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Battle Scars

Posted on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 @ 5:00pm by Lieutenant Margaret Knight MD & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Batchelder

Mission: Light is Dark
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 05 - 1245

If he learned no other lesson from crawling into a Jeffries tube to personally fix the subspace transceiver, it was that this particular task was suited to someone younger and smaller than he. Jon had always been a more 'hands on' type of Engineer, preferring to just fix something simple while the rest of the crew went about the regular routine of keeping the ship in order.

In this particular instance, it had meant that the man had done something painful to his ankle and likely broke a few fingers in the process. So, like all good officers, he had hobbled his way immediately to sickbay. As he walked into the Altai's expansive sickbay, he cleared his throat and announced, "Hey Doc? I could use some help here."

Maggie glanced up from her current task of inventorying her store of medicines to spot the tall, grey-haired engineer standing awkwardly near the entrance. “Mister Batchelder,” she greeted, heading over to see what she could do for him. “How can I help?”

He smiled widely as he stepped toward her, and replied, "Well, I was working on the subspace transceiver and...I'm pretty sure I banged up a few of my fingers pretty expertly, and I definitely did something to my ankle. I've gotta head to the Bridge, and didn't want to do that without the use of one of my hands and feet, so...here I am."

He winced as he sat down on the edge of one of the bio-beds, and lifted his wounded foot up off the deck.

"Oh, goodness," said Maggie as she watched the way he moved. She pulled out her tricorder and started with his ankle. "It's only sprained," she said, moving to scan his hand. "Oh! Multiple fractures. Second and third proximal phalanges and third metacarpal. And a hairline fracture on the second middle. How in the known universe did you do this?" she added, retrieving an osteo-regenerator and setting to work.

"Well, you know how we've been getting shuttles with new crew just flung at us here and there with no warning? Turns out the pulsar we're cataloging burnt out a critical piece of the subspace transceiver. The damn thing's mounted so deep in a Jeffries tube that you have to crawl in real deep, and it's a tight fit with the bulk of the thing bulging out. I had to put a lot of force against it to get the thing dislodged and repaired, and I think I may have been a little overzealous putting it back in place," Jon responded, wincing a little but mostly chuckling.

"Definitely not a job for an old man."

"Oh, come on, you can't be that old," replied Maggie as she worked on repairing the broken bones. "Why, you don't look a day over fabulous."

"Fifty-two is no spring chicken either," Jon replied. "Especially when you've served in every major war and skirmish in those 5 decades. My father used to say 'any day on this side of the dirt is a good day,' though, so I suppose there's that."

He looked up at the woman as she continued her work, and said, "But if I'm being honest, I think this was just a case of being the wrong height and size to fit into the space that needed the work done."

"Delegate," Maggie advised. "But, at least now everyone knows you're willing to do the unpleasant tasks yourself."

"Yeah," Jon responded. "And that's critical in a team like mine. The people who take orders from you have to know you're willing to get your hands dirty, and really dig in. I imagine your job isn't too dissimilar."

"That's true," replied Maggie, finishing up one of the bones and moving to another. "Although, I don't think I've ever broken a bone while setting one."

Jon laughed, and said, "Yeah, I imagine they tend to frown on that in Starfleet Medical. If you don't mind my asking, Doc, you've got a hell of a bedside manner. What made you decide to jump on a ship sailing deep into the Gamma Quadrant?"

She gave him a sad sort of smile. "Long story, but suffice it to say that my counselor and I believed that the small size of the ship would allow me to more easily adjust to being back on duty," she replied. "It's been far easier than I expected. Happily. The fact that it was stationed deep in the Gamma Quadrant was rather inconsequential."

"Good counselors are hard to come by," Jon said with a sigh. "I've made it a point to listen, especially when they give good advice like that. For what it's worth, I prefer small ships too. Especially small ships on exploration missions."

"It does make for a nice change," she replied. "The last ship to which I was assigned was huge. I'm quite liking the smaller crew size. Mind you, it tends to make the rumor mill worse, but that's a small price to pay."

"I think the rumor mill is a good thing. If people are gossiping about you and your goings on, it means that on some level they actually give a shit about you. It's when you can go on about your life in a role like either of ours, and have no one even know who the hell you are, that you have to worry," Jon responded, looking down as the woman worked.

"Good point," replied Maggie, moving on to the final broken bone. "On the other hand, it might be rather nice to be anonymous for a change."

Jon flexed his hand open and closed, heaving a relieved sigh, and replied, "Being anonymous isn't nearly as much fun as you think, Doctor. Trust me, after a few years of it, it gets to be a pretty lonely existence."

"I imagine so," she replied. "Still, for a week or two, it might be kinda nice." She quickly healed the sprained ankle and gave it a final scan. "All right, take a few steps on that and see how it feels."

Jon stood, and took a few steps around the bio-bed, lifting his foot up and rolling the ankle a little. Looking up at Maggie, he smiled, and said, "That feels much better. You know, you could make a career of this..."

Maggie grinned. "Ya know, I hadn't thought of that," she replied. "I wonder if there's a school."

"I'm sure you could find some backwater institution in the far flung reaches of Federation space to ply your trade," Jon replied through a chuckle. "In all seriousness though, thanks Doc. Feels a ton better. It's nice to know whatever damn fool injury I give myself, I'm in capable hands."

“That’s what I’m here for,” replied Maggie. “If anything starts aching, come back at once. But it should be fine.”

"Will do. Thanks again Doc," Jon replied with a smile, as he exited the Sickbay.

 

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