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Quinquagenarian

Posted on Thu Feb 20th, 2020 @ 10:34pm by Lieutenant Natasha Stark

Mission: Promenade
Location: USS Majestic, Deck 8, Sickbay
Timeline: Shoreleave
1198 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

The quiet hum of the turbolift blended neatly into the low drone of the ship's engines. Commander Hanover leaned against the railing inside, still chuckling to himself and shaking his head at the recent memory of his first encounter with Captain Saulitis. It was certain to be a memorable first impression, and the five liter cauldron of soup he had arranged to be delivered directly to the captain's office was sure to further cement the story. Still, the rigmarole of transferring from one posting to another had many steps left to fulfill. For that reason, Jared found himself en route to sickbay, having previously scheduled a meeting with Doctor Stark to ensure he was medically fit for duty.

Quickly negotiating a walk of twenty meters from the turbolift to the main entrance to sickbay, Hanover checked in with the nurse on duty before being escorted to a biobed nearby. Leaning against the edge of the bed, he crossed his arms and thanked the nurse as he waited for Stark to arrive.

Natasha heard the Sickbay doors whoosh open and the murmuring of the nurse as she led him to a biobed for his exam. She looked down at her PADD to make a quick note of who was here, and nodded. Commander Hanover needed to be medically cleared for duty, and then Nat could go back to her desk and finish up a few things before bed. She stood up, grabbed her PADD, and headed over to where the Commander was waiting.

"Commander Hanover? Hi, I'm Lt. Stark, how are you feeling today?"

"Good morning Lieutenant Stark, it's a fine start to the day. It's quite the journey to get out here to Poseidon Station, so to that end, I'm very glad to finally make it to the ship. How are you?"

"Doing well, thanks," she looked down at her PADD and back at him. "So, you're here for your physical so you can transfer, I see. Is there anything you want to discuss before we begin? It shouldn't take too long."

"Nothing too pressing at the moment," Jared shook his head. "Physically, I feel fairly healthy. Maybe a little tight from sleeping in that bunk on the transport ship over here. Mentally speaking, same kind of thing. There's the stress of starting a new assignment and changing my daily routine, but that's the good kind of stress if there is such a thing."

She laughed and nodded. "Yeah, it's hard to switch things up like that, I definitely know the feeling." She paused to check the PADD one more time, just to ensure there was nothing she missed, and grabbed a scanner to begin checking his vitals. "All good so far, consistent with mild stress, nothing to be worried about, though."

Commander Hanover took a glance at the display above the biobed. Experience told him that a lack of flashing alerts or audible alarms was usually a good sign. Most of the arrows rested between the tick marks that represented his normal parameters for things such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and the like.

"I consider myself fortunate to have made it this war with relatively few chronic ailments. A little luck never hurt anyone," he smiled. "Mild stress is an improvement from the man I was after the Dominion War. I'm a big believer in mental health being equal and inseparable from physical health. It's taken years of work, much of it with the help of other professionals in your field. I hope that you continue the good work, lieutenant."

"I like your attitude, Commander, I know way too many people who wouldn't agree with you," she said, focusing on the instruments and trying not to think about her parents and her...sister. She shook her head and looked back down at the Commander's readings. "How long have you been with Starfleet?"

"Simultaneously too long and not long enough," Hanover shrugged and laughed. "Counting all of my assignments, it's been a little over thirty-four years of service. Some of it distinguished, some of it less so. One thing is for sure though lieutenant - it's been one hell of a ride. How about yourself? What brought you out here among the stars?"

"Space and medicine are and always have been obsessions of mine since I was little. I joined the academy right out of high school and I was working at the Academy hospital back home when a posting here opened up, so I took a chance and, well, here I am," she said, her hands fiddling with various instruments. She frowned at one of them, smacking it against her hand, and looked at the Commander as she reached for a different scanner and made a mental note to speak with someone about fixing it. "I'm going to have you lie on your back for a second while I check spine, nerves, etc. My other scanner just broke, so we'll just make do with this one."

Moving to comply with the doctor's instructions, Jared laid on the biobed as he considered the specifics of Natasha's story. He had listened to many iterations over the years, and each one was unique to the storyteller in one way or another.

"Well, I hope you have found that taking a chance continues to be meaningful and fulfilling," he shifted his weight on the table slightly. "A bit of unsolicited advice? When things get tough out there, always remember that moment when you took that chance, made that leap... Remember what called you to the stars in the first place."

She said nothing for a minute and thought of her first day at the academy, how she just stared at the front doors, eyes...well, starry-eyed, to be honest. She thought about her dad telling her stories about missions he went on, about other great men and women...

The scanner beeped at her, snapping her out of her short reverie. "I'll keep that in mind, thank you." She fiddled with the scanner and took another second to look at the readings.

"All looks pretty good here, though I would highly recommend seeing a chiropractor. Nothing serious, but you seem to have a few rather large knots, which, given that you've been under a fair amount of stress, is to be expected."

"Very well, doctor. Believe me, at my age, any excuse to see a chiropractor is welcomed like an old friend," Jared chortled as he sat up, feigning an injury like he had pulled a rib, only to raise a hand with a smile to signify that the only thing he had pulled was a quick act of deception. "Do you have anyone on staff here? Or should I find someone on the station before we disembark?"

She laughed and set her equipment down."I'll get in touch with one of my colleagues at the station, see if they can fit you in and we'll take it from there. Hopefully one session is all you need. Is there anything else you'll need before we finish up here?"

"No doctor, a thousand thanks. Be seeing you around."




Commander Jared Hanover
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Natasha Stark
Chief Medical Officer

 

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