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Every Little Movement

Posted on 11 Oct 2023 @ 1:37pm by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alizabeth Omari & Lieutenant Callisi Veera

2,720 words; about a 14 minute read

Mission: Miranda
Location: Sick Bay (Plague Central)
Tags: Stretching, plague, symptoms

It was ridiculous, laying here, doing nothing. Aliza hadn’t reached out to Jester again, yet, he had extra burdens upon him right along with so many that were compensating for those to ill to work. If he was right and sixty percent of the ship was down then she wanted to be out there to help. If not for the fact that she really could not stand without almost throwing up, or passing out, she would have walked out, long ago.

Rolling over on her mat she felt her back tighten, the muscles there unused to resting as she was a woman of constant motion and the only motion she was getting was rolling side to side, and slowly sitting up. Breathing through her nose she muttered and became angry at her own weakness, that thought pattern was no more healthy than the plague. Right, time to do something about this.

Laying the thin blanket to the side and trying to not wrinkle up her nose at her own smell, by the fates, she needed a shower. Looking at Callisi to see if her neighbor was awake. “You know what we need to do? To stop just laying here. Interested in doing some stretches with me?”

She saw Callisi, laying on her side as well. One eye, closed. Blissful. Peaceful. Calm. The other, artificial. Active. Vigilant. Eternal. It took a moment for the rabbitess to register the words, but that living eye slowly opened to join the conversation. Such a deep blue. No shine, no luster. Just a color.

"And here I thought you were going to suggest a prison break." the rabbitess pointed out with a soft smile. "I don't think they'll approve of us standing and working out the knots. What did you have in mind?" the unspoken answer of yes to doing literally ANYTHING was there in the question.

“Well, being unable to walk limits the escape options, so let’s remind out bodies that soon we will run again.” The dark skin woman shifted to her back once more, “We can start simple, surely wiggling our feet will not alert the guards to our plans to open a panel here and crawl to freedom.”

The Daughter of Ts'usu rolled onto her back, "Speak for yourself." she said softly, slowly starting to waggle her larger feet at the ankle. "Feeling any better?" she asked her cell-mate, as it were. "And don't worry, you didn't..... didn't wake me up. Been sleeping with one eye open for years now. I usually turn it off when I want to get some real sleep, but right now, I don't want to miss the nurse if they come around."

"Not sure how to rate better at this point. Fever is down, still not sleeping much, I don't want to talk about the things I see or dream about. You?" Aliza bent her feet towards the floor, bending her toes and then wiggling them before angling her feet back towards her body as much as possible. "I keep thinking I can just get up and walk out. I feel almost... guilty at the pressure being put on others out there." Simple rotations at her ankles one direction then the other before she started over again, but holding the stretches a little longer.

"The road to wellness is a series of guesses. Or so they say." Callisi quoted some ancient Ts'usu wisdoms. "I never had trouble sleeping, and now that I know the illness might compromise my judgement, I've learned to disregard everything, except for two things: This odd person next to me, and the stink of a dozen people of five species. No offense intended, it's actually somewhat.... grounding. I'm used to being in a transport with ten infantry soldiers. Munitions, gear, grub, but not a sliver of soap in sight." she paused, "Anything that smelled too nice was like waving a flag saying 'Here I am, frag me' when it came to the Enemy."

"You make that look easy." Callisi pointed out. Rotating either of her feet on her ankles in one direction floating in the air? Easy. Switching them to the other direction? Seemed a bit challenging to the officer. "Okay, hold on. Lemme..." and just, spinning her feet in place suspending in the air seemed to be something the officer just couldn't manage. On the ground, with leverage? Sure. Here, in the air, while compromised with some stellar infection? Beyond her capacity. Wagging up and down? No problem, that's basic walking. And the tricky part was, rotating them inward wasn't the issue. Outwards was.

"I was feeling a little better, though apparently I never knew how much range of motion other people's ankles had." she quipped with a smile.

