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Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

Fixing up Operations

Sickbay
While the Away Team conducted their survey of the planet
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The doors swished open, admitting Lisald Vaat into Sickbay. Last time he had been here was shortly after he reported aboard almost two years ago. This time, unfortunately, he was not here for a simple physical, but instead hopeful for some help with minor pain he was experiencing. 

He stepped through, intent on going to the very first medical-type person he saw, but stopped dead in his tracks. There, in a Starfleet uniform specially modified for this persons race, was, well, a fox. Not to be confused with the human slang for a cute person, but an actual fox. With multiple tails! He couldn’t help himself from staring, mouth agape, holding his hurting hand with the other.

Kin’Fuji felt the eyes upon her.  They wondered over her body, to her tails.  She chuckled as she knew that her tails always caught everyone’s attention.  “My wife had the same look when we first met.”  She said to the man as she walked over to him.  “I’m guessing the way you are holding your wrist, that is what is hurting, and not your teeth?”

“Oh, sorry about that, Doctor,” Lisald said, blushing slightly. He didn’t mean to stare. “Actually, it is my fingertips, and just the fingertips on my index and middle fingers, oddly enough. Can you help?”

“That sounds like some minor nerve damage.”  Kin’Fuji stated.  “So let get you onto a biobed and I’ll stated a scan.”  She said leading the man to a biobed.  Her tails where dancing out behind her.  “Besides sir, I am use to getting stared at.  Everyone gets mesmerized by my tails and how they dance on their own.”  She chuckled.  “On Earth, everyone kept calling me a Kitsune.”  She said.  “But we have a similar sounding name.  Cait’sune, as we are a subspecies of the Caitians.”  She explained as she knew he was going to ask.

Sitting down on the biobed, he listened to the fox-like doctor talk. It was actually quite soothing to listen to her, almost a purr-like inflection on the occasional word she spoke. “I’ve never met a Kitsune nor a Cait’sune before. Heck, before I saw you in the briefing room the other day with the Captain, I’d never even seen one outside of Anthropology books at Starfleet Academy. Its honestly a sincere pleasure getting to meet you, a first of your kind for me.” He looked down at his fingers, painful as they were. “Nerve damage, huh? Can you fix that? How did it happen?”

“I am one of six Cait’sune in Starfleet.”  Kin’Fuji said as she started her scans.  “Now there is about three hundred off the homeworld.  That includes me, my daughter, mother, and father.”  She added.  “How long has your fingers been bothering, and what activity where you preforming when you noticed the pain?”

Lisald thought for a moment. “I notice it mostly when I am performing my duties at the Operations station on the Bridge,” he told the doctor. “I think it really started to bother me only within the last few days. And only 300?! That is incredible! There are more Bajorans living on Deep Space 9 than that,” he said. “Think nothing of the Bajorans living on the many moons that support life in the Bajoran system.” He found it incredible that so few had left the homeworld. “Does your kind practice racial isolation?”

“Well with the Bajorans living within Bajoran space, it is to be expected that they would colonize the worlds of their own system.”  Kin’Fuji said with an ear twitch.  “As for the Cait’sune.  My people are naturally Empathic, with a few being fully Telepathic.  So we tend to be a bit more…  um….  reserved with other species.”  She said.  “Also we don’t have a huge population compared to the Caitian people.”

The Bajoran nodded, understanding. “How many of you are there,” he asked, as the Doctor ran a medical doodad over his fingers.

“Don’t get me wrong, we are not an endangered species.  We have a population of several hundred million.”  Kin’Fuji said.  “Okay it looks as you have sprained fingers.”  She stated.

Relieved on both accounts, he shifted the conversation back to himself, mainly to keep from embarrassing the Doctor. He didn’t know for sure how much her people liked to talk about themselves or their species, and he didn’t want to embarrass her, or worse, offend her. “By the Prophets, how does one go about spraining fingers? I’m not exactly the athletic type,” he joked.

