Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in The Art of Psycho-therapy…Sickbay after meeting with Rogan....When the past doesn’t match the present… or the future
“What happened,” Lauren said seeing the entourage enter sickbay. “Bed three,” she motioned with her hand to Ian carrying the Ensign from operations in his arms as she grabbed a PaDD. The image of Rinker in sickbay following them stopped her from reacting immediately. The psychiatry chief was not unknown in the medical units but sightings of him were rare. Unless it was one of his patients or a red alert tirage situation, he tended to stick to the counseling suites.
“Possible slip and fall.” Rinker offered half heatedly. He didn’t think it was that in the slightest.
“On a moving laser saw,” she looked at the injury wide-eyed. A compound fracture wasn’t necessarily an uncommon injury. It happened now and again but almost exclusively in the security or marine forces where things like broken bones from terrain or impacts were common. It did not tend to be in the operations division of food services. Looking at the clock and the prior message, it did not take Lauren long to jump to a conclusion.
“Is she from the brig? I got your call about cortical scanners. I was on my way to install them in the cells as requested.” Moving to the edge of the biobed area Lauren waited glancing back over her shoulder once at Jessa’s space with the two guards posted at her door. “Do you need me here or installing the scanners,” she asked Rinker. It was a rhetorical question. Rinker could easily treat the woman as well as any doctor in sickbay. The question was if he wanted to be a doctor or not.
“I’m fine, you take care of the install.” Rinker shook her off. “I’ll take care of it.” He was better suited dealing with Jessa if something went awry anyways. He waved a medical tricorder over the leg. He shook his head, it was a far worse fracture than any mis-step would have caused. An outside doctor might have missed it, what other explanation could it be. A person’s first guess wouldn’t be a malicious telepathy punched at a security officer’s foot.
Lauren tapped the device on her hand a few times contemplating what was happening. It had been a busy day in medical. While Ian and Rinker would not have been informed yet, the Marines had limped back after taking the shuttle. A few were lost, most had some form of injury that needed treatment, and one was in critical. If Rinker was calling for cortical scanners the man was working on a theory.
Putting down the PaDD, Jessa moved from her bedto the edge of her door. Ian had left about an hour ago to meet Rinker and talk to Rogan. Since then, she had had a hard time concentrating. Everything was riding on the meeting and how it went. Hearing the commotion meant he was back. Stepping out of the door, she watched Ian, Lauren, and Rinker talking around a biobed. They seemed to be tense but every adult was tense on this ship about one thing or another. Although this was a sickbay, since she had arrived, there were virtually no people in it except her, Kelly, the three doctors, and her goon squad. Jessa opened her mouth to call out for Ian but was interrupted by a scream.
“Ahhh,” the Ensign groaned hitting her head against the pillow a few times and squinting her eyes trying to deal with the pain. “God this hurts worse than any sprain I have ever had from rolling my ankle.” Everything happened so fast, the last thing she remembered before the blinding pain was the sensation of tripping. The floor had been completely clear so it was a logical, albeit the wrong assumption on the Ensign’s part. Looking up at Rinker, she clenched her teeth hard talking through them. “Commander I don’t know how I did this but I feel so stupid.”
“I’ll take care of the pain.” He placed a neuroblock at the calf so no pain messages would travel. But as an added bonus, he gave her a little hit of Hydromorphone, she wouldn’t feel any pain.
The grimace melted from tension to relaxed and smiling. “Wow you are were not kidding,” she sighed deeply completely relaxed.
“Yeah, I know how to treat my patients. Who’s your Doctor?” Rinker chuckled a little.
“You as soon as open enrollment starts or sooner if you are accepting new patients,” Megan replied. She knew him by name only. While Heathcliff Rinker was on some level just like any other counselor, his rank kept him busier than other officers with endless meetings and such.
“You know the more I think about it, maybe it was the invisible block.” She adjusted the sleeve on her shirt as she talked. “My mom used to call it that. You know when you seemed to trip on something and there was nothing there but you still fall flat on your butt or in my case ankle.”
“It wasn’t your fault. I think there was an outside factor. I’ll watch the video.” He was certain he would see the sudden shift of forces on the leg that certainly couldn’t be explained by a mis-step. “And don’t get too excited, I’ll get this fixed right up. I’ll give you a couple of days off cause I’m a nice doctor, but no lollygagging. You probably could do cartwheels on this tomorrow.”
She let out a laugh. “You are a nice doctor and mum is the word on the days,” she made a gesture as if locking her mouth and throwing the key away.
Rinker worked efficiently. It wasn’t a complex injury or difficult medicine. He did take care to be certain he didn’t miss anything and checked three times to be certain he did everything right. He couldn’t remember when he had to fix a broken ankle and some torn ligaments. Nasty injury 300 years ago, now it was a half an hour under a bone re-generator a few minutes of a tissue knitter and a day of rest.
