The Ovarian Opus
The Ovarian Opus
Summary: Salin, Rhea, and Zaharis have a heated talk about Regas' single mother directive. Plans are made.
Date: 44 ACH
Related Logs: Directives

JAG Office Genesis - Deck 11
44 ACH 6285 Souls

The office of the Judge Advocate General is a normal office room in appearance, with a pair of desks and a bookshelf in one corner containing legal texts and reference materials. Each desk has a computer terminal on it and built in set of drawers. Across from each desk is a pair of chairs for interviewees to be seated. Also along part of the back wall are a row of grey, metal filing cabinets.

It would seem that Salin has stuck true to his word, for there's a bottle of whiskey on his desk, bracketted by two glasses. Next to it, there's an ashtray. At this particular moment, he seems to be catching up on some work in the form of signing some documentation before sticking it in a basket labelled 'TO FILE'.

Zaharis heads down to the JAG office, in his nice pressed blues. The jacket's open, the old off-duty signal. He strides in past the front area and heads over to Salin's desk, eyeing the whiskey appreciatively. "The JAGman does not lie."

Signing one final document, Salin sets it aside before tossing the pen down on his desk. A hand lifts, undoing the top button on the jacket to let it flap open before he's giving a chuckle, "Wouldn't do good for JAGMan to lie. Bad for the reputation." Leaning forward, the cap on the bottle is removed and he's pouring a bit in each glass, "So, before he try and solve this Pregnancy Directive, whatcha got for JAG?"

Zaharis pulls his file folder from under his arm and sets it on Salin's desk. "Medical case against airlocking. It's going to Regas and Fotilas, but I figured you might want a glance first to be sure you don't have to cover your ass anywhere." He smirks, folding into the chair on the other side of Salin's desk. He picks up the glass and clinks it lightly against Salin's before taking a sip.

There's a nod and once the glasses have clinked together, Salin's lifting his to his lips to take a quick sip. Then, he's setting it down on the desk to claim the file folder, popping it open to have a look, "I take it you were able to come up with sufficent figures and statistics to have airlocking set aside as a form of capital punishment, then?"

"Did what I could with what I have in our system," Zaharis replies, settling back and pulling an ankle up over his knee. "Not as conclusive as it should be, but most of the older data is snowed under nuclear dust right now. That ought to be sufficient, though, that if it doesn't outright win it'll tie things up for a pretty good stretch."

The folder is closed and Salin's setting it back on the desk before giving another nod of his head, "Good enough. Let me know how Fotilas and Regas handle it. I'm curious to see what they have to say on this particular issue. I have a feeling that it'll cross my desk from them, since it's a legal change."

"Undoubtedly." Zaharis sets his glass down on his knee. "I'll warn you before the bulldozer comes crashing in." He smirks, shaking his head slightly. "So, onto the main course of the night, then?"

"Thanks. I'll look at installing some of those security gates so I can trap them in the inner office and relish in the safety of my office, where they can't get me." Salin's flashing a quick smile before lifting his glass to take another sip. When it's lowered, he places it lightly against the arm of the chair, "Indeed. The main course. Which, for the record, I can't believe we actually have to be having a conversation about."

"…yeeeeah." Zaharis draws the sound out. "And you know, Salin. It occured to me." He lifts his glass-holdin hand, shaking his index finger. "You know what's missing in this discussion?"

There's a soft laugh and Salin gives a quick shake of his head before crooking it slightly to the side, "Do I even want to know what's missing? Should I dig out my pillow, so that when I bang my head off the desk, I have a cushion?"

Zaharis smirks, swallowing a bit of whiskey. "Regas, Fotilas, you, me. Talking about people's ovaries when we don't even have them. What's missing is a frakking woman."

There's another laugh and Salin motions over towards the wireless, "If you'd like, I can call Isabeau. She'd probably be frothing at the mouth at this type of a directive, considering it's illegal and she's a woman." There's a quick wink and then he's leaning back in his chair, "But, you're right. Men making policies on woman. It's sorta of humourous. Though, on a more serious note, is this really an issue? Am I missing something?"

