Author Topic: Darwin's Malady  (Read 22954 times)

Offline sero

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Darwin's Malady
« on: April 01, 2009, 12:02:13 pm »
Department Head Staff Meeting:  Part 1

Gregory was already seated at the head of the conference table when the first of his department heads walked in a few minutes before 0900.  His mouthy yeoman had left two platters of fruit and sandwiches on the table to keep the energy levels of those attending up as no doubt this would be a long and perhaps in some places boring first meeting.

David strolled in with a look of exhaustion. Considering the night he'd had, first wonderful and then horrible, he was surprised to see that he was the first arrival. He crossed the room and chose a seat opposite Greg, then he looked up and smiled.

"How is that security escort treating you?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. His smile faded into a flat line and then he grabbed an apple-pear from the tray and started to eat. Normally he might be in higher spirits, but there was a dead man to be considered and that was bothering him.

Almost on the heels of the Security Chief, Dr. Liesel O'Brien entered the room.  She looked like a woman with a lot of things on her mind, but she smiled at the CO and Lt. Roberts, dropping her small backpack in a seat at the mid-point of the table.

"You two look wan and wasted this morning," she said cheerfully, as she went to the replicator.  "Spearmint tea, hot," she ordered, and was pleased to get exactly that.

"Did you work the rest of the night, Lieutenant?" she asked as she seated herself with the cup and reached for a bunch of glistening red grapes.

"Most of it," David replied with a nod. "My team is only at quarter strength and Petty Officer Travis is the only one I've got who has forensic and ballistics training. We were going over blood spatter patterns and reclaimator-replicator logs until early. Or late, take your pick." David help up a pair of PADDs as evidence and then shrugged his shoulders.

Before Gregory could ask the pair what the fuck they were on about or grumble about the damned security escort, someone else entered the room.

Cat walked into the briefing reading a padd at the same time. She'd started her study of the local area and recent interactions, something which had quickly fascinated her.

Looking up, she smiled at the room in general and headed for a seat to one side, in the corner away from the door. "Morning, how is everyone this morning?" she asked, settling herself in and studying the fruit. She decided against it for the moment and sat back, purposely ignoring Gregory for the moment.

Gregory watched the Sargosian carefully.  She didn't appear to be suffering from a hangover but then he wouldn't know if Sargosians even got hangovers.  It was odd enough that she was able to get drunk just on coffee.  What he found the most annoying was that she didn't have the decency to look embarrassed at having stolen his bed last night to sleep it off, or almost breaking his arm off at the shoulder.  He almost growled, caught himself and then looked away.

"Frisky as a frog," O'Brien replied in jest.  "How about you?"

Lieutenant Roberts looked up at Catalina and a smile barely broke the weary countenance. "Morning Petty Officer," he said before looking back down to the PADD he had been studying. "I'm well enough considering. Hope you are too."

Cat smiled at him, and murmured a reply but it was lost as the door opened again.

When Deacon arrived for the Staff Meeting he saw that he wasn’t the first to arrive. Of those assembled there were only two people he had already met, the CO to whom he nodded and the Intel Chief who he doubted remembered him. She looked surprisingly well considering.

“Good morning everyone” he said as the took his seat.

Else walked into the briefing room with her arms at her sides. People had already sat down and seemed to have made themselves comfortable. She didn't recognise anyone other than the captain, who she raised her eyebrows to and lipped 'hello'.

With her best smile, Else said "Hi," to everybody. She found herself a place to sit and sat down quickly. She folded her hands together and sat straightly. The food on the table tempted her just because it was tasty, but she wasn't hungry so she didn't take anything.

Having time before the meeting started Deacon got up from his seat and walked over to the table where the food and sandwiches were. What he really wanted was a cup of coffee, or better yet a Raktajino, however the fruit looked inviting so he helped himself to a plate. Next stop was the replicator where he ordered up a Raktajino and then once again took his seat.

"Who are we still missing?" O'Brien asked, looking around.  "Oh, Lieu- Captain Shard.  He should be along shortly.  He was checking a problem with one of the fighters."

Justin walked into the conference room and his eyes sought out Liesel. He had two streaks of grease on his face and a rip in the left shoulder of his shirt. He smiled at Liesel and sat beside her.


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Former CO Gregory Blake

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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 12:03:42 pm »
Department Head Staff Meeting:  Part 2

Seeing that almost everyone was present and accounted for and it was 0900, Gregory cleared his throat and addressed them all.  "I'm not one for big speeches so we'll get down to the main points.  Senior staff meetings like this will be held regularly at 0700.  I don't care if you're scheduled off duty, you or your Deputy will be here on time.  The only time I expect to see your Deputy instead of you is if you've got a note from sickbay or MIA."

Gregory paused to make sure that everyone understood that before he continued.  "Kepler's objective here is to be a science waypoint for any discovery or finding our ships in the field find.  We can study it, experiment on it or even blow it up if we so choose.  Once we're done, it gets shipped back to Alpha and Beta for them to do whatever they need to with it.  Aside from that we're still a Starfleet and Federation outpost so we'll do what we can to further those interests and rendering aide as needed, in the Delta Quadrant.  That can be anything from patching up our ships, to hosting conferences and diplomatic events or taking on refugees.  Hopefully not so much on the latter, we're too small for that."

"Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I think we're supposed to introduce ourselves," Gregory said, although he didn't look happy about the idea.  Damned flowery team building shi... he thought to himself.  "If you haven't guessed already, I'm Gregory Blake, your CO.  I started out as a marine sniper and switched codes into Stafleet Security.  I've served on a variety of ships including science ones, although my last command was on an Excal.  This is my first time as anything on a station.  I like people to be punctual and who do their jobs.  I also like scotch."

"Anyone else want to share?" he asked hoping the answer would be no and they could move onto department reports.

Dr. O'Brien looked around the table.  Everyone was looking for someone else to start.  She sighed.  "Sure, Captain.  I'm Liesel O'Brien, CMO.  I've served as chief counselor and medical officer on USS Navajo, as well as counselor on a colony world and a starbase.  My motto is I only fix it if its broken."

In the embassy Tedran Sagin was scrolling through his communiques. Several were congratulatory from classmates and professors at the Thorpe School. A few were from his superiors reminding him of his reporting schedule. One stuck out to him, and as he started to read it, he lifted his morning tea to take a sip. The deeper he got into the message, the looser his grip on the teacup, until the china slipped out of his fingers completely, crashing to the carpeted deck and making an awful mess of the top of the ambassador's desk.

Tedran did not care about the mess or the teacup at the moment. He quickly reread the entire message, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Coming here?" he said to himself. "Coming here? Coming here?" He sat straight in his chair. "Computer, locate Captain Blake."

"Captain Gregory Blake is in the main conference room for his scheduled senior staff briefing."

"He's going to want to know about this."

In a single motion Tedran was up from his chair and out in front of the desk. A few more strides carried him through the doors of the embassy.

David looked around the table and sighed. "David Roberts," he said with a nod to those seated, "Recently minted Lieutenant and Chief of Sec/Tac. I don't do these long intros, so if you want to know me - I have an office and I have quarters. I usually take visitors."

"I'm the Executive Officer Commander Deacon Caine" Deacon picked up. "I've been around Starfleet for a few years, my most recent assignment before coming here was serving on a Klingon ship as part of the Officer Exchange Program.

"I'm Captain Justin Shard. Marine CO. Also, previously assigned to Navajo."

"Jayce, Intelligence Chief," Cat said quietly. "Previously assigned to SFI undercover, reassigned when my covers became ineffective."

The turbolift ride could not end fast enough, but when it did, Tedran bounded through the open doors toward the command center. He pushed past a yeoman who was about to ask where the ambassador was going. Head darting around, Tedran found the conference room and rushed in. The room was more full than he expected. When the computer told him Blake was meeting with senior staff, he assumed it meant the exec and the admiral. He stopped in his tracks, stupefied momentarily by the crowd.

"Good morning," he said, quickly recovering. "Captain, we haven't met yet. I'm Tedran Sagin, Federation Ambassador, but that's not what I came here to tell you." Sagin took a breath. "The Tiddleoffs are coming."

Gregory glowered at the man who had suddenly burst into his meeting.  Unfortunately one couldn't yell at a Federation Ambassador no matter how much one wanted to right then.  "The what?" Gregory asked instead.

"The Tiddleoffs," Sagin repeated. "I'm afraid we don't much on them, but I received a message this morning that the Exalted High Damine of the Tiddleoff Confederacy is en route to Kepler Station and will arrive tomorrow around twelve-hundred, station time." He glanced around at the faces at the table. Some he recognized, others not so much. His gaze finally fell back on Blake. "I thought you'd want to know, Captain." He made a slight bow at the shoulders. "I will leave you to your briefing."

Else had been watching and listening to everyone's introductions without saying a word. She also had no idea what the ambassador was talking about. He struck her as a very confident person. Most people wouldn't have been able to just walk into a room filled with strangers and speak so thoroughly.

"I'm Lieutenant Commander Else Reisman," she said to everyone immediately after the ambassador went quiet. "I'm the chief science officer and I look forward to working with all of you," She said softly. With a nod, Else indicated she had finished.

Gregory frowned distractedly at Else for a moment before turning back to the Ambassador, who he realised had already left.  All eyes were once more on Gregory wondering what his reaction to the Ambassador and his news would be.

