Love and Starships: Chapter 11
“Is this really necessary?” Francis asked as the doctor prepared the auto-syringe. She stared up at the bright, stark white ceiling of the medical bay while her fingers dug into the sides of the bed. “I mean, it wasn’t even a month ago that I got my vitals checked before most of us even boarded the ship.
“It’s just to make sure.” The doctor huffed. Whorg hovered over her beside the bed. His voice was soft, but his body was anything but. His first set of arms fiddled with the container that would soon be filled with Francis’s blood, while the second set felt up her arm to find a good-looking vein.
With the medical tool ready, he leaned in closer, stretching one arm across the bed for balance. “I’m not going to run away.” Francis said, trying to pull her face out of a cringed state.
Whorg pressed the instrument to her arm. There was a brief sharp pain, followed by his strong fingers pressing against the point. “All done.” The doctor announced before pulling away. London laughed loudly from the bed on the opposite side of the curtain.
Francis sat up and pulled the cloth barrier to the side. The pilot was buried in the covers, his face red and holding back mucous and tears from his orifices. “Shut it,” She called him out. “You’re the one who got me in this situation.”
London’s second bout of laughing was stopped short by a cough that had come out of nowhere. “Don’t worry.” He wheezed, wiping his mouth on the sheet. “I’m pretty sure I was already feeling it before I came aboard that station to pick you up.”
Francis groaned and jumped back up on her own rickety medical bed. “What about Skee, doc?” She called out across the room.
The large medical officer hummed as he fiddled with the dainty vial of blood, inserting it into the microviewer. “The Shalek Cold doesn’t affect Reedeens.” He explained. “Not much does, in fact.”
“How lucky of him.” Francis sneered.
“This is going to take about 10 more minutes to scan through your antibodies to see if they’ve encountered the virus.” Whorg noted. “Stay put for a while. Hopefully it was something that you picked up off-ship, and that London hasn’t been around infecting half the crew.”
Francis shoved her head back into the lumpy pillow and crossed her arms across her chest. The doctor sat down at his desk and began to look over something on his computer.
London sat up slightly, rubbing away at his face. “If you think about it…” He paused, blowing his nose loudly on a tissue. “We’re lucky that I didn’t go to debrief with you two with the Captain. Can you imagine if he got sick?”
“You really look at the bright side of things, don’t you?” Francis said, turning to him slowly. The pilot was slowly extracting a long strand of snot from his nose. Francis pulled her gaze away quickly and shoved herself off the bed.
Whorg looked over at her as she made her way over. “I’m not letting you go until I get my results.” He said, hardly giving Francis a second glance.
“I just wanted to ask something, completely off topic.” Francis whispered with insistence, pulling up a stool.
Whorg bit at his dry lips before finally pulling his attention away from the computer screen. “Go ahead, Arnold.”
“Even though you said Reedeen’s aren’t affected by much… I think I did accidentally… cause Skee a condition.” Francis explained, making faces as she tried to hold back the full explanation.
Whorg leaned back in his chair expectantly. “Oh, and that was?”
Francis leaned in closer and held her palm beside her mouth. “I think I got him boozed up, drunk.”
The doctor let out a loud laugh that echoed through the medbay. “Well, that is something I hadn’t heard before. He never struck me as someone who would consume alcohol, let alone have fun.”
“Shh!” Francis hushed him and crossed her arms. “It wasn’t alcohol. I shared some Earl Grey tea with him.”
“Earl Grey? Never had it.”
“It has an herb called Bergamot in it, which apparently acts as a depressant for his species.”
“A depressant, huh? Well, consuming it would have a similar effect to Alcohol.” Whorg nodded. “How much of the tea did he consume?”
“He chugged down half a mug, a tall one! He got all floppy like he had taken last call as a challenge.” Francis demonstrated, waving her arms to the sides of her.
“Likely, he had no tolerance.” Whorg shrugged with one set of arms, the other crossed.
Francis looked back at London, who had passed out under the covers. “I couldn’t get in trouble, could I?”
“I don’t know.” Whorg admitted. “It depends if he intents to report it, and then if the Captain decides it was sufficiently malicious. Did you apologize?”
“I haven’t seen him since when it happened. He might not even remember it.”
Whorg rolled his eyes. “Well, seeing as how you’re not the type of person to take advantage of such a situation, I’m not feeling inclined to report anything.”
Francis sat up quickly and tilted her head to the side. “Take advantage? Like try to get with him while he was drunk?”
“If you want to spell it out, yes.” Whorg said, including a glare.
“I mean, how even?” Francis doubled down. “People were always saying that the Reedeens are so physiologically different, really, like, how would you?”
“You seem to have put some though into this topic, crewman Arnold.” Whorg noted. “I mean, fraternizing with other species.”
“No!” Francis shouted. London stirred, sniffing noisily on the other side of the room. “I mean…” She whispered. “It’s just what I’ve heard.”
“I understand.” Whorg nodded and smirked. “Just so you know, even though you need a waiver to… interact with other species off ship, other crew members here are fair game, your species or not.”
“I don’t need to know that!” Francis hissed.
“Just make sure they’re relatively sober and consenting.”
Francis turned around quickly on her stool and stomped off into the center of the room. The scanner beside Whorg’s desk beeped loudly. He stood to examine the screen upon it, listing the results.
“Well, good news for you, at least. You’re clean.” The doctor announced.
“Thank god.” Francis sighed.
“Just take a shower back at you room, and recycle that uniform.” Whorg advised. “Now, for me, I have to reach out to everyone Crewman London has been in contact with during the past two days…”