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A Surgical Request

Posted on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 @ 12:15pm by Lieutenant Commander Estelle Hertz MD & Lieutenant Kara Hoffman

Mission: Season 2: Episode 3: Determination is not always a good thing
Location: Hoffman/Norris's Quarters
Timeline: After "The war", right before Dorso is returned

Kara stumbled and limped out of the holodeck, darting her head from side to side ~Good this deck seems relatively empty~. Gripping her leg tightly, as she felt blood leak down from her wounded leg into her boot. Letting a small moan of pain out, she clamped her arm against her mouth to stifle her noise. ~I'd better get back to my Quarters, I need to contact Estelle. Don't want anyone to know about this, if I can help it. I'm such an idiot.~ "OW!" As she took her first step her leg nearly crumbled underneath her, and she steadied herself against the wall. Darting her head around again, it had seemed no one had heard her. She limped her way into the Turbolift. "Computer take me to Hoffman and Norris's shared quarters please." The computer acknowledged and the doors closed. Kara planted her back firmly against the backing of the wall to keep herself upright.

As the doors opened she hobbled past two other crew members, who did look at her with curious expressions. She smiled as best as she could. "Tennis injury, nothing to panic over." As she passed by. They did not seem to worry all that much and carried on their way. She reached her and Gallia's home and quickly made her way inside locking the door. As the adrenaline began to wore off, she fell to the floor, sprawling onto her back releasing her lungs with a screech. "Fuck! This hurts!"

Shaking, she tapped her commbadge. =A= Lieutenant Hoffman to Lieutenant Commander Hertz, are you there? =A=

With the noise Kara had released, it had awoken Tayalas, who gurgled, however the girl must have known something was wrong as she began to wail loudly. "Oh Tayalas, no no sweetheart everything's ok, I promise." Kara said aloud, wincing. She scrambled as best as she could to her one good leg and with searing amount of pain, made her way to Tayalas' crib. "Mummy's ok my darling, relax my dearest child." Kara leaned in, and kissed Tayalas' forehead, which soothed the infant, whose eyes began to close once more, as she fell quietly back into sleep. ~Poor girl, I'm sorry for waking you. Rest now.~

With Tayalas settled down once more, kara flopped back onto the floor onto her back, feeling light headed and dizzy. =A= Lieutenant Commander Hertz, come in. It's Lieutenant Hoffman, I... need you." Kara felt exhausted. Taking her boots off, a pool of blood gushed out from her boot onto the floor. "Ah...shit. gonna, have to clean that." She lay there, breathing heavily and shaking, awaiting a response.

Down on the planet, Estelle answered the comms at the second summons. Since humans had never evolved a third hand, despite trying with the use of nuclear power and weapons, Estelle had kept an instrument there to perform surgery on a local child, while the nurse was occupied with someone else. "I'm here, I was in the middle of something. What's happened?" she asked.

Kara sighed. She had stripped off her uniform, and had found a towel she had pressed against her leg as her hand tremored. The white towel was now soaked red with her blood. "Need your help. My quarters. Quickly please. Maybe call the doc. Didn't..think it...was this...b-ba.." Was all Kara could manage before she had slipped into unconsciousness.

Moments later, Estelle materialised in Kara's cabin. A quick assessment told her that there was nothing she could do for Kara without the surgical equipment in sickbay. At least, nothing meaningful. Thus, a second transport was arranged, and Kara was beamed onto the surgical biobed, with Estelle standing beside her.

From that point forward, Estelle worked fast. She stopped the blood flow to the damaged arteries and thus stopped the bleeding. Above the biobed, the holographic representation of the damaged tissue allowed Estelle to work quickly, and see what she was doing. This was much better than the technology they had down on the planet. Surgery was faster and the results were better.

A nurse came in with blood of the correct type, and Estelle ordered Kara be given a full litre of it. Kara had indeed lost a lot of blood, and would lose a bit more during the surgery, so Estelle needed the blood to be replenished. "Her vitals are critical!" the nurse reported.

