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Checking in on Sickbay

Posted on 28 May 2021 @ 7:15pm by Syrial J'naii & Captain Martin Collins

Mission: Waving The Flag
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: July 20, 2280 || 1330 hours

A board game.

Yes, that is what Syrial would rather be doing than attending to all these injured patients. They'd rather be sitting with their new crewmembers, playing a board game, really getting to know those folk, not worrying about a Klingon battle because said battle never happened. Perhaps it might have been a strange thought, an out of place thought, to anybody else, but to the doctor it was just the absurd grounding that their mind needed to keep their calm in the midst of a chaotic sickbay. This wasn't the first time they'd dealt with the aftermath of a battle, and it always turned out this way. Details, details, details. It was focusing on the little, happy, details of things that never were - like which little trinket Syrial would pick to represent themselves on the board game - that kept their sanity. Sure, the J'naii would rather be playing a game, but considering that they might well have recently died, they settled for being busy in the sickbay as a happy medium.

Still, the J'naii worked tirelessly among the injured. For once they were not the only alien in the room - but they were still a stranger. Among all the blue and pink and the token green man, they were still the only J'naii. Andorians were fascinating. Biologically, that is. A part of Syrial wished that they were seeing these patients under happier circumstances. They had seen many species in their life, but Andorians were new, something straight out of a medical textbook. Something they'd like to be a family physican for, as if Syrial ever had that luxury, not an emergency surgeon. But then again, they could just be glad any of the Andorians survived, in the end. Things could've gone worse. Much worse, they thought as they finished up dealing with an injured leg.

"Captain?" Syrial asked, turning around. They thought they had heard a familar voice.

Syrial had indeed picked up on the identity of sickbay's newest arrival. Thankfully, Captain Collins didn't require medical attention. The Lexington was currently at warp, escorting the damaged Andorian freighter back to the Andorian homeworld. With all of the stations finally secured, Marty left the bridge in Harcrow's hands so he could check in on the different departments. Sickbay was his first stop.

"How'd we do down here?" Marty asked, taking visual inventory of the wounded distributed around the room.

"Ah, Captain." Syrial looked towards the patients. To tell the truth, the motion was largely to look away from the Captain for the moment, to hide their momentary worry. The doctor didn't want Marty to even know that their face was capable of such expression. By the time they looked back towards their superior, their expression was back to normal. "Things are. Well. Could be worse, could be better. Three of the crew didn't make it. And some of our blue guests. There's still some Andorians in critical condition as well; we're working on them. I can't say getting attacked by Klingons here helped anybody's chances."

Marty inhaled slowly. He noticed Syrial's mannerisms, and he could tell this was still an unpleasant moment for them. He looked past her to the many beds that were filled, as well as a few different stains that were on the floor. Blue. Purple. Red. Three different colors of blood, each belonging to a different species. He caught a glint of light under a nearby cart, an unusual thing to see in sickbay. Marty knelt down to see a Klingon knife had somehow fallen beneath it. The Captain picked it up slowly, checking to see if it had been recently used. "Yes," he said. "I heard about your unexpected visitors. I'm a bit surprised the Klingons went for a dishonorable target."

"Yes, well, if they had 'honor', they wouldn't have attacked a planet full of civilians, would they?" Syrial asked with a quiet sort of disgust that seemed a bit out of character for the doctor. Some things were hard to just brush over though, and Syrial had been there when they took Earth. Then the doctor shrugged that off - the outward emotion at least, not the memories. If the Captain was here, he was looking for a count of deceased. Not a time for Syrial to mope about their past. "But really. I doubt they knew this was the sickbay when they beamed in. If anything, they probably saw it had a high concentration of life signs and on a Klingon ship, that would be, like, the barracks or whatever they call it, I don't know. I don't think infirmaries are as, uh, extensive on their ships. Not when they practically fetishize dying of battle wounds. Their honor is dumb. I'm glad my people aren't as dumb. Or humans, for that matter. I'm sorry about that," Syrial reached out towards the knife. "I can go find a place for that, if you need. Probably shouldn't be lying on the floor here, being a hazard and all that. I'm just glad nobody stepped on it." Not only would they have a knife wound, who knows what sort of blood borne pathogens they might catch in this multicolored bloody mess.

"Klingons are about as smart as their desire for combat, bloodlust, and supremacy," Marty wondered aloud. He also wondered whether he should hand Syrial the knife given the remarks they'd already expressed. Ultimately, he decided against it, lowering the weapon to his side. "I'll drop it off to the armory. I'm sure it will become useful for something later. In the meantime, I'll talk to Mayhew about having a security contingent stationed near sickbay the next time we face the Klingons. Perhaps if they can get here earlier next time, they can prevent further bloodshed."

