Shenanigans in the jungle, the day after the bombing.
Location: Somewhere in the Jungle, Isabel Island
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 967
It's hard to set up camp when you had to flee with nothing more than a couple of packs of medical supplies and the clothes on your back, but the band of survivors is no doubt doing what they can with what they have. Eli is still unconscious, and some of the others are probably standing watch or something. Aldrich probably should be resting, since he will have his own turn at watch later on. Instead, he's kneeling next to Eli in a patently religious stance, hands held out with palms up, face upturned toward the sky with eyes closed, and muttering in Gemenese. He's been at it for awhile.
Tamlin, thankfully, has not been made by the Gods to kneel for hours over the bodies of the victims of fate and circumstance. No! She was made to do all the manual labour. Which is really rather necessary, given that, of the current band of escapees, she's one of the only able-bodied members. Just for the now, she's wandering back from a nearby stream, having clearly bathed, being no longer covered in splattered blood -- stain resistant coveralls for the win! -- and relatively dirt free, which means ehe managed to make it back relatively unscathed from her recon mission, "So I've got good news, and bad news, Chaplain."
Aldrich jumps a little at Tamlin's words, and looks up, blinking owlishly with the look of someone who has suddenly broken from a meditative state. He recovers fairly quickly, gives a flicker of a forced smile, and shifts to stand. "Best to start with the bad news, then," he observes, mildly, and brushes some debris from his knees. He is...definitely not clean. But at least he stopped to put a bandage on the minor wound in his own shoulder before he settled in to pray.
"I know this seems as if it should be the least important thing right at the moment, but you probably want to get cleaned up, get some water. I think there's been some talk about trying to scour the area for some edible things that don't need cooking." A fire would not be advisable. "So, the bad news, somebody is going to have to be dragging him again most likely." And anyone else who's injured, "The good news it, we may have found an old mine that's stable enough and deep enough for us to shelter in. It might make for a good base of operations, instead of being out in the open like this." Tamlin studies the religious man, "You're not doing anyone any good running yourself ragged. There's nothing that you can do for him in the state you're in. And there's a camp full of people who need you too."
"I'm fine," Aldrich claims. "But thank you." He glances back to Eli, but then turns his attention fully on Tamlin, with another of those forced smiles. "I lived here, before," he offers. "I can help identify what's safe to eat and what isn't. If it's needed..." He clears his throat a little, and glances down. "Respectfully... There's nothing /anyone/ can do for him right now but pray. And I could do that in my sleep, if I had to."
"You're not fine. None of us are fine. We're as far from fine as it is possible to be." She too looks over at Eli, "Yes, it's needed. Most of this crew have never even seen a jungle before they came here, which includes me. So yes, I would like to know what's safe and what isn't. And it might help to set up a scavenging party to create a stockpile so that we can limit how many and how often people leave camp." A tilt of her head, and despite the fact that her hoity-toity Caprican accent is not really made for sympathy, you can actually hear it in her voice, "Then maybe you better start having to, because you'll need your sleep before the next watch." Anything else Tamlin might have t stay is forestalled, as she gets called off to attend to some problem or another.
Aldrich watches Tamlin go, with a solemn expression that is a bit difficult to read. By the time she comes around again, it's clear that something she said must have gotten through to him. Or at least, he's not sitting around praying, anyway. He's been out into the forest, and he's just returning. He has removed his jacket and tied the arms to fashion it into a sling of sorts, and he settles down in the clearing next to still-unconscious Eli, and lays out the jacket to sort through the contents.
Tamlin returns a short while later, tucking her gloves back into a pocket on the legs of her coveralls. There's faint traces of green on the gloves, so she must not have just been wandering about. "Why is this planet so damned hot?" She's made some concessions, in that she has the top of her coveralls pulled down, the arms tied around her waist. And apparently, she's lost at least one piece of clothing in the interim, because she's only wearing a sports bra underneath. Although, in this heat, that might actually be a relief. "Nice to see you went out, Chaplain."
Aldrich glances up from his task, and frowns a little when he sees her lack of top. "If you're going to do that, you better smear mud on your skin to ward off the insects. There's more than just mosquitoes to worry about." He waves her over, then settles in to sit cross-legged. "Come here. I'll show you what you should be watching for, out there. It won't take long."
"I really don't have a choice. They're asking anyone who has doubles to surrender every piece of clothing they have extra, so get ready for that. Thankfully, nobody but me wants to wear this old thing." What with the coveralls being flame retardant, which means hot as hell, and dayglo orange. She approaches the Chaplain, managing even on a ground littered with leaves, twigs and other detritus to tromp, tromp in her boots. She gets down into a seated position easily enough.
Aldrich shakes his head a little. "They can have whatever I have to offer. I don't mind the mud." He gives a crooked little smile, and waves a hand at the various things laid out. "General rules... No mushrooms. Nothing with thorns. Nothing with shiny leaves. The fruits are going to be easiest to spot, though." He carefully picks up a vaguely pear-shaped, yellow fruit with a dangly bit on the end. "Don't eat these green, and don't touch this bit with your bare skin," he points out the dangling piece that looks a bit like a pea pod. "That part will give you a rash if you touch it. But the yellow part is delicious."
% "I don't imagine most Chaplains would. Once you've been dealing with the mess that lives in people's minds and hearts, I don't suppose the real thing is that much of a problem." Tamlin returns the smile, before she turns her attention to what you've brought back, pulling a glove back out, so that she can poke at the various and sundry things she's not supposed to actually touch. "So fruit is easy, anything else?" She gives that peapod an extra poke, just for good measure.
Aldrich nods a little, and gestures to another pile. "The easiest way to find nuts is to watch for where the birds are hanging out. We might also find some wild onions and things if we're lucky, but I didn't see any while I was out." He picks up a lacy, leafy green, and offers her some. "These are good painkillers. You just chew on them for awhile, but don't swallow. Spit out what's left when it's down to just the woody bits." He sets down the greens, then folds his hands and looks back to Tamlin, a bit solemn again. "There are plenty of edible insects, as well. You /can/ eat most of them raw, but... It's not going to be very pleasant. It would be better if we could at least make some hot coals." He glances to the peapod as she pokes it, and then adds, "Don't touch anything else with your gloves now, unless you've washed them with soap. That oil spreads worse than poison ivy."
