Out of Sickbay
Main Sickbay <Deck 16> [Gibraltar Station]
The Main Patient Ward of Sickbay is an ovular room, wider at the aft than at the fore. The main door is in the aft wall, and directly to its right is a wall unit with receptacle for PADDs and a low counter upon which are arrayed fluid suspension modules. Against the starboard wall, next to the counter and receptacle, is the first of four biobeds, each in its own tiny alcove, heads to starboard, one by one to the aft wall. The biobeds are bluish gray, with a shimmering multicolored blanket on each which can keep a patient warm when necessary. At the head of each bed is a small monitor and a gray chair sits to the left, or aft, of each bed. To port of the main door is a large white display panel, beneath which is a counter supporting a variety of medical instruments. In the center of the room is a single biobed, bluish gray like the others, with that same blanket, but boasting a surgical support frame that creates an arch over the middle of the bed. The frame can be opened to allow patients to be moved if need be. Port, there is an alcove leading to an office and the Med Lab. Fore of this is a large bio display which can show the readouts of any patient in the ward. Fore again, there is a door leading to the Second Ward, next to which is a small utility cart and another counter with fluid suspension modules beneath a wall receptacle. The room is lit both by a large assembly over the central bed, which is in actually a sensor cluster meant to aid medical procedures, and also by lighting panels in the rest of the ceiling. Alert tracers line the wall above each biobed.
Sleep. It does wonders for one's cognitive abilities, to say nothing of a shower and a bath reviving the body. Omtala has returned to medical after a bit of a recharge of the batteries and is making her rounds. She pauses by Brooks' biobed and gives a quick sweep of her tricorder over the wound site. She nods approvingly at the data while producing a PADD from her coat pocket.
Solvek enters from the door to the head. He notices Omtala and walks over to her. "Her vitals did not waver once last night. She seems to have recovered quite efficiently. Did you sleep well, Commander?"
Brooks is sleeping quite peacefully for the most part, though she seems to be one of those folks that talks in her sleep. Most of the murmuring is unintelligible, but the name "Selek" comes through a couple of times.
Omtala stifles a yawn at the mention of sleep. "Commander, I never sleep as much as I'd like to. As well you know, medical is never off duty. Especially not with this job. Between it, my family, and the lodge... sleep is a relative thing. Mostly, I let my body make up my mind for me. Then my husband lurks nearby with a knife to discourage anyone tempted to wake me." He's a popular guy, her husband. "How about you? Tell me you just checked on her before I did and didn't stay here all night."
Solvek, like many Vulcans, does not have the grace to look embarrassed. "To be quite honest, Doctor, I did stay here through the duration of the evening, after I completed my other duties for the day. I could not allow another of the terrorist organization to attack her during the evening."
Omtala gestures for the Vulcan to follow her to a less active location of the medbay. Pathology. "Now that I'm conscious and cognitive... just what did happen last night? Someone mentioned a bomb and terrorists and the rumors about the lodge are too broad to put a specific on."
Solvek looks slightly grave. "From the various reports I have gathered the events that transpired last night involved a hostage situation. We believe that the seized individuals are the remaining members of the group who were responsible for the previous bombings, as they were in possession of a similar device." He pauses, "They took science lab one hostage and declared that their desire was for Starfleet and all Federation ships be removed from Antarean space. The demands were not met, and by the efficient work of the crew, the individuals were seized and the bomb was disarmed. The only casualties were that of young Ensign Quaker and Lieutenant Brooks."
Brooks tosses and turns herself right into wakefulness and blinks up at the ceiling for a moment. She peers over at a nearby chronometer and blinks, tries to sit up, reaching to feel at her shoulder.
Omtala is attentive, that much you can give her. "You. Back on the bed. No touching the shoulder." Her hand is outstretched and pointing imperiously at Brooks. "If you're good you might even be discharged with a sling today." The carrot approach. "Excuse me. You were saying?" She looks back to Solvek with a smile.
Brooks sighs, settling back and moving her hand. "I have work to do. Important things. Research. A Maelstrom moving into trade lanes." Despite the muttering (and the ever-thickening accent) she does as she's told. See, she can be a good girl.
