Leaving the Darkness
Part IX: Medical History
The room smelled of antiseptic, all the metal and tiled surfaces squeaky clean. I took the seat opposite the Venusian and waited patiently while she got my record up on the screen. I wondered how much they could have on me. I remember getting drug tests in the past at juvie but I never really went to hospital. Heppenheim always worked out my hormone dose and administered it. I noticed there was a simple silver photo frame on the desk showing three venusians in what looked like mid-20s, although I know they aged differently to humans.
“My children,” the doctor spoke, seeing me looking. “I’m Sij or Doc Venus,” she introduced.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. “They look happy,” I added, nodding at the picture.
“Yes,” she said, the tentacle-like decorations on her crown moving a little as she spoke. “Sraa and Sjut are on Earth Bet. Skifth returned to Venus to see the ancestral homeland. I’m proud of all my children,” she gushed. I returned her smile, although felt a bit awkward doing so. I couldn’t help being reminded of old memories with Heppenheim and Kellen. In the background I could see a setting sun flowing near the horizon, the sea shimmering behind them. I remembered the last holiday to the seaside where Kellen and I first … I shook my head.
“So, what did you want to see me for Doc?” I asked.
“This is just a general medical check up really. We don’t have much information on your record and I always like to be aware of any conditions my students might have,” she explained.
“Okay,” I replied. I pulled in a breath before speaking. “I’m a bat chimera, three different species. I’m a transguy on testosterone injections for over a year now and had chest surgery.” She nodded as she typed everything into the computer.
“Are you satisfied with your HRT medications? If not, we could discuss alternatives,” she replied.
“I’ve never had any issues but Hep- someone else always took care of it before. So I don’t really know the dosing I was on…” I trailed off.
“That’s fine. I can do some blood tests and work it out for you,” she said. “When was your next injection due?” she asked.
“In a week.” She nodded and opened a drawer to get a needle and syringe. I held out my arm, I’d been used to needles since childhood and had no issue as she found and jabbed a vein. I licked my lips, not really wanting to say anymore but knowing I would need too.
“I’m a failed chimera.” She paused in her typing, thinking for a moment before speaking.
“In that case I’ll run some other tests on the blood to check your general health,” she said. “Do you want me to-”
“No,” I replied, already knowing what she was offering. I wasn’t interested in knowing how many years I had left.
“Is it okay if I see the extent of the damage?” she asked. I nodded, standing up. She motioned to a small curtained area and I went in, removing my shirt and t-shirt underneath. I could feel the malformed wings trying to stretch at the freedom and shifted uncomfortably.
“Are you okay for me to enter?” she asked.
“Yeah.” The curtain moved aside briefly and I kept my back to her as she looked at the damage.
“Do you have any side-effects from this mutation?” she asked.
“Stiff shoulders sometimes but nothing huge,” I responded. The physical examination went on as she decided to check other paramorphic features such as my ears and nose. After another ten minutes she was satisfied and I could cover my chest. We sat back down and she did some more typing on the computer.
“One more thing,” she said. I fought an internal sigh, I wanted to leave the room already. “Do you feel like a mood stabilizer might help you?” she asked. I blinked at the question.
“I’m not depressed,” I replied.
“I noticed the old scars on your chest, I just thought I should let you know the offer was there,” she explained, smiling. I shifted in my chair contemplating the offer.
“I’m fine,” I insisted. I’d never needed drugs before and I wasn’t going to start now.
“Okay, then that’s all we need to do. Welcome to Ravenhold.” I fought an eyeroll at the last part, waving my goodbye as I stood up.
“Thanks Doc.” In the corridor my eyes paused briefly on someone scribbling in a notebook. They had long black hair and pale skin. A pair of dark eye met mine for a moment and I looked away. I considered looking back their way and talking but a quick check of the time told me I couldn’t. I had to get to homeroom asap.
Some of the others were already there when I reached homeroom. It was pretty clear who had grown close to who since they were always together. It wasn’t a bad thing but I was aware they’d had longer to know each other. I was also wary after Ahti revealing my secret to everyone. What did they think of me? I’d barely ever interacted with someone who wasn’t part of the Syndicate so I had no clue how to predict their responses. Sanjay was sat on his own so I joined him.
“Hey, how did the doctor’s appointment go?” he asked, looking up from whatever he was working on. It looked complicated with diagrams and figures.
“Good,” I replied, turning on my own tablet. I had a feeling by the end of this I was going to have a headache. Sanjay remained patient when I did get stuck though. I tried not to feel too embarrassed that I struggled with things everyone around me probably knew.
“What’s our next class after lunch?” I asked as the bell rang.
“Science,” Sanjay answered. Finally, A class I had a hope of actually being able to understand. Heppenheim at least taught me that much. I waited in line with Sanjay, going wherever he went. I felt a little bad constantly hanging out with him but I didn’t feel ready to confront talking to the others yet. Even so we sat near the others to eat. We hadn’t been there long before some guy turned up.
“Class three of year one. It’s nice to see you’re all assembled here, that makes everything easier.” He declared. “Some of you have had the luxury of skipping our first class. I believe it’s time we rectify this.” I glanced at Sanjay who sent me a mildly worried glance.