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Part of USS Asger: The Old Man

Fleecing the Fleas

Sick Bay
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Person Log – Ensign Edward Clark – Chief Helm Officer –USS Asger

I have reported to my new duty assignment. While I should be spending the first day programing the replicator with my my favorite stews and sandwiches, I instead have to find a way to keep my skin from itching every night.  The XO may have thought I was kidding, but I had slept in barns with less vermin than what may be crawling around in the fabrics and carpet in my quarters.  I feel like I am walking a tight rope, I’ve not felt this uptight since  had to do my first solo shuttle landing.

Edward continued to ponder the XO’s words as he strolled toward sickbay. Purhaps the doctor would have some suggestions, he mused. At the very least he could get his initial check up set up.

He strolled into sick bay and was caught by the activity. He did not want to get in the way, so he flagged the first person nearest to him.  “Excuse me, but I’m looking for the doctor.” His eyes scanned the room slowly.

Before the nurse could respond, Blake spoke up herself. “Behind you and out of the way.” She offloaded a box of supplies to the nurse in question. “Take these next door and give Lewis a hand will you,” she said to her subordinate. “I want all the first aid kits across the ship refreshed by the end of shift.”

“Aye ma’am,” the man said with a smile. “We’ve only got two decks left to go.”

“Well get on it then,” she responded with a smile and sent the man on his way. As for the other activity in Sickbay, a combination of medical and engineering personnel was the cause of it, with most of Sickbay in a state of disassembly as components were getting the maintenance required. One group was finishing off certifying a biobed, another group was checking the primary sensors above the primary surgical table and the last was split around the room discussing alignment for holoemitters with a flicking EMH in the middle of the room.

“This way Ensign,” Blake said to Edward finally as she headed for her office and a slightly quieter atmosphere. “Take a seat,” she indicated to the two opposite her desk as the door closed behind. “What’s the matter?” Taking her own seat she tapped at her computer, the screen coming to life and she quickly brought up the Ensign’s medical file, then turned to face him.

Edward was taken aback because she seemed very young to be a doctor. “I’m sorry to bother you with this.” He smacked the side of his neck and gave it a quick scratch before continuing. “But I think my quarters may be infested with some sort of vermin.”  He gave a shrug, “I mean, I have just gotten on board and before setting my gear down, I spoke with the XO about removing the furniture, but she suggested I clean the room, and well…I will.” Edward paused for a moment before continuing. “But figured it be best if I check in with you, and see if you had any suggestions.”

He gave the back of his head a scratch and he began to feel itchy all over just thinking about his room. “I know there are other priorities, but…” His voice trailed off because he started to feel himself rambling. “I guess what I am also dealing with is that I am trying to get my bearings after the whole demotion thing, and I am feeling a bit out of sorts.” He heaved a heavy sigh and  looked deflated as he sat back in the chair.

“Okay, a few things first. Environment sticks out the most. Give your quarters a solid clean out. Everything that can go through a recycler goes through a recycler. Carpets to be sonically blasted and vacuumed. Whole nine yards yah?” Blake asked rhetorically before continuing on. “The other thing is we can give you an antihistamine for the itching. It’s treating a symptom though, not a cause. If we’re talking vermin though an antihistamine for relief while you clean your quarters to the bulkheads should do the trick.”

Scrunching her face in thought for a moment, Blake sat back in her chair and drummed her fingers along the arms momentarily. “But you say you’re trying to get your bearings after a demotion…considered counselling? While we’re currently lacking a counsellor aboard ship, I can put you in touch with a few for remote sessions if you want. All of them specialise in remote services and a couple of them are even in the sector so call lag won’t be a thing.”

Edward stared at the ceiling in disbelief and noticed the bulkhead needed paint. He shook the thought off for a moment and turned his attention back to the doctor. Edward tilted his head to the side and let her words sink in.  He gave a small laugh as he could could not tell if she was being serious or not. “Good one Doctor.” He stood up and gave a slight nod.  “The industrial replicators that I need access to are being used by engineering, I’ve already gone over this with the XO.” He sighed.

Edward was not sure how to proceed. “Your advice is appreciated.” He spoke slowly and in a soft tone. “I don’t know how long you’ve served in Starfleet, but any cadet graduating the academy could tell you that this ship.”  And he emphasized his point by pointing at the   floor. “This ship has a history and a reputation.”  He stepped behind the chair. “Now, I get why I was posted here, heck the captain’s record is like looking at my own.”

“I don’t need counseling.” His voice took on a serious tone. “I need….”  His voice trailed off. “I need to understand if there can be any redemption on this ship.” He shook his head and gave a small shrug.

“Well, if you’ve come aboard ship already looking for defeat, you’ll find it. Or you can take this as an opportunity to get back on track and drag the ship along with you. Consider the kudos from rehabilitation for yourself and the ship?” Blake opened a drawer on her desk and fished out a single wrapped lollipop, considered the color, replaced it and then slide it across the desk. “First one is free, after that only positive vibes get more. And I think you’ll find I’ve locked the replicators so mine are always going to be the best.”

She chuckled to herself briefly then fished out a padd. “And you do need counseling Mr Clark. We all do. So,” she finished with the padd with a flourish and slid it across her desk to him. “This is a medical request to Engineering to have your quarters given a once over with a portable baryon sweep. That should kill every and any bug and should take about fifteen minutes. If they can’t or won’t do it,” she reached over and tapped a button on the padd to progress it along, “show them this. It’s a ‘do it or call me’ where I’ll give them what for.” Another tap of the screen. “Prescription for antihistamines. Enter the code into your personal replicator and it’ll happily make some for you.” Then another tap. “And this is a note from me saying you need to have a regular counseling session at least once every two weeks. I don’t care what you talk about with a counselor, just that you do. They’ll never tell me anything unless a threat to life exists, just that you’ve met your service requirements.”

There was a glimmer of hope at the back of Edward’s thoughts. “Thank you.” He stated graciously and reached down for the PADD. He read it over and nodded. “ With a small shake of his head. “Thank  you.”

“And circling back,” Blake said, “yes there is a chance for redemption, but you’re going to have to work for it. I don’t promise it’ll be easy, but it does exist. Understood?”

“Like it or not Doctor Blake, you have made a friend today.” And he gave a respective nod with a grin. “I will do the work and while there is a chance I will stumble; I will always get back up and try again.”

“It’s the getting back up that’s the important part.” She pulled out another lollipop and threw it gently at the Ensign. “One for the road.”


“I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.”

― Mark Twain,