I would like the following post to be recognized. In it Dr Jennifer Richardson the Cross’ Chief Medical Officer is seeking answers as to what happened to her patient. She gets those answers but she also meets the Cross’ Chief of Operations an El Aurian named Thorrin. The two have an extensive conversation and come to realizations. She realizes that she needs to come to terms with the loss someone very close to her. He realizes that he should come to terms with the loss of many people that he lost over his extensive lifetime. It is some of the best writing that I have had the pleasure to co-write, in particular the last few paragraphs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed co writing it.
THE DOCTOR’S DOCTOR – A Post from the USS Cross
Posted on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 @ 3:20am by Lieutenant Thorrin & Lieutenant Jennifer Richardson M.D.
Edited on on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 @ 11:45am
Mission: The Graveyard
Location: Cargo Bay – SS Ghana
Timeline: MD 12 1515hrs
Jennifer ran her fingers through her hair in a frustrated gesture as she went through the directions in her head again. Go up two decks, take a left, a right, a left and then left again….. The Doctor was absolutely certain that those were the directions given to her by the SS Ghana crew member when she asked how to find engineering.
With her uniform jacket knotted around her waist, the blood soaked trousers and bare feet caused the woman to stand out like a sore thumb. She’d come straight from sickbay on a mission, well two to be honest. Firstly she wanted to find out more information about these mechanic eyes the Captain had been supplied with but secondly she wanted to find out who or what was responsible for the violent jerk that had almost cost a crew member their life. She was damn well certain she was going to get answers and that someone would be held accountable for endangerment of the people onboard the ship.
Taking the final left turn, Jennifer walked into a big spacious area which seemed to contained mechanical technology but something told the woman that perhaps this wasn’t engineering. “Hello?” Her voice echoed around the room as she tried to figure if there was anyone at all present. Aside from the area maybe not being engineering, she still needed further directions to put her back on the right path.
Hearing a strange voice enter the cargo bay, Thorrin came from around the cores wiping the plasma from his hands. He saw a young woman in a disheveled teal uniform standing barefoot there. He recognized her from her service record she was Cross’ Chief Medical Officer. “Good Day Doctor. What can I do for you?” he said as he walked toward the young woman.
Jennifer pushed her fingers up across her disheveled hair as she attempted in some way to manage the mess that was there. At least the individual was in a yellow uniform, she’d managed to narrow down engineering unless of course he was across the other side of the spectrum and in fact security. “I’m
Sorry to disturb your…ah…work Lieutenant. I think I may have gotten a little lost.” The mention of work had had a hesitancy and question implied because she wasn’t altogether sure what it was that he was doing.
“Thorrin doctor, Lieuteanant Thorrin, or just plane ole Thorrin if your want. I am the Chief of Operations for the Cross. I just finished assisting the Ghana’s crew with some emergency repairs. Where exactly are you trying to get to, perhaps I can show where to go. I would say that Sick Bay is about two decks up, but it looks like you have already been there.” Thorrin had a vague look of concern on his face. Something was wrong with the doc he knew it…
Jennifer was starting to become irritated with her hair as her fingers came up against knots and kinks induced by sweat and too much time spent in a humid environment. Cursing under her breath, the Doctor pulled the pins free in order to let the hair down and enable her to feel like she could actually breath. “I bloody well know where sickbay is…literally! Bloody! Someone’s got a hell of a mess to clean up there infact…but that’s beyond the point. I’m looking for engineering…specifically our chief engineer and the chief engineer of this shop. I was told, down two decks, take a right, a left and two more rights…or at least something like that. Directions have never been my fine point.”
“Listen doctor I am not sure where the Master Chief is or who exactly the Chief Engineer on this tub is. That being said if you are having a technical issue in Sick Bay I would be more that happy to take care of it for you. If it is something else I am more than happy to help you. If you are not having a technical issue then I can certainly try my best to assist you. Now please calm down, have a seat if you would like. What is going on?” Thorrin was getting a little irritated with the woman, he was a listener, but you can’t listen when one will not speak.
Jennifer stopped and blinked as she looked at the man and took in his direct words. “I’m sorry…I…” Taking a moment, the Doctor just took a breath as she forced herself to realise that she was letting her own frazzled mind and temper to take over. This wasn’t like her…this wasn’t who she was…something inside her had just snapped. In less than 24 hours she’d learned their Captain was taking them all on a suicide mission, she’d been thrown straight into the deep end with trying to save someone’s life…she had always felt that she wasn’t ready for this…it didn’t matter what everyone else had had to say…she should have trusted her instinct and never made this mistake.
