Sickbay, Deck 7, U.S.S. Juno
San Francisco Fleet Yards, Earth
Stardate: 35010.1 (January 4th, 2358)
Doctor Kovaal moved from biobed to biobed, running a full check on each diagnostic table and display in a methodical and efficient manner. He was the only medical officer onboard the Juno
, his staff were due to arrive in nineteen hours, two minutes and forty-nine seconds, but before they arrived he wanted to make sure that sickbay was prepped to his standards. After his inspection of both primary wards he would move on to catalogue everything in the adjoining store room—all tasks usually undertaken by medtechs, but he liked to ensure that everything was ready for any eventuality he could logically foresee.
For a ship of its size, he hadn’t expected such a substantial medical facility; in addition to the two primary wards there were two surgical suits, a recovery ward, a dedicated biomedical laboratory, four isolation rooms and a large personal office space. Though given the Juno
being categorised a deep space scout ship, she would often be operating without support from starbases or other starships, so she needed to be self-sufficient.
“Communications to Doctor Kovaal,”
the intercom chirped.
“Kovaal here, go ahead,” he replied promptly, not looking up from his diagnostic PADD.
“Sir, you have an incoming comlink from Vulcan.”
He stopped. All thoughts of his work and the many checks he still needed to conduct were forgotten. He had known that this call was inevitable, he just hadn’t expected it so soon.
“Understood. Please route it to my office. Kovaal out.”
He set the PADD on the bed he had been working on, turned on his heel and headed for his office, his pace calm measured, neither rushed nor dawdling—it would have been difficult for anyone watching him to know just how much he didn’t want to answer the incoming call. He stepped into his office and after the door closed behind him, he secured it then moved behind his desk. The terminal was flashing, indicating the waiting call.
He took a deep steadying breath and then tapped in his authorisation code. The Vulcan IDIC appeared on the monitor for a few moments, before vanishing and being replaced by the face of an older Vulcan woman, her face shared the same slim jaw and soft cheekbones he had, but her hair was onyx black and her eyes were dark hazel—his lighter hair colour and blue eyes had come from his father.
“Mother,” he began, “you look well.”
“As do you, Kovaal.”
Her eyes narrowed slightly. He knew that would be the end of any attempt at pleasantries from T’Menna. “I understand you are in the Sol System.”
“That is correct,” he confirmed.
“This is the first time you have been so close to Vulcan in ten years, three months and eighteen days,”
she stated, cutting him off. “Is there a reason that you have not returned home?”
“I have been very busy, Mother. I have been assigned to another ship and we are making preparations to depart.”
Her eyes narrowed a little further. “Another deep space assignment,”
it wasn’t a question.
“Kovaal, this is unacceptable. You have important matters to attend to on Vulcan. T’Pia awaits you.”
“I am aware of that, Mother.”
“You are still not wed, Kovaal. The betrothal must be honoured before matters of progeny arise.”
Though almost undetectable, he could hear a shift in his mother’s tone at the mere thought of pon farr
—despite being a simple biological drive, it was still a matter that many chose not to discuss, so for T’Menna to mention it he knew that she was becoming more irritated with his actions.
Since completing his internship onboard the U.S.S. Centaur
, he had served onboard two other starships both of which had been on extended deep space missions, taking him far away from the Federation core and the demands placed upon him by tradition. It was the reason why he had sought out the Juno
and requested a transfer, as the mission would take him into the unknown for at least another five years. His parents were at a loss to understand his career path and apparent refusal to marry T’Pia—a woman he hadn’t seen since he was ten.
“This is an excellent opportunity, Mother, and one I could not refuse. However, I understand the predicament this leaves you and Father with. Perhaps I could propose va-toh’vahr
T’Menna attested. “The betrothal will not be annulled.”
There was silence over the comlink. He had assumed that to be his mother’s response, but given the circumstances he had hoped that she would concede and release him from the obligation they had placed on him as an infant.
“Do you not have time to return to Vulcan.”
“There is insufficient time for both travel and the wedding ceremony.”
“Very well, we shall postpone it once again. However, upon your return you
will come to Vulcan and marry T’Pia.
“As you wish, Mother. Peace and long life.”
“Live long and prosper, Kovaal.”
With that the channel closed and the IDIC reappeared on his screen. Had he been human, he might have sighed heavily and slouched back into his chair, instead the steepled his fingers and concentrated on the point his index fingers made. Focusing, he slowed his breathing and dropped his heart rate, using the meditation technique to calm the emotions that simmered under the surface of his calm exterior.
As much as he may have wanted to, he doubted he could ever make his parents understand his hesitance and by what his mother had told him, they were only going to tolerate this last delay. How could he tell his conservative parents that he just couldn’t follow their wishes and Vulcan tradition in this matter?
* * * * *