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EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation


[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

After the meeting with Lt. Commander Hathev, formerly of the USS Bellerophon Natalie made her way down to the one spot on the ship that had been in her mind since her meeting with Captain Ives, hours before. She'd stepped out on the terrace, in the middle level of the Theurgy's Arboretum While she had not stayed there long, she made a personal survey of the state of the terrace, as well as the gardens below. It was...not as bad as she'd feared.

The holodecks a few levels below had been nearly hulled out by a shot in one of the previous battles, and she had worried that some structural damage might have impacted the Arboretum. But for all the blows the Theurgy had held, the conservatory itself was relatively intact. She could, of course, see some crew down there, doing clean up. Forensic staff, a medic making final notes, and some of her own Ops staff, working away.

Sighing, she turned back to the long wall and gave a nod. She could picture the plaques that would decorate it, in the future. She already had reports on measurements from some of her staff but she'd needed to come down and see this herself. Her fingers traced the walls, and she gave an approving nod. Yes. This will do nicely. There was no doubt in her mind now.

Thus reassured, she exited the terrace and went up a level, pulling out her apparently ever present PADD. It had been bad enough when she was just Chief of Operations, but now holding down the fort as First Officer, Natalie had spent almost the entire day living out of this PADD. She flicked through a report, scanning it swiftly and using her thumbprint to approve the request.  The list goes on and on, she thought, as she swiped aside the notice reminding her to eat today.

1900 hours was a good time for dinner. Especially considering she'd be trying to get some sleep two hours from now. A nap, more than a full night by any stretch. They would be making orbit around 0230 (assuming the ship held together until then, though Natalie was reasonably sure of this) and she intended to be on the bridge when they arrived.  But she had plenty to do still, so as was often the case, this was going to be a working meal.

Stepping off the lift, Natalie paused and addressed Thea, for what felt like the umpteenth time that evening, after checking a name on her list, forwarded by Captain Ives. "Thea. Can you please be a dear and let me know where Dr. Elro Kobol  is? Formerly of the USS Endeavour?"

=/\=Of course, Lieutenant Commander. Dr. Kobol  is currently in main sickbay. He has been there for quite some time, in fact.=/\= the voice of the ships AI informed her. It had been good to see Thea again, when she'd briefly gone over a few security measures for monitoring their 'guests' as they were released from the cargo bays.=/\="He does not appear to be in the middle of a critical surgery=/\=Thea added, helpfully. Now Natalie smiled at the voice, and thanked the ships AI.

Rolling her shoulders back, she strolled into the Cafe that overlooked the Arboretum below. Vines still crawled over the top of the far glass wall and made their ways down to the floor, and floral arrangements dotted every table, and hung from the ceiling up high. She moved to grab a table near the window, to better enjoy the view. Letting her left hand grip the top of her chair, she rapped her combadge with the right.

"Stark to Doctor Kobol ," she said calmly, waiting for a connection to go through. Once she had his attention, she said, "Doctor, its time to take a break and get some food. You're no good to your patients if you drop, and I've been assured that you can in fact be spared. Report to the Arboretum Cafe. Its on Deck 20." she added helpfully, well aware that Kobol  was not native to this ship and might need a bit of direction.

Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Elro took a soft breath as he glanced around the somewhat disorganised Sickbay, content in the knowledge that the worst of it definitely seemed to be over… And although most of the available walls were occupied with patients who were resting on gurneys on the floor, it was still something Elro could have considered to be a success. He dared to prop himself against one of the few unobstructed walls for a moment whilst he slowly focussed on the PADD he had in his hand, his free appendage moving up to cup his brow in a most diligently exhausted manner.

The majority of the patients from the Bellerophon had been retired back to their respective pens, aside from a token few who had more serious injuries, and would be staying overnight, at least. Most of the injuries from ‘The Battle of the Apertures’ as he had heard a few members of the crew dub their most recent conflict, had also been tended to and discharged. Most, totally, with their injuries healed or at least reduced to the trivial, whilst others had been discharged back to their quarters for rest; the sheer volume of cortical monitors he had sent out for the day was extortionate, but they were taking up beds that they didn’t strictly need, and sickbay was already pressed for space.

Of course, the crew members who had undergone partial assimilation were still being tended to in intensive care, but he imagined if any of them were beyond saving, he’d have known about it by then. He could only assume that they were doing well, or at least, were not at any imminent risk of undergoing total assimilation. In truth, he’d not had much of a dealing with the assimilated crewmen, he’d spent most of his time dealing with the minor and major injuries, alongside the work with the returned from the Versant.

And they were the last cluster of crewmen who had been on his plate. Some hadn’t shown up at all, others were still under stringent observation. An unfortunate few, like R’Rori, had required stasis protocol in order to protect their higher brain function, but he was positive that they would be able to make a full recovery, in time. He sighed lightly at that thought. ‘Optimism is just a doorway for disappointment.’ His Mother had drummed that into his head as a child, and he couldn’t help find it to be somewhat true.

Yet, the day that had seemed so hopeless a few hours ago, was finally starting to smooth itself out. It was truly a measure of the control over the situation that the medical team now possessed, that Elro had found the time to carry out a consultation that was somewhat more routine… Perhaps routine was not the correct word… But a consultation regardless, and about something less violent than plasma burns and crushed limbs.

Less violent, but still terrible.

A subtle beep that indicated a comms signal caught his attention, Elro lowering the PADD in his hands and glancing up into space, as though he were talking to a person in front of him as opposed to someone elsewhere on the ship. He was expecting it to be Rez, perhaps regarding having a meeting of the medical team, or perhaps Ducote to check in on the Endeavour crew who were still occupying beds. It wasn’t.

[Stark to Doctor Kobol ] A calm voice echoed through the system at him. It was a woman, but not a name or voice he was immediately familiar with.

“Kobol  here…” He courteously replied, straightening himself up as if he were about to be called up for leaning on a biobed.

[Doctor, it’s time to take a break and get some food. You're no good to your patients if you drop, and I've been assured that you can in fact be spared. Report to the Arboretum Cafe. It’s on Deck 20.] The voice continued, helpfully providing him the deck that the Cafe was located on. Without that, he’d have never found it.

“Of course…” Elro left a slightly awkward pause, not knowing her rank and therefore unsure of how to address her. “I’ll be there presently. Kobol  out.”

He tapped off his combadge and double checked the PADD in his hands, just making sure that there were no urgent cases that he had missed. He hadn’t missed anything, and the next thirty minutes of tasks he had mentally lined up could be handled by nurses.

“Nurse Jones…” He softly called, catching the attention of the dark-skinned nurse who was walking past him carrying a tray of instruments at that moment. “I’ve been instructed to go and grab some food in the Arboretum Cafe…” He told her, realising how ridiculous it sounded as he voiced it aloud, considering the manic situation they had dealt with over the course of the day. He paused awkwardly for a moment as she looked at him with a slightly amused twinge upon her brow. “If you could kindly keep my patients monitored whilst I am away, please contact me if there are any unusual changes.”

“Of course Doctor.” She replied with a wide smile, evidently also sharing the Betazoid’s relief that somehow they had managed to stumble through the day. Considering all that had happened, perhaps he should have considered himself lucky that he wasn’t dead or a drone… “What’re you fancying?” She added, glancing up at him from her crouched position, as she began returning the various bits of equipment to their respective drawers.

What did he fancy? Elro had hardly even thought about food throughout the day; he’d been feeling ridiculously nauseous throughout the morning… Then during the battle he barely had time to think, let alone contemplate a meal. And in the aftermath, he had spent the last few hours so busy that again, food was the last thought on his mind. Even when things had quietened down and some of the nurses nipped out, he’d had the consultation with Lieutenant Martin and then gone on to check the rest of the patients he was responsible for, including a personal look in on each member of the Endeavour crew.

But now that he’d thought about it… Yes, he was ravenous.

“I don’t know what I fancy, but whatever it is, I expect it’ll test the limits of the replicator…” He returned with a light smile, a rare one, but definitely a hard earned one.

“I don’t blame you, I had a full meal just an hour ago and I’m still contemplating breaking contamination protocol with that replicator and helping myself to an enormous piece of cake.” She replied, her smile only growing larger as she did so, gesturing to one of the medical replicators set into the wall. “You go, enjoy your food, we’ll be fine.” She finished with a final grin, before moving back to her task and letting Elro move past her and out into the main sickbay.

It took Elro slightly longer than he cared to admit to find the turbolift, but before too long he was descending down to Deck 20, contemplating exactly what sort of meal he wanted to devour… To help pass the time, he quickly brought up his PADD and searched for ‘Stark’ on the Theurgy system. It presented him with a profile, Lieutenant Commander Natalie Stark, and a picture of a dark haired woman with pale skin and dark hair. She was the Chief of operations and been aboard the ship long before Elro has arrived… He was a little puzzled as to why he’d been invited to eat with her, but he didn’t think too much of it as he stepped off of the turbolift and onto the correct deck. Navigating Deck 20 was also something of a chore, though Elro wagered that it was partially down to the way in which his stomach felt like it was trying to claw its way out of his chest…

When he arrived at the cafe, a few minutes later, he was pleasantly surprised by the aesthetic. Trailing vines were clambering over a glass wall that spanned the length of the cafe, trees poking out in the background on the other side, with flowers decorating each table and a very light ambient audio that made him feel especially relaxed. Despite his admiration for the beautiful scene that he had walked into however, Elro was truthfully more concerned about heading to the replicator embedded in the side wall.

“One gourmet British beef burger, with tomato, lettuce, gherkins and aioli, with a sparkling lemonade on the side.” Elro reeled off his order in a single breath, already regretting not also requesting chips with his meal, but knowing that a sizable burger was enough of a blow to his health without needing deep-fried potato to accompany it. The machine whirred into life and promptly presented his food eloquently on a dark-grey slate, with a small bundle of rocket for garnish, with his drink in a fanciful looking glass with a wedge of lemon on the side.

He gripped the meal and drink in his dexterous hands, and made a move out towards the tables, catching the sight of a dark haired woman sat alone, and moving in her direction. He suddenly felt that given it being his first meeting with a senior officer, he perhaps should have opted for a meal that would have served as slightly more elegant to eat… Pan seared sea bream on a bed of salad, or something that might strike her as being more befitting a medical officer…

But when his eye looked down to the burger upon the slate in his hand, he had no regrets.

“Doctor Kobol , reporting for duty…” Elro breathed with a polite smile, patiently awaiting an invitation to sit by his senior.
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Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #2
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

She could hear the confusion in the doctors voice, and it brought a small smile to Natalie's face. He was going to be in for a surprise, provided she didn't see anything about him in person that put her on edge. She'd called up his service record and left the PADD on the table to mark her spot, and as she listened to the rest of the man's response, she moved over to join the queue for the replicator.

"Excellent. I'll see you shortly, doctor," she replied as the channel closed. She could have stayed at her seat and placed an order there, summoning holographic staff. But the ship had been through the ringer, as the old saying went, and she didn't want to put any extra drain on their power systems. To that point, she stepped out of the lines and went over to the main control panel for the cafe. Typing in an access code, she went ahead and put the holographic staff on a 12 hour shut down cycle. Any staff currently deployed - and there was at least one - would finish their task, apologize to their 'customer' and then deactivate themselves, once they were no longer holding anything important.

