PHD #419: The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Summary: Cidra visits a doped-up Trask in Sickbay to discuss matters of McQueen. She probably should've waited until the morpha was out of his system.
Date: 22 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: To Fly and Fight and Die (Trask gets injured); With Friends Like These (McQueen goes AWOL); And Eleven Makes Three (Sawyer and Bannik return sans McQueen); Memoirs: A Souvenir (Just what Cidra did see)
Cidra Trask 
Recovery Room - Deck 10 - Sickbay - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #419
A much quieter area of Sickbay, this long rectangular room is lined with more than two hundred narrow beds. Each is outfitted with privacy curtains and a seasonal affective disorder lamp to provide patients with maximum comfort, and the bulkheads have been painted a pale canary yellow in an attempt to lift spirits further. Plastic folding chairs are readily available so guests can pull one up to talk to the patients during their convalescence. Near the entrance, visiting hours have been posted next to a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.

The back of this room has been sealed off with a temporary bulkhead to create a makeshift quarantine zone. Access is restricted to doctors, nurses, and orderlies, though visitors are permitted to enter the premises provided they wear HAZMAT suits.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Even though it's been thirty-six (36) hours, give or take, since Bootstrap went from Critical But Stable condition to Serious But Stable, he's still largely out of it. Sure, there is no small amount of pain, but when has something like that ever really slowed him down? Perhaps this willfulness is why Captain DeMaratus has added a sedative to the nigh eviscerated ECO's morpha drip. And so it is that the SL has been drifting in and out of consciousness, not particularly lucid even when he's fully awake.

Cidra is waiting by Trask's bedside for one of those lucid moments. In her off-duties, so the Athena tattoos inked on her shoulders and bare arms are on display in her tank top. She idly fingers the olive tree branch etched on her right arm. Almost as if she's counting the leaves. In her lap are two envelopes. One unopened, the other torn and the octagonal paper in it withdrawn. She does not read it just now. It's folded and set on top of the torn envelope. Though she's read it a few times since she came here. For now, she just watches Trask.

Bleary eyes slowly blink, although this does little to dispel the haze of his chemically-induced compliance. Doped up as he is, there is no danger that he will attempt to do something that will require fresh sutures or more stitches, and Trask has been given a high enough dosage to subjugate his obstinacy. As Cidra comes into view, it is her eyes of cloudy blue-grey that first come into focus, slowly overtaken by the blue of a bruise transitioning into green. This he soaks up, awareness expanding like a wet sponge, sopping up the presence of the bandage covering the right side of the woman's forehead.

For what comes next, one could say it's the morpha talking. That is not at all true. What is being spoken is acute experience, a knowing that has been hardwired into his very consciousness to the point that this awareness is instantaneous and instinctive. All the morpha does is make it so that he shares his observation — something he would not do had he full possession of his faculties, for that would be admitting something about himself that he is not inclined to share with anyone, ever. "That's personal," is quietly observed with a /literally/ dry tone and not at all a figurative one. Some water would probably do the SL some good.

"You sound as if you could use some water, Boots," Cidra says, pouring some from a pitcher into a cup that's by his bedside. It's equipped with a straw, and she offers it to him, holding it so he can drink. "I suppose it was. A souvenir of Lieutenant Colonel Baer's affections." Her tone is dry and flat. "I would say 'You should see the other guy,' but I am told he has been blown to seven hells, and is not presently visible." She does not sound satisfied, but she's not mournful either. "I escaped far better than many of the other Department Heads. But all from Cerberus made it out alive. How are you feeling?"

Sitting upright really isn't something he's yet able to do, which makes this whole drinking thing less than ideal, even if Medical has propped him up as much as safely can be done. Slowly, his lips move akin to a horse seeking sugar, his tongue lolling out in a failed attempt to successfully grope the straw. Cidra can do combat landings, however, so she should have no problem docking the plastic into the man's mouth. Chances are that he's not even aware just how out of it that he is. If he had an inkling, there surely would be some manner of ire over feelings of utter impotence. Fluids are primarily being delivered via IV, so it is not long that he is sipping, seeing how Trask isn't so much thirsty as he is parched. Still soft but now less raspy, he asks, "Who'd we lose?"

"Eight K-I-A is the final tally." Cidra names them stoically. Mostly Checkmates, though a pair of wingmen from the Full Colors and a Raptor pilot and ECO from Pony's Providers are among the fallen as well. "A dozen birds lost, perhaps more if the Deck has to scrap some of those most damaged towed back, more wounded. And then there is the matter of McQueen." Her tone is dark as to that. Not that she elaborates on it immediately. She puts the cup back on his cot-side table. "How much have they told you?"

Eyes again are closed, and one could be forgiven for assuming the ECO had drifted back into a drug-induced dreamland. Steady and deep, his chest rises and falls with the drawing and casting forth of breath. "About what?" Seeing how he never answered her first question and isn't inquiring as to what she means about McQueen, Kal might not be registering everything that Cidra is saying.

