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Crescendo

Posted on Sat Aug 17th, 2019 @ 1:27pm by Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan & Lieutenant JG Sekat
Edited on on Sat Aug 17th, 2019 @ 8:35pm

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: USS Majestic, Bridge
Timeline: MD06, 1030

Wonder what Murphy is up to now? Is he as bored as I am right now?

I should break something.

Am I going to have to get replicated food for lunch with Patrick gone? Is he okay?

"Lieutenant."

I really, really, really need to finish unpacking later today.

"Lieutenant!"

"Whuh..."

Sullivan snapped back to reality as the storm of hypotheticals cleared from her head at the sound of the voice behind her. The new duty rotation she had implemented shortened the amount of consecutive time each flight control officer would have to sit at the conn. With the ship's course laid in long ago, there was little to do except monitor the flight path of the Majestic and steer around the odd astrological phenomenon to keep the inertial dampeners from having to do any hard work.

Conversing with the operations officer seated beside her had gotten her through most of the morning, but the residual fatigue from not having slept well for the past few nights had started to take its toll on Lilith's attention span.

"Hello ma'am, Ensign Branson. I'm a little early, but I can go ahead and relieve you if you don't mind."

"You sure you want to do that Ensign? I gotta warn ya, there's not a lot going on up here."

"Yes ma'am, I'm sure. It's all still kinda new and exciting to me, so I don't mind being on the bridge."

"Well, then before you change your mind," Sullivan stood up, "the seat is all yours. Standard brief Branson, nothing really to mention. Small disruption a few light years ahead from the remnants of a supernova nearby, but nothing you can't handle. Any questions?"

"No ma'am."

"Thanks Ensign, I owe you one," she patted him on the shoulder before turning to leave the bridge.

Relief had arrived half an hour early. Sullivan mulled over her options, heavily considering taking a short nap to try and relieve some of the sleep debt she had accrued. Concern etched on her features, she decided against it in fear of waking up in fifteen hours rather than fifteen minutes from now.

"Deck eight, sickbay."

The turbolift hummed into action with its sole occupant rubbing her temples. Discovery of the device that had attached itself to her cerebral cortex had been haunting her thoughts for the past two days. Her lack of sleep stemmed from inability to quieten the mind, and when she did manage to doze off, vivid dreams of her worst day as an Starfleet Officer were there to greet her.

Shaking herself back to the present, she looked up to see a rather impatient looking man wearing operations yellow glaring at her through the open door. Offering an apology as she stepped by, Sullivan continued down towards sickbay, unsure of how to describe what was going on to her. Her legs seemed to get heavier with each successive step; time itself seemed to slow down.

"Ah Lieutenant Sullivan, back again?"

"Hello Nurse Patterson," Lily smiled weakly as she walked into sickbay. "Yes, I'm afraid so. I didn't really know whether to start here or with the counselor, but is there someone available that I can talk to?"

"Um, let me check. There should be. Just give me one second," the nurse typed a few commands to check the schedule. "Yes, Doctor Sekat should be here any moment. Just have a seat, and I'll be sure he sees to you."

"Thank you nurse." Sullivan trudged over to the biobed and slumped down onto it.

It took a minute before a Vulcan approached the bed, leaning on a cane with one hand, holding a tricorder with the other. There was a rhythmic tap-tic to his step as he moved fluidly if not a little slow. "I am Sekat, what can I do for you?"

"Doctor, it's good to see you again. I trust everything has been going well here?"

"So far," Sekat acknowledged, "has it for you?"

"Me? I wish I could say all is well, but this is the second night in a row where I haven't been able to sleep at all. Before I start ingesting gratuitous amounts of caffeine, I just wanted to see if maybe there was something else going on with me. Maybe to do with my unwelcome implant," she stuck her right index finger squarely in the center of her forehead.

"Caffeine is not recommended if you cannot sleep," he observed, "ah you have one too...I believe so far we had only telepathic and empathic species report with them. Are you a hybrid of any kind?"

"No, my mom would kill my dad. To death," she added for emphasis. "I was here two days ago with Doctor Adamson, and she told me to come back if anything changed, but...."

"Kill to death..." Sekat shook his head. "What changed?" He then asked.

"Well, I'm not sure if there isn't something psychological going on too, ya know? Like I'm making it worse because I know that thing is in my head? A really crap version of the placebo effect, except it's making me worse instead of better."

"Please explain. What placebo effect?"

"I'm sorry doc, I know I'm not being very articulate right now. I'm just entertaining the possibility that since I am aware that there's something attached to my cerebral cortex, that maybe it's affecting the way I'm reacting to this lack of sleep," Sullivan attempted another explanation, sitting up a little straighter. "As in, my reaction is causing my problems instead of being cause directly by whatever this thing is," she pointed to her head again.

"That is not impossible," Sekat agreed, while opening his tricorder. "We know too little about them and the effect seems to be different in each case that is reported. I can give you something to help you relax or sleep, if you like."

At the mention of a sleep aid, Sullivan seemed to wither, visually shrinking almost as if a predator had walked through the door. She turned her gaze to the floor, hoping against hope that an answer to her issues would appear as she closed her eyes. She sat still for a moment before taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly through pursed lips.

"I guess that's what it has come to," she finally spoke. "A small dose please. And if you could make it something I can take after my shift, even better."

"I can give you something to inject yourself with," Sekat agreed, reaching for a hypospray, then filling it with a clear substance. "This contains one dose," he told her as he handed it to her. "To take when you are ready to sleep. Out of curiosity...have you tried meditation?"

"Thank you doctor," Sullivan took the hypo and placed it inside her jacket pocket. "As for meditation, no, I've never really tried it. I find it hard to keep still sometimes. Does it work?"

"When you put your mind to it, I find that it does," the Vulcan acknowledged, "perhaps you should try it."

"Maybe it's something I can look into. I've experimented with adding yoga into my workouts, so perhaps it isn't as great of a leap as I'm thinking it is. Is it something that can be learned on your own or should I find an instructor at first?"

"There are holo-programs available, though I have no recommendations. Yoga should work too." He closed the tricorder and put it away. "Was there anything else?"

"Actually, yes," Sullivan hopped down, her body language more positive now that there was at least some light at the end of the tunnel. "Have there been any updates on the medical team's progress into figuring out what's going on? Is this thing contagious? I'll defer to your expertise, but going into negotiations with the Empire... it'd be good to know if this is going to be a problem going in, that's all."

"I fear that I do not know of any progress. If there is any, I have not been made aware. But I am certain Doctor Adamson will keep all other department heads up to date on our progress."

"Understood, thank you doctor. For everything. You have been so patient and kind ever since I met you in the mess after Mister O'Malley's accident. I know we don't have much overlap, but if there's ever anything I can do to help you, you know how to find me." Lily turned to face Sekat before she left, giving the Vulcan salute. "Live long and prosper, doctor."

Sekat merely inclined his head in acknowledgement. He required no thanks, merely the knowledge that he was able to help.




Lieutenant Lily Sullivan
CFCO

Lieutenant j.g. Sekat
Medical Officer
pnpc Lhaes

 

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