PHD #303: A Lack of Communication
A Lack of Communication
Summary: Severe injuries lead to awkward conversations which result in assumptions being made and communication attempts misfiring.
Date: 26 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: Almost Ablaze
Cameron Richards Ryder Vandenberg 
Hangar Deck - Starboard - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
This Hangar Bay is filled with boxes, crates and other various supplies that are needed throughout the ship. Most have been moved to one end and lashed with tarps to keep them out of the way. The place has gone from extra ship storage on one end and the ability to house over 450 people on the other end. Marines guard this area 24/7. One area has been tarped off to the side, that holds canvas showers and sinks. As a small improvement in the standard of living and sanitation, the Head, showers, and sinks have been hooked up to running water and sewage. Cots still fill the area formerly occupied by the Fleet's civilians, but with Sickbay out of commission they now serve as beds for patients with minor and moderate injuries. Medical staff have taken over the place and tend to those here at all hours, aided by volunteers who perform simple caretaker tasks, bring food down from the galley for patients, or simply lend an ear to those cooped up here for the duration.
Post-Holocaust Day: #303

There is a bit of a bustle as the team from the surface comes in. Lt. Vandenberg is being carried on a stretcher, whatever she says, with the rest walking behind. Ryder starts barking orders. "Ok, folks, we have a trauma 1 situation here. Any other cutters on alert at the moment?"

On duty, per usual, Cameron's head lifts as the hustle and bustle that is familiar to any doctor or surgeon that ever worked in an ER. The slang is not exactly the vernacular used in the finer hospitals and institutions that Cameron was trained in, but he gets the gist of the idea. Striding over toward where Ryder is barking out orders, Cameron quickly gets some of the free nurses and medics hustling over as well, chirping out loudly enough to be heard, "What's the status? How many patients? What kind of damage are we looking at?"

Richards's able to come in under his own power, perhaps the least hurt of the team but he still doesn't look too good thanks to the injuries he took to chest, arm and hand. "Frak…" he mutters while peering about, pale faced and glassy-eyed. "I need a nap." Shaking himself out of it, he starts to make his way to a cot.

Ryder nods to Cameron, then winces. "Four wounded, including myself. Multiple injuries except for myself, top priority is the el-tee here. I did prelim in the med-evac Raptor, but need to have my neck treated before I can scrub up, unless you'd like to handle this."

Crossing over to Vandenberg, Cameron's eyes skim over her quickly, looking for a triage tag or anything else that might clue him into her condition, other than the obvious wound to her abdomen, chest, and neck. The neck? Looks bad. Real bad. "Frak," Cameron murmurs, glancing at the abdomen and neck wound on Ryder, light but not nothing and then crossing over to Constin who isn't much better than Vandenberg it seems. "Your call," Cameron offers. "You outrank me, that's for sure. You need to get yourself patched up if you're going to go into surgery. This isn't going to be fast or easy, for either of them. With a wound in the gut, you're gonna be under a lot of strain, Captain."

"Yeah, what the frak am I, Doc," Dick snarks, that to Cameron. "Chopped liver?" Flopping down on a cot once he reaches it, he begins to carefully lean back, mindful of his upper body as well as his left arm. "Well, that was fun, wasn't it," he asks to the ceiling once he's stretched out. He can stand to wait, most likely as his injuries aren't too bad, mere annoyances.

"You're chopped Marine, which is almost as bad," Ryder quips… then sighs. "It's your show, Doc. I want her treated ASAP, and I should really stop bleeding before I do any surgery." He glances over at Richard with a small smile. "Save the salted knives for that one, it'll toughen him up some."

Turning toward Richards, Cameron scowls in turn and offers, "Damned lucky, is what. Your Lieutenant here is in critical condition and the Sergeant damn serious… you're still walking and talking. Someone will take care of your injuries, but you're not dying any time soon, so quit your bitching." Eyes lift as Cameron thinks and then nods. "Vandenberg can't wait. I'll take her. If there's any damage to her spinal cord in that neck shot, that's my specialty. You patch up and prep up, the nurses and interns will get Contin stabilized and prepped for surgery. If I finish early, I can come and assist you if you find you're flagging." Turning to two of the other corpsmen on hand, Cameron orders, "You and you, take care of Sergeant Richards here. You three, get Sergeant Constin prepped for surgery and stabilized. The rest of you? With me." Vandenberg is quickly moved and wheeled toward a makeshift surgery area, a hermetically sealed off inflatable dome with bright lights set and surgical equipment set up. Nurses and doctors quickly prepare her for surgery while Cameron washes up and gets ready. There's no time to waste.

