PHD #117: Long Overdue
Long Overdue
Summary: Sickbay finally gives the CMO and Stavrian long enough to catch up, post-Leonis.
Date: 2041.06.24
Related Logs: None.
Bia Stavrian 

CMO's Office — Deck 10 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #117
The CMO's office is, like many offices aboard the ship, of very military design. The space is utilitarian, to say the least, with bookshelves on the wall behind the single desk. In front of the desk are two chairs - as if the occupant would never need to have more than two other peole in the office at any given time. The shelves are lined with medical reference books, dotted here and there with a few framed photographs. Despite the rather sterile feel, overall, the room does have a few touches of warmth - a lab coat hanging from a hook near the door, a hearty variety of plant on top of a filing cabinet. It's the little things.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

It's been several days since the Leonis exfiltration, and the massive influx of survivors and rescued Cerberus personnel has finally faded down to dull roar. It's given Grace one of her first opportunities to catch up on all the paperwork such an influx generates. Her desk looks more like the desk the old CMO left behind — heaped with clipboards upon folders upon orphaned slips of paper. A small, ordered pile is starting at one corner, though. Slowly but surely, it will grow from there. Her door, as always, is slightly ajar, and the sound of her rapid hunt-and-peck typing comes from within.

Stavrian checked in as he was supposed to, though it's been now before he get the time to physically appear at Bia's office. The shredded blast to his right shoulder and collarbone went from them until now without focused medical treatment, landing him into the start of physical therapy as soon as he got back - that they've warned him may never recover the full range of motion again. His answer to that is something any shrink would find classic. Work enough that there's little time to think about it. With the patient load slowly settling, it's now that he's gathered himself and his notes enough to knock on Bia's ajar door. Knock.

"I'm here," comes the Interim CMO's drawl — and a moment later, the cessation of the keyboard's clickerclack and the scrape of her chair being pushed back. A few seconds spent crossing the room and back again is a welcome respite from the paperwork. The door swings open to Good Gracious standing there, her fingers curled on the edge of the door, eyes crinkled at the edges with a weary-warm smile. "Mister Jesse. I sure was hoping to see you soon. Come you in." She'll close the door behind him, once he's through, and ask, "Can I get you some water?"

One will never accuse medical personnel of not setting a good example. They gave Stavrian a sling after the grueling therapy and he's even wearing it. If grudgingly. Shaven for once in a month and hair freshly shortened, he stands there with a strange hint of awkwardness as she closes the door, clearing his throat. "Please." Beat. Two beats. "I got that haircut."

"You did, you did." Good Gracious is amused, her drawl warm. "Please. Sit you down, and let's start with what's in front of us. How's your shoulder?" She gestures toward the chair, though doesn't touch his (good) shoulder in the process, before moving off for her insulated carafe and two fresh glasses of water. One is set down on his side of the desk; she claims the other before returning to her chair.

"It's alright, sir," Stavrian replies noncomittally. He sits down, hooking his left foot behind the rung of the chair, keeping the officially-typed folder settled on his blue-scrub clad knees. "Can't really complain. People look worse than me out there, you know?" His smile is fake but well-meant.

"Mmm-hm," Grace murmurs, on matters of the medic's shoulder. Her eyes flicker up to his sling for a moment over the rim of her glass as she drinks. It's the intent look of an appraising physician, there and gone again by the time she sets the glass down. "Hain't no time to worry about platitudes after eight weeks down on Leonis, Mister Jesse, least of all to me." Her smile remains, though the creases at the edges of her eyes smooth away. "You've got something there meant for me?"

"I wasn't plati-…tuding." Is that a real word? It is now. "Sir." Stavrian fusses with the corner of the folder as he looks down, and opens his mouth. What comes out isn't the first thing he intended to say. "Eight weeks?"

Grace's eyes lose focus for just a moment, then return to their gentle observation of Stavrian. "No. Pardon me. Seven weeks." She pauses to lift her glass of water for another drink, sliding it a few inches away as she sets it down, long fingers weaving together in front of her. "Right to the day, as a matter of fact."

Stavrian gently scratches his jawline, still surprised that it isn't overrun with stubble. He doesn't say anything for a while, the chair leg gently creaking as his foot presses behind it. "Someone said there were a…" How does one phrase this right? "…couple incidents up here. People got hurt."

"Hain't been quiet while you all were down on Leonis, no," agrees Grace, somewhat carefully. "Several instances of foul play down on the deck. Major Hahn lost a sweet girl to CO2 poisoning most recently what looks like tampering with her air mix." The laugh-lines at the corners of her eyes crease in a way utterly devoid of mirth. "There's the matter of the Admiral's arrest, as well, which had twenty-two come in and eighteen leave."

Silence again. Stavrian may have heard about that, he might not. Tough to tell from his expression, which seems to have gained age lines over the last seven weeks that men in their forties don't even have. He pinches his fingers on the end of his nose and lets his hand rest on the folder, looking his superior in the eyes again. "Has Major Tillman sent…any reports down yet, sir? About Leonis?"

