Inara Makes A Housecall 8th Of June

[14:23] <Inara> A slow day in the Valletta's medical bay was, logically speaking, a good day for the rest of the ship. No injured technicians or pilots. A healthy crew reflected well on their doctors. And yet… -
[14:33] <Inara> Inara reclined in her massive chair, which was tucked away behind a massive desk with a massive birdsnest of printed research articles and other odds and ends on it. She was feeling it more after the excitement of Ahsa's Berth… a weird restlessness. Oh, she had her schedule to go by now that she'd gotten herself and her crew all settled on her ship. It was a very good schedule that
[14:33] <Inara> included making fiddling with the medical equipment, speaking with other department heads about official things, battle equipment checks, and floundering through small talk with her crew. There was a large section of it, however, that was devoted to attending to patients. But there were none. So that part of her head was weirdly empty and unsatisfying.
[14:37] <Minaplo> [It was then that a floating sphere of arms, syringes and other medical tools appeared in her doorway. "Doctor! Doctor! Housecall requested, Doctor!"]
[14:42] <Inara> "What?!" Inara was on her feet immediately. A good number of documents cascaded from her desk to the floor, but she ignored them. "Nice timing, Champ! Who are we looking at today?"
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["Admiral Kracel Vlui, Doctor!"]
[14:49] * Inara gave a long pause. "You're not the sort to make jokes, are you?"
[14:59] <Minaplo> [Champ bounced up and down slowly. "I can make jokes, Doctor! For example: what do you call a tiny Immortal? An Immorshort! An Immortal, a Primogen and a Defector walk into a bar. The bartender asks, what'll you have? The Primogen says I'll have your oldest whiskey. The Defector says I'll have what she's having. The Immortal says, shots are on me! One hour later, the Defector is drunk, the Primogen is disappointed, and the Immortal is surrounded by bullet casings. Why did the zebra cross the road? It heard Zhang Yanmei was on this side of it looking for a new dress! Knock knock, who's there? Asuka. Asuka who? Asuka more questions and I'll smash your door down! How many Defectors does it take to screw in a light bulb? Four: a Warfriend to do it and four to feel guilty about it! Who makes the best DJ? An Eva, because they can always raise the roof! What do they call the yearly Ayanami family reunion? The Ayanarmy!"-
[14:59] <Minaplo> [Champ paused to remember more jokes.]
[15:02] <Inara> "You're pretty good at that, Champ. But please stop for now," said Inara calmly. "Were you serious about the call coming from the Admiral?"
[15:02] <Minaplo> ["Yes, Doctor! She is unwell."]
[15:05] <Inara> "That's worrying me. Some of the crew have been in contact with a nasty virus that could affect her." She picked up a spare mediglove and headed for the door. "Did she mention any symptoms?"
[15:06] <Mianplo> ["Upset stomach!"]
[15:07] <Inara> "Oh. Well, that doesn't sound too bad. Are you coming along?"
[15:08] <Mianplo> ["If you want, Doctor!"]
[15:09] <Inara> "Let's go, then!"
[15:16] <Mianplo> […-
[15:17] <Mianplo> ["This is the room, Doctor!" Said Champ, waving at the door with a scalpel.]
[15:18] <Inara> "Well done." She rang the buzzer.
[15:23] <Mianplo> ["Enter." Came a voice from the panel.]
[15:25] <Inara> And so Inara entered, stepping boldly inside with her hands on her hips. "Greetings, Admiral Vlui! We've come to fix your stomach."
[15:41] <Mianplo> [Vlui sat on a cushion at a small table. Was she sick? It was a little hard to tell; her shoulders were not as wide and straight as usual, at least. She tapped the defector collar on her throat. "You're the doctor?"]
[15:47] <Inara> "That's right. Inara Khalef, at your service." She saluted.
[15:48] <Mianplo> [Vlui raised her head, exposing her throat.-
[15:48] <Mianplo> ["You're big for a Twiceborn."]
[15:52] <Inara> "I am," Inara admitted. "Have you heard of the Immortals? We're a class of Twiceborn who tend to be bigger than the rest."
[15:57] <Mianplo> ["I see… How does that work?"]
[16:02] <Inara> "We've given ourselves various body modifications. Some of it through physical cybernetic surgery, and other bits through gene manipulation. It's a proud tradition that goes back decades…"
[16:03] <Mianplo> [Vlui leaned forward. "Fascinating. Tell me more."]
