Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Gauntlet

The beast came out of the shadows and made a run at Kor'Tar, with a white skull and snarling shrp teeth, and thick sliver armor. Kor'Tar deflected his attack with his bat'leth, knocking the monster back, and sliced him accross the chest, causing him to dematerilize. Kor'Tar watched as he did when he heard an attacker appraoch from behind. He threw his bat'leth aside and drew his mek'leth from the holster under his baldric chain, using it to stab his attack as it tried to strangle Kor'Tar. Another monster dropped from the structure beside Kor'Tar and he lifted the blade to attack him when the entire deck shuddered and knocked both Kor'Tar and the monster to the ground. The hologrid fritzed and blinked out , cauing the jungle setting to disappear being replaced by the cold black walls with yellow gridlines of the holodeck. The deck shuddered again, Kor'Tar picked himself off the floor and ran to the holodeck arch. He pressed the contorls on the comm panel, "Report! What the hell is going on bridge?" Kor'Tar asked .





"Commodore, we are under attack. All hands are at battle stations!" Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Terrell reported.





"Understood, I'm on my way to the bridge!" Kor'Tar replied .





Why did Terrell respond? I thought I left Commander O'Dell in command of the bridge. Kor'Tar thought as he ran through coridoors as the vibrated and shook around him.





Kor'Tar arrived on the bridge still in his exercise attire, as Lisa Terrel stood from the Captain's chair so Kor'Tar could sit down.





"Where is Billy? I thought I left him in command." Kor'Tar asked as another volley of torpedos came in shaking the bridge and making sparks fly from the consoles.





She was about to answer when she was interrupted by S'Vinn , the Andorian tactical officer, "Sir, we are taking heavy damage to the Engineering section!"





Kor'Tar enraged, said to Lt Rosa Mendez, "Turn our primary hull into their attack! S'Vinn lock quantum torpedos onto the attacking vessel."





The Kahless moved forward , bringing it's saucer section in to deflect the torpedos hitting the engineering hull. 4 quantum torpedos launched , sending bright blue streaks to the attacking bird of prey, tearing into the hull causing small expolsions and fires from the impacts . The bird of prey began to cloak.





"They are withdrawing, sir" S'Vinn said triumphantly.





"Good, now where was Commander O'Dell?" Kor'Tar said to Terrell the annoyance in his voice rising.








"He was in command, and as soon as the attack began he left his post for the turbolift without saying anything to anyone." she said sensing her commanding officer's anger.





"Sir, we have a report from Engineering, there was a plasma fire in the jefferies tube, it has been extingiushed, but there has been four injuries including Commander Teydroc, he has severe plasma burns to his arms, face and chest. The injured crewmembers have been beamed to sickbay." S'vinn reported.





"Go be with your husband," Kor'Tar said to Lisa.





"Computer, what is the location of Commander O'Dell?" Kor'Tar asked.





"Commander William O'Dell is in his quarters." The female voice of the computer replied.





"You have the bridge Lt. S'Vinn!" Kor'Tar said leaving for the Turbolift with Lisa Terrell.





"Sickbay!" she instructed the lift.





"Deck 8" Kor'Tar commanded the lift.





"Do not worry Lisa, I will find answers for you." Kor'Tar said attempting to console his second officer.





Lisa dried her tears on the sleeve of her uniform. "I'm not worried about answers right now Commodore, I'm worried about my husband."





The turbolift slowed and stopped just outside the sickbay and the doors opened, Kor'Tar put his hand on her shoulder, "Marcus is a good Doctor, I'm sure Teydroc will be recovering in no time."





"Thank you sir" she said before leaving.





The doors closed and the lift resumed it's motion to deck 8.





It slowed again and the doors opened. Kor'Tar walked down the coridoor passing crewmembers as they were busy with repairs to the EPS systems and power conduits.





Kor'Tar arrived in front of Commander O'Dell's quarters and attempted to open the door only to be denied by the sound of the lock.





"Computer, overide security lock on cabin 8174 , clearnce Kor'Tar, whiskey, tango, foxtrot, one, one, six, red." Kor'Tar said.





The computer beeped in reply and the doors slid open, the quarters were dark, decorated with paintings and staues of owls. Billy was beneath a console gripping a bottle of vodka in one hand and a phaser in the other. Billy lifted the hand with the phaser shaking trying to aim it.





