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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Claire tossed Taft a lopsided smirk. That was one of the problems with the military, in her opinion. To a lot of them, there was only one option, and that was to go in with all guns blazing. To Claire, a healer, that was one of the last options. She didn't miss the irony in having falling in love with a military man, either. "See? It's that sort of shit that keeps me busy here!" Her tone was only half-joking, too.

She looked at Taft for a few seconds, before lowering her eyes and shaking her head, a soft smile firmly in place. "Well, I hope I'm nothing like your sister, then," she replied. "I chose an arsehole once, I'd like to think that I have better judgment this time." She laughed as Taft suggested more covert ways she could ask for his help. "Well, I think that's going to be impossible from several million light years away, but I appreciate the sentiment." More to the point, she didn't think that Taft's services would be needed anyway. Caleb was different.

Claire raised her eyebrows a little. It sounded as though the rough, tough Sergeant Major David Taft had been burned by a woman on more than one occasion, and was more than a little cynical about risking himself again. However, Claire smiled as Taft admitted that there was someone in his life, even if he stopped short of telling her who it was. "You sly old dog, you," she grinned, holding her hands up in submission. "Not a bloody word will be said to anyone while I'm on earth," she promised, meaning every word of it. "But... grade school? That sounds... interesting." Maybe she had been closer to the mark with her comment about blue balls than she could have imagined.

She chuckled as Taft gave her a brief rundown of where he had picked up the knowledge about herbal remedies. "Hey! I'll have you know I don't need to guess which organ's which," she laughed, pausing for a second, her smile mischievous. "There's an app for that now, you know."


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:26 am 
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Taft smiled, it was a symbiotic relationship then. "Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred." Not many people knew Taft well enough to find out he had a taste for literature, particularly that pertaining to military matters, military life, or military history. The philosophy and art that surrounded the topics of violence, death, and war filled his bookshelves. She was leaving, so it was okay if she got a glimpse into that part of Taft.

"I'm just absolutely certain he didn't seem like an 'arsehole' when you picked him, but perhaps you do. All I'm saying is there are options." Taft grinned when she suggested it wasn't a possibility due to distance. "Exactly, nobody would ever suspect..." It was unlikely, especially at first, but the plan wasn't for the Atlantis expedition to never be seen again. The hope was that they'd get things arranged on the other end, set up shop, and find a way to dial back. There were also some rumblings from another program that there might be a second way to reach the Atlantis mission if all else failed, but it was still some time away from being viable.

Taft took a deep breath, taking an extra long time to make his decision but still coming in under the seven breaths deadline he set himself for such things. "The Major is Catholic, but unlike most of them she's also devout. So there are standard operating procedures I'm not accustomed to that have to be dealt with."

He rolled his eyes as she used a cultural catchphrase to confirm what he had always suspected. That Doctors were only guessing when digging around inside otherwise perfectly healthy Marines suffering from minor high velocity puncture wounds.


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Claire arced an eyebrow as Taft quoted... something. It was something she recognised, and probably something she ought to be able to pinpoint its origin, but she couldn't. She took a sip of her coffee, shaking her head. "Okay, you got me," she grinned. "You want to enlighten me on where that's from?" It sounded vaguely like some English poet or other, but she might be completely out there. "Not that I hear you spouting poetry all that often, Sarge. Something in the water?"

A small snort, and Claire shook her head. "Tama was probably an arsehole from the moment we met," she said, shrugging. This was only the second time she had talked to someone in the USA about Tama, and the first had been Caleb. "He just hid behind that big smile and that big..." She paused, a wicked smile on her lips. "...tattoo." Sure, Tama must have had some good qualities when they had first gotten together, but buggered if she could remember what they were. "Well, you'd better work out a way of powering the gate if you want to be my bail out if things turn to custard, hadn't you?" It was a moot point, anyway. Caleb was nothing like Tama, and he wouldn't fuck her about.

Claire just sat back, letting Taft mull things over, before he appeared to just let it go and let it all out. Her face remained impassive as the man mentioned a Major he was involved with, a Major who happened to be Catholic. Her brain bounced over the Majors she knew at the SGC, and there were only a handful of female Majors she knew of. Sharpe was married, Carter... naaaah, it wouldn't be Carter.

