AWD #212: Someone has to Make the Call
Someone has to Make the Call
Summary: Ensign Pertwii sends a plea to the TACCO, who asks Elias to look into the situation.
Date: 06/08/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Persephone Evacuation
Elias Pertwii 
The Great Beyond
With one main road running north and south, the road parallels a snowmelt river the flows south towards a large lake and the planned site of the CMC Camp. To the north the road runs off towards the future site of the Naval Air Station and the ALS Jolie Point, the First Battalion's landing ship, then past and deep into a narrow ravine that runs along with the river. With the camp located on the west side of the river valley, there is a large bridge built to accommodate the construction crews working on the Presidential bunker out in the mountains. To the east is a mountain range that stretches for more than two hundred miles and quite a bit of the lower altitudes are grassy mountain valleys.
AWD #212 - Sat Aug 06 2005

Its not hard to hunt her down. Asking around for the pregnant gal only elicits a few options. After about half an hour of hunting around, Elias is steadily on her path out the front gate. The Marines in the tower point to a shape sitting on the riverbank against a tree, about a quarter mile away. But its her alright! Graduated just over a year ago, seventh in her class from Leonis, the Ensign was only assigned to the Refueling Station three months before the bombs fell. Its a hardship post, but one she volunteered and petitioned for. It wouldn't normally go to an Ensign but she wanted it. And now here she is sitting on a riverbank hundreds of lightyears from home and more than seven months pregnant. She's wearing shorts and her utility tanktops, though they're very obviously not fitting over her very well. Its not really her fault, though. The fleet has a distinct lack of maternity wear. But leaned to the side against the tree, she dangles her feet in the water and seems to be just staring off into the ridgeside across the valley.

Quarry in sight at last, Elias ambles down towards the woman, in no particular hurry. He has a moment to take in the sights of Piraeus and breath actual atmo, and he's going to make the most of it. The Intel officer isn't even smoking a cigarette (yet). Dressed in his 'greens', it would seem this is an informal occasion, or perhaps he just didn't want to get his blues grubby. In any case, he looks to have made some preparations for Piraeus, as he has a holstered sidearm strapped to his belt and a rain poncho slung over one shoulder. When he gets close to Perwii, Elias stops at the top of the riverbank and clears his throat quietly, just to make sure she knows he's there. "Ensign Pertwii? I'm Captain Gray. Intelligence Officer on the Orion. The TACCO asked me to speak with you about your letter."

The woman glances up to the man as he approaches. She's got no gun out here. There isn't even a knife. Either she's relying on the guard tower to shoot anything at this range or she doesn't care. His identity has her blinks and she slowly climbs up, bracing herself against the tree to stand, swaying for a moment. "Yessir, I'm Ensign Pertwii. I wasn't sure anyone was going to answer that. Thank you for at least coming to see me, sir." Hands rest at her side as if ready to come to attention in an instant.

"Relax, Ensign. This is informal and off the record." Elias takes a moment to study the young woman as he tries to put her at ease. He may be the 'boy-Captain' aboard the Orion, but gods she looks young even compared to him. Very young and very pregnant. He offers her a polite smile as he starts to pick his way down the riverbank to where she's standing.

The Ensign gives a small, relieving sigh and nods, looking down. "Is it okay if I dip my feet back in, sir? My feet are kinda hurting and eventually I'll probably have to walk back to camp." She places a hand behind her back and stretches a little, grimacing at the little bit of pain. If he says its alright, she'll move to sit again and take up roughly the same position. "So off the record, Captain? Don't know what to make of that. Did Petra seems like he might try and get me out of here?" Last ditch effort. There's more hope in her voice than there probably should be.

"Dip away. As I said, this is just an informal meeting." Elias takes a moment to sit down a few yards away, facing the river but not quite down at the water's edge. He draws a deep breath and looks around, taking in the sights. "As for Lieutenant Colonel Petra, he handed off your letter to me and asked if I would look it over." He pauses, turning his gaze away from the wilderness and fixing it on the Ensign once again. "Let me ask your professional opinion, Ensign. If you were Tactical Officer of the Orion, and you received a request from a junior officer who wanted to man a potentially critical station all alone, for personal reasons, would you be likely to approve that request?" There's an understanding note in Elias' voice, but he's not going to try and sugar-coat things either. "I admire your resolve but I don't think it's wise to have anyone crew that station alone."

That reply has some high hopes fall in rather crushing ways. That life in her eyes just seems to drain away and her face goes slack as she turns her gaze from him. It sweeps the water for a few moments before she looks back towards the ridgeline. "If I talked to the officer and found the reasons to be compelling, sir, yes. Leadership isn't about ships or cold facts, its about people. The Sister claims she's worried about me but sometimes I think she only cares about this pregnancy." Her voice has gone flat and quiet, that dead expression looking across the river. "Sorry to waste your time, sir. I appreciate the consideration."

