Checking Up with Medical
That's No Moon...
Location: Medical Wing
The doors to medical swished open, and a trio of figures walked in. Two were identical twins, dressed in something that resembled an interesting hybrid of a uniform and a casual outfit. White was the dominant color, though there were blues and greens thrown in for flavor. The beings wearing said 'Casual Uniforms' were equally colored. White fur, with blue in places, and the pair just seemed content to just examine the architecture of the medical center for a moment. The third member of the party was far less interested in the medical center, and seemed more interested in keeping the twins from examining the center all day.
"Ma'am, this unit spent all morning making this appointment for you." the drone commented. The voice was feminine, though obviously synthetic.
To that, the pair straightened up, and each gave a nod, "Of course. I'd be lost without you Willow-38. Thank you." though only one spoke. It was then, their collective purpose renewed, that the trio finished the walk in and up to the counter. It was the drone, Willow-38, that spoke to the reception.
"Good welcome. This unit is designate Willow-38. There is an appointment for Miss Dior Melag to receive an examination for medical b..."
With a smile and a hand on the drone's shoulder, Willow-38 lowered her head and silenced. "Apologies." one of the twins spoke. "I can handle this."
A clearing of the throat, "I'm Dior Melag, I have an appointment for a check-up. Have to make sure you all..." and she stopped talking. Just silence. Her twin, however, picked up smoothly.
"... have proper Dalacari medical records on file, and to establish a baseline for myself in..."
"... your records." it was like watching a tennis match between masters, but with words.
Harlow turned to face her next patient, unable to conceal the look of surprise on her face at the imposing form of the feline looking twins in front of her. Her first patient had essentially been a giant dog, so of course it made perfect sense that her next patient was going to be twin cats.
If that hadn't surprised her enough, the way they spoke left her nothing short of confused. No sooner had she focused on the twin that spoke then the speaker changed and she found herself moving her attention to the other twin.
"Dalacari?" Harlow queried, deciding the easiest way to move forward was to focus on the actual medical records. "Sorry, I've only just arrived on the Starbase, I'm still finding my way around." She brushed purple hair back, screwing up her face with annoyance as she pulled an elastic from her pocket and secured her messy ponytail before picking up a PADD and thumbing it. "Okay, I have some records here of yours, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to update them." She picked up a medical tricorder and flipped it open before turning back to the twins, holding it up uncertainly as she glanced between the forms. "I guess I just pick one of you and start?"
The twins gave a nod each, and a smile, "A recent arrival. That might explain a little of the confusion. Don't worry, I'm extremely patient in matters..."
"... when other races are involved. See, there isn't a 'One of me'. As a Dalacari, I'm a binary instance lifeform. What you see here..." she motioned between her forms.
"... is Dior Melag. I understand completely that it can be something new and jarring." the pair stated as they walked towards the doctor.
"I like your hair." she stated, then smiled, "Sorry, easily distracted. Back on track. I think things may make more sense once the..."
"... examination begins. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like my assistant to join us? She's versed in all forms of ..."
"... confidentiality, and will remain non-intrusive during the examination."
"Oh, of course!" Harlow said with an easy smile. "As the patient you can have anyone you like here." She started scanning the first form, pausing momentarily to shake her head quickly. "Sorry, she said, this is going to take a little getting used to," she laughed nervously. "Medically you really are rather unextraordinary," her voice broke off as she realised what she had said.
"Sorry, that was not at all what I meant, I mean, medically speaking your biology is very standard, very much what I would have expected." She sighed. "I really need to think before I speak don't I?" she offered a vague smile. "Okay, lets start again, shall we? I'm Lieutenant Launceston, but feel free to call me Harlow. I'll be doing your medical today. Now, you're Dalacari, right?"
At the perceived slight, Dior actually smiled. "Well, under the skin we're all almost the same. Heart, lungs, stomach. Sure sometimes there's..."
"... the issue of more than the standard, but I assure you I keep all of my extras in a convenient location." and the speaker pointed to the form being examined. The two of them shared a giggle.
