Posted on August 26th, 2015 by Kymar Dremel
Sickbay, U.S.S. Atlantis, Starbase Vinland
"Don’t drop it!"
The Bajoran man jogged over and quickly reached out, pushing the teetering stack of filled vials back to a stable and upright position on the overloaded grav cart, his speed and precision belying the salt-and-pepper hair and the beginnings of wrinkles at the edges of his eyes. Carefully he adjusted the vial cradle with slender, surgeon’s fingers and with a quick nod and an apologetic smile to the flustered crewman navigating the cart, he went back over to the other side of Sickbay. His tattered white lab coat was a stark contrast to the crisp new uniform he wore, although the contrast seemed to fit the aging Bajoran in some weird way.
Cables were strewn across the floor, pulled out of power couplings and bio-neural relays for the three-man Engineering team who were busily installing the brand new biobeds. Their sleek forms took up a little more room than their predecessors, but the large primary Sickbay on a Sovereign-class Starship was more than large enough to contain them comfortable along with the myriad of wheeled trolleys, trays and machines. Most of him felt right at home already, despite the semi-chaos of a ship in refit, although there was just a hint of discomfort at being back onboard a Federation starship.
"I don’t care what you’re doing, Commander, and I don’t give a shit how important you think it is – you’re a commissioned officer in Starfleet and you will damned well do your duty or I will come there and drag you back kicking and screaming myself!"
Sat in the seedy-looking bar on the outskirts of Romulan space, he’d avoided most of the Tzenkethi conflict, and for good reason. Despite the flustered-looking Admiral’s statement to the contrary, what he was doing here was important, just…not important for the Federation. His fingers were still clamped firmly around the isolinear chip, useless now, but as a reminder of the person he’d slipped it too almost a year ago it was the only thing that’d kept him sane. He put on his gentle Doctor smile and leaned in towards the comm unit.
"Admiral…Howard…you were there when I gave my rhetoric about how as a Doctor I work for Starfleet Medical, for the Federation, not this quasi-milita-"
"Cut the bullshit, Dremel! Your fucking eloquent crap got spouted around the Admiralty for three months after you ditched the Hyperion. Yeah, lives are lost, but it’s your job to save them not whine when you can’t. Get your ass to Starbase Vinland in three days or you’ll see me in person – and I won’t be half as polite."
The comm cut off about as abruptly as a punch to the face, Dremel sitting back in his chair with a huffed sigh, twirling the chip between his fingers and letting the chain attached to it jingle rythymically in the low din of the busy spaceport bar. What Howard had said about the Hyperion hadn’t been exactly true. They’d taken those lives, there was nothing he could have done to prevent that, nobody to save just bodies to tag…Whatever happened to the age of exploration? He’d not even wanted to look at the casualty numbers from the Tzenkethi War, just imagining it made his stomach queasy.
At least his booth was pretty quiet, if it’s one thing the Romulans are good at, it’s bar with little out of the way spots to have quiet meetings with Starfleet Admirals. He was sure only the Romulans had heard what was said.
Drawing himself out of his revery, he looked around to see that his new office was already cleaned and empty – just a desk and a bank of monitors, along with his bag. How come he never found the time to drop this stuff off at his quarters when assigned to a new ship? Maybe he should have a cot made out next time.
If there is a next time.
Reaching up, he felt for the outline of the chip beneath his teal uniform shirt, moved around to the side of his desk with the chair and began to unpack.