Hurt & Comfort

Book 4: The Well of Hurt

© 2002-2021 MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link.

Chapter 12: The Belly of the Beast

Andrew walked into sickbay the old fashioned way... through the door.

"Hi love, did you get all the rest you needed?" Alan asked and walked over to hug Andrew.

"Yeah, that took a lot out of me. How are you doing?" Andrew asked with interest.

"Well, Seven of Seven found a playmate... she and Naomi Wildman are in the Doctor's office with Puppy right now. The rest of the kids are in a huddle over there about something that Six wrote.

Andrew gave a big smile and said, "I'm so proud of him. He really expressed himself in that story."

"Do you have a copy? They wouldn't show me." Alan said with hurt.

"Yeah, I've got one at home. Gods Alan, I can't wait for us to have our own baby. These kids make me want him that much more." Andrew said with overflowing love.

"I know what you mean. I've actually been wanting to ask you how you'd feel about us... having twins." Alan asked hesitantly.

"Would that cause any extra risk to your health?" Andrew asked immediately.

"No, since the artificial womb does all the work. The only difference is that I'll be carrying a little more weight. Love, I want to do this... Four and Five are so special, I want a us to have a pair of our own." Alan said in a pleading voice.

"Love, I think it's a great idea. Just think of it... two sons. Our little boys." Andrew said joyfully and held Alan close.

"Then I'm going to tell the Doctor now. He's going to insert the artificial womb tomorrow when he replaces the leg. Then after the ceremony, he'll just pop the babies in." Alan said with a smile.

"Um, love, when do we have to provide the... baby juice?" Andrew asked hesitantly.

Alan gave a deep full laugh. Finally when he calmed he said, "I thought we could make 'baby juice' after the ceremony, day after tomorrow. The doctor says the procedure will only take a few minutes."

Andrew nodded and smiled.

"And, you can't make anymore 'baby juice' until the ceremony, because we want a good sample to work with." Alan said .

"You mean no???"

"That's right love, at least nothing below the waist." Alan said.

"Why are you smiling, you're not getting any either." Andrew said sourly.

"Because I'm going to be a daddy. With two little boys of my own." Alan said happily.

Andrew watched Alan for a moment before giving in and smiling.

"Okay, you win. I'm happy too. When is Seven going to pick up the kids? We'd better get to bed early, we have a big day tomorrow. You have to get a new leg and a womb and I have to drag this ship through a two year long wormhole." Andrew said dramatically.

"She'll be here any time. She and B'Elana were finishing their report for the Captain." Alan said and looked to the children.

"One of Two?" Three asked from the group of children.

"Yes Three?" Andrew answered.

"How did you feel when you were half way through the wormhole?" Three asked with excitement.

"Like I had a misaligned occipital implant in my stomach." Andrew answered.

"I told you." could be heard from Six.

"Children, follow me for regeneration." Seven of Nine's voice came from the doorway.

The children immediately straightened and formed a line, then walked out the door in an orderly fashion.

Alan ran to the Doctor's office.

A moment later Seven of Seven came running out of the office, past Andrew, and out the door.

Alan walked into the room at a more leisurely pace and said, "I guess our work here is done."

"Love you." Andrew whispered and put an arm around Alan as they walked out the Sickbay door.

* * * * *

"Good morning gentlemen." the Doctor said as Andrew and Alan entered Sickbay.

"Good morning Doctor. I'm here bright and early as ordered." Alan said with a gentle smile.

"I have something to show you in my office before we begin." the Doctor said with a note of impatience.

Andrew and Alan followed without comment and stopped just inside the doorway of the office.

"Sit." the Doctor said firmly to Puppy and Puppy remained standing, looking at Andrew and Alan.

"Sit" the Doctor repeated, this time with more force. And Puppy remained standing.

"Puppy, sit." the Doctor finally said and Puppy looked at him and sat down.

"Very good Doctor. You'll have him fetching your slippers in no time." Alan said with a fond smile.

"He was responding immediately earlier, having others in the room must distract him." the Doctor said in a considering tone.

"Very likely. Puppies aren't known for a long attention span." Andrew said.

