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A Difficult Choice

Posted on Oct 10, 2018 @ 11:33pm by Commander Jacob Crichton & Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Oct 10, 2018 @ 11:33pm

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle

“A Difficult Choice”
(contd from ‘The Omen’)

SD: [2.18] 1009.2040
Scene: Main Engineering

When Jasmine opened her eyes, she had woken up to a world of pain and anguish and realized she was lying on the ground a few metres from the turbo lift. Wincing, the young woman spotted a few bruises on her hands and raised her hand to touch her forehead, upon feeling a dull ache. Using her fingers, she felt a tiny cut just above her right eye. Her injuries didn’t seem too bad so that was a relief.

The Asian glanced around to study her surroundings and suddenly felt a tightness in her chest – what in the universe had just happened. Surrounding her were chaos with alarm klaxons blaring. Then it all came coming back to her. Prior to her blackout, Yu was in Main Engineering, having just escorted Dr. Eden and decided to stay till the end of the experiment. But soon after the experiment started, the ship suddenly shook as if it was hit by something, massively more powerful. Jasmine deduced the hard jolt likely tossed her a few feet from her previous position and landed her on the ground before she blacked out – and for how long, she wasn’t sure, yet.

The security chief slowly got up to a standing position, deciding to check in with Malin Argo and assess the situation. She began walking around and noticed the area was dark with the lights flickering on and off. The Asian tilted her head to the side, passing by a row of consoles that sustained heavy damage, judging from the presence of black scorch marks, shards of glass lying around and broken fiber optic wires hanging out of what was left of the workstations. When she stopped by one of the stations, she felt a sudden pang inside, when her eyes fell on the still form of a female engineer, barely recognizable from the burns inflicted on her body. Jasmine figured that when the console exploded, the engineer was thrown back and from the severity of the burns, it was likely the woman didn’t survive but Yu couldn’t tell for certain. She then pushed onward, passing some consoles that looked to be partially functioning but likely at emergency power.

As she walked further inside Engineering, the situation was worse than she’d expected. Main Engineering seemed to have been battered from whatever that came in contact with the ship and was surrounded by dead and injured officers and crewpersons. A humanoid engineer stumbled past her, clutching his shoulder and she could hear another moan in pain, crying out for help. This made her wonder where the medics were until she felt her foot hit something. Jasmine nearly tripped, when her gaze hovered over the lifeless body of a male humanoid engineer, his head in a rather twisted position. Yu leaned forward, recognizing the individual whom she recalled seen working at the upper level, prior to the disaster. She glanced upwards and let out a sigh of dismay, her eyes moving downwards, spotting other bodies sprawled on the ground and hunched over consoles. It was likely a few engineers fell over the safety rails to their deaths like the one lying before her, his neck snapped.

Jasmine wondered how the rest of the ship was faring and tapped on her comm badge. “Yu to the Bridge.” No response. She tried again. “Yu to Bridge. Please respond.” Silence. “Anyone there?” She could hear nothing but static and the young woman sighed out of frustration. So communications were down. This couldn’t be good. So she then made her way to the Master Systems Display, where to her relief, spotted the Grazerite standing in front of it, working. She was relieved to find the Chief Engineer was neither unconscious nor dead.

Jasmine inquired, stopping to stand beside him, “I’ve been trying to reach the bridge but it looks like comms are down.”

Malin-Argo replied without taking his eyes off the display, “That’s because they are. Main power is out of most of the ship’s major systems.”

Yu noticed the Grazerite’s fingers were moving rather quickly on the console, the latter’s focus fixed on the display. “Do you know what happened? Did something go wrong with the experiment?”

“Yes,” Malin-Argo replied in an abrupt tone. “Right now, that is not our priority as we have a pressing matter at hand.”

“I don’t understand.” Jasmine blinked.

This time it was Ensign Maynell who spoke in a much softer tone than his chief. “Lieutenant, the warp core’s continuing to power up. We can’t seem to figure out why and are unable to shut it down.”

