Vengeance From The Past

Vengeance From The Past

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

A terrible accident on an away mission leaves Picard paralysed. Crusher helps him to cope.

Summary

A terrible accident on an away mission leaves Picard paralysed. Crusher helps him to cope.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Vengeance From The Past

Author Chapter Note

A terrible accident on an away mission leaves Picard paralysed. Crusher helps him to cope.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 17, 2012

Reads: 753

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 17, 2012

A A A

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Vengeance From The Past. 

The landmine had lain undisturbed for seventy-eight years. Under what was once a road, the gentle pasture belied the pockmarks of craters that once blemished its surface. Originally one of nine, the others had failed over the years, leaving just the one, only twenty-three percent active but still deadly. It waited for an unwary victim.

 

 

 

Jean-Luc Picard awoke to a delicious sensation. He was being held, the lustrous red hair of his bedmate cascading over his shoulder. He sighed and closed his eyes as her hand opened and began to caress his chest.

His voice, roughened from sleep, rumbled through the silence of his bedroom.

“Beverly…what are you doing?”

“Oh I think you can figure it out.”

Her hand drifted lower; dallying at his navel, then lower still, to the base of his hardening penis.

“We have to be on duty in half an hour.”

She rose up and whispered breathily in his ear,

“Well, we’ll have to cut a few corners, but I think we can manage it.”

She shrieked when he suddenly turned them both over, pinning her to the mattress. He kissed her deeply, then retreated and looked at her heatedly. His baritone thrilled her as it lowered with his arousal.

“I’ll have you and I’ll please myself how long it takes. I am, after all, the Captain.”

Beverly’s giggles melted away as he kissed her again; the next sound she made was a moan.

They reported for duty an hour late. Nobody said anything.

 

 

 

 

They were on their way to a mysterious planet. Denoted as H88, the planet had recently been the site of several cosmic storms. They had passed over the planet, causing worldwide upheavals in the weather. To the Federation’s knowledge, H88 was uninhabited, with only lower life forms present. Previous scans had shown signs of habitation, but there were no sentient life forms to be found anywhere, just some remains of buildings. Where the inhabitants were and what happened to them was the mystery the Enterprise and her crew had been sent to solve.

 

 

 

 

 

“What do your scans tell us Mr.Data?”

Lieutenant Commander Data swivelled in his chair and faced his Captain.

“Not much Sir. There are remains of a community’s…larger buildings, some infrastructure, but no inhabitants. The indigenous wildlife has overtaken the towns, I detected a colony of primates living in what was once, I believe, to be a swimming complex, but I must say, with all the interference, the sensors are limited. ”

The Captain frowned and sat forward in his seat.

“And there’s nothing to indicate what happened to the population? No clues?”

“None at present Sir.”

Commander Will Riker, second in command, rose from his chair and approached the android officer.

“Well keep looking Data. All of those people must’ve gone somewhere.”

He then turned to Ops. “Mr.Taylor, how are the atmospheric conditions now? Are we any closer to sending down an away team?”

Looking up from his console, Adam Taylor frowned at his superior.

“No Sir. With the ionisation, we can’t transport or use shuttles until it settles. Best guess would be…ten hours. That will give us a window of four hours before the next storm begins.”

Will looked at his Captain and grinned.

“Well Sir, it looks like we’ll be sitting on our hands a little longer.”

“Hmm, so it would seem. Keep scanning though; we might pick up something, you never know. Oh and Will…I’ll be going down with the next team.”

Will straightened and pursed his lips.

“Sir, with all due respect…”

Jean-Luc held up his hand and stopped his First Officer mid sentence.

“I’m aware of your arguments Number One, but on this occasion, the mystery outweighs your concerns. I’ll transport down with Doctor Crusher and conduct my own investigation.”

“And you won’t be swayed?”

“No.”

“Very well Sir, but it’s against my better judgement.”

Jean-Luc nodded and smiled.

“So noted.”

 

 

 

 

Over the next ten hours, continuous scans were run, but no further information was gained. Jean-Luc met with Beverly for a light dinner and a rest before the mission commenced. They were lying together in his quarters, neither interested in sleep.

“So, what do you think happened to them?”

Jean-Luc turned onto his side and sighed.

“I’ve no idea. Perhaps an epidemic took them, or war maybe? We’ll know more when we go down.”

Beverly took his hand and turned it over, idly drawing patterns on his palm.

“How did Will take the news that you’re going planet side?”

“He wasn’t very happy and voiced the usual concerns…you know the drill.”

“Indeed I do. You must be the bane of all First Officers…so much tally ho.”

“Tally ho? Where on earth did you get that?”

Beverly giggled and snuggled in for a quick kiss.

“In one of your old novels…Biggles, I think.”

“Good Lord, Biggles. I haven’t read those since I was a child. Do I actually have one?”

Beverly slowly undid the drawstring of his shorts and slipped her hand inside.
”Uh huh, in the bottom of the locker in your wardrobe.”

He leaned over her, his face only millimetres from hers.

“You shouldn’t be poking around in my things.”

“Why not?”

She breathed.

“You might find more than you can handle.”

“Show me.”

The next hour was spent in delicious distraction, culminating in boneless satisfaction for both of them. They were still sleeping when the call came through.

“Bridge to Captain Picard.”

He answered with his eyes still shut.

“Picard here.”

“Sir we’re about an hour away from being able to send down a team.”

“Thank you Bridge, Picard out.”

He stretched and grinned when Beverly grumbled in protest. He pushed aside the curtain of hair, found her face and kissed her softly.

“Come on you, time to get up. We have to shower and eat.”

She grumbled again as he disentangled himself from her and exited the bed.

“Come on Beverly, I need you to wash my back.”

He had to strain to hear her mumbled reply.

