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Round 1 Malcolm & Zonhar: Apples to Apples

Alexander Matthews

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::Jen sank heavily into the chair behind her desk. She cracked then flexed her knuckles to ease the stiffness out of them from holding the delicate instruments that she had been using to repair some of the damage done to Davies eyes.::

::She sighed, and using her arms as a pillow, rested her head atop her desk::

::As Zonhar finally made his way to sickbay, carrying the small box of goodies he had brought specifically to help cheer up the good doctor, he couldn’t help but be more than a little worried about her and how she was holding up. Though he had only made her acquaintance the one previous time before, she had actually been one of the few members of the crew who had not gone literally running at full speed as far away from him as possible (or else in the case of T’lea literally run him off the ship!). He wanted to make sure she was holding up ok, and that he could do what he could to alleviate some of her stress and concerns.::

::Walking through sickbay he quickly made his way to her office and was about to knock when he saw Dr. Malcolm with her head in her arms atop her desk. Almost thinking he should come back another time, he decided speaking to her would still be best and lightly wrapped his knuckles on the door frame.::

Zonhar: Excuse me Doctor, I hope I’m not disturbing you too badly.

::She raised her eyes, then sat up quickly. She knew this meeting had been coming, but thankfully she’d been so busy tending to Davies that she’d had little time to think about it.::

Malcolm: No, come in.

::She watched him move into the room and thought about the last time she’d spoken with a counselor. It had been under orders during a stay at Starfleet Medical.::

Zonhar: Thank you Dr. Malcolm...it has been a while...May I call you Jen? My visit here believe it or not is every bit as personal as it is professional. ::Smiling at her gently, and walking over to her desk he placed the box on her desk in front of her.:: And I come bearing gifts.

::She spared the box a quick glance::

Malcolm: Thank you. Have a seat. And yes, please call me Jen.

Zonhar: Thank you Jen. ::He sat down lightly and rubbed his hands on his legs rubbing his muscles slightly. The Avandar was a much larger ship and he had been making quite the circuit of it lately in attempts to learn every nook and cranny that he could, and of course to give himself much needed respite from his time spent with Li’ainea. He loved her dearly but it would take time for him to get used to having his mate so close to him again. Pushing those thoughts aside however he focused on Dr. Malcolm, with calm sympathetic eyes, knowing from her file and previous life experiences that today would have been a very challenging day for her indeed.::

Zonhar: I hope you will like what is in the box...I think i must have raided the Mess Hall for every known type of apple that they possibly had. Mackintosh has to be one of my favorites...hopefully there won’t be any cores left in the box. ::He chuckled::

::Jen opened the lid of the box and the aroma of fresh apples filled the room, instantly reminding her of home. A smile found its way to her lips at his thoughtfulness::

Malcolm: Thank you, that’s very kind of you. ::She took one out and set it on her desk. There was a joke scratching at the back of her mind about this being an attempt to keep her away, but she couldn’t muster the humor to actually say it::

::As if reading her thoughts, Zonhar knew himself the old joke about keeping the doctor away as she placed the apple onto the desks surface. He knew that she must be very weary, but thought it best to slowly help her unwind before asking any of the really deep questions. Sometimes it was much more effective with patients to let them speak about things in their own time, than to consistently badger them to death, even he knew that. oOThough badgering is so effective sometimes, but not such when you have such kind-hearted patients.Oo ::

Zonhar: And before you mention it...no I am not trying to keep you away, good Doctor. ::light chuckle:: Quite the contrary...I just knew how much you seemed to love apples on our first meeting, and with all your hard work and struggles you’ve had to endure just since coming aboard the Avandar again...I just thought it would be a small gesture to help show how important you are and how much all of us are thankful to always be in your capable hands.

::Jen cracked her knuckles again and nodded.::

Malcolm: So, could we proceed with what you wanted to ask me?

::Though he’d only been in her office for about two minutes, every second that prolonged the inevitable was just increasing her suspense::

::Zonhar nodded::

Zonhar: Of course, Jen. Not meaning to draw things out. Of course I know today’s events had to be especially traumatic for you. Davies was a close colleague and friend was he not? One of your own?

::She laid her hands on her desk to keep herself from repeatedly cracking her knuckles.::

Malcolm: Yes, it’s hard to seeing him like this. ::She looked up at him:: And, the situation reminded me of one I was put in a long time ago.

Zonhar: I have read your file. I was quite certain it had. I know that the situation today must have really brought a lot of painful memories and feelings back to the surface. I could tell you were rather shaken eariler, though you have always managed to put up a rather professional face to those around you Jen. But right now...at least here with me, you don't have to have your guard up. I’m not here to send you to a locked room because you had a hard time seeing a close friend suffer so while having to rush to save his life. ::Pausing slightly::

Zonhar: I know those in our line of work are supposed to almost be impartial and objective individuals in the face of some cold realities, but the truth is...you are only human. And even I have had many a time where I got too close to a patient because I genuinely cared for the outcome. It is natural. And actually should be what drives us to be in these professions anyways.

::She looked across the desk at him, wondering if he expected a response from her. Maybe to agree with him? As there hadn’t been any sort of a question from him, she kept silent, thinking. It took her a while to start speaking, and when she did, it was slowly::

Malcolm:: folding her hands:: So, you’ve read my file and know I was under a counselor’s care at Starfleet medical for a while...

