Tasha's Prosthetic arm

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MacFarlane.JPG  

“This I'll Defend”

-Clan MacFarlane Motto


Crew of the USS Gorkon

Tasha-MacFarlane.png

Lieutenant Tasha MacFarlane

Due to injuries sustained on Stardate 239502.09 aboard Starbase 173 during the USS Gorkons Telutho'kai mission, Tasha's left arm is a prosthetic from the elbow down. She is yet to fully come to terms with this, and still feels occasional phantom pains in her hand.



The Prosthetic
Externally looks like a real flesh and blood limb
Internally, metal frame bone structure - Titanium alloy
Increased strength in the new hand
Fully connected to nervous system
Sensors in fingertips (like Data) linked to small chip implanted in brain.
The information from the sensors goes to the chip which then converts the information so that Tasha will (for lack of a better description) instinctively know what the sensors are detecting. This chip also helps with motor control over the hand.
Uses power cells to power the limb.
The power cells last for roughly one week before they need replacing, (sometimes last less due other factors, e.g. How often the sensors are used.). Power cells are replaced via a small “access panel” in the underside of the forearm. The "access panel" is visible as a faint square scar on the underside of Tasha's wrist
Susceptible to fail/malfunction from strong EM pulses and some forms of exotic radiation.


OOC NOTE: Due to the way missions and tags work, I have taken a few liberties with the dates.

Wound Received and Sickbay segment


Fire and Blood - 239502.09
Stone of Doom
Buttons
MacFarlane's Madness
Sickbay shenanigans
Rest and Recuperation


((Outside Lab 42, Starbase 173))

Sevo: They could be preparing an ambush. Thoughts, Eerie?

Eerie: I wouldn't count anything out.

Yiggtissi: I am registering two life signs, Orion in nature, inside the lab. They are three meters from the entrance and one-point-six meters from the isolation chamber. :: He glanced around the corridor. :: If we could locate a command station, I could flood the entire lab with neurozine gas. However, that option is not viable as my tricorder is showing the only command station near us was the one in the lab we just exited and it was damaged in our encounter with the Orion’s.

MacFarlane: Sirs, I can drop the force field when we are ready. Also, th’ lab is in isolation, we would need t’ bypass a lot o’ safeguards t’ be able t’ release any gas.

Sevo: Any ideas, Eerie?

Eerie: We need to neutralize them. If we can isolate them, there will not be a problem. Or another grenade would do the trick.

MacFarlane: We outnumber ‘em. If we go in guns blazin’ I reckon we would certainly be able t’ take ‘em out, although then there is th’ risk tha’ one o’ us gets shot before we get ‘em.

Eerie: I think that should be the last resort at this time, but if we do. I should go first.

::Tasha looked at the large rock man, she would be more than happy to let him go first.::

Sevo: You’re not invincible, Eerie.

Yiggtissi: I concur with Lieutenant Commander Sevo. We should risk further injury to our team if at all possible.

::Just at that moment all the nearby panels came on, revealing the green face of an Orion woman::

Leelou: =/\= Attention all Starfleet intruders. My name is Leelou, Underlord for the Orion Syndicate. This station and everything aboard it are now the property of the Orion Syndicate. As such, you are all considered trespassers and will be eliminated on sight. ::She paused.:: I am not unforgiving, however. All we want are the three pieces of the Romulan artifacts you no doubt know about by now. Either allow my recovery teams to gather them unhindered, or bring them to cargo bay 14; unarmed. If you do so, you will be unharmed and allowed to return to your ships, which will then be allowed to depart. =/\=

::Tasha somehow doubted that part.::

Leelou: =/\= If you do not cooperate...well, I assume you are aware of this station’s internal defense capabilities. Know that I am in control of the main security center, and Operations is completely cut off. Don’t even think about trying to usurp my control. =/\=

Leelou: =/\= If you have any doubts about my capabilities, let me demonstrate. =/\=

::The screens changed to show some of the officers from the Gorkon in another part of the station, along with a young child. Moments later a mist began to pour into their part of the station.::

Leelou: =/\= I hope I have made myself clear. You have one hour to either give me the artifacts or leave the station. Then people start dying. Good day. =/\=

Sevo: Damn that bitch!

MacFarlane: She...but...there was a child in there. A child...

Yiggtissi: A revolting show of force. If she has taken security control, she could kill us all in a matter of seconds.

Eerie: They probably have all of our ID badges on internal security sensors I suggest we lose them.

Sevo: No time. We have to get in this lab and somehow “turn off” the artifact. Any ideas?

MacFarlane: I could bypass th’ lockouts an’ open th’ doors, It will take a few minutes though.

Yiggtissi: :: Pointing his phaser at the door and kneeling between Eerie and Sevo. :: That appears to be our only means on entrance. I will take low position ---

::A blood chilling scream emanated from within the lab. Tasha shuddered and moments later a wave of heat rolled out of the lab. Tasha would have hated to be inside at that moment.::

Sevo: Damn it! Eerie, blow the door!

Eerie: Right.

::While Eerie prepared an explosive charge Tasha quickly lowered the forcefield across the door, then hunkered down behind a bulkhead.::

Eerie: Everyone find cover!

MacFarlane: Aye sir.

Yiggtissi: Yes sir.

Eerie: Fire in the hold!

::There was an explosion followed by another intense heat wave. The heat quickly vanished and when Tasha raised her head she saw that the doors to the lab had also vanished.::

Sevo: Nice.

Eerie: It's open.::With an understatement.::

MacFarlane: Aye, lets see what was inside.

Eerie: Right.

((Lab 42, Starbase 173))

::Tasha moved cautiously into the lab. The isolation field was still active, the Orions obviously hadn’t gotten through. Speaking of the Orions Tasha spotted two twisted and crispy corpses. She swallowed the bile rising in her throat and quickly looked away.::

MacFarlane: I think we know what ‘appened t’ th’ Orions.

Yiggtissi: :: Standing. :: Indeed. There are no unusual readings from them.

Sevo: I’d be surprised if there were.

::Tasha looked back to the isolation field. Beyond it she could see a spherical stone with intricate, flowing designs engraved on its surface. Above the stone was another subspace rift, although this one appeared different, somehow it was more stable, a glowing white gash in reality. As she watched, it flashed and a tall and spindly bipedal creature appeared. It jerked towards them and Tasha took a quick step backwards drawing her weapon. It moved in a strange way jerking and juddering, almost in two or three places at once. Without any hesitation it moved through the isolation field as though it wasn’t there.::

Sevo: Son of a…!

Eerie:Hold right there. ::Leveling the rifle towards the creature.::

MacFarlane: What in the names of the Gods?

