"Shop Talk" By Lt. Sara Crusher The garnet steps that lead up to the main doors of the McCoy Memorial Hospital of John Hopkins University were covered in snow and slightly slick. The eastern half of the North American continent was in the midst of their winter season and of course Baltimore, Maryland was getting it’s fair share, and then some, of the cold temperatures and drifting snow. As Sara carefully walked up the steps she held her field jacket closed tighter around herself and thanked the powers that be that New York wasn’t nearly this cold. Sara shook a few lingering snow flakes from her hair as she knocked the snow from her boots before walking onto the marbled floors of the hospital’s main hallway. The building inside and out was still very old and ivy looking and it made Sara feel as if she had stepped back in time. She looked around at the dark oak walls, the cream colored marble floors, the large potted planets, the oil paintings of old men with white beards, and the scalpers that decorated the forayer and hallways as she walked to the main desk. "How many I help you," The young cadet behind the desk asked as Sara approved. He watched her as she unzipped her jacket and then smiled when he caught sight of her uniform. "Doctor?" Sara turned her attention from the room to the young man who sat behind a very large oak desk. He was about her age and his desk was covered in medical PADDs and text books. He was obviously a medical student. Sara smiled at him as she recalled her time in med school. She had also taken a part time job and would often have her desk covered in study materials as well. "Yes, Cadet. Could you please tell me how to get to Doctor Devin Prince’s office." Sara leaned on the desk and read a few of the PADDs that the young man was working on. "Xenopharmacology II. Biochemistry. Xenoneurology II." Sara read out loud. "You must be in your second year." The young man smiled and nodded as he tapped on his computer screen. "Yes, Ma’ am." The young man continued to look up the office that Sara was looking for as he spoke. "Xenopharmacology is killing me." "That’s one of those subjects that changes with ever new semester because of all the drug research. I hated it. Trying to recall all those drugs from the first class that were different in some odd way come the second one." Sara said sympathetically. "But as long as you can keep all the base compounds in mind then it becomes a lot easier. Plus," She said with a wink. "It helps to program your tri-corder and make sure it’s updated monthly." "I never thought of that." The cadet said with a grin. "Oh and Doctor Prince is on the sixteenth floor. Take this hall way," He pointed to a hallway behind and to the left of his desk. It started out much like the lobby but Sara could see that it got brighter as it went. "take it all the way to the rotunda and then take the blue elevators to the sixteenth floor. He has that whole section and floor of that building." Sara nodded. "Thank you Cadet, and good luck in your classes." The young man nodded and smiled and then Sara took off down the long hall. As she walked Sara slipped off her field jacket and dropped it over her arm while at the same time checking her briefcase again to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. The rotunda was in complete contrast to the hall and lobby that Sara had just been in. It was very bright with lots of windows, bright art work and lively music playing in the back ground. The sixteenth floor of the hospital was yet another contrast in it self. The hall way was very plan and as Sara walked towards the large glass doors that would take her into the outer office area she noticed that it seemed very warm and welcoming. Once in side the scent of lavender and soft white noise was playing in the back ground. Sara was starting to think that this entire hospital had a major case of multiple personally disorder. "I have an appointment with Doctor Prince." Sara said coolly as she walked up to the receptionist’s window. The woman on the other side looked up from her paperwork and looked at Sara with a bit of surprise. The woman noticeably looked Sara up and down and Sara could see her eyes drift between her face and body and then to her neck. There was no doubt that she was trying to match the age appearance to the two gold pips on Sara’s collar, especially since Sara looked and was the age of most of the medical students running around. Sara cleared her throat and once again spoke only this time a little more sternly. "My name is Doctor Sara Crusher. I am the Chief Medical Officer of the USS Banshee and I have an appointment with Doctor Prince to discuss one of my patients." The woman blinked as she snapped out of what ever state of mind she had been in. She blushed at being caught and nodded her head with out looking at Sara. "Yes, Doctor. Doctor Prince is expecting you. Please have a seat and he will be right with you." "Thank you." Sara nodded and then walked over to the coat rack. She hung up her jacket and then took a seat near the office door. She removed one of the PADDs she had in her briefcase and then leaned into her chair. She studied the latest reports from