[ISS] Fix my Cute Nose (Tab 1.5)



You walk with Zola into Med Bay 01. One of the two fully operational med bays in the kid's section of the ISS Tsiolkovsky. You come here for check-ups, inoculations, and for the occasional injury. There's a doctor on staff all-hours, via monitor. A good deal of the equipment is automated or self-service. Anything that is complicated is handled by a proxy, a teen who has received rudimentary training. A couple times a doctor has come into the children's section in an encounter suit. It is very rare.

When the decision was made to split the ship, concerned parents insisted on sending two full functional med bays here so the next generation could receive the best treatment possible. Of course, the drugs administered also give them an opportunity to test for possible cures for the plague, so there is some self-interest there, too.

image "Yo, I think they'll use the robo to set your nose," Zola says as she looks over the equipment when the auto-lights pop on. "You should let them do it, but if you don't trust it, at least get a local." She heads over to a read-out to check the schedule. "Stomm. Doc Haladay is on shift. He's a hardass. You want me to cue him up?" Her hand hovers over the call button.

Which machine is in the worst shape, Tabitha?


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    "What's he going to do? Recyc me?" I say it like it will be taken as a joke but it's exactly what he threatened to do last year. People weren't 100% on whether I could understand them at the time. Maybe this is a roundabout way of saying I don't trust him to do a local on me.

    I have a seat in front of the remote manipulation unit. One of them. "Go ahead and call."

    Everything to do with blood testing? New and chrome in here. The combo cast and bandage printer is getting pretty out of calibration though, so sometimes the poor tech has to use scrap fabric to staunch wounds. Find something to brace under wads of spun gauze. Weird mixes of the two.
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    Zola cues up the doc, but there isn't an immediate answer. A soft voice comes on, "The doctor will be with you shortly. Please be ready to explain all of your symptoms in calm and orderly detail in order to expedite the process of making you better."

    image Zola barks a laugh, "Did you know that's drokking Nadja's mom's voice? How pandering can you get, right? No wonder that girl never comes to Med Bay." Zola walks away from the panel, runs a hand along the seat and plops down on it. "How do you think he snags the stuff out of here?" She looks around. Have you heard the rooms about Lucas stealing meds?
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    I kind of..did know that was her voice. Huh. "You know, I don't feel pandered to. " My eyes scan over the empty seats and camera lenses. I can imagine reasons why Nadja doesn't want to hear her mother's voice, though.

    I didn't know about Lucas (apparently) stealing meds. I scoff. "Who? It's probably not cleverness. But bribes I could see." I don't say who I would think was bribing who.

    I scooch into Zola a little, feel the warmth of her side against mine.
  • image Zola lowers her head when she answers, moving so her mouth is obscured, "It's Lucas, the weirdo." She looks over at your arm touching hers, the corner of her mouth twitching up in a half-smile. She noticed that, doesn't seem to have a problem with it. "Yeah, bribes. His parents probably set it up. It's like we're all just drokking proxies for their little squabbles. Ants in an ant farm."

    After a moment, the monitor winks to life, and Zola steps away from you quickly, moving over by an eye reader. Just like that, her posture's different she's just some girl that escorted you to the Med Bay.

    image In a weary voice, Dr. Haladay says the standard greeting, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." He blinks, focusing through the cams. "Io- Tabitha Rasa, what is wrong with you?" His tone is less than pleased, but he technically is asking after your care. Nothing could be reported.
    He checks charts or some displays off screen, waiting for your answer.

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    "Fell during speedball practice, Doctor. My nose is broken. Needs to be set." I can't pretend I'm not doing something similar to Zola now that we're under the gaze of an adult.

    I look blankly into the camera. I can't start a fight with this old man. My posture is stiff.
  • image "I won't even pretend to understand why they let you on the court, as wobbly-legged and slow as you are. Are you their tackling dummy, Tabitha?" He scoffs, not expecting an answer. "Broken nose. Serves you right. Well, lay down on the table and I'll set it. This once." He waits for you to move to the "table", which is actually a chamber with a plasteel cover that he can automatically close over you (see pic). I assume you do so?
    In that same tired manner, the doctor asks, "I assume you want something for the pain, Tabitha?"

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    "I play Lock." I settle into the chamber and let it close as it may. I won't defend myself more than that; Haladay can keep assuming I've made no progress in a year.

    I still myself carefully. "No, Doctor." I don't want to give him any satisfaction.

