, not believing a word of it. He then smiles warmly to Adele, and nods, "Thank you. It's good to see you, I haven't seen you in a while." He grins to her, then looks to Zaharis, "I'll be opening gifts as soon as everyone comes up for air from the cake." He says, looking around to the people who have dived into the cake, and pauses, looking at Isabeau as she approaches, looking rather surprised, "Speaking of not seeing someone for a while." He says, looking at the woman, "Hello, Isa."

Pep and Salin enjoy a few bites of cake each before she leaves him with the plate (isn't that just like a woman) and takes her drink off in the direction of Eli. "Sheriff," she says with a warm smile. "I'm so glad you could make it. Have you discovered the secret of the chairs yet?"

Greje maintains her own friendly smile to match Rhea's, "I'll pass the word on to him. He's really done a remarkable job there, and the faithful have all come out in such force to help him. It is, it's quite beautiful. I can't say how… grateful I am to the people there for taking the initiative to put up not one temple, but three, and two gardens. I thought I'd have to be pulling teeth for a year to get one temple built, but…" she shakes her head, just looking amazed. Pleased, but amazed.

As she passes the table with the gives, Isabeau reaches over to set a flat box with the rest. It is wrapped in brightly patterned paper, though there is no bow on it. "Reed. Good evening. A little bird told me that you were bravely acknowledging your birthday. Congratulations." As she nears the birthday boy, she extends her hand, "I hope that you are enjoying the festivities. Someone certainly went out of their way on your behalf." Her smile is quiet, tone almost gentle. Lifting her gaze from Reed, she tilts her head toward Zaharis, "Jesse. Good evening to you as well."

Zaharis grins at Reed, then puts a light smooch on Adele's cheek. When he hears someone say his name he turns his head, raising an eyebrow until he finds the face. "Aragon? Frakking hell, I haven't seen you in…I'm going to resist hyberbole here, but a really long time. How you been?"

Eli pauses in mid fork-full of cake to stare at Pepper for a few moments, lowering the fork and bowing her head. "I'm sorry sir, hello sir, thank you for having me sir." A pause. "I'm sorry, chairs?"

Reed nods in agreement to Zaharis, "Quite a long time, yes. Before-" He shakes his head, taking the hand and shaking it for a moment before releasing it, "Heard you've been quite busy in the meantime. Glad you could make it." He says, sounding surprised she's here, really.

"Well, people feel it's important to them," Rhea says to Greje. "One'll do a lot to get something done if it's personal to them." She nibbles on her cake, making a soft "Mmm" sound. "Gods, I haven't had chocolate in ages." Nibble, nibble, nibble. She washes it down with some coffee. "Anyhow, I didn't take much. Just some seeds, actually. For lavender. Part of Reed's training is in botany, so I figured he'd enjoy having a little herb garden to play with."

"I like how you resist hyperbole and embrace profanity," Adele comments to Zaharis, bumping her hip against his as she grins. She dips her head in greeting to Isabeau, something sparking in her gaze. "Eels," she says, suddenly, as if having some strange epiphany brought on by the lawyer. Her expression, for whatever reason, turns apologetic.

Micah is eating cake with one hand, recently relinquished of its cigarette and glass of scotch, and stealing some away for his wife with the other. Screw being social, a good party's all about the free food. Isabeau briefly catches his eye, but seeing as she's occupied, he doesn't approach for the time being.

Isabeau includes Adele in the greeting, "Dr. Pike. Good to see you." She draws in a slow breath, the tip of her tongue touching a slight gleam to her lips, "Isabeau, please, Jesse. Or Isa. Whatever. I am no longer with the Military, so that level of informality is a little strange." Focusing on Reed once more, she lifts one shoulder in a half shrug, "I was invited. I have missed the company." Slowly a smile begins, "Yes, well. The civilians need a government. Someone had to do it." She shrugs, "Now that things have been started…" She tucks her hand into her pocket and draws out a small bit of cardboard, "I was told that you would be collecting these, Reed." The cardboard bit it offered and she turns to Adele, laughter beginning slowly, "Eels. Yes. Though that is no longer entirely necessary."

"Chairs," Pep affirms to Eli, expression solemn. She gestures to a nearby seat and grins at the Sheriff. "Press the green button once." Yes, the chairs have buttons on the arms. "After you've settled in." Then Pepper goes about demonstrating, delicately settling herself in, then seeming to melt just a little as the chair turns on.

Eli just eyes the chairs warily and eyes Pepper again then back to eyeing the seat. She copies everything Pepper does with a chair beside the woman, then perches on the edge of the chair, picking back up her fork and ahhing. "Um. Thank you sir."