Tamlin accepts the leafy green, but does not take any for herself, only studying it and putting it back down on the pile. No reason to take something else someone else needs more. She actually looks interested, at talk of eating insects, "I'm hoping that if we can get to a cave, we can have enough shelter to make a fire, a small one, to use as we need." Tamlin doesn't look ashamed or put out, as she's corrected, she simply nods and takes the glove she touched the peapod with and turns it inside out to keep the oil from accidentally touching anything else. That gloves goes back in her pocket, "How far are we going to have to go for these supplies? And how long will what you saw last us?" Before they have to start ranging far from camp.
Aldrich takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I don't think abundance of food is going to be an issue. Especially if we can have even a small fire. I'd be more worried about tainted water, infection, and insect or animal bites... Or accidental poisoning." He frowns a little, glancing off into the jungle. "I don't think we should plan to stay in one place for long, anyway. We need to be moving toward safe territory."
"Possibly, yes, we need to move, but we also have wounded that shouldn't be moved." She chucks a finger back towards Eli, "We can potentially fashion some travois, which is what I think we'll need i we move to the mine, but we can't just be carrying them around like excess baggage. We need a save place from which we can start to explore. Either to go back to see what's left at the base that we can salvage, or so scout ahead to see what's still standing. I'm sure the base wasn't the only place attacked And we still have no way to communicate with anyone."
Aldrich follows the finger pointing to look at Eli, some of his worry returning. "I know... And we need to try to figure out if anyone else made it out, of course." He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "It's going to be up to someone other than me to make those decisions. But I can help make sure we don't go hungry, anyway." He looks back to Tamlin, worriedly. "Were you or Drake able to grab anything in the way of supplies on the way out? I know there are some water tablets in the medical bags, but those won't last forever."
"All I managed was what you see on me. My coveralls, my tools, and two rifles. Bullseye was pretty rattled, she managed to bring her gun, and help with the evac, but I don't think I saw her bring anything else." She actually gives Aldrich a look, "Who do you think is going to be making the decisions, Chaplain? Last I checked, you and Bullseye are the ranking officers here. Sure, I could keep the lower ranked enlisted in line, but I'm no officer." She considers the problem, "I'm going to try to make my way to the city. I think we might actually be closer to that now than the base. Give the cylons time to cool down."
Aldrich looks a little startled at that, shooting Tamlin a pained look. "I'm only an officer on a technicality," he points out, gently. "And I've made quite a bit of effort to downplay that status, until now." He glances over the gathered bits and pieces, and then reaches to pick up a random nut and eat it. After thinking it over, he offers, "I think someone /should/ check Ruanira, though. We need to know if they've occupied the whole area, or if they just bombed it and moved on. If Ruanira is occupied, our next best bet is Kona, and that is not a short trip."
"Well, consider this your trial by fire. Bullseye is a good pilot, I'm not going to question that, ever, but she's barely older than I am, and she doesn't have the advantage of being in a position, necessarily, that people will trust her. People trust you with their immortal souls, they will trust you with their lives. Just think of this as a very ragtag congregation." Tam nods, considering, "It will be easier to go before night sets in. We can't risk much light, and there are too many hazards as it is, even when we can see.I'll go, and at least one or two more people, if we can scare them up. If it gets dark, we hunker down for the night and start again in the morning."
Aldrich still doesn't look too certain of all that, but he accepts it without further complaint. "I think we need to reserve scouting the city for a future project," he offers, tentatively. "Unless you have a very good reason that it can't wait. We're limited on ammunition, and besides... A chaplain, a pilot, a medic, and a deckie? We're not exactly marines, here." He sighs a little, and continues, "I think we should dig in, protect the wounded, and try to make contact with anyone else who made it out. We can't be the only ones hiding in the jungle..."
"The need to get off of this planet seems like a very good reason to me, and that city, if we can get into it, will either have ships we can fly out of here, or something we can use to communicate with. At the very least it will have more and better food, water, and medical supplies so we can have a hope of saving any of the wounded we find." There's a beat, before Tamlin continues, "And actually, the Lance Corporal IS a marine." That would be Cate. "And there might very well be half the base in the jungle, but we still need a way to contact them." But finally, she shakes her head, "If your orders are to shelter in place, then those are your orders."
Aldrich looks at Tamlin rather dryly as she goes into the long explanation. "Mmhm. And none of those resources do any of us any good if you get shot before you can get at them. We barely got out of the base alive to begin with. Some of us still aren't out of the woods, in fact." He glances to Eli, then back to Tamlin. "If you think we should fracture an already tiny group to conduct a risky scouting mission before we've even checked the local area for other survivors, then do it. I'm not going to stop you, but I'm not going to pretend like I think it's a good idea, either." He and Tamlin are sitting in a clearing where Eli has been lying unconscious. Tamlin is half naked, and Aldrich's jacket is currently serving the function of container for some fruits and other foraged foods.
"Chaplain, this is not works. This is not how any of this works. We're not civilians, and you're not a priest, safe in his temple with nothing more to think about than one wounded man, who is like as not dying as we speak. You're a godsdamned Colonial officer, and I really don't give a frak if you think you go there on a technicality. You either have what it takes to step up and lead us or you don't. If you don't, then I guess it's Bullseye all the way. So if you have an order, give it to me." She rises to her feet, "If not, I'll be at the stream washing this oil from my glove."
Aldrich actually looked a little amused and rolls his eyes toward the sky. "Fine," he remarks, dryly, "My first order is that you stop talking to me with such disrespect. Pretty sure that back in basic, they'd already have you cleaning a latrine with a toothbrush by now... So I /know/ that you know better than that." He picks up the yellow fruit from before, flicks off the poisonous bit with a corner of the jacket, and starts breaking it in half. "My second order is for you to sit down and eat some fracking fruit. Have you even eaten anything since the attack?"