“How did you manage before?”

He thought momentarily before chuckling and saying wryly,

“I don’t know. I must’ve walked around with an unwashed back.”

The half-hearted attempt at throwing a pillow landed at his feet. He retaliated by whipping off the covers and stopped immediately, the vision of her nude body stilling him.

“Gods you’re beautiful.”

She turned over slowly and looked his also naked body up and down. In a husky voice she purred,

“You’re not bad yourself.”

He felt himself begin to harden and shook his head.

“Look what you do to me. Lascivious woman.”

Beverly chuckled and brought one hand to her breast provocatively.

“Drop-dead gorgeous man.”

He held out his arm and she rose from the bed gracefully. They walked into the bathroom and entered the shower together. It was a longer than usual shower that left them breathless, happy and content. They had time only for a quick meal before meeting with the rest of the away team in transporter room four.

 

 

 

 

 

They rematerialised in the centre of a small town. The buildings showed the signs of warfare, the roofs missing and the walls holed or missing. Rubble was strewn on the ground and long dead fires left blackened timbers all around. The six crewmembers looked around in awe.

 The town had been laid out on a simple plan. A central large circle of grass was surrounded by what appeared to be the business district, with the remains of shops visible. Behind this area were the homes and beyond that, the infrastructure of government buildings and public utilities. The roads radiated out from the centre and intersected with others servicing the outer circles.

Animals and birds were in residence. Although momentarily silenced by their arrival, they soon began a chorus of sound both melodic and pleasing to the ear. The primates Data had mentioned were in the trees of the central circle, harvesting the fruit. Whooping calls echoed around the desolate buildings as the creatures announced the incursion to their mates nearby.

 The team split into pairs and set off with their tricorders scanning. Beverly and Jean-Luc made their way to the outskirts of the town.  Beverly frowned over her instrument and slowed Jean-Luc to check with his.

“So what do you think?”

The Captain took another look around and shook his head.

“War I would wager. But whether it was internal or external is what we’re here to discover. I’m reading faint traces of propellant. What do you read?”

Beverly inputted some figures and slowly turned in a circle.

“The same…I think it’s rocket propellant.”

“Rocket? Not very sophisticated then. I’ll check with the others…see what they’re getting.”

Picard moved to one side to make his enquiries. Beverly still mulled over her tricorder readings. She tapped in new instructions to the instrument and frowned further at the results.

“Beverly…it seems we can’t contact each other. I can’t raise the ship either. Try your combadge.”

“Crusher to Data…Data do you read me?”

When no answer was forthcoming, she tried to call the Enterprise.

“Crusher to Enterprise…Enterprise please respond…”

Nothing. She turned to her lover and said,

“We should get back to the others, there’s a storm brewing. Jean-Luc looked up to the lowering sky and nodded.

“Before we go, I want to check that building over there, I think it was a power station.

They were standing in a paddock about one and a half kilometres from the centre of town. The building was approximately one hundred and fifty metres away over slightly undulating ground.

Beverly checked her tricorder again and sighed exasperatedly.

“Jean-Luc, are you getting sporadic energy readings?”

“Yes, that’s why I want to check the station. We may be able to restore power.”

“Maybe…I don’t know. These readings are screwy.”

 

 

 

 

 

Forty-five metres away, the sensors on the landmine detected the scanning tricorder. Activating the pressure switch, a slender green stalk made its way through the eight centimetres of dirt that separated it from the surface. Designed to simulate the grasses around it, the stalk broke free and continued up a further two centimetres. There it stopped and deployed two leaf like structures either side of the stalk. Having primed itself, all it had to do was wait.

 

 

 

 

Walking shoulder to shoulder and watching their tricorders, they made their way over the ground towards the power station. A sudden clap of thunder made them cringe and quicken their pace. Large drops of warm rain stated to fall and the couple started to jog.

In perfect synchronisation their feet beat a gentle rhythm upon the ground.  Jean-Luc looked up and was about to pass comment on the weather when his foot landed on the pressure switch.

Neither human heard the ‘click’ of activation. The explosion was sudden and devastating. The earth surged up pushing the officers off their feet. Through the air flew wicked fragments of metal slicing and embedding in everything around the area. The two bodies tumbled through the air and landed with a sickening thud ten metres from the blast site.

Lightning flashed and thunder boomed as the rain pelted down on the broken remains on the ground.

In a circle of some twenty metres, trees and shrubs were decimated, the damage most pronounced in the northerly quadrant of the circle. Beverly and Jean-Luc lay to the south, unconscious and bleeding.

 

 

 

 

Two kilometres away, Lieutenant John Parkes lifted his head and frowned. Sheltering in the burnt out remains of a dress shop, he called to his companion.

“Hey James, did you hear that?”

“What, the thunder?”

“No…something else.”

James shifted his position and moved closer to his friend.

“All I can hear is the damn rain and thunder.”

“Well I don’t know…I thought…can we contact anybody yet?”

Lifting his wet hand, James activated his communicator. After a few moments he addressed his companion.

“Nope, nothing. Not on the surface and not from the ship. We’re cut off completely.”

Parkes looked out into the downpour.

“Yeah, well when this eases, I’m going to find the Captain.”

His friend just snorted.

The rain continued to pour down, turning the ground to mud. Beverly woke first. She was on her right side.

“What..?”

She tried to move but found an odd numbness pervading her body. She realised only one eye was open and attempted to turn her head. She achieved a modicum of success until she felt a spasm of agony lance down her back.

She cried out and tensed, the pain overwhelming her. As she passed into unconsciousness, she thought…
”Jean-Luc!”

