USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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My Immortal

Posted on Wed Jun 7th, 2017 @ 7:18am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Biynah & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan & Master Warrant Officer Lucinda Ingham
Edited on on Fri Jun 9th, 2017 @ 9:57pm

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 88; 1200

Akiva felt sick to his stomach. It had been a long morning of logistical preparation and personnel coordination, but it was all buzz in his ears. Amber had been critically injured when the Allard went down over the planet. As soon as his schedule allowed, Akiva rushed down to Sickbay.

When he found the correct ICU bay, Akiva saw Biynah standing at Amber's bedside. She stared down at Amber's pale yet serene face, though her hand hovered over the nearby computer readout.

A fleeting swell of pride rushed to Akiva's mind. It was amazing what Biynah had learned to do outside her programming. That she could stand vigil over Amber while also directly receiving the medical computer's input without watching the screen was incredible. In a way, he mused it was akin to an organic being's telepathy. An artificial intelligence learning how to receive non-tactile data did not seem so radical in those terms. The ship's computer did so all the time.

As Akiva got closer, the sight of Amber's limp form shuttered his thoughts in grief. All he could do for the moment was stand and stare.

"She is stable," Biynah said. She moved neither her gaze from Amber nor her hand from the readout.

Akiva nearly choked on the lump in his throat. "Good," he managed to say.

The moment of silence between them passed into another, and then still more.

"Have you been with her all morning?" Akiva asked.

"Yes," Biynah said. "And all night."

Akiva nodded. For the untrained eye, it would appear Biynah had been there only briefly, yet he did not doubt she had stood as she was now from the time the doctors allowed her entry.

"You haven't upgraded this week," Akiva said. "You're overdue."

Biynah's hand turned to a fist. "I know," she said. "But I can't leave her alone."

"I'm here, Biynah." Akiva fought to keep his voice even. "Go sit in the corner. I will remain with Amber until you reboot."

For the first time since he had entered, Biynah met his stare. "And then what?"

Akiva frowned. His synthetic daughter had grown very fond of loaded questions.

"Then I will do what I must," Akiva said. "My duty. For now, I am here."

Biynah nodded slowly, though her dark eyes indicated she had quickly understood his meaning. He would not stay with Amber forever, whether in Sickbay or in romance, as his heart and oath lay with another. She brushed past him without another word. Taking a position in the corner, she knelt down, lowered her head, and became dead to the world.

With the room to himself, Akiva dragged a chair to the bed and sat down. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees and hands folded in petition. To HaShem. To Amber. To his daughter in the corner who seemed to be learning the new emotion of resentment.

"I'm sorry."

The words seemed weak and hollow, and Akiva couldn't even be sure to whom they were spoken. Perhaps they were to everyone.

"Some say that coma patients can hear the words of those around them. I don't know if that's true, but I want to believe it."

Akiva dry-washed the nervous energy out of his hands. His head turned at an angle to better look upon Amber's face.

"There is never enough time, it seems. There is much that I needed to tell you, and now it seems there is much that I may never be able to say."

Even though her eyes were closed, Akiva still found himself staring at her mouth in avoidance. Her pert lips lay still and closed like a picture of sleep.

"You need to know that I had to choose, and it was Laena." The flutter inside him little to sate the bitter flame sparked by his admission.

"I... I was challenged so thoroughly. To the core of my being, I did not know what to do. When a doctor is faced with two patients and can only save one, he chooses the one most likely to survive. Triage. But when two patients have an equal chance of survival, how does he choose?"

His head dropped again. "After my brother Omri died, I swore I'd never go into medicine because I never wanted to decide who lived and died. My gift is fixing things. Troubleshooting, repairing, optimizing."

Akiva sucked in a breath to clamp down on a sudden burst of emotion. "I don't know how to fix this," he said weakly. "At first, when I chose to swear myself to betroth Laena, I feared breaking your heart. You have been so good to me. Better than most, in fact."

He glanced at Biynah. "You ever befriended my daughter when most looked at her like an abomination or a walking tricorder."

As he reached for her hand, he recoiled at the clammy lack of warmth. It did not feel like Amber. The vibrant, dazzling woman who had treasured his affection and even returned it laid there before him, and he had thrown her away like so much trash.

