AWD #572: Two Blunt Instruments
AWD #572: Two Blunt Instruments
Summary: Doctor's Jimenez and Nadir have a discussion as only two scientists, two physicians can. Bluntly. Honestly. And without the need for vague commentary.
Date: Sunday 14/Jan/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Angelis Lleufer Penta Samtara Dropkickst 
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. 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.
Tue 01/Aug/2006

Carrying a bucket with cleaning supplies and freshly returned from cleaning all the labs that are in active use at the moment, Nadir is wearing a fresh set of scrubs as she steps back into sickbay and carries the supplies over to the cleaning closet to square them away. She detours then to wash her hands again while one of the nursing staff hurries over and begins speaking in a low voice, gesturing to the returned personnel while Sam cleans her hands.

A brief look to Penta but Lleufer has already espied Doctor Nadir and gestures towards the CMO as she washes her hands, "Yeah, I said .. get ready for needles. I expect she'll be wanting to draw our blood and put us beneath the microscope." The MP Sergeant goes back to the coffee pot to top up his cup while he still can before he simply takes a seat to wait. He looks back to the Marine Ensign, "So, what's been going on while we were gone?"

Angelis glances over at Penta, not even bothering to look at Kelsey as the pilot departs. Her shoulders do relax considerably and she actually slouches a bit on the edge of the bed she's claimed. "Sir," Tabi starts, then stops, because Lleu answers him, "What Sarn't Ynyr said…" She gives the Officer a quick grin before taking another sip of her coffee. When Dr Nadir comes in, Tabi shifts, watching the Doctor intently.

"Not much, not that I can speak to, anyway. People have been on pins and needles, to be honest with you," Penta replies.

There's an MP escort with Doctor Jimenez when she enters Sickbay. Dressed in her slate gray utilities, she sidearm is still on her belt with the extra magazines on the other hip. She has that satchel hanging from her shoulder like a purse and there are two Marines towing two hardside shipping crates behind her - the writing on them is strictly foreign to anyone but the explorers who went. The woman with her far oversized pupils and bright forest green eyes, and her elongated ears, moves inside and gives a more friendly smile to Lleufer and Tabitha. She even waves, speaking to them in that same language. Emminently polite, as always, Jimenez clasps her hands in front of her and smiles to them both. She isn't overly tall but doesn't seem to let it detract from her presence.

Angelis gives Lleu a cheeky smile, and shifts slightly seeing Dr Jimenez coming into the sickbay with all her stuff in tow. Sliding to her feet, she takes a step toward the Doctor, who she actually has come to quite like, and answers quickly, gesturing to Lleu and then to Doctor Nadir, and then the Marine Ensign. That same hand then reaches back and tugs lightly on her ponytail while she takes another sip of her coffee.

Drying off her hands as she listens with that quiet intensity that is so deeply ingrained that she is hardly aware of it at this point, Nadir glances from the nurse to the returned personnel and back only to pause as the MP's escort someone new entirely into the sickbay. Sam blinks. Just the once, a slow steady blink that is accompanied by a look of stunned surprise that is echoed by the medical staff that happens to be on hand at this time. With more effort than is pretty, she gets her expression back under control, medical neutrality being key at all times, and simply shares a nod with the nurse at her side then another with Angelis before sweeping the look around the assembled group.

Whatever the elf looking woman with the strange eyes says to them when Jimenez arrives with her MP escort, Lleufer lifts his coffee cup slightly to her and replies in the same strange language that she used. A couple of brief sentences. He looks a little tired but clearly knows her. A soft breath is huffed at whatever Angelis says and he quips something brief back in the same lingo.

As Doctor Nadir sort of almost but not quite comes out, Lleufer gets to his feet. He is dressed in his combat blacks but has left his rifle and grenades down at the Security Hub, a cup of coffee in hand, "Major, if you'll join us … May I introduce Doctor Jimenez of the Arpay? Doctor Jimenez doesn't speak Colonial Standard, so the Lance Corporal and I can translate." -If- Sam will … dare to come any closer to them.

Doctor Jimenez gives a beautific smile to Angelis and tilts her head to the side. She gently takes Angelis' arm in her hand and gives a gentle squeeze, speaking to her softly. Her eyes also move to Lleufer as if speaking to both of them. The words she shares aren't exactly short, but they seem to be well intentioned and heartfelt. There's no way this woman isn't a mother. She screams maternal. In the end, though, she gestures to both Penta and Sam and lofts her brows a bit.

It's quite obvious that Angelis trusts the foreign doctor and after Jimenez is finished talking, she nods then looks over at Samtara. Then to the Ensign… who she has to study for a minute because she's never actually met him before, "Ah… Ensign Penta.." She reads his name off his uniform, "This is Doctor Jimenez, from Arpay, or… as we call it, Rally Point." The Lance Corporal shifts slightly and looks back to Jimenez, saying something in Arpay, gesturing to the ensign, and then looks over to Doctor Nadir, giving the Colonial woman a reassuring smile.

Penta nods politely. "Doctor."

Clearing her throat, another of those quiet sounds, Nadir moves forward after sharing a nod with the nurse to whom she was speaking and seeing the expressions on the rest of her staff. She may not be particularly good at reassurance as a general rule, but she is very good at keeping her staff on point. "Back to work, everyone," before she steps forward and shares a brief glance with Ynyr. "Adding interpreter to your skill set, Sergeant," which doesn't come out as a question but more as a statement of fact before she shifts her attention forward to Doctor Jimenez while Angelis is working the introductions for Ensign Penta at the same time. "Welcome aboard the Orion," she offers, her expression curious and still angling for that neutrality.

Lleufer turns his head to listen to Jimenez. The Marine Sergeant stands relaxed, still nursing a cup of coffee. He smiles a little with the good side of his mouth since the left side of his face remains less responsive. A nod to Penta, "Marine officer." then repeats that in the Arpay language before he looks to Nadir. A bit of a smile for Samtara as well, as though Lleu were trying to be encouraging to /her/ in turn as he translates what Sam says to Jimenez as well. Finally he adds in Colonial Standard, "Doctor Jimenez has brought a device with her, that with your permission, she could use so that you may also speak Arpay, Doctor Nadir. She has used it on all of us who went with no ill effect. That is how we have learned their language so quickly. Their technology and medicine is far advanced in some respects, to our own. She has come all this way, desiring to speak with -you-, Sam. Or, one of us can continue to translate if you prefer, but it will be …. eh, far more awkward, as she desires to discuss in depth medical issues with you." Ynyr is not sure if Jimenez's offer also includes Penta, "It is like a light, shone into the left eye. It doesn't hurt, but it is strange."

Lleufer is probably not standing close enough to say anything low to Sam but the way he looks at her, he is -trying- to encourage her to trust him. That it's all right.

"Ensign Penta," the Doctor tries out in Colonial. "It- is good. To meet. You." The accent is thick. Maybe its the only phrase she knows how to say. She taps her chest twice, just over her heart as she says 'you' as if it were something she couldn't help. Her smiling eyes look to Angelis and Lleufer, hopeful, prrrobably asking them if she spoke that well enough. Someone is making the real effort. With the approach of Samtara, the elf-doc looks over the Colonial Doctor and gives a polite nod and she repeats the gesture of taping her heart, but there's a larger respect and reverence to the motion. "Doctor Becka Jimenez, Arpay-" and the words are foreign but give the impression of some kind of medical corps. The woman doesn't seem to know what it is that Lleufer is saying but seems to trust him well enough with whatever is said. Considering they have been gone five days, that's a lot of trust in a person.

Angelis gives Jimenez a broad smile, nodding her head slightly as the Doctor tries out the Colonial phrasing. Her gaze shifts to watch Lleu talking to Doctor Nadir, then she looks back to the elf-doc again. After a moment of thought she shifts and then murmers quietly in Arpay, probably explaining what the MP is saying to Sam. She takes a sip of her coffee, then blinks and looks down at the mug, then the elf-doc, asking a question and gesturing to the coffee machine. It might be the Sickbay's coffee, but Tabi clearly has manners when she chooses so.

Penta smiles, nodding gently. "Well met, Doctor," he offers. Then, he's quiet again.

Nadir's eyes follow each gesture, each expression, tracking the nuances of the body language around the gathered personnel and back to the MP's and Jimenez, angling her head subtly as Ynyr stresses that the Arpay doctor desired to speak with her. She does that quiet throat clearing sound again, more of a hum this time than anything else, turning subtly to glance at Leu, "She wants to speak with me, specifically, sergeant?" she wonders, pointing this question in his direction before she shifts her focus forward, again, to Jimenez, a faint trace of a reluctant smile tugs into place as she murmurs: "Your team has been gone for five days, and in that time you've encountered an entirely new race of people, with their own medical advances and treatments, that your team was introduced to, that interfaced seamlessly with our biology and physiology, and . . this is OK with everyone. Fascinating," and she is fascinated, it's evident in her tone of voice as well, the look in her eyes as she studies the entire group, including the MP's at this point. Another searching glance is leveled upon Leu, then Angelis, then around again before she settles upon Jimenez. "Would you find it equally fascinating, Doctor Jimenez, were our positions traded in turn?" she wonders, that curiosity in her tone again, frank curiosity at that, without animosity or rancor, just curiosity.

His cup of unfinished coffee is set down. Lleufer takes a step or two closer to the Major and offers his hands to her, "Sam. You -know- me." Nevermind she's a Major and he's an enlisted grunt. "These people are humans too. The people of Kobol /came/ from -them- but it was long ago. They have been altered both by evolution, great distance, and genetic manipulation. But they are still human." Ynyr doesn't crowd Nadir and stays a little off to the side so he's also not blocking anyone's view. He keeps his baritone low but pauses to translate what Doctor Nadir said, then asks of Jimenez into Arpay. It takes him a moment, glancing to Angelis to help if if Lleu misses anything.

