The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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08.16.2012 , 01:29 PM |
I got a couple requests for an Ipha story so here she is in all her glory. No spoilers, Elara, Jorgan and Tanno Vik co star.
What's in a Name?
“This is outrageous,” Ipha fumed. Her eyes tracked down the data pad she held tightly in her fists. So tightly the case began to creak with the tension.
Elara Dorne gingerly reached out and pulled it from her hands. It was a pain to requisition even something as plentiful as a data pad these days. Elara wanted to keep their equipment as pristine as possible for as long as possible. War was hell on paperwork.
Once the pad was out of her hands, Ipha began to pace the tiny med bay, shaking her head and muttering colorful expletives and spouting scenarios that Elara was certain, being medically trained, was impossible for a humanoid body to participate in.
“I apologize for upsetting you, Lieutenant,” Elara interjected when the worst of the violent vocabulary had passed.
Ipha stopped pacing and had the grace to look embarrassed by her tirade. “You have no reason to apologize, really. I shouldn't have shot myself out of the airlock like that. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'm going to handle this right now aaaaaaaaand... what do you know? It's
early enough that while I go about getting this corrected, it's going to piss some people off.”
Elara smiled prettily. “I have to admit it is fun watching you verbally knock people around.”
“Then you are more than welcome to watch me beat this little prat into molecules. Verbally of course,” Ipha said. She drew herself to full military height and stalked to the holoterminal.
Elara stood in the doorway to medical. To her right she saw Captain Jorgan and Tanno Vik come out of the bunks, probably woken when Ipha was threatening to wrap someone's intimate parts around their necks and strangling them. Jorgan was pulling a shirt over his head but Vik just crossed his arms over his bare chest and leaned against the wall. Elara gave them both the signal to stay quiet.
Ipha leaned over the holoterminal and plugged in a connection. She waited a moment, let the connection thrum then disconnected and tried again. Four times she let the connection drag on. She watched with a passive face and on the fifth draw out, the line was answered.
The man had serious bedhead going. He was yanking on a lab coat over a tattered tank top and ratty boxer shorts. He probably hadn't been able to find a robe after being rousted. His eyes were sleepy and annoyed and fixed on Ipha with no recognition.
“Do you have any idea what time it is? What do you want?” he snarled, the threat in his voice reduced a hundred percent by the jaw cracking yawn that interrupted his second question.
“Lexir Brahk?” Ipha asked, her voice as sharp as a shiv.
“I'm Doctor Brahk, yes. What's this about? Who are you?” The annoyance was still there but curiosity and unease was beginning to settle into his face.
“My name is Lieutenant Ipha Kodrevas. I'm attached to Special Forces Unit 326 code named Havoc Squad.”
Elara covered her mouth with her hand as the man's face turned blank with shock. Identifying herself as a member of Havoc had certainly not been necessary and Elara wasn't sure what frightened the man more: Ipha's reveal of her name or the loaded mention of Havoc Squad.
“I... I see,” Brahk said. He clasped his hands together and his fingers fidgeted against each other. He let his hands fall back to his sides where they promptly reconnected behind him.
Ipha studied him coolly. Elara could only imagine the expression in her eyes. “You are the same Lexir Brahk that published a paper on alternate uses for Bacta in the Scientific Medical Journal this quarter?”
“I... yes. Yes, I am that Doctor Brahk. And... it was only one use. For Bacta. One alternate use for Bacta that I... re-researched and published.” He paused and cleared his throat. “You... ah... you read it then? M-my alternate use?”
“I'm sorry,” Ipha said politely when he finished sputtering at her. “I thought you said you researched this article of bantha sh*t I'm holding in my hands. Do you and I have different definitions of the word research, Brahk? Because when I look at this article, with it's adorable little byline with your name on it, and the certainly well laid out footnote accreditation, all I'm seeing is blatant plagiarism and lies. Blatant plagiarism and lies with my name attached to the.. what did you call it again? Oh right. Research.”
Ipha paused and Elara was positive the doctor was going to start hyperventilating. Sweat had broken out on his upper lip and forehead and he licked the corners of his mouth like he had a tic. “I-I-I assure you... I do assure you there was no plagiarism. None. I accredited your research. I was careful, very very careful to accredit the Bacta research to you and your team.”
“Yeah, you put my name on this ridiculous piece of wish fulfillment. Thanks for that you worthless nerf. Did you even read the
my team and I did? Or did the mush in your head pick up on one or two words that took on a life of its own in the swamp between your ears?'
“I beg your pardon...” Brahk began.
“You damn well better beg!” Ipha spat. “You latched onto one, ONE, unexpected result of my experiment and you ran with it like you had the huttball at the final whistle. AND THEN, you don't bother with your own research, but you cobble together any information you can find that remotely agrees with your assumption published in the last nine months. How, by a rancor's fraking balls, did you even get this nonsense published?”
“The hair grew,” he said desperately. “You recorded normal hair growth!”
“Bacta is not now and will never be a scientific and proven treatment for male pattern baldness!” Ipha exploded. “And while I can see that you yourself would desperately wish it to be so, let me explain to you why. And I'll use little words so your eyes don't glaze over on me.” Ipha glowered murderously at the man before her and Elara was certain if they hadn't been talking over a holo channel he would have keeled over in terror. “When Bacta was used in the regular treatment of burn victims it successfully regrew the patient's skin. Do you want to know what successful healthy skin does? It produces hair follicles and those follicles grow hair! Why did those follicles grow hair, Brahk?”
The man sputtered and Ipha cut him off with a nasty slash of her hand. “Words Brahk! I want words, not the sounds of a nerf in distress. How about I just give you the answer. The skin was brand new, the hair follicles were brand new. Do you want to rip your scalp off and apply a generous amount of Bacta to it? Hey, that sounds like research. What do you say, Brahk?”
Doctor Brahk looked off to his right and deflated. “What do you want?” he asked miserably.
“I want a public retraction of this farce of a study. I want my
, my research off this study. You want to be published so badly, you apply for a grant and you research your hypothesis, Brahk. But I can see what a hack you actually are. I'm going to guess you couldn't get a grant of wishes to save your life, forget money.”
Ipha straightened her back and took a deep breath. Doctor Brahk stared at her wretchedly. Behind her Vik was snickering and Elara was amazed at the restraint he was showing.
“Have I made myself clear, Brahk? You're going to retract this study. If this is something you really want to pursue, you will do it with your own time and your own creds. I will not have my name and my reputation smudged by your backhanded tactics. And remember, half of Havoc Squad was here to watch you fall on your sword. And I know where your offices are on Coruscant. Retract it or I'm coming after you.”
She broke the connection and put her hands on her hips. Vik finally let out the guffaw he'd been holding in. “I'm telling you,” he said as he clapped Jorgan on the shoulder and leaned into the laugh. “I haven't had that good of a wake up in ages. That was better than flipping a dancer 50 creds for a wake up-”
“Vik!” Jorgan snarled. “That's really, really... I don't need that image.”
Ipha laughed and gave a little bow. “Oh man, did you see his face? I think he believes I really can pull Havoc off course and go hunt him down under his bed. I feel a little better now. Who wants to eat?”
Be to her Virtues
Be to her Faults
a little Blind.