Following her rescue from the surface, Cate gets patched up in sickbay.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1462
It's been six days since Nova's Raptor was lost while searching for Hawk. A recon team led by Jacob was one of several groups sent out on extended patrols to scout enemy positions in the area and search for signs of the missing soldiers. They were out of contact for a few days - nothing unusual given the nature of their mission and the spotty comms in the area. Today, though, they contacted the Dauntless from a safe area and requested a pickup. Upon their return, it was discovered that they had an extra Hibernian on board. Cate's first stop was the ready room, where Ryan, Stirling and Hale debriefed the team-plus-Cate. While everyone else dispersed in a flurry of post-op cleanup and rescue planning, Cate was sent up to sickbay.
Now she's sitting on an exam bed, waiting to be treated. The medic has obviously been through a lot. Her uniform is coated in dust and grime and tattered in several places. There are old bandages on her left hand, right arm and peeking out from beneath a tear in the pants above her right knee. A bad bruise on her jaw is turning all sorts of interesting colors, and butterfly strips hold a swollen cut on her cheek closed.
In the aftermath of the loss of contact with the search team, and the relentless pace of the recon teams that have not abated, despite the lessening support of the virgon forces, sickbay has been operating on ready status for the better part of the last week. And that means a full team at all times, just on the off chance that the next recon mission would be the one to bring some of their people back. And to that end, Tove has been settled into the nurses' station, the sickbay's closest approximation of an alert lounge, reading over reports of the terrain being covered by the recon teams. She might not be the one who's going down there, of course, but she needs to be able to anticipate what sort of injuries might be coming back to the ship.
Of course, as these things always happen, it's when she finally steps away to pull a few more supplies, that Cate's ushered in and left to wait. But Tove, to her credit, at least makes use of the time between when she's alerted to the Cate's arrival and the time she actually gets to the exam room. She's gathered up supplies as well as a change of clothes. No scrubs this time, as it might impede the doctor's exam, but a comfortable tshirt, a real one, not one of those ridiculous double tanks, and a pair of shorts. Clothing enough to make you feel human, but still making it possible to provide patient care.
A knock at the door to the exam room, though it's open, the curtain having been drawn to give Cate privacy instead, "Cate, may I come in?"s
Cate wasn't asleep, but had zoned out with a distant stare leveled at the far corner of the room. She jumps a bit when Tove knocks, coming back from a million miles away. She sits up a little straighter. "Yeah, 'course," she answers, and when Tove presumably does come in, she adds an awkward, "Hi."
"Thank you. I didn't want to just sneak up on you." Tove steps in, coming around the curtain, pulling it back with one hand only enough to let her slip through, before she allows it to fall. Her own smile is fair and friendly, not at all awkward, "Hi! Welcome home. You've no idea how good it is to see you back." She sets her bundle down on the rolling table, "Let's see about getting you taken care of, we'll get some clean bandages on and let you have a chance to clean up." Of course, that'll mean a second round of bandages, but what can you do, "If you wouldn't mind stripping down, so I can get an idea of what we've got going on."
"Thanks," Cate offers, a general acknowledgement of both Tove's being considerate and her welcome back. Her mood is subdued, probably in no small part due to the tired circles under her eyes. She nods then to the plan and swings her booted feet over the edge. "Don't suppose I can go get a shower first?" she asks with a tentative hopefulness. "It's been a couple days since I got hurt, so... I think I can safely promise not to die on you."
"Oh, absolutely." Tove looks up from where she's already begun to prepare her kit, pulling out bandages, swabs, even some of that waterproof clear bandages that're often used to cover surgical scars and IV ports. "Feel free to take your time in there. We got the water pressure fixed, so you actually don't have to keep trying to hop in and out as the temperature changes." And if it gives the woman some much needed private time to gather herself, well, who doesn't need that. "I'll get things set up in here, and you can wander back in when you're finished."
