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(L,F&E 91) Correllian EMS

kalenath's Avatar

08.17.2012 , 03:20 AM | #1
“Look, I know you came recommended girl, but this is insane…” Kora had the most amazing ‘nerf in the headlamps of the speeder truck’ look on her face when she looked up from her datapad at her boss’ words. The Twi’lek sighed deeply as she sat down at the table the girl was studying at. “When did you sleep last, Kora? Really sleep?”

“I…” Kora stared at her boss and then at the chrono. “Um…” She smiled a bit sheepishly. “Last night? Twelve hours ago?” She said hopefully.

“Try twenty six hours. Fifteen minute naps don’t count.” The Twi’lek said with a sad smile as she looked the human in the eyes and winced. Kora stared at her and the female Twi’lek smiled gently. “Kora… I know you feel overwhelmed. But you are not going to learn it all, or relearn everything you knew before your accident, in a week. Interns are not supposed to sleep, but geez…” Kora sighed. Her cover story was that she had been a medical student. She had been involved in bad speeder accident and lost her memory as a result. According to her records, she had emigrated to Correllia to start fresh and that much was true.

“But Oeia…I…” Kora did not resist as the female Twi’lek took her by the arm and lifted her to her feet easily. “I need to learn…”

“No ‘buts’ Kora.” The honcho of the rescue station said sternly. “You are too tired. You go out like that and you will get someone killed. You are going home and getting some sleep. I will call Mork in, say it’s an emergency shift. Clear?”

“Yes, Ma’am…” Kora slumped in place, her face falling. Then everything stopped as the alert buzzer rang.

“Aw hell! Can you…?” Oeia stared at Kora who shook herself and nodded. “You better not mess up, or we will be filling out forms until Planetary Congruence.” Both females darted into the ready room and pulled their gear on.

Emergency Medical Technicians or paramedics as they were commonly called in most places, were generally the same the galaxy over. They were healthcare professionals who worked in emergency medical situations. It was a dangerous job. Both females shrugged into formfitting body armor as they pulled their packs from the lockers with their names. It was a well practiced routine, even though Kora had been on duty less than a week. She checked herself in the mirror for a long second and nodded just a little. The clone of a dead Padawan was only a memory. The human who stared back at her had scared blue eyes and a thick shock of brown hair. It would take a highly detailed DNA trace for anyone to figure out who she had been cloned from initially, just as that odd Hutt had promised. Kora shook herself, settling her belt with it’s tools and radio. Time to get to work. Even with her minor self inspection, both were out the door in under a minute and climbing into their airspeeder ambulance as the pilot powered it up.

“What have we got, Soen?” Oeia asked as she strapped herself in. She glanced over at Kora but the human had her own straps on and tight. “Go!”

She commanded as the human driver looked at her and the speeder took off, siren blaring. Between the siren, the lights and the automated transponder that blared just as loudly over the radio waves, traffic cleared quickly from around them as they climbed to a level reserved for emergency vehicles. The pilot was former Correllian Militia and apparently had combat experience, because he literally threw the ambulance through the air.

“Eight year old female human, bleeding. Mother called Emergency.” His succinct words had the both medical techs stiffening. Pediatric case.

“Then it’s not a simple cut…” Oeia said slowly. “We can hope for something reasonably simple. But full kit, just in case. Kora…” Her eyes were appraising as Kora started inventorying the gear they had for human child emergencies. “If you start to feel bad, or even strange, tell me.”

“Boss?” Soen asked, his eyes focused on the windscreen and his controls as the speeder literally tore through the air. Nothing at this altitude except emergency vehicles and the IFF they were broadcasting would get any but the most blinkered pilots from getting in their way. Militia teams had NO patience for anyone getting in the way of ambulances. There had been a few, um, incidents involving multiple shots fired at offending vehicles on occasion. “Problem?”

“You tell me, Kora.” Oeia asked slowly as she looked the young human woman over. “Is it a problem?”

“I won’t do anything dumb, Ma’am.” Kora said slowly. “I have gone longer without sleep.”

“Maybe you have.” Oeia said with a grimace. “But you were not on my team at the time. One hint of you acting off and I am booting you back to the speeder, clear?” Soen looked in his mirror at the pair and wisely kept his mouth shut.

“Clear, Ma’am.” Kora nodded as she finished the check. “Inventory finished. All items present. Small bandages are low, but still within inventory norms.”

“We need to keep the inventory topped off.” Oeia said with a grimace. “If we wind up with more than one patient we can run out really fast. We can use adult dressings for kids, but not vice versa. Put in a request for more when we get back.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Kora said as she finished putting the bag back together and strapped it down. Soen was a good pilot, but not the easiest to fly with. She bet he had combat experience, she had flown with another pilot who had acted much the same way, if much more intense. “Any more info on what we have?”

“No.” Oeia was perusing the call report. “Dispatcher got cut off.”

“Ma’am…” Kora said in a worried tone. “If we don’t know what we are flying into…”

“Local police have been alerted.” Soen replied for Oeia. “I just heard from them, they have a speeder enroute, they say that it will be there as soon as we are. But we don’t exit the speeder until we are sure the scene is safe.” Kora nodded. It did no one any good if the rescuers got hurt or killed.

“ETA?” Oeia asked and then gasped as the speeder dove like a dive bomber. “Soen!” She yelled.

“Pediatric case, ma’am.” Soen replied unrepentant. “And ETA is now.” Pediatric cases hit paramedics hard, and the pilot was no stranger to them. Truth be told, neither of the females minded. Speed counted in emergency situations and in this case, the pilot know how to be fast and safe. But Oeia had to maintain appearances so she growled at him.

“IF you do that with any other team, Soen…” Oeia said sourly as the speeder settled to the ground. A uniformed human cop was waving urgently to them. She waved them to the door of a residence like all the other ones nearby. “Kora, bring the gurney and oxygen. I am on it!” She grabbed the jump bag and was out the door as Kora started working the gurney free. It was droid operated, had antigrav capability and supposedly could move independently on its own. But in practice, its droid brain was about as smart as a box of rocks and got confused if it had to travel faster than 1 km per hour. Kora had learned how to guide it, however, and with the gurney hovering behind her, she quickly followed her boss. When she entered the small dwelling, however, her heart lightened. She heard a young female crying. Odd that such a sad noise might lighten her heart, but if the kid was crying, she was not dead. If she was crying, she was breathing, everything else modern medicine could more than likely fix.

“Easy, girl, easy…” Oeia was saying. “What is her name?” She asked a very worried looking older human female standing nearby. She was finishing a basic exam, a fast and dirty check for massive bleeding, or other obvious problems. None seemed to be present, at least, nothing visible.

“Her name is Sandri Kuoim. I am her mother…” The woman said, sparing glance at the gurney and Kora before turning her gaze back to the head medic and what was obviously her child. “I came home and there was blood everywhere… I…” She was obviously not tracking well. “He will be mad…”

“Ma’am it’s okay. We are here to help…”Oeia had a gentle hand on the little girl’s shoulder now and was easing her down on her side so she could take a closer look at her. The back of Sandri’s shirt was covered in blood. The girl gave a small cry as Oeia lowered her down, but then just laid there, her eyes flowing with tears. “It’s okay, Sandri, my name is Oeia. I am here to help. I need to see what hurts.”

“Hurts…” Sandri said in a small tone. Kora’s heart went out to her, but she squashed the feelings. She had to remain professional. “Please…”

“Easy…” Oeia’s voice was calm and soothing as she checked the girl for wounds. “It’s okay. Let me know if anything hurts worse, ok…” She froze as Sandri gave a cry. Kora couldn’t see exactly where the Twi’lek’s hands were, but it was an odd place for a wound. The Twi’lek’s voice was soft as she spoke again. “There?” Sandri nodded quickly. “I am sorry. Where else?”

“Back…” Sandri said shivering.

“Okay…” Oeia’s voice was soft and gentle. “I need to take off your shirt so I can see your back. Okay?”

“Hurts…” Sandri repeated quietly.

“We are going to do something about that right now.” Oeia said slowly as she turned to the mother. “Mrs. Kouim, is she allergic to any medications?”

“Not that I know of.” The mother said slowly. She was shaking.

“Kora?” Oeia said quietly as she pulled a one use hypo out of the bag. “Take Mrs Kouim into the next room and get her information. All of it.” Her voice was level, but her eyes held something that Kora had not seen before in the kindly medic. Rage. “This won’t hurt Sandri, its designed not to.”

“I should stay…” The mother said doubtfully.

“Ma’am…” Kora said gently. “She will feel better without a witness. It’s embarrassing enough around strangers. Around family?” She did not understand the sudden feelings that she got from Oeia and Mrs. Kouim. But she ignored them. Kora the EMT did not have the Force. She had to stay in that mode. “Come on, Ma’am…” She kept her touch gentle as she steered the distraught woman by the arm to the next room.

“I…” Mrs Kouim seemed to wilt, but followed as Kora led her into the next room. It was a well appointed living room and Mrs Kouim sank into a chair, her head in her hands. Kora was moved to speak.

“It is all right, Ma’am.” She said gently. “It is all right. She is alive and we are going to keep her that way.”

“He will be so mad…” Mrs. Kouim said slowly. It was unclear if she heard Kora.

“Your husband?” Kora asked slowly. “Where is he?”

“I don’t know.” The human woman jerked as if she expected her husband to jump out of the wall and start screaming at her. “I don’t know.”

It took some time and a great deal of coaxing, but eventually Kora had all the information she needed. When she returned to the room, she found Oeia settling the silent child down on the gurney. She shook her head, she had NEVER felt such feelings from her calm and collected boss lady.

“Oeia?” Kora asked slowly. “We ready to transport?”

“Yeah.” Oeia said quietly. “Kora…Do me a favor.” She asked as she laid the jump bag on the gurney, there was plenty of space around the little girl.

