2517, The Unification War has been over for a decade and Miranda is still a secret. Into The Black is an Alternate Universe Firefly & Serenity fandom roleplaying game. It centers around independent crews of different ships which travel all over the 'verse created by Joss Whedon.

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Messages - Dr. Amadeus Stenger

Pages: [1] 2
1
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: July 08, 2017, 03:54:02 AM »
Okay, good, no pressure then. Eek. He sidestepped down the narrow gap, wondering if he shouldn’t have taken his waistcoat off for all the engine grime it was collecting. He could really do with new clothes, but it wasn’t as if he could request shore leave for a little bit of shopping.

He got to the panel Mao had pointed out and then set the penlight between his teeth so he could free up both hands. The latches were stiff, and it took a few test tugs to get them undone. The metal was warm and heavy, and he set it down to the side before Mao would get the chance to say ‘I told you so’ about his toes.

Reclaiming the penlight, he peered into the junction box. “Wires,” he concluded, “Lots of wires.” Very scientific observation, if he did say so himself.

2
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: July 07, 2017, 10:34:00 AM »
Am came in at the panicked shout, going straight to Tavi. He snatches a stethoscope from the counter and hooked the buds into his ears while he quizzed Jean on what had happened. Any weakness before she fainted, any slurred speech, any sign of slack muscle on one side, any pain. He pulled aside her neckline to place the resonator over her heart. There was no caution or fear with him now. Jean could threaten him with another jackhammer to the face and he would still be focussed wholly on Tavi.

Satisfied with her pulse and the sound of her heart, he draped the stethoscope over his shoulders and picked a penlight from his pocket, pulling back her eyelids and watching the pupil dilation. He made a satisfied noise in the back of his throat and whirled about the med bay grabbing instruments and a collection of vials, some empty and some not.

A large pair of scissors and a muttered apology to the unconscious woman preseeded the slicing open of her shirt, and he set an array of electrodes over her chest at strategic intervals, tapping some nearby monitors and bringing up a display of rhythmic jagged lines. He measured her blood pressure, and took some notes down on a tablet.

“I don’t think it’s too serious, but I want to do more tests to be sure. For all intents and purposes, she’s fainted. She’ll come round soon, but I’d rather she didn’t, the state she’s in.”

He’d plugged his nose with tissue while he’d been out of the room, and the white wads were already turning red. At least he could use both hands, and at the first available opportunity he replaced the tissue with more absorbent gauze, washed his hands, and put on a new pair of gloves.

Reaching under the cot, he unhooked some restraints that were stowed away under there. “If you wouldn’t mind,” he gestured for Jean to do the honours while he retrieved a saline bag and some clean needles. After taking a few vials of blood, dismayed at the state of her inner elbow and wrists while he tried to find a sturdy vein for the needles, he hooked her up to the saline and proceeded to inject a couple of syringes into the stream. “Extra vitamins. Mild sedative. Saline for hydration.” She was incredibly underweight, and if he had a chance to rehydrate her and try and perk her immune system up he would take it.

“She should be fine for now, a few hours rest and a chance for her body to calm down while I work out what’s in her system will do her the world of good,” he said, eyes still on the monitors, steadfastly not looking at Jean. “I can’t promise there’s no underlying issues here. What she’s taken so far should have killed her outright. It’s a wonder she’s still alive. Even if she successfully detoxes and never touches another narcotic as long as she lives, she could have done irreparable damage to herself. Her psychology is another matter entirely. I am not a therapist, I can only do so much, and if she does not willingly accept treatment, anything I do can be undone. She needs to want to be helped, she needs help that doesn’t reward her behaviour, she needs help that I can’t give her. Yes, I can wean her off what she’s on, I could use the very drugs she’s been addicted to to do it, but if she doesn’t want to be helped, I’m literally just giving her what she wants - I’d be enforcing her dependency. I’d be making this behaviour acceptable,” he gestured to his own rapidly bruising face. He sighed, looking down at the ribby chest and hollow abdomen of the drug-stricken women before him, noting the multitude of marks all over her, some fresh and some fading. Whatever had happened to make her this way, it would not be easy to undo, but he was sure it could be done if she would only let him.