::Sevo fired, but the beam passed directly through the creature with no effect.::

Yiggtissi: Ensign, perhaps you should step ---

Sevo: Tasha, look out!!

Eerie: Back up.

::It raised an arm and juddered towards Tasha.::

MacFarlane: oO Oh not again Oo

::She would not be kidnapped by another Alien creature. She pointed her phaser at the creature and fired, the beam passed clean through the creatures torso and struck the far wall. The alien didn’t even slow down. It grabbed Tasha’s phaser and she felt it grow hot. With a cry she dropped it and stumbled back. It juddered towards her again and grabbed ahold of her left arm. There was a flash of heat and suddenly Tasha’s jacket sleeve was alive with flames.::

::She screamed, a raw sound of terror and pain. The creature flickered, like a hologram and moved back about half a metre, jerking Tasha off her feet and crashing to the ground. She could feel the flames burning her skin now and smell her flesh burning. The creature grabbed her wrist with its other hand and Tasha screamed again as the already unbearable heat increased, searing her flesh. The creature jerked back again and this time there was a sickening tearing noise and Tasha felt her hand being torn off. She saw blood spurting from the end of her arm and vomited as the flames cauterised the wound and blackened her flesh.::

::The creature quickly retreated and vanished back through the rift, still clutching Tasha’s severed, burning hand.::

Sevo: Yiggtissi, check on--!

::Through the haze of pain Tasha was vaguely aware of her crewmates around her. One of them moved closer, and crouched beside her, she couldn’t tell who, but she hoped it was Yiggtissi, he was the one she needed now. She heard a hiss and almost instantly the pain in her arm lessened. It still throbbed in time with her racing heart, but it was no longer complete agony.::

Yiggtissi: That should ease the pain immensely. I can heal the wound but unless the creature returns with your hand, I am afraid that is all I can do until we can get you back to the Gorkon.

Eerie: Agreed we should get MacFarlane back to the ship.

Sevo: Is she alright? Do we need to get her back to the Gorkon?

Yiggtissi: She is stable for the moment. The analgesics will assist with the pain and shock. That is all I can do from here.

Sevo: Ensign...Tasha, how are you feeling?

::Tasha looked at her arm and tried not to vomit. Her hand was gone, along with more than half of her forearm. What remained of her arm was badly burnt, the skin was blistered and blackened almost as high up as her shoulder.::

MacFarlane: Like Hell. ::She focused on Sevo:: My arm hurts an’ m’ ‘and is missin’. But I can probably cope till we’ve secured th’ station. There are still other lives at risk.

::As Tasha struggled back to her feet Sevo disabled the field around the object.::

Sevo: =/\= Sevo to Gorkon Xenolinguistics. I’m sending you a scan of an artifact with unusual writing. We think they may be Romulan in origin. Can you see what you can find out and get back to me? =/\=

Gorkon Scientist: =/\= Yes, sir. =/\=

Sevo: Nothing else we can do but try and disable this thing.

Eerie: Pretty clear the field isn't having any effect on it.

::Tasha's arm twinged at that thought.::

MacFarlane: Aye, tha’ field was useless.

Yiggtissi: We have no defense against…whatever that was.

::Sevo attempted to move the object but it remained floating in place.::

Sevo: I-It’s stuck! It won’t budge!

Eerie: Something is holding it fast. The Orions must of had a visit from the strange creature also.

MacFarlane: Aye, an’ they came out o’ it worse than I did.

Sevo: Ensign, shouldn’t you be...like...sitting down or something?

Yiggtissi: I concur Ensign. You should try to remain still and calm.

Tasha ignored them, there was still much to do.::

Sevo: I...I think it’s locked into something in a higher dimension! I’ll bet the other pieces are similarly interlocked.

Eerie: If we can get rid of it. Perhaps with Orions will leave as well.::Thinking out loud.:: I wonder what they really want with it.

MacFarlane: I dunno why th’ Orions want it. But we could always destroy tha’ infernal thing. ::She glared at the stone, hatred seething in her eyes:: I’m sure another charge like th’ one Eerie used on th’ door would get rid o’ it. Then tha’ cursed creature would never be able t’ return an’ steal more body parts.

Sevo: We have no idea what a blast of energy might do to the fissure. My tricorder is showing subspace energy filaments emanating from it. I’d bet its directly connected to the other two artifacts, as well as “something” in subspace.

Yiggtissi: I would advise against it. If the artifacts are connected via subspace, we could risk causing grave harm to the other teams if they are in close proximity.

Tasha was startled by the chirp of a commbadge, a moment later the voice of the Admiral filled the lab.::

Reynolds: =/\= Reynolds to away teams. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Sevo here. =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= Stoyer here, skipper. =/\=

Vess: =/\= Vess here=/\=

Reynolds: =/\= We've found one of the artefacts. It's contained within a subspace bubble. /\=

Tasha half listened to the conversation between the other teams. Despite the drugs given to her by Yiggtissi, Tasha’s are still throbbed in time with her heartbeat, it proved to be very distracting. She looked up as she heard a tearing sound and saw that Yiggtissi had torn part of his uniform off. Before she could question what madness had inspired his sudden wardrobe change he wrapped the torn section around her neck. She winced and gave a small groan as he secured her mutilated arm in the hanging pouch.::

Yiggtissi: ::Whipsering under the various comm traffic between teams. :: This should assist until I can get you to sickbay.

MacFarlane: Aye, but I get th’ feelin’ tha’ could be some time away.

Yiggtissi: :: Injecting another shot of pain medication in her neck. :: I know you are anxious to assist with artifacts. I would just tell you to take it easy and do not overexert yourself.

Tasha signed as the drugs were released into her bloodstream, and the pounding from her arm quietened down::

MacFarlane: Whatever you say Doc, if I look like I’m gonna pass out, please catch me.