"Looks like we'll be busy," Gregory told them.  "Marine fighters to escort this Tiddleoff ship...  Security to act as bodyguards...  Ops prepare accommodation, just in case.  And can someone find out what these people are?" he asked looking hopefully at his CMO.

"I've just been looking," O'Brien nodded toward her PADD.  "Nothing much known.  I'll check the medical databases.  I understand those were updated completely less than a week ago.  I'll let you know if I find anything."

"So I'm guessing that with all the excitement you'd rather not hear about the murder?" David said suddenly. The interruption and the fuss about such a far out occurrence had annoyed him enough to make him almost forget. "My team will be busy with that, you might want to tap Captain Shard and his Marines for escort duty."

Liesel slid a glance toward Justin and found his eyes focused on her.  She lifted her chin slightly in question, and he winked at her.  She smiled and looked back at the PADD.  The Marine Commander would be happier with something to do.

"Murder?" Gregory asked caught short.  He glanced at his XO in case he'd heard something but the damned man was busy looking at the Intel Chief.  "You stay here and fill me in," he told David and then turned to Justin, "Your boys've got bodyguard detail."

"You can blame the Ambassador but this meeting is ending now, unless anyone has any questions?  Or any other murders to report," Gregory said addressing his whole senior staff.

Despite all the other things that were going on on the station, Else was a little stunned that the captain hadn't brought up the Borg in the basement. "Sir, what about our friend in storage?"

Gregory's head snapped up.  Shit, I'd forgotten about that, he chided himself.  "Science found a deactivated Borg in stasis," Gregory informed everyone.  "It's going to stay there until we can figure out what to do with it."

Else looked around at everybody else to see their reactions. It wasn't quite the answer she was looking for, but it'd have to do for now.

Suddenly Commander Fuller stepped into the room, the doors hissing rapidly out of his way.  He stopped in the doorway for a moment, and straightened his jacket.  "Sorry I'm late, Captain.  A crewman stopped me in the corridor on my way here," he said, making his way to the last empty chair at the conference table.  "Apparently," he said easing his way into the chair, "a problem has developed on Deck Five, with door security on a few quarters."  He looked up at Gregory with a level expression, but it was clear, to those who were perceptive, that from his stiff posture he was incredibly embarrassed at arriving late to his first new briefing.

"The meeting is over.  Someone else can update you," Gregory informed him.  Seeing this was as good a time as any he said to everyone, "Meeting dismissed."


Heaps of peeps
Former CO Gregory Blake


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 07:02:23 pm »
Joint Post between Gregory Blake, Benjamin Fuller, and Else Reisman

"Great," muttered Benjamin to himself as he was standing up with everyone else.  He nodded at a passing woman in a teal collar, and made his way discretely over to the Captain.  Lifting his hands apologetically he approached him.  "Captain," he said in a low voice as everyone was filing out, "I apologize for being late sir, I assure you this isn't typical behavior for me."

"Make sure it isn't," Gregory told him.  "I like my staff punctual or their assistant attending in their place.  And that's only if you're dead, MIA or stuck in sickbay."

"I understand sir, of course."  Benjamin sighed.  "However I can make my first report that the seven people on Deck 5 trapped in their quarters are now free, and the security protocols are functioning normally."

"Good," said Gregory who had been unaware of this problem.  It seemed he was unaware of a lot of things that had happened on Kepler in the past twenty-four hours.  He glanced at his XO and Chief Sec who were politely waiting nearby before he said to Benjamin, "I have another meeting Commander.  If you'll excuse me."

"Yes, sir," replied Benjamin.  He stepped back and nodded respectfully, before turning and heading for the corridor with clenched fists.

Meanwhile, Else walked quietly out of the briefing room, being one of the last to exit. She'd allowed pretty much everybody else to get through the door first, and she wasn't going to force her way out. She was in no rush.

Benjamin stepped out of the conference room, and saw his fellow Department Heads quickly disappearing down the corridors, so he dashed quickly to intercept one.  He lifted his hand absentmindedly, she was wearing teal but he couldn't see her rank.  "Ah...excuse me!" he called out.

Else spun around. It was the chief of operations who was late for the meeting, Barin's boss, she thought. Else stopped to wait up for him. "Hi," she smiled faintly. She didn't particularly care for the way Captain Blake had blown him off.

Benjamin smiled back tentatively.  "Hi, uh--" he eyed her collar "--Commander.  Fuller, Ben Fuller," he said, holding out his hand.  "Sorry for holding you up but I'd hoped you could fill me in on what I missed."

"Oh," Else scratched her temple, then shook his hand. "uh, sure." She paused for a moment and raked her memory. "Not much happened." She focused blankly on a spot on the wall. "Somebody was murdered, I guess. They're looking into that. The ambassador vaguely mentioned that a people called the 'Tiddleoffs' will be arriving within the next day or two, and we found a Borg in a stasis pod."  She shrugged and looked back at him. "Then you came in."

"I see.  A murder?  That's er...unexpected.  Doesn't sound like anything needs my attention right at the moment so I suppose I can help out with the Borg--" he stopped himself, "but before I go any further, I'm confident you have a name."  He grinned at her.

"Oh, yes," She shook her head, having completely forgotten to introduce herself. "I'm Lieutenant Commander Else Reisman, chief science officer. I wanted to deal with the Borg as well, but the captain wants it left alone in stasis for now." She shrugged. "I guess it's not on his list of priorities."

Benjamin smiled.  "Pleased to meet you, Commander Reisman.  Well if the Borg is off limits, maybe you can show me around?  I assume you've been on the station longer than I."  He had, in fact, been on the station less than a day.

"Yes, but I really should be getting back," she said. Although Else had been aboard for a day, she knew the station just as poorly as he did. She'd only been to her quarters, her office, and to one of the storage bays.

"Oh, I see..." said Benjamin, furrowing his brow.

"There are a lot of other people that you'd rather go with, anyway," Else frowned. "It was nice meeting you though, Mr. Fuller." With that Else spun around and did a sort of half jog to the nearest turbolift.

"Nice meeting you as well!" Ben called after her.  As soon as the turbolift door closed behind her, Benjamin laughed once aloud, and shook his head.  He decided to go and explore the station on his own, and turned on his heel to go down the corridor in the opposite direction.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 07:10:01 pm by Benjamin Fuller »


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 06:19:05 pm »
Once the meeting was over, Liesel had pointed out the grease streaks to Justin, and he had bid her a quick goodbye.   She came out of the meeting slowly, and half-heard the quick brush-off the Operations Officer had gotten.  It didn't seem to be his day.

She checked the time and decided she had an hour or so to spare.  Everything was going well in Sickbay, and the staff could handle things unless there was an emergency, in which case, they'd call her.

"Commander Fuller," she called after him.

Benjamin was turning around from just watching Else leave when he heard his name.  "Uh, hi...I'm sorry I didn't take the time to read the crew manifest before I came so you have me at a disadvantage, Lieutenant...?"  He cocked his head to the side, hoping to prompt her name from her.

"Doctor Liesel O'Brien, Chief Medical Officer," she told him, holding out her hand.  "I'm sorry.  I overheard you asking if Else would sort of show you the station.  I know you arrived after the rest of us, and it must feel strange not to know where things are.  I have an hour to spare, if I would do instead?" she smiled with her question.

Benjamin seemed a bit shocked by all the words at once, and raised his eyebrows once, but he lifted his hand and shook hers, returning her smile.  "I think you'll do, Doctor; it's a pleasure to meet you."

"And you, Commander.  Call me Liesel," she said.

"Well as long as we're being off duty about this, you can call me Ben," he replied.

She continued.  "And  What would you like to see first?  I think I know where most things are, even if we haven't been there yet."

"Well I'd say let's go to the main reactor room first, I'll need to get familiar with the station right away if she and I are going to be friends," said Benjamin with a grin.

"Main Reactor Room, Deck 20," Liesel said, as they entered the turbolift.  "I spend most of my time in either Module A, with Sickbay and other areas, or Decks 12 & 13."  She saw his look of confusion.  "Gym is on Deck 12.  My partner is the Marine CO, and Marines are on Deck 13.

"Tell me, Commander, what brought you out to the Delta Quadrant?  And don't say a starship," she laughed.

"My last Captain," he replied, "very dear friend of mine, suggested that I take an assignment which was more risky and distinguishing..."  He looked over at her.  "You know to...better prepare myself for Command nominations."

They were silent for a bit as the turbolift took them down the station.  "So, uh...Marines?" said Benjamin.  "We planning to invade the Delta Quadrant or something?"

Liesel smiled.  "Not at all.  At least not with the contingent here.  We have two fighter wings of 5, plus the maintenance crews required, and a squad of ground troops.  Forty altogether, I think.  Self-defense, protection of scientists ground side, a little work around the station now and then."

She looked up at him.  "Why?  Are you against invading the quadrant for the good of the Federation?"  Her eyes crinkled in amusement.

"Well no," said Benjamin.  "Just doesn't sound like a job that Security couldn't take care of.  Marines seem....unnecessary."

"Ah.  Well, we'll see, the first time there are hostiles from the quadrant visiting.  Oh, here we go, Deck 20."  The turbolift let them out.  "I think the main room is right this way.  Is there someone specifically that you want to see, or just a general look around?"