"AT EASE COMMANDER!" Kor'Tar shouted at him.





Billy dropped the phaser and took a swig from the bottle. Kor'Tar grabbed his shoulders firmly and pulled him out from under the console.





"What the hell has gotten into you? Why did you leave the bridge in combat situation? Did you know that there was a plasma fire in engineering due to your inactions? Four crew members including Lisa Terrell's husband Teydroc are now in sickbay recovering from their burns? You had better have a good expliantion Commander before I charge you with derilection of duty!" Kor'Tar said seething.





Billy cringed at the shouting. "I been having flashbacks sir, from the Dominion War." He said with a shaky voice.





"From the incident at colony 4077 near the old Cardassian Border, when the Dominion attacked it?" Kor'Tar said calling up the memory of the report of it in his head.





"From what I recall you were a hero that day , you saved over a dozen officers and men with a single hand phaser. You were awarded Kirk's Medal of Valor for your actions." Kor'Tar said .





" You mean this?" Billy pulled out the black box containing the medal and put on the table, he pushed it to Kor'Tar, "Keep it, I don't want it, it only serves to remind me of what happened."





Kor'Tar looked at the box, and opened it, the latinum medal with Captain Kirk's face embossed on it on one side , and Constitution Class U.S.S. Enterprise on the reverse gleamed in the light from the desk lamp. Kor'Tar closed the box and set it back down.





"How long have you been having these flashbacks?" Kor'Tar asked him.





"Nearly every day since the attack , some days are better than others , but days like today it all comes screaming back to me like it was happening now." Billy said.





"As of right now you are relieved of duty, I order you to report to Counselor Styles for a course of treatment. After 3 weeks you will be evaulated and you had better be rerady to go back on duty or resign your commission, do I make myself clear, Commander?" Kor'Tar said sternly.





"Crystal clear, sir." Billy said defeated.





"Report to Counselor Styles office for your first appointment ." Kor'Tar said pointing at the door.





"Aye sir!" Billy said walking to the door still carrying the bottle of vodka.





Kor'Tar took the bottle from his arms, "Leave the rum here" he said placing it on the table.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~








Billy arrived at Counselor Johnathan Styles office and entered, Counselour Styles was working on his desktop computer, he turned it off. "Have a seat Commander." he said kindly.





Billy sat fidigiting, "So how are we gonna play this? You reach into the dark recesses of my mind only to find out all my issues stem from a hatred of my inner child?" he asked.





Styles smiled and chuckled slightly, "No... not quite. Your file shows that you are suffering from PTSD , not surrprising after the attack of Colony 4077. You are going to help me design a Holo Threapy program to help you deal with the symptoms. I have the design and layout of the colony compound, and the face and personality profiles for it's crew. I have the report of the incident , I just need you to fill in the details."





Billy yanked on his uniform collar with his finger, "For what purpose?" He asked as he broke into a cold sweat.





"We are going to recreate the conditions of the Colony attack, in order to desinsitize your senses to it over the next three weeks." Styles said.





"Don't you understand? I barely escaped from there with my life? I can't go back to that!" He said anguished.





"Billy, it is either this, or you resign your commission. Will you at least give it a try?" Styles asked earnestly.





"Ok....ok...fine. I'll try it." Billy said.





"Tell me a break down of what happened on the day of the attack from the time you woke up." Counselor Styles said.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Billy walked into the holodeck with his medkit in hand along with Counselor Styles.





"Computer , access file O'Dell , Colony 4077, program one." Counselor Styles instructed.





The computer beeped in reply, The setting for the Colony's medical building appeared surrounded by jungles and hills.





"Program ready." The female computer voice replied in it's flat tone.





"I'll be right outside if you need anything Billy." Counselor Styles said to him.





"I'm not sure if I'm ready for this." Billy said looking at the medical facility and shaking slightly, "But, screw it . I'll try anything to keep my job and rank."





Counselor Styles nodded and patted him on the shoulder, before leaving .





Billy swallowed hard and took a deep breath , and counted back from ten.





"Computer, begin program." he said.





The wind began blowing cauing the leaves in the trees to rustle, the birds were tweeting their sing songs completely oblivious to the terror that was about to ensue. Billy walked to the door of the medical facility, placing his hand on the ID lock tablet which scanned his hand. A green light flashed on . "Good morning Doctor O'Dell" the female computer voice said as the door slid open.





