They kept their vigil through the first day. They took turns sitting by the bed. Kacey was hooked up to an I.V. in order to keep her fluids up. Oxygen was piped in through a nasal cannula. Monitors kept track of her every bodily functions. The first day ended, as did the second, third, fourth and fifth with very little change in the readouts from the monitors. Late on the fifth day her heart beat finally returned to normal. Her brain functions were still elevated.

Natalia, Patricia, and Kate fought anyone who tried to remove them from Kacey's bedside. Only threats from the Doctor that she would sedate them and bar them from Sick Bay if they did not take breaks, got them to leave.

Every night, Marines came to sit by their commander. Every night Anya held Kate and Liam held Patricia while they cried. Natalia clutched Kacey's pillow and cried until exhaustion claimed her for a short time. When she awoke from fitful dreams and night mares, she made her way to Sick Bay to be near Kacey. Both Kate and Patricia invited her to stay with them, which she turned down. Anya excused her from duty until Kacey recovered.

As Captain, Kate could excuse any member of the crew, but not herself. Every morning she would make an appearance on the Bridge to give the crew their orders and check her status reports, before turning the Bridge over to Rhea. She brought her computer to Sick Bay in order to complete her reports on their two run ins with the Megarans. She was able to postpone her video conference with the Admiral.

She walked into Kacey's room. The Marines motioned her to be quiet. She quickly saw the reason why?
"She came in around three hundred hours, took the Colonel's hand, put her head down and fell asleep. I put a blanket over her shoulders. She did not move at all." The Marine said softly. "She has done this every night Captain."

"Thank you gentlemen." They started to leave, but stopped and saluted Kate. She returned their salute.

The Doctor came in to take Kacey's vitals. She checked the readings on the machines and changed over the I.V. bag. The Doctor pulled a machine out from behind the bed and hooked a wire up that ran from Kacey's head to the machine. She turned the machine on and watched the spider web of tracings for several minutes. She disconnected the wire, and turned the machine off, then pushed it out of the way behind the bed.

Anya walked in as the Doctor put the machine away.

"Captain you had better get your parents down here." He said.

Anya went to Kate's side as the Doctor's tone caused Kate to pale. She trembled in Anya's arms.


"I would rather say this once Captain." Kate closed her eyes and tried to swallow. Her chest was tight as she fought the well of emotions.

Anya touch the private call button on her communicator. "Liam" She spoke into the device.

"Aye lassie"

"The Doctor wants you and Patricia in Sick Bay."

"We are already on our way, lass."

"We will need to wake Natalia, Kate." Anya stated.

Kate nodded. "Anya tonight there will be no excuses. She will come home with us or mom. She will not be alone."

"I agree, Kate." Kate went to Natalia and gently shook her. Natalia's eyes popped open.

"Kate, I must have fallen asleep."

"Yes you did. Tonight you are coming home with us. That is an order." Kate told her. "The Doctor wants to talk to us. Mom and Liam just arrived.

Natalia sat up wincing as her neck and back protested the position she slept in.

"I have thoroughly check Colonel O'Malley's vitals. Her latest brain waves are just about normal. What ever it was that pushed her brain activity off the charts is disappearing. I believe it was that excess activity that has prolonged her unconsciousness. Now that activity is closer to normal, I expect her to regain consciousness."

"Damn it Doctor. You had me thinking the worst."

"I am very sorry Captain, but good news or bad, I really do like to say it only once."

"When will she wake up, Doctor?" Natalia asked.

"I can not give you any time table, crew man. It can be anytime from the next few minutes or next week. It will be completely up to the Colonel."

"But she will wake up?" Patricia asked.

"Yes she will, Mrs. O'Malley."

"Can you give her something to wake her up?" Kate asked.

"I could, Captain, but if we force her to wake up before her brain is ready, it could cause more problems. It is better for her to wake up on her own."

"Doctor will she have any... residual effects from being unconscious?" Anya asked.

"Residual, as in brain damage, amnesia, or other issues?" Anya nodded. "We will not know until she wakes up. Her pupils are reactive so that rules out vision problems. I will make a suggestion. At this point her hearing will be functioning. You should take turns talking to her. She will not respond verbally, but that does not mean she is not listening." "Is there anything we should not mention?"

"Try not to mention the Megarans. That will be how we test her short term memory. Any mention could taint her memories. Does she actually remember it because it happened or because you talked about it?"

To be continued...

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