Reed nods to Isa, "Ah, yes, good to know you were working on the civilian government." He takes the cardboard, looking at it confusedly, examining the card one handed, "Thank you. Please, have something to eat and drink. Germans, the Hera cook made his famous chocolate cake."

Having apparently been required to slip out to attend to something, Salin makes his way back into the classroom and back over towards his perch by the beverage table, where he quickly refills his glass before turning to look around once more.

"Oh, that's wonderful," Greje replies, though the smell of the chocolate's beginning to get to her. She takes another sip of the wine, breathing inside of the cup. "I have a little herbal garden, myself, I've just taken cuttings to the Temple Gardens to get them growing there, as well. But the next time I take cuttings I'll have to offer some to the Colonel, as well. I find gardening very therapeutic, but I've never done it on this scale, before." She looks to the cake, "I haven't, either," she adds, then, with a mirthful quirk of a smile, "I've got an allergy to it, actually, chocolate's always given me the worst headaches," she explains her comment.

Rhea winces at Greje, sympathetically. "That's a rough go, Captain. Maybe you go try a bit of the other cake. I'm not sure what's in it. Peters'd be the one to ask. Anyhow, it looks like there's plenty here for everyone, whatever they want." She nods, as to the herbs. "I'm sure Reed would like that. I've always had something of a black thumb, myself. Better with machines."

Pepper grins over at Eli, head tilting to the side, then sits up a bit. "Is there anything I can get for you, Sheriff? If I stay here, I'll end up falling asleep in the chair." The 'as usual' is left unsaid.

Micah takes the opportunity to slip out, since his gift's been gifted and he's done his obligatory time in smalltalk. Off he goes, with a slice of cake tucked into a square of linen and a 'sir' for any brass that intercept him between table and door.

"I apologize," Adele says to Isabeau with a grimace. "I'm usually very good at juggling several bal—.." She takes stock of her company, sliding a glance askance at Zaharis, then rephrases. "I'm usually very organized, even when I'm busy. I'm very sorry for not getting back to you."

Eli is trying to ignore the fact that her/his chair is vibrating, but it is hard as she just clears her throat and licks her fork clean, shrugging her shoulders as she ahhs again and looks a bit uncertain. "Are you um, comfortable sir?"

Greje waves a hand quietly in a 'quite alright' gesture. "I don't really miss it or anything. I've been quite trained out of any sort of chocolate craving," she chuckles. "I'll get him some, then. Though I don't know off hand whether the Colonel would misinterpret the gift of a cutting of chamalla," she adds. "It does make a lovely houseplant, all other properties aside, though."

Reed nods to the cardboard piece, "I've gotten a number of these already." He pockets the piece. "Thank you." He says to Isabeau. He looks to Adele and grins widely, then covers it, taking a sip of his glass.

Letting his gaze linger over a variety of people, Salin is giving a somewhat approving nod of his head. Then, he's looking over in the direction of Pepper and after a moment, he begins to make his way in her direction, and ultimately, that of the sheriff as well.

Rhea snorts softly under her breath, shrugging. "Like I said, I don't know too much about plants. I've never seen chamalla in its…plant state. I doubt Reed'd take it the wrong way, though. He's of a fairly scientific mind where plants are concerned. He might find it interesting to study." Her gaze catches Salin, and follows him. "Excuse me, Captain. I should go bother my commander, while he's within bothering range."

Isabeau nods to Adele, her smile briefly warming. When the doctor's gaze slips to Zaharis on that unfinished word, mischief sparks oh-so-briefly and she nods, "I understand." A quick glance to Reed at the offer of food and drink, "Perhaps. I have heard that your chef is a veritable wizard. I do hope that you enjoy the day, Reed." Her gaze once more shifts to include all of those near her, "Jesse. Dr. Pike. It was good to see you all." Stepping back, she turns and her gaze finds Salin and Pepper. She nods to each, but does not approach them. Rather, she angles back toward the door.

As she catches sight of Salin heading their way, Pepper simply lights up, smile broad. But her attention turns back to the Sheriff and she nods, laughing. "Too comfortable, I'm afraid," she tells Eli quietly. "These chairs are one of my favorite features on Hera." She's just in time to catch Isabeau's nod, and offers the woman a warm smile and a nod in return.

"Of course," Greje tells Rhea, shifting subtly backward in order to disengage from the conversation and let Rhea move on. She finishes up her wine and looks back to the booze speculatively, doing some slow and pains taking math (not her strong suit) to see whether seconds on drinks are appropriate.

Wait, did Zaharis ust get blamed for something? Figures. He gives Isabeau a mild but friendly smile. "Nice to see you too. Take care."