Omtala sighs heavily. "Never mind, I'm sure there will be a meeting soon to discuss the latest events." Leaving the Vulcan to his thoughts, she stalks over to Brooks. "I imagine you won't be happy when I say that you're off duty for at least two days. Argue and I'll make it three. Come back at the end of two and we'll evaluate your shoulder then." Glancing to a nurse passing, she asks. "Patterson, bring me a number 3 sling could you?" She looks back to Brooks. "Sling. I catch you out of it save for a shower and changing clothes and I'll add a day. I find out you are doing sports and I'll put a reprimand on your record. Are we clear?" She erases the stern expression on her face. "But. The good news. You're not inflamed so I got all of the dead flesh and uniform bits out. The tissue will be tender for a week or so. Light duty, yes you can do research, but no sports, for the next week after your evaluation I should think. After that, you should be as good as new. Physical therapy wouldn't be amiss. That's fresh muscle tissue you have there so you'll want to work on muscle memory if that's an issue for you. Swimming is probably best, but in warm water and nothing with waves. Any questions?"
Brooks groans softly. "I don't do sports, Doctor. Well. I can swim, though, I guess. What'm I supposed to do for two whole days off-duty?" She sighs. "I'll wear the sling, and I'll stay off-duty, and thank you, doctor, really. It's just terrible timing. I'll have to hand a few things off I guess." She pauses. "Can I still, you know, do things? Move around? Read?"
Omtala laughs, nodding her head. "Yes, you can read. Just no great activity alright? I don't want to have to treat you for a torn shoulder. You're very lucky to be alive, you know. A few days off reflecting on your own mortality might not be amiss. But that's the philosopher in me. Go on a date, do something irresponsible. Revel in life. I'm sure you have holodeck time. Use it. What the body can't do the mind compensates for." She taps her head for emphasis. "If you get stumped, hail me. If there's one thing I've learned to be over the years its creative with spontaneous free time."
Brooks rolls her right shoulder. "Everyone's lucky to be alive," she murmurs. "Me most of all." A bit louder, "Thank you, though. I'll... go take a shower, I think. Maybe catch up on some research papers I've been meaning to read. Two days?"
Omtala nods approvingly. "Good idea. I only have thirty seven to go before I'm caught up with last year's research." Rolling her eyes, she accepts the sling from the nurse and offers it to Brooks. "I'll send a message to Lieutenant Alexandria. Just get some rest, hmm?" She puts away her tricorder and exchanges it for her padd, ahh the joys of her lab coat.Brooks nods to this and turns to head out.
(The scene shifts to a small, windowless room.)
Junior Officer's Quarters 3901 <Deck 39> [Gibraltar Station]
Though relatively small in comparison to other suites aboard the base, these quarters are still spacious and comfortable. The main room is a square that makes up half the rectangle of these quarters. A white sofa, just large enough for two people, is placed against the wall to the right of the main door. A small fern sits upon a smoked glass coffee table in front of the sofa. Twin chairs of the same plush style as the sofa complete the seating arrangement. There is a replicator, small table, and two chairs to the left of the room, a walkway dividing the two areas. At the end of this walkway is the door leading to the bedroom, directly across from the main door. The bed is twin size, with maroon comforter and gray pillow. There is a closet and cupboards for the occupant's belongings, and a bathroom complete with shower. The carpeting throughout the quarters is gray, the walls paneled in the same color. Soft lighting comes from panels in the ceiling, and there are twin vertical alert tracers on either side of the door.
Fred is curled up on her couch, dressed in civilian clothing (a green t-shirt and a pair of jeans) with glasses perched on the end of her nose. She has a piece of hair in her mouth which she's chewing as she reads a PADD held in her good hand. The other arm is still held in a sling. The room is fairly dim, with most of the lights very low or even off; only the light directly over the couch is bright enough to read by, and that only barely. As the door chimes, Fred calls, "Enter," which causes the hair to fall from her mouth, but she hardly seems to notice as she keeps reading.
Solvek enters slowly, glancing around at the darkened room. He stands in place, obviously unsure of where he should seat himself. "Good evening Ms. Br--Winifred. How are you recovering?"
Fred looks up, blinks, and stammers, "Oh... C... Commander... errr... Solvek. Umm. I'm fine. Really. Have a seat? Did you... umm... I mean, were you just looking in, or...?" Her eyes are puffy, and a bit red, and she looks more than a little flabbergasted, probably at having a senior officer in her quarters.
Solvek walks over to an empty chair and takes a seat. "I am off duty for the moment, my title is unnecessary. I decided that I should come by and visit as I have not seen you for two days. I believe it is customary for 'friends' to check in on one another from time to time." The entirety of this sentence is toned with uncertainty. He looks at her injured arm, "It is fortunate that your wound has not hindered your basic abilities." He nods to the PADD she is reading.
