Previous Next


Posted on Thu Jul 27th, 2017 @ 10:13am by Lieutenant Beowulf "Wulf" Byrnes

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: Deck 11 West - Nichol's Office

Cara watched as the door of her office slid shut with a clang. "Lizzy....can you release it from your side?" she called through the closed door.

Cara's yeoman tried the release control but nothing happened. She tried again but still nothing happened. "No, Doc," she called out.

"DamnĂș air!" Cara swore in Irish. She slapped the control on her side and the door slid open. Before she had a chance to say anything to Lizzy the door slid shut again. "Mac soith!" she cursed as she smacked the release again. This time she held her hand over the control and the door stayed open. "Get Engineering up here to fix this damn thing before I find a cutting torch and do it myself," she growled. "And find something to jam it open," she added.

"Yes, ma'am," Lizzy said, chuckling under her breath. She looked around her outer office and grabbed trash can by her desk and set it in the open doorway. "Best I can come up with," she said, apologetically.

Cara let go of the door release go and the door slid shut as far as the trash can would allow then stopped. At least it wasn't closed all the way. "Thanks," Cara said and went back to her desk.

Lizzy tapped her combadge and said, "Engineering to the Medical Director's office," then sat back down at her own desk to continue her filing.

Byrnes heard the call, sliding on his back from out under a console in a science lab. Sitting up he winced at the shoulder again, the damn thing healing well with what Nira had slaked it with, but it would shoot pangs every once in a while when moved a certain way. Tapping his combadge. "I'm on my way." Getting up with a few grunts, muscles adjusting to standing again, he stretched his back and arms, another wince, then sighed out as he put his tools in his vest pockets and headed out. "Fix that crap heap in there," he said, thumbing over his shoulder at the lab he had just vacated, directing a minion to do it. Going through the station, to medical, he walked into the chamber and immediately saw the problem. But, being who he was, and spotting the first person in view (Lizzy) he had to ask with mirth in his eyes. "Having problems with the trash?"

Lizzy looked up and smiled, her cheeks blushing. "Other than the fact that it's over there and I need it over here but if I put it over here I can't get into the Doc's office and if she leaves she can't get back in because the release control on this side doesn't work and the door won't stay open by itself," she said, all in one breath.

"Wow," smiled Wulf. "That was impressive. Next time I need a speech writer I'll ask you," he said while laughing. "Nicely done. I'll go save our Doctor from the evil trash can and its sidekick, broken door." Winking with a grin, he then went over and popped the panel on the outside of the Doc's office, disconnecting power to the door. He winced with the left shoulder again, but hand cranked the door open and locked it in place. Stepping over to the entrance her leaned on the doorjamb with a good amount of swagger. "Hey, Doc. Door is locked open for now, no power. Should I call Security and arrest the trash can, or just move it aside?"

Lizzy laughed. "Nooo....I need that trash can," she said. "I promise it won't go wandering again."

Cara got up from her desk and walked over to the doorway. "You sure it's locked open?" she asked.

Byrnes gave a smile. "I hope so. If not I'm about to get squashed." Chuckling and standing up straight, he gave a serious nod despite his smile. "Yes. How soon we forget these damn things do have hand cranks and manual locks. Plus, main power is disconnected to your door. I don't need it misbehaving while trying to repair it."

Cara noticed the way Byrnes seemed to be favoring his shoulder and she quirked an eyebrow. "Is that anything I can help with?" she asked, nodding at his shoulder.

Wulf glanced down at his shoulder, then up at her, a sheepish look on his face. "A minor puncture wound. Thought it was gonna be fine but it's giving me a bit of irritation. If you want to look at it, I'd be obliged. But," he stepped further inside, voice kept low as he got right up to the Doctor. "Do what you can but keep it between us as much as you can. I have a special project I am looking into and it could be beneficial if done right." He took his vest off, then removed the gold shirt and undershirt, showing her the obvious puncture wound. He just wondered how much experience she had had with arrows.

"Doctor patient confidentiality," Cara said with a smile. "Come over here and have a seat," she said and indicated the small sofa off to the side of the office. "Lizzy....I'm in a meeting. No interruptions," she called through the now open door. Getting her kit from the cabinet by the sofa she took out a bio-scanner and ran it over Wulf. "No damage to the bursa or tendons," she said. "Now....take your shirt off so I can take a look."

