Mission 1: Best Laid Plans
Location: Carcosian Settlement
Timeline: MD 4 | 1500
"Incoming," came the call from a SAR medic and two security officers carrying a stretcher.
The triage area was already a buzz of activity as SAR teams straggled in with patients of varying degrees of injuries....some walking in and some being carried on stretchers and some being beamed from somewhere directly to triage. As busy as they were, Cate had managed to keep things moving smoothly. Two of her ED nurses and three corpsmen moved patients from stretchers to hover gurneys turned into biobeds, tagged them and from there to the Treat and Street area or straight into the Surgical Tent. So far there had only been a couple of severely burned patients and one with a skull fracture that needed to go to the surgeons. The rest were treatable with pain relief, dermal and osteo-regenerators. And only one black tag...which Cate deemed a miracle with all that was going on. She knew that wasn't going to last, though, having been in this situation before.
Wiping her hands on her blood stained scrubs she looked toward the "entrance" of triage. "Bullet," she said as she approached the SAR team.
"Tib/Fib fracture. Possible internal hemorrhaging," reported the medic. "Our tech wouldn't work so I can only go by his vitals. Unfortunately he isn't the most cooperative patient," he said as the patient struggled against his restraints on the stretcher.
Owing to a very unfortunate ancestry of just the right combination of Vulcan, Human, and Trill, Cal Jensen was, under the best of circumstances, very emotional to say the least. But in the current situation, he had whipped himself into a hysteria that had infected many other colonists. Even now he ranted and raved about anything his mind latched onto.
Which was bad news for the Starfleet personnel. As his eyes lit on them, they went wild and he shouted, "you!" One shaking finger jabbed towards the nearest nose and he took a ragged breath. "This is your fault! You brought them down on us! We've lived here for years in peace, then you show up and suddenly, those mad birds are all over the place! Don't touch me!"
"Kayolane, 3cc," Cate called over her shoulder. "You need to calm down so we can treat your injuries. No one is going to hurt you. We're here to help," she said in a soft soothing voice, her hand on his forehead.
"Help, my ass!" raved Cal, struggling against those who held him. "You're the ones who started this!"
A nurse rushed up with a hypospray. "Here Mother," she said.
Cate took the hypospray and placed it against the young man's neck and administered the sedative. "This will knock him out," she said, quietly, to the corpsman. "Get him on a hover gurney so we can assess his injuries." Then over her shoulder she called out, "and someone get the Counselor over here."
Cal fought sleep, but it didn't last long. The medicine was too strong for him to resist long.
But, even as he faded, those who believed what he said had already latched on to his raving. One woman with only a single broken finger took on the raving. "He's right!" she raved. "If they had just stayed in their own galaxy, we'd have been left alone!"
Several others shouted their agreement, adding their own protestations to the woman's.
Theo sighed. Sometimes his job was a mass of confliction, but today that went double. He wanted to be out with the team, but he'd had to come back to base with a casualty and now, said person stablised, he'd been about to head back to rejoin the SAR efforts when he heard dissention in the wounded. Beleagured nursing staff didn't need any more issues, saving lives was more than enough work to be getting on with. So, with a deep breath to centre his own selfish plans, Theo pitched in.
"Counselor's out with a team," Theo told Caitlin quietly. "I'll see what I can do."
With a slow confident walk over to the protesting civilians, Theo held his arms up in a gesture of peace and addressed them all politely. "We're here to help you," he advised them. "To fix your injuries and ensure you survive. You can hate us all you like, but you've got a better chance with us here than without. Now, lady, please don't point that finger so dramatically, you'll hurt yourself more. Let me take a look." Little things, Theo told himself internally, big differences make.
She pulled her hand away, protectively shielding it with the opposite arm. "How do I know you won't just make matters worse?" she demanded hotly. "This whole situation is totally your fault." She gasped suddenly. "Are you in league with the Reka?" she demanded, somewhat madly.
