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“First Impressions”

Posted on Thu Nov 12th, 2020 @ 2:31pm by Lieutenant Doctor Ayasha Laith D.V.M., OB/Gyn, M.D. & Sylestia Laith C.G.CA/U, C.PSA, C.ESA & Commander Maia Sterling
Edited on on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 @ 12:21am

Mission: The Thorion Conundrum Mission Brief
Location: Space…
Tags: Sylestia Laith, Sylestia


The U.S.S. Devonshire dropped out of warp and settled into a parking orbit around the station. Her shields were down, her weapons were offline, and she was broadcasting standard identification markers. They hailed and the Alpha-shift Duty Officer responded. They were informed the USS Devonshire was carrying several small light-duty transport craft (i.e. various types of shuttle craft), configurable medium-duty away mission craft (namely runabouts), as well as several hundred newly assigned Starfleet personnel all for the brand spanking new U.S.S. Leto.


-USS Leto-

Maia was in the process of supervising the installation of the tractor beam generators. She was currently living on starbase 50 but doing everything she could too expedite the upgrades to the USS Leto. Crew were trickling in slowly – they still only had about 30 personnel assigned to the ship as a whole at the moment. She was expecting a major infusion of crew later that day.

Her commbadge whurbled, and a disembodied voice rang out. =/\=Sir! The U.S.S. Devonshire just dropped out of subspace and they’re requesting permission to send over crew and supplies.=/\=

=/\= Send my compliments to Captain Zamora and further advise the Devonshire that they can begin boarding by transporter and shuttle bays, please have the senior officers report to me as they board. Sterling out =/\=

Maia gave instructions to the duty officer to supervise the installation of the tractor beam generators and then went to her office.

::Sometime later…::

Two quadruped beings from Barnum Prime – among other officers – were aboard the last of the runabouts. The calm one, an Ailurian/Felinoid Hybrid – something between the cross of a Red Panda and a Felidae – wasn’t quite so excited, though s/he’d been through this before. S/he sat in hir seat watching their approach from a distance. S/he yawned casually, though not from boredom; the trip from their last assignment had taken over a week, and during their travels, s/he had been kept busy with all their flight and transfer details. Most of their connection times had taken place during 1st or second shift and most of hir career the Ailurian had been given – and later on preferred – whatever their present ship called their late shift, weather 12-hours or only eight.

Meanwhile the other ‘Beastinoid,’ a young Thyla, the excited one of the pair – the adopted daughter of the calmer ‘Beastinoid’ – could hardly contain herself. She had been bounding from seat to seat, placing her forepaws up on the deactivated control panels. She still loved watching the approach on a new starship, starbase, or space station. All the blinky lights, all the smooth, fine curves, or long arching angles; whatever, it was all still so fascinating and new to her.

She was practically bounding about the cabin in her enthusiasm to take in the massive structure. It was so big each viewport offered a different image of it, she tried to keep to herself in the cockpit as she peered through the main viewports, though that was difficult with her tail beating back and forth.

Ayasha meanwhile just watched on from where s/he rested casually on hir perch, entertained by hir companion’s exuberance. Let her enjoy her excitement while it still comes easily, goodness knows starships lose their novelty after a while. The doctor thought privately to hirself despite their mental connection.

Sylestia, however, had moved on from simply marveling at the Norway-class starship to speculating about what might be aboard – though a bit less guarded thoughts than her ‘mother’s.’ Would there be an arboretum to run and play in? Did they have the newest holodeck? Did they use it for any role-playing groups? How many kilometers of corridors were there to explore? Were there Families? Animals? Were there any non-humanoid crew members? Would they be able to make new friends here? She practically buzzed with energy as she hyped herself up.

~Settle down little one, you’ll find out everything you’re wondering soon enough, now let the pilot fly us in peace Sunshine.~ Ayasha admonished gently, trying to keep hir ward from making too much of a scene.

Eventually the runabout had docked with their new assignment. Ayasha and Sylestia disembarked still in their recent forms carrying one pack each laden with their few personal items between them. Sylestia was prancing around her mother as Doctor Laith searched about for a welcoming. “Hmm… no one here to meet us…”

From somewhere inside the cockpit of the small craft came a notification which the pilot answered. Once she’d finished with her communication the pilot called out to the beastinoid pair; “Doctor Laith?”

Laith perked up.

“Doctor, you and your companion are supposed to report in to Captain Sterling in her officer on deck one.”

S/he nodded wordlessly and headed off, hir smaller companion buzzing about around hir.