With Yiggtissi’s help Tasha got to her feet and joined Sevo at the orb, she had missed most of the conversation, but knew that all three artifacts had now been found.::

Reynolds: =/\= The question is, do we try and bring these things together, or leave them where they are? =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= Skipper, we could bring them together in your containment field. Just until we figure out how it works. =/\=

Lanta: =/\= I wonder if moving them apart actually activated them or the containment field did it or in fact if the Orions played with the buttons and that caused the problem, so maybe if we neutralize the confinement field we can investigate those buttons easier! =/\=

Bjarnadottir-Stoyer: =/\= Admiral, if I may, We could bring them together. It seems that they were supposed to be together. If something happens we could set up another containment field, until they are separated. =/\=

V'Rall: =/\= That would be the best looking from a safety point of view. We saw what could happen if an uncontrolled fissure opens.=/\=

Sevo: =/\= Admiral, I have to disagree. I think the surface of the orbs were designed to be a sort of control panel for the orbs; “programming” them for the right subspace harmonic, opening a stable gateway. If they are improperly aligned, effects like what we’re seeing could occur. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= It's a moot point, anyway. They can’t be moved. Go ahead, try to move it. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= I think they’re locked together or with something else in a higher dimension. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Imagine you’re a fish living underwater. The surface of the water is the edge of your known universe. You can’t perceive that there is a larger world above the surface. Now imagine somebody sticks their hand vertically into the water, but only their fingers are below the surface. From the fish’s point of view, it would look like several independent and distinct objects, but above the surface of the water - in a “higher dimension” - they are part of a larger object. Does...does that make sense? =/\=

Tasha nodded, it was beginning to make sense::

MacFarlane: =/\=So, how do we unlock ‘em?=/\=

Burke: =/\= Commander Sevo, you mentioned your device has some kind of control interface, but this one apparently lacks any controls. It does have the symbols and some small stones are orbiting it, very fast, but other than that there's no way for use to interact with this thing. =/\=

Tasha reached out and gently nudged one of the small lumps of the surface of the orb, she felt a moment of resistance before it moved down and clicked, she snatched her arm back quickly, looking warily at the orb. Luckily, she didn’t think she had caused the orb to do anything::

MacFarlane =/\=Our orb has some small lumps, I...err...I pressed one, I think they are buttons, used t’ control th’ orbs. Although none o’ them are clearly marked as th’ off button, an’ I don’t think I should randomly press another. In fact it was stupid of me t’ press th’ first one.=/\=

Tasha shook her head, what the hell had she been thinking! Maybe the drugs were affecting her decisions, or maybe it was the pain and shock of losing her arm. Either way, it had been a stupid idea to start playing with the orb.::

Sevo: Tasha, please don’t poke the reality-tearing rock.

MacFarlane: I’m...errr...sorry sir. I’m not quite feelin’ like m’self.

Reynolds: =/\= Our orb looks like it has sliders, rather than switches. =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= Ours has two small flat stones circling the main stone. There are symbols on the main stone. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Sevo to Gorkon Xenolinguistics. I know it hasn’t been very long, but please tell me you have *something* on the language on these things? =/\=

Gorkon: =/\= Possibly, sir. We’re pretty sure the language dates back to before the Vulcan Time of Awakening; most likely during their civil war. Many of the glyphs correlate to known Vulcan script at the time. There are a few words that refer to a group of people who “march beneath the Raptor’s wings.” =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Romulans! Or at least the precursors to them! No wonder the Vulcans who left took the orbs with them. Great job! Anything else? =/\=

Gorkon: =/\= The only other part we could decipher was something about “the storm will cease when the Raptor’s eggs return to her talons.” We’re sending our translation data to your tricorder. =/\=

MacFarlane: oO And I thought Vulcans weren’t poets Oo

Sevo: =/\= Ensign Sienelis, any thoughts? =/\=

Sienelis: =/\= Give me a second. =/\=

It took several moments but, eventually Sienelis responded::

Sienelis: =/\= Alright. It's not talking literally but… subspatially? Commander Sevo was right, the pieces don't need to be physically close -- the artifact will sort that out itself when it’s correctly configured. =/\=

Stoyer: You sure about this?

Sienelis: =/\= Yeah. Let me send you the configurations. You… might have to interpolate a little. =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= Here goes nothing. =/\=

Reynolds: =/\= How will we know if it's worked? =/\=

Sienelis: =/\= Oh, you'll know. I mean… everyone should reappear. Pop right back into our reality. Like they were never gone. Hopefully. =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= That will be a shock. =/\=

Tasha flipped her tricorder open and watched as the data came flowing in. Carefully, with her remaining hand, she helped to configure the stone to match the instructions she had received.::
Upon completion there was a moment of suspense where nothing happened, however seconds later the orb began to glow and hum. The light and the noise grew steadily louder until Tasha was forced to squeeze her eyes closed, yet still the intensity grew until the entire station was vibrating to match the hum.::
Abruptly the sound ceased, and when Tasha opened her eyes the searing light was gone, as was the orb. Lying on the ground were several teal collared officers, lightly coated in frost, and a small black object::

Sevo: I’m Lieutenant Commander Ayiana Sevo, Chief Science Officer of the U.S.S. Gorkon. Do you know where you are?

V’lak: I...no… :: He looked around the room. :: ...Yes. Starbase...One. Seventy-Three.

Sevo: Good. What is your name? Your rank?

V’lak: I…the Gorkon?...no…

Sevo: Name! Rank!

V’lak: L...Lieutenant Commander. V’lak. Yes. That is me. What has transpired here?

Sevo: Later. Just glad to see you and everyone else are alright.

Yiggtissi: Sir, according to my readings, the station’s crew appear to be in good condition, aside from a bit of hypothermia. Thermal blankets, a hot meal and much needed rest should be our first priority for them. We can have medical staff from the Gorkon asses the situation. I would like to speak to you about Macfarlane, however.

Sevo nodded and tapped her comm badge. ::

Stoyer: =/\= Skipper, Commander Sevo, you guys alright? =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Yes. The crew seems to have returned; confused and in pain, and covered in frost. But alive. =/\=

Reynolds: =/\= We're alright. We've got station personnel here -- it looks like it worked. =/\=

Stoyer: =/\= Skipper, the engineering crew is here and look to be in bad shape. We are going to take care of them as best we can, but we will need a lot of medical support. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Sevo to Gorkon. We’ve retrieved the crew of the Starbase. All of them. Start sending down medical and engineering teams as soon as possible. Use shuttles and emergency transporters if you have to. =/\=

L’rann: =/\= Acknowledged, sir. =/\=

Sevo: =/\= Get the Resolute and Triumphant to help as well, and call in the Hahn, too. She has extensive medical facilities and is stocked for medical relief. =/\=

L’rann: =/\= Yess, sir. =/\=

MacFarlane: =/\=We’ve got crewmembers ‘ere, an’...is tha’...::Tasha moved closer to the black object::...my hand!!=/\=

It was indeed her hand, all the flesh and muscle had burnt away leaving only scorched bone behind. With an almost incoherent cry Tasha leapt across the lab and collapsed on her knees, almost weeping at the sight of it.::

MacFarlane: ITS MY HAND! Doc, yeh can reattach it, can’t yeh?

Yiggtissi: I am afraid that will not be possible Ensign. However, I do have several innovative options we can discuss once we return to the Gorkon.

Eerie: We'll do the best that we can.

