2237-03-15 - Selling Hope

Cate checks up on Aldrich after they failed to find his friends at the farm.

Date: 2237-03-15

Location: Temple, Edson Air Base

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 965

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It's probably dinner time, but Aldrich isn't venturing forth to visit the mess. Instead, he's holed up in the temple, as he has been pretty much since the visit to the farm days ago. Just now, he's seated cross-legged in front of the altar. Incense is lit and nearly burnt out, but there is no sign of a sacrifice. He seems to be meditating... At least, if you can judge by the silent movement of his lips, but now and then his head starts to nod, perhaps signaling that he's perilously close to falling asleep.

Cate has already been to the mess, but now comes in search of the chaplain. The temple is the obvious place to start looking. She comes in, squinting a little as her eyes adjust to the light. When she sees him meditating or praying or whatever, she decides not to disturb him and starts to go. It was a great plan until she bumped into a little table by the door and knocked over some candlesticks. They thunk on the table, and one rolls off before she can catch it and clatters to the floor.

Aldrich jumps a little higher than he might normally, with a little mumble of surprise. He looks around, blinking hard as he looks for the source of the sound. "...Doc?" Yeah, 'nearly sleeping' is starting to look more and more likely. Still, he pulls himself together and starts to rise, a little clumsily. "Is everything okay?"

"Shit," Cate mumbles, bending down to pick up the wayward candlestick without dropping the others she's propping up. It's a vaguely comical juggling act. "Sorry, Chaplain. You looked busy so I was gonna leave, but I'm a clutz, so..." She gets the candles upright albeit in the completely wrong position but backs off, waving her hands as if to say 'stay'. "Sorry."

Aldrich gives a ghost of a smile at the juggling act, then takes a moment to scrub his face. He's looking a little scruffy there. Just a little. "Nothing to apologize for. It's fine. Is there something I can do for you?" He makes his way over to put the candles back to rights, but his attention remains on Cate.

Cate backs away slowly from the table so the candles are out of danger, looking a little sheepish. The look then turns to one of concern when she sees the scruffy Chaplain's face. "No, nothing in particular." The medic looks no worse for wear, the bandage on her arm hidden by her uniform jacket. "I just stopped by to see how you were doing. After the farm and all."

"I'm fine," Aldrich answers a little too quickly, and swiftly puts the candles back in order. "I'd be more worried about the people who were actually injured. How is Adams?"

"He'll be fine," Cate says. "Already out of the infirmary, I heard. Mietz didn't make it though." She presses her lips together grimly there for a moment. "Rest weren't bad at all." She watches him in concern.

Aldrich frowns deeply and looks back at the candles. "I hope they've learned something that was worth it from those bugs." He sighs a little, glances to Cate, suddenly a bit wearier than before. "Do I need to do anything for Mietz?"

Cate shrugs a little. "I don't know. I assume the other docs are looking into it. I'm not really much of a researcher; I was an ER doc." She sighs there too, then looks at him. "I guess so. I didn't really know him well to know what he would've wanted."

Aldrich nods slowly. "I'll have to track down someone who did. It wouldn't be the first." He pushes himself up a bit straighter, and glances back to Cate. "Anything else going on I should know about? I've been a bit... busy."

"Try Brikowski. I think they were pals," Cate offers. She shakes her head to the other question. "No, but I'm usually the last to know about scuttlebutt. Try to keep busy myself." There's an awkward beat, then she says, "Is there anything I can do? I know it sucks, not knowing about friends."

Aldrich nods to that. "Brikowski," he repeats, committing the name to memory. The last question earns a twitch of his lip and a glance to the side. "I'm afraid not. I've been sitting vigil for them, but... Well, we know what probably happened, don't we?"

Cate nods. "We don't know for sure though. They could've escaped before the Toasters arrived, made it to another village." She offers a wan smirk. "But you know better what they might've done."

Aldrich shakes his head. "I don't know. I didn't think it was likely the first place would be overrun," he points out, quietly. "I just... Don't know. It seems hopeless to me." He swipes a hand over his face and takes a deep breath. "Maybe I'm just too tired."

"Yeah. But Toasters aren't exactly sneaky. It's possible they saw 'em coming. I dunno, Padre, I'm not the best one for selling hope. Not after everything I've seen." Cate offers him a sympathetic, weary smile. "I think we're all tired. And here I thought maybe being planetside would be a nice change of scenery."

Aldrich lifts a shoulder. "I think hope is supposed to be my department," he agrees, and glances toward the altar. "I've had a lot going on lately. I think I let myself get a bit distracted, but that should be resolved now. I think I might...go try to get some rest before I talk to Brikowski. Can I do anything for you, before I go?"

Cate flashes him another smile. "I dunno... putting all the hope on you seems pretty unfair." She shakes her head when he asks if there's anything he can do, then says, "Get some rest. You look like you could use it."

Aldrich smiles faintly. "Life is rarely fair," he points out, quietly. "But I will take that advice. If the gods haven't heard me by now, I doubt there's anything more I can do, anyway." He glances to the candles then back to Cate. "If you need to sacrifice any candles, feel free. Have a good night..."

"I think I've done enough damage to the candles for one night," Cate says with a grin, not disagreeing about life being unfair. "Take care," she offers before heading back for the door.


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