[16:04] * Inara blinked a few times. "You're… interested?"
[16:06] <Mianplo> ["Very."]
[13:19] <Inara> "You won't mind if Champ here takes your vitals while we talk, do you?"
[13:21] <Minaplo> ["Will it be invasive?"]
[13:24] <Inara> "No. His sensors will scan everything at, uh, a surface level."
[13:28] <Minaplo> ["I see. Very well."]
[13:34] <Inara> "Before we made contact with other planets, we Twiceborn fought among ourselves constantly. Immortals were created for one of those wars as living weapons. The technology back then was… less advanced than what we use now, so the process took a long time and there was a very high mortality rate." -
[13:35] <Inara> "Champ, please do a basic bio scan on the good Admiral. Watch for abnormalities in her temperature and blood pressure."
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["Scanning, Doctor!"-
[13:58] <Minaplo> [Vlui sat still as the bot scanned her. "But your technique has been refined."]
[14:09] <Inara> "That's right. The specifics are pretty complicated, and it still takes a long time to fully convert someone, but death is less of a problem nowadays. It's not just technique either. Candidates are simply healthier… they're better equipped to survive the process than they used to be. And if one of them isn't, we can actually screen them and find that out before they go under the knife."
[14:09] <Inara> -
[14:12] <Inara> "Is the cuisine on this ship considered unusual for you and your people? If you're struggling with an upset stomach, the most likely culprit is probably the food."
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["How widespread are such modifications in your society?" Asked Vlui, seemingly ignoring Inara's medical questioning.]
[14:17] <Inara> "Heh. We're a very tiny minority. In fact, it's linked to specific cultural groups that live off-planet. You join one of those groups, go through their military training, and they'll convert you by the time you've completed it. Why do you ask?"
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["Has anyone told you about our civil war?"]
[14:20] <Inara> "You want super soldiers," Inara guessed.
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["No, that isn't the angle I'm going for. I mean, the reasons behind our war."]
[14:21] <Inara> "Sorry. Please go on. I haven't heard much about those reasons."
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["A long time ago, our people, much like yours, fought endlessly amongst ourselves. When we developed transmatter technology, we used it on each other in a war so terrible it nearly collapsed our homeworld's biosphere. What was left of our species was united by a prophetess, who organised us into the Shrinepaths, which are designed to curtail our natural aggressive tendencies, as well as our other bad traits."-
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["But we, the Freepaths, know that the current system, saviour of our species as it was, is outdated, and perpetuates the oppression of segments of our population. We decided that we would pursue the use of genetic manipulation to correct our aggression and instinctive problems right at the root of the problem. When the schism between us and the Shrinepath leadership widened beyond repair, we went to war."]
[14:33] <Inara> "So that's the story," Inara muttered. "People have attacked each other for much less, I guess."
[14:33] <Minaplo> ["Mmmm."-
[14:34] <Minaplo> ["So I am coming to this from a place of deep personal interest. I am curious as to how your people solved your problems, and what made your solutions 'good'."]
[14:46] <Inara> "Well, the body modifications… I dunno how much it really solved. Immortals were great at fighting, sure, but they were out of place during times of peace. So much so that they ran off to various moons and planets and carved out their own societies there."
[14:53] <Minaplo> ["And the rest of your population?"]
[14:57] <Inara> "We do alright. Empathy's a big thing back home, and there's no fighting. We've unified for now."
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["But did you use genetic modification to end your wars?"]
[15:06] <Inara> "We used it to make weapons. Living weapons. Which made us more effective at fighting. It's… not like we curbed our nature with it or anything." Inara suddenly snapped her fingers. "I think what did end the war was meeting the Defectors and all of you non-Twiceborn guys. Realizing the universe was a lot bigger than we thought. There were other things too…"
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["Other things?"]
[15:11] <Inara> "The Gestalt. It was this big… psychic… no, a big metaphysical event that merged people's minds and souls together for just a moment. Crazy, right?"
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["… Yes."]
[15:17] <Inara> "Yeah. But that's what happened. We've got some old-timers on this ship who were around when it happened. They can describe it a whole lot better than I can."
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["I see."-
[15:18] <Minaplo> ["And they aren't… Angry? About all the changes?"]
[15:19] <Inara> "Angry? Maybe some were. I think mainly everyone was just confused at the time. And now we just accept it as something that happened.
