Not The Droid You're Looking For


megan2_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Not the Droid You're Looking For
Synopsis Ryans uses Jedi mind tricks to head off a nuclear meltdown and gets some good news too.
Date December 14, 2011

Pollepell Island

It’s not that hard to locate Ben Ryans. People are always more than happy to point in a direction. So for Megan, once she drops off her gear back in the infirmary, it’s not a big search. The redhead is calm, though given where she must be coming from — barely a couple hours after the whole mess in the courtyard — it’s not exactly hard to guess what she’d like to talk about.

“Do you have a moment to clarify things for me?” she asks politely when she finds him.

There are not very many places that Benjamin Ryans could be, especially, with everyone stuck under the same roof. Turning away from the spread of information on the table in front of him, in the small space set aside for the Special Activities war room; the leader of the band is not surprised to be confronted by the medic. In fact, he expected it.

“Megan,” he offers in a way of greeting, as he cautiously studies her. He has heard this type of tone before. So it should be no surprise to the Medic when Ryans skirts around her and pushes the door shut, in the face of a few of the guys working with him.

Giving the door a final push, to make it click into place, he finally braves to ask, “What can I do for you?”

Quirking a single brow as he moves around her and closes the door, Megan crosses her arms and waits. He was married … he’s definitely seen a woman severely pushed before. When her blue eyes come back to his face, there is a very deliberate calm to them. Whatever is simmering — and there’s a definite feel of simmering here! — is not yet to the boiling point. But treading carefully is probably prudent.

“I would like an explanation as to why I have two young women in my infirmary with injuries that indicate a ridiculous amount of excessive force,” she tells him bluntly. “Now, one of those young woman just required a shit-ton of stitches in her face and, by your own words, a massive dose of antibiotics. She tells me she probably deserved it, since she jumped at someone who was holding a knife.” Pursing her lips, she says, “However… the story I have at this moment is that the other young woman — who was the one also being held at knifepoint?” her tone is querying here, “— has also had her face smashed in with a shovel. And claims to have been accosted from behind. So… if the story is substantially different from what my understanding actually is, I would like to know.”

She trails off, leaving that point be for a moment. Although… redhead. Definitely not a good thing if she’s unwilling to speak further just now. It very well may come across that she is holding on very tightly to her temper.

It was what he had expected,“That was not done on my orders.” His assurance comes quickly, expression bland. “My orders were that she was to be brought in unharmed… the other….” Ryans doesn’t really have an explanation for it, other then, “was unfortunate, but she should not have lunged at someone with a knife. Things are volatile enough and people are getting jumpy.” He did his best to move her, before anything happened. Of course, he had expected it of Edgar, more than Eileen.

“Look…” Ryans starts then gives a long drawn out sigh, he gives a single wave of his hand as he shifts gears, “I had no desire for her to get hurt, we just wanted to talk to her.” He glances back at the table, fingers scratching at the stubble on his chin. “The man in question is currently been reassigned to latrine duty.” He holds up a hand in an attempt to stall protests, and asks, “How are the girls?”

Megan does him the courtesy of hearing him out without interruption. The explanation of Quinn’s situation, well… although it still pisses her off a lot, it’s tallying with what Quinn herself said. And lunging at another human being is always a bad plan. So she leaves that one off to the side for the moment, merely nodding. Her arms remain crossed in front of her, and whether that is in an effort to keep her words reined in is probably a good question.

At the words ‘latrine duty,’ there is a flash of unbridled rage through those blue eyes… but to her credit, Megan doesn’t loose them upon his head. Yet. “Assuming we all survive this fucking situation,” she says in a tone that definitely implies the f-bomb is a method of keeping her cool, “One or both may require some amount of surgery to restructure or repair the damages, but I think they’ll be fine. I don’t have the skills or the equipment here to be sure of it, but… it is what it is.”

Finally she at least loosens the crossed arms to drop them lower across her stomach instead of holding them as tightly to her body as possible. Her jaw clenches for a long moment and despite the rage she’s still feeling, her gaze on him is assessing. The question she asks might not be what he’s expecting next. “What’s your gut telling you?”

