“Get me a plasma torch and two doses of anesthizine, twenty milligrams each!” shouted Dr. Brant as he frantically ran to the side of the two bodies that materialized on the floor of sickbay noticing the piece of rock impaled between the two. It was a race against time, but if Allan and his team could stabilize his two patients quickly, there was a high probability they could both be saved.
“Here you go doctor.” responded one of his nurses as she handed him the plasma torch before injecting each patient with the requested anesthetic.
Taking the cutting tool, Allan carefully cut through the piece of rock piercing the two through their chests roughly between the second and third rib; Paul on his right side, and the unknown teen on his left.
Once the two were separated, Allan and the other nurses were able to brace each patient and lift them onto the nearby biobeds. While both patients were in equally as severe a condition, and both were in a position where they could still be saved, he could only work on one patient at a time. He looked at both of them and he made the call that Paul was the one that needed to be treated first. Not just because he was a member of the crew and a friend, but because he was the Chief Engineer and he served a critical role aboard the ship.
“Computer, erect a level 5 stasis field around biobed number two and continue to monitor.”
As Allan continued to work on Paul, Treylana walked into sickbay with two security officers in tow. Even though there was no perceived threat from the alien patient, it was standard protocol to have security stand by, and given that once the patient was conscious and able to speak, they would likely be terrified given their highly advanced surroundings.
She thought for a moment. What am I going to tell this person when they wake up? They’re going to think they died. Will they think they are in whatever afterlife they believe in? The answers would not come easy to her, but there was plenty of time for her to ponder those questions while still dealing with the matter at hand.
She motioned for the security detail to remain in sickbay and then proceeded back into the corridors to make her way to engineering.
When she arrived, the atmosphere in the room was vastly different compared to sickbay. Crew were silently working away on assigned tasks, they weren’t chasing down some runaway vessel and they weren’t engaged in a battle with a hostile species. In fact it was so quiet, if it had not been for the hum of the warp core, she could probably have heard a pin drop.
Gazing around, she couldn’t locate the person she was there to see, so she approached the nearest crewmember working at the main diagnostics table in the center of the room. “Excuse me Ensign, where can I find Lieutenant Forrester?”
The ensign looked up from her displays, noticing she was in the presence of the captain and nearly skipped a heartbeat, changing her posture to that of attention, “Sir! I believe the Lieutenant is in the Chief’s office.”
“At ease Ensign. This isn’t a formal inspection. Thank you for your help.”
Treylana let the ensign resume her duties and proceeded to Paul’s office as directed. As expected, Lieutenant Forrester was seated behind the desk, eyeing the terminal before him. She rapped her knuckles on the frame of the door to grab his attention.
Matthew looked up from what he was doing, almost startled as he was not expecting anyone, “Captain! A pleasure to see you. What can I do for you?”
“As you know, Paul was sent down to the planet to survey some ancient technology that was believed to be down there. What you may not know is that he was recently beamed onto the ship in critical condition.”
“Oh my god!” Matthew exclaimed.
“Prior to his accident, he and the away team came across an obelisk of sorts that appears to be emanating some kind of subspace power signature. He requested some additional tools and equipment and said you would know exactly what he meant. I presume that’s because of your expertise in subspace field dynamics.”
Matthew blushed slightly, “Yes ma’am.”
“In light of the current situation, I need for you to not only get what the Commander asked for, but I also need you to take his place on the away team. I need you to repair that obelisk and get it running. Don’t ask why, just get it done. Unfortunately you won’t have the opportunity to undergo the same cosmetic surgery the rest of the away team had, and it would seem that our presence has already been discovered. So you’ll have to use the utmost caution when down on the planet to not make the cultural contamination any worse than it already is.”
“Understood ma’am. I’ll get right on it.”
Mortified after witnessing their friend vanish into thin air, Tekris and Horom ran as fast as they could out of the caves and back toward the town. They had to tell someone what they saw, but who would believe them? Anyone with a decent head on their shoulders would chalk it up as two teenage boys playing a prank to seek attention. The only thing the two boys had going in their favour was the sheer panic on their faces if not hidden by the exhaustion of trek back.
Dotan’s place was the closest of the three teen’s homes. Being so late when they arrived, Tekris pounded his fists furiously on the door hoping that he would wake Dotan’s parents. A shimmer of light peered through a nearby window and shortly after the sound of a sliding locking mechanism was heard on the other side of the door. Tekris nearly fell over when the door opened as he slumped over trying to catch his breath.
“Tekris! Horom! What are you two doing here at this hour and where’s Dotan?” Dotan’s father Jerok asked.
“Dotan…*huff*…Dotan is…*huff*…Dotan is dead.” Tekris finally managed to get out between gasps for air.
Unsure what Tekris was going on about and wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, Jerok invited the boys in and suggested they sit down. “What’s all the noise?” Dotan’s mother Meena asked as she made her way down the stairs, still in her nighttime attire.
“The boys here seem to think that something terrible has happened to Dotan. I’m hoping they can explain themselves.”
Jerok paused for a moment to allow the boys to catch their breath before asking them to continue, “Now boys. Start at the beginning. What happened?”
Horom chimed in first, “Dotan and I were in the caves just west of town earlier today. We found an interesting artifact in the cave and went to show Tekris this afternoon.”
Tekris interrupted to continue the story, “Yeah. They showed it to me and invited me to join them tonight to go look for more, but when we got there, there were people already in the cave. They were looking at something big. Bigger than I’ve ever seen before.
“Anyway, there was a cliff and Dotan was looking down over the edge. Something must have scared him because he lost his balance and went over. We ran to grab him but it was too late and he got stabbed by the rocks below along with one of the people in the cave. Before we knew it they both vanished.”
Meena nearly collapsed after what she heard. Her son couldn’t possibly be dead. Tears began to roll down her face as she started to cry while pleading with her husband, “You must find him, Jerok. He can’t be dead.”
Jerok believed the boy’s story to be a little far-fetched, though elements of it were believable. He attempted to comfort his wife and reassure her that he would do everything he could to find their son, but if he had vanished like the boys said, where would he even begin? Wherever it was, he was going to need some help, and lots of it.