Author Topic: Off the Hooke  (Read 1401 times)

Offline John Reynolds

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Off the Hooke
« on: May 11, 2016, 03:48:54 pm »
| Deck 12, Counseling Suite
| Dr. Alana Tann's Office
| MD 1, 0925 Hours

"This won't take long," Doctor Cassiopeia Yale took a seat across from the counselor.  "I want to take a few minutes to discuss this week's schedule.  How are things going over in the counseling offices?"

“Of course, Cassiopeia,” Alana smiled at the young Doctor across from her.  While she’d only had a few interactions here and there with the Assistant CMO, she found her company rather enjoyable.  Which was hard to say for most of the other crewmembers on Kepler.

“For myself things are going fairly well.  I’m not sure how Doctor Luna or Hideyoshi are faring, but these new offices are definitely a step up from the previous accommodations,” the Betazoid almost kept the sneer out of her voice at the mention of the old station.

“That’s great news,” Cassi proffered her own a smile.  She was fairly certain it was a defense mechanism to show she was comfortable talking to someone who wasn’t her own patient, nor a personal friend.  “It’s definitely the type of information I’m looking for.  Do you have any required appointments that haven’t shown, or problems of that sort?”

Alana picked up on the girl’s uneasiness and assumed a less threatening countenance; after all it wasn’t her fault she was stuck out on the frontier still.  “Nothing too problematic that I can’t handle, though Maya Takagi has yet to schedule her next followup appointment.  I assume she’ll just drop in whenever it suits her.” 

“Okay,” Cassi gave a short, surprised laugh.  “Wasn’t her counseling mandatory?”

“It is.”  Alana was unsure what she had said that Cassi found funny.  “If she doesn’t come in in the next three days then I’ll declare her AWOL and throw her in the brig, or whatever it is Starfleet does in that situation.”

“It sounds like you have the situation handled then.”  And then, changing the subject, Cassi continued, “Have you spoken with the Captain about his situation at all?”

“I have not.  Is there something concerning you regarding Captain Bakyr?” Alana inquired.

The question took a moment to untangle, “No.  I wasn’t sure if he was in counseling to address the loss of his mobility.”

“Not that I’m aware of,” Alana replied.  “If you think that he should be, as acting CMO you can order it, right?”

“That’s not necessary…  yet.”  Cassi checked her PADD, “Is there anything you would like to address that I didn’t bring up?”

“Nothing comes to mind, but I will be sure to let you know if a situation arises with Maya.  Or in general,” Alana added.

“Sounds good.  Thank you.”

| CMO's Office
| MD 1, 1000 Hours

Doctor Yale pulled up a report at the desk monitor and looked across to where Eastman sat, "It looks like your latest exam scores are back."

Trying not to look too nervous, Zach leaned forward expectantly.  Both he and Rory had made a concerted effort to improve their marks, but there was no telling how he might have done in the exam.  “Be brutal… I can handle it."

“How about you tell me what you’re struggling with currently?”  The scores he returned were good overall, but she wanted to see what withholding the information would reveal.

Letting out a long breath, Zach drummed his fingers against the armrests of the chair as he thought about the question.  “We’re just talking Medical here, right?”  He asked, before adding for clarification: “Because my comprehension of quantum mechanics has always been a little remedial…”

“Well, if you’re taking a course in quantum mechanics, I suppose that answer could apply.”  Silently, Cassi’s expression dared him to continue with his smart ass comments.  She couldn’t get away with smacking him again… not physically, to be specific.

“Okay, okay,” he smiled wryly.  “There’s just... so much to remember, you know?  I realise that choosing xenobiology as my major means I need to know the names of every organ in at least two dozen different species… but why do I need to know that Vulcans excrete fifty percent of the liquid matter their kidney processes?”

“Because Vulcans and Betazoids don’t use their kidney in the same way that a Human or an Andorian use theirs.  If you don’t understand that, someone can end up very ill; potentially fatally so.  Knowing the exact ‘normal range’ off the top of your head isn’t as important as knowing what the expected functions are.  The computer can back you up on the correct values…”

She scooted forward on her chair, “How do you think you did on the exams?”

“Maybe I'm being a little conservative,” Zach admitted, “but I don’t feel like they went that badly.  It certainly makes studying a whole lot easier when the most stressful thing going on around here is moving stations though.”

Cassi reached for the screen that displayed the results.  Before she turned it around she said, “I think you should call your Grandmother.  You’ve got some brag time here.”

Zach frowned slightly.  “She and I still aren’t on the best of terms…” He confessed.  If he was lucky, one of the scientists on the station for the exhibition would be demonstrating a time machine which he could use to go back and smooth things over with Gramms.

“Oh,” Cassi replied, crestfallen.  “Then maybe you can boast to someone else… you did really well.”  She turned the monitor so he could see what she was looking at.

“So I was being very conservative…” Zach corrected his previous assessment.  A smile spread across his face as he purused the individual results and realised that even the marks for subjects he had been concerned about were reasonable.  “Are you sure you haven’t mixed my results up with someone smarter?  He asked with a laugh.

“Well, Phoebe graduated, so … did you cheat?” she played with his surprise.

“No cheating.”  He assured her, marking an ‘x’ over his heart with his index finger.  “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be boosting my self esteem by telling me there isn’t anyone smarter?”  Zach asked with a mock-pout.

Cassi shrugged, “I’m not skilled as a teacher.  Do you need me to check with the counselors and figure out how to be more supportive?”

Zach pondered that question for a moment and then shook his head.  “Nah, I think I can forgive you.  Besides, you’re not half as bad as you like to claim otherwise a lot of this stuff wouldn’t be sinking in.  There’s only so much you can retain from late night cram sessions.”  Even if Iari had found a creative way to help him retain the information.

“Um, okay,” Cassi said without wanting additional details.  “So, for this semester, since Doctor Martin won’t be here, I decided you’ll be shadowing me for all the medical training.  That way, you’ll have a mostly predictable schedule and I can address questions immediately.  The nurses are a fount of knowledge, but … I’d rather you learn from me if I’m going to be held accountable for what you repeat on an exam.”

“Really?”  Zach leaned forward slightly in his chair.  It hadn’t occurred to him that Cassiopeia would be personally accountable for everything he did.  “Thanks, Ca--Doctor.  I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”  With a self deprecating smile he added: “I know I haven’t always made it easy.”

“Don’t thank me yet…”

| Deck 12, Counseling Suite
| Dr. Genesis Luna's Office
| MD 1, 1030 Hours

“Good morning,” Cassi gave the counselor a cautious smile.  “I hope you’re doing well?”

“I am doing splendidly this morning.  What can I help you out with?”  Genesis motioned to a chair in invitation.  “Did you get lost?” she added in a joking manner.

Cassi bit her lip with a grimace.  “Funny… Actually, I wanted to go over a few things, to make sure I’ve got the right information going into the next week.”

“Certainly.  Where would you like to start?”

“I wanted to make sure what your comfort level is with the medical aspect of your Md.  In the event of an emergency, where can I have you step in?”  Cassi asked.

Genesis nodded, thinking of the emergency with Kesari Lor, “I would say I’m good with the basics, removing small splinters, cleaning and stitching.  But when it comes to anything requiring major surgery, you probably want to call someone else.  If precision isn’t needed, I’m there for you - but I never had enough training to do more.”

Cassi smiled, “I could arrange more training.  I have a cadet that is working on his MD.  Training one person is the same as training two.”

With a quiet laugh, Genesis nodded, “Let me think about it.  I never intended to get my hands bloody while helping people.”

