<<Takes Place before the Promotion Log>>
"Temporal Insanity Part XII: To Sleep, Perchance To Dream"
1 Hour After...
Location: Sickbay – Deck 7 – USS Charon
Quentin lay lifeless on the central bio bed with little to know spatial awareness or any idea what was going on. In his mind he felt like he was being horribly tortured and yet he couldn't move any part of his body. While appearing to be unconscious he heard noises around him, he assumed medical staff and the machinery around the room.
Indira was waiting out the last hour of her shift watching over Calhoun. He had been luckily to receive enough of a dose of the chronexaline to keep him alive, but the tachyon radiation had been too much for the medication to keep him protected. When he arrived in Sickbay, one of the other doctors had tried flushing the radiation poisoning out with more chronexaline, but at this point, it was a wait-and-see game. Wait for him to wake up. See if the treatment was working. Indi brushed a lock of his hair back from his forehead. "Commander, if you can hear me, you need to wake up." She waited quietly, watching for any sign of movement or waking.
Quentin stirred and tried to move, but something was stopping him. All of a sudden there was a massive surge of pain in his abdomen and his opened widely as he let out a yell of pain and started jerking in the bio bed violently.
Several other nurses ran into the bay. "Hold him!" Indi grabbed a hypo of rexalin, pressing it to his neck until the thrashing subsided. Quickly, she ran another full scan, keeping her face neutral. The chronexaline wasn't completely removing the radiation from his body, which had his nervous system on edge, and obviously the pain receptors on a hair trigger. "Commander, do you know where you are? Do you know what happened?"
He groaned as the drugs coursed through his veins and nervous system easing what was a chronic burning. He made another attempt at speech as his throat was incredibly dry. He nodded slightly as he tried to vocalise anything. He remembered that he had been on the planet and that he had been beamed up… it had worked hadn't it? He thought to himself as he opened his mouth and croaked "did… we do it?" he asked.
Indira nodded. "Yes. You did." She turned and changed one of the monitors to display the sensor feed and show Lyrillia in orbit around its new sun. "I heard that seeing the Lyrillians watch their first sunrise was something else altogether, though I haven't been back down to the planet yet." She sighed and continued. "Unfortunately, you were right in the midst of the worst radiation. The chronexaline didn't completely protect you, and it's done a lot of damage. It's going to hurt a lot. For a long time. Probably for the rest of your life. Your nervous system is... well, it's like a wire that's been strung really tightly. Even the slightest touch can cause it to vibrate, and eventually, the tension will probably cause it to snap."
Quentin fell silent for a moment and shook his head not quite believing what he was being told. "It's going to kill me?" he asked after a moment. "How long?" he added wanting to know the truth and not the typical medical sugar-coating.
Sighing again, Indi chewed on her bottom lip. "Truthfully, we don't know yet." She leaned against the biobed with her hip. "Eventually we won't be able to keep your lungs from collapsing either. But I think that you'll have another ten or twenty years before that becomes a concern. And perhaps by then we'll have worked out new treatments or better transplantation technology."
He wanted to breakdown and lash out, his life had been cut prematurely short for doing a good deed and he wondered just how he was going to cope. He clenched his fist but immediately let it go as the strain was just too much at the moment. "What can be done about it?" he asked the doctor trying to comfort him.
"Pain medication, mostly." The Indian woman frowned. "We'll have to monitor you, monthly at least, to try and keep your nervous system stable. Your lung capacity will slowly decline, but you probably won't notice the decrease for several years yet. On the other hand, keeping your pain under control will be more of an issue."
Laying a hand on his shoulder, she continued. "Commander. Quentin. It will be hard at first. I know that. You probably know that. But it will get easier, and you should be able to do all the things you enjoy doing already. Even some things you never thought you could. You have people who support you and will take care of you."
He didn't know what to say, his entire life had changed dramatically due to this poison now eating away at him inside slowly killing him. "I…" he started to speak but the trauma was just too much and the man broke down right there on the bio bed. He was weak, tired, emotionally crippled and now… dying. "Please… don't tell anyone else" he said looking up to the doctor, the water in his purple eyes sparkling hope under the lights. "I'd like to keep it quiet for now" he added. "What meds will I be on?" he asked trying to fight back the tears.
"I won't tell anyone. I promise." Indira smiled reassuringly. "We'll start you on a duo of medications. Neurovine and terakine to combat both the pain and the nerve poison. It may take a little while to find just the right balance between them."
"Ok. Well if you can dose me up I'll get back to work… gotta keep normal…" he said trailing off. Really he just wanted to be alone to deal with the bad hand the cards of fate had just dealt him. But perhaps he could see one positive in this whole ordeal. "Planet is safe though? The people are happy?" he asked hoping he could take something good out of this.
"The planet is safe, the people are happy. We'll get you back on your feet as quick as we can as safely as we can. I'm not going to jeopardize your health for the sake of appearances." she said, trying to get a smile out of him. "But for now you'll stay here and rest. You'll just have to take one day at a time."
"Ok, if I have to stay here I will. That's something I guess" he said trailing off again as he remembered a quote in Starfleet History that never really resonated with him until now, a quote by Ambassador Spock. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" he whispered, for the first time he tried to force a smile, a strange sight to behold as the broken Xenexian was still trying to fight back tears and the severe emotional trauma of finding out that in twenty years he could be dead.
Placing her hand on his shoulder again to get his attention, when it seemed as if he was lost again in his only little world, she asked, "Would you like me to call the Counsellor for you? Or at least tell him to expect you?"
"Ok" he said simply as he lay back down in the bio bed. There was little he could do now apart from rest and hope the drugs worked.
Lieutenant Commander Quentin Calhoun
Lieutenant Junior Grade Indira Bai
Assistant Medical Officer