"Well, not really. The sling'll be off soon anyhow. Umm. Did you want something to drink, or... something? I mean, I guess that's customary, right?" She reaches over to put her PADD down on the table, uncurling a bit as she does so. "Or you don't have to stay, if you don't want to. Just, you know. Thought I'd offer." Yes, very stammery, very nervous. Oddly so, defensive even.
Solvek quirks an eyebrow. "Winifred, what is troubling you?" His tone is quite direct for a Vulcan.
Fred looks down at the floor. "Nothin' out of the ordinary. Just... y'know... what happened the other day and all. Wakin' up in Sickbay alone again. No one's really been by, except you, and I know you're just being nice. I mean... you know what I mean." She rolls her good shoulder in a shrug, curling up on herself. "Doctor Omtala said I should... relax... do things besides work, but what else is there to do, really?"
"There is the option of leaving your quarters and socializing with various members of the crew." Did Solvek just give social advice?! "Confining yourself to quarters is quite illogical as you are not being punished. I, as your 'friend,' disapprove of such behavior." He seems to frown... more than usual that is, "As for your stay in Sickbay, I must correct you as Doctor Omtala and myself were both present. We were discussing various business matters. I apologize if our absence distressed you."
Fred blinks. "You were? You didn't say anything." She sighs. "There's no point in going out. No one wants to see me, and I don't want to see them. Clucking, and fussing, and feeling sorry. Pity poor Fred, she went through such a rough thing, we need to coddle and protect her." She shrugs uncomfortably again, shifting. "They act like they care, but they don't come visit you in Sickbay, or come see you just to see you... and when you're better on the outside, they stop acting like they care again. Why go out and bother with all that? People who see you do one thing and think you should change departments... or act like they know more about nearly dying than you... don't bother getting to know you."
"If I may make an observation?" Solvek doesn't wait for an answer, "You seem quite distressed by multiple things beyond your experience in the science lab. Do you wish to discuss them? I am not a certified counselor, but I am quite capable of listening."
Fred sighs again. "This isn't the first time I've been injured, or nearly died. My cadet cruise was... difficult. We crash-landed on a planet, and everyone else died from... various things." She shrugs her good arm. "I haven't really been close to anyone, or had friends, since then. Everyone I knew before kind of faded away. They'd already graduated and gone out to ships, you know? The class I graduated with didn't know me, and for some reason on my first posting I never made any friends. I tried, I just... I don't know. It's hard to trust people, sometimes. People don't understand, don't want to listen. And, well, I know how people react to this sort of thing. I got shot, and almost got killed, and Ensign Quaker died protecting me... and people who don't know me don't know how to act around me because of it. Like it makes me different somehow."
Solvek squints his eyes. He seems to be pondering something. "I believe such an experience, regardless of one's past, does make an individual different in ways that others notice. The fact that you have survived where most would not gives other people a reason to avoid you because they see you as a more powerful being than themselves. However flawed this view is, it is a common action. I, as a Vulcan, am incapable of making such distinctions"
That gets a laugh from Fred, however tremulous. "I'm not more powerful than anyone. Just lucky. And smart." She pauses, and tilts her head a bit. She seems to relax, untangling her legs so they're set beside her now instead of drawn up in front. "Why are you here? You could've just come by when I went back on-duty, or checked in and then left. Or, easiest, just asked after me in Sickbay when I was still there... and why were you still there the next morning anyhow?" Her look in disconcertingly direct, especially for her, eyebrows furrowed a bit and body leaned slightly forward.
"I am here to ensure that you are not misinterpreting a doctor's orders as a punishment. It would seem that my suspicions were not without merit." Solvek pauses. "As for my actions in Sickbay, I could not be certain that the target of the recent attack was in fact you instead of the entire science lab. I therefore assigned myself guard duty rather than remove a security officer and possibly hinder the advancement of the investigation."
Fred nods slowly, sitting back. "I... never got to thank you, for helping. With the pain." Another pause. "But... why? Why does it matter? You're the Executive Officer, and I'm just... not even a full Lieutenant. Why be my friend? I didn't even know Vulcans really had friends. I thought that was an illogical sort of emotional thing."
Solvek seems slightly intrigued by this comment. "Winifred, rank has very little to do with the choice and balance of friendship. I choose to be your friend because I choose to be. As for having friends, my experiences during the war taught me that having individuals who will listen and who will sit with you in silence can be a valuable and useful asset." He pauses; the pain showing in his eyes doesn't touch the rest of his face. "If my friendship is unwelcome, I can withdraw it if you wish."
