AWD #643: Different
AWD #643: Different
Summary: "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back?" Returning from her year of service, Sam begins to understand that it is she that is changed, and changed forever, she that is different.
Date: Sun 26/Mar/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Jimenez Samtara 
Recovery Ward - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
About half the size of the Medical Center, the Recovery Ward has fewer beds to allow space for those who are going through recovery. Rather than the drab gray of most of the center, the walls in here have been done in a neutral creme color. The beds are a little thicker and the blankets are actually present. There are a few clocks and the only other decoration are a couple of flatscreens that show muted movies from the ship's library. A couple stacks of old magazines are available near the door for nurses to pass around, too.
Wed 11/Oct/2006 (IC Date)

The nurse noted that Sam's vitals had suddenly changed and that her heartrate was starting to pick up a little. Becks, dressed in her gray uniform and labcoat, headed into the recovery ward and shut and locked the door behind her. The nurses look surprised, staring through the window at the two Doctors. One of them even tries the door but finds the lock from the inside engaged. Becks walks right over to Sam's bed and stands by the human's right hand. Jimi takes a seat in a chair and holds that hand tightly, the tablet left in her lap. "Sam," she whispers. "You're home." As the words clear through her mind, she knows she is hearing Bominaire being spoken, but that is the voice of her friend. She may even find herself thankful, having not even spoken Colonial in more than a year.

Sam's hand spasms in Becks, the limp weight of her hand suddenly gripping Becks in return even as her eyes open and a look that is both confusion and fear is readily apparent at first glance. Heart hammering, the bitter taste of adrenaline on her tongue, the lingering ache in her side, and she has to work twice to get a single word out. "Becks?" just that before she draws a slow breath past chapped lips, holds it for a long moment, exhales through her nose and closes her eyes again for a moment. She holds tight to Becks hand, breathing slowly, breathing through the ebb of the adrenaline rush while taking in the familiar not familiar touch of the sheets against her hands. The sound of machinery beeping and ticking away. The hum of the power plant that operates everything on the ship. The faint buzz sound from the lamps overhead. Air moving through vents, dry air, not the humid air redolent with the smell of to many unwashed bodies, the scent of the earth itself, the lingering scent of fire and blood. She nods, once, opening her eyes again to meet Becks. "How long?" she wonders, trying to sort her way forward through a mix of languages in her mind. "I missed the evac window."

Jimenez sticks to Bominaire for the moment while Sam gets herself sorted. "Shhh," sounds quietly, much like a mother coaxing her daughter back from a nightmare. "I'm here, my dear. So are you." Becks is intimately familiar with how bad this transition phase can be. A year is a long time. "You missed the evac window, yes. You were down there an additional six days. You were taken to a fleet hospital ship near Bominaire to get you stabilized. You were nearly dead. You arrived here very, very early this morning for emergency surgery. Your body was septic due to the gunshot wound. The bullet nicked your large intestine on passing through. You needed a hospital or you would have died, plain and simple." Becks leans forward and gives the CMO a very very gentle kiss to her forehead. "Welcome home, dear. Do you feel like speaking Colonial yet? Or Arpay? Take your time. My Bommie is rusty but it works."

Sam's lower lip trembles, lips pressing briefly together in an uneven line, a look that isn't a smile but isn't a grimace and is sort of all the same at the so very gentle kiss Becks places on her forehead. She can feel the hot press of tears that are starting to slide free, but it doesn't embarrass her, she simply nods and exhales a softly uneven breath before speaking in Arpay instead of Bominaire. "Six extra days? It felt like a lot longer. How?" she wonders and looks around again, at the surreal familiar layout of the recovery ward then back. "They wouldn't let me use anything to treat the wound. I knew it was bad right away but the just. . kept talking and talking and talking and talking. I could feel the fever burning me alive from the inside out, like I was a candle going up from both ends. I thought my brain was going to bake to death before I could bleed to death, and both were a better option than listening to them drone on and on until my mind was soup." She makes an inarticulate sound then presses her free hand briefly over her face and exhales again. "Was anyone hurt, getting me out?"

The Arpay Doctor watches the tears but says nothing. She just scoots closer. The chair slides easily and Becks keeps hold of Sam's hand. "Sounds about right. Once they have a Diplomatic Corpsman they basically indoc you by bringing you to the brink of death while chanting. That damned chanting. By the time you heal up, you're convinced that your former beliefs were apart of some demon inside you. That life becomes real. You forget about this one and dismiss it as a hallucination." Becks holds the hand in both of hers. "Two Arpay were hurt getting you out. I have no ide how many Bominaire tried to save you or died trying. The extraction team saw the extraction site and what had happened. They went back and got a special recon team. They kicked down the doors and brought you out. Killed every one of the Knights on the ground, left the servants alone."