Rejoining the line, Natalie could hear someone grumbling further away in the cafe as their waiter excused themselves to vanish into thin air, bur really, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of one tired officer who didn't want to walk to a replicator. Shuffling forward, her turn came swiftly enough. Natalie settled on a favorite dish of hers - Fettuccine Alfredo, tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, and baby shrimp. To accompany this she settled for a glass of ice water, in lieu of something more exotic.

This was a heavy meal, Natalie knew, and one that could be quite messy, but she was practiced at eating the dish, and she had skipped lunch. As such she needed the calories. And it had been a long day and you want comfort food, because you're still struggling to cope with the losses. Don't kid yourself, Nat. Just dig in now so that its mostly gone when the Doctor arrives. Even her inner voice was getting snippy with her now.

She blamed it on Nator 159, and dismissed herself from the mental conversation.

Sitting down again, Natalie tucked a long napkin in place, and sipped her ice water. She longed for something harder, a synthohol, or perhaps even the real thing, but knew that, after meeting with Dr. Kobol , she still had to round up another member of the Endeavour's crew and broach the subject of their stepping into a senior position, before she could crawl into bed for a few hours of what would likely prove to be a fitful sleep. Water then, would have to suffice.

She had thankfully just wiped her lips after having taken in a particularly large bite that had ended up being rather messy, when she felt someone approaching. Turning in her chair, Natalie looked up - and up - at the officer as he approached. She had been flipping through his file as she'd been eating, but reading that someone as 6'3", and seeing someone that tall in person, were two very different things indeed.

"Excellent. I'm glad to see your not like some of the other doctors I know that refuse to listen to orders issued for their own good. Please, sit down," she said, gesturing to the seat across from her. Given all the meeting's she had today, she was getting in a good practice of being 'sociable.' Or at least, that was what she kept telling herself. A lot of this felt like she was faking it, but there was a saying about faking it until you were making it, or something along those lines. In this at least, Natalie was embracing the mantra. "As I'm sure you've gathered - since you found the right person - I'm Lt. Commander Stark. Or Natalie, when things are informal. I'm the ships Chief of Operations, and at least for the time being, I'm what we've got on hand for a First Officer. It's in that latter role that I've asked you to come here.

"I'll admit that I've lured you here under false pretenses. It's not just about making sure my ships medical staff eats, let alone the 'guests' from other vessels currently stuck with us, seeing fit to pitch in and help."
her tone turned serious as she said, "Thank you for that, Dr. Kobol . On behalf of everyone, we do appreciate your help with the wounded. I know it's not been an easy time for any of us, and you're having to deal with a lot of loss, and a lot of revelations. I don't mean to ignore that, by any means."

Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Elro felt the woman sat at the table look up at him as though she were staring up at a goliath, only making him feel the smallest bit uncomfortable as he remember that people didn’t often expect a man of his stature from just hearing his voice over the Comm, and reading his file as being a Betazoid medical officer. Evidently, the picture that that profile painted in one’s head, wasn’t accurate to the reality.

But regardless, she presented herself professionally, making an assumed joke about how she was glad that he wasn’t one of those Doctors who refused to listen to orders concerning their own welfare, before she invited him to sit. Elro could have relatively happily sat and debated the prior joke with her throughout the course of his meal, but somehow, he imagined that wasn’t the particular topic that she had had in mind when she had summoned him.

He did as requested, lowering himself down onto the seat and setting the slate down upon the table with hardly a sound, the aromas of his burger truly hitting his nose as he fought defiantly against his stomach not to yowl in protest of his politeness to not shovel a mouthful of what would probably prove to be a messy burger down his throat whilst his senior officer was talking to him.

She politely introduced herself, mentioning that she was indeed the Chief of Operations, but had called him to the meeting within the capacity of the role of First Officer, which she was provisionally filling the proverbial boots of. He had heard rumours about the sacrifice of  Commander Cinn, the physical confirmation of such left a blossom of sorrow in his chest. The Bajoran had seemed like a pleasant man when they had briefly met that morning… Yet his sorrow gave way to a feeling of notable concern that Elro couldn’t help but feeling, when he wondered if the meeting might have something to do with his defensive antics on the Deck 7 Battle Sickbay…

He tried to remind himself that his last encounter with an authority figure was simply the need for his assistance at gaining a truthful version of events regarding Commander Trent. However, he also reminded himself of his Mother’s pessimistic viewpoint that optimism was rarely of much benefit… The Betazoid mentally began to prepare a gruelling explanation to justify causing an explosion within the confines of Sickbay...

Yet, whilst she admitted her reason for calling him down was not solely for the benefit of his stomach, which Elro was almost certain had developed some sort of empathic bond with his meal, she made no mention of any misdemeanour on his part.

Instead, she thanked him.

“I know it's not been an easy time for any of us, and you're having to deal with a lot of loss, and a lot of revelations.” Her tone was stiff, formal, serious. Elro found it difficult to hear. He’d invested so much of himself into suppressing thoughts of that same loss that she called up from him. The Klingons, the Borg, that tumour that had telepathically called for his death, the general mess of Sickbay… It distracted him from having to think about everything that he had been through over those past few days. It made it easier to endure… “I don't mean to ignore that, by any means."

“I appreciate that, Commander.” Elro quietly replied, moving his hand out to sip at his lemonade. “I’ll admit that these past few days have been full of wounds and revelations, and few of them pleasant…” He sighed softly to himself, as he glanced across the table at the woman before him. “But let us not pretend that I am the only one at this table who has suffered loss of late.” He quietly told her, with a sympathetic tone of voice.

Elro took another sip of his drink. The Endeavour was gone, destroyed. Most of her crew were either dead, lost or assimilated. From what he had learned about theCaguya, that ship hadn’t fared all that much better. Then he’d heard enough about the unenviable voyage of the Resolve to know that that particular ship had gone through so much more than should be expected of a Starfleet Officer. And then, there was those who had been aboard the Versant and been subject to untold horrors aboard that ship…

“It seems that the Theurgy is something of a beacon for the damned.” He mused aloud, trying not to sound too sinister as he said so. “I can’t imagine that there is anyone on this ship, be they from the Theurgy, Endeavour, Caguya, Resolve, Bellerophon, or wherever else you’ve collected us strays from, who could say that they haven’t lost more than they ever thought they would, over the past few days alone.” Elro tilted his head to stare out of the window.

“But despite all of that, our combined efforts have somehow accomplished something that I never figured possible, and according to general rumour and chitchat, we just saved the Alpha quadrant from certain destruction.” He tilted his glass lightly, deep in thought as he gently let the liquid swish, listening to the charming sound of ice chinking against the glass. “Despite of all the loss that we have endured, I got to see Commander Ducote reunite with his fiancé, in spite of the unimpeachable odds stacked against them.” Elro let the smallest of smiles curl up on his lips. “Despite spending the majority of the past eight hours struggling to breathe above the droves of injured, I can still sit here, look out through this glass, and appreciate that view. I can order a burger from the replicator and have minimal shame about wanting to see how much I can fit in my mouth with a single bite…” He smiled perhaps a little stronger, still faint by the account of an onlooker, but for Elro, it was just about as close to a grin as he got.

“I apologise, I don’t mean to ramble.” He moved up his hand to lightly brush at the hair flopped against the side of his face. “Perhaps it’s just my professional objectivity, or maybe the result of my psionic abilities… But loss is inevitable for us all. And perhaps now, more than ever, what with parasites and being aboard a ship mercilessly hunted by people we once called colleagues and friends, it’s important that we don’t forget to appreciate all the little things that so many others no longer can.”

Elro wasn’t sure whether his little monologue was anything beyond melancholy, but it made him realise how much he had needed to say something. On the Niger, he had been the senior officer, responsible for not just the health of the crew, but their mental wellbeing and moral. Once he had arrived on the Theurgy he had been dragged from pillar to post with various revelations and conflicts that had scarcely given him time to think. Now that he was sat, in a calming setting, in the aftermath of everything… Speaking seemed the most natural thing to do.

“And on that note…” Elro began, lifting his glass gracefully. “To the fallen; may we dedicate ourselves to their sacrifice.”
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Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #4
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Whatever fears that Dr. Kobol  may have harbored in regards to his actions in the Battle Sickbay were unfounded. In truth, Natalie did not have the full details of that event and no one had seen fit to point out that the man had been involved in an explosion. As such he was getting off the hook for that particular event.

No, the end goal Natalie had in mind was not reprimand, but a job offer.  She set her fork down again, resting on the lip of the bowl as he in turned acknowledge a sense of mutual loss. He spoke of the ships that they'd gathered crew from, noting how they'd all lost so much, especially over the past few days. "Dauntless and Harbinger,"Natalie found herself whispering, followed by, "A few strays off of Starbase 84 as well. Oh, and an El-Aurian from the KDF," Yes, this was a motley crew indeed.

She didn't say this to belittle the mans comments, but to illustrate that he was right - they'd collected quite a few disparate personalities and crews under their banner. And if things went the way she wanted, he'd be responsible for all of them, and a key piece in integrating these crews under Captain Ives command. Natalie regretted that this integration would result in so few original members of the Theurgy's crew in senior positions. But then, they'd lost so many qualified to hold that post.

"You're not rambling, Doctor. I promise," Natalie reassured the man as he apologized, and explained his logic. "And you're quite right. The little things we can appreciate we should. Not everyone can anymore." Not Sten, not Simon. Too many names are going to be on that wall. She decided she'd tell the Doctor about that. Feedback could be good.

But he was purposing a toast, and it made her throat tighten. Carefully, she lifted her own glass, adding, "May they never be forgotten." Then she took a long pull on her glass of water, letting the cold liquid pour down her throat. She set the glass down on the table and then ran her finger around the rim of it, smearing a few drops of liquid. "To that note....

"There is a level below us, an observation deck. It overlooks the gardens below,"
she picked up her fork as she spoke and gestured out the window. "This hasn't been announced to the crew yet so I would appreciate if you kept it to yourself, but we're going to be putting up a memorial to the fallen there. They deserve recognition, and the crew, or crews, if you like, deserve a place to come, to mourn, and reflect."

The young woman tapped her fork a bit against her bowl and then seemed to gather herself back up. She sat back, a little straighter in her chair, and crossed one leg over the other at the knee. Her chest rose, as she inhaled to center her thoughts and her body, bringing them in sync with one another.

"I don't mean to keep you from your meal, by the way Doctor. If it makes a mess I promise I won't be offended," she began. Natalie was no telepath, but she was a woman whom for a long part of her life harbored a myriad of insecurities. And if she were in his shoes, her first impulse would be to attempt to not embarrass herself by dribbling beef juice down her chin. She smiled and gestured to her own meal. "Alfredo sauce isn't exactly a safe choice for a talking dinner either. But it is comfort food and after the last few days, we both need some of that." She decided she'd let the poor man get a few bites at least, before she sprung the news on him.

Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

“A memorial in view of a garden.” Elro pictured it. There was one similar on Betazed, far, far bigger than anything that would fit onto the Theurgy, for all those civilians who died during the Cardassian occupation. It too, was set surrounded by nature, trees casting branches of shade, beautiful flowers providing oceans of colour stretching out across the landscape… The most anyone could hope for, for a resting place. “It sounds beautiful.”

