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JL | Lt Anaxar Shran & Craig MacLeod | "Bare Necessities"

Posted on 241709.06 @ 14:43 by Lieutenant Craig MacLeod & Lieutenant Anaxar Shran

Mission: Ballynamony

Anaxar drifted in and out of consciousness, or focus, or whatever. In the dark and still alone, it was all the same. Occasionally he heard, or thought he heard, footsteps, or distant murmurs, and once he thought he heard a shout, but that could just as easily have been a dream.

Dreams. He tried to hold onto thought or memory long enough to dream. About life on board of the Vindicator. People he'd met there. (No, don't go there… Si'a…). Even his old nightmares would have been welcome at this point. But the moment he longed for them, even they deserted him.

Deserted? Forgotten? Since he had been dumped back after his visit to Vic (and how long exactly had that been? He had no idea…) he had heard or seen nobody. Or maybe someone had come when he was out. But Si'a was still gone. He hoped, whenever he could hold his thoughts together long enough to hope for anything, that it was a good sign, that it meant Claire or Craig could help her…

And fade out, again.

The walk back to the cell that held Anaxar was longer than it should have been if only for the fact that Craig was doing everything in his power not to jostle the frail little star-creature in his arms. She was placid, too placid, and back asleep as he practically tip toed through the halls. Bundled in blankets he could feel her warming up at least a little bit, at least enough to easily ascertain that she was definitely alive even if her breathing was shallow. Every once in awhile he could feel the warmth of her breath as she exhaled and that was enough for him to be convinced that she'd stay in the realm of the living for at least awhile longer. Claire had done all she could and he would do the same.

The plan was simple; get Si'a tucked in a bunk with Anaxar and rush home to prepare the herbal elixir he hoped would solve the bleeding at least long enough for her to begin healing past the point of danger. Was that even a possibility? Faith, lad, have faith.

Unlocking the door the doctor was no stranger to trepidation as he entered. Anaxar had been in a less than friendly mood when he'd taken Si'a, right down to an assault against the hollow of his neck where it met his shoulder. The dizziness had been uncanny even with a grip as weak as the blue man's had been. "Anaxar?" He called gently, shifting Si'a's weight in his arms, "We need tae get her in bed. I dunnae trust her being alone either." The last thing she'd need would be to roll from the bunk in a state of dazed confusion. The cell was dark... Quiet, but he could just barely make out the twitch of Anaxar's antennae as they honed in on his general direction, "Once she's settled I'll be running off to fetch medicine. Will take me a patch o'time, but... I have hope it'll help her." Craig continued to talk, his voice low and soft, as he approached. They were friends, weren't they? As friendly as could be given the state of affairs they found themselves tangled in, anyway.

At first Anaxar hadn't even heard him enter. The soft grating as the lock was turned, the creak when the door was gently pushed open and the soft footsteps hadn't roused him from his state. Only when Craig called his name did some awareness return. He lifted his head with an effort. Pain was distorting the other man's words, making the accent a greater barrier than it already was. But he managed to pick up the relevant part: Si'a was alive. Still alive.

Where was she? Not here. Not nearby. No, wait. He was still on the floor. Cold, stone. Not good. No. Too cold for Si'a. But. There was a bunk. They had been there before. "Yes. Bed. Put her there." Then all he had to do (hah!) was to go back, follow wall until reach bunk, then climb up. That could be a challenge. Yes. He would do that. In a bit. Plan formed, rest, then execute. Yes. Rest.

"Where I'm headed." Craig could see the man moving, knew he was alive, but also knew that he was another one that was going to require help. Help he could give. Help he would give. Setting Si'a down became the next challenge that he'd have to hurdle. It required freeing her from her cocoon of blankets and being fastidiously gentle about it, "I'm laying her down, gonnae lay her on one side, lay out a blanket, set her onto it and then spread it out o'er the rest o'the bed. More insulation." He explained for both of their sake, just in case Si'a was listening in and wonder just what the hell was going on and why the strange man handling her was working this way and that, setting her down, picking her up, and setting her down again after some more fidgeting. The remaining blankets were spread out over her with care to tuck them between her and the stone wall.

"Gonnae come to help ye now, I dunnae want her rolling off the bunk." More explanation. "Claire worked on her, but ah... I dunnae know if it'll hold. She'll be needing to stay calm and quiet. Rest." Reaching Anaxar he stooped low to check the man over. For the most part he seemed to be comfortable with the cold, almost too comfortable. There was no shivering, no sign of hypothermia or distress. Fingers rest against Anaxar's skin seemed to confirm the story; he was warm to the touch, not clammy, and appeared to have good tone all things considered. "I'm gonnae help ye up. Steady now, easy lad." Craig kept talking, lifting Anaxar's shoulders from the stone floor and working to help him get into a sitting position and then to his feet... Sort of. The blue man leaned heavily against the doctor's shoulder, resting against him. "One foot at a time and then ye can rest with yer lass."

Anaxar tried to reply, but whatever he was trying to say came out as an unintelligible sound, a cross between a sigh and a grunt. It felt as if the useless band which formed his implants was the only thing which kept his head from exploding, splattering the walls with blood and brains. His feet stumbled across the uneven floor, and if it weren't for the man holding him up, he would've fallen several times because of the stumbling alone. Then again, he'd fall down the moment Craig released him, so there wasn't any practical difference. It was a good thing that despite his height, Anaxar was scarecrow-thin.

