Vasheti came skidding around the corner on her way out of engineering responding to Scotty's call for her help.
Anyone in the hallway quickly scattered or were quickly pulled by a comrade out of Vasheti's way as they obviously recognized the urgency of Vasheti actually running meant. The Engineer was never in such a vibrant hurry unless something was about to catastrophically fail or she was trying to moderate Scotty's or Melody's epic genius ideas.
Finally coming to her destination Vasheti skid through the doorway inside the room to the transporter and with a hop skip managed to stop herself before she fell. Vasheti then turned her attention to the room and was greeted by Scotty, Leonard, Spock and Jim who all looked excessively tense and worried.
"What is going on?"
"It doesn't make any sense," Scotty spoke running a quick hand over his head and almost instantly she moved walking over to his side to see what was going on. "She's just gone,"
"Who's gone?" Vasheti questioned though she had a sickening feeling she already knew.
"Do we have any clue where she might be?" Vasheti questioned moving past Jim to the console hoping maybe to see something Scotty missed, not that she was truly counting on that fact. Scotty didn't typically miss anything. "How can she just be gone? Someone would have had to of known an exact location to even think about…. Do we have anything to go on?"
"We were hoping you might have an idea," Jim stated and Vasheti let out a deep breath her stomach curling into knots already knowing where Melody was.
"Damon's gone too?"
"How did you know-?"
"I know everything and anyone who comes and goes on this ship, Captain, that's my job." Vasheti said tersely her suspicions now confirmed. Pursing her lips she stepped up fingers already starting to work. "If we can find him we'll find her. If she's in the situation I think she's in she'll be constantly on the move, possibly impossible to find. Find him we have a general."
"We're gonna need-" Scotty started in quickly starting work beside Vasheti.
"You've got it." Jim said cutting him off. "Just whatever you've got to do, get them back."
"Them?" Vasheti questioned pausing to look over at him. "Who's the other?"
"Ensign Chekov was with Melody." Spock stated and Vasheti pursed her lips at this.
"Well shit," Vasheti muttered under her breath. Vasheti then let out a deep breath before glancing at Leonard, who she noticed hadn't said a word since she'd walked in. "Mel will know we're looking for her, maybe she'll give us some help in this, but for now-"
"We'll work quick as we can to get her back here," Scotty said and Vasheti nodded turning back to the console hearing the request from her best friend's husband loud and clear even without being told.
Find her. Please find her.
Someone came charging into the office causing Faith and Onna both to instantly tense and braced themselves for an attack. Both relaxed though when they saw exactly who it was busting into her office so violently.
"She's back!" the woman said a bright grin on her face. "The Ironsides is happily twinklin' blue like she ain' done since that lady left! Her Commander be back!"
"Jenny, you scared the shit out of us," Onna said putting one hand over her heart trying to get it to slow down some.
"Yes, we know Mel's back," Faith said standing up before opening a drawer in her desk and reaching in to pull something out. It was an ancient looking revolver, something Jenny nor Onna had ever seen before.
"Where'd you be gettin' that?" Jenny questioned an eyebrow raised watching as Faith checked the barrel obviously making sure it was loaded and then clicking said barrel back into place.
"Something my Papa left me when he died." Faith explained looking up at her. "Just best to be prepared for anything."
"You know how to use that thing?" Onna questioned an eyebrow raised in question.
"Mel taught me." Faith said with a nod.
"Okay," Jenny nodded quirking a smile. "What's your plan here?"
"We need to find Mel," Faith said and both women nodded. "Onna grab a medkit and keep it with you, knowing Mel she's probably already hurt herself somehow. Jenny, think you can handle a little bit of fighting?"
"Honey Darlin' I was raised in the swamps of Louisiana fightin' ain' no new thing to me." Jenny said and Faith grinned.
"Let's go then and find our missing Commander."
Melody hesitated with a slight hop skip looking around her trying again to get her bearings straight. She was trying to decide which way for them to head to try and get away from the Gorgonians that were following behind them. In her moment of decision a pair of Gorgonians appeared from around the corner in front of them and headed in their direction.
"This way," Melody said pulling Pavel to their left and down another hallway.
The two quickly made it down one hallway and Melody took a sharp left trying to at least somewhat hopefully loose their tail.
"Duck!" someone shouted as soon as they rounded the corner.
Melody instantly dropped to her knees and skid across the floor at the order and Pavel was grabbed by someone else quickly pulling him out of the way and out of danger.
Above her head Melody felt the wind from whatever it was that was hefted down the hallway and towards the Gorgonians on their tail. She turned to look and saw a chair slamming into three of the Gorgonians knocking them from their feet and then the others behind them tripped over the one's who had fallen.
"Time to go," someone else said jerking Melody to her feet and into a run.
Melody followed without true protest not having the time to truly access the situation at hand. She was pulled down one corridor then shoved almost aggressively into another room. The door closed behind them with a loud thunk as the locks engaged.