Elias's lips compress uncomfortably as he sees Pertwii's response, though he doesn't seem too surprised. There's a thoughtful pause as he weighs her words. A compelling reason? "Well Ensign," He invites her. "Go ahead and make your case." It's a difficult situation, and probably there will be no good answer, but Elias still seems interested to hear what she has to say. And he carefully makes no comment about the Chaplain on the Orion, as he has never spoken to her himself.

She stares off on the summer breeze for a moment. She's not really clean. She looks like she's stopped grooming or trying too hard for anything. Rebecca looks like someone at the very end of the line. "I can't deal with the congratulations. I can't deal with people walking up to be and squeeing over how lucky I am to be pregnant. The disapproval in their eyes when I don't share any enthusiasm. The snarky, hateful words when they walk away. That I should just be glad I can have children after all the radiation. I get scowls. People in the civilian bunkhouse have shunned me. I've got nobody to eat with. The other women I was rescued with have things on their minds and babies and future husbands. Here, surrounded by other people, this is the single loneliest place I could ever imagine." Her voice is tinged all around with Virgan accents. "I hate it here. I wish I'd never left. I wish.. so many things. Most of all I wish I'd just hidden away when your Raptors came to rescue the people from the station. I'd still be there now. I'd have a job. I could think in peace and have time to consider my situation without worrying about everything and everyone. I can't deal with it anymore, sir. I have ot go home. I'm trapped in hell, on a railroad heading towards a split stuck between two paths. I just want off the train, sir. I can't do this anymore. Please." There's barely any emotion until the end, her gaze dropping. She seems like she wants to say more but it just gets lost to the breeze. A thousand miles away, her mind works slowly while she tries to think of what else she can say. In the end.. she just lets it stand.

Elias listens silently throughout the explanation, nodding a few times to show he's paying close attention, his eyes studying the Ensign's face closely. In the end, as she trails off, Elias does not rush in to reply. "I see," is all he says before he turns to regard the scenery again, thinking things over. Yes indeed, no good answer. Instead of trying to address any of the terrible things that have happened to Pertwii, or her current situation, he tries another question. "Let's say all options but a posting to the station were on the table." Elias looks over to hit that point again. "/All/ options. What would you choose?"

The Ensign, still far off, stares at the water like it might provide her some answers. The breeze blows and the silence lingers. There doesn't seem to be an answer coming or even close for more than a minute. In the end, he does get an answer of sorts. "Anyplace where I don't have to see another person for six months and I can just deal with this on my own. A posting where I can keep my position and be left alone without judgment or people staring at me or asking me questions. Someplace alone where I can work and serve. That would probably be all I can answer affirmatively for, sir." She swallows. "The Sister wants me to have the baby and give it up for adoption. She thinks she can try and save me. Try and convince me to stick around." She shakes her head. "I told her I'd see about it if she could find someone to take the baby. I just…" Eyes close. She doesn't know if she can go through with it. It would be hard enough to make decisions like this without her hormones going insane. This isn't helping. The Ensign is strung out and depressed.

Elias hears the Ensign out without looking away from the stream either. An indirect conversation seems perfectly fine with him. "You've got … nine, ten weeks left?" Elias thinks aloud. "If you can make it through that, I am sure we can find a legal guardian for the baby. It's not formal adoption, and you could return to duty. If that's what you want." He glances briefly at Pertwii, seeing if this is any improvement on her situation. "We have several women serving on the Orion who have children being raised on Piraeus, so it certainly can be done."

"Its not what I want, sir," she whispers. "I can't live with that." She closes her eyes. "This child is due October fifth. It could be easily delivered just about anytime after four weeks from now. Heck, it would have a chance if it were pulled out of me now. I can feel it kicking and turning." Eyes open and that dead, resigned look continues. "All I ever wanted was a little faith. Some belief from someone here. A fighting chance. I guess my war is over. If I can't serve and I can't get time away… frak it all. Just frak this place and everyone here." Its not hissed or spit and there's very little heat to it. She rolls onto a knee to rise, the movement slow. The tree steadies her as she gets to her feet and her other hand braces her back. She moves to start waddling off without another word.

"As much as you may want to go hide on that station Ensign, you're a tactical officer yourself and you know no responsible CO is going to make that call. There is going to have to be a crew of more than one." Elias' tone is matter of fact, and seeing Pertwii moving to get up, he looks back towards the river again as he continues. "And yes, 'Frak it all' pretty much covers the situation. I know you don't know me, but I'm here and listening if there's something else about what happened on that station that you want me to understand. As I said, this is off the record." Elias makes no move to rise or stop her from leaving, he doesn't even look away from the water.

