Before Landing (-003): Tripping Into a Plan
Summary: A predatory tripping of Grey in the SkyBox common area starts a conversation with several other Delinquents about the possibility of getting some booze smuggled in.
Date: 25 April 2016
Related: None directly.
Grey Faolan Evie Quinn Fiona Cole Mikaela 


Common Area, The SkyBox

Spanning several stories 'up' toward the center of this spinning wheel, the SkyBox houses more than a hundred juvenile delinquents awaiting their eighteen birthday and their accompanying appeal hearing. Delinquents live in two-person cells, each with a simple bunkbed, sink, and toilet.

All other functions take place in the common area at the 'bottom' of the SkyBox. The common area is open, with tables and chairs, all with minimal padding. A few game boards and screens allow for some entertainment, and one area is set aside for exercise with a couple of treadmills and resistance machines.

3 Days Before Landing

Life is not easy in the SkyBox for the son of a Guard (especially a dead Guard) and a former Guard Cadet. Too many of the inmates have long memories. With limited exercise options, and too many testosterone-poisoned male inmates, tempers already cut short waiting for a turn on the machines, but when one of those on the machines is an ex-Guard Cadet too? Sometimes it gets physical.

In this case, a trio of toughs have found Lucian Grey running smoothly, steadily on the treadmill, and have decided that it's time for him to be done. For a little while, they just crowd around and make cutting remarks. But when your mother spent your whole life (in fact her whole life) perfecting the cutting remark, juvenile attempts just don't do much, not after the first dozen times you get in a fight over them. Then, however, one of the young men sticks out a leg, catching it between Grey's legs and tripping the ex-Cadet. Grey goes down on the treadmill, bouncing once on his right shoulder and hip, and then getting flung off the back of the treadmill, but the tripper also goes tumbling to the ground, caught up by the sudden application of torque.

Faolan runs on the OTHER treadmill, a pound-pound-pound of feet, his blue eyes vacantly staring ahead and his expression closed and hard. Sweat has dampened the arm-pits of his well worn t-shirt, has soaked down his back and his chest both, and has turned his hair into a slick mop of black. He's been running for a while, the sort of focused near-desperate sort of run that attempts to kill the past with physical exertion. Occasionally whatever he sees in the plain wall ahead of him makes him grimace and snarl. Running, then, isn't actually working all that well.

He has been ignoring Grey. Ignoring too the three toughs. That he's nearby is probably not entirely an accident; he's another one of those ex-cadets. Still, he doesn't react until after all four of them are in a tumble. Trying for as long as he could to just ignore them, hoping that it'll go away. No such luck.

The honorable thing would've been to remind them that he is here. But a few months in the Skybox has shed Faolan of that impulse. While they're all focused on the downed Grey, he marches forward and thump goes a fist against a back of a head. Quick fights are better for everybody concerned. He's doing everybody a favor.

One of the resistance machines is unoccupied by anyone hellbent on working out. Instead, Evie is sitting cross-legged on the hard bench with a tablet in her lap, thumbing in a rather lackadaisical manner through what look to be documents and diagrams. With an elbow on her right knee, her cheek is resting against her palm, and a thin braid trails down over her wrist. The cacophony of juvenile browbeating is on par with the general din of lockup, and for a moment the group around the treadmill only earn a flicker of a glance from her. Sudden movement at the corner of her eye catches Evie's attention, and her head darts up in time to watch Grey as he is catapulted from the rundown machine.

With a heavy sigh, she tucks the tablet under her left elbow and uncurls from the bench to approach Lucian on the ground. Already a scuffle is beginning, and she thrusts out a hand in an offer to help him up. "He's gonna get in all the licks without you if you stay down there much longer."

One troublemaker down with Grey, one staggering under Faolan's assault, and a third looking in surprise at his two fellows suddenly on the ground and Evie approaching, "Hey! What…" The thug is caught between protesting, deciding whether or not to kick Grey while he's down, or responding to Evie. Grey lashes out with one foot, catching his downed tormentor with a glancing blow in the thigh, and then reaches out to grab Evie's hand and haul himself up, wincing a little as he does. Faolan's prey grabs hold of the treadmill's rail to steady himself, and starts to turn around raising his fists groggily, but with six Delinquents involved, the Guards have started to take notice, shock batons snapping out as two of them cut through the crowd, "Knock it off there!"

Faolan lifts his hands up in surrender as soon as the Guards start coalescing at the location of the little brawl, taking a step backwards to open up some space between himself and the kid lifting up his fists. He doesn't say anything, just keeps a glum mum. Though the look he gives Lucien is something of a: 'Why can't you just keep shut when they start fucking with you?' Exasperated.

Evie grips Grey's hand as he rises to his feet, but lets go just in time as the Guards begin to approach. She wipes her palm surreptitiously on her pants before offering the baton-wielding authority figures the bird. Her attention returns to Lucian long enough to brush dirt from his sleeve before looking away to find a new place to sit and read in peace. "Peace" in the Skybox is a relative term, but here and there in the common area are pockets of people carrying on pleasant conversations. Their attention drifts toward the group for a moment, but nobody seems keen on interfering. "And here you didn't even get a word in," she murmurs to Grey, gazing over his shoulder briefly before flicking her hair back and squinting at a Guard in suspicion.

Grey either does not get Faolan's look, or he does not care that he gets it (even money, really, considering the young man's somewhat sullen disposition), growling at his previous tormentors, "Real smooth, jackholes. Three of you to take little old me, and you still screw it up. Your mothers must be proud." Of course, with the Guards and their shock batons approaching, he has the sense to raise his hands out at his sides to make it clear he's not going after any of the other teens. One of the tormentors, the original tripper, makes a move toward Grey again, only to be grabbed by the one who confronted Evie and hauled back. Seeing the trio of youths moving back from Grey, Faolan, and Evie, the Guards holster their batons and start to amble off again, although one does give Evie a dirty look at her rude gesture. This leaves Grey to lean down, studying the track-burn on the outside of his right thigh and grimace, "Shit man, I had them. I don't need your help, Faolan." Rolling his pranged shoulder, he glances over to Evie, "I always get a word in, unless a look'll do."

