Everything Happens To Me (repost)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Laura Cynthia Chambers, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interestingly enough, remember the game Spock and McCoy were playing, vis-ner-kulas? I looked up my made up Vulcan words to see if I had inadvertently named it something in actual Vulcan. The only part which translated was "vis", which meant "grid". So maybe Kulas invented it, hence "grid belonging to/by/of Kulas"
     
  2. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Operation

    Squinting against the sunlight pouring through the open hatch of the Liesta, Leonard's hand hesitated on the entry ladder's rung, cautious despite the grip stripes that crisscrossed the palms of his safety gloves. He lifted his other hand to his forehead and swiped away a bead of sweat. Breathed in through closed teeth. Sensor scans had confirmed that it was winter in this part of the planet. Winter, my aunt Fanny. If a snowflake dared to fall, it'd probably be evaporated before it hit the ground...

    He licked his lips, thinking longingly of the cranberry juice he hadn't finished at the weekly sickbay staff meeting three days ago. In between discussions about re-organizing the examining areas and whether anyone had heard the latest news about Ensign Rynehardt's broken engagement, he had pushed the glass aside, only to have it snatched up by an overeager orderly on clean-up duty. The meeting had then been unceremoniously interrupted when Kirk had summoned him to a senior staff briefing.

    His right foot dangled downwards until it grazed the rung below. Hell, I don't have time for this.. Glancing between the floor and his boots, McCoy estimated a difference of about five feet. Releasing his hold on the ladder, he dropped to the floor with an echoing thud. In two seconds, he was peering around the corner of the entry conduit, one hand pressed against the corner of the wall.

    He turned and saw the hazy shape of a red-shirted officer, a silhouette in the light smoke that still clung to the courier craft's atmosphere. "Nice jump, Doc."

    McCoy rubbed his eyes. "My old b-ball instincts haven't deserted me yet, it would seem." He coughed. "One of the first things they taught us was how to avoid injury. All it takes is one bad landing and you're out of the lineup for weeks."

    "Here, here." The officer stepped out of the smoke cloud, weapon at her side. "Reminds me of what my hand-to-hand combat instructor used to say. 'Tuck and roll, save your skull.' Ain't that right, Bullard?" she called up through the hatch.

    Another boot appeared on the ladder. "Wish it actually rhymed, but yeah." A male crewman descended and flanked McCoy, eyes alert. Together, they exited the entryway and strode down the corridor, marred with fire damage from the crash landing. The walls were scorched in some places, while others appeared to have buckled due to the heat. "Hey, Keene, how 'bout 'Watch your head, or else you're dead'?"

    "Ooh. Good one."

    "Listen," McCoy began, blinking as his eyes watered from the haze, "I hate to break up the bad poetry contest, but we need to focus on locating the actual objective of our mission. You know, the antitoxin?"

    Keene flicked an annoyed look towards him. "I'm aware of our reasons for being here, Doctor. You made it abundantly clear at the staff meeting, in the shuttle bay, and on the shuttle ride itself." She checked her phaser. "If it wasn't for the delicate handling procedures associated with thumapariol, I would be more than happy to-"

    "Superior officer!" Bullard hissed.

    Keene colored slightly. "Oh." Clearing her throat, she pointed her weapon out in front of her as they turned a corner, averting her gaze from those of her crewmates. "Sorry."

    McCoy chuckled. "Mind telling me how exactly you were going to finish that sentence, Lindsey?"

    "Something about planting a foot somewhere you wouldn't like it to go, all the way back to the shuttle." Bullard glanced over his shoulder, smiling. "I speak from experience."

    Keene looked like she wanted to elbow her partner, and probably would have, were it not for McCoy. AKA the filling in a Leonard sandwich. She raised her arm and studied the tricorder display on her wristband screen. "According to the courier craft's schematic, perishable cargo would be located in the third bay. That's two floors below us." Inhale. "Getting in will be the tricky part. I'm reading a significant amount of structural damage in the lift shaft." A smile. "And when I say 'significant', I'm talking accordion."

    McCoy let out a low whistle. "That bad, huh?"

    "Yes, well, fortunately for us, the bays appear to have fared better. Reinforced walls, emergency shielding..." Keene flicked through the schematic pages, stopping to blow a strand of blonde hair that had escaped from her ponytail. "And..." Her eyebrows raised. "...a cargo transporter just down the hall."

    Bullard leaned over, studying the screen. "Fully cleared for organic matter? Site to site?"

    Uh oh.

