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Part of USS Edison: Voyage Through the Aperture and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Whispers in the Void

Runabout Tyson
Mission Day 2: 1800
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Tal knelt beside Jal, gently adjusting the homemade splint they had fashioned for her broken leg. The small medical kit from the runabout’s emergency supplies had been grossly inadequate for their needs. However, they did what they could. Jal winced as Tal’s fingers brushed against her leg, but she didn’t complain.

“Easy, sh’za,” Tal whispered, her soothing voice trying to ease the pain. “I’m almost done. Just hold on a bit longer.”

Jal managed a weak smile. “You always were the best at tending to our wounds,” she forced a grin. “Just don’t tell Doctor Thalen that,” she said.

Tal’s antennae twitched in acknowledgment. She knew Jal was trying to keep the mood light, but the severity of her injuries made it almost impossible to focus her humor. The runabout had been reduced to a broken shell. With each groan of the hull or flicker of the emergency lights, they were reminded of the severity of their situation.

“Try not to move too much,” Tal advised calmly.  “We’ll get you out of here soon. Thalen and Krev are working on it.”

Jal nodded. She closed her eyes as she breathed through the pain. It was agonizing, even with the medication. However, she refused to give in. “I don’t want to slow us down,” she muttered. “If you all need to move, you need to leave me behind.”

“Don’t say that,” Tal replied harshly; her voice left no room for argument. “We’re not leaving anyone behind. We’re family, and family doesn’t do that.”

Jal focused her eyes directly on Tal, “You know how stubborn you sound, right? You’re going to start quoting Ambassador Spock, aren’t you?”

Tal tried to smile. “I learned from the best,” she said as she brushed a strand of hair from Jal’s face. “Now rest!”

They shared a brief moment of understanding; their bond had always been a source of strength.  Tal leaned closer, their antenna touching, “Rest,” she whispered. “I’ll keep watch, make sure those two don’t blow something up, or us,” she smirked, “we don’t want that.”

Jal’s eyes shut as she smiled. “Definitely not.” Her breathing slowed as exhaustion took over. Tal kept a watchful eye on her, monitoring her condition while the sounds of Krev and Thalen working in the cockpit provided some relief to the quiet. She wasn’tcertainn they knew what they were doing, but one didn’t dare interrupt them.

Minutes turned into hours as Tal maintained her quiet watch. She could feel the weight of their situation pressing down on her. They had been sucked into a portal and deposited who knows where. Their shuttle was damaged, and the worst part was Jal. Her zh’yi needed her.

Tal admired everyone’s ability to pull together. They were all equally lost, but they all rallied together. This wasn’t just Starfleet training; this was something more. As the hours crawled on, Jal stirred, her eyelids weakly opening again. “Tal,” she her voice seemed confused, “How long has it been?”

Tal didn’t have a chronometer to look at, so any answer was only a guess. But Jal didn’t need to know that. “A few hours,” she replied softly. “How are you feeling?”

“It’s like I got hit by a shuttlecraft,” Jal replied, a faint smile crossing her lips, “Any progress?”

Tal sighed, her antennae drooping slightly. “They’re working on it, you know how those two are? We’ll get out of here, I promise.”

Jal’s smile faded, replaced by a look of concern. “Tal, if something happens to me…”

“Nothing’s going to happen to you,” Tal interrupted firmly. “You’re going to be fine. We’re all going to be fine.”

Jal reached out, her hand shaking as it found Tal’s. “I just want you to know that I love you all. No matter what happens.”

Tal’s eyes softened, and she squeezed Jal’s hand gently. “And we love you, Jal. Don’t ever doubt that. We’re getting out of this together.”

A sudden clatter from the front of the runabout drew their attention. Thalen cursed under his breath as a panel sparked, sending a shower of blue light into the air. Krev quickly moved to assist him, their frustration evident.

“Thalen, what’s going on?” Tal called out, her voice tinged with worry.

