Posted March 14, 2023, 5:02 p.m. by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) (Lucas Foxley)
Posted by Ensign Kovan ch’Sirhc (Engineering & Communications Officer) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes
Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes
Posted by Ensign Kovan ch’Sirhc (Engineering & Communications Officer) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes
Posted by… suppressed (13) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Rand was running rounds at this time of the morning. She had finished with Roger’s and had submitted the reports for the next communique packet going out. She had helped Gorshin with his next supply order and was headed to deck 6 to check supplies with Helpful before finalizing the food supply order.
Ensign Scott was taking advantage of Alden’s prolonged absence, her PaDD opened to a popular magazine that had come in that morning. When she saw a photo of Rand and the Commander splashed across one of the pages, a two-page splash, she squealed quietly and peeked around to see if anyone was looking. Then she turned her PaDD off and went to find Rand. Upon finding her in the corridor, Scott pulled her aside. “Rand! Rand! Have you seen this?!” She asked, handing Rand the PaDD. “I think you look quite lovely, really, it could be worse. But I don’t think you’d want the rest of the ship seeing this…”
~ En Scott
Rand heard Scott before she saw her. She placed a smile on her face and turned waiting for her to catch up. She gave her a perplexed look. At first she thought it was something about Nibbles, Scott was supposed to be in the lab. Roman must have been doing XO things.
She took the PaDD that Scott shoved at her and looked at it. It didn’t register, it didn’t make sense. The picture was decent but not great quality, but how? When? Her eyes landed on the title: WEST END STARLET TOOK TO THE STARS
West End Darling, Miranda Farquharson Spotted Amongst the Stars
Snippets sank into her head as her eyes skimmed. Her hands shaking and her breath whistled frantically through her lungs.
The brilliant and impassioned darling actress of West End. . . Who vanished from the spotlight… Many have speculated Miranda’s fate . . .was spotted…with a Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome…We’ve uncovered the man’s secret identity! Sir Roman Alden, Heir.......what sort of juicy secrets does their illicit romance entail? full expose in the next issue.
She couldn’t breath, her heart pounded painfully, her fingers and face and feet felt numb. Her vision tunnelled and then went black. The PaDD crashed to the floor. She had to get away, she didn’t feel good, this…this couldn’t be happening.. no…she had a rush of adrenaline, she had to get away. She tried to walk away, but her legs would not hold her. She couldn’t breathe. Her head felt hot and then cold, leaving her dizzy and sick. Her vision went totally black before she collapsed to the floor.
Roman had stepped out of his office to go and find her. It did not take long, though what he saw made him freeze. Ensign Scott standing in front of Rand with a PaDD. Roman began to hurry over.
He was too late. Before he was halfway there, he watched as she dropped to the ground and Scott’s panicked, “Rand?! Rand!!” echoed through the hall. To Scott’s credit, she pointed to another nearby officer and said “Call medical, now.”
Roman rushed over and kneeled by Rand, shaking her gently with a hand on her shoulder. “Rand! Are you okay?” He sounded terrified for her, his voice shaking. He reached for her wrist to check her pulse.
Rand’s pulse was thready and racing, and she didn’t wake up as he shook her. The medical team came around the curve of the corridor. Elbbirt and Shrine. Randy had headed off in a different direction when he left Roman’s office and had taken a lift to another deck to look for Rand.
Roman alternated between squeezing Rand’s hand and wringing his own in a very Rand-like fashion. His chest hurt in the same way it had the day of his follow up exam and he was reminded Rand felt like this all the time. He forced tight, slower breaths. He had to be there for her. “It’s alright, Miranda, I’m right here. I’m right here. It’ll be fine.” His voice was shaky and uneven which was entirely unlike the Commander and earned him a pitying look from Scott.
Shrine gently moved the on lookers out of the way and sent them back to work. Elbbirt knelt on her otherwise and scanned her. “Shrine get me a beta blocker cocktail. It looks like her blood pressure dropped and then spiked wildly and her pulse is erratic.” He paused before taking the hypo Shrine handed him. He watched the readings on her heart. She didn’t look to need the harsher cardiac support drugs. He grabbed the hypo and gave it. “Get a stretcher.”
“I’ve got it.” Roman said in that same shaky tone. It was easier for him to lift her now since he’d been allowed to work out but he still grunted as he lifted her into his arms, pressing her close to his body. “Come on, Miranda. It’ll be fine.”
Elbbirt started to protest, but Alden had already lifted her and the poor man looked like he needed to. Rand wasn’t having trouble breathing so it should be fine. He felt like Rand had fainted, from stress since there was no change in her temperature or blood sugar. He was tempted to tell Alden to take her to her quarters and let her rest, but he would rather have her in sickbay just incase. “I think she just fainted, and needs to rest, but I would rather have her in sickbay just in case.”