Aliza watched Callisi to the side of her, “I hadn’t even thought about the physical differences in our legs. My apologies.” The statement was sincere and more than the fever made her cheeks feel flushed. “And I completely do not mind being the odd person next to you,” she said teasingly, “fairly sure I could not smell anyone else over myself after the sweats from the fever, and just in general. I am usually very fastidious. That will be the first thing I do when we leave, discard these workout clothes, fates they don’t even go together color wise, and clean myself.”

Stopping the foot and ankles stretches she explained, “I do yoga, through movement my mind finds peace, so I do it instead of typical meditation. I know how to meditate, my aunt was a practitioner of many different types, but I am just bad at not moving. I think my delusions would be secondary to what might happen in my mind if we couldn’t at least talk while we are captive errr recovering. No movement? No talking? I might just make a break for it or experience a break in my psyche, of course I suppose they could keep me sedated if it became overwhelming but what a waste of resources. Maybe I will go see Commander Elloyia about these revelations later, but I am sure her appointments will be full when enough people get out of care for this.” Next she began to shake her legs, “Also, you don’t have to do exactly as I am, but our muscles might appreciate even this little movement. I expect we will be extremely weak, might not even make it all the way up our bodies with these stretches.”

"We get caught up in all the ways we're alike. Think my legs are weird, meet a Dalacari. They're still Digi... digiti... the word where your knee is here and you.... your ankle is way up, and you walk on the fronts of your feet." the cyclopean rabbitess offered back. "They're that." content that THAT was enough. At the rest, though, she gently shook her head, "I never had the patience for meditation. Some pilots would lose themselves in a trance before the drop, blocking out the world except for their charge and the count. I never could." she paused, "A great many of the Federation do that. Sweat. Everywhere. We sweat through our hands, our feet, and our ears. Ears mostly, my hands only get slick and clammy when I'm incredibly sick. High fever starts in the ears. Goes to the feet, then to the hands. If it makes it around back to the ears, you're in serious trouble." she went silent for a moment.

"I close my eye, and I see everyone who stepped foot onto any of my transports just once. It's why I'm not too adverse to being awake. Or just having one eye shut." she paused for a second, then glanced over. "It's something they don't prepare you for outside of the Navy, nevermind the Empire." she smirked, "Everyone looks so.... unusual. Your ears are too small. Skin too clear. Hell even these.." waggle waggle went a footpaw. "Look weird."

Aliza listened and nodded, following along and learning more and more about Callisi, “Physiology is weird, that is one class that I made it through only with a lot of studying, that and advanced maths. I would have been a lot higher in my class ranking without those struggles, but I do not mind being in the top, that feels like it places a lot of pressure on a person. Anything physical I excelled at, along with diplomacy and language studies, other classes I did well in. I actually really enjoyed the Academy.” She grinned over at her new friend and continued the movement of her legs, almost resembling a child that just could not sit still, well the last part was true by her own admittance.

“Even humans differ in how fever feels,” she slipped back to that part of the conversation, “though most of those this illness incorporates those so it might be hard to tell what might be associated with which, not that I am a medical professional as we know. My oldest brother would get a headache and his muscles would hurt before a fever would break out, my sister would say her eyes were sore. For me it has always felt like my skin hurt everywhere, I can tell before a fever breaks out. Honestly? My fever did not start until I was on my way down to here I believe.” Just thinking of her other symptoms made her bring a hand up to poke at the swelling in her glands. “Touching them never seems to change how enlarged they are,” she said ironically, “just like when you have an injury and you just keep moving it like that will make it will just go away.”

"I never had the patience for diplomacy. Society expected one form of behavior, and I felt more comfortable with another." Callisi offered in trade, of sort. An economy was forming here. "As for academics, I pushed myself to achieve because while you might not have been too concerned being at the top, back on the home moons *no one* wanted to be the bottom. Some schools invented a student's name so that there was always someone lower, so no one felt like a complete wash out."

"Some schools didn't. If you failed, you failed. Father insisted that my name never be on the bottom of any list. He even went so far as to always write my name and my brother's name side by side. No failures, only equals." she gave a soft smile. "I mean that's not how the world works, but he was just a kid." she smiled softly, "He always knew when he was getting sick. He'd say that his ears flopped to the left when he was about to get a cold, and they'd flop to the right whenever he was getting something more serious. He was half right." she turned to half-glance at her neighbor. "Turns out, they flopped to the right whenever he just didn't want to go to school."

