2020-06-21 - You had me at super-loose use-whatever..


Posse and Martin share a table over lunch and get to know one another a little.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 21 23:21:35 2020
Location: RESCUE Campus

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The Wellspring medical area. There isn't much going on right now, leaving the place quiet. Sure there's always activity as staff handle their work, but Martin is one of those without any patients to see. So he's been learning more about the equipment and the people themselves. Most of the equipment here is well and beyond anything he's seen before!
Right now he has a tablet in hand, reading through some emails as he wanders into the cafeteria. He's wearing his scrubs (Or uniform if there is one for that kind of thing), all ID properly in place, and actually doesn't look exhausted. For once there wasn't someone needing a huge amount of medical care! But once in line he tucks the tablet beneath an arm and starts getting himself some food.

The doctor's presence in the cafeteria draws a wave from one of the tables. Seated alone and looking halfway through her meal, the Chief of Security is having a late lunch while dressed down to her unarmored security uniform. Her tray is colorful if only because Roni cares about the Wellspring's menu and the gaping hole in the center of her plates suggests she started with her meatloaf.

The wave draws his attention and the red-head smiles for it. Martin lifts his hand and nods in response. Once he's piled his own tray high, which will take a couple minutes, he will indeed join Posse at her table. "Hey." Given with another smile. "May I join you?" Asked if only to be polite. If given permission the man will happily sit and arrange things a little before him. "How are you holding up?" Not having been able to ask much of anything lately. He did pick mostly healthy options, but there's some sugar in there too.

"Take a seat," Ava offers. In the few minutes that elapsed the cyborg's already finished nearly all that was left in front of her, eating through it like a wildfire. "All good, and my back's been feeling looser than normal lately. I think your healing hands have side effects," the white-haired security chief quips as her eyes flit across Martin's tray on the way to his face.

Nodding thanks, Martin gets to work shifting plates around. Some go here, others there, ordered in some manner of his own making. It'll be what he choses to eat first of course. Brows arch for your back. "Good. Let me know if you want a proper massage. Maybe we can get your back to behave. It'll give me a chance to get some more experience with flesh on cybernetics. If you don't mind that." There's a smile for that, his eyes crinkling, and then he gets to eating.

"Knock yourself out," Ava accepts while lifting her own plate to her lips to shovel in the last grains of a rice dish. "Are you talkin a massage massage or mutant lay-on-hands stuff?"

Martin motions a hand about the difference, not all that bothered. "Your preference. I'm always big on consent. It'd be a bit of both on my end. I haven't had any experience like this before working here, so the more chance I get to see cybernetics in action the better. If I can ease some pain while learning? That's just icing on the cake." He pauses now and then to not speak with his mouth full, and then adds, "I'd much rather try with a consenting adult than learn everything from Kelli, that little girl who lost her arm." That does mean if Posse wants normal massage only, that's what she gets.

"Talk to Roni about that. RESCUE's whole /thing/ is rebuilding people and with you involved she might even tap patients earlier in the pipeline," Ava suggests. With every grain of rice accounted for she scrapes along the plate with her spoon until most of the sauce is gone as well, then sets the thoroughly emptied plate back down. "When did you find time to train as a masseuse?"

There's a hmm about that. This is true! "That's a great idea, thank you." Martin grins. He totally will email Roni about it. "I so want more hands on with people. Cybernetics is the way of the future." Sure he can regrow most everything, but he can't do it for the whole world. There's a laugh about finding time, "I'm 50 this year. There have been plenty of chances for me to learn." Amused, he adds, "I trained as a vet too decades ago. Trust me, I couldn't work as one legally, but you certainly have experience yourself on how one picks stuff up over the years."

"I'm surprised to hear /that/ from someone with healin powers," Ava quips at first only to stop and squint skeptically at the stocky readhead. "My eyes or my ears are out of calibration. Say again? Fifty?"

