MD #151: Steak Every Day
Steak Every Day
Summary: Samtara gives her provisional verdict on if Toby can make it as a marine
Date: 06/09/2017
Related Logs: When Hades Froze Over
Samtara Toby 
Sickbay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Serving as the ship's primary care facility, the Medical Centre 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 #151

There's a set routine to any physical, and any nurse, medic or actual staff physician could have done the work by the numbers, but Sam set time aside specifically to run Toby's physical herself. The usual invasive questions, samples etc and eventually she has enough data accumulated to add to his existing medical chart to speak on it in a relatively competent manner. It's at this point that she returns to the curtain draped exam area where she's had Toby wait for the 'talking' part of the consult and she edges the curtain aside with one hand, carrying her datapad with her other hand as she moves through. "Sorry it took so long to get this set up," she says as she settles the curtain back in place.

As confident as Toby is that all will be well, the wait has only allowed anxiety to slowly build. He's in good shape, really good shape for someone his age, but will that be enough? An hour ago he'd've said 'yes' without a pause, now the delay has him second guessing. He's on his feet and leaning on the wall when Sam re-enters, although he pushes himself fully upright as soon as she does so. "No worries Doc," he replies quickly, not hiding the fact that he's keen to get on, "it's not like there aren't several thousand others onboard who need your attention as well." See, he can be considerate, when he tries. "What’s the verdict then? How long before we can kick this whole thing off?"

"Well, for a man of your age, which is only a few years past mine, to note, you're in relatively good shape. Your blood pressure is in a good range, your sodium levels could come down a bit, and I'd like to see more iron in your diet, which means you ought to be taking a daily multi-vitamin, if you aren't already," Sam replies as she takes a seat, tapping at the screen of her datapad with one hand then tossing the images up on the screen above the bed so he can see the numbers she's looking at, frowning at the numbers. "The truth is that you're a healthy and relatively fit fifty eight year old man. If you were a marine who'd enlisted at 16 or 18 or in your twenties, you'd still have mustered out in your forties or thereabouts. You're fifty eight. Your reasons are your own," she says as she takes her reading glasses off and studies Toby once she's done so. "I'm worried that handing you a rifle and throwing you in combat is going to get you killed," said a bit more bluntly than is typical for her in her own old age.

Toby raises a faint eyebrow at the talk of multi-vitamins, then quips, "or you could order the galley to give me steak every day?" Wouldn't that be nice, an actual proper steak, maybe that’s what the Admiral gets. He does glance to the numbers, but they mean about as much to him as quantum computing does, so he quickly turns his attention back to Samtara instead. "My reasons are simple enough Doc, there's a frak load of APF and the like out there, and they all need dealing with. This is my third war, fourth if you count this as a new one since the sabotage, I've fought on the ground in all the others, one way or another." Well, only if you count it as three not four. "This isn't something I'm rushing into blind, I know what it entails, and I know the risks. They're exactly the same as the risks for anyone going into combat. Frak, they're the same as every time I put on a BA set and go fight a fire when the ship gets hit. Might it get me killed? Yes, it might. I'm prepared to take that rick though, and it's not as if not doing this means I'll be safe and not at risk of the same thing."

Sighing out a breath, Sam stares intently at Toby, one fingertip tapping against the edge of the datapad before she swipes the display and clears the screen, returning it to standby mode. "You have your reasons. I don't need the details to be aware of the depth of the reasons that accompany this decision. And I'm telling you, here and now, that in my own way I understand and I respect your reasons. I'm your physician, however, and I'm telling you that you are going to need to spool up to being marine combat capable. And I want you to hear me when I say this next bit, and don't get mad when I do," she tucks her hands into the pockets of her lab coat as she continues, "Gene therapy. It won't knock actual age off, but it'll repair a good bit of the cellular damage that comes with advancing age. It'll get you where you want to be, and more capable once you're there, than doing this the old fashioned way."

Toby is certainly listening, and taking in what she says, right up to the point when she mentions the gene therapy. He doesn't get mad, just shakes his head firmly. "Not an option, I'll do it the old fashioned way." Stubbornness thy name is Taurans. "No disrespect to those that choose it," he starts, clearly having done this routine before, "but I was born Tauran, and I'll die Tauran. There's few enough of us left as is." Not that there are women flocking to his bunk each night in the hope of fathering strapping Tauran kids mind, but it's a fundamental part of his identity. One of the very few things he has left.

"Conditionally, then, I'm willing to give this a provisional stamp of approval. You meet the requirements of any marine, all the way down the line. You take the vitamins I'm going to give you, and you follow the diet that I'm going to saddle you with, and you /consider/ it anyway. If you fall behind on the physical requirements, we will revisit this conversation. If it comes to a point where it's gene therapy or setting aside this goal," Sam pauses to study Toby again for a silent moment, "you will have to make decisions at that point. Ones that I can't make for you. Your desire to do this has to benefit all, Toby. The one thing I understand about Marines is that, first to last, they are ferociously brave and I am proud to be the wife of a marine. Decide what you bring to the marine corps, and if what you need to find by joining them is going to make them stronger."

Aaaaaaand there's the relief at the result. While he's far to stoic to ever get close to being euphoric, he is quite clearly both relieved and very happy. "Vitamins, diet, you got it Doc. I'd say 'why not add an exercise plan too', but I suspect Ynyr already has that one covered." There's even a hint of a smile there as he wallows briefly in the good news then, on a slightly more serious note, "is there anything you need me to do paperwork wise? Sign anything? Take it back to Lieutenant Flynn.. " Or maybe not Flynn right now… "Just let me know, I'm keen to crack on and get this sorted," and not just because keeping busy with it will distract him from Niamh's reaction to being told the news.

"I'll send the forms over, no paperwork required," Sam replies as she correctly reads the hint of a smile. "All I have to add, at this point, is on a personal level. Ynyr saved my life. Before I went on the first diplomatic corps mission he spent weeks and weeks and weeks training me, in his off time, letting me train with the rest of the marines. He saved my life. On Bominaire, when my cover was blown and my extraction site was blown, I spent days on the run. Surviving off what I could forage on the run. Hardly sleeping. By the time they caught me I was dehydrated, exhausted, and still they chained me up and locked me in a cell. If the Arpay hadn't sent a special ops team to rescue me, I'd have died there.. more than forty years ago now, in real maths. You may be one of the last Taurons, and Becks may be one of the last living Arpay, she may be the last of her people entirely. Maybe there's honour in being the last. But maybe we're something more if we build something that's stronger with the things the Arpay brought to us, the things the Marines teach, and the things that are uniquely Tauron."

No paperwork, no faff, and a pass on the first hurdle. Conditional pass maybe, but Toby has no doubts about meeting the conditions. None what so ever. So that makes it a solid pass right? He listens to what Sam says, all of it, but there's just this happy bubble of success around him right now that is making it hard for serious and philosophical things to get through. "I guess we'll just have to see Doc," he offers as a placatory reply, more because he hasn't had any chance to actual mull over her words than a dismissal of them, "right now though, if you'll excuse me, I do believe the Mess is calling." Then, after a moment's pause, "along with a celebratory vitamin tablet of course."

Sam makes a small sound that's sort of a laugh and takes out a bottle of vitamins from the right pocket of her lab coat and hands it toward Toby. "One a day. As much protein as you can stomach and then a bite more. Load up on carbohydrates, you're going to be burning through them. You can do this, Toby. So go out and prove it."

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