"Mel!" someone said and there was a hardy laugh as someone hugged her from the side.
"Are you okay?" someone else said pushing the arm off of her shoulder. "Any injuries?"
Melody shifted instantly shoving off the hands and stepping back and away from the other two. She took a deep breath focusing on the two women standing here trying to figure out what was going on.
"Onna? Jenny?" Melody questioned after a second she then laughed a little. "Shit! I can't.."
Jenny laughed a little a bright grin on her face as Onna moved again looking Melody over for any type of injuries. Jenny then moved throwing one arm over Melody's shoulder and then pulling her down to ruffle her hair with a deep laugh.
"Hey c'mon!" Melody protested trying to shove her hands away.
"Yeah c'mon let her breathe Jenny," someone else said and Melody turned to look at who had spoke.
Jenny after a second let Melody go completely and stepped back and away from her. This gave her the space to allow her to push her hair out of her face where it had fallen when Jenny started to ruffle it.
"Faith." Melody said her voice almost a whisper standing up completely now that her hair was out of her face.
Faith let out an elated and somewhat strained laugh before rushing forward and embracing Melody tightly almost clinging to her as soon as she was standing properly again. Melody on the other hand just seemed to be frozen for a moment before she let out an almost wounded sound and returned the embrace.
"I was starting to think you weren't coming." Faith said after a moment.
"Fuck…" Melody said her voice hoarse.
"We were under the impression you were no longer alive," Pavel said and Melody turned to see him and Faith let Melody go and took a step back tilting her head at this information. Faith then looked at Melody then to Pavel and back to Melody slightly confused.
"Oh right, Faith, Jen, Onna this is Pavel Chekov Navigator for the Enterprise." Melody said after a second introducing her young friend.
"It is nice to meet you." Pavel said with a little smile.
"This kid is a Navigator for the Enterprise?" Jenny questioned seriously contemplating Pavel. "The Enterprise, the damn flagship of the Federation is navigated by this kid?"
Pavel flushed a little but stood his ground as Jenny approached him and stopped just in front of him for a second or two. Jenny then turned back to look at Melody.
"You shittin' me woman?" Jenny questioned and Melody raised an eyebrow at this.
"That's really very rude Jenny." Faith reprimanded the Engineer.
"He's just a kid!" Jenny said before turning back to Pavel. "How old are you anyway?"
"Old enough to be taking an offense to you patronizing me." Pavel said after a second and Melody smiled when Jenny seemed to be shocked at this.
"I like him." Onna said with a little laugh.
"He sounds just like Mel," Faith muttered and at that Pavel grinned and Melody returned it.
"I will take that as a compliment." Pavel said and Jenny just huffed walking away from them and plopping down into a chair.
"Just what we need another Mel," Jenny said and Melody then turned to look around at their surroundings.
"This my old quarters?" Melody questioned after a second moving away from Faith and Onna to step over to the small table where there were two abandon glasses.
She idly picked one up running her thumb across the surface removing the small layering of dust that clung to the glass from years of non-use. The last time she'd seen this table was just after Damon's wife had died and she and Rhea had sat at said table together and shared a few drinks.
Rhea didn't even bother to knock on her First Officer's door instead just inviting herself in knowing the access code to grant her entry. Inside she found said woman sitting at her table a glass idly held in her hand with a clear substance in it that one who didn't know Melody might assume was water. Her right foot was kicked up on said table and her head was tilted back against the back of the chair she sat in. The lights were dimmed and the bottle sitting on the table was just about half empty.
Rhea didn't say anything to her even if she knew Melody knew she was there and walked on into the room and over to snag herself a glass and plopping down in the chair just opposite of her. She sat there for a second or two and when Melody still didn't say anything she reached over picking up the bottle and pouring herself a liberal glass of the substance.
"So what're we drinking to?" Rhea questioned after another moment or two taking a drink.
"Hell if I know." Melody muttered after a second. "Seemed like a good idea when I walked in here."
"Ah," Rhea acknowledged before running her finger around the rim of her glass. "Could it still be that guilt trip your giving yourself about Damon's wife?"
"Possibly," Melody admitted after a second.
"You do realize there was nothing you could do about that?" Rhea questioned and Melody shrugged.
"Doesn' make the fact any easier ta digest." Melody said before picking the glass up and taking another healthy drink out of her glass.
"How much have you had to drink?" Rhea questioned noticing how harsh Melody's accent was with her slightly slurred speech.
"Bottle was full when I started,"
Rhea picked up the bottle again to see exactly how much was gone. There was less than Rhea had originally thought in the bottle, being as there was barely a third of the bottle left. She then raised an eyebrow impressed by Melody's coherency with the amount of alcohol in her system.
"Damn woman," Rhea said after a second or two. "You've got the alcohol tolerance of a Vulcan!"
"Just lucky that way." Melody then shifted finally rolling her head to look at her friend. "So what are ya doin' here may I ask?"
