- II -
“I need you to have all of these sorted by name and function before the end of the day,” said Doctor Wenera to the myriad of doctors, nurses and technicians who were following her around sickbay. She pointed at another cabinet. “It’s always bothered me that the stand-by sedatives are not more clearly labeled. Now is the chance to get that done.”
Her people busily entered notes in their padds, nodding along.
All but head nurse Leila Adams. “Are we getting inspected by Starfleet Medical?”
“Something like that,” Wenera shot back. “Besides you don’t need an inspection to get yourself properly organized. Come on folks, let’s have a sickbay we all can be proud off. And let’s do it today.”
The medical professionals broke up in order to get started on their chief medical officer’s master plan to completely revamp a room they had worked in together for over three years.
“Is it time for spring cleaning already?”
Wenera turned to find DeMara Deen leaning casually against the bulkhead.
“Dee, I didn’t see you there.”
The Tenarian smirked. It wasn’t very often that she could go unnoticed amongst a crowd. She enjoyed her rare inconspicuous moments. “No wonder,” she said, “you were too busy spinning your people’s heads.”
Wenera took a step closer to the operations manager, concern now edged on her face. “You don’t think I was too hard on them, do you?”
She shook her head and stood away from the wall. “No, I just think you’re confusing the hell out them,” she said. “And after watching a nice relaxing play that is.”
She smiled. “You were fabulous, I really mean it.”
“You liked the play?”
Wenera nodded eagerly. “It’s one of my all-time favorites.”
Deen shot her a suspicious look.
“I thought I remember you saying that before.”
“Maybe I mentioned it once,” she said and then stepped away and began removing equipment from one of the cabinets in preparation to have them all re-ordered.
Deen followed. “It’s a bit suspicious that we just so happen to be putting on your favorite play, don’t you think?”
She shook her head. “Don’t be silly. The crew was in dire need for some relaxation. The fact that it’s my favorite play is a mere coincidence,” she said and moved on to the next cabinet.
Deen followed. “Sure. And then, all of a sudden, you get your entire sickbay reorganized. Oh and of course there is that senior staff dinner the captain has so conveniently scheduled for this evening. I suppose those are all coincidences as well.”
Wenera didn’t say anything to this.
The golden-haired Tenerian stepped closer to the doctor. “Not to mention those subtle mood changes I’ve been observing lately,” she said. “And you look, I don’t know, fuller, I guess. But it’s not weight gain. Not really. It’s something else.”
The doctor froze.
“You want to know what I think?”
Wenera shot the younger woman a sharp look. “Come with me,” she said and then turned to head into her office. She closed the doors behind Deen and then walked to her desk.
“I think you are with child, Doctor,” said Deen with a wide grin on her face now. “I think the captain knows about it and has been putting on this whole –“
“I’m leaving Eagle
, Dee,” said Wenera after she had sat down in her chair.
That smile dropped off her face. “Say what now?”
“Tonight,” she added. “I’m making the announcement at the dinner this evening.”
Deen was clearly at a loss for words. She stepped up to her desk and sat down. “But why? I mean, yes, I understand that having a child is a big change but you can have it right here on the ship. We can all help out,” she said, making it quickly obvious that she had secretly looked forward to welcoming a newborn child on Eagle
and perhaps be allowed to help take care of it.
Wenera looked up. “On a starship in the middle of war? You think that’s a safe place for a child?”
“I … I suppose not.”
“The truth is I feel horrible about this. This child, let’s just say, it wasn’t exactly planned and the circumstances of its conception are, well, complicated.”
Deen had another grin on her face, a big schoolgirl-kind of grin which revealed her relatively young age.
The doctor quickly shook her head. “It’s not a good story, Dee.”
The grin was quickly replaced with a look of concern.
“Only a few people know about this, including the captain who has been incredibly supportive.”
“He can be a big softie at time,” she said. “Don’t tell him I said this,” she added quickly.
Wenera offered a sad little smile. There weren’t many people on board who dared talk about the captain in this manner. As a close personal friend she could get away with it on occasions. The doctor stared at an empty wall for a moment, as if working up the courage to speak. She found it eventually. “It happened on our mission to Tiaita a few months ago,” she said. “There was a man there and I very inappropriately let myself get swept up in a moment. It was disgraceful, Dee. It was entirely inappropriate.”
“You’re talking about the man who kidnapped you?”
She nodded slowly. “Now you understand?”
Deen looked her square in the eye. “I understand that he helped you escape from a sadistic monster determined to torture you. I understand that he helped our people to stop an anti-matter bomb which would have destroyed an entire city and killed millions. A man who may be the best future that world has to end its civil war.”
“Damn it, Dee, it was wrong, ok? It was completely unbecoming of a Starfleet officer and a medical practitioner to get involved with him in the manner that I did,” she shot back angrily.
Deen was momentarily stunned by the outburst. “And yet you are going to have his child and leave Eagle
,” she finally said.
“It wasn’t an easy choice.”
She nodded slowly. “Who’s going to take over? Doctor Nelson?”
“Doctor Katanga will be coming onboard shortly,” she said. “He’s been a mentor to me for many years and an extremely capable –“
“Doctor Elijah Katanga?” Deen said, interrupting her. “The
“Yes,” she said carefully.
“The man is practically a legend,” she continued, her eyes suddenly wide with admiration. “Isn’t he heading the interstellar relief agency at Starfleet Medical? The one you used to work for?”
She nodded. “He’s agreed to take over for me here on Eagle
Deen was smiling now. “I can’t wait to meet him. I heard so much about that man.”
“Well, that’s good. I’m glad you like my replacement,” she said, sounding a little bit hurt.
“Sorry,” she said quickly. “I’m still devastated that you’ll be leaving us.”
“Yeah, but being replaced with a living legend is making it hurt less, right?” she said with twinkle in her eye.
Deen raised her hand and held her index finger and her thumbs close apart. “Maybe just a tiny little bit,” she said with a smirk.
* * *