Castle Roland

Star Trek: Excalibur

by Zach Caldwell

In Progress

Chapter 2

Published: 7 Apr 16

Star Trek: Excalibur

Copyright © 2016 by Zach Caldwell
All Rights Reserved

Starfleet Academy, San Francisco, Earth, Sol System
Stardate: 87024.46
Graduation Day

Captain Knight felt the muscles in his face start to hurt from the constant smile he had plastered on his face. It was a small price to pay to have been here to see his son graduate from the Academy. It, however, meant he had to pretend to be happy to shake hands with various diplomats, fellow starfleet captains and of course, the Admiralty. Generally playing the diplomat was something which came natural to him but today he just wanted to make his way to his son.

Captain Knight was talking to a Bolian Ambassador who would not release his hand. A voice from behind him caused the Ambassador to cease talking and with the interruption, he seized the chance to reclaim his hand and turn to the voice behind him. The Ambassador looked a bit upset with the interruption until he looked up to a Fleet Admiral. He quickly smiled and nodded to the new arrival.

"Please forgive the interruption, Captain Knight and Ambassador Shaytavi, but I require a moment of the Captain's time."

Ambassador Shaytavi smiled and bowed at the waist. "Of course Admiral Caldwell. I hope to catch up to you later. Good day Captain Knight."

"To you as well, Ambassador." The captain let out a breath as the Ambassador moved out of earshot. "Thank you Admiral. Was not sure how much longer my hand would have lasted."

The youngest Fleet Admiral in Starfleet history patted the Captain on the back. "I could see you needed a reprieve from the Ambassador. I am not sure how anyone can be a good Ambassador if they do not give others a chance to interject commentary. I bet you are in hurry to catch up to your son." The Admiral looked over the Captain's shoulder with a nod. Turning around, the Captain realized he and the Admiral had moved away from the largest of the crowds and just across a walkway next to the Academy fountain, stood his son and his friends clearly congratulating each other and passing hugs all around. A smile, free of any discomfort this time, crossed his face. "Thank you, Admiral!"

"You're most welcome. Now go be with your son. It's been too long."

Ryan was laughing with his friends at a joke told by Jace when he noted the silence from his friends and they all stood to attention. Turning around the first thing he saw was the Captain ranks, academy training kicked in and he snapped to attention, the second thing he realized was it was his father.

Though it did not show outwardly, he was excited to see his father but at the same time he was also angry to see him. "Captain!"

Captain Knight, with a slight smile and a nod to everyone, "At ease everyone. I want to congratulate you all on a job well done getting this far. I look forward to working with you all aboard the Excalibur." Everyone relaxed from their stance. Jace was the first to speak, stepping forward.

"Captain, I am Jace Brackett. I wanted to say how much of an honor it is for me to be able to serve under your command and to get to work with the Excalibur's engines."

The Captain shook hands with Jace. "Good to meet you Ensign Brackett. I'm sure the engines will be in very good hands with you and Commander Oclum onboard."

Syvok stepped forward and offered the Vulcan sign. "Greetings Captain. Ensign Syvok, science officer."

Captain Knight returned the sign in greeting. "Is your father Chancellor T'Lar, of the Vulcan Science Academy?"

Syvok raised an eyebrow. "That is correct."

"I had the pleasure of attending his conference on the Dyson Sphere's. I was most impressed. I am glad to have you onboard." The Vulcan nodded and took a step back.

Next to step forward was Katie Elders with her red shoulder length hair and pale skin. "I am Doctor Katie Elders. I'm pleased to meet you Captain."

"Ahh, Doctor. I am sure the medical staff aboard the Excalibur are anxious to meet you."

"I am just sorry that I won't have a chance to practice with Dr. Wells."

The Captain nodded. "Mark is a good man and I'll miss him. But Starfleet Medical is lucky to have him as their new Medical Director."

The Captain took a step toward Caleb extending his hand. "You must be Ensign Caleb Aguilar, our new Chief of Security."

