“Yeah, just got the call, I’m needed down in the engine compartment, so sorry, later.”
Fourth Sister stared blankly out after the back of the retreating human as she tried to process the suddenly empty medical bay. She clicked her mandibles thoughtfully and placed the syringe back in the sterile cabinet she had drawn it from. She lifted her hand to the comm unit on the wall and activated it.
“Chief Engineer,” she said crisply. “This is Chief Medic.”
After a moment the device chimed.
“Yes?” the cheerful answer came back.
“Did you summon Fifth Engineer to aid you?” Fourth Sister asked.
“Fifth? Oh you mean Robinson?” Chief Engineer asked. “No. He’s scheduled for a medbay visit today according to the chart. Why?”
“He just left the medical bay in a state of agitation citing the necessity of his presence in engineering,” she explained.
“Well that’s weird,” Chief Engineer muttered. “Was he done with his treatment?”
“No!” Forth Sister snapped. “In fact I was just about to administer-“ She cut herself off remembering the humans’ restriction on medical information but Chief Engineer burst out laughing.
“You were about to administer his nutrient shot,” he surmised. “Yeah, he’s scared of needles. You’ll have to track him down and basically drag him back to the medbay for that.”
“Human law does not allow for forced medical treatment,” Fourth Sister pointed out
“You won’t have to force him,” Chief Engineer assured her. “This is literally a do-or-die situation. Tell you what. I’ll have Jonsey drag him back and sit him in the chair. Oh yeah, be prepared for him to pass out. Safety restraints might be a good idea.”
Fourth Sister clasped her mandibles together and laid her frill back against her head. There was so much wrong in that statement she didn’t know where to start.
“How precisely,” she finally asked. “Is Second Navigator, going to capture and return him to the medical bay? She is perhaps a fourth of his mass.”
“I told you,” Chief Engineer said cheerfully. “It’s not a matter of force. She’s the best to convince him.”
“I have seen Fifth Engineer walk into the medical bay,” Fourth Sister said thoughtfully, “under his own power, with a handspan of cryo-steel lodged into his thigh. He was laughing over it.”
“So?” Chief Engineer asked.
“Why is he afraid of a sterile sub dermal needle, to the point that safety restraints are necessary?” Fourth Sister demanded.
“Spike me if I know,” Chief Engineer said cheerfully. “Phobias aren’t supposed to make sense. There we go. Jonsey says she caught him in the cafeteria and she’ll have him back in your seat in two shakes of a cat’s tail. Cheers and remember the restraints.”
The comm chimed off and Fourth Sister lowered her hand. She drew in a long breath and released it. Humans.