3
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: June 14, 2017, 11:37:04 AM »
The doctor packed away his bag and stood, dusting off his waistcoat. “Sure,” he said with an intrigued expression. He had always had an interest in mechanics, though his passion had long taken him away from metal and oil to flesh and blood. He had no other patients, so why not?
 
He picked out a penlight from his pocket and looked into the gap between the pipes and the wall. Taking one sideways step into the gap, he looked to Mao, “Okay, what’s next?”
 
His time on the Black Echo so had been summarily distressing, terrifying and depressing. The idea of having something new and interesting to distract him had put a little sparkle in the ruffled man’s eye, the beginnings of an expression that could turn into the face of a kid with a new toy. He knew not to let his guard down - something was bound to ruin the moment - and reminding himself that getting it wrong might end up with him suffocating the entire crew put some sombre back into his expression.
 
Oh boo.

4
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: June 06, 2017, 12:51:54 PM »
Stood face to face, the pair of them were on a level eyeline, but that’s where the similarities ended. Where Am was slim and fine-boned, Mao was broad with a thickset body and easily twice his width. Mao’s skin was well weathered and thick and told a story of a life of hard physical labour, whereas Am’s soft pale freckled skin with delicate veins just below the surface told exactly the opposite. The doctor’s build wasn’t entirely without merit - his lean forearms were corded with sinew and his long pianist fingers had a steady grace to them - but it was clear that the two men had entirely different strengths.
 
Am peered into the gap as the engineer described the problem, only blinking as Mao took hold of his wrist in his bearclaw to demonstrate the difference. “I don’t doubt I can fit, but... is there no way to... reduce the danger somewhat? The patient doesn’t have a, ah, typical biology.” He said with a nervous smile.

5
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: June 06, 2017, 07:14:40 AM »
The doctor nodded, a wan expression paling his cheeks. There were few things he liked less than being reminded of the fragility of the human condition in space, and having no atmosphere to provide an abundance of fresh air was high on the list of why he preferred the ground over a ship. Hypoxia, anoxia, death. You didn’t have to be a doctor to know these were not good things.
 
“So how do we fix it?” He asked, looking tentatively at the machinery he’d been gesturing at.

6
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 26, 2017, 10:24:55 AM »
Doc smiled apologetically. The body was it’s own best medicine, but it took time. He wasn’t petty enough to say he shouldn’t be taking risks if he couldn’t accept the consequences, but a thought not unlike it crossed his mind.
 
The man’s question turned his expression nervous, however. Not knowing the crew overly well, and considering that they all had threatened his life at some stage or another, he was unsure how to interpret the man’s tone. Usually he’d never assume that there was a veiled threat in anything that was said to him, but for all her knew, the way this was going could end up with him threatened with asphyxiation via a decompressed airlock.
 
“Um, yes?” Was that the right answer? “Is... there something wrong with the life support?” He was going to assume the question wasn’t a leadup to his imminent doom and go for the benefit of the doubt. It was better for his sanity that way.

7
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 24, 2017, 07:25:00 PM »
That was the difference between then, Am realised. Everything he did, everything he didn’t do, was bound by a set of principles. He stuck by them because it was the right thing to do, not because it was the easiest. A man like Jean... he had no principles. He lived by the day, taking what he wanted from other that needed it, and if it didn’t come easy he made sure that it did, with bullets and fists.
 
Doc wavered as he got to his feet, holding the countertop with his unbloodied hand, still trying ineffectively to stop his nose from contaminating the entire medbay with the other. His head was still swimming from the impact, and he squinted against the bright lights.
 
He looked at them both, a pair of broken people in the middle of the black. He wondered if they could see themselves, see what they were doing to themselves and those around them. He wondered if they even cared.
 
The doctor shook his head to himself, getting a fresh wad of paper towel to take the place of his red-stained sleeve. What should he do? Tavi clearly needed help, and she refused to accept his. Jeans suggestion, while he couldn’t agree it was the best solution for Tavi, had a fair scientific weight. The point of the matter was, Tavi wanted the drugs. She’d demanded them. She’d hurt him for them. Clearly her obsession went beyond any rhyme or reason, but he still had to try.
 
