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Malcolm & S'Acul: The Doc And The Cat

Alexander Matthews

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((Triage Tent))

::. . . darkness still? It was difficult to tell... S’Acul had been seeing flashes of something while unconscious, perhaps dreams, perhaps memories. Needless to say, he didn’t remember much after the explosion.::

::A pained groan rumbled in his chest, and he scrunched his eyes further closed - which cause a shot of severe pain to lace through his right cheek. Frowning, he opened his eyes... no, his eye. He had to blink away the fuzziness of unconsciousness, and he was very confused as to why his right eye refused to open.::

::His gaze focused first on the light above his bed. Good, that was something, he could make that out. It rolled slowly downward from the ceiling to the normally beautiful face of Doctor Malcolm - dirty, tired, little smears and streaks of blood on her uniform and cheeks. She was still beautiful, yes... but whatever she had been through had definitely been the worse for wear on her.::

::He struggled to focus his eye on her face, which was still somewhat blurry. After a few moments, his vision seemed to clear... but she looked so far away. He gingerly raised his paw to feel at the right side of his face - and jerked his paw back a moment later when he felt the scarring. Blinking his remaining eye, he tried to speak - but his throat hurt. He coughed once. Twice. Finally was able to speak, though it was with a terrible rasp.::

S’Acul: Wha... what happened?

Malcolm: S’Acul, you’re a the triage center we’ve set up outside of the ship. You were injured in an accident. ::She laid her hand atop his paw and waited for him to respond::

S’Acul: An accident?

::He blinked, trying to remember what had happened prior to the explosion... the ship was angling toward the planet, there was no way for them to avoid crashing... he had been piloting the ship by hand, the ship made contact with the surface... and then he didn’t remember anything else. Frowning, he reached up to gingerly press at the right side of his face again.::

S’Acul: What’ssss wrrrong with me, Doctor?

::She put her hands on his arm and pulled it back down to his side::

Malcolm: Don’t touch it. You’re still healing. You’ve had trauma to your eye and ear. Your eye was too severely injured to be saved, I’m afraid.

::He blinked again, and it was only after she mentioned his ear that he noticed he had really only heard her from his left ear. It helped she was standing on that side... his whiskers drooped as his frown deepened. Water began to well underneath his good eye.::

S’Acul: Well... that explainssss why I can’t open it... thank you for... trying, Doctor.

::His gaze dropped to his paw in his lap, then shifted over to her hand on his arm.::

(Cue music -


S’Acul: Can I... sssee it? How bad is it?

::Jen looked around her for something reflective. There wasn’t much that could serve as a mirror and everything had a significant layer of dust and dirt on it - even in the sterile environment she’d tried to create. She found an osteotractor - its shiny metal surface would have to suffice for now. She slipped her arm under S’Acul and helped him sit up::

Malcolm: Don’t be shocked by what you see. Your wounds are still fresh.

::She held the osteotractor near his face. He narrowed his eye at the bandages that covered pretty much the entirety of the right side of his face, and his frown deepened further still. The dark marks staining the bandages were enough to tell him it wasn’t pretty. There were particularly dark splotches where his whiskers would be... and it was definitely tender on that section of his upper lip. He’d only ever felt that a few times before - when a whisker was missing. He raised his paw to take the tool from her hand, holding it in front of his face, glaring at it, trying to figure out... why...::

S’Acul: . . . wow.

::Jen’s stomach tightened as she watched him. She felt like snatching the osteotractor from his hand and throwing it across the tent.::

Malcolm: I truly am sorry, S’Acul. ::Especially since with the right tools and enough time she undoubtedly would’ve been able to save his eye::

::The injured Caitian slowly lowered the reflective tool to his lap, staring at the same spot it had been. A tear rolled down through the fur beneath his eye as he began to lay back on the bed, seemingly calm and serene, paws folding together on top of his chest. He cleared his throat.::

S’Acul: About... how long will it be before I can take off the bandagesss?

Malcolm: I’ll have to change them regularly. But they should come off after a few weeks. The most important thing we have to worry about is keeping infection down.

S’Acul: ::nodding slowly:: Jussst let me know what we need to do. ::after a pause:: What happened after the crash?

::She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She hadn’t allowed herself to think about all that had happened lest it overwhelm her completely and had instead almost maniacally focused on her work. She wasn’t sure she could bring herself to tell him everything without dissolving into a pool of tears herself::

Malcolm: A lot has happened, S’Acul. But right now I want you to focus on getting well. You’ll find out about everything in due time.

::S’Acul considered arguing with her, because he had a desperate need to know what had happened... but despite everything that had happened, he found it very easy to do as she said. He nodded again and fell quiet, paws still folded on his chest, his eye focused on some point in the ceiling above him.::

::She leaned down next to him and in an impulse of sympathy, gave him a hug, squeezing his shoulders gently. She spoke softly into his left ear, words that were as much for her own benefit as his::

Malcolm: It’s not the end of the world, S’Acul. And you will heal. Remember, you’re still alive, it could’ve been much worse.

::His ear flattened at first when she leaned down over him, but it raised again at her words. A weak smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, and his good eye closed slowly. He returned the hug, tightly, and for a few moments seemed to refuse to let go.::

S’Acul: I know, Doctor... I know. Thank you... for taking care of me. I can’t imagine what you’ve had to go through the passst... however long its been ssssince the crash. ::swallowing, finally letting her go, but his paws still resting on her arms:: It just... feelsss like it was worse.

Malcolm: I know it does. ::she stood back up:: Just don’t let it overwhelm you. We need you around here as soon as you’re well.

S’Acul: ::laughing softly, shaking his head:: A crummy sssspace-pilot who managed to crash the sssship, with almost no other ssssskills, a bad eye and a bad ear. Right.

Malcolm: Trust me. We need you.

S’Acul: ::smiling weakly:: Whatever you ssssay, Doc. Only for you.

::S’Acul knew that Jen was doing everything she could to keep his spirits up, and had done all she could to help heal him physically... but there was such a crushing weight on his soul. He had crashed the ship... true, he had kept it from impacting in such a way as to kill everyone aboard, but he had still crashed the ship, equipment error or no. He was useless as a pilot now, not only because of the crashed ship - without his eye and ear, his depth perception and sense of direction was ruined.::

::He had a few other passable skills, certainly, but nothing that he could think of that would be of supreme value to the others. As a hunter, he was likely ruined. Anything requiring a sense of steady balance was out. He might be able to do some of the dirty work around their camp. But nothing that would make him feel... useful. A sense of supreme sadness fell over him - had fallen over him earlier, really, when he had woken up - and it was only then he realized that his purr was... broken. The Doctor might not have noticed that none of his r’s were rolling, but he had been listening to himself speak Standard for so long... it was obvious to him.::

::Jen sighed deeply. She was no empath, but it didn’t take any extra sensory skills to detect the sadness that surrounded S’Acul or the entire crew for that matter. She let him lay on the table, and stroked the fur of his arm absently, trying to offer some comfort::

::The Caitian helm officer truly appreciated Jen’s attempt to offer him some comfort, and offered her a weak smile - but there was no purr to accompany it.::

Ensign S’Acul Aveunalliv


USS Avandar


Lt. Jen Malcolm


USS Avandar

Edited by FltAdml. Wolf
Adding Round 2 prefix.
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