Lifelines Pt 4
Lifelines, Part 4
Summary: While trying to retrace the steps of Reed's responsiveness, Rhea, Adele, and Zaharis make a breakthrough.
Date: 33 ACH
Related Logs: Lifelines parts 1-3

Private Room Genesis - Deck 13
33 ACH 6285 Souls

This is a private room set up with oxygen and power connections, prepared to house special recovery cases. The room itself is unremarkable, meant for patients to be wheeled in, locked into place and connected to monitoring and support systems. Guards at the door are optional, depending on orders, but the equipment here is normally connected to the monitoring stations in Sickbay.

Visiting hours. Intensive care is in session. The room is quiet but for the beeps of the machines and the very soft whirr of that vigilant laptop in the corner. Zaharis opens the door with a soft click of the handle, letting in Reed's latest visitor.

Reed is laying there, peacefully, not moving, breathing normally, his vitals stable, and Alpha waves irregular, and Gammas showing a slow decline. His current Gamma waves are at 1.2

Adele steps up to the bed, immediately taking Reed's hand in hers as she looks over him for a moment, silently studying his features. For a long time, her eyes linger on his face, then they sweep over the rest of his body, and back up. "Hi, Reed. It's Adele. You look better than you did when I saw you go wheeling through Sickbay," she begins, taking a seat at his side. With a glance over her shoulder, she asks, "Is there anything that gets a particularly heightened response?"

Zaharis lets Adele head for the bed, while he moves over to the chair behind his laptop, his fingers swiftly moving over the keys. He's a good sight better than he was last night. Not physically, still stiff and bandaged to hell, but the mental change is like a switch flipped to high voltage. The fog of morpha is gone and he's almost strangely alert, his brown eyes acutely sharp and fingers faster on the keys as he looks over the recorded data of the hours past. "His name. Like his whole name, the whole thing. Talking straight to him, he seems to be able to tell when someone's addressing him." He squints at something on the screen, rubbing his bottom lip with his fingertips.

Reeds hand closes on Adeles hand, fingers holding her hand in return. Seems that this is a normal development in his progress. Otherwise, he's not responsive.

"What's his middle name?" Adele asks, squeezing Reed's hand slightly as it closes around hers.

"Jameson." Zaharis picks at the top of his bottom teeth with his fingernail, eyes flickering over the laptop screen. Within a few seconds he's absently biting the nail cleanly across.

Rhea slips into the private room. Cleared for admission as she is. She tries to be quiet about it, pausing for a moment in the doorway. Watching Reed, and Reed's many monitors.

"Reed Jameson Carter," Adele intones with a slow nod, settling more comfortably in the seat next to Reed's bed. "That's kind of like Adele Elizabeth Pike, isn't it? Capricans always have such a haughty flair with names." The chuckle that escapes her lips is dry, and it likely fades from Reed's hearing slightly as she turns her head to regard the latest visitor. She smiles at Rhea, then shifts her gaze back to the comatose man. "Rhea just came in. Reece is moving in with me; I have a new townhome. When you wake up, Reed Jameson Carter, we're going to have another round of 'I Never.' I'm totally going to use 'I've never been in a coma,' to get you even more drunk than you were the other night when Rhea showed us her ass."

Reed doesn't comment on the developments, and simply lays there. His Gammas, however also do not change. His name seeming to not spike his thoughts anymore.

Zaharis is doing two things at once, watching some of the recorded video on his screen and keeping an eye on the monitors above Reed's bed at the same time. He reaches absently for the water bottle on his tray and uncaps it before he notices it's empty, his jaw tensing in momentary annoyance. "Not reacting as much. Actually a good sign, I think. He's up somewhere past that. Huh." His fingers start drumming on the empty bottle. "Talk to him…something about the PAS, Adele." His eyes flicker to the door and Rhea, and he smiles a little.

"You're filming all this?" Rhea says dryly to Zaharis. "You get kinkier the longer I know you, Jesse. I swear. How're you feeling?" She eyes him with more than a little concern as she moves to Reed's beside. Opposite Adele, idly slipping her fingers through his other hand. She looks showered and somewhat rested. Enough her hammer her composure into place, at least. "Hey, Reed. It's Rhea." She gives his hand a squeeze.

