"How is she, Doctor?" a familiar voice said, pushing through the darkness clouding Beck's mind.

"Morales," Beck said weakly, trying to open her eyes.

"Take it easy, Commander," Doctor Amedon Nelson's voice said as her hand gently pressed against Beck's head to make sure she didn't try to get up.

"You're both going to be fine," Lieutenant Commander Walter Morales's voice said. Beck heard the slap and chirp of a hand hitting a commbadge.

"Morales to Roanoke. Beck and Porter are stable. Let's get back home."

"You got it," Lieutenant Sean Russell's voice said over the comm system. "I'll follow you guys."

"Acknowledged. Cumberland out," Morales replied.

Beck finally managed to get her eyes opened. She was laying on the floor of the runabout cockpit, stretched out next to Porter, who also had forced his eyes opened. If his face mirrored hers at all, they both must have looked like utter hell.

"What happened?" Beck asked Nelson, who was leaning over her with a tricorder.

"You two didn't make it back, so we came looking. Good thing, too. You both were in bad shape."

"Food poisoning?" Beck asked.

"Yep. Most of the people at the dinner came down with it. Turns out the chefs didn't know that Eskerelian clams are toxic to humans, Vulcans, Klingons, and half the other species in the quadrant. But that's what you get for taking Porter."

"What'd I do?" Porter said.

"I told you before, people go on missions with you, they end up needing medical attention."

"I did too this time."

"I'm sure Commander Beck finds that comforting," Nelson replied. "You two get some rest." Nelson closed her tricorder and headed up to take a seat next to Morales.

Porter and Beck lay silently for a moment. "I guess I just dreamt the med ship," Porter said finally.

"You and me both," Beck replied. It took a couple of seconds for what they just said to sink in.

Despite the weakness and pain racking their bodies, Beck and Porter sat up startled.

"What the hell?"

The End

Back | Stories