The 'C' Word
The 'C' Word
Summary: Doc Quill and Snatch do chores; talk. Doc Quill learns some new vocabulary.
Date: 30 ACH
Related Logs: None

Quill is workin', having been assigned the mentally stimulating job of scraping oxidation residue off scrap metal where an acid bath failed to do the job. Not only is the Recruit working, however, he's singing. About the work.

"Black on silver,
Green on copp'
Get the file and the rasp and take it off the top
You can't solder and you won't weld long
If you got oxidation where it don't belong.
Oxidation, ooh, oxidation…"

Snatch has been tasked with a chore mildly more engaging than scrubbing scrap, though still routine, taking test readings on the backup generators, as is dutifully done twice a day in these uncertain times. She's wriggled her way between the last of them and the bulkhead, toolkit on top of the generator as she reaches down with a set of pliers to tweak the safety firmly on just in case anything decides it wants to feed back and bugger the whole interface. She looks up and over at the singing, narrowing her eyes, mouth open a little in puzzlement as she listens to a few lines of the song.

"Even on steel if the temp's too high
Frackin' oxidation's gonna make me cry
Prayin' sweet gods this one's the last piece
Recruit lookin' for that sweet release
Oxidation, oxidation…" Quill's song continues, but lucky for him, he's nearly done. A few more swipes with the file, and the final chunk of metal gets tossed into the scrap bin, ready to be re-purposed. He takes a moment to carefully pack the file back in the toolbox, then spots Snatch not far away, and hurries over. "PO! Snatch. You've got to help me," Quill pleads to what he can see of her, wedged as she is between the generators and the bulkhead. "Train me in whatever you're doing. Or train me in something else. Or… or anything you like, but if I'm unoccupied for too long, an Ensign's going to come along and find more scrap metal for me."

Snatch has gone back to her endeavors, carefully fussing about with the innards of the generator, now that it's been opened up with no fear of it exploding in her face. She looks up, though, and grins, "Shore al's, Doc," she jerks her head toward the bulkhead behind her in a hands-free beckoning, "A haint war skirnts son much, may them's as I got yer weccum t' cling at," she offers. "Them's here's ourn backup generators. They'ns the lot on 'em pahpt raht on through to'n main pahr grid, rikked up wit' flow-sensive wahrin' to give uns sommat lessun a whole-out dark fin there's bin a prollem with main pahr."

"Uh huh," Quill says, nodding as he sifts through her speech. He'll get used to it sooner or later. Maybe. "Did you just imply I'm clinging to the skirts you don't wear?" He considers. "…Probably a fair assessment. Which systems do the backup generators automatically power, and which ones are left off until manual override? Life support, sublight engines, I figure those are a given. FTL, though, is that something the Genesis's architects considered a necessity or a luxury? And in the event of power failure, how long will the generators hold out for?"

"Ou-ais, ou-ais," Snatch nods her head as she carefully unscrews a safety nut from around a seven-pronged plug, "Thems an' the whole on the computers board… DRADIS an' solch be awful finicky t'gear up affern's been pahrt off lest their'ns own consent. An' y'ns don' wan' none on lissenin' to them off'cers trah'n re-set thems clocks from's flaishin' noon o' clock," she jokes a little. "FTL gin's paitched in als part on spin-up… son's we cain't lose pahr mid-jump. Onner'n 'at, ne. An' we'ns git the lot on' em cross-patched? We'ns cain prolly go six, eight ahr. Lens 'fin we'ns got need t' jump elt-swar."

Quill looks upwards in thought, as though subtitles are just over Snatch's head and slightly to the left, then nods. "That makes sense, about the DRADIS. About the FTL drives, too. Power failure mid-jump, that'd be a slap and a tickle, wouldn't it? Gods, what a thought. At least it'd be a quick end." He starts examining the generators, though stays on best-behavior and doesn't touch anything. "I imagine those six or eight hours can be extended a little in abject emergency, right? Seal off unnecessary decks and the power thereto, lower the artificial gravity if it's a choice between that or oxygen… Speaking of power, though, is there any word on how much fuel the Genesis's little herd of ships has before it runs out? Can the PAS process tylium into more fuel, assuming we find any out there in the big hostile galaxy?"

"No word's got at me whe'er them's got pet fer'n jump 'r many-a-one," Snatch shrugs, screwing the two ends of the unplugged wire into a tool from the kit to take some readings. "Ah laik's not ain't class'fied t' hear't," she suggests. She -probably- means 'cleared.' "They'ne tell yin whan'cher half need t' ken whan's they figger y'ns got that need."

Cleared, classified… same thing, right? Jonah Quill isn't exactly the most knowledgable person regarding proper military terms for things. "That's what I don't like about this," he admits, drumming his fingers briefly along the surface of one of the generators as he watches Snatch work. "Among… other things. The not knowing. Not being able to find things out, getting in trouble if you ask, and if you /do/ know, then you've got to keep it straight who you're allowed to tell and who you're not. Doesn't sit right with me, but I suppose that's the way it works. You want help checking these things?"