With a sorry slump to his shoulders, Faolan leans against the nearest treadmill. His hand runs through his sweaty hair, kept short, with a frustrated motion. "If you'd just ignored them from the start they'd leave you alone." Though his voice is reasonable, calm, persuasive.. this is not entirely true. Even Faolan who does practice avoidance for the most part, well, he gets his share of trouble. He gets less trouble, though. "And anyway, he'd have kicked you in the spine before you'd done anything. Bunch of cowards." Now there's contempt. Faolan might be looking down on a death sentence for killing someone, might even act on occasion like he thinks he deserves it, but he still doesn't see himself as a criminal. Which is why he also tells Evie: "You don't have to do that, you know." Flip them off. "They're just doing their job."

Unable to suppress an eyeroll, Evie pulls out her tablet and glances down to it briefly before looking up to Grey and Faolan. The exchange earns nothing more than a wrinkled nose in response until someone actually speaks to her directly. Her gaze flicks to the latter briefly before she glances down to her reading again; screw it, nothing doing now. She cups her fingers around its edge and lowers her arm, turning her attention once more to Faolan. "Like I give a shit? We're scum to them, and all of you sticking your chests out and thumping on each other just gives them an excuse to burn off a little steam by wailing on the rest of us. Find someone more receptive to your message, Preacher." She points toward a group of even younger jailbirds clustered around a low table and talking.

Grey shakes his head at Faolan, "If I'd ignored them from the start, I'd just be prey to any one of them. Now, they have to bring two friends and come at me from behind." Probably just a difference of opinion. And he does needle the jackholes. "And I'm okay with them being cowards. Means I get left alone more often." Working his hurt shoulder and leg, he grimaces again, then shakes his head, limping forward to shut off the treadmill, and then lifting up the base of his shirt to pat his face dry of sweat before he responds to Evie. "For someone who walked straight into a fight, you seem awful concerned about getting hit."

"We're not scum to them," Faolan counters. There's a bitter self-hate in his tone as he emphasizes: "We're just scum in general, and if they don't enjoy spending their days in here with us, when they could've done something that mattered, something productive, then can you blame them? Nobody likes pointless jobs. And most of us are just waiting to float, anyway, so watching over us is pointless. Its all fucking POINTLESS!" That's his fist hammering on the treadmill hard and loud enough to drag more attention from the Guards their way. He blinks, looks surprised at himself, and sticks his hands in his pockets instead. One of them throbs painfully. He mutters: "Should've been saving all the resources we're wasting, and just get it over with."

"Fists and shock batons - very different outcomes when you're hit with one," Evie retorts to Grey, but the tail end of her words are outmatched by the barely restrained fury in Faolan's voice. She watches dispassionately as he works out his anger, and then gestures to him with a vague wave of a hand. "Dude, your martyr complex does not apply to everyone. Some of these kids will amount to something, and the rest will float. I'm sure if you ask nicely enough at your hearing, they'll shove you out the airlock before you can change your mind. You're the one wasting resources if your time here is spent only counting down the days until you can catch some zero-g."

Grey shakes his head at Foalan's words, "I should have floated months ago when I turned eighteen, Faolan." He doesn't have any illusions about his own fate, "Anything that keeps me alive another damned day is good by me." He tenses a bit as the other young man hits the treadmill, then relaxes again, shaking his head. Evie's words get a sneered, "Tell me about it." Oh, right, he killed his mother with a shock baton, and then turned himself in. "They aren't ever gonna let me out of here except for the last walk, girl," there's no derision in the term of address, just a lack of a name for the young woman, "but you'll excuse me if I don't egg 'em on to finish the job."

"Its not a martyr complex. Its just a fact. They're gonna float us, all but perhaps a handful that got an appropriate cry story. You? Heh. I remember you. You're a killer. He's a killer. I," and here Faolan's voice breaks briefly, before he steels himself into steel eyed resolution, "I am a killer. What he said. Us there's not even a pie-in-the-sky chance of any other outcome zero-g. So all this is just.." He shakes his head in disgust.

Evie returns Grey's snort with one of her own. "Yeah, because fighting is acceptable behavior all of a sudden? What a crock." Her snide smile falters a bit when Faolan turns on her, however, and without even thinking she reaches out with her free hand and pushes him in what is an unmistakable flare of anger. "Keep your fucking labels to yourself, killer. You don't fucking know me, none of you do. What a bunch of whiny bullshit, wah wah I'm gonna float what's the point of life. Find a point, or just shut the hell up."

"Fuck man, all of this is just living." Grey shakes his head sharply, adding sweatstains from his hands and forearms to those from his brow on his shirt, "It may not be much of a life, but I'm alive, and I don't want that to change." He brings one hand up to his mouth as he listens to Evie, chewing idly on the end of his thumbnail. The shove of his fellow ex-Cadet doesn't even seem to rile him, although he does note idly to Faolan, "you gonna let her shove you like that?" Dirty instigator. "Never said I was smart. Or doin' everything right. If I'm alive, I don't see any reason to take shit from other criminals."

Faolan takes the shove against his chest, rolls with it in a little shift to adjust his balance and steal away her leverage. He looks at her flatly, doesn't retaliate. Instead he says: "That temper, that's why they'll never pardon you. They can tell you're unstable. They'll think if you lost it once and someone died, then you'll lose it twice. Can't take the risk. They shouldn't take the risk. You're not worth the risk." He shrugs, then grimaces at Lucien as he starts instigating. He opens his mouth like he's about to chastise him or something, then just rolls his eyes and doesn't bother. Giving it up as a lost cause.

Evie cuts a glare toward Grey, rocking back on her heels in preparation for retaliation, but deflates a bit with Faolan refrains. "Duly noted, Killer. I'll make sure not to ask you to testify at my review, eh." Despite her attempts to keep her hackles raised, she can sense that the ball of anger pinging between them has fallen, and her shoulders slump in response. "I'm not in it for a pardon, anyway. Only a couple more months until I float. But seriously, isn't there something you want to do until then besides run in place?" Her thin fingers flutter through the air as she waves toward the treadmill before reaching up to tuck her frazzled locks behind her ears.

