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Double Doctor Dilemma

Posted on Mon May 6th, 2019 @ 7:03pm by Lieutenant Asahi Kita & Commander Martin Sorenson

Mission: Snow Birds
Location: Haumea Medical
Timeline: MD 05 1351 Hrs

Luka had taken aside most of the afternoon to show the Vesta's doctor around the medical facilities, of which he had become rather proud of. The now two-story hospital development had the new building luster to it that seemed to boost morale of the colony around them.

During their final stop on the tour, Luka took a detour to the small cafe area that had just finished its construction. It was a small kiosk that the Commander had not been briefed on previously, but he did not mind as he proceeded to order the sugary sweet beverage that the young barista had concocted for the daily special. He was too polite to decline the offer once he saw her eyes light up simply on his approach, but did not throw Martin in for the same fate.

"So, according to the Commodore, we're in store for multiple upgrades and additions to the hospital facilities, but I think we're coming along fine on the little amount of time we've had to adapt to the new situation. And, having Lieutenant Arnason help head the operation has been more than helpful, so I feel confident we'll have a fully running facility in no time."

Martin collected his order - dark roast coffee with a double shot of espresso. He usually preferred it perfectly black and unadulterated by additions, but he'd given in to adding a sprinkle of cocoa because the barista looked so sad. "Your facilities are quite good, even compared to those of some longer established colonies I've seen. I'd guess that has something to do with a colony CO who is also a doctor," he said, flashing a smile as he took a seat at one of the nearby tables. "Though I'm sure Arnason has been helpful. I've only seen him acting as field medic, but if the Reverend brought him in, I'd consider that a good recommendation." While the NP had struck him initially as what one of his old shipmates would've called 'a candidate for officer least likely to pull rank', he did seem good at simply stepping in and working on problems. Which, if the colonists held some distaste or resentment toward Starfleet, might be for the best.

"If Sofia hadn't recommended him, I would not have the time to meet with anyone, and I think the talk the Commodore and I had would have turned out much differently." Luka admitted. "Or the civilian staff would have carried me out first. Fortunately, we don't have to find out." He edged forward, curiosity getting the best of him. "So how are the facilities on the Vesta? If the ship is so advanced, I can't imagine the medbay is ill-equipped."

"It's state-of-the-art - full medbay, labs, therapy centers," Martin said smiling proudly. "And we're going to be expanding the facilities to provide greater support for exploration and research. If you have the time, I'd be happy to return the favor of giving a tour."

"... Don't tempt me," Luka said, despite his giant grin. "You might end up with an assistant chief that way, if it didnt completely mess with the Colony's Starfleet hierarchy. No, I'll just have to live vicariously through reports and the stories I'm sure I'll hear. I'd say I would drop everything for a chance at exploration again, but I think I missed the colony life. Besides, I can always appeal to the brass for some requisition upgrades anyway. I might take you up on that tour though. I can't pass up a chance to look around."

"Anytime your schedule allows. I'll even try to be considerate and not tempt you," Martin replied, grinning back. "I do understand you have commitments here. I can't imagine taking on running a colony even if I enjoyed the life, but then I've gotten attached enough to Vesta to let myself get roped into accepting 2nd in command." He shrugged, chuckling wryly at what still seemed an unlikely twist of fate.

"You'd have to battle Sera for that." Luka pointed out. "Or she'll hand it over willingly. I don't think she knew what she was taking on when she accepted the position. Not that the actual position portion is particularly difficult. All things considered, it's a lot of work, but it's worth it all. As long as I don't think about having to be in charge of a large number of Federation citizens and Starfleet personnel, it's truly a wonderful opportunity. I almost don't miss being in my own Med Bay, chasing after wily Starfleet officers and making sure everyone has their limbs on them."

"Tell me about it." Martin rolled his eyes. "Though speaking of chasing officers avoiding medbay... I take it you know LT Kita. He's been running from me since I first brought up his check in exam. Can you give me any insight there? Without violating confidentiality, of course."

Luka held back the sigh of inevitability. He knew this question was coming. "I more than know the Lieutenant. The only reason I ever got him to sit down to get an exam when I was in a medbay was because we knew each other in Academy, and even then it took a few days and me threatening to beam tools off his belt. But I'd have thought he'd have settled enough to see you by now." He frowned. "If I know him any, if he's being avoiding you, there's another reason for it, probably because of whatever happened to him during his disappearance. I could talk to him, if you'd like. See if that motivates him."

"I'm loathe to ask if it puts strain on a friendship." Martin sighed. "I'd hoped to find a way to get him to trust me, or at least not bolt at the mention of an exam, but I'm running out of ideas. If he's hiding a health problem, I can't let that slide for much longer."

"It's past friendship," Luka deadpanned, sipping his too-sweet beverage. "We're in weird territory, so I don't mind leveraging it. As for his health? I'd be surprised if he was keeping up with what he's supposed to. Not to alarm. Most of the issues that have cropped up are in his file. I wrote that myself, so I know what's in it. Unless he's sustained something over the past two or so years. I can't really keep tabs on an MIA officer when he's MIA."