“What do you need?” Kora asked as she checked to be sure they hadn’t left anything behind.

“See if the cop has left. If she has, get Soen to call her back. If she hasn’t… Tell her…the kid… Code Nine, child.” Kora froze. That code… “Yeah.” Oeia said slowly, her face a mask. “We need to get Sandri there as soon as possible and let the hospital know, have the staff ready.”

“Holy…” Kora said, stunned to her bones. “Boss…”

“Get. The. Cop.” Oeia said slowly. “Now.” She was obviously trying to keep calm as she turned back to her patient.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

08.17.2012 , 03:25 AM | #2
Unfortunately, it seemed that easy was not for EMTs as well as Jedi. The mother was distraught. And since she was the only parent present, they couldn’t very well just make off with the kid, now could they? Courts had a distressing tendency to call such things ‘kidnapping’. Oeia was obviously losing patience, the female cop likewise. Kora found herself acting as a mediator. Kora spoke evenly.

“Ma’am…” Kora said finally. “Your daughter needs urgent medical attention she cannot get here. We need to take her to the hospital. You know Coronet General. They are good. You can call your husband from the emergency room.”

“But…” Mrs Kouim bowed her head. “I don’t know…” She wailed. Kora looked at her boss and then the cop who nodded.

“Ma’am…” Kora touched the distraught woman on the sleeve. Neither of the others would feel when a small invisible pulse of power flared from her fingers to calm the woman slightly. Cheating, but in this case, speed was key. “She needs help she can’t get here. Can you come with us?”

“I…” Mrs. Kouim sagged, calmed either by Kora’s surreptitious use of the Force or by the young woman’s kind words. “I guess I have to. Otherwise they won’t treat her, will they?”

“Yes they will.” There was no doubt at all in Oeia’s voice and it was understandable. This kind of crime was something even the most independent minded of Correllians felt VERY strongly about. “You can ride with us.” The cop nodded to her and a grim smile played across the law enforcer’s face. Luckily the distraught lady did not see it. It likely would have freaked her out worse. “She will feel better with someone she knows.” It would also keep Mrs. Kouim safe, not a minor consideration at the moment, since she was a witness after the fact to a horrific crime.

I…” Sandri’s mother stared at the gurney where her daughter was sleeping fitfully now. “You are the professionals… I know I am a mess…”

“It is what we do, Ma’am.” Oeia said gently as she steered the woman towards the door, keying the gurney to lead the way. “Clean up our mess, Kora… Make sure we haven’t left any sharps lying around.”

Since she had already checked twice for sharps or trash, Kora waited until the two other females were gone before speaking to the cop.

“What do you need?” She asked quietly, but anger lay underneath her tone.

“I am going to seal the house until a detective can come by." The cop said professionally. "Whoever it is will probably want to talk to both of you. Until then keep your mouths shut, the last thing we need is for this to wind up on the nightly news. Especially such a horrific case. The newsies will hear, but keep away from them or stay quiet.” The cop said with matching anger in her voice. “This is pretty open and shut. I hate hurt kids…She is just a little older than my youngest…” She snarled softly. “And this kind of thing makes my blood boil.”

“Me too.” Kora said slowly. “And her dad…” She shook her head slowly, horrified.

“We don’t know that for sure.” The police officer replied carefully. “Not yet. Go on, get her out of this horror. I have got this.” Kora nodded sadly at the officer and started out of the building. By the time she got to the speeder, Oeia had the gurney strapped in, and was helping Mrs. Kouim with her seatbelt. She nodded to Kora as the young human sat down in the jump seat and nodded to the little girl watching her as she strapped herself in.

“Secure, Ma’am.” Kora reported as after she had strapped herself in and checked the gear on the gurney. Sandri did not really need oxygen at the moment, but it was better than trying to stow it with the gurney in place. “Ready to lift.” She reported.

“Right.” Oeia said quietly as she checked Sandri’s pulse. “Soen, get us to Coronet General. Code 2.” Kora kept her face impassive. Code two was lights, but no siren and no emergency IFF. Sandri’s life was not in danger and they did not want to advertise this.

“Ten minutes, Ma’am.” Soen reported from the front. From his tone, he was working very hard to keep his cool. Apparently he had heard when the cop had called in the report. And if he had heard… Soen made a noise somewhere between a groan and a sigh. “We got company…”

Kora looked out the side window and blanched as she saw a news airspeeder pacing the ambulance. The cop had been more right than she knew. The last things Kora needed was to make the nightly news. Civilian speeders were not supposed to be in the emergency lanes, but Correlian reporters were often laws unto themselves. She squashed a totally not nice urge to see the garishly painted speeder blown from the sky. Oeia looked and said something that sounded distinctly rude in a language that Kora was glad she did not understand. Both paramedics went back to work. They had their job, if someone wanted to look at the opaque windows of an ambulance, they could. It was annoying.

“Mrs. Kouim…” Oeia said quietly. “Has your daughter ever been hurt like this before?”

“She is good kid.” The woman said softly, her head down. “She does as she is told.”

“Ma’am…” Oeia tried again, her voice gentle. “Please… I am trying to help.”

“No.” Mrs. Kouim said quietly. “It’s never been this bad.”

“Ma’am…” Oeia warned Kora with her eyes and Kora nodded, laying a calming hand on Sandri’s. The little girl shivered a little, but relaxed. “When we land, the newsies are going to be all over this. They are going to shove microphones in your face. They are going to ask loud questions, nasty questions. We will get you through them as quickly as possible and security will keep them away from you and your daughter.” She didn’t mention that security would keep everyone away from her and her daughter, including any potential subjects of police investigation, whoever they might be.

Sandri was shivering hard now and Kora pulled a blanket out of a locker to spread over her. Sandri smiled her thanks and Kora smiled back. Kora patted her hand as she sat back in her seat.

“Ma’am…” Sandri’s voice was so low that Kora doubted Oeia or her mother could hear it. “Can I as a question?”

“You can ask.” Kora said with a smile. “I may not have an answer.”

“What did I do?” Sandri asked, her face downcast. “What did I do wrong? Why is mom sad?”

“Oh honey…” Kora said with a sad shake of her head. Her seat was situated so she could reach any part of the gurney easily.“You haven’t done anything wrong. You are hurt, we are taking care of you.” She paused. “Do you feel sick?” Sandri nodded and turned slightly green. “Oeia! Bag!” Kora called as she held the waif who was starting to convulse. A plastic bag found her grasping free hand and she shoved it in place just in time. “Easy… Sandri…” Kora murmured encouragement as the girl did what her stomach demanded. “Easy… it’s okay…”

“Why is she…” Mrs. Kouim asked, scared. “Why is she doing that?”

“Trauma can do that, Ma’am.” Oeia was quick to reassure the worried woman. Kora noted she did not speak other possible causes. Internal injuries, head trauma, toxins, all kinds of things caused that reaction. Distressing the woman further was just a bad idea. “It is not her fault.”

“No.” Mrs. Kouim agreed. “It’s not a voluntary reflex.” Oeia looked at her and she flushed. “Wanted to be a nurse… once… can I… Can I touch her…?”

“Sure…” Oeia moved herself so that the woman could reach over her and touch her daughter’s arm. “Just don’t undo your belts. Air currents around the city are tricky.” She warned.

“I won’t…” The woman said with a sad look. “Oh Sandri… I am sorry…” She bowed her head and when it rose she looked straight at Oeia and her voice was calm. “I assume the police will be waiting for me? I saw some of it…”

You did not do this to her, Ma’am.” Oeia said slowly. “Did you know?” Mrs. Kouim shook her head. “Tell them that. Tell them everything you suspected, you thought, or felt. This… This is going to be bad, Ma’am.”

“As long as Sandri is safe.” The woman said slowly. “I tried to have time for her, I really did.”

“Mom…” The soft, pained voice silenced everything in the small cabin. “Not your fault.” Then Sandri lost it again. Kora patted her arm reassuringly as she held the bag steady.

“Easy, Sandri. Not long now.” She smiled as the girl looked at her. “Don’t try to talk. Your vocal cords have been strained by the…well… nasty stuff.”

“Hurts…” Sandri complained quietly as she collapsed back onto the gurney, her stomach apparently emptied. Her mom gave a low cry and touched her hand again.

“I know, little one.” Kora said gently with a shudder. The female she had been clone from had only been a few years older than this poor kid. She prayed for a moment that Sandri never faced the horrors that Kora had. Just hearing about it was bad enough, even when she couldn’t actually remember it. “I know. But it will be okay.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

08.17.2012 , 03:31 AM | #3
They made the hospital without further incident and yes, as expected a swarm of news air and ground speeders were arrayed near the emergency room doors. They were scattered everywhere and Soen was snarling as he landed the speeder in the designated spot near the doors marked ‘Emergency’, threading his way through the hovering ones with the dexterity of a combat pilot. They were not QUITE blocking the doors, that was illegal. But they were close and they were everywhere.

“Are you sure I can’t even dent one of these pretty toys? I can make it an accident…” The pilot’s voice was sour as he extended the landing gear and brought the ship into to a soft touchdown. Oeia grunted a negative and he sighed sadly. Then he stiffened and tapped his helmet. “Acknowledged.” He turned to the back and spoke in controlled tones. “Security is on the way, they ask you to wait until they have a path through the sharks before you open up.”

“Ma’am…” Kora held out a veil, one of the newest fads on Correllia and Sandri’s mother took it with a smile. Ambulances carried all kinds of things. This was hardly the first time press had been a nuisance. She put it on and it covered her face nicely. No incriminating pictures there. Oeia smiled and moved a cover over Sandri’s head after making sure the oxygen was in place and working. Kora had her helmet on and the visor down, no chance of anyone IDing her with a picture that way. Not that they could, she looked nothing like the padawan she had been cloned from except in height and mass. Oeia nodded, her helmet was also down. Soen always had his own on when he flew, so no pictures there. Kora nodded to her boss. “Ready when they get here.”

