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The Redhead

Posted on 15 Jun 2014 @ 2:20pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: History
Location: Starbase 211
Timeline: June 2, 2372

"No, no, no!" Harvey snapped at the nearby petty officer. "Don't you know how to align an electron microscope?" Without letting the enlisted man respond, he quickly instructed, "Turning the focal adjustment knob three times counterclockwise should put it back in alignment." He turned to the nearby display screen to make sure the instructions were carried out. "Counterclockwise! Not clockwise."

The frustration was beginning to take it's toll on Harvey. Correction...beginning was not the proper word. He was always frustrated. Today was even more so. "Hurry! Hurry! We have only two more hours before these samples deteriorate! There's no time for error!"

The petty officer only frowned and made the proper adjustments. He had learned a long time ago not to argue or interfere with the grouchy Lieutenant JG Harvey Geisler, especially now that he was the new Assistant Director of the Starbase's Medical Research Department. The actual Director was rarely around, always attending conferences throughout Federation space. Harvey was therefore often left to his own devices, much to the chagrin of the other researchers.

"Finally!" Harvey exclaimed. "We're in alignment. Wilson, the first sample, please."

The younger crewman near Geisler nodded her head and moved to the refrigeration unit to retrieve the sample.

Suddenly, there was a chime from the comm system. =/\= "Infirmary to Lieutenant Geisler." =/\=

"Dammit!" Harvey replied. The Chief Medical Officer always knew how to make a bad entrance and call at a bad time. Instead of responding to the doctor, he simply just ignored the call.

Wilson delivered the sample. "Excellent," Harvey replied. “Do you know how to place it in the microscope, or shall I do it for you?” Seconds later, she had placed it inside the machine.

Harvey looked inside the scope and entered a string of commands into the nearby control pad. He watched with his own eyes as the computer began a spectral analysis of the tissue sample. Harvey smiled, looking closely at the cellular structure. "Oh, this is better than I had thought," he said aloud to his team. He gestured to the primary viewer where the computer was displaying a visual readout of what Harvey was seeing. "The rate of decay is astounding. You can see the virus literally tearing the cell apart!"

=/\= "Infirmary to Harvey Geisler. Respond please." =/\=

Harvey frowned. He was too much in his research to respond, but he had enough run-ins with the Bolian Commander Zepk Gollatt, the starbase CMO, to completely ignore him at the second request. Quickly tapping his combadge, Harvey snapped, "This isn't a good time, Gollatt."

=/\= "Report to my office, Harvey." =/\=

"I'm in the middle of something," Harvey replied with a hiss. "I'm about to make a breakthrough!"

=/\= "You're always about to make a breakthrough. This is a direct order, Harvey. Don't make me have security escort you to the brig and I’ll talk to you there." =/\=

Harvey punched the table, knowing that Gollatt wasn't threatening him. He'd been thrown in the brig twice before. And everyone on the station knew full well of his multiple counts of insubordination. "Geisler out." A firm tap of the badge closed the channel.

He looked up to see the rest of his staff just staring at him. "Don't just stand there! This sample is due to expire soon. You know what to do! Start with the first antidote compound and monitor the effects."

Harvey stormed out of the room, hoping his staff would jump to their feet and work as he made his way to the Infirmary. Unfortunately, the trip itself would take several minutes, thanks to the starbase's large size and the Main Infirmary was over a hundred decks above the research levels.

Finally, he arrived in Gollatt's office. Without letting the doctor speak first, Harvey jumped in. "Do you have any idea what you just took me away from? You know I've spent the last few months breaking new ground on Aegean's Syndrome. For the first time, we can actually see how the virus works, how it destroys cell after cell. All of my work comes down to this very hour and you have the nerve to take me away from that? Imagine that we could have had a cure within the next two years and the lives that cure will save? You're going to put all of that in jeopardy so you can have me come up to your office?"

Zepk Gollatt also knew better than to interrupt one of Harvey's famous finger-pointing rants, so he politely waited until the young lieutenant was finished. He then waited for a few moments to make sure the lieutenant was finished.

"That's it?" Harvey demanded. "You're not going to say anything?"

Zepk smiled at last. "Lieutenant Harvey Geisler, meet your newest assistant."

Harvey was completely taken aback. He thought this little conference was going to be another reprimand or another lecture or a review of the rules and regulations that he had to follow or just something that would try to put him back in his place. This was out of the ordinary, though it was in accordance with those Starfleet rules and regulations. Nevertheless, Harvey remained stunned. "Assistant?" he asked, his voice actually shaken. He had always done most of his own work, regardless whether or not he had an assistant or was the assistant.

Zepk gestured to the third person in the office, who was actually sitting down at the desk. Harvey turned to look as the young redhead rose to her feet. She appeared eager, perhaps too eager, to meet her supervisor. She was petite, yes, yet the uniform, badge, even the sole gold pip on her teal collar was new; a freshly minted Academy graduate. And, despite Harvey's initial impression, her hand was extended hoping for a shake.

