Freed and Fettered
Freed and Fettered
Summary: Rhea is sprung from Sickbay, and Karan drops by for a word with Zaharis.
Date: 75 ACH
Related Logs: Boarded, Of Trust

Recovery Ward Genesis - Deck 13
75 ACH 23817 Souls

This is a large room holding over twenty bed stations for patients to recover after having treatment severe enough that they cannot immediately return to duty. Each station has various connections for medical equipment, a bed with collapsible railings, fold out table, adjustable positions and a privacy curtain.

Rhea is laying in her head in the recovery ward, though she has a restless look about her. She's got her laptop computer on her table and is toying with it, scrolling through some messages. One of them makes her smirk, and she lingers on it to re-read it. *re*

Making his way into the Recovery Ward, Craven is obviously on duty. Clad in his duty uniform and lab coat, the man seems to be sporting a whole armful of documents. Moving along the rows of the beds, Craven pauses long enough to drop them off on the table beside Zaharis, "This stuff is all gibberish to me, by the way. I forgot to enroll in the CommandSpeak course." There's a quick smile and then he's shuffling off over towards where Rhea's decided to lounge for the past several days.

Zaharis is lying in bed quietly. A mirror is on his stand, lying face-up. It would probably take a doctor to notice that the adhesive around the gauze on his face had been shifted a bit, as though taken off and put back on. His eyes open as Craven puts documents down, and he nods once. "Thank you."

Rhea shifts a sidelong look at Zaharis, but she leaves him to his preening. She closes up her messages, focus going to Craven. "Well, well, well. My keeper. So. How am I today, Doctor? Am I going to live?" Tone decidedly wry. She's feeling better.

There's a very softly chuckle towards Rhea and Craven pauses by the end of the bed to grab her chart, taking a moment to look over the notes before he 'Hrmms' softly, "Hmm. You should have been out of here three days." He peaks over the top of his clipboard before lowering it further to offer a grin, "But in all seriousness, things are looking good and thanks to the infinite wisdom of my esteemed boss, I think we can let you go." There's one of those 'but' pauses, "But .. you're going to be restricted to light duties for one week. That means lifting nothing heavier then your pen, Major. Your stomach is still tender as a result of the wound."

Zaharis picks up some of the papers that Craven left, thumbing through them. Luckily he does know CommandSpeak. Or maybe unluckily.

Rhea snorts at Craven's little joke. "Somebody should've told me. This isn't my choice of a place to vacation. No offense to your hospitality." Though her expression moderates as she listens to all that. She's clearly quite glad to be getting her walking papers, though she tries not to celebrate too much. Especially in front of Zaharis, still down as he is. She nods. "Understood, Doctor. I won't do anything too strenuous. Fastest way to ruin a busted machine is to push it into work before it's properly fixed. How much follow-up am I going to need for this?"

Removing a pen from his jacket pocket, Craven begins to jot something down and then he's pulling it from the bottom of the chart, extending it towards Rhea, "Glad to hear it, Major. As for follow-up? Going to want to see you on Day 2 and Day 4. Then, after you return to work on Day 6, we'll want to have a look, just to make sure there's been no problems from returning to full duty. Beyond that, it's just the old verbage: If it hurts, let us know."

Zaharis is just reading over documents. Or perhaps he's spying on Craven's bedside manner for later critiquing. Who can tell? He's a sneaky sumbitch.

"I'll keep a log of my twinges," Rhea says with a wink. She nods again. "I think I can manage that. Thanks, Craven. For your work on my machinery, I mean. I'm still in working order, which I take to mean you've done a good job."

There's a soft chuckle and Craven gives another nod of his head. Then, he's motioning over towards Zaharis, "Not a problem, Major. But the Doc's the one you wanna thank. He works us to the bone, just so we can provide luxury class service." He's offering his own wink, followed by another nod, "You'll be able to get your uniform and any items you had with you, when you were admitted, from the nurse at the front desk."

Zaharis snorts quietly from his bed, turning a page.

Rhea crooks a grin in Zaharis' direction. "He's a harsh task-master, I'm sure. But he seems to know his business." Her tone holds nothing but fond respect for the CMO. She looks deeply grateful, as to the uniform. "Lovely. I didn't enjoy the idea of traipsing back to the berthings in this gown. I'm quite sure the crew doesn't need to see my bare ass."

"Harsh? That's being a little nice." Alright, so Craven is teasing simply because Zaharis can hear them and he steals a glance over towards the CMO before looking back towards Rhea, "Nah, probably best you not run around in that gown. MP's mind pick you up, thinking you escaped sickbay and then you'd be back in here .. again."

Zaharis just smirks. He makes plenty of comments about Rhea's bare ass here and there, but thankfully he keeps that to himself this time.

Karan comes in from Sickbay.
Karan has arrived.