Bashir on the Captain’s condition and ignored his little note about only having parcel access to her records. Sara hated the fact that they had to leave the Captain on Deep Space Nine. She hated the fact that they were still going ahead with their joke of an investigation when everyone knew she hadn’t done a damn thing. Sara just could not grasp how anyone could have thought other wise. They had all seen the medical reports. How could they think that she would try to kill someone and then let herself be tortured and nearly killed to cover it up? What kind of sick mind back at command came up with that idea anyway!? Sara sighed in frustration and put the PADD back in her case. She rubbed at her temples and tried to refocus on the meeting that lie ahead of her and on the redhead that was waiting for her back at the Plaza in New York. She had promised Cyanah that she would show her the city and that they would be able to relax and maybe even put aside their worries for awhile, but Sara had to take care of this first. The doors to the inner office opened and Sara looked up to see a man in his late fifties. He was talking with the woman behind the window who was pointing at Sara. Sara watched as Doctor Prince walked over to her. He was much taller then she had expected. The face that she had seen many times on her computer screen and in the holodeck over the past few weeks smiled at her. "It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person Doctor Crusher." Doctor Prince extended his hand. Sara took it and returned his welcoming smile. "Thank you, Sir, but I must say the pleasure is mine. I have been fallowing your techniques since the academy." Sara picked up her briefcase and walked in the direction in which Doctor Prince was directing her. "Which is why I knew to turn to you when the extent of my Captain’s injuries came fully into the light." Doctor Prince ushered Sara into his office and offered her the seat in front of his desk. The office reminded Sara of the lobby, very early twentieth century. There were dark oak walls and Doctor Prince sat behind a large oak desk. The difference is there was a large window behind him that allowed in lots of light and an amazing view of the entire university campus. Sara settled into the large leather high backed chair and crossed her left leg over her right. Doctor Prince sat behind his desk calling up Captain Morrigan’s records. He rubbed his dark beard as he read over the records and then turned to face Sara. "I find it odd, Doctor, that I am unable to fully access all of Captain Morrigan’s records." Sara nodded. "My Captain is a very private woman, Doctor, and is very picky when it comes to her care and who sees her records. I have made all information pertinent to this procedure available everything else is filler." Prince nodded and grinned. "I fully understand, Doctor. I to have dealt with a star ship captain or two in my day." Doctor Prince sat back in his chair and leaned on the arm rest as he looked at Sara thoughtfully. "It must have been difficult for your entire crew to have left Captain Morrigan behind." "Yes Sir it was. To most it just seems unfair. The entire crew knows she didn’ t do what they are accusing her of. To those of us who know of her full medical condition it’s down right sickening." Sara gripped the arm rests of her chair so tightly that her knuckles turned white. "Yes, well you know how those bureaucratic hypocrites in red are. They will proceed with their witch hunt and in the end when it turns out that they were wrong and the crew of your ship and your captain was right some poor fool with lieutenant pips will take the fall for it." Sara felt her stomach turn over as she nodded her agreement. "Well Doctor shall we get down to business." Prince smiled as he began to call up some charts and semantics. "Of course these images of Captain’s Morrigan’s knees are old and the longer we are forced to wait the harder it will become to replace and repair the damage." "Thankfully," Sara started as she pulled out several PADDs and placed them on the desk. "There doesn’t seem to be any natural progression in the injuries as far as fat and muscular build up in the damaged areas." Prince picked up the PADDs and studied them for a while. Then he grinned. "Your having the Doctor on DS9 run daily exams and send you the results. You really are devoted to this patient aren’t you." "She is my captain, Sir. I would expect no less from myself and neither would she." Sara leaned forward in her chair and pointed to an image of the Captain ’s knee that had been taken not even twelve hours earlier. "As you can see there is a safe amount of infrapatellar fat deposits behind the damaged area where the head of the tibia should be. Which will make replacing the tip of the tibia and patella masses much easier." Doctor Prince nodded. "And how have you managed to keep the fat deposits and muscle masses from latching onto the damaged bone masses?" Sara couldn’t help but grin a bit. "I confined her to a hover chair and attached bindicular stimulators to her thighs and calves." "Brilliant improvise, Doctor. You’ve made sure that the rest of her legs remain strong and