On the Road Again
Location: Sickbay, Deck 2
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1330
[Sickbay, Deck 2]
[1330-- just after the Waverider's arrival]
The trip from Shaddam IVa's surface to the safety of the Sojourner had lasted a subjective eternity for Xex, a turbulent purgatory of triage and first aid attempted between bracing for the Waverider's escape from the storm and evasive maneuvers. And then, so abruptly it almost made his ears ring, they had broken free of the moon's atmosphere and in a matter of minutes, the whine of the Waverider's drives were winding down as she settled into her shuttlebay aboard the Sojourner. In an effort to spend those minutes as wisely as he could, Xex had tied up the literal loose ends with the bloodied cadet and tapped his commbadge--
--and been met only the smooth surface of his envirosuit.
What the-- he'd started to think, subject to that briefest moment of panic one always got when something wasn't as it should be: the treasured belonging not where you left it; the step missing where you expect it to be; the silence at the end of a connection request that should have gone through. And then his overfull brain had caught up with him. Of course he didn't have a commbadg; he'd thrown it to Kaldri to ensure she didn't get sizzled to death by Waverider's phaser array targeting anything without a Starfleet commbadge signature.
Briefly wondering why he hadn't seen her since they took off, he'd made his way physically forward to the cockpit and with Commander t'Nai's assistance, had coordinated with the medical crew left aboard the Sojourner to ensure a decontamination suite was prepped, as well as a gravstretcher and other assorted accoutrement to meet them in the shuttlebay upon arrival.
Now, Xex stood in the entrance to Sojourner's sickbay, overseeing the organized chaos of crewmembers awaiting decontamination, several of which were their worst injured. Most of the hale crewmembers were lining the hallway to the isolation ward, which had been set up to his specifications as a decontamination suite, while those injured were being seen to by the medical corps. The computer was still struggling to sequence the pathogens currently replicating with wild abandon within those with open wounds and, he suspected, in the lungs of anyone who'd been on that thrice bedamned moon. Watching the computer's progress grind slowly forward-- he'd been assured it was simply a systems update and would be finished soon-- he found violence bubbling up in him and he turned away from the screen to see that crewmembers had finally stopped streaming either past the door to queue for decontamination or into sickbay for treatment, nearly the last of them being the most grievously injured: the skinny cadet and the unconscious tactical officer who'd been transported on a gravstretcher and was still attended by Marwol.
Taking a quick inventory of bodies and faces, Xex frowned and craned his neck around the doorway and into the hallway. He counted again. Then he spoke up. “Computer locate--” he cut himself off with a frustrated grunt. The computer could barely handle what he'd already asked it to do. Adding more tasks was not going to help.
At that moment, a flash of green caught his eye, and he turned his head in time to see Timmoz arrive and take his place in the queue, presumably having taken the time to run the post-flight shut-down of the Waverider and button her up.
“Lieutenant,” Xex said, stepping halfway out into the hallway to catch the Orion's attention. “Did you see Kaldri disembark? I haven't seen her here, and I don't relish the idea of her meeting other onboard crew unprepared. I also think we're missing at least one of our security personnel-- I only count three, including Kestrel.”
The very tall Orion was gathering his bush of hair behind his head where he secured it into a knot. The dust of the moon caked his still-donned environmental suit- though sans the face and head gear. His gaze, the Orion gaze of coolness, confidence, ennui, fixated on the alien Xex. "Ah. Doctor." The questions came. Timmoz's face stayed its relaxed affect. He held back. His arms folded across his chest. "Booth is dead," he said. "And Kaldri... somehow... got aboard one of the Kazon vessels. Where she was taken, or she took the shuttle. It's unclear. We only know your commbadge was on one of the shuttles." He paused a moment. He circled a finger toward the Doctor, slow, "We'll use it to track her, if we need to."
Booth is dead.
The words seemed to hit the doctor like a physical blow. He actually took a half-step back, his expression briefly stricken. He hadn't known the security crewman-- hadn't even known his name. Nevertheless, it was as though a little empty spot had opened in his mind, like a cavity in a tooth, and he started to worry at it, poking and prodding as one does with a cavity though one knows it does no good, and though it hurts. Fortunately, Timmoz continued to answer questions and Xex was able to turn his attention to the more intriguing of the answers; he visibly gathered himself, taking a deep breath, and then holding it, surprised before he could exhale.
When he did let it go, it came out in an explosion of air, "She got on board a Kazon shuttle?" he repeated stupidly. He blinked blankly for another moment or two, gaze drawn to the green circling finger, briefly mesmerized. "Ah-- oh. Do we intend to track her?" Something complicated curled in Xex's voice, just beneath the surface, some combination of interest and reluctance.
The lime-hued Orion raised his chin some. He held his breath and considered careful wording because he just was not sure. She was aboard a Kazon shuttle. "It's... difficult to say, Doctor. It looks like she did. It's questionable if we even can pursue her at this point. All we know is a group of Kazon are out this far and have claimed some space. We're a month away from reinforcements at high warp. And the Kazon decided to rough up the Sojourner while we were on that moon. They definitely thought it was their moon. Frankly they can have it. But the Kazon woman..." he pursed his lips. "We'll mention her in the debriefing with Kodak. He might want to locate her. Despite it being questionably in your Prime Directive's best interest."
"Much though I would love to take credit for that piece of procedure, I'm not really sure I would consider it mine," Xex replied, with a raised brow.
Before Timmoz could answer though, he continued, "My Hippocratic oath is quite often at odds with the Prime Directive," making it quite clear which he took more seriously. "But in this case," he added, moderating his tone somewhat with an unsubtle sigh, "you are probably right; the latter will apply."
Xex started to turn away, back to the myriad tasks he had awaiting him, when he paused, turned back, and said, "Thank you, Timmoz." His voice was sober, with none of the irony or quick wit he sometimes displayed; it sounded like he meant it.
"You are welcome, Doctor," Timmoz returned. He mused to himself how these Humans so easily formed moral codes... just to try to find ways around them. So Human. Still. What would become of Kaldri?
A Post By
Chief Flight Controller
Dr Xex Wang
Chief Medical Officer