2237-12-22 - Man's Best Friend

Gage and Cate talk dog names and training, while Yelena doesn't have a very high opinion of their canine companion.

Date: 2237-12-22

Location: Commons

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1612

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Although the park is pretty indeed -- it's still cold, and so there's not a great deal of people hanging around outside. Gage, however, is wearing a thick coat, and is seated on a bench -- he's dusted the snow off it -- and is throwing a ball to the absolute delight of the Wolves' newest addition. The terrier-like dog thunders enthusiastically out after the ball, spraying snow as he goes. While he does seem to be favoring the injured leg, it doesn't seem to be slowing him down overly much, although he's not so good with the 'returning the ball' part of it, instead preferring to gnaw on it, growling as Gage stands up and moves over to try and retrieve it.

"Not big on the whole 'fetch' thing, is he?" Cate observes in lieu of a greeting, approaching from the pair's flank. She's wearing her khakis, hands tucked into the pockets of her marine-issue bomber jacket, and has a woolen watch cap on. The dog sees her and lets out a happy little yip, tail thumping on the snow.

With a grunt, Gage responds without turning, giving a brief shift of shoulders in a half-shrug. "Figure he's due a little leeway, given what he went through." The Tauron uses the distraction of the dog with Cate's arrival to dart in and grab the ball, causing the dog to bark wildly. While he holds the ball, Gage glances at Cate, "You mind taking a look at him while you're here, Rhodes?" of course, there's doctors he could ask -- but Cate's one of them.

"Yeah, I'm guessing running after a ball isn't so fun when your foot hurts. Though it doesn't seem to stop him from wanting to walk for ages." And Cate would know, being one of the marines who routinely takes him on said walks. "Sure, I can take a look." But first she says hello, crouching down stiffly near the dog. After a brief wince as still-healing bullet holes protest, she manages a little smile for the animal. "Hey buddy." He lets her scritch behind his ears for a few seconds before turning his attention back to Gage and the ball. Cate slants the other marine a look. "You give him a name yet?"

"He seems kind of like us -- knows its probably not for the best, but dog's gotta dog, you know?" With a twitch of shoulders in another half-shrug, Gage replies, "Not really. Kind of calling him <<dog>>," he adds in Tauran, which comes out something like 'sobaka' in common. "Aint ever been good at naming stuff." He steps in closer, frowning briefly while Cate gets a closer look at the creature.

Cate hehs softly at Gage's assessment. "Like trying to get one of us to follow light duty orders. Stay off that leg, private." She says that in a playful mock-drill-sergeant voice aimed at the dog. The name gets a curious look. "Sobaka. Is that, like, Tauron for 'Spot' or something?"

"And, Don't go into battle with a head wound, corporal," Gage mimics in a similar sergeant-esque voice, with a snort. "Something like that," he says of the name, gruffly, the hint of awkwardness quickly covered by a grimace as he crouches down, too. "He'll heal up fine though, right? He's got things to chase," he lifts the ball, as the dog's ears perk in anticipation, though he doesn't throw it just yet.

"It's like they don't want us running around with concussions or something," Cate remarks dryly. With both the humans crouched down, the dog rolls onto his back for some belly scratches, and Cate is happy to oblige. "Yeah, he'll be fine. I'll check it out more when I change his bandage later. Looks like he hasn't been bothering it too much." She at least checks out the leg a little while he's helpfully waving it up in the air.

"Killjoys," Gage grumbles, like she's agreeing with him. He rubs, briefly if notably, at the all-too-recently-healed scar over his ear as he frowns again, though that doesn't linger overly long, because cute dog is cute. And while he doesn't smile, he at least stops frowning when the dog rolls over. "Maybe you should train him, Rhodes. He seems partial to you," as he reaches out to obligingly pat the dog's belly.

Cate smirks over at him. "You know I used to be a doctor right? I was the one killing all the joys. Now I'm the one they're always yelling at for not taking it easy." She lets the dog's paw go and gives his belly one last scratch before rocking back on her heels. "Train him to do what?" she asks, puzzled.

