Characters: Dr. Mira Trassano
“Your attention, please. White Star 24 has been found.” There was a pause over the intercom. Mira put her hot jala down on her desk, the greenish beverage swirled in the glass. She could see everyone in MedLab freeze and listen through the open doors of the office. “Darquin, Yoshino, Santiago and Trassano, report immediately to the shuttle bay with teams from your respective departments. Everyone else, to your posts. Until I say otherwise, we are on full alert.” It took a few moments for activity to resume and when it did there was the distinct tinge of apprehension in everything.
Mira sighed and reached for her cup just as her link went off. She muttered a Centauri expletive before activating it. “Dr. Trassano?” It was Captain Hale.
“Some further information. Sensors are not reading any life aboard the ship, though we will of course make certain in a deck by deck search, should the sensors be fooled. See that every body is identified and that– ah, don’t let me tell you your job. Just… if you would bring one or two aboard for an autopsy. I want to know what or who killed them, ASAP. See you down in the bay.”
Well, now, she is very to the point, isn’t she? This day has certainly turned absolutely rotten, she thought bitterly. Mira could feel that sinking of her hearts as they settled in her feet when she realized that no life signs meant no survivors. There were more than 50 Rangers on that ship. Her chest contracted and for a moment she felt so powerless and ineffectual that she wondered at her audacity to try and stop anyone from dying. My Lady, Leedl. S’ran-to, my Patron. Help me. She squeezed her eyes shut and the moment finally passed.
The Doctor rose from her chair, once more in command, and started to sort through the things in her pockets as she decided on who to bring and who to leave. Bone scanner, sonic scalpel, wad of gauze still in wrapping. I should leave both Brannon and Evers here. I think I’ll call Evers in to relieve me, he’s been off-duty the longest. I hope his head feels better now that Alaniel has been found. He can also help with the autopsies. Another sonic scalpel, nerve scanner, optic scanner, three data crystals. I should leave Carter here, he’ll be a lot of help. But, I should take a couple of other nurses, preferably ones able to fight, just in case. Flesh sealer, vial of antibiotic, skintabs, some more gauze. Where does all this stuff come from? She patted herself down and found another data crystal and some more vials of medication. Mira stared at the pile on her desk. Now what supplies will I need?
Not much later, the good doctor was being instructed on the wear and operation of an EVA suit, yet another lack in her sketchy space/military education. “These things were certainly NOT made for Centauri,” she muttered to herself as she tried in vain to keep it from rubbing in uncomfortable places. She finally gave up and finished tying her knot of hair into a bun. Mira had paid close attention to the captain’s instructions for her team. Now, as they waited for the first team to give the all clear, she worried. Trassano glanced over at the two nurses she had chosen. They didn’t seem to be having any trouble with their suits. I wish now that I had insisted on more training before running off to my assignment. I suppose I should feel glad of Morgan’s training of me. Somehow, I have a hard time feeling good about being beaten into a pulp every other day. She smiled ruefully to herself.
Mira thought about linking in with Evers to see how MedLab was dealing with the new drama. She smiled at the remembered image of her errant patient, Alaniel, being brought back. He was currently locked in an isolab. At least I have accomplished one positive thing today in the midst of all of this. Mira shook her head at her strange thoughts and decided to check the supplies she had brought one more time. Glancing down at her bag she wondered, for a moment of bitterness, why she had brought so much for a trip through a ghost ship. You cannot fix the dead, Mira. You are a fool to even wish it.
Copyright (c) 1998 Mona Hinds. All rights reserved.