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Posted on Mon May 31st, 2021 @ 8:49pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant Kennedy Ryan Walsh & Lieutenant Miriam Lal & Lieutenant JG Glum Dogrov

Mission: The Place of Skulls
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1500

[USS Sojourner]
[MD 1 - 1500 Hours]

Emni stood outside of sickbay, just shy of the door censor. Although she had been aboard the ship since their arrival time that morning she had not yet visited the space where she would spend many of her waking hours. A nurse who had arrived with the Sojo had been on call for much of the day while everyone else settled in.

The Romulan woman took a deep breath in through her nose, letting the air flow out in a controlled hiss between her lips. When the air had fully expelled she stepped forward setting off the whoosh of the doors and stepping into her new domain. Both feet inside the room she breathed in again. It was a bit of superstition, or ritual perhaps, but all things in life begin and end with a breath and so she had taken to timing moments like these to the intake and exhale of her own breathing.

"Dr. t'Nai," a woman's voice cut across her hearing, drawing her gaze to her right where a nurse was emerging from what she presumed was her office. "Lieutenant Miriam Lal."

Emni took the woman's extended hand and shook it firmly. "Its a pleasure to meet you Lieutenant," she replied. Quietly she noted the Trill markings running down the woman's neck and tentatively dropped her emotional defenses. Trill always had a particularly unique emotional signature--the combination of the symbiont's extensive lived experience and the host's shorter life created an interesting mix. Lal was no exception exuding an almost motherly mixture of eagerness and openness.

"Dr. Ryan-Walsh should..." she began just as the doors to sickbay whoosed open again.

Doctor Kennedy Ryan Walsh walked into Sickbay in an almost childlike trance with a large grin. He was happy that he was back on assignment and working again. He spotted Doctor t'Nai in her office with another officer. He approached them both, "Good afternoon."

"... arrive any moment," Emni finished as Dr. Ryan Walsh approached.

"Nurse Lal, Dr. Ryan Walsh," she began indicating the Irishman with a nod. "Dr. Ryan Walsh, Nurse Lal." A similar head tilt pointed the ACMO to the Trill woman to her right. "Nurse Lal and I were just getting acquainted," she explained to Kennedy as the doors to Sickbay whooshed open again revealing a portly Tellarite man. He made his way over to the group and, not bothering to offer a hand to shake, said simply, "Lieutenant Glum Dogrov."

Emni waited a moment, the man's abruptness and catching her slightly off guard and then, when he said nothing further she raised an eyebrow.

"Dr. t'Nai," she said by way of introduction. "And this is our ACMO Dr. Ryan Walsh. I presume you and Nurse Lal are already acquainted."

Dogrov nodded, grunting his agreement and a brusque, "Nice to meet you," before falling silent again.

The Romulan woman surveyed the assembled group then, smiling in welcome. "Shall we all have a seat?"

Pointing to the office she followed the three practitioners into the room, making her way around to the chair behind the desk so that others could settle into those in front of it.

"We can expect a series of upcoming drills and readiness reporting from the new XO, Commander Takomi," she began.

Lal pointed to a PADD situated over to Emni's right. "I believe that may be the details you're referring to," she noted kindly. "It was dropped off before your arrival."

Emni nodded, picking up the PADD and pinching the top of it before flinging the information onto a screen in front of her and behind her team. She waited for them to adjust their chairs before speaking.

"We will jump into this in a moment, but before we do I want to say that I am greatly looking forward to working with each of you. This is a new ship and a crew that is largely new to me and, I assume to each of you. I hope to have time to get to know each of you better in the weeks ahead."

Glum Dogrov mumbled something incoherent in Tellarite that the universal translator couldn't pick up. Kennedy looked over at the Tellarite. He grew a bit timid due to his rough edges, looked back over to Doctor t'Nai, "Well said, Doctor t'Nai. I look forward to getting to know Lieutenants Lal and Dogrov along with yourself." Kennedy shot t'Nai a smile, then a nod and a smile to Lal. Then as he looked over at Glum who looked rather gloom, he maintained his smile even if it was rather awkward.