::She squeezed her eyes closed. Working on Davies reminded her so much of the operation she’d preformed on Jonno, who would later become her husband, the operation she’d been unable to finish, the one that had her questioning herself whether or not she was still fit to be a doctor. She picked up the apple from her desk and clasped it in her hands::

Malcolm: It took me a long time to get my confidence back. ::She took her eyes from the apple and looked up at him::: I worry that one day everything I’ve worked back up in myself is going to come crashing down again. ::It had happened once, after all::

::Zohnar nodded at her words, sizing up everything that Jen said to him. He could certainly relate to her on many levels, perhaps for even graver reasons than hers. After all...she had never had a patient wield a scalpel on her in desperation because she had pushed too hard. He knew how long it had taken for his own confidence and vigor to return to him, and even now he still carried the same “scars” with him. He straightened up in his chair, and crossing his arms, looking at a point just to the left of Jen focusing on his thoughts more and the right words to say to her.::

::Suddenly when it had seemed like the silence was about to become awkward, finally an idea “struck him” much the way as it had the man in his story that he wished to relate to the good Dr. Malcolm.::

Zonhar: Tell me Jen...by way of arriving at a rightful and proper point of reasoning and insight...can you tell me the reason why, that fruit in your hands is unquestionably of superior reigning importance out of all the fruits on your homeworld of Earth?

::She let her fingers fall from the apple and looked at him in confusion::

Malcolm: Huh? I mean, what?

Zonhar: What I am meaning to say dearest Dr. is the reason the apple is the most important fruit in all of human history, is exactly the same reason you are such a vital and fully capable doctor in your own right. For, as you will remember...it was the supposed apple that fell upon sir Issac Newton’s head one day that struck him and instantly formed in his mind the very concepts of gravity. Which would only later fuel all his other great works as the Father of Physics. ::He paused letting his words sink in a bit.::

Zonhar: But in order to understand that importance of that single moment, and to understand your own life in a more positive uplifting light, we must examine that very self thing which is quite literally...the apple of your eye. ::Smiling he reached over and plucked a big golden apple from the box:: Jen...what do you personally love about apples? Why do you enjoy them so?

::She narrowed her eyes, uncertain about his line of reasoning::

Malcolm: They taste good. And they remind me of home.

Zonhar: Yes, they are quite lovely, a very luscious and thirst quenching type of fruit I have always found. You say it reminds you of home. Tell me, I bet you have picked fresh apples many many times have you not?

::She shook her head::

Malcolm: Yes, plenty. I’m sorry, counsellor, what’s your point?

Zonhar: My point, Jen...is that youve witnessed and been apart of the very parable many times in your life that you have actually displayed with your very life up until this point. Allow me to explain. You know as well as any, apples come in all manner of lovely hues. And I’m sure there is a certain splendor at seeing an apple tree blossoming and preparing to bear fruit. But no one, not even you would care very much for them if they were always meant to be up there in the tree. So luscious and inviting, so full of good things, and yet...unwilling to drop.

:: He held the apple up to the light gesturing with it as he spoke::

Zonhar: You see, Jen...all apples must fall, or be actively plucked from the comfort of their branches. But even in their fall it is what happens to them that makes all the difference. Apples, after all, are very valuable to most people...and whether they are eagerly plucked or quickly rescued from the ground...most don’t waste anytime at making so many wondrous things with them. It’s only the ones who stay on the ground, which never budge, that actively rot and waste away and become of no use. And you, Jen...are an apple. A very luscious apple...and it is true...that once in your life you did suffer a great fall. And you were shaken. This is true. But Jen...if you will look at your actions today..I am here to tell you, that you rose to the occasion. You have become Newton’s Inspiration...or rather...the very self same gravity that holds us all together when our lives and dreams are on the line.

::She sighed and put her apple back into the box::

Malcolm: That’s a nice story, Zohnar. ::She smiled at him::: And I appreciate what you’re saying. But, while today was hard for me, and it’s not over being hard, I’m not unhappy with the way I conducted myself. It just brought up memories that I’d rather not have to think about. But, I was able to put them aside and do my job.

Zonhar: As I am sure you were. As I would have always expected you had. I actually did not come her with any intention of telling you that you did not live up to your role. Instead, I came to encourage you and say you did exemplary, you acted swiftly, delicately and decisively under circumstances that a less experienced doctor might have fumbled. But, because you did what you did...your friend is still alive and breathing because of you. It will be a difficult road ahead for him, I’m sure. But Jen...trust me when I say...anyone on board the Avandar will be very thankful to have you as Chief Medical Officer. You have definitely earned it.

Malcolm: Thank you, Zonhar. ::Her eyes traveled past him out into the main area of Sickbay:: How is Ensign Gray?

Zonhar: ::Zonhar cleared his throat slightly:: He is...remarkably composed. He did not appear to be as phased by it as anyone else might have been, but then again, everyone has different levels of tolerance to tragic events. I have gone ahead and cleared him for active duty, but I have also set out a regular weekly counseling session with him to monitor his progress. To say that I want to get to know the man...more properly is an understatement, but we shall see.

::She simply nodded::

::Smiling, Zonhar spun the apple in his hand and gave it a little toss, catching it easily::

Zonhar: Now, good Doctor. I think I shall accept one of your apples as a token that I should be kept away from you for a while, and keep my long winded stories to myself ::chuckling:: You definitely have things covered here. Though that doesn’t mean my door isn’t always open...or that I wouldn’t make time for someone I wish earnestly to call a new friend.

Malcolm: Thanks. And thanks for checking on me.

Zonhar: You are most welcome Jen. Now it is away with me. I suppose I should check in on Li’ainea and see how she is adjusting to life aboard the ship. She’s always fancied travel, and always been raised with an education centered around diversity...among..other things ::chuckling:: But then again...this is not my counseling session now is it?

::Standing and promptly taking a big meaty bite out of his apple::

Zonhar: The Golden Ones...you simply must try. ::And with that he was off and away.::


Lieutenant Jen Malcolm

Chief Medical Officer

USS Avandar


Ensign Zonhar


USS Avandar


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