Stirring from a black dream, Radda swallowed as he tasted the foul aftertaste of vomit in his mouth and forced himself past his revulsion. Looking around the dark escape pod, he noted the slant of the floor that had him almost falling out of his seat if not for the restraining belt holding him. The heavier restraint bars had been disengaged, which meant that someone had been able to hit the release button.
The pod was very dark, illuminated by the occasional flash of light from arcing electricity, the flickering of a single working red emergency light offered little comfort. Radda turned to the escape pod’s helm to see no sign of the pilot in the dim glow of the shattered console. Sound began to register in the Vulcan’s ears, as he noted the stressed creak of cooling metal, the drip, drip, drip of water, static emanating from the broken helm consoles, and faint breathing from the shadows around him.
Freeing himself from the safety belt, Radda slipped to the floor and immediately began to rouse the individual who was in the seat next to his: The Orion doctor Jahus. Unable to wake Jahus (still clad in his medical isolation suit), for some strange reason Radda’s usually logical mind elected to open the doctor’s helmat, thereby breaking the seal on whatever Jahus had hoped to contain. Radda then forgot the principles of proper first aid.
Resorting to slapping the good doctor awake, Radda finally managed to wake Jahus, who was less than pleased at finding his helmat open, “You realize you are probably infected with whatever was inside of my suit and now you are going to die right?” Radda stopped for a moment, shivering in the cool air, “Eh, I didn’t think of that.”
No longer concerning himself with his isolation suit, Jahus got out of his seat, only to find the feet of his suit sloshy with a quantity of vomit. Jahus shed himself of the rank suit, and immediately set to work ascertaining the condition of his surroundings. It took but a minute to find the body of Lt. Commander Larian on the pod floor, and a flashlight near her hand. Unfortunately, while he was feeling around in the dark, Jahus accidentally sunk his hand into the gaping wound on Larian’s leg. The unconscious El-Aurian did not respond.
Jahus instructed Radda to try and wake the others, while he began an assessment of his patient. Lacking a medical tricorder, he had to resort to traditional medicine and raw observation. It didn’t take long for him to determine the most serious concern facing the downed commander: A punctured lung with a shard of console glass sticking out of it, and the heavily bleeding leg wound Jahus had accidentally placed his hand into. Larian was pale, her breathing shallow and rapid. Jahus needed his medical equipment, and there was not much time. Quickly checking the escape pod’s side compartments, he located an emergency medical kit with the precious medical scanning implement, only to find the expiry date on the case fifty-six years long overdue. The medical tricorder would not turn on…
Radda meanwhile set to work trying to wake the others in the reflected glow from the doctor’s flashlight. Recognizing the technical nature of the doctor’s problem, Radda elected to rouse the Bolian engineer first – hopefully he would be able to help fix the tricorder. It took some effort, but slowly the injured engineer came around, coughing weakly as the vile smell of vomit rose from his damp clothing.
None of the medical equipment was working aside from the two hyposprays and a neural stimulator. Jahus quickly applied the stimulator to the commander’s cranium and set to work preparing needle and thread – the leg required corrective surgery, and none of the usual technological tools were going to work in time. Holding the flashlight with one hand, needle with the other, Jahus managed to sew together the ends of the main bleeding arteriole – a feat that would be lauded by medical experts anywhere if any of them had observed the delicate procedure. He looked up as Radda informed him that Sal Vaxx, ship engineer, was waking up.
For all his discomfort, Sal started looking around the dimly-lit escape pod for tools. What good engineer could work without tools? Grabbing the small engineering kit from its compartment Sal got to work, flipping open the engineering tricorder to find that it too was not functional. Knowing a dead power cell when he saw one, Sal swapped out the drained unit with one found in the engineering kit stores, and the tricorder came to life.
Using the engineering tricorder to scan the unresponsive medical unit, Sal knew what he needed to fix the problem. Banging the tricorder against the floor a few times, in an expert engineering fashion, Sal successfully coerced the aged technology to turn on and then handed the repaired scanner to the doctor. Just as Jahus attempted to use the fixed tricorder, it died in his hand…
Radda concentrated on waking the Talaxian soldier Ixlain, as the Antican rogue looked a tad too aggressive for him – Anticans were known to be dangerous when confused or threatened. He managed to rouse the hardened soldier from slumber, and stepped back, right into a live electrical cable. After shaking uncontrollably for several moments, Radda collapsed to the cold floor. Jahus rolled his eyes, “Just leave him; he’s less of a danger to himself this way.”
Ixlain calmly took in the situation before releasing herself from the escape pod seat and assessing her injuries. It wasn’t every day you landed intact in an escape pod, and she counted herself lucky to be alive. Choosing to leave the Antican asleep and stepping over the body of the Vulcan ship officer at her feet, Ixlain quickly discussed the scenario with Jahus and Sal and began searching the escape pod for what materials she could locate. Not all was intact, and several compartments had melted or burned to a crisp. Nonetheless, emergency blankets, rope, food rations, flashlights, cold weather suits, tents, and Starfleet Marine combat-issue knives made their way into a pile on the floor. Ixlain quietly slipped one of the deadly blades into her jacket, alongside the disruptor pistol tucked against her side.
With medical tricorder again fixed by the engineer, Jahus grimly noted that the glass shard in Commander Larian’s chest was helping her as much as it was hurting her. While the shard cut off oxygen to the right side of her lung, it also stopped the pool of blood filling that organ from spilling over into the other lung and suffocating the unconscious officer. Larian would need surgery, and Jahus did not have the tools at hand to perform that procedure. His autosuture and dermal regenerator were not functional; also he was lacking a laser scalpel though one of the combat knives on the floor would be able to replace that. Dialling in some of his stabilizing medications, Jahus injected the officer. If he couldn’t fix her, at least he could keep her alive.
Ixlain set herself to the task of waking the Antican as Radda began to rouse from his unintended nap. Ixlain ignored the Vulcan as a possible concern, as right when Radda woke and stood to his feet, he stood up right back into the same electrical cable that had discharged through his body earlier. Radda dropped like a stone for a second time. “Oh for crying out loud,” came the unbelieving remark.
Ixlain drew upon the soldier’s knowledge of battlefield medicine, and compressed several dermal nerves that instantly drew the Antican awake and alert. Confused and groggy, the Antican snapped out, gripping the soldier around the neck and squeezing, while he growled in reflexive anger.
Attempting to pry away the iron grip of the Antican, or at least defend herself, Ixlain found herself struggling to even get a breath. Sal Vaxx and Jahus mobilized to address the situation, but until Jahus yelled for Ragnaar to yield (finally breaking through to the Antican’s canine instincts), he continued to assault the Talaxian soldier who had awoken him. Moments later, Ixlain sat on the floor rubbing her throat as the Antican apologized for his startle reaction. Then the neural stimulator on Larian’s head began to chirp – the El-Aurian was waking up…