Child's Play
Child's Play
Summary: Epi and Cass, the lone survivor of the station explosion, bond.
Date: PHD 121 (8/18/09)
Related Logs: Matters of Security

CEC Kharon, Deck 2, Sickbay
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #121
OOC Time: Mon Aug 17 23:30:49 2009

The hatchway immediately opens into the larger room, though the muted blues of the room are complimented by the white sheets on the various beds lying at wait for any injured personnel, which are lain out in neat rows. Curtains are available around certain bed bays for examinations and privacy during them. Rows of lockers around the room are labeled in easy-to-read yellows that contain everything from surgical supplies to the basic items such as sterilized bandages. A counter to the Fore end of the room is the ships pharmacist and can dispense items like aspirin and ibuprofen to anyone who might need it. Behind the manned counter stands an electronically locked metal door that leads back to some of the more controlled pharmacological items. To the rear of the room is a specially designated and sealed 'clean area' for surgeries.

-=[ Condition Level: 3 - All Clear ]=---------

Ahhh, evening. Epi's popped in and out all day today at various times, but hasn't been able to stay for -too- long. Mostly because medical personnel have run her off. But now she's back, off duty, and carrying the backpack as well as a couple other things.

There's a relative silence in the med bay, since there aren't a lot of patience left in here, and those that are in here are often sleeping it off, trying to resist the humdrum daily nurse watching. Medbay is really boring, particularly if you're a kid, but Cass has too much energy. He's developed a small low lying fort of bedpans and specimen cups are his soldiers.

Yep, there he is! Epi grins and makes a beeline for the fort. She pauses just outside, kneeling down, and knocks quietly on a bedpan. "Permission to enter, Sir," she asks, looking wideeyed. "I have reinforcements."

The boy looks up, warm brown eyes lighting on Epi. He doesn't speak, of course, but he does kind of perk a bit. No smile as yet. He considers her very gravely, and then nods. His fort, while mostly pillows and a gurney, does have a very sophisticated early detection system composed of catheters. He slides a pillow out of the way, and scoots back to make room.

Epi's not shy about scrambling under with him. She's nothing more than a slightly oversized kid herself. And she has his knapsack. It gets slid over to him with a smile. "I thought you might want this," she says quietly, then leans in a little. "I'm hiding it from the other Marines. You have treasures in there."

Cass tips forward, reaching for the bag. He approves, it seems, because he nods solemnly. His little hands reach out for the bag. It seems someone has cleaned under his fingernails and perhaps combed his hair. The little man is looking almost dapper, except his hair is a bit of a mess. He rubs hand up through it once his bag is in his lap, thus providing evidence of the reason for it. He nods again, and opens the backpack before he peers inside. A hand fishes about, and he comes out with his toy soldier. A smile curves his lips.

Epi pulls out a pad of paper and some colored pencils from her bag, then flips around to lie on her stomach, legs up in the air, crossed at the ankles. With a smile, she starts to draw and color, tongue sticking out just a touch as she concentrates. Nope, she's not pushing the boy. He's having fun and she's having fun.

Cass's eyes follow Epi's movements, watching her hands carefully as he pulls out the pencils and paper. He considers it, her drawing, and watches her for a moment, and then he goes about fortifying his specimen cup army, with the little army man taking point. After a moment or two, he reaches over to take a blue pencil, and he gets down on Epi's piece of paper to doodle a little robot in the corner. He works out the angles carefully.

Epi scoots over to give him room to work, smiling over at the boy. She clearly doesn't expect conversation and is just content to draw. Of course, she's drawing the inside of the station - or a representation of it. Without the blood-stains.

Cass continues on his little upside down robot, which is like a squat, more boxy version of a centurion. He doesn't say anything, she doesn't say anything. It works out. He reaches over for a red pencil, and colors in a strip for the Cent eye stip. He makes it brighter and wider at one point. It's primitive, but from the drawing it's clear he got a very, very good look at a centurion at some point. Unless he's psychic. He picks up a peach colored pencil, and begins on another form slightly shorter than that robot.

Epi's shoulder gently nudges his as she reaches for a brown pencil to color in the chapel door, and she glances over at his Centurion and nods a little. "Odd looking things, aren't they," she asks - clearly not expecting him to say anything in response. "I can't remember - were there any plants by the chapel?"

