Coldness of a Marine

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OOC Date: August 2, 2011
IC Date: March 7, 2011

(back dated) Dominic unthaws Julia while Eisley observes.


Crew Stasis Hold


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.

Dominic stands some distance away from the pod's splash zone as the half hour long unfreezing process nears its completion. He is dressed in full uniform as he waits for the new Marine to wake up. There's no food this time, just a towel under one arm. He seems more professional than he usually is when he's watching the squids thaw out.

The Commander has turned out for this little wake-up ceremony and, by contrast, she is dressed down. Eisley is not in uniform, at least, though she didn't bring any snacks, and she loiters a few steps behind and to the left of Dominic. There isn't much to say yet and so she too is quiet, idly intent upon watching the liquid drain out of the tube.

Inside that chamber of odd, strangely thick liquid, is probably one of the smaller forms in the lines and lines of crew in stasis. Barely five feet, especially with no shoes, tiny and compact, the little blonde drowsily tries to blink and shake off the shivering cold that comes in comparison to the warm blood in her veins. She doesn't really look blonde this wet, her hair so wet it looks that medium honey brown clinging to her ears, cheeks and throat. She finally blinks enough that her eyes fully focus and she gives a shivering little groan as she tries to take a breath without the wires and actual, artificial air pumping into her nose. She's still, of course, just in those tiny little tightie whities. Without the bulk of a uniform, one might almost wonder how the little thing became a marine. But she's got the perfect size of a sniper made for any perch, and that's probably why they're drying her out now. The last note about her, especially this bare, would be the lines of ink that mark her skin. A vine of black ivy around her right calf to her foot, a sniper's distance equation across her left breast over her heart. Names in calligraphy on the insides of her wrists. All black, plain ink, but beautifully done.

Dominic continues to stand his ground as he watches the pod do it's work, waiting for the door to the pod to finally open and flop the Marine to the deck. As the end approaches, he readies himself in case she vomits as some of the others have done. He prepares the towel, making sure she cleans her hands first before she tries to touch his uniform. Once the pod finally opens, Dominic seems to straight up slightly, his eyes locked on the Marine.

This is all a Marine show, but it's still the XO's boat and she has not made a habit of missing much that goes on aboard it: not before, during the pre-flight training exercises and certainly not now, now that… well. Whatever her impression of the little Marine might be, Eisley keeps all of that under tight wraps. Stoic, even expressionless, she contributes precious little here now other than the simple luxury of having extra people be on-hand. After all, it's a rather poor wake-up all things being equal: going into stasis was a busy, methodical affair with medical crew and technicians standing by to ensure everything goes smoothly. Now it's the highest-ranking Marine and ship's second-in-command come to welcome the sleeper. It does appear that most of the rest of the crew is still in stasis, too.

Julia doesn't collapse. She doesn't vomit, or scream. As soon as she gets any sort of muscle control of her hands and arms, her limbs jerk out to grab at the side of the slippery container, getting just enough of a hand hold that she can keep herself standing all on her own. Her teeth are gritting, jaw tight, as she focuses on remembering how to move muscles and legs. It hasn't been that long, right? Just her mind playing tricks on her. She keeps herself standing, though slightly shivering with all her light, downy body hair on end with goosebumps, and she takes a shaky step or two out of the container. A stiff, respectful nod is given to both of them even as her stomach finally kicks into proper gear and loudly gurgles in a desperate request for food. A hint of heat comes to her cheeks and she ignores it, reaching a dripping hand for the towel. "Thank you, sir. Ma'am." She rasps out to both of them, voice not quite so tiny as her body.

Dominic doesn't move as he watches her fight her way to stay on her feet. He doesn't move to help her as she struggles, only stepping forward once she reaches for the towel which he hands to her. "Welcome back to the land of the living, Marine. Get yourself cleaned up, go to your quarters and change, grab something to eat. When you're done, meet me in my office." His tone is definitely different from the normal Navy meeting. Perhaps a bit more rough and more of an order than a suggestion.