Martin just keeps grinning. "Hey, I live in the real world." And that's all about technology these days. Most of his main meal is done by now, having made quick work on it, leading to some shifting around of plates. "You heard me right. I'm fifty as of a few weeks ago. Seems the healing powers help with a few other things." He tousles his own hair. "I should be brown and graying by now."

"Or thinning," Ava points out in mirthful disbelief as she runs a hand through her own short, white, and snowy strands. "I was on my way to this before I could drink. I think that first enlistment put the zap on me."

Martin points at Posse with his fork. "That too." Thinning hair. "To complete my glorious set of genetics." Motioning to his stocky self. No, he really isn't bothered by that, it's simply true. As for white hair, he shrugs, "That's normal. Sometimes people just go white, and early. My grandfather was white before he turned twenty one. I always wondered if I would too since he was red-head before that." There's a shrug because it's just not important. "It looks good on you though." Complimented and hopefully not taken in a bad way. "Speaking of, are you and Domino doing okay? If that's too personal I won't ask again." After all the tensions once the AIM vehicles were taken down.

"Yeah we sorted things with the higher-ups. Good initiative, bad judgement. She's still on the badge," the bionic woman shrugs, and smiles a bit at the compliment. "Thanks. It got me my share of names but for what I didn't get I'll take it… then again I am on two new knees," she considers.

Martin nods, glad that things are good. As much as he has questioned repeatedly, that was because he didn't know some important details. He has made sure to learn since then. But since Posse doesn't make anything there personal, the red-head decides not to ask. He's an empath and can tell there's more than business there, but that doesn't mean it's /his/ business. "Please don't take this the wrong way.. I know how men are in being one, but you've been impressive to work with, two new knees and all. Did RESCUE and Dr Kelsey do all the cybernetic work on you? Sorry, segue." There's a sheepish grin for that.

"Pfft! At this point I understand men better than women. I wasn't a long-tabber but I went through BCT same as you," Ava scoffs with a self-assured gleam in her eye as she raises her left hand, showing its carbon alloy shell. "Yup. Dr. Kelsey did all my innards and most of the movey bits, Dr. Ho helped finish it up. That doc's a miracle worker."

There's a grin but Martin so will keep making that disclaimer. "I wanted you to know the praise is honest. I've seen you make some hard decisions, and have always been impressed with the results." Compliments for the sake of complimenting! "She sure is." Yep! Working with this all women crew (And Hank) has been a delight. "Was it hard at first? You've had a lot of replacements from what I can feel. Do you like the changes?" This is so new to Martin he has to ask. Do cyborgs like being cyborgs?

It might be new ground for one of them but the change of topic puts Ava in her element. No one's /ever/ asked about her cybernetics before…

"Hard as *%@# but when the other choice was rolling around in a wheelchair with one arm and one eye? I had a harder time jumping out of a plane." The cyborg's prosthetic hand touches a fingertip to her left cheek just below her eye, where a vertical scar ends. Ever so faintly her iris on that side is a deeper and brighter shade of green. "This one's my own damn fault. The arm and leg-and-a-half were your normal battlefield owwies."

Reaching over for her glass, Ava takes a sip before continuing more somberly. "The one thing that /has/ been hard has been watching the DoD sit on its hands since I got mobile… but hey, since when was red tape new?"

There's a nod about the alternatives as Martin works over his dessert. "I can't imagine sitting around was something you were ever good at." Given with a little smile. "Not sure I'd call losing three limbs a normal anything." While the man sympathizes a great deal, he's more impressed with the drive that got Posse where she is now. "That's part of why I ask. You are exceptional, but you will still give some really good insights on how others will deal with replacement limbs. Mind some invasive questions?" Sure he could ask for her file, but that seems excessive and far more invasive to him. (Never mind he couldn't get the whole file anyway!)

