Laughter Is The Best Medicine


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Scene Title Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Synopsis Smythe comes into Sickbay with a holodeck-related injury. Joking and poking fun ensue.
Date May 24, 2380


The Main Patient Ward of Sickbay is an ovular room, wider at the aft than at the fore. The main door is in the aft wall, and directly to its right is a wall unit with receptacle for PADDs and a low counter upon which are arrayed fluid suspension modules. Against the starboard wall, next to the counter and receptacle, is the first of four biobeds, each in its own tiny alcove, heads to starboard, one by one to the aft wall. The biobeds are bluish gray, with a shimmering multicolored blanket on each which can keep a patient warm when necessary. At the head of each bed is a small monitor and a gray chair sits to the left, or aft, of each bed. To port of the main door is a large white display panel, beneath which is a counter supporting a variety of medical instruments. In the center of the room is a single biobed, bluish gray like the others, with that same blanket, but boasting a surgical support frame that creates an arch over the middle of the bed. The frame can be opened to allow patients to be moved if need be. Port, there is an alcove leading to an office and the Med Lab. Fore of this is a large bio display which can show the readouts of any patient in the ward. Fore again, there is a door leading to the Second Ward, next to which is a small utility cart and another counter with fluid suspension modules beneath a wall receptacle. The room is lit both by a large assembly over the central bed, which is in actually a sensor cluster meant to aid medical procedures, and also by lighting panels in the rest of the ceiling. Alert tracers line the wall above each biobed.

It's a quiet afternoon in Main Sickbay. There are no patients - wonder of wonders - so the staff appear to be going about regular duties, including catching up on logs. Except, of course, for the three officers standing at one of the biobeds. The CMO is, apparently, working with two ensigns on proper technique. "…Now, always be sure when wanding to go slowly. If you just wave quickly, you're going to miss things. It should take you no less than fifteen seconds to make a full scan of a patient's body." The medical tricorder is in her hand as she demonstrates on the seated ensign. "This is especially important in live fire situations. Sometimes you will have to eyeball things. Unless your patient is coming under direct fire or in the line of danger, do NOT move them, not until you've done a thorough scan. Patient safety first."

While all that is going on, the doors to Sickbay make their customary 'swish' sound. Could it be that the streak of no patients is about to be broken? It appears that way as Smythe appears in the doorway. The sound of metallic jingling accompanies him, likely caused by the climbing gear and outfit he's currently wearing. Seems someone has an affinity for risk taking. Held gingerly, his arm is clearly damaged, a large contusion appearing on the surface of the skin.

The nurse at the front of the Sickbay knows enough to call for Elia when the Captain walks in, injured. The Betazoid glances over her shoulder as she's warned, then dips her head to the two Ensigns. "Practice," she tells them, smiling a bit. Then her feet take her to meet the man with the contusion. "Good afternoon, Captain," she says with a warm smile. "Looks like an imprompteau test of the facilities?" Words to make even the heartiest of staff blanch slightly. "What can we do for you?"

Smythe, despite the injury, manages a smile. "Well, I figured /someone/ had to test it out first. Might as well have been me." he says, jokingly. His eyes dark down to the injured limb. "Minor accident on the holodeck." Shaking his head he grins. "Next time I'll remember to tell the computer to leave out the birds."

Neschen winces and laughs quietly. "Come on back, then," she says quietly, turning slightly to allow him to pass. "How far was the fall?" Perhaps a standard question. As she turns, she looks up at the Captain's face, head tilting slightly to one side. Most would take her look as a simple meeting of the eyes. She is, however, a doctor. There are many ways to test for concussion.

"About twenty five feet." Smythe answers dutifully. "Give or take a ledge or two." Passing her by, he moves moves to one of the open biobeds a fair distance from the practicing crew members. "I had just started the climb, put my hand on a perfect spot to haul myself over the next ledge when a flock of birds came flying out of a crevice. Caught me off guard." Motioning with his good hand, he makes a spinning gesture in the air. "Fortunately I managed to spin myself to land on my chest instead of my back." Seems like he's done this before.

"Mmm hmmm," she says softly, shaking her head a bit. "Well, you could have been higher, I suppose." She waits until he's settled on the bed before she pulls out the medical tricorder and speaks again. "And the safeties were off in the holodeck…why," she asks, raising a brow as she lifts her hand to begin the scanning process. "Wait, let me guess. You needed the challenge?" There's no judgement in her tone - it's a simple question.

Smythe does his best to try and glance at the tricorder screen as he's being scanned. "If I had been on target pace I would have been at least fifty feet up." he mentions, quirking a brow at the question of the safeties. Snap. Caught! "It's not a challenge unless there's risk involved, doctor." he states, quirking a grin at Neschen. "I'm guessing you haven't read my file." If she has, she might realize this is a trend for him.

Elia simply gives him A Look. One brow is arched ever so slightly, her expression skeptical. "If you'd been on pace, you'd have been twice as high and may have, in fact, fallen farther and cracked your head." The word "fool" is diplomatically left out. "Though, I can't say as how I blame you. I well understand the allure of the climbing wall. I've fallen off of one many a time." Her eyes crinkle a little at the corners. "Alright. The injuries are such that I want to get a more complete scan to make sure there aren't further injuries. AND I'm going to order that the safeties be engaged for at least the next four weeks. That'll give these injuries time to heal before you collect some new ones."

