SIM:Nicholotti In My Arms I Will Take You

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((Bridge, USS Victory))

::She reached out and found his arm before smiling softly. ::

Nicholotti: I'm sore, but I'd like to think I'm alright.

::David nodded, but it wasn't a nod to agree. Far be it for him to judge, since Medicine was never his calling, but he would be happier if Kalianna would go down and get herself checked out before running all over the place checking everyone else. He smiled back and gave her an arm squeeze... best he could do under the circumstances. ::

Cody: Any broken bones, major arteries cut... "things" that you should take care of first before checking on the staff?

::He watched as she glanced around the bridge, and within her eyes, a reflection of her worry, fear, and a desperate need to know her crew was just fine. He knew the feeling. There were some nights he dreamed of the names and faces that died under his watch, adding some wrinkles to an already space-weathered face. ::

Nicholotti: I fared better than a lot of the others.

:: She found his hand and levered herself against the chair. She pulled herself, but David helped her up onto her feet as concern washed over him. He opened his mouth to tell her to sit back down, but remembering how well past attempts to get senior officials to stop putting themselves in harm's way went, he decided to instead help and keep a sharp eye on her. Fragile, no. But her heart did worry him, even though he wouldn't say or show it. ::

Cody: I'd try to tell you to stay off your feet until we get the Doc to look at you, but I know better.

:: They both heard Ben's voice fade, hearing him calling out for Sickbay. Nicholotti moved past David, stepping around the command centering. He fell into step behind her and stayed close enough to give her some distance (and so the rest of the crew didn't think there was something that might be critically wrong). ::

:: He came as Nicholotti approached Ben, looking worse for wear. The goosebump on the back of David's head throbbed a bit, reminding him of his spill. She closed the gap quickly, taking Ben's arm and leaned his unsteady frame into hers. David growled silently to himself. oO Don't overexert yourself... Oo ::

::She looked up at his forehead and wiped the dripping blood away and onto her jacket before going back to look at the wound itself.::

Nicholotti: You don't look so good. It's amazing you're not out cold.

:: David thought Ben might want to avoid a mirror until he was cleaned up as a myriad of emotions swept his features, from confusion to a happy, somewhat sappy smile David knew from a few occasions when Sickbay didn't give him a chose and he had laid there slightly under the influence of medication. ::

Walker: Just glad to have survived that Ka-aptain. Sickbay is on their way up.

:: Nicholotti raised an eyebrow, and David realized that was a trait they both shared. ::

Nicholotti: Hey, why don't you sit down.

:: They both looked around and David was about ready to declare Ben a fast transport down to Sickbay. And... a part of him looked like he was faking it, almost making David subdue a laugh, although it would be inappropriate. ::

Walker: It seems a bit messy right here Cap oO Cap Cap Cappy! Oo -tain. I'm sure I could make it to my quarters.

Nicholotti: No really. Right here. It's not quite as far as a fall if you are already down on the ground.

::David watched, somewhat amused, as Nicholotti got Ben to sit down. ::

Walker: Ok, down. But, I'm not much good to you here...

Nicholotti: Sickbay is on their way, so let's make sure Ash here is alright until they get here.

::Kneeling down to help him get settled, she reached over and found the science officer's pulse. The look on her face showed it was there, but the pool of blood she lay in obviously worried her as she pulled her jacket off and balled it up. Putting it on the woman's head wound, she looked at her First Officer.::

Nicholotti: Can you hold that there and not pass out?

Walker: I can guarantee that passing out is the last thing I would allow to happen Captain.

::David watched a knowing look coming into Nicholotti's eyes as her eyes suddenly darted toward the viewscreen. David followed her gaze, watching as Romulan warships decloaked as he sniffed a bit. oO So there's the cavalry... Oo He had half a mind to get the Captain on com and ask him or her where the hell were they ten minutes ago... ::

:: David didn't see Kalianna's hand moved to her chest. He didn't see a short wave of dizziness and disorientation as she pulled herself onto her feet and stand. The shortness of breath is what snapped his attention back to her, fear seizing his heart as he took two steps over to her and snagged her arm. ::

Cody: ::soft and short:: Kalianna... what's going on?

:: Of course, the com would have to go off. David watched Kalianna carefully this time, looking for any signs her heart might be on the verge of going out. He didn't like the way she was blinking, or the shortness of breath which narrowed his eyes. ::

Nicholotti: ::inaudible:: =^= Go. =^=

Breeman: =^= I'm opening the exhaust shunts to full. This will take 20 seconds. Otherwise we risk a warp core breach. It's going to get kinda bright midships. There are power surges through everything down here. =^=

::David was done. He moved in and clamped a hand on hers, bringing her face around to his so he could stare her down. It wasn't an order, but the look he gave her couldn't be missed. It was his "don't mess with me" expression, devoid of humor. ::

Nicholotti: =^= Okay =^=

::She was having trouble breathing, that was obvious. David kept his voice low, and between them. He did not need the bridge crew to panic.

