Fix a Leg
Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Lyras sauntered around the bed, checking this and that on it as he waited for the patient to arrive. This whole thing was new to him, he'd never fitted anyone with a new limb before. Certainly not with all these new, modern techniques that he had actually never really used before.
Sure, he'd studied the procedures, but that didn't mean he really understood the principle. Still, he'd vowed to himself he'd do his best, for his patient's sake. Wasn't that all he could do?
Javn entered the room tying the last strand of her long black hair into the tight bun at the nape of her neck. When her eyes reached Lyras she nodded, trying to channel every ounce of professionalism she had. “Doctor.” She said by way of greeting. Working alongside Lyras would see its challenges, she was grateful to have a patient to focus.
She pressed a few commands on the large screen in the room. The results of the nerve testing she had conducted on Lieutenant Liski were displayed. Javn pulled up an image of the deep fibular nerve she had issues with, she knew Lyras had done his due diligence and read her report regarding the nerve but she wanted to make sure it was forefront of the results.
Statzia came around the corner of Sickbay, having been changed into a gown, her braids tucked into a cap. "Don't look so serious, you two." She managed a smile.
"We have reason to be serious," Lyras answered, gesturing for her to get onto the bed. "We do not wish for this to go wrong and cause you more anguish than is necessary."
Javn cringed recalling the pain the Lieutenant had endured during the first round of testing Javn administered. She attempted a welcoming smile but kept her eyes down. “Good Afternoon to you as well Lieutenant.”
"At this point, I'm used to being sliced and diced, Doc." Statzia leaned her crutches against the other biobed. "As long as I wake up with one leg still, it can't be all bad, right?"
"Preferably, you will soon have two," Lyras answered, "today we will remove the final damaged nerve endings and heal those that are still salvageable. You will experience some discomfort but that is easily medicated. Once we have done that, we can involve engineering in creating your new limb."
Javn gestured toward the bed Statzia was to lay on for the surgery. "We are ready when you are lieutenant."
Statzia gave a sigh of resignation as she gave a hop and boosted herself onto the surgery table. She smoothed out her surgical gown before easing herself back onto the small pillow set out for her head. "So...how long will I be under for?"
"We shall endeavour to keep that time as short as possible," Lyras promised, nodding for Javn to load a hypo. "Are you ready?"
Statzia stared at the lights on the ceiling above her. "That's a loaded question, Doc."
Lyras nodded at Javn, though he kept his eyes on Statzia. "As short as we can," he promised, "and we will be here when you wake up."
"Make sure I'm strapped to the bed when I do." Statzia chuckled. "I come out of sedation with a Klingon bloodlust, or so I'm told." She eyed the hypospray in Javn's hand.
Javns eyebrows raised in mock surprise. She felt her lack of commentary was a better choice then to say how truly believable that statement may be. She pressed the hyropray to the side of Statzia's next and triggered the injection. It would be seconds before Statzia was out.
"I am certain we can manage ma'am," Lyras answered gently.
"And the devil will drag you under--" Statzia sang softly as her eyelids began to droop. "By the...bright...la-...pel..." Her lips went still and her breathing leveled out.
The surgery had taken up approximately half an hour thanks to the expertise of the EMH. Lyras had considered it safer to call on her - to his surprise a middle aged female had appeared instead of a gruffy balding male he had encountered elsewhere.
"She should be waking up shortly," he said as he pressed a hypospray to the woman's neck. He had not, however, restrained her since he considered that unnecessary.
Javn felt a bit of anticipation in waiting for the lieutenant to wake up. She kept the bases of her attention on the machines monitoring her heart beat and brain waves. There was a hint that she would wake soon, confirming the doctors statement.
There was a sudden, rapid increase in Statzia's vital signs before a half-strangled scream escaped her lips. Her eyes flew open, and she was half-off the biobed before anyone could react.
In quick reflex, Lyras wrapped an arm around her torso and caught her before she fully launched herself from the bed. "Easy lieutenant, before you cause yourself harm."
Javn flinched more so at Lyras' sudden movement rather then Statzia's. She took one step back not wishing to startle the patient more, or crowd her before she was fully alert.
A frightened, primal screech escaped Statzia's lips as she felt the grip around her body, and her arms flailed productively--until her elbow connected with Lyras' lower jaw.
The screech hurt his sensitive ears but he didn't let go until her elbow connected with his jaw and sent him reeling. He blinked in pain as he unintentionally dropped her to the deck.
As soon as she hit the floor, a frantic Statzia shoved herself backwards until her body found the crevice between the biobed and the Sickbay wall. Tucking her legs against her body, she almost seemed to protectively hide, her eyes pressed shut. Slowly her body seemed to relax, her eyes fluttered open, and she let her head rest so her cheek pressed against the cool plating of the wall.
The nurse approached her as she would a frightened animal ready to fight to survive. Javn kneeled down in front of her just shy of arms length, her hands up, palms facing the lieutenant. She spoke softly, just above a whispher, " Statzia it's all right, your aboard the Orion. Your safe." She wished she could have revoked her words, remembering too late the reaction the word had caused during her last visit in sickbay.
Lyras kept his distance, since she had quite painfully struck him. His jaw was still throbbing but he paid it little heed as his eyes were on their patient. "Keep talking to her," he encouraged Javn, while flipping open his tricorder. "Try to get her onto the bed so we can conclude this session. Readings so far are looking very good."
