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DS9 fic: "Not a Veterinarian"

Title: Not a Veterinarian
Fandom: Star Trek: DS9
Rating: G
Wordcount: ~630
Characters: Dr. Bashir, Commander Sisko
Spoilers: None
Notes: Written for the Alphabet Fic Meme, for oswulf's request of "Dr. Bashir, Xenophobia", which ended up mostly being a jumping off point. Set early in Season 1, although not tied to any particular events therein.

So, two Star Trek fics in less than a week. Will more be forthcoming? Only time will tell. But I think it's safe to say that I'm starting to feel a teeny bit more comfortable treading out of the comfort zone of the Final Fantasy universes.


"Frontier medicine." That had been Julian Bashir's dream: to travel to the edge of known space and tread the uncharted waters of alien species and unknown diseases. The more exotic, the better. But not even in his wildest imaginings, his fondest daydreams, had he ever pictured this particular patient walking through his doors.

Not the Klingon, of course. He would have been easy enough to treat, Julian thought; despite many notable differences from human physiology, and a lack of willing test subjects, Starfleet medical had trained them well enough in the art of doctoring Klingons. But the Klingon wasn't his patient. Rather, it was the creature that the captain had carried down the promenade, past a dozen people staring wide-eyed out of Quark's, and then deposited on a table with a grunt. Julian could only stare at him, then down at the animal. He closed his eyes for a moment, as if to wish it away, but no such luck -- when he opened them, the Klingon captain's pet targ was still there.

"She is sick," the Klingon declared, crossing his arms across his chest. "You will treat her."

Julian turned to his left and met the eyes of his superior officer. "Commander Sisko, I don't know what Starfleet led you to believe, but I'm not trained to work with animals. Is there no veterinarian on the station?"

Sisko shrugged, spread his hands. "I'm afraid not. You're the closest thing we've got."

"You will treat her," the Klingon repeated, taking a step closer to Julian, close enough to loom over him. "Or else."

Or else what? Julian knew better than to speak the response aloud, of course. A rampaging Klingon was the last thing he needed in his sick bay. He would never understand these people, especially not whatever impulse would bring one to keep an animal as large and violent as a targ on a spaceship. Leaving the thoughts unvoiced, he drew himself to his full height, standing his ground. "I'll send word to your ship as soon as I know anything."

The Klingon's scowl deepened, but he turned and stalked away. Julian took a minute to watch him go, then turned his attention to the beast. He wasn't even sure whether he would know the difference between a healthy targ and an unhealthy one, save the fact that the beast was lying listlessly on the table rather than charging around Sick Bay. Julian laid a hand on her neck, in search of a pulse; the targ's eyes remained closed, but she shook her muzzle and made a pitiful chuffing noise. Her fur was thick and coarse, more like quills than fur, but after a little prodding, Julian found the heartbeat. It seemed fast, but strong and steady. He removed his hand, pulled out his padd and, with a few taps of his index finger, switched it to the animal database. The Starfleet computers had to have something on targ.

Ah yes, there it was. Julian scanned the entry, which contained a great deal of speculation about the species, mostly based on its apparent similarities to the ancient wild boars of Earth. But a few specimens had been dissected, and there was a detailed report of an outbreak of a flu-like disease among wild targ on a former Klingon colony, the symptoms of which...

"Well, Doctor?" Commander Sisko was still looking at him, and Julian suddenly realized that he hadn’t spoken for over a minute. "Can you take care of it? Or shall I send to Bajor for backup?"

"Thank you, Commander, but no. I think I know how to proceed." Julian met Sisko's eyes and laid his palm on the targ's rump with what he hoped was a comforting pat. "You can tell the captain that his pet is in good hands."

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
taricalmcacil
Feb. 11th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
This is perfect Bashir, willing to try to save any life, even if he's in a bit over his head.
owlmoose
Feb. 12th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's definitely what I was going for, here: the Bashir who feels the need to help whatever patient he might come across. Since I've never written him before, I'm really glad to hear that he seems like himself. :)
ovo_lexa
Mar. 6th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
To not be messing with a Klingon and his targ.

i now wonder if treating any humanoid-but-not-human species technically would count as veterinary medicine.
owlmoose
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
i now wonder if treating any humanoid-but-not-human species technically would count as veterinary medicine.

This is an excellent question. I have this idea the concept of "xenomedicine" comes up at some point -- I know they discuss xenobiology, and it would seem to parallel. But maybe the difference is merely semantic....
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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