Caleb stood a bit straighter and shook hands with the Captain. Ryan smiled at his friend's enthusiasm. "Thank you Captain, Ryan has spoken of you often and I feel as though I know you well sir. A pleasure to serve under your command."

Ryan moved toward his dad and he was about to hug his father but stopped and extended his hand. The action did not go unnoticed by Captain Knight and taking his son's hand into his own, looked his son in the eyes. "I am very proud of you, son. I know your Mother would of been very proud of you too."

Ryan could not help himself as his body tensed up at the mention of his mother. After a breath to steady his voice. "I know she would have been. I wish she could've been here."

Captain Knight nodded his agreement. "Me too son, me too. I would like to have dinner with you tonight after you and your friends report to the Excalibur and get settled in."

"Thank you, Captain. I will see you this evening." The Captain nodded and then looked to everyone else. "Congratulations again and I'll see you all aboard the Excalibur later today." He reached up with his hand and tapped the communicator on his chest. "Knight to Excalibur, one to beam up." Seconds later, in sparkling lights and with an accompanying sharp whine, the Captain disappeared.

As the transporter beam released Ryan and his friends, he looked around the transporter room. The room was spotless and spoke to the newness of the ship. Quickly his eyes fell on a tall man with Commander pips on his collar, standing next to another officer. "I am Commander Hunter, First Officer. Welcome aboard the USS Excalibur. Since this is your first cruise aboard a starship, we have scheduled an orientation session in the crew mess at 1400 hours. For those of you who are department heads, this will be your chance to get familiar with the ship before the rest of the crewmembers and junior officers arrive." The Commander stepped forward as everyone stepped down from the transporter pad. "Lt. Ryan Knight, Ensign Caleb Aguilar, as bridge officers I'll conduct you to your quarters. Lt. Masters here will escort, Dr. Elders, Ensign's Brackett and Syvok to their quarters. Get settled into your quarters and changed into your duty uniforms. That's all."

Caleb and Ryan stood to one side so that their friends and Lt. Masters could leave the transporter room.

"This way gentlemen." The trio approached the exit and the doors swooshed opened as they neared. The trio did not have far to go as the turbolift was opposite the transporter room. Stepping inside and the doors closed. "Deck 2."

Ryan and Caleb exchanged glances with each other. The exchange would've just been that: a glance between regular people. But to Ryan and Caleb it was much more. The last four years at the Academy enabled them to read each other, an ability which served them both when they worked together on projects or simulated missions. Both were a bit perplexed by the Commander.

Moments later the turbolift arrived on deck two - often referred to as the officer's deck. A short walk down the hall and the Commander stopped at a cabin door. "This is D2-127. These are your quarters, Ensign Aguilar." Touching a keypad, the door slid open revealing small quarters but with a living space, bedroom and bathroom. After a quick glance to Caleb, Ryan turned back to the Commander. "Sir, I had requested Ensign Caleb and myself be assigned the same quarters."

Commander Hunter, in a firm stance, looked at the Lieutenant with what appeared to be contempt. "If you both were junior officers or crewmen, then the request would have been considered. I am not going to play favorites aboard this ship."

Caleb could see in Ryan's body language he was about to say something but quickly jumped in first. "Thank you Commander. We understand and we're sorry we were not as clear as we should've been about the ship board regulations." He quickly moved into his room and tossed his bag on the couch. "Very cosy, if I do say so myself." With a smile on his face he spun to face the Commander and Ryan, who is looking at him with a what- the-hell look.

Ryan quickly composed himself and waved at Caleb. "I'll catch up to you later, Caleb." Caleb, with a smile still on his face, waved back as the door slide closed.

"Your quarters are just down the hall to the left. D2-110." Both men walked down the hall. "I'm going to make this clear to you right now, Lieutenant. I do not care if you are the Captain's son. You are not going to get any favors from me or anyone else on board. So if you thought this was going to be an easy cruise for you, think again." He stopped at another cabin door and looked at Ryan. "Your quarters." He motions with a hand.