"They'ns ain't pay'n min to ken about in things als don't concern min," Mopsus Doe replies, keeping her eyes on her work. "An' yin nei'er. We'ns keep thins canott here midst-air. They pay'n onner folk to fuss about the renst on it." She pauses a moment, then looks up, "Ou-ais," she agrees, "Git thar panel laitched down an' flip them safeties fer man-yel operatin'."

"But aren't you curious?" Quill grins, as though being curious is the best attribute he can possibly think of. "I mean… I'm not going to start hunting classified secrets anytime soon, I'm not. But I still want to know. I want to know about everything. People. Cylons. Secrets. How long the ducks around the pond on the Carina will last before people get smart and have them for dinner." He pauses a moment, then sets about following Snatch's directions. "Canott," the Recruit changes the subject. "Ship? Boat? Spacecraft?"

"A hain't got no time t' dabble'n curiousnesses," Snatch professes. "An' soon 'nough yen's shain't, laikwins." She does pause, though, and looks up, "They'ns got game o'er thar? A hain't bin more'n one or twin… an' spen' monst on mahn time in the bulkhead, paitchin yin up. Canott, ou-ais," she affirms the definition. Cognate to 'canoe.'

"I will always be curious," Quill insists, as he works. He's being cautious in the work, a bit overly so, but he's doing things properly. "They can take my clothes, my hair, and my free time, but what's between my ears is still mine. As for the Carina…" the Recruit smiles, wryly. "I wouldn't call it game, Snatch, the only game over there is Pyramid. Or, was, I don't know if they're still carrying on with that. The waterfowl are for people's amusement. We're talking city people here, people who are shocked and delighted by the sight of critters. They feed bread to the birds, instead of putting the birds between two slices of bread."

Snatch shakes her head. "Ecasser," she drawls out the swear slowly. "They'ns gone all the way t' feedin' thems cacaoui… they'ns bes' bin bildin' em an hatch an' ginnin' aigs off from unner 'em," she warns whoever's wasting bread on the duckcreatures. "Them safeties on? Ne! May not bin bad plan. Breed 'em plomp an' we'ns cain half cacaoui on mess fer a good while. A hain't plait at pyr'mid in a houn's age," she also muses into the wiring.

"I hate Pyramid," Quill admits, which makes his presence aboard the Carina a bit odd. "Or, I did. I suppose I feel a little more charitably about it these days. Ecasser, cacoui… I don't know what either of those mean." A quirk of a smile as he takes generator readings, "Care to enlighten my deplorable ignorance? Damn fine plan though, about the birds. If I was still over there, I would absolutely do that, catch the little frackers and then start up a valuable waterfowl-raising enterprise."

"Cacaoui… them's als we'ns call 'em wahdfowl," Snatch replies, finishing turning on the generator after Quill's got the safeties latched in place. It charges to life with a roar and then settles into a more subtle resonance as Snatch peers at the output readings. "Ecasser… y'ns ask on Casser t'faitch away yer'n trobbles. Or lutter down som idjit fer yin. Pyr'min'd a fahn sport fer kiddun's, bun Ah cain't see the profit in pay'n growned men t' sweat all o'er a ball when's they should ought be put to sommat useful chore."

"Canott, Ecasser, Cacaoui," Quill thoughtfully tests out his new vocabulary. "Well, now I know new ways to talk about troublesome waterfowl on a boat. Sort of." He's already moved to the next generator, prepping it for Snatch to examine its output. "Pyramid is like feeding bread to birds, life's different when you don't have to work hard for it. I expect that'll change in the next few years, and the next generation of humanity will find it hard to believe that their parents had so much leisure."

"'Fin thar'll e'en git one so to be," Snatch replies, shaking her head as if somewhat doubtful on the matter. "Han han han!" she calls over the hum of the backup, getting Quill's attention as she powers it down again, sounding mildly urgent, but not angry, "Git them safeties back swaitched up an' them panel up an' fixed a'fore we'ns git on nexward."

Han han han? A look of distressed ignorance follows those words, the meaning's lost but it sure sounds important. Snatch goes on, and that makes things more clear; Quill hurries to comply. "Right… right, sorry." Safeties switched, panels up. "Do you think it was a mistake?" he asks, after a moment. "The military, asking civilians to come aboard."

Snatch unfastens the meter from the wire plugs and connects the wiring again, screwing the bolt into place and securing the other hatch before leaning back down between the generator and wall with those pliers to get the generator feeding into the system again. She stands up, then. "S'awright, ah should ought to've said sommat," she tells him, scooting over to the next, then, to disconnect it from the bulkhead. "Y'n saw whan Ah fit wit than laist un, thar?" she asks, moving around to let him give it a try if he wants. "Che ne pas…" she shrugs. "'Fin war chus in place on yin? Ah'd ken in's mahn right-task t'join up, e'en had Ah none skill a tall. An' Ah'd ken in's wicked on 'em 'fin they'ns trah'n keep folk out."

