Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

To Wit and to Duty

Starbase Bravo
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Longfellow Quarters – 0530

The morning had come as most mornings came – moving through each step as practiced and instinctual as they had become over the years.  He was an early riser, and took his coffee with bacon, eggs, and sourdough toast every day.  It was a rite each morning to rise, break his fast, and spend some time in the sonic shower setting his mind to the tasks ahead.  He had been assigned to Infirmary 4 for the day with duties to be detailed.  His morning began in silence, a stark comparison of when he’d lived and worked with his wife – they had talked through the morning wake up, food, and getting ready.  Rarely had there been silence between them in their years of marriage.  He felt it now and reached out for his PADD.  He wrote a quick message to Thea asking her how her assignment was and that he missed her.  He reminded her they would talk via video soon enough and that helped heal the bruise that had formed on his heart in the last 24 hours.  A fresh uniform and a carrier for his coffee, and he was on his way.

Infirmary 4 – 0600

“Dr. Longfellow…ah, yes.  You’re set for a 0600-1500 shift today.”  He accepted the PADD from the officer at the front desk.  “You’re assigned office 102 for today.  It has been keyed to your biosignature.  We’ll be seeing patients in the next thirty minutes.  Welcome aboard, Lieutenant.”  He gave her a half-hearted nod and headed to the office.  The door whisked open, revealing a medium-sized office with a chair, an LCARS-infused desk, and a few lamps around the room.  He dropped his bag in the chair opposite the desk and took a deep pull from his coffee thermos, the heating unit ensuring it was the temperature he preferred.  He stepped around to his side of the desk and tapped into the system, logging in and verifying his settings.  Sitting down, he felt the pangs of missing his old office at Bozeman Deaconess.  He had spent eight years in the emergency department managing, running, working, and building it into an incredibly responsive and highly rated site.  He’d made good friends in those years, and the shock at his announcement to leave for Starfleet still flashed through his mind.  He long settled into the idea that he’d retire from that position.  Now he was a simple physician on a bustling starbase.  He’d read up and studied his fellow staff a little.  The Chief Medical Officer was legendary, even to him.  He had to believe the stories that had drifted his way were nothing short of hyperbole.  Someone had whispered in passing that she was like an old school movie villain with her cat and others were sure she’d made a doctor or two disappear who had ended up on her wrong side.

He wasn’t sure what to make of her or the stories.  He still wasn’t sure if he’d end up staying at this posting.  There was so much and so many – was he truly suited to work in a place like this?  He stood, snagged a medical tricorder to his belt, and slipped a PADD into his hands.  He had patients to see and people to meet if he was going to see if this path was going to work out for him.

Infirmary 4 – Exam 3 – 0645

“I don’t know doc, it just started hurting like hell.”  The cadet has a look of panic on his face.  He was sitting on the exam table while Henry passed the medical tricorder over his body.  The kid had come in with complaints that his leg was hurting and that he was having a hard time walking.  “It happened right after we finished our warm-up run.”

Longfellow frowned, “Let’s lay down, Cadet Loren.”  The young man complied, a look of confusion passing across his face as he did so.  Henry tried to comfort him, “I just need to take a deeper look.  Ever had this before?”  He swept the smaller scanning attachment over the pained leg as the tricorder beeped and whirred through the results.

“No, doc.  I mean, I had my share of injuries as a kid but nothing serious.”  Loren grimaced, “Damn that is starting to hurt.”

Longfellow quickly activated the bridge over the bed and it locked in place.  He tapped the console as the cadet cried out in pain, “You’ve got a couple of blood clots in that leg…we’re going to have to break them up and get to the source of it, Cadet.  Hold still.”  He motioned for a nurse, “We’re going to need clot busters.”  He did a quick calculation and handed her a PADD, “With that amount and intensity.”  She gave a nod and dashed to the cabinets.

“Aggggg, what do you mean a clot?  I’ve got our competition later this afternoon, man.”  He groaned, “You gotta fix me up, doc.”

Longfellow stabbed a few commands on the console and the cadet slowly relaxed. The readings on the bridge unit were still concerning.  The nurse returned with the requested injections.  Longfellow accepted each and clicked the bridge open.  As he did he picked up and pushed the hypospray against the cadet’s stomach and then leg.  He tossed the empty hyposprays to the startled nurse and reengaged the bridge over the cadet.  The readings slowly stabilized and soon read nearly all green.  The nurse looked at him and then to the cadet, “How…clots in a kid that young?”

Henry pursed his lips, “It is unusual.  We’re going to have to hold him overnight or transfer him to a hospital unit for further observation and testing.”

She gave him a look, “How did you know?”  The doctor’s actions were practiced and held a certain rhythm.

Longfellow shrugged as he started typing in the orders for the cadet, “Working in Montana we dealt with retirees who hadn’t managed their health very well.  Things like stroke or heart attacks weren’t unusual.  You’d think in 2400 we’d have that kinda thing handled all over.  People still gotta people, I guess.”  He finished typing out the orders and transfer authorization.  He handed it over to her, “I get this right?”

The nurse gave a cursory look and pointed out some items to him, “This…needs to be this…and that…change it to this.”  She scrolled down, “That’s good…and that’s ok…click that…yep…and there you go.  All clear.”

Longfellow gave her a thankful look, “First patient done.  Thank you for the help.”

“Here to help Doctor. They’ll be by to pick him up in a few.  I’ll monitor him.  You have another patient in exam 2.  Somebody smuggled in some actual alcohol last night and overdid himself.  He needs some help getting on the right side of life.”

Henry mused, “As much as things change, they still stay the same.”  He headed to exam 2 feeling something approaching purpose.