Reeds other hand closes on Rheas hand holding it as well.

Adele nods once in response to Zaharis' request, watching Rhea approach and take Reed's other hand. "I'm so glad you set me up with Reece for the buddy system on the PAS, Reed. I'm pretty sure he saved my life. He knew exactly where to turn, which corridors to take - that kid had every little nook and cranny on the PAS mapped out to a T. I know I was skeptical," she glances up at Rhea as she reveals this, "but you made the right call. I can see why they put you in command of the PAS. I'm sorry it's gone. And all our beautiful eels…" That last statement holds not a hint of irony to it.

"Got to have vacation videos for the kids. It'll be a keeper." Zaharis replies, fingers scratching the side of his forehead. His torn fingernail, left that way from the idle biting earlier scrapes his skin and he pauses, looking at it. Then he tosses the empty water bottle into the trash nearby where it joins a few other empty bottles. Rolling his chair back, he grabs a full one from the floor where a nurse had left a couple, then returns his attention to the screen. He's watching the readout quite closely as Adele starts talking.

Reeds other hand closes on Rheas hand holding it as well. His Gamma waves even out at 1.001 and hold steady, the drop off halting, but fail to rise.

Rhea smirks at Adele. "Reece is an explorer." She says it with a touch of wry sympathy. Adele will learn. "He was always sore the PAS' security locks kept him out of the best places. I remember one time when he was five…we were still at the shipyards on Scorpia. He got up on the roof of the day care center using the emergency lift. Scared the hell out of me. Was a good sign as far as his critical thinking skills went, though. Hey, there we go…" She smiles when Reed grasps her hand. She looks over at Zaharis. "He seems…better. A little. Frak, I can't tell."

Adele listens to Rhea's story, a grin twitching at one corner of her mouth. "I'll have to take him out onto the Carina so he can map the place for me. I'm terrible at directions - I'm lucky Townhome A was vacant. A for Adele is easy to remember." She shifts her gaze back down to Reed and resumes talking to him. "I'm not going to complain about the privacy I can have now, but I really did like my bunk. Even if I was surrounded by snorers, it was /my/ bunk. It smelled good."

Zaharis replies to Rhea simply. "I can." He keeps watching the screen, absently opening the new bottle of water in an awkward one-handed way. The cap drops to the floor with a tiny clatter and he takes a few swallows of water before he glances at the women, pursing his lips. "Talk about the /PAS/. Not about Reece, not about the Carina, not about shipyards on Scorpia. Tell him about the PAS…uh…" His eyes briefly squeeze shut, his hand making a motion that's trying to grasp for words. "About what happened to it. He /remembers/ that somewhere, let him hear it."

Reed continues laying there, holding the wimmenfolks hands. He seems peaceful. His Gammas hold steady at their current levels, squiggling a little, but not changing.

"I didn't see it," Rhea says softly, her thumb moving gently along the inside of Reed's palm. "I'm sort of glad I didn't. I need to go over the pics, though. Get my head around it." She sounds purposeful, if not quite eager. It was quite the engineering sight, for better or worse. "It's gone now, Reed. It was brilliant and beautiful, and it went out in a blaze of glory. You're on the Genesis now."

Adele turns to regard Zaharis over her shoulder as he redirects them, her gaze flicking up and down his body before she shifts her attention back to Reed. "It was terrifying, Reed. Right after you left the cafeteria, things started exploding all around. From every possible angle, it seemed like. It was so scary. If I go down this corridor, will it still exist when I am forced to turn back because the other end has collapsed? Gods, and getting into the Raptors was a nightmare. The docking bay was blowing up right there, it seemed like a miracle when we finally took off for the Genesis." Talking about the experience drains her slowly, and by the time she's finished, her left hand has joined the right one, clasping Reed's from all sides.

Reed doesn't do anything, his Gammas inching upward to 1.005. The kind of rise only readable on the digital scale.

"Little bit…" Zaharis' teeth bite the neck of the bottle, and he tips it up for two more swallows. "Dammit." His foot jogs gently against the ground, making his knee bounce as he tries to think. "There was this engineer here earlier," he finally explains. "One of Carter's guys, Rodgers or Ridley or something. He sat…" His hand makes a slice-down motion towards the bed. "Right there and talked about the PAS. About the fleet, about what we lost when the PAS went up. Carter's readings shot up. They're not doing it now. I don't know. Maybe it was the guy himself. Shit."

