PHD #333: Inscribed in Flesh
Inscribed in Flesh
Summary: Trask has become an uncle. The addition to his achyddiaeth says so. (Warning: the squeamish might not want to read this log.)
Date: 25 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Quinn has a baby; also, tatau terminology can be found HERE.
Evandreus Quinn Sawyer Trask Amato Malani Kallistei NPC 
Recovery Room — Deck 10 — 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: #333

A lot can happen within 48 hours. A baby… a promotion… a cryptic message left for Sawyer to be in the recovery ward at a certain time… which just so happens to be shortly after Bootstrap arrives, having recently finished his last shift. Upon entry, he quietly confers with an orderly, whom he then slips a datastick. Whatever the nature of the transaction, both men look pleased. "«She's awake,»" the ECO then says in Taurian, presumably to the dusky-skinned, tatau covered fellow who is accompanying him. "«Right through here.»" Which is the way they then head.

Quinn is awake. Mostly. In a literal sense, but not much more. She's being a good new mama and feeding practically every time the little infant girl cries, but that means Maggie's not gotten too many straight hours of sleep since her 36 some hours of active labour. So, mama and child are currently half propped up in a bed in the recovery ward, her gown now open to allow access to the little pink Kallistei to latch on and feed hungrily. Maggie has at least managed to shower at some point in the last day, so her hair looks half put together and she smells of the military soap and milk.

Evandreus is awake, too. He's been here when his schedule allows, holding his little sister in order to let Quinn get some sleep. And to get some quality bonding time in there, of course. For now, he's smiling dreamily, sprawled sideways over the sickbay chair, head leaning against a railing of mum's recovery bed as his eyes linger on the little girl having her dinner. He's not drunk, anymore. Not on alcohol, anyhow. He's -definitely- babydrunk, though. That sort of bibbling peacefulness that comes of having a baby sleep on top of ones chest for any protracted length of time.

Sawyer's just about had it up to here with cryptic little tip-offs, the last one nearly having resulted in a riot. Okay, so not really; Sawyer's a journalist and she's just about chomping at the bit to follow any decent lead lately. The fact that it has brought her to the recovery ward means she's treading lightly, however. Never know when that damn medic will try and kick her out again. So, here she is. Where's the fire?

Trask does not have the luxury of spending much time anywhere outside of the inside of a Raptor, the inside of his cubicle, or the inside of anywhere else a Squadron Leader is stuck when on-duty. Seeing that he tends to pull 16-hour workdays, that doesn't leave much in the way of dilly-dallying. Even so, that doesn't prevent him from swinging by the ward several times throughout the course of his shifts, usually when Quinn is resting. "Cinnabun. Honey Bunny," he chipperly greets before gazing upon the babe with a smile formed of several emotions. "An' how's my li'l dumplin'?" His little apple of discord dumpling, that is.

A courteous nod is offered by the mysterious man who accompanies him. After a moment, the ECO conveys, "Matatau Amato, I present to you my family." What Matatau Amato replies is not in Standard, but one might be able to infer it is equal part blessing and greeting. "Feel free to set-up," Kal continues. "We're still waitin' on one more, but she'll be here momentarily."

Because no one in Medical is seeking to detain the journalist. In fact, the orderly from earlier even approaches the blonde to relay, "They're in number three, Ms. Averies."

Quinn looks up as she hears Trask's voice, a slightly warmer smile crossing her freckled, exhausted features. Surrounded by her boys, she's definitely more comfortable than any other place in the world. "Hungry… I feel like she eats more than she sleeps…" That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. "…Bunny… wanna help me sit up a bit straighter, if we're getting company?" Maggie asks her almost ever present attendant and adopted son, her arms quite busy protectively cradling the babe to her chest.

Evandreus sits up straight, himself, drawing his heels up under the chair to get him the leverage he needs to pop up onto his feet as briskly as he ever did for a pop inspection. Dutiful, isn't he? "Hey, Boots, hey— guy," he tells the fellow he's never met, offering him a hand to shake hello, his manner easy, as if he, at least, was expecting him to be brought along here to meet everyone. Then, gently edging the chair aside, he takes up a post at mum's back, beginning to tenderly ease her up, squishing more pillows down there to support her lower back, giving mum a gentle kiss amongst her red tresses as he does so. "Need me to go flag you down some more of that jello?" he whispers to her.

Sawyer doesn't have the audacity to ask precisely 'who' the orderly is referring to; that will be revealed in due time as she draws up to the little curtained off section. "Sawyer Averies, Press." She used to say the name of her magazine, but that's gone up in ash. At least she has manners, for she waits after she announces herself for someone to bid her in. Someone could be in a compromising position in there, after all. And she doesn't run /that/ kind of publication.