Lost cause, that's Lucian Grey. Then again, that was also his father, and his mother, they just didn't get pushed too far over the line. "Why even run in place if you're just waitin' to be floated, Faolan? I mean, it don't matter if you float fat or skinny. And you're usin' up more Oh-Two when you run." Evie's question may have been meant for Faolan, but that's not going to stop Grey from putting in his own suggestions, "Get enough favors to get really drunk and puke on an annoying asshole? Hit someone who really deserves it? Get lai — " He stops, studies Faolan for a moment through narrowed eyes, and then goes with, "Get to first base?" And then he looks over to Evie, "What's in it for you then? Still hopin' for that review? Or something else?"

"I don't know," Faolan tells first Evie when she asks him what he wants. And then he just repeats it to Lucien a moment later when it comes to why he bothers running "I don't know. Habit, I guess. Its all.. easier, when I'm not just sitting still. And yeah, I know, its selfless and wasting resources, and I think they should just float us. Its the logical thing to do. The smart move, for the greater good. But.." he shrugs. "I guess I'm just not that much of a martyr. I'll choose suffering less if its an option. I'd.. actually, yeah. I'd choose to get drunk off my ass, is what I'd choose to do, if I could get my hands on some booze. Dad.. I bet he's drinking his ass off as we speak." A pause, a stretch of silence when it comes to getting laid. That just makes him look more miserable after talking about drinking was briefly lifting up his spirits. Then again, he'd offed his girlfriend while getting laid was on the table and part of the plan.

Grey's look and his quick amendment causes Evie to let out a laugh quickly suppressed into an awkward snort. Her cheeks turn pink and she clears her throat. "Work," she replies to Grey first, holding up the tablet by way of demonstration. "Mom asked me to review some of her calculations, and dad is poking around with some cross-breeding simulations. Might as well do something…" Her voice trails off, and the awkward silence expands into an awkward thirty seconds of trying not to look Faolan in the eye. Eventually she tries to fill it with: "Hey, you think getting drunk is an option? I mean, you're about to get spaced. What's the harm?" Oh yes, her tone is hopeful.

Quinn's been keeping to herself, as usual, but eventually she turns up after everything has been dispersed. She likely isn't heading for the people, more possibly the treadmills that everyone has gathered around instead.

Fiona has been let out of her cell for the same reason the others have, to get exercise, and to keep her reasonably sociable. She heads for one of the mats rolling her neck and shoulders and glancing briefly at those already gathered.

Grey may have remembered Faolan's personal history. He may have said it on purpose. He is his mother's son, no matter how angry that claim would make him. If the other young man's reaction causes him any regret, he doesn't show it, instead laughing at Evie's blushing, only for the laughter to turn incredulous, "Work? Are you kidding me? Nerd." The last word, again, isn't exactly intended to be cutting, there's more laughter behind it. "I think if you build up the right favors, you could get most anything in here." The approach of the two other young woman gets a glance, and then he shrugs, "I mean, I'm sure the favors'd cost you, especially in here."

"Bruce owed me on the outside," Faolan says slowly. Bruce is a guard. Its not really something he's thought about before; the boy hasn't wanted to see anyone, hasn't wanted to get anything. He scratches absently at his armpit, the one that's damp as a swamp, the t-shirt all soaked from it. "Doubt he'd honor it. I mean, that was before. Back when we.. yeah. No reason he would." He shakes his head, already talking himself out of even trying to use his old life for leverage. his eyes find Quinn and Fiona as they both approach in each their own way.

Evie makes a face and mimes swatting at Grey with the tablet. "I'm pretty sure if I could survive for very long after being spaced, my mother would be asking for help in the last few minutes of consciousness." She laughs at the thought, although the sound is much more sad inside the Skybox. When the others look away, her gaze follows to watch as the girls approach to take up their own exercise. Using the sleeve of her jacket, she wipes away sweat from the bars of the treadmill and then steps away to give Quinn some room. It brings her inadvertently closer to Faolan, which is unacceptable enough to keep her walking until she's out of arm's reach but still within range for easy conversation. "Never know if you don't try it. No reason he would, maybe no reason he wouldn't. Maybe he'd find a reason after all, or maybe you'll get inspired."

Fiona offers a chin up greeting to Faolin, but seems initially hesitant to interrupt the current conversation. She focuses on stretches instead, some sort of amalgam between tai chi and yoga. Her ears are open, though.

As Evie moves aside, Quinn moves to take the machine, her hands reaching back to giver her ponytail a fast, hard tug to make sure that it's tight enough it wont fall down. She then just leans forward, resting her forearms on the bars so that she can glance towards the group talking, openly listening without joining in the conversation just yet.

Grey raises an arm to ward off the supposed swat from the tablet, wincing a little as he does. It's the shoulder he treadmill-biffed-it onto. His own laughter has a sharper edge to it, jealousy, scorn, more jealousy. He shrugs a little at the young woman's words to Faolan, "The worst he could do is give you a jolt." Looking back over to the newcomers, he adds, "What about you girls? Either of you have someone who owes you enough to smuggle in some 'shine? Apparently, Faolan's got a powerful thirst for forgetfulness."

"You just want to get drunk," Faolan accuses Evie with a soft snort. He gives Fiona a chin-up right back, slow like. Though the tall ex-cadet tends to avoid interacting with the general riff-raff of the SkyBox, Fiona being more of a do-gooder than a standard criminal apparently counts for something. Evie meanwhile, all close for a bit, gets to find out that Faolan has been very active on the treadmill, without much of a water ration to clean with. The result is a very distinct odor of teenage boy with a need for soap. "And it wouldn't be you guys who took the shock-baton to the stomach for overstepping your bounds." A pair of expressive dark brows knit together above his thoughtful blue eyes, and you can all but see him slowly weighing the cons and pros. Worth the risk? Not worth the risk? "I guess it doesn't matter. Getting drunk'd be nice. Grey, you know when Bruce's shift starts? I lose track." His eyes shift to Fiona and Quinn again, expectantly.

"Not so much, I'm afraid." offers Fiona. "It's not even like my parents have enough to bring me cookies, much less booze. I wouldn't mind a stiff drink, though." She lets out a sigh, or maybe just an exhale as she bends and wraps her hands around her skinny ankles.

