2237-05-19 - Fighting Chaplain

Ryan talks to Aldrich about his penchant for following the marines into action.

Date: 2237-05-19

Location: Ryan's Office

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1033

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Ryan is in his office, which Aldrich has been asked to report to. The Timber Wolves CO is just finishing up a chat with another officer, sending the young woman on her way with a friendly smile.

Aldrich reports as requested, shined shoes and everything. The bruise on his forehead is turning some pretty spectacular shades of green by now, but he's made an effort to comb his hair forward to conceal it a bit, at least. As he's sent in, he salutes or whatever would be considered the proper thing to do by space-military standards. "Sir."

Ryan waves Aldrich to a chair, not wasting any more time than necessary on the protocol formalities. "Chaplain. Have a seat. How's the head?" So much for hiding it. Or maybe Ryan was tipped off beforehand.

Aldrich lowers himself into the chair, in a way to conceal any difficulties his leg might be giving him. "Mostly just ugly, sir," he replies, with a thankful smile. "Apparently I should learn to duck a bit faster."

"Well good. Glad you're on the mend." Ryan leans forward, resting his elbows on the desk. "I've heard you've been on a few trips out with the marines lately." His eyebrows go up, and he asks with a deadpan grin, "Should I be worried that you've developed an overpowering desire to meet your gods face to face?"

Aldrich folds his hands on one knees, and his smile turns a bit self conscious. "No, sir. Not the way you mean, anyway. Just trying to help out wherever I can, that's all." His smile turns a bit wry as he adds, "I was never under any illusion this was going to be a safe job..."

Ryan smiles, showing he was more teasing than seriously concerned about the chaplain losing it. "Well, no, nothing in wartime can ever be construed as 'safe'. But there's a world of difference between being safe and charging headlong into danger. But... the troops seem to appreciate it. Makes them feel like the gods are on their side."

Aldrich lifts a shoulder and offers, gently, "I do /try/ to keep my head down... But I'm glad if they appreciate it. That's really what I'm here for." After a beat, he adds, "To help, I mean. Not to rush into danger."

"Indeed," Ryan agrees. He looks thoughtful for a moment, then says, "You know. It's not without precedent, in some of the militaries, having a chaplain go out with the troops." It sounds like there's an offer implied in there somewhere.

Aldrich tilts his head a little, watching Ryan with a searching look. "Is that so, sir? Is that...something you're considering for the Timber Wolves?"

"I suppose that depends on whether there's a chaplain interested in doing so," Ryan says, waving a hand. "It's not something I would order anyone to do."

Aldrich smiles faintly, and shifts a little in the chair. "Understood. But I would be willing." He doesn't even really hesitate. "If there's something I can do without holding anyone back, I'm there."

Ryan nods briskly, pleased. "Good. Then I'll speak to Lieutenant Hale and you two can coordinate it. Probably goes without saying, but you'll be subordinate to the squad NCOs when you're out with them. You can work with Kovac and Rhodes to get more familiar with how to support the medics, and join the squads sometimes when they do their training exercises."

Aldrich nods sharply. "Understood..." He clears his throat a little, "Joining the training exercises will be very helpful, I think. Thank you, sir."

"Outstanding," Ryan says with a brief grin. "Unless you had something else you wanted to discuss, you're dismissed. Thank you, Chaplain."

Aldrich nods and gives a little smile of his own, restrained but genuine. "No, I think that covers everything. Thank you, sir." And he starts climbing to his feet to make his escape.


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