Obsidian Command

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Rag Doll

Posted on 01 Oct 2022 @ 8:08am by Commander Anson Corduke MD & Lieutenant Commander Tahmina Aker
Edited on on 01 Oct 2022 @ 8:10am

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: USS Theseus
Timeline: MD04 through MD07
2917 words - 5.8 OF Standard Post Measure

.:USS Theseus - Jeffries Tubes - Deck Five:.

The sparks exploded around her as she held the plasma torch in front of her, scattering about her hood and peppering her dull gold and black coveralls. Behind her, the other engineering crew not in their flame resistant coveralls stayed put behind a protective forcefield, though the two engineers flinched bodily every time sparks hit the energy ribbon. Neither one of them had said anything since the chief had started working on the conduit, both out of fear of distracting her and just plain fear of her. They were already on thin ice with the chief, the last thing they needed was to say something that made her lose her train of thought or mis apply the weld she was working on - a weld that they were collectively responsible for.

Ensign Sandersson flinched again as sparks hit the forcefield between them and tried to shake it off, looking over at Crewman sh’Vahn brooding against the other side of the Jeffries tube access, tucked in on her side, her antennae narrowed forward with agitation. Eirich had been somewhat unfortunate in his academy training that he hadn’t spent too much time with many Andorran’s, so he wasn’t all that familiar with their mannerisms and especially how their antennae seemed to express their emotions even when their faces didn’t. But he was starting to get used to Parea’s and he knew that despite the clear agitation her antennae were expressing, her eyes were showing fear.

He wanted to offer her something to make her feel better, both because he felt responsible for their situation and because he wanted to offer more than professional consolation, but he kept it in. He was an Officer and she was not. Not to mention the obvious complications of tryin to date a female from a species with as complicated a romantic structure as was possible. But if she knew that was where his mind was more often than not, she hadn’t shown it, and he was pretty sure that any chance of ever finding a doorway through the quagmire of their professional setup to something more was currently being welded closed by the chief.

Not that she’d be interested in a pale-skinned, white-blonde haired Ensign as big around as a PaDD stylus. He was hardly the kind that the ladies went for, regardless of the species. Of course he would have preferred a human woman, but he wasn’t that discriminating for the most part. But something about sh’Vahn just kept his attention.

Eirich had lost himself to thoughts he should have been putting aside and jumped so hard he hit his head on the bulkhead behind him as the chief turned around, powered off the forcefield and shoved the plasma torch kit at him. As he nursed the back of his head, Lieutenant Commander Aker looked at him with a furious and concerned glare, almost like the one you’d give a child with special needs. “You with us, Sandersson?” She snapped.

“Ja, Chief,” he replied quickly, his native Swedish dripping off even a simple statement like that.

Chief Aker shimmied past him in the Jeffries tube and then down the next junction, stopping a few feet along to look back at them in disbelief. “Don’t just stand there, grab the kit and follow me!” She barked, turning back around and hustling on down the tube.

It was certainly easier for her than it was for him. He might have been skinny as a rail but he was over six feet tall with a lot of leg to unfold and refold to go a new direction. sh’Vahn rolled her eyes at him, grabbed the kit next to her and shifted about in the Jeffries tube, putting her hand to his chest to push him against the wall. “Get out of my way,” she grunted, then headed down after Chief Aker. Eirich unfolded himself, took the plasma torch kit and followed Parea, doing his best to keep his eyes on the grate between her heels and not on… other things, letting the pain in his hands as he put them down with every movement keep his focus.

Of course this was how his first duty assignment went. He’d done so well in the Academy, really found his groove especially amongst the Engineering instructors. Tested well, practicals went well, he’d even gotten lucky and gotten to do a ‘cadet’ cruise in the yards instead of out in the Fleet. Something most cadets would give an eye to do. Then, to top it all off, he got assigned to a Prometheus. One fresh from the yards and in their first month, had already seen combat in multi-vector mode. It had been a dream come true. At least, it had started that way. But since the word go it’d been nothing but little things. Little errors, little slights by the other crew, little tasks assigned to him when he was capable of so much more. Then, finally, he’d gotten a job worthy of someone with the skills he had and he’d managed to bungle it. Bungled it so bad that it was unlikely the Chief would turn him loose on anything on his own ever again.