[15:20] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[15:21] <Minaplo> [Champ beeped, and turned back toward Inara. "Doctor! I estimate that Admiral Vlui is suffering a case of mild food poisoning!"]
[15:37] <Inara> "So it was food after all!" Inara pulled out a tablet. "Mainly, with something like this, we have to wait it out while making sure we don't get dehydrated. I'm ordering you a case of special medicated drinks that should keep your discomfort down while making sure you're getting enough fluids. Drink at least two bottles a day. I'll also have some extra water delivered, so drink as much of
[15:37] <Inara> that as you are able to as well. Anything you eat between now and our next checkup should be bland. Don't go to the mess hall. I'll have some approved meals sent to your room while I'm at it…"
[15:38] <Minaplo> ["Yes, of course…"-
[15:38] <Minaplo> ["Have you had a chance to speak with Russkra?"]
[15:39] <Inara> "I have not. Why?"
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["Hm. You should. Get a grasp of her character."]
[15:42] <Inara> "Maybe I will. At the very least, I can make sure she hasn't also eaten anything disagreeable. She seems like the sort who would try to hide it…"
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["Mmm."]
[15:45] <Inara> "In the meantime, if your condition worsens in any way at all, call me immediately. Barring a situation like that, Let's set an appointment two days from now to see how you're progressing."
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Of course, doctor."]
[15:50] <Inara> "Good." Inara saluted. "Unless you want me to stick around and chat some more, this concludes our housecall."
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["Would that be so bad?"]
[15:52] <Inara> "Huh?" That threw Inara a little bit. "No. No one ever said that."
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["Sit, then. Be my guest."]
[16:00] <Inara> So Inara sat. "Well then. What else should we talk about?"
[16:00] <Minaplo> ["Let's talk about you. What do you want?"]
[16:03] <Inara> "What do I want? Like, in terms of this conflict we're getting into? I'd like for everyone to make it out peacefully. I'd also like to find a few new planets with interesting wildlife on them while we're at it."
[16:04] <Minaplo> ["What else do you want? Personally. Long term."]
[16:07] <Inara> "Hmm. Recognition."
[12:01] <Minaplo> ["From whom, and of what type?"]
[12:11] <Inara> "If someone does something proper, they should get credit for it right? Like being cited in a high class journal if you make a contribution to your field. Maybe it's something like that."
[12:12] <Minaplo> ["I see. So you simply want to be recognised as a contributor."]
[12:13] <Inara> "Sure," she said lightly.
[12:14] <Minaplo> ["What about… Power?"]
[12:16] <Inara> "What about it? Is that interests you?"
[12:17] <Inara> ^Is that something that interests you?
[12:20] <Minaplo> ["Do you think I am?"]
[12:22] <Inara> "Do I think you're what? Powerful? Of course. You're a tough lady who demands respect from her troops without having to shoot or punch them in the face every single day."
[12:25] <Minaplo> ["Do you think I'm interested in power, though?"]
[12:27] <Inara> "Well. I don't know you," Inara pointed out. "But you're the one who brought 'power' up. It'd make sense if you were into it."
[12:41] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps you should know about me, then."]
[12:42] <Inara> "Let's hear it, then. What's something you want to do? Something that doesn't have to do with this war."
[12:52] <Minaplo> ["That's a difficult question to answer." Said Vlui. "This war touches on a lot of things."]
[12:53] <Inara> "All right. Then what's something you want to do, period?"
[12:53] <Minaplo> ["Reform society, easy."]
[12:57] <Inara> "Ambitious. How?"
[13:10] <Minaplo> ["That's what the Freepath movement is all about: using genetic manipulation to correct the inherent inequalities in our society."]
[13:18] <Inara> "What will your equal society look like?"
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["More like yours… I hope."]
[13:28] <Inara> Surprise flashed across Inara's face. "Maybe you need to talk to some of the Federation's bigwigs. They're the ones who got us on this path, so maybe they can offer insights or advice."
[13:29] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps I should… Although, I suppose at the end of all this, I will still be a prisoner."]
[13:44] <Inara> "Doesn't mean you can't do important things up until the moment you're imprisoned for good."
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["Hah."-
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["I used to be a Maiden of the Shrinepath. Did you know that?"]
[13:51] <Inara> "Had no idea. What happened?"
