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Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

Dreaded Physical

Sickbay, USS Cygnus
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Captain Bane made his way to sickbay for the dreaded physical that was required by Starfleet Regulation whenever a member of Starfleet was reassigned to a ship, station, outpost or Headquarters. To Bane, it was a silly regulation, but it was a regulation. As such, as he made his way to Sickbay, he passed several members of the crew, all of which were yearning to get a good look at their new Skipper.

Prior to leaving his new Ready Room, he had made a shipwide announcement informing the crew that Captain Stafford, the Captain they all knew and loved, had been reassigned, as had their Executive Officer and Chief Engineer. Over the next several days, he would be filling some of the important positions that had been vacated by existing officers on the ship. At their next layover at a Starbase, close to a year from now, he would get a new Executive Officer and hopefully a Second Officer, just in case something like this particular scenario happened again. He shook his head as he rounded a corner, much to the dismay of two Petty Officers who undoubtedly thought he was shaking his head at them, about the decision to pull the two most Senior Officers from this ship, mid mission, and without warning. He was super happy for Commander Pope, well, that is, now-Captain Pope, and wondered again briefly about the classified posting that was going to be in store for Captain Stafford.

The doors to Sickbay parted, and he was greeted with the sight of several Doctors, more nurses and even more orderly’s tending to the sick and injured that happened from time to time during routine ship life. He would be interested to see his Chief Medical Officers report for this shift tomorrow morning to see what the common denominator was in so many injuries and illnesses. Not that there were a lot, Bane only counted six, but that seemed like a lot of people to him in the middle of the working shift when they were still en route to their first checkpoint.

Looking around, he didn’t readily see the Chief Medical Officer, so he asked a passing tech, a Crewman First Class, who pointed him over to a Bajoran. Thanking the young man, Bane stepped over to the man. “Hello Doctor Elodin. Captain Bane, your new Captain. I’m here for the regulatory physical,” he said, and waited for the man to finish what he was doing.

Elodin finished tapping his notes into the computer, and looked up at the ship’s new man in charge. “Captain Bane,” said Elodin with a nod. “Welcome aboard. And thank you for reporting for your physical – usually new commanding officers prefer to delay until the ship’s Chief Medical Officer has to threaten to have them declared unfit for duty.”

Before Bane could respond, Elodin swiped away the medical file he’d been working on, and led the Captain to a biobed. “Please, make yourself comfortable.”

“Thanks,” Bane said, sitting down. “You aren’t wrong about most Captain’s, I would surmise. I figure this way, I can kill two mockingcrows with one rock,” using the Bajoran metaphor. “I get this dreaded physical out of the way, and get to meet you.” Then, his voice dropped to a hushed tone. “It’s quite nice I get assigned to a ship that is mostly Bajoran officers and crew.”

“Indeed, it’s rather unusual to have this many of our kin serving on the same ship,” nodded Elodin. “The Prophets work in mysterious ways. But in this case, I suspect some admiral at Starfleet command might have stacked the deck in our favor.”

Plase smiled. “You probably aren’t wrong,” he stated, lifting his arm high over his head as the Doctor guided him.

Elodin activated the privacy holocurtains around the biobed and turned on the bioscanners as the Captain removed his uniform top and made himself comfortable on the biobed. “Now, tell me about your medical history?” he asked. Obviously the information was readily available from the Captain’s medical record, but it was standard procedure to have the patient describe it in his own words.

“As fit as a Tarkellian Grizzly,” he said, a wry look forming on his face. “Really nothing much to report. I struggled with the loss of crew over the years, and the death of my wife, Suzette Marrion-Bane, but I’ve been through copious amounts of counselling over both of those. Been knocked around a few times during battle, couple of broken bones, scrapes and bruises, but nothing too major,” he said.

Elodin nodded, and tapped a few notes. “What about your family’s medical history?” he asked, painfully aware that not many Bajorans were able to answer that question.

Bane was silent for a moment, remembering his painful childhood before answering. “Well, in terms of health, both of my parents were fine, no disease or ailments. Both were killed during the Occupation. My father, Bane Tion was killed during the Slave Revolt of Labor Camp Bal’Hava Prime. My mother, Bane Primrese, was executed in the days afterwards for the insolence of her husband, my father. I was ‘invited’ to watch,” he said, bile threatening to come up from the memories, something he hadn’t needed to think about in a great deal of time. “As for my grandparents, aunts, uncles, counsins, I am not sure if they ever had any hereditary or cellular disease. It isn’t like we had a lot of time to talk about it.”

Elodin nodded. “So many of our stories sound alike,” he sighed. “I’ll run a full genetic scan, that should warn us of any predispositions that could be hiding in the shadows. Now tell me about your lifestyle… Diet, exercise?”

