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Abashed follow-up

Posted on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 @ 2:38am by Lieutenant JG FalenvralLi Zh’kyhrihr & Lieutenant Commander Michael Ki

Mission: Character Development
Location: USS Athena Sickbay
Timeline: Post-By Artemis' Bow
1609 words - 3.2 OF Standard Post Measure

Once the Cavalier had been secured, Li stood sentry in Engineering until the regular ship's crew was cleared and returned to duty but she had little enough to offer the skilled engineers from Athena or Cavalier so she made her way back to the waverider - thankfully using normal corridors and turbolifts this time - and back into the civilian shuttle she'd piloted over. Alone in the dark cabin, her nose bled again, dripping onto the console.

It seemed like a bad sign combined with the pounding headache and following on pretty closely from a head injury, but she still went ahead with getting clearance from Cavalier to detach the shuttle and notifying Athena, now keeping station close by, of her impending return. If the trip back had taken as long as the trip here she might not have made it. When she approached Athena's main shuttle bay, she was grateful to allow tractor beams to take control of the shuttle and set it down. She wondered if they would have to do the same for her as she staggered out the hatch.

Medical wasn't a long walk from the shuttle bay, but she had the sense as she entered that she didn't really remember much of the trip there. "Hey, Doc," she said, not looking up to see who was on duty at the moment. "I think I shoulda. . . Sorry." She leaned against a bulkhead and closed her eyes, staying standing, staying conscious, but mostly checking out.

Michael had just gotten back into Sick Bay from talking with the Captain about the Pilgrims. The sound of the Andorian woman coming in and staggering caused him to snap his head around. "Nurse..." he called out and one of the nurses ran over to Li as did Ki. He blew out his cheeks as he realized who it was. "Lets get her on a bio bed, I need to see what is going on." Within moments Li was on the biobed and all the scanners were switched on. "Lieutenant can you hear me. What happened?"

Li kept her eyes closed, though it did little to quell the pounding in her head. At least lying down felt safe. "What happened? I guess I didn't listen. I mean, I went back to my quarters, but there was that red alert and I went to the bridge just in case, or just to stay informed, or in case it was something to do with the station I might know something about. Then I ended up on a whole new mission flying and crawling and . . . not taking it easy. My head started hurting and it just kept getting worse."

Ki was going to have to have a talk with the Captain about reading the medical reports that he files. In particular the parts about which crew members are on restricted duty. "That is probably because you reinjured yourself. It is quite possible that you are bleeding out into your brain again..." His voice trailed off as he grabbed the medical tricorder off the instrument tray. "...As of now you are stuck here in Sick Bay."

Laying her head back, Li sighed. That was more or less what she expected but at least it left things out of her hands. If only things hadn't moved so quickly. She really had meant to stay in bed before. It was just so hard when there were things that needed to be done. Not just a spot to fill on the duty roster, but actual... well, the doc had called it 'the fun stuff' the last time she'd found herself here. Hopefully, in the future, she could find a way to have fun without making her brain feel like it was about to explode. She started to say "You got it, Doc," but her words began to slur once 'You' was out and she was asleep before finishing.

Ki scanned her head and breathed a sigh of relief. She was injured but at least the neural sutures that he had placed in her head still held. This meant that there was no brain bleed, at least not at the moment. However, there was some sort of pressure building up in her precentral gyrus. This pressure would have to be relieved immediately. Michael summoned a nurse and with her help he set up the medical transporter. The idea that he had was to transport the fluid that was building out of Li's skull and thereby relieve the pressure. It was an extreme measure, and Michael was not even sure it would work. But it was all he had. The nurse informed him that the transporter was ready. "Energize..." his voice came confident even though inside he was a wash with a lack of confidence. A small beaker began to fill with fluid and the Lieutenant's life signs stabilized. He pressed a hypospray containing 3 ccs of Peridaxon to her neck. "That should stabilize her upper brain function."

Doctor Ki kept an eye on his patient for the next few hours and eventually when she awoke he smiled for what felt like the first time in days. "Welcome back Lieutenant..."

She came to slowly - not struggling to find the surface but lazily making her way there. When she opened her eyes and looked around, she said "Wow." For the first time in hours of consciousness, she wasn't struggling to think through a haze of throbbing pain. "Wow, that feels a lot better."

"I really don't mean to be your problem patient, Doc. I'm sorry about this. Everything just happened so fast and it kept gradually getting worse but by the time I realized how bad it was I couldn't just have a lie-down, you know? I promise I'll do better. I'll do what you tell me." She tentatively tilted her head, not trying to lift it yet, her antennae wavering slightly. "Uzaveh, I thought my head was going to explode."

"With all due respect Lieutenant. This time I am going to make sure that you keep that promise. You will have to remain in Sick Bay until you fully recover. I cannot allow your sense of duty to risk your health." Michael spoke sternly and made sure that she understood his meaning. Then after a short pause he smiled to make sure that she knew he understood her situation.

Her eyes widened at the admonishment, but then she let out a breath, accepting the situation. "Fair enough. If you think you can put up with me for that long." At the prospect of spending some extended time conscious in the sickbay, Li started to look around as though she'd find some entertainment.

"I have put up with worse. You are far from the worst patient I have seen in my career. Are you hungry or if you would like I could get you something to help you rest?" Michael Ki had a near genius level intellect and yet something he could never master was small talk. He never knew exactly what to say.

"Oof. I don't think sleeping will be hard. It's been a long day or... however long it's been. I've lost track." She looked down at herself in genuine surprise though and said, "But I am starving. I guess it's been a while since I ate too." Despite her promises to comply with his medical orders, she moved as if to get up though she did stop herself before making it far. "But I guess I can't just grab something for myself?"

"No you stay put. Just let me know what you would like and I can get it from the replicator." Ki interjected.

"Maybe just a bowl of Kohlanese stew. And ice cold water. Not water with ice but, you know, water right around 275 Kelvin." She laid back looking up at the ceiling of the med bay. "And Doctor? Thank you. For dinner. For, you know, fixing my brain. All of it. I probably deserved a solid dressing down and you've been so nice."

Michael ordered the food and water. He understood her request about the water it was pretty standard for an Andorian. As he walked back toward the bed with everything he smiled knowingly. "I have been in this business for some time. In all of that time I have learned that every Starfleet Officer has something in common. And that is that they all want to be the hero. As such I have come to accept and expect that. So it would make no sense for me to dress you down for doing what everyone wants to do. Right now you need some rest. However, it makes you feel better I will yell at you when you are well."

She started eating the stew while he was still talking. It was one thing to realize you're hungry, another to smell that rich broth and feel your mouth water and stomach gurgle with the desperation of several missed meals. She swallowed and chuckled. "Would you still be comfortable making that offer if I said I might actually like it? It seems like several times now I've been thanked or commended or whatever for what felt to me like failing. Getting yelled at for screwing up would at least smooth over the dissonance."

"We will see exactly how much you like it when the time comes." Michael said with a broad smile. In truth he hoped that this was not an example of the rest of the crew. He hoped that they would follow his recommendations when the time came. Ki also chastised himself somewhat for not confining Li when he had the chance.


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