Amato shakes the offered hand and commences setting up. This consists of opening the case he brought with him and then disinfecting his hands. With a sense of ritual, he starts removing the tools of his trade, which he neatly sets down much like a surgeon would. Present is what appears to a small wooden mallet, a flat-bladed chisel, and a comb-chiseled blade.

"Since when do you have manners?" Trask quips at the sound of Sawyer's voice, drawing the curtain just enough to poke his face through. Brown eyes then dart to a point beyond the journalist, and then he extends a hand to wave someone over. That someone is a very fit, dark-haired woman adorned with no small number of tatau. "Pardon," she says, slipping past the blonde and around the ECO, who coyly stands there, barring passage. "So, you comin' in or what?" he asks of Averies.

Quinn really has no bloody clue what is going on. It's a touch nerve wracking, especially when she sees mallets, chisels and a BLADE around her 2 day old infant, but she trusts her boys so she doesn't kick everyone out yet. She first nods a thanks to Bunny. "Thank you, Evan…" she murmurs almost intimately, the words meant just for she and her adopted son. Then she's gazing back to Trask and his set up, both brows arching high. "Boots. You want to tell me why my little corner of privacy has suddenly become a colony for artists and reporters? Hm?" And then to Sawyer, she offers a forcibly polite smile, but she definitely doesn't feel like she's looking her best. Much less for the press.

"It takes a village, mumsie," Evan reminds her, then, turning, almost collides with the recently arrived dark-haired woman. "Oh, pardon me," he tells her, side-stepping. "And looks like we're well on the way to having a village on hand," he jokes. It -is- getting a little crowded in this little alcove. He turns himself around, wheeling about the woman on his way to freedom and finding himself suddenly sort of between Trask and Sawyer. "Oh, hey, Soybean. Come on in, pull up a bit of standing room only," he tells her, smiling brightly. If Boots isn't going to be a kind host, at least Bunny will be. But then he's slithering past Sawyer and out to get some of the requested treat.

Sawyer turns her head slightly, eyeing Trask with no lack of suspicion. She has no greeting for the man, she doesn't even spare him a word, but through the partition she goes to join the over-crowded space. She nods to those she doesn't know, those being the tatau covered folk (sans Trask), before offering a quiet: "Evan. Margaret." Not really sure what part she's supposed to play in this little gathering, she just tucks herself off to the side. "Congratulations. You'll pardon me, I bought you a gift but I wasn't aware you had delivered, much less that this is where I was coming. I'll bring it by next time. She's beautiful." Sawyer then watches Amato setting up, recognizing the tools necessary to execute a tattoo in one of the most ancient ways.

When Sawyer goes right around him without a word, "I missed you, too," is the blithe retort, issued as he sidesteps the departing Evan. "Nope," is Boots' reply to Jugs. "Gimme a few an' I'll show you, though." In the meanwhile, he introduces the dark-haired woman. "Malani, everyone. Everyone, Malani." A respectful nod is offered before she starts assisting Amato. For his part, Trask is removing his already unbuttoned duty jacket, which he drapes over the back of the lone chair. And then the orderly from earlier appears, carrying another chair — but the kind with the built-in armrest for blood taking. "Thanks, bro. Just put it anywhere it'll fit."

Kallistei, for her part, has been happily suckling away, fairly oblivious to all the things going on around her. She's still not really focused on anyone else, but she seems to have had her fill and pulls away for the moment at least. Maggie shifts one hand to cover herself again, moving the tiny babe onto her shoulder inside for the careful bit of burping that happens after each feeding. While Kalli doesn't have a ton of hair, she's already gotten a clearly ginger hue of down across her skull to clash with her pink flesh. Ahh, all dirty gingers, the whole lot of them. Maggie supports her head gently as she positions the infant against her shoulder and then settles into that position. Sawyer is given a quieter smile. "You needn't have bought a gift… thank you, though. Yes… she is quite beautiful." There is no doubt or hesitation in her voice about that, just pure love and pride. Then she's looking back to the set up, no longer questioning things. Just watching.

Evandreus isn't long in finding a cup full of green gelatinous chunks and re-admitting himself, feeling his way around the edge of the divider to make sure he doesn't step on anyone on his way in, standing up on his tiptoes and generally trying to take up as little space as possible as he sneaks and picks his way back to mum's bedside, cocking his head and making the smaller Kal a goofy face from behind the shoulder, even if she doesn't have the focus to see it, yet. "The most beautiful, you might say," he grins. "Trade?" Evan waggles the little cup in his fingers, making the jello dance. He just wants to hold the baby again, is what. And he isn't above taunting his mother with food to get what he wants.