Gritting his teeth he walked toward his door which slid open, he stopped and faced the Commander. "Sir, I do not know what issue you have with me. But understand this, I did not reach the top of my class by doing anything easy. I worked my ass off to get to where I am and not once have I ever asked or sought special treatment. Give me what you would any other new officer coming aboard and I will show you what kind of man and officer I am." With that, he walked into his room allowing the door to close behind him.

Commander Hunter's face was a couple shades of red and with a deep breath, walked off to attend to some other duties.

Main Engineering

Jace rushed into Main Engineering fussing with his uniform. He wanted to make a first good impression on Commander Oclum, with whom he was very excited to be working. Looking down one last time to make sure his uniform was in place, he collided with something causing him to let out a grunt as he fell on his backside.

"Ensign? I do believe you need to learn to look up when you are rushing about."

Jace looked up to see the blue face of a Bolian female with Lt. Commander pips on her collar. The color drained from his face as he quickly scrambled to stand up. "Sorry, sir. I uh.." Jace was so embarrassed he could not seem to form a complete sentence. Commander Oclum raised both eyebrows in question. "Is there something I can help you with, Ensign?"

As if a switch had been flipped, he responded as trained. "Ensign Jace Brackett, 1st Engineering Mate, reporting for duty."

"Well Ensign Brackett, I hope your skills as an engineer are better than your walking." Commander Oclum turned around and walked over to the master system display console facing the warp core and began to look over the information which was being displayed.

Jace shook his head and cursed himself inwardly. So much for first impressions he thought. He went to the MSD and logged himself into the system. His station came to life with displays. A quick review and he could see engineering teams were working with station personnel, realigning the deuterium tanks. It appeared the job would be completed in the next couple of hours, allowing the tanks to be refilled. After reading the final log entry for the maintenance work, he typed a few commands into his terminal and began a review of the warp core and power systems for the ship.

Lt. Commander Oclum saw the young Ensign intent on his work. A few taps of her fingers and she could see what he was doing on his terminal. "Is there a problem, Ensign?"

Jace never diverted his attention from his screen. "I am not sure Commander." A frown crossed his face and his fingers flew across the computer. This piqued the Commander's attention and she moved to stand by the young man and observed his actions. "Ensign, replicators have nothing to do with the warp core. As you well know, they draw power from the fission reactors of the impulse engines."

Jace nodded in agreement. "I know Commander. But look here." He pointed to a power flow schematic showing a divergence of power from the warp core to a replicator station on deck 2. "I sure as hell know that's not normal." He looked at the Commander as his cheeks flushed. "Sorry about the language, Sir."

Commander Oclum let out a small laugh. "Do not worry. I've heard worse and you are right, that is not normal." She tapped a few keys. "How did you find this? I just completed a level three scan of the power systems less than an hour ago and nothing showed up."

"Honestly, I am not sure even a level one scan would of found this, Commander. If my guess is correct, there is an error in the master system display programming." He quickly tapped in a command that unlocked and opened the programming file, which then began to scroll data across the screen. Commander Oclum was impressed with what she was seeing - as well as a bit disturbed - that a fresh Academy graduate was a great deal ahead of her, at least on this issue she thought.

"There! Computer, freeze scroll back to section 324."

At first Jace was a bit perplexed by the Commander's order until he looked at the data. "That explains that." He looked to the Commander with a questioning expression.

Commander Oclum scowled as she tapped the communicator on her chest. "Oclum to Commander Hunter."

"Go ahead Commander." The voice emanating from the communicator suggested the Commander may have been sleeping.

"Sorry to have disturbed you sir. Can you join us down in main engineering, there is something you need to see."

"On my way, Hunter out." Commander Oclum's communicator sounded a single chirp indicating the channel was closed.