But what really embarrassed him the most was the fact that sh’Vahn had it right. He tried to convince himself that she’d screwed it up in the first place, and she had, but she had the sense to come and ask for help and he’d jumped at the chance to do it. He wanted to tell himself that he’d jumped because he wanted the chance to prove his worth, but only because he didn’t want to admit that he’d only answered her call because he wanted to try and have a few moments alone. To try and show her that he was a good engineer which by default must have meant he was a good man too. To get that much closer for a minute to try and shoot his shot, even though he knew he shouldn’t.

Whether it was his need to impress her, or just a plain old brain fart, Eirich had bungled the fix and nearly severed the primary plasma relay in the process. sh’Vana had frozen in fear at the sight of what was happening and it was a mixture of quick thinking and just dumb luck that Eirich was able to quickly divert power through the secondary and tertiary relays to save the main one from overloading and effectively taking main power down. By all sense and reason, he probably should have as the fix had nearly burned the flesh from his hands. But then he’d have been dealing with Captain Callum, not a visit to the sick bay.

Chief Aker had descended on them seemingly out of nowhere and before he could even explain what had happened she had drafted both of them into their current purgatory, treating sh’Vahn as if the whole thing were just as much her fault as his. He’d been so embarrassed that he hadn’t even mentioned the state of his hands.

Parea stopped somewhat suddenly in front of him and then moved again a moment later and he saw why in a few feet. Chief Aker had shifted to go up the vertical shaft, moving up to another level. sh’Vahn followed a moment later and then it was his turn. He looked up, waiting until Parea was far enough up that he could go, and then put the kit handle in his teeth and shifted to climb. His hands immediately were in excruciating pain as he tried to hold on. He switched to trying to hold with just his fingers, but that was worse. Pausing to adjust, he held himself upright with the sides of his fists along the side of the ladder rungs, leaning back to use the tube bulkhead to hold himself aloft. It worked for about four or five rungs, until his right hand slipped whilst his right foot was in the air. He tried to put his foot back and arrest any fall, but he missed the rung, cracked his skull on the rung in front of him and all else went black.

.:Sick Bay - USS Theseus:.

Brilliant white light now flooded his eyelids and as his mind swam into consciousness, he was dimly aware that he was lying on his back. His spine hurt, his arms hurt, his legs. As he thought about it he realized that the only thing that seemed to not hurt was his ears. Even his tongue and teeth ached. Slowly, it all came back to him; the missed rung on the ladder and the thunk of his head. He remembered that momentary moment of consciousness where you realized you were gone and then now, where it was he was now. Maybe he’d gotten lucky and he’d landed in a sub-junction in a way that hadn’t bent him like a pretzel, but judging by the pain everywhere, he hadn’t been that lucky. He wanted to open his eyes, take stock of where he was and invariably call for help if Parea and Chief Aker hadn’t already. But he also didn’t want to and have to face the damage to his body. Steeling his mind for it, he carefully opened his eyes, wondering as he did how it was that his eyelids were in pain.

Eirich squinted in the bright light, trying to look around to see what junction he was in, but his neck muscles screamed in pain as he started to. In a moment he realized that he wasn’t in a Jeffries tube at all but in a wide open room. One with bright lights and that smelled like… was that eucalyptus? He blinked the glare out of his eyes as an unfamiliar face swam into view, looking down at him with a cocksure grin.

“Welcome back, Ensign,” he crowed loudly.

He stared back at the gray-haired man with glasses in his white lab coat for a solid ten seconds before his mind caught up and told him that he had to be in Sick Bay. “W-,” he started to try and say but even that hurt like hell.

“You’re in Sick Bay, kid” he declared as if he were reading his mind. He waved over his body to someone he couldn’t see and a tricorder was thrust into his hand. He pulled out the node and began scanning while Eirich just blinked, now feeling a raging sense of fear and helplessness as he again tried to speak and didn’t get much more than a brief movement out of his lips. “Primary motor function’s going to take a bit to come back, I had to dope you pretty hard to manage the pain levels,” he said, reading the screen on his tricorder and then looking down into Eirich’s eyes, “You’re going to be fine, kid,” he said, handing the tricorder off to whoever had given it to him. He couldn’t tell from his angle and it hurt so bad to move he didn’t bother trying. Once more he tried to open his mouth to speak, but this time felt a new twinge of pain, this time in his neck. He looked fearfully at the man who just smirked, “Nighty, night.”