Jasmine asked, “How long do we have?”

“Well,” Maynell answered, a hint of panic in his voice. “We can stall for some time but unless we find out what’s wrong with the warp core and shut it down, then there will be a warp core breach.”

Warp core breach. Yu’s eyes widened and her mouth went dry for a moment. This was a nightmare. The ship would explode if there was a breach. She glanced around and raised an eyebrow. “Where’s Dr. Crow and Dr. Eden?”

“I don’t know.” Maynell shrugged, now looking a little nervous. “They were standing here before…” He stopped midway, when his eyes widened in shock.

That was when Jasmine turned around and spotted the two women, both lying unconscious and close to each other. While Eden was sprawled on the floor, Karrington’s body was found leaning against the bulkhead. She rushed towards them and quickly touched their necks to check for a pulse. Jasmine let out a sigh of relief when she found a pulse – good, they were still alive but barely. Yu glanced at Eden. The elderly woman’s condition didn’t seem too serious, having seemed to sustain a few bruises. However at her advanced age, even a minor injury could prove fatal.

The Asian turned her attention to Crow and found that the science chief’s condition seemed to be more serious. The scientist, when the ship shook, seemed to have been thrown across the room at high speeds and crashed into the bulkhead. Bleeding from the ears and mouth indicated signs of internal injuries, likely caused by the blunt trauma to her body but Yu wasn’t trained in medicine and wouldn’t be able to make the correct diagnosis.

She decided, since both women’s conditions were serious, they needed to be taken to sickbay immediately. Yu called out, “Doctors Crow and Eden will need to go to Sickbay. I will need some assistance. Are the turbo lifts still functional?”

“You can use the turbo lift here,” Maynell informed. “It should take you there.”

Malin-Argo, without turning away from his console, replied bluntly, “Lieutenant, that won’t be possible as all hands are needed to resolve the issue with the warp core so I cannot spare anyone. You’re on your own on this matter.”

Jasmine pressed on, “Commander, they need urgent medical assistance so I…”

“Lieutenant,” the Grazerite interjected, a hint of annoyance in his voice. “I don’t think you realize the seriousness of our situation. If we don’t find out what’s wrong with the warp core and shut it down, then we would be heading for a warp breach and if that happened, then we would all die.”

Yu nodded. “Understood, Commander.” Well, it looked like she’d have to handle this on her own. Unfortunately, she was placed in a dilemma – the young woman could only carry one of them to sickbay, possibly sentencing the other to death. Her plan was to take either Crow or Eden to sickbay and return with medics for the other one, hoping they weren’t too late. The big question in her mind was who she would choose. She wasn’t a doctor so would not have the skills to make a proper diagnosis, needed to make an informed decision.

Her first instinct was to choose Karrington as the scientist’s condition seemed to be more severe than Eden’s. But considering the astrophysicist’s age and how frail she already was, even before the experiment started, Jasmine wondered if she should take her instead. When Jasmine was escorting Lorraine to Main Engineering, she noticed the old woman was struggling to even keep upright and hold onto her arm, while they walked. If Yu chose Crow, then what if Eden’s condition was really serious and the astrophysicist ended up not surviving by the time she returned with help. And vice versa with Karrington. She sighed, closing her eyes for a brief moment and then reopening them, realizing she had a hard decision to make.

However, there was another problem, regarding Crow’s condition. Even though Jasmine wasn’t a doctor, she knew that there were major risks with moving a patient suffering from internal injuries. Jasmine was worried - without knowing the extent of Karrington’s injuries that moving the scientist improperly would possibly kill her and Yu didn’t want to run the risk of Crow bleeding out and dying, while on route to sickbay. In this scenario, Eden also could die as well because of the delay in getting her treated.

But if she lingered any longer, then both women would not survive. Jasmine closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath. When she reopened them after a brief moment, she had made her decision. Jasmine turned to Eden, deciding to take her first and would then return with medics for Crow. She believed the medical team would have the means to handle Karrington with proper care.

