"Pandora's Box" # 37&38 - "Finally, free!"


<Kristiana Petrova's quarters>

She had finished getting dressed now, and had spent some time thinking about everything that had happened .. With her and Ryylar. Not nearly as much as he had wanted, sure, but still - she had enough to work through. But first, she wanted to get rid of that blasted sling. She didn't feel any pain anymore, even when just using that arm, so that to her was reason to not use the sling anymore.

Unfortunately there was the little problem of Russell D. Floyd, ship's CMO. He'd frown at her, if she just up and stopped wearing the sling, and although that in itself wasn't any reason for concern, Floyd still had the authority to remove her from duty .. So she marched straight for sickbay and wandered in, looking around a bit for the good doctor.

Russell was back on duty in his Sickbay which was resupplied after the starbase visit. The mission in the Romulan Neutral Zone had put a dent in the medical supplies. He was going over some reports and noted he had to do a psychological evaluation of the counselor. <He obviously can't evaluate himself> Russell thought smiling <That would be a first>.

The sickbay doors opened and he saw the XO walk in, still with her arm in a sling. He stood up from behind his desk and walked over to her. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." he said smiling.

".. Are you practicing for EMH, doc ?" She blinked a bit and smirked. ".. Cos you need to get rid of your hair, first, then, and look a bit more annoyed and stuff."

Russell laughed at her remark and said "I'm happy that I'm the complete opposite of the EMH in that matter. I still have my hair, all be it gray. And I have the arrogance to say that my patient relation skills are better. So how's your shoulder holding up?" he asked almost instantly reaching for his trusty tricorder.

"Well, that's the medical emergency, doc." she would explain. "With the complete and total lack of pain and discomfort I'm feeling in my shoulder I'm starting to feel as if this here sling is just a fashion accessory. And it just ain't my style."

"I already had the impression that you're a patient to make a recovery as quick as humanly possible." he said. "And a bit quicker if it suits you." he added with a smile. Russell started scanning her shoulder to check if it had healed as good as she thought. "Amazing..." Russell mumbled as he checked the readings.

".. Amazing ?" She blinked. "It's been freaking AGES, Doc. I want that sling gone, yesterday." Muttering a bit. She really didn't like being half immobilized, unable to perform even the simplest two- handed tasks.

"You had your surgery less than a week ago. ma'am." Russell stated. "And it amazing that you will be able to fully use your shoulder again. The surgeons on starbase 343 really outdone themselves." he added.

"Not just them, doc. You tried some new methods as well, you also did much of the work." Maybe offering him compliments would get him in a nice enough mood to allow her to use her arm again without the sling ? She was almost willing to try anything. Almost.

"Thanks for the compliments." Russell smiled. It was always nice to hear that a patient appreciated your efforts. "But without Starfleet Medical aboard the starbase I think I would not have been able to fully repair your shoulder." he said putting his work in perspective.

Now the scan was completed, Russell shared the results "I think you could do without the sling, but be very careful with it."

".. Without that damn Romulan Bokma my shoulder wouldn't have needed fixin' " she countered with a sigh, then gave a smile and a nod. "Thanks, doc." Finally removing the sling, rolling her shoulder a bit, and offering the sling to Russell.

"You're right. Luckily that Romulan was a lousy shot. But then again, it would have been better if there had been no shots fired at all." Russell said with a slight somber tone, remembering the events in the Neutral Zone.

"Are you sure you don't want to keep that as a souvenir?" he asked when he was offered the second hand sling.

She shook her head vigorously, then winced and rubbed her temples a bit. "Ugh .. No, doc, I do NOT want to keep this as a souvenir, because if I do, chances are you're gonna see it floating past a viewport within 10 minutes of me exiting through that door." A slight pause. ".. and do you have something against hangovers ?"

"Hangover, eh...?" he said. "May I ask what would be the reason for you to have a hangover?" he asked while walking over to the nearest cabinet to get a hypo with comforting qualities. Hangovers were usually a sign of the need to drown the misery, whatever misery that may be. "There is synthehol, you know..."

"The reason for the hangover is the consuming of a - for me - copious amount of alcohol, doc - you'd think a trained CMO would know this." She replied with a smirk. "And the reasons are mine, and mine alone. And no, I don't need a doctors nor a counselor's advise about it either."

"Believe me, I know how to get a hangover." Russell replied smiling as he gave her the hypospray. "Of course you don't have to share your reasons. But if you do want to talk about it, you know where to find me." he said with an understanding look on his face. "On the other hand, I'm not the real counselor aboard."

"Don't much - ah, thanks doc - don't much like counselors. Or doctors for that matter - nothing personal." She'd smirk softly ".. Seems that every time I see them I'm either injured, or someone has been suggesting I'm insane, again .. "

Russell understood her joke. "Nobody likes doctors." he said. "If I wanted to be liked by people, I would've chosen another job." he added smiling. "And I'm not fully qualified to judge your sanity." he humoured.

"Doc, I report to a long-haired rockstar wannabe without thinking that there's anything wrong with that. In my spare time I like to play with knives the size of a teenage kid, and to wind down I hit stuff with sticks. Do you really need a counselor's opinion after all that ?" She snickered a bit.

"Sounds perfectly normal to me." he laughed. "We all have our hobbies. But I do admit I have other means to wind down.

"Yeah .. well .. " Kristiana replied "I'm sure I'll hear everything about it, when I do. But now that I've finally gotten rid of that sling, there's a holodeck waiting with my name on it."

"Try not to strain your shoulder too much on one of those activity programs of yours." Russell said, warning his XO. "We could meet again very soon."

"Yes yes, I know, doc .. Thank you." she said with a practiced smile, as she marched right out of sickbay again, giving Russell a little wave as she went. Boy did it feel good to finally be rid of that sling. Now to work off some frustration and beat some skins on the holodeck.


A liberating post by:

Lt Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive Commander USS Pegasus "Finally, free !"


Lt.(jg) Dr. Russell D. Floyd Chief Medical Officer USS Pegasus