"It is an issue," Zaharis says, a little more seriously. "Or it's going to be, anyway. We do need to think about it, because let's face it, it's reality. And the Commander's not going to repeal that frakked up directive without an alternative. Listen, I want to talk about it, but I want a female here. Honestly. I want to call Major Zimmermann down. Just discussion, see if we can't brainstorm on this one. You game?"

Salin's rolling his eyes ever so slightly before shaking his head, "If the directive isn't down within 24 hours, I'm having them pulled down. The Commander can taken my pins if he wants, but I'm not about to let an illegal order stand." A hand lifts and he's waving it, "Ya, go ahead and give her a call. I'll dig out another glass." And so, he sets his glass down and hauls his chair towards the cabinet, which he opens and withdraws yet another glass.

Zaharis nods slightly. More to the giving Rhea a call than to the pulling down the directive part, cause he looks kinda doubtful there. He reaches for the wireless, taking another sip of whiskey.

The wireless receiver (#1759) starts buzzing. Use +com/answer to answer it.
You answer the call. Use the 'private' wireless channel to talk to them.

[Private] Rhea says, "Major Zimmermann here. <tone is audibly clipped>"

[Private] The voice on the wireless isn't a JAGger. "Rhea, this is Jesse. I'm down in the JAG office and we're talking about your ovaries. Wondering if you want to come throw in your five cubits."

[Private] Rhea says, "<snort> Tell the JAG I'm on my way. I meant to see him about that matter anyhow. I've just finished drafting a formal response. Zimmermann out."

[Private] Rhea hangs up the wireless and ends the call.

Zaharis hangs that up, smirking. "She'll be right down."

Rhea comes in from Navy Offices.
Rhea has arrived.

[Private] Zaharis hangs up the wireless and ends the call.

Salin can't help but snicker at Zaharis' comment to the wireless and he moves to set the glass down on the desk, to which he's sitting behind, while Zaharis is on the other side. Each seems to have a glass of whiskey, while the JAGMan is setting about filling a third, "Excellent. I'm sure she'll want to know why I'm interested in her ovaries, Jesse." There's a faint snicker and he's shaking his head slightly, "Gods."

"Come on, the directive's all over the ship. She knows." Zaharis sits back again, gently rubbing his temple. He's already got a headache and they haven't even started with the meat of the matter.

Rhea strides into the office not long after she hangs up the wireless. Posture very straight, jaw set, eyes flinty. And she's wielding an envelope.

There's a soft snort and Salin's nodding, but any response is cut off by Rhea's arrival. Before anything is said, he's lifting the full glass of whiskey off the desk, extending it in her direction, "Drink?"

Zaharis sips his whiskey and looks up as Rhea comes in. "Rhea, hey. Hope you didn't mind getting pulled off the job. There was just a ridiculous lack of females in a discussion about well…essentially, females. Major Altair here agreed." He smirks, and nods her to a chair. "Have a seat, have a drink."

"Not just yet, thank you, I'm still on duty for about another five minutes," Rhea replies briskly. Handing Salin the envelope. "I may take you up on that shortly. I presume, since Jesse was making obscene calls about my ovaries, that this concerns the new command…directive on families?" She sneers and snorts. At the same time. Her nose is talented. "I've drafted this as a formal response. Just dropped in the Commander and XO's inbox before I came up. I figured I'd hand-deliver yours. In keeping with the personal nature of this…matter."

Salin sets the drink back down and accepts the envolope in silence. Rather then open it, he's lifting it to his forehead and holding it there for a moment before lowering it back down, "Already dealt with, so I'll read this in a moment. I've informed the Commander that JAG won't tolerate this directive and that it was unlawful and all that jazz." He points to Zaharis quickly, "I think Jesse managed to save my ass by happening to be in the room while I sprouted off." The envolope is lifted again and then set aside, "Figured I'd deal with it before the complaints start. Plus, my partner has ovaries and I'm afraid of her."