“There they are. And…” Oeia stiffened in pace as a robed form appeared behind the armored security personnel who suddenly did not have to push the reporters back. It was as if none of the pack dared stand in the Jedi’s way. “What is he doing here?” the Twi’lek asked sourly.

“You know that Jedi, Ma’am?” Kora asked as she prepared the gurney for transit. She hid her initial reaction deep, very deep. She didn’t know this Jedi and she wouldn’t break her cover. “Didn’t know you knew any Jedi.”

“Only one.” Oeia said sourly. “But one is more than enough. Come on, let’s get this over with.”

As soon as the Oeaia and Kora eased the gurney from the ambulance, the area was filled with shouted question. Kora stayed beside Mrs. Kouim as the gurney traveled slowly between the two glowering security guards and past the Jedi who nodded to Oeia. She for her own part, acted as if he did not exist. Kora blinked at that, but was in motion as a newsie, braver than the others, managed to jump past the line and shoved a mike in Mrs. Kouim’s face.

“Mrs. Kouim, is it true your daughter was…” He jerked as Kora stepped in between the gurney and him. Coincidentally, that movement placed her -completely by accident- with all of her mass concentrated on the armored boot that landed on the instep of his expensive left loafer. Since she was still carrying a lot of gear as well as armor, the soft leather upper of his shoe had no chance against the weight applied. Especially when she twisted her heel slightly. He screamed and fell back, just in time for the closest security officer to grab him and toss him bodily behind the line. “Did you see that?” The reporter yelled. “They assaulted me!”

“Sorry, sir.” Kora said in an apologetic voice. “Didn’t see you.” Something suspiciously like a muffled snicker came from the veiled woman as the two paramedics ushered their charges past the doors.

“You shouldn’t have done that.” Oeia said after the doors hissed shut on the din behind them. “No matter how much they deserve it, hurting reporters doesn’t work.”

“Done what, Ma’am?” Kora said quietly. “I was guiding the gurney. I was trying not to get in his way. Freedom of the press is paramount after all.” Now Oeia snickered.

“Dang, girl, don’t ever go into politics.” The Twi’lek said with a smile as she led the way into the hospital. “No one would have a chance against you if you lie that easily.” She looked back as Kora made a sound of distress.

“I don’t….” Kora sighed. “Lying feels wrong, Ma’am. But what those… people… do is really wrong…”

“Thank you, Kora.” Mrs. Kouim said softly. “I appreciate it. Even though I did not see a thing.” Oeia grinned at that and continued on. Mrs. Kouim stiffened as a pair of surgical gowned female forms appeared ahead, waving the gurney and team forward. “I…” She shuddered and Kora laid a hand on her shoulder.

“Courage, Ma’am.” Kora said gently. “It will be all right.” She paused as Oeia nodded to her. “Boss?”

“Get something to eat, some caf for me and meet me in the staff room. We have a ton of paperwork to do, before the cops get here.” Kora winced and nodded, stashing the jump bag in a locker near the door. She sealed the locker and pocketed the key as she walked off.

Kora had eaten in the small commissary, used the facilities and now had to face the least fun part of her job. She got two cups of caf and brought both to the staff room, where she sat down to start filling out forms. EMTs seemed to do nothing but write reports sometimes. But with the legal system the way it was, anyone could litigate for almost any reason. They had to cover themselves. Doctors and medical staff were covered by malpractice insurance. EMTs were not. She barely looked up as Oeia entered the room, the Twi’lek’s face sour.

“Caf, boss…” Kora shoved the still hot cup across the table. “I have the 108 J and 12-A-F done. Check me?” She slid the datapads across and Oeia sat with a groan.

“You are not going to ask, are you?” Oeia’s voice was actually surprised. Kora shook her head. “Man, I wish I could be that detached sometimes.”

“It is out of our hands, boss.” Kora said slowly as she checked another form and nodded before sliding her page to another. “We did our job. It is all we can do.” She slumped a little, but then focused. “Poor kid…”

“Yeah.” Oeia said softly as she started on her own reports. “Doc say she should be fine, physically anyway. She is too young to get pregnant, but they gave her the full spectrum anyway.” The Twi’lek was snarling quietly.

“Oeia…” Kora said sadly. “It is out of our hands.”

“You know better, Oeia.” A new voice had both EMTs jerking and staring at the door. A male in Jedi robes stood there, his face sad. “Sandri will be okay. You know the docs here will help her.” Oeia made a noise somewhere between a snarl and a groan before turning her head and ignoring the Jedi. “The newsies did not get anything, Oeia. The furor will fade, she will heal. Kids bounce back.” The head medic did not acknowledge him and the Jedi sighed. When he spoke to Kora his voice was sad. “I am Michael Jonal. You are Kora, the new hire?” Kora nodded, but took her cue from her boss and ignored the Jedi otherwise. “Oeia… I can’t change what happened. I want to, but I can’t.”

“They trusted you.” Oeia said softly, but rage was pouring off her now and Kora stared from her boss to the Jedi. “They trusted you and you led them out where they could be picked off. Nicely heroic, Jedi.” She rose quickly, stalked form the room and the door hissed shut behind her.

“That…” Michael said sadly. “…went about as well as I expected.” He slumped as Kora ignored him. “Look… Kora… I don’t know what you have been told…”

“I haven’t been told anything, Jedi Knight Michael Jonal.” Kora said flatly. “But I do need to finish these reports.”

“I will be brief.” Michael said slowly. “I screwed up. I got a five people killed. Oeia and I were friends, and she… She was part of the medical response team that came to a hostage situation I was negotiating. I got five people killed including four kids and she blames me. Rightly so, it was my responsibility to make sure of their safety and I failed. She is a good EMT, a good boss. You can learn a lot from her.” Kora ignored him and he sighed. “I can see he was right: tough, stubborn and compassionate. Good luck Kora. Be careful, it’s dangerous out there.” Kora blinked. What the? What had she just sensed from him?

“Who was right?” Kora asked, her nose still buried in her pad as she typed.

“Your taxi driver, the one with the dragon fetish.” Michael said with a grin as he moved to the door. Kora’s head shot up and he grinned at her. “What? You didn’t think we would keep tabs on you? Kora…” His grin was urchinlike now and Kora surprised herself with a smile. “Go on, get your work done. The cops will be in shortly. Just do your job, keep your head down, your nose clean and everything will be okay.”

“I hope so…” Kora said softly as Michael left and a man came in, a badge in hand. Kora nodded as he set a recorder on the table and Oeia came back in. This would be long and hard, but hopefully some good would come of it. “Forms done, Ma’am.” She said as she finished up. Oeia looked at the forms and nodded to Kora and then to the cop. The cop nodded and spoke clearly.

“Official investigation, Correllian Milita, case file 1876M90R-P, Detective Nostrom, officer in charge. Report of paramedics sent to call at Kouim residence. State names and responsibilities please.”

“Paramedic senior Oeia.” Oeia said clearly and sat back, her face a mask. “Medic in charge.”

“Paramedic trainee Kora.” Kora said just a little hesitant. “Responsibility? Um… Whatever she tells me to do…?” Kora said with grimace. “What is my official designation?”

“You are a G0F3R, Kora.” Oeia said with no hint of a smile as the detective looked like he had swallowed something. “Hey! It’s official!” The Twi’lek said in a haughty tone.

“A… what?” Kora asked dubiously. “What acronym is that?” Kora asked, trying to find that in her memory. She was about to pull out her field guide when the cop lost his battle and laughed. “What?” She demanded.

“You are a go-fer, paramedic Kora.” Detective Nostrom said with a wide smile. “As in ‘Kora, go for this, Kora go for that’…Right?” Oeia had a wicked smirk on her face as she nodded. Kora stared at her and then the cop, blank faced.

“Very funny.” Kora grimaced, but her frown was twitching as the corners of her mouth turned up. The subtle tension that had been building eased and the cop sighed.

“Okay…” The cop became all business now. “We need your initial impression on arriving at the crime scene. Paramedic Oeia, you were first to enter. What did you encounter?”

“On entry…” Oeia spoke calmly and clearly. “I ascertained that there was a single patient, human female, age 8 years…” Kora sat back. This might take a while.
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08.17.2012 , 03:35 AM | #4
Two hours and as many cups of caf later, Detective Nostrom finally shut down his recorder and nodded.

“That is it.” He sighed as he stretched. “Geez I hate these cases…Give me a nice, bloody, multiple homicide any day…”

“Is…” Kora paused, unsure. “Is there anything more we can do?”

“No.” Detective Nostrom said with a sigh. “You did your jobs. The mother is talking to my partner, giving her statement. Both Mrs. Kouim and her daughter are now wards of the court. We haven’t been able to get hold of the father yet.” His eyes were hard now. “But the DNA samples the docs recovered… This is pretty open and shut. Horrific, but open and shut. The militia and the courts will take it from here. One thing though…” He nodded slowly to Kora.

“Yes, sir?” Kora asked slowly, not sure what she was feeling from him.

“What did it feel like to step on that slime ball? Jons Flik is nasty even for one of those press slimes.” Detective Nostrom asked with an evil smile. “You earned the entire precinct’s admiration, ma’am… When you did what nobody saw.”

“Am I in trouble?” Kora asked, tensing. “I was guiding the gurney. I didn’t see him…”

“For some odd reason, Ma’am…” The detective’s face was split in a huge grin now. “No one saw anything. Despite the best efforts of scum like Flik, on duty EMS personnel records are still sealed from the press. He tried to bribe your driver. Didn’t work. He tried to pressure your driver. Your driver told him, and I quote ‘Get out or get shot’. I hope he was joking. I don't want to arrest the man for carrying a blaster where he shouldn't. That slime is a symptom, not the disease, but there isn’t a cop in on the force who hasn’t wanted to hit him at least once. He thrives on horror.” The detective sighed. “He will try and find you. Keep your head down for a while and he will find someone else to pester.”