Richards sighs. "Nice to see your sense of humor has remained intact, Cameron. You are a frakking ray of sunshine." Chuckling, he waves to Cameron and Ryder both. "Do what you guys need to do. I'm just busting on you. Sheesh." Yawning, he stretches a bit, looking like he just might doze off for a while.

Ryder sits back and opens his armor as the nurses get started treating it. He grimaces as they work. "Richards… got confirmation, the woman… is in holding on Elpis… while we run a background check. In case you were nervous."

Cameron is very serious about what he does, so no, he didn't register Richard's words as a joke. He shakes his head though, not taking the time to apologize. Now is not a time for joking, in his opinion. It doesn't take long before Van is cleaned up and moved into the surgery, Cameron following after. The bright lights within the space silhouette the figures within as the team begins working. In the meanwhile the other team moves Constin over to a different surgical dome, prepping him while others start to swarm over Ryder and Richards, getting armor removed and wounds examined. The medics are intent on their work, but that doesn't mean that they're deaf, some curious glances exchanged at the conversation between Captain and Sergeant.

"Yeah, that really is a relief. Thanks, Doc," Dick murmurs before drifting off. Been a long day and he eventually comes to the conclusion that he deserves a bit of a rest.

Some time has passed. His wounds dressed, and in scrubs, Ryder is sitting by the bed where he waits for Vandenberg to come out of anesthesia, watching all of her monitors intently.

Standing at the end of Vandenberg's bed, Cameron is making notes on her chart, also studying her monitors, but as her surgeon, not a concerned friend or doctor or colleague. In truth, he would be sitting by her bedside as a concerned friend if he could, but Ryder's ass is currently holding that position it seems. So Cam dawdles over the paperwork to have an excuse to stay. It was a long process, but he feels confident about the work that he did. She's out of the woods for sure. Glancing over at Ryder, Cameron asks, "So, how is Constin doing?"

Ryder smiles up at Cameron. "That brute would need more than a few bullets to bring him down. He'll be fine, but hospitalized for at least a couple of days, even if I have to strap him to the frakking gurney." He looks over Van again. "You do good work. I was worried the field dressings might complicate things."

"I was a bit worried…. didn't know exactly what was going to be waiting for me underneath, didn't want her to bleed out while I figured out what needed to be done…" Cameron confesses with a crooked and tired smile. "Nice work yourself, Captain. You patched her up good. Probably saved her life." As Vandenberg’s eyes open and roll about, Cam comes to the opposite side and warns gently, "Don't try to talk, Lieutenant. You got a hole in your neck. Hold on…" He had been thinking about this matter while he worked on her other less serious injuries and now he offers her the solution. A clamp device is pivoted in front of Van so she can look at it without moving her neck, which is carefully braced against that very thing. "If you want to tell us anything, type on the keypad, hit enter, and the pad will talk for you." Course, with the drugs she's on, she'll be lucky if she has enough coordination to do anything more than drunk-type. The device has a word projection program running, so Gods only know what it will make of her most likely clumsy attempts.

The Marine Lieutenant looks down towards Ryder as the man starts talking. Her eyes then swings towards Cam. Her lips twist a bit towards a smile but that might be a little too much to hope for with all of the drugs in her. Coherent thought? Gonna be a tough one tonight. Her mouth opens like she might say something but it stops as her eyes glass over, face paling. Ohhhh that hurt. She closes her mouth and swings a fist up, nearly punching herself in the eye. She rubs at those eyes and flops her hand back onto the bed. Cam was just a moment too late. She does look over at the keypad though and inches a hand towards it. She types out 'test' after a few attempts and hits enter. She looks less than pleased with the results.

