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Lieutenant J.G. Shayne: Decompression.


Maxwell Traenor
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((Shuttle Landing Site, Talaxian Base.))


Logan: Darwin shuttle closed, don't wait around Lieutenant.


Thomas: Lieutenant, let's get out of here.


::Shayne was gratified to find the shuttle the way they'd left it. He had no desire to stay any longer than necessary. Indeed, given the...unstable nature of the structure they now planned to abandon with the definition of haste, Shayne couldn't wait to take off.::


oO And to get back in my uniform. This suit is killing me. Oo


::His instruments indicated a steady flow of power to the flight controls, and it was difficult to fight the urge to blast off at full speed. Training kicked in, however, and Shayne knew a slow ascent would be required to make certain the floor did not give way beneath them before they achieved a stable altitude.


Shayne: Hang on, travelers.


::With a purr like that of a contented Sehlat, the Eddington lifted off from the wrecked base, on course for the Darwin.::



((USS Triumphant, Deck 1- Bridge))


::Shayne had been happy to note that whatever was left of the Numiri had limped away. But there had been enough blood spilt. Needlessly. Pointlessly. It was infuriating. He could hardly wrap his mind around what had transpired.::


::Back at his station on the bridge, Shayne tried to distract himself with the many duties inherent to the helm position. There was much on his mind; the Talaxians, the Numiri, Raikenoff. His eyelids were made of lead, perpetually threatening to close, whether Shayne wanted them to or not. Exhausted, both emotionally and physically, he did his utmost to hang on to operational readiness until he was dismissed. He didn't dare relax. Not yet. He'd need to soon, but that required solitude, something not commonly found on the bridge of a starship.::


Renos: =/\= Renos to Commander Thomas, destroy the base, then lay in the coordinates we’re sending through, we’re taking the survivors back to the nearest colony on the way home. =/\=


Thomas: =/\= Understood Captain. Thomas out =/\=


::Shayne looked forward. The ruined base, pockmarked with scorches, hung in space.::


Thomas: Ensign Logan, fire cannons and destroy the base camp.


Logan: Yes sir. Area targeted..... and firing.


::In one blow, the terrible destructive force available to the Triumphant smacked into the base. A bright light, and then nothing.::


Thomas: Lieutenant, punch in the coordinates from the Darwin and keep us in close. As they prepare to warp, follow their lead.


Shayne: Aye.


::The oddly shaped Darwin leapt into warp, and Shayne followed suite. The mesmerizing streaks of starlight confirmed their superluminal velocity a moment later.::


Thomas: Lieutenant, you have the Bridge.



Varaan: Aye, commander.



::The commander departed from the bridge, and the subtle sounds of an operating center massaged the helmsman's ears like a lullaby.::


oO Time to go. Oo


Shayne: ::Turning to Varaan.:: Sir, permission to leave the bridge.



Varaan: Granted, lieutenant.



Shayne: Thank you, sir.


::Slowly standing, Shayne made sure to control his breathing as best he could before proceeding out of the bridge.:;



((Corridor, Deck 1, USS Triumphant.))


::He knew this part would come. It always did. But that admission never made it any easier.::


::Doing his utmost to walk at a steady pace, Shayne tried to calm himself. Already his breathing had become shallow and quick. Sweat poured from his temples. His stomach, a volatile subject at the best of times, was churning like he was in an endless free fall. A wave of dizziness assaulted him, causing him to collide aggressively with a bulkhead.::


oO Just let me get to my quarters. Please, just let me get there...Don't let anyone find me like this. Oo



((Officer's Quarters, Cabin G, Deck 1, USS Triumphant.))


::At last, he found his way to Compartment G, his designated living space. The tiny size of the cabin did not bother Shayne. He was simply grateful that the bunk bed's top level did not seem to have another occupant. Staggering over to the replicator, he managed to gasp out a request.::


Shayne: Pure...mint...extract.


::The alcove obediently provided the requested substance. Shayne wasted no time in pouring half of the contents onto the perpetually burned back of his left hand. The potent liquid reacted with the ever-present wound, causing pain on a staggering scale. Shayne didn't care. He eagerly lapped up the extract with his tongue. It had an almost immediate effect. While his stomach was still complaining angrily, he no longer felt in danger of vomiting. A definite improvement. But the worst was yet to come.::


::With enormous emphasis on gentleness, Shayne pulled his tunic and undershirt off, and stared at his left shoulder. The sight that greeted him was not pretty by any means.::


::While they were escaping from the Talaxian base, a Numiri boarding team had shown up, guns blazing. Shayne had been so ridiculously pumped on adrenaline, he hadn't registered that he'd been shot. A glancing blow at most; certainly nothing life-threatening. The energy bolt had cauterized the injury, as well. Nevertheless, it had taken an ice cream scoop- size chunk of skin with it, and the crimson canyon of flesh hurt like hell.::


oO I need to see the doctor. Oo


::It was a tempting thought for a moment. The idea of being cared for with the best equipment available, under the watchful gaze of the professional staff down in Sickbay appealed. Then he imagined explaining the burn on his left hand, talking to the doctors about himself, revealing things that no one could know...no one...::


oO Intolerable. Oo


::Once again he approached the replicator, this time asking for a serious amount of first aid materials; dermal regenerator, tricorder, cleansing unit. After laying the armload of stuff onto his bunk, Shayne began to clean the wound. It stung and burned and ached, but nothing was so blindingly agonizing that he couldn't function. He vaguely remembered his old Earth history, how amputations during the Civil War were achieved with hacksaws, and the patients were given a hunk of wood to chomp down on in order to keep them from biting their own tongue off. Shayne gave silent thanks to the universe for delivering him from that kind of barbarism. It would have made his job considerably less pleasant.::


::It took time, but he was finally satisfied with the cleaning job. Next, the dermal regenerator. Having trained as a doctor for a year at the Academy, he knew the general skills required to treat such an injury. Several minutes of flesh knitting later, and Shayne's shoulder was still quite tender, but not the open gash it had been before. Making sure to cover his tracks, he returned all the unused materials to the replicator and wiped the memory logs. And then he sat.::


::And waited.::


::It wasn't long before it hit him. It was reminiscent of his difficulties in the corridor, only a hundred times worse. Panic and fear exploded in his mind and heart, tearing through reason and control, shredding his mental discipline. Anxiety seeped into his mind, driving away rational sense. Against this onslaught, Shayne could do nothing but curl into a ball on his bunk and cry like a baby, begging for the overwhelming feelings to depart. Deep down, he knew they wouldn't. Not for some time. And even when they abated, they were never truly gone. But even a moment's respite would have been gratefully accepted.::


::It was hours before he finally fell into a fitful sleep.::



TBC...



Lieutenant J.G. Randal Shayne

Helmsman

USS Triumphant

NCC- 75692

Escort Vessel for

USS Darwin-A

NCC- 99312

G239202RS0

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