PHD #010: We Regret To Inform You...
We Regret To Inform You…
Summary: Demos and Cadmus inform Merrell that one of her beloved snipes didn't make it home.
Date: 08 Mar 2041
Related Logs: The Issue of Echidna
Cadmus Demos Merrell 

Deck 11
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.

Merrell is in between sections of the ship at the moment and not quite lost to the catacombs of the Engineering section yet. She's smudged up like usual, her hair still showing the signs of being burnt in areas that even a stylish haircut couldn't fix. There's a bag over her shoulder that clunks as she walks, the woman's demeanor already subdued and far from happy. Not after the announcement from last night.

Although just released from decontamination wherein she had a very careful shower, Demos has not gone to her rack. Some things take precedence. After inviting Cadmus down to engineering, Demos made her way there. Entering, she does not see Merrell initially and so calls softly, "Merrell? Robin?" She glances back over one shoulder to see if Cadmus was with her or lagging back.

Cadmus follows. Despite decontamination procedures, his hands are still stained with blood - sterile, but dried, wedged under fingernails, and smeared in the folds of his skin. He's quiet, jaw set, eyes staring straight ahead. He hasn't dropped the tags, though; they clink together in his hand, an omen of things to come, bright lights of the deck hallways glittering off them.

Merrell turns and blinks at the sight of Demos. She probably is used to hearing ranks bandied around on this deck. "Hey. What're you doin' down here? How did it go?" She readjusts the pack of tools on her shoulder and looks back towards Cadmus, brow furrowing.

Showers are great for removing outer layers of blood and gore, dirt and evidence of violence and mayhem. Cadmus is given a glance as he moves up next to her. Demos, usually so damn protocol conscious that it gets terribly old speaks quietly and without reverting to titles or ranks. "Not well. We were ambushed by toasters." She lifts a hand, gesturing to Cadmus. "This is Cadmus Maragos. He is in my squad." The hand swivels, still retaining grace even when the consciousness is shocked by horror, "Robin Merrill." Both names are given as though the bearers are dear to the speaker. Perhaps in a way, they are. "Robin. Ren did not make it." There is only so much you can belabor bad news and it is best to get it out of the way. "He was in your team, I believe."

Straightening a bit, Cadmus carefully gathers the tags in the palm of his hand, and extends his arm towards Merrell. He says nothing for a long moment, eyes flicking back and forth as he searches for something - anything - to break that awful silence. "It was… quick. He didn't suffer. And he died doing his duty," he finally ventures, wincing just a bit as he finishes speaking. Obviously, this has fallen short of what he had hoped he could muster.

There's heavy sigh with the mention of toasters, Robin suddenly listening closely. She's about to ask something, nodding to Cadmus. "Aye. I know the Lance. Helped him out with some information. Di-" But the mention of her name jars her a bit as if suddenly bringing her back from someplace else. Its the tone and way its said. The news hits her bluntly and she physically shudders back a bit, the sack rocking back. She's lost her share, but Ren. Her head shakes, eyes welling. A jerky nod of her head to the belief from Demos and those eyes flicker to Cadmus as his arm extends. The movement shakes loose a tear and she hesitantly reaches out, staring at the man. "He's..dead? Elijah?" He obviously meant something. She reaches out to take the tags and look at them in her hand. The name is read several times as her face starts to crack with that frown. "How?"

Demos steps forward as Merrell fades back. She fishes in a pocket for a clean kerchief, offering it to the other woman. "We were ambushed. There were toasters in the CIC of the ship we were investigating. The Marines took point. I broke formation and went forward with my team to assist. More toasters came up from behind. One of them shot Ren. He did go quickly." Her focus is on Merrell, though she spares a glance for Cadmus as well, though it is brief.

"There were a lot of bullets. It happened very fast," Cadmus repeats. There is a momentary pause as he considers - no, telling about what happened after would most certainly *not* help anything in this situation. Instead, he puts one hand on the back of his neck, rubbing it quietly for a moment. "I'm sorry," is all he can say, at long last: the ultimate in hollow consolation.

Merrell doesn't even see the kerchief. The world is blurry at the moment, her eyes seeing shapes and unfocused colors through the tears. She looks away from them as her head tilts severely to the side and proceeds to swipe more grime and grease across her face as she wipes at the tears. "Its not fair," she sighs. "He survived Picon. He was here. I just saw him this morning. Before he left." She swallows and looks back to the dogtags in her palm, the sound of metal on metal not appearing to help. "I'm sure you all did everything you could. Thank you. Both. Its better than reading it in a report." The sack of tools hangs precariously on her shoulder. "I'd like to see him, though. His body. And the Sister about his rites. She should see him, too. Has be been moved to medical yet?" She swallows hard, trying to step back and be the Senior Chief but some things just hit harder.

Reaching for the bag of tools with one hand, Demos again offers the kerchief, "Here. You take this. I will take those." Her tone is quiet, "No, it is not fair. Not even close to fair. I am so sorry." Another echo of that hollow consolation. "Was his body taken to medical? I am sure he is there by now. But, I really do not think that seeing him right now is advisable, Robin. It would be a lot better to wait until the doctors have had a chance to… Do what they do." It is a bit lame, perhaps, a bit dodgey, but she means every word.

