Plomeek for the Soul (Part I)
1,482 words; about a 7 minute read
Ninety-Nine Bottles of Swill
Location: Bellwether Station
The small little relay station nestled up against Ionite nebulae was operating as smoothly as could be, the Ferengi had since recovered from their illness, and Brott had dispatched a few of his trusted crew out on an away mission to Ferengi space, the industrial world of Clarus. The station had not been this quiet since he spent the occasional night alone waiting for new crew to arrive, but he was not exactly alone on the station. Ensign Andrea Astor was helping him by staying back to hold down the fort, something that Brott was very appreciative of.
His concern, however, was not on the ability of the two of them to keep the station functioning. It was slated to become completely autonomous in the nearing future anyways. At least unless he was able to present evidence and make a good case in front of Starfleet and the Federation that a crew really is beneficial to Bellwether. Where the Bolian's concern was at least momentarily was with the third individual still aboard the remote relay station; Doctor Tanaka had fallen sick in recent days, unrelated to the Ferengi fortunately. There was some brief concern that the coincidence was actually a correlation, but thankfully science and medicine was able to disprove and dispel those concerns.
Still, the station's sole physician was feeling a bit under the weather, and did not want to take chances of making anyone else sick. Brott had enough basic knowledge to play 'medic' in the event that anyone needed a quick patch up. Fortunately, aside from Astor getting a small gash on her shoulder from a sharp piece of metal, there were no medical incidents to log.
Doctor Tanaka had ascended the station a few days prior with a medical kit and some rations, taking refuge up towards the 'top' of the relay station where she could be left in peace and isolate from the rest of the crew. Brott, however, was becoming a bit lonely. He and Ensign Astor had not 'bonded' quite yet. They were pleasant enough to one another, but she was not much of a conversationalist. I'll change that though the Bolian thought to himself as he whistled and hummed a tuned as he squeezed his plump proportions though the tight jefferies tubes. Only at a few junctions was he truly beginning to have second thoughts about his previous night's indulgence of two very liberal pieces of Delavian chocolate cheesecake.
He was a bit out of breath though as he climbed up the ladder to get towards the tiptop of the relay station where Doctor Tankaka had herself practically barricaded. Brott had made the journey through the jefferies tube network of chutes and ladders wearing a Starfleet issued environmental suite to keep the Doctor's germs away from getting him sick. He also was carrying a small thermal canister containing plomeek broth, something for Doctor Tanaka.
Then it happened. The few instances before, he was able to squeeze himself through the tight spaces, but this time? Nope. The Bolian wiggled around, squirmed, and tried to force himself through, but all that happened was he became bluer and bluer until his face was flushed and turning an unpleasant shade of purple. He let out a deep sigh. "Oh Tobey the Targ - snap, crackle, and pop!" he groaned.
He had become stuck, and needed to be dislodged, but there was nobody there to give his rear a good shoving. Instead, he had to comm a friend. Reaching across his chest and tapping the controls on the EV suit, he was able to get the built in communicator to function. "Brott to Astor, ensign...we have ourselves a bit of a pickle. I'm...well golly gee goodness. I seem to have gotten myself stuck trying to reach Doctor Tanaka's location."
At the exact moment the call came through, Ensign Astor had just sat down to enjoy an unhealthy lunch of a triple chocolate sundae with extra chocolate sauce. The first spoonful had almost touched her lips when her commanding officer’s voice filtered through the speaker with a slight distortion that reminded her she needed to check the comm system. Again.
A pickle? She mouthed, not quite sure she had heard him properly.
“Try not to panic, I’m sure we can get you out,” she assured him as she set aside her desert/lunch and climbed her feet. “I’m on my way.”
"That's the spirit," Brott said with a chuckle. "You could try to get a lock on me with the transporters and just do a site to site to the Doctor's coordinates, but the Ionite nebulae are having a bit of a flare up. It's been messing with several of the systems all day."
“I do have some chocolate sauce going to waste,” Andrea teased as she headed into Ops, just to ensure the easiest option was not on the table. “Assuming you do not want to risk being scrambled in the transport, we can’t beam you out. I have a lock on your position, I will be there soon. Just let me get some supplies. I can get to a junction just ahead of your position… are you hurt? Do you need a medical kit?”
"I have a bruised ego, but that will heal just marvelously I you can get me unstuck, ensign," replied the Bolian who was still wiggling and trying to loosen himself. "Grease me up and squeeze me out, but you nay want to do it sooner rather than later. I've been trying to break free, and I'm starting to regret having red alert chili for lunch."
“Hang in there Pooh bear,” Andrea muttered under her breath, pulling together everything she could find before embarking on her own adventure through the network of conduits. “You could have waited and beamed up,” she told nobody but herself, “but no….”
With so much gear she took a little longer than planned but soon had emerged less than a meter ahead of her CO and his unfortunate predicament. He was indeed stuck. “I’m sure the doctor will agree it is the thought that counts,” she offered, setting up a small container with a nozzle to spray the contents in short bursts.
“Oil, to help get you greased up and then I push. I’m sure you will be unstuck before any red alert incidents develop,” she explained. Please let it be over before then. Bad enough the smell of the Ferengi still lingered enough to ruin an appetite. “Apologies in advance, I need to cover as much of you as possible…”
"This is probably the only time that you'll hear these words out of my jabbering jaw, Ensign. Lubricate me," he said wincing a bit. "I'm going to get out of here with your help, and I'm going to cheer the good doctor up."
“Probably hopefully means never,” Andrea said hopefully as she pressed the trigger, coating the outside of the suit and the walls currently keeping the Bolian confined. It was a good few minutes before she was done, by which point the heat had her setting aside her uniform jacket as she eyed the Bolian. “Okay, try moving… small movements or you’ll be shooting out of there.”
The man was careful with his movements. "No promises, the corridors have excellent acoustics and my cabin is just down the corridor from your suite. I can be a bit vocal, especially if I'm entertaining a guest," he added as he wiggled himself free.
He let out a sigh of relief as got through smoothly. "Thank you, Ensign. You may head back to Ops, and we will turn this tale into a cheerful ballad when the others return."
“I don’t sing,” came a firm reply as the ensign gathered her gear and gratefully made her escape so the path ahead was clear.
Once free, Brott was back on his merry way. He accessed the communications controls once more on his suit. "Oh Doctor my dear, your favorite blue, bald, and beautiful nurse is here."
Tanaka's lip turned up. She was feeling much better today and was not expecting to be up here longer. The fact that Brott was coming to 'visit' had her head pounding. She sighed. It was the thought but if he sang at her she always had the sleep hypo. She hit the coms button. "Hello Commander. I could still be catchy..." She said hoping he'd turn around but doubting it.
The immediate response was just a gut full of giggles as the Bolian neared closer and closer to where the Doctor was. "Don't you worry, Doctor, I have come prepared and will be there....now" he finished. He had reached her location. She was no longer safe from the infectious laughter and joy of Hamish Brott, destroyer of silence.
.....To Be Continued in Part II....