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drtamsdiary
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Kilos lost: 2 (food poisoning obviously counteracts chocolate binge) - Sisters cured: 0 - Potential romances ruined: 1 (no! no! NO!)

Will be landing on Santo overnight. Captain admonished me not to leave ship and not to discuss cargo. V. silly: am obviously not security risk for following reasons:

  1. Over past several days, have been too busy testing River/having professional-level sex/monitoring River/treating Wash's RSI/chasing River/giving Jayne rabies shots (since he is not domesticated animal, cannot expect him to have had them already)/cooking toxic-mushroom-laden food/ruining chance at perfect romance/vomiting/etc. to have even figured out what cargo is
  2. as previously mentioned, never going outside ship again, ever
  3. even if knew what cargo was, would not know who to contact on Santo to turn in Captain for money
  4. even if knew where to turn in Captain, suspect authorities would consider fugitive like myself more lucrative find than Captain's cargo

Was able to continue testing River today. Tests seem to be revealing very little. Can find no significant changes in her body aside from obvious pubertal development, no unusual drugs in bloodstream. Psychological issues far too severe to be strictly post-traumatic stress disorder, although suspect that is one element of problem. Medication for PTSD and apparent panic disorder seem to be less and less effective; suspect may be high tolerance in benzodiazepine receptors, but am not seeing usual withdrawal symptoms to support that theory. Must give medications more time to build up before trying new combination.

Saw Kaylee in kitchen this morning. Hesitated to say hello, as was concerned she might be upset about whole vomiting/IV thing. Evidently so: she immediately stopped eating and said she needed to check on a catalyzer - practically ran out of room in order to avoid me. Avoided engine room as did not want to trouble her. She did not even walk by infirmary all day. At dinner, she sat at other end of table and did not look at me once, but instead engaged in loud conversation with Wash about dinosaurs. Have obviously DESTROYED whatever chance at romance I had with her. Want to make amends, but not clear how; feel offerings of food in light of stew incident might be exactly wrong thing. Inara also chilly; apparently poor talent at cooking also ruins all chances for sex.

Rest of crew seems to be recovering. Wash said this morning, "I know things get boring between jobs, but you don't have to poison us just to give yourself something to do." Began telling me story about failed dinner prepared by Zoe; unfortunately, story was cut off when Zoe threatened to give me more work in infirmary at Wash's expense. Captain threatened to enter lucrative weight loss market with "Dr. Tam's Weight-Away Stew"; apparently, his pants are significantly less tight in aftermath of that dinner. Had to endure Jayne's comments about my cooking while giving him last rabies shot; even acute pain was not enough to quiet him.

Gave Book galactosidase to place in Jayne's dinner as cure for flatulence problem. Book protested at medicating Jayne without his knowledge or consent. I responded that I would be perfectly happy to discuss it with Jayne, and would also talk to Captain about Book's mushroom-picking expedition, which added such flavor to my stew. Book raised one eyebrow and said, "On second thought, this isn't a topic that really needs thorough discussion." Should feel guilty about blackmailing Shepherd, but feel I am doing it in best interest of all crew.

Obviously dinner more complex than previously thought. Stew should not have been that particular shade of violet. Thought biggest mistake was accidentally dropping entire shaker of salt (plus lid) in pot. River looked in the pot, went to cabinet, peeled the last two potatoes, and dropped them in. She stopped me when I tried to pull them out. "Osmotic flow always occurs in the direction that favors dilution," she said.

Stew was surprisingly unsalty, but something else was odd. River refused to eat it. Rest of crew seemed buay kum guan; Wash commented that it reminded him of place where he learned skills with shadow puppets. (Am assuming that does not mean it reminded him of home.) Kaylee complimented me, gave rest of crew significant looks until they finished servings of soup, and ate second bowl. Am unclear if she has no taste buds, or was attempting to make me feel better. Either way, was forced to insert IV to rehydrate her after her 13th hour of illness. Am positive that any chance I had with her is ruined. Poisoning object of affection followed by skewering her with needles not way to woman's heart. Also, think she may be embarassed about vomiting on my shoes. Rest of crew has been rather quiet around me, except for the moaning.