Sawyer doesn't have a response for Trask. Maybe she's just resorting to playground tactics and is giving him the cold shoulder, or she doesn't want to interrupt what passes as a ceremony to the Bull. "Don't thank me until you've seen what it is, hmm?" Sawyer replies, her voice soft for little baby ears. Unlike Evan, however, she doesn't seem in any rush to coddle and coo at the little bundle of joy but, then again, she only has a passing acquaintance with the mother.

The orderly somehow manages to make it work and then departs with a shake of his head, undecided as to how much of this is badass and how much is insane. The rest of the ward is spared, however, for the curtain is drawn closed. With everything configured, Trask assumes the position and offers up his already adorned left arm in sacrifice. "«Ready when you are.»" Which the Matatau and his assistant appear to be. Sitting in the vacant chair, the latex-gloved Amato commences cleaning the canvas with a disinfectant. Retrieving the paatuketuke and the uhi, the long opening note of the karakia is chanted. A beat after the onset of silence, the flat-headed chisel is tapped with the mallet, making the first incision.

No matter how many times one has done this — and the amount of tatau Trask has is indicative that he's done this many times — it still hurts like whoa and then some, and then a whole lot frakkin' more. In the Ta Moko tradition, no semblance of anesthetic is utilized. The way Kal's face contorts in pain is not for show. After a sharp inhalation through his teeth, he begins chanting the karakua, which vacillates between harmonizing and counterpointing with Amato's voice and the rhythmic tapping of tools.

Wow, Evan really wants to hold the baby. While Maggie really isn't going to -eat jello- while Trask goes through a sacred religious ceremony — and she's also still hesitant to hand her baby to anyone — she does actually, gingerly, pass the tiny, bundled figure over to Evan and then she sets the jello aside for later on. She's now fallen utterly quiet in religious, respectful silence for the pain Trask is going through, gaining his marks in sight of the child who bears his name.

Evandreus is only a little bit baby-crazy. Little Kal gets held in gentle arms, head carefully supported even as he turns himself about slowly to aim the baby's face toward the show, Evan himself looking in turns at the smaller Kal's face and then back over his shoulder toward the taller Kal's arm, his back toward the proceedings as it is. His knees bend and straighten in a minute bobbling motion to keep the girl calm and happy.

There's a moment when Sawyer actually averts her eyes; it's just a quick glance down to her shoes like so many times she's looked the other way while people changed in berthings. Propriety? Embarrassment? Whatever it is the moment passes, and the journalist lifts her dark eyes and focuses on the throes of pain that contort Kal's face. "What's her name?" She asks back to the mother and Evan without turning her head, without breaking her line of vision from the tattoo artist and his canvas.

The chanting is sacrosanct in nature, whether in homage to the Gods or to one's ancestors and kin. It also generates a pseudo-meditative state that aids in enduring the intense pain. No mere cuts are these. No, the man's very flesh is literally being carved and stained. Little by little, tau is subdermally added, which also stings. As Amato works, Malani holds the skin tight and wipes away the excess ink, the seeping blood, and granules of biological tissue. And with a certain grim, zen-like concentration, Trask recites… and sweats and strains and bleeds.

Quinn watches Evan and the baby carefully, hawklike and protective every moment her little daughter is out of her arms. She never really thought she, or the seemingly perfectly healthy infant, were going to make it this far. The fact they have means she's almost fierce in her protectiveness. It says a lot for Evan that she permits him to hold her at all. Maggie then murmurs to Sawyer, "Kallistei Anne Quinn…" No, the father got no part in naming this child in any way, it seems. But then, he's nowhere near around either. Maggie then focuses her eyes on Trask again and, if he permits, she reaches out one hand for one of his. Holding onto him through the pain, as he did for her.

Sawyer quakes. It's barely perceptible at first, but the second time her frame shudders, it's unmistakable. The journalist has no doubt been witness to some gruesome occasions, the Borenstein execution for example, but something about this is affecting her more than it should. To maintain composure, she squats, as if no longer trusting her limbs to support her. Good thing she's in trousers today, as she rests back on her haunches and watches Trask from behind steepled fingers. "Kallistei," she repeats against the press of her thumbs to her lips.

