Season 2: Episode 3: Determination is not always a good thing
Location: Field Hospital
Gallia watched happily as Estelle slept, “Good she’s gettin’ some rest.” She whispered to herself. Her heart bled for Estelle, and, while Estelle slept, Gallia had been basically annoying the shit out of Capt. Anderson and his guys for updates on the search, offering helpful suggestions until Pvt. Pike and another man she didn’t recognize began denying her admittance to their staging area. She stopped staring at Estelle briefly to check Sami’s condition; her fever had started to go down a little, though she was still running way hot, and her breathing was beginning to normalize, Gallia would let Estelle know about that later. A rumbling in her stomach reminded her of what she’d forgotten earlier, “Guess I best put dinner on then.” She decided, wandering to the replicator and perusing the menu.
Estelle woke up from a light sleep five hours after nodding off. She had planned for six, but under the circumstances, five weren’t bad at all. She looked around. “Have they found her yet?” was the first question that came to her mind, even before the coffee allowed her to wake up fully.
“Not yet, darlin’. Sorry.” Gallia replied, leaving the replicator and stepping back to Estelle, taking a seat beside her, “But they will. Anje’s got the number of potential locations trimmed down to under a dozen and she’s talked to the Captain and Cdr. Taylor, we’re fixin’ ta have a whole lotta company down here until we get our people back.”
Estelle glance over at Sami and frowned. “Well, if we don’t get Ventro back soon, he might not make it. The only reason Sami’s doing as well as she is, is the treatment she’s getting.” Not that they had the medicine to cure, but managing the fever and providing fluids was doing a great deal of good.
“Aye.” Gallia nodded sadly, “That’s what I’m worried about, too.” Dorso was a kid, even by comparison to her, the idea that he might die so young shook her soul.
Sami rolled over, lost in a dream she didn’t seem to be enjoying, tears rolling down her face, sitting bolt upright and taking a series of rapid breaths before muttering, “Great job, melon head.” and falling back asleep.
“What in Hell was that?” Gallia gasped, “Some side effect a’ this sickness or somethin’?”
“Yes, you’re bound to have some weird dreams running this kind of fever”, Estelle said. She struggled to her feet and waddled over to the replicator. “They’re mostly unpleasant, but she likely won’t remember them when she gets better.”
“Thank God.” Gallia shook her head, whatever was happening in Sami Justice’s head was not fun, she could tell from a distance, though she did wonder what ‘Melon head’ meant...
“That’s got nothing to do with it”, Estelle said, replicating coffee, only this time slightly sweetened and with a lot of milk. “It’s just the natural way this progresses. Unless they found a cure while I was asleep.”
Gallia wasn’t really sure what Estelle meant had nothing to do with it, but she didn’t really care, she was just happy to know Sami was going to be okay, “So, what are we in the mood for for dinner?” She asked, figuring Estelle probably hadn’t eaten, either.
“I don’t care”, Estelle said honestly, something that was definitely not normal for her. She sipped her coffee. “I couldn’t keep my last meal down. Then I had some biscuits. My stomach is feeling a bit better. Some bread with honey might be good.”
“Okay, whatever you’d like.” Gallia said happily, she just wanted to see Estelle eat and try to take care of herself, “Maybe we should go get Anje first though. I’m sure she hasn’t eaten, either.”
“Anya…” Sami said, tears continuing to stream down her face, “Anya…”
“That’s if you think she’ll be okay.” Gallia stated, voicing a rapidly growing concern.
“Gallia, dear, don’t make a fuss”, Estelle said. She didn’t care about eating together, like she normally would. She wanted to do something to help Liorga and knew she couldn’t. But she could maybe help Sami, so she sat down next to her on the cot and gently shook her by the shoulder. “Sami, you’re dreaming”, she said.
“And it’s the same when I’m awake…” Sami answered sadly, forcing herself up onto one elbow, “So, how am I?”
“You’re still running a fever, having dreams”, Estelle summarised it for her. “A day or two, you’ll feel normal again. I’m sorry, it just takes time.”
“Screw that.” Sami shook her head, pushing herself to her feet, “Come on, Lt. Norris, let’s go rescue the Chief…” She fully intended to do just that, until her knees gave out and sent her onto her butt on the cot again, “In a minute…”
“Sorry, Sami, you’re way more than a minute from bein’ able to rescue anybody.” Gallia shook her head, she admired Sami’s desire to rescue Liorga, shared it, but as it stood there wasn’t a thing any of them could do and it was driving her nuts, “What do ya think for her, Doc? Maybe some soup and tea?”
“You can’t go wrong with chicken soup, in these situations”, Estelle admitted. Had she been in a better mood, she’d have mentioned how back in the primitive days on Earth, there would have been enough antibiotics in factory-farmed chicken to cure most diseases - despite the fact this was a viral infection and antibiotics didn’t do a thing in these cases, anyway. But as it was, Estelle just stuck to the matter at hand.
“Right.” Gallia nodded, making a large bowl of chicken noodle soup and warm green tea for Sami, setting it in front of the younger woman, “This will get ya feelin’ a bit more yourself.”
“Don’t know about all that, but thanks.” Sami sighed and started eating before anyone had a chance to ask what was going on.
“Okay, I’m gonna go to ops and see what Anje wants.” Gallia said. She’d wanted to bring her over so they could all sit for a while and relax, but knew that wouldn’t be good for stressed out Estelle or workaholic Anje. She produced bread and honey for Estelle and smiled, “You’re welcome to walk over with me if ya’d like.”
