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Backpost -- Lather, Rinse and Repeat.

Posted on Sun Jan 19th, 2020 @ 2:39pm by Lieutenant Nimeeh Vixil & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Mathews

Mission: What Stalks The Night
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Backpost


Nim had been working her way through the crew medicals, one appointment after another. The same questions being asked. The same answers being received.

Lather, rinse and repeat. Always repeat.

And that's where she was now, always repeat. Grabbing a PaDD from the central nurses station, she sighed and walked into the room, her gaze firmly fixed on the PaDD in front of her as she pulled up a set of medical records.

As the doors closed behind her, the small Trill woman seemed to transform, all traces of exhaustion magically disappearing as she looked up, a warm smile making her purple eyes sparkle. "Lieutenant Matthews?" she queried. "I'm Lieutenant Vixil, but feel free to call me Nim. I'm going to be the doctor doing your medical today, I hope that's alright?"

Cassie nodded at the dark trill beauty her eyes unable to hide the exhaustion that seemed to weigh her down causing her shoulders to slump slightly. "I don't mind. What do you need from me today doctor?" She asked trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably. The last few days had been extremely difficult for her. Plagued by night terrors and grief. It was always like that around this time of the year.

"I'm just taking a quick look at your medical history here," Nim replied. "It looks like your last medical wasn't all that long ago, so this should be pretty straight forward..." She set the PaDD aside, picking up a medical tricorder before turning her full attention to Cassie. "I see we have matching luggage," she said with a soft laugh as she flipped open the tricorder. "Anything changed since your last medical?"

"Just a few bumps and bruises nothing to worry your staff about. A bit of trouble sleeping but that's also normal. I believe I was brought up to date on my vaccinations before I was posted here." Cassandra said simply.

Nim scanned the woman with the tricorder, watching the data scrolling over the screen before she hit the button to save the data to the PaDD. "Your blood pressure is a little high," the doctor commented in an almost offhand manner before turning a steady gaze to Cassie as she rubbed her hands together to warm them up a little before taking the other woman's wrist, pressing her fingertips into the pulse points. "And your heart rate is definitely a little elevated. You don't really like medicals do you?" she surmised with a smile.

"I'm not a fan. It's likely just because I'm tired I'll try extra hard to get some sleep tonight." Cassie knew it was as futile as dealing with the Borg. She could and would try but the dreams would come. Sweet alluring dreams that tricked her into the darkness of reality. "I have sleep aids but I prefer not to use them it makes it hard for me to wake up sometimes."

Nim nodded slowly. Cassie was guarded, that much was clear. "How long has this been going on for?" she asked gently.

"Off and on for a few years now. Nothing to be to worried about. I don't let it affect my job any." Actually Cassandra thrived at her work. The distraction had at first felt like a betrayal to her family. After time though and help she'd been able to move past that. Baby steps her last counselor had told her. After a while she'd come to clutch at her work as a crutch to just get through the day. Now she didn't need it as a crutch. Her life had developed a normality and balance to it that was only periodically interrupted by these episodes. Mostly brought on by the reminder that another year had passed and still the man who had butchered her family was still out there somewhere on the run. Where was the justice she'd been promised? Where was the closure? Just the thought brought tears to her eyes. She wiped them angrily away. "I'll get over it." She said firmly not sure whom she was trying to convince the doctor or herself.

Without responding, Nim turned on her heel and walked away, returning a few moments later with a warm blanket and a two mugs of hot tea. Setting one mug down on the counter to the side of the bio bed, she handed the other to Cassie wordlessly before putting the warm blanket around her shoulders. She waited a few more moments in silence before speaking. "I can read it in your file," she said softly. "But it would be better if you tell me."