"Well not just /your/ ovaries, Rhea. Gods, don't be selfish." Zaharis sips his whiskey, watching the envelope be handed over. He exhales quietly through his nose. "Okay, look. The order's illegal, we got that. But if it were as easy as taking down the notices and repealing, Regas wouldn't have sent you out of his office telling you to 'work on it', Salin. He wants a 'viable solution'." He makes air-quotes as he says that. "Once that doesn't involve forcing women on birth control or forcing abortions, because you already know what I'm going to say about that just from medical standpoint."

"Unlawful, offensive, patronizing and patently stupid." Rhea fills in the points she deems Salin missed. "But I'll leave the legal stuff to you. I'm not a lawyer. I *did* think I knew something about my rights as a mother, but it appears I was mistaken." She's bristling. A glare is leveled around at both of them. Because they're men. It may not be fair. "Well. I for one am not just going to lie down and take this. Though that's obviously the position command appears to think all of its female personnel are in! And I intend to encourage my fellow female officers to do the same." She checks her watch. All right. Off duty. "I'll take that drink now, Salin."

Salin listens to Rhea with nothing more then a nod of his head. Then, when she's finally announcing it's drink time, he lets out of an almost silent 'Phew' and lifts the glass to extend it to her, "Figured you might." He's giving a quick smile before looking over towards Zaharis, "Yes, I know that Jesse, though Regas doesn't have a choice on repealing it. As for a solution." He lifts his shoulders in a quick shrug, "I'm fresh out of idea's. Legally, there's nothing that can be done to force people into a marriage. So, basically, it comes down to preventative measures." He pauses and gives his head a shake before looking between the two. "Which, is way outside my area of expertise." A hand lifts so a waggle of a finger can be made at Zaharis, "Which is where you come in." Then, it's back to Rhea, "And, you're right on all of the above. Though, I didn't say all that to Regas, quite like that. But, I do agree with you."

Zaharis ignores Rhea's glaring. "Marriage isn't a solution anyway. You'd end up with more problems in six months from forcing people to get married and thinking that somehow makes a "family"." His voice gets a little derisive there for a second. "Yeah, all we've really got on our hands is preventative measures. But number one, you can't force someone to use them. A mandate is unethical. Two: They're limited. Three: Sometimes they fail. Four: Sometimes people may just not use them. So yes, offering preventative measure is going to be there for as long as we have the supplies. What the issue is that has to be dealt with is how to handle it when that birth control fails or just isn't taken."

Rhea level a look between the both of them. "Of course you didn't say it like that, Salin. You've never had to deal with it. Nobody on our penis-rich command staff has. Why the frak is this any of Regas' business? It's every woman's job to take those precautions herself. It's going to mean a frak-lot more to her than her commander. When I found out I was pregnant, I arranged exactly three things with my COs. Medical care, appropriate duty assignments with my ChEng while I could still work, and a transfer to a shore-based post so I could properly care for the kid when my maternity leave was up. Nobody gave me a lecture about morality or birth control, and it would've been handled exactly the same way if I'd been single."

Salin lifts his glass to his lips, taking leisure sips as the other two speak. When the glass is lowered, he's giving a nod of his head before looking directly at Rhea, "Point taken, Rhea. I think Regas has made it his business, because of the issue with the CAG. I gather he's a little frustrated with losing her at a key moment like this." His gaze then shifts between the two, "And Rhea brings up a good point. Maternity leave and shore based post. Well the first can be accomodated, the second is rather difficult to do, considering. We really have no place for women to go, when they become pregnant. We have no daycare. No teaching system at the moment. In essence, we've been relegated to the stone age in some area's." He's pausing slightly, "And really, Jesse, I need to agree with Rhea. I can't see a viable solution for how to handle it when birth controlf ails or isn't taken. Frak, I can't even think that I want to know about it."

"Oh, shove the cattiness up your ass, Rhea," Zaharis says, rolling his eyes. He's finally a little irritated with it. "What shore-based point do we have up here to transfer to? What limitless medical supplies are you dreaming of, and in what lovely world do people perfectly follow birth control regiments? Men /or/ women? How it's dealt with has to be re-thought, deal with it. Shoving morality down our throats? No. Birth control? Touch and go. Salin's right, we have nowhere for women to go for leave. Our ability to handle prenatal care is so small it makes even me cringe. So we need to address what we /need/ but don't have. Realistically, here."

