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Jalana

pNPC Cade Foster - Never Got The Memo...

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((Illogical Eatery - StarBase 118))

::Ah, the smells of the logically healthy breakfast breads baking in traditional Vulcan stone ovens always warmed the heart of Professor Cade Foster.  Though some would say he didn't have much of a heart to warm, he continually proved otherwise, especially as he aged.

The tall, broad shouldered human strode into the restaurant looking for his companion - who was always early.  Irritatingly early.  Always had been.  Still, it was good to see an old friend.  Cade Foster hadn't seen director Aerdan Jos in nearly a year so when the two found out they would be on the massive StarBase 118 together Cade vowed to spend as much time as humanely possible catching up.  He was even conniving a way to drag his companion's recalcitrant, introverted companion to the big concert happening on the base.  Maybe, with enough liquid courage he could make that happen.::

C. Foster: Heeeyyyy, blue-Klingon!  How's Starfleet medical treating you?

::For his cheerful, if teasing efforts he received a patient and long-suffering sigh.  It was just like old times.::

Jos: Well enough.  ::The Andorian smiled, speaking with a soft lisp traditional of the people of the cold northern plains, while pushing a menu forward::  I already ordered you coffee.

C. Foster: Tcha.  What if I wanted tea?

Jos: The day you start drinking tea is the day I wonder if you've been replaced by a shapeshifter.

::Cade Foster shook his head, chuckling as he sat.  He worked with the man across the table for over twenty years.  They had been antagonists, odd co-workers, allies and finally fast friends.  They were as different as possible to some degree.  Jos was married, divorced, remarried, with children, brothers, nephews, and plenty of friends.  Cade was never married, cruising on an erratic course through life with few friends but those he had were good ones.

And after all these years they could still trade insults and enjoy every minute of it.::

C. Foster: No shapeshifter would impersonate me, and you know it.  Besides, even if they did all they would have to do all day is put up with you.

Jos: ::The antennae flattened a little, while his companion's face stayed serene.::  Well, I love you, too, Cade.

C. Foster: Let's not get into that again.  ::he chortled, slurping the coffee.  It was black and strong; typical for a Vulcan brew.  And it was good.  It was one of the reasons he liked this place.:: Hey you get tickets to the concert that's coming up?

Jos: Let's see... loud, insipid popular music with a screaming crowd of people one quarter our age?  ::a thoughtful pause:: no.

C. Foster: Aww, c'mon.  You should live a little!  I can get tickets for the both of us.  ::He paused, catching the wince of his companion:: And I'll get you earplugs.  Antennae plugs.  Ooh!  No, I know!  I'll get you antennae-muffs!  I'll even make 'em blue and sparkly...  ::he was trailing off into laughter at the ever increasingly unimpressed gaze he was getting in return.::

Jos: ::diverting:: You should order food.

C. Foster: You didn't say no...  ::he wagged a finger::

Jos: No.  ::smirk:: Better.

C. Foster: I can change that answer, just gimmie a few hours.

Jos: ::A smirk, but one with less self-assurance.:: I'll believe it when I see it.  ::A challenge, though one he knew he had an equal chance of winning or losing.::  Anyways...  ::his tone turned more businesslike::  I was wondering if you were going to the psychiatric review board for the penal colony on Vesperatin VI?

::Cade sighed, rolling his eyes lightly.  Since taking a professorship he found he had a raft of summers free, and when he wasn't writing papers and trying to impress everyone with his medical genius he had been called upon as a specialist in more than a few cases of high profile Federation trials.  Some of them fascinated him - he absolutely loved delving into the medical mysteries of crime and figuring out the answers he hated the whole 'working with people and acting like a counselor' bit.

In fact, the only reason he kept getting called on to help out was that he was very good at figuring out whether inmates were faking various ailments - physical and mental - or not.  Coupled with brutal honesty he was a prosecutor's dream ally.  But it didn't mean he enjoyed doing it.::

C. Foster: Two weeks, talking to a bunch of ex-Starfleet crazies?  No thanks.  ::he waved his hand in dismissal, stopping only when he registered the look on his companion's face.::

::Jos' eyes widened fractionally, but the antennae were upright in surprise.  It made Cade draw a breath in through his teeth, waiting for whatever bad punchline was about to drop.::

Jos: Here I thought I would have had to drag you away from that assignment kicking and screaming...  ::he lisped very quietly, like a child dipping toes into the water to test the temperature.::