“Fair enough,” Cassi conceded and made her notes.  “I also wanted to ask whether the Captain is on your schedule?  Have you been seeing him at all since he was injured?”

“I have,” the counselor considered her answer.  “He reschedules regularly, but we have met on occasion.”  Genesis looked apologetic, “Is there something the matter?”

Cassi shook her head, “No.  I was thinking of approaching him to follow through with a conversation we had a while back, but I wasn’t sure…” Her sentence lingered as the thought decomposed.  “I should probably talk to him.”

Genesis chuckled, “If you need back up, I’m sure I can step in.”

“I might take you up on that,” Cassi agreed.

| Deck 12, Counseling Suite
| Hideyoshi Shimura’s Office
| MD 1, 1105 Hours

The door opened to Hideyoshi’s office and Cassi peeked around it.  “I hope I’m not interrupting your lunch hour,” she said, then entered the room.

Hide’s stomach growled audibly as he glanced up from his paperwork at Cassi; he attempted to mask it with a cough.  Why had he skipped breakfast this morning?  Oh...right, Tanis.  He smiled briefly at the recollection of this morning’s pre-work activities and then remembered he hadn’t responded.

“Not at all Doctor Yale, please come in.”

Cassi gave a happy nod and allowed the door to close behind her.  She sat at the edge of the chair on the opposite side of the desk from Hide.  “I’m making rounds to everyone in the medical department.  I wanted to make sure that everything is going well, that you’re not having any problems?” Her sentence ended on a questioning tone.

“I am still growing accustomed to having a full caseload once more,” he said, indicating the stack of PADDs on the edge of his desk.  “Aside from that I cannot think of any other complaints.  How are you adjusting to your new role?” He asked in return.

“Well,” there was a pause as she considered her answer.  “I suppose it’s not too different from when I was substituting for Doctor Martin the last time, only I’m an officer now - so I can’t fall back on ‘but I’m a civilian’ this time.”

She played with the PADD, balancing it by its edge on her finger tips.  “Is it too much work for you?”

“No.” it almost sounded like a question the way Hide phrased it.  “Were I the only counselor on the station then I would have to say yes, but thankfully I am not.  This is merely me adjusting after a bit too much down time and now procrastinating on my paperwork.”

“I can appreciate that,” Cassi admitted.   “So, can I ask what you were up to… it seemed like you were gone a long time.”

Hide knew Cassi would eventually ask about where he had been for so long.  It was getting frighteningly easy to lie to his friends and comrades now, but it was necessary to keep his cover.  Only Maya and McAllister, perhaps Captain Bakyr and Commander Rae as well, were aware of his actions infiltrating the terrorist organization that had so plagued Kepler Station. 

The counselor leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, “Well, have you noticed the handsome Trill that has been on the station recently?”

“Uh, the Captain,” Cassi asked with uncertainty.

“No, Tanis Norvo,” he laughed.  “We met at a conference and hit it off rather well, one thing led to another and I found myself taking an extended leave to spend some time with him,” he explained.  “I understand Miss Pond seemed to have misplaced my request for leave during her reassignment and the hectic events happening at the time so there was some confusion as to my whereabouts for a bit.  Tanis decided to join me upon my return and here we are.”

“So you had a good time then?”  She inched back on her chair.

“Yes, yes we did.”  Of course their relationship came about based on a lie; the lie that Hide was an OU sympathizer.  “I worry sometimes he will get bored out here, having to stay in one place for so long, but then I remember there is hardly a dull moment that passes on Kepler.”

“We could only be so lucky as to have an uneventful weekend.  What does he do for work?  Is there something he could do on the station to occupy his time?” Cassi offered as a suggestion.  This line of questioning wouldn’t fill out her medical report at all; however, she wondered if there ever was anything of note which could be added to the reports when it came to the counseling offices.

“He is actually quite the amazing chef,” Hide shifted slightly in his seat.  “I have suggested he check out some of the new establishments but he has yet to do so.  Any would be lucky to have his skill.”

“I never learned how to cook,” Cassi reflected, “which is a little strange, wouldn’t you think?  Farm girls should know how to prepare the foods they grow.  But I barely know the right way to boil an egg.”

The counselor laughed, “My mother would probably agree.  She raised me and both of my brothers, ran a pharmacology company with father, and still managed to make a homecooked meal every night.  It was certainly an adjustment when I joined Starfleet and had to eat replicated food at the Academy; now I relish every chance I can get to eat fresh.”

“And your friend, boyfriend?” she added in amendment, “he uses fresh ingredients normally?  I suppose he can’t get that anymore being out here?”

Hide grinned at the term boyfriend, his stomach fluttering like a schoolboy with his first crush.  Some things never changed.  “There are certain ingredients we can still get fresh, spices for example, so that helps if he cooks something that was replicated uncooked.  Perhaps now that we are a fully functioning station once more, the Science department will have a working hydroponics bay.”

“Well, when that happens, maybe he can show off his skills?”  Cassi suggested.  “I should probably leave you for lunch now, actually.  Was there anything I forgot,” she asked the question almost to herself.  “You said all is good, right?”

“All is well,” confirmed the counselor. “I have prattled on quite enough and some food would probably speed along the paperwork.  I owe you an ear; I am sure you have news to share another time.”

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Offline Kesari Lor

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 03:22:50 pm »
|Transporter Room 6, Deck 9
|0803 hours, MD 1

It was too early for transporters. For some reason, the process always made her feel itchy in the morning. Stepping down from the transporter pad, Marta Sefton-Vilaró quickly surveyed the faces looking back at her. She seemed to visibly frown, then turned to the other woman who transported over with her, a blonde of about the same height in command red.

"Lieutenant Commander Collins and Lieutenant Commander Sefton-Vilaró, from the USS Stolfus," the blonde stated to one of the cadets.

Stepping out from the random valets and runners, who were also picking up guests, Rory cleared her throat as she flashed an easy smile to the two superior officers. "Welcome to Kepler Station, Commanders." She stated respectfully, handing them each a small data pad loaded with information while managing to swallow a yawn.

"I'm Cadet Lorelai Kiriakis, I've been assigned to you during your stay." She informed them both as she turned and led the way out of the transporter room, leaving out the tidbit she hadn't been aware she was assigned to them until fifteen minutes ago. "Your quarters are located in pod B, deck one." She added as they turned a corner on the way to the nearest set of lifts. "I've taken the liberty of having your belongings placed in your quarters so I can take you on a tour of the station now, if you'd like?"

"Well, I can tell we're near engineering," Collins said, crinkling her nose and looking around the corridor.

Marta raised a brow and asked, "And how's that?"

"My ex was an engineer," she replied, chuckling. "I can smell the bastards by now." The two women shared a laugh before returning to their more serious demeanor—for the sake of the cadet.

With a smirk, Marta said, "I think for the sake of Commander Collins, cadet, that we can skip the engineering section."

Curious brown eyes flicked between the two women as Rory tried to gauge how to respond before just going with it and agreeing. "Bypass Engineering, got it." She commented vaguely, briefly thinking of Kathy before pushing those thoughts away. "So let's start from the top then, Deck one." She stated, entering a lift and waiting for the two to join her before ordering it to the desired deck, rattling off what was housed on their destination.

"What brings you to our little section of Space?" Rory asked after a few moments of somewhat comfortable silence, while wishing for coffee. Next time she was setting her quarters' coms to off save an emergency. McAllister be damned, she wasn't his personal lackey.

Oh gods, she was.