"Its a pretty handy device. We got the word out there… every guy on the ship who's wanted to ask you out will be coming in the next hour or so, so that even if you're completely repulsed, the worst you can do is say "no, frak you" in a mechanical voice." A hand pats her shoulder gently. "You did good work down there… everyone out alive."

Cameron winces in sympathy as his words come just a little too late to stop van from the attempt. "Don't look at me," he offers, "that was all Ryder's doing." He has yet to hear about what happened. In truth, Cameron didn't even know there was a mission. So he asks, "What were you guys doing down there?" Eyes focus on Van and he adds, "You, save your strength. Ryder can give me the quick and dirty run-down… unless of course it's confidential or something…"

Vandenberg turns her eyes back to Ryder and she glares at him. The hand closest to him slowly, weakly lifts a middle finger in his direction. Apparently she has the answer covered without having to type it out. She's probably good with hand signals. The hand fails after a moment and flops back onto the bed as she tries to smile again. The other hand gets a wave to the question of confidentiality. It crashes back to the covers and she drunkenly looks about before marking a writing motion on the bed.

"Spotted some survivors. One, actually. And a bunch of our chrome friends. It was an old Natural Poseidon Shrine, a sea cave turned into a temple. Brilliant. And being actively destroyed by the Cylons." He shakes his head. "Your guess is as good as mine as to why they care so much about our worship." Another look over to Van, eyes tracking her signals.

"I dunno. Maybe this is a 'holy' war for them. A Crusade, to destroy all of the 'infidels'?" Turning his head toward Ryder, Cameron asks, "Was it a trap? Or did you managed to rescue these survivors? What happened?" He laughs at Van's sign language and jokes, "See? She's feeling better already." But at her gesture, Cameron rests a hand lightly on her shoulder and asks, "You prefer a pen and paper? Hold on a sec…" He disappears from the curtained off area for just a minute before returning with a clipboard, pen, and some paper, slipping them beneath her hand upon the bed.

The Lieutenant's eyes flicker between the two men. She's Not Talking. She'd probably be just as quiet even if she hadn't (perhaps thankfully) lost her vocal chords for the time being. There's visible relief at this mention of pen and paper, too. The creepy voice thing really didn't seem to make her happy. When the papers are slid under her, she has to strain to see what she is writing from this angle. "Reseerch our relegun. Nobodee nows.' Natalie is higher than a stork ridin the thermals.

"Research… and destroy. They were destroying a lot of the imagery." Ryder shrugs. "Don't know if there is any way to ever know. Its weird. I assumed most of the temples were destroyed when the bombs fell. To know that some survived, only to be destroyed NOW…" he shakes his head. "What I really don't understand is why, with them knowing our exact location, they aren't all over us already."

"Ah, ah, ah," chides Cameron mildly. "No moving your neck. just scrawl across the paper. We'll be able to figure it out so long as your hand keeps moving along." He studies the pad, one brow arching as he notes, "Research? Destroying it makes research a bit tricky I think. And if that's all they wanted, well, Hades, they could have just chatted us up about it over a cup of tea or kidnapped some priests and priestesses or something…" Tilting his head toward Ryder, Cameron nods vigorously and concurs, "My sentiments exactly. My personal suspicion? I think they're studying us. Like lab rats in a maze. Seeing what we do under different conditions. Offering us various bits of bait and cheese, chasing us down different corridors. That's the only thing that makes any sense to me."

Vandenberg seems conscious of what's being said, she just can't concentrate long or hard enough to get out what she needs to write down. Its like trying to signal a friend in a Formula One car from your 1956 Beetle. Its all frustrating as hell. Her eyes dart back and forth. One word started only to be scratched out. Another only had the first letter halfway done. She gives up and stares at Ryder as best she can.

Ryder meets the gaze and nods. "Not my call, in the end. We do what we've always done. Fight and survive. If they feel like making it a game, that's better than game over." He turns his head to the side. "Oh, right. prognosis." He chuckles. "You're gonna be in here a while, young lady. You should be talking once the soft tissue heals, a few days. It'll be scratchy and uncomfortable at first, but the damage has been patched. At least a few weeks before full active duty, though."

