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Mandatory Physical

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 5:03pm by Lieutenant L'Nel Haadok & Lieutenant Jackson Smith
Edited on on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 5:08pm

Mission: Mission 0: Coming Home to Roost
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: 13 February, 2394 - 0900 Hours

Jackson stood outside the sickbay doors. A physical isn't so bad, but why does it have to be another Betazoid? It had been rough day for him, but he focused and tried to calm his emotions. I seriously need to learn how to block my emotions from Betazoids. Well nothing can be done now, gotta do this. With a shrug, Jackson stepped into the sickbay.

L'Nel was just finishing up with a previous appointment when the doors opened. He turned, recognized Jackson from his file, and said, "One moment, Ensign Smith. Please, have a seat." He indicated a nearby exam table, then finished his final scan on the Tellerite crewman he was working with. "If you continue to experience chills detrimental to your job performance, I'll requisition a set of thermally enhanced uniforms for you." The Tellerite nodded and stood, replacing his jacket and exiting. In the meantime, L'Nel went to retrieve his tricorder and considered the waves of tension coming off of the ensign. L'Nel normally kept his mental shields tight, preferring his own privacy and to preserve the privacy of others. However, Smith was practically projecting his unease, and L'Nel had to work to block it while finishing his report on the Tellerite.

"Thank you for coming by, Chief." L'Nel smiled, hoping to put him at ease. Perhaps doctors made him nervous.

Chief? Most refer to me as ensign. I might actually like this guy, Jackson grinned slightly, a little more at ease. "You're welcome, although I'm pretty sure I didn't have much choice in the matter."

Smith relaxed a bit, which in turn relaxed L'Nel. "Not technically, but I have been impressed by the ingenuity of crewmen in their attempts to avoid coming to see me. If I weren't an excellent doctor, I would be offended." He grinned, leaving it up to the ensign to decide if he were joking or arrogant. Or both.

He brought up Jackson Smith's medical records on his PADD, then brought up the scanner and let it hover beside the patient's temple before sweeping downward. His Vulcan heritage and training had given him nature's most perfect poker face, so his expression didn't change. But there were a number of inconsistencies that gave him immediate pause. He changed settings and started a deeper scan. "You've been in some sort of tussle, recently? I believe that's the correct word, 'tussle'."

Jackson flashed back to the holodeck with Kipp, where he was furiously attacking the guard with his knives, tantos. His sore muscles twitched at the memory. “Tussle, yeah, you could say that. It was yesterday.” He shrugged his left shoulder, “Definitely used muscles I haven’t used in a while.” Jackson was definitely becoming more at ease with the doctor.

"That explains some of these readings." But not all of them. This ensign has seen some kind of action. None of which is in his records. There were signs of very old injuries, many traumatic. Breakages and scarring, most allowed to heal incorrectly. "Not picking fights with patrons on Empok Nor, I hope. Should I expect to see you often?" The intonation was still joking and light, but clearly not a rhetorical question.

"Not yet." Jackson flashed a smile. "No, as long as I don't interrupt Yeoman Lak at the holodeck, I think I should be fine. Well, and as long as Chief Davis doesn't push things too much in training...ok, yeah you will probably see me in here often. I will try to keep it down to once a week, though." Jackson didn't have a lot of experience with Vulcans, and he could not for the life of him figure out what this doctor was thinking. Jackson tried to get him talking, "Have you had much chance to visit Empok Nor?"

Making a mental note to move Yeoman Lak to his priority list, L'Nel moved away to record his readings in Jackson's file. Jackson seemed to have a typical Starfleet attitude toward protocol. There wasn't an ounce of guilt or defensiveness in his emotional landscape at the mention of picking fights. If that was the case, where had he gotten those old wounds? He dare not ask, when Jackson's anxiety from the beginning of his appointment had finally abated. "I have not. I was... delayed, and came straight to the Firebird from DS9. And I'm afraid I got caught up in work immediately. The captain is quite enthusiastic to have the ship underway." L'Nel went to retrieve a hypospray from a docking station. "You knew the captain at the Academy, correct?" Perhaps he should ask Commander Llwyedd for some insight into the ensign's past. After he tried to get the information on his own.