"During the battle, Lieutenant Trevor McQueen took off with one our Raptors. He launched its missile payload at the Areion and then… jumped away." There is, for all she might like to hide it, an edge of sadness in Cidra's tone. And a touch of hurt, which she probably doubly means not to show. There's a deep tiredness about the woman, and a hint of bitterness that isn't really standard. "He was not alone." She pauses. "Before I tell you the rest, know that Sawyer Averies is fine and back aboard this vessel none the worse for wear." Auspicious beginning, that.

"Mmmhmm…" That's all the response that she gets. Eyes still closed, the CAG's tiredness remains unseen. It's already questionable as to whether or not Trask is processing all the words, so it's just as likely that Cidra's tone comes across as no different than it ever does.

"Tyr Bannik and Sawyer Averies were in the Raptor with Queenie…" But Cidra stops herself from using the callsign. "With Trevor McQueen when it jumped away. They may have been hostages. That is my assumption. Though now that they are back Security will need to sort that out." She pauses. Watching Trask. But she goes ahead, coherent or not, as if she just wants to get it out. "McQueen jumped to Gemenon. To join its own kind." She sneers as she says it.

"Hhhhn. Wunderkind." Well, he caught Bannik's name. "Good on 'im." The 'him' being the rogue pilot, although this may not be apparent. "The payload hit?" Incoherent Trask is, as the meme goes, incoherent. Or maybe he just doesn't care what Trevor Cairn McQueen is.

"It hit, yes, along with the missile from Poms and Pens' ship," Cidra replies. "Did the Areion a good deal of damage, before Colonel Riederer jumped it away. We are rid of it now." She, again, does not sound as if she's mourning. "McQueen jumped to Gemenon." It's repeated. "It let Bannik and Averies go, return here, but it sent back messages. One is for you." She drops the envelope, the closed one, on his chest. "Security and Intel have read them. I have not. There was a letter for me as well from it. And one for Lieutenant Psyche Devlin." She takes a deep breath and just says it flat out. "McQueen was a Cylon, Kal. Model Two, is his designation. It was a skinjob all along."

"A letter?" Brow furrows with some confusion. Why the frak's he sending Kal a letter? The man has no idea. He might still have no idea even if his brain /were/ firing on all cylinders. "Shit. Gememon. We need to get crackin' on that." On eye squints open, quizzically, with attempted recollection. "How long have I been here? What day is it?"

"It is April the twenty-first of the year two-thousand forty-two since the great Exodus from Kobol," Cidra says softly. "You have missed little, in truth, Bootstrap. We have all of us been licking and mending our wounds since the battle of Ophion. Plans to set out to Gemenon are being finalized, though we have lost any element of stealth, thanks to the creature that called itself Trevor McQueen."

It could be that the sedative is starting to wear off, or that maybe not even opiates can successfully subdue Kal Trask's stirred snark, but the man is beginning to sound more like his typical self, albeit groggy, when he asks in an increasingly exasperated tome, "Creature? What the frak are you talking about?" The impetus to move is upon him, but it's like wading through water. And then he find the letter, looking somewhat bewildered at its existence. "What's this? I'm bankin' this isn't Rudolph Kepner's handwriting."

"It is from the creature that called itself Trevor McQueen," Cidra repeats. Tone turning rather husky as she has to repeat herself. She'd only steeled herself to do it once inscrutably. "It was a Cylon, Kal. McQueen was a Cylon. In his…its…" She has to correct herself. "…its letter to me it said it was an agent that had been planted at Picon Anchorage to watch the destruction of that planet. Not sabotage. Just…watch. McQueen was an abomination." Every time she says it she sounds either angrier or closer to the verge of tears. It's hard to tell which.

Bootstrap shakes his head a few times, as though that will clear away some mental cobwebs. "Queenie?" There's some confusion there, albeit prompted yet again by the letter. "Shit. I can't even feel my hands." That statement makes perfect sense to the man in his current state. "I don't suppose you'd be so kind as to open it and tell me what it says? I can't really feel my eyes either." That, too, also makes perfect sense. To him.

"If you are certain you do not mind?" Cidra retakes the envelope, opening it, though she hesitates to actually look. "The letter to me was rather private. An attempt by the enemy to get under my skin, I do think. I…" Well, she does peek at it. And her eyes *bulge*. Face turning bright red. "Oh…my….gods…what…the…holy…frak…" Well, it broke her stewing a bit. Whatever it is.

She could be turning red from embarrassment… or from anger. In his present condition, Trask can't tell. "It's Parry, innit?" Beat. "The Four." On some level, all this Cylon talk has registered, which largely shapes what he assumes is shocking Cidra.

Cidra wordlessly tosses the picture and note in the envelope at Trask, eager to get it out of her hands. She is still too stunned to speak, but eventually does add. "That is a copy. Intelligence and Security and Command have the…original."