“You could have done it while sleeping.”  Kin’Fuji said as she tilted her head.  “You don’t have to be embarrassed about asking about the Cait’sune people.”  She smiled.  “I am use to people asking about my people, especially humans.  I was a bit surprised when I found out the Human’s have a myth about my people.  So some of our historians are working on seeing if there was a way for some of my people to appear on Earth.”

Being a Bajoran, he surely didn’t know what Kin’Fuji was talking about. “Really? Tell me about it?”

“Yes, in Japan of Earth, they have stories of fox spirits.  Most tales of kitsune are about foxes punishing wicked priests, greedy merchants, and boastful drunkards. They do this by confusing their targets by creating phantom sounds and sights, stealing from them, or otherwise humiliating them publicly through trickery or even possession. Kitsune often have powerful magic, and are specially known for their charm abilities, Illusions, Possession, and Mind Manipulation.”  She stated.  “As most of my people are Empathic, but those with 7 to 9 tails have the telepathic abilities.”  She added.  “It is also said that Kitsune are extremely intelligent and very powerful shape-shifters. Skilled enough to transform into exact likenesses of individual people, often appearing in the guise of beautiful human women in order to play tricks young men. On more than one occasion this has resulted in the marriage with an unwitting human. Some kitsune even spend most of their lives in human form, adopting human names and customs, taking human jobs, and even raising families. When startled, or drunk, or careless, occasionally part of their magical disguise can fail, and the kitsune’s true nature may be revealed by a tail, a patch of fur, fangs, or some other vulpine feature.”  She explained.  “So it is believed that this might have been done with early holographic technology.  It is also possible for Humans and Caitian’s or Cait’sune to crossbreed.  As my own daughter has a Human Mother.”  She stated as her tails danced behind her.

Lisald listened, transfixed. “You know, that myth sounds a lot like an ancient myth on Bajor, too. Although it wasn’t for mischief or deceit, but to offer advice and serve as advanced warnings, if my memory serves,” he said, astounded. “There is one particularly famous one in the Te’Cain Providence where a Cat’zune appeared to a group of farmers and told them to shore up flooding measures. None took the warning seriously, save one. All of the farmers, their families and entire fields of crops were killed in the resulting flooding, except that one farmer, who had an extremely bountiful harvest, claimed the lands after the floodwaters receded, and his sons and daughters went on to be elected to high office in politics and in our religious orders.” Lisald paused, then continued. “I wonder if the Cat’zune myth is really visits from your people millennia ago.” He looked down at his fingers. “My fingers are tingling now. Is that supposed to happen?”

“Good I have been waiting for the tingling again.”  Kin’Fuji said as she started her scans again.  “I mean it might be possible.  Some believe that the Caitian and the Kzinti share a common ancestry.”  She pointed out.  “I know that Humans have been taken from their homeworld in their earlier history.  One such Human colony was found by the Enterprise in the Delphic Expanse in 2153.  So why wouldn’t or couldn’t the same thing happen to other species across the galaxy.  So it might be they this race used my people image or my people as a slave race to speak with other lesser developed worlds.”  She was looking at the reading.  “Okay, it looks as if you have a pinched nerve.  An easy fix.”

“Oh, good. I feel incredibly dumb that I somehow managed to pinch a nerve in my stupid finger,” he said embarrassedly.  “Oh, it’s starting to feel warm now. How interesting!” His scientific mind couldn’t help but be amazed at the sensations he was feeling.

“It is very common.”  Kin’Fuji said.  “Especially while sleeping.”  She added.

After several more moments of flexing and moving his fingers, they felt back to normal. The pain was gone. “Thanks for the help, Doctor. And thank you for the amazing lesson on your people. I’ve got to get back to the Bridge, but I hope we can chat more later,” he said, slipping off the biobed and heading out.

 

OFF

A JP by

Dr. Kin’Fuji, Medical Officer

and 

Lieutenant (jg) Lisald Vaat, Chief Operations