Cate finds a familiar face among some new transfers to the Timber Wolves.
Location: Hangar Deck
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 404
The hour had begun to drag on aboard the Dauntless. The transition from the swing shift duty crew to the night crew had come and gone without much to mark it's passing. As usual with any night crew, though, the hanger deck's population was sparse. Since most brass was asleep, the current shift wasn't terribly motivated to be seen busy. A call had come in over the air, though. A call and a DRADIS contact, actually, marking one raptor with a two viper escort inbound to their position. The tone of the pilot was conversational, remarking to the bridge that it was a shuttle of transfers inbound from the Athena. He did mention one discrepancy, though. That one of the passengers had experienced a tremendous nosebleed, along with some very bloodshot eyes. Reports were that the situation had begun to resolve itself, though the Raptor still requested a medical evaluation upon landing. And land, it did. With a bit more bump, shake, and fore thrust than the Dauntless' own crew. It was clear immediately that this pilot was used to a much longer landing bay.
Jacob Marx had the good pleasure to be sitting next to the man who he had angrily dubbed 'nosebleed'. The staff sergeant's left sleeve, boot, and leg were peppered with no sparse amount of the other man's blood. This didn't draw a huge degree of remark from the burly marine, though he did give the unfortunate soul a scowl for his trouble. "Looks like we're landing, boys and girls. Tighten your harnesses, buckle in, and dear god, if anyone throws up on me, you're going to be assigned a bunk in the head. Do I make myself clear?"
Cate was on duty in sickbay when the call came in for a Raptor needing a medical eval. She beat the ship there and is presently sitting on a crate, the heel of her boot tapping idly against it while she waits. Her medic satchel is slung over one shoulder.
The landing of the Raptor likely drew some laughs and grins from the deck crew. It wasn't the practiced letdown on the short landing deck Dauntless personnel were used to. When the door hissed open, though, there was a pause. No one inside the craft moved, save two personnel. One was a frail looking you man, splattered from neck to naval in his own blood. He bumbled, with a wad of tissue shoved in each nostril, to the aircraft steps, already shaking his hands in front of him to anyone who would watch. "No, no, no. It's alright! I've just been trying out a different diet! I'm fine!" He risks a look behind him, before swallowing, and continuing onto the landing deck, stepping out of the way immediately as if he's preparing for a formation.
Behind him, though, was a different sort of man. Jacob was built like a tank had a child with a brick building. His descent from those stairs was more pointed and deliberate, a hand reaching out to help the young Private down before he fell. Jacob didn't look happy about his task as a human walker, though. The lines of his face, still healing from a particularly bad bruise above and to the side of his left eye, are clenched and marked. "Easy, easy. Seriously, McGiven. No one here's going to bite." And, in a sort of cursory pass, he scans the hanger. Until his eyes land on Cate. And suddenly, he's glad he has the private still in his grasp. "Shit."
It's pretty obvious that the first guy out of the Raptor is her patient - hard to miss all that blood. Cate starts to get up, moving slowly toward the ramp to meet the disembarking crew. But despite being preoccupied by a long-distance professional assessment, Cate's not entirely oblivious. Something about the figure beside the wayward private catches her eye, and when her brain catches up she just stops. Her head jerks back a little, reeling. The shock isn't as bad as the first time she laid eyes on him on Galactica, but it still takes her aback. For several seconds she just stares.
"You have your feet about you?" Jacob asks quietly to the young private, his piercing blue eyes reserved for the only other man covered in blood in the confines of the room. It's only after he receives a nod that he lets go, steps back, and watches all of the other young marines come out of the raptor to stand in formation. He doesn't glance back at Cate again, but seems to keep her at the edge of his vision. "Squad? Atten-huuu." The command comes from Jacob even as the last man is getting into position in the back of the square people box. "Report to showers and bunk assignments. You'll receive further instructions covering assimilation into the new unit tomorrow at 0800 following PT. McGiven? Remain behind for med clearance." He pauses, looking the men and women over. "Dismissed. See you in the gym tomorrow morning, boys and girls. Don't be late." It's almost as if the facade of being a marine keeps Jacob from having to deal with his problems. As the men and women grab their bags from the raptor and depart, the only two left turn to look at Cate. Jacob has come to stand slightly behind McGiven, providing the boy quiet support in case he falls over. He, in his typical fashion, elects not to speak. But to stand and observe.
Cate snaps out of it when Jacob calls the squad to attention. She waits, though, while he sorts over the newcomers and then steps forward to check out McGiven. "Sit down, Private," she tells him, gesturing toward the crate she was just sitting on. She gives him a quick once-over, checking his nose, taking his vitals and asking him a few questions. All with a very professional air, but she can't help glancing to Jacob now and again as she does so. "You're fine. Report to sickbay if it starts bleeding again."
Jacob says, "Modified PT plan tomorrow, kid. But still, 0600." Jacob's voice is significantly quieter in the company of three. But there's a disconnected, authoritative air about it. And the look her gives the young man could practically see through him. During Cate's assessment he'd traveled back to the raptor and plopped two heavy duffel bags on the floor next to the young private. One, older, more worn, and faded sat more toward Jacob. The other? Fresh, green, and still baring the creases of a bagged existence sat toward the private. Marx then took the opportunity to lean casually on a crate to the doctor's right, his eyes very sternly focused on the floor. He was there, in fact, when her assessment ended. "Go take a shower. Dismissed.""