Jasmine moved towards Dr. Eden, pulling her into a fireman’s carry as gentle as possible. She straightened her legs, pulling herself back into a standing position with Eden on her shoulder, and--


Dr. Eden clutched the Master Systems Display, her eyes narrowed in accusation at Malin-Argo.

“You must have done something wrong!” she hissed. “If your teams had made the modifications correctly--”

“We followed *your* specifications to the letter, doctor,” Malin-Argo shot back. “If you are now unable to undo this mess that you’ve created, then I’m not sure what further use we have for you in my engine room.”

Jasmine realized she was no longer standing near where she had stooped to pick up Dr. Eden’s unconscious body. She was standing on the opposite side of the Master Systems Display, closer to the warp core. Behind her, she could hear the warp core’s trademark thrumming, but it was not the familiar, steady heartbeat she had come to expect. It sounded… *off*, somehow… erratic… and too fast.

She tried to speak, tried to tell Malin-Argo and Dr. Eden that there was no time for this argument. Something was wrong with the warp core, something was *very* wrong… but when she opened her mouth, no sound came out. She realized she couldn’t seem to move - she couldn’t even *feel* herself, the weight of her own body, standing there. Jasmine felt like she was viewing everything through a lens, while her physical self were somehow miles away. She knew she was standing there, could see her own nose, her cheeks, peeking up from the corners of her vision - but she couldn’t *move*.

**A dream, ** Jasmine thought. **I must be dreaming. **

“Don’t you *dare* try to pin the blame for this on me,” Dr. Eden shouted. “My theories were sound! I’m telling you, I have poured over them for almost ten years!”

“There is every indication that this experiment was rushed,” Malin-Argo said, his usually stony exterior even harder now as he refused to give an inch before Dr. Eden’s anger. “You have already cost several members of this crew their lives, and placed the rest of them in grave danger. If you want to make amends for that, I suggest you find something more useful to do than stand around trying to assign blame.”

“We need to get her to Sickbay immediately,” came another voice. Jasmine’s head turned - **I didn’t turn it, ** she though surreally, **it turned on its own…** - and she saw a man standing up from the other side of the Master Systems Display. He snapped what appeared to be a medical tricorder shut and nodded at another crewman standing by. Jasmine didn’t recognize the man, but she recognized his uniform. **A doctor, ** she thought.

“Is she alright, Dr. Bartlett?” Malin-Argo asked.

The man, Dr. Bartlett, turned to face him. “I’m afraid… it’s not good.”

“I can take the news, doctor,” Malin-Argo said.

Dr. Bartlett’s face fell, in an expression of such deep hurt and regret that Jasmine seemed to feel it herself, in spite of the surreal situation she presently found herself in.

“I’m afraid… she’s brain-dead.”

**Who? ** Jasmine’s mind raged at the tableau before her. **Who?!**

Then she got her answer. The crewmen standing near Dr. Bartlett lifted a stretcher.

Karrington Crow was strapped to it.


“Lieutenant?” Jasmine heard a concerned voice but since her mind was elsewhere, she didn’t respond immediately. “Lieutenant? Lieutenant?” Then she was jerked back to reality and blinked in confusion. “Yes.”

“Everything okay?” Maynell inquired.

Yu nodded. “Everything’s fine.” Feeling a weight on her back, Jasmine remembered she was carrying Eden, about to head for sickbay, when she suddenly had this really odd dream. But was it really a dream or maybe a hallucination – it was a possibility she might have bumped her head. Maybe it was a vision or a premonition but how could she get those. She looked up at the unconscious form of the elderly woman and remembered seeing her in the dream, vision or whatever. But something was different. Eden was awake and even quite well enough to argue, let alone shout at Malin-Argo, a stark contrast to unconscious woman.