    It's worth being alive just to spite this old fart.
  • image His image winks over to the screen above you as you lay down in the chamber. A little robotic arm moving with precision, but very slowly, comes down towards your face, the metal pincers swapping out with gel-enders. It closes on your nose and shifts the cartilage into proper position. It brings tears to your eyes, Tabitha, the pain of being alive as this thing moves around the broken part of your nose until it settles back into place. After a moment, you hear the sound of the foam coming out around the gel-enders, forming around your nose bridge. The arm moves back and you see Dr. Haladay peering down at you. "Well, Lock. That will do for now. Keep the brace on except when you sleep, for two weeks. Otherwise, it won't heal straight. You know, with anyone else, I'd inject some meatmesh to quicken the healing process, but we've already wasted enough resources on you... don't you think?" He doesn't expect an answer.

    You hear Zola curse quietly from outside the chamber. The good doctor ignores her.
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    It's a fight to stay quiet and still, but it's worth it. I don't answer, just take one long breath in and out through my mouth as I exit the chamber.

    When I'm stood back up I don't stop. I walk straight out. Zola can follow me as she likes. When the door presses back shut, I mutter, "Stomm-sucking old man."
  • edited March 2016
    image She does follow, quiet as well, moving up to walk beside you after the door closes. "What a drokking idiot." She matches your quick pace. You both walk past the door to the classroom, towards the rooms. "C'mon, Lock. Let's get you some of Gwen's clothes. Clothes will make you feel better more than anything." She reaches a hand out to brush it against your arm, a light touch, a sort of "I'm here" thing or something.
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    "He's my least favorite doctor." I don't slow down until Zola touches me. I turn and give her a smile. "I'll give them a try."

    Hopefully they fit. I won't mention that here, though. Zola does seem like the type to be really excited by clothes. I'm trying to be, it seems like it would be fun.

    I peer up and down the halls to see if there's anyone else around. I'm usually looking for things like that, and places where the quarantine boundary is close. I want to feel familiar with the edge of my range I guess.
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    The door to Zola's room is slightly ajar, you see the flickering blue lights of a Navi and accompanying sound. Pax must be listening and watching some feed, sounds like music. Bea's door, however is closed.

    Zola pushes the button to chime Bea's room. You hear the cu-thunk of the lock opening and Zola pushes the door open. Inside it is dim, the overhead light is off and Bea's sitting cross-legged on her cot watching something on her Navi. She looks up curiously.

    image "Hey, Bea, we're here to requisition some of Gwen's stuff. Tabs didn't get stomm and the printer's on the fritz. Won't be a minute. Zola delivers this in a rush like it's all been decided, this isn't a conversation, it's a formality. She moves over to tap the button on the wall to open the compartment for storing clothes. She starts pulling items out a hangar at a time, checking out the tops and dresses and the like, leaving most, taking some.

    What item catches your eye, Tabitha? What is it that you like the most?

    image Bea peers at you, Tabitha, suspicious of Zola's story, "Wait, what? They didn't give you anything? Obviously you have clothes now. Why do you want Gwen's clothes, Tabitha?" She swipes off her Navi and scrambles to her feet, ""Lights on seventy percent." The lights respond, she squints for a second. "Zola drug you into this, right? I could report you to Rys, this is theft."
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    Zola's..being more aggressive than I would be here. Bea thinks I'm going to be the weak link here, too. Maybe. "I have this. And two other outfits. Do you want Rys to lay into me?" I could fight Rys.

    Zola slaps a shirt into me, still on the hanger. It's got a delicious texture and color, with a heavy drape. I like it. I still push it out of my space, though.

    "How is it theft? If Gwen isn't using it? Her parents coming for it? Are you using it?"

    I lean in to get a closer look at Bea's eyes. "I want to look like someone that somebody gives a stomm about. What is that worth to you?"

  • image Answering in a tone like your first question's ludicrous, "Of course I don't want Rys to lay into you, uhm, Tabitha." She licks her lips, thinking nervously, "I didn't know. I just thought that's what you wanted to wear, Tabitha. I mean, you're different." You ask her how it's theft and she shifts her stance a little. "No... I'm not using it." She looks at the shirt, at you. You see her do some kind of calculation in her head. "Well... it's not mine to give away. But I'm not letting Rys lay into me, either. I wasn't here when you..." She blinks a couple times, sniffs and turns away, heads back to sit on her bunk, grabs her Navi.
    "Just whatever."

    Zola barks a laugh like it was never in doubt, and helps you continue raiding the clothes for what you want. How many outfits do you take?
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    "Sure. I won't give you up, Bea." Different. People are cautious about me and put me out of their minds because I'm different. I'd like to ask her what she thinks that means but Zola is here and I don't want her jumping in.

    I only take a few things, really. Two tops, two bottoms, a dress and the shirt I like. Zola tries to push more on me but I want to make this short and not run past my ability to store this new stuff.

    Our feet are different sizes, so no shoes.
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    End scene
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