2237-09-17 - Battle Of The Staircase

Stirling rushes to the infirmary for word on her family.

Date: 2237-09-17

Location: Infirmary

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 527

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It was a long night for everyone at Argyros. After the initial attack, Major Stirling and most of the other pilots landed just long enough to refuel and re-arm before taking to the skies once more. They remained on high alert until dawn broke to make sure the Cylons didn't double back for another attack. During their brief landing, she tried calling home. The lack of an answer set off all sorts of worst-case scenarios in her head, but there was no time to dwell on that. Duty called, even if her heart was pulling her in the opposite direction. She tried again after dawn, once the birds were squared away and a beefed-up CAP launched. Still no answer. With panic starting to set in, she spotted Colonel Ryan heading her way, a grave look on his face. 'They're alive,' he'd told her to start, but the relief was short lived. 'You need to get over to the infirmary. Your mom and Max are there. That's all I know.' Her dad, she knew, was safely out of town tonight.
And so, heart in throat, the exhausted and harried-looking CAG has turned up at the admin desk in the Argyros infirmary. She ditched the flight suit in favor of her Navy greens, but the fact that the shirt is buttoned crooked and various pieces of hair have escaped from her tidy braid testifies to the haste with which she changed. "Major Stirling. I was told my mother and son were here."

"Stirling..." The desk nurse repeats, flipping a few sheets of paper back and forth on a clipboard. "I don't see-Wait. No, here you are. It's a Maxim Stirling and a Cassia Stirling. It looks like they're both in Trauma 3. Attending was Lopez, but now?" She scans the paperwork a bit more, following a line with her finger. "Doctor Gallagher has taken both patients. Major, you said? Well. We're supposed to keep everyone in the waiting room tonight, but..." She looks over the desk, inspecting the CAG's uniform. Her lips purse, and she picks up the white duty phone. "Let me page him. He'll be able to tell you what's going on. And he's the one who would have to approve whether or not you can go into the back."

"Doctor Gallagher to infirmary reception, Doctor Gallagher to infirmary reception. Thank you."

There's a flash of 'oh hell no' in Stirling's eyes when the nurse mentions being kept in the waiting room, but when she says it's the doctor's call, Stirling doesn't bother arguing the point with her. Pick the battles that matter. She leans forward a little, gripping the edge of the admin desk. White knuckles and the press of neatly-trimmed fingernails against the laminate testify to the tension in her body as she waits for word of her loved ones.

The double doors barring the way into the proper part of the infirmary open rather quickly. The man who emerges isn't exactly the Navy doctor everyone would expect to see. Sure, his build is athletic and he appears to be fit enough for service, but the lines of his face speak to decades of sun and laughter, not toil and military service. In his hands, he carries an X-ray film, eyes focused rather intently down on it while a pen seems to have found it's home between his teeth. His hair, once a flawless chestnut brown, seems to have been invaded by a peppering of gray, indicating stress and genetics more than age. He was dressed simply in black hospital scrubs, his white lab coat nearly obstructing them from view. As he approaches the counter, Stirling receives a nod and a smile, though his eyes seem to come to focus on the woman behind the barricade of wood. "What can I help you with, Tisha?"

"Major Stirling is here inquiring about her family in Trauma 3." Tisha answers as she looks up with a smile.

"Trauma 3?" Doctor Gallagher repeats, already turning toward the major. "That would be Max and Cassia, yes? It's a pleasure to meet you, Major. I'm Colin Gallagher. I'll be treating both of them." He seems to forget his title entirely, removing the pen from his mouth and tucking it into his lab coat's pocket. "Would you like to follow me? I can get you updated as to their condition before we get to them."

Stirling nods back to Colin when he acknowledges her, though she's unable to muster up a smile. She does, however, straighten up when Tisha indicates that this is the doctor she was seeking. She gives him a subtle once over, her throat bobbing when he confirms their names. "Yes. My mother and son." Her eyes search his for some hint as to their condition. "Are they all right? What happened?" Beyond the obvious, of course. There are any number of ways to get hurt in an air raid. She falls into step beside him, hands clenched into fists at her side as if she were marching.

"They're fine. I'm treating Max for a minor break in his wrist. He's having it temporarily immobilized now. We'll get him in for an appointment with Ortho sometime this week." Colin's accent is absolutely from Picon. And his movements, though fast, speak to the fatigue that most of the important base staff are exhibiting at this point of the attack. He doesn't stumble, but he looks tired. "Your mother seems to have a different sort of issue. It looks like it's a mid shaft humoral fracture of her left arm. Luckily, the angle of the break is canting the bone away from any major arteries or blood vessels. She's going to need surgery, but in the end, I don't think she's going to experience any real lasting damage." They pass a nurses station and take a slight right turn, heading to rooms clearly marked 'Trauma'.

