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Malingering
Summary: What happens when too many cooks stir the training stew.
Cast: Ruin Dirionis Callot Norton Volouscheur Voliast
Air Date: 2006.10.?



Landing Bay <Hancock Station>

This incredible chamber sports almost a square mile of poured plascrete, all watched over by a high communications tower. Most of the ceiling of this chamber is of a lightly buzzing blue energy, allowing ships in and out with a minimum of atmosphere loss. Cheery lighting fixtures line the walls in stark contrast to the otherwise utilitarian nature of the bay. There is a set of double doors near the back of the bay, manned by half a dozen armed New Luna Militia members.

Ruin is quite busy and involved with his repairs. The sound of absent-minded humming is blended with the occasional click, clank, or electrified zap.

Norton leaves the shuttle with a trio of other marines. They're talking about something, but the conversation reaches a lull, natural or intentional, by the time the four reach the Haste. Norton says, "Hey, bub, you much of an actor?"

The humming and the work-sounds continue unabated. It's possible he didn't hear - or that it wasn't aimed at him in the first place.

Norton exchanges looks with the corporal with him. He raps on the Haste's hull with a knuckle and kneels down. "Hey, music man, you much of an actor?"

There's a muffled thump and some pain-inflect muttering in Mierznykovy; it seems Ruin hit his head on something. He comes out from under the engine rubbing his head. "No, why?" he asks.

Norton cracks his standard grin, "Excellent, come on. They're not a very discerning crowd, anyway. You got a lifetime to tinker with that p-o-s-s, but this is your one shot into showbizz fame."

Ruin slants a look of wary mistrust at Norton. "...I do believe someone took away my uniform," he says mildly. "Which means I don't necessarily have to hop on someone's say-so. Why should I want showbiz fame? I'm an engineer."

Norton just grins some more, "Come on, friend, would I lead you astray?"

"In a heartbeat, with a song in your heart and a smile on your lips," Ruin replies, deadpan. "Sharks smile too, you know. And I've already been targeted once today."

"I'm not musically inclined, and I haven't met too many sharks allergic to seafood," says Norton with no less of a grin. "Anyway, I'll tell you what I'm asking you to do. I'm giving a class on dealing with dissident civilians. Since you've dealt with them more than me, I want you there to say what hand they will play in the hypothetical situation. It'll be purely sit around a table and BS. No running, bleeding, or sweating involved, highspeed."

Ruin blinks. "...And asking about my acting ability?" he asks.

"It's like one of the early undress rehersals for a holo-vid, slim. It's acting. You said you wasn't a dissident, remember?" says Norton as he continues to smile.

Ruin sighs. "Translation being, if I'm very good at predicting dissident behavior while having no acting ability, I'm lying and I'm really a dissident. Or something." He shakes his head, putting his tools down. "Whatever - lead on."

"You think too much, buddy," says Norton as he walks towards the lobby. "I just want a civvie spin on the other side. I could do it myself, but I don't want to be accused of unfair play." Ruin shrugs. "Lead on," he repeats.


Barracks <Hancock Station>

Over three hundred beds are bolted to the rocky walls of this cavern three high, a metal partition-slash-ladder between each of the beds giving some tiny bit of privacy. The floors are of textured metal, and gleam in the harsh overhead lights. A long, squat industrial refresher unit adorns the center of the room, with dozens of lockers lining the long ends of it. A thick metal door leads out to the residence deck.

Volouscheur sits on the floor, leaning against Iast's bed. There's a barrier of green sheets drawn around the bunk, so presumably that's where Iast himself is. Scheur glows pale green, with strands of apricot winding around her as she taps away at a PDA.

The bed's green sheets are drawn, a faint green glow coming from within. Presumably, this is Voliast resting.

