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Poison Control

Posted on Monday April 12, 2021 @ 11:02pm by Madeleine De Saint Castine & Torin Landry

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Sick Bay

It wasn't really her fault. How could it have been? Torin's the one that stepped on her tail. Eurus was just reacting the only way she knew how. It was instinct, not insult. The thoughts running through Torin were fueled by adrenaline. They raced faster than he could jog to the sickbay. One his thigh, he pressed a t-shirt, the first cloth he could find. Even with as hard as he was pressing, he worried about dripping blood in the corridors. But time was of the essence. Untreated, his entire leg would succumb to necrosis before the end of the hour.

The doors slid open to reveal the sickbay. "Hello?" he mumbled.

Maddie looked up, her eyes widening at the sight in front of her. "What in the name of all things holy..." She jumped up from the seat she had been sitting on reading a book, the book cast aside as she moved forward, motioning to the bio bed closest to him. "Sit," she ordered, grabbing a tricorder and flipping it open. "What happened?"

"It's my Arcturian dog bird. I tripped over her and she flew up and bit my thigh," he said. He sat the uninjured side up before lifting his wounded leg over. "She's mostly domesticated, but she still has small traces of venom in her bites."

"As they do..." Maddie shook her head slightly. "You know, there are much easier ways to introduce yourself to the medical officer, you really don't have to go to this extreme, in fact, believe me when I say we'd rather you didn't. A simple 'Hi, how's it going?' would have been more than sufficient." She spoke as she started moving around the bio bed.

Disappearing from the main sickbay, she returned just moments later with two hyposprays and several cartridges, pressing one into the side of his neck. "This is going to slow your heart which will slow your circulation, give me some time to treat the wound, okay?" she said as she picked up the second hypo and pressed it into his thigh. "This is a pain reliever, localised only. I'm going to need to sterilise the wound and try and remove any residual venom. Even with the pain relief it's going to hurt. Do you want a teddy bear to hold onto?" she asked, raising an eyebrow slightly as she looked at him.

"Well, I just wanted to make an impression," said Torin. The adrenaline was subsiding as he made himself comfortable on the bio bed. Luckily, it was getting soothed by the addition of the inoculation. He looked up at the medic with a glint of hope, "Do you actually have a teddy bear?" A burning pain undulated through his leg. He couldn't help but grimace.

Stepping away for a couple of moments, Maddie returned with a small, bright pink teddy bear sporting a charming purple bow. "Meet Snugga," she said simply, handing it to him before turning back to his lower half, picking up a pair of large scissors and cutting away at the fabric of his trousers. "Sorry, you're going to have to replicate a new uniform," she smirked. "You know, usually I'd insist on dinner and drinks before we got this up close and personal."

Torin braced Snugga, gripping its pillowy fur in between his fingers. It was a poor excuse for an anatomically correct Earth bear, but the colors resembled the ursidae on Risa. He felt the release of the pant from his leg. "It's alright, I'm not too fond of these things anyways. Too stiff and far too few pockets." If he had any blood to spare, it would have rushed to cheeks. He wasn't used to coquetries. His response was a mix of a grunt, a gulp, and a chuckle.

Maddie worked silently and diligently for a solid fifteen minutes, an array of tools at hand being used and discarded. Finally, she drew a deep breath, wiped her hands on her uniform and looked at him. "Well, the good news is I won't have to amputate your leg. Congratulations." Wiping her hands again, she shook her head. "Bad news, you're going to be my bunk mate for the night, well, probably a couple of nights. You've sustained serious damage to your muscle, I can't let you leave until I know it's healing, or at least, no longer spreading."

Torin's jaw dropped. His stomach contracted and heart sunk. There was something that he never realized he feared, something that prevented him from doing his work: bed rest. He shook his head, "Eurus nipped before, back when she was a pup. I was back in working order in hours." He tried to get off of the bed. When he did, his leg spasmed, feeling like it was ripping apart. He winced, holding back a groan. Tears formed on his eyelids, forcing him to lay back down.

He caught a breath, "Fine. But Eurus will have to stay too. If not, she'll howl all night without me around."

"In a crate. This is sickbay, not animal control," Maddie retorted easily.

"Fair enough," he said. Eurus didn't like being caged, but if Torin had to, so did she.

"Can someone else collect her?" Maddie's eyes widened slightly at the thought that this person would be her, and she would have to go retrieve a venomous animal and attempt to cage it.

"She'll follow anyone with a meat stick," said Torin. "Getting her in a kennel will be the hard part, but if she's brought here first, I can help with that."

"I'll see if Lieutenant M'Riz is available," Maddie replied, unable to help the giggle that suddenly burst out at the thought of the large felinoid Catian attempting to wrangle a bird/dog. "I'll also have to let the Captain know about your injuries, you're going to be off duty for a day or so while you recover."

"Off-duty?" Torin sat up, "I can't work from here?" He retreated back into the bed and looked up at the ceiling. "What am I going to do for a few days, let alone one?" His brain felt like it was already melting of boredom. He had a few books to read, but his focus wouldn't be able to last endless hours.