The Captain was lying three metres to her left. Sprawled on his back, his hand moved slightly, twitching as the nerve ends started to fire. He groaned and coughed wetly, turning his head to the side and dribbling out some bright blood. His eyes opened then and the rain splashed into them. Turning his head to the left, he opened them again and searched for his lover, discovering her form, barely visible through the pelting rain.

He tried to call to her, but couldn’t get the necessary breath. Each time he tried resulted in a tearing, agonising cough, which brought up more blood. Using his left hand, he felt his chest and abdomen finding shards of metal embedded here and there. A large piece protruded from his left shoulder and when he felt lower, another fragment projected from his groin. He swallowed and concentrated on his legs. He could feel nothing from his right leg, his left was throbbing and his ears were ringing loudly. He had to get to Beverly.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Bridge of the Enterprise, Will was just issuing orders to improve communications when Deanna rushed out of the turbolift. Still dressed in her night attire, she gripped Will’s arm and said,

“Something’s wrong! Beverly and the Captain…I’m sensing pain and…Beverly’s unconscious…Will we have to get them!”

Will swung to his Ops officer.

“Danthrop any communications yet?”

“No Sir, we can’t punch anything through.”

“And you’re going to tell me we can’t fly a shuttle through that soup either, aren’t you?”

“Aye Sir.”

He sat heavily in the chair, punching the arm with a large fist.

“Dammit! Bridge to LaForge!”

“LaForge here Sir.”

“Geordie is there some way we can get a signal through to Data? An encoded neutrino stream maybe?”

There was a moment’s silence while Geordie mulled it over.

“Perhaps…I’ll work on it. Engineering out.”

Deanna took her seat and looked beseechingly at Will.

“Is there nothing else we can do?”

He shook his head sadly.

 

Down on the planet Data repeated his warning.

“It was definitely an explosion. You stay here, I will investigate.”

Ensign Orrop nodded enthusiastically, not wishing to venture out into the deluge.

“Yes Sir.”

Data Left the shelter and struck off towards where he thought the sound had come from. With the thunder crashing overhead, he cast about, trying to get his bearings. The sounds were echoing through the ruined buildings making it very difficult for even his enhanced hearing to decipher. He was moving up a street towards the outer circle when he was hailed.

“Commander Data!”

He stopped and, using a very Human gesture, raised his hand over his brow, shielding it from the rain.

Seeing Lieutenant Parkes in the rubble, he trotted over.

“What is it Lieutenant?”

“Sir, I thought I heard…that is I…”

“You thought you heard an explosion?”

“Yes Sir!”

Data nodded and looked up the street.

“I also heard something Lieutenant, but I am unable to pinpoint it. Do you have any suggestions?”

Parkes shrugged and said disappointedly,

“Not really Sir. What with the thunder and all…”

“I see. I am going to look in that direction. Would you care to accompany me?”

“Aye Sir.”

The two officers set of at a trot but soon slowed when Data raised his hand.

“No, not this way. We should back track and try over there.”

They had covered some metres when Parkes voiced his question.

“What are you looking for Sir?”

“Not looking Lieutenant, smelling.”

“Smelling Sir?”

“Yes. I hope to smell the residue of material used as the blast initiator. However this wind and the rain are hampering my olfactory senses.”

They trotted on in silence for a while before Data once again stopped them.

“No, not this way. Perhaps over there.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc rolled onto his right side and tried to stifle the moan of agony that slipped through his bloodied lips. Uncaring of his injuries, he dragged himself slowly over the muddy ground towards his beloved Beverly. Centimetre by agonising centimetre, he endured the pain, dragging his useless legs behind him. It took an interminable time, but eventually he reached her. He tried to sit up and failed. As he lay gasping on his back, he could hear Beverly softly whimpering.

His voice but a whisper, he said her name.

“Beverly.”

Even through the roar of the pelting rain, she heard him. She tried to answer him, but there was something wrong with her mouth. She allowed her body to relax and she fell sideways onto her back. The agony washed over her and she cried out inarticulately. He raised his hand and touched her shoulder.

“Steady Beverly my love”, he whispered. “I’m with you.”

He could see metal fragments sticking out of her body and her jaw was obviously broken. Blood flowed freely from head wounds, the gore quickly carried away by the rain. One eye was swollen shut and she seemed to be unable to move her head.

Thunder rumbled overhead and lightning flashed. He scoured the land within his scope of vision and saw nothing that could help them. In desperation he again tried to sit up, but the pain defeated him. The effort caused a bout of coughing, a gout of blood escaping his mouth. As he lay whimpering, he wondered if they would survive.

 

 

 

 

Data and John Parkes had moved through the outskirts of the town and, as Data checked his tricorder, he noted a small anomaly. A Human might’ve missed it, but not Data. He sniffed the air and moved off with alacrity, Parkes running to keep up.

“Sir?”

“This way Lieutenant. I detect blast residue!”

They ran perhaps half a kilometre when Data suddenly stopped. He turned in a small circle and struck off slightly to his left. He almost ran over the Captain and the Doctor.

He fell immediately to his knees and scanned the pair with the instrument. Turning to the panting Parkes, he said,

“Go back and gather the others. Go to the centre circle and bring all the equipment here. There are buildings nearby where we can shelter. Hurry.”

Without another word, Parkes left at a run, leaving Data to tend to his friends.

“Sir, can you hear me?”

Jean-Luc groaned and opened his eyes.

“Data?”

“Yes Sir. You and Doctor Crusher have been hurt in an explosion. I have sent Lieutenant Parkes to bring back all the equipment. I will have a med kit soon. I advise you to lie still until he returns.”

Jean-Luc nodded weakly and raised his hand.

“Doctor Crusher…”

Data moved and scanned Beverly. She stared listlessly through her one functioning eye and didn’t acknowledge him.

“She is badly injured Sir.”

“Data…what..?”

“I will see Sir.”

