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Morale Officers

Posted on Tue Mar 12th, 2024 @ 12:10am by Lieutenant Alice Zuberg MD & Lieutenant JG Kas Th'shrytrir
Edited on on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 @ 9:33pm

1,174 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Season 1, Episode 3: Trespassing
Location: USS Tigerfish Sickbay

The USS Tigerfish had not yet gotten underway. There was not much time until she launched, and until that time, Dr. Alice Zuberg spent her waking hours (which was most of them) making sure sickbay was stocked just right. A few people came in now and again. Arrival physicals. A headache, a splinter, a left ankle sprain (the daily mundane).

The intake nurse had gone on break and she was left alone in sickbay, catching up on paperwork.

Striding in to the Tigerfish's Sickbay, the gangly Andorian glanced about. Seems unusually quiet, Kas thought, even though he thankfully had limited experience in medbays. Must be out collecting supplies.

He caught sight of the ship's Chief Medical Officer. Raising a slender, long-fingered hand, he attracted the attention of the unmistakable woman with the eyepatch.

'Doctor Zuberg! A pleasure to see you!'

“Lieutenant th’Shrytrir!” Alice replied. The two had met before in some meeting or other and were on friendly terms. Medical and Flight Control rarely worked together but not never. “To what do I owe the pleasure? Or should I ask, is everything all right?”

'Everything is as standard, I believe,' Kas replied with a smile as he reverted to his normal, quieter tone. His antennae questing, he closed the distance between the two colleagues. 'I'm sure you've heard the Tigerfish is to depart soon ... perhaps a pre-flight check might be in order?'

“A very good idea,” Alice said. “Come take a seat on the biobed. I’ll be right with you.” The Tigerfish was an old ship, and so too were its sickbay equipment, but she had up to date tricorders and other medical supplies. She would make do. “Anything I should know about before beginning?”

'No change, I believe,' He sat, head slightly bowed as his antennae undulated gently. Kas was tall enough that his feet were planted comfortably on the floor as he placed his hands on his knees. 'Perhaps a few more twinges in a hip flexor more than usual, but we're a hardy people, as you know, Doctor.' Cocking his head in her direction he asked, 'anything new with you?'

“One new thing,” Alice answered as she scanned. “My sister is posted to the station. She’s one of the nurses. We got to talk the other day. It was nice.”

'She's just arrived on-station?' Kas asked with curiosity. He racked his brains while he sat there, going over what he knew. 'I'm not sure you've mentioned her before - but I suppose we have only known one another a short time.'

"I'm not sure I have either," Alice replied. "She went into the enlisted track and she's one of the nurses on the station, so every time we circle back here I'll get to see her." Her smile then faded. "The problem is our ignorant parents, who seem to think that an enlisted person just couldn't get into the Academy, or that a nurse is someone who failed medical school. Selka is an incredible, caring person, but sometimes she looks at me and only sees the passive-aggressive comments our parents make. I'm hoping we can rebuild out here, on the frontier." She smiled again. "Do you have any siblings, Kas?"

'Tertiary qualifications are over-valued in many cultures,' Kas observed gently, 'and often obscure the fact that practical vocations are equally worth pursuing.' The Andorian's antennae undulated for a moment. 'I do have many siblings,' he continued, smiling warmly, 'the family system on Andoria is more complicated than the human equivalent. Our four sexes can be roughly divided into male and female, giving the family four parents.'

'Then there is the clan structure around us, as well.' Kas smiled again, 'sorry ... I'm rambling a bit. I suppose in human terms I have one immediate sibling, a brother, and four cousins, but I would consider them brother or sister on Andoria. Like yourself, I do not see them often enough. I hope things improve with your Selka. Family is complicated enough when relations are well.'

"I hope things improve, too," said Alice. "Well, Kas, you're looking fine and fit, as they say. Within Andorian standards." Which might have been a bit underweight for a human of his height, but she knew Andorian muscle tissue worked differently.

'That's reassuring to know,' Kas replied, 'don't really want to be going out into the black with something wrong with me.' He slipped to his feet, unfolding to his full height. 'Thank you, Alice.'

"Any time," said Alice. "And let me know if you ever want to talk or anything. It gets lonely out here, and a good network of friends can help lift a somber mood." She cared as much about the crew's mental health as their physical health, and she also needed to have a group of friends on hand.

'I think we should have a Lieutenant's Night, once we're aboard the 'Fish,' Kas replied brightly, 'we're all relatively new, we should get to know one another better - build that network of friends.'

"I couldn't agree more!" Alice said, nodding excitedly. "Social times, games, drinks. The making of high morale!"

Kas smiled, a little relieved, 'I'm glad you like the idea. It might not be for everyone, but I think it might catch most of the officers' interest.' He awkwardly made finger-guns at the Chief Medical Officer, 'see ya there!' before smiling sheepishly. 'Sorry. Academy roommate did that a lot. Rubbed off on me.'

"It's a very old human tradition," Alice assured him, firing off the finger guns back.

'Ah, good to know I've picked up some cultural touchpoints that aren't just baseball, even if by accident,' he chuckled, slightly relieved he hadn't seemed to have made a complete fool of himself.

"Well, with touchpoints like those, you'll never strike out," Alice joked. "Life may throw you curveballs sometimes. And sometimes you may find yourself out in left field. But you're a good man, Kas, and with skills like yours, you'll hit it out of the park. And maybe get to third base while you're at it." She grinned, happy to have gotten that many baseball idioms in one thought.

Throwing his head back to laugh, Kas exclaimed, 'Doctor, I have no doubt morale is going to be good aboard the 'Fish if you stick around.'

That made Alice smile even more. It was good to know she had made a friend today. "See you at Lieutenant's Night, Kas."

'See you then - I'll be sure to get plenty of caffeinated drinks for you!' Kas called out as a goodbye as he headed out the door. Zuberg's fondness for caffeine was already well-documented amongst the crew. A spring in his step, he reflected that serving aboard the 'Fish would be a good thing.


Lieutenant Alice Zuberg
Chief Medical Officer
USS Tigerfish

Lieutenant Kas Th'shrytrir
Chief Helm Officer
USS Tigerfish


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