Tamlin promptly plops back down into a cross-legged sitting position, but she does not take half of the fruit that's being offered to her, "Of course I know better than that. Maybe I just wanted to hear you say it. Man, that wasn't so bad, actually. I got hints of Walsh and all. She doesn't take any lip either." Not that Aldrich would know who Walsh is, but it's probably someone in Tamlin's chain of command, "Haven't had the time, and the others need whatever we have more than I do."
Aldrich shakes his head a little. "I assure you, food is abundant in the jungle. Eat something," he sets her half of the fruit on the side of the jacket closest to her, then takes a bite for himself. If she should eat hers, she will find that it has a taste reminiscent of grapefruit. As Aldrich chews, he watches Tamlin with a thoughtful look, then swallows and offers, "Lucky you, we don't have a latrine." His humor is dry, but there's at least a hint of a spark in his eye to suggest he's mildly teasing.
"Says the man who knows the jungle to the woman who grew up in the middle of Caprica City." She takes the fruit half and begins to eat, slowly though, because it has been a while. She doesn't seem to mind the taste, but the, this is also the woman who claimed to be excited about eating bugs. "Oh, no worries about that, Sir, you can save it up for when we get back to the Galactica." She glances out into the jungle, where the other two in their party are still on watch, "Can you make a smokeless fire, sir? I saw that in a movie once."
"I promise I won't let you starve if you don't let me get shot," Aldrich replies, with a little smirk, and continues munching his half of the fruit. The last question is met with a quirked eyebrow. "Mm. The best I could think of would be buried coals. Some of the locals cook that way." He clears his throat, and finishes off the fruit, skin and all, then wipes his sticky hands on his tank top. "I have a question for you," he says, suddenly a bit more serious as he looks across at Tamlin. "Have you ever been in a situation like this, before? I don't mean the jungle. I mean, have you ever been cut off from your people, on the run from the toasters?"
"Well, all I can promise is to do my best. I will run out of ammo eventually, and I can only throw myself in their path once." Tamlin nods, considering, "Well, I can make a spark, but I don't know, maybe if we put things around it, in the might, e could burn some wood down to coals. Although I don't know if we have enough dry wood around here." At the chaplain's question, she lifts a hand, giving the 'so-so' gesture, "Yes, and no. I was on Caprica, stationed at Thalis naval station when the cylons first attacked. They hit us out of the blue, like they did nearly all of the places they hit during that first offensive, like they did the air base. We weren't in the jungle, but we were pinned down without being able to get clear of the the station and the surrounding island, so it was a lot of guerrilla warfare while we waited for the main forces to push them back." She shrugs, "It was a battle of attrition, we kept pushing back, trying to launch ships as they advanced, eventually ran out of ships."
Aldrich nods a little, listening carefully. When she's finished, he frowns a little. "I see..." He sucks his lips in for a second, looking at the food gathered on the jacket. "I was living in what is now the occupied territory on Leonis, when the Cylons first attacked there. The village where I was staying was bombed, and I had to make my way out. That was before I joined the foreign legion, so I didn't have any training. I had never even shot a gun... Not that I had one to shoot, at the time." He shrugs a shoulder, and reaches for a different type of fruit, pulling it in half and offering one half to Tamlin. "This feels bad. It's scary and it sucks, but we've both been in worse situations and lived to tell about it," he observes.
"And that's what made you join the foreign legion as a Chaplain? Seems to me you could have made a good soldier. It's not easy to fight with no experience, even more when you don't have any supplies. Especially when you lived in a world that could never imagine something like this happening, like on Caprica." Tamlin accepts the second piece of fruit with a word of thanks, before she considers, "Oh, I have no intention of dying, but five people, two of whom are wounded, are not going to survive long out here. It's attrition all over again."
Aldrich shakes his head, and has a bite of his fruit, chewing it over and swallowing before he corrects, "I didn't fight my way out. If I had tried to do that, then I /would/ have died. I stayed hidden, and when I had the chance, I ran. Sometimes that's all you can do." He has another bite of his fruit, giving him a chance to consider how to answer the last comment. "We can survive out here longer than you think. There are people who live their whole lives, from birth to old age, never leaving the jungle. But we /won't/ survive if we panic. We need shelter for the wounded, so that they can recover safely. We need to search the jungle and see if we find any signs of other survivors. And /then/ we need to scout out, very cautiously, and see what's happening in Ruanira."
"Yes, and that is what we did do last night, but we can't keep doing that now." Tamlin lifts her shoulder in a shrug, "I suggested the mine, but that would require moving the wounded. We just don't have enough cover here. The first time it rains, we're going to be covered in mud and gods know what else, and the good doctor is going to have an infection to go along with his bullet wound and blood loss. The mine will give us a place to hide, a way to avoid the elements, and a safe, defensible location, if it comes to that. We also need a central point that we can direct survivors to."
Aldrich nods a little. "Then we move to the mine," he replies, easily. He glances over to Eli, with a little frown. "We'll need a strategy for moving him... I'm not the person to ask about that." He sighs a little, and finishes off his half of the second fruit, then leaves the rest behind. "Why don't you show me the mine?" he suggests, suddenly.
"It won't be difficult to move him, we can make a travois, a stretcher, with the materials we have here. Some fallen limbs for the arms, tie some clothes as the stretcher base, use bootlaces or vines or whatever to lash it together." She knows what the doctor is thinking, "I've watched a lot of reality survival holos." She comes to her feet, wiping her hands on her coveralls, because, well, they're not getting any cleaner, and nods, "It's about a mile, just a little over to the east."
