Paging Dr. Graves...

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OOC Date: July 27, 2011
IC Date: February 29, 2128

The crew's trauma surgeon, Dr. Harry Graves, is pulled out of stasis and debriefed.


[Crew Stasis Hold - Deck Two]


The sickly green glow of the stasis chambers provides most of the light in the cavernous hold - they make enough light on their own, little else is really needed. Two hundred and twenty such chambers are scattered about the hold, containing the entirety of the crew when they're in stasis, each roughly the size of a phone booth and cylindrical in shape.

While the majority of a stasis chamber is made of metal and contains all of the sensitive equipment needed to sustain the person within, the front is made of a high grade plexiglass that is completely clear, allowing a view of the person inside. One would almost think that they stand upright except that their toes do not touch the ground, instead they float in a greenish liquid that accounts for the color of the light coming out of each unit. The people inside wear only the minimum necessary - a version of tighty whities for the men, and the same plus a halter style top for the women. Numerous tubes and wires are connected to them at points all over their bodies, pumping in and filtering out liquid similar to the kind they float in. One of the elements of stasis involves removing all of the blood from the body and replacing it with a synthetic liquid that preserves the internal organs and bones and prevents the body from aging. The liquid they float in does the same for the skin, muscles and hair. Wires connected to the head and various parts of the body stimulate the muscles and brain to prevent atrophy and to keep the person in a hypnotized state of peace.

In addition to the stasis chambers themselves, the hold also contains several control and monitoring stations that allow manual operation of the stasis system when crew members are awake. One door is all that the hold contains, and it leads out to the central corridor of Deck Two.


Consciousness comes slowly, starting at the back of the mind and bubbling up like pockets of air in molasses. It seems to take forever. The first sense to come alive is the general sense of awareness, of being present in the here and now - wherever and whenever that maybe. Realization dawns that the body is floating, and the faint prickles of wires disengage in from the body follows shortly after. Warmth begins to flood in as blood returns to the body and synthetic preservative is cycled out. Tubes retract save for those in the nose and mouth that still provide oxygen. Bubbling and hissing fill the ears and the feet gradually touch the bottom of the chamber, the liquid draining away, and soon feet and legs support the body, or at the very least attempt to. Some may find themselves quite shaky despite the regular stimulation of the muscles. When eyes finally open, the world is blurry and vague. One sensation overcomes everything else.

The hunger.

Such hunger.

This must be what being born feels like. Resting, weightless in some pleasant, Elysian state. Then, that pleasant state slowly trickles away and the cold awareness of the complete consciousness required to live returns. Harry opens his eyes and blinks, though the whole world is foggy. His limbs feel ghosted and numb, like they don't actually belong to him. He stumbles forward half-blindly, and if no one catches him, he drops to the ground. Then, if that all wasn't awkward enough, the sharp, overwhelming hunger spreads through his body. It's so intense that he doesn't even recognize it for what it is.

Sadly, this birthing experience is not attended by a kindly doctor or nurses. It's a rather rude awakening: it's cold, it's wet. It's dark. The stasis hold is eerily lit by the light that filters through some 190 of the 220 crew pods held here, giving it an abyssal quality that might briefly make the unwary wonder if it is a dream, or if perhaps the ship crashed underwater. Empty tubes are blacked out, dark breaks in row after row of luminous green, voids that disturb the regularity of the system. It is quiet though, most disconcertingly. Going into stasis was an exercise in organized chaos, with attendants on hand to assure the process was as smooth as humanly possible. Whatever one was expecting to happen upon arrival at New Eden, waking to this deathly calm probably didn't score high on the list of possible wake-up scenarios. The wake-up committee is very small, limited to one Naval officer and one Marine. The former, Commander Eisley, stands clear of the splatter zone, watching dispassionately as the last tubes pull free of their fleshy entanglements.
The latter, First Lieutenant Dominic L'Anse, a small snack in his hands that he idly eats as he watches the newest member of the crew become unthawed. As the process starts to come to an end, he offers some of the food to Eisley as he silently waits for the awakening process to complete. "Want some?" He asks casually.

Harry is on all fours on the ground, dripping in whatever that stuff was. He draws in long, sharp, shaky breaths and blinks rapidly. His vision still hasn't sharpened, so the only reason he knows he's not alone is the voices he hears. "Wh…what? What…." his throat is hoarse. "Oh dear god. This is…desperately unpleasant." He swallows. "And undignified. And I think I need…food. Possibly. Or to vomit, I can't tell."

