USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Last Mile Vaccinations

Posted on Tue May 4th, 2021 @ 3:35pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Lieutenant Asahi Kita

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Vesta, Various
2281 words - 4.6 OF Standard Post Measure

The doctor smiled with satisfaction. Getting the cure to the crew had proven a slower process than anticipated, but they were getting there. Holding pizza and ice cream parties in medbay to lure more of them in had helped a lot though. The appearance of dog happily catching 'pizza bones' tossed by some of the people waiting out their observation period after the shot reminded him that there were members of the crew who hadn't de-aged but still needed to be dosed so they couldn't transmit it.

"Hey, Hojo," Martin said, handing a healthier treat to the dog. "How about we find your person and bring him a slice of pizza, eh?"

Hojo had been happily assigned to assist the doctor in whatever he needed help with. Herding crewmembers. Obtaining attention from crewmembers. Playing babysitter for really young crewmembers. Whatever the doc needed, Asahi had temporarily dubbed him 'Petty Wooficer' and made sure Hojo was available. Because who didn't like a cute dog to help out? Somewhere down the line, one of the younger crew members had even fashioned him a few googly-eye pips to go on his collar.

But now, he had a mission. He barked happily, and, after taking said treat, was zooming to the door in an instant, awaiting Martin to follow him. Another duty? Hojo was on the case!

Martin took off after the canine thinking it was good thing he was about 18 at this point so he could run fast enough to (almost) keep up. Fortunately Hojo had enough herding dog in him to circle back and bark when he got too far ahead, so before long they arrived at Asahi's location: the intel office. "Good boy," Martin said, giving Hojo a treat as he took a moment to catch his breath before calling in. "Hey, Asahi, it's your turn for the vaccination."

The only door that would open within the intel offices was the front door. The halls were mostly silent, save for one hauntingly musical noise echoing down the corridor. Any other time, the melody of 21rst century classical pop would have melded with the hubbub of Intel's day-to-day. But now, the chorus of uplifting tunes about not letting haters get to them and positive love jams gave Asahi's position away. Not that Hojo needed music, he knew exactly where his human was. The pup yipped, trotting down the hall and turning the corner, where Asahi sat, in the only other open door to the offices; his own.

At the sight of the pair, Asahi looked up. He squinted, at first unable to identify Martin's 18-year-old self. But it only took a moment for the realization to hit. "Doctor. I just needed to check in. SFI might have put the Vesta's Intel department on hold, but I want to make sure we're not about to run ourselves into the wrong section of space. We shouldn't? But who knows when some stray Dominion ship decides to take over some part of space..."

Martin tipped his head to the side, an eyebrow raising at that. "We're a day out from Sector 001 and it's been over twenty years since there was Dominion activity anywhere. Are you feeling all right?" the doctor asked, pulling out his medscanner. Please, God, don't let this be evidence of a viral variant that regresses memory.... "What year do you think it is?"

"What?" Asahi blinked. "No, I'm exaggerating. I mean unexpected threats that a twelve hour time span of not looking at Intel reports would miss." He paused, angling himself so that his console was between the two. Martin still might have been taller, but Asahi knew all the exits. This was a cornering. He could feel it. "2397 by the way. What's up?"

Whew. Martin felt the tension roll off his shoulders. "Don't do that. I finally have a cure; I don't need to worry the disease has mutated," he scolded. He held up the hypo. "Now, let's get you inoculated."

"Cure?" Asahi nodded. "Good, I'll just-" And there it was, the word that meant 'inject you with something.' He kept his sentence hanging in midair. He smiled. "Nah, why not save that for someone who needs that? I thought I was clear of all that anyways."

"There's not a shortage. The medical replicator can always make more," Martin noted. He could almost see the wheels turning in Kita's head, looking for an excuse to avoid it. "And asymptomatic, doesn't mean clear. When we get to earth you could infect others."

Asahi chuckled, and though he seemed nonchalant, he already had the console's more sensitive information closed out. He trusted the doctor not to read it, but there was protocol to follow. Did he have an escape plan? Absolutely. "You know, I get that. But ah- why not just get all the symptomatic people first. I can hold off a bit. I'm not de-aging or dying or anything. Better to get the people who are in more danger of it, right?" Surely Martin had thought of all that by now, but it was still worth a shot.

Martin frowned at him. "I know how to stage treatments, eh? We got everyone in pre-school ages first - including actual pre-schoolers and the caregivers who weren't affected - then started working through the next tier. I could lure most of them in with pizza and ice cream, but a few needed to be chased down. Hojo was a big help with that," he smiled at the canine, "and now he's helping me with the last folks that haven't turned up on their own." He lifted his brows, giving Asahi a you-know-who-I-mean look.

While Martin was going on about something that Asahi would otherwise be praising, the Intel officer had very slowly rolled his chair back from behind his desk. It would have been too obvious if he dove for the nearest jeffries tube, but Martin stood between him and the adult way out. Sure, he could have easily just gotten this hypo, and it really didn't sound all that bad, but it was a hypo. And that was a doctor, even though he looked young enough to be Asahi's son.

Nope. No, that made it weird.

"You know, that's such great progress and all that." He stood, adjusting his uniform to give him a moment to check his options. There seemed to only be one. "I'm just gonna make sure that-" His tone shifted, and his gaze snapped down to the dog. "Hojo, where's the doc? Find the doc!"

Hojo's ears perked up at the first syllable, and though he was standing quite close to both his human and the doctor, the dog's herd drive kicked in. He zipped over to Martin, yipping like his life depended on it while running circles around the doctor. There was only one moment where Hojo zipped between the two of them, and looked at the doctor to get him to follow the few feet over to where Asahi stood, before zipping and yipping again.

