The Five D's
Episode 8: A Greater Power
Location: Medical Complex | U.S.S. Nogura
Timeline: Day 181 at 1730
“Next time, don’t forget the five D’s of dodgeball; Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.” Doctor Murphy advised as he led Petty Officer 1st Class Hill out into the Medical Complex’s reception. He patted the confused Petty Officer on the arm and sent him on his way.
About to head back in to resume his regular duties, the Doctor stopped when he spotted a familiar face. “Ah, Lieutenant Mitchell. You got my summons.” Doctor Murphy’s cheery tone stood in contrast to the scowl that adorned the Chief Flight Ops Officer’s face.
Alexander let out an audible frustrated breath through his nose as he stood. He’d been waiting in the complex’s reception for almost fifteen minutes and was in no mood. “What do you want, Doc?”
“Doctor Kizhol has signed off on psych eval and declared you fit for duty. That just leaves the physical exam.” He motioned in the direction of the exam rooms. “Come on. We’ll get it done now and I can clear you for duty too.”
The last thing Xander wanted to do at that moment was to submit for a medical. Part of him considered just going with the Doctor but he decided against that. He hated Doctors almost as much as he hated Counselors.
“I’m afraid I don’t have time right now. I’ve just received orders officially assigning me to the Nogura.” Xander explained. “I have to get up to speed with my new department before my first Bridge shift in the morning. Pencil me in for some time next week.” The pilot turned and headed for the door.
Doctor Murphy wasn’t going to let the Lieutenant off the hook. Mitchell had played his own version of dodgeball with his physical since boarding the Roehampton, no more. “Alright, you’ve left me no choice.” Raising his voice, he announced, “Lieutenant Alexander Mitchell, I hereby relieve you of active duty.” It was a little theatrical and over the top but apparently it was going to take that to get Lieutenant Mitchell’s attention.
Alexander stopped just a few steps from the door and hung his head. Apparently, he wasn’t getting out of his easily. He turned to face the Medical Officer. “You’re not going to relieve me of duty.” In retrospect, he should have known better than the challenge Doctor Murphy, especially in as public a setting as this but in that moment, it seemed like a good idea.
“Try me.” The Doctor replied seriously; his cheery mood ruined by this pain in the ass Lieutenant. “Walk through the door and see what happens.” With a nonchalant shrug he added, “Roll the dice and take your chances, Lieutenant.”
The next few moments passed in silence as they stared each other down, trying to figure out what the other would do from the look in his eyes. Finally deciding that Doctor Murphy wasn’t bluffing, Xander had to admit defeat. “Fine. I’ll submit to your physical.”
“Good.” Doctor Murphy gave a satisfied smile. It wasn’t like he’d left the Lieutenant with any other choice. “If you’ll follow me, we’ll get started.” He quickly added, “This won’t take long.” That was the part that Doctor Murphy couldn’t understand. The physical would take between five and ten minutes to complete. Why was the Lieutenant so hell bent on avoiding it?
The pair walked through to the empty exam room where Doctor Murphy had just finished treating Petty Officer Hill’s black eye. The medical complex onboard the Nogura was such that there were two exam rooms, which allowed for privacy when diagnosing and treating patients.
“Just hop up on the biobed.” Murphy instructed as he retrieved a medical tricorder. “Any problems crop up since your last physical? Any new aches, pains, recurring issues that you haven’t sought treatment for?”
Xander shook his head. “No, no new problems to report.”
“Okay.” He studied the readout on his tricorder for a moment. “Any problems sleeping? I’ve seen a lot of it going around recently, given what happened to us.”
Knowing that the Doctor would see through his lie if he denied it, Xander answered honestly. “Yeah. At the moment, my night’s sleep is a little broken. Usually accompanied by a nightmare.” He studied the Medical Officer for a moment and asked, “What about you? Have you had any nightmares?”
“Sure I have,” Doctor Murphy told him honestly, looking up from his tricorder, “I’d be worried if, after what we’d all been through that we didn’t suffer from nightmares. If they continue, I want you to come see me or speak to Doctor Kizhol.
Reluctantly, Xander nodded his agreement. “I will.”
Doctor Murphy smiled as he deactivated his tricorder and set it to one side. “Good. I’m clearing you for active duty. Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“Well you’ve a more pleasant bedside manner than some of the Doctor’s I’ve encountered in the past.” Xander shrugged as he jumped down off the biobed. “Sorry for giving you the run around.”
Doctor Murphy smiled as he returned the tricorder to it’s rightful place on the equipment tray. “Just don’t let it happen again. You’re good to go.”
Xander didn't need to be told twice. He was out of there without so much as another word.