Elro then felt his mind drift to all those who didn’t get a resting place following the recent events… How many had been lost from the Endeavour? How many from all of those other ships whom had been collected by the Theurgy? Perhaps it wasn’t his point to make, but he made a mental note to bring it up to Commander Ducote at some point. The Endeavour didn’t exist any longer; but it still needed a memorial.

She then invited him to eat, which, despite all of his melancholy thoughts, had not dissuade him from his appetite. Elro thanked the woman, before glancing down at his meal with ravenous eyes. He was somewhat unaccustomed to eating in front of people, other than perhaps a few of his closer comrades with whom he'd shared irregular meals. Back on the Endeavour he had taken almost all of his meals either in his office, or in his quarters. Eating in front of a stranger was hardly within his comfort zone.

Still, regardless, he put a hand on either side of his burger and raised it too his lips with no complaint, taking a large bite. His teeth sank through the soft warmth of the bread, before the exquisite flavour of the meat and crispness of the lettuce offered him a myriad of new sensations upon his tongue. He hardly even noticed to somewhat audible sound of satisfaction that came out from him as he concluded the bite, returning the burger to the slate and moving a napkin up to his face to quickly catch any stray running of food or sauce.

The beef was rich and meaty, complemented perfectly by the acidity of the gherkins and the sweetness of the tomato. The lettuce wasn’t so much there for its fresh flavour, but more for the added crunch that it granted his palette with each chew, whilst the aioli combined everything with a delicious dash of garlic that almost made a tear blossom to his eye. He had no doubts in his mind, that the meal had been worth the wait.

“Apologies…” He felt the need to say once he had swallowed and taken a quick sip of his drink to wash away the blocking feeling that taking such a big bite had afforded him. “You are certainly correct about the comfort food. Though I apologise for making myself appear such a glutton.” He said it lightheartedly; whilst he felt somewhat gluttonous for a mouthful that would have made a Klingon blush, it wasn’t as though he’d ordered anything so extortionate that he’d have appeared much more than just an exceptionally hungry man.

Elro went down for another bite, finding it much easier to land than the first. He always found the first bite of a burger to be a tricky one. Once the first bite had been taken, there were marked areas to progress onward from, but that first bite was always the messiest. Of course, that wasn’t taking into account the inevitability of the burger slipping as he ate it, resulting in the final few mouthfuls being little more than a sauce/salad/meat/bread mess that saturated his fingers and stained his lab coat…
But, he didn’t want to worry about that until he came to it.

“I must say…” Elro began to wish to liven the conversation, after he had palmed his mouth with a napkin to rid himself of any lingering sauce. “The facilities of your Sickbay are outstanding. I’ve not seen this level of high standard equipment on a Starship before. Usually this sort of technical excellency is reserved for Starbases; I’ve already had to broaden my spectrum for potential treatments exponentially…” The Doctor stopped himself, before he got a little too excited.

“I mean to say, thank you,for the opportunity. Whilst I know many of the people you’ve taken aboard may still harbour some suspicion for you… And I must admit, my experience with your Ship’s initial deception and within your Brig with the Câroon gentleman did leave me a little concerned as to whether the rumours about you were true…” Elro slowed down, revisiting all those events which took place only a couple of dozen hours ago. “But your medical team and the majority of your crew, have treated me with only the utmost respect and trust."

“Whilst neither party made perfect choices when we first encountered.” Elro revisited the thought of Ducote threatening to self-destruct the Niger inside the shuttle bay, before glancing out down into the garden to watch what seemed to be normal in comparison to what was running through his mind. “I saw the damage wracked upon your crewman whom you claimed to be host to some sort of extra-dimensional parasite first hand. And whilst at first, I dismissed it as fallacy… ” Elro paused yet again, very aware of how delicate the subject was. “One of my teachers at school, a Vulcan woman, she had a quote from Sherlock Holmes that she displayed on the wall of the classroom.” He recalled those words so easily, having seen them for so many days in his childhood.

‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’” He quoted, still keeping his gaze out of the window and onto the gardens below. “His capacity to survive through those wounds… I’m hardly familiar with Câroon physiology, but I see no feasible means of having someone survive through such devastating bodily trauma without an outside force.” He stopped, glancing back at the table and sighing.

“I fear my meaning has gotten away from me again.” He chuckled lightly. “I mean to say, thank you for the trust you’ve spared us. For the burden this crew and ship carry, you had no reason not to leave us drifting in that nebula.” He paused, sipping at his drink once more, considering the need to request a second from the replicator. "I hope that in time, I can repay that trust you so riskily afforded some strangers you found wandering through space."
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Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #6
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Allowing herself a small laugh, Natalie waved off the doctor's apologies. "As I said, I promise its nothing to worry about at all, Doctor Kobol ," she reassured him as she spun her fork around her bowl, twirling up another mouthful of noodles and taking advantage of the doctors eating to resume her own meal. She was pleased that it still retained most of its warmth. That could be a problem sometimes, the food cooling to a point that the temperature affected the texture of the sauce.  Thankfully, that hadn't happened yet, and she made her own soft sound, in the back of her throat, as she swallowed, quite enjoying the cheesy flavor of the Alfredo dish, and the sweet bite that the sun dried tomatoes added to the mixture.

Yes, comfort food is the perfect description, she decided, as the two officers allowed themselves the luxury of such indulgence, even though they were in the presence of practical strangers. The old adage about never knowing when ones next meal might be was quite an appropriate concern on the Theurgy.

Looking back up, Natalie allowed herself to work on another bite, sucking the fork clean in the process, as the tall Doctor began to compliment her on the facilities of the Theurgy's medical bays. Her lips quirked up into a smile as she listened, and swallowed, pausing herself to pat away a bit of sauce that lingered on the corner of her mouth. He was an easy man to talk to, she privately decided, wondering if it was the accent that made this the case, or just a manifestation of his bedside manner. Or his innate telepathy and empathic talents. He is a Betazoid, after all, she reminded herself, mostly untroubled by this. He wasn't the first telepath she'd served with, and he seemed perfectly sane, unlike one particularly twisted Vulcan.

She compartmentalized fast, on that one, again using that somewhat newly developed skill. She did not need a trip down trauma lane in the middle of a casual conversation and stealth interview with the ships perspective new CMO. Unfortunately Trauma Lane seemed to be wide open and dead ahead, no matter what Natalie might wish. But instead of T'Rena she had to deal with memories of Lucan Nicander. A man whom had been a friend, a refuge, a one time lover, a healer, and a manipulative, parasite ridden traitor whom had used her. That she could remember what his touch felt like, and what it did to her really only made things worse.

"I'll grant that seeing Nicander in that state would certainly be something of an eye opening experience. There is much that medical technology can manage but from what I read, he very much should have been dead, save for the viper in his gut." Nat hoped she kept the vitriol out of her voice, and the hurt away from her face, but she honestly had no idea what she had managed. Pausing to sip from her drink, to give her a moment to collect herself, she added, "For all his sins, I appreciate that he is...convincing evidence of the conspiracy that is ripping through Starfleet Command, and the rest of the powers in near space."

Still, she managed a small smile for the man, as he gave her heartfelt thanks. "We're not perfect. Far, far from it. and while we have...struggled with remembering this in the past, we are still Starfleet officers, and I am pleased that Wenn Cinn remembered that, when he reached out and answered your distress call. Just as when we moved to help the Cayuga on my vector, hearts were in the right place. Please...if we didn't help we'd be...inhumane, for want of a better word." She swept her hair aside a bit, tucking some stands behind an ear and looking down. She was remembering how she'd almost botched the rescue of the Cayuga, and how it had all turned out.

"You'll find that, on the whole, we just want to be believed, Doctor. We don't hate everyone that is after use because they are misinformed. We still want to do the right thing." She smiled again, a sad smile, in some aspects, but an earnest one. And she used the pause there, and his last words, to shift gears slightly and refocus the conversation on the very last bit of what he said. The smile took on a slightly sly aspect.

"You know doctor, you can always express your appreciation for Thea's facilities to Thea herself," Natalie pointed out. She wagged her eyebrows in a conspiratorial fashion, leaning forward a bit. "I have it on good authority that she appreciates well meaning compliments. Especially from professionals with the capacity to truly appreciate what she brings to the table." This was a playful way to remind the Doctor that this ship was unique in ways far beyond just a starbase level medical bay. Thea was her own person, in addition to being a ship. She watched his reaction and laughed a bit sitting back in her chair.

"I'm only teasing a little bit, Doctor. Thea, the ship's AI, really would appreciate your high praise for the medical bays. But that said," her tone lost the playfulness that had been there, turning serious. The smile was still in place, and it was still friendly. But her shoulders were set now, and she was sitting up straighter in her chair, having rolled her shoulders back against the frame. Business mode, as befitting what would come next. "As much as you appreciate that we offered up trust without reservation, we do appreciate that you have pitched in during the battles and the aftermath that we've had to deal with, treating patients without reservation or hesitation. I've had a chance to review your service record, on recommendation from Captain Ives, with some input from Commander Ducote, as well as Dr. Duv and some of the other medical staff. Their observations of you speak as highly of you, as you have, of our facilities."

She gave him a moment to process all that, and then nodded in response, before getting to the point. "The fact of the matter is, Doctor Kobol , that the Theurgy's mission is of utmost importance, and we find ourselves in need of a qualified doctor that has shown their abilities and commitments to their practice, to fill the position of Chief Medical Officer."

Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #7
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Commander Stark’s response to his comments were honest, and somewhat insightful; Elro could tell that the topic of Doctor Nicander was a bitter one for her. The woman possessed a somewhat veiled stance of animosity for the previous CMO, one that she evidently made efforts to conceal, but not enough that Elro would require the use of his telepathy to notice. It showed upon her face and presented itself in her choice of words and inflection in her tone… Whatever relationship the pair had shared, perhaps just as colleagues, perhaps as more, his revelation had damaged her somewhere inside.

But, she was professional enough to compartmentalise her emotion and identify his status as one which provided useful evidence. After all, had Elro not been witness to that event, he didn’t imagine that he would have been particularly keen to believe the Theurgy crew’s stories about undetectable parasites taking over Starfleet command… In that regard, his status served a function. Yet as she had duly mentioned, he was still a viper in the nest.

But, in all, Elro found the woman comfortable to talk to. She presented herself as kind, dignified, and honest, mostly. Her agenda for calling Elro for a meeting was still clouded, but he didn’t hold that against her. In fact, the words she chose seemed closer to the true meaning of Starfleet than anything that Elro had heard from them in relation to the hunt for the USS Theurgy. In hindsight, perhaps he was wrong to have believed those commands without such suspicion.

The Commander then made a note of reminding Elro just how unique the ship actually was. The Human capacity to anthropomorphise their vessels and technology was always somewhat unusual to Elro. His parents used to tell jokes about colleagues of theirs who would address their equipment as though it were alive and had feelings, it was always of great amusement to them. Over time, he’d grown more accustomed to it, having served on Starships, but he always somehow allowed himself to forget about the strange trait… Perhaps, given that he was a Betazoid, his ability to sense emotions and thoughts would always put a barrier on his ability to understand machines. Even intelligent machines still caused that barrier to rise…

After all, there were no real thoughts or emotions going on behind any artificial being, and whilst Elro did his best to remain polite and conscious that they had the capacity for offence, he was also very aware that what others referred to as thoughts, were in fact subroutines. Still, Commander Stark’s insistence made Elro consider the idea of thanking the AI directly… But consider was the best he could do.

