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Joint Log - Swift/Zomaii - Presents and Presence

USS Hermes Lounge


by First Lieutenant Leonard Swift & Lieutenant Junior Grade Kiki Zomaii
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Joint Log - Swift/Zomaii

Stardate 1612.28

Presents and Presence


It hadn’t been long since he’d 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 counselor’s 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 he’d 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 he’d stopped by later on in very brief passing.


“If you see Lieutenant Zomaii, could you see if she enjoyed the gift that Marielle gave her? She didn’t seem very apt to open it save for in pivate.”


Leonard smiled, sitting back in the chair on his desk, sipping on a cup of coffee. It wasn’t the package that he’d received in his own gift box, which sat on his desk still sealed. He’d 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, “Little Brother, are you in there?”


Leonard didn’t move, but perked his ears towards the doorway. “Mmm? I’m here, come on in,” he replied, taking another sip from his mug.


She grinned and  hopped in the office, setting the wrapped box on his desk as well as a device. “Here’s that device I was working on for you.It’s got everything that you wanted in it as well as a expanded touch screen for additional tests that you  might want to order and an expanded toxicology screening section.” The device was in a red pleather covered case.”I changed the color from the standard medical tricorder so you could identify it easier.”


He sat up then, and reached across the desk at the device that the woman held to him. “Oh, finished it already then? I didn’t expect it so quickly, I admit. Well, let’s take a look then…”


“I try to get things dealt with as fast as I can, in case they are needed in a hurry for some mission.” 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. “Well it loads quickly, that’s for sure,” he said, looking at the extra options and settings, fiddling with a few parameters. “So, main changes and adaptations you’ve made are improvements on registering hematic levels of levels of various gases via receptors, and…. What else?” He asked, turning on the scanner to identify himself in a test scan.


“Blood 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  flora is suspect.” She told him and showed him how to pull up the screen  for that feature.


“Heh. Flora...Where was this back then…” he mused for a moment, toying with the meters. “Oh, interesting.. Sure enough…. Blood cell receptor count at ninety-seven percent optimum capacity, well within reasonable requirements to function fully… Oxygenation levels optimum, nitrogen levels ideal... “ he listed off the readings as they came, reporting to a most precise level of readings that the average blood cell was carrying. “Wonder if there’s 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 most… Average content per nano liter is still minimal. Seems I’ve yet to fully metabolize it, even if current functionality is fully restored. Still, that it can detect even that is impressive, Kiki,” He said, setting the device down next to the still wrapped box. “Oh, that’s right. You had a gift drop off.. A packaged sent via subspace from Miss Deniaud, from Atlantis. Wonder why you’ve not opened it yet...” He motioned to the box that she’d 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. “I have something for her too, as well as another package for you, Mila and  the pups.” Her hand caressed the corner of the brightly wrapped package but he could tell that there was something wrong emotionally with her.


“Ha, you too?” He smiled, and tapped at the improved Tricorder. “You mean this wasn’t enough?” He tried to play it off, but the way the woman carried herself finally got to him. “I appreciate it. First though, before that, you look like you’ve got something on your mind.”


She nodded. “Just promise me that you won’t make me go to that quack of a shrink. I don’t feel I can trust him any further than I could throw a black hole.”


“Doctor Vaeros? I can only recommend you if I see fit, but I can’t physically make you,” he said, deciding not to give out the information that he held a fair degree of respect for the man, even if he didn’t really like him that much. “I do admit his methods are… questionable, but I can’t deny there’s some value to them. Anyway, talk to me.”


“You’re one of the very few it seems I DO talk to, now that Elle’s gone. ALICE, I’d like to talk to more but she’s so busy all the time I don’t want to intrude on the times when she isn’t putting  out another fire, so to speak. It’s just really lonely for me when my people are very close to each  other, even when we’re out in space, there’s still a closeness, but I’m 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 place…” She sighed as she tried to keep the heartache out of her voice.” That was when I realized I could never trust him with my feelings  again.”


Leonard sat silent for a moment, and took a long draw from his coffee before setting it down. “Kiki. 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 you…” he frowned and took a deep breath. “I… can’t say I’m so sure that can be called a true relationship. Being that he was our captor at first, and then after that… 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,” 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 wasn’t going to offend the woman, as her views on the Kzinti were fond attachments.


“I 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 Smaug’s attitude in denigrating feelings left me  totally unable to feel comfortable in his presence as a counselor ever again. As you’re 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 couldn’t abandon you, Mila or the pups since I claimed you as family.”


Leonard thought on that for a moment further as well choosing his words. “I 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 you’re going to let one single man’s attitude be what causes you to quit a position that you are very suited for on a ship...Well, I should think you’re stronger in the mind than that.”


“Yeah, I’m stupid...”


Leonard cut her off before she could go further. “That 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 doesn’t have any merit to your intelligence.”


She sighed. ”Sometimes 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 it’s probably not true, it’s just my feelings and being lonely and the oddball around here.”


“You are wanted here, Kiki. I’m going to say that outright. Some might find you a bit eccentric, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a wonderful asset to this crew, and you do have friends here.” Leonard went to take another sip of his coffee. “I, 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.”


She hugged him close, making sure not to squish his delicate insides.”Thanks, Little Brother. I really do appreciate it. It’s 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.”


He hugged her in kind, and let go after a few seconds. “Believe 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 ‘Big Bad Wolf’ 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 are… 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? I’d think it’s not something to take personal, and to find a way to have common ground with folk, and you’ll find the making friends is pretty fun.”


She grinned on hearing him called ‘the Big Bad Wolf’.”Alright, 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.”


He sat back at that one, reclining the chair to it’s fullest extent. “That’s 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 we’re both available though… Actually, once we dock to a starbase, that’s often the best time.”


“Alright I was  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.” She told him. She really liked the fluffballs.


“That sounds like a plan. Now. You have a gift to open, still waiting for you.” He motioned to the package with decorative paper shell and ribbon.


“Now?” She asked. They usually didn’t wrap up presents back home.


“If you want. It’s yours. I’m curious to what you got though.”


“Alright, here goes…” She  opened the gaudily wrapped box to  pull  out a Swiss chalet  looking clock with miniature figures that went along a track along the  bottom of  it and a small door over the  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 “CooCoo! CooCoo!” till the bird counted out the  hour. Kiki grinned before teasing the Doctor.”I wonder if she was saying something by this? It wouldn’t be the first time, Daitin used to say that about me all the time.”


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 it’s slow turning of time. It intrigued him, really. Though the sounds it made were less than musical to his ears. It wasn’t terrible, but not something he’d want in his office to hear every hour. “Your guess is as good as mine what she’s 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.”


She nodded  “I think you’re 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 Mila’s favorite scent for me?””


“Oh, Mila? Lavender. Or cinnamon. She enjoys both, but don’t mix the scents, they don’t go well together,” he said simply. “Anyway, I hope I’ve been helpful to you tonight. I do like seeing you in good spirits, Kiki.”


‘Yes, 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.”


The Wolfen chuckled, and then bowed his head. “I’m 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?”


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. “I think that will do it for the moment, again thanks for being there for me to talk to and I don’t care if you have a shrink’s degree or not.”


Leonard merely smiled and nodded at the woman, blushing a bit. “Sure thing. I’ll be around if you need me.”


She hugged him a little tighter for a moment before getting her new timepiece and taking off to  put it in the R&D lab above the computer station.

   
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