The turbolift ride was thankfully short, but as soon as it came to a halt on the bridge, Laith chided hir daughter. ~Now remember little one, try and stay calm, we’re meeting our new CO for the first time, and first impressions are important to many other beings.~

Laith activated hir UT and then pounced up to activate the door chime to the office door.

Maia had spent a considerable amount of time meeting new officers, filling out personnel and supply forms as well as supervising the refits going on. The Leto had consumed all her time and she was still at it. She had just gotten off the comm link with Captain Racoon, an amusing man to say the least. she had just made herself some coffee when her door chime went off.


In walked what could only be described as a large red… raccoon? -cat – only foxier. They were also accompanied by what appeared to be some sort of – stripped? – canid.

“Can I help you?” Maia asked.

The Ailurian hybrid stepped into the readyroom boldly. S/he dipped hir head as a slight bow out of respect. =/\=I am Doctor Laith, reporting for duty sir. I’m to be you’re Chief Medical Officer.=/\= Laith’s voice seemed to be emanating from hir UT inside of hir commbadge. In hir quadruped form, s/he was incapable of making humanoid speech; underlying the speech the doctor was making various chittering, chirping, barking, purring and other vocalizations in addition to some non-verbal communications this particular commbadge was specifically programed to pick up.

Sylestia hung back, waiting in the doorway as her mother had instructed; they hadn’t been sure how this captain might have felt about juveniles.

“I am Maia Sterling, the ships Commanding Officer. Welcome aboard Doctor Laith, is that your child at the door? If so, please have hir come in.” Maia said pleasantly.

=/\= My adopted daughter, yes captain, thank you. Thank you for respecting our pronoun usage; if you’d be more comfortable in distinguishing the two of us, she prefers female pronouns if that’s all right sir.=/\=

Sylestia entered slowly, submissively, nervous. She joined her ‘mother’s’ side.

=/\=Allow me to present Sylestia Laith, your new Morale Officer and Councilor’s Aide… if you’ll have her.=/\=

Sylestia bowed her head low.

Laith went to Sylestia and with some encouragement in a personal shorthand for their own language encouraged her to help hir open a pouch on hir backpack. Pouch opened Laith approached their new CO. =/\=Please forgive me, sir, but if you retrieve them, our orders are on two PADDs in the open pocket. Please help yourself? =/\=

“Welcome Sylestia, don’t be afraid, honey, I don’t bite.” Maia said gently.

Maia picked up the PADDs and looked them over.

“What was your last assignment and why did you accept transfer to this ship Doctor?” Maia asked.

Sylestia perked up and padded over to greet the CO, she sat in front of her, nudged her hand and peered up at her affectionately, pleading for pets.

=/\= We were assigned to the U.S.S. Devonshire for two years, but when Doctor McIntyre saw my potential and skill under them, they recommended us for your open position…=/\= Tamara’s tail wagged proudly. =/\=The rest is history.=/\=

“What was your specialty?” Maia asked.

Tamara’s tail drooped at first, but then raised again just a little with just the slightest wag. S/he didn’t like to brag, but s/he understood the intent behind the question, and soon hir voiced emitted from the UT/commbadge again. =/\= While many of us out here in the middle of nowhere are required to be very good generalists, my focus is driven by more natural medical practices. Some of my equipment and aides might seem like something more suited to the pioneers I’ve read much about in your 22nd century sickbays. Instead of their more modern – often synthetic equivalents – you might still see the occasional Pyrithian bat or Osmotic eel in my sickbay, captain. After my initial veterinary degree, I also went into reproductive medicine as well. That’s when I received my ‘OB/Gyn’. =/\=

“So, you are a general practitioner? Have you had any experience as a surgeon?” Maia asked.

=/\=Yes, I spent part of my veterinary residency at Helman’s Surgical Hospital.=/\= Ayasha said.

“Good then you can setup sickbay any way you like as long as you can care for the crew, do it in any way that best suits your abilities.” Maia said.

By now the novelty of Tamara’s ‘voice’ while in this from, and emitting from the UT was starting to wear off, and one might just start to associate it as hir voice, and not the commbadge translating hir actual vocalizations and body-language. Tamara nodded, “thank you sir, I’ll probably set it up to incorporate the best of both ideologies. I may have Ops. help me incorporate some accommodations for my daughter as well.”

“What’s the matter with your daughter, that she needs special accommodations?”

“‘The matter’ sir? Nothing’s ‘the matter,’ s/he’s perfectly normal for a Thyla of hir age.” (By slipping into ‘s/he’ and ‘hir’ pronouns Tamara had accidentally let slip Sylestia’s true biological gender and not her preferred identity.)

