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 The Five Times Challenge

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Join date : 2009-06-16
Age : 29
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PostSubject: The Five Times Challenge   The Five Times Challenge Icon_minitimeTue Jun 16, 2009 7:50 pm

The Five Times T'Rae Almost Died Before Even Leaving Planet
Part one of the Five Times Challenge, this one occurs when T'Rae was seven years old.
Word Count: 1,466

1.Afraid Of The Dark

T’Rae coughed so hard her sides hurt, her lungs burned, and her head spun. When the coughing finally subsided five minutes later she was left limp and gulping for air. When she could control herself again she whipped away the tears she hadn’t noticed streaming down her face and tried to take a deep breath, only to be assaulted by another violent round of coughing. Her eyes closed as she tried to pull herself together, how long she had laid there like that she didn’t know, before she felt her mother’s cool hand against her feverish forehead. The young Vulcan’s eyes slowly flickered open to the site of her mother, dark brown eyes looking down at her with concern.
T’Rae whimpered, unable to properly articulate words for fear she would be thrown back into another coughing fit. Her mother knew what she meant, T’Rae was scared, and she could tell her mother was too. Neither of them knew what was wrong with the young girl, the doctors didn’t know either. Even now her father was digging through medical records for any sort of similar disease that had occurred in the settlement or on the Mother World. That was the bonus of having a Father as a doctor, even though he couldn’t be home much. The Vulcans who lived here hadn’t completely adapted to their new homes biome and many unknown diseases were still cropping up here and there. It was difficult on her Father, who was chief researcher at the hospital, but even harder now that he knew his daughter was suffering from something he couldn’t name.
Things were certainly difficult for the family now, her father was coming home even less than usual as he tried to find out what was wrong, and her mother had been forced to quit her own job in order to take care of her ailing child. And on top of everything she was suffering through, the nausea, the coughing, the dizziness, the headaches, the insomnia, T’Rae felt guilty. She knew it was illogical, it was not her fault she had contracted the disease, there was nothing she could do about it that her young body was susceptible to the unknown bacteria of the world. It wasn’t her fault that enough generations had not passed for her physiology to include immunity to native bacteria and viruses. But still she felt guilty that she had brought this upon her family, that botheher parents had been forced to cease their daily lives and routines to take care of her. T’Rae had always prided herself on being able to care for herself, now she could barley move and was entirely dependent on her parents.
At all of this, T’Rae whimpered again, why wouldn’t it stop? Why couldn’t she make it stop? They were ridiculous questions she knew, but she kept asking them anyway.
“Shhhh,” her mom’s soothing voice brought T’Rae out of her own thoughts, “It’ll be all right dear. You need to try and get to sleep.” The same suggestion her mother had given not fifteen minutes ago. But T’Rae didn’t want to sleep, if she went to sleep she might not wake up. A logical thought, in her condition, but how much longer could she go without sleeping. Her body needed to try and repair itself and fight off this alien invasion.
“I don’t wanna sleep mother.” T’Rae managed to whisper before she was taken by another fit of coughing, this one lasting longer. Her mother propped her up and rubbed her back, trying to ease the pain and encourage her lungs to work, but it didn’t help. When the fit subsided the little seven-year old felt weaker than ever, unable to finish her thought. But her mom knew what she was going to say, she was again going to inform her mother that she was afraid of the dark and didn’t want to sleep because of it. T’Rae made a feeble attempt to smile up at her mother before her eyes flickered closed. Her mother knew what that meant, it meant the conversation was over and T’Rae wanted to be alone again. Not knowing what else to do, her mother left to room and pulled out her personal communicator. Without thinking she called her husband.
“She’s getting worse.” She whispered into the communicator as soon as she heard the click as it connected.
“I know.” A deep male voice came across the end, it sounded tired and worried, “I’m trying honey. I think I might be on to something.”
“Please hurry.”
“I will be home in an hour with another hypo.” With that the line went dead. A sigh escaped the woman’s lips as she took one last glance at her daughter’s room before walking away.
Back in her room T’Rae had heard the entire conversation, she may be a follower of the V’tosh ka’tur, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t a Vulcan. Another wave of guilt washed over T’Rae, followed by another fit of coughing. When she had control again T’Rae went limp and closed her eyes. Just because she was weak physically didn’t mean she was mentally, and she would not allow herself to slip in this time she was incapacitated. With care she began to meditate, one by one she categorized everything that distracted her, and then shoved it away as nonsensical.
Lost in her meditation, peace swept over T’Rae finally. She almost felt she could breathe again; felt everything was going to be okay. How long she lay there she did not know.
“T’RAE!” T’Rae’s mother shouted, she knew it was illogical but it was pure instinctive reaction. When she hadn’t heard her daughter cough once for the past twenty minutes she had come in to check on her daughter, only to find her unresponsive. Her breathing had stopped and she could feel her pulse dropping rapidly, it was almost nonexistent already. “T’RAE!” She shouted again, already she was trying to stimulate the girl’s lung again but nothing she attempted seemed to have any effect.
“My wife, what is wrong?” her husband came rushing into the room to see her sitting on T’Rae’s bed, sobbing as she tried to bring her child back to life. He gently pushed his wife aside and examined the situation. He didn’t have anything he needed here; he knew he should have taken her to the hospital immediately when she first fell ill. But she would have panicked, and her body would be unable to handle the rapid emotions associated with the move. All he had now was the hypo concoction he’d brought back with him. It seemed a stroke of luck that he had finished up early and come home much sooner than he had been planning to.
With nothing but the hypo available, that’s what he used. Injecting her with the drugs and resuming his wife’s attempts to resurrect their only child’s breathing. If she died tonight, when he felt so close to a breakthrough, he wasn’t sure he would be able to withstand such emotional trauma. It was, after all, his job to research and cure these diseases; it was his job to cure this one.
“Father.” He snapped back to attention, having just been going through the motions out of hope something would work, as the meekly whispered words escaped his daughter’s mouth. T’Rae had never seen her father grin in the way she did now, his dark brown eyes glittering brightly when she spoke.
“T’Rae!” Her mother’s ecstatic voice broke in over whatever her father had been about to say. The young girl was scooped up in a hug, she could barely breath. When her mother finally set her back down she looked both at her parents in confusion. “What has happened that has you so distressed?” She asked, not realizing at first that she was not immediately over come with another violent fit.
“How are you feeling?” Her father asked her, completely ignoring her question. As he spoke was counting her pulse and measuring her breathing. As T’Rae thought about the question it finally dawned on her.
“The constriction of my lungs seems to have lessened.” She explained, though she tried to hide it there was an obvious relief in her voice.
“Well, you still have a fever but your pulse seems to be strengthening. I think I might be able to reverse the effects of this disease.” Her father explained, the relief obvious in his voice far surpassing that which his child was attempting to hide, “Meanwhile, T’Rae, you should try to sleep to encourage the drug’s effects.” With this he ruffled his daughter’s hair and turned to leave the room, taking his wife with him. T’Rae simply nodded and settled back into her bed. Maybe the dark wouldn’t be so scary this time.
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