Then he adds low to Sam, "Yes, she wants to speak with you because you are our Chief Medical Officer. Doctor Jimenez wants to share information, tell you what she can do for us. And there are things the Arpay want to learn from us. They too are fighting machines, like the Cylons." Lleu lowers his voice a touch further, "We went because we /need/ allies in this war, Sam. Please, -I- give you my word, just sit down and speak with her. That's all I'm asking."

As the translation comes from Angelis, Jimenez titls her head slightly towards the female Marine while looking to Samtara. She does hold up a finger as if to say, 'one moment' and she looks to Tabi and says something quickly and seriously - then suddenly quirking her brow and looking at the mug. She digs into her satchel and removes a small locked case. She waggles it to Sam, something spoken to her with a chuckle. When the question from Samtara is translated and explain, she gives a short laugh and a shake of her head as the lockbox is replaced. She's speaking to both Lleu and Tabitha to translate, hands gesturing as if trying to get across the precision of what she is saying.

Nodding to Jimenez, Tabi turns her attention to Nadir, "Ah… what the Sarn't said." She says, then takes a breath, "Um.. we were there for seven weeks. I don't know how that kinda stuff works. I'm just a marine." She shifts and looks a bit uncomfortable with all this fancy talk. "We… well, the thing that sticks in the eye, it doesn't hurt or anything. You don't have to do it but it makes things much easier, 'cause then you can talk about all the sciencey stuff together…" She waves a hand and gives Lleu a slightly lost look, "Um, she brought some samples for you to look at, and take apart and stuff too, you know, if you wanted to? She's really nice, Doc, and she's looked after us great. And I think… well…. I think she understands if you have any concerns, and she'd really like to talk to you about them, and other things." Stopping, Tabi sends Lleu another of those pleading looks and then uses the opportunity to get the elf-doc some coffee instead, and lets the MP continue with the explanation/translation.

Angelis translates what Doctor Jimenez said, at least in part, and Lleufer tries not to laugh! That God damn Jarhead can't help it and snickers and then cracks up. The harder Lleu tries not to, the more he can't help it. "Apollo forgive me, that's hilarious!" Oh Gods. It takes Yynr a second to get his breath and then he just takes a seat, "Man, I want a drink, bad."

OK, ok, a slow deep breath to try and regather himself. "Yeah, what the Lance Corporal said. Doctor Jimenez has brought several of the retinal devices and she's outright offering one or more of them to YOU, Samtara, to have anybody you want look at it. Take it apart, study it, figure out how it works before anybody uses it. Doctor Jimenez says she -would- find it highly concerning if her patients turned up entirely trusting of some aliens and been exposed to who knows what. That's why she has come. She wants to talk to you, go through every bit step by step and break it down into figures, scientifically, so you can follow everything precisely and understand. And she can't really do that through translaters like me who are far from precise and don't know the medical jargon anyway." Lleufer taps himself on the chest. "-She- says that science is a universal language. That you and she are scientists and it's in the best interests of all -if- you two can understand one another."

If anything, this is tiring Ynyr who would love nothing more than to sack out in his rack. But he stretches his legs and absently rubs his left leg.

"Sergeant, have I ever given you any reason to think that I doubt your word or your intentions?" Nadir wonders at Ynyr with a long glance leveled upon the marine sergeant. "I hardly think that now would be a time that I would suddenly begin to do so." She studies Jimenez again, glancing at the small case, her own head tipping subtly again, startled by the chuckle and the short laugh then shifts her focus toward Tabi again before she gives another of those thoughtful nods. "You were gone five days in our measurement of time but there for seven weeks, that's another point of intrigue. But, she likes coffee, so that's a point of commonality." She focuses on Jimenez this time, "You must understand how I feel about doing anything that alters my brain in any way. I'm a surgeon, not just the chief medical officer. Common ground, however, requires a common language. Being able to speak even a few words of the language of another culture shows respect, it shows recognition that the each culture has value. You've already made the effort, it would be very small of me to refrain from doing so. So," and she turns slightly, "Angelis, bring me a cup as well?" she calls then back to Jimenez, "So what does this device look like?"

Coffee… Tabi can do that! It's much easier than translating all the time. She quickly pours two mugs and liberally doses them with sugar and cream, because well, that's how she takes /her/ coffee, and besides, everything's better with sugar. Then she carefully carries both, handing one to Doctor Jimenez first, and then taking one over to Doctor Nadir next. Both Doctors get a bright smile, but even the energetic Lance is starting to feel the wear of the last few hours and she quickly makes her way back to Lleu, tucking herself in behind the Sergeant, letting him take charge.

Dr. Becka Jimenez meets the gaze from Samtara and does not flinch. There's only intelligence there and the way she is listening closely. Or trying to. The translations are key and she seems to understand what is being said. The final question has her nod slowly and bring the lockbox back out. She inputs the combination and opens it. There are three of them inside in their own little cut out areas. The items look like miniturized, hand-held blowtorches. Except the nozzle has a focused glass lens. She gestures for Sam to take one out and begins pointing out pieces on it, including a plug-in port on the rear, the body, the lens, and what is presumedly the button to use it. Her finger then lifts to point to her left eye and stays there as if in invitation. However it leaves her other hand free to drink coffee, of which the taste seems to excite her and gain her immediate interest. She chatters excitedly, looking like she might giggle.

Lleufer quietly speaks with a little lag behind Jimenez's words as she points to things so Samtara can understand what the Arpay Doctor is doing, "She says… This port at the bottom is where they plug in the programming equipment. They do not allow these to be self-programmable by the user. It is too dangerous. This section houses the power and also the instructions for the laser, how it works. Data storage. …The firing lens is here. An infrared laser. …Press this to initiate. Hold, pointed at the pupil or retina, for two seconds." Ynyr rubs the back of his head like maybe he's getting one of his headaches coming on, "She says it's perfectly safe if you wish to try using it on her, Doctor Nadir. She is inviting you to do so. Also, she loves your coffee." Lleu smiles.

Angelis grins at Jimenez, understanding and appreciating her sudden excitement over the coffee. "Yeah, she says she could make millions exporting this home, and make us rich." She laughs, taking a sip of her own coffee, then looking over at the elf-doc again, saying something quickly and with just a hint of pride.

Absently pulling out a small squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer while Angelis then Ynyr finish translating for Jimenez (each in turn), Nadir squeezes out a bit of the gel, drops it back into her pocket, and works it into her hands while listening with that intent look on her face. "Medical jargon is the same thing as marine jargon, it's just a matter of applying the right terms to the concept being discussed," she remarks before she accepts the cup of coffee that Angelis returns with, taking a wary sip of the contents and makes a bit of a grimace. "You like a wee bit of coffee with your cream and sugar," she shakes her head a little but sips from it anyway before she sets the cup aside and moves forward to study the contents of the case. Quelling the instinct to pull on a fresh pair of gloves before handling the equipment, another thing that takes more effort than is pretty, Nadir retrieves her reading glasses from one of her front pockets and only then does she lift each component as indicated. She takes the time to study each facet with intense curiosity. The excited chatter from Jimenez nets a curious sidelong glance before the translation picks up, and Angelis's addition makes her exhale a quiet breath of a laugh. "Tell her that she should try real hot cocoa some time, or any of the hundred or so versions of teas that we have on hand." She flicks a glance to Jimenez again, then hands the device back to the other doctor. "Physician heal thyself is a very old line of advice for things to not do. Ask her if she'll do the honors?" she wonders, removing her reading glasses again as she says this.

The Arpayan Doctor listens carefully. "Hot.. co-co?" she tries to parse out. She seems interested but clueless as to what that might be. No cocoa plants on Arpay, huh? Or just a different name. She waits patiently for Sam but with the invitation and handing back of the device, she dips her head slightly with a smile. Stepping forward, Jimenez aims the lens into Sam's left eye and presses the button. Inside her own head Sam can hear (but not feel) several quick clicking sounds. There is no pain, as promised, and no visible beam to shy from. Two seconds, then its overwith. Jimenez opens the case again to put the device back while she waits for Sam. The Colonial surgeon feels a little high for a moment, like brain fog while the language settles into her mind. Three seconds later she's right as rain. Doctor Jimenez lofts her brow and smiles to Samtara. "Doctor Nadir? Can you understand me? Don't try to speak the language, just let it roll off the tongue like everyday speech." …Its incredible. Samtara instantly understands all the nuances and cultural significances behind the phrasing. Its a complete download of their whol language without a moment in a book. It begs the question of what else could be done with that. "If you can understand me, its a pleasure to finally meet you. Your patients have clearly had very good medical care. My staff wanted to pass that along to you directly once we could have more personal conversations."

As the translations continue, Lleu is now seated as comfortably as he reasonably can. He fishes into his shirt pocket beneath his body armour he hasn't taken off yet and withdrawls a small plastic vile to shake out two small pain pills. Ynyr pops them into his mouth for his headache and sips them down with coffee before the vile returns to his shirt. After translating more, with Angelis helping, Lleu gives Samtara an enouraging smile. "Get you two chatting and then, once you no longer need Angelis and me, I'm going to go hit the head for a shower and drag myself into my rack to sleep for days. Doc Jimenez said the jump through the wormhole would catch up with us like jet lag, and she's right. I'm beat."

Angelis is so with the MP on that score. Translating is not her thing, no matter how much she likes Doctor Jimenez. She quickly finishes off her coffee and hops to her feet. "Me too," She adds, feeling somewhat grimey and in desperate need of hot shower and comfy pyjamas and a few hours of sleep. There's a pause though, right before she makes a beeline for the door, "Uh… I mean, if that's okay?"

Waiting it out after the device is used, Nadir closes her eyes for the length of time it takes for the feeling to subside, listening to the sound of the device being taken apart and returned to it's case. "Hot cocoa," she says after a steadying breath is drawn, "from cocoa beans, which - when mixed with butter and sugar makes a substance that we refer to as chocolate, or cocoa, depending on what language base you're using. It can be brewed as a hot or cold drink. If you like our coffee, you'll like the cocoa as well," she explains before opening her eyes and angles a nod first at Ynyr then another at Angelis. "Shower, eat, rest, then report back here in the morning," she advises both marines with another of those nods. "My thanks," she adds even as she's shifting her attention back to Jimenez. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well, and relay my thanks in return for the words from your staff. As you can see, the marines are pretty sturdy, to begin with, they tend to only let us take care of them when they're seriously broken. But we like them all the same."

