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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 5 – Answering the Call (ATC)

ATC 003 – Another Day, Another Assignment

Starbase 72
02.03.2401 @ 1000
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Henry Longfellow stared at the ceiling of the quarters he had been assigned at Starbase 72.  His brief assignment at Starbase Eos had been interrupted by a call from the Task Force Executive Officer who had run across his file.  He was needed for something.  The details were short, and the only caveat Longfellow had asked for was that his nurse, Asata Hiro, come along for the ride.

=^=Task Force Operations to Lieutenant Longfellow – your presence is requested in operations.=^=

Henry sat up.  The chrono read 0800, and he sighed deeply.  He hadn’t found his home yet.  Wearing on him was the thought that he never would.  Another sigh and a groan as he stood and pushed himself through the shower and into a fresh uniform, his feet carrying him to the operations center.  The officer at the desk took his name and escorted him back through the corridors to an interview room.  A young woman stood from her chair and extended her hand, “Lieutenant Jordan Reid, Chief Medical Officer of the Mackenzie.  Have a seat, Doctor Longfellow.” He dutifully sat and waited awkwardly for an explanation.  She answered his unspoken question, “My current assistant chief is retiring.  I sent a request to our task force, and here we are.”

Longfellow wasn’t sure he was in the right place or even the right person, “You’ve seen my file.  You can’t be serious.”

Reid disagreed, “Your file is why you’re here, doctor.  You have an unparalleled focus on patient care and a passion for being as close to perfection as possible in any circumstance.  Your efforts on Eos were remarkable.”

A snort, “You haven’t read the whole file.”  He moved to stand.

“You are not dismissed, Lieutenant Longfellow.”  She pushed the PADD over so he could see it.  It was his file in its entirety.  “I have read the whole file.  Three times.  And each time, I keep finding reasons to offer you the assistant chief medical officer position.  You’ve endured much, doctor.  You haven’t given up.”

Henry sighed, “There are days I wish I could, lieutenant.”  He mused, “You think I’m worth your time?”

Reid nodded, “I didn’t drag you out here just to fill a position in my department.  You were intentional, I assure you.”  She reached for the PADD, “Your quarters are assigned and will be next door to Ensign Hiro.  She said her decision would be based on yours.”

Longfellow felt his heart shift slightly, “She’s an old friend.  Can’t seem to get rid of her.”

Jordan gave him a knowing look, “When you find your people, and they’re willing to journey through it all with you…that’s a good sign.”  She stood, “You’ll have twenty-four hours to tell me your decision.  I look forward to your answer, Doctor Longfellow.”

She made it to the door as it opened when he turned in the chair, “You’re not very subtle, are you, Doctor Reid?”

Jordan nearly rolled her eyes at the man, “I don’t dance, Henry.  I know what I need in my crew, and if you don’t join us, I’ll move on down the line.  If you want to join the Mackenzie family and the benefit that brings, we’ll welcome you with open arms.”  She stayed in the door, sensing something more was coming.

He proved her right, “Does this family get along all the time?”

She smiled, “No, we don’t.  Is that a problem?”

He held eye content with her for what felt like an eternity and then pulled the PADD up to read it one last time.  He tapped in his response on the screen and handed it back to her, “I accept.  Begrudgingly.”

Reid accepted the PADD, “Then I’ll see you onboard and in my sickbay by 1200 hours.  Good day, Doctor Longfellow.”  The door closed behind her, and Henry let out a long sigh.  What in the hell had he just done?