Statzia gave a resigned sigh. "I know where I am, Ensign." She allowed herself to uncurl from the fetal position, readjusting the surgical cap on her head. "However, I would like to know why I'm on the floor, and not strapped down to the bed.
Javn released a sigh and dropped her hands. 'This woman is going to drive me mad.' she thought. She stood choosing to ignore the question and reluctantly stretched a hand to Statzia to help her off the floor.
Lyras approached and offered his arm to her other hand. "You fell," he explained, "I was trying to keep you on the bed but you struck me, forcing me to let you go."
"I would not have fallen," Statzia groaned as she pulled herself upright, "if you had restrained me like I suggested." She got herself back on the biobed with assistance and a couple of hops. "It is a good thing there was not a laser scalpel within reach this time."
"If I had restrained you, you might have otherwise hurt yourself," Lyras countered, "and it is never wise to leave equipment lying available to be used as a weapon. We would have been derelict in our duties if we had."
Statzia sighed once more. "But if I'm not strapped down, I wind up hurting everyone else. I've learned that my brain comes out of sedation rather--violently."
"Then perhaps I should refer you to a counselor to discover why you react as such," Lyras suggested as he finished his scan. "Surgery went well, you may experience some discomfort but all damaged nerves should be dealt with now."
Javn did her best to keep her face blank of no emotion, regardless of how she was reacting to the words exchanged between patient and doctor inside. She kept her hands busy putting instruments away from the surgery.
"I would guess it was watching my team being mauled to death, doctor, but thanks for your professional opinion." Statzia gave a huff, giving the stump of her leg a bit of a rub. "How much longer do I have to stay in here?"
"Until you feel stable enough to get up and leave," Lyras said, "and my recommendation to see a counselor stands. Especially now that you are going through the process of acquiring a new leg. One that will, no doubt, give you less issue than the replacement that you had."
"Whether I want the new leg or not, right?" Statzia sighed and gestured to her crutches. "Why don't one of you hand me those, and I'll get out of your hair."
The Vulcan doctor quietly handed her the requested crutches, then took a small step back to give her room to maneuver. "You are not in my hair... you are over there, and I am here," he commented, not understanding the reference at all. "And yes, even if you do not want it, you should see a counselor. But answer yourself this ma'am... if you do not have two legs, how will you function? How will you perform your duty?"
Statzia pushed herself to standing. "I've lived for a year with one leg. Worked my station on one leg. Killed Borg on one leg. Seems like it's the doctors that are the only ones telling me I'm incomplete without two." She stepped around the nurse and doctor, leaving Sickbay without another word.
Javn kept her comments about the Lieutenants situation to herself. She understood the woman had been through an horrid ordeal but she disagreed with the way she treated those around her, especially it seemed the ones who tried to help her. The moment Statzia left sickbay Javn rushed to Lyras placing both hands gently on each side of his face. Her eyes ran over his jaw looking for early signs of bruising. She released a sigh of relief that the damage was minimal.
“Are you okay?” She asked softly, absently caressing his right ear with her thumb.
He caught her hand, just a fraction too late as her fingers brushed his ear and he gasped in response. "Please, not in public.. I am fine, a little dazed and sore, but I do not believe she did any damage."
It took a great deal of self control to keep her face from revealing the rejection she felt. Her lips formed a thin line as she simply nodded in response. She pulled her hands back, taking a small step to add some distance between the two.
"I should finish cleaning up. Good work today, Doctor. Your patience when handling such a spirited being is something to be admired." She gave him a small smile that didn't reach her eyes.
On his part, Lyras could sense something even if he couldn't quite place the emotion he sensed. He watched her and did notice her smile wasn't entirely genuine. "What is wrong?" he asked, wondering if he'd done something he shouldn't have.
Her eyes briefly took a survey of the room, her eyes momentarily stopping on the other members of the medical staff not far from where they stood. "It's nothing, but not here." she whispered for fear of being overheard.
After clearing her throat she asked, "Would you like me to inform engineering of the surgeries success so they are ready when Doctor Haas requests the prosthetic?"
"Yes please," the young doctor answered, giving her a nod of approval, "and I would like a regenerator to use, if I may." A mere bruise was something he considered himself capable of healing. It really wouldn't do to go walking around and appear as if he was assaulted. He didn't want to make his patient look bad, of feel worse than she already did.
“Yes, or course.” Javn retrieved the regenerator from a table and extended it to Lyras. “Would you like me to?” She asked uncertainly.
"I would," the Vulcan answered, tilting his head a fraction so she could examine him. "I believe it is only bruised, and she did no real damage, other than my pride." He could see the uncertainty in her, but wasn't sure how to address it now. "Please," he added, holding very still.
Javn lightly touched her finger tips to his chin to hold him in place before turning on the regenerator and running it up and down his jaw for a few moments. This was a minuscule task she had performed a million times since the academy, for reasons she didn’t dwell on in the moment she was nervous. Once the light bruising was gone Javn dropped both hands and returned the regenerator to the table.
“Don’t worry, next time I’ll be sure to strap her down.” The statement came off as a joke but Javn knew it to be true.
"It was my call not to do that, and I still stand by my decision," Lyras countered, "perhaps...we should call it a day, and go home?"
Javn simply nodded, “Yes, we should.”
Lyras gave her a smile. "You did great," he praised her as he put his own tricorder away, "come on... time to go."
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion
Medical Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Javn Darhk
Head Nurse, USS Orion