Part of USS Mercy: Mission 2 – “Into the Breach”

Touching Moments

Coppelius
8/31/2400 1615 Hours
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While moving through the damaged city, Izi kept a close eye on the girl that asked for help.  The school wasn’t far, but what Izi noticed most, was the girl seemed to not be affected by the aftermath of the attack.  Izi was a security officer, not a doctor, but she suspected the girl was in shock.

“My name is Iziraa.  What’s yours?”

“Mm?  Iziraa?  I’m Katy.”

Izi wanted to ask Katy how she was doing, but couldn’t think of a way to do it without sounding out of line.  She decided to concentrate first on helping the younger children.

“The kids are in the cafeteria,” said Katy.

The school was small, only one story, with a playground to one side.  The building had suffered minimal damage, as though the attackers actually had a conscience about not harming children.

Weaving through the corridors, Izi paused in the doorway to the cafeteria.  There were nine small children, most of them crying, while three older kids tried to comfort them.  Izi’s heart ached, her antennae drooping slightly.

“Iziraa?”

Katy brought Izi back into focus.

“I think the best thing to do is to beam all of you to our ship,” said Izi.  “We can get all of your names and the doctors can examine everyone to make sure you’re okay.  We’ll search for their parents.”

It was at that point Izi realized Katy and the three other high schoolers couldn’t find their parents either.  It made her feel worse.

“Okay,” said Katy.  She joined the others and began explaining the plan.

Sighing, Izi was about to tap her comm badge to update Commander Sorek, when she saw one of the little girls holding the hand of an older boy, leading him towards her.  The girl looked up at Izi, her curious green eyes staring in wonder.

“You’re blue!”

“She’s never seen an Andorian before,” said the boy.

Izi nodded, slowly dropping to one knee.  “I’m Iziraa.”  She smiled.

The girl’s gaze was fixated on Izi’s moving antennae.

“Can I touch one?” said the girl.

Izi’s lips wrinkled and her stomach tightened.  Touching an Andorian’s antennae could lead to a person needing emergency medical care.  Of course, the innocence of the young child didn’t mean anything bad.  If it could help her through this terrible time, Izi was willing to allow it.

“Judy, you’re not supposed to ask that.  We learned that in class,” said the boy.

“No, it’s okay,” said Izi.  It wasn’t, but she would get through it.

“Be careful and gentle,” said the boy.

The girl smiled and slowly reached out.

Izi held her breath.

A tiny hand softly caressed the antennae on the left.  It vibrated and quivered at the touch.

The girl giggled.

“Thank you.  I’m Brian, by the way.”

Izi stood up.  “How are you doing, Brian?”

“Go back with the others,” said Brian.

When Judy was away, Brian looked at Izi.  She could easily see he was both afraid and being brave for the rest of the children.

“I don’t know where my parents are.  They were working in town, but….”

How much worse could it become?  Izi felt so sorry for the kids, it was starting to make her stomach feel like she ate too much katpa fish.  Pushing aside her personal feelings, she realized something for the first time.

“Brian, where are the teachers?”

A few seconds passed before there was an answer.  “The ones with children grabbed them and left.”  He shrugged.  “I guess they thought they could find some place safe to hide.  The rest?  I don’t know.  When the attack started, everyone panicked.”  He shrugged again.

Izi touched Brian on the shoulder.  Maybe that would give him some comfort.

“I need to call my commander.  We’ll get you to our ship and do the best we can to find your parents.”

“Thanks.”  Brian nodded and rejoined the rest of the children.

Izi watched him leave.  She hoped so much they would be able to reunite all the families, but from what she had seen in the city already, it probably wasn’t going to happen.  Sighing deeply, her antennae drooping again, she tapped her comm badge.