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Ticket to Ride

Posted on 11 Aug 2017 @ 9:24pm by Lieutenant Abbey Road & Chief Petty Officer Odette Farrar

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD5 | 0800

Chief O. Erica Farrar gave a tired sigh as she adjusted her duty uniform. It felt as if she'd been going nonstop ever since the Black Hawk had launched. Starfleet had somehow managed to sneak an extra day in her work cycle. Or at least it felt like fighter maintenance had been working eight days a week. Erica had been working double shifts, and coming off Delta Shift before planning to start the next day's Alpha Shift had certainly made it a hard day's night.

Still, her world couldn't focus strictly on getting the Black Hawk's Gryphons in their best fighting shape. Sickbay, for instance, expected her to show up at some point for a general physical, a necessary requirement for her duty assignment. A requirement for her ticket to ride, as it were.

So with a not-quite-disguised air of resignation, Erica entered Sick Bay and presented herself to the nurse in the waiting room.

"Excuse me, ma'am, I have an appointment with a Dr. Road."

"Oh, yes, you must be.... Chief Petty Officer Odette Ferrar!" declared the petite blonde nurse, checking the schedule. "I'm Nurse Eleanore Rigby. Dr. Road is ready for you. If you'll follow me," she added, standing from the desk and motioning for the CPO to follow her back into main Sick Bay.

Erica followed in the trail of the Nurse, idly thinking that she looked the sort to be fairly good at her job in reception. Probably made sure that everyone in the waiting room kept their spirits up, particularly all the lonely people.

Sick Bay was busy today, with people running around all helter-skelter. But, Rigby wove her way through them all expertly, careful to make sure that Ferrar kept up. "Busy today," she commented as the approached a dark skinned woman busily setting up equipement near a biobed. "Oh, well. A day in the life and all... Doctor Road, this is CPO Ferrar here for her physical," she added to the doctor.

"Thank you, Rigby," said Abbey turning a cheerful grin on Ferrar. "Hello. As she said, I'm Doctor Abbey Road. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Erica has to admit that Nurse Rigby did her job well, navigating her way through the busy sick bay. There was definitely something in the way she moved. "If you don't mind me asking, Doctor Road," Eric said, leaning against the biobed, "Do you have an Uncle Albert? You bear a striking resemblance to the doctor who ran the health checks when I was going through basic."

"Not that I know of," answered Abbey. "But, then, mum and dad both come from large families, so there might be a second cousin twice removed or something. I've got all sort of relatives across the universe. Anyway, hop up here and we'll get started," she added, indicating the bio bed.

Erica hopped up on the biobed just as a medical technician pushed a machine past. Erica only caught part of the lettering on the machine. It was something 'mind', or possibly 'mind' something. There was actually a rather anachronistic dial knob on the 'mind' machine. It appeared that 'mind' was set on U. Or possibly Mu. Erica only had a passing knowledge of Greek letters.

"For what it's worth, Doctor Road," Erica began, "Other than stretching myself a little thin, I feel pretty good. And I expect to be keeping normal hours in a week or so, once everything is settled in."

"I know the feeling," replied Abbey. "It's a bit hectic around here. I keep thinking, all I need is eight days a week to get through it all." She grinned as she opened her tricorder and began running scans. "Of course, yesterday was worse. Maybe we're finally catching up."

"For some reason, it just seems like it didn't use to take as long to catch up," Erica said with a laugh. "You know, long time ago when we was fab." Erica shook her head and chuckled. "I sound like a Marine talking about the 'Old Corps.'"

Still studying the readout on her tricorder, Abbey gave a grin and a bit of a chuckle. "We're still fab," she said. "Now, all I've got to do is to remember that and I'll be all right."

"It don't come easy," Erica agreed. "So anything besides caffeine abuse and past dings, Doctor?" Erica asked with a nod at the tricorder in Abbey's hands.

"Not yet, but it's early," Abbey replied, tapping a couple of buttons on the tricorder and continuing her scans. "So where are you from?" she asked, taking a page out of Doctor Kij's book and making conversation.