"No!" That's quick, and Fred nearly jumps forward. Then her voice softens, she sits back. "No. I... your friendship is not unwelcome. You are not... you are welcome. Please, that's not what I meant. I'm sorry. I'm just not used to having friends, is all." The door chimes and Fred blinks. "Umm... enter?"
Alexandria comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 39>.
Alexandria has arrived.
Alexandria walks in with a basket of something. She holds it with both hands, and looks rather solemn.
Fred is curled up on her couch, in a green t-shirt and jean shorts (no socks or shoes), hair down, a PADD and glasses on the table. Solvek is sitting in one of the chairs, in uniform, looking, well, stiff. How else do Vulcans ever look? It looks like they're having a conversation. Fred looks over and blinks as Alexandria comes through the door. "Umm... hello, Lieutenant."
Alexandria nods and sets down the basket, "I brought you some muffins, shaped like various tools... like a tricorder, and I even made a quixillium converter..." She half smiles, still looking uncomfortable.
As Alexandria enters, Solvek's face returns to its normal emotionless state. He blinks. "Fascinating. I was unaware that the replicator was programmed with muffins in such unusual shapes." He seems slightly relieved at the presence of Alexandria.
Blink, blink. Fred really doesn't know what to make of this. "Oh... umm... thanks. Thanks. They smell delicious. Umm. Did you want to... sit down? We were just, um, talking." Why do her cheeks tinge faintly pink at that? To cover it, she leans forward to peer into the basket.
Alexandria sees Solvek and freezes up even more, "Ensign Sousa knew how to bake, and we thought as a team that you might like the shapes..." She doesn't sit. "Oh, uhm, I don't want to intrude your time with the Commander..." She nods to Solvek, "Sir."
"Oh, no, you're not intruding!" Fred's words are... a bit hasty. "I mean, not that I mind talking, but we weren't talking about anything private or anything." Blast her fair complexion. She needs more sun to hide her propensity to blush when flustered. She pulls one of the muffins out of the basket. "Really, it's alright, Solvek just stopped by to check on me, we, umm... we have similar areas of study. He used to work on the Maelstrom project here, oh, years ago. Right?" She looks to Solvek for confirmation.
Solvek almost frowns at Alexandria, "Ms. Alexandria, at this moment I am off duty. Addressing me as Commander is acceptable if you do not wish to use my name. However, I must ask that you refrain from using 'sir' at this time." He looks at Fred, "Yes, Winifred you are correct. To be precise it was thirty-three years ago."
Alexandria blinks at Solvek, now more afraid of him, "Yes, alright..." She takes a deep breath, and looks at Brooks, "Yes, I am learning about it as time goes on, I figure I must learn about it..."
Fred peers at Alexandria. "He doesn't bite, you know, Lieutenant. Actually, he's rather nice, once you get past the stiff logical-ness. He's even occasionally willing to admit he might possibly have been slightly wrong on one or two points, which is, like, amazing for a Vulcan." She grins. Grins! When does Fred grin? She must be faking. "Besides, he's the foremost Maelstrom expert on the station unless you're gonna talk to Admiral Crawford, and I'm not braving that."
Solvek turns to Alexandria, "I am not entirely certain as to why you are intimidated by my presence. I am your superior officer when on duty, this much is a fact. However, when off duty I am nothing more than a common Vulcan scientist." His eyes slightly shift to Brooks on the comment of his miscalculation, but he says nothing to dispute the matter. When she mentions Crawford his eyes seem to soften, "Yes, the Admiral was my research partner in the past. Although my specialty is in xenobiology, I found the Maelstrom to be quite a fascinating subject."
Alexandria shrugs. "I am not intimidated by you, I have no reason to be, for you are my superior officer when on duty. Now I see you are a scientist like us." Why she just paraphrased him, but she smiles rather obscurely. "So... hey... uhm..." She keeps smiling. "Now that we are all friends... yeah, uhm..." She looks around. "We finally got a replacement shipment of spores from Drakken IV."
Brooks peers at Alexandria for a moment and then shrugs, sitting back and examining the tricorder-shaped muffin. "Cool," she declares. 'Cause it is. "This is amazing. How'd you manage it?" She's turning the muffin over and over, peering at its underside now. "It'd be a shame to eat these. Although I'm starving."
