PHD #184: A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose
PHD #184: A Rose is a Rose is a Rose
Summary: Crewman Coll and Major Cavanaugh come to visit a Sagittaron survivor.
Date: 29 August 2041 AE
Related Logs: Speargun vs. Raptor
Coll Madilyn Rose 
Recovery Room - Deck 10 - Sickbay - Battlestar Cerberus
A much more quiet area of Medical, this elongated room is also lined with beds. Each is similarly outfitted with privacy curtains as necessary and even the paint on the walls has been lightened in an attempt to help lift spirits. Chairs are readily available all over the place so that visitors can pull one up to talk to the patients during their recovery. Near the entrance, visiting hours are posted with a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.
Post-Holocaust Day: #184

Coll arrives from the Sickbay.
Coll has arrived.

It's a quiet evening in sickbay, with the usual assortment of nurses and doctors coming and going and attending to the few patients that come in. Sickbay only has two long-term squatters right now, both of which were rescued about twenty-four hours ago from Sagittaron. One, a man, whose tolerance to persistent radiation seems to be weakest in his legs and lower extremities, because he's already had his legs below his knees amputated. Fortunately for him, he's been kept unconscious.

Across the room, is Rose. She's propped up in her hospital bed, listening to what seems to be an old transistor radio, with a single earbud. She doesn't seem to be in too good of spirits, but then again, she's probably feeling a lot better than she has.

The doors open and a woman with a black-smudged face appears. Her hairstyle is either 'new-wave' of about twenty-five years ago orrrr some of it has been burned away in chunks. The orange jumpsuit she's wearing is slacked off her top, tied around her midsection with the arms. She looks around a bit and slinks to the side to look at the man with amputated legs. A gentle sigh leaves her, bare arms crossing before she looks over to the newly arrived woman. Coll makes her way over slowly and gives some semblance of a smile. "Not hearing much, I take it?"

Rose glances up, her cataract-clouded eyes scanning around in Coll's general vicinty but not actually pinpointing her. "I'm sorry?" She says, tugging the bud out of her ear. "Did… did someone say something?" She attempts to sit up straighter in bed, although she has some difficulty with it - it's clear she's in some degree of pain. An intravenious line is in her right arm, which feeds from several bags hung from a hook above her bed.

Coll lifts a hand from the cross over her chest. "D- don't worry about movin' or sitting up. Its alright." Her face warms a bit and glances the patient over. "I was just askin' about the radio. Must be pretty quiet out there, yeah?" There's a pointed glance to the radio and then back. "Sorry if I'm a little sudden. Heard about why you're up here. Had some experience with it myself. I know how nice it can be to have a distraction."

Like a blind person, Rose's eyes come to rest on what is likely just a Coll-shaped blur, and because of it she's not quite looking directly at her. But at least she homes in on the source. "No, that's quite all right! My name's Rose. Rose Ibbhanas. You don't sound like any of the nurses, so I guess you're the welcome wagon?" She puts on a tired smile. Her teeth and gums appear to be on the mend, having been gone over by a hygenist. She holds out her left hand. "Oh, I was just scanning around. Sometimes I can catch a conversation, you know, military talk. It's better than sitting here doing nothing, and I very well can't read." There's a hint of sadness and regret, there, but she tries her best to be cheerful.

There's a soft laugh from the visitor and she shakes her head. "My dear, if I'm the welcome wagon, you need to find a new destination. No, I'm just someone who has spent too much time up in here. I work down on the Deck. That Raptor that brought you back here? I fix those." She reaches out with her own left so its not too awkward and takes the offered hand. "Lauren Coll. Nice to meet ya Rose. You mind if I sit? Figure if you can't read then we can talk unless you wanna go back to hearing a bunch of loudmouth stick jockies blanket the frequencies with their egos." Rose can probably hear the smile on Coll's face.

Indeed she does, and her own smile widens. It actually reaches her tired eyes. "Yes, please!" She shifts over to the side slightly, to make room for Coll to perch if she wanted, although the normally slight woman is severely undernourished and is probably five or six kilos underweight — it's not like she takes up most of the bed. "I'm… not sure if there are any chairs around. So feel free to join me. It's quite a comfortable bed." Anyone who's been in sickbay, of course, knows that's a lie. "You're a Raptor mechanic? That sounds facinating. Have you been doing it long? I mean, longer than the time you've been out here."