Jimenez looks to Lleufer and Angelis and nods. "Water and rest. Just let your body get used to it. Your first wormhole always throws your body out of whack." There's a playful roll of her eyes with the idea of a body being thrown out of anything, including whack. She then looks back and, hearing her own language, seems eminently pleased. Similar emotions about the idea of chocolate. "This is something I'm going to have to try. It sounds like a rare commodity. Very valuable." If only she knew. She stays quiet while orders are issued to the patients, sipping her mug of coffee, then looking back afterwords. The comments get a hummed sound of familiarity. "Our soldiers are much the same. Boys will be boys, though I think in this case its safe to apply to both genders in the context." Both hands hold the mug in front of her. "Our own medical section is apart of the military but stands separated from traditional command structures we have seen in other worlds. In our military, the Doctors have final say and its rare to hear about someone attempting to pressure one. Soldiers listen, even if grudgingly. We cannot be ordered to do anything we find unethical. The social and judicial laws concerning it are immense. Its very freeing for us to practice." She sips her mug again. "Thank you for trusting me, Doctor. I know that sometimes it takes a leap of faith. I recognize that. It won't be forgotten."

Lleufer finishes off his cup of UNSWEET black coffee (stay away from his coffee, Lance) and gets up. It's easier to speak in Arpay and not have to translate, "Chocolate, yes. Must find her some good caco to try." He moves over to set his empty cup down and then comes back long enough to lay a hand lightly on Samtara's shoulder, "Yes, ma'am. We'll be back in the morning. You're right that I feel whacked." Ynyr gives Nadir a light squeaze of her shoulder, keeping the contact brief because he /knows/ how Samtara dosen't like to be touched. "Thank you both, Doctor Jimenez, Doctor Nadir." The MP Sergeant gestures to Angelis, "Come on, Lance. Us Devil Dogs smell like Marines. Let's remove ourselves and let the officers get on with their important talk, shall we?" The sooner Lleu's head can ease into his pillow in his very own bunk, the better.

"It wasn't, actually, all that terribly rare, before the war. What there is that is available now is only what we have in ships stores, what we're able to retrieve from supply depots from the colonies that have such things still standing - and those, same, that haven't been tainted by the elapsed time or radiation. All said, however, it's most certainly worth trying," Nadir agrees with a nod shared with Jimenez, another of those wry traces of a smile. "They're awful fond of thinking that 'it's just a flesh wound' is an excuse for not seeking genuine medical treatment. Half the time I believe they would make do with tape, string, and some glue. Not necessarily in that order." She fits her reading glasses back on as she speaks, settling them in place with a tap of her index finger to the side of the frames. "Civilian physicians are not subject to the strict hierarchy and strata of the military. Military physicians, however, have less leeway to a certain extent. We take an oath, of course, and we are bound to that oath professionally and ethically. I have yet to be faced with a command that would violate either my oath or my ethics; but our history is riddled with examples where men and women have done so, for a variety of reasons that are constantly subject to perspective through the long lens of history." She tips her head in a nod at Ynyr, offering another of those half smiles, "Glad to have you back, Sergeant, Lance, and all of your team. Equally glad that you didn't return with wounds that required immediate treatment and triage. Try to return like that, as a general rule."

Angelis doesn't need to be told twice. She gives the doctors a cheerful grin, and a nod to Samtara before she slips out the sickbay behind the MP, quite eager for her own shower and a few hours of shuteye on her own bunk.

Before Lleufer steps through the hatch and out into the corridoe, he turns and gives Samtara a thumbs up, "I try, Doc." And then he's gone.

Becka seems quite interested in this chocolate thing. The Piraean Army folks had never had it either. Maybe its something the Colonials brought along from Kobol. "I'm looking forward to it." The talk of Marines being difficult to treat gets a knowing pop of her brow, the woman rocking on her heels casually. "Sounds like our soldiers. If we can get them in, we can treat them. They all love their scars and honestly its a nightmare sometimes. You see these people come in and have to ask them how they have three new gunshot wound scars but no records of them in the database. It makes me downright crazy some days." The Doctor continues to listen, though, watching Samtara as she describes the way their own medical field is set up. Her eyes drift to look over Sickbay and towards the entry for the recovery ward. Those inkwell eyes seem to be picking out details from this distance. There's the idea that Becks Jimenez is more than just a Doctor - but certainly that independent of all else. "I'm glad to hear that, Doctor Nadir. One of the most important things we look for in a society and culture is the value they place on ethics of treatment. Above all else, it tends to be the most telling factor for a variety of other conditions. My people don't care if you have violence or crimes against each other. All functional human societies do. We care about the help afforded to those who request or need it."

Making a mild sound of amusement edged with vexation, "Ahh yes. The classic 'Oh, I didn't think it needed to be looked at' excuse. Again, tape, glue, string, or even better? Staples. I do love the ones who use staples, because we use surgical staples for certain injuries. Why not the same kind used on paper?" she wonders before reaching up and briefly pinching the bridge of her nose, "Save me from the illogic of non medical personnel," she adds with a huff of a laugh. She lowers her hand again, this time to reach for her cup of coffee again, "We try. We try to get decent medical care and access to it, to everyone. Those who refuse out of social or cultural or religious persuasions make it a challenge, but we try. Economic factors weigh heavily, and simple hurtles to access by means of wait or transportation or just a lack of genuine communication? It's enough to drive anyone sane to a level of barking mad. But we have a saying about what success looks like. That it's about trying and failing, and and again, because that's what progress looks like. Progress looks like a bunch of failures until one day we make progress, we do succeed, and eventually," and she gestures with her free hand around the sickbay, "we make it to space, we make it to the moon, we spool out into the darkness between the stars, and we bring our medicine, our science, our hopes and dreams and fears and love and hate and everything else with us. It is not just the doing, that matters, but the intent, after all."

The Arpayan Doctor has a similar look of amusement. "Our medics still carry packing tape to seal difficult wounds. I've even seen it used as a tourniquet. Utterly disturbing, but you have to admire some of the ingenuity." She shifts on her hip. "Speaking of which, your Corpsman Miri Zahav? She has something with her called KwikKlot. Its a clotting agent used for treating gunshot wounds, she said." Jimenez looks taken. "The applicator? Just shoving it into the wound and injecting that stuff? Brilliant. Our tech has moved past that sort of thing but I actually think its a much better solution than what we use. Sometimes simpler is better. I had her speak with three of our leading trauma surgeons and a small team of biochemical engineers to start working on research. I think your contact with us is going to save a lot of lives out there. So on that count, I do want to thank you from a medical perspective." She tilts the mug. "Like you said, progress looks like failure until you aim the long lens at it. One of the things that long lens has taught us is that if we take everything we run into at face value and evaluate it for what it does, how it does it, and if its better than what we have? Then we try to adopt it." She takes a long breath. "For all you may conjecture about our medicine, Doctor Nadir, we still have to operate. Injuries are no less messy. There are no magic pills that will bring someone back from the dead or fully restore someone who has become a cognitive vegetable. We value skills with your hands, triage ability, and a Doctor's ability to think on their feet."

Nadir's smile is sudden, not a half smile or an almost smile, but a full blown smile as she replies. "I'm a scientist and a surgeon before my training as a naval officer kicks in, Doctor. I don't presume, assume, or indulge in flights of conjecture of fancy. Antibiotics look like magic and mystical powers to one culture, and to another it's crude and devoid of soul and sentiment. There is no one true way. No single answer. No linear approach that fits every single situation. I'm glad, very glad, that Zahav was able to share with you a bit of our medical science that helps and will, in turn and in time, help with wounded that you treat as the need arises. If you said you had magic pills and wonderful curatives, I would be forced to fall back on a cultural colloquialism and ask if you have a bridge that you're trying to sell."

Jimenez smiles easily, seeming comfortable in how casual this can be. Its almost easy to forget she's not from this world. Just don't focus on the eyes or those semi-pointy ears. "Mm. Yes. There's a romanticism of science and medicine. That's what drew me in when I was younger. The way everything works together and interconnects. It is magic, even if it is science too." Becks seems to be a little in love with her profession. Juuust a smidge. There's a sip to her mug, though. "Mm. Our medical care has advanced significantly. We do have capabilities that seemed to shock your people. But there is no magic pill. Science sets our speed limits, as always." She gestures behind her to the two crates. "In one crate I've brought a small network server. It will give you wireless access to our medical database that comes with it. There are a few datapads in there as well, as well as instructions on how to fix all of it without our help." She gestures to the crate at the rear. "That one has a small assembly station for the production and employment of nanites. They're powerful in the right hands. How we typically employ them is also in the files. But they are yours to use as you see fit." She turns back, sips the mug again. "Speaking of which, do you have someplace private we can talk? I'd like to discuss your patients and what we have done and not done for them."

Samtara Dropkickst 
CMO's Office - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Durable gray, industrial weave, carpeting covers the floor from wall to wall in this small, utilitarian and ruthlessly organized office. The left and right walls are covered in white boards with metal filing cabinets stacked side by side beneath each board, the tops of which serve as additional space along with room for a coffee maker and cleaning supplies. A pair of uncomfortable looking chairs take up the floor space to either side of the door and a heavy desk with a worn looking chair made equally of battered looking metal consume the rest of the space not occupied by shelves. Above the desk is a printed poster listing the periodic table of elements alongside a wall mounted lightbox for inspecting x-rays and other images.
Tue 01/Aug/2006

Casting a long look at the crates that Jimenez indicates, Nadir's expression shifts again from curious to surprise then around to fascination then back again to a tinge of regret. "As fascinating as all of that promises to be, it's against current colonial law and fleet regulations to access a network, let alone the server or anything else. That's a decision that command will need to consider and come to a logical finding on." She rubs the back of her neck with one hand, "Science may set our speed limits, but sometimes science and innovation and technology leap so far ahead, our hearts and morals and ethics lag behind. Just because we can, does not necessarily mean that we should," again, the regret in her tone is apparent, but so is the somber truth to her words. "But yes," she gestures with that same hand toward her office then leads the way, "would you care for more coffee?"