Solvek quirks an eyebrow to Alexandria's sudden change in attitude, but seems to accept it. "That is good to hear. I await the reports on the various experiments you are to conduct with these spores." He looks at Fred and the muffin. "I am forced to ask... have you been eating properly during this medical leave you have been given?"
Alexandria sighs. "Well, we made a mold of the tricorder, and put the muffin mix in the mold. Then we injected the raisins with a non-radioactive colored glowing substance, with varied colors to make the buttons... tetrahydroximinoidine, it was rather simple..."
Fred nods to Alexandria. "I don't think I could do that. I can eat, but I can't bake. I'll eat them, but I'll admire them first." She then nods to Solvek a few times. "Oh, yes. I had eggs this morning, and toast, and tacos for lunch, and then a big salad, and a hamburger and fries, oh, umm, two hours ago." She seems to ponder. "But I'm starving. Oh! I know! Enchiladas!" She bounces up, suddenly, reaching out with her good hand and grabbing at Solvek's. "Enchiladas. You have to come have some with me, or I will be, umm, insulted. It's a custom, y'see. In Texas. I'll work you up to tacos. Beef's a bit much. We'll start on chicken." She turns to Alexandria as she tries to pull the Vulcan out of his chair. "You want enchiladas? They're the third best thing ever. Right after tacos and sweet tea."
Solvek actually frowns this time. "Need I remind you, Winifred, that I am a vegetarian? I believe that chicken falls into the classification of meat, which I am not apt to consume." He stays seated, her tugs on his arm doing absolutely nothing. "However, if there is a vegetarian option I will join you."
Alexandria sighs, looking at her chronometer, she rolls her eyes a moment before shooting a fake smile at Brooks, not wanting to insult her. "Sure, but just a little, I just had dinner myself, Wixariana with noodles..." She crosses her arms, hoping not to be touched, "I haven't had enchiladas before."
Fred seems to be focusing on the Vulcan for the moment. Tug, tug. "Oof. It's not fair. I only have the one arm, and you have three times human strength, and that'd be a human male." She sighs. "There ain't no vegetarian Texan food, unless you start talking about potato salads or macaroni salads or, y'know, those kind of things." She finally drops her arm and just looks at Solvek with the kind of expression that would disarm most males. If they weren't Vulcan. Damn it. "Please? Just try it? Lieutenant Alexandria just had dinner, but she's willing to try." She glances over. "Unless, I mean, you don't have to. If you just ate and all."
Solvek looks at Fred curiously, "If I am not mistaken Ms. Alexandria is not a vegetarian. However..." He pauses for quite some time, his expression contemplative, "if you insist... I will try a bite of one. However, do not be surprised if I find their taste unsatisfactory."
Alexandria's compin beeps. "Heun to Alexandria"
Alexandria smiles, almost relieved, tapping her compin, "I know we have an appointment, I'll be there in a jiffy." She smiles and heads to the door. A voice from her compin comes out a tad confused, "Appointment? But it's the con..." She is cut off by Alex tapping her compin again speaking more forcefully, "I said I'll be right there, Wendy..." She taps it again preventing Heun from saying anything else. "Alexandria out"
Brooks beams at Solvek and then looks to Alexandria. "Oh, well, if you have an appointment. Thank you for the muffins, Lieutenant. I should be returning to duty tomorrow." She goes to tug at Solvek's arm again. "Looks like it's just you and me. You might not like the replicated ones, but that's okay, long as you try them. I don't have anyone to share my food with these days."
Alexandria leaves through the door toward Corridor <Deck 39>.
Alexandria has left.
"Very well, Winifred. As I said before, I will try them." Solvek stands, his motion swift and fluid.
As she's in the middle of tugging when Solvek stands, Fred stumbles back, starting to fall to the floor. "Oof. Hey!"
Solvek's arm moves in an instant. As it was once at his side, relaxed and hanging it is now around Fred's waist slowly pulling her upright. He releases her when he is certain she has her footing. "I apologize. Your pull was unexpected. It was not my intention to cause you to stumble."
Fred's face flames up again, and she looks at the floor, letting her hair fall forward. "It's alright," she mumbles. "Should've been more careful. Thanks." She blinks at her bare feet and suddenly rushes off to her bedroom, coming back out in a pair of sneakers. Well. The 24th century equivalent. They're green, whatever they are. "Let's go?" The blush has faded a bit, but she's still letting her hair fall into her face to hide it.
Solvek nods. "Lead the way, Winifred."