Keep a Watch On the Faults Of the Patients

Characters: Margaret Morgan, Dunstan Kordieh, Daanike

In spite of what she had said to the captain, Morgan briefly considered ignoring it, but a brief glance at the newsfeed dispelled that. Mira silently scolded her, so her head echoed with it.

Instead, she headed down to MedLab, still fuming.

The first person she saw as she entered was Kordieh, sweeping the floor. He looked up, wide-eyed as she came in. “Margaret … are you all right?”

“No,” she growled, then at his reaction, sighed. “I am sorry, Dunstan. No. I injured my hand.”

“Come sit here,” he said, directing her to one of the exam beds. “I’ll go get Healer Daanike.” He hurried away, returning in a scant minute with the Minbari physician.

She bowed briefly to Morgan, then said, “Which is the injured hand, Shok-na’li?”

Morgan offered her the right one. “If you will check my records, Doctor Trassano had been treating me for bone loss.”

The Minbari nodded as she cradled Morgan’s injured hand in one of her own, using the other to work her scanner. “Yes, I have looked through the records and made note of this. Are you still tolerating the drugs well?” She frowned as she looked at the results on the machine.

“No, unfortunately. I stopped them, but Dr Trassano did not have an opportunity to try something else before she left.”

“I see … forgive me, I was not aware of that. I will consult with Doctor Brannon at once to see what alternatives we may have for you. In the meantime, I regret to say there are a number of hairline fractures in several of the bones of your hand. What happened?”

“I, ah… Lost my temper, I am afraid.”

Daanike nodded, apparently satisfied with the explanation, but Kordieh — who had been standing attentively at the Minbari healer’s shoulder — seemed about to ask for more. Before he could speak, she turned toward him. “Bring me a set of the regenerative splints, would you please, Dunstan?”

He nodded and hurried off. Daanike, looking after him, said, “He has proven himself an exceptional worker.”

“I am glad. He does not want to lose the second chance granted him.”

Daanike smiled, as she pulled up a small platform from the base of the exam bed and spread Morgan’s hand gently out over it. Kordieh came back with a box and presented it to Daanike. As she opened it, he looked over at Morgan. “You … lost your temper?” he asked. “I … can I ask what happened?”

Morgan didn’t answer immediately. She had to be sure she didn’t start raging again before she would speak. “Have you seen the news yet?”

“No, what news? Something from outside?”

She took a deep breath. “The Narn and Drazi are… bombing the Centauri homeworld.”

Mon Dieu,” Kordieh said, and even Daanike caught her breath and paused momentarily in applying the splint to Morgan’s hand. “They did this without the Alliance? Where are the President and Entil’zha Delenn?”

“Entil’zha is.. missing. The President…” She shrugged. “I don’t know.”

This was enough to make Daanike look up. “Missing?”

“We got word right before the news came in. Her White Star is overdue for arrival.”

Kordieh said, “It is very bad news. But … surely that wasn’t enough to …”

“No. There is a member of this crew happy about it,” she snapped.

Kordieh visibly winced. “It’s G’fen, isn’t it?”

Very happy, it seemed.” She was shaking in anger again, hampering Daanike.

The Minbari lifted her hands away and took a step back, looking from Morgan to Kordieh and back again. “Shok-na’li,” she said, “You must calm yourself. I know it is not an easy thing but if you do not, I may aggravate your injury.”

She looked back at Kordieh. “Dunstan, you too must calm yourself. The Narn is your friend — he is not you. The Shok-na’li knows that.”

Morgan took a deep breath. “Yes, Healer. My apologies.” She closed her eyes, attempting to clear her mind.

Daanike moved quickly to finish her work. When she was finished, she said, “There. The splint contains some electrical contacts, which will not only speed the healing of the bones, but should ease the pain as well.” She offered Morgan a smile. “Forgive me if I was a bit blunt earlier. I had no wish to hurt you any further.”

“No, it was my fault, for not controlling my anger. Thank you.”

Daanike smiled. “It is my pleasure to serve. Please come back tomorrow so that I can check on the splint.” She turned to go, adding, “If need be, Mr. Kordieh may be excused for the rest of this shift.”

Looking after her, Kordieh flushed before turning back to Morgan. “You’d think she was a telepath or something,” he said. “I know there is much to do, but … can you please tell me what happened?”

She tried to stall. “Would you like to have a cup of tea with me? I need to calm down some more.”

He nodded slowly. “Whatever you need to do,” he said, taking off his smock and folding it over one arm.

Keep a watch also on the faults of the patients, which often make them lie about the taking of
things prescribed.
– Hippocrates

Copyright (c) 2003 Jamie Lawson and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.