healthily while limiting the use of her knees. Which in the end will reduce her need for physical therapy." Prince looked over the updated PADDs and then made a few notes of his own on his computer. He then turned the screen so Sara could see it. "Now then, lets lie out what will be done once Captain Morrigan arrives." Sara nodded and moved even closer to the desk. On the screen were five images. One of a normal knee, one of Morrigan’s left knee, and one of her right and two blank images. She watched as Prince picked up a stylus and started to move things around on the screen. "The first thing to do is to repair the gastrocnemius muscles that lie behind the femur, patella, and tibia. Once that muscle mass is repaired we can work on replacing the damaged patella and repairing the top of tibia." Prince looked up at Sara with a very serious look. "Your captain is lucky. The actions you took in stabilizing her saved her femur and most of the tibia in her left knee and even more in her right. Having this to build off of will make the surgery a lot easier." Sara blushed a deep red. Prince grinned at the young doctor before continuing. "After we’ve replaced those we can then work on repairing the popliteus muscles around the knee joint. We’ll also have to replace the lateral meniscus that lies between the femur and tibia." "Which has been temporally replaced by a synthetic piece which is also acting as an anchor for the ACL, MCL, LCL, and PCL ligaments." Sara added at her finger ran across the images of Morrigan’s knees. "This is what’s allowing her to change from a seated to a flat position. However the synthetic was only meant to be there until we got here so it‘s starting to wear down." "I believe we still have a gracious about of time before we have to worry about that." Sara nodded and laughed nervously. "Which is a good thing because I would not want to be anywhere near her when her knees locked into one position." "Indeed." Prince replied with a chuckle. Sara watched as the once empty images on the screen were now taking on the images of the Captain’s soon to be reconstructed knees. "Once all of that is done the last mile is to repair and reattach all the ligaments." "Yes it is." Prince smiled. "You know this procedure well, Doctor." It was Sara’s turn to smile. "I’ve been studying it as well as practicing it on my own in a holodeck." Sara retuned her attention to the screen and pointed to four strands of ligaments. "The MCL and LCL ligaments will be easy to repair and reattach but how will you work on the ACLs and PCLs with out disturbing all the work you’ve just done on the tibia?" "By readjusting the fiber optics on the muscular suturing scalpel." Prince opened his desk drawer and pulled out the tool he was referring to and showed it to Sara. Sara looked the tool over and read it’s settings. "Wow the detail you must get out of this." Prince chuckled. "It does come in quiet handy. Word with in the halls of command is that it’ll be another full year maybe two before the star ships and stations have half the new technology that I’m playing with." Sara placed the tool on the desk and huffed. "That figures." She rolled her eyes and then sat back in her chair once again. "Once the ligaments are done then that’s all she wrote for me. The rest will be up to Captain Morrigan and you." Prince said finishing their last conversation. "How long after surgery will she need to remain in traction?" Sara asked. She knew that no matter what his answer was, Morrigan would hate it. Prince looked over Morrigan’s records one last time. "Three days maybe four. She’s young and in good health. I would say after that two weeks to a month longer in the hover chair and with the bindicular stimulators depending on how she heals. That choice will be yours." Sara nodded. "and when will it be safe to start physical therapy?" "At the end of the first two weeks. Starting off slowly of course. Do you have a physical therapist on the Banshee?" Sara nodded. She knew of a couple of her staff members who had training in PT including herself. The next few weeks were not going to be easy on any of them but at least this was a beginning. Sara watched as Doctor Prince downloaded all the information they had talked about as well as the data he had onto a PADD and then handed it to her. She looked at it and nodded before putting all then PADDs back into her case. "Thank you for seeing me, today Doctor." She said as she stood. "Anytime Doctor Crusher." Prince stood as well and walked to the other side of the desk. "As soon as Captain Morrigan is on her way let me know. We can have every set up for her and we can start as soon as she arrives." Doctor Prince walked Sara back out to the outer office and shook her hand. "I look forward to hearing form you again, Doctor." Sara smiled. "I hope that the next time we speak I will be telling you that I’ m bring the Captain to you and not to postpone things again." "I’m sure all will work out in the end." "I surly hope so." Sara agreed before leaving the office and heading back to the personal transporters that would whisk her off to New York City and Cyanah, who undoubtedly was waiting to hear about everything.