"Been there. Done that." Smythe admits, grinning at the ever so diplomatic approach taken by Neschen. "Oh, this wasn't a climbing wall. Though…" he starts, intrigued by the notion she seems to know something about climbing, "…if you're into climbing, check out the program 'Smythe Four' on the holodeck. It's a local climbing spot from outside my hometown. Very challenging." A slight downturn of his features at mention of safeties and further scans. Maybe he should have just taken himself to his quarters. It would have healed eventually. Right? "Whatever you need, doctor. I suppose I'll have to resort to something a little less technical then. Safeties on, of course."

"Mmm hmm," she murmurs, grinning over at him. "Two weeks, tops, and you'll have the safeties off again," she says with a quiet laugh. Apparently she's not going to push too hard. A first? "I just want to be sure there's nothing deeper," she explains. "You've got a cracked rib, a bruised rib, and a break in the ulna. In other words, you were fairly lucky. I'd rather not have you dead of an unidentified bleed. It's bad for my service record, and Callie'd have my head on a silver platter." At least she can joke a bit. "That sounds like it would be a good program. I started climbing on 419 more seriously, but did some as a child. Though, I tended more toward cliffs."

Smythe totally feigns an innocent look. "I would never go against medical advice, doctor." It hard trying to keep up the innocent face, and eventually he does give in to a smile. "Three weeks acceptable then?" he asks, nodding at her explaination of injuries. "Concern duely noted. And I agree. I would not like my First Officer walking around with our Chief Medical Officer's head on a platter. While acceptable in sime cultures…I think Starfleet might question it." His head tilts slightly at her climbing experience. "I started when I was thirteen. Been climbing ever since. Though I prefer the more technical climbs. Thin ledges. Outcroppings to navigate. Overhanging rocks."

"I used to climb just to get rid of the excess energy and keep myself occupied," she says, smiling over at him as she sets the scans to going properly on the biobed. "I climbed from about the age of seven until I went to the Academy. It didn't matter what it was, if it was in front of me, I'd climb it. Now that I'm…" She trails off, biting her lower lip for a moment. "Older, my skills aren't what they used to be. I've landed on my back and chest many, many a time. While the holodeck is fun, I miss the challenge of a real rock face. Three weeks is acceptable, though you need to work on your negotiation skills." She leans in to adjust something behind him on the biobed, tapping the console, as she murmurs, "I'd have gone as low as two."

"I didn't want to push my luck." Smythe says, grinning as the scans proceed. "After all, you could have me certified unfit and relieve me." Noticing the hesitation, and then the eloquent way she chooses her words, he offers a smile. "Trust me, doctor, you're not as old as some. Myself included." Hopefully that helps. "I agree completely though. Real rock is much better than fake rock any day. Perhaps, if we get a break in assignments, I can get us by G'Taaran III. The cliff faces there are incredible."

"Mmmmm," she murmurs. "I've read about those, though I'm not sure if I'm quite up to that challenge yet. I'll have to practice a bit more in the holodeck." She pauses, lips twitching. "With the safeties on, of course. And I know, you're only as old as you feel. Luckily, your body is only aging a little more today. I was right in the earlier diagnosis, with no further bleeds or injuries. It's a good thing you knew how to fall." Oddly, she doesn't mention him being lucky. "I'll get the treatment started and you're off climbing for 24 hours. I suspect you'll feel too sore to do much of anything during that time, though I'm not going to pull you off duty. You're old enough to make that call for yourself." Her eyes twinkle a little as she flashes him a grin. "Sir."

Smythe chuckles and nods. "They are quite a challenge. I've had the honor of climbing them twice. The first time, I was 17. A year before I entered the Academy. Took a fall from halfway up, about seven hundred feet." A smile flirts on his face at the memory. "Fortunately, because of the extreme height, they have automated monitoring bots. If a fall is detected, the bot is nearby to catch you. Nothing more weird than falling and finding yourself caught in a tractor beam." So he managed to avoid bigger injuries, huh? Have to try harder next time. "That's a relief. For a moment there I thought I might end up having to stay the night." he says, nodding. "I appreciate that. Not that I do much on duty anyways except review data, reports, and give orders. Nothing stressful. And I'm off duty. No need for formalities. Doctor." The last is said with a twist of a grin.

Yep, there's definitely a twinkle of teasing in her eyes as she looks over at him, shaking her head. "You're off duty and trapped on a biobed in my Sickbay," she muses. "Hmmm. There are possibilities here. Though, I'm afraid I can't hold you hostage for better biobeds. The fact that you found us state of the art, the absolute best, before I even had to ask rather invalidates that." She steps away to get the necessary equipment. "I'm afraid you're going to be in pain for a minute or two while I get that rib set," she calls over her shoulder. "I can give you something to dull the pain now, though it will make you a little woozy. Or I can give you something a little lighter afterward to take the edge off, but still leave you without the fuzziness."

