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((OOC:  I find one of the most interesting challenges in our format to be creating 'small moments' within the bigger arc of a plot that's going on, and it's why I think this sim deserves particular praise.  Alieth has, in a few exquisitely poignant lines, established the simple lives and tragic deaths of nearly half a dozen characters, adding enormous emotional resonance to a scene and using a facet of her Vulcan character in a way I've rarely seen executed so beautifully.  Bravo!))

 

((Sickbay, Deck 10, USS Thor, Five Hours & Fourty Seven Minutes until QSD Overload))

The patient's breathing was laboured, difficult and arrhythmic inspirations with a wet murmur underneath.  His eyelids fluttered like frightened birds, but the few times his eyes opened wide, his empty gaze didn't focus on any particular thing, just minute pupils wandering through a ceiling he couldn't see.

Alieth didn't need to check out the data that the biobed was screeching. Instead, she just sat on her bedside, placing the padd in her lap.

She took his only hand between her tiny ones. And waited.

First, she felt his pain, a searing, excruciating sensation that no modern medication could entirely mitigate.

And then, there was the fear.

oO I am here. I am with you. Oo

oO You are not alone. Oo

She held his hands until his chest dropped one last time. Until the last swirl of his mind faded into nothingness, the spark of what had been him gone forever.

His name was Raphael Watanabe. He was twenty-six years old.

He loved dogs.

Four days ago he had managed to convince his roommate to adopt one. Since then, he had spent most of his free time looking for the perfect pup.

Eventually, he had decided in favour of a sad-eyed white adult with an even sadder past.

He wanted to call her Cheesecake.

She let her rigid fingers slip through hers and recovered the padd from her lap. With a mechanical gesture she had performed too many times in the last few hours, she introduced his profile info in the database. And the stardate and hour of the demise.

The Vulcan's shoulders sank an extra micron. She wouldn't forget Raphael Watanabe.

Just as she wouldn't forget any of the others.

All the minds she had last reached out to, to give them some comfort in the very last moments, when there was nothing else she could do.

As Thiri zh'Poltal, Petty Officer, 2nd Class, Operations. Today was her day off, but when the disaster struck, she had run to help.

Or like Astrid Wethern. Fourteen years old, she was part of the civilian contingent. She had joined the crew in Ferenginar to accompany her father to find out if she was going to be an astrophysicist or a holonovelist when she grew up. For the brief time that the two had shared their minds, Alieth was sure that she would have excelled at both activities.

Or like T'Lar, an assistant in the xenobiology department, whose name meant "lady blue desert bird". Alieth had arrived too late, and when she had checked her status, she had already passed away. She was 115 years old and her katra had been lost forever, the experiences of a lifetime vanished in an instant.  At homeworld, she had 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

Cammy Jackstadt would have been 43 in 78 days. Warrant Officer in Engineering. She had suffered major damage to the back of her head and her last thoughts were very disjointed. For some reason, her injured mind repeated over and over again a memory of a summer in Idaho. It had been so intense that Alieth had almost felt the breeze caressing her skin and still had in her mouth  the flavour of the fruit that Cammy had shared that day with her best friend.

Porter Solari, a nurse, had died just minutes before Jackstadt.  He was 23 years old and his maternal grandmother had been a Romulan. During shoreleave, Alieth had issued a recommendation for him to go to Starfleet Medical School. He could have been one of the finest doctors in the fleet due to his selflessness and compassion. He had died in the belief that everything that had happened was a nightmare and that he would soon wake up and be able to take the shuttle back to Earth. Alieth had been unable to comfort him, and he had died scared and confused.

Alieth halted her steps and leaned, for the briefest of moments, on the sill of one of the windows. The strange blue light from the sub-space travel bathed her hollow-eyed face, rendering her visage strange and tired. Her fingers clasped the padd tightly. Much more than needed. But this way her hands didn't shake.

That brief quiet moment evaporated with the hissing of the door, which heralded the entry of the two red-collared officers. Alieth pulled herself together as best she could, stretched out her wrinkled uniform by grabbing the hem of her jacket and stepped closer to them with strides more resolute than she really felt. Her left hand kept gripping the padd firmly, but otherwise she wore the hieratic Vulcan indifference façade. She couldn't afford to let her unemotional mask crack. Not at that moment.

Alieth: (nodding sternly) Acting Captain Geoffrey John Teller, Lieutenant Commander García.

Quen:  Response

Teller:  Doctors - have you made any progress on the...::Geoff shrugged over towards the isolation lab::...mass?  

Quen:  Response

The Vulcan kept silent and listened to her colleague's explanations. The Bajoran woman had spent all her time on that case, while Alieth attended to those left behind after the evacuation, so she knew little to nothing about the.... mass.

Garcia:  Response

Teller:  I see.  Ensign Wilkins, you were orchestrating the first Marine team that was attacked - what are your impressions of the device we're dealing with?  Anything could be useful at this point.  

Wilkins:  Response

Quen:  Response

Once again, Alieth listened and said naught. Her eyes wandered from her feet to the stasis field and from there to the padd she was holding in her hands. She unlocked it one more time, moved the report of the fatalities to the background with a miniscule grimace and logged on to the medical database.  For a short while, the only sound that came from the Vulcan-shaped shade was the faint tap-tap-tap of her fingers on the screen.

Garcia:  Response

Teller:  That's helpful, thank you.  I've got Lt. Cmdr. Brodie working with Lt. Lovar on a way to disentangle the mine from our innards, and our Security and Marine personnel are attempting to reinforce the QSD core, which appears to be this devices ultimate objective.  Our goal is to neutralize, hinder, harass or otherwise annoy the biological components of this device enough so we can excise it from the hull without being attacked again.  This is an open forum - no idea too crazy, so speak freely.  By my count, we've got just over five and half hours left - so lets get into it.  

Wilkins:  Response

Alieth:  The closest thing I find in the computer memory is an encounter with Quasi-energy microbes in 2369. These are life forms that exist simultaneously as matter and energy, sir.

Quen:  Response

Garcia:  Response

Wilkins:  Response

Teller:  Response

Alieth:  (with exhausted voice) It is possible, sir, but it seems much more complex to the eye.

Quen:  Response

Garcia:  Response

Wilkins:  Response

Teller:  Response

 

Tag & TBC

 

=================================

Lt. JG Alieth

Medical Officer

USS Thor NCC-82607 

Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding

Author ID number:  E239702A10  

=================================

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