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Mayhew's Checkup

Posted on 15 Mar 2021 @ 2:29am by Syrial J'naii & Commander Roscoe Mayhew

Mission: Waving The Flag
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Late June/Early July 2280

Syrial hummed as they waited for Mayhew. They were sitting in the sickbay, at their desk, and they had lifted their legs up onto it. The J'naii had been reading the human's medical history, but there was only so much to read and it was just a regular checkup anyway. The higher ups wanted a checkup for the man, as he'd been off a ship for so long. Syrial had to do the same, back at the Starbase. A part of Syrial had thought about suggesting they do the checkup before they leave, with all the resources of the Starbase's medical wing, but decided against bringing up that suggestion. This might take a bit longer this way, but it would serve a second purpose: to familiarize the doctor with their new bay. Syrial could do all the looking around they wanted, but they knew they wouldn't really get a feel for the place until they started actually seeing patients in it and they'd rather see healthy patients while still getting used to where everything was than to be running around looking for stuff with an emergency on the table.

So, in Syrial's mind, this appointment was just as much for them as it was for their chief security officer. The J'naii gave a little stretch, and the stretch was enough to knock over the balance of the chair. They fell to the ground.

"Ay ay ay," they muttered as they stood up, picking up the chair. Nothing was hurt. I'm not as young as I used to be, Syrial thought to themself as they took their seat in the chair again, this time without lifting their legs onto the desk. I might look young, 'specially compared to the humans, but I'm not as flexible as I once was. Got to be more careful. Only after sitting back down did Syrial return their attention to the entrance of the Sickbay.

As a veteran of an eternal war, Mayhew was no stranger to field dressing and other first aid, and yet he avoided Sickbay. He never thought he would live as long as he had, so if something were to snuff him out, then it had every right to try. Militia training, the occasional security action, and constant personal conditioning gave him the strength and vigor of a man half his age with twice the cunning. What was a doctor going to tell him that he didn't already know? That he was a specimen of humanity? That one day he would break down and die as all old things do?

Whatever. Orders were orders.

And so Mayhew walked into Sickbay with a chip on his shoulder that was nearly palpable.

"Well, I'm here," he announced.

Syrial turned the chair towards the entrance and smiled, seemingly oblivious to the man's attitude. "Mr. Mayhew!" They said, standing up. "Wonderful. You're right on time," they smiled. To be honest, Syrial hadn't even checked the time but they figured it'd do no harm to say so.

The J'naii walked over towards one of the counters, grabbing a medical scanner from a drawer. "Do you want to take a seat there?" They offered, changing around some of the settings for the scanner. Despite their cheer, they moved with an air of confident professionalism. And instead of a uniform they wore a long white coat, obscuring whatever clothing the J'naii had on beneath it.

"Does my 'want' make any difference?" Mayhew grumbled. "I'm here either way." Moving to sit where indicated, Mayhew made no other motions. He was first and foremost a soldier, which meant when he was in hostile territory, like Sickbay, he would act only on orders.

"Of course it does, Mr. Mayhew," Syrial smiled at the man. And he was most definitely a man - with some humans it was harder to tell, but Syrial found a small bit of pride in how confident they were at telling that he was a guy. Hence including "Mr." in his title.

The J'naii lifted up the scanner. "The patient's choice is paramount. I don't know how the human doctors do it, but if you wanted to do this examination standing up, be my guest." The J'naii spoke with no sarcasm or condescension. They were used to having some cultural differences, and attributed Mayhew's comments to such, instead of any complaint or personality type. "I just thought sitting down would be more comfortable." Back on the Starbase, Syrial rarely did regular check ups. As one of the more skilled doctors in an already understaffed facility, they usually only saw people who were sent over by another doctor or nurse. The J'naii lifted the scanner towards him and began scanning his arm.

"Comfort is unnecessary," Mayhew said. "Not if it holds up the process."

Being rude to medical staff was not the soldier's way. Mayhew was just a bad sport when it came to being in Sickbay without any need to be there. "So how long is this going to take?"

"Well then, I'd say in your case comfort is efficiency and speed. The sooner we get this done, the better, no?" Syrial asked with a smile, continuing their scan. "It shouldn't take long. We already have most your information from old files, and this scanner should be enough to detect anything new. Really a nice piece of technology you humans have here, especially knowing everything your species has been through."

"Yes, if only the Klingons had been vulnerable to advanced medical scanners," Mayhew groused, "maybe Earth would not be a shithole."

"Who knows?" Syrial chuckled. Only now did they catch on to the idea of Mayhew's grumbling. That didn't stop them. After all, the worst thing one could do to an upset patient, in Syrial's opinion, was to be upset back. They'd rather be annoying than intentionally less than kind. "Maybe modern medical scanners are their one weakness," the J'naii mused. "After all, has anybody really tried it? Killing them with kindness." They chuckled, once. "There would be something poetically ironic about that. Or is it, uh, ironically poetic?" The doctor continued speaking as they stepped away, looking at the scan results on their computer.

"Are you fucking with me?" Mayhew asked, getting a little hot under the collar. "You've got to be fucking with me. Kill them with kindness? Gimme a break, doc. They killed my family and nuked my planet back to the Proterozoic age. I don't want to kill them with kindness. I want to squeeze the goddamn life out of their throats with my bare hands until their fucking eyes pop out. Mind if we try that? It's more my kind of poetry."

"We can certainly try that." Syrial continued looking at their computer screen, not outwardly bothered. "Or rather, you can try that. Personally I think I'm a bit too short to reach their necks," the J'naii shrugged. "Frankly, I don't care how we kill them, as long as they're dead." The doctor leaned to the side to set the scanner back on the counter. Their hand shook just the smallest amount as they did so. Mayhew wasn't the only one who had lost people. Syrial had seen the destruction with their own eyes. They remembered learning that their classmates, their friends, hadn't escaped with them. They remembered Agatha, poor Agatha, from their last ship. They knew where Mayhew's anger was coming from but they weren't about to outwardly share in it. Let the stronger guys, the guys like Mayhew, do the fighting. Syrial'd just let them down. "Are you always this angry?" The J'naii asked, blunt.

Mayhew laid back and closed his eyes. "Always," he said with eerie calm. "It's probably what's kept me alive."

"Alright. Well, as a doctor I'm obligated to tell that this much anger is probably not healthy. However," the J'naii turned to look at him, "As a fellow crewmember I fully support you in turning this anger against our enemies." They gave a small smile.

"I'll be sure to hit the health club just as soon as we get Earth back," Mayhew said. "Until then, just keep me patched up and stay out of my way."

"Can do, can do. That's what I'm good at, after all," Syrial responded. "Staying out of the way, that is. Your checkup is done - everything looks good."

Mayhew jumped back to his feet. "I could've told you that. All I need is for you to put it on record so the damned computer will finally take it off my schedule."

"Well, it's in the computer now," Syrial smiled. "All official. Thanks for the visit."

Despite his gruff exterior, Mayhew couldn't help but smile at the... whatever species the doctor was. "It wasn't the worst experience," he said. "Thanks for keeping it brief. And if you're ever in a pinch, I'll be a comms tap away."


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