Jimenez seems to anticipate the regret from Samtara. "Yes, we were informed that your society had shunned the idea of advanced computing and networks. The primary concern was, as I recall, that the networks could be hacked or accessed by your machines." Becks doesn't even look concerned. "We've used quantum computers and systems engineering for tens of millenia. Unwanted access is so mathematically unlikely that it borders on proper use of the word 'impossible.' The entire system exists in floating point in randomly changing variables. By simply looking at the code, it changes access protocols similar to a proposed theorem…" that sounds an awful lot like Schroedinger's Cat and the Observers Principle. She waves a hand. "Not important. I brought it because I'm confident that you all will want to at least look at the system and evaluate it. We can take it back with us if you prefer." She seems happy to move with Sam and towards the office. "I agree, Doctor Nadir. Completely. Actually, our history as a people shows endless examples of that. Its like your KwikKlot agent that you use. We use lasers and synthetic skin mesh to seal wounds seamlessly. In the field its messy and can lead to serious internal bleeding issues. We have nothing better. But while it may cause the patient more discomfort, ethically it behooves ourselves to look after the welfare of the patient before anything else. They are ours to protect and fight for while they cannot." Which may explain why that sidearm on her hip has heavy friction lines and various nicks in the plating. It isn't for show. She's used it and not just to practice her aim. "I'd love more coffee, thank you!"

Carrying the mug that has her sweetened and creamed coffee with her, Nadir moves immediately to the coffee maker and lifts the pot from the burner to pour more of the coffee into the mug. She absolutely does not add any additional cream or sugar but she indicates each as she turns, explaining the options before adding, "There's also tea, should you decide you'd like to try some," she adds and selects a plastic wrapped spoon for Jimenez to use, should she desire to add sugar to her coffee. "From a logistic point of view, I understand the mindset of the military to avoid a breach of network issue, with regard to our weapons system and over all network capabilities. It is to easily for the right sort of minds to make the sort of ingress that would be catastrophic. That said," and instead of sitting behind her desk Sam takes a seat at one of the chairs in front, making it easier for the conversation to continue, "from a scientific and medical standpoint, patient treatment and therapy planning, data sharing, records and research access is handicapped in such a way as to make it prohibitively frustrating to have all the data accessible in one place to move forward and have all hands on the same page." She makes a quiet sound that is a sigh of long accepted frustration. "It is illogical and logical at the same time. Even in a closed network, people make decisions that are simply wrong, and exploit weaknesses that are unintended and cause damage, because they can. No system is perfect," she muses and for a moment studies the sidearm that Jimenez bears, "and your society still experiences conflict on a level that you aren't carrying that just for show."

"I'll be trying every tea possible while I am here. For now I think I'm going to throw myself into your coffee. Our morning drink is nuttier, a little more," she rubs her fingers together, "a little more tacky? I guess that's a good word. Sugar?" She looks and decides to give it a try. Its mixed in while she listens. moving to sit in the chairs, she crosses her legs and sits forward while stirring the mug. The mention of her sidearm doesn't even get a glance from her. "I had to do some extensive reading before coming here. It has been some time since we've come across an advanced civilization of humanity that is under threat. Actually, the Colonials are fairly unique in many positive ways. But that said, I believe I understand what you are saying. I may not fully agree with it, but I come from a different perspective. What I have read tells me that this is something that will just take time. We offer, but the decision of how to use what we offer is yours to make. We cannot fairly render judgment because we have not walked your path. If we had, then we would agree with you." and that seems to settle that. "I would be absolutely tittered to help you set it up and show you how to use it. If you would like to see it in action without setting it up, you can join me on the ship we came here on. It has a full medical facility including printing labs for new organs and limbs." She finally sips the sugar'd coffee and stares at it. That's a pleasant surprise. She smiles in spite of herself before looking back. "Oh, yes. humanity is inherently imperfect. You cannot cure the human condition. We just have to accept that. We spent thousands of years trying to do that before giving up. But our society has embraced our role in this galaxy. We have an irrevokable military charter. As Doctors, part of our oathes are to fight for our patients. We take this literally in many ways. Anyone or anything who seeks to bring them harm or would threaten them while under our care brings about violence upon itself. 'Do no harm and do know harm.'"

Making another of those thoughtful hums of sound, "We have a saying, 'A civilization that ignores it's past has no history and no future'," Nadir replies in turn, her expression deeply pensive as she adjusts her reading glasses again with the tip of her index finger to the side of the frames. "That one is followed with the phase that 'History is written by the victors'. I can't ever really decide, for myself, if the second one is as true as the first one, but very often it seems to be. The long lens on history allows us to see more of the contributing factors, but not being IN the moment, or being part of the decision making, or having the emotional tie to what is happening precisely when and where and to whom it is being done? It's a safe remove, and no guarantee of accuracy. Walking in our shoes would only allow you to use the perspective filter through which we view the here, now, and all ties that bind us to this moment. It would be truth, but perspective truth and subjective truth. We are inherently imperfect, in many ways, and this is just one example of how our imperfections shape our own grasp of our reality, both as an individual and as a whole. Do you believe in a universal set of right and wrong, Dr. Jimenez?" she wonders in return. "Moral absolutes?"

That seems to please Jimenez. "I like both those sayings. Both are full of much potential for trouble and truth. A worthy topic of debate, surely." She settles back in the chair, sipping more of the coffee. There's a lot of very deep thought going on behind her eyes, though. While Samtara speaks, Becks is watching and listening. And enjoying this. The obvious truth of what's being said doesn't seem to obligate her to agree and she simply waits for the questions. "Yes." The answer is quick. "Absolutely. Given the universe and the endless permutations of possibilities in varying situations, certain areas are very gray. In fact I would say most areas are gray." She drifts the mug a bit. "Murder. Rape. Either crime especially against children. I would think these are universally accepted points of moral absolutes. But I get the idea you aren't asking in that direction."

"Both yes, and equally no. Murder, for example. One mans murder is another mans justice, or equally, mercy. Is a death that results from crimes committed by the person being put to death ultimately still a crime? Is it murder, when soldiers fight to defend their cause or country or beliefs or religion or families? On both sides, on all sides really, of that particular line, it falls into a gray area. But it's still death, often by violence. Worse, in some case, when it's done without emotion. Rape? I agree on rape. Violence against children and worse, neglect visited upon children, equally a crime. Children, the aged, the elder, the ill the infirm, those who are defenseless? Another hallmark of the health of a civilization is how it cares for those dependent upon the kindness to survive. It takes a village to raise a child, and we are all the village, we are all the child." Sam sets her coffee mug down, removing her reading glasses as she continues, "So equally, yes and no. Moral absolutes are a beautiful idea. Or are universal absolutes. Save for the reality that the universe is mathematically impossibly to entirely vast to render into a simple equation, and in the same vein, equally impossible to assess a codified measure of 'right' versus 'wrong' and have every single living breathing entity contained therein agree in all measures. The best we can do, every day, is decide to do the best that we can, with every decision that we make. Do no harm, yes. A surgeon heals by use of blade, we harm to heal. We cause pain while we set a bone, so that the bone is properly aligned. We harm, to heal. As necessary. We are deeply flawed, but we have hope, Dr. Jimenez, we have hope that we may have hope to live. When you say 'fairly render judgment' I wonder if you are as much a member of the diplomatic branch of your people as you are a member of the medical branch. I'm no diplomat," she adds with a wry half curve of a smile. "I'm a terribly good surgeon, and a very good physician, I'm not terribly good with people, however, as a general rule."

Becks listens easily once again. There are plenty of points to potentially speak up about, and most people would, but she understands the questions as rhetorical rather than subjective for the opinion and analysis. Samtara need only to look at Jimenez to know she intimately understands these points. In the end, she sips her mug and watches Samtara with a quiet, knowing smile. Then, "That's because in my society, Doctor Nadir, our Doctors are our diplomatic corps." Her eyes stay focused on Samtara. "You told me exactly why this should be so: The measure of a civilization is based upon the care afforded to those who request it. Who better to understand the nuances of that judgment than Doctors? Would an Army General understand the narrow ethical guidelines of the care you provide? How about military intelligence, would they fully grasp why you would choose to attempt to save or euthanize a dying child in severe pain? Would a politician, subject to constituencies, make a fair assessment of your education and decision making paradigm when they have spent not a day in their lives making decisions that will cost or save lives?" She shakes her head slowly. "I have many reasons for being here, Doctor Nadir. Whether or not you are good with people is not my concern. The fact that your people have such a high respect for you and that you have shown them the compassion to earn that respect, that says enough. You do not need to physically hold a hand to lead as a physician. We both know that. All you have to do is never quit."

There's a ripple of shock on Sam's face, "I wouldn't know how to. To quit. I mean. Everything I am, every decision I have ever made from the point where I could begin making decisions on my own to become what I am, has been about being a surgeon. A physician. It is all that I am. I wouldn't know hot to quit any more than I would decide to stop breathing or command my heart to stop beating or my cells to cease to function properly," she scrubs both hands gently against the knees of the surgical scrubs she's wearing. "In many respects, I agree. That said, we do not have the tactical scope and depth of understanding of a field commander, a grasp of the networking nuances of a politician or the dogmatic grasp of religious persuasions or theological paradigms. All of these things are aspects and facets of the greater picture, the larger tapestry that is any one culture let alone the dozens that we must interface with in order to achieve some semblance of peace with our neighbors. Like I said," and here Sam gives one of those half smiles, "we are the child and the village." She reaches for the mug again, folding her reading glasses with her other hand and tucking the frames into one of her pockets, "I'm not good at holding hands, no. But I recognize when it's needed, and which of my staff is best appointed. Not ever patient actually needs to have their hand held, sometimes they need a swift kick instead of a soft shoulder and a sympathetic word."