Rhea snorts a wry laugh. "We certainly wouldn't want that." She shoves the blankets off her and sits up. Though she doesn't leave just yet. Perhaps wanting to prepare herself a little before she flashes her backside to Craven and Zaharis. And she has a couple more questions. "How much longer's Lieutenant Quill going to be in for? Not that I want to rush him out. Keep him as long as he needs be kept. But it'll make it easier to rearrange the duty roster if I have a rough idea."

Tucking the chart under his left arm, Craven looks over towards Quill's bed before looking back towards Rhea, "The Lieutenant's going to be released tomorrow, providing he's not having any additional troubles. After that, he'll be on light duties for a week as well."

Karan enters the recovery ward quietly, sans bag or sacred phal- er. Ritual rod, today. Just himself, neatly pressed into navy blues and boots that strike a lurksome cadence as he passes the rows of beds. A few are stopped at along his way, a word or two offered, or sometimes just a smile.

"Is he?" Rhea's surprised, happily so. She smiles broadly. "Excellent. He had me fairly worried, I'll admit. Damn kids. They do make us fuss. I'll make sure he doesn't do any heavy lifting until he gets a Medical O-K.. He and I can be twin console jockeys for a week.

There's a soft laugh and Craven is giving another nod of his head, "Perfect, Major. That's exactly what I want to hear." There's a smile and he's taking a couple of steps, "Well, I'll let you get on your way and I'll make sure your chart is closed off, so the other doctor's don't report you missing."

Rhea offers Craven a light, two-fingered salute, returning his smile. She stands, not wasting anymore time languishing in the ward. "I'll get my uniform, I think," she says, heading out to collect her things from the nurse. Walking as briskly as one can while holding the back of their hospital gown closed. Karan hasn't been cleared to see her ass.

Zaharis watches Rhea go and does smile slightly. Then his attention goes back to what he's reading, sort of. Pages flip, anyway.

Craven has left.

The chaplain would probably throw a fit if it was flashed in his direction, anyway. But, he's got his back turned at the moment regardless, and speaking softly to someone in a neighbouring bed. Squeezing his hand, the priest rises again and continues moving down the centre aisle. He has to skirt around the departing Rhea, but offers a warm smile to see her leaving. "Take care, sir," is murmured in passing.

Rhea comes back to the ward once she's changed into her fatigues. To retrieve her laptop, and a few other odds and ends scattered on her bedside table. And to pay Zaharis a parting visit. "Beat you," she says to him, teasing gently.

Rhea didn't respond with more than a nod to Karan's greeting. But, she was in a hurry.

Zaharis gives Rhea a slightly forced smile. "Sure did. Breathe some not-so-fresh air for me, eh?"

Karan doesn't delay the Major any longer. She probably wants out of here as soon as possible, so he drifts instead toward.. the other Major's bed and lets her be.

Rhea hangs around the other major's bed. She doens't get in the chaplain's way, but she pays him no mind outside a polite nod. Her smile to Zaharis is of the more genuine sort, and carries a warmth for the CMO. "Will do. I'll be back to torment you later. Don't think you've escaped me." More seriously she adds, "Thanks for keeping me company. I think I would've gone stir-crazy in here without you for a neighbor."

"Supposedly they're making me stand up tonight," Zaharis replies, drily. "So don't torment too hard or I'll chase you. Like a granddad with a walker, but…do what you got to do. Go on, git. Hanging around here longer than you have to, we call that a 'tactical error'."

Karan, likewise, tries not to get in the pair's way. In fact, he pulls back to the neighbouring, and unoccupied, bed. And settles down on it to study his fingernails. They ain't pretty; they've been bitten to the quick. His pinky finger nail's nibbled on absently as he watches Rhea and Zaharis.

Rhea laughs at that. "I can outrun you. On your best day. I've got a higher lung-capacity." She reaches over to touch his arm briefly. Or whatever part of him she can gently pat without poking at his burns. "I'll see you later, Jesse. When I come back we can have a gimp race. You can make me tear my stitches. It'll be hilarious." She's about to go but she pauses. Something's clearly on her mind. "Jesse…the morpha been…gives you funny dreams, doesn't it?"

Zaharis moves his head, turning his half-bandaged face towards her. "It can cause sleep disturbances sometimes, yes. Most anything can…stress…shootouts." Little dry there. "Why, what's up?"

Karan still doesn't interrupt. He's quiet as a mouse over there.

Rhea seems about to answer. But a glance back at Karan gives her pause. Quiet or not. She shrugs. "Just had a couple strange nights in here is all. Stress. Bullets. Drugs. That's all it was. Anyway. I'm going to get out of here before they rethink letting me go. Be good, okay?"

"Hell no." Zaharis smirks as he gives the quiet answer. He doesn't push her to answer his question, letting his head rest back. "Talk to you later, Rhea. Take care of yourself."

