Chapter 1 - A Gift

Sheza strode into the medical department, carrying a small box under one arm.  “I am looking for the Chief Medical Officer, T’Preava.  Where is she?”


A bright-faced Bolian man greeted her with a wide smile, “Hello there young ensign! She’s just in her office- ah- but you know a Vulcan, she might not like to be disturbed at the moment.” He cupped his hands together, then pleaded, “Perhaps I can be of some assistance instead? I may not be Chief Medical Officer but I’d like to think I am competent enough in my own right.” He slightly chuckled to himself with a wide beaming smile.


“No,” Sheza said.  “It is a personal matter that has to do with Doctor T’Preava unrelated to her duties as Chief Medical Officer.  I will find out if she is free.”  She started moving toward the office door. The nurse simply gave up and allowed Sheza through with nothing more to say.


As she entered through the open doorway, she saw T’Preava sat behind a semicircular desk, padds strewn across the desk with one neat pile to the left-hand side. T’Preava was focused on the work in front of her, and without looking away or ceasing the taps of the screen, she opened communications. “Hello, I do believe I have given all the information necessary for you to complete your work. If there is something you don’t understand, please talk to Lieutenant T’Shan.”


“Doctor T’Preava,” said Sheza.  “I am Ensign Sheza Yaz, I am here as an emissary of T’Kol.”


T’Preava finally looked up and met Sheza’s eyes. She set down the padd she was so vigorously working with and apologised, “Excuse me, ensign. I had assumed you were operations staff.” She looked Sheza up and down briefly, noting the box held under her arm. “How is my brother?”


“When we last spoke, he was in excellent health,” replies Shaza, settling into parade rest.  “Tutor T’Kol was a great help during my time in the Academy.  When he heard that I was assigned to the Hou Yi, he asked me to carry a gift to you, Doctor.”


“Then by all means, I’ll take it now.” T’Preava held her hand out, pointing to an empty space on the table.


Sheza set the box down and opened it, inside was another box, this one of carved stone.  “Tutor T’Kol also asked me to tell you,” the Tellarite paused, composing herself, she managed to get T’Kol’s cadence almost exactly correct. “‘The universe is full of infinite diversity in infinite combination, this is just one piece of that infinity.’” She offered the carved stone box to the Doctor.


T’Preava picked the box from her hand. She opened the latch and turned back the lid. “Ah.” She set the now opened box down on the table in view for Sheza. It seemed to look like a cracked egg, portions of the surface glistened in the light. “This fossil appears to belong to an ancient avian family on Vulcan.” She ran her finger along the edge of the crack, it was sharp and rugged. “This is a fine gift for a Vulcan, you should take note considering the proportion of us serving aboard.” She admired it for a few moments, remembering the message T’Kol conveyed through Sheza. “The cracks, the fossilisation process, and of course the symbolism of genetics in the egg itself; they are all representations of the IDIC belief.”


Sheza nodded. “Scholar T’Kol seems very devoted to the IDIC philosophy, he argues for it well and persuasively.”


“Perhaps that is because it is not difficult to see the inherent logic in it.” T’Preava kept unmoved, her eyes fixated along the iridescent, glassy surface. She placed it back in the box and closed it over on the table before standing up and walking around to Sheza. She towered over the young ensign, and looking down at her she enquired, “Are you a social creature, Ensign?”


Sheza paused to consider the question.  “As much as any other sentient, Doctor.  I am not especially adept in the social field outside of Tellarite Society.”  She nods.  “But I am interested in learning about people and how best to work with them.”


T’Preava exhaled. She walked through to the main sickbay and nodded to her nurse, sanitising his hands, who responded in kind with a chuckle and a smile. She turned back to Sheza, still not through the door and saw her out. “I am pleased to have met you, ensign. I look forward to our next encounter.” She swung her arm out, her hand pointing towards the door. 


Sheza nodded, knowing a dismissal when she saw one.  “Until next time, Doctor,” she replied and headed out of medical.


The doctor watched the doors close behind the ensign and turned to face her nurse. “I’m quite the social creature, you know? Why do you ask?” He enquired, inserting himself into the doctor’s conversation. “I didn’t, Mr Broht.” She dismissed, before returning into her office. He looked onward, seemingly through the entire ship as his gaze appeared blank, “I guess not.” he spoke under his breath, furling his chin.