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A Body Never Breaks

Posted on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 @ 7:39am by Commander Tyro Adina & Ensign Lenore Fitzpatrick Ph.D.

Mission: Winter Shoreleave
Location: Betazed
Timeline: Convention

:: ON ::

Tyro had met him on Melona, where both officers shared a nurse and the same audacity toward science. It was for Tyro to feel inspired by the Doctor though, in a similar way that Lenore inspired her. She couldn't imagine the three of them wouldn't have a lot to talk about, but Tyro worried. Even if she could be mindful of it, Tyro still felt a bias within herself, a hierarchy of suffering where Lenore's was in a seat high above her own. Tyro had the use of all her limbs, could blend in as a functional biological specimen, while Lenore could hardly escape notice. Either of them would struggle to cope without the tech affixed to their bodies, but the comparison did not seem fair. Their experience still came out uneven.

A tall sapphire coloured andorian tapped the commander's shoulder and arm as he spoke, with a big smile on his face. Paler blue freckles mirrored Tyro's somewhat on the man's skin. He clapped Tyro's shoulder, or stopped her, or gestured, but it was all with one arm. The other sleeve of his uniform was pinned hear his heart beneath his starfleet badge. His stride was natural and confident, and he urged Tyro not to slow down for him, but below one knee was a slender bionic leg. The other was near entirely mechanical.

Tyro kept an eye out. She wasn't sure Lenore had ever been on Betazed before, or if she might have trouble navigating. There was that bias again. Outside the convention hall, which was enormous, the web of streets were hard on Tyro's senses. Betazoid cities had moods and personality that was fairly unique to the planet and the people. Every alleyway could wind off and bring a non-telepath tourist to the warf, or out into a suburb, or turn them around all-together. There was something Tyro must have been missing about the signage, some residing touch of consciousness that let natives know where to go, and left Tyro heavily reliant on her data padd.

She spotted Lenore exactly where she'd asked her to be, outside a sublimely sculpted museum of natural history. Museums of the natural world were always amazing to the commander, every planet had something new to share. Tyro waved at her officer from across the street, interrupting her companion in mid-discussion.

"Doctor!" said the commander, striding ahead of the andorian. He had no trouble matching pace. They closed the distance amid passing vehicles. "It's good to be in the sunlight! Here is someone I'd like you to meet. We met while I was hospitalised on Melona. This is Doctor Isshryov."

"My first name," the man clarified. He bent low to bow and shake Lenore's hand. Isshryov Th'avhonnon, PHD. It is my pleasure, Doctor."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Doctor," Lenore replied, shaking the man's hand. She wasn't entirely sure why the commander had requested this meeting, but she was perfectly happy to meet new people.

"I hope we're not intruding on your shore leave," said Isshryov kindly. Tyro motioned with her hands for them to keep moving as they talked, and began leading them toward the museum. Her time was a bit tight, and she was actually quite interested in seeing the exhibits.

"I know how intrusive this is going to seem," apologised Tyro. "But the doctor here designed and built his own legs. He's really mastered his injury."

The andorian man was watching Lenore for her reaction, more sympathetically than Tyro. It was obvious that the captain was very interested in the engineering. She hadn't given very much thought to how it would make Lenore feel however. Isshryov had one arm, but both his legs were bionic. He walked where Lenore could not, but his injuries also didn't effect his spinal cord. For the captain, it was all still very conceptual. She imagined Lenore would be as impressed as she was.

Lenore had a sinking feeling she knew exactly what this meeting was about, and although it wasn't the first time she'd run into such a situation, it still wasn't one she found any more comfortable. "Oh really Doctor? Perhaps you'd like to tell me a little about it?"

Ryov rubbed his neck, embarrassed by Tyro parading him around. But he humoured her, just as they were entering the building.

"This I actually lost when I was a young lad. My father was a smuggler, you know." There was a stark absence of longing or sadness in the way he told his story. He spoke like it was anecdote, even a particularly impersonal one. He gestured sometimes with his one good hand, keeping a wavering distance from Lenore's chair to give her room to move without worrying about him.