"No I'll just look around for a bit I think...I don't suppose you know very much about the reactor anyway?"  He smirked at her.

"Nope.  That's one degree I didn't take," she agreed.

They reached the reactor rooms doors, which were large and heavy looking.  They slid aside with a loud whine, and Benjamin stepped inside with the Doctor.

Brought to you by:

Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Fuller
Chief Operations Officer
Kepler Station

« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 09:33:12 am by Liesel OBrien »


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 08:24:10 am »
Gregory watched his Chief Operations Officer leave the conference room.  He'd been terse with the man but he needed to make sure he understood what was expected of him.

He scratched at his bristled chin and turned back to his Chief Sec / Tac and XO who had moved closer up the table.  "Did you know anything about this?" he asked Deacon.

Deacon was just as puzzled as Blake was, this was the first he'd heard about a murder.

"No sir, this is the first I've heard about it," he replied. "Which brings to question as to why we're just hearing about it?"

"Because neither of you is the Chief Sec/Tac," David said bluntly to the annoyingly silly question, "You have and  had no need to know until there was something to report. That meant making sure the investigation was righteous, and putting together the report with as much information as could be obtained."

He looked at the two of them and grimaced, he hadn't even met the XO yet, and this was a fine way to start. He shoved the data PADD he had been holding for the entire disastrous meeting toward Greg and  then he crossed his arms. "You would have known at the beginning of the meeting had you not insisted on the Kum buy ya approach to staff meetings." he offered. "You would have been informed during the departmental news portion of our deliberations. But with the interruptions from late staff and overwrought ambassadorial staff, there was little time to give you a proper briefing."

"Now if either of the two of you want to crawl out of bed with me at 0100 and be up assisting my small, overworked staff until all hours of the morning," he continued, "Then I'll gladly go back to bed and let you do my job." he conclude, "But, I've had a hell of a long night with little or no sleep. Would you like to hear about the murder or not?"

"You're lucky I didn't make you wear nametags," Gregory informed him as he picked up the padd.  "And I'm awake from 0400 if you need me.  Now, what happened?"

"The murder occurred at or around 2345 last night in Jazz and Orchids lounge," David answered from memory. "The weapon used was one of the candlesticks from the lounge itself, so there was no alert from the station. There would have been had phasers or chemical propellant weapons had been used."

"The owner discovered the body at about 0030, and officers began arriving on the scene at about 0100," he continued. "Initial forensics examinations occured and then Doctor O'Brien stepped in for the coroner's examination."

"All current methods of crime scene investigation were employed," David added with a frown, " but thus far there has been no useful evidence. The scene was completely clear of spore - it was almost sanitized save for that of earlier customers, the owner and the victim. We were able to date the hair and skin cells found and none of those could have belonged to the murderer."

"Further more," David pointed out by poking at the Data PADD, "we don't have the autopsy report yet, it will happen at 1000 today. But you can see the data already pulled and make some initial findings. The attack consisted of two short sharp blows to the head. The spray pattern and shortness of the blows indicates the attacker probably knew the victim."

David looked up and shrugged. "There was no sign of a struggle and no defensive wounds," he pointed out. They asked for his report, they were getting it. "My people pulled the replicator and reclaimator logs immediately. There was no record of any clothing bearing the victims blood being recycled, and therefore no discernible record of replacement clothing being requested."

But there is something else sirs," David finished with a deeper frown, "And it is disturbing."

Listening intently Deacon found Mr. Roberts report interesting, so far it raised more questions than it answered but he realized it was just his preliminary report.

"Before you go on Mr. Roberts" Deacon interrupted. "Have you checked the station logs to see if any ships, or anyone for that matter, has left the station since the discovery of the body? And have you been able to identify the victim?"

"No ships have left Kepler station since our arrival," David responded immediately. "None save fighter on CAP that is, and none during or after the murder. The Victim is as yet unidentified. He was not a member of any station crew in our records, nor on the list of civilians and personnel who came on with Tribulation. Computer identification was also unsuccessful. For all intents and purposes, our John Doe is a null."

"Well someone knew who he was," Gregory commented, "enough to want to kill him.  Why did you discount the owners of the hair and skin cells as possible murder suspects?"

"None of the hair and skin cells found save that of the victim was more recent than two hours before the murder," David answered. "There should have been something more recent than that from the murderer. The Killer was a pro."

"But you haven't let me tell you about the exterior security feeds yet," David continued. "We can identify every person whose DNA we have. When they entered and when they left. Here let me show you."

David held out a second PADD on which he'd stored the pertinent security feeds. He played them back now and each suspect in question was tagged both entering and exiting. "But this is the part that concerns me," he said with a frown. "Someone has tampered with the feeds. My computer analyst spotted it - and do you see this ghosting?'

He pointed to the shadowy images that appeared to be behind some of the frames of the feed. "That's all she could bring out," he said, "But he assures me the feed has been tampered with , and that who ever did it knew what they were doing."

"We'd probably better have Engineering to do a full systems check" Deacon spoke up. "We'll need to know if any of our other systems have been tampered with. I think it would also be a good idea to start circulating the victim's picture around. Someone has to know who he is or at least seen him around."

David nodded absently. Perhaps someone on the station did indeed know who the victim was. "I'll send it out, sir," he said, "But be warned that may send the killer deeper into hiding. Did you want to contact engineering about the systems check, or should I?"

"You can," Gregory told him.  "We need to find out who our victim is or was.  He was important enough to kill."  Gregory mused on it a bit more and then added, "Circulate the photo, tell them he's in a coma in sickbay and then post more people there in case our murderer decides to try again.  And no one leaves the station until I say so."

David smiled at that and nodded. "If there is nothing else, sirs?" He asked with a raised eyebrow. "I'd like to get too it."

"Sounds like you have the situation under control Mr. Roberts" Deacon concluded. "Let me know if you need anything, the station's resources are at your disposal.

Greg shook his head in the negative. He'd heard all he needed for the moment, and the Chief Security had a lot of work to do. There would be time later for getting more information.

Scooby Doo Where are you?
Brought to you By:

Commander Deacon Caine
Executive Officer
Kepler Station


Captain Gregory Blake
Commanding Officer
Kepler Station

« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 09:58:34 am by David Roberts »


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 08:57:04 am »
David left the 'after meeting' with a lot on his mind. Until the other ships arrived on station he was stuck with only 10 security personnel to protect the station and cover the murder investigation. Giving the security detail to the marine rifle contingent seemed the easiest way to free up resources, and it was a good way to throw the Marine CO a bone.

Still there were a lot of people who wouldn't appreciate the Marine presence on the station. Roberts knew he had been one of them, but now that his team was stretched thin, he was going to appreciate the relief their presence would bring. He did like some of them anyway, so it wasn't personal - at least he hoped not.

As if on cue, Svetalana Ivanova came around the bend almost directly in front of him. "Twice in one day," David said with a ready smile. He gestured toward an imaginary 'up' even though he knew up was relative out here. "Someone up there must like me."

"Dafid," Ivanova said with a smile.  "I vas look for Keptin Shard.  You haf seen?"

"I haven't seen him since the staff meeting, mainly because I was stuck in a second meeting," David answered quickly. "But I would imagine that he is organizing a fighter escort and tasking people for diplomatic security detail."

"Is sour look on face vhen you say this.  You are unhappy Marines here?"  Svetlana smiled.  "Is not uncommon opinion, vith Starfleet security.  But comes from mistaken idea."

"Technically no. I'm not unhappy that the Marines are here," David replied with a shake of his head. "I was unhappy that Captain Shard wanted his Marines to train with my people, but I was the one who suggested that he take the diplomatic duty to begin with."

David shrugged his shoulders. "If the marines weren't here you wouldn't be either," he added, "and that would be bad for me. But you were going to tell me about the mistaken idea."

Ivanova chuckled.  "Is that people think Marines and Security both do same job.  Is not true, ewen in case vhere is Marine infantry aboard."

"Well," David said, "It seems pretty obvious that Marine infantry and Security should have different jobs, but maybe you should explain anyway."

"Security is friendly.  Hello, friend.  Let me help vith trouble.  Use minimum force required for job.  Marines is... vhat poet said?  Ah, yes, 'Rough men stand ready to do violence.'  Deal vith enemy.  Use shock and Aue for tactics.  These are not things you vant in Security.  If Security trained to deal vith problem like Marines, then start treating crue like enemy.  Not good."

David nodded. "Okay, I think I see where you are going with this. But what about a situation like today? I am short handed. I've only got ten people on board to cover all of security, and six are tied up in the murder investigation. So does that mean tapping the Marines for diplomatic escort duty is a mistake?"

"In this case, no," Ivanova said.  "Is reasonable use of awailable personnel.  But diplomatic escort largely ceremonial.  Do not expect actual attack on diplomat.  Put Marine in dress uniform, eweryone happy.  Only problem come vhen diplomat actually attacked.  Diplomat safe, but attacker... perhaps not enough left to question."

"Marine pilots don't seem that aggressive," David said suddenly. He had been thinking about the wisdom of turning down the joint security-marine training when the thought occurred to him. "I've only met one, but she at least seems quite level headed."

