Aldrich and Cate go out to search for the missing Mikolas and Eli.
Location: Isabel Island - Jungle
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 971
No doubt Geoff was overly anxious to get Cate medical attention the moment they met up with the rest of the group and returned to camp. Aldrich was much the same, but a little wiser about leaving it to the medics. He did what he could, but as soon as he wasn't needed, he retreated back outside. Who knows what he's been doing since, but it doesn't appear to be sleeping, by the looks of things. Instead, he's sitting cross-legged on the ground, just out of the way of the mine entrance, and staring out into the jungle with an unreadable expression. Whenever Cate recovers and comes around again, there he'll be. Super healthy decision, that.
Cate didn't make a fuss about getting treated back at camp. For all the talk about doctors being the worst patients, somehow that doesn't quite apply when said doctor is feeling faint and has a bullet lodged in their rib. But the bullet is out now, the cracked rib bandaged as best they could manage with their limited supplies, and Cate even managed to doze off for a few minutes, sitting upright against an old empty crate. She jerks awake, letting out a soft gasp. Not the most pleasant of awakenings, judging by the disoriented wince on her face.
Aldrich glances up when he hears the gasp. With the rest of the crew either sleeping or standing watch, he's the only one around to hear the little noise. So he climbs to his feet and steps back inside. "Cate?" he murmurs, to avoid disturbing anyone who might still be resting. "Are you okay? Do you need anything?"
Cate blinks a few times, her eyes focusing on the chaplain. His face helps her get her bearings and she bobs her head slightly. "Yeah I'm okay. Just a bad dream." She shifts position, grimacing as she does so. Rather than answering his question about needing something, she instead asks, "They make it back yet?"
Aldrich shakes his head, setting his jaw into a grim expression. "Not yet." He comes to settle leaning slightly against the crate, but with his attention fully on Cate. "How's the pain? I could hunt you up some of that leaf that helps with pain... It probably won't do much more than take the edge off, but it might keep it from swelling or whatever."
"Shit," Cate mumbles at the news, though she doesn't exactly look surprised. Disappointed maybe, but not surprised. "It's tolerable, but thanks." She might have taken him up on it, but Ms. One Track Mind instead asks, "Has anyone gone out to look for them?"
"I don't think so," Aldrich replies, and rubs at one of his eyes a little. "But if they don't show up soon, I'm liable to go look for them myself. And knock their heads together when I find them, for making us all worry."
That's about what she figure, judging from the grim press to Cate's lips. Then she's starting to get up, using a hand on the crate to help. She does an admirable job of stifling the wince that results from the movement. "I'll go with you." She looks around for where her rifle ended up.
Aldrich blinks rapidly, startled to a slightly less sleepy stance as she looks for her rifle. "Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asks, not at all missing that wince. "Didn't you have a bullet in your chest just a few hours ago? You should rest..."
"We're stuck in the middle of a jungle surrounded by Cylons - I don't think anything right now qualifies as a good idea," Cate says dryly. Another wince is bitten back when she spots her rifle and has to bend down to get it, but she seems to be steady enough on her feet. Then, more seriously, "I'll be all right. A cracked rib isn't going to get any better sitting on my ass while your friends are out there."
Aldrich still doesn't look too certain of that, but he takes a deep breath. "Medics," he sighs, whatever that's supposed to mean (nah, she knows what it means). He climbs to his feet again, and adds, "Just keep in mind that I don't think I can handle losing any more friends, okay?"
"I know," Cate agrees, a sad edge creeping into her voice. She shakes it off with visible effort then tries to reassure him, "It just hurts, it's not that bad. Besides, I had a nap. I'm good for another day or two." Strained humour there - though a little too close to home. Aldrich isn't the only one who hasn't been sleeping like he should. "Come on, we can't leave them out there without at least trying."
Aldrich nods a little. He doesn't need any more convincing than that. "All right." He never was the sort to wait on orders, anyway. He glances back into the mine, but then comes over to join her. "I gave my pistol to one of the marines, but it wouldn't do much good anyway. We'll just have to make do, right? Let's do it."
There's a moment where Cate considers looking for Aldrich's gun, but that would mean disturbing other people who might try (quite sensibly) to talk them out of it. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. "If we need it we're pretty frakked anyway so I doubt it'll make a difference. Let's go."
Some time later...
It was a long hike through the jungle back to the vicinity of where Eli and Mikolas' diversion was supposed to be. Cate had to stop a couple of times to rest, but otherwise hasn't complained about the wound in her side even if the strain is visible on her face. The foilage keeps them pretty well hidden from any Cylons that might be lurking in the area, but... "Frak, we could've walked right by them and missed them," Cate laments.
Aldrich keeps a close eye on Cate's condition, but he likewise doesn't say anything, unless it's to ask if she needs to rest when she starts to look particularly strained. "Yeah," he agrees, to her observation, squinting through the shadows cast by said foliage. "I guess I could try climbing up one of the trees, but I don't know how much it would help."
