PHD #234: Bounteous Harvest
Bounteous Harvest
Summary: While tagging and labeling the various medicinal plants that he collected and grew during the eight months since Warday, Cameron meets Lt. Marko, an ECO of the Cerberus, who has a similar interest in horticulture.
Date: 18 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: Finally Found
Cameron Elpis Marko 
Ewe Aerilon, Isle of Langley, Aerilon
Post-Holocaust Day: #234

His second day of being rescued. Cameron is still at Ewe Aerilon, though he's not sure exactly why as no one seems to know for sure. Not that he minds, actually. They have shelter, food, water, all the basic needs they could ask for and a beautiful landscape to walk through and explore. In truth, he's more afraid of being taken up to the Cerberus, of being trapped inside of a dark metal box with no windows or natural sunlight. The very thought makes him shudder and it has nothing to do with the wind blowing across the Isle of Langley. A few yards away Elpis is playing some sort of game that only she knows the rules of apparently. It seems to involve a lot of running and giggling, which occasional hiding and then jumping out before repeating the cycle over again. For himself, Cameron is armed with a pad of heavy paper, a pen, and some string and is currently writing down meticulous notes as he crouches down amidst the various herbs and plants that he's been searching for a collecting these past eight months. He's honestly not sure what will become of them, but he's certain that someone, somewhere, will take them and he may or may not be around at the time. As such, it seemed best to write down everything he can, while he can. He catalogs the plant names, their uses, and their care, noting those that prefer dry soil to wet, lots of sun to shade. Anything and everything he can think of to ensure their survival and use.

"Ewe Aerilon, this is Harrier Three One Sixer on approach." Marko's voice squelches over the radio link to the island's Forward Air Controller, taking over the duty for his pilot just to have something to do on this boring damned supply run. "Request a vector to the initial, over?" «Harrrier Three One Sixer, vector one one five, carom one two zero.» the FAC replies as the Raptor breaks into the Aerilon's lower atmosphere, its pilot already adjusting to the new course. "Copy that, FAC, we are fully atmospheric, ETA, 10 minutes to the Initial." Marko replies, stifling a yawn as the Raptor buffets slightly around him. "DRADIS is clear, but looks like there's rough air ahead, we're in for some chop." he advises. He isn't kidding, The next few moments are a mite on the bumpy side as the Raptor reaches the IP. "Ewe Aerilon, Harrier Three One Sixer on initial, turning on final." he announces. «Copy that, Harrier Three One Sixer, winds over the field are twenty kilometers at one one four, you are clear on approach, VFR all the way. Land at position number zero two, repeat, zero two.» the FAC squelches back. Six minutes later, the Raptor's over the field, and vectoring to come in to the second landing slot. The pilot nails the landing easily, then begins to hurriedly unstrap. "Gods, I gotta piss!"

At the sound of the approaching Raptor, Cameron's eyes lift skyward, his hands stilling for awhile as he watches the ship fight against the rough and chaotic winds that buffet the coastline, coming in for a landing. He's sure that it will land safely, but being the only doctor currently at Ewe Aerilon, Cameron has been unusually diligent toward any possible medical emergency. The sun is at least shining today and cloud cover the night before means that other than the winds, the island is more temperate than usual. His heather gray sweater over a shirt is enough to keep him warm, despite the new hole in the left sleeve. He continues to wait and watch, curious what this ship is here to do. New survivors? New supplies? Picking up or dropping off? No telling and, not being part of the military, Cameron is certainly not in a position to ask.

"Yeah, they really do need to put a bathroom in one of these." Marko chuckles in reply, unstrapping and removing his flight helmet as the engines whine down into silence. He and his pilot scrupulously complete their post-flight checklist before hauling open the hatch and, in unison, making for the nearest latrine. It's the Fleet Aviator's curse, ready rooms stocked with drinks, and no way to dispose of them once in the air. A moment later, the duo re-appear, the pilot setting off on a mission in the improvised command post, while Marko takes his time strolling back to the bird to supervise the off-loading of cargo. Spotting Cameron, he gives the man a friendly wave. "Hello there, sir." he calls. "Lovely day."

He watches the two men depart curiously before returning to his self-assigned task. Best to keep busy. Keeps a man from thinking too much. Dangerous business, that. His head lifts again though as someone calls to him and rising up to his feet, Cameron waves back and offers a cheerful smile before glancing up at the sky. "That it is, that it is!" he calls back before tilting his head curiously and asking, "Dropping off, picking up, or are you scouting for more survivors today?" His clothes, as well as the fact that he's here at Ewe Aerilon likely marks Cameron as the civilian that he is.