Suspect issue with stew may have been wild mushrooms, picked by Book on Antilles. Adding them was very much hua she tian zu. Must not allow Book to pick mushrooms on next planet. Just because he once had garden does not make him mycologist.

Was too busy tending to crew (between own bouts in bathroom) to run tests on River today. Must continue them tomorrow.

Worst part: Jayne did not eat last night due to rabies shots, and is healthiest among us. Spent day eating large amounts of non-toxic, non-mushroom food in kitchen, and telling us about it in excruciating detail - and of course, Jayne is pi wang. Am nearly positive that it is not medical issue; instead, think he saves it all up until mealtime out of sheer perversity.

Captain just knocked on door. Still green around edges. He said, "Doc, I think we'll just let ya have double dish duty from now on."

-------

buay kum guan - reluctant
hua she tian zu - ruining something by overcompensating, "gilding the lily"
pi wang - king of farts

Huai le! I think I just gave us all food poisoning.

Sisters cured: 0 - intensely painful medical treatments given: 1 (v. satisfying)

Have spent day working with River. She decided to hang upside-down from stairs over cargo bay. Was nearly paralyzed with fear. Coaxed her from high place, and tried to entertain her in less coronary-seizure-causing fashion by showing her vid on Cortex; she became hysterical and took hours to console her. Tried to play games with her, but can only keep her attention for a few seconds; tried to converse with her but she was non-linear and scattered.

I cannnot predict her moods, and the drugs I give her are not helping much. Am concerned I will run out. When left Osiris, had not truly considered difficulty of acquiring medication on the Rim, or cost thereof. As licensed doctor, am permitted to requisition drugs from government; however, as wanted fugitive, think such request might provide Alliance with hint as to our whereabouts.

One bright spot in day, however. While crew was picking up cargo on Antilles, Jayne decided to pet some sort of feline, and was bitten by said creature. Crew neglected to capture it. In absence of animal to test for disease, insisted on beginning course of anti-rabies shots as soon as possible as precautionary measure. Considered giving Jayne two shots in arm, as is normal, but after his commentary on my uselessness, decided for safety's sake to perform traditional method of anti-rabies shots - purely as prophylaxis, of course. Fortunately, have syringes with needles long enough to inject anti-rabies serum into his stomach via his navel. Gave him first phase of ten injection course of treatment this afternoon. He was remarkably quiet at dinner.

Was told this evening that my duty tomorrow in chore rotation will be preparation of dinner. Am sure can produce something better than Mal's protein a la protein.

Inara has asked to see me. Must assume, since she keeps inviting me to her shuttle, that she, like Jayne, does not consider me part of crew. Am far less offended that she considers me separate, as perks are quite nice. Am taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before going to shuttle as precaution, and preparing ice packs for tomorrow's anticipated muscle strains.

Chocolate eaten: too much - Weight gained: surely enormous amount - sexual thoughts about shipmates: 8,639

Have been assured, repeatedly, that life on a spaceship is dull. Am still looking for evidence to support this theory. Constant flood of adrenalin from exciting life on run is sure to lead to hypertension, stroke, and/or coronary issues.

Not to mention the women.

Took River on excursion around ship yesterday, before finding creepy space cemetary, Reavers, Alliance, et. al. Crew was in cargo bay playing some insane anarchic game. While watching, Inara came onto catwalk.

Conversation, including subtext:

Me: Hello.
Translation: So, uh, haven't seen you since the wild hours of sweaty acrobatic copulation in your shuttle last night. You're looking ravishing. Should I give you a kiss...somewhere?

Inara: Who's winning?
Translation: Oh, you sweet, darling boy. Also, no.

Me: I can't really tell; they don't seem to be playing by any civilized rules that I know.
Translation: Ah, I see. That bad, huh?

Inara: Well, we're pretty far from civilization. How's your sister?
Translation: Hey, my options are a married man, a celibate Shepherd, a barely evolved primate, a psychotic captain, and you. Good thing I've got my day job. Let's change topics, and if you're lucky and I'm bored I'll give you another shot.

I'm not clear if my experiment in non-celibacy will continue, or if this is mere blip on otherwise empty, sexually void radar.

