USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Hide and Seek

Posted on Sun Feb 5th, 2017 @ 6:55am by Lieutenant Commander Cara O'Reilly MD & Major Storr Garlake & Sergeant Bella Zaltin & Lance Corporal Thani th'Rrone

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: USS Vindex (Deck 20)- Junior Officer Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 66: 1230

Storr, Bella, and Cara had already beamed three crewmembers to Sickbay, though unfortunately had to pass over nearly four times as many that had succumbed to hypoxic hypoxia. It was a sad and painful sight, so many that the group knew (or even didn't) now lying lifeless on the floor, all thanks to some dom nool Vulcan and his band of miscreants.

The group came to three doors and like the six doors previously, each took one room. Bella opened her door and looked around, not immediately seeing its occupant though the computer had said that Ensign Vega was present. Making her way around the bed, she looked into the bathroom to see a figure slumped in the sonic shower. The marine first sergeant quickly approached the shower and gently opened the bay, only to have Vega slump out, unconscious. Hesitantly reaching down, she brushed the long, stringy, flaxen hair away from the woman's neck and felt for a pulse.

Nothing.

Zaltin's breath caught in her throat as she fought back first one sob, then two. *No, not now...now's not the time,* she thought, forcing herself to squeeze the tears away from her eyes as she quickly fled the room. It wasn't that it was death in general; she had seen and been among it many times before. This was different because it was so...so brazen, so sudden. People taken unawares in their quarters taking showers, writing letters home, cooking, cleaning their uniforms. So senseless. She exited just as she noticed the MCO enter his room. *What was taking that oaf so long? Doesn't he know we've only 5 minutes left of air?!*

Storr had stood at the door for what seemed like ages, nearly unwilling to go in. Was he afraid? Yes. Finally mustering up the courage, he manually opened the door, unsure of what he was going to see. He should have left the door closed. There, on the floor, was Jaya, crumpled up like a discarded napkin in Paul's kitchen. The marine raced to her, his rifle clattering to the ground and he gently put his hand under her head, propping her up as he felt for a pulse. And waited. And...there. There, but faint.

Looking at his watch, he knew that there were only minutes of air left. Taking a deep breath, he unwrapped the mouthpiece from his face and placed it over the counselor's. Her chest didn't seem to be moving. *Breathe...frak it, breathe!* he thought, tapping his commbadge twice, indicating a medical transport immediately. Her chest still not moving, and the hissPOP of the bottle letting out the last of its gas, Storr removed the mask and placed his lips over hers, breathing in slowly as blackness started to fade in at the edges of his vision, a tingling sensation enveloping his body.

Jaya swam in a sea of dark forgetfulness. Painful chains that had weighed her down were slipping away, freeing her from... something. She couldn't see anything, but she felt a light of some kind. Perhaps just a heat source. She yearned for it.
Then the chains came back, heavier than ever.
Breath... frak it, breathe...
Was it a voice? Maybe her own. The chains began to burn around her arms and legs. She wanted to shake them loose, but something told her to hold on to them.
Then her eyes opened, the darkness vanishing, and she gasped the last of air through a mask held over her face. The burning chains, she realized, were really her spasming limbs screaming for air.
She wanted to shake off whoever was holding her. She wanted to scream. She just didn't have the air.

Before she could make sense of everything, she found herself sprawled on the floor, surrounded by lights and commotion. A face hovered over hers, familiar in some way. Blue energy sparkled behind it as another person came to stand over her.

"What... what's going on?" she murmured through squinted eyes.

Cara was already scanning Jaya with her bio-scanner. She removed the small breather from her medkit and placed it over Jaya's mouth and nose and shoved Storr's mask back toward his face. "Put that back on before you pass out," she said, handing him another oxygen tank. Taking a hypospray out of her kit, Cara loaded it with a pre-measured vial of Cortolin and injected the medication directly into Jaya's jugular vein. "This will help you breathe," she said to the young woman. To Storr she said, "we need to keep moving. These tanks won't last forever."

The MCO slid off the biobed in a none-too-graceful manner, barely catching himself with his hand before tumbling to the ground. Raising himself to his feet, he felt more than saw Cara move towards him and press an oxygen mask against his face. Dull, lifeless grays and fuzzy lines immediately popped into bright colors and objects took on their sharp, distinct edges once again; it was incredible what oxygen deprivation would do to even vision.

Coughing, he focused back on the doctor and nodded. "My fokken head..." he said, trailing off as he looked from his shoulder, down his arm to his hand and fingers, intertwined with the counselor's. He instinctively smiled before slowly untangling them, as he began once again feeling the racing energy that accompanied their physical touch and wanted to disengage before becoming too...involved. That wasn't to say that he didn't close his eyes for a moment and pressed his fingertips to hers, as if he could push his warmth and pleasure at her condition through them.

A voice shook him from his revere. "Major?"

Storr looked up to see a very attractive brunette Lieutenant JG standing before him. It seemed that he was needed elsewhere.

"Storr." Jaya could barely raise her voice above a whisper. "Saalkan." She grasped his hand a final time, though through this touch she drew upon every thread and fiber of their bond to project an abridged summary of her final moments.

Saalkan. Attacked. Defending Nealey. Kiss of death. Psychic conflict. Sudden nerve impingement. Lights out.

Jaya's eyes fell closed again under the strain. Her throat moaned a sound not unlike Storr's name.

The marine's eyes narrowed to slits. There was a term they had for targets that were the objective for the night's raid...DMWs or Dead Man/Men Walking. If he had not before, Saalkan had just placed himself squarely into that definition, if for no other reason than having nearly turned his future Boervrou into a mental vegetable. DMW indeed...

 

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