Something was going on and Jessa had a funny feeling in her tummy that it was not good. Jessa had thought hearing both their voices meant both men were coming to talk to her. Instead, they seemed to be focusing on something else. Ian hadn’t popped his head in to her room yet devoting all his attention to Lauren, Rinker, and the person on the bed. As much as she was on edge around Ian, he was becoming a stable person in her day to day. Rinker had said he was a doctor but she had never seen him in sickbay even after she had gotten hurt. Chewing on her nail she let her stare drift from Rinker and followed Ian and Lauren who were across the room talking. As nice as O’Neill, the doctors, and Ian were to her, they also were very clear that she was not to roam the room and to remain in the space designated for her. With O’Neill talking to someone on his comm in the corner, Reese getting coffee, and everyone’s attention elsewhere Jessa had a small opportunity to move about unnoticed. Moving slowly, she came up behind Ian and Lauren who had moved a few steps away from Rinker and the patient so the man could work but still within conversation range.
“Hey be careful when you go down there. We are pretty sure he hurt her. Rogan is a sociopath. I would suggest anesthetizing them if you need to get into the cell. I think O’Neill is setting that up,” Ian spoke in a low tone rubbing his jaw feeling a thin layer of stubble under his fingers. The past few days were starting to take a toll on him. He hadn’t slept in his bed in almost half a week opting to sleep in chairs alternating the hours between Kelly and Jessa. Every move Kelly made, caused Ian to fly awake eager to make sure she was still fine. Sitting with Jessa caused him to nod off since the kid did her best to avoid him causing them to often sit in silence. Making a mental note to shave during his next five minute shower, he let out a deep exhausted breath through his nose. Woman sighed. Men tended to just deeply exhale.
“Yeah,” Rinker agreed. “That’s what I saw… or more honestly what I didn’t see.”
Hearing Ian’s words felt like a gut punch to Jessa. The meeting definitely had not gone the way she prayed it had. Both Ian and Rinker had expressed concerns about her seeing the Elders. If something had happened to back up those fears, she would never get a chance to see them. Fear and frustration began to bubble over in her body. Triffing hell Rogan. What did you do, she thought angrily to herself. She had just been winning over their trust and now Jessa was going to have to force them to let her see the Elders. Since asking hadn’t worked, there was only one other way Jessa knew how to make it happen. “So that is how you are objective,” Jessa snapped from behind him. “You said you were going to talk to him. Really talk and listen but as usual you are just close-minded and forcing your preconceptions on us!”
“We did talk to him,” Rinker didn’t turn, he was working, plus he wanted her to see that he trusted her to the point where he would leave himself fully exposed to her.
“More like you provoked him into giving you the exact response you wanted,” Jessa spoke with a hint of a whine to her voice. Her posture and wild hand gestures showed she was throwing the equivalent of a tantrum yet without the aggression displayed earlier in the week. The stomping of her foot replaced the punches she had been throwing to provoke the crew. The whine had replaced the yelling as she spoke. “I told you that you needed me but you all were too stupid,” she continued to rant looking between Ian and Rinker making sure to chastise them both equally. Right now she wasn’t sure who she was angrier with Rogan or Ian and Rinker.
Hearing Jessa’s voice made Ian move from his spot talking to Lauren. He closed the gap between him and Jessa in two long, purposeful strides. Anger, frustration, and exhaustion were taking its toll on him like everyone else. “This,” he leveled a finger at Jessa, “is not your business.” Flicking his finger to the right, he pointed back at her area in sickbay. “Go. Don’t make me ask twice.”
“Ian,” Rinker said quietly. Trying not to contradict him obviously.
If he had not been so furious with Jessa right now, Ian might have backed off but his temper was red-lining. No matter what the crew did, these Elders continued to hurt them and Jessa staunchly refused to see it. Ignoring his friend completely, Ian turned his full ire on the small girl continuing to try and play a game of chess with real people. It was going to end now. His spine was ramrod straight and his steps purposeful which made him an imposing presence as he stepped forward.
Jessa took a step back as Ian approached her. She was not exactly scared of Ian but his posture and tone indicated the man was not in a good mood. Finding her balance, Jessa straightened her shoulders and pressed the point. “Not my business,” she snapped. “How is being held hostage here not my business. What did you do to him?” She had to push Ian to the point of no return like she had with the large green alien. Everyone had a breaking point. When Ian reached his, he would drag her back to the brig like Mardusk did. As much as she didn’t want to sit in that cell again, it was her duty to be with the Elders.
“Jessa,” Ian’s voice barked out with the full authority years of being in command had taught the. “I told you not to make me ask twice. If you don’t get your ass back in that room you are not going to like me in the next sixty seconds so move or you will not sit down when you get there.” Somewhere deep inside, Ian knew this was not the right approach but Jessa was not a junior officer and did not have to comply with his request. She was his kid and he had had enough talking and cajoling for one day.
“Ian.” Rinker said a little louder.
