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Covert Care

Posted on Fri Jun 9th, 2023 @ 12:50am by Lieutenant Xex Wang & Lieutenant Jennifer Bracco, M.D.
Edited on on Tue Jun 13th, 2023 @ 6:13pm

Mission: On the Road Again
Location: CMO's Quarters, Deck 2
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1912

[CMO's Quarters]
[Deck 2]
[MD 2-- 1915]

Gwenwyn disappeared down the hallway and Xex stepped back, allowing the doors to whoosh shut, cutting off the bright hallway lights, and leaving Xex in the pleasant nighttime dimness of his suite. It should have been relaxing, lulling him back into much-needed slumber, but his interaction with Gwenwyn had unsettled him, leaving him with an unpleasant combination of weariness and the jitters.

With a sigh that he turned into a couple of deep, breathing-therapy breaths, Xex crossed back over to the replicator. Taking his own medicine, he ordered water, plain, still, clear, water. He lifted the glass, looking through the clear liquid for a moment as if it held some kind of answer for him. When it yielded nothing, he resigned himself to the course of treatment, and downed it in a few swift swallows.

It doesn't matter how advanced we think we are, he thought to himself, we cannot escape the basic physiological fact that we are but ambulatory bags of water.

With that humbling thought in mind, he ordered another glass of water and a series of plant and flower stems. While they materialized, he dragged the chair back to its original position, making sure the common area was set to rights before scooping up his replicated goods and returning to his room.

Inside, he surveyed the wreckage of his bed with longing, considering it for just a brief moment before discarding the idea of more slumber. There were a few things he needed to take care of before he logged in sickbay.

He knocked back his water in one go, and settled himself in front of his terminal, carefully laying the assortment of flora across the desk in front of him. Then, he initiated a connection request to Doctor Bracco. Intending to wait until the woman herself was available, he began to pluck particular stems from before them, placing them just so into his empty water glass, focusing his mind onto the task-- rather than the disturbing interview with Marwol-- in an effort to allow his thoughts to sort themselves before he had to speak them aloud to the counselor.

It took a couple of moments but the screen finally blinked and, with a corresponding chime to signal the established connection, Doctor Bracco appeared. She looked a bit tired in that moment of limbo before a video call began in earnest but a polite smile suddenly spread across her face as she regarded Xex. "Doctor Wang," she greeted, offering a downward tip of her chin as a hello. "How are you doing? Can I help you with something?" the psychiatrist asked, curiosity sparkling in her eyes. From off screen, she grabbed a pristine tea cup in white ceramic and sipped from her steaming jasmine tea.

Bracco’s image brought Xex’s attention away from the arrangement and up to the screen, one smooth motion pushing the project to the side and out of frame. “Ah, Doctor Bracco,” Xex said, the concentration on his face giving way to pleasure at her appearance. “Thank you for accepting. I know it’s not exactly office hours.” His lips twitched up to one side in acknowledgement of the understatement. Folding his hands on the desk before him, he continued, “I really hope you can help. I just received one Doctor Marwol in my quarters. To say he was distraught would be an understatement. The assignment on Shaddam IVa seems to have left him with some serious questions as to his fitness for duty and, I suspect some deeper questions about his own self worth. The latter,” he paused lifting a silvery finger, “is my own conjecture, the former his own words. I know you have made clear your availability to anyone who feels they need it, and I recommended Doctor Marwol seek you out but…” Xex trailed off, his gaze unfocusing, his fingers drumming slowly, one at a time, on the surface of the desk as if to order his words. A few patient heartbeats later and he focused back on Bracco’s image again, a rueful sigh escaping his lips. “Well, I hesitate to tread on your professional toes, but I can’t help thinking he may need more hands-on support. Perhaps if you approached him…?”

On the screen, Jennifer's expression was one of curiosity as Xex outlined his thoughts on Marwol's situation.Where others' expressions might cloud or otherwise change as the severity of the situation was outlined, the psychiatrist's face remained one of polite neutrality. As the Doctor came to the point of the call, however, Jennifer slowly nodded. "I would be happy to proactively reach out to him, of course. The offer might be more impactful if I mentioned a concerned peer reached out," she explained, "but that could make your working relationship awkward. I could certainly keep your role in this anonymous if you'd like. I imagine you aren't the only to notice concerning behavior?" Jennifer took another sip of her tea while looking expectantly at the silver-shined Doctor.

”If you think it would help to mention a colleague, then by all means,” Xex said, gesturing in invitation. He paused, considering the offer to remain anonymous. With a troubled cast to his features, he agreed, “I think you’re probably right. Crewman Booth’s death hit him hard, and I don’t think his somewhat unusual response to it has gone unnoticed, no. Perhaps for now, it would be best for me to remain anonymous.”

Xex’s eyes cut to the side, off screen. He reached out to touch the velvety petal of the lily he’d been arranging. “If nothing else,” he finally said, “it gives me another level to escalate, if I need to. I dislike making any care decisions ‘orders,’ but out here, I can’t have any of my medical team on shaky mental ground.”

"I completely understand," Jennifer nodded in response. "I may try to approach him after the funeral tomorrow. Perhaps at the party, if he attends? A social connection first might lead into a better avenue for broaching the subject." She looked then at something off screen before turning back, her expression apologetic. "I'm afraid I've got a patient that's about to arrive for her session but I'll let you know how things go, Doctor," she said, the psychiatrist's tone taking on an air of wrapping things up. "Thank you for reaching out to me so I can hopefully help," came her parting words, partnered with a wave.

"Excellent thought," Xex agreed to her plan. Then, with a wave, he added, "Please, don't let me keep you from your other appointments. I appreciate your time, doctor." His smile returned, truly thankful, if a bit distracted and he waved back.

With that, the connection closed, the default starfleet logo switching almost immediately to black in accordance with Xex's personal preferences. Xex stared at the screen, her positive, but not entirely certain words echoing about in his mind.

"Stars, I hope you can."

A Join Post By:

Lieutenant Jennifer Bracco, M.D.
Ship's Counselor


Lieutenant Xex Wang, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer


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