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Posted on Fri Feb 16th, 2024 @ 2:45am by Captain Carmelita Chambers & Lieutenant Commander Amanda Wells & Major Matthew Ryan

1,212 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Forlorn

Matt slowly became aware of sensations and feelings as he regained consciousness. He knew from past experience that the light was definitely going to hurt when he opened his eyes. The last thing he remembered was the fighting withdraw from the pirates base to the beamout point to return to the Artemis, then a flash and now he was.... wherever he was. The only way to find out where was to open his eyes.

He slowly opened his eyes, or tried to anyway. All he saw in his right eye was a haze. He had a feeling the flash was an explosion and he'd been caught in it. All he saw above him was a bright light and he stifled a groan. Was he onboard the Artemis, or was he a prisoner about to have a rough time of it?

Captain Chambers and the ships new Chief Medical Officer walked in just second later. Carmelita couldn’t help it she called out “Matt” softly and made her way to him “are you okay?” She asked and glanced up at the Doctors.

Matt turned his head slowly at the voice and couldn't help but smile slightly. "Hey babe." He said hoarsely. "Told you I'd be back." He said as he tried to swallow.

She leaned down and held him in a warm embrace “I thought you were going to leave me.”

"Can't get rid of me that easy." He said with a hoarse chuckle as he put an arm around her. "I told you, you're stuck with me."

The sickbay doors opened once again and Amanda walked in. She hesitated for a moment, seeing the Captain standing next to the bio bed. "Major it is agreeable to see you awake so soon." She said making an extraordinary attempt to keep her tone even.

"Commander." He smiled around Carmelita's head. "Good to see you." He said swallowing again. "How long was I out?"

"Ten hours, twenty seven point two two minutes." She replied matter of factly. "I tasked the computer with informing me when you regained consciousness."

Matt chuckled. "Commander, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were worried about me."

She placed her hands behind her back, in a position that assisted in focusing. "It would be .. illogical to not be concerned with the efficient recovery of a college." Her tone and words carefully measssured to avoid betraying any indication of emotion.

"Illogical, right." He said with a snort. "Logic can leave alot out of life Commander. Emotions aren't a bad thing. How about it babe?" He chuckled and kissed Carmelita on the forehead.

Carmelita blushed and whispered “right” before standing up so some of the medical staff could check on Matt.

Dr. Ortiz, with a quiet and reassuring smile, approached Matt's bedside. His features softened with concern as he began his examination. The hum of medical equipment provided a subtle backdrop as the good doctor put his acumen to work.

"Good to see you conscious, Major," Ortiz greeted, his warm tone both professional and friendly "Let's see how you're holding up, shall we?"

He proceeded with some scans, his tricorder gliding smoothly over Matt's form. The rhythmic beeping of the medical instruments filled the air, a comforting symphony of technology at work. Ortiz glanced up at the displays, studying the data with a practiced eye.

"Your vitals seem stable," he noted, "considering the circumstances. Any pain, discomfort, or strange sensations?"

"Nothing abnormal." Matt responded. The Doc had to be a new guy, he didn't recognize him, and he was definitely the wrong gender and background to be Dr. Bronte. "Let's skip the niceties Doc. I know I got caught in the explosion during the exfil and you've got the right side of my face, or at least my right eye covered in gauze or something. What's the damage, did I lose my eye or what?" Matt asked glancing between Carmelita and the Doctor.

Carmelita stood off to the side. She kept quiet and worried about Matt and how he would cope with having a cybernetic implant.

Dr.Ortiz made a mental note to stick with brevity when working with personnel on the Artemis. He cleared his throat "Unfortunately Major Ryan the damage to your ocular tissue was irreparable and while we've out a risk of sepsis and cleaned your right eye socket socket." he brought up Matt's x-rays on his PADD. "You're going to need a cybernetic prosthetic in order to keep you in the field. Once the rest of your injuries from the explosion have mended we can start talking about a date for surgery, and then what the next steps are."

He held up his PADD for several moments so that Matt could follow along with his prognosis. "All things considered, it's a miracle you survived and I'm sure there are plenty on the Artemis that will be relieved to hear of your recovery." he caught the gaze of Captain Chambers and moved to give the two some space.

"If you'll excuse me a moment I need to cross reference some of your biometrics." Dr. Ortiz felt that perhaps these two needed to have a conversation that was none of his concern. "Don't worry Major, I'll have you back in the field before you know it." he said with a final smile and nod of his head.

Carmelita smiled at the new doctor and took Matt’s hand and stood by the biobed in silence.

Matt laid there in silence as the Doctor left them alone. He turned his head so he could see Carmelita without having to move much more. "Not exactly the news I was hoping for." He commented quietly. "Cybernetic enhancement or be medically retired. I can't say I exactly like either of those options."

Amanda stood there quietly for some time; unsure what to say. It was evident that the two needed some time to process the doctors prognosis. Still something did not sit well deep inside. Her Human emotions raging against her Vulcan control. She broke the silence carefully. "I will take my leave so you may meditate on you choices. If I may offer some advice ? You love what you do. Logically you should choose to remain in Starfleet the how is irrelevant. " She paused she understood the hesitation he must have. The feeling of being less than yourself.womdering where the man stopped and the machine begins.. "regret is difficult emotion to tame." She nodded her head respectfully. She knew all too well how powerful a what if could be in one's mind. She turned slowly to cross sickbay toward the corridor

Carmelita watched Amanda exit sickbay which only left the two of them in the main area of sickbay. “She’s got a point.” There was a pause “I’ve made it work before I just have to be ready to send you into danger. Are you ready for this?”

"You sent me this time babe." He reminded her quietly. "I'm a Marine, you tell me to go, I go and I get shit done. Then, I come back home to you."

Carmelita quietly said “I know, just keep coming back home to me.”

"Im not gonna make a promise I cant keep, but I promise to do my best."


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