"Shoot, but only if you trade story for story. One vet to another I've got to wonder what an 18 delta's been up to," Ava responds with an interest she's only partly managed to contain. If Martin wants answers she's more than willing to play. "Did you go straight in 18 X-ray or transfer from 68 whiskey?"

The red-head shows both hands, "I had one secret, and you already know it.. so you ask anything you want, it's only fair." Martin grins and is happy to answer. "You have to understand, it's been twenty years since I retired from the military, so things will be a little hazy. My apologies for that. I enlisted at 18, right as soon as I graduated. I was fucking clueless of course, so I spent a good year as regular army. My testing kept getting me nudged at though, so I shifted for special forces, and then took interest in the medical after all that additional training involved. Then there was more training.." He grins and rolls his eyes. Spent a good ten years with the 528th. Most of it over seas."

"So you didn't go in as a medic, you found that mid-contract?" Ava asks curiously with a smile at something vaguely familiar. "Heard good things about the 528th but didn't see much of 'em. Jeez and twenty years… you ETSed the year before I got in."

There's a nod about that all as Martin stacks some dishes. "I did. I remember being uncertain at first, but once there I never looked back. You see, I didn't know I could heal back then. I didn't learn that until mid combat months later, and watching a friend near explode all over me. So it was 'that looks neat' and there I went." The man laughs about the timing, "I'm just older than you is all. I never expected to be in the military that long truth be told, but no regrets."

"Lucky dog. I'd kill to make the full 20 - literally," Ava gripes. "You missed a lot of sand gettin' out when you did…" the cyborg pauses and looks across the table as she asks in a measured tone, "Did he make it?"

"Don't I know it." Given about the sand. Martin assures with a smile, "He did." Make it. "I almost didn't, but he did. Even so he lost his legs and I didn't know I could regrow limbs yet, so I lost that friend. He didn't know what I'd done, and I was terrified to admit it." There's a shrug as he sighs. "Is that why you're here now?"

Ava grimaces lightly. "You brought half of him back still breathing that's a victory. Shit you save my life and we'd be besties," she counters. As the topic shifts back to her Ava takes another drink to gather her thoughts. "Yup. Rode a lawn dart, got a Chapter 61, so now I'm stuck on the block."

Martin sighs and nods, "I know that, but I'm damn sure he didn't appreciate it just the same." Not that he can do anything about that. "Just you and me, but I hope I don't have to." Save your life. That'd mean you were near dying! "I'm sorry." About the discharge. "I made Dr Kelsey the same offer.. you want your flesh limbs back and I'll do that, free of charge and obligation, but considering how well you use the cybernetics? I'm not sure that'd be a good idea. For now let me help if I can? If things itch, or ache? I might be able to tweak things." Back to that massage offer.

"Wait…" Ava hedges as her brow furrows in confusion. "Whole limbs? An /eye/?" she asks gesturing to the same. "You can /do/ that?"

Martin folds his arms and rests them on the table, leaning forward some. "Sure can." He can do that. "It comes with a few days of down time and some pain, but that's something you are familiar with." Not that it'd be immediate, nor a bit comfortable. "And sadly you would have to relearn the limb all over again, just as you did with the mechanical stuff."

"I've had to do that a few times now. At this point I think I'm used to it," Ava admits as she looks to her metal hand, turning it back and forth before her and watching how the lights play across its surfaces. "Heck of an offer," she confesses when she looks back to Martin, her face set back into its resting firmness, "But I'll pass for now. You're right, this hardware works for me, and you've got more important people to be healin' before you move on to vanity projects."

There's a nod showing that Martin expected this. "Sometimes what we are is important to who we are, but you ever change your mind look me up." Maybe in another thirty years she might want them gone. He sure isn't going to assume to know what's best for her. The man smiles, shrugging a little. "I like people to have options." Lifting a hand and motioning a finger, "So.. do they itch or ache? You said your back hurts sometimes?"