Quill nods and sets about repeating Snatch's process, taking the turn offered him. Panel, safety, wires disconnected, wires connected to the reader. "Well, they're not drafting, and as far as I know, they don't want just anyone. Picking and choosing people to offer enlistment to — Major Zimmerman just sort of found me, already had my name and everything. I'm not sure what they'd do if unskilled civvies wanted to join up… I'm not sure any do. There's resentment brewing a bit about the military, here and there."

Snatch unfastens the front panel meanwhile and secures it, unlocking the safeties for the manual operation of the unit so that the Doc can turn the generator on and get the readings. "Wellen theyns ought leave 'em join. We'ns never git full-up of folk t' clean an' sich, an' 'fin we'ns cain learn 'em to fahr a gun whilst-times, Ah'm shore als the stally humps the mare we'ns gonna run inna a needin' of gun-hainds."

Quill checks the readings as the generator hums to life, reply half-distracted as his eyes are on the meter device. "I've never handled a gun before in my life," he admits. Apparently no one has trained him in that yet, perhaps they're sort of afraid to. Civvy with a weapon, disaster waiting to happen? Hopefully not. "There's just not a lot of call for it in the University environment," Quill continues, "though I wanted to shoot the Dean a few times. These readings look like they're within normal range."

"Fahr back t'war the firs' tree or son nummers. They'ns ought look t'be runnin' a li'n hot a'fore they'n settle back," Snatch advises. "Ain't nothin' to fahr'n a gun," she adds. "Though them wee bebitt crinners they'n git uns on 'in here canott ain't hardly size enough t' bin callt a gun, proper-wise. M'a show yin's how, 'fin y've need."

Quill moves to turn the generator off, then thinks better of it and offers the meter-reader to Snatch before doing so. "Have a look, can't hurt to double-check." He quirks a grin, "What do you consider a proper gun, heavy artillery? Sure, though, you can teach me. Someone's got to, sooner or later. Several someones in several sessions, probably, since I can't imagine I'll be gifted the first few tries."

Snatch leans over the generator, letting it rumble along under her as she squints at the numbers and reches out to press a button until it goes back to the top of the readout list, and she nods. "Fahn," she declares, "Y'ns cin swaitch 'em off," she adds. "Mah pappy's Kirfore. Than's war an gun, an' no mis-take," she murmurs, looking vaguely absent as she awaits the powering down so that she can re-establish the manual ops safeties. "H'n bracht min out pickin' carcajou an' 'yotes offa rainch lahn wit' 'an gun whan Ah war wee. Firs' gun Ah e'er fahr'd."

Quill switches the generator off, but he's moving to replace the wires, safeties, and panels himself, and will probably keep on that course unless Snatch tells him not to do it. "You lost me at carcajou," the Recruit notes, before looking over with a grin. "Coyotes though, got that one." The smile turns bittersweet at Snatch's absent expression, and Quill's attention returns to caring for the generator. "Sounds like you had an interesting life, moreso than most."

Snatch sets the safeties and fastens the panels on her side of the generator, letting the Doc do the same on his before moving down the line, falling into the easy pattern of the work while giving the recruit the harder, or at least more involved, part of the task, to get him used to taking those readings, herself simply assisting him. "Carcajou, in's laik…" she trails off, trying to think of another word for them. "They'ns got big claws, go a-four… look kin' alike to'n real big rait 'r weasel?"

"Do they go faster than light?" Quill grins about the carcajous, as he works. "If not, I probably don't know a lot about them. You could tell me they do a cunning dance each spring to welcome the return of the sunshine, and I'd have to consider it possible. Draw a picture of one sometime, maybe I'll get it. Large-clawed rat-weasel isn't ringing any bells currently, though I'm fairly sure I don't want to meet one. I'm from Virgon, our chief exports are beer and boredom and there isn't much to say about the place other than that."

Snatch hehs. "They ain't git along munch slow'r 'an that, some on the time," she declares as she keeps her eyes to her task. "A hain't e'er seen un daincin', but damn wellen they'ns take down yer yarlin' calves 'fin y'ns don' take care t' shoot 'em firns."

"You miss it?" Quill asks, abruptly. "Generators on Genesis are a long way from calves, carcajous, canotts, coyotes, and cacaoui." There's a slight pause, then he looks back to his work. "Sorry… I ask things I shouldn't, sometimes." The recruit gestures at the machines, "I'm pretty sure I've got the hang of this and can finish up, if you want to use the rest of your shift for a more interesting job."

Snatch does stiffen up a little at that first question, and remains staring at the panel she's fastening beyond all reasonable fastening through the alliterative litany. After the apology she gives a sort of non-committal grunt and a tip of her chin by way of farewell as she heads off to the whiteboard to pick something else to go do. Preferably not in here.

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