"The Lesser of Two Evils"
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Setting: USS LANCELOT: Corridor
Stardate: 63072.1400

The darkness of the LANCELOT's corridors felt heavy on their flesh as they quickly walked single file toward the Jeffries tubes and away from the explosion, completely oblivious to the proximity of robotic invaders they were moving away from.  They were headed for Engineering, the best place to make a stand and begin their assault on the invading forces.  If, that is, they could get there before engaging the enemy.  Enaii put their chances at far less than 50%, but she did not share her pessimism with the group.  Instead she forged on, in the lead of the group, followed by the Doctor, and a skilled platoon of Marines covering their backs.  Every now and then they would come across a body too mangled to be alive, Lea would scan them anyway, then continue her journey.  Ever since her fainting spell, the CMO had kept pace with the ILO, and graciously had remained quiet dispite the horrors they were faced with.  If the ILO had had the choice, she never would have brought the doctor along, it was all too clear the situation that they were coming in to, but she had also known that arguing with the Captain would have been futile and only serving to waste what time the crew of the LANCELOT still had.

As they rounded a corner, a pained moan filled their ears.  "Help me!  Somebody, help me!"  A Bajoran Ensign in a blue uniform pleaded.

Lea ran over to the injured man, though he seemed hardly more than a boy, and began to scan him.  "It'll be alright.  I'm Doctor Summers of the..."

"Lieutenant!" Enaii snapped before the CMO could betray the existence of their classified vessel.

"Of the Federation," Lea finished, having quickly recovered from her almost error.  "You're going to be fine, I just need you to relax.  Take a deep breath.  We've got you now," she soothed the patient like it was second nature to her as she began to scan him with her tricorder.  "Alright, you've got a few broken bones... three ribs, your wrist, your right femur and both of your ankles.  There's a little internal bleeding, but nothing that we can't fix," she assured the newly graduated former cadet.

"Doctor, can he walk?" one of the Marines asked urgently, "We can't stay here."

"No," Lea replied, "I'm going to need some help to move him, the bleeding is not so bad that we can't move him."

"Lieutenant Summers," Enaii hissed, "If he cannot walk, sedate him, leave him or euthanize him, but do *not* waste our time further."

"Enaii!" The Doctor protested as the Bajoran let out a most pitiful wail.  "Paying no regard to your warped sense of humor, I do not think it was appropriate to make such a joke in front of a clearly frightened young man!  We can't leave him, I won't leave him.  It's inhumane and it goes against everything I stand for."

The Operative's eyes narrowed, and in a split second she had raised her phaser and shot.  The red beam of light immediately impacted on the injured Bajoran's chest, and his body went limp.  "We cannot afford delay Doctor."  The coldness of the woman's actions felt like a bucket of ice water to Lea.  Nevertheless, the good doctor kept the brisk pace that the ILO set for them as they traveled further through the bowels of the ship.

"Enaii," she finally managed, her voice scarcely more than a whisper.  She had stopped scanning the corpses of those clearly dead as they moved past.  "What setting was your phaser on?  You didn't..." the CMO's voice trailed off.

Opening the hatch into the Jeffries tubes, the ILO glared and tilted her hand so that the woman could see the top panel of her phaser.

Lea breathed an audible sigh of relief.  "Thank you Enaii, for not...  I mean..."

"Do not thank me, I did him no favors by leaving him alive," the Intel Liaison snapped.  "Those aliens will do far worse to him than I would have.  Death would have been kinder."

The Chief Medical Officer's jaw dropped, "But why did you do it then?!?"  She could feel the tears building behind her eyes, but she didn't dare let them out.  How could this be part of anyone's job???  Much less her own.

Enaii followed the platoon leader into the Jeffries tubes as soon as he motioned it was alright to do so.  "Time is limited Doctor.  If I had killed him, you would have made a scene.  We do not have that luxury, so he will suffer.  It is the lesser of two evils."

"But how could you???"  Lieutenant Summers countered, completely overwhelmed by the events of the day.

The ILO stopped a moment and took Leah's chin into her hand.  Looking deep into her eyes, the doctor could see a twinge of what only Sabrina might recognize as compassion.  As it was, to those around her, she seemed as cold and calculating as ever.  "People like you should never be in these situations Doctor, it is why people like me were made, to make the hard choices when those with a conscience cannot."  With that, the Operative released the medical officer and continued on her way, never indicating that she had just revealed a part of her soul to the Doctor.

Lisa Mac Isaac <lisa_mac_isaac@hotmail.com>

Writing the hopes, dreams and future of:

Commander Enaii
Intelligence Liaison Officer / Acting ExO

"The worst is over now, and we can breathe again...
There's so much left to learn and no one left to fight"
 ~ Broken by Seether feat. Amy Lee