Dr. Elders sat in her chair with a bit more force than she would have under normal circumstances. She had been running non-stop since she beamed aboard eight hours ago. This was the first chance she had to sit down. It also dawned on her that she was in her chair behind her desk in her office. Chief Medical Officer. A large smile crossed her face but it was short lived as a nurse walked into the office.

"Sorry Doctor, but I thought you would want to see this." Handing a pad to the doctor, the nurse fidgeted in anticipation of what she did not know.

Dr. Elders accepted the pad and started to review the information. The more she scrolled the information, the higher she rose from her chair until she was standing. "Whose lame-brain idea was it to allow our medical supplies to fall to these low levels?" She looked to the nurse.

Nurse Aleyia bit her lower lip. "Dr. Wells requisitioned the supplies, but I think he forgot to send it to the Earth Space Dock quartermaster."

Dr. Elders sighed and noticed the nervousness of the nurse. "It's okay Aleyia. It's not your fault. Thank you for getting this to me when you did."

Nurse Aleyia visibly relaxed and smiled as she left the office.

Katie sat back down in her chair and spoke to the computer. "Computer, open a channel to the office of ESD Quartermaster." The computer chirped cheerfully in acknowledgement of the request. Seconds later the face of a Ferengi starfleet officer appeared. With a toothy grin the man smiled, "Lt. Giaus at your service. How may I help?"

"Lieutenant Giaus, I am Dr. Elders, Chief Medical Officer of the USS Excalibur and I have a bit of a problem. Our previous doctor overlooked submitting our requisition for medical supplies. I am sending it to you now." She tapped the send key on her computer.

The Ferengi's computer beeped when the data arrived on his computer. He clucked his tongue a few times. "This is a rather large resupply. I can have it delivered to you in three days."

"No, no no. That's not acceptable, Lieutenant. The Excalibur is due to depart the station the day after tomorrow."

"That is the best that can be done. The order should have been placed prior to docking at the station. Your error is no concern of the Quartermaster's office. Perhaps you should place your request with your next port of call." The screen went blank and then was replaced by the Federation seal.

Dr. Elders, with a determination unlike any other around her, exited her office. "Aleyia, I'll be on ESD if I am needed."

"Yes Doctor." She watched as the doctor left sickbay, purposeful and determined, like someone on a mission.

Captain's Quarters

With a slight tremor of his hand, Ryan pressed the announce key on the pad next to the door, resulting in a chirp from inside the room. "Come in." The doors parted and Ryan stepped into the private quarters of his father and Captain. The smells which assaulted his nose caused Ryan to tilt his head in question and a smile inched outward as the memories flooded his mind. Just as quickly the happiness was doused by guilt and sadness.

Kyle walked into the living room carrying a pan loaded with lasagna when he caught sight of Ryan. He quickly put the pan on the table and moved to his son. "Oh Ryan, I am sorry. I just wanted to treat you to your favorite meal. I didn't think about it reminding you of your mother." Taking Ryan by the arm he guided him to a chair. "Sit, you look like your legs are about to give out on you." Once Ryan was seated, he sat opposite him. "You okay son?"

Ryan looked at his father with surprise. Didn't think, he thought to himself. How could his Dad not remember his favorite meal was also the last meal his mother had served him before she died. Ryan was more conflicted when he saw in his father's face that he was genuinely concerned and was it guilt he saw in the eyes? Yeah, Dad. I'm fine. A sudden rush of memories just got the best of me."

Kyle ran a hand through his greying hair. "Ryan, I know you blame me for the death of your mother. But it has been six years and I'm concerned you have not been able to move on."

"Dad, on some level I do blame you for her death. But why did you have to send her on that away mission? Why not another officer?

Kyle leaned back in his chair and his demeanor changed as he shifted more into his role as Captain. "It was not an easy decision and it is one, that like you, I have lived with everyday since and will continue till the day I die. It is a risk that comes with being in command. More so when you are in command and have families on board, including your own. Your mother was the Chief Medical Officer and she was the most qualified person on board to lead the away team. To not have sent her would have been a dereliction of duty and an act which might well have cost more than your mother's life."