"You can work, so long as you don't leave that bed," Maddie said quietly. "Sorry, I know it's not exactly enjoyable being stuck down here, but it was a pretty nasty bite and I'm worried about the damage to your muscles and nerves. I need to know you're healing well before I release you."

Torin leaned back in relief. Working remotely wasn't ideal, but it was preferable to hours of aimlessness. The switch to empathy from the doctor made him realize he was ranting. He took in a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I'll try to be a gracious patient."

Maddie smiled and shook her head slightly. "You have nothing to apologise for, trust me, I know what it's like to be bed bound and not allowed to do anything. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. On the bright side, you get out of mess hall duty for the next few days, and, more importantly, so do I!" her smile became a grin.

Mess hall duty wasn't awful. Torin preferred it to cleaning animal excrement. But, to miss out on that responsibility was something he would not miss. "And I get my food delivered." He took a few seconds to absorb his new living arrangement. He spotted the bed in the corner, remembering that he would have a roommate for the next few days. "I'm sure you already know from my file, but the name's Torin."

"Maddie," the medical officer replied as she swept her hair up into a rough messy high pony tail, securing it with a hair tie that had been around her wrist. "Well, Madeline, but Maddie will do." She picked up a PaDD and moved it to a new shelf. "So, any special requests for dinner? You're officially my first guest, I feel like I should be hospitable."

Torin didn't realize the passage of time. It seemed like lunch just passed, but his rumbling stomach was evidence otherwise. "I'm a sucker for pasta. But I'm so hungry, I would eat gagh." Even the image of twisting bowl of worms made his insides churn. "But pasta would be preferable."

Maddie visibly retched a the mention of Gagh. "Well, thankfully the replicator doesn't do living organisms," she said with a shake of her head. 'Red or white?" she asked, in reference to the pasta. "I cant cook to save my life, but I order a mean replicator dish."

Torin took a second to hear what his stomach was grumbling for. He nodded assuredly, "White, for sure." His hands fiddled in his lap. "So, have you been in Starfleet long? Is this one of your first assignments?"

"Actually, this is my fourth assignment," Maddie handed him the pasta she had replicated and a glass of water before returning to the replicator for a hot chocolate for herself, carrying it back to the bio bed next to his and pulling herself up to sit cross legged on the bed, blowing across the hot chocolate. "Though the Komorkis I guess doesn't really count, we were only on the ship for a couple of weeks, we'd barely gotten out of drydock and everyone was reassigned."

Torin seemed to have mistaken her for younger. He could age a tetracodyl by their teeth, but couldn't see a Starfleet medic as someone older than someone fresh out of the Academy. He looked down at his meal. The steam lifted the creamy scent to his nose. He stabbed into the meal and shoved a mouthful in. "Reassigned," he said before swallowing. He allowed himself to digest some before continuing. "That's something that I don't understand about Starfleet: assignments. You don't have the agency to choose where you work? What if you get assigned to an operation that's not exciting? I could never."

"I served on the Komorkis with a lot of the crew from the Cardinal actually, most of our senior staff were reassigned to the Cardinal." Her words were clearly carefully chosen as she spoke, her voice wavering slightly with unwanted memories. "Most of my assignments have been short lived. I think the Katherine was the longest, I was on that for nearly two and a half years until..." her voice trailed off as she took a sip of her hot chocolate. "What's this bird dog of yours?" the change of topic was abrupt. "Eurus wasn't it? I guess it could be worse, you could have called it Cat."

Torin played with his food a little while listening to Maddie's segments. It seemed he struck a nerve. Maybe he had it wrong? Maybe there was something more than just being put on a ship at will? He would like to know more, but didn't want to make their dinner conversation awkward. "Eurus, yes. She's an dog bird, which is like a dog with wings. Her species tends to be voracious hunters in the wild, but a few brave Acturians started domesticating them. She's rather gentle, but if she gets scared, she can bite." He pointed to his leg with his fork, "And we both know what happens after that."

"Yes, you pray to the deities that you have an incredibly able medical officer on hand who's able to act swiftly to stop imminent and serious damage and or death," she shot back with a small smile. "In this case, you got lucky. And she's good company to boot, or so I hear."

"She's the best, practically my only friend," he said, realizing his plate was half empty already. "But she has no choice. I'm the one that feeds her and scratches her feathers."

"So, in other words, you're her slave," Maddie replied with a laugh. "I don't have any pets, at least, not real ones." She paused, taking another sip of her hot chocolate. As her mug lowered, she turned toward the wall between main sickbay and the small space that served as her office/bedroom. "Cookie," she called softly.

The computer beeped twice then there was a slight shimmer in the lower bulkhead and a white, exceptionally fluffy cat seemed to walk right through the wall, padding across the open sickbay floor, meowing once before jumping up onto the bio bed Maddie occupied, resting a head on her leg. Instinctively, her hand moved to rest on the back of the feline's head, scritching gently before she looked across at Torin with a small smile.

He looked at the kitten through squinted eyes. He wasn't sure what to make about a non-organic pet. It moved and acted like a cat, but it technically wasn't. Maybe there was more to animal companionship than just scientific interest, but that was a thought that Torin didn't want to have to wrestle at the moment. "It must keep you good company. And you don't have to worry about feeding it or cleaning up it's scat tray."

