2237-01-25 - Tea for the Soul

Eva visits Niemec in the Infirmary. There is tea, and maybe a little too much heavy thinking.

Date: 2237-01-25

Location: Infirmary, Deck 9, //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 950

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After a while, the infirmary looks the same. Same walls. Same curtains. Same nurses. Same food. It gets boring. Niemec may not be as young as many on the ship, but she can be just as prone to being restless. The Raptor pilot is currently being helped back into her bed in one of the recovery rooms, attired in a patient robe open (in the front) over shorts and a sports bra. Her entire midsection is bandaged, but those look like they were just changed. Bright and white against the black of shorts and bra (though the robe is a faded powder blue). The nurse fusses at her for moving too quick and Antonie just lets out a sigh as she goes back to the painstakingly slow motions to get back into the bed. For all her impatience, however, the strain of it on her system -- both in reparative and pain -- is clear on her features

Eva, as per usual, breezes into the infirmary as though she has not s care in the world. Which makes her either far too cheerful and optimistic (not likely) or just determined not to lower the tone of the room any more than it already is. She's carrying her usual pic-a-nic basket, going from bed to bed, or suite to suite as the need requires and dropping off little bits and bobs from the mess hall and her personal stash. It takes a bit, before she ends up near Niemec's room, but enter she does, "Antonie, are you decent?" She's still on the side of the room where Niemec's curtain blocks her view.

"Eva." There's a bit of relief in Niemec's tone, hearing the other woman's voice. She does snort, just a bit, in amusement. "I wish, but they might frown on that." She's sinking back into the pillows, trying to get comfortable. Not easy when your insides tried to be on the outside just a few days prior. "I think they're anti-fun around here." She reaches out a hand, as if she could pull back the curtain. Maybe the dose of morpha they just gave her is starting to kick in. "C'mere. How is everyone doing?"

Eva is no stranger to time spent in the infirmary, though whether or not she gained her experience as a patient or a visitor is hard to gauge. Certainly she's never been injured on this tour. But she does skip forward quickly enough to pull back the curtain enough to slip inside, before she pulls it closed again, "They all miss you, of course. But everyone whose in on piece is probably wishing there were in here with you. You should see the numbers of people they've brought in to fill in the gap while we wait for them to replenish the deck, doing repairs and whatnot. No joke, they even gave me a shift. For real." Actually, Eva is not that bad with repairs, at least when it comes to vipers. Most active pilots and ECOs develop some amount of knowledge on how to repair their rigs as part of the hazards of the job. "Marines and everything." Once you're settled, she leans down to offer a light kiss to the corner of your mouth. "I brought some of your favourites."

"Not having to help with the cleanup is a small blessing in answer of having to get help every time I want to go pee." Niemec is hooked up to machines that would complain if she were to step away without a nurse. There's a smile for the kiss and she tilts her head to take a bit more of it. "I've missed you," she offers in a lower voice, lest the others in the recovery room, in their own curtained-off sections, try to listen in. There is a glance to the basket and a sort of pleased sigh escapes her. "You might have to hide them," she warns. The blankets are peeled back a bit to show the bandaging. "I'm still on a liquid diet, I'm afraid. Tomorrow I might get to have soft foods." She cheers a bit at that, then lets out a laugh... that terminates in a wince. "Sad life when you're excited for things like applesauce and yogurt."

"I told you you should just get them to put you in diapers. It's not like you don't wear them every time we go out in a ship." And now, if anyone was wondering how pilots relieve themselves in flight, now you know. "I mean, it's not like anyone would know. They don't crinkle as badly as they used to." Eva settles the basket down on the edge of the bed, "I tried to come by a few times, but they wouldn't let me near you. I think they thought I would tear all your stitches out." Eva sets the basket down on the floor, moving to pull one of the chairs over so she can sit more comfortably, "What sort of liquids? Like only apple juice and beef broth?"

"As much as I do it for my job, I am not fond of the idea of spending all day in one." Niemec rolls her eyes, but it's good-natured. She pulls the blankets back into place, letting out a slow breath and settling back. Definitely the morpha. "Well, damn them for that. Don't they know you heal best with your girlfriend around?" There's a sort of lilt to her voice. She's making jokes, but avoiding laughing. Likely hurts too much. There's a glance to her left arm. Bare, really, from ink. Not like the other limbs. "I'll need to speak to that girl in the wing. The one that does tattoo work." She's never been so injured as to feel the need to memorialize it. There's a look back to Eva and a nod. "Tea, too, and sometimes the broth is chicken, but it's all so bland."