Cody: ::barely a whisper:: Slow and steady, one breath at a time.

::Breathe in. Breathe out.::

::The com interrupted again. David stemmed a few choice words from the recipient. He needed to get her out of here, now. ::

Silveira: =^= Silveira to Captain, the problem is solved.=^=

Nicholotti: Good.

Silveira: =^= We have one tube working, but this one I would rather we not use it...::He began to laugh:: the torpedoes might just squeeze out too easily Captain.=^=

Nicholotti: =^= Right. Too ::She paused to breathe again.:: Easily. =^=

::David caught her this time, holding Kalianna up and motioning to cut the com and stop talking. ::

Silveira: =^= I will fill you in the details a bit later, I need to change before returning to the bridge. Silveira out=^=

::And right on top of that... David did growl, and loudly this time. Kalianna's skin was paling, and she was having to fight for breaths. ::

Cody: Stop.

Breeman: =^= Breeman to Nicholotti. =^=

::She stumbled and caught the railing as David got a hand on her, a real hand, taking her by her waist. oO Damnit, woman! Oo Why did Captains have to be stubborn mules? ::

Nicholotti: =^= What…..? =^=

Breeman: =^= We have minimal maneuvrability. Warp drives can deliver warp 2. We can do quarter impulse. ::He did the math quickly in his head. It would be another minute before full impulse would be available, two before the internal diagnostics on the engine casings were finished.:: Give me another five minutes and I can get us full impulse. =^=

:: Excitement betrayed her voice. ::

Nicholotti: =^= Okay! =^=

::And that was when David felt her sag in his arms and collapse. Gently, he guided Kalianna to the floor and made sure she didn't bump her head or bang up anything else in the process. Her eyes landed on him then and her body shuddered. She half gasped as David watched, dread filling his gut as fear colored her eyes. He snaked an arm under her back and helped her into a sitting position. ::

Cody: Next time, sit.

:: Ben's voice cut in sharply. ::

Walker: What happened? She seemed fine a moment ago.

Cody: She's not fine, Commander. Her heart's giving out.

::He couldn't see Ben's reaction, and while he felt bad to the harshness of his words, there was no time. ::

Walker: Transport the Captain directly to Sickbay, we can't run the risk.

::Getting his other arm hooked under Kalianna's knees, David kept his back straight as he lifted the both of them and straightened his legs to stand, cradling the Captain. ::

Cody: Someone open the damn com!

Bridge Crew: Response?

Cody: ::barking:: =^= Cody to Sickbay. Two to beam directly into Medical, stat! =^=

MacLaren/Sickbay: Response

::The color drained from David's face. oO Hell, no... Oo He feet were already moving, carrying Kalianna for the turbolift doors. He stopped, waiting for the turbolift to arrive, and glanced over at Commander Walker, assessing his physical status, and that nasty looking cut that made him think that Ben should be going to Sickbay, too. ::

Cody: No crap, Ben. Are you okay? And don't give me some cocky response this time.

Walker: It's a cut, nothing life threatening. :: He looked with empathy he didn't fully feel at David Cody:: Please, keep her safe.

::David met Ben's gaze with a cool one of his own, feeling a part of him die in his arms. There was no more time. ::

Cody: I intend to.

::It was a bit more harsh than he intended, but time was wasting and Kalianna was dying in his arms, and he was frakking stuck waiting for a turbolift that couldn't find its way from Hiroshima to Odyssey! ::

:: His world lurched a bit as a wave of blackness stole his sight a moment, hearing a pulsing hum, like some kind of generator. He had to force himself straight when the turbolift doors finally slid open. David carried Kalianna into the turbolift and turned around. His face was stone cold. ::

Cody: Take command of the Victory, Commander Walker. I will keep you informed.

Walker: Response

::The turbolift doors slid shut. David heard the hum and flash of lights behind the wall as they went down... but it seemed slower than before. He cradled Kalianna's head against his chest, trying to keep her head above her chest as he adjusted his hold on her. ::

:: oO Jones... Oo ::

::The last thing he needed right now was for Jones to show up. David was out of patience. He looked down into Kalianna's pale, almost deathly pale. ::

Cody: Don't you dare die on me, Kalianna. Stay with me!

