Jacy’s baseline health splayed across the screen in a series of shifting numbers and rhythmic pulse waves. After a moment’s quiet observation, Dorian addressed his latest patient. “Well, it looks alright,” he said as the little contacts were removed from her skin. “No swelling beyond that lump and all yah signs look normal.”

He handed her two tablets and a cup of water. “Ibuprofen,” the medic said. “Fah pain and inflammation. Take two evah six hours as needed, with a whole glass o’ water. Ah won’t tell yah tah lie down…nobody seems tah follow mah instructions,” he cast a sidelong glance toward Vas, “but try tah take it easy tahday. That’s it. Yah all done, Miss Jacy.”

As the couple beat a hasty exit, Adler focused upon the new workstation. Another report, he mused as he opened a fresh record. What price my allegiance?

Then again, he thought, there was little else to do but learn to master his new trappings. The new equipment had already put him miles beyond the old practice of “diagnosis roulette”…..the improved accuracy of his treatments was already palpable. The untapped value of the “bush doctor” program could prove a remarkable advance for the remote, impoverished worlds of the outer rim. And as the base of a new intel network in constant motion, their efforts could harass and stymie the Alliance to complete distraction. It was time to recruit…share his vision with Kate. They had a long flight ahead to conjure together.

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