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JDL | Com Ivanova, Lt Ch'Valenvok | "Truth and Consequences"

Posted on 241711.27 @ 13:35 by Lieutenant Kaleb Ch'Valenvok M.D. & Commodore Rochelle Ivanova

Mission: Ballynamony

Kaleb sat at his desk reviewing the results of Captain Neyes laboratory run toxicity test. Once the away team had returned it had been the Andorian Doctor’s first task to make sure there were no other nasty biological surprises hitchhiking with any of the eight crew or one stowaway that had returned from the planet’s surface. Though many of the illnesses they had encountered were curable with the Starfleet level of technology, they had been eradicated in the Federation in some cases centuries ago. Reintroduction of simple diseases like cholera or typhoid fever could decimate large populations centers before treatment and in some cases possibly diagnosis could be made.

As a precaution against technological error, Kaleb had drawn hair and tissue samples for analysis by the medical lab aboard Vindicator. It was these results that he now sat puzzling over. From a medical stand point, there were no microbes, ameba, worms, parasites or viral components in any of the results. Captain Neyes’ results however, showed significantly elevated chemical compositions for Cordafin, the drug he had been prescribed for his PTSD, as well as a chemical makeup that resembled an Orion Syndicate concoction known as Soul Dust. Soul Dust was so called, Kaleb knew, because people who became addicted to it would sell their soul to get more. Orion’s were known to use it to lure individuals into slavery willingly. When the first panel came back, Kaleb had the lab run the test again. He couldn’t see the man he knew as an addict. He had everything; a wife, son and new baby on the way. To throw his career away for such an unlikely cause didn’t reconcile with what Kaleb knew of the Captain.

The elevated levels of Cordafin could be explained as self-medication due to tolerance build up but the Soul Dust was only explainable by the choice to take it. The hair follicle testing showed it had been used several times over the past months and that it was not just a onetime incident. To make sure he was right, Kaleb had run the test multiple times and it was during these subsequent tests he discovered that Hedazapan was also present in the samples. Hedazapan was used by addicts to mask the symptoms and chemical effects of several illegal drugs on the body from basic medical scans by tricorder and biobed. To Kaleb, that implied intent to defraud and none of it lead to a happy ending for Landon Neyes. His only choice was to report his findings to the Commodore and knowing what it would mean, not just for Captain Neyes, but for their marriage, crew morale, and most importantly for their son, Vaan, Kaleb was sick inside.

He had taken the time to shower and clean up after they had returned, and the immediate medical concerns had been addressed with the survivors. His antenna were still sewn down to his scalp and would probably require one of the other doctors to free at this point. Not having the full use of the stalk like sensor appendages had been hard to get used to at first and Kaleb would have freed them earlier if possible. That would have to wait, for now he needed to see the Commodore. He saved the results to a PADD, including his medical report on each substance and their known effects on Trill physiology. He also included the entry he had made in Captain Neyes medical record regarding illegal substance abuse. Standing from his chair, Kaleb felt as though he weighed a metric ton. His body was rebelling along with his emotions but regulations were regulations and the choice was never his to make.

The ride to the bridge had not taken nearly the time, Kaleb had hoped it would. When the doors hissed open the Andorian stumbled out still in a daze. He walked over to the Commodore's ready room, took a breath, and pressed the chime.

"Enter" Rochelle hadn't done much in the way of anything personally productive. A quick shower. A cuddle with Javaan. Then it was back on the bridge to await their impending arrival at Cold Station Theta. Though her presence wasn't mandatory, it felt like the place to be - the safe place... Just in case fate had something more to to throw in their direction. Nothing was ever easy for the crew of the USS Vindicator, or so it seemed.

With the PADD gripped tightly in his hand, Kaleb entered the ready room. It was almost foreign to be in a room where the air was filtered and crisp without the smell of burning wood or the soot that came from it. His eyes focused on the red haired Commodore as she sat behind her custom desk and his heart shattered under the weight of what he was carrying. "Ma'am..." Kaleb said as his voice broke. The last thing any of them needed after the week they had just had was news like this. "I'm sorry...," was all that Kaleb could choke out as he handed her the PADD.

Immediately an eyebrow rose at the sight of the Andorian coming apart at the seams and Rochelle took the offered PADD as quickly, and yet gently, as she possibly could. What she wanted to ask was 'who died?!', but the words wouldn't leave her mouth as the PADD fired up and the first name she could see was that of her own husband. "Sit down, Lieutenant." She ordered instead, beginning to scroll through the information presented for her in that horribly sterile little package. As the Commodore read on, her jaw set, but her shoulders seemed to droop from their usually proud square carriage. The normally plush bounty of her mouth became nothing more than a hard pressed thin, grim line and her eyes - tired and worn thin by a steady flow of concern - now lightening to that particular shade of winter best left reserved for battle. This was a battle, though... One she couldn't win.

One none of them could win.