    "Yeah. All fifteen of Catergus Shipping Line's automatic flight crafts were re-certified by the sector's transport inspector only a month ago. Stem to stern."

    Double uh-oh. McCoy frowned, his stomach clenching. "Begging your pardon, Keene, but that was before the crash. Now, I'm no engineer, but we have no idea what gave the Liesta a death wish in the first place. I think I'd rather take my chances with a crumbling wall than get turned into scrambled eggs when that thing short-circuits." Great. I'm going to have that nightmare again tonight.

    But she was already down the hall and entering a passcode into the transporter room's entry screen. "No time." The door swished open and she entered, McCoy and Bullard trailing behind. As she ducked behind the console, they stepped up onto the transporter's platform. "There's an emergency atmospheric vent in the bay's floor. I'll head back to the shuttle while you and Nate search the bay. After you retrieve the thumapariol, leave through the vent. Your ride'll be waiting." Her fingers danced across the console's operation screen. The console buzzed. "Damn." She tried again. "Damn." Third try. "Okay. Ready for you."

    McCoy and Bullard nervously exchanged glances. "You first," they both said in unison, each pointing at the other.

    Keene snorted. "I'd gladly go first, except we're heading in two different directions." She swept her hand over her uniform insignia. "I'm a security officer, not a transporter technician. I draw the line at doing the splits."

    Couldn't you draw it so that I'm standing on the other side? The side where I don't run the risk of becoming beamkill? McCoy exhaled. "Let's just get this over with." He checked his wristband. "We've got less than five hours to get the antitoxin back into cold storage before it begins to degrade."

    "Foot," Bullard whispered as Keene activated the transporter, dematerializing the two men.
     
  3. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Nugeltan nectar? Who in their right mind would import that?"

    Leonard's eyes watered as the scent of rotting fruit hit his nostrils. "Somebody with no sense of smell or taste, I imagine." He shivered as the cold air generator began cycling again, prickling the hairs on the back of his neck. "Leave it, Nate. The courier service's recovery and salvage team will take care of the rest of the cargo."

    "If the Remzard don't find the wreckage first." Bullard replaced the spilled bottle in its shipping container and attached an anti-grav unit to each side. "Give me a hand with this. On three." Both men grabbed a handle and hefted the container into the far corner of the bay. "Whew. Rumor has it they've been spotted around this sector twice in the last month."

    "Mm. You think they might have shot down the Liesta?" McCoy unfastened his anti-grav and passed it to the security officer.

    "Possibly, if they were trying to disable the engines." Bullard took the unit in one hand and tugged his toque down over his ears with the other. Short black hair peeked out from underneath. "It's well known that Catergus has been running automated craft on easy routes like this one. Saves their pilots for more delicate missions." He continued down the aisle, running his gloved hands over the crates. "What about this one? It's got a Starfleet logo on it."

    McCoy checked the manifest on his PADD. He shook his head. "Floral DNA samples for the biology databank on Aldous IX." He moved to the next row. Crates of various sizes lined the insulated shelves. Blowing out a foggy breath, he stood on his tiptoes, trying to read the label on a small blue box. "Been and gone, then?"

    "Generally, Remzard raiders like to strip the ships they attack fairly quickly." Bullard wiped his frosty gloves on his pants. "So, no." His boots stomped down his aisle, stopping about halfway between McCoy and the wall. "Hey, what about this? 'Biosynthesis Laboratory, Fortescue University-'"

    "That's the one."

    "Doesn't appear to be damaged. The containment seal is still activated."

    Leonard rounded the corner, breathing a sigh of relief. Ever since the Enterprise had received word of the craft's disappearance, his mind had been consumed with thoughts of the virus outbreak on Janhold II. Similar to diphtheria, the Yiosanga virus had already spread rapidly through two satellite science outposts before finally striking the main colony hard. Supplies of the only antitoxin that had showed success in combatting the infection were quickly depleted.

    The Liesta had departed Deep Space Station H-1 two weeks ago with a shipment of the antitoxin, only to fall off Catergus's radar four days later. An urgent bulletin had been transmitted to all starships in the area to be on the lookout for the courier craft. Upon location, the precious cargo was either to be recovered and transferred to the Salabes, (one of the company's other craft which had been dispatched shortly thereafter) or ferried directly to Janhold II. Having narrowed the location of the Liesta to the Temaning system's fourth planet, the Enterprise had dispatched the Remarque, one of their newly acquired light shuttlecraft, to the Liesta's crash site, while they remained on the outskirts of the system, patrolling. Though little more than a pod, it had been outfitted with a small cold storage unit for the mission.