Roman could tell when Rand started to wake up because her breathing changed suddenly -rapid and labored, and her hands gripped his shirt.
Roman carried her to sickbay, hesitating a moment at the door. But he had to do this, to know if she was okay. He set her down on a biobed as indicated by Elbbirt. It was as he was setting her down that she began to wake, gripping his shirt. He took a seat next to the bed, taking her hands and squeezing them. “I’m here, Miranda. You’re okay.”
The antiseptic smell and constant beeping told Rand immediately where she was - Royal Brompton National Heart. Then she heard a voice that had nothing to do with Royal Brompton. Roman. She was on Sentinel…in sickbay. She gripped his hands painfully and a whispered whimper of “no” as her mind caught up with what was going on. She couldn’t stop it either. Who would do that to her? What had she done wrong? What hadn’t she done? Who had she offended so badly? Who hated her that much to do that? To make money off of her? They had to have been paid for it…they always were. And more was coming.
Elbbirt walked over when he heard her say something. Her heart rate had started racing again, along with her blood pressure. that was good though. If the two were opposite then there would be more concern. Instead Rand’s systems seemed to be reacting normally to some fight or flight stimulus. What that might be though was beyond Elbbirt’s guess. Rand had spoken with him regularly, letting him take over to give Randy space to just be her brother. Elbbirt knew there were things that Rand didn’t like to talk about, that she didn’t want the crew to know. Though he felt it would be fine if they did, he understood her anxiety wouldn’t let her see that. But what had set it off he didn’t know. He watched her readings but nodded to Alden. Nothing to be concerned about yet. The Beta blockers were already bringing the numbers back down. He figured Alden was a more calming presence for now, rather than being startled awake by another doctor.
Roman nodded back to Elbbirt, relieved. He was jumpy. Each beep, each footstep, each opening and closing of doors seemed to set him off. He kept looking around the area like he was looking out for something. He tried to focus on Rand. Rand needed him. He squeezed her hands, he didn’t care if she was hurting him and looked down at her with a worried stressed expression. “Miranda, it’s okay. We had to be sure you’d be okay. Elbbirt said your heart is fine, you just fainted.”
Rand finally, after what seemed forever, opened her eyes. It was immediately obvious she was not okay. Oh physically she was fine, the monitors for her vitals were pulsing slow and rhythmically. Without the beta blockers her heart and blood pressure would probably be spiking occasionally, but not dangerously so, but that would be a reaction to the adrenaline making its way out of her system. There was flicker of understanding, her heart was fine, but nothing else was. Why? Why couldn’t it be just another horrible bad dream? Her gaze stayed on Roman, never looking around, not even for Randy, and there was so much sadness and fear there.
“Rand? Do you remember what happened?” Elbbirt was scanning her head to make sure there was no slow building concussion. It would be bad, but after all her other trouble with her last concussion he didn’t want the poor girl to go through that again, but she had managed not to hit her head again.
Her eyes flickered briefly toward Elbbirt and then she did something she never ever did in front of anyone else. She rolled on her side and hid in Roman’s chest. Her hands bunched in her shirt. She felt like her chest should hurt and it should be hard to breathe, but it wasn’t. Everything felt surreal and not quite like it should be. That was the medication working and maybe a little shock and her mind panicking but her body not reacting.
Roman hugged her tightly to him, trying to comfort her. “We’re light years away in space, on a Starfleet ship. Pictures or no, they won’t get to you.” Roman promised, speaking softly into her ear.
He knew, Roman knew. It wasn’t some prank or cruel joke. Not that Rand thought Scott was mean in anyway. Gossipy but not mean. This was going to change everything. Rand didn’t say anything, she just listened to his voice, letting it soothe her. She pressed tighter into him - he was the closed curtain she needed to hide.
Her reaction told Elbbirt she did indeed remember, but wasn’t going to talk about it. He didn’t think pushing her right now was best for her anyway. He looked at Alden and gave a sad nod. “She’ll be fine,” physically, “You can take her home whenever she’s ready. Just let her rest.” Elbbirt turned the monitors to silent so maybe they wouldn’t make Rand stress more, and the shooed everyone out of the area to give them privacy.
Roman nodded to Elbbirt. He wanted to leave sickbay but he didn’t want to rush Rand. The silenced monitors helped Roman too, but he was still on edge and uncomfortable. The door to sickbay opened, just staff coming or going, and he gasped and looked up, squeezing Rand tighter. He wasn’t going to complain though. “How do you feel?”