The senior Bajoran nodded at the comment about stories sounding alike. “My previous doctor on the Sentinel told me about a year ago that my cholesterol was slightly elevated. She said it was over by exactly one point, whatever that means,” Plase said, shrugging. “She told me to cut back on red meats, to try and eat more chicken and fish, so I have. But bless the Prophets Doctor, I do love me a cheeseburger. It is one of the few culinary delights I really enjoyed from old Earth. I’ve mostly cut it out of my diet. Beyond that, I like potatoes a great deal. I also eat my fair share of fruits. The watercherry from our home is my favorite. Oh, and I work out one to two times a week for about an hour each time. Resistance training and the elliptical are my go-to’s.”

“I see that about your cholesterol. Nothing we can’t handle with a monthly injection. The food replicators can be programmed to adjust the composition of your food to prevent cholesterol buildup, but on Starfleet ships, I’m afraid most replicators are programmed by default to correspond to human levels. I’ll have Operations double-check to make sure the ones in your quarters and Ready Room are calibrated for Bajoran physiology.”

He tapped a few commands. The display on the wall monitor focused on Plase’s shoulder. “Any pain in this area? I’m seeing some thickening of the ligaments there.”

Bane winced a bit and involuntarily pulled away. “I am now,” he said. “Truth be told, I thought I slept on it wrong a few months back. Its been bothering me since, but nothing that has limited me performing my duties,” Bane amended quickly. Plase knew the Chief Medical Officer outranked the Captain in anything medical-related, and didn’t want to give this particular doctor any reason to remove him from command, even for a few hours. Trying to move the topic away from his pain, Bane asked, “What is your story, Doctor? How did you make your way to the Cygnus?”

“I expect it’s a bit similar to yours,” replied Elodin. “I grew up in the refugee camps. My father died when I was still a baby, in the ore processing centers on Terok Nor, my sister was taken when I was six, and my mother died of malnutrition before I was eight years old. I ended up joining the Resistance at a very young age. I was too young to serve as a combattant, so they used me as a messenger, and a field medic. After the Cardassians withdrew, I continued to work as a field medic in the camp, assisting our doctor, and I signed up for medical school as sooon as I was old enough. Once the Militia was incorporated into starfleet, one thing led to another, and here I am.”

He pressed a hypospray to Plase’s shoulder. “This is an anti-inflammatory agent, it should help a bit with the shoulder pain. It definitely looks like a repetitive stress injury. I want you to take it easy on the resistance training for the next couple of weeks. I can set you up with a subspace consultation with a kinesiologist that’ll go over the workout with you, and make sure you’re doing the movements safely.”

Bane tested his shoulder out by rotating his arm, slowly and in small circles at first, then in larger circles until the pain started again, then stopped. “Thanks. Yeah, that sounds wonderful about the Kinesiologist. It would have to be done during my off-duty hours, though. I don’t want it to interrupt my committment to the ship and her crew.” He then shifted back to the conversation about the Doctor. “I’m really glad you’re here with us. I do not believe I’ve ever met another Bajoran that was grandfathered in when Bajor became a part of the Federation.” He cocked his head to the side in thought. “Strange as that sounds, you are the first. All of the others I have met over my career joined during or after the Occupation when Bajor was still neutral.”

Elodin shrugged. “There aren’t that many of us,” he agreed. “Many chose to step away from the Militia altogether, rather than give an oath of allegiance to another foreign power. But those of us who chose to stay, recognized all that the Federation had done for Bajor since the Cardassians withdrew.”

Plase nodded. “That is right around the time I stopped being called a traitor to our people,” he responded. Looking over to his chart on the display panel, he asked, “Everything good? Anything else I need to do or should worry about?”

“Some of us never had the opportunity to leave all of that behind,” replied Elodin. “But I don’t think I can ever blame someone for grabbing the opportunity for a better life than what we had on Bajor.”

He looked at the readings he was getting from the medical scanners. “I have a good baseline,” he said at last, satisfied that the baseline readings he had stored would be a good basis for comparison should they ever be required. “You’re good to go. Just make sure you show up on the first of the month for that injection for your cholesterol levels. I’ll be in touch with Operations to adjust the programming on your replicators, and I’ll set up an appointment with a kinesiologist for your shoulder.”

Thanking the Doctor for the reminders, he stood and put his shirt back on, followed by his uniform jacket. “Thanks for chatting with me, and making this more enjoyable than most.”

“My pleasure, Captain,” replied Elodin with a nod. “Walk with the Prophets.”


A JP by:

Elodin Devan, MD.

Chief Medical Officer, USS Cygnus


Bane Plase, Captain USS Cygnus, Commanding