“I’m sorry…I’m just…” Jennifer looked from the officer to the floor before looking back at the officer again. Her body and face no longer fraught with anger and impatience, instead just look weary and tired…her body drained. “There’s no mechanical malfunction in sickbay…just a lot of blood and a man holding on for his life…I’m not sure if there’s anything you can do for either.”
“What in hell happened? Would you like a cup of tea?” Thorrin stood there, staring at the woman. He thought what had happened to the crewman that she spoke of…
“Tea?” Jennifer couldn’t mask her surprise…it seemed very random but yet…the suggestion seemed very comforting. She was still hesitant…she didn’t want to take up anymore of the man’s time but yet…the company would be nice. “Sure…if you don’t mind…aslong as I’m not taking you away from anything…chief of ops…surely you have your hands full?”
“Not at the moment, at the moment I like most of the Cross’ crew is waiting for us to arrive at the Graveyard so we can get our new ship. I just finished assisting on a repair to this vessel and I am now free and clear. Come sit down… Tell me about this crew man that is injured…” Thorrin cleared a space for the doctor and poured some green tea.
Pushing her fingers back through her loosened hair, Jennifer moved over to the clear space as she loosened the blood soaked jacket from around her waist and moved it to one side. “A Bolian…one of the petty officers in our science department. Things are still a little grey on what happened but a Ghana crew member found him on the floor in one of the cargo bays, he was impaled through the chest, just above and to the right of his heart. By the time they got him to sick bay, he’d lost the equilivant of two pints of blood and the right ventrical into his heart had been reputered….We managed to save him just…one of our flight crew helped me out on the spot but we got the Bolian back before it was too late. It’s still touch and go but hopefully…he should pull through.”
“Indeed, trying times… But if I may be so bold how does that have you so shaken up. You are a doctor and I am sure you have seen worse. You also saved the man’s life an admirable deed. So Jennifer, if I may call you Jennifer, what is the trouble?” Thorrin was contemplative attempting to decide what to make of the doctor.
It took Jennifer a moment but it dawned on her that she hadn’t introduced herself. He had…Lieutenant Thorrin wasn’t it…but she hadn’t. Hadn’t she done the same to John earlier…used the poor man as a medical nurse, when he’d no experience and never once asked him his name until the end. What on earth was wrong with her…she was better than this.
Placing her head into her hands for a moment, the Doctor looked over at the man with an attempt at a smile on her lips. “I’m sorry…Jennifer or Jen if you like…either or both work. The trouble…the trouble is that the accident never should have happened. How does someone become impaled out of the blue? Through going back through records, and working out his rate of blood loss, I think that I have isolated around the same time it happened, there was a violent shake on the ship. I can only dummies that the unexpected shake didn’t give my patient enough time to prepare…that it almost cost him his life.”
“Well I am sorry to hear this. However, I am happy to hear that you were here to give that crewmen your skills and keep him alive. I can assure you that the shake was expected. You see the thrusters on this vessel were failing and power had to be redirected or this whole ship would be dead in the water without power including life support. The Captain of this vessel knew what was happening and authorized it. The jolt you felt was the temporary loss of power as the power grid transferred. This is not a Starfleet vessel so exact protocol is not always followed. However, I agree that a notification should have been given ship wide. Rather than get angry at something in the past, something which can never be changed. Let us be happy that the crewman in question will live because of what we have… If I have learned anything thus far from being on this crew I have learned to live in the hear and now.” Thorrin sipped his tea throughout his speech.
Jennifer knotted her fingers around the cup grasped in her hands, looking down into the liquid pool in the vessel in her hands. The cup itself was unusual, the material want what she was used to but it sparked a memory. Her wedding ceremony with David…the Captain had brought out two cups. He claimed them to be made of a fine bone china…a family inheritance in his own family. Each time a couple were married they were gifted a set of two as how it had been for generations. The fine bright white engraved with a pattern she couldn’t even remember now…she just remembered she smile as David had playfully dug her in the ribs, teasing how his wife’s clumbersome ways would probably lead to their eventual destruction…nothing so delicate should be entrusted to her.
He had been right…more right than he could realize. “It was nothing more than medicines and mechines that kept him alive; all I did was point and graft. It’s a skill anyone can have…even the Ensign from helm who never in his life was worked in a sickbay. But yet he was able to step in as a nurse, keep things moving. He is equally the reason that the Bolian is still with us.”