"No, thanks." Eisley holds up a hand in Dominic's general direction to wave off the offer of snack food. Watching the surgeon come out of stasis is a much more interesting proposition, though sadly not really in the same vein as a car accident. It merits some attention though, as though to ensure that nothing bad happened during the automated part of the process. "Good morning, doctor," she offers next in that calm, cool manner of hers. In another life she could have done voice-overs for documentaries or something, but sadly people on the Genesis have to deal with the titanium neutrality. "That's normal. It will pass. Most people throw up, then eat; then some throw up again."

Dominic nods and returns his attention to the Doc as he speaks, a smirk forming on his lips. He sets his snack down and picks up a towel for the other man, remaining quiet as Eisley greets the man. He doesn't exactly move right away towards the guy, waiting first to see if he's going to make a mess first. "Puke if you feel like it. We'll get someone down to clean it up." And that's usually one of the E-1s running around.

"I uh, I read up on the symptoms of coming…coming out of stasis…" Harry gasps in a deep breath like he's not breathing while he talks. "…just before I went under. To prepare myself. But books are inadequate for the total wrenching discomfort of this entire…" he grunts and moves to sit on the ground, "…experience." He presses a hand against his stomach. By now, his eyes are working at least somewhat decently. He looks up at the pair of them. "I have a strong stomach. I haven't puked since I was ten." A beat, "That's a fine how-do-you do, isn't it? Though I imagine if everyone wakes up this way, no one has the luxury of a good first impression."

If the XO ever looked amused, now might be an opportunity for it. In fact the corners of her mouth do twist a little bit as if she were fighting back a smile, but it never quite dares to show itself. "No, Doctor Graves. It is a most unfortunate experience. Mercifully, it is a short-lived kind of suffering, and things quickly right themselves after you have an opportunity to visit your quarters and the mess." Eisley then tilts her head at Dominic, likely to indicate the dispensation of the towel.

Dominic still doesn't move towards the man right away even after his protests, wary. Too many shoes have been ruined in this endeavor. Unlike the XO, Dominic does smirk at the man's works slightly though he doesn't reply. As Eisley motions for him to give him the towel, he hesitates for a few moments as he considers the doctor before moving forward and offering the man a hand up to his feet and then the towel. "Let me know if you're going to fall."

"Oh, great, fantastic. I just realized I'm in my underwear. Dignity? Gone. Thank you, have a nice day." Harry balloons up his cheeks and runs a hand through his hair. Sticky hair. "Ugh. No wonder babies cry when they're born, if it's anything like this. Thanks." He accepts the towel and rubs it over his face, then wipes off his hand before offering it to Dominic so he can get back to his feet. "And I've decided. I'm so hungry I'd eat tofu."

"Excellent," says Eisley with but a drop of sardony. "The beef-flavored tofu is excellent." Which is a sad but true statement: what the mess serves is closer to tofu than actual meat, though it is far better in both taste and texture than most soy products ever dreamed about being. Six months of training time pre-flight will have been a sad demonstration of this new reality. "You should find your quarters, a shower, and a uniform. Get some food. Come up to my office in, say, two hours and I'll debrief you." Obviously there is no rush; there wasn't a rush to let people out, though.

Dominic helps the Doc back up to his feet, watching him carefully to make sure he can catch the man should he fall. He chuckles at the exchange between Harry and Eisley, looking to each in turn. After Eisley finishes speaking, he looks back to Harry. "Do you know where to find your quarters? I can escort you there if you should require."

"The word "excellent" doesn't belong in the neighborhood of the word "tofu," in my humble opinion." Harry rubs the towel all over himself, which has the even more dignified effect of giving him crazy post-hibernation hair. Bedhead seems inadequate when one has been asleep for ten years. "If you could point me in the right direction, that would be peachy. Beyond that, I think I can find my way."

Eisley tilts her head just so, the only acknowledgement she's going to give about the status of 'excellent tofu.' She does glance at Dominic though, that smile that was threatening before becoming more akin to a smirk, but nothing else develops. "Good. I will see you later, then."

