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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:47 pm 
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09:20, October 1st 2014, corridors, level 25

Claire stifled a yawn as she mainlined another coffee. It wasn't easy, slurping away as she walked down the corridor, but she was dead on her feet. While she had managed to nap in the on call room off the infirmary, another night shift had taken its toll on her. While she didn't mind taking her share of the nights, lately it seemed as though she was doing more than several of the other surgeons. She'd need to have a word with Janet Fraiser about that. Just as she seemed to be getting a life outside of work, it was impacted by some of the others not pulling their weight.

Last night was a case in point, and she had covered for one of the US Army surgeons who had cried off with a "family emergency". It was the fourth time he had done it in the last couple of months, and, as she was one of the only ones who wouldn't have been pulling a double shift if she covered for him, Claire had reluctantly agreed to cover.

It had been quiet, though, and for that she had been grateful. Still, she'd rather have been curled up in her own bed. The handover had been interrupted by one of the kitchen staff being brought in with burns to their torso, after upending a frying pan full of hot oil onto himself, and so Claire had eventually finished her shift fifteen minutes before. A quick detour to the mess hall, one large coffee later, and she was headed for her room. No way was she going to drive back to her apartment feeling like this.

She glanced up, a light frown marring her brow, as the lights in the corridor flickered, going out altogether for a few moments, before returning with a somewhat brighter aura. It was almost as though they were whiter, somehow, as opposed to the yellowish glow they usually gave off.

"What the fuck," she muttered, and she clearly wasn't the only one who had noticed the flickering. Rounding the corner to her room, she tossed a wan, tired smile at the other occupant of the hallway. "Someone forgot to pay the electricity bill, you reckon," she quipped.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:36 pm 
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Elvria was up and about a lot later than she would have liked the following morning, she did not often rest on the quarters that the rest of the Tauri rested in. Sometimes she didn't really rest at all but would just find herself at one point in time to the next, as though she had pretty much dropped off right where she had been working. It was a good thing that she did not need as much sleep as most the Tauri did, in fact some of the people she encountered were always saying they needed more sleep. She was sure if they were not getting enough then becoming a host to a Tok'ra would only lessen that burden to them, as well as giving them extended life and better health benefits - she honestly had not understood the 'cold season' that had seemed to take over the base that one time.

But that night, after they had finished talking to Fia in the labs, Elvria had wanted to rest as the Tauri did and she had made her way to the quarters she had been assigned for when she was on Earth. Elvria had been thankful that the most of her sleep had been dreamless and she was sure she was going to owe Parnell a lot of control time to make up for that, so she had dressed in the usual top and trousers. The whitish colour almost standing out amongst all the greens, greys and blues that would walk around the base, it was one of the reasons why she kept herself to herself unless she was needed somewhere.

So she had left the quarters, ignoring the quiet mutterings of Parnell trying to assign her things to do that day, when she noticed the flickering lights. It was weird, reminded her a moment of when the Tok'ra tunnels were either being formed or collapsed that kind of weird shimmer they did. It threw her a sense of nostalgia for a split second before it went dark, but before she could even try to adjust her eyes they came back out.

Before she could do anything else, someone else had joined her in the corridor and had sworn quite loudly and said something about electricity bills. Elvria had no idea what bills where or why someone would be paying then, but she knew about the swearing so many people on the base did it when frustrated, worried or in this case shocked. It was a habit she was happy to say she had not picked up on.

"I have not seen anything like that happen before," Elvria said, "Do the lights often flicker?" She might have been around the SGC for a long time, but this was probably the longest she had actually been on Earth for. So far there had been no reason for her to go back.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Claire recognised the other woman. She'd have to be blind, ignorant and insane not to, in fact. Elvria was the current Tok'ra liaison to the SGC, and had been so for as long as Claire could remember. However, she wasn't a constant presence at the base, and seemed to just flit in and out as the whim took her.

Of course, Claire couldn't think about the young woman without considering Parnell, the symbiote. He was cerebral and stubborn, and often refused to even consider other courses of action if he felt that he was in the right.

A right royal pain in the arse, really.

