926: An Itch to Scratch

by Lara Valera Ryn
After A Whole in One

-=USS Serendipity

Lara wanted to scream at the top of her lungs.

But that would have only brought in a frantic colleague or two running into the room.

And she wanted to throw the mug across the room in frustration.

But new Starfleet regulations had prohibited the use of breakable cups.

So, she was left wanting to vent her frustration, but unable to. And it was going to be a very long day, if she did not get rid of this problem.

Standing up from the console where she was working, Lara tightly clasped her hands behind her back, left the Science department, and took the quickest route to Sickbay.

When she entered, she found it remarkably calm, in spite of all that had happened and was happening. The Admiral was still no better and there were rumors floating around about a great many other things down here. Yet, for the time being, it was quiet, which was fine by Lara, as it meant she could get in and get out.

Although she was facing no medical catastrophe, the first person she happened to see was the CMO. He looked a bit ragged, but given all that must be on his plate, he did not look worse for wear, which was saying something after all everyone on this ship had been through, some more than others.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Suddenly, Lara felt guilty, as if really her problem was not so bad and she had been wrong to come down here in the first place and bother the medical staff now of all times. But she was here, and it was too late to turn back.

“It itches,” she said.

“Can you be a little more specific?” Lance asked as he gestured for her to sit down on one of the open bio-beds.

“It,” Lara repeated, this time pointing down at her abdomen. “The symbiont.”

“Have you had this problem before?” He placed his hand of her shoulder and gently indicated for her to lie down.

“Twice. Once in the hospital when they put this thing in me, and then in the loony bin. But it was never this bad.”

Lance pulled out a tricorder and scanned over the area in question. It was a relatively simple problem with just as simple a solution. Still, before he completed his diagnosis, he wanted to do one more thing. “I’d like to look at the incision site.”

She shrugged her shoulders before unzipping her uniform jacket and untucking the tunic underneath.

Lance was not surprised to find a scar at the incision site, as the scans had revealed as much. But he was not expecting it to look so inflamed. Still, it was an easy fix, something which he was glad of given the past few days. “You have an infection at the site of the incision. An antibiotic will take care of it, and while we’re at it, we can get rid of this nasty scar.”

“No!” Lara cried out.

The response startled Lance. It was not often when a patient responded so strongly to a minor treatment.

“Sorry,” she added sheepishly, and less defensively. “Yes, the medicine please. But I want to keep the scar.”

“As you wish.” Lance walked over to a medical cart and began preparing a hypospray, one that he could inject at the site of the infection. As he returned to his patient and administered it, he asked, “Why, if I may ask?”

“Why keep the scar?”


“So I’ll never forget.”

It was a simple answer to a clearly complicated issue, and neither chose to speak about the matter further.

Lance heard Lara sigh in relief, indicating that the medicine was beginning to take effect. “If the problem has not resolved in a day, come back immediately.”

“Thanks, doctor.” She sat up and fixed her uniform. While she was fussing with it, she spoke up again. “So, there have been some rumors floating around the ship.”

“There always are.”

“About our prisoner.”

Lance looked up from the medical supplies he had been arranging when she said those words. “And?”

“Word is he’s dead.”

“That might be true.”

“If he is, do you think I could get a look at him?” Realizing that her request sounded off, she added, “It’s what I do. I thought maybe I could be of help, you know, draw up an anthropological report.”

“Have you spoken with Dabin Reece about this idea?”

“Oh, come on, doctor. We both know he has got more important things to worry about right now.” Lara paused for a second and then said something which she found both off-kilter and absurdly normal at the same time. “And somehow I seem to be able to relate to what he is going through.”

Lance smiled. “Been a father before, have you?”

Lara opened her mouth to answer, but no sound came out. She looked away for a moment, then back at Hartcourt and said, “Well, not me.”

“Of course not,” he answered in a good-natured tone.

“But I think I have to say yes. I don’t know who, but somewhere inside of me, this thing is telling me that I know what it is like to be a father.”

“It’s good to see that you are getting along with your symbiont.”

“Getting along are not the words I’d use, but it works. But we are changing the subject. My request?”

“I will forward it to Commander Salvek, and if he has no objections, then neither do I.”

“Thank you.” She turned to leave, and as she walked out, Lance could have sworn there was almost an extra bounce in her step.

Lieutenant Lara Valera Ryn
Science Office
USS Serendipity NCC-2012