In many ways the Landon Neyes they all knew and loved was dead and gone, buried by heavy doses of narcotics instead of dirt, but buried all the same. Setting the PADD down in front of her, allowing it to turn off for the sake of... What? She couldn't decide why she'd turned it off. Turning it off didn't erase or change the information on it. "I saw the signs of withdrawal when we were on the shuttle home... I tried to ignore it, think that it was something associated with trauma..." Rochelle didn't trust the terseness of her own voice, "One look at Tristan said it all and this..." She sighed, tapping on the PADD with a single nail, "This just confirms it, Lieutenant, I thank you for being honest in your work..." The woman paused for a moment, brushing away a stray lock of hair, "And with me."

From his seated position, Kaleb nodded slowly a tear slipping free from the levy of his lower eye lid and spilling down his cheek. "No other choice..." He said quietly. "Starfleet regulations are very clear. I wish they weren't but..." The words were choked by the emotion building in Kaleb's throat. This family had been though so much in the past few years, to see it torn apart now over something so deceptively simple as drug use was appalling. Clearing his throat, Kaleb said, "The condition is treatable and he can likely be redeemed, but his career is over and any chance of serving in Starfleet, gone. I'm sorry, Commodore." Another tear rolled down Kaleb's cheek and he brushed it away with a quick motion of his hand.

Her head shook and she stifled a sigh before it could escape. It would do neither of them any good for her to lament the loss there and then, "This isn't Captain Neyes's first rodeo," She spoke, feeling the bitter tang of the words as they rode her tongue to freedom, "He's well aware of what the consequences are and what redemption means." In other words, he had the universe spinning well within the palm of his hand, and he chose to piss it all away. Chose. Wasn't coerced, wasn't threatened or forced... Chose. That's what burned the woman the most, and what forced that barrier of steel between her and the memories of him. "Don't trouble yourself over it. This isn't something you should worry yourself with. Pity him, sure, wish him well in his future endeavors? Absolutely... But don't shed tears for those who don't deserve them." The words were meant for him but oh how they resonated deep within herself, tending the gaping wound left within her soul in hopes of promoting swifter healing.

"I'm not sorry for him. I'm sorry for you and Vaan and...," Kaleb glanced quickly at the Commodore's stomach as if seeing the growing child inside. " I'm sorry for the crew and how his choice may affect them. But most of all, I'm sorry to have to be the one to bring this to you, so soon after what we have just gone through." Kaleb wiped at his eyes again. "I think our ordeal has frayed my nerves a bit." He said between sniffs to clear his airways. "I will talk to one of the counselors and get some rest. I would suggest that maybe the whole away team take that course of action, Ma'am." The Andorian said as he finally raised his eyes to meet hers.

"I would think that to be a wise idea," she nodded softly, understanding, but still that pillar of strength that she knew the crew absolutely needed during this time. Beneath that ironclad surface, she was trembling and threatening to come apart at the seams. "Once we're back at Cold Station Theta, I'll get myself checked out. If you'd prefer that check up be through Theta Medical, it won't hurt my feelings any."

Kaleb's eyes narrowed a bit and then he nodded, "Thank you, I will be okay. As the doctor most familiar with your record and current condition I will personally update the Chief Medical Officer at the station when we arrive. Just know that if you need me I will be here for you." Kaleb said, to ensure if she would rather not get cozy with another doctor, she had an out. "I do have some good news. Si'a is recovering in the saline bath. Anaxar has been treated and released, though he will need his visor and the interface replaced before he can be cleared for active duty. The rest of the away team are already cleared." Kaleb had diverted his mind and his eyes had dried, though were still puffy.

"Let's cut the shit a bit, we already know that I almost always need you Kaleb. The idea is to not stress you out any further than you already are." Rochelle replied, finally allowing a sigh to part her lips, and sat back deep against the comfortable support of her chair. "I'm glad that they're doing well. If Shran is up to it, he might be happier on a light duty. He's been blind a long time... Knows how to navigate better than some of the sighted crew." She replied, with a shake of her head. Anaxar Shran was a survivor in every sense of the word. He'd more than earned Rochelle's respect with how he'd handled the situation on the planet and selflessly protected another. "But that's your area of expertise, not mine."

"I'll speak to him. See if he thinks he's ready. Is there anything else?" Kaleb asked after a second or two of silence. He was ready to run and his stomach had turned to liquid in the past ten minutes and then back to concrete. He wasn't sure at this point if he was getting sick or just physically upset at the circumstances. Regardless of the reason, Kaleb felt he needed to be alone for a little while and with every passing second his apprehension was growing.

"That is all." she nodded, "Again... Thank you." And just like that, it was over. The warmth gone, the meeting over, and the indication that he was free to go hung heavy in the air between them.

Wasting no time, Kaleb almost leapt to his feet and sprinted to the door. He stopped only long enough to glance at the woman he had grown to respect as much as he had initially feared. She was solid on the outside but through his link with her he could feel much more going on than anyone could guess. If he had been rested and more composed he would have offered more help but he just couldn't think about her situation right now and continue to hold himself together. The door hissed and he stepped through feeling so much worse than when he had first entered.

---

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Lieutenant Kaleb Ch'Valenvok M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

 

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