"My pants?" Byrnes gave a smile and wink, chuckling. "You're having one of my kind of days. Shirt's over there, Doc." He motioned to the engineers vest and two shirts hanging on the back of one of her guest chairs. "In all honesty, I took an arrow to the left shoulder, upper chest, as you can see."

"An arrow?" Cara asked as she examined the wound. "How the hell did you get shot with an arrow?"

"I will tell you," said Wulf, boring into her eyes with his own. "But, the confidentiality must stand. We're not alone on this rock, others came here to survive and hide from the Borg. Swear I can trust you like a confidante, I will spill it all. Make a personal log for yourself to cover your ass if this goes sideways, but let me have this for now...please."

Cara's eyes widened and she leaned back and looked at Wulf. "Not alone?" She asked. Then her eyes narrowed. "You're joking, right? You turned off the safety settings in the holodeck." She smirked. "Men. Those safety settings are there to prevent this kind of thing. What were you doing? Playing cowboys and Indians? Looks like the cowboys lost this round," she laughed as she grabbed a dermal-regenerator and began working on sealing the puncture.

Wulf grinned and winked, his way of thanking her without words. "Yeah, well, I'm from Montana. Natives are friends as much as enemies." He gave a laugh. "The salve used got rid of the infection, but damned if I know why it keeps aching. I figured it was the healing process, waking me up to nerves that are back in action."

"It's a deep puncture wound," Cara said. "If you had come to see me when it was still fresh I would have been able to regenerate the muscle tissue and the nerves would have been less traumatized. As it all I can do is close the wound, regenerate the dermis and the muscles and nerves will have to heal on their own. That will take time. It will ache the nerves reconnect themselves...there will be stinging. I get that you wanted to keep this off book....for whatever reason....but if the arrow had penetrated the bursa you could have faced a much more serious issue and limited prognosis." She shut off the instrument and examined her work. "Ok. Looks good. Ice for the use for a week or so. And stay away from sharp pointy things."

"My usual operating procedure," said Wulf, standing and gathering his shirts. He undid his pants to tuck the shirts in, getting properly dressed in uniform as he spoke. "Doc, I owe you, seriously. And, my reasoning is this. Too often we charge in and want to know everything, and when we do that we can cause more harm than good. So, I am taking this slow, seeing if this being is benevolent or malevolent. If she turns out to be a demon I'll set demo charges and bury her ass alive." He zipped up his engineers vest once it was on. "Her cavern was full of life. Bio-luminescent, the lot of it. Amazing to see on a moon we think is pretty much dead."

Cara raised an eyebrow as she began putting her instruments back in her FTK. Looking at Wulf she asked, "are you absolutely sure there is some sort of being living in the lava tunnels of the asteroid? None of our instruments detected any signs of life when we landed."

Byrnes, now dressed and properly buttoned up, turned to face her. "The tricorder in my hand didn't detect it either, and I was looking at it while scanning. Everything looked normal, like every day plant life, and then voila! It came to life at the behest of the lavender gal. She was the one who applied the salve to stave off infection. Yes, I'm taking a chance here, but it is what my oath is all about."

"She applied....," Cara started to say but stopped. She was finding this all a little unbelievable. "Did she communicate with you?"

"Yes, she did," admitted Byrnes, not trying to hide anything. "She speaks Fed Standard pretty well. Says she's been in the base several times before we arrived, reading and exploring, trying to understand who wanted to be here. I mentioned the Borg and she got quiet, and a bit snippy, so I'm thinking her own people have had their run-ins with them too."

"Damn," Cara whispered and slouched back in her seat. "You're fracking serious. I honestly thought you had been eating some of the Precho Mushrooms that have been going around. Some freighter brought them in and I've been getting a lot of people experiencing hallucinations from them." She looked up at Wulf and said in awe, "you have actually made first contact with a new species. Do you think there are more?"