He left them briefly and trotted to the epicentre of the blast. Scanning with the tricorder, he went down on one knee and sifted through the mud, eventually extracting the remains of the mine casing. He then returned to his Commanding Officer.

“Sir?”

Jean-Luc wearily opened his eyes, but said nothing. Data took that as permission to continue.

“It would appear you have activated a fragmentary land mine, a relic of the conflict. You are bleeding Sir. I will use my clothing to stem the flow.”

He managed to shake his head.

“No, Beverly first.”

Data frowned, but did his Captain’s bidding. He moved to Beverly, took off his tunic top and proceeded to tear it into strips. He bandaged her head and applied a tourniquet to her left leg. He then moved to the Captain and, after removing his uniform trousers, tore them into strips and bandaged the Captain’s wounds. When he came to the shattered legs he hesitated.

“Sir your legs are…badly damaged. There is a large piece of metal embedded in your groin. I am concerned that the femoral artery may be compromised if I move you. I will tie your legs together in the interim and I will endeavour to come up with a solution.”

Jean-Luc nodded then groaned as a wave of pain washed over him. When he was able, he called softly to his Second Officer.

“Data…your first priority is to get Doctor Crusher to Sickbay. Do you understand?”

Data knelt by his Captain and gently held his hand.

“Aye Sir.”

It was the last thing Jean-Luc heard for a good while.

 

 

 

 

 

Will Riker was pacing impatiently when the call came from Engineering.

“Engineering to Bridge.”

“Riker here Geordie, what have you got?”

“Well, we can send a short message, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to reply. He’ll only have a tricorder and communicator to work with. It’s a big ask, even for Data.”

“Understood. When can we send?”

“In about an hour.”

Will looked at Deanna, stroking his dark beard.

“What will you say?”

“Something simple…like, what happened?”

“Ok, make it so.”

Will turned back to the view screen and scowled at the serene looking planet rotating idly below. Over his shoulder he muttered,

“What can you feel?”

Deanna came and stood by her friend and rubbed his arm.

“They have both been badly injured and are experiencing a lot of pain. Beverly is unconscious and the Captain is just holding on. As a matter of fact…”

She stilled and closed her eyes, her features relaxing.

“…He’s just lost consciousness.”

Will sighed expansively and lowered his head.

“What the hell could’ve happened? This was supposed to be a simple away mission. Find out what happened to the population. Where in that does it say that anyone gets hurt? Ops what’s the latest on the storm?”

Ensign Steve Danthrop ran his nimble fingers across the console, calling up the latest data.

“It’s still raging Sir. No signs yet that it will abate any time soon.”
“And the ionisation?”

“Still a soup Sir. Nothing can go down and nothing can come up.”

“Dammit!”

He stalked over to the centre seat and sat down, the scowl never leaving his face. Deanna continued to stare at the planet, willing her friends to survive.

 

 

 

 

In all, it took two hours for the three crewmembers to carry all the equipment through the driving rain to the injured couple. At Data’s direction, they took the gear to the power station and set up what they could. Parkes and James returned to Data and very carefully carried Beverly into the building. After careful consideration, Data requested his crew find a plank wide and strong enough to carry the Captain on. He intended to tie the Captain to it to disturb him as little as possible. A tabletop was found that would do the job and the two crewmen took it to their android officer, along with some extra material strips.

Gently rolling the somnambulant patient onto the tabletop, they tied him down and carried him out of the downpour and into the remains of the power station. There they got the med kits and started to give first aid. Stripping the Captain of his uniform, they found numerous metal pieces embedded in his body. Some small, some large, they had torn through muscle and bone making a devastating mess of his lean body. In the right side of his chest, a sinister shard protruded, blood leaking around it. The tricorder confirmed what Data already knew…the lung was lacerated and he was bleeding into it.

But by far worse were his legs. His right leg was completely shattered, the breaks so numerous the tricorder had difficulty in cataloguing them all. Only the stout boots he wore saved his feet. His left leg was little better, the kneecap gone completely, exposing the bones underneath. The metal shard in his groin was bleeding badly and resisted all efforts to quell it. Eventually Data devised a bandage that exerted enough pressure to at least slow the flow. His eyebrow and cheek were flayed and the top of his left ear was missing.

Beverly was similarly injured. Like Jean-Luc, she had metal pieces piercing all over the front of her body. One shard had severed the bone of her lower jaw and displaced several teeth. There was a particularly bad piece embedded in her stomach and, like Jean-Luc, her legs were a mess, but somehow she had fared slightly better than he. At least she’d lost less blood. The injury to her neck, caused when she was hurled backwards, was isolated with a cervical collar. There were several nasty lacerations to her face and head, but both pupils reacted to light so Data was relatively sure there were no permanent brain injuries. Antibiotics and analgesics were administered and all the small cuts and abrasions were healed. While Data and two crewmen worked on the injured pair, the other busied himself by lighting a fire. The warmth was welcome as was the chance to dry their soaking uniforms. In amongst the gear they had transported were cots, food, tents, sleeping bags, scanners, computers, in fact everything they needed for a four-day camping trip. The estimates of the storm’s duration had been vague, so they erred on the side of caution, allowing four days worth of comestibles and equipment. They soon had a good site set up within the building and Data sent two of the crew to explore the ruin, bearing in mind what had happened to their compatriots and taking the necessary precautions.

When Data was satisfied his two patients were resting comfortably, he secured a tricorder and removed his combadge. Taking the back off his communicator, he set up a link between the two instruments and waited for what he was sure would be a message from the Enterprise. He knew Deanna would’ve sensed what had happened and he also knew they would make every effort to contact them. Calling up and discarding one theory after another, he was left with only one conclusion. They would most likely try to use an encoded neutrino beam and he intended to be ready for it. With the sensitivity of the combadge set at maximum and with the added power of the tricorder to back it up, he waited patiently, as ready as he could be.

