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Ensign Mikeja Lan - A Brief History Parts I & II


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Part I

 

((Main Engineering - USS Gorkon))

Whittaker: You’re joined?

The Human seemed a bit surprised by the statement, but Mikeja wasn’t offended. There were no outside indications on a Trill whether they were joined or not. For a long time, many people outside of Trill society had no knowledge of the symbiotic nature between the symbiont and host. Mikeja simply nodded at the question.

Lan: Correct. I am the second host of the Lan symbiont.

Mikeja allowed himself to inject some pride into the statement. Joining had been both a boon to his life, but was incredibly painful at the same time; especially considering the close relationship he had with Vessa. It had been over five years since the incident and he was still coming to grips with the integration of his two lives.  

Whittaker: Then you must be quite the Officer. ::he said, deliberately turning his attention back to the engineer.:: And it certainly goes a long way to explaining your assignment to Gorkon.

The Ensign thought about that before responding. He would certainly consider himself competent when it came to his knowledge as an Engineer. But to think the fleet placed him on a ship of the line because he was joined seemed unwarranted. He was, after all, only the second host of Lan and his traumatic background felt like more of a hindrance than helpful.

Lan: ::smiling, but shaking his head:: I appreciate that Captain, but it wasn’t really an option at the time. Joining with Lan was… unorthodox, shall we say.

The Trill Engineer took another sip of the coffee, wondering if he would open up further to Captain Whittaker. He supposed it would depend on what the next question was. 

Whittaker: Why was that? 

There was a slight pause. The Captain seemed to realize the potential [...] pas and moved to correct it immediately.

Whittaker: Not that I mean to pry, Ensign. You don’t have to divulge the details if you don’t wish to.

Lan: ::putting up a hand:: That’s quite alright Captain. I’ve probably talked to over a dozen counselors about it over the years. I suppose you have the right to know, especially if we’re going to be working together in some capacity.

Whittaker made a “carry on” gesture. In turn, Mikeja motioned to the seats surrounding the MSD and the two men sat. He didn’t think of the [...] pas he had also made at that moment as the two men seemed to be having a more casual conversation. Mikeja wasn’t even technically on duty for a little while longer.

Lan: It was… an accident. About five years ago. We, that is Doctor Lan and I, were on our way to Earth. There was an explosion and Doctor Lan was injured… quite badly.

A recollection of extreme pain came careening through Mikeja when he mentioned the incident. He’d learned to keep his composure when discussing it, but that had taken some time and effort. 

Lan: I was the only unjoined Trill on the ship we were on, and the symbiont wouldn’t have survived long enough to make it home. So… it was the only logical choice…

Like Whittaker had done before, Mikeja let the thought linger, figuring the outcome would be obvious to the Human. The Captain responded first with a slow nod, apparently coming to an understanding. 

Whittaker: … was for you to undergo joining. ::he said, completing the man’s sentence.:: I understand that it can be a difficult experience for both host and symbiont when a joining is unplanned?

Mikeja lingered on the thought… knowing that what the Captain had said was quite the understatement.

(( Flashback: Medical Bay - SS Camtalla ))

A bright light burned through Mikeja’s still closed eyes as he came back into consciousness. Things felt fuzzy and disjointed at first. He then began to hear voices and the beeping of computer consoles. One of the beeping noises sounded like a heart rate monitor.

Voice 1: He’s coming around.

Things started to make more sense and the young Trill slowly tried to open his eyes. The light was still there; it was someone flashing a pen light into Mikeja’s eyes. He heard himself let out a groan and then felt some soreness on his arms. His head began to throb in pain as the pen light was moved to his other eye. He couldn’t quite make out the faces of those around him. 

Voice 2: Vitals?

Voice 1: Stable. Pupils aren’t dilated. 