"True, true. Well, on to the business of the day. I believe you know where the gowns are Mr. Summers, if you would be so kind as to change, we will begin." the Doctor said and gave Puppy a ball.

"Yes Doctor." Alan said and left the room.

"Six asked if he could observe the operation... I just don't know, he *is* a child. It may be too graphic for him. What do you think?" Andrew asked with concern.

"I think he is one of the group of children who removed Mr. Paris' hand. It would be beneficial for him to see how difficult it is to reattach an appendage. Maybe he'll think twice before removing another." the Doctor said seriously.

"Thank you Doctor. I'm going to ask Seven of Nine and Two of Seven what they think, if neither object, then I will ask Six to observe the operation." Andrew said with certainty.

"It will take me a few minutes to prepare everything. You can go to Cargo Bay four and ask them if you like, it's just down the hall." the Doctor said as he left the office.

"Fine, I'll be right back... don't start without me." Andrew said and hurried out of Sickbay.

* * * * *

Andrew walked into the Cargo Bay to an eerie sight. All the energetic children from the day before were lined up silently along the wall.

He walked quietly and looked carefully at the apparatus as he approached Seven of Nine's alcove.

Something caught his attention. There was a box affixed to the side of the alcove and it had a small light inside. Andrew walked closer and saw that the box was covered with glass or plastic and it was a display case. Inside the box was the ceramic turtle.

Andrew stepped away from the alcove, feeling that he had just violated Seven of Nine's privacy by seeing that. As he turned to leave he noticed movement from the corner of his eye.

"Were you in need of assistance Andrew?" Two of Seven asked.

Andrew jumped at the sound but quickly calmed himself and said, "Yes Two, I came to ask you and Seven of Nine if you think it would be a good idea for Six of Seven to observe Alan's operation today."

"For the purpose of observation?" Two asked.

"Yes. It is not common for a child to witness an operation. It might disturb him, but it might also inspire him or one of the others to pursue an interest in medicine. He already expressed an interest in observing the operation so I just wanted to ask for Seven of Nine's and your permission before asking him.

Seven of Nine opened her eyes and remained still at the sound of talking in the Cargo Bay.

"My permission? I have been told to comply with your instructions." Two said in confusion.

"Yes Two. I will ask your permission for something that has to do with the well being of the children. I think Seven of Nine is officially their guardian and I believe that she will act in all the children's best interest, but you spend more time with them and will know better what is in each individual child's best interest. I'm asking if you think it is a good idea for Six to observe the operation today." Andrew said quietly.

"Yes, I believe he should observe the operation and write whatever feelings he has about the experience. If you are concerned about how this experience impacts him emotionally, read what he writes and you will know." Two said plainly.

"Thank you Two. That was very helpful. Now I need to ask Seven of Nine for her permission. She is the guardian of you all and it is her ultimate decision." Andrew said and walked back toward Seven's alcove.

"Computer, disengage regeneration sequence for Seven of Nine." Two said as they walked.

Seven of Nine stepped out of her alcove and asked, "Do you require assistance Mr. Wells?"

"I came to ask your permission for Six to observe Alan's surgery today. He asked yesterday if he could watch." Andrew asked with respect.

"For what purpose?" Seven asked flatly.

"Observation." Andrew answered.

"Two, do you feel that Six would benefit from this activity?" Seven asked without emotion.

Both Two and Andrew were surprised by the question, but Two quickly answered, "Yes, it may serve to foster an interest in medicine for Six or one of the other children when he relays his experiences."

"Very well, you are more familiar with his nature, I will trust your judgment." Seven said and walked to Six's alcove.

After pressing a few buttons, the alcove went dark and Six stepped out.

"Six of Seven, Seven of Nine has given permission for you to observe the operation in Sickbay this morning." Andrew said, trying to contain his emotion.

Six didn't betray any emotion, but went efficiently to a box in the cargo bay and retrieved a data padd.

"If you're ready, we'll go now." Andrew said.

Six did not answer, but followed immediately behind Andrew as he left the cargo bay.

* * * * *

"So how are you this morning?" Andrew asked as they walked down the hall.

"I am well. Now that I have had time to process the events of yesterday, I feel that I should thank you." Six said seriously.