"None that Medical are privy to just yet, no. I'm certain once things have calmed a spell, he'll see fit to talk my ear off. I'm sure he's been powerful busy." Or so the party line is laid out, with a bit more distance in Grace's eyes than she is typically wont to leave.

Stavrian nods once. His lips thin, pulling in so his tongue can wet the chapped line between them. "We saw evidence," he begins, in a tone that hasn't rehearsed this as well as he might have wanted, "That the cylons have used genetic material. Our genetic material. Probably long before any of this." His tongue flicks the back of his front teeth. "They can reproduce it."

There's a long beat of silence there, Grace's eyes steady and appraising on Stavrian. Her fingers weave apart in front of her as she leans back in her chair. It gives a single, soft creak as she folds her arms lightly across her chest. "The lack of corpses and the eviscerated remains you reported earlier," she says. "The multiple-source blood samples." Pause. "How much evidence?"

Stavrian takes a soft breath. "We saw a member of the air wing that had been pronounced dead some time ago." His jaw muscles bunch slightly as his teeth press together. "We saw him…on Leonis."

Grace's head tilts and twists faintly in a sort of say WHAT? pantomime. "Alive? You're telling me they're duplicating our crew, Mister Jesse?" It doesn't sound dubious so much as the sort of statement that benefits from a double-tap of clarification.

Stavrian shold've gone into the air wing himself, for how precisely he can drop bombs. The corner of his eye twitches uneasily, lips pursing into a straight line. "Alive. Sir, I don't know exactly how. I don't know when. But I /know/ what I saw…what we all saw. And he was the only one of /our/ crew, but not the only one."

"I don't doubt you saw what you did. We knew they were… advanced, but this is-" Grace's hands come up off her upper arms, fingers stretched out to try to grasp the phrase she's failing to find. "How are they being used?" she finally asks. "What purpose do they seem to have?"

"To say 'being used', I think, is misleading," Stavrian says, at length. "If they're pawns of something else, it didn't seem like it. They way they talked, the way they…toyed with us. They acted like it was them…in charge." He struggles for the right words, none of them sounding quite right to him. "They could control the centurions; we saw one do it. They had some kind of…experiments going on that they tried to abandon."

Too much information to process and hold eye contact at the same time. Grace's eyes drag down to the edge of her desk and hold there while ink-black brows furrow, smooth, and refurrow. "This changes everything," is all she says at first, after that long pause, her eyes raising again. Then, more practical-minded: "Genetic samples. Were you able to bring back any?"

"Damn right I did," Stavrian replies, with one single movement of his chin downwards. "Tissue, blood, hair. Two separate donors, at approximately time of death." There's no glee in saying this; his voice controlled rather than triumphant. "They may have degraded a little, but I kept them in my vial pack."

It's determination rather than delight that sharpens Grace's gaze as she returns that single nod. "Good. Good. Doctor Kildren spent some time looking over the radiological reports brought back, while you were away." As if on shore leave. "The radiation was, one, not nuclear in origin and two, meant to affect silicon compounds." Another brief pause. Considering. "Let's make those samples our first order of business — unless you have even /more/ passing strange news for me?"

Stavrian opens his mouth, then seems to get a hair distracted by something. Suddenly. "Silicon?" Such a random thing to fixate on, but it's like someone just twisted a wire in the back of his brain. "Rad reports from where, sir?"

Grace shakes her head slightly, as if to clear it. "I'm sorry, Mister Jesse — from Parnassus Anchorage. The unusual radiological readings reported from there."

"They were unusual?" News to the medic, but that's hardly surprising. Stavrian works in Sickbay, not engineering. But that jarring little tickle is still there, and he sits back until his back touches the chair. Already overwhelmed, and he's barely even sure why. "Silicon compounds, like…like ones in centurions?"

"That's what's passing through my mind right now, yes, given what you've said. There's still a centurion in pieces needing a proper inspection. We'll need to figure this one out sooner than later." Grace unfolds her arms, hands resting on her armrest for a moment before she changes her mind and leans back again.

Stavrian's elbow rests on the chair arm as she talks. Gradually his fingers start to pick at the edge of a scab on his lower lip, pulling the flesh into a small tent and letting it go. "Does the word 'Ananke' mean anything to you, sir?"

Searching memory banks… Grace shakes her head, slowly, after a thoughtful pause. "Hain't familiar to me, no. What does it refer to?"

"I don't know," Stavrian says, both brows drawing inwards. Lines crease between them, his hand falling away from his mouth and settling restlessly on the chair. "I mean, I don't know exactly. But…okay." Shit, where does he even start? He suddenly sits up and forward, resting his good elbow on his knee. "Just tell me something, sir. You're a guerilla. A suicide bomber." Random? Maybe. But his eyes are fixed on Bia's face. "You've got an enemy out there that you're fighting. What kind of target would you hit?"

Close your eyes and imagine you haven't trained all these years to preserve life. Grace's head tips upward slightly as she struggles with this, her mouth drawing into a troubled moue. "Two routes," she decides at length. "One, ideological. Government buildings. Two, emotional. Schools. High population centers."