"You were late." Rhea said shrugging and taking another drink herself. "You're never late and well I can't exactly spar by myself."
"Ya think for one night ya could possibly find someone else to spar with?" Melody grumbled after a second or two.
"Nope," Rhea shook her head. "I don't spar with anyone else. I haven't spared with anyone else since the Academy, you know that."
"Then take the damn night off." Melody bit out agitated sitting up and pulling her foot down from the table. Rhea was quiet for a second or two waiting for Melody to continue. "Ya do realize forcin' me ta continue on as though nothin' fuckin' happened doesn' help me deal with this any easier? I am fuckin' tired Rhea, I need just a night or two to deal okay?"
Melody then took the now empty glass in her hands and chunked it across the room only to have it collide with the wall opposite them and shatter on impact. Rhea didn't even flinch at this just taking another drink from her glass.
"Feel better?" Rhea questioned after a second or two and Melody let out a deep breath burying her head in her hands.
"No…not really." Melody admitted quietly.
There was a moment or two of silence between the two where in Rhea continued to happily sip on her drink and Melody finally looked up at her friend head tilted to the side as she propped it on her palm.
It was almost achingly clear the alcohol was starting to make its presence in her system known. Rhea actually felt slightly sorry for her friend seeing the clear pain that would only be visible with the alcohol's help.
"You couldn't do anything Mel," Rhea said after a second.
"Yes. I realize that. I have had everyone reiterate that fact for me a hundred times over. An' you know what? It doesn' fuckin' change a thing! It doesn' change what happened!" Melody finally exploded at Rhea all hints of pain being replaced by anger. Rhea flinched when Melody finally started to raise her voice; something she wasn't prone to very often outside of a dire emergency. "I have been told over an' fuckin' over that I couldn' do anythin'! I fuckin' know I couldn' do anythin'! But that doesn' change the fact that that woman died!" Melody spat the word out like poison. Melody then raised her left hand and balled it up into a fist. "It doesn' change the fact that I can still fuckin' feel her lettin' go of my damn hand!"
"Mel-" Rhea started but Melody cut her off.
"If ya say one more fuckin' word about how it was a fuckin' accident I swear I will put your ass outside in the damn hallway." Melody threatened and at that Rhea fell silent. Melody then let out a deep breath of her own trying to rein in her temper. "I get it. I get the fact that for normal people bein' told it was an accident an' that they truly couldn' do anythin' would help them deal with it. I am not like that. So just stop. Stop tellin' me it was an accident, or that there wasn' anythin' to be done, stop actin' like we can just go on an' I don' have to face this an' deal with it. I made a decision, it was a bad decision an' it cost someone else their life. It cost someone else to loose his loved one. I need to deal with this an' really don' need everyone else's help okay?"
"So getting drunk and yelling at me is how you want to deal with this?" Rhea questioned her own tone becoming cold. "That's a great way to deal with your problems Melody Rivera! Everyone on this damn ship is worried about you! Your friends are worried about you! The reason I make you get up and spar with me every damn night is because I am your best friend and I am the only one you ever seem to fucking listen to anymore! If you stay in this room you will drink yourself under the damn table and become depressed! We are trying to save you from yourself and you're being a flat out ass about it!" Rhea then paused and pursed her lips. "So enough is enough. Get your ass up and we are going to go spar, okay?"
Melody blinked almost seeming to be shocked before she paused before letting out a deep breath and uncurling her fist. Rhea was right. She then looked over at Rhea contemplating her for a second before she spoke:
"Ya do realize I am actually really drunk?"
"Yeah I know." Rhea said pushing her chair back to stand up too. "But don't they say rigorous exercise will sober someone up?" Rhea looked like she was contemplating this fact. "Least that's what Faith tells me when I need a detox… eh well c'mon might be the only chance I will actually have to beat you for once."
Melody rolled her eyes and then pushed herself up to stand and followed Rhea as she walked out of the quarters deciding to clean the glasses up later.
"Mel?" someone questioned and she turned to look at who it was. Faith stood beside her hand resting lightly on her arm. "Still with us?"
"Oh, um yeah sorry." Melody said after a second or two. "So anyway, what were we talkin' about?"
"Pavel mentioned that we are supposed to be dead?" Faith questioned a hand on her hip as Melody set the glass in her hand down where she had picked it up.
"Yeah," Melody confirmed after a second. "Right after Damon abandon us on that iced planet? Jim Kirk found us, an' soon after that we received news that your body had been found."
Faith paused for a second and an almost shocked look covered her face before she spoke again: "My body? How could Starfleet make a identification mistake like that?"
"I'm not so sure it was truly a mistake," Melody said after a second or two.
"You think they lied to you on purpose?" Pavel questioned and Melody turned to look at him.
"It wouldn't be the first time Starfleet lied to further an agenda." Jenny said flatly tilting her head back to look at the others who still stood behind her. "If you'd known we were alive, no doubts you wouldn't have been nearly as willing to let us go or wait this long."