Aldrich climbs to his feet, brushing off whatever debris is left sticking to his uniform. "Makes sense," he comments, with a little crooked smirk. "We didn't get the holos growing up, and I never really had time for them after I left." He goes to follow Tamlin in the direction indicated. As they head off, he talks quietly as he walks, "You know, I get that you really, really want someone to give you orders. But I can't operate the way your former officers did. I'll get someone killed. So here's what I think we should do. If you want me to make a decision about something, bring me a plan. Explain the objective, exactly what you hope to gain, exactly what the risks are, and why you feel there's a reasonable expectation that you won't be killed. And don't get mad at me for saying that I need that. I can't take responsibility for something if I don't even fully understand what I'm taking responsibility for, and I didn't receive the kind of officer training your other officers had."
Tamlin moves easily enough through the leaf litter, seeming to enjoy the tromp-tromping of her boots, keeping an even pace with Aldrich, as she's only a few inches shorter. She gives the comment serious consideration, before she replies, "I don't really, really, want anyone to give me orders, Chaplain, not in the way that you mean. But we're not the only people out here, I'm sure of that. And they're going to be frightened, and they're going to need someone who will be willing to step up and take responsibility for them. That's what it means to be an officer, whether it's a Ensign like you, or a non-com, like the Chief. It's like on the deck. I do a good job because I have Walsh there to handle all the bullshit that would just ruin my day. She's there to be the buffer, to basically say, 'Look, don't worry about anything except what you need to do right now. I've got your back. I'll take care of business, so you can take care of your business. It helps to give us a way to focus, you see? The survivors of that bombing are going to need that. They're going to need someone can make them feel safe enough to be brave in the face of a terrible, maybe impossible situation." Tamlin doesn't look put out, at Aldrich's request for assistance. Instead, she nods, "I will help as much as I can, Chaplain. Tell you what I'm thinking about, or help with anything else that comes across your table." She offers a brief smile, "Who knows, maybe the El-Tee will wake up and take all of this off of your shoulders.
Aldrich shakes his head a little. "I'm doing the best I can here, but no one is going to feel comfortable with me making decisions for them, anymore than you were," he points out. "I can't act in that role, because they /know/ that's not my function." He focuses on the trail for a bit, his own steps a little less stompy than Tamlin's. He smiles vaguely, and shakes his head. "Eli certainly enjoys being in charge more than I do. If the gods knew what they were doing, I'd have been the one who got shot."
"That's the beauty of being in the military, Chaplain. People don't need to feel comfortable, but they do need to follow orders. That, as you reminded me, is the sort of thing that we're trained to do in basic. You respect the chain of command. That's it." Tamlin pauses, hands moving to clear a particularly dense bit of wines, pulling them back to make it easier for Aldrich to pass, "Who is to say that they did not do exactly what they intended to do?" A twist of her lips in a smile, the next words she speaks in that rich, overly flowery Old Gemenese, "Only the Gods know their own will."
Aldrich snorts faintly. "You do know that most of my job as chaplain /is/ to make people feel comfortable, right?" he points out. "But I'll keep all that in mind." He climbs past the vines with a little nod of thanks at Tamlin for holding it back. When the Gemenese comes out of her mouth, he gives a startled chuckle, and a sideways look. "So the Gods have spoken," he retorts in equally flowery Old Gemenese, and shakes his head and switches back to Standard. "We are going to have to talk about where you learned Gemenese when this is all over..."
"Indeed. It's your job as the Chaplain to make people feel comfortable. But right now, your job is also to be an Ensign in the Colonial Navy, and that comes with a completely different set of rules and objectives. Tamlin lets the vines fall once she passes under, "See that dark ridge up ahead? That's what looks like the original entry shaft, looks like they drilled down and then out at the ground level. That part's completely collapsed in. I could feel air moving, but couldn't see any light. But the ground level exit passage is wide and seems stable. Again, that shrug, though there's a hint of sarcasm in her words, "Don't the idle rich take up strange hobbies to amuse themselves?"
You know who doesn't speak Gemenese? Centurians. So it's a safe to assume that the words said that shortly follow a crash of underbrush aren't from a Cylon. "The Gods can suck my fat tadpole." The voice in the ancient language belongs to Miko, having heard the others talking and followed the sounds of their voices to their location. He moves aside a large frond, calling to the Chaplain in common. "How do you say 'dick' in Gemenese?" You ever see a pissed off marine in nothing but a pair of shower shoes? Bombing the base during bath time is how you get a pissed off marine bugging out in nothing but shower shoes.
Aldrich jerks a little, and his hand instinctively goes to the pistol at his side before it registers that the voice was speaking Gemenese. ...Bad, crude Gemenese, but still. It takes him a moment longer to parse who it is. "Mikolas?" Then a moment longer to realize that said marine has no clothes on. "Oh... Holy Aphrodite, Miko, where the frack are your pants?" he blurts, putting up a hand a block the sight. Scarred for life!
You know who isn't blocking the sight of Mikolas starkers? Tamlin. Because, in Tamlin's world, when you get a chance to look at a hot Marine, you damned well look at a hot Marine. She won't try to shoot him or anything. She even manages to offer, in a mild enough tone, "I guess you were right about there being survivors, Chaplain." Of course she should probably look behind Mikolas to see if anyone else is coming, but right at this moment, this is the best thing that's happened to her since the bombs dropped.
With annoyance in his movements, Miko moves the frond lower before he snaps it off at the base and uses it to fan across his lower half. If the rest of his tattooed skin or his bare ass is an affront, they'll have to deal for now because Miko is coming out of his hidey hole with the slap-slap of flip-flops on the bare soles of his feet. "You ever look down when you're taking a piss, Sir? Then no offense, but you've seen one of these before." He gives Tamlin a sharp nod, "Ma'am." His chin jerks to the side, his neck popping. "My guess is that my pants, along with the rest of the base, is up in flames. There was a Lieutenant with me, but he didn't make it." Indeed, there is a third tag hanging with his own around his neck. "You guys are a sight for sore eyes."