"For what?" Andrew asked in puzzlement.

"For listening when I talked. I have little memory of the time before, but I recall frustration at being ignored or patronized. My thoughts were considered unimportant and my feelings were considered *cute*." Six said with an impressive sour inflection on the word 'cute'.

"Of course I listen Six. If I didn't listen to you, why should I expect you to listen to me?" Andrew asked as he stopped outside the Sickbay.

Six smiled and said, "That is why I want to say thank you."

Andrew thought for a second then said respectfully, "Your welcome." And led the way into the Sickbay.

* * * * *

The Doctor began the operation and the room was silent but for the occasional sound of Six making notes on his data padd.

::Torres to Mr. Wells:: sounded over the comm.

"Go ahead." Andrew said into the air without moving his attention from the Doctor.

"We are detecting signs that the wormhole is destabilizing. We need to go now if we are going to make it through before it collapses." B'Elana said with obvious anxiety.

"Okay, where do you need me to go?" Andrew asked with apprehension.

"The most central point in the ship is the Airponics bay. If you'll go there now, Seven of Nine will meet you there." B'Elana said hurriedly.

"On my way." Andrew said and cast a look of desperation toward Alan.

"Proceed Mr. Wells. There is little more to see here, I am merely reattaching the muscles and tendons." the Doctor said.

"Would you like me to accompany you?" Six asked seriously.

"No Six. Please stay here and watch over Alan for me." Andrew said and left the Sickbay.

* * * * *

Andrew walked into the Airponics bay and was assaulted by the overwhelming fragrance of live plants and the feel of humidity.

He slowed his pace and looked in wonder at the wide variety of plants growing without dirt or water.

"Right this way Mr. Wells, we must begin immediately." Seven of NIne said at the far end of the room.

Andrew took a seat on the floor and nodded to Seven to indicate that he was ready.

"Bridge. We are prepared." Seven said into her comm badge.

"We are moving toward the opening of the wormhole now." Captain Janeway's voice responded.

"You'll have to tell me when the egg is big enough." Andrew said as a reminder.

"Lieutenant Torres will be monitoring your progress and relay that information to us." Seven said efficiently.

Andrew looked around and located the wormhole with his power. He remembered the feel of forcing it open and began to cause the entry to widen.

"That's it Andrew, it's big enough, just hold it there. We are going to increase speed to maximum impulse beginning... now." B'Elana said through the speaker.

"May I help you?" came a voice from the door of Airponics.

"Crewman Geron, we require the use of this space for the next eleven point four minutes." Seven said and returned her attention to her tricorder.

"Just ask if you need anything." Geron said and went to work, tending to the plants.

"We have reached maximum impulse. The decay of the wormhole seems to be accelerating." B'Elana said with worry evident in her voice.

"Will we have sufficient time to traverse the distance?" Seven asked with a tone that might be worry.

"I don't know... it will be a race." B'Elana responded with full worry in her tone.

Silence fell over the Airponics bay as Andrew fought to maintain his concentration.

"We're nearly out. Five... Four..." B'Elana's said with panic in her voice.

There was a crashing sound and a shudder ran through the ship.

Andrew looked around and couldn't see anything. He blinked his eyes, then determined that it was due to the complete absence of light.

"Seven?" Andrew asked quietly.

There was no answer. Andrew felt around and after a moment, found her laying a few feet away from him.

"Seven, please wake up." Andrew said with panic in his voice.

"Mr. Wells?" Seven asked in confusion.

"Yes Seven. Something happened. I don't know what to do next. Are you hurt?" Andrew asked, really hating the dark.

"I believe my ankle has been broken and I have received a concussive injury to my head." Seven said.

Andrew could hear the change in her voice which told him that she had found a sitting position.

"Seven of Nine to bridge." She said and received no response.

Andrew cast his mind out to the sickbay and found it a mess, Six was working furiously on Alan's leg.

"We need to get to Sickbay." Andrew said with worry.

"Could someone help me?" a voice came from the darkness.

Andrew focused his inner sight and found Crewman Geron pinned under a rack of shelving.