Ivanova laughed again.  "You think I am sayink that Marines slack-jawed sociopath, alvays agressif?  Not vhat I say.  Only that approach is different.  Security look at problem, think, 'Hau can solf and make eweryone heppy?'  Marine look at problem and think, 'Hau I make problem go avay for good?'"

"You never knew Alan Bresnick did you?" David laughed. "I went and did 16 weeks of training with him and his team. He said he'd make a marine out of me yet. At the end of that sixteen weeks, the general told me I should stick with Security."

"At any rate," David continued, though he was still laughing at the memory, "I guess it's better to have both approaches available when it comes time to make decisions. I certainly want Marines with me if we meet an implacable enemy, and I've fought along side a few, so I know how efficient they can be."

"And I haf been glad for gentle approach of Security more than once," Ivanova agreed.  "Anyvay... must find Shard.  Be vell, my friend."

Yet another JP by:

LT David Roberts
Sheriff of Keplerville



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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 09:11:58 am »
Caroline Post stopped outside the Security Office on Deck 11.  She'd never been in trouble in her life, yet she still felt the tiniest qualm standing outside what was basically a police station.  She was here for an interview with the Security Chief, nothing more.  Maybe she should have asked him to meet her elsewhere, but it was always good to see an interviewee in his own setting.  She took a deep calming breath and let it out, then entered the office.

David Solomon Roberts sat quietly at his desks going over the day's reports. Neat stacks of PADDs sat off to his left, while to the right he typed slowly at his compute console.

"Computer," he said as his fingers stopped moving, "please, log and collate entries 5532-1 through 5532-82."

There were few people aboard at the moment, and with the exception of one disturbing incident, all was quiet. Still, paperwork could pile up if he didn't see to it, and there was no better time than now. As the reporter entered his space he looked up and smiled.

"Miss Post, is it?" he queried as he stood and rounded the desk. "Please, take my seat."

"Oh, I don't want to put you out of your chair," she replied.  "Maybe there's a spare around somewhere?  I probably should have asked you to meet me somewhere, but I thought this would be easier for you."

She studied the man in front of her.  He obviously worked out, or did something to maintain his strong physique.  He was handsome, no doubt about it, and looked good in a uniform.  She wondered if his personality matched his looks.

David strode across the room and out the door, and then returned quickly with a chair. He set the chair in front of his desk and then moved his own over to the side. This wasn't an investigation after all, so less intimidating was likely better. Then, as he stood slightly to the side of the new chair, he gestured, "Have a seat ma'am."

"Thank you."  She set her PADD on the desk between them and switched on the voice recorder.  "I appreciate your agreeing to the interview, Lieutenant.  There are so many new people coming on board, and I thought this might be a way for us all to sort them out, get a feel for who's on the station with us.  It's like a small city here, isn't it?  Tell me, what led to your interest in security work?"

David sat down facing her and tried to smile, but that particular question out of the gate brought a rush of pent up emotion. At least, he reflected, I'm not tempted to yell. Still as he began to speak he could hear the slight strain in his own voice, echoes of an unresolved past which would likely stay that way.

"My parents were among the crew of the 198 ships destroyed by the Dominion in the Tyra system," he answered truthfully. "It was a choice between the Marines and Starfleet Security. The line at the Marine depot was longer, and I was unwilling to wait."

Caroline was interested in that answer.  He seemed too much controlled to have been so cavalier in his choice.  On the other hand, he'd been much younger at the time.  Life does have a way of knocking off the rough edges and teaching one patience.

David thought for a moment before he finished answering the question. "Starfleet Tactical training gave me access to ship's weapons and tactical systems," David continued, expanding on his answer without being prompted, "It was a surer way to strike back at the Jem'Hadar, in particular. It also meant I could prevent others from suffering my parents' fate."

Lieutenant Roberts tilted his head a bit before shaking and letting out a small, forced laugh. "Not the noblest of reasons, I know," he finished, "But the truth is rarely laced with fairy tale nobility and purity of purpose."

"Revenge?  I think that's more commonly the reason one makes certain choices.  That and spite," she smiled.  "I see nothing wrong with that.  In this case, the end probably did justify the means.

"So choosing Starfleet was a choice of opportunity.  Has anything ever made you regret that choice? I don't want to get you in trouble with your boss, of course!" she laughed.  "I'm just curious, considering the way you joined, whether you feel it has worked out well for you."

"To be truthful," he responded, "it varies sometimes on a daily basis. Less than a week ago, my former CO held my resignation in his hand. It's the fourth one I've submitted, and the fourth time someone in Fleet Ops has seen fit to shuffle it, lose it or deny it."

"It's not so much that Starfleet itself has been bad," Roberts shrugged as he continued. "It's more a case of whether or not I believe Starfleet and the Federation benefits from my service. The answer isn't always yes."

"So it isn't enough for you, as my dad used to say, to have 3 hots and a cot?  You want to actually do some good?  How do you see police work on the station fitting in with your goals?  What's the benefit here for you and for the Federation?"

Caroline laughed.  "I suppose I should stick with one question at a time, but you are an interesting conversationalist, so I'm getting carried away."

"It's okay," David replied with a warm smile. "I'll answer them one at a time, and in sequence if I can. If I miss anything you want to know, we can always come back to it."

He leaned forward for a moment and let his arms rest across his knees. "Yes," Roberts said, answering the first question, "I do like to think I might make a difference. Even when I wanted revenge I still wanted to save others.

"Anyone can join Starfleet and do only exactly what is expected of them," he continued, "But showing up for work just so I can have a hot and a cot really isn't my style. And I can provide for myself fairly well outside the fleet, so there would be no need for me to stay here if that was all I wanted from my life."

Caroline was nodding her head in interest and in agreement.  It was exactly the way she felt about her own job.

"Really, most 'police work' is just keeping the peace," David proceeded, as he extended his answer into the next question. "My people make sure the passageways and residents are safe, break up the occasional bar fight, defend the station, if the need arises, and investigate crimes. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no detective. I have specialists that are assigned to the station who help with such things."

"I'm what most people call a knuckle-dragging thug, though," he laughed, "but I'm a smart one. I know where my weaknesses are, and I know which of my people are trained to handle a situation. So if there is a fight, I'm your man. Maybe I'm your man for some other situations as well. Some people think they can do anything. They try and be all things and then are never good at their own job."

"That's not me," David finished up the second question with a half smile," I don't try to be smarter than I am or take on situations I'm unfit to handle, but if there is a crime - I'm the man who picks the right officer for the job."

The reporter thought it was interesting that he saw himself more as a kind of business executive and less as a policeman.  If he did as he said, he was good at delegating, something she had found many in security work were not.

"These days, I mostly just do paperwork. It's thankless, and without it our system falls apart." David relaxed back into his chair and thought about that last bit of her questions.

"As for your last question, there is a 9 year old on the station," he said slowly, "several children really, but one I know personally. Her name is Olivia."

"She's a charming girl who invited me home to color with her one night," David recalled as he closed his eyes a moment to think, "because her sister had told her men and women in yellow were okay."

He sighed and sat up straight once more. "Like most children, she had a way of saying exactly what she thought," He continued with a slight shake of his head."That day she asked me if I liked being security,and I told her that I sometimes enjoyed it."

"The thing is, Miss Post," he said with a frown, "when it came time to tell her why I don't always like my job, I couldn't tell her that it was because sometimes no matter how hard I work, I fail to protect people. And I guess that ties into how the Federation benefits from my service. I work hard to make sure people are as safe as I can make them."

David screwed up his mouth in concentration before he quickly added, "and when I fail, I figure out what I did wrong or who to send so that the chances of it happening again are less."

"Wow, you've really spent some time thinking these things through.  I must say I don't often connect the word security with philosopher, but perhaps you'll change my opinion," Caroline smiled at him.

"Let me ask you one last question.  If, one of these times, you submit a resignation and it doesn't get lost or destroyed, what do you see yourself doing with your life?"

"That is a mystery," David answered with a slight shake of his head, "because the same tragedy that brought me into Starfleet also insured that I never had to work again. But that isn't who I am either, it's just a product of the life I was given."

Caroline thought about the loss of his parents, but from what she'd read in his file, it was better not to ask about those painful memories.  It had obviously had a major effect on his life.  She listened as he continued.

"There are VIP security positions throughout the federation and her allies," he offered. "I certainly would excel at those. And there are mercenary companies that operate in areas that the Federation can't. Places where the prime directive prevents action, but where people still need protection."

"However, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should," he finished, "and so you'd be more likely to find me making and selling my own bonsai. Or perhaps I'd be the eccentric artist locked away in his hovel and producing artwork that means nothing to anyone but him."

Her heart was touched by the pain he tried to hide, but which came though his self-deprecating words.  She worked hard to maintain her professional demeanor when what she really wanted to do was pull him close for a big hug and tell him things would be alright.   Of course, that was ridiculous.  It appeared that things had not been alright for him for some time.

He laughed at his own description then and shook his head. "Sounds like a life with purpose doesn't it?" he asked her then. "But if you really want to see what that would look like, come by the arboretum some time. I'll be erecting a bonsai conservatory in there so I can share my art with others."

Caroline turned off the recorder, and the reporter with it.  "Lieutenant, this is off the record.  I'm so sorry for the way you lost your parents.  That had to be hard on a young man.  You can count on my coming by to look at your bonsai.  I can't imagine you would create anything that would be meaningless, bonsai or any other artwork.

