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Lunch Checkup

Posted on 15 Dec 2017 @ 9:35pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Captain's Mess
Timeline: MD3 || 1300 hours

Lunch meetings. Yuck.

Not that Jayla didn't want company, she just didn't want to have a meeting over lunch. Lunch was a break in the middle of the day and she preferred to not work during it. But, when the Captain called a lunch meeting, one dared not decline, even if the Captain was a personal friend.

So, she reported to the Captain's Mess as ordered, lamenting her lost free time. She'd just have to play extra hard after duty to make up for it.

Harvey was already waiting inside, only having been present for just a few seconds. Waiting for him and his company was a large bowl of salad and a basket of breadsticks. Smaller bowls and utensils were set off to the side, ready for whomever was willing to partake.

When Jayla arrived, Harvey looked up from the table with a smile. "Doctor," he greeted.

With a small smile, she headed over to the table. "Captain," she said. "How has your day been?"

“Aside from staring at the big blue blob outside the ship and wading through countless reports and Task Force updates,” he said, standing and reaching for the tongs, “pretty well. Salad?”

"Sure," she replied, and then fell awkwardly silent. Even if she was on the mend, she still felt awkward from time to time. She could only hope she'd get over that.

Harvey dished up the salad, and indicated the several dressings and vinaigrettes available to them. “Everything okay?” He asked as he prepared a bowl for himself.

"Yeah," she replied, choosing a creamy miral blossom dressing. "Well, no. Actually, I'm still feeling a bit awkward. from time to time. Maybe talking about it will help. Maybe it'll make it worse. I don't know." She shrugged.

"Then let's talk," Harvey said, sitting down after selecting a raspberry vinaigrette. He started to pour a small amount of the topping onto his salad and looked back up to the doctor.

She opened her mouth to speak, but suddenly realized that she'd said all there was to say on the subject and instead, grinned sheepishly. "Well, I guess that's about all there is to it," she admitted.

That's one way to avoid the subject, thought Harvey. Still, he would not press. He'd already interfered enough. "Very well then," he said. "How's sickbay these days?"

"Good," she replied. "A bit boring. But, that means that nobody's sick or injured, so..." She grinned and winked. "That's the same thing as good, isn't it?"

"Indeed it does." Harvey stabbed a couple leaves of kale and consumed them. "Commander Teixeira tells me that crew evaluations are underway. Perhaps I can have an early preview?"

"Well, I've given the nurses to Sterek," she started. "Medical is a huge department. I thought I'd share the fun." She added a grin. "Seriously, though, I haven't gotten much more done than my own notes. It's good, though. Everyone is at least performing to expected standards. The doctors, anyway. That's as far as I've gotten. I still have to go over the technicians' files."

Harvey nodded, continuing to work on his salad. "There is one thing that I haven't considered until now," he told her. "We could be sitting here for months trying to find a way in. There's a few planets nearby that I'd like to be able to visit if our studies are prolonged. Have you had a chance to see what's around us?"

"I haven't," she replied, adding more dressing to her salad and giving it a stir. "Is there anything interesting?

"Well, if you want to trade brooding for an addiction, Bellogeer VI would be the way to go," Harvey stated, referring to the world that was famous for the Chabanlon Pollen. "Home to a race of marsupials. I think the USS Zukov is scheduled to make a trip there soon."

"Marsupials," she said, brightening. "That might be fun. Still, I'm not sure addiction is better than brooding. Plus, the brooding sessions are growing shorter and there is more time between them."

That was pleasant to hear, even though he did not verbalize it. "There are also a few uninhabited worlds nearby that we could check for fresh fruits and vegetables, to see if there's anything there to replenish ship's stores before entering the zone. After all, who knows what we'll find in there."

"That's a great idea," Jayla agreed. "Especially if there's something interesting there."

And that was it for Harvey's attempt at small talk. He'd hoped any of those prior items would have sparked some sort of conversation, but if she really had nothing to report from sickbay, or even anything else to add, then this would be a very quiet meal. Thankfully, the chef arrived with their lunches. For Harvey, it would be a grilled chicken sandwich with all the toppings. "Thank you," he said to the chef as he left the room.

As for Jayla, she hadn't any clue what lunch would be, but the chef set a plate of spicy garlic shrimp pasta in front of her with a wink before leaving. She grinned and speared a shrimp with her fork. "How about you?" she asked as she wound some of the pasta around her fork. "Think you'll get off-ship for a bit?"