“She is going to be busy.” Oeia said with a glower. “Too busy to worry about much of anything.”

“I bet. I remember being a rookie myself.” Detective Nostrom said with a smile. “Good work, both of you. We will get the person who hurt that little girl.” Hunger was heard on the cop’s tone now. “With the evidence we have now, we will get him.”

“And then what?” Oeia asked softly. Nostrom looked at her and she shrugged. “I just patch people up, detective. But if I have to go back to that house and clean up a small body…or two bodies…” She swallowed hard and Nostrom nodded. His face turned sad.

“I don’t know what the courts are going to do, Paramedic Oeia.” Nostrom said softly. “But I can guarantee that he will not enjoy his time in the slammer. You know this.” Oeia nodded. “Now get out of here, your pilot will pick you up in back, away from the shark pack.” Oeia nodded as the detective gathered his gear and left the room.

“Come on, Kora.” Oeia said with a smile. “I know a bed that has your name on it. Your apartment is on the way back.”

“But…” Kora broke off as she saw the obstinate look enter her boss’ eyes. “Yes, Ma’am…” Kora said quietly as she picked up her datapads. She shook her head as she followed the Twi’lek out of the room and into the corridors. They picked up their jump bags from where Kora had stashed them and made their way towards the rear of the building, only to pause as an irate voice sounded.

You!” A heavily built male human pushed his way past several medical staff, all of whom looked horrified. “Where is my daughter? You lousy kidnapping scum!” Kora blinked, but Oeia stepped forward, her hands on her hips.

“I don’t know what you are talking about , sir.” Oeia said quietly. “This is not the place for shouting.”

“I will shout if I want to, you head tailed freak!” the man stepped forward again, his hands clasped into fists. “Where is my daughter? You and that **** of yours took my daughter! Where is she?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about, sir.” Oeia said again, her tone reasonable. Kora could see two uniformed police making their way towards the man from behind now. “This is a hospital, sir. People are trying to help others here. I respectfully request that you cease shouting.”

“I will beat it out of you, you little…” He paused as Kora stepped up beside her boss. ”Two of you? Fine!”

“Sir…” Oeia said with a glower at Kora. “I do not know you. I have no quarrel with you. My partner and myself need to get back to work. If you would please step aside…”

“I am not moving until you give me my daughter!” the man snarled as she moved closer. “Sandri! Where is Sandri?” Kora felt her blood turn hot at that, and the sense she got from Oeia was that the Twi’ek was instants away from decking the man. But then…

“You don’t want to know where your daughter is…” Michael Jonal’s voice came from nearby and the Jedi stepped out of a cross corridor, his hand slightly raised. “You don’t.”

“I… don’t want to know where my daughter is…” The man, who had to be the poor hurt girl’s father and abuser, struggled, but then spoke evenly, his eyes slightly distant. “I don’t.”

“You don’t want to blame the medics who helped your daughter.” Michael continued in an even voice. More than one of the medical staff in the area looked at him oddly, but then hurried on their way. “You want to calm down.”

“I… I don’t want to blame the medics…I want to calm down.” The man said softly.

“You want to talk to the police, calmly.” Micheal said with a sad smile as Oeia and Kora both stepped away. “They want to talk to you…” The two cops came close and started reading the silent man his rights.

Kora was shaking her head as she and Oeia exited the building.

“Fracking Jedi…” Oea muttered as they got into the speeder to go back to work. “How much did he offer, Soen?”

“Fifty… Money grubber only offered fifty…” Soen said with a grin. Kora looked at him and shook her head.

“And if the reporter had offered a hundred, or more?” She asked softly as she finished setting her straps. Oeia checked her and nodded to the pilot.

“That scum is never going to have enough, Kora.” Soen said quietly as she threw the speeder into the air. “Some things you just can’t buy, Ma’am.”

“Just Kora, Pilot Soen.” Kora said softly. “Just Kora… After all, I am just a G0F3R, right?”

“Begging your pardon, paramedic trainee…” Soen said with a laugh. “Nothing ‘just’ about you. She will do, Oeia. Twenty minutes to the barn-” He blinked as the radio went off. Oeia started writing down data as the alert came through.“Dang it! Status?”

“Checking!” Kora said as she took a deep breath, calmed herself and started checking the bags and drawers. “Inventory is still low on small and now medium bandages. Oxygen is at 93%... Ready to work.”

“Right!” Oeia said with a smile as she finished doing the same with the drugs cabinet. “Ready to work!” She focused with her small team as they did what they were trained to do.

Another day in Correllian EMS.
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08.17.2012 , 03:39 AM | #5
“This is a bad idea, boss…” Soen said sourly as he sat down. “You know what is going to happen.”

“Probably.” Oeia said softly. “But come on, we all need some good food for a change. This time of day should be okay for an hour or two. And we could use the downtime. It’s been… hectic…”

“One way of putting it, boss.” Kora said as she sank into her seat gratefully. “I know we usually eat what we can grab and run with, and I could go for some of what I smell... But…”

“No ‘buts’, Kora.” Oeia said with a smile as she sat at the other chair. “You are good, but you need to learn more. Eat when you can, and sleep when you can. We finally got you to sleep right. Now we need to get you to eat right.”

“Welcome to the Red Kraken.” A female Bothan said brightly as she stepped up to their table, then she paused. “Paramedic Oeia? Is that you?”

“Hello Aesril.” Oeia said with a smile. “Brought the team for some good eats. Can you…? Um…?” She shrugged.

“The moment I tell the kitchen staff it is you, they will have it out.” The Bothan said with a grin. “Who is this?” She nodded to Kora.

“Kora, meet Aesril. Aesril, Kora. Kora is our new partner since Patte had her kid.” Oeia said with a smile. “Aesril saved a diner’s life in here six months ago.”

“Please…” Aesril looked sheepish. “I called it in, stayed with him and did what you told me to. Nothing more.”

“You saved his life, Aesril me girl.” Soen said as he looked over his menu. “Don’t deny it. If you hadn’t known what to do when he had that bad reaction and called, if you hadn’t been brave and strong enough to do what Oeia told you… He would have died. We wouldn’t have been able to bring him back.” Aesril blushed, but did not argue.

“Some story I am assuming?” Kora asked with a grin. “I like what I smell though. We better eat, boss.”

“True.” Oeia said with a grin. “Time for war stories later. I checked, none of us have any allergies.”

“Thank you.” Aesril said with a shudder. “So many people don’t know, or bother to check, and then… Life gets exciting. Too exciting, if you know what I mean…” She shook herself and pulled out a pad. “Drinks?”

“Water for all of us.” Oeia said softly. Soen looked at her and she glowered. He grimaced but nodded. “You have that fresh squeezed lemonade?”

“Just squeezed it.” Aesril said with a smile. “You got the time just right. So, water and lemonade for everyone?” Nods all around and the waitress moved off to get their drinks.

“What happened?” Kora asked quietly as she looked around. The restaurant wasn’t large, or very rich looking. It was comfortable though. “Allergy?”

“Bad one.” Oeia said softly. “Poor slob never knew what hit him. He took a bite and was out like a glowlamp. Convulsions, vomiting, the whole shebang.”

“Yuck…” Kora said with a grimace. “Many people have no clue what to do. She did?”

“She had just finished a basic course in First Aid, and the restaurant has the standard kit, which includes basic anti-allergens.” Oeia nodded. “She called it in, did what I told her as I walked her through injecting the man, and then sat with him until we got here. Got in trouble with one of her bosses, but I ’explained’ it to the Duro about how having people die in the restaurant would be bad for business.”

“Dang.” Kora said with approval. “Smart and gutsy.”

“Not afraid of speaking her mind either.” Soen said with a smile. “Boss… one beer? Please?”

“Soen… No…” Oeia said sadly. “I know you can handle it. But they are doing spot tests now, ever since that mess three months ago. They will ground you, and us. They might even fire you.” Kora looked at her and Oeia winced. “Ambulance crashed three months ago. They were on their way to a call and piled it in against a mountainside. No survivors. When they did the workup on the bodies, they found alcohol in the pilot’s system.” Kora stared, her mouth falling open and Oeia sighed. “Not a lot. Maybe one drink’s worth. Turned out it was a mechanical problem with the repulsorlifts, not pilot error, but… The bosses freaked. And when the bosses freak, it all rolls downhill. So no.”

“Drat.” The pilot said sadly, but nodded. “I understand. We have eighteen more hours on this shift. I can wait that long.” He smiled as the Bothan waitress came back with a tray of drinks and took his glass as she set it in front of him. “Ah, nothing quite like Correllian lemonade.” He took a long drink and his pleasure as obvious, even If it wasn’t alcoholic.

The team ordered quickly and the waitress left again. A comfortable silence descended as the team sat and relaxed for the first time in a while. Finally, Oeia spoke.

“So, what do you think, Kora?” The Twi’lek asked with a grin. “Is it what you expected?” Soen looked at the human woman who froze with her glass at her lips. “Kora, relax…” Oeia said gently. “This isn’t a test.” Kora smiled and took her drink, putting the glass down carefully.

“Well…” The human girl said slowly. “I was warned about the paperwork and expected it. I was warned about the cleaning.” She made a face, but it was humorous instead of angry. Oeia was a harsh taskmistress. She demanded 100% at all times and if she found so much as a spot of dust in the ambulance, Force help whoever had been on cleaning detail before she got there. “But…” She shrugged and took another sip.

“But what?” Oeia said gently as she took a sip of her own. “Problem?”

“No…” Kora said slowly. “More almost an itch I can’t scratch. Familiar things, but… not…” She shrugged helplessly and Soen and Oeia both nodded.