    McCoy swallowed hard, thoughts of the strangling membrane Yiosanga virus produced making his throat burn. He stopped next to Bullard, who had already tugged the case down from its niche and now gripped the handle in both hands. "Let's take a look."

    The security officer set the case on top of a large crate and stepped back, allowing McCoy to inspect the contents. He entered an access password and deactivated the opacity filter. 200 vials of pale green liquid were nestled securely in their niches, not a one damaged. He removed his tricorder from its satchel and scanned the contents. Still usable. Thank the Lord.

    Replacing his tricorder, McCoy re-activated the filter and handed the case back to Bullard. "Vent's thataway," he informed the officer, gesturing over his shoulder, where a trapdoor rested against one wall. They both strode towards the end of the room, where Bullard carefully set the case down on the floor.

    Both men worked together to pry the hatch open. When it slid back with a loud clanking sound, McCoy pulled his communicator out of his pocket and flipped it on. "McCoy to shuttlecraft, come in. We have the package." I'm a doctor, not an intelligence operative. "Come in, Remarque. This is McCoy." Only static answered him.

    Bullard grunted as he lowered himself through the hatch, reaching for the case's handle again. "Did you toggle the gain?" He disappeared from view, dragging the case with him.

    "Hang on a sec, I'll try Keene's personal comm." McCoy changed comm frequencies, his tongue poking out between his teeth briefly. "McCoy to Keene. Lindsey, are you getting this?" After a few moments, he stabbed the comm button with his thumb. "Blast it. I'm gonna try tracing her unit." Plopping down on the edge of the hatch, he selected the tracking program with one hand, sliding his legs down the chute. The screen displayed a map of the surrounding area that was supposed to highlight transmission signals and other energy sources nearby. Nothing.

    "Oof."His boots hit the ditch that the Liesta had created when it crashed, sending a puff of dust into the air around his feet. "She's still not responding." Blinking in the bright sunlight, he removed his gloves and stuffed them in his pocket. "Do you see the shuttle anywhere? 'Cause I-"

    He stumbled backwards, nearly tripping over a furrow in the dirt. The furrow groaned.

    "Keene!" The woman lay facedown in the dirt, arms splayed to the side. A large welt on the back of her head oozed blood. McCoy dropped to her side and felt for a pulse. Strong and steady. Gently, he began to roll the woman onto her side so that he could examine her wound. A soft moan issued from her lips as she dragged the fingers of one hand idly through the dirt.

    McCoy began to unlatch his medical kit when a loud whine sounded from behind his head. He dropped the satchel and turned, his jaw nearly colliding with the butt of an energy rifle. A muscular silver male Remzard pointed the weapon at his head, gaze never wavering. His scaled crest gleamed in the bright sunlight.

    "Don't try anything," the reptilian thug snarled. Behind him stood four others, two of whom had a firm grip on Bullard's arms. His uniform was dusty and rumpled from an apparent struggle in which the security officer had apparently lost his toque. He sported a black eye and a split lip, but appeared otherwise unharmed. The case of antitoxin lay on its side on the ground.

    "Get up," the Remzard ordered, pointing the gun at McCoy's chest. "Surrender your weapons and communication devices."

    Standing slowly, McCoy removed his phaser from the belt around his waist and tossed it to the ground. He did the same for his comm, then placed both hands on top of his head, chancing a glance at Keene as he backed up. The officer lay still, the only movement her respirations. "That your idea of a warm welcome?" he snapped.

    The Remzard grunted, crest shrugging. "She resisted."

    "She's trained to resist hostiles."

    The Remzard ignored the jab. Instead, he picked up McCoy's phaser, then turned to his compatriots and spoke in low tones, keeping his own gun trained on McCoy. One of the others, a younger purple individual, tugged on his own shirt and pointed over the leader's shoulder. Straight at him. Well, this is a fine place to have a swap meet. I'll give you two rights for a left... Bullard shook his head, as though fighting to stay conscious. Three...

    The leader licked his lips, forked tongue tasting the air. Stepping over Keene's prone body, he looked McCoy straight in the eyes, as though taking his measure. "Officer," he began, one hand on his hip. Teal, actually. "Achazo suggests you may be a surgeon."

    "Happens I am." Leonard's mouth tightened. "Starfleet trained. What of it?"

    "You may be of use to us."

    La de da. "None of you look sick." Physically, that is.