Pursing his lips, Cameron ponders and concurs after a moment, "I don't like being a pawn in somebody else’s' game, but if it gives us the chance and time to turn the tables on them, biting the hand that 'teases' us off in turn, well, I'm all for that. If we're still alive, it means we still have a fighting chance. And, well, sometimes ignorance truly is bliss. If we're all doomed, well, I don't want to know. If there's no hope, it makes it all that harder to keep fighting to survive." Cameron snorts softly as Ryder does his job, even though Cam did the surgery in this case. But it matters little in the end. Eyeing Van, Cameron asks, "Was that what you were wanting?" He's not entirely convinced that was why she was giving Ryder the hairy eyeball.

Vandenberg gives a thumbs up to Ryder when he finishes explaining things. She glances down to the pad and takes the pen up: 'Sooner.' She closes her eyes like it might have been a nod. Cam's first words seem to light a spark in her eyes but she doesn't respond otherwise. To the last she finally writes something else. Its slow coming. 'They want us alive. Some unhappie w/genocide 2.'

"Guilt, maybe? They wouldn't be the first to turn to religious texts in the face of guilt, though I can't imagine that… thing in flesh being particularly repentant." Ryder then gives Van a look, and points to her first word. "Just remember, el-tee, medicine is OUR battlefield. And if I tell you you need bed rest, I don't expect to hear anything except a yes, sir. You didn't hear me giving orders on your command, after all."

Cameron studies the pad, brow creasing as he notes, "I'm definitely unhappy with genocide, but I think I'll have to get you to explain that statement when you're not quite so hopped up on painkillers and in need of rest," Cameron offers, reaching over to give Vandenberg's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "Rest, Natalie. Get your strength back. I'll keep checking in on you, but the best you can do for yourself now is sleep and get as much rest as you can." Ocean eyes flicker toward Ryder and Cameron coughs and notes, "You should heed your own advice there, doctor. You're certainly not 100% yourself either." Not that Cameron can talk, having worked most of the past week with his left arm in a sling from their encounter with the dogs. But then, Ryder can't be much better really. "But aye, that is an order, Lieutenant. Your only duty now is to rest. Doctor’s orders. From two doctors, no less."

Natalie looks like she might have a few choice words for Ryder with his last comment. This, in itself, may be a battle that must be fought. Telling her she can't do something is probably a little like trying to stop a truck from rolling downhill when all you have is the braking power of your Nike Airs. She looks back at Cameron and he would instantly know that look from their fight on the firing range. The steam is already building pressure. She probably isn't going to rest anytime soon.

Ryder groans. "Oh Gods, you're one of those." He crosses his arms. "I just saved your life, el-tee. So did the Doc, here. It would be very, very nice if you took our advice and let us do our jobs. You moving about early endangers our work. The good Doctor is probably a gentleman, but you've seen me. Semper Fi. I will WELD you to that bed if I have to."

Cameron knows that look and with a soft sigh he decides there is one way to very quickly, painlessly, and effortlessly take care of the problem. He rises up, picks up her chart, and studies the monitors again for a moment, making a show of being a doctor to throw her off the scent. Then he slips out of the curtained area for a minute, returning once again with a syringe, the contents of which are emptied into her IV drip. "In this situation, in this place, I am your superior, Lieutenant. And if you don't want to believe me, I'll get your commanding officer to come down here and give you the order. In the meanwhile, this will put you to sleep for a bit, whether you like it or not. I'm betting on not, but I have a crap Pyramid face, so I'm not putting down any cubits on this bet, even if I should…" The drug works fast and Cameron smiles as he leans over, watching Van's pupils as the sedative hits her system hard, one hand lifting to wave his fingers at her as he croons, "Nighty-night, Natalie. Sweet dreams…."

The look on Van's face is pure dare. Go ahead and try, Ryder. Natalie isn't going to take this lying down - as much as she currently is doing just that. When Cameron tells her about CO's and orders, he gets much the same look. When he brings up the drug, she sets her jaw and balls a fist around the pen and nearly stabs the notepad, giving him a horrible glare…until her eyes roll back in her head and she's out.

Ryder glances over at Cameron. "Aaaand that's that. She's that bad, eh?"