"I grew up in a coastal settlement on a little out of the way colony world called New Dayton," Erica answered. "In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed to sea. And he told us of his life, in the land of submarines. Specifically, unmanned submarines used to harvest crustaceans," Erica elaborated. 'Sort of like Earth lobsters."

"That sounds fascinating," answered Abbey with a friendly grin. "I never spent much time at the ocean. I grew up on Luna colony, but I spent a lot of time on Earth in Canada with my grandparents. They owned a 400 acre berry farm and my brother and I spent our summers picking berries for them. You should have seen it! Rows and rows of blueberry bushes, raspberries and blackberries practically overrunning the place, strawberry fields forever!"

"That reminds me of when I went to Alesund, Norway, while I was at the Technical Services Academy. My roommate was from the area," Erica explained. "She introduced me to cloudberries and desserts made with Morello cherries and then she took me to this huge bonfire the town makes every midsummer!" Erica shook her head, half talking, half remembering, as she added quietly, "Isn't it good, Norwegian wood?"

"I guess it's true what they say," Erica told Dr. Road. "There are places we'll remember all our lives, though some have changed. All those places had their moments."

"Absolutely," answered Abbey, remembering those days wandering the berry patches. "Still go back every time I'm near earth. I might take over the place after retirement. It'll be a nice place to live when I'm sixty-four. Or thereabouts."

"I'll probably return to New Dayton when I get tired of Starfleet. Or it gets tired of me," Erica laughed. "Don't get me wrong, Doctor. Earth is a fine place to visit, but there are too many customs to keep track of. I remember meeting this banker in Alesund, who had a lot of odd habits. For example, he would never wears a mac in the pouring rain. Very strange," Erica added with a shake of her head. "Or at least I thought so. No one else thought anything of it."

Erica's comm badge chose that moment to chirp. "Chief Farrar?"

"Excuse me, Doctor," Erica said as she tapped her badge. "Farrar here."

"Chief, this is Petty Officer Perceval. We have a question about the replication schedule you want to initiate for the primary phaser coupling."

"I'll be there shortly, Perceval. Farrar out." Turning to Abbey, Erica gave a sheepish shrug. "Sorry, Doctor. I'm still new to a lot of the crew on the flight deck, so everyone is being careful about not overstepping their bounds. Eventually, everyone will know when it's proper to use their own initiative. Until then, I need to be here, there and everywhere."

"It's all right," Abbey allowed. "We'll get you out of here quick as ever we can. Nearly done. Yeah, I knew lots of oddballs, too," she added, referring to Farrar's banker story. "This one guy liked to tell a story to all the kids- good story teller, too. I can't really remember the story, but it was about animals and always made someone ask at the end, 'what about the Walrus?' And he's reply, 'I am the Walrus!'" Abbey grinned at the memory. "It made me laugh every time."

"Sounds like Mr. Shamsuddin," Erica responded. "He was sort of the one man cultural center in our village. Taught dancing, martial arts, painting, you name it. He also took the village children on camp outs, except he called them his magical mystery tours. He set up puzzles and everything for us during those camp outs. And at night, he had the best sing-a-longs." Erica paused, her eyebrows furrowing. "There was one in particular...roll up, roll up..." Erica shook her head. "Well, it'll probably come to me as I'm falling asleep tonight."

"That sounds amazing," replied Abbey as she finished her scans. "Well, it looks like you're in great shape," she added, closing her tricorder. "If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to come back anytime. As always, I'm sure we can work it out."

"Actually, there is one thing you could help me with, Doctor," Erica said as she slid off the biobed. "Do you know how often the database on sentient lifeforms in the Quadrant gets updated? When I was transferring over to the Black Hawk, I saw a humanoid female from a species I wasn't familiar with. A girl with kaleidoscope eyes. She was wearing the most unusual headdress...cellophane flowers of yellow and green, towering over her head. Quite eye catching. But when I got to my quarters to find out more about her race...well, it was like getting sun in my eyes, and then she was gone," Erica said with a shrug.

Abwy grinned. "Do you want to know a secret?" she said conspiratorially. "We've got a prankster on board who likes to add things to databases from time to time. Harmless things. Had us thinking there was a plant on Rigel 7 could eat a man whole in two bites!" She chuckled, shaking her head. "Oh, that mean mister Mustard!"


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