2232-10-21 - Hurt

Beckham has a day in the life of a Sagittaron peacekeeper.

Date: 2232-10-21

Location: Somewhere in the Caprican Protectorate of Sagittaron.

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 552

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The orders that came in to the platoon were simple - command had spotted one of the local warlords was attending a large gathering, celebrating one of his daughter's birthdays. The team was deployed from Forward Base Wainwright to take down the outside defenses and secure the warlord for transport to Caprica for further questioning.

The breaching of the hotel lobby was the easy part. However, what they hadn't expected was the heavy resistance from the locals, support for the warlord that had provided them with protection for years before the ICJPK was on scene was high, and the fireteam found themselves pushed back to the lobby.

While the staccato of a .50 caliber machine gun tore chunks out of the support columns that the fire team had taken cover behind, Lance Corporal Beckham Niles had set up a triage behind the front desk. His own semi-automatic rifle was set to the side as he worked on a splint for a peacekeeper's leg that had been shattered when he tried to combat leap over the desk and landed awkwardly.

"Thanks, Pimp." the Marine said, a glance up to Beckham. In response, Beckham pulled the bandages tighter around the man's leg, soliciting a wince from the soldier. "Frak! That shit hurts!" the Marine groused.

"Good, means it's helping." the blue-eyed medic snapped in agitation. He hated the callsign. It was one that was fostered on him soon after he arrived on planet - Pimp. A rich poser. Someone that thought he had power because of what he controlled and had lost it all. Especially when the pictures of Tamlin surfaced after someone got a hold of his wallet. He had forgotten about the boudoir shoot his young wife had done for him when he went off to college. The picture had been tucked away in his wallet, hidden in the back after he received the letter that she had supposedly typed, informing him of the annulment and that she never wanted to hear his name again.

Once the peacekeeper was secured, he took back up his rifle and moved up to lay down a three round, if ineffective burst at the makeshift machine gun nest of dinner tables and chairs, the scattered remains of a girl's sixteenth birthday decorations barely visible in the background. It caused an uncomfortable turn in Beckham's stomach - Tamlin was barely older when he met her... he shoved down the thought as he heard a cry of 'Medic!' from the hotel bar.

"Frak me.." Beckham muttered as he saw that it was going to be a straight run across uncovered territory from the concierge's desk to the bar entrance and support fire.

Grabbing the other Peacekeeper's rifle, Beckham shoved into the wounded man's hand. "One. Next time you try that stupid action movie hero shit, I'll cut off the leg instead of saving it. Two. /Never/ call me that again. My name is Lance Corporal Beckham.." A refusal to use his last name, even his name-tag had been changed by request. Niles was a dead name to him. Buried with his past life. "...or medic if you're in frakking trouble. Three. I need you to fire on that nest and give me cover, because someone needs me more than you." The agitation rolls away after a moment.

Action movies. The memories of a date with her, confessing that he would love to see how they pulled off some of the stunts. The strings she must have pulled to convince the movie studio to let her and her husband have full access to the movie lot and to watch the shooting of one of the scenes from the latest space epic.

What they did in the prop room later, after some playful teasing - was not something to be forgotten easily.

"Now!" Beckham snapped, raising up to throw a grenade towards the nest as the peacekeeper opened fire. The grenade exploded next to the nest, forcing the gunnery crew down as Beckham started his sprint across the lobby, rifle carried across his chest as his boots pounded against the marble tiled floor, helmet lost for ease of vision as the large gun slung around to start to fire after Beckham. Feeling the ground getting chewed up behind him spurred him to run faster, the adrenaline rush causing him to slide into the open door of the hotel's bar as he rolled over onto his back to breathe for a few minutes.

~Let's see that actor that Tamlin made moon eyes at do THAT.~ It was a quick, smug thought, one shoved down as he remembered where he was and moved to get to his feet. "House calls cost extra!" he called out. Okay, so he felt a little cocky after that run, and a bit like an action hero himself.