“About Miss Lancaster?” Ryans asks, moving to the table again. He leans over, shuffling through stack of papers. “I am not convinced she could have done this. At least, in the case of Thatcher. The victim is a telepath after all.” Sneaking up on a telepath is a hard thing to do. Anyone can smother a little old woman in her bed. “It doesn’t really make sense. The guard heard nothing before he got hit by that brick.”

Of course, it isn’t his opinion that matters. “It is up to the council to decide if she did or not.” He makes a note on one of the pages. He sounds matter of fact, as he talks, “Even so… Lancaster is in the best place for her,” given the situation, “If the killer is out there still, then her being in the cells will keep us all safe.”

A glance is thrown over his shoulder to Megan, “How is he doing, by the way?” He adds after a moment of consideration, “The guard.”

“I’m keeping an eye on him. He regained consciousness before he made it to the infirmary. His pupils aren’t blown, but I’m expecting that it’s a concussion,” Megan tells him evenly. “He’s already up and about with orders to take it easy.” There’s a roll of her blue eyes. “Insofar as any of us get to do that.”

She blows out a slow breath, closing her eyes for a moment as if grounding herself and trying to let the rage roll off her. When she opens them again, Megan studies him quietly. “It’s awfully convenient that our perpetrator just so happens to be the obvious suspect, hmm? All the evidence neat and tidy.” She tilts her head and says quietly, “I’ve asked Grace and Alastair to tag team extra guard detail on her cell. No one goes in there without your personal knowledge of it.” She clearly understands the problem — if it looks like they don’t believe Rue to be the killer, the person could kill again, right?

“What can I do to help you with this?” Not that Megan has a lot of spare time. “And just for the record… I’ve had no new cases of flu today. If we can keep that up for a couple more days, we may have dodged the bullet.”

“I cannot decide if that is a compliment or an insult.” Ryans sounds calm himself, noting something on the page before him, before dropping the pencil on the table. There is a hint of anger behind those blue-eyes, but his words are just as calm as hers. “Well-meaning… I imagine.”

The failure to protect Kaylee weighs on him, so even the well-meaning gesture gets his back up. A proof of his failure at his command. His hand scoops up a stack of pages, giving them a little shake. “Raith and I have personally vetted the people on our guard rotation.” He half-throws the pages down on the desk, an action of frustration.

He turns away, collecting his thoughts, the stump of his arm, rubs over the top of his head, it is still shaggy - he hasn’t let her cut it yet. “Okay,” he finally says, letting the arm drop to his side. “Grace and Alistair are good people, so I have no problem them helping; but Megan…” Ryans finally turns back to face her, his words quiet, “I can’t have you throwing around orders like that. You are head of medical, but I need you to come to me first.”

“You’re right,” Megan says calmly. “Which is why I came to you right after seeing Rue to tell you I asked them to do it as a personal favor until I could find out who you were willing to place there. I don’t like the feel of this situation. I don’t like the fact that people are on edge enough that they’re attacking our own with no warning or provocation. And I refuse to allow injured patients to be sitting in fear while I sort out what the fuck we’re dealing with here.” The calm may only be skin-deep, but there’s a wealth of expression that can be conveyed in tone and straightforward gaze. The redhead isn’t flinching from him.

“And you should take it as a compliment, because I’ve just asked two of the people with whom I helped start the Ferry to back you, balls to the wall, Benjamin. For the old-guard here, it means something. And I’m hoping it will help you keep the calm we need while you do what you need to.”

Pulling in a slow breath and letting it out, Megan pauses. “I’m sorry you feel like I’ve stepped on your toes. I… can’t promise that won’t happen again,” she admits honestly, with a small smile. “But for what it’s worth to you, I have no lack of faith that you will get the job done.”

Ryans almost wishes he felt the same faith in himself and his abilities as she does. “A compliment then..,” he finally rumbles softly, running fingers through his hair. He looks down at his hand and… well what is left of the other arm. He had a lot to prove still, before people believe he was still just as capable handicapped as he was. It was in question again with Kaylee Thatcher’s stabbing…. Or maybe he was starting to doubt himself too much.