"Eh, little bit of both." Marko replies, waving the man over. "Sorry, I'd come to you, but somebody's gotta keep eyes on all this stuff." he explains. "Dropping off sanitation gear. Loading….I have no idea what." he shrugs. "Just that somebody upstairs thought it was important." He pulls a hard-used notepad out of one of the many pockets on his flight gear. "Ah, consumables. Thank the Gods…" he adds, sighing. "I see another can of creamed corn, somebody's going to get _hurt_."

Rising up to his feet, Cameron wipes off his hands on his cargo pants before closing the distance between them so Marko doesn't have to yell at him, shaking his head as he calls back, "No worries. Can I lend you a hand carrying anything?" Fellow seems strong enough, even if he's not as young as the Lieutenant. Glancing over his shoulder, Cameron chuckles and shakes his head. "Sorry to burst your bubble, but most of them are medicinal rather than food stock, though there are a fair number of those around the corner and more if a ship can be spared at some point to fetch them… and they've survived a month without tending. Might not be worth the trouble, I don't know." As he closes the gap, he offers the man his hand. "Dr. Cameron Adair. Nice to meet you." Normally he leaves the doctor bit off, but in this day and age, offering ones credentials just seems like a good idea. Use every man according to his talents.

"Lieutenant JG Marko Scaurus, sir." Marko replies, taking his hand and giving it a firm shake. "Call me 'Flasher'." he smiles. "Good to meet you, too, sir." he says, sincerely. "Doctor, you say?" he asks, cocking his head a little. "Gods, but you're a welcome addition." he sighs. "We need all the Docs we can get, between all the civvies we've picked up and the losses we've suffered in the medical department…" he says, voice trailing off. "Glad you're here, sir." he adds, shaking the man's hand again before releasing it.

One brow raises up, his lips crooking into a lopsided smile as Cameron echoes, "Flasher, huh? You have a thing for trenchcoats, Lieutenant?" He seems amused at the idea, rather liking all these odd nicknames that pilots and soldiers seem to have for one another. He isn't sure if he should feel the warmth of prideful pleasure or the arrow of worry at Marko's exclamation, shoulders shrugging as he replies, "I live to serve," without an ounce of sarcasm. "Glad to be here," he replies, shaking Marko's hand in return as he adds, "We weren't sure if we were ever going to find any other survivors. To know that there is a whole Battlestar… plus the survivors you've managed to rescue… it's nothing short of a miracle." His smile grows warmer as he notes, "Just Cam or Cameron." He's not a man to stand on formalities or titles.

"Heh, it's a long story, Doc." Marko replies, laughing and shaking his head ruefully. "Call it the result of an Ensign having a bright idea in the middle of a test." he shrugs. "I did have a trenchcoat when I was teen." he adds, chuckling softly. "Horrible, green thing…Picked it up at a thrift store, Dad called it my 'full body condom', 'cause no girl in her right mind would talk to me when I was wearing it." he snerks. "And yeah, I'm astonished at how many managed to get through Warday." he says, voice and expression darkening slightly as the memories of that awful night over Picon slide into view. "Figured we were done for. Never been happier to be wrong in my life." he smiles, nodding. "So, when are you due to rotate up?" he asks, one finger pointing skyward.

Chuckling softly, Cameron counters, "I don't think I can quite bring myself to call you "Flasher" so I'm afraid Marko will have to do, but I do think I'll have to buy you a drink just so I can hear that story, long though it may be." He likes the lieutenant's sense of humor and relaxed manner right away. He nods, pursing his lips before noting, "But of course, in comparison to the loss… it's barely a drop in the ocean." He doesn't note that they could easily still be done for. Only time will tell. Glancing up, Cameron shrugs his shoulders and replies, "That's the question of the day. We only just arrived two nights ago. I think we were all processed yesterday. No one seems to have an answer yet, though, as to when we'll be sent up." Wrapping his arms over his chest, Cam's gaze flickers out toward the coastline of the mainland, noting, "In truth, I'm not exactly looking forward to it. I think it will be hard, living surrounded by metal with no sunlight or landscapes. I suspect I will be spending a great deal of time working with whatever gardens are available, if they'll have me…"

Marko nods slowly. "Know how you feel…" he replies, smiling a little. "First week or two, you think you'll go buggo with claustrophobia." he says flatly. "But you get past it, well, ideally, you get past it." he adds, shrugging a little. "The trick is to learn to think 'small and thin'. Imagine every space you're in is half as small as it really is, and keep doing it until you believe it. As to the lack of sun or view, just keep telling yourself you're living in a hospital." he chuckles. "Any time you're not awake and doing something, you're 'on call'." he advises. "Got me through the breaking-in period. It doesn't hurt to keep busy, either." he adds.. "Wait…wait…did you say you're a gardener?" the young ECO asks, jaw falling open…

