When sat in the operating chair in the middle of the Med-Bay, looking worriedly at the magnetised trays of medical instruments on the walls.
'What does that one do?' He asked, pointing at a curved, spiked blade around fifteen inches long.
The med-construct turned his head around to see where When was pointing, 'That's a Quanari birthing scoop, it holds open the...'
'Ugh... Doesn't matter, what about that one over there?'
'That's a number eight bifurcated Trunquor press, we won't be using that one, your species don't have a Trunquor, well, not one of any great size at least.'
'And that one?' When's voice was slowly rising in pitch and had almost reached the point where only bats could hear him. He pointed at a wickedly pointed lance, that was connected to the wall by a thick cable.
'That's the one I use to give myself high-voltage shocks when no-one's looking, it keeps my pincers steady,' He turned and whispered to the Captain, 'It's not Ma'am, it's an emergency defibrillator for people wearing body armour.'
The Captain shook her head, turned to When and said, 'Look, we won't be needing any instruments, we're just going to give you something that will make you look like you've been poisoned,' She turned to the construct, 'That can be reversed instantly?'
'Yes, in this,' he produced a syringe full of poisonous looking green and orange liquid, 'Is a mix of a weak synthetic Tubocurare and Variola, I can mix in an emetic if you require projectile vom...'
'No, thank you, the mild paralysis and boils should be enough I think.'
'As you wish. I will implant the curative in a capsule in his chest, a brisk blow will trigger it, he will be completely free of the toxin within ten seconds.'
'Excellent,' replied the Captain, 'I'll leave him in your capable hands.'
As the door slid closed behind her, she glanced back to see four of the Med-Construct's arms holding down the Doctor, whilst another waved the syringe, mockingly, around his face.
'Need to get that one's personality looked at when we get back to base,' she thought to herself as she headed back to the bridge.
'Mr Landry, have we heard anything from the Hellingly?'
'No Captain,' Replied the young Communications Officer, 'Nothing since they told us to await further instructions.'
The Captain opened a channel, 'Hellingly, this is the... Tydirium, our crewman seems to have taken a turn for the worse, we respectfully request urgent medical assistance!'
'Please hold,' Replied an obviously synthetic voice. The channel went silent for fifteen or so seconds and then a human voice said,
'This is-a Gianni Eduardo of de Company Medical Corps - What eez eet dju need?'
'One of our crewman seems to have been bitten by an unknown insect, he's come out in boils and he seems to be paralysed from the neck down, we don't have the facilities to diagnose it, we wondered if?..'
'Djess, eet would be simple for us, we haff de top of der range medical equipments, I vill clear it wiz our Ceptain now. Prepare to brink djour man aboard, dockink bay six.'
She smiled as she switched the Intercomm to internal, 'Mr Russ? Prepare an aggie for Doctor When, load the hidden compartments with our standard boarding kit, don't forget the Doctor's chainsword - He'll never forgive you.'
'Aye Captain, I'll meet you in the Med-bay.' Growled Russ, still getting used to speaking around his newly implanted tusks.
'Aye Mr Russ, and can we try to dress a little more like merchantmen this time? No longknives, no siege weaponry, no high-explosive grenades?'
'As you say.' The suddenly dejected marauder replied, in the background the Captain could just hear the sounds of dangerously shaped pieces of metal dropping to the floor.
The Captain turned to the Helmsman, 'Bring us alongside her, extend the docking tube to bay six and keep the engines spun up ready for a quick exit, and for the Gods' sake, try to remember that as far as they know, we're merchantmen!'
In the Med-bay, Russ was assisting the Med-construct place the unmoving Doctor onto the aggie, the already overloaded anti-gravity motors of the floating stretcher groaned as they took his weight.
'Could do with laying off the Suckling Pigs,' He commented.
'His Body Mass Index is well above the recom...' Replied the Med-construct
'Thank you Gentlemen,' Interjected the Captain, striding into the room, 'Can we not speak ill of the almost dead? Let's get him down to the docking bay.'
As they moved through the tube towards the Hellingly, The Captain turned to Russ, 'We're merchantmen remember, but be ready, the signal is me punching When in the chest.'
Russ nodded; As the door opened, they were confronted by six construct guards armed with pain sticks and a remote floating drone, effectively just a set of scanners and a speaker.
'Follow me, we will take you to Dr. Eduardo.' said the drone, turning away from them and moving towards the interrior of the ship.
The Captain and Russ shrugged, and pushed the whining aggie in front of them. As they followed the drone, the construct guards fell into formation, three either side of them. They walked down a number of well lit corridors and finally stopped outside a secure medical unit. The drone sang a short string of modulated beeps and the door opened. The group entered the room and the guards took up defensive positions around its perimeter.
'Zis iz der patient?' Asked Dr Eduardo, pointing at When's prone form on the aggie.
'Yes, he's my First Officer,' Replied the Captain
'He looks very bat,'
'Erm... yes, he's been getting slowly worse over the last few days.'
'Ve vill soon haff him up and about and doink whateffer it is First Officers do!'
'Good... Oh no!... He's going into cardiac arrest!'
'Cardiac? No, my instruments clearly show zat...'
'No! he's dying!' The Captain hammered on When's chest 'Don't leave me, you're the best First Officer I've ever had!'
'But, dear laydee, he iz not haffink a heart atteck!.. Oh!'
Dr Eduardo's exclamation was caused by Russ reaching underneath the aggie, pulling out an Ion Sprayer and de-activating all the guards and the surveillance systems with extreme prejudice. When eased himself upright and took his chainsword from its secret compartment, the boils on his face and hands quickly shrinking, but his head was still fuzzy.
'Where's my crewman you filthy patient molester?' Yelled When, waving his chainsword at the blurred shape in front of him.
'He's over there,' Whispered Russ, turning him to face the Company Doctor.
'Right, yes,' mumbled the Doctor, his vision clearing.
I... I... Don't know vhat... Please... vhat are djou talkink about?'
'You picked up a prisoner at Chandra, she was one of my crew, we want her back.' Explained the Captain.
'Prisoner? I don't know about zer prisoners, I'm an immunologist!'
'Damn!' breathed the Captain and delivered a blow to the side of his head that cleanly knocked him out, 'When, find out where Dorys is, Russ, clear us a route.'
When accessed a nearby computer terminal, 'She's in secure storage, just down the corridor, although we're about to have company.'
Russ grinned and pulled a blaster from the aggie, 'Follow the noise!' He laughed and jumped out into the corridor.