"As a person who can't do much more than stick figures or turn on a holo program created by someone else, I admire anyone who has artistic talent of any kind.  I'd like to see something you create sometime."  She stood and held out her hand.  "Thank you for seeing me, and for being so forthcoming.  I hope you'll like the interview I post."

"I'm sure I will Miss Post," David said with a smile. he stood and took her offered hand in his, but instead of the handshake she was likely expecting he held it heir gently but firmly. "If you ever need me again, you know where to find me. And if you ever run into trouble on my beat, you be sure to let me know."

(to read the complete interview, check out the Kepler News)

Heart to Heart Interview
Brought to you by

Caroline Post
Kepler News Reporter

Played By

Liesel O'Brien
Chief Medical Officer
Kepler Station


The Tree Pruning
Chief Sec

Offline sero

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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2009, 01:50:59 pm »
En route to the Embassy

Gregory exited the conference room having just been briefed by his Chief Sec / Tac on the disturbing murder in one of the recreational lounges.  His XO fell into step beside him as he walked purposefully towards the embassy.

"I want you to keep an eye on that investigation," Gregory told Deacon.  It wasn't that he didn't trust David, it was just that he was worried that with the man being short staffed he might need an extra pair of hands.  "He's in charge though."

Deacon nodded. "I'm sure that Mr. Roberts is more than capable" he said keeping up with his Commanding Officer.  "I'll see that he has whatever resources he needs to conduct his investigation."

Happy with that response Gregory nodded and then stifled a yawn.  "How was your tree?" he asked, making small talk as they walked.

"The tree wasn't bad," Deacon replied instantly. "At least not nearly as bad as I thought it would be."

There was a brief pause as they continued walking.  "A better question is" he continued. "How was the rest of your evening? I trust you got our Intel Chief to her quarters without incident?"

"Eventually," Gregory grumbled.  "I got stuck with the couch for most of the night."

"Nice way to spend your first night at your new Command" Deacon commented. "I just hope it doesn't become a habit."

A drunk woman in my bed or sleeping on my couch? Gregory wondered to himself.  Out loud he said, "Don't plan on it."

In the embassy, Tedran Sagin was pacing a path in the carpet. On occasion, he would alter his orbit to include a stop behind his desk to glance at the computer terminal, taking in what little he'd been able to glean about the Tiddleoff people.

Ordinarily, the ambassador was not one for swearing. He considered it base; a crude form of expression that did nothing to enhance one's personal harmony. But at this moment, the day before his first official visit, albeit unannounced, from a foreign dignitary, he was in full chorus. The captain and exec caught the tail end of his tirade as they entered the embassy.

"-damned irregular. And I don't even have a staff. Just one bloody warm body in that chair would do just nicely, thank you very much. Honestly, what the hell kind of civilized universe is this where you can't give a man seventy-two hours notice at least?"

Gregory glanced at Deacon first to see if his XO had any smart comments.

Deacon chuckled at the Ambassador's tirade.

"This is Starfleet Mr. Ambassador," he said holding back a laugh. "Seventy-two hours is considered to be a luxury not a necessity. Is there anything we can do to help you prepare? And of course we'll need to be brought up to speed as well."

"We'll need security for the Tiddleoff delegation," Tedran answered immediately. "Since this station is under Starfleet control, I'll want both of you there to help greet the dignitaries. As far as dining goes...we'll play it by ear. I have no idea how long they plan to stay or what they intend to discuss with us."

Gregory raised a brow at the orders the Ambassador was trying to give him.  "A few things.  One, you'll get marines, not security, we're understaffed.  Two, sit down, shut up and breathe."

"Thirsty?" Gregory asked Deacon while he ignored the Ambassador's response and made his way to the room's lone replicator.

"Nothing for me" Deacon answered as he waited for the Ambassadors response, this was certainly getting interesting.

"Captain, this station may be run by Starfleet, but it is a Federation facility, and I will not be spoken to in such a manner in my own embassy. This is my first posting as an ambassador, but I assure you this is not my first time at the dance. Marines? Security? Do I look like I care? As far as I'm concerned, you can send four lab technicians as long as they can shoot a gun." Sagin plopped down behind his desk. "And for your information, that replicator's on the fritz."

"You finished?" Gregory asked the Ambassador and turned back to the other two men.  "Because while this might be your embassy, it's on my station.  You want me to play nice in front of these... Tiddleoffs, you play nice to me now.  You want something, you ask, nicely.  Now you'll get your security escort, even a fighter one for their ship.  And I can suffer through a few dinners, as can he.  I can even give you my yeoman to use however you see fit.  Is there anything else you'd like to request?"

The ambassador took a deep breath, leaned forward and folded his arms on top of the desk.

"Yes," he said calmly. "There are a few things. I'd like to request someone from clerical be assigned to the embassy. This is a big job for one man, and I'm not going to do it—how do you say it?—'half-assed.'"

"Approved, make arrangements with my yeoman," Gregory told him, less riled now that the man had calmed down.

"I'd also like to request an opportunity to be briefed by the intelligence chief. If I'm going to be engaging this region's planetary governments in diplomatic dialogue, I'd like to know as much as possible about them before extending my hand."

"I'll have her tell you anything that isn't classified," Gregory agreed.

"Lastly, I'd like to request a pair of marines to stand guard outside the embassy at all times. Actually, it's more of a regulation than a request, but I'm just trying to play nice."

"I'll talk to the MCO and have him arrange something," Gregory told him.  "Since you've been so nice, I'll talk to engineering about getting that replicator fixed.  Pays to be nice Ambassador, you get good things out of it."

"Actually" Deacon interrupted. "I would suggest that you work very closely with Intel on this one. We know almost nothing about these people and this could be a good opportunity to learn a thing or two about them. Also we're going to need to post additional Security in some of the more sensitive areas of the station. To be honest I'm a little curious as well a little suspicious as to why they chose now of all times to just show up."

Gregory nodded, "We're still understaffed, we could enlist some ops crewman to make up the numbers."

"We can also pull some people from Sciences and Engineering if we have to" Deacon added. "I'll also check with Security and Engineering and make sure that all Security Protocols are in place."

"Sounds good," Gregory agreed.  He turned back to the Ambassador, "Anything else, you let my yeoman know.  I'll send her up shortly."

"Fine. Thank you." He had only been half paying attention to the exchange between the exec and the captain, rubbing his temples as though he could ward off the onset of a headache. It was going to be a rough twenty-four hours, to be sure.

Gregory watched the Ambassador for a moment.  "One more thing Ambassador.  If you find out we have any more sudden arrivals, you can get me through my yeoman.  I don't need more dramatics in my meetings than the ones I already have."

Gregory and the XO left the Ambassador to deal with the situation as only Ambassadors could.  With coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.


JP brought to you by:

Ambassador Tedran Sagin
Federation Ambassador
Kepler Station


Commander Deacon Caine
Executive Officer
Kepler Station

Former CO Gregory Blake


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2009, 03:47:20 pm »
Sal'ahcite Chayste hesitantly entered sickbay.  After how she had felt last night, she had determined that she was ill and, like a good little crewman, was seeking help from medical.  "Hello?" she called quietly to get someone's attention.

At first, there was no answer.  Sickbay was quiet empty.  Dr. O'Brien came out of her office, her head down over her PADD.   A frown marred her lovely features.  Sensing someone's presence, she looked up.

"I'm Dr. O'Brien.  How can I help you," she asked, her features clearing.  She slid the PADD into her pocket.  She'd think about the results later.

"Crewman Sal'ahcite Chayste, ma'am," Sal snapped off crisply.  She then furrowed her brow deeply and said, "Last night I was feeling sick to my stomach.  And this morning I don't know..."

"Ah, well hop up here on the bed, and let's take a look-see," O'Brien ordered.  She took the medscanner from the tray next to the biobed and ran it over the crewman, from head to toe.  There was nothing there.  Not one single micro-organism present that shouldn't be.

"Hmmmm," she said, the frown line appearing between her eyes again.  "Tell me exactly what your symptoms were, how long they lasted, and so on."

"Well," Sal said thinking intently, "I felt a bit light headed and then this fluttery feeling in my stomach, and it got very warm."  She looked off in the distance as she recalled other details and blushed.  "And then the warm went down here," and she pointed vaguely at her genitals.

Liesel hid a smile.  She had a feeling she knew exactly what the problem was, but she ran the scanner over the woman's stomach again, just for show, while she asked her, "Were you alone at the onset of the illness?"

"No," Sal said and looked at the CMO.  She blushed again quietly said, "I was in the Chief's quarters.  He had... he had... I think he had been working out before I arrived."  Her pale skin was practically crimson now.

"Sal'ahcite," the doctor began, putting the scanner back on the table.  "Is it alright if I call you Sal'ahcite?"  At the woman's nod, she continued.  "I don't think you're sick.  There's not a germ in your body that doesn't belong there.  I think this is something else."

She looked at the girl's anxious face, and thought about how to proceed.  Shrugging mentally, she decided that straight talk was probably the easiest path.  "Are you a virgin?"

"Yes," Sal replied honestly.  "Where I come from we're all virgins until it is time to reproduce.  I have not reproduced, so I am still a virgin.  But what does this have to do with what's wrong with me?" she asked, somewhat confused.