Absently she looked over at Rinker before looking back at Ian. The sharp tone to his voice and the unwavering, penetrating stare Ian was giving her made every instinct in Jessa want to comply with his order. While she profusely denied that she was just a child, Jessa was intelligent enough to understand Ian was the adult. This was also not the first time she had been in trouble with an adult. She did not think Ian would hit her but she had to keep pushing. That was the only way he was going to snap and take her down to the brig. Taking a deep breath, she lifted her chin a bit higher. “Make me,” she said tensing her body.
“Not now Heathcliff,” Ian barked back instantly regretting it. Somewhere deep in his subconscious, he knew Rinker was seeing things clearer than himself. Ian knew the sharp semi-command, from Rinker was to get him to think about what he was about to do. Without it, Ian probably would have set back the minuscule trust Rinker had been surreptitiously creating. As much as Ian didn’t want to admit it, maybe he would see if Rinker wanted to get a drink later. If they talked over burgers and beer, it wouldn’t feel so much like he was seeking help but more hanging out with a fellow officer.
Grabbing her arm, Ian clamped down on her bicep and began to walk Jessa back to her room. “I told you to not make me ask twice.”
Jessa felt her feet leave the ground and her stomach twist into a knot as Ian jerked her off her feet and back towards the small area they had designated for her. It took only a second for her to realize they were going in the wrong direction. Instinct took over as she tried to plant her feet forcing Ian to half drag her. “We are Elders. We would not hurt any…one,” she yelled as Ian whipped her around to look at the woman with the broken ankle.
“Then how do you explain this,” Ian replied in a firm tone.
Ian Bordeaux and Jessa Novar
As Jessa’s eyes fell on the patient on the bed, she tried to take a step back. Instead, she was stopped in place by Ian’s body preventing her from retreating. The woman’s leg looked horrific. Blood had turned the area around Megan’s leg a dark ruby red staining the white bedding and gluing part of the woman’s pants to her leg. Thick globs of coagulated blood dotted the torn skin around the injury. In the center of it a portion of the fibula was poking out. While most children Jessa’s age would have covered their eyes or broken out in tears, Jessa wore an expression of just shock. It was not the visuals of the injury she was trying to escape from but the reality of it. Jessa had seen things far worse than this, especially recently. The re-education of Mischwald and the obliteration of Halston showed her things that still were haunting her dreams six weeks later. What Jessa was trying to escape from was accepting the truth about what had happened down in the brig.
“I don’t know,” Jessa yelled feeling guilt beginning to replace the anger.
“You have no idea,” Ian’s voice still held the razor edge of authority, yet decreased marginally in its volume as he asked his question. “Take a guess.” Ian was completely out of his league here in trying to get Jessa to admit the truth. This was as far from making a kid admit to a store clerk they stole a candy bar as one could get but in principal it was similar.
“I…I I I don’t know,” Jessa stuttered starting to fidget uncomfortably next to the bed. “She musta…fell…and broke her ankle.” The words coming from Jessa’s mouth made her feel ill. Her voice sounded weak and feeble as it echoed back to her ears. It wasn’t fair that this had happened to the woman however Jessa did not take her eyes off the injury. Looking at either Ian or Rinker might break her. So far she had withheld stuff out of necessity yet now, Jessa was outright lying. She took a deep breath mentally convincing herself that since they were not in Rinker’s office a little lie would be okay. It would not change what happened. It was clear Rinker was fixing the injury. Soon the woman would be back to normal and Jessa could just apologize and make amends. After that everyone would just move on and forget it had occurred.
Rinker looked at her speaking with a much calmer and gentler tone than what Ian was capable of at this moment. “With your permission, Megan.” She might not even fully understand what he was asking permission for, but he was about to discuss her medical condition to a third party who didn’t have a need to know.
“Sure,” Megan replied with a slight smile. “I trust you. Do whatever you need to.” Laying back she felt so relaxed.
“This is a compound fracture. It is a break where the bone is forced through the skin causing severe damage, bleeding, pain and frequently shock and infection often leading to death if there is not significant competent medical treatment. Young Officer Megan received this when giving Elder Rogan a steak that he requested and that he probably didn’t deserve.”
Jessa watched as Rinker spoke slowly making the bone slide back in place and the wound close as he waved one of his devices over it. She avoided looking at him by pulling down the sleeves of her shirt over her hands and fidgeting with them. Jessa missed the long sleeves of her ceremonial robes. They hid her nervous habit of cracking her knuckles when she was in an uncomfortable situation. Subconsciously it was a way for her to mentally separate from the guilt she felt. Almost as if covering her hands were a way to keep them clean.
Ian nudged her back gently with his palm. I am so sorry kiddo. I don’t know how to fix this but Rinker does. Give us just an inch. Please, he thought before saying softly. “Jessa, Mr. Rinker is talking to you.” The calmness of his voice made her look up.
He paused in her treatment and looked Jessa in the eye. “I don’t have to know anything about the situation to tell you there is almost no chance that a normal step could break a leg of a women as healthy as her. There is absolutely no chance that an accidental mis-step would lead to a break with so much force to cause a compound fracture… So you tell me how a person gets a compound fracture handing Elder Rogan a steak?”
