PHD #062: A Fair Few Words
A Fair Few Words
Summary: Stavrian brings difficult news to the CMO.
Date: 2041.04.29
Related Logs: All logs related to the Swigert case. Recently: Office Hours, Unfortunate Answers.
Bia Stavrian 
CMO's Office — Deck 10 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #62
The CMO's office is, like many offices aboard the ship, of very military design. The space is utilitarian, to say the least, with bookshelves on the wall behind the single desk. In front of the desk are two chairs - as if the occupant would never need to have more than two other peole in the office at any given time. The shelves are lined with medical reference books, dotted here and there with a few framed photographs. Despite the rather sterile feel, overall, the room does have a few touches of warmth - a lab coat hanging from a hook near the door, a hearty variety of plant on top of a filing cabinet. It's the little things.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

A few days in a row without a crisis, and the CMO's office is starting to actually resemble an office again. The stacks of paperwork covering desk, chairs, and even the untrafficked corners of the room have slowly but surely been whittled away; the half-charred or bloodstained ones have been retranscribed and filed away in less grim form. Grace sits at her desk, rubbing slowly at the back of her neck while she flips between one dog-eared page and the next on her filled-to-bursting clipboard. Her door is slightly ajar.

Which of course invites the riffraff. You know it's spring when the PAs start getting in the house. Knuckles rap smartly against Bia's door, Stavrian's voice coming through the crack. "Captain?"

There's a brief pause before Grace responds, her voice raised so the drawling words roll all the way out the door. "Hain't no Captains left in here, but enter all the same!" She squeezes a final time at the back of her neck before straightening in her chair and lifting coffee-coloured eyes to the door. The clipboard pages get lowered and left to rest for a moment.

Stavrian obliges. In his dark blue scrubs, ID badge clipped to the bottom of his top, the physician assistant has one folded sheet of paper in his left hand. He pushes Bia's door shut and crosses the couple feet to his interim boss' desk, stopping tensely at proper distance. Not a 'hello', not a 'how are you', simply: "They're going to kill someone."

Grace's expression doesn't waver, her profile seemingly carved from calm and unruffled weariness. The eyes flicker, though, sweeping the medic in quick appraisal before lifting to his face and remaining there. Intent. "Sit you down?" she offers, gesturing to the empty chairs with a long-fingered hand. "What are you talking about, Mister Jesse? Who's going to kill someone?"

Stavrian looks down only long enough to sit down, on the edge of the offered seat. The paper stays in his hand, his fingers making dents in the white sheet. "The Marines, sir. They're going to execute someone by firing squad." His blue eyes are as intent as hers, the scrubs making the startling color even moreso. "This is insane."

Now /there's/ a wavering in that calm expression. Grace blinks once and leans back slightly — I can't be hearing that — then, a beat later, leans forward slightly — no, I did hear that. "An execution? In the midst of all this?" Her gaze breaks off from Stavrian's for a moment as her mind spins. "What's possibly worth killing a soul over, now? There been an announcement I missed?" A faint touch of resignation in the puzzlement, there — sit still for an hour, and she misses something.

"No, sir. There was a call for volunteers -" Stavrian's voice seems to tighten, as if disgust left a taste in his mouth. "- among the marines. From the COs' office. I don't know exactly who it is…people are talking about a girl." He sucks in a breath through his teeth. "We're down to slivers of percents of humans left and we're killing people."

"Let's take us a breath and think a minute on this." Grace looks to the paper Stavrian is slowly crushing between his fingers, considering, then lets her eyes move away to the insulated carafe sitting on her desk. "Water, Mister Jesse?" she asks, as she refills her own glass. She touches the glass with a thoughtful fingertip after it's filled, but doesn't lift it to drink. "In times of war, what's a killing crime? Dereliction of duty causing death? It make no sense to follow one bad deed with another, there. Treason?" A faint shake of her head. It doesn't seem any more likely to her.

"When it is ever acceptable to toss aside 'humane and ethical treatment'?" Stavrian replies, firmly shaking his head. "I'm sorry, sir," and that soft-spoken voice does sound mildly apologetic, "…but the rulebooks can go to hell. This is a human life, with the right to be preserved."

"Admirals hain't known to listen to 'it's wrong' without a fair few words to back it up, Mister Jesse," Grace points out, one arched and ink-black brow arching a little higher. "It must be…" She trails off, fingers splaying out a little as if she could reach out and grab onto something that would explain this all. They sag back a moment later, weaving around her waterglass. "Did the… request-" A mite distasteful, that. "-say when this was supposed to happen?"

"Then I am very sorry that our Admiral needs 'a fair few words' /not/ to preserve what human life the cylons have left us with." Stavrian's tone is very controlled, his eyes still directly on his CMO's. "I don't know what Command thinks. What happens if we get low on resources…/when/ we get low? Will people without criminal histories get preferential supplies? You may say no, but if we can sacrifice life it's not a very slippery slope anymore." The PA's tone couldn't be called 'upset', but certainly 'passionate'. He pauses to clear his throat, finally picking up a water glass. Remembered that now. "It's supposed to be late next week, that's what the call said."

The moment Stavrian reaches for the empty waterglass, Grace reaches for the carafe of water to fill his glass. She hasn't looked away from the medic while he pleads his case, though several of his turns of phrase cause her mouth to shift from one unhappy curve to another. "The Admiral's expecting me tomorrow for a little talk on our inventory and workload since I took over from Miss Glory. Mister Jesse…" She trails off as she looks at Stavrian, as if changing her mind midway through the sentence over whether she'd rather stay silent or say something he may not want to hear. "I'll have a word with him about this, and see what he's got to say for himself."

Stavrian looks at her for a long time, as if sifting through her final words. They don't appear to be very comforting, but he nods anyway. As usual, no smile. "Thank you, sir. I can file a formal protest if you think it appropriate, whether now or after that meeting."

There's a glimmer of sadness in Grace's expression, to be sure, but comfort? As warm as she strives to be, false comfort doesn't come easily for her. "Not yet. Let me see what he figures he's got to say for himself, first. Meeting's at the crack of dawn. I'll have news by the time you're in for your shift. Gods willing, it'll be news worth hearing."

Stavrian nods again, more slowly this time. He clears his throat and lifts his water glass, taking two swallows before pushing it aside. "Yes, sir." He stands up, folding his hands formally behind his back. "I'm just on break, actually - I'm on third shift. I should get back." Out of professional problems to heap on her, his talkativeness level crashes like a lemming off a cliff. As he starts edging back, one last thing: "All the paperwork I sent over came through? Sorry it was in metric tonnes."

"Came through, and through, and…" Grace's eyes finally warm, crinkling a little at the edges with wry humour. "Better it be here, and finally have a pair of eyes on it, than languishing where it was." The Interim CMO is still trying to figure out exactly where that could have been. "I sure do appreciate you being on top of the matter in the middle of all this, Mister Jesse. Have you a good night. I'll have news for you come morning."

Again, a crisp nod. "Sir." Stavrian remembers to salute this time, having completely neglected it in the stormfront of his entrance. Then, without further use of the office's oxygen, he follows that time-honored tradition of junior officers and GTFO.

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