Short summary of rest of day: find ship full of corpses and one survivor who apparently planned to kill us all. Concept of gratitude on Rim seems sketchy. Interrrupted in my treatment of psychotic soon-to-be scalpel-wielding maniac by arrival of Alliance. River got her wish: we went outside. Next time she asks for something, I am taping her mouth shut. Spent three hours clinging to ship's hull; thin layer of Mylar all that stood between me and cold, lonely death in space. Jayne slapping me on shoulder and saying, "Remember, worst thing you can do is puke in your spacesuit" absolutely no help, as gave me second fear to focus on during experience. River, on other hand, treated it like day at amusement park. Have sister that is not only smarter than me, but more fearless. Also, crazy, which appears to be survival trait out here. Is infuriating to have sister who is eight years younger and yet eight times smarter than one; since age of twelve only way to prove superiority is to place her dolls on high shelves.

On upside, got to see Jayne turned into sniveling cowardly neurotic wreck by presence of Reaver while I showed myself cool and fearless in the face of corpses. Simon: 1, Jayne: 0. After lowering bodies to floor of other ship's cargo bay, tried to lock him in with dead bodies, but was told by Book this was unkind. Book's argument was weak, but his grip when I attempted to shut door was strong - in fact, potentially wrist-breaking.

Slept through breakfast due to stress and sugar withdrawal. Had lunch with River, who seemed remarkably lucid. Perhaps should shove her out airlock more often. Dinner was with whole crew. Am considering paper on Jayne's intestinal disorder as effective appetite suppressant for weightloss.

15:20:
Must abandon patient in infirmary due to imminent Alliance presence. River is excited at chance to go outside. Prospect at death in vacuum only marginally preferable to Alliance imprisonment.

23:45:
Hate Jayne, hate Alliance, hate Reavers, hate sister who thinks clinging to outside of ship's hull is a fun day out, hate spacesuits, hate creepy corpse-laden spaceships, hate cannibalistic homicidal castaways, hate having one handlehold being all that separates me from a prolonged death of suffocation alone in outer space. But hate Jayne most of all. Wish Jayne would have scrotum ripped off by freak gravitational field accident. Searching for loophole in Hippocratic Oath.

Am exhausted. If Inara needs massage tonight, she can ask Shepherd Book. Plan to devour hidden store of chocolate and sulk.

23:15
Loud noises from Wash and Zoe's room enough to keep me awake half of night. Thought they had been married for some time. No excuse for them to keep carrying on like this; can't they lapse into celibacy and indifference like a normal married couple?

Am still working out how to interact with River. One moment we are conversing, and the next she is talking about the formation of liquid hydrocarbons or discussing Bloch waves, or mentioning something I've never even heard of. When I ask her to explain, she is visibly frustrated. It is nearly impossible to get her to follow a linear conversation. Have been bringing her meals in quarters, but she is getting more restless, as shattered crockery and smear of protein chunk on wall next to door illustrate. Asked to go outside today. Told her it was very cold on hull of ship; she gave me patented "idiot" look and said "Outside this room." Will take her around ship tomorrow.

Wash came to see me again this morning, again about wrist trouble. Considered refusing him treatment in retaliation for loud noises but would be against ethics. Unfortunately. Was followed by Book, who had conjunctivitis. Am rapidly realizing that will have to perform routine medical tasks for crew and standard preventative care, not unlike general practitioner. Am somewhat disturbed, as prospect of performing gynecological exam on Zoe intimidating. Seems detachment required to perform similar exam on Kaylee would be barrier to eventually forming successful, healthy mutually fulfilling relationship.

Looking after River has given me little time to associate with rest of crew (except for Wash, who seems to appear in infirmary nearly every day). Cannot figure out how to start conversation with Zoe; potential prospect of providing routine reproductive care to her renders me even more incapable. Jayne today was merely unpleasant as opposed to intolerable - am wondering whether his manner improves with familiarity, or whether I am developing tolerance, as one would with unpleasant side effects of medication. Captain Reynolds, when not threatening, can actually be quite charming in a rough, untutored way. Kaylee very pretty; unfortunately, suffer complete shutdown of verbal centers while am in her presence and am reduced to stammering blob. Shepherd Book seems very well educated, and is kind and friendly to all. Have seen, however, that he is capable of rendering a man weaponless and unconscious in under three seconds, so must assume he has hidden depths. Inara is invariably effortlessly charming and cultured. She has asked to see me in her shuttle after River is asleep regarding tense muscles. Unsure when this will be, as River is wandering around quarters and I am uneasy about giving her any more sedatives. Hope Inara does not mind late visit.

