“So, Doctor, tell me. Am I going to die?”
Leonard sighs inwardly, bites back the sarcastic answer on the tip of his tongue.
“No. As long as you keep to my instructions, you will see a very old age,” he says, watching the man relax with the news.
Patients like Larry Farnsworth make Leonard’s living, but they don’t make his job easier. Bored and alone, the only survivor of his generation, Mr. Farnsworth tends to be a regular visitor of Leonard’s office, and a hypochondriac to boot. All it takes is a cough in his direction, the news of an epidemic in another part of the galaxy, and Mr. Farnsworth is dying, and sure to let Leonard know.
Leonard sighs as he starts filling out the digital form in front of him.
“I’m prescribing you a small boost for your immune system anyway, just in case,” he says, knowing full well that his patient will feel better with it, even if he’s only taking vitamins.
Leonard hands the prescription over, and leans back in his chair, waiting for the old man to leave.
Farnsworth tucks away the small padd, and leans forward conspiratorially.
“Did you hear about the Howels?”
Leonard keeps himself from rolling his eyes, and looks at Farnsworth without giving an answer, hoping the old man will take the hint. But of course, he doesn’t.
“They were listening to one of those rebel broadcasts. Out in their backyard. Not that I was eavesdropping or anything. It was loud and clear. Really, I should report them to the authorities. Don’t you think?”
Leonard takes a deep breath in order to stop himself from answering truthfully - that it is none of anyone's business what other people are doing, that no one has the right to tell them what radio broadcast to listen to or which paper to read.
But that is how the Empire works, how they keep people from starting to think, and if Leonard wants to be left in peace, he had has to play along, has to be the nice, harmless, law abiding citizen. But that doesn't mean he agrees with everything the Empire dictates. Fuck no.
“It’s really not my place to tell you what to do,” he answers, keeping himself out of the matter. Probably dooming the Howels to a dark future, but they had listened to the wrong broadcast after all, and Leonard can't change anything about that.
Mr. Farnsworth looks at him with disappointment written in his face, but stands to leave. “You are right. Maybe I should give them another chance. They are quite the charming couple.”
Leonard keeps the relief straight off his face as he nods. When his patient is out of the door, he leans back with a sigh.
Sunlight streams through the curtains, casting shadows on the desk. Leonard smiles, enjoying the warmth on his face. A look on his watch tells him his day is almost over, and he stretches. A weekend lies before him, with nothing else to do than sit in the sun and read a book, maybe tend to his little garden, or finish his knitting.
He shuts off his PADD, cleans his desk when he hears a loud bang from the waiting room. His finger is on the intercom button without thinking, and he barks. “Mary, what is going...?”
He hears a screech, a muffled cry. Voices shouting orders.
They've found him. He’s not sure how, he’s been so careful, but they have.
He rises from his chair, hand going to the phaser stuck to the underneath of his desk, fingers already going to the settings, stopping when he finds “Stun” blindly. He takes a step to the side, removing the phaser as he goes, closer to the trap door in the floor, but before he can hook his foot into the opening, the door to his office bangs open, and a man in heavy combat gear and a rifle in his hand storms into the room.
Leonard does not intend to obey, raises his hand instead, finger on the trigger, his breath incredibly leveled. He is about to shoot, when he hears a noise behind him. He turns, and only just registers the guy behind him, and has only time to wonder where he came from, when the agonizer hits the skin on his neck.
A flash of hot white pain runs through him, his body convulsing, and he curses once before he hits the floor.
Master Post | Part Two