Mikeja didn’t recognize the voices, but they were both feminine. As the pen light was moved, his eyes began to adjust to the environment. With a slight look around, Mikeja realized he was in a medical center. It looked used and fairly spartan, which meant he was probably still on the Camtalla. 

oO Wha… why am I…? Oo

It all started coming back to him. The explosion. He tried to sit up, but the flash of pain in his head made him think twice. He then looked around again and saw two women hovering above him. Mikeja figured these were the Camtalla’s medical personnel. 

Woman 2: Whoa now, try not to move too fast Mr. Norven. 

Regarding the woman, Mikeja saw she was apparently human. Dark hair in a bob style cut and piercing green eyes were the two things he noticed immediately. The other woman was Andorian, with longer white hair and her antennae pointed upwards. Mikeja winced again as he made a move to a seated position, this time far more slowly. He felt the support of both women as he finally was upright. 

Mikeja Norven: What… what happened?

Woman 2: An EPS relay exploded in Main Engineering. You were brought to the medbay. 

The Trill remembered what happened, and it dawned on him that Doctor Lan had also been there. He looked to the human medical officer with a worried expression.

Norven: Doctor Lan? Is she alright?

The Human looked over to the Andorian, unable to hide her own worry. She looked back to Mikeja with the same expression. The Trill’s heart began to sink, fearing the worst.

Woman 2: She’s alive, but I’m afraid her injuries are very severe. The Captain has set course back to Trill, but…

She hesitated. Mikeja immediately figured the explosion had damaged the warp drive and they were going far slower than they could be. He then had another realization.

Norven: The symbiont?

 

Part II

 

(( Flashback: Medical Bay - SS Camtalla ))

Norven: The symbiont? 

Woman 1: Please sir, you need to rest.

Mikeja brushed away the hand the Andorian woman was trying to put on his shoulder to calm him down. He felt sadness, anger and fear all at once. He needed answers, not reassurances.

Norven: ::raising his voice:: Tell me!

The two women glanced at each other again. The human woman looked back to the Trill again, even more sad this time. 

Woman 2: Her isoboramine levels are dropping fast. Unless we can make it back to Trill in a few hours…

Mikeja held up a hand. He’d heard enough and mustered the strength to swing his legs over the biobed and fully sit up. 

Norven: I need to speak with Doctor Lan. Is she conscious?

Woman 2: I don’t believe that’s the best idea…

Norven: ::once again holding up his hand:: Spare me that ma'am, but right now the well being of the symbiont is most important. The Doctor would agree with me. ::more angrily:: Where is she? I must speak to her before it’s too late.

With a sigh and look of defeat, she gestured for the Trill to follow her. Mikeja got to his feet, ignoring the pain and dizziness. He followed the woman a few feet to a biobed across the room.

Then he saw her. Lan was covered in a silver blanket, with only her head and bare shoulders exposed. As he walked closer, he saw the plasma burns on her face. Her gray hair was tattered and burned away at places. Cortical monitors had been placed on her temples and her breathing was very shallow. Mikeja felt a pang of fear rush down his spine and settle in his stomach before turning to the medical officer.

Norven: How long does she have?

Before the Human medical officer could respond, Mikeja heard a change in his mentor’s breathing, almost like a whisper. Looking back down, he saw her eyes were half-open. She looked right at the younger Trill and her lips began to move.

Lan: ::whispering:: Mister Norven…

Mikeja leaned in closer to the woman he’d known for over four years. He tried to put on a reassuring grin, but the look in his eyes betrayed him.

Norven: Doctor. I’m here.

It took a moment for the older Trill to compose herself. She finally was able to speak.

Lan: Am I…? 

A single tear ran down Mikeja’a face. She looked so helpless and Mikeja knew there was nothing he could do to save her. Another tear fell as Lan tried to smile her own reassurance.

Lan: It’s alright. :pause:: We must save the symbiont. 

He’d rarely lied to Vessa before, and he knew now wasn’t the time. Like all Trill who had been joined or even trained to be joined, Mikeja knew the symbiont’s well being was paramount. But that would be difficult considering the circumstances.

Norven: I’m sorry Doctor, but we won’t make it home in time... 

Vessa shook her head with all of the strength she could muster, but it was still the slightest of movements. Her eyes never left the gaze of her young assistant.