Sylestia gave her mother a slight nip.


The doctor continued, “Many of the races from our planet are born in their quadruped forms, and eventually as they age, they mature enough to enter into a sort of second puberty when they have their first change. For example, like me, I can take a bipedal form, stand at an average – if tall – height, use and manipulate tools and other objects with apposable thumbs just like you.

“Sylestia on the other paw has not reached that stage of her development yet. She’s restricted to the height of her quadruped body, so it’s just a simple matter of lowering some surfaces, access panels, or creating duplicate systems able to be accessed lower down and with paws and such instead of hands. I’m sure it would be similar to, if we’d picked up a being from a planet who’s maximum height was say, only one meter or so.”

“How long until she enters her second puberty?” Maia asked.

“Who can say, she will develop in her own time and at her own rate. At this stage in her life, she’s fully mature and capable of starting a family, though not very common. For us, having our ‘first change’ is a bit like getting to shave for the first time, or getting to go pick out your first bra. However, sometimes there can be a triggering event that causes it to happen sooner than expected. Generally, Thyla mature and grow up about the same rate as the de-extinct thylacine from Earth captain, so at any time really, but usually between eight and 12 biological standard-years of age.” The doctor offered hir version of a smile. “As a ‘mother’ I’m not quite ready to give her up just yet either.” S/he winked.

“Well S/he’s got to grow into her own being, hir own adult.” Maia said.

In truth it was a little more detailed than that, but Tamara understood Captain Sterling got the gist of it.

Sylestia, meanwhile picked up some of the subtleties of the captain’s language. It ruffled the fur on the back of her neck. She wrestled with weather to bring it up or not. She decided she could at least try. Perhaps if she made it sound like something that was meant to help the human out and make her life easier, she might be more receptive. The youth stepped forward. “Captain, I realize that we might not interact directly unless your councilor suggests that you might benefit from my particular style of therapy, but I have a suggestion I’d like to offer that might help you.”

The novelty of Sylestia’s voice emanating from the commbadge on her neck might have been slightly different than her ‘mother’s’ but since they were similar, one might have adjusted to hers as well.

“Go on Doctor, what style of therapy is that?” Maia asked.

“(Oh, I’m not a doctor. Yet.)” Sylestia continued, “well it’s simple really, with a counselor’s suggestion and the patient’s consent, I’ll join in on a therapy session. Are you familiar with the idea of how a therapy animal works? Some of the benefits petting, say, a dog can have on a person’s blood pressure, heart rate and other life-signs?”

“I am familiar with the theory behind service animals; however, you and your daughter are fully sentient.” Maia said.

::Meanwhile - Intermission::

–Elsewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy–

The Great Bird of the Galaxy was going about its business. It was preening, eating, pestering lower lifeforms, or whatever else benevolent beings do when no one is watching. Suddenly the Great Bird sneezed, and with that a spherical burst of invisible energy radiated out in all directions. As the energy sphere spread across the galaxy at unfathomable speeds seemingly very little was being affected by it, except as it enveloped everything, it all suddenly jumped three microns to the left. Generally, life went on every as usually, except in one place where the U.S.S. Leto NCC-80916, was concerned. Imperceptible to everyone aboard nothing happened except for now, for no reason whatsoever Doctor Laith was sitting still in only hir fur coat, and – as far as anyone was aware – had always been in a biped form, for you see, s/he had indeed always been such in this minutely different reality.

The U.S.S. Leto had in fact shifted imperceptibly from the Prime-universe over to the Pegasus-universe.

::End Intermission::

Doctor Laith ‘eep’-ed and looked embarrassed. S/he shifted slightly in hir seat, “excuse me, please forgive the intrusion, I’m not sure what that was, the fur on the back of my neck just raised up for no reason.” S/he stroked hir neck fur-blushing as s/he tried to flatten the fur down.

Sylestia ignored her mother’s odd behavior and continued. Her ears droops, lying flat against her head. “Captain, it’s alright for you to address me,” she said, still utilizing the UT to talk. “I am not a service animal, you may interact with me as you wish, and you are right I am sentient thank you for acknowledging that. However, that was not what I was trying to help clarify for you. I am – to put it in simpler terms – a trained and certified therapy “dog” (though I am hardly a dog).”

“I think I will have you trained as a nurse, Sylestia.” Maia said.


A post by

Commander Maia A. Sterling
USS Leto NCC-80916
Commanding Officer

Doctor Ayasha Laith D.V.M, OB/Gyn, M.D.
USS Leto NCC-80916
Chief Medical Officer

Sylestia Laith
USS Leto NCC-80916
Therapy Animal


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