Really, it's Dominic's show. Eisley might simply be here to observe, to make sure nothing actually goes wrong with the thawing process. She does glance over at Dominic as he starts ordering the freshly-roused woman into motion, but no interference of any sort is forthcoming from that quarter. In fact, she actually picks this moment to make good her exit, leaving ahead of the rush as though going to find a good seat for the next part of the show.

Julia accepts the towel, taking just a moment to almost modestly wrap it around her torso before tucking the loose in under her arm and into the towel itself so, hopefully, it will stay up on her own. She then forces her body to snap a bit straighter and she actually pulls off a pretty damn crisp salute for someone dripping like a dog just out of the rain. "Sir, yes, sir!" Her throat is still rasping, and she probably needs to spit up a good bit of goop sooner than later, but she's getting the respectful proprieties out of the way. Since she has orders, she doesn't bother waiting to be dismissed. She does let the senior officer go first, though. "…Sorry for dripping on your deck, sir." She mutters to Eisley on her way out, making some assumptions about her being brass. Why else is she here?


Chief Security Officer's Office

Unlike the many other offices aboard the ship, this office is smaller than the room that lays before it. Despite the lack of space, the room has been organized for maximum efficiency. Off to the left of the entrance is a medium sized desk with a plush office chair. Behind the desk, a wall rack hangs that displays various weapons from over the years. Two normal chairs sit on the opposite side of the desk for visitors and guests. Across the room from the desk is a large wall screen that continuously cycles through the numerous cameras on the ship as well as any other requisition security data about the
ship and its crew members.

The rest of the walls in the room are covered by other personal effects belonging to the room's owner. Various medals, certificates and awards are framed and hung with care as well as various framed pictures of Dominic and various others. Though there is no pictures of him before he joined the military. For those who pay enough attention to the pictures and are observant enough may notice the picture of him and a young woman tucked in a darkened corner of the room. A large oriental rug has been spread out over the center of the room. Near the door, a number of single dog tags hang from small chains on a hook. Each tag has a different name on it.


Dominic sits behind his desk, his feet propped up on his desk as he waits for the newly awakened Marine to arrive at his office. He seems to be a bit more relaxed than he was when she woke up. He has a snack in his hands as he waits, reviewing the Marine's records on the datapad resting on the desk in front of him.

Dominic and his snacks. The difference is that this time Eisley is in a good position to both steal then and enjoy them and leans over to liberate something from his collection for munching. "How do you eat that crap?" She wonders aloud after tasting it. Apparently he eats it the same way that she does, in just a couple of bites. His desk is pretty good for leaning against though and she kind of props herself there, half-sitting, half-leaning.

Julia has showered in military time, even if she wanted to stay ages longer. Without drying, her hair has been quickly restrained. She's gone to the galley and shoved some good protein down her throat before making it to the office in under 30 minutes. Closer to 20, really. She looks a bit more substantial in her uniform, boots, with her face try and hair tightly pulled back. Her face is dead serious and small, full mouth set into a slightly tight line. She steps into the room and stands stiff. "Sirs."

Dominic looks up from the data pad to Eisley, chuckling at her comment. "Try not to think about the taste too much." He smirks before Julia makes her return. He removes his feet from the desk and stands from his seat. "At ease. Take a seat, Sergeant." He says to her, motioning to one of the seats in front of his desk. "Find everything, okay?" He asks as he sits down after she does. His tone is more relaxed at this point compared to what it was. Perhaps it has to do with the news that is about to come.

"Sergeant," Eisley greets, straightening up away from the deck and sliding into a slightly more formal presence, even though she's got her own hair down. Literally. That effectively kills her appetite though. The rest of the Lieutenant's snack food is safe from the predations of the XO, who finds herself a seat somewhere off to the side, legs crossing and hands folding in her lap. Whatever sobered the man there up seems to have weighed her down as well, and rather abruptly so at that.