//XO's Office - Deck Three

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.//

By now it should be obvious that something is amiss. The first and biggest clue about that is, of course, the ship's awakened population: of its 220 crew, roughly 30 are conscious. Given the size of the vessel and the disparate nature of the duties held by those involved, it is easy to get through these two hours without actually seeing anyone else. Sure, there are robots in the mess, and maybe a Marine or two getting breakfast there, but for the most part the corridors are clear. The second major clue that something is awry becomes obvious when the door to the XO's office opens up. The screen behind her desk often functions like a window, like many of the screens elsewhere on the Genesis. For that reason alone it is anyone's guess whether what is on it now is real-time data, or… well. It's dark and full of stars, but there is also another -ship- clearly visible out there. It is large, asymmetrical in shape, with spires and protrusions at seemingly odd and illogical places, and while clearly constructed of metal it appears almost organic. Moreover, debris is strewn in a field between here and there, as if several other vessels had been blown to bits and left to drift. It's a safe guess that the Genesis is -not- in orbit around New Eden. Commander Eisley sits at her desk though, back to all of that, reviewing something on a small, hand-held data pad.

Dominic escorts Harry to his quarters to allow him to get cleaned up and changed before showing him to the Dining Hall. Eventually the pair make their way to Eisley's office and he leads the way inside. "Commander, Doc is ready for the debrief." He says to the Commander, standing at attention and being formal in the situation despite what he knows is about to come.

It's starting to all feel very nightmareish. Like the Overlook Hotel and somewhere there's Jack Nicholson with an axe. Harry's looking more human after a shower and food. And he might just have thrown up at some point. If he did, he's not going to tell anyone. "I'm just Doc, am I? That's a switch. Haven't any other doctors been given their rude awakening ye…holy hell what is /that/?" His eyes go wide at the scene on the screen, whether live or not.

Eisley isn't pulling any punches today, apparently. "At ease," she indicates, though after a second she also gestures at the chairs across the desk from her. "Have a seat." Though it must be blindingly obvious what triggered -that- reaction from the good doctor, she does not acknowledge the visual behind her, merely taps the data pad into darkness and sets it aside before folding her hands atop the desk.

Dominic glances back to Harry, motioning him in more since this meeting is more about him. "Sorry. It's what I call anyone who is a Doctor. Marine thing." He says, offering a simple shrug before he takes a seat away from the two as to simply be in the background unless otherwise called upon. At the Doc's reaction to the ship displayed on the screen, he smiles slightly though subconsciously rubbing a hand over the spot that was torn open.

"Do you mind…terribly if I stand? I know it's a little awkward, but I feel like I haven't actually…used my body. Which…is entirely true. So." Harry scratches at his temple. "Though if you're about to unleash some horrible news on me, which I suspect you are, perhaps sitting would be smarter."

For one awful second Eisley says absolutely nothing, merely studies poor Harry with a gaze that is cold and sober and utterly void of any kind of emotional tell. Her bedside manner would be counted as a failure, surely, which is why she probably is NOT a doctor herself. "You may want to have a seat, Doctor." She won't repeat that again, merely inhales and slides another look to Dominic, thus to watch the rubbing of old injuries. "As you can probably tell," she begins, "we are not at New Eden. Circumstances have changed dramatically, and the original plan for colonization has been… altered." Here we have her understatement of the day. Possibly of the week. The thing is, she doesn't wait for compliance from the doctor, simply launches into the debriefing as if delivering a prepared speech.

As Eisley looks to Dominic for a moment, he offers an encouraging smile and a quick nod of his head once. Since he is in her branch, she gets to deliver the message and with the number of times that she's had to give the speech to each squid that get thawed, it probably could be called a prepared speech. For this, Dominic is grateful for having not as many Marines aboard as there are Navy personnel.

Harry eyes the chair for a moment, then he does end up sinking into it. He doesn't say anything, just prepares to absorb whatever it is she's got to say to him.

"Today is February 29th, 2128." And not without a touch of irony, come to think of it. Leap Day. Eisley smirks a little bit having said this, but under these circumstances she will take what little humor she can grasp hold of. Either way, that is still four years shy of the ten-year mark proposed for the trip to the new planet. "Approximately two months ago, a large portion of the senior crew was brought out of stasis by the ship to respond to an anomaly detected by its sensors. A small craft - little more than a probe - had been launched on an intercept course to meet us, bearing nothing but a message from the Givers." As she goes on, settling back into that calm speaking cadence, the humor all melts away. Narrator voice: she has it. "It gave us a great deal of insight into the alien race that we thought of as Givers. They, as a species, had been hunted almost to extinction by another, which they referred to as Devourers for… obvious reasons. In a last-ditch effort to save what remained of their kind, they offered these Devourers the location of another planet that was heavily populated by an immature, self-destructive race." A beat of silence is pressed in here like a brush stroke, punctuating the thought. As a thought it stands well enough by itself, but there is more. Oh so much more. "Almost immediately afterward they sent us the transmission that we received. All of their technology, all of their advanced medical knowledge, the plans for long-range spacecraft. They sent an apology, and their earnest hope that in the time they predicted it would take the Devourers to reach earth we might build as many as ten ships and save ten million of our people." The Genesis is one ship, and holds 100,000. Her math is exceptionally bleak.

