Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Doctor Ballston I Presume

Posted on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 @ 5:15am by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Edited on on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 11:45am

Mission: Episode 1 - Pioneering Spirit
Location: Primary Sickbay Deck 5
Timeline: MD003 0900 Hrs
Tags: SD 71367.0900

Richard raised his hand and felt the braille letters, the raised dots that spelled out Primary sick bay. He placed his personal tricorder back on his belt having arrived where he had intended as he let a smile that cross his well shaven face. His uniform was crips and his boots polished, something he still tried to do. The long hours sometimes required of department heads sometimes dulled the glint from his black boots and his uniform by the end of a long day might be as wrinkled and limp as he felt.

He breathed in deeply and stepped forward enough to activate the double doors that led into the rooms beyond. The man expected to meet his new Co here as was indicated by a message and he was eager to get started with his new responsibilities.

As the door opened he looked around at the few biobeds and relatively small office to his left and his smile broadened at the sight.

“Small and dainty but she does the job...the convience of having a completely new refit is that she’s brand new and waiting for you to put your own brand upon her. I will admit to a little jealousy towards you Doctor.” Patricia had been in the inner office, watching as the newcomer to the ship had entered. There’d been no mistaking the expression on the medical officer’s face and she’d felt it better to allow him to enjoy the moment before making her own presence known.

Tyler was all smiles as walked through the ship. Junior officers and enlisted alike wishing him good morning with the affectionate title of Captain, and he had to admit he loved every minute of it. He was on his way to Sick Bay to meet the CMO, an Azzian if his service record was to be believed. For Tyler this was a first contact situation.

He stepped into the Sick Bay and he knew that his XO was already there as she left the bridge a few moments before he did. "Well Monty, it seems that your magic with Starfleet Medical knows no end." He noticed his CMO as he stood there. "Doctor Ballston I presume..." Tyler said as he extended his hand and shook the doctor's.

He then looked first at the woman offering a smile and an nod but before he could speak there was a new arrival. Richard stepped back slightly so he could see both of them and then stood at attention, "Commander Malbrooke, sir, Lieutenant Richard Ballston Reporting for duty."

"At ease, at ease Doctor... It is I who should be thanking you for coming. It seems getting Starfleet Medical to send us a doctor is like getting a tribble to stop eating. Welcome aboard the Pioneer. I trust your journey from Starbase Protector was uneventful." Tyler said with a smile.

"Yes thank you," Richard replied as he relaxed his stance. He drew in a breath and glanced towards the woman and then back to Tyler. His smile stayed as he continued his response, "well you got the Attention of an admiral, otherwise you may still be searching for one."

Patricia stayed where she was, propping her shoulder against the officer door as she allowed the officer his own space to readjust and take everything in. “The best of the best I was promised...although past experience has thought me that Rear Admiral Dunleavy is true to his word.”

Richard nodded and smiled at the woman. His eyes sparkled at her words and he words, "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Admiral Dunleavy yet Commander Montgomery but that was the impression I was given of him." There was a slight hesitation as the physician did is best to fight back the now growing nervousness he was experiencing. Although adolescent uneasiness should have vanished long ago with the onset of maturity he still struggled during encounters with women he found himself attracted to though it was getting better. "His name was on the transfer orders though it came to me worded more as a request by a subspace communication from Admiral Griffin.

"Well however, you got word I am certainly glad that you are here. Welcome to your domain Doc. Is there anything that I can do to make the transition easier?" Tyler smiled broadly as he looked around the Sick Bay. This was the first time since boarding the Pioneer that Tyler had seen Sick Bay.

Ballston took in a breath and began. "thank you for the offer sir but everything is fine." He tilted his head slightly and raised an eyebrow, "there are a few things that you may want to know about me though. I'd rather you hear about them from me then through the grape vine if you know what I mean."

Tyler exchanged a glance with his XO. The two had known each other for so long that a glance spoke volumes. Tyler's glance said what on earth could you have gotten me into Monty. He hopped up on one of the bio beds. "I can't imagine there is more than what is in your service record. But shoot..."