Julia flickers sharp blue eyes between them, studying both of them rather closely for a heartbeat or two before she nods to Dominic and steps forward to take a seat. Since she is at ease, she states simply. "I found everything just fine, sir. Now… how bad is it?" She asks, a bit softer, hoping her own suspicions are wrong but the whole vibe in the room feels simply off. So she sits there, perched on the very edge of her seat, entire body sitting at attention as much as possible. It hides the real tension which plagues her frame.

Dominic nods once as he hears that she had no problems finding anything. As she gets right down to business, it doesn't seem to phase Dominic. "Bad. Current date is March 7, 2128, six years into the ten-year voyage. Two months ago, the senior staff was brought out of cryo by the ship when it detected a small craft with a message from the Givers." He tells her the info straight as if giving her details about her next mission. "They have been hunted by a race called the Devourers. In order to save themselves, the Givers offered the Devourers the coordinates of Earth in exchange for their lives. They gave us enough time for us to build ten ships and save ten million people, but the brass upstairs failed to do that." He pauses here to give Julia time to let the information sink in and process.

As Dominic begins rattling off this information like he was spitting out bullets Eisley lifts an eyebrow in his general direction. In a heartbeat her expression has schooled back to neutral though and is shifted onto Julia so that she can watch, most impassively, as the bad - and worse - news gets ladled out and eaten up.

Julia ingests all of that, it going down about as numb and tasteless as the food in the cafeteria. There isn't really time to taste any of it. She breathes slowly through her nose, saying nothing for several long moments as she lets her brain catch up to her ears. A momentary flicker of her eyes returns them to Eisley again, perhaps now understanding why the brass is here. "Huh." Jules finally echoes, that being the first time her voice actually wavered since she woke up, and it's just the tiniest bit. Finally, she inquires of Dominic. "I take it that it's all… Gone, then." Half a question, half simply a statement.

Dominic glances back towards Eisley as she does before he returns his attention back to Julia. He nods his head once at her response. "As far as we know, we're the last of our species." He leans forward slightly, looking at the other Marine. "New Eden was compromised and we were given new locations. One was near Alpha Centauri and Tau Ceti while a third was through a wormhole. We chose the latter option and are now in the Corona Borealis Supercluster, 500 billion light-years from Earth." He pauses for a moment before he continues. "We allied ourselves with a race called The Two who, in exchange for two live breeding Devourer specimens, gave us the coordinates of a new planet which we are on course towards."

It probably is not a good idea to look to Eisley for any kind of reassurance, though yes, that could certainly be why she's present here, now, and why she's wearing that grim serenity. It's nearly an art form, that, hard and calm and very sober. On the other hand she - and everyone else who is already awake, for that matter - has probably had longer to deal with this particularly disturbing set of revelations, so calm might be easier to grasp and hold. She does nod a little bit though to help answer the question before sliding her attention back to today's storyteller.

"Oh." There are no emotions from Jules. No screaming, crying, denials. Not even the gasping anger some might have. She just takes it all in and nods slightly, allowing her blue eyes to drop to her fingertips instead. Finally, though there is just a touch of discomfort in her voice, she asks cooly. "…Have I been thawed to shoot or to breed?" The discomfort comes with the latter option. Clearly, the woman is hoping for her gun.

Dominic smirks slightly at Julia's question. "To shoot, but there's more. The Two also gave us a recording of a transmission they had intercepted from a planet that appears to be populated by a species that very much appears to be human, perhaps our very distant cousins. We are going to send a shuttle to check out the signal. You have been thawed out to join us on the planet with the science team. You're hereby ordered to take 48 hours off-time before you report for duty with me. I will also be looking to you to assist with weapon and power armor training of the Navy personnel as needed."

The question makes Eisley blink and, for a second, she almost smiles. Almost. It's an almost uncomfortable thing too though and might be the reason why she finally finds someplace else in the room to look. Apparently Dominic has hit all of the high points though because she -still- doesn't add anything to his litany of unfortunate events, merely listens and watches the reactions to his version thereof.