"This is true," Onna said interjecting herself into the conversation from where she was sitting on the coffee table. "Mel, you are a very formable woman when you set your mind on something. I have high doubts that anyone in Starfleet would have stood a chance at all against you if you had known we were alive."
"Stubborn as a damn goat." Faith said after a second and Melody cracked a smile. "But I guess that works to our advantage this time. So, Commander what's our plan here?"
"Are ya the only one's left?" Melody questioned after a second obviously starting to think.
"Unfortunately." Faith confirmed with a grumble and a nod. "Damon's been picking people off in twos and threes since you left."
"Somehow I expected that…" Melody let out a deep breath thinking about it. "So the obvious thing is we need to get off this ship an' regroup before being rash…." Melody paused again crossing her arms as she thought. "Damon's not lettin' this ship go. He'd destroy it sooner than he would give up. It's the last leverage he thinks he has." She then paused again and then looked over at Pavel. "Pavel, ya think ya can get everyone from here to the Enterprise given we can contact them?"
"Da, of course I can, Commander." Pavel confirmed and Melody nodded.
"Damon will need to be distracted while ya try an' contact the Enterprise. How long do ya think ya would need Pavel?"
"Just a matter of minutes." Pavel answered promptly. "They are probably currently looking for us anyway. Do you have your communicator? I'm afraid I left mine sitting on the table beside your bed in the sickbay."
"Why were you in the sickbay?" Faith cut in her lips pursed.
"I can explain that later," Melody said casting a glance at Faith before tossing her communicator to Pavel. "There ya are. Now what I want ya to do is get ahold of the Enterprise, get back to the ship, an' then call me back."
"No." Faith stated crossing her arms own arms. "Hell no. You are not going after Damon alone! Damon is nuts. He wants to kill you more than he wants to live himself. You're doing nothing but walking into the lion's den."
"Exactly." Melody said firmly. "He's after my blood. He knows I'm on the ship, so he will be lookin' for me not the four of ya. So ya get off the ship an' I will follow behind."
"He could also kill you before the kid can call you back!" Faith argued throwing one hand out in Pavel's direction.
"I trust that kid with my life, maybe ya should too." Melody said after a beat and Faith's shoulders dropped when she realized what she'd said.
"Oh…" Faith said dropping her arm and turning to Pavel. "Pavel, I'm sorry I shouldn't have-"
"It is okay," Pavel cut her off with a smile. "I am used to it."
"Yes, well I shouldn't have said that." Faith said tilting her head. "Age has nothing to do with ability. I know that, I shouldn't have correlated the two." Faith paused before looking back over at Melody. "You really think this is the best course of action?"
"May not be the absolute best idea but it will work," Melody nodded and Faith pursed her lips before she nodded as well.
"Well then, we should get out of here before Damon figures out where we are." Jenny said standing up and Onna did as well.
"Where ever you go Mel," Pavel said and Melody turned to look at him as he finished his train of thought. "Stay away from the engine room. I can't get you back from there, too much interference with the core and machinery."
"I will do my best." Melody said after a second.
"Translation, no promises." Jenny said with a little laugh.
"Regardless," Melody cut Jenny off. "Let's get a move on."
"Be careful." Faith said and Melody nodded before they all turned and went separate ways.
"Hey!" Vasheti proclaimed suddenly standing up from the chair she'd been sitting in helping Scotty find the others. The two had been working for nearly two hours now to try and find the other two. "I got something! I found Pavel!"
"What?" Scotty said quickly moving over to where Vasheti was he then laughed a little relieved. "Ye did it Lassie! But where's Mel? She's not with him.."
Vasheti paused for a second before she pursed her lips. "Damn, she split them up. Looks like he's got possibly two members of our old crew with him… but he'll know where Mel is, we just need to get him back here."
"This will be the best chance we have to get them back," Scotty mused running his hand over his head distractedly. "We'd best take it."
"I agree." Vasheti said and then turned to open a comline. "Vasheti to Bridge."
"We found Pavel." Vasheti informed him.
"Still working on it," Vasheti said after a beat. "Just thought you might wanna come back down to see what information our Navigator might have for us."
"On my way."
In a matter of minutes Jim was at Vasheti's side to look over her findings. Behind him stood Spock along with Leonard and Christine all waiting to see if Vasheti and Scotty could call Pavel back.
"Do we know who is with him?" Jim questioned turning his focus back to Vasheti. "Friend or foe?"
"I'm banking on it being some of our old crew." Vasheti said and Jim nodded. "Can't really be one hundred percent sure but it's your call, Captain. Want us to call all three back or just Pavel?"
Jim paused seeming to be thinking for a moment before he nodded. "Call them all three back, if it's a threat we can be ready to eliminate it."
"Of course." Vasheti nodded and both she and Scotty turned to doing as Jim asked.
