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Breathing Room

Posted on Sun Feb 26th, 2023 @ 10:33pm by Commander Nikolas Barakos & Captain Nimeeh Vixil

Mission: USS Tyche
Timeline: during/after “Damage Control”

Barakos watched as the group of officers that had been gathered around dispersed, pairing off as instructed and proceeding in different directions. He sympathized with their concern and he understood their sense of urgency. He also knew things were going to get a whole lot worse than they already were if they didn’t manage this well. And that meant making sure the one responsible for leading them was taken care of.

“Commander,” he said, his voice softer and more gentle than it had been moments earlier, “Nim…”

As the others moved away Nim's gaze drifted to the sight of the ship. Lower sections crushed, impacted into the ground beneath them, windows broken and smashed out to allow easy escape for those that needed it. Slowly her eyes drifted to the top of the saucer, the bridge, the place they had come from, the place that Sara's body still lay waiting for retrieval. Her expression remained blank, but her purple eyes clearly betrayed her pain. As he spoke her name her attention shifted again, this time turning toward Barakos. "I don't know what happened," she finally said softly, her voice riddled with confusion. "I don't know..."

Though he had not shown it so much when in front of the others, Barakos shared in the confusion he saw on his friend’s face. The situation they now found themselves in was not one any of them had seriously expected to have to deal with. Sure, they’d trained for survival and crash landings and such, but to actually be experiencing it…that was a whole other level.

“It’s a lot for any of us to process,” he told her, “You’re allowed to feel what you’re feeling…”

There was a long moment of silence as she contemplated on his words before she finally drew in a deep breath. "I don't know what I'm feeling. I don't know what I'm doing." She shook her head. "I keep expecting Sara to come storming out of the ship, making demands and taking charge... I don't have her grit, I don't know how to deal with this."

Barakos looked over in the direction of the ship’s bridge. She was not wrong in what she had said. Indeed, how much easier would it have been for all of them had their captain been their to lead the way? The familiar voice giving orders, making sure that their response was organized and on point, might have offered some comfort to them.

He turned back toward his friend and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “You’re not alone,” he said, “We’re all right here with you.”

Her right hand circled around her left wrist, absently rubbing at a scar as she drew in a slow, shaky breath. "Do we know where we're at with evacuating the ship?" she finally asked. "We'll need to prioritise. Anyone with any level of medical expertise should be helping to triage and treat. It could take days for Engineering to assess the structural integrity of what's left of the ship." She sighed, a sigh weighted heavily with raw emotion. "I guess for the moment we prioritise medical, shelter and food, and maybe see what we can do about communications? If we can get some comms happening we might be able to call for help."

She paused, trying to clear her thoughts and regroup. "Am I missing anything?" she finally asked quietly, her attention caught by yet more survivors being escorted from the ship, then to the overall state of the ship itself. The fact that anyone had survived was nothing short of a miracle, but just looking at the wreckage it was clear that the number of fatalities was going to be high. There was another sigh then her attention turned back to Barakos.

"One step at a time," he told her.

"That's all we can do," Nim replied quietly, her gaze shifting back to the survivors that were being triaged. "One step at a time."


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