PHD #018: An Unexpected Visit
: An Unexpected Visit
Summary: When Trask arrives in Sickbay to find Gabrieli asleep, Tisiphone becomes the recipient of an unexpected visit.
Date: 16 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Test of Gold, Tug of War & Lurking Variables
Aeolus Gabrieli Tisiphone Trask 
Recovery Room - Deck 10 - Sickbay
Post Holocaust Day: #18
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Somewhere in the neat rows of curtained-off beds rests Tisiphone. Right arm in a cast, ex-dislocated left arm in a sling, bandages across part of her scalp and brow, and a carpet of scrapes and bruises like she was put in a human-sized martini shaker full of scrap steel instead of ice. She's slightly propped up in her bed, reading from a black-bound book with no title on its spine. It's a tricky process to keep the book balanced, but it's better than counting the ceiling tiles again.

Freshly showered and not even stinking of cigarette smoke, Trask enters the recovery room, carrying a small portable music player with built-in speakers. Perhaps it's due to his hardcore teetotalism that he doesn't notice the Tisitini. More than likely, it's because he's making a beeline for the charbroiled human hotdog that is Gabrieli. The poor ChEng looks like a quasi-mummy with all the bandages, which are mostly on the right side, plus all the gauze covering his burned face. Quietly, is said, "Hey, Dom?" Nothing. "Yo, G…" Just the beeping of the monitors. For a pensive, silent moment, the ECO stands there, looking at his long-time friend. The emotional turbulence glistens his brown eyes. Eventually, he reverts to his traditional defense mechanism. "Glad to see you're off the mask, but you still look like shit."

Paper scrapes roughly against paper as Tisiphone turns the page. An old book; her awkward gesture breaks a brittle corner off, almost like a dead leaf. She sighs, brows starting to pull together into a frown until whatever hides beneath her facial bandages twinges. She's fumbling the tiny triangle between her good fingers as Trask makes his way by. Distracted by his passage, it tumbles soundlessly onto her coverlet. No relief shows as he passes by — she's Viper, he's Raptor, and never the twain shall meet, as she sees it — but the sleety gaze follows him until he passes out of sight, then loses focus as she tries to eavesdrop on the words.

This time, there's no quipped response from Gabrieli, for the man is dead asleep, which is vastly preferable to merely dead. "I know you're already doin' me the favor of stayin' alive and all, but do you have to be such a dick about it? This is the third time I've come by to drop this shit off, an' this is the third time you've been galavanting with Li'l Nemo in Slumberland." Wryly, Trask smirks. "Fine," he deadpans. "I'll return, yet again, in hopes of seeing the look on your face when you get to hear the oceans." Yes, plural. "You tell anyone I'm such a softy, though, an' I'll totally yank out your tube." He's got a rep to protect. There also is a deep and genuine care beneath the sarcasm.

Tisiphone's black-bound book droops toes-ward as she attempts to eavesdrop. It's tough going on impossible, but the cadence and tone of the words are carried along despite the competing sounds of Gabrieli's medical apparati, even if comprehension isn't. Her unfocussed stare remains aimed through her curtain-walls in Trask's direction, the tiniest of frowns creeping onto her brow again. Puzzlement, and maybe a bit of irritation — she no longer has a morpha drip to ensure her happiness.

"He's right in there," whispers a helpful medical officer to Aeolus as he walks in. In response, the tall Raptor pilot nods his head, and proceeds nice and slow. And quiet. Eyes survey the Recovery Room for just a second. He sighs, for one reason or another. Spotting Trask from afar, he stuffs his hands in his pockets, and waits for the other man to appear to have a moment of peace. Thus, the Grasshopper stands, alone, watching.

With one final slight, bittersweet look, Trask turns from the crispy ChEng's bedside, and chirps, "Later, G." Still carrying the small portable music player with built-in speakers, he returns to the room at-large, which is primarily filled with Viper jocks damaged from the other day's clusterfrak. They also appear to be sleeping. Tisiphone's book, however, appears to be making a bolt for freedom. Without a second thought about it, the Jig carefully readjusts the black-bound item so it fully rests atop the Ensign, within reach of her hands. "She has a rough enough time, as is," he drily chastises the book, "so, don't be runnin' off, making things worse. And I better not hear you weren't there when she wakes up." It would seem that he believes the owner to not be awake. Aeolus is also not yet seen.

It's a fair guess to make, with Tisiphone's chin slightly dipped as she listens and gravity slowly stealing her book away. The past 48 hours have mostly involved her moments of consciousness skipping along overtop a vast, warm sedative sea. This time, though, she startles and her head snaps up — given the combination of motions this requires, her gaze swims in a suddenly-ashen face for a few beats before focussing properly on Trask. Blink. Blink. "…Sir?" Wariness and puzzlement bald on her bandaged face. She's no Harrier; why is he here?

