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Sticks and Stones

Posted on Sun Jul 31st, 2022 @ 3:51pm by Lieutenant JG Siobahn Fallon

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter

Commander Ichiko Gail had been already sedated, something Siobahn had felt necessary given the level of pain she had seemed to be in. The nurse, Jamie, was carefully monitoring her vital signs while Siobahn carefully examined the site of the injury while they waited for Commander Morgan to join them. "I honestly don't know how to repair an injury this extensive so I hope Commander Morgan has a good idea," she said softly. "Ts'usugi bones don't break, they kind of shatter. Putting it back together would be like a jigsaw puzzle but without the picture for clues."

Commander Gail looked far more peaceful then she did ten minutes ago, the sedatives having given her the one thing that many here at the post lacked: Sleep. The gentle motion of her breathing gave an illusion of peace, an illusion that was broken at the sight of her ankle. An expert strike by an enemy that had been fighting her people for Source knows how long. Her uniform had been removed around the injury site, exposing the bulk of the damage and the severity of the operation. Tiny little fragments of bone, sharp as razors, poked through the skin and dyed her fur red. The scan of the injury showed the full extent of the damage: The break was anything but clean, and Ichiko's own weight on the ankle as it broke did the bulk of the damage. True to the description, it didn't so much 'break' as 'shattered', crystalline fracture points along the edges, edges sharp as broken glass.

That Koldaran did worse than kill her. He inconvenienced an entire line of officers to get her back on her sizable feet.

"Well," Calvin spoke as he walked over, keeping his hands from touching anything. With the bare bones situation, aseptic techniques were all the more crucial at the moment. "This is just a mess." He sighed looking up at the face of his superior officer. He got lost in the dichotomy of patient to doctor and officer to officer interaction until he was snapped out of it by Jaimie.

"Doctor, surgical equipment is in and ready," Ensign Nolan pipped up.

Calvin nodded and turned to the other two. "Shall we? We need to start with removing all the fur. From there we will start with the superficial fragments and work our way in. Once it's cleaned, we will graph on a temporary fix until we can get the Commander back to the ship. Keep your eyes open for any bleeder, no matter how small. Small bleeders in these situations can become bigger, or simply just not stop."

The look of the wound was a lot for Veznia to take in. The fracture was both horrifying and beautiful, or maybe horrifyingly beautiful. The Denobulan nodded along with Calvin's instructions and searched for the instruments to help but found her mind returning to the image of the fracture. The horrifyingly beautiful fracture.

Even the simple act of removing fur surrounding the wound was a difficult task. Siobahn worked diligently, albeit slowly, trying to avoid sharp crystalline edges of bone that could just as easily slice her own fingers. "Any thoughts on how to repair this level of damage?" she asked Calvin as she worked.

Calvin began the process of removing shards from the skin. The process might have seemed random, but he carefully selected them based off area, depth, severity, size. Or at least his subconscious did. "Honestly?" He responded, getting quiet as he removed another shard. Another piece that clinked down into a vessel that was growing quick with pieces. "Remove all of the shards, get the bleeders stopped, return stability to the extremity with some implants, and get the Commander to a place to make a phone call." He removed several more pieces. "My expertise only goes so far, and no reason to get crazy if there are other doctors not too far that have way more experience."

He switched instruments briefly, and started the careful process of opening up skin to get to more pieces. "We will save every piece, I am unsure if the Ts'Usugi can do anything with it, but they can double check to make sure we didn't miss any pieces."

"A prosthesis of some kind may be the most viable option," Siobahn said quietly. "Honestly, I've not ever heard of a broken Ts'usugi bone being repaired. Using a small pair of tweezers, the young doctor from the Wellington plucked small pieces of crystal from the wound around where Calvin was working, each piece making a small 'ting' sound as she dropped it into a dish on the tray. "I wonder if it's possible for the a replicator to replicate something of a similar compound to a Ts'usugi bone?" she mused as she worked. "We could use Commander Gail's last medical for the exact shape and dimensions to replicate it to?"

"It is the likely scenario," Calvin responded with a subtle hint of sadness, removing piece by piece. The gentle and precise movement of the equipment in his hand continued the repetitious work at an irregular speed, slowly only to find the next piece. "These bones, incredibly strong," ting, tink, tink, "Until they aren't. Do we replicate and connect to her existing bone like we do with humans? I doubt that's possible. Do we remove the rest of the bone and replace the whole piece? That requires some intricate ligament and tendon work." The tings continued like a broken clock. "Like there," He said pointing with tweezers momentarily. "Those massive balls, the tendons that had connected the ankle muscles. These tendons might be bigger than some of our smaller muscles."

Siobahn paused momentarily, looking at the peaceful face of Ichiko, heavily sedated. For a brief moment she turned her thoughts not only to the other Ts'usugi she knew on the Wellington, but also the Ts'usugi and Dalacari she had met during her time in the Delta Quadrant. "Which is likely to have the least long term impact on the Commander?" she asked quietly. "What would be the easiest to adapt to?"

"We are going to give her time," Calvin said, looking up at Siobahn and giving her a brief smile. He looked down and continued his work. "Once all the small pieces are out, we will ensure no other sharp edges, ensure blood flow is proper, and clean everything up. If I know the Ts'usugi and Dalacari, once we get them onboard, they'll finish the rest. But for now, we give the Commander the best care. Because I'd like her to be able to walk and bounce like she always has." The tings continued. While his face was neutral, his mind was concerned. The ankle was no small miracle for the Ts'usugi.

It was taking everything in Veznia to keep her composure. She could take only so much of the sight before closing her eyes and turning away for a moment.

While the advancements in medical science usually made situations like this relatively clean and simple, removed from such advancements it was only skill and patience that would see the day through. After what felt like hours, the deed was done, or at least the hardest part of it. With the last *plik* sound, the final bone shard had been located and removed. The hard part, as they say, is over.

Through it all, Ichiko slept. Heavily sedated, though it was a dreamless slumber. A mercy for someone in her condition, with her condition. The gruesome reality of war and conflict remained there on the table: A shattered ankle, a bloodied surgical table, and the site of the wound. For such a people consumed by manners and being polite, this procedure was nothing short of rude.

Calvin looked down at the closed surgical site now, placing his tools on the table and looked at his companions. "I thank you for the help and companionship through this. We can do nothing but wait for response from the Ts'usugi and watch the Commander for any signs of infection." He sighed slightly, some stress releasing from the operation. "Short break, then we will have to see what else needs to be done out there," He said with a tired smile as he stepped back and began to disrobe from the surgical gown.

"We can replicate a prophylactic antibiotic for the Commander, that should help stave off any infection that may try and set in, especially given our surroundings. I'll order some crutches as well so she can at least remain mobile. In the interim, I'd recommend we just leave her rest until she wakes naturally. It'll help with her recovery." Siobahn offered a smile. "Thank you for allowing me to assist Commander, it was an honour to be able to work with you."

=/\=

Commander Ichiko Gail
Executive Officer
US Astraea

Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan
Chief Medical Officer
USS Astraea

Lieutenant Siobahn Fallon
Medical Officer
USS Wellington

Lieutenant Veznia
Chief Counselor
USS Astraea

 

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