Cass looks up from his side of the paper to peer at Epi's. He shakes his head no, and then reaches over to point to the chapel door. Inside the chapel, maybe? He switches to a yellow, and gives the little person some shoulder length blonde hair. It's a blonde… woman perhaps? Hard to tell. That is until he gives bright lips. Perhaps lipstick.

She dips her head and grins. "I didn't get a good look," she says, going back to her drawing. He's given plenty of room to draw, and she seems interested, but not overly so. "Oh, I brought a little bit of chocolate I had, if you think the nurses will let you have it." A pause and she glances furtively outside the fort. "Or I could just sneak it to you."

That bit about sweets catches Cass's attention. Yep, it clear to see the little man has a sweet tooth. His backpack was full of all things sweet, after all. He draws a little sun dress on the female figure, and puts the pencil down after considering it for a moment. A robot and a blonde lady. He thinks for a second, then reaches for his toy soldier, and tucks it in close to his body. He sits up, and re-arranges his forces. He glances outside the fort briefly, too, then back to Epi.

Epi's quiet for a moment, then pulls about a quarter of a chocolate bar out of her pocket. It's clear the candy has been hoarded and saved. Carefully she opens the packet and slides it toward the boy, taking a little piece for herself. "I think you'll be safe here," she says quietly. "We don't like the Centurions either." One finger taps the figure. "Mom?"

Cass shakes his head no, eyes remaining on Epi's for a long moment. He hesitates in taking the chocolate, but doesn't reveal the identity of the mystery woman with words. He finally reaches over to take the little bar, and carefully pull the small candy free. He turns it in his hands, checking out the contents of the bar before he looks over to the marine, and he smiles. He tastes the chocolate immediately, and then slides the whole piece into his mouth.

She grins over at him then reaches over to tap his nose with her fingertip. She doesn't push - pushing doesn't seem to be her style. Instead, she chooses another pencil with great care, a red one, and starts filling in details. Yes, her tongue sticks out again.

The boy seems content to chew on his chocolate bar for the moment, fiddling with his soldier, and setting up the squad just right. He watches Epi's drawing take shape in silence. He's very attentive, and still doesn't speak. But it's a far cry from huddling behind a crate with a grenade, for sure!

Epi's quiet for a little while, then she picks up another pencil. "By the way, be careful if you ever find another of those things you threw at us last night," she tells him, glancing over with a grin. "Those things are nasty. They're also poorly made. You're too cute to get hurt by those things." Her nose wrinkles. "Where did you find it?"

Cass looks at Epi very solemnly. He nods once, and then he points to his toy soldier. He got it from a soldier? His eyebrows go up slightly, as if saying see it's ok. He points to something in her drawing, then points to a dock, and waves, as if saying goodbye to someone. A soldier visited the station, gave him a grenade, and left? Seems somehow unlikely.

Her nose crinkles a little at that and she nods a little. "Maybe when you're a little older I'll teach you about them," she says with a smile. But then her head tilts and she pauses. "The soldier gave it to you and then went away," she asks, a little surprised. "Recently?" Because, otherwise, someone would have likely taken it away from him.

Cass shakes his head in the affirmative, and then holds up a hand: One, two. Two. Two days? Two weeks? Months? He doesn't say, but he holds up those fingers long enough that he's sure Epi sees them. He points to the soldier, he points to himself, and he holds the soldier close to his body. My soldier.

Hmmm. Perhaps a change of tactics is in order? Epi considers him for a moment, smiling, then picks up a black pencil and carefully writes on the edge of the paper, "Does the soldier have a name?"

Cass glances down at the paper, and then looks up after a moment. He nods several times, and points to himself again. He smiles, and reaches for another pencil. In a fairly shaky, but legible enough hand, he writes Pappy. It looks a little like Puppy, but that's unlikely.

Epi beams at him and dips her head, eyes twinkling. "How long ago did he give that to you," she writes. Her script is somewhat flowing and loopy - as one might expect. "Pappy. I like that," she says, smile warm.

It takes Cass a moment. He's kind of a slow reader for his age. He draws a big three and then pencils out in large, careful block letters W-E-A-K-S. Spelling, clearly, is not his strong suit. He squints, and then crosses out the three and puts a 4. And then thinks and frowns. Not sure. He might have lost track of time in the station after it was… emptied.