    "One of my men has need of medical care." The Remzard's gaze didn't waver. "You will come with us and see to his injuries." He lowered his weapon until it was pointed at Keene and pushed on her side with his gray boot. She moaned. The leader glanced over his shoulder at Bullard, who was receiving menacing glares from his captors. Raised the rifle again, pressing the butt end against McCoy's breastbone. "Need I explain the consequences if you refuse?"

    Our slow, torturous deaths? Those consequences? "You needn't." McCoy fisted his hands at his sides. "My cooperation comes with one condition; allow me to treat my people first."

    The leader's lip curled. "Their injuries are insignificant."

    "Compared to what?"

    A clawed hand grabbed and twisted McCoy's outer jacket, pulling him closer. "You are in no position to negotiate with me, Doctor. Remember that." He gestured towards the rest of the group. "You are outnumbered and weakened, they by their wounds and you by your sentiment for them."

    "I'm also not the one asking - no, begging - for help." McCoy glared at him, his teeth grinding. "If you do anything more to harm my people, I'm conveniently going to forget all of my fancy book learning. Capisce?" He spat on the ground.

    The leader's eyes narrowed. His tongue flicked. "As you wish. See to your officer." He released McCoy and stepped back, weapon at the ready. At a snap of his fingers, his men released Bullard, who stumbled forward. Shaking his head, he approached the doctor slowly.

    Crouching next to Keene's side, McCoy removed his tricorder from its satchel and activated it. No sign of internal hemorrhaging...pulse and respiration okay... He extracted a small device from his medkit and used it to clean and treat her head wound. "Nate, how you doing?"

    "Better than I was." Bullard rubbed his bruised eye.

    Covering what remained of Keene's injury with a bandage, he removed a hypo and pressed the injector against the side of her neck. Her eyes fluttered open in response to the stimulant. She blinked to focus her eyesight and failed, frowning at McCoy with bleary eyes. "Don't try-" Her arm swung at McCoy's face.

    He grabbed it just before she made contact with his nose. "Easy, Lindsey. It's me, Leonard."

    Keene blinked a couple more times, then finally managed to hone in on his face. She winced as McCoy helped her sit up and put her head between her knees. "My head." One hand grazed the bandage. "Somebody hit me." Both hands reached up and rubbed the sand out of her eyes.

    "Remzard raiders. They ambushed you just outside the Liesta." Bullard crouched down beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "So much for tuck and roll, eh, Lindy?"

    She barked out a laugh. "'Look before you exit,' that's another one. Stupid. Never saw 'em coming. I blame the shirt," she added, tugging on her uniform collar.

    "Look at the light." McCoy raised her chin and held up a small penlight to her eyes. Pupils dilating properly. He clicked the light off. "Now follow my finger." Keene obeyed. Returning to normal. That's one small mercy. Smiling slightly, McCoy stood. "I'll see you in sickbay later, but for now, we've got places to be. He-" McCoy pointed at the Remzard leader, who was watching them out of the corner of one reptilian eye "-has an injured comrade who needs my assistance." He and Bullard extended their hands towards Keene, who allowed herself to be helped to a standing position.

    Sighing, she brushed the sand off her pants. "I'd be happy to tend to him myself," she joked, re-tying her ponytail as best she could.

    "Pretty sure your idea of 'tending' goes against my oath." McCoy frowned. "Enterprise won't be expecting us for a few hours yet, so with no weapons or comms, we don't have much of a choice if we want to get the antitoxin to Janhold II in time." He reached for the case and shoved it into Bullard's arms. "Don't let it out of your sight. If anyone asks, tell them it contains surgical tools I might need." He walked over to the crowd of Remzard. "All right. We're ready to go. Lead the way."

    The Remzard leader opened his mouth, but said nothing. Instead, he stalked up the hill, leaving the Starfleet crewmembers to follow him, with his men taking the rear. Squinting against the sunlight, McCoy glanced back at the shipwreck. In and out. It's never that easy, is it?
     
  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They hiked for what seemed like hours, crossing over two streams, past a wooded area and up a narrow pathway that snaked up the side of a granite cliff. McCoy's boots were beginning to pinch his toes, but he didn't stop moving. A patient is a patient is a patient...and a gun is a gun is a gun...

    Just ahead, Bullard switched the antitoxin case from his right hand to his left, flexing the former to get the blood flowing again. Behind, the soft puff of Keene's breath cooled Leonard's neck as she hurried to keep ahead of their captors. "You okay?" he asked.

    "For a hostage."