Jessa shrugged and averted her eyes. The reply of ‘I don’t know’ felt like a hollow and empty response even to her. Why did Rogan have to do this? It was only going to make it harder to convince them to do what she wanted and needed for the mission. Pellan always said there was a solution to every problem. One just needed to find it. She opened her mouth a few times giving Rinker fleeting glances before she decided each time not to say what was on her mind. Turning to look over her shoulder, Jessa cast Ian a pleading look to step in and help her. It did not take her long to realize Ian was not going to help her.
Long seconds passed before suddenly, Jessa’s mood altered abruptly. It was as if a weight had been lifted allowing the tension and guilt to be replaced with a new emotion. “I can heal her faster for you,” she said rapidly shoving her hands out from beneath her sleeves. “Maybe you left before Rogan was trying to show you something.” There was a hopeful but hesitant quality to her voice. “I need something sharp? If you do I can fix her up. Good as new.”
Rinker raised an eyebrow. “I think at this moment he showed us exactly what the wanted to.” Rinker adjusted the leg and the bone disappeared under the skin. “He wanted to show us that he’s dangerous. That he is a predator and we are prey. You know him, you know me - and you know that I am right. He also showed he’s sadisdic, rageful, and manipulative. ”
As the words left his mouth, all Jessa could do was try to think of ways to make him stop talking. “Shhhhhh,” Jessa stammered shaking her hands out to the side as she talked. She wanted to hold them up to give Rinker a visual cue to stop talking but something about Rinker was making Jessa nervous. Maybe it was the eyebrow raise or the highly descriptive word choice that spoke to Rinker not being the soft and gentle man she had spent time with over the past two days. Whatever it was Jessa knew one thing for certain. She had to fix this and alter Rinker’s perception of the events if there was any chance of seeing Rogan again. “Yes, I mean no, I mean I don’t think he knew,” she fell over her words trying to make excuses for what happened.
“What he didn’t know, was how we were going to respond. He is used to being in control surrounded by those who fear him. We are not intimidated or afraid of him. We are a kind and generous people and kindness begets kindness, but we have learned through many lifetimes that there are people that mistake that kindness for weakness and will seek to take advantage.” He looked at her, “We’ve been here for half a millennia. Over five hundred years, a dozen generations, the wolves have not eaten this lamb in all that time…” Rinker left it unspoken that Rogan and the Galactic Union would not be the first.
Jessa shook involuntarily seeing this harder side of Rinker. It was not that he yelled or threatened Jessa which was causing her fear to well up inside. It was more the pure conviction in his voice. As much as Jessa believed in the Divine Order, Rinker believed every word he was uttering. These people weren’t as soft as they were led to believe. The Federation would fight and resist like a caged and wounded animal with nothing left to lose. The only way the Union would take the Federation was through blood and violence. Of course, Rinker did not directly say this but his message was clearly understood.
“Then give me something sharp and I will show you how kind we can be if you give me the chance.” There was a tone to Jessa’s voice indicating she was getting irritated yet her verbiage remained neutral if not a forced pleasant.
He smiled at Jessa. “I’m sorry, she’s a patient under my care. In the Federation you need to have years of training, a license and frequent renewals of that license to practice medicine.” He reached over to his tool tray. Lifted a laser scalpel and bent over towards her.
Okay what’s happening here? Ian’s eyes snapped to Rinker as his brow furrowed in confusion. While Jessa’s accommodations were far more comfortable than a molded plastic bench and woolen blanket, there was no mistaking the fact she was a prisoner. For the past four days, sickbay had been shut down and all patients re-routed to one of the other ones on the ship. Two security personnel were at her door at all times and whenever she moved to her counseling session with Rinker it was a four-man team. Everything Heathcliff did with Jessa served a purpose however this made no sense to Ian since they barely were giving the girl a spoon during meals. Tensing his muscles, Ian closed the small gap between him and Jessa in case whatever Rinker was planning went south.
Rinker didn’t actually look fearful, as even as he acted the debate flowed in his mind. How indoctrinated was she really. Did that remover her morality. He didn’t actually think so, they just changed what moral looked like. It was possible harm a stranger for the ‘greater good’ but was it possible to harm a friend. Well Rinker was about to find out. At least if she stabbed him, he’d be in the right place.
Seeing Rinker extend the blade caused Jessa to shift her weight backward to take a step. With Ian right behind her, she bumped into his body unexpectedly. Snapping her head around she glanced over her shoulder and looked up at him. Part of her felt like she was being set up. They had complied with nothing she requested so far and yet now they were going to give her a weapon. Catching Ian’s gaze, Jessa returned it with almost a pleading one. She had no idea what to do right now. Aimee Rian told her she had friends. She had told Jessa that a distraction would be presented for her to use to escape. All of this felt too contrived, however, for her to think it was real. She had spent hours alone with Rinker. That seemed like a far better time for him to give her a weapon than now in front of everyone. Still nothing about Ian’s expression indicated he was either secretly in support of her or not.
“If you need to show your healing skill, practice on me. And if all goes smoothly perhaps I can let you work on her.” He stood before her and handed her the very sharp… incredibly dangerous cutting device. “Be careful. Its much sharper than you think.”