Oh, don't mind Aeolus. He's being his normal self — unobtrusive, tall, and surly. He stands watching Trask as the latter approaches Tisiphone, taking up a post near to the door. It's the polite thing to do: even thugs have manners.

"Calm down, Apostolos," Bootstrap says, wryly noting, "I'm not tryin' ta cop a feel." Nicely, he refrains from adding that there's scarcely anything suitable for copping said feel. "I'd ask you how you're feelin' but I'm thinkin' the answer is self-evident." Momentarily setting down his stuff on a nearby nightstand, he goes to fetch the young woman a cup of cool water. "No doubt they're keepin' you hydrated enough to pee like a racehorse, but you look like you could stand a little more." As he extends the cup, Aeolus is seen. "Well, well, well. If it isn't young grasshopper. For a moment, I was worryin' that Deep Freeze was gettin' hot and bothered with your corpse. Glad to see you're still alive an' kickin', Jig."

Tisiphone's mouth twitches with a bitten-back comment. She /must/ be lucid. It's a very intent gaze on Trask, and still wary — as if she knows the other shoe is about to drop, but keeps misguessing just /when/ it'll finally happen. The cup of cool water, as opposed to the tepid crap awaiting on her bedside table, just complicates the issue even more. As she adjusts her grip on the glass, she looks from it to the ECO and says, rather honestly, "Feel like I got cut out of my own bird two days ago, yeah." Her voice sounds a little raw, and doesn't carry too well. As he looks away to Aeolus, she takes the opportunity to drink.

"I'm afraid my relationship with Jig Orestes doesn't work like that," replies Aeolus, with a tone that has a few drops of sarcasm on its words. He straightens a little. "I came by to see if you had any additional projects that I ought to be working on. I can't seem to find Captain Quinn at the moment," he continues soberly, giving Trask a serious, direct kind of look. He doesn't really know Tisiphone, so he doesn't give her more than a quick glance. He straightens some more.

"Prob'ly 'cuz you were," is Trask's matter-of-fact reply to Tisiphone. Without missing a beat, he tells Aeolus, "Yeah. Corpse frakkers tend to like frakkin' corpses." Cue mild shrug and 'go figure' expression. "Jugs is busy doin' SL type stuff… like sulking 'cuz the CAG ordered her to actually sleep. My plate's full but it's not the kind of stuff I can give away as scraps, unless you happen to be an electrical engineer with avionics experience." Even though he's confident that's not the case, the ECO isn't being snide or condescending. "At this point, all I can tell you is to maintain good health and hit the sims."

Also, for the record, the water is not poisoned, nor does it contain spit.

Tisiphone seems perfectly at-ease with Aeolus's lack of acknowledgement. It's the whole Viper-Raptor dynamic, as she's coming to understand it. Pay no heed to the flyboys until your life's on the line — then, you know, watch while they fly off for a wanktastic Pyrrhic victory, instead of doing their job. Between quiet slurps of water, she watches the two men talk. One's pretty easy on the eyes, and the other has the (perhaps self-proclaimed) finest ass in all of Cerberusdom. It passes the time better than ceiling tiles.

"Well, I — " Aeolus pauses. What's the acronym? Ah, yes: Navy. That is: NAVY — Never Again Volunteer Yourself. "I guess I'm not an electrical engineer." Nope. He looks to Tisiphone for a second. "Guess I'll hit the sims, then, Bootstrap. Thanks for your time." He looks away to Gabrieli — the barbecued fellow in the bandages — and then to another couple of injured shipmates. He draws his tongue in along the inside of his mouth, and then turns to walk out, just like that. Grasshoppah does what Grasshoppahs are supposed to do: what they be told.

The ass on the jerkass? Really, it is damn fine. "Although I appreciate your initiative," aforementioned jerkass with the damn fine ass tells the emo Aquarian, "you don't have t'go do it, right the frak now. In fact, come over here." There even is a matching waving gesture. "I want you t'meet Money Shot… Ensign Tisiphone Apostolos. She's one of your new cousins in Viper territory."

Slurp. Slurp. Slu- Tisiphone's eyes raise over the rim of her glass with rehydrated wariness, moving from Trask to Aeolus and back again. The glass is lowered, her good fingers holding it precariously in her lap. Observe the Viper Pilot in its natural habitat — the Sick Bay, after making a stupid, stupid mistake. "Sir," she murmurs, polite and Ensign-polished as you please, though scratchy-soft. A flick of a glance to Trask, before continuing to Aeolus: "Good to know you."

The Raptor pilot stiffens a little. Meet someone? Grasshoppah certainly does not meet people. Why, he keeps to himself, nose to the grindstone, racking up record amounts of sim hours, and avoiding any and all social situations. However, Trask has introduced him to someone. And she, in turn, has acknowledged his existence. So, visibly conflicted between retreat and contact, he takes a couple of tentative steps towards Tisiphone's bed, and holds up a hand in greeting. "Hi. Jig A.J. Mavros. Good to meet you as well." His words are a little rushed, like he were nervous. Aww. Cute.

