Out From the Light
Out From the Light
Summary: Drusilla wakes from her coma to find a friendly face.
Date: 151 ACH
Related Logs: None

Private Room - Genesis - Deck 13
151 ACH - 24438 Souls
Condition Three - Duty Area

This is a private room set up with oxygen and power connections, prepared to house special recovery cases. The room itself is unremarkable, meant for patients to be wheeled in, locked into place and connected to monitoring and support systems. Guards at the door are optional, depending on orders, but the equipment here is normally connected to the monitoring stations in Sickbay.

Lying upon her bed, within her private room, surrounded by a plethora of medical devices working toward her sustenance while she was unable, or perhaps unwilling, to see toward her own well being, Drusilla looked the worse for wear. She had long since been stripped of her uniform, the grey dress affair had been set aside in the closet, and the woman was wearing a generic hospital gown. It fit awkwardly on her, as clothing tends to do when dressed by another than the wearer. One side of her head was shaved to stubble where the surgeons had operated to relieve the pressure that had been building in her cranium. Her long locks, those growing strands for which she had spent so much of her time caring for in the duration of her life, roughly shorn away in its preservation.
Now the woman, not a lawyer or a soldier but a female, lay motionlessly, so much so that she seemed as if to belong there, as if she were just another bit of furniture or equipment that had always been there, as if all in the world were perfectly normal. She seemed somehow smaller than before, when there was not just blood flowing through her veins but the vivacity of life itself. She was not barreling down the corridor now, nor was she sternly reviewing a document or pressing her pen harshly against paper in its formulation. Drusilla was doing nothing, nothing but breath and lie just as she had when rolled in here. There were no visitors. No-one came looking to see her but the occasional medician making their usual rounds. No eyes of empathy had been cast upon this broken body. Perhaps she was dead, perhaps she had long been so well before this incident.

Tais closes the chart, the crisp medical analysis the only insight into what happened, which was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, glancing but patient presented with severe inter-cranial bleeding. She is now stable, though serious; though not as to the why of it. What in Hades would cause this woman who appeared so confident and assured to attempt suicide? Or could it have been the case of her not allowing her any leeway for failure to find a chink in the armor which was unforeseen?
Silently, she moves to her side of the bed, seating herself to watch Drusilla as her breath is taken over by tubes and machinery. There is a shunt in her scalp, permeating from her brain to stave off the pressure which can so easily form as the brain swells. The nurses speak of no one having visited her, which to Tais is a sorrowful event. She may not have been her friend, but Tais felt a deep and abiding respect for the Captain who always kept everyone at arms reach; A condition she herself knew intimately, her work consuming her every thought and deed. Gently, she slips her hand beneath the JAG's, knowing the sense of touch, whether welcome or not can be a powerful healing balm.

The hand was warm to the touch. A strange irony that a woman called heartless by more than one individual in her lifetime to have such an organ beat so vitally, so strongly. She was always a tough woman, whatever her psych reports said about her, never did it suggest anything indicative of a damp will to live and that was exhibited here and now by her presence, even the flaccid hand taken up by Tais.
A hand that moved, just ever so slightly when it connected, flesh to flesh, and via that connection in some small instance one might even argue, perhaps soul to soul. Something new was introduced to this sterile environment, an anomaly, something foreign and strange. It was a new sound, the sound of air being forced through passages too small for the pressure which was being exerted. Drusilla flexed her diaphram in a tremendous effort to breath, not for lack of air, but the sudden desire to consume it unaided.

Tais feels the slight movement, sees the struggle to breath unaided and that causes her to leave her chair, retaining the hand and stepping to Drusilla's bedside. With one hand, she draws a penlight from one of her pockets, bracing the side of her hand to first one eye and then the other to lift the lid, shining the light and watching the irises dilate as the infiltration of luminosity is introduced.

The doctor's fingers were but scant inches from Drusilla's eyes when the lids fluttered open on their own accord, their reaction even to the ambient light of the room telling though Tais' test confirmed any suspicions. The woman's inhale complete, Drusilla's vocal cords exercised a dry, weak moan as her lungs slowly reversed to release the breath. Her eyes flicked shut, lines in her forehead creasing, wincing at the tremendous pain her consciousness had discovered itself in. Nerve receptors were signaling in a frenzy. Her whole body ached, from those limbs that received only involuntary exercise over the past two days to her utterly and abysmally crushing headache. The pain did not subside, but as she grew accustomed to the revelation of its presence, the feeling was overcome by disorientation. Where was she? How did she get there? And who the frak -was- she, anyway? With awareness came the presence of mind to ask questions.

