The door slid open in front of him and Mistelsbog walked into Doctor Rasmussen’s office, without the pleasantries that he had learned to give humans. “Where is she?”
Doctor Rasmussen rose, calmly, and looked Mistelsbog in the face. “By she, I’m presuming you mean Sariadzu? She’s resting.” He grabbed a stack of HICSlates from the desk and walked out into the Infirmary, Mistelsbog hard on his heels. As he began placing the slates at the empty beds, ready to be filled with another patient’s chart, he turned to look at Mistelsbog. “She hasn’t awoken since the accident in Engineering. I’ve kept close eyes on her.”
As he walked from one bed to the next, he could see that Mistelsbog’s face was tight with frustration, and what likely passed as concern among the Yrgoans. He placed the last of the slates, and looked at Mistelsbog again. “Come with me. I’ve kept her away from the other patients and have treated her myself.”
They walked into one of the secluded surgical bays of the Infirmary. Doctor Rasmussen walked to one side of the table, Mistelsbog to the other. He gestured to a bench against the wall where Mistelsbog could sit. “Sit if you’d like.” Mistelsbog shook his head, but traced a finger on the cheek of Sariadzu, then stopped himself, realizing he’d taken up a human gesture. He pulled his hair back and adjusted the coat of his Starmada Uniform. The Doctor smiled. “I can update you as to the treatment she has received at my hands, the extent of her injuries.”
Mistelsbog’s hands clenched on the lapels of the coat and relaxed, the agitation showing through. “Why didn’t you tell me that she was here, that she was wounded?”
Doctor Rasmussen shrugged. “It is a human practice to wait to announce any sort of medical concern with the crew until those closest to the person involved can be told, privately. It is something to do with our emotional makeup. I apologize if I’ve erred –“
Mistelsbog waved a hand. “No – and I thank you for your discretion.” He looked at Sariadzu, sleeping on the table. “Tell me of her injuries.”
Doctor Rasmussen grabbed the HICSlate from the foot of the bed and handed it to Mistelsbog. “As you can see, the scans that we took of her showed no internal damage, and only mild burns and some lacerations. She was unconscious when she came to us, and I used a topical anesthetic, one that has been proven to have no ill effects on your people.” He stepped up to her arm. “I’ve not been able to get the appropriate tools functional to properly dress her wounds. I had to use the silk thread from the Quartermaster to suture up her wounds, and as you can see, she’s been healing nicely. I am concerned that she’s not yet awoken.”
Mistelsbog scrolled through the pages on the HICSlate, and handed it roughly to the Doctor. “It is difficult to tell with our physiology, but it is not uncommon for an explosion of the type you’ve detailed here to cause some sort of coma in our people.” He adjusted the jacket, and moved his hair outside the collar. “She will return to consciousness in time.” He stepped close to the Doctor, and Rasmussen could see the emotion Mistelsbog felt for his mate. “I thank you for caring for her.”
Doctor Rasmussen smiled. “I am honored to do so.”
Mistelsbog turned and looked at the wounds on Sariadzu’s arms. “You can remove the silk stitches at this point, Doctor. She is sufficiently healed that her body’s defenses can take care of the damage, and can restore her to full health and appearance. The scars, unlike those of humans, will disappear within the first month after she awakes. Our bodies don’t use collagen in the same way as yours.”
Doctor Rasmussen ached to ask the Yrgoan more, but knew that he wouldn’t get the information. “Understood. I’ll take care of them right now.” He looked at Mistelsbog. ‘Is there anything that I can do to make her comfortable?”
Mistelsbog stood silently for a moment. “You can transfer her to my quarters. She might find some peace, even unconsciously in the setting. That might help her to awake more quickly.”
Doctor Rasmussen was about to object when the ship’s communication network flared to life with a warning chime. “We’re about to use the Graviton Bombardiers for the first time. Please brace yourself for any sort of recoil.” He grabbed the bulkhead near him, and keyed the restraints to Sariadzu. She was gratefully the only patient that remained in the Infirmary. Mistelsbog grabbed the opposite bulkhead, and the two men looked at one another as the power to the phlogiston lights dipped, and a shrieking “Gazoom!” reverberated through the ship.
A second later, and the lights dimmed again, and the “Gazoom!” shrieked around them, such that Mistelsbog covered his ears and winced in pain. After a moment, the lights dimmed a third time, but the noise was quieter, a “Grozaam!” lacking the shrill treble that had accompanied it before.
“Sounds like Birgit’s having some fun on the Bridge.”
Mistelsbog winced again, his teeth clenched together as he frowned. “The shielding is clearly insufficient. I can hear every cycle of the machinery.” After a moment more, he dropped his hands, and relaxed. “I believe they’ve completed the testing. Excuse me. I won’t be able to handle the noise of this on the Bridge in a tactical situation. This prototype needs work.” Before Doctor Rasmussen could speak, Mistelsbog strode from the Infirmary.