Substitutes would give her the same medical requirements as the real drug, easing her down from the dependency slowly, and without the reward for her behaviour. She - and Jean - both had to learn that there were other ways to get what you wanted via less destructive means.
 
That said, if she refused his treatment, Jean’s suggestion was the only one left to him. He was not a petty man who could deny her something just because it was someone else’s suggestion, nor would he punish Tavi for Jean’s behaviour, but he wished it had not come to this.
 
When he finally spoke, it was to Tavi, speaking past the seething beast of a man who still had his blood on his hands. He couldn’t dwell on Jean’s actions now. Turning into a quivering wreck wouldn’t help Tavi. His voice was quiet, even more so muffled by the tissue. “Is this what you want? If I do this, will you let me help you?”

8
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 24, 2017, 06:20:03 AM »
Am winced, the sudden outburst ringing in his ears. Even Tavi fell silent, which seemed like a feat. The captain was rounding on him now, and ignoring every instinct to cower and flee, he did something particularly stupid, “This is not my job!” He blurted. “Helping Tavi, that’s my job, and what she doesn’t need is—”
 
He didn’t see the fist until it was too late. Compared to Tavi’s less calculated blows, this felt like he imagined a freight train would feel like. The impact hit him square in the face, something cracked, his teeth snapped together and he crumpled like a ragdoll. Somehow he was still conscious, albeit his vision was black around the edges and he couldn’t hear over the ringing in his ears.
 
He propped himself up on one elbow, touching fingers gingerly to his upper lip and they came away bloody. If his nose hadn’t been broken before, he’d hazard a guess that it was now. Tears were stinging his eyes, and not entirely from the pain. He blinked up at the man towering over him, still somehow surprised that he’d resort to physical violence despite all previous evidence to the contrary.
 
He could understand the man was upset, Tavi was clearly more than a crewmember to him, but for all he knew it was this kind of environment that had set Tavi on this path. Threats and violence and solving problems with more drugs was exactly what he didn’t want for her. She needed to get away from the mental association that taking whatever she wanted would fix everything.
 
That said, he couldn’t help a patient that didn’t want helping. He was sure he could bring Tavi round, but the chances of that now were whisked away like air in a vacuum. The captain resorting to this to try and get what he wanted hinted that it was not just Tavi who thought violence was the answer. He had been naive to expect anything else from the people who killed a ship full of people for a cargohold of goods.
 
This wasn’t how things were supposed to be at all. If he were anywhere else, this would never have happened. He was stuck, between a woman who didn’t want his help and a man who would do anything to make him help her. Tavi was scary, but he’d seen the part of her between the mania that was as scared and helpless as he was. Jean on the other hand was unwavering, steadfast in his determination to make Tavi right. Admirable, if not for the abusive domineering violence. Doc spared a hope that he wasn’t like this with Tavi. He couldn’t bear it if Tavi needed two kinds of saving.
 
He’d sat up, supporting himself on one hand while the other caught the fresh flow of blood streaming from his nose on the back of his sleeve. He looked between the two, clearly shocked and struggling to focus. He knew there was nothing else he could do but do right by Tavi, regardless of what Jean would do to him if she refused his help again. He would be just as bad as them if he didn’t give her a choice, even if ultimately her own decisions could hurt her - at least they were hers to make.


9
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 23, 2017, 04:08:16 PM »
Doc paused with the dermal mender and peered at the first glossy layer of scar tissue. “Good. I’d say go easy on it for at least a week, the dermal mender can only do so much with no skin to work with. Too much strain will break it open, and keep it clean. Let me know if you get any issues with sensation in the fingers - the burn might have affected some nerves.” He tilted the hand into the light again, turning it over to check he hadn’t missed any sections. “I’d like to see it again tomorrow, I can try again with the dermal mender every few days and give the scar tissue a helping hand. I don’t expect there’s much risk of infection but if you feel any warmth in it come and see me right away.” He could prescribe some pre emptive antibiotics but the ship’s stocks were not exactly brimming.