"Don't worry Geron, I'll be right there to help you." Andrew said and moved across the room, using his inner sight to help him avoid obstacles.

After a minute of prying, Andrew was able to pull Geron from under the shelves.

"This is going to feel a little funny but I'm going to relocate you to Sickbay... it's like a transporter. Just lay still." Andrew said and moved a portal over Geron's body and relocated him instantly.

"Come on Seven, we're going to Sickbay." Andrew said as he returned to her side.

"No, the first priority is to gain control of the ship. Can you move me to main engineering?" Seven asked without emotion.

"If that's what you want." Andrew said and tried to locate the engineering section.

"You are going to feel a dropping sensation. I am going to open a portal just above a chair, so you won't have to walk." Andrew said.

"Proceed." Seven said with discomfort creeping into her voice.

A moment later Seven dropped into a chair at the main engineering console.

Andrew ported himself to Sickbay and asked, "Six, what's going on?"

"It went dark and then the Doctor was gone. I've been trying to close the wound so Mr. Summers wouldn't lose any blood." Six said desperately.

"Thank you Six. When the Doctor is back online, he will be able to continue the operation. Do you know how to operate the biobeds?" Andrew asked, looking at the controls.

"Yes, they seem to be powered independently, or at least have an alternate source of power." Six said and initiated the biobed's shell.

Andrew looked at the readout and smiled with relief.

"He's fine. Will you check on the other patients while I take care of Crewman Geron?" Andrew asked and moved to Geron's side.

Six moved hurriedly to Chakotay and turned on the biobed.

"Geron, can you stand? I need to get you to a bed." Andrew said as he knelt down.

"I think so... with some help." Geron said quietly.

Andrew took Geron's hand and helped him to stand.

"Just lay down and I'll scan you for injuries. Can you tell me where it hurts?" Andrew asked.

"Cold... I don't know." Geron said as he began shaking.

"Six, see if you can find some blankets. Geron is going into shock." Andrew said without looking away from the biobed's readout.

"It looks like you've broken a bone in your hand. After what just happened to you, that's not too bad." Andrew said with encouragement as Six handed him a blanket.

"Thanks Six. How are the others?" Andrew asked as he covered Geron.

"The one over there has fallen from his bed. The others seem to be well." Six said, looking around helplessly.

"We need more help. Anyone who is injured will be trying to get here soon and this place is going to fill up... Can you get the other children to help?" Andrew asked hopefully.

Six ran to the door to be stopped. It didn't open automatically.

"I cannot open the door." Six said helplessly.

"I'll open a portal for you." Andrew said and a portal formed beside the door.

Six ran through the portal and a moment later he returned.

"One of Two, please come quickly. Five has been injured." Six said with panic.

"Can he be moved?" Andrew asked as he tried to pick Harry up and put him back in bed.

"Yes, yes... we will bring him." Six said and stepped back through the portal.

A moment later Two carried the unmoving form of Five into the room.

"Is everyone here?" Andrew asked as he arranged Harry on the bed.

"Yes, please help. He is not exhibiting life functions." Two said in panic.

Andrew ran to Five and saw that he wasn't breathing.

"What happened?" Andrew asked as he turned on the biobed.

"An electrical discharge." Two said with fear in his voice.

Andrew looked at the readout and said, "His heart has stopped. Two, watch what I'm about to do, I may need for you to take over."

Two silently watched as Andrew alternated between forcing breaths into Five's mouth and forcefully compressing his chest.

After three rounds of chest compressions, Andrew stopped and looked at the readout.

He smiled and saw that the heart had begun to beat. A moment later Five took a deep, desperate breath of air.

Andrew slumped back and noticed that all the children were watching silently.

"We need to get this place ready to attend to wounded. Two, see if you can find some sort of stimulant. We need to revive Chakotay and Ensign Charles. They will be able to help. Three and Seven, start picking up things in here. If it can be used, put it where you think it goes, if it is debris, put it in the Doctor's office and he can sort it out later. Four, you need to stay here with Five. If he stops breathing or his lips begin to turn blue call me immediately. Six, I need for you to stay with Crewman Geron for a minute. Be careful of his hand, it's broken." Andrew said with authority and began to focus his inner sight around the ship.