"Everything," smiled the doctor.  "You aren't sick at all, just feeling the first stirrings of desire.  Those butterfly feelings and the warmth?  You've met someone who . . . makes your body respond, someone who sends signals to your body that it's time to reproduce.

"Mind you, I'm not saying that it is time.  I'm saying you have met someone who appeals to you on a physical level.  You're the only one who can decide if that's enough.  For most women, it isn't.  I don't know your culture well enough to be a reproduction counselor for you.  If there's no one else on the station who can, I'll study up on it and see what I can do."

She offered her hand to help the crewman down from the table.  "In the meantime, I suggest you either stay away from the young man, or decide whether satisfying a physical urge is enough of a relationship for you."

"H-but..." Sal started.  Her eyes were wide and her mouth tried to work but nothing else came out.  She let the older woman lead her from the table and then stopped.  "My body desires to reproduce?" she finally managed to ask, still unable to accept what she was being told.

"That is correct, Crewman.  But you don't have to give into it.  If you do, there's no need to actually reproduce.  If you don't want a baby, there are medications that will prevent it from happening.  You think it over, and let me know what your choice is.  I'll help you in any way I can."

Seeing how confused the woman was, Liesel sighed.  "Look, I know the feelings can be hard to understand, hard to deal with.  After you think about your choices, I'll answer any questions you have, but you are the only one who can make the choice about what to do.  I can support you, but I can choose for you."

Sal nodded haltingly.  She knew that the girls she'd trained with back at the Academy had participated in reproduction practices, but Sal had never understood why.  At home she would have been married off to a genetically suitable husband for reproduction.  Considering Sal's perceived lack of skills by her people she might not have married.  This was one of the reasons why she had left when a rare opportunity had arisen.  She was adamant that she could be a functioning member of society without the need to reproduce.  And now?  Now it seemed like even her body was telling her that was a silly notion.

It was too much for the poor girl and she burst into tears in the middle of sickbay.  This wasn't supposed to happen.  She was supposed to learn a trade and live her life.  Not... this.  She wiped her nose on her sleeve, but still the tears came.  Sal gulped and sniffed,  "I just want to be an engineer."

Brought to you by

Sal'ahcite Chayste
Watering Pot

played by

Gregory Blake
Captain on the Ship of Fools

« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 03:51:43 pm by Liesel OBrien »

Offline sero

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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2009, 04:33:31 pm »
Captain Gregory Blake strode into the counselling offices.  Even though he didn't want to be here he wasn't about to appear sheepish, hence his usual striding.  His presence at the door to Zoey's office activated the chime to let her know someone was outside, wanting to get in.  Or in Gregory's case, not really wanting, but having to be there. 

Rear Admiral Horizon had left a message for him, which he'd received after visiting the Ambassador.  It stated in no uncertain terms was he to avoid the counsellor today.  Bloody Admirals, he fumed.

Zoey had just finished an appointment a few moments before and was watering a pot of tulips that sat on a small table.  Zoey heard the door chime and was confused, she had thought she was finished for a while.  She put the water pitcher down on the stand and hurried over to her desk.  She sat down and opened up the appointment schedule that was kept by the Medical Support Assistant assigned to Counseling.

Zoey nodded when she saw that nobody was scheduled and was now even more curious to see who might be on the other side.  "Enter," she called finally.

Gregory stood in the doorway and looked around the office.  To the right was a small table with flowers of some kind, next to that a couch and on the left a replicator set into the wall.  Also on the left were what looked like diplomas, he made for those first.  Those were what made her qualified to be here.

Zoey was surprised to see the captain enter her office.  "Hello," she said.  Zoey stood up and walked over to where the Captain was standing.  "How are you doing?" she asked.

"Fine," he replied automatically.  He finished reading her qualifications and turned to face her.  After a few moments of silence between them he ventured, "How are you?"

"Not too bad, got some time to do a little painting yesterday.  It was very nice," she said.  "And I had a few appointments this morning."  Zoey walked over to the couch and sat down.

"Good," he said and leaned his shoulder against the wall.  Another silence.  "All settled then?"

"For the most part," Zoey said.  Olivia on the other hand wasn't too fond of their new location.  Although she was pretty sure that he didn't want to know.  "I like it here so far," she added.

He nodded as if he was considering what he'd said.  Abruptly he said, "I don't usually shoot people on the phaser range."

"It was only a target..."  Zoey said.

"So my target being a little girl was perfectly fine to you?" he asked her.  "Didn't strike you as being... odd?"

"Well the smaller target thing made sense...  Not everyone in the universe is as tall as humans.  But the specifying gender thing was weird..."  Zoey shifted her position so she was leaning against the arm of the couch.

"I'd my reasons.  What did they tell you about me?" Gregory asked, a little curious as to what his file said.

"What did who tell me about you?" she asked.  "Or what you did?" Zoey wasn't sure what he was asking.  "Your actions... tell me that you apparently don't care for little girls."

Gregory frowned.  "My psych records.  And no, I'm not a fan of little girls."

"Well I can tell you that you haven't had much luck with your wives... And that you've been through a tragedy.  Nothing amazingly un-normal there."

He scratched at his bearded chin and said quietly, "My torturer was a ten year old girl."

Zoey looked skeptical, "Your torturer?"

"You're not supposed to look at me like I'm crazy," Gregory pointed out and pushed away from the wall.  He wandered behind her desk to investigate her bookshelves.

"Oh so your not then?" she asked.  "I suppose lots of sane people are forced into counseling."  Zoey wasn't making fun of the Captain, but she wanted to see if she'd get a rise out of him.  She also wanted to gauge his humor, which... she could be sarcastic at times.

Gregory had his back to her while he perused the antique books.  He turned around and sat in her chair behind the desk, adjusting it's height to suit.  "Crazy isn't the right word," he told her as he studied her desk.  "And she was a telepath."

"How did she torture you?" she asked.  She watched as he studied her office and found it interesting that he did so.  She was impressed that he took the time to do it, it told her he was really trying to trust her.  Or at least... so she thought.

"Telepathically," he reiterated his earlier comment about the girl being a telepath.  Gregory leaned back in the chair and noticed the drawers in the desk.  He reached down and opened the top one.  He wanted to see how far he could get before she stopped him.  He pulled out a padd and started to thumb through it.  "She was... thorough."

"Well I figured, but what did she do to you?" she asked.  Zoey saw him open the desk drawer, it sort of bothered her.  Although she had nothing to hide all he would find would be some random PADDs of different things.  Some pictures and other items that she hadn't had a chance to put out.  One drawer had the completed drawing of the Tree House she hadn't started to paint yet.

Another drawer had some toys that belonged to her sister, since the room had no other cabinets.  All patient information was uploaded to her computer after she finished it, and there wasn't all that much in the drawers, one of which was empty.

"What didn't she do..." Gregory murmured and tossed the padd back into the drawer.  He scrubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands and stayed in that position for a few minutes.  Images floated to him in the dark, ones from his nightmare last night, from other nightmares, from the actual event itself.  Everything was mingled together and in the few months since he'd been rescued he couldn't tell what was nightmare and what she had actually done.

Gregory sighed, dropped his hands and gave her a weak smile.  "She wasn't a trained telepath, just very strong.  I'm told I'm lucky she didn't leave me a vegetable."

Zoey was concerned when she saw him rub his eyes.  "And she left an imprint didn't she."  Zoey had heard of cases where strong telepaths could implant reoccurring memories and dreams into people's minds.  She wasn't very familiar with the topic but she had read about it a few times.  This would be something that she would be researching over the next couple of days.

He nodded once.  "They've been telling me Post Traumatic Stress," he said.  Gregory contemplated telling her in full detail what she had done to him but he decided against it.  He didn't want to subject the young woman to something that horrific.  Instead he got to his feet and said, "I have a meeting."

"Enjoy your meeting," she said.  "Come back and talk whenever you'd like."

Gregory merely grunted and after another quick glance around the room, left.


JP brought to you by:

Zoey Thomas
Civilised Counsellor
Kepler Station


Captain Gregory Blake
Fricken Bone Thrower
Kepler Station
Former CO Gregory Blake


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2009, 06:08:43 pm »
Else stood in the turbolift alone after the doors had closed. She stood quietly in the silence, deciding to wait a moment before ordering it anywhere. She closed her eyes and listened to the low rumble of the station. It was a very soothing sound, really. It was constant, that was why it was soothing she imagined. Because it always sounded the same. On starships the sound would change pitch depending on its speed, but on a station it was always the same, continuous rumble. Like thunder in the distance, but muffled more.

She looked at her feet on the carpeted floor and wondered who cleaned the carpets. Probably nobody yet, the station was only a month old. Nevertheless, somebody had to do it. Probably some poor bastard in operations, she thought. Her mind turned to Barin and she imagined him in his filthy uniform having to scrub the carpets, with Fuller standing beside him holding a bucket of hot soapy water. She smiled at the thought and wondered if he'd actually do that if he was ordered to. She decided that he probably would, and he probably wouldn't complain about it either. Instead he'd let the wash complain about the mess he'd made of his uniform.

