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Part of USS Polaris: Infiltrate and Liberate Nasera (The Lost Fleet – Part 1) and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Code Blue

Main Sickbay, USS Polaris
Mission Day 13 - 2230 Hours
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As Captain Devreux made his way towards Main Sickbay, the stretchers struck him first, running as far as the eye could see along the corridor outside the sickbay. On each lay a sailor in pain and agony, suffering the consequences of a battle that had nearly claimed them all. Burns, bruises, breaks, contusions, hematomas, fractures, these were the injuries of war.

“Catecholamines, vasopressin, angiotensin spiking. PAOP is five and falling,” a nurse reported as Captain Devreux stepped into the sickbay

“His interstitial pulmonary edema is worsening.” Doctor Henderson stood over a Crewman who had been on deck five when the Polaris’ shields had failed. The young man had third degree plasma burns from his head to his toes, and the worst of it was across his torso. “Get him back on oxygen and another 20 CCs of nitrofurosemide,” Henderson ordered as he folded his medical tricorder back up. “Lieutenant Michaels, I need you at bed six.”

A young doctor came rushing over, almost colliding with Captain Devreux as he rushed to the bedside. “What’s up doc?”

“Organ perfusion is too aggressive here,” Henderson explained. “I know he’s 55 TBSA, but crank resuscitation back by 20%.”

“Yes sir.”

As Doctor Henderson left the Lieutenant to his work, he noticed the Captain standing there with a look of grave concern washed his face. The doctor ushered for the Executive Officer to follow him as the pair made their way over to the Chief Medical Officer’s private office.

“Even with all the magic in our medical bays, physicians still overestimate burn depth every time,” Henderson explained as they crossed the crowded sickbay. “But don’t worry,” he assured his colleague as they stepped into the office. “Crewman Miller will make a full recovery.”

“And the others?”

“Not going to lie to you Gérard. Tonight has been bad,” he cautioned as he handed Devreux a PADD with the latest numbers. “Eighty nine dead on arrival. Another thirty three, we couldn’t save. It has been code blue after code blue all night.” The exobiologist turned battle surgeon looked absolutely exhausted. “I assume you saw the stretchers on the way in?”

“I did.”

“Those are the least severe. Every sickbay on the ship is full, except Sickbay Three since it’s in one of the uninhabitable sections. We also repurposed Cargo Bays 5, but we are still forty five patients over capacity.”

“Anywhere else we could put them?” asked Devreux. “It hardly seems merciful to leave them out there in the hallway.”

“Unfortunately not.” Cargo Bay 5 had been a godsend because, as a biostorage bay, it had the environmental controls they needed to set up a makeshift medical facility. “Typically, we would use the holodecks during mass casualty situations. It’s one of the nice features of the Odyssey class. But that’s when we’re responding to an emergency, not when we are the emergency. At current power levels, Operations tells me the holodecks are non-operable, and will remain that way for days. They’re doing what they can just to make us enough power for the medical replicators.”

Devreux made a note to see if he could find another place to move the injured. Maybe some of the fancy guest quarters they typically reserved for diplomats? “How many more are likely to succumb to their injuries?” Devreux asked. He knew that there was no way to estimate that accurately, but he wanted a sense for how much worse it was going to get.

“Maybe another twenty or thirty,” answered Doctor Henderson regretfully. He saw the Captain’s heart drop. “We’re doing everything we can Gèrard,” he assured his colleague. “But sometimes, the damage is just too severe.” It was the Dominion War all over again, the scale of the injured and the ailments they suffered.

“How is the team down in the city doing?” For as bad as they had it up here, Captain Devreux understood from Admiral Reyes and Captain Vox that the ground battle had also been incredibly bloody. Devreux and Henderson had worked to get as many medical staff down there as they could, without completely decimating the Polaris’ staff, to tend to the casualties they had suffered in the firefight with the Jem’Hadar.

“Our field unit has secured a hospital in the city,” Henderson explained. “The Dominion wrecked it pretty badly, but they’re working with an engineering team from the USS Ingenuity to get it operational. For now, they’ve got just enough working beds to manage the critical cases.”

“And how many is that?”

“Eighty four in critical.”

That number stung. And there was an even worse number Captain Devreux was afraid to ask about, but he knew he needed to. “And dead?”

“Across all the teams from all ships, two hundred and ninety have been declared dead on the surface,” Henderson answered. “But be warned, that number is preliminary, and there are still some officers unaccounted for down there.”

Captain Devreux had been holding his breath for a depressingly large number, but he had not imagined it would be that large. What sort of hell had Reyes and their colleagues faced down there? Thank god the fighting had stopped when it did, although he still didn’t understand exactly why it had stopped.