After a glimpse into Engineering where he could see that Seven of Nine was dealing with things efficiently he cast his mind to the bridge.

He could see smoke filling the air and at least one unconscious form, barely visible in the emergency lighting. He opened a portal that was the size of one entire wall of the Sickbay.

"Captain, are you alright?" Andrew asked with worry.

"Fine, just had the wind knocked out of me. Could you see to Ensign Bateheart? His console exploded." Janeway said between deep breaths as she was slumped on the floor.

"I believe this is the stimulant that you were wanting Andrew." Two said and handed him the hypospray.

"Thank you Two. Captain, may Two of Seven come on to the bridge to attend to Ensign Bateheart?" Andrew asked as he walked to Chakotay and injected him.

"Yes." Captain Janeway said as she was impressed by the calm that Andrew was keeping in this crisis.

"Two, take a medical tricorder and see if it is safe to move Ensign Bateheart. If it is, bring him to a biobed. Geron? Can you move to a chair? We are going to need the beds for the most seriously injured patients." Andrew said and injected Ensign Charles.

"What happened?" Chakotay asked groggily.

"A lot. I think the Captain could use your help on the bridge." Andrew said and looked to see if anyone was in need of immediate help.

Chakotay got off the bed and walked through the portal to the bridge.

"Andrew? Can you tell if anyone is attending to damage in Engineering?" Janeway asked, trying to maintain a facade of calm as she pulled herself into her chair.

"Yes, Seven of Nine went there immediately after the incident. She is working on repairs now." Andrew said, then continued, "Permission to come on the bridge, that man seems to need help."

Janeway followed Andrew's pointing finger to Ayala. "Permission granted. His name is Gregor Ayala." she said with calm dignity.

"Two, would you help me get Mr. Ayala to a bed? He's too big for me to carry by myself." Andrew asked of Two who was putting Bateheart into a bed..

Two responded by running to Andrew's side.

"What?" came a voice.

"Ensign Charles, glad to have you back with us. Would you take the ops station?" Janeway asked with a note of concern in her voice.

"Aye Captain." Ensign Charles said and made his way unsteadily through the portal.

"Captain, if you don't have any further need of me, I'm going to start looking around the ship for people in need of medical assistance." Andrew said as he and Two got Ayala onto a bed.

"Greg?" Geron said with panic and stood.

"If you encounter Mr. Paris in your travels, send him to the bridge. If anyone can get the helm working again, it's him." She said with a fond smile.

"Of course Captain." Andrew said and withdrew his power from the portal.

"Prophets protect us. What happened to Greg." Geron cried out in fear.

"Geron, don't worry... Two, would you bring a chair over here for Geron. I get the feeling he's going to be right here for a while." Andrew said.

"One of Two, Five is coming awake." Four said loudly.

"Five, how are you feeling?" Andrew asked and went to his side.

"I hurt. My chest... did something fall on me?" Five asked in a daze.

"Your heart stopped and I used chest compressions to restart it. I may have caused some bruising. Remain in bed until we can get the Doctor online and he can check you out." Andrew said and moved to check the readouts of Bateheart and Ayala.

A portal formed in the middle of the room and Andrew said forcefully, "Seven of Nine, I need the Doctor. I have patients who may not survive without treatment."

"Repairs are being instituted. The Sickbay power should be restored within four minutes." Seven said while working on her Engineering station.

"I hope they can last that long. Do you want me to keep the children here or could you use their help?" Andrew asked as an afterthought.

"Three of Seven, are you versed in bioneural interface algorithms?" Seven asked without looking up.

"Yes." Three responded.

"Then I could use your assistance in replacing bioneural gelpacks." Seven said and continued to work.

"Good, go and help Seven." Andrew said and opened the portal to the floor.

Three cast a look toward Five before walking through the portal.

"Two, I'm going to look around the ship for injured personnel. While I'm doing that, I'll need for you to keep the children busy. Give them tasks to perform so they don't have time to think about being scared." Andrew said.

"Yes, will you be back soon?" Two asked with hope.

