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Down the Rabbit Hole

Posted on 16 Aug 2016 @ 8:17pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake

Mission: Click Three Times
Timeline: MD 6 || 1430 Hours

After asking around, Dani found herself at the hatch leading into the Jeffries tube the Captain just used. Considering the severity of Lieutenant Di Pasquale's injuries, she had a feeling the Black Hawk's CO didn't make it out of the ordeal uninjured, either. She didn't know for sure if he was actually hurt, but that wasn't going to stop her from finding out. The ship, in the state of disarray that she was, and the crew needed him. He was the glue that held everything together, and without him, things would fall apart worse than they already seemed to be.

She knew the bridge wasn't an option after overhearing some of the other staff talking about its current condition, but where else would that leave her to check? The chances of him going to his quarters at such a time were slim, so that meant going down was the only option. Had she ever been so far down into the belly of the beast before? Not this one, but there was a first time for everything.

With her medkit hanging around her neck and a mantra of 'don't look down' on repeat in her head, the young woman began her descent. Dani still had no idea how she was going to find him, and for a brief second, she thought about yelling out 'Marco', but what good what that do? Still, he couldn't have been too far ahead of her. "Captain!" Yeah, maybe that would work.

Harvey hadn't paid attention to how far he went down. All he knew was that this tube would only take him as far as Deck Ten, and then he'd have to walk to the rear of the deck and take another shaft straight to Engineering. When he heard someone shouting for him, he paused to see what the nearby location marker read. He'd just arrived on Deck Eight. Maybe it was a runner with a status update. Or, maybe it was just an echo in his mind. He wasn't too sure. So, he kept climbing down.

Dani paused momentarily to listen for a response, but nothing came. She took a deep breath and leaned to the side a bit so she could look down, then realized she'd just made a huge mistake. Not only did she not see him, but her fear of heights caused her stomach to flip. Gripping the ladder so tight it turned her knuckles a ghostly shade of white, Dani found herself taking a few deep and calming breaths. If she freaked out now, she wouldn't be useful to anyone, and once she'd calmed her racing heart a bit, she started to move once again. "Captain Geisler!"

He paused again as it was impossible to not hear his name echo down the Jeffries Tube. It belonged to a person he didn't recognize, and whoever it was, was really trying to get a hold of him. Sighing, he looked up and called out, "Yes? What is it?"

As fast as her short legs could take her without the risk of falling, Dani moved further down until she could see the top of his head. She hadn't actually met the man before now, but he intimidated a lot of the crew... her included. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale was pretty beat up, and I know you were on the bridge, too. Are you hurt?" she asked, pushing her fear for the man aside. This was her job, and if it meant chasing people down to check on them in times of crisis, that's what she was going to do.

It would be extremely busy for him to admit the issue with his leg, after all, he could barely feel the shrapnel rubbing against his skin, all thanks to the local pain reliever he'd administered via the hypospray he carried down from the bridge. "I saw the line outside of sickbay," he called up, referencing the group he'd left Joey with yet again. "They need far more attention that I do."

"So... you were injured, then. Where?" Dani asked, coming to stop just above him as she hooked her arm around a rung to keep from falling. "And the line is beginning to shorten now that we're starting to get ourselves together after the last tango we all did with the floor."

Harvey grunted at the expression. In the dim lighting, he could tell enough that she was a small, slender woman. Her figure was not enough to recognize her, but aside from his limited knowledge of the medical staff, he doubted he knew the nurse. Harvey made a mental note to get to know more of the crew, especially now. "That's an apt way to put it," he told her. "Let's do this on Deck Ten. And somewhere less cramped."

"Lead the way, Captain," she said, grateful he wasn't going to turn her away. "Was there anyone else injured?"

Harvey began to descend. "We lost Ensign Michaels," he informed her of the helmsman. "And Commander Bast was relatively unharmed."

Dani frowned. How many deaths did that make so far today? She couldn't remember right off the top of her head, but once the power was restored, the number would be available for all to see. Once he started to descend again, she followed. "I'm sorry to hear that," she said. "Commander Bast should still make his way to sickbay to be looked over, though."

"Once we get this ship working again, we'll do that," Harvey replied. "With the Valdore gone, we can finally get out of this soup."

