((Turbolift, USS Narendra))
Nodding to the more than capable Bridge crew, the Bardeezan gestured for Stendhal to follow him into the lift.
Fairhug: ::to the lift:: Sickbay. ::to Stendhal:: So, Lieutenant, welcome back.
Stendhal: Sincerely, thank you, Lieutenant Commander! I'm happy to be back.
Fairhug: Strangely enough, Rustyy and I have only recently transferred back, too. Like Solaris said, Ops seems to have a way of pulling people back.
Stendhal seemed to be processing that remark for a moment, before the look of realisation gradually spread across her features.
Stendhal: Ops! You're absolutely right! I haven't had the chance to check who's returned, who's left, or who's arrived yet. I had no idea that you two commanders were back as well.
Well, OPS certainly holds a special place for me. I must admit I felt much more at home there than I ever did aboard the USS Columbia, where I never quite found my groove.
I didn't happen to see Lieutenant Commander Galven or Alora; are they still with OPS, or have they been reassigned? I believe I'm missing them. ::She was starting to fumble with her words a bit.::
Unfortunately for Stendhal, neither Alora, nor Galven were still posted to Ops. Gogi had replaced Alora as FO a matter of days ago, with Alora heading in the other direction and taking up a Mission Specialist position on Denali Station. It was still a matter of disappointment to the Bardeezan that he had never actually gotten to work with Cmdr. DeVeau, who he considered a good friend, but the life of a Starfleet Officer rarely took friendships into account. You simply went wherever Command told you to go.
German Galven, on the other hand, Gogi wasn’t sure where he was these days. The Science Officer had transferred to Ops from a ship that had been decommissioned, if Gogi remembered correctly. He definitely remembered welcoming some of the crew to Starbase 118. At the time, it hadn’t been that long since the decommissioning of the Apollo, which Gogi had been First Officer of and which, when the memory reared its ugly head, still angered him, even today.
But that was a story for another time.
In short, neither Alora, nor German were still aboard the Starbase and so, Gogi offered a small shake of the head, before changing the subject.
Fairhug: I hope your leave of absence was…productive.
He didn’t want to ask outright why she had been away. It could be a touchy subject. For example, his own leave of absence, which he had returned from about one year ago now, was not a happy subject matter. On the other hand, Rustyy seemed to have spent his LOA doing some very worthwhile work, from what he could tell.
When the Counselor grimaced, he immediately got an idea of which it had been for her. He closed his eyes, admonishing himself inwardly.
Stendhal: Well, it certainly wasn't a pleasant stroll, if you catch my drift. The first two years, I was in an induced coma within a stasis chamber. After that, I spent nine months in rehabilitation, needing to recover physically and mentally.
:: She shrugged.:: C'est la vie, mon amie! As my grandad love to say.
Gogi had no idea what that last sentence meant, but he’d barely heard it, anyway, after Stendhal’s description of what had happened to her.
Fairhug: I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you’re fully recovered?
Returning to active duty didn’t necessarily mean that there were no lasting effects.
Stendhal: Is everything in my medical file I think, or at least the medical useful stuff…
Gogi rocked on his feet a little, hands clasped behind his back. The Counselor seemed to be taking things in her stride, which was hopefully a good thing, as long as she wasn’t bottling anything up that might come back to bite her later. Then again, as a Counselor, there was no one more qualified to analyse herself…than her.
Fairhug: What led to your condition…if you don’t mind me asking?
He wouldn’t normally press anyone on anything they didn’t want to share, but Stendhal seemed to willing and able to talk. Maybe getting things off her chest wouldn’t be a bad thing. He had been told before that Bardeezans seemed to have a natural way of putting people at ease.
Stendhal: It so happened that during a mission on a planet, unfortunately, I don't remember the exact name as it was merely a code designation for a Class M planet without intelligent life. Well, something like P32X75, I believe.
Regardless, during this mission, the away team stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient civilization. Our objective, as you can probably guess, was to investigate further.
Fairhug: ::nodding:: What could go wrong, right?
It was the start of most Starfleet stories.
Stendhal: We found what appeared to be a temple, and within it, there was a device. Based on the temple's design and a partially decoded form of alien writing, we surmised that it might have been some sort of healing device, which was quite ironic.
Fairhug: One species’ idea of healing isn’t always the same as another.
Stendhal: It's likely because of my unique 25% human blood composition. That device attempted to purge it from my DNA, which could have been fatal. It's still there within me. The medical team took quite some time to detect it and devise a method to conceal my 25% human DNA from the alien element. Quite fascinating, isn't it?
He raised his eyebrows, the lines on his weathered, tanned brow becoming more pronounced as he did so.
Fairhug: I suppose that’s one word for it.
He was impressed with how well Stendhal seemed to be handling what had happened to her, that was for sure.
Meanwhile, the turbolift came to a halt and the doors opened.
Stendhal: "I apologize, Lt. Commander. Gigiobogo ..." Her tongue momentarily stumbled, causing a brief cough as she attempted to conceal it. "I didn't intend to make the conversation awkward."
Gogi offered her a warm smile as they stepped out of the lift and into the corridor.
Fairhug: Not at all, Lieutenant. I’m just glad you’re alright.
((Sickbay, Deck 5, USS Narendra))
It was only a few short paces before they were stepping through the doors of Sickbay. The distinct lack of Gorn told Gogi that at least one potential disaster had been avoided today.
Turning and heading in the direction he had last seen the Cardassian patient being taken, the FO looked back to make sure Stendhal was still with him as they passed through another set of doors and found in front of them none other than Doctor Shar’Wyn Foster along with the Bajoran surgeon Gogi had seen earlier and their Cardassian patient…who did not look any better than the last time he had seen her.
Fairhug: Doctor Foster, good to see you.
This was turning into a day of reunions for Gogi.
Fairhug: You remember Lieutenant Stendhal? We were hoping to have a word with your patient.
Fairhug: How bad is it? How about Doctor Trovek?
The mention of telepathy got Gogi thinking and he turned to face Lt. Stendhal. She had mentioned earlier that her DNA was 25% Human. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Gogi seemed to remember that the rest was Betazoid, although she lacked the trademark black eyes.
Fairhug: Lieutenant, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you three quarters Betazoid?
Fairhug: How are your…telepathic abilities?
He had no memory of Stendhal ever using any such abilities, but they hadn't worked together that long. It was possible she was telepathic and he just didn't know it.