Samtara makes a quiet chuckle of sound, more breath than not, and she shakes her head, slowly, from side to side, feeling the pillow case against her skin, the pillow itself beneath her head. "Yeah," she draws that single word out. "I had to .." she is quiet for a moment then pushes herself to speak, "sit through two hours of it, every evening, for six of seven days a week. Endlessly listening to the same .. they're very good. They know how to talk. The rise and fall of pitch. The enunciation. The right phrase at the right time, the right emphasis, ever so subtle and not subtle at all. I had ear plugs for a while, but they went missing and they started checking my ears so I had to listen." She makes that quiet sound again, the one that isn't a laugh, "They kept talking until it felt like there was nothing else in the universe at all. Just the feel of the pain in my side, the spread of it everywhere, the heat burning me up, and the voice. Always the voice." She gives a slow nod, trying to patch things together in a way that makes sense. "I wasn't late," she adds as she works on forming her lips into a smile. "I was at the evac point a couple days early. But there were knights on my trail, and then hounds, and knights. Then the machines were everywhere. I tried to throw off the trail," she looks down at her hands, expecting to see grime and blood caked around her nails and only sees that her hands were cleaned somewhere along the way. "I had to surrender. That's when they did this," she gestures with her free hand to her side. "Chained me to the wagon. Some of our people tried to get me out but they couldn't, because of the chain. And then a friend," her voice is uneven and she doesn't try to smooth it out or make it pretty or careful, "broke me out of the room but they caught us again. They beheaded him before locking me up again. Becks," she turns toward Becks again, "these people are living like slaves. They don't even know that there's any other way. That there's a world beyond theirs. That anyone even knows that they exist, that anyone even cares that they're trapped, generation after generation, they're trapped. Like animals. And they don't even know that there's any other way at all. The machines? They destroy everything that isn't /them/ that doesn't fit into their outline."

Jimenez listens, staying close. She knows how the first time is. How it just breaks the soul in half. Something new comes from the different shapes of the pieces. "We call it High Speech," she says it quietly. "Its a mathematical language and infiltrates brainwaves. We couldn't warn you. It made me nervous for you but I knew you'd figure something out." The rest has her look down to the hand and she spins the wedding ring on Sam's hand. "I'm not sure who he was, but we left this on for you." She takes a long breath. "Sam, I want you to think about all the people you saved and helped. I want you to remember their faces. As long as they live, they will never forget yours. They will tell your story to their children. You came into their lives and made a magnificent change. And some of them will probably die because you were there. But more will have lived. And you've seen this slavery to the idea. You've seen what these Machines do. Now you understand. Bominaire was once much like your Leonis. Tall buildings, sprawling population, a space industry just getting off the surface. Women had all the rights men did. Now..? You see why we try to evacuate. And why we so desperately want the Erfriki to help us. You're warriors. You may not feel like it right now, Sam, but you've just proven you are."

Sam shakes her head, hand curling in Becks for a moment, "We can't let them take over worlds like this. They destroy everything in their path. Women are property. Free thought? No such thing. Everything is locked down to just what they have to do to get through every day. To survive. To avoid notice of the machines." Her breath hitches as she continues, "There's such beauty there. I haven't ever seen anything so rich so .. clean, other than Pireaus, in my entire life. It was so beautiful. And so were the people." She nods as she uses her free hand to brush against her face, "He saved my life. And by now they've probably killed him, for doing so. I understand, now. Why you, why we, have to get people to understand why they have to evacuate. Those that stay? They get turned into this. Into… property. Into owned beings farmed by these machines." She exhales a breath then sighs out a sound that is almost a laugh. "I don't feel like one right now, no. I feel like I failed. I started a forest fire," she admits in a rush. "I practically set the entire countryside ablaze trying to buy time. I feel like a fire bug and arsonist." She pushes herself more upright with one elbow, "Becks, the king? He used to be one of us."

Becks doesn't let any strength drift from her hand and its hold to Samtara's. "We have a term in Arpay for it that you now understand the definition of. 'Huisannay.' Its the term we use for people who grow up and live and die behind the lines. Who don't know any better. At the base, the word means 'those who do not know the definition of hope' but it is how we apply the word. They're everything you just mentioned but do not know hope exists or is a concept. They have words for it, but no dreams or concepts." She runs a thumb over Sam's hand. "You feel like you failed. I'm sure. And how about to all those people whose lives you saved? How about to the babies you helped birth and their mum's? The people who died alone and just needed someone there because they were scared?" Gods, it probably just now hits Sam like a swinging ton of bricks. 'Whole health. Mind, body, and soul.' They aren't just healers, they help people pass with dignity. "Right now I'm sure you feel awful. When you write your report you will remember things, like your pride. Pride in your work is important. Hubris teaches us to temper it, but hubris and pride are companions, not enemies. Understand?"