Cate was braced for a 'no', too used to Virgon doctors all hung up on their protocols, so there's a relieved look when Tove agrees. A sincere, "Thanks," is offered, and then the medic is getting up. She's halfway to the door before she realizes she forgot the clean clothes Tove had brought. She comes back for them, then heads out. Not much for idle conversation at the moment, it would seem. She's gone for a bit. When she returns, she's missing several layers of dust and the old bandages are gone too. "I think it would be doing the ship a service to burn these," she says of the skanky uniform she was wearing. Now that her arms and legs are bare, a plethora of scrapes and bruises are visible. Nothing major but dang - girl did a number on her shins and knees.
Tove seems to have kept herself busy, as she's been waiting for Cate. All of her supplies are laid out, a few extra blankets and pillows have been brought in, and she's even pulled some of the ready to eat supplies from the sickbay fridge. Nothing fancy, but at least a few cups of juice and a pair of wrapped sandwiches. The sight of Cate returning pulls her away from the cabinet she's poking around in, a personals bag carried over, held open for Cate to deposit the uniform in, "Need one for the boots? I'm hoping we can get you a fresh pair of everything in as soon as we send word down to quartermaster." Even at the tip of the spear, no quartermaster likes to give out what they usually think of as 'extra gear'. "Hop on up, we'll see if we can get you squared away so you can get some rest."
Cate dumps the uniform into the bag. "I think the boots are salvageable," she says, leaving them by the door. "No sense having to break in a new pair." 'Hopping' would imply more energy than the medic appears to have, but she does climb back up onto the exam table obediently when Tove asks. The mention of rest gets an oddly pensive look, but Cate says nothing about that. She holds her left hand palm-up for the nurse to see. "This is the worst of it. Partial thickness, mild infection, couple of the blisters got torn." She relays the assessment as she might for one of her patients, a clinical detachment in her voice. "Rest is just scrapes and bruises."
"So true. You know, I used to think breaking in heels was the most painful thing I could do to my feet. But some of the boots I've been issued?" Seriously. As Cate settles herself, Tove pulls the tray she's set out to work from over towards herself, settling it comfortably on her left side. Tove might be the nurse on duty, but she's not shown herself to be the sort of medical professional that doesn't want input from her patients, least of all a patient such as Cate who has the training and knowhow to assess herself. "Then let's deal with this one first." And she'll begin to do just that, first applying a topical anaesthetic, before she'll begin cleaning and debriding the wound and the blisters, taking care to preserve the integrity of the skin as much as she can. No need to make the wounds worse just to make quicker work of it. "I brought some food to eat, if you wanted to just hide in here, but I can get what's hot from the mess, if you'd prefer that."
"Don't think I ever wore heels enough to break them in," Cate admits weakly, before frowning at a memory there. She falls quiet when Tove starts cleaning the burned hand, save for some restrained pained noises while the wound is being cleaned. Anesthetic or not, that shit hurts, but Cate bears it like a trooper, even if it does mean her good hand squeezes the hell out of the mattress. The mention of the food proves to be a welcome distraction. During a lull in the treatment she says, "No, that's fine, thanks."
"Well, to be fair, you're also not the size of a toddler." There's a definite tinge of humour in Tove's voice, as she works. Despite the shift in conversation, her hands are as professional as ever, and she does what she can, within the realm of possibility to make the cleaning and dressing of the burn as neat and tidy as possible. "You're tall enough that you can stand in your bare feet and still not have to ask for help reaching things on the top shelf. Me? if I'm not in boots, I tend to live in heels. I hate having to look up at the rest of the world." A nod, as she glances over to the small supply of goodies, "I hope you don't mind cranberry or orange. The sandwiches are ham and cheese and turkey club."
"Huh?" The comment about being the size of a toddler gets a blank look, but then Tove goes on and Cate gets it. "Oh. Yeah. I just never really liked them either. Even when I wasn't working, which was hardly ever." A rueful 'heh' there. "I'll take anything that's not a MRE, honestly. Thanks for getting all that."
