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Storr Van Winkle

Posted on Wed Sep 2nd, 2020 @ 6:45pm by Lieutenant JG Jaya Maera Garlake & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake & Sergeant Alexander Bradley & Corporal Angela Hsu

Mission: S1E4: The Hills Have Eyes
Location: Sickbay | USS Phantom
Timeline: MD 2

USS Phantom Sickbay

After Angela Hsu came back from the bridge and Roderik Kos had taken his leave, Sickbay still felt far more crowded than the designers of the Defiant-class ship allowed for. The lowly med-tech on duty had done her best to pry Colonel Garlake out of his heavy EV suit, but ultimately she had prevailed on the assistance of Bradley and then Hsu to assist her. These Marine suits were hard enough to remove when not mangled by high-speed collisions.

"Patient presents as catatonic post collision," she said aloud for the medical log. The pressure of the moment weighed on her, as this was above her pay grade. "Vitals appear stable, but diagnosis remains uncertain."

Looking to the Marines, the med-tech said, "I think I need to activate the QEMI."

The Quantum Entanglement Medical Interface, or QEMI, would allow instantaneous, real-time medical care from Overwatch Station with an actual doctor who could work through the EMH.

When the connection was made and QEMI booted up the EMH program activated but showed Jonah's body instead. He approached the biobed with the patient and began looking over the scans, "report," he commanded.

"Warrant Harris of the USS Phantom requesting emergency assistance for VIP patient Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake," said the med-tech, relieved to be handing the colonel off to an actual doctor. "Patient presents with mild cerebral edema and remains unconscious."

"Did you say Storr Garlake?" asked a woman's voice which carried over the quantum entanglement communication. "Jaya Maera-Garlake," she declared for the record. "How did this happen?"

Angela stepped into the Medical bay.

The med-tech shrugged. "I have no idea. A Marine tactical team just got beamed aboard, most of which with minor injuries. The colonel..."

Tittering sounds just at (and beyond) the upper and lower register of hearing played at the edges of Storr's consciousness while the blackness of eternal night encompassed him. The Lieutenant Colonel struggled for breath despite the sedative as the intensity of the darkness oppressed and stifled him. The atmosphere was intolerably close yet there was nothing visible. He was awake yet not, there being no self to see as he "looked" around in the inky blackness. A dull and thrumming pain seemed to emanate all around him that flashed like gray lightning across the colorless walls of his mind. He was weightless as there was no feedback of up or down yet again, no body to orient himself with. What in blerrie hell was going on?

"We crash-landed on Venus. Colonel Garlake's head bounced all around his suit helmet and lost consciousness." The young marine reported to the disembodied voice of his wife. "The suit's integrated medical systems seemed to keep him stable."

"I see," Jonah said, as he began reading over the readouts. "What treatments have you provided so far?" He asked, as he began a more in-depth scan of the man's brain. He was checking for brain function as well, which thankfully seemed to still be present.

"Trianoline, five milligrams, Harris," Jonah ordered. "Follow that with a gram of cortisone," he said. "Have a sedative standing by," Jonah said, as he began to insert some commands into the biobed that the colonel was lying on. He accepted the trianoline and pressed the hypospray to the marine's neck. "This should reduce the swelling of the brain, the cortisone will help keep reflash swelling, and the sedative in case he seizes," he spoke aloud in case they needed to keep up the treatment if he was disconnected.

Harris nodded and followed Jonah's orders to the letter. "20cc's Melorazine prepped," she reported.

"Can he hear me?" Jaya's voice carried over through the quantum entanglement communicator. "Storr! Hold on, my love! Don't let go! We..." Her voice cracked with emotion, her Deltan equanimity unable to keep it even. "... we're having triplets... they'll need you. I'll need you."