Reed nods to Isa, watching her go, then looks to Rhea, tilting his head as he watches her going after Salin, then looks back to Adele and Zaharis. He smiles to them. "So, I hope Peters didn't break too many arms getting the turnout here."

There's a flash of a smile towards Pepper, though when Salin spots Isabeau, his brow lifts ever so slightly as he gives her a smile and a quick wave. Then, he's looking back towards Pepper and the Sheriff, "Evening Sheriff. Nice to see that you were able to make it."

Preemtively blamed. Adele returns Isabeau's smile and nods. "Have a good evening," she says by way of farewells, lifting the glass of wine up to take a sip that drains the liquid. She glances at the glass, then to Zaharis and Reed. "Refills?" she wonders aloud.

Eli squirms in her seat, closing her eyes and nibbling on another bit of cake as she nods slowly to Pepper. "I-I'm glad you get to feel comfortable. Here." Then she's just quiet as she bows her head to Salin, carefully getting to her feet and nodding politely. "Thank you sir, there was cake, I was weak."

Rhea offers Greje another "Thanks" as she disengages from the chaplain, and goes commander-hunting. "Colonel." That's directed at Salin, along with a crooked grin. "Feels like I haven't seen you in awhile. Figured I'd come pay my respects."

Reed looks to Adele, and grins, nodding to the table, "Refills sounds good, let's go see what's available." He turns to the table, and looks to the preseants. "Well, hmm. This should be interesting."

Isabeau would have reassured Reed that she had not been coerced into coming. She showed up because she wanted to be there. Pepper's smile and Salin's waves are returned, though she does not pause until she reaches the door. When she gets that far, she turns a glance over her shoulder and the look given the room at large is just a little whistful.

Pep reaches out for Salin's hand as he approaches, catching it and squeezing it only briefly before Rhea's on approach. "I'm more than happy to share the chairs," she tells Eli with an impish smile. "There -are- twelve of them. I can only nap in one at a time." Then Isabeau's approach for the door is caught and Pep pushes to her feet, slowly. Perhaps a little odd given the fact that she's so young. "If you all will excuse me for a moment?" And then she's off toward the lawyer.

There's a soft laugh towards Eli and Salin gives another nod of his head, "We all have those moments, Sheriff." Then, as Rhea approaches and speaks, he's turning to give her a quick smile and a soft chuckle, "I'm afraid it has been awhile. I've been locked away in my quarters, dealing with a variety of issues and the vertiable mound of paperwork that has been trying to drown me."

"Locked in your quarters, huh?" Rhea repeats. Brows arch slightly. She shrugs. "Well, don't forget to come up for air sometime. Glad to see you found time to come over for this. I'm sure Reed appreciates it, and I figure it's better for all of us if command has a chance to relax now and then. You can get so swallowed up in the trees of paperwork you forget the forest, if you know what I mean."

There's a very soft laugh and Salin is giving a nod of his head, "I know exactly what you mean, Major. I've managed to get things back down to a manageable level and will be back to prowling around the ship." There's a quick look towards Reed before his gaze returns to Rhea, "I wouldn't have missed it, regardless of what I'd had for work. It's good to see that people were able to make it."

Catching sight of Pepper angling toward her, Isabeau pauses with her hand on the hatch. When the other woman gets close enough, Isabeau offers a faint smile, one brow lifting, "This was nicely done. Thank you for inviting me."

Pep offers Isabeau a hand, smile warm, open. "Please, come have some cake and a bite to eat," she asks quietly. "Thank you so much for coming. I was hoping you'd be here tonight. I know how busy you are, and I know it means quite a bit that you were able to make it."

Ah, here's the Colonel coming 'round for seconds. Greje hovers by, not thinking it proper to lap the birthday boy in drinks, meanwhile simply letting the first drink warm her for the moment and ease away some of her awkwardness.

Zaharis has gone quiet again, enjoying his refilled glass of whiskey and watching the party roll on.

Rhea nods to Salin. She's finished her cake by now, so she's back to sipping on her coffee. "It's an immense job, sir. We all know that. Know that your staff is here to take whatever of the load we can. Just let us know what's going on and where we're needed. Have you tried the cake? Haven't had chocolate in ages."

Reed moves to the table, smiling to Greje, "Captain." He says, leaning to her and lowering his voice, "How do you think the party's going? Seems people are having fun. We've got good food and drinks at least." He says, refilling his glass and smirking as he looks about.

