Characters: Dr. Mira Trassano, Mr. Carter
Mira Trassano hit the mat with a thump and a moan. The action was beginning to seem like a habit. She stared up at the long knotted rope, contemplating suicide. Then, Mr Carter’s cheerfully demonic face blocked her view.
“Come on, doc! You can do better than that! You’ve only rung the bell seven times and your speed is definitely falling.” The head nurse grinned. “As well as the rest of you.” He avoided her swipe with agile grace.
Mira glared at him. “If I kill you, I can make it look like a natural cardiac arrest!”
Chuckling, Carter retorted, “Yeah, but then you’d have to find somebody else to exercise with until Morgan or Matsumoto got back. AND train a new Head Nurse. It’s easier to just put up with me.”
Mira rolled onto her hands and knees groaning. “I wonder if Yoshino would be as cruel to me.”
Carter laughed out loud at that. “God, from what I’ve heard, SHE might kill ya.” He grabbed the doctor’s arm and helped her up. “Up you get. Three more times and we’ll call it quits, eh? You have to ring that bell, though.” He gave her a little encouraging push.
Mira shook off his hand. “I’ll ring the bell,” she growled. The Centauri hitched up her slightly baggy clothes again and threw herself back on the rope. Gritting her teeth she slowly climbed up and rang the bell at the top. The trip down wasn’t much easier than going up, she had found. If you went too fast, you burned your hands or fell… too slow and your muscles burned. Two more rings and four trips later, Mira finally growled at Carter’s laughter and stomped off to her shower.
Carter just watched her leave the gym and chuckled. As he was preparing to leave as well, another Ranger called out to him. “Hey, Carter! Wasn’t that the doctor’s first time at rope climbing? Why’d you push her to do ten of them? I was surprised she was able to get up there once. I almost fell over when she made it a second time and faster.” There was a chorus of nods from around the room.
Carter grinned at the other Ranger as he picked up his folded robe. “The Centauri, as a species, are just a bit stronger than human average. Not to mention, I’ve worked with her.” He shrugged nonchalantly. “I’ve seen her dead-lift 300 pound bodies off the floor and onto a gurney. I think the good doctor can do a lot more than she’s given credit for by the rest of us or herself.” The nurse waved to the others and trotted off to his own shower. He was due on duty in an hour and knowing the doctor, he had better not be late.
Copyright © 1999 Mona Hinds. All rights reserved.