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Cmdr V. Stacker, Cmdr. th'Zarath | "Demons in the night..."

Posted on Sun Feb 7th, 2021 @ 11:48pm by Commander Thelin th'Zarath & Commander Valeese Stacker

Mission: A Distant Thunder
Location: Sickbay

The twitching...

It kept him awake at night until he removed the arm from it's socket and forcibly shut it down and even then there were the nightmares, dark and twisted they tore at his mind, forming evil thoughts of harm against many people he considered friends and some he considered less than, the Andorian woke multiple times throughout the night, sweat dripping from his brow and hair ruffled against the pillows, his sheets had been discarded and lay strewn across the floor and when morning eventually came it found him tired and wanting.

He made no effort to reconnect his arm or reactivate his cybernetic implant as he showered and dressed, slacks and an undershirt with no jacket, he looked down at the malfunctioning piece of equipment and for the first time since he'd had it installed he felt that singular, sinking feeling, the feeling of helplessness, the feeling of being half a man.

Broken, he picked up the arm and strode out of his quarters and to the last person he wanted to ask for help, but possibly the only person on the station who could help him.

Duty. Work. Whatever you wanted to call it, she was on it and being on it gave her the chance to escape and run whatever tests were necessary on herself - and help the crew of course - but certainly didn't make life much easier. Easier would have been best. She liked easier. Easier would have been full duty to keep her from having to delegate tasks and duties and patients she'd have much rather handled herself.

... At least until it was announced that Commander th'Zarath had come to see her with his arm detached from his body. Had it been anyone else, those words would have chilled her - but him? It left her curious. "You get mad at it?" She had to ask, looking over her shoulder as a nurse turned the big Andorian loose in her office and shut the door. While wary of him, Valeese had very little reason to actually downright fear him. "Have a seat, let's see what's going on."

Thelin's usual demeanour would have been strong and full of vitality, the Andorian moved forward into the office and sagged into the chair offered, the arm he carried was placed onto the desk heavily, his antennae were unsteady and turned and twisted as if unable to focus, his eyes were bloodshot and showed clear evidence of insomnia, "Pain..." he stated as he sat, half slumped in the chair.

"Nightmares too, even disconnected, it's been on the fritz for a while, minor twitches and jerking motions, almost caused an accident, destroyed a couple of PADDs and a mug." His hair was unkempt and moved with his head, "Something is wrong, I... I've not felt like this in a long time."

"Better PADDs and a mug than something of flesh and bone..." Valeese mused as she came to rest in front of him and stooped slightly. The state of his undress spoke more to her than anything else - there was no bullshit, no nonsense, the man certainly wasn't himself. Never had he been what she'd consider to be complacent or easy to handle - if anything he was downright repugnant and a general pain in her ass to treat. The version sulking in the chair in front of her, however, was a totally different story. She should have been pleased and relieved, but instead it piqued the Vorta's sense of worry.

"So far I don't see anything wrong on this end of things." Picking through cybernetic connections, checking for worn bits and frayed ends, hadn't been on her list of wants to accomplish - it was a tedious process done with extreme care because the endings, while mechanical and electronic by nature, were still sensitive as any nerve ending. "Why didn't you come down when it first started?"

"We were too busy, what with you being kidnapped and the station being sabotaged." Thelin replied with a slight sigh, "I put it down to exhaustion, been pulling double shifts to reinforce and refit older parts of the station."

A small nod of understanding was granted to him. There wasn't much that she could have done given that she'd been held hostage, nearly sold, came close to being killed, and then relegated to her own healing until the Admiral decided her whining was annoying and persistent enough to indicate a positive change in health... At least enough of a change in that direction that would warrant allowing her to work... At least a bit. Finding out she was pregnant to the station's Ghost turned Executive Officer, and then there was the 'light duty' mission to recover bodies from some god forsaken planet aaand, of course, being away for three Gods damned months trying to solve a genetic nightmare caused by incestuous linebreeding in a family of alien 'blue bloods'. Valeese almost snorted at the thought, but managed to release her indignant sentiments in the form of a tiny sigh, "Fair enough..." She finally drawled, furrowing a brow and leaving him for sake of studying the connections on the arm side of the equation. "No doubt heavy uses of caffeine can cause jittery side effects even in Andorian physiology, but I have a hard time buying that it would cause a reaction that would cause you to demolish things."

"I also fail to see how it would cause nightmares and pain," Thelin replied as his antennae flattened against his head, he had no fight left in him and his body was barely running, his mind worked in the same way as a computer assigning resources to a ship or station and at the moment everything was being diverted to life support to keep him mobile enough to seek help with something he wasn't able to fix by himself.

"Caffeine?" She looked up, incredulous, "High doses of caffeine can cause all sorts of things, headaches included. Maybe even nightmares since it causes the brain to be overactive at the very least." Her eyes left his face and returned to her work, tiny fingers carefully looking for anything that felt out of place - anything that could explain the malfunctions - and finding next to nothing. Giving up wasn't an option either, but the position she was in was putting pressure on her diaphragm and breathing wasn't exactly easy to begin with considering she was with child and that already impeded lung function on a 'high' day. Shifting, she blew a small sigh, "Still... Doesn't explain what's going on with this arm of yours."