The white light returned to his eyes and this time it took much longer for him to realize where he was, but when he did, he snapped his eyes open and tried to look frantically about. This time his neck moved a bit more, but just when he thought he could move freely he felt a flash of white hot pain in his neck and he laid back with a pealing moan of pain. Now that he could move slightly, he saw a nurse hurry over and press a hypo to his neck. He started to protest because he didn’t want to be unconscious again, but this time it was followed by something more pleasant. A warm wave cascaded across his body, washing away the pain. He heaved a sigh of relief and relaxed on the bed.

“Back again. Atta boy,” the white haired man crowed again in his ear, appearing on his left. This time without the white coat, in fact without a uniform at all. He was dressed in civilian clothes like he was going on a date or something. “How’s the jabber box working?” He asked, gesturing to Eirich’s mouth.

Swallowing nervously, he licked his lips and said, “Ouch.”

The gray haired man laughed with a smile that crinkled the edges of his eyes. “Eloquent. Artistic. I like it,” he chuckled. “Hey. Good news is your rag doll experiment was a raging success,” he deadpanned. “Bad news is, Chief’s going to never let you forget the mess you left behind,” he smirked. “But hey. At least you get a few days off for your efforts.”

Eirich tried to laugh, but it hurt and wiped the emotion off his face instantaneously.

“Can you tell me your name, kid?”

“Lieutenant Eirich Sandersson,” he replied hoarsely.

The gray haired man waved to the nurse who came over with a glass of water and helped Eirich drink it through the straw. He felt immediate relief to the scratching at the back of his throat.

“Do you know where you are?” The man asked further.

“Sick Bay of the Theseus… I hope,” he replied.

“Worked out who I am?” He pressed, smirking.

“I think… you’re the CMO,” he replied, “I’m not not sure though… we haven’t actually…” he trailed off, wincing in pain.

“Doc Childers did your incoming physical,” the man nodded. “I’m Doctor Corduke, the Chief,” he smiled. “So hey, your faculties are functioning, that’s never a bad thing. It’s going to take a little longer for everything else to sort itself out. I’m good, but I can’t work miracles. Some things the body just has to do on its own.”

“Will I be ok?” Eirich asked worriedly.

Corduke laughed, “You’ll be fine kid. I’ve healed all the breaks, un-punctured the things inside that don’t like bones sticking through them and even took the dents out of your forehead,” he smirked. “Even better than that, now you can say you’ve broken just about all the bones in your body. A few of them more than once,” he laughed. “You’re going to be a hit at dinner parties.”

He wanted to laugh but he couldn’t, nor did he get why this Doctor was trying to make him.

“Right. Laughing hurts,” Corduke waved dismissively. “Sorry. Sarcasm’s my super power,” he smirked. “Now. You’ve got options. If you’re hungry and up for it, you can eat. If not, I’m happy to put you out so you can rest. You tell me. After that, you’re in Nurse Beckett’s capable hands for the rest of the night.”

“How long have I been…here?” Sandersson asked.

“Four days,” he replied.

“Have… I missed anything?”

Corduke shrugged, “Well… we’re currently halfway to points unknown, escorting the Pathfinder and her team of sciency do-gooders trying to find some gnarly bad guys what don’t play nicely with others,” he explained, effectively recapping the few days since they’d left OC space. Right about when he’d taken his fall. Anson felt bad for the kid, of course, but he had to admit that it was a good way to spend the boring part of their trip tending a patient so he didn’t have to sit in his office bored to tears looking for something to occupy him. He hated that his job often relied on others misfortune’s, but he always reminded himself when he thought that, that without him, their misfortune’s might turn fatal. In the end, he was helping them.

“How long until I can get back to work?” Sandersson asked.

“Well, my friend. Your first job is going to be walking again. Then, we’ll work on the rest.”

“It’s that bad?” He frowned, on the verge of tears.

“Oh, hey now, kid. Don’t freak out. You’re going to be ok. You’re just looking at a couple weeks of therapy. You’ll be chasing tail through this ship in no time at all. I can even leave some scars for you if you’d like,” he winked playfully.

“Just a couple weeks?”

“Just a couple weeks,” Duke nodded.

“…ok,” he answered, nodding ever so slightly. “Ok,”

Corduke clapped his hands excitedly and grinned like a schoolboy as he drew a tray over from behind his headboard with two containers on it. “That’s the spirit, kid. Now. What’s it going to be? Mr. Sandman or a nice, juicy protein pudding? I’ve got… Salisbury steak or… Lasagna… or random memories from the last twenty years, swimming through your brain,” he said, gesturing to the two containers in turn and finally to a hypo spray and grinning. “Pick your poison.”

 

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