"Well," Marta said, "I'm delivering a lecture for the conference. Jacinda here just wants a break from the Stolfus."

The lift dinged, alerting the cadet to move as the doors swooshed open, revealing the command center hub of activities and luckily for Rory, distraction from her revelation.

The two commanders followed Rory out of the turbolift, each looking in a different directions. The blonde almost immediately wandered away. "I understand that the station is entirely new," Marta remarked, running a finger along a shiny panel.

Rory couldn't stop the proud grin as she gave a confirming nod to the Commanders statement. "Yes Ma'am -  Midway class, 15 deck,  320 meters in diameter, 60 in height.

"We have 40 officers, 110 enlisted and 10 of us cadets at various stages, roughly 40 civilians and the maximum capacity to hold 500 individuals at any given time." She paused for a breath and continued, her obvious love for her new station evident, in the facts she was spouting off. "Three Hangar Bays, which contain four different Shuttlecraft and three Runabouts." Coming to a stop near the center command hub she turned to face the two women with a grin. "Our defense systems are fantastic,we have type XII Array phasers and Mark II Carronades, along with burst-Fire Torpedo launchers, and Photon,Quantum and Polaron Torpedoes." She blushed as she suddenly realized she had pretty much word vomited the stations facts without taking many breaths.

"Sorry, it's just being the command route I figure I need to know all the details of the station, but you probably wanted the cliff notes, eh?"

Marta couldn't help but grin at the cadet's enthusiasm. "Don't worry about it," she said. "So, command?" With a quick glance, she checked that her red collared companion had wandered away again. "What made you go with that?"

That was a million dollar question. One Rory herself wondered on occasion since making the switch."I didn't originally- I was working on a flight path." She leaned against the wall she was standing beside as she chose her next words carefully. "My lead instructor here on station, she came under scrutiny and I didn't like how things were being handled, and complained to the person I thought was responsible for it."

She chuckled lightly, recalling what had happened. "The head of the EOA here, Commander McAllister- he, he ticked me off." She shook her head. "No, he did more than that, but that's besides the point- he, along with my now reinstated instructor, challenged me, and well, at first I did it to irritate McAllister, but now? I honestly can't imagine another career choice, I like the challenges those in command face, and I like knowing that I can help others in a more wider spectrum then if I had stayed just a pilot."

As touching as the story was, Marta had to hold in a burst of laughter. Commander McAllister... That certainly sounded like him. Instead, she said, "You remind me of myself when I was at the Academy. Several of the courses I aced were purely out of spite."

Jacinda returned to the group after circulating through the command center. "Shall we move on?"

The cadet nodded in agreement as she lead the way back to the lift. It was kinda funny how at ease she felt with the one commander, both of them really. "Absolutely." She replied as she mentally checked off possible locations to visit next. "Apart from the flight Bays, it's really just engineering and security, so how bout I give the nickle tour of our Plaza."

It didn't take long before the three were at their destination and Rory was once more in tour guide mode, pointing out the various eating locations and making her recommendations. "Crazy ei8hts is a must, and the Emporium- Kitt can get you anything if she doesn't already have it." She stated with a hint of pride for her friend. "Targ pit is good, not as great at ei8hts or even the old Treehouse lounge form the old station, but still great."

She looked to Commander Sefton-Vilaró as she grabbed one of the small cafe style table and chairs near Zombos for them to sit down. "So what is your lecture topic, if I may ask?"

"Electromagnetic interactions in the Chandra Cluster conservation area," Marta replied, looking around the promenade area. It was still clean and bright—probably with an extra sheen because of the conference. "I've been out there for the past six years on the USS Hubai."

"You sound like Lieutenant Lor." Rory remarked with a smile. "She's one of the scientists here on Kepler, always studying some anomaly." She added as she leaned forward in her seat, elbows on the table, chin propped in hand. "That does sound intriguing though- I take it your time there was successful? seeing how you're here and lecturing on it."

Marta shrugged. "Well, I hope it will be a long term thing. This is a good opportunity to present initial findings and petition Starfleet to grant a continuance on the research."

Piping up, Jacina asked, "Will you continue supervising when the kids get bigger? The oldest will be starting primary soon."

"The ship's facilities were built with families in mind," said Marta, "but it's something I've been thinking about. But right now, they're visiting Earth with their father." She picked up the menu and skimmed it. "I don't think I've had a targ burger before."

"Eh, tastes sorta like Earths chicken." Rory stated with a wave of her hand as she picked up on the info about Marta having a family. Flicking a quick glance at the waitress, she gave a small flirtatious wink before turning her attention back to the Commanders.

"You know, you should speak with Commander McAllister—he has multiple connections within Starfleet, I'm sure he would know who you needed to speak with to get the maximum time you need to continue your studies."

Marta chuckled and said, "Imagine that: Hank McAllister being all connected." She sat back and grinned. "How is he? Still matching his pocket squares?"

Holy mother of... Rory looked at the woman with new eyes as she slowly smirked and shook her head. "While I haven't seen him really out of uniform, but as much as he likes to gripe at me, about keeping mine in perfect order, I'm sure he does." She replied as their food was brought to them.

Waiting until the waitress left once more, Rory could barely contain herself at the questions being begged to ask. "If I may, Commander? How do you know Commander McAllister? I get the feeling it must be pretty well."

Before Marta could reply, Jacinda piped up and said, "They were an item. She wouldn't stop talking about this 'Hank' on the way out here."

Marta nearly choked on a french fry. "Cindy! We were not," she retorted, lightly slapping the other woman on the arm. "We were just friends."

"If I heard you describe his thick, perfect hair one more time..."

A fry hit Jacinda on the nose. "I told you that in confidence," Marta chastised. If, by in confidence, she meant "after three Risan daiquiris." Nonetheless, she thought that maybe—maybe—she should drop in on her old friend.

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Offline Andrea Jane Carter

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 10:37:28 am »
l SB-909-II
|Transporter Room 3
|1300 hours, MD 1

She was late...

Calling apologies over her shoulder, Doctor Carter hurried through the corridors which wound their way towards the transporter room.    Reaching the entrance she paused, catching her breath and taking a moment to calm herself before entering.  She considered waiting, on calling on someone to take her place or at least be there as a barrier.  Yet Ivan had his own duties to take care off in the build up to the conference and she was not about to use a pregnant woman as a human shield. 

Although Alex would probably be the last person she would need to worry about in that situation.  Smiling ruefully she strode into the transporter room with every ounce of self confidence she could muster. 

“... ah, there you are!  I don’t suppose you are here to tell me you changed your mind and will join my research team after all?”

Fast approaching the very youthful age of eighty three, Professor Jacob Travellion cut a diminutive figure surrounded by an entourage of research assistants, technical specialist and his fourth wife who had been beaming aboard during the last fifteen minutes.    Leaning on the intricately carved walking stick more out of habit than any particular need, his grey eyes were fixed on his welcoming committee of one. 

Irritably waving away those brave enough to offer a helping hand, the scientist stepped down from the transporter platform.   

The years had not changed him much, Andrea realised with amusement as her old mentor drew closer.  A few more wrinkles but there was still that fire, and she was sure that same wrath that could reduce many a student and fellow scientist to tears should the mood take him.  The same scruffy clothes that didn’t quite fit, nothing quite matching or belonging. 

“Would a welcome aboard suffice?” Andrea offered with a warm smile, refusing to let her gaze wonder.  She could feel several pair of eyes fixed on her which she refused to acknowledge.   

