Life In Hand

Characters: Dunstan Kordieh, Narotannen

A sense of unreality was almost overwhelming as Dunstan Kordieh rode the lift upward toward the Phoenix’s bridge. For a brief moment he wondered if he would be allowed up there at all, but as he and one of the other techs had to open the lift door by main strength, he shrugged it off. The past was the past and, for the moment at least, completely irrelevant. He put his shoulder to the door and shoved, and then clambered up the half-meter gap between the floor of the lift and the bridge deck. The others followed.

He tried to ignore the destruction for now, to focus on people. Most of the bridge crew were sitting in chairs, many with quickly fitted oxygen masks on their faces. Two still lay on the deck, unmoving. Without speaking, the team divided in half, two going to one, Kordieh and a companion going to the other.

He caught his breath at the face of Terry Hale, still and pale except for a black purple bruise on one side of her forehead, which seemed to expand almost as he looked at it.

His companion hissed, but started breaking out equipment to transport her.

Opening his kit, Kordieh pulled out the neck brace and threaded it under the back of the captain’s head, securing it carefully. If she’d taken that bad a blow to the head, they didn’t dare risk moving her spine. He looked toward his companion to see if the stretcher was ready.

A back board was handed to him first, silently. Kordieh hesitated, then set the board on the deck, and lifted one of Hale’s arms, preparing to slide the board underneath.

“Careful,” Narotannen murmured, turned to help him.

“Yes,” Kordieh said. “Mon Dieu, what happened?”

He shook his head. “Perhaps your friend could answer that,” he answered softly.

“My friend?” Kordieh looked around, not knowing for sure who the Minbari healer might have meant. Narotannen just smiled faintly, nodded to Kordieh to help him with the stretcher, now that the backboard was secure.

Kordieh grabbed a small dressing out of his kit, smacked it hard against his hip, and laid it — already chilling — gently across the bruise on Hale’s forehead. Then he helped get the backboard onto the stretcher.

Narotannen had had much practice at this, but he couldn’t fault the younger man’s technique. With a touch he brought the stetcher up to a good level for carrying.

Kordieh helped guide the stretcher a few steps, then paused to allow the other pair of the team, bearing an unconscious Peter Carlacci, to guide their burden into the lift. “Thank goodness for Minbari gravitics,” Kordieh said. “It’d be a nightmare getting them into the lift if we didn’t have that.”

“I have done it a few times, so I am grateful for them always. But we would manage regardless.” His tone wasn’t scolding – he was fervent about his profession.

Kordieh nodded as they were able to move forward again. “We’re going to be busy for a while, aren’t we?”

“Yes, Dra Kordieh, I believe we are.”

Carefully, they got themselves and the stretcher into the lift and headed back to Medlab One.

Copyright (c) 2005 Jamie Lawson and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.


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