USS Adelphi


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Post 10 - Making Faces

Posted on Sat Oct 24th, 2020 @ 1:17am by Cadet Senior Grade Ezra Gonzalez & Lieutenant Emni t'Nai

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Following the Captain's briefing, before Team 1 gathers to beam to the surface

While cosmetic surgery for pre-first contact cultural reviews wasn't completely foreign to Emni, it wasn't something she had a lot of experience with. Most of her training had been unique to Romulan physiology before she had joined Starfleet and expanded the base of her knowledge tremendously. And, in her experience, this particular type of surgery wasn't a common need. Nonetheless she knew it's importance and also understood the somewhat surreal effect it could have on crew members. She, herself, found it more of a curiosity than a discomfort, but couldn't describe the experience of looking in the mirror to see a face that was both your own and not to be a pleasurable experience.

As the medical team representative for Commander Lenek's team, Emni had taken the post-op sign off duties for herself. She preferred to know how everyone reacted to the prosthetic changes and, to be aware of any last minute medical interactions that might have bearing on their mission. She had assigned herself last on the surgery roster so that all others would go under Dr. Grey's ministrations first.

From across the room she could hear Commander Lenek's own irritation at the procedure. The Cardassian XO seemed less than thrilled at the need for cosmetic enhancement before traveling to the surface.

Mildly amused she stepped around the white barrier behind which Cadet Gonzalez was concealed--her next post-op review.

The cadet was sitting on the edge of the biobed. She sensed his discomfort with the changes and, having been the recepient of his doctor's note early on, knew that this particular part of his duties was likely significantly less pleasant for him.

"First time undergoing cosmetic surgery for a mission?" she asked kindly already knowing the answer from his file, but hoping to draw him into a conversation.

Ezra nodded, unable to speak for a moment or two. He groaned slightly, fighting hard to keep from picking and scratching at his skin. After another moment, he quietly said, "Most of my training and coursework didn't involve pre-warp civilizations. I mean, live research was part of it, but a lot of the work I was expecting to do was on species already encountered by the Federation, or else second contact stuff."

He paused, feeling the alterations on one of his ears.

"I guess I should have known better than to think this kind of mission wouldn't happen, at least not before graduating. I've gone through simulated exercises for "just in case" training, but I don't have any actual experience so I'm just feeling...very unprepared."

He looked up at Emni, confused. "I remember learning about one or two times when Jonathan Archer's crew used prosthetic makeup for these kinds of missions instead of a full surgery. Why couldn't we have done that instead? I would have had a much easier time with that."

The confusion and discomfort of the cadet rolled off of him in waves--a bit like the feeling of nausea coming and going giving Emni reason to take a deep breath to compartmentalize. She listened quietly wishing she could alleviate the issue for Ezra, but also aware that these were the kinds of things that just can't be predicted in deep space.

At his mention of the early Enterprise captain she let an understanding smile cross her features. "That would make things easier in some senses," she said, "but there have been too many close calls with pre-warp civilizations where prosthetics failed or the native population's technologies were advanced enough to detect them that they were largely abandoned when surgical alteration was an option."

Emni paused a moment, thinking out loud as she turned to a small table behind her where her PADD lay. "I could give you something to try to reduce your skin sensitivity in the areas where the surgery has been applied, but I couldn't guarantee it would be entirley localized." she said, tapping at the PADD. "It wouldn't take the foreign feeling away entirely, but it might give you some relief. I wouldn't normally suggest it, but I think it might be warranted for you if you feel that the changes will limit you on the away mission. Would you like to try it or hold off?"

Ezra clicked his tongue, disappointed. Then he braced his hands against the edge of the biobed and gave a long, resigned sigh. "Might as well give it a try," he said. "Every little bit helps. What's one more injection, right?"

Emni smiled warmly. "I've used this one myself when the occasion warranted, cadet. I can assure you it's perfectly safe and if it helps, I must agree, worth the extra injection."

From a tray she picked up a hypospray, loading the appropriate medication and pressing it into the side of the cadet's neck.

"This should take effect fairly quickly." she explained as she did so. Returning the hypospray to its tray she asked "Let me know how that feels?"

Ezra sighed with relief as he felt the irritation start to lessen almost immediately. It wasn't completely gone, but he already felt much better. It even cleared his head a little bit. He then slipped off the biobed and went to a reflective surface to see what he looked like. The face that stared back at him was unlike anything he had expected.

"If only Mom could see me now," he muttered breathily. "And Dad," he quietly added. Then he swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and walked back to where Emni was waiting, then he turned toward the door.

"I guess we had better get ready to go."


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