## Sickbay – USS Charon ##
“I SWEAR IF THAT WOMAN LAYS ANOTHER HAND ON ME”, a vibrant ambassador shouted to those around him having just caught another stinging slap across the face from the infernal crewmen who had followed him to sickbay.
“He’s lost a fair amount of blood and is becoming increasingly agitated and delirious”, the woman stated to the medical team closing about Lamont like a white, impenetrable, curtain. I did my best to keep him conscious.
“Conscious”, Lamont muttered. “Try assault and battery.”
“Let’s get him onto a bed”, one of the on call doctors stated to the legions of nursing personnel who had converged upon the ambassador like a swarm of hungry insects. Lamont was forcibly hoisted into the air and unceremoniously dropped onto a table where hands, arms, and bodies felt the need to remove the majority of his clothing with sharp implements.
“Multiple lacerations and contusions. Nurse get him started on a plasma infusion while I deal with this leg wound.”
Lamont felt cold steel at his neck and a hiss as someone injected painkillers.
“Ambassador, how did this happen”, the doctor asked as he cleaned Lamont’s bloody leg before picking up a dermal regenerator to help close the nasty wound.
“I was attacked on the holodeck”, Lamont responded through a haze of dizziness from blood loss and the effects of pain killing drugs.
“Again Ambassador? You weren’t fencing again with the safety systems disengaged again – were you?”
“No. This was neither my doing nor some random computer malfunction. Someone deliberately altered my practice program with the intent to kill me!”
“Kill? Why would someone wish to do such a thing”, the doctor asked as he tended to the ambassador’s wounds.
“How the hell should I know”, Lamont barked. “How do you explain safety systems failing, the inability to use the computer, stop the program, or call for help in addition to a program that became more complex and lethal as time progressed? Ask any of the dozen crewmen who witnessed the dozens of hell bent holograms pouring out of the holodeck with the goal of ending my life.”
Ian winced as the doctor pushed and kneaded his leg as he worked on healing the vicious stab wound in the ambassador’s upper thigh. “Easy Doc. My leg is not to be handled like a chop of beef in the galley!”
“Well ambassador if you would hold still then perhaps I would not have to handle you like a slab of meat.”
“You don’t understand. Someone aboard tried to kill me! The evidence is beyond question. Where is security? Where are the marines? Something has to be done about this! Someone must be held accountable!”
“Ambassador if you do not calm down I will be forced to sedate you. I am sure that engineering and security are carefully investigating the situation as we speak. If there is evidence to support your theory then I have every confidence they will find an explanation.”
“An explanation?” Lamont’s expression was one of disbelief and bewilderment. “My program was deliberately trying to kill me! I barely escaped with my life!”
The doctor nudged his instrument slightly causing the excited ambassador to jump slightly with a twinge of discomfort. “Well now you seem quite alive and not horribly worse for wear. I’ve seen worse.”
“Worse? Doctor your bedside manner is lacking…severely lacking.”
“And you are a difficult patient ambassador. Now lie still and be quiet so I can finish treating your wounds that is unless you wish your leg to be scarred and walk with a limp.”
“How can I lay still? None of you seem to comprehend the magnitude of what has occurred! This assassin could be anyone – anywhere. They might even be here in sickbay!” Lamont suddenly remembered his recent conversation with the mercenary in the brig. His words rang loudly in his mind as he suddenly found himself unable to escape the man’s voice.
“Ambassador! I cannot rule out shock as a cause, but you are behaving quite irrationally. Your worries are quite unfounded and I give you my assurance you are quite safe here.”
“What is safety? How can I know that now…” Lamont’s voice trailed off as he suddenly felt fear mixed with foreboding solidify into a tight ball within his chest. The sensation was frightfully intense and bordered on panic. It was unlike anything he had ever felt before. He had been raised to be fiercely independent and to fear no one. Yet now he was incapacitated, injured, and unable to defend himself from a perceived threat. Worse his fellow crewmen showed little signs of sharing his concern.
“I want out of here”, Lamont suddenly stated attempting to sit up. “Just stop the bleeding. I…I don’t want to be here!”
“LIE DOWN Ambassador”, the doctor shouted pushing his patient backwards into the biobed. “You are injured and you will be treated here.”
“No…No I can’t stay here.”
“I’ll have security post a guard.”
“NO”, Lamont shouted. “How can I trust the guard? What if he or she is the one?”
“Lamont you are acting like a paranoid fool! Come to your senses!”
Lamont could think of nothing but the words of the mercenary and the dark, malevolent eyes of the holograms that had so recently tried to kill him. The doctor’s words were distant and nearly unrecognizable.
“Just let me out of here”, Lamont shouted attempting to leave. Seconds later after struggling with the doctor a hiss could be heard followed by the ambassador collapsing into a limp, unmoving heap.
“What was he raving about”, the nearby nurse asked the somewhat shaken doctor as he returned to his work repairing the damage to Lamont’s injured leg.
“I have no idea. He was in mild shock from his injuries. That coupled with whatever occurred on the holodeck likely distorted his grasp on reality. He needs time to rest and recover. I want him sedated for the next twelve hours once I’ve finished here.”
“Oh and nurse. Send a note to the counselor informing him of what has transpired. We may have to mobilize half the marines aboard to coax the stubborn ambassador into a session, but I’m going to recommend he have a talk. Forward my request to the XO as well. I have little doubt the ambassador will attempt to throw his weight around to maneuver his way out of the meeting. He is a proud man and stubborn to the last.”
The doctor continued, but then stopped for a moment as the nurse began to leave.
“Have security post a guard for the ambassador.”
“Sir? You don’t actually…”
“It doesn’t matter what you or I think nurse. The ambassador seemed genuinely concerned about something. Let us humor him for now until recent events are satisfactorily explained.”
The nurse nodded and headed off to carry out the doctor’s orders as the doctor continued his repair work on his patient. Healing wounds was a fairly simple business. Healing injuries of the mind; that was something infinitely more difficult .
[ To Be Continued… ]
Ambassador Ian Lamont
NPC Medical Staff