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    Topher Lydon
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Falcon Banner - 25. Chapter 25

Most especially must I tread with care
in matters of life and death. If it is given
me to save a life, all thanks. But it may
also be within my power to take a life;
this awesome responsibility must be
faced with great humbleness and
awareness of my own frailty.
Above all, I must not play at God...

-Hippocratic oath 'Modern version'

Drop ship EX-01

The drop ship covered the distance between the Protania and the Excalibur in no time, the small Imperial support vessel that was designed to drop marines down to planets hadn't really been designed with comfort in mind, but lacking any alternative, they served the dual duty of shuttling officers and crew around.

Kyr relaxed as the automated systems brought the drop ship down onto the Excalibur's main flight deck. Exhausted from a long day he slumped back into the flight chair and placed his feet on the edge of the control panel. He stared at the beautiful ship, resplendent in its berth at the station; with dark grey interlocking hull plates that glowed with a dull blue light tracing patterns along the sleek hull it truly was a magnificent ship.

"Wow, now that's a ship!" he murmured staring up at the cavernous ship around him as the drop ship made its final approach. There was a cluster of marines around another larger figure, a welcoming committee that was armed to the teeth.

He spun himself around on the swivel chair and hopped to his feet, walking to the back of the drop ship to make a last minute check on his possessions. He flipped open the box and ran a methodical check, "Lyre, check. Clothes box, check. Medical Texts, che-"

There was a thud as the drop ship docked. Kyr sighed, pulled on his lab coat and slung his medical bag over his shoulder. Might as well look the part, he thought as he swallowed. "Here goes..."

Kyr walked over to the door and pressed the actuator. The metal slab slid aside to reveal that the larger creature was a Taïrian in an Imperial fleet uniform. It had lieutenant's bars on its collar.

The Kaynin quivered. Every piece of canine instinct told him to leap at the Taïrian and attempt to detach its jugular from the rest of its body, but the conscious sentient mind bit down thousands of years of instinct. Instead, the two combined and he released a small chuckle.

"Oh. Mister Badger, did you lose Toad?" he grinned at the creature that was a mortal enemy of his kind. "Just kidding," he grinned playfully and handed a bag to the creature as he walked out of the shuttle.

The marine guard accompanying the Taïrian officer were all a head taller than Kyr, which meant the Taïrian towered over Kyr, but the boy was hardly intimidated by them. He simply grinned, exposing his elongated canine teeth. The enlisted marines all stepped backwards in surprise.

Shale merely arched an eyebrow.

"Doctor Cornelius Kyr, Ship's Surgeon. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." He bowed slightly, and then righted himself. "My gear is stowed in the back - you can take it to my quarters during this shift; I'm going to settle into sickbay."

He gave them his 'winning' smile, and about-faced.

Shale calmly cleared his throat; he had received no notification about a ship's doctor, especially not a little boy that smelled entirely too much like dinner.

"Look," Kyr insisted turning around and realizing that the Taïrian was eyeing him like one hundred and twenty pounds of fresh meat... with a side of gravy. "I was cleared by the new Imperial naval recruiters, specially requested for this assignment... look your...opinions...are...strongly..." he felt himself begin to back up involuntarily.

Shale shook his head and closed his mouth folding his arms and staring down at the small doctor. The two marines with the lieutenant were looking uncertain and nervously fiddled with their pulse rifles.

"Very well," Kyr replied drawing himself up to his full five foot five. "If it makes you feel any better, you can accompany me to sickbay." He rolled his eyes, turned and stormed off, then paused; he didn't know where sickbay was on this bucket.

He glanced behind him, "After you, I insist..."

* * *

It wasn't great, Kyr reflected, but it wasn't bad. It was nowhere near the standard he had grown used to working for the Orions on their trade liners, but it had a sort of rustic charm. Kyr had wasted little time in setting down his personal effects on the desk, in exactly the same fashion as had been on the Protania.

He was checking through his appointment schedule-it seemed as if he had work waiting for him, a young crewman who had broken his arm. How was anyone's guess and who cared - "First, do no harm."

He reached out for the medical chart as an Orion lieutenant entered the room, and Kyr could smell the emotions on him-mild anger, irritation with a dash of impatience. And Kyr knew where they were aimed-right at him. After a few minutes, the Orion spoke.