"Yeah, the captain was my major professor in the academy. I spent the last two years under his tutelage." Jackson answered. "Definitely lucky to be under his command, I don't think there is a better captain out there." Jackson continued, "Sorry you missed the station, but the quicker we get fully operational, the more lives we will save." As he said those words, his passion for this mission pressed against him, but Jackson kept his face smiling and neutral, only a small glint in his eyes betrayed the importance of it to him.

"I'm giving you a macular tissue regeneration spray to help with those muscles. As you say, the mission is important; we all should be in top shape." L'Nel steadied the hypospray beside Jackson's neck to deliver the dose. A subtle shift in the ensign's tone caught the doctor's attention. Or perhaps not his tone... he sometimes didn't know where his mundane senses left off and his empathic ones began. "This assignment is very important to you."

"Primum non nocere," Jackson replied. "I am not much for exploring. And the marines..." He hesitated and inwardly his mood darkened, "Well saving lives seems better than taking them." Jackson kept his outward appearance smiling, but inwardly the darkness grew at that last statement.

"I certainly can't argue. Starfleet ships are often more military or exploratory in nature. It is rare to be assigned to a ship where the highest calling of my career aligns with the vessel's primary duties." Jackson's mood was tanking, and L'Nel's head tipped in curiosity. The ensign seemed deeply disturbed, in contrast to the topic. "This may be presumptuous, but have you ever considered moving your career into the medical field?"

Jackson chuckled at this and his emotions brightened, "Have you seen my test scores? I really don't know how I got into the academy. I think I will stick with what I do best. But yes, this mission gives me the opportunity to partake in what you do all the time."

"Test scores are private, just like medical records, unless there's a need to know requirement. Unless your scores were so low they constitute an emergency, you are safe." L'Nel picked up the PADD and tucked it under his arm. "More seriously... statistically, students who are passionate about a topic overcome individuals with "natural gifts" in almost all arts. Those with an aptitude for any area often take their skills for granted and fall behind. In other words, if you chose to pursue it, I believe you have the spirit to excel at medicine; don't doubt yourself. In fact... if you would like to learn more, I would be willing to tutor you in skills beyond the first aid taught at Starfleet. They would undoubtedly become useful on a ship like ours." Realizing he'd gone on at length when the ensign was likely only expressing polite interest, L'Nel covered what would have turned into an uncomfortable pause with an offer of escape. "Ah... I believe I have the readings I need for a baseline."

Jackson grinned at the "emergency comment", his scores must just be above that threshold, he thought. As L'Nel talked Jackson studied him. He had never considered medicine. After his first time in the flight simulator, he had been pushed to fly. He figured the professors were just happy he was good at something. Medicine? Healing people? Maybe he could do that? Jackson was lost in his thoughts. He remembered back on the streets where they would use cat intestines to sew up the knife wounds. Wonder if the doctor would think that was good medicine.

Jackson suddenly realized there had been a pause in the talking and then L'Nel informed him they were done. He nodded to the doctor. "Thanks. That wasn't too bad." He grinned and started to head for the door. He turned back and looked at L'Nel, it was impossible to tell if he was serious or not, "If you were serious, I will take you up on those lessons. I don't sleep much, be good to have things to do. Just let me know when you have free time."

"I was quite serious. I will let you know when I have time. Thank you for stopping by."


Lieutenant L'Nel Haadok
Chief Medical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Ensign Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (1)

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Sun Jul 22nd, 2018 @ 10:06pm

< he sometimes didn't know where his mundane senses left off and his empathic ones began. "This assignment is very important to you."

"Primum non nocere," Jackson replied. "I am not much for exploring. And the marines..." >

For various reasons, these sentences caught my attention more than most, especially because of how much information they pack into such a short space. ...without it feeling crammed or hurried.

(Also, I'm liking how the ship's motto seems to reappear within people's stories. Usually, mottos seem to be akin to commencement addresses; you know you were there at the time, yet it left zero impression on you in the long run.)