"The socketed ones sucked but since Roni got fancy and grafted these to my insides they've been pretty comfy," the cyborg answers honestly. "No itching thank god and no more aches than my normal limbs give me." Here Ava actually chuckles a little. "Hey that's just from ruckin' so much. I had that when I was Posse 1.0. Don't tell me you long-tabbers were so Special you got out of rucking."

Martin grins for that. "I just want to know so that I can learn what works and what doesn't with the body. Dr Kelsey is so good that she gives me an amazing baseline to learn from. I'm thinking that we might be able to get some good scans of the healing process to help teach. Not with you.. but I'm rambling." There's a snort at himself and he sits up. "Sorry." But get out of dirty work? The man can only laugh, "Are you kidding? I only recently got out of that.. and all because there are robots here who do that work. This place so spoils me. We had cleaning crews in the trauma units I worked with, but sometimes you have to do your own work, so I did." The red-head pauses and glances around, but there aren't any humblebees around to point out, "I love those little drones."

"Those would be Toni's fault," Ava laughs in agreement. "I've got a couple cleaner drones in my quarters. Sometimes the future's pretty cool."

"You get to see any of northern Iraq or was that privilege reserved for the ODAs?"

"If this is any sign, a lot of the future is cool." Martin kind of knew high tech was there, but never like this. Seeing Ironman on TV is quite different from living in among it all. As for Iraq, he considers that. "I'm not really sure what you mean. The ruins? Is that what you are asking about?" He pauses and then grins, being silly, "The giants?" There were some off hand stories about a unit taking down a giant somewhere in that region around that time.

"A giant?" Ava echoes. She might not have heard that one before. "I mean cross through Kuwait and ding-dong-ditch Saddam's door. Nevermind, maybe that was just green beans blowin smoke, like those tacos getting a housing allowance for staying in our FOB."

Martin laughs, "No, I sure didn't do that." Nor does he know anyone who did. "Saw some interesting things, but not like that." As for giants he motions a hand and grins, "There's this story, and even a photo, of this unit in the mountains being attacked by a red-headed giant. They killed it. The military took the corpse and it was never seen again." The man's tone says he doesn't believe it, but considering the world.. who knows! "I used to get shit about the hair color part."

Ava smirks devilishly until Martin preempts her. "I was just about ta say… besides everyone knows the giants live in the high mountains. Zagros is too small, you gotta look somewhere like Kandahar. CIA, SHIELD, and the rest of alphabet soup already picked the easy spots clean."

"Maybe the giant had been driven out of the proper mountains by some secret CIA mission." Martin gives in a clearly fake conspiratorial whisper. "It wasn't.. good there. For me." He gives more slowly and seriously, "But I never saw, or did, anything that will be noted in the history books. It was the native people who made me choose to leave. We'd been destroying their homes and lives, and unfortunately I got to feel it all. That's the downside of what I can do. Ironic really since I chose to go into trauma medicine after. Pain and fear I can deal with. Or maybe by that point I'd just learned enough to do something about it. Could do something about it in a hospital." All he can do is shrug.

Posse knocks back the rest of her glass while listening as if it were a strong beer. Sadly it's just fruit juice. Looking across at the former medic turned doctor she regards him sympathetically. "Yeah you wouldn't have liked my gig. Spend too long around the locals and you'll start wanting to shoot back too. No accounting for bad policy and bad intel."

"Is that why you didn't stick the full twenty?" she guesses.

Martin too kind of wishes for a beer. "Indeed." No accounting for the bad you can't control in any mean. "Yeah." Why he didn't stick around. "That and my ability was being noticed in some small ways that made me uncomfortable. Why don't I scar? That kind of thing." Sitting up, he sighs and scratches at his hair. "I'm a downer for sure. Sorry."

"You got out before that whole registration farce, right? I figured of all places Group would be open to that stuff. Aren't you guys the super-loose use-whatever crowd?" Ava guesses, and in ignoring Martin's apology perhaps gives an answer to it. She doesn't notice, she doesn't mind.

