USS Adelphi

NCC-26849

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Post 2 - Distraction

Posted on Thu Sep 17th, 2020 @ 6:20pm by Lieutenant Emni t'Nai

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: Emni's Quarters
Timeline: Simultaneous with Post 1

The lights in the newly minted CMO’s quarters were low. A single lit taper sat next to a small, incense filled, bowl on an unassuming wooden box. In front of the bowl was a small rock, smoothed by weather and from its owner rubbing her thumb across it so many times over recent years.

Emni sat in front of the box, legs crossed, her robe billowing out behind her. The robe itself was largely unadorned with the exception of a few characters in Romulan running down the front on both sides of the opening.

The room was silent with the exception of the nearly imperceptible hum of the ship’s engines and her periodic exhalations as she ran her hands over a grooved block of wood. Eyes closed, she tried to place herself into the meditation, but couldn’t find the focus and stillness she craved. Too much had happened and much of it still echoed across her consciousness.

Sighing, she set the wood block down next to the incense, picking up the rock as she did so and absentmindedly rubbing her thumb across it.

“Computer, lights.” She said, exhaling a puff of annoyance at her own distraction.

The computer, ever obliging, turned the lights back on flooding the room with a soft warmth that reminded her, when she squinted just right, of the long dead Romulan sun.

She ran her thumb across the rock again, searching the surface for imperfections without even thinking about the action. Her thumb caught on a rough spot and she ran her fingernail across it feeling the roughness as it resonated through her nailbed.

“Computer, play program t’Nai Romeo Five” she said as she doused the candle, placing it, the incense bowl, and the grooved wood block in the wooden box they had been sitting on and setting it inside a low drawer. A soothing medley of plucked strings and low flutes filled the room, blanketing her as she removed her robe, replacing it with a pair of comfortable breeches and a loose tunic. She pulled her long hair back into a low ponytail, setting the rock on her desk next to her personal console.

Tapping lightly she brought up Ensign Greevis’s roster file. She read it again, refreshing her memory on the ensign’s history, training, and the impetus for his assignment to the Adelphi.

Ensign Greevis was only one of many things that she had needed to cross off her list in recent weeks. The change in her duties to CMO meant that she was refamiliarizing herself with all medical staff history, reviewing other onboard crew members who may have received medical training, but chosen not to pursue it so she knew who to call on in an extreme emergency, and making sure Sickbay continued to run smoothly through the transition of Dr. Grey to Chief Surgeon. It was exciting work, but also exhausting. Her mind turned over bits and pieces of information long into the hours where she should be sleeping.

Her conversation with Ensign Greevis had been interesting, if not as enlightening as she had hoped.

---

She had sat behind her new desk, the ensign situated before her with a glass of water and tried to open the subject as delicately as she could.

“Ensign, your bedside manner is excellent, your professionalism exceeds expectations, and the crew seem to feel comfortable in your care.” She began. Hoping that sharing these caveats would calm any fears he had over the conversation. “During the crisis point following the detonation of the metreonic weapon myself, and Dr. Grey, noticed that you seemed to struggle to self-direct. And as a byproduct you weren’t able to triage incoming cases as effectively or rapidly as needed in a crisis situation. I know this is your first posting in deep space and that you are still in training. Was this your first time in a combat situation?”

The young man looked down at his hands as though his water glass had suddenly become extremely interesting. A slight flush crept up above his collar. “It was.” He said to the water glass.
Emni noted, with some disappointment, that he didn’t meet her eyes as he answered her question. Uncertainty warred in his emotional signature, grappling with shame and a potent mixture of embarrassment.

“Can you give some explanation of what happened? We all have moments of uncertainty, but I’m sure you understand that in a crisis every one of us must be able to act almost through muscle memory to ensure the preservation of as many lives as possible.”

Greevis nodded at his glass, again not meeting her eyes. The rush of embarrassment that washed through him flooded her senses and she felt, for a moment, as though the war within him would come to roost in her own chest. The ensign was clearly aware of how poorly he had performed.

“It was just…” he started, before pausing and lifting the glass to his lips. He finally looked up, his eyes haunted. “They put us through holodeck crisis scenarios at Starfleet Medical.” He said, his voice low and flat. “But those aren’t real. It’s easy to distance yourself from a hologram and simply do the work. But…” he faltered again… “When they were real people. And some of them people you know…” His eyes returned to his glass. “I’ll do better.” He said quietly.

Emni let out a breath, leaning back in her chair and clasping her fingers around her crossed knee. “Ensign, I’m not asking you about this to chastise you.” She said after a moment. Greevis had looked up at her then, the haunted look still present, but perhaps a bit reduced. “Real crisis situations are, indeed, a very different animal from the holodeck simulations. Emotions run high, our bodies jump into a heightened sense of danger, and we are mandated to run toward that danger to give care to those who have been harmed. Even when those wounded are brought to us we’re aware of the crisis taking place outside of our Sickbay. And as much as I want to tell you it won’t happen again, I simply can’t guarantee it.” She paused there taking in the ensign’s reaction. “This was your first crisis care situation and that leaves a mark. If you haven’t already done so, I want you to go see Counsellor Rinkhal and talk some of this through. Processing through the situation can go a long way toward helping you respond more effectively in a future crisis.”

A shot of annoyance ran through the ensign when she said that, infused with a flavor of arrogance that Emni knew was not a good sign. Doctors could sometimes fail miserably at their own self-care and that arrogance could mean the difference between life or death for a patient if Greevis didn’t get his mind around his emotional reaction to the crisis.

“I don’t need…” he began to protest his eyes dropping the haunted look and instead taking on the affront of a man who did not like being told he needed a counsellor.

Emni raised a hand, stopping him before he could protest further. This simply wasn’t optional. “That’s an order ensign.” She said. “You’re dismissed.”

She picked up a PADD pretending to immerse herself in whatever was on the screen as the ensign stood.
“Yessir.” He said, quiet but clearly annoyed. And then he turned and left.

Emni had set the PADD back on the desk then and sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose between finger and thumb. She had a feeling this wouldn’t be her last talk with Ensign Greevis.

---

The rock next to her console had somehow found its way back into her palm as she recalled the conversation a few days earlier. To her knowledge Ensign Greevis had yet to follow through on her order to make an appointment with the counsellor and she felt in her bones that it was a matter of time before she needed to remind him of the order and perhaps reprimand him for the failure.

She opened a private note in his roster file, recounting a few remembrances that she had not already included from their conversation and then closed the file.

A chime sounded interrupting the flow of the music and reminding her that her duty rotation was coming up in the next hour. Standing, she placed the worn rock back on her desk and stretched. There was a long day still ahead.

=/\= A mission post by... =/\=

Lieutenant Emni i-Rizz t'Nai
Chief Medical Officer
USS-Adelphi

 

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