MD #003: Faith, Belief, and Rubber Gloves
Faith, Belief, and Rubber Gloves
Summary: When physicals get metaphysical
Date: 11/04/17
Related Logs: None
Ambrose Toby 
Sickbay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Serving as the ship's primary care facility, the Medical Center is a rather large, single room structure that has the same load-bearing structures to the walls that the halls do, as well as the same heavy hatch. There is a desk at the entrance staffed by a nurse as well as a small locker for single dose drugs like aspirin. Beds are lined up along each wall with EKG's and hangers for IVs in case of triage. Behind each bed a small touchscreen has also been built in to help supplement care and transmit vitals to Medical personnel's tablets. Large cabinets at the rear provide ready access to lifesaving medicines and gear, as well as a ready supply of defibrillators. Not far from the primary entrance is the Chief Medical Officer's office and on the other side is a small hatch to the recovery ward. Towards the rear is a sectioned-off examination area. Opposite the hatch to recovery is a sealed doorway leading down a hallway to the ship's morgue. This bay has seen many improvements from the overhaul but can clearly operate effectively without any power.
MD #003

Mandatory Physical Exam — a pleasure all returning personnel can look forward to. In fact the Sick Bay is quite busy with this sort of catch-up work, above and beyond the number of bombing casualties that are being treated aboard. Crewman Shackleton's exam begins with the usual height, weight, and vitals taken by a Corpsman, and then he's asked to change into a hospital gown and wait his turn. It is all very routine until he's summoned behind one of the fabric curtains to see the Doctor, and finds a dark haired man in scrubs waiting for him. The face wasn't actually seen much during the war, but it was splashed all over the Intel bulletins and the Marines' decks of playing cards. The guy is a Two. And he's standing there, reading over Toby's medical records on his data pad until the patient arrives. Then he looks up and offers a calm, reassuring smile. "Crewman Shackleton? I'm Doctor Galen."

Toby hasn't had a physical in years, but given the circumstances of his return he doesn't feel like pushing it to try and avoid this one. He might be pushing sixty now, but he has at least kept himself in shape. The gown gets grumbled about, there's even a "I'm sure we never used to have to wear those," to the corpsman, but it doesn't get beyond a low level gripe. Once it's fianlly his turn before the doc he gives the man infront of him a slight upnod in greeting and returns the introduction with a simple "Doc." Theres a faint smile as he recognises the man's heritage, but he makes no fuss over it, "no offence, but can we get on with this? It's cold."

Ambrose allows for a reaction, waiting a quiet moment unitl he sees that Toby recognizes his Line but doesn't seem to have a problem. "Patience, Mr. Shackleton. We'll make this as quick as possible." There's a quick glance at the screen of his pad, and then he asks. "Fifty Eight? You seem to be in good shape for a man your age. Wounded in action once?" He steps over and asks, "May I see your right hand please?"

"Fifty eight," Toby echoes back with a slight nod, both in confirmation, and a sort-of thanks for the sort-of compliment. "Kept active," he offers in brief explaination, "needed to for work, you know how it is." There's another slight nod at his WIA record andhe passes the hand over without hesitation. "Long time ago now Doc, not had any issues with it." It's more a report and an insistance though, merely saving the other the question. "Chief nearly killed me at the time mind, hands are important on Deck."

"That's only going to become more important as you get older," Ambrose notes off-hand, referring to Toby's physical conditioning. There's an understanding smile for the consequences the Deckie faced at work. "Is that what brought you back to active duty at retirement age — the supportive work environment?" But the Doctor is mostly busy examining the long-healed sharpnel wound on the man's right hand. "Wiggle your fingers please? Now make a fist?" he requests.

"The retirement plan here was better," Toby replies after a couple of seconds consideration. It's not a lie, but he is being deliberately vague withthe hope that it'll simply be taken for smalltalk. "Turns out my new boss is an old friend though, so thats a plus." He wiggles his fingers as instrusted, then makes a fist as he continues with the low level chatter. "What brought you into uniform? They put you through medical school in return for a few years service, or you aiming to be a lifer?"

There's a polite chuckle for Toby's response, which Ambrose seems to take for a joke. He doesn't pry, at least. He studies the movement of the muscles and tendons in the patients hand as they're put through ther requested motions, then gives a satisifed nod, releases the hand, and makes a note on his tablet. And while he's happy to answer Toby's question, the Doctor does it while continuing the exam. "The Lines have a duty," Ambrose answers, and by his manner he seems to assume that Toby understands the full context of that statement. "And the Fleet seemed like the right path for me." He plucks a pen light from his breast pocket and reaches for Toby's lower jaw. "Say 'ah.'" It's the time honored term.

"Fair enough," Toby replies as he takes his hand back. His gloves are with his clothes so he makes a concious effort not to touch anything until he can get back to them. "Taurans have one too," he notes, "and thanks to your friends we know we're making a difference there." Or they were twenty years ago, it's not something he's had time to discuss that in detail with Captain al Yamoha. Openning his mouth as required he does indeed, say "ahhh."

Of course Ambrose is going to ask Toby a question /while/ examining his mouth and throat. "And what duty is that?" He sounds genuinely curious, but may have missed what the Crewman was trying to imply. At least he's moved on to looking at Toby's eyes a few seconds after asking. "Any vision issues? Difficulty while reading?" The pen light shines obliquely into the Tauran's eyes while the Doctor asks him to look various directions. "Look up please? Right? Down? Left?"

Toby does not fall into the trap of trying to reply while Ambrose is staring at the back of his throat. Once it's time for the torch though he offers up simply, "avenge the dead." He could add why, but mostly he wants to see wha the doc's rection will be. Following the directions given he keeps his hands well clear to avoid accidnetal contact then almost, almost shalees his head. "No," is his simply reply, "none."

