Friendly Fire

Characters: John Carter, Dr. Mira Trassano, Lynne Travis

“Oh, she won’t mind. This is good for the good doctor. We’ll be careful not to hurt her.”

That phrase ran through Lynne Travis’s mind over and over again as she crouched behind the Nurse’s Station. She had just realized that Carter had never answered her question about whether or not Commander Morgan approved of these spontaneous attacks on Dr Trassano. But, it’s a bit late to worry about it now, she thought with a sinking feeling.

Carter was just getting rid of the last of the MedLab personnel. He had carefully arranged the schedule to give himself and Lynne about 10 minutes to pounce on Mira. He glanced around and then ducked behind the corner into the waiting area. A moment later, the Nurse’s Station console started to chime with an incoming call. Now, if there is anything even close to an irresistible force in the universe, he thought, it has to be the call chime.

He was correct. After the fifth chime, Dr Mira Trassano came running out of the office. “Why isn’t someone answering that?!” She skidding to a halt in front of the chime and hit the accept button.

Carter’s grinning face appeared on the screen. “Gotcha,” it said. Then, the time-delayed message cut off.

Before she could process that word, Mira heard a sound behind her. Something between her hearts told her to duck. She barely ducked in time to avoid being clipped on the side of the head. The small Centauri stayed in her crouch and turned around sharply. Driving her shoulder into the abdomen of her attacker, she thrust the body back against the counter of the Nurse’s Station. Then, she realized that she was holding another woman.

Lynne hadn’t really expected good ole Doc Trass to move that fast. She’s supposed to be a short pudgy spoiled Centauri, Lynne’s mind protested. Somehow, the academic knowledge that the Centauri race was on average slightly stronger than the Human race hadn’t quite sunk in until the edge of the counter sunk forcefully into the small of Lynne’s back. “OOF.”

Jerking her head up sharply, Mira accidentally clipped Lynne’s chin. Lynne’s teeth clacked shut painfully. Carter had finally rounded the Station and grabbed Mira around the waist. Pulling her out of the Station’s circular confines, the Head Nurse tripped the CMO and grappled her to the floor.

Lynne just stood there and watched the two of them roll around on the floor. Rubbing the bruise forming on her chin, she realized that the doctor fought dirty.

Finally, Mira ended the scuffle by twisting Carter’s arm up behind his back and planting a knee on the back of his neck. Her single knot of hair had fallen loose from the neatly braided bun on the top of her head. It now hung in a lump over her left eye. Carter thrashed futilely for a moment, then stopped. They were both panting.

Carter groaned, “You were supposed to be helping me, Lynne!”

Lynne stifled a giggle. “You were doing so well until she kneed you, sir!”

Mira scowled at both of the nurses. “Truly, Nurse Travis! I never expected you to allow this good-for-little to chat you into this sort of object.” Her usually excellent grasp of Earth Standard always slipped when she was flustered. The doctor climbed to her feet, releasing Carter. Mira began to twitch her robes and lab coat back into place.

Carter had rolled over onto his back and moaned up to Mira pitiably. “I think you’ve dislocated my shoulder.”

Mira glared down at him. “Good! Go bang it against a wall.” She resisted the urge to kick Carter and tossed her head. The failed bun flipped to the back of her head, bounced off her skull, and hit Mira in the forehead before coming to rest again above her left eye.

Lynne sat on the counter of the Nurses Station and laughed. Both Mira and Carter looked at her oddly. Lynne tried to smother the laugh by tucking her chin into her neck but, she almost smothered herself instead. It’s hard to laugh and breathe through your nose at the same time without snorting. She had to bring her head up to gasp for a breath and she noticed…..


Copyright © 2000 Mona Hinds. All rights reserved.