AWD #584: There Are Conditions
There Are Conditions
Summary: Samtara visits Jameson in regards to a few items. Like leaving for five weeks.
Date: 26/01/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Lots
Samtara Jameson 
CO's Stateroom
The largest solitary berthing on the ship, the quarters of the ship's Admiral is warm and plush in ways that the rest of the ship is not. Just inside the door is a large wooden table with seating for eight, the walls that flank it holding plexiglass display cases. The interior of the cases are filled with lovingly and carefully built models of Colonial fleet ships as well as classic Cylon examples from their own fleet and air defenses. Farther in it opens up with a small personal bar used as a room divider. On one side is a large, plush leather couch that is built into the curve of the wall, books lining the shelf behind it and a few stacked on the table in front of it. On the other side of the room is access to a personal bathroom as well as the desk, the latter being stacked with several reports and folders stamped 'Classified'. The bed, easily large enough for two, is built into the wall behind the desk with a blanket that very obviously is not fleet issue.
AWD #584

Once more neatly squared away and carrying with her a handful of slim folders and one of the data devices offered by the Arpay, a device that is powered off and simply carried with everything else she has, Dr. Nadir arrives precisely five minutes early and waits outside the hatch until one minute in advance of the slated meeting time. She gives a brief tug at her uniform jacket, pats the pocket holding her reading glasses, neatly aligns the folders one more time before rapping her knuckles briskly on the hatch, waits a beat for permission, then cycles the hatch, pushes the door open, then strides inside and nudges the hatch closed a moment later. Everything is shifted to her left arm and a brisk nod is aimed at the Admiral, "Sir."

Jameson called her up there to his quarters. He hasn't heard anything except about the surgeries to be planned and the guy is clearly going to want to discuss this. Or at least look her in the eye. When she arrives, the Marines on each side of the door wave her inside the cracked hatch. The guy is sitting on his couch with a glass of something thats distinctly alcoholic. He's actually taking the time to read a book. It might be a relief for the Doctor since the guy needs to take time for himself. He isn't getting any younger. Dressed in jeans, he's also wearing a faded black t-shirt with some nearly washed-away squadron logo on it. The shirt has seen better days. Clearly an old favorite. Looking up, he gestures for her to take a seat on the loveseat across from him. The coffee table has been cleared but for his glass and a bottle. There's another empty glass sitting there also. "Pop a squat, Doctor. Sorry, forgot to pass along that this is more informal than anything else."

Sam hesitates just a fraction of a moment, the slight hesitation as she attempts to shift gears correctly and probably messes up the clutch to gear shift and some combination of acceleration against the reality that the vehicle is rolling backward from the intersection. The analogy runs through Sam's head as she nods and moves forward, "Informal, of course Sir." She moves to the loveseat across from where the admiral is seated and sets the datapad down on the edge of the coffee table but retains her hold on the folders. "I wasn't certain if you wanted me to bring along the break down of all the data provided by Dr. Jimenez or just a summary overview. I erred on the side of caution and brought all the data for you to review, should you have the inclination or leisure to do so."

Jameson watches her move to take the seat. He's casual about it, popping the bookmark in and setting it aside while she gets situated. "Informal means you can speak your mind here, Sam." He looks at her like a father. "Unbutton the top button and you're out of uniform and we're fine." He sips the drink and chuckles at the offer. "I'll leave the details to you. I wouldn't understand half this if you wrote it in crayon and monosybollic words." Hooray for Jameson using a big boy word. "Now, I know why you're here. Keep it simple and straight to the point. I'll ask questions I need to after that."