"It depends," Harvey mused, finishing his salad. "I know we've only been on board a month, but for the seven weeks before that, we were on a mandatory shore leave. I think I'm not ready to disembark just yet. I'm still getting to know the new girl."

"I can understand that," she replied. "I feel like I could spend a month straight in Sick Bay and still not know it very well. Oh! Which reminds me! We've got these full-body scanners down there- not like the typical ones- these things are amazing! They can catalog all injuries and prioritize them in a matter of seconds. I had a couple of people test them during physicals and they seem to be very accurate. They take a lot of power, though, so we'd only be able to use them in a pinch or when every second counts. Still, they're pretty cool."

"Interesting," Harvey remarked. He clearly hadn't had the chance to fully immerse himself in what sickbay had to offer. "Are we talking something with a chamber, or a series of complex scanners and holoprojectors?"

"More like an extra-fancy biobed," she replied. "There are two scanners that do most of the work and the biobed fills in the rest. Then it gives you a list of everything and a sort of map of the body appears on a screen telling you exactly where everything of note is. It's pretty fantastic."

Harvey nodded, considering the possibilities. "With mapping technology like that, is it able to estimate the age of scars, or even able to detect possible deformities or abnormalities before a basic tricorder scan can find them, as well as project possible causes?"

“It seems like it,” Jayla answered. “At least everything checked out against the patients’ medical files. Pretty soon, we won’t need doctors anymore!” she joked.

"Looks like I changed professions just in time," Harvey admitted, a sly smile on his face. "You'd probably turn out all right, with all of the knowledge and experience Kij has to offer. Or, you could try your hand at Command."

Jayla did a very convincing fake gag. "Ugh, don't ever say that again," she said, placing one hand over her stomach. "I may never recover."

"What would you do then?" Harvey asked. "If modern medical advancements forced you out of a job?"

"I'd teach," she answered without hesitation. "Go back to Trill and teach little kids. The littlest. I love tiny kids."

"A noble profession," he remarked. "Personally, I think doctors aren't going anywhere. The day we trust a computer to handle medicine, well, we all might as well be Borg."

"True story," she agreed. "As far as I know, they haven't yet invented a computer that can accurately diagnose."

"But we can at least map the genome and quickly spot abnormalities," Harvey offered. "And scanners are first and foremost a tool, not a resource of information."

"Of course," she replied.

And then, she couldn't think of anything else to say. Anything left unsaid on the subject didn't really need to be said as they were both doctors and inherently understood it. But, confound it! It was so awkward being unable to think of something to say.

Harvey sensed the awkwardness as well, but he continued to eat. For now, all his ears would hear would be the crunch of the lettuce as he took each bite. Aside from the unspoken matter, and what little they'd discussed of business there wasn't much left to discuss it seemed.

But, Jayla, of course, finally thought of something. "Have you and Joey decided on names, yet?" she asked. "That is something humans do, right? I always forget who names their babies before birth and who doesn't."

"We haven't thought that far," Harvey replied honestly. "It'll still be a few weeks before we know exactly what we're having, once the genetics finish doing their work."

With a slight chuckle, Jayla nodded. "Yeah, I suppose that would be important information," she agreed. "I don't think about that. Trill typically name their babies within the first week after the birth. Apparently, I was an ornery baby from the start, so my parents named me 'Jayla' which means happy." She grinned. "I'm not quite sure if they were being ironic or hopeful. Either way, I'm living up to my name. More or less."

He nodded, reaching for his glass to take a drink. "Supposedly, Harvey means to be battle worthy. I certainly can't say I haven't been tested by fire."

She grinned. "Certainly a fitting name," she agreed. "It makes me wonder if we're not influenced by our names. If my parents constantly saying Jayla- or "happy"- at me during infancy forced me to become cheerful. It's an interesting thought."

"Indeed it is," replied Harvey, setting down his glass. "A self-fulfilling prophecy, one might say. Then again, it's almost like the first line of code written into our DNA that can't be overridden no matter what."

"There is power in words," she replied sagely. "Either that or all parents are prognosticators."

"I doubt that," Harvey observed, referring to the prognosticators. "But they've always known us better than we've known ourselves."

"Truer words were never spoken," she agreed.

The conversation continued along those lines for a bit longer, and then lunch was over and it was time to go back to Sick Bay. Jayla left feeling much better than she had in ages. She really was going to be okay, even if it took longer than would have liked.


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