“Anything from before?” Soen asked softly. “From the records, that was one hell of a pileup you were in. You are lucky to be alive.” He knew, just as the rest of the medic teams did, about where her records said she had come from. They had all been part of the selection process. They didn’t want to work with an unknown after all. They put their lives in each other’s hands every day.

“Yeah.” Kora said softly. “I have seen records. But no memory. I think… I think I am glad of that.” The girl said with a gulp. Then she shook herself. “Ah well… Past is past. No family listed, so I am stuck. I will deal. This is not exactly what I expected, but it… works…”She grinned. “Even if I am a G0F3R.”

Both Oeia and Soen smiled at that and nodded. Then all three looked up as Aesril came back, her arms festooned with food.

“Wow… Aesril…” Oeia said in awe as she sat very still. The waitress deposited each plate in place with practiced skill. “That was quick…”

“We want you to ‘load and go’.” Aesril said with a smirk as all three paramedics groaned at the bad joke. ‘Load and go’ was paramedic parlance for emergency cases that required a least time transit to hospital facilities. “How does it look?”

“Good.” Oeia said with a grin as she reached for her utensils. The others did likewise and then froze as their coms went off with an emergency call.
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08.17.2012 , 03:42 AM | #6
“Go!” Aesril said as the team jumped up from their chairs. “I will keep it warm! Get back when you can, it will be hot and waiting for you.” The Bothan promised as the team hurried towards the door and their airspeeder.

No one spoke on the short run to the airspeeder. It was parked as close to the doors of the restaurant as Soen had been able to. It helped that at this time of day, the parking lots were generally not that packed. They had known that this would be a risk, all of them. But Oeia had been persuasive. She was impassive as she ran, checking the address and what little information was available on their coms. The three paramedics reached their ride without incident and climbed in quickly. All three pulled their helmets on, the speeder did NOT move without all of them being fully armored. Regs were regs, and helmets had saved a lot of lives over the years so no one was going to quibble. Soen started the engine warmup cycle while Oeia called in their readiness and Kora started checking inventory. It wouldn’t take long…

“Spast!” Everything stopped as Oeia cursed softly. “I do not believe this…”

“Boss?” Kora asked quietly, her eyes on the drawers full of gear. “What’s up?”

“Soen…?” Oeia’s voice was somewhere between angry and resigned when she spoke. “Did you get the address?”

“Yeah. Three and half klicks from here, that’s why they called us.” Soen’s voice was somewhat distracted as he fought to bring the engines online. “What?”

“They just...” Oesia grimaced as the onboard com chimed and all three stared at the message that crossed their visor HUDs.

‘Stand down. False alarm.’

“They just…” Soen’s voice was disbelieving. “They just cancelled the call?”

“Can they do that…?” Kora asked, not sure about this at all. “I mean… The call is the call… Right?”

“Dispatch can do whatever they want. It happens sometimes.” Oeia said softly as she shook her head slowly. “Bad information, another team closer, prank call… All kinds of reasons. It wasn’t far, three klicks. But the call… This was weird… Backup? Who the heck sends paramedics for backup?” She mused as she started putting gear away.

“What is weird?” Kora finished her check and started closing drawers. She asked as she turned to face her boss. “And now what?”

“The call specified non-life threatening injuries. Ah well… Now we go back to lunch.” Oeia said with a smile. “Aesril will have it still warm for us. Soen, shut it down fully again.”

“Boss…” Soen groaned but started shutting the speeder down. “I so wish for the good old days when I could leave the speeder running.”

“And not have it ‘borrowed’ by kids joyriding?” Oeia said as she hung her helmet up. “You leave any kind of airspeeder running these days and you will be lucky to ever see it again, Soen. You know this.” Kora nodded swell, she knew that for sure.

“True.” The pilot said with another heartfelt groan as he finished powering the speeder down and took off his own helmet. His dark hair –Kora could never be sure if it was brown or black as short as he kept it- glistened slightly with sweat. Kora herself felt a bit sticky, they had run as fast as they could to the speeder. It would feel good to get back into the climate controlled environment of the restaurant.

The three paramedics clambered out of the ambulance again and started for the restaurant. As they did, Kora was shaking her head.

“Does this happen often?” Kora asked quietly. “I mean, it wastes time, effort…”

“Fuel.” Soen nodded. “Wear and tear on the speeder, stress on us… All kinds of things. It does happen Kora, not that often.” Oeia smirked at him and he nodded. “Not nearly as often as it used to.”

“Yeah…” Oeia agreed quietly. “Say what you will about the court system, sometimes they come through. Calling in false emergency calls was always a criminal offense, but the penalties were minor. Responders have to respond every time, no matter if they know it is a prank or not.” Kora nodded as they made their way back to the doors of the eatery. As they entered they drew more than a few curious looks. Aesril came hurrying over.

“That was quick.” The Bothan said with a smile. “What happened?” She asked as she escorted the team back to their seats. As promised, the plates were still steaming.

“False alarm.” Oeia replied sourly as she sat. “Gotta love those.”

“Yuck…” Aesril said with feeling. “We had a nutball who thought it was funny to pull fire alarms in my dorm last year. Every week, he would pull a different one, on a different floor. It got so that half of the students didn’t bother to move when the alarm went off.” Kora stared at her, horrified and Aesril nodded. “That changed the last time it went off.”

“They caught him?” Oeia said as she started eating, obviously not wanting to wait. Soen didn’t speak, just started shoveling. Kora ate slower, more daintily.

“Yeah, they caught him.” For a moment, a dark shadow passed across the perky brown furred Bothan’s face. “He was setting us up.” All three paramedics froze and she nodded. “I never found out which terrorist group he belonged to, but the whole idea was to get us all so complacent about alarms that if he set a real fire, and blocked the exits…” She looked sick and then she smiled. “But the militia got him and the fire marshal had some choice words for all those who thought that sitting in their rooms was a good idea.”

“Heard about that…” Soen said slowly. “Nut wanted to restart the Free Sky Reds.” Kora stared as all three of the others paled slightly.

“That’s bad, I assume…” Kora said slowly. “I haven’t heard…But terrorists are bad no matter what.”

“You could say that.” Oeia said sadly. “They blew up a bank in Coronet, oh… about a dozen years ago now. My first disaster call as a rookie. Dozens dead. Bunch of children. Bad…” She nodded to Aesril. “Glad you are okay.”

“Well…” Aesril cringed slightly. “I am now. I um…” She shrugged. “I had taken a strong painkiller for a migraine. It wasn’t my fault I didn’t hear the fire alarm…I was O.U.T out of it.”

“But the fire marshal still reamed you.” Soen nodded. “It’s his job. Just like it’s our job to… Aw crap!” He snarled as the coms of all three paramedics went off again. “Boss…”

“Same call, same place…” Oeia said with a sigh. “Aesril…?” She asked plaintively.

“Go.” Aesril said with a smile. The three medics each took one final bite before jumping up and heading for the door. But before they got there…

“What the…?” Kora’s voice was bemused as her com made a noise she had never heard it make before. Almost a chirp? She pulled it off her belt and stared at it. Oeia and Soen had matching looks of disbelief on their faces as they stared at their own. “They cancelled it again…” Kora’s voice was baffled now. “If we go back and sit down…” She started to speak and Oeia nodded.

“You are learning, Paramedic Kora.” Oeia said with a sigh as she led the way out of the building. “Let’s go see what all the fuss is about. Maybe they do need a paramedic…”
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08.17.2012 , 03:48 AM | #7
“What the hell?”

Kora tensed slightly as Soen exclaimed. Those are generally not words you want to hear from a pilot. Especially when the pilot in question is the pilot of an airspeeder ambulance, those kinds of words did not inspire great feelings of confidence. Given that his tone was confused rather than terrified, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still… Neither Kora nor Oeia had a decent view from where they sat. Their seats were set up so they could access all of the required gear and a patient without moving too much, a powerful consideration during flight. Even on a clear day, such moving around could be dangerous, hence the helmets that the paramedics wore. Add to that the fact that many of the days that paramedics went out, no one SANE was flying, and it raised all kinds of issues. The ‘barf bags’ were not just for the patients after all.

“What is up, Soen?” Oeia was calm as always. The boss paramedic checked her com for the upteenth time. Not that she needed to, but it passed the time and kept her hands busy. “Problem?”

“Not for us.” Soen replied slowly as he brought the speeder to a gentle landing, A uniformed policeman was standing nearby, obviously he had been guiding the speeder down into the- What the hell?

Two firefighting vehicles were visible, both with lights going. No less than FOUR Correllian police airspeeders were also visible, also with lights going. But most of the crew of firefighters and many of the cops were standing around talking. No one was acting stressed. No one was acting as if life or lives were in jeopardy. They all seemed almost amused. Kora risked a quick scan with the Force and found odd. She shook her head. What had she just sensed. It didn’t make sense. No pain, but anger, fear and other negative emotions, all coming from a spot behind one of the fire speeders. Then she stiffened. Newsies. She could see two news airspeeders parked nearby, but well out of the way. She looked at Oeia who shrugged and started pulling gear.

“Boss, official greeting party, point three.” Soen said softly as she set the speeder to idle. On site, they NEVER let the speeder go cold. “It’s the district fire chief, I am going to crack the hatch.” Oeia nodded silently as she finished her prep and sat back.

The hatch opened and a smallish human male stepped in. His uniform was somewhat rumpled, as if he had been in turnout gear over top of it. He nodded to the two paramedics and made a hand motion. Soen closed the hatch and the chief smiled somewhat ruefully.

“I wondered if you guys were going to show up. Chief Walkiar, Third precinct.” The man held out a hand to Oeia who took it and gave a shake. “Welcome to our latest cluster fisk.”

“Paramedics Oeia and Kora and pilot Soen.” Oeia said in reply. “What’s up, district chief?”