"We're out of Cardassia one day, but things are starting to get very tight for them. Some of dad's usual affairs aren't going to cut it anymore. See, we have our friendly Gul who, for some reason, discovers he's not a big fan of theft. Imagine that. When he finds out we've been skimming him for, mmm, years, he tracks us so he can show the rest of his clique what he's recently learned. So now we have the worst, most corrupt, ruthless Cardassian Gul you've ever met and all his best goons with us on the ship. I'm not my dad's only boy, but we never would've admitted that. So he's shouting! So poetic, these Cardassians, you know what I mean? He takes my arm and they burn through it with a plasma cutter! But don't worry, they would have done a lot worse if they found the crates of weapons we were smuggling to the Maquis..."

"Well we're lucky. You know, relatively speaking. Before I don't remember what, the Cardassians are scrambling to their ship and there's a signal just on the horizon. Next thing I know, I'm on a Federation sickbed. We got pinched, I suppose. The eventual correctional sentence my dad received seems to attest to that, and somehow I applied to Starfleet Academy."

Tyro had wandered ahead. Ryov and Lenore were together in the museum, following at a distance. They weren't alone in the exhibit, but either Ryov had seen it before or wasn't interested. He and Lenore could speak fairly privately, and he happily told her the rest of his arm story.

"It's hardest at first. That's still where your young Captain's at. The thing was I did not want any replacement for what I had before. I tried it though. In my first year at the Academy, I built myself a basic grasper, with an elbow. It was how I got landed on engineering for my focus. I was always improving. By the time I graduated, I was using a voice controlled, extending spider arm with four articulations."

"That's impressive," Lenore offered sincerely, emotionally touched by his recounting of how he'd lost his arm even though he'd come to tell it matter-of-factly. "I respect anyone who chooses to improve themselves to make their lives easier or more productive. I suppose, however, I'm more sensitive to efforts designed to 'fix' me simply for its own sake."

Ryov stopped walking, looking at Lenore for a moment. "That's very wise," he said earnestly after a pause. He started again with renewed interest, hoping he wasn't being boring.

"I agree with you! Now I do, after growing a little. As a young man I had thought to repair myself, and also to prove and compensate for the injury I had suffered as a boy. I was so sure I didn't want pity that I let myself have it out for others, believing how unfortunate they were to have their inferior meat-limbs instead of my bionic. I had a real trust in technology, much like Miss Adina does."

He paused to look for Tyro, but she was still wandering somewhere ahead. So he continued contently with Lenore, walking and talking. "I had to learn from others, you see. The next time I saw a hospital room, I shared it with many more -some with worse injuries than mine. I lost my legs while serving, so this time I had the full experience as an officer. What really stuck out to me... wasn't actually my own injuries. It was the trauma of the other soldiers around me, all experiencing their loss for the first time, reborn in disability."

"I realised, we're not what's broken. Technology is broken. Society is a little broken perhaps, but a person? A person cannot ever be broken. It put everything for me in a new context. What is the difference if a person is born with blue skin, or if by fate they lose a limb by chance and circumstance?"

By this point, Tyro had returned. She approached expectantly, with a smile, but kept quiet to see if she could catch up at all with the conversation that the two were having

Lenore smiled at both. "Your friend was just describing his very enlightened views about how to cope with injury after trauma. I must say, I'm impressed. I agree, it takes time and experience to gain such maturity, to see injury as not something less than, just part of the variety of life,"

Tyro beamed. She leaned a little toward the andorian man and nudged him encouragingly. "I thought you would take to him. He's been inspiring to me. You too, Doctor, I mean. Shall we do brunch after you've had enough of the museum?"

A sombre voice cut through to the commander's communicator, indicating a little of the reason she felt the need to rush ahead. "Commander Adina. There's something we need to talk about. I'm sorry it won't wait." Tyro recognised it as belonging to Berdas.

"Go on," sighed Ryov, putting a hand on Tyro's back. "Perhaps you would like lunch between us," he said to Lenore, with a dimply blue smile. Tyro looked up and put her hands on her hips, shaking her head for a moment before she responded to the communique.

=Understood. I'll join you shorty Berdas=

:: OFF ::

Tyro Adina
Commanding Officer
Commander, USS Tranquility

Lenore Fitzpatrick
Ship's Counselor
Ensign, Doctor, USS Tranquility

Isshryov Th'avhonnon
Cybernetics Doctor
Starbase Manitoulin


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