PHD #018: Something Disturbing Surfaces
Something Disturbing Surfaces
Summary: Gabrieli clues Demos into a disturbing possibility while talking about fire, Swigert and electricity.
Date: 16 Mar 2041
Related Logs: Inerta and all that came before in that arch.
Gabrieli Demos 
Recovery Room — Deck 10 - Sickbay - Battlestar Cerberus
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

The ChEng is still stuck in the Cerberus' recovery room, and for good reason — Gabrieli's still quite gauzed up from the fire, especially his right side and part of his neck and face. At least the worst of the swelling in his damaged tissues has started to go down, leaving him not quite so grotesque to look at. And now, by the end of his third day, not even his severe burns could keep him away from work. His rolling table is right by his bed and there's a laptop open and on beside it, the tray lowered where he can reach it. His left elbow is resting against the mattress, and he has his fingers against the touchpad, scrolling through something on the screen.

Stepping slowly and quietly into the room, Demos looks at one occupied bed after another. She looks down as she flips open a notebook. Reading something written there, she moves to the ChEng's bed. Looking up at last, she surveys his bandaged self with a vaguely dispassionate sympathy. "Sir?" Her voice is melodic and low, naturally pitched in the alto range, the tone soft enough to intrude only gently.

Gabrieli's head doesn't move much, rolling only about an inch to where his green eyes can find the source of unfamiliar voice. His right eyelid is still puffy and angry red, keeping it partly shut. "Help you, Sergeant?"

When the limit of the man's motion is inadvertently discovered, Demos glides around to a more centrally visible spot, "Yes, sir. Are you Captain Gabrieli, sir? I am Sergeant Phaedra Demos. You requested a measure of my time." Not, perhaps, in so many words, but… "Regarding the fires in the Deck 11 Storeroom and the galley, sir."

"Ah, yes." Gabrieli looks back at his screen, running his pinky across the touchpad again. Document closed, document opened. Spreadsheet of some sort. "My crewman that was looking into this is on medical leave at the moment. So we may as well just care of this." Of course, the ChEng is also on medical leave. But, technicality. He nods towards the chair on the left side of his bed. "Have a seat. Shut the curtain, please."

Demos does not blurt out 'no, she's dead', though that does briefly cross her mind. Turning, she glances at the chair indicated, then moves across to pull the curtain closed. The light falling through the curtain tinges the enclosed area a faintly luminescent ecru and the hush of the metal rings traveling through their slot is the barest shiver of sound. Returning to the chair, Demos sinks gracefully into it. While the woman's tone is not Caprican, she speaks with the precise tones of someone raised to money, power, or possibly both, "Yes, sir." Lifting a pen from her pocket, she clicks it open and sets it to a clean page. The date is sketched and she looks attentively at the officer.

Whereas Gabrieli's accent conveys none of that. It's quite obviously Gemenese, and he makes no effort to sound otherwise. "Let me not beat around bushes, Sergeant." His voice is low and hoarse but it's hard to tell if that's on purpose or just the product of fire damage. "The team involved -" Two of which are dead and one who's on suicide watch, great luck there. "- found that the fires were the result of defective wiring, sold to the military some time ago by a contractor called the Tzonis Group."

Demos lets her pen work while her gaze remains on the man, "I see." There is a hesitation in her tone, as though mention of the team involved causes some distress. Finally, she continues, "Thank you, sir. May I ask a few rudimentary questions, please? I am not an engineer, nor an electrician and I do not want to make assumptions." Her gaze, while focused and alert, shows the same strains that everyone's does at this point.

"One other thing," Gabrieli interjects, having had to pause to get a little more breath. "There's one representative here. Nikias Makaed. M-a-k-a-e-d. I couldn't tell you where to find him now, but there's a record of him being on board." Another pause then, and he nods his bandaged head. "Sure. Shoot."

Demos nods, making a note of the name. She glances down at her pad of paper to make sure she spelled the name correctly. Looking back up again, she is clearly in the middle of phrasing a question that gets derailed. Her eyes close and her mouth, already half forming a word, pauses and closes. It is not the 'um' of someone less careful, but it is the silent equivalent, "Yes, sir. Crewman Swigert, the woman injured in the storeroom fire, stated that she tried the light, but it did not go on. Later, when she was found, it was a spark from the same switch that caused the methanol to ignite. Is that possible, sir?"

"Theoretically, yes." Gabrieli clears his sandpaper throat. "With the defects in the insulation that we found, yes, that could have happened." He takes his gauzed hand off the laptop touchpad, resting it on his chest.