"Only the best for my crew." Smythe grins, failing to hide the chuckle at her veiled threat of holding him hostage. "Though I must advise that holding the captain of a ship hostage I think is grounds for mutiny." he jokes, nodding. "Pain comes with the territory. I don't really need anything for it. Though, doctor's discretion." And no, he's not trying to be macho.

"I'll give it to you after," she says, dipping her head, once. "You can take it back to quarters with you and use as needed. Of course, it wouldn't be so much holding you hostage as it would be making sure, absolutely sure, that you didn't have a concussion. You realize, don't you, that some head injuries can elude medical professionals until the patient becomes symptomatic?" She's not hiding her broad grin. For once, the woman seems -relaxed-. "Alright, I need you to put the opposite arm up. That will help pull the rib back into the proper position." Coming back to stand in front of him, she straightens, shoulders back, as if to demonstrate. The arm with the equipment goes up. Her other hand comes across to her abdomen, fingers splaying. "Put your other hand here and press, gently. Don't hold your breath, but tense those muscles around your diaphragm."

Smythe folllows the orders as directed. In all his time as a Starfleet officer, and with ass many times as he's been to Sickbay, he's learned. Heed the CMO's advice. Much like a puppet, he positions himself as directed, wincing slightly as he does. "I'll make sure to report directly back here the moment I start hearing voices in my head." he jokes, holding position. "I doubt I'll use it, but just in case, I'll take it."

"Thank you," Elia murmurs quietly. "It will make me feel better to know that you're not needlessly in pain." When she finally lays hands on him, her touch is very light and gentle - as well as professional. One hand covers the one on his abdomen, pressing in just a little more firmly, as the other draws the equipment down along his side in a very slow sweep. "You'll feel the tingle as the bone starts to knit together again," she says, likely very unnecessarily. This is probably old hat for him. "What will you do other than climb for the next couple days," she asks, perhaps by way of distraction?

Definitely old hat for Smythe. So much that he can hardly tell when the bone starts to knit back together. Still there is that momentary fleeting wince, if ever so slight. "I don't know that I'll ever fully be able to block that out. No matter how many times it happens." Though this is probably at least his twentieth or so time getting it done. "Likely I'll end up in my quarters on my off time. Curled up with some tea and a good book. Seeing as how I'm out of climbing commission for that time."

Neschen laughs softly and dips her head. "Be careful, please," she says quietly, quirking a brow as she looks up at him. Once the knitting starts, she pulls the hand that was on his away. "The more used to the pain you get, the more likely you are to accidentally overlook a more serious injury. On the plus side, you're not one of those officers who puts off coming in until it's too late. Now, let's see about those contusions on your arm and the ulna." For just a moment, she looks wistful.

Smythe offers a reassuring smile towards Neschen. "One thing I've learned as I grow older is how to be careful." he says, adding the reassurance to his vocal tone. Gently he nods his head at mention of overlooking injuries. "I got that same lecture from Dr. Crusher back when I was a Lieutenant. After they hauled my unconcious form from the flight lounge. Never let me forget it either. Even to this day." Offering out his bruised and battered arm, he grins. "Hopefully this won't be as bad."

"I doubt it," she says with a grin. "It should be fairly easy for you to handle compared to the worst part. Remind me, please, to review your file. Again. I need to get the betting pool started as to which bone will break next. Also, I'll need to get engineering to put cotton batting up around the ship. The next step after getting startled by birds is running into corners." She works, though the healing takes time. "I've read some of Doctor Crusher's work, but have never had the chance to meet her."

Indeed, arm bone mending is much easier than delicate ribs. Speaking of ribs, wonder if the galley has any in stock fresh? And the CMO's humor isn't at all missed. "I recommend setting the pool at about five hundred credits to start. My previous crew on the Archer only made it to three hundred before our Chief Operations Officer won." Snickering ensues at mention of batting. "Can you make it Algorian cotton? I hear it's softer than most other forms."

"Nope," she says with an impish smile. "That'll just encourage you. I'm going for the rough stuff, one step up from steel wool. Think of it as a form of operant conditioning." Once she's satisfied with the arm bone, she steps back and reaches for the medical tricorder again. "Five hundred credits, hmmmm. A little steep, but I suppose I can get a few more people in on it to make it worth it. That pool would make a lovely vacation somewhere…" She's trying not to grin too much.

Smythe smirks broadly. "Now see, that would only encourage me more. I believe the Cardassians call it 'conditional training'. Using something that might discourage a person to make them build up a resistance to is." When the arm is done, he flexes it just a bit. "Good as new, I think." he says, no longer hiding the humorousness of the conversation. "Three hundred was a nice amount as well. If I recall, my Chief Operations Officer lost it all in a game of Dabo on DS9 when we stopped for supplies."

"And that is -exactly- the reason why any illicit winnings I may receive go directly toward the vacation fund," she tells him with a decisive nod and a laugh. "I'd prefer that the winnings go to support the economy on Risia than into some strange CMO's pockets." There's a lightness to her words. "I'll find -something- to put on the walls that you won't take as a challenge." Pause. "Maybe."

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