Beware of Doctors Bearing Gifts

And there was Vas Jat, clearly disregarding his doctor’s orders as he corralled a once restful Serena.

Dorian pretended not to notice, busy as he was with a new patient file. “Teenagers,” he muttered under his breath as the pair disappeared.

Patient 02-423:
Adolescent female, age 16, 5’1” and 96 lbs.

INCIDENT: Undisclosed traumatic injury, left hand.

DIAGNOSIS: Soft tissue crush injuries and dislocations of the digits to both index and middle finger.

TREATMENT: Local anesthetic injection. (Sambril, 20cc.) Physical realignment of the joints. Protective enclosers to augment soft tissue healing.

PROGNOSIS: The absence of nerve damage indicates complete recovery in 4-6 weeks.

NOTES: Patient was fearful and agitated, with a heart rate of 118bpm. I administered Dorisol, 10 mg. Heart rate settled to established norms within 30 minutes.

ATTENDING PHYSICIAN: Adler, Dorian, pgm #001.

After attaching digital files to the report, the medic was just about to press the “encrypted upload” icon on the new workscreen.


Marisol stood in the doorway. Her coveralls had been lowered and tied about the waist, allowing her hair to lie upon her shoulders and the straps of the ‘wife beater’ undershirt. In one hand, she held a camp saw. An axe dangled from the other.

“Whatevah it is,” Adler smirked, “Ah confess.”

“Have you got a way to sterilize these?” she asked. At his bemused expression she explained, “I’ve got a side of beef thawing in the galley. I need to cut it down, and aside from a couple dull kitchen knives this is all we’ve got.”

He nodded. “Of course. Been meanin’ tah test this out since yah put tha power right.” Doc opened the door of the Denta-Kiln-Twenty-Five-Hundred. “Runs like a kitchen oven. Set yah temp fah five hundred, cook time thirty minutes. Push ‘Start.’ Once they’re done, wipe off tha ash with alcohol and yah all set tah cut meat and terrorize yah shipmates.”

“Two for one,” she quipped. “Everything working alright?” Marisol asked of the shiny new medical equipment rack.

He smiled. “Like a charm, thank yah. Oh, that reminds me. Have yah seen Sistah Lyen?”

“She’s in the galley, helping me move half a dead cow around.”

Adler chuckled. “That Ah must see. Oh,” he paused in the doorway, “those axe an’ saw handles are wood. Yah need tah remove ‘em before yah…”

“…I understand combustion, pendejo.

“There’s tha woman Ah dream of. Don’t burn mah infirmary down.” Dorian climbed the stairs to the upper deck. Indeed, the nun was in the galley, struggling mightily to anchor an unruly side of beef from slipping off the counter. Courageous, he thought to himself, given the traditional view of cattle. He’d pay her a call momentarily. First, there was a side trip.

It was well known that the surefire way to invoke Riley’s ire was to either knock, or worse yet, enter the private sanctuary of her bridge. Mindful of yet another unwritten law, he tucked the small box and accompanying envelope into the handle, where it’d fall to the deck before her when she next emerged.

In the meantime, Sister Lyen had won her battle. Through perhaps an act of divine strength she’d managed to flip the beef carcass onto it’s side. The nun was busy washing her hands when Dorian approached.

“Admirable,” he smiled over at the completed work. “Sistah,” he reached into a vest pocket and withdrew another small box, “Ah found this on tha Skyplex an’ thought yah might appreciate it.”
As she opened the box, he said, “Tha artist swore tha lettering indicated gratitude.” A tiny cylinder, a Buddhist prayer wheel, hung as a pendent from a chain. It glistened silver as Lyen removed it from the box.

“She told me,” Doc continued, “that yah s’posed tah write down yah own prayer an’ place it inside. Ah’m quite outta practice in that department, but Ah did manage a few words.”

Tag Lyen

< Prev : The Ropes Next > : 22 and Counting down.