STF

Sickbay – Is it Hot in Here?

Posted May 22, 2022, 6:53 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in Sickbay – Is it Hot in Here? [TAG: Captain; CMO]

Posted by Lieutenant Symar (Chief Medical Officer) in Sickbay – Is it Hot in Here? [TAG: Captain; CMO]

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in Sickbay – Is it Hot in Here? [TAG: Captain; CMO]
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(Snip!)

A whisper, fainter than she could discern, drew her gaze to where Kastarak lay on the floor. Then, as golden light bounced off the tears streaking his face, she understood. She would never know whether obligation or a deep, forgotten instinct led her to his side. But, she knew an easily replicated drug was not as important as him.

She sat down a meter from him but said nothing at first.

Kastarak noticed that the pain inside of him subsided with the presence of his colleague. It reminded him of when he, as a child, would be emotional, and his mother or father would sit next to him and their mere presence would sooth him.

“I lost Hanesh to the Romulans,” her breath hitched, “to Nero. He was my brother and my confidante. And I often wonder where he would be today. I like to think he would have pursued metal sculpting. He was enormously talented.” She furrowed her eyebrows and focused on a spot on the floor. “He was not the vengeful type, I do not think, but I cannot help but feel I am betraying his memory.”

Kastarak didn’t have words to express how he wanted to reply to T’Aria. He wanted to share in her pain, tell her that he too had the same feelings. He was also grateful for the empathy – he had never been more grateful for empathy that he could remember. Perhaps this catharsis is what he needs, maybe, just maybe this will help him heal? Humans talk of that all the time, don’t they?

The conversation – well, discarding that Kastarak couldn’t make himself speak.

He stretched out his hand to touch T’Aria’s shoulder. He had seen Nurse Sutalo do the same to patients when they were in distress, as a non-verbal signal of understanding and empathy. It seemed appropriate now.

T’Aria stiffened, expecting a wave of frigid apathy to crash over her, but she sensed only warmth. Empathy. His touch was light and barricaded by cloth, but she felt more than his hand on her shoulder. The sensation was familiar like a katra was familiar with its vessel: detached but unmistakable. And yet, somehow, safe.

She tried to understand his emotional transference, but her mind was too weary and worn to bother. Relaxing, she soon dismissed her thoughts to the silence between them and leaned into… whatever this was.

“I have touched a Romulan,” she lifted her head to Kastarak, “but I was, at the same time, touching another Vulcan. I wish I could say what we have and how it affects this disease, but I am no more aware than you. I am confused. I am conflicted. And I have no idea what to do because logic is not equipped for matters of the heart.”

Kastarak nodded, not understanding the implication of T’Aria’s words. He understood the words, but not their meaning.

“Kastarak, it was not my intention to cause you more distress. It is hard to think about Romulans without thinking about all we have lost,” she sighed, “and I cannot ask you to dissociate this from that. But… if you need someone, I’m here.”

“I understand, and your patience with me honours you,” he said quietly, avoiding eye contact with T’Aria, “as does your empathy”.

He paused, and let a few more tears fall from his eyes. He felt a need to connect with T’Aria.

“Ever since… uh… the attack” he said, feeling a need to use a euphemism to keep himself sober, “my memories are extremely vivid, and they carry so much emotion, if you understand? I was there, you see, on Vulcan, as it happened, and managed to escape in a shuttlecraft. But I couldn’t save anyone, couldn’t bring anyone with me. I knew that instant that we decided to fly upward rather than homeward we had lost our families and friends. It was as if my choice had murdered them, however illogical it is, it is a constant in me, one that I have tried suppress for years. I can’t even remember how long it’s been, it is as if it was just a week ago. And I never could say good-bye, and I don’t know whether I want to? I feel I deserve this imagery, this constant reminder that I had escaped and not suffered the same fate as them.”

T’Aria yearned to reach out and say, ‘I know your guilt’ and ‘I grieve with thee’, but she could not find the words. Even if she had, they would sooner die on her tongue than reach him. T’Aria took a slow, choppy breath and leaned to gently squeeze his forearm, the softest of frowns barely touching her lips. Though she saw frowns and light touches exchanged between bereaved friends, hers came not from observation but instinct. It felt… right.

“You honour your loved…” T’Aria wavered when she noticed a dark figure sneaking into her periphery.

— T’Aria

Symar had still only told T’Aria about his true identity, so when he entered Sickbay, he had to maintain the usual stoic Vulcan persona he had upheld since coming on board the ship, “Commander, Ensign, is something wrong?”

-Lieutenant Symar: Chief Medical Officer-

When Kastarak saw Symar entering Sickbay, he saw Symar from outside his office through the glass panels.

“Yes!” he shouted from the floor, “do not enter this room. It’s contaminated. I’ve been trying to contact you, check your PaDD. Those messages are extremely important. We are sick with a Romulan virus.”

T’Aria struggled to her feet and turned her head to avoid his gaze, beelining for the medical synthesizer to inspect the progress of their treatment while Kastarak warned Symar of the threat he faced by stepping inside.

He felt frustrated and angry with Symar for having ignored them, for not responding to their pleas, their messages. He felt rejected by Symar and started feeling angry toward him. It was a good outlet, a good projection, and it took his mind off the Romulans for a while.

“Do not come in here!”

– Ensign Kastarak

She tapped the display, watching as a promising 89% popped onto the screen, apprising them that the first trial would be available shortly. There was no guarantee the drug would work, as it was little more than repurposed oseltamivir, but they needed to start somewhere. She nodded to Kastarak, “the drug is nearly ready.”

“Doctor Symar,” T’Aria reclaimed some of her impassivity and masked her disappointment, “there is a chance you were exposed to the virus. Are you experiencing flu-like symptoms or unusual fatigue?”

— T’Aria
OOC: Computer is dying, apologies for the rushed response!


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