Exhaling a quiet breath, Sam sets the folders down, retrieves her reading glasses from the side pocket of her jacket before she sets them in place and works the top button accordingly. "Fair enough, sir," she replies then takes a moment, expression pensive and paired with a mild frown. "The Arpay have offered us access to medical advances, technology and repairs that would allow personnel who elect for these procedures to have enhanced vision and hearing. Beyond that, they can cure a great many of the things our soldiers already have taken wounds that cannot be repaired with our medicine, and preventive medicine tailored for each individual patient. I can cite specific examples, but the short of it is that those marines who've already been treated by the Arpay have made it clear their preferences for the electives. Barring objections, I'm in favor of their decision on this matter. Dr. Jimenez explained that they waited specifically to get our permission before they did any lasting procedures. She's confident that between the two of us we can bring the risk factor down from five percent to a near or actually at null factor."

While Jameson listens he leans forward and pours Sam a glass. Vodka. There's no smell to it and the ice in the glass will chill it. Upon a sip, it barely even burns. When she finishes, he hands over the single finger of vodka and places it in front of her. "Have a drink with me while we discuss." He then leans back into his sofa and looks at her. "You don't have to sell me on the Arpay and what they could have done. That's a non-issue. I'm inclined to believe they're here in good faith. I met with Commander Chapman this week and he seems like a pretty decent fella. We talked shop about fighters and bombers for about an hour. Had a couple good laughs. We understand each other." He crosses an ankle over a knee, resting his forearm over the raised arm of the sofa. "You're giving me dry facts here, Sam. I get that. Talk to me about the personal factor. Why do you think these two volunteer we've got want to do this? Has the Doc said anything?"

Sam reaches for the glass of vodka, though she doesn't drink it so much as study it for a quiet moment. "I don't typically drink, I can't risk being anything other than entirely sober should I have to cut into someone." She makes a quiet, mostly noncommittal sound, then nods as she tries to unbend enough to stop talking like a data sheet. "I know that both want the advantages that these electives would give them. Increased vision, increased hearing? They'd be able to support their fellow marines in a combat zone without being laden with heavier gear. I can tell you that the Arpay have also sorted out a way to repair Ynyr back to full health, not just the level he is at, right now, but all the way back, prior to his health at Santos Ridge. They both know the risks. They're aware that these changes will carry forward to any children they may have, so this isn't something they're opting for as a cosmetic thing. She explained all the risks and procedures to them. There's no misinformation or fine print."

Jameson listens, drink resting on the arm of the couch. He thinks on this and nods slowly towards the end. "Now, forgive me if I'm wrong. It's been a long time since I got my degree… but I did take genetics." He clears his throat. "But we would be introducing a new evolution of humanity. One that, by your admission, carries down to their children." He tilts his head forward just a smidge as if he were looking at her over glasses. "If these two, or any others, have children, then their kids have kids. They have kids. You understand that this sounds like colonization, correct? Not immediate, but long term."

"It's a long view," Sam agrees with a mild nod. "It would be far more efficient if they would just use the razor thing to achieve a majority of the assembled population then trigger a subliminal message. That ran through my mind when our people returned already exposed to a variety of substances and procedures that there was no defense against. Plus, by the time our people were in sickbay, they'd already been circulated with those who hadn't been away. Plus, yourself and the other command staff who met with them." She studies the ice in the glass of clear liquid. "Rather neat, if you're asking after an option on a worst case scenario. Could they be playing a long game? Sir, who in this isn't?" she wonders, a glance up, expression both calm and that look that is somehow grim and a bit resigned at the same time. "Yes. It's a new evolution of humanity. The larger the number of our people who opt for these modifications, then factor in all those who will have access to the preventive care? Game, set, match, I believe is the term. If that's their game. I don't believe that it is. That said," and she sets the glass down so that she can flex her chilled fingers and scrubs both hands briefly together, "I'm not going to be the eternal optimist. I believe that Jimenez is a brilliant doctor, and the sense that I get from her is one of great purpose, a burden and a calling. Is she the envoy of her people, the best of the examples we could run into? Maybe. Yes. Possibly. More than likely. Would I be accurate if I said they could have just blown our soldiers into their respective atoms and dust and carried on, without even pausing to dust off their boots?"

