Peter Flynn stared as the airlock opened to reveal Connor Reese, Eltie, and Doc. Connor and Eltie supported an additional person between them, who limped in with a bloody bandage tied around two spots on his leg. He looked barely conscious.
“What happened? Isn’t this our contact?”
“Indeed,” Reese replied with his characteristic grin. “This is the first time I’ve ever been privy to, shall we say, marine haggling.”
Flynn looked at his first officer. “Eltie?”
“Not me, Captain.” Eltie nodded to Doc.
The petite woman stared up at Flynn, defiantly.
“This flaring starshiner was trying to string us on the price. He wanted to charge triple for basic medical supplies.” Even angry her voice carried that musical accent.
The five of them headed deeper into the ship, towards the sickbay.
Feel like I’m missing something in this.
“So I shot him.”
“Twice,” Eltie put in.
Flynn got ahead of them, then walked backwards, casting confused looks to all three. “What?”
“I believe the intent was to demonstrate the necessity in doctors being able to acquire adequate medical supplies,” Reese said.
“What happened to do no harm?”
Doc shrugged. “He’s alive; I can fix him, so there’s no permanent harm.”
Flynn pinched the bridge of his nose and let them pass. He felt another headache coming on. “Patch him up, and hope we never have to do business in this system again,” Flynn said.
“I daresay, Captain,” Reese said cheerfully, “that this alternative form of medicine might be very useful in some of the venues where we need to negotiate a price.”
“Reese. . . .”
“Perhaps now is not the time for such discussions.”