Wulf pulled a chair over, sitting face to face with her, and kept tapping her knee every once in a while in his excitement. "From what she said, about the Puazi, her people, there are more out there. Scattered? I have no idea. We, as Starfleet, know that the El-Aurians had to scatter to the stars after the Borg took their homeworld, so who's to say that more aren't out there?"

"Is she the only one on the Rock?" Cara asked, trying to imagine what it must have been like being the only being on the Rock while it was vacant. The loneliness must have been awful. No Human she knew of would have survived with their sanity....they weren't cut out to be alone for long.

"She gave no indication that there were others here," stated Byrnes. "I think she is alone here, created a place she feels safe, and hidden from the surface. Perhaps she too thought this might make a good spot for refugees to use in transit to other places."

Cara leaned forward and whispered, "I want to meet her, Wulf."

Wulf, looking Cara in the eye, gave three slight nods. "I will try to arrange it. With all I've been trying to get up and running I haven't returned there yet. Our survival is paramount, so when I get caught up then I plan to return and speak to Nira more in depth."

Cara nodded, eagerly. Not only was Wulf's Nira a new appeared she knew about how to utilize the asteroid's properties in ways that Cara and her staff could benefit from. She wasn't sure how the Marine General would handle a first contact with a being that, by Wulf's description, seemed fragile. Marines weren't known for being delicate. And she didn't know how Drew would react to know the existence of a being living in the lava tubes of the asteroid was being hidden from him by her, especially, but she wanted to see Nira for herself before she made any decisions that might jeopardize Nira and others....if there were others....who had made this rock their home long before the Federation moved in on them. "Good," she whispered. "Until then we'll keep this between us. The last thing I want is to have her domain invaded by a bunch of phaser wielding security or Marines."

Byrnes leaned back and closed his eyes a moment, and when they opened there was pain behind them. "That would be a mistake. She put an arrow in me as a warning. I never even knew she was there until it was too late. She has made a home here and will defend it to the death, and from the look in her eye when she spoke of home, there will be no remorse. She only aided me after realizing I wasn't a threat to her livelihood. If soldiers get sent in, just exploring or not, without permission, you're going to be a busy Doctor."

Cara shook her head. "No. I don't want that," she said. "I just want to see if there is anything we can do for her....learn more about her and her race. Maybe learn how to utilize this hunk of rock's natural resources. We may be able to get stuff from HQ every 6 months or so but we need to tap into what's available to us here for the in between times. These lava one knows about them except you....right?" she asked.

"So far, Doc." Wulf sat up again. "One of the tertiary corridors collapsed, with no injuries, thankfully. Bad architecture and engineering from those who built this place. But, to their credit, they never expected damp and water on the opposite side, which this cavern was full of. I went to climb down inside and ended up tumbling down into a pond that was waist deep, and had a running stream away from it. How she has done all this I have no idea. But, the water is crystal clear and potable."

Cara quirked an eyebrow. "Where is it coming from?" she asked. "This is solid volcanic rock. There is no there is no weather." This kept getting weirder and weirder.

Byrnes gave a grin, which showed he was only guessing as he spoke. "Nira has set up a holographic sun/moon, and night/day dynamic within the caverns. I can only surmise that the water is from condensation to begin with, but if she has been in this facility over the years she may have absconded with replicator technology, connected it enough to provide the water, and then let's it free flow. Beyond that, I have no idea. The really weird part is that after shooting me and removing the arrow, she stuck it back into the metallic quiver she carries, and it disappeared momentarily. Replaced by two new ones for fast draw. That tells me the quiver she carries also has replicator tech, and her ammo will never run out as long as she has power to it."

Cara was beyond curious now. A part of her still said that Wulf was pulling her leg but he didn't seem like the type to drag out a practical joke with this much detail and this long. Unless he was a pathological liar and he didn't strike her as that, either.

Lizzy stuck her head through the door and said, "I'm sorry, Doc. But they need you in the ER. Something to do with Ashley."

Cara looked up and her expression changed to one of concern. She looked over at Wulf and said, "that's my niece...or my boyfriend's niece. I need to go," and she got to her feet. "I do want to meet...," she glanced at the open door, "...your friend as soon as possible," she said.

Byrnes nodded. "When I know something, you will. Just keep this between us." Wulf stood and left.



Previous Next