It was when she straightened up, her smile lingering, but her shoulders straightening and the empathic resonance from her shifting to something somewhat more serious. Appreciation for his role, acknowledgement of his lack of hesitation to assist in Sickbay without reservation or hesitation… As he would have always done, considering his oath as a Doctor… But then she continued to mention a review of his service record, which he expected they had done to all of them upon coming aboard. However, his surprise was her comment that the Captain had recommended she do so, with some advisement from Commander Ducote, and that the Medical Staff had further backed the evidence…

Apparently, they all spoke highly of him.

"The fact of the matter is, Doctor Kobol , that the Theurgy's mission is of utmost importance, and we find ourselves in need of a qualified doctor that has shown their abilities and commitments to their practice, to fill the position of Chief Medical Officer."

“Agreed.” Elro replied curtly, entirely unsure as to whether the Commander was preparing him for the promotion to fill such role, or whether the intention was bracing him to deliver the promotional equivalent of a ‘Dear John’ letter. “But the Chief Medical Officer has one very important fail-safe that stands outside their medical practice." Elro grimly added. "Whoever you choose for this role, you bestow upon them the power to dismiss anyone, even the Captain, from their duties, if the situation ever grew so dire." His tone changed to something far more distasteful. "Or someone decided to forsake every oath they ever took, and falsify enough evidence to do the same."

Elro looked across at the Commander, his expression somewhat neutral, save for a hint of concern in his eye. Elro knew that he was no parasitic host, his every move being manipulated by another force. Yet, nobody could know that of him. Nor could he know such of anyone else...

“Apparently, Doctor Nicander did not gain the opportunity or possess the insight to explore the depravity of that option, which it seems we should be thankful for." Elro Brought his hand to the side of his head, nervously rubbing the side of his temple “Yet his betrayal demonstrates, now more devastatingly than ever, that trust can only take us so far.”
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Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #8
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Dr. Kobol 's initial answer was rather guarded, Natalie saw. She wasn't sure if the tall man with the strikingly British accent and the Betazoid heritage was simply playing things close to the vest (or lab coat in this case), or if he did not actually realize that he was being offered the position of Chief Medical Officer on the USS Theurgy. Given that he had been onboard the ship for days, at best, the young (Acting) Executive First Officer could understand why he might not think himself Eligible for the role. But there were a few extenuating circumstances, as he himself had noted.

Aren't their always extenuating circumstances, Natalie? Especially on this ship? She asked herself the question, and even in the voice in her head sounded wryly amused - and tired. Very tired. Miles to go before I sleep, she quoted to herself and gave the doctor a long, appraising look as he finished making his point.

Taking a small breath, Natalie thought about Lucan Nicander, and the decisions the parasite ridden man had made. "Honestly, Dr. Nicander could have nipped this in the bud on multiple occasions. He was tortured by the Niga plants alongside this crew. I would have thought that having a parasite in him might have spared him that, but well...". She stopped, and shook off the crawling feeling of dread that welled up in her gut. Lucan Nicander had been right next to her when those plants had bound her legs to the ground, and made their way up her body, to steal from her something precious. And then she'd been forced to relive the horrors again, by the Ishtar entity just a short while later.

I really should see a shrink she grimly acknowledged as she once again buried those demons deep.

"It would have been easy enough to declare Captain Ives insane. I don't understand why Nicander did not take this route, as having the Theurgy in play cannot be good for the parasites agenda. Especially given the measures they have taken so far to silence us. " She didn't want to allow for the possibility that what Nicander claimed in his reports were true. She wanted to be allowed to hate the man that had used her.

"But you bring up a very good point. The Chief  Medical Officer no only sits outside the regular chain of command, but has that solemn duty to pass judgement and relieve officers unfit for their own duties." At this she thought of Carrigan Trent, a man that had been relieved by his acting XO in the middle of a battle. She felt pity for the former Commander. She had respected him, and in truth, was struggling with how to feel. She'd finally read all the reports. Captain Ives had taken the measures they deemed necessary, and now Natalie was shouldering Trent's former duties. "On any ship, that is a power that might be tempting to abuse. On the Theurgy? It is doubly so.

Which is what brings us to this conversation, actually,"
Natalie said, sighing softly. She paused to drink some water, soothing her parched throat before continuing. "You present us with an opportunity, Dr. Kobol . You are an outsider to this crew, yes, but your own actions so far, including in our little chat, speak highly of you. As do those who both know you, and those that have had the chance to interact with you. Normally, given Dr. Nicander's betrayal, despite his intentions, we would tap one of our own Doctors to step into his shoes. Generally, the Assistant Chief. Regretfully that was how I became Chief of Operations," Natalie shared this small bit of her past. She would still be the Assistant Chief of Ops, had Christian Hendricks not died. "It's not a promotion path that anyone really wants to follow, but it is a hazard of the service. Unfotunately, we don't have that option with Dr. Rez."

She paused again and leaned onto the table, her elbows resting on either side of her plate. A few strands of hair hung down, perilously close to the remnants of the Alfredo sauce. [color]"Up until a few days ago, Dr. Rez was simply Dr. Duv, an accomplished physician and former CMO from the Harbinger, competently filling the position of Assistant CMO under Dr. Nicander. However, a fanatic shot and killed Edena Rez, another Trill. She served many roles on this ship, including First officer and Intelligence officer. One of her past personas ...the shadow and memory of a previous host, if I understand things correctly, asserted itself at the wrong moment and sabotaged a message we sent from StarBase 84. The original message was meant to warn the entirety of the Federation of the infestation they suffered. The corrupted message ....made us out to be nothing more than bandits. While the truth was encoded in this message, by the former host, so that only 'special parties' would be told, the Galaxy at large simply saw a message that reaffirmed the lies that were already being pumped out about us.

"And now Amelia Duv houses the surviving Rez symbiote, in a Joining she was unprepared for."[/color] She allowed herself a small, sad smile. But her tone was quite serious as she continued. "As far as the crew will be concerned, my official reason for not offering the CMO position to Dr. Duv is because she had undergone an unplanned and possibly traumatic Joining, and while we continue to have confidence in her and her abilities, we feel it would be an undue burden to ask her to step into the role of Chief Medical Officer at this time, as she adjusts to such a monumental change in her life. And this is a true reason. But it is not the only reason."

The look on her face made it plain that Natalie did not like these kinds of machinations. That she detested having to make considerations such as the one that Captain Ives had asked of her. "The sad fact is that we have no idea if this former host could again assert itself on the newly joined Dr. Rez. From a simple security standpoint, we cannot leave that symbiotes host in a position of power where they would be able to relieve a command officer. The exact scenario you pointed out, Dr. Kobol ." A pause followed, to allow Elro to adjust and process the information given. "I'm quietly pleased you voiced the issue at and, because honestly? I had no idea how to broach it tactfully. This is a sticky situation and I feel nothing by sympathy for Dr. Rez. I hate that we have to consider what a former host might do, and the circumstances of the doctors joining, something that should be a very private affair between the Trill and her closest friends and family.  I trust your discretion in not discussing this facet of the conversation with anyone else, save Captain Ives," again she hesitated, then added, "Or commander Ducote. I do not wish to deprive you of trusted council."

Re: EPIL:S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #9
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Elro could only take a small comfort in the knowledge that for whatever, unknown, reasoning, Dr Nicander had failed to abuse the authority he had wielded as the former Chief Medical Officer aboard the Theurgy, despite having multiple chances and reasonings to do so. The Betazoid could offer few reasons as to why this hadn’t been explored as a revenue of attack, from the knowledge he had access to, and seemingly neither could Commander Stark. Perhaps the parasites wished to observe and study the Theurgy and its Captain through their Doctor’s eyes? Learn from the tactics of the ship and work to trump them…

It was the only explanation he could fathom. But he dearly wished that he would be proved wrong.

Commander Stark did however, agree that the role of Chief Medical Officer did move beyond the chain of command. They were in a similar mind that the USS Theurgy presented an especially tasty morsel, upon which that particular power to remove could easily be abused… Though, with a crew so tight knit and stalwart about their mission, Elro was partially unsure as to whether the exercising of that ability would hold much weight aboard the ship at all…

And then, she divulged into her reasoning for his summons…

Her praise was fair, but Elro still felt gratified that his efforts had been observed and notice. She commented on how his actions, as well as those who knew him, whom he could only assume would be Commander Ducote, spoke highly of him. She explained how in most cases, one of their own Doctors would be the one to step into the shoes of Dr Nicander.

But apparently, they did not have that option with Dr Rez, which explained a lot to the Betazoid… She was a recently joined Trill, whose symbiote’s previous host had served on the Theurgy. Apparently, one of those previous hosts had intercepted and sabotaged a message that they had sent from Starbase 84 to warn the Galaxy about the parasite threat, and twisted it into a something soiled from its original purpose.

Trill symbiotes confused Elro, but he knew enough about them to know that a joining that one wasn’t prepared for was rarely performed, due to the traumatic nature of the joining without a great deal of preparation for it… Commander Stark confirmed as such, the being their reason for not passing the mantle of CMO down to the Trill. One of their reasons.

The second made sense to Elro, from the Security standpoint that Commander Stark suggested; the apparent maverick of her previous personality could easily and unknowingly emerge again, and do something exactly as the Betazoid had suggested. Relieve a senior Officer. And even in smaller concerns, a rogue personality could fail to identify a serious risk to the health of the crew, it could mistreat a serious injury, decide to de-thaw all of the cryo-pods in Sickbay, give someone the wrong medication… The concerns were endless…

“I fully understand your concern Commander, whilst I know it can’t be easy to hold someone back from consideration, due to something such as this.” He paused, considering the most diplomatic way to deliver the statement. “But I believe you are right to do so. It is a position of the utmost trust, and even the slightest worry could turn into a serious concern further down the line. Even if not malicious in intention, a personality manifesting during a critical triage situation, for example, could mean the difference between an efficient response and delegation of resources, to critical loss of life.” Elro paused, not wanting to speak ill of a colleague whom had been kind and supportive to him, but also wishing to reassure the Commander that her hard choice had been warranted.

"And I if the intention was to be malicious, a Chief Medical Officer could unleash an untold amount of devastation aboard the ship. Disengage all of the occupied cryo-pods, activate biohazard containment protocols across the entire ship in the middle of combat, intentionally overdose a patient..." All of his thoughts were sickening to consider, and Elro was sure that the grimace upon his face indicated his opinions on the subjects too. "I'm perhaps more concerned that Dr Nicander did not do any of these things when aboard... It might be more worrying to consider that his stance aboard the Theurgy was simply to act as a looking glass for the parasites to investigate their prime threat...

Elro felt grim enough to know that he'd steered the conversation into the proverbial rocks, and made a concious endeavour to return to a more promising topic.