Sevo: Tasha...there’s...there’s nothing to reattach…

With her good right hand Tasha reached out and picked up the bones, but as she raised the hand off the floor it cracked and collapsed into a pile charcoal and ash. ::
It was like losing the hand all over again, either that of the pain meds had worn off. The end of her stump was a blaze of agony, it seemed to weigh a million times more than it should while her head felt empty and light. Agony and rage combined into one sound and Tasha screamed. She fell sideways, lying on the floor she screamed again and curled into a tight ball.::
She began thumping her disfigured stump on the floor, alternately screaming and laughing like a madwoman.::

MacFarlane: MAKE! ::thump:: IT! ::thump:: STOP! ::thump::

Yiggtissi: :: Grabbing a hypo from his kit and injecting it into her neck. :: Sir, I must get her to the Gorkon. Her readings are becoming erratic and I fear she may go into Hypovolemic sho----

Tasha suddenly became quiet, her head snapped up and focused on Yiggtissi. She leapt at him, her arms outstretched, but she had forgotten about the sling around her neck and arm. She stumbled and fell at his feet.::
She screamed again and felt her voice crack, she coughed, and spat out a glob of dark red blood. She began laughing again, then screamed, vomited, and coughed up more blood.::

MacFarlane: MAKE IT STOP!! AAAAAHHHHH!

Sevo: LIEUTENANT! NOW! She’s going into shock! And when you’re there, have that new medical officer of your’s help you out. Genkos Sim or something like that.

Yiggtissi: =/\= Yiggtissi to Gorkon! Two for emergency transport directly to sickbay! =/\=

Tasha continued screaming as the transporter took effect and whisked them away to sickbay. She was vaguely aware of being placed on a bed as she continued her mad fit, coughing up blood and screaming. Her arm was a mass of agony and her body was soaked with sweat. She was some panels rise up, covering her body. She tried to push them away, but they were too solid.::

Yiggtissi: :: Leaning over her. :: Ensign, focus on me. I am going to administer 20 cc’s of Metorapan. This should assist with the pain but it will cause you to become very drowsy. Do you understand?

MacFarlane: MAKE IT STOP!!! TAKE TH’ WALLS AWAY!!!

Tasha continued to struggle against the bed as Yiggtissi moved away. She wasn’t sure how long he was gone for but when he returned he was no longer green and lizard like, instead he was pink skinned and looked much more like a human. With her mind as far gone as it was, it didnt even occur to Tasha that this might be a different medical officer.::

Sim: ::leaning his cane against the side of the bed:: Hello, now I'm just going to inject you with some metropan - it should help with the pain, but you will feel some drowsiness.

Tasha heard the doctor say something, but it all seemed gibberish to her confused and tormented mind. She was vaguely aware of him moving around near her and moments later she heard the hiss of a Hypospray and suddenly the pain vanished, but her entire body felt heavy Her eyelids began to droop and she felt herself mumbling nonsense.::
She saw the doctor return again and place something in her arm. She rolled her head around and lazily fixed an eye on the man.::

MacFarlane: Th’ Doctor should be green.

Sim: Ensign MacFarlane, what happened?

MacFarlane: Th’ tall skinny cold man stole my hand ::she dissolved into a fit of laughter:: but he was cold an’ stole m’ hand with fire! ::She grinned and felt some blood dribble out of her mouth:: Then when th’ crew o‘ th’ station came back so did my hand, but not skinny, he stayed gone. The green doctor said he would put my hand back an’ it would all be not burnt or cold. ::She whipped her head from side to side, searching the room:: Where is the green doctor? He has my hand...I think. ::she could feel the drowsiness overtaking her. She looked at the new doctor with some suspicion:: Yeh dunnae believe me!

Sim: In good faith, a thrilling tale. I know this may seem like the worst thing that could possibly happen to you, but believe me, this is not the end of the world. I talk from personal experience - I lost my leg in a transporter accident and although I have to use this cane, prosthetic have come a long way. You'll be up and about and in engineering in no time. I'm not going to lie to you, it does take some getting used to, but soon it'll be like nothing happened. I'll stop babbling now, try and get some rest.

MacFarlane: I don’t wanna sleep! I...I want...my… I need...I’m gonna...hand.

With those last few confused words the drugs overtook Tasha and she fell asleep::

((Some time later - Sickbay, USS Gorkon))

The first thing Tasha noticed when she woke was how quiet it was. The second thing she noticed was that her arm didn’t hurt and that her throat felt raw. She turned her head from side to side, but didn’t see anybody in the room. She wasn't sure how long she had been asleep, for all she knew it was the middle of the night.::

MacFarlane: ::In a coarse whisper:: Doctor!

It appeared her voice had almost vanished too. She tried to sit up, but was stopped by the panels of the biobed. She grumbled and thumped the panels with her good hand, hoping it would make enough noise to attract somebody.::

Sim: Good morning Ensign.

At the appearance of a friendly face Tasha stopped hitting the bed.::

MacFarlane: Can yeh lemme out? An’ can I ‘ave some water? M’ throat is killin’ me.

Sim: Of course.

Sim moved out of view for a moment and released the panels. Slowly Tasha sat up, making a point of not looking at her missing limb.::

Sim: Right, sit up slowly and take your time. I'll be back with some water shortly.

Tasha nodded as Sim moved away, not wanting to irritate her throat by talking too much. After a few moments he returned and passed a glass of cold water to her::

MacFarlane: Thank you doctor.

Sim: No problem Ensign. Drink it slowly now.

Tasha took the glass and took a mouthful of the water, the liquid was soothing as it slipped down her tortured throat. While she drank Sim picked up a tricorder and scanned her.::

Sim: All your levels are normal Ensign, I would say you seem much better. Salt's a little low but a good heart meal should set you right. I'd like Lieutenant Yiggtissi to give you a once over before I discharge you. Just to be on the safe side.

MacFarlane: A second opinion, I understand.

Sim: And when you feel up to it, the three of us should have a discussion about prosthetics. ::tapping his leg with his cane:: I'm something of an expert.

MacFarlane: Aye, I would appreciate that.

Sim moved away, leaving Tasha alone with her thoughts. Slowly she steeled herself and looked down at the stump that had once been her hand. The doctors had done a fantastic job or repairing what they could. All evidence of the burns was gone and the stump was nicely rounded on the end with no visible scarring. After a moment Tasha heard footsteps and the voice of doctor Yiggtissi::

Yiggtissi: How are you Tasha?

MacFarlane: M’ throat feels like it’s been torn t’ shreds, an’ I’m missin’ a hand. Aside from those...a slight headache.

Yiggtissi: I will not mince words and tell your journey will be easy but I can assure you that we will help you in every way to make this process as easy as it can be.

MacFarlane: Aye sir. You’ve been great already. But I’m an Engineer, I work with m’ hands, I need both o’ ‘em.

