Stardate 53112.1, Infirmary, USS Nightingale
Rachel monitored the readouts as they came through to the monitoring station in front of her. Her mind was clear of the disagreement she had with Lieutenant V'ras a couple of days ago. V'ras had recently released the Biomedical Systems Specialist from the engineering section to her infirmary where his normal duty would be. The young ensign had just spent the last sixteen hours trying to get the Imaging Chamber up and running, yet there were still some problems.
"The resolution still needs to be adjusted," Rachel said as she tapped on the console, "I'm getting some interference."
Ensign Amanda Hodge pulled herself out of the small chamber that was tucked up in the wall. The latest Starfleet technology, the chamber was able to diagnose and treat a number of injuries and diseases. Rachel thought that the imaging technology was a great piece of ingenuity from Starfleet Corps of Engineers and Medical that during the Dominion War saved countless lives. However many other doctors thought the latest technology made them more redundant. Of course the technology was still limited; it could not heal phaser or disruptor fire injuries and internal injuries. Its main use is against burns and other skin disorders.
Amanda looked at the doctor and sighed, something that greatly irritated Rachel. "I can't bring the resolution any finer," she said, "not without burning the circuitry systems on the whole deck, it would bring the whole sickbay into problems," she explained, wiping some dust off her delicate cheek.
Rachel hit the console in front of her out of pure frustration, he hated being told what she could or couldn't do.
"Well hitting the console isn't going to achieve anything but giving me more work."
"I don't like being powerless," Rachel explained snappily.
"Nor do I sir," Amanda moved a hand onto Rachel's shoulder, "but this machine works fine at the moment, it just isn't perfect."
"Do you know what is wrong with it?" Rachel asked as she pulled her had away from the console and her body from Amanda. Her hand ached from hitting the console so hard, but she didn't want to openly admit it.
"We would probably need a new sensor array within the device," Amanda's first finger touched just above her upper lip as she pondered the possibilities, "the thing is with this machine, it's the first time I've seen one, let alone built or repaired one. I had to look at the instructions."
"I don't suppose that helped," Rachel replied mockingly.
"Sir, with all due respect," Amanda stated, "I dare not comment on your medical skills, please don't comment on my engineering skills."
Rachel swung her head from side to side in annoyance, the ensign was right; she should not have questioned his abilities. "I'm sorry," she said, pursing her lips together.
Amanda was about to say something when Commander Hawke walked through into the infirmary, his speed showing true purpose in his strides across the deck plating. "Commander Burton," his booming voice started, "I need to have a word with you in private."
Amanda was the only other person in the room and so excused herself, making a brief acknowledgement to the executive officer.
"What on earth is this Rachel?" Dan said holding up a padd in the air.
"I believe that is my request for a transfer sir," Rachel responded walking over to a bio bed switching it off, "I don't think that I can complete my duties."
Rachel looked up from the bio bed and at the Commander that stood in front of her, his posture a strange mixture of sadness and anger. "I can't hide my feelings for you Commander."
"Don't call me that," Dan said moving closer to her.
"That is what I am supposed to call you sir, you are my superior officer," she replied quietly, moving further away from his unwanted advances.
"I've always been a superior officer Rachel," he explained, "what has changed?"
Rachel almost seemed to break down, she shifted from foot to foot not knowing which way to walk or what to do, her mind confused, she didn't want to look at Dan. "Everything has changed," she replied, sadness in her voice, "I can't cope with the life I would have to live if we were still together, it isn't right, not when we face danger," she paused for a second, "what if something happened to either of us, would you copy with me hurt?"
Dan paused for a moment; he had not thought of that question himself and therefore could not answer straight away, "I would be upset," he eventually replied, his own sense of sadness embedded deep in the tone of his voice, "but I am just as upset as not having you."
Rachel felt the tears surge behind her eyes and tried hard to fight them off, at least for a little while longer.
"I don't think it is a good idea for us to be together any more Dan," she said, slipping up on the noun used for her former lover, hoping desperately that he wouldn't realise, "you'll have to cope with that sir."
Dan took at step closer to her, "I need you!" he whispered to her.
Rachel didn't want to hear that, she wanted to get rid of him and quickly.
Nurse Williams walked into the room behind Dan, Rachel thought it was excellent timing and placing her hands in a supportive manner behind her on one of the bio beds, she smiled at Dan, "I'm sorry Commander, at the moment I am very busy, but I would be happy to deal with my request at another time," she stated looking at him.
Dan nodded and walked out of the room, almost brushing past Nurse Williams on the way out.
"What was all that about?" Williams asked, "was he after something in particular?"
Rachel watched the door, hoping he wouldn't return quickly to finish off the conversation, "he wanted to discuss my transfer request," she replied, emptiness in her voice.
"You want to leave doctor?" Nurse Williams sounded shock, "may I ask why?"
Rachel looked at the nurse, giving her a cold, sharp, distasteful look before storming out of the infirmary into her office, where she sat down with the door locked behind her, crying.
Stardate 53112.1, Bridge, USS Nightingale
Dan stamped out of the turbolift as it reached the bridge, his head was full of angry, nasty words, that if anyone heard them they would surely be shocked. He didn't want to speak to anyone, but to get to his office or quarters he had to go through the bridge, something he felt was a minor flaw design in this particular class of vessel.
Shrak sat in the Captain's chair briefly stood up at the arrival of the Executive Officer, "would you like to relieve me sir?" she asked confidently.
Dan shook his head, "no Lieutenant, you continue with your shift," he said, "any idea when we will arrive at the Starbase?"
Shrak looked towards the helmsman who in turn looked at the computer readout in front of him, "six hours sir," the ensign announced.
Dan nodded, he had six hours to respond to Rachel's completely, pathetic request to transfer off the ship. She was needed on the ship, and she didn't have a clue on how important she was to the ship, the mission or even to him. It may have been a selfish thought, but he wanted her on the ship for him and no other reason was more important than that to him.
"Sir," Shrak interrupted his train of thought, "I was wondering if you had spoken to the Captain about the security team issues?"
Dan nodded, he had spoken to John about the problems, but as John had put it, he was unable to magically create the necessary crew. They would have to do without until they were able to get some. "I did Lieutenant," Dan replied, "you'll have to do with what you have," he continued, "we are pretty shorthanded as it is, just use your tactical officers while we aren't firing the weapons."
Shrak nodded, Dan wondered if the Andorian was being polite and didn't want to take the matter on any further or whether she was secretly plotting his downfall. Shrak returned to the captain's chair and took up a position sat in it. She looked uncomfortable, but the Andorian body had always found problems with sitting down, especially in human designed chairs.
Dan looked around the room to see that no one else was paying attention to him and he left the bridge to sit in his quarters, alone.