Marko's words and advice are not exactly reassuring, a small shudder going through Cameron's frame as he notes, "I never have been claustrophobic, but it sounds like the sort of thing that could make one so. I'll be drinking lots of valerian and chamomile tea, I suspect. Even hospitals have windows. I should know!" He smiles curiously at the young man's urgent question, answering, "Of a sort. My mother was a doctor of alternative medicines. She taught me how to recognize and grow medicinal plants and herbs, and of course we grew much of our own food. So I guess you could say that I'm something of a gardener. Wasn't my career, and I left off it for many years, but these past five I've been tending to the gardens and plants fairly regularly." He points to whence he came when the Raptor first landed, noting, "I was just making information tags for all the plants I brought here, in case I get separated from them. Spent a long time searching for them and keeping them alive. I'd rather not all that hard work go to waste because someone doesn't realize what it is that they've got."

"What plants do you have?" Marko asks breathlessly, looking all the world like little kid who's love nothing better than to jump up and down and hoot at this discovery. were it not for his military training. "Can you show me them?" he asks. "We've got a hydroponics program going on the Cerberus." he explains. "Fruits, veggies, some spices, we're looking for more seedlings to work with."

"Ummmm, well, let's see. Like I said, mostly medicinal plants," Cameron explains, his hand lifting as he starts to tick off the ones that he can remember off the top of his head. "Chamomile, valerian, agrimony, all-heal, calendula, ginger, garlic, carrots, potatoes, onions, parsnips, ahh, some wild berries…. and the plants that were gone for the season I saved what seeds I could as well." His smiles uncertainly as he explains, "I'm used to working in dirt, but I'm happy to learn about hydroponics if you need more people to help tend the plants. And of course I hope you can use everything I've collected." He takes a step, to lead Marko to said plants before remembering that the lieutenant is here to do a job and needs to stay where he is for the moment. "I'll make you a list, how's that?" he offers instead.

Marko blinks, jaw dropping once more at the list of healthsome produce the doctor's managed to rescue. "We've got two projects, actually. one's hydroponics, of course." he says. "The other's soil-based. We need to do some harvesting on the arable land here to help keep it going." he explains, nodding to himself. "But, yeah……frak…..Doc, you're a Gods send." he grins, offering his hand once more. "my better half will want to know all about this." he adds. "Garlic…fresh garlic…." he sighs dreamily…."Chamomile…..heh, just you wait till I mention _that_ to the CAG." he grins. "She'll be your new best friend!"

One brow lifts again, Cameron's features a mixture of pleasure and bemusement as he asks, "The CAG, she the nervous sort? Needs a spot of chamomile tea now and again?" Not that Cameron can blame her. He's certainly has brewed many a pot of the stuff himself! "Unlike the rest of you, I've had eight months to do pretty much nothing but survive and prepare. And with other survivors to help, well, many hands make light work. Or at least lighter. We went on foraging runs, some hunted, others gardened, we collected whatever we could that wasn't destroyed or poisoned by the fallout. Everyday was hard work, but we were able to prepare. Thanks the Gods we had the spring and the summer. If the attacks had happened at this time…. we wouldn't have survived."

"Heh, Major Cidra's a _rock_, but she does like her tea." Marko chuckles, his merriment fading as Cameron finishes his story. "How bad was it?" he asks simply.

Major Cidra. Wait. Blinking, Cameron asks, "She's a pilot, yes?" He barely met her, exhausted and wounded as he was, but he remembered taking Elpis from her, the woman holding the child much like a man would hold a baby that he didn't know what to do with, arms out straight and stiff, like the thing was going to bite her or something. "She was part of the team that found me and the others…" At the question, Cameron's face goes quiet and still for a moment before he murmurs, "Not as bad as others, apparently, but then I think it would be better to be destroyed in the blink of an eye, seared and turned into so much steam and ash than to fight without hope against an unstoppable force. There was less bombing, more targeted destruction. Villages razed to the ground, bodies everywhere, burned, shot, slaughtered." He swallows, no longer seeing Marko or the island they stand on, but the villages that they combed through, looking for survivors and supplies. "We had to make sure, that there was no one. We buried them as often as we could, or at least gave them a funeral pyre. But sometimes there were just too many, and we were too few." His ocean eyes flicker over to where the little girl has sat down, plucking at the grass with her fingers and twining it into rings to be worn. "I found Elpis nearly smothered to death underneath her mother. She was trying to protect her from being shot, and if she hadn't fallen over her, I'm sure she would have been killed as well." His eyes shift to Marko as he explains, "After I found Elpis, well, I had to check every body. Just to be sure."