Both Jim and Spock moved ready to attack if the other two with Pavel weren't friendly. Vasheti then let out a deep breath before glancing at Scotty who nodded.
"Here goes." Vasheti said informing the others. "Energizing now."
There was a small pause before there was a starting of materialization of three figures. Everyone held their breath as they waited to see who it might be with Pavel. Vasheti stood to look over the top of the console to see as they finally became solid.
"Jenny! Onna!" Vasheti called as soon as she recognized the other two with Pavel.
Pavel didn't even hesitate completely ignoring Jim and Spock jumping down and darting around them to the console where Vasheti stood. He immediately sat down and started to work as quickly as his fingers would allow.
"Pavel?" Vasheti questioned curious turning her attention to him.
"She's waiting for me to call them back." Pavel explained curtly not even pausing in his work. "She's trusting me to call them back."
"She?" Vasheti questioned slightly confused.
"Faith." Jenny informed Vasheti who snapped back around to look at her. "Faith went to get Mel's crazy stupid ass. Wasn' leavin' without her."
"Faith is alive?"
"Wait, before we get into that," Jim cut in and they all turned back to him. "Who are you two?"
"Oh right," Vasheti said and Onna and Jenny both stepped down off the transporter pad into the actual room. "Captain, this is Jenny O'Hare one of my Engineers on the Ironsides, and Dr. Onna Black one of the doctors who worked with Faith."
"Hello," Onna said with a little smile.
"Hey," Jenny said crossing her arms before turning her attention back to Vasheti. "Damon's not letting that ship go without it being in pieces and he will massacre Mel before he destroys it. You've got to find her and Faith quick or there might not be anything left worth bringing back."
Vasheti pursed her lips before quickly turning her attention to helping Pavel now extremely worried about her friend's welfare at the hands of Damon.
"Oh how the mighty have fallen!" Damon's loud voice taunted her as she paused behind a pipe just large enough to hide her presence from Damon. "Hiding in the shadows like the coward you are now are we?"
Melody leaned back against the pipe biting her lip to hold in her groan of pain as she pulled her hand away from her side and up to reveal it was drenched in her own blood. Taking a deep breath holding in another groan she shifted pulling her shirt up to actually look at the wound.
"Shit..." Melody muttered leaning her head back against the pipe again and placing her hand back on the wound.
It was quite a bit worse than she had originally thought. It was not merely a flesh wound but a very deep gash that was at least an inch deep. She was also starting to feel quite lethargic, which she was now chocking up to blood loss from the wound.
She let out a deep breath looking around and trying to find a way out of the Engine room which she now found herself in. Damon had not truly given her any other place to go, yelling out emergency protocols to the computer locking up every single room and or department she may have wanted to dart into. He had also started a self-destruct sequence knowing that odds were he and Melody both would go down with the ship.
So now her only hope was to get herself out of the Engine room and back up to where Pavel could find her. She tightened her grip on her side subconsciously trying to listen over the blaring alarms to try and pinpoint exactly where behind her Damon was.
"You probably won't be lasting much longer my friend," Damon finally spoke and Melody tilted her head to the left. He was just to the left of the pipe she was hiding behind. "You see this blade I have, the one I cut you with earlier? It's dipped in a very rare and incurable Gorgonian poison. Something my Gorgonian friends showed me in thanks for letting them out of that horrible mountain. Care for me to explain what exactly it will do?"
Melody didn't answer him shifting slightly ready to move if he happened to get any closer, just needing to stay out of reach until she could catch her breath.
"Pretty soon you are going to completely loose control of your legs." Damon continued still walking closer to where she was. "They are going to start to shake, and then they will spasm uncontrollably as the muscles contract randomly. It will then move up your spine causing spasms as it weaves its way into your nervous system causing the nerves to essentially explode destroying them completely. If you are still conscious after that then you will feel it move into your lungs, but by then you won't stand a chance in doing anything but attempting to fight to breathe, which of course will be futile. It's so deliciously painful I have trouble waiting for it to start working!"
Damon was then completely silent and Melody couldn't hear anything over the clanging of the alarms going on around them. She shifted slightly wondering if maybe she should move and as she did her left leg began to shake. She put her free hand down and placed it on her thigh trying to calm the tremble at least for the moment.
"Ah! There you are!" Damon's voice startled her. He was just beside her and she went to step to the side and her leg collapsed dumping her on the ground. He stood there for a second before he laughed noticing Melody's leg trembling. "I did warn you, won't be too long now Commander."
"Fuck you." Melody snarled out and he laughed again before leaning up against the pipe she had just been standing behind.
"Gonna go down swinging aren't you?" Damon questioned a sick smile on his face as he twirled his knife in his hands. "Seems to me that you're caught between a rock and a hard place Commander. The poison is working well enough now that you can't get up and out of here on your own, and your friends on the Enterprise can't even think about saving you with all the machinery and interference that comes with being in the Engine room. Besides that, we've only got about five minutes before the self-destruct sequence finalizes taking us both out." Damon then laughed darkly.