"Inaprovaline, 10ccs", Estelle ordered, and the nurse promptly administered the medication. "Keep her under. This should only take a few more..." she stopped mid-sentence as she reached a delicate stage of knitting both ends of the artery back together, "...minutes."

With the immediate danger past, she restored blood flow, which caused Kara to immediately leak out of a few dozen more places. But Estelle had enough time to close those now, without having to worry for Kara's safety. That would be hard to explain to Gallia, letting Kara bleed out. No, that would just not do, at all.

Finally, Estelle immobilised the leg, keeping it restrained under a force field. Kara wouldn't be able to move about for at least half a day, Estelle figured. Probably no more than eight hours needed, but Estelle preferred to err on the side of caution. "Okay, you can let her wake up now." The rest of the healing would have to come from Kara herself, as by the medication that accelerated it.

Kara awoke groggy and slightly dizzy. ~Just what the bloody hell happened?~ Coming to, she looked up to see the familiar roof of... yes it was sickbay. She tried to lift herself up, but was quickly ushered back down by a nearby nurse. "Thanks Estelle." She said, having not even seen the surgeon yet. Kara knew Estelle had come through for her. "Sorry about this." She said. "i guess you want to know how I am now here with you having to save my leg right?"

"Yes", Estelle said, putting her hand on Kara's shoulder. "It was a nasty wound, too. Who did this to you? What shall I tell security?"

Her eyes went wide, and she sat up even through the pain shot straight up. "NO! No no, please. Don't tell anybody. I... I was in one of my favourite holoprograms. A tale of a brother and sister, who each lead an army to fight each other to each reclaim their homelands in either the name of their father or their mother. Well...everything was going as usual, but it just didn't feel....real enough for me. I deactivated the safety protocols, and began the fight as I always do. I know that fight inside and out, ever move my opponent makes, it's all scripted. I just... In the heat of the moment forgot that as the fight draws to a close, the brother stabs the sister in the leg with his war dagger and she dies from that wound and he dies a day later also. A tragic tale really..." Kara lay back down, shaking her head, wincing a little. "Sorry to have to call you in like this."

With Kara's tale, Estelle's temper rose. "Have you lost your fucking mind?!" she swore, uncharacteristically blunt and getting right in her face, bending over the bed and yelling. "Do you understand we've got a crisis of epic proportions to deal with? Two of our people have been abducted, someone shoved a real knife in my face not long ago and we've got sick and wounded galore? Every doctor available is working overtime just to make sure those children down there will live, and you... you go absolutely brain-dead and get injured on the holodeck on purpose?" Estelle hammered her fist down on the bed beside Kara, feeling dizzy for a moment. "I have never seen such a display of callous disregard for the safety of others in an officer of Starfleet. And to think Gallia trusted you with taking care of Tayalas!"

Kara went white. the blood drained very quickly from her face, as she stared into Estelle's narrowed eyes. Her mouth hung limply open. "I, uh." Unable to speak. ~So, that's what the situation is on the surface and Gallia, Estelle and more are in that bad of a situation. I had no idea, I should really pay more attention to what's going on outside of engineering for once. Damn you Kara, you idiot.~ Kara was speechless, she shook her head quickly, to try and form a coherent sentence. "You... I didn't... know. I'm an engineer, why would I know what's going on?" Kara began to get angry, as Estelle's outburst played through Kara mind over and over. ~Tayalas, she dared to mention Gallia or Tayalas?!~ Kara snapped. With fury that came from seemingly nowhere she yelled at the top of her lungs now. "Don't you dare fucking speak about Gallia or Tayalas as if I would hurt them on purpose! I'd give my life to protect them both if I could you bitch! You might have just saved my life, but don't you EVER talk to me like that again. Or so help me dammit you'll need to stitch your own fucking legs back on by the time I'm through!" With a savage growl, Kara angrily threw her arms up, as if to strike Estelle, and slammed them down on the bed, her face now pure red with seething anger. "I've been in engineering for fucking weeks toiling away to keep this ship running, I was not even aware as to what was happening on the planet besides a sparse report from Gallia without much details. I'd die to for them both if I could, don't you forget it." Kara breathed heavy, staring into Estelle's eyes. "Tayalas is in my quarters, find a way to get her to me. Or release this forcefield and I'll get her myself. I'll fucking crawl to her if I have to Estelle, talk to me about Gallia or Tayalas like that again, I fucking dare you."