"I won't actually be leaving the room. Just my mind will be leaving to search the main areas of the ship to identify wounded. If you need me to wake up, just call my name and I'll bring my attention back here." Andrew said and took a seat.

Two understood and watched as Andrew stared and seemed to lose focus.

* * * * *

Andrew cast his mind out and found a group of people in the mess hall. He didn't notice any serious injuries and moved his focus to the holodecks. The holodecks were off-line and empty.

He moved hurriedly from deck to deck finding small groups of people, but no one seriously injured.

Finally he came to an observation lounge. He saw Tom Paris working furiously, trying to help someone.

"Tom, what can I do to help?" Andrew asked as he opened a portal a few feet from Tom.

"We need the Doctor. A shelving structure collapsed on her and crushed her chest." Tom said helplessly.

"The Doctor is off-line. Seven says he should be back in just a minute. Is she able to be moved to Sickbay?" Andrew asked with equal helplessness.

"I don't know, but we might as well... I've got nothing to work with here." Tom said in frustration.

After a brief moment of thought Andrew said, "Move away from her for a second. I'm going to port her directly into a bed."

Tom did so and a moment later she was laying in Sickbay.

Andrew opened his portal wider and Tom ran into the sickbay and to the woman's side.

"Hang on Samantha, the Doctor is going to be up and running any minute." Tom said as he held her hand.

"Mama?" a small voice said from the portal that was still standing open.

"Naomi, your mama can't talk to you right now." Tom said and tried to block her view of Samantha.

Andrew felt his heart lurch at the sight of the little girl worried for her mother.

"Seven of Seven, would you take Naomi into the office and start organizing the things we stacked in there?" Andrew asked, trying to keep his voice even.

Seven responded by walking out of the room, a moment later Naomi followed reluctantly.

"Thanks Andrew. I really didn't want her to see her mom like this." Tom said with a note of relief.

"Captain Janeway needs you on the bridge... I guess the helm blew out and you're the only man for the job." Andrew said, trying to lighten the mood.

"Yeah, I can fix that thing single handed." Tom said and held up his stump.

Andrew smiled when he heard a voice behind him.

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

* * * * *

"Doctor, we have several wounded. Please check out Samantha first, then Mr. Ayala and Mr. Bateheart. I think everyone else is stable for the moment." Andrew said as he turned on the biobed.

"Mr. Wells, could you get my mobile emitter from the office? It would seem a prudent precaution with the power net being unstable." the Doctor said as he looked at Samantha's readings.

The Doctor activated the biobed's shell and moved to Mr. Ayala. Andrew ran back into the room and held out the emitter to the Doctor.

"While I attend to Mr. Ayala's injuries, perhaps you could brief me on our other patients." the Doctor said as he activated the emitter.

"Just a second. Tom, now that the Doctor is back, I'm guessing you need to be going." Andrew said with a smile of relief.

"Yeah. Thanks for helping Sam." Tom said and walked through the portal Andrew had just created.

"Okay... Five was hit with an electrical discharge that stopped his heart. I performed CPR and he is resting over there. Crewman Geron has a broken bone in his hand and is bumped and bruised. Since you said that you would release Ensign Charles and Chakotay this morning, I administered a stimulant to them to free up their beds and so they could help out. Harry was thrown from his bed and I put him back in it, he hasn't regained consciousness." Andrew said as he watched the Doctor work.

"I notice that the incision on Mr. Summers leg has been closed." the Doctor said as he pressed a few buttons on the biobed and moved to Ensign Bateheart.

"Yes, Six closed the wound while I was still in Airponics. He said he didn't want Alan to lose any blood." Andrew said with a hitch of fear in his voice.

"Very good. I will be able to complete the surgery once the crisis is past... Mr. Bateheart will need significant dermal regeneration. I believe you are familiar with the use of this?" the Doctor asked, holding up the regenerator.

"Yes Doctor." Andrew said and took the regenerator unit.

The Doctor moved back to Samantha Wildman and Andrew thought to say, "All the kids but Three are here. If there is anything they can do to help..."

"What about Greg?" Geron asked in a timid, fearful tone.