She paused for a moment, "I'm not sure when my fever started, but I do know that Lou found me in the lounge filling out papers for the families of everyone I had lost. As clear and fresh in my head as the day it happened." she looked down, away. As though the notion that she was their pilot all that time ago somehow made their death her fault. Her responsibility. "I was so caught up in the past I didn't feel any of the usual signs. Is that what this illness does? Confuse the body by trapping the mind?" she offered, though she was as much a doctor as she was a doormat. She turned her attention back to Alizabeth, "Oh, is that what those are?"

"The swelling, I mean. We have something similar, but we don't keep them by the neck." the cyclopean rabbitess commented. Seems today was lesson day after all. "It's just, odd to see them in others. I know I know, everyone has them but they're everywhere else. I had to learn that lesson over and over in primary. There's a course or two dealing with alien physiology so we learned about how the Dalacari operate, how the Trilark operate, how the Slate absolutely do not operate." a pause, "Still looks unusual. No offense."

The yeoman brought her leg up and tipped it to the side across her body to stretch her hip and lower back. “That sounds like something I would not want to recreate, but I can see that this might pull memories from your past. Mine have all been nonsense images, or the room shifting. I can sit here and the walls turn to water, or the room swirls around me. When the room cycles around and wavers it does not help with the nausea The fever dreams have been worse than the delusions.” That she just let hang off and moved on to the lymph nodes, “We have a number of these in our bodies, all of those close to my skin are swollen, under my arms, my groin and they are all sore to the touch as well.”

"I am who I am because of my past. I can't just brush it aside." Callisi commented softly. "My vision is already complicated, so maybe I'm just not seeing the bulk of the worst of it." she offered. Hardly a scientist but still enough of a pragmatist. She turned, moving her leg and twisting to mirror Alizabeth's motions, mimicking her step for step in this contagious workout routine. There was a pop, and Callisi stopped for a moment. "Okay, needed that. Please tell me your joints pop too."

Aliza sighed into the stretch and her body just seemed to release all tension with the pain that left her hip and back. “Just it was formative does not mean you should have to relive it while in the midst of all,” she waved her hand about, “this.” The complaint on the part of Callisi made her offer up a wry grin, “Sorry, a bit protective in nature.” The stretch continued, leaving it until most of the tension was coaxed from her muscles, “My joints pop, surprised my ankles had not sounded like a hand full of metal being tumbled in a container. My neck is worse, though as we work our lower backs I expect that we will be sharing the cracking sooner or later.”

"Assuming we make it there. Not even halfway done and, don't tell anyone, but I'm exhausted." the rabbitess admitted. Whether it was illness or comfort, she felt there was little shame in admitting that the illness had sapped her. "As for joints and sounding like six tubs of sand falling down the stairs, that's my left shoulder. Anti-Air fire rocked the drop once, threw me out of my chair and right up against a console. Did't break the bone, but dislodged it from the joint. Ever since then, it's sounded like sand in the joint."

"I'll let you hear it later. Too loud here, too many ears. Besides, if I complain about an ancient injury, I'm worried someone here will stop what they're doing to help. They're busy enough..."

“It is amazing how even stretching becomes tiring when we are this ill, though laying around for so long has not helped our bodies either.” The dark skinned woman moved the the other side and her back did not pop but the moan of pleasure at the feeling was this side of something more sensual. “All mine have been from minor injuries from my active nature, or overextending myself in the gym. It is amazing how things that are so good for my body can be so bad for my body.” Drawing in deep breaths, sweat covered her forehead and picked up the artificial light in a reflective sheen. “This has tired me out as well, suppose we should rest before our next meal comes. I play on trying stretches daily if you wish to join me, next thing you know maybe this can move through the room as well, might help a few others.” If she couldn’t be helpful helpful, she would do what she could from here for these crew mates who were willing to let her.


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