NCC - 77447 - B
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Eye See You - I.C.U.

Posted on Thu Jan 30th, 2020 @ 6:09pm by Lieutenant Acacia Thomas & Lieutenant Nimeeh Vixil

Mission: What Stalks The Night
Location: Main Sickbay

The computer alarm for an incoming emergency rang through sickbay, followed by the voice of the computer. "Medical Emergency. Incoming: Zen Gardens. Initiating emergency transport."

Acacia was on her feet before the alarm was done sounding; the exhaustion on her face melting away into a tired resolve - nothing you could do but keep on when the patients rolled in. The transporter’s blue light particles receded after depositing an unconscious woman onto a mobile biobed; the tragedy that was her face framed by a wealth of dark blonde hair fanning out on the pillow and catching the light of sickbay. Acacia hissed in sympathy when she saw the gouges on the woman's face and the hanging computer components from her eyes. Those implants probably cannot be salvaged, she thought as she ran a scanner top to bottom. "Computer, identify patient and display medical records."

"Chief Counselor; Lieutenant Zeri Zanti. Age: 53. Race: Baku. Marital status: Widowed..."

"That is sufficient; thank you computer." Turning to the nurse on duty, she ordered crisply, "I need you to fire up OR2; it should be finished cleaning. Get me a microsurgical kit, the specs for her ocular implants, and possibly an open comm link to engineering. Want to scrub in, Boss?" Acacia could almost feel the presence of Lt. Vixil behind her, waiting to see what the evening would bring.

Nim offered a smile that was equally as weary. "Well there goes the plans of ending the day with a bubble bath and a bottle of wine," she said with a shake of her head, shrugging out of her jacket already. "Any idea on the cause of injuries?"

"Several, all equally unlikely as she came from the Zen Gardens of all places. Probably another computer glitch, but until we know..." Acacia's voice trailed off and she offered a shrug.

The nurse was quick to return and using her forearm as an impromptu shelf, opened up a metallic case for Acacia’s inspection. “Microsurgery kit, as requested, Doctor.” Two orderlies arrived directly and were wheeling the biobed to OR2 while the nurse updated the surgeon. “There are numerous schematics for Doctor Zanti’s ocular implants; it seems she has them routinely upgraded - or swapped out like accessories?” The nurse shook her head in disbelief then continued. “Her optic nerves are primarily cybernetic at this point, but there is a native, biological segment intact within the bundle. Internal scans show no indication of scarring despite multiple documented surgeries to her eyes. The same surgery time and again. Impressive work.” The nurse moved over to stand by the biobed, and carefully examined the prone woman’s wrist which was still in the position she’d assumed prior to transport - clutched protectively against her chest. “Possible Colles’ fracture on the left. She’s unconscious now, but I’ll administer an anesthetic to keep her that way during surgery.”

Implants, cybernetics... Nim froze momentarily, a cold shiver running down her spine as her mind turned to somewhere else completely. Sickbay around her being momentarily drowned out by the sounds, sights and smells of another place. The voice speaking directly to her startled her back to reality and she swallowed hard. "Sorry," she apologized quickly. "I'll take a look at her medical records and see when her implants were last replaced. We'll need something quick."

Acacias tongue drifted over her lips as she watched Nim's face change and go utterly white before she breathed and color started to creep back. THAT bore speaking about, but not now.

Within minutes, Nim had located Zeri's previous implants, which thankfully were stored in sickbay, still pending being documented and recycled. "It seems that her implants were last changed out not long after she boarded the ship. The previous implants are in secure storage in the prosthetics lab; storage container number 279. An orderly is bringing them up now."

Entering the OR after Acacia and the nurse, Nim removed her jacket and scrubbed her hands. While she wouldn't be dealing with the surgery directly herself, she was there to assist and to ensure everything went smoothly. Leaning in, she took a closer look at Zeri's face, taking in the assorted scratches and gouges all over. Most of it would be easy to heal with a dermal regenerator once the wounds were cleaned. "It looks like she did ten rounds with a whomping willow," Nim said quietly as she grabbed gauze and a sterile cleaning solution and started tending to the wounds, carefully picking out broken pieces of bark and leaves from some of the deepest injuries.

"What is a whomping willow," Dr. Thomas asked quietly as she cleaned around the contact points so that she could reinstall the optical implants. Her quiet question made sickbay go quiet, and she thought she was going to enjoy the conversation to follow.

[Time Goes By]

The surgery was a long and drawn out process, tending to each of the individual wounds before they were actually able to finally work on the ocular implants. Zeri's body had struggled with the drugs used to keep her anesthetized, and had required constant monitoring, even more so than normal, but it was finally over. The injuries had been healed and the ocular prosthetics had been installed. The counselor would be tender for a good few days, but she was alive and hopefully her vision had been restored properly.

Once she had been transferred to recovery, Nim settled in next to Zeri's bed to watch while she woke from the anesthetic. Instead of administering a hypospray to revive the woman abruptly, she was allowed to come around naturally as it wore off gradually. Her lips began to twitch then mouth words and her muttering grew more coherent until it was clear she was having some sort of one-sided conversation with her beloved husband - who was dead. But this limbo between states of consciousness did not last long and all too soon Zeri was awake. Her eyelids fluttered open and she stared at the ceiling. She winced as the golden irises of her artificial eyes flared briefly before settling into a non luminescent mode. Multiple lenses cycled through with the softest whir of tiny moving parts.

Zeri licked her lips and swallowed. “I’m told it’s a routine surgery by this point, but...” She readjusted her head on the pillow and looked at Nim. “I feel like an old woman with old eyes. Was it bad?” Zeri flexed the fingers of her left hand and massaged the wrist with those of her right.

"It was bad enough; we managed to repair most of the damage," Nim said gently. "Your implants weren't salvageable; they were too damaged, but we managed to get your old ones quickly enough for surgery. How's your vision?"

“I can see,” Zeri said simply. She assumed the doctor had at least a basic understanding of the implants’ workings - it wouldn’t have been medically sound to reinstall them otherwise. There were simulations designed to reproduce aspects of the artificial vision, but whether the doctor had ever experienced it for herself, Zeri did not know. Zeri swallowed again and reached over to lay a hand on the doctors arm. “I’m sorry, Nim. I can see well enough…like watching someone else’s vision. I’ve been through enough iterations of this procedure to know that it just takes time to acclimate.”

Nim nodded slowly. "We can fix anything up we need to after you're recovered, but you should rest for now. Your body needs time to heal."

Zeri sighed and laid back down properly, staring at the ceiling again. “Time to heal; time to expire - whichever it is, time will do the composing. I think I’d prefer to be alone for a while.”

"Of course," Nim said quietly as she stood up. "The nurses have been instructed to check on you every hour, but they'll be discreet. If you need anything, just press the call button and one of us will come. Rest well Lieutenant."

Zeri listened for the doctor’s exit until she was alone. She moved her hands to her face and gingerly prodded at the flesh surrounding her eyes. Christ that hurt already; like a fresh, deep bruise. She steadied her nerves and pressed more firmly until it brought tears to her eyes. “I’m sorry, Paul,” she muttered into her palms as her voice choked. “I was almost there with you. A while longer, my love…” And then she was crying in earnest; tears of grief for a loss that had nothing to do eyes.


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