"Oh, that'd be great," Syrial smiled. "New friends - security friends." They chuckled. "Do make sure they clean that knife well. Got to be sterilized, keep away diseases." The doctor switched from one conversation to the other without hesitation. "And yes. Would like to do anything to avoid bloodshed. We get enough of that second hand in here."

"Well, we'll just hope we keep it completely second hand." Marty looked around for a towel or something he could wrap the knife in to keep it from becoming an accidental problem. "If we didn't have to beam wounded directly to sickbay, I'd look into reinforcing the surrounding bulkheads. Places like this have no choice but to remain accessible."

Syrial looked around, trying to figure out what Marty was looking for. There were a couple towels laying on Syrial's desk - the kind of thin, disposable towels used in surgery. But the J'naii glanced right over them, instead looking at the tools and their computer. "Yeah. My last ship, the Dragon - that didn't even have a sick bay. After a fight, we'd just section off one of the sleeping quarters for the injured, and we'd all get real cozy in the other cabin. So I can't much complain that these bulkheads aren't secure by necessity." Syrial smiled. Despite their nature, they were somehow one of the folk on this ship with more combat experience. "How is everyone else doing?" The doctor continued. "I don't think I've stepped out of the sickbay since, well... since." They shrugged.

Marty picked up one of the towels and carefully wrapped the blade. By the time he was finished, the blade was secure, but the wrapping wasn't so tight as to allow the blade to slice through the cloth. He then shoved the bundle into his belt. "The last time I saw a sickbay overflowing with wounded was when the convoy I was escorting a few years ago was ambushed. I think we had two decks converted into a mobile hospital for three weeks." The Captain sighed. "The rest of the crew seems to be doing fine. We have a lot of fresh faces, people who've rarely left M-11. Everyone did well, but I can tell a lot of people are hiding their nerves."

"Did I tell you,about before I arrived at M-11? I spent a couple years on a mercenary ship. Good crew - mostly humans. We ran into quite a few little skirmishes, some klingons. And we picked up fresh faces sometimes. They looked like that at first. People get used to the fighting. Not sure if that's a good thing, I don't like how normalized it can get to folk, but they get used to it," the J'naii shrugged. They wondered just how much of that stuff made it onto their record - from that ship, probably not a lot. They weren't exactly on the books then. "But we need to consider this a victory. We lost some folk, and the only thing worse than dying for victory is dying then losing anyway. Let's throw a party, when this is all over. I can make a cake." The J'naii smiled at that. They were not good at making cake.

"I think you mentioned your time on the Dragon," Marty answered. "Though I'm sure now that our time on Lexington isn't going to be anything like what you or I have experienced in the past. No more milk runs and a lot of dangerous assignments and encounters. It is easy to get used to the encounters, but we can't allow ourselves to become so dull that we forget who we are or how we're supposed to feel. As for where are now, I do agree. We beat the Klingons, and we reaffirmed some friendships today. A celebration sounds like a good idea. And so does cake."

"Good, good," the J'naii smiled casually, with no hint of the slightly more serious opinions they had just shared. "And what about you, Captain? You didn't get hurt, right?" The doctor asked.

Marty shook his head. "Not even a scratch this time. I should honestly count myself fortunate. Usually I catch some debris on the bridge or get cut on something inspecting damage. I must be getting better in my old age."

"With old age brings luck. Rough translation. Something we say on J'naii," the doctor said. "Though, it does carry the implication that only the lucky make it to old age, so the average population is luckier. That was before modern technology though, when that saying was made. Now pretty much everyone gets old at some point." The J'naii shrugged. Perhaps they might shouldn't have mentioned that - reminding the Captain that they, unlike the humans, had a peaceful, not Klingon-captured homeworld to go back to. "I'm glad you're safe." They added on, honest.

The Captain resisted the urge to grunt. Humanity was in shambles, the average life expectancy slashed down to below sixty years thanks to losing the war. The generational divide had never been greater either. Those above thirty remembered life before the war. Those below only ever knew hardship, fighting for every single meal. Even life in Starfleet wasn't much better, but at least it was better. "Safe is relative," Marty pointed out. "Frankly, I hope I make it to sixty. Or Earth. Either option is acceptable at this point."

"Hopefully both," the J'naii said. "Hopefully you get to live out a long retirement on your homeworld." They smiled, always the outward optimist.

Marty smiled. "Now that's something I can drink to. Anything else we need to discuss, Doctor? Or should I leave you to your patients?"

"I think that's it," Syrial looked back towards the full sickbay. "I best get back to the patients. There's a lot of work to do yet."


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