Who: Keto, Wildflower, Big Pink Tree, dozens of casualties
When: As the fleet prepares to attack the Hymenoptera homeworld
If there was one thing that Keto hated more than working with engineers, it was
working with a large number of injured engineers.
"Doc! My legs! I can't feel my legs!" cried one of the multitude of injured
crewmembers. This one had been fortunate, if that was the right word, to have
been admitted to the medibay quickly enough to get a bunk. As the number of
crew wounded in the surprise attack had become obvious, every tabletop, cabinet,
desk or other horizontal surface in the medibay had been wiped clean and
repurposed as somewhere to place them. Even the floor, at this point, was
covered in bodies - many groaning and moving around...many not.
"Why can't I feel my legs!?" cried the crewman again, grabbing at Keto's sleeve
as the doctor tried to hurry past to the other side of the medibay, where
Wildflower and the Big Pink Tree were tending to the critical patients. Keto
"Because you've been caught in a fiery explosion, briefly exposed to vacuum and
then had both your tibia and fibula in your left leg shattered by an emergency
bulkhead," he snapped, "And so we've had to heavily anaesthetise everything
below your waist. If you WANT to feel your legs, believe me, that can be
arranged if you don't let go of me in the next three seconds."
The crewmember froze, suddenly pale, then quickly released Keto's sleeve
allowing the doctor to stalk away again.
"We've got reports of more wounded coming in," said Wildflower without turning
round as Keto approached, "Dozens of them. Recovery teams are finding more and
more in the damaged engineering decks."
Keto made no response. Wildflower risked a sideways glance and saw him staring
over the list of dead crewmembers which was pinned to the wall, a list which had
grown from an initial sheet of paper to something now resembling a short novel.
He kept staring at the top of the same page.
"She would have died instantly when the roof collapsed," said Wildflower
carefully, "There was nothing anyone c-"
"Stop talking and pay attention to your work," said Keto, his voice barely above
a whisper. Wildflower's jaw snapped shut and she turned back to the patient she
was treating, glancing up at the Big Pink Tree. The Tree gave an almost
imperceptible shake of its branches.
"Today," said Keto, still in the same restrained whisper, "Has not been a
positive day. I advise you to remain very, very focussed on treating any crew
that come through that door and to avoid disturbing me further. Triage the new
patients as and when they come in. Any crew who are not severely injured are to
be turned away. Any who refuse to be turned away, I will talk to."
Wildflower and the Tree looked at each other.
"The last ship's through sir!" the helmsman told Jay, "I'm taking us in!"
With that, the Blue Dwarf's thrusters powered up and entered the wormhole, the
Space Corp ship coming with it.
Outside the medibay, there was the sound of booted feet pounding down the
corridor. Wildflower and the Tree, as well as a handful of the patients not
enveloped in their own private worlds of pain, turned to stare at the doorway as
four uniformed Space Corps marines stormed through it, levelling rifles at the
crew as they did so.
"By order of the Space Corps, you are..." began one, before stopping as he took
in the scene in front of him. "...dear God."
Silence, apart from the moaning of the patients, fell for a moment as the
marines stared at the injured forms lying around them. Wildflower looked at
Keto, who was still staring vacantly at the list, then shook her head and looked
back to the marines.
"This is the ship's medibay," she said, trying to keep her voice steady as all
four marines turned their rifles towards her, "We're trying to treat the crew
injured in the recent attack. Nobody here's trying to make trouble for the
Space Corps, so I'd appreciate it if you'd lower your weapons and leave so we
can get on with our jobs."
"Sorry miss, but not a chance," said one of the marines, "Our orders are to take
all Blue Dwarf personnel into custody for disobeying a direct command from the
Corps. So if you and, uh, that plant over there will just step into the office
behind you, nobody's going to have to get hurt." He paused and looked around
the medibay again. "Hurt any more," he corrected.
Wildflower glared at him, but the marines took a few steps towards her, the Tree
and Keto and the rifles made it obvious they weren't playing around. With bad
grace, Wildflower opened the door to the medibay office and walked in, followed
by the Tree (which had turned slightly darker pink than usual after being
referred to as 'that plant').
"You too, doc," said the last marine as the others followed into the office,
prodding Keto with the barrel of his gun when the doctor didn't move, "Get in
Keto didn't move.
"Charlie, get in here," called Wildflower, "They're not messing around."
"You should listen to your friend and follow her," said the marine, peering
round the doorframe into the office, "And that weird pink plant thing t-"
His advice was cut short as Keto spun around, one hand pulling a syringe from
his coat pocket. Before the marine could move, Keto had jabbed the syringe into
his neck and pushed the plunger. The man collapsed to the floor with a thud.
There was an exclamation from inside the office, but before anybody could emerge
Keto palmed the door shut, tapped in a security code into the pad next to it,
and then stepped to one side to stare through the office window.
Three marines, Wildflower and the Tree stared back at him. Keto pressed his
thumb against the office intercom button.
"We've all got jobs we're meant to be doing," he said quietly. "Nurse
Wildflower, you are meant to be treating these people. Tree, so are you. And
you three...well, I'm afraid your jobs don't work that well with ours."
"On behalf of the Space Corps, I ORDER you to-" began one of the marines, but
Keto cut him off.
"I am a doctor who, much to my everlasting torment, HAS taken the Hippocratic
Oath," he said, "Which proves problematic at times. Fortunately, I have
discovered in my many years as a medical professional that there are numerous
ways to take action against people without causing, technically, lasting harm."
Keto leaned sideways and tapped a different code into the door pad. There was a
hissing sound from inside the office, causing its occupants to look around,
"What's that noise?" asked Wildflower.
"Gas," replied Keto, "Non-lethal, but very potent, anaesthetic gas. Nurse
Wildflower, I advise you to lie down so as not to hit your head when you
collapse. Tree, I have no idea what effect this will have on you, so please
memorise any sensations so that I can record them later. You Space Corps
Keto's mouth twisted in what might, in some sadistic way, have passed for a
"...my guess is that we won't be in any rush to wake you up."
Any protests were short-lived, and followed swiftly by four muffled thuds and
one creaking sound. Keto sniffed.
"Interesting," he murmured, then bent down and picked up the rifle dropped by
the fourth marine, "Now then."
He glanced back again at the list pinned to the wall, now slightly tilted from
where the collapsed marine had slumped against it.
"I never thought I'd agree with Chrysler," he murmured to himself, then looked
down at the marine, "But the Hymenoptera have to pay. For everything."
OOC: I'll just leave this post here...