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Side sim: Time Spent Together

Posted Nov. 25, 2023, 5:54 p.m. by Lieutenant V'alura Belmont (Scientist on Medical Leave) (Abigail G)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Alexis Kane (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) in Side sim: Time Spent Together

Posted by Lieutenant Solal Segal (Oncology and Immunology) in Side sim: Time Spent Together

Posted by Lieutenant V’alura Belmont (Scientist on Medical Leave) in Side sim: Time Spent Together
Posted by… suppressed (22) by the Post Ghost! 👻
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Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Cafe Sud was a cafe on a cobble paved side street in V’alura’s downright expansive holographic representation of the city. The cafe really existed, on Earth, too. Solal had originally used the program mostly for the concert hall elsewhere in the city, expertly tuned to sound perfectly real.

Today though, he was there for another reason. Sat in a chair outside Cafe Sud across from V’alura, there was a boutique mug of coffee in front of him, complete with a little design drawn with the froth on the top of the drink. He had not even brought his violin, he wasn’t well enough to play it anyway.

Solal had not been doing well these past few days. His energy was worse than before, his breathing was struggling more than it had been previously, his heart rate resting high. The headaches and brain fog were bad, making it difficult to think, painful to be in the light. The reason the hologram was set to a lovely dusk with a beautiful sunset. It was darker than mid-day.

Solal looked frail and sickly and pale, hunched slightly in the chair in which he sat, though he tried not to. He didn’t want V’alura doing too much worrying. A defect of her more human nature.

He looked up, across the table at her, “So of all the things we could do, Paris makes you feel better?” Though he would deny it, he still clung desperately to his control, the familiarity of the city, the sound of the holographic people around them speaking his native language, the atmosphere they had chosen, all did seem to be putting him at ease.

~ Solal

“Here. . .or Wyoming.” V’alura gently eased the words out. Syllable by syllable, each breath carefully controlled and executed so that she could speak as normally as possible. These days nearly half of her big half-Vulcan brains seemed devoted towards managing her ever worsening symptoms. Which, given the capacity of her mind that was a shocking amount. Before her was her own tall glass that held her latte with a swirl of caramel syrup.

“Besides. . . coming here makes you feel better too.” It wasn’t either of their homes, and though V’alura was the only one to actually live in the city for a period of time, she knew it must give Solal some measure of comfort as well. More than Wyoming, anyhow. She calculated the strength it would take to grab hold of her drink and bring it to her lips. Balanced against the constant ache and tightness in her chest. She reaches and takes one small, delicate sip.

If Solal looked frail and sickly and pale then V’alura looked no better. Her normally lovely autumn complexion turned ashy and she’d long since given up on hiding the dark green bags under her eyes. Her hair limp and flat, the only care it seemed to receive was when it was pulled back into a haphazard bun. She still smiled, no matter how tired and subtle they were these days.

V’alura

Solal nodded, too tired to argue that comfort was a human idea. He took a sip of his own drink and looked at V’alura with that critical look, like he was studying a patient. Making sure she was okay. She looked as bad as he did, he knew she was as sick. He coughed into his elbow, a painful action that sparked pain in his chest and all the involved muscles, and then looked down at his drink. “What’s in Wyoming?” He asked. He wasn’t exactly an expert on US states, but he was pretty sure Wyoming was one of those big, empty states.

~ Solal

Solal’s cough made her wince with sympathy. It sounded painful, but she forced her concern down. Solal disliked it when she fussed like a mother hen, “Oh, only everything,” She joked, tone light and teasing. “Great open plains. . . an endless sky. Towering mountains and. . . winding canyons. Wild horses. . . and-” And my mother. The house I grew up in. Where beloved and deceased pets were laid to rest under ancient trees. Where she had her first crush and her first kiss. First championship won. First acting class. Where most of her mother’s family lived. Where she fell in love with nature and science. “And peace like you’ve never known.”

V’alura

That sounded like nothing to Solal. Wilderness. But he got the feeling it would be offensive were he to say that so he kept his mouth shut and shrugged instead. “Sounds..... fascinating.” He said at last, his thought ending in another sickly cough. “France is peaceful.”

~ Solal

V’alura hummed in agreement, “The French countryside is very. . . pastoral. Wyoming feels. . . wild in comparison. Untouched. Untamed.” Not that there weren’t any wild places in France but areas of untouched wilderness were far and few in between. “I’ll get you there. . . one day. We’ll do a trail ride. With camping. And horses.” A week of them, the horses and the wilderness. Maybe momma would like to come along too and meet Solal. V’alura still hadn’t told her mother about her half brother. Scared to bring up that old hurt in her mother’s heart.