“In regards to this knowledge staying between us, I can assure you, that as both a telepath and a Doctor, I am well accustomed to keeping things quiet.” Elro returned with a reassuring smile. “But thank you for permitting my mentioning it to Commander Ducote. He’s…” Elro paused, quite unsure as to how to summarise the Commander outside of a dissertation. “He’s always been fiercely protective of his Officers, and he’ll no doubt have questions for me. I appreciate not having to find ways to conceal things from him, as a Betazoid, I am unaccustomed to mistruths.”

Elro produced a small little smile at the revelation, aware that mistruths and ‘white lies’ were remarkably common for Humans, something that Elro strove to avoid the best he could. He could keep things quiet and was even known for a little misdirection from time to time, but outwardly lying was very uncomfortable for him. peaking of concealment and misdirection, the Betazoid decided to knuckle down and confirm his suspicions to the subject of the conversation. The Commander had dropped hints, but nothing so solid as for him to base a conclusion on.

“I hope that I don’t come across as at all presumptuous in my conclusion, but my telepathy was somewhat stunted my ability to ‘read’ people’s intentions like other races do… You’ve certainly presented your case towards me, but since you’ve not outright said anything, I would hesitate to assume…” He bashfully looked down, feeling somewhat out of his element, despite asking far more intimate questions to patients of his each and every day… Though, that was in a situation where he had the answers and the solutions. He was currently in the possession of neither.

“But do you intend to offer me the position of Chief Medical Officer aboard this vessel?”
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #10
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Nodding her head, the brunette Ops Chief repressed the urge to sigh in frustration. Not at Elro Kobol , of course, but at the situation they found themselves in. She was far removed now, from the anxious, naive girl who'd joined the Theurgy before the mission to Romulus. The one that was happy to be the quiet, coordinating assistant, staying out of the spotlight and - thanks to the dominion war being over - not being suspicious of every figure she passed, thinking the best of them instead of the worse.

These last months had hardened Natalie, and robbed her of the seemingly child like younger version of herself. Betrayal, loss, desecration, violation, responsibility and command itself had changed her. Now she had to see those foul possibilities. Had to hold a potentially traumatic experience against an otherwise respected fellow officer. And the damning thing was, this was the right call to make.

This whole thing sucks. But you're the one that got a bug up your ass about command. This is part of that. Suck it up, Buttercup.

"Yes, that too is quite a concern, Doctor," Natalie agreed in passing, as her mind filled in all he blanks with increasingly disturbing mental images of all the ways that Lucan Nicander could have damaged the ship. "Nicanders methods were far more....subtle than outright mass murder. Not that I can fathom why." Very subtle, in that Jefferies tube.

Forcing that away, Natalie smiled in sympathy at the Doctors comments about discretion, and his dislike for hiding the truth. Little White Lies greased the wheels of social interaction and stability for the non-tele[athic human species, where worry over offense sometimes necessitated a bending of the truth. For a telepathic society, such thing would be pointless. Were she aware of the depth of his train of thought, the Ops Chief would have likely enjoyed the robust discussion that might have followed.

Instead, Dr. Kobol  prefaced his next statement with a bit of concern over his image - or more accurately her image of him - by statting bluntly what Natalie had been getting around to. The woman delayed a reply by sipping from her glass and enjoying the still cold liquid, even as her eyes sparkled with enough mirth that one would not need to be telepathic to read her mind. Finally she set the glass down and nodded, with a soft smile, befitting the situation.

"I was going to get there yes, Though  you are right, I could have stated it more firm instead of implying just now. Our chat here was the last ....I don't want to say interview, exactly, but the last gate I guess. If I had reservations the offer might have been delayed. But you are a perceptive and insightful man, Doctor. For all the reasons we have discussed so far, I am inclined to agree with my Captain, as well as your commander, that you would be our best option for a CMO going forward, all due deference to Dr. Rez and her circumstances aside.  There are others that we could call upon, if you decide you do not want the position, but I would be lying if I said they were as equally qualified as you, Doctor Kobol ."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #11
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Elro smiled with only a slight turn at the corners of his mouth, though, that was comparatively huge by his usual standards. It was a significant relief for Elro to have felt the pretence shed away from the situation between he and the Commander, finally knowing the purpose of his summons and able to begin twisting out the knot of discomfort that had settled between his shoulders at the uncertainty of the circumstances behind the impromptu dinner. Despite his reservations however, the Betazoid did partially understand her reasoning for the decision to lead a covert interview…

The Commander had never met him before, and neither had the Captain whom she was representing. It seemed that the main sources of recommendation for the Betazoid’s promotion had been Commander Ducote, whom Elro didn’t expect had an enormous reasoning to trust, and Doctor Rez, whom was apparently also under some doubt for her positioning. He didn’t hold anything against the Commander for her chosen method to size her new candidate up, he’d have just preferred it to have been a little more clandestine, to avoid the perhaps unnecessary anxiety that he’d realised had been brewing in the pit of his stomach.

When he chose not to rely on his abilities out of respect for others, it truly dulled his ability to perceive much beyond what was presented to him at face value.

But she’d mentioned previously that others had spoken highly of him, and Elro realised that the impact that he had caused since being abroad was somewhat larger than he had first assumed. After his controversial interjections regarding Dr Nicander, Ensign Tancredi’s tumour, even his comment on euthanasia during the staff meeting… Had he been asked, he’d have most likely expected others to view him as an annoyance or a thorn in their side. Evidently, a touch of brutal honesty and the ever-present ability to play the devil’s advocate, had been of use to the crew.

“Thank you, Commander. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and position you present me with.” He politely responded, the side of his psyche that was partial to some mischief toying with the idea of hanging the woman in the same suspense that she’d kept him in. However, that side of his brain was small in comparison to the side which knew that he would no doubt not be the only call the Commander was due for that evening. It wouldn’t be fair to take up any more of her precious time unnecessarily.

“Given all that I have learned of this mission, and your high praise, it would be wrong of me to decline your offer.” Elro paused, moving a hand up and running it through his hair, a strand of which had fallen into his face. “I don’t expect it to be easy to serve in such a capacity at this stage… Given what we have already endured, and what we are still bound to face… But I have confidence in my abilities, as well as the substantial skill and perseverance your medical team have already demonstrated since my time aboard.”

Elro stopped to sip at his drink once again, the polite fizz on his tongue refreshing his somewhat dried palette.

“I do appreciate the vote of confidence, however.” Elro quietly thanked the woman, staring kindly with his dark eyes. “I understand that to put a stranger in such a key role mustn’t be easy for you. I’ll ensure that I don’t fall short of any expectations you may have of me…” Elro took a moment to stop, to think, as he moved his eyes out to look down on the garden below them.

“Perhaps I can't promise that, in truth.” Elro mulled over the thought in his head for a moment, swilling the lemonade in his glass absentmindedly. “In these harrowing circumstances, with the threats that we will undoubtedly face… To promise that I will never fail to please you with my service would be a lie. We have to face the inevitability that one day my duties could require me to disregard your expectations, in favour of my medical imperative.” Elro wondered if speaking such truth was shooting himself in the foot… But for the Betazoid, honesty was his most sacred value, one which he wouldn’t abandon in the face of a promotion.

“If and when that time comes, I would hope that my decision will be respected.”

“But until that situation arises…” Elro turned back to Commander Stark with a steeled expression, aware of the seriousness of any promise he made. “My promise is that I will always put the welfare of this crew paramount, above all other matters. And whilst I will endeavour to take every measure possible to do my part to repel this threat that assails us, I will never take any measure that would unduly strike against the fundamental values that I am sworn to uphold as a Starfleet Medical.”

“After all, despite the exploitation of grey areas and loopholes that we have all explored at one point, we have a core belief in a set of values that binds us to who we are, and what we represent. If we stop fighting for that belief, if we abandon it for the win, then we are truly no better than that which Starfleet brands us as now.”

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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #12
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

At least he isn't going to jerk me around, Natalie thought, as Elro gave the offer a moments reflection before providing her with an affirmative answer. There was a moment of sympathy on her part for both the doctor, and what he was stepping into, as well as for Dr. Rez, who but for her own willingness to save a life would have been the new CMO of the ship.

"You're welcome, Lieutenant,"Natalie said with a tone of calm satisfaction. He'd agreed to take the position, and all the responsibility and certain hardships that would attend it.

Not that things like career growth really matter all that much here,  given the hap-hazard mess we're in on this ship. Not your usual promotion paths, and no real chance of transfer, the grim humor tickled her mind for a moment as she smiled and sipped her water, as the man continued on with some humility. She could sense he was building to something, and spoke during a long pause.

"You're right. It's not the easiest thing to put such faith into what is essentially an unknown entity, though again, your own actions speak well of you. And frankly, this isn't the first time we've had to do this. I'd hate to say that we've grown used to it, but we are at least familiar with the necessity." There was a tiny shrug of her shoulders. "I have faith that you will meet our expectations, Doctor."

Listening still to Doctor Kobol  as he began to qualify what exactly she could expect from him, the brunette Ops Chief affected something of a more serious expression. He seemed to stand up on principle, and Natalie found herself privately glad. Medical Ethics and principles are something we could use a bit more of she concluded, though did not comment aloud.

It wouldn't do good to have the ships (acting) Executive Officer mouth off like that. Bad form, as they'd say back home.

Once more the acting Executive Officer found herself sitting up a bit straighter in her chair. The combination of the obsidian eyes, the British Lit of his voice, and the subject matter he expressed evoked a greater focus out of Natalie. By the time he finished, she found herself seated with one leg daintily crossed over the other, and her hands folded on the tabletop. Her blue eyes bore down on Elro Tyer, but her mind was momentarily elsewhere.

Again, she was back in the Captain's ready room, as the female form of Captain Ives lamented the apparent loss of direction in many of the crew, how Carrigan Trent had allowed himself to be compromised, and how paranoia was starting to usurp the fact that they were all still Starfleet Officers, and could not allow themselves to forget that. There was the memory of shame that she had considered, even for a moment, leaving Anya Ziegler and her crew to fend for themselves, and then the determination to justify her actions to intercede. The relief that Captain Ives had not passed harsh judgement upon her actions, but instead showed a confidence her decisions and abilities that she had begun to question, especially in the wake of the demotion of the officer that had been mentoring her in the field of Command.

Back in the present, Natalie felt a tension bleed off out of her shoulders. "Winning at the expense of that which makes us Starfleet Officers, at the cost of our souls, is no victory, Doctor. It's reassuring to hear you say that, as it is something we will all struggle with in the days to come. It will challenge us, day in and day out as we are hounded by fellow officers. We will face circumstances where we have to decide if we can act, or not, and live with ourselves. We faced this test with rescuing your people on the Niger and I myself, when I came upon the Cayuga.

"So hold fast to that dedication, Doctor. Because I can almost promise you that it - that we - will all be tested again. And likely sooner rather than later."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #13
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

“Well, it seems that we are in agreement, Commander.” The Betazoid confirmed, delivering a small smile at the sentiment of ideals that was shared by the woman before him, whom agreed that to abandon their principles was to destroy the very reason they fought in the first place. “My dedication to our guidelines is something you needn’t be concerned about however; I’m particularly well versed on the application of interspecies ethics and Starfleet’s medical directive.”