"Poor Money Shot here's a casualty of carelessness," Bootstrap casually begins, "Really lucky to not have gotten killed chasing killshots. Although, in her defense, she's a rook, which means she's prone to tag along after her wingmate, no matter how colossally idiotic said wingmate may be." This might be the proverbial other shoe dropping. Or boot, as it may be.

"You like people as much as I do," Tisiphone notes in a rasp, bruise-wreathed eyes lighting with a wry amusement. "We'll get along just fine." The Ensign may be adding a face to her list of People What She Can Eat In Peace Next To. Then Trask's speaking again and /finally/ she's back in familiar territory. Her throat works against a suddenly-tight throat; she looks down at her glass of water, clutching it a bit tighter. "Yeah, that's me. Just following orders." It sounds more than a little sour. She abruptly looks at Trask, sparked into a moment of defensiveness or defiance. "Begging a moment of your age and wisdom, Sir, but what was I supposed to do?" She wants it to sound challenging. She mostly just sounds like a feckless Rook.

Grasshoppah is a Lt. JG. That means that he knows better than to question a superior officer's criticism. As such, Aeolus leans forward a little, and murmurs to Tisiphone, "I like people just fine, but I don't like having to listen to them if I don't have to." He smiles just a little, as if it were a joke. After, he straightens, and waits for the diatribe that Trask is no doubt brewing up. Best way not to get squished as an insect: avoid being caught under heel.

It's so cute when the young pups growl, bark, and gnash their teeth, trying to take on the big dogs. Trask can't help but smile a little at the fighting spirit. That smile is of a sardonic curve, however, because he's of the opinion that the Ensign needs more smarts to go along with it. "Oh… I dunno…" he starts, drier than a martini, "Maybe something along the lines of returning to the frakkin' barn when the CAG gives the order to return to the frakkin' barn." If he heard what Mavros said, there is no indication of such.

"I realize you Viper jocks tend to think we Raptor peeps are only good for jamming systems and playing tow truck or shuttlebus, but a Major with a frakton more experience than an el-tee whose flying skills are suggestive that she got ahead because of who her daddy is — or was — is the person whose orders you should be following." Not once does the ECO's voice raise; it doesn't have to. The sentiment is sharp enough. "Keep in mind that your CAG trumps your SL an' sure as frak trumps your wing, and you'll find that you spend less time in medical."

Gabrieli's painkiller drip has been turned down low after three days, mindful of the nature of opiates. The bandaged ChEng's sleep has been restless since that, only able to squeeze light naps in here and there when the tide of pain drifts out. It's been drifting back in over the last half an hour, from low buzz to steady drone, prying the fingers of sleep off his mind one by one. The deathblow is the fade-in of a voice that he knows, which talks and talks and talks. Right at the end of Trask's little monologue, Gabrieli's voice provides gravelly punctuation. "…frak's sake."

"So I just leave them to fly straight down to Erebus themself, then?" Yes, Tisiphone actually starts to defend herself — or protesting the idea of /abandoning/ someone, at least. O irony. It's not an up-in-your-face protestation, however — instead, there's a surly petulance overlaying a deeper, more pensive expression. This is no time for logic, damn it all to Hades. "I'll keep it in mind, Sir," she replies. Slouching back a bit, lifting her glass again. All things considered, she just /might/. Belatedly: "Thanks."

Le sigh. Aeolus stands all proper and quiet beside Tisiphone, as she looks Trask in the eye and gives him some lip. As if to separate himself from the conversation, the Grasshopper reaches out onto the bed to take Tisiphone's glass. "I'll get you some more water." And then, he does exactly that. See? This way, he doesn't have to listen to anyone any more, and he can live in his little emo world again. Point.

"Hey, your fault for not bein' awake when I got here," is quipped to the charbroiled ChEng grousing about the lecture. Trask's gaze briefly flits towards the departing Aeolus and then is back on Tisiphone. Sardonic as ever, he points out, "Only if you don't feel like taking a one-way river cruise, yourself." The man doesn't pull punches. "If you do, though, by all means, enjoy the trip. Just don't expect anyone to wave you off and wish you bon voyage."

That said, one of the most frustrating things about the ECO is that he actually employs carrot as well as stick. "Look," he says, matter-of-factly, "you've got a lot of promise. A whole lotta potential. I know you have the chops; the talent is there. It would be a damn waste to see you taken down for good." A faint shrug follows, his expression perhaps vaguely disappointed. Kal does not do touchy-feely emotional foo, though, so that's the best the pilot's gonna get. At the murmur of thanks, he just nods. "Rest up. Gettin' riled-up is just gonna slow down your recovery rate, an' we need you back in the box office. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have someone else to bug the ever lovin' shit outta."

This log continues in Lurking Variables.

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