“What is up?” The chief asked sourly. “My ire. I knew they were going to call you. I have told them, and told them, and told them. But no, HQ knows better than me and my boys what we need.” Oeia just looked at him and he sighed. “No, this is not a territorial dispute. Your department and mine have had their differences, but in the end we are all on the same side. Most of the time.”

“True.” Oeia nodded with a grin. “Even if I do think you are all absolutely nuts. Burning building are to run out of, not into.” Kora nodded. She had never wanted to be a firefighter. She didn’t mind fire, but she certainly never wanted to be inside one more than absolutely necessary. “So what is up?”

“Single human male. Age thirty five.” Chief Walkier said with a grimace. “He has a number of DUIs on his license according to his file, so that is why he wasn’t driving or flying. Thank the maker.” The chief said with a sigh of relief.

“So, what happened?” Oeias said as the chief finished speaking. “I assume alcohol is involved?”

“You could say that, if you were prone to massively understating the case.” The chief’s voice was sour now. “Apparently, what happened was our friend, one Louni Kunper, was on his way home from the cantina after a few –dozen- rounds with his closest drinking buddies . He slipped and fell, which was not very surprising considering his level of inebriation. What IS surprising is where he wound up. He managed, somehow, to get his thigh stuck in a storm drain.”

“His… thigh…” Oeia said, her tone utterly disbelieving. She shook her head. “You are not joking are you?”

“I wish.” Chief Walkiar said with a grimace. “You need to see this, just… You will be on camera the moment you leave the speeder. So whatever you do, don't laugh. We really don’t need any more bad publicity. And while you and I may know differently, the press and the public expect us to be on our best behavior at all times.” He rolled his eyes and Kora smothered a chuckle. She froze as Oeia glared at her.

“True. Kora with me. Soen, keep it secure.”

Kora followed the other paramedic and the chief as they left the speeder. The moment they did, she started hearing sounds. They sounded like profanity but it wasn’t until they walked around the fire engine that she realized that it was profanity. She also realized that the pump speeder had been parked specifically to block sight of the- She did a double take worthy of a holo-vid, but managed to keep her mouth shut as she took in the scene.

A team of firefighters were rigging a sling. By the looks of it, it would be attached to a crane that was now extending from the side or the pump speeder. That was fairly straightforward. What was not was the patient. The chief had not mentioned that the human was huge. This guy had to mass at least two hundred kilos. She could also smell him from as far away as she was and she was suddenly very glad for the olfactory filters built into her helmet. They didn’t eliminate the smell; that could be bad for EMTs who might need to smell things. But it did cut it down to manageable levels. The guy reeked. He was also very unhappy.

“Get away from me you bastards!” His voice was slurred and his motions, that may or may not have been a swing at one of the firefighters. But the cop that stepped forward blocked the swing easily and stepped back, obviously being careful not to cause harm. “Just let me be!” The man screamed.

“Can’t trank him.” Oeia said softly, for Kora and the chief’s ears alone. “Not with that much alcohol in his system. How any people has he slugged?”

“All of us once or twice.” The chief replied equally quiet. “Dispatch keeps asking about injuries and we have to tell them the truth, with the vid cameras and all.” He nodded to the cameras hard mounted on the fire trucks. “That is why you keep getting called.”

“Territorial disputes aside, we don’t mind patching you guys up. As you say, we are all on the same side.” Oeia said softly, her mind obviously racing. “Anyone hurt badly?”

“None of my people.” The chief said with a shrug. “We know better than to get that close to a drunk and not keep our eyes on him. Bruises mostly. The first cop on scene took a solid hit, but his armor caught most of it. He is over there.” He nodded to where a Twi’lek was sitting on the hood of a squad car, flexing his arm.

“Ma’am.” Kora said slowly. This was bad, but she might be able to help. “Maybe I can help.”

“Kora. First rule.” Oeia said sharply. “The scene is not safe. You do not go in.” The chief nodded emphatically.

“Ma’am, chief. I can help. I am small. I am not a threat.” Kora insisted softly. “I will stay out of reach, but if I can calm him down, that will help. If he stays agitated, he will break the sling.”

“I appreciate the thought, paramedic Kora.” Chief Walkiar said with a sigh. “But your boss is right. We will get him out, eventually. But you go over there and he will hurt you. He probably doesn’t intend it, though you can’t always tell with drunks. We have got this mess under control.” He sighed as the drunk took another swing and was restrained again. “Mostly. And as soon as we get him out, he is going to the drunk tank for slugging the cop.”

“Come on, Kora.” Oeia said sadly. “Nothing we can do here.” She started towards where the cop was nodding to her now. “Maybe we can do some good.”

<Twenty minutes later>

“How did it go?” Aesril asked as the team sat back and she brought steaming plates to them.

“Messy.” Oeia said with a sigh. “But it always is around us. Thanks, Aesril.”

“Least we could do, Ma’am.” The Bothan smiled. “You do good work.”

“Can’t save everyone.” Oeia said sadly. “Especially not from themselves. But we do our best.”

“Eat while you can. Ma’am.” Aesril glared at their com units. “I wouldn’t want your job for all the money in the galaxy.”

“It has its moments.” Oeia agreed as the other two started eating quickly and efficiently. “Thanks.” She said with heartfelt gratitude as she reached for her utensils.

“Anytime.” The Bothan said as she started back to her other duties. “You have enough problems.”
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08.17.2012 , 03:56 AM | #8
Something was wrong. The training exercise had faded in her mind, everything had. Someone was speaking to her, but she couldn’t understand the words. Kora focused, trying figure out why she felt so weird. Everything was fuzzy, almost as if she had been tranked. That hadn’t been part of the plan, had it? Something grabbed her arm and gave her a shake.

“Kora?” A face came close, an armored one. “Kora! Talk to me!” The voice cried out. “Medic! We need… Um… another medic here. Kora is hurt!”

“What the frell?” A loud voice came that Kora remembered. Sergeant Bluta was a no nonsense Mon Calamari with the Correllian Militia. The militia had it’s own medics of course, but they were always short staffed, so they had put out a call to train more. It only made sense for people learning Tactical EMS to be training with the tactical squads from the militia and Bluta was the overall range boss as well as entry team leader.

Who shot the medic?” Bluta’s voice, even unamplified, could peel paint from a bulkhead even when he was not irritated. Now he was flat out angry. “Terminate exercise!”

“I am okay.” Kora tried to say, but her mouth wasn’t working. “I am okay.” She managed to slur.

“No, you are not.” The first voice was kinder, gentler now as someone helped her sit. “Get the helmet off, Sarge?”

“Easy does it, Officer Gillian.” Another set of hands were fiddling with her helmet and she protested. It had been drilled into her head never to remove her helmet during operations, EMS or otherwise. “Easy, medic Kora. We have other help coming, but we need to see the damage.”

“I am fine.” Kora protested. “Just blurry. Good to go.”

“No, you are not, Kora.” A voice she recognized had her freezing in place. Paramedic Oeia was unhappy. That meant other people, lots of people, were going to be unhappy shortly. “Sit there and let me take a look.” Kora knew better than to argue. She sat quietly while her helmet came off. A light the brightness of a sun flashed into her eyes and she groaned. “No obvious damage.” Gentle hands were searching her scalp.

“What? Happened?” Sergeant Bluta’s voice was moderated, but barely. “Officer Gillian?”

“I don’t know, sergeant.” The human woman said, confused. “I bumped into her, I turned around to check team position and she was just standing there, a burn mark on her helmet. I was covering my sector, sergeant!” The woman sounded almost in tears.

“As you were supposed to.” Bluta said, his tone almost approving. “So who was out of zone? Someone was. Thank the Great Kraken we use blanks for this.”Then he shouted, not bothering to use his com. “Team, sound off and form up! Now!” A chorus of replies sounded.

Kora did not move as Oeia’s fingers found a sore patch. She hissed, but did not fight as the other medic checked her for other injuries. She thought back. She had been in position. The entry team had stacked up as they had been trained. Point, guns, command, commo, as medic she was the second to the end and then the rearguard. The breaching charge had gone off, she remembered that. The point had gone in, she remember the Duro firing and calling ‘Clear’… Then it got hazy. She looked up into her boss’ eyes and the Twi’lek sighed.

“You are okay, Kora.” The Twi’lek extended a hand and Kora took it, hauling herself to her feet. “You got your bell rung though. You are going to have one hell of a headache when the endorphins wear off.”

“Sarge…” Kora spoke evenly, carefully. “What did I do wrong? I must have done something wrong. Was I out of position?”

“I don’t think so, Medic Kora.” Faint relief colored the usually abrasive sergeant’s voice as Kora spoke. Then again, he was in charge. Oh, the captain was supposedly the boss of the exercise, but like any sane captain, he let the experienced sergeant run things. Speaking of the captain… The sergeant tapped his com. “Sir, did you get anything on the vids?”

“Replaying now, sergeant.” The voice of Captain Smirk came over the com and Kora tried, again, not to smile. It wasn’t the Devonarian’s fault that his parents had been insane to name him that. “Entry is good. Wait, wait, wait, freeze and reverse to thirty six point nine.” The captain’s tone turned resigned. “Sergeant, your number four was out of position on entry and it appears his weapon discharged as he turned.” The sergeant was obviously following the vid display because when he spoke it was biting.

“Jonsen!” The Mon Calamari’s tone turned polite and Kora froze in place along with the team. When the Sarge got polite, bad things were coming, very bad things. “Check your weapon. Has it discharged?”

Jonsen was the team com tech, a gawky human kid barely out of the Militia academy. He froze in place and his voice was scared.

“Oh my god.” The kid said in a tone of shock as he scrutinized his short rifle and realized that yes, it had fired. He wasn’t supposed to have fired. He hadn’t had any targets in his lanes of engagement. His voice turned soft and resigned. “No excuse sergeant.”

