Saturday, March 6, 2010

Project Unity

Chapter 3

"No! Just no!" Andy's voice carried through the door. Dex had come through the surgery and was now itching to get out of sickbay...and back to work! Dr. Finn, and Andy, had objections to his returning to work the day after surgery.

Freya hesitated outside the door for a moment, listening for another outburst. Hearing none, she opened the door and slipped inside quietly intending to check the patient's vitals. "Morning." Freya said with a smile.

"Can I leave now?" Dex greeted her.

"No!" Andy burst out again. Freya flinched back and started looking over the computer readings. "Right Freya? He's be out of surgery less than 12 can't be sending him out already..." she turned to Freya.

Freya glanced at Andy and turned her attention to Dex. "No, you can't leave -sorry. Dr. Finn insists on keeping you here for at least another day."

Andy looked triumphant and Dex growled and grumbled to himself while Freya turned back to the computer. "Don't worry 'bout the bay Dex, I've got it running smoothly..." Andy said trying to sooth Dex. "Even got Anders and Franklin to stop fighting all day!"

"Don't let her fool you," Freya said with a grin when Dex looked shocked. "She put them on different duty shifts."

"Traitor" Andy said, but she was chuckling. "It works doesn't it?"

Freya finished up her quick examination. "Okay, everything looks good here Dex. With any luck you'll be out of here tomorrow morning." He looked thrilled at the prospect and Freya felt a little bad for bringing him down but it had to be said. "But not back to work for a few weeks at least." She watched as his happy face turned sour and grumbling recommenced.

"Ryan!!" came Dr. Finn's bellowing voice from the main ward. For an older man, he knew how to yell! Freya gave Andy and Dex a weak smile and then walked out of the room. "Deal with...that." Dr. Finn said motioning absently to the bed where a girl sat.

"Tessa right?" Freya asked as she washed her hands quickly and then walked over to her. The girl nodded. "Shouldn't you be in school right now?" Freya asked with a teasing grin.

"I was!" Tessa protested. "But look!" and she thrust her arms out at Freya. She was covered in red pock marks.

"Ah." Freya said looking over the rest of her. "Yeah you have Diverian Pox."

"What's that?" Tessa asked looking anxious.

"Nothing to fret about. It's a childhood thing. Every time we eradicate one, a newer version seems to pop up in it's place. There have been five different versions of the pox on this ship in the last 300 years." Freya said as she gathered a few things.

"So what do you do about it?" Tessa asked, absently scratching herself.

" don't scratch." Freya said putting her hand on Tessa's to stop her. "I know it itches but you don't scratch." Freya pulled out a spray bottle and gently started spraying it on Tessa's skin and pox. "This..." she held up the bottle to show Tessa. "Will help with the itch and keep them from getting infected." She resumed spraying until she'd sprayed all the exposed areas. "Now you take this home and spray it over yourself once a day. Second, you get to miss school for a couple days." Freya said grinning. "The Diverian Pox is very you know what that means?"

"Yes! It means it spreads to other people easily." Tessa said looking as confident as she had when she'd answered questions in class.

"Very good." Freya said. "So you need to go home and stay home." Freya looked up as she heard the door open. Commander Katou came in and ignored Freya, going to Dr. Finn immediately.

"Come back in a couple days and I'll see if you're ready to go back to school." Freya said returning her attention to Tessa. "I'll send a message to your teacher so she knows you'll be gone. Go on." She watched Tessa scoot off the table and make a wide angle, as wide as the walls would allow, around Dr. Finn and Commander Katou and then dart out the doors.

"We've encountered a small moon with some of the elements you were looking for Doctor." Katou said. "Mr. Ice," she paused and gave a quick, sour look in Freya's direction, "is taking the shuttle down with me to collect a few samples, Captain Hunt thought you'd like to come down as well."

Dr. Finn seemed to be considering. He didn't particularly like leaving the ship - one of a very few in that respect. In fact he much preferred his medical ward to any other place, even his quarters. "Dr. Hasberg can collect some medical samples for me..." he said

"Um..." Freya looked over at them. "Dr. Hasberg just had her baby last week, she's on leave..."

