Saturday, August 22, 2015

Only a Small Medical Emergency II

Continued from Part I

The inside of the building opened up into a large, four-story concourse that echoed just slightly with the occasional voices and crisp footsteps on the hard tiled floors. The entire building seemed lit to create the illusion of a perpetual early afternoon.  Sri turned to search the open areas of the upper floors, but was unable to see any Starfleet uniform standing out among patients, visitors or staff.  She reached out with her awareness, and the murmur of the concourse became a deafening roar of emotion.   Waves of frustration and worry, but none of the usual static that came with a Ferengi presence.  Nath was not nearby, but the sheer volume of emotion concealed a great deal.

The woman behind the desk was an older Bajoran. A badge on her smock had the word VOLUNTEER written in golden, cursive script. Her smile, like her attention, was vague.  Sri coughed politely while the desk communication buzzed and blinked.

“Can I help you hon?” she asked as the desk communication unit buzzed unanswered.

“I’m looking for Emergency Medical.”

“Emergency Medical? Oh, that’s not in this building. That’s further down..” she leaned over the desk, pointing out the building and to Sri’s right. “…that way.”

Sri looked through the glass doorway and watched the Taxi putter away, empty. “Could one walk to the Emergency Medical Facility from here?”

“Walk?” She asked, and considered the question for a long moment as the desk communicator continued to buzz. All the channel indicator were lit, blinking slowly on and off. “Oh, I suppose so, hon. Its just a quarter – maybe half kilometer or so. Do you mind if I call you ‘hon’? I call everyone that.”

Sri made a face toward the doorway, wondering if Nath had decided to walk it, after all. “Did you happen to see someone come in wearing a Starfleet uniform?”  But the attendant had discovered the desk communicator and was answering each channel, carefully redirecting each call.  After a few she looked at Sri expectantly, so Sri repeated herself.

“Oh no, hon. I just got here.”

“Where would the previous attendant be?”

“He would have left for the day. Are you looking for someone, hon?”

Sri clenched her jaw only slightly. “Yes, a Ferengi Starfleet officer. He would have come. His face and lobes would have been swollen.”

“Oh! “ She stopped. “How can you tell?”

“Please” Sri said, trying to get the woman to focus. “I was trying to get him to an Emergency Medical facility and the Taxi took us here.”

“That’s not right the emergency—“

“Up that way, yes.  Is it possible the other attendant redirected them?”

“Maybe. Would you like me to contact the Emergency facility, hon?”

After spelling Nath five times, Sri determined they Emergency facility had not had any Ferengi, let alone one named Nath, check in.

Sri asked the attendant, “May I use your communications array to call my ship?”

She didn’t know how. Fortunately, Sri did, using her combadge to align the communications with Starfleet channels.

“Oppenheimer here.” Sri heard the ships reply after her third attempt. “Commander Syvok is looking for you.”

“Oppenheimer, I’m planetside. My communicator has been inoperative.”

“Yes Lieutenant Commander. We have been having trouble aligning our communications with the colony’s and locked extra-ship communication until we could fix the issue. Its been resolved now.”

Sri sighed. “I was helping a crewman Nath get to medical facilities. Oppenheimer, can you check with the other Federation ships in the area and see if they have a Ferengi crewman named Nath?”

Sri waited for a long time before Oppenheimer replied. By then a disgruntled queue was forming behind her, and she could feel the attendant’s impatience increasing.  Finally the reply came. “Yes, Lt. Commander. A crewman Nath transported up to the USS Sivane several minutes ago and reported to their sickbay.  They convey their gratitude in seeing to their crewman.”

“Finally. Oppenheimer. Lock on my combadge. Beam me up.”

“You do have some rest time left Sir.”

“Yes, and I plan on getting some. It will be good to come back to some organization.”

“Sir?” The communication officer asked, but Sri had already broken the connection. 

Syvok looked dubiously at the officer. “Have her beamed up immediately. I know it seems improbable, but perhaps the colony is even more disorganized than we are.”