"It's gone?" Her question was more to verify it for herself than to receive an actual answer. That meant the Thalaron weapon was destroyed with it, which meant they'd accomplished what she'd set out to do. "That's good news, at least. I'm sure it's got to be a relief to you knowing that something so deadly can never be used against anyone," she said. Maybe making small talk wasn't the best idea, but they hadn't reached their destination yet.

"It did far too much damage before we took it out," Harvey said. "We lost good pilots out there. Hopefully, none of the Thalaron hit the Black Hawk." A thought then struck him as he spotted the marker for Deck Ten. "You've been in sickbay this whole time, right? How bad is it?"

"I have been since the gravimetric distortion, and to be completely honest with you, I've never seen anything quite like this in my three years of service. We've seen a few individuals more than once today, too," Dani replied.

Harvey stepped off the ladder and reached for the hatch that would lead them into the corridor. "Welcome to the Black Hawk," he muttered. "Where nothing is usual. At least this will be the last of it for today."

"Thanks," the petite woman said, waiting for him to go through the hatch so she could follow behind him. Part of her wanted to roam the ship looking for wounded just so she wouldn't have to make her way back up to deck four. Dani sighed inwardly. She was a big girl. She could make her way back up since she'd already gone down. "I suppose I should probably formally introduce myself to you since we haven't actually met. Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake, head nurse."

Harvey smiled with a nod, thankful to have a name at last. "A pleasure, Miss Blake." He opened the hatch and stepped out into a dimly lit corridor. Harvey wasn't sure how long he was awake, but he'd thought Engineering would have made more progress by now. Perhaps the damage was more extensive than he thought.

Dani stepped out behind him, grateful to be on solid ground again. "Likewise, Captain. Now... let's have a look at your injury," She said, pushing the hatch closed behind her before she set the medkit on the ground. "I might have to rip your uniform depending on the location, if you're okay with that."

"Only if I have a place to sit," Harvey remarked. He looked around him. "Enlisted section," he said. "I think there's a couple spare rooms near here." If there weren't, then he was sure that someone wouldn't mind a bit of blood on their bedspread.

"I'm still learning my way around, and haven't been down quite this far just yet," she admitted, picking the medkit up once more. "How bad is it?" Being a member of the medical field was not for the faint of heart, and there were even times where she thought she'd be ill by some of the things she's seen today alone. Amazingly, though, she made it through.

Harvey limped down the corridor and stopped at the first door on the right. Checking the door label, he didn't see any names. He chuckled at the odds, though he felt sorry for the orderly that paid the room a visit when this was all over. Harvey opened the door panel to reveal the manual level. After using it to open the door, he limped inside and took the first bunk he saw.

"Shrapnel," he told her, saving her a bit of time and hopefully preventing a scan to find other things to delay him from getting to Engineering. He pointed his left leg towards her. "Pretty sure it's all just in the thigh."

Once he was settled down, Dani opened the medkit and pulled out a light she slipped onto her wrist. If she was going to work on his leg, she'd need to see to do it. "I'll take your word for it since you are the Captain of the ship and have places to be. What's your pain level before I get started?"

"Two," Harvey joked. In fact, he was quite serious. He'd numbed the pain receptors enough that he barely noticed it, except when he put weight on the leg.

"Well, in that case, I'll just get started," she said, pulling a hypospray out of the medkit, she loaded it with a vial of a more common antibiotic and pressed it against his neck after she selected the proper dosage. "That was an antibiotic I gave you just to be safe," she said. As mentioned before, she ripped his pant leg a bit to expose the area where the shrapnel was. "If you're the squeamish type, look away." Of course, she had no idea he was a doctor before he became a Captain. Shining the light on his leg, she began to pull the pieces of shrapnel from his thigh.

He certainly wasn't the squeamish type. In fact, he watched with great curiosity. He'd performed a couple simple surgeries in his life, but his line of work kept him away from surgical suites. "Keep an eye on that big one there," he said, wincing as one of the smaller pieces were removed. "Looks like it's close to the femoral artery."

Dani looked up at him. She was just a little nervous to begin with, but now he'd gone and made it worse. Taking a deep breath, she slowly began to remove the piece closest to the artery. Her hand remained steady as she lifted it straight up instead of accidentally moving it in any direction. Once it was clear, she dropped it onto the bed next to him. She'd deal with it when she was done. "I can honestly say, I've never had to do anything like this for my previous CO. You don't mind getting your hands dirty, do you?"