Stavrian nods, slowly. He stands up, again moving without warning, and quarter turns to pace along near the chair. "This is a society you know is…technologically strong. And your main force is machinery. Hardware and software. Vulnerable, perhaps, because of that sticking point, and your enemy knows this. Now where would you hit?"

The moue shifts as Grace again rolls the questions over in her mind, her chin lowering to watch the medic pace with a distracted stare. Thinking. Thinking. "Their technological facilities. Their ability to counter our machinery." She shakes her head, though; not content with her answer. "I'm not certain I'm following, Mister Jesse."

"You're following just fine, sir." Stavrian turns back around behind the chair, tapping his palm restlessly on the back of it. "That's what I would hit too. A threat, that's what you hit. Take out their ability to fight you, and they're helpless." His fingers wrap around the chair back. "You remember from the landing plan, sir? That facility, MolGen?"

"I do," Grace affirms, nodding once to the posed questions. "There was a distress beacon you were all meaning to investigate while you were down there for your fourty-eight hours." Her thin-lipped expression goes slightly crooked with that moment of wryness. "Go on."

"I…" Stavrian frowns, drumming his fingers on the chair back. "I don't even know what's relevant and what's not. If I started at the beginning it would take hours." He sounds slightly frustrated with the place, exhaling slowly. "Starting at the end and going backwards? There is /something/ going on — or was — called Anake. I don't know what it was, some kind of project. At MolGen. The cylons did their absolute frakdamndest to get rid of it. I can't…figure out what to say first. There was so much."

"Perhaps it would be easier if you typed up a report on it?" Grace offers. "I confess I am powerful curious-" There's an understatement, considering how intently she's been following his details. "-but I don't mean to keep you through 'til your next shift, and there's other matters what need discussing before you can leave."

Stavrian takes a breath, then lets it out thinly through his nose. That folder he was holding is finally set on her desk. "This has some of it, sir, just…what /happened/. Not why. It's the why that I'm trying to figure out. Maybe once you've been through that my friggin' babbling about it will make more sense." A little wry, that, a faint smirk. "If you want to let me know when you're done reading, sir." He doesn't even realize he's still standing up, threaded with restless energy that he is, and just falls silent to listen to the rest of what she has to say.

"Hain't no babbling going on, Mister Jesse," Grace gently points out as she pushes up from her seat and leans forward across the desk to accept the folder. "I'll be reading this first thing, I assure you," she says, fingers lingering on it a moment as if 'first thing' might be 'right now'. "Second thing," she appends, drawing her hand away. "Come stand you here a moment, won't you?" A gesture to the side of her desk, as she glances down to open a drawer.

Stavrian looks down at the folder, then back at her, rubbing the side of his neck. "Aye, sir." He steps around the chair that he's been taking out his energy on, coming up closer to whee she stands. The puffy skin around his eyes is more evident the closer he gets, telltale signs of recent insomnia. No doubt endemic among Leonis' returnees.

Many things are endemic among the survivors. The psychiatry offices have seen a steady stream of visitors. Some willing, others not so much. Grace pulls some small item from the drawer before closing it and lifting her eyes back to the medic, that same warm-but-intent scrutiny there as before. "These are for you, Lieutenant. Long overdue and much deserved." The small box she offers to him hold two sets of Lieutenant's insignia; the metal pins for dress uniform, the cloth badge for work attire.

For a second it's quite as if Stavrian hasn't processed what she just said. What comes out of his mouth is not good protocol, but instead a bewildered: "Me?" Good job, slick. "I didn't…" He rubs the end of his nose and doesn't seem to know what to do with his hand, finally accepting that he's supposed to take the box. Which he does, awkwardly. "…thank you, sir." This is probaly where one salutes too, but he's only got one hand. So he salutes while holding the box.

And Grace laughs, gently, the sort of sound that's typically a precursor to a statement like, 'Aw, just /look/ at you,' and a pinched cheek. Thankfully for all involved, the CMO restrains her mothering at the first and lets the medic dodge the second and third. "Yes, Mister Jesse," she murmurs. "You." The salute is returned, straight and smooth, before she gestures to the door to start leading him that way. It's hard to corral without touching someone, but she tries. "If'n you'll try to do me a favour, though?"

The gesture is enough to start Stavrian moving, weight rocking back on his heels first before he step backwards - then to the side to let her pass first. His olive cheeks are stained a warm red, which thankfully doesn't show up much under that complexion. "Aye, sir?"

"Hain't the first thing I know about what happened down there, until I read what you typed for me, but. Please. Do try to get you some good rest." Coffee-coloured eyes too full of sympathy and concern for her weariness to show through. "I'm powerful glad you made it back to us." She opens the door smoothly and stands at the edge of it, leaving him plenty of room to sneak through.

"The door of the Labyrinthos, so difficult, which none of those before could find again, by her aid was found, the thread that traced the way rewound," Stavrian murmurs, eyes down on the little box in his hand. His brows twitch towards each other and he looks back up, nodding once. "Good to see you too, sir. And I will…gods bless."

"And you, Lieutenant. Rest you well. I'll have your report read by the time you're in tomorrow." Grace lingers in the doorway until Stavrian turns the corner toward the Sickbay exit, then closes the door behind her.

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