Karan begins climbing to his feet, when he gets that look. "I can give you some privacy, sirs," he offers gently.

"I'm on my way out, Lieutenant," Rhea says briskly to Karan. She means it this time, leaving Zaharis in peace. She smirks. "Talk to you later, Jesse." And off she goes. Not exactly at top speed. She's on light duty for awhile for a reason. But free, at last.

Zaharis lets Rhea decide on that one. He closes his eyes, assuming Karan's here to talk to Quill more about singing or whatever that was they were discussing before the CMO dozed off.

Karan licks his lips slowly. Rhea gets a lingering look, leached of all but a mild curiosity, like he's trying to suss something out about her. "Yes, sir," is offered mildly, as the Major whisks herself away.

If Rhea notices Karan looking at her, she gives no sign of it. She escapes with no more fuss.

Zaharis keeps his eyes closed, folding his arm over the documents lying over his waist. He slowly tilts his head to the right, verrrry gently stretching the forming scar tissue on the left side of his neck.

Karan turns away from the escaping ChEng, and back to the CMO. He'd already risen from that adjoining bed, and reaches for the chair beside Zaharis' now, tugging it back a short way before sitting. And spending a few moments flitting his eyes over those angry burns. "Hello," he offers eventually, and tries on a smile. At least he isn't asking how the man's feeling.

At least the nasty part of the burns are still under gauze, protecting the new, scarring skin from dirt and infection. Face, neck, and shoulder are still under the light white cloth and a layer of antibacterial ointment as they heal, though considerably less than a couple days ago. Zaharis' dark eyes unglue when he realises someone's talking, and it sounds like it's aimed in his direction. "Hello, Lieutenant."

Rhea leaves for Sickbay [o].
Rhea has left.

Karan's gaze is dragged from gauze-covered burns, to the dark eyes that peel open when Zaharis speaks. The chaplain's features are austere, his expression withdrawn as it often is. Yet there's a hint of warmth, somewhere in there. "I think my timing's off today. I'd hoped to come by and see Lieutenant Quill.." Which is a lie, really. Surely it's obvious.

Zaharis' eyes flick to Quill's bed, and the sleeping engineer. Then back to Karan. "I'm sure he'll be awake soon. He's been out for a while."

"I think he could use the rest," answers the chaplain gently, following the doctor's glance toward Quill's bed. Rather than look back to Zaharis, he glances back down at his bitten nails again. "I wanted to apologise, sir."

"No need." Zaharis replies, simply. He glances down as Karan does, following the line of attention. "Shouldn't bite your nails, you know. Our hands have more bacteria on them than some toilet seats do. Don't want that in your mouth."

Well, that was a fun little factoid. The hand curls, fingers tucking in against his palm when he realises it's being watched. "I think you haven't seen the forward head on deck nine, sir," Jerome replies, deadpan. "And.. I did. Need to apologise. It's been troubling me." By the looks of those nails, and the smudges under his eyes, it's just one of many things on his mind. "Do you have any idea when they're letting you out of here, yet?"

"Well, if it's that important to you, then I accept." Zaharis has clearly spent a lot less time than Karan thinking about they last time they spoke. "I prefer that people learn rather than apologise." It's not given coldly, just matter of fact. "It'll be another day or two. I have to be sure I have enough mobility to take care of myself."

Karan nods quietly to the last, and eases back in the chair a little so he can hook the heels of his boots on the front rung. His fingers weave together, clasping on his lap. "I never had the opportunity, or the need, to visit the recovery ward, during my last commission. Of course, those were.. different times. My duties were restricted mostly to leading services, and perusing research material. I am.. learning, sir. The hard way, perhaps."

"I can tell." Zaharis is blunt but it doesn't sound mean-spirited. "But this is a tough thing to do. Being in this ward, adjusting your head to this sort of environment. This is a different place from a chapel."

Karan's mouth twists into a wry little smile at that. It's fleeting, too: there and then gone. "It's a completely different kettle of fish, as they say. Though, an unbeliever is an unbeliever." The word's spoken with a certain chagrin. "What did you do, before serving aboard the Genesis, sir?" Change of subject time.

"And that's the difference between you and I in this room," Zaharis says, looking back at the priest's face. "When you give care, you label. I don't." He continues looking at Karan for a moment, then rubs the unburnt side of his nose. "Before the Genesis? I was aboard the Battlestar Odyssey. Same class of ship."

Karan purses his lips slightly. But. No comment on that. It'll be mulled over later, most likely. "And before that?" Booted feet are lifted off the rung, and to the edge of his chair now, as if he's just trying to make the absolute smallest target of himself that he possibly can.

"Before that?" Zaharis' eyes flick up and to the left, as though a timeline were there for him to glance at. "Before that…I was on the LCV Pioneer. And before that, on staff at Acastus Naval Base on Picon…and before /that/ in 193 Enlisted medical battalion at Rallin Base."

