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[Round 12] Human After All

Delinda Sharee

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Lt. Cmdr. Tash Zubowskivich

Chief of Security

Starbase 118 Ops

((Tash's Quarters))

:: The doorway closed behind him with the requisite *WHOOSH* of

compressed air. Looking around his quarters, he realized it was still

[...]'n'span, as he hadn't been around much since his leave to mess it

up. ::

:: Little did he know, as he moved into the room, that his doorway was

set to lock upon his entrance, a 24 hour order handed down via the

Chief Medical Officer to the computer. ::

:: Moving to the replicator, he stood staring down at the processor.

He wasn't thinking about what he would have, but what he couldn't have. ::

Tash: Water. Cold.

:: Lifting the replicated glass, he denied the shake in his hand,

bringing it to his lips for a deep draught. Already he was a bit

lost. 24 hours of this. He stared into the glass, the reflection of

light in the water. ::

:: His head hurt. ::

:: This was going to suck. This already sucked. ::

((One hour later))

:: The hypospray released its pre-programmed dose of analgesic as he

pressed it to his neck with shaking hands. ::

:: What had Julia said? This was only going to be as hard as he let it

be? She'd also said to keep himself occupied. Exercise, hot water

showers, activity to distract himself. ::

:: Knowing she was right, even if he couldn't appreciate her knack for

being right at the moment, he decided to take her advice. He turned on

some music, a running theme of calm violists. Bond began to play, a

mid-level volumed Big Love Adagio. Opening his personal computer, he

linked to the system. No reason he couldn't work. ::

((Half an hour later))

:: Working had lasted all of twenty minutes before simple frustration

had forced him to abandon his efforts to catalog incident reports. ::

:: Standing, he walked one way, then another, pacing. ::

:: Realizing what he was doing, he forced himself to the replicator. ::

Tash: Tiramisu.

:: The food replicated, he sat on the sofa, put his heels up on the

table, and set the plate back down on the coffee table before him as

he stood, too jittery to sit. ::

:: A bead of sweat ran down his neck. ::

:: Lifting the hypospray from the table, he noted the time-table. 23

minutes till the next activation would be allowed. Frustration and

annoyance filled him as he set it down, then worsened as he realized

it hadn't been two hours since he'd left the medical bay. ::

((23 minutes later))

:: The moment the indicator turned green, the hypospray was set to his

neck and compressed, sending the pre-set dose of analgesic through his

system. ::

:: It took the edge off the headache, the muscle pain, but simply

wasn\rquote t enough. Still, Tash willed himself to be patient. ::

Tash: Go do something, idiot.

:: Exercise. He could exhaust himself, then sleep through the worst of

this night. Changing out of his uniform, he donned a pair of sleek

black running pants and sleeveless blue shirt with white edging.

Tennis shoes on, he headed to the door... and nearly ran face-first

into it as it failed to open at his approach. ::


:: The sound was a shock, as was the doors direct refusal to open.

Stepping back in confusion, he reached for the manual control. ::


:: He pressed the release several times, quickening in succession.. . ::


:: ...before it occurred to him that the door had been purposefully

locked. ::

Tash: Julia....

:: His blood pressure shot up at the sudden feeling of entrapment.

Turning, he leaned against the door, looking back into his living

space at nothing in particular. ::

:: Of course, his logical self told him she wouldn't do this without

cause, and that she had a right to make such a choice. It was in her

power as chief of medical. Attempting to push back the rise of anger,

he stalked back into his quarters. ::

((One hour later))

:: Frustration was generally the name of the game. His symptoms rose,

and the analgesic remained the same throughout them. His need to quell

the physical pain overrode what remained of his logical self. He began

to curse Julia for her cruelty, and women in general for being

over-protective. He just wanted to go kill things on the holodeck!

Where was the harm in that?! ::

:: Attempting to force food down his throat, he gave up. Eating

brought on instant nausea despite the gnawing hunger in his gut. There

was only one thing that would end his current state, and he couldn't

have it. ::

:: He began to curse his own stupidity for admitting everything to

Julia, and for being so absurd as to give her EVERYTHING he had. ::

:: Moving hurt. His entire body burned as it expelled the remainder of

his built up Ketrazine. His head throbbed as it suffered the loss of

the Sylvana Crystal. His muscles trembled, and sweat ran down his body. ::

:: Patience finally waning, he went into his bedroom, dropping hard

onto his knees as he jerked the case out from under his bed. He'd been

honest when he'd told Julia that he'd handed over his entire stash.