 

 

 

 

 

Geordie’s voice shattered the tension on the Bridge.

“Engineering to Bridge.”
“Yes Geordie.”

“We’re ready down here.”

“Ok, do it.”

“Sending now.”

 

 

 

 

Data was calculating how much blood the Captain had lost, while estimating the ambient temperature of the fire, when the combadge trilled. Directing his attention to the tricorder, he watched as the instrument downloaded the incoming stream of information. When the transmission ceased, he reprogrammed the tricorder and deciphered what had been sent. It was a simple message.

*What happened? *

Using the same method, he encrypted a short message.

*Landmine. Capt. And Doc badly injured. Need help.*

He paused, as he was about to press the send key. Should he offer a prayer? To whom should he pray? What would a Human do? In the end he shrugged his shoulders and hit the key, but his fingers were crossed. After all, it couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

Jean-Luc was dreaming. He was on a beach; the startling white sand seemed to go on forever. The surf boomed as the breakers rolled endlessly onto the shore. He turned a small circle, looking for his partner. He found her lying on a towel. He stood and let his eyes wander over her curvaceous form. Clad in a sea-green one-piece suit, her hair was loose and falling about her shoulders. Her long slender legs were crossed at the ankles and he was utterly positive he’d never seen a more beautiful woman. He stepped closer, his shadow falling across her face. She frowned and raised her hand to shield her eyes.

The smile that slowly spread across her face warmed him immensely.

“Hello Jean-Luc, what are you doing here?”

He shook out his towel and spread it beside her. Sitting down he turned his grinning face to her.

“Looking for you, actually.”

“Well, you found me.” She giggled.

She lowered her sunglasses and admired his well-muscled form, the black speedos he wore accentuating his body deliciously.

He looked away, towards the water.

“Have you been for a swim?”

“Not yet. Care to join me?”

He lifted his chin and pursed his lips. Nodding, his noble face broke into another grin.

“Yes. Yes I would.”

Beverly sat up and brushed the sand from her hands. Rising gracefully, she held out her hand.

“Come on then!”

He rose to his feet with equal grace and they walked hand in hand to the water, pausing briefly to test the temperature, then entering swiftly.

They strode out through the waves, but when one larger wave hit him in the chest, he realised something was very wrong. It hurt!

He tried to call to her.

“Beverly! Help!”

But she was nowhere to be seen. The next wave hit him and he lost his breath. Gasping and coughing, the pain engulfed him and he went under. It was freezing. The water was everywhere, in his mouth, his nose…he couldn’t breathe.

“Commander! He’s choking!”

Data pushed aside his instruments and rushed to the Captain’s side. He was indeed choking…on his own blood. Data took him and rolled him onto his side, his fingers going to Jean-Luc’s mouth to clear the blood. Another cough wracked his frame and a clot was expelled forcibly. Abruptly he breathed in and coughed again. More blood was forced out as well as a cry of pain.

“Captain, you must try and control your breathing!”

Jean-Luc weakly grasped Data’s sleeve and nodded. A shiver passed through his body then he slowly relaxed, breathing slightly easier. Data assessed the situation and came to a decision.

“Sir, I will put some packs behind your back. I think you should stay on your side. It will aid you in breathing.”

Jean-Luc blinked slowly, his only way of answering.

Data and Parkes laid some packs at his back and leaned him gently on them. Having got him in position, Data asked,

“Are you in pain Sir?”

Again Jean-Luc blinked and Data took it as an affirmative answer.

Taking a hypospray, he loaded it with an analgesic and injected his Captain.

“That should ease your discomfort Sir.”

Jean-Luc swallowed and took a shallow breath. Whispering, he said,

“Thank you.”

Data nodded and went back to his computer.

 

 

 

 

Ensign Danthrop was relieved when the console beeped to relay the incoming message.

“Sir, we have a message coming up from the surface.”

Will stood stiffly, the tension evident in his body.

“It’s garbled Sir. I’ll have to send it to Commander LaForge to clean it up.”

“Do it.”

Steve pressed the requisite panels and sent the message to Engineering.

“Geordie, this is Riker.”

“Yes Sir.”

“We need that message deciphered. Best speed.”

“I’m on it. Engineering out.”

Tense minutes passed. Suddenly Geordie’s voice rang out clearly.

“It’s on its way up to you now.”

“Ops?”

“Getting it now Sir. It reads… Landmine. Captain and Doctor badly injured. Need help.”

Deanna gasped.

“Oh God.”

Will looked at the ceiling and called Engineering.

“Geordie, come up to the Bridge.”

“On my way.”

“Will we’ve got to get them up here!”

“I know Dee, I know.”

The turbolift doors opened and Geordie stepped onto the Bridge.

“Geordie we have to find a way to transport through that ionisation. We need to get medical supplies down there…quickly and then we need to be able to transport two people up here. What do you think?”

“What I think is that we’ve got a very big problem. Look I’m willing to try and send some pattern enhancers down there and maybe some supplies, but there’s no way we’ll be able to transport living people through that soup Commander.”

“Well if we don’t some of the people won’t be living much longer! Did you read the message?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Well you know what’s at stake. Work on it Geordie…at least get the medical supples down there.”

“I’ll give it my best shot Commander, but it’ll be a shot in the dark.”

Will nodded as Geordie left the Bridge.

“Ops can you send another message?”

“Yes Sir. Commander LaForge has configured the computer up here.”

“Good. Send this…Trying to send med supplies. Standby.”

“Aye Sir.”

“Bridge to Sickbay.”
”Sickbay here. Selar speaking.”

“Doctor Selar, come to the Bridge.”

“Aye Sir.”