Rand hadn’t heard Elbbirt say she could leave. She wasn’t paying attention to him, she couldn’t. She shook her head ‘no’. “Make them let me go home.” It was muffled and though someone else might think Rand was asking Roman to use his rank, she wasn’t. Just right then she knew he would fix it because she didn’t know what to do, supposed to or not. Could she go back to yesterday?
“Elbbirt said you can go.” Roman said softly, still holding her. “If it helps I can carry you out of here.” It was meant to be funny, he figured that would not help. “We can leave right now if you want to.”
“O…okay…” Yes she did agree to let him carry her. She didn’t want to look at anyone, she didn’t want to breath or be, she just wanted to disappear. “I w…w…wan’ ttto go.” Her stutter had returned. She had to get up though, she wouldn’t be allowed to leave if she didn’t do it on her own. Or that was what she was telling herself, the stress of being made to stay making her come up with all kinds of possibly irrational scenarios. They could go if she could let go long enough to stand up.
“I just need you to stand up and then I can carry you all the way to our quarters.” Roman smiled down at her, a stressed and anxious look on his face. “Then we can let you rest and relax there. Okay?”
Rest and Relax? There was no such thing anymore. She wanted to go home, but their quarters would have to do. She had to let go of him and her fingers were stiff from being curled into his shirt. She pushed herself up a little from her side so she could slide of the biobed. There was some slight lightheadedness as her blood pressure adjusted from horizontal to vertical, but it passed quickly. She stared at her hands, certain everyone was staring at her. They were, kind of, but not because of the article, no one knew, but out of pure worry for her.
Once she was standing, he lifted her up into his arms, close to him against his chest, and headed out of sickbay with her. Thank god. Roman did not want to spend anymore time there. He carried her all the way to their quarters where he set her gently on the bed and then lay down with her, hugging her tightly.
Randy found them in the corridor, beside himself with worry. He had never found Rand and Roman had seemingly disappeared, only to find Roman carrying Rand home. To say Randy freaked out would be an understatement. But he was quiet about it because he didn’t want to stress Rand out. Apparently she had fainted when she panicked at seeing the article.
All he really wanted to do was take Rand away from Roman and protect her, but that wasn’t his job anymore, it was Roman’s. Randy took her keyrods and comm, he could at least fill in so she could rest. He went and found her PaDD where it had been dropped and took it back to his quarters. He paced up and down the corridor after that, rage and frustration building with no outlet. He decided to go see if Kovan had had any luck in finding out who did it. The picture was old, maybe they were off the ship? That would give Rand some peace of mind, he hoped.
Kovan stared at his console screen lost in thought. The person who sent the photos were none other than Alden’s would-be assassin. The photos, yes photos, weren’t even particularly well hidden, but simply slipped in to the outgoing data packet that day. He tried to possibly uncover the destination but that road came up to a big, fat dead end. Outgoing data is given numbers that represented the destination. Real numbers. If a package were given a number that it didn’t know how to process? It became “lost” in the first sensor relay it came into. The data would bounce around inside the sensor forever until the intended receiver hacked in and gave it the real destination number. With a whole year between now and then finding that particular sensor relay was like finding a teacup in the sun.
Roman had been with Rand for a while, but he needed to check in on Kovan, without Randy. He decided to page Randy. =/\= Randy, I need to get back to work but I can’t leave Rand alone right now. Report to my quarters? =/\= It was phrased as a question because it wasn’t an official order.
Randy had had no luck tracking Kovan down. He wasn’t working the bridge or engineering or his quarters. The lounge and mess were both sans Kivan as well. In truth, Randy was far too angry to really put effort into finding him. But the pacing of the decks kept him occupied. When Roman paged him, =/\=On my way=/\= Randy arrived a couple minutes later. Rand was asleep when he arrived, or faking it really well. But Randy didn’t mind sitting with her.
When Randy showed up, Roman headed out to the lift, and then went to Kovan. Stepping up behind the Ensign, he said, “What’d you find?”
“Your almost assassin had a lovely photography hobby,” Kovan stated bluntly, “Whoever he sent the photos too they waited for over a year before selling them.” Kovan pinched the bridge of his nose, “Give me. . . a day and I can study the data more. Look at everything that bargin-pick assassin sent and stored on the ship. He has to have left some electronic traces.”
Roman frowned and nodded. So he was still messing with Roman’s life, even from custody… How frustrating. “My orders stand. Whatever you find, report solely to me. Whatever Randy tells you, don’t tell him. Not until we know no one on board was involved. Got it?”
Keep poking. Don’t tell Randy. Okay. Kovan can work with that. “Consider it done. If I could keep making use of the conference room I’d appreciate that.” No one really used the room unless there were missions to discus. So it made it private and away from prying eyes.
Roman nodded. “We won’t have need of the room.” Then he turned and left to let Kovan work, heading back up towards his own quarters to check on Rand.
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