Theo kept his hands held up, palms out to show he had no intention of forcing anyone to do anything. Yet anyway. "Well, you'd have to trust me," he said, voice calm and caring. "It must hurt. Look, if you don't want me to touch it, just strap it to the one next to it, okay?" He smiled, wishing it was as simple as sedating the noisy ones. "No, ma'am, I'm nothing to do with the Reka. We're here with the Dauntless. We're medics. We came to help."
"Came to help, indeed!" spat the woman. "Brought us to the attention of everyone and everything out there, more like!"
Cate ran her bioscanner over her patient and looked at the results, then cast them to a PADD. She rescanned with a radiograph tablet and nodded. "Yup. This fracture's going to need to be reduced before regenerated," she said, casting the image to the PADD. "And there is definietly a GI bleed. Get him to the surgical tent," she said and handed the PADD, which now served as a medical chart, to the Corpsman and tagged the patient with a red tag. "Next," she called out.
"Where are our people?" demanded the mother who held a screaming baby. "Where are the Carcosian healers?"
"They're in the field searching for injured," Cate lied. She had no idea where they were. "Is your baby injured?" she asked softly.
The mother tightened her grip around her child. "Are you saying I can't take care of my own baby?" she demanded hotly.
"No. Of course not," Cate said, stepping back and putting her hands up in a gesture of surrender. "I just want to help. If your baby's hurt or sick, I'm a nurse and can help. If...," she made a wild guess by the baby's features, "...he is hungry, we have food. If you need medical attention I can help with that, too. Why don't you sit on this bed and let me help you? You can lay your baby in your lap. I promise I won't touch him without your permission."
The mother reluctantly took a seat on the cot indicated and settled the squalling baby into her lap. "Don't touch him!" she snapped fearfully.
"He's a handsome boy," Cate said with a smile. "What's his name?"
"Jason," answered the mother hesitantly. It was family name, having belonged to all the eldest sons in his father's family since the early twentieth century and she wasn't going to be the one to stop the tradition.
Cate picked up a bioscanner from the nearby utility tray. Turning it on she moved to stand close to the mother and held the device so the mother could see the screen. In a soft and soothing voice she said, "this is a device that will tell me what, if anything, is wrong with you and your baby and I won't have to touch you. I promise...it won't hurt. All I do is wave it over you like this," she moved the scanner slowly, keeping the screen visible to the mother, "...and it takes pictures of your insides and turns them into data telling me what I need to know to help you. See?" she pointed to the screen. "Jason has a fever."
"But, why does he have a fever?" demanded the mother frantically. "What's wrong with him?"
"From what my device is telling me, he has fluid in his lungs," Cate explained, keeping her tone soft so that the woman needed to lean closer to hear her. It was a tactic used my medical professionals when dealing with anxious patients. They actually calmed down in order to listen. And in this case, the mother's concern for her child overrode her need to rave. Which, of course, Cate was banking on, and...being a master of poker...she only bet on sure things. "He has an infection in his lungs. We call it bronchitis. He needs a breathing treatment to help bring the fluid to the surface so he can cough it out and he needs to be on some antibiotics to fight the infection," she explained. "Are you willing to let me treat him? To make him feel better?"
The tactic worked and the worried mother nodded. "How did he get it?" she wondered rhetorically.
"It seems he's been sick for a while. He may have caught it from the other children," Cate said and motioned to a nearby Corpsman. "Bring me a infuser with Cortifoxin and a nebulizer with a pediatric mask, if you can find one." She looked back at the mother. "Now as for you, my dear, that's a nasty cut on your head. Will you let me fix it for you?" The woman nodded and Cate gently cleaned the wound and used a dermal-regenerator to close it.
"The corpsman came back with the items Cate had requested and said, "we got lucky, Mother. There was just one in the bin."
"Start with the breathing treatment," Cate said. "I'll administer the infusion."
"Why do you call her Mother?" The woman asked as she allowed the corpsman to place the small mask over the baby's nose and mouth. "Are you her son?"
