Prosperous: Chutes & Ladders

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Chapter 17

TRU SAT ON THE EXAMINE TABLE IN THE INFIRMARY WHILE DOCTOR LARESHTH examined him. The Avinion was being very thorough with the examination. Tru glanced up when Doctor Q’al came to stand by the door.

“Your readings are better,” Doctor Lareshth told him. She was staring at the scanner, changing screens. “You still haven’t told me how often this happens.” She looked up at him.

He smiled. “I did.”

“Yes. Every time you have a premonition. And how often is that?”

“I can’t say. I don’t keep track of them. This exam was supposed to be to let me know if I could get back to full duty.”

She picked up his wrist and scanned it. She looked him in the eyes.

“The wrist facture needs to be watched. It’s a hairline and you must keep the brace on it for another seventy-two hours until it’s healed. I would prefer you to work from your quarters and office for another day as well. Then I will release you to duty.”

“Thank you, Doctor.”

“May I speak freely, Captain Barnett?” she asked.

He glanced at Q’al, but nodded.

“Your body is reacting to the premonitions like someone would to any allergy. They are not agreeing with you.”

“I’m allergic to premonitions?”

“In a sense you can understand, yes.”

“I’ve never had anyone tell me that before.”

“You have never been treated by an Avinion.”

Tru opened his mouth to respond, and then closed it. She was right about that.

“So… What should I do?”

“Do you have any records of your premonitions at all?”

Tru slowly nodded. “Some. When I’m aboard Prosperous the computer knows when to record my vitals. They haven’t told me anything, yet.”

“Allow me to see the records. I will consult with other Avinion, with your permission, of course, and we will develop an approach to help you.”

Tru stared at her. It wasn’t that Avinions were uncaring and didn’t give to other creatures, but to have they were not known for providing medical help beyond emergencies. The race didn’t really care that Sileriums existed, but the Avinion council and rulers were not quiet about their feelings that Sileriums were a natural abomination and refused to help any from learning how to control their psychic abilities.

“I’ll transfer you the records I have. Thank you for helping.”

“You are very welcome, Captain Barnet. You are released to duty tomorrow. Then you can interrogate Ambassador Anderson.”

“No. I have to—”

“Is he going somewhere?”

Tru stared at her. He shook his head.

“Then it can wait for one more day, can it not?”

Tru smiled at her. “Yes.”

“Thank you for agreeing. We will talk more in depth at a later date. Be well, Captain.”

Lareshth left the room. Tru slid off the examine table and grabbed his T-shirt sitting on the chair nearby. He pulled it on before he addressed Q’al still standing in the doorway.

“She is much more forward than most Avinions.”

“She has worked with humans for almost a hundred years. She understands how to communicate better with your species than most.”

Tru shrugged a little. “Are you saying humans are difficult?”

“Not all humans.”

Tru nodded. “I get the feeling you want to talk about something, Doctor. Let’s cut to the chase.”

“I took your advice and read your medical chart and service records, Captain. I was surprised to find out your father was Silerium because I met him a couple of times and he never behaved like other Sileriums. Nor do you. You are quite grounded, and appear to be as human as the next human. It’s left me very confused, Captain Barnet. It’s not that I hate Sileriums; I’m just not fond of them and this puts me in a place I’m neither familiar nor comfortable with.”

Tru stared at him. What Q’al was telling him made him angry and his knee-jerk reaction was to tell Q’al he was fired. But he knew that wasn’t the answer to this problem. Instead he asked, “Do you need a transfer?”

Q’al shook his head. “I just need time to process it all, Captain. I had to tell you that, sir. Have a good day.”

Q’al left. Tru pushed his hands in his pockets, inhaling a deep breath.

Quietly he said, “Maybe I’m not cut out for this, Gracie. Everything I do seems to be the wrong thing.”

The computer responded, I disagree, Captain.

“Make every moment count so that your children will have knowledge to pass on to their children. Learn to know what you can and cannot change with your ever-open eye. Seek the strength of the soul, knowing that there is no other than yourself to steer your course and destiny.”

—Alamet, Governing Hashuka Priestess

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