Harry opens his mouth, closes. Opens. There's really nothing he can say to that that wouldn't sound terrible inappropriate. But he speaks anyway. "…so a race of cannibal aliens…are on their way to Earth?"

See, there's a reason why Eisley recommended taking a seat. Hell, there might even be a reason why, earlier, she indicated that many people ended up vomiting after they ate. Apparently that had -nothing- to do with the effects of stasis. "They have already reached Earth, Dr. Graves." The words are quiet and somber; they are hollow too, somehow. "Shortly after we rendezvoused with the probe, a single transmission from Earth caught up with the Genesis. It warned us not to return."

"Oh," says Harry. "…shit." Really, what /can/ he say? He just kind of stares at her.

Dominic looks to Harry and frowns at the news, remembering the first time he received the news. He finally speaks up, offering only a few words for the poor guy though they're probably not exactly what he wants to hear. "As far as we know, we're the last of our species."

But wait..! There's more! Eisley exhales and settles back into her chair, eyes closing up for a second. Apparently this news is not easier to deliver now than it was the first time, or the time after that, or… "The Devourers thanked the Givers for this intelligence by exterminating them, then moved on to Earth. Our outposts around Saturn and Jupiter fell first, then our colonies on Mars and the Moon. When they realized that the cannibals were coming, the Alliance scrambled to build a second much smaller ship, capable of holding ten thousand. They launched it, but we have no information about its status, whereabouts, or viability." This is neutral news, neither good nor bad. "Because the New Eden site was compromised, the Givers gave us three other potential paths to pursue. Two were planets located in the same sector, near Alpha Centauri and Tau Ceti. The third was a wormhole, which both they and the Devourers had avoided until that time because it was at -best- a one-way trip. Captain Ramesh chose this third option." At long last she gestures back toward the 'window.' "We are currently somewhere in the Corona Borealis Supercluster, approximately 500 billion light-years from Earth."

Harry's eyes go big. Bigger than he ever imagined that they could go. Kicked kitten big. He's gripping white-knucked to the arms of his chair and doesn't even realize it. "…Jesus Christ."

Dominic doesn't move from his seat or change position as he speaks, just watches the two. "It's a lot to take in, Lieutenant. I know. Everything we've gathered is available in the ship's database if you would like to review everything."

Eisley tilts her head slightly, and though she leaves a little pause in this for some of that to sink in she's gone too far to stop. It's like ripping off a band-aid, better done all at once. Probably. She nods slightly as Dominic adds that in, and after a beat of reflection finds a brighter, happier? note to wrap up on. "The ship you see yonder belongs to a symbiotic group native to this galaxy. They refer to themselves as The Two. We were followed here by a small fleet of Devourer ships, which have subsequently been destroyed. The Two are themselves at war here with yet -another- alien race, but asked for our assistance in capturing a live breeding pair of the cannibals for them to join with. In exchange, they gave us a cache of weapons and several long-range communications devices." Paaause. "They also gave us a recording of a transmission they had intercepted from a planet that appears to be populated by something that very much appears to be human, as well as the location of a planet they believe might be suitable for us to colonize. We will be visiting the latter in a few days to begin collecting preliminary data." So. Much. Information. "As Lieutenant L'Anse says, all of this is in the ship's database. It is a lot to take in in one sitting. You are hereby ordered to as little duty as you can manage for the next 48 hours to… acclimate yourself."

Acclimation might involve curling up into a small ball in a corner. Or excessive drinking. Or one, then the other. Harry looks, quite frankly, to be in shock. He opens his mouth and closes it like a fish gasping for air. In the end, he just kind of shuts his mouth. He honestly can't think of a damn thing to say.

Dominic looks to Harry as he is given the news, head tilted slightly to the side. "After your 48 hours are over, I'd like you to come see me so we can get you weapon qualified so you can carry a weapon on away missions. It'll require some time in the range and a test. I'll have Eve send you the proper study material."

"L'Anse…" Eisley murmurs this a touch more quietly, tilting her head at the Marine. It is less a warning than perhaps a hint that enough might possibly be enough for one day. This is a hell of a thing to wake up to, after all.