10
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 23, 2017, 03:47:36 PM »
Well Am was no expert in the ways of women, but if a ‘love tap’ was second degree burns, he didn’t want to fathom what the full expression of the engine’s affection for her engineer was. “She sounds healthy,” he said, tilting his ear towards the machine. “Regular, I mean... if she were a patient of mine I’d give her heart a good bill of health.” Machines and humans weren’t too dissimilar when you broke them down to the theoretical level. A ship didn’t run efficiently if one piece was out of sync, the same way a body could get run down with other systems working harder to support one that was ailing.

11
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 23, 2017, 03:18:53 PM »
Amadeus paused to glance at the man, he’d stuck his hand into live wires?! “You really should be wearing gloves, if you weren’t insulated...” Well, the man probably had a better idea than most what would have happened if he’d been grounded at the time.
 
Satisfied with the cleanliness of the wound, he fished out the dermal mender from the bag and set about repairing the skin. The man would have an easier time with tight gaps if he took some time to normalise his BMI, but Am kept those observations to himself, visions of flying wrenches dancing in front of his eyes.
 
“Do you need some help? I’m no engineer but I’ve got a steady hand.”

12
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 23, 2017, 02:56:12 PM »
Am stepped into the room, crouching next to the man and setting down his bag before reaching out for the injured hand. Compared to his usual demeanour, there was a marked difference in his confidence when there was doctoring to be done. His grip was firm but considerate, careful not to pull or poke the damaged skin as he tilted it towards the light for a better look.
 
“Accurate diagnoses, sir. I’m not sure that...” he sniffed at the hand and then cast a side glance to the flask in his other hand, “... Whatever this was is a totally appropriate disinfectant when there’s a medbay just down the hallway...” He rummaged in his bag and picked out a plastic liquid container with something in it that was almost identical to what Mao was already drinking, give or take a few chemical symbols, and a whole level higher on the liver-destruction scale.
 
“How did this happen?” He asked lightly while he administered another good dose of alcohol to the wound.

13
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 23, 2017, 10:08:35 AM »
“On my way,” the doctor grabbed for his bag and set off. The engine room was on the same level as the medbay, at the opposite end of the ship. Thankfully at least, The Black Echo was lacking windows in most of the corridors of which he was very glad.

He only hesitated when he got to the engineroom’s door. It was one of the rooms Jean had specifically warned him not to enter, yet technically Mao had invited him so did that commandment still count? With a gritted jaw, he pushed oven the heavy door and peered inside. “Mr. Winford?”

14
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 22, 2017, 07:31:04 PM »
"--- talk about this, I ---" Am continued, trying not to squirm under that piercing glare.

15
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 22, 2017, 06:57:25 PM »
"Now Tavi, let's---"

16
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: A Pair of Steady Hands
« on: May 22, 2017, 06:26:00 PM »
Without a steady stream of patients, there was not a lot for a lonely doctor to do in a medbay after he’d organised the cabinets, colour-coordinated his latex glove collection and sanitised every inch of the room. Twice. Just today. Sighing, Amadeus sat on his spinning stool, watching the walls slowly rotate. He’d never used to mind spending every waking hour in a clinic, but this was getting ridiculous. There were people out there who needed—

"Dr. Strenger!" The wall suddenly bellowed.

“ARGH!” Am toppled off the stool and caught himself against the countertop. A few brief seconds for fight or flight to wear off enough for braincells to fire and he cleared his throat and straightened.  The doctor leaned over to the intercom and held down the button, trying not to sound too shaken, “Yes, Mr. Winford?” The voice hadn’t been female or heavily accented with some backwards Rim language, and Mao was distinct enough for Am not to have to guess between him and the lesser-spotted companion.

So long as the shouting didn’t precede another wrench being levelled at his head, he found he was glad for the distraction.

17
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 22, 2017, 05:51:47 PM »
The perturbed doctor glanced between the pair of them. This was not at all how consultations were supposed to go! He was supposed to say something and for the patient to agree, not threaten to flay his face. Jean wasn’t helping matters either. “That’s not at all ethical, Captain!” He gesticulated at the room in general, “This is a clinic not a... not a drug den!” He gave a frustrated sigh. The problem was that the man was onto something, in away. If he didn’t have the substitute drugs to wean her away from the destructive ones, the originals would do in a pinch but that was not the message he wanted to give her. She didn’t need the drugs she was craving, she just craved the chemical high, but by letting her cling to her dependencies even in measured doses it was solidifying her mental addiction as well as the physical.