"Sorry, poor joke I know." though at the offer to start again, Dior nodded and offered a hand, "Dior Melag, diplomat and Dalacari." she offered with a smile.
"And yes, I'm *a* Dalacari." there was emphasis there. "It's nice to meet you Harlow. Please, just call..."
"... me Dior."
Harlow breathed a sigh of relief at the do-over, and found herself giggling at the joke as well. "Okay, so dual physical forms but singular in the pluralization. Got it..." As confusing as the way they spoke was, it was something she could adjust to with a little focus, but the way her mind shifted was something that was just entirely strange.
"I'll be honest, you're the first Dalacari that I have ever met, so if I ask silly questions please forgive me. What happens if one of your forms gets sick? Do you both become symptomatic or ill?"
"Oh please, ask away. If you didn't ask and you had a question I'd be worried." the one being scanned stated with a smile. She seemed cheerful enough. "Dalacari are entirely sympathetic. Whatever..."
"... one form experiences the other feels. Mostly pain or other sensations, like if you tap one shoulder, both of my faces would look. Dia, that sounds weird to say out loud." she noticed.
"Though, illness is odd. Like, if ONE form gets sick, there's a good chance that just by general proximity I'll entirely get sick. But until then, I'm miserable. Aches and pains..."
"... are shared, general unpleasantness is shared, but actual symptoms aren't. So I'll have half a stuffy nose, but one form can talk perfectly normal." she paused, "We refer..."
"... to a problem as a Half problem if it only affects half of our entirety. Two forms together are referred to as a complete Dalacari, but never call a complete Dalacari a ..."
"... single Dalacari. That word has a whole different meaning for us, and we don't like using it to describe a complete Dalacari." she warned.
Judging by the tone Dior used when referring to the idea of a single Dalacari, but she could easily surmise what it meant. "I will keep that in mind." Turning the tricorder to the other form, she started scanning again. "Remarkable," she murmured quietly. "So you have two forms, two sets of organs, two brains, yet one conscious mind that you share?" she asked curiously.
The pair gave a nod each, "Correct. We evolved from swarm predators who formed a primitive cloud empathy with their entire pack, linked from birth. Simple concepts like Danger, Food, and Safe were..."
"... shared among the swarm. When one was startled, the whole pack went on alert. When one found food or prey, they all swarmed in. Terrifying to watch really." she cited.
"There's archival footage available." Willow-38 offered.
"So as those little clouds of teeth became essentially dominant in their regions, they went through that lovely process of evolution. They got smarter, bigger, and as..."
"... their minds developed, the swarm size shrank. We have evidence that as recent as six thousand years ago, a complete Dalacari was three bodies!" she sounded just as astonished.
"Though, Neotrilithic Dalacaris Erectus is ancient history. Fascinating, but ancient." she paused, and parsed how best to describe her mindset to a single instance lifeform.
"It's hard to describe the mind of a Dalacari to a non-Dalacari. Like, it's all here. I know everything I've seen, experienced, felt... everything. No matter which form actually..."
"... experienced it, and I can experience it from a first person memory. Months ago, memories I form I couldn't tell you which form I remember them from. I just..."
"... you know, remember. I can divide my attention, but only to a point before it becomes confusing and all a jumble. To me, it's all one thought process."
She paused, really wracking her brains to figure out the best way to put it. "I'm the extra set of hands you always wanted, the extra mouth to eat more ice cream with. I'm the extra point of view you want on your papers." she offered.
"Does that make sense?" she offered, with that 'please say yes' look to her. Willow-38, ever helpful, simply shook her own head in the negative.
Harlow nodded slightly. "Actually, I think it does." She stopped scanning and set the tricorder aside for a moment. "I'm part Betazoid, so maybe it's because I have a stronger sense of it of your presence, not just physically but mentally. Honestly, it's kind of disconcerting, I look at you and I see what my perception tells me is two physical beings, but..." she paused almost as if she were grappling with a trying to explain it herself.