“Ensign Warren was able to assist as a nurse because you guided him. Do not sell yourself short Jennifer. You are the Chief Medical Officer of a major Starfleet vessel. Those machines you mentioned they would not know what to do unless you programmed them, it was you that figured out what was wrong with the crewmen and set the machines to repair the issue. You say you have done something that anyone can do, well my dear let me correct you on that. I am 450 years old and I would not know the first thing about the internal workings of living being. Put me in front of a surgical shield and I would stare at it someone would die. Just as if I asked you to install a ship’s computer core you would look at me like I was crazy. We all have specialties in life Jennifer and yours is perhaps the most admirable, medicine. Never, ever doubt that not even for a minute.” Thorrin’s speech was impassioned, and he meant every word of it. He just could not understand why this woman was so down on herself.
“You know that I never asked him for his name once…” realization dawned on Jennifer as her eyes remained focused on the cup in her hands; an equal amount of shame and embarressment flooding through her body. “….A rookie mistake. I didn’t cross reference his crew file…I didn’t once address him with his given name to show in the simplist of terms that he mattered…that what he did mattered. No thank you…no nothing…just a you’ve assisted now and your arm is repaired, off now you go!…I trivialised a situation in which I couldn’t have managed without him.”
“Right, you were curt, perhaps a little short with John if I understand you correctly. Well first off I am sure he will understand as you were in a moment of a life or death emergency and when that occurs we cannot always be as polite as we would want. My advice dear doctor is simply apologize… But again I say you cannot get down on yourself. You need to understand the gravity and importance of your skills and yourself.” Thorrin smiled as he sipped his tea and looked at the doctor.
Jennifer shook her head, for the first time looking directly at Thorrin as the level of grief and upset shone bright in her deepened brown eyes. There was no tears…but there was also a defiance missing that the Doctor of olden days had never been without. “Sometimes no matter the skill and the person it’s never enough.”
“Exactly, and there are times when I can’t fix the issue and we must lose what we have whether it is a computer, a warp core, or unfortunately a crewman. All you can ever do is your very best. You listen here Jennifer, if you feel that you are not up to the task then you leave now. The injuries are going to get a lot worse before they get better with the situation that we are in.” He was stern for the last part of his statement. His thoughts were heading to perhaps she needed someone to be blunt.
Placing the cup on the table, Jennifer pulled the jacket to her body; levering herself back to her feet. The blood marked her underskirt but she didn’t care…she was giving it all back. “Your right…it’s better that I leave…it was a mistake to ever think I could come back to this without…” Her words trailed off before she could give voice to David’s name…instead a slight hitch marred her speech, “…I told them I wasn’t ready…I never would be.”
Now he mustered all of the force he could and still keep his voice soothing. “Without what… Without what… Doctor… No that is not right, not right because you walk out that door and off this ship you cease being a doctor. You would have broken that most sacred of oaths that doctors take, that to first do no harm. This crew needs you, not another doctor, you… If you leave you will be harming each and every member of this crew. Especially the man who lies in Sick Bay at this very moment… So go ahead make the decision to leave, to take the easy way out… Or you can tell me what it is you need to confront, and WE will confront it. Decide…” Thorrin rose to his feet and his black eyes bored deep into hers…
Holding her jacket tighter against her chest, Jennifer’s gaze never waivered from his as a silence grew between them. The breath caught in her chest as the seconds passed, Thorrin’s words tumbling through her head as she knew the sence but it didn’t make it any easier. “He died…nothing I did could bring him back…no words…no actions…no medical equipment worked and he died.”
Thorrin caught his breath and the minute she said it he knew, well he knew everything in that moment. She had lost someone very close to her. “There are moments in which we cannot stop the inevitable. I know this better than anyone. That most painful and successful of hunters catches up to us each and every time… heh well that hunter is time. Come now, Jennifer, you will tell me all about him, and in those stories he will live again. In exchange for this great gift that you will give me, I will tell you of those that I have lost over the long years that I have existed. We will take our solace together. We will fight back the ravages of time together, and when we are done… We… will… be… us… again…” Thorrin’s voice was almost dreamy as he spoke.
Jennifer felt the first tear leave her eye as it traced a path down over her cheek before falling into the world. No one or nothing would ever bring David back…nothing or no one would ever be able to fill the hole that he had left in her heart. He had been her everything…leaving her now with nothing. Maybe this man could be right…maybe this crew needed her…right now it was all that she had.
Unable to do anything more, the Doctor nodded her head ever so slightly as she allowed the tension in her arms to drop and for Thorrin to take her where he would lead her…what other choice did she have in reality?
Thorrin took the woman by the hand, and in that moment they were not Ops Chief and Doctor, or even Jennifer and Thorrin. They were simply people, people with broken hearts that needed mending. He led her to his makeshift sitting area and poured her some fresh tea. “So now tell me all about him…”
A Joint Post By
Chief of Operations
Lieutenant Jennifer Richardson M.D.
Chief Medical Officer