Yiggtissi: We can discuss options once you are ready. I have been researching various prosthetics and treatments that I believe you will work for this application. It will take some adjustments on your part but I think you are very strong willed individual.

MacFarlane: Aye sir, I would like t’ get back t’ work as soon as I can.

Yiggtissi: Once he returns, I will need to inform Lieutenant Stoyer that you will at least seven to ten days of rest. No work. I would suggest as well you meet with the ship’s counselor in that time as well to process any feelings you may be having. I see no reason to keep you here however.

MacFarlane: I...but...a week?!

Tasha loved her work. It was hard to imagine sitting around the ship not working for more than a day or two, a week or more would be a struggle. She was ready to argue the point, but something about the way Yiggtissi had said it told Tasha that there would be no way she would win.::

Yiggtissi: Tasha, go eat something comforting and rest in your quarters. When you are ready, we can speak about our next journey in this process. Be sure to inform me immediately if you require assistance.

MacFarlane: Aye sir...I will...see you soon...t’ talk about m’ arm...an’...

She trailed off, not quite sure what else she could say. The doctor patted her shoulder and moved away. Slowly Tasha swung her legs off the biobed and stood. Holding her stump close to her chest she walked carefully out of sickbay.::
She made her way slowly through the ship, encountering many people. Some of them stopped for a moment to share a few words of sympathy or encouragement, others said nothing, their eyes deliberately turned away.::
Eventually she arrived at her quarters and let herself in. Spark, her young kitten, was curled into a tight ball, and fast asleep on the couch, she saw him there, so peaceful and smiled, it was nice to know some things hadn’t changed. She made her way to the replicator, and pressed her head against the wall.::

MacFarlane: Computer...water.

The replicator shimmered and a tall glass of water appeared. Tasha picked it up and quickly drank it.::

MacFarlane: Gimme another

She drank the second glass, and a third, and a fourth. Once she had quenched her thirst and soothed her throat Tasha turned around and carefully slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor. With her good hand she was able to struggle out of her boots and remove her uniform jacket. She pushed them away in a messy heap and looked up at the replicator again.::

MacFarlane: Computer...gimme...gimme...oh I dunno…::she sighed and rubbed her face::...a bowl o’ hot stew an’ some bread.

The replicator gave a whine and shimmer, faithfully fulfilling her order. Tasha climbed slowly back to her feet and picked up the food, carefully balancing it all in her good hand. She made her way to the couch and sat, careful to avoid waking Spark. She started eating, but her heart wasn’t in it. With her dinner barely half eaten Tasha placed it on the low table and pushed it away.::
She sank back on the couch and groaned, wriggling her shoulders until she was comfortable. She felt her eyelids beginning to droop, it had been exhausting on the station and worse since her hand had been taken. She was tired, both in body and mind. She should probably get up and have a shower, get clean and then sleep in her bed. But doing that would require using energy that she didn’t have. Instead she allowed her eyes to close and she fell asleep on the couch.::


Counseling


The Pain of Loss - 239502.14


Part 1


((Counsellor's Office, USS Gorkon - Sometime between leaving Starbase 173 and reaching Palanon))

::Tasha nervously tugged at her sleeve, she had folded the end in such a way that it covered the stump that had once been her left hand. She took a deep breath and waited for her racing heart to slow before she pressed the door chime.::

::She stepped in as the door slid open. On first glance, it looked more like a comfortable sitting room than a place of work, with plush armchairs and a matching couch arranged around a low table. Pictures of spectacular dawns from a variety of planets were on the wall, and a traditional Igbo sculpture of a woman cradling a child was sat on one edge of the office desk in the corner. Tasha's eyes darted around the room, taking in all the details before they settled on the woman working at the desk, Lieutenant Isioma Uzoamaka.::

::The obsidian-eyed lieutenant had stood as soon as Tasha stepped inside, moving out from behind her desk.::

Uzoamaka: How can I help you?

MacFarlane: I...umm...Doctor Yiggtissi said I should seek out a counsellor...so…’ere I am.

::Tasha began to unconsciously pick at the lower hem of her jacket. She gave a nervous smile, she was sure Uzoamaka was a nice person, but Tasha felt slightly uncomfortable around counsellors.::

Uzoamaka: Why don't you take a seat?

::Tasha nodded and perched on the edge of one of the armchairs, as if ready to flee at the first sign of danger. Uzoamaka settled into one of the armchairs, crossed-legged and looking perfectly at ease, a PADD resting in her lap.::

Uzoamaka: What would you prefer to be called? Ensign MacFarlane, Tasha... something else?

MacFarlane: Uhh...Tasha is fine...a little less formal.

::She gave a nervous smile, and the counsellor echoed it with a gentle one of her own. The counsellor's voice was soft and as warm as her smile, and she spoke with a faded Nigerian accent.::

Uzoamaka: The first thing I always tell everyone when they walk through my door is that our conversations are confidential. That means I won't be telling the chief medical officer the details of what we discuss, nor the Admiral, nor anyone else, unless you want me to.

MacFarlane: Ok, thanks, I..err..don’t really think I want th’ too many people knowin’ what was said in ‘ere.

::Uzoamaka acknowledged that with a nod, but she didn't dwell on it, instead moving on to a direct question.::

Uzoamaka: So what's on your mind?

MacFarlane: I assume yeh know what ‘appened on one seven three? ::Tasha raised her stump and waved it around, while the counsellor nodded.::n’ how I...kinda...went mad f’ a short time.

Uzoamaka: I know what I've been told, but I haven't heard your experience of it.

MacFarlane: I...I lost my ‘and. It...it...my ‘and!

::She thumped the stump against her leg for emphasis, but Uzoamaka remained quiet, as though waiting for her to continue. Lost for further words, Tasha gestured at it, her mouth working, but no words coming out. After several moments she managed to force out a few words.::

MacFarlane: ::Weakly,:: It was my ‘and.

::The counsellor nodded, her expression kind and attentive, and when it became clear that Tasha had -- at least momentarily -- run out of steam, she spoke.::

Uzoamaka: Would you talk me through what happened?

MacFarlane: I...I…::Tasha took a deep breath and nodded:: aye, yeh know about th’ creature tha’ was involved? Well, it came out o’ th’ rift an’ straight through th’ isolation field. It was comin’ straight at me, and I thought it wanted t’ take me like th’ Seraphim did back in th’ nebula. I didn’t want that t’ ‘appen so I shot it, th’ beam went straight through th’ creature an’ didn’t even slow it down. It grabbed m’ phaser an’ it melted, I dropped th’ weapon an’ tried t’ run but it grabbed me. ::Tasha took another deep breath, her palm had become very sweaty and she could feel sweat on her forehead too.:: M’ arm caught fire, it pulled me an’ I fell t’ th’ floor. Then it grabbed me with both its ‘ands an’ pulled m’ arm off. Then it vanished back through th’ rift. I remember very little after that.