Will paced as he waited for the Doctor, Deanna sat in her chair focussing on the planet below.

Presently Doctor Selar arrived, the Vulcan’s cool demeanour in stark contrast to the tension felt by everyone else.

“Selar the Captain and Doctor Crusher have been badly injured by a landmine. We can’t transport them up through the ionisation. We intend to attempt to send medical supplies. I want you to make up a parcel of what you think they will need. Keep it simple and compact. I’ll let you know when we’ll need it.”

“Aye Sir.”

Having dismissed the Doctor, Will gently took Deanna’s arm.

“I want you to go and get some rest. Who knows how long this will take.”

She was about to argue, but saw the logic in his words.

“You’ll call me if…”

“You bet.”

Deanna left the Bridge and Will settled into the Command chair to do what he liked least of all…wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data relayed the message to his crewmates and went to check on his patients. Jean-Luc was sleeping but Beverly was conscious.

“Doctor are you in pain? Squeeze my hand, once for yes, twice for no.”

She squeezed twice, then slowly lifted her hand to her face, gently feeling the gaping wound along her jaw. She looked at Data and frowned. He understood.

“You have a broken jaw. A shard of metal has severed the bone and dislodged several teeth.”

She looked at him again, her hand travelling down her body. He nodded.

“There are pieces of metal embedded all over your body. Your legs have been shattered and you have an injury to your neck. Generally, we can control all of your injuries, although there is a large piece of metal in your stomach. I suspect that there is significant internal damage.”

She cast her eyes sideways, trying to see the Captain.

“Captain Picard has lost a lot of blood. Like you, he has been decimated by the shards, with large pieces in his shoulder and groin. His lung has been lacerated and he is expectorating blood. His legs are more damaged than yours; we have kept his boots on in an effort to preserve his feet. We have contacted the ship and they are endeavouring to send medical supplies. I will continue to administer antibiotics and analgesics. Are you warm enough Doctor?”

She could feel the warmth of the blanket that had been placed on her and squeezed his hand once. She was desperately worried about Jean-Luc and frustrated that she couldn’t do anything but lie there, helpless.

She stared at Data, willing him to understand her request.

“What is it Doctor?”

She raised a shaky hand and pointed at the nearby computer. He fetched it and placed the keyboard under her fingers.

Weakly she typed…

MUST HYDRATE CAPTAIN. REPLACE LOST FLUID.

“We have no re-hydration fluids here Doctor. I would expect the Enterprise would send some down with the other medical supplies.”

She next wrote,

KEEP WARM. ELEVATE LEGS.

“Understood Doctor.”

Softly calling to James, they gently raised the shattered appendages of both officers and added more blankets. When he next looked at Beverly, she was asleep.

The two crewmen who had been exploring reported back with some interesting information.

“Commander Data, we’ve been all over what’s left of the building and, well, we don’t quite understand these readings.”

Ensign Orrop gave Data his tricorder. Data scanned it intently and cocked his head.

“These power readings are intermittent. Where were they strongest?”

“Over near the top storey, about two floors up. We also found this Sir.”

Orrop handed his commanding officer a motion detector.

“It was connected to an explosive device, no longer active. We found several of them, in fact this whole building has been hot wired.”

“Hot wired?”

Ensign James came forward.

“Booby trapped Sir. Whoever did it expected the station to be overrun. They intended to inflict maximum casualties.”

“Is there any indication as to who the aggressors were?”

“No Sir.”

“I think it advisable to stay in this vicinity. Clear this area of any such devices, then collect more wood for the fire.”
”Aye Sir.”

Data retired to his perch near his patients and again checked the tricorder’s readings. There should be no energy at all. The building had been abandoned for many years, the machinery destroyed. Why would there be intermittent energy readings?

Geordie’s voice broke through the tense silence of the Bridge.
”Commander Riker?”

“Here Geordie.”

“I think we can have a go at sending down some pattern enhancers. We need to send down a jacketed power pulse. We aim the transporter to operate within the beam and, if we’re lucky, the enhancers should make it down in one piece. I’ve aligned the main deflector dish and inputted the parameters. We’re as ready as we’re going to get.”

“Standby Geordie, we’ll get their coordinates. Ops send this…send coordinates for beam down.”

“Aye Sir.”

 

 

 

 

Data was re-applying the bandage to Jean-Luc’s groin when his tricorder beeped. Finishing his task, he left his patient and watched as the message downloaded. He read the missive and immediately sent the required information. He chose a spot outside to make it easier for his friends on the Enterprise.

As the others were dry and he was dressed only in his underwear, he decided to be the one to receive the enhancers. Venturing out into the torrential rain, he stood stiffly, patiently waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Ops were ready when the message came through.

“Coordinates coming in Sir.”

“Are you getting them Geordie?”

“Yes Sir, inputting them now.”
 “Initiate when ready.”

“They’re away.”

“When will we know?”

“When Data contacts us.”

“Understood. Bridge out.”

 

 

 

 

In the pouring rain, Data detected the energy beam. Perceived as a shift in the atmosphere, he then heard the telltale whine of the transporter. Before his eyes, the enhancers took shape on the ground. Wasting no time, He collected them, set them out in a triangular pattern and activated them. He then re-entered the building and sent the following message.

*Enhancers activated. Awaiting transport of medical supplies. * 

 

Will, on hearing the message, swung into action.

“Selar are you ready?”

“Yes Commander.”

“Good. Take the supplies to transporter room three and meet with Commander LaForge.”

“Aye Sir.”

“Ops, new message. Prepare to receive supplies.”

 

 

 

 

 

Data was ready when the message was received. He again ventured out into the rain and waited. Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait long. Within the glow of the enhancer’s lights, the parcel materialised. He strode to it immediately and took it inside. Opening it, he found re-hydrating fluids, pressure cuffs for the legs and arms, super absorbent dressings, more antibiotics, analgesics and blood clotting agents. With the help of two crewmen, he took the fluids and their collapsible stands to his patients.

