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Joint Log - Swift/Zomaii
Presents and Presence
It hadnât been long since heâd walked to the sickbay. The security officer, Gideon Salieri had delivered something of a mail call to his own family already, and to Doctor Erik Vaeros. A little bit of loud yelling from the counselorâs office could be heard as Leonard had stood outside, hearing a rather interesting string of expletives before Ensign Redshirt came all but running out, nearly in tears. Gideon had gone in then, and Leonard simply decided heâd go later to deliver his own thing to the Draconian. There it sat, a box on his desk, he thought about what Gideon had said as heâd stopped by later on in very brief passing.
âIf you see Lieutenant Zomaii, could you see if she enjoyed the gift that Marielle gave her? She didnât seem very apt to open it save for in pivate.â
Leonard smiled, sitting back in the chair on his desk, sipping on a cup of coffee. It wasnât the package that heâd received in his own gift box, which sat on his desk still sealed. Heâd already opened the wrapping paper, but the box itself remained intact.
About then, Kiki came up from her workshop with a medical lab reader in her paws, and a box of her own. She tapped on his office door before softly calling, âLittle Brother, are you in there?â
Leonard didnât move, but perked his ears towards the doorway. âMmm? Iâm here, come on in,â he replied, taking another sip from his mug.
She grinned and Â hopped in the office, setting the wrapped box on his desk as well as a device. âHereâs that device I was working on for you.Itâs got everything that you wanted in it as well as a expanded touch screen for additional tests that you Â might want to order and an expanded toxicology screening section.â The device was in a red pleather covered case.âI changed the color from the standard medical tricorder so you could identify it easier.â
He sat up then, and reached across the desk at the device that the woman held to him. âOh, finished it already then? I didnât expect it so quickly, I admit. Well, letâs take a look thenâ¦â
âI try to get things dealt with as fast as I can, in case they are needed in a hurry for some mission.â She told him as she placed it in his hands.
He took the device, looking at it from all angles, and then turned it on. The Starfleet logo appeared quickly, before a few lines of code outlining the BIOS software, and then, seconds
later, the system registered ready, waiting for an input. âWell it loads quickly, thatâs for sure,â he said, looking at the extra options and settings, fiddling with a few parameters. âSo, main changes and adaptations youâve made are improvements on registering hematic levels of levels of various gases via receptors, andâ¦. What else?â He asked, turning on the scanner to identify himself in a test scan.
âBlood Toxicology scans, in case of poisons or allergens in the subject. Thought that might be something that might be needed on some away missions when the Â flora is suspect.â She told him and showed him how to pull up the screen Â for that feature.
âHeh. Flora...Where was this back thenâ¦â he mused for a moment, toying with the meters. âOh, interesting.. Sure enoughâ¦. Blood cell receptor count at ninety-seven percent optimum capacity, well within reasonable requirements to function fullyâ¦ Oxygenation levels optimum, nitrogen levels ideal... â he listed off the readings as they came, reporting to a most precise level of readings that the average blood cell was carrying. âWonder if thereâs anything left in my system from the few celebratory drinks I had after my recent promotion...Oh, sure enough. Alcohol is technically a poison to mostâ¦ Average content per nano liter is still minimal. Seems Iâve yet to fully metabolize it, even if current functionality is fully restored. Still, that it can detect even that is impressive, Kiki,â He said, setting the device down next to the still wrapped box. âOh, thatâs right. You had a gift drop off.. A packaged sent via subspace from Miss Deniaud, from Atlantis. Wonder why youâve not opened it yet...â He motioned to the box that sheâd carried in with her.
She nodded and bit her lip hard enough that a drop of blood was soon visible as she tried hard to control her emotions. âI have something for her too, as well as another package for you, Mila and Â the pups.â Her hand caressed the corner of the brightly wrapped package but he could tell that there was something wrong emotionally with her.