That's a lot to think on. Jameson averts his old eyes to the glass. He takes a long breath before he speaks. "My wife is- was- a rancher. We kept cattle, horses, a couple hogs for ourselves. She took a gamble once on buying some Leonesian Cattle. A nice breed. Couple bulls. She bred them with our own livestock. The rest of our cattle became afraid of them. They slowly took over, but the others got sickly and anemic. Stopped eating, like they knew they were no longer the prize pieces. She always regretted it. The others were higher maintenance. Caused unforseen problems, particularly with health." A single finger taps his glass and looks back. "People aren't cattle, but the point is there. I've got concerns. You admit maybe their long term game is to colonize our people. To make humanity in this sector like them." He lifts the glass and takes a long sip, looking at her over the glass. "Why aren't you volunteering to do this modification with these two Marines, Sam?"

Sam shakes her head and leans forward, "Apologies, but allow me to clarify. I don't think that's their long term game. I said that, if I were to look at it from such an angle, that would have been a better and more efficient manner. This way takes a generation or two to establish a foothold, genetically speaking. We're already in a war with a dwindling population, it's not only bad odds but it's mathematically a bad equation to invest time, effort, technology, etc. into seeding their genetics into our population base and waiting it out to see if the genetics are enough to make a difference in the social structure. Plus, they can't exactly intermix their DNA with ours for a viable breeding program, if that's a factor you're considering. They're near. They're close. But they're not us. Nor are they made of the same composition of the Lines. Nor are we them, and vise versa and back again." This clarified she leans back again and takes a slow, measured, breath. "Our population is to spread out to fully assimilate, Sir. But, again, war. So." She blinks then, frowns, "You mean to say, why am I not asking to have these modifications done on myself as well?"

That seems to answer several of his questions at once and the man gives a slow nod. "Okay, fair 'nuff. This is why I'm consulting with you on this. I can't know all this shit on my own." He swirls the drink a few times, ice clinking in the glass as he looks at it. "That's right, Doctor. You believe in these people. You seem to be a fan of the modifications. Why aren't you volunteering for it?"

"Because I don't want to be a weapon," Sam says in a quiet but blunt tone of voice. "These aren't modifications that can be easily put back in the box. Your skills, sir, can be transitioned into any number of applications other than being a combat pilot. You can put a weapon back in it's case. You can put ammunition back on the shelf. A knife can be put away. I takes a special kind of training and skill set, mind set, support to be able to do what our fighting men and women do, day in and day out. When the war is over? They can be other things. Have families. Farm land. Open businesses. Become fry cooks. Artists. Mechanics. Lawyers. Sit on a porch in the sun and talk about 'back in the day'. They can put those weapons away. These changes? The eyes can be walked back, but not the ears. Not the . ." she sucks in a slow breath then settles on, "the change in perspective, How others will treat them. Those that won't understand. Who will be afraid. Or angry. Or just . . small minded. I understand why they want to do it. I will help in every single way I can to make this as safe and as viable as possible. They know what they're asking for."

"Mm." No other sound for long moments while he looks back to his glass. "If you don't drink, I'm not listening." He glances to her, then back to his own. Another few swirls while he watches it. "Okay. I'll sign off on it if Ommanney does. He's the final word. These are his Marines. …And find me a pilot that's willing. I want one of them to evaluate also." He takes a breath and looks back at her. "Anything else?"

Sam makes a quiet sound of exasperation and lifts the glass, takes a drink from it and wrinkles her nose at it, "You drive a hard bargain. Ech," and tips it back again, finishing it before setting the glass back down, making that sound again. "I'll -" she coughs, eyes watering, clears her throat, "I'll talk to Major Omanney and get him on board. Find a pilot, got it," she scrubs her hands together and draws a slower breath. "Dr. Jimenez has offered me an opportunity to train and serve with their diplomatic corps among a population base that has declined their offer of evacuation. And I need to do it. Not," she hastens to add, "because Dr. Jimenez is asking me to, or pressuring me to. She explained the details and the risks. It would be one year of relative time to five weeks of our time. But it would be treating people, not soldiers, not signing death certificates. And I need to do this."

