An Old Mate (Back Post)

Posted on Mon Jul 30th, 2018 @ 10:45am by Lieutenant Jason Eldridge & Captain Nathan O'Hare M.D.

Mission: Flowering Judas
Location: CMO's Office, Sickbay - BS Solaria
Timeline: MD 18 - 15:30 (Back Post)

The casualty they'd brought over from the Panacea didn't make it. There'd been too much internal bleeding, and his heart had given up in the operating room. Jace hadn't found out until he specifically asked one of the surgical nurses. He, on the other hand, was medically discharged within the hour of his arrival.

They'd given him a spare set of scrubs to wear. They felt and smelled fresh out of the laundry. Free from dirt and grit and sweat, which he'd been covered in for weeks. Now belonging to a fleet of some tens of thousands of survivors, he Jace felt like he'd finally made a return to civilisation. But nothing like the eight million people he lived with on Boskirk, or the billions on Virgon itself and across the colonies.

He was now a part of the very last of humanity, on the brink of extinction.

Like the other four survivors off the Panacea, he was processed quickly and efficiently. Given spare uniforms, assigned either quarters or racks depending on rank, given time to debrief and wash up. The expectation of integrating with the crew came soon afterwards, with pre-prepared orders from the Command Team for all new service members to report to their relevant department heads.

Of course, the entire process was less organised than if they'd been at peacetime. He presumed the crew of the Solaria must've absorbed several surviving Colonial Fleet crews over time, and things were still in a bit of disarray. It'd only been less than twenty days since the nukes hit...

He smoothed out the creases of his naval fatigues and reached out to give the heavy door a solid knock. It'd been well over a year since he last reported for duty to a more senior Colonial Fleet officer.

To Nathan, it felt like the workload would never ease. If he wasn't assisting in sickbay, he was reviewing a ton of reports sent in from around Solaria fleet. On top of all that, Colonial Fleet personnel where still being discovered throughout the ragtag fleet, which Nathan had regular interviews with those medical staff that had been discovered.

This interview was different though. Although plenty of Scorpians had made their way to the fleet, Nathan could not dismiss the fact that none of the people he had known personally had been among the survivors. That was until he was informed of Lieutenant Eldridge's arrival.

As Nathan opened the door to his office, he couldn't hide the first genuine smile he'd had since the fall of the colonies. Nathan had first met Jason Eldridge at Argentum University, at one of the infamous medical parties that were thrown with the typical Scorpian flair.

"Jace," The CMO greeted warmly. "Welcome to Solaria."

"Hey mate," the newly-arrived doctor made his way through and into the office. They exchanged a brief hug, before he was led further in. He sat down at the chair in front of Nathan's desk, as his old friend pulled out two glasses. "Finally got yourself an office to yourself, hey?" Jace said.

"It's not as great as it sounds, especially given the circumstance we are facing," Nathan's smile grew solemn. He grabbed the decanter that held what remained of the brandy he had opened the week prior, "Yet, I'm regularly inspired when good tidings are abound. It's good to see you," he admitted as he poured the pair a conservative measure of the rum.

Their glasses clinked. Jace wasn't much of a drinker, at least not since after med school, and so the rum tasted a bit stronger than what he was used to.

"Good to see you too," he said. "The two weeks I spent drifting on the Panacea... I'd thought it'll all be over soon. I'd been pretty damn sure the Cylons were on their way to finish us off, one way or another. And then you guys popped up. Miraculous, really."

"Dionysus knows it," Nathan grinned. He could feel the first tendrils of hope knitting around his heart. A familiar face was all it took to help the doctor feel human for the first time since they'd found themselves in this mess. Extinction seemed less intimidating when you where the last of your social tribe.

"It's us who are blessed with the miracle, the medical department is crying for more medical officers. Senior staff have been on shift since it all began. We've had some recreation time, but it's only been enough time to cover the basics. Another doctor means I can start letting some of the others take more time off," Nathan explained, moving right back to work.

Based on the roster, Jace had figured out that the Solaria's sickbay had perhaps just enough number of doctors and nurses for the current fleet population. But, of course, it wasn't like any typical population one might think of prior to the holocaust. This was an entire community under military rule, fleeing out of their homes and from constant Cylon pursuit. A population constantly at war, and bound to face numerous battles ahead, where many of their youngest and most able will become casualties or pay the ultimate sacrifice.

"You sound like you've got your hands full with rostering," Jace said. "I'm glad I'm not the Chief... Don't think I'll ever enjoy sitting behind a desk with a bunch of administrative paperwork."

Nathan sucked the air between his teeth. "About that..." he started, his voice low. "I'm struggling to manage an entire fleet's medical infrastructure, and Solaria is prone to frequent emergency situations. I need someone to give me a hand." He leaned back into his chair, "I've yet to appoint an Assistant Chief. Fancy taking it?"

Jace's eyes widened. The sudden promotion to a rather senior position had come out of the blue, and completely unexpected to him. It caught him off guard. "Uh..." he stammered briefly. "Umm, sure," he nodded quickly, agreeing to it almost as a means of avoiding any prolonged awkwardness or disappointment from his friend. "Happy to help you out," he reaffirmed.

"I understand it's not ideal, I'd prefer to be back on the Neurology ward in Argentum City", Nathan muttered apologetically. "We have a good team here though, likely better than anything else out there. This is nothing we haven't been trained to handle".

"Hopefully," Jace said. He allowed for a pause, then asked, "Well, seeing as I'm your now personal assistant," he grinned, "Is there anything specific you'd like me to oversee, or to unload from your pile of unending list of things to do?"

"If you could take over CASREC, that would be great," Nathan suggested. "I'll definitely also need your help with unloading the rest. There's just too much do with no timeframe to follow. Everything needs to be immediate, but we can only work as hard as our bodies will allow." His expression grim, the department had been worked to the bone. Being understaffed, lacking in specialists and the ever looming threat of the Cylons impeded any chance of swift progress.

"I'll do my best, Nate," Jace nodded. "I'll head to CASREC and see what I can do with the rota to maximise efficiency. Check out where all the choke points are." As he turned in preparation to leave, he looked back at his colleague. "It's great to see you again, mate."

"You too," Nathan replied with a nod. He smiled, before rising from his chair. "We can catch up later, we've both got much to discuss, but for now the sickbay can't be doing without us in the floor". He smiled warmly, truly glad to no longer be alone.

Dr Nathan O'Hare
Chief Medical Officer
Battlestar Solaria
Colonial Fleet

Dr Jace Eldridge
Assistant CMO
Emergency Physician
Battlestar Solaria
Colonial Fleet