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Eruc Contagion

. . . And I Will Do No Harm

“Raktajino.” Eruc said slowly, still trying to wake up. This was his first day back on the job after his previous shore leave. Just thinking about the excursion to Starbase 621 made Eruc fill with glee. He could practically taste the sweet Delvan Fluff Pastry in his mouth, the one he had so graciously devoured just hours ago. The smooth cream which adorned the top of the pastry began to fill Eruc's senses, throwing him into an almost complete state of bliss.


The Raktajino which Eruc had just taken a sip of felt oddly harsh on his tongue. Particularly unusual, as Eruc normally consumed the same beverage every day, and today should not be any exception. Was it possible that something could have less of a taste just by thinking of other foods? It didn’t seem probable, but in this situation, Eruc thought it likely.


Grasping the mug in his hand tighly, Eruc entered the nearby turbolift and made his way to sickbay. While the lift was transporting him to a different deck, he couldn't help but think once more about his time off. It probably wasn't good to dwell on the time off, but it had been such a nice diversion. The images of the shore leave dwindled throughout his head, creating the illusion he was still there. Yet there was something in the back of his head, telling him he wasn't. Reality mixed with fantasy, and Eruc drifted away . . .


Eruc jolted back to reality as the turbolift doors slid open, revealing the corridor to sickbay. He enjoyed his work very much, true, but he knew in advance it would be hard to get back to the daily routine, especially after such an exhilarating night.


However, those thoughts quickly diminished from Eruc's mind as he plodded into sickbay, feeling slightly less tired than before. He immediately noticed a group of officers chatting madly while standing near a biobed in the corner. It was his nature to approach the group, even if he would be interrupting some sort of conversation they may be having.


"Hello everyone," Eruc mumbled, "What's on the agenda for today?"


A nearby ensign began to rattle off a list of patients and their current states. From an unhappy Bajoran complaining about a chronic cough to a seemingly healthy woman suffering from occasional bouts of unconsciousness, it seemed to all be a normal day for Eruc. The ensign then began talking about a seemingly cocksure diagnosis a fellow doctor had made that turned out to be completely wrong. It all made Eruc's head spin very fast, although it was what he dealt with day to day.


Eruc walked over to another nearby biobed which contained a young girl sprawled out on top. She was sleeping - or, at least, seemed to be sleeping - and Eruc didn't wish to wake her. However, his natural affinity for children came into play here and his instinct told him to ask something.


"This girl here, what's wrong with her?" Eruc stated nonchalantly, hoping for a quick response before moving onto another patient. What he received, though, was far from it.


"She's suffering from extreme blood pressure levels and oxygen deprivation." the ensign responded in a grim tone, clearly not wishing to speak any more about the subject. A number of other doctors nearby chimed in with similar comments.


"Don't forget the swelling of her neck, face, and throat sporadically."


"And the vomiting and itching."


"And the extreme case of hives she had earlier."


"It's possible she may die in a number of hours."


"We've tried everything -"


"- let it run it's course -"


"- contacted Starfleet Medical -"


"- nothing to do -"


Eruc's mind ran wild. Was it possible for such a person - especially such a young child, who should have been so protected - to have all of these symptoms? Were they related? If so, what was it from? Could it be a complete failure of the nervous system?


Eruc stroked his disheveled hair with his fingers, clearly in deep thought. He couldn't possibly fathom what could be happening with this little girl, but he knew he desperately wanted to help her. Even if it meant neglecting a few less important duties, or working an extra shift. He had to finish it, for he had made a promise to himself to help whoever he could.


"If you don't mind," Eruc responded, "I'll take this one. I don't mind if I have to work overtime, I've got it."


With those words, the ensign smiled and then trudged off into another corner of sickbay, leaving Eruc all alone with the girl. He gripped her hand tight, making sure not to wake her up. He secretly made a promise to himself once more, telling himself he would help her. He wouldn't let her die. Not like this, defenseless, without a clue of what was going on.