Harry didn't hear a damn word about weapons qualification. He's still thinking about the part where the Earth has been eaten by cannibal aliens and they're way further away from home than they ever were supposed to be. "Is there uh," he swallows, "…can I…get a drink?" Don't tell him there's no booze. He might cry.

Eisley tilts her head again, just so. "Of course. The bar in the observation room across the hall is fully stocked, and the robot there has an excellent memory." Not that she would know, or anything.

"I don't suppose you've thawed out a shrink?" Harry chuckles, despite the fact that this is probably the least appropriate moment to be laughing about anything. "Not that I imagine a shrink would have an easier time dealing with the annihilation of the human race. Jesus," a deep breath, "…I hate kids."

"Mmmm. You can certainly make an appointment to speak with Dr. Jackson. In fact, I encourage it, though I won't require it." Eisley watches the doctor across from her with what passes for sympathy; more of it, anyway, than she usually shows. "Come on." And having said -that- she rises to her feet and gestures at the door.

Harry follows, if only because he can't think well enough to make his own decisions right now. "I envy all those other pickles right now. Why'd you wake me up?" He falls into step behind her.

//Observation Deck - Deck Three

The foremost room on this deck is little more than a large chamber dominated by an enormous window. Space blurs past in colorful streaks, stars becoming streamers of light that paint the black of space. There are three levels of seating, separated by four steps down and containing five tables with six chairs at each similar to those in the dining hall. The bottom level is what would be considered the ground floor and extends all the way to the window. This is a place where crew members wanting a more quiet, contemplative atmosphere on their off time might choose to come. A single service robot at one end of the room staffs a small bar where food and drink can be obtained.//

This is probably yet another reason why Eisley is the XO: she's naturally good at giving orders and leading people around when they're too stunned to think. The observation deck might not help, since it shows off much the same thing as was visible in her office - nevermind that it's on the other side of the ship. There's the same alien craft, the same mess of floating debris, the same starfield. It's just… bigger. She heads for the bar though. "They can all sleep soundly for as long as possible," she answers in the meantime. "You were selected because, going forward, your particular skills might be required. During our retrieval engagement, several Marines were injured. There were no fatalities, but we would rather be safe than sorry."

Harry just nods dumbly. As soon as there's a seat close to booze, he takes it. "How…long have the rest of you been awake for?" He sits with his back to that starfield if at all possible. He'd rather try and forget for half a second.

The robot on the other side of the counter whirrs to life and is quickly sent off to work by Eisley's order for, "Scotch. Double. Times two." One for him, one for her; -telling- that story is as bad as listening to it. "We've been out for nearly two months."

"God," mutters Harry. "You had to live this hell, but at least you could absorb all these world-shattering things piece by piece instead of in a ten-minute debrief." He rubs his forehead. "I was prepared to never see my family again, but…"

Eisley lets out another breath, one hand lifting so that she can rub along the back of her neck. "I know." A moment of silence is offered. "I'm sorry." Sorry does not begin to make up for that, but it seems genuine. Sad. Empty, maybe.

"I don't even know where to begin with taking it all in." Where? It seems in the bottom of a glass. Harry reaches quite eagerly for the drink the moment it comes. "We're…not in any immediate danger of complete annihilation, are we? If we are, please lie to me."

The Commander does likewise, curling her fingers around the glass and pulling it close to cradle in her hand. "If we were in danger of complete annihilation, I think I might have left you asleep." Hah. "No. The worst of that seems to be past."

"How many of us are awake? And I apologize if you've been over any of this already. My brain's…" Harry makes a whistling sound and spins his fingers away from his forehead. He swallows half of what's in his glass in one mouthful.

Eisley smiles, though wanly, and lifts her own in a kind of salute to him before sipping. "About thirty, now. All of the senior staff were woken up by Eve when we found the probe; we've been waking others on an as-needed basis."

"No offense, but I think I would have been happy to remain un-needed until this is all over and we're touching down on a shiny new planet with no idea of what we just endured." Harry drawls. Down the rest of the drink goes. He indicates that the robot should top him up.

"I am afraid," she replies dryly, "that you would still be blessed with this avalanche of news anyway. Even the civilians will have to come to terms with this information when we wake them up." All signs indicate that Eisley is -not- looking forward to -that.- The amber stuff is studied, then drained with all of the blissful efficiency of someone long familiar with that particular bottle. She does not, however, let the robot refill it for her.

"Think about it though. If we find a new planet that's a paradise, why would everyone else need to know what happened to get us there? To them, it could be New Eden." Harry lifts a shoulder. "I know I'd prefer not to bear the burden of being the last remnants of a race that got eaten by hungry aliens."

