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Posted on 05 Apr 2020 @ 8:58pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Jennin Rhula

Mission: Sentience
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 2 || 1145 hours

As soon as Doctor Milo left, Harvey glanced over to Commander Walsh and tapped his badge. "Captain Geisler to Doctor Rhula. Please report to the Ready Room."

His eye twitched. As much respect as he had for the Captain's medical career, the man seemed incapable of remembering that Rhula was his given name, not his family name. "I suppose," Doctor Jennin said to himself as he stood up from the desk in his science lab, "I'll have to remind him. Again."

It didn't take the Bajoran long to arrive at Geisler's office door. He touched the announcer.

Terry had taken the few moments in between to quickly scan the Bajoran's personnel file. He was quite skilled and seemed professionally able to step into the position with ease. He half smiled as he thought of a Chief Medical Officer with a specialty in pathology. Fate sometimes had a strange way of setting things up. Or a twisted sense of humor. He still wasn't sure. At any rate, he was looking forward to this meeting.

Harvey, too, was looking at the Doctor's file. He hadn't got too far past the man's picture. For whatever reason, he'd forgotten that Rhula was Bajoran and that their naming conventions were the opposite of most species. Harvey had likely insulted the Bajoran just now, putting this meeting in an already precarious position. "Jennin. Doctor Jennin," he repeated softly, hoping Commander Walsh would hear.

The Captain tapped a button on his padd and called out, "Come in."

The doors parted.

"If you're going to summon someone, Captain," he began as he entered. He stopped when he realized Geisler wasn't alone. "Oh, uh...Commander," Rhula continued, acknowledging the mass of Human that was the Executive Officer.

Terry looked up as the Bajoran walked in and then smiled as his presence had seemed to catch the man off guard. "Doctor Jennin," he said, catching the prior soft undertones of the Captain. "Or Lieutenant Jennin. Which do you prefer, Doctor or Lieutenant?"

"Doctor," he replied firmly. "At least you remembered my name." He then remembered who he was talking to. "Sir."

"I do apologize, Doctor Jennin," Harvey was quick to say. He could stammer on, explain that he'd forgotten that the man was Bajoran and all, but he'd already stuck his foot too far into his mouth. Harvey rose from the couch and approached the replicator. "Can I offer you something to drink, Doctor?"

"Will I be here long enough to enjoy it? If so, I'll have a double espresso con panna. If not, then a shot of Bolian whiskey will do."

Harvey turned to the replicator and ordered both beverages. Being the Captain of a starship meant that his replicator lacked certain restrictions to deal with those hard moments. Once the drinks had replicated, he set them both on the visitor side of the desk and gestured for the Doctor to sit.

"One of those meetings, huh?" the Bajoran said, looking from Geisler to the drinks, then to Walsh before shifting his gaze back to the beverages. He picked up the espresso as he sat down. "So, what do you gentlemen need from me?"

"Doctor Kij was reassigned this morning," Harvey plainly said, sitting down behind the desk. "She and Senior Chief Rylan have already departed the Black Hawk, and I'm pretty sure she didn't notify the medical staff."

"Ah! A celebration then," he exclaimed, swapping the espresso for the whiskey. He smiled at his fortune as he began to lift the pungent liquor to his lips.

Harvey raised an eyebrow. Clearly, he had not known there was any animosity between the Bajoran and the Trill. "Not a fan of Doctor Kij, I take it?"

"Oh, you know how those...," Rhula began. He stopped himself from continuing when he looked at Geisler. Was it possible the Captain was somehow unaware of the true nature of Trill? Perhaps he was even a friend of the now former medical chief. "Working relationships can be....difficult, Captain. I'm sure you understand." He set the whiskey down, no longer certain it was appropriate to celebrate.

Harvey, for the uncertain number of times that day, managed to keep his sigh internal. Doctor Jennin managed to speak everything that was on the Captain's mind and plate today, and he didn't even know it. "I would imagine, Doctor, that in a perfect universe, we'd all get along, but I just don't think it's possible. So, yes, I certainly do understand. The more pressing issue is that I currently have a department without a head."

He picked up the whiskey again. "To Doctor Milo, then!" he said as he raised the glass. "I haven't worked with him directly much, but he has a good clinical record. And he's not..." Rhula stopped talking before pointing out that Milo wasn't Trill. "What I mean, is that he doesn't have an affinity towards parasites. So this is a marked improvement."

Harvey wondered who, besides an exobiologist, would have an affinity or an interest in studying the Dolmoqour, but that was not worth exploring at this juncture. "Doctor Milo isn't going to be filling the slot," he simply said. "In fact, he's made himself... ineligible."

He lowered the whiskey. "The giant, then?" he inquired. At this point, he was tempted to just throw back the pale blue liquid. While he understood how and why Bolians themselves were blue, he wasn't sure why they insisted on making so many blue products. They didn't exactly have the monopoly on being blue.

"Actually," Harvey remarked, pointing at the Bajoran. "We were thinking... you."

