<<not for the squemish, especially the male squemish>>
Sam headed into her shared quarters, happy to see that nobody else was around. She'd been feeling odd in her abdomen all morning, and hoped it was just something she'd eaten that didn't quite agree with her, though it wasn't nausea. Her combadge chirped, reminding her about lunch, but she ignored it. She wanted a shower first. Sam stripped off her uniform and stepped into the sonics.
Once clean she went to handle her bladder. It was only by chance that she noticed red on the bathroom tissue as she dropped it into the toilet. She brought her hands between her legs curiously, coming up with fresh blood on her fingers. She hadn't bled there for a long time, not since she'd been gang raped, and she certainly hadn't been taken recently. What the hell?
Sam's heart began to race. She checked between her legs again, bringing more blood to her fingers. She rolled out more tissue and dabbed, but it certainly wasn't a cut, she didn't feel anything, and the blood just kept coming. Oh not some life threatening amount, but certainly not light.
Sam wet a washcloth, and tried that, but only got more of the same. She was beginning to really worry, thoughts of hemorrage going through her mind.
A bad day only got worse when, of all times for it to happen, there was a tentative knock on the door of her quarters, barely audible in the washroom but quite apparent. Could things get any worse?
Sam stumbled out of the bathroom, pulling on her pajamas and stuffing the washcloth between her legs, trying to calm herself. "It's open" She called out, wondering who would be at the door.
The door slid open a few seconds after Sam pulled on her clothing and righted herself, perfectly timed to preserve her modesty. Had she been in an analytical state of mind, she might not have been surprised to see Savant at the door. The hologram was not floating in the air as she had been during their last encounter, and was not vaguely translucent. She seemed as real and solid as any human might be. And she wore a small, patient smile. "Hello, Sam," she said as she took a step in and let the door close behind her, "are you alright?"
"I...I don't know." Sam said nervously. "I'm bleeding." She pointed to the general area. "But I haven't had sex." She explained to Savant, the woman's calm demeanor and smile putting her at least slightly more at ease.
Security sensors had indicated a sudden spike in adrenaline hormones within the occupant of this room, which had piqued Savants' attention; a quick inspection of lifesign sensors and the Yeoman's state completed the picture. Savant didn't give any clues about how she had deduced the facts, she simply nodded. She wanted to leave the truth mysterious.
"Oh, that's all?" Her smile widened a calculated amount, gently increasing the level of ease that her expression ought to induce, "I guess you didn't have anyone to explain things to you, did you?"
"What?" Sam asked quietly, utterly confused. "Explain what?" She managed to find a chair and sit down, feeling none to steady on her feet. She looked at Savant expectantly.
She exhaled with a touch of mirth; Savant had never actually expected to need to have this conversation, and given the intense privacy shrouding the cultural details, it was difficult to create proper responses. Savant churned through several options before hitting on something with an acceptable predicted outcome. "Bleeding." The single word was enough to affix the topic without having to say more.
Savant didn't move to sit down on the lounger, she simply picked up her feet as if there were an invisible chair behind her. "It's a monthly thing for healthy women, usually coming along with cramping, a bloated feeling, and general discomfort for a few days. It's a good sign," she smiled, "You're getting better."
Sam watched as Savant sat in mid air, it was a little unnerving, but she reminded herself it was a hologram, not a real person. "It's normal?" Sam tried to digest that. How could bleeding be normal? "I was feeling crampy earlier." She noted as well.
"Was it very painful?" she asked, looking honestly concerned, "I can get you some painkillers if you need them, or there more thorough medications as well."
"No it wasn't bad. But what is it?" Sam far more concerned with answers then her minor discomfort.
Savant lifted her hands, gesturing as she spoke as if she cuold actually demonstrate something by the movements. Of course she could always generate a homogram to show, but this was more about providing comfort to Samantha than actually explaining the details.
"The womb generates a layer of blood-rich tissue every month for an egg to implant in. After that month, it sheds the old lining to make a new one for a new egg. You've been under-nourished, so your uterus hasn't been able to do this yet. Now you're getting healthy and the natural reproductive cycle is beginning."
Reproductive cycle, ok there was finally something she could go with, could look up and investigate. She knew babies came from sex, she wasn't that dense, she'd just never bothered to look up the specifics. She'd worried a few times she might get pregnant, but it hadn't happened. "Ok" She smiled, not fully understanding, but at least she wasn't worried something abnormal was going on. "That's why I never got pregnant then." It was more a realization then a question.
"That's right," Savant nodded, "but you can now, though it will be at least a few months before you're completely well." Modern medicine was able to reverse the effects of severe malnutrition, even that occurring during adolescence. Samantha's treatment would go smoothly. "Provided that you actually *eat* like you're supposed to," she added archly.
Sam blushed slightly. "I know. I am trying. It's just always so much." She looked over at Savant with a small smile. "Thank you. I'll look it all up, but thank you for explaining."
She smiled again - Savant knew how overwhelming the change must be for her and could see the strain on the woman's mind and body. It would be difficult - and Charon wasn't particularly forgiving. Savant had decided to be a silent guardian for the Yeoman ever since she knew of her assignment and situation; hopefully that would be enough.
"Don't be afraid to ask if you want any help with something," she said as she stood from her invisible chair, "And check out the Human Hygiene directory in the replicator. It should help you out." And then, with a final grin, the hologram winked off into nothingness again.
Sam got up and did just that, but the first option was far less than pleasant, she wasn't about to stick that, there. But luckily there were other options, and after replicating fresh underwear and feminine protection, as well as pulling up a description of the female reproductive cycle, she felt better.
(and whatever it is Savant does :P)
Crewman Samantha Davis