AWD #209: Livable Options
Livable Options
Summary: Iphigenia reaches out to Ensign Pertwii.
Date: 03/08/2013
Related Logs: A few hours after Seven Days
Near the River
AWD #209

Its not hard to hunt down Pertwii. Just ask around where the pregnant Ensign is at. People give a few wrong directions but before long, Iphigenia is following a general path of her day and eventually it ends up where she is. Sitting with her back to a pine tree, Ensign Rebecca Pertwii is at the side of the river with her feet resting in the water. She's in gym shorts but the tank top she wears really isn't made for a pregnant woman, but maternity wear tends to be in short supply. There's a book under her shoes and she just seems to be staring off into the distance at the mountains on the other side of the valley.

Iphigenia has stripped down to her tank tops and pants, seeing that it is summer, and also believing that it might make her seem more approachable. "Ensign Pertwii?" she asks, tone smooth, but etched with concern.

Blink. Blink. It takes the young woman a few moments to realize she has company. Her head turns, lifting her gaze to see around the tree and look towards Iphigenia. She looks at the uniform pants and the tank tops and then her eyes fall away to look towards the river. "That'd be me." Its just a general confirmation, no real tone. A flat couple words.

"My name's Captain Arden. I'm the head of Ecclesiastical Services on Orion." Iphigenia is trying to couch her words honestly, but carefully. "It's been suggested that you could use someone to talk to. Or simply have some company that shan't make you feel like you're being judged and measured if you don't wish to talk. Would you permit me to join you?"

"Ah," Pertwii confirms quietly when Iphi introduces what department she's from. There's a wry, humorless smile to her expression as she leans her head back against the tree and she looks out. "I guess that Major put you up to this. Concerned for my and this thing's well-being, right, sir?" She gestures to the grass beside her. "Sure, Captain. Go ahead." Rebecca sounds tired. Getting a good look at her, she sure as hell looks like she hasn't gotten a good night of sleep in awhile. She could stand to brush her hair or look like she even cares.

"The Major alerted me, and I would be remiss in my calling if I didn't come to see you. But quite frankly - and you'll pardon the pun - my interest lays in my concern for your well being. Yours." There's gentle emphasis on the pronoun. "I'll be plain with you; regardless of what religious dogma may dictate, my interest is in trying to assist you in whatever decision you want to make about your life in the face of what you're having to deal with. I'm not here to preach to you. I'm here to listen, and I'm here to assist. That's all."

"Figured." Its all she says for a moment, eyes drifting down to stare at her bent knees while her feet lightly move in the water. "I've already made my decisions. The Major asked me to give her some time. I'm doing that. Nobody will help me get back to Persephone so this is the end of the road. I don't think this is a difficult concept for people to grasp. Unless by 'assist' you mean you're willing to help me out with the whole thing. I was thinking about taking one of those dune buggies off into the woods but the motor pool won't rent me one. Wouldn't by any chance be able to do that, would you?" she asks, looking up to Iphi with something lopsided there. She's probably not expecting to be humored with that.

"No, I can't." Gen says as she settles down next to the woman.. "I can tell you what options you have. I can support you through any of those options. They vary in their scope of risk."

"Damn." She watches Gen sit and then looks back down to her knees. The FAV probably isn't necessary. A counselor would know the warning signs. Rebecca is calm, rational, and seems to be at peace with herself. She's stopped caring for her body and even the bunk she has with the civilians is almost completely devoid of any personal possessions, all her things having been given away by her. She's just giving Atia the time that the Major asked for. "Sure. Let's hear what Ecclesiastical believes my options are, sir."

"You are too far along for an abortion." Let's be specific - Iphigenia isn't preaching against the idea, she is stating a medical fact. "You could potentially request a c-section and secure an adoptive guardian for the child after it's removed; I can help you with that. You could give birth and again, secure a guardian or a full adoption, and again, I would help you with that. Particularly if," and the way she says this seems to emphasis she's going to propose something heavy, "You are willing to bring charges against the officer who impregnated you."

