Chapter Three (cont.)
“Miss Madsen? Are you still with us?”
Lara jerked upright, and she shook her head. “Sorry, Dr. Woolsey,” she stammered. “It won’t happen again.”
The hologram stared at her for a moment. “How long has it been since you slept, Nurse?”
She thought for a moment and frowned. “Day before yesterday?” she guessed.
Woolsey clucked his tongue and now he frowned. “Well, Blackhawk
is sending personnel across to assist,” he looked out of the Sick Bay and he cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. “Once they arrive, I want everyone assigned to Medical to report your quarters and get at least four hours of sleep—six would be better. NO EXCEPTIONS. Now, then,” he said turning back to the young nurse. “What is the condition of the symbiote?”
“It is not responding, Doctor,” Lara answered softly. “Mister Malik remains in a coma—the host body should recover, but the symbiote remains in critical condition.”
The EMH frowned again. “It should have responded to the treatment—if the diagnosis is correct,” he took the PADD from Lara and scrolled through the data again. “I want another cellular scan of the symbiote and the host—let’s see if we missed anything the first time around, Miss Madsen.”
“I will prep the Commander, Doctor.”
“Keep me informed,” Woolsey said as he walked over to another patient. The doors to sickbay slid open before he reached the bio-bed, however, and fresh, rested medical personnel from the Admiral’s ship began to enter—and the Doctor smiled.
“Wonderful—glad you could join us. I am Doctor Woolsey, acting Chief Medical Officer Republic
. My people will brief you before they catch some shuteye.”
One of the newcomers came to a halt and he stared at the hologram. “Where is Doctor Talbot?” he asked.
“Doctor Talbot is with the Captain, Doctor . . . ?” Robert answered and asked.
“Halloway. Who is in charge here?”
Robert Woolsey frowned again. “I am, Doctor Halloway. This is my sickbay.”
“Not anymore—I want a briefing on the condition of all patients before each of you Republic
s go off-shift.”
“Pardon me, Doctor Halloway, but this is my sickbay—you
are here to assist me
“Computer, end EMH,” the doctor from Blackhawk
“Unable to comply without command override authorization
,” the computer broadcast.
“The Captain of this ship values me as a Starfleet officer, not merely a hologram, Doctor Halloway,” Woolsey said in a cold voice. “My program has been altered to prevent anyone from ending my program on a whim. Now, if you will join me in my office, I will brief you on the patients and we can assign your personnel to their duties.”
“I don’t take orders from a hologram!”
“In this sickbay, you will either follow my instructions or you will be removed from the ship!”
Halloway smiled. “You haven’t the authority.”
Woolsey tapped his holographic comm badge. “Sick-bay to Security. Escort Doctor Halloway to Transporter Room 3 and return him to Blackhawk
; inform Commander Shrak my full report will be forthcoming.”
“On our way, Doctor Woolsey
,” a voice answered—and Halloway’s smile slowly faded.
“Holograms do not give orders on Starfleet vessels!” he insisted. “Not when properly relieved by actual medical personnel!”
“Doctor, you have
not relieved me. And you are not here to
relieve me. You were assigned to Republic
me. And you will either do that while obeying my orders, or
I will have you clapped in irons and removed from this ship!”
The doors slid open again and two burly Marines entered the Sickbay. The senior nodded at Doctor Woolsey. “Is there a problem, Doc?” he asked.
“That depends if next words out of the mouth of Blackhawk
’s junior surgeon are ‘aye, aye, sir’ or not.” Woolsey said in a somber voice. “And if the words are not ‘aye, aye, sir’, then you will remove him from my Sickbay and from this ship, and I will write a formal complaint into his permanent file. A compliant that Commander Shrak will endorse, I might add.”
The Marine shook his head and chuckled. “Don’t think he’s joking, Sir. He’s not, and the XO will back him.”
Halloway’s shoulders slumped and he whispered, “Aye, aye, Sir,” through gritted teeth.
“Excellent!” said Robert Woolsey with a grin. “Thank you, Corporal Danforth—I think that will be all.”
“Anytime, Doc, anytime,” the Marine answered as he turned to leave.
“And now, Doctor Halloway, if you will join me in my office, we can discuss the conditions of my patients and the duties I expect your people to carry out. Shall we?” he asked with a wave of his hand.