‘I do not want to do this.’
“I agree with you Rex, but this has to be done.”
Heriah took a deep breath and entered Sick Bay. She had been poked and prodded enough, she felt, by Rikata whilst still at the Academy that there should be nothing else anyone needed to know. Further scans, checkups, procedures, and the like was the last thing Heriah wanted to subject herself to again.
But visiting medical and going through the initial scan was a requirement for her in-processing for Starbase Bravo. No matter the location or the position, this was going to happen.
She had already looked through some of the medical personnel she would possibly deal with and recognized the face of one, Hannah Murphy, present as she entered. Knowing the face and the name attributed to that face did not ease Heriah’s hesitance in making her way further into Sick Bay.
Still, she did. Half of her wanted to turn and leave. Correction, three-quarters of her. As Rex was already half of her now and half of Heriah herself wanted to turn and leave, that left only one-quarter of her will and discipline which proved the victor.
She stepped slowly toward the position of Hannah the medical practitioner and stopped at a distance awaiting recognition.
“Administer twenty milligrams of hydrocortilene and I’ll be back to check on the patient shortly”, Hannah instructed of the nurse that had been assisting her, before recording the prescribed medication into the patient’s record and handing it to her.
She then was about to return to the nurse’s station when she noticed a young ensign eyeing her, seemingly distressed. She calmly approached her and introduced herself, “Hello. I’m Doctor Murphy. May I be of assistance?”
“Hello,” said Heriah behind a smile, though she glanced around with just her eyes about the place. Again, none of Rex wanted to be here and only half of her wanted to be here. So, it took just about the limits of her will and discipline to continue. “I am Ensign Heriah Rex, Counselor, Starbase Bravo. I am newly arrived and need to get my initial scan out of the way. And,” she turned her PADD around, showing it to the doctor, “to get this in-processing signed saying that I did my medical check-in.”
“Ah yes. Doctor Mol informed me that I should be expecting you. If you’ll follow me, we can get this over and done with in no time.” Hannah replied.
‘Doctor Mol. More like a mole for your Trill military masters.’
‘Not now Rex,’ and Heriah followed the nurse.
She led Heriah to the nearest vacant examination bay and asked her to take a seat on the bio bed. Once she had complied, Hannah pulled out her tricorder from her labcoat pocket and began her examination. “The medical file Doctor Mol sent over listed a brief summary of your past host and traumas they experienced. Are you currently experiencing any lingering symptoms since your joining that I should be aware of, or any other non related symptoms?”
Hannah passed the handheld scanner over the Trill, giving her a moment to respond to Hannah’s question.
‘Fits of rage, talking to yourself, always imagining gutting someone or taking out their throat…’
“No,” said Heriah. “Nothing to report that is not already in Mol’s materials.”
‘Hey look, a laser scalpel.’
Heriah closed her eyes to let the nurse continue her scans.
“Isoboramine levels are slightly below normal but very much within acceptable limits. Nothing to worry about. BP is normal, respiration and heart rate are slightly elevated, but judging from your posture when you arrived, I can assume this checkup is the reason why. I’m guessing you don’t like doctors much, do you?” Hannah asked, trying to be as friendly as possible while still remaining professional.
‘…were joined with me the last time you saw a doctor. Such a pretty princess, now filled with thoughts of blood and of…’
“…I just get uneasy. You know, always afraid you would find something I didn’t know about. I feel fine, come in for a routine scan, and ‘hey, there is a parasite or an incurable disease leaving me with days to live,” Heriah said with a small bit of laughter in an awkward attempt to liven the mood.
‘A parasite. So, that is what you think of me.’
Heriah just laid there letting the nurse perform her scans, get an entire workup of Heriah inner workings, a view of Rex, the scarred and discolored symbiont with still a Borg implant.
“Is this going to take much longer,” she asked, feeling each second as though they stretched on for minutes.
Doctor Henry Longfellow leaned against the counter, his PADD filled with the latest review cases. He’d recently been assigned the job of checking up on medical files worked on by residents. It was partly at his request – he wanted to keep sharpening his talents. The other part is that someone up the line thought he could be doing more. He’d been half-listening to the conversation between Murphy and her patient. He keyed in to her unease pretty quickly and shifted his attention towards the pair as he continued to read the reports he’d been assigned. He’d caught her name so he quickly did a surface search for Ensign Heriah Rex. The file had several points of interest. He bookmarked it and returned to half-listening to the ongoing work with Doctor Murphy.