The chattering suddenly stopped as an incredibly painful white light pulsated from the blackness, singing Storr's internal mind's vision. It started slowly but quickly picked up speed until it became piercing to even comprehend, let alone see. The Afrikaner wanted to scream but he had no mouth to do so altogether horrifying experience. After what seemed like an eternity, a loud *pop* emanated from everywhere (yet nowhere) and the light suddenly stopped and Storr felt himself falling.




Garlake sputtered and thrashed mightily, his arms failing him in the utter blackness where the dark was only intensified by the lapping of inky water.


Storr sputtered, barely able to keep his head above water. Three? Three what? Who was speaking? What was important about three? Why could he not swim? Where was he? Why did he still not understand what was happening?

"Is it working?" Jaya asked over the comm.

Harris shrugged. "It's hard to say. His readings are normalizing, but there's no telling when he might wake up."

"We will continue to monitor him, unfortunately, this is a waiting game," Jonah said. "He is stabilizing and the swelling has come to a stop it's a matter of starting to let it come down. It won't be until the swelling is resolved we will know for sure what damage and deficits could be permanent."

"I wish I was there with you," Jaya said through the communicator. Her voice sounded slightly muddled, as she stood outside of the quantum entanglement field. She let out a cry that she hadn't been able to fully stifle. "Come home to me, Storr..."


Storr was suddenly in Johannesburg, the glittering towers amid older architecture reaching towards the sky yet eerily silent. The air swirled with purple jacaranda blossoms, dancing to a tune only they could hear and with steps that flittered against, through, and around him. The petals gathered beneath his feet like living waves as Garlake traveled along streets well familiar to him without moving a muscle, his body moving unbidden towards...home. Spread over 1296ha of hills, grassland, savannah, and jungle of the former D'Nyala nature reserve, the Garlake estate's agricultural and ranching fields boasted frequent visits by white rhino, giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, tsessebe, and eland, while lion, leopard, brown hyena jackal and smaller cats stalked them among the impressive Nyala Berry and Baobab trees.

An Old-world style Homestead, Manager’s house, Owner’s house, and Guesthouse made up the main campus, while 5 Garages, several Storerooms, Workshops, Barns, Stables, a Pump House and Implement Sheds rounded out the exceptional building infrastructure. All were low and incorporated wood from the surrounding forests, stones from the nearby river and Lake Mokolo, and split shingles from the Boabab trees, blending effortlessly into the surrounding wilderness. Well-manicured lawns and landscaping around a pool and trails into a garden beckoned Storr back to his youthful playgrounds. Vader, moeder, broer, suster, neefs; all passed before him smiling and with a warmth that did not touch his cold was home yet not., someONE was missing.




"When will the Phantom be coming back?" Jaya asked through the QEMI communicator.

"I have no idea," said Harris the medtech.

"Will he need to be taken to Earth?"

"Ma'am, I don't know," Harris said, trying not to sigh. "You'll have to check with the captain."

Jonah's holographic avatar glitched ever so slightly.

It began slowly but suddenly happened all at once as consciousness flooded back into Storr. He blinked his eyes once. Twice. Why were they so dry and why did it feel that he hadn't opened them in quite some time? While an interesting avenue of thought he hoped to consider more deeply, his aching back and foggy state of mind pulled his concentration away from the question. His head felt like a giant cotton ball and his sinuses were just as stuffy as if he had the mother of all colds. Groaning, the Marine attempted to move his hand towards his face but couldn't. Why was his arm constricted by...something. Garlake stared blankly at it for what seemed like an eternity while muffled sounds came from just over his shoulder.

"Wait..." Harris said. "The patient just moved. I think he's coming around."

"Storr!" Jaya called out through the communicator. She couldn't see the Phantom's Sickbay like Jonah could, so she could only go off of what she heard.

That sounded...that sounded like his name. But who could have said it? There was no one he could see though the voice (if not coming through two tons of cotton candy stuffed between his ears) almost sounded familiar. Almost like...