This is something the Admiral wasn't expecting. It causes him to resettle in his seat like he's about to roll in on a target. He fixes her with a different sort of gaze. Its one she doesn't recognize. He's considering, but also wary. "You want to serve with the Arpay Diplomatic Corps. You want to take five weeks away from us here and pursue something for yourself, Gods knows, halfway across the galaxy. Maybe more." It isn't quite disbelief, but more incredulity. Not offended, though. "Sam, who the hell are we going to have to replace you? You've got more experience in trauma surgery than any two doctors on the hospital ship combined." Apparently he keeps up on this. "…Its really that important to you? To leave us for five weeks? You know what five weeks means to us."

"Because I'm going to break, if I don't," Sam's voice is quiet, but utterly serious. "I'm to close to it, already. Do you know I've signed more death certificates since the war started than most physicians sign in the entire course of their careers? I don't honestly know if I can keep telling people that I'm sorry, this is as good as it's going to get. That the damage they've taken isn't going to heal. It isn't going to get better. The pain they're feeling isn't going to go away. That this is it. I don't know that I can keep doing this and not make mistakes. Not let all of you down. Not be to damaged to do what needs to be done." She spares herself nothing with her own critique, knowing that she has to say what no one else can say. "I plan to ask Dr. Jimenez to stand in my place until I return. It is my hope," she has to stop and bears down to continue, "it is my hope that I can find what I've lost, and fix what's broken, so I can come back and keep doing what needs to be done. Five weeks is a long time. And before I go, I will see that these procedures are rolled out without hitch. I will see the repairs begun on those who are already screened for them. I have to do this while there's still a chance that I can . . While I still have hope, Sir. Or what's left of it."

The first words from Sam garner the Admiral's attention. Eyes flick to her right away and he watches every movement from her. The words seem to matter less than the way she comports herself to what is being delivered. "I'm not worried about the procedures, Sam. If this woman agree's, then you are leaving the primary fleet care in the hands of a being you have only known for a few weeks. She would be the defacto Department Head for Medical. Two weeks. And you so strongly believe in these people?" He drops his leg off the ankle and sits forward, drink going to be held between both hands. "Sam. Look at me. I get that you are in pain. I can't even imagine it. But you believe these people could replace you?" He lets her look him in the eye. "Sam, you are irreplacable. When this war is over, we are going to need someone to teach our future generations about everything that you know. You're willing to risk that all? And leave one of them in your stead for five weeks?"

Whether she'd meant to or not, Sam was studying her hands before the Admiral asked her to look at him, and she tugs her eyes upward at that request and fights the flinch that tries to form. "Aren't we asking them to fight with us? Aren't we asking them to help us? Aren't we asking them to defend our civilian population, to figure out how to get them food and supplies and evacuate those who can be safely extracted? How can we ask them to do all that, and not trust them with the lives of the men and women in our care on this ship, in this fleet? We can't go in to this with half measures and hesitation. They're either with us, or they're not. And if, ultimately, they're not, then five weeks isn't going to make a difference. We're still going to be at war. We're still going to have to find some way to keep on keeping on. And if all we get out of this is five weeks where everyone who interacts with Jimenez and the others has a chance to get to know them better, to really understand who and what we're asking to ally with? Then it's worth it. I hope for more." She leans forward again, "Spend time with her, Sir. The mandate that they live by? It's not just words. And if it IS just words, then they are the best race of con artists that we will ever meet. But I don't think they are. And we're all replacable, that's how it works. One generation dies and the next takes over, it's how we're designed. It's what gives our lives meaning. We have a finite time. A mere blink in the span of centuries. We make our choices, we live our lives, and in the end, we either regret with bitterness what we did not do, or we look back and we are proud of those moments when we made the tough call and did what we knew to be right. Sir, if you're asking yourself whether or not something is right, you already know the answer."