"What we know about the Colonials, from your people, indicates that your fighting force doesn't really understand the meaning of 'quit', even when it may be best to push back from the table. Clearly this has played to your favor for now." Becks sips the mug again, shifting her legs to cross a different one. "You are correct. It takes many types of people to intertwine and make an alliance work. The generals, the intelligence operatives, the politicians… But if we do not value lives the same way then it will never work. We have been doing this for thousands of years, Doctor Nadir. We have failed many times. We have succeeded more with this approach. If we can all agree on the value of human life and how care should be afforded then everything can be done in good faith. There are no lingering questions of how a General's troops will be cared for. The politician does not have to worry about bringing their family to visit. Core values, especially for the infirm, are what we guide ourselves on." She rests the mug in the palm of her hand. "My people are a slice of humanity that are sustained on a warrior ethos, Doctor. Take no mistakes from the words, we kill and we are very very good at it. I am exceptionally proud of being who and what I am. But we are in the business of saving lives and humanity. Sometimes that means 'greater good,' and sometimes that means fighting for the little guy."

"All life has value, or none has value," Sam says in a soft voice after glance down into the coffee mug for a moment. "It may not be a moral absolute, it may not be an ethical imperative, it may not be a culturally accepted standard that everyone believes in. I believe it, personally. Not just because I'm a physician. Not just because I'm a surgeon. Not just because I've taken the oath of a physician. All life has value, or none. It's the only all or nothing concept that I believe in. Since the start of this war I've signed more death certificates than birth certificates than I could ever have imagined in my worst possible nightmare or vision. And until this war ends, i will continue to sign those death certificates, make notes in medical charts, and see new faces transition in and then back out again, in an endless stream of bodies. We kill as well, Dr. Jimenez, and we're very very good at it as well. We've had to be."

"I think I would agree to a certain extent. Machines. The artificial life out there that is sweeping our galaxy and killing or subjugating everything it finds? That's not life that I consider valuable. That is what we call, on the galactic scale, a super predator. It has galactic reach and the desire to sweep everything before it and take it for ownership - or kill the current owners." Jimenez says that very steadily. "What they bring is death. What their leave is pain and sorrow. The survivors live an existence without freedom, without anything but rudimentary medicine, with no ability to fight. Visiting one of these worlds, as a Doctor, is like having someone reach into your chest and rip out your heart. The childhood diseases and mortality is soul crushing." She holds her gaze on Samtara. "There is no value shown or given to the machines. They just want revenge."

"It's one and zeros and cold calculations, mathematics and exacting science writ large, devoid of feeling and soul," Sam agrees in a quiet, almost grim, tone of voice. "It's programs and subroutines, a clocking mechanism and perpetual motion with a networked hive mind to make it a giant, far reaching, war machine with interchangeable parts and cogs. That isn't life. That isn't society. That isn't culture. It's just mechanized death, Dr. Jimenez. It's death. Efficient, effective, linear, bloody logical and cold. And it's very, very good at what it's doing." She shakes her head then, a slow, decisive, movement as she holds Jimenez's gaze. "Revenge, yes. More. They want to re-write history. History is being written by the victors, right now. That much I've read from the reports from our marines, from what they're finding on the colony worlds that have been subjugated by the machines. Taking children, altering their perceptions, turning them into soldiers. Children. The old. The Elderly. Whole cities full of people who may never have held a weapon in their entire lives are turned into walking weapons. And our soldiers? they have no choice but to treat these children as enemy combatants, because they're armed, and aimed at our marines as weapons. That is no life. It is evil, and evil is a word I do not normally use."

Whatever Dr Becks Jimenez knew, this was clearly not in the file. She stares at Sam, mug still held in her palm, other hand on the handle. Those inkwell eyes stare at the other surgeon in, what Sam is beginning to understand, is concern and shock. She blinks a few times and looks down to the mug, waiting for her thoughts to form on words. "Your machines, these Cylons, are different from the ones we fight. Yours are smaller, a different breed. But it sounds like they hold many of the same values." Her words are quiet, eyes still focused on nowhere, sipping the mug. "I've not come across them reprogramming people to be used against us. That's- horrific. Vile." She looks back. "Evil, yes. It seems to denote a more personal hatred. Almost viscerally human." Her gaze goes back down. "I'm unsure how our own soldiers would react to that. Or will. We have some with us who wish to fight." She takes a long breath. "I'm sorry, we need to discuss a few things, Doctor. We keep getting sidetracked. As much as I want to talk mroe about these things, I have ethical obligations I need to fulfil." She reaches to her satchel at the side of her chair and removes a datapad that looks similar to a colonial one. That's probably where the similarities stop.

While not normally a terribly expressive person, Sam fights hard to keep the look of horror off of her face and doesn't, entirely, succeed. "Bigger." She exhales a sound that is no where near a laugh but only shakes her head. "Of course. Why would they be easier to fight against if you're still fighting them. Evolution, after all." She sets her coffee mug aside then, once more scrubbing the palms of her hands against the legs of her surgical scrubs. "That looks very similar to a datapad. We haven't had access to working, networked, tech like that since …" she pauses and frowns. "I've been doing charting by pen and paper for so long I can't remember when I've had access to one, last."

"Bigger. Ours are about three meters tall. One arm has interchangable auto-rifle and the other an interchangable blade. Three green eyes. IR and opitcal scanning. Wireless. They are a plague. The number of them are staggering. Your people responded poorly at the suggestion of how we fight them." Jimenez is busy startign the pad while she speaks, "However your personnel don't understand our reality of the situation. Or theirs." She taps the pad a few times and then places it on the desk. "Please, stand with me." Becks rises and as she does, a holographic display appears above the pad. It even looks like it has solid state matter to it - something they can touch. But Becks is rapidly navigating the file system and brings up 'LCPL Angelis, Tabitha - CMC' and doubletaps the file. "Quantum computing, networking, and millenia of research get you here. It is the easiest way to store and access what you need. Feel free to touch and play with this. You will be using it soon, I hope." Jimenez taps for bloodwork on a tab and brings up not resultant reports, but complete genome endcoding, DNA reports, and status. "Ooookay," she sighs. "Angelis is our example. This here on the left is the result of the bloodtests we ran on their arrival. As you can see, we marked areas of concern. Viral issues, lack of certain antibodies. If you scroll down further there is a complete report on recommendations that was built by the computer system. It is cold and analytical, but effective." Jimenez drops her hands, letting Sam actually touch a hologram, almost like touching a very thin bit of warm gel - one she could push her hand right through.

"It is difficult to decide to kill that which you do not believe to be fully alive in the first place," Sam remarks as she rises to her feet to stand beside Jimenez. "They'll find their way there, mentally, it's a path that must be taken internally and cannot be dropped into, fait accompli, externally. The path can be shown, the road markers can be indicated, but each person is unique, and it's our uniqueness that I think the machines ultimately seek to destroy." She absently pops the hand sanitizer again, working it into her hands and dropping it back into the same pocket while Jimenez brings up the display and nets a quiet "Wow" voiced from Sam. She blinks at the display, just blinking alone, for the first few moments then shares a slow nod. "The image, it rotates and is interactive to allow for focusing upon segments or analysis?" she wonders, clearly someone who not only reads help files but follows instructions when they make actual sense. She scrolls down after a bit of experimenting with the hologram response. "Recommendations that were built by the computer system?"

Jimenez only nods in understanding to the points about the road to be traveled. Her people have been down many of them and its visible in the way she seems to just agree without a word necessary. How old are these people? Having hacked the human genome so thoroughly, how old is she? "Yes. If there are multiple people using it, you can step around to the left or right. It will build additional cube displays on four sides to allow multiple people to access different screens. Or you can lock it to cube for a single user to allow you multiple data selection screens. Or.." she points to the top left, then bottom right, "you can drag the display to be larger and open multiple screens on a single side." Jimenez takes a step back a little to allow Sam to use it. "Yes. This is a medical program we use for first contact. Based on analysis of what is present in the blood, it makes recommendations for treatments and inoculations as an emergency precaution. Your people were not given a choice as to what we gave them on arrival. We had to protect ourselves and them from the diseases and viruses our people developed on different evolutionary paths. Everything past that must be examined manually."

Exploring the display as Jimenez speaks, Sam walks around the display, because honestly, how or why would she resist doing so? She returns to stand beside Jimenez again and nods, "Flexible and easily tailored to allow more than one user to interface at the same time, reducing the need to review the same data individually OR limit access to a single image to only one vantage point. Logical," and there's that tone again, the one that says just how much of a scientist Nadir actually is. She turns then, studying Jimenez in silence for a moment. "Without a premise to work forward from, I'm in a position of having to ask blunt questions that aren't best tailored for diplomacy. Did any of the necessary precautions that you administered to my people in any way alter their genetic code or their reproductive abilities? Since the onset of the war, I have made it a personal project to attempt to build a genetic database of those civilians and military personnel who have transitioned through our fleet medical head quarters before being settled in one manner or another. Tracking family lines and genetic lineage is vital when our population is being reduced to the sums of thousands at a time. We are not, as yet, an endangered species. Genetic tracking, however, is wise all the same. It's a project I don't imagine I'll conclude in this life time, but at least it's a start. And it's better to have something started than to have nothing in place an no way to untangle things should all be lost."

Jimenez waits patiently while Sam explores the other sides and screens. She doesn't seem to be in any hurry or interested in hiding anything. At least if she were, Sam isn't seeing any signs of it. She just looks at her screen, probably verifying everything she thought she memorized. When Sam returns to her side, she looks over and shakes her head. "Blunt questions are the most clear. We are women of science. Subtlety is not our trade. Be blunt, I will answer." The question does get some surprise, though. "What we administered without their permission? Absolutely not. No, we inoculated against viral and bacterial issues while killing some of their own with what we have available. We did the bare minimum. Language so they could safely communicate without diplomatic explosions and protection against disease and pandemic. What we offered them later, however, is different. We did modify some of them. I made the offers, explained the process, and let them make the decision. Both Marines and your Corpsman took offers for both radiological heavy metal treatments and genome editing. The pilots opted out of everything past the language and anti-viral."

