24 Hour Follow-Up: St-Sirois

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OOC Date: April 10, 2011
IC Date: January 10, 2128

Commander Eisley meets with Dr. St-Sirois to discuss his thoughts following the Givers' revelation.


The EAV Genesis; XO's Office


Every good office is dominated by a desk and this one is no exception. The XO's desk is almost eight feet across, half that in width, a sheet of black glass that shimmers through with motes of color. Bits of it light up as needed, becoming brilliant controls that respond to a touch and then fade into nothing when not. Behind it sits a high-backed chair, sleek and black. Behind that is a plasma screen that occupies almost the entire wall, pretending to be a window that looks out into space when not otherwise in use. In front of the desk are two smaller chairs, also black though not as imposing. Black is a theme here; there is also a sleek black sofa set against one wall, ruining the perfect linear symmetry of the room. It matches the charcoal color of the carpet, and imposes in hard lines against the ivory walls.


The XO's office is easy enough to find. It's just down the hall from the conference room, one of only a few doors on the upper deck of the Genesis. The door whispers open to allow admittance, not being locked at the moment, and the Commander has strongly encouraged appointments for these reports, given that everyone is supposed to be on light or no duty, though no one seems to be honoring that particular order. Even Eisley herself is attempting to keep busy, her primary strategy in this capitalizing on other people's industry and collecting these reports. Thus, at the appointed time, the Commander can be found in her office, seated behind her desk, pressed and polished into uniform precision. On the screen behind her is a view of the stars, a faerie land of nebulae that form the swirling arms of the Milky Way. Impressive as the display is, she has her back to it, a data pad on the desk in front of her holding far more of her attention.

There's a quick knock at the door just before it opens, as if St-Sirois has the decency to knock but not enough to wait to be allowed in. When he enters, mind you, the doctor's not exactly in the finest shape. He clearly has pretty sizeable bags under his eyes and the colour has not yet returned to his cheek after the excitement of being taken out of stasis. "Commander." The doctor snaps to attention, just a trifle sluggishly. And he waits, circumspectly, inside the doorway, waiting to be acknowledged. He wavers slightly on his feet like the good soldier he absolutely is not.

"Doctor St-Sirois," Eisley greets. She doesn't look a whole lot better, though she might have eaten and may possibly have gotten some sleep since that awful message came through. She spends a moment studying the man as if sizing him up, looking from head to toe and back in one quick flicker of attention. As it passes, she gestures at the chairs on the opposite side of the desk. "Please, have a seat. "This meeting is largely informal and covered under the Captain's light-duty order."

Without waiting on further ceremony, the doctor immediately steps into the chair and drops down. He slumps down, just slightly, and takes a moment to regain his composure. "Thank you, ma'am," he says after nothing in particular. He rubs the corner of his left eye with his index finger, briefly. A deep breath. "Commander. Ma'am. We should go to Alpha Centauri. It is the only medically satisfactory option of those in front of us." Straight to business.

Straight to business indeed. It almost seems to catch the Commander by surprise, in that she blinks and then lifts an eyebrow. "Alpha Centauri." This singular part of that statement is repeated without inflection, an echo of the thought voiced for no other reason than, seemingly, to ensure that she caught it properly. With that said, however, she leans back slightly in the chair, the leather of which is still new and unbroken enough to squeak a bit as she shifts. Her elbows settle on its arms, her hands drawing together, index fingers steepling. Over that point, then, she studies him anew. "Elaborate."

Immediately, St-Sirois bursts into speech. It comes off rather rehearsed, although given his obvious fatigue it's a natural enough precaution. "Of our options, it is the least miserably unsatisfactory. We know little of the biosphere on the proposed Alpha Centauri world, however, if it is as the Givers described we will, at least, be able to survive. We will be short on protein, but we will able to subsist in something resembling health. While the dietary considerations on Tau Ceti are superior, we would eventually be driven mad by our confined conditions and likely suffer acute vitamin D loss due to a lack of outside exposure, to say nothing of attempting to prepare some sort of shelter for large populations." A deep, quick breath, as St-Sirois breaks stride for just a moment. "Our other option is to charge out into the unknown and hope we stumble upon something satisfactory. The universe is a big place, Commander, and without spare parts or outside resources our ship cannot continue to sustain us indefinitely."