He treated Jean-Luc first. Taking one battered arm, he applied a pressure bandage to raise a vein, then inserted a cannula. He then set up the stand and regulated the flow. Satisfied, he moved to Beverly and repeated the process. She woke and tried to smile, the attempt appearing as a grimace. Data scanned them both with the tricorder and was examining the results when he felt Beverly’s hand on his arm. Her eyes darted to her lover and Data set aside his instrument.

“His body temperature has risen two point five degrees. We are now keeping up with his blood loss, but I fear he is in shock.”

She gestured for the computer, which he supplied.

WAKE HIM UP.

Data nodded and went to the Captain.

He crouched down and, not knowing where he could safely touch him without causing pain, gently patted his cheek.

“Captain Picard? Wake up Sir.”

Jean-Luc’s eyes opened sluggishly. His attempt to speak was forestalled by a bout of coughing that had him moaning in agony as he brought up an amount of blood.

Data collected some clean gauze and wiped his Captain’s mouth.

“Sir your blood pressure is dangerously low and your temperature is rising. Doctor Crusher thinks it best if you stay awake.”

He nodded wearily and looked at his best friend. She couldn’t see him, but felt his gaze nonetheless. Motioning to Data, she typed,

PLACE PRESSURE CUFFS ON LEGS.

It took some gentle manoeuvring, but eventually the pneumatic plastic casts went on their legs. When inflated, they would help lessen bleeding and help keep the shattered bones in place. They left Jean-Luc’s boots on within the casts, fearing what would happen if they removed them.

Data was clearing away unwanted equipment when he noticed Jean-Luc was sweating.

“Are you in pain Sir?”

Jean-Luc nodded and squeezed his eyes shut as a wave of pain washed over him.

Injecting the Captain with an analgesic, Data moved to the Doctor.

“Doctor Crusher, the painkillers seem to be losing their effectiveness with the Captain. What should I do?

She typed,

LOWER THE DOSE AND GIVE MORE FREQUENTLY. WATCH BLOOD PRESSURE.

He nodded his understanding and scanned the Captain again. He noted further blood pressure reduction and increased the flow of the intravenous fluids. He could hear the wet breathing of the Captain and knew he would cough again soon. Readying himself he was able to support Jean-Luc when the painful episode struck. Cleaning the mess away, he asked Beverly,

“Should I offer the captain anything to drink?”

To which she replied,

NO.

“And what about you Doctor?”

NO. NOT WITH STOMACH WOUND.

“I understand. Is there anything else?”

NOT FOR NOW. WILL REST.

Data nodded then set about putting the arms not connected to the intravenous fluids in a pressure cuff. He then composed a message for the Enterprise.

*Treating patients as best we can. Storm projection? *

The answer came in minutes.

*Unknown. Will advise. *

Data made sure his patients were comfortable and stationed two crewmembers to watch them. He then rose and began his search for the anomalous energy readings. After climbing up to the second storey, he noted the fluctuations in the tricorder’s output.

Following the directions of the instrument, he moved to the far corner and frowned as the readings again fluctuated. Increasing the output, he scanned a plie of machinery and froze when he heard a distinct, soft click.

Approaching the almost solid mass of metal, he found and followed some wires that led to a pack of explosives. Connected to a timer, it had activated. Unable to decipher the images appearing on the screen, he left immediately and made his way back to his companions. As he approached them, he started issuing orders.

“We must evacuate the building. Gather everything you can carry…Orrop, Parkes and James, help me carry the Captain and the Doctor…we must hurry!”

He snatched up his computer and shoved it under his arm before bending to pick up one end of the tabletop the Captain was lying on.

In short order, they exited the building and ran out into the rain. A wind had picked up and it whistled around them as they hastened to new cover. Behind them there was an enormous blast. Debris was hurled outwards with great force as the building disintegrated, showering the fleeing crewmembers with rubble. As the last of the falling detritus fell, they stopped, panting some seventy metres away.

“Wow, that was close!”

Data turned to Ensign James and smiled.

“I agree with you. We must find shelter, where is the nearest habitable structure?”

Parkes was first to answer.

“Over there and to the left, about three hundred metres Sir.”

“Very well, Ensign Orrop, please gather the pattern enhancers.”

On Data’s nod of acceptance, the group moved off into the gathering darkness, their way lit by intermittent lightning.

 

 

 

 

 

Will’s smile of gratitude was heartfelt as Deanna brought him his coffee. Sitting in the Ready Room, he stared balefully at the planet below, wishing he could do more than just wait.

“Can you sense anything?”

Deanna paused and closed her eyes, concentrating. After a few moments she frowned.

“I’m not sure. Beverly’s awake and worried…she seems confused somehow…Captain Picard is sleeping.”

“Hmm. I’ll ask if everything’s ok. Ops, new message. Concerned. Is everything alright?”

Receiving the acquiescence of the Ops officer, Will again turned his attention to Deanna.

“I’ve been speaking with Selar. She says the injuries could be very extensive.”

“I know Will. I just pray we can get them up here soon.”

“Commander, this is Ops. There’s been no reply from the surface. I don’t think they received it.”

“Does anything show on the sensors…any anomalies?”

“No Sir, nothing.”

“Damn. Ok Ops, I’ll be right out.”

Deanna sighed and stood.

“Well so much for our rest.”

They both strode out onto the Bridge and couldn’t help but look at the planet displayed on the viewscreen. Will shook his head and sighed expansively.

“What the hell’s going on?”