“No there isn’t, boy.” If anything, the Sarge’s tone got kinder. “Come here…” He held out a hand and Jonsen came, obviously scared. “Look at her, Jonsen. Look close at Medic Kora. Look at the girl you nearly killed. Your teammate you nearly killed. Look her in the eyes, boy.” The boy’s helmet came up and met her face. His sense in the Force was scared spitless.

“Ma’am.” The kid stammered, obviously one step away from wetting himself. “I am sorry.”

“Sorry doesn’t cut it, son.” Sergeant Bluta said, still in that so polite tone. “If we had been using even low power charges instead of blanks you could have splattered her brains all over the inside of her helmet just with the concussion. If we had been using live rounds,…” The boy gulped and the sergeant nodded. “You would have killed her. You could have killed her with blanks. As it is…” The sergeant shook his head, steeling himself, but paused as Kora raised a hand. “Yes, Medic Kora?”

“Sergeant, I mean no offense to you, but the only way I really, really learn is by making mistakes.” Kora said with a wince as her skull started to throb. “This one was bad, but I am not dead.” The sergeant looked at her and sighed.

“Dead or not, Medic Kora, he messed up. If we had been using live rounds, we would be calling a meat wagon for you right now.” The sergeant shook his bulbous head. “This is going to get written up, Officer Jonsen, Medic Kora. We have to. We cannot have such things happen. They do, but we have to minimize them. We will put it down as an accidental discharge, which is what it was. But…” He rounded on the officer who was still standing there like a nerf in headlights. “Repeat after me, Jonsen. ‘I will not have my finger on the trigger until I am ready to fire’.”

“I will not have my finger on the trigger until I am ready to fire.” Jonsen said, almost robotically.

“I will check my target before I fire.” Sergeant Bluta’s voice was cold now and everyone winced.

“I will check my target before I fire.” Jonsen repeated.

“I will not shoot my teammates, or near my teammates.” Sergeant Bluta’s voice was back at caustic again.

“I will not shoot my teammates, or near my teammates.” Jonsen straightened himself and spoke. “Permission to speak to the medic, sergeant?”

“Granted.” Bluta turned and moved off, to check something else.

“I am sorry, Ma’am.” Jonsen was so totally abject that Kora sighed. “I am sorry.”

“It’s okay, Jonsen.” Kora said slowly, putting her hand to her head. Oeia nodded to her from the sidelines and started rummaging in her kit for an analgesic. “We are here to learn and nothing teaches like mistakes. Just please don’t do that again.” She grimaced.

“I won’t Ma’am.” Officer Jonsen said quietly. “You okay?” He asked, concerned.

“Headache.” Kora said with a shrug. “As Oeia said, I got my bell rung. I think that’s it for me for today. I would prefer to keep going, but after this…”

“Not a chance in hell, girl.” Oeia said with a smile as she walked over with a single use hypo. “One heart attack a day is all you get to give me. I still think you are nuts to volunteer for this training, but it is good to have. Provided, you don’t get shot by the ‘good’ guys.” The term ‘good’ was heavily sarcastic. Kora paused that wasn't about her. The pain was old but still fresh.

“Paramedic Oeia…” Sergeant Bluta had been listening. “Your opinion of us is noted. Personally, I think it is deserved. They should have relieved that sniper as soon as they realized that his sister was dead. That was our mistake. But we cannot change the past. All we can do is try and make the future better.” She just looked at him and he sighed again. “I said at the time he should have done jail time at the very least, and I still say it. It was murder pure and simple.”

“I know, sergeant.” Oeia said sadly. “But…” She shook her head. “Come on, Kora. There is a bed with your name on it in your future.”

“I need to talk to her for a moment.” Sergeant Bluta said slowly. “In private?” The rest of the team found other things to do as Jonsen handed Kora her helmet before moving off. Oeia sighed and left the room. The sergeant nodded to Kora and reached into her helmet to flip a switch. Kora stared as the indicator for recording went dark. “What I am about to say is off the record, Medic Kora. You have a good head on your shoulders, despite Jonsen trying to blow it off. You have a good heart, and a wise mind. Watch out for her.” He nodded to where Oeia had gone. “What happened was wrong, it was evil. Poor kid had lost his sister, wasn’t thinking straight. His team lead should have pulled him, but they were shorthanded. He fired. He just wanted the dad dead, the one who had killed his sister.”

“The botched robbery.” Kora breathed in horror. “I have heard a bit about it.”

“Sniper had no idea that the four other snipers would take their cue from him.” The sergeant said sadly. “They all assumed he saw something. A hold out weapon, a remote, something. They all fired. At that range, none of them were going to miss, and high power blasters tear through unarmored people. Two seconds later, five people down. Four of them kids.” Kora hissed and Sergeant Bluta nodded. “What happened that day stained every one of us. It hurt every one of us. But her, I think, more than anyone else. Watch her. There is something about her, something off.”

“I know.” Kora had felt the bone deep grief and pain that Oeia kept hidden most of the time. “But what can I do? I am just a trainee.”

“I only met you this morning, but I could tell immediately. You are ‘just a trainee’ the way I am ‘just a sergeant’, Kora.” Bluta said with a sad smile. “You know about handling people. Just keep an eye on her. Now scat. We have a lot of work left. We also have a lot of trash to pick up and I know who just volunteered for that detail. Oh, Jonsen…” Kora smiled and did as ordered.
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08.17.2012 , 04:03 AM | #9
“Boss?” Kora was totally unsure about this. The Force nudged her again and she sighed and asked again. “Oeia?” It was a day after her near death experience in the Correllian Militia shoothouse and she had been getting odd nudges since the morning.

“Come on in, Kora.” Oeia said with a sigh as she turned from her terminal. “What is on your mind?”

“Can we talk?” Kora asked softly, unsure. “I mean, we are, obviously, and everything seems to be on track, for now. But…”

“You are off for today.” Oeia reminded her. The docs at the hospital had been less than pleased with Kora. She had taken a concussion and been bleeding from her ears slightly when she had arrived. Her ears were still ringing slightly from the extremely close range blast, even if it had been a blank. “Mork is covering for you.” Kora had to grin, she liked Mork. The guy was a nut who believed that interdimensional aliens were out to eat his soul, but other than that, he was harmless. The tin foil that he wrapped around parts of his body was off putting, but he was a good paramedic. “How do you feel?” Oeia asked.

“Better.” Kora said quietly. “Docs stopped the trickling of blood out of my ears and the meds they gave me let me sleep. Bored mainly. I mean, how many texts can one cram? I thought that would be enough. Lots to stay current with and all.” She shrugged helplessly. “I don’t know.”

“What is bothering you?” Oeia asked softly. “I can tell something is. Kora, give. What is wrong?”

“I don’t know.” Kora admitted. “I just…” She broke off. “I- Oh this is going to sound stupid.”

“It might.” Oeia said softly. “But out with it, girl.”

“You are not okay.” Kora said softly and Oeia jerked up in her seat. “I am no Jedi, no mind reader. But you are not okay. I worry about you.”

“Did that sergeant put you up to this?” Oeia asked dangerously. “Kora.” She pressed when Kora shook her head.

“No.” Kora said slowly. “Sergeant Bluta told me his perspective on what happened at the bank. The Jedi told me his perspective on what happened at the bank. Both of them blame themselves. The sergeant was one of the leaders there, wasn’t he?”

“His element was set for entry. Back of the bank, just in case of a trap of some kind.” Oeia said softly, her expression was of haunted memory. “Wasn’t his responsibility. He argued to relieve the brother of the guard who was killed. Said it would end badly. Guess he was right.”

“Ma’am.” Kora said gently. “Was it the Jedi’s fault?”

“Kora.” Oeia shook her head. “I have been seeing shrinks since that day. They don’t help any. I don't know whose fault it is. I can still see their faces though. I can…” She shook herself hard. “Paramedic Kora, this is really none of your business.”

“Begging your pardon, Paramedic Oeia, but bull malarkey.” Kora said, standing her ground. Oeia stared at her and Kora pressed her advantage. “If there is one thing I know after going through what I did, it is that there are some things you simply cannot handle alone. I am here. I have a fresh, unbiased set of ears. I am no counselor, I am your friend. I like to think I am anyway.” Oeia looked at her oddly and Kora shook her head. “Tell me to leave and I will. Tell me to take a hike, pack my bags and get the hell out of your station and I will. But this is why I wanted to be a medic. I want to help people. You are hurting. I want to help.”

“You can’t Kora.” Oeia said sadly. “The best shrinks on planet can’t help me.”

“I am not a shrink.” Kora spoke low but forcefully. “I am your partner and your friend.” She was going to speak again, but the alert buzzer sounded. She jumped, but Oeia glared at her and she subsided. She wasn’t cleared to ride just yet. Oeia was out the door and gone in seconds. Less than a minute after that, Kora heard the warble of the siren and the scream of lift engines as Soen pulled out of the hangar with his usual decorum. Or lack thereof. He was an exceptional pilot, but his people skills needed help. She sighed and sat in one of the uncomfortable chairs in front of Oeia’s desk to wait.

She was still sitting there when Oeia returned, two hours later, covered in mud and other kinds of filth. The Twi’lek stared at her.

“You have been sitting there this whole time?” The Twi’lek asked incredulously. Kora nodded and Oeia slumped, exasperated. “You are stubborn enough to be a Jedi.” The Twi’lek sighed and then nodded. “Let me change. Wreck was buried in a mudflat.”

“Shower might help too.” Kora said quietly. “Refresher works. I used it. Bad wreck?”

“Nosedived into the mud. At least it wasn’t a cliff this time. Two transported. Both critical.” Oeia’s voice was clinical as she stepped into the small refresher that was a perk of her rank. Water started running quickly. “Docs say both have a good chance. Out of our hands though.”

“I am glad.” Kora said quietly, not budging. She stayed right where she was until Oeia came out, drying her scalp with a towel, a clean jumpsuit on. “You never told me to leave.”