"Gather 'round, boys and girls," says Norton as he enters with three other marines and Ruin. He claps several times before he takes a cigarette out of his pack, lighting up. "We is going to put on us some real, life play acting drama. Expand your minds, broaden your horizons and hopefully keep you from getting kicked off the station in a casket, destination Freedom which - for those of you who haven't been keeping up to date - is the name of our ever so lovely sun."

Dirionis comes into the barracks area, shortly after Norton's group. He raises a brow as he hears only half of what he said, something about freedom being a sun. He scratches his chin as he stands somewhat near the group.

Ruin follows Norton in, watching the man with about the same wariness one gives a conjurer one has just lent a twenty to and watched disappear - but that hasn't come back yet.

Voliast shifts his curtain aside, and sits up, yawning, and saying: "What is going on, everything alright?" Volouscheur looks up from her PDA, offering a shrug to Iast before peering over at Norton. Her aura shifts towards a mixture of apricot and pale orange.

"Make yourself comfortable, hero," Norton tells Dirionis. "Same to the rest of you. This is simple. All right? No reason to make anything us mouth breathers do complicated. I'll break it down." He takes a seat on a footlocker. "Anybody got an ash tray?" He looks around, "Someone? Anyone?" One of the marines tosses him a plastic bottle about half full of water that's a nasty yellow color due to a soggy cigarette collection inside. "Awesomeness. Thanks. Back to simple, task: don't look like a retard. Conditions: You and X number of marines is crotch deep in it having found a collection of dissidents." He points to Ruin with the smoking cancer stick, "As played by Mr. Pia. Have taken up residence on the transit ferry. They haven't done anything, even paid there own way, but they are toting various weaponry, and you are there number one enemy, assumably, the NLM. They have the numbers on you poor marine sods, too, as have they in all previous encounters with them. Standards: Don't screw the pooch, boys 'n' girls. Don't screw the pooch." He pauses, "All right, who is playing marine number one, Officer Know-it-All? Who is playing marine number two, Sergeant Cowpie? Who is going to play their band of merry marines, marines A through some other letter?"

Dirionis glances here and there between the gathered, not ever training like this before. He remains silent for now, though attentive.

Ruin sighs, and decides his first dissident act will be to take his old bunk back. He takes a seat on it, waiting for the forces to align. Or maybe the planets. Whichever comes first.

Voliast laughs, leaning back and beckoning Scheur up onto his lap, as he sits on the edge of the bed, Aura apricot in hue. "Alrighty then..." He lays back now, fingers knitting through his lover's hair and trying to pull her onto the bed with him. "Looks like a show."

Volouscheur doesn't resist being pulled up onto the bed, settling down on it beside Iast and smiling as her aura shimmers tangerine. ~Looks like, yeah.~

Norton claps his hands together. "All right, back to super 'duper slow. In order for this little operation to work, you're going to have to use your God given gift for imagination. If you don't have that gift, well, fake the funk or beat your face. I promised Mr. Pia that he wouldn't sweat, but that doesn't have to go for you jokers who were stupid enough not to become officers. We need an Officer Know-It-All, and we need a Sergeant Cowpie. You can take turns. I don't care. Someone spit out what Officer Know-It-All says and does upon finding the transit ferry crawling with armed dissidents. You've got..." He flicks his arms, revealing a time piece. "Five seconds."

Voliast chirps in: "Officer Know It All, discovering said Ferry filled with Dissidents, would of course recommend that we should climb out, get out of it, and tell them to come out with their hands in the air while surrounding it. He would only stop this upon realizing he's forgotten his snacks for a potentially long siege, not, of course, because he can't stand on water, a fact that would escape him? Never was good at this." He strokes his fingers through Scheur's hair, smiling. ~Does remind me of the story circles back home though, if I have the idea right.~

Dirionis was about to speak, before he was saved by Voliast. With a grin, he sits down on a bunk.

Ruin looks at Norton, and then at Voliast. "The dissidents reply that they are within their rights to be carrying weapons and armor, paid legitimately for their fare unlike the government pigs who probably got on for free, and if said government pigs turn around and go away /right now/ they can avoid being bacon."