She shook her head and remembered not for the first time that day that she had something to look forward to tonight. Else hadn't performed in front of anyone for a very long time. She thought she'd have been nervous about it, but oddly she found that she wasn't at all. What she was most concerned about was what she would play for him. Siegfried Idyll was one of her favourites, but it was a sad and depressing piece of music if taken out of context. She saw it as a beautiful, romantic piece. But to him, how would he hear it? Else sighed. She'd worry about that later.

"Deck 28, C Module." She ordered finally. Else hadn't been in her department very much and she figured that she'd better get a start on seeing what she was working with. Reviewing the rosters wasn't enough. The lift went all the way there without stopping once, and once on deck 28 and after the doors opened Else strode out of the lift.

The science storage room she'd been in the day before with Barney was empty, he was gone and she was thankful. No, it wasn't empty, actually. "Good morning, sir," a man stepped out from behind a stack of crates.

"Morning," Else said with a half smile.

As he walked closer, Else saw that he was much older than she was. He was probably in his forties. His hair was more white than it was anything else and his face showed lines of the aged. Not a bad aged, either.  It was more distinguished, Else concluded. Like a learned professor with PhDs and doctorates. She saw he wasn't an officer, either. Which shouldn't have surprised her, really. She knew she was the only officer in the science department. He was an enlisted something, the distance between them made it difficult to tell exactly what he was.

"Petty Officer First Class Lorne Feldman," He grinned. As the gap between them closed he extended his hand for a shake, placing the padd he was holding under his armpit. "My, you're cold ma'am.." He said with an exaggerated shiver.

Else nodded. "Nice to meet you," she pocketed her hand. "Else Reisman."

"Oh, you must be my boss, then." He eyed her collar. "Why, look at that; you're a lieutenant commander." He shook his head. "My, my." He crossed his arms. "Pray to the gods and they will smile down upon you," he laughed.

"Well," Else started. "Something like that, I guess. What are you doing down here?" She asked, looking at the padd he'd since put back in his hand.

"Oh, I's just going over what we've got down here, commander. Would you believe that we've got an ancient vase from Tagus III?" He exclaimed.

"Tagus III?" Else asked.

"Yes, ma'am. That in itself is amazing." He turned around to show her, but he turned back around suspiciously. "You do know what Tagus III is, right?"

Else frowned at him and shook her head scornfully in response. "Do you know what Tagus III is?"

The man looked away with his eyes and darted them back to hers. "Yes... well let me show you, commander." He led the way to a crate down one of the many aisles of them that had been set up. "One thing you should know, commander, is that because of the wise one that thought stacking these was a good idea we're going to have a hell of a time opening these things up." He stopped pointed to the crates stacked to his left. "See this?" Lorne shook his head and dropped his arms noisily to his sides. "Unbelievable. Un-ba-leave-a-ble." He turned around and continued on his way.

Else rubbed her forehead. The man meant well, but she wasn't sure she'd be able to keep up with his personal problems. It was possible, though, that she was the one with the problems. She knew this but didn't spend too much thought on it. "PO, where are we going?" She asked impatiently.

"Patience, commander. The prize is worth the penalty." He laughed quietly to himself as he kept going.

What does that even mean? She didn't say.

"Ah yes, this is it. This is it right here, commander," He glanced at his padd and tapped it assuringly. "Yes, this is it." He turned around to face Else. "You will be amazed. Amazed, I tell you."

"Yes, you tell me." Else smiled out of politeness but it disappeared once he'd turned around again. She watched Lorne pull the crate out of its place and set it on the floor in front of them. It wasn't very big, maybe the size of a large milk crate. He knelt down and opened the lid, dropping the padd on the floor. After removing some black protective foam he pulled the vase from its snug fit with two hands. "Would you look at this? Look at it!" He held it up like Rafiki did Simba.

It was actually amazing, Else thought. She opened her mouth slightly in awe and her eyebrows did, in fact, go upwards. "Wow," she breathed.

"You officers with your mighty attitude can't even fake it through the sight of this son of a bitch!" Lorne half shouted through laughter.

Else shot him a sarcastic glare but knew he was joking. "Be careful, you'll drop it." It had designs on it that looked Buranian and bizarre alien animals that must have only been native to Tagus III. "How did we get this? Only Vulcans had access to Tagus."

Lorne shrugged. "Yeah, I don't know. I guess somehow, somewhere and at some time we traded with them or something. I have no idea. I just know we have it." He admired the vase's brilliant colours. "I don't know how old it is, I'm guessing at least 2000 years old." Lorne and Else stood in silence looking at the vase as he turned it in his hands. "Taguans are more than two billion years old. I could be holding something older than the dinosaurs, even!"

"No, you couldn't be." Else laughed.

"I know, I know, I'm just saying." Lorne laughed back. "Here, you hold it." He passed it over to Else who took it gingerly. It really was an amazing piece of sculpture. She couldn't understand what it was doing all the way out here in the Delta Quadrant, though.

"This should be in a museum or something. What's it doing here?"

"You could sell that thing for millions." Lorne observed.

Else didn't take her eyes off the vase. "What are you? Come on." She said. "Well I guess we should start trying to date this thing, PO."

Lorne nodded. "If it's all the same to you, commander, you can call me Lorne." He said soberly.

Else shifted her eyes from the vase to Lorne's. "I'm Else, then." She smiled.

"Good, good,"

Else knelt down and carefully replaced the vase. Lorne passed her the foam and she sealed it back in its crate. He pushed it back into place and they looked at one another. "Well, let's see what else we have in here."

"You I've got a Borg in here?" Lorne asked, then cleared his throat violently.

"You alright?" Else grimaced.

Lorne patted his chest. "I'll make it."

"I found it yesterday."

Lorne eyed her suspiciously. "You found it?"

Else looked at him, puzzled.

"Barney told me he found it. You know, he's gonna go far around here."

Slowly, Else brought her right hand up to pinch her nose and sighed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 06:22:20 pm by Else Reisman »


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2009, 07:06:42 am »
With the exception of the occasional audible beep emanating from a control surface or the tapping of a stylus against a PADD, it was quiet in the embassy, and Ambassador Sagin welcomed it. The captain had rattled him, an accomplishment for which few had been able to lay claim. It had taken Sagin the better part of an hour—and three cups of juta root tea—to fully recover his inner harmony.

Tedran Sagin had given up on reading about the Tiddleoffs, as the information was, at its best, repetitive, and at its worst, contradictory. The Tiddleoffs were regional nomads, wandering from star system to star system. That was the repetitive part, which Tedran took as fact. The water became muddied, though, when it came to known sightings in the area the station now occupied. Some accounts said they had not been seen in twenty years; others said fifty. The details were of little importance, though, as the mysterious people would be parking at Kepler's doorstep tomorrow.

A mechanical whirring sound interrupted the pseudo silence. Sagin looked up from his work to see the embassy doors part, admitting a young man he thought he recognized. He held up a finger as if trying to pluck the answer out of the ether.

"Howard Johnson, Mister Ambassador," the man offered. "We met the other day."

"Of course. What can I do for you, Crewman?"

"The senior yeoman has detailed me to your office, sir," he replied. "I'm to be your administrative assistant. May I get started?"

Sagin made a gesture toward reception desk, indicating that Johnson should feel free to have a seat.

"Thank you, sir," Johnson said, taking his station. He began working immediately, his fingers playing over the control console at his desk, emitting beeps with every keystroke.

The ambassador returned to his reading, putting aside the Tiddleoff information and focusing instead on the public records of the people he'd be working with here at Kepler. He had just started in on Captain Blake's service record when the beeping chorus became too much to bear.


"Yes, sir?"

"Operations is supposed to be coming by to check out the replicator today. Why don't you see if they can erect some sort of partition around my work area?"

"Am I being too loud, sir?"

Tedran collected a trio of PADDs from his desktop and rose from his chair. If he could not find peace in his own space, he would make it elsewhere for the time being.

"I'll be in the arboretum if anyone's looking for me." The ambassador disappeared through the doors and into the corridor.


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2009, 04:48:29 pm »
A security officer who was on duty in the Security Office had just taken his third complaint.  He tapped a button on his desk's comm panel that would contact the chief of security.  "Sir, we've had reports of a little girl escaping the child care center, as well as running through the decks.  I was wondering if you had seen her sir," he said.

David sighed. If there wasn't one thing to occupy him today there was definately another. He grimaced as he tapped his commbadge. "I haven't," He stated simply, "But I can head down to the daycare center and find out what is going on."

"Unless you want to help me out by having internal sesors find her," David added wryly, " that would shorten this considerably."

"I didn't think to get the girls name Lieutenant," he said. "Oh wait, I have it... Olivia."

David sighed again and closed the commbadge off. "Computer," he said, "Please locate Olivia Thomas for me."

Olivia Thomas is on deck 8 near the reataurants, the computer replied.

Moments later found Lieutenant Roberts walking through the lightly occupied passageway around deck 8. "Olivia?" he called out, "It's David."

By one of the restaurant doors was a large plotted plant, the leaves began to move and giggling could be heard from behind it.

David feigned looking around for the young girl and stroked his chin. "Hmm," he asked himself loud enough for anyone to hear, "Olivia must be hiding, I wonder where she could be."

With that he crept ever closer to the giggling plants, suppressing a small laugh of his own.

Olivia tried hard to be quiet, but as normal whenever she tried that it made her giggle.  She continued to giggle as she sat in the plant with her eyes covered.