Eisley sighs, very quietly. The glass gets set down and her elbow finds the counter, providing a place for her to set her forehead. This is mostly for rubbing at it, right between the eyes; it's a classic attempt to banish a headache, or forestall it from settling in. "It is a decision deeply rooted in the freedom of information, Dr. Graves. For us to cover that up would be tantamount to the largest conspiracy in human history; we, the newly mandated government and guardians of that last remnant of humanity would, in essence, be -lying- to them, and all it takes is one hint of the truth, one poorly purged log or one loose-lipped sailor…"

Harry waves a hand vaguely. "Do you really expect logical and well thought-out ideas from me at this juncture? But denial is a powerful thing. Would you rather know what you know, or be blissfully unaware?"

After a long moment of quiet, Eisley responds without really answering. The now-empty glass is lifted and peered at, lending a decidedly philosophical quality to her words. "Between you and I, let's just say that after I found out, and after I recovered from finding out, I was disinclined toward indulging in my usual vices for… several weeks." Her gaze slides from the curves of the glass to the doctor himself, then. "I do prefer to know. If we had known more sooner we might have responded differently."

"My question for you is…" Harry looks into the liquid in his glass, then swallows a mouthful before he continues, "…did you feel sorry for me today, or were you happy for one more person to share the horror with?"

Eisley turns her head further still, all the better to look out the window. "Neither." That word is quiet; those which follow are soft. "Consider, if you must, that I have had the singular privilege of telling twenty people that everything they know and love back home is gone. It doesn't get easier in the telling. It doesn't get better, or softer, or number. It is a fresh grief every single time, and if I could conscience -not- telling someone why we ended up here instead of there, I would."

"In medical school, we had training to teach us how to tell people that they or a loved one had a terminal illness. We got into a discussion one class about the ethics of telling someone they or someone they loved was going to die. In the end, everyone agreed they had a right to know. But it also makes it easier on us. To not know a horrible truth and suffer with it alone." Harry swallows the rest of his second drink. His eyes go a little glassy. But that could be the day and not the booze.

Eisley shakes her head, but the gesture seems more in understanding than in dismissal. "As you may have observed, the ship gets awfully lonely. It is easy to stand up here and feel like you might be the only person left in the universe; it's difficult to fathom, sometimes, that all of the people that may still exist are right here, on this ship." Toward the end of this her gaze locks back on the glass, which she purposefully sets down on the counter and then pushes away. The robot obliges by scurrying over to remove it for her.

"Hell. Maybe they're still alive back there. We're a tenacious race." Harry chuckles and shakes his head. He eyes the bottom of the glass. "Probably…shouldn't be in a hurry to poison my body after a six year detox, huh?"

"Maybe." Far be it from the XO to deny that hope, though she isn't in any hurry to confirm nor support it. She does smile again very thinly at his latter observation though and shakes her head at the glass itself. "Probably not. As tempting as it likely is, I assure you the headache afterward isn't worth it. The knowledge does get easier to live with, over time." Except when you have to tell a new person the same bad news about once a week.

"I'll deal with it." Harry pushes the empty glass away. He stares at it and then paws at the side of his face. "I can't believe I actually want to sleep. I've been sleeping so long already. And god damnit. I swear to god I'm not usually this…melancholy and existential and all that other bullshit."

Oh, the robot will be along to collect that glass in a moment as well, removing temptation. Kind of. Eisley merely shakes her head one last time. "It's all right. It really does get better; it's part of why you have some leave time - if you can really call it that - ahead of you. All of this is a massive adjustment." She pauses for a moment to look the man over, then offers over another wan, weary smile. "Look at the bright side. In two months we've had exactly one trauma scenario. If that record keeps up, you'll have plenty of time to delve into the existential and mystical."

"I think I'd rather be stitching peoples' arms back on. Then I wouldn't have time to ponder the twilight of the human race." Harry pushes himself to his feet. "I should…go have some alone time. Probably cry a little. Then sleep for 14 hours." He's weaving on his feet, but that could have as much to do with shock as booze.

Eisley tilts her head again as though to acknowledge all of that. "All right. I'll see you around, Dr. Graves." That all might be for the best, after all. It's tough syrup to swallow.

Harry suddenly looks weary and about ten years older. He might have earned another gray hair or two over the past few hours. He lifts a hand to Eisley, tips an invisible hat, then turns to shuffle-stumble towards the exit. Maybe he'll pass out first, then cry, then have some alone time.


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