Jessa looked back at Rinker and nervously cracked her knuckles pondering what to do with the latitude being shown her. Taking the blade, Jessa looked at Megan and whispered sorry before plunging it into the woman’s leg. Blood spurted out like a geyser instantly covering the woman’s groin and spraying the front of Rinker’s shirt turning the familiar blue into a dark purple. The psychiatrist no longer focused on Jessa as he now turned all his attention on stopping the hemorrhaging coming from the woman’s femoral artery. Rinker barked out commands and rough hands shoved Jessa aside as Ian began to place pressure on the wound, as Heathcliff began impromptu surgery on the now screaming woman.
With Ian and Rinker pulling everyone’s attention to the table, Jessa had a clear path to the door. Running towards it she saw O’Neill and Reed moving with speed that was fast enough to stop her from leaving. Reaching out with her hand she flicked her finger crumpling the bones in both men’s knees. Sickbay erupted in the chaos of screams as the newly injured cried out and the doctors barked orders trying to help them. Reaching the pneumatic doors, they slid open granting Jessa access to the corridor. Instead of stepping out however Jessa stopped and surveyed the pain and suffering in her wake. Yes this course of action got her exactly what she wanted but at what cost. If she let this fantasy become reality, the cost would be loss of all the tenuous trust Jessa had worked o hard to build. It was time however to make an actual choice in how she was going to proceed. Closing her eyes she took a deep breath and heard a voice in her head. What are you going to do.
“Jessa, what are you going to do,” the voice said again only this time it did not sound tinny or far away. Opening her eyes she realized it was not Pellan but Ian speaking to her. It was time to take the only choice available to her.
Reaching out she took the blade from Rinker. Over dinner, Jessa decided that submitting to the crew might get her more than fighting them. Maybe if she showed them what she was capable of it would let them change their minds about the Elders. “I promised you I would not hurt you,” she said looking up at Rinker. Opening her other hand she dragged the edge of the blade across her own palm causing a deep red gash with one swift motion. Blood instantly began to bubble over the sides of her hand before starting to drip into a puddle on the floor. Jessa made a small hissing sound feeling the pain but clenching her teeth tightly as she extended the blade back to Rinker with her other hand.
“What the trife,” Ian belted out moving from behind Jessa to the bed next to him. Ripping off the pillow case he yelled for someone to bring him a bandage. Right now Ian was not focusing on the experiment of this exercise but more how to stop it. Jessa was in perfectly good hands with Rinker, so all he could focus on was getting something to wrap around Jessa’s hand.
Rinker took a moment to watch to see if magic sparks or flames were going to burst from her open wound as he took the scalpel back.
There was no mystical poof but for someone as trained as Rinker in surgery, it would seem that the bleeding seemed to maybebe slowing down. It would be hard to know for a fact but his gut might tell him that it was as if something internal in Jessa was stopping the blood from flowing as fast. The fact Jessa wasn’t panicking also might lead him to know she did this expecting a specific result.
Rinker squinted, she didn’t cut anything important, but she sure as hell cut pretty deep.
“Back in your room,” she spoke without moving her jaw trying to act as if her wound did not hurt. “I said I wouldn’t hurt you so I need you to cut yourself and give me your hand for I have the power to heal you. Just please hurry,” Jessa added losing some of the euphoric expression in her eyes as she gripped the wrist of the wounded hand to steady it. “That was sharper than I thought but I have to show you I am Divine. I have to show you how Elders can help people instead of hurt them.”
He looked at her, well he did say she could practice on him first. He looked at his hands, a scar on his hand wouldn’t help his surgery skills. Not that he was that great at surgery to begin with. “Is this a blood to blood thing?” Rinker was familiar with a number of races with healing factors transmittable via blood, other even via telepathy. Unlike her, Rinker took quick shot of a pain killer and rolled up his sleeve and took a cut along his forearm. Somehow it still hurt, he didn’t actually think the pain receptors were firing… they medically couldn’t it was his mind telling his body pain was happening because he knew it should be.
“Yes. When you are touched by the blood of one that is Divine it fixes injuries and flaws,” she replied trying to appear relaxed.
“Handy talent.” Rinker said non-noncommittally. Rare, but certainly within the possibility of a species biology, “You say only the divine have this ability in your species?”
“Well its not really a species thing. Like you we have thousands of races in the Galactic Union,” Jessa said trying to not look at her hand as she talked. It felt like it was on fire but this had to be done to explain why the woman was hurt. If they understood that there was a possibility, no matter how small, the Rogan was trying to show them something maybe it would make up for hurting the woman. “Now only a few people in each race are Divine. There are some races that never have anyone that is Divine but it has been discovered there is some physical defect in them that stops Divination.” Jessa hoped she explained it well enough. It was a hard concept for her to understand why some were born with the gift and others did not.
“How could a physical defect affect your worthiness to be divine, that seems rather unfair. You can be as pious as anyone, but just racially you aren’t allowed.”