Emni returned the smile, appreciating the back up from her ACMO. "Ok, let's get to work then."

There was much to discuss and more yet to do in preparation for the drills she anticipated they would be assigned by Commander Takomi. The time moved quickly and she was pleased with how easily the group seemed to fall into a rhythm. The two nurses were clear and concise, clearly having taken time to familiarize themselves with Sickbay and its functions while the ship made its way to Risa.

Finally, they came to a particular element of the readiness reporting that she had been expecting. Tapping the PADD before her the screen scrolled until it displayed an image of a Cardassian woman. Emni found herself cringing inwardly, some of the horror of that day creeping back into her emotional state.

"This is an image of Commander Kora Lenek," she stated simply before tapping the screen to bring up an internal map of Lenek. The new image screamed with warning alarms, several vital organs clearly missing. "Commander Lenek was taken prisoner by the Vidiians in the Delta Quadrant on the last mission I was assigned to. "I share this image, and the file attached with it, with some trepidation. It isn't my desire to alarm any of you, but Commander Takomi has inquired about disaster readiness as part of our reporting. In particular our readiness to address crises that are unique to the Delta Quadrant."

She tapped the PADD again, switching over to a list of medical steps taken--the ones she herself had taken before Dr. Cowell had finally saved her colleague's life. "Our charge in Starfleet is to go boldly into places that no one has ever gone before. But in doing so we often encounter those who were already there. The Delta Quadrant remains largely uncharted territory by The Federation. And while our mandate is peace, the hardiness of this ship is testament to the things we might encounter."

She paused then, taking a moment to look from face to face and take in their emotional signatures. "I cannot prepare you for the unique horror of a mission going so horribly awry that you will have to consider how to keep a fellow officer alive despite the removal of numerous vital organs. I can, however, tell you that we will face these things as a team. What we encounter we encounter together. Where one of us may struggle the others will be there to help. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can go into it with open eyes and a knowledge that we do our best... that into whatsoever places we may enter we will do so to help the sick and injured to the best of our abilities. Whatever we may encounter, my door is always open. Do you have any questions?"

Doctor Kennedy Ryan Walsh had read a few of Doctor t'Nai's reports on the Viidians but he didn't recall Commander Lenek's case file in any of them. He gulped at the horrific report and medical scans and the intensive reconstructive surgery that the Commander had to undergo through. He hoped that none of their shipmates would firsthand see the horrors of the Viidians, "None from me, Doctor."

Emni nodded to her ACMO. She appreciated his response, but also sensed the climbing discomfort he was feeling. The two nurses before here had similar reactions to Commander Lenek's file, a sense of uncertainty and discomfort. She couldn't blame them--were she on the other side of the desk, pre-Vidiian mission disaster, she would also be looking at this file with horror and uncertainty. It was hard for anyone who hadn't lived through it not to. Although Kennedy had responded she wanted Dogrov and Lal to also feel comfortable responding so she let them sit with the pause a moment longer to see if they might speak up.

After a moment Lal turned from the list on the screen back to her, "Is there anything you would recommend we do to prepare?" she asked, the gravity of the gravity of the conversation coloring her tone.

Emni shook her head. "I wish I could tell you that there was a simple set of steps you can take to be ready for this, but the Delta Quadrant is truly frontier medicine. The best you can do is going into our mission with the mentality that we will follow through on our mandate as medical professionals, to do no harm. And from there we do our best in the face of what we find. It won't all be horrors like these. This is some of the worst of what we might encounter. But we should be ready as a team to acknowledge when we don't know an answer and work together on a plan to find one."

Lal nodded her ascent as Emni spoke, a glimmer of steely resolve appearing in her emotional signature. Dogrov was harder to read, but he, too, seemed to settle. She looked to Kennedy then as she spoke.

"This is the last item on our list today before I dismiss you. Dr. Ryan Walsh, before we close is there anything you'd like to add for the team?"