At last they reached the bunk and now Anaxar heard her breathing: slow and shallow, but he could hear it, at least. As the man helped him to settle down on the bunk, he could also touch her – or at least, the blankets which surrounded her, but that was a lot more than he had expected when she had been carried out. He sighed and curled around her once again, in what was little more than a reflex.

And the doctor – Craig – he had said Claire worked on her. He had seen her. The others, too? "How are they?" was his next question, hopefully one the doctor could make out.

"A wee bit scuffed, not too shabby." Craig replied, pulling back blankets and laying them back down to encompass Anaxar in their warmth. It was a lot like tucking children in for slumber, only not nearly as innocent or adorable, and this was meant to protect them from the harsh wet cold of the garrison and not against boogie men and monsters that meant to steal them away in the night. Death was a monster, though, he reminded himself, and death lurked just around the corner waiting to collect Si'a if they weren't careful. "The one with the spots is the worst o'them, but he'll be suffered to survive just fine, Claire can patch him up now she has her bag and those things in it." With a final tuck of the blankets under Anaxar's weight, they were sealed off and away from the cold for at least a little while. "They'll bring ye food and water no doubt and I'll see what I can do for extras ifn ye be needing them."

Soft. Comfort. Bliss. And lying down like this made the headache fade a little bit. But a little bit was all he needed to be able to think – at least, a little bit. Craig mentioned food and water. This reminded him.

"Did you give Si'a… something to drink? Fluids? She hasn't… since we crashed." How long ago had that been? All that drifting in and out of sleep, unconsciousness, or the borderland between, had seriously messed with his usual timesense. And with no other clues to go on, and no sight, he had lost all track of time. Hours? Longer than that, surely. One day? More?

"It was offered, couldnae get her to take much more than a sip. She wouldnae stay awake for very long." The doctor sighed heavily, peering over at a hint of teal colored hair as the only sign that she was even around, "I cannae say for sure ifn she was that out o'it or if she was being pig headed."

A slow smile creased Anaxar's lips before fading away again. Either was possible, yes, and for Si'a's sake, he hoped it was the latter. "If you leave a cup… and straw… I'll help her." Or at least, he'd try.

"I hate to question ye methods, but how is straw gonnae help?" The doctor's head tilted, befuddled and perplexed by the idea of straw and water doing anything together that would help the woman recover, "Dae ye mean to say that's what she eats?" It seemed altogether possible, but uncanny. She was so similar in structure and build to a human that it never crossed his mind that her dietary needs could be more in line with anything different. Things were just getting stranger and stranger by the minute, and Craig could feel the alluring tug of a trip to the pub calling his name just as soon as he was done taking care of them for the evening.

"Wha-?" Now it was Anaxar's turn to be confused – not that that was hard to archieve in his current state. It actually took a few moments to realise what the doctor was referring to. And even then, he was actually off: Anaxar envisioned a pile of plastic or paper straws on Si'a's plate in the mess hall, instead of the organic stuff. "No…" His antennae twitched with a trace of frustration. "A straw… hollow… like a reed…"

With knit brows and tight lips, Craig stared at Anaxar quizzically. "A... Reed." He repeated, slowly, like cooled molasses as he tried so very hard to put two and two together. What did straw and hollow reeds and water have to do with one another? Two were plant based, one not edible by anything he'd even encountered, and water sustained every form of life he'd ever come to know. "It's tae cauld for reeds. They're all gaen." He tried to explain, "Best I could dae is hay maybe. Everything's frozen." Now it was likely that the little creature was going to starve to death. No one in their right mind would ever believe that she ate like a goat. No one.

Again it took some time for Anaxar to process what the man meant. It didn't become any clearer even on reflection, but it dawned to him, at least, that Craig had no idea what Anaxar was talking about. Now he only needed to explain. Slowly, trying to enunciate as well as he could, he whispered: "Put… a hollow straw… or reed, or something… in a cup, and suck. Water… goes in straw… in mouth… you can drink… without spilling. Just sips."

"Alright..." The word was long and drawn out, Craig still not quite catching on to the concept of sucking on straw as it sat in water, but the idea of not spilling water seemed like a good one given the environment they were and how limited the supply would be. "I dae what I can. Is there anything else ye require?" There were usually reeds down by the river, some may have escaped the snow, at least in part, long enough for him to be able to break a length off and see exactly what the blue fellow was on about. It would add time to his trip and time to mixing medicine, but he'd do what he needed to as quick as he could.

Relieved he had finally managed to get his point across, Anaxar sighed and relaxed. Was there anything else? No, nothing he could give them. Freedom. A shuttle to take them home. A fully functional sickbay. Miracle healing for Si'a. "No..." Now he just wanted to hold her, and sleep.

"Then I'll be on my way and back as soon as I can be with medicine and your.. ah... Straw." Craig nodded and then immediately stopped, realizing that Anaxar wouldn't be able to see him. The pivot he turned was a neat one, a soldier would have been envious, and it was with a strong sense of purpose that the doctor strode from the cell. He had a mission and it would need to be successful.


Lieutenanr Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Stellar Cartographer

Craig MacLeod


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