Giving the Tok'ra a tired smile, Claire shrugged. "Not really, no," she said, taking another slurp of coffee. "I've seen it go to emergency lighting, but nothing like that." She frowned, looking up at the lights again. "It's almost as though they've changed the bulbs or something - it seems a lot brighter. Or is that just me?"


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:00 pm 
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Elvria looked up at the lights once more, the lights on the base always seemed oddly bright to her anyway, but as she sort of tilted her head to one side to take them in, she was sure they were different. Just as Claire had said, they did look bright, Elvria offered a small smile in return, it was true she had never really looked at the lights quiet so intently before.

Elvria was sure that no one on the base did, it was one of them little things that was often overlooked, no one ever noticed it until something went wrong with it. It was one problem that the Tok'ra as a race did not have a problem with, everything they built was built to last and have no problems in the future. It was the only way to be sure that they could move quickly if the Goa'uld figured out there location and it had saved so many lives. Her own included at one point.

"They do seem a little brighter," Elvria said, offering a shrug bringing her attention back to the woman in front of her. "Less yellow I believe. This will probably not help with you needing sleep."

She hadn't missed the coffee Claire was holding, nor could she miss the smell, it was a strong scent. One that seemed to have soaked into the walls if one was to walk into the Mess Hall or one of the science labs.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:11 am 
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The small smile that the Tok'ra gave to Claire felt like a gift. She was more used to seeing Elvria looking sombre, although that was equally likely to be Parnell. Until they spoke, or you had seen them transitioning from one personality to the other, you could never tell from just looking at her.

Initially, Claire had struggled with accepting the Tok'ra as being different from the Goa'uld, and it was Elvria and Parnell who had really helped her to appreciate the difference. Over the last few months, she had taken the time to get to know them both, and, while she wouldn't count either of them as a close friends, she considered them both to be friends nonetheless.

Claire shot Elvria a wan smile. Exhaustion was washing over her in waves, but she still had a few things she needed to get done before going to bed. The coffee would get her through them. "It's all the same when the lights are switched off," she smiled, giving the other woman a small shrug.

Taking another sip of coffee, Claire cocked her head. "Where were you headed?"


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:17 am 
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"It's always darkest before you rise," Elvria replied, she had heard the saying somewhere on base, or some kind of version of it. She had probably mixed the words up a some point which was very possible, not all of the Tauri sayings were ones that she could remember well. There was the odd one or two that seemed to stick with her, and even the odd one that had stuck with Parnell at times as well.

"I was headed to towards the infirmary, there is some research there that needs to be completed," she said, it wasn't exactly a secret as to what Elvria was doing. The research she was talking about was to help de-attach a host from a Goa'uld without killing the host, it was interesting work and she had been surprised by how far the Tauri had come on their own without any input from anyone else. In fact it was the one thing she had crossed paths with Claire before, Elvria knew Claire was one of the doctors on base, Elvria had made sure to find out who was doctors when she had first arrived and agreed to stay for periods of time.

Not that they had made much headway in any of the research, so far all they had accomplished was how to keep a symbiote alive outside of a Jaffa for a short amount of time. Nothing that would make separating a host and Goa'uld. Although Elvria was willing to do as much research into this as she could, it still wouldn't mean anything unless they had a test subject for it in the future and as much as they argued Elvria did not want to give up Parnell and vice versa.

She glanced up and down the corridor again, the lights were brighter, there was less shadows in the corners now, but again it was something that didn't mean too much to her. Unless something drastic happened, brighter lights were just that, brighter.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:58 am 
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Claire frowned for a moment. "You mean the darkest hour is always before the dawn," she asked, casting Elvria a curious gaze. "That's just a saying. It's kinda like... the worst shit always happens just before things start to get better." She smiled with warmth. "Basically, don't give up, it'll get better soon." At least, that was always the interpretation that Claire had always preferred to give to the phrase.

Her eyebrows twitched up in interest. "That's where I've just come from," she explained. "My on-call nightshift overran. How's it going with the research? Any closer to a breakthrough?" If they could find a way of removing the parasite from the host, it would be invaluable in the fight against the Goa'uld. That being said, no decision had yet been made on how they would deal with the Goa'uld in question once it had been removed.