"What'd I tell you about movin?" Coll teases, keeping the mood up hopefully. "Like I said, I spend enough time in here. The beds are only nice if they keep you drugged." She slides a chair over from the next bed and sits down, crossing her legs. "Did it for about six months before Warday. I used to fly 'em. How about you? What's your slice of profession when you aren't lazing around the Sickbay of a Battlestar?"

Rose's smile flees briefly. "Well, I promise, I'm not going to be here long. Most of my recovery can happen outside of sickbay, but the doctors need to keep me for a week or two. I —" She cuts herself off, and then laughs a little nervously. "Sorry," she apologizes. She wipes underneath her eyes with her hand. "Kind of emotionally jumbled right now. I'm a… well, I was, a Masters student at Colchis University on Aerlion. Three months ago, I would've defended my thesis."

"Yeah, I got a particularly nasty dose of rads, myself. Kinda focused, though. It sucks. Feel like crap for a little bit but you'll be alright it sounds like." Lauren listens and watches her swipe. A lean forward and she takes a box of tissues off the counter to set on her bed. "There ya go. Just leave 'em and a nurse will clean it up." Her eyes watch the woman a moment longer. "Masters, huh? Sounds pretty cool. What were you working on? I don't imagine they throw a Masters out for anything lightweight like underwater basketweaving."

Rose clutches the box of tissues, but she's far from full-blown tears. "Thanks. Um, it was a new field. I helped design it," she explains. "My Undergraduate degree is in biochemistry, but the Masters program was in phycology and the applications of algae and other ocean vegetation to military and energy app-applications." She stutters a little, swallowing back some of the emotion she showed moments earlier. Quieter, she admits, "I miss my students. I miss my advisor. I haven't had much time to think about them, when we were on the run. And then I got sick, and, well, I didn't think much, at all." That causes her to grin slightly, and then a sniffle.

"Biochemisty," Coll repeats, musing. "No kidding. Sounds like you might have a future here if you want a job." Its an upbeat offer. "I don't know much about energy applications, though, unless you're talking about powerplants or weapons." The last gets a sympathetic smile from her and she reaches out to squeeze Rose's arm lightly in her hand. "I'm sure they miss you, too, hon. I imagine the next few days will be kinda rough while you have a chance to relax and collect. It is for most people we've managed to rescue. We're pretty understanding for the most part, too. Or we have psychiatrists to talk to if you like. But I think most just prefer the human interaction." She keeps her voice soft and calming. Its never easy.

Rose nods slightly, listening to Coll's consoling words. "Nobody's given me a straight answer yet," she mutters. She turns tbe box around in her hands slowly. "I know all the Colonies were attacked, but, what about Aerilon?" She swallows again. "Aquaria? I'm Aquarian."

Yikes. Coll stares at Rose for a moment before turning her head down to her lap. "Yeah. Probably a reason for that, Rose." Lauren rises from the chair to sit on the bed, apparently unafraid or schooled enough to know about radiation and how it works. "Uhm, Aerilon was one of the lightest hit. There's some scuttle we'll be heading there next to look for more survivors like yourself. They didn't have a lot of strategic targets there. But Aquaria.." The Deckie wets her lips, dipping her head once more. She keeps her hand on the other woman's arm. "Aquaria was hit the hardest. We've been there to see it, Rose. Its gone. I- can can go into details but I don't think that's a good idea right now."

Madilyn arrives from the Sickbay.
Madilyn has arrived.

"G-gone?" That's enough for the tears to well up in her eyes. She begins to ramble: "I mean, I knew the chances of Momma and Pop being gone were pretty high, but… gone?!" Her lips are trembling and the tears fall freely down her cheeks, now. "I want to know, Miss Coll," she begs. "I want to know all the details." Her right hand, the one that has the arm with the IV, comes out from underneath the covers. She's got a traditional, wrought figurine in her hand, which she brings to her lips. It appears to be a Poseidon figurine.

Coll is sitting on Rose's bed in her deck get-up, a hand resting on the patient's arm. She watches the woman in silence while Rose kisses the figurine. Sometimes its like invading on privacy for Lauren so she looks away once again. "Uhm, okay," she breathes. "The planet is still there. But they hit everything. They nuked the oceans and every inch of the land masses." A diffiult swallow and she seems to hesitate before continuing. "Last estimates on recon..even in protective suits, nobody can last on the surface longer than ten or fifteen minutes before getting lethal doses. The Cylons never even bothered to guard it." She's nearly whispering by the time she finishes.