"I thought I did, but now I know that I didn't really know anything at all," Sam admits even as she's nodding, just a little. "Everything feels.. wrong and scratchy and .. different." She looks away then back and a sort of laugh slides free, "So clean," another shaky laugh escapes. "Except it's me," she draws in a slow breath. "I'm the one that's different, not everyone else. I didn't think I'd ever see you, or anyone else, again. And it would have been worth it. I'm so sorry, I wanted to make sure that you knew that. Did you know? That I'm so sorry you've been away from your family for so long. One of the letters that I had you hold, was asking the Admiral to release you from this, from all this, so you could go back to your family. I didn't want you stuck here, away from them, because of me. And I'm rambling, I'm sorry." She blows out a puff of breath and takes a moment to settle again. "I feel awful. And I feel alive. Really.. really alive. What did I miss? Did the surgeries go ok?"

"Give it time. Your head is a mess. And your Colonial is going to be terrible for a week. That's okay. You're right that you're the one that is different, but that's not a bad thing. We're all here for you. Your staff is nervous for you." Becks keeps that very soft note to her voice, sounding so much like a mother. The mention of her family has her look down and nod a few times. The appreciation of her position gets a low smile. "My family name will be honored forever for the sacrifices we endured. Itdoesn't help me at all as a mother, but there is some consolation. Thank you, Sam. I'm just glad it wasn't necessary." The last question from Sam gets a chuckle. "Oh nothing too crazy. Surgeries came off just fine. Lleu is healing wonderfully. The Cylons are suing for peace. I chipped a nail yesterday. We finished inventory on Medical yesterday. Oh, and the APF is capitulating. That, too. Little things."

Sam is nodding slowly along, listening intently as Becks speaks, even glancing toward the hatch to the main ward at the mention of her staff, their staff, then back and shakes her head a little at Becks. "I didn't understand, before, about family. I've never really had much family, not before I joined the service. Then I had all of this, which is family but it's different. But it's not the same, and I didn't understand what you were sacrificing, being here with us, until I met your family. And as much as it makes your name eve more impressive than it already it, I'm glad you aren't stuck here now away from your family." At Becks words about Lleu she smiles, a sudden radiant smile, "He is? That's wonderful," sounding relieved and thrilled at the same time only to just sort of goggle at Becks for a moment, jaw dropped before she stammers out: "They what? Wait. What?" she demands, incredulous. "Say that again. The cylons are suing for peace? The APF is capitulating? I was gone for a month and the war ended??"

"Family is always important Sam. Its not about who you marry or your kids. Family is the people you choose. You don't have to share a blood relation or sleep with them to feel something deeper. But the one thing that binds them all to you is that you'd do anything for them. You'd risk it all. You'd die for them. You might not feel it for other people, but they can feel it for you." Emerson's lover. She was family to him. "Sacrifice means different things to different people across the worlds. Remember that. So does family." Becks lifts Sam's hand to show her the wedding band. "I noticed you're still wearing this even after you tried to get to evac. Remember your family, even if you pass them by." Becks kisses the palm of Sam's hand and goes back to holding it. That smile creeps back. "Close enough. The Cylons came back and tried to invade. The wing took some heavy losses again. But the Colonial and Arpay Fleet shredded them. It was a massive push and it was knocked back onto its butt. Then Major Gray ordered the Arpay Fleet into Twin Rocks. They just laid waste to everything. The Cylons were broadcasting in the clear within twenty-four hours that they wanted a ceasefire. …The APF aren't taking it well and are in total disarray. The Cylons are no longer supporting them. Its a glorious mess."

"Who.." she stops then clears her throat and tries again, "who did we lose?" She shakes her head, slowly, "That must have been one hell of a fight to see, though. The fleet.. what Major Gray ordered the Arpay Fleet?" She tries to sort out the way that works and gives up with another of those exhales of breath before she leans back against the pillow once more, having propped herself up on one elbow again while speaking. "So. The war is over?" she wonders, testing the words out, as though they don't make sense. "Glorious mess. Well.. Ok." She stares up at the ceiling and the light fixtures that make that constant hum and buzz of sound. "The war is over." She can't wrap her mind around it and turns back toward Becks, "This war is. But it's not the only war. And people need to remember that. That there's still a war going on. It's just not in their back yard anymore. People will forget, if we let them, Becks. It's what people do." She curls her fingers briefly, "I didn't take it off, because it means something to me. The man who gave this to me, saved my life. Risked his own, in the process. And the man that he loved? Died, trying to rescue me. I won't forget them. Or the people on Bominaire."

"The wing is down to forty-eight aircrew. Captain Salazaar and Lieutenant Pearson were among the lost. The Viper squadron is in bad shape." Jimi doesn't go into further detail. It won't help anyone. She watches Sam and shrugs. "You're the one saying the war is over. Not me. I think the Colonial war with the Cylons might be heading towards a close for now. It seems like it. But like you said, its not the only war. There's a much larger one." She scoots the chair closer so she can lean back in it and hold Sam's hand. "Of course they forget. Few races remember when it isn't knocking at their front door." The point about the ring has her smile a bit, nodding. "Then it sounds like you have chosen your second family, outside of those of us here. Smile when you think of them. Love them as you would your blood family. Hold them close. Tell people of their bravery. They die when you let them. Be Bominaire."

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