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Scarecrow and Tinman

Posted on Mon Jul 24th, 2017 @ 2:14am by Lieutenant Commander Gareth Tau

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Deck 18 - Room 009
Timeline: MD 100; 1900

Nevin's footsteps were light as he padded over the soft carpet of his quarters. His hands were wrapped around a steaming cup of tea as he breathed in the aroma of the Tarkalian spices. The fragrant smell put a smile on his face as he sat down behind his desk to do some charting. But as he logged on, an alert beeped on the communication console.

He frowned, unsure of who would be calling him at such a late hour. But the message was a priority two, so it must be at least somewhat important. He pressed a button to open the call.

"Good evening, Doctor." Gareth's face was pinched into something that resembled a smile. "I don't recall the time kept by the Vindex, so I will keep this brief." He reached off screen to press a few buttons.

"I am transmitting you the latest report from the resident cardiologist regarding my artificial heart. As you will no doubt see in just a moment, it appears to be functioning better than was hoped." The middle-aged scientist paused for a moment. "I... wanted to thank you for the good work. My physical capabilities have increased like never before, which is good with the considerable increase in footwork required by my new position down here."

"I told you that position was a bad idea," Nevin said, pulling the charts onto a PADD and looking at them. His eyebrows raised in surprise as he saw the numbers. "Though, perhaps you will be the first person to ever prove me wrong?"

Gareth waved a dismissive hand. "Oh, pish-tosh. I'm surely not the first." A smirk curled beneath his goatee for a moment, though it vanished into his characteristic solemnity. "It's also my understanding that the complications were more severe than initially I was led to believe. Is that so?"

Nevin groaned to himself internally. He made it a point to never lie to a patient, it just went against every ethical bone in his body. But sometimes, using colorful language to mask severity proved to be a better option. "I don't understand what you mean," he said, finally, after a few moments of hesitation.

"I almost died, Doctor." Gareth furled his brow with irritation. "Is that correct, or do you need to alter your surgical report?"

"That is correct," Nevin simply stated.

"Why did you omit that from your verbal report?" Gareth folded his hands in front of him, fingers interlocked. "I had to find out from the colonial doctor. Needless to say, I was not pleased by that."

"You had just come out of a very difficult open heart surgery," Nevin said, leaning back in his chair. "I felt that the news would exacerbate your condition more than was best for your health. Especially when there's no gain from having that information at that time."

"I see." Gareth released his fingers and clasped his hands together at the palms. "I did wish to thank you for your diligent work -- as I said, I feel like a new man. But candidly I considered filing a formal complaint against you for malpractice. You should be pleased to know that I have decided against it."

Nevin shrugged, "If you feel the need to file a complaint, feel free. I made, what I felt at the time, the best decision, considering your condition. And I stand by that decision. I'm not going to sit here and justify myself to you, Commander."

"I thought not." Gareth sniffed. "As unlikely as it seemed for you to pull the straw out of your head, informing you of the favor I showed seemed the only right and decent thing to do."

The man lowered his head. "You may now consider us even, Doctor."

"Even for what?" Nevin asked, his eyebrows coming together.

"You preserved my life, and I preserved your career." Gareth scoffed at the obvious lapse of common sense. "I pray you act more honestly with your future patients, for they may not be as merciful as I."

Nevin sat there for a moment. A few choice words flowed through his mind, but he decided that none of them would be productive to this situation. "I'm glad you're feeling well. Have a good evening, Commander," he said, pressing a button on the side of the console that caused his screen to go black.

After a few moments passed by, another alert appeared on the console. When the screen activated, a recorded message from Gareth began to play.

"Doctor, I regret to inform you that I did, in fact, submit a formal complaint to the office of the Starfleet Surgeon General."

His deadpan, monotone expression could have been discussing the local weather.

"My initial contact, which was rudely cut short, was the result of my having second thoughts. In short, Doctor, had you expressed proper penitence and remorse for your egregious lapse in judgment and professional care, then I would have had my complaint against you redacted."

His face turned even stonier.

"Unfortunately, your belligerence has only confirmed my decision. I regret the deceptive nature, but I had to know your true sentiments unmasked by no apparent threat of consequences. Now they are laid bare, showing that despite your obvious skill you remain a disgrace to your profession."

He paused and simply stared for a moment before continuing.

"Please understand that I bear no personal ill will. We all must serve to the standards which we were sworn to uphold. Farewell."

The screen went blank when the message ended.


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