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Aribelle Tagren

Lt. Cmdr Atimen & Lt. (jg) Mannin: Red Snow

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((Deck 7 -- Holodeck 3))

::Atimen kept his head down, eyes focused on his PADD. He was trying

to find just the right set of catastrophes to prepare for, and had

just settled on the one that caused him to wind up in sickbay during

the last war: a hostile incursion. The door slid open and Atimen

simply walked in, the ring of metal against stone causing him to look

up. There was someone standing in a kimono, a bright ribbon of blood

on the snow by them.::

Mannin: Wha...

::Her knees gave out and she fell to the ground in a heap, ending up

on her side in the snow, still conscious but obviously in shock. The

deep wound quickly turned the brown of her kimono black and her breath

came in quickening gasps. As she fell, time seemed to freeze.::

Atimen: Oh god.

::He dropped his tablet and ran to her side.::

Mannin: It was all so...

::Her voice trailed off for a moment, her eyes blinking with just an

edge of tears.::

Mannin: …so clear.

::Atimen was many things, but a doctor was not one of them. Machines

were easy to fix. People though... they were fragile, and he was never

good with that. The wound was too deep, and he needed to get her to

sickbay fast.::

Atimen: =/\= Atimen to Sickbay, medical emergency in holodeck 3. =/\=

Sickbay: =/\= Transporters are offline. We can get a team up there

shortly, what is the emergency? =/\=

::He remembered... he took the transporters down for repairs. Who

would need them during warp? He looked down at the Lieutenant, and the

spread of blood onto the ground.::

Atimen: =/\= Lieutenant Mannin was injured in a holodeck accident. She

has a deep cut on her hip and is bleeding, but still conscious. =/\=

Sickbay: =/\= We’ll have a team there in five minutes. Apply pressure

and keep calm. =/\=

::Chloe listened to the man’s voice in a detached way, knowing from

the heat and wetness spreading down her side that the sword had cut

deeply into her hip. If it had been the inside of her leg instead,

she’d likely have been dead already, bleeding out from the femoral

artery. The things that spring unbidden into your mind are odd at

times like this. The commander looked really worried though, so she

tried to comfort him. One blood-soaked hand moved from her wound to

his arm, leaving a smear on his sleeve.::

Mannin: It wasn’t your... it was...

::She paused and took a deep breath, trying to focus her spiraling

thoughts for a moment. Why did she seem to be so out of breath all of

sudden?::

Mannin: I wasn’t concentrating. Blades make horrible...

::She took another ragged breath. Atimen applied more force against

the wound, blood seeping between his fingers.::

Mannin: ...dance partners.

::He knew, regardless of what she said, that it was his fault. Just

like her near assimilation, he was in the wrong place at the wrong

time and a simple mistake caused horrible consequences. He forced the

guilt down with all his might.::

Atimen: Just hold on, sickbay will be here soon. ::He bunched up more

cloth and continued to press.:: And then we’ll find you a safer dance

partner. Hell, I volunteer.

::She took another breath and nodded.::

Mannin: You know... that kinda hurts now.

Atimen: I’m sorry, I can’t let you lose anymore blood...

::The pain came flooding again, in all of a sudden, making her back

arch as she clenched her teeth.::

Atimen: Hey, hey. Focus on me. ::He wanted her mind away from the

pain.:: What were you doing up here?

::The pain itself was bringing a sense of clarity to the woman’s thoughts.::

Mannin: Trying to... to think.

::She was having a harder time catching her breath and tried to push

up to a sitting position.::

Atimen: Don’t move, stay still! ::He gently pushed her back down.:: So

you were trying to think with a sword?

Mannin: No... I was trying...

::She struggled against him, but his weight and position won out and

she gave up. It hurt too much to push against him more.::

Mannin: …trying to clear my mind.

Atimen: With... a sword? And the safeties off?

::She shook her head.::

Mannin: Safeties don’t... don’t work with real items... the sword’s mine.

::He nodded, glancing at the elegant weapon glittering like an icicle

in the simulated moonlight.::

Atimen: So how does it work?

::For some reason the only thing that the security officer could think

that he was asking was how the sword worked, but that didn’t seem

right, so her face got this really puzzled look on it.::

Mannin: The sword?

Atimen: No, no... I mean how do you clear your mind with a sword?

Mannin: Oh...

::She closed her eyes, trying to think about something she had done

without thinking for years. The pounding of her heartbeat in her head

wasn’t helping her concentrate, either, so she answered his question

with a question.::

Mannin: How do you breathe?

::It was a logical enough way to answer it. It wasn’t something she

really could explain... she just did. He gave a slight vulcan-like

eyebrow raise.::

Atimen: With my lungs. ::He smiled, glancing quickly toward where the

arch used to be..::

::She coughed, sending a new shiver of pain down her leg.::

Mannin: Right... but *how* do you do it?

Atimen: Automatically... Until I think about it. ::He paused.:: Then

each breath needs force.

Mannin: It becomes... harder to do when you... when you think about

it. The blade for me... it’s like breathing. But not... ugh.

::She closed her eyes again. This wasn’t working. She felt like she

was drifting in a warm water bath, melting into the water. Her voice

took almost a dreamy tone.::

Mannin: ...but not like that... I have to... have to...

Atimen: Hey, focus! Look at me! :: He waited for her eyes to open

again. :: Will you teach me?

::For some reason that stuck the young woman as hilarious.::

Mannin: Really? Considering... I just sliced myself open and am

bleeding... bleeding all over you... think that’s such a good idea?

::He chuckled lightly, but her laugh turned into a groan from the pain.::

Atimen: Well, I guess you’re right.

::The medical team appeared through the doors at that very moment.::

Medic: Out of the way, Commander.

::The medics pushed their way in and started working on the security

officer, focusing on stopping the blood loss and getting her stable

enough for the move back up to Sickbay. As they asked her questions,

she looked over at Atimen and smiled weakly. He returned it, keeping

his distance as the medics did their job.::

::As the medics began moving to leave, Atimen remembered the sword.

Still lying discarded on the soft snow, he reached down to grab it. A

strong, sleek, and elegant blade, its beauty was undeniable. Yet as he

looked toward Mannin, he could see its power just as clearly. He

sheathed it in a nearby scabbard, left on the steps of the quiet

temple, and followed the medics out to sickbay.::

--

Lt. Cmdr Atimen

Chief Engineer

USS Tiger

and

Lt. (jg) Chloe Mannin

Security

USS Tiger

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