A darkened biofunction monitor activated automatically only moments before a whirl of sparkling light blocked it from view. As soon as the transporter’s annular confinement beam locked onto the biobed, a traveling matter stream instantaneously transformed into the body of Elegy Weld. From the teal-shouldered uniform he wore, Elegy looked as if he should have been on staff here, at the hospital, but it didn’t take long to see he was on the right side of the biobed.
The chimes from the biofunction monitor screamed out the vitals of an individual in distress. A medikit was open in his lap, but its contents were burned to scrap. From the way he was perched on the biobed, it looked like Elegy’s right knee was bent in the wrong direction. To top it off, Elegy’s face was caked in sticky blood and he was pressing the heels of his palms against his forehead as if his life might, literally, depend on it.
“I think– I think– I think I stopped the bleeding,” Elegy declared to whomever might hear him, if he lived long enough.
The medkit was removed from his lap, as two pairs of hands pulled off the blood-soaked jacket he was wearing. His pants had to be cut off, though, so that the staff could get a better look at his leg. Along with a Human doctor and nurse, both tall and male, several technicians and other staff were entering and leaving the exam bay with the sort of calm freneticism that one could only find in a medical facility.
“Relax. The bleeding is superficial, Ensign,” the doctor said, as he applied a sterile bandage over the younger man’s forehead to contain the bleeding more effectively. “I’m Dr. Phillips. You’re on Starbase Four. They didn’t send along any details when they beamed you in. Do you remember what happened to your leg?”
It took more effort than he expected just to lower his hands. Every muscle in Elegy’s limbs were tensed, as he struggled to ride out the flares of pain shooting through his body. Some reptile complex in his brain didn’t immediately believe Doctor Phillips; morbidly, Elegy feared his face would fall off if he let go. But his adrenaline reactions were starting to calm at the gentle ministration of the nurse and Elegy lowered his hands as instructed. His face stayed where he left it.
“Starbase Four?” Elegy echoed the words that had stuck in his mind; the rest hadn’t registered. His brow furrowed in intense concentration as if he were solving a serious riddle. All he said was, “That’s where I’m going. I’m– I’m supposed to report to Starbase Four. I’m a counselor. I’m going to work there.” His vowels were prolonged; he sounded befuddled or dislocated in time and space. Locking his eyes on Phillips’ uniform, Elegy still sounded confused when he asked, “Are you a counselor too?”
“No, I’m not a counselor,” Phillips replied, trading places with the nurse so he could grab a tricorder. “How were you injured, Ensign?” he asked, again; he started to scan him, while the other medical officer kept pressure on the wound long enough to help stem the bleeding until they could begin dermal regeneration.
“The transport runabout was overtaken by an ion storm. Came out of nowhere!” Elegy replied, and he was sounding more coherent with each word. His eyes weren’t wandering as much; he was focusing on Dr. Phillips or the nurse or the state of his own knee. By way of explanation, Elegy said, “Half of the EPS taps in the cockpit overloaded. They said we lost 20% of the inertial dampeners, but it was enough. The Kaministiquia was jolted by the storm and I fell. Felt like I was falling falling, from a height. The transporter alcove broke my fall. And my knee.”
“Well, your leg’s about as badly broken as I’ve seen for a leg that’s still attached to a body,” the doctor noted. “You’re very lucky. 25 CCs of anesthezine,” he said, turning to the nurse. Once the hypo was ready, he applied it to Elegy’s neck. “You’re in safe hands,” he said, as the drug took effect to knock him out.
As consciousness returned to Elegy Weld, the dryness of his mouth was his most notable sensation. He couldn’t remember his dreams while he was out, and yet he vividly recalled them taking place somewhere deep in the bowels of a starship. The fact he even noticed his dry mouth felt like something of a victory to Elegy. His leg had been in such pain before, and he couldn’t feel it now. All he could feel was a tongue like sandpaper. Reflecting on his body, Elegy couldn’t say he felt good, exactly, only that he didn’t feel bad. He was drifting in the middle somewhere, sailing on an analgesic, he guessed.
Blinking at the overhead, Elegy asked, “Am I… alive?” just to be sure. His voice was hoarse and so he cleared his throat.
In his peripheral vision, Elegy took notice of a nurse approaching his biobed. Nurse Fionn said, “Yes. Yes, you are,” while leaned closer to examine his biofunction monitor. “Most of my dead patients don’t talk.”
Elegy’s voice cracked, when he asked, “Do I have both my legs?”
Fionn looked him in the eyes and she grinned reassuringly. “You have both your legs, ensign,” she said. She looked away to tap a notation on the PADD in her hand.
“I’m going to work here, you know,” Elegy said. He didn’t quite know if he was feeling proud of that fact, or if he was trying to make a friend, or if he just didn’t want to be like the other patients. All he knew was how important it felt, in that moment, to tell her that.
“Welcome to Starbase Bravo, ensign,” Nurse Fionn said. She winked when she added, “Let’s hope this was your rock bottom day. It can only get better from here.”