Ryan took a deep breath and let it go. "I don't know if I could do that."

"Son, I wish I could say you will never have to find out. But chances are, as long as you wear that uniform, it is likely. Unless you want to forgo the command track."

Ryan gave his father a confused look. "I am not on the command track, I'm in Operations."

Kyle smiled, "Well, that is one of the reasons I wanted to have dinner with you tonight prior to you reporting to your first shift on the bridge tomorrow. If you agree, I want you to change to a command track and assume the position of second officer of the Excalibur."

"I was told there were no command positions open on the Excalibur, which is why I went with Operations."

Kyle nodded and began to plate food for Ryan and himself. "That was true at the time you cadets put in your assignment requests. Lieutenant Corvinni was recalled back home due to a family emergency." He placed a plate of heavenly smelling lasagna in front of Ryan. "I looked at your performance reviews and psych evals and they show you have the makings of a great commander. I would be remiss in my duties if I did not assign the most capable officer to the post."

Ryan began to eat his food as he thought about what his father was saying and to give himself some time to think.

Star Fleet Uniforms

Caleb tugged at his uniform, which seemed to hug his body like a second skin. The new uniform was more form-fitting than his old Academy set. Looking in the mirror, he let his hand slide across his shoulder as if wiping away a speck of dust. The gold colored shoulder and upper portion of the top signaled he was attached to Operations, which included engineering and security officers. The whitish-grey upper collar and the two stripes running across his chest, just below the shoulders, divided the top from the black bottom of the uniform and his black pants. Caleb liked how he looked in the gold color of Operations as opposed to the blue of Medical or the red of Command. Below the stripes, sitting above the left breast, was the gold delta shield serving as a communicator. Pinned to the right collar was a single gold pip signifying the rank of Ensign. Stepping away from the mirror, he made sure his belt buckle was centered as per uniform regulations. A smile crossed his face as he took a final look at himself and turned to walk back into his bedroom. A chirp caused Caleb to pause and change his destination to the living room. "Enter."

The doors parted and Ryan walked into the room. Caleb started for Ryan, excited to see his friend but stopped in mid-stride. "Ryan, I think you need to get your eyes checked."

Ryan shot a puzzled look at his friend. "My eyes are fine." His face began to relax when it dawned on him what the issue might be.

"You're wearing the wrong uniform."

"Actually, I am wearing the correct uniform. Seems a command posting opened up.

Caleb's eyes got big with excitement for his friend. "That's great, Ry. I knew you were bummed when you had to accept a post in Operations. So what did you get?"

Ryan swelled with a bit of pride. "You are looking at the new Second Officer and Chief of Operations."

Caleb jumped up and grabbed Ryan in a bear hug. "Awesome."

Caleb quickly let Ryan go and stepped back and stood at attention. "Sorry Sir." Neither could keep a straight face as they busted up laughing.

Main Engineering

Jace leaned back from his engineering station and stretched his fingers to keep them from cramping. With the pause in his work he realized his body was a bit stiff from sitting hunched over his console. Standing up, he stretched to loosen up his muscles. Catching movement from the side, he looked to see Commander's Oclum and Hunter coming towards him. He turned to face them.

"I don't know what to make of it, Commander. I just finished checking all the replicator systems and I am not finding any unusual power signatures."

Commander Hunter frowned. "It seems odd the Master System Display would show extra power being diverted to them but to show everything as normal when manually inspected. We never came across this error at Utopia Planitia." Both officers stopped when they reached Ensign Brackett and the MSD.

"Actually Commander, I believe I have found the issue."

Commander Oclum and Hunter almost did a double take and with a sense of optimism, asked, "Okay Ensign, what do you think you found?" The Commander crossed her arms as she waited for an answer.

"Well sirs, this is a new ship only three weeks out of construction. So on the hunch that the MSD was displaying false data, I dug further into the computer core…"

Commander Hunter took a more intimidating posture. "You are not cleared to access the computer core."