Uzoamaka: Why is that?

MacFarlane: I remember screaming...lots of screaming an’ pain, an’ fire, an’ blood ::Tasha shivered:: I dunno if its in m’ record, but I have a bit o’ a blood phobia. I vaguely remember tryin’ t’ ‘elp with th’ stone artifacts, but I ‘ave no clue what I did. Th’ first clear memory I ‘ave after…::she looked at her stump::...yeh know...was wakin’ up in sickbay an’ askin’ th’ doctor f’ some water.

::Every once in a while, the counsellor tapped out a few things on her PADD; short notes to refresh her memory when she wrote up the session later.::

Uzoamaka: That's quite common. Trauma of any kind can leave holes in our memories. ::She paused, then decided to elaborate.:: Some psychologists think it's the mind trying to protect itself.

MacFarlane: ::Tasha gave a small, sad smile:: Then I’m glad, I’m not sure I want t’ remember.

Uzoamaka: What's happened since?

MacFarlane: Well, doctor Yiggtissi said I shouldn’t work f’ th’ next week or so. I’ve been sittin’, bored out o’ m’ mind in m’ quarters mostly. Th’ doc said tha’ we would work on gettin’ a prosthetic replacement, so I did a little bit o’ research into those.

::Uzoamaka nodded, her expression soft and interested as she listened to Tasha speak.::

Uzoamaka: Tell me about that.

MacFarlane: Well, for a start there are several thousand different designs ::Tasha gave a small chuckle:: I could have a sample o’ m’ DNA taken an’ have a new left arm grown in one o’ th’ science labs. I could opt f’ a completely mechanical arm, of which there are hundreds of options. I will admit tha’ I find th’ idea of a mechanical arm intriguing although there were some ideas tha’ I said no to th’ moment I saw ‘em, I want it t’ look, more or less, like a flesh an’ blood arm.

Uzoamaka: It's important to you that you look no different.

::It was phrased as a statement, but there was a lingering question in the counsellor's words.::

MacFarlane: I...ah...people stare. I enter a room an’ they all look at m’ injury. If m’ arm doesn’t look different, they will ‘ave nothin’ t’ stare at.

::Tasha believed it was sound logic. If she looked like everybody else, with two fully functional arms, then the need to stare at her would cease. The counsellor, however, seemed less convinced.::

Uzoamaka: Do you think that's why they're looking? We are talking about Starfleet officers, who serve with a myriad of different alien species and have seen any number of strange and wonderful things.

MacFarlane: Aye, but th’ reason tha’ a fair number o’ ‘em joined was t’ explore an’ see unusual things. Its unusual t’ see an’ officer with only one ‘and. I think they are jus’ curious, but th’ starin’ still makes me uncomfortable, I don’t like it.

::Surely, Tasha thought it wasn’t their intention to make her feel uncomfortable, it just happened because they wanted to see how bad her injury was::



Part 2



((Counsellor's Office, USS Gorkon))

::After Tasha spoke, Uzoamaka was quiet and thoughtful for a moment. She took a breath, then looked directly at the Scotswoman, redirecting the conversation back toward her.::

Uzoamaka: What about yourself? What do you feel when you look in the mirror, as you are right now?

MacFarlane: I...err...I’ve been avoiding the mirror, I don’t like lookin’ at it, it starts hurtin’ again, but how could it? There is no hand there that can be hurt!

Uzoamaka: ::She nodded,:: It's more common than not. It's called phantom limb pain.

MacFarlane: Phantom? Yeh mean like a ghost? ::she shook her head:: but I have no ‘and, ‘ow can it still be hurtin’?

Uzoamaka: Mostly because our minds are complex and often illogical things. ::She offered Tasha a kind smile -- empathetic, rather than sympathetic. There was no pity in her eyes.:: What we've found is that the more coping mechanisms a person has, the less likely they are to experience phantom pain.

MacFarlane: Right, but why does it hurt? I know its all in m’ ‘ead, but tha’ isn’t enough t’ make it stop.

Uzomaka: In your case, I suspect it's because there's been a change in your body image that you're struggling to process. What you see when you look in the mirror doesn't match the mental picture you have of yourself, and that manifests as pain where the difference is.

MacFarlane: I see, so ‘ow d’ yeh think I can make it not hurt when I look at it?

Uzoamaka: You're here, that's a good start. ::She paused.:: But Tasha, we need to be clear on what's ahead. I can't promise any quick fixes. Phantom pain often begins to fade in the first six months, but some people find it can last years. What I can do is work with you to help you build some coping mechanisms, and I can prescribe some medications that might help as we work on that.

MacFarlane: ::weakly:: Years? I...I don’t want tha’. ::she shuddered:: Anythin’ an’ everythin’ yeh can do t’ ‘elp will be greatly appreciated.

::Uzoamaka nodded, her expression and voice kind, but very serious.::

Uzoamaka: I'll do everything I can, but you're the one who's going to be doing the hard work. ::She paused for a moment, gathering her thoughts.:: Do you keep a personal log?

MacFarlane: I...err...no. Should I be?

Uzoamaka: I'd like you to, from now on. Make an entry at the end of your day; as much as you feel like, and it can be as little as a few lines. You don't have to share it with me, I just want you to read back through them before our sessions, and see if you can pick out any recurring themes or thoughts.

MacFarlane: Aye, I think I can do tha’, I’ve never really considered them, I didn’t see any reason I might need one.

Uzoamaka: Good. I'd also like you to try working with a mirror box. Essentially, it mirrors one half of your body while you run through some exercises, and it can help to reduce the phantom pains.

MacFarlane: A mirror box? Never ‘eard o’ it. But I shall take yer advice an’ make use o’ one.

::The counsellor nodded, lifting her PADD to make a few more notes. Now that they were getting to meat of choosing a course of action, she was making sure she had everything written down for reference.::

Uzoamaka: Would you like to try talking therapies on their own to start with, or do you feel you'd benefit from some medication as well?

MacFarlane: What kind o’ medication are we talkin’ about? Cos I ‘eard it was better t’ not use medication an’ let m’ body heal itself.

Uzoamaka: Heard from who?

MacFarlane: I...errr...I read it, somewhere, in one of th’ descriptions f’ one o’ th’ prosthetic arms. It said, allow yer limb t’ heal on its own first, dunnae take medication if at all possible.

