Obsidian Command

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Posted on 20 Mar 2021 @ 4:36pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Lieutenant Theodore Winslow

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Ardeshir Sick Bay
Timeline: Backpost— following Unspeakable Mercy
1053 words - 2.1 OF Standard Post Measure

One day was blending into the next until Calliope had no sense of time. Not that she had no clock, just that it made very little difference looking at it. The closest thing to having a routine was seeing the faces of the nurses change over from day shift to night shift. She’d slept for a week, and she had nothing now for the endlessly stretching hours but the ultimatum of ‘getting better’. She stared at Lance’s gift of sunflowers and snapdragons again and sighed, both comfort and trouble all mixed up in the cauldron of her heart— she had to improve, so Lance wouldn’t worry himself to death. Then her eyes settled on the covered meal beside the bed. They’d soon take it away and replace it with a fresh one. She hadn’t touched that plate of formless food. She didn’t want to skip a meal, but she also didn’t want to keep revisiting each one of her meals either. She’d been trying valiantly, she really had. But this one? She was giving a rest from the fight.

“Yes, she’s been awake,” Calliope heard a nurse say softly on the other side of the privacy field.

Theodore has been popping in and out as shifts had allowed him hoping to hear that the woman was awake. “Thank you Petty Officer.” He said politely as he felt relief to hear that she had been awake a bit more. “Are you decent and can I come in Sir?” He hoped that she would not mind him visiting especially as he brought something to entertain her.

“Mr. Winslow?” Calliope shuffled to more of a sitting recline and took stock. Was she decent? She was what counted for decent in sickbay, in any event. It wasn’t the prettiest sight, the sallow cheeks, the darkly circled eyes, but she’d at least been scrubbed and had a fresh gown. “Decent enough, I suppose. Come in.” She said, making an effort at flattening out her coverlet.

Coming around the privacy field Theo smiled a bit. “Good Afternoon Commander.” He greeted as if it was every day he came into sickbay to visit people. He wore civilian clothes and was carrying a case in one hand and had a rucksack slung over his back. He was feeling pretty proud of his idea. “How are you doing?” It was the question you were meant to ask someone in sickbay, he decided that he needed to attempt conversation.

It was interesting seeing anyone from work out of uniform. It brought something more of their personality out. Winslow’s seemed practical, and far from drawing any attention. Not having talked all day, Calliope reached for her cup of water on the stand to ease her dry throat. Taking a little water allowed for her to let the question settle without an immediate answer as she gave it a thought. She didn’t care to dwell on recounting to him her symptoms or any of the drama she’d embarrassingly drawn out for herself during the detox. “It’s been quiet.” She summarized instead. “Have your personnel all come in? You must be busy organizing the department.”

“Quiet is good. Need less excitement in all our lives. And yes they have which has allowed me to come here and check in on my future running partner Sir.” He answered quickly as he moved the cabinet that was in the corner to a better position. The security chief put the case down at an odd angle revealing an old fashioned television. “I assumed from my own trips to sickbay that you would be bored and in need of a distraction so ….” he indicated to the television and took off his rucksack to pull out a pair of wireless headsets glad that he had prepared for if she was on an open ward.

Calliope quirked her head with amused curiosity at the quaint technology, accepting the headphones. “What’s the feature?” She asked, remembering how they had exchanged about their shared interest in action movies.

“Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon.” He said without missing a beat. “It is a classic that deserves to be watched on a classic television set. Which is why I have brought this over.” He pulled out a few containers from the ruck sack before putting it out of the way of any medical personnel wanting to come in and out. “The television is old apart from being able to be preloaded with stuff and is powered like a PADD is as electronic plugs like this would have used are not a thing nowadays.” He had only seen them in museums. “So sweet or salted pop corn?”

“Popcorn…” Adjusting her bed to support her sitting up, Calliope crossed her legs and considered. Popcorn didn’t sound like mash. Maybe a few dry, airy kernels wouldn’t upset the balance. “I’ll try salted.”

“Good choice.” He approved starting the movie. Theo settled into the chair next to her and passed over the container that was labeled in hand writing with salted and opened the one labeled sweet.

As the opening credits began to introduce the movie, Calliope ducked her head and slid into the headphones. The haunting beauty of some kind of ancient earth string instrument toned and she exhaled, relaxing instinctively with the keening, melancholy notes. The little window was itself an artifact of history, recalling a historical place under a fanciful eye, the expansive scenery not so much boxed in, Calliope thought, as framed. She had usually seen holographic adaptations of the old films. She wouldn’t have supposed that the flat screen could be so immersive, and yet, she became just as drawn in, the introduction to the characters and their drama absorbing her attention. She picked at the popcorn without even thinking about it.

Theo smiled a little as he glanced at the woman before turning his gaze back to the film and the impressive fight scene that he knew by heart. Sometimes you did not need to say anything to offer someone company and a presence of being there. He did not know the woman well but no one really knew each other well, but they were meant to build bridges and build connections to work together.


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