Then there was the new arrival. She twitched her eyebrows upwards. "Serigliano?" She didn't push it, just let Taft answer as he wished. The revelation wasn't going anywhere, and she sure as shit wouldn't be blabbing about it. After all, Taft had worked out that the rumours about she and Caleb were true just before they left for Tollana, and hadn't said a word. Claire had been grateful about that, and he deserved the favour to be returned.

Claire grinned. "I'll have you know I'm one of the better ones you could have had rooting around in your insides," she said, her voice more than a little teasing. "Not that you'd remember it anyway. You were sleeping like a baby."


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:37 am 
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"Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It's a narrative poem published just six weeks after the actual event it describes." Military history, the best kind. "I rarely talk to someone who could appreciate the difference between a narrative poem and a dirty cadence call." Taft sipped his water and briefly considered cracking a joke about LSD in the water, but he wasn't sure if that would be a joke or not. The military had done weirder things to its soldiers over the decades.

He made a gesture in the air, as if powering the gate was absolutely no problem. "Extract and liquify human stupidity, we'll be able to power the universe for centuries let alone a little Stargate for long enough to go kill the British version of a Boyscout of America for doing my family doctor wrong." Taft could get into that debate so easily, especially if he had a decent whiskey and a nice cigar on a porch somewhere. "You worried about that, by the way? Whether or not we'll be able to connect again?" There was a very real chance that this Atlantis mission was a one way trip. Anything could be on the other end, or nothing at all. It could be a slow, starving death for all they knew. Taft would eat a bullet before he faded away eating his boots.

"Yeah... The Major." He couldn't pronounce her name for love or money. So he called her Major, ma'am, or Fia; depending on the situation they happened to be in at the moment of usage. "We're up several dates and one accidental sleep over. Good company, a little light petting, almost feels like practice."

He snorted at her comment about him sleeping like a baby. "Several of the other Sergeants tell it where I was wide awake and reciting the Uniform Code backward to alleviate boredom while I waited for you to finish working. That version sounds more plausible than yours."


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Claire gave a slow nod of realisation. While she didn't know the poem in its entirety, she remembered chunks of it from school. "And there was me, thinking you would be more into shit like 'I wandered lonely as a cloud," she quipped, taking another sip of coffee. "You like Wilfed Owen, too?" A lot of soldiers tended to like Owen's World War I poetry, found themselves able to empathise with the young man who died in the trenches. Claire laughed at Taft's next comment. "It's a good thing I can tell the difference, then. Wouldn't want to be getting the wrong end of the stick now, would I?" She wasn't overly surprised at his knowledge of poetry. Everyone had hidden depths, even the Sergeant Major.

"That's a good point, you'd have plenty of raw material," Claire grinned, shaking her head. Much of it could come from those the human race trusted to govern them, too. "Trust me, you're not going to be needed, but thanks for the offer," she replied simply. "Could have done with you five years ago, though." Now, though, Tama was ancient history, and good riddance to the bastard.

Claire frowned a little at the unexpected question. "Yeah, I'm worried," she admitted. "I know this is going to be a one way trip, but... hell." She ran a hand back through her dark hair. "You know I didn't risk getting clearance for my parents to find out? Dad would probably have been granted it - he had a high clearance in the En Zed navy before I was born - but I didn't want to risk being able to tell him and not mum. Keeping that from her would have torn him apart."

A smile crept across Claire's lips as Taft admitted to his little romance. "You know, I'm pleased for you," she said, her voice warm and utterly sincere. "Do I hear wedding bells to get around that whole Catholic chastity thing?" Her voice was a clear and obvious tease.

Claire rolled her eyes. "I do recall some snoring, in fact, so much so you made the anaesthetist shit himself," she grinned. "It took a hell of a lot to knock you on your arse, though, and even more to keep you under. You're one tough bastard."