03:55
Inara very much appreciated late-night visit. Was not clear such positions were physiologically possible; Companions must have experience as contortionists on resume.

Wounds stitched: 3 - somewhat unethical dosages of medication given: 1 - breaches of Hippocratic Oath: none (yet)

Have asked River several times about her experiences in Academy. Keeps repeating rhyme: "two by two, hands of blue". Am wondering if she is speaking in metaphor; intend to ask Book about possible connections to Noah's Ark myth. Am becoming more concerned curing her will be even more difficult than getting her out was. Well, shi shang you nan shi zhi pa you xing ren and all that.

Came out of infirmary after another rousing morning of River hysteria to find ship very quiet. Found Kaylee in cargo bay; enquired as to what was transpiring. (Was rather awkward due to focused effort not to unzip her coveralls.)

Note to self: when Kaylee says "We're doin' crime," immediately prep infirmary.

Jayne was dropped down via chain from Serenity into moving train and pulled back up again, all while both vehicles were travelling at around 500 kph. Am not clear if this is a sign of bravery on his part, or merely a sign that he lacks the higher cognitive faculties which would allow him to imagine the physical danger inherent in such a procedure. Captain Reynolds and Zoe, inside the train, were to be pulled up with him and the cargo.

Note to self: when Captain Reynolds and Zoe are off-ship, immediately drugging Jayne into unconsciousness is possibly the best preventative medicine.

Jayne returned from ship with cargo and delusions of commanding grandeur; however, without Zoe or Captain Reynolds (hence delusions). Jayne was shot in thigh while on train; while must commend his proactive attempts to acquire more goods for ship to sell, bullet probably cannot be fenced for much money if covered in blood. Attempted to sedate foul-smelling refugee from devolution program when he asked for pain medication (not quite breach of Hippocratic oath, but technically not ethical). Unfortunately, drug was unusually slow acting on Jayne; took several minutes for him to pass out. Wonder if he has an overabundance of cytochrome P450 enzymes in liver. Fortunately, xiongmeng de kuangren fell unconscious before pummeling Wash into deck, thus preventing me from having an additional patient.

After Inara's rescue of Zoe and the Captain, ship apparently had visit from Mr. Niska's men. Practiced basic triage on the leader, whose personality was even more charming than Jayne's. Am surprised the Captain asked I fix him, as gentleman had earlier stabbed Captain, apparently because Captain had decided to return cargo and refund money due to moral qualms.

While stitching Captain later, learned crates had been full of Pasceline D; apparently, Bowden's Disease significant problem on planet. Fee crew was offered to steal medicine was easily four times what medicine would cost for Guang Anmen Hospital to obtain. If Niska marked drugs up by additional 200% (a low estimate), two crates of Pasceline worth significantly more than my apartment in Capital City. If acquiring all medication so expensive, explains why infirmary so poorly stocked. Had not considered how difficult and expensive replacing my supplies could be. Certainly do not have enough to keep crew in good health for long.

Jayne still sedated at dinner time. Meal without him was an unadulterated pleasure, despite tasteless protein lumps. May consider sedating him more often.

Recovering patients: 2 - patients refusing treatment: 1 - near-unrestrainable impulse to kiss crewmember: 1

Saw Kaylee this morning. Seems to be healing nicely.

"Are there any problems?" I asked.

She squirmed on the table. "Well, my belly kinda itches, 'cept it's inside," she said. Explained would be impossible to alleviate itching due to healing accelerators - without healing accelerators, Kaylee would still be in bed. As per usual, Kaylee took the information with good cheer. When leaving, she gave me hug and kiss to thank me.

