Obsidian Command

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The Resistance

Posted on 20 Mar 2021 @ 4:05pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Captain Corvus DeHavilland & Commander Kasra Turan, MD & Lieutenant Commander Ethan Walker, MD, Ph.D
Edited on on 22 Mar 2021 @ 7:24pm

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Ardeshir Sick Bay
Timeline: Backpost— following Flowers and Furnishings
2201 words - 4.4 OF Standard Post Measure



Chewing struck Calliope as a strange act. Her jaw made the motions, but it ached from lack of recent use. There were more muscles in her face and neck involved in chewing than she remembered ever noticing before. Lines with fluids and nutrients had been doing all of this work for her for the past week, negating the whole need for it. Not that the food was tough enough to need much chewing at all. Nearly everything on the tray was mashed or glopped. She balanced her spork and tried to capture another bite. Each one felt like it took forever to get carefully shovelled up to her mouth. But apparently she had the time to kill. In the background the holovid in the next patient alcove was playing a cooking show about basting a game bird for roasting. Calliope stirred the gravy through the shredded meat on her tray.

She’d been working on the plate for a good half hour and not quite gotten a quarter of the way through when she felt queasy. She shoved the folding tray aside and tried to bring herself to stand. The monitors around the bed began to twitter emphatically for an aide. Hot bile was rising in her throat and Calliope let go of the bed to try to cross the distance between it and the door post for the lavatory, but her ankles and knees weren’t up to the task of carrying her under her own strength.

When the nurse made it to her side, it was too late. All of Calliope’s efforts to eat had been soundly rejected and sent back by her disagreeable stomach. The nurse began to lift her from the puddle but Calliope reared out of her grasp, still sputtering with acid and gravy.

“No, go, get away,” she pushed away, slipping.

“It’s alright,” The nurse said, empathetically sensing the Commander’s embarrassment. “We do this all the time, Commander.”

“I didn’t *ask* for your help! Get out!” Calliope repeated with fervor, involuntarily lurching with nothing left to give up. “Go.” She gagged out the words between heaves. “Get out!”

Calliope shuffled and dragged herself on her knees the rest of the way to the patient bathroom, trailing slime the whole way. She couldn’t lift herself up to the sink for fresh water to rinse the offense from her mouth, or over the edge of the tub to bathe, so she slung her arms over the side of the tub and ran the faucet to cup her shaky hands under and try to catch something to splash at her face. She was too weak to move from the spot and just watched the faucet run and run.

Through the open door she could see an orderly come with a mop. He was fairly indifferent about it. She tried to pull her gown straight to cover her legs but couldn’t, so she looked away from him instead as he, being careful not to cross the threshold into the bathroom, reached inside with the handle of the mop and ran it over the trail that led right up to her, mopping over her toes but no further. He nodded politely when she stared daggers out of the corner of one eye. “Close the door,” she told him, and his job being more or less finished, he did.

A nurse came and changed out all of her sheets. She paused to knock on the bathroom door with concern but Calliope repeated her refrains. “Go away, I’m fine. Go away.” She kept spitting into the tub, until she ran out of steam and leaned her head on the side of it, closing her eyes.

She woke to voices of nurses outside of the closed bathroom door.

“She’s been in there for two hours. She won’t let anyone help her.”

“Maybe it was too soon to take her off the fluids.”

“Should we get Doctor Walker?”

It was hard to tell just how much time had passed, but soon there was a gentle knock upon the door followed by a friendly voice, “Commander Zahn, is everything alright?” Doctor Walker asked gently.

Her eyes rolled under the closed lids. “S’fine, Walker.”

“Ok,” Walker answered, “Would you mind stepping out? It’s just that, well you know how it is, Commander. There’s specific rules we have to follow and, if we can’t visually confirm you’re ok… it puts us in an awkward situation,” he tried to smile as he explained. He gave her a friendly chuckle, “You know how it goes, First Officer and all.”

She went through a little effort to stretch across the room and flush the toilet for a response to what he could specifically do with his specific rules.

Ethan waited for the door to open now that the toilet had flushed, and nothing happened. He sighed, glancing over at the Nurses lurking nearby in case he needed them. “Give us a second, ladies,” he smiled, waving for them to step out. Once they had, he turned back to the door, confident Calliope heard him. “I know it’s the last thing you want to do, Commander. But I need you to either step out or let one of the nurses in to help you. We’re all here to help. It’s why we’re here. It’s why we’re serving in Starfleet. No one’s going to judge or make fun of you,” he explained patiently. “It’s been nearly three hours. Doctor Turan’s going to have no other choice but to tell the Captain that we have a situation here. I know that’s not you. That’s not what you want. So please, let me help you.”

“I have a right to my privacy, Walker.” She leaned her head back onto the tub’s ledge. “I told you, I’m fine.” She was willing to play chicken with him. He’d look as much an ass as she would, calling the captain of the ship into the sickbay ward.

“You certainly have that right, Commander. But we all have a duty to ensure you’re taken care of. That’s our responsibility as Doctors and Nurses and, for me, it’s what I promised your husband I would do.”

“Let Lance come in here himself then.” She figured that would buy her a couple of hours of peace, busy as he was with Admirals and priority repairs.