In her one quick sweep of the room she had picked him out instantly, although he was trying to stay as far out of sight as possible behind the rest of the group.  Yet at just over six feet tall, with his blonde hair in that infuriating casual but messy hairstyle he still seemed to love, Dr Stephan Lang was not someone who blended in easily.   She wanted to just -

“Only if you promise to join Elle and myself for dinner this evening,” the professor countered, cutting through her thoughts as he gestured to the young red head who was staring around her with complete disinterest.  “And no refusals.  I didn’t come all this way just to teach Old Cameron a thing or two.  Idiot hasn’t even begun testing with –“

He fell silent with one look of annoyance from his wife.  “It’s been a long journey,” Elle said sweetly, her smile not touching her eyes, “And you promised me.”

“Yes, yes,” Travellion snapped irritably.  “I’ve apparently been quite impossible to live with on the way here.  I can’t help it if I care about the future generations, I’ve told you, Elle.  Passion!  That is what we need, passion!”

Elle rolled her eyes in exasperation but said nothing.  Biting her lip to silence her own retort, Andrea simply nodded, wondering if she could convince Ivan to come with her. 

“Dinner would be ... wonderful, thank you,” she said.  “How about I show you both to your home while you stay with us.  Ensign Marcus will make sure the rest of the team is settled.”

At his name, the young ensign behind the transporter controls nodded.  “Yes, Doctor, of course.”

“Excellent, excellent,” Travellion smiled, ushering both women out of the door ahead of him.   “Now, while Elle inspects the promenade, perhaps I could get the grand tour?”


Offline Isis Rae

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2016, 12:42:43 pm »
|Medical, Deck 12
|1148 HRS, MD 1

The smell of fresh Hasperat permeated the air as Captain Nikolas Bakyr hovered through the doorway and into the reception area.  He offered a friendly smile to Miss Matthews as he passed by the desk at a brisk pace and made a beeline for the office belonging to the station’s temporary Chief Medical Officer.  Although given her suitability for the role there was no reason, at least in the Trill’s mind, why the arrangement should remain temporary in nature.

“Good afternoon, Doctor Yale.”  Nikolas greeted the young woman as she looked up from her desk upon his approach.

Raising the simple cardboard container he was carrying, he offered a somewhat amused smile and added: “I hope you don’t find it too presumptuous, but I took the liberty of bringing you something for lunch.  Think of it as taking pity on an old man whose schedule won’t allow for any time to sit down and eat, if you must.”

“Typically, I don’t eat while working - not because I don’t have time, but because I eat when I’m off of work.” She gave the captain a skeptical look, but the Bajoran pastry called to her.  “And I suspect this is a diversionary tactic on your part.”

Nikolas laughed as he crossed the threshold into the office and opened the container, allowing the doctor to take her pick.  “Perhaps a little,” he confessed.  “Although my primary factor is simply that I detest eating alone. And I already subject Commander Rae to meetings over breakfast most days.”

Cassi nodded and succumbed to the temptation.  “Well, the reason I wanted to meet with you is because I’ve been going over your medical files.  I had discussed your case with Doctor Martin before she was called away.  I know how disappointing it can be when the various treatments don’t work the way you expect them to.”

“I would be lying if I said a lack of results wasn’t disheartening,” Nikolas agreed with a slow nod.  “Doctor Martin was always very clear as to the odds, prior to each attempt though.”  He added thoughtfully as he looked down at the Hasperat.  Finally he selected one and then closed the box to keep the heat in.

“Are you ready to try something else?” she asked.

“I take it you aren’t simply referring to a spicier variety of Hasperat?”  The male Trill chuckled.  “I am ready, willing, and hopefully able to attempt any treatment plan you feel is worth consideration, Doctor.”  Nikolas assured her.

“You might want to hear my proposition before readily agreeing to it,” Cassi suggested.  “Especially since what I’m going to suggest is statistically 100% successful on humanoids; however, it was only tried twice.”  Cassi pulled up a diagram on the computer monitor and turned the screen toward Nikolas.

Nikolas took a careful bite of the Hasperat as he leaned forward somewhat to get a better look.  Over the past five months he had seen enough digital representations of his particular spinal injury to recognise it on the playback.  However that didn’t completely explain what it was that Cassiopeia was showing him.  “What exactly am I looking at?”  He asked once he had swallowed his mouthful.

“You can’t read medical charts?” Cassi joked, “I guess we call that job security.  I believe Doctor Martin intended to go this direction, but as a last resort.”  She slid her chair forward and manipulated the diagram to bring the focus onto the lumbar vertebrae.  And explained the procedure.  “The biggest challenge is that we’ll need a donor for the transplant.  Ideally, we’d look at family members.  But when I was looking over your history, I don’t see a lot of choices for next of kin.  Next to ideal would be to stay within your race - and for that, at least we have a number of Trill on the station I could test to try for a match.  Unfortunately, this isn’t something we can punch into a replicator.”

“I must admit to being surprised by that,” Nikolas thought aloud, “considering viable organ replacements have been available for near on a century.”  Forcing a smile he added, “though I do find comfort in knowing we old folk are not completely replaceable with ‘off the shelf parts’.”

Realising that the Hasperat may not have been a practical choice for such a meeting, the Trill took another small bite and then returned the remainder to the box.  “I’m afraid the Bakyr family tree is rather sparse these days… Although, other than Alice and the children, I may still have a couple of cousins on Korica.  If you think contacting them would be helpful?”

“Maternal cousins?” Cassi sat back in her chair and pulled over a PADD with her case notes.

“Yes,” Nikolas nodded.  “Bejal and Sharia Rena.”  His expression became one of wistful reflection.  “I imagine they still reside in Suu'ot Sanko Province, so locating them shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish.”

Cassi nodded, “Yes, if we can contact them, I’d need a blood sample to start with and I can get in touch with their local doctor in regards to the labs I need.”  A veil of hair shrouded the doctor’s face as she recorded her note about the cousins, wondering if jumping around on the family tree would work.  “Ideally, we’ll want to get in touch with your daughter, or possibly your grandchildren if she isn’t a match.  However, with her mixed species, I’m not confident that will work?”  The question wasn’t directed at Nikolas, though, as Cassi charted her thoughts. 

She looked up at the Captain again, “The longer you stay in that chair, the longer your recovery period becomes also.  We can start here on the station, with the other Trills we have at hand…  Testing for a match is the easy part, finding the match is the difficult part… the procedure…”  She left unsaid that the procedure would take a miracle. “Or we can wait for your family to answer,” this time, the question was directed at Captain Bakyr. 

“I would prefer to begin on the station, Doctor.”  Nikolas admitted.  “My granddaughter, Lucy, may not be afraid of anything, and perfectly willing to volunteer, but she is only eight--and Michael and Piper are only five--so I would rather not subject them to any unnecessary tests.”

“I’ll get in touch with the Trill here on the station then.” Cassi answered.  “The lab work will take about a day.  If nothing pans out here, I’ll have you reach out to your cousins.”

“Thank you, Doctor.”  Nikolas offered a warm smile.  “As always, I appreciate your efforts on my behalf.”  The smile became somewhat rueful as he shrugged: “Who knows, perhaps there will be some new medical breakthrough on display during the science conference which will be the answer to our problems… Are you planning on taking in a lecture or any of the demonstrations during the week, Doctor Yale?”