"Used to be. Now you're one of us," Gage corrects, like that makes all the difference. It probably does, to him at least. With a brief, knowing grin, he says, "You know what it's like, now. You went back out with us when we went to rescue those that were captured on Sagittaron. I aint ever of a mind to be left behind, neither." Glancing back down at the dog, the Tauran gives another of those half-shrugs as he waves his hand, not very expressively. "You know. Rollover. Fetch. Sit. All that."

The mention of Sagittaron causes Cate's faint smile to fade, a muscle in her jaw twitching briefly. But she nods agreement with him. "Yeah, I think that's something we all have in common." Not wanting to be left behind, that is. As for the dog, she hitches a shoulder too. "I don't really know much about dogs though. Never had one. I mean, I like to play with him, walk him and stuff but training?" Her voice pitches up dubiously. "Maybe you should do it. Already got a start on teaching him how to fetch."

Because he's watching her, Gage notices that change of expression, and he grimaces briefly. "Sorry. Didn't mean to--" he huffs out a breath, and waves fingers as if dismissing any further awkward conversation on the topic. He gives a brief snort. "Aint doing so well on the fetch part. Need to get some treats from town, if we're going to do it properly. Maybe some beef jerky -- he seemed to like that." He continues to rub the dog's belly, crouched down there next to Cate -- the dog rolled onto his back, legs in the air. "Aint hard, really. Just gotta be patient, you know?"

Cate hitches her shoulder again at his apology. "It's fine," she says, slanting him a somber glance. "Just - y'know. Bad memories." She returns her gaze to the dog, letting her fingers idly drag through the light coating of snow like she's drawing in it. "They have jerky in the exchange. I suppose if you can figure out explosives and I can figure out medicine, between the two of us we can figure out how to teach a dog to sit," she says with a wry smirk. They're both crouched down by the dog, who seems to be eating up the attention.

After a long duty shift that ran not just through the night, but well through morning, Yelena's running a bit ragged. Much of her hair's slipped free of the bun it'd been put in; errant strands falling down around her cheeks and neck. She'd had a few extra-long shifts lately with the increase in somewhat harder missions. The doctor is out of lab coat, but still in duty blues... rumpled, wrinkled blues. The door of the cafeteria closes behind her as she slings her coat over her shoulders. Lifting a hand to rub at the back of her neck, she rolls her head side to side to work out some of the kinks. Not paying too much mind, her ambling path takes her in the general direction that the two play with the unit's new 'mascot.'

"I get it," is all Gage says, gruffly, on the topic, before moving on. Cate's comment, and the smirk that follows earns a similar one in return from the Tauran. "I've done it, once before. Used to have a dog -- a long time ago." He frowns, briefly. "Think they'll let him hang around?" He pauses to run hand over short-shaven hair, muttering, "Tried to sneak a dog onto the ship once. He was a real... he attacked the centurions like he knew, you know? Figured a dog like that was real Wolves material. Sergeant didn't agree, judging by how long he yelled." The crunching of shoes on snow earns a shifting of shoulders, but he doesn't straighten from his crouch.

"His name Sobaka too?" Her pronunciation of the Tauron for 'dog' is a bit rough, though Cate smirks briefly as she says it. She pets the dog's head and then rises. Smothering a wince, she sits down on the bench and rubs at her shoulder. "I suppose they will as long as we're here on the planet. Dunno if they'll let him come on the ship." Cate frowns sadly there. "Do you think he'd even like it up there?" Yelena's approach is noted, a familiar face from around the clinic, and Cate offers a little nod in greeting.

The voices catch Yelena's attention before much else -- primarily Gage's -- and she drops her hand from her neck, pulling her coat closed to zip it up. Her features smooth over, becoming something guarded. She does spot Cate's favoring of her shoulder, squinting somewhat, though she doesn't speak on it. There's just a slight nod in turn before her eyes drop to the dog. She stares at him for a moment. "I had heard we had a dog," she says finally. She seems uncertain how to continue before just moving forward a few more paces. "If I were a dog, I would not like it on a ship. No grass? No sun? No squirrel to chase?" A small shake of her head. "Sad life with no squirrels."