"Doctor," the dark-skinned Orion stated folding his arms and looking annoyed. "Who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing on this ship? "

Kyr turned around and smiled up at the man. Most people found it disconcerting to see a child in charge of sickbay, at least at first.

"Ah yes," he said checking the crew roster. "Nazzien, the Orion officer-nice to meet you in person."

The doctor extended a hand, which Nazzien failed to shake.

Kyr sighed, "I was told to report here, your captain needed a ship's surgeon, and considering everything he's done for the Orion government they felt it prudent to supply someone...me."

"Right," Nazzien said, sounding utterly unimpressed. "I'd like to have a word with you in your office, please."

Cornelius shrugged slightly. As he looked down the files he was working through "I am a little busy, but there's nothing that can't wait-if you insist."

"I insist, Doctor," Nazzien stated flatly as he waved his hand towards the small office examination room.

They both entered into the office and Nazzien stood loosely in front of the desk. "Have a seat, Doctor." He gestured to the empty chair.

Kyr sighed as the Orion officer waited until he had taken a comfortable seat in the chair behind the desk. Kyr inwardly smiled-he could smell what was coming; this man had less pheromone control than a Taïrian in heat. The childlike doctor steepled his fingers and spun once in the swivel-chair, before looking up at the Orion officer expectantly.

"I'll make this brief. I don't know who the hell you are, but if you are serving on this ship then you better start comporting yourself with some damn manners, or I'll have you before the captain so damn fast..."

Kyr blinked "If that is the case, Sir, then I would appreciate the opportunity to lodge a complaint with the captain about your complete ignorance of..."

Nazzien rested his hands on the desk and leaned forward a bit. "I am not in the mood to play games here, Doctor, you're lucky I didn't have you thrown in the brig. If you have problems with the chain of command, you're more than welcome to go back to wherever it is you came from." He locked eyes with the Kaynin doctor and lowered his tone to a deep base, "And if you disrespect another officer in public again, Mister Kyr, I will take a personal interest in seeing your stay here is very unpleasant."

Kyr blinked, "Funny, I always thought disrespect was a noun, Sir, not a verb."

It was very subtle, no growling and baring of teeth but a slight rippling of the lips and a glint in the eye as Nazzien lowered his chin further and glared at the Doctor. "Disrespect me, Doctor," he emphasised the title," and you will feel a pain unheard of in your lifetime." Nazzien might not have had the natural advantage of a Taïrian's features, but he had the training, the combat experience and the mental aptitude to look utterly intimidating.

Kyr shrugged, "I would not dream of disrespecting a higher-ranking officer, Sir. Just as I'm sure you would not dream of disregarding orders." Sarcasm dripped from the last two words. Kyr knew about Excalibur crew's chequered history.

The doctor could not understand why the lieutenant felt it necessary to try and stare him down. It was hardly a challenge to make himself bigger than the young doctor, who was physiologically adolescent and a clear foot shorter than the Orion. The lieutenant was just another person who thought that Kaynin were simply humanoid wolves, or worse, behaved like common dogs.

He noticed how the lieutenant was shielding his jugular with his face-a common mistake made by those who gauged the strength of the creature within by the apparent strength of the 'human' appearance. In that position, it would be all the easier for Kyr to simply snap his neck. Not that he had any inclination of doing so-he liked being a part of this, when his orders had come though he'd actually been excited to be a part of the Excalibur, and killing off your superiors held up your career something awful.

Kyr got the feeling that this was a flea that wouldn't go away unless it got the bite; he slightly relaxed, and released submissive hormones-unlike Nazzien, he had complete control over his hormones. It seemed to satisfy the little dictator.

Nazzien shrugged, "I am going to confirm your identity, find out why you're here; in the meantime you have patients to attend to, Doctor. I'll leave you to your work. Welcome aboard the Excalibur."

Cornelius smirked as the lieutenant left, and shook his head. He slowly walked out into the sickbay. One of the nurses-nineteen, he estimated-looked like she was relatively new there as well.