Isabeau stills as Pepper offers her hand. She blinks twice at the woman, then her gaze lifts to slip around the room. Salin and Rhea are given a moment's perusal, then Reed and Greje. Finally, Zaharis and Adele are offered another brief smile before she looks at Pepper once more. Whatever inner turmoil there might be, she manages to keep it from her expression. Finally, squaring her shoulders just a little, she reaches out to touch Pepper's palm with the briefest touch of three fingers before she relinquishes her flight plans and changes direction, "Thank you. I suppose things on the Carina will be all right without my supervision for one evening."

Adele has likewise lapsed into silence, returning Isabeau's smile pleasantly enough. She savors the taste of her refilled glass of wine, leaning against the wall near Zaharis. Nto much of a mingler, this one, it would seem.

Pep chuckles softly and dips her head. "For a few hours, at least," she says, keeping the hand contact brief. "Can I get you something to drink? Perhaps a slice of cake? Hera's cook outdid himself this evening. I believe this is to be considered his…" Her head tilts to the side as she considers how to phrase something. "Piece d'resistance."

Greje is spoken to again. She smiles brightly and steps to, herself, blushing faintly. Or maybe just warm-cheeked with wine. "The refreshments are rather impressive," she admits, looking back toward the door and then across the room. "But on the whole I think it's just nice for people to get together and socialize for a while. Why, I feel as though I haven't seen Jesse in ages," she gives him a smile, if he sees it. "We just don't make time. Can't make time, some of the time," she amends. "Though I've never really been a party person, myself— I was so glad to hear there was to be one."

Reed nods to Greje, "It looks like people are enjoying themselves more or less. It's good to see." He grins, "Even though it was a surprise party so I didn't get to appreciate what the effect on morale would be till I got 'Happy Frakking Birthday' when I came in." He cvhuckles at thaty, taking a drink from his glass.

Rhea leaves Salin to his own devices and gets back to rotating through the party. She ends up heading toward Adele and Zaharis again. "Seen anything good from this angle?" she asks with a smirk, taking a gander at the people-watching prospects.

Zaharis lifts his glass towards Rhea. "I'm just waiting for him to get to the presents." The good stuff, in other words.

Isabeau steps away from the door, her smile easy, "No, thank you. Though I appreciate the offer." Her gaze eases back to the table before returning, "But, if you feel like walking with me, I would not object." Across the room.

Pepper settles in next to Isabeau, dipping her head. "How are things going on Carina," she asks quietly, feet moving toward the refreshment table on a path that will take her by Reed and Greje.

Germans and the attendants applaud lightly and offer Reed forward to the Preasents table. Reed moves that way and smiles, "Okay, okay, thank you everyone." He looks to the table and selects one fo the presents. Last put down, he looks at the tag, "Oh, Isa, thank you." He says as he begins opening it.

Greje tones down her smile a little, picking up a second drink, something a mild bit stronger, even if she chuckles along with Reed. "I suspect that there are some for whom a moment of leisure might be a little off-putting, at this point," she hypothesizes wildly, "I was thinking about it… sort of like when you press your fists together for too long, and when you try to relax them all they want to do is clench back together… do you think the same might happen with people? Under pressure for so long that a moment of release feels… simply wrong?" But then Reed's getting hustled away toward the gifts, and she sips her second drink and follows after.

"I always do the presents first. Maybe he's less greedy than I am," Rhea says to Zaharis with a shrug. "Ah, there we go. I'm not too impatient. I gifted him beforehand. The botany thing was a good idea, by the way." She turns to watch Reed with his gifts.

Isabeau walks next to pepper until she reaches the refreshment table. She accepts a piece of cake and a glass of wine from someone, her attention split between the table and Pepper, "It is chaotic. But, I believe that Salin's announcement about the fleet remaining together will help with that. The increased rations will also go a long way toward easing stresses. Now, if we can get the population working again, we may see a return of a sense of purpose. That will also be a boon." Hearing Reed's voice, she pauses and turns his way. Lifting the wine glass, she inclines her head, "You are most welcome…"

The package is longish and sort of flat, the paper covering it silvery white and taped together from randomly sized pieces. When the box is opened, it reveals a strange instrument. There is a curved section with markings on it at regular intervals. A section seems to be used for sightings. If anyone knows about ancient nautical instruments, they might recognize it as a sextant. Although it is silvery and shimmering, it is also clearly an old piece. A piece well cared for.

Reed grins, lifting the device, "Ahh, a Sextant." He says, grinning, "I'll make sure to keep this handy." A bit of a joke, but it does seem that he's going to place the device in a spot in his personal effects. "Thank you." He says, settling the instrument into the box once more then a small box wrapped in a t-shirt is passed to him, "Ah, let's see. Doctor Zaharis." He looks up to the CMO, "Oh lords." He says with mild and humorous dread before he starts opening it.

