146: Being Beaten

By Ensign Rada Dengar
Stardate: 80212.17
Directly After Hitting the Fan

--=Bridge; USS Alchemy =--

*Code White! Code White!* Rada screamed in his head and visibly cringed as he thought those words. He couldn’t believe that he’d allowed this to happen.

*I should have spent more time working on the trans-warp drive!*

His heart began thumping. *I should never have relied on an experimental warp coil realignment method simply to be a little quicker!*

His breathing became shallow.

*I’m the highest ranking Engineer on the bridge, it was my job to make sure the ship was ready for this!* Rada scolded himself.

He reached down and steadied himself on the engineering panel, casting his eyes down lest they meet the gaze of any other members of the crew. Rada was sure that all eyes would be accusing him.

*Kellyn could die thanks to me.*

His breathing became louder. He began to get dizzy as the room started to spin.

Rada turned around quickly to face the TC Blane.

"Commander Blane, I request that I be allowed to proceed to Main Engineering. I…" He tried to find the right words about Engineering being where he was most needed or the damage to the ship but he just couldn’t. The words were just gasps for air, for some reason. Luckily he didn’t have to finish.

"Permission Granted," nodded Blane.

Rada tried to say thank you but could only nod as he headed for the Turbolift. He didn’t need to say anything; his eyes showed that he was grateful. He quickly disappeared through the door and onto the lift.

Main Engineering" He ordered. He didn’t know what he would do there. He needed to think. The Turbolift began rushing off towards its destination.

"Halt. Lift" Rada cried out. The movement stopped and he slid down onto the floor. He put his head in his hands. He had such a headache.

Tears began to fill his eyes but he stopped himself.

*You are Ensign Rada Dengar!* he told himself.

"Ensign Rada Dengar!" he shouted.

He pulled himself up to a standing position and slowed his breathing.

*You don’t do this. You don’t let it beat you* he told himself in a quiet voice.

"You stand up and you control yourself. You never let the past win. Whatever’s happened you just keep going and keep smiling," he said with determination.

"At the end of the day that’s all…" he couldn’t finish his sentence. He had an image of Kellyn lying dead because of him flash before his eyes.

"What am I supposed to do?" He shouted and slid back to the ground. "This I…this isn’t me!" He stammered with exasperation "I don’t…" He was cut off by a beeping in his pocket. He reached a hand in and removed a hypo-spray.

It was time for his medication. He just starred at it absentmindedly and let out a sigh of frustration.

"This is why. This is why you can’t do it anymore. This is why you can’t think," he said bitterly to himself.

"Th…This is why Kellyn is dying," he told himself, the words truly scarring him. He raised the device up to throw it against the wall…but he couldn’t do it.

Without this medication he would have to go back. He would have to go back to that rage. He could lose the battle again and become a monster. So many more could die. He was trapped.

"They die from my mistakes or they die at my hands!" he shouted as tears rushed back to his eyes.

"There is no path forward," he whispered.

He did not have a phaser. He did not carry a weapon. He did however know of something just as deadly. He held a button on the hypo-spray and took it well above a safe dosage.

"This is it," he whispered and brought the hypo to his neck. It was then that Rada’s combadge chirped.

[Blane to Dengar. Ensign, we’ve noticed your Turbolift isn’t moving. Has the lift been damaged?]

"The problem isn’t severe, Sir. I just need to remove one unnecessary and detrimental component to have things running smoothly."

[Understood,] replied TC. [Please proceed with all haste, there’s a lot of work in Engineering to be done.]

"Aye, Sir. Dengar out" replied Rada and tapped his badge off.

At that instant, something changed in Rada as he came to a realisation. He took the hypo away from his neck and held down a second button lowering the dosage to normal.

He brought the hypo back to his neck and took his medication. He stood back up, wiped the tears away from his eyes and placed the hypo back in his pocket. He couldn’t believe what he’d almost done.

"Resume," he instructed the computer.

What he had realised was that with Kellyn out of action he was the most experienced Engineer onboard when it came to the Alchemy's systems. He realised that that meant something. It meant that he couldn’t just take the easy way out. He had to do right by this crew and most importantly, by Kellyn.

He exhaled slowly as it occurred to him that he still had to breathe. Upon reaching its destination the Turbolift doors opened and Rada took a slow breath before stepping off. At that moment he was adamant. Adamant that whatever was waiting for him in Engineering he was going to make damn sure that it didn’t beat him.

Ensign Rada Dengar
Engineering Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012
USS Alchemy NX-53099