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Posted on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 12:06am by Commander Lorran Vos

Mission: Echoes of the Damned: Pilot Episode.
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Present

Beverly's eyes flickered open, and the brightness of the lights forced her to close them and try again, slowly, allowing her eyes the time they needed to adjust to the new light level. The burning in her blood had subsided and the whispering in her mind had dulled but not vanished. She could hear half heard thoughts of the crew, sense the pain and hurt some of them were feeling over the loss of their colleagues and friends and that drove it home to her just how many had been lost on this fateful mission.

It took her another moment to realise where she was, sitting on the surgical bed in the centre of the sickbay. Injured where lining the walls and beds in sickbay with grubby and tired looking medical officers moving around between them. She tried to talk, but her lungs forced a cough instead, dislodging some of the dust from the falling stone walls. She tried again after the coughing faded.
"Doctor Ulonova", she looked around sickbay, and she spotted the doctor leaning over a lean man. 'My god', she thought, 'That's Vos. What happened down there?'

"Commander, is that you?" Commander Lorran propped himself up on his elbow as the Doctor continued to treat his badly lacerated opposite shoulder. He'd been treated for the concussion already, but he still winced as the bright lights over the biobed got in his eyes. Despite any protests from Leanne, he pushed himself into a seated position so that he could better see and hear his commanding officer.

"Hold still or else I might vaporize something important in your shoulder.." Leanne stopped work on the wound on Vos and gave him a shot from her hypospray. Fortunately no signs of the infection had shown up in him. Walking quickly over to Beverly, the Doctor opened a tricorder up and started the scan her. "I'm glad that you are back with us. I wasn't sure if what I had given you would halt the infection at all. If you had been in there any longer I don't think I would have been able to do anything for you." She grabbed a hypospray off the biobed, changed a few of the settings and gave DeVuor a quick injection from the device. "How are you feeling?"

"Did anyone get the NCC number from that starship", she had a wry grin on her face as she rubbed a knotted muscle at the back of her neck. "I've been better Doctor. What do you mean infection?"
It suddenly all fell into place for her. What the queen had been talking about, about the sensing the creatures, and now her own people. "They wanted to change me didn't they?".

"That is what it appears to be their intentions." Leanne gave another scan and frowned at Beverly. The Doctor leaned in so that the general sickbay couldn't here her. "Looks like I've substantially slowed down whatever it is that is attacking your system, but I haven't stopped it. The initial treatment has bought me time to analyse it and find a way to cure you. Fortunately unlike some of the other crew, the particular strain that you have is very precise in what exactly it is changing in your DNA coding, where as the other is like a gorilla swinging a sledgehammer."

Her world came tumbling in around her, all she could hear were the last few words the Doctor has spoken, 'I've substantially slowed down whatever it is that is attacking your system, but I haven't stopped it'. Tears threatened to spill down her cheeks, but through sheer force of will, she stop herself. "Am I able to return to duty?".

"I am going to release you to duty because I don't think sitting in here is going to be good for you and at the moment you are stable. After that mission, the crew is going to need their Captain and it would be selfish of me to lock you up down here poking you like a lab rat." Leanne looked directly into Beverly's eyes. "I promise I'll find out how to fix this, just stay strong for me until I can."

Reflexively, Beverly took Leanne's arm and held it in a vice like grip. "Thank you", the words conveyed all of the emotion she was feeling. She was grateful to still be alive, thankful that her doctor had seen that keeping her locked up would do her no good, and finally the gratitude she felt towards the women, and the rest of the team that had rescued her. All of it was bubbling to the surface as she repeated the simple statement. "Thank you".

She released the Doctors arm and hopped down from the bio-bed. "How are the rest of the crew", she asked as she made her way over to Commander Lorran.

"They're holding together. Fortunately, we were able to get the vast majority of the crew to the West Ridge and hold out there shortly after you were abducted, Commander. It was touch and go for awhile, but they all came together to keep those creatures at bay. Eventually Mike and Podi got the colony ship's shields back up. That halted their attack enough that we were able to come after you and Kathy. We lost people, but believe me when I say it could have been a whole lot worse. I believe the number sits around ten when it could have been in the hundreds." Vos reported. "I've scheduled memorial services for those who didn't make it for tomorrow evening. Krissy has the bridge until the Doctor finishes with us here."

Vos had said it could have been worse. Beverly however thought it was already too many that had been lost. Even one was too much. A haunted, troubled look glazed her eyes, but she held herself like the seasoned professional she needed to be.
"Thank you for bringing them home Commander", she now turned those haunted eyes back to the Doctor. "May I now leave Doctor. And yes I will make sure it is only light duties".

