Occupational Medicine

This is a space for in-character events that do not occur within the line of duty and/or did not fit into the "Daily Life" section as it played out. Threads herein are meant to supplement character development and flesh out the setting elements, but are not necessary to understanding the plot or characters involved. These events are to be considered canon unless otherwise noted.
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Straken
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Occupational Medicine

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In orbit above Surandan, a pair of Caballero Shuttles waited, acting as relays for the away team and their own Caballero, shuffling the comms from the planets surface to the Hymn itself which remained stationary in space several hundred thousand kilometers away.
Inside one of the shuttles were a number of individuals, that number being exactly four. The Pilot, Copilot, and two combat medics, whom were stationed on the ship in case things went wrong and the squad's normal medic, Mortego, could not handle the casualties.
And so, Olive Tetra and Marcus May got the joyous duty of waiting in the 15x10 meter cargo hold of the shuttle, with the options of either sitting on the fold-down bench seats, or messing with one of the gurneys or sets of medical equipment that had been loaded into the craft.
The Copilot, Likewise bored and tired of staring at the nav screen, turned to the two Medics. "So, What brings you here?" he asked, rhetorically, knowing full well that both had been ordered onto the shuttle in case of an emergency.
***
Olive sat with her back against the wall on one of the fold out benches. She was beyond bored. This ship was so small and there were only a couple other people on board... This was more of an exercise in sanity then a safety precaution. The blond took a breath, she didn't quite know how to respond to the copilot.
"Business. What else would? No.. Just orders. But don't think for one second that I wouldn't rather be down on the ground doing some real work. Anything would be better then... No offense but, There are four of us in here..."
The girl crossed her legs and sighed she placed her hands on the bench beside her. Right then she was trying not to fall asleep, that would be the worst thing for her to do. But during these waiting games out here in the black all she ever wanted to do was sleep. The small window a few feet left of her drew Olive's attention. She glanced out to see nothing but stars and dust. There was nothing entertaining out there and even less in here. The copilot could turn out to be a bight of fun though.
***
To be, or not to be,
Dr. Marcus May sat directly in front of Olive, not terribly interested in her. He had a bag full of medical items by his side with a large + on the side, in addition to his spare clothes hastily stuffed into his duffelbag. He was breathing slowly as the shuttle made its course towards the Hymn, considering every option that could be presented to him.
That is the question.
It took him a moment to respond to the co-pilot, regaining his bearings, "Just doing my job, that's all," He replied solemnly, taking off his glasses, breathing on them and giving them a wipe before putting them back on.
He then resumed riding his train of thought, continuing to recite a choice soliloquy from Hamlet in his mind's ear, Whether it's nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them...
***
"Well, I would say this beats getting shot at. May be a little cramped, but the shuttle's shiny and new, we've got all the supplies we need, and no troubles to worry about. Might as well relax, right?" The copilot went, turning his seat completely around and shoving the hatch between the cockpit and the rear open a bit more so he could talk more easily.
The pilot, for his part, did not move at all- he had fallen asleep, Autopilot taking care of his job.
***
"We hardly ever get shot at...It's not that dangerous of a job, A medic. Even a combat medic isn't very risky. I just wish I wasn't the one chosen to sit out here when there were so many others who probably would have liked this more than me. Ya know?"
Olive looked to the man who sat across from her, He was old, pudgy and not the least bit interesting. The guy seemed pretty square. Even for Olive who was nothing if not intellectual.
"I didn't sign up for this to sit out here being useless. "
The blond crossed her legs and put a hand up to her hair. Her blond locks were tied up into a bun at the base of her neck, but it was starting to come undone. Carelessly she ran her finger's though her hair and undid the hard work she had done that morning, taking the little hair tie out of it's place and freeing her hair to fall around her shoulders.