McGiven, for his part, looks terrified by the two soldiers who seemed more at ease. For one, he'd bled all over Staff Sergeant Marx. That was a legendarily bad thing to do. "Will do, Corporal. Thank you for taking the time to look." He stands, offers a half look to Marx, and nods. "Aye, Sarge. 0600 with bells on." He seems to have a far more difficult time picking the duffel bag up than Jacob did. But after a moment, he manages to shoulder it, and begins a brisk walk to see if he can catch up to any of the stragglers left behind from his unit.
Cate strips off her exam gloves and tucks them into a pouch on the side of the satchel. "Please tell me that guy's been out of basic longer than five minutes," she says dryly as the skittish private wanders off. He probably has, being assigned to the special operations unit, but one could forgive her for wondering. She slants Jacob a glance, mouth pressed together in an awkward line.
"Timber Wolves wanted him for what's between his ears. I guess they weren't worried about the size of his shoulders." Jacob stands, his hands on his hips, watching the private scurry off. Not much about the muscular Hibernian had changed. His hair was cut neater, and there was a focused set to his jaw that hadn't been there before. He does glance over at her, though, his jaw visibly clenching even more tightly. "But yeah. He's been out an hour or two. Smart kid." His gaze shifts off of her again, a thick, scarred hand moving to pick up that duffel. "Let me get out of your way."
Cate gives a non-committal 'hmm', nodding to the explanation. She looks much the same as she did eight months ago. A little thinner. A freshly-healed gash on her jaw that hasn't quite decided if it's going to fade away or stick around as a scar. Mostly she just looks tired though. When he collects the duffel, she stands stiffly, not knowing what to say. Then the silence gets to her. She shifts the satchel on her shoulder and gestures towards his bruised face. "You still boxing, or did you decide to get into a fistfight with a Cylon."
Jacob raises an eyebrow and tips his head a bit to the side, considering. "Both. Caught a rock to the side of the head on my last mission planet side." The weight of the duffel bag rests against one shoulder without making the marine so much as sway, he does look a little more fully down at her, though, as if noticing the scar on her chin for the first time. "Circuit on Athena was nothing compared to the Galactica. So, I kept myself busy elsewhere. You forget to tuck your chin?" He nods down at the cut on her face, something gently pulling up the corners of his lips.
"Rock huh. Ouch." The question about Cate's chin causes her to motion toward it self-consciously. "Think the whole 'tuck your chin' thing works better against boxing gloves than bullets," she points out, then shrugs. "Better the chin than the face though, so... can't complain too much." She gestures toward the stairwell across the way. "Berths and sickbay are both this way." So apparently they're going in the same direction. She starts walking. "I heard you guys went to Picon after we left."
"Just got back from there, actually." Jacob raises an eyebrow toward the common hallway. And, absently, he removes a toothpick from his pocket, places it in his mouth, and begins to chew. "I think they're starting to get a handle on things. Long way off a solution, though. Bullet? On Caprica?" He keeps pace with her, pausing to allow her through the more narrow doorways and turns before he conquers them on his own. Jacob was not built for ships. He does risk the occasional glance down and to the side, though, allowing the tense lines of his mouth to melt away a bit.
"Well, hopefully they can start pushing back." Cate walks with him up the stairs. She nods to his question about the bullet. "Yeah. We've been trying to re-take Delphi. Fighting in the city's been pretty rough. Not as bad as Picon was though. Guess it's all relative." There's a noticeable increase in tension across her shoulders when she talks about Picon.
"I don't think anybody else saw the attack the way you did." Jacob replies, taking those stairs two at a time out of natural reflex. Stairs were one of his favorite workout routines, and old habits were incredibly hard to break. In truth, though, it was entirely likely he didn't notice he was doing it. "Picon'll pull out. Eventually. But I've heard that Delphi's just as nasty a mess. More confined and urban." He shakes his head. "There's a lot of places for toasters to hide in a rat trap like that. How are you doing, though? You seem... haunted, Cate."
Cate does her best to keep pace with him, even though it's tough with his height advantage. Eventually she asks dryly, "You in a race to get up there?" She nods then. "They're holding onto Delphi pretty tight, but we're chipping away. Like you said though - lots of places for them to hide." They hit the landing on deck 5 right about the time Jacob asks his astute question. Cate offers a 'what can you do' shrug. "Still alive, despite their best efforts," is her response, trying to force a glib tone and not entirely succeeding. "Last couple months have been hard on everyone." She gestures towards the hatch on this deck. "This is my stop for Sickbay. Barracks are one more deck up. Everyone's in together, officers and enlisted. It's kinda weird."
"Big, dumb, animal. I see a mountain, and I climb it." Jacob replies offhand, slowing slightly and offering her a shrug. "That's what they pay me for." There's a clipped edge to his tone, though as soon as he actually looks back down to her, his look softens. "I'm sure I'll be down there before long. I doubt they transferred me to this outfit to let me decorate the gym." He shakes his head a bit, looking a bit up the corridor. "That is weird, though. These colonial units seem to take some getting used to. But..." Jacob looks as though he's going to speak, but he simply shakes his head, offers her a tip of his chin, and starts forward. He makes it a whole three steps before the tense line of his shoulders stops, and he turns his head enough to look back at her. "Hey. Stay safe out there? And if you need an ear or a sparring partner. I'm a big guy. I've never been tough to find. Yeah?"
"Big but hardly dumb," Cate counters mildly, though there is a strained edge to the words. She's opening the hatch for sickbay when he stops and looks back. "Yeah. You too. Guess I'll see you around." And then she's ducking through the hatch.