::The counsellor was quiet for a few moments, her lips twitching a little as she thought through what she wanted to say.::

Uzoamaka: I would be wary of anyone who advises their clients like that. They may have the best of intentions, but they don't know your individual circumstances, and so it's impossible -- and quite frankly, unethical -- for them to provide any kind of medical advice. ::She paused.:: Particularly in cases of traumatic amputation.

MacFarlane: ::Tasha nodded, it hadn’t seemed like the most reliable of sources:: I understand, so what kind o’ medication d’ yeh suggest?

::Though she did her best to maintain a professional, unbiased demeanour, there was a brief flare of relief before she composed herself to answer the question.::

Uzoamaka: To try and manage the pain, there's a variety of different options. Anticonvulsants and antidepressants can be effective at managing the phantom pains, but they don't work for everyone.

MacFarlane: I understand, but if it helps t’ stop th’ pains, or even diminish ‘em, then I am willin’ t’ give it a go.

Uzoamaka: All right. I'll write you up a prescription. How about we schedule another session for a week's time, and you can let me know how things are going?

MacFarlane: Aye, Thank you Counselor. If there is nothin’ else, I will see yeh in a week.

Uzoamaka: And you're more than welcome to get in touch sooner, if you need to.

::Tasha stood and brushed a crease out of her trousers. She stuck out her good hand towards Uzoamaka, who shook it with a warm smile. While she wasn’t overly fond of meeting with counsellors, Tasha had to admit that the advice she had been given had been useful, and with any luck it would help with her recovery.::


Letter from family


Messages from home - 239503.08


((Tasha’s Cabin, Cloud Skipper))

::Having left the spa Tasha returned to her cabin. After letting herself in she dropped her towel over the back of a chair and slipped on a loose t-shirt. She picked up a PADD and lay back on the bed.::

::She activated the PADD and saw that she had received a letter while in the spa. She read the sender’s information and grinned, before opening the message.::

::TASHA MACFARLANE, WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE!!::

::Slightly taken aback by the opening line Tasha quickly checked the sender's information again, confirming that it was indeed from her brother. Perplexed and slightly concerned she continued reading.::

::Mother received a report from Starfleet and she immediately called me. She is too distraught to even think about trying to contact you. She cried for several hours and was still in tears when she contacted me.

What the hell did you do! We can’t get any information, something about doctor/patient confidentiality. All the report said was that you were “critically injured in the line of duty”. They won’t even tell us if you are alright.

It was worse when dad found out. He went into shock, I watched the blood drain from his face. He clearly feared the worst. He was shaking for hours and unable to form a complete sentence.

Please contact us as soon as you can, Starfleet won’t tell us anything, citing rules and regulations. Please, just let us know that you are alright.

Nicholas::

::Tasha dropped the PADD on the bed. She took a deep shuddering breath and wiped some tears from her face. She hadn’t thought of her family. She’d had no idea that they had been contacted and was furious that Starfleet hadn’t told them of her condition.::

::With another shuddering breath Tasha picked up the PADD and started writing a response::

::Hey guys.

Don’t worry, I’m still alive. I was injured on Starbase 173, my left arm was torn off just below the elbow by a creature from subspace. I don’t remember much after that until I woke up in the Gorkon’s sickbay. I am told that I went slightly mad for a time.

I am so incredibly sorry that I didn’t contact you earlier, I was understandably distracted. Coping with the loss of my arm has not been easy.

I have been trying to work through this with the counsellor, and I’ve been working with the medical staff to create a prosthetic replacement.

I am so sorry that you didn’t hear it from me first, it probably would have been better for everybody that way.

I assure you that I am fine now, and I promise to contact you immediately if anything else happens.

Tasha::

::With tears streaming down her face Tasha read over her letter. She knew that her mother would be heartbroken to hear of her injury. Her father would take it better, he had served in Starfleet during the Dominion War and knew of the dangers associated with being in the fleet. She wasn’t quite sure how Nicholas would react.::

::With a shuddering breath Tasha hit the send button and deactivated the PADD, tossing it to one side. With a groan of despair Tasha collapsed backwards and curled into a ball on the bed, quietly sobbing.::


New Hand


Preparing for a new hand - 239503.08
Programming the Prosthetic
I'm ready
Armed and ready
Whole again


Living with a new hand


His Legacy lives - 239503.09


((Tasha's Quarters, USS Gorkon))

::Tasha grinned, picking up the miniscule nacelle. She could feel each and every bump and imperfection in the material. Her new, cybernetic fingers were much more sensitive than her flesh and blood ones. The technology had been pioneered by Doctor Noonian Soong, and introduced to the federation through Data.::

::Soongs work in the cybernetic field had been one of Tashas main sources of inspiration during the construction of her prosthetic. She had reviewed technical information regarding Datas arms and read papers written about him. She glanced across the room to where a picture of Data now hung on the wall, holding a proud place between her Claymore and a model ship.::

::It was odd, Tasha wasn’t quite sure why she had replicated the photograph. As Tasha, and almost everybody knew, Data had been killed in 2379 aboard the Reman Scimitar. Yet Tasha felt that his legacy survived, most notably to her through the advances he had led in the field of cybernetics, and now through her left arm.::

::Upon returning to her quarters after the surgery one of the first things she had done was replicate the photo and place it on the wall. She felt it was her way of honouring him, and thanking him for what he had, indirectly, done for her.::

::She smiled and picked up a pair of small, delicate tweezers and a small brush. She used the tweezers to pick up the miniature nacelle and dipped the brush in a pot of glue. Working carefully Tasha attached the nacelle to the pylon then placed the finished model aside to dry. Once it was dry she would paint it, and then it would truly be finished.::

::Tasha heard a quiet meow as Spark jumped onto her lap and rubbed up against her, demanding attention. She smiled and rubbed his head, hadn’t Data had a cat too?::


Back to work - 239503.10


((Main Engineering, Deck 16, USS Gorkon))

::Tasha was whole again. She had two functioning arms and she was well rested, that meant it was time to get back to work. She had wandered into engineering to find a skeleton crew operating the ships systems. The majority of the crew were on shore leave, relaxing on the luxurious Cloud Skipper.::

::However Tasha had already been down there and now that she was in one piece again she had decided that she wanted to get back to work. She started off with a simple diagnostic of the core. It was slightly odd how such a dull task that was done so often was suddenly so rewarding after being away for so long. Tasha grinned as she worked, humming to herself as the diagnostic finished itself with a quiet beep.::

::She reviewed the data and was simultaneously pleased and displeased that everything was well within the accepted limits, she wouldn’t need to get her hands dirty with the core today. She moved on and ran diagnostics on the other major systems of the ship. It appeared that in her absence the other engineers had been doing a superb job, everything was within acceptable limits.::

