Episode 1: The Maelstrom Awaits
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Day 5 at 2050
Anjohl had been on board the ship for just under a day. He'd unpacked, cleaned his new office and learned the lay of the ship. He wasn't nervous about meeting his new commanding officer, he'd met enough of them in his day. So, he didn't bother checking himself in the mirror, because he knew everything was in its place and looked proper.
He was, however, nervous about his new assignment. It would be his first assignment as Chief Medical Officer and had even attended a three month immersion class back at the Academy on Earth to prepare him for this. But, he still didn't feel prepared.
He pressed the chime to the Captain's Ready Room.
'Already?!' Nilani thought to herself as she slumped onto the sofa of her ready room, perching her feet on the edge of the table as she looked over at the door. She had been busy, very busy in fact, and had not been keeping tabs of the time. The chiming of the door signalled that time had truly flown by.
"Come!" she beckoned once settled.
Gaden, after one last tug of the bottom of his uniform jacket, stepped into the room.
"Good evening, ma'am," he said, "Doctor Anjhol reporting for duty. I'll be your new CMO. I hope I'm not disturbing you."
Nilani looked across from her slouched, yet comfortable, position on the sofa and looked the newcomer up and down as he stood there, no doubt anxiously awaiting her response. "No disturbance Doctor," she finally smiled before gesturing to a comfortable seat near her sofa. "Please," she invited him.
He allowed himself a small smile, and with a brief nod crossed the room and took a seat. "Looks like you've had a long day," he commented.
"It's been a long five days," the Captain smirked as she watched the newcomer take the offered seat. "I hope you found us ok?" she inquired of the Bajoran, her standard conversation opener never failing her to date.
"I just followed the cookie droppings," he joked, then corrected himself, "the cookie crumbs. I'm sorry I'm pretty good at Terran idioms, but sometimes I use the wrong words. I wasn't told too much about this assignment, but directions were quite clear. It was an interesting journey anyway."
"Excellent," the Captain nodded slowly, "and have you visited sickbay yet? I'm told the enhancements down there make it one of the best facilities on the ship," she advised as she sat up and tried to look a little more professional, despite her tired body.
"I have gone down there briefly," he replied, his joking manner now gone without a trace. "I want to explore it more when I have the time. But, you're right, the enhancements have it looking very sharp. I just hope it doesn't get used a lot, but I'm sure it will. I'm afraid I don't know much about the Maelstrom. Could you tell me more about it?"
"What little I know is confined to the sciences to be honest. It's going to wreak havoc with our systems on a daily basis," the Captain told him honestly. Her knowledge of the region was, indeed, limited. "I can only imagine what it might do to us if we go in unshielded. Our science officer will be leading a briefing in a few days, to which you will be invited," she advised the man.
"I'll be there. I am used to working under some rather primitive conditions, where we had to jury rig some systems, but I wouldn't consider myself a technical whiz. I'm concerned with ship wide systems of course, but I'm most concerned with sickbay. I'm sorry if that sounds selfish."
The Captain shook her head slowly. "It's about time someone was concerned about the facilities for the crew. The ship has had a great deal of attention, but we need to ensure the crew can live up to expectations," she replied.
This caused the corners of the doctor's lips to turn up, if only a little. It's my job to be concerned about them. But it's not just my job, it's my passion. Like many Bajorans I didn't have the easiest of childhoods, but then again I know that applies to other officers. The crew's safety is my first priority."
"That actually brings me to a new question, Doctor," the Captain shuffled in her seat, "we've got a Cardassian helm officer coming aboard. She's young, she's talented. Is her presence here going to be an issue for you?" the issue of Bajoran and Cardassian relations still raged even decades after the end of conflict between them.
The half-formed smile faded from Gaden's face. "The Cardassians committed a lot of horrific atrocities on my people. Not just on some universal or generic level, but my family. On me. But she isn't them. I'll treat her like any other member of the crew. The Hippocratic oath and my oath to Starfleet require nothing less."
Nilani slowly pushed herself up and onto her feet, offering out a hand to the physician. "Well, I'll let you get settled in Doctor. If you need anything, feel free to check in with the XO or Lieutenant Jecia at Ops. They can see to it you have what you need before we launch," she declared, signalling an end to their meeting.
Gaden nodded an assent and rose to his feet. "Thank you, Captain," he said offering his hand, "I won't let you or the crew down."