"I'm sorry." Marko replies, his own eyes clouding over, the memory of watching the nuclear pinpricks fall across Picon during the first battle of humankind's last war replaying afresh. "I am so very sorry….We never saw it coming….and we frakking should have." he all but growls. "Somebody dropped the frakkin' ball somewhere…and we all get to pay for it now."

Blinking, his eyes clearing, Cameron's head lifts and his gaze warms, a smile curling his lips as he reaches out to lightly clasp Marko's arm. "There's no need to apologize. Something this complete and extreme? I don't think anyone could have seen it coming. There were no warning signs, no contact, no reason at all to think that anyone could have seen what was coming, let alone stop it." Shaking his head, Cameron turns and looks back toward Elpis, the girl looking up as if sensing his stare and grinning, jumping up to her feet and running toward the two men. "We're like that little girl there now. Phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction. She's blocked it all out. Denies it. And look at her. Look at how happy she is. We need to be like that. We can't look back. We can't go back. We need to move forward, live simply, and hold onto one another now." A thoughtful look comes over Cameron's face as he asks in a total nonsequitor, "Lieutenant… I don't suppose you play an instrument, do you?"

"Hm?" Marko replies, shaking himself out of his reverie. "No….kinda tone deaf, sad to say." he replies, chuckling and shrugging ruefully. "I can keep time, but that's about it." he smirks. "She's cute." he adds, giving the girl a little wave, clearly unused to dealing with kids despite everything that's happened. "Do everyone on the Air Wing a favor, will ya?" he asks Cameron. "Tell her if she has to make an FTL drive, don't close her eyes." he chuckles. "Last kids we took off……" he sighs…

Cameron nods and chuckles, but doesn't elaborate on where the odd question came from or why he asked it. "She is cute," he notes dryly, "and she totally knows how to use it to her own advantage." He lets out of playful 'ooof!" when she collides with him, wrapping her arms about his waist and burying her face into his stomach before turning to peer up at the young lieutenant curiously. "Elpis, this is Marko. Marko, this is Elpis." The little girl turns to look at the stranger before taking either side of her dress' hem in her fingertips, one legging covered leg dipping behind the other as she curtsies and then rises up again. "Close her eyes? She's not the sort to close her eyes till she's fast asleep," Cameron points out puzzledly. "And even then, I'm not sure they're really closed."

"Hey there.." Marko replies, waving a little to the girl and chuckling softly at the way she all but clotheslines the doctor. "She's energetic." he chuckles. "That's good. Seems in good health." he notes.

The little girl frowns slightly at being talked about and stamps one foot before tugging on Cameron's sweater insistently. Seems she's got the good doctor wrapped around her little finger, because he obligingly hunkers down and picks her up, hoisting her over one hip and standing akimbo to better support her slight weight. Good thing she's a tiny thing still. "It took some time, but yeah, she's all better now and strong as a filly." And clearly she's quite attached to the doctor, her hands curling possessively into his sweater as she lays her head on his shoulder. He studies her indulgently for a moment before taking a breath and turning back to Marko. "Right, so you never said… do you need any help with what you're doing? Carrying, lifting, hauling, that sort of thing?"

"Nah, hands have it covered." Marko shrugs, gesturing to the trio of military personnel now loading the Raptor with small boxes. "Just gotta stand by until they're done." he explains. "Protocol." he snerks, shaking his head. "Because if the big, bad ECO isn't watching, somebody might do something stupid." he chuckles. "Like there's room."

Chuckling softly, Cameron replies dryly, "Red tape, can't do anything without it, can't do anything with it." As a doctor he's familiar with the annoying sticky stuff. Yes, there are reasons why it's there and sometimes they're even good ones. But more often than not it just gets in the way and leaves everything covered with a tacky substance that causes more trouble than it's worth. All that energy seems to come in fits and bursts as it often does with children, the little girl's eyes starting to droop as her weight grows heavier and heavier as her body begins to go slack. "Well," Cameron muses, "it seems you have men to watch and I have a child to put down for a nap. Best finish tagging the planets as well, but I'll write you up a list of what I have so you can take it to whomever is in charge of the hydroponics lab? Least they'll know what's coming and whether or not they'll need it, right?"

"If you'd be so kind as to write up an inventory, Doc, I'll be sure it gets to the right people." Marko replies, nodding. "Your plants will find a _very_ good home, you've my word on it." he grins eagerly. "Tell Elpis, is it?" he adds. "Tell her I said it was nice meeting her. Hope to see you both in the air real soon." he says, giving a friendly wave as he moves to start clucking over the loadout of the Raptor.

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