 

 

 

 

 

With lowered heads against the pouring rain, the group forged through the downpour and soon found themselves at the crumbling walls of a one-storey building, half of which had no roof. Unable to find a door in the darkness, they climbed the tumbling brickwork and picked their way through the debris until they came to a relatively clear spot under cover.

 He gently placed the Captain on the floor and went to Beverly. She was awake.

“We had to leave the other building. The tricorder activated an explosive device. The resulting explosion destroyed the structure. We are now in another building, some four hundred metres to the west. We will contact the Enterprise and have them send down more equipment.”

He set up his tricorder and made contact with the ship.

*Had to move to new site. Will send coordinates. Need more equipment. Standby. *

He then ordered the crewmembers to do an inventory to find out what they’d left behind. It took half an hour and at the end, they found they needed more blankets and food. There were other things, but they could wait. Data relayed the message as was satisfied when the answer came. He ventured out into the rain, set up the enhancers and waited.

Beverly raised her hand to get attention. Parkes came to her side and positioned the computer for her.

HOW IS CAPTAIN?

“He’s asleep Sir.”

CHECK HIM.

Parkes went to Jean-Luc and scanned him with the tricorder. He took the instrument back to Beverly and held it while she read the information.

HIS BLOOD PRESSURE…LOW. NEEDS MORE FLUIDS. INCREASE FLOW.

Parkes moved to Jean-Luc and studied the intravenous apparatus. Seeing the flow regulator, he opened it slightly and was pleased to note the increased flow. He could hear a gurgling sound coming from the Captain and wondered what it meant.

He moved back to Beverly and told her what he’d done. She nodded and was about to type more when Jean-Luc started to cough. His hand was clawing at his chest as he struggled to breathe. Blood ran from his nose and mouth as he desperately tried to expel the choking gore. Having observed his Commanding Officer do it, Parkes grabbed some gauze and helped the Captain clear his airways. When Jean-Luc was finally able to breathe again, he was grey and sweating.

Beverly typed frantically.

NEEDS OXYGEN!

Parkes looked about but couldn’t find the small cylinder. He ran out into the rain and found Data. Quickly explaining himself, Data hurried back inside and contacted the ship.

* Need oxygen. Urgent.*

Taking Parkes, the two officers went back outside just as the first transport took effect. They took the goods inside, then Parkes went back outside to wait for the oxygen.

Data went to the Captain and scanned him. He was about to administer more painkiller, when Jean-Luc weakly squeezed his arm and shook his head.

“Sir, you are in considerable pain. I need to give you this hypospray of analgesic.”

Jean-Luc shook his head again and Data had to bend close to his mouth to hear his whisper.

“No. I want to stay awake.”

“But Sir…”

“No. That’s an order.”

Data sat up, frowning. Beverly gestured to him and he went to her.

WHAT’S WRONG?

“The Captain is refusing analgesics. He has requested to stay awake.”

Beverly closed her eye, a tear slipping free.

“Doctor what should I do? He made it an order.”

OBEY HIM.

Parkes came in, dripping wet with two cylinders of oxygen and masks in his hands. He went straight to Jean-Luc and helped Data to connect, then fit a mask to Jean-Luc’s face. As the oxygen flowed into his lungs, his colour improved slightly and he nodded his relief.

Data noted that the groin wound was still bleeding, but the cuff had slowed it somewhat. He told Beverly.

ADMINISTER CLOTTING AGENT.

Data did as he was told and was pleased when the flow slowed even further.

In the interim, the other crewmembers had set up the cots and changed the blankets on the two patients. They soon had a fire going and food could be smelt warming.

Data contacted the Enterprise again.

* Situation stable, but not for long. Captain failing. Storm projection? *

 He soon had his answer.

* Unknown at this time. Will advise. *

 

 

 

Throughout the long night, Data stayed at his Captain’s side, helping when the coughing fits came and keeping him company as he refused to sleep. Beverly dozed fitfully, the analgesics keeping her pain free, but the worry over Jean-Luc dogging her dreams.

When the weak light of dawn showed itself, Beverly prayed they would find an end to the storm.

 

 

 

 

Will was stretched out on the sofa in the Ready Room. The door annunciator broke his fragile hold on sleep.

“Come in.”

Geordie stepped over the threshold, a small smile on his dark face.

“I’ve had an idea.”

Will stood and went to the replicator for some much needed coffee.

“Ok, out with it.”

“If we rig a shuttle with a theta band generator that has the ability to overcome the ionisation, we may…just may…be able to get down to the surface and back.”

“What are our chances?”

“Well, I’ll have to do some tinkering…and bend the laws of physics a little…but I think we can do it.”

“Make it so Geordie…quickly.”

Will strode out onto the Bridge and addressed the Ops officer.

“New message. Attempting to rig a shuttle for rescue. Standby.”

 

 

 

On the planet’s surface, Data received the message and went to his Captain.

“Sir I have just had a message from the Enterprise. They are trying to alter a shuttle to be able to come and get us.”

Jean-Luc closed his eyes and nodded. He was growing rapidly weaker, his hold on consciousness tenuous. Data had changed the drip and again increased the flow. Despite the antibiotics, his temperature continued to climb, infection setting in. Beverly too was experiencing a rise in temperature. She was becoming slightly disoriented and took longer and longer to regain her perspective. She began to sleep for longer periods and was confused when she woke.

Data didn’t know what to do. He was no longer able to ask the doctor for advice and was not programmed with enough medical knowledge to counteract any emergencies in their deteriorating conditions.

He sent a message to the ship.

* Please make haste. Patient’s condition failing rapidly. *

 Data called James and Parkes over.

“I want you to collect more wood for the fire. Be very careful where you go…and do not use your tricorders. I believe the energy output may trigger other explosive devices.”

The two crewmen left and moved into the darker recesses of the building. Th


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