And she was Harvey's new assistant.

"Ensign Alison Michaels, sir," she proudly, yet nervously, said.

Harvey looked at her blankly for a second, then turned back at Zepk. "This is it? You called me up here for her?"

"She just arrived, so it was natural for her to check in with me first," replied the Bolian. "And it's also just natural for me to summon you so that you can show her around the department and then put her to work. Or in your case, throw her to the wolves.”

Harvey looked back at Alison, then back at Zepk. He grunted. Finally, he just nodded his head towards Alison and walked out of the office. Alison remained in the office, frozen in confusion to what had just transpired...and her hand still extended.

"You'll have to get used to him," Doctor Gollatt told Alison. Alison only turned her head towards the CMO as she listened to his words. "He's hard-headed, stubborn, and has a knack for doing things his way. But he is the most brilliant scientist around here which is why we put up with him."

She still stood there, but she at least managed to lower her hand.

"A word of advice, ensign?"

"Please!" she quickly replied, still unsure of what to make of the man she just met.

"You better catch up to him."

She nodded. "Right." Alison ran out of the office. A second later, she ran back in. "Thank you, sir." Before the doctor could reply, she ran out of the Infirmary and caught up to Lieutenant Geisler. He didn't acknowledge her presence, but simply walked up to the turbolift and stepped inside. "Medical Lab Three," he instructed the computer.

The doors closed as Alison stood beside Harvey. The lift began to move. Silence reigned in the lift car as it was lowered deep into the Starbase.

Still eager, young Alison gathered her courage. "I've read your work, sir."

"My work?" Harvey simply replied, having written many a paper or journal to count.

"Yes, sir," she replied. "Edlund's Syndrome."

Harvey nodded, recognizing the outbreak that put the Lieutenant JG pip on his collar. And he knew it had been widely accepted among the science community as one of the most confusing and conflicting journals written in the century. "And?"

"I understood it, sir."

Harvey cocked an eyebrow. Very few people he had met or spoke to regarding his research in the past year had been able to say that. For the first time since he met her, he actually looked at her and addressed her. "Is that so, ensign?"

"Yes, sir," she replied, mustering a weak smile.

Harvey grunted and looked back to the turbolift doors.

The turbolift doors opened and Harvey immediately entered the corridor. Alison quickly followed. Within moments, they were in Harvey's lab. Alison took note of a sign placed on the doorframe outside that read "Beware of the Geisler." She wasn't sure if it was a joke or serious. Either way, her supervisor seemed either not to notice it or just lacked the ability to care.

"Report!" Harvey demanded, not even thinking to introduce the new member of the team. The other four people in the room, all enlisted, looked up to see the new arrival, but also knew better than to ask what she was doing there.

The petty officer who had trouble aligning the microscope was the one who spoke. "The tissue is not responding to the treatment. In fact, it seems the entire degradation had accelerated by two hundred percent."

"What?" Harvey demanded, rushing over and pushing aside the crewman who was looking into the microscope. "I need one CC of Supradrozine, stat!"

"Tried that," replied the crewman. "No effect."

Harvey rattled off another drug. It had already been tried. So had the next five that he named.

"What was in the compound?" came an unfamiliar female voice.

All five turned to look at the newcomer who had been studying the display screens since she had arrived. She looked at them, waiting for an answer.

"A simple cellular bondant," replied Harvey. "Three CCs carbostepozine with a one CC mixture of Tricordrazine, Hylonin, and Deladornacon."

She thought about it for a second. "Crewman, add one CC zolepyhm."

"Zolepyhm?" Harvey asked as the nurse set to work to save the sample.

"This is Aegean's Syndrome, right?" she replied. "Hylonin contains an acid that reacts with the nucleotides within the cytoplasm, designed to stop an infection from spreading. Aegean Syndrome isn't an infectious disease, but a cellular organism that moves from cell to cell. All you're doing is helping the organism do its work. Zolepyhm will—"

"Zolepyhm congeals the cytoplasm for a limited time, slowing down the organism's poison," Harvey interrupted. "Of course." He had been foolish in his preparations. Even a first year student would have decided to use Hylonin. Only the vastly experienced would have known otherwise.

"It's working," replied the crewman touching her right index finger to the main viewer as the effects of the Zolepyhm could be seen.

Harvey looked into the microscope to see for himself. Sure enough, the sample was least for the next hour when they knew it would have been destroyed anyway. This Alison Michaels was brilliant. Harvey could now tell that she had meant it when she said she understood his work. And, for the first time, Harvey Geisler had met someone who he could actually respect.

"Everyone," he said. "Meet Ensign Alison Michaels.”


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