“It is not a secret how I feel, Kora.” Oeia sighed as she sat. Then she started rummaging in her drawers. “I need a belt.” Kora looked at her and Oeia shrugged. “I don’t pilot. They can fine me, but not ground or fire me as long as I don’t overdo it and endanger my patients.” She pulled a glass and bottle out of the drawer and nodded. “You don’t drink, do you?” Kora shook her head and Oeia smiled. “Good, more for me.”

The Twi’lek poured a generous measure of whatever was in the bottle then returned the bottle to the drawer before pulling another bottle from a small fridge behind her. A glance showed it was orange juice. She filled the rest of the glass with orange juice and, with a smirk, put the bottle away.

“Drinking alcohol is technically a firing offense in a paramedic station.” Oeia said with a smile. “But orange juice? Who cares?”

“Sneaky and underhanded.” Kora nodded approvingly. “I like it. When I am legal to drink, I may try it.”

“Sometimes I forget just how young you really are.” Oeia said with a grimace, one that vanished as she took a long drink. “Sometimes you act ancient and wise, other times like a complete noob.”

“I just muddle through.” Kora said quietly. “But I do want to help, and as I say, I am a fresh pair of ears, unbiased. I wasn’t there. I have no baggage. Ordinarily I am your subordinate, but not today.” And she wasn’t. She was off duty, technically, she wasn’t even supposed to be in the station but no one was going to complain if the place was cleaner that it had been or more inventories were done.

“One would almost think you had planned this.” Oeia said with an appraising glance. “Almost.”

“Not hardly.” Kora admitted, somewhat sheepish. “So… The bank?”

“Yeah.” Oeia’s eyes went far away. “It was a beautiful day. One of those rare days with not a cloud in the sky. I remember looking up, after we had arrived and the negotiator started talking. I remember thinking that with Michael on the case, no one else had to die. They let us in, you know. To try and save the girl who had been hit. The dead were dead, nothing we could do. Most of the injured were not bad. But that girl… She was about your age, now that I think about it. She was gutshot and died before we could convince the father to let us transport her. I tended her and she looked me in the eyes and calmly said ‘It’s okay’. Then she died. Just like that. We were too late. I tried to save her, to resuscitate, but I failed. I expected them to kill me, but the dad said ‘no’. He was so confused, he hadn’t planned for resistance.”

“But it happened.” Kora’s voice was nearly in audible.

“Two other guards and three of the bank patrons were hurt. We managed to get the injured released and out of the way. I promised I would take care of the girl’s body and I did. Michael was amazing. Everything he said made sense. He wanted everyone out of there alive. I could tell he did. I don’t think he was using the Force either, he just wanted a peaceful resolution.” Oeia took another drink. “It took eight hours of demands and counter arguments before the father saw reason. They came out, unarmed, unarmored. They surrendered. And then I saw Michael’s face. He knew something. I know he knew something, right before…” She choked a little.

“Right before the snipers fired.” Kora finished for Oeia. “And then?”

“Then we had to clean up the mess.” Oeia said quietly. “Four dead kids. One dead adult. Bunch of ‘commendations’ for everyone involved from the politicos. After all, they were terrorists, right? Only good one is a dead one, right? One of those kids was ten years old!” Kora bowed her head and Oeia snarled. “And then they have the gall to reward him? To call him a hero?”

“Did he take the rewards?” Kora asked softly. Oeia stared at her and Kora continued. “I don’t know a lot about Jedi.” She bit her lip on the lie, but continued. “But from what I understand, they are not into material things. And I didn’t see a man who was happy when we met at the hospital. I saw a man who has a ton of regrets. I don’t need the Force to see and hear that.”

“I…” Oeia stared at Kora, her face ashen. “I don’t know.”

“I am not a shrink, Oeia.” Kora said slowly. “I am just a fricking noob with an unadulterated pair of ears. But I don’t see how anything that happened was your fault. You are angry. Of course you are. It was stupid, senseless, and horrific. I don’t remember my past life. I feel on occasion that I remember something, but it is more like a dream, it fades when I try and look at it closely. But I do know this. You are my boss, and I like to think my friend. I do not, have not, and will not abandon my friends.”

“You are crazy girl. As crazy as Mork.” Oeia said with a grin as she finished her glass. “But… thanks.”

“Did it help?” Kora asked as she rose.

“Yeah. It did. You have given me something to think about , anyway.” Oeia smiled at her subordinate. “Now get out of here. You are still off shift.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Kora did not smile as she left the room. Was it her imagination that she heard a familiar male voice, somewhere in the deepest recesses of her mind?

Well Done
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08.17.2012 , 04:06 AM | #10
Kora was snarling as she tried to get her belt to sit straight. She had been in the shower when the alarm had gone off. So she was wet under her armor and it was not comfortable. “What do we have?” She asked as she finally got her straps on and the speeder took off like a rocket into the twilight air of the planet Corellia.

“Dispatch got a call from a hunting party out in the sticks.” The pilot said as he focused on flying. “They said it was an animal attack.” He pulled up the location on the map and Kora hissed in disbelief. “What?” Soen asked.

“There is a commune right by the call.” Kora said flatly. She pointed at an area on the map. “They don’t hunt.”

“You know them?” Oeia asked dubiously. “Are they dangerous? Some of these fringe types are.”

“I… um…” Kora winced slightly. “No, not dangerous. Just weird. You know… um… I didn’t arrive via normal means. But I did go through Customs.”

“I know.” Oeia said with a snort. “I do the background checks for all the hires, remember? Why would you go there?”

“The ship captain who brought me had a delivery there.” Kora thought back and nodded. “Then he took me to the port for customs and then Coronet General for the interview. The Customs people were…a bit unhappy.”

“I bet. That is one long detour.” Oeia said dubiously.

“I was out of it.” Kora admitted sheepishly. “I got seriously spacesick. I think he forgot about me until I woke up as he landed in their compound.” This was no lie. Flying with Will Kalenath was not for the faint of heart. And he had forgotten about her, he had been so apologetic when she had stumbled out of his ship, confused and worried. He had probably forgotten due to the three bounty hunter ships that had tried to attack him as he had entered the system. Stress ‘tried’. That wasn't all of the truth, but it was enough.

“You are lucky you didn’t wake up a slave or dead.” Oeia said with a frown. “So… What are they like? The commune folk?”

“They were … odd.” Kora said with a shrug. “They were always chanting, but their healer knew what it was doing. Cured my spacesickness with a single cup of something that tasted herbal. It was a Gand named Qulrrg.”

“Um…” The pilot was looking at the report that had come over his display. “The call says multiple casualties. Do we have anything on Gand physiology?”

“Uh…” Oeia looked at her datapad and shook her head. “No. Let’s hope it’s not the healer. If it is, I will get on the horn to the Coronet General and we load and go. Another team is enroute, but we are closest. ETA?”

“Four minutes.” The pilot replied. “Whoa...” The ambulance lurched as something flew by close overhead. Both Kora and Oeia were slammed into their straps by the buffets they took. Oeia recovered first and snarled.

“What the hell was that?” She demanded. “This airspace is supposed to be cleared….” She broke off as she saw the image the forward vid camera had caught of the ship that had buzzed them. A distinctive profile shone. Imperial starship. “Ah… Never mind…” She gulped. “They heading for our site?”

“No.” Soen replied, his voice testy. “They are continuing on. I am reporting those lousy Imperial scum. Maybe the Militia can do something. Maybe not.”

“Not our problem if they are not heading towards our landing zone, Soen.” Oeia said sharply. “We have enough trouble without borrowing more. Checklist.” She started checking things and Kora started making notations in the logbook. In just a few minutes they had inventoried everything in the ship, most of it by touch. Kora tried not to squirm but it was hard, her skin was squishing against her armor. “Kora…” Oeia said as she leaned close. “You okay?”

“Wet and uncomfortable, but okay.” Kora said slowly. “I am good to go.”

“Good.” Oeia sat back and pulled her helmet visor with its medical sensors down around her head. Kora did likewise as the ship spiraled in for a landing.

“What the frak…?” Soen’s voice spoke for the entire group as they stared out of the windscreen of the ambulance. The landing lights of the speeder illuminated at least a dozen dead dalyrakes lay scattered around the clearing that had a small strobe light flashing in it. The corpse of a sand panther also lay quiet. “Um… Lead…?” He asked Oeia.

“Any movement?” She asked as she scanned the area with her eyes and her helmet sensors.

“No…” Kora said slowly. “But I am getting life readings over there…” She nodded towards an area that almost looked fortified. Hiking packs had been arrayed as a barrier of sorts. “Faint, and… Ma’am…” Her voice tightened as she realized the readings were fading.

“First rule, Kora.” Oeia said with a grimace. “If the scene is not safe, no one leaves the speeder. I don’t see any more animals.”

“This much carrion is going to draw predators, Ma’am.” Soen said slowly. “If we…What the hell?” He asked as a figure appeared from the seemingly fortified area. The human male wore the most outlandish robes that anyone had ever seen. They were pink and had a gold sunburst emblazoned on the front. He held a blade that vanished as he nodded to the speeder. “Who the frell is that?”

“That is one of the commune people.” Kora said slowly. “What was his name? Dang it, I can’t remember… Nizol, Nirol, Nipol? I can’t remember.”

“You say they are not hostile?” Oeia asked slowly as the man beckoned them urgently. “Kora?” She prompted.

“They were not with me.” Kora said slowly. “But… They did say something about me being a distraction, ‘a badness thing’… or… something…” She shook her head. Nobody had ever told her what to do in this kind of case. “They were very polite, if odd. It might be better if you talk to him, Ma’am. You are the boss after all.”

“Yeah, rank hath it’s privileges.” Oeia said sourly as she unstrapped herself and swung to the hatch. “Get the kits and stretcher ready. I don’t know how many patients we have.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here