âHa, you too?â He smiled, and tapped at the improved Tricorder. âYou mean this wasnât enough?â He tried to play it off, but the way the woman carried herself finally got to him. âI appreciate it. First though, before that, you look like youâve got something on your mind.â
She nodded. âJust promise me that you wonât make me go to that quack of a shrink. I donât feel I can trust him any further than I could throw a black hole.â
âDoctor Vaeros? I can only recommend you if I see fit, but I canât physically make you,â he said, deciding not to give out the information that he held a fair degree of respect for the man, even if he didnât really like him that much. âI do admit his methods areâ¦ questionable, but I canât deny thereâs some value to them. Anyway, talk to me.â
âYouâre one of the very few it seems I DO talk to, now that Elleâs gone. ALICE, Iâd like to talk to more but sheâs so busy all the time I donât want to intrude on the times when she isnât putting Â out another fire, so to speak. Itâs just really lonely for me when my people are very close to each Â other, even when weâre out in space, thereâs still a closeness, but Iâm not feeling it any more. Then Smaug decided that when I was trying to get over Pathfinder without going off the deep end, it was like he was blaming me for even having feelings in the first placeâ¦â She sighed as she tried to keep the heartache out of her voice.â That was when I realized I could never trust him with my feelings Â again.â
Leonard sat silent for a moment, and took a long draw from his coffee before setting it down. âKiki. I admit that I know very little of the relationship you and Pathfinder shared, and I am not, by any means, an expert in relations, or psychology for that matter. But if I may take a moment to be completely honest with youâ¦â he frowned and took a deep breath. âIâ¦ canât say Iâm so sure that can be called a true relationship. Being that he was our captor at first, and then after thatâ¦ Anyway, the feelings you had for him after he tried to kill us, and capture us, is by all definitions via Starfleet medical documents a case of what is called Stockholm Syndrome,â he said, letting the explanation sink in for a moment. Tact was apparently the word of the day, as the Wolfen made it a point not to degrade the way Kiki saw the being, or the situation, so much as to do nothing more than explain what it was. He hoped that wasnât going to offend the woman, as her views on the Kzinti were fond attachments.
âI know and I was researching it as well as I was trying to deal with it. I was seeing some aspects of that Stockholm Syndrome you mentioned but Smaugâs attitude in denigrating feelings left me Â totally unable to feel comfortable in his presence as a counselor ever again. As youâre the head of the medical department, I feel it is easier to talk to you than him. I WAS thinking about transferring to another vessel because of him, but I couldnât abandon you, Mila or the pups since I claimed you as family.â
Leonard thought on that for a moment further as well choosing his words. âI feel that Stockholm Syndrome is one of those things that does need to be talked about though, in terms of coping with it. While I am happy to talk to you about it, I must state that I am not qualified in psychology or psychotherapy. That said, when it comes to Counselor Vaeros, I honestly think that if youâre going to let one single manâs attitude be what causes you to quit a position that you are very suited for on a ship...Well, I should think youâre stronger in the mind than that.â
âYeah, Iâm stupid...â
Leonard cut her off before she could go further. âThat is not what I said, nor what I meant. You are very intelligent, Kiki. I do think that you are a bit impulsive at times, but that doesnât have any merit to your intelligence.â
She sighed. âSometimes it seems that no one really cares for the clumsy Kangaroo to be around and they just tolerate me because I can be good on fixing things for them. I know that itâs probably not true, itâs just my feelings and being lonely and the oddball around here.â
âYou are wanted here, Kiki. Iâm going to say that outright. Some might find you a bit eccentric, but that doesnât change the fact that you are a wonderful asset to this crew, and you do have friends here.â Leonard went to take another sip of his coffee. âI, for example, actually owe you my life. Mila finds you enjoyable to talk to. My children love seeing you, the few times they get to. You are, for many, are different from many races we encounter, in terms of appearance, but if people are letting that stop them from getting to know how wonderful you truly are, they are missing out.â
She hugged him close, making sure not to squish his delicate insides.âThanks, Little Brother. I really do appreciate it. Itâs hard for me to try to fit in when some humanocentric cliques seem to have already formed and it seems like they want me to go someplace else and hibernate.â
