spock: logic is sexy

Ficlet: Blue Collared Zombie (Chapel, gen)

Title: Blue Collared Zombie
Author: igrockspock
Rating: PG
Characters: Chapel
Summary: She knows she's an excellent nurse, but that's not the same thing as being a good person.
Notes: for where_no_woman's Halloween Drabble Fest prompt #16: I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters. [George Romero]


The first time Chapel saw someone die, she ran. She didn't think about what her colleagues or teachers would think; she just sprinted through big double doors at the end of the corridor and stood in the cold night air, gasping and shaking.

The first time she did triage, after a massive fire in a science lab, she did her duty and stepped over the bodies of the unconscious wounded to escort the able-bodied victims away from disaster. Still, as she splinted broken legs, her eyes lingered over the sleeping faces still inside her field of vision. She watched their chests rise and fall, devised imaginary courses of treatment, constructed lives and families for them at home. When the building exploded before she had a chance to retrieve any of them, she didn't cry, but she thought of them and said silent prayers for the ones they left behind.

Two years into the Enterprise's mission, she steps over bodies in the middle of battles, not even wondering if they are dead or merely sleeping. Her eyes flick expertly through flames and fields of debris for signs of movement, signs of people whose lives can quickly and easily be saved. When someone dies under her hands on a biobed, she barely thinks of it as more than a body, just moves on to the next broken rib or punctured lung or ruptured spleen. At the end of the day, she can rattle off the list of injuries she treated (or tried to) but not the names or faces of anyone she'd saved (or failed to). She is not a woman; she is a machine, logical and efficient, unclouded by emotion. She knows it makes her a good medic, maybe even an excellent one. She's just not sure it makes her a good person.
Ooh. I always find this so interesting when it comes to people in the medical field, how they navigate that line between detaching enough to do their jobs and caring enough to be good and empathetic healers. Nicely done.
I listened to an NPR segment the other day about a hospital that has fake patients that help to train medical staff to get past the 'bolt' instinct and into their professional rhythm.

Quite good. This story reminds me of that segment. :-)
I love your clear-eyed takes on sentient thought patterns. Oh, Chapel. I so want to hug her.
Great Chapel gen. I love seeing this Chapel as well as the compassionate one because they are both equally as believable.