Mira was in her quarters finishing up her shower when both Brannon and Evers were called off to join the away teams. Since she was clean, she was only slightly grumpy that her link went off. At least, it didn’t catch me in the middle of it all, she thought to herself.
Mr. Carter had called Mira in to relieve him and he grinned evilly at her as she came into the MedLab still straightening her uniform. “So, Doctor, how are you feeling? Need some oxy pills, maybe?”
Mira tried to frown at the impertinent nurse, but her smile got away from her. “No, Mr. Carter, I’m not drunk…I’m not even tipsy anymore, which is a shame. One day, I will find out how you get your information.” She settled herself down at the central desk. She waved him off. “Go on and get some rest, I’ll ‘hold down the bank,’ as you humans say.” The plump Centauri was puzzled by Carter’s laughter as he left the MedLab. It must be the after-effects of a slight depression to feel so happy, the doctor supposed. After all, I feel much better now, too.
Mira glanced around; the Lab seemed abandoned. Oh, there were nurses about, but they were all in the research or storage areas making sure that everything was working and in order. Well, there are no patients, no physicals scheduled, no inventories. What shall I do? Mira sighed, I suppose I’ll have to do the paperwork.
With a groan, Mira got her memorandums and reports out of her office and started sorting through them. Here was Hale’s acknowledgment of Gylenn’s condition and there was the latest report on the status of the supplies. This memo from engineering asking if Miina is fit for duty, was already answered. Why is it still here? I really ought to go through my papers more often.
The doctor glanced through another memo and was shocked to find out that Commander Shaver had disappeared in one of the shuttles. Mira sat stunned for a moment. He just disappeared? Can that happen here? What was he doing in the shuttle to begin with? She scanned back through the memo, but it made no mention of reasons. The memo went on asking Mira to attach Shaver’s medical record to the missing in action notification that was going to be sent back to Minbar. She sighed. Thrice-cursed we are and shall we remain, I suppose. We seem to lose an officer at every turn.
The current and past due paperwork out of the way, Mira soon became bored. She took care of paperwork that wouldn’t be due for days and reorganized her files. She was still bored, so she started to harass the nurses. Trassano personally rechecked everything. She even went on a cleaning spree. Then, she checked the time. “An hour,” she muttered. “I only killed an hour?! This sort of thing could drive a Minbari to drink.”
Everyone else was busy; either they were involved with the away mission or they were off-duty. No one seemed to be injured or have any possibility of becoming hurt. Mira never thought she’d ever want someone to damage something but boredom will do that to a person. Minutes were trudging by like years and the good doctor was about to hurl herself into a laser-scalpel, just to have something to do afterward. The nurses are avoiding me, she thought with a smile as she watched another hapless nurse scurry across her line of sight. I wonder if this is a sign. Her grin became even wider. I’m either becoming a dictator or deranged…maybe both. Mira chuckled to herself.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to research this ‘wakes’ that the Captain thinks I should host. The doctor had the computer begin a search of mourning customs for Earth and Minbar. Mira hated waiting around for the computer to finish a search. It always seemed to take a century or two. Another nurse scurried by hoping that she wasn’t noticed. Mira just grinned at the retreating back.
Yoshino paused at the entrance to Medlab. She wasn’t happy having to come here, but after several hours at her station, overseeing the away teams’ departure and descent to the planet below them, the pain from her nose was becoming more than even she could reasonably ignore. At least now that Kim was off the ship, there was a decent chance that her visit would go unknown by her friend. As much as Yoshino might insist otherwise, Kim would be bound to take on the guilt for the injury, and Yoshino was determined to avoid that.
She has taken on too much for too long, and so much of it without her even knowing, she mused. She needs to learn to play again. Perhaps as much as I do.
The good doctor had just leaned back and made herself comfortably ready to wait at the big central desk when she saw that really pale and colorful human at the doors. I think her name is… “Yoshino? May I help you?”
