Sweet Child O' Time #22 - Reflections

As in all times of crisis, Emmeline worked. Assessing the damage, prioritizing the repairs, wondering how exactly it was she'd set to fixing that poor terminal that'd given out entirely. In other words, trying to forget there was a crisis going on at all, forget those images of death burnt into her memory. Emmeline had never seen death, unsanitized. Had she not been so intent on trying to prevent Kitty Black getting a bad impression of her she didn't know what she would have done. Screamed. Fainted. Something that would be in any case entirely inappropriate for a Starfleet officer.

What was it her mother had said that week after her graduation?

'That world has marked you, and will do again.'

She hadn't understood, and had put it down to bitterness on her mother's part. But had anyone told her that she would see such destruction, and do nothing but take tricorder readings? She would not have believed them.

There was nothing else she could have done. She had no medical training, no knowledge - in that area, at least. The sickbay itself became her patient-substitute, demanded of her and was given all that she possessed. In her methodical working was a lulling pattern that could shut out all fear. Not that Emmeline was aware of this, consciously. All she knew was that there were repairs that needed her skill.

She sent out reports, hourlies, to Kitty Black, to Commander Petrova, to wherever she thought they would be of benefit. Not that it mattered. Once she had begun a task Emmeline would see it through, and having been one of the first people on the scene she considered this her particular responsibility. It wasn't, in the grand scheme of things - and yet it was, for she had seen it as few others had.

She paid little attention to anything that was going on around her, the medical staff clearing the bodies away, the shock of each new arrival to the scene. It was worse for the others, she reminded herself. They knew the dead. They had been treated in this sickbay, had worked in it. It was their starbase, and their loss in a way it wasn't Emmeline's. And while she sympathised, she was thankful for the modicum of detachment that allowed her.

It was the Romulans. That was the undercurrent that filled the room, the whispers of the other engineers. Her resolution to think on them without prejudice was not likely to hold long, and she suspected had her sister, who had prompted this view, been present, she too would have agreed. To want to kill a Reman was one thing, a desire of questionable merit - but to cause such an explosion? In a sickbay of all places, it was unfathomable. Terrible. But that was precisely what the Tal Shiar were.

Back on Emmeline's homeworld such a thing had never happened. It was that stark fact that enabled her to see the reality of the situation she had been placed in. And she was dealing with it surprisingly well.

Ensign Emmeline Kane Engineering Officer Starbase Ronin 'From the edge of nowhere to the edge of chaos'