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Down for the Count

Posted on 19 May 2016 @ 7:32am by Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 7

Terry hadn’t been able to sleep all day or very much the previous night. And he wasn’t feeling any better. He felt much worse as a matter of fact, and had even started hearing voices when no one was around. He didn’t think anything was going right; too small biobeds, rolling off and getting a hairline fracture on his nose, blood everywhere, images in his mind, and now the voices. He sighed deeply and wondered if there was any hope of him getting better.

Mackenzie sat on the edge of her bed. To an observer, she appeared to be staring at the wall. In reality, though her eyes were pointed in the direction of the wall next to her bed, the redhead's green eyes were unfocused; they saw nothing of the surroundings. Instead, the Executive Officer's eyes were full of tears. Her blank stare belied her mental state. Since Walsh had fallen ill, she'd stayed in her quarters worrying about the fighter pilot. Doctor Kij didn't have a cure for whatever this was. Numerous people on the surface had died already. Terry was laying in Sickbay suffering; fighting for his life, potentially. And all Mac could do was worry. And cry.

The tears had been rolling down her cheeks, a seemingly constant saline river that ended in a cascade of droplets diving off her chin and dripping onto her shirt. The pale blue fabric had darkened from the inundation. She hadn't stopped crying long enough for the moisture to begin to evaporate, rather the dark spot had grown over the last hour.

Terry lay on the undersized biobed in sickbay, his mind at conflict with his body and, as in times of stress, it began to dwell on things and reflect on recent events. He noticed that Mac hadn't come to see him and how she hadn't wanted to leave the room on New Risa. His mind conjured up the thought that she was only using him for one thing and one thing only. Now that he was sick, she was nowhere to be seen and he hadn't heard from her since they got back from the planet...

Yes, said one of the voices he had been hearing, that is right. Who is here for you now? Who do you have left? No one! No one! it hissed. You are alone! Terry breathed deeply. Was it right? Was he alone? Did he have no one left? He turned his head away from the doors.

You can't let him suffer alone, a voice in her head said. She blinked several times, the action pushing some tears from her eyes. She sniffled, used her sleeve to wipe her face, and stood up. She had to meet her fear head on.

Entering Sickbay, Mac asked an medic where Terry's bed was. The young man pointed towards one of the secondary wards. She walked the direction the medic had indicated, to focused on her task to thank the man.

The doors opened and she immediately spotted Terry. She froze. She wasn't ready to watch someone die again. And certainly not the man she loved.

The swooshing of the doors meant nothing to him anymore. People came and went. It was Sickbay and it was filling up fast. He sighed heavily as he continued looking towards the wall. He didn’t want to close his eyes because he knew full well what he would see. And he had seen it enough. He simply lay there, listening to the voices hiss in his head. They berated him. They blamed him. And they would not be quiet. He had finally had enough. “Shut-up!” he screamed. “Just…shut…up!”

"What's wrong?" Mac cried as she sprinted to his bedside. "It's okay Walsh. I'm here." She wasn't sure what to do, so she grabbed his hand.

Terry rolled his head over at the sound of her voice. “Kenzie, you’re here.” No she isn’t! said one of the voices. And even she were, how long did it take her to get here? Hmm? Answer that one! said another. “Nothing, nothing’s wrong,” said Terry. LIAR! it screamed. We see your thoughts! We see a multitude of wrong things! Terry worked hard at pushing the voices back, but it was difficult. “Good to see you. How…” Say it! “How…are you doing?” Coward! “I am not a coward!” he yelled.

She was terrified. Seeing Terry like this was intense. Her thoughts frozen, Mac's instinct took over. "It's me. You're okay babe. Jayla is working hard to make you better." The words came out of nowhere, surprising her. "I'll be here, with you."

He rolled his head back over to face her. “Thanks,” he said, voice still raspy from the sore throat. It was only then that he realized that she had grabbed his hand. “They tell me the Doc’s working hard. I hope she finds something soon, though. These sleepless nights and exhausting days are killing me.” The bloodshot eyes and dark circles confirmed that. The thoughts that his mind had conjured earlier still plagued him, though. And the voices in his head, a bit more distant now, were still bombarding him. But they had gotten him to think more on them and he wondered. “You know, I’ve seen other people coming in and visiting for the last two days.” He coughed. “How come it took you so long?”

For some reason, she hadn't expected to be asked that. "I," she said quietly, almost hoping Walsh wouldn't be able to hear.

Terry sighed. “What? Cared? I…I don’t understand. You cared? It took this long because you cared?” He was already confused, evidenced by the voices and his communicating with them. This just added to it. “I…I don’t get it.”

The tears began to well up in her eyes again. "Please don't die!" she cried, throwing herself down across his chest. She sobbed into his gown.

“Oh, scared…okay,” said Terry. He struggled to bring his tired arm up and rub her back. “I’m not gonna die. You know why, Kenzie? ‘Cause I’m so handsome.” He hoped his sense of humor would calm her a bit. “I’m just too handsome for anyone to let me die.” He continued slowly rubbing her back. “And after I’m better, we’ll take some time. I imagine some aspects of the recovery will take a while. Like, I bet I’ll sleep for two days.” He tried to laugh, but his throat was too sore.

She wasn't sure how to react. Despite being so ill, Terry was being jocular. It was absolutely counter to her emotional state. "I'm sorry. I should have been here sooner." She stroked his cheek with her hand. "Forgive me?"

Terry sighed as he felt her hand on his cheek. "Yeah, I'll forgive you," he said. Then sighed. The voices seemed to be quiet for now. It was like that, they'd get loud and then retreat into his head. They continued talking for quiet a while until the voices came back. They were louder than before…and more insistent. He was finding it difficult to hear Mackenzie and finally ended up shaking head in the middle of her statement. “I can’t hear you. There are these things…voices…in my head that keep yelling. I’m having a hard time distinguishing…I need rest, Kenzie. Please.”

Kos pulled her hand away from his face. She couldn't think of anything to say, and instead just backed away from Walsh's bed. It wasn't easy, but it was what he wanted. "Goodbye," she said quietly, slipping out of Sickbay.


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