Yoshino bowed. “Good afternoon, Doctor. I’m afraid you probably can.”
Mira approached and motioned toward a bed. “Well, then come sit up here. What hurts?” She was already digging in her pockets.
Yoshino sat on the corner of the indicated bed. “My nose. I believe it may be broken.”
Mira blinked in surprise. “Broken? Whatever were you doing?” She pulled a bone scanner out of one pocket and investigated the offending nose.
Yoshino paused. “This is still confidential, yes? I would not want to cause anyone any embarrassment.”
Mira nodded absently and muttered, “of course.”
“I was sparring with Anla’shok Dr. Matsumoto.”
Mira’s eyebrows shot up. “I’ll remember not to do the same.” She shook her head.
“I … She needed to work out some energy, and I made the mistake of going on after I was already fatigued. Didn’t dodge the way I should have. It wasn’t really her fault.”
Mira snorted softly. “Of course not…just as it isn’t really my fault I get trounced so thoroughly all the time.” Then, she grinned brightly to take the sarcasm out of her comment.
Yoshino smiled in return; for once she felt no shame in admitting the truth. “Dr. Matsumoto is definitely my superior in weaponless combat.”
Mira chuckled. “I shall have to remember to avoid her then. After all, spoo has more combat skills than I do. But, I have good news for you.”
“It’s not broken…just fractured. You’re actually pretty lucky; broken noses are hard to set straight.”
“I have never traded on my looks,” she said with a smile and a shrug. “But I am glad it will not be so much trouble for you.”
Mira nodded with an answering grin and started plying her trade. She was just finishing up when the computer piped up.
Search Completed, 13024 Entries Found.
“Thirteen thousand entries?” Yoshino remarked. “That sounds like a challenge.”
Mira groaned. “That’s just too many! There is no way I’ll be able to wade through them all…”
“I am hardly knowledgeable about medical matters, but perhaps I can assist in some way?”
Mira looked relieved. “It’s not medical and you’d probably know more about the matter than I do.”
Yoshino cocked her head to one side. “What is it?”
Mira took a moment to administer an injection. “For the pain,” she explained. Then, she hopped up into the bed across from Yoshino. “It’s about this silly idea of the Captain’s. She seems to think that Humans and Minbari are enough like the Centauri that they too would feel better about our recent losses after a party.”
“Well, I can’t speak for the Minbari, but for humans, she may well have a point,” Yoshino said. Something like this was exactly what she’d been looking for, not only for Kim, but herself, and half the crew of the Phoenix besides. It had begun to look like everyone aboard, except Anla’shok Darquin and her own assistant Darion, were succumbing to depression.
“Maybe, but she said something about having a ‘wakes’ and that I should put it all together. So, she can deny knowledge of it, no doubt.” Mira shook her head in aggravation. “I don’t know anything about human mourning customs so I had the computer do a search. You heard the results.”
Yoshino chuckled softly. “Understandable. I have a difficult time understanding other humans sometimes myself, so I can only imagine what a mystery it would be for you. In my country — which is just one very small part of Earth — one goes to one religion for marriage, and another completely for births and deaths.”
“Actually, that sounds a lot like home. We have a different deity for everything.” She nodded to herself and continued. “If we ignore, for the moment, that I’ve never planned a party, much less one this size. Then, the big problem for me is that I simply don’t know how to proceed.”
“Then perhaps the best thing for us to do is ignore the grieving aspect for the moment, and simply concentrate on the logistical details.”
“The logistics are a nightmare, plain and simple.”
“For the CMO, perhaps. For Operations, they are stock in trade,” Yoshino said with a smile.
Mira grinned back in relief. “Is that an offer of help?”
“Indeed it is.”
“Oh, wonderful! Come, let’s go into the office so we can plot in peace. These nurses have been avoiding me ever since I came on duty, I really should give them a reprieve now.”
Copyright (c) 1998 Mona Hinds and Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.