It it was no word of a lie that Elro spoke. Whilst, on a few occasions, the Betazoid had embraced somewhat unorthodox treatments and procedures, that perhaps weren’t quite within the usual remit of Starfleet guidelines, but the Doctor never failed to apply all ethical constraints to anything outside of the normal revenues or treatment. Anything that even bordered on breaching those guidelines, the Doctor met with the highest scrutiny.

Elro couldn’t suppress the mildest scowl that twisted onto his features at the thought.

Whilst there were always stances one could adopt a ‘valid’ reason to attempt to circumvent ethical restraints, but Elro had sworn to himself that he would never explore the distasteful grey area that those who valued progress over ethics so readily took advantage of. Elro was sure that those pitiful grey-skinned excuses for Doctors, who experimented and tortured countless Betazoids and Bajorans during their respective Cardassian occupations, believed that what they were doing was essential, in the name of progress… Elro was determined to never step on whatever path took those Doctors onto the road that deemed torture and experimentation justifiable in the name of progress…

Elro tempered his frown with a bite from his burger, still lingering on his slate. It was still as warm as it had been when he’d replicated it, which relieved the man, his worries slipping away in favour of flavour. The taste was just as exquisite as it had been when he’d taken the first bite, perhaps even more so now that he no longer had a lingering worry regarding the purpose of his summons. He enjoyed a second bite, before he returned the remaining part to the slate, wiping at his lips with a napkin politely, and flicking his tongue across the front of his teeth to remove any unruly debris, before speaking.

“In the interest of ethical guidelines however…” Elro began, slowly approaching the topic that he knew could be a bitter one to explore, but morally determined to explore it thoroughly nonetheless. “I do need to inquire as to the status of Mister Nicander within your Brig…” Elro deliberately decided, this time, to omit his title of Doctor, given the way he had obviously been rid of all of his oaths as soon as the alleged parasite had infested him.

“Whilst I understand, given what I have been told, that he is an incredibly dangerous man…” Elro tried hard not to present himself as too guarded as he broached the topic, despite his expectation to meet sharp resistance… “But when I first came aboard, the man was in a wretched state, tortured and broken without any attempt made by this crew to deliver medical care within what I would consider to be a reasonable timeframe.”

“In that light, I wish to express a formal request that those responsible for holding him in that state are reminded of the humane treatment of prisoners aboard a Starfleet vessel.” Elro mentally reminded himself of how the man had curled against the deck, half-dead, but very much alive and aware of the agony he had to be enduring whilst left to be shown to others like a zoo animal. “Whilst I am very aware that he wronged a great many of your crew, my medical objectivity requires me to remain utterly unbiased in regards to the treatment of prisoners. And whilst I don’t know the direct circumstances, it seems to be that in this instance, those regulations were violated.”

“Furthermore…” Elro adjusted his posture and crossed his leg over the other. “Whilst I understand the necessity to study and examine Mister Nicander and obtain any useful information he may possess, I will need the absolute assurance that any tests or procedures will be carried out with the same ethical conscientiousness that would be used were the tests being carried out on anybody else aboard this ship.”

“In that capacity, I am more than happy to lend my expertise to both aid in the examinations and assist with the interpretation of the data, alongside ensuring that we do not breach any ethical guidelines regarding the humane treatment of prisoners or sentient life.” Elro spoke firmly, not unpleasantly, but in a way that the Betazoid hoped would convey his clear and present concern about how the crew might happily treat the man in their brig, were they given the means.

“Whilst disregarding ethics in the short run to save a nation might not seem such a heinous crime, it is the first proverbial step on a path that ends with atrocities not unlike those inflicted by the atrocities committed by the Cardassians during the occupations of Bajor and Betazed.” Elro slowed, softly stopping, his glance running unwillingly downcast at the thought of how many souls the Cardassians had tortured and mutilated in the name of ‘science’.
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #14
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

There was something in the doctors expression - that brief flutter of a frown across his brow - that told Natalie she might not like what was going to come out of his mouth next. The set of her shoulders grew a little bit tighter in a way she was not entirely comfortable with. Had she not, after all, just told the good doctor that she expected him to stick by his ethics and morals. Was that about to bite her in the rear?

Ethics and morals indeed. Even for a being hell bent on nothing less than the eradication of everything in existence, Natalie realized, as Dr. Kobol  found his words again, and turned them on Natalie, and the crew of the Theurgy. Well, the Sword, case and point, as that had been where Dr. Nicander had been contained as the ship had broken into its separate vectors to enact the Contingency Protocol and engage in independent operations.

The Betazoid before her had taken some umbrage with the treatment Nicander had received, or perhaps the lack there of. She listened, to the entireity of what the Doctor had to say, before she allowed herself a small sip of water and a moment to contemplate a reply. Finally sure of herself - she was doing this more often, she noticed, pausing and thinking before speaking, she addressed his concerns.

"We'll start with the state you found Lucan Nicander in," Natalie decided, setting the pace of the conversation. "I haven't had a chance to review the logs on the specifics of what happened on the Sword in regards to his actions prior to being taken down and confined for the safety of everyone on board. I am aware that Security tried to outright kill him and failed. Which is a horrifying thought in its own right.

"However, I promise you I will review everything that I can,"
she swore, holding up a hand to forestall any protest that the doctor might have had. "I'm not justifying anyone's actions, or lack there of. So far I have very brief understanding of just what Nicander did, and how he resisted. I understand he claims...well. He says he's trying to help. All I know is that at the moment, he is confined to the brig, in as secure and human a fashion as possible. Having seen just what our previous infected prisoner could do, I cannot fault any paranoia in regards to containing Mr. Nicander. But I will not allow any violation of his rights."

Elro Kobol  was a Betazoid. And try as Natalie might to suppress her own personal feelings about Nicander, she could not hide the lingering disgust she felt. With him. And with herself. The sensation of being used. Of being dirty, and that no amount of sonic or liquid showers she could take would wash that away. She'd kept it at bay for most of the day, and duty required her to ignore them. No matter how much she could feel his hands all over her skin, taking and taking, giving pleasure and using it to blind her to the truth

With a shuddering breath, Natalie continued. "I would be grateful for your participation in any of the examinations sure to occur. Both Lt. Ejek and Lt. Commander Martin have expressed interest in conducting interviews and examinations of Mr. Nicander to better understand the threat of the parasites that have infected him, as well as possibly discern a way to detect their presence that doesn't involve a heavy stun blast....or the afflicting of otherwise lethal wounds to a suspect. Having a medical officer involved would be beneficial, I am sure."

Nat could tell that this meant a great deal to the doctor. Given his species, and bringing up the dual occupations of his homeworld and Bajor, Natalie found herself saying, "I promise you Dr. Kobol , we have no Crell Moset's on our ship. Nor will we allow his methods to be used."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #15
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

“It’s certainly a comfort to hear you say as such, Commander Stark.” Elro politely confirmed when he was certain that it was an appropriate time for him to speak. The Betazoid wasn’t deliberately probing her mind, but he had enough of an empathic resonance to know that she detested the former CMO. She assured him that his participation in any interrogations would be valued, and that they would not be repeating actions of the infamous Crell Moset. It was enough for him to know for now.

“In light of ethical science, I must admit that the idea of conceiving a screening method poses as quite an academic puzzle.  At least in the theoretics, I look forward to meeting with Commander Martin and this Lieutenant Ejek to go over this.” Elro moved the conversation into a more positive light, quashing his demand to ensure that ethics remained dominant now that Commander Stark had confirmed that she would be investigating the issues he had addressed.

“But, of course, Doctor Nicander is not currently our most pressing concern to discuss, I apologise for side-railing us for so long…” Elro felt the need to apologise, out of force of habit, for inadvertently putting the Commander into an uncomfortable position at the table. “I am sure that we do have a considerable amount to discuss regarding my promotion and what you will be expecting of me.”

Elro smiled softly, taking a moment to apologise for appearing so gluttonous whilst he swept in for another mouthful of his burger, gently swiping at his mouth after with a serviette to remove any rogue debris that had chosen to linger around his mouth. Whilst he chewed and swallowed, he considered carefully what questions and comments about his new role were the most pressing to ask in that moment, pondering the thought just long enough to take another curt slip of his lemonade, before resuming his dialogue.

“Obviously I have some experience managing the Medical facilities on a large vessel, given my time aboard the Endeavour, but I assume that I would be expecting correctly that a multivector vessel comes with its own unique set of challenges to wade through.” Elro moved his hands to intertwine fingers in front of him as he spoke. “I’m also aware that given the nature of our mission, the potential conflicts which we could be expected to encounter are amplified perhaps more than any time outside of a war, and that the triage demands on our team will be extensive.”

It was almost a comical comment, he’d been aboard less than 48 hours and already he’d been involved in three pretty hectic triage situations? The Klingons, the Bellerophon and Dauntless crews and the Borg… He could barely fathom the demands that would be presented to him over the coming days, if not weeks and months. 

“Already our Sickbay has seen more activity in two days than most vessels would be expected to put up with in two months, so I am well aware, from a triage point of view, what is to be expected of myself and the team you have charged me with.”
He couldn’t help unlace one of his hands and move up to scratch at the side of his head anxiously as he voiced those concerns. “However, I am sure, that you will have responsibilities and expectations outside of the norm to bestow upon me alongside this promotion, so please, if you have time, I would much appreciate the chance to take some more leisurely notes to help compile my to-do list.”

The comment was meant mostly in jest, but the Betazoid produced a PADD nonetheless.
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #16
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Truthfully, one would not need to be an empath or telepath to discern that Natalie Stark held great issue with Dr. Lucan Nicander, given the most recent revelations of the past few days. While she put out great effort in attempting to keep her disdain in check, there were plenty of tell tale signs that gave her away. The little twitching at her eye, the hardening of her jaw. The way she sat up slightly straighter in her chair, or how her left hand curled into a fist, without her conscious effort or realization. That Dr. Kobol  could get a sense of her emotional state beyond the readily available clues was simply an advantage, not a necessity in this instance.

Stil, it appeared to natalie that she had satisfied Dr. Kobol 's immediate concerns regarding their former Chief of Medicine and his current captivity. She was sure that Elro's insight would prove useful enough in what would come from any research. She wondered though, how Lt.Cmdr. Martin would feel having him looking over her shoulder for ethics violations. She did not know the former Resolve officer all that well, and had no reason for concerns, but she understood how it could be galling to have someone watching your every move.

"True enough, Doctor. Not all of your duties would pertain to our infected prisoner." This was easy enough to agree to as she sipped her drink again, having given up on the pasta at this point. She had inhaled a large part of it from the onset and mopped up most of the rest during the conversation, but unlike the rather starved Doctor's burger, her meal had grown cold enough that the taste was no longer enjoyable, though the company was pleasant enough, which was a relief.

It would have been a shame if he'd turned out to be a pompous ass, the acting XO decided, and flashed a bit of a smile on the off chance the doctor picked up on the specifics of her errant thought as he walked through his service pedigree. She let him talk his way through everything before picking up the various threads he'd laid out.