Quinn's brow lifts upwards at the question, her eyes shifting between one person and the other before she shakes her head, "I have no one on the outside that owes me a favor, or gives a shit if I'm still around." She glances towards Fiona, then back to the boys, "You think it'll be worth it?"

"Yes, I do. Who doesn't? I'll even go with you and take a jolt if it means booze." Evie points at Fiona as a good example of someone else who wouldn't mind getting drunk. "I think trying is worth it. It's a hell of a lot better than doing nothing." She bounces on her heels a bit, getting hyped at the idea, and turns her attention to Grey when Faolan inquires after the guard's schedule.

Grey offers a brilliant, shit-eating grin at Faolan that splits his features like a pre-Apocalypse comic book jester, "Nope. I'll watch from way over the other side of the SkyBox. But… uh…" he thinks through what he knows of the Guard schedule. It's easier when you know the faces from before you were Boxed, "third shift today? Or first tomorrow." The responses from Fiona and Quinn are disappointing, and it shows, "And none of my friends on the outside have the pull." Wait, he has friends? Like, who voluntarily put up with his sniping and sullenness?

"Figures," Faolan mutters when the others are coming up short. He gives Evie a sideways look, skeptic. "Tell me how that'd work? I say: 'Please don't poke me, do her instead?' He might take that differently than I intended it." The last comes out with a crooked smile, a bit of white teeth and a hint of charm he'd kept locked away while being busy being sullen. "Thanks, Grey. That's real helpful. So a possible two out of three shifts, assuming he isn't on right now? Great." He rolls his eyes. He looks to the girls, suggests: "Pretty girls are less likely to get hurt for asking stupid questions, right? Go ask 'em," with a jerked thumb towards the Guards, "when Bruce is on, and I'll letchu have a swig if Bruce pays up. And doesn't just beat me up."

Fiona exhales again, this time pulling herself upright. "On one hand? I don't have long before review. Assuming they decide not to float me. On the other? It would be nice to turn my brain off for a while." She shakes her head. Jeopardizing her chances is risky, but the weight of the nearness of her review is also not exactly easy to bear as it gets closer. "We can wish as hard as we want, it's not going to happen." She gives Faolan a sour look. "That's gross." That seems to be all she has to say about his ideas regarding what pretty girls can do.

"I don't want a drink." Quinn retorts, but she steps back off the treadmill anyways, a hand reaching up to tug the ponytail holder out of her hair before she heads towards where the Guards are. Even without taking the bribe, she is apparently willing to go ask the Guards.

Evie stifles a yawn, and a notification on her tablet draws her attention away. She looks down and swipes through a few screens before glancing up to Faolan. "I've got work to do. You figure out when this Bruce guy is here, and I will worry about how to take the heat. Maybe I'll just use my new-found skill." She flips him off by way of example, laughs a little, and offers a slight wave to the others as she peels away from the group to wander off to a quiet corner in the opposite direction of Quinn.

Grey laughs at Faolan's unintentional(?) double entendre. His brain obviously functions quite nicely at gutter level, "I'm sure most of them'd be happy to, except Kev or Xhian. And I only keep track of the Guards who want to make life hard on me. You're lucky I even remembered he was on shift here." He looks around the little group, "So I get a share 'cause it was my brilliant idea." He points to Faolan, "You get a share because it's your connection." His finger shifts to Evie, "You get a share because of your info gathering." And then he looks to Quinn and Fiona, "And you don't want a share at all." That would be Quinn of course, "So what are you doing for your share?" Fiona.

A shrug answers Fiona's revulsion. "Facts are facts." Faolan runs his fingers through his hair, which is slowly starting to dry out after being a mop of wet not long ago. Dryly he notes to Grey: "You awfully quick at giving out shares of something we don't even have. And that you've got a pretty thin claim to." He follows Quinn's movements to the Guards, and it says something for his state of mind that his gaze is above waist level, too.

Fiona puts up her hands in surrender. "Providing excellent company is about as much as I want to stick my neck out. And it won't bother me any at the end of the day to skip. Like I said, wishful thinking."

Quinn doesn't put on too much affectation, she doesn't try to expose more skin than is already exposed by the t-shirt she's wearing, no sway to the walk. No hands trying to draw anyone's attention anywhere. No tears, or begging, nothing other than a straight shot across to the guards. As soon as she's close she stops, "Hey, I was wondering if you knew when Bruce was going to be on shift next." As direct as a punch to the face.

Where the heck as Cole been? He's sitting nearby watching the whole thing transpire before his eyes. Not much the mechanic can do, so right now he's making a paper football, little more than a folded triangle, flicking it into a nearby trash can. Because he's just that bored, and there's only so much enjoyment he can gleam from watching the others angrily snipe at each other. Which well, there is a certain humor to that.

Grey watches Quinn's backside as she walks off, because, well, he's of an age and an inclination to do so. "Yup, I am. But the idea man's the important part. The fixer who puts everyone together." He points down at his treadmill-burned thigh under the edge of his shorts, "Besides, I bled to bring you all together." Okay, so there's no blood, and it didn't bring them all together. Over by the doors, the guard looks at Quinn, shrugging, "Third shift. Why, you owe him something?"

"Excellent company, huh?" Faolan asks Fiona. "I guess it has to be better than this guy's." He looks from Fiona to Grey, telling the latter: "I almost buy that you believe that rubbish. Almost."

"Maybe." Quinn responds, her arms crossing over her chest for a moment, watching the guards for a split second before she starts to step backwards away from them. She's careful to not just turn her back on them right away as she retreats away from them.

"You could always call it the power of positive thinking." Fiona shrugs, moving closer to the equipment and the conversation. She watches Quinn's retreat, conscious of whether or not the other woman might need someone to come up on her side.

The Guard snorts at Quinn, sarcastically responding, "Good luck, jailbird." But even that's more interesting than just standing around watching for disturbances, so he doesn't make any more trouble for the Delinquent than that.

Grey flashes Faolan another one of those megawatt smiles, "Of course I don't, but you all don't need my input, and I don't see any reason I should give up a chance at something to liven the place up, especially since it was sort of my idea. And screw you if you don't think I'm good company, Faolan." There's a snort of amusement behind the words, "I never asked for you to come in and thump that jackhole. Consider this the interference tax."