Rhea's grip on Reed's hand tightens. Almost protectively. "I'm here, Reed. I've got you…" She looks up at Zaharis. Thoughtful. "Maybe it was. Maybe not. Maybe it was the specs. The details of it. He poured so much of himself into that place. Knew every inch of it." She looks back down at Reed. "Remember that time you took me to CIC with you? You said being there made you feel better. Like you could see everything there. Like you had your back to a sturdy wall and felt like you had things covered." She smirks. "I figured it was part of your Zeus complex. But that's Doctor Sloan's department. It suited you."

Adele lets Rhea do the talking, her right hand remaining in Reed's as she pulls the left away to brush some hair out of her eyes. She twists in her chair and looks at Zaharis. "Have you talked to him? You've been listening to people talk, you have a good idea of what he responds to." She purses her lips, looking him over again. "You should try. I can watch the monitor."

Reed remains inert, holding the hands, his Gammas stay solidly at their current level.

"He'd prefer you and Rhea," Zaharis scratches a hand through his hair. "I'm telling you what I've seen him respond to and it isn't working. Goddammit." That comes out roughly under his breath and he stands up, snatching the water off the table. He paces a couple steps, tapping the neck of the bottle against his teeth. "Okay. Maybe something physical. Rhea." He looks back at the two. "You've seen CIC. Maybe describe it to him. I mean literally, describe it to him. Take his hand and…move it, tell him what he'd be pointing at if he was looking at CIC himself."

Rhea shrugs to Zaharis. "All right…" she says, closing her eyes. Trying to summon the image to her mind. "Let's see…" Her palm moves over the top of Reed's hand, so she can direct his fingers a little. "Yeah. There we go. Remember standing there, Reed? The nerve center of everything you'd built. Every station, every monitor geared to something vital. Makes everything feel smaller, doesn't it? Like you've got some direction over it all. Check on the FTL status…" She moves his hand a little, as if running it along a console. "…right there. Power output check…" She taps his fingertips softly. "…Gods, I was jealous of your engines. I didn't like that they were bigger than mine."

Adele watches Rhea speak to Reed, using her tactile nature to her (and his) advantage. She leans back in the chair she sits in, still holding his hand as she slips into thought for a few moments.

Reeds hands are guided by Rhea, unresisting. His Gammas make a slow rise, reaching a slow 1.1.

Zaharis paces back and forth behind his rolling table, restlessly. He holds onto that water bottle though, drinking from it regularly. It's almost empty by now. His sharply alert eyes stay fixed on the screen, and he pauses to watch as squiggles happen. In the air he gives Rhea a thumbs up and then makes a circling motion. Keep going.

"I wish I could've been onboard when you jumped this thing," Rhea murmurs, still talking to Reed, though she looks quizzically up at Zaharis. Anything…? Okay. She keeps going. "Remember what that was like, Reed? All those months of prep, the testing, the anticipation of it…wondering if it was going to blow up in your face…" She guides his fingers along the imaginary console. "Alright. Let's jump this bitch. Spool up the FTL…there you go…"

There is no way Adele is going to interrupt this. She stays silent, her gaze going from Rhea, to Reed, and periodically over her shoulder to see how Zaharis is responding to the monitor's readout.

Reed continues to be unresisting to Rhea, his Gammas evening at 1.15 and holding there, the tactile contact seeming to work somewhat.

Zaharis is looking a bit unimpressed as he watches the screen. Not downtrodden, just unimpressed. Far less progress than they made last night. "He's responding to it…" He says under his breath. "…just not as much as with that CPO." He exhales sharply through his nose, starting to pace again. The water's emptied after another gulp and he tosses it in the bin. "He talked about the fleet." His tone changes, still talking with purpose though now more to himself, trying to reason out loud. "The state of the fleet, how much we lost with the PAS gone. Frak, I don't know. Maybe it made Carter want to come back, hearing that…you know how he likes fixing shit, solving problems. He's a frakking scientist. Gave him a problem to fix, you know? Maybe."

