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  Lieutenant Commander Desiree Thibodeaux, Ensign Dean Winchester, LtJG Dean Spearhorse, SD
 
A Heated Discussion in Sickbay -- JDL: Dr. Desiree Thibodeaux and Lt jg Dean Spearhorse
 
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A Heated Discussion in Sickbay
JDL: Dr. Desiree Thibodeaux and Lt jg Dean Spearhorse (as himself and various NPCs)

Dean retrieved the soul eater gun from the security locker in the armory. One of the non-com security officers, who had trained with Starfleet Marine Corps,  Gunnery Sgt George Price --the most highly trained member of the security team -- though he did not like to call attention to his rank for reasons he did not usually discuss  -- was standing guard just outside at the armory door.


Price was assigned to ensure the alien weapon remained secure, due to its highly sensitive and dangerous nature. Price and he would accompany Spearhorse and the weapon to their next port of call - Sickbay - where the doctor had been trying to discover the secrets of the soul eater spheres.  Several spheres had been found to be “empty”. It was those spheres that interested Dean who had been ordered by the new Captain to learn how the weapon worked.


+++


In Sickbay, Desiree was yet again pondering the spheres and how to retrieve the life-essences trapped within.  So far, neither she nor Relok had managed to determine much of anything more specific than somehow, someway, someone had crafted a weapon which trapped what some would call the souls of sentient beings inside.  A horrible fate that she couldn't even begin to understand. Her most urgent desire was to determine if the people inside could be set free and to learn how to do it.


The door to Sickbay opened and she turned to see who needed her help. Dean Spearhorse and unfamiliar security officer had entered.


Desiree started to ask Dean how his knee was holding up but stopped herself.  She knew he was sensitive to letting others know that he had a few prostheses.


“Doctor, I need to commandeer a couple of the empty spheres.”  Dean requested in an official tone. “If there is some paperwork, I am willing to document everything, but the new Captain wants to know how this gun works and the only way I can accomplish that is to use the weapon to see what it does.  The computer can't even tell us anything more with the data we have.”


“What?”  The CMO seemed shocked.  “Did I hear you right Lieutenant?  I thought I heard you say you planned to use this weapon.”  She gave him and his security detail a dirty look.


“Did I stutter ma'am?” Dean said in a flat monotone. “I don't like this anymore than you do.  I am not playing God on who lives and who dies and I am obviously not going to test it on crew or any prisoners who may be in our brig.”


Desiree smacked her hand down on the workspace.  “No sir, you certainly aren't. You will not be testing that thing on any living creature while I am in charge of this Sickbay.”  She glared at him. If her eyes could have burned a hole in Dean, he would be dead.


The sickbay door slid open behind them but because they were quite focused on their conversation, they didn't notice who had entered..


Dean stepped closer to the doctor and lowered his voice.  “No offense to your rank ma'am but I have a job to do. It is my duty to protect this crew against all forms of attack.  I need to know how this weapon works so I can DO my job effectively. I have orders from our new captain and cannot allow you to prevent me from carrying out that order. If I must, I will put you on report; as is my right as acting chief of security.  This is not a threat, this is a promise. Just like you have the authority to overrule the Captain if necessary if you believe him to be incapable of carrying out his duties, if I feel the ship or crew is in danger, I can override you.”


He watched as her eyes grew wide and she apparently contemplated his demand for a very awkward  minute before she responded.


Desiree took a deep breath. “Excuse me?” Desiree's voice rose in anger.  “Did you just say that if I don't hand over the empty spheres you are going to put me on report?  And no, you didn't stutter.” She added sarcastically.


Neither the CMO or the Acting Chief of Security was prone to angry outbursts and this was the first time that they had seen each other so agitated.