"Let's have a loo--"

Before he could finish speaking, Jonah's holographic hand passed through the biobed. Rather than rest on the biobed where the EMH protocol would pass the sensation through the quantum entanglement medical interface all the way to Overwatch Station, Jonah's hand was instead dispersed as per a hologram... yet it did not reconstitute as a hologram did.

Jaya screamed from the other end of the quantum entanglement, and her voice was joined by Jonah's as he held up the stump of his right arm where his hand had been. "Oh my God!"

Turning around, Jonah began rambling emergency medical response commands while shock began to take its toll on his central nervous system. He'd been trained for this. He knew how to stay calm. Just stay calm. He could--

Suddenly Jonah was on the floor. His torso lay prostrate but he could not move his legs. That was due in large part to the fact they remained upright, standing on both feet, and completely detached from his body.

"Something's wrong!" Harris said as she ran to the QEMI through which Jonah was broadcasting his holographic avatar. "There's some sort of... I don't know... feedback loop or something. It's tearing him apart at the subatomic level!"

"He's dying!" Jaya screamed. "Somebody help!"

"There's nothing we can do from this end!" Harris shouted back. "He's just a hologram on our end!"

What appeared as glitching holographic photons on the Phantom was undoubtedly a far more grisly site on Jaya's end. "Don't move, Dr. Wilson! STOP MOVING!"

"Those were death rattles," Harris said solemnly. "He's... he's gone."

Jaya said nothing more. She just wept.

WHY WAS THERE SO MUCH SCREAMING?! While subdued, there was no mistaking the sheer panic and terror coming from the voices around him. What was happening? Who was hurt? Was he next? While thoughts came like molasses going uphill in December (though he took a moment to smile at the phrase his roommate at Sandhurst had continually used and the Afrikaner had unwittingly picked up), his bonds and degraded mental state caused a pit to develop in his stomach far faster than he would have liked. If it was death that was to have him, he only hoped that it would be quick, noble, and sung about at MT's bar.

"Well... I'm going to notify the bridge that our patients have regained consciousness," Harris said. There was simply nothing more that could be done for Jonah, and she had to do something.

After her brief update with Commander Frost, the comms terminal patched through a broadcast from Overwatch Station:

"Memory Theta, my abiding rival in the Game of Acquisition. How the mighty have been brought low! You had thought yourselves free from my grasp, first in your lucky victory snatched from my grasp on Bynaus and then by uprooting my mole in your computer network. So unprepared, were you not, for my retaliation? Between the redaction of Jumik's arrival in your daily manifest and the lock-down initiated by your own admiralty, you no doubt found yourself defenseless. Your intruder alert confirmed to me that my hidden dagger was successful. As you must surely now admit, nobody is beyond my grasp. If Mrazak survived the internal one-man assault on the station, then you may blame his past insolence for what has transpired. If he perished by the hand of the Lethean-controlled Mr. Carsdel, then let his demise be a warning to his successor: Do not cross the Black Nagus!"

The transmission cut off as abruptly as it had begun.

Harris looked about. "So... two responsive patients, one... fatality... and one angry Ferengi?" She shook her head. "I'm a medtech. I wasn't trained for this." Giving a sigh, she looked at Storr. "Colonel, your vitals seem stable. You're welcome to remain here under observation or leave under your own recognizance. I... I can't make any recommendations. If anybody needs me, I'll be babysitting the other patient under restraints."

Garlake sighed audibly at Harris' words as he sat up and unconsciously rubbed his wrists. What on earth was going on and why was his head so fuzzy? What had happened in such a short time that had the Black Nagus assaulting Memory Theta and the doctor phasing out of reality? It was enough to make his already swimming head tread that much faster.

"Thank you...I'll be going now." Garlake intoned, standing on initially wobbly legs before steadying himself. The medtech obviously either out of her league or well beyond her duty day. Looking resolutely at the door, he made a noble effort to walk all the way there before using the frame as a support. The trip back to his room might take a while but it would be under his own power, there was no doubt about that.


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