C. Foster: You did?  ::That earned a quirk of a shaggy graying brow:: Why on Earth would you think I'd want to waste a week there when there's fun stuff in the galaxy to do?  ::He was getting the sneaking sensation that he was missing something important.::

::Aerdan Jos let his expression furrow into a slow forming frown, his antennae dropping downwards.  Cade Foster was a smart man, and he would have certainly not forgotten that the Vesperatin colony housed one Thomas Janeway, who was up for an 18 month review.  Not that his sentence would be overturned - but it would mean the difference between staying at the medical incarceration facilities on Vesperatin or being transferred to a more secure location.

Jos was expecting to have to step in and force Foster away from the job due to a conflict of interest, but he was also assuming that Foster was fully aware of said conflict and would be trying to pull the wool over Aerdan's eyes.  When in fact, it appeared that Dr. Jos was the one with all the knowledge and Cade was the one who was completely in the dark.

He clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth in disappointment.  This sort of information was not freely shared with retired Starfleet doctors; however Dr. Jos had fully expected Cade's son would have willingly shared the information with his father.

Then again he wasn't too surprised.  He knew how hard it was to pry information out of Cade.  Wyn was much younger, much more foolish and much more stubborn.

Now the question was: How to broach the subject?::

Jos: I'm assuming you haven't talked to Wyn lately, have you?  ::He was one of the few Andorians who actually called Shar'Wyn by his preferred Human sounding name rather than the Andorian pronunciation.  It was a battle he stopped fighting years ago.::

C. Foster: Talk to him about every other week.  He just got off some crazy Suliban mission.  ::Pause, suspicion flooded his expression:: Why?

Jos: ::he closed his eyes momentarily, looking very tired.  He did not want to be the person to break this news to an old friend.  But it was far worse to withhold the information, so he was going to have to endure a mighty unpleasant conversation.::  I don't suppose he ever told you why he was moved to the USS Apollo-A?

C. Foster: Something about the Calderaan incident...  ::He started, his gaze getting dark, tinged with worry.:: Why?

::Cade knew all about the Calderaan incident.  He had raged about the Calderaan incident, and finally chalked it up to a bad reputation and a bad chief medical officer.  That said, he considered it character building.  His adopted son had risen in ranks, and regained his position on a fairly prestigious galaxy class starship, so he was wracking his brain for what he might have missed.

Or worse, what Wyn might never had told him.::

Jos: ::The director sighed, grabbing his PADD and typing in a few passcodes to bring up a few choice - and classified - reports before pushing the PADD towards his friend.::  Read.

::Cade Foster's face turned a curious shade of purple as he digested the words on the PADD.  Red rose up his throat and twisted his mouth into a feral sort of snarl, teeth bared and eyes slitted.  When he was done he slammed the PADD to the table with enough force to crack the reinforced screen.::

C. Foster: I have to go.  ::breakfast remained untouched.::

Jos: Cade... ::he started gently, snowy brows creasing in concern.::

C. Foster: Don't Cade me.  ::He spat back, almost apologetically.  He kept reminding himself it was a very bad idea to bite the messenger.::  I'm gonna go kill someone.  Or talk some sense into some one.  Pray it's the latter.

Jos: Please don't make me have to sedate you and tie you to a biobed to keep you from doing something stupid.  ::It was only partially a joke to diffuse the situation.  It was partially a valid concern.::

::Cade Foster paused, offering a light huff.  He would try the diplomatic way first.  As diplomatic as he could get.  He might also try to hop a high speed shuttle and warp his way over to StarBase 11, and depending on how any preliminary conversations went, he might also try very hard to take a trip to Vespera VI with a spiked bat and a Klingon Painstick.  Which was exactly the point where he knew his friend would intervene.::

C. Foster: I'll start with a comcall.  Happy?

Jos: ::he shook his head no in an earnest manner:: No... but I realized you needed to know.  ::beat::  In return, please don't do anything stupid.

C. Foster: Fine, deal.  ::It wasn't too hard to agree to.:: But I gotta make this call.

::He turned and rushed out, leaving his breakfast companion to dine in unpleasantly contemplative silence.::

~*~
tbc...
~*~

pNPC Professor Cade Foster
Harvard University
Earth


by

Lt Commander Shar'Wyn Foster
Chief Medical Officer
USS Constitution-B

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