Jace looked up from his station and into the face of his superior. "That is part of the problem sir. A few hours ago when Commander Oclum and I first found the problem, she unlocked the program files and we noticed the fragments in some of the data. The Commander wanted to track down the power signatures. So I took the opportunity to track the data fragments. I traced the fragments to the computer core when I noticed the core was accessible to anyone."

Both Commanders were stunned at the revelation. Commander Oclum was the first to find her voice. "When you made this discovery, why did you not notify me immediately?"

"I'm sorry, Commander. I kept tracking the problem and well, I lost track of time."

Commander Hunter put a hand on Oclum's shoulder. "So what is the problem, Ensign?"

"A programming error and someone being careless in security protocols, sir. It seems someone decided to take some shortcuts with the programs which monitor and regulate the power system from the warp core, impulse engines and power conduits. What they did not know or count on was that the program would degrade each time a system check was performed. Each check would further fragment the program, which over time, would lead to anomalous readings such as extra power being diverted to replicators. If this had not been discovered when it was…" Jace's voice trailed off as he looked from Oclum to Hunter and back.

It took only a moment for the implication to sink in for both Hunter and Oclum. "Which means we could have looked at a situation in which the warp core could be shown as reading normal when it was actually in the midst of a breach."

Jace nodded to Commander Oclum. "Yes, sir."

Commander Hunter took a deep breath. "Great, it will take a week or more in dry dock to go through the core and reprogram the power system files. The Captain is just going to love this."

"We can depart on schedule Commander." Oclum's and Hunter's heads snapped around to face the Ensign as though he had just lost his mind.

Jace noticed the expression and ignored it as he spoke. "That is what I was working on when you arrived. I have already rewritten the required program files and cleaned up the fragmentations that already occurred. All I have to do is execute a section reboot, rather than an entire core reboot."

Hunter and Oclum shared a look between them. Hunter looked back to the Ensign. "Get everything ready. I will go discuss this with the Captain." With that, the Commander turned on his heels and headed for the nearest turbolift.

Oclum stepped up next to the Ensign so she could help the young man get his program ready. "Most impressive Ensign. But don't you ever do something like this again without discussing it with me first."

Jace's face flushed a little with a bit of guilt but a bit of bravado crept in as well. "Even in the face of an emergency?" He chanced a sideways glance at his superior officer.

Oclum gave a hard look at the Ensign which faded and a smile crept out. "Well, I should have phrased that better. Granted there might be exceptions when the ship or life is in danger, but other times discuss it with me."

Jace smiled as he returned to his work. "Yes, sir."

Starfleet Medical, Earth

Dr. Elders sat in her chair tapping her foot impatiently, staring at the Lieutenant sitting behind his desk. She had been sitting here for over 45 minutes and her patience was about to run out when the door to the office opened and entering was a Vulcan male wearing traditional garments. She observed the Lieutenant smile and stand up. "Zorval, Dr. Wells has been waiting for you. Please go right in."

Dr. Elders fair skin began to grow red with the anger quickly rising to the surface. Standing to her feet and speaking in a voice loud enough to startle those passing by in the hallway. "Lieutenant, I have been waiting here for the last 45 minutes. You told me the Doctor was busy and could not be disturbed. Now all of a sudden the Doctor is free to see this Vulcan gentleman." Glancing at the Vulcan - who stopped upon hearing the outburst - she turned her attention to him. "My apology, sir. Surely you can see how illogical the situation is."

The Vulcan raised an eyebrow and turned to the Lieutenant. "Is what the Lieutenant said true?"

The Lieutenant stared daggers at Dr. Elders but his expression faltered when he turned to the Vulcan. "Uh, sir, the Doctor is partly correct. Dr. Wells has been busy prior to your appointment."

Dr. Wells stepped out of his office in response to the yelling. "What is the meaning of this?"