"Oh, c'mon. Don't tell me you didn't suspect?" About Parry. One might hear an audible eyeroll, muffled through the miasma of heavy meds. Blearily, Bootstrap blinks several times, trying to focus on the items hurled his way. His left hand, now with new scar clear across the backside, eventually succeeds in picking up the letter:

Just tryin' to broaden your horizons! Don't worry. There are no Ones on Gemenon.


"Oh, hey. No drunkass fraks on Gemenon." Still not all-together here, he asks, "Wait… why's Queenie doing recon?" The copy of the accompanying photograph landed upright on his chest, which means that Cidra might actually catch another glimpse of that which cannot be unseen.

Cidra does not look again. She looks anywhere but where the photograph landed. "My gods. My gods." A breath to compose herself, and she sighs heavily. "We shall perhaps have to speak of this when you are less medicated, Boots. It shall be all over the ship soon enough, anyhow. Whatever fantasies you have about Pewter's yeoman, they pale to the reality. It is McQueen that is an enemy skinjob. And gods knows what it is doing on Gemenon now." She sighs. "Perhaps Sawyer Averies will be able to tell you better, when she is out. I will try and see her soon. I got little chance to speak with her when last we met."

"The only fantasies I have about Parry involve her being sussed out." He'd hinted at his distrust before, but morpha has a way of cajoling more out of him. "Sawyer, though…" That's a whole other connotation. The kind that makes erotic connections out of disarrayed information, especially with a loaded phrase like 'they pale to reality'. "Wait… you frakked Parry, too?" In the 'in addition to Gabrieli and Baer and who knows who else' sense and not the 'I totally banged her' one. "Where /is/ Sawyer, anyway? I get a stupid cold and she's dressed like a banana for 15 hours. I nearly bleed to death trying to prevent my innards from becoming outtards, and she's nowhere around." Something occurs to him, then. "She's peeing, isn't she? She didn't pee the last time. Well, maybe she did in the suit. It was something like sixteen hours…" That can be the only explanation as to why she isn't present. Surely.

"I did not lay with Petty Officer Parry, and if you suggest such to Poppy I shall wound you moreso," Cidra says. It's a joke. Probably. "My gods, Boots. Have I become known as *such* a bedswerving harpy as that?" Well, at least she's still somewhat distracted. "And no. Sawyer is not peeing. She was with McQueen - the Cylon Model Two as it is known now - when he fled with that Raptor. She and Mister Bannik. And I did say before, both are returned safely now. The Marines are questioning them about what they saw on Gemenon. And of the McQueen creature."

"Wait…" Why would Poppy care who Cidra was bedding. Unless… "You an' Poppy? What the /frak/, Cid? I'm knocked-out for a few days and everything turns crazy. AGAIN." A pause. "/Poppy/?" Another pause, his left hand lazily tossed in a dismissive gesture. "Well, it's always the ones who protest… the lady doth… something… Whatever. You know what I mean. Someone that adamant is denying something." That said, a moment more before it's put into more important perspective. "I know Laffo made that dumbass decree about lifting frat regs, but for frak's sake, Cid. Frakking your subordinates? What the frak is wrong with you? 'Cuz you'd best figure it out and fix it before I get outta here, 'cuz I am /not/ going to stand for any more stupid ass bullshit from anyone."

"I am not sleeping with Poppy." Cidra sounds very tired. She massages the bridge of her nose. "And I am not sleeping with my…this is not important right now." She stands. "Get some rest, Kal. We shall speak on the matter of McQueen again when you are more lucid and perhaps have forgotten this conversation ever happened." She can hope. "I will tell Sawyer your condition is improving. Worry not for the Harriers. Sweet Pea has them well in-hand. We have that going for us in these times, at the least."

Perhaps what's she been trying to hammer home has been nailed, or it could be that he's still on the whole 'the lady doth protest too much' line of thinking, or some inexplicable alchemy of opiates and his personality, but Trask asks, "What's there to discuss about Queenie? He attempted and survived a suicide run against the Areion, jumped to Gemenon, returned our people and our bird unharmed," because Cidra did say that Sawyer and Bannik were fine, "and chose to stay behind because he wisely concluded a bunch of people would like to see him either brigged or executed, with some torture for information tossed in there somewhere. That about sums it up, yeah?"

"Trevor Cairn McQueen is dead," Cidra says flatly. "Whatever *it* is that remains upon Gemenon, I pray I meet it not again in my lifetime. Get some rest, Boots." And with that, she leaves him with his profane picture and morpha.

"Protest. Doth. You do. Too much." It sounds infinitely smoother in his head. Also: in proper order. Really, though, he's too doped up to give a damn about grammar and sentence structure. And, thanks to a little something a nurse deposits in his IV drip to render him more docile, as per Dr. DeMaratus' orders, the matter of McQueen most certainly will need to be discussed another day.

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