She stood and put her hands on her hips. “This is MY sickbay mister and I don't appreciate your attitude or threats. I have full authority to administer this department as I see fit.  You can put me on every report you can write and I will still refuse to hand over the empty spheres without being given a much better reason than because you want me to. Now, if you would like to simmer down some, and explain in more detail exactly how you plan to use them and what you are going to be aiming that thing at, then I might be convinced not to relieve YOU from duty.”   She sat back down and gave him a questioning look.


Off to the side, Dean could see Nurse Drew, frantically gesturing at him apparently attempting to get him to calm down or  listen to the doctor.


“I did not come here for an argument doctor.”  Dean said lowering his voice even further to a near whisper. “Though I respect life as you do, you know there are times when rules have to be broken.  Would you have conceded with Hitler that the “pure blood” of the Aryan nation was destined to rule the world? The Allied forces certainly did not and they were forced to kill thousands in order to prevent an even greater evil from taking hold. If this weapon were to fall into the wrong hands, it could theoretically be used to wipe out entire worlds based on someone's malicious desire to control the universe.”


“You don't seem to understand why I am objecting.  Of course I would never side with maniacal despots such as Hitler or Kodos under any circumstances but I do not understand how using the weapon to entrap another life essence is going to give you your answers.  I already have two dozen trapped souls in my sickbay and I don't know how to save them. I don't want to risk adding even one more.”


Dean cut her off.   “Two dozen, right, who we have no clue who they are.  Would you rather I take one of them for my testing rather than something we believe to be less than sentient?”


“All life is sacred Dean.”  Desiree said as calmly as she was able.  “If we are forced to kill to save others in combat, we justify our actions for the greater good.  But if we kill for pleasure or out of anger or other reasons, we set ourselves on the path to being no better than the ones we revile.  I don't value life any less because it is non-sentient. We may only believe such because we have not yet learned to communicate with them.”


“The greater good...how are we not protecting the greater good by finding out how to defend against this weapon?”  The gunnery sergeant interrupted. “The problem is we first need to know how it works to mount an effective defense.”


Dean shot him a knowing look and wordlessly advised him to stay out of this mess . He and the doctor could talk semantics of war all day.


He sighed. “All life is sacred.”  He paused. “You know people have been fighting for their rights -- giving and taking lives throughout history in many different wars and conflicts for many reasons -- in the Civil War, the race riots of the 1960's, and into the 21st Century there were the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements among others.  So much blood was shed during the Bell Riots centuries later and there was also the horror of the Eugenics War.” The young man shook his head sadly.


“I'm not sure we've actually learned anything but if you think I am somehow bordering on being inhumane we can keep on looking at Earth history to see just how sacred humans hold life.  We all studied the events of the mid-20th Century when the United States bombed two cities full of civilians to end the war they called World War II. The collateral damage from the bombs was considered the lesser of two evils.  Most people think that collateral damage ended there but no, in the name of making the world a safer place and protecting the citizens of the United States, for another twelve years nuclear weapons were tested in the Marshall Islands and the fallout affected the civilians residents of the Marshall Islands for over a hundred years afterward.”


Desiree could tell she had touched upon a subject that had hit home for Dean Spearhorse.  He had paused for a few seconds she thought he was done, but no, he had more to say.


“If you prefer some examples that may be more relevant to you, perhaps we should examine the selective conscience of the medical and scientific professions? Tell the thousands of rats, cats, monkeys, rabbits and dogs who were tortured and died to test cosmetics, medicines and more that all life is sacred. Doctors, scientists and researchers have a dirty secret in their history of using those people seen as lesser beings such as the disabled, mentally ill or incarcerated as test subjects to infect with a variety of diseases in the name of science and at times left their subjects to suffer and die!”  He said empathically


“Yes, there was a different outlook on life back then, but some of us do not forget, none of us should forget.. If one animal can show us the effective range and capabilities of this device we might learn from that sacrifice how to save others and if it is even plausible to try to release the souls that are trapped in those BLEEEPING  spheres.” his vocal tone was soft, but firm  not even betraying the anger in his words.