Her shoulder bumps his gently and she nods. "I'm surprised they left you alone. You're a good friend," she tells him. Her piece of chocolate went uneaten, and she slides it over. There's a hint of something in her eyes, almost like excitement. "A friend of mine might be coming to see you. Her name's Ensign Salazar. She's got pretty hair and lots of drawings on her arms. If you ask nicely, she might show you. And I think Sarge may come down to see you." Epi glances around for a moment, then lowers her voice. "He acts like a big grumpy ass, but he's not really."

Cass screws up his face for a moment, and then shakes his head. He writes, 'BEFOR MY BURDAY'. Which, though Epi would not know it, was just before the bombs fell, which puts it at three months. He huffs out a breath, then listens carefully to what Epi has to say about these other people. He writes down his birthday date and year, and a phone number, very carefully. Then he writes out under that, very proudly, neatly. JEREMIAH CASS. It's slanted but all spelled perfectly, as if he's practiced it quite a lot. It's something you might find written on the inside cover of a school book. The birthday date would put the time of visitation just a few days before the attacks.

Epi beams at him as he writes and nods. Once he's done, she flips the page and picks up the purple pencil, carefully scripting "Corporal Epiphany Mielle "Shortstack" Jarot," followed by her serial number. OH, God. The kid had the grenade for 4 months. She doesn't shudder, though. "Who's this," she asks after a moment, flipping back to point to the woman.

Cass ponders over her name for a long moment, as if sounding it out in silence in his head. He has a little trouble with her first name, and drags his finger over it several times, as if committing it to memory, or trying like hell. He smiles at the serial number, and then frowns distinctly when she asks about the woman. He shakes his head, I don't know, but then draws a large frowny face next to her, and writes M-E-E-N.

Her nose crinkles and she nods. "Mean people suck," she says simply. Yes, she's on the intellectual level of a ten year old boy. Under her name, she writes "Epi." "You can just call me Epi," she tells him. "Most people do. Or they call me Boom because I'm a bomb expert." A bomb expert with the personality of a child. Humanity's doomed. "Who did you stay with on the station? I stay with the Marines. LOTS of them."

Cass looks relieved when he both pronounces and writes a very much shorter version of her name to remember. He points to the woman, and wrinkles his nose. And then his hand reaches out to snatch the leftover chocolate. He was stalking it carefully with his eyes. It's relinquished to the maw of relatively good teeth, and thoroughly chewed while he writes down, crookedly: M-O-M D-A-D. The paper shifts a little, and he reaches down to brace it, leaving melty chocolate fingerprints on the edge.

Cass looks relieved when she both pronounces and writes a very much shorter version of her name to remember. He points to the woman, and wrinkles his nose. And then his hand reaches out to snatch the leftover chocolate. He was stalking it carefully with his eyes. It's relinquished to the maw of relatively good teeth, and thoroughly chewed while he writes down, crookedly: M-O-M D-A-D. The paper shifts a little, and he reaches down to brace it, leaving melty chocolate fingerprints on the edge.

Ahhh, now we come to the hard part. Epi dips her head as she reads. "Because I'm a soldier, I get to stay with the other soldiers. It's nice, though sometimes I wish I had my own room. The boys smell." Yep, she's definitely a girl. "Where did they go?"

Cass is quieter at that, body stilling, all motion stopping for a moment. He doesn't much sit still, so it's a distinct change. His eyes drop, and he looks at the paper. He takes a short breath, almost a hiccup, and his finger drops on the page, just between the little robot and the lady.

Epi's brows furrow a little then she reaches out, lightly touching his shoulder. "If you'd like hugs, I can do those," she murmurs quietly. "I'm sorry I have to ask. I just wondered what happened." Her tone has gone a little gentle.

Cass sniffs and tips his head up, all brave little soldier like. He shakes her head no to the hug, being brave, undoubtedly like his Pappy probably taught him. It's clear he has at least some soldiers in his life, though the whole grenade deal is a little shady. There has to be a story there.

Epi considers him for a moment, then nods, nose wrinkling a little. "I might ask for a hug once in awhile, if you're ok with that," she murmurs. "I don't get many of them, and miss them sometimes." She flips the page over and starts to draw a grenade. "Ok, this is a grenade. I've made some of these before. What do you know about them?" The Moment is over, mostly.