She looked at him uncertainly, "Sir, um, if you don't mind my asking, er-"

Kyr shrugged, "I was getting a dressing down by an officer with an overinflated sense of self-worth, not the first time, no bother-now, where's this person I'm supposed to examine today?"

"Right over here, Sir." The nurse indicated one of the crewmembers, a Terran dressed in the standard Imperial uniform fatigues and cradling his arm painfully.

Kyr smiled. It wasn't the forced smile he'd used up until now, but the smile he always wore when doing what he loved, meeting people, and healing the sick. He noticed that the nurse blushed slightly, and his smile turned to a grin.

"Why don't you give me a hand, nurse...?"

"Pia, Sir-Mel Pia."

Kyr nodded affably, "Pleased to meet you. Cornelius Kyr, at your service, but my friends call me Kyr."

He smiled, and walked over to the patient. It was amusing that he tended to think of himself as 'thirty-something'; granted, according to the years determined by the planet of his own birth, he was 35, but by 'Terran-years', he was twenty-eight. And in physical terms, he was somewhere in that grey area between 15 and 18.

He grinned at the confused patient, "Welcome to The Excalibur's House of Horror. And who might you be?"

* * *

Kyr smirked as the crewman left, his broken arm set and splinted, then walked over to his office. Pia followed him and tapped him on the shoulder.


Kyr turned, "Please, we're medics-we don't stand on the same ceremony the rest of the ship has to." That had always been Kyr's philosophy. The sickbay was as much a General Practise as it was a MASH unit. "Call me Doctor, or Kyr. Either will do."

The young nurse nodded, still uncertain; up until the Excalibur's marines had rescued her from a Karin slave pit she had been a domestic slave, caring for sick old men that wanted a little extra from their nurses... "I mean, Doctor-if I'm not out of line, how old are you?"

Kyr smirked; he knew that question had to be coming. "How old do I look?"

Mel gave him a 'look'. "The same age as my younger brother."

Kyr grinned, and shrugged, then walked into his office as if that constituted some sort of answer.

Kids today... thought Pia, as she went about organising the department. After a few minutes, she heard music coming from the Doctor's office. She subtly glanced in, and saw the boy playing what appeared to be a lyre. He was very good...

* * *

Elias scrambled up the two decks he needed to climb to reach the power junction box that was causing problems all across the ship, most notably a complete failure of all the main lights in the ship. Of all the places to lose power, Elias would have assumed that it would have been located somewhere in engineering, but no, Excalibur found the most awkward, and inconvenient place to blow the Imperial era equivalent of a fuse. There he was, suspended over a six-story drop, braced precariously against an outdated rung-style ladder, hoping against hope that the override for the elevator would ensure that none would use it when the power was reactivated.

The relay circuits were easy to access once he was able to jimmy open the blast plate that protected them. A quick turn of the dial and the offending "fuse" came free in his hands. And he quickly hot-swapped it for another. He prayed as he turned the dial back to restore power.

The lights throughout Excalibur suddenly flared to life as lights and power were restored. For those trapped below in the dark it was an opportunity to cheer.

Elias began to right himself, muttering "And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, was yet another miracle brought to you by the magical, mystical Elias-mister...." Yet inexplicably his words froze in his throat as the very large, very fast bulk of an elevator car hurtled its way towards him. He uttered a curse inwardly-the override circuits would keep cars from entering this shaft, but that definitely didn't help if one had been stuck already inside it....

He decided to mutter a quote from the 'Universe According to Matthew Elias,' soon to be hitting an elevator near you... "Chapter twelve, paragraph eight, verse three. Aww shit!"

He looked down at the grey mass hurtling towards him, building speed. He knew he had seconds to react before the thing hit him with the force of a freight train. He was a good two meters away from the nearest access hatch, and there was no way he was going to out-climb the elevator. No, the only thing in reach was the circuit panel.

Praying to whatever gods still existed he reached out and yanked on the "fuse"...

There was a flash that illuminated the elevator shaft, the lights in Excalibur's corridors flickered and went out as he plunged downwards. The elevator car continued to rise to meet him, but it was no longer being magnetically propelled; it slowed and shuddered to a halt as he hit it, hard. He felt one of its upper panels give way and deposit him rather unceremoniously at the feet of a rather startled young man wearing a lab coat.