Having gotten word via succint AAR that non-SSLF survivors were found on the surface of Sagittaron, Madilyn decends on the recovery room (of all places) to check on one of them. The others of course, having been searched thoroughly, are made as comfortable as possible in the starboard hangar pod with the other civilian survivors. Why is she down here, pray tell? Well, rumor has it that these locals have encountered humanoid Cylon models, and that word traveled faster than the official AAR. Tall, in marine duty uniform (with sidearm), Madilyn steps into the recovery room operating the heavy hatch as silently and smoothly as possible.

There's no bawling or hysterics from Rose; the tears just steadily stream down her cheeks. She finally takes a few of the tissues from the box and crushes them to her face, eyes clenched, sobbing quietly. Once Coll finishes, she wipes her face clean. Cloudy eyes train more accurately now; apparently listening to the horror story of her home world being destroyed helped her identify one blur from another. "Thank you," she whispers. "That… must've been hard for you to say."

Coll shakes her head. "I've seen it. It's easier to accept once you have. My heart goes out to you, hon. Its someplace nobody can ever go again." She gives one last squeeze to Rose's arm and settles a little more on the bed. "Anything else you'd like to know? Some people prefer it all at once." She glances up to see Madilyn and her faces loses a little of its humanity - traded for marble. "Major Cavanaugh."

"Hello, Crewman Coll," Madilyn says to the one woman she does in fact know. While Madilyn crosses the room towards the two of them, one lying on the bed, the other sitting on the bed, she can only hear the last snippets of their exchange: something about the never being able to go there again - the fates of the Colonies? "At ease," Madilyn tells…well, at least one of them. "I'm not here in any truly official capacity. This isn't a debriefing or an interrogation. This is," she begins to say, but can't quite finish the sentence. What is it then, if not an official visit?

Rose quickly wipes her face again with her balled-up wad of tissues and turns her attention towards the new voice. Her eyes are clouded with thick cataracts, and she has trouble zeroing in on the origin of the voice. Still, she's looking in the general direction. "Major?" She squeaks, voice still a little choked from her grief. She quickly stows it, though. She glances towards Coll, uncertain, and then looks back towards the… other blur.

Coll doesn't seem like she's about to rise to attention. She just is who she is. Rank be damned. She watches the Major approach and looks back to Rose. "Hon. This is Major Cavanaugh. She's the Commanding Officer of our MAR- Marine Detachment. We call it a MARDET. If you want me to stay I will, otherwise I can go?" she offers easily to the patient before looking back up to Madi. "What can we do for you, Major?"

"For what it's worth, I'm here to…welcome this young lady aboardship. Certain rumors have reached my ear, as they are so wont to do, and I had hoped to validate them in at least some small fashion. However, it's clear that this is neither the appropriate time nor place." With that said, Madilyn does take one of the metal chairs strewn about for visitor use, and pulls it closer to her bed. "Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh," she says, introducing herself sans rank to the woman suffering radiation sickness. "I hope our doctors have got you feeling a bit better than you were on the planet?"

Rose inclines her head towards the Major, attempting to find a polite smile after finally learning the truth about the Colonies. "I'm p-pleased to meet you, Major," the young woman says. She holds out her left hand in the direction of the sound of where Madilyn settles down. It's not accurate, but close enough. "Rose Ibbhanas. I'm feeling less deathly, if that's what you mean. I'm told that it'll be at least a week, maybe two, before my treatment can happen outside of sickbay. I'll get out of here as soon as I can, I promise!"

Coll watches Madilyn as she explains the reason for her visit, shifting a touch on the bed. Her hand removes itself from Rose's arm and settles back into her lap, letting the two discuss certain things. Her eyes stay on the Major for a moment before looking back to Rose. "Just relax, Rose. This is the kinda thing that rushing can make hurt worse."

Standing up from her chair, Madilyn takes the hand that Rose offers. Rather than shake, she cups the woman's hand and pats the back of it. "Pleased to meet you as well, Miss Ibbhanas. Did you two travel from the surface together, in the same Raptor? It seems as though you have something of a rapport thus far." Madilyn speaks softly and precisely, as she sits back down. It's almost what she might have done were one of her (former - is that the right adjective now?) children sick.