Exhaling a quiet laugh, "I am absolutely not surprised by either sets of choices," Sam admits, a brief curve of a grin forms on her face. "You'll find that our marines have a … rather intriguing mind set. They'll do any damn thing that's asked of them, even if it's supposed to be impossible. I'm not sure that a true marine believes that the concept of 'impossible' is valid when applied to any mission or task or really anything they come up against. Our pilots? Frighteningly fearless, something I find more than a little baffling." She studies the display again before sharing a nod with Jimenez, "Thank you," another tip of a nod, this one conveying genuine heartfelt appreciation for the bluntness they are both dealing in. "Inoculations against viral and bacterial, while defending against disease and pandemic, with the option for other modifications. You mentioned limb replacement and organ replacement? That would be a huge boon when it comes to dealing with traumatic injuries which are often the result of combat operations. Some of our personnel are host to a number of wounds and tissue damage that we have no recourse to properly treat. Not with the limits on our medical facilities being as they are; what we have is a finite supply of medicine and treatment options. There is no production line ready to give us a resupply as needed."

Becks shares a smile with the laugh. "Our soldiers are a lot like your Marines. In fact, your Marines and my soldiers took to each other quite well. The well-wishing on departure was very warm. I'm proud of them. All of them. Including your own." Its hard to deny the real warmth in her voice and in those eyes. The rest has her nods in understanding. "We have limited resources, as well. We can help. But resupply isn't so simple. We need documented evidence that we should expend more resources here in this sector before we can successfully lobby for a resupply. In the meantime, we are happy to help. Printing organs and limbs is part of that. Actually, Sergeant Ynyr is an example." She reaches up and swipes away Angelis and brings up his file. But she brings up not the map of his genome and DNA, but a fully functioning map of his brain's neural activity during some ind of scan. "This is not live. Just what we recorded. We offered to repair some of the damage done to him." She pokes at a file on the side and there's a scanned copy of a medical order, right down to Lleu's signatures. She quickly closes it and uses both hands to bring up a larger picture of the brain. "We can inject him with nanites that will repair his brain damage over the course of three weeks. They will work at his brain and encourage broken neurons to fire towards each other, developing and repairing natural neural pathways on their own." The only thing artificial is the encouragement in internal medicine. "Then we would replace the nerve cluster in his left arm and his leg. The nanites are a simple injection. The surgery would take about 3 hours for both limbs. We already have the replacement nerves printed and in statis." But the surgery unperformed. And nothing injected? Even with signed paperwork?

"You would give him back his voice, unslurred, back his body, undamaged, you would make him whole again. A marine, through and through. No longer a liability that he perceives himself to be. You would make him back, in flesh, the man that he was, while still retaining all that he is, in the man that he is now," Sam says in a low voice that holds something close to wonder, if not a trace of awe, in the tone. She studies Becks for a quiet moment, "But you didn't do the procedure, even though the Sergeant is ready and willing, if not eager and raring, to have it done." She rubs at the bridge of her nose again for a moment, shaking her head. "I can think of several logical reasons why you made all the preparations but haven't completed the process; but I'd like to hear your logic behind it as well. This will save and reshape lives. It will bring hope back to many who have none and have accepted the losses and damages to their body to their minds, to their sense of self. It's science, it's medicine, it's programming and intuitive leaps, but it's also hope."

Jimenez seems to understand the scope, but its the reaction that brings a hopeful smile to her face. This is where Sam can tell this woman absolutely loves what she does. "We are healers, Doctor Nadir. Mind and body are one. This is not about proving who has the bigger Sickbay, but about the effort to improve the quality of life for those who make the biggest sacrifices. We cannot fix everything, but we can surely try." There's real love there. Yeah, this woman is definitely a mother. Her gaze goes back to Lleufer's file, though, looking at the brainscan. "All but the pilots have requested work to be done. Genome modifications will extend their natural lifespans by eliminating genetic markers and editing out the dangers. Those are passive actions that we cannot prove or disprove, only claim. They have been given the first of four treatments for that." She looks back. "But doing further, by modifying them, we are fundamentally altering the way your own people look. I would be treating your patients and changing them in ways you had no opportunity to witness or research." Those eyes stay on Samtara. "To be blunt, Doctor, I wanted your permission. I wanted to provide you all the information, all the facts and figures, everything you could to make informed decisions about the welfare of these people. If you will allow them to move forward, I would also like you to assist in the surgical operations they have requested. See it first hand."

Letting out a breath that she wasn't entirely aware that she was holding, Sam smiles again. "If you had done the work and returned our personnel already altered, then we would know that you don't plan to include us in the decisions that you make. If you had simply made the modifications and no explanations as to how, or why, we would know that we would be taking a second or third or worse place at the table and in the greater conversation. You didn't do that," and there it is, again, that faint touch of a smile, "and for that? I am very very glad. And I very much want to assist, moving forward, and see how it's all made possible. I want to learn, to see it first hand. You are giving us the opportunity to no longer have to tell those in our care that we can't help them. That their new condition is their new reality." She takes a breath, waits a beat until her voice is level again. "Thank you."

Sam can probably now understand why their doctors are their diplomats. This woman in her slate gray utility uniform with a well-used sidearm just seems all too happy to deliver this sort of news. "You're very welcome, Doctor Nadir. Doing this job, right here, that I have? This is one of the greatest honors my people have. Peacemaker and Diplomat. We've been doing this for tens of thousands of years. Sometimes we have to grab people by the scruff and do what is necessary to get them to the table. It gives me immense pride to be able to stand beside you and not have to do anything except explain ourselves. We may have grown up in different societies, we look different, but we are the same. We do it this wy because this is how we would want you to treat us." Becks holds her easy smile. "If we wish to be respected, we should give it first and prove we understand what respect is. Caring for the infirm is the most basic, beautiful way to do that." She looks back to the file on the hologram. "He is ready and eager, but I told him he had to speak to you. I've included all documentation including details on the operation and how we do it. For your review, i've attached three cases with similar situations where we employed the same plan of action. The complete results are listed as well. No two people are the same but there are resonable tolerances for similarity. If you approve, I'll leave you to schedule a time for the procedure and I will work with that timetable." She extends the screen, bringing up Tabi's file. "Lance Corporal Angelis and Specialist Zahav, however, have requested additional work to be done. They are both in very good health and the additional procedures requested here are elective. They wish to have their eyes and ears done to match the Arpay evolution." She looks back over at Sam for a reaction, but its delivered easily.

Sam makes a short sound of amusement, not quite a laugh but along those lines, "Yes. The scruff and dragging, I'm very familiar with it. It's both intriguing and somewhat frustrating to realize that some things transcend cultures. Imagine how much strife could be avoided if a common language was introduced at the onset of every single first encounter. How many wars would not have begun in their infancy," she studies the images then shares another of those smiles with Becks. "Personally, I'm rather glad that we're able to converse as professionals instead of offering each other violence and insults along with employing various breeds of weaponry. This is much. . tidier, in my opinion, and keeping things tidy is very important to me." She rests her hands, lightly, no her hips as she glances back at the hologram then feels her eyebrows arch upward as a look of surprise forms on her face. "Changing the shape of their eyes and ears is, ultimately, a minor thing, cosmetically speaking. But the intent behind the desire, that's the real key to the rationale. What is your perspective on their request for the modifications?"

"Oh I know. Our histories, prior to the razer usage, was bloody terrible. Success rates were low and progress took forever. Nobody understood that we were trying to move them out of the way of incoming death. Nobody understood that we were trying to evacuate them against a flood heading their way. So many deaths could have been avoided." Becks makes a long sigh. "Tidy. Yes. That's a perfect word for this. Bloodless, using science to speak the details of what needs to be said. Science does not lie and cannot be massaged to mask as easily as empty promises." She spreads her arms in front of her happily, gesturing to the medical files. "Our symphony." She looks over and up to Sam with a grin. Jimenez loves this so much. The final reply has her give a short, dry sound. Not quite a laugh. "It is not simply changing shape. They've requested printing of matching organs, using their own DNA with our own stem cells. Our physical differences are functional. The new eyes provide what amounts to night vision and unparalleled acuity with detail, even at distance. Imagine reading the fine print on a label from fifteen feet." She moves their files off the screen and brings up her own medical file. Zooming in on her head and ears, Sam can see that there are neural pathways into their ears. They have part of their brains in their ears. "Our ears are very sensitive. Never touch them on an Arpay without permission. Its dangerous. We have receptors and senders in our ears. It allows us much better tactical awareness as well as the ability to project throughts and feelings to those who touch them. For those more combat inclined, our own pilots and soldiers have helmets that make use of this. It allows them to use a neural heads-up display on the inside of their eyes, fed by the helmet and the computer located on mounts behind the ears. …The ears can be dangerous. Five percent mortality in the attempt to implant them, but I think we can mitigate that to about one percent if I have your help."

"Hmm. That becomes as much as question for my division but also for tactical. I can't sign off on those changes unless their division commander agrees to it. Not," Sam adds, shaking her head subtly, "because I doubt the science. I say this out of respect for their commanding officers. It sets a precedent that is dangerous, allowing the changes without reading their commanding officers into what is being requested, the potential risks, then the end result and adjustments that it would have to how their personnel are deployed." She studies the medical file on display, head tipped subtly, "Unparralleled visual acuity would be welcome, very welcome," she sends a thoughtful glance sidelong to Becks. "Even a five percent rate of mortality is better than some odds we have for the use of implants to repair or stabilize damaged bone or tissue. If we could mitigate it down to or as near to one percent as possible, the odds of getting their respective commanding officers to agree to the augmentations would be greatly increased."