"Are you okay?" the young man asked in shocked wonderment.

Elias felt a bit battered, a bit singed from having to manhandle a piece of machinery designed to carry millions of volts of electricity..."Okay, I'm just going to lie here right now, if that's okay."

He managed to sit up, realizing that he must look about as good as a plucked chicken after being defrosted in a microwave...slightly cooked around the edges. He managed a smile, "Don't worry, I've had far worse. You missed the time I welded my foot to the deck plates...this is just the ship being a bitch...."

Kyr blanched. "This is typical," he sighed. "I get the one machine in the universe with an attitude problem..."

"Hey, it's not just a machine, it's a masterpiece, a work of art. Think of it like the pyramids, or Michelangelo's David... or Daffy Duck." He got up and dusted himself off, quickly scrambling out of the elevator through the newly constructed skylight and resetting the circuit breakers. Ensuring that he could hop back into the elevator once the thing got mobile again, he replaced the second fuse, flicked the switch and jumped down.

The elevator shuddered into motion again as power was restored, "... which just goes to show, how amazing I am!" he said as he did a little bow to his audience of one, just as the doors slid open onto the Bridge. He waited just long enough for them to close before sinking to the deck plates and beginning to whimper in pain..."That hurt like Hell!"

The computer...ever helpful in moments such as that decided to add its two cents, "Invalid destination, please re-request."

"Sickbay...tout suite...or I'll reprogram you to talk with a Swedish accent and respond only to the name Helga!"

* * *

Kyr shook his head as the doors slid open and he left the strange young lieutenant behind, wondering if he should have offered some kind of medical attention to the young man, or if he really was as okay as he claimed to be.

The doctor stretched his neck left and right a few times; he was having growing pains again, and the aches were a constant nag in the background. When he felt his neck click, and the pain release, he walked out onto the bridge. It wasn't a march, per se, but it was a smart walk. Nonchalant, with an air of dignity; almost as though he owned the Universe. Lone wolves tended to walk that way.

He walked around the tactical station and turned to face the captain, who was sitting in the command chair. It was slightly unnerving to the Kaynin that Darien was almost as tall as he was even when sat down. His CO on the Protania had been a very small man, and nowhere near as imposing a figure as the dark-haired thirty-year-old who was staring at him over the rims of battered wire framed glasses, Imperial great coat balanced across his shoulders like someone straight out of the pages of a history book. Kyr couldn't help it, instincts told him who was top dog and he ripped off a formal salute.

"Doctor Kyr reporting, Sir."

Darien pivoted the chair to face the small humanoid standing before him, his brow knitting together into a frown. "Am I late for my physical, Doctor?" he asked.

Kyr smirked slightly, "Actually, yes you are, Sir. According to my records, there's been no doctor on this ship in god knows how long, and I have no records for you at all."

Darien nodded, "Makes sense, I straightened everything out with the Protania; your former captain was eager to... surprise me." Darien shook his head with a smile, glancing up and out of the observation windows to where the Protania was berthed.

Kyr glanced up at his former ship and over at the Terran starship commander, "Could you tell your Lieutenant Nazzien that fact? I think he might have misplaced the memo."

Darien laughed as he pushed himself upright from the chair, shrugging off the great coat and setting it back around the shoulders of the chair, "We have at least an hour before I am due at a meeting with the station's quartermaster concerning some spare parts." He motioned back towards the rear of the bridge, "Would my stateroom suffice, or should I be in sickbay?"

Kyr tapped the medical bag he was carrying slung under his arm, "The stateroom suits me, Sir. Unless we find something wrong, of course, in which case we may have to move locale."

Darien crossed the bridge, pausing at the doorway to his stateroom, nodding to Lauren who was standing watch, before he led the way into the office.

The captain relaxed noticeably as he slipped off the uniform shirt and sat on the edge of his desk in just a tee shirt. "You're a Kaynin or a subspecies of theirs."

Kyr was impressed - very impressed. Few people had ever heard of Kaynins, let alone had knowledge of the subspecies that had evolved throughout the galaxy... The young Doctor ran a medical scanner up and down Darien's chest, and eyed the results, critically.