David stepped up and parted the plant while looking down at the young miscreant. A smile crossed his face as he watched her giggle a moment. "So what have I found here," he asked suddenly. "Is this a new form of plant life? No, too giggly. It must be an Olivia."

He reached out a hand and ruffled her hair. "Hi Olivia," he said, "Should we take you back to daycare now?"

"I'm eight...  I don't need daycare thank you very much!"  Olivia complained.

“Well,” David said suddenly, “If you don’t need daycare because you are too old, where should I take you?”

"I can stay here..." Olivia said, like it was obvious.

"Well," David said with a thoughtful look, "Unfortunately we can't leave you here by yourself, so we'll need a different plan."

"Well then you should take me someplace fun, that I can stay at."  Olivia said, hopping off the plant.

"So daycare isn't fun?" David asked her with a puzzled look. "Don't they have toys and games and stuff for you there?"  He had never had to deal with daycare, but it seemed odd that they wouldn't have something entertaining.

"I'm eight... it's not daycare!"  Olivia said, giving him the Evil eye.

"Okay," he said, "then what is it?"

"It's I don't know... but I'm too big for it." she demanded.  "I'm going to go bother my sister," she said.  With that Olivia stormed off toward the Turbolift.

"Woah," David said as he followed after the girl, "Let's both go see your sister." David had never met a child so tenacious in his life, but Olivia certainly was not open to reason at this point.

"Fine," she said.  She continued toward the turbolift waiting impatiently for him to catch up.

As they entered the lift David looked over at her.  "So you don't like it here then?" he asked. He hadn't seen Olivia since there coloring date, but he had thought about the fun once or twice. He just hadn't had time in the last day and a half to follow up.

"No I hate it, I want to go home..."  Olivia said, crossing her arms.  "It's so boring."

"You've only been here a little over a day," David pointed out as the lift came to a stop and the doors slid open, "Maybe you should give it more of a chance? We're friends aren't we," he asked, "and I live here."

"It's only been a day?" she asked.  The little girls eyes went wide as she looked at him.

"We got here yesterday," he pointed out, "And we haven't done any art, or that holodeck program I told you about." David shrugged, "Let's just go see Zoey, and maybe she can convince you."

"IT FEELS LIKE FOREVER!" she yelled.

David shook his head. Obviously he wasn't going to get through while she was in this kind of mood. "You said you wanted to see your sister?" he reminded her and reached down to offer his hand, "Only if you want the hand," he said. "Otherwise  we'll just walk normally."

Olivia took his hand, and they walked off the lift.  She lead him down the corridor to her sister's office, walking just a bit faster.  She heard the chime from inside and waited for Zoey to answer.

To be Continued...

A JP with:

Olivia Thomas
Angry Little Kid


David Roberts
Attempting Reason


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 01:38:27 pm »
Aranai was sitting on her bed with her legs tucked up underneath her.  She had just heard the news that she would be assisting this Ambassador with paperwork.  Just what she needed for that crazed lunatic of a captain to assign her out to another.  She was an Admiral’s Yeoman not his personal bitch.

She was meditating to keep her from going and finding the CO and giving him a swift kick to the ass for just assigning her more work then what was possible.  She was only one person and now on top of her normal work she would have to deal with something she wasn’t trained for.

Sighing she knew she couldn’t relax properly.  She wished that she was like her mother and able to just float off out of her own body to a place where life wasn’t so rough.  She touched her communicator patch “Petty Officer Mceachran to Ambassador.  Do you have time for a briefing?”

TAGS Ambassador


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Re: Darwin's Malady
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 09:07:13 am »

Alex wasn’t looking forward to his “meeting” with the CO. He hadn’t heard the best stories about the man. And, he seemed a little grouchy in the briefing. This meeting was set to be in the CO’s quarters. He made sure he looked acceptable and gathered up the padds he needed. He wasn’t sure if this CO would want full reports like his last or not. You can never tell these days. After a few minutes he was finally standing in front of the door. He juggled the padds in his hands before triggering the chime.

Gregory greeted his Chief Engineer at the door.  While Alex was in uniform, Gregory had given his up in favour of civilian clothes when he'd gotten home.  He'd actually been in the middle of a nap when the chime had been activated.  "Pretend I'm in uniform," he told Alex then gestured for him to enter.  "Pick a pew."

"Yes sir," Alex said as he entered. He was starting to get nervous. This was his first position as a Chief Engineer and he didn't want to screw it up. "Where did you want to start? I have reports, and...the next requests. Uhm, reactor two needs servicing, which would require it to be shutdown. We need to scrub the radiation build up and give it a good once over." Alex was rambling at this point. "Sir?"

Gregory frowned.  He could see that the younger man was tense and probably a bit nervous, so he decided to lighten the meeting up.  "I'm having a scotch, you want one?"

"Sure, is it a single malt over ten years?" It was obvious that the CO was a much more relaxed man than Alex's last CO. "My father collects Scotch. He has a Hebrides single malt twenty-one year old. He only brings it out on special occasions." It was the first time that Alex had spoken in a confident relaxed manner in this meeting."

"It's whatever they were serving on the Trib.  I acquired a bottle from the officers lounge," Gregory told him.  He fetched another glass and topped up the one he'd started before he'd dozed off on the couch.

Alex took the glass he was offered. "Thank you sir." He took sip. "Not bad, Officers get all the perks." He shifted slightly in his seat. He didn't know how the comment would be taken. He cleared his throat. "I had a couple matters I wanted to discuss with you. One is about CPO Barin Tirad, and the other is of a personal matter." Alex coughed again to clear his throat. "I wanted to request the transfer of Barin Tirad to engineering. His background is all tech and engineering and I think he could do better as my assistant in engineering." He spoke with the conviction and confidence he usually did while requesting the transfer. He seemed almost like a different person.

Gregory leaned back in the other couch and listened while his Chief Engineer made his speech.  "As long as Chief Ops is fine with it, I'm fine with it," he told him.  He took a sip of scotch and then asked, "Going back to reactor two, will that affect the station's normal operations at all?"

Alex was slightly relieved that Gregory was ok with the transfer, but now he has to talk with the COO. Convincing someone to just give up one of their staff wasn't going to be easy.

Alex took another sip of the Scotch. "No, it shouldn't affect the normal operations too much. We can increase the flow of plasma in the other reactors to compensate. Reactor two is only operating at sixty-three percent efficiency anyway. This maintenance should get it operating at near one hundred percent."

Alex downed the rest of the Scotch and placed the glass on the table. "I also wanted to discuss a problem with one of my crewmen. Well, it isn't a problem as much as it is a potential problem." Alex stood and walked over to the window. He stared out it for a minute before continuing. "This is my first time as a department head, so I am not sure how to handle this situation." He paused again as if he was thinking how to explain the situation.

Gregory watched the younger man carefully.  "This would be something to talk to the XO about, but what's the problem?" he asked slightly concerned.  Teething issues amongst the crew was to be expected especially considering it was a new assignment for everyone and they were relatively cut off from Starfleet and most of the Task Force.

"The thing is that she is acting really weird. At first she was avoiding me completely, but now she is always staring at me and I think I caught her smelling me." Alex turned to look back at the CO. "I just don't know what to do with her."

"I think," Gregory said and tried to stifle a smile, "there's more to this than you're telling me."

"Well, there was an incident last night." Alex's hand began rubbing his neck. "Could I get another drink?" He wasn't sure if it was proper to request another drink from his CO.

"Help yourself," Gregory told him and gestured to the bottle on the table.  "What incident?"

Alex walked back over to the table and picked up his glass. "Well...I had asked her to my quarters to discuss why she was avoiding me." He picked up the bottle and poured another drink. He took a sip and sat down where he was before. "We were talking, and she spit water all over me and ended up in my lap."  He took a big sip. "Did I mention that I wasn't wearing a shirt when she arrived? She caught me in the middle of my workout." He took another big sip. "She is a crewman apprentice and only nineteen years old. I have never had to deal with such a young crewman before."

Gregory groaned from the pain of it all.  He scratched at his bearded chin with the nail of his right index finger and said, "Well, I'm gonna guess she has a crush on you and you've been encouraging her.  How'd she end up in your lap?"

"She tripped, but a crush? That can't be right. And, if I have been encouraging her it wasn't intentional." He downed the last of his Scotch. He set the glass on the table again. His elbows were resting on his knees and his head was in his hands. "What should I do about this?"

"I'm sorry I missed it," Gregory deadpanned.  Considering Gregory's own track record of becoming involved with his subordinates he decided to give him the advice he should have taken himself, "Transfer her to ops and keep away from her.  Unless you want to indulge her, in which case you should transfer her to ops anyway."

"Transfer her? I guess that really is the only option. She would probably do better in ops. I have a lot to think about. If there isn't anything else you need to know sir, I think I am going to go." Alex stood and offered his hand to Greg. "Thank you for the advice sir."

Gregory stood also and firmly shook the man's hand.  "It comes from years of experience," he told him.  "My engineering skills are limited Chief.  I'll care about anything that affects the station's ability to operate, otherwise I won't come between you and your engines."

"Reactors sir." He didn't know why he just corrected his CO.

"Whatever," said Gregory.  "Good luck with your crewman."

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