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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 3 – “Lost in Space”

The Doctor and The Captain

10.15.2400 0830
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Doctor Aimee MacDonald entered commands into her terminal and uploaded the medical links from the scanners she had given Lieutenant Cordon and her husband, Dougal.   The return made her smile.  Both subjects were free of the disease.   Her latest antiviral had worked.  Now it was time to create a mass cure so they wouldn’t have to inoculate everyone on the planet individually. 

Pottinger moved to a console on the other side of the room.  She was sure the Mercy crew were, at a minimum, aware of additional layers to the station’s mission.  She had read each of their files and had initially held very little concern about them.  Since landing on the station, she’d started to worry that they appeared more competent than they appeared on PADDs.  The clear and present danger was Dr. MacDonald.  She wasn’t convinced she could swing the Chief Medical Officer over to her side.  She had banked on them being a young crew with little time to grow together, but that, too, had been a misnomer.  A previous mission had found the Mercy and her crew facing off against a homicidal station intelligence.  It had strengthened their relationships considerably.  She began to think about how she could remove the doctor from the equation, at least temporarily.

“Captain,” Aimee greeted without looking away from her work.  She kicked her right foot, rolled to the left, and entered commands into the computer.  “What can I do for you?” Her tone was polite but lacking any warmth.

Grace chewed on her lip for a moment.  “I wonder if I am to trust you, Doctor MacDonald.”  She continued downloading the available and untouched data as she spoke, “There seems to be a…dynamic developing amongst some of the Mercy away team.”

“Trust me?” Aimee repeated looking up in surprise. “What is that supposed to mean, ma’am?”

Pottinger wondered how to respond.  She decided on, “Outsiders have a hard time being a part of an established or close team.  The Mercy, as short as your time together has been, has become close.”

“Look, you are a captain in Starfleet.  As long as your orders are within Starfleet regulations and the constitution of the United Federation of Planets I will respect your rank regardless of personal feelings,  of which I have many. But, those are irrelevant. “

Grace nearly chuckled but let it die in her throat, “How very Vulcan of you, Doctor.”

Aimee didn’t respond to Grace’s comment, simply ignoring it.  She had bigger issues at play here.  Her gaze fell onto the small stasis chamber in which her child was encased.  It was either that or they both died.

Pottinger saw her attention was somewhere else.  She didn’t care about the doctor or her needs.  She was aware that a distraction could impact the mission.  She couched her concern, “Everything OK, doctor?”

“Hmm? Oh, it’s not important to the situation at hand. Just some personal measures I had to take so that I could… You know, it doesn’t matter.” The computer beeped.  Turning to the terminal, she entered commands,  “Well, Captain,  you have the active strain of the virus.”  

Pottinger’s external reaction was mild.  Her eyebrows went up.  Inside she was a buzzing hive of worry.  “It does not seem to be affecting me similarly.”  She approached Aimee’s console, “Is it possible we won’t have the onset of symptoms that the people here did?”

“Not likely,” Aimee replied returning to her work.  “The good news is the experimental vaccine is working on Ms. Cordon and my husband.” After a long silence Aimee stood and loaded a hypospray and pressed it into Pottinger’s shoulder. “I wish I could warn you of side-effects but given the nature of the disease extended trials isn’t an option. Right now I am trying to create a way to disperse this enmass.  I’m thinking water based is the correct direction.”

Pottinger gave her a careful look but nodded her assent.