The last seems to confuse her. She looks over at Iphigenia as if maybe the Sister had been given some wrong information. "Charges? For what? Being a sick son of a bitch? For lying to us? For possible murder? Besides, it doesn't matter. I put a nine millimeter round through the back of his head. He's dead. I did what I had to in order to get my people rescued." The sole surviving officer of the crew, she's also the youngest surviving member at twenty-three. To the rest? She leans her head back against the tree. "Sister, everyone knows me here. Everyone judges me. If I gave up my child, with all these parents who have lost children, what do you think they're going to say about me? How do you think I'm going to be treated? That child is going to grow up knowing that their mother, who lives here, gave them up and wants nothing to do with them. That their mother hates them. They will know because everyone here gossips. I'll be reminded of it constantly. I can't live like that. And we've got enough orphans. I can't shirk my responsibility onto someone else. That's not fair."

"Do you understand that because he did lie to you, even if you consented at the time, it's still considered rape?" Iphigenia counters. "Even if the charge is issued posthumously, it challenges the standard policy." She regards the woman levelly. "Consider this; you give up the child to be raised without resentment, without having to carry the weight of this anguish, and you are able to return to the career you chose. There is a critical need for officers, Ensign. Consider this also; if we lose this war, it won't matter who talks about you, we'll all be dead. But you could allow your child to be raised by people who can see him or her with clear eyes, and you can continue to serve."

"Rape?" Rebecca looks at Iphi and her expression goes very dubious of such a prospect. "The Captain was a lot of things, sir, but he wasn't a rapist. I slept with him because I wanted to. I was all messed up and emotional about the nukes and Cylons, but that doesn't make me any less responsible." She looks away, almost angry at the assertion. "Sister, I hate that motherfrakker. I wish I'd shot him the moment I first saw him. I hope he burns in hell for what he did, but my hate is pure. I won't pretend he is more horrible than he was. And now I'm carrying that same evil shit inside me and its rotting me from the inside out." She stares straight ahead. "Don't try and kid me, sir. My decision won't decide the outcome of this war. I don't even care about it anymore. I've begged people to help me get back to Persephone. All I want to do is serve and nobody will help me. I can't stay here and take the shame of what I feel and know. These options you're presenting aren't really options for me, sir. I honestly wish I'd never left that godsdamned station."

"You want to serve? I'm giving you the path to how. Everything I'm offering you is with the intent of getting you back on the line, Ensign." She shifts to she's facing Rebecca as the ensign sits in profile. "Because right now, even for a priestess with as heretical opinion on the Sanctity of Life as I have, you are too far along for a sinless suicide. Your soul is in peril with that child as far along as it is. I'm not sure if that's important to you. But if what you want is to go back into service, then listen to me: I can help you do so."

"You're offering me what you view as livable options, Captain. I have opinions that differ. I can't deal with this… thing. I don't care about my soul. If I was so worried about it I'd probably go to chapel regularly. I don't even care anymore." She looks back to Iphigenia and its just blank. "I hate this thing now, but I know the shame will kill me. Not just external, but internal. And if I feel shame, that means I care. And that means that if I care… I gave up a child I cared about. I cared about my own child but hated it so deeply that I couldn't even bring myself to do more than just beg it to die every night." Her eyes fall away. "I want to serve. I can't do it here. Atia has a few more days on that promise and then I'll just deal with it on my own. I just ask that you please leave me to it and don't call the Marines or something to brig me."

"Let me make sure I understand you correctly. You don't want to give up this child even though it would allow you to return to service and mean this child would be raised by others who would genuinely care for them without stigma. You don't care about your soul. All you want to do is kill yourself."

Rebecca sighs, shaking her head. "I don't want to die sir. I want to go home. I want to be alone. I want to be able to handle this in my own way. I want to go back to Persephone station and man it as long as the gun systems and defenses can hold out. Nobody will let me go." She glances to the Captain, then back towards the water. "If I have this child, I can't ever come back here. This isn't about some fatalistic viewpoint of the world or about how we're all doomed. Its about being able to live with yourself." She lets her eyes search the ripples. "Though I guess there is one option I hadn't considered. You think you can find this thing a family somehow? Despite all the other orphans?"

"I think the definition of famly has changed here on Piraeus." Despite the fact that Iphigenia has made this suggestion twice over, if Rebecca wants to think it's her own idea, Gen is cool with that. "I believe I can find people who will care for this child and love it."

Pertwii nods slowly, looking down. Her mind drifts away for a few moments. She takes a long breath and lifts her head to lean against the tree once more. "Less than two months. Find me a family that really wants this thing and they can have it. I don't want to meet them. I don't want to see them. I don't even want them to know my name — even though they probably do anyway. Just promise me you won't lie about it. That's it." Her expression fades towards that blank stare once more.