“Tavi, if you don’t want my help to make you better, you’re certainly not getting my help to make you worse. You need to stop,” he gestured at most of her, “all this! It will kill you, and despite what you say, it’s not what you want.” He glanced to Jean and back again, “Whatever happened in the past, whatever set you on this path, there is another way. You just have to trust in it to take the first step towards recovery. I know it looks impossible, you’re scared of where the journey will take you, but I promise that it’ll be worth it.”

18
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 21, 2017, 07:02:38 PM »
He knew one thing, besides that he would be paying special attention to lock his door at night.

She didn’t want to die.

If she took as many and varied substances as she claimed, it was self control that kept her alive. She could so easily have taken too much, mixed the wrong drugs, lost complete control. She was toeing the fine line that bordered complete destruction, but she was not crossing it. She had everything she needed to do it, but she hadn’t, and that alone gave the doctor hope that she could be saved.

Nevertheless, she was still downright terrifying, and the good doctor swallowed (and promptly regretted it at the taste of blood). He took a step back, glancing nervously to Jean. The man knew her better than him. Am knew that her threats held weight - he’d felt that weight impact with his face repeatedly - but he would take his cues from the person who would know if she was serious.

He dabbed his nose and checked the tissue for fresh drops. The bleeding was stopping, and he wiped his lip as best he could before explaining, “Tavi, that’s not how it works. There’s no simple easy fix for this. There’s no miracle cure. If you don’t know what you took, I can’t guarantee what I give you right now won’t kill you. I can help subside the pain but unless you were clean, 48 hours without taking a thing, I can’t give you anything stronger until I find out what's in your system.” He looked determined for the next, much like a mouse deciding to take on the tiger. “I can’t help you unless you want me to, and I will absolutely not fuel this addiction by giving you anything you want. If you want my help, it’s on my terms.”

19
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 19, 2017, 12:53:16 PM »
Trusting the larger man to hold the thrashing woman, the doctor got to his feet and tried not to stagger towards the countertop. He was already reaching for yet another pair of fresh gloves when a spot of blood fell onto the white counter. Bemused, it took until the second drop and the tell-tale feeling of something oozing down inside his nostril for him to realise the case. He glanced down to see that his shirt was liberally decorated with his own blood, and the dull throb in his general face area was starting to become apparent now that the adrenaline was fading.

No time for that now, nor to question exactly what Tavi was raving about, that could wait until later. Wadding up some tissue and holding it under his nose, he glanced over at Tavi. She was falling still again, but he knew that might not last for long. With a two-handed ballet, one forearm always trying to hold the tissue to his nose while he removed and replaced his latex gloves, he was soon rummaging one-handed through his neatly arranges stores. Ideally of course he wouldn’t be doing anything as unsanitary as bleeding, let alone trying to do anything one-handed while trying to treat a patient, but he weren’t exactly any other practitioners to take over.

Soon he had two vials lined up on the counter, as well as a bottle of water. He gestured for Jean to take her over to the examination table while he grabbed a pair of syringes and a new wad of tissue for his nose. Left hand for stanching, right hand for doctoring. Easy.

“Okay, Tavi,” he was a little muffled through the tissue, “Jean can let you go now and I can give you something to stop the itch for a little bit, but I can’t fix it until you tell me what you took. I can’t give you anything stronger until I’m sure it won’t cause any side effects. I can’t help you properly until you stop taking non prescribed substances.”

Therein lied the dilemma. Any drugs he had in stock, or could ask Jean to unlawfully obtain, were just as likely to cause respiratory failure than help her recover. He was stuck using mild painkillers as a substitute.

20
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: The Doctor is In (a Box)
« on: May 19, 2017, 06:20:41 AM »
The doctor was now at least over 50% sure that the captain cared for Tavi as a human being, though Am certainly planned to do more than just keep her alive.

