Chapter 6: A Little R&R

Henry sat in his medical bed, glasses on, reading a PADD he’d gotten from a young Ensign after all but threatening them to leave them on a deserted moon.  He swiped his finger on the screen, reading the text.


“If that’s a mission report, you’d better make sure that you hide it quick. Your wife will kill you if she sees you working right now.” Millie leaned against the edge of the privacy screen, her arms folded.


He slid his eyes to her.  “Call of the Wild.  I’ve read it probably fifty times.  Figured might as well distract me while I’m being held prisoner.”  He took the glasses off. “I trust we’re still knee deep in a mess we had no part in creating?”


“From what it looks like, you were the unknowing victim in the middle of a military coup.” Millie crossed to the bedside, pulling over a chair. “They’re still trying to gather more details about what happened, but our new Engineering Chief says there was a subspace pulse that knocked out communications right as the attack took place.” She looked back over her shoulder at the rest of Sickbay behind her. “If you see Caressa or your son walk by, warn me. They’ll both kill me for not letting you rest.”


“I rested long enough.  The fact I haven’t stormed out already is a detente.  If this was a coup, the pulse makes sense to throw the planet into enough chaos for the plotters to grab power before anyone knows what happened.  But they’re a Federation member now, so that’s going to be difficult to pull off.”


“The pulse fried your combadge before the explosion ever hit.” Millie tucked a leg underneath her body and tried to make herself as comfortable as the uncomfortable chairs allowed. “I’m not an Engineer, but I’ll bet Evelyn would assure me that if it would fuse parts of your combadge, it probably did the same to much of their planetary technology.”


“They took themselves back to the stone age just to thwart membership into the Federation.  I’ll make mention of that in my eventual report.  I can’t even begin to think of the ramifications on the people from food to medicine. “

“From what was discussed in the briefing I just left, I’m not sure that the Federation factored much into the plans to overthrow the government. It sounds like a coordinated effort to place the military under control.” She gave a quiet sign as she played with the hem of her uniform jacket. “And I wouldn’t be so quick to worry about filing a report. Your new Intelligence officer seems to be taking on that responsibility.”


“How’s she getting along with Ruby Tuesday?”


“Well, I haven’t heard anything about either of them winding up in Sickbay, and Patricia hasn’t come to me complaining yet.” The counselor smirked. “Did I see Commander Liski bring two mugs of coffee to your morning briefing?”


“Yes, and she was none too pleased when I told her it really wasn’t necessary.  I think it was someone’s idea of hazing. She does thorough work though.  If they can get along I don’t envy anyone trying to pull a fast one.”

Millie laughed softly. “It means they’ve had a conversation and not killed each other. Good. I feel like they could both use a friend who they can trust. They might actually be good for each other.”


He nodded softly.  “I think I might do with a rest, if you don’t mind.”

Millie returned the nod, standing. “Computer, dim lights by seventy-five percent.” As the lights dimmed, she reached out to put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m glad you’re still here, Henry.”


“That makes two of us.”