Rhea shrugs to Salin. "So you establish them. Establish a school. Establish a day care. You worked out a legal system. Work out this. And don't climb up my ass, Jesse. I already got a directive from command calling me an unfit parent because I'm minus a husband, whether that's what Regas meant or not…CAG?" She blinks at Salin. Boggling. She sputters. "Rue's *pregnant*?"

"I'm still working on the civilian legal system. Frak, if I go to Regas and tell him I want to setup a school and day care, he's liable to flog me. I have no experience in either of those area's. Gods, you're better suited to setting up a dare care, Rhea." Salin's lips curve into a slight 'O' and then he's shaking his head, "You didn't hear that from me. And it stays between us. But, yes. Apparently Rue is pregnant and that's where this is stemming from."

"Then stop crawling up mine," Zaharis says back to Rhea. He picks up Salin's whiskey bottle, tipping a little bit more into his glass. He lets Salin answer about Rue, already having gotten that shock today, and then he squints at Rhea. "Command sent -you- a directive? What?" Then to Salin. "Wait, let's back up here, whoa. Organised fashion, everyone chill out for a second." He exhales softly, rubbing the side of his forehead. "Okay, let's go by points of need here, and I'm going to try and play devil's advocate from Regas' point of view. So no chewing my frakking ass." He pauses. "Point number one, this is a battlestar. This ship is going to be in combat. Yes, perhaps someone can work a desk job until the day she gives birth, but is that a good idea? We mandate that every soldier be able to fight."

Rhea snorts at Salin. That gets a laugh. "You think so? Because I managed to breed. Salin, I can barely handle my own kid most days. I'm in no position to tell anyone else what to do with theirs." She sips her drink, shaking her head. "Secret's safe with me. It's none of my business. Major Rue's a big girl. She's more than capable of dealing with this. That's the thing. This is on her. Regas' only concern should be how it affects her duties." She sighs, uncoiling from her feminine ball of ire just a little. "Me and every other woman in this Fleet, Jesse. Yes, I take it personally. I think I've a right to. But…you're right. I'm sorry. This isn't you. I get that. And I agree. Babies and battlestars don't mix. I don't even like having my son here for the week."

"We're not forcing marriages." Zaharis says, tapping his fingers on the desk. "Listen to me for /five seconds/, both of you. I'm trying to go by points instead of stating for an hour that 'we need to figure something out'. Can you address my point, please? I'll repeat it for good measure and try to make it more clear. Do we suggest having pregnant women leave the battlestar, in light of the fact that this is a combat-ready vessel. If yes, at what point in the pregnancy? If no, it means we need to classify all pregnant women as non-coms and specify what they need to do in event of attack. Your opinions. Go."

"Ideally, all children should be kept on the Carina," Rhea says, firm on that point. "This is a warship. You think I don't want my son with me? But I'm not going to put him at risk like that." She sighs. "I get why it's a bigger sticking point for infants, though. They need constant care. It's not enough just to catch a shuttle over for a few hours a day." She sips more on her drink, considering Zaharis' point. "It's going to depend on an individual situation. An engineer could do their job longer than a pilot, and a logistics officer could probably do their duties up until they were ready to pop. But you know more about the medical realities than I do. Staying on board is a risk but it's not like any place is one hundred percent safe right now. I think classifying them as non-coms is the sanest way to approach it."

There's another nod towards Rhea, an indication of agreement before he's looking back towards Zaharis, "Alright. I agree with Rhea on that point. But, the question must be posed. What do we do with those that have complications, or are confined to bed rest during some of their pregnancy? I don't know our medical situation or what's involved in things like that, beyond that odd malpractice case that crossed JAG's desk, before I arrived here."

"We're not even at what to do with the children yet," Zaharis waves a hand slightly in frustration. Trying to concentrate, here. "Personally I'm not in favour of any pregnant woman on board past the first trimester. And no, Rhea, it's not because I'm a chauvinist pig. It's because of the risk of combat. And I don't care if you're REMF, if we have a basestar gangbanging us it's not going to matter if you're tucked away or not. Being in a highly physical stress situation is /dangerous/. I will probably be countermanded on the point but that's where I stand." He looks at Salin and exhales. "The Carina is in no way equipped for that. We would have two options. One, outfit the Carina somehow. Two, keep those on bedrest aboard here and pray to the gods."

