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Old May 10 2014, 04:38 PM   #17
Rear Admiral
Re: UT-TFV: Quality of Mercy

Thanks CeJay,

While this story isn't turning out as much about Juanita as "Stealing Fire" did about Tai, I wanted to throw a scene in there for her.

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Quantum Café
USS Aldebaran

“I think I’ll try the Saurian brandy now,” the bright-eyed Eonessan said.

“I-I told you this wassssn’t a g-good idea,” Lt. Kenule Dryer stumbled over his words. The stars outside had suddenly become brighter and were pulsing like strobe lights, forcing him to squint. And his head felt like it was being stuffed with cotton. He would thoroughly castigate himself later for getting tipsy, though he had to admit that he had been intrigued by the idea.

“You’re on your third drink,” a disbelieving Lt. Shibata said. “Ilerd here is on his sixth,” the communications officer clapped the back of the smiling Eonessan.

“I find Federation concoctions tasty, if a bit mild,” the reptilian said.

“You call this mild?” Now Kenule was disbelieving. He pointed at his Makara fizz. “You could clean warp coils with this.”

Shibata laughed, “I think you’re overstating things a bit Ken.”

“It’s Kenule,” Dryer said sharply. That prompted a deeper laugh from Shibata. Kenule stewed. Shibata got the attention of the waiter and put in Ilerd’s order.

Once the quick waiter returned with the drink, the Eonessan went to work, imbibing the potent alcohol in one gulp.

“My, my, very pleasing.”

“Another?” Shibata suggested.

“I think so,” Ilerd said.

“You’ve both got to be kidding me,” Kenule pulled back from the table.

“Where are you going?” Shibata asked. Both he and Ilerd looked disappointed.

“I’m going to sleep this off,” Dryer answered, “Some of us have work to do in the morning and I would prefer not to do that hung over.”

“You’ve really got to build up your tolerance,” Shibata advised.

“Gee, thanks for the tip,” The Science Officer said, dipping his head at both men.

“Leaving so soon?” Kenule’s back stiffened at the voice. He turned around slowly to a smiling Lt. Juanita Rojas. The moment he had been dreading, yet strangely anticipating, had come to pass, and with the alcohol loosening his tongue he didn’t know what he might say.

Clamping down on his thoughts, he looked at the woman coolly. Sensing his coldness, she took a step backward. “Is everything okay Lieutenant?”

It was surprising, at least to him that he had been able to avoid her this long but even a Galaxy-class starship was only so big.

“If you’ll excuse me,” Kenule said brusquely, and sidestepped her, with only a little give in his step. He was proud that he had kept his mouth shut. Dryer didn’t know if he would be able to do so the next time the helmswoman talked to him. He kept walking toward the door, feeling the eyes of his drinking companions and Lt. Rojas on him. He could imagine that his abrupt behavior had prompted all kinds of questions and looks, but at the moment he didn’t care. He didn’t know if it was the liquor which accounted for his present feelings, but he embraced them.

He owed it to the ghosts in his head.
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USS Aldebaran

Doctor Xylia resisted the urge to plop into her chair. It had been another long day, and she chided herself for returning to her office and not heading for the refuge of her quarters. Or maybe even the Quantum Café or the planet below.

She hadn’t spoken with Silane in a long while, the engineer extremely busy with helping rebuild the capital city, as much as she had been in repairing bodies. Spending some time with the Medusan would have been a welcome respite.

Alas, Xylia couldn’t pull herself away from a good medical mystery. She pulled up the data on the Eonessan brain fever. On her screen, a helical virus appeared.

The affliction was a viral hemorrhagic fever that dissolved the brain into goo and one symptom was bleeding from the facial orifices. It was a vicious, nasty disease. And it was a mystery because it hadn’t appeared until a year ago and had quickly reached pandemic status.

The Eonessans had been fortunate that the Vaphorans had come along. The Delta Quadrant denizens had extensive medical knowledge and had been able to create a cure. Xylia almost salivated at the prospect of getting her hands on the Vaphorans medical database.

However they hadn’t been so forthcoming in sharing information. The data she had on the brain fever had come from the Eonessans.

What made it extremely dangerous was that it was transmitted by respiratory routes. However that had proven beneficial to ending the plague quickly when the Vaphorans spread the cure by aerosol dissemination. She wished that Romulan authorities had been as quick acting and as compassionate as the Vaphorans. When there was an outbreak of the Gnawing on her native Khazara the Empire had quarantined the colony first and had been slow to send medical personnel. Xylia’s family had been taken refuge among one of the plague ships that escaped across the Neutral Zone to Federation space.

During the trip Xylia watched many of her family, friends, and neighbors succumb to the horrific disease, their internal organs liquefying. By the time Starfleet intervened Xylia was an orphan. A kindly Vulcan medic took guardianship of her, and Xylia life path was set. She couldn’t help thinking of her Romulan and Vulcan family as she studied this disease. Her heart went out to the Eonessans for their courage. She hoped to do her part to prevent brain fever or something similar from ever happening again.

Taking her eyes off the virus to replicate a coffee, the Romulan retrieved the cup and this time did plop down. It was going to be long night.
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