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2357USS Athene / Doctor's confessional

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  • Steve Goble
    Sep 12, 2004
      SD 16:0913.0056
      USS Athene
      Ship's Lounge

      Dr. Sturgeon Wood looked up as Texan wandered by to refill his glass.

      "You look down, doc. And you're not flirting with me the way you always do. Tough day at work?"

      Wood looked into the beautiful woman's eyes. "Yeah, sort of. How are things here in the bar, without Sarella, I mean?" Sarella's mind had reverted to childhood after the evil entity Aragos had forced her to shoot Capt. Demetrius Simms.

      "We're managing," Texan said. "Hoping Sarella will be OK. Now what's your problem?"

      Wood took another swig. He wasn't sure he wanted to tell her, but he felt a need to tell someone. "I recommended a medical procedure for not-so-medical reasons."

      Texan looked at him without judgment. "OK ..."

      Wood sighed. "It's like this. We put a new heart in Simms and got him out of Severn's contraption. He's a whole person ... kind of ... in a diagnostic bed instead of a bunch of drifting particles in the Vulcan's machine. He's stable, for now. We had to get him out of the machine, because we're heading into something nasty and Simms was gonna be toast if we left him in there."

      "Sounds like medical reasons to me," Texan said.

      "That's not the part I'm talking about," Wood said. "Simms is out cold, probably best for him psychologically. Another major wound, big hole ripped through his chest ... he might not be able to handle that emotionally. But I just turned in a report urging Severn to wake Simms up so we can assess his condition more thoroughly."

      "Is it necessary to do that?" Texan's eyes were wide.

      "A good medical lawyer could argue it close enough to convince some people," Wood said. "Simms knows his own body better than our instruments, in many ways. Awake, he can tell us how he feels, if something isn't quite right. And we can check his responses to stimuli. But ... strictly speaking ... we can tell well enough how he's doing without waking him. It's a judgment call, probably more dangerous for Simms than it's really worth."

      "So why do you want to wake him up?" Texan looked suspicious.

      "You've seen how wound up everybody on this ship is," Wood whispered. "About to snap. We're going into who-the-hell-knows what kind of battle. It's urgent, though, you can tell that anytime you talk to an officer. And we're being led by a captain nobody on this ship knows a damned thing about."

      "Spencer Doon," Texan said.

      "Spencer Doon," Wood echoed. "Who the hell is he? Has he ever been in a real battle before? Can he get us out of whatever he's dragging us into?"

      "I'm sure he's qualified," Texan said.

      "Qualified doesn't mean experienced," Wood said tersely. "Simms has been there. He's tested. Battle-hardened. Tougher than a Klingon with diaper rash. He's the kind of man we need for this, whatever this is."

      "So you want him awake, to retake command? Can he even do that?"

      Wood stared at her. "He can't resume command. He's not able to do that. But he can still be a leader, from a bed as easily as he did from that damned chair. I want him awake in case our new captain pisses his pants when the phasers start flying."

      Texan blinked. Wood waited to hear her tell him what a bastard he was.

      Steve, AKA Dr. Severn
      CMO, USS Athene

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