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Where Does It Hurt?

"Where Does It Hurt?"

Joint Log by Cdr. Tandaris Admiran and Lt. Cdr. Rue Wydown



The doctor was finally in, but Tandaris was not sure where to start. That was, in fact, precisely the problem he had been having ever since his “recovery.” Everything had elastically snapped back to status quo so quickly that it made his head spin. And now, to admit something was wrong ... it seemed like admitting that things weren’t the same.


“I think ... it’s complicated,” he finally said, each word chosen with deliberate care.


A close observer would notice the slight facial tick that indicated that the doctor was contemplating her next move. Rue Wydown tried to navigate the medical theater skillfully, adjusting her mannerisms to try to put her patients at ease. She was the listener when they needed an ear, the talker when they needed distraction, formal when they wanted distance or spoke in her local cockneyfied accident when the patient wanted a ‘friend’ to care for them. Her experience with Tandaris, however, was limited to one brief period where he’d spent time in restful slumber (aka coma) on one of her biobeds. She resigned herself to a simple shrug as she answered, “It almost always is.” She smiled then, indicating that he should slip up onto the biobed. “Want to tell me ‘bout it?”


“Not really. But it may be medically relevant, so I suppose I shall. I just came from engineering, where we’ve been working for the last few days on a device whose function and purpose remain unknown, even to me. And I was the one who supplied the plans for it. They just felt ... it just ... I needed to build it. This isn’t the first time it’s happened either. Every time I talk to people, do perfectly normal things ... it all feels slightly off.”


“You sorta felt compelled to play with the engineering toys, hmm? Doesn’t sound completely out of the ordinary – one of my engineering friends used to program a Tesla coil to play odd theme songs now and then for no apparent reason.” Rue began the scan, glancing between the scan and Tandaris’ face as she typed commands into the tricorder. “Have you been having any signs of physical discomfort? Headaches? Mood swings? Trouble sleeping? Dizziness? Felt like you’ve been imagining things?”


“No. And that worries me. I know my encounter with the Scorpiad ship left a mark on me. Until I find out what that is, I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable. I can’t live and work normally with such uncertainty.”


“Physically, I’m not finding anything here that would send up any bells and whistles. However, that’s not to say your assessment of your own feelings aren’t valid. You went through a tramatic experince, and that can leave its own kind of wounds.” Rue closed down the tricorder. “I’m recommending that you start sessions with the counselor.”


Tandaris frowned. He had seen this coming, of course, but it was still difficult to hear it. “Check again. There must be something. Elevated neurotransmitters ... anomalies ... maybe your equipment’s malfunctioning....” He started prodding the biobed with a critical hand--and eye--intent on finding an external source of his unease.


“Look, no matter what instrument of torture I use in here, no amount of jiggery pokery I do is going to change the fact that ye need to talk to the counselor.” She leaned against the biobed. “And there’s nothing to be ashamed about it. Trust me.”


It wasn’t shame. It was the unexplained assemblage of parts sitting in engineering. It was the woman on board solely to spy on him and report back to the Symbiosis Commission. It was the possibility that, in an accounting of the matter, he was at fault.


It wasn’t shame, but it may very well be guilt.


“Thank you, doctor,” Tandaris said, sliding off the biobed. “If that’s what you think is best, please make an appointment for me.”


"What do you think is best?" Rue tilted her head, a slight testing question to see how open he was about her assessment.


Tandaris replied, “I think I made a mistake.”


"What do you mean?"


“I don’t know when--whether it was coming back to duty so soon, or pushing the investigation on the ship so hard, or if it happened even earlier than that.... Somewhere in all this, I made the wrong call.”


"And it's bugging you, isn't it?" She asked innocently enough.


“Worse than that, it’s impairing my judgement. I can’t let my subconscious decide how to run engineering. It’s irresponsible, and it’s not fair to the ship--or to me.” Tandaris glanced in the direction of the counselor’s office, then back at Wydown. “Please make that appointment for me, doctor. Any time will do. My schedule has suddenly cleared.”


She nodded. "Okay. I'll make arrangements as soon as possible." She paused. "Tandaris, we'll get it all sorted." She flashed what she hoped was a reassuring grin.


Tandaris did not feel reassured, but he was less perturbed than he had been upon entering sickbay. Maybe this was not the most comforting of environs--despite the efforts of its staff--but he always found it exactly the sort of place that comforted him: a source of answers. He was not sure what was going to happen next. Indeed, he could be crazy and not yet know it. But he did know that this, unlike most of what had happened to him in the past weeks, was his choice. That felt good.

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