Have seen research about pheromones; have disregarded said research until now. (Response to Kaylee, of course, must be pheromones and cannot be due to three year, four month, six day unintentional period of celibacy I have suffered while searching for River.) Had strong urge to throw Kaylee on patient bed and perform rather more detailed exam. Expect would be punched for third time by Captain if were to do so, or that Captain would arm me in order to shoot me and still remain within self-imposed ethical guidelines. May have to keep Kaylee at arms' length in order to avoid following through on base urges - and also to avoid subsequent potential violence from self-appointed father figure. Would consider seeing Inara to alleviate sexual tension but

  1. have been warned that she will not service crew, which I apparently now am
  2. illusion of romance with Companion would be spoiled by day-to-day interaction
  3. could not afford services anyway without selling sister and possibly also firstborn
Am considering speaking to Shepherd Book. While am not Christian, ten minutes from Book on original sin could make even Jayne renounce sex.

Got lunch in galley. Sharing kitchen with Jayne also qualifies highly for libido-reducing, not to mention appetite-reducing, activity. Am reminded unpleasantly of nature documentaries from Cortex involving rabid hyenas; unfortunately, this rabid hyena has mutated and is in posession of opposable thumbs and a small arsenal, though it rarely sees fit to use utensils at dinner table. Odor also continues to be issue. Passing gas 14 to 23 times per day is normal; same number of times per meal is not. Wonder if Jayne suffers from spastic colon or intestinal obstruction. Have been told will be preparing food on Wednesday, under Kaylee's supervision. Do not understand why supervision needed, as seems impossible to ruin flavor of barely palatable protein blocks.

Tapered River off medication today. Refuses to talk about Academy, saying it's not relevant. Is very aware of surroundings; surprised even Captain Reynolds with her effortless recitation of ship's specifications. She noted that the Captain's first name - Mal - means "bad" in Latin. It also means "insane" in Afrikaans, which I think is far more appropriate in light of the fact that he chose to visit a bar populated with Alliance supporters for Unification Day. (Will attempt to forget today is Unification Day in hopes of tricking self into believing self-determined dates at top of each entry. Must evade birthday curse this year! Have decided will best be avoided by remaining ignorant of date on Universal Calendar.) Offered to repair his bloodied knuckles but was rejected. Am sure will have another opportunity to practice vocation soon, as ship is apparently docking for business meeting. Have been warned to remain on ship, as if ever planning to go outside ship again.

Spent this morning asking crew members for dresses for River, as copious amounts of women's clothing in small size in my luggage would have been dead giveaway to Alliance. (Copious amounts of women's clothing in my size might have led to proposition by halitosis-cursed Alliance customs inspector, which would have been almost as bad.) Kaylee, who is currently hobbling around ship, gave me several surprisingly frilly pastel dresses. Would not have pegged her as type. Zoe was kind enough to donate sweater, apparently formerly Wash's. Captain had several calico items which were sadly significantly too large for River. Captain Reynolds obviously needs someone to speak to him seriously about his taste, as cannot believe that particular goldenrod shade and shapeless cut would be flattering to his complexion or figure.

Received first non-emergency visit from crew member this morning. Wash came to infirmary to inquire about treatment for sore wrist and finger. Inflammation is apparently recurring. Dispensed NSAIDs, and offered to audit the ergonomics of his work area. Pilot seemed vaguely flustered at offer and said would agree if issue continued, but would have to ask Zoe. Understand that first officer has say over most ship facilities, but am wondering what items of embarassment could possibly be found on bridge.

River awoke screaming from under sedation. Took nearly an hour for her to recognize me; could not convince her to enter infirmary. Cried when confronted with first dress (frankly, cannot blame her, as looked like transvestite's nightmare), but eventually agreed that wearing clothes would be best way to avoid discomfort for all concerned. River seems only tenuously connected to reality; she seems dazed one moment, then lists off the chemical composition, medical and recreational uses, and potential side effects of medication I inject her with - which shows awareness and knowledge (possibly more than me - had not been aware of lucrative black-market potential in triparadine hydrochloride), but little connection with outside world. Am concerned that damage done to her in facility may have been far greater than I imagined.

Current Mood: worriedworried
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