    The Remzard leader halted suddenly, bringing everyone to a stop on a plateau in front of a small cave. "Guard the others," he instructed his people. "Surgeon." He made eye contact with McCoy and gestured towards the mouth of the cave. "You will find the injured one inside."

    "Alone?" McCoy sidled past the group of Humans and Remzard until he was standing on the other side of the entrance. He peered into the darkness, one hand resting on his medkit. Damp and cold...not ideal conditions for an infirmary.

    "No. He is supervised." The tone of the Remzard leader's voice finished the sentence with an unspoken, and so are you, Don't try anything. "This way." He entered the cave and McCoy followed along behind him, dodging the occasional stalagmite. Water licked at his pant cuffs as he trudged through the puddles.

    About seventy feet from the entrance and around a corner, someone had attached a portable light to the wall. A Remzard sentry was illuminated by its glow. The young peach female, who was wearing a protective vest over her tunic, stood up from one end of a small rock shelf and aimed her weapon at McCoy and the leader. "Name yourself," she growled.

    "Estame. Stand down."

    At the sound of her leader's voice, Estame's shoulders relaxed and the crest of scaled fronds on her head flattened. She lowered the weapon and holstered it reluctantly, keeping her gaze trained on the doctor. "The stranger. Who is he, Shegid?" she asked, a note of suspicion in her voice.

    "A surgeon. He will tend Griven." Shegid stood back, allowing the doctor to slip past him. He lingered for a moment, then exited the cave the way he had come.

    As Leonard approached the shelf, he was able to make out a bundle of clothing that someone had piled there. He started when the clothing groaned and a scaled arm thrust out, trembling with a spasm. Hurrying next to the injured Remzard, McCoy dropped to his knees in a puddle and quickly unwrapped the coverings from his face as gently as possible.

    The first thing that struck him was Griven's pallor. Scales that would have otherwise been deep purple were now a sickly shade of greyish lilac. His crest hung limply over his forehead. Both eyelids flickered rapidly as he gave a slow, raspy breath. "How long has he been like this?" McCoy asked his guard.

    Estame's brow furrowed. "Three days. He worsened a few hours ago." She rested her hand on her weapon. "Can you do anything for him?"

    "Hold on a moment. I haven't even had a chance to examine your man properly." Not to mention that what I know about Remzard physiology wouldn't even fill a business card. McCoy removed his tricorder and initialized the basic diagnostic program to get a readout of Griven's vital signs. "Would you please uncover him for me? I want to see the extent of his injuries."

    "He was cold." Estame's voice carried the chill of the cave. "And..." She glanced away. "I didn't want to...I couldn't..."

    Oh. "That bad, huh?" McCoy glanced at the screen, biting his lip. Vascular pressure's awfully low. Even without a baseline for these people...he must've lost a lot of blood.

    "We were scavenging for raw materials," she continued, slowly undoing the blankets strewn over his legs. "A boulder loosened from its moorings and...and he didn't have time to get out of the way." She briefly returned her gaze to McCoy as she worked at a stubborn fold of cloth that appeared to be stuck together with dried blood. "We managed to move him here aft-oh." She winced, looking away, and covered her nose.

    McCoy followed her gaze to Griven's legs. My God... Both limbs were bent and contorted in unnatural positions. Broken ends of bone jutted out from Griven's bloodied flesh. Crush wounds. He shook his head, feeling the poor man's pain, and selected an internal scan program on his tricorder. The image that appeared wasn't encouraging. The compound fracture of his left leg was more pronounced than the right, producing multiple splinters. There was also significant damage to his right knee, which was swollen to the size of a grapefruit. "Have you been giving him fluids?" he questioned, scanning the Remzard's chest.

    Estame nodded. "As often as I could. Th-that's one reason we brought him here. Access to water." She clutched one arm, a shiver rippling through her body. "He was-he was feverish for a few hours yesterday, but it b-broke overnight." Her voice quivered, all traces of her earlier toughness replaced by the exhaustion of a sentry who had probably had little rest since the accident. "What now?"

    McCoy clenched his fists at his sides. This cave wasn't designed as a surgical suite! I can't operate here! But if I don't... He thought of Keene and Bullard, waiting outside the cave with the other Remzard. A shiver ran down his back, and he looked up at the guard, pleading with his eyes. "Estame, he's going to need better care than I can give him here. Blood replacement, antibiotics, regenerative therapy...there's only so much I can do without the proper facilities."

    She frowned. "What can you do, then?"