Billy walked inside to the trauma area , seeing row after row of injured officers being treated for their wounds.





"Doctor O'Dell! Glad your here! There was an attack in a nearby system a few hours ago, we have several disruptor burns, broken bones, lacerations , and contusions to deal with." Nurse Russo stated .





"Who is the the most severly injured nurse?" Billy asked.





Nurse Russo led him to a bio-bed with a young Bolian male on it with a burnt and shredded uniform on writhing in pain and covered in blue blood.





"Lt. J.G. Lox has several broken bones and internal bleeding." Nurse Russo said looking over the young man with concern.





"Get me 2 CCs of Cordrzine to treat his pain, the bone kintter, and the dermal regenerator" Billy said.





"Aye Doctor." The nurse said as she gathered the tools and brought them back on a tray.





Billy scanned the young mans injuries with his tricorder, and gave him the hypospray, which eased his pain. He went to work healing the broken bones and healing the internal bleeding . Then finally the healed the cuts on his body, just leaving the dried blue blood behind.





"There, your all fixed up. Now go get yourself cleaned up and get some rest for the next 24 hours," Billy said.





The young man nodded, "Thank you Doctor." he said and left.





Billy walked to the next critical care patient and began working on his wounds when suddenly 35 Jem'Hadar soldiers teleported in and began firing at any one and every one. Billy dropped the bone knitter and rolled himself behind a console attached to the wall and he curled himself into a little ball. He tapped his combadge and said nothing but allowed the sound of the phasers firing and the screaming young men and women dying around him go into the security office's comm unit . Shortly the security team rushed in and had a fire fight with the Jem'Hadar he saw the officers go past him. One young woman was cut down by the Jem'Hadar's phaser beams , her now lifeless body lay there with her eyes wide open and her mouth agape, as smoke rose from her wound and blood oozed out from it. Her name was Ensign Candice Fallon, she had dark auburn hair, and was barely 18 years old. She enjoyed a strawberry ice cream from the replicator each day after lunch. Billy would sometimes get a shipment of real strawberry ice cream sent in from Earth on special order for her. She was like his adopted kid sister, and now she was dead , still clutching her phaser in her hand tightly.



Fear was now replaced with burning rage for the attackers in Billy's mind. The crawled out from under the console , staying low, and quickly pried the phaser from Candice's still warm dead hand, and he got back behind the console. she had it set for stun , he adjusted the settings to kill. and waited till the Jem'Hadar's phasers went silent and they thought they hand the upper hand. He set the phaser to wide beam then took a deep breath.



He stuck his hand gripping the phaser up over the console, "EAT PHASER YOU COLD BASTARDS!!" he screamed as he fired . The wide dispersal beam struck all 35 Jem'Hadar soliders, and all of them dropped like flys. As soon as they dropped and the smoke began to clear the surving officers began to get up if they could ... 11 in all . Around them the lifeless bodies of the Jem'Hadar and his colleges, and his pateints. The grim reality set in to him, more than on the day of the attack, but now it seemed almost easier somehow, having been through it all before.



"PROGRAM COMPLETE" The lifeless female computer voice said, and the now sortched medical facility was replaced by the gridlines of the holodeck. He stood in the middle of the large room , still drenched in sweat, adreniline still surging, his heart nearly beating out of his chest.



He heard the door of the holodeck open behind him and footsteps approach.



"Would you like to discuss how your feeling now, after reliving the attack?" Asked Counselor Styles .



Billy just stared horrified at the wall, he began to speak, with his voice barely above whisper, "I signed on to be a healer, not a killer.These people here at the colony wern't just my coworkers, after all we had been through together we were like family. I never told my family about what really went on here, or anyone else other than when I was debrifed. It just hurt too damn much. I tried my damndest to push what happened out of my mind, to forget it. But a sound, a smell, a vibration would cause it all to rush back in like it was fresh. I took to drinking vodka, not that synthahol crap, to numb the pain. My liver has now been pickled after 15 years , but at least feeling it ache lets me know I'm still alive. I couldn't stand the thought of practicing medicine any more after that day so I became an operations officer, trying to live my life normally, but the flasbacks and nightmares kept bringing me back here."



Johnathan out his hand on his shoulder, "You made your first step today in dealing with these feelings, the rest we'll take together. Computer Exit." The holodeck doors opened with it's electric whine.



The two officers walked out.

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