***
The pilot stirred then, with a grunt. "Little lady, you clearly have never been in the field if ya think being a combat medic i'nt no big thing." His voice was low, gravelly, and carried an accent Americans would label southern. The pilot was also justified in calling her little lady, as he was at least six and a half feet tall and weighed in over two hundred pounds. His hair was graying in great streaks that began at his temples and spread through his thick head of blond hair.
"Nor have you ever ridden on a planetbound atmospheric transport that's supposed to drop in the middle of a lizard ********." Another grunt, that sounded something like a cough. "Mm. 'Scuse the language, if you please, but I speak from experience. Can be a real Hell-hole out there, 'n don't matter if ya an off'cer, a medic, or cannon fodder."
***
Olive jumped when the pilot made an unexpected noise and movement. She had thought he was completely asleep. The startle made her heart race her her cheeks flush. The girl crossed her arms over her chest and glanced down at the floor, avoiding eye contact.
"I've been in the field...Once."
Her voice was quieter and clearly nervous. She didn't like to be told what was what. Unfortunately it was clear that this pilot guy had been doing his job a lot longer then she had been doing hers. Olive glanced back up at him and shrugged.
"And it wasn't that bad."
That was really all she could say. Olive had only gone in on the back end of one battle, she just did the last minute bandaging of sill pretty much okay soldiers. It wasn't very intense and she seemed to handle it really well.
***
The Copilot burst into laughter, slapping a hand on his knee at the medic's obvious embarassment. "Well well, we've got ourselves a greenie, don't we, Willits?" He said to the pilot, spinning in his chair a couple times in amusement.
"Might explain why she's still wearing the noncombat Ship's nurse uniform, all white'n pretty and whatnot." After ceasing his spinning, the blue-clad navyman pulled off his headset and wiped a mock tear from his eye, clearly finding this to be a golden moment. "Ah, well, don't you worry your pretty little self, blondie, Even if we do go down it's likely just 'cuz one of them clumsy marines tripped and fell or somethin'. Aint no enemies to speak of, really, command just thought it better to send an away party than some sciencey-types."
***
Oliver blushed, a deep pink color radiating across her pale cheeks. She crossed her arms and bit her bottom lip, avoiding the pilot's eyes and hopefully ... Avoiding his criticism. She wasn't very secure about her knowledge and experience, but she wouldn't let that get her down! It's not like she could ask for help. Hell, the guy sitting right across from her was one of the best doctors they had. She was standing on the shoulder's of giants.
"I'm- I'm Tough. I know what's what and how to handle myself. So... Shut up."
Even with bright pink cheeks and shaking hands, Olive tried her best to look strong and tough. This amounted to her locking her jaw and squeezing her spidery fingers closed into unconvincing fists. She was dead, that much was clear. The girl wasn't going to make it twenty minutes. So much for saving the day.
***
"That's right, Nicholson." He patted the co-pilots shoulder. That said it was less of a pat, and more of a heavy-handed slap discreetly disguised as a friendly gesture. Willits certainly had a way of throwing his weight around, even with just one meaty arm. "The girl doesn't need your patronizin', jackass. You were there once, no need t' be a jerk."
He slowly turned his seat toward young Olive then and offered what could best be described as an aging man's exhausted but hopeful half-smile. "You'll do jus' fine, little lady, no doubt. Jus' be careful, don' do nothin' stupid."
***
While the conversation was going on, Marcus paid no attention to what was being said, since it didn't concern him too much. Instead, he decided to pull his duffel bag towards him, open it and start fishing through it.
He eventually procured a flask of alcohol and took a swig, wiping his mouth and leaving it by his side. He then proceeded to glance at Olive. Her nervousness was somewhat amusing, but it failed to register on Dr. May's interests.
Out of camaraderie, he decided to hold the flask in the pilot's direction, giving a light shake to indicate that there was plenty to go around.
***
Before Willits had the chance to grab the flask, Nicholson was on it, snatching the container from may's hand with a "Don't mind if I do" and taking a swig himself before he in turn offered it to the pilot, along with his answer. "I Ain't Patronizin' no one." the Younger copilot defended.