The older man sighs and decides a change the subject is in order, “You mentioned the flu.” There is a touch of hope in the man as he asks, “You have something good that I can pass on to the council?” Or at least Eileen. They had talked options, but Ryans wasn’t ready to even think about them. If what he heard was true, it would be a small miracle in a crappy situation.

Megan notes the way he looks down at his arm, and her own finally come completely uncrossed from their infuriated restrained position across her body. Instinctively reaching out to put her hand on his damaged arm, she holds onto his forearm for a long moment until she has his eyes. “Definitely a compliment,” she agrees quietly. “Nothing else seems to have ever slowed you down, Benjamin Ryans. I’m pretty damn sure you can manage an investigation with one hand…” she offers him a vaguely cheeky grin, “…tied behind your back.”

She releases his arm slowly, as if perhaps realizing she’s in his personal space again, but the conversation has done much to head off the boiling head of steam that was building in the redhead when she walked in. “Yes, I did say something about the flu. I have no new cases of flu that have arrived in the past 24 hours. If I can get the patients I have in there right now through the next 24 hours… we may escape losing anyone to it.”

The relief that shows in Megan’s tired blue eyes is evident as she reports this to him. “Tell Eileen I used the last of the antivirals on the worst of this group of patients — there is no more. But I have about 12 whose fevers broke this morning.” Those would have been the first people to come down with it. “With just a little luck, the others will be on the mend as well. A lot of people got vaccinated, and it’s keeping the cases more mild than they might have otherwise been.”

The hand on his arm is noted, Ryans even for a moment considered resting his hand on her, but something stops him. Instead, he offers her a small smile. He appreciates what she is doing for him. Sometimes, even the coach needs a pep-talk.

Relief flickers across Ryans’ features at the news of the sick. “Good….” He in the light of the room, he looks tired and worn. “Very good.” They could use a little good news. “Let me know if you need any more bodies, to help care for the sick. There are still a few who are like us,” Without the gene, “who can be pulled from other duties.

“I want everyone through this,” he comments blandly. “It isn’t a matter of if the dome will come down, it is a matter of when.” Ben holds no delusions this siege will go on. “I just hope have time on our side.”

As she turns to leave, Megan glances back at him. “Because you suddenly think Murphy is going to stop kicking us in the ass?” The weary edge to the question probably echoes his own feelings on the matter. She shakes her head slightly. “What a Charlie Foxtrot,” she murmurs on a sigh. “Come down in the morning, dammit, and let me trim that mop before you have to start wearing it in a ponytail holder to keep it out of your eyes. Your daughters will laugh at you. It’s the only thing remotely useful I can do for you, and I need something to do besides sickness.”

There’s a moment’s pause, too. And then she tells him, “And tell Richards to get his latrine-cleaning ass into my sickbay before I have to come looking for him to stitch him up. He won’t like it if I do.”

“Charlie Foxtrot indeed.” Ryans is not going to deny that truth. In fact, it was probably one of their making.

The comment, about his hair, does manages to get a chuckle out of him, his fingers snagging on a thin lock of it; but he doesn’t offer any promised like ‘if I have time.’ Will he? Hard to tell. Time seems to be a rare thing nowadays. Instead, he focuses on the “I’ve already tried,” Ryans comments about Richards. “He said that he has heard rumors.” His brows lift a little, a smile tugging at her corner of his mouth, as he adds, “I think the kid is terrified of you.”

That makes the nurse quirk a brow at him. “Good,” Meg retorts with a wicked little half-smile. “It’ll make him think twice before he acts like an asshole next time, won’t it?” Were it not Ben she’s standing in front of… she has to bite back the tart comment tell him if it gets infected because he’s being stupid, I’ll just lop it off at the neck. Instead, she merely shrugs. “It’s always good to have a reputation. I’ll be expecting him — tell him not to dawdle.”

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