Adele snaps out of her daydream as Reed speaks a familiar name, and she watches him open Zaharis' present with a faint grin in place.

Zaharis just smirks, tipping his glass up for a sip while Reed 'unwraps' the gift. Inside is a small box that contains…discs. A bunch of them. They're each labelled with compulsive neatness. Games. Lots and lots of games. And not just any games, but RPGs, some Old Skool and some much newer. How many schoolchildren the CMO has had to bribe the last few weeks one will never know, but whatever he gave them for the copies it must've been good.

Pepper bypasses the alcohol and goes for the punch again, taking a sip as she listens to Isabeau's commentary. At the mention of things settling, she smiles, relaxing just a bit. "I'm sure that something will be found for people," she comments quietly. Then, at the sextant, she laughs softly and shakes her head. "You know him well," she teases the lawyer softly, quietly.

Rhea says as an aside to Adele, while the presents are opening, "Remind me to wrap up a piece of cake for you to take back to the Carina. Reece'll enjoy it." The CMO's gift brings a grin to her face. "Men are kids forever, aren't they?" she observes. "Nicely done, Jesse."

Reed looks at the box as it's opened, and tilts his head, then grins as he looks through the discs,, laughing, "Oh lords, this is going to keep me occupied for years." He says, and looks to Zaharis, "Thank you. I'm going to get a lot of mileage with this." He looks to the side as he gets the gift exchanged with one that's long, squishy and seems to be wrapped in scientific magazine clippings, "Oh, I love the wrapping Adele, Thank you. This is great."

Zaharis gives Reed a thumbs up over Adele's shoulder and winks at Rhea. He wraps his arm back around Adele's waist and settles back against the table, watching the other gift of the Doctor Duo be opened.

Isabeau inclines her heat to Reed, the wineglass lifted in a silent toast. "You are welcome." Leaning a bit toward Pepper, she slowly shakes her head, "No… I wish that I knew him better. Reed, Jesse, Rhea, Adele. They seem like such good friends. The sextant?" Her smile warms a little, and her tone softens until it does not carry, "It belonged to my grandfather." Turning to watch Reed open Zaharis' present, she chuckles; the sound rich and warm, "See? I would say that Jesse knows him far better than I do."

Adele's gift is… homemade. At one point it was a brown pyramid sock, purchased or purloined from one of the shops on the Carina, but now it is, for all intents and purposes, some kind of janky plush toy. Stuffed with some kind of fluffy material and sewn up at the end, at least an attempt has been made at creating the illusion, topped off by a pair of button eyes. "It's… an eel," she explains, making a face at her own handiwork.

Rhea grins at Adele's gift, chuckling. "Adele, that's brilliant!" she exclaims. "And cute."

Reed pulls the plushie creature out and turns it so it's looking at him and he blinks, looking at Adele, with a look on his face, that he was catching on, but as she confirms it he grins, "An Eel! Eel of my own! Thanks Adele, I never thought I'd see one of these again." He laughs, nodding setting the eel into the wrapping, "Yeah, that's going on a shelf." He says, chuckling as he then gets handed a green bag with tissue in it, "Okay, Captain Karthasi." He looks to Greje, nodding as he pulls the tissue out, looking inside.

Pepper laughs softly and shakes her head, clearly charmed by the gift. But she looks up to Adele and shakes her head slightly, leaning in. "It's not about who knows him the best," she says quietly. "You knew him well enough to give him a heartfelt gift, and he's going to treasure that." Her voice is low, quiet.

Zaharis snickers quietly as Reed gets into Adele's gift. He finishes his whiskey and puts the glass down somewhere behind him, returning his hands to laced position around Adele's waist.

Adele grins between Rhea and Reed, the look of uncertainty replaced by something distinctly pleased. "I'm glad you like it," she replies. As Zaharis' hands lace around her middle, she slides her own arm around his and leans her head into his shoulder, watching the other gifts as they are presented to the birthday botanist.

Isabeau lifts a brow slightly at Pepper's comment and, while she does not answer in kind, her eyes flicker with some nearly hidden response. Adele is offered another silent toast and a gracefully inclined nod. "That one was brilliant." There is laughter in her tone, though she keeps her commentary quiet. Finally, she lifts the glass to her lips and takes a slow sip, clearly savouring the tingling touch of the alcohol on her lips.

Rhea just drinks her coffee and watches Reed go through his gifts, a warm, crooked smile on her lips.