"Baka for short," Gage says, with a shrug of shoulders. Maybe he's joking -- but if so, he only exhales, and doesn't offer anything more. Straightening slowly after Cate moves over to the bench, he tosses the ball up and catches it. That seems to get the attention of the dog almost immediately. "Fetch," he says -- probably needlessly -- since the dog's already running even before the ball's left his hand, skittering across the snow, favoring that leg still but only somewhat slowed by it. "Thing about dogs, they don't really care where they are, as long as they're with 'their' pack. Whoever that might be." He eyes the dog with a frown of thought. "Maybe we can convince the Piconese to take him on." But he sounds reluctant. Yelena receives a look, somewhat flat, after which he mutters, "Good thing you aint a dog then."

"Baka. I like that. Sounds neat." Well, sounds neat to a Hibernian. To a Tauron maybe it's more like naming the dog "og" or something. Cate nods to Yelena. "Yeah, picked up a stray last time out." Cate tucks her arms across her chest, using the one to support the other almost like a sling. It takes the pressure off her shoulder. "I'd hate to see him end up in a pound or something." She frowns, considering. "I bet he could play fetch in the gym. Run around a bit. Chase pilots instead of squirrels."

"They don't care because they're rather unintelligent creatures, all told. Seems a boring companion, to me, but then-" Yelena shrugs, looking towards Gage. "I suppose something slow on the uptake appeals to you." Her attention doesn't linger long on the marine at all, not once she notices the way Cate supports her arm like that. The nature of the Tauran woman's frown shifts as she moves towards the medic. She makes her way over to the bench, nodding to the space: "May I?" And then a hint of a small smile, "Let me guess. You're one of those who treats others and ignores yourself, hmmm?"

"He can come running with Correa and I around the corridors," Gage says in agreement with Cate's suggestion, with a sudden grin. "Better than squirrels, and I bet he'd give Correa a run for her money." His grin doesn't last for long at Yelena's words, scowling abruptly and turning away, striding over to where the dog is chewing on the ball.

Cate nods to Gage. "Yeah, bet he would. Wonder if you can train a dog to use a litter box like a cat." She looks thoughtful there for a moment, then frowns at Yelena's comment about the dog. "Frak that. Dogs are smart. And kinder and more loyal than half the people I know." Despite the rebuttal, she nods toward the bench in silent invitation. "Who says I'm ignoring myself?"

"Never said they are not kind or loyal. It is in their breeding." Yelena shrugs, sitting down next to Cate. "But they are not very smart, most of them. Can learn commands, yes, but that is not intelligence, it is repetition." She reaches towards the Hibernian woman's arm gently. "The fact that you are clearly favoring an arm. You are hurt. I have seen you working in the clinic. I know our type." She smirks, briefly, glancing up to Cate directly. "I am Yelena."

Gage's brow is furrowed, but he's silent as he crouches by the dog and stretches for the ball. The dog growls, and there's a bit of a tussle fight over the ball, the marine apparently not trying that hard to free it from the dog, whose tail is wagging delightedly. After a few moments he straightens, and walks back towards the bench, the dog -- still carrying the ball in his mouth -- trotting after him. He grunts, "Rhodes knows how to look after herself," he says, before he adds, "Going to see if there's any jerky in the exchange." With a tip of head in that direction, he's already moving off without so much as a farewell. The dog seems content to stay behind and chew on his ball, ears perking.

"Seeya," Cate offers to the departing Tomak before frowning slightly at Yelena's comment. "Well. I'm not looking for a pet who can do organic chemistry, so... they're smart enough for me," she says dryly. "I'm Cate. Rhodes - like he said. And I'm favoring my arm because a bullet went through my shoulder a couple days ago. It hurts." The dog brings the ball over, and Cate takes it from his mouth and lobs it with her uninjured arm. Baka chases it but doesn't bring it back. He just rolls around in the snow, gnawing at it.