Volouscheur stretches, running her hands through Iast's hair in return. The tangerine in her aura brightens, but she doesn't seem to have anything to say for now.

"Thanks, lightbulb," says Norton as he looks over at Voliast. "I realize that you, like many on this floating trashcan called a station, don't have much experience with the military mindset. Nevertheless, that was a stunningly accurate portrayal of what Officer Know-It-All would do if classes like this aren't taken with the seriousness due them. Thank you oh so very much for lightening the room and the mood, but, my advice, if you don't want to spend time picking fragments of your girl's skull out of some dock somewhere, is that you should stop the comedy act. The rest of you, though, have run out of time. So, let's all do some pushups. Beat your face, boys 'n' girls." He nods to Ruin as he balances his cancer stick on the edge of the footlocker, "I knew I brought you for a reason. You raise the IQ in the room beyond icebox temperature." Then, he's in the start position of the push up. His back is straight, shoulders square, hands set on the ground a bit more than shoulder width apart. "In cadence, boy 'n' girls. For those of you new to this gig, that means on the down I say one, up I say two, down I say three, up you sound off with one. I repeat the three count and on the next what would be four, you sound off with a two. You helpless jokers are going to have to count to twentyfive. We'll get cheat sheets posted around the barracks in the morning because I have the feeling you will need them."

Voliast grins and says telepathically for Scheur and Ruin's ears only: ~I don't know, he's Ruin's guest... at least in my perspective. The one with the good manners brings the ill-tempered guest. If I wipe all of his memories for the last... well, until his birth, would you mind? Or, I could heat up his bladder until he pisses steam, that might hurt...~ He tries to look absolutely innocent about it, but does add aloud to the whole room, laughing starkly. ~Yes, that's going to happen. I believe it's well known I'd psychometrically locate ANYONE trying to hurt my beloved and do HORRIBLE things to them, by now... I LITERALLY post it on the medbay wall now...~ He reclines though, eyes closed, running hands through Scheur's hair if she doesn't move.

Dirionis gets into the push up position, saying, " if it'll keep the marines tough, im in." He waits, back straight, shoulders square.

Ruin just grins, coughing into his fisted hand.

Volouscheur sets her PDA down and, with obvious reluctance, gets down to do push ups with everyone else. She offers a mental shrug to Iast and Ruin, replying on the same channel, ~Well, if Ruin doesn't mind, I certainly won't. I still say you ought to make him think he's a table lamp, though.~ She nods to what Iast says 'aloud', though, ~I'd be surprised if it hasn't spread by word of mouth to half the planet, honestly.~

There's a raised eyebrow as Norton remains balanced on his toes and palms. He monotones, "Look, doc, unless you are just mad at being paid the big bucks by the militia and being able to work near your girl, you're going to need to either button up or get to stepping. I like simple things, and you're causing too much confusion in what is already a highly fluid situation. I'm trying to do some training, and you're, apparently, working on a career change towards the comedy club circuit. It just doesn't mesh well. Sorry, bean pole. Only got room for my comedy act in the barracks right now." Norton touches his chest to the floor. "One." He pushes back up. "Two." Down yet again. "Three." If he gets the loud and thunderous yell of "One" from the marines, the pushups just continue on till a four count of twenty and five. If not, well, we'll get there when we get there.

Dirionis lives for this. With a grin he lets his chest touch the ground before pulling back up on count. He waits for after the 'three' count where he yells loudly, " one!" Before waiting for another dazzling opportunity to yell out a number. Ruin just watches the pushups with his chin resting on one drawn-up knee. The amused look says it all - right now he's quite content to be the Lone Civilian.

Ruin just watches the pushups with his chin resting on one drawn-up knee. The amused look says it all - right now he's quite content to be the Lone Civilian.