Estelle took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. "You're not going anywhere. You're confined to this bed until further notice. I'll figure out a way to keep Tayalas cared for and safe, and I'll tell Gallia what happened. I'm going to write you up for mandatory counselling. If your idea of caring for this child is to endanger your own life needlessly, you'll need it. Lieutenant, I've never had cause in my time in Starfleet to be wary around a fellow officer. You've changed that. I wonder if Gallia has chosen poorly." She wasn't going to be intimidated by this woman's idle threats. "Computer, lock the forcefield around biobed one, to release only upon medical or command authorisation." She did not want Kara to try and escape, re-open the wound and take even more time and resources away from their vital rescue operation.

"Locked? Locked?!! Estelle let me out of here now. You so much as touch Tayalas without my permission and I'll never forgive you! Let me out of here damn it, what the hell is wrong with you?! I know what I did wasn't the smartest thing in the world, but you're over-reacting big time. You don't have the authorisation to keep me here against my will damn it. You most certainly can not do this! I demand to be released. Fucking hell Estelle, let me out of here! You can't tell Gallia if i ask for you not to! Patient doctor confidentiality damn it! Estelle!" Kara was absolutely fuming. "Estelle, please, let me out of here. If you don't I'll find a way out to get back to Tayalas. Mark my words." Kara did not break eye contact. She was deadly serious. She would break out of this biobed somehow, anyhow, if she felt Tayalas was in any danger of being taken by Estelle.

"You're staying. Your injury is barely healed and if you move around too much, it'll re-open", Estelle said. "Twelve hours. It'll give you time to calm down and reflect on your actions." Estelle didn't feel Kara had a right to confidentiality where the safety of Tayalas was concerned. And Estelle felt this entire affair was diverting valuable time and effort from what mattered most to her - finding Liorga. "I'll move Tayalas here as well. She can't be alone for this long." She stepped to a wall console and formalised the entire affair, so that both the nursing staff and Sthilg would be aware of Estelle's decisions. The nurses had to carry them out, and Sthilg could review and alter them as he saw fit. "I'm very disappointed, Lieutenant."

"Damnit. One stupid decision. One decision and my entire world is turned upside down." Kara let out a breath. ~I've never been angry like that before. Where did that rage come from... do I need counselling? Maybe I am not fit to be around Gallia or Tayalas if I cannot even look after myself. It's not as if I'd hide it from Gallia, I would have told her. I just know how much she worries after little Tay... god I hope she forgives me. I should have tried to fix myself up with my own medical supplies, rather than asking Estelle for help. She might be the surgeon on this ship, but I don't think I can ever trust her again after this. Fucking hell, what a disaster. Then there's the problems down on the planet, I hadn't really looked into it. As an engineer I only really read into things if I'm called into action, so far I haven't been. I didn't really think about it. I've had too much work on the ship to worry about... Maybe if I had, this might not have happened.~

"I don't give a rodent's behind about your world", Estelle spat. "Have you considered what Liorga must be going through, in the hands of people who want to sell her off as a sex slave or some such?" She shook her head. "No, all you think about is cheap thrills, and diverting resources from the rescue effort." It wasn't fair, and if Estelle hadn't been as afraid and helpless, she would have known. "I'm getting Tayalas." She turned to leave.

