Bridge – 8:30
Kirin stood on the bridge of the Daradax and looked out the viewport at the blue pearl floating in the void below the ship as well as the other vessels that orbited the planet. The last couple of days had been nice, and restful, something she had not had for a long time. She shifted uncomfortably as she adjusted her uniform collar and top; though they had been designed for comfort in most environmental conditions she always found the uniform a bit uncomfortable especially after being out of it for a few days. One of her old colleagues on Starbase 3, James O’Shea, had suggested to her in private that maybe it was her subconscious telling her she was in the wrong profession and then made several suggestions that had earned him a good-natured smack on the back of his head. At the thought of James, she made a mental note to follow up with him and see how he was doing. She had meant to when she had first heard about his injury on the USS Radiant Storm.
She was pulled from her thoughts when Thanen spoke up from the engineering console, “Ril and Belania have just beamed up. We have a full house.”
“Excellent, I want to meet everyone in 30 minutes in the observation lounge. We have received our orders regarding Doctor Saint-Claire. It should be straight forward I want this ship ready for departure the second she is onboard.”
“On it,” Thanen said as he sent a ship-wide message to everyone.
“You have the bridge Thanen,” Kirin said and headed to her ready room to review the data packet that arrived first thing this morning.
Observation Lounge – 9:00
Kirin stepped into the lounge and was met with every one of the crew turning to face her, including the EMH who had projected himself into the lounge using the holographic display.
Kirin come to tell right away that Ril and Belania seemed more relaxed though there was some tension she noticed between Thanen and Kerry, they were trying too hard not to look at each other. She noted it and put it aside for a later time.
“I hope everyone enjoyed themselves,” she said before looking at the EMH, ‘He is an odd one,’ she thought, “Sorry you couldn’t join us Doc.” To which the EMH shrugged and responded, “I got the ship to myself, it was great.” Kirin wasn’t too sure how to respond to that so she nodded and made another mental note to check the internal logs to see what the EMH had been up to.
“As you are all aware the SS Heritage will be arriving in orbit in approximately 4 hours. Once here we are ordered to collect Doctor Helen Saint-Claire and travel at our best speed to DS9.” Kirin began. “We do not have much information beyond that but. The brief doesn’t mention what the Doctor will be doing on DS9 and I figure that we happened to be going in the right direction at the right time. That said, she is a civilian who does carry significant sway in the Federation medical council so I want to make sure that this ship is ready for anything. You have four hours to go over all the system reviews from before Risa and make sure nothing was missed. When the Heritage arrives I will let everyone know. I will expect you all to be present when she beams over. Belania, as the unofficial Yeoman on board I would like you to ensure that Doctor Saint-Claire has everything she needs. Any questions?”
Everyone shook their heads and Kirin was about to dismiss them when the EMH spoke up. “I would appreciate the chance to speak to her Kirin Tarken. Saint-Claire’s work on microsurgery and cranial implants are years beyond the norm. I find it intriguing. Additionally, it presents an opportunity to have her review your suppression implant. I would like to ask her to examine it.”
At the mention of the implant, Kirin’s headache began to act up again though she knew it had been there before but ignored it. “Um, well we can definitely ask her when she arrives.”
“Excellent Kirin Tarken. As we are all aware your condition is a very fascinating one, even among your own species.” The EMH said and then vanished as he jumped back to medical.
Kirin sighed inwardly and dismissed the others, ignoring the glances she got from the others as they all remembered what happened when her last implant was removed.
Bridge – 12:45
“Captain, we have just received a message from the SS Heritage. They have just dropped out of warp at the edge of the system and heading in how. They have requested, at the order of Doctor Saint-Claire that we met them en route.” Belania said from the con. “The Captain seemed a bit stressed.”
“Very well, Ensign. Set an intercept course and get us moving.” Kirin responded and glanced down at the small screen on her armrest where she was yet again reviewing the good doctor’s file, as limited as it was though.