The doctor cleared his throat, stood, dabbed his eyes and tried his best to look presentable in rumpled over-worn clothing. “Let’s... let’s start again shall we?” For her sake, he’d try to pretend to forget that these people had slaughtered an entire crew for their meagre cargo and attempted to sell him to his own parents. He was a terrible actor, but he could keep his priorities straight.

With a little bow at the waist (shaking hands at this point would feel unsanitary), he dipped his head as quickly as he could get away with, “Ni how, my name is Doctor Amadeus Stenger,” and he looked at the captain expectantly. If he was going to help that captain and his crew member... friend?... loved one?... it would be pertinent to at least know his name.

It felt a lot like agreeing to help the snake that could turn around and bite him at any moment, but a snake in pain had no less right to his help than any other animal... it was just going to be a bit hazardous.

21
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: May 18, 2017, 04:59:55 AM »
Conversely, the doctor did jump at the captain’s rather loud commandment, but didn’t let go until he was pulled bodily away. “No!” He lamented, grabbing futilely at the air where her foot had been. “Tavi, no! Captain, stop her!” Came the doctor’s less shouty more plaintive command. “Don’t let her—” Too late, she had the cupboard doors open and was scanning for the vials. Am had put them on the top shelf, but if a lock wasn't going to stop her, a little bit of height was hardly going to make a difference.

22
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: The Doctor is In (a Box)
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:52:06 AM »
A grimace would have been unprofessional, but it was clear that the doctor was concerned about the lengthy list the captain rattled off. With a cocktail like that, it was a wonder she was still alive. He set his feet back on the floor, straightening his back as his thoughts turned inward, consulting with what knowledge he had on the subject.

The practice of patient confidentiality took a grudging back seat. He didn’t have a whole hospital at his disposal, the captain was for all intents and purposes, his pharmacist, his nurse, his second option, his hospital administrator... He sighed, casting another judicious sideways glance at the man, still trying to discern how much of his apparent worry was genuine. Technically he supposed, the woman was his subordinate. If it was appropriate, discussing her health with her senior officer might be an acceptable breath of privacy. If he were more than her commanding officer... well that was just going to get complicated. The doctor knew all too well how the heart making decisions over the mind could cause all manner of trouble.

It was a hint, at least, that the man had a heart.

The doctor’s expression finally relaxed a little, bolstered somewhat by thinking about a new task rather than his own current predicament, and the vain hope that he wasn’t surrounded by complete monsters after all. “I need access to the medical bay, and I need to know exactly what she’s been taking. I won’t know what else I need until then. Most of all she needs to want to be helped. I can’t do anything without her cooperation, or consent. Anything I do will just be undone if she doesn’t want our help.

“I’m only a medical doctor, not a psychiatrist. I can treat her symptoms and lay a foundation for improving her mental state but you’ll need someone with different qualifications to help her rebuild her long term resilience. Her best chance at a full recovery is with professionals who deal with these cases on a daily basis. Ideally she needs a real hospital, captain.”

23
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: The Doctor is In (a Box)
« on: May 16, 2017, 06:39:07 PM »
Am peeked up from behind his arm, squinting at the man beyond the bars. They needed a doctor? The empty medbay had been testament to that, he supposed. He’d seen no other crew members besides the captain, Tavi, the cook and the lavishly dressed man though. Surely a crew of that few couldn’t need a full time doctor... Then again with the line of ‘work’ they were in, and considering Tavi’s bizarre behaviour, perhaps he should revise that thought.

Not exactly the career he’d had in mind. When he headed out for the Rim, he’d imagined travelling and helping those who needed help where there was none. The crew of this ship seemed to make their own trouble. While he didn’t question who deserved his help more, there was something to be said for the fact that there were other people in the verse that didn’t habitually headbutt mirrors.

That said, the captain was not offering him much of a choice. Still, it was a fruitless one. Am had already demonstrated that he would help whenever he was needed. It was not so much a choice to be in the medbay as be out of the cell, as far as Doc was concerned. And he knew his preference.

He couldn’t put it on his conscience to help these people harm others, but he could never leave someone in pain.