::There had been voices, but they were distant, and she couldn’t tell who they belonged to, but that was both close and recognizable. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him trying to figure out where she was and why she felt like she was floating. It felt familiar. But her breath was still lost, and it was becoming ever harder to catch it.::

Nicholotti: I’m here.

::It was barely loud enough to constitute a whisper, but she wanted him to know she was there, wherever there was. Beyond the stark blue of his eyes, the rest of the world was a faded mess and she couldn’t make out any individual shapes.::

Cody: ::leaning his head down and brushing her forehead with a kiss:: Listen to me. Listen to the sound of my voice. One breath at time. In, and out. Breathe with me, in... and out.

::Her eyes closed again as the world seemed to spin and she felt both incredibly weak and sick. The radiating pain only grew with no relief anywhere close, but his voice seemed to ring out in the perpetual darkness that pushed down on her. It felt so familiar, but from where?::

Nicholotti: I’m trying.

::And try she did despite the fact that it was getting harder to take the air in. It was almost like something was sitting on her chest so that she was unable to inflate her lungs. Something was direly wrong, but her mind was so lost in the darkness and total confusion that she couldn’t match the symptoms with the cause. In fact, the entire universe, and everything in it, faded into a bad dream. There were no Klingons, no Thracians, and no Victory. All there was, was the voice of David and a darkness through which both his voice, and her body floated along.::

::He kept her at least breathing with him. He was barely aware of the turbolift doors sliding open and he walked out of the turbolift still breathing with her, one breath at a time, together. He ignored the strange looks from other personnel around them. He didn't give a damn how it looked. ::

Cody: With me. Breathe in, breathe out.

::The words continued and she fought to obey them. Beyond difficult, following what they told her to do became nearly impossible. A tear fell from her closed eye as she thought of failing him, though she couldn’t quite connect anything beyond the idea that she couldn’t follow the instructions anymore. Her body wasn’t listening to her mind, and though her mind was listening to him, the instructions simply were ceasing to translate.::

Nicholotti: I...can’t

::He carried her down the corridor and didn't even recognize the doors to Sickbay sliding open. With her legs draped over one of his arms, her back supported by his other arm, and cradling Kalianna's head against his chest, David continued breathing with her as they entered Sickbay together. ::

::Flashes of images ran through her mind faster than light. Things from her childhood danced around and the face of her older brother made a brief showing. Confused, she wondered where it was all going as strange sounds met her ears. It was like people were talking to her, or around her, but she couldn’t understand them. As she tried to fight it all and refocus on the simple act of gasping for air, images of moments far closer to now filled her head. As the last played out, comprised of blue eyes she felt strangely that she would miss, she suddenly realized that even gasping had become impossible. Fear froze her and she forced one more word in a voice so soft she was afraid he’d not hear her.::

Nicholotti: David...

::And then the fear was gone and there was nothing but darkness and a sleep so deep that she couldn’t help but fall.::

::David stopped, staring down at her as something seized up in his throat and in the back of his mind, he heard a screaming unlike anything he had known in his time across the cosmos. He stared down into her eyes and shook her, unbelieving the signs that were unfolded in his arms. oO No... no no no no non ono nonONONO! Oo ::

Cody: ::whispering harshly:: Kalianna. Wake up...

::He continued staring at her, dimly aware of the screaming getting louder in his ears. He grimaced, pulling his lips back and shook his head once, moving once more again as he saw shapes coming for them. ::

Cody: Kalianna! Wake. Up.

::He didn't feel his own breath, as if the universe suddenly took his lungs and plunged David's knees down to the floor of Sickbay, still cradling Kalianna's body as tears began streaming from his eyes. oO Wake up! Damnit, Kalianna! Don't you do this ! DON'T YOU DO THIS! Oo ::

::He refused to believe she died in his arms... when he was doing his frakking damndest to get her here fast as possible. oO I shouldn't have waited! I knew it! I knew it was happening and I still let her take calls! Oo Strangely, David found himself brushing back strands of her hair, ignoring the people running up around them. ::

::David's cold, blazing blues snapped up as he landed on MacLaren, then ignored her as he returned to Kalianna, gently rocking her in arms as he buried his head into her hair, and kissed the top of her forehead as he found himself humming. Water burned his eyes as he rocked Nicholotti's lifeless body in his arms... and started crying. ::

LtCmdr David Cody
Ops Chief / Second Officer
StarBase 118 Ops / USS Victory


Captain Kalianna Nicholotti
StarBase 118 Ops / USS Victory

Return to Kalianna Nicholotti