“Just finishing the final scan now.” Hannah replied. She had completed every basic non-invasive scan required by Personnel to clear an officer for duty. Unless there had been something Heriah was not forthcoming about to her, she was the picture of perfect health as far as Hannah knew about Trill physiology. She returned the handheld scanner back to it’s cradle in the tricorder, and stuffed it back into her pocket, “There we go. Now I’ll just sign off on these records and you’ll be good to go.”
Heriah was quick to sit up as Hannah finished her scans. From deep within came something of a realization that, if this had gone on much longer, that her heart rate would have shown a visible increase, blood pressure increase would have registered in the scan, and perhaps a few other signs that perhaps this Trill was perhaps not the picture of perfect health.
Sitting up on the biobed, Heriah flexed her fingers after realizing she had balled them into tight fists.
“Thank you,” said Heriah. “Another step closer to finishing this in-processing so I can get to work.”
Hannah picked up the PADD handed to her earlier by Heriah and scribbled her signature to the report, validating that the check-in had been completed as required and handed it back to her, “Is there anything else I can do for you while you’re here?” she asked.
“I have nothing else,” Heriah was quick to say.
“Very well. You are free to go. Please make sure to schedule your next visit with reception, per Doctor Mol’s orders. Have a wonderful day.”
“Thank you, I will be sure to…” ‘…not schedule a next visit.’ Heriah smiled at Hannah. At least this was something she and Rex were in full agreement on.
Hopping down from the biobed, Heriah retrieved her PADD from Hannah, looked about the place one more time, this time noticing a man in his office, perhaps paying a small bit of attention to what is going on in the Sick Bay. Her desire to be away from the place outweighed any and all other desires so Heriah stepped away as though hesitating to show that she could not be out of there fast enough.
Longfellow watched as Rex skittered her way out of sickbay and frowned. Something was…up. He pushed off from the counter and made his way to the wall of the examination bay. He glanced at Ensign Murphy, “How is your day going?”
“It has its ups and downs, but that’s what we signed up for, right?”
The physician gave a quiet shrug, “It’s another day keeping people healthy and able.” He paused and motioned to the now-departed Rex, “Something felt…off with your last patient.” He clarified, “I don’t have any latent abilities…just watching her body language and reading between the lines…what did you think?”
“I agree. As you clearly noted, she seemed nervous. Given the extensive report from Doctor Mol, that would be expected. However, it’s what’s not in the report that could be cause for concern. I got the impression that Mol only stated what was required by Starfleet to pass her medical clearances. Physically she’s fine, so either she was just nervous to be around doctors as she stated, having been poked and prodded for so long, or there’s an aspect Ms. Rex that has been deliberately withheld. Perhaps after her consultation with the counseling staff, we may have a better idea.”
Longfellow pulled out his PADD to read the file again. He wasn’t one to dismiss his gut. It had served him well. “Her symbiote has been through hell.” A longer pause, “There was a small Trill community in Great Falls. Good people. Did some home visits a few times on request.” Henry nodded at the PADD, “Trills and their symbionts are notoriously willing to obscure certain facts, figures, or even events from records. Getting them to trust and be truly open with a doctor, that’s a trick and a half. Generally the obscuring, it’s not malicious or even intentional. The host may not even be aware of what the mind inside is doing.” He returned the PADD to his belt, “I’m a diagnostician by trade and training. Something is off with Ensign Rex.” He put his hands up, “I won’t interfere with your patient, Doctor…but I wanted to register my concerns with you at a minimum.”
“Thank you. Your input is most valuable and I will be sure to keep that in mind with future appointments with Ms. Rex. I will also be sure to inform Doctor Weld to be mindful of our observations today.”
Henry gave her a nod, “Thank you, Doctor Murphy.” He headed out the door but stopped, “You ever need a lunch partner again, let me know. This station can be a lonely place. It’d be nice to make some friends.” With that, he was gone.