The physician chuckled, "it's not that serious but I'd rather you hear things from me rather than just rumors." He glanced over at Patricia and then back at Tyler, "the first is easy, I do have a severe learning disability, an acute form of dyslexia. I cannot read anything the same way others do but I do know Braille. There isn't an issue regarding it but it has been brought up to my commanding officer before and they were made to believe I couldn't function properly in this capacity. I have to say I feel I do just fine." Richard glanced between the two superior officers, "any questions so far?"

Patricia shook her head as she kept her casual position against the doorframe; allowing the man to have his word and choosing to wait to weight everything up until she had the rest of his story.

Tyler thought of the engineer on the Enterprise who is blind, he didn't understand how anyone could have a problem with a disability. "No questions over here doc..."

Richard nodded, "thank you I appreciate that." He chuckled as he continued, "perhaps I'm the one who is most critical of that fact. I hate relying on technology but you will probably see me using those resources quite a bit."

Drawing in other breath he added, "I also wanted to ensure that if you had any questions regarding my species you felt free to ask them. There are only a few of us sprinkled through the Federation so I am positive neither of you have head much about us. I was raised more on Betazed than anywhere else and only found out what species I really was not too long ago so I'll be happy to address any questions you or the crew might have." He chuckled, "I'm sure when they find out I have three women I'm bonded to it will raise a few eyebrows."

Tyler chuckled, "If I understand your culture correctly your bonded mates are like what we call wives. I have a hard enough time with my one wife let alone three. In truth I don't think anyone would really take too much offense to it. This is the Federation and there are a lot of cultures here." He ran his fingers through his hair for a moment.

Patricia just listened to the exchange, weighting and evaluating as she allowed the other two to talk. It was concerning that the new officer felt the need to point out his disability; in a society that had evolved so far as to pinpoint and fix anomalies before a child was born, she could see how perhaps a person using Braille instead of written word may cause surprise but equally it should just be accepted. Richard came highly recommended, his record alone spoke miles more about this.

If Richard hadn’t been a counsellor himself she might wonder more if perhaps there was something deeper in him in how he regarded his own abilities but that wasn’t her realm any longer...the Doctor would have a chance to prove himself as would all of her department heads.

The three wives as was a little disconcerting but such was other cultures.

"That is true," Richard replied, "though I grew up on Betazed, not Azzia and I'm still getting used to their ideas. Traditionally I'm supposed to have seven."

"I do have a request though Commander Montgomery," He began turning his attention to the Executive officer, "I would be honored if you would perform my boarding physical." Richard turned his attention to the Commanding officer for a moment and said, "you are welcome to stay sir, I think you might find it interesting."

It was rare that Tyler was invited to stay for a subordinates physical. However he was interested in learning the differences in anatomy. "Well if Monty here is up to the task and you don't mind then I will observe. Proceed Commander..." Tyler looked on with interest.

Patricia hesitated for a second before moving over to the new chief, collecting a tricorder on the way. It was unusual a virtual outsider was invited to stay for something which could sometimes be very personal...the man obviously had his reasons. “As you’ve caught me a little on the hop, care to give me a run down of your medical history Doctor?”

"Ceartainly," From birth I was labeled a Genetically altered human. I have two hormones, Follicle-stimulating hormone 184 and Prolactin 23 that due to misdiagnoses are generally considered high by the the Azzian Board of Healths standards.

He drew a deep breath and continued, "I also have two additional lobes next to my temporal lobes which were once considered merely a bifurcation."

Patricia’s forehead creased in concentration as she analysed the tricorder readout and tries to process the information. “So the elevated hormone levels would be normal for your race? Assuming you were treated as a youth by ourselves for the abnormalities, did these treatments cause any long term effects?

"Based on the levels recorded by Starfleet Medical before the age of thirteen," Richard began his reply, "for an Azzian they were well within the expected range determined by the Azzian board of Heath for preadolescents." He let a sigh escape his lips and a smile cross his face, "so my sex related hormone levels now fluctuate upwards dramatically white the two unique hormones remain at an elevated level even if I am not in a state of Sodi’onar."