"Juss sayin', Ya gotta be able to walk before you c'n talk, yannow?"
The console behind him beeped once, alerting him to a status change of the ship on the ground, along with some mild comm chatter. "Huh. seems like they're movin' the shuttle around, though they aren't goin' at combat speeds, and keeping pretty low."
***
Olive gave the pilot a warm, truly gratefully little smile. He was looking out for her, which was really kind. The old man had less in common with her then he did a hat rack so, his words were twice as nice to hear.

"Thanks sir. That's really nice of you."
When the flask was pulled out and passed around she couldn't help but think that it was not the smartest of things to be doing... They were basically on call, what if something happened and they were all drunk? But The little blond said nothing, she didn't want to tell them anything that would make them judge her any more then they already were. The console behind the younger pilot beeped, making Olive jump every so slightly, she hadn't expected it and that sound meant action right? She listened carefully and watched the younger man closely.
"So what's happening?"
***
Pilot Willits didn't answer his colleague; he recognized the voice as their charge, though he didn't know a name. To the young medical officer, he offered his smile then took a swill from the flask. Then he passed it back to the silent medic with a quiet grunt of thanks.
He turned the seat toward the panel once more. "So, what's the hap?"
***
Fred sighed heavily as he sat in the pilot’s seat of the second Caballero shuttle sitting in orbit. He looked across the control panels of the shuttle, making note of their distinct difference from those of a Scimitar. The biggest difference being that he had a copilot to work with. The basics were there, but other than a few dials and readout screens there weren’t many similarities.
“You look bored,” said the copilot, who happened to have a subtle British accent.
“Only slightly,” Fred responded. “Just tryin’ to get used to the change of pace between this and my typical flying experiences.”
“Why is a fighter pilot like you wanting to pilot a shuttle anyway?” asked the copilot. “If you are wanting excitement on a regular basis then you might want to stick with your fighter.”
“Eh, I figured a little cross training with flying other ships would be good for me and my resume’. That, and my squadron and I have reached a low point in our current training, so we were given a day or two for respite. This mission needed some volunteers, it is not a high risk mission, so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to learn how to pilot a shuttle.” Fred rambled on mostly for the sake of fending off the invasive silence that came about when neither of the only two inhabitants of the shuttle spoke.
“Sounds like fun, but I still don’t know why you would want to pilot a shuttle. We shuttle pilots are the typically the ones who want to instead fly a fighter. To each his own I suppose.” The copilot said in a rather flat tone.
Fred couldn’t think of a response so he stayed silent, and the copilot did the same. The silence set in once more. Fred looked around the cockpit as he tried to refocus his attention. For the sake of not wasting power, the shuttle only had the control panel lit up as well as a single lit on the ceiling of the cockpit. This meant that everything else was cast in heavy shadow, or just plain dark. Fred stared through the heavy hatch that sat ajar at the rear of the cockpit into the dense darkness of the hold on the other side.
“Eerie, isn’t it?” asked the copilot as he saw Fred staring off into the darkness. “It is easy to get paranoid in an empty shuttle. It is good to keep your mind occupied, otherwise it begins to wander. The next thing you know you start hear eerie noises coming from back there. It can get really bad on long flights when the other pilot is resting.” He then flipped on the light for the hold, revealing an obviously empty hold. “It is always a little exciting doing that in the off-chance that there really is something back there.” The copilot began to chuckle a little.
Fred rolled his eyes a little. “It is only intimidating if you are naïve enough to buy into silly things like horror movies. The only thing that could possibly be back there that would also be frightening would be a Drathonian Smasher. Now those are frightening to face in close quarters.” Fred said in response.
“And how would you know that?” the copilot asked.
“I was a Marine Brawler for a few years before making the switch to being a pilot,” Fred replied. “I am just as deadly on the ground as I am in the sky.” The Irishman made sure to add an edge to his last comment. Wanting an excuse to end the conversation with the Englishman, he pulled up the comm for the other shuttle.