Rhea sets her drink down, only about a third gone. She's more thinking than drinking. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Everybody's acting like there's suddenly going to be a rash of pregnancies because the commander freaked out about one situation. Me? I don't want to be pregnant. I am going to do everything I possibly can not to become pregnant. I'd be willing to bet that most of the women on board are doing the same." She snorts at Zaharis. "It doesn't make you an invalid, Jesse. You just have to manage it. But I'm not going to argue. Ideally, the Carina should be outfitted to handle that. Only real option."

"Your right, Rhea, we don't have a rash of pregnancies. But, since Regas overreacted and issued an eddict that he had no business doing, we've been 'told' to come up with an alternative. Which, means planning. Incidently, it doesn't matter if it's one or one hundred. It's the same thing." Salin looks back to Zaharis, giving a slight nod before leaning back in his seat, "No, I don't figure it is. But, is that the solution to a problem? If someone's pregnant, we ship them off to the Carina?" A hand lifts and he rubs at his face for a moment, "And if so, what would it take to equip the Carina to handle such things?"

"Classic thinking from someone who isn't going to have to handle the medical side of damage to an unborn child," Zaharis says to Rhea, shaking his head. "Very sorry, but ethically I'm unwilling to put a child at higher risk than necessary. I stand where I stand. And I don't agree with saying we shouldn't discuss something just because the occurence may be low. Regas wants a 'solution' and is off bitching about having to handhold. I'm all for showing him we're adult enough that he doesn't have to stick his dick in the pot and stir every time there's an issue." He does nod to the notion of the Carina though. "I have to go over and look at their clinic myself; we had some plans to put in there. We'll see how much we can do and what their capacity is. As don't forget they have to take care of thousands of civilians too, they're not just our little backyard. It's not a whole solution, just part of it. So I'll have a look and report back. You can put that in whatever to Regas. So that's points one and two. Three, /now/ we can talk children themselves. A baby can't just be left on the Carina."

Rhea's eyes narrow at Zaharis but she doesn't respond to his bit about medical damage to unborn babies. "Adult. Right," she mutters. Crossing her arms along her chest. "I'm all for managing Regas' nose the frak out of this as quickly as possible." She sighs, eyeing Salin. "About the kids. Okay. Hypothetically, let's say I were to agree to look into what it would take to set up a day care facility and a school. In consultation with the Personnel department and Medical and…people who actually know what the frak they're doing when it comes to child care. Is that something your civilian liaison duties would help me with, Salin?"

Listening to Zaharis first and then Rhea, Salin gives the occassional nod as each begins to speak. He shifts his attention to Zaharis first, though, "Alright, so, those points are done. Good. As for the third point, a baby can't just be left on a Battlestar, either. Technically, this ship is offlimits to children. Infant or otherwise. And for good reason." He's looking back to Rhea, giving a slight nod, "Yes, that's something that I think would fall under the Civilian Liaison duties. If not, we can say it does, since the job came without a job description, other then … 'Deal with the Civilians'."

Zaharis makes some mental note to delegate things, pronto. He looks over at Salin as he answers. "Alright. I'm going to give myself and my staff a one week deadline to assess the Carina and submit plans to renovate their clinic. Can you do the same, Salin? One week, have a draft on-desk of what's needed to establish a daycare and a school over there?"

"One week. Fine. Sooner the better," Rhea says, running her fingers through her dark hair. She smirks crookedly at Salin. "Well, sounds like you can make it just about whatever you'd like, then. Let's all just say this fits. Babies are civilians. Unless Regas is going to commission them the second they're out of the womb." She's only half-kidding.

Salin near scoffs at the baby commissioning and he's quickly shaking his head, "Ungh. Lets not think about that. But, somehow, I don't think Regas will go that far." There's a faint smile and he's giving a firm nod of his head, "One week. We can get something together by then, I think. I'll have to venture over to the Carina and try and rustle up some people with baby monitoring experience and teaching experience, but that shouldn't be too difficult."