“Should I even ask how the other ships are doing?” Devreux had been on the bridge during the battle. He knew that, while the Polaris had taken a beating, the other ships hadn’t fared much better. And one, the Norway class escort from Task Group 514, had been lost with all hands.

“The others are all in about the same spot as us,” Commander Henderson explained grimly.”Steamrunner got it the worst, but thankfully, Ingenuity had a few extra beds to take on her most critical patients.” Commander Cora Lee’s vessel had, by far, come through the least scathed. “In normal times, I’d offer to help the other CMOs, but I’ve got nowhere to put their patients and no staff to tend to their wounds.” Henderson looked guilty as he said it.

“Doctor, you are doing incredible work. Don’t think otherwise for even a second,” Captain Devreux assured him. “Is there anything I can do to help you and the staff?”

“Short of cloning us all, I’m afraid not. We’ll be on coffee and stims for days, but we’re going to get everyone through this that we can.”

Devreux frowned. That was a bleak way to look at it.

“Don’t have such a long face, Captain. We got into this profession knowing what could be asked of us.” His voice grew serious, full of conviction, as he continued. “We took that solemn pledge to consecrate our lives to the service of humanity, to practice with conscience and dignity, to heal, to help, and to save. This is our calling, and we will rise to it today, tomorrow, and every day, so long as we shall live.”

There was silence as the two stood there, considering those words. While Dr. Henderson spent most of his time as the head of Biological Sciences for the Advanced Science, Technology and Research Activity, he still took that oath with utmost sincerity.

“Code Blue, Sickbay Two, Bed Four.”

The frantic voice on the intercom pierced the veil, and without another word, Doctor Henderson was gone. It was an all too familiar call in this dark and dreadful night, that of another life on the precipice between life and death.

Comments

  • Incredible detailed medical post that views the aftermatch of a real battle. Sometimes missed in many stories and yet very much needed to answer questions for the reader. Well done!

    May 29, 2023
  • So I've finally read the entire Polaris series to date, and I've got to say I have thoroughly enjoyed every element (so far). Reyas is certainly the type of leader you expect from Star Trek - she reminds me of a combined version of Janeway and Sisko. The type who is clever and wise to know how to win a tough situation, but also isn't afraid to get their hands dirty and deal with the crisis up front and personally. Lewis, on the other hand, is certainly the Kira/Chakotay character who knows what it takes to get the job done and effectively - however, he mourns each loss and knows that sometimes to get the job done, those lines need to blur and that itself can tear a piece of his soul away from him. However, I suspect he has an inner strength that helps him survive so much. Hall - well, she is certainly one of my favourites. Clever like the others, strong, independent but with a level of coldness where efficiency in dealing with what needs to be dealt with is important. Her values, though, are in conflict with what is expected of a Starfleet officer; she has no regrets in knowing that what she does is for the greater good. Overall, you've certainly brought out the realness that war brings to a civilian population - so much grief and so much tragedy. It's raw, it's powerful, and it brings the harshness of an enemy that has no qualms about hurting the innocent to ensure they have the upper hand. This was such a pleasure to read. The whole thing felt like it would fit in well as an episode (or two) in the DS9 Dominion War seasons.

    May 29, 2023
  • I'm very new to the Crew and stories of the Polaris, but with that being said, I feel like even coming in at this point in the game I am not lost on things I have missed. You captured the despair and made this scene feel chaotic and real, almost too real. The story flows nicely and I could see it playing out in my minds eye from the opening paragraphs. I feel like I need to massively catch myself up on the previous posts but all in all this was a well written chapter that touches on aspects of combat and the consequences of such that we don't normally see on the screen. A very enjoyable read and that final paragraph was a perfect note to end on.

    May 29, 2023
  • Now I just feel a profound sadness. Over 300 lives were lost, to an enemy we thought was long gone. When I read stuff like this, and then revisit the previous posts, I agree with Lewis' actions that little bit more. The stakes have shifted now, for me its no longer about Nasera, its about these lives, up here on Polaris. Henderson is doing a fantastic job in the middle of a terrible crisis. Could they make use of any of the auxiliary craft, perhaps? They must have their own redundant power supplies. I swear, if I didn't have my own planet to go and liberate, Hathaway would be there in a heartbeat to lend a hand. And what an end! Death toll +1 maybe? I feel like its going to be Roslin in BSG, where she keeps track of the number of humanity left alive. Devreux/Henderson might well have to update their board every so often...

    May 31, 2023