Sighing softly, Cam plops back down and nods his head. "Worse, really. If it weren't for that throat injury, we would have gotten an earful by now." His head cocks to one side and he ponders, "Maybe I should get some restraints brought in…. just to be safe. She's an utterly pig-headed, stubborn, certifiable crackpot when it comes to her own health and well-being. If I could, I would just keep her knocked out until she was better, but that just isn't a feasible option."

Ryder shakes her head. "Well, I did say it was your decision. We may want to keep some happy drugs around, though, just in case." He stands up. "Her men aren't gonna like this, just based on what I saw down there. I've got your back, but except for Sarge Constin my word ain't good for much with the Corps, yet." He looks her over. "Godsdamned superheroes."

"I fully intend to write to both her commanding officer and the commanding officer, whom I met at a party awhile back and seems both a kind and formidable sort of man. A rare combination. As for her corp, well, if they don't respect the fact that she needs to heal before she can return to duty, then they're bigger fools than she is." Studying Ryder for a moment, Cameron shrugs and notes, "I'm not here to win any popularity contests. I'm here to keep these jarheads alive and as well as humanly possible. If they hate me for that, so be it. Someday they'll be under my knife or in my care and hopefully that will be enough to earn their respect, if not their gratitude or friendship." Cameron shrugs and sighs, stretching out sore and kinked muscles before slumping back in his chair. "I like the Lieutenant, but she's a pain in the ass and the occasional thorn in my side, I do confess…"

"Still, I'd say that we're better off laying off of the restraints, for now." Ryder smiles. "Unless she has a history of disobeying direct orders, anyway." Ryder pauses. "Does she?"

"I have no intention of using restraints unless she forces me to," Cameron offers blithely, his mind already pondering how best to handle the situation. Turning toward Ryder, the fellow doctor purses his lips and qualifies, "Lets just say that she has her own opinions on how things should be handled, and they are not always the same as her CO. She's also shown that she has little respect for the dubious authority of the medical team and has gone back on duty before she should have in the past. "I will just send a letter of concern to her CO and the CO to help, ahhh, impress upon her the importance of listening to her doctors and obeying our orders."

Ryder nods. "I suspect I should be grateful that you handled the surgery, then. If people want a second opinion, send them to me. Can't promise to agree with you, but at least then it isn't based on one opinion."

One brow lifts, but Cameron shrugs and replies dryly, "Do as you see fit, doctor. I'm not an unreasonable man. As soon as she's fit for light duty, I'll release her and inform her CO that she's fit for light duty. After that, it's her problem, not mine. At least until she overdoes it and ends up back here." Glancing over at Ryder, Cameron smirks and notes, "Sergeant Constin is a little more reasonable when it comes to letting himself heal up. So long as pretty nurses give him sponges baths, he seems to be a happy camper."

Ryder nods, wondering at the sudden change in mood but waves it off. If he was the primary, he'd be territorial as well. "Well, time for me to take my own damned advice." A hand goes to the bandage on his neck. "Blasted ricochets."

Cameron is not used to such highly resistant, ungrateful, or hard-headed patients and has found that he has little patience himself these days with anybody and everybody questioning his work, his treatments, and his diagnoses, regardless of their qualifications. So he is perhaps a bit more tetchy than usual when his fellow doctor offers to back him up, maybe. And yes, Cameron does feel a bit proprietary regarding his patient, no matter how difficult she might be or how much she'll probably hate him in the morning. He offers Ryder a sympathetic nod and concurs, "I know what you mean. Got one of those in the chest back on Aerilon. Hadn't really realized that was as much of a risk as being directly shot at…"

Ryder grins. "Part of the game, though. We did good down there. Four of us, and four Cylons in a contained space?" He shakes his head. "We should all be dead. I'll just keep tossing prayers up, just in case."

"It's a bloody miracle, emphasis on 'bloody'," Cameron jokes wryly, rising up from his seat and giving a last check over Vandenberg's vitals before lightly reaching down to brush a strand of hair away from her face and shift her hand out of the awkward position it had landed in as she tried to stab the pad of paper. Laying it lightly at her side, the pen and paper are moved to easy reaching distance before he heads to leave. "Come, doctor, lemme take a quick look at you, make sure you didn't split any stitches and then you can grab a cot and get some much deserved rack time…"

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