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[Round 5] Life With Wheeler


Admiral Hollis
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((Capital))

Reed: Gentlemen, I'm Commander Reed. This is Lieutenant Long.

Long: Greetings.

Blue eyed man: Minister Debbie O'riley and Marshal Shaun Wood will be

here

shortly, they had last minute matters to attend to.

Reed: We're running on a very tight schedule. I hope it will not be

long.

::Reed used the time to survey the room and the four men. They were

obviously members of O'riley's staff, but she'd never seen anything

quite so odd. Three of the four had quite visible scars. Two of

them had those scars on shaking left hands. She certainly hoped they

were right handed. It was too much of a coincidence to think that

the scars in relation to the shaking hands were not related somehow.

Very odd. ::

:: A door opened from an adjoining room, and Minister Debbie O'riley

and

Marshal Shaun Wood entered.::

Reed: Minister O'riley. Good morning.

O'Riley: Good to see you again both. Sorry to keep you waiting so

long, I

had something to take care of.

Long: Good to see you again too, Minister, Marshal.

Reed: And these are…?

::Reed indicated the four uniformed men.::

O'riley: Oh, of course. Commander Reed, Lieutenant Long, these are my

senior security agents, Captains Mason and Ramsey and Sargeants

Esposito and Chung. They will be overseeing each Wheeler security

team.

:: Reed kept her frown to herself as the meeting began and

progressed. She allowed Long to take over the presentation of the

plan of action. He had shown himself very capable. Reed was annoyed

at the changes that had been made since the discussion the previous

night, but instead of jumping in and demanding an explanation, Reed

simply surveyed. She watched Wood, O'riley, and the four senior

security agents, making mental notes on what to include in her

report. She did not like that it was Long that ended up making

changes, but this was not their home. Reed knew that if Wheeler were

to truly recover, their citizens had to be visibly active. They were

not significant changes, but Reed suspected that this was their way

of letting Starfleet know that they would not accept being under

another's control. She let it go for the moment. They had not

objected to the number of security officers that she had in place.

On that, at least on that, she would put her foot down. Yes, the

Cartel was gone, but Reed knew better than to think one man alone had

been helping them while they were on Wheeler. She would not risk a

repeat of the mines. She would not. She could not. ::

Reed: We need to return to the Ursa Major, Minister O'riley. Are

these your final changes to the plan of action?

O'riley: They are.

Reed: Lieutenant Long and I will review them with the commander and

captain. I'll contact you with finalized plans.

::o'riley started, clearly unhappy, but though she pursed her lips,

she nodded. She understood Reed. Yes, things needed to be placed in

Wheeler's hands, but the Ursa Major's crew was not about to be

controlled by Wheeler while rendering Federation aide. Reed was

going to make this as much a joint effort as possible.::

((Capital City Hospital))

::The all clear had been given. The teams had beamed down. Reed had

just spoken with Lt. Bryant. All was on schedule and clear with the

engineering team. This was perhaps the most risky time. One could

only plan for so much, but throw one disgruntled citizen into the mix

and everything could fall the pieces. So far, so good. In fact,

she'd gotten quite a few smiles from citizens within the hospital.

One was from a little girl. She was about eight years old. She was

sitting in a wheelchair, just watching what was going on. Her head

had several bald patches, and what was left of her brown hair was

dull and lifeless. She had a tube hooked up to her arm and liquid

from a clear bag hanging from a hook on the chair, was running from

the bag into the tube. It was a shock to see how badly behind the

times this hospital was. It didn't seem to bother the little girl,

though. Those eyes of hers, they were clear blue and full of hope

and joy, and when she smiled, Reed couldn't help but smile, too. She

would challenge even her husband, the proper Vulcan that he was, not

to smile. Reed saw Calhan stop and speak to the girl. Reed didn't

hear what he said. She received another check-in report at the same

time. When she ended the communication, Calhan had stood up and

moved away from the girl towards the triage station. Reed joined

him.::

Reed: What is her name?

::She inclined her head towards the young girl.::

Calhan: response

Reed: What's the matter with her?

Calhan: response

::Reed ached for the little girl. To suffer with something that had

long been eradicated in Starfleet and elsewhere.::

Reed: Can you help her? Is she too far advanced?

Calhan: response

::A shrill shriek rent the air. Reed responded immediately, running

around the corner, careful not to draw her phaser until she knew it

was absolutely needed. It wasn't. The shrieker was Dr. Kale Netial,

who was on all fours on top of a counter and apparently trying to

make herself as small as possible. She shrieked again, pointing at

something on the floor. That something turned out to be some sort of

animal like nothing Reed had ever seen. It toddled and whirled

around on three, furry black and brown legs, scuttled and waved

around its two little furry arms, and blathered in a chirping voice

up at Dr. Kale, it's big, black eyes looking very much like puppy-dog

eyes.::

Kale: What IS that?!?!?!

::She was almost hyperventilating and almost shrieked again when the

creature raised its two arms up towards her and jumped a little. It

stood less than 12 inches tall, and Dr. Kale, crouched on a

countertop that was almost four feet tall, looked a little

ridiculous. She was saved by Kiera, who had wheeled herself around

the corner.::

Kiera: That's Hirby. He won't hurt you, Doctor Netial. He's

friendly.

::Dr. Kale looked like she'd rather believe Kiera was too doped up to

give a rational explanation as to what or who IT was or where the

creature rated on a scale of deadliness.::

Kale: Hirby? IT has a NAME?!

Kiera: Sure. Hirby lives here.

Kale: Lives HERE? Why? That isn't very sanitary, you know. This is

supposed to be a hospital.

::Kiera laughed, and looked very much like an adult trying to calm a

frightened child.::

Kiera: Hirby is a marmek. They are the cleanest animals on the

planet. They wash themselves about twenty times a day.

::Reed looked at Calhan, wondering how he was taking in this very

unusual scene.::

Kale: Oh great, and obsessive compulsive meekmed.

Kiera: Marmek.

Kale: Whatever.

Kiera: He likes you. He wants you to put him on your shoulder.

Kale: What? Why?

Kiera: So he can see what is going on.

::Reed didn't think that Dr. Kale could have gotten one shade paler.

She looked from Kiera to Hirby and back again, and then, as though

she finally realized that they had an audience, she laughed nervously

and got down off of the counter, careful to give Hirby a wide berth.

He was having none of it, though. He twittered in a scolding tone,

and tired of waiting for her permission, ran up her leg as fast as

his three little legs would carry him, and finally settled on her

shoulder with a satisfied tweet, rubbing his furry face against her

cheek. Dr. Kale looked like she was about to pass out.::

tbc

Lcmd Reed

COS

USS Ursa Major

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