    "I can set the broken bones and seal the wounds, but it won't be enough. You'll need to take him to a hospital." McCoy stood, placing a hand on her arm. "We have a medical unit aboard the ship i come from. Let me call my captain, and we can-"

    She yanked her arm away, her body rigid. "No." The word came out almost as a hiss. "No ships. Do what you can."

    "Why not?"

    Estame laughed bitterly. "Remzard are not welcome in your Federation." At his look of surprise, one finger jabbed the Starfleet insignia on his jacket. "I've seen this before, surgeon. Starfleet. Federation. Our dealings have been less than...pleasant. And so far, I have not seen anything to change my opinion."

    Besides the fact that I'm in a cave with an unconscious invalid and his bone-weary guard and haven't attempted an escape yet? A thought struck him. "Speaking of ships, where's yours?" Estame turned her head away, as though she'd slapped him."What?"

    She said nothing for several moments, studying Griven's drawn face instead. "I spoke falsely. We were in fact hunting for foodstuffs." A soft breath, her crest rising and falling with it. "Our own people marooned us here."

    "Marooned?" After checking the vital sign readings, McCoy administered a pain reliever to his patient, opting for an area underneath his arm, which wasn't quite as protected by his scales. Almost immediately, some of the strain left Griven's features. Good.

    "There was an argument about...a potential target. The commander wanted to take a big risk."

    "You mean a raid."

    She tugged on one of the fronds of her crest. "Some of the crew felt it was a foolish idea. Suicidal. There was an argument, and we were abandoned here. End of the tale."

    McCoy sat back on his haunches. "Which side of the mutiny were you on?"

    "The losing side, obviously." Bitterness coated her words. "Or else I wouldn't be here."

    "No, I was asking whether you were among the pro or anti-raid camp." When she didn't answer, McCoy knelt by the cave wall and began to fiddle with the portable light. "How do I turn up the brightness on this thing?"

    "There's a knob on the side." Estame crouched down next to McCoy, adjusting it for him. "There. Will you require anything else, surgeon?"

    "Call me Leonard." He refilled his hypospray, this time with a heavy sedative. "And pray that I don't," he added, injecting its contents into Griven.
     
  5. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After restraining Griven's arms and ankles so he couldn't further injure himself, and painstakingly cutting away his patient's shredded trousers, McCoy carefully cleaned the many wounds created by shards of bone poking through the skin. He then began the arduous process of setting what remained of the Remzard's bones in place.

    The task was complicated both by the thickness of his patient's scaled flesh and his ability to metabolize the sedative fairly quickly. So, following a crash course in anesthesiology, he gave the task of adjusting Griven's medication and monitoring his vitals to Estame. It allowed him to concentrate on the surgery and gave her something other than wounds to look at. She'd allowed him to take her readings in order to give the tricorder something to compare the patient's to, and now she sat by his head, ready to do whatever McCoy asked.

    Having since exchanged his excursion gloves for surgical ones, he pushed one splintered end of Griven's left femur toward the other, careful to avoid tearing the swollen muscle tissue. Easy... He blinked as a bead of sweat ran into his eyes. His fingers slipped as a squirt of blue blood pooled around them. Damn! He can't afford to lose any more blood. This would be so much easier back on the Enterprise. Surely the medical database has some basic information about Remzard blood - I don't want to risk a transfusion and kill him... Sealing off the leakage quickly, he sighed. "Estame."

    The sound of water being wrung from a cloth. "What?"

    "I'm almost finished with the first leg. Would you pass me the autosealer?" He gestured with his hands. "It's bronze, about this long, and has a narrow end." Estame leaned over and placed the tool in his hand. "Thanks."

    She returned to her seat by Griven's head. A low moan from him was followed by the soft hiss of the hypospray. A few seconds passed as she studied his readings. "He's evened out. Continue."

    Squinting, McCoy bent over his patient once again, slowly running the beam of the autosealer over the incision he'd made in an attempt to coax it closed, millimeter by millimeter, layer by layer. Ten minutes later, he turned off the instrument and placed the palms of his hands against the small of his back. Ooh...I'm getting too old for this...He studied his work so far, satisfied. A dark blue line stood out against the bruised flesh surrounding it. Several smaller marking, also puckered shut, where the splinters had pierced his skin. It's a good start.

    A small pouch of water sat on a stone to his right, where Estame had no doubt placed it. Lifting the pouch to his lips, he drank. He'd already tested the quality of the water in the cave because of Griven's exposure to it; aside from a variety of mineral salts and some apparently harmless microorganisms, it was pure and therefore safe to drink. A sample of the cave water now lay in a vial in his satchel, awaiting a more detailed analysis.