Aldrich peeks out through a squinty eye just in time to see Miko snap the frond off. "Frak, Miko, don't..." Too late. He winces a little, clears his throat a little. "Um. Miko, you might want to pick a different leaf. That one's a bit... Poisonous. A little. Or actually a /lot/." He winces and looks back toward the sky. "I have my jacket back at the camp. You can use that until I find something better. At least it won't give you a rash..."
"Oh, I'm not a ma'am, Marine." She's seen him in the hangar enough to at least know his division. Just a PO1st." She shifts the rifle over to her other shoulder, actually now looking away, but not seeing anyone else with him. And Mikolas gives them the lowdown, so she goes back to staring, since she shouldn't be waiting for stragglers. "You can can have my sweats. I already put them in the communal pile." She gives the man a thorough going over, "He's not that much bigger than me." Indeed, they're barely an inch in height difference. "Well, certain extremities most definitely excluded." She turns back, once again pulling the vines back. No point in leaving the man in this condition.
Great. Just what Miko needs is a rash on his man parts. The Chaplain doesn't have to tell the Marine twice so he just drops it. "Only thing around here big enough." He grouses of the plant, now stepping into the filtered sunlight, it's clear he's dirty and scratched from being out in nature sans any protective barrier and there is a crust of blood near his scalp. "There is a camp?" The man asks, with no hint of his usual sparkle in his eyes. If anything he just seems defeated. "Who's in charge?"
Aldrich winces a little. "Well. There's a clearing that we have claimed. But we've gathered some food, and we made it out with some medical supplies..." He turns back with Tamlin to head back to the 'camp', such as it is, gesturing for Miko to follow. To the question of who's in charge, he offers, "Ask Dorn. She's very opinionated about these things." He smiles, humorlessly, and hangs back a little to fall in beside Mikolas. "Listen, Miko, before we get back you need to know..." Uh oh, he changed to Serious Chaplain Voice and he's using nicknames. That's not a good sign. "On the way out... Well, we're doing the best we can for him, but Eli got shot. He lost a lot of blood, and last time we checked, he was still unconscious."
Tamlin allows Aldrich to show Mikolas the way back, offering only, "The Chaplain and Ensign Drake are the ranking officers." She's happy to take up the drogue position, falling back to allow the two men to catch each other up on the events since the base was first over run. Also, the view is good. Perks, even at the end of the world. It won't be too long at all, before they're coming back into the small clearing of the camp that the escapees have made.
"You don't have to sugar coat it and ease me into it. I know he's gone." Miko face turns very, very dark as if he might actually shoot the messenger if he were armed with more than his own fire hose. "I saw him go down from across the clearing after taking one to the chest. But if you got his tag, you damn well bet I'll be the one to give it to his mom. Not some nameless jackal that command sends out after the War from Support. He's dead. Don't feed me shit about doing all you could." Half of Aldrich's words appear to have fallen on deaf ears as he walks along with the other two, lacking the mood to really make it a show for Tamlin.
Aldrich looks a little surprised, and then concerned. "Miko... No, he's /not/ dead." He actually looks kind of sympathetic. Wonders will never cease. "Shit, you must have been... No, he's gravely wounded, but he's alive. And he's going to stay that way, okay?" That last bit might be as much wishful thinking as evidence-based diagnosis, but hey. He never claimed to be a doctor. They reach the edge of the clearing just about then, where Eli is laid out on the ground. Aldrich's dirty and torn uniform jacket is also there, holding the remains of his foraging efforts, but that is less noteworthy.
Cate was on watch when they left, but is now back at the camp proper. She hasn't slept much if at all since the attack, too busy trying to stabilize Eli (Not Dead) and Austin (Dead). She's currently checking on the former while munching on some mango-ish piece of fruit that someone (probably Aldrich) deemed safe to eat. Her uniform has seen better days, between the explosions around the clinic and the dying Austin losing too much of his blood onto her back and shoulder. The sound of something returning has her scrambling for her rifle, but she relaxes when she sees the chaplain. And then Miko. Blinkblink.
It's fortunate for him that Eli grabbed a bug out bag full of medical supplies before they fled the base. Some of it was damaged by the Cylon bullet that sliced through his shoulder, but the vast majority of it is usable. So Cate had a lot to work with when it came to bandaging the wound. Still, he did lose a lot of blood, but he shouldn't be in danger of an infection. He's currently half unconscious, but he does shift a little, proving that he is indeed not a corpse.
Miko's eyes round out at Aldrich's assurances, his steps stayed for a moment as he reaches out to grip the man's shoulder and squeeze a little too enthusiastically. "He's /alive/?!" He barely breathes out the words when he is kissing the Chaplain square on the mouth for the news. He turns and runs the last distance in the clearing until he spies Eli laid out. So not only does Cate see naked Miko. She sees naked Miko run. The medic hit his knees next to the doctor and starts touching his face and his chest and his leg to prove it's not some jungle mirage.
Tamlin is happy to be silent as they trio walk back. She doesn't really know either of the other two beyond passing in the halls or the hangar, and there's definitely a sense of, 'There is too much shit you don't know' going on, for her to stick her oar in. So rather than hold up the pair, or even do some good old fashion ogling, she simply guards them on the way back, before she makes her way to the camp, and towards the medical supplies, likely in the hopes of something to stave off the impending rash Miko is now making worse by running.
Aldrich is too busy wincing a little at the over-enthusiastic shoulder squeeze to see the kiss coming, and he just sort of stands there in shock. He might as well have been turned to stone, but a second or two after Miko runs off, he blinks rapidly and recovers with a vaguely flustered look, and turns to follow into the clearing at a more leisurely pace. He's definitely gone a shade closer to red than he was before. "We found Mikolas..." he comments to Cate, unnecessarily. "And Dorn found a mine entrance she thinks will make good cover, if we want to move camp there. We need some...ah... clothes for Miko..."
See naked Miko. See naked Miko run. Cate boggles for a minute then shakes it off. "He can probably fit in Austin's clothes," she says. The tanks were coopted but the rest of the uniform remains. "Not the best fit, but beggars can't be choosers. Or there's Dorn's sweats still I think." She wasn't keeping track. The comment about the mine isn't addressed for now. She moves back to a fallen log to vacate Eli's side for Miko and continue chomping on her mango.