Katou glared at her which didn't really bother Freya - she was used to it. Dr. Finn looked mostly surprised even though he'd delivered the baby. "Oh fine." he muttered. "I'll be ready in an hour." Katou nodded and left without sparing Freya another look.

Dr. Finn seemed reluctant to leave the ward in Freya's care but as he was preparing to leave, two more children entered - clearly foretelling of a Diverian Pox outbreak on board. For once, he was thankful to be leaving the ward behind, with all the children invading it.

The surface of the moon was seemingly unpopulated by intelligent life but the atmosphere was mostly compatible with the team. Julian sat on the hill, running his fingers through the warm sand while Commander Katou and Dr. Finn collected samples.

Julian saw the movement within the water before anyone else but Finn and Katou paid him no mind. Dr Finn was attempting to reach the fruit of a plant, just past the water's edge and he waded in just a couple inches. He reached into the plant to collect the fruit and before anyone knew what was happening, he was convulsing and writhing half in the water.

Julian jumped to his feet and quickly dragged Dr. Finn out of water. Katou came over next and they exchanged a look. Neither knew what to do if he didn't stop convulsing soon. His seizures slowed but he was unconscious, all in a matter of moments. "We need to get him back to the ship." Julian said hoisting Dr. Finn up and dragging him back to the shuttle.

Meanwhile, Freya was entering the latest information from he children. Four more children had come in with the pox not including the two that had come in when Dr. Finn left. She had put out a notice to parents, teachers and the captain, informing them of the outbreak. Captain Hunt walked into the ward, always looking like a commanding force, without even trying. Freya jumped to her feet. "C-c-captain!" she stammered a bit and tried hard not to flush in embarrassment.

"As you were Ms. Ryan." Captain Hunt said with a wisp of a smile. "I understand we have a bit of an outbreak with the children. I just stopped by to get the details."

"Um, yes. Tessa came in with Diverian Pox - common enough childhood illness. So far we've had seven cases, including Tessa's. I've send them home with something to help with itching and infection and orders to come back here in a couple days for a follow up - and no school of course." Freya said slowly recovering her calm. "None of the cases have been severe and I expect they will all recover fine."

As she was talking a couple more kids came in. "Make that nine cases." Freya said with a small laugh and directing the children to the beds. "I'll be with you both in a moment."

"Sounds like you have everything well in hand Ms. Ryan." Captain Hunt said. "Please keep me updated."

Freya nodded. "Of course Captain."

She was about to address the two children when the door opened emitting Julian and Katou trying to support Dr. Finn between them. "What happened?" she and Captain Hunt asked at the same time.

Katou, who had be busy collecting her own samples, hadn't seen anything until Julian started running so she couldn't answer. She turned her gaze on Julian who was looking at her - clearly expecting her to answer as the senior officer. "Um, Dr. Finn was collecting a sample from a plant and he started convulsing. He was standing a couple inches into the water at the time. He came to when we were half way home but has seemed groggy since."

"Dr Finn?" Freya said looking at him. "Dr. Finn....can you hear me?" she asked as he stared through her and wavered on his feet. "Okay let's get him to the other bed." she said starting to turn away so she could hurry the children out of the ward.

"Doctor!" Katou grasped. Freya turned back to see everyone scrambling to catch Finn as he fell to the ground in a broken heap but no one got him. He was still conscious - although seemingly unaware of his surroundings - as Julian helped him back up.

Julian and Captain Hunt worked together to get Finn to a bed while Freya quickly instructed the children on what they needed know. She came over before the second child was even off her bed and started hooking several devices to Dr. Finn to take readings. When she got to his hand she noticed three bright red welts where it appeared he'd been stung or bit by something....

Katou, Julian and Captain Hunt crowded around the bed with her, watching her work and clearly expecting something. She administered a light sedative when it appeared that his heart was working in overdrive - if it didn't slow down, he'd arrest regardless of what may have caused the problem.

"I don't have any answers yet. I'll keep you informed." she said addressing Captain Hunt. Hunt was satisfied with that and nodded before leaving. Julian gave her a reassuring smile and Katou glared at her as always.

End Chapter


  1. Oh no! Now Freya is on her own.

  2. Ok, making my way - very late - through Unity.

    1. Oh wow! We can reply directly to comments now! Instead of having to just post a new comment lol

      Oh and have fun!