Cassandra nodded. She'd put it off as long as she could with the transfer. Still it had been silly to think she'd get out of this. Especially now of all times. "It's just nightmares. My counselor back at SFA use to make me talk through em all the time. Said it helped." Cassandra made a noise that might have been a chuckle but sounded more like a sob. "It's like they are burned into my mind. You see about six years ago almost to the day now my umm my... husband and my daughter were killed back on Earth... I guess I just.. my mind hasn't let that go fully as of yet. I was in counseling,. I should probably go and get reevaluated. It's just ... It's hard because it means I have to go through it again and I m not sure I'm ready to do that."

"I'm sorry," Nim replied softly. "I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it would be for you." She lapsed into silence, watching the other woman for a long moment. In the space of what could only have been minutes it almost seemed like she had aged dozens of years. "Will you tell me about them?"

Cassandra considered the request. What could it hurt really? Except she knew it would hurt a lot. "He was a weapons instructor at the academy. Trained snipers as well for the Marines. But he was probably the nicest man you could have ever met. Even on a bad day he had a smile and a kind word. He didn't deserve to die that way." She felt the inevitable wave crash back over her. "Our umm." Her voice shook a bit as she spoke the rest. "Our daughter was two ... She umm liked Flogger and bunnies and was ..was just perfect." she shook her head as the images stirred her despair. "I was training to be a doctor...a field medic for the Marines... I wasn't home. Thomas was on a medical leave because he'd gotten injured during a training session the day before. Otherwise no one would have been home..." She took a sip of the tea not really tasting it but giving herself a chance to calm down.

"What happened?" Nim asked gently.

Cassandra felt her heart begin to pound rapidly in her chest. "They umm. They were killed." Her eyes got a far off look as those words dredged up the memory of that awful night. "A man he umm." She swallowed hard her throat felt as if it might close up in rebellion of the words she spoke. "He broke into the house and murdered them." Her body shook as if she'd been doused in ice water. She tripped the blanket in trembling fingers. Was it always going to be this hard to talk about it? She'd had to do it so many times and each time seemed as fresh and raw as the first time. "He had, butchered them."

Standing up silently, Nim picked up a hypospray and loaded it. "Cassandra, I'm going to give you something okay?" she said softly as she pressed the hypo against the other woman's neck. "It's a mild benzodiazepine. It's going to slow your breathing and your heart, but it won't make you sleepy," she explained gently. "It will be effective pretty quickly so you should start feeling it soon. When you're feeling ready, let me know and I'll finish your medical. No more questions, okay?" She set the hypospray aside and sat on the stool, her hand resting lightly on Cassandra's knee, just so she knew there was someone else there. "Just remember to keep breathing. The blanket will keep you warm."

"Yes, thank you." Cassie said softly as she tried to fold all the chaos away in her mind. The moment the doctor gave her the injection she did indeed feel it begin to work. She snuggled into the blanket savoring it's warmth.

Nim watched her carefully, keeping count of her respirations. "I'm going to prescribe you two things. One will help you sleep. It's a natural treatment so it won't make it hard to wake up, just help convince your body to fall asleep. The other is an anti anxiety medication to help keep you away from this precipice. I can't make you, but I strongly recommend that you see a counselor. Even if it's just to give you a safe place to talk and air everything without fear. I want you to remember though, my door is always open, any time, day or night. Okay?"

"Yes ma'am. I'll make sure to go see a counselor as soon as my schedule permits." Cassandra said. "Was there anything else doctor?" She asked glad that the doctor had given her something better to help her sleep. A good night's sleep was something she wanted, No needed badly.

"I want to see you in one week for a follow up, just to see how you're faring." Nim paused for a moment. "Come at lunch time, it will give me an excuse to get out of the office for a bit and actually have some lunch for a change," she said with a quick grin. "Now, do you have any questions?

"I think I can manage that." Cassie said removing the blanket she got up folding it she handed it back to the doctor. "Thank you." Cassie then turned and headed out. She felt a lot better physically that was. Emotionally she was drained from the rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings that danced through her. The doctor had bestoyed a hope on her though. A promise of sleep. Sweet rest.


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