Everyone turned to a man in his mid 60's, who instead of his Starfleet uniform was wearing a grey silk shirt and blue jeans. Dr. Elders shook her head a few times as if something was wrong with her vision. Dr. Wells was dressed in clothing she had only seen in history books.

Zorval, in his usual calm and measured tone, spoke first. "It appears Dr. Wells that this young Lieutenant…" he motioned toward Dr. Elders. "....has been waiting to see you for over 45 minutes. Understandably she is upset when from her point of view, I was permitted to proceed directly into your office. I find her delay in seeing you most inefficient."

Dr. Wells cleared his throat as he turned his attention to Dr. Elders. "Just who are you Lieutenant?"

In a calmer yet still determined manner, she replied, "I am Lieutenant Katie Elders, Chief Medical Officer aboard the USS Excalibur."

"Ahh, my old posting. Well Lieutenant, you'll just have to wait until I am done with Zorval." In a dismissive manner he turned and started to escort the Vulcan but the man refused to move.

"I believe it would be wise to address whatever issues Dr. Elders has before we discuss business. It is illogical to keep Dr. Elders waiting any longer than she already has."

Left with no choice, Dr. Wells motioned the Doctor into his office. Once the doors closed the man moved to his desk. "Now that you managed to barge your way into my office, get to what you want so I can get back to my patients."

The desire she had to practice under Dr. Wells and her respect for the man had all but shattered, which at this rate would not be far off from happening. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Katie moved to his desk and looked the man in the eyes. "Dr. Wells, you have a reputation as being one of the best doctors in the fleet. As a medical student I wanted nothing more than to practice medicine under your command. But right now I am disappointed to even call you a colleague. I have spent a good four hours getting the run around from the Quartermaster's office and then another 45 minutes in your waiting room. Time, Doctor, that I could of been using on my ship, getting my sick bay and crew ready to depart day after tomorrow. Something I wouldn't have to do if you had sent in the medical requisitions prior to the Excalibur docking at ESD."

With a raised brow. "Is that all Lieutenant?"

Dr. Elders frowned "I would ask you to sort this matter with the Quartermaster's office. But it would seem you have become more concerned with your paper pushing and high level dignitaries to care about the officers and crew who are facing life on the front lines. Hopefully you will live up to your reputation and fix your mistake. In the meantime I am going back to my ship, where you can be damn sure I will treat my staff and patients better than you seem to do here in your office. Good day Doctor." Dr. Elders, not waiting for a reply, left the office and paused when she saw the Vulcan Zorval. "Thank you sir, for delaying your appointment with Dr. Wells so that I could conclude my business with him. Live Long and Prosper." She gave the Vulcan salute which the Vulcan returned. "And peace and long life to you Lieutenant." Dr. Elders nodded and exited the waiting room without a look at the Lieutenant behind the desk.

Ryan had just stepped off the turborlift when he saw Katie leaving transporter room one. "Hey Katie, wait up." Katie stopped when hearing her name and looked up to see Ryan jog up to her. "Hey Ry."

"Katie? Whats wrong?"

Katie sighed as they both started walking down the hallway. "Ryan, I messed up."

Ryan, a bit confused, "With what? Surely it was not as bad as you seem to think it is. You are the nicest person I know, tough but always nice."

Katie's shoulders slumped at the stinging words. "I'm sure Dr. Wells thought I was anything but nice. Fighting with the quartermaster's office and then waiting to see Dr. Wells….well, let's just say I blew my top and laid into my idol, Dr. Wells. Certainly not the best way to introduce yourself to the Director of Starfleet Medical. I just want the best for my sickbay. "

Ryan put his arm across Katie's shoulder. "I think the new responsibilities as the CMO just might of been a bit overwhelming and it all just got the best of you. Give things a rest for a little while, then go back and see Dr. Wells and apologize. He will probably understand."

Katie smiled at her friend. "You are probably right. I have a few things to sort in sickbay and then I will go visit the good doctor."

Ryan smiled. "Good! I'll catch up to you later." The pair separated, each heading for their own destination.

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