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Part of USS Lakota: Episode 2: A Parting of Ways

2 – A Matter of Time

Various
Stardate 24016.6
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Marching into sickbay, Noli was a woman on a mission. She’d been alerted to the medical emergency by the bridge crew and had immediately made for sickbay. She’d been filled in on the particulars by Teyahna, who’d been left in command of the bridge during their absence. Entering the medical facility, the Bajoran immediately ascertained the situation; two biobeds in use, with varying degrees of importance given the amount of staff around them. Nazir, sat upright, conscious and being tended to by Lieutenant Keesa, seemed to be the easier of the patients, but the same couldn’t be said for the occupant of the other biobed. Surrounded by two nurses and the bald Deltan who ran sickbay, Or’uil was unconscious, and clearly of concern to the medical team.

Nodding to the Captain, the XO made the bold move to almost ignore the woman and focus on their friend. Striding to the Ungeat’s bedside, the Commander looked up hopefully at the Chief Medical Officer but was greeted with a shake of the head and a look of despair.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Zinn frowned, his voice low and sombre. “It’s almost as if every internal organ is changing, mutating,” he explained, drawing up an internal readout of the Ungeat’s prone body.

Noli looked over the schematic on the display above the biobed but was helplessly outmatched by the biology it spouted. What she could understand didn’t make for pleasant reading. “You must have some idea…”

“I have one…” Nikti Keesa called out as she approached the biobed with her patient, who was holding her hand but flexing her digits, meaning she would be fine and wanted to know more herself.

“Go on,” Noli nodded at the young Orion.

“Evolution,” the specialist xenobiologist responded, causing everyone around the bed to look in her direction. “Every system in his body is undergoing rapid, sustained change. It’s possible we are looking at the next stage of evolution for his people.”

Not that they didn’t believe her, especially as Noli had learned first hand to trust the expertise of the Orion during their time on the Hazard Team, but they still wanted to hear from Zinn. The Deltan, who had nearly thirty years of experience in medicine, glared up at the readouts again, with crossed arms and pursed lips. When he eventually looked at the Captain and her first officer again, he gave a nod.

“It’s possible,” he agreed with his subordinate’s suggestion, “we just don’t know enough about his species. We have very few records on file, and he’s been in here maybe three times since joining the crew.”

“We could do with more information Captain,” Nikti looked at Nazir hopefully, but it was Noli who responded.

“I’ll get you whatever you need…”


Normally, Teyahna was one of the most calm and considered officers on the senior staff, completely betraying every piece of information Starfleet had on her Orion species, but not today. Knowing one of her friends was suffering didn’t sit well with her, and whilst those on the bridge worked on their task, she couldn’t help but pace backwards and forwards in front of the command chair, one hand grasping her chin, supported by the other arm draped across her chest.

“Commander…”

A voice stopped her in her tracks, her arms falling to her side as she made eye contact with Lieutenant Voran, who had turned from the Operations station and was staring in her direction. “Yes? What is it?” she asked of the man.

“Communications have been agreed with Un’gar. Protectorate Sh’int awaits your transmission,” the Vulcan explained, then turned back to his station.

“Right, let’s do this.” Teyahna took a moment to compose herself whilst the connection was established, pulling on her uniform jacket and smoothing out any of the teal creases the material had picked up during her nervous pacing. When the screen changed to reveal the face of a rather peculiar creature, the Orion gave her best smile. Best foot forward, as Nazir would always remind her.

“Protectorate Sh’int,” the Orion bowed respectfully to the leader of the Ungeat species, “my name is Commander Teyahna, Chief Science Officer of the USS Lakota. Thank you for responding to our message.”

We rarely communicate with Starfleet people off-world, Commander, but your message sounded urgent,” the Protectorate tilted his head as he spoke, “To what do we owe your message?” he asked her curiously.

“As I’m sure you know, we have a member of your species as a crewmember here on Lakota,” she began, shifting nervously on her feet.

I do recall that. I trust you are treating Or’uil with kindness and warmth,” Sh’int narrowed his eyes, worried about his kin.

“Or’uil is a highly valued, well-respected member of our crew,” Teyahna nodded, “but he is not well, sir. Earlier today he was taken ill, and his condition has only deteriorated in the time that has passed. Our understanding of your species is limited, and we were hoping that you might be able to assist us with getting Or’uil the treatment he needs.” She’d taken a step forward, clasping her hands together as if pleading for the help of the man on the screen.

We have no desire to see one of our people suffer,” the Protectorate declared, “but he must be returned here for our help. We will send you what information we can in the meantime. Please let us know of any developments in his condition.”

The Protectorate didn’t even wait for the conversation to reach a natural conclusion, simply terminating the communication from his end and leaving the Orion somewhat flustered.

“We are already receiving information files,” Voran called out from Ops, “I am downloading the files into the ship’s database.”

Slouching into the command chair, the Orion picked up a data PADD from the XO’s chair and began accessing the data files. “Captain to the bridge,” she called into the ship’s internal communications array, and then commenced her reading, in the hope that she could find something, anything, that might help Or’uil in the meantime.

It wasn’t long before the turbo lift doors at the back of the bridge parted and ejected its occupants at speed. Nazir crossed directly to the command chair, whilst Noli made her way to the forward Operations station and began a conversation with the Vulcan there.

“Report,” Keziah requested, watching as Teyahna rose and relinquished command to her.

“We’ve received all manner of files from the Protectorate,” Teyahna revealed, handing over the data PADD she had been reading. “We’re still receiving some, but Protectorate Sh’int has requested we return Or’uil to his people,” the Orion told her, drawing a sigh from the Captain.

Standing in front of her command chair, the Trill put her hands on her hips, and looked at the XO, who had turned from Ops at the mention of returning their friend to his homeworld. “I don’t see that we have much choice,” Noli frowned.

“Very well,” Nazir nodded. “Teyahna, get to sickbay and assist Zinn as best you can. Voran, let the Hypatia know that we’re leaving within the hour on a medical mission. Since the squadron is disbanded, I can’t order him to stay, but ask Captain Kauhn to assume patrol duties until our return, or Starfleet sends relief.” Her orders were clear for all, with Teyahna not even hanging around to hear the conclusion of them before disappearing into the turbo lift.

Zinn needed the information she held in the palm of her hand, and she was going to see that he got it. Or’uil’s life may well depend on it.

  • Keziah Nazir

    Commanding Officer

  • Noli Auru

    Executive Officer
    Team Leader, Hazard Team Alpha

  • Zinn

    Chief Medical Officer

  • Nikti Keesa

    Assistant Medical Officer
    Geneticist, Hazard Team Alpha

  • Teyahna

    Chief Science Officer