=/\= Lieutenant Vock, please report to Captain Holstead’s office. =/\=
The Vulcan doctor arched an eyebrow, but didn’t stop looking at the magnified image of the blood sample before him. He tapped his badge and replied with a succinct =/\= Understood. =/\= and then tilted his head slightly to the side and squinted his eyes slightly. “Curious…” he mumbled quietly. =/\= Computer, compare viral model A-76977-B.2 to known viral sequences of Novagrande 7. =/\= There was a chirp and then a pause. =/\= Analysis complete. Viral models show 45.987% match at DNA level. =/\= Seddk nodded once to himself and then said =/\= Forward results to Doctor F’quon with a recommendation of a full series of G7 antivirals. =/\= Another chirp and Vock stood up and began walking out of the laboratory deep in the depths of Star Fleet Medical Command.
It took the better part of ten minutes to travel from the bowels of the laboratory complex to the administrative center. Seddk would have been, if he allowed himself such leeway, apprehensive or nervous about the summons. He knew, on an intellectual level, that Captain Holstead did not like him. He knew, again on a purely intellectual level, that the reason for the Captain’s dislike was Seddk’s criticism of the paper the Captain had put out with regards to a certain bacterial infection and it’s treatment in starships. And he knew that since his criticism, which was justified and pointed out several miscues on the author’s part, he had been relegated to work far removed from his previous position as the Adjunct Professor of Virology at the Academy; a position he had held since he left the Asimov as Chief Medical Officer. He understood the Captain didn’t like him… but thankfully he was Vulcan, and such feelings did not bring with them the awkwardness or angst other species might feel.
Entering the reception area, Vock walked up to the desk where the Captain’s aide sat. “Lieutenant Vock, reporting as ordered to see Captain Holstead.” The Lieutenant Junior Grade nodded and pressed an icon the desk display before them. “The Captain will be with you shortly, Lieutenant.” Vock nodded and moved to the side of the room and stood, hands clasped behind his back.
A few minutes later there was a chirp at the reception desk and the aide said “The Captain will see you now, Lieutenant.” Seddk walked up to the door to the inner office and walked inside as it slid open.
The office was well appointed and brightly lit from the sunlight streaming through the windows. Seddk approached the desk behind which sat the Captain. Looking straight ahead, Vock said “Lieutenant Vock reporting as ordered, Captain.” Holstead, an older human man with a form more akin to a baker that sampled his own work often than a Star Fleet officer. A sickeningly sweet smile crossed Holstead’s face. “Ahhh… Mr. Vock. How are things in the sample lab?” and he chuckled at his own humor.
“Acceptable, Captain. The backlog has been addressed and I have implemented a new intake protocol that will prioritize sample review requests and ensure that all samples are addressed in a timely fashion.” Holstead’s face hardened somewhat and he said “And just who gave you permission to do such a thing, Lieutenant?” “You did, sir.” Seddk replied without emotion. “When you assigned me to the lab, I became the ranking officer. Therefore, per regulations, it became my responsibility to ensure the lab runs as efficiently as possible.” Holstead looked momentarily confused and then said “Lieutenant Commander Mcatavish is the OIC of the lab, Lieutenant. I assigned him there myself some time ago.” Vock inclined his head and said “Indeed, Captain. However, Lt. Cmdr. Mctavish retired six weeks before you assigned me to the section… sir.” Holstead’s eyes narrowed slightly and he simply made a hmmm sound softly under his breath. “Doesn’t matter. I called you here Lieutenant, because you have received orders. I do hope your new assignment is everything I could manage for you.” and he chuckled wickedly as he handed Vock the PaDD. “I haven’t even looked. Wanted it to be a surprise for both of us.” Holstead had spent the better part of six months trying to find the most horrendously boring and absolutely isolated duty station he could find. He had cajoled and maneuvered things so that wherever the uppity doctor was sent would be so terrible that he would have to resign.
Vock opened the file and read the orders quickly. “Thank you, sir. I am humbled by your confidence in my abilities.” he said with no hint of sarcasm. Holstead’s eyes widened and he said “Wh… what do you mean. Give me that!” and he stood up and snatched the PaDD from Vock’s hand. He read through the orders and said “Wait… what? Star ship? A Discovery class?!?!? Chief Medical Officer?!?!? Who… who…” and he looked at the bottom of the orders. They were approved by the Commanding Officer of Star Fleet Medical, Admiral Tysol. Holstead seemed to deflate as he handed the PaDD back to Vock and sank slowly into his seat. Vock looked at the Captain and a fleeting feeling of something… maybe pity?… passed through him. “Permission to be dismissed, Captain. I have to pack. My shuttle leaves in six hours.” Holstead simply waved and turned his chair to look out the window. Vock left without a word.
As the doors slid closed behind the Vulcan, the comms chirped. =/\= Captain Holstead? Admiral Tysol here. I saw that the good Lieutenant has received his orders. Now that he is out of the way, shall we discuss some troubling reports I have received about you and using assignments as punishments Captain? =/\=
Outside the office, the aide listened in and smiled. He had liked Vock. He was always approachable with a problem and never made you feel stupid for asking questions. He deserved better than to be left to rot in some lab. So when the notification of the opening appeared, it was a simple matter to send the position and Vock’s personnel record directly to the Admiral. Well… that and the report he had compiled over the past eighteen months concerning Holstead’s ‘leadership’ style.
Two weeks later, a runabout dropped out of warp near a large, four-nacelle star ship. =/\= USS Europa, this is Runabout Insidious. One to transfer over. =/\= Inside the Runabout, Lieutenant Seddk Vock picked up his travel bag and stepped onto the transporter pad.
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