A heavy sigh emanated from the Andorian as his antenna flexed slightly and turned towards the Vorta, "I've never read anything regarding the effects of caffeine on cybernetics, whether replacements or enhancements and given the amount most engineers consume, I would assume that the pool or research subjects would be quite large indeed." he replied with a slight yawn, reaching up with his remaining arm to cover his mouth.

"So glad I bore you." She snorted in response, "Your brain isn't cybernetic, last I checked. If you have nerves acting funny then they interface funny with everything else. They react of impulses." Valeese could have continued scolding him like the petulant child she believed him to be, but the question very quickly became what good would that have accomplished? None. Not a damn thing. Her attention shifted to where the prosthetic affixed itself to his body, shining a pen light into the interface as she ducked closer to it.

"You'll be yawning soon too, sleep deprivation is considered a war crime for a reason." Thelin replied with half a grin as he closed his eyes for a moment and supressed another yawn, "Anything you can do to help me sleep would be appreciated." he continued before gesturing at the implant with his remaining hand, "This... well, I can work around this."

Her lips pursed at first as she poked around. No instrument would be sensitive enough or reveal to her much of anything - fingers it was. It was a weird way to be, knuckles deep in the shoulder of some Andorian that likely would have cut her throat if given half a chance, "I can sing you a lullaby," She replied tersely, partly out of irritation and partly out of effort as she flipped something within the connection, "Or I can prescribe you a light sedative. The choice is completely you... Ow!" She yelped, quickly withdrawing her hand and eyeballing the bead of blood welling at the tip of her finger, "That's not supposed to be sharp." Muttering, she set about to grab a regenerator, leaning unapologetically across him to do so.

"There may be a couple of parts in there that I've not noticed," Thelin replied as he held up his hand and wiggled his fingers, "Calloused from years of work in engineering, tougher than some armours." he added before giving her a slight nod, causing his antennae to flatten out again, "A sedative would be preferable, I don't think my company every night is something you would enjoy."

"Neither would my husband." She huffed, finishing up with her finger and returning to his arm, "I'll get you the sedatives and you'll use them properly or you'll lose them." Valeese once again settled in to examine the bits and pieces - finding the sharp bit that had punctured her tender little finger pad, "This could be cause for the crap connection and causing other problems... Or the other problems aren't connection. Either way... I'm going to have to replace the part. You wanna be awake or asleep for this, friend?"

"The person usually responsible for the maintenance is the man you're speaking to, I'll remain awake." Thelin replied with his head cocked to one side.

"Suit yourself." The Vorta responded with a shrug. It didn't take her long at all to gather up the tools she needed, including a pair of magnifying goggles that made her eyes look ridiculously large behind them. From there she descended back upon her patient, patently ignoring his face and the expressive nature of his antennae as she drug her rolling stool towards him and took a seat. There would be no preamble to her efforts, no explanations as she dug in and got to work on the tedious task of fixing that which was 'broken' and hoping that the mend would be enough to 'fix' him. At least the headaches and the strange occurrences with the cybernetic arm - there would be no altering his lack of charm.

After a solid hour and a half of tinkering, Valeese drew back and set her tools down on a tray beside her, "Give it a shot. I had to make some adjustments and replace a couple things, but I think there is a high chance of success here."

Reaching forward, Thelin picked up his cybernetic arm and turned it around to line up the connection point with it's socket. He glanced over the Vorta before him, his antennae flattening against his head and in her direction as he pushed it into place, twisting it to hear the signature click before moving it back down to his side. After a few moments the power began flowing back into the arm from his shoulder implant, his fingers flexed a couple of times and ran through the diagnostics of being offline, ensuring all the joints are active, he brings the hand up to look over it for a moment and begins moving the arm about to test the range of movement. "It looks good so far, Doc."

In return, the Vorta offered him a nod of approval and scoot her stool back and away from him a decent margin, "Test it out over the next day or so and let me know if anything feels off or needs changes." Getting up to recycle the tools she'd used, the Doctor paused before tossing them in the recycler, "Or if you wind up destroying something. We can hope that symptoms is long gone." The very last thing she'd want to do was encounter the Andorian when his arm was 'malfunctioning' anywhere in her general vicinity. Even with him sitting down, the size difference between the two of them was overt even if she chose to ignore it. A PADD was picked up and activated with a scan of her biometrics and a few quick swipes of her fingers later, his chart had been updated and medications ordered, "You're all set. Sedatives have been prescribed. Take it about an hour before you want to go to sleep and make sure you have at least eight hours to devote to being in a sleep state or else you'll be rather drowsy and prone to accident."

"I'll be sure to keep that in mind," The Andorian replied with a slight nod, "If anything happens with the arm, I'll be sure to let you know."

"Thank you. With the Vindicator due back into port, there's no telling how busy you'll be." Valeese almost sighed but caught herself just short of the exasperated noise. Everything had been turned on end and nothing was easy... or safe. "Enjoy the rest of your day, Commander. You know where to find me if you need me."

Bowing slightly with a nod of his head, Thelin slid himself off the bed and started heading towards the door, "Thank you, Doctor." he replied quietly as he stepped out of sickbay, the arm no longer twitching and painful.

(To Be Continued...)

Commander Valeese Stacker
Chief Medical Officer


Commander Thelin th'Zarath
Chief Engineering Officer

Cold Station Theta


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