Tais presses a button, requesting assistance to remove the tube which trailed down Drusilla's throat. Releasing her hand, Tais murmurs softly, almost a cooing sound as she bids the woman to be calm. A hand to her brow, the doctor untapes the device which helped the bedridden woman to breath before rapidly removing the device. The nurse holds a sputum pan nearby incase the expulsion causes vomiting. Tais' hand is soothing on Drusilla's brow, waiting to see if she can indeed breathe of her own volition.

The removal of the tube failed to induce vomiting, though not for lack of trying. Drusilla was overcome with dry heaves as she tried to expel bile that was not forthcoming. There really wasn't a whole lot there to begin with, having been fed intra-veinously for over forty-eight hours. But as Drusilla's body tapered the wracking efforts to cecession, it became quite evident by the slow rythm of her chese rising and lowering that she was, indeed, breathing of her own accord. The cooing noises emitted by Tais seemed to have some effect, or perhaps Drusilla's body was just too exhausted right now to continue its fight a hopeless battle for situational control, and the woman calmed from her start.

Tais presses the stethoscope to Drusilla's chest, the nurse gathering other vitals as well. Once more, the doctor fits her hand beneath the patient's, "Drusilla? Can you hear me?" A glance towards the IV drip, Tais' free hand reaching over to open the tubing up, allowing the fluid to drip more frequently.

Drusilla caster her head slowly to the left, and then to the right, as if she were testing the singular sensation of flexing these muscles. Or perhaps just trying to figure out where that blamed voice was coming from amid all of the sensory data she was so suddenly taking in. "Ca-" her lips move to produce the syllable. It had a harsh tone, gravelly and pitted even more than was accredited with her homeworld, Aerelon. "Cap- tain." Oh, yes, she could hear. She could remember, too. At least some things, the core things that comprised the essence of her id. The rest was a foggy mess, travels through memory lane feeling as if they were being performed under water with her having to deal with both unnatural resistance as well as extraordinary tides beyond her immediate control. Nevertheless, the woman's hand grasped Tais's hand. The grip was weak but it was incessant, longing.

Once the stats were taken, the tubes secured and removed, it allow Tais to sit at the woman's side, still holding her hand possessively. "What may I do for you, Drusilla?" Her voice holds a poignancy, a deep concern and an intonation of friendship. She nods towards the nurse who then departs.

The question had to be rolled over in Drusilla's mind several times before she was able to comprehend just what it was exactly being asked of her. There was confusion in the older woman's face, not of the sort that bespoke inquisitiveness but instead an expression of bewilderment. She had figured out where she was, more or less. Doctor at her side, medical paraphernalia as far as the eye could see, and this gods-awful gown; she was in sickbay. So there where was down, but how or why remained elusive, dancing will-o-wisps fluttering just beyond the grasp of her conscious awakening, tiny shadows always retreating just shy of the grasp of her foggy mind.
And beyond this there was still the woman standing over her, holding her, emitting those softly intoned words. It was a strange sensation to her to be spoken to in such a manner, rarely did such a tenor of voice and sweet cadence caress her ears when spoken in her direction. Drusilla's wanted to know what was going on. It also wanted that damnable throb of it to go away. But above all what she could really use about now was, "Water." Her voice was shallow but at least it did on this occasion crack.

Tais steps away momentarily and the sound of liquid being poured into a glass, ice creating a staccato sound in amongst the water. A straw is added and then she is back, her arm slipping beneath the woman's shoulders to support her while drinking. Tais brings the glass near to her chin, waiting for the lips to be placed around the straw. Deep green eyes watch each motion, every nuance of the JAG's face.

Drusilla was traditionally a stoic woman. Part of that was from her lessons in deportment, drilled from an early age. Another part was by the necessity of her employment. Of the most common expressions, the most frequent formulations of her facial features, was that of the frown, oft in frustration of somebody or something not performing to her expectations. On this occasion though the minute muscular motions told the tale of a woman lost. Drusilla seemed smaller, she seemed spent. Her lips clamped upon the straw and she sucked greedily the cool water as it trickled down her throat. Already she started to feel refreshed. She paused in the action to lick her lips, to wet the flesh and then sucked again, ensuing her intake until she had had her fill for the time being. Her mouth was now moist and Drusilla felt confident again in her speech. She lay on the bed for a moment, breathing, mulling, subtly wincing at the ongoing suffering of her wound. Her dull grey eyes focused upon Tais, her only company. "What happened?" It was the question upon the lips of many, including, sadly, those by which those many hoped for an answer.

Tais gently lowers Drusilla in order to rest her shoulders upon the bed, removing her beneficial arm. Taking the glass away, it is placed nearby and then she sits on the mattress by the woman's side once more taking her hand comfortingly, "I was hoping you'd tell me. I could tell you what happened, however if you would like to know what brought you here."