He walked/bled over to her. “Look if I get some requests, I always wanted to be over six feet tall. I know it’s petty and superficial, but the heart wants what the heart wants and my metabolism never was quite as high as i would have liked.”
“Are you serious,” he said with a dumbfound expression. Part of his comment was directed to the easy and lackadaisical nature to which Rinker was approaching the situation. The other part was that Rinker wasn’t immediately panicking at the amount of blood purposefully being spilled.
He looked at Ian, “Don’t Judge Me. It could be like a three wishes sort of thing. You don’t know how it works. She could cure cancer with this move.” He didn’t recognize the rationale behind his fear. There were 10 or so pints of blood in the human body maybe 6 or 7 in her because of her small size, of which a person could lose nearly half before losing consciousness and going into hemorrhagic shock. It would also lead to death, but that was if a person wasn’t in a state-of-the-art medical facility, which they were. There she couldn’t have even bled a couple of ounces, much less the 3 pints
“Yeah but I thought we were not encouraging the self injury thing,” Ian felt the frustration building in him. He had tried to take a hands off neutral approach but it was becoming far more apparent to Ian that this approach would not work. He had no idea who this kid was or how she magically was related to him yet she was here. Ian had been treating the situation like Jessa was some lost puppy that only needed a home until its owner showed up. Something had to change.
“Well that yeah, but the self-injury we are trying to avoid is for the purpose of getting something. Not to give something.” There were many criteria that one had to assess for things like self injury
Yes, Rinker confirmed subconsciously, no increase in respiration, heart rate, or a spike in anxiety or confusion. She was fine.... well perhaps a little crazy for cutting herself with no meds, but that was a cultural/religious decision. He had patients do far crazier for less of a reason.
“Leave him alone,” Jessa snapped at Ian. “At least he listens to me and wants to figure out how to have Galactic Union and the Federation find a way to merge peacefully.” Directing her attention back to Rinker she continued the conversation ignoring Ian.
“I can’t change your appearance. I can only heal you but we need to hurry. If I stop bleeding it doesn’t work,” she said slightly impatiently.
“What about the spilled blood… does that work as long as it’s still moist?”
“I…I don’t know,” she looked at Rinker as if this thought had never occurred to her. “I mean I have heard stories…lies,” she quickly replied back, “about people inadvertently healed that were standing in an pool of Elder blood but we,” she stopped talking to bend her legs a bit and groan. She should have listened when he said it was sharp or just made a tiny cut. Her need to show them how powerful she was had gotten the better of her. “Only Elders can heal people,” she snapped with more anger than she ever intended.
“Understandable why that is… because if it were the blood without the incantation and the intent of the divine, then it wouldn’t be a spiritual effect it would be just biological.” Rinker had a way of disagreeing with a person without disagreeing with them.
“Because that is stupid,” Jessa rolled her eyes in a very child like manner. At times she cleared showed her age instead of the false grown-up persona she tried to wear as a shield. “People bleed all the time and only those touched by the Divine can heal people. If it were just in blood you could have just cut your hand and smeared it all over that woman.” The expression on Jessa’s face made it obvious she had no idea Rinker was talking about reality and not spiritual explanations. This was not some act she was trying to sell. Jessa had never questioned why this was and just accepted it with as much fact as the tricorders could treat people. “People don’t do that because they know it is not going to work.”
“I was talking about divine blood. Is the incantation actually important or is it just something you do?”
He pressed a pain killer into her wrist, “This will take care of the pain, I could have given it to you before, by the way. Sometimes sacrifice doesn’t have to include physical pain.”
“Yes it does,” she wrinkled her nose frustrated with him. “No struggle is worth taking unless you feel the pain of your sacrifice. Is anything earned without sacrifice really earned? Show those weak the cleansing power of sacrifice. Be the force that helps them see enlightenment.” She had said this before to him.
Pressing her hand onto his arm, Jessa closed her eyes and began to chant in a soft low voice. “You have been chosen by the Divine to continue your journey along the path. I will heal you for I have the power of the Divine. Do not fear my touch. For it was given to me to help those like you. Rejoice and embrace the path.” Opening her eyes, she removed her hand and looked at Rinker’s arm wound. She did not try to hide the fact that she seemed to be stunned and shocked at what she saw. While Rinker’s injury was not as deep as Jessa’s, one could see through Jessa’s own bloody handprint the result was not what she had expected.
Rinker nodded, “Well that’s something.” He was more impressed than she was.
For a second she looked almost scared as her eyes met Rinker’s. Not saying a word, she grabbed the towel Ian was holding and gently began to wipe away the blood on Rinker’s arm to get a good look at his wound. It was only half fixed with the right side of the skin repaired but the left side still bleeding. Grabbing his arm again Jessa squeezed tighter this time applying a lot more pressure than before. “It is your stupid medicine,” she snapped clearly upset at what was not happening. “You are supposed to trust the Divine and their ability to heal.” Closing her eyes she began to speak. This time her voice was louder and had a strained quality to it as if Jessa was desperate for the action she desired to occur. “You have been chosen by the Divine,” she began to repeat the mantra. This time she did not immediately remove her hand with the flourish of a magician as she had previously. Opening her eyes, she held the pressure there as if scared to remove her hand.