Lan: Then it must be you, Mikeja. It is the only way.

Mikeja felt his mouth open slightly. He was taken aback at the thought. He then shook his own head, far more forcefully. Incredulousness replaced the sadness, but only slightly.

Norven: That’s… I mean… I can’t. I wasn’t chosen.

Vessa was able to move her arm from under the blanket and found one of Mikeja’s hands. She held it and squeezed with determination.

Lan: I trust you, young man. 

Tears began welling in both of their eyes now. 

Lan: We will meet again. I’m… so… 

Her eyes closed and the grip from her hand softened. Mikeja looked up at the biomonitor. Vessa’s isoboramine levels were at fifty percent. Panic and determination took over and the Trill released his hand from Vessa’s and turned back to the medical officer with pursed lips before speaking.

Norven: Can you transplant the symbiont?

The woman hesitated before speaking.

Woman 2: I… I mean I think so… but I’ve never...

Once again, Mikeja held up a hand to stop her. 

Norven: Then do it. ::pointing to the biomonitor without looking:: If her isobormaine levels drop below forty percent then we won’t be able to save anything.

Woman: But, Mister Norven…

Norven: ::angrier:: We don’t have time for a discussion, Miss…?

Even in the heat of desperation, Mikeja needed to know the name of the person he was dealing with.

Able: Doctor… Doctor Tessa Able.

A grin showed across his face, cutting through the anger and sadness. He let his breath out from his nose; some of the anger he'd felt melting away in the moment.

Norven: Well, it seems fate has a sense of humor today Doctor Able. ::gesturing past her into the room:: Shall we?

A sigh came pouring out of the woman and she turned to the Andorian.

Able: Assema, get him prepped for surgery. Local anesthetic. He needs to be conscious for the procedure.

(( Ten Minutes Later ))

Now dressed in surgical outfits, the two medical personnel hovered over Mikeja. The hum of the sterilization field surrounded them all. He looked over to his left and saw Vessa. Her eyes were open and she smiled at him, something that he’d rarely had the privilege to see from his teacher and friend. Mikeja smiled back.

The Andorian nurse was handed the teardrop-shaped symbiont while Able used a laser scalpel to cut into Mikeja’s abdomen, exposing the pouch all Trill had. Mikeja saw Vessa’s eyes go lifeless. 

Able: Ok, let’s go. Give it to me.

The nurse wordlessly handed the worm-like creature to the Doctor and she gently maneuvered it into the male Trill’s pouch. At about halfway in, the symbiont moved on its own, settling into place. 

In an instant, Mikeja felt a rush of emotions. He took a deep breath as if he had just come to the surface from being held underwater for hours. With tightly closed eyes now, tears fell down his face.

Mikeja Lan: ::aloud::  I’m… so… proud...

(( Present Day: Main Engineering - USS Gorkon))

Whittaker: I understand that it can be a difficult experience for both host and symbiont when a joining is unplanned?

Mikeja just smiled and nodded once again.

Lan: Yes Captain. Quite a bit.

Whittaker: And how have you fared since being joined?

The Trill took another sip of the raktajino and contemplated how to answer the question. 

Lan: Oh… I just take it one day at a time I suppose.

A flurry of activity began happening around Main Engineering. More officers and crewmen were entering and some were beginning to leave. Mikeja queried the computer for the current time and saw the morning shift was set to begin in a few minutes. He looked back to goateed man sitting next to him.

Lan: Looks like we’re about to get busy, Captain. Maybe next time I won’t hog the conversation so much.

Whittaker: Response

The Trill smiled and followed the Captain’s lead as they both stood. Mikeja looked around and spied the replicator. He downed the remains of the bittersweet beverage and then once again regarded the superior officer.

Lan: I’m going to get rid of this ::holding up the mug:: before things get too busy. Would you care for something while I’m over at the replicator Captain?

Whittaker: Response

------

Ensign Mikeja Lan

Engineering Officer

USS Gorkon

G239702ML0

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