She knew she was putting him on the spot, but her desire to truly function as a team overrode any concern at doing so.

Doctor Ryan Walsh was now an Assistant Chief Medical Officer. It was his first posting as a deputy department head on a starship. His throat temporarily swelled up as he had a slight cough a glass of water would have been able to remedy, "I have nothing further to add. I look forward to working closely with the three of you over the course of our assignment onboard the Sojourner together."

Emni nodded, eyeing the ACMO as she did, but not pressing him further. "Ok, then you're all dismissed. Reports on each of the areas we discussed should be on my desk at 0930 tomorrow so I can provide them to Commander Takomi.

The group stood, the standard post-meeting relaxation of focus and relief flooding the space. She nodded to the two nurses who made their way quickly out of the space before turning back to Kennedy.

"Lieutenant, if I could have a moment before you leave?"

"Yes, of course." Kennedy remained behind as ordered.

Emni gestured to the chair for the Irishman to sit, waiting for him to do so before speaking. She felt a wash of nervousness from the man. "The CMO at your last posting has made glowing remarks about your work in your record. In fact, he is one of the officers who strongly advocated for your posting to an ACMO position."

She paused, tapping her PADD which now only displayed information before her. "There is, however, a note in your file expressing some concern about connections with your peers."

She looked up then and met the younger man's eyes. "I appreciate the feedback from your prior posting, but I was hoping you could speak to that a bit."

Kennedy knew that this note on his record wasn't the best mark on his file. He briefly broke the direct eye contact as he sought reflection on her question before reconnecting, "It's something that I've always found difficult, Dr. t'Nai. It's something that I've been really working on since my extended shore leave on Risa. I would say it was mostly my upbringing as my parents encouraged us to study and follow in their footsteps to study in medicine or psychiatry but my siblings are more sociable."

Emni nodded, considering the younger man's words. "Thank you Lieutenant," she replied, setting the PADD before her and then threading her fingers together to rest on the desk.

"I'm not going to tell you that you have to create friendships here," she said chosing to be direct, "but the Delta Quadrant is very far from home." The corner of the Romulan woman's mouth twitched upward in a small smile. "As practitioners it can be easy to ignore our own mental and emotional health in pursuit of our craft. As a colleague, and a I hope a friend, let me encourage you to try to connect. Those relationships can be the difference between a good doctor and a burnt out one when we're so far away."

Kennedy slowly nodded. He wanted to reassure her that he knew that her comments were coming from a concerned and well-mannered place about his mental health. The Reliant was a much larger ship than the Sojourner. He was simply a medical officer and only had to share quarters with one other. A nurse and they were usually on different shifts. His living arrangements were different but he was already closer to his roommates on the Sojourner so far, "I, I, I get it. Thank you, Doctor. Today, I offered to help one of my roommates to unpack. Pre-Risa Kennedy, uh- Pre-Risa me, would have. Not offered to help but I did. Also I let my bunkmate's holographic butterfly land on me and I didn't freak out like Sheldon did."

Kennedy gave Emni a forced grin. He probably overshared too many details as is but he wanted to show her that he was improving in this aspect of his personality.

Unexpectedly, Emni chuckled. "I assume you are referring to Sheldon Parsons," she noted, not waiting for the ACMO to confirm. "That all sounds positive. And thank you for taking my words under consideration."

She stood then, coming around the desk. "Now, go relax. We've got plenty ahead of us to work on. Take the time you can now. It may be in short supply in the days ahead of us."

"Thank you, Doctor. I will," Kennedy replied as he stood up from the chair and made his way to the door.

Emni watched the ACMO leave before turning back to her desk and the many tasks before her. It was still only early afternoon and there was much, yet, for her to do.

=/\= A Mission Post By =/\=

Lieutenant Emni t'Nai
Chief Medical Officer
USS Sojourner

Lieutenant Junior Grade Kennedy Ryan Walsh
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Sojourner

And introducing...

Lieutenant Miriam Lal
Lieutenant Junior Grade Glum Dogrov
USS Sojourner


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