“ETA is 15 minutes at impulse,” Belania said.
“Perfect,” Kirin said before activating the intercom. “The SS Heritage is in the system. ETA is 15 minutes.”
Transporter Room – 13:00
Kirin looked back at the rest of her crew standing in the hallway while they waiting for confirmation from the Heritage that their passenger was ready for transport. The Daradax had made good time and rendezvoused with the civilian liner before it had made it a third of the way into the system. When she had called up the Captian of the Heritage he looked tired and relieved that the Daradax had arrived which made Kirin feel a bit uneasy.
“Heritage has confirmed they are ready for transport,” Kerry said from the transporter room controls. Kirin looked back at her and nodded her permission to activate the transport. For a couple of seconds before Doctor Saint-Claire arrived, she couldn’t help but notice that there was a change within Kerry since the events in Romulan space. ‘She definitely seems more sure of herself.’ She thought as the telltale sound of the transporter activating drew her attention.
A moment later the transporter beam was replaced with a middle-aged woman with a small suitcase and a large satchel. Kirin stepped forward to introduce herself but was cut off before she could start. “Lieutenant Commander Tarken I assume. Of course though, who else would you be, no other Orions on this ship. I am Doctor Saint-Claire. I trust we will depart for DS9 immediately?”
Kirin was taken aback for a moment but quickly regained herself. “I am Lieutenant Commander Tarken, welcome to the Daradax Doctor Saint-Claire. We will be departing to DS9 momentarily.” she said before turning slightly to the rest of the crew, “As you will be with us for a few days I wanted to introduce the rest of the crew, they will be happy….”
Helen cut Kirin off before she could finish her sentence. “I am familiar with each of them. Starfleet send me the manifest so I familiarized myself with everyone. Now if you will excuse me I will go to my quarters can someone please direct me? I will speak with you later Lieutenant Commander.”
Kirin stared at the woman as she moved past her into the hallway again at a loss for words. She had rarely come across someone so dismissive of her. She gestured to Belania. “Of course Doctor.” She said trying hard to keep the annoyance out of her tone. “Ensign Belania where will show you the way. If you need anything do not hesitate to contact either her or myself.”
Doctor Saint-Claire didn’t even acknowledge Kirin but turned to Belania. “Lead the way ensign.” She said as Belania turned to lead her down the corridor.
Kirin stood with the others and watched the two of them walk down the corridor before she said, “Dismissed,” with a bit more bite than she had intended. With that, she turned and went to her ready room and slumped down into the chair and poured herself a glass of iced tea from the picture she kept on the small table and tried to distract herself from her first interaction with Doctor Saint-Claire. A few minutes later she felt the subtle shift as the ship jumped to warp and she quickly confirmed that they were en route to DS9.
An hour later her door chimed and she looked up as Thanen entered. “Thanen, what can I do for you?” she asked.
The Andorian smiled, “Actually, I wanted to see if there was anything I could do for you. Would have stopped by earlier but thought you might want a moment to yourself.” He walked over to the desk and paced back and forth slightly. “I have to say that was an interesting encounter but what really threw me is she came to engineering less than 20 minutes later and began to grill me on everything I do. I think I understand why the Heritage’s Captain was so relieved we arrived.”
“She went to engineering? Really?” Kirin asked a bit bewildered.
“Yeah, she has a degree in engineering as well as a medical degree apparently so she was curious about the systems we run…” Thanen said with a shrug. “Not that they are any different than most other star fleet ships. But what got me was she was very pleasant about it. Was an odd experience. And she kept asking about you.”
Kirin lent back in her chair and exhaled. “That is odd. Maybe it was just me she doesn’t like,” she said with a forced laugh. “Thanks for letting me know. I will have a chat with her soon.”
“No problem,” Thanen said in response and turned to leave. “Let me know if you need anything or just want to chat if she gets to be a bit much.”
“Thanks, Thanen, appreciate it. We only have her for a few days anyways.”