V’alura

Solal quietly hoped they both lived long enough to see that happen. “I am not much into camping,” he admitted. “Why would I want to sleep outside?” He coughed again, hard, and then took a moment to settle before speaking again. “Maybe I would go… for you.”

~ Solal

“I’ll make sure it’s fun,” V’alura promised. It was so nice to think about a happy future. One where they were healthy enough to travel and take a vacation to Earth. V’alura sagged into her chair. Worn out by even a little bit of talking. How long did she stay quiet? She wasn’t sure. Her mind felt so scattered and frayed these days, only able to focus on one little thing at a time. “. . . how long do you think we can go on like this?” She said, pausing several times to cough.

V’alura

Not much longer. Solal’s breathing episodes were getting more frequent, his emotional regulation worse. He did the kind thing though: spared her feelings. “Another several months with the facilities on board. We’ll be fine.” Hopefully he passed first. He’d consent to an autopsy that might save her. He looked tired, a little out of it. His breathing was labored.

~ Solal

Seven months. V’alura blinked rapidly, fighting back tears. She didn’t know if she could stand to watch Solal suffer for a week much less several months. There had to be something she could do. Some experimental treatment or procedure that would hasten a cure. V’alura resolved to speak with Dr. Kane in private. V’alura was a big girl, she could handle whatever was thrown at her. “It will be,” she agreed, voice tight. She had to look away, focus on their surroundings to keep her composure. This is hell. Complete hell and god she hoped if nothing else that Solal would survive this.

V’alura

Solal glanced up at her, the shadow of confusion or puzzlement on his face for a second before he covered it. “What’s wrong?” He asked. It seemed like it was getting harder for him to get the words out, to keep his breath.

~ Solal

“Nothing, nothing,” V’alura said, eyes shimmering with unshed tears. Stars above, girl, you need to pull yourself together. There in the back of her mind lay her mental cataloger of expressions. One for every aspect of the emotional spectrum. Organized by feeling and then by intensity, V’alura simply had to select the right face and like magic her muscles of her face move create a perfect copy. It was her acting superpower, one that had never failed her. Until recently. Though V’alura knew what gentle and carefree expression she wanted her face did not change. She looked just as worried as ever.

V’alura

Solal gave her a look. “I may prefer Vulcan logic, but I was raised on Earth. I can tell when one is attempting to lie.” He commented, needing breaths between the words. He started to say something else, but he began to cough hard, unable to take in a breath before another coughing fit started.

~ Solal

V’alura shook her head, brows knit together in confusion. Solal caught her lie? That wasn’t right. She tried again, summoning that image of calm but nothing on her face changed, “Vulcan’s don’t lie,” Some people really believed it. Solal would see it for the joke it was. “H-hey, there,” She reached over to run her hand soothingly over his back and shoulders. “Lean back, I got you.” Dr. Kane said reclining back takes some of the pressure off the lungs. V’alura wasn’t sure how but she found the strength to pull her chair closer and then use her hands to support his lower back and shoulders.

V’alura

Solal had a response, but he couldn’t stop coughing. He leaned back into her arms, letting her support him. The coughing didn’t stop and it took all his effort not to lean forward. He felt like he was going to cough up a lung. Or just throw up. Finally it stopped when he was red in the face and he began gasping for breath. “We both know Vulcans can lie,” he said, voice breathy and scratchy from coughing.

~ Solal

V’alura couldn’t help herself. She laughed. God it hurt like hell to do so and she nearly launched into a coughing fit of her own but what else could you do? “Duh,” She croaked, “Though. . . maybe not you.” She brushed some strands of hair from his face and brushed his forehead in soothing motions. Nothing beat a good temple massage, “You sound awful. Don’t talk but I think we should call the doctors.” They could get someone to the holodeck so he could stay right here and rest.

V’alura

“A lie… can be… logical.” he breathed. He started to cough again, hard, and then began gasping for breath. All his weight was rested on her. “Feeling… lightheaded.”

~ Solal

“Shuush, save your energy,” V’alura turned away and called out, “Computer, alert Dr. Kane we need medical assistance in the holodeck and summon the arch.” The arch materialized beside them. She held him in place with all her strength, keeping him as still as possible.

V’alura

“Rest… yourself. You’ll hurt yourself.” He took a few more gasping breaths. “I’m heavy.” His heart was racing. Was his estimate off? Was a few weeks more like a few hours? He couldn’t worry V’alura with such thoughts. She’d make herself worse worrying. If something did happen, did he want it to be in sickbay, with his own coworkers poking and prodding him? He wasn’t close with anyone on board, save for Achilleas and maybe V’alura. They wouldn’t really miss him. “Let me… stay here.” He gasped.