"I think it's that way with most women. You either really love them, or you don't. I suppose it's a strange sort of stereotype, even though in my case it's true." Tove finishes the cleaning, moving on to the applying of creams and then careful bandages to Cate's left hand. "You're not left-handed, are you? I may need to see about giving you something to ease the pain." Once that's done, it's on to the less severe injuries. The new ones first, since those haven't been tended at all. "You're welcome. We've been trying to keep everything stocked in here, since we don't know when everyone will be coming back."
"Yeah I guess," Cate agrees somberly about the heels. She lets out a relieved breath when Tove finishes dressing her hand. "No, right-handed. And just aspirin will do. They might need more from me for the rescue plan, and I need to go back out with them." All the wounds have at least been cleaned up perfunctorily by the recon team's medic, so there's nothing requiring as much effort as the hand did. A cut on her knee and the one on her cheek might have warranted stitches had they been treated right away, but they'll have to make do with butterfly stitches this many days later. "Jake's team picked me up," she notes, randomly, while Tove works. There's a tentativeness in her voice when mentioning the other marine. "He's fine," she adds, presuming some amount of worry after almost a week in the field.
"You sound like me. I can't abide taking pain medication unless it's absolutely necessary. I hate that feeling of fogginess most of it gives you. I'd rather be in pain and in my right mind than that, especially in a situation where you don't know what's going to be happening in terms of patient care." A pursing her her lips, as she works her way through the scrape and dent landscape of Cate's knees and shins, seeing the condition of the cut there, but that simply replaces the butterfly bandage after a good cleaning. None of it stings as bad as the hand. Most of it doesn't need more than a light dressing, and that more to keep the sheets from catching on still rough skin than anything else. A smile, at the mention of the the big Marine, though it's one of those unconscious things that she seems to do without knowing she's doing it, "Thank you for that. He actually came to find me once he was clear from his debrief. I'm very glad they were able to bring you back. It will make it that much easier to bring home the rest of the Wolves." Now that they have someone with intelligence on the ground situation.
Cate doesn't smile back, though her lips thin a bit. "Of course." Though whether that's in response to the thanks, or more of an 'of course he did' is anyone guess. Either way, Cate doesn't dwell but says, "And I dunno. If I didn't have shit to do I'd be begging you for morpha and something to knock me out for twelve hours." She might be exaggerating. But then, maybe not. "But we have to go back and get the others. The Toasters have them." Her voice grows quiet there, expression pained.
The smile was really only a fleeting thing, Tove soon settling back into the task at hand. Finishing with Cate's legs, she rises to begin to work on hands and arms, repeating those same careful, efficient movements to clean and dress any of the new cuts and abrasions. "Well, depending on the schedule, you may want to do that regardless. Once they get you back in the saddle, you may not have any idea of when your next sleep will be. Might do to try to frontload as much as possible." A nod, as Cate outlines the general direction of the operation, "The last you saw them, it was still the other three members of the raptor team and viper pilot? Are there any others being help there as well?" A beat, "You did good to escape, you know, Cate. Even if you probably feel that you left them behind."
Cate nods. "They were alive last I saw them. And some other guy - I don't know who he was. Not one of the Wolves. Didn't sound Virgon. Maybe a local." Tove's reassurance causes her to frown. "I did leave them behind," she points out somberly. "But I had to. Somebody had to get out - get the cavalry." A little shrug is offered. Knowing it was necessary doesn't make it easier to live with.
It's mostly short work from then. Right hand, arms, and then the rounds of Cate's old wounds. Bandages are applied, dressings as needed. Again, the light gauze ones that can be easily removed once scraped skin starts to settle. A good days work done well, as Tove steps back. "Yes, you had to. That's the distinction. It wasn't about saving yourself. It was about bringing back help." Tove finally steps back, piling all of the detritus onto the table to dispose of. She'll strip off her used gloves, before she slips on a fresh pair to slide the second table over for Cate to eat, "I'm going to clean up. For now, eat, rest, as much as you can." And she'll move to do just that, evening pulling the curtain back around the bed before she goes and pulling in the door until it's almost closed. Creating, as much as she can, a safe space for the medic to recuperate in.