Cate looks up, squinting into the green above. "Yeah, I dunno - will you even be able to see anything through all the branches?" She sighs, deciding it's a good time to take another little rest. There's a fallen log nearby, which she settles down on, holding her side as she does so.
Aldrich goes to lean against a tree instead of climb it. "Yeah, probably not," he agrees, looking up into the branches. "I guess we just have to stay optimistic..." He looks back to Cate, back to being a little worried. "How're you holding up?"
Cate lets out a weak chuckle. "Been better," she admits. "Also been worse, though so... it's all relative." She frowns and says, "I really hoped we'd find them." For someone who'd never seemed particularly close to either of them, she sure looks worried now.
Aldrich watches Cate for a moment, probably trying to assess just how honest she's being, but after a second, he wonders, "Did you know them very well? I guess you must have known Eli, from the infirmary..."
The worry seems genuine, at least. Cate shakes her head though. "Not that well," she admits. "I mean, I've worked with them both, but..." She pauses for a second, pressing her lips together. "I know you care about Cadmus. And I told Luz and Gopnik I'd try to keep an eye on Kovac. I know what it's like when your friends are missing, so..." The thought trails off with a sigh.
Aldrich nods a little, and glances to the side. "Things are complicated with those two," he comments, with a little sigh. "But yeah. I guess I do..." He watches Cate a moment, solemnly, "I guess after you lose enough people, even one more is intolerable."
"I dunno what's up with Kovac. I mean, I thought he was with Gopnik, but then Luz was involved there somehow, and now he's with Eli..." Cate makes a vague gesture with her hand. "I guess complicated about covers it." She offers a solemn nod back to his latter comment.
Aldrich sighs a little. "Who knows? He reminds me of that story of the fellow who drowned himself trying to kiss his own reflection in a pond... But he's handsome and there's a war on, so I suppose if he wants to get into a competition to see how many people he can have swooning at his feet, there are probably plenty who will oblige him." He lifts a shoulder, and smiles faintly.
Cate stifles a chuckle. It seems poor form to laugh at the MIA, but she does smile a little. "Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised." But then the smile turns sad. "I keep thinking about my friends. The ones I told you about, on Picon. It wasn't so different from this. Woods instead of jungle." She motions to encompass the trees. "One morning they went off to try and find more parts for the radio Evan was building. I wanted to go but I was hurt, so... I just said 'take care', watched them go. That was the last time I saw them."
Aldrich looks back toward Cate, frowning a little. After a moment, he tentatively offers, "It wasn't your fault. Forcing yourself to go, even though you're injured... Maybe hurting yourself worse in the process... Most likely you'd have just ended up like them."
Cate nods slightly, but her eyes are locked on some point in the trees ahead of her, rather than on the chaplain. "I know. I didn't have a choice. I could barely walk. I just would've slowed them down." Her lips thin. "I just miss them. I wish I knew what happened to them."
Aldrich nods a little, looking down toward the ground. "I know the feeling," he offers, gently. "It's really difficult... losing people and never knowing what happened to them. I wish I knew something that would make it better."
Cate slants an apologetic look over at the Chaplain. "I know, you probably know better than anyone." She rubs her face, maybe indirectly wiping at her eyes in the process. "I'm doing a bang-up job being optimistic aren't I," she mumbles dryly. In an attempt to lighten things a little, she lets out a weak chuckle and says, "Did I ever tell you I had a thing for both of them? And they had a thing for each other. Story of my life right there."
Aldrich smiles a little at Cate. "At least we're not alone with it." He gives a bit of a short laugh at that revelation and looks toward the sky. "Who hasn't?" he comments, with a little sigh. At least he seems to find the whole thing amusing. "I'll admit, they did a pretty effective job of dousing any attraction I might have had for either of them. But... I still hope they're okay."
"Yeah, I mean, Kovac is hot and all, but I don't need that much drama in my life," Cate says with another half-chuckle. "But still, I hope they're okay," she echoes his words solemnly. Speaking of which... Cate decides she's rested enough, and drags her tired self back to her feet, stifling a wince. "I've broken more damn ribs since this war started..."
Aldrich offers a hand to help Cate up, if she's inclined to take it. "Careful..." He glances up into the trees, and then around again. "I wish we had some idea of what they might have been thinking. Do you think they might have holed up somewhere?"
Cate is not too proud to take a hand up, murmuring her thanks as she does so. "They might have. I mean, if they had to lie low to avoid the Toasters or something. I wish I knew the area better to know where they might've gone. Or if we had someone like Tavo who could probably find their trail. Though if he could the Toasters could so... maybe it's better there isn't one."
Aldrich nods a little. "I doubt that knowing the area would really help," he replies, with a little sigh. "There are a lot of possibilities... Like you said, we could have walked right by them and still missed them."
"Yeah," Cate says thoughtfully. "Well, let's keep looking. Got a few more hours till the sun starts going down, then we should probably head back. See if they've turned up back at camp."
Aldrich nods and sets off in the direction they'd been heading before, taking the lead to hold back any branches that might block the way, even if it only makes it a little easier on Cate. "Here's hoping the gods are listening," he remarks, to her last sentence.