Harvey couldn't conceal his grimaces as that large piece was removed, and exhaled as soon as it was out. "You're doing pretty well, Miss Blake," he said, trying to control his breathing. He thought about sticking another numbing agent into his leg, but he was already too close to overdosing. "I don't mind at all. What do you need me to do?"

"You're doing pretty well yourself, Captain. All you have to do is stay as still as you possibly can, and I'll try to be as quick as possible," she said, moving on to the next piece. Dani definitely didn't like hurting anyone, but since he'd already taken something, she was afraid to administer anything else short of an antibiotic. "I'm sorry if I'm hurting you, too, but just imagine how this would have turned out if you hadn't let me treat you and infection began to set in."

"Sit still..." he muttered, acknowledging it was something easier said than done. Grimacing again, he stated, "After a day like today, it's hard to imagine anything short of actual hell fire and brimstone."

"Yes, today has been pretty hellish, but it's almost over. At least, that's what I keep telling myself," she said, finishing up with the shrapnel, then taking out the dermal regenerator. "I really should scan you to make sure I got it all out."

"You say that like you don't plan to run the scan," Harvey remarked, looking down to check her work. He mentally agreed with her, hoping that this whole affair was almost over.

"I considered not scanning you for a few seconds because I know you have places to be, but that's going to have to wait just a bit longer," Dani responded, pulling the medical tricorder out to run the scan. He didn't have to like it, but she wasn't going to take any chances. "I'll have you on your way soon enough."

Harvey chuckled, leaning back on the bunk. "It's all right," he told her. "It beats standing over the Chief Engineer's shoulder while she tries to get the power back." In fact, he would rather be right there. He'd been awake for nearly an hour, and he still had no idea how things were progressing. Or how badly the ship was wounded.

Dani finished up with the scan and put the tricorder away. "Well, all the shrapnel is out, which is a good thing, and it doesn't appear that it did any major damage. You're lucky it didn't nick the artery, though, or this could have gone differently." She turned the dermal regenerator on and started to work on healing him. "Once this part is done, you can be on your way again. And, I'll try not to chase you down in the future unless it's necessary."

Luck. That certainly was the word of the day. He'd seen crewmembers reduced to piles of ash, and severely injured on this mission. Many were lucky to survive, and those who perished certainly did not have fortune's favor as they were victims of circumstance rather than individually targeted. Good men and women died today. As much as he relented being sent on this mission, he was actually relieved that the rumors were true and that the threat was gone. As he reflected on the day, his gaze remained on the nurse's hands. Today, everyone was a surgeon, and Dani certainly showed promise.

The young nurse was focused and in the zone, making there there would be no scarring or any indication that he'd ever been injured in the first place. When she finished, she turned the device off and placed it back into the medkit before turning her attention up to him. "I think that should do it," she said, offering him a smile. "Thank you for being a great patient, and now, you're free to go wherever you're needed the most. But... should you have any issues with your leg, let me know. You should be just fine, though."

Harvey rose from the bed to test his leg. Aside from a couple phantom nerves, it felt just as good as new. Well, as new as it could be. Any other day, he'd do something about the torn pants, but Harvey knew he'd fit right in with the rest of the crew who probably didn't fare any better. "Thank you, Nurse Dani."

"You're welcome, Captain," Dani said with a smile. He was the second person to call her that, and it didn't bother her even a little. "I'll clean this up, then go search for anyone else that may not be able to make it up to sickbay."

The Captain nodded at the woman, adding, "Be careful. Who knows what dangers the old girl has in store for us?" With a smile, Harvey left the room, bound for a new Jeffries Tube that would take him to Engineering.

Dani watched as he walked out of the room, then she turned back to the shrapnel that was left on the bed. She pulled on a pair of gloves and grabbed something to put it into, then tucked it all inside to be disposed of later once the power was back on. With that done, she packed everything back into the medkit and closed it up before stripping the bed he'd just sat on. Sadly, there wasn't anything she could do with them right now without power, so she left them in a ball at the foot of the bed, making a mental note to come back as soon as she could to take care of them. For now, though, she left the room and went in search of anyone else who might require help. It beat climbing back up the Jeffries tube to deck four by herself.

 

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