Ah, vocal chords. How thy loss is mourned. Scheur does the push-ups, but there's a distinct lack of yelling from her. Instead, she just states simply ~One,~ at the appropriate moment and carries on with her push-ups. Her aura has flattened to matte green.

Voliast relaxes, smiling vaguely at Norton, and transmitting: ~It's okay, I don't fancy comedy as a career and am no good at it anyway.~ He reclines, looking down at Scheur and smiling slightly evilly.

The other marines seem nearly as happy to show off their little used counting skills as Dirionis is. Twenty five is eventually reached after a hundred pushups, and Voliast is ignored. Norton stands and sticks the cigarette back in his mouth, ashing in the nasty water bottle as he sits. "All right, back to class, kiddies. The revolutionary front has said, to sum up, they're in the right, and the militia suckers should get to stepping. What does Officer Know-It-All and Sergeant Cowpie have to say to that? They're at the dock in case anyone needs a clearer picture. I don't want to confuse anyone with two mobile platforms in the form of two ships of the sea. The ferry's currently tied up. The crew, unless you can convince them otherwise, are happy not getting invovled. I can break out the crayons and butcher block if absolutely necessary."

Volouscheur shudders as the push-ups finally stop, getting to her feet and returning to the bed, beside Iast. She snuggles up to him, seeming to side with the crew on this - that is, she seems content not to get involved either.

Dirionis gets up before saying, " Officer know-it-all would tell them that though they may have the right to have the weapons, should they use them in any way, shape or form besides self defense, they'll be jailed up...And he'd note that that threats aren't welcome."

Ruin blinks, evidently having to think a bit to get back into mode. Staring somewhat blankly into space, he replies, "The dissidents note that Sergeant Know It All was the first to level threats, at law-abiding citizens, before the impartial witnesses of the crew, and that the dissidents are within their rights to fire back when fired upon just as government pigs are. They then very graciously move to make room for the government pigs on the ferry."

Norton's eyes get wide as he looks over at Dirionis, "Egads, man, we got ourselves a rational thought. Good job, hero, you're going to talk for Captain Know-It-All. Pick you a Sergeant Cowpie, bro." He looks over at Ruin, "Does the People's Army have any of their ever so lovely improvised plasma weaponry?"

Dirionis scratches his head with a shrug as he glances around aimlessly a moment, then with a rather sly grin he says, " I nominate Scheur." He points to the vollistan.

Voliast sighs and rises. His large medkit is slung over his shoulder, swinging back and forth. Looking at Volouscheur, the doc says: "Coming along, dear one? You could likely use some training of my sort... we'll go down to Winston. Also, table lamp? Naw... I'd say rectal probe. That'd work, seems like a routine implement around here..." Standing in the doorway after disengaging from his wife, the doc waves her over: "Especially since it's damn near vital to you surviving in combat. Come on." His glow is faintly ultraviolet around the edges.

"Probably," Ruin agrees. "You can get the basic pistols and so on in the shops. I would guess that an armed group also has a supply of handmade pipe bombs and grenades."

Volouscheur stands, picking up her PDA and tucking it into a pocket. Diri...is given a Look. Those capable of translating such Looks might hazard that this one means something along the lines of 'I shall sic ferretmonkeys upon you for this.' Aura flattening to a deep matte green again, she states, ~Sergeant Cowpie would make a note of who's got what, among those of the dissidents he can see. This information would be relayed to Captain Know It All, for him to do as he saw fit with. And, since my psionic training /is/ quite important, I nominate Frantz as acting Sergeant Cowpie.~

Frantz looks startled, but not particularly displeased.