"You are quite right in your suspicions about the nature of a vessel this size and the demands on its departments," Natalie allowed, switching which leg was crossed over which as she spoke. "Save for some Star Bases, the Multi-Vector Dreadnaught-class of ship is the largest in the service, and its departments reflect both the size of the vessel and the multi-vectored configuration,  which leaves us as essentially three ships in one.  Thus medical facilities as well as engineering controls, computer cores, shuttle bays, and the like are scattered across all three vectors, essentially duplicated - triplicated? And as such, the departments are as well.

"One of the first duties you are going to have to undertake is a full review of all medical personnel available to you, from the Theurgy, as well as survivors of your previous vessel, and the Cayuga, in addition to those recovered from the Bellerophon, and the Dauntless, though I'm not sure we have any of the latter. "
She let that set in for a moment as she sipped her water, continuing on, "And from this disparate collection of doctors, nurses and other practitioners you will need to create a duty roster and fill out a medical chain of command.

"While this is like any other posting, with shift leads, triage specialists (probably a high demand role for our ship, unfortunately) and the like, given the size of the crew and the multi-vectored nature of the ship, you will need to appoint two Assistant Chiefs, with similar support structures under them. Almost as if you are responsible for two complete copies of the department."
A sympathetic smile passed across her face.

"I hear that the Sector General hospital at earth's orbital Spacedock, as well as other Watchtower-class facilities have similar structures, as well as the Olympic-class hospital ships, and Theurgy's needs may well run in that direction. In all honesty, that is the biggest assignment I have for you." She paused, reflected, and then added, "As well as a full medical inventory - what you have, what you need, and what would be 'nice to have.' Sooner the better, as we may be able to impose upon our hosts at Aldea for a restock. Though, we might have to make due with Klingon Equipment."  A frown passed over Natalie’s features at that point as she realized the potential enormity of cross compatibility issues that could be thrust upon them in the very near future. A task that she would be overseeing in her role as Ops Chief.

Well, Hell.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #17
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Creating a duty roster and establishing a medical chain of command… It wasn’t something that Elro hadn’t done before, but as Commander Stark had rightly mentioned, there were five ships worth of crew who had come aboard in the previous twenty-four hours, and all of those who fell under the breadth of ‘Medical’ were now his responsibility to assess and instruct… Not only that, but he needed to establish a triplicated version of a command structure, that would cover an overarching web of command, that could be simply split into three parts if the ship was to separate into its multi-vector mode once again, to ensure that each section was fully staffed and ready for any situation…

She also suggested a full medical inventory, and suggested, much to Elro’s dismay, that they might have need to obtain some medical resources from the Klingons…

A medical inventory will be one of my chief priorities over the next few days Commander…” Elro politely confirmed to the woman. “And whilst relying on the Klingons may be an easier option, I may have some alternative ideas; Klingon medical technology is a touch, archaic, compared to what most of our staff are used to.” He’d had to rely on Klingon instruments once before, when a Klingon ship that had been damaged in an ion storm put out a distress call, and some of the crewmen required immediate attention, whilst a transporter malfunction prevented from getting them back to the surgical suite.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the equipment, just designed by a people who don’t put an overwhelming amount of stock in proper medical care. Often their instruments aren’t capable of the precision we’re used to. After all, Klingons are somewhat more robust than the rest of us, when it comes to enduring injuries...” The Betazoid paused, pondering the alternatives that came to the top of his mind. “Whilst I’d usually hesitate to recommend it, my parents work for a medical research company independent from Starfleet, who do produce medical gear of an exceptionally high standard…” Elro neglected to inform the Commander that said medical research company all but refused to provide their gear to Starfleet Medical…

Whilst it’s not routinely used by Starfleet, it is distributed through a lot of third party vendors and independent salespeople.” Elro paused, thinking for a short moment about his parents… It hadn’t been so long since the Endeavour had been destroyed; did they know what had happened? Did they think their son was dead? “I’d expect that no small amount of their equipment ends up on the black market, what with Ferangi and Orion third parties, it’s all but assured that they’d sell at least a portion into the hands of the less reputable…

Elro only very narrowly avoided becoming choked up at the sudden thought of his parents mourning his non-existent death; he didn’t have many people who would notably miss him if he did disappear, and although his parents were distant, he knew them well enough to know that they would be devastated if they were led to believe that their only child was dead.

It’s equipment that is in no way affiliated with Starfleet, and it does adhere to the same high standards that Starfleet Medical do; perhaps even more so… If we can find a supplier, we may be able to get access to supplies we need without compromising on quality.” Elro paused, taking a curt breath to calm down from his discomfort over the thought of his parents’ suffering.

But this is purely hypothetical until we know what we require.” The Betazoid paused, collecting himself and consciously moving on his chair to ensure that he didn’t appear slouched. “I’ll put all hands to a full inventory of all remaining supplies and facilities as soon as the majority of the casualties from the recent days have been discharged.

In regards to the rest of the medical staff, I will work to create a command structure befitting the current compliment of the ship and their retrospective skill sets.” Elro politely added, in regards to the Commanders other point of duty. Elro wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of having to assign people roles in a command structure whom he had not yet interacted with, nor did he realistically have the time and resources to interview every medical staff member now aboard. Perhaps he could gain some insight from someone who would perhaps know them better.

Please excuse me if this comes across as inappropriate to ask Commander, but, seeing as I have only just arrived aboard, and that your former Chief Medical Officer is unlikely to be filling out a transitory report, I wonder if you could perhaps suggest any noteworthy candidates to assume roles of second-in-command? Aside from Doctors Rez and Maya, along with Nurses Jovelia and Jones, I haven’t come to know any other members of the medical team particularly well, and in the nature of expediency, I would appreciate any observations you may have made during your time aboard.

The Betazoid realised that perhaps he was putting a lot of pressure on the Commander. He added an addendum.

"On a purely informal note, of course."
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #18
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Nat's ears perked up at the Doctors hesitation. Given that the Klingon's - and the local Aldean's - were the only allies the Theurgy currently had, Dr. Trye's reluctance to rely on them struck her as potentially concerning. She once again adjusted herself in her seat, shifting weight from one side to the other. Her curiosity was piqued, and he'd pick upon that readily enough. The sounds from around them had long ago died off, as the patrons recognized Natalie and had given the duo some space.  It played into their favor now as the Ops Chief raised a hand and gestured to Elro to continue, glossing over the mans estimation of Klingon medical technology.

After all, Natalie had seen plenty of examples of Klingon medicine in her early days right after graduating the Academy. Though not on the front lines of the war she saw her fair share of the after effects of battles with the Dominion, and USS Mjolnir had been suborned into providing relief and rescue efforts in the wake of one such battle between a trio of Jem'Hadar attack ships and wing of K'vort class Bird-of-Prey's. It was not a pretty sight.

Her eyebrows shot up high on her forehead when the doctor mentioned that his family worked for a research consortium that made certain medical equipment, separate from any direct work with Starfleet Medical. Nat had assumed that any real medical research group at all would be working hand in hand with Starfleet Medical, as she assumed they were the most advanced in the Federation. She almost spoke up then to dissuade him of the notion of reaching out to his family, despite how much he might want to, but Dr. Kobol  didn't quite suggest that. Her own desire to talk to her farther, to reassure the old dock hand that she hadn't turned traitor lay right there in the back of her mind as she listened to what the Betazoid man had to say. To keep an open mind was something of a struggle however.

Tucking her arms around her stomach she listened on, resisting the urge to tap her foot, but unable to keep the one hand from rubbing the side of the opposite arm. He paused however and she spoke carefully.

"You're suggesting, Doctor, that we reach out through such intermediaries as the Fergengi, or the Orion Syndicate?" She could not quite hide her incredulity at that suggestion, and the various regulations it would violate. Only the irony of that concern caused the young Ops officer to ease off and shake her head, biting back a scathing retort. At this point it wasn't an option they could rule out, though if word got back to the fleet that the Theurgy's crew were making back room deals with Orion Pirates then their already bad press would triple over night. "Assuming for a moment we can get it, how would it not lead back to us? Surely that kind of tech would be on Starfleet's radar.

Dr. Kobol  continued his pitch, and while Natalie's stomach turned at the idea of having to look for such things on the black market she forced herself to continue to keep that open mind. Already she was mentally drafting a report to Captain Ives, and wondering how this would clash with the Captains admonishment earlier that the crew was running the risk of forgetting their principles. They'd have to balance that against both the possibility of insulting their hosts, as well as the desire for quality product.

"So noted, Dr. Kobol . My understanding is that the Aldean's might have some tech that is up to our specs, compared to our Klingon allies, but I have no idea how much they'd be willing to part with. I promise I will pass along the recommendation to Captain Ives. It will be up to them to decide the final course of action, but we'd be stupid not to consider it." Tabling that matter for the moment, Natalie leaned back in her chair again and laced her fingers together as they dove into the subject of personnel.

"I'll confess that, other than a series of incidents early on, I've been lucky enough to stay out of sickbay for most of this voyage." In truth, Natalie hated to even mention that, almost as if she were to be sure to jinx herself for the foreseeable future just by noting her good fortune. "In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Mr. Nicander or Nurse Jovela were the two I saw the most." She repressed a shudder as the memory of Lucan Nicander's hands surfaced, running over her flanks, moving to cup her breasts and squeeze them tight in the confines of the Jefferies Tube. Some of it had to show on her face and she forced herself to give Dr. Kobol  an apologetic smile.

"As you can imagine i'd rather not think about...that if I can. Unfortunately that means I don't have any first hand experience to rely upon when making recommendations. Still," she fished out her PADD and drummed her fingers across it, pulling up a list of personnel she'd had her people working on. In truth, by "her people" she actually meant Lt. Vanya of the Cayuga, whom she asked to give her an accounting of anyone from that vessel stranded on the Theurgy. All the departments were busy with similar efforts of course, looking to see who they could scavenge to fill needed roles, and Security, just in an effort to see who they had to deal with.

 But as she passed the PADD over, Natalie had to admit that she was taking a special interest in the Cayuga officers stranded on the Theurgy. Not simply because of her personal connection to Vanya, her old roommate and dear friend, but because of Captain Zeigler's words to her before they'd parted ways, and how the woman had given Natalie some much needed perspective. "I'd like to suggest Lt. T'Panu, of the Cayuga as a possibility in addition to Dr. Rez.

"I haven't had much call to work with her directly, but just as you pitched in during the most recent events, Lt. T'Panu did similarly while I was in command of the Stallion when we came to the aid of the Cayuga. Like yourself she is now stranded here, and she has some experience with running a sickbay. "
She was, in fact, the next choice in line if Dr. Kobol  had not agreed to be CMO of the ship, but given the feedback she had received of the two, and the Betazoids familiarity running a larger sickbay, he was the officer of choice. "The choice is yours, of course, and I'd expect you'd want to sit with Dr. T'Panu before making any call there. And as noted before, Dr. Rez is perfectly capable of the role, having held it since she came aboard from the Harbinger."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #19

[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol  | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ]

“I understand your hesitation to acknowledge that particular idea, in a way, I am relatively hesitant to even suggest such a high-risk proposal…” Elro quickly addressed the Commander’s obvious distress at his fairly out of character proposal, all the while making a mental note to avoid reintroducing Doctor Nicander to the conversation, given that the Commander’s emotions bristled at the very mention of the name. “If the Aldeans can easily spare us the supplies we need, then obviously it is not a route we need to consider... “ Elro paused, working out how to best phrase his response. It was obvious that the woman before him wasn’t keen on reaching out to such irreputable intermediaries, and Elro knew that it was easily viewed as an ‘ends justify the means’ scenario.

