Lieutenant Lorna Paddles, Medical Assistant
What’s with the salute! Just sit down. Christ, you’re as anal as the captain.
It’s about time someone asked for my opinion. I mean, really, who do think knows everything about everyone on this ship? The seamen and officers have been in my office to get treatment for everything from hangnails to removal of shrapnel from his butt.
I suppose you’d like a cup of coffee. Stay put. And don’t touch anything.
Captain Waterhouse said you’d be more interested in that Davenport gal, Sidney. Talk about a strange bird. Came here more dead than alive. Butchart wanted her dead all right. Guess he didn’t trust the captain to carry out the execution orders. Fact is, I don’t know how she survived. Just when we were sure she was finished, the Captain Waterhouse told us to leave him alone with her all night.
Hey, don’t give me that look. The captain’s not weird or twisted. Fact is, he could loosen up. He lives and breathes rules, rules, rules. He’s a damn walking rule book. Anyway, the next morning her fever’s gone and kidneys are happy campers again. Just like the bullet wound. Healed up over night.
Talk was the captain was using his charms to get her to confess to espionage. Didn’t work (snort). Miss Davenport hates rulebooks. Things got really weird when we found a large feather under her bed. I’m not saying I believe it, but the captain said that feather had special powers. And, I never heard Lieutenant Bridges curse until the day she escaped. Turns out Miss Davenport has no problem opening locked doors with just her pretty head. Telekinesis or whatever.
You can take that smirk off your face. Old Lorna Paddles don’t lies.
Lieutenant Lorna Paddles had been in the military for at least a hundred years, or so the seamen figured. Her short, gray hair was without style except for the wispy curls framing her round face. Large blue eyes told of a time when she’d been a beauty. She was a strong woman with shoulders as wide as those of most of the men on the ship. It was well understood by all that she didn’t take any of the seamen’s guff.
She stood with her back to Sam, and he could just barely see beyond her shoulders that Sidney was seated in a chair. Lorna tossed used linen onto the floor and snapped fresh sheets into place on the bed. She fluffed pillows into submission so they sat only as her big hands demanded. Lorna turned around and saw Sam standing in the main infirmary. She hustled into the main room and snapped to attention in front of him.
“You caught me working again.” She feigned worry. “Damn!”
Lorna had her own military decorum. She respected the rules but usually with a twist. She’d been around long enough to know what she could get away with and with whom. Sam was one of those with whom she, and only she, could push the envelope, just a bit. Not everyone was as successful as she was in getting Sam to “lighten up,” as she often advised him to do.
“As you were,” he said with as much authority he could muster over his desire to laugh.
Lorna relaxed her stance. “Didn’t see you sneaking up behind me, sir.”
Sam smiled. “Any problems?”
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