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Kali Nicholotti

PNPC David Banks - For Old Times

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((Hospital Complex))

MacLaren: Lt. Letant, we will begin setting up testing clinics on the outskirts of town. Eh noticed that most of the patients have been from nearer bye. We need to ken if those further out have avoided the plague or are simply unable to come here.

Letant: You want to go out? But, that is so dangerous.

Banks: Yeah... Well... ::He paused, not sure what to say.:: We'll have to be careful.

MacLaren:: stifling a smile:: Weel, Eh think Dr. Banks has summarized it verra weel. Let's get started.

::MacLaren had decided everyone needed a break. So she'd decided to head out toward the outskirts of the settlement, where the farming land was less disturbed. He stepped off the transport along with everyone else.::

((Settlement Outskirts - Agurtha))

::For a while he listened quietly while a few civilians approached them. One seemed mentally ill, delusional even. They'd finally found some people, maybe somebody who'd developed an immunity. After watching for a while he decided to look over toward an open field. The place looked like a good area where corpses might have been deposited, maybe burned.::

::He stepped into the slowly growing weeds. They looked a bit like rye or twitchgrass. The plants swished up against his feet, rhythmically brushing against him to the tune of his quiet breathing. Off in the distance he saw the outline of a house. Closer stood the hulk of a machine. A seeder maybe. When he finally did reach the machine he ran a finger along one of its roll cages, traced his hand across the the traction on the wheel beneath. He'd seen transplanters like this before::

((Flashback - Earth, 27 Years Ago))

Farmer: C'mon boy! Come here!

::He ran toward the man, buckets in hand.::

Farmer: We don't have all day!

::The man was climbing up into the giant seeder. He needed the water to provide for irrigation for the small seedlings.::

((Present))

::The machine stood silently and David eyed it one last time, looking up inside the pilot's seat. Dale. His old boss in the summers during high school. He'd died of a stroke years later, weeks before David had joined up. Wanted David to come see him at the hospital, but he was too [...]ed keen on getting out to Fort Brock.

He still remembered his dad shaking his hand as he left. He couldn't hug him any more. After all, David might die out there. So he needed to wash David out of himself before he had a chance to die.::

::Presently David walked toward some trees on the edge of the field. The ground beneath him was softer here, and the weeds grew thicker, slowly cleaning out any sign that this land had been farm land. The war had cleaned David and his father of each other soon enough. It wasn't that either of them died. David never wanted to talk about those seventeen years. The war hadn't even been that long. But his whole career with the marines in the medical core was tainted by it -- peppered through with the brief pin[...] moments when he'd watched people die, accepted that most of the time you couldn't help. And when he did help and they lived, they just ended up screwed up afterward anyway, walking out of the service like corpses back into a society that didn't know what to do with them.::

::And then one day Dad just stopped trying to call. By then his mom had died. That hadn't helped either.::

::He leaned against a tree and folded his arms as he looked out toward the field again, eyeing the house that by now was a lot closer. Christ, he should have been here helping people rebuild their houses after the goddam plague. Not right back in the middle of trying to fix people. The people here were too messed up to be helped anyway.::

David Banks

Medical

USS Excalibur

as simmed by

Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman

Chief Engineer

USS Excalibur

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