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Lt (jg) Loxley - "By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too."


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I always love these perspectives, these space-time dilations that take us a little bit away from the main scene and focus us on the small (or big) dramas of a character. And Lox does it here in a magnificent way, intermingling the current mission, the past and the character's background. Wonderful work!


((Unfinished Hospital, Darime Colony)) 
 
Someone punched him in the back. Hard. So hard in fact that it knocked the wind out of him and Loxley grunted as the air left his lungs.
That had been stupid – just because they were in a mortuary didn’t mean that all the bodies were actually bodies, and a simple scan would have revealed that. It was an obvious place for someone to hide.
Lox staggered as the unseen assailant pushed him forward and drew in a deep breath. Or tried to. The air wouldn’t come, and his legs felt weak and then buckled. Someone caught him as he fell and he heard his name shouted as everything faded to darkness around him.
 
???: So, you’ve been stabbed. Nasty.
 
Lox looked up. A Bajoran woman stood over him, wearing a tattered, much-patched jumpsuit, filthy with streaks of black oil. Her once-blonde hair carried the same grime and her body had the slimness of starvation rather than of a healthy diet and exercise.
 
Loxley: It’s you! ::Lox gave a surprised gasp:: The one from the Skarbeck, the Borhyas woman.
 
Boryhas: Yes, the one you murdered.
 
Lox lowered his gaze in shame. He had been directly responsible for her death, he knew. Suggesting they leave her besides an explosive they were due to set off merely as a diversion. Such a waste of life. If she had even been alive at all – the whole thing had been a mass hallucination hadn’t it?
 
Loxley: But… you’re not real, are you?
 
Boryhas: Does that matter? I was real to you at the time and you killed me anyway.
 
Lox nodded sadly to himself. It was true. Logic had dictated the deed, and Sylvek had always been more logical than Loxley. And yet he still felt the emotion of the act, he’d even cried at the time from what he could remember. The Human and Vulcan sides at war with one another, always.
 
Loxley: Why are you here?
 
Boryhas: I’m here because you’re dying, Loxley.
 
Puncturing stab wound, deep penetration. Lower back, left side, just below the twelfth rib, probably severed the iliohypogastric nerve. At an upward angle, likely perforating the bottom of the left lung…
 
Lox blinked at the Bajoran’s words as his medical training took over part of his subconscious in order to run through an injury assessment. 
 
Loxley: Ah. Well that explains why I’m struggling to breathe I guess. And cold, too. ::he shivered:: I assume I’m going into shock?
 
Boryhas: ::nodding:: Seems that way, doesn’t it? ::she tilted her head to one side as she regarded him:: You’re surprisingly calm, Doctor.
 
Serrated blade, will make it harder to close up the wound with standard dermal regenerator. Possible laceration to the left kidney given the amount of blood loss internally…
 
Loxley: I know, it’s a surprise to me, too. That’s shock for you, though. The body is designed to protect the important bits, the heart and brain, for as long as possible. It’s fascinating to see it in action.
 
Boryhas: Even though you know what the eventual outcome will be?
 
Hemorrhagic shock symptoms present – fast heart rate, blood flow redirected from extremities and non-essential organs, rapid drop in blood pressure….
 
Loxley: Certain death. Massive organ failure as blood stops delivering oxygen, or maybe hypothermia? I wonder which way I’ll go? I’ve seen people die before, plenty of them in fact. It’s a hazard of the job. And I’ve always wondered what goes through their minds as the light fades from their eyes.
 
Boryhas: And that’s what you want, is it?
 
Lox looked at the Bajoran. He remembered, while he had been giving her unconscious body an overdose of painkillers, how much she had put him in mind of Corliss Fortune. Similar age and build and, under the oil and dirt, similar hair. 
 
Loxley: Corliss… ::he swallowed hard and blinked:: No. No, actually, I think I want to live today.
 
Boryhas: Well, then, what are you going to do about it, Doctor?
 
Prioritise damage control – stop the bleeding, replace lost fluids. Blood plasma transfer required to stabilise blood pressure and prevent further complications…
 
Loxley: I…
 
He paused – he wanted to live, but he didn’t know where he was or how he could get back to the ‘real’ him. There was no pain to focus on (his medical training helpful informed him that was likely due to the blade severing his nerve) and only a serene calm, a cold white emptiness that seemed to be expanding around him. It was as comforting as it was deadly.
 
Loxley: I don’t know… ::fear crept into his voice:: What can I do?
 
Boryhas: Don’t ask me. I’m dead, if I ever existed at all. ::she shrugged:: Ask them.
 
Loxley: Them? ::he frowned:: Who?
 
Marshall: Stay with me, Doc. 
 
The sound of Jo’s voice echoed around the empty void. Four words, nothing more, but they were enough to give Lox focus, something to hold onto. He reached out, mentally, his nascent empathic powers picking up on Jo Marshall’s feelings – concern, fear, exhaustion, an undercurrent of bitter-tasting anger, the faint lingering scents of memories of Erin Reynolds. Lox grabbed them all, clawing his way back to consciousness.
He opened his eyes.
 
Loxley: Blood… ::he croaked:: Stop the blood. Need plasma.
 
Lox weakly gestured towards Valdran.
 
Loxley: His…
 
 
 
Lt (jg) Loxley
Medical
USS Gorkon
R238401JT0
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