Thalen wiped his brow, his expression grim. “The terminal’s a mess. We’re doing what we can, but it’s slow going. The damage is extensive. We fix one system and another one over loads. ”

Krev glanced over his shoulder, his eyes meeting Tal’s. “Just keep Jal stable. We got this… I hope.”

Tal nodded, her confidence starting to fade a bit.

The hours continued to go by, each one feeling like an eternity. Tal maintained her watch over Jal, refusing to let fatigue take control. Suddenly, Tal noticed a change in Jal’s condition. Her breathing had become more strained as beads of sweat coated her pale skin. “Jal, stay with me,” Tal demanded, her voice dripping with concern. “You have to stay with me.”

Jal’s eyes opened, unfocused and glassy. “Tal… I’m… tired…”

“Don’t you dare give up,” Tal stated fiercely, her grip on Jal’s hand tightening. “You’re stronger than this. You have to hold on.”

Jal’s gaze moved, her eyes looking directly at Tal. Jal’s face was so calming that it sent a shiver down Tal’s spine. “Promise me… you’ll keep them safe,” she whispered.

Tears formed in Tal’s eyes as she nodded. “I promise, Jal. But you fight. We need you. I need you.”

Jal’s lips curved into a faint smile before her eyes closed again. Tal felt a surge of panic, and she couldn’t afford to lose control. Not now. “Thalen!” Tal screamed. “I need you in here now!”

Thalen rushed over, his face unable to hide the concern. Thalen knelt beside Jal, his medical training taking over as he assessed her condition.

“She’s deteriorating,” Thalen muttered, his voice strained. “We need to stabilize her, or she won’t make it.”

Krev entered the room and placed a reassuring hand on Tal’s shoulder. “We’re going to fix this,” he said firmly. This time, he didn’t sound so sure; it was more like he was trying to convince himself.

Tal nodded, “What do you need me to do?”

Thalen glanced at her, “Keep talking to her. Keep her awake. I need to get a more powerful sedative to ease her pain, but we have to keep her conscious.”

Tal leaned closer to Jal, her voice gentle but firm. “Jal, listen to me. You have to stay awake. Focus on my voice. Remember that time when we got caught in the storm?”

Jal’s eyes fluttered open, a faint spark of recognition flashing within them. “We… built a shelter… from the snow…”

“That’s right,” Tal said, “We huddled together for warmth and waited for the storm to pass. You kept us all laughing with your crazy stories.”

A weak chuckle escaped Jal’s lips. “I… remember…”

“Keep going,” Tal urged climbing onto the bed as she embraced Jal. “What happened next?”

Jal’s breathing steadied slightly. She continued to talk, her speech slow but steady.

Thalen returned with the sedative, administering it carefully. “This should help,” he said softly. “But we need to get her to a proper medical facility as soon as possible.”

Krev, who had been silent, spoke up. “I’ve managed to get partial power to the communication array. I hope! It’s enough to send a signal, but honestly…”

Tal shot him a look, silently urging him to stay positive.

Krev nodded. “Someone’s bound to pick it up; we just have to hold on.”

Tal nodded, her expression betraying her thoughts. They were far from safe, but they had to cling to hope. All they could do now was wait.

Comments

  • The danger never really lets us here - from the medical situation to the repair process, it feels like something's just around the corner to challenge our characters. I liked how you kept our injured party awake and the concern that was shown for them. You can tell these folks care about each other and just want to get home so they can be back in the arms of safety again. Hopefully that communication signal gets picked up! Hoping they all make it back alive and well!

    June 20, 2024
  • There is nothing here that shows a bit of relief to the story. It seems like when relief might be possible something else is coming. The fact that you have a whole crew of Andorians is really cool I think I have yet to see such an interesting group together. The bond between the characters is really good and I can feel the emotion between them. Holding onto my seat waiting to see what happens! I really hope they get out of this and all of them are safe!

    June 20, 2024
  • An emotional bounding in a dire situation. The bounding between them can be felt and its like I as the reader am part of the crew observing from a distance how they struggle and keeping Jal with them. Jal and Tal strong relationship is the star of this post for sure, loved it and got me almost crying with the emotional level in this. Great work!

    June 20, 2024