Back at school, they practiced this act all the time when they reached a certain age. Before that age healers would give the students daily supplements to help build thier blood and protect them. Once a healer deemed a Guardian or an Elder had been bestowed the gift of healing, you only needed the supplements every few months or after an extreme injury. The first lesson was about pricking one’s finger and treating themselves for small injuries. As they aged and were granted clearance by the healers that served the Elders, injuries became more severe for them to treat. A healer was always present with an injection if the student was not able to heal someone. Jessa had witnessed hundreds of times how Elders had the power to lay their hands-on people in the general populace and treat them. Why she wasn’t able to treat something this minor was agitating her. As if wanting not to be wrong, she restated her mantra looking Rinker in the eyes. As she finished the third rendition, she slowly peeled back her fingers revealing only a thin barely pink scratch where the cut once was.
Jessa smiled seeing her promise to Rinker had been kept. It wasn’t exactly perfect but it was healed by most people’s standards and under the guise of just a touch. Using the towel to wipe away the blood on Rinker’s arm, Jessa looked relieved. “See. It makes no sense that we would hurt someone because we can hea,” she said before choking on her own words. While Rinker’s hand was no longer bleeding, Jessa’s hand still was. It was considerably less than before now reminding a doctor of an cut on a piece of glass. Relatively minor but more than a scratch. Pride and stubbornness made Jessa clench her jaw tighter as she balled up the bloody rag in her hand. She hoped it would hide the fact that Jessa was still not healed.
Jessa Novar and Ian Bordeaux
Rinker stared at it for a long moment. “It looks pretty good.” He lifted a scanner to see how well it was healed underneath the skin. He wondered what the process was… the scanner would tell him more.
In all the times they had scanned Jessa’s blood and the samples from the alien’s no one had thought to run it looking for foreign bodies. Medical scanners looked at biological tests that covered everything from DNA sequences to viruses, to bacteria. Changing the scanner to science mode, however, would show there was something mechanical at the molecular level. Further scanning by the tricorder would reveal that the number of signatures was dropping fast as if they were switching off near the injury site. It would also reveal that mechanical signatures were acting almost like white blood cells moving towards the site of the injury. The screen would correctly hypothesize this was some sort of molecular nanotechnology and much like the Federations nanotechnology, once the signature turned off it could not be turned back on.
Rinker raised an eyebrow… it made sense that it was nanites. Thank God she wasn’t Borg.
“Lets see your hand, you cut that thing far deeper than you probably needed to. You just need blood flow… not a life-threatening laceration.”
“No.” Looking away from Rinker, Jessa dropped her gaze so she did not have to look at Ian or Rinker in the eyes. She had no idea why it was not healing like Jessa had seen in the past. If Rinker and Ian saw that she was not perfect, they would have doubts as to her power. With the pain meds, it wasn’t like she couldn’t just wait it out and let the power of the Divine heal her. “Please just give me a second. One second,” she said rapidly moving away from the bed and trying to get to the small bathroom area before Ian caught her around the bicep. Her eyes flashed to Ian’s meeting his with a furious expression that slowly was changing into a desperate one.
“Please don’t do this Bordeaux,” Jessa started to beg him. “Just leave me alone.” The pain meds were stopping her from having any idea if she could proudly display her fixed hand or not. If she wasn’t healed, she would look like a liar and she lied enough to them already. Jessa had to give them some truth even if it was selective truths.
“Honey you are not in trouble but we can’t just let you run around like that,” Ian tried to reason with her. “You have seen a lot of people use the tricorders. Why are you freaking out?”
Rinker frowned. He picked up a collector and a sample container and drew the wet blood off the floor and put it in the cylindrical container. He popped it into a stasis field. He would take this moment to get his sample.
“Because I don’t need you help in this. I am able to take care of this by myself,” she pleaded. Part of her panic was with how slow the healing was happening. She didn’t know why and it was starting to scare her.
“I will be right back. Blood is sticky and hard to get off. I am fine. I just need to wash my hands,” she began to ramble and plead while planting her feet and leaning back as if this would force Ian to let her go. “Sometimes it takes a second. Maybe it is because I got hurt a few days ago. Maybe I need a supplement for it to be faster. That happens sometimes. Every three months we all see a healer. It is a rule but I did heal you. I did. Don’t tell me that I didn’t.” Jessa started to become more and more agitated as her hand turned white pressing the rag into the wound. For the first time however her anger wasn’t with the crew. It was with herself. She had been showing doubt. This ritual was maybe another lesson like when she couldn’t breath in Rinker’s office. Maybe God saw her weakness and doubt and refusing to help her.