Rehearsed or not, Eisley listens to it with justifiable interest. Though not exactly avid it is sincere enough, attentive sufficiently to indicate that she is absorbing the reasoning and the logic so presented without yet giving away her own thoughts on the matter. When he finishes she is quiet for a moment, but in due course inclines her head in a sort of nod, tilting just a few degrees toward him. "I would have thought that such circumstances as a shortage of protein would make that planet rather undesirable and poorly suited for colonization. The Genesis may not be able to sustain us awake indefinitely, but even if we were to wake the whole crew up tomorrow we could travel for a decade before food and water became an issue. If we were to enter into stasis again…" She shivers involuntarily. "From a tactical standpoint, one must also consider that the Devourers may roam out from Earth. Alpha Centauri is the closest star to our home system and on that count they would not have to look far to find our new door."

Getting into actual conversation, St-Sirois speaks a little more slowly. When the commander makes her objections heard, the doctor raises one hand, palm outstretched, steadying himself as much as anything. "Protein supplies would likely be not ideal. But, if Earth is any example, we would at least be able to provide a sustainable diet, if not a perfect one, through plant life. It would be enough to sustain life and some health, if not necessarily comfort. It's far better than having an excellent diet but an unlivable environment." The tactical considerations cause St-Sirois to lean back in his chair a bit, blinking a few times, gathering his thoughts. "If the Devourers' technology is anything like the Givers, and they can travel faster than the speed of light, it wouldn't make much sense for them to start at Earth and simply work their way out. They'd have the ability to try and search for us rather than simply checking every star in the cosmos. And besides, we don't know where Devourer territory is. We might well wind up outside their front door instead of near a recent conquest."

Again Eisley considers, though in the end she nods. "None of the scenarios that have been presented are ideal, but what you've said makes a certain amount of sense. It seems as if we are presented with the opportunity to have to choose between the least of many evils, between finding a poor place to put down roots and finding no place to do this. As you said, the universe is a big place." For a beat there is almost a 'but' tacked onto this statement, except that she withholds it and says only, "I will include your recommendations in my final report to the Captain, however."

The doctor nods, smartly. He's made his case as best he can, considering that his brain is apparently still half in stasis. "Thank you, commander," St-Sirois answers. "There's something to be said for venturing boldly into the unknown, but when we have responsibility for the entire human species it is better to be prudent." He then tries, valiantly and without much success, to stifle a large yawn, his jaw actually cracking before he holds his hand up to his mouth.

Eisley nods once more, though this gesture lacks the precision the doctor's shows. "That is an excellent point. It is certainly something to consider, and strong weight in favor of settling a little bit closer to home." Of course it is the yawn that she addresses next, shifting topics with slippery ease. "In the end, the decision lies with Captain Ramesh. We will ultimately have to trust his judgment, until such a time as he proves incapable of exercising it. In the meantime, you need to get some rest, doctor. I realize how futile it is to order someone to that, but I'm afraid you did not actually bank six years of sleep to work off."

The doctor actually smiles, a little wryly. "Thank you, commander," the doctor answers, with a quiet little tone at the end of his voice. "I assure you, I am fully aware of how tired I am. Won't be performing any surgeries until I get some rest, anyway." He does stretch a little, before putting his hands on the armrests and forcing himself out of Eisley's chair with just a little effort. "But as I'm sure you can understand, hearing of the probable extinction of your species makes a night's sleep… well, a very difficult thing to get."

"I do," she agrees. Then it is Eisley's turn to look a touch wry, with just the corners of her mouth lifting into something that tries at but fails to achieve real humor. "Which is why I will probably be down to your office in a few hours, looking for a prescription for some sort of sleeping aid. If you're lucky, I might even remember to take them without a few fingers of vodka to wash them down with." Wry turns bitter in a beat. "I should also encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Jackson."

"You don't want to mix sleeping pills with liquor, commander," replies St-Sirois by rote. Then he snaps back into the moment, glancing back at Eisley. "After I get a night's sleep, I might talk to Dr. Jackson." He slides that 'might' in there with the effortless ease of somebody used to weaseling his way out of those sorts of conversations. "Will there be anything else, commander?" he asks as if he wasn't the one who came in here.

Eisley considers for a beat, then shakes her head. "No, doctor. I believe that will be everything for now." If the significance of that extra syllable is noted she does not now make an issue out of it, merely settles back in her chair once more. "Thank you for your time." Either way she is and remains polite, almost cordial in a starchy sort of way.


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