(( Basic operating chamber for impulse and energy / Reactor chamber - Endless Golden Penetrator))
Jehe: We really are here to help sir. Let the doctor take a look at you, and then we can go tend to any of your...colleagues.
The Vulcan nodded briefly, her attention focused on the device she was holding in her hands.
Alieth: ::monotonously:: I am here to serve
Shaggee didn't know what to make of these bizarre, tiny creatures. Their faces were remarkably featureless, with only two eyes and a dull uniformly colored dermis. The idea of trusting that some random creatures from beyond The Edge were here out of the kindness of their flonds was simply beyond Shaggee's ability. The powerful were powerful because they exploited anyone who wasn't. It was how the deathless had made their fortunes and built the great megacorps. It was how they had purchased control of the civil administration hundreds of years ago, freeing them to do whatever they wanted in the pursuit of greater riches. It was how they ruled the system to this day, and it was the only type of leadership Shaggee had ever known.
Rod'gurs: Just please...don't damage my eyes. If I lose more than two I won't be able to keep my job.
The alien cast an odd look at him before holding up a machine that made a gentle noise. Shaggee braced for the inevitable blast of pain or searing agony of cut flesh, but none came and after a moment, it was clear none was coming. Shaggee quite simply didn't understand.
Alieth: (Gently) If you allow me, I will administer you half a dose of Cortropine is a minor stimulant that will make you feel better.
Rod'gurs: But I...I don't have a credit account with you...you couldn't possibly give medicine away without at least a purchase order? A consultation charge? Shipping and handling? ::Shaggee looked from one alien to the other, their expressions confused.:: You couldn't possibly mean it's...it's...::Shaggee had trouble wrapping his flaps around the word::...free.
Alieth: Indeed, for free.
All six of Shaggee's eyes widened in shock. He had been seen by medical personnel nine times in his forty one cycles, and he had the invoices and debt from each visit in his personal ledger, notated down to the milicredit owed. The idea of receiving services and not paying for them seemed...almost sickeningly alien to him. It felt unnatural and alarming and strangely...good.
Rod'gurs: Well..if..I guess...I promise to subscribe to your infostream! You can send me all the marketing material you want! My consumer analytics are yours, even my...very personal analytics! Everything!
The small alien withdrew another small tool from her strangely shaped kit, loaded a vial of bright colored liquid then pressed the contraption against his dulcornomoious artery. Braced again for pain, Shaggee almost passed out in relief as the magical medicine surged through his system. He felt like he could work a septuple shift and still have energy to shop at the central bazaar. It was an incredible feeling...and he hadn't spent a credit.
If Shaggee could've willed it, he would've died in that moment - as content as he had ever been.
Jehe: How long have you been adrift here, if you do not mind my asking?
Shaggee tried to get the number straight, but he wasn't entirely sure. He suspected only the deathless had known when the ship was truly lost, and Anroc hadn't bothered to share that information until the ships demise seemed immediately apparent.
Rod'gurs: Weeks...months, maybe. Systems started failing almost as soon as we got close to the Edge, but the deathless...uh ::Shaggee looked uncomfortably towards the ceiling and the malevolent face starting down at him::...Shipmaster Pitorian Anroc, glory to him and all the First Eternals...he just told us to keep going. Then people started dying. So many.
Alieth: (Blinking again). Interesting. ::Standing up:: Now, can you guide us to your colleagues that require assistance?
Shaggee found his energy to be nearly boundless and sprang up, almost bouncing off the floor.
Rod'gurs: Yes of course, there were several associate directors and vice presidents assigned to this section, but I'm the vice associate director, so they all report to me. ::Shaggee puffed up in momentary pride before remembering their situation:: well, the ones who are still alive report to me. The dead ones just go into the reclaimer. Are you...are you really going to help us? All of us?
Jehe: Well, hopefully we can. We're Starfleet. Stuff like this is what we do best.
Alieth: We will do everything in our capacity and about a 33% more
The strange name stuck in Shaggee's tympanic canal and he tried to reproduce the alien sound.
Rod'gurs: Sar'feet. That is a strange name for a corporation. What's your primary commodity? Voidships? Advanced pharma goods? Good ROI on those.
As they transited through the cavernous bay past busts and frescos of Anroc, Shaggee felt his steps lightening and for a moment thought the alien drug had given him even more extraordinary strength. It wasn't until he realized all of them were hopping from step to step, arcing instead of stepping, that he realized the spingrav system was failing again.
Alieth: I suppose that is not a usual feature of this ship.
Rod'gurs: No. It's a sign the ship is dying. The deathless....::Shaggee closed his eyes, not looking at any of Anroc's representations as he cursed the mans existence::...the deathless wouldn't stand for the discomfort of nullgrav. It's one of the most reliable systems on the ship. If it's failing, everything else will soon.
They finally made their way to the Employee Productivity Recovery Center where several dozen of the administration team was sprawled against walls or on some of the limited medbeds. The few with good credit had to share the compartments single autodoc, and the mechanism itself was running low on pharma-consumables. Shaggee didn't have enough credit to unlock another canister from the nearby store and no one on the financial services team was available to arrange a short term, high interest loan. Shaggee pointed towards the injured and wagged his flaps, satisfied there was nothing more he could've done.
The aliens seemed unconvinced.
Alieth: We will have to hurry. Ensign, I assume you are familiar with emergency triage. ::picking up a green card:: If i put one of this, send them to the bridge or contact the captain or commander to determine the nearest transport point. :: Holding up a red card :: You must put a transporter tag on them, they will be the first to be beamed directly to the sickbay. ::Raising an orange:: If you see someone with one of these, you have to decide if they walk or not, it will depend on whether they join the group of the green or the red ones and you should act in accordance.
Shaggee tried to help as best he could.
Rod'gurs: Uh, you understand that none of these people can pay, right? I think some of the accounting team is in the next compartment over, maybe if one of them is still alive they could generate a purchase order for you? Whatever would be easiest for your back office team.
The aliens seemed to be talking among themselves, organizing small colored shards. One seemed to be of particular import, and Shaggee immediately understood their meaning.
Alieth: If you see one of these only... move them away from the transit areas.
Rod'gurs: Oh, credit rating labels. That's a very clever idea - you can assign them all to income brackets now and it'll make billing so much easier later. You aliens really are advanced!
Alieth: ::nodding:: Let's go
Rod'gurs: I think I'll stay here, my quarterly fifteen minute break is coming up and I really feel like I've earned it. If you need me please leave a message with one of the admin staff...I know some of them survived.
Rod'gurs: Oh are you sure? Well, I suppose I can defer it until next month. If you think it's that important.
Rod'gurs: Help you treat the injured? I'm not certified for that. It would be a violation of my contract!
Vice Associate Director Of Crew Fulfillment & Disposal
Endless Golden Penetrator