Demos nods, her expression going a bit thoughtful, "I see. Thank you sir." She makes another note, then looks up once more, "I shall not keep you long, sir. Are you alright to continue, or should I come back after you have had a chance to rest?" Her concern, though quietly offered, is genuine.

"I'm fine, Sergeant." Gabrieli's voice contains no trace of bravado. Even if there's visible tension in his body from pain, his green eyes are sharp and clear. "Ask what you need to."

Demos inclines her head respectfully, "Yes, sir." Flipping through her notebook, she pauses, "Oh. You mentioned Mr. Makaed. What is his connection to this investigation, please?" Shifting just a little in the chair, she crosses her legs at the ankle, back straight.

"None, so far." Gabrieli's puffy eyes blink slowly, unattractively gummy at the corners. Happens when you can't scrub your face. "Only that he was identified as the Tzonis rep. We've had no contact with him."

Demos blinks several times, a blush touching her cheeks. She forms a soft 'o', then nods and makes another note. "Thank you, sir." The blush remains, though she clears her throat and quickly recovers otherwise, "Would you happen to know, or be able to find out, whether methanol was kept in that storeroom, sir?" Back to her questions, then. It is the easiest way to get past awkwardness.

If Gabrieli notices her falter, it doesn't show. His index finger taps against his sheet-covered chest. "We can find out, yes. I'll let 3M know to check their records. If it doesn't come up as an engineering supply, then Logistics will have it. Either way, we'll track it down and copy you."

Demos inhales slowly, her smile one of gratitude, "Thank you, sir." She runs her pen down what appears at first glance to be a series of questions. With deliberate and precise strokes, she checks several off, jotting down notes as she goes. When she reaches the end of the page, she lifts the pen and returns it to the top. As it sinks down the page once more, she queries, "Do you know Crewman Swigert, sir?"

"No, I don't." Gabrieli's head doesn't make the usual shake back and forth that most people's do. Though that could just be due to the bandages. "I know she's a logistics crewman, from the reports that came in, but I've never met her myself."

Again, the woman's pen moves on the paper, "Thank you, sir." Looking up again, she half smiles, her expression quietly apologetic, "This may sound… inefficient, sir, but as I said, I am not familiar with the inner workings of the ship. Is there anything that you can think of that we should know, consider or look into?" As she speaks, she flips to a blank page in her notebook, pen poised to jot down any notions that might be put forth.

Gabrieli takes a second to think about that in earnest, his green eyes rolling slowly to the ceiling. As he inhales, they go back to her. "And this may sound departmentally-fixated, Sergeant, so you'll have to excuse me." His blistered lips smile, fleetingly, though when it's gone his eyes are level. "When you talk to this Makaed. I couldn't tell you right now what knowledge he may have of all this, or how criminally responsible Tzonis is for what's happened. The legal proceedings aren't my thing. But if he knows anything about any other product up here that's potentially defective…we /have/ to know."

Demos's smile fades slowly as that sinks in. The color drains from her face and she nods, "Yes, sir. Oh… dear." Passing a touch of her tongue to her lips, she takes a moment to once more regain her focus, "That is a very frightening thought, sir." Her pen skims along the list of questions, finds Makaed's name and circles it, a few more notes being added. Then, she taps her pen lightly on the notepad and looks up, "I believe that is all, sir. May I return if something else comes up?"

"Yes. Let's hope I'm out of here before anything does, but." Gabrieli flicks a wry look at the bit of recovery ward he can see through the crack in the curtains, then back to her. "If not, you know where to find me."

Demos rises as gracefully as she sat down, "Yes, sir." Her smile is quick then, and while more relaxed than before, still holds an edge of tension that makes it crisp rather than easy. Lifting a hand, she motions to the curtains, "Shall I open them for you, sir? Or would you rather retain a bit of privacy?"

"You can open them, Sergeant." Gabrieli's chin makes a minute tick upward. "I gave up on any semblance of privacy in the military years ago." He moves his arm, hooking his fingers under the bottom of his rolling tray and pulling his laptop closer to his chest. "We'll be in touch soon. And thanks for the legwork."

Again the shush of metal on metal whispers in the room, though this time in reverse. Before leaving, the woman tosses a more honest glance your way, "Any time, sir. It… it is what I do." A shrug that is half apologetic and half self-aware. "You know, sir…? I do not know many engineers, but… We are lucky to have you with us." It is as close as she can come to saying 'thanks for not kicking it, sir'. "Rest well." Angling across the floor, she slips out the door and away.

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