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In which we learn Gregory House is not the most disfunctional doctor ever to live.



Garth manages to get trapped in some sort of sonic blasting chamber. Devon and Rachel race to his aid but while Garth is freed, Devon is trapped in the chamber and zapped. When his companions drag him out, Devon is out cold. When the sphere projector (grumpy glasses-wearing AI guy) is asked for help, he arranges for the Astro Medic space craft to race to the trio's aid.

It seems the Ark has an entire dome devoted to nothing but medicine. Alas, although they have a space craft, they do not know enough to repair the Ark and it has never occurred to them to use their resources to organize a repair effort. Instead, they try to treat those who they can, despite the fact that their ability to help is increasingly insufficient to meet demand. Perhaps they should abandon the single-payer model and went to something more akin to what France uses.

On board are a navigation crew, young Dr. Doctor and old Dr. Doctor, as well as Dr. Loveinterest (Garth is smitten by Dr. Loveinterest but he doesn't get anywhere with her). Young Dr. Doctor sees that Devon is in a bad way and he comforts Garth and Rachel with the news that although Devon will probably die, there is a small chance he might survive as a brain-dead vegetable. Although he does not see much point in trying to deal with such a hopeless case, young Dr. Doctor makes a cursory attempt at treating Devon.

We learn that the old doctor that young Dr. Doctor mistreats and verbally abuses is young Dr. Doctor's father, who handed command of the medical unit over to his son when age began to destroy old Dr. Doctor's eyesight and coordination. Young Dr. Doctor was not always an ass but ambition has made him so.

The medical ship gets a message from a passing alien space craft. The crew are dying, perhaps of a virus, but they cannot find the source of their malady and appeal to the humans for help. They can offer some help in repairing the Ark, or at least they can if the humans help them while the aliens are within range. Although the alien ship is just at the edge of the range the medical ship can reach and still be able to return to the Ark, the doctors decide they must save the aliens.

The alien malady is far more interesting than helping Devon so young Dr. Doctor essentially abandons his patient. A guilt-wracked Garth is angry that Devon is being left to die and he turns the space ship's drive off until such time as the doctors will help his friend. The navigation crew informs him that this has probably doomed the ship.

Old Dr. Doctor then suggests that there is a risky operation that might save Devon's life and after some encouragement from Dr. Loveinterest, old Dr. Doctor begins the operation. Sadly, it becomes apparent that he is old and physically not up to the challenge of the task. Meanwhile his son has completely failed to solve the puzzle of the sick aliens and since the son is the better surgeon while the father is the better diagnostician, they trade jobs.

Devon survives without any significant cognitive deficits.

Old Dr. Doctor eventually realizes that the aliens are cold-blooded and also lack any conscious awareness of temperature. There is no virus. Instead the problem is that their ship is too warm. The aliens don't see the point of adjusting the temperature (a blind spot that must have made their history of exploration interesting) but they follow the advice and are saved.

Although a way is found to allow the medic ship to return home safely, the aliens are not able to help repair the Ark.
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