Greje is thoroughly amused by the impromptu eel plushie, but she maintains her quiet, throughout. When Reed gets to her gift, she opens her mouth, as if feeling a need to explain, but then— she doesn't. She just lets him open it. There are a few things inside, most notably a small bundle of closed filters in which she'd bundled up and tied off a series of servings of tea, three of them tied off with a blue-colored string, two with green. There's also a card… or, at least, a piece of nice card stock, on which she's persuaded someone with excellent skill in calligraphy to inscribe one of the Philosopher's Hymns— to Aphrodite, and her twin children Eris and Eros, through whose forces of attraction and repulsion atoms combine into molecules and compounds and organisms and then separate again, and through whose will the basic laws of physics remain in operation. It's in the old Scriptural dialect, with its lovely curved lettering, but there's a translation inscribed on the back. There's also a puzzle piece in there along with the rest of it.

Reed draws out the items, smiling as he smells the teas, and nods, "Oh quite nice." He says, looking to Greje, then pulls out the cardboard hymns, "Philosopher's Hymns to Aphrodite." He says, recognizing them and grins. He nods and looks to Greje, "thank you, Sister, this is quite impressive." He says, with a grin, "I can't wait to try these teas, and I know just where to place the Hymns."

Everyone else gets the good stuff - Pepper gets fruit punch. She clearly doesn't seem to mind, though. There's an easy, broad smile on her face. She's relaxed, almost glowing with a simple happiness - a look that probably hasn't been on her face since before the attacks. "An eel," she murmurs to Isabeau. "I love it. Oh…and isn't that gorgeous," she breathes quietly.

Rhea's smile crooks another notch at Greje's gift to Reed. She nods a little to herself. Nicely done, that.

"Happy birthday, Colonel Carter," Greje rejoins to him, "The blue ones have a little bit of thynera in them, and just a sprig of Aphrodite's girdle," she explains— a nice soothing mixture, not quite a sedative, but about as much of a depressant as tobacco. Relaxing. With just a little kick of an aphrodesiac to make the imbiber feel nice and happy without getting them over-horny. "The green has a little lightning thistle," she adds. Which does about the opposite of the thynera… a little energy drink.

Reed grins as he nods, "Thank you again, sister." He puts the items back, taking the puzzle piece and putting it away like he has with all the puzzle pieces that have been handed to him since a few days ago. He looks around, "Thank you everyone. Please, enjoy the rest of the food and the drinks." He says laughing, looking to Rhea with a smile.

Remaining over near the refreshment table and Pepper, Isabeau listens to the easy flow of conversation. She nods a smile to Pepper, "It is brilliant." The teas? Now, she returns her attention to Greje and lifts her wine glass to the Sister. In an aside to Pepper, she comments softly, "I shall have to speak to the Sister tomorrow or so about getting some of those." Finally, she eases away from the table in search of a place to enjoy the cake. "Very nicely done, indeed."

Pepper chuckles softly and dips her head. "The teas, certainly, would be incredibly helpful for a variety of things," she murmurs quietly. "I wonder…I may have to talk with her, soon, myself." She glances around, as things seem to wind down, then looks up to Isa with a smile. "I've yet to say hello to Major Zaharis and Doctor Pike. Would you care to join me?"

Greje nods in quiet 'you're welcome' to Reed, then lifts her own glass to Isabeau in quiet confusion, but with a smile, no less. She then polishes off her second just in time to avail herself of Reed's invitation to drink. She's feeling the God, by now, of course.

Reed smiles and nods to the attendants, who gather up the presents, spiriting them back to his quarters as he takes his glass and crosses the room toward Rhea, smiling. "That was great." He comments quietly to her.

"It was all Peters' orchestration," Rhea replies to Reed as he joins her. "I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think it was good for everyone to have a chance to relax. And the cake was brilliant."

Isabeau turns to smile at Pepper, "Oh, I am sorry. I did not mean to monopolize your time." She looks back toward Zaharis and Adele, thten to Reed and Rhea. Lifting her cake plate, she motions for Pepper to preceed her, "After you, please."

Zaharis exchanges a couple words with Adele before she leaves, probably off to be sure Reece hasn't burned the townhouse down while trying to make a sandwich. Twelve year old accomplish feats like that.

Pepper heads over toward Zaharis, cup of punch in hand, smile on her lips. "Major Zaharis," she greets him quietly, once Adele has slipped away. "It's wonderful to see you again. Thank you for coming tonight, Sir."

Reed nods to Rhea, "Yeah, she really outdid herself. And Germans cake was impressive." He leans to rhea, speaking in a quiet, private voice.

Rhea whispers to Reed.

Rhea leans in slightly as Reed speaks to her, replying in an undertone of her own. That said, she goes back for more refreshments. Forgoing the alcohol, though she does get herself another cup of coffee. She's enjoying it while it lasts. She'll enjoy the rest of the party unobtrusively, lingering on the Hera.