Dr. J listens with an open mind and eyes, looking to Sam with her explanation and understanding. "I'm glad we understand each other. I could have performed the surgery on Sergeant Ynyr with limited concern, but some regardless, but this is something I ethically refuse to do without first speaking to you. There is more you should be aware of." She opens up her genome and then brings up a file for Taitha. Two females, makes sense. "We are currently at the opening stages of modifying Tabitha's DNA and genome. She had markers for two different types of breast cancer, malignant neoplasms, dimentia, and severe heart disease. We've eliminated those and as her organs turn over every couple years, those issues will all be eliminated and reduce cellular replication decay. If completes the other three injections in the next year, assuming no external forces and a moderately healthy lifestyle, she will live past 100. Now.." She lifts a finger and more closely moves the two genomes. Tabi on the left, Becks on the right. "If we put in eyes and/or ears, the modified genome will work with these. Our genomes become nearly identical. That means that any children she or Sergeant Ynyr have will be born with these genetically dominant traits. If Specialist Zahav has children, they will have eyes like the Arpay." She looks over to Sam. "I want no surprises in nine months, Doctor. Ethics require full disclosure on this. The patients are aware of this."

"Let me test my understanding," Sam replies after a long moment of silence spent reviewing what Dr. Jimenez has explained thus far. "Your science is able to treat, in advance, cellular error and decay, including the advance treatment of cancer that has not yet developed, etcetera?" she does that thing again, where she studies the display then Becks then back again. "I have two other personnel under my care that have been introduced to this sort of advanced treatment. Both pilots. One who returned with all of her tissue and bone damage repaired entirely, as though she's never been injured in her life. And another who did not actually have access to such treatment but exhibited rapid healing with stable tissue rate to accompany it. How is your science and those other examples moving in the same vein?" She taps her fingertips against the edge of the coffee mug that she lifts again, "In essence, to address the latter remarks, their children will have the eyes and ears of your people, both in form and function. Does that mean that ultimately our species are compatible for merged reproduction?"

Becks listens, head bowed slightly as she listens. She continues to nod slowly. "That's correct. Now there are cancers that can develop environmentally, which we cannot screen for. But we can treat those very easily. We've eliminated cancers and tumors as threats." But Sam mentions have two other personnel who have been treated similarly and Jimenez furrows her brow. "I would need to see examples of their genomes and DNA prior to any changes, and current, to be sure about anything. But it sounds similar. But we would never fix tissue on someone involved with combat. Scars are sacred and storied. I was under the impression many of you felt similarly. Strange." She takes a long breath. "Some people can be exposed environmentally to different conditions that can alter them. We are ultimately fragile things. Evolution can sometimes happen suddenly. But in this case I would say that's unlikely. Mathematically near impossible." The latter remarks are confirmed a little. "Children would have them in form and function, yes. As for merged reproduction? I've already run simulations. The answer is no. Narrowly. Those that wish to could have boosters given that would enable it. Those of your people who we modify would be able to have children with either section of humanity, however. They would essentially become hybrid."

Without actually taking a sip from the coffee mug, Sam sets it down again and tucks her hands into the pockets sewn into the front of the scrub top that she is wearing. "Eliminated. That's…" a half smile tugs into place again, her head shaking slowly. "The math is endless. Ok. Alright. I can get you blood samples from their last physical prior to the most recent deployments and the ones drawn after they returned with the unspecified modifications altering them without any actual documentation to explain what and why." She then nods, a firm gesture, "Scars are sacred and storied, I find that phrase to be the most accurate one that I've heard to discuss scar tissue in a long time. I quite agree, to be frank." She shifts her gaze forward again, to the hologram display, "Hybrid. That will ultimately open up a whole new dialog that will have to be held by someone other than me. A healthy, wanted, child is a healthy, wanted, child, in my opinion. I've no desire to procreate, personally, but it's a biological imperative to continue the species. So long as there are plenty of willing participants, the desire of the one or the many to refrain from doing so has such a small impact on the genetic pool that it isn't a weighing factor. But it would be, to some, possibly to many. We are fragile, and full of flaws that are in so many ways internal and external, social and cultural, religious and political, so much tied to what we see, and hear, how we perceive Normal. So many do not understand that 'Normal' is a judgment, as 'normal' shifts not just from culture to culture but from day to day, even hour to hour, in some cases."

Jimenez nods slowly. "I'll run the samples through our scanners. We should have results in about thirty seconds. If there's anything I can spot, I'll let you know. But I should warn you, it may not find anything. We can look for differences but there are no smoking guns. Speed limits and all that. We can read tea leaves the same as you all." If there is something there, they won't be able to say how it got there. "Are there any other changes physically manifesting? …How old are the pilots? Both female?" The woman listens to Sam talk about procreation in such a sterile way and she has a knowing grin. "I used to be that way. Kids? Absolutely not. I had too much to do, no time for it. But? Our society makes time. Not sure about yours. I've got five kids. Twenty grandkids. Two great grandkids so far." …She's like late 30's, early 40's. Right? Right? "Some women work themselves into the idea of having more. Some have one just for he idea of procreation and found out they love it and want more. Or not. That's the beauty of choice, Doctor Nadir. But my society encourages large families because we know just how fragile life is in this galaxy, and in the ones we evacuate to."

"Allow me a moment to fetch those samples," Sam replies before she moves with quick, determined, strides out of her office to the storage container where samples are kept at a constant temperature to preserve the material marked accordingly. She locates several samples that she returns with, two from each patient in question, one from before and the other from after, and offers the vials to Dr. Jimenez. "The best we can do, really, is draw blood, fluid or tissue samples to study. Storage is finite as well, so what we have we can only store for so long before it has to be discarded to make room for others that need studying." She shakes her head as she answers more of the asked questions, "Not that I'm aware of, or more accurately, other personnel haven't volunteered any additional data. And Health, very health, females, early twenties each." She moves to pick up the cup of coffee and this time drinks from it before she shakes her head. "I believe that children should be wanted, Dr. Jimenez, that they are a precious gift, and that it should be both a challenge and a right to bear children. It should be done by accident, by trivial interaction, and should not be done lightly. A child that is unwanted, unloved, neglected? It's one of the greatest crimes." This said before she ventures, "Children, grand children and great grandchildren. Unless your rate of maturation is greatly accelerated, you are older than your general visage would apply. I have just reached my thirtieth year, as we measure time."

"Allow me a moment to fetch those samples," Sam replies before she moves with quick, determined, strides out of her office to the storage container where samples are kept at a constant temperature to preserve the material marked accordingly. She locates several samples that she returns with, two from each patient in question, one from before and the other from after, and offers the vials to Dr. Jimenez. "The best we can do, really, is draw blood, fluid or tissue samples to study. Storage is finite as well, so what we have we can only store for so long before it has to be discarded to make room for others that need studying." She shakes her head as she answers more of the asked questions, "Not that I'm aware of, or more accurately, other personnel haven't volunteered any additional data. And Health wise, very healthy, females, early twenties each." She moves to pick up the cup of coffee and this time drinks from it before she shakes her head. "I believe that children should be wanted, Dr. Jimenez, that they are a precious gift, and that it should be both a challenge and a right to bear children. It should /not/ be done by accident, by trivial interaction, and should not be done lightly. A child that is unwanted, unloved, neglected? It's one of the greatest crimes." This said before she ventures, "Children, grand children and great grandchildren. Unless your rate of maturation is greatly accelerated, you are older than your general visage would apply. I have just reached my thirtieth year, as we measure time."

Jimenez waits. She looks over her own notes in the files while Samtara goes for the vials, getting something out of her satchel. When Sam returns, there's a small device on her desk with a cable hooked up to the pad. A small sterile bag of swabs with it. She talks as she tests each one, the swap simply placed onto a testing strip and inserted. The slot is cleaned with a simple green strip, then ready for a new one. The testing really does take about thirty seconds. "That's the problem with digital-phobic societies. Honestly, I can understand why but this is what you look at when you are forced to work with it. We store everything. We only dispose of medical records after one thousand years. We just don't have the shortage of data storage." Jimenez shrugs and continues working. "Okay, so two healthy females, early twenties. Should be interesting." She continues. "I agree with you, Doctor, believe me. Its always a shame when children go discarded or uncared for. All we can do is our best with what we have. I was lucky enough to love having my first. First led to twins. Then fourth and fifth. After five, I had my tubes tied. Noooo more, thanks. Five was enough," she laughs. "A great joy, buuut there's only so much joy I can take." She grins happily. "Ah, yes, I spoke to your people about how they measure time. I worked that out. I'm roughly eighty-seven years old, I think. Or time is very different. Our normal lifespan, in your terms, is about one hundred and eighty years." She is busy pulling up files on the screen for the two women. Becks stops and furrows her brow. "Huh. You sure these are the same?" she glances over, then back. "Female one, original sample. Normal. Likely age is late teens. Red hair, light skin," she gestures to genome map points. "Green eyes. Second sample, same female? The covalent bonds between them are stronger. Younger? Not by much. Very clean. No signs of disease. Additional- yeah, faster scar healing." She shrugs. Then she looks at the next. "Female two. Early twenties. Red hair, blue eyes. Fair skin. Blah blah.. Normal for what we would expect." She shakes her head to the second. "Female Two?" Becks confirms. "Late teens. Red hair, blue eyes. Fair skin. Very clean health history, but hers was also fairly clean to start with so tough to say. Yeah, there's a quicker healing modifier." She brings it up for a closer work. "It's a synthetic molecule. Very similar to one of our designs. We use it on burn victims. Nothing extraordinary. But I couldn't say how these two came into contact with it. do they know each other?" she asks.