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:54 am 
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"Wilfred Owen? I don't remember any of his works well enough to hazard a quote but I recall finding him exceptionally depressing. He didn't find anything positive in his time in service, which is fair enough but not something I identify with. Real popular with one of my professors in college, guy was a draft dodger so that might of colored my opinion as well because all I could do was stare at him like he was turning orange while he attempted to lecture me on the terrors of warfare." Taft chuckled a bit at that memory, shrugging it off in the end. "I'm more of a Hemingway fan, myself. There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

Taft nodded indulgently at her reassertion that Caleb was different. Time would tell. He nodded again when she spoke about her parents and the one way trip. He appreciated that. It was part of the reasoning behind his decision to not bother volunteering for the mission himself. The primary reason was there wasn't any promise of a fight on the other end of that gate jump and warfare was where the Sgt. Major shined. Plus Fia hadn't signed up and if he was gonna be staying anyway, staying in the galaxy where his gal intended to remain seemed like a fine bonus to the decision. "If I was gonna go, dad would try to have me killed if I told him and not mom. The pestering... I wouldn't blame the old man for trying."

He snorted in amusement. "I'm pleased for me too." Then he preened a bit at the whole snoring while being cut on (quacks aside) and the rest of her narrative. Tough bastard indeed. "Got to be, they don't give these to pussies." He gestured at his rank insignia there on his upper arm.


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:43 pm 
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Claire cocked her head to one side and regarded Taft for a second or two. "See, he was one of a generation of soldiers who didn't have the choice," she said, her voice quiet and contemplative. "I'd imagine it's a bitch to be told you're going to war, as opposed to choosing to join up." For her own part, Claire was certain that she wouldn't love her job anywhere near as much if she had not been given the choice to choose her own career. Being told that you were going to war would likely make any bugger depressed.

"Never read much Hemingway," admitted Claire. "Poetry and classic literature kind of got pushed to the bottom of the pile once I started studying medicine." She was an avid reader, even now, and made sure that she had as many books as her Kindle could fit stashed away in her crate for Atlantis, but her taste tended towards more contemporary literature.

She sighed. "Yeah, not being able to tell them was tough as hell," she admitted. "Any cover story is flimsy enough at the best of times, but trying to persuade your nearest and dearest that there is no way on earth you can contact them for at least a year... Yeah, that was a bitch." It was hoped that, within the first year, there might be a way to find a way back to Earth, but it was unlikely.

Narrowing her eyes as Taft talked a little about Fia Serigliano, Claire smiled, a slow, almost sly smile. "So... is she the reason that someone like you isn't going to Atlantis, then?" She'd heard from Carson that he had been approached, no matter how casually and cautiously, but had turned down the opportunity. Maybe Fia Serigliano was the equivalent of Caleb for him: the one person he didn't want out of his life, the one person who made life interesting enough to work around.

Claire rolled her eyes, leaning back in her chair. "No, they give them to any arsehole with a god complex and enough insanity to stay in the service long enough," she chuckled. There wasn't a single barb in her words, and her entire tone spoke of her teasing nature. "I bet you're going to bloody miss this, aren't you, Sarge?" There probably weren't many at the SGC who spoke to him in the straightforward manner she did, and, if she were honest, Claire would miss their chats.


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:41 pm 
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"So was my dad, and I think he would murder me if I suggested he wrote sad poetry." His father had been a hardened badass for as long as Taft could remember, and he hadn't ever shown any hint of softness. Not even with his wife though she never seemed to mind that Taft recalled either. "And once you've signed up it's functionally the same thing, somebody is occasionally going to come in and say 'congratulations, you have the opportunity to die for your country'. Believe me, there are an impressive number of people who sign up thinking they'll never have to risk themselves. The look on the National Guardsmen's faces when they turned up in Iraq was six shades of shocked."

Taft looked a little surprised. "You should, you'd identify with him. He worked in emergency medicine in Italy for a time, until he got wounded in World War II. He was an ambulance driver." Totes the same thing as a kid surgeon. "But he writes about all manner of stuff."

Telling the lies was the easier bit about this whole mission. When they were declared dead Taft was one of the people who was gonna have to go around and inform their families that they were dead, how was a secret, and there would be no body to bury. Oh, and the freedom of information act wouldn't help them with any of it. That was sad, then frustrating, then grim. By turns. "Yeah, whoever they put on the cover story job was no Hemingway."

"No." Because she wasn't, he'd been asked before he'd met her. "No war, no Taft. Without a war I'm just doing paperwork and I hate paperwork. Even if it's about shooting stuff and/or people. What happens if you go to the Pegasus galaxy and they find a machine that makes surgery completely unnecessary? Or one that makes Caleb unnecessary... well, a -new- machine that makes Caleb unnecessary." He winked at her in high amusement.

