Another Pair of Hands

Characters: Catriona Morgan

Catriona sighed. She had never felt this comfortable–as if she was wrapped in a great, thick blanket. And that was all she could sense. Just warmth and complete contentment.

Then suddenly, she was walking into a room, and there were three members of Psi Corps waiting for her. No…it wasn’t her they were waiting for. The man in the middle rose, and spoke. “I have wonderful news for you, Katia!” Then she felt panic. Rising, engulfing panic.

And suddenly, it was gone. And she was empty. And then just as suddenly, she was hanging from the rigging of the enemy ship. And there was Tom, dazed and weaponless on the half deck, and a great giant of a man coming after him with his dagger drawn.

She frowned. This all happened years ago. She had been trying to cut the Merchant Ship banner in two, so their ship, the MorForwyn, would know it was other than friendly, and hopefully send help. If it was a dream, it didn’t matter what she did. But if somehow it wasn’t….

Once again, she gauged her position high up in the rigging, crossed herself, and did a swan dive down onto to the deck. She rammed into the man with the dagger, and he fell upon it, killing himself. He had broken her fall, and about every bone in her body. The very last thing she remembered was Tom standing over her, his face whiter than the sails. She could hear his words ring in her ears almost before he spoke them, as he had years before….

“Get me off this bloody boat now! I want to see the Captain! I refuse t–”

She frowned again. That wasn’t Tom. It didn’t even sound like him. What was going on??? She opened her eyes. She was lying on a biobed. A quick survey of herself, and she guessed she was all right. Then why was she here? She breathed deeply, and listened, as a woman gave quiet, firm orders in the direction of the protesting voice she had just heard.

She had no idea where she was, or why she was here. She couldn’t remember. Not beyond herself, that is. She knew who she was. She just didn’t know where she was. The woman’s voice interrupted her thoughts again, directing nurses towards various immediate duties. “Yes, Doctor…” she heard said over and over.

Cat had logged too much time on the battle field, and she knew by instinct, the sound of a emergency: the strained voices, the whispers, the firm orders. She had passed her share of time on the casualty list, and had acquired some rudimentary healing skills, first in re-taking of New Rylos, and then Seti Zeta IV when they were attacked by the Centauri. Surely another pair of hands would be welcome. She sat up slowly, and turned in the direction of the firm voice who was giving orders. She blinked, and rubbed her eyes, as she saw that it was a plump, nearly bald Centauri woman who was addressed as “Doctor.”

Was this again the past repeating itself? Was she on Seti Zeta IV again? But no, she had never been taken prisoner, and regardless, whatever the situation, she might be of some use. She swallowed and frowned. Her mouth was dry. She wondered how long it had been since she had spoken. “Doctor?” she managed. “May I be of help?”

Copyright (c) 1998 Judy Caswell. All rights reserved.

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