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Get Me Out Of Here

Posted on 21 Oct 2023 @ 3:39pm by Lieutenant Commander Derek Martin & Lieutenant Commander Cintia Sha'mer

1,330 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Miranda

Officer's quarters were considered spacious, and they were – unless you were forced to be quarantained in one while not being sick. The actual illness which was making the rounds had apparently managed to spare her after all, the headache Sha'mer had on the day when she encountered Harva had been just a headache, nothing more.

Being isolated, Sha'mer had discovered, was not her thing. Even though she was a very private person and had few interactions with the crew other than in a professional setting, she still enjoyed people's company. And there were so many other things she was itching to do. Run a full check on the weapon systems to see if nothing else had been changed. Run some simulations. Work out in the gym – also not an option at the moment, even if the quarantaine had been lifted. The brace was still broken and while the stitches were still in her leg she wouldn't be able to wear one anyway.

Finally she decided to just hail the doctor and hope that he had a few minutes so that he could either sign off on her release or at least give her a timeline.

He'd managed to squeeze in about four hours of sleep since this whole mess began. He was tired, cranky, and worried about making a mistake. When the hail came through, he was in the Chief Medical Officer's office and had just taken a break from reading reports to quietly try to clear his head.

=/\= This is Commander Martin, go ahead,=/\= he replied, setting the mug of tea down on his desk and pinching the bridge of his nose.

Well, at least the call went through instead of the 'Do not disturb' tone she had half and half expected. "Sha'mer here. Apologies for interrupting you, Commander, I'll try to keep it short. How long am I supposed to remain in quarantaine? Still free of any symptoms of the disease, as far as I can tell." She tried to keep her voice level and to hide the impatience she felt.

=/\= How long has it been? =/\= he asked in response. He had a thousand spinning plates and frankly keeping track of everyone's quarantine period didn't need to be one of them. His brain flashed to a vision of a thousand egg timers on shelves in his office all going off at different times and driving him around the twist.

"Five days, fourteen hours, six minutes," Sha'mer answered promptly. No need to check the chrono, it wasn't as if she hadn't counted every minute of it.

=/\= That's oddly specific, Commander. Are you feeling ok mentally? =/\= he asked her curiously.

I will be once you lift the quarantine! Sha'mer thought. "I am a meticulous person, doctor. Especially with nothing to do and lots of time to do it in. As opposed to you and the rest of the still standing medical staff, I am aware," she added.

=/\= Then you're out of quarantine. I'll put through the orders now, but I want you to do me a favor. First stop by Sickbay, =/\= Derek said. He had an idea.

"As you wish," Sha'mer said and now she had to work to keep a wry tone out of her voice. She hoped he didn't want her to help out in sickbay, especially while she was still even less mobile than usual. "On my way."

The sigh of relief with which she straightened her uniform, ran a hand through her short hair and left her quarters behind was audible. A few minutes later she entered sickbay. If anything, it was more crowded now than it had been a few days ago, more sick people were lying on the floor, with only narrow paths in between. Navigating that on crutches was going to be a challenge.

He closed the channel and gulped down the last of his tea. He met her as she hobbled in on her crutches.

"Ah! Good! You're here. I need you to do me a favor, Commander. I'm asking you to help me out by securing an area we can use as a morgue," Derek said as he came right out with it. He stopped after a moment and looked down. "How's the leg feeling by the by? Stitches holding well?" he asked. Ever the man of priorities.

"So far, so good," Sha'mer said with a nod. "It's one of the reasons why I'm back to using these, I don't want to spoil your handiwork by improvising a brace and putting undue pressure on the leg." She paused briefly, switching gears quickly. "Did you have an area in mind already?"

"Good thought. I appreciate that. I appreciate the opportunity to keep my hands steady on stitching, but I'd rather not have to do my job again and again with the same patient," he said with a small smile. "Well I'm not sure where would be best, but I need an area easy to secure and I want some of your people guarding it 24/7 if you can spare it," he said simply.

Behind him, someone said 'Call it' and they marked a timestamp. Derek shut his eyes with frustration before turning and seeing them lifting a sheet over the dead crew member.

Sha'mer opened her mouth to say that she was a tactical officer, not security, then realised that the chief of security was probably here in sickbay and once again switched tack. "I'll see to it as soon as I can figure out how many people they still have standing," she replied. Then there was the question she had to ask. She needed to know how large the temporary morgue needed to be. "How many are we talking about?"

"As many as we can get. But I'll take a minimum of four," he said with a quick nod. "I am hoping that I can maybe get some answers out of a post-mortem," he told her.

That answer threw her for a moment until she realised they were talking about different numbers. "I understand. What I meant was how many… Well, how big does the area needs to be? And do you want to perform an autopsy in that room as well?"

"Yes. And as for size? Size of four caskets and an operating table. I'd suggest the brig, but something tells me you'll likely need it sooner or later," Derek advised.

"Most likely," Sha'mer said with another nod. She didn't double as security officer on the Odin, but had served as a tac/sec officer on the Firehawk and she had taken both courses. "I'll check if we can use one of the smaller cargo bays, that ought to give you plenty of room and it's out of the way."

"Thank you," Martin said with a sigh. The morgue wasn't all that big. Ships like the Odin weren't designed to handle mass casualties like this without serious other issues. But this wasn't a hospital vessel. It wasn't a ship meant to handle entire bays of sick and dying crew.

Derek looked around and ran his left hand through his hair.

"No rest for the weary, eh?" he said. "Sure you wouldn't rather be back in quarantine?"

"Quite sure," Sha'mer replied firmly. "Speaking of rest, doctor, even though it's hard, please do try to get some yourself. You look like you could be lying next to the people I'm going to arrange a room for."

"In another hour or so, Doctor Warner is supposed to spell me. We're all pulling doubles. It's the only reason I'm still standing," he confessed. "She's an amazing physician."

"You're all doing marvellous jobs, doctor. And I'm going to leave you to it... I'll let you know where you can find your morgue as soon as possible. Or Doctor Warner if you're asleep by then." With another nod she turned around and left. Already she was going over the lists in her mind: locations, equipment, personnel. Mess hall and a tall raktajino. She'd need it.


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