Julia actually relaxes, just the tiniest little bit, as she finds out she's actually been brought out of the cooler to do her job. Her actual job. And as Dominic assigns her a bit more work, though not to start immediately, she nods to him. "Understood, sir, though I am ready to start. If you need my assistance now, I do not need the hours off. With all due respect, sir." By the book is this one. Little, determined, and emotionless. She almost looks picture perfect too, now, with all her ink covered up by a proper uniform.

Dominic nods his head. "I know you are, but this isn't debatable nor my decision. This is a mandatory break sent from the top. Everyone who comes out of stasis is to take 48 hours off." He leans back in his seat, still looking at the small sniper. "Your weapons are stored in the armory should you wish to examine them." It goes without saying that the weapons are to remain in the armory unless on duty, which is usually a side arm. "We'll need you and your rifle planet side."

"You may wish to schedule an appointment with the folks in medlab," suggests Eisley, at long last. Whereas Dominic is all bark and growl, she does in fact lay this on the table as though it were an optional thing and not a really good idea after six years soaking in nanojelly. "And you might want to spend a little bit of that time catching up with past acquaintances." This too is pretty casual, another suggestion of something to do now that the world has ended. Julia gets another look though, more thoughtful than anything else.

Julia frowns as she's told she has no option about the two days off. She just nods, but she's not happy about it. At least she's been training well. "I will ensure all my weapons are in fighting condition and cleaned, sir." That sounds like a good idea to her, at least. "Will I have a spotter team, or is this a solo gig right now, sir?" The thought of being solo isn't thrilling, but she seems willing, just like everything else. She then looks over to the woman, actually fully turning her head this time, and she considers the suggestions with no real emotional reaction. "As you suggest, sir."

Dominic glances to Eisley as she speaks, nodding in agreement before he looks back to Julia. "This is a solo mission at the moment, but I do believe you are acquainted with Sergeant Santiago who has some similar recon training. Perhaps you can convince him to be your spotter." He smiles slightly. "He has already been unthawed and is somewhere around here." He considers the girl for a few moments before he speaks again. "Any other questions?"

Julia looks back to Dominic as her questions are answered, not looking thrilled about lack of a spotter, but she nods in understanding. Resources being what they are. The smallest hint of a smile cracks at her lips as she hears Santiago is around. "That is good to know. I will speak with him, sir." But she's still all almost robotic professionality in speaking. She really is as uptight business as they come. "…What are our… actual resources like? Are we on rations? What policies, duty schedules, if anything, have been changed?"

Dominic thinks about it for a while. "Situation is nominal. Haven't had to break out the MREs yet, but we will be bringing the rations down to the planet's surface. Policies and duty schedules are still the same as they would be and are posted in the Armory. I'll have you added to the roster by the time you return to duty. Planet side, we'll have a rotating watch to keep the camp secured. Everyone who goes down, myself included, will stand perimeter watch. Power armor isn't mandatory, but is recommended."

Julia nods once more, not a single lock of her dirty blonde hair falling out of place even as she moves her head. "Understood. Well, I suppose that is good news." About the rations, at least. "Do you feel there is anything else immediately relevent that I should know, sir?" She clips out, not having let herself really relax at all yet.

Dominic shakes his head once at the question. "Negative. Anything else that may come up will be sent to your terminal. Just try to enjoy the time off and relax a bit. I'll send word to Sergeant Santiago of you being taken out of stasis." He says, offering a simple nod of his head. "If there's nothing else, then you're dismissed."

Julia looks one last time to the Commander, considering a moment or two, but then she nods and stands. "Sirs." She snaps off a small salute and then turns upon the ball of her foot, stalking out of the room as quickly as her short little legs will take her. She's moving still pretty darn smoothly, considering she's still waking her body up.


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