Norton narrows his eyes at Voliast, "Beat feet, buddy. Sergeant Cowpie, as nominated by Captain Know-It-All, stays. Sergeant Cowpie, the orignal not the second nominee, has been presumably doing the ever so important psionic training prior to my arrival. Sergeant Cowpie needs a break to think about her real job." He continues, "Sergeant Cowpie, while staying, notices some plasma pistols and what might be explosive devices. Keep in mind, the laws on this ever so lovely planet regarding weapons go something like this. Knives and stun, you're golden. Citizens can own non-assault pulse and projectile weaponry. One each and registered with the man, us. Multiple weapons or assault weapons or ownership of pulse weapons by non-residents requires another permit. Plasma is military only. Explosives are regulated for construction and military use. Flechette and impact weapons, not that you jokers would know if you were shot by one, are banned."

Voliast quirks his brow, laughing, and says, voice echoing with a psionic fluidity that would burn in as best he could: ~No. As entertaining as this is, the training is necessary and advised, medically, due to Volouscheur's mental exhaustion tendencies and necessity of speaking via telepathy. Not to hold up your... pantomime? But she will come and undergo it, because she has to.~ His aura's died down by now, and he's standing in the doorway, leaning and smiling, medkit swinging from his shoulder.

Dirionis thinks for a split moment before letting speaking, " Captain know-it-all would confront the civilians about their illegal weapons, and tell the crew of the ferry that they should not move the ferry anywhere until either the rebels got off, or handed over their illegal weapons." He glances at Voliast, Scheur, and Norton.

Volouscheur just...stays where she was when Norton spoke to Iast. The female Vollistan, it seems, isn't about to move until this is resolved - one way or another.

Ruin considers Diri's proposal, still staring mostly into space. "...The dissidents repeat that they are not doing any harm, merely transporting goods, but if the government pigs wish to confiscate them they are certainly welcome to /try/. The dissidents advise the government pigs to close their eyes and see nothing, in the interests of stress reduction and health."

"Go sort your scapels in the limited authority you have in the medbay, slim," says Norton as he remains sitting. "The rest of us, though, are going to entertain ourselves with more ghost stories in here. That includes Sergeant Cowpie." Voliast reclines in the door, smile unbroken and his Aura still completely dead, then announces in one final attempt at persuasion: ~Look, berk.~ His voice rings, but not unkindly. ~I'm medical officer, it's ACTUALLY required. Because if she doesn't get it now, by medbay schedule kills any possibility OF her learning it soon, and she needs some Aouen for pain associated with recent mental overexertion. She's my patient, she's my jurisdiction, and to keep her fit, these are necessary steps. Hence, she comes. If any court martial, disciplinary review board, or heck, the ending of my contract, results, you're all less someone more than capable of patching you up. At the moment, she's coming along.~ He yawns, and beckons to Scheur once more: ~You seriously need to unfry those synapses. Even the strain of telepathy is killing a few mites on the mind edges due to your recent damn overexertion, Amanchara.~

Dirionis stops the little story telling, looking at Scheur, saying nothing.

~Neccessary overexertion, though,~ Scheur notes quietly. She starts to move in Iast's direction, aura shifting to pale orange again.

"You're not a medical officer. If you were, you'd wear a milita uniform and militia rank. You're here on contract because you couldn't find a real hospital to work at. In other words, you're a crappy doctor," says Norton. "She's your wife. You've got a big ol' snag in your system, and it's becoming a snag in mine. If she's sick, she can go to sickcall in the morning, and I guess we'll have to find us somebody else to check up on her since I don't believe your test results. I think that you're trying to cause a good marine to be a malinger. That's a criminal offense in the military, malingering. So, just get to walking. She's fine to sit here and tell ghost stories if she was fine up until I told you to beat feet. I don't like coincidences. Was nice talking to you, see you later, pencil neck."

Ruin gets up. "Rocks fall, everybody dies," he says. "I don't want to be in the middle of this, and I don't need to be. I hear my engines calling out for repair." He gives Norton a little bow. "Another time." And then he heads out.

Dirionis meanders over to his bunk, silently.