Cassi tried to keep her expression neutral as she looked back at the Captain.  “I’m rather uncomfortable in crowds… in groups of more than four of five people.  Maybe if there’s a time when it’s quiet?” she suggested in anticipation of hearing cajoling.  Cassi didn’t want to explain that her anxiety levels were still way too high after her experience with Tr’Rot and his behemoth kidnappers.  “As it is, medical breakthroughs are normally seen in the journals and thoroughly tested prior to being announced to the public.  So I’m sure I won’t be missing anything important.”

Nikolas could practically see the apprehension radiating from the young woman at the very idea of being in a room full of people.  He actually understood that feeling better than she might have realised, given the challenges faced adjusting to his new way of life.  “Rest assured, Doctor Yale, I won’t be checking in to make sure you actually pay the conference a visit.”  His smile was gentle yet with a hint of teasing around the corners.

Tapping the side of the still warm Hasperat box he added, “My interference in your day extends only so far as lunch.”

The doctor issued her own smile.  “I don’t like eating in here.  But, thank you.  Can I save it for later?”

Whether she was humouring him or would indeed eat it later didn’t matter too much, it was the sentiment which counted.  “Of course.”  Nikolas retrieved his half eaten portion from the box and then offered the remainder to the doctor.  “Next time I’ll be sure to make sure to choose something which won’t leave your office smelling like the Plaza for the remainder of the afternoon.”

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Lieutenant Commander Isis Rae
Executive Officer
Kepler Station

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 05:20:30 pm »
|The Plaza
|UL-081, Deck 4
|1950 HRS, MD -16

"You're hogging the couch," Zach pointed out when he came back from the replicator to find the slender woman draped across all three squabs.

"Really? I thought this was called lounging." Rory shot back unapologetically from her place sprawled across the aforementioned furniture. "Did you put the chocolate bits in?" She asked,  pointing to the tub of popcorn in his hands as she moved to give him room to sit down.

"Yes," he replied sceptically.  "But I'm not convinced that doing so created some sort of gastronomical delight."

"You're using huge words again." Rory teased good naturedly as she took the tub from his hands so he could get comfortable on the couch. "And you haven't even tried this yet, so prepare for a salty sugar rush like no other." She said, totally ignoring the skeptical look on his face.

"What are we watching anyways?" She asked, having let him decide on the film this time, as was their usual trade off.

"It's called Last Action Hero," Zach answered as he settled himself onto the couch beside her and took a handful of the popcorn and chocolate bits.  "I think they've made at least three versions of it, this is the latest and--in my opinion--best one."

After the day she'd had, Rory was hoping for lots of violence and stuff blowing up, so hopefully the 'action' part would come true. Resettling in next to her friend, the cadet munched on a handful of popcorn as the previews began. "How's things with your spook?" She asked conversationally, eyes glued to the screen.

"My 'spook'?"  Zach laughed.  "You make it sound more dramatic than it is."  He scooped up a small handful of the popcorn and chocolate bits and took a tentative bite.  It wasn't quite as bad as he had anticipated, which was a pleasant surprise.  "I like to think things are going well between Iari and me," he answered.  "I've never been in a relationship before though, so sometimes I feel like I've been thrown in the deep end of the pool with no floaties."

Rory tilted her head to the side like a curious puppy. "Wait...Iari is your first relationship? I thought you and Phoebe-" she stopped, brow furrowed as she recalled when she first arrived to Kepler. "Wow, I totally got that wrong." She added, mostly to herself. "And it is dramatic- the woman could probably kill you with a paperclip, or a thread of hair."

"Phoebe just liked tormenting me," Zach assured her, and then wondered whether that meant she had been his first girlfriend after all.  "I hope she's settling in well at Janus..." He added wistfully.  It was strange not having the redheaded science cadet around to brighten up the place.  On the screen a preview for a holovid about a singing Horta was almost enough to distract Zach from their conversation.  "Intel isn't just looking hot while fighting, you know?  Although Iari certainly has those aspects well and truly covered!  But there's a lot of hard work involved."

The command cadets lips curled up in a telling smirk, as she merely looked at him with amusement. This was cute. He was totally... What was the word Dad had used? Smothered? No...Smitten. Yes, the blushing medical cadet was smitten. "Of course she is - any Intel officer worth their weight is." Rory agreed wholeheartedly with him.

"For the record, Phebes likes tormenting everyone." she added with a chuckle, recalling watching their friend bait individuals, at the treehouse for free drinks on occasion.

"Oh yeah," Zach laughed and leveled her with an accusatory gaze, "only Phebes."  After taking another mouthful of popcorn he offered a suggestive smile and asked: "What about you?  Any good prospects on or around the station?  Surely someone meets the standards of the great Rory Kiriakis?"

One eyebrow arched ever so slightly at his questions, a chuckle escaping her as she grinned. "Maybe." She answered, intentionally vague. The truth was, there were a few, one in particular. But Rory wasn't sure if they felt the same way completely and after the craziness she had placed the person though, she wasn't about to make their arrangement more complicated.

She tossed a few kernels up in the air, catching them in her mouth, before letting out a sigh and laid her head on her friend's shoulder. "And my standards aren't that impossible." She retorted, rolling her eyes.

"I didn't say they were," Zach grinned.  He patted her shoulder consolingly and added, "but the time will come when you just have to accept that I'm off the market and settle for someone else."

"Pity, 'cause I would totally rock your Galaxy, Eastman." She replied with a superior tone. "We could have been the next cliché power couple, the Commanding officer and Chief Medical Officer."

"But no, you just had to fall for a baby faced Intel man-eater." She teased, stealing the popcorn bucket from him.

Zach burst into laughter and made a futile grab for the popcorn before Rory held it out of his reach from their current positions.  He gave up and slumped against the back of the couch.  "I guess I'm just going to have to always live with the knowledge of what could have been.  Ooh--" he leaned forward and pointed to the screen.  "This is the bit where the mysterious old technician gives the kid a master key to the holosuite."

She hid behind his back, peering cautiously around his shoulder as she watched the scene unfold. "Aughh... I hate these parts, Seriously someone bad is always behind the damn door." She flinched as the kid inserted the key, the anticipation building as she tried to prepare for the oncoming Gore she was positive would happen.

Zach looked back at her in amusement.  "I wouldn't have thought you were the squeamish type."  He said before returning his attention to the holovid as the program the kid had selected materialized around him.  The vid had been made a number of years ago and was depicting a holographic system which, even by the standards of the time, was outdated so for the two modern teenagers it was practically ancient.  "We haven't even met Detective Jack Slater yet.  That's when the good stuff happens!"

"I am not squeamish Zach, I just hate the music they use to build the suspense." Rory defended herself, handing him back the popcorn as she resettled in next to him and watched the screen. "Geeze, hard to think people thought this was cutting edge, can you imagine him in one of our holodecks?"

"Hmm... not really."  Zach admitted.  "Slater probably doesn't even compare to the responsiveness of a Starfleet instructional hologram now."  He added thoughtfully.  "And then you get programs like that one who used to live in the captain's quarters.  I've seen her roaming about the station and nothing would lead me to believe she wasn't real if I didn't already know.  It's pretty amazing."

An idea struck the Medical cadet and he gave Rory a teasing poke.  "Oh hey," he exclaimed, "I've got an idea!  We could program you a boyfriend."  He suggested with as much of a deadpan as he could manage.

"Hey! I'm not that desperate!" She retorted, giving him a playful shove to the shoulder. "Isn't that AI called Holly? She used to hang out with Doctor Grayson I think." She commented, trying to place the hologram.

"That sounds right," Zach nodded before stuffing his mouth full of popcorn.

