What Does This Mean? – A Scene III

“It means you’re a moron who can’t help but get into fights,” the doctor said, dabbing my brow with antiseptic. I winced.

My very sore behind sat on the cold receiving table of the military med bay, instead of our inept nurse’s hall. I’d even been offered a stretcher from the student wing to the base. Privileges for belonging to the military.

“It means,” he continued, sliding his chair to his silver netscreen by the door. He’d shaved his beard since I’d last seen him. “I’m giving you the long way round of healing, because you’re here too often and you waste government money.”

I glanced over to the doctor’s desk, eyeing the aluminum tube that could spray my stitches away, indifferent to whether he used it or not. The emotions from my bond’s declaration had purged when I punched Wiry on the nose, and when he’d slammed the tray onto my face. I’d told the doc as much, seeing as he was my assigned physician.

Though I’d probably have to think of some sort of payback for Wiry. After all, it would give me a scar.

“Your knitting magazines,” I murmured, eyeing a basket underneath the doctor’s desk, cutting him off from one tirade or another. “Are they a waste of government money?”

The corner of his mouth pulled up. “They remind me how to sow up wounds.”

“I hope your boss believes that, because I don’t.” He smiled, eyes still on his netscreen. A 3d display of my injuries rotated slowly, and if my bond had been near, I might have felt embarrassment. Instead,  the glass doors slipped open to reveal my commanding officer, a short thin woman in her late forties.

“I don’t believe it, soldier. But he’s a hell of a doctor. So we make allowances for it.”

“Ma’am.” I nodded.

She pulled up a file on both our netscreens. “Five times in the med bay? For fights you started?”

I raised a brow. Right. I’d forgotten those other two.

“Fortunately you’re a hell of a soldier, or you’d have been sent to a far moon for this kind of behavior. I’d thought the B.E.T. project had been going well.”

I glanced through my file. “The irrational behavior is due to the emotional response from the male subject. His response and then withdrawal led to the female subject’s sudden outburst of emotion.”

“You’re blaming him?”

“I’m reading the doc’s files.”

He coughed. “It’s not blame per se, more of a catalyst.”

She raised one thin brow. “And you think that our decision to separate them ‘catalyzed’ her behavior?”

“That’s not enough to warrant a visit, Mother Superior, and you know it,” said the doc.

She ignored him, keeping her gaze on me. “Lucky I was on my way to you already. The Operation to Delta Prime has been moved up. We need you in the shuttles by 0800 tomorrow morning. I suggest you take the rest of the day to sleep this off.”



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