"Oh fuck." Cole finally states, rolling his head against the wall, like the young man is absolutely dying of boredom, then looking between Grey and Faolan bicker back and forth between each other. "Would just get it over with and fuckin kiss already? The rest us of all are all waiting on that shit."

"They might let you go, you know," Faolan says to Fiona, finally. "Just forswear further rule breaking, promise you're good, don't cause ripples. Be quiet, accept that what is, is, and always will be." With a shrug he moves to intercept Quinn to hear what the word was. He rolls his eyes at Grey, and Cole he just gives a flat look.

A few more steps backwards, then Quinn turns on her heel to then starts back towards where everyone is still standing around the equipment. She starts for the treadmill, but stops when Faolan moves to intercept her, she lifts a brow a bit, "Yeah?" She glances beyond him to Grey and Fiona, then another look towards Cole before her gaze returns to Faolan.

Fiona turns to look at Cole blankly and then looks back to Faolan. "They might let me go. They might decide no matter what I say, I won't be able to put it behind me or stop." She's not sure if she'd be able to stop, but she doesn't say that out loud.

Grey flares up a middle finger at Cole, "Screw you, man." Looking back to Faolan, he eyes the other youth carefully, then shrugs, "Not nearly enough tits or ass for me. And his legs are a ton too hairy." Good luck on the ground, Grey. He glances over to Fiona, then to Quinn, grinning a little, but he keeps any commentary on personal comparisons to his fellow ex-Cadet in those three areas to himself. At least he doesn't speak the comparisons, the fact that he's making them is pretty clear on his face. Fiona's words sour the comparisons, however, "Boo-hoo, 'they might not let me go.' Poor you, Princess. Some of us won't get even that chance."

"I'm just fuckin saying." Cole grins, sitting on his spot on the floor, folding another peice of paper into a triangle to flick into the nearby trashcan. "If I didn't know any better, all this snarkiness might just take for fuckin flirting. "The goddamn sexual tension, cut that shit with a knife." It's not clear if he means it, but it's clear the mechanic enjoys a good ribbing. "Eh, way I hear it, you have a heart attack from all your fuckin body fluids boiling instantly. Pretty painless so far as deaths go. Some guy down in Mecha Station told me once that vacuum feels pretty cool to the skin. And it smells like ozone."

"They like to think some of us can be saved, and if they do.. then they sleep better at night while they float the rest. You just have to give them a reason. Most of us don't have a chance to convince them, and most of us don't deserve it anyway." Like Faolan, is the unvoiced sentiment, and a glance for Lucien includes him too as unworthy of being saved. "All you have to do is convince them you'll stop, and then actually stop" The latter he emphasizes.

"What'd they say?" Is the somewhat exasperated question he makes of Quinn. "You know? The reason you went there to start with. Unless it was all to make Grey eye your ass. If so, thumbs up, mission accomplished. But I'd still like to know what shift Bruce is on." When he says thumbs up, he even does a thumbs up, both of them telling her good job.

"Yes, because my entire life centers around making Grey check out my ass." Quinn responds with a roll of her eyes, "I'll tell you, but I want something out of it." She lifts a hand, and points to the thumbs up, "Never, ever, fucking do that again. Deal?"

"Cole Menge, if you don't stop harassing that guy I will hold you down so he can get a clear shot!" the call comes out from a new direction, another form appearing through the gathered youth. The bright, biohazard orange hair is a beacon, the pale skin matched with the darker clothes makes for a stark contrast. Her height is another factor. She pushes past the last of the kids, hands on her hips and glowering in Cole's direction. Turning towards Grey, she offers an apologetic smile and extends a hand towards him, stepping in front of Cole to block his direct access and readying an elbow to dig into the scrawny man's side if he starts smart-mouthing again. "Hi there, Mikaela Reid. I'm so sorry for Cole. I'm pretty sure he suffers from a lack of brain to mouth filter, along with the chronic asshole syndrome. Did you know he broke up with me because I followed him in here?"

Fiona ignores Grey. What else is she going to do? The conversation with Faolan, on the other hand, is troublesome. The look she gives him is weary. "It's important to me." she says quietly. "Maybe it's not important to you, or to anyone else in Skybox but the ones who were with me, but it was important to me, and people who were afraid to think about how they and anyone who came after them were going to never break out of the shit lives they were stuck in. I just - " she pauses. She doesn't want to give up. And sure, she doesn't want to die, but she also believes that she and others deserve better. "Look, I know no one here cares about it but me. Better a living hypocrite, right?" She casts her glance over at Mikaela, her amusement a brief respite from more serious thoughts.

Cole's eyes go wide at the voice, rolling his eyes. "Where we fuckin go…" he mutters. And then she starts talking. The more she does, the more his mouth drops. "What the fuck, Mika." he stammers at her. "You're not my fuckin mother, Mika. Quit talking like you speak for me or some shit." he angrily states. "No, it's okay, just go around spouting our dirty laundry to every-fuckin-body in the damn Box! Really, just bring that shit up, again. And you're still a goddamn idiot for following me here to begin with. 'No, I'll risk getting floated because it's a great idea'! Because purposely dancing with the idea of getting-" he pulls himself up short, starting at her. "We are not doing this shit here."

"Can't promise you that," Faolan says somberly to Quinn. "It's my whole schtick. If I couldn't give people a thumbs up, my life just wouldn't be worth living." And he turns around to give Mikaela the double thumbs up, too, for getting in the middle of Cole and Grey. "See? Just like that, the weight of the world lessened just a little. C'mon. Don't make me sick Grey on you. A chance to get drunk? He won't stop harassing you all night long." Fiona.. he just shrugs at. A sort of tired 'if you can't bother, you can't bother', but he obviously thinks she should do whatever she can to keep living. Not die a martyr.