He hugged her in kind, and let go after a few seconds. âBelieve me, I understand. When I first got here, people saw me as a huge intimidating figure with claws and teeth. I had to look up who the âBig Bad Wolfâ was - which still amuses me - in order to understand what people were talking about. I understand what it means to be...different. I, like you, have to have specially tailored starfleet uniforms, just to a lesser extent. I, like you, find that people on first encounters areâ¦ put off by appearances a little bit. Society has come an incredibly long way since days of local planetary existence, but instincts are hard to completely remove, you know? Iâd think itâs not something to take personal, and to find a way to have common ground with folk, and youâll find the making friends is pretty fun.â
She grinned on hearing him called âthe Big Bad Wolfâ.âAlright, when are you and Mila off shift? I was going to commandeer the galley to fix up some dinner for us all, including the pups.â
He sat back at that one, reclining the chair to itâs fullest extent. âThatâs a good question. Our schedules usually line up so that we can have a little time together, but enough that one of us is available to watch the kids. Worst case scenario, ALICE steps in if we both need to be out, but that happens rarely. A night weâre both available thoughâ¦ Actually, once we dock to a starbase, thatâs often the best time.â
âAlright I was Â just thinking that the six of us get together and then you two take off after dinner for whatever you wanted to do while I played Babysitter.â She told him. She really liked the fluffballs.
âThat sounds like a plan. Now. You have a gift to open, still waiting for you.â He motioned to the package with decorative paper shell and ribbon.
âNow?â She asked. They usually didnât wrap up presents back home.
âIf you want. Itâs yours. Iâm curious to what you got though.â
âAlright, here goesâ¦â She Â opened the gaudily wrapped box to Â pull Â out a Swiss chalet Â looking clock with miniature figures that went along a track along the Â bottom of Â it and a small door over the Â numerals to tell the time in the old analog fashion. Some chains ending in pendant cast pinecones completed the piece.She held it up and moved the hands to the correct time as the small door opened and a bird popped out going âCooCoo! CooCoo!â till the bird counted out the Â hour. Kiki grinned before teasing the Doctor.âI wonder if she was saying something by this? It wouldnât be the first time, Daitin used to say that about me all the time.â
Curiously he watched the machine that was dated to a primitive technology, utilizing a spring and cog mechanism that was entirely mechanical. The way it was wound, he could hear all the parts inside moving, slowly letting the tension off the springs as it began itâs slow turning of time. It intrigued him, really. Though the sounds it made were less than musical to his ears. It wasnât terrible, but not something heâd want in his office to hear every hour. âYour guess is as good as mine what sheâs saying. I imagine she either wants you to focus on punctuality, or figures that your interest in such mechanical marvels would find that device a wonderful gift. I believe in the latter.â
She nodded Â âI think youâre right and it is intriguing, though I think that bird is going to get annoying before too long. I just hope she likes what I made for her. I knew that still was going to come in useful for more than just alcohol. By the way, could you find out Milaâs favorite scent for me?ââ
âOh, Mila? Lavender. Or cinnamon. She enjoys both, but donât mix the scents, they donât go well together,â he said simply. âAnyway, I hope Iâve been helpful to you tonight. I do like seeing you in good spirits, Kiki.â
âYes, you have been really helpful, and I can see about doing a combo package of the scents for her but no blends as per your suggestion. Little Brother, you being you would blow away the rainclouds in a monsoon for me.â
The Wolfen chuckled, and then bowed his head. âIâm glad I could be of assistance. Anyway, as much as I would enjoy talking, there are reports that I do need to look over, and people I need to look at through the day. Is there anything else I can help you with before I get to it?â
She thought about it for a moment before hugging him again and giving him a huge, wet slurp of a slobbery kiss, right up the side of his muzzle. âI think that will do it for the moment, again thanks for being there for me to talk to and I donât care if you have a shrinkâs degree or not.â
Leonard merely smiled and nodded at the woman, blushing a bit. âSure thing. Iâll be around if you need me.â
She hugged him a little tighter for a moment before getting her new timepiece and taking off to Â put it in the R&D lab above the computer station.