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Lt JG Trovek Arys - Last Chance

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((OOC1: Deals with the topic of dying and the question of what comes after.  If you’re not in the headspace for it, just skip the first three paragraphs.))
((OOC2: No tags in this one since we’re wrapping things up)) 
((Lab ICV-14-KL - Sickbay, Starbase 118)) 


The thought of dying usually wasn’t something that Arys concerned herself with. It was something she had experienced only once, and back then she had been a child, unable to comprehend what was happening to her. 
She knew that many species believed in some sort of afterlife. Mainstream Bajoran faith believed they would dwell in the Celestial Temple and in a state of eternal peace, while Klingons hoped to die honourably and find themselves in Sto'Vo'Kor, a paradise where battle and feasting could eternally be shared and won. The Doctor did not believe in any of those things and was of the opinion that these concepts were born out of a need to alleviate the fear of death itself. After all, it was the annihilation of everything they were and ever could be, a threat to the meaningfulness of life, and a return to the organic matter they tried so hard to rise above. 
No, Arys didn’t concern herself with those thoughts. If she did, she’d be scared. She would ask herself if she would, in fact, just cease to exist. Would she call Lukin and say goodbye? Would she hope for a last-minute reconciliation with those she had fallen out with? And then, when it was all over, would she see her grandfather again? Would she find herself walking down the familiar path to the house she grew up in, hearing the ‘meow’ of a long-deceased pet as it came to greet her? Or was there truly nothing? 
Arys didn’t concern herself with death. She didn’t think about the painful process of dying, something Terra Prime had made as painful as possible for those they deemed ‘unworthy’ of being alive. She had studied their compound in detail, and she knew what would happen to them. She also knew that Tom Clarkys, the Cadet who had accidentally released the toxin, was dying. She wondered if the others knew that too. She wondered if the others, in particular DeVe-.. Alora saw their imminent future in the young man and his ‘transition’. 
Arys concerned herself with winning. 
She had always been competitive, sometimes unhealthily so. It was what drove her - the opportunity to prove herself. Show her worth, and in turn, be worthy of others’ approval. That, and right now, right here, she didn’t want to lose to some mentally unstable *kusipää* and his mediocre lifework of a toxin. Really, it was spite that kept her in the game. 
They had come a long, long way in a very short amount of time, but they weren’t there yet. Arys glanced at Alora, listening to the woman as she tried to measure her breathing. The current test wouldn’t be finished for another four hours. They didn’t have that kind of time, and Arys had done the only reasonable thing - suggested to trial their antidote on a person. A shortcut. She would have suggested trying it on the dying Cadet, the least useful of them all, but deep down she knew that she wouldn’t actually do that. Instead, she had offered herself, or both herself and the Commander. Why had she suggested both? Maybe she just didn’t want to be alone in this. 


DeVeau: Not both of us. 


Arys nodded. Of course, DeVeau didn’t want to play test-subject, she could understand that.


Trovek: ::nodding:: I -.. ::cough:: understand. I’ll do it. 


DeVeau: Not you.  Me.
Arys blinked. That wasn’t what she had expected. 
Harper: Commander…


Alora lifted a hand, though it was a weak gesture, to stop the protest. 


DeVeau: If it fails, then you two need to keep going. You need to find a cure.  There’s a lot of risk in this, and I’m the least useful of the officers here.  


Trovek: You are also the highest-ranking one and your survival is more important than any of us. ::which was why sacrificing the Cadet wasn’t a far-fetched idea:: I am pretty sure it says so in the handbook. 


Harper: I’m still uncertain this is the best course of action.


Deveau: Do it, Arys.


While the Bajoran-Human hybrid was surprised that DeVeau even knew her first name, she recognized that the woman was serious. And essentially, this had been an order. Arys nodded and replicated the antidote prototype they had come up with, and fetched a medical tricorder as well, before returning to Alora. An initial scan revealed that she-.. no, *they* didn’t have much time left. Why did she have to go help Clarkys first of all? Something Arys would need to ask her when they made it out of here. If they did make it out of her. Or, if there was an afterlife, she hoped they would end up in the same one, and she would make sure to ask her then. 
Alora tilted her head slightly, her eyes closing. Arys squeezed her hand in reassurance before pressing the hypospray against her neck, the hiss indicating that the medication had been administered. On the screen, Harper leaned forward, watching closely. 


DeVeau: Now we wait. ::Alora’s arm stretched over the top of the console and she lay down her head:: 
Trovek: ::nodding:: Now we wait. I’ll monitor your vital signs closely, if anything happens we can compensate. ::She sighed, desperately looking for something to tell Alora to keep her conscious and give her something to focus on:: Because I really need you. That plant you gave me, I think it’s dying. I mean I am pretty sure it was in the process of dying the last time I was in my quarters which was… I can’t even remember. ::Okay, maybe stop talking about dying. Vital signs looked good. Sadly there wasn’t any effect on the enzyme yet:: But I named it… I named it Plant. I know, not very creative. I read somewhere that you should talk to them, so I do that. Do you talk to your plants? And do you talk to all of them in a one-to-one meeting, or is this more of a one-to-many conversa-… 
Arys bit her lip and glanced at Kherys, making sure her colleague could see the results of the test *and* the medical scans. Just like they had hoped for, the enzyme was being encased by the phagocytes. And that was great news. What wasn’t great news was how the affected cells just kind of… stopped working. They shut down - undamaged, unchanged, but inactive. 
Trovek: Frack… 
Another coughing fit kept her from hearing what Kherys was saying. And the metallic taste of blood on her tongue and the sensation of clumps of lung tissue in her mouth kept her distracted afterward. Her head was swimming, and she could hear the thump of her heartbeat in her ears, drowning out what was happening around her. 
Their antidote wasn’t working. They didn't have time to make a new one. Something was shutting down Alora’s cells. The same would happen to anyone else taking the medication. She didn’t know what it was. 
Was it too late to call her family? 
Lt. J.G. Trovek Arys 
Medical Officer 
Starbase 118 Ops
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