New Orders

From the Story Arc: Social Orders

Next Story in the Arc: General Orders by Social Medicine (Tuesday, December 12, 2006)

(posted Monday, December 04, 2006)

December 5th
United States of America
Bell Medical Center, Paragon City

It had been a tremendously long and busy day for Dr. Truong Thanh Ha, well before she’d gotten the news. She’d been roused out of her cot at four in the morning by an emergency page from Bell Medical Center in Independence Port... There had been an "incident" at the Terra Volta reactor, and while heroes were on the scene fighting the menace, Bell was desperately in need of any and all doctors in the city whom had experience treating extreme radiation exposure. Over two hundred employees of the reactor had been on-site when the incident occurred, and they needed help fast. One of the first called was the hero, Social Medicine.

Twelve hours passed before she was able to break herself away from her patients long enough to get some fluids and grab something to eat. While chewing on her favorite hospital dish, a rubbery piece of chicken they called "roasted," she finally checked her PDA for memos and messages.

She stared blankly at her screen for a long moment, attempting to understand all the new subheadings and messages she had available to look through. Many of them were for "Commissar’s eyes only," and that confused her. "The database must be nyet working proper," she muttered to herself, purposely deciding to not peek through the CCCP’s leadership’s files.

While checking her voicemail, though, something caught her off-guard. Bella had left a couple of messages, informing the Vietnamese doctor that it was urgent that she speak to her. Her voicemail was usually from junior members of the CCCP, asking about medical paperwork or scheduling check-ups. Bear left messages asking her questions about the validity of some of the procedures shown on the television program Dr. Domicile, which were always good for a laugh. The commissars, however, would usually just try and catch her when they could, or leave physical memos on her small desk with instructions. One message was odd, but not implausible. The three she had from her fellow medical officer was plain weird.

She would have to apologize to the commissar, she thought to herself as she dialed into the CCCP’s telephone system. After typing in her PIN, the familiar and placid voice of Soviette (whom had long ago recorded everything for the system), announced, "Thank you, Commissar. Please listen carefully, as options have changed..."

Thanh Ha blinked and looked at her PDA. "System is really in bad shape," she said before entering Bella’s extension.

The phone rang twice before the commissar picked up. "This is Bella," the woman on the other end of the line said.

"Please forgive me for delay, Bella chinh uy," Thanh Ha said softly. "I was in emergency room since four in morning. There was incident in Terra Volta reactor, and I was treating victims."

"Ah," the other woman said simply. "Well, I just wanted to call and let you officially know before the upgrade, but I guess that's a little late. Congratulations, Thanh Ha ban."

This puzzled the Vietnamese woman. "Congr--" she started, before logic finally broke through the haze of disbelief. Was this really happening? "C-cam on anh, Bella ban!" she finally squeaked out, her whole demeanor changing in an instant. She began hopping around the little break area like a schoolgirl, trying very hard to not giggle into her handset. Pulling herself together, she took a long, deep breath and put her ear back to the receiver.

Bella had apparently heard some of her reaction, and was chuckling a bit. "I can't think of anyone I would rather have slapping some sense into our comrades while I hold their arms behind their backs," she said after a moment.

"Da?" the doctor asked, still calming down. "What is prompting for this?"

"Commissar Untermensch has decided to go on an extended leave of absence, and has thus resigned his commission. I have a memorandum I was about to post before you called."

"...I am seeing," Thanh Ha said soberly. So many of her comrades seemed to be leaving these days. "I will endeavor to honor the sanctity of post."

"Good to hear, Commissar," Bella replied. The blue-skinned woman said something else, but it was drowned out by the sound of a page coming in on the overhead in the hospital.

"Dr. Truong to the ER, please. Dr. Truong to the ER."

"Chut," the Vietnamese woman spat. Stepping out of the break room, she looked at a nurse and put her hand over the transmitter of her phone. "Do you know what it is?"

The nurse scurried by. "Lusca hit a tanker," she shouted behind her.

"Sounds like you’ve got to book," Bella said. "I should let you go."

"Da," Thanh Ha muttered. "It would be seem that Lusca has attacked a vessel in the Port."

"Well, then. Go take care of your patients, and, once again, congratulations, Commissar Thanh Ha."

"Cam... Thank you, Bella chinh uy."

Ending the call, Commissar Social Medicine dropped her telephone into her pocket and bolted to the ER. Her energy had returned. This would be a glorious day for the people.