"It's a program I designed, I use it for basically a pet therapy kind of approach to counseling where needed. I can program the parameters of the animal depending on what individual people like. I enjoy the company as well when I'm here alone, Cookie and Peanut are both very affectionate." Maddie pulled her hand away from the cat and immediately it started to push its head upward into her palm. "Home." The single word was clearly an order and obediently the cat jumped down from the bio bed and padded quietly toward the wall, shimmering away again with one last meow.

Torin's eyes followed the feline until it disappeared into thin air. His eyes turned back to the officer, "I didn't realize you were doing double for physical and mental doctor." He mindlessly scraped his plate, noticing that he had already finished his meal. He was well-sated enough. "I had to do a mental evaluation before being allowed to work on a Starfleet ship. We never had that luxury on the fringe."

Sliding off the bio bed, Maddie took his plate silently. "Do you want something else? Maybe something for dessert or a coffee?" She asked as she walked back to the replicator to recycle the used plate. "I'll be honest, I have a bit of a bad habit of raiding the ship's pantry after hours," she said with a sheepish grin. "But if you want something now I can get it for you."

Torin thought back to his sneaking about mess. It was only by chance that they hadn't run into each other, because it felt like he made a trip every other night. Although his stomach felt heavy, he always had room for something sweet. "A coffee and a cookie would top it off perfectly." He said. He felt useless, considering he couldn't even stand to get his own food. "Only if you're planning on getting something for dessert too."

Maddie laughed from the small office where the replicator was located. "Who ever says no to cookies?" she asked, replicating a coffee for him, another hot chocolate for herself and a plate of rich, buttery shortbread fingers, handing his coffee to him and setting the plate of cookies on the table next to the bio bed. It was only once she had returned to sitting cross legged on the bio bed next to his that she dunked a shortbread finger in her hot chocolate. "This is why I should be on a bigger ship, somewhere with space to run." She laughed and shook her head. "I can never say no to cookies, and I never stop at just one."

There was no hesitation in dunking a cookie into his drink. Torin tried to get it in his mouth cleanly, but a hot drip of coffee fell across his uniform shirt. A brown streak remained on his chest. "I don't know how you Starfleet people do this—wear uniforms all the time. They are impractical. And not comfortable." He tugged at his collar.

There was another laugh. "There's worse things than uniforms," she said with a shake of her head. "I can replicate some pyjamas if you want, something more comfortable?"

Torin looked down at his swelling leg. It was much better looking than when he arrived, but was still tender. "That might help with the circulation, but it's going to be a nightmare getting changed."

"I'll help. Don't worry, I promise not to peek," she replied with a grin as she slid off the bio bed and took another shortbread cookie. "But, you know, you may as well finish your cookies first, seeing as how you've already made a mess."

Torin had already eaten a few more mindlessly, but continued dunking. He looked down at the crumbled mess around him. Those scraps would have been licked up by Eurus if she were present. He took another, dunking it in his half-full mug. "Good idea." The embarrassment of indecency was less than that of needing assistance in changing. Torin would have shoved off the offer, but his immobile leg forced him otherwise.

Finishing the second cookie, Maddie took the plate and his cup to recycle them, replicating fresh comfortable clothing while she was there before returning to the main sickbay. "Come on," she said, setting the clothing down on the side table and pushing it away a little. "I'll help you to your feet, get the bed cleaned up and help you change. It won't take but a minute or two, just try not to put too much pressure on your leg while you're standing, okay? Use me to support your body weight."

Torin brushed what he from his lap to the floor. The cleaning program would be able to clean that, in the absence of a dog bird. He stretched over, pulling himself to the edge of the bed. His working leg planted on the ground, and his other was pulled down. He couldn't feel anything from that leg, but a warm pressure. It was enough to make him wince His pride led him to try and stand on his own, but his knee gave way. He grabbed the side of the biobed to stabilize himself.

He looked to the doctor, who was a decent size smaller than him. He wasn't even sure if she could really hold part of his weight. Nonetheless, he swung his arm over her shoulder to help balance. He tried to put as much of himself over his good foot, but he faltered, pushing down on Maddie. "That's better."

"Don't try and be brave," Maddie cautioned. "You'll just do more damage."

It didn't take long for her to help him get changed and then fix the biobed, helping him back into the bed and making sure he was comfortable. "How's your leg feeling?" she asked, genuine concern in her voice. "Do you need some more pain relief?"

"I think I'll be fine for now," said Torin. He laid down, patting his stomach, "I'm content." He yawned. "So content, I might even sleep soundly tonight. Eurus will be mad I started without her."

"I'll get someone to fetch her to you," Maddie replied with a slight smile. She moved across and took a warmed blanket from the blanket warmer and spread it over him carefully. "Do you want the lights out?"

"Yes, please," he said, tugging on the edge of the blanket. "The darker, the better." Even with the lights still on, his eyes became heavy.

Walking to the back of sickbay to the small office/bedroom, she paused at the door for a moment, making sure he was settled before she issued the one final order. "Computer, lights out."


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