    A silent shadow moved behind him. Throughout his treatment, he'd noticed that Shegid occasionally wandered into the cave to check on his progress. It didn't bother him that much, especially when he heard the voices of his officers echoing from just outside the door, apparently sharing some kind of scavenged fruit with their captors. Keene even laughed at something one of Remzard said. Better that than another faceplant in the sand...

    Wiping his mouth with his sleeve, Leonard then set to work on Griven's right leg and knee. Despite a couple more bleeders, he was able to re-align the bones with greater precision this time - as there were fewer shards to remove - and successfully rejoined one end of the shattered femur to the other. Closure of the incision took about the same amount of time. The kneecap, fortunately, wasn't broken - saved by a hollow in the ground where he got injured, I expect - but several of the connective tissues surrounding it were torn - he might've tried to free himself and twisted them in the process. Repairing the ligaments as best as he could with his medkit tools, he finally closed the last of the incisions and set aside his devices. That'll have to do for now.

    Removing his bloodstained gloves and setting them aside, McCoy dropped down into a puddle, little caring that the seat of his pants were now thoroughly soaked. Grabbing the water pouch again, he poured it over his head and rubbed his bleary eyes, then took another swig.

    He strode over to where Estame sat, still clutching the tricorder, and sat down on a rock next to her. "All right. Hard part's over." Taking his instrument from her hands, he scanned the unconscious man a final time. Griven rested on the makeshift surgical table, his legs now covered by a heat blanket Estame had retrieved from the medkit. While his face hadn't regained any color,

    McCoy felt the shadow again and turned. Shegid loomed in the background, eyes on the patient. "He'll still be fragile for a while. You'll have to splint his legs so that he can't undo what I've done." Setting the tricorder aside, he rooted in his satchel and pulled out a couple of vials. "I'll leave you some antibiotics in case of infection, and painkillers to ease his discomfort. You can administer them by mouth if necessary." He handed the vials to Estame and crossed his arms over his chest, glancing back and forth between the two Remzard. "You sure I can't talk you into catching a ride with us? Temaning IV is a little off the beaten path for passenger ships, not to mention follow-up house calls."

    Shegid shook his head. "We will remain here. Do you not have faith in your own work, Surgeon?"

    "I do. But I also know that if he doesn't get further care, he'll continue to suffer from pain later in life. Primarily due to the build-up of scar tissue, nerve complications..." McCoy's voice trailed off.

    Estame looked to Shegid, her expression a little more hopeful. "He could advocate for us, Shegid. You saw. He was...merciful."

    Another shake. "No."

    Okay then. Have it your way. "Suit yourselves." McCoy turned and began to clean up his used medical supplies. He snuck a glance at his watch. Four hours?!"Look, I've got to get back to the shuttlecraft with my people. We're transporting a vital medicine to a colony in need, and time is of the essence."

    Shegid opened his mouth to say something, when something appeared to catch his attention. "Stay," he warned Estame, one hand raised. He hurried to the mouth of the cave, splashing through the puddles as he ran.

    A shout rose from outside. What's that about? McCoy followed after Shegid as Estame returned to Griven's side, the vials clutched in her hands. Her eyes lit with curiousity, then scrunched into a worried frown as the leader withdrew his gun.

    McCoy stopped short when the Remzard leader skidded to a halt in front of him. Pointed his weapon in the direction of the entrance, where two shadowy humanoid figures stood with the sun at their backs, aiming rifles of their own. Lovely. "Don't tell me; mutiny, round two," he whispered to the Remzard. "Ex-friends of yours come to finish what they started, huh?"

    The Remzard did not answer. Instead, he kept his gaze on the newcomers, who had now increased in number to seven. "Lower your weapons now," he intoned. Beside him, the other Remzard who had been hobnobbing with his fellow crewmates backed him up. Keene and Bullard, on the other hand, were nowhere to be seen. Now where did they-

    "You first." The man who stood in front of the crowd of newcomers didn't budge an inch. "And don't try anything funny." He indicated those behind him. "There's plenty of reinforcements where we came from-" his head tipped upwards "-and it's only one call away. Fire and I make that call." Two steps forward. His finger twitched on the trigger. "So far, I count two out of three. Where's my doctor?"

    Jim! McCoy's pulse jumped at the sight of his commanding officer. Where did you come from? Stupid question. "Damn it, Jim, if you're going to shoot, at least give me a chance to get out of the way first." He stepped around Shegid, hands raised just in case, and jogged slowly towards the captain. "Or better yet, don't shoot."