Drusilla did not resist the attentions being offered her though nor did she invite them. Her thoughts were too strongly engaged in other matters to really take notice of the comforts being provided to her. She was still sorting things out for herself, setting the world in order one datum at a time. "I would." she told Tais. Perhaps the Doctor could shed some light on matters, reveal what hid in the shadows of her mind. The fog was thinning, but not so much as to produce the answers for which she now sought. It was an intolerable feeling to reach into one's memory and find nothing, yet with inarguable conviction that something ought to be there. But one thing Drusilla did manage to successfully dredge up was her manners. "Thank you." she told Tais, her tone hushed. Drusilla did not yet seem to have recovered her indomitable poise, though, and she looked out upon the world with the new eyes of a puppy, startled yet enawed by every little detail of her surroundings.

A delicate brush of her fingers to Drusilla's temple is the tactile imagery Tais brings to the explanation, "You were brought to us with a gunshot wound to your head. Luckily, it was a grazing glance and the bullet was removed just beneath the surface and I was grateful beyond belief when the phrase 'hard-headed' could be applied to you." She looks down at the almost possessive embrace of their hands before continuing, "The MPs indicated you to have been alone and the shot appearing self-inflicted." Emerald eyes return to yours as the query is issued, "What happened between wanting to know if a pregnancy is viable and wanting to end your life?"

Drusilla listened patiently. In spite of the heartiness of her opinions and her perspective of how things -ought- to be, oft in contrast to how they were, she was still very good at listening to other people, hearing them out, even. She did not always put a great deal of stock in what she heard, but it helped give her an understanding of the speaker and that was part of what made her a superior lawyer. She was using that aspect of her mind now, the distant, logical side to dispassionately piece together what Tais was telling her and hopefully let this puzzle take shape. It seemed to have worked. At first Drusilla seemed resolutely baffled, just on the edge of protest, when her demeanour abruptly changed. In an instant her stoicism was forgotten, utterly and completely.
Tais' hand felt an almost crushing pressure as Drusilla gripped it reflexively in her own, the woman's weakness momentarily vanishing as her fingers turned vise-like. The ailing woman lurched her torso forward, off of the mattress upon which it had rested. Her eyes widened as her mouth formed an 'o', a long, mewing sob contrasting against the accelerating staccato of the monitor that beeped the contractions of her racing heart. Drusilla had before appeared small but now she was truly like never before. The woman was terrified, her free hand formed a fist and clutched defensively to her chest, her head darting in an avian manner, following her attention as it turned from one point to the next, seeking the appearance of some undefinable threat from which to ward herself.

Tais's arms enfold the wounded woman, the strident beep of a machine detached alerting the outside staff, which Tais waves away. A surprisingly protective and strong clasp her Drusilla's body to her's, holding her throughout her revelatory discovery. Gently rocking meant to soothe ensue, no words to compensate, no attempt to fill in the blanks until she is ready, a simple comforting embrace.

Drusilla retreated inwardly, unto herself. It was the only place she had left to go for no respite presented itself for the emotional agony that had somehow surpassed that which her physical body had sustained. She seemed oblivious to Tais, a broken and defeated creature trembling in the doctor's arms. Her furtive movements dissipated in conjunction with the tapering of her anguished sobs. Even the monitor showed a drop in her heart rate to a level of more normality, though it still remained pulsating a tense beat. Her only movements now were the involuntary inflections of her muscles as they shuddered in response to the stress. Drusilla may not have expired but she nevertheless seemed dead to the world, lost within the embrace of her deepest thoughts, haunted by whatever demon had the power to strike down a woman who by all appearances had been in her prime.

Tais senses the woman's dissipating sorrow, understanding her need to withdraw and heal. Gently, she presses Drusilla back against the bed, a soothing caress to her brow and then she settles down beside her. Sometime, she will want to speak and Tais wanted to be there when she did, with her wealth of patience she knew it would be possible. And so, she lets the Captain fall into silence as the full impact of the actions afore overwhelm her.

If the woman had had the presence of mind, she would have thanked Tais for the kindness. But the only thing present of Drusilla's was the wounded body that housed her aching soul. Overcome by the shock of having found herself in a world of pain only to have this world in turn tipped on its side with the realisation that She… Was… Not… Dead. Exhaustion overcame Drusilla and she was asleep even as her head touched the pillow. To sleep perchance to dream.

Player Comments:

Drusilla: I want to thank Tais for this wonderful scene. I never had the opportunity to play such a scenario before or to portray Drusy in so fragile a state, and she was a terrific fulcrum by which to launch my performance. This scene was played over two sessions, the break point between them following the paragraph by which Drusilla tries to correct Tais address by announcing her title. That was probably the only point that the "normal" Drusilla really shown. I was particularly intrigued in this session by Tais' gestures of affection toward the commonly untoward lawyer. It makes me wonder a little if the good doctor's reaction is not in some part motivated by a fear of her own, that she in ten or twenty years time might not wind up not unlike Drusy.

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