~ Solal

Her mental shields were crap. V’alura could barely keep her own thoughts focused much less think of protecting herself from outside thoughts. She hadn’t even noticed until Solal’s thoughts bleed into hers like water carrying ink across a page. Weeks. Hours? “No!” She rasped, tears dripping from the corners of her eyes, “No, you’re wrong.” Solal can’t stay here. He can’t get worse. “Computer, medical emergency in the holodeck!” God her voice was wrecked, if they weren’t her own words she wasn’t sure she would have recognized the sounds coming out of her.

V’alura

Solal’s thoughts started to blend with hers. No, she was worrying herself. She was going to set herself off. “Relax… gonna… hurt yourself.” His words were breathy, hard to understand. But there was worry in his tone.

~ Solal

How can she relax at a time like this? V’alura held his hand tight against her own, touch telepath be damned. Neither of them could talk much right now so she pushed everything through her thoughts. Stop talking, darn it! Save your breath and your energy. Help is on the way. It’s gonna be alright.

Solal squeezed her hand back weakly. He was surprised how easy it came to him to communicate this way. Don’t hurt yourself worrying. It’ll be okay whatever happens to me.

The doors to the holodeck opened and an emergency medical team swarmed in. Two knelt by Solal and scanned and fitted him with a breathing mask. =/\=Emergency medical transport to secondary sickbay=/\= and they disappeared. Two more got V’alura onto a stretcher and started giving her a breathing treatment while rushing her to sickbay as well.

Med Team

It was just a beam-out but V’alura cried out when she lost the mental link between her and Solal. She tried to speak but a coughing fit took over and it was all she could to do to keep breathing as she was lifted onto a stretcher. Put me close to him, she tried to beg, put me where I can watch over him.

V’alura

His eyes closed as he was transported to the secondary sickbay and placed on a biobed. V’alura was placed on the one next to him, in the same room. The breathing mask was helping, but he was still struggling. He looked pale and limp as the biobed alarmed about his heart rate, his O2, his respirations. With the mask, his O2 began to climb.

~ Solal

Alexis walked over and looked at Solal. V’alura was brought in a moment later. She raised the biobed to 10% and then physically tikted Solal’s head back and lifted his chin to make sure the air way was fully open. Then she played with the controls on the mask to make sure the positive pressure ventilation was optimal for his respiratory system. “Jt’nal prepare 5mg of Bisoprolol and give it to Dr. Solal.” The Vulcan nurse immediately filled the hypo and administered it while Alexis moved to the next biobed and checked V’alura. She raised the biobed 30° and but in a higher dosage of her breathing treatment. “You will both be fine. Breathe slowly.” It was never more apparent to her that whatever was wrong was genetic/inherited through their shared parentage.

Kane, AMO

V’alura sucked in medicated air like her life depended on it. Maybe she did. A fish out of water, gulping and gulping in vain, twisting and pushing to find its way back to water. V’alura had no such luxury. There was no place where she could breathe easily again, not now and maybe not ever. She blinked against the harsh lights of the emergency room and squinted against the blurred shapes around her. God, her lungs hurt. Like she’d just run a marathon. “S-” She coughed, “S-o-la-l?” Was he here? Were the doctors treating him?

V’alura Belmont, Sick Scientist

“Dr. Solal is fine, Lt. He is on the next biobed,” Alexis told her matter-of-factly.

Solal reached for her hand from his bed. His breaths were starting to even out, but still looked laboured. He was stable, the biobed no longer alarming, as his stats went back into a safer range. Far from normal, but not literally-dying-now. He turned his head carefully and looked at her. He seemed like he was going to say something, but instead coughed weakly into his breathing mask.

~ Solal

Alexis looked at Korridan, “Prep a double room. Once they have stabilized more, we’ll move them. They are going to be staying for awhile.”

Kane, AMO

V’alura reached for him until their fingers could wrap around one another. It’s okay, She thought, I’m here. We’re gonna be okay. Looks like we’re gonna be here for a while. Something had to break eventually, she felt, they could only be sick for so long. The doctors will solve this. That’s what they do, solve these little mysteries so the future was a little more safer and secure. V’alura’s eyes squeezed shut. God. She wished she was on Earth. Back at her momma’s house, sitting at the kitchen table, watching her momma whip up an apple pie because it was V’alura’s favorite and wouldn’t you know it the neighbors just brought by a whole bushel straight from their trees.

V’alura


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