Sam makes a small sound that isn't, quite, exasperated but it's a near thing. "Yes, they most certainly know each other," she confirms with a measured nod. "One was held as a prisoner in a cylon camp, though cylon isn't the correct term I suppose, but we'll stick with it. The second was not, to my knowledge, detained or exposed to what ever it is that the first was treated to. The question that then arises is how the molecule would pass from one subject to the other. There's standard ways of transmission, as you know. But to make the molecule stable enough to survive the transfer from one host to the other begs the question as to how far and wide this particular synthetic molecule is able to spread and follow that with the query as to whether it's spreading intentionally or by sheer accident. Creating a version of herd contamination, to use the long angle." She taps her fingertips against the coffee mug that she's holding and shakes her head, "So many questions to which no easy or logical answers are readily available." She then blinks, just the once, slowly at Jimenez. "Eighty seven? Well. You're not even to what we would call your middle age, as yet. That does.." she chuckles suddenly, "well. That alters the equation even further, doesn't it? The average lifespan for a man of our genetic structure is between seventy and ninety, depending on hazards and lifestyle. For women it's closer to ninety to one hundred, same conditions applying. That is going to also set large segments of our population on end, to be sure."

Becks shrugs a little. "If they know each other then it could be anything. The mobile labs we have on our ships aren't precise enough to tell us any more than this." Nevermind that she just did six months of research and testing in thirty seconds with something that came out of her satchel. "But I can confirm that its more likely that it somehow jumped between the two, but I cannot account for more than the scar healing. According to these secondary results, we are looking at two girls who are in their middle-late teens. The first one, only just. If these are low-ranking pilots it might be worth talking to them further. At least I would hope your situation is not so dire that you would have senior pilots this young." Nobody told her about The Sixty. But Kelsey's file says she is 22. Not 17 or 18. Or was it the other way around that she is young, but looks older? Not enough sleep. Jimenez moves past it quickly. "Regardless, I don't see anything harmful here. Whatever was done to them appears benign. Helpful, even. I mean these two women look like they will live another ninety years without help. I mean this is just first blush, no detailed looks." She shrugs. "I mean, if this is a problem for you then its a problem. But I'm not sure I would actually see this as a problem." Becks shrugs, unsure of how to advise. "Your patients." Your problem. She does smile to the rest, though, and nods. "It does change things in how we live our lives, yes. Its typical, even common, for a space-faring race at our level to out live our children, grand-children, and even treat great grandchildren as our own. We are gone for long stretches. Life takes on a different meaning. When it comes to family, we give freely and trust them to make intelligent choices in life. Before we left I had to say goodbye to my children. We know its likely I will not see them again. Grandchildren, too. The two littlest? Well, hopefully I'll get some time with them." A small smile there.

"Both patients are near in age, that part is accurate, but patient one is 19 and the second is 21, as we measure age," Sam replies and frowns at the display, pacing for a quiet moment around the hologram as she mulls this over. "It is a problem in that it's an unknown element that is potentially spreading. Benign in this form, yes, but what is to say that this form does not adapt or mutate at some point and become something other than benign? It's not just cynicsm, I assure you," she adds with a mild shake of her head. "I'm responsible for the over all health of everyone in this fleet, which extends to the civilian population that we have been rescuing and acquiring from the start of the war. These two women are walking around possibly spreading this molecule, that I can't explain, or contain. We have a saying that suggests caution when something appears to good to be true," she eyes the display again before taking a slow breath, holding it silently, then exhaling. "And another about knowing when something cannot be changed and having the wisdom to accept it." She angles her head subtly to offers a smile to Jimenez, "How long has your life span been extended in this manner? I don't get the sense that this is a recent alteration, your words give the impression that this is common in your culture, not an unusual facet."

Becks considers Sam's theory of possibility. "True. Though I suppose anything is possible. But synthetic molecules like this are designed to do a single job and remain contained. If it spread from Patient One to Two, then it was via something else I'm not seeing. I mean, Patient Two's immune system is great." She looks back to Sam. "I would honestly wait and see. If it spreads, then there's a problem. But if it is limited to these two young women, who are definitely not 19 and 21, then you should be okay." Eyes drift over the results. "If this is contagious, nobody is going to know they have it unless they get seriously injured. Nobody is going to report feeling fine. Unless your society is vastly different from mine, I mean," she laughs lightly. "You may just have to live with this, Sam." Comfortable enough to use a first name. The topic of her lifespan has her nod a little, that quiet smile to her face. "Very common. When you deal with the great distances and time dilations that we do, its common to say goodbye and hope for the best. If I spend a month here I'll probably have missed close to a year back home. And if I'm honest, I would be honored to stay and work with you and get time working back on the front lines with trauma surgery. Do some honest good work with my hands. …But how long? We've been keeping clean genetics for the last ten or twelve thousands years. If records or right, we grew into it over the long term. Our lifespan isn't artificially extended. We know we could live forever if we wished, but we have laws against it. We must cycle. The universe must balance. Energy in must be returned out."

Exhaling a quiet laugh, Sam shakes her head, "No. We have the usual mix of people who absolutely will not come in, unless they're carried in, suffering from extreme blood loss. Or the ones who will amble through with a broken bone that maybe ought to be looked at. Along with the usual mix of those who are convinced that something is wrong, when there isn't anything really wrong, and need a test or a diagnosis or just plain attention to make themselves feel better," and there it is that exasperated tone of voice again. "And unless both pilots lied their way through flight qualifications, they're 19 and 21," she insists but waves the issue aside with a gesture. "One month translates to a year in relative time. You could miss so much of their life span if you spent an entire standard year with our fleet," she sounds both intrigued and mildly appalled at the same time. "What you sacrifice to do what you're doing, that's both commendable and humbling." Her head tips as she wonders, "Laws against it. Even if there weren't laws against it, I have to confess I would consider it a punishment not a reward to live so long."

Becks shakes her head, making a flat smile. "Yes," she sighs, "our cultures sound like horrid mirrors. I have dozens of patients the same way. People who insist one seeing their Doctor once a month, wasting my time, and makes it harder for the once a year physical to find a workable time." Her eyes lid, knowing this frustration well. "I love and despise my job some days. 'No Miss Welker, you do not have finger cancer because you got a hangnail.'" Eyeroll. "But your situation is either already far our of control or contained. One or zero, I'm afraid. You may need your idiom about accepting things." She shrugs it off. The insistance on ages, though, only has her look at her test results. Then back at Sam. Then to results. "I'm not going to argue over a couple years. Doesn't matter." Te results are slid away and the hologram goes back to the main menu system. "I would miss that assuming they didn't travel in that year, also. I have a grandfather born four hundred years ago who is still alive because he worked on a world closer to the core. He looks to be my age. Very nice guy. I call him senile just to get under his skin." She winks. "Sacrifice is relative, but the honor of the position and duty is higher. I'll accept the latter." Mmhmm. "Some people fear death and will do anything to dodge it. We found that those who dodge it have a high percentage of losing perspective and moral and ethical standing in society. So we just outlawed it. It isn't worth it. If you live forever, then the question becomes what a moment - or even a life - is worth. It runs counter to the principles of Rally Point."

"It goes hand in hand, though," Sam replies after a quiet moment. "The fear of death and fear of life. Those who are so afraid of death who will do anything to avoid it including hemming themselves up in their walled dwellings never really enjoy it. And those who embrace death while constantly chasing it with one extreme adrenaline adventure after another. Hand in hand, two sides of the coin with the edge being where most people really live," she adds. "You do realize that the test you just ran would have taken us months? Even if I could have moved the samples in a timely manner, there is a long waiting time for the tests already in the queue. Add to that the elapsed time between when I would have submitted the request, had the samples shipped over, then input into the queue, months of waiting time, then the results cycle back out and by then it's entirely to late to accomplish anything in a timely manner." She tips her head subtly to the side, "And the technology that you have with you is only what you have that's portable for the sake of this particular mission, which still far outdistances that which we have access to. Once word spreads that there is even a glimmer of a potential to head off such things as cancer, we will have people lined up and badgering their chain of command to access, let alone what the civilians will be asking for. And what are the principles of Rally Point?"

"It does, and that's something we learned a long time ago. Its one of the reasons we so strictly control those razer devices. Consider the power one could amass with one of those and unlimited access. I don't even have a control panel for one with me. The only thing they could be used for is learning the language. Technology regulation has its own arm of law enforcement in our government. I'm authorized to shoot to kill to protect those." The point about the testing has her smile a little more and nod slowly. She understands but doesn't see it as a thing to lord herself upon. "Then I'm happy to give the gift. What you do with it is going to define yourselves as a people. What you do with it here, in thiss galaxy? Well.. That's your own destiny. It does not travel to the evacuation points. Ever. As for the principles?" She chuckles. "Depends upon whom you ask, Doctor." She looks at the pad, smiling, then over to Sam again. "Our government operates under a military charter. We are charged with the protection, evacuation, and avengement of humanity in this galaxy. We are heavily militarized, but hold service in the highest regards. Due to our lifespans and travel distances, we place a high premium on individual responsibility. Everyone must work to better themselves. We are not a utopia, by any stretch, though. We tried it and it almost killed us. The life of humanity is something we pour our hearts and souls into. But we are vicious in the protection of it. And there is no qualm about taking human life to ensure those who are innocent are allowed to pursue their own lives. Doctors are considered to be the highest rung of professionalism and respect due to the services we provide and the strict ethical codes we are charged with. We are healers, diplomats, law enforcement, and soldiers - all for our patients."

"That is a heavy mandate," Sam replies after another of those stunned silences. "A remarkable one, as well. The idea of a charter of that kind being able to unify even one colonial world let alone all of them into a unified body with such clearly defined goals is a bit staggering to attempt to grasp in a real world application." She gives a mild twitch of one hand, "Utopia would be disastrous, the math on it is unsustainable." She rubs one hand at the back of her neck, shaking her head. "Logically all requests will be triaged as measured against real medical status with elective procedures leveled on the same field and assigned probably by a blind lot instead of anyone being given preferential access. It has to be fair, which is a word that adults don't get to use or actually employ very often. I'd like to give it a genuine attempt." She leans back, studying Jimenez, "You are very fierce. And you believe in what you're doing, not just . . mouthing the words, which I also find shocking and refreshing and hopeful at the same time."

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