"If I don't do this, Sir," Sam adds in that same quiet voice, "I will regret it, forever."

Jameson holds his place, leaned forward. He doesn't distract with a sip of the drink or a glance away. No, the man is reading the officer in front of him. Every word weighed. The way he looks at Sam, when she looks at him, is almost unnerving. It isn't a scowl or frown or obvious disapproval. The problem is that his eyes are focused on a point inside her body. It might be mistaken, at a glance, for him looking at her chest. But the focus is just far enough off that its somewhere close but beyond. The man sits like a stone. When she finishes he doesn't move. About thirty seconds later he looks away. "Give me a few minutes here."

And they are probably the longest of Sam's life. He looks to his desk for a minute, then to his book. Then the bottle, to his bed, then back down to the coffee table. The time just stretches on. He eventully takes a long breath and looks at Sam. But he doesn't say anything for twenty or thirty seconds. He just studies her face. On his own expression is deep concern and, ironically, resolve. "Alright, Sam. Pack your bags as you will. But under two conditions:" The man stares at her. "First, it is Doc Jimenez and nobody else. She takes a fleet oath for rank to replace yours. If you don't return, she stays. Permanently." He lets that sit. "Second, I want one of their ships with this fleet constantly while you are away and one of my officers from Tactical on board their ship and in their CIC the whole time." He holds her gaze. "These conditions are non-negotiable. You get those, in writing, and I'll let you go. No further discussion needed. Do we have a deal, officer to officer?" His hand extends in offering of a shake on it.

Patience may be a virtue, and maybe no one is any where near virtuous enough; but it is also an acquired skill. Sam knows how to wait, how to count down the hours, the minutes, the precious seconds. Knows how to be patient when every instinct says do something other than wait it out, run down the clock. And maybe another woman might've thought the admiral had slipped a gear and was staring at her chest, but not Sam. She knows the look on his face, because she's worn a look like that herself more times than she can count. It's the look that one's face assumes while one's brain is busy elsewhere and not actively at the controls working the facial muscles. She waits it out until he speaks again, her own expression one of determination, earnestness, resolution and again that fine glimmer of hope. It isn't much, to be fair, it's really just fumes and the memory of hope, but it's all she has left. When the admiral speaks she doesn't even try to hold back the expression of surprise on her face. "Two conditions, indeed," she finally muses, her expression having shifted to one of open speculation. "Why do I have the feeling that Dr. Jimenez is going to get some sort of kick out of these conditions. I expect she'll want to see this in writing, as well. A paper trail is, apparently, not something that we humans are obsessed with. The Arpay happen to have a notable fondness for it as well." She leans forward and accepts the offered hand, "We have a deal."

Jameson takes the hand and squeezes it. Before letting go, he gives a very subtle, gentle gesture to get her to look to his eyes directly. "You come back to us, Doctor. I don't care what you have to do. I don't care about anything. I want you and your skillset back here. Humanity needs you." He releases it and settles back. "Do what you need to. Let me know before your departure. Send the paperwork up. I'll sign it."

It takes a moment but Sam meets Jameson's eyes at that gentle gesture and, of all things, feels a bit of a smile beginning to form on her face. She blinks rapidly, rising to her feet as she does so, carefully quelling the emotion that has her tucking her reading glasses back into the side pocket from which she'd withdrawn them, scooping up the folders and the datapad. "I have every intention of returning, Sir. There is to much work to do, and I fully intend to see what the end of this war looks like, for all of us. I'll get that paperwork to you," she promises, "all of it. Somehow I imagine it's not going to be a single sheet with a checklist." She tips her head toward the hatch, "I'll get out of your hair, sir. Thank you for your time."

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