"Although if my parents come to visit I'm totally having you make me a significant other, no way I'm letting them near Andrew...My father would question the poor man to tears."

Sitting up straight, Zach tried to fight back a grin as he looked piercingly into Rory's usually mischievous eyes.  "There's an Andrew?"  He leaned forward expectantly, putting his hand on her forearm as if to trap her there until she fessed up.  "And he needs to be questioned, huh?"  Amusement was beginning to war with curiosity in his tone.

Eyes wide, realizing her slip of tongue too late, Rory tried to brush it off. "What? Pfft, no, I mean maybe, possibly but nope, no questioning needed." She said as she tried to wiggle out of her slip up. "I mean if we were to that stage he'd obviously pass any questioning, because he's, that good and honest, hell of a pi-um person."

His amusement subsided a little as he realised that Rory must really like this Andrew guy to be so tongue-tied.  Patting her arm supportively, Zach said: "You know you can talk to me about these things, right?  I'm your friend, I only want you to be happy.  And judging from the tap dancing you're doing right now, this guy must be doing something right."

A soft blush crept across the command cadet's cheeks as she glanced away from her friend. "He is, not that I deserve it." She stated softly. "I've been nothing short of horrible to him at times and yet he's always...just, here, y'know?"

"Who says you don't deserve it?"  Zach asked scoldingly.

The burnette shrugged her shoulders in answer to him. "Mostly me, I mean, I don't have the best track record Zach-- it's safer to keep things how they are, no strings, y'know?" She studied the movie playing, not able to deal with what was sure to be pity on her friends face. "Besides, pretty sure after my crash and burn with Kathy, not to mention the mess with Kendra or the fact I've sorta been with Kitt and Rexus, all while seeing him, makes him think I'm not serious about anything."

Zach really didn't want to know what she meant about Reuxs so instead of dwelling on that he laughed and said: "Stop being a dummy!"

He wriggled on the couch so that he could get his arm around her in a hug.  "And before you try to argue with me about that, let me just point out that we can sense our own kind."  He grinned but didn't give her a chance to interrupt his point, "Iari and I had been locked up in a storeroom for three weeks--with the constant threat of life and limb--and yet I still couldn't be honest with how I felt about her, because I was too nervous that she wouldn't feel the same way... Do you know what that got me?"

"Blue balls and a headache?" She quipped sarcastically, trying to deflect. "I'm sorry, that was rude, I get it, it didn't get you anywhere- I...I don't know."

"Yeah, that was what I was going to say," Zach laughed.  "Although you're not wrong... Maybe while we were trapped wasn't the best time to broach the subject, but between being rescued and Iari coaxing the truth out of me was basically wasted time."  He patted her shoulder and added: "I know putting yourself out there isn't easy, Rory.  I lost count of the number of times Bianca rejected me.  But I never let that stop me, and you shouldn't either.  This Andrew guy should be mooning all over you."

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« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 11:11:53 pm by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 10:04:22 pm »
|The Plaza
|Meadow Park, Deck 6
|1720, MD 1

The recently established Meadow Park may be a poor substitution for the beautiful vistas offered by worlds such as Andor, Risa or Vulcan, but the feat of engineering and botanical sciences required to encapsulate that same feeling of nature, while remaining within the confines of the three level high residential ring, was impressive nonetheless.

"Have you considered the probability that he won't like me?" Ivan Tilman asked as he and Andrea Carter stepped out of the Turbolift and began to meander along the walkway in the direction of The Targ Pit.

He cast his gaze down at their feet and noted, not for the first time, how the bright, sleek surfaces of the modern architecture around them was softened somewhat by the implied age of the cobblestones.  One could almost be forgiven for thinking they were actually in the town square of almost any small town or village on half a dozen Federation worlds rather than a space station in the Expanse.

"Please stop worrying so much," Andrea whispered, tugging on his arm a little to bring them to an abrupt stop, the rest of the visitors to the Park fanning out around the sudden obstacle.  She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze, surprised by how nervous and anxious he was.  "For one, it's unhealthy.  Secondly, you won’t enjoy dinner and third, you have nothing to worry about."

She leaned in and planted a quick kiss on his lips before tugging on his hand again, pulling him along with her.  Her eyes drank in the view of the park, scanned over the sea of faces and recognised many of them as guests at the conference.  Some she knew, others only because she had seen their name on manifests or in research journals.  She wondered what they were making of Kepler and if they appreciated the new station or would have preferred the quirkiness of 'Old Kepler'.

Ivan briefly considered pointing out that he was in an almost constant state of worry, which bordered on neurasthenia, but instead decided that would be counterproductive.  His anxiety at the moment was actually quite rational and due entirely to the impending dinner with Professor Jacob Travellion and his wife.

"I know he has a reputation - and he encourages it - but that isn't the real him," she elaborated, still trying to sooth his nerves, and a few of her own.  For she was a little concerned about where the topic of conversation during dinner might go.  Jacob often spoke frankly and said exactly what was on his mind, without much thought for social etiquette.  Which was perhaps part of the reason why he was running up a long list of ex wives.  "And if all else fails, go to common ground... science."

“Of course,” Ivan nodded.  “I’m a scientist too.”  He reasoned, sounding as if he had somehow forgotten that fact amongst all his baseless worrying.  Travellion’s brilliant career notwithstanding, the man was practically a father figure to Andrea which was the real reason Ivan had been concerned.  It was bad enough that his relationship with Alex was advisorial without forcing Andrea to endure more stress on his behalf.  In an attempt to put her at ease he asked: "Do you know whether Professor Travellion approves of pun based humour?"

"Avoid any talk of his ex wives and you will be just fine," Andrea assured him.  "Especially since the newest Mrs Travellion will be dining with us."

Ivan found that thought somewhat comforting because at least older women seemed to like him.  Perhaps he reminded them of their grandchildren?

As they drew closer to the restaurant Andrea's pace slowed and she took a deep breath to calm her own nerves.  While she was confident that Ivan had absolutely nothing to fear, her departure from Earth had been abrupt -  and entirely necessary.  Her broken engagement had damaged more than just her relationship with Stephen, it had put a strain on her colleagues and their mentor too.  She was the first to realise she needed a clean break, which had brought her all the way to Kepler.  Although not before she had her first and only ever fight with Travellion. 

In truth, she suspected she was just as (if not more so) nervous than Ivan.

"It will be a wonderful dinner," she vowed, flashing Ivan a warm smile, "and I'm glad you could make it tonight."

Having been caught up in his own concerns the realisation that Andrea was so nervous only now dawned on the mop-haired scientist.  Not surprising since many of the fundamentals of social interaction still challenged him constantly.

Leaning in to gently kiss Andrea on the lips, Ivan summoned whatever courage he could muster to present a brave face.  "There's nowhere I would rather be," he assured her with a smile which seemed to reach from ear to ear.  "If Galileo Galilei himself were to step from a fissure of compressed space-time and request I join him on a voyage to... Ganymede I would tell him: 'No thank you, we already have plans'."

"You are in danger of becoming a hopeless romantic, Ivan Tilman," Andrea teased him with a warm smile, knocked a little off balance by his words and the sentiment.  Often seemingly at a loss with everything, and then he says things like that...?  "But you haven't been touring the exhibits, have you?"

"I was hoping to do so tomorrow," Ivan answered, a little confused by the relevance of the question.  "Why is that?"

"Oh, no reason," she assured him with a grin.  Despite the temptation to, she was determined not to ruin the surprise she had planned.