"Insanity I'll give you, but you have to go to Officer Candidate School to develop a god complex. Besides, gods don't get their hands dirty and NCO's can never get theirs clean."


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:30 pm 
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Claire raised her eyebrows, more than a little sceptical at Taft's blase dismissal of Wilfred Owen as something of a wuss. Shell shock could do untold things to a person, and just because Taft and/or his father hadn't experienced something negative in their time at war, it didn't mean that their experiences were the be all and end all. It simply meant that they had been fucking lucky.

"Well, count yourself lucky the shit never rained down on you hard enough to turn your life on its arse," Claire remarked, taking another sip of coffee. Her opinion of war was as low as it could get, despite the fact she was in love with a military man. All she could hope for was that he - they wouldn't get drawn into warfare. It was hard enough to know that he might die every time he stepped through the gate. Throw in a full on war, and she didn't know whether she could cope. Only time would tell.

Claire narrowed her eyes as Taft attempted to goad her. "Who are you going to needle like this once I've gone," she chuckled. "Who's going to put up with your crap, in fact? You're going to have to find a new sport." She doubted that many medics would take it.

A sadness rippled across Claire's face as she remembered the tale that she and Caleb had spun to their parents, using the same information so that, in case they contacted one another, their story would be consistent. It had been one of the hardest things she had ever had to do. Never one to lie to her parents, it had torn her apart to know that she was willingly saying goodbye to them for the last time. Caleb had had some mopping up to do after that.

Claire twitched up an eyebrow. "And you'll take the chance on there not being the mother of all wars on the other side of that gate," she teased, cradling her mug in both hands, trying to leech some well needed warmth from it. She failed. "There'll always be the need for those of us who specialise in the old cut and shut." She gave him a wicked smile. "Oh, trust me, there'll never be a machine that replaces Caleb!"

She snorted. "Bullshit," replied Claire, shaking her head vehemently. "The day you got that star in the middle of your stripes, that was when you suddenly thought you got promoted to being the almighty!"


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 Post subject: Re: Time To Go TAG: Taft
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:24 am 
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"What makes you think I can't have the exact same experiences as someone else and not react the same way? The shit rains on us all, most of us are strong enough to deal with it. In his day, in my father's day, they were even tougher on average than we are today. Death was a normal part of life back then, and I think that's the change in our society that's causing the rise in cases of PTSD. Kids these days sign up at 18 and most of them have never even had an close acquaintance pass away, let alone a brother, sister, parent, or what have you." Why Claire would assume that he'd just never faced the same things as some poet was beyond him, she didn't seem the type to lean on a Confirmation Bias like that.

Taft appeared to consider her question for a moment or two before answering without concern. "Lt. Colonel Hart. It's not as much fun, what with him being a defenseless officer, but it will pass the time well enough until you get back carrying Williams on your back." Best to get in his jokes while he still had her around, and when she didn't have enough time to arrange some counter pokes.

He remained silent while she was dealing with whatever was going on behind sad face. She deserved to know they'd get the best of something happened to her. "Listen, send them a letter. Write it out, drop it in the mail before you go through the gate tomorrow. Tell them if they need anything to do with your benefits, pay, or what not to call Sgt. Major David A. Taft with Marine Raiders Second Battalion, USMC. And when something happens they can hear about I'll make sure they get word as soon as it's cleared the military censors. No reason they can't be at the top of the phone tree." He didn't say it, but that also meant they'd have a familiar name on their doorstep if the worst came to pass.

"I take a lot of chances, but I know there's a fight here already. But if you find the mother of all wars in the Pegasus galaxy you just find a way to get word back to Earth and I promise to come win it for ya. Hoorah." He had to give her a nod of acknowledgement when it came to a need for trauma surgeons and their ilk. As long as there were soldiers the rest of the world would exist to support their ability to wage war well. Putting otherwise defeated troops back on the field served so many tactical needs Taft was frankly surprised they didn't get paid more than hospital surgeons in the civilian arena. As for Caleb. "You need to spend more time on the internet, apparently. They even make ones with a British accent."

Taft shook his head slowly. "I lost three of my boys seven days after I got that star, almighty never even crossed my mind."


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