Kamran hears a familiar refrain when he talks to Cate.
Location: Medical Storeroom
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1103
Kamran has his makeshift office near sick bay, and is there when his open hours are advertised. While some have scoffed at pressure to take advantage of the Lieutenant's services, the office hasn't been empty. But there has been quite a lot going on. Kamran is just finishing filling out a form for one thing or another.
Cate has her best Triad face on when she arrives, doing her best to hide the scowl that occupied her features when the gunny 'suggested' that she see the new doctor (in a tone that suggested it wasn't a suggestion). She knocks softly on the door, wearing her marine duty fatigues.
Kamran looks up at the knock and smiles. "Come in," he invites. He looks down at the clipboard on his lap, and switches some pages around. Then he looks up again. "My name is Kamran Anders, can I ask yours?"
"Corporal Rhodes. Cate." She does come in, but stands there a bit stiffly. "The Gunny said I should come talk to you. I didn't know if you did appointments or what."
"I do appointments and I do drop-in hours, and you're just in time for those," Kamran assures Cate, gesturing to a chair. "Why don't you take a seat?" he suggests. "I'm trying to talk to as many people as I can, particularly people who were in that very difficult skirmish that I understand you were a part of?"
Perhaps not the delayed visit she was hoping for, but Cate doesn't seem too put out by just getting it over with. She comes over and sits down, but doesn't relax even once seated. "Afraid you'll have to be a bit more specific," she says when he mentions a difficult skirmish.
"Someone mentioned unexpected rocket launchers," Kamran prompts gently. "But really I'd like to hear about anything you've found particularly difficult. Or anything else you'd like to talk about."
The mention of rocket launchers gets a flash of recognition from Cate. "Oh. You mean the fight at the castle. We lost Sergeant Jayne, Court's in the hospital for awhile, but the rest came out okay. Saved a bunch of civilians. I call that a 'win'."
"That's the one I mean," Kamran confirms, nodding and making a note. "It sounds like you adapted very well to unexpected circumstances," he says.
"What circumstances do you mean?" Cate asks, her tone measured and even.
"Well, as I mentioned before, I was told that you may not have known to expect the rocket launchers, and that heavy injuries were sustained while you battled to rescue the civilians. Do I have it wrong?" He smiles, anticipating correction pleasantly.
Cate hitches a shoulder. "We weren't briefed on exactly what weapons they'd have, but it was hardly the first time Toasters used rockets, or the first time the squad got shot up. Guess it comes down to what you define as 'unexpected'."
Kamran nods. "It's not unusual for people to experience the same event differently," Kamran concludes mildly. "But it sounds like you're experienced."
"No more than most," Cate demurs when he mentions experience. "I was a civilian when the war started."
"And would you say you've adjusted well to military life?" Kamran asks. "It sounds as if you handle crisis well. Do you feel that that's true?"
"Well enough, I suppose," Cate replies. The question about crisis is the first time that there's a flicker of sadness on her face, though it's a blink-and-you'd-miss-it kind of thing. "Yeah. I was an ER doctor before the war, so... I'm used to working under pressure."
"I see," Kamran replies, nodding a few times. "So even though you wanted me to know you were a civilian before the war, you do have experience in distressing situations. How do you find the war compares? The same kind of pressure? Or very different?"
"I thought you were asking about combat experience," Cate clarifies. She shrugs a little, pressing her lips together. "There's parallels, of course. Physiologically it's the same stress response. Life or death. Flight or fight."
Kamran nods gently. "What do you find to be different?" he asks next. And then he adds, "If anything," and smiles just a bit.
"Didn't get shot at too often in the ER," Cate replies blandly.
"That's true," Kamran allows. He sets his clipboard aside on a table. "Can I ask you something?" he wonders. "Do you sort of resent being asked to come here and talk to me?"
Cate considers the question, eyes narrowing for a fraction of a second. "Yes," she answers after a beat, her tone flat.
Kamran smiles back at that unhappy expression. "Will you tell me why?" he wonders.
"Because the implication is that I can't handle the stress. Can't do my job. I can." The triad face slips a bit there, a clipped edge creeping into the words when Cate answers.
Kamran nods once. "I'm speaking to a lot of people, you know," he says. "It doesn't mean I think most of the people I'm speaking to are unfit. But why does the idea that you could be found in need of help worry you so much?"
"It doesn't worry me." Liar, liar, pants on fire. Ahem. "I just resent the implication. If you were perfectly healthy, wouldn't you resent someone ordering you to go have an X-Ray?" Cate asks.
"Well," Kamran says with a wry smile, "When I enlisted I had to have a physical like everybody else. I think...maybe people take my services a little more personally, if they feel like they would be to blame if they needed them. Nobody much feels like they're to blame if they've got a broken leg that needs setting."
"And if the marines did routine psych evals on enlistment and periodically, that might be a valid analogy. But they don't." At least, they don't where Cate comes from. Doesn't mean that's universal.
Kamran tilts his head slightly. "I'm sorry if it offends you," he says. "If you want my opinion, I think you sound like a very good marine, a good medic. People look up to you."
"Great," Cate says, with a thin smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "That mean we're all done?" Can't blame a girl for trying, right?
Kamran squints slightly, but he smiles. "If you want to be done," he says. "But I want you to know that I didn't go into this line of work to make people feel worse."
"Great." Cate repeats. She rises, taking that as a dismissal. Before she goes, she says, "Look, Doctor, I've got nothing against you. I won't insult you by pretending I know what you know, but I know a little. I did my psych rotation in med school. I volunteered helping out with a support group for kids with PTSD back home. I don't see anything wrong with getting help if you need it. But I'm fine."
"That's a very popular refrain on this ship," Kamran observes, nodding. "But you've had your training, so I hope you will come in whenever you need it. Be well, Corporal."
Cate offers him a what-can-you-do shrug at his observation, looking unsurprised. But she nods. "Good luck, Doctor." And then she's off.