"I will swear by all the Lords of Kobol," says Iphigenia, some of the tension etching away from her features. "But you'll have to work with me and the JAG office so we can arrange a leave for you, and we will need to affirm your intention to secure adoptive parents in writing. With documented proof that you intend to secure a guardian for the baby, I believe we can place you on a medical leave until after the birth and then return you to service. The Admiral has given me a week to make arrangements, so we'll have to move quickly. Will you let me help you?"

"Sure. Whatever." Pertwii is back to looking disinterested and far away. Nothing's actually changed for her. "Get me the paper work, I'll sign whatever. You know where to find me. Its not like I'm going anywhere. I just don't think anyone wants me back on that ship any more than I have been. JAG might have kittens if I show up in their office. So whenever you've got the guardians or whatever or even if you need to secure the paperwork. Just cut the thing out of me and hand it off. Just make sure I'm knocked out or insanely drugged for it." Flatly delivered instructions.

"I think you underestimate the support you have, Rebecca. That, and to be quite frank, the self-involvement people have in their own lives. If you do not wish to serve on Orion, there are other ships in the Fleet you can serve on. The Rubaul, for example." Iphigenia points out. "You don't have to return to Piraeus if you don't wish to, but any exile you impose is self-made. You have my word. Do I have yours that you won't attempt suicide while I try to make this happen for you?"

"You mean the endless hordes of people wanting to congratulate me on being pregnant? Lovely support system." She holds up her right fist. "I punched a woman yesterday. I think it might've cracked her jaw. I know I got at least a few teeth out of it." There's a few cuts on her knuckles, the hand drops quickly afterwards though. "You're not hearing me, sir. This isn't about exile. This is about what I can live with. I've begged and pleaded with Raptor drivers just to take me back to Persephone and drop me off so I can live out my career there and then possibly rejoin everyone here when things there are finished. Nobody will hear me. Everyone thinks I just want to die and I'm only going there to do it. If I wanted to die that bad I'd just goddamned do it here. But there's nothing to stop me." she lets off a long breath. "I'm an officer of my word, though. The Major asked for two weeks. She got it. You're saving a kid's life and I'll participate in that. So do you have my word?" She shakes her head. "No. Not unless you can get me to Persephone before I have this thing."

"I mean Major Franklin. I mean me. Anyone who wants to put their presumption about your situation on you should go frak themselves." replies the chaplain. "Both of us want to be your advocates in this. I don't believe the Persephone is an option for you anymore. I can look into it, but I can't make promises. Right now what I'm trying to do is make sure I can get you back to work after the birth. At the very least, get you transferred to another ship where no one has to know what's happened to you unless you want to tell them. If you don't want to give your word, I can't demand it, but I do have a question for you - one single question I want to ask you before I head back to the ship and get this process started."

"If you want to be my advocates and save my life, get me to Persephone and leave me there, sir. There's nothing for me here at Piraeus or on these fleet ships. I'll eventually be back here and look down on this place and know. But if its not an option for me then its not an option. I can't make that choice." Rebecca sits in silence, considering the rest. She lifts a leg out of the water, crossing the ankle over her thigh. "Yeah? What's the question?"

"I understand that one of the Fleet doctors imposed their opinion regarding your situation onto you." Iphigenia's expression is flat. "I'd like to know who it was." She's aware she can't make Rebecca answer her, but if she's willing to, Gen wants to know.

"Same reaction I get pretty constantly from everyone else around here. I don't know her name. Maybe thirty years old? She's a Lieutenant I think." Rebecca shrugs and looks off. "I don't think its unreasonable for someone to assume joy at the situation. The other two women are so happy. I just hope that their boyfriends make it through okay. They're all good people. They deserve each other. Know what I mean?"

Iphigenia takes note; files it away for later. There is also the slightest, almost imperceptible flinch at Rebecca's query, but her reply is smooth and even toned as ever. "Yes. Yes, I do." She starts to rise to her feet. "I should leave you be. I've imposed myself quite enough on you today, I think."

Iphi gets a glance and the barest hint of a smile. At some point Rebecca's smile might have lit up a room. The rumor of it on her expression seems to whisper of a life spent aiming her grin at people. "Good luck, Captain." She looks back across the valley towards the mountains, once more falling silent so she can listen to the water.

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