"But they cannot adapt to a situation," Yelena says, watching as Cate throws the ball. Gage's departure barely registers on her radar. "It is why you can, ah-" she seeks out the Caprican slang term before finding it: "'fake out' a dog by pretending to throw the ball. Some do know better, but most... they run after because they just know the routine." She shrugs. "It is why I do not like military dogs much. They are often used for such terrible things and do not know better." Like locating explosives. She looks back to Cate, pursing her lips slightly as her hands fall to her own lap. "Well, Cate -- Rhodes -- if you took a bullet to your arm, why do you not have a proper sling? I do not think your other hand qualifies, yes?" She smiles, just a bit.

"I think dogs are smarter than you give them credit for. I've seen therapy and service dogs than can do some pretty amazing things. Plus they're cute." A little smirk there, as if that is really the only thing that matters to her. Baka rolls over with the ball in his mouth, looking at her expectantly with a playful growl. Cate says, "I'm not chasing you around like Tomak does. Bring it back." Unsurprisingly, he just continues to stare at her. Then she answers Yelena, offering a one-armed shrug. "I don't really need it normally. Just tweaked my shoulder getting up from saying hi to Baka."

"I never said there were not exceptions," Yelena reminds Cate. Other than her interactions with Gage, she seems perfectly chipper. Tauran rivalry? She does cast a brief glance to the dog at the growl before looking back to the medic. There's a small tut. "What would you tell a patient? Perhaps just to be more careful, but I think maybe that the arm, it needs more care too, yes?" There's another smile as she turns, leaning back against the bench before folding one leg over the other. "Do not let yourself hurt longer than you must Cate Rhodes."

"I don't have to tell patients that stuff. That's why they give you guys the officer pins, so you can be the bad guys telling everyone to take it easy," Cate says with a smirk that's trying too hard to make a joke out of it. After a bit more put-upon why aren't you playing with me? noises, Baka finally brings the ball back over to Cate. "Good boy," she tells him, and tugs playfully on the ball with her uninjured arm. "So you and Tomak got some kind of Tauron grudge match thing going on or what?"

"Well. Do not make me put on the pins, yes? I am off-duty. I want to take it easy." Yelena leans back, as if to make a show of this. "Rest now. Do not put your next mission at risk." She turns to watch the woman and dog play with one another, giving an absent shrug at the query. "If yes, it is a grudge only he knows. I know not what I did, only that he is angry for it." She glances towards the exchange, in the general direction Tomak went. "Maybe he is one of those who just does not like officers, yes? If so, I do not play that game. It's not like I joined the Fleet just to be an officer." She snorts, amused at the idea.

Cate slants the doctor a bland look. "I am resting," she points out. "But you're right, you should be spared all that when you're off duty." She nods to the description of her and Tomak. "Maybe so. Though I haven't really seen him being too friendly with anybody, officer pins or no." She gets the ball free from Baka's teeth and then lobs it again. He goes to retrieve it and once again plops down without bringing it back. Cate just snickers softly. "Got our work cut out there." She rises then, still favoring that shoulder. "If you'll excuse me, Doctor. I should get him back to the barracks."

"He was friendly with you," Yelena points out in turn with a shrug. "But I do not know everyone. Maybe he ruins everyone's jokes, yes? I wish someone had warned me that he would not like a night of Triad and beer. I would have kept him away. In the Legion, it was a good way to get to know your new unit." She pushes to her feet as well, ineffectually brushing at the seat of her slacks. Whatever snow was there has since melted, leaving her rear a bit damp. "Yelena is fine. Or Lena. Even Reznik. No need for Doctor when no on duty." She smiles, tilting her head toward Cate's shoulder. "Get a sling- be like couch, for arm. Then you can hold ball or beer at same time. Much better." There's a wink from the blonde before she starts towards the barracks herself. Time to shower and get out of the now-damp uniform.


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