"Poor thing you've had a long hard fall from grace, haven't you? Failed at a mission, lost your ship to someone who had no experience on a fleet ship and then lost nearly all of your five star shining reputation? Then on top of all that was told your sister was dead only to find out they were lying to you all along?" Damon paused then tilting his head and stopped twirling his knife. "Been a long hard road doesn't it seem funny to be ending exactly where it started?"
Melody opened her mouth to say something but as she did someone else appeared behind Damon, and with the practiced finesse only a medic would have, snapped her wrist and buried a hypo in Damon's neck.
"Bitch!" Damon exclaimed angrily.
He then turned grabbing Faith's arm and slamming her into the pipe beside them. She then threw the palm of her free hand up and into his nose. He let out a howl of pain and let go of Faith's arm, she then grabbed the back of his head sidestepping him and then slammed his forehead into the pipe behind them.
As soon as she knew Damon was momentarily stunned, Faith dropped him, darted around him and to Melody hauling her up and onto shaky legs.
"C'mon, we need to get out of here." Faith said finally getting Melody to her feet.
Melody nodded, forcing her legs to support her and function at least long enough to get off the ship and back to the Enterprise where Leonard could help her. Regardless of Damon's claim of this poison being incurable she was positive Leonard would be able to help her, he always could. Faith noticing her trouble shifted pulling most of her weight to lean on her.
"C'mon Pavel, any time now." Faith muttered urgently.
"We gotta get away from the Engine room." Melody managed out.
"You won't last that long Melody!" Damon's voice taunted them. "Poison is too deep in your system now!"
"C'mon," Faith said ignoring Damon and forcing Melody into a quicker pace. "C'mon Pavel…"
"It's the best chance we've got Pavel." Scotty informed the younger.
"Take it!" Jim barked and Pavel nodded.
"Energize," Pavel stated and everyone held their breaths waiting.
It took a moment or two before something rather large materialized and was heading straight for where Leonard stood waiting for Faith and Melody. Christine jerked him out of the way as the large piece of metal flew out of the room and out into the hallway causing one poor Ensign to scream and duck as it buried itself in the wall there.
There was then another thud and everyone turned their attention back to the transporter pad to see two figures. One was squatting down protecting the other her body shielding her from the debris and the other was on her hands and knees her head also ducked and curled in one clutching her side the other bracing herself on the flooring.
There was a moment that all that could be heard was the clattering of small metal pieces that Pavel had called back with them, skittering across the floor and down the steps. No one moved until one of the two women coughed and the sound of blood hitting the floor prompted movement.
Faith sat up pulling Melody up with her trying her best to see the wound she was so desperately clutching to on her side. She completely ignored everyone else in the room solely focused on Melody. It was then that Melody let out a blood-chilling scream and curled in on herself even more.
This immediately prompted action in the room, Jim being the closest to them quickly making his way to Melody's side to try and see what was wrong, and Spock wasn't two steps behind him picking Faith up and onto her feet to pull her away from Melody and Jim.
"No! Let me go!" Faith shouted desperately doing her absolute best to get out of Spock's grip. "She's been poisoned! Let me go!"
Melody let out another scream and her legs curled in suddenly almost dumping her face first if Jim hadn't been right there to catch her. In nothing more than another second Leonard and Christine were at Melody's side as well trying to assess the situation.
Melody's body was starting to twist and contort, as the muscles were obviously not under her control anymore and it was now an almost continuous scream of absolute pain coming from her.
"We need to get her to the Sickbay now," Leonard ordered over Melody and Jim nodded.
"It's gonna take us both," Jim said looping one arm underneath Melody's and her hand clutched desperately to his shirt. "Carrying her solo really seems to be out of the question."
Leonard nodded and between he, Jim and Christine they managed to get the screaming and contorting Melody out of the room and towards the Sickbay.
Faith was still yelling at Spock who still hadn't let her go. Finally getting enough Faith threw her elbow back and cracked it straight into Spock's nose causing him to let her go mostly shocked by her action.
As soon as she was on her feet again Faith didn't even hesitate taking off after the others down the hallway. Jenny after a second took off after the medic, Onna no more than two steps behind her.
"Shit." Vasheti exclaimed then turned to Spock. "You okay?"
"I am fine," Spock informed her and she nodded before turning to follow behind Faith and the others.
Vasheti came crashing into the Sickbay only to find Faith sitting in a chair curled over hands buried in her hair with Jenny and Onna both trying to comfort her. Jim was standing just next to them arms crossed and Vasheti could hear Melody still screaming.
"What the hell is going on?" Vasheti questioned demanding to know.
"There is no antidote!" Faith cried out her voice breaking. "We can't help her! It's not-" Faith was cut off by another higher pitched scream.
"We've seen it before. It was Damon's favored way of killing off the crew." Onna informed the others her voice also shaky. "It's a poison the Gorgonians showed Damon how to make. There is no known cure, it destroys the nervous system bit by bit and eventually she will die from asphyxiation because the nerves that control breathing will no longer work."