    Kirk looked him up and down, then re-holstered his phaser, jaw tight. "You okay, Bones?"

    McCoy rubbed the back of his neck. "A little soggy. A little sore." He glanced down at his tunic; dark blue blood stains streaked across it every which way. "A little surgery." He indicated the cave over his shoulder. "Well, a lot of surgery. One of their people was badly injured in an accident after their crew marooned them for mutinying. Their scouting party came upon us as we were leaving the Liesta and, um, managed to persuade us to come to their assistance."

    McCoy peered past Kirk. Among the landing party were five security officers, weapons still drawn on the Remzard, and a nurse who assessed Keene's condition as his original security escorts sat on the ground a distance away from the standoff. Bullard's hand rested on top of the antitoxin case, fingers idly tapping the outside as he observed the goings on.

    After several moments, Shegid turned to his people, a weary look on his face. "Stand down," he ordered. The Remzard all complied, lowering their weapons to the ground.

    Kirk acknowledged the surrender with a curt nod at the leader. "Good call."

    As the security team began to surrounded and disarm the Remzard, McCoy glanced over his shoulder, catching the eye of a tall felinoid female who was restraining Achazo. "There's a couple more in the cave, Lt. Re'Is. One's recovering from surgery. He goes directly to sickbay. I want his blood analyzed and typed. We may be able to do a transfusion with one of the others. A woman's tending him. She's armed, but I don't think she'll be any trouble."

    The felinoid acknowledged him with a nod and left the prisoner with her colleagues, heading into the cave with a male Vulcan ensign.

    Turning back to the captain, McCoy followed him around the side of the cave, where a spindly tree grew sideways from the rocks, providing a small amount of relief from the heat. "Jim, what are you doing here? I thought the Enterprise was supposed to be patrolling the outer edge of the system."

    Kirk shrugged. "It is. Spock's holding down the fort right now." He smiled and shoved his hands into his pockets. "I figured you could use a little help when you didn't respond to our repeated hails following the skirmish."

    McCoy frowned. "Skirmish? What skirmish?"

    Kirk's head tipped to one side. "Seems a ship full of Remzard raiders thought it would be a good idea to engage in a little...unofficial trade deal; the contents of Enterprise's cargo bays in exchange for a plenty of nothing."

    I should've known... McCoy's mouth quirked. He tsked. "Seems awfully one-sided to me."

    "I know, right?" Kirk glanced down. "Needless to say it wasn't a smooth negotiation by any means. But, after an intense mutual exchange of offers, I managed to finagle an even better bargain." He counted on his fingers. "We keep all of our cargo, and their starship. They get free accommodations at one of the Federation's finest detention facilities." He rested one hand on the rock wall, just beneath the tree. "Not bad for a few minutes' work, huh?"

    McCoy chuckled. "Not bad at all." His gaze tracked to Re'Is and the Vulcan, who were now exiting the cave with Estame. They handed her off to one of the others and moved to guard the entrance, giving the nurse the all clear to check on Griven. Keene and Bullard stood off to the side, watching as the Remarque touched down on the plateau, piloted, no doubt, by an as-yet-unseen eighth member of the landing party. That's going to be a tight squeeze...

    McCoy gestured over towards the Remzard as Kirk eased away from the wall and headed in the direction of the impromptu landing strip. "What about the mutineers? Despite our rather unorthodox introduction, we've kind of reached an understanding." He smiled at Estame, who nodded back, her worried expression replaced with one of peace. "After what they've been through, they could probably use a good meal...transportation...amnesty?" He raised a questioning eyebrow at the captain.

    "I think we might be able to arrange that," Kirk agreed. "The first two, anyway. No promises about that third one." He clapped a hand on McCoy's shoulder. "I don't make those decisions. But I'll be sure to put in a good word for them in my report to Starfleet Command, given their ready cooperation."

    "You do that." They approached the shuttle, Bullard and Keene falling in behind them. The Remarque's hatch opened and extended a short ramp onto the ground. "As a matter of fact, I might even testify at the asylum hearing myself, assuming we're in the area."

    Kirk paused at the bottom of the ramp, frowning. "I thought you were a doctor, not a lawyer."

    McCoy reached back for the case as Bullard handed it over to him, and strode into the craft, laughing. "There's a lot you don't know about me, Jim."
     
  6. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Location:
    Mississauga
    I realized I hadn't yet added this chapter. (I still haven't included all of them, but this one, I think, is particularly well done.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019