Something about the captain’s tone made him lift his head, a curious tilt to it. He had mused before whether or not the captain cared for his crewmember simply for her function within the group, or if there was true concern there. Am was not the best at reading people at the best of times, but the change in the man’s behaviour was such a departure from the constant stoicism that it was hard to miss. For the first time, Am had more reason to think that he did care for the woman beyond her work.

He sniffed and surreptitiously wiped his nose on his sleeve. It was hard to look professional with mucus dripping from your nostrils. “She’s been taking something, hasn’t she?” When he’d examined her, there’d been more symptoms than a mild concussion could account for. The fact that she’d headbutted a mirror in the first place was testament to a persistent ongoing problem, combined with the severe weight loss, suggested it had been at least a few months.

“I can help her... it’ll take time.” Whether or not she would let him help in the first place remained to be seen. He didn’t want to stay on this ship. He could think no person he’d rather be in the company of than this man, but if he had no choice and while there was someone here that did need him, he doubted he could leave if he even had the choice.

24
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Operation Dumbass
« on: May 16, 2017, 05:55:46 PM »
There were few sensations less pleasant than having a fist rammed into your gut, Am decided. It felt like all the air had been pushed out of him, his abdomen and chest turned to stone and he would have toppled over completely if rough hands hadn’t grabbed him and tried to stand him upright again. He couldn’t take a deep breath, somehow the hit to his stomach had constricted his throat, it was like trying to breath through a straw.

Almost blissfully, the rest of the room dissolved into the pure focus of trying to get air into his lungs. Voices and noises were lost to the stunned ringing in his ears. The shadow of someone moving past in front of him and he involuntarily flinched away, expecting another blow. None came, but he dropped back down to one knee nonetheless now that the supporting constraint of the captain’s grasp was gone. It felt like eternity, but soon he could draw deep breaths once more.

And he regretted that.

The smell of the room returned, and the meaning behind it, and his already queasy stomach gave a lurch. Blood and viscera were no stranger, he’d seen every manner of gory mess, but it was the nature of this one that threatened to turn his iron stomach to jelly. These were people he knew. Dead. Dead and gone and never coming back. And the people who had done it were still right here.

He gave a whimper, trying to keep deep breaths from turning into hyperventilation. Panic helped nobody, yet he had very few options. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t hide, he definitely couldn’t fight. He was trapped.

Movement again, and he glanced up to the far door. The captain was returning, another body in his arms. More blood, more death.

No, something wasn’t right. It was none of The Shetland’s crew, the body was far too lithe to be Jericho. It was the woman, the one who had the big gun. She wasn’t cradling it now, draped in his arms, her slack face a running river of fresh blood.

Something clicked in his mind, be it a coping mechanism, habit, a real desire to help, or all of the above. Regardless, it got him (wheezing) to his feet, and moving away from the man assigned to watch him. Pools of congealing blood and cuffed wrists made it difficult, but he tried. “Wh—” He coughed, the lingering effects of the punch still putting his diaphragm into occasional spasm. “What happened?”

Eyes that had been wide and wet only minutes ago were flickering methodically over the woman with a cool detachment that seemed totally at odds with the emotion of before. There was a level of concern there at least that stopped him from looking entirely businesslike. He noted the shallow breaths (to his relief) and that what looked like a blast of shrapnel to the face. He was sure he would have heard another gunshot, but the mystery of the cause would have to take a back seat to the fact that she was clearly injured. “Let me help.”

25
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: The Doctor is In (a Box)
« on: May 16, 2017, 10:27:29 AM »
The doctor sniffed, wiping his face on the sleeve of his shirt. Was this some form of mild torture? Working their way up to the finger-amputation? So far the captain’s only purpose with this visit was to remind him that the world was not as fair and just as he’d set out to help it to be. People were cruel, people were unfeeling, people took advantage. People died.

He gave a hiccoughing sigh, “A chance at what? I told you, I don’t have any money, I can’t pay my ransom, my parents won’t pay it. What use am I to you?” Locked in here, what use was he to anyone? Am gave another sniff, staring resolutely at the recorder sat innocuously on the bunk, proof of his lack of value to his own parents. With a whimper, he pathetically buried his face into the crook of his arm.

Today was a self-pitying kind of day. 

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