Ready Patient One
Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: USS Orion, Medbay
Timeline: Day 6 1000 Hours
Vriha walked along the corridor with seeming confidence, well-trained despite her relative youth to conceal any sign of the unease she felt as she made her way to the Starfleet vessel's medbay. She told herself firmly that check-up was a standard requirement for all crew - even crew on exchange from another galactic power who had just a full exam prior to being sent on this assignment. She and Eilaea had considered going together, but the potential for moral support was outweighed by the potential of appearing ...apprehensive. Which would obviously be unacceptable. Therefore, while Eilaea had been using her Tal Diann training to secure their quarters, she had volunteered to go on ahead and submit to the exam.
Besides, she reminded herself as she arrived at the medbay doors, she had some experience at least in terms of seeing Starfleet doctors at work. Every one she had observed treating the survivors pulled from the wrecks of ships fleeing Hobus had been competent and had struck her as dedicated to their patients' well-being ...even if their definition of well-being was sometimes at odds with the Romulan definition of the term.
Straightening, Vriha took a breath and entered, announcing crisply. "Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih reporting as required for medical exam."
Varina had been going over some bloodwork with one of the nurses when the Romulan entered. There was a strange component in this patient's bloodstream, and it may or may not have been normal. The doctor looked up and nodded to the newcomer. "I'll be right with you. Please have a seat on any biobed along that wall." She nodded in the direction of said beds before turning back to the young Trill nurse. "Run a low-level radiation test on this and let me know the results." When the nurse nodded, Varina turned back to Vriha and joined her, grabbing a tricorder on the way. "How are you, Sublieutenant?"
Vriha had obediently retreated to one of the indicated biobeds, but had been somewhat taken aback by the doctor's initial casual response. So when the doctor came over, she fell back on responding in what would be the expected manner on a warbird. "I am well and fit for duty, Lieutenant."
Varina nodded, even as she could see and hear the rigidness of her answer. "You can relax, Sublieutenant." She stopped. "Can I call you Vriha? I know it's more informal, but it seems more friendly than using ranks all the time." Her Texas accent became slightly more prominent upon speaking less formally.
"That would be acceptable, " Vriha agreed, recalling that humans often preferred informal forms of address. Her mind however was less on that difference than on the doctor's accent. She tipped her head listening, fascinated, as it thickened. There were of course accents in the RSE that varied by clan and ancestral region, but most Romulans, like Vriha herself, worked to lose provincial accents and adopt the speech of ch'Rihan - especially once they entered service. Humans on the other hand tended to retain theirs; indeed they often seemed proud of them. She was sure she had heard something like the doctor's before, but couldn't quite place it...
Finally Vriha gave into curiosity and hoped that decorum had been set far enough aside in the request to use her first name that the question wouldn't be too impertinent. "Excuse me, if it would not be impolite to inquire, what heritage does your accent signify?"
Varina smiled at the question. "I'm originally from the state of Texas, on Earth. My family, going back 9 generations is from there. Spent my whole life there until my first assignment on the Aristotle. How about you? I mean, I may not know exactly any place you reference, but I'll look it up. If we're heading to your backyard, I'd better know my geography."
"Texas..." Vriha tried the word out on her tongue, attempting to imitate the twang that she assumed was proper pronunciation. "I am from ch'Bardat," she glanced aside, though it was unlikely a human would recognize the name, let alone know of the politics of her clan's exile, nor the uneasy suspicion some felt toward the descendants of exiles who might be ascendant again after the core worlds were gone. "It is a border colony on the farther reaches of the Empire. My family founded the Academy there four generations ago," she explained simply.
Varina raised a brow. "A border colony? Is that like the frontier lands? Areas not yet explored, away from what some consider civilized society?" Suddenly she realized she might have crossed a line. "I mean...if those aren't...acceptable questions, just say so. I get carried away sometimes." She remembered the tricorder in her hand. "You're here for your baseline checkup, right?"
"The questions are ...acceptable. And the answer is yes," Vriha continued. "To both questions. We are near the border of both Klingon and Orion space. It is outside what is..." She looked down, swallowed, "...what was... considered the core worlds." Taking a breath, she returned to the issue at hand. "And yes, I am her for a baseline check up. I was cleared by the embassy medical director before being assigned here, but I understand that you wish to take your own readings."
Varina sensed that there was some unease when she spoke of the borderlands, so the doctor moved on and nodded. "I know it seems superflous, but we have found we don't always get...complete records from previous assignments, even within our own organization. So, just to be thorough, everyone gets one when they arrive." She bagan to scan the other woman with the tricorder. "Do you have any allergies that we should know of? Environmental? Chemical?"
"I understand," Vriha stated plainly. The precaution was logical, so even if she was not completely ....comfortable... being scanned by an alien, she accepted it. "There are no issues with my health, nor sensitivities to any substances or environmental factors that I am aware of." The thought occurred to her that on a Federation vessel, with the greater variety of species, there might well be things she had never encountered even while on earth. However, it was a risk that came with exploration and one she'd face even if she had remained on a Galae ship.
Varina nodded as she continued to scan. "Well, hopefully it remains that way," she said with a smile. After a few moments, she put the tricorder down. "Everything looks good, just as you indicated. Just one more thing: may I take a blood sample? We'll have it on file should something happen and you need a transfusion. Then we only need to replicate the needed amount."
Vriha stiffened slightly, but caught herself. Again, it was a logical precaution, and it was reasonably unlikely that Starfleet would use the blood cells to attempt to clone her. As she replied, she suppressed a wry smile at once again taking comfort from her relative insignificance. "You may."
Varina noticed the hesitancy in the other woman. Knowing Romulans could be suspicious, she tried to put her at ease. "You can rest assured I take my patients' provacy very seriously. In my Sickbay, this will only be used as needed."
"That is appreciated," Vriha acknowledged politely, although she doubted that whatever organization in Starfleet paralleled the Tal Shiar could not obtain whatever data or samples they wished, no matter the doctor's principles. However, it was not the short of thing to discuss openly even among her own kind, so she kept those misgivings to herself. "Will that be all?"
The doctor took a device that looked like a hypo and placed the head of it on the inside of her elbow for a couple sevonds as it drew the small amount of blood needed. "You are all set to go. Thank you for stopping by, and welcome aboard." She finished with a smile.
"Thank you," Vriha replied, hopping off the biobed with a smile. The check up had not been at all bad, but she still felt a certain relief that it was over. She inclined her head in respect before turning to go. "I am honored to serve with you."
Varina nodded sagely, in return. "Likewise, I'm sure."
Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Varina Hightower
Chief Medical Officer, USS Orion