“I would usually be the last person to suggest such a dubious procurement, it would go against every protocol we have in place when dealing with this sort of situation.” Elro paused, carefully considering his wording. “Unfortunately, given our circumstances, we cannot follow standard operating protocol. Therefore, we either acclimate the technology of the Aldeans, which may well perform to the standards we require, but still poses the problem of training up the entire medical staff with a plethora of new equipment. Or we resort to less desirable vendors to get the equipment that we know to be of very high standard, that our staff can use with no hesitation or risk of error.”

Either way, Elro knew that there would be issues. It was obvious enough to him, even as a medical officer, that both options could cause some pretty significant diplomatic strife. Approaching the Orion black markets or the Ferangi, if they could manage to do so, would be devastating to their reputation if it was discovered by Federation representatives. On the other hand, he knew that the Aldean’s were no allies of the Federation, following the events of the Dominion War, and to get them to agree to share their medical technology would also be something of a chore.

One was certainly easier in regards to the comeuppance that could be riled from their actions, however, the other was more reliable in terms of the quality of the equipment they would be using. Elro didn’t know how Aldean medical technology operated; and there was no fathomable way to ask any Aldean doctor the answer to every medical scenario that the equipment could be used in. If they encountered issues down the line, it would hardly be possible to contact an Aldean medical supplier to troubleshoot with. On the other hand, were word to get out that the Theurgy was consorting with known black market vendors, it would make even those questioning of Starfleet’s slander, hesitant to sympathize with criminals.

“Not an enviable decision to be making, surely.” Elro muttered, mostly to himself, before realising his silence and mumbling had not gone unnoticed by the Commander. “But I am sure the Captain will make the decision that best befits this crew as a whole.” Elro confirmed, whilst straightening his form and trying not to reveal any element of the bashful in his expression. “And either way, I have confidence that we will be adequately equipped for almost any conundrum we may face.”

The Commander, aside from delivering a touch of scrutiny to his proposition in regards to sourcing medical supplies, had also given him some useful feedback in regards to officers who might suit the supporting roles of assistant medical officers, of which he was thankful. However, he did have a few questions to ask in that regard.

“But moving on from such, your advice about both Doctor Rez and Doctor T’Panu is duly noted.”
Elro gestured with the PADD that the Commander had passed across to him, with a small nod. “I will certainly get in touch with Doctor T’Panu and evaluate her, I belive we briefly met this morning in a staff meeting before the encounter with the Borg.” She had been a Vulcan woman, and that immediately made Elro feel a little more comfortable with her presence. “I will also likely keep Doctor Maya in her position as chief of Surgery aboard; which makes fair sense considering her expertis in the area." Elro took a due pause, thumbing the side of his now mostly empty glass. "However, in regards to Doctor Rez… Whilst I have gotten to know her abilities since coming aboard, given the Captain’s concerns about her redundant personality resurfacing, would it be appropriate to give her a position of seniority?”

The concerns weren’t Elro’s, but given that the Captain had withheld her from the promotion to CMO because of that reason, Elro could hardly waltz in and undermine the Captain’s concerns by keeping her in her role as assistant CMO if the intention was to keep her away from positions of seniority… But that was why Elro was putting the question to Commander Stark.

That way he didn’t have to make that judgement.
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #20
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

Wheels within wheels within wheels, Natalie thought to herself, knowing the words were a quote from somewhere, something she had read or seen years ago, but not being able to summon the source in the moment. Still, it felt an apt saying for the moment. Aldean tech might be of unknown quality, and might - or might not - be too different from Federation Standard to be of easy use. Klingon tech would certainly be of lesser quality in many facets. And yet the other option, going through black market channels to acquire equipment from a Federation manufacturer that the Doctor happened to be related to did not strike Natalie as any better an option.

I do not look forward to the meeting with Captain Ives to sort out that particular choice, Natalie concluded. But involved she would be. Procurement fell under the auspice of Operations, generally on the Quarter Masters office, with assistance from the Chief of Ops and in some situations the First Officer. Since there was a diplomatic side to all of this, even if they did not have to rely on the black market, Natalie assumed the XO (Likely but not officially Ducote) would be more hands on, possibly with Ives involved directly.

Shaking it off, Natalie settled back into the moment. "As noted, we'll start with a list of what we actually need, and go from there, Doctor. I'm sure that the Captain will have questions for you once we see what we have available through our friends on Aldea." Putting a pin in the conversation on both ends, Dr. Kobol  moved to address Natalie's recommendations for personnel management.

He seemed to be rather thoughtful, and Nat decided this was a promising trait. A different sort of man than the doctor they had been used to, or Dr. Rez, though the latter was probably readjusting to just who 'she' was. All roads lead back to the symbiote however, and Natalie sighed softly. Even the Chief Surgeon, Dr. Maya had some black marks in her past, but the diminutive Vulcan was very good at her job and like as not no longer a security risk.

"I hope that Dr. Maya continues to serve admirably as she has in the past." Mostly, Natalie silently allowed. Continuing on, she addressed the main issue that Dr. Kobol  had put forth. "Dr. Rez willingly took on the burden of hosting a symbiote when, as Amelia Duv, she had no intention of becoming a joined trill. We don't want to punish her for that sacrifice. While we have legitimate concerns about what the symbiote the doctor now hosts may do, especially given the nature of the unplanned joining, we cannot ignore the fact that Dr. Duv performed at a top level, executing the duties of Assistant Chief of Medicine as best as we could possibly ask of her. To remove Dr. Rez from that position, instead of simply passing them over for promotion would be a very noticeable slight indeed.

"It's a balancing act,"
Natalie confessed with a reluctant sigh. This was an aspect of command she was still adjusting to, a lesson that she needed to learn. "Between the burden of a new joining and the potential for the previous host to reassert itself, we cannot place Dr. Rez in a position of complete control of the Medical Department. But we cannot truly afford to shelve her entirely and waste her abilities simply because of the potential for the former host to reassert its personality. It is neither practical, nor entirely fair to the otherwise competent and dedicated professional. We can't demote her because of her bravery, after all. But neither can we promote her."

She looked up then, with tired eyes, hoping she'd helped Elro Kobol  to understand.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #21
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol  | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Elro had thought as much, and Doctor Rez had been a good physician thus far during his time aboard, he was glad that he wasn’t been instructed to hold her back for a promotion. He also appreciated the Commander’s clear cut conclusion to their collective conversation regarding the options they would have regarding the acquisition of medical equipment; he hoped that she wasn’t frustrated by his ideas. He was aware that he’d hardly posed the easiest question to her; but it was an important issue for him to address.

It seemed as though the Commander also agreed with the continued posting of Dr Maya, though Elro could tell clear enough from the emotional resonance of the woman that she wasn’t completely comfortable with the Vulcan. Nothing major, just some tiniest hint of a melancholy reservation… Though her words carried through the same tone of slight concern. It was the use of the word hope that made the Betazoid interested enough to pay a touch more attention, catching the stray shift of emotion that evidently meant that the Commander thought something a trifle contradictory to her own words.

At least, Elro expected so… Empathy only took him so far, and he hadn’t taken to prying deep into her thoughts thus far…

But her confirmation of her thoughts towards Doctor Rez were fair and clear to the Betazoid. And the Commander was correct. A Trill joining was a somewhat volatile procedure, from what he understood, and putting her in a position of Command whilst she wasn’t in the prime mental state would be unfair, only more so considering the risk of her redundant personality reasserting itself. However, as Elro himself had considered, irrespective of any other concerns, she was a qualified physician and they were hardly in a position where a potential security concern could overrule the need for qualified Doctors.

Yes, Rez would be a stellar choice for an assistant, and Elro would make time for T’Panu to meet with him for an evaluation of her abilities too.

“Thank you for your recommendations Commander; I appreciate your candor.” Elro politely smiled, thumbing at his empty glass. “I understand that not everything we have discussed has been the easiest of topics for you to dwell upon, so I apologise for any part of mine for deluging you with any discomfort.” The Betazoid felt the need to apologise on behalf of the many times the former CMO’s name had surfaced and triggered within the Commander a burst of emotional discomfort.

“Now, in the the interest of lighter topics, and perhaps a celebration of the fact that after an encounter with the vanguard of a Borg invasion, we’re both in the better part of health, could I interest you in a dessert?” Elro tried to lighten the mood with the promise of a sweet treat. That, at least, never failed to pique his interest in the brighter side of things. “I’d also like to request, providing you deem it an acceptable use of reasorces, that I may replicate a selection of pastries for the medical staff still on duty?” It was an unorthodox suggestion, but he’d taken it from his time aboard the Endeavour, where cakes, treats and baked goods were presented at every available opportunity…

“They’ve performed exceedingly well in the past twelve hours, and I feel as though a treat would be much deserved and appreciated, if appropriate, of course.” 
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Conservatory Evaluation

Reply #22
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Arboretum Care | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @TWilkins 

"Think nothing of it, Doctor," Natalie urged, waving away the apology from Dr. Kobol  as to any discomfort the conversation that had passed between them might have brought to the surface. She was the ships First Officer, at least for the next few hours, and she knew that meant making more of an effort to push past personal issues than she would normally exert. That didn't mean she'd sleep sound tonight, for she had thought much on Dr. Nicander during the conversation. It was impossible not to think of the man, to picture him as he had been in those tubes, and then contrast him to as he appeared now.

She knew it was inevitable, that these emotions would come to the surface when dealing with the potential - soon to be official - new Chief of Medicine. Knowing hadn't helped her near as much as she would have liked, but perhaps it took the edge off.

A look of surprise passed over her face now at the Doctors suggestion, eyebrows rising high up onto her forehead. She gave a little jerk in her seat as she let out a small laugh and smiled. "I have to say you might be the first Doctor I've ever known to suggest having a sweet treat. All the others have cautioned me against dessert. Even under extraordinary circumstances such as ....well, okay, never in quite this situation, I'll grant you." Natalie laughed again, gesturing with her hand toward the replicator. Though she had ordered through the table, content to wait, those that frequented the Arboretum Cafe could simply stand up and get whatever they like.

"By all means, Doctor, I'm not going to turn down dessert. Nor am I going to deny it to a bunch of officers that have worked their collective tails off." The colloquialism slipped right on out, and upon reflection, Natalie recalled that there was at least one medic in the crew that had an actual tail, and this set her to giggling again. Mildly mortified at her own 'unprofessional' reaction, she shook her head then swept her hair back behind her ears again, easing back into the seat.

"Consider the permission given, Lieutenant. I'll type the authorization bypass in myself, if your's won't work. Which, speaking of,"
she turned and lifted the ever present PADD back up off the table and tapped in a few commands. She sent off a notice to Captain Ives that the Doctor from the Endeavour had accepted the offered position, and pending Captain Ives approval, the foundation was laid to make it official with but a press of a button on their part.

Dropping the PADD back down on the table, Natalie grinned up at Elro. "Now, Doctor. What's for dessert?"


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