Karan rests his chin on his knees, and listens quietly as Zaharis rattles off his various commissions. He looks intrigued, as much as Karan can look much of anything. "My sister," he remarks after a thoughtful pause, "was a chief trainer at Acastus." Another beat. "So this is your third commission, sir?"

"Third tour, first commission." Zaharis replies. "Commissions don't expire like enlisted terms do. You're comissioned once and you stay that way until you leave. What department was your sister in?"

"Medical," answers Karan shortly, of the question asked. Tour, commission, maybe that's what he meant. Maybe he just needs more damned sleep, or maybe his mind was elsewhere. "Yes, of course.." He licks his lips slowly. "What colony?" There doesn't seem to be any particular rhyme or reason to his questioning.

Zaharis asks, raising both brows. "What colony, what?"

Karan continues to gaze evenly at Zaharis. "Where are you from, where did you grow up." It's phrased flatly.

"Scorpia." Zaharis is not put off by eye contact, it seems. He holds it.

Karan chews on his lower lip, thoughtful again. "Tell me what it was like? I've never been to Scorpia." Somewhere, beneath the arbitrary questions and every impression given physically that he's closing himself off, there's a sincere curiosity.

"I suspect it's like most colonies were. Had its cities and its country, pretty and ugly." Zaharis seems aware that that's a non-answer, but he doesn't elaborate.

Lip's replaced by thumbnail, though the chaplain holds Zaharis' gaze still. He's got an owlish way of looking at people, doesn't blink much. He's silent, probably waiting for that lack of elaboration.

Zaharis holds Karan's eyes. "Don't bite your nails."

Karan jerks his hand away, and tucks it under his knee with the other one. Nope, he probably didn't realise he was doing that. "Your family?" he asks then softly, veering off down a slightly different path.

Zaharis clears his throat softly. "I didn't know them."

Karan tilts his head, so that his cheek instead of his chin is resting atop his knees. "No?" he prompts gently.

Zaharis gives Karan a no-frills reply. "Nope."

Karan considers this for some time. Maybe he's trying to make that answer jive with the other things the man's mentioned about himself. Finally, his boots come back down on the floor with a -thump-, elbows braced on his knees. "I suppose, in a sense of the word, I didn't know my family either. Do you suppose that makes it easier?" The 'it' is left vague.

Zaharis says, "Makes what easier, Lieutenant?" No, Karan doesn't get off easy.

Karan's back to chewing on his lower lip again. His eyes flit away from the doctor's and skitter across a few sleeping faces in the room. Thinking, perhaps? His expression's mostly hidden by the scraggly blonde hair draped across his cheek.

The ball's in the priest's court, and Zaharis is patient for the return serve. He doesn't say anything and nor does he look away.

Karan mumbles absently, more to himself than to the man he's ostensibly here to offer some company and solace, "Behold me fettered, clamped to these rough rocks. Thus hath Zeus, the son of Kronos, fastened me; I tenant this stronghold of the Erinyes. And now, each third woeful day, with dreadful swoop, the minister of Zeus with his hooked talons rends me asunder by his cruel repast." How's that for non-answer?

Zaharis doesn't miss a beat. "Then, crammed and glutted to the full on my fat liver, the utters a prodigious scream and, soaring aloft, with winged tail fawns upon my gore. But when my gnawed liver swells, renewed in growth, greedily doth he return anew to his fell repast. Thus do I feed this guardian of my awful torture, who mutilates me living with never-ending pain." He raises an eyebrow. "That is the right passage, right?"

Karan turns his eyes back on Zaharis, the motion akin to a slink. Like an animal in the underbrush. "You've studied the Erinyes." A portion of scripture devoted to the goddess avengers, of course. He's watching the man quite carefully, now. "Yes," is supplied, belatedly. Softly.

Zaharis chuckles under his breath, looking up at the ceiling. "So I have."

Karan draws a breath, and releases it slowly. It's an odd mingling of weary.. and heartened. If the two can coexist at once, surely they can in this odd little creature. "I.. should let you rest, sir." He's still trying to hold the man's gaze, even if he's watching the ceiling now. "Is there anything you need?" Because it's his standard question, when he's preparing to head off.

"No, Lieutenant, thank you." Zaharis' head turns slightly and he looks back at Karan. "Is there anything /you/ need?"

Karan hesitates a moment. Then shakes his head. "No, sir." He pushes to his feet, and nudges the chair back into place with the toe of his boot. "Thank you," he adds, using the same words but offering a small smile. "Please get better soon."

"Working on it." Zaharis turns his face back to the ceiling and closes his eyes. "Goodnight."

Karan watches a little longer, then tucks his hands into his trouser pockets, and turns to go. "Good night, Major," is offered before he slips away.

Karan leaves for Sickbay [o].
Karan has left.

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