Pertwii stops and looks back to him. "I'm going to be nothing very soon. I'd make that call if I thought it could save two lives. I'd give her the chance. Persephone station requires one man to operate the automated defenses and they can be left on all the time. All someone has to do is be there to rearrange the gun systems when they get destroyed. Two. Four. Eight people? It won't change anything. So send your team, sir. Let them confirm what I told you." Just that flat, monotone voice. The last has her sigh and look away. "You've read the AAR from the Major. You think the Captain just decided in the middle of a radio transmission to end his life? I terminated his command. Is that what you want to hear? I put a fiveseven to the base of his skull and pulled the trigger to get my people off that station and to safety. I shot a superior officer in order to save the lives of my crew. I have no grets about that, only the regrets of things I did until that point." She's the only surviving officer and the youngest member, by five years. Its a helluva mantle to take up. "At this point it doesn't matter. He's dead and where he deserves to be. My crew is safe. I've served proudly and I did my job up until I was forced out of service for something I didn't want. Now my choices as a human being are made for me." She swallows, holding her stomach for a moment as she looks down. Baby kick. "Satisfied, sir?" she asks more quietly. "That's everything worth telling. I only hope the CO you put out there has the guts to do what I did in that situation, knowing it could get me a firing squad."

Elias turns his head, looking up at the Ensign as she elaborates, and he does not even seem surprised by what she has to say, let alone shocked. In fact he seems remarkably unphased. Is he satisfied, she asks? "No," is his reply. "I'm not satisfied. You'd been through hell on that station but you still had the strength to do what had to be done, consequences be damned." He starts digging around in his pockets as he answers, an absent and habitual gesture that will eventually produced a near-empty pack of cigarettes. Apparently he's not planning on going anywhere right away. "You know what that sounds like to me, Ensign? That sounds like a survivor."

She just looks back at him, grubby and dirty and looking homeless. In the end she just closes her eyes. "Sir, look at me. Do I look like a hero speech is going to help me? I blew the brains out of the man who put this child in me. I need time alone." Those blues reopen and there's that emotionless look. Its like looking into the face of one of those Cylon-human implants. "I can't get it. The Marines don't want to lose me because it'll come down on them. Everyone else just shuns me. Nobody has any interest in seeing me go back to Persephone and that's all I want. No, I saved the life of my crew and now I get shit on. Nobody thanks me for holding out. Nobody wants to help the broken Ensign with the baby she didn't want get to someplace where she can think about it. Nobody cares about anything except that I have this child inside me and that the community gets this child and that mommy should be there." She shrugs. "I can't win. I'm a victim that's being punished for being a victim. What would you do in my situation, sir?" Rebecca doesn't exactly seem like she's going to deal well with a pep talk or bluster. Well, atl east she wouldn't be dealing with it any -better-.

What would he do? The question causes Elias' to smile. It's not a happy smile, but an expression of grim acknowledgement. "I have no idea," he answers her honestly, then props a cigarette between his lips and starts to dig out his lighter. "I wasn't on that station. I didn't have to make that call. And I never said there was anything heroic about it. I said you did what had to be done. I wouldn't expect a medal, but no one is talking about an investigation, either." He pauses to light his smoke and puff it into life. Suddenly he seems much more relaxed, despite the situation and the lives that likely hang in the balance. "The most 'alone' option I can offer you, Ensign Pertwii, is back up on the Orion. I'll put you in solitary, in the brig." He eyes her through the first haze of smoke, curious to see what she makes of that 'offer.'

"They could investigate. I've got no reason to hide it anymore. Nobody can punish me anymore than I already am." Its stated plainly. Looking back, Elias may recall that there is absolutely nothing in her bunk except for a picture of her from fleet graduation with her parents. The girl instinctively watches to smoke to make sure she stays upwind. The offer doesn't seem to phase her, though. "Stripped of duties, confined to a dark hole, getting fed meals through a door. Okay sir, you're right, I can be punished more for what I've done." But her jaw trembles as she watches him, thoughts creeping in. "Please, sir." Is that fear? "Please send me back. Convince someone to let me. I can't live like this." The Ensign is starting to come apart at the seams. But rather than make him deal with it, she turns, shuddering and begins walking/waddling up the road and away from the gate. She needs time alone again.

Elias sits and watches as Ensign Pertwii walks away. She's headed back towards the settlement and it seems there's little more to say. So Elias stays where he is, trying to enjoy one of his dwindling stock of cigarettes, besides a stream and under a real sky, just for a moment. But it's hard for him to find any joy, given what he's decided to do, and once the smoke is gone, he's got no more excuse to delay. Rising, Elias makes his own way back towards the settlement, to find the MP officer on duty. This has dragged on long enough, and there's only one way he can be sure she isn't going to be able to kill herself: Ensign Pertwii is going to find herself 'escorted' to the Orion's brig, on suicide watch. Sometimes there are no good answers, and someone has to make the call.

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