Perspiration drips from his temple and his hairline, and those big, oh so emotive brown eyes are so brightly sheened and tensed in response to Kal's nerve endings protesting their brutal violation. Cycling through being flushed and turning blanched, it's with a white-knuckled grip that he claws into the armrest. Truly, it would be best for Quinn to instead opt for resting fingertips on his shoulder, for he'd unwittingly crush her hand were he to hold it.

After some time, there is a brief reprieve when Amato pauses and holds a note while he swaps out the uhi for the uhi matarau, which has a comb-tooth edge. And then the carving begins anew, creating further texture.

Quinn does shift her grip to rest gently on Trask's shoulder, trying to give him what support she can while he goes through the ritual. "Almost there, Kal…" She breathes out, trying to reassure him. There is clearly a connection between babe and he, the names not just a part of it. She then looks back, Evan's arms tired and he probably not comfortable watching either, so she reaches over and takes her drowsy baby back, the child's eyes only half open now that belly is full and burped. Now closer, the little ginger baby can easily be seen by Sawyer.

Sawyer is quiet now, silently playing her part as the witness that she was no doubt called here to be. Even though it's the baby they're here to memorialize, her attention is solely on Trask. Maybe she's having a religious moment of her own, hunkered down there as she is with her hands pressed in supplication but her lips aren't moving, rather she's just clenching her jaw.

Unpleasant as it likely is to watch the rite, it is immeasurably worse to undergo. When the final stroke is struck, the two men chant for a moment more. When this finally ceases, Trask is visibly and understandably woozy. Even so, there is a glow about him that is positively exalted. Never mind that he looks like he is in serious need of a juice box and a power nap. All he gets is Malani giving the newest addition a diligent wipedown before Amato applies a fragrant balm and some bandaging. "That, uh… That a good enough explanation for you, Mags?" Lightly, the hand of the unscathed arm lifts to fondly clasp the one Quinn has rested upon his shoulder.

Quinn nods in affirmation to Trask, gentle respect and concern in her eyes. "Yes… yes, it is. Thank you, Kal…" she whispers, her hand squeezing his shoulder for just a heartbeat before with drawing to gently come back and brush across the babe's hair, very gently, a silent reminder this is all to memorialize her.

It's over, right? Sawyer scrubs her face with her palms as if somehow she went through that ordeal right along with Trask. A little more pale than she was when she first came in, she finally presses back to her feet. "Well, that was… educational." She mutters to no one in particular, her voice hoarse, which she forces to clear. A smile curves back to her lips, a pleasant thing for baby and mother. Finally, she reaches out to do her part in fawning over the baby, a featherlight finger just barely touching that red-tinted peach fuzz. "Congratulations, again." Her hand withdraws, and then after a flicker of a glance to Trask in all his bandaged glory, she turns to leave.

Gaze hazy and increasingly hooded, Trask releases Maggie's hand after a small squeeze. Then he rubs his palm across his scalp, causing his short hair to damply tousle. Further words between him and the artists are exchanged in Taurian. Instructions. Gratitude. Well wishes. Respects due amply shown. While Amato and Malani clean the workspace, Bootstrap swivels in his seat, wincing a little as he moves the injured arm. "How 'bout you, Sawyer? Satisfied with the answer?" Beat. "Even if it's only the answer to one." Faintly, he smiles as befits a coy boy. None of his other tatau have been explained, but he gave the blonde the inside scoop on the meaning of this one.

Quinn looks down, after a moment, mainly because her little one is squirming just a bit, a yawn and an uncomfortable cry all at once at being kept upright too long. She shifts Kalli to laying on her back, cradled in the crook of Maggie's arm, so the baby can drop back off to sleep. "…Thank you, Sawyer. I have been… quite blessed," Maggie affirms, as the congratulations comes in her direction. And then she looks to Trask. "Get some rest, Kal. She'll be here when you wake up."

Sawyer pushes strands of hair out of face, giving her an unobstructed view of Kal. There's a long moment when her brain cycles through all the possible responses to his question, though none of them seem fitting or forthcoming. Looking between Quinn and then the baby, and then Trask, she takes a steadying breath as if to say something profound, but all that comes out is, "Good night, Kal."

Well, after what transpired, pretty much anything is anticlimactic, isn't it? "You, too, Sawyer," is murmured. If he was expecting something more significant and is subsequently offended or disappointed by the lack of such, there's no real way to tell. The man is pretty sapped. "Yeah. I'm gonna do that," he then tells Quinn. "Just gimme a moment." Beat. "And a juice box." Another beat. "I could /so/ go for a juice box, right now." Head lolling back, he bats those big brown eyes in oh so darling a manner at Evandreus, for that is the surest way to get his drink on.

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