Isabeau lets Pepper get ahead of her. She nods farewell to Adele, then pauses long enough to set her wineglass down and take a bite of the cake on her plate. It truely is wonderful and that is reflected in her expression. Once the bite is swallowed, she sighs a soft, 'wow' that is probably missed in the general hullabaloo. Licking her lips, she takes another bite before reclaiming her wineglass and angling toward the other cluster of people.

"Ensign," Zaharis refills his whiskey glass for the third time, looking quite relaxed even if he's been quiet tonight. "Wouldn't miss embarassing Carter for the world. Nice setup."

Reed smiles as he watches, Rhea walk away warmly, then looks about, smirking as he takes a sip of his drink, greeting an NPC partygoer who showed up.

Pepper chuckles quietly, making room for Isabeau next to her. Apparently one of Salin's women has taken guardianship of the other, though which is which is up for debate. "I'm glad you were able to make it, Sir. Did you manage to get some of the cake?" Again with the questions, though Pep seems honestly -happy- to see Zaharis. "And if I'm not mistaken, you and Ms. Aragon y Castile de Vargas are already acquainted?"

Three drinks was about Greje's limit on a regular night back in the world-as-it-used-to-be, so, now, with liquor having been quite scarce of late, she takes the third one fairly slowly, but the liquor hits her harder and faster than usual for her having been off of it for a while, and once she sets down her glass she feels that happy drowse drooping over her, lifts one finger to rub at an eye and promptly rubs an eyelash into her eye. Ow ow. She leans over to try to blink it out.

"Yeah. Been a while, I remember Arag-…er..Isabeau." Zaharis is clearly a little uncomfortable with first name basis, but he pushes through. A brow raises at Greje's figure doubling over behind Pepper. "Uh, Lieutenant? You okay? You better be, because I'm not really sober."

Reed smiles to the man who came, nodding as he moves off, then tilts his head to Greje, as she starts showing problems with.. something. He glances to Zaharis at his call, then back to Greje.

Isabeau ghosts up next to Pepper near Zaharis, then glances over to where Reed is. She opens her angle a bit to include all in the near vaciniity. "Yes, Jesse and I are acquainted." Lifting her gaze, she offers the doctor a smile, "Though we have not spoken at length in some time." Her gaze flickers over in the direction Adele took, then back again. It would be difficult to avoid noticing the man's relatively new scaring, but word of the accident spread. Looking back up, she focuses on the man's eyes and her gaze holds only a warm sort of flicker, "Aragon then. If it makes you uncomfortable to use first names, Zaharis. I do not really care overly much." At his comment, she turns to look at Greje. It is one of those moments when she is caught between uncertainty and action. Falling silent, she waits to hear whether assistance is desired.

Pepper puts her drink down and turns toward Greje, immediately settling into "helping" posture. "Sister," she asks quietly, moving to the woman's side. "Care to have a seat? The chairs are Hera's secret weapon, you know."

"Yeah I just got a… thing-in-my-what," Greje replies, so very articulate when drunk, brain going faster than tongue can make words go. She blinks a few more times, making eye eye tear up, and the eyelash harmlessly floats out to settle with the others. "I'm good," she reports, standing. "Gravity, you know. It," she points to the floor, "I don't actually know how it works," she informs Pepper. The floor? "What?" She looks to the chair, maybe a little suspicious.

Reed listens to Grejes response to the inquiries, then blinks, trying to figure out.. Gravity? What?" He looks at his glass. One of them is too drunk for communication. And this time, scriptural referances never came into it. He shrugs and moves to Zaharis and Isa, shrugging, "Thank you for coming." He says to both of them.

Zaharis smirks at Greje, shaking his head. He glances at his watch and sighs, nodding to Isabeau. "Well, it was nice seeing you again. Hope everything's going stellar on the Carina. Ensign, take care of yourself, alright? Carter." He calls over to the Colonel. "I need to hop. Happy birthday and shit."

After watching the Sister do the blinking routine, Isabeau half smiles and nods as though in complete understanding. Maybe her eyelashes need the help of gravity too when they decide to be recalcitrant and rebellious. The wine is sipped and she turns her attention to Reed, "Of course, Reed. I would not have missed it for the world. I hope it was as happy for you as it appears to be." Her tone turns thoughtful, though retains the gentle mirth, "Nice to be cared about." Turning back to Zaharis, she inclines her head, "Thank you. Good night, Jesse. Do not be such a stranger. The Carina is not that far away."