Zaharis blows out a puff of air between pursed lips. "Alright, that's the current plan, then. Salin, can you pop this discussion into something that makes sense and pump it out to Regas and Fotilas tonight? That should keep them happy for a bit. Then take down those stupid directive notes."

Rhea nods to Salin. "I'll go along when you do. Since I apparently volunteered myself. I'll be over anyway. I need to get Reece settled back on the Carina ASAP. This is all a good reminder of how inept the military is at dealing with anything remotely personal." She smirks faintly when Zaharis mentions the directive. "I may've been a little…blunt in my response to it. Well, what the frak? I meant every word. I doubt I'm the only one who sent Regas and Fotilas a nasty letter."

"I'll have one of the legal aides run around the ship and pull them all down and I'll notify Regas and Fotilas that we've come up with staged plan and I'll outline what we just discussed as 'Stage 1'." Salin looks back towards Rhea and gives a nod, "Alright, I'll let you know when I head over. Probably tomorrow sometime. As for your response, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I imagine you're just going to be one of many."

"Thank you," Zaharis replies to Salin, then hehs at Rhea. "Doubt it too. But you know command, complaints don't do anything unless you give them an alternate solution that works. And that's what we're doing. Minus the morality stick."

Rhea smirks. "I was kind of trying for insubordination, anyhow, I'll admit. The phrase 'patriarchal Gemenese cult' may or may not have been used. The idea of getting tossed into the brig over this nonsense appealed to me." It still kind of does, clearly. She shrugs. "Solutions. I'm all about that. Let's get to work, then, gentleman." She arches a brow at Zaharis. "Were my ovaries helpful to you, Jesse?"

Salin raises a hand and this time, he's waggling a finger at Rhea, "No getting tossed in the brig. I already told Regas this order was illegal and if someone got tossed in the brig over it, I'd be forced to lecture Regas, which I'm not sure I could do again without getting my ass stapled to the wall." Though, he does give a smile, "I'll have to read the letter though, and see just how bad it is. As for my part, I'm going to review a few things and then head to the Carina tomorrow. It'll be good that you're coming along, Rhea. Can look at possible locations and get your advice on how difficult it'll be to convert something or have something built."

"Very," Zaharis replies to Rhea, after downing the last swallow of his whiskey. "I'm going to put out a call for a taskforce for the Carina and I'll probably see you both over there tomorrow. We'll need to borrow an engineer or two ourselves, give us some idea of how much we can afford to knock down and rebuild."

"The building I could handle directly, so long as there's space for it," Rhea says. "I just got an influx of structural engineers who're going to be very bored with no walls to put up. We're scrapping as much metal as we can from the Persius, and no facility we need should have to be that big." She smirks at Salin. "I may've lost my temper a bit. Part of me took the thing as a single-mothers-are-incompetent-whores directive. I still think that's a fair way to read it, whether Regas consciously considered that or not."

"Oh, I won't fault any woman for getting riled up over the directive. I don't have the right parts and it got me riled up." There's another smile and then Salin is nodding first to Rhea and then to Zaharis, "Great. If we're all on the Carina tomorrow, my office there is open. It's within the Justice Building near the Townhouses. Real coffee there too, courtsey of The Pyr."

Zaharis nods to Salin. "Sounds like a party. Alright, if that's the end of the festivities then I'll leave you alone so you can get command notified." He rises, sliding his hands into his pockets.

Rhea snorts. "The commander and the XO don't have the right parts to get riled up over it, either. Which they seem to have forgotten. They both need to keep their noses the frak out of my ovaries." She finishes what remains of her drink, heading out as well. "Real coffee would be very nice."

There's a chuckle and then Salin is shaking his head, "If I don't make it to the Carina tomorrow, it means that Regas or Fotilas found me and strangled me. Send the search parties to check the storage closets, please." A hand is lifted and he's waving, "I'll see you both, tomorrow, then."

Zaharis lifts his chin to Salin and steps out into the hall.

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