“We never said you didn’t,” Ian was becoming irritated. “Just let Rinker fix your hand and then you can sulk off to your room or,” he stopped talking looking at Rinker. It was hard to be a parent when he was only half a$$ing the job. He had to start taking a larger role past babysitter or chaperone if she was going to listen to him in any manner. “Give me your hand,” Ian said but simply took it without giving Jessa a choice. He was religious but did not buy the whole lay hands on people to heal them bit. Rinker appeared to be on something so the best thing Ian could do was try to distract and treat Jessa.
Jessa looked at Rinker and firmly repeated again. “I healed you.” It was clear Jessa was becoming flustered as with any time Rinker tried to confront her with a truth she hadn’t expected. She was controlling her outbursts though and didn’t pull away as Ian ran a tricorder over his hand.
“Yes you did,” he answered honestly. He held up his scanner now and waved it at her. The fallacy was that the person had to see the injury. The scanner had the ability to go through skin and bone, a little fist and about six feet wasn’t going to effect the scan all that much. “Although, I’m not sure that would have healed the compound fracture as much as it healed my cut. Does it normally heal something as significant as that?” Maybe it would cure cancer. “How about diseases, or life long issues like blindness, paralysis. Other self inflicted thing, drug addiction, being drunk…” He ran through a whole bunch of things he’d love to get healed.
“If God wants us to heal someone he allows it to happen,” Jessa’s voice started to take on a pleading, whining quality. She knew this scanner would not hurt her so she did not try to avoid it and stood rather still not caring about it. “Why can’t you believe me? Why can’t you just blindly believe that the Divine can heal the sick, make people walk, or bring them back if they died. Look at me,” she said snapping her attention back and forth to Ian and Rinker. She had to make sure they were listening to her.
“If that was so true, why do you need blood in the first place.” Remembering when Kirk asked the creature at the center of the galaxy who claimed to be God, why he needed a star-ship.
“I am not Divine and I heal the sick, make people walk… and in some cases bring back the dead. Some of these guys are even better at it than I am at it.”
“You all were so upset that Zala Tsu hurt me but I wasn’t in any real danger. You overreacted. I wasn’t in any danger because the Divine sent me here to follow the path. Zala Tsu told me always to trust her and I did and look,” she pulled back her healed hand from Ian’s medical scanner and waved at her body as she tilted her neck where Lauren had performed surgery. “I wasn’t in any danger. I am part of their quad. They would not have hurt me. They knew I have divine blood just like them. Nothing can hurt me as long as I get my supplements.” There was a wild look in her eye but it wasn’t the aggressive or hostile one she often displayed when angry. It was more of a panicked one. She needed Rinker to just believe and accept this because it was a good thing.
“Really,” Rinker turned back from the sample desk. “Can you tell me about these supplements?”
As she spoke, the tricorder screen began to give back information Rinker could make some safe assumptions based on his own medical experience with nanotech found in the Federation. The one thing that would stand out would be the concentration of the nanites had decreased since his initial scan looking for them just minutes before. In a very basic way the nanites appeared to be acting like artificial while blood cells. Internally they seemed to be throughout her circulatory system and evenly spacing themselves out from the highly concentrated area around where she had cut her hand. The other thing that seemed to be of interest was that they were not self-replicating. With only two scans this could not be confirmed but it was reasonable to think that with Jessa’s two severe injuries since arriving, they either needed more time to replenish or once they performed their duty they became ineffective.
“Ugh, I don’t want to talk about the supplements. Tell me you believe me that I am special!” Her tone had turned into screaming.
She was desperate for someone to tell her something she understood. Her eyes burned as they began to fill. The stress of these people constantly not accepting the truth was breaking her down. She had no idea how to convince them of the truth without letting self doubt creep in with every conversation.
“Hey…hey kiddo…we are trying to understand,” Ian knelt down to her eye level. He was in fact a bit shorter so she had to look down to see his eyes. Most people felt in control with they felt bigger than their opponent. Tricks like this were employed all the time around the diplomatic table. If it worked there it had as good a shot as any to work here. “Help us,” Ian said in a soft tone. “What are these supplements?”
Jessa’s eyes darted back and forth between Ian’s. His hands-on her arms helped her physically match the calmer rate he was breathing settling her slightly. Nodding she did not pull away but looked at Rinker. “I don’t know what is in them but it is justlike what you have given me and said it will make you feel better.” There was a thick sarcasm in her voice as if daring Ian, Rinker, or any doctor to admit they were not just giving her antibiotics to stop infection. “They give them to us every three months. They say it is to keep up healthy. Only special doctors can give them to us. They inject us in the arm. It doesn’t hurt at all. When you take me home I can show you. I can show you all kinds of things. I can even have them inject you. Some people that aren’t Divine get them too but I have never seen the Chancellor or the Supreme Commanding General heal anyone. They just get them too because it keeps us healthy.”
“You probably don’t want to hear this, but it looks like what they inject you with are nanites that do heal you, but have a limited time of effect. That’s why they have to keep refreshing it every three months. You are probably close to the end of the three months that’s why its not working as effectively as previously.” He smiled. “I don’t imagine you think God requires a refresher every 3 months to keep being God, do you?”
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