Vasheti face paled as all the blood rushed from it in her shock and she opened her mouth to say something but only managed out a squeak before closing it again. She cast a glance at Jim who didn't say anything before she turned to look back down toward where she assumed Melody, Leonard and Christine were.
Then Melody stopped screaming.
There was an awful heavy silence as everyone seemed to go into shock for a good five minutes. It was only broken by Faith who let out a painful and heartbreaking sob. Vasheti looked over at Jim who had dropped his arms in shock and his face probably just mirrored her own at that moment.
"She can't be gone…" Vasheti said quietly a sudden panic over taking her at the thought of Melody actually being dead. "No… she just can't be…"
Jim stood there for a second or two more before he turned and walked back down to where Melody, Leonard and Christine were. Vasheti cast a quick glance at Faith before quickly following behind Jim.
When she caught up with Jim, the panic she'd felt before hit her again in full force. Melody was lying on a bed, pale and limp her hand dangling just over the side of the bed. On the hand that was hanging was the bracelet of Oshira and the twins that she always wore covered in her blood. There were bloodied cloths pressed up against her side where the gash had been.
Leonard was sitting in a chair just beside Melody his hands covered in her blood with one hand hiding his face from their view, his shoulders slightly shaking. Christine stood on the other side of the bed her hands covering her mouth and tears flowing steadily down her face. The only sound heard was the long continuous sound of the monitors telling them Melody had flat lined.
Suddenly the panic Vasheti had felt turned into cold sweat and nausea. She turned quickly, locating a trash bin before bending over it and with an awful almost dry wretch attempted to empty her stomach contents.
Vasheti sat there for a few seconds trying her best to get a grip on her feelings and ignoring the sickeningly sweet taste left in her mouth as an after affect of her panic. She felt a soft hand on her shoulder and tilted her head to the side to see Christine bent down next to her reaching to hold her hair back and out of her face.
Vasheti took a deep breath nodding to Christine to tell her she was okay before leaning back and sitting down on the cold floor. She just sat there, trying to wrap her mind around the fact that Melody truly was no longer with them. No one else moved or said a word.
Finally after what seemed like forever of enduring the unbreakable silence, Vasheti stood on slightly shaky feet intending to go and confirm what happened to the other three. As she stood she glanced one last time over at Melody, before noticing something very odd.
Her hand twitched. Twice.
Vasheti looked over at Christine to see if maybe she had noticed it as well. It didn't seem to overly concern the nurse so Vasheti just decided it was her mind playing tricks in hope that this wasn't real. She then glanced over at Jim and tilted her head toward where the others were letting him know what she intended to do.
Before Vasheti could leave, Christine's hand grabbed her arm in a tight death grip stopping her in her tracks. She looked at Christine confused before turning her gaze to follow Christine's.
Melody's hand moved again, this time though it fisted up and there was an odd blue light emanating from the bracelet around Melody's wrist. Vasheti let out a little noise of disbelief and looked over at Jim who also seemed to be in shock.
"Bones.." Jim said hoarsely trying to gain his attention.
"Not now Jim." Leonard's voice was hoarse and quiet. "Really not right now."
"No Leonard, seriously." Christine said quietly.
It was at that exact moment that there was a brighter flash of blue light and then Melody took a deep gasping breath arching straight up off the bed and into a sitting position. Shocked Leonard's hand instantly fell from his face as he scrambled to his feet to get to Melody's beside. She then started to cough rapidly and reached out finding his shirt and fisting one of her hands in it tightly.
"Len." Melody gasp out hoarsely still trying to get her breath back.
"I'm right here, Darlin'. You're alright. I got ya," Leonard said pulling her to him in a tight embrace.
"Leonard." Melody said his name again in a small very weak type voice, as though she might not have heard him the first time.
"I've got you, Darlin'," Leonard repeated softly, doing his best to control the slight tremble in his own voice. "You're okay. I've got you. You're safe."
Melody didn't say anything else, just curled her knees up closer and tightening her grip on Leonard's arm which was wrapped around her neck holding her close to him, his fingers carding thought her hair gently. She could hear his voice rumble through his chest making her relax some not true coherent enough to understand exactly what it was he was saying.
It was then that she burst into tears, crying so hard she almost made herself sick in a rapid wash of complete relief and realization that she was really there. And he let her, just let her hold on a little tighter than normal because he'd be lying if he denied doing just the same thing.
Jim smiled watching the two for a moment before he turned to walk away from the couple back down the bay to where the others waited. Christine and Vasheti quickly turned to follow his lead leaving the couple with their privacy.
Leonard sighed setting down the PADD he'd been reading and tilting back in his chair. Melody was resting peacefully now. Her wounds were slowly healing as she refused to allow him to heal her saying something about not wanting to tempt fate any further. He had been inclined to agree after the events of the day.