"Gravity," Greje repeats quietly, "My mother told me that. When you have an eyelash in your eye, you should bend over forward so that gravity will help take it out. I don't know how well that -works- when you're talking about an eyeball. But. An eyeball has less gravity than a planet," she assumes. "And I don't know whether the same rules apply in artificial gravity or not, in any case." There. It's like a coherent explanation. "Good Bye, Jesse," she adds. "It was nice to see you."

Reed looks to Zaharis, lifting his glass, "See you later, Doctor. Be good." He says with a grin. He then looks to Isabeau. He nods, "It is, and it was, thank you. How have you been?"

"Ciao, Lieutenant," Zaharis clicks his teeth playfully at Greje, and tosses everyone a final wave before breezing out the door.

Isabeau nods to Greje's explaination, "My mother said the same thing. So, it must be true." She shifts to one side, her gaze drifting back to Reed. "I am delighted to hear. Me?" Taking a moment to consider, she adds a wave to Zaharis as he flits off. "How have I been?" While she does echo the man's query, it seems to be so that she can give the answer some thought. Finally, she lifts the glass and takes the final sip of wine from within. The glass is lowered and her eyes settle upon Reed's. "Fine. Thank you." Lovely word 'fine'. It can mean anything from 'fabulous' to 'you have neither the time nor the patience'. Her eyes do not betray anything but a quiet calm. "What about you, Reed? News travels slowly to the civilian ships. All is well with you?"

Reed nods slightly to Isabeau, "Things are alright for me personally. though I'll admit that there's been more information going up the pipe. I heard you had some problems, though I haven't heard anything from you requesting any kind of assistance, so I assume you had it under control."

Isabeau presses her lips together briefly, her attention held now by Reed, "Problems." Inhaling, she lets her gaze drift around the room, then return, "There are always problems when starting something new, Reed. You know that better than most…" One brow lifts, "Or, were you talking about personal problems?" When she speaks, her tone softens, the smile turning just a little private.

Reed shrugs lightly, "Take it as you like it, Isa. Either way, you seem to be handling things. There's always people here who can help if that's not the case.

Isabeau lifts a hand as though to brush a lock of hair back into place. Her fingers brush her forehead near her temple, then fall away as she remembers that she has put her hair up for the occasion. Licking her lips, she inclines her head instead, "Thank you, Reed. I will keep that in mind. You have always been kind that way." Her lips part as though to add something, then close for a moment before she begins anew, "This is your party, Reed. We should not talk about my problems, real or otherwise." Still, the warmth in her tone remains. "Perhaps we can sit down one day and go over things. You have an excellent mind."

Reed smiles, nodding, "Of course, send me a message to meet, and I'll leave word for you, or you can send to Peters, and she can do the same for you to come to the Hera, as you like, Isa." He shrugs, "I'm busy, but I can see about some time if you really need to talk to someone."

Pepper returns after being called briefly away by Germans - something to do with packing the leftovers to be sent home with guests and keeping some for Hera. One hand rubs absently at her stomach as she reclaims her punch and heads back toward the Guest of honor and the last two guests left. "Sorry about that," she says with a smile. "Crisis averted."

Reed looks to Pepper, and nods, "Okay, nothing to worry about?" He asks, brows lifting.

Greje seems to have betaken herself to one of the aforementioned chairs. It all started very properly, with her sitting down like your average person. What happened between that and her being curled up in the chair fast asleep? Only Dionysus knows.

Pep gives Reed a wry little smile. "Should the meatballs get packaged away for you to have later on, or would they be better put to use sent over to Genesis for Lieutenant Eve St. Germain. Germans won, they're enroute to Genny now," she comments. "Sorry sir. You lost the balls."

Reed chuckles, nodding, "It's alright, I know Germans is fully aware the small strawberry cake for two makes him bulletproof." He looks around and notices Greje, nodding to the Sister. "Send to Genesis, ensure the Sister doesn't have to be back on the Battlestar tonight and if she can stay, get some men to transfer her to the guest quarters."

Pepper chuckles softly and nods. "Aye Sir," she says quietly. "She doesn't have to be back tonight. Quarters are prepared and a set of clean clothes and linens are ready."

Reed nods, then smiles, "Excellent. And.. Thank you. This was impressive, Peters. You really did a masterful job with this."

She looks up at him, smile soft, warm. Yet another glimpse of the woman she used to be. "You're welcome, Colonel. Happy birthday."

Reed smirks, "Well, right now, I have an Engineer waiting for me, so I'm going to retire with the gift you gave me, the cake, and her. Thank you Peters, I truely appreciate what you've done for my birthday." He grins, turning and starts out.

Pep simply watches the CO go, a small smile on her lips and a hand at the small of her back. Then she turns back to the room and begins the process of cleanup, directing the crew and pitching in herself.

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