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A Moment's Peace

Posted on 28 Dec 2014 @ 12:46am by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Razmena
Location: USS Black Hawk | Captain's Quarters
Timeline: February 4, 2388 || 1830 hours

Harvey came to a stop in his dark quarters, letting the doors behind him close. His hand continued to fondle the monitor Doctor Quint attached to his neck while his mind attempted to make sense of his afternoon.

The woman trapped and dying in the corridor...

The empty bridge...

They seemed incredibly real.

If only there was someone he could talk to. He had no friends aboard and no family within reach. Since he put on the red uniform, he adopted what little charisma he had in order to maintain a healthy distance with those he served to be in that sweet spot between fraternization and detachment (the sweet spot being closer to detachment than anything else).

He thought first of his new First Officer, Commander Kos. He hadn't had a casual dinner with a member of the opposite sex in years, and tonight he found himself longing for some company. The events of today had him worried, so much so that he'd nearly forgotten there was an Away Team on a dangerous mission.

Of course, he remembered that when he realized Kos was not aboard.

Neither was the counselor, having been sent to collect whatever information she could from her unique point of view.

Harvey sighed. Other than his mandated recovery sessions after his accident, he'd made it a point to not visit any shrinks. After today...

He walked over to the window, staring at the nebula that the rest of the crew was studying. The waves of violet and cobalt was beautifully hypnotic as they quickly danced before the ship. Harvey imagined he was looking at amniotic fluid through a microscope, chemicals about to mix for the first time to spark new life.

Was he that afraid of the future?

There were only three pips on his collar to show for his forty-three years of existance. Hell, he'd be forty-four next month. His parents gone. The last he heard, his sister was in rehab and his brother still serving a long sentence in New Zealand. His spouse was long dead, and those memories at long last were beginning to fade.

That smile...

The nebula molded itself into the shuttlebay at Starbase 211. Harvey stood motionless, watching his wife, Alison, follow a gurney to a cargo shuttle. As it went up the ramp, she looked up and met his gaze. For being a shuttlebay apart, he could see every detail on her face as if she was standing directly in front of him.

That smile...

Harvey returned hers with a smile of his own, sadly watching as her face melted back into the nebula that was in front of him. He, strangely, didn't notice. His soft smile remained as he blindly stared back out into space.

"Captain?"

Harvey flinched, the urgency of the tone jostling him from his stupor. He looked around his quarters, trying to determine the source, only to see that someone was standing in his doorway. With the door open, the lighting from the corridor forced the image of the officer to be seen only by silhouette, but the pixie cut of the ship's Assistant Chief Medical Officer was unmistakable.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, captain," she said, unsure of whether or not she wanted to enter the captain's quarters. Finally, she chose to do so, and waited for the door to close before continuing. "Doctor Quint has retired for the evening, but he wanted me to check in on you if the readings we were receiving ever appeared to be abnormal."

Harvey slowly nodded, hoping the good doctor would have kept that information confidential. He guessed it would have been inevitable, knowing sooner or later, more of the medical team would have been briefed in the event of an emergency. Now he would have to trust his staff to keep that information from the rest of the crew.

With his own background being in medicine, he also knew how to read in between the lines. "I suppose you want to keep me closer for observation."

Even in the dark room, it was impossible to not see the young lieutenant's comforting smile. "No, sir." She pulled out a PADD that was concealed behind her. "Lieutenant Chadwick has been studying the nebula, and looking at his early results and the data from your monitor, we think we've correlated radiation spikes from the nebula with your..." Oh, how to say this delicately? "...Your activities."

Harvey accepted the PADD and took a quick look at the rough data. Apparently, a few other crew members had made similar startling reports. His eyes darted back up to the ACMO, thankful that she was smart enough to make a private visit to his quarters rather than do this over an open comm channel. "Thank you," he said, turning the display off and planning to read more when he was again alone.

He tapped his combadge. "Geisler to Bridge."

=/\= "Lieutenant Fowler here." =/\=

"Let's put some distance between ourselves and the nebula. Say, half an AU."

=/\= "Acknowledged." =/\=

"And I'll leave the evening shift to you, Lieutenant. Alert me as soon as you hear from the Away Team." Harvey tapped his combadge again to close the channel.

With the captain's short history aboard, even the ACMO knew the captain usually started the first half of the night shift from either the bridge or the ready room. Not having an active first officer aboard, rumor had it, prompted such a lengthy presence from the captain, and perhaps he was finally starting to rely on his crew. "It's probably for the best that we continue to monitor your neural activity, just to be safe."

"Of course," Harvey replied, thinking he would have made the same decision had he been in her shoes. "Thank you again, lieutenant."

She nodded, and left the room.

The eerie purple and blue glow from the window dimmed as the Black Hawk backed away from the nebula. Harvey's eyes wandered around the darkening room to his desk, seeing a photo from the wedding long ago. His wife's loving eyes and enchanted smile, frozen forever in time, beamed with passion next to a glowing lieutenant in science blue.

His life had an impressive start, stalled in pain and anguish. Though he decided a few years ago to allow Starfleet to control his life by taking the center chair, it was now time to regain control and make the most of it.

 

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