"Behind the bar, Pimp!" came the call out. Beckham just moved to respond, finding a man behind the bar that had taken a .50 cal round to the shoulder. It was a mess, the arm barely held together by tendons one skin. He draws in a sharp breath and moves to open his kit to go for the morpha.

The peacekeeper looks up at Beckham, his eyes filled with pain and tears. "How bad is it?" The medic injected the morpha into the man's good shoulder and took a look at the shoulder. Most of the joint and arm was gone, and enough of the torso was chunked that Beckham realized immediately that there was no way to tourniquet the wound top stop the bleeding as he goes through the peacekeeper's uniform, taking his first aid kits first to yank out the bandages to start to stuff them into the wound.

"Hopefully you didn't masturbate with that hand." Beckham offered grimly as he continued to work. The blood was pooled around the medic's knees, staining the dark pads he wore over his fatigue pants as he grabbed a few rags from behind the counter to stuff in as well. "You just keep talking to me, and once I get you patched up, I'll add some kick to that morpha with whatever drink you want from back here.." he responds, moving to tie off the area when he lifts his head to look at the peacekeeper, and found his face slack, eyes rolled into the back of his head, the young man already having passed.

The medic slid back on a moment, falling on his ass as he realized the man had died in mid-treatment. Sure, he's lost them before, but usually once they are out of his hands, on their way to an evac hospital, or in surgery. Becks considered for a moment, and then reached over, grabbing a bottle of rotgut. He pulled off the cap and took a hard swig of it to steady his nerves before he reached over to close the man's eyes and marked a red 'X' on his forehead.

His thoughts are interrupted again, before they ever had a chance to fully form. As the call for a medic went out again, Beckham pushed himself to his knees, grabbing the young man's hex tags as he set down the bottle down. In the distance, the combat medic could here the distance 'whumpf, whumpf' of arriving evacuation support, and from his vantage point at the bar, he could finally see into the ballroom.

The attack had been swift and brutal. On the floor were several slain guests - they had not left quick enough when the peacekeepers stormed the place for the warlord. He could see more than one lifeless body, draped in the colorful fabrics of a party dress, or in the darker form of a young man's suit. The party decorations were more than ruined, the banquet table tipped over as a makeshift cover, the punch, cake, and party foods scattered across the floor.

Even now, as he heard the call of 'Medic!' once again, as the Peacekeepers were finishing cleaning up the operation, moving over the barricade that had been destroyed, partially by Beckham's grenade attack, all the Lance Corporal could heard in his head was the haunting tone of a waltz from several years ago, his fingers, covered in blood, flexed involuntarily, imagining them holding Tamlin Dorn's waist in their first dance together.

He wanted to cry, but found there was no tears to be had. Instead, he moved mechanically, to treat the wounded, to help those that could be helped, patching wounds and making notes for the surgeons back at the hospitals as he moved with the sound of the waltz in his head, the composition twisting and turning like a scalpel that was sharp enough to cut, but not enough to finally bring the final relief to Beckham's heart.

Two months later, when he was presented with a commendation medal for his actions, Beckham would say he didn't remember much about the day and the events that happened. As he returned to his bunk, he opened his footlocker and looked within. In a shoe box, was a check made out to him for 20,000 cubits from the Bank of Caprica, never touched. Pictures of a young couple in love. Personal pictures that Tamlin had done for him. A copy of the notarized notice of annulment of his marriage with Tamlin, and several newspaper clippings when her name showed up in the gossip columns. Beneath all of that was a small gold band.

He plucked the ring up from beneath the papers, studying it as he remembered the day that brought it to his possession. A day where they had made a young, perhaps foolish, decision - but they knew it would work in their hearts. One that brought them to pick up a matching set of rings at the last second as two wild hearts made a decision that would change both for their lives. He unclipped his own hex tags, and put the ring in place, before snapping it back closed. His hand closed around the cold metal that sat near his heart, and for the first time since he lost her, Beckham Niles cried for the woman that had captured his heart - and kept it in the separation.


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