"No, actually, or, I don't think so," Rose replies, glancing back to the woman beside the bed opposite Madilyn. "I remember a Major Hahn, and a Lieutenant Nikephoros. Oh, and of course, Lieutenant Meszaros," she explains, retelling the list of crew on the rescue Raptor. Grimacing slightly, she says, "I regret Mr. Hammond's decision to fire on the Raptor crew. But I think he's just as glad to be off of Sagittaron as I am. But to answer your question, Miss Coll, here, came in here by chance, I think. She was very kind to talk to me."

Coll shakes her head gently. For the wildfire Lauren might generally be, to Madilyn this may not seem like the same woman that left the Cerberus. She seems more calm and almost..serene. She let's Rose answer before speaking up - though there is a bit of a grimace at two of those names. "Major, remember when myself and a few other the other women were hit with that bioweapon near Audumbla Anchorage? Massive radioation dosages? I was checking of the data recorder in the Raptor and overheard that some had been dosed during radio traffic checks. I know how it feels. I wanted to come down and chat her up. Take her mind off it."

"I do recall that, yes," Madilyn nods. Whether or not Rose can see that? Well, it's debatable. "Kindred spirits, of a sort, then? I don't proclaim to understand this form of massive radiation sickness, but I do recall - and not fondly - the courses of chemo I was reqired to undergo. That was years ago, however, and I don't proclaim that it's the same at all. I just remember how absolutely horrid I felt, inside and out. No energy, inability to really eat anything…almost as if the treatment was worse than the disease." How many people aboard knew about that?

Rose grows quiet, now, her head and inaccurate gaze lilting back and forth as she listens to the conversation between the Crewman and the Major. She does, however, set the box of tissues aside, and the wadded-up ball of tissues she was crying in has disappeared, likely shoved under her pillow or underneath the covers.

Coll shrugs lightly. "Call it an understanding. All I wanted was someone to talk to so I didn't have to think about it. I got visitors. Figured I should pay it forward this time. Meet someone new, too." She looks back to Rose and smiles. "Look kiddo, I gotta do the dance to the Galley and get grub before my next shift. Next time I come up I'll try and sneak you some ice cream, okay?" She winks and looks back to Madilyn. "Aye. Know the feeling. Ovarian, seven years ago." Lauren reaches out to clasp her hand to Madi's shoulder gently and squeeze before she stands to move off the bed.

"Smart woman, that crewman. The ice cream is probably the only edible thing they serve down in the galley," Madilyn adds as Coll leaves for said galley. When her shoulder gets squeezed by Coll, Madilyn just pats it, and nods her thanks…the sort of knowing, thankful nod that two cancer survivors exchange. Solidarity, in some degree. "Not to mention the obvious 'comfort food' effect. I swear, if they could turn it into a medicine, ice cream would probably fix anything and everything," Madilyn says with a little smile and shake of her head. She knows from experience!

"Thank you, Miss Coll," Rose says with a warm smile, seeming to actually look her in the face, now. It seems after a while, after getting used to a voice, she's able to discern the blurs from the blurs. "I like vanilla, if they have that." She then turns her attention back to Madilyn. Rose rests a hand on her stomach, and says, "The doctors say that I could have some problems like that in the future. Cancer, I mean. The radiation levels were low but consistent, and as such I likely have some serious dysfunction going on throughout my system. But we won't know until more tests come back."

Coll leaves, heading towards the Sickbay [Out].
Coll has left.

"I can assure you that the medical care you'll receive here is superior to anything you might have received on Sagittaron. Limited only by the quantity of supplies, which to this point we've been fortunate to restock from the various Colonial depots, and anchorages. But I'm not in the business of kidding anyone. I refused to do so with my children, and I won't do it with a grown woman: radiation does have effects on humans that aren't welcome. But, it can be beat I'm proof of that. Crewman Coll is proof of that." Aaaand enter the maternal side of Madilyn's personality, something her Marines have rarely (ever?) seen.