"Not officially," the Corpsman said. "We all call her that because she loves us when we're good, spanks us when we're bad and would take a bullet for us anytime."
Cate blushed and shrugged. "It's a gift and a curse," she said. "Now this won't hurt him it just looks scary," she said as she placed the infuser over his arm and targeted a strong vein. "This will only take as long as the breathing treatment."
Lt Donovan seemed to have this one well in hand, considered Theo gratefully. He turned his attention back to Broken Finger Lady and the rest of the fiesty mob.
"Does anyone else need some help?" He asked, keeping his stance open and his voice calm and friendly.
"My brother!" called a young man, struggling under the weight of a slightly older and much larger man. "He has a broken leg. And maybe some broken ribs. I don't know."
Theo picked up his pace towards the younger man and ducked underneath the free shoulder of the older to help distribute the burden as gently as possible. "This way," he said, indicating a free bed that they both aimed towards and guiding them in that direction. "It's not far, we'll help you lie down, alright? Then I can get a look and see exactly what's broken and what isn't. It'll be alright."
He kept talking, in assertively supportive tones until the wounded brother was lying prone on the bed and the younger was stood the other side. "Okay, here's something for the pain," Theo said, waiting for permission before touching an infuser to the elder's neck then discarding it for the bioscanner. "Now let's see what we need to do to fix you up." He positioned himself so that the younger brother could look over his shoulder if he wanted to.
Just as Theo started to work, though, a tall, proud looking woman stormed into the tent and gazed around, eyes flashing angrily. Her eyes lit on the younger man and she stalked over. "Why did you bring him here?" she demanded, taking hold of the older brother's arm and tugging. "Come on, Jerome, we're leaving."
"Vanessa!" protested the younger brother. "He needs medical attention!"
"We have our own mendicant officers!" she retorted. "These.... Federation types don't know what they're doing!"
At that moment, two women and an old man walked calmly passed, the old man limping slightly. "They figured out my re'currin' bruise," the old man supplied. "Ain't none of ours been able to." And with that, they were passed the biobed and headed towards the door.
"He's here now," Theo said, with an amicable assertiveness, his gaze directed to Vanessa. "Moving him again will hurt him and make things worse. How about you let me help, since he's already here." It wasn't really a question, but he raised his tone at the end to help it sound a little like one. His own hand rested firmly on the older brother's shoulder. "Please don't move," he told him. "You've got two broken ribs and a straight fracture of your right fibula - one of the bones in your lower leg - I can help if you stay still for a little while."
Vanessa opened her mouth to speak, but Jerome beat her to it. "Ness," he said. "The navy told us these people are here on their authority to help. Jacob brought me here because they're closest by several miles. Now let them work.
But, Vanessa wasn't having any of it. She dashed forward and attempted to pull Jerome off the bed. Jacob grabbed at her, looking as if he was terrified to touch her. "Take her outside, Jacob!" Jerome ordered.
With the help of a nurse, Jacob succeeded in frog marching a protesting Vanessa out of the tent, leaving the doctors to deal with his brother.
Theo frowned deeply, but let them move the distressed woman out of the vicinity without further comment. Seemed whatever they did here, they upset someone. Simple trauma and confusion in the face of strangers? Or something else? "Thanks," he said to Jacob. "Seems we're not that welcome here," Theo continued, conversationally, as he scanned the man's chest. "You'll heal just fine, there's no complications there, just some straight breaks and I need to set your leg so it mends straight."
Having finished with the mother and the child's treatment underway, Cait looked around. This in triage seemed to be under control and the Treat and Street area was, slowly, emptying. She walked over to Dr. Hunnicutt, wiping sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. "Where do you need me?" she asked.
"Ah, Caitlin, thanks. Looks like it's slowing down some." Theo noted, voice warm as she offered assistance. "This is..." He waited for the man to give his name. "Jerome. Two broken ribs, fracture of his right fibula." He studied Lt Donovan's face then for a moment, concern in his own gaze. "And," Theo added with a smile, "Jerome's the first co-operative patient I've had all afternoon. You doing alright?"
