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Engaging Concern

Posted on Sun Feb 9th, 2014 @ 8:30am by Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Lieutenant Serge Maschnost

Location: Medical - ICU

The woman appeared to be young, perhaps in her early twenties, but with some races it was hard to tell, and with Risans especially so. She stood with her back to the corridor, wearing the mustard yellow of a Starfleet Engineer or Security Person. Her gaze was fixed on the room beyond where a half dozen bio beds held six heavily sedated and restrained humans suffering from the contagion.

Soraya thought nothing over her when she first passed, but when, three hours later, the woman was still standing unmoved she felt she should investigate.

"Hello? Has anyone helped you?" the doctor asked softly.

The woman gave an involuntary jump when she was address. She turned sheepishly to the doctor, "I am sorry. Am I in the way?"

"Not at all," Soraya said softly, touching her arm. "What do you need?"

"I'm just..." she shot a look back through the glass at the sick people. "Is he... will he be okay?"

The doctor followed the woman's eyes then turned back to her. "Which patient?"

The woman focused again, "Sorry, yes of course, I haven't told you who. I mean Lt Maschnost."

Soraya nodded to herself. "He is still in a medically induced coma, no change in eight hours. You are friend or family?"

The woman bit her lip, "I guess... I guess I'm both. We... we're engaged, though no one is supposed to know about it yet."

This took Soroya back. As far as she had been able to ascertain, Serge Maschnost had less people skills that the Llcars computer and about as much machismo as a chair. This woman on the other hand could probably turn the head of any man on the station, and a few of the women as well. Even for a Risan she was stunning. How Serge ever convinced her to become betrothed was a mystery beyond medicine or science.

"I'm Lt Natalya Svelt," The woman held out her hand, "Engineering."

"Doctor Delrisa," Soraya said, shaking the woman's hand warmly. "I wish I had better news for you," she added. "Would you like to see him?"

Natalya's face screwed up in hope, "Can I? I won't break any quarantine?"

"He is unconscious and the virus requires fluid transmission," the doctor said. "As long as you avoid close contact there is no problem."

The pair moved through the containment field with little resistance. Natalya moved over next to the pale youth. Despite the coma his face was blotchy.

"He looks so peaceful," Natalya said softly reaching out to stroke his hair. She stopped and pulled her hand back reluctantly. "He is so clever and tries so hard. Tell me the truth, Doctor. What are his chances?"

"Honestly, I don't know. We have had several deaths but the induced coma seems to slow the virus' progress. Our medical and science teams are working to cure it."

Natalya nodded and said quietly, "I know what that means, Doctor. It means this is really goodbye."

Soraya watched the young woman for a moment. "I don't want to give you false hope," she said softly, her eyes sad.

"Would...would it be alright for me," she asked, "for me to kiss him goodbye?"

The doctor patted Natalya's hand gently and smiled. "I think that would be just fine."

Natalya leaned over and ever so gently brushed Serge's lips with hers. Almost the instant that she did something happened. The monitor behind him showed an increase in his pulse and breathing rate, and his temperature rose slightly. Soraya cocked her head.

"Talen, please run blood on patient Machnost, full panel, liver, and chem," the doctor said to a nearby nurse. She nodded in assent and drew a sample.

Natalya stepped back quickly, "Did I do something? Is it happening now? Is he dying?"

"Dying? No, he isn't dying," Soraya said, almost to herself. She turned to the young woman. "Why don't you stay with him for awhile? I need to look at something."

Natalya looked alarmed but moved back to her betrothed side, "Hey, there, Surge. It's me. I hope you recognise my voice by now. I am missing you. I... I went past your room earlier. It still smells of you; that faint ozone smell you have from the High energy facility, and the vague mix of after shave you manage to spill more on the floor than yourself."

Natalya smiled fondly at the thoughts in her head, "You remember that was kind of how we met? On the Kenedy, there was a diplomatic function. You were just and ensign, carrying a tray of drinks. I can't imagine why anyone would think giving you a try was a good idea. You spilled it all over the Ambassador. Of course you tried to clean it up and you, being your good natured self, made it worse. I still remember the look on her face when you tore of the bodice trying to get it dry. If you hadn't banged your head I think she would have knocked you out. I had to carry you back to your quarters."

A tear appeared, "You kept apologizing, not even fully conscious. You are the first person I had ever met who considered what I might be feeling. Risans don't get much of that."

She sniffed, "And you kept getting transferred. I had to find excuses to follow you around. And you got promotion after promotion. You were always so surprised when people took you seriously. When I took you seriously. I must have begged you to say yes for months. It wasn't till you were Acting CO of this station that you agreed. And then..."

She straightened quickly as Soraya returned. She didn't meet the doctor's eyes, frightened of what she would find there.

Soraya looked at the girl and said softly, "He's improving."

Natalya looked up incredulous, "But you said...."

"Yes, I know what I said and I can't explain it yet. But his viral load has dropped."

"What happened,"the Risan asked. "How can we make it happen more?"

"That my dear Natalya, is the question."


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