"Hold it right there Estelle!" Kara said aloud reaching her arm out towards the woman. "I apologise for my outburst, but did you say Liorga and sold off?! What happened? Just what the fuck is going on down there?! Cheap thrills? Diverting resources from the rescue effort? I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT!" Kara flailed helplessly, her arms now wide above her head. She was completely clueless. ~Rescue effort? Liorgia? What the hell is going on....~

"She's been taken and they want to use her as a sex slave!" Estelle cried. "Read the reports!" She didn't have time to explain this to her. Besides, she felt it was hard to believe that someone on the ship really didn't know. Was Kara trying to pay Estelle back by tormenting her like this? It didn't matter, Estelle wasn't having it. She walked out.

She wasn't gone long, however. She went straight to Tayalas. She released the magnetic locks that kept her richly decorated cradle in place, made sure the infant was dressed in a thermally appropriate way and then wheeled the cradle into sickbay. "Come now, little one", she said, trying to banish any anguish from her voice. "You'll be in good hands here, until your mum comes back."

While Estelle was away, Kara opted to not break out. Although she could very easily over-ride the bio-bed console, she decided not to. Hoping that Estelle would do right by her and take Tayalas to her. She lay deep in thought, one arm over her eyes. ~If Gallia was taken away on some planet in such circumstances, I know I'd be going absolutely insane if I couldn't do anything to protect her. If Liorga has been kidnapped down there, then no wonder Estelle is upset and angry. I'd better do some reading while I'm in here to find out the situation. Poor Estelle. She must be breaking down inside.~

As Estelle came back with Tayalas, Kara took a deep breath. In the most sensitive way she could, she spoke out as soothingly as she possibly could. "Estelle, please. Bring Tayalas to me, and if you can, spend a moment with me. I know right now there's a lot happening and things got... heated but I have something very important to say to you." Kara held out her arms so she could take Tayalas, hoping with all of her might, Estelle would give Tayalas to her.

Estelle pushed the cradle up next to the biobed, then locked the bed's posts back in place. Even if the ship shook and the inertial dampeners failed, Tayalas would rock in her cradle, safe from harm. "You'll have to tell me later. I'm going back down. There are people down there who need my help, people who didn't choose to get hurt." Estelle was beyond ordinary anger, she felt betrayed. And she felt her friend had chosen poorly. It would take a lot to change her mind.

"The moment that I'm out of here. Let me help you. Some way, anyway. Anything I can do to assist you in getting Liorga back. Tell me. If i had known she had been taken from you... but I did not know, Estelle. Call for me, I'll bring my skills to find her and return her to you! That I swear on my life. If I must I'll give my life just as I would for Tayalas or for Gallia, let me help you to bring her back to you." Kara hoped that Estelle took in what she had said. "If I must protect you and Liorgia as I would Gallia or Tayalas, then I will without hesitation. Anything I can do to help, then you've got me."

Yes, Estelle decided, Kara definitely needed counselling. She was talking about giving her life way too much, and had already risked it in a foolish way. No matter what the situation was, no matter how upset Estelle was, this much she saw clearly. This woman needed help. It didn't prevent her from being angry, however. She walked out. She had things to do and places to be.

Kara sighed and shook her head, looking down to Tayalas who lay in her cot beside her bio-bed. "Sorry Tay. I guess I can't help everyone, even if I want to. I really am quite useless it seems." Kara lay her head back against the pillow and closed her eyes. ~Sorry Gallia, I've let you and Tayalas down. If I wasn't laid up here, I might have been able to learn of Liorga's kidnapping and asked to assist. I'm stuck in here for a whole day and there's now nothing I can do. Forgive me. I hope Liorga is well. I really, really do.~ Kara began to allow her emotions through, as tears began to swell in her eyes, clenching one fist tightly in anguish. ~Damn it.~


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Comments (1)

By Commander Aurelia Holmes on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 @ 6:27am

These two writers are brilliant at ramping up the suspense, I hope they get rewarded for this mission post. Because they deserve it.