"There isn't actually two of you, it's a very difficult concept to try and grasp because you are not at all what my mind tells me you should be. You are a very confusing being Dior," Harlow said, the words well spoken before she realised what it was she had said. Shaking her head. "Sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I'm not doing very well with the word thing today am I?"
"On the contrary, I think you're wording quite well." Dior said with a giggle. "And I understand completely. Dalacari must look awfully confusing to single-instance life." and then she paused.
"Oh Dia, that must have sounded so insensitive. I'm sorry. I... I just.." and a pause, and she took a breath. "I apologize for applying such a broad stereotype to your people." and she gave a nod, to settle the deal.
"With that faux pas out of the way, yes. You're right, there isn't actually two of me. Though I can see how that would be the easiest thing to assume." the Dalacari sympathized.
"I think we're all learning a lot today." Dior mentioned with a pair of smiles, though the drone simply shook her head.
"You're learning too Willow."
"Okay, so, no more foot in mouth... or at least, I'll try but no promises. Moving on... Any medical history that I need to be aware of?" Harlow asked gently. "Allergies? Surgeries? Medical issues or concerns? Anything I may need to know in a crisis situation?"
"I have no allergies that I'm aware of, though Federation allergens are still new to me. I'll track any symptoms, though it might be a good idea to schedule an actual..."
"... allergy test in the near future to be safe. As far as a crisis, if part of me is rendered unconscious the rest of me will become very alert. Think of it like taking on the..."
"... full workload. Though, do not ask me to leave the room or otherwise leave my side. Just work around me, please." with that out of the way, "No surgeries, no..."
"... scars, and no concerns that I can think of right now. Willow-38 will get you a copy of my full medical history from home as soon as possible. Willow-38, make a note." and the drone gave a nod, "Acknowledged. Starfleet medical will receive a copy of your medical history upon acquisition."
The pair smiled, "I'd be lost without her." and Willow-38 gave a nod, "It's true." the drone replied.
Harlow laughed softly. "Well, I'm sure she makes things infinitely easier for you. Right, I'll put the results from today's scans in the computer and I'll wait on the medical history. Once I get through all of that I'll let you know if there's any follow ups that I need to do. How does that sound?"
"That sounds fantastic, thank you." the pair said in unison, a shared emotion and effort spread quickly across both forms. "Also, I'm sorry if I made things a little difficult but, at the same time, I figured now was best..."
"... since everything's quiet. I'll be around to answer any questions or curiosities you have about my people, I'd LOVE to help ease any tensions or at least just work to..."
"... bring my people a little more out of the shadows of curiosity and more into the light of... oh, ummm... where was I going with this?"
"She'll answer your questions about her people so you know more about her people." Willow-38 added as the drone crossed the distance to the group. "This platform isn't permitted to express favoritism or expressions of joy, so it was agreeable to meet with you doctor. You'll be logged into the system as a contact for medical emergencies, with your consent."
"Of course," Harlow smiled graciously. "Happy to be of service," she said to Willow-38 with a nod. "Dior, I'll schedule a new appointment for you as soon as I've had a chance to review all the information, but thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, it's always interesting learning about new cultures, and I apologise if any of my questions were out of line or untoward."
"Of course." one said, while both forms gathered themselves up. "And don't you worry one bit about it. You can't learn if you don't ..."
"... venture to ask harsh questions, and you can't grow if you learn to forgive someone's curiosity." she cited.
"To be fair, I'm very curious about Single Instance life myself. Most Dalacari are to be honest. Though, just like..."
"... you, I'm very concerned about asking sensitive questions, mostly because it's such an impossibility, knowing where that..."
"... line is. Knowing where to even begin." the pair smiled each, "But, more conversation for next time. I thank you for..."
"... your time, and look forward to the next meeting." and with that, the pair and their drone companion gave a nod of thanks, before heading back out towards the exit.
Watching as Dior retreated, Harlow shook her head slightly. "Fascinating, truly fascinating," she said with a smile as she picked up the PADD and headed across to her office.
Ambassador Dior Melag
Lieutenant Harlow Launceston
Chief Medical Officer