She frowned a little bit knowing full well that "light duties" usually meant dodging phaser fire and going on away missions. "Just please try and take it easy, I'm going to follow up with you shortly after I go through some of this patient back log. I'd also like you to follow up with a counselor when we get back to base, or if you don't want to wait my door is open." Leanne looked at Vos. "Light duties for you too..."

"Awww..." Vos spared a grin for the Doctor, "If I have to."

"Thank you Doctor". Beverly now turned on Vos. "Meet me in my ready room when the Doctor has finished with you. I'm going to look over what data we have about the aliens, see if I can figure out what all that was about".
Without any further conversation, but only because she wanted to escape to her quarters, her ready room, somewhere private so she could allow herself the luxury of emotions, but in her own company. Some secluded place, dark and quiet where she could pour her heart out at the loss she felt, the immense looming illness that was now consuming her body, all of it.

Vos' brows furrowed a bit as he watched Commander DeVuor go. He couldn't imagine what it was like to lose upwards of ten people on your first mission. She had wanted to make a good impression, too. Now she was blaming herself for what had happened, second-guessing her decisions, and looking very depressed despite the face she was putting on for their benefit. He shared a look with the Doctor, who he knew was paralleling his thoughts. "I'll try to talk her." he said, but he didn't know if he would be able to bring the Commander out of her funk with just a pep talk. Still, if the crew needed anything right now it was their commanding officer. Vos and Krissy could pick up the slack while she was shut up in her ready room, but she was going to have to come out and accept her responsibility again eventually. Until then, it was the first officer's job to make sure the crew didn't worry.

Leanne walked back over to Vos and started working on the still gaping wound on his shoulder. It had been deep and had hit bone but wasn't too bad. She picked up her tool again and started to heal his injury.

He also had something else to deal with now that they were home, and she was running a dermal regenerator over his shoulder at that very moment. "Since you've got me held prisoner here, do you want to talk about what happened on the West Ridge?" he asked softly, watching Leanne's face for an answer.

Leanne nearly dropped her generator. She had become so focused on getting everyone back and patched up that she had put any feelings for Vos in the back of her head and all at once everything came to the front. "Well" she put the device down. "I haven't really thought about it to be honest, the whole business of going in after Beverly and everything, doesn't leave much time to really contemplate matters of the heart. I guess now is as good as any to talk about it."

"Look, I'll understand if you don't want to explore this; chalk it up to the heat of the moment." Vos said in preface for what he was going to say next. "I, on the other hand, felt in complete control of myself when I kissed you. I'd like to take this further and see where it might go." he explained, capturing the wrist of the hand holding the medical instrument and holding it to his heart. "It's up to you." His brown eyes sought to find hers, his other hand keeping her from hiding them by pushing aside a lock of her hair. Throughout he kept a sort of playful grin, confident and almost teasing.

"Well, I won't lie, it was exciting." She smiled, she was starting to get red in the face and her heart was beating a million times a second. "Vos, I want to take it further as well but I need to go slow, this is all a little overwhelming for me, I mean.. I've only been here for a few days.. I don't even have my stuff moved in yet... and.. you'll have to compete with Raymond." She laughed a little bit to try and take some of the nervousness off.

"Who's Raymond?" Vos reeled for a moment. Was there someone already in her life he didn't know about? A boyfriend or a husband?

Leanne tried to keep a serious face, which turned to a smirk and then a laugh. "He's very protective of me. You'll have to try and bond with him... but a little food should take care of that I imagine." Leanne brushed the hair away from her face. "Raymond is my little orange cat. You should try to loosen up a bit."

Vos barked with sudden laughter, which pulled the tender flesh on his shoulder, so it sounded like, "HAHAHAHAooh..." He put a hand to his wound and winced a little, but that grin came back through when he realized how silly he looked. "Your cat, huh? I'm sure I can be diplomatic with the little furball." he chuckled, careful not to overdo it with his shoulder again. "I suppose he wouldn't mind me stealing you away for dinner on the holodeck tonight? There's an ocean-view restaurant from twentieth-century Earth, in the Keys of Florida, I brought with me from my last assignment. If this isn't too fast, of course."

Leanne reached down and grabbed her hypospray and gave Vos another injection of pain killers. "I have a lot of work to do around here but I imagine I could slip away for dinner. I just want to get started working on learning how to kill this virus as soon as possible." She finished up repairing the wound on Vos's shoulder. "What time?"

Vos slipped back on the ruins of his uniform shirt and zipped it up, making sure to take it easy as he did so. "1900 hours, holodeck 2. I'll see you there." He stood up off of the biobed and gave her elbow a quick squeeze before he left. He'd be looking forward to dinner for the rest of the day, but for now he had to concern himself with his commanding officer and the crew under their command. There was a lot of patching up to do, and not just physically. First, though, it was back to his quarters for a sonic shower and a clean uniform.


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