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Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

Posted on Wednesday, 8 June 2022 - 9:15pm by Vice Admiral Veruka Kitan & Captain Pippa Whitley

Mission: Operation: My Unfair Lady

The Captain's screen changed from the Federation emblem to that of the face of Starfleet's Deputy Commander of the the Seventh Fleet, a woman that Captain Pippa Whitley had not yet had the pleasure of meeting in person, but had been on a few subspace conference calls with. The woman was appointed to Deputy Commander in recent months, promptly promoted in rank to Vice Admiral upon returning to service after several years of retirement. "Admiral Kitan," Pippa said with an even-keeled tone of voice, professional and polite. Pippa had known to expect the Vice Admiral, but this was sooner than they had anticipated. "I apologize if I am unable to provide you with much at this time, Admiral. I was not expecting to hear from you so quickly."

The fair haired woman with evident Elaysian heritage gave a curt nod. "I won't expect you to have all the answers, Captain, but any answers that you can provide will be crucial in aiding me on my own personal endeavors" replied Vice Admiral Kitan. "What happened to your Chief Medical Officer is not being taken lightly, but I do not feel it is getting as much attention to detail as it should be. Call it a hunch."

Pippa was curious as to what the woman was getting at. "With all due respect, ma'am, I have my best security personnel on it, and the Starbase has spared some of their own personnel to assist us in a joint investigation, but Starfleet Command has already turned over the hour glass of time, and the sand is falling quickly. They want us out and on our way to Cardassian space without delay."

"You are not leaving the Starbase without a Chief Medical Officer," Vice Admiral Kitan replied swiftly. "I can assure you of that. I have looked over your crew manifest and the personnel files for that department. It appears Doctor Selin was in the process of weaving though transfer requests and bringing on additional medical personnel" Kitan picked up a PaDD "Doctor Selin and Doctor Alexander were your only physicians, correct?"

Captain Whitley grunted and nodded. "The previous Standing Bear was an eight deck Merian class starship, Admiral, but I believe you attended a wedding aboard while my predecessor was in command?"

"Yes, the Eberhardts. I officiated their wedding, a personal request of Captain Stillwater's so that he could walk the bride down the aisle. As I recall, it was a small starship, not quite as cramped as a Defiant class, but certainly not the luxury of a Galaxy class by any stretch of the imagination."

Pippa Whitley had only spent several weeks as Commanding Officer of the previous starship, roughly two month's time. "Exactly why our Medical Department was limited to two physicians, a nurse or two, the Emergency Medical Hologram, and a few technicians." Pippa pressed on, "Our new ship has more space for our Medical Department to expand, but Doctor Selin was still working on weeding through those files."

"Unfortunately, with Doctor Selin as a patient in her present catatonic state, we need to expedite those decisions. I would recommend that you hand that task over to Doctor Alexander for the time being. As for your present circumstances, I have taken the liberty to find you an available medical officer and have assigned them to the Standing Bear as Chief Medical Officer" explained Vice Admiral Kitan.

As if on cue, Captain Whitley glanced over to a nearby PaDD and spotted the notification. Pippa picked it up and accessed the personnel file with transfer orders from Vice Admiral Kitan. Immediately, the officer in question stood out. Blue hair "Catullan?" inquired Pippa, without reading further. It was a swing in the dark at a species known for their vibrant and varied hair.

A shaking of the Veruka's head gave a prelude to her answer. "No, she's half Betazoid, half Human, and will be your headache for as long as you can manage" the Admiral responded. "Let me clarify, Captain, this is not punishment. Doctor Hiiragi is a unique case and we are short on physicians right now, especially last minute. She desperately needs structure and guidance, and if anyone can be a good grounding force for her, I suspect you would be an ideal candidate."

A problem officer thought Pippa. "What exactly are you sending my way, Admiral?"

Vice Admiral Kitan let out a long sigh and rubbed her eyes. "Doctor Hiiragi can be a good officer, they have the education and knowledge needed to be a successful physician. She's served on a California class starship for a lengthy span of time and a Miranda class among others. Kotana is mischievous and does not have the most motivating work ethic."

"So, you are assigning her to me as my Chief Medical Officer," Pippa was not sure how to react or respond to it. They needed a Chief Medical Officer, but surely someone was a better suited candidate. Still, the Admiral made the decision for them. Pippa also noticed another set of transfer orders. "Tazuko Miyahara?"

"Package deal, Captain, package deal" Vice Admiral Kitan replied. "Onto more pressing matters. Your investigation is yours for the time being, but Starfleet Command is going to have you leaving the starbase soon. If you do not get to the bottom of what happened to Doctor Selin and who is responsible, you'll be given orders to make a slight detour to the Bajoran system where an SCIS agent will take over the investigation."

Pippa looked wounded momentarily. "Admiral, we have not even been able to determine that a crime was committed aboard the Standing Bear. It is possible that this is a medical situation, that the Doctor has suffered some sort of neurological incident placing her in a catatonic state."

"Yet to old adage, 'where there's smoke, there's fire,' Captain Whitley" cautioned Vice Admiral Kitan. "Over the past few years, The President of the United Federation of Planets has been killed, The collapse of the Romulan Star Empire has caused an increase of piracy, Utopia Palnitia...destoryed, the Andorians broke from the Federation at attacked a Vulcan world, and the Vulcans have been close to pulling from the Federation. Now, the Castellan of Cardassia was forced to flee."

Captain Whitley nodded, understanding where the Admiral was pointing. "A whole hell of a lot of smoke" added Pippa. "Understood, Admiral."

The Admiral gave one last nod before cutting the transmission.


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