“Caballero shuttle #2 to Caballero shuttle #1, this is Captain Fred Haverthorn, how’re you holding up on your end?” Fred asked in a nonchalant tone.
***
The copilot was just about to answer when the Comms suddenly made a loud noise that sounded vaguely Irish. Nicholson jumped in his seat, looking alost as if he were having a fit as he turned around to get on to answering the stupid question he had been asked. "Uhh, Shit's goin' fine here I guess, Got some comms from down below, though not directed at us." he informed the other pilot, looking somewhat miffed, before switching channels and listening in on the ground chatter- there was a bit of yelling, someone saying dirty words in Russian and japanese, and minor status updates from the pilot of the earthbound shuttle.
"Okay, so, anyways, from what I can hear" Nicholson began, messing with a few controls to get a better signal, "They found sommat alive down there, and now they're fightin it- it seems to be keeping the shuttle from landin' as well, but so far it sounds like.."
What it sounded like, he wouldn't finish, because just then the comms exploded again with the shuttle pilot making an actual report- they had reported several small energy spikes and a bit of an explosion, and a cloud of haze had begun rising from the darkened streets. It didn't seem that everything was going quite well down there.
Nicholson looked at Willits, May, and the new girl, his expression an obvious 'what the hell do we do?'
***
Willits smirked, not because he was excited, but because he was always more than happy to do his job- he was damn good at it. "Well now, seems we have business." He turned back to his console. "Nicholson, contact the shuttle, see what they're doing. We're going to tag along to the rendezvous just in case medical attention is required. Let th' other one know what's goin' on." Meanwhile the pilot brought them down from their orbital point toward the shuttle's beacon slow and easy; there was no need to rush- at least not yet.
***
Olive bit her tongue and listened to the men around her. One said that they were fighting on the ground... But no one knew what the target was, or if there were any wounded or how dangerous it was. Or if they did know they were not sharing. The rather naive kid looked down at her clean white shoes and straightened her skirt.
"It would probably be best if we went down to... You know just make sure we can't be of assistance."
She sounded nervous, her voice wavered while she wished she could sound older. Or at least not scared. Her cheeks went pale and she looked like she might vomit there and then.
"... What's a Drathonian Smasher?"
Medic's didn't get that kind of an education. And Fred's comments about a so called Drathonian Smasher being in the back scared the hell out of her. She was pretty sure what ever it was she did not want to ever see one alive. Not that she had ever really had much interaction with the nonhuman life forms... The girl was a newbie, she was still green, she was a kid.
***
Nicholson blinked at Olive's sudden question, looking to Willits for a Second. "When did someone say something about Smashers?" He looked around- Fred was not in their shuttle, and had only been very recently heard over the comms, not including his conversation with the pilot of the other shuttle.
The copilot shook his head and turned around as the shuttle began entering the atmosphere, attending to his duty as copilot. "Whoah, there's a shitton more lifesign readings down here than there was on the initial scan!" he announced, seeming rather confused by the revelation. "But they're all wonky, kinda like half-dead monkeys or sommat..."
***
Gregory Willits put a little more power into the Caballero. "We're going down, keep a lookout for any anti-air. I've been flying for thirty ********' years and I'm not about to be put down here and now. Let the other shuttle know we're making a move."
***

“I’m righ’ behind ya, Caballero one,” Fred chimmed in over the comm; in the same way one of the passengers on the other shuttle heard him, he heard some of what went on over there. “Fallin’ in behind you, and keepin’ my eyes peeled for AA.
“Hmm, maybe we will get some excitement on this trip,” Fred said in an oddly light and whimsical tone.
“You and I obviously have different definitions of ‘excitement’, chap,” William said off to the side.
“Obviously. I’m just glad I cleaned my sidearm before we took off,” Fred replied with subtle snark as he worked the controls to bring his shuttle in just to the side of its counterpart.
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Kai
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Re: Occupational Medicine

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