The contact rouses Eli into more full consciousness. He coughs painfully, then slowly opens his eyes to look at who is touching him, "Miko," his throat is clearly pretty dry. He could use water. "...you're naked."
People are talking about clothing him. Finding shelter. Munching on an afternoon snack. Miko has moved on from making sure Eli isn't a figment of his imagination to actually doing useful things like checking his pulse. As Eli opens his eyes, Miko thumbs the lids open wider to check dilation. "And you're bleeding in the middle of the jungle." His eyes go to Cate, "How many units has he lost?" Then to the other two. "Is there water?" A hand goes as if to his chest pocket for a penlight before he remembers that his /is/ in fact naked. "And where are those pants! Stat."
Tamlin takes her time, looking through the bug out bag, rather than throwing things about willy nilly. FInally she comes up with a tube of cream...for Miko's willy. She carries it back over towards Cate, who is closer to the supplies they've managed to scavenge than the trio of men. "So that happened." Is all she says to the female medic, but it's enough to encompass the whole Mikolas spectacle. She reaches down to secure one of the canteens of water they've got, and then her sweats, tank and pants, lucky Miko, before she heads back towards the prone doctor. "Go to the stream and wash, unless you've forgotten that you have poisonous sap all over that hand, as well as the bits you've been slapping around. The Corporal and I have it under control."
"Not enough to kill him," is Cate's ever-so-helpful dry response to Miko's question. "He's stable. Bullet's through and through. Gave him some saline and antibiotics. And morpha." The other medic's voice is dull. More than tired. Tamlin gets a puzzled look encompassing the cream in her hand. "He ran through poison ivy?"
Aldrich is a little lost himself, and by the time he looks around to find Miko some pants, Tamlin is already on it. He gives her a smile of gratitude, then tentatively puts a hand on Miko's shoulder. "Cate's taken really good care of him, okay? She worked on him all night. He's..." Then he realizes that Eli said something, and the smile broadens a little. "Hey, you're awake."
"You know I like the outdoors, but this is a little much," says Eli weakly. Morpha is a gooood thing. He smiles dopily and coughs again. He tries to pat Miko's hand, but he misses. His head rolls to the side, then he blinks. "Chaplain. Say a little prayer for me, huh? And I mean it. Starting to understand why patients want to square things with their gods."
"Oh no. He was using it to preserve his modesty." Tamlin looks back to Cate, the look on her face spelling it out. 'You cannot make this shit up.'. She leaves the clothes and cream for Miko, instead shifting position to uncap the canteen. She'll help Eli however he can manage it, whether he can lift his head or not. "Nice to see you back with us, Doctor Cadmus." At least she knows one person here by name! Or did, before this all went down.
Miko's hands hover over Eli, "Stay put." Like he'd go anywhere. "I'll be right back." Because begrudgingly Tamlin is right, he needs to wash off. He flips the clothes over his shoulder, because there is no use putting them on before the stream. "Don't...you know." He leans over, pushing back Eli's hair with a drag of knuckles to unabashedly kiss his forehead. "Rhodes, see if we have what we need to do a walking blood bank transfusion in those kits." He plucks the cream out of her hands, and starts trotting off, "WHICH WAY IS THE STREAM?" Adrenaline is an awful thing.
Cate snorts to Tamlin. "I'm surprised he has any modesty left to preserve." Yes totally loud enough for Mikolas to hear. "Glad to see you awake, Doctor C," she tells him. Mikolas gets a frown. "He doesn't need a transfusion," she says flatly. "I just said he's stable." Meanwhile she points in the direction of the nearest water.
Aldrich gives a crooked grin, though there's something pained in it. "I've already been praying for you all morning. Of course." He looks up and watches kind of owlishly as Mikolas goes to run off, then calls after him, "Turn left. Keep walking. You can't miss it. But watch out for thorns!" He glances to Cate, with some concern, and wonders, "Should Eli eat something? I brought back some fruit and...things... And I can get more."
Eli tries to shift to sit up when Tamlin brings the canteen, but a sharp pain in his shoulder drops him back again. Instead, he just tilts up his head. He'll need her help to not dribble it all down himself. After he manages a mouthful, he mumbles a thank you. He misses most of what Miko says, but feels the contact. He makes a low sound, then his face bunches in confusion. "I don't know how much of this is real and how much is godsdamned med high. Where is everyone else?" He turns his head as he hears movement through the bushes. "Shouldn't someone...take a weapon and cover him? Not his...you know."
Tamlin takes care with Eli, not allowing him to spill the water. Perhaps some sympathy there for the reversal of his fortunes. She doesn't look off in the direction Mikolas went, instead offering, "Bullseye is still on watch, I'm set to relieve her in a few. I imagine you'll have someone else willing to help you get yourself together." If Mikolas' reaction to the doctor is any indication. "There is no one else, not at the moment. Just us, and Bullseye, Ensign Drake. It's only been, not even a day since the attack."
Miko isn't gone long. He scrubbed down, creamed up and threw on clothes as quickly as was prudent, returning in his sad little shower shoes and Tamlin's sweats that cling damply to his body. "Did you find anything?" He asks Cate, obviously not having heard her emphasis on the fact that he's stable. "Wound packed? When's the last time you changed his dressing?" So many questions. "Padre, what blood type are you?" To Tamlin, "Couldn't have bugged out with some panties, huh? Freeballing in the jungle isn't fun when your junk sticks to your leg. Thanks, though." His good humor and inappropriate language is making a comeback, spirit suddenly renewed.
Cate nods to Aldrich. "He can if he feels up to it. Just a little at first." She does not get up to go guarding the naked Miko when Eli asks about it, so safe to say that's a no. When Miko returns, the grouchy medic frowns some more at him. "I told you, he's stable. His dressing's clean, he doesn't need a transfusion. He's as fine as he's going to be."