Despite her exhaustion, Claire's interest was piqued. Idly, she wondered how little sleep she could get away with. She was due back on shift at four, and would need to get a few hours, but surely she could spare a little time to go and have a look at the latest research?

Tough decision.

"You want a fresh pair of eyes on that," she asked, not quite sure whether she wanted a yes or a no from the Tok'ra. "They're tired, but... well, you know that surgery's my specialty. I might just be able to help."


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:41 pm 
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That version of the saying sounded a lot better to Elvria, almost like it was some kind of hope prayer. "Your version is definitely a lot better than mine," she said, smiling. She was going to try to remember that, maybe when things looked really bad them words would come back to her, not that she ever planned to get herself in such a situation. Them kind of situations just kind of happened, at times, well they did when she was on Earth.

The smile fell from Elvria's face at the mention of the research, she really wished she could give Claire some positive news, something that would give hope to every person. But....well she just couldn't.

Shaking her head Elvria said, "That depends, we can removed the Goa'uld in tact so there is nothing left inside of the host, but the host still ultimately dies. Which is something that we are trying to prevent, it is almost like the host has become dependant on the Goa'uld inside, so remove that and it's too big of a shock to their system."

Elvria hated when something didn't go right, the notes she had looked over at least half a dozen times had all given the same conclusion. Goa'uld lived and host died, it made the Goa'uld seem even more parasitic in nature than even Elvria or Parnell really knew. It was as though it had to be the Goa'uld choice to leave the host and well every Goa'uld Elvria had met, had not want to make that choice.

"Of course, any help is most welcome," Elvria said, "maybe you can see something that neither me or Parnell can see."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:16 am 
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Claire shrugged. "It's just a turn of phrase," she said, her voice almost dismissive of the implied compliment. "You'll learn quickly enough, as long as you're hanging around with us gramatically impaired arseholes long enough." There was something almost charming and archaic about the way that Elvria (and, to an extent, Parnell) spoke.

She looked concerned for a moment. Elvria looked a mixture of sad and distressed. "I know that much," she said, her voice gentle. The breakthrough was there, just waiting to be discovered, but, for some reason, the Tok'ra had not yet uncovered its secrets. Claire didn't think for a moment that she would be able to take things further, but she had to at least make the offer.

She nodded as Elvria explained the process that they were trying to perfect. "What do you think is stopping the process," she asked. Claire wasn't a neurosurgeon, but she knew the basics, and wondered whether Earth surgery would be enough to improve the Tok'ra technique. If so... well, she could certainly lob a decent neurosurgeon at the SGC, if they didn't have someone capable.

Claire nodded at Elvria's agreement. "I can only do an hour or so, I need to get some sleep before my shift starts at four. Is that okay?"


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:40 am 
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“The unwillingness of the Goa'uld to leave the hosts body,” answered Elvria succinctly. “An hour of help is much better than none at all.”

Elvria started a slow walk back down the corridor, the bright lights leading the way to the infirmary. It was a bit of a walk, the quarters were not exactly as close to the infirmary as people thought. Which was not a good thing if you got sick in your quarters, it wasn't an easy route to get there.

“I do believe that the unwillingness of the Goa'uld to let go is causing some of the problems,” Elvria explained, looking at Claire, “We as Tok'ra share the body, it is a mutual agreement as you would say, despite the disagreements myself and Parnell seem to have.”

She let a smile out at that, being two different people was hard at times, there were moments where one opinion clashed with the other, but ultimately they always came to some agreement. Elvria knew that Parnell had a bit of a stubborn reputation amongst the other staff, and he tended to anger people with his bluntness at times, but Elvria would not change him for anyone.

“If one was to be hurt a considerable amount it would have to be an agreement that the Tok'ra Symbiote would leave the host body,” she said, it was not something she thought on a lot. “The Goa'uld do not have that, the take over completely suppress the host, as I am sure you are aware. It seems removing them suddenly is a shock to the hosts system, like a...” she searched around for a metaphor she had heard, “like stepped into an ice cold shower. Your body has that shock and you freeze, that is what I have discovered so far.”


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