Cass considers Epi's hug request with great gravity, and he gnaws the inside of his cheek, his wide brown eyes on hers. Finally, he nods succinctly, coming to the decision that this would be okay. He turns his head a little, tipping it as she flips the paper over. He waits as she draws, and then he sighs out a breath, rolls his eyes, and points to the pin. Yes, he knows he forgot to pull it. And he might be… a little embarrassed about this. But he absolutely doesn't blush. Ok, maybe a little. A LITTLE.

Epi laughs softly and shakes her head. "I'm glad you didn't," she tells him, nose crinkling. "It's ok, honest. I just wanted to know how much YOU know. They're good for blowing -some- things up, but not Centurions. The armor protects them." Yep, she's talking to him like an equal.

Cass scowls a little as she mentions the grenades aren't good against Centurions. And then he reaches down to the paper, and points at the woman. And he taps his finger against the drawing of her.

Hmmmm. Tricky. "Did she say the were good," she asks, head tilting to the side. "If she did, she was wrong. See," her pencil moves to the drawing of the Centurion. "They have armor here and here. Since most grenades are at ground level, they don't do anything." Back to the drawing of the grenade. "See, grenades are mostly shrapnel. When the pin is pulled, what's inside takes about ten seconds, usually, to mix up and explode. When it explodes, most people get hurt because of the outside pieces and sharp things from inside." She draws quickly to illustrate.

Cass shakes his head in the negative. He points to the grenade, and he points to the woman, and he makes a boom with his hands, fingers moving outward. He gnaws on his finger for a moment, then points to the grenade, points to the woman, and edits her face with little Xs like so: X.X.

Oh. "A grenade killed her," Epi asks quietly, head tilting a bit.

Cass shakes his head again in the negative. He points to himself, makes a throwing motion, then points to the woman a third time. He thought it was her? And he threw the grenade… at her.

Epi's eyes go huge at that and she nods slowly. "I'm glad I wasn't her, then," she says with a grin. "I think you'd have tried to beat me up." Her nose crinkles, playfully. "Do you know where she went? Where the other people went? We couldn't find anyone."

Cass nods, and points to the woman, and the centurion, then to one of the docking bays. He slides his finger over the space outside the station. He does grin a little though, some of that earlier sad emotion drifting away. He's 10, after all. Short attention span.

Epi grins over at him as he smiles and nods, once. "Ok, so next time, don't forget to pull the pin first. And if you DO pull the pin on a grenade, duck down and cover your head." She drops her pencil and playfully demonstrates, curling herself up in a ball, arms over her head, peeking up at him with a goofy expression on her face.

Cass grins back at Epi, a little laugh escaping him finally, for the first time since he was brought off the station. He covers his mouth with both hands, and leans forward when he snorts as he breathes in a breath. A little chocolate smears across his cheek.

She grins and starts to laugh as she uncurls a little, one hand reaching out for him, fingers flexing in the universal 'tickle' sign. "What are you going to do the next time," she asks him, mock threateningly. Well, as threatening as she can look right now, which really is the opposite of threatening.

The boy considers this for a moment, and then squinches his face up and ducks into a ball, his small arms going up to cover his head, hair sticking up in all directions. He huddles up and grunts, curled over his lap.

Epi laughs and starts for his ribs, a very light tickle at first. "Good," she says, then leans in, clearly planning to tickle more. "And don't forget to pull the pin -first-. Though, you could probably bean someone in the head with the grenade. That would hurt!"

Cass laughs again, and squirms away from the tickling fingers. He knocks over a bedpan that clatters noisily onto its side, and he jumps a bit, then shakes his head, and points to the grenade, then to Epi. Since he's no longer on his own on the station, grenade duty has been passed to the professionals. At least that's what his various pointing seems to hint at this time!

Epi keeps advancing, wriggling along on her stomach, fingers on both hands doing the monster tickle opening and closing. "Me? *I* get to do this? Ahhh. I see how it is. And now it's…TICKLETIME!" Yes, she actually pounces - carefully. But there she goes, aiming for the ticklish spots, growling playfully, expression goofy.

There's a squeal, then laughter, and the flailing of limps which sends many a bedpan and specimen cup clattering, clanging, and skittering across the floor. This draws the attention of the staff in short order, but seem a little reluctant to break it up. All things considered.

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