Estelle nodded. “Don’t go anywhere, Sami”, she said. “I’ll be checking on you again soon.” And she expected the tent to fill with more people soon, anyway. She took the food from Gallia and fell into step with her.
It was only a short walk, but it was pleasant, much more so than her four kilometer sprint to Estelle earlier, “Least it’s a nice night.” She remarked, stopping for a second outside of Anje’s makeshift workspace, “Ya hear that?”
“I do”, Estelle said, though the odd sound didn’t register with anything she had heard before. “What is that?”
Anje stepped out of her tent, a puzzled look on her face, “Do you hear that too?”
“Right!” Gallia replied, “Sounds like an anti-grav vehicle, but…”
“The grav resistors aren’t functioning right.” Anje finished the statement.
Jonesy and Bug had driven the sick guy, the bald woman kept calling him Dorso, straight to the field hospital. Though Bug worried Quin would be pissed that they’d literally come straight to the other side’s camp, Jonesy had made an excellent point, Goldie had left with the only communicator, so it wasn’t like they could call them or anything. He pulled their grav-car alongside a trio of women and snarled, “Hey, one a’ you bimbos know this thing?”
“I know you’ve got a sick guy with you”, Estelle said, not recognising Dorso, but definitely noticing his symptoms. “Help me carry him into the hospital?” She did not connect the dots, mostly because she did not expect such a stupid move.
“That ain’t how this works.” Bug replied, “You want ‘im, you take ‘im yourself.”
“Right, we ain’t goin’ in no hospital and gettin’ whatever’s floatin’ around there.” Jonesy sneered, “Oh, and by the by, did a woman with gold hair come this way?”
“Right, looks like she stuck her head in a bucket of cheap paint.” Bug laughed, “We’re lookin’ for her, we’ll trade you him.”
~Gold hair?~ That’s when it hit Anje, they were talking about Queenie. She moved over to Estelle and Gallia’s earshot and whispered, “These guys must be the kidnappers. They’re asking about the woman I shot.”
“Then let’s jump them and beat their arses until they tell us where Liorga is!” Gallia offered, seeing those guys who had abducted her friend walk in here like they owned the place really angered her, “Unless someone’s got something better…”
“Let me try something, but be ready to jump”, Estelle said, approaching them. “I’m Dr. Estelle Hertz”, she introduced herself. “I’ve been working with this disease, or rather the people who’ve got it. It’s a nasty one, as you can see from the man you’ve brought in with you. And, as I’m sure you understand, you’ve already been exposed. Now, there is a cure, which I can administer in the hospital. It’ll only take a minute. I can’t force you to come in and get it but I feel it’s my duty to warn you that the consequences can be dire. Long-term effects of the untreated virus are loss of fine motor function, problems with the blood supply to your extremities and… well, there’s no nice way to put this, so I’ll just say it how it is: impotence. If you want to eventually have children, or lie with a woman again, you should definitely let me give you that cure.”
“Bug, did you ‘ear that?” Jonesy said, his voice trembling, “I told Quin we shoulda left this guy behind!”
“Jonesy, she’s workin’ ya, mate.” Bug laughed, “Then how come none of you are sick?”
“Don’t you think I’d first give the cure to myself, before starting to treat the others?” Estelle asked. “I’m not stupid. Every doctor knows they have to heal themselves before they can take care of others.”
“What about those two then?” Bug pressed, pointing to the redhead and the brunette who seemed to be more hip to what was going on than she should’ve been.
“Dr. Hertz inoculated me early on.” Gallia answered, “And she’s Vulcan, it doesn’t affect them.”
“Right.” Anje played along, “That’s why I’m the only person in my department on her feet.”
“You heard her, Bug! That one’s a Vulcan, they can’t lie!” Jonesy pled, then pushed past Bug, “The Hell with you, mate, I’m gettin’ my cure!”
“That pretty blonde over there got a cure for when the boss sticks a knife in your throat, Jonesy?” Bug snapped, “Because that’s what’s gonna happen when we get back.”
“By the time you get back your boss might be dead.” Gallia stated.
“That’s right, if he’s human, and you’ve had Dorso for a few hours now….” Anje continued, pretending to do math in her head, “By now everybody’s exposed and the infection process should have started in earnest. Right, Doctor?”
“Infection takes but brief exposure”, Estelle said, trying to remain calm even though she was boiling inside. “Incubation, that is the time between infection and disease outbreak, is between eight hours and three days, depending on how fit the individual is. Lethality is 30 per cent, that means almost one in three dies, if left untreated.” She sighed, then raised her voice in anger. “Look at him! You’ve seen what this does with your own eyes. You don’t need me to tell you how bad this gets! Don’t be stupid!”
“Bug, I bet Goldie’s inside that hospital!” Jonesy’s voice cracked with panic, “She’s infected too!”
“We had to send her to our ship.” Anje interjected, not going to give them the full details.
“Right, her infection was particularly bad.” Gallia added, “We didnae have a choice except beamin’ her inta quarantine.”
“Quarantine, Bug!” Jonesy screeched.
“Oh, bloody hell, the boss is on ‘is own!” Bug relented, “All right, let’s get this cure on board then.”
“Aren’t you forgettin’ something, friend?” Gallia asked, pointing to Dorso, “You two get him off the ground and inta that hospital! The Doctor will tell ya where to go with him!”
“Follow me”, Estelle said. “Get nurse Mona and nurse Anya?” she asked Gallia.
“Of course, Doctor.” Gallia nodded, moving out smartly to get Anya and Mona.
“This way, gentlemen.” Anje said, motioning towards the hospital.