A/N: I dunno, there's not much to this chapter. Whatever. Enjoy anyway.
The Cirtriru are my own creation, their planet appears often in PUTP.
"The Interspecies Medical Exchange program has existed for 257 years. It was started by the Vulcan High Command before the founding of the Federation, bringing doctors from worlds around the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, allowing them to better their understanding of xenobiology."
Two doctors, one Cirtriru and one Human, stood in the staff entrance to what the Human called an "ER." They were both thankful that environmental systems kept the entire hospital much cooler than the mid-afternoon heat outside.
"I am Healer T'Ven. I am new to the IME. I will be assisting you during your time here on Vulcan."
She looked down at her PADD and read it's contents.
"Dr. Paul Avison, emergentologist."
The human made a short laughing sound. "We don't really call it that. I'm an 'emergency room physician,' if you want."
T'Ven nodded, and addressed the other. "Dr. Elbat Naf-Edalb, a 'child-doctor.'"
"Pediatrician," the human said, not in correction but in attempted comprehension.
"Have you both recieved Tri-ox shots?"
"No," the Cirtriru said.
"Follow me." As they entered the patient trauma recieving area, she pointed towards the sign to their right. "Keep clear of the transporter pad," she read. "Do either of you read Vulcan?"
"Only a few words," the Human said.
"This may make things more difficult for you." T'Ven led them around to the equipment storage area, and handed each a hypospray filled with tri-ox compound. "Adjust the dosage for yourself," she said.
"You said you are a healer. Is that different from a doctor?"
"Yes. Healers undergo many years of advanced mental training, doctors only recieve academic training."
Dr. Avison nodded slowly. "So you can heal with your mind."
"In cases where such is possible, yes."
"Do you have a specialty?"
"No. Healers treat a great variety of patients, including animals."
She motioned to the wall beside them, containing a replicator terminal. "While you acclimate to the local conditions, I suggest you keep well hydrated." She hit a few buttons on the display. "Since neither of you know Vulcan, these -" she handed each a thumb-sized card, "will give you access to the replicator." She demonstrated, sliding one of the cards through a slot, and glass of water shimmered into existence.
"Do all Vulcans have the abilities you do?" Dr. Elbat asked. "That is, with training?"
"No," she replied. "There is a range of telepathic ability, as in any species."
"There are telepathic Cirtridra, but they are a small minority." He paused for a moment. "I have heard that healers are ... revered in Vulcan society. Is this true?"
"Revere? No. We do not value or 'revere' certain individuals over others based on profession or mental abilities. Adepts and masters are highly respected, but I believe 'revering' implies an emotional reaction."
"Hmm. Are healers considered adepts or masters?"
"Not precisely. Most healers do not live in the monasteries or temples. However," she paused, "like them, we have the ... right ... to touch a mind, without preface, without ... permission."
"Hmm," he said again, pressing on in conversation despite her hesitation. "Do you do that?"
"Only in cases where a patient is incapacitated, unable to communicate. To do so otherwise would be ... wrong."
"Our telepaths are revered - respected - but also feared."
"Do you fear me?"
"No. I'm simply considering the cultural differences that exist between us. Have I been too forward?"
"I do not believe so. I have been tasked with introducing you to our culture. Do you have any further questions?"
"Not at this time."
"Then I will bring you to meet my students, with whom you will be working closely."
T'Ven found her students in the surgical suite, observing a surgery they had found particularly intriguing.
They were separated from the patient and surgical team by a force field, so T'Ven approached them to introduce her IME colleagues.
"These are my students, Healer T'Ak'hel, and Doctors T'Pani, Tonak, and Seket." She motioned to each of them in turn. "Dr. Paul Avison and Dr. Elbat Naf-Edalb, here with the Interspecies Medical Exchange. May they join you?"
Tonak, always the one to speak for the group, answered. "Of course, Ohakausu."
T'Ven entered the room carrying a stack of large PADDs in one arm, holding a bowl of food in the other.
"I have been told humans eat three meals per day." She slid the bowl across the table until it rested in front of him. "I thought you might require sustenance."
She set the stack of PADDs down and took the seat across from him.
"What do you have there?"
Before she could elaborate, Dr. Elbat entered the room, taking the third seat at the table for himself.
He groaned and slouched in his seat. "How long does it take to get acclimated to this place?"
Dr. Avison shrugged. "It's the gravity," he said by way of explanation. "So how long does it take?"
"I would not know," T'Ven said. "This is my home."
The human made his short laugh again. "I know that! How about somewhere else? I mean, how long did it take you to get used to staying on another planet?"
"I have never been off-planet."
He stared at her with a surprised look on his face.
"As I said at our introduction, I am new to the Interspecies Medical Exchange."
"Wow, I guess so."
"What's the farthest you have been from your home?" the Cirtriru asked.
"Approximately 160.9 kilometers."
"That's all? That's less than two hours by aircar. What prompted you to get into the IME, then?"
"It is my wish to further develop my understanding of xenobiology."
"Should there be more?"
"Yeah ... how did you hear about the IME? What got you interested in it?"
"It is a Vulcan program. It was not difficult to learn of its existence. And it is of my belief that all medical professionals should consistently work to further their knowledge."
"I was under the impression that everyone's first year with the IME was spent off-world. How did you get ... stuck here?"
"Your impression is flawed. After my application was approved, I requested to remain here on Vulcan."
"Why? Aren't most of your patients here Vulcan?"
"They are. I requested to remain here until my daughter is old enough to handle an extended period of time on another planet."
"A daughter? How old?"
"One year, nine months, three days."
"I didn't think of you as the ... family type."
"We highly value family. They are integral to many of our traditions."