Then, there was Karringon. Jasmine’s eyes widened with a look of horror. Brain-dead. Dr. Bartlett, the new CMO, was here in Main Engineering and declared Crow was brain dead. So Crow didn’t make it – she turned around and moved to other side of the Master Systems Display as if it was her legs in control and not her mind. She placed Eden down gently and had her leaning her back against the wall. Yu next moved to the Chief Science Officer and bent down, sighing with relief, when she could still hear the older woman breathing. That was a good sign, meaning Crow was still alive and not brain dead as the dream or vision showed.

Jasmine noticed the scientist’s body was oddly twisted, her head against the wall. She was declared brain dead in the dream. A head injury? She wasn’t sure, either way, it determined Crow definitely needed urgent medical care. She looked around and her eyes fixed on a not so perfect rectangular thin section of the bulkhead – likely broke off during the shakeup - lying on the floor a few feet from her position. An idea struck her and Yu headed towards it. Within moments, she returned, dragging the piece with all her strength and dropped it next to Crow’s body.

The Asian sighed, placing her hands on Crow’s shoulders - if only one of the engineers was permitted to help her. She exhaled a sigh of relief, when Maynell rushed to her, much to the annoyance of his boss. The assistant engineer grabbed Crow’s feet and together, he and Yu managed to get the scientist onto the makeshift stretcher.

“Thank you, Ensign.” Jasmine gave him a weak smile.

Maynell removed his belt and handed Yu his jacket. “You will need it.” She wrapped the jacket around the older woman’s head and neck to make sure they didn’t move. Jasmine used both hers and the engineer’s belts to tie Crow and the bulkhead piece together as tight as possible to hold her in place.

“I’ll take it from here,” Yu told him. “You can return to your station.” The engineer promptly returned back to his console. Inhaling a deep breath, the Asian woman slowly lifted the makeshift stretcher to a slanting position, which proved to be heavy for her but the young woman pushed on with determination, slowly dragging it towards the turbo lift – a good thing it was close.

After reaching the turbo lift, she waited for a second and when it arrived, she slowly and with great effort, got onto the lift with the scientist in tow. Now all she needed to do was get Karrington to Sickbay in one piece, hoping the turbo lift didn’t get stuck. As the doors closed, Yu sighed, placing the bulkhead part against the wall and hoped she did the right thing in changing her mind and bringing Crow instead of Eden.

Scene: Sickbay

As soon as the doors to sickbay opened, Jasmine entered, dragging the makeshift stretcher holding Crow inside. A male Caitian, one of the nurses, rushed to her side, taking Karrington off her hands. Jasmine stumbled against the wall, breathing heavily, when an Efrosian nurse approached her with a look of concern.

“Lieutenant Yu, come with me.” She directed Yu to a biobed but the security chief didn’t move.

“I’m fine,” she replied politely, moving past her. “Where’s Dr. Bartlett? We need medical teams to Main Engineering. There are a lot of wounded and Dr. Eden is unconscious.”

“Dr. Bartlett is not here.” The nurse then urged. “Lieutenant, you have some injuries and need to be treated.”

“Where is he?” Yu wouldn’t move, not unless she got her answer.

The Efrosian shrugged. “I think he went to the bridge to meet with the Captain and did not return. Now let me take a look…”

“You need to send a team down to Main Engineering.”

“Don’t worry, Lieutenant,” the nurse assured. “We will send medical teams down there immediately.”
The Caitian returned, handing his colleague the belts and pointed at the Asian woman. “I believe one of these belts is yours.” She handed the belt to Jasmine.

As Jasmine took the belt, she let the nurse treat her. It turned out her injuries were minor and apparently, there was a bump on her head. A concussion? Was the concussion responsible for the dream or vision? She became worried, wondering if she was right to change her decision, following what she saw or dreamt. Once the nurse was done with her, Yu got up and made her way out of sickbay, deciding to head to the bridge.



A JP by Shawn and myself.

Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical


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