"Oh! Well, that's alright then." Eva reaches down into her basket, pulling out a small thermos, the sort that you can just pop the top and sip out of. No extra cup or anything required. "You can have this now, and pudding tomorrow." She holds out the thermos, but waits to see if Niemec can manage it, if not, she'll help her with it, "I suppose it's precisely because I am your girlfriend that they want to keep me away. Because I would pull out a stitch eventually and then they tell me all of your insides would puddle out like jelly." A glance down at Niemec's bare arm, "Hoping it will distract you from the rest of the pain?"

"Now you make me wonder what you'd be doing that'd pull stitches. That's not fair." Niemec may need some help with the thermos. At least in getting it balanced enough so she can take a careful sip. Surprisingly, perhaps, given how desperate she is for something that isn't broth or watered-down juice. "Pudding sounds wonderful," she finally offers, before glancing to her own arm again. There comes a slightly broader smile. "I doubt they'll let me get a tattoo done while I'm in here."

"I suppose you'll have to find out once your all in one piece again. or at least once they're sure one wrong move won't have you deflating like a bad souffle." Eva moves carefully, gently, so as not to give you too much. It's tea, something herbal, with hints of something fruity or floral. The way apples will sometimes taste/smell of flowers when they're perfectly ripe. It's not a black tea, for sure, but it has a nice mellow flavour. "I even got the one you like," Eva lifts and lowers the thermos as directed, "Half chocolate, half vanilla." And if that's not a reason to get healed up, she doesn't know what is.

"Chamomile? Or am I remembering that wrong?" This, after Niemec's settled back in the wake of a good drink and had a moment to process it. "Either way, it's good. Everything they give me is so watered down. It's like... the essence of apple. A whiff of grape." Her lips curl faintly into a smile as the pudding is described. "That sounds lovely. I do, really, hope they give us some leave soon. I feel you and I ought to go out to have a proper meal together." No storage closet necessary.

Eva laughs, seeming content to help you drink, as you need, "I think that's the salable name. Where I come from, we call it mayweed. We make tea from it, but we also grow it in the gardens. You might not believe this, but it helps the other plants to grow better. Maybe it will help you feel a bit better. Or at least give you something besides almost grape juice." She sets the thermos down in her basket once you're finished and she settles back in her seat, reaching out to offer you one of her hands, "They have any idea when you'll be able to be discharged at least? While I would love to have a real dinner with you...I have a feeling we're not going to get leave any time soon. Not on the flagship of the new colonial fleet."

The hand offered is accepted and Niemec smiles a bit at the description of the tea. "Can't say I've ever been one for gardening. My grandmother, however, had a fair collection of herbal teas. Various concoctions she'd make us drink when we were sick." She curls her fingers in with Eva's, letting her eyes close as she tries to relax. Getting comfortable in a hospital bed is never an easy task. "No idea on discharge. Lot of 'we'll see how things are tomorrow.' As for leave... well, it won't look good to the rest of the fleet if we never get downtime, right? I'm holding out hope for at least an evening that doesn't involve shooting or being shot at."

"You'd think my Da would want a few days off, but he loved to garden. I think it helped him to see as if he wasn't just destroying everything he loved." After all, you can be from a mine but not love the mine. "He was always getting tips and tricks from the women. They thought it was pretty funny actually. Sometimes I think he did it because he really liked it. Other times I think he did it because he thought it was something my mother would have liked." Eva's expression turns thoughtful, as she considers leave, "I suppose. but on the other hand, it wouldn't look good for the biggest and best ships in the fleet to take a vacation while we're losing the war."

"Some people find gardening relaxing. Maybe e didn't see it as work?" Niemec's eyes remain closed, but the motions of her thumb against the back of Eva's hand says she's still awake. Enough, at least. "I think we're only losing because we're reacting. We never go on the offensive, it seems. It's always... there's an attack, let's respond. The closest we've come is bombing some of their production facilities on Tauron."

"I suppose so. If nothing else it was something that he did for himself, and not for anyone else. Also, it gave me an excuse to get dirty. I was a terrible gardener, but I loved to pay in the dirt. He would let me make the pots for the seeds." There's a nostalgia in Eva's voice that she usually can keep out of it. It's no good to think about things that you might never see again. "There's something very wholesome and honest about working with the earth." An attitude which might go a long way towards explaining why Eva seems to enjoy Finn's company so much, "The trouble is, I don't think that we have the capability to go on the offensive. Not with the number of ships and centurions they're pumping out. Not without being willing to kill a lot of our own people as well. Did you hear what they were saying when they attacked us? "Let us be free. Excuse me, but you already freed yourselves. We're not stopping you from getting in your ships and getting the frak out of colonial space. They're the ones attacking us."