"I am, Sir-you know of our people?"

Darien nodded, "I had the pleasure of meeting a Kaynin bloodhound during my time in Ter-Sec, she spared the time teaching me to recognize your species when I see them. That and I was talking to your former captain before you reached the bridge."

Kyr smiled-bloodhounds were notorious, especially in helping law enforcement with problems requiring more delicate senses. The fact that Darien had spent the time getting to know the bloodhound said a lot about his personality.

"I see-you will probably have heard about my little altercation with Lieutenant Nazzien, then, Sir..."

Darien shrugged extending his arm to the scans, "Nazzien was just trying to look out for the ship, and it's the fact you called Lieutenant Shale Mister Badger I'd be more concerned about. I'd rather not have to order your body parts scraped off of the bulkheads. Shale is definitely not warm and cuddly."

Kyr sighed and clipped the medical scanner shut. "I was just told I was being sent over here, and paid a pretty hefty retainer to do it. I show up and there's marines waving guns, and snarling Badgers looking set to eat me, then an Orion yelling at me... Not to mention engineers dropping through the ceiling..." he shook his head.

Darien smiled, walked over to the coffee pot on the shelf and poured himself a mug of coffee, sighing when he took a sip from the mug. "Let's drop the matter, I'll have a word with Nazzien and Shale, hopefully that will be the end of all of this. What now?" he asked nodding to the medical bag.

Kyr smirked. He didn't like delivering bad news, but he always enjoyed delivering the kind of news that, while not being bad, certainly made the recipient think bad things.

"Well, your blood pressure is slightly high. Not dangerously so. But a little more than I'd like, especially given your particularly stressful occupation." He grinned, and fished a note pad from his medical kit. He scribbled a few notes and handed it to the captain. "This is your new diet and exercise regime. It includes a daily, ninety-minute jog, and no red meat. Or, if you can manage, white meat. Would probably be best for you if you went entirely vegetarian for the next month."

The captain looked at the piece of paper as if it were an Eelim adder, gingerly taking it and reading over it. "A diet," he said with distaste.

Kyr added, as an afterthought, "No alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or tobacco, either. I'd also advise against any and all high-sugar foods. You've got to stay in shape, Sir. Don't think of it as a diet - think of it as an 'amendment of lifestyle'."

Darien looked down at the cup of coffee in his hands, "I don't think that will be possible."

Kyr shrugged. "Well, there's always medication, but as soon as I put you on blood-pressure meds..." He shook his head, "Never a good thing, you just need to eat better and work out more.

"How about a compromise? I get to keep the coffee if I do away with sugar doughnuts?"

Kyr considered. "That would work, but I'd need your assurance that you'll stay off alcoholic beverages; and by that I mean everything from shandy to champagne. And don't overdo the coffee, either."

"Agreed, Doctor. It is a fair trade." He downed the coffee and sighed, "Have you had a chance to give the rest of the crew a checkup yet? They should all be overdue for one."

Kyr shook his head. "No, but Nazziens near the top of my list." He grinned "I'll book the rest in for the next few days." The young Kaynin smirked and stood to attention, indicating that he had completed his task and awaited dismissal.

Darien waved him towards the door;"I tend not to stand on formality with someone who can tell me the exact radius of my prostate at any given moment of the day."

Kyr saluted, and turned to leave. He paused at the door looking at Darien reading the diet and looking forlorn. "Look at it this way, Sir-it's only for a month, then we'll reassess the situation." He smirked.

Darien looked up from his list at the canine in a humanoid form, "I suppose calling you Bones would be inappropriate..."

"Only slightly, Sir. My friends call me Kyr." The Doctor smiled, and left.

Copyright © 2011 Topher_Lydon; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I like Kyr.  I think Kit will add him to the list of individual officers on the staff.  He definitely is not a professional military doctor.  He did have an unusual greeting when he arrived.  Damien should have had  more sense than to send Shale and Nazzien, who approached the doctor in a very unprofessional manner.  Elias' drop from the top of the elevator was a fun little addition to the doctor's welcome.

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Watching the dynamics of this will prove to be interesting...Dr Kyr has some unusual traits that just may come in handy wirh his ability to sense how others are feeling...

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