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(( Sickbay, Deck 13, USS Athena )) :: Alex slipped away from consciousness again as the pain slowly overtook his being. His physical body, now drenched in sweat, lay utterly still on the biobed while his medical staff worked to help Commander Kaji and treat her wounds. The last thing he remembered was being told that he would lose his foot from the injury that he had endured on the planet. Ghastly images began to haunt his vision. :: :: Deep in a dream state, and unable to be woken, Alex sped ahead in his mind to several years later. The crew of the Athena looked weary and battle worn to him and the all too familiar sound of the red alert klaxon rang out yet again. They had encountered another Hunger ship. Alex reached for his phaser out of habit. He could barely remember a time when the medical staff did not have one strapped to their side all day long. :: :: Alex stood there waiting anxiously and waited for injured crew to be sent to Sickbay. But this time was different. They had always been able to repel the attacks before, but this time the sounds of mechanical constructs clattered on the ground and walls. They had come to attack Sickbay. Maybe they had finally learned how best to cripple the Athena. :: :: In horror, Alex watched small silvery mechanical spider-like constructs enter sickbay. He aimed his phaser and shot at the first one as it crossed the threshold. Unlike in previous encounters, the beam from the weapon was absorbed by the creature. This was a new development. Previously these creatures would just be destroyed and it was the overwhelming numbers that was the reason for alarm. But now they were evolving, adapting, and learning. :: :: Alex awoke with a deeper understanding of what the Hunger were and could do if unleashed. He knew why Selene frequently woke from nightmares after having lived through this. While the details might be off, the threat was still real. Alex wasn't certain if he would ever sleep again. :: ~ Lt Commander Alexander Bishop - C239112AB0 Chief Medical Officer USS Athena, NCC-97780