Battlestar

Artemis

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Imminence

Posted on 10/18/2019 @ 2:31am by Captain Jamie Perth

Mission: 1 - Twilight
Location: Virgon Orbital Station
Timeline: MD 1

It took nearly three quarters of an hour of planning before Jamie and senior paramedic Sergeant First Class Rick Matheson began moving their patient out of sickbay. Even for a simple 30-minute flight from the station to the planet's surface, preparation was key for any inter-facility transfer of a critically-ill patient.

The process involved a full handover from the station's doctors and nurses, swapping sickbay's equipment over to their mobile gear, rearranging tangled lines, tubes and wiring, ensuring all pressure points on the patient were well-padded, clarifying which drugs and fluids were being infused, formulating plans for any potential mid-flight emergencies, and updating the receiving hospital of their imminent departure.

The patient was young. Mid-twenties, not much younger than Jamie himself. Fresh-faced Crewman Lewis, who had unluckily lost his footing whilst performing maintenance work at one of the hangar bays, falling eight metres from a mezzanine deck. Spinal and pelvic fractures, a broken leg. But most concerning of all was the head injury. The surgeons did what they could - placing an external drain to reduce the pressure inside the poor kid's skull. But with their sickbay's limited capacity to care for someone this seriously injured, the decision to transfer him to a hospital on the planet's surface was made well in advance.

"We've got everything we need?"

Jamie looked over the gurney in front of him. With all the life support machinery, wires, tubes and monitoring equipment, one could be forgiven for not spotting the actual patient at first glance. "Yeah, I reckon," he said. "Okay, let's go."

The trip from sickbay, to the hangar deck, and then onto the Raptor was uneventful. Jamie hoped the rest of the journey would be the same. It was his last job for the day, and things have been moving too slow for his liking. As the clock crept into late afternoon, he wondered if he'd make it back home on time for dinner as promised. Jamie was both excited and anxious at the prospect of introducing Cameron to his father over a pub meal. His dad's choice, of course, for a more relaxed setting than a fancy restaurant. The table had been booked for 18:00.

"Six is a bit early, hey?" Cam had commented the other day.

"Sorry. He likes to wake early, eat early, sleep early."

"You'll get out of work by then?"

There had been a moment's hesitation. "Yeah, should be fine," Jamie had said.

And now he was glancing at his watch every minute. They climbed into the Raptor, after having pushed the large gurney through and securing it. They spent a while setting up the cabin perfectly, which would allow for any mid-flight scenario where they'd have to unbuckle and move around the patient. A quick hello to their pilot, SSGT Samantha Loza, and they were soon on their way.

The Raptor shuddered as they began skimming over the planet's outermost exosphere. Jamie looked down the cabin and out the cockpit's bubble canopy, seeing the thin blue halo of atmosphere approaching. He never liked re-entry. The thought of nothing more than reinforced hull plating separating him from thousands of degrees of heat was unnerving. And so he turned away and sat back, resting his head firmly against the headrest, one hand discreetly pulling on his seatbelt strap to tighten it.

He glanced at his watch again, but was interrupted when Matheson said, "Systolic's down a bit, doc. 110."

Jamie looked at the numbers on the monitor, displayed alongside a colourful set of graphical spikes and waves. "Hmm, that's fine. His MAP's still good. But we can bring his norad up to seven. We'll check his pupils again in about fifteen minutes."

The Sergeant nodded and made the prescribed adjustments on the infusion pump. "Got somewhere to go, doc? You look kinda pressed for time."

Jamie hadn't thought it'd been that obvious. "Uh... Oh, nah. Not really," he said, then paused. "Well... just hoping to make it back home on time."

"On time for what?"

He felt a little uneasy, either from the direct questioning or the increasingly bumpy ride through the atmosphere. "Just a dinner," he said, although it wasn't just any kind of dinner. "It'll be the first time seeing my father in almost a year now. He likes to have dinner early."

"Ah, of course." Matheson kept his eyes on the patient's chart, jotting down a few numbers and notes. "That sounds nice. Father-son time is important. Kinda wish I had more of it myself..."

"And he's meeting my partner for the first time," Jamie added. "Whom I haven't seen in a few months as well. A little nervous about it all. I'd like to make sure I'm there on time."

That seemed to pique Matheson's interest. He looked up from the chart. "Oh! How sweet," he said in an odd monotone that made it difficult to decide whether there was sarcasm in his comment. "What's her name?"

"His name's Cameron."

The pause lasted only about a second, as if intentionally shortened from what would've been considered too awkward. "Sorry," the paramedic said, before quickly continuing, "I remember when I first introduced my wife to my parents. I was Sagittarian, and she's Caprican. Needless to say, things turned out the way you might expect. So I gave up my original citizenship to become Caprican. Joined the Fleet, moved to Boskirk with her, and we haven't looked back." The Sergeant's voice became somewhat despondent, but not for long. "Being nervous is normal. You'll do fine, doc."

Jamie hadn't expected Matheson to open up the way he did, but then again the senior paramedic was at least a decade and half older. Chock full of wisdom and life experience. The young doctor didn't quite know what to say at first, and settled on a quick 'thank you'.

More note jotting and chart reviewing.

"What does he do?"

"Hmm?"

"Your sweetheart."

Just thinking of Cameron brought a smile to Jamie's face. "He's a Corporal with the Marines," he said, before quickly clarifying, "On another unit. Visiting whilst on leave from Picon."

Matheson nodded, failing to hold back a smirk, which progressed to a chuckle. "A Marine, hey? Bet you fell for him the moment you found that out."

Jamie rolled his eyes, a grin forming at the corner of his lips. He was about to return with a smart comment when the Raptor began to shake and heave some more.

"Pushing into re-entry," Loza said from the cockpit. "Buckle up tight, folks. And make sure poor Crewman Lewis doesn't fall off his gurney. And I'm talking to you, Rick!"

Matheson let out a quick laugh, whilst Jamie reached ahead to check the straps securing his patient.

The Sergeant snickered some more. "It's the end of the day, Loza. Gimme a break. And make it quick, will ya? Dr Perth here's got a special someone waiting for him back home."

Little did they know that as their Raptor hurdled towards the surface engulfed in a fiery streak, Cylon base stars made their first surprise arrival over the planet.

 

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