   

Out of nowhere -- from somewhere behind Dean -- a high-pitched voice broke in and chimed.  “Shazam, shazam shazam! I got it.”


All heads turned in the direction of the new voice.  A tall thin man was grinning for all to see.


“I was just coming down here to ask the doc if she had any kinda poison to kill Denebian Slime Devils.   Ya see, on that last away mission we seem to have picked up a small infestation, uh okay maybe a large infestation...they seem to have had some babies…….”  The crewman went on oblivious to the stares of the doctor and company. “So, anyway, I was ordered to err..irrr...eradi……..to get rid off the beasties and I've been chasing the little devils around the shuttlebay for two days now.  I haven't managed to trap one and like I said, they are multiplying. So…….whadda ya think.. Could we use that there gun to suck them up like an old fashioned vacuum cleaner?” He asked Dean hopefully.


“Wait a second here, just who are you?”  The CMO asked the newcomer.


“I'm Private First Class Homer Kyle ma'am.  Should I salute you?”


Desiree was pretty sure a PVC wouldn't be saluting her in any case but his genuine air of naivete did make the edges of her mouth turn slightly upwards.  “No, please don't.” She said.


Dean looked at the private and back at the doctor, “At this point the answer to your question is up to the doctor.  Whether it's more important to eliminate the pests instead of trying to determine how this weapon works……”


The wind had mostly been knocked out of Desiree's sails and Lieutenant Spearhorse sounded a bit less vituperative as well “Since Denebian Slime Devils are a known threat, with venomous fangs and other destructive habits which could endanger the ship or crew they might be considered to be in a different class all together.  I still don't relish the thought of killing life forms, but the need to eradicate the threat they potentially pose is not something that even I care to debate.” She said with a frown. She looked at Dean. “As long you confirm that the creatures in the shuttlebay are Denebian Slime Devils, you can have all four of the empty spheres Mr. Spearhorse.  I trust you will only aim the gun in their direction...scratch that. I'll coming with you.”


“Why?” He challenged her.  “Do you want to join in the hunt?”  Dean asked semi-sarcastically. “I was planning to bring whatever it leaves behind to you, if it leaves anything that is...but I suppose that a CMO should see how to use a weapon in self-defense, and a little target practice could be good to keep those skills sharp in case of an emergency.”


“Watch it young man, you're still skating on thin ice with me.” She told him sternly.  “I am not sure how we got into this argument to begin with, but I believe that Mr. Kyle here has just dropped in our lap the best compromise, and potential solution to more than one issue, that we could have hoped for. ”


“I did?”  Kyle asked grinning. “Well whadda ya know.  I don't suppose you would put that on record would you?”


Gunnery Sergeant Price doubled over with laughter.  “You betcha Kyle, we'll make sure it's on file.”


The doctor placed four spheres on her workspace.  “Those are all the empty ones that I have. Maybe more than one Denebian Slime Devil can fit into a single sphere?  And no, I don't need to come along. I may not agree with your reasoning but I am going to trust you to do the right thing. Just don't prove me wrong, or you may find out how well this doctor can use a phaser.”  She winked trying to defuse the remaining tension.


Dean blushed.  He picked up the spheres,  handed three to the sergeant and loaded one into the gun, which he instantly pointed toward the floor.  “Lock and loaded. Mr. Kyle, please show me where you saw them last.”


“Aye sir!” Kyle replied happily.  “We're going on a Devil hunt.” He said with a smile as the three left medical in a hurry.


Desiree laid her head down on her workspace and muttered.  “Angels and ministers of grace defend us.”*


From the backroom Nurse Franklin suddenly appeared wielding a bedpan as menacingly as humanly possible.  “They're gone? Grace and I thought we were going to have a knock-down-drag-out fight in here.. Wait. that was Hamlet, wasn't it?”


The doctor lifted her head wearily and met the nurse's' eyes briefly before putting her head back down again. This time however, she didn't set her head down quite so gently.


TBC


*From William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4.


   
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