Eruc procured a medical tricorder from a small shelf nearby and began scanning the girl. Her condition was as he had been told - numerous symptoms, all of which seemed to be related with no visible correlation - plagued the girl throughout. He continued scanning for a good ten minutes, hoping that something would come up that he hadn't noticed before.


It was moments later that Eruc realized the tricorder would not tell him anything new. That revelation was a tough one for Eruc, but one he knew he must accept. Soon after, he made his way to a small computer console sitting in a corner. He opened the databases and began staring at them endlessly, hoping to find something, with the realization he wouldn't filling him with every passing moment. There had to be something - something about at least some of the symptoms coming together - somewhere in the vast knowledge of Starfleet Medical.


Yet it seemed fruitless, with no results coming up after hours of searching. By now, Eruc was fully awake, but somewhat lethargic due to the somber attitude he was quickly adopting. He continued searching, keeping hope alive he would find something -


Until the moment came when he saw it. There was a mention of a type of shock associated with anaphylaxsis and other allergens a patient may have. Although there was no documented cure, a number of successful attempts to simulate the shock had taken place. Although simulating the infection, Eruc knew, was of no help.


But through his knowledge of treatments and a little more database searching, Eruc was able to concoct what he thought would be able to bring the girl out of whatever she was experiencing, and hopefully reduce the number of symptoms considerably. He quickly mixed up a desegranine and asinolyathine mixture which could possibly bring the girl out of her state and slowly cure whatever she was going through. Although it would have been better to run tests, Eruc knew he had no time to do so, and therefore went with his instincts.


"I think I've found it!" Eruc exclaimed excitedly to the rest of sickbay, who cast him sideways glances. After they realized what he was talking about, though, they quickly rushed over and began chatting with enthusiasm.


"All I need to do is administer three doses of this mixture and it should be able to bring her out of this anaphylaxsic shock." Eruc told those around him proudly, beginning to place the mixture into a tube nearby the girl. After doing so, he pressed a button and waited a moment.


The glass blue eyes of the girl opened widely, and Eruc though he could see a smile emerging on her face. She was returning to reality, realizing where she was, what she was doing, and most importantly, that she was getting better.


Life readings began to pick up and stabilize on the monitor nearby. Her heart began to pick up a healthy pace. Color seemed to be coming back into her skin.


And then, almost as quickly as it began, it stopped. The heart monitor fell to a line and stopped beeping, only the somber sound of the same tone ringing throughout sickbay. Eruc gave it a moment - perhaps there was some fault in the equipment - and then realized the eyes were shut and the smile was wiped off of her face.


The ensign nearby grabbed the same medical tricorder Eruc had used and ran it over the body. It was a hasty procedure, but it seemed to take forever in Eruc's mind.


And then the words came to Eruc like a blow he had never felt before.


"Given her condition, the drug should have theoretically helped her. However, it seems to have become mixed with an internal function of this disease, which immediately, " the ensign paused, "Which immediately killed her."


Eruc's face immediately fell, completely showcasing his crestfallen attitude. Moving abruptly, he sighed and ran out of sickbay, back into the turbolift and onto the deck containing his quarters. He flew through the hall and reached his room, where he lay down on the bed which seemed to be anything but comfortable to him.


And standing on the table next to his bed was a plaque his father had given him just prior to being posted to the Agincourt, which read:


"I swear this oath by Apollo physician, by Asclepius, by health and by all the gods and goddesses: In whatsoever place that I enter I will enter to help the sick and heal the injured, and I will do no harm."


And then, in a moment, Eruc realized he was standing in the turbolift, hand grasped tightly around a steaming hot cup of Raktajino, with only one sip taken out of it.


OOC: Eep! I really didn't mean for it to be that long, it was merely going to be just a 'day in the life of' type thing, but a plot sort of grew out of it. If I went too far with it, Dr. Levy or anyone, please let me know.


Depending on comments, I wasn't planning on entering the log competition, but may use this just because it was so fun to write, even if a bit cliche'. Well, okay, a LOT cliche'.

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