Infirmary 4 – 1200
“And you’ll need to come back tomorrow to check the skin regeneration progress. Just stay away from the squared circle for a little while, ensign?” The young woman nodded quietly and thanked him before departing the exam room. Longfellow sighed and cleaned up his equipment. He was walking back to his office when his day nurse approached him, eyes wide. “Uh, Doctor…the…uh…the Vulcan Delegation is waiting in your office….sir.”
Henry grumbled, “She wasn’t kidding, was she. How many?”
“Three. I asked the rest of their group to wait outside the infirmary unit.”
“Well, thank you for that.” He accepted her PADD with the details of the delegation and felt a frown on his face, “These are not diplomats.” She shook her head. Henry dug in deeper, “This is going to be interesting. Will you quietly work on getting just one security officer to hang out with our patient? Make sure you round on her often.” The nurse nodded and quickly moved off, leaving Longfellow to find a way to prepare to meet with a bunch of Vulcans.
Infirmary 4 – Physician’s Office – 1215
“You understand this is an official position of the Vulcan government.”
Longfellow gave a slight nod, “You’ve made that very clear in your detailed and exhaustive presentation, Major Tulak. I am also aware of T’shalaith’s decision in all of this, which you no doubt are also aware.”
“Her time to appeal the process has come to an, as you would say, exhaustive end. Her knowledge of science, the galaxy, and our culture cannot be ignored, Lieutenant Longfellow. It is a rare honor to be considered for such a prominent position. You are aware of the saying, ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one’. 200 years is a long time to live. It is illogical to ignore the benefit to our people.”
Henry leaned forward on his desk, “Are you familiar with The Hippocratic Oath, Major?” The Vulcan operative raised his eyebrows and shook his head. “Well, it is an old oath. Pieces of it survived from 275, and it was knit together to a complete format in 1595, and then translated.” He pulled a PADD from his desk, clicked a few buttons and handed to to the Major, “It’s a quick read. I’ll read it out loud.” Longellow snagged another padd and pulled up the document, “I swear by Apollo Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.” He turned to the Major, “Pretty much like swearing an oath that would kill you should you break it. They didn’t play around in those days.” He continued reading,
“To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the Healer’s oath, but to nobody else.” Henry explained, “To never stop learning and to teach and support those that have taken the oath. Quite a high standard.” The Major moved to speak but Longfellow put his hand up, “Let me finish, please.” The Vulcan nodded and Longfellow read again.
“I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.”
Longfellow smiled quietly, “There’s more, but the key line is ‘I will do no harm or injustice to them. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.’ To do harm to your scientist would be to go against her wishes.” He nodded to the PADD, “But this is the best bit.” He read on, “Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my course with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets. Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.”
Longfellow gestured to the Major, “I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free.” You seem to think you have bond power over T’shalaith in life and death.”
Tulak frowned, “It is an interpretation of our law that allows us to seek out the great minds and add them to our collective. The value of such knowledge…”
Henry waved him off, “Yea, I know. Can’t be ignored.” He shifted back in his chair, “You understand my Oath and why I cannot allow you to do such a thing?”
The Major stared at him, “It is an illogical oath. An oath with no relevance today. It is over…800 years old. It has no standing in a Vulcan life, Lieutenant.”
Longfellow leaned forward, “True, Major. But T’shalaith married a human man and had four half-human half Vulcan children.” Henry raised an eyebrow, “I suspect that may complicate the conversation.”
Major Tulak shared a look with his two escorts, “This was…not known.” Another pause. “We will need to discuss this as a delegation and return to you for further discussion.” With that, they stalked out of the office and were gone. His day nurse came in, confused.
Longfellow chuckled, “No, we did not. But our patient apparently has kept her best people in the dark about her human husband and children which is some kind of miracle.”
“She did what…how?”
Henry shrugged, “I suspect there is a lot more to T’shalaith than first appears. I think I need to have another bedside chat.” The nurse’s eyes widened and she left the office speechless. Longfellow grumbled to himself, “What or who is in that hospital bed…”