"Do not worry Mr. Geron, Lieutenant Ayala's injuries appear worse than they are." the Doctor said. After a pause of consideration, he picked up a hypospray, identified the contents then injected Lieutenant Ayala.

First there was a twitch, then a slight moan before Lieutenant Ayala opened his eyes.

"Greg? Oh, thank the Prophets, I was so scared for you." Geron said through his tears.

"Tem? Shhh, don't worry Tem. I'm fine. Come here and taste the truth." Greg whispered.

Geron moved carefully to Greg and gave a long, slow, lingering kiss. After the kiss he pulled away and said, "You're fine. I'll try not to worry. You scared me Gregor." Tem said honestly.

"It wasn't my idea, but I'll try not to let it happen again." Ayala said with tenderness.

Geron turned to catch the wistful look in Andrew's eyes.

"We're a couple." Geron said shyly.

"It's okay Geron, the man in that bed over there is Alan, we're getting married tomorrow." Andrew said proudly.

"Really?" Geron asked with wide eyes.

"Why are you so surprised? From the way Tom and Chakotay talked, it's no big deal to be a same-sex couple." Andrew asked with confusion.

"It's not that, it's just that there hasn't been a marriage the entire time we've been in the Delta. I haven't seen one couple last for more than a few weeks after they made themselves known. You can call it a silly superstition if you like but I wouldn't let Greg tell anyone we were a couple." Geron said and turned back to Greg.

"Your name is Andrew isn't it? I think I've seen you around." Greg said in a tired voice.

"Yes, I've seen you on the bridge and in Sandrine's." Andrew said as he was carefully running the regenerator over Bateheart's left arm.

"That's right." Greg said with a smile.

"Andrew pulled me out from under some shelves that fell on me and brought me to Sickbay." Geron said with admiration in his voice.

"Thank you for helping Geron. He's my world." Greg said and closed his eyes.

"Don't worry Geron, the stimulant is just wearing off. He's going to be fine now that the Doctor's back." Andrew said with confidence.

The door opened and several people made their way into the Sickbay.

Andrew sat the regenerator aside and walked to the group.

"Everyone stay calm. If you don't have a life threatening injury, just take a seat and the Doctor will be with you as soon as possible. And if you're here with someone who is injured, please move to the far side of the room so we can attend to the injured more quickly." Andrew said and noticed Two watching him.

"Two, will you regenerate Mr. Bateheart's injuries?" Andrew asked quietly.

"Of course Andrew."

"Six, I have a job for you." Andrew called out.

Six stepped out of a corner, holding his data padd.

"Would you please make a list of each injured person's name, their injury and how they were injured?" Andrew asked seriously.

"This will help?" Six asked in a small voice.

"Yes, the Doctor will be able to look at your list and decide who needs to be treated first." Andrew said and waited for Six to walk to the first person in line.

"Four, how is Five doing?" Andrew asked.

"He is resting. His readings are within normal parameters." Four said efficiently.

"Then could you go to the Doctor's office and check on Seven of Seven and Naomi? The Doctor is here to take care of Five if he needs help." Andrew said.

Four got up without comment and went to the Doctor's office.

More people entered the room and Andrew started assessing their conditions by sight.

"Doctor, we don't have any more beds and we are getting more patients." Andrew said over his shoulder.

"We will need to move those patients not in need of immediate medical attention to a convalescent ward. Mr. Kim, Mr. Summers and Mr. Ayala can be sent there as soon as it can be established." the Doctor said in a rush as he worked on Samantha's wounds.

"Anyone who isn't injured, let's get the cargo bay next door set up as a convalescent ward. We need to free up the biobeds for those most in need." Andrew called to the increasing group of people.

"Seven and Naomi are playing with a holographic projection of a canine." Four stated as he went back to Five's side.

"Good, that's what I had hoped. Stay with Five for now and see to his comfort." Andrew said and looked around the Sickbay to see everyone working productively.

"Doctor, what do you need me to do now?" Andrew asked with a lost tone.

"I need for you to go in my office for no less than fifteen minutes and relax. Thanks to your delegation, there is little to do except for the actual treatment of these patients. If I have need of your services, I will call on you." The Doctor said with a tone that said he meant business.

To Be Continued...