He then looked up tiredly as there was a knock on the side of his open office door.
"Hey," Faith said with a little blush on her face. She then lifted a mug in offering. "Coffee?" She then hesitated slightly shifting her feet nervously. "Captain Kirk mentioned it was the second best way to start a conversation with you. The first being bourbon?" She then held up a bottle of it as well. "He said don't tell Commander Spock I offered it while you were on shift."
"My shift ended about two hours ago." Leonard said before indicating to a chair in front of his desk in offering. "So the hobgoblin has no standing."
Faith laughed a little under her breath before taking the offered seat and setting the bottle of bourbon and the mug of coffee down on the desk between them. Leonard then opened the drawer of his desk and pulled out two glasses setting them down on the desk. He then paused and looked at Faith who raised an eyebrow in question.
"Just a slight sense of Déjà vu," Leonard said answering Faith's unasked question before pouring the two a glass each of the bourbon. "The first true conversation I had with your sister was essentially just like this, other than I was the one offering the alcohol not the other way around."
Faith nodded. "Must be something you two have in common. The best way to get her to have a real conversation has always been with the aid of alcohol, but she's more of a whiskey type woman. Least she was.."
"She still is." Leonard acknowledged and Faith laughed a little and relaxed some. "I doubt she's changed much from when you knew her."
Faith paused for a second before speaking again. "There is one significant thing about her that has changed though. She married you. After everything Danny did to her, all the shit he put her through, she still married you." Faith held her had up as he opened his mouth to say something. "Let me finish. I honestly never thought she would even consider having someone in her life again like that, but I'm glad she did. From everything I've heard you two make a very good couple."
Leonard didn't say anything for a few minutes before he nodded. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Faith said with a little smile. There was then a little pause. "So how is Mel?"
"She's healing." Leonard said after a moment. "The extent of the damage I won't be able to properly assess until she wakes."
"I don't understand how she survived." Faith said after a beat. "Every single patient I've had died from that poison. I couldn't cure it, no matter how hard I tried. Hell, I tried every damn thing I could, orthodox or un and I just couldn't find anything that worked."
"I don't think I really want to seriously think about it too hard." Leonard said after a second. "Truth is we may not find the reason why. You know as well as I that sometimes the unexplainable happens."
"Yeah, true." Faith relented. "Having that little shit Rhea Valentine as a patient taught me that."
"Try dealing with Jim sometime." Leonard grumbled and Faith laughed a little.
"So I'm going to assume you will stay here with Mel?" Faith questioned after a small silence.
"Yeah," Leonard nodded. "While not ideal that couch isn't the most uncomfortable thing I've slept on."
"Mind if I stay here too?" Faith questioned after a second.
Leonard paused before nodding. "Yeah, take the couch."
"I couldn't do that to you," Faith protested. "I can sleep in a chair, done it many times before."
"You're as bad as your sister." Leonard called her out and she stopped protesting. "Take the hospitality, it might come far and few between."
"Okay." Faith said after a beat. "Thank you."
"Your welcome." Leonard said before finishing off his glass of bourbon and standing up. "Sleep well, you know where to find me."
"At least use a second chair to prop up your legs," Faith said after a second. "It helps keep you from getting too stiff."
"Sounds like you've done this a few too many times."
"Have you met my Captain Valentine?" Faith questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"Touché," Leonard said with a little nod.
Leonard then waved to her slightly as he walked out of the office. Faith paused for a moment before downing the shot of bourbon and standing herself. She stretched slightly before making her way over to the couch before curling up on it to fall into a light sleep.
Melody woke very early the next morning. She blinked a few times trying to put the ceiling into focus before moving to push herself up. She winced slightly as the movement was met with sore and protesting muscles.
Finally getting herself up and propped on her elbow she turned to look at her surroundings. A small snore from beside Melody gained her attention and she spotted Leonard sleeping just next to her. She smiled when she noticed his legs propped up in a second chair, and she remembered Faith doing the same thing so many times when Rhea was injured.
She pushed herself on up doing her best to be quiet and not wake Leonard before shifting and pulling her shirt up to look at the gash on her side. It was wrapped up tightly with bandages but she could see a small amount of blood beginning to stain the bandage.
Melody then heard someone walking down the bay. She pushed her shirt back down before looking up to see Pavel standing there. He hesitated slightly seeming unsure but Melody smiled and he returned it before his gaze shifted to something else.
Melody turned to look at what had caught Pavel's attention only to spot Faith leaning up against the open door jam leading into Leonard's office her arms crossed watching them. Faith smiled and waved slightly at her and Melody laughed lightly.
"I told ya to just trust the kid." Melody said and at this Faith laughed and that sound woke Leonard up.
"I should have never doubted you."
Melody grinned and then turned her attention to Leonard gladly let him fuss over her, knowing at that exact moment that everything would be alright.
Damon was gone, and everything he stood for was gone. It was over. It was finally over.
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