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Coffee & Cake

Posted on Fri Nov 18th, 2022 @ 3:19am by Lieutenant Viessa Kenobi & Lt JG Adalyn O'Rourke Ph.D.
Edited on on Tue Nov 22nd, 2022 @ 2:51am

Mission: The Hunt Begins
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 5
Timeline: MD001 - 1930 Hours


Viessa was beginning to think she had an addiction to coffee. Sure as a Doctor she had to recommend a limit of the stuff to people who drank copious amounts, but she never followed it herself. The day had been filled with meeting the Captain, and the XO at lunch. Now, not quite evening time, she felt a little quake of her stomach telling her it wanted cake and her brain going 'well if you're getting cake you may as well caffeine me up boss'.

As she entered the mess hall for the second time that day she noticed a red haired woman engrossed in a pad. Must have been interesting reading as she did not even look up until Nuala burnt herself a little with the coffee she was taking out of the resequencer. "Shoot!" she yelled before noticing the hazel eyes meet hers.

"Sorry, I really do need to be more careful. I hope I didn't interrupt you." Viessa spoke with a smile.

Adalyn was so engrossed in her journal article, she barely recognized others around her, allowing herself a rare few moments to just catch up on things that didn't have anything to do with her current posting. It wasn't until she heard a loud shout that, startled and concerned, she jumped from her seat and turned in the direction of the shout, mentally registering there was no red alert to respond to. Putting the pieces together, O'Rourke came over to Nuala and offered, "No worries. Are you okay?"

"Oh, just my mouth wanting this coffee before my brain could stop my hands." Viessa laughed softly as she bit down on her tongue lightly to see how bad the burn was. "Thank you, just a little burnt mouth. Sometimes my caffeine addiction gets the better of me... oh excuse my manners." she said, her slight English accent slipping in, "I'm Viessa Kenobi." She said putting down her cup on a table and extending her hand.

"I hear you. Sometimes my mind gets pulled into all sorts of directions too." The other woman didn't seem to be in any real distress, so Adalyn let her smile widen in recognition. "Adalyn O'Rourke. I expect you and I will be working quite closely together. I promise to do what I can to keep your head from getting too far ahead of your hands," she teased good-naturedly.

Viessa recognised the name, she was in her medical department, assigned as a Profiler. "A pleasure to meet you." She said moving to the table where she had been sitting so she could join the woman. "And that would be appreciated." Viessa laughed softly. "You know as Doctors we are always spinning quite a lot of plates, and sometimes it helps to have someone to remind you to not start spinning anymore." she paused for a moment. "Do I detect a hint of an American accent there?" she asked moving the conversation into a different direction.

Adalyn's demeanor was coy, but her eyes shone with mirth indicating she was clearly feigning and then she chuckled. "You make me sound so exotic. American, yes, Florida specifically. Definitely not as glamorous or exotic as the… Is it English lilt I detect?"

"You do, sometimes I think it sounds awful strong." Viessa admitted. "I was spent a lot of time in England in my younger years." It used to be she'd have to lie about her upbringing when she had been on Earth previous to her species being known. She had to move around a lot to avoid unwanted questions. "But I moved around a lot so my accent can change. Have you ever been? To England?" She asked.

The angry child within O'Rourke might've scoffed at the question and made some sarcastic remark about simply trying to keep her father from abusing her mother, but adult Adalyn simply shook her head. "I always wanted to travel, but my family and I never did. My childhood was chaotic, I suppose you could say."

Viessa's El Aurian empathic sense tingled before Adalyn spoke. She could feel the woman's anger at the memories that stirred in her, the resentment towards someone. The internal rolling of eyes could be felt, not seen.

"It is a nice place, you should make the time now." Nuala smiled at the woman. "If you ever want to talk? I am here not just for medical care. I'm quite easy to talk to, but of course we've just met and there's no pressure." She laughed softly. "Childhoods can be difficult when you feel you can't say or do anything, or that your voice isn't heard." She spoke of her own childhood back on El Auria, where she was somewhat forced by her parents into the science route and eventually sent to Earth as an Observer.

Over the early years she'd had to fake her death many times in the guise of her 'mother'. Given her ability to age, and de-age, it was easy to do during the earlier centuries. It is became harder over time until her eventual recall back home and she revealed to a few who she was before she left. Then she returned back to Starfleet in 2385, her own name back in use... the last guise of Nuala Kenobi a distant memory.

Adalyn smiled good-naturedly, just now recalling she had read the doctor's file and recalled her heritage, including her empathic abilities. "Thank you, but I think that's supposed to be my line," she added with a chuckle. "My understanding of my role here is that in addition to profiling, I am expected to provide mental health support to crime survivors and witnesses as well as members of the crew. I expect we're going to be facing more traumatic events than the typical Starfleet vessel." Realizing then she had lapsed into work mode and not wanting to, she offered, "I agree that childhood can be especially difficult. It definitely was in my case."

"Well we can look after each other." Viessa smiled softly. "After all, who looks after your mental health? Can't talk to yourself in the mirror, that'd be crazy." She grinned. "You are right though, I do imagine we will be coming up against quite a few grizzly scenarios... I mean I've seen a lot." he mind cast back then she realised to everyone else she was still looked young. "We just need to look out for each other. I do sometimes feel the bond of crewmates to be quite strong, almost familial. I have not gotten close to many people in my life as at some point people just fade away."