Tamlin looks up from where she's still by Eli's head. She retains the canteen in one hand, using the other to tug on the waistband of her coveralls, peeking in, "As a matter of fact, I do indeed have a pair of panties on. Do you want them?" Panties, of course, are sort of relative, given that they're standard military issue, probably boyshorts, as per usual. "He's all yours." She rises, to offer Mikolas the canteen. "I'm going to need to give Drake her relief."
Aldrich nods a little at Cate. He doesn't know how to answer Eli, so he lets Tamlin do it, and just volunteers, "There's fruit and nuts if you're hungry." When Mikolas returns, he scoops up a couple of pieces of fruit and starts over to head him off. "Here. Eat this," he orders, trying to push at least one piece of fruit into his hand. Then, he gives his shoulder a squeeze. "Sit down. Rest. Let Cate make the medical decisions right now, okay? She knows what she's doing. And let someone look at your head. Does it hurt?"
Eli closes his eyes. He may or may not be close to unconsciousness. "This doesn't seem to be an ideal position. Has anyone got a radio?" He opens his eyes again as Cate and Miko discuss his medical state. "If it was a through and through and they staunched the bleeding in time, shot me full of antibiotics, yeah, then I just need time. A transfusion out here wouldn't..." he winces. It's hard to think critically right now. The meds and the pain fogs his mind. "...it'd be too risky." He chuckles roughly. "I don't know if I'm hungry. The meds might just make me throw it up right now, and I need to stay hydrated." People say doctors make the worst patients for a reason.
"Nah, if you've only got the one pair, keep it. Swamp cooch is just as bad as jungle balls." Miko tells Tamlin, starting to stalk towards Eli. To Cate he asides, "Kavanagh said he lost a lot of blood. So while he might be stable, doesn't mean he's not a few quarts low." But it's the Chaplain that's heading him off at the pass, telling him to cool his jets and so he just pauses and takes a deep breath as his hands coil. Eyes close. "Yes sir." He relents, falling back on what Aldrich says as an order, so he doesn't have reason to fight it.
"You'll regret turning me down, Marine. I don't give these panties up for just anyone." But Tamlin, now free of canteen, clothes, and any other immediate duty, switches the arm she has her rifle slung over and departs for the perimeter of the camp, no doubt to find Calliope and give the woman a chance to rest. Their very bad, very long day is only going to get worse from here. And with that, she departs. Tamlin Dorn. Swiss Army Woman.
"Thanks," Cate replies dryly to Tamlin's 'all yours' remark. Then, more seriously, "Take care." She waves a hand as Eli supports her diagnosis, then says, "Morpha and penicillin shouldn't make you too nauseous unless you have a prior history of reacting to them. You could try a little fruit when you're feeling up for it. Toasters are jamming the radios. We've been trying to get through but no dice."
Aldrich looks a little surprised... no, a /lot/ surprised when Miko gives in so easily. But he's not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He just gives a tight smile that isn't entirely unkind, and pushes Miko slightly toward a spot where he can sit down. "'Yes sir' your head hurts, or 'Yes sir' you're going to sit down and stop harassing the doctor who's been keeping your boyfriend alive?" He shoots Cate a little look, and adds, "When do you think it will be okay to move him?"
"That's no good at all," says Eli to Cate's status report. He tries to sit up again to look around for the aforementioned fruit. That ends up being too much effort, because he ends up slouched back down wherever they propped him a moment later. He looks like he might drift unconscious again. At the very least, he's not fully absorbing the conversation around him.
Miko slumps down to wear he can sit near Eli, reaching for the hand attached to the arm that's attached to the unskewered shoulder and halls it into his lap. Holding hands must be the new way of checking pulses. "I just got a knock when I was blown into a wall, and I have tinnitus in my left ear. And I know - logically - I should not be in charge of his care, even if I outrank Rhodes." It's with a look of apology to Cate that his words are meant as one before he doubles over the doctor's hand in his lap. "Gods, I thought he was dead." Again, adrenaline is a bitch, especially when it wears off.
Cate shrugs to Aldrich. "I wouldn't have him walking, but we could make a litter if there were any place to go." Something about what Mikolas says seems to affect Cate, her brow knitting before she rises abruptly. "Why don't you give him another two of morpha, Kovac. Looks like he could use it." She steps over to where they'd left the emergency pack and fishes out a morpha autoinjector with a pre-loaded dose, which she holds out to Mikolas.
"Conflicts of interest trump rank, when it comes to medical care," Aldrich offers, and pats Miko on the shoulder. Cate get a sharp look for handing over the injector, but it's probably too late to protest, so he doesn't say anything. Instead, he takes the last fruit and goes to sit heavily on the other side of Eli, lotus-style, and starts breaking up the fruit to hand a piece to the downed doc. Assuming he hasn't passed out again, yet. "Before my watch, I'll go out and check that mine to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. If it looks clear, we could try to move there before sunset. It'll be a bit more cover, at least... And we won't be out in the open when it inevitably starts to rain."
"No, no morpha," Eli protests foggily. He flexes his hand underneath Miko's. It should be of some relief to him to note that the grip is still relatively strong. "Save it. We don't know how long we'll be out here and who we might find that might need help." He mumbles all of this with eyes half-closed. He seems to realize that Aldrich has approached. He opens his eyes, then reaches with his bad arm. He grunts with pain as he gets the piece into his mouth. He's either unwilling to, or not thinking that he can, move his other hand.
Miko looks up at Cate, dragging the back of his hand across his eyes. Something makes his hand freeze as he reaches for the autoinjector though, his mouth dry. "No word of anyone else." It's a statement more than a question. His gaze swivels from Cate to Aldrich. "PFC Stefan Lulezim?...Ensign Danica Reznik?" At Eli's protest about saving supplies, he rests the injector in his lap for the time being, "Stop moving, asshole." He tells Eli when he reaches for the fruit. "Some vines, the web straps from those packs. Do we have a blade to cut some stalks for a litter?"