"If you can hear me, please know that I will always care for you." He held her hand against his cheek and sobbed into it. "You are the greatest person I have ever known."

The sorrowful confusion provoked a deluge of tears, but he choked them back. He would not weep, not while there was still hope. He kissed her hand before gently placing it atop the other on her stomach.

"Fight, Amber," he whispered with imploring fervency. "Please. I... I will do right by you. I swear it. Just come back to us. We need you."

He lowered his head, feeling more disturbed and confused and unwell than ever before. His next words were barely audible.

"I need you."

The familiar burden of self-loathing and anguish came over him then, tempting him to give in to his old and tired emotional breakdowns that had become all too common in the past year. But he refused. He suppressed those feelings. Unable to shake them off, he buried them once more with the steely force of will that had carried him through adolescence, the Academy, and a distinguished Starfleet career.

In the hour he sat there, Akiva reformed walls that he had relinquished. He forged a new veneer of strength and determination that would see him through the trying days ahead. Nothing would keep him down. Nobody would put him in the corner. No matter what came his way, he would overcome.

"I'm sorry, Amber."

Though he had said the words before, it was a different man who now said them. A strong man, filled with determination and layered in resolve. If it meant the loss of experiencing some of his feelings, then that was a small price to pay.

=/\=Himmel to Commander ben-Avram, we could use your assistance in the main shuttlebay=/\=

Akiva tensed at the summons, but he did not look away from Amber.

"Go."

Biynah stood up from her repose in the corner. Her taciturn expression softened a bit toward her father.

"But you have not fully updated yourself," Akiva protested. "It's barely been an hour."

"It is enough," Biynah said. "If she awakens, then I will update myself again. Or if you return..."

Akiva nodded. "Very well." He tapped his commbadge. "Ben-Avram here. I'm on my way."

He gave Amber one last rueful look before slipping out of the room.

"I'll be here until you wake up. I meant that," Biynah said as she took up her former position next to the computer readout. She held out her hand and closed her eyes, letting the data from the past hour get her up to speed on Amber's condition.

"I think my father meant what he said, too." Biynah stared intently, eventually forming a tear at the corner of her eye. "I did not hear much, but I heard enough. He still loves you. So do I. Please don't deactivate. Your body could heal in time. We will be here for the rest."

Amber's state had not improved since the crash. She had been operated on however it was still touch and go whether it was enough to save her life. She lay motionless on the bed in her induced coma - and despite being unconscious she had heard everything. Before the crash she had felt a great deal of betrayal, anger and distrust in both Akiva and Laena - and she hadn't confided in anyone. If Martha was still on board then maybe Amber would have spoken to her - but Martha was gone - and now Amber had gone into the crash feeling more alone than ever. If she was conscious Amber would have felt that nobody would care if she died and she would simply be replaced by someone else from the personnel pool or another starship.

Lucinda had finished her usual round and was now doing her hourly check on Amber's progress. Pulling back the curtain and reaching going up to the bedside monitor on autopilot Lucinda didn't even notice Biynah was there until after she'd finished checking Amber's vital signs and recorded them on her PADD.

"I didn't see you there. Are you a member of her family?" Lucinda asked.

"I was going to be," Biynah said, her face downcast. "Now I don't know."

Lucinda looked at Biynah sympathetically. She walked around and pulled the curtain closed before standing next to Biynah. Checking the PADD briefly she put it to one side facing against her leg so nobody could see the contents.

"Well she's defied the odds so far despite the extent of her injuries - I wouldn't count her out just yet even if it's looking a bit grim right now. Doctor Sjet and I will make sure you'll be family because we don't intend on letting Miss Zuzan give up the fight" Lucinda replied.

Biynah clenched her jaw. "Neither do I."

"I'll keep you informed of any updates. Needless to say her family will be hoping for some progress when they arrive" Lucinda said.

Pausing for a moment to check the monitor next to Amber's bedside Lucinda left the cubicle and went on to her next task. She wasn't aware of the situation in Amber's private life but Lucinda hoped that Biynah's wish for Amber and Biynah to be family would come true.

 

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