Martin nods, "Oh yeah, I was working at a hospital here in New York when that rolled around. Thankfully no one cared that I seemed a little too good at medicine. No special effects, no extra appendages, just eating a lot of food." He does find himself smiling for that question, "Super lose use whatever crowd?" No idea what that means, so he sure does find it funny. "You make me feel old, and like I haven't seen any news for a decade." Said with that smile.

Ava chuckles. "I admit 'retired for twenty years' doesn't track for me. I've been out… five? Now it's been almost six? I keep tabs where I can but it still feels like an eternity already," the white-haired vet confesses. "Most of the brothers I served with are out already."

Quirking her brow sharply the cyborg leans over her food tray to eyeball the redheaded doctor. "Tell me you at least grew out a beard while you were in."

"I can't say jumping into medical school and becoming a trauma surgeon is exactly retiring." Martin grins. "And no, I've never grown a beard." Frankly he's utterly grateful that his hair doesn't quickly grow all the time. That would so suck. "I really have no idea what you are even talking about!" He laughs.

"How the… you're kidding me," Ava sputters in disbelief, shaking her head. "How can there be /that much difference/ in under four years? God you guys vary unit-to-unit more than I thought. Okay doctor, homework for you: look up 'special forces beard'. You'll get a million hits from the sandbox. A literal million I'm not exaggerating."

Martin shakes his head, smiling. "You know I can cheat, right? I didn't because I didn't have to. Sorry.. it's been a long time for me. I forget. That's all." Even lifts his hands to ask for peace. "I left it all behind twenty years ago, and I don't have a perfect memory." Not upset by any means.

"Yeah you're right, you're right," Ava concedes with a… sigh? And just like that the cyborg is somber again. That one struck a chord somehow. "Guess that's the difference between jumpin out of the plane and gettin pushed out…"

"You like to go shooting at all?" she asks, just in case.

"Sorry." He gives, not having wanted to upset Posse. There's no laughter about the apology. Martin sits himself up straighter. "I haven't in a long time, but you all want to give me that little gun when we suit up, so I should practice more." He's willing! "I hadn't even tried to keep up that stuff until starting here, so I'm out of shape all around." He has been going through training here with security and the backup he's working with, because he knows it's important.

"Medic or not you still went through the weapons training in Q-Course right?" Ava questions as the mention of training gives her something else to focus on, yet another memory.

Martin nods, "I did. I can't guarantee I'd be able to pass that again though." Is given honestly. "Pretty sure I wouldn't want to either. I do age." Even if it's more slowly than most. That sounds like it'd hurt.

"That still puts you ahead of most people. It'll come back," Ava assures confidently. "I wouldn't want to run Selection either if that makes ya feel better. Too thinky and unconventional for me. And way too small."

"If you want me going through some training, just make sure you schedule it a week in advance so that I can shift things around. Only need a few days to make sure I can be there." Martin says. Sure it means less time in the mutant town clinic, but he can manage. Especially since he assumes that if the shit hits, training will be postponed.

"I'll add you optional to the REACT marksman classes," the cyborg offers. "Most of it's sustaining and graded exams but I try to run courses every 60 days when budget allows. Toni got us all 21st-century with recordings too. You can use that for basic handling of our weapon systems."

Martin nods, "That makes it easy." Every couple months makes scheduling a breeze. "I sure would feel better with some good practice." He looks at his dishes and then back to Posse. "I'm done here. You want that rub down now?" Takes up his tablet, which has been near by, and makes a note to himself about the training and course. Doesn't want to forget.

Ava's brow quirks again and her eyes flit up and left for a heartbeat. There's a pause, then the cyborg shrugs and stands with her empty tray "Sure! You've got eighty-four minutes."

Martin laughs and gathers up his tray, tablet under arm. "Understood." Will put things away properly before heading out to a spot this can be done.

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