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["They named me to be the next Priestess. As I was being presented with the Hood of the Prophets, I demanded the resignations of certain people who sat on the Council of Clerics. Hardliners who wanted to purge the Freepath."-
[13:56] <Minaplo> ["The Council refused." Vlui's tail swished quickly to and fro. "Refused to give up these few extremists! So I condemned all the Council for their cowardice. I intended to channel my Charisma to force them to submit, but the Council convened without me, declared my appointment to be made in error, stripped me of the Hood and threw me into the streets."]
[14:01] <Inara> "Absurd," Inara shook her head. "They didn't even try to talk it out."
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["Of course not."-
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["I joined the Freepath proper soon after, and my anger meant that I was fine with their increasing militance…"-
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["I now realise that the hardliners in the Council and the radical Freepathers were both sponsored and abetted by the same party- the Overseers."]
[14:05] <Inara> "Once that knowledge goes public, don't you think both sides could find some middle ground?"
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["Heh."]
[14:06] <Inara> "What?"
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["I doubt it, is the simplest answer."]
[14:10] <Inara> "Too stubborn?"
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["The Freepath leadership has been happy to accept Overseer support so far. And the hardliners that currently control the Council are… Well, they care too much for their current power."]
[14:14] <Inara> "Don't suppose you'd consider assassinations as an option…?"
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Yes, naturally."]
[14:19] <Inara> "Oh. Well, then."
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["But they're well-guarded… I don't suppose you're good at assassination?"]
[14:25] <Inara> "I've never tried it in real life before. Anyway, I can't do something like that without my bosses giving the okay."
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["Hah, fine."]
[12:36] <Inara> "You could always, well, just stay with the Federation."
[12:36] <Mianplo> ["As an exile?"]
[12:37] <Inara> "As an immigrant," said Inara carefully.
[12:38] <Mianplo> ["Perhaps. Who knows? Living in the Federation whilst I await an opportunity might not be so bad."]
[12:43] <Inara> "Right?" Inara beamed. "But I guess you can't see your dream through if you stick around forever, huh?"
[12:45] <Minaplo> ["No… Although who knows? By then I'll give up and find different dreams."]
[12:50] <Inara> "Stranger things have happened."
[12:51] <Minaplo> ["Like worlds being consumed in strange, ancient fire?" Said Vlui.-
[12:51] <Minaplo> ["Who knows? Maybe having the Federation as a neighbour will do more to push my agenda than the Freepath ever could."]
[13:02] <Inara> "You think they'll listen to us?"
[13:02] <Minaplo> ["Would you say the Federation is a powerful nation?"]
[13:04] <Inara> "Sure. But there's a lot we don't know. There could be more powerful guys around."
[13:05] <Minaplo> ["We've been 'in' the galactic community longer than you have, and we haven't met many powers that could destroy a fleet with a single ship." Said Vlui, her pupils dilating rapidly for a moment.-
[13:06] <Minaplo> ["Yet you don't seem very hostile, and from what I've seen, you're a diverse people, who've modified themselves to peace and plenty. That serves as an example for the Devoted, especially if they turn to you for assistance."]
[13:17] <Inara> "That's… pretty reasonable," Inara admitted. "Also, flattering."
[13:25] <Minaplo> ["Get used to it… Saviour."]
[13:44] <Inara> "Getting called a Saviour when all I did was offer you a little stomach medicine… That's a first."
[13:49] <Minaplo> ["Not that! Saving Ahsa's Berth."]
[13:52] <Inara> "Ah, that. That was tricky."
[13:53] <Minaplo> ["No doubt."]
[13:55] <Inara> "I think I actually blacked out during part of it. Thank god for the machines doing the heavy lifting, right Champ?"
[13:59] <Minaplo> [Champ rotated on the spot. "You can lift much more than I can, Doctor!"]
[14:05] <Inara> "Well, er… that's true. I meant that you guys were doing a lot of the work back then."
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["I always aspire to be instrumental, Doctor!"-
[14:06] <Minaplo> [Admiral Vlui stood. "I think it's time for me to sleep."]
[14:07] <Inara> "I understand. Champ often seems to make other people tired."
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Less of it next time, please." Said Vlui, giving Inara a slow blink.]
[14:13] * Inara smirked back. "I'll do my best, Admiral. Let's go and give her some time to rest." Inara led the way back over to the door. "We'll see you in two days."
[14:13] <Minaplo> ["Yes, yes. Until then."]
[14:15] * Inara gave one last amused backward glance, and then the door shut her and her companion off from view.

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