Ten Fingers and (Probably) Ten Toes
Evan stepped inside the transporter room to see that Lt. Davies-Muir was already present. He couldn’t recall what level of proficiency the Acting Chief Engineer had with transporter operations, but chances were it was more than acceptable for this operation. Besides, the chances of anything going horribly, horribly wrong were slight.
Girding himself in that mantra, he came to a stop on the opposite side of the control console. “Lieutenant. Everything in working order for today’s experiment?”
“Green lights across th’ board, Captain,” Steffi reported, using a phrase that had come from a much earlier time. Modern indications were more detailed, and were not in greens, yellows, and reds in the LCARS environment, yet engineers still tended to refer to satisfactory readings as such. She wasn’t really there for the transporter, really; she’d come to operate the system because she wanted to be on hand to personally verify the performance of the cambion-D-infused glove.
Dr. Darney had yet to arrive, and Evan decided now was as good a time as any to broach a sensitive subject. “You’re bunking with Lieutenant Hanmore, aren’t you?” He waited for confirmation – he already knew the answer, but who’s to say that a change in their living arrangements wasn’t being planned privately and they just hadn’t made Operations aware of it yet? – before pressing on. “Her counsellor’s kept the Command staff apprised of her recovery and believes it’s going well, but in my experience officers put on a dutiful face whenever counsellors are about. How do you think she’s doing?”
A few days ago, she’d have winced, and visibly so. “Much better now, sir,” she admitted. What she wanted to do, yet didn’t, was put the normal counselors on report for completely dropping the ball with Jenny, for she’d been in a really bad place. “I think she’s but a final evaluation away from returnin’ t’ duty… She’s come a long way, sir.”
“That’s good to hear.” Evan was about to say more, but it was then that the doors opened to admit Dr. Darney. As always, she looked all business. “Doctor. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to Sickbay with this before now,” he said, holding up his golden gloved hand. “Thanks for attending. Do you need to scan it before we start?”
Adrianna blinked. “Oooh, shiny!” It didn’t seem much like the Captain’s style, but who was she to say? Pulling a tricorder out of her coat pocket, she ran a base scan to get the glove’s basic “running but inactive” parameters to have something to compare later scans to.
Grimace suppressed – maybe he should’ve gone for the obsidian scales of villainy instead – Evan kept his hand held up until Darney was finished with her scan. “How’s it looking, Doctor?”
She snapped the tricorder shut. “It’s looking pretty flashy, but let’s find out if it actually works.”
“Well, as long as it keeps my hand from ending up in a bucket.” Evan wasn’t sure where that thought had come from. Something about the filmography of the 20th century had put it in his mind. He held the hand up and wiggled its fingers. “It’s taken me a while to break it in, and I’ve grown rather attached to it.”
She silently raised an eyebrow at the image, but didn’t respond, except to wave him up to the transporter.
With Darney’s go ahead, Evan went to stand on the transporter platform. “Whenever you’re ready, Lieutenant. Let’s try to keep me from rematerialising on one pad and my hand on the other.”
“I’ll keep all yer parts connected, sir,” Stephanie promised. She’d already set the transporter to transport the entire volume of the transporter pad to the ceiling, just in case the filters didn’t pick up all of his body. While the initial activation would be in normal target selection mode, she had a failsafe to fall back upon, should it prove necessary.
The familiar pulse of energy enveloped his senses, and for a moment he existed within the veil that separated the material plane from the immaterial one. He could only barely appreciate its fringes as his self dissolved in and out of consciousness. When the veil lifted, his view of the transporter room had shifted a few feet to his right.
After just a moment’s hesitation, he glanced down at his right hand. The gold-sheathed appendage was still there. He flexed it as he stepped down off the platform and offered it again for Darney’s inspection. “There was no cold this time,” he remarked, quietly corralling the hope that threatened at that realisation.
Ten fingers and ten toes, Stephanie’s mind sang-songed through the recesses. As for the cold sensation, that was beyond her ken. As was most of this; for the most part, the performance of the glove was the purview of the Lieutenant Commander Doctor, whom she’d yet to meet. Any issues would be for Engineering to try to correct, provided it didn’t require more cambion-D from the misers that controlled the supply.
Adri reopened the tricorder and stepped forward to scan his outstretched arm. Frowning, she tapped it to narrow the band of the scan, and watched the returning results. “Let’s run it a few more times just to make sure.” It was working, that much was true, as there was no further damage to his cellular structure, but the tricorder was showing a slight variant of… something still, that she wanted to study a bit closer. She looked up and met the inquisitive eyes of the other two in the room. “Better safe than sorry,” was all she offered with a shrug.
“Fair enough,” Evan said, and hopped back up onto the platform. “Once more, with feeling, Lieutenant.”
LTJG Stephanie Davies-Muir (NPCed by Hanmore)
Lt. Commander Adrianna Darney
Capt. Evan Yearling