End of the Tunnel

Characters: Margaret Morgan, Dr. Mira Trassano

Commander Morgan was in her office, shuffling through papers. The doors to the office didn’t quite close and she could hear someone in the corridor, muttering.

Mira was wandering down the hall, looking for Morgan’s office. The doctor muttered, “She’s the XO, isn’t she? I’ve been there before…why can’t I find it?” Mira stumbled into a door stuck open. The sign on the door said, “Executive Officer”.

Morgan glanced up, sharply. “Ah. Doctor,” she greeted the plump woman wearing an odd combination of the brown and black Ranger garb and a green medical coat.

The doctor was leaning against the door, bitterly grumbling, “Worthless, thrice-cursed flooring….” She looked up, still rubbing her toe. “AH! Morgan!” she exclaimed in typical Centauri exuberance as she straightened up. “Or should I say Commander now?”

“For as long as they can put up with me,” Morgan said dismissively. “Can I help you?”

Mira entered the office, chuckling. “I think those were supposed to my words.” She settled herself, gingerly, on the edge of a chair. Her eyes hopped around the room. “I’ve something I might interest you in.”

Morgan’s eyebrows rose. “Ie?”

Mira’s wandering eyes came to rest on Morgan’s arm. “How are you feeling? You seem to have forgotten your pain Meds in MedLab….”

As much use hiding things from her as Kim, Morgan thinks. “Ie. I don’t know that I could stop once I started.” She was being totally honest.

Mira simply nodded. “Just as well, then…but if it gets too bad, I hope you will come asking.”

Ie, I will.” Though, Morgan applied her own definition of “too bad”.

“Good.” Mira started rooting through her pockets. “In the meantime, I have found something interesting.”

Morgan watched, vaguely curious, as the doctor pulled out various ‘things’ from her pockets. Mira deposited on the desk a scanner, some tubing, a roll of electrical wire, a sonic scalpel, a ball of yarn and finally a vial of pills. All without making much of a dent into the size of her bulges. Morgan stifled a chuckle, the first in a while.

“AH HA!” Mira grinned. “I knew I had them.” She put the pills in front of Morgan and started repacking her pockets. “These are not Pain Medications.”

Ie.” Morgan was more curious now.

“They are an experimental drug that I have just recently found,” Mira continued. “I know we tried the CitCal 2X and it didn’t truly work well. I’m hoping that these will do better.”

“How do they work?” Morgan was fast becoming expert in her particular condition.

Mira patted her bulging pockets in satisfaction. “They are to be taken directly before you eat…anything. They help the body extract Calcium and Zinc and transform the two into a compound that is like CitCal 2X. But, the compound is different enough from the CitCal compound that it might work better for you.”

“Perhaps. Reactions?”

Mira nodded to herself, frowning slightly as she wondered how to tell Morgan that part. “You’d have to carry the pills at all times. They won’t work without food.” She sighed. “As to Side Effects… well… that’s why they are experimental.”

“And they are…” Morgan prompted.

“In the test subjects, there were some Gastrointestinal problems… mainly pains and diarrhea.”

Morgan grimaced. “Anything else?”

“A few of the subjects developed bleeding ulcers and had to stop use of the drug immediately.” Mira saw Morgan scowl. “So, you would have to be closely monitored by a Doctor AND yourself. But,” the doctor leaned forward. “The good news is… after 90 to 120 days of the medication you won’t need anything else. Your condition should be healed. The tests were initially run over a year ago. So far, none of the subjects who were returned to normal bone density have shown any signs of relapse. Their bones are maintaining themselves just fine… without Meds.

Ie? Well, I am willing to try anything now.” Morgan waved her brace as a demonstration of her willingness.

Mira smiled only a little grimly. “Good. But. You must keep close watch on yourself.”

Morgan nodded. “I will.”

Mira’s mind was churning with possibilities. “Are you assigned to the new Whitestar?” she asked. “Or are you remaining behind?”

“I go with the White Star. I must see the end, for family’s sake.”

The doctor sighed in relief. “Wonderful! Then, I may monitor you myself. The Anla’shok are still horribly lacking in Doctors,” she said, half apologizing.

Da.” Morgan smiled faintly. “And that we have the best with us,” she complimented.

Mira blushed clear through to her smudge of hair. “Though, perhaps not the best in a sparring match,” she qualified to her combat trainer.

“You have a reprieve.” The XO teased her student a little. “For now.”

Mira stood and patted her pockets again. “I can’t say as I’m disappointed by that.” She winked at the XO.

“Time to prepare for next time,” Morgan warned her.

The plump doctor winced. “Gods, preserve me, she muttered. Then, gesturing to vial, said, “I have given you three pills for each day for 20 days. 60 pills total. That’s in hopes that you eat three meals of a sort a day.”

Her mouth quirking, Morgan said, “I will try to do so.”

Mira nodded, satisfied. “Good.” She noticed something in the XO’s Office that reminded her. “Oh, dear…I suppose I should got and pack.” She headed out the door. Calling over her shoulder, the doctor said, “I shall see you on the other WS.”

Ie….” The XO shook her head after the odd little woman.

Mira popped her head back in. “By the way…did you know that some humans keep Cats as pets?” Her tones wobbled between astounded and horrified.

Morgan, who had just looked back down to work, glanced back up. “Ie, I did. My sister had several.” Somehow, she managed to keep her voice steady.

Mira shook her head and tsked. “Perfectly amazing!” she said, more to herself, as she wandered off.

Amused, Morgan shook her head again.

Copyright (C) 1998 Mona Hinds and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.

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