Rose dips her head with a small smile, only for Madilyn. "And I'm grateful that the Cerberus found us, and I'm eternally grateful that you're doing what you can," she says with sincerity. "I have to admit, and I hope you don't mind me saying so… Major? Ma'am? I'm not quite sure how to address you… um, but you don't sound very much like a marine." Her eyes go wide, as she's embarassed by her own words. "I didn't mean it negatively, I just meant that…"

Madilyn replies with a bit of a chuckle, nodding her head a bit, and laying a hand on Rose's forearm. "It's certainly not the first time I've heard that, so don't by shy. It is rather odd to find a woman born into Caprican money as a Major in the Colonial Marine Corps - that's CMC around here - isn't it? Technically, it's 'Sir,' but Ma'am usually slides among the civilians here. That, or Major works just as well. The hyphen usually throws people, however!"

Rose shakes her head. "No, what I meant is… oh, it's not important," she acquiesces. She glances up at the ceiling lights, squinting her eyes. With a resigned sigh, she says, "They haven't even said word-one about my eyesight. I really wish I could see what's going on around me."

"Oh, well, it's either the whole Caprican money/female issue…or that fact that I tend to approach being a Marine much in the same way that I approach - approached raising children." Madilyn gives a little shrug. "Though, clearly, my ability to read between the lines has suffered in deadling with the so-called jarheads." Not being a doctor of any sort, Madilyn can only shake her head a little at the woman's resignation about her eyesight. "I would think it's just an effect of the radiation, and as they…do whatever it is they do for radiation sickness, that it will return. Though, your ears are clearly not affected. Do you like music?"

Clearly, this turn of conversation took her by surprise. First, a female Major, who doesn't sound butch or abrasive, and sounds rather pleasant. Second, music. "Music? Well, of course," she states. "I've got a small radio here, and I've been listening to avionics and the like, but music would be a wonderful change."

"Ah, I've got something to beat that. Something that renders that little radio completely moot," Madilyn says with a smile, though again, Rose can't really see it very clearly at all. From one of the pockets of her uniform pants, Madilyn withdraws a small piece of electronics - a digital music player. Everyone seems to have these things nowadays, and it's something she purchased for herself only after seeing her kids - daughter, really - using it at home. "Here. I apologize about having to share the headphones, but…beggars can't really be choosers." While she talks, she opens Rose's palm and slides the device in. "I'm afraid I've never been much for popular music, but rather, classical. Most of the selections are tempered by my own memories, as well. But I figure it's better than nothing, given that you're stuck here, and you can't see."

Rose turns the small device over in her palm slowly. Then, her other hand appears again, the one that was holding her wrought Poseidon figurine; that, she places on her lap. The fingertips of her right hand feel over the device. "Oh, I think I know this particular brand; one of my…" Her voice drops down. "One of my students had one of these. This should be easy enough." She looks back up at the Major, eyes moistening again, but she's smiling gratefully. "Thank you. I'll make sure I get it back to you, I promise."

"No rush. I know a few Marines that would appreciate me lending it to you, even if they don't say so. I tend to subject them to my esoteric tastes in music while I work in the office. Now they have an excuse to bring their own music. They've earned it, though, after what this ship and its MARDET's been through." After it's passed off, Madilyn leans back in her chair and waits to make sure Rose can use the device by touch alone.

After a brief moment of fiddling with it, and placing the headphones against her ear, a smile slowly spreads across Rose's face. Her eyes close, and she bites her lower lip as the music clearly has a tremendous impact on her. About fifteen seconds pass, and then she switches the device off and lets the headphones drop down to the side. She manages to squeak, emotional again, "Thank you, Major. Thank you. I'm… sounding like a broken record. Thank you."

It's about that time when Madilyn stands up, getting read to excuse herself. "We all do what we can, seeing as how this is no time to be split and divided. Given all the hostility that's happened - even just on this one ship - I wish more people saw that. When you're feeling better, I'll accept repayment for borrowing that in the form of whatever information you can remember, what you can recall…anything and everything regarding possible humanoid Cylons. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, however. For now though, I'm afraid I - like Crewman Coll - have duties which much be attended. I wish you the best in your recovery, Miss Ibbhanas." Madilyn, like Coll before her, lays a hand on the woman's shoulder and squeezes reassuringly.

Cloudy eyes peer up at Madilyn as she stands and bids her farewell. "I can tell you right now, Major, I don't know much. I just heard about humans working with the Cylons, or I think that's what the rumor was. But if I remember more, I will certainly let you know." Rose rests the device beside her on the bed, and smiles gratefully at Madilyn. "Have a good evening."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License