"I'm great," Cait said, as she snapped her fingers and gestured to the patient. As a corpsman came and moved the hover gurney towards the surgical tent Cait added, "just not used to the heat. Any idea why these people are so combative?"
"Don't worry, they'll look after you," Theo promised Jerome, then he turned to Caitlin and her question. The heat didn't bother him as much as the locals' open animosity. "No," Theo said, a frown creasing his brow more deeply as he had a little more time to consider this conundrum. "You too huh? I'm getting a definite 'we hate the new guys' vibe from pretty much everyone here and we're all working our asses off to help them. Someone start a Starfleet is evil rumour?"
"I saw something like this on Gilé III," Cait said. *But it was caused by a toxic gas that attacks the prefrontal lobe. They didn't say anything about chemical warfare in our briefing." She looked at Theo, questioningly.
Theo nodded. "No, they didn't," he agreed. "But we don't know everything they've been exposed to here either..."
"Excuse me, sirs?" said Jerome to the two medical officers talking nearby. "Er... is it okay to call you both sir?"
"No need to be so formal," Theo said, amicably.
"There is a small faction here that believes your people brought us to the attention of the Myriad and the Reka," Jerome explained. "I'm sorry to say that my sister belongs to them. She's taken it a step farther and suspects you're in league with the Reka. Ridiculous, I know, but there's no talking sense into her."
Cait furrowed her brow. "How small is a small faction?" she asked. "We have people in the field that have enough to deal with with the battle raging around them. They need to know that they may be under fire from someone other than the obvious enemy."
Meanwhile, Theo was checking his comm, but he couldn't reach anyone on the SAR team he'd left to be here.
Jerome took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "About thirty, maybe forty people," he replied. "No more than that. The rest of us think they're crazy." He paused, looking cautiously between the two of them. "They... they are crazy, aren't they?"
Cait smiled. "We medical types try and steer away from the term crazy," she said. "But they are mistaken. Very mistaken." She looked to Hunnicutt for confirmation and noticed he had moved off to the side and was looking concerned. "Excuse me, Jerome," she said. "Just relax. Our surgeons are the best in Starfleet," and she gave a nod to the corpsman who then disappeared with Jerome into the surgical tent. Cait walked over to Theo and touched his elbow. "Is everything alright, Dr. Hunnicutt?" she asked, quietly.
Looking up as Cait drew his attention, Theo frowned deeply. "Don't know," he admitted, his voice coloured with concern as he explained. "I figured I'd pass a warning about this 'faction' to Cipher and the team, but I can't reach them. Might just be a bad signal area... Gotta admit, I'm worried now though. I should let the Captain know, and we need to brief this information out to all the teams." His gaze locked with Cait's own, his brow still furrowed. "Jerome give you any idea why they've decided it's all our fault?"
Cait shook her head. "Just that there are about 40 of them. The rest think they're crazy. Why don't you contact the Potter? Maybe they have a fix on our SAR teams," she suggested.
Theo nodded. "Forty? Great, just great..." he said on a harsh exhale, but he attempted to contact the Potter direct. "Lieutenant Hunnicutt," he said when someone answered. "Need some help locating the SAR teams, please. Can't reach them on comm. Potential threat from the locals down here. Seems a number of them think we're in league with the Reka."
"Great," answered Lieutenant Commander Jacobs, the bridge officer on duty. "Just great. We'll send some extra security. Gimme a hot minute on the SAR teams." Bridge chatter came through the coms, but nothing especially coherant. "We can't locate them by their combadges. There's some sort of interference. I'm guessing they spread out, though, looking for injured. We'll keep looking and let you know if we find anything."
"Received and understood, Commander," Theo noted, politely. "Thanks." He was more worried now though, if the Potter couldn't pin down the teams either, that didn't bode well for the individuals concerned and his friends out there in the wider world and its ever increasing dangers.