Chapter Thirteen (cont.)
Matt grimaced as the Doctor probed the wound on his leg none too gently. Quincy kept shaking his head as he relied on his hands and eyes to judge the state of the wound instead of a medical scanner.
“If the Jem H’dar used normal weapons, this leg would be fully healed by now. But no
, they use that damn polaron based energy that just borders on biogentic levels of insanity. It’s not enough that they almost severed your leg with that damned fire axe on Kearsage
, but then they had to exposure the wounded tissue to the polaron radiation! And the anti-radiation treatments further retarded your natural tissue’s ability to respond to conventional treatments! I’ve half a mind to saw the damn thing off and give you a prosthetic, Matt.”
“Not going to happen, Quincy,” Matt grunted as the surgeon pressed his fingers deep into the ragged red scar tissue.
He snorted. “Having an artificial leg won’t turn you into a Borg, Matt! And with the advances in technology you won’t even notice after a few weeks.”
“I’m keeping my leg, Doctor,” Matt growled.
“Fine. Be stubborn,” Quincy said as he took out a hypo and jabbed it directly into the wound, causing Matt to flinch again.
“You enjoy that, don’t you? The Marquis de Sade had nothing on you for sadism, right?”
“Now, why would I ever enjoy inflicting pain and suffering upon a patient who doesn’t follow my directions for getting himself well? Your using the weights again, aren’t you?”
“It doesn’t hurt as bad since you switched me to the new drug, Quincy.”
The surgeon shook his head and sighed. “Matt, a pain-killer is not a cure. It only suppresses the pain—you are still doing damage to the muscle.”
“I’ve got to do my job,” Matt said, and then he swayed. “The room is spinning; wha-what did . . . you . . .?” The captain’s voice trailed off as he collapsed unconscious unto the couch.
“Yeah. So do I, Captain, Sir,” Quincy answered before he tapped his comm badge. “Doctor Talbot to Commander Shrak.”
“This is Shrak
“Commander, I’ve just put the Captain asleep—and he is going to stay
asleep for the next twelve hours come hell, high water, or the Borg. Can you intercept everything and keep this ship running in his absence?”
“I think I can arrange that, Doctor
"Good—oh, and I need two rating to haul some stuff from the Captain’s quarters to the medical storage locker.”
“They will be there directly, Doctor Talbot
Quincy nodded as he reached down patted Matt on the shoulder. “If you won’t stop trying to exercise that leg on your own, I’ll hide the damn weights from you. And they can help me haul your ass to bed, Captain.”
The doctor got up, walked over to Matt’s liquor cabinet, and poured himself a stiff shot of Scotch. He raised the crystal to Matt in a salute. “Good night, sweet prince,” he said and then he took a sip. “Ah. I thought
you were holding back on the good stuff.”
“Bridge to Captain Dahlgren
,” Chan’s comm badge chirped. He shifted in his seat in the far more spartan Executive Office immediately aft of the main bridge and closed his monitor screen.
“Commander Shrak,” he said tapping his comm unit.
?” Grace Biddle’s puzzled voice answered. “I was trying to reach the Captain
“The Captain is getting some much needed rest, Miss Biddle. What is the emergency?”
“I have a Lieutenant Vasa on the bridge, Sir. He’s one of the engineers from the McKinley. And he wants to set us equipment in a space that I felt I needed the Captain’s permission for
Chan frowned. “Is Miss Tsien on the bridge, Miss Biddle?”
“Turn the conn over to her and escort the Lieutenant to the Executive Office.”
Just a few moments later, the door chimed. “Come.”
The ship’s Operations Officer entered, trailed by a burly blond-haired man, who was nodded appreciatively. “Ja, I had forgotten that these old Korolev
’s still had a day cabin for the Executive Officer—they don’t do that anymore on modern ships. Pity.”
“I am Commander Shrak, Lieutenant—what compartment do you need access to?”
The engineer shook his head. “Gustaf Vasa, Commander,” he said, clicking his heels together and tilting his head slightly. “I need to install an industrial replicator sent by Star Fleet Command.”
“I am aware that they are sending it, Lieutenant. Cargo bay two has been design . . .”
“Nej—I mean no, Commander Shrak, pardon the interruption,” the engineer cut in, even as Chan’s antennae twitched. “The power conduits are completely inappropriate in that location; the equipment must be moved.”
Chan leaned back, twirling his stylus in one hand. “Commander Malik, our chief engineer, assures me that the equipment can be installed there.”
“He is mistaken. Normal replicators? Ja. Ordnance replicators? Ja. Medical replicators. Ja. Industrial replicators? Nej. The conduits cannot handle the power drain for more than brief periods.”
“And where, then would you suggest this installing this incredibly bulky piece of equipment, Mister Vasa? We are a working starship—not a station.”
“Ja, that is the problem. Computer, schematic USS Republic
on screen,” he barked and a wire diagram of the ship appeared on a wall mounted screen. Only the cargo holds are large enough—but they lack the proper power feeds. We could run new feeds, but these would be temporary and lack the proper shielding in the event of damage, like a Klingon-flavored ion storm, eh?” He chuckled.
“But, there are two compartments both large enough in volume and with the proper power connections,” the engineer continued, zooming in first on Deck 6 and then Deck 10. “Either would be appropriate for the installation. I just need to know which you prefer. Deck 10 is closer to the cargo bays and is somewhat easier to maneuver large pieces of equipment through, but either of these compartments will work.”
Chan’s antennae were now quivering. “You want to convert Holodeck 2 into your industrial replicator room?”
“Ja. Plenty of power available; we will remove the holo-projectors and it has ample volume. Even enough space to add a cargo transporter to beam in raw materials as needed from the cargo holds.”
“Miss Biddle,” Chan said as he looked up. “I think I know what the Captain would say in this circumstance: we are a Star Fleet vessel and not a luxury liner. Surely the crew can get by with a single Holodeck. Cancel all scheduled activities on Holodeck 2 and inform the crew that installation is no longer available for their recreation time. Mister Vasa, you have authorization to put your replicator there.”
“Thank you, Commander. A question, if I may ask?”
“Could this ship use a replicator specialist, Commander? I would like to transfer aboard if possible—running replicators on a station is so boring. I do not think this ship will be boring
Chan’s antennae twitched again, and the corners of his mouth lifted slightly. “I’ll consider it, Lieutenant, after
you’ve lost twenty kilos. Now, I’ve got work to do and so do both of you—the clock is ticking, people. Dismissed.”
Both the junior officers stood up straight and then filed out of the office, leaving Chan shaking his head as he pulled up the next requisition form in his inbox.