An understanding nod and a moment of silence is Ambrose's immediate reaction. It's not until he's finished looking at the man's eyes that he says more. "Do you feel personally responsible for that? Avenging the dead?" It is a question seeking clarify, without any obvious sense of judgment. In the meantime, he unspools a wire lead attached to a small sensor pad from the back of his tablet, spends a second sterilizing the pad with a wipe.

Toby eyes the sensor pad for a moment, watching as it's sterilised, then flicks his attention back up to Ambrose's face. "In so much as I'm one of the few that survived. There aren't many of us left, so if I didn't, who would? I couldn't in any good concience leave them without their rest." The Two might know the Tauran tradition, he might not, it matters little in the grand scheme of things.

Ambrose moves around behind Toby, warning him just before he tries to apply the little sensor disc to the man's upper back. "This may be a little cold…" He's look down at the display on the tablet, waiting for heart and repiratory information to start displaying, while he muses on what the older man has said. "I respect your conviction, Mr. Shackleton." And his tone does indeed sound it. "Though I'm only passingly familiar with your people's beliefs. What would allow your dead their rest? Is this something only you can do? Or only a Tauran?"

Toby braces himself for the application, but when it comes it isn't too bad, he barely moves, certainly not enough to label as a flinch. "Warmer than my last girlfriend," he jokes good naturedly. Then, on the more serious topic, "anyone can, doesn'thave to be me, or a Tauran, but we're the ones who understand it needs to be done, that have remembered. But then we're also one of the two who best remembered the old religion too, the beliefs of the Erfriki, or at least the Piraeans." Adding a faintly wry smile he finishes with, "I guess we are just as backwards an dold fashioned as the Capricans used to call us. Know what though, I'm fraking proud of that."

There's a brief pause in the conversation as Ambrose studies the read-out from Toby's heart and lungs, tapping on the display occassionally. "Is it true then," he questions, "that every human who lives to continue the struggle can help to avenge those deaths, as well as the Arpay and the Lines, as long as you make sure we all remember their loss?" Satisified with the readouts, he removes the sensor and lets the wire spool back into the tablet.

Toby turns round so he's facing Ambrose again, and while he doesn't interupt he does try to get a read on the man's reactions, see if he's foind anything abnormal. At the question he tilts his head to the side slightly. "Sort of. Their deaths need to be avenged. It used to be a very personal thing, but with what we saw twenty years ago… I guess you do what you can." WIth the wire being spooled up he guesses there's nothing too terrible. "All done?"

Ambrose's expression is unruffled, without obvious concern. So apparently things are fine? And the context of Toby's 'you do what you can' earns the man a solemn nod. "I understand." The data pad is tucked back under his arm, and then the Doctor smiles at the final question. "Almost." He goes to the nearby tray to collect a small, labeled vial and a little plastic sample cup. "Take the vial to the next station over for a blood draw, please. Urine sample in the cup before you leave." Presumably he's done after that. "And one final bit of personal advice. Ever heard the phrase 'Let go or be dragged?'"

Toby hauls his hands back from the vial and cup almost as if they'll burn him if he touches them. "You got gloves?" he asks, "or can you get mine? Can't touch things without them." Then, realising how that might sound to someone not in the know he adds, quickly, "it's a religious thing. I wouldn't die, or break out in spots or anything, it's just disrespectful." The adive at the ends gets a faint smile, "hey, you should have seen me twenty years ago. I've let go a lot."

Ambrose blinks at Toby's reaction, showing momentary concern. "Oh. I'm sorry," he is quick to apologize once the explanation is given. "If there's a note in your file I completely missed it. My mistake, Mr. Shackleton." Gloves are one thing that is always close at hand in Sick Bay, and the Doctor sets the items back down so he can grab a box of disposable latex gloves. The box is held out so Toby can take some. "Here you are." Then he gives another quiet chuckle. "I'm glad to hear that. I'm not suggesting you give up on your beliefs. Quite the contrary. I admire them. I believe keeping memories alive is important." And here it's the Two's turn to smile sadly. Who knows what he remembers, or doesn't, if the stories about the skinjobs are true. "But I also believe in seeking a balance between past, present, and future."

"It's clear, from the effort taken to don them, that Toby is not used to wearing medical gloves, but has at least done so in the past. It's far from a smooth job, but he gets there. "Thanks," he replies as he then reaches for the vial and cup. "It was piss in this one, bleed in the other right?" he asks, very deliberately getting the two the wrong way round. "That's your thing isn't," he then asks, "beliefs I mean. Like Mercia is Mercy and Knox loyalty. Now's hardly the time, but if you do know much about the Piraean's religion, I'd love to talk sometime. Compare notes."

"Blood in the vial, urine in the cup," Ambrose corrects off-hand, though he does seem vaguely amused. Mabye there's a medical joke there somewhere. "Don't worry, the phlebotomist won't get them mixed up." The box of gloves is put back on the tray, and the Doctor looks ready to wrap up the exam and send Toby on his way. But the man's final questions earns a pause, and a considerate nod. "Faith," he clarifies slightly, "is the ideal we aspire to, yes. And I'd be happy to talk with you sometime, Mr. Shackleton." And he sounds genuinely grateful when he adds, "Thank you."

"Ah, got it," Toby replies with a grin that indicates he's amused to. It's the little things sometimes. "Faith, got it." He doesn't seem bothered by the correction and then double taps his right hand over his heart in the Erfriki salute, "see you round Doc."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License