This was indeed fascinating, but in truth Tyler was unsure why the doctor wanted him there. Tyler had read up on the Azzian species and a question had arisen. "Doctor Ballston if I may. Sodi'onar is similar to the Vulcan state of Pon Farr that is if I am to understand the reading that I have done correctly. That being the case is there a way to prevent or subdue it? My question is pointing toward an instance where the Pioneer is out in space on mission and the biological need arises. Is there a way to keep it at bay until we get back to the station. I know with Vulcans there are meditations and certain medications that can be utilized." Tyler had liked this man and felt for him. However he had to think about the crew at large. He could not have his doctor going out of his skin at a key moment.

Richard tilted his head as he looked over at the Commander, "Yes it is similar to Pon farr and as of this moment there are no known ways to do much more than delay it." He grinned and shook his head, "I am hoping to do some research to see if there is any means by which a combination of treatments involving the holodeck, pheromones and other methods that might resolve the issue entirely without a bonds mate."

Patricia listened to the men’s interaction while still trying to process the data readout. There was several personal issues here outside of the sexual needs; there was also the side effects to reproduction on this man himself. While she understood the Captain’s concerns at large, right now she had to be a Doctor and concerned about her patient. “Are the cycles easy to pin down as is Pon Farr? Or is this also out of kilter as the rest of your hormones are? I assume this also causes issues around contraception.”

His XO's concerns for the doctor was exactly why Tyler had brought her in. He was worried about the crew and ship at large, while she was worried about the good of the one as it were. It brought Tyler down to Earth "Doc I am sorry if I sounded a little unconcerned, however, I do have to look at the big picture. We have had centuries to come up with methods to assist with Vulcan's and other races' needs while in space. When it comes to your race we have not had as much time. While I am confident in your abilities as a doctor, I would like to make sure that those abilities and faculties remain in tact at all times. While keeping you healthy. If you agree doctor, I would like you to consult with Lieutenant Commander Montgomery here on your medical needs. Should you begin to experience the signs and symptoms of Sodi'onar I would expect you to inform Commander Montgomery or myself immediately."

The look on Tyler's face was one that tried to convey the care he had for the doctor's needs as well as the ship at large.

"Agreed," Richard replied with a glance and a nod towards his CO, "the signs may be small at first but will grow more evident quickly and I have set my personal tricorder to constantly monitor my hormone and pheromone levels so if they start to rise further I will be alerted." He drew in a deep breath and continued, "if it is acceptable I was hoping to enlist the aid of the chief science officer in coming up with possible solutions."

"I have no problems with you enlisting Lieutenant tr'Hwersuil to assist you. However I am not sure if you are aware that he is Romulan. I know that relations between New Romulus and your people are tense. I would suggest that you look into the database at the methods of controlling Vulcan Pon Farr as well." Tyler spoke up from his seat on the

Patricia placed her own tricorder to the side after ensuring the encased data was uploaded for further and more through investigation when she was allowed the time. The initial glances were enough to pair the information on the readouts to what the Doctor was saying but she also needed to refer to his medical file so thoroughly understand the situation.

“I would appreciate also if yourself and Lieutenant tr’Hwersuil would keep me in the loop into the outcome of your investigations. At medical intervention will need outside monitoring; especially after what happened previously. Although I appreciate it is your forte through both professional and personal experience, sometimes it’s better for an outsider to also be involved.”

"Certainly," Richard replied with an nod and a glance at both the superior officer, "this is part of the reason I have asked both of you to be here for this evaluation as odd as it may seem. I am not trying to hide anything from either of you."

"If either of you ever have any questions," Richard continued, "please feel free to ask them. Azzians are a new species as far as the Federation is concerned and there is not much widely known about them."

"Doctor, I believe I have learned all that I need to know for the time being. You seem to be one hell of an individual and will make an excellent addition to this crew." Tyler smiled.

Patricia hesitated for a moment before nodding her head in agreement. There’d be a time and place to delve into the situation further but now wasn’t that time.

A Joint Post By

Commander Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Patricia Montgomery M.D.
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer


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