"…punch it!" Rhea says, palm tensing against the top of Reed's hand as she 'jumps.' She is, perhaps, more caught up in the memory than Reed in his coma. It's clearly a powerful one for her, where Reed is concerned. She looks up, head tilted at Zaharis. Nodding slightly. "A scientist. Yeah. And CO. He carried a lot on his shoulders on that station."

Adele perks up somewhat, standing from her chair. She's going to have a go at this. "Remember that day called you into the botanical labs, Reed?" she asks, pulling his hand up slowly. "Opportunistic photosynthesis, you called it." She laughs briefly. "We scooped some eels out of the tank," she makes his hand scoop with a pantomimed net, "and we poured that crazy plant water into the fresh water," she mimics that too, "and they went nuts." She exhales, not very confident in her efforts.

Reed gets moved around by Rhea and Adele, his hands not fighting or resisting the movements as his Gammas make a slight upward lift, then settle back to 1.5, holding there. Top of the Gamma increase would be about 1.59.

Zaharis' leg is making a constant, restless motion as he stands there, watching the monitor. "That's it. Thaaaat's it." His pacing kicks up again, trailing him to the corner of his table and then towards the bed, talking straight to Reed for the first time since the first few minutes he was ever in Reed's room. Doubtful he even realises he's doing it, and his tone borders on forceful. "You remember all that, Reed? Huh? The eels, the drugs you were making? It's gone now. Everything on the PAS is gone. Our extra tyllium's almost gone. The eels are gone. We're rationing now. We're going to need food soon. We're going to need water. Deck has no metal for the Raptors. They're down to rubber bullets on the firing range. We've lost half our drug supply and we're already capping off morpha…soon it'll be the insulin, the heart medications, the vitamins, everything you said you were so bent on keeping us supplied with so we didn't have people dying on the damn table. It all blew up over there and we need you back in the frakking lab, not lying down on the job like this, Reed. We need you doing what you do."

Rhea's fingers curl tightly around Reed's again, looking down at him, then up at Zaharis, and back again. She's quiet now, just watching the two men, listening to the sounds of the machines.

Adele, too, goes silent as Zaharis begins speaking, her eyes flitting between them.

It's one of lifes little mysteries why everyones watching Reed during this time, it's not like he's going to snap off witty banter with the CMO, in response to the mans words. All Reed does himself is tighten his grip on Rheas hand as his Gamma waves make a sharp, jagged spike into the 1.85 range and begin a hard pattern of jagging around between 1.93 and 1.70.

"Yeah, you better be frakkin listening to me, Reed," Zaharis' voice keeps that same forceful, almost harsh tone. "We are /dying/ up here. Do you get that? Do you hear me? Do you want to be lying on a goddamn bed while everyone dies up here, while the Marines run out of bullets to use on the Cylons? Do you want to be drifting in la la land while Rhea, and Gaelan, and Ramiro frakking starve to death? Do you want to just lie there while some simple cut Reece gets on his leg kills him because we've run out of antibiotics that /you/ could have figured out how to make? Huh? Cause that's what's going to happen, Reed. That is what is about to happen and you are the one that knows how to keep it from happening. /You/. We need you, and you better be listening to me. Shit. We need you."

"We need you, Reed," Rhea echoes softly, though she stays quiet other than that. When Reed's grip tightens, she lifts his hand to her lips and lightly kisses his fingertips. It seems a half-unconscious gesture. Not one she feels the need to describe to the comatose man in any detail.

Heart monitor beeping increases its tempo as Reeds Gamma wave readings break the 2.0 mark, and when Rhea speaks, echoing the words, the Gammas make a startling spike to 2.58 as his grip clenches down on both womens hands and his face twists into something of focused struggle, "Fllarghemitan." His voice, harsh and thick, lets out a short stream of unintelligible nonsense.

Zaharis played hardball more than he'd intended with that one, which he doesn't seem to realise until the beeping of that heart monitor gets his attention, snapping him out of it. He draws back half a step at the sudden sound, inhaling through his nose and listening to his own rapid heartbeat in his ears. His voice drops to a gentle mumble to the two women. "Talk to him."