“Ok,” Ethan replied, “I’m going to step out into the main Sick Bay. I’m happy to give you… fifteen minutes… to sort out whatever you need. After that, I’m afraid I have to follow protocol,” he tried to say as sweetly as he could. “Please, Commander. Don’t make me do that,” and with that, he turned and left.

He wouldn’t. Would he? It had to be a bluff. She started to wrap the shower curtain around her arm to use it to lift herself up by. She got as far as setting her butt on the tub edge and then rested her head against the wall. She could just see her own face in the bottom of the mirror over the sink now. It shocked her a little, the circles around her eyes, how thin her cheeks looked. The crusted over slop on her neck. She rubbed it off with the curtain and just sat hugging herself.

The fifteen minutes came and went before there were footsteps outside and Doctor Walker’s voice returned, “The door’s been overrode, you just have to hit the control,” he spoke softly to someone. “I’ll be outside the privacy field if you need me,” he said, his footsteps retreating. There was a moment’s silence before someone knocked on the door.

She swore under her breath but was just not quite able to swear at a chaplain. Was he out there pretending to talk to Ardeshir’s skipper to mess with her? “Go away, Walker.”

“It’s me, Calli,” Corvus answered. “Open the door.”

“Corvus?” Her voice cracked with emotion. There was a shuffling from inside the bathroom as Calliope used the curtain like a taut vine to get herself to the sink vanity and slide along it, holding herself up to get to the door keypad. And there was Corvus.

Stepping carefully through the door so that all one could see of the inside was the small sliver, before closing it behind her, Corvus looked to Calli. As well-crafted as she’d learned to keep her face over the years, there was no hiding the obvious shock at the sight of her friend and First Officer. “Calli…” she trailed off concernedly. “When Ethan said you needed me...I…” she let out a slow breath.

Calliope stood, shaky legs supported by the one arm she had planted on the counter, the other hand in her hair in an expression of intense relief. Walker had said Corvus was fine, but it was the first time Calliope had seen her since splitting up on the walk across the hull. “You’re okay.” She processed. “Thank God, you’re okay!”

“And you look like shit, Calli. What the hell is going on? Why is Doctor Walker out there arguing with Doctor Turan about you?” Corvus pressed. “Walker told me expressly, that I was your last chance. What the hell does that mean? Explain. Please.”
Calliope was struck dumb for a moment. She’d not perceived that she was really that much of a problem. “I don’t know what they’re on about. He was making threats. I just wanted some space.”

“Threats of what? Calling Captain Hawthorne?” Corvus asked, shaking her head. “Because that’s not Walker threatening anything. That’s Doctor Turan. I don’t know what you told Doctor Walker, or what he is to you, but he’s out there scrapping with Turan to keep Hawthorne out of this.”

“He didn’t call you up?” He hadn’t been bluffing at all, or pulling a fast one and bringing Corvus instead to appease her.

She shook her head, “No one called me, Calli. I came to check on you… that’s what I walked in on,” she said, gesturing back to the Sick Bay.

Calliope felt a shade guilty. She’d been purposely difficult with Walker and meanwhile, he was trying to make her case with the CMO. She looked down at her shaky ankles. “This isn’t how I expected treatment would be when Mazur said it would have to happen, Corvus. I never thought I’d wake up like this.”

“Are we talking about the symptoms here, Calli, or the deliberate obstiance?” Corvus asked, offering the faintest of smiles. “Because, honestly, I don’t think anyone out there cares what it's like. Only how they can help… but you have to let them,” she said, taking a hopeful step closer. “No matter how you wake up,” she added. “Though I can’t really see how much worse it could get,” she said, waving at her with a nervous laugh.

With Corvus in arm’s reach Calliope stretched out to use her for support instead of the counter. “They took the line out this morning. I thought it was going to get better. I’m supposed to keep something down. I can’t. Everyone rushing in…” It was insult on top of injury.

“That’s their job, Calli,” Corvus smiled, taking her weight on her shoulder but on her left side. She trusted Doctor Pembroke’s surgical repair, but why test it so soon. “You don’t need to make it any harder on them,” she added, helping her to the door and pressing the button to open it properly.

Corvus walked them out and through the narrow privacy screen Walker had put up so that the whole of Sick Bay didn’t have to see him negotiating Calliope out of the bathroom. A dark-haired and bearded man looked over the shoulder of the fair-haired man he was still arguing with and tucked his hands into his white coat, producing a tricorder. The fair-haired Doctor Walker turned around, smiling brightly at the two of them. He pointed to the bio-suite that belonged to Calliope and Corvus wheeled them that way.

“It’s good to see you, Commander,” Walker smiled.

Calliope looked at him, exhausted from fighting and lying on the floor, and slightly sheepish for misjudging him. “I’m finished,” she said and then added, “in the bathroom for now.”

“Great,” Walker nodded, standing aside so Doctor Turan could step in. “This is Doctor Turan, the Ardeshir’s Chief Medical Officer,” he said, gesturing to him.

“Good afternoon, Commander Zahn,” the elder, bearded man said as he began to scan her with the node from his tricorder. He snapped it closed after a moment and tucked his hands back into his pockets. “May we begin now?”

Calliope nodded, although she didn’t quite understand what he wanted to begin as much as she just wanted it over with. “Yeah. Let’s get started.”


 

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