::Tasha grinned at that. It was good, it meant that she would be able to play with whatever she wanted, to refine the ship and bring it closer to peak efficiency. She rubbed her hands together in anticipation as she studied the data before her. It appeared that the Plasma injectors were operating quite close to their acceptable limits. She tutted to herself, they would need realigning before long, she might as well do them before they became a problem.::

::She ran a second diagnostic, they seemed to be in working order, aside from the slight misalignment. Tasha started whistling as she worked, glad that she was back, doing what she loved.::


Honoured


The Purple heart - 239503.31


((Tasha’s Quarters, USS Gorkon))

::Tasha had decided to leave the celebration in the Wardroom early. It was a pleasant event, with good food, good drink, and good company. However it had all suddenly become a bit too much, Tasha had felt trapped and the need to escape, she needed some peace and quiet. So she had retreated to her quarters to mull things over with a bottle of Warp Core Moonshine.::

::She sighed and took another swing from the bottle, staring at the small boxes on the table before her. Three of them were identical, containing the ribbons she had been awarded, the fourth was slightly smaller, and contained the half pip that would identify her as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. With a trembling hand she opened the lid to see the small, innocent piece of metal staring back up at her.::

::With an unsteady hand Tasha picked up the half pip and pinned it onto her collar. It was odd that the pip was having such an effect on her. Tasha snorted and took a swig from her bottle, she had wanted a promotion, hadn’t she?::

::Yes, Tasha decided she had wanted this, but then why did it feel so wrong? Her eyes drifted to the other boxes. One by one she opened them, the Orion Syndicate Service Medal, the Innovation Ribbon, and the Purple Heart.::

::The Purple Heart, that was the source of these feelings. Tasha resented the small piece of purple and black fabric. It wasn’t so much the ribbon that she resented, but the meaning, what it would forever remind her of. The agony and terror of having her arm torn off and burnt, the struggle of trying to live with one arm, and the frustration at struggling to complete simple tasks. Tasha took another swing from her bottle as she felt tears gathering in the corners of her eyes::

::As if sensing that she was unhappy Spark mewed and jumped up on her lap. He rubbed up against her, ensuring he had her full attention before he dug his claws into her trousers and started sharpening them. Tasha winced as she felt his tiny daggers pierce her skin. Spark mewed in annoyance as Tasha picked him up. She placed the wriggling kitten on the couch beside her where he promptly curled up and went to sleep.::

::Tasha smiled down at her sleeping kitten, he was such an innocent creature, with no concerns or complicated feelings about Purple Hearts. She stroked his small head, causing him to stir in his sleep and press his head into her hand. She grinned and took another swig of her moonshine, only to discover that she had already emptied the bottle. She stood and went to fetch another bottle, then stopped.::

::Alcohol wouldn’t help. She knew that. She sighed and placed the empty bottle on the table. All alcohol would do would numb her, and the following morning she would have a hangover to deal with. She snorted and flopped back onto the couch. Spark looked up at her and mewed again, irritated that his sleep had been disturbed.::

MacFarlane: Aye, too damn true.


Call from home


Contact from home - 239503.31


((Tasha’s Quarters, USS Gorkon))

::Tasha started awake as her computer started chirping with an incoming call. Sitting up and rubbing her eyes she tapped the computer and accepted the call. An image sprang up of a middle aged woman who bore certain resemblances to Tasha.::

Natalie MacFarlane: Tasha? What ‘appened? You look terrible!

::Tasha groggily looked at her reflection in the screen. She had to agree that she did look terrible. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were bloodshot. She brushed a few loose strands of hair out of her face.::

Tasha MacFarlane: No ma, I was sleepin’.

Natalie MacFarlane: On th’ couch?

Tasha MacFarlane: Aye

Natalie MacFarlane: T-Tasha...w-what ‘appened...with yer ‘and?

::Tasha could see tears in the corners of her mother's eyes. This had clearly had more of an effect on her family than she had thought. She held up both of her hands so that her mother could see them.::

Tasha MacFarlane: I’m fine ma, see.

Natalie MacFarlane: ::she shook her head:: Yer letter said tha’ yeh ‘ad lost one! ::tears started spilling down her cheeks as she started sobbing::

Tasha MacFarlane: Ma...

::Tasha trailed off, she was sure that there was nothing she could say over the computer that would be able to calm and reassure her mother. Luckily she didn’t have to. In the back of the image on the screen she saw a door open and her father Robert enter the house. He saw Natalie crying and hurried over to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders::

Robert MacFarlane: There there, hush...it’s goin’ t’ be alrigh’

::Natalie nodded, struggling not to sob.::

Robert MacFarlane: Its good t’ see yer face Tasha, how are yeh ‘oldin’ up?

Tasha MacFarlane: I...I’ve been better...I...yeh read m’ letter I’m sure.

Robert MacFarlane: Aye, an’ yer arm?

::Tasha held it up again and waggled her fingers::

Tasha MacFarlane: Just as good as m’ ol’ flesh an’ blood one.

Robert MacFarlane: Tha’ ain’t flesh an’ blood?

Tasha MacFarlane: Nope, its a cybernetic prosthetic.

::She rolled her arm over, exposing her wrist, barely visible was a square scar, a few centimetres long on each side. She pressed on it and watched as a small panel opened up, exposing the inner workings of her arm. She carefully reached in and withdrew a small power cell. Almost instantly her hand went limp as it stopped receiving the energy it needed to keep going.::

::Her parents looked distinctly uncomfortable at the demonstration so Tasha quickly replaced the power cell and sealed it back in. She flexed her fingers as they came back to life.::

Tasha MacFarlane: See...not a problem

Natalie MacFarlane: Tasha...I...I...be careful now, yeah.

Tasha MacFarlane: Aye ma, I’ll do m’ best.

Robert MacFarlane: Aye, well, we won’t disturb yeh any longer, we’ll see yeh later.

::He reached forward to end the communication but Tasha quickly held up her hand to stop him.::

Tasha MacFarlane: DA! WAIT!

::She brushed some hair out of the way.::

Tasha MacFarlane: Notice anythin’ different.

::Natalie frowned, not seeing anything of significance different about her appearance. Robert on the other hand broke into a grin. He had served in Starfleet and had noticed the new half-pip on her collar.::

Robert MacFarlane: Lieutenant Junior Grade, well done Tasha.

Natalie MacFarlane: Lieutenant? Yeh got a promotion! ::A smile broke through her tear streaked face:: Well done!

::Tasha blushed slightly::

Tasha MacFarlane: Aye, only a couple o’ hours ago. ::she smiled at them:: Goodbye, I’ll try t’ call again soon.

::With that said she reached forward and terminated the call. She smiled to herself and stood. It would be much more comfortable to sleep in her bed than on the couch.::