Voliast laughs and says: "Winston, head of Human and Vollistan medicine. Officer in the sense of someone fulfilling an office, or function. I'm taking her with me because, a few days ago, on a landing pad, she heated up the brains of a few individuals who were threatening us with rifles, and has melted synapses. I treat her every night, we're now past treatment time. Volouscheur, go. This is not a threat, or a request. It is a statement of what, for good or for ill, will happen." He reclines, yawning faintly.

"Yeah, the training exercise is about to turn into a real world exercise of military justice," mutters Norton. He tells Voliast, "I like you, though, for all your slewed opinions and priorities. So, just scoot, and you'll see your wife as soon as we finish up in here. A little bit of separation will be good for you two. You two seem a bit too co-dependent. Beat feet, doc, I'll be sure to call you just as soon as the PFC feints or her head starts smoking or whatever else."

Dirionis leans against the ladder to his bunk, guess what, he stays quiet!

Volouscheur gives Norton a look. Unlike the one given to Diri, this doesn't suggest she will do direly unpleasant things to him in the near future. Instead, this one suggests that she's under the belief that Norton has just lost his mind. She winces and sits down suddenly, nose dripping magenta blood.

Voliast rushes to Scheur as her nose starts to bleed. "Really?" His eyes dart to Norton as his hands shift physically under her. His voice rings with force that only a voice in someone's head can: ~We are not human. We are a noble race apart, so to speak. We have our ways. You have yours. You have the telepathic power of the average soupspoon, and no way of understanding, for one second, the severity of what I talk about. I endeavored to be calm throughout, because it's not serious, but could get serious now, we are leaving, for the hospital on-world, because my facilities are better there. DAMNIT,." He picks her up physically, surprising for his gangly frame possibly, and begins moving for the door, barring any interference.

Norton tosses his cigarette in the bottle of nasty water and stares up at the ceiling. He asks of the ceiling, "Why is it always me?"

Dirionis stares over to see if Scheur is alright as Voliast takes her away. " Take care of her, Doc." He looks up towards his bunk.

Volouscheur doesn't resist as Iast scoops her up in his arms, tilting her head back to try and stem the nosebleed. Not that it seems to be helping any so far, since the blood continues to drip - it's just now, it's dripping...sort of sideways, and into her hair.

Voliast says, as he leaves: ~It's alright, it's not serious. Just messy, and indicative that I wasn't fast enough getting some Aouen into her. No fault of anyone's.~ Smiling faintly and murmuring quietly to her in Volspak accompanied with a telepathic statement: "Don't tilt your head, you'll drown, let it drip." His sleeve is brought up to help stem the magenta-hued tide as they leave the room.

Norton interlocks his fingers and puts his thumbs on his temples as he rests his forehead on his index fingers. He takes a few deeps breaths.

"Sergeant, dude, just sergeant," says Norton without moving anything but his jaw, tongue, and lips. His teeth, too, and probably his vocal cords. He's obviously breathing and his heart is beating. Otherwise, though, he doesn't move.

Dirionis sits back a bit. " Right. Sergeant...Gotta say, that was some unique training there...Never done that before."

"Thanks, bud. It was also a unique experience at being railroaded by an over protective psionic lunatic," says Norton as he straighens up. He inhales deeply, "Got to love this job."

Dirionis chuckles a little, laying his head down. " Yeah. He was just doing what he thought best."

"That was all a little to neat to be real. He didn't stop the pushups. The nose bleed started a little to on cue for my liking," says Norton.

Dirionis replies without looking at him, " without Urf and Tasya, we'll need someone to be tough on our marines. Make em strong. As for the nose bleed, who knows?"

"You idolize too much, hero," says Norton as he gets up and lights up another smoke. "I know, but it doesn't do me any good. I was railroaded, and they can take the train all the way to discharge if they feel like it." He brings two fingers to his eyebrow, "Later, marine." Then, he moves towards the exit.

Dirionis lifts two fingers up in a half-hearted goodbye wave. " Later."

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