**Adalyn took note of the doctor's correction of her words and found the mistake curious. O'Rourke wouldn't expect someone to confuse experiencing something personally with simply hearing about or reading about them. The experience definitely aroused her professional curiosity even as she personally recognized the Doctor's right to keep some things to herself. After all, O'Rourke wasn't terribly forthcoming about her past either and unless she became aware of any secrets impacting her ability to work, she was entitled to her privacy. Adalyn nodded. "You're not the first person to say something like that to me. Loss is incredibly painful, and I think as members of Starfleet we are confronted by it more often earlier than many people."**

"I would agree." Viessa nodded. "We are definitely put into dangerous situations as a matter of our mandate... seeking out new life and new civilisations is a tricky business. Though I am thinking that hopefully being in a criminal investigations unit that we will be slightly less out of the firing line." she mused.

"I hope so," O'Rourke answered with a smile, "but life has a way of surprising me most of the time. How about you? How did you feel when you got this assignment? Not exactly a traditional posting for a medical officer."

"It'll be different and the same all in one." Viessa said as she scrunched up her little nose a little and swished her mouth to the left. "I will still provide medical care for all those on board the ship, all personnel and now the added responsibility of prisoners should we pick any up. There is also the Medical Examiner part which is slightly different but something I am looking forward to."

O'Rourke smiled. "I must admit, I don't think I could ever perform autopsies. I realize that's ironic considering profiling requires getting into the minds of some of the most troubled people and some of our procedures are referred to as psychological autopsies, but I think when it comes to the real thing, I might just be squeamish. Or perhaps it's superstitious," she added with a chuckle.

"It's not so bad. I mean we don't cut them open like we used too back in older times. Medical scanners do most of the work. I mean sometimes we need to be a bit more invasive but I've been dealing with blood, guts and goo for a long time. If you don't go home with a mysterious mark on your uniform then you've not done your job, or its been a slow day." Viessa giggled.

Adalyn chuckled in return. "I suppose you're right. I guess it also depends on the circumstances surrounding said goo. I still tear up every time I see a baby born, even on a vid."

"They are cute little things after all. I don't blame you." Viessa said. "I have two of my own back on my world and even the thought of them now can bring me to tears as I galivant around the galaxy trying to make a difference in my exitance here."

"Oh wow," Adalyn replied, "it must be hard for you to be away from them." Of course, for all she knew, the kids were grown, not the little ones she imagined. Whenever she thought of other people's kids, she thought of all the opportunities for cuddling.

"It can be." Viessa admitted. "But they are grown by Human standards. My oldest, Orrian, is 31 and training to be a Doctor as well but he has a good 40-50 years of education to get through on our world first. My youngest, Folre, wants to join Starfleet but I have warned him off that path for the moment. His father whispers in his ear that different experiences are what makes our people whole, but I think at the age of 25 he has a long way to go yet."

Adalyn's eyes widened. "I can't imagine going to school to become a doctor for 40 or 50 years. I thought my education was long enough," She added with a grin. Naturally, she had many more questions, but she had to remind herself, this wasn't a psychological evaluation, and she didn't want the doctor to feel as though she was being interrogated.

"Well, when you live as long as we do time has no real bearing on anything." Viessa offered a glimmer into her people. She could tell Adalyn was interested purely from the nature of how she felt. "To put it into perspective, I am over 400 years old and if you have questions, I am more than happy to answer them for you. Most people do when they learn I am El Aurian."

Adalyn lowered her head slightly as if to acknowledge the doctor's assessment of her curiosity in a somewhat bashful fashion. "I suppose I could say my curiosity is just an occupational hazard, but I would be lying if I said my curiosity is purely professional, and I appreciate you taking it in stride. I certainly don't mean to leave you feeling like an oddity. I suppose it's just hard to wrap my mind around living that long because like everyone else, I only have my own experiences as a frame of reference. I can only imagine what influence your longevity has on your psychological development."

Viessa nodded. "Some think that after a couple hundred or so years that you should be wise beyond those years, but I am sadly not one of those people. Some people think that because I am over 400 years old that I should have ventured into something else, moved on from medicine but I am happy in what I do, and I know it makes a difference. That I all that matters to me. If my experience can save one life, then..." she smiled and raised both her arms in triumphant emphasis "it is all worth it. Oh, and I can hide my crazy from you." she grinned. "Us old folk are good at that." she teased.

Adalyn laughed. "I wouldn't be so sure. I may not be as old as you, but I'm told as a youngster, I can be pretty perceptive at finding the crazy." Her laughter died down and she offered, more seriously, "I can completely relate to your passion for your work. I can't imagine doing anything else, even if it's considered outside the norm. Most people seek understanding the criminal mind as the glamorous part of my role, but to be honest, more than that, I just want to help people who've been touched by crime. They need support and unfortunately, it's often the criminal that gets the spotlight."

"Very true." Viessa nodded. "It is a shame when the victims of crime fall to the wayside and the light shone on those that have been the culprit. However, sometimes the victims of crime are the criminals too. Sometimes environments can push people to do things, act certain ways, and alter natural behaviour. Sometimes people are just batshi... well a little nutty."

Adalyn appreciated the humor of the doctor's slip of the tongue as much as her perceptiveness. She smiled. "Touché. I would love to continue this conversation, but I must get back to work. Might we make meeting like this a regular thing? Just don't tell my doctor I will be eating cake on a weekly basis."

"That sounds delightful, yes." Viessa smiled. "Don't worry, I hear if you bring your doctor cake and keep her sweet then she'll overlook the intake of bad sugars. It was nice having this chat with you Adalyn, just as long as you don't start analysing me." she giggled. "I have hundreds of years of baggage."

O'Rourke's eyes sparkled mischievously. "I like a challenge."

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Viessa Kenobi
Chief Medical Officer/Medical Examiner, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit

Lieutenant JG Adalyn O'Rourke, PhD
Chief Counselor/ Profiler, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigative Service


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