Grey knows he's in Faolan's unvoiced 'not to be saved,' by the fact that he meets the other man's gaze head on, his lips tight. "Crime doesn't make you unworthy to live. Being a fucking bitch does." There's a whole lot less humor in that statement than most of his words, even the sly sort. It also goes quite contrary to the established norms of the Ark. And then the discussion veers back to asses, and his smile is back. "Mission so not accomplished yet." He isn't quite cheesy enough to say 'but I'll keep trying,' but the suggestion is there in his tone. Mikaela's intervention stops him from continuing in that vein, and he blinks at the proffered hand, before taking it cautiously, clasping for just a moment and then releasing the grip, "Lucian Grey." And that's a last name not to be proud of, unlike that of the young woman with the day-glo hair. "You sure he didn't break up because you were dumb enough to risk getting floated just to not get conjugal privileges?" Speaking of chronic asshole syndrome…

"All night long?" Quinn smirks very faintly at Faolan, shaking her head again before she starts to step around him, "If you can't stop doing the thumbs up, and I don't want to get drunk, I guess we're at an impasse." She pauses, smiling very faintly, "Unless you can think of something else that might be worth my information."

That threatened elbow finds its way right into Cole's ribs, the pleasant smile never once leaving Mikaela's face. She glances over her shoulder and smiles sweetly while murmuring, "Shut your fucking mouth, Cole, before you get yourself in worse trouble. Or did you want to die before you could find out if you're being vented or dropped?" Crunching her nose up cutely, she glares daggers with her eyes before swinging back around to present the bright smile and pleasant face to Grey. Lifting a shrug, she chuckles softly and gives a nod, "So sue me, I thought I was being noble in following my boyfriend into exile. Or death. But then, -I- have the advantage of being relatively certain of my fate." Glancing aside at the others, she offers that same bright smile and nods towards them before looking back towards Cole, "I'm not doing anything, Cole. You've been doing plenty of talking for the both of us. And still show so little faith in me. Nice to know things haven't changed." Rolling her eyes, she shrugs at Fiona and Quinn, shrugging as if to say 'Men!'.

"Not all crime," Faolan tells Grey slowly, meaning every word, "but most of them do make you unworthy to live up here. There's no room for people who put themselves over the rest up here. There just isn't. When our," and here he grimaces, corrects himself; "someone's grandkids or great-great-great grandkids finally make use of their dull-as-all-shit Earth Lessons I snoozed through, living on the ground, then they can think about themselves."

Gloomy, he frowns at Quinn. Then he shakes his head and just snorts. "I guess we are. Grey, go get her and earn your share." While he starts padding off.

Fiona gives a one shouldered shrug, forcing a grim smile to her face. "Can't read the future. Suppose I'll see if I get offered that second chance in the first place." She has to trust that she'll know in the moment. The only thing she knows for sure is that if she made the promise to behave, she'd be lying. There's a faintly sympathetic grin for Mikaela, and then she too pushes off.

There's a cough, and Cole doubles over slightly, suddenly unable to get air into his diaphragm. Gasping he looks at her, coughing. "Fuck..youuuuu…" he croaks out. It's a process of trying to catch his breath after that sucker punch. But he's not Faolan or Grey, he doesn't have the training to know how to take a hit. Strong and durable is one thing, not expecting it is something else. But he should've expected it from her, anyways. "It was still a fuckin mistake, Mika. Like you couldn't of waited or some shit. I have faith, but goddamnit you didn't fuckin need to…" he growls mildly, refraining from finishing the rest. "And my mouth doesn't get me in fuckin trouble, Mika, much to your idea that it might. Not like Grey here would punch me the fuck out." Beat. "Alright, maybe he would, but I'm sure he'd feel just fuckin horrible about it." Yeah, that last part is all sarcasm.

Grey shrugs over at Quinn, "You doubt I'd go all night long?" He lets the double entendre sit for a moment, then smooths it over with, "I'm way more annoying than that." He snorts at Faolan, "Asshole." It's… mostly… mocking/friendly. He grunts at Mikaela's response, "Noble, stupid… you know…" there's more teasing there than cutting, but it's a near-run thing. To Cole, "Me, man? I'm a damned angel." Says the matricide. Finally, he nods to Faolan as the man departs and looks to Quinn, "His-Stick-Up-His-Ass-ness has decreed that I should go get you and earn my share. What do you think?"

If Mikaela was looking for girl power from Quinn, well, it's just not there. She glances at Cole, then back to Mikaela, "He's got a point…that was some fucked up stupid romantic bullshit. Now you're one of us…forever." With Faolan heading away to go be gloomy she moves again, this time instead of heading for the treadmill she moves over to where Grey is, "You can take your best shot, I'm not entirely against the effort."

Smiling across at Grey, she sighs dramatically and jerks a thumb back at the coughing, sputtering Cole, "And now you see the sort of shit that I put up with. He's so ungrateful." Shrugging towards Quinn, she chuckles, "You say that like its a bad thing. I don't mind being lumped in with everyone here. Hell, I threw in my lot with -this- jackass before either of us were ever in trouble." She jerks her thumb back at Cole before finally turning to look at him, or rather, down at him. Sighing, she reaches down to grip his arm, "Oh c'mon you big baby. I didn't hit you -that- hard. Now if you don't want to air our laundry in front of the masses, why don't we head over there and we can talk about it in a semi-quiet place?" She points off towards a corner that seems relatively clear.

Right, this might explain Cole's perpetual bad attitude. Because he puts up with this kind of abuse. Maybe he committed a crime just to get away from her, but the way they apparently treat each other. With insults. "Oh right, this jackass. You sure I'm just something you scraped off your fuckin shoe?" There's a look at Grey and Quinn. One that might say 'You see this shit that I have to put up with? Even in /jail/.' "Yeah, I think you forget how fuckin strong you are." Leaning up straight, and looking just a tad insulted, he nods. "Fine. Let's go 'talk'." he utters, before then he realized that he had been listening to the other two. "Uh, what? You two gonna fuck or something? Because that's what it sounds like?"

"'Not entirely against the effort,'" Grey smiles, "Damn, girl, that has to be the /sexiest/ thing anyone's ever said to me." Sarcasm, thy name is Grey. "Say goodbye to the lovebirds. Or hate-birds, or whatever." A chuckle accompanies the words to Quinn, and then he's giving a little wave-y flick of his fingers to Cole and Mikaela. "Micky, this man's got fucking on the brain. Only you can save us all. First to two falls, no hitting below the belt, find your corners, people." Focusing back on Quinn, he brings his left hand up to his mouth, biting at the nail of his ring finger a moment as he studies her. "So. Fourth and goal at the twelve, down by four, seven seconds left. What's it gonna take to get the time Bruce is on watch, so I don't have to go ask Guardsman Dumbass," (Dumas, actually) "over there myself and listen to him judge me silently?"