Martin nodded, partially in acknowledgement of the medical record and partially in understanding. It was a delicate balance, but it wasn't as though he had never used a personal relationship to push someone to accept medical care. "I read the file. I admit it concerns me, especially as I'd expect someone susceptible to Iresine Syndrome to want to stay on top of it and want their doctor to as well. I don't know," he shook his head, exasperated, "maybe I've hovered a bit too much trying to keep an eye out for symptoms and that's spooked him... though if he hasn't even discussed his recent history with you, maybe it's something else entirely..." His mouth went a bit sideways. "I admit, I nearly told Arnason to do a complete work up on him. But I didn't want him to be caught between tending to you and chasing a patient who suddenly found an excuse to run out the door."

"That's..." Luka knew the answer as to why Asahi was playing evasive maneuvers. The insight might have been a little too personal, and little too close to comfort for the Commander to give. "It was wiser this way. If there's one thing Asahi hates, it's an ambush. He has more than one reason to come to you, but I don't expect 'keeping on top of the Iresine' is going to be one of them. But he's like a cat. You can't get the pets out of the cat, just gotta wait for the pets to come for you."

"Well, there's the problem. I've always been a dog person," he responded wryly. "Besides, the cat people I know tell me that the option for cats who fight seeing the vet is rolling them up with a towel into a kitty burrito. I certainly don't intend to try that with Asahi, but hoping he comes to me before the Iresine or any of the reasons that go beyond it become real problems doesn't seem like a good plan either."

Luka held back a laugh. "As... amusing as that image is, I don't think he's going to take that much longer. Whatever the case, he has enough sense to come to his senses. I think. I hope. He hasn't told anyone where he was over the past two years, has he? It might give insight if someone could get him to open up about it. All he tells me is that it's 'strictly classified,' which is not something I'm used to hearing out of him at all. That might be part of his hesitation."

"Not as far as I know, but then the only thing I can really get him to discuss is Hojo." He took sip of his coffee, thinking. "I understand certain things may be highly classified, but unless he was subject to medical experiments - which would be illegal, no matter what level of classification authority anyone invokes - that shouldn't be a reason to avoid a basic exam. I'm looking at his overall health, and while I might in some cases be able to deduce where he's been based on some markers, I wouldn't ask for mission details. I know better; I'm CMO for a Commodore after all."

"... He might open up one way or another." Luka's tone had a touch of concern, but he shook his head and consequentially, the thought, away. "It wouldn't be the first time he's been subject to something completely illegal. Sometimes within Federation boundaries. I'm sure there are stories he will tell you if you get him on enough of a track. But, I'll definitely talk to him if he's being touchy about it."

"Really?" Martin's eyebrows lifted at the idea of illegal medical experiments within Federation boundaries, but then he realized the reference must be to other illegal practice. Of course the thought of torture or a forced mind probe was no less alarming, and while it might explain a lot about Asahi's reaction to any sort of questioning, if true it raised other questions with respect to how and why he'd been cleared for duty... "I would appreciate a word to him from you. Let him know I won't to try to get any stories out of him; I just want enough information to not miss anything or make a wrong call on treatment out of ignorance if and when he needs care."

At that, Luka sat upright. "I could pass on all my research on Iresine as well, if that would help. There wasn't much when I started treatment over a decade ago, but there have been more developments over time. I'm sure there's more since I last looked as well, which admittedly has not been for a couple of years."

"I'd appreciate that," he replied. "I've read up a little, but it seems like there are some variants in the condition and opinions differ on approaches for best outcomes."

"I'll make sure to do it before Davna gets a hold of the file. She won't read it, but she'll sure make sure you're aware that it's from me with some sort of flair I don't need." Luka gave a sigh. "She might even decide to ask what kind of doctor I am. I can't help but feel like she's trying to help me maybe a little... too much. Never get a yeoman. They'll be the death of you."

Martin had seen Davna briefly and suppressed a chuckle, recalling his own past experience with Orions trying to be 'helpful'. It made him even more grateful for Marix. "Actually, I have a yeoman and she's invaluable, if sometimes frighteningly efficient. About the only thing I can fault is that she keeps up with ship gossip and feels the need to make me aware of it." He frowned. Gossip was one step from small talk, which he generally avoided like the plague, but then ignorance wasn't necessarily the best policy. "Not that she's wrong that I sometimes need to know. If she hadn't alerted me about a certain trashy novel, I'd have been really wondering what was going on with some of the crew."

Luka shook his head. "Davna's overly efficient, I'm actually quite grateful to her. There are simply moments where I feel like she's being a little too friendly." A wistful smile crept up on his lips, but not for long as he realized himself and his surroundings. "Well, unless we want to compare notes about what Asahi would call 'medical geekiness,' I think I should probably let you finish that shore leave of yours."

Deciding it was probably best not to comment on n overly friendly yeoman, Martin just nodded. "I've probably taken enough of your time as it is. I understand how it is with command and medical duties. I very much appreciate the tour and any help you give with Asahi. If there's ever anything I can do to help you or the colony, don't hesitate to ask."


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