With both of their concerns regarding the impending dinner as alleviated as they were going to get without the application of liquior, the pair set off down the arcade towards the smells of Klingon and Hawaiian cuisine.

Much like the previous restaurant aboard the former Kepler Station, the new Targ Pit was a bizarre mix of décor, with Bat'leths battling pineapples and palm trees for dominance in a way which would likely offend the sensibilities of anyone from either Klingon or Hawaiian culture equally.

Following their guide through the apparently random assortment of tables, none of which quite matched and all sharing little touches of the rather... unusual décor, Andrea rounded the corner and let out a startled yelp as she was immediately swallowed by a bear hug by a man who seemed more giant than human. Even his laugh seemed to radiate through the floor and shake the room.

"There's my girl!"

"Remember what we said about boundaries, Miko," a woman's voiced teased lightly from nearby, followed by the sound of a chair scrapping across the floor and someone in high heels heading towards them.  "Besides, it's my turn."

Gasping for air as the strong hands released her, Andrea flashed a grateful smile in her saviour's direction.  "Thanks Lainey," she breathed, before smiling up at Miko, "missed you too, Miko."

"You look absolutely gorgeous," Lainey complimented with a broad smile, leaning in to plant a kiss on each of Andrea's cheeks.  "And who is your friend?"

Although he was completely taken by surprise at the boisterous greeting, it was clear to Ivan that Andrea was familiar with these people so he did his best to restrain his natural impulse to run and duck for cover.  Which was especially difficult when confronted with the male, who was tall enough to be mistaken for a Hupyrian were it not for the joyous expression on his face.

"H-hello," Ivan stammered in obeisance.  "I'm Lieutenant Ivan Tilman, it's a pleasure to meet friends of Andrea's."

"I'm Lainey, this brute is Miko, the quiet one over there is Stephen, and of course you will want to meet the Professor," the woman commented as she she gestured around her, pointing out people before taking hold of Ivan's arm and guiding him towards a vacant seat at the table.  "We've been on the Professor's staff forever, so naturally we all volunteered to join him when he decided to attend the conference.  I have to say, I'm impressed, Lieutenant.  You have pulled together quite an eclectic group of keynote speakers, and I haven't seen the Oxford boys this excited since... well, never mind that..."

Andrea stared after Ivan, flashing him an apologetic smile as he was towed along in the wake of hurricane Lainey.  She seemed oblivious to what Andrea suspected was mild panic in his eyes, the kind of look he has when Alex corners him.  And like a full blown natural disaster, Andrea learned long ago that you had to just wait it out and pray you survived.

"They'll behave," Miko said quietly, misinterpreting her silence as he kept his voice low.  "Professor demanded we all join him but as soon as we've eaten, I'll make sure to keep them out of your way the entire time."

Until then too worried about Ivan, Andrea's gaze flickered to the opposite side of the table where her former fiancée sat staring into his wine glass and looking uncomfortable as hell to be sitting there.  Good.  The woman beside him, however, was looking towards them with an almost hopeful smile and her mouth open as if she were about to speak.  Before she got the chance, Andrea turned her back on them both.

"Thanks Miko," she smiled, nodding as she moved to the top of the table to greet the professor.  On the way she snagged Ivan's arm, tugging him away before he could seat himself.  Lainey stopped mid sentence, shrugged and then helped herself to some more wine. 

"Sorry about that, I didn't expect a crowd," she whispered to Ivan.  Before he could answer they were right beside the Professor, who stood up and eyed Ivan speculatively as they drew closer.  "Ivan, allow me to introduce Professor Jacob Travellion.  Professor, this is Ivan Tillman."

"Lieutenant, that is," Lainey piped up.

"Hm," was all the elder man said, staring at them both for the longest time.  It seemed like an eternity before he suddenly thrust out a hand, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips.  "Always a pleasure to meet a fellow scientist.  Please, sit, sit.  I'm curious to know about your work here, Ivan.  And tell me, what is your particular field of study?"

The relief was evident on Ivan’s face even before he could think of a response.  When he realised that he hadn’t answered or stopped shaking the Professor’s hand, he did both simultaneously.  “I consider myself a student of all sciences, sir.  But my first love-” his eyes flickered towards Andrea briefly, “-is astronomy.  My original assignment to this sector was as part of the cartography team.  That local knowledge may have been why I was selected for my position on the Expanse Oversight Advisory, unfortunately that is administrative by nature and keeps me away from my work all too often.”

"Ha!" the Professor laughed, nodding along as he gestured around the table with one hand, "fortunately for me, I can delegate! But do tell me, I have heard this region of space has some unique traits? I too consider myself a student of all sciences, for often one discipline can yield a solution or a perspective another lacks.  I have attempted to encourage all of my students to broaden their horizons, so to speak."

"Once," Lainey interjected, "we turned up for an exam on microbiology only to be quizzed on the finer points of quantum physics the professor had mentioned once the week before."

Andrea grinned, nodding as she gave Ivan's hand a reassuring squeeze.  "It didn't stop everyone wanting to be in the Professor's classes though."

"I did not expect," the professor concluded, appearing thoughtful as he looked out on the rest of the restaurant and into the station beyond it, "for horizons to extend quite this far." 

"Infinity and beyond, right AJ?"

At the comment there was a long silence, during which Lainey shifted in her seat to allow her to deliver a kick under the table with as much subtlety as a sledgehammer.  In response, Dr Lang winced as he reached under the table to massage his shin, while offering a small wave in Ivan's direction.  "I'm Stephen," he offered with a weak smile by way of introduction, swiftly downing the remainder of his wine glass.

Ivan offered the man a polite greeting and briefly wondered why he hadn't been introduced with the others.  There was also no explanation as to what had happened to Mrs Travellion, since she didn't appear to be present.  But with his focus on trying to make the best impression he could, Ivan dismissed those curiosities and hastily returned to the topic of their conversation.  "While not precisely unique, there are various stellar environmental factors which render the subspace topography within the Expanse inherently unstable.  No doubt the attributing factor to the previous Kepler Station's arrival here; conditions were prefect for the formation of a confluence point between the two locations in space-time."

We have managed to compensate for the majority of the distortions, allowing for almost unhindered subspace communication and travel at speeds comparable to the warp restrictions imposed by the Science Council prior to the 2370's."  Ivan couldn't hide his excitement as he added: "Now that the Coaxial Trajector Manifold is able to be shut down without risking the safety of anyone living on the station we can search for more answers.  If you would be interested, Professor Travellion, I can arrange for you and your associates to view the current research on the subject?"

"Indeed I would," the Professor nodded.  He was momentarily distracted by the waitress who was approaching the table but he waved her away, "another few minutes, please."

With a sigh he leaned across the table towards Ivan, "my wife enjoys shopping perhaps too much and insisted on an entirely new outfit for this evening.  Needless to say she is still getting ready, which is apparently akin to a complex military operation which cannot be rushed.  Punctuality is not her strong suit.  But she endures my more insufferable moods, amongst other things."

"You should see her shoe collection," Lainey confided to Andrea, "it is amazing."

Andrea grinned, although she was studying the professor while he spoke.  Heartened by what she saw.  While marriages rarely succeeded for him, always falling a little short of his happily ever after, he still looked completely in love.  His previous failures hadn't jaded him at all.  She imagined if wife #1 hadn't ruined the whole idea of marriage for him then little else would. 

"Too small for my delicate feet though," Miko chipped in with a hearty laugh.  "But I so love those sparkles!"