"Yes, right here, on the floor, in front of everyone. It'll be amazing…I'll be sure to scream, a lot. Really loud and somehow breathy all at the same time." Quinn replies, her hands reaching up to flop against her face, stroking her cheeks as she mock-moans for a moment, then she drops her hands back to her side. "You know that I have zero idea what any of that actually means, right?" She then lifts a hand, counting off a few things with her fingers, "First option, break his thumbs so he can't do the thumbs up thing for at least a month. Second, something…something…Hell, I don't know. Think of something. Third, option, I could just tell you."

"I'm not the one that scraped you off, Cole. You did the scraping. Too bad it was too late at that point! Now who's the idiot? The one that followed you in here, or the one that decided it would be a good idea to break up with the punchy girl that -followed you in here-?" Rolling her eyes, she pulls her hands back and lifts them up, fingers splayed before making a grand gesture for him to go first, "By all means…" And then he's opening his mouth again. Grabbing Cole by the arm, she flashes an apologetic grin towards Grey and Quinn, "Sorry Lucian, can't help you there. He barely lets me touch him let alone get close to his piece." And then she's dragging Cole off to that semi-private corner to 'talk'.

Walking away with Mika taking his arm, they get far enough away that he's shaking his arm away from her. "I'm fine." he snorts, unceremoniously tugging at his shirt. "You done yet being the fucking hard case yet?" he remarks, looking her over. "And for the record, I didn't fuckin break up with you because I wanted to, I just didn't want you waiting for someone that might never come back. Like getting fuckin floated. I wanted you to move the fuck on. If I got out, great. If not, well, I wouldn't be any position to really bitch about it, would I?" he explains glowering at her. "And you don't need to treat like a goddamn child, Mika. I'm fine."

"Oh baby, oh baby," deadpans Grey in response to Quinn's play-acting. "You sure you don't want to try it on a treadmill?" He shrugs helplessly at Mikaela, "All of our loss, I'm sure. And call me Grey." The lack of understanding of the football terminology has him aghast, however, "You mean you haven't watched the old gridiron vids? Damn, girl, you need an education. Okay, so since Option one sounds like too much damned work, and option three sounds like no damned fun, how about I teach you the great game of football, and you tell me when Bruce is workin'?"

"So you want to torture me for the information?" Quinn shakes her head, laughing very slightly before she drops herself down onto the edge of one of the treadmills, her arms folding across her knees. "Alright, torture away, I'm at least comfortable now."

Letting go of his arm, she narrows her eyes at him, "I don't know, are you done being an asshole yet? Seriously, can you just not help yourself at this point?" Sighing, she scrubs a hand over her face and shakes her head. Dropping her hand, she stares at him flatly for a few moments before frowning, "IF you came back? IF you came back, what the Hell makes you think I would have taken you back? You -dumped- me, Cole! And right after I'd gone to all the trouble of picking a fight AND staging it so that it would be seen AND making sure that it wouldn't just get handwaved away! Do you have any idea how much effort and planning it took to get IN here??" She flings her hands at him, not actually hitting him, but just making a gesture, "AUGH! There's no winning with you! If I show I care, I'm smothering, if I back off, I'm an ice queen. What the FUCK do you WANT?" Drawing herself up to her full height, pulling from her well of resolve, she draws in a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "You know what, never mind. Its not my business anymore. YOU'RE not my business anymore." She starts to walk away, calling out, "By the way, you're welcome for saving your ass! Again."

"I dumped you because I'm here!" Cole returns with. No, they're not doing so well with the idea of keeping things quiet between them. "If you weren't going to take me back if I got out, why the fuck did you get yourself thrown in here to begin with? I never asked you to get tossed the fuck in here. I sure hell didn't fuckin want you in here. You were better off out there. So what am I supposed to do? Be glad we can live out our own version of fuckin Romeo and Juliet? I never fuckin wanted that for you, don't you get it?" He doesn't flinch from her potential strikes, rolling his eyes. "What I wanted was you to be out there and no in here. I wanted you to be fuckin safe an not get pulled into this shit." He waves her off when she starts to walk away, turning aside, pushing hair of his face and holding a hand to his face. "Mika…" he finally sighs. "Wait. Stop, come back."

Grey laughs at the counter from the young woman, shaking his head and gesturing over toward one of the tables with the chess sets on it, "Oh hell no. I'm not doing this without visual aides. It'd be better with clips from a game, but I don't want to go through the hassle of prying a screen away from any of the assholes," or perfectly nice people, "usin' them. So we'll work up to that." He glances over at the shouting match going on over in the corner, shaking his head in amusement, "First things first…" He might even be more animated when he's talking about football then when he's sniping at someone verbally, "you got three parts to each team: offense, defense, and special teams. The offense is tryin' to drive the ball down the field in one direction, the defense is trying to stop 'em. Special teams we'll get to later."

"Visuals?" Quinn glances towards Cole and Mikaela, but she doesn't have any comment for what's happening there. She gets to her feet to move towards the tables, dragging out one of the chairs to drop herself into it. She stretches her legs out in front of her, "Special teams includes punters, kicker, holder, punt returner…and so on." She sits up, reaching for the chess pieces and starts to divide them into groups of eleven, putting the extra five from each color to the side, then she stops, "Oh, you're wanting to do this, right?"

Shaking her head, Mikaela stops, tensed and agitated. She turns, slowly, and faces Cole once more. "I wanted to be my boyfriend. Yeah, it wasn't the most well thought out plan in the world. And yeah, it was kinda stupid. But I was facing going back to a boring goddamn life around boring goddamn people and never seeing you again. I panicked. I went to a lot of trouble to set that whole thing up… and then right before its supposed to go down… my boyfriend breaks up with me." She blows out a breath and folds her arms across her chest, "So guess what? I really was pissed when I picked that fight, and I really didn't care at that point who saw it. And I got caught and ended up in here after all. Yay me. Now since you've made it -perfectly- clear that you think I'm an idiot, what -more- do you want?"

