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Let's Get Physical

Posted on 13 Feb 2020 @ 10:42am by Staff Warrant Officer Devhanodhred ch'Thulhu & Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: January 2390

There was one more physical to complete and this one was way overdue. It looked like it had been nearly two full years since his last physical. So, Jayla put it on his schedule and made it mandatory and immovable. It wouldn't matter what he was doing, he would have to show up at the appointed time or risk disciplinary action. It wasn't often that she pulled rank like this, but this was important.

Dhred sat up in bed at the crack of noon, ready for the beta shift. The blankets fell from his lean, blue body like a chrysalis. Leaving the messy heap by the bedside, he hopped on one foot to slide as quickly as possible into the wrinkled uniform he'd left draped over the nightstand.

"Computer," he grunted between hops. "What's on deck for today?"

"Processing query," the computer said, buying time to decode his slang. "The duty roster for SWO ch'Thulhu is as follows: Beta Shift flight deck supervision; Sickbay physical examination."

"Aw, shit," the man grunted as he got his uniform close to where it was supposed to go. "Reschedule."

"Cannot comply," the computer said. "The mandatory physical examination cannot be rescheduled per order of the Chief Medical Officer."

Dhred cocked his head and blinked. "Well, isn't that a bitch." He sighed and relented. "In that case, note a medical absence in my file. Looks like today I'm calling in sick."

The walk to Sickbay was an awkward one. Doctors sure were the uppity type. Dhred never did meet one that liked being blown off, and apparently he'd reached the end of the line with this one without even seeing him face to face.

Once he arrived, he jumped the plank with both feet forward. "Devhanodhred ch'Thulhu reporting as ordered," he announced to the entire Sickbay. He was nothing if not a natural showman, arms spread wide and a devil-may-care grin that welcomed the professional dressing-down he was about to receive.

“There’s no need to be so dramatic about it,” said Nurse Lane- who had been standing nearby- with a laugh. “I believe Dr. Kij is expecting you. Right this way!”

"Whatever you say, little miss nurse lady," Dhred quipped.

And she led him towards the back of Sick Bay where they found the Trill studying a PADD with purses lips. “Doctor,” said Lane and Jayla looked up. “ch’Thulhu is here for his physical.”

“Of course!” Replied Jayla with a friendly smile. “Thank you, Penny.”

Penny disappeared into Sick Bay, but not before giving ch’Thulhu a surreptitious once over. Hey, he was hot and she was a typical girl! Who could blame her?

“I’m Doctor Jayla Kij,” Jayla told ch’Thulhu. “Thank you for arriving so promptly.”

At first Dhred was surprised to see the CMO was a woman, but then wondered why that was. Maybe he expected a stodgy old man to be the one to put their foot down so harshly. Was that wrong of him? Hard to say. This doctor was certainly easy on the eyes, though. Maybe that was wrong of him to think, too. At least he was following orders.

"I, eh, did not expect that," Dhred said. "The 'promptly' description. Seems I've been evading you for awhile now."

“Yes, well,” said Jayla noncommittally. “I’ve had people attempt to weasel out of mandatory physicals, so... anyway, hop up on the bio bed and we’ll get started.”

Doing as instructed with a little flourish, Dhred slid across the foot of the bed. "Let me have it, Doc."

“Any complaints?” asked Jayla, opening her tie order and beginning scans. “Medical complaints, that’s is,” she added quickly. She had once had a crewman of similar disposition who had taken the opportunity to complain about Romulans and the current government on Betazed.

"Nope," Dhred replied with a shake of his head, "which is honestly why I skip these as whenever I can. Just seems a waste of time. Most starfighter pilots don't live to retirement, anyway, if you catch my drift."

"Are you saying you don't think you're good enough to make it to retirement?" she asked, feigning incredulity.

"No, just the opposite," Dhred cackled. "The best pilots don't make it to retirement age. We're a rare breed, as stupid as we are brave, and there's nowhere to run when our number is up."

"Well, that sounds counter-intuitive," Jayla grinned, making a couple of adjustments to her tricorder and continuing. "But I suppose you'd know."

Dhred returned her grin. "It just means we pilots gotta live in the now. Tomorrow never comes, right?" He ventured a guess. "You've never been in a cockpit before. Have you?"

"Only during simulations in cross-training at the academy," she answered. "I don't think I still remember how to fly one, though. I kept up practice with runabouts and shuttles, but the fighters just seemed unnecessary to me. I mean, I hate shooting at things, so what's the point?"

"What's the point?!" Dhred repeated, though much louder and sarcastic. "Oh, sure, you got the smaller models with the trigger in the stick, but the real fun is with the bigger starfighters where you buddy up with a gunner. That way the pilot focuses on trick maneuvers and the gunner on the trick shots. The computer can create a firing solution faster than most people, but there's no replacement for a flesh-and-blood gunner where target acquisition is concerned. There's really nothing like it, flying with a crew of two at breakneck speeds." He beamed brightly at his own description, then set his eyes on Jayla. "I got an idea. How's about I let you ride in the gunner's seat sometime? I'll lock out the tactical so you don't blow anything up while I put the starfighter through the paces."

"I'll think about it," she laughed. "I promise. But for now, I'm giving you a clean bill of health. Don't let that go to your head," she added. "You still have to come back in a year."

"If I live that long." Dhred gave her a wink. "Don't think too long about my offer."

"I won't," she replied, making an X over her heart with one hand. "Promise."

"Maybe I'll have to get my next physical early then," he teased.

“Every doctor’s dream!” Jayla replied, pretending to swoon. “Just don’t put it off so long next time and I’ll be happy,” she added with a grin.

"Keep smiling like that and you can count on it." Dhred returned her grin and threw in a half wink for good measure.

With another sparkling grin, Jayla leaned in conspiratorially. “I never stop,” she told him as if revealing a great secret.

"Neither do I," Dhred whispered loudly. "Ever." He burst out laughing, then said in a normal voice, "Are you sure you weren't a pilot in another life?"

"Not even any of my former hosts," she replied with a grin. "Architects, teachers... narcissists. No pilots."

Dhred clicked his tongue three times. "Pity. Sounds like you'd be a good one. Balls to the wall determination, no fear, only the thrill." His eyes shone and his antennae twitched a bit in excitement.

"I'll keep that in mind if I should ever lose interest in medicine," she replied.

"But if you do that, who will force me to have a physical every year?" Dhred asked. "Speaking of, am I going to live, Doc?"

"You'd better, or who will take me out in a fighter?" she joked. "But, I told you that a few minutes ago. You got distracted."

Dhred chuckled. "So I did. Wonder how that happened." He winked at Jayla. "See you around, Doc. Hopefully before my next exam."


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