USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Cold-hearted

Posted on Thu Jun 1st, 2017 @ 8:31am by Lieutenant Commander Gareth Tau & Lieutenant Kiril Nevin

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 90; 0900

The time had come. Gareth had procrastinated long enough, though he'd never admit that's what he'd done. His living will designated who would receive his few possessions. He ensured his research notes would be copied and sent in triplicate to various academic institutions who assured him they would be happy to receive them. There was even a distant nascent nebula that he had named in his honor via an accommodating Ferengi merchant.

If there was a time to be ready, now was it. Gareth stepped through the doors into Sickbay in search of that hateful little Bajoran whelp.

"Excuse me," Gareth called out to no one in particular. "Could somebody please tell Doctor... the surgeon that I am here."

"Which one?" asked a woman in scrubs who walked towards the man.

Gareth put his hands on his hips and scowled at the woman.
"How many de putain heart transplants are scheduled for today?" Hands in the air, he exclaimed, "Tell that surgeon that I'm here now!"

The woman's eyes filled with panic as she looked around, "I don't remember anything on the schedule for today. Hold on and let me check." Without waiting for his response, she quickly walked away.

It took a few minutes but she finally came back. "Commander, I apologize, but there's nothing on our Sickbay schedule. Is it possible that you're scheduled down in the OR bay? That's typically where surgeries are performed and it's two decks down."

Loathe as he was to admit it, the woman was probably right. "Perhaps," he conceded with slightly less arrogance. "Could you at least show me the way?"

She nodded, "Of course, Commander. Right this way."

The journey wasn't long, but the time did seem to stretch from the silence that both individuals held during the trip. Before long, they arrived at a set of double doors.

"It's right in there, Commander. If you need anything else, let me know." Immediately, the woman regretted the offer, as this man seemed quite needy and cantankerous. But as a nurse, she had a duty to consider patient care above all else and polite touches like that had become second nature in her career.

The dim lights gave an ominous aura to the OR bay. Gareth felt like he was stepping into his own hi-tech mausoleum.

"Is there any way we can get some more light in here?"

His question was met with silence.

"Wonderful," he sarcastically griped. "Nothing like performing organ transplants in the dark."

"Computer, lights at 20%," came a voice from within. The lights in the room slowly came to life revealing the Surgeon that Tau was looking for. "Why do you always seem to interrupt me when I'm sleeping?" he asked, his arm laid over his face to cover his eyes.

"Statistical probability," Gareth countered. "If you worked as often as you slept, then perhaps my odds would improve."

"Your odds have zero to do with my ability or my REM cycles," Nevin said, not moving from the biobed. "It has everything to do with your age and health and natural risk factors for the procedure."

"Don't lecture me about risk factors," Gareth retorted. "If I were years ago, I would've never made it to age one." He looked at the biobed and the rest of the OR bay. "So what do I have to do?"

"My nurse will take care of it," he said, still not moving.

As if on cue, a strapping young lad walked into the main room dressed in tight-fitting scrubs. "Commander Tau, right this way," he said, motioning towards a doorway that lead to a different area.

A look of mild horror crossed Gareth's face. "Very well," he said with a stiff upper lip. He followed the neanderthal nurse through the doorway.

The two men walked into a separate room that had a crisp clean environment. "If you'd please undress and lay on the biobed here," the nurse said, placing a hand on the only bed in the room, "and I'll be right back to prep you for your surgery."

"Can I have a blanket at least?" Gareth asked. "Or did I wander into the trepanning bay by mistake?"

The nurse looked at Gareth without laughing at what he could only assume was supposed to be a joke. "You may cover yourself with these draping cloths," he said, indicating a built-in cabinet to the side of the room. "The Doctor will be in shortly."

"At which time I'll have caught my death of cold," Gareth said. He pulled himself up onto the bed and covered himself as instructed.

The nurse left at some point, but Gareth stopped noticing. When facing his potentially final moments, nothing else mattered but his own thoughts.

"So much I have achieved," he muttered to himself. "Yet so much to do."

A chill fell through the blankets and nipped at his feet. Gareth wiggled his toes and hoped he would either die or be anesthetized soon.

"How're you feeling, Gareth?" Nevin said as he walked into the room. Normally he wouldn't be so informal with a superior officer, but when they were on the table, no one was better than anyone else, in Nevin's mind. "Doctor Hylia should be in shortly to begin anesthesia. Is there anything we need to discuss before we begin?"

"I am half dead from cold," Gareth said in a low gripe. "These blankets do nothing."

"The blankets aren't there to keep you warm," Nevin said. He walked to the side of the room and activated a device as he slipped his hands in. "It's there for you to not feel so exposed. The room has to be kept cool, though. It helps keep the environment sterile."

"Might as well get on with it before any other organs start failing." Gareth exhaled and closed his eyes in vain attempts to relax himself.

As if on queue, a slender female doctor entered the room in a pair of black scrubs. "Hello, Gareth, how are you today?" she asked as she walked up next to Nevin and slid her hands into the machine.

"How does it look like I'm doing?!" Gareth had been trying to be cordial, but now he was simply losing his patience. "I'm about to have my chest ripped open and my heart torn out. Or at least I was told as much. At this rate, it could be tomorrow or the next day."

"We need you to stay calm," the woman said in a soft tone. She walked over to the bed with a PADD in her hand. "I just need to check a few things. Your name, rank and ID please?"

"I am about to take my chances with the faulty synthetic heart if you do not get underway soon," Gareth barked. "Perhaps I should since you apparently let just anybody come in here and disrobe before you know who the blazes they are!"

"Gareth, try to just work with us," Nevin said as he approached the biobed. "This is standard before surgery. We verify your identity, your allergies and the body part being operated on. This is to avoid any mistakes. I would think you'd be a fan of us taking precautions."

Gareth sighed. "I am Lieutenant Commander Gareth Tau. I'm here for my heart transplant. I have no allergies, I like science, literature, and long walks on the beach, and I'm a Sagittarius. Are you satisfied?"

The female Physician smirked, "That will do, for now," she said, typing a few things into the PADD.

"Finally." Gareth threw his head back against the bed and shuffled his body into a nestled position for maximum body heat retention.

Picking up a hypospray, the woman glanced between the tube in her hand and the PADD, verifying dosages. "I'll be injecting you with a light sedative before I go with the heavy stuff. Some people become disoriented when given heavy sedative right away, so i'm going to ease you into it. We don't want to strain your heart."

She slipped the tube into the hypospray and leaned towards the man. "You're in very good hands," she said with a smile as she pressed the hypospray to the man's neck.

"Gooooood..." Before drifting off in his narc-coma, Gareth did something he had not done in weeks. He smiled.

 

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