All the while, Asahi came out from behind his desk, waiting, and watching for Martin's movements.

Wha-? Martin had not been expecting that. At all. For moment he almost thought it was a playful way of saying yes to the inoculation, since Hojo was just so cute all excited and running excited herding circles like that. He turned to one side and another watching the dog zip around him. "It's okay, Hojo, I'm going to give him the hypo," he said, starting toward Asahi as soon as he felt he could go forward without accidentally tripping on an moving dog.

By the time Martin tore himself from the chaos, Asahi had managed to dip himself close to the door. He grinned, pleased with what would be his first victory. "You know doc, I'd love to stay and get this taken care of, but I've got a lot to do. Gotta keep the ship on course after all." He didn't stop to explain, instead stepping just out of Martin's reach, before taking a small bow, and retreating in the opposite direction.

"It will only a -" The intel officer was through the door and gone, leaving Martin with his mouth still forming the last word. "...second. Drat!" He kicked the desk. Then immediately regretted it as he hopped on one foot rubbing a stubbed toe.

Expelling a frustrated breath, he looked down at Hojo, whose ears drooped a little at doctor-treat-giver's obvious annoyance. He couldn't stay mad; Hojo was too cute. "Okay, Hojo, back on the trail. Find Asahi."

The security offices were where Hojo ended up. Not that it would have been difficult to find Asahi; he was the loudest.

"Where'd Lieutenant Trenton go?" Hojo would find his human sat atop one of the various consoles, eying the remaining security staff. "And what the heck is is a 'Pillow Fort War?'" Asahi didn't wait for the members of the staff to explain themselves. "When I feel like the mature adult here... Someone go help him. Draw straws for whom. You're all dismissed." After a bout of temple rubbing and officer dispersing, Asahi's eyes laid upon Hojo, who stared up at his human with happy, hopeful eyes. "You didn't find the doc, Hojo. You were supposed to keep him distracted."

"He did find me," Martin said, pausing to catch his breath after catching up. "He's only distracted me by finding a few other people on the vaccination list, but now that they're done..." He looked pointedly at Asahi and held up a hypo.

Asahi smiled a knowing, yet lovely smile. "Oh, hey, yeah, good point I'm glad you said something." He turned toward the crew who were beginning to disperse. "Hey, did any of you get your vaccination yet? Doc here's gotta get all of you before we hit our destination. Don't wanna disappoint Doc Sorenson, do we?"

There was a small mulling of conversation as the security officers looked amongst each other, before a few broke from the group and over toward the doctor and Hojo, and while the latter of which trotted between the new crowd to get to his human. But, as soon as Hojo broke from between the legs of the gathered security officers, the evasive Intel officer was nowhere to be found. Hojo let out a soft whine, barking back at Martin.

Not who he came for, but if people he'd missed so far were lining up Martin wasn't going to ignore the opportunity, so he started scanning badges for ID and giving out hypos. His progress was interrupted by Hojo's urgent barking. "What is it, boy?" Martin craned to look past the crowd toward ...where the dog stood completely alone. "He slipped out again, didn't he?"

The question got a whine-bark in reply.

"Don't worry. We'll get him." Martin reloaded his hypo, and resumed giving out doses. "Just as soon as I'm finished up with everyone here." Who knew - maybe Asahi throwing people in the path so he could escape would work out for the best...

Their quest would lead them to the bridge, which still managed to maintain the same bustling clip despite being on skeleton crew. Hojo did not spare a moment to anyone else, now a pup on a mission as he trotted right up to Asahi. Asahi, who sat in the center chair looking like he was sitting on a bed of pins. Hojo looked up at his human as he sat down on one side, only waiting half a beat before yipping.

Yipping and nearly sending Asahi to the right side of the Bridge. The Intel officer looked down with annoyance. "I'm assuming you didn't lose the Doctor?"

"He did not," Martin announced, advancing on the conn. "Good boy, Hojo," he said, bending to pet the dog, then looked up at Asahi, cocking an eyebrow. "Are you going to be good boy too?"

"No, because I'm not a dog," Asahi shot back, frowning. He could sense the Bridge start to quiet down as the crewmen around them pointedly did not look in their direction. Rolling his eyes, Asahi sat up just in time to get Hojo leaping into his lap. "Whatever, fine fine. Just make it quick doc."

Martin suppressed a chuckle at Hojo sitting on Asahi to keep in place this time. That dog was going to be getting extra treats in medbay for sure. "Quick it is," the doctor said, applying the hypo to his neck. It was only because they were on the bridge that he resisted saying something like 'There, that wasn't so bad, eh?', instead just smiling. "Thank you. Now I can finally tell Medical Command that everyone has been inoculated."

"Yeah, yeah." Asahi was not the type to be against his vaccines. Really, this was a weird occurrence for him, but it was something to unpack later. "But if everyone's gotten the thing-" he kept an arm around Hojo, who seemed content to rest in the Asahi's arms. It had been a long day. "Then Petty Wooficer Hojo has done his job. I need him on the Bridge... to... do Bridge things."

"Of course." The corners of Martin's mouth actually turned downward from trying so hard not to grin too widely at that. "Petty Wooficer Hojo, you are relieved," he said, giving the dog a crisp salute before turning an about face to head out.

The Intel officer waited for Martin to leave, before his eyes snapped toward the gathered members of the bridge. "Y'all waitin' till we crash into a sun? Get yourselves back to work!"


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