Andrea burst out laughing, imagining Miko decked out in high heels.  Remembering when he had tried once, one Halloween, when he had dressed up as a Disney princess.  Eventually he tossed the shoes in a fountain and spent the majority of the evening barefoot.  "Oh, we know," she agreed, glancing at Lainey and both of them dissolving into a fit of laughter again.

Miko grinned, glancing at Ivan, "I lost a bet in my second year which meant the girls got to pick my Halloween outfit.  So Lainey here decided to deck me out as Belle, complete with wig, gown and heels.  Good thing I'm so confident in my masculinity cos all that gold and sparkles... after a few drinks and tossing the shoes it wasn't so bad.  Ladies loved it too."

"I don't believe I am confident enough in my masculinity," Ivan decided, unable to imagine a set of circumstances where he would be comfortable dressed in such attire.  "Perhaps I will refrain from making any bets."  The one time he had accompanied Kesari to one of her poker games he had discovered the hard way that there were too many factors beyond his control required to successfully gamble.

"Am I missing the fun?"

Hearing his wife, Professor Travellion was immediately on his feet, beaming at the young woman who was approaching the table as he moved to pull out her chair.  "Not at all, we were just discussing Miko's unfortunately tendency to dress up like a five year old girl.  My dear, this is Lieutenant Ivan Tillman."

Expecting to be introduced to someone of the Professor's years, Ivan was rather surprised when he rose from his chair and discovered that Mrs Travellion was young enough to have attended classes right alongside Andrea.  That certainly ruined any likelihood of her thinking of him as a grandson.  A thought which seemed strange even as it occurred to him.

"It's nice to meet you, Mrs Travellion."  Ivan smiled, reaching out to shake her hand.

"Elle will do just fine," the new arrival smiled, a perfectly manicured hand briefly shaking Ivan's own.  The smile, however, didn't quite reach her eyes before she broke contact and seated herself down next to her husband.  With a laugh she added, "Mrs Travellion makes me feel so old!"

Slightly hidden from view beside Ivan, Andrea regarded the latest wife with more attention than she had before.  Everything screamed perfection.  The hair, the makeup, the outfit... and she was undoubtedly attractive.  And yet -

Clearing her throat, Lainey appeared to once again feel the need to rescue the group from an awkward silence.  "I love that colour on you, Elle.  I take it you found somewhere to shop after all?"

"You like it?" Elle asked with much more enthusiasm now, glancing down at the dark green dress she was wearing.  "I did find this one store which finally had something I could at the very least tolerate."

Andrea shifted in her chair, resisting the urge to roll her eyes.  A quick glance to her right confirmed she wasn't alone and she almost smiled, were it not for Stephen being the one staring at Elle Travellion with one part annoyance and nine parts exasperation.   And then he saw her looking at him and they both averted their gazes at warp speed.

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Offline Maya Takagi

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Re: Off the Hooke
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 12:58:57 pm »
|USS Tokyo
|Science Lab
|1303 HRS, MD 1

Doctor Maya Takagi removed her steaming teacup from the replicator, then hoisted herself onto the table where her colleague Doctor Alex McDonald worked.

"I'm told that some people find pregnant women incredibly attractive," Maya mused, her nose curled up in feigned disgust, "I can't fathom why."

Glancing up from her workstation, Alex looked thoughtful for a moment before her gaze returned to her work. "Must be all those swollen ankles, raging hormones, expanding waistline and, of course, bigger breasts?" the science officer suggested with a grin, her tone light, "I mean look at this place, you can just tell I have admirers everywhere..."

"There's a fungus in that container that seems to be eyeing you quite enticingly," Maya replied. "That said, you can't hide away in here forever."

"I am not hiding anywhere," Alex countered, initiating a diagnostic before turning to face Maya.  "This is where I'm supposed to be, and Starfleet tends to frown upon it when you abandon your post. Or so I've heard.... Even if it is to escape mind numbing boredom."

Her eyes narrowed as she studied Maya closely. "What can I do for you?"  she asked, trying to go to her inner calm, happy place.  For she had a bad feeling about the unannounced visit... especially when it had been a long time since she had seen her friend and it was even rarer for Maya to venture aboard the Tokyo. There wasn't exactly a need for it since the prisoner incident. 

"Families aren't allowed on a Defiant class ship," Maya explained, "If you insist on spawning, Starfleet is going to transfer you. I've come up with a solution to that dilemma."

"Spawning?" Alex repeated, grinning as she leaned back in her chair. She didn't confess that it was a subject that was causing her more sleepless nights than the discomfort of pregnancy. Because in truth they could transfer her anywhere... although that could happen at any time anyway. It was part of life in Starfleet and she had very few supporters. 

Maya was one of the few.

"Solutions are good," she said slowly, not wanting to commit to anything. "What's your plan?"

"You remain assigned to the Tokyo, but we move your living quarters to the station," Maya explained, "You'll receive six months of parental leave, so have the option to train a temporary replacement."

"How could I possibly train anyone to be this awesome?" Alex asked with mock seriousness.  Her eyes narrowed as she contemplated Maya's words...  living on the station?  "I'm not sure me living on a station is the best idea.  And there are no guarantees they would keep me assigned to the Tokyo after my leave."

"Of course there are guarantees, Tilman signs off on these assignments. I won't have any trouble convincing him. Why is living on a station less preferable to living on a starship docked to a station?" Maya inquired.

At the mention of Ivan Tilman, Alex made a face.  She had very little doubt that Maya could persuade anyone, and Ivan was... well Ivan.  "There are fewer people on a starship, fewer temptations," she pointed out. 

"What could possibly be tempting you?" Maya inquired with a smirk.

"Oh, this and that," Alex countered with a shrug of her shoulders that came nowhere near as close to nonchalant as she had hoped.  "All of which are equally frowned upon when you are pregnant and some of them, even when you are not.  Every time I visit the station I expect Reynolds to appear at my door the next day to present some list of charges and throw me in the brig."

She sighed as she tapped her console to initiate the second phase of the programme she was running, glancing up at Maya in exasperation.  "I get bored, Maya... but at least here there is a limit to the damage I can do to my career. On the station I'll end up beating the life out of someone - or at the very least starting some sort of diplomatic incident." 

Maya kicked her legs like an idle child. "You and I both, Alex. While I'm not as competent at punching people in the face, sometimes I would very much like to. Perhaps in closer proximity we can keep each other out of trouble."

"Are you missing me?" Alex teased lightly.  "Cos you already know I'd punch, or do much worse, to anyone if you needed me to."

"I have a list of names," Maya stated without a hint of humor. After a moment, she giggled fiendishly. "My only friend on Kepler is a hologram, Alex, so I could probably use some muscle. And I'm certain you can benefit from having a doctor living a few doors down the hall."

"Never underestimate a hologram," Alex warned with a grin, "some of those programmes are borderline insane.."

She paused, frowning slight as she thought about it.  "I couldn't even have a really good house warming party," she pouted dramatically, one hand on her swollen belly.  "That's almost a Shakespearian tragedy."

"There's not really anyone around worth partying with," Maya reminded her. "But if you invite Holly and I, we'll do our best to make it interesting. How does this weekend sound?"

"This weekend?" Alex repeated, shaking her head as she turned on her stool and climbed to her feet.  "That doesn't leave a lot of time.  I have so much to pack..."

Crossing the room she initiated the next series of scans, more out of boredom than need.  She could easily have pre-programmed the computer to do this but then she'd really just be staring at the walls.  "I guess... it will feel a little more real, you know?" she commented, keeping her back to Maya.  "And I never do well staying in one place too long."

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