Rhea blinks. It takes her a second to register the words. Nonsense that they are. She beams, shoulder ragging with relief. She maintains her hold on Reed's hand, her other palm reaching up to brush his cheek. "It's about frakking time. You scared the hell out of us," she says. Voice gentle, despite the words.

Adele looks up from the spot she was blindly staring at as Reed's voice registers, and she turns her head to regard his face thoughtfully. "Reed, that kind of hurt my hand," she tells him, watching Rhea brush her hand against his cheek. She smiles, then mumbles, "That's right, come back to us."

Reeds expression tightens further, hand in Adeles pulling, writhing in her grip as a low whine comes from inside his throat, head turning towards rhea as the hand in Adeles pulls free to cross his midsection, arm protectively over his stomach now as the pitiful sound lessens to a single sob.

"He's not awake yet. But he's closer." Zaharis steps back slightly, watching. As Reed starts to moan, he moves over to the tangle of IVs. "Pain reaction, he can tell where he's hurting." His voice is quiet, a little amazed at this, and he reaches past a couple of tubes and wires to hit some buttons, adjusting the flow of medication heading into Reed's bloodstream. "It's alright, Reed. You had surgery on your abdomen, it's gonna hurt like a bitch. Giving you a little more help." He looks back at the women, nodding at Reed. "Tell him." Even though he just said it, he's more hopeful for good reactions from their voices than his.

"Easy now," Rhea murmurs to Reed. "I got you. Jesse's taking care of you. He's getting some meds in you now. You'll feel better soon. Just hold onto me, okay?"

As Reed pulls his hand away to cradle his abdomen, Adele looks hopeful. She listens to Zaharis, then Rhea, and nods. "It's gonna hurt," she repeats, leaving off the 'like a bitch.' "But that's good. It's good you feel it. We're going to help you through it."

Reed stays with his head turned to Rhea, pulling her hand to his face as if hiding under it, the whine fading as the painkillers hit, his Gamma waves reading in the 2.3 range and his Alpha waves beginning to break up their pattern, becoming more irregular.

Zaharis straightens up with the help of a push of his good hand against Reed's metal headboard. He's silent now as he steps back, heading back for his laptop. A new bottle of water's grabbed and opened. He slides into his seat, his hand searching for something in one of his pockets. His head lowers briefly behind the laptop screen, letting him scratch the back of his ear and then slide something tucked between his fingers into his mouth, which he washes down with a swallow of water. Reed's brainwaves continue across the screen. "Good. He's doing good."

"Adele's right. Pain is good. Pain reminds you you're alive," Rhea says, resting her hand against Reed's face as he pulls on it. She leans forward a little over him, nodding at Zaharis' words. Taking them for reassurance. Beeping machines aside, she's still out of her depth. "You're alive, Reed." She says it firmly. As if to make it real to herself.

"It reminds you you're alive," Adele repeats, nodding slowly at that spot of nothingness on the bed. She snaps out of whatever reverie she was in and runs the back of her hand along her forehead.

Reed settles down a bit, whining stopping, arm still around his stomach, other hand still holding Rheas, becoming still once more, but a marked alteration in his brainwaves, holding at 2.3 with his Alpha waves showing less of a pattern and more irregular fluctuations.

"Douche." Zaharis mutters, watching the brainwaves. He tips up the bottle, turning his head as he does so he can keep watching the screen.

"Is that from the meds?" Rhea asks Zaharis, eyeing the waves. She looks down at Reed again, squeezing his hand rather hard. Her other palm resting against his cheek.

Adele watches Reed settle down, stepping back to look at the brainwaves herself. "It means he's alert," she tells Rhea, watching the peaks and valleys of the alpha waves. "It's really good, Rhea." Even though Zaharis already said that, seeing it for herself makes all the difference.

Reed returns to motionlessness, holding Rheas hand and laying there as his brainwaves settle into their new format.

Zaharis is content to let Adele explain, since she's right. He stays where he is, data scrolling, bringing up some more recordings of hours past to scour through them with headphones on. Later when everyone's left, the computer's timer will go off again and begin playing back a day and a half's worth of voices, alternating normal volume and a quieter setting every hour. Even when there's no-one in the room, Reed's never quite alone.

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