Cadmus coughs into a fist, looking floorward in an uncomfortable sort of way. "I would second that. Give them some time to clean him up a bit," he murmurs, closing his eyes for a moment. Certain images end up burned into the mind, returning unbidden for years to come - surely, Elijah's body will be one of them. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

Her hair flops in its ponytail as her head turns back to see Demos. She looks to the handkerchief and offers a wan smile, reaching up to dot her eyes first, then her cheeks. Kerchief: Ruined. The tools stay on her shoulder, though. She seems reluctant to let them go as if the bag is a source of stability to keep close at hand. She eventually seems resigned with the words of the two of them. Robin shakes her head lightly and dabs at her eyes again. "No, I think that'll be all. Thank you." She sniffles and holds a hand at her nose. "Who, ah. Who was in command of the mission you were on? Elijah didn't say who he was going out with."

Kerchief: Robin's now. Demos does not take the slip of fabric back. Nor does she attempt to relieve her friend; for such is the way she thinks of the Chief, of her load of tools. She does rest a hand lightly on Merrell's shoulder if that is not avoided, then steps back a bit. "It was one of those aweful joint ventures. Arkat was in command of the Marines. He did fairly well. Marcion was in charge of the Engineers." While she does not spell out her feelings about the man, the lack of compliment coupled with the edge to her voice is likely telling.

Cadmus retrieves the highly worn Artemesian medallion he was wearing today, pulling it out from under his shirt, and taking it off. He winds the cord slowly around the palm of his hand, so that in the end he grips the metal of it tightly. "I hope it was frakking worth it," he whispers - quiet, but not too quiet to be overheard, "Because we damn well better not make the same mistakes again."

Merrell nods slightly, the tears finally seeming to abate. The Senior Chief has probably done enough crying in the last few days - just like the rest of the crew. "I don't have a family. Never did. Navy and my crews are all I ever had," she explains in a whisper. The woman's eyes stay on the floor for a moment before she looks back to Demos. "What about Marcion? He didn't do well?" The tears are still there but there's a lot of complex emotions floating around that head. She then looks to Cadmus and nods her head a few times. "Please tell me you brought something back. Something valuable. Something that won't make his loss meaningless."

Demos listens, for that is the most that she can do for her friend right now. "We're not Navy, but we're here for you." Demos catches Merrell's look and she shakes her head, "Not so much, no. It was a bad situation all around." She tries to hide the anger deep within, tries to mask it by flickering a glance toward Cadmus before she adds, "With luck, we learned a few very valuable lessons that will help keep this from happening again. We also brought back one of the toasters so you all can see if you can figure them out."

"Yes, that's true. Most of their core systems should be intact, I think. With any luck, maybe we'll figure out… I don't know, frequencies. Protocols. Standing orders. Why this is all happening…" Cadmus trails off: he seems to feel he should add something by his presence, but obviously doesn't know *what*. Especially since he has about as much ability to sympathize as a lead bar. He seems genuinely sad, but that's a big step to being a shoulder to cry on.

The SCPO dips her head in thanks. "I appreciate the dogtags, too. Thank you Lance for retrieving those. I'll see that medical gets at least one." Maybe more. Maybe. But the anger catches Merrell and she shakes her head. "Marcion has been a pain in my butt for some time. If he made you mad, I don't blame you. He frustrates a lot of us. Elijah included." She tries to smile but it looks like it hurts. To all of the rest, she looks between them. "Yeah. Okay. I'll, ah,.. frak." She chokes back something and forces herself to keep going. It hurts. "I'll get some crews on it as soon as I can. I'll rip it apart and make it worth it if I have to. We can probably pull a lot out of it, though. Thanks for bringing it back. I know it couldn't have been easy with Ren and all. Gotta make the call to leave something like that while bringing Elijah home to us." Her jaw clenches. Not. Going. To. Cry. Again.

Demos presses her lips together for a moment, the anger in her eyes sparking a little. "Listen, Robin." Her tone has that sort of horrible finality to it that hints at something really horrible about to come. Something that would be better left unsaid, "Thanks for taking on the toaster. Just get what you can out of it, please. It… will help us all." Finally, after debating and weighing options, she nods, "It was a little touch and go for a while. We were in a hurry to leave because we did not know whether we had gotten all of the tin cans. Arkat said to leave all the bodies. We found two more. Stephens set Ren down and Marcion… said it might be better just to bring the dogtags. I think he meant of the two bodies we found. Luckily, Aziza picked Ren up again and brought him anyway."

Pulling himself up, Cadmus seems that he's about to turn and go, when Demos drops that little bomb. He stops, purses his lips, and ceases turning. But he doesn't say anything to correct Demos - so her words probably echo his perceptions of the matter as well. Instead, he just stands a little straighter, hands clasped behind his back.

Merrell nods. "Comes with the job. Sometimes I guess you just have to keep going no matter what." She clears her throat, still trying to keep her composure. Then there's that piece of news. Her face twists into something awful. Hate presses against unimaginable sorrow. Fire lights in her eyes, tears restarting that couldn't quell the flames. Her whole body tenses and looks like it might heave, but instead the bag of tools crashes to the deck plating. Its like someone telling her than her own kin were to be tortured to death. The intolerable pain on her face looks between the both of them, but their expressions say it all. She sobs out a "Motherfrakker" with the energy of a body trying to purge. She's only there another moment before she turns, looking at the tags in her palm. Its a vile moment for her before she turns all the way and continues on down the corridor. The sounds of her tears and breath follow her. A couple Petty Officers make a hole for the woman in the corridor and one glances to the bag, taking it up. Inconsolable rage and irreparable loss.

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