However, he had a completely different kind of stash hidden away, this

one spiritual in nature. ::

:: His hands trembled too much... he couldn't work the lock, so he

forced it open in one swift motion. His hand went in to grasp the

first bottle... ::

:: But came only to empty air. ::

:: His stash was empty. ::

Tash: Julia... [...] IT!

:: She'd had enough foresight to scan his quarters, apparently, and

had taken away an obvious recourse he might take when under pressure.

All his alcohol had been transported right out of its locked case, to

where, who knew. The thing he did know was that it wasn't here. ::

:: A few more choice curses flew which were unforgiving in nature\'85

and the case that should have held his Jack, Romulan Ale, and

Bloodwine went flying as well. It impacted the far off wall of his

bedroom, likely to his neighbor's annoyance, then fell to the floor

split in two. ::

:: He stood where he was, breathing hard. A terrible itch crawled up

his skin, [...]ling and bothersome. ::

:: A shower. A hot shower. ::

:: Clothes landed where they would as he entered the shower stall,

initiating the hot water Julia had suggested. He let it soak him as he

pressed both palms into the wall, standing beneath the spray. ::

((One hour later))

:: It had been four hours since Tash had left the medical center...

but it felt like an eternity. ::

:: He had also completely missed the new orders, which flashed on his

closed computer screen, attempting to send him to the Indria. ::

:: He had given up trying to eat, even trying to drink. His stomach

wouldn't hold even a sip of water. ::

:: Clothed in the recently discarded running pants and shirt that had

gone unused, laying curled on his side on the sofa, he concentrated on

breathing. His lungs seemed to want to reject oxygen the way his

stomach had rejected his first and last bite of tiramisu. Each breath

came in slow and uneven, then out the same way. ::

:: Real fear had blossomed in him, that this could... would, in fact,

kill him. He'd never known such complete, unending pain. At least when

injured he'd been able to receive treatment, or even had gone

unconscious. This pain riveted through every cell of his body, and

from time to time his breath would hitch as a particularly harsh wave

would wash over him. His body trembled hard under the chemical

changes, the loss of reliance on the narcotics. ::

:: Standing unsteadily, he kept one hand on the wall as he slowly made

his way to the bedroom. Dizzy, holding his stomach, he somehow made it

to the bed, where he suddenly found himself laying flat. ::

:: Had he slept? He couldn't tell. Curling in on himself, his arms

clutched round his middle... a desperate move meant to somehow hold

off the pain. The sweat soaked sheet stuck to his flesh. ::

:: Caught up in the pain, he didn't even realize that the hypospray,

which he'd left unintentionally in the front room, had run its hourly

required wait. The indicator blinked green, forgotten on the coffee

table. ::

:: Very suddenly he was jerking awake... he'd nearly gone into a black

sleep, and terror gripped him at how it felt... it was as if long,

black arms were pulling him under... as if it would drown him... as if

he would never wake up. ::

Tash: ::weakly, gripping the sheet beneath him tightly:: Julia....

:: Hadn't she said she'd be here? Didn't she say she'd come? She'd

said she would come, hadn't she? She'd said she wouldn't let anything

happen! Where WAS she??? ::

:: He'd come a complete 180, from cursing her very existence, to

wishing deeply that she were here with him now. He didn't want to be

alone! ::

:: It was difficult to think beyond the haze enveloping his brain, but

his next action was more out of protective instinct than actual

thought. ::

Tash: Computer... open... comm. link, Doctor Harden!

:: Though not exactly a total command, the computer apparently

understood the request. ::

Computer: Comm. link established.

:: An action out of instinct was complimented by sincere, near

desperate words born of his sole desire not to suffer and die alone.

His voice, so long dulled by professionalism and duty and death and

distancing friends... and eventually even the drugs... was filled

with a Tash that had almost been forgotten. ::

:: The voice of a lost person with a simple but desperate need. ::

:: The voice of a still-young man whose walls... built to protect

himself from the violence, the rape, the losses of life... had crashed

down round him. ::

:: The voice of a human being. ::

Tash: Julia... I NEED you!!

:: Regardless of who she might be with, who might hear, he put every

bit of himself into those few simple words. ::

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