He tossed back the Bolian whiskey. The liquor slid down his throat and he thrilled at the burn. For a brief moment, his mind wasn't on what Geisler had just said. Then he snapped back. "What now? You're putting me in charge of medical? You do know that, by specialty, don't see living patients, right?" He looked at the Captain for a moment. "Of course you know that. But why would you give put me in that role knowing that?" He looked to the large, bald man who had remained silent through all of this. "Are you in on this too, Commander?"

Harvey spoke up, not giving his Executive Officer a chance to answer. "Doctor Milo gave you a glowing recommendation," Harvey explained. "Not to mention you played a critical role in our last mission. You have the ingenuity we need in a Chief Medical Officer."

"You mean Doctor Milo didn't want even more paperwork," he fired back, recalling his morning encounter with Lieutenant Ryler. "I hardly think rewarding someone who you claim to value by taking them away from their work so they can move papers is a very good way to show appreciation. Next time, a bottle of Bolian whiskey." He held up the small empty glass. "Speaking of which...you mind?"

Harvey patiently rose from the desk to replicate a new glass, this time making it a double. He began speaking before he returned with the drink, "Being a department head is more than paperwork. You get to set the schedule. You get to determine how your time is utilized." Harvey set the glass down in front of the Bajoran and then sat down himself. "And you also get first choice for Away Team or other unique assignments that come our way."

"Away team assignments? That's easy; Doctor Milo. All of them," Rhula chortled. "He got me into this, so it's the least I can do to repay him." He lifted the small glass. "Thanks," he offered before launching the liquid down his throat. This second one burned less. He picked out the more faint notes of the gaffan wood that the Bolians used for their barrels. "This is pretty good for a replicated product."

He extended the glass again, hoping the Captain would indulge him in another. "So, say I took this job....do I have to start seeing living patients? In case you couldn't tell, dealing with living people isn't something I excel at."

Terry had been quietly listening to the whole exchange so far and taking it all in. "Well," he said, "if you do deal with living patients, and I don't see why you wouldn't, look at it as a time to get better at it. And if you need a break, you can always head back to the Pathology Lab."

"I don't often see living patients currently, Commander. At least not in regular care. Not really how pathology works," he explained. "I am board certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology. I spend ninety-five percent of my medical duty time in the path lab. A variety of medical tests come my way. Not to mention the fun that comes with the occasional ship-wide parasitic infection. Doctor Kij, despite her failings, understood this and only scheduled me for a handful of clinical shifts a month. As Chief, will I have to increase my interactions with routine, clinical patients?"

"You'll have to do whatever the job requires," Harvey answered ambiguously. Using his hands, he waved them in a dismissive answer before intertwining his fingers in front of him. "As for not dealing with living people well... well, that's a trait you and I both share. It's something you get used to."

"I see," he said quietly. The Bajoran man looked at the still empty glass in his hand. "You are sure about this? Both of you?"

Harvey sighed. "We don't exactly have a lot of options. Of our compliment, you're the most qualified. And there won't be any influx of medical personnel in the quadrant for a few months. If you like... when Gamma Command catches wind of new personnel being assigned out here, we can revisit your... this situation and see if you want to keep the job or go back to full-time pathology."

"That's less than a ringing endorsement," Rhula said wryly. "I feel very supported."

He lifted the empty glass. "Another? To celebrate," he said with a smile.

The Captain replicated three, one for each person in the room. As soon as each person had one, he summoned the ship's avatar, which rendered itself as a short and petite human woman with flowing red locks. Harvey blinked twice at the apparition, surprised by its oddly familiar appearance, and then got on with it. "HASA, notate in the ship's log that as of Stardate 67017.7, Lieutenant Jennin Rhula has been assigned to the Black Hawk as Chief Medical Officer."

HASA, in a Scottish accent, replied simply, "The notation has been made. Lieutenant Jennin is now the Chief Medical Officer. Would you like for me to grant the appropriate security access upgrades?"

"Confirmed," Harvey replied, looking to the Bajoran. He then raised his glass. "Congratulations, Doctor."

Terry took the glass that and held it for a moment, stunned by the odd appearance of HASA. This thing would certainly take some getting used to. He raised his glass when Harvey raised his his, "Congratulations indeed, Chief Doctor."

Throwing back yet another Bolian whiskey, Rhula grinned widely. "That's good stuff. Can I get access to this on the replicator in my quarters?"

Harvey raised an eyebrow, wondering if he'd just assigned an alcoholic to be their ranking physician. Time would tell, of course. "I'll talk to Operations. There are restrictions with the replicator privileges built into the system to prevent abuse, so be wary of those." The Captain didn't mention that because of those restrictions, he would not be able to order any more from his replicator until the next day.

"Ah, yes. And thank you for your trust in me. We'll see if it's well placed."

The Captain sipped from his glass and set it on the desk. "I, for one, certainly hope that it is. If there's nothing more, Doctor, I believe you've got a department to oversee."

Rhula, getting the hint from Geisler that this meeting was now over, rose to his feet. He gave the two Command officers an awkward, lopsided smile, the kind one offers when they feel they are supposed to to express gratitude but they don't really feel it. "It seems that I do, Captain. Commander." He turned and left the office, pausing for a moment once he was in the corridor outside to give himself a moment to attempt to control the spinning his head was doing. "Gotta love those Bolians," he said quietly as he started moving towards the turbolift.

 

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