They're fine. The words unlock a tidal wave of relief so overwhelming that Stirling actually stops walking when they round the corner. She reaches out to the wall for support, just standing there for a second. "Oh thank the gods," she breathes. A shaky chuckle is offered, one of those laughing/almost-crying things. As emotional displays go, it's pretty buttoned up, but it's there all the same. "You'll have to excuse me," she says, sounding apologetic. "Ever since the attack started... I've had all these worst-case scenarios running through my head."

She's met by the doctor's gentle smile. His hand even comes out, stopping inches from her, offering a degree of promised support. "I imagine you have. And I apologize for the gravity of the place. It's been a hectic day for us, too. I think this is the worst a lot of these people have seen. It's left them with varying degrees of humanity, I'm afraid." Colin's hand slowly returns to the x-ray film. "These two, though? They have been a pleasure. Max has been asking me more questions about this job than most residents. And I think your mother is just happy everyone is okay." He does take a couple of steps forward to the bay marked '3'. His hand rests on the slider for the door. "I was just about to let them know what the treatment plan looks like. No sudden moves for either of them, if we can avoid it. Sound good to you?"

Stirling straightens, pulling her composure together with effort. "Thank you. Please don't apologize. I'm sure you've all been run as ragged down here as we have in the air. It's not your fault. I've just been in this position before and heard the worst. It... colors your expectations." The description of Max gets a faint smile. "I'm glad he's feeling well enough to talk your ear off. And yes, that sounds fine. Thank you."

The doctor's face darkens a bit at something she says. He does pull the door open, though, knocking twice on the glass before stepping inside. It was an absolutely basic exam room that looked as though it had been thrown together with some supplies torn out of a storage close somewhere. Both patients, Grandmother and Grandson, lie in the bed. Max was positioned very careful on Cassia's right side, his left wrist sits in a very tight looking brace. But, on the bright side, he had been allowed to continue wearing his dark blue 'Viper' pajamas. Whatever had happened to the boy, it wasn't serious enough to change him into a hospital gown. Cassia, on the other hand, didn't seem to be so lucky. She lies in the bed with a slightly pained look on her face, eyes focused on the same thing Max had been looking at: a small TV, mounted directly over the doors, playing some animated kid's show that Colin couldn't recognize. "Mister and Missus Stirling. I have your results. And?" He removes a candy bar and a bag of potato chips from the pocket of his lab coat, holding them like a diplomat offering a peace treaty to Max. "The food in here is awful, buddy. These? Are from my stash. And? We have a visitor."

"I'm not Mister Stirling, I'm Max!" the little boy declares with goofy amusement, earning a strained smile from his grandmother. He perks up with interest at the food. "Oooh. Chips. Can I have some, Nana?" Cassia says he can, but only if he remembers his manners, at which point Colin receives an earnest, "Thank you!" Then he sees Stirling, and his face lights up. But it's not a 'mommy!' that he greets her with, but rather, "Auntie Nyssa!"
He starts shifting as if to get up, but Stirling quickly holds out her hand and cautions, "Oh, no, you sit still sweetheart. Rest your arm." She rushes past Colin to perch on the edge of the already-crowded bed, very carefully gathering the boy up in a hug while also reaching past him to touch her mother's uninjured arm. A look mixing worry and relief is exchanged between the two women, but conversation becomes difficult when Max launches into the tale of his adventures this evening, complete with details about the explosion that damaged their garage and shook the house enough to make the pair take a tumble down the steps while heading for shelter in the basement. But somewhere in the middle of all that, she slants a grateful smile Colin's way.

Colin is, truthfully, grateful for the break. As Max launched into his tale of sordid adventures involving literal explosions and a battle with a staircase, the doctor calmly paces to a light box and snaps the x-ray films into it. A flick of the switch activates the light and he stands there, half listening and half examining the x-ray. The doctor even removes a pair of stylish glasses from his lab coat pocket and slides them over his eyes, looking rather closely at something around an obvious break of a large bone. At some point, he turns around, returning Nyssa's smile with a warmly genuine one of his own. "Max? You ready to hear about what I'm going to try to do to make Grandma all better? Or would you prefer for him to leave, Ny-" He stops, smiles, and corrects himself. "Major? I have nurses who are both nice, and very knowledgable about where we stash our reward candy within the infirmary."

Though Max does slant a concerned look towards his grandma when Colin asks that, his eyes very obviously light up at the mention of candy. Stirling tilts her head so she can see his face, and the obvious interest there. "I don't know. Do you think you're big enough to go for a ride in a wheelchair all by yourself?" At least she assumes the wheelchair part, given what Colin said earlier about no sudden movements. Her voice is faux-dubious, but Max doesn't seem to notice the faux part. "I totally am. I'm almost six," he insists, both pleading and indignant. "All right, then," she concedes with a smile.
But then worry seems to take hold of Max of a moment. "Did you chase the bad robots away?" he asks timidly.

"We did," she assures him solemnly, giving him a light tap on the nose that gets a little smile out of him. "They're not going to bother us here again any time soon." She then looks back to Colin. "Thank you, Doctor." His near-use of the familiar name did not escape her notice, but the CAG responds with cordial formality.


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