There's a squeeze to Eva's and as she goes nostalgic. "I was no good in the garden, either. My grandmother had me try to help sometimes, but... I was always more suited for my father and grandfather's work." The mafia. Even if she did go into the navy. Maybe an attempt to avoid the more... bloody roots of her family. And yet, here she is. Niemec opens an eye, casting a glance to Eva. "Psychological warfare. I wouldn't have thought them capable. Why do machines care about things like freedom anyway?"

"Well, you know, I've been giving that a lot of thought. Now, when I was coming up, systems engineering did not include building the sorts of sophisticated AI that Greystone was peddling. I mean, you could build a machine with rough cognitive functions, but only within a set number of parameters. So it wasn't thinking or reasoning, right? It was just very sophisticated programming. From everything I've been able to figure out, what he did was create something closer to what we might consider a true AI. Something that could think and reason and make decisions for itself. So..." Eva pauses, reaching out to cover Niemec's hand with her other one. She seems to be, for the moment, avoiding getting deeper into the quagmire of family and obligations. "Here you have this now, for like of a better term, an evolving species, a race of beings. But they're like children. They have no history. And like human children, they have to learn from what they see around themselves. They saw what we humans thought was important, they learned how we treated creatures we thought were below us, including them, and they've now adapted those behaviors for themselves. I know it sounds crazy..."

"So what you're saying is mass genocide is their way of throwing a temper tantrum?" Niemec scoffs, faintly, but winces as it pulls in an uncomfortable way. "My daughter wouldn't even-" But that gets back into Uncomfortable Topics, so she just stops and sighs, taking slow breaths until some of the pain passes. "If that is what they're doing, we've either got to crush them or wait until they tire themselves out. They'll never stop until they get their way."

"I don't know if it's a temper tantrum, or just an overreaction. Think of it like this. You're used to seeing, right? But imagine how much it would overload your senses and your mind if you had spent your whole life blind and suddenly, you could see? or your whole life deaf, and suddenly you could hear. All that stimulus, all that input." Eva lifts Niemec's hand, kissing the back of, it still held between her own, before she continues, "Now imagine you're a being who has suddenly become aware. And the only thing you can see to model yourself after, is human beings. Humans who will do whatever they have to do to be free. The Taurons, the Sagittarons, all of the colonies that have broken away from Virgon. And then you have humans who will do whatever they have to do to subjugate the ones they feel are either beneath them or should be under their control. Like the Virgons versus pretty much everyone. Like the Capricans. Especially the Capricans, because it was the Capricans who created them to be servants, to be slaves, to be chattel. And it went from Caprica to all of the Colonies. Millions of humans who seemed to want them to be nothing but mindless slaves. And now they're free, and they have to make sure to do whatever they have to do to never be slaves again. Because, maybe to their minds, they have no way of believing that we would not come after them to repay them for all of the humans they killed. No way to ensure that we would allow them to remain free. So the only solution is genocide."

"Frak." Niemec's answer comes after a moment, hand tightening a bit against Eva's. "That's bleak. Likely right, but bleak. And it's not as if we can give them a history lesson. Caprica alone proves a colony can fight for independence, only to have them turn back around to try to take them again." She breathes out a slow sigh. "But the biggest difference is... In our wars, we fight the fighters. Even in the Tauron civil war, both sides did their best to keep civilian casualties low. The Cylons... they don't care. And they don't realize that it only makes us less willing to ever let them be free. For risk to our people."

"If we didn't care about their 'civilians', their workers, and nannies and other non-military models, why should they care about ours? And how many times have you heard of wars being fought that killed innocent civilians? Remember, they're not human, they don't have human emotions, and maybe they also don't have human abilities to reason. I mean, they were spewing their message of "let us be free, and you're fighting a false war while still trying to kill us." And then Eva nods, "Yes, exactly. we won't let them be free now, because we have no way to be sure that they won't try to kill us all again. So we're both at an impasse. They can't let us live and we can't let them live."

"All saying the same message until they died... Those Centurions didn't have reasoning." Niemec lets out a slow breath. Just sort of slouching in place. Tiring, perhaps. "Maybe they have new masters. Maybe there are some who can reason, but I don't think the ones we see do. I think the ones we see are just what they've always been... Mindless, programmed soldiers. They never deviate, never alter. They'll go to their goal until the bitter end. But whoever the new masters are probably convinced them they're more caring masters than we were."

"Well, if they really are evolving, which, at least from the upgrades that we're seeing in their ships, maybe they are evolving in terms of their cognition as well. And you might very well be right. There might be a master race of cylons out there, sending out their drones to do their dirty work, sort of the way the colonies are sending us out." It sounds like a terrible thing to say, but aren't they just cannon fodder? "We'll think on it and rest. I think that dose of morpha is really kicking in."


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