Oct 28, 2021 9:20 AM
kyeo in anomaland
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She shines a tiny flashlight down his throat and stares at it. "Okay, I'm done. Would you mind trying to sing for me for just a couple seconds?"

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He can try, sure, if she wants to watch him open his mouth and mouth words silently.

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"I'll want to refer you to a voice therapist who'll know more about this, but I would bet that the muscles that control your vocal cords are getting stuck. The voice therapist should be able to get you back your singing ability with a combination of medication and practice exercises--but only if you want to; if you'd rather keep not being able to sing nobody will complain." The 'and if anyone does complain they won't like the consequences' is left to her facial expression.

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"I miss singing," he murmurs.

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"Then we will get you your singing voice back. Have you already tried anything for it, and if so what effects did it have?"

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"I have not tried anything for it besides - drinking water, trying to practice. I can hum."

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"Alright. There's also--I wouldn't normally bring this up, but given your background you might not have thought about it--would you be interested in talking to a therapist? Sometimes having someone to talk to about unpleasant events can make the memory less troublesome. But if you'd rather not then don't, of course."

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"...as you have seen, I cannot talk about it particularly well."

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"I had worried that--my being a doctor made it harder. But never mind. Are there any other dimensions you'd like to improve your body on?"

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"...what do you mean?"

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"Some people want to work on strength or dexterity or flexibility or balance or running speed or endurance or body composition or getting really restful sleep or eating things that give them consistent energy all day or having clearer skin, and want professional advice on accomplishing those things from someone who knows a lot about bodies in general, or they want tattoos or piercings or surgeries or something where it's easier to get someone else to do it for you than to learn how to do it yourself. And then some people think their bodies are basically adequate and improving them isn't the best use of their time."

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"I think it's basically adequate. Except for apparently being underweight by this planet's standards. - Ibyabek is very hot."

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"If you want to stay underweight you're allowed, but I expect gaining weight will increase your physical strength and endurance, might help your ability to concentrate, and, yes, will help with your cold tolerance."

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"Yes. I will try to eat more."

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"Sounds good. If that's all for your medical history, I'd like to do some tests of your physical abilities."

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"All right." This part should be straightforward.

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It's pretty straightforward! She takes him to a little gym area and asks him to attempt various bendy poses and lift various weights and balance on a deliberately-wobbly board thing in and catch some foam balls thrown in his direction by a tiny ball-chucking machine.

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He will very seriously attempt these tasks.

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He has good hand-eye coordination and poor but not remarkably bad balance by local standards. She'll get back to him with his DNA test results in about two days; in the meantime here's an online calculator that can estimate how much nutrients are in the food he's eating and how much he might need to bulk up at various rates, but its guesses aren't perfect at the best of times and even if he's just from a different gene pool and not an alien it'll probably be even wronger than average for him.

She also gives him the contact information for a voice expert, and adds earestly that "Remember, if anyone tries to force you to undergo procedures you don't want or keep undergoing a safely-stoppable procedure you were okay with but want to stop, you can sue them into a metaphorical them-shaped hole in the ground."

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"What does sue mean?"

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"It's when someone complains to the government that someone harmed them in one of a list of specified ways and they should have to do something to make up for it--paying them a pile of money, or if the harm was spreading a lie about them they might have to publicly explain the truth, or sometimes it's an ongoing thing and the suit is to require them to stop, or similar. Then both sides try to convince a panel of judges that they're right. Most people go through their lives without having to deal with the mechanism directly because it mainly exists as an incentive to discourage people from doing things that would lead them to get sued, and even when people have disputes anyway they can usually resolve them between themselves."

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That sounds so complicated. "Mm."

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"I really wouldn't endorse worrying if I were you. Most people here don't want to hurt anyone whether they'd get sued or not."

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"That's good."

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"And it's totally okay to message me if you have any questions about anything, medical or otherwise. Good luck with your voice work and goodbye!"

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