"There's a difference being an idiot on a daily basis and making an idiot mistake. If you were the fuckin former, we never would've dated in the first place." Cole says, some of the angry draining out of his voice. More to his usual 'eternally annoyed' one. Which is normal for him, that's how he usually sounds. "And I didn't didn't know the shit you were up. In my head, I was sparing us some goddamn pain. Because I didn't want you to have to watch me get floated, alright? If I had known what you were going to do, I would've fuckin said something. Tried to stop you, anyways." There's a grit of teeth, but not at her, more at him. Having to say what's on his mind and what comes out of his mouth tend to be two different things. "What more do I want? I don't want you to fuckin die for starters." Okay, so he still cares. "And did it ever fuckin occur to you that I'm not at you but the fact that you're here? Because there's a goddamn difference between the two."

"Well that's too goddamn bad, because I'm in here now. You can't change that and I'm not going to try. And you might be saying that, but I'm catching a whole different vibe." She glances all around, even behind herself, checking to see if anyone's watching, who's close enough to hear. Then she leans in real close and pokes a finger into his chest, pitching her voice low, "I know you're not nearly as big of an asshole as you try to be. And I do care about you, I wouldn't be in here if I didn't. I just didn't want -you- dying alone. I didn't want you dying period. But I couldn't control the latter, only the former. So here we are. And yeah, Cole, I want to know what you're going to do about it." Mikaela straightens up and lets out a breath, "Are you gonna be pissed the rest of the time we're in here? Or are you gonna wise the fuck up and we can try to spend whatever time we've got left together? I don't know if we're gonna be okayed or airlocked or.. I don't know. But I know you better make a choice soon or it'll be out of your hands."

Grey starts to settle down into the bolted-down chair across from Quinn, and then she starts rattling off football terms, and he freezes. He may not be the quickest uptake on the Ark. Then again, he's not the slowest, either, and in a moment, he's laughing, "Don't forget the long-snapper." Pulling aside another piece, he sets it next to the 'punter,' 'kicker,' and 'punt returner.' Shaking his head, he settles into the chair and slouches there easily, "You're pretty cool, girl. If we weren't under all-day watch by the Guard, I might consider tryin' to take you up on your not-exactly-an-offer earlier. Or, you know, actually learning your name." That last has a crooked grin associated with it. "So you a fan of the college game or the pros?"

"Neither, actually." Quinn replies, flopping back in her chair, "I just remember listening to my dad talk about this stuff when I was a kid, and I remembered some of it. But I've exhausted the total of my knowledge…like I didn't even know about a long-snapper." She waves a hand towards the piece set aside for that position. She then leans forward, tilting her head in the direction of the love-hate-birds, "So you know anything about those two?"

"I know that. Why do you think I'm so goddamn pissed off about it?" Cole snaps back, looking away when she remarks about him being 'not so much an asshole'. "So that makes it better? Us getting vented together in some kind of…" The thought just infuriates him. "I can't do anything about it. I can't hack my way out, I can't repair the problem and that…" there's a growl of frustration. Right, because if he can't fix a problem, repair it, hack it, MacGuyver his way through it, it's about the one thing that drives him batty. He shakes his head, out of things to say and he just stares at her, a mixture of feelings in his face. "You're still fuckin stupid, Meeks." he says weakly, but obviously meant in way. "You know I'd take any time I got. Just didn't want it to be fuckin like this." He throws a hand up, resigning 'defeat' because she's finally made a point he can't argue himself out of.

Grey nods at Quinn's explanation, "Snappin' the ball back a dozen yards ain't easy. I tried it once with a dummy flashbang. Bad scene all around." The question about Mikaela and Cole draws a shrug, "He's some techie-trainee type. In for theft. I heard drugs. Or medicine. Something like that. Techno-grump-nerd. Always has his nose in something. Hasn't been in too long." Compared to Grey's 2 years. "Surprised you didn't recognize her name though. Councilor's daughter. Or she was, 'till her parents bought it. Real Ark Princess. Only way someone would do something that stupid if they've never had life hard." From his point of view, at least. "No clue how a grease-monkey and a princess got together. Fireworks are kinda funny to watch though, yeah?"

Mikaela steps in closer and reaches out, placing a hand on either of his hips and twisting him in place gently, "Yeah yeah. Shut up and kiss me, quick before the guards see." She flashes a grin up at him and slides her hands up to grip in shirt in both fists, yanking him in to plant a quick kiss to his lips. Since they really only have a moment, she makes it count before stepping back and dropping her hands, "For what its worth, I didn't want it to be like this either. I wanted… well, it doesn't matter now." She shrugs and steps back, nodding towards the rest of the common area, "C'mon. Walk with me? You haven't even called me a fuckin' crazy beautiful witch yet today. Kinda grew fond of that one."

"I bet." Quinn replies, flopping back into her chair, "Probably the same way anything happens around here…boredom, boredom….and more boredom." She picks up one of the pieces, idly dancing it across the end zone area. "Yeah, funny. I was hoping for more violence, though."

Oh yeah, PDA, because he doesn't absolutely hate that stuff. And she likely knows it. "You're trying to be fuckin cute." he mutters, looking at her with a frown. But it's not like he's not going to return the affection when she offers it. "Going to give me some kind of goddamn reputation for being nice or some happy-shit like that." So apparently he's not an asshole to everyone. Just most. He's going to lose his street cred all because of her. Though he does catch Quinn's later remarks. "Feh. Wait five minutes." he grunts over at her, then nodding at Mika. "I haven't because you haven't deserved it lately. With fuckin ball-bustin and playing the martyr recently." But he will walk with her.

"And probably too much hooch." Grey watches the smooch idly… okay maybe a little jealously… and then looks back to the chess board divided up eleven-on-eleven, "Okay, so the pawns are the offensive linemen. Knight's the tight end," he starts to line them up, "Bishops are the wide-outs, Queen's the Quarterback, King's the Fullback, and Rook's the Halfback. Yeah, I know the Halfback's further back than the Fullback, it doesn't make any sense to me either. The Line stands on the line of scrimmage, and blocks for everyone else. The Quarterback hands the ball to the Halfback or throws it to the Receivers or Tight Ends. Anyone who doesn't get the ball blocks, except the Quarterback, because he's a pussy."

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