Cate reaches down to take back the morpha injector out of Mikolas' lap to put it back away. "You're a dumbass," she tells Eli. "But if you want to suffer and be useless, your choice." Cate apparently left her bedside manner back at the base. Miko gets a grim headshake. "Didn't see them, sorry. Dorn's got some tools." Then she glances to Aldrich. "Unless the mine has a back way out, that sounds like a good way to get boxed in and killed."
Aldrich sighs a little, and touches the top of Eli's head. "Cadmus... You know I adore you, but you need to settle down and let other people take care of you, for once." He glances toward Miko, a shadow passing over his expression. "They could have made it out. We really don't know anything." He looks back toward Cate, some of his confidence faltering. "I don't know if it does. But do you have a better idea to keep him from getting rained on? I assume that getting soaked wouldn't be a good way to prevent infection..."
"Staying out in the open is a good way to get picked off one by one," Eli says in response to Cate. "Six of one..." he runs his tongue over his dry lips and coughs sharply. Something Aldrich says causes him to chuckle, which hurts. He squeezes Miko's hand at the wave of pain. "Don't make your decisions based on me. I'm definitely not going to make it without you all to watch my back."
"Was there a rendezvous point and appointed time, like..third Saturday of the month that was in the contingency plan for the base going tits up?" Who has two thumbs and is kicking himself now for doodling penises and boobs during various briefings? This guy. That guy being Miko as he reaches out to take the fruit from Eli and break it into smaller bits and take it directly to his lips for him.
"If the Toasters find us out here, we've got bigger problems," Cate replies, before glancing over at Aldrich. "We can make more of a shelter, or maybe the mine has an outbuilding or something. I dunno. But I'm not keen on going underground with nowhere to run." She shrugs to Mikolas. "Nice question we all should've asked two months ago, I guess."
Aldrich ignores Eli's comment, because he's obviously delusional from the morpha, if he thinks this particular group is going to go along with that. "Yeah, I don't think anything was said about that. That would have been a good idea, though." He smiles vaguely, and looks back to Cate. "If we make a shelter, it's going to be pretty noticeable, isn't it? I know it's not a permanent solution, but it could buy us some time to scout out the area. Make a better plan..."
Eli accepts a few pieces of fruit, then shakes his head, indicating he doesn't want any more. He shifts a little, then his eyelids droop heavily. He mumbles something that was probably a contribution to the planning, but it makes no sense and is barely audible. Then his body goes slack as he lapses into unconsciousness. It's a fairly peaceful sleep rather than a restless state brought about by pain and trauma, though his body still tightens now and then from a shot of pain.
"You know this area, don't you, Padre? Or at least you were familiar with some of the natives." 'Natives' being used loosely, in this case he just means the locals. "Are there any villages close? Anyone remember any abandon houses in this area, or huts during patrol? More overgrown the better." Miko mutters something down at Eli and then pops the rest of the fruit into his own mouth before scooting and gently manipulating Eli so he'll have a marine pillow for his rest.
Cate shrugs a little to Aldrich, clearly not sold but choosing not to argue. "What about that farm with the mosquitos," she says after Miko's question.
"I thought of that," Aldrich replies to Mikolas, with a little frown. "But I'm not sure." He glances between Cate and Mikolas, uncertainly. "Listen, I don't really know much about this stuff. I'm a Chaplain, not a strategist. But we don't really know what the Cylon strategy /is/, do we? I would have said before that such tiny settlements wouldn't have attracted their attention, but I was obviously wrong about that. Even if we trekked all the way there with Eli in tow, it wouldn't necessarily be safer than just... plunking down in the middle of a clearing, would it?"
"We probably shouldn't be in a clearing at all, if you're asking for my opinion, sir. Any fly over gives away our position. We should be in the scrub with some sort of overhead coverage /near/ a clearing in case of possible evac." Miko says, backing up to the log with as little wiggle as possible so not to disturb Eli. "If we build a shelter, we'll need to camouflage it. If we use the cave, we need an escape route. There is a chance that the mosquito village will be assumed vacated, or they'll return to try and destroy whatever research they might think we haven't been able to haul out of there." Finally settling after no doubt being on his feet and on the move since yesterday has taken it's toll on Miko, as well as the emotional rollercoaster he's on and doing shit at hiding from the others. "If there is a hypothermia blanket in the med kit," Which might be thin, considering they are in the tropics, "Or a fire blanket, we can conceivably just make a pop tent over Cadmus and the rest of us can endure some rain for a few days."
"There's only a few of us so we're probably not that visible from the air," Cate points out mildly. Even the 'clearing' has a fair amount of overhanging growth from the tall trees above. Otherwise she doesn't disagree with anything Mikolas said. "There's a foil blanket but that'll draw attention. Someone's gotta be able to just string together some palm fronds or something to make a little roof for him."
Aldrich nods a little, glances to Eli, and then starts to stand up. "Do /that/ then," he suggests, abruptly, and a little wearily. "I should go out and do some foraging, before it's my turn to stand watch. Just to be sure we'll have what we need." He swipes a hand over his face, and takes a deep breath. As he climbs to his feet, he offers, "For what it's worth, I think being hidden is the most important thing. Our ammunition is limited. If we're spotted, we're not going to last long, anyway, escape route or no."
"Tomorrow we should try and put a little more distance between us and the base..stay close to water...whatever the ranking officer decides." Miko mutters, his own eyes closing now as he starts rhythmically petting back Eli's hair. "Wake me up for my shift." Because like any good marine, he can sleep anywhere. Including sitting up on a jungle floor.
"Can't hide forever," is Cate's ever-so-sunny outlook on the whole thing. She grumps her way over to the edge of the clearing to sit by herself for a bit, the mango forgotten for the moment.
Aldrich sighs and looks up at the sky. "I tell you what. When he wakes up, you can ask him," he says to Mikolas. He watches Cate grump off, but he doesn't try to stop her. Instead, he slinks off into the forest. Time to climb some trees and bring home some fruit. Or something...