The Next Step

Characters: Dr. Mira Trassano

Mira stood in the corridor and rubbed her eyes so hard she saw red-orange spots. Silhouetted against one large spot she could see a shadowy ship plummet into a planet. She could almost hear the cries of the dying wounded on the surface and quickly dropped her hands, blinking the image away. Mira suppressed a shudder and straightened her back. You’re getting strange, Mira…maybe you ought to try and get a little sleep. She frowned as she trudged into the turbo-lift. “Deck 8.”

The lift was slower and louder than it should have been. Not to mention, there where worrying clanks at irregular intervals. But, Mira was simply grateful it still worked. I have NO desire to go crawling through service shafts again. This shudder was too strong to be suppressed, as she remembered the dead Whitestar and it’s floating crew. Stop it,she told herself sternly. This in no time to give yourself the ‘williams’, as the humans say. Now, think about what needs to be done. How many nurses are out with Helle and Bobby? Where can they be put? And quickly, Mira, there’s no time to lose in this. The Captain wants to close those bulkheads.

The lift actually slowed down more and Mira frowned up at it, as though she could bully it into going faster. Her mind started to divide the ship up into the sections that the bulkheads would enclose. I can place one emergency medic and maybe one nurse in each section. Her fingers twitched as she counted off her staff and occasional staff. The medics are already in the areas where they’re needed. They are all going to report to their regular departments…if they’re not already there. The only thing I need to get them is a nurse, who has the extra experience. They’ll all need more MedKits, too. The lift finally ground to a halt and the doors opened.

I will send Helle down to open MedLab Two. She’s done it before and it’s ready to go. It just needs a staff. She can keep some of the nurses she already has and plant the ones she doesn’t need in the necessary sections as she heads to Deck 21. I can give Mr Carter to Bobby and get a few of his nurses in return. Bobby and Carter should stay in Engineering. It’s too important a department right now to not have a doctor all to itself. Mira was so involved in her plans that she almost walked into the shaft wall. What?! She stood for a moment and just stared at the wall, rather like a spoo stares at a herder.

“Frag.” Mira took a deep breath. “Deck 8.”

The lift shuddered but didn’t move. DECK 8, it responded in a mechanical warble.

“Frag and blast.” Mira glanced at the ceiling. Using her ever present MedKit, she blocked the doors open. “Deck 7,” she guessed.

The lift growled to life once again and started twitching its way upward. After a few moments, Mira was relieved to see the floor of Deck 8 appear. No service shafts for you yet, Mira. When the floor of Deck 8 was below where it should be and the lift was showing no signs of stopping, Mira simply pushed the emergency stop button. She carefully climbed out of the lift, stepping over her MedKit and leaving it in the doors for the time being.

Walking into MedLab One, she paused for a moment and surveyed the scene. Mira heartily approved of the order that was still being enforced. All the current patients were being seen to, installed in beds out of the way, or sent back to their departments. Glancing at the six-armed-six-footed bronze figure of S’ran-to hanging directly in front of her on the back wall, she offered a quick silent prayer. But in the back of her mind, she knew that there was going to be casualties falling from her hair when this was all over.

Activating her link, Mira started to tell Helle and Bobby exactly what they were going to have to do. Once they understood the plan, she started on the staff in MedLab with her. The orders fell like a river from her lips and all the plans were set. Nurses went scurrying with armloads of MedKits and Mr Carter headed for Engineering. For a moment, a controlled chaos reigned. When it was over, there was an almost abandoned feeling to MedLab One.

Copyright (C) 1998 Mona Hinds. All rights reserved.


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