A small moment of calm
The Thorion Conundrum Mission Brief
Location: Sickbay & Chief Medical Officers office
Robert sat down and took a sip of his coffee. He looked around and realised he had not put out his photos. Hendon had four that he liked to put out. The first of course was his wife Alice. The next two were of his children Tom and Petra. Robert and Alice had tried to get the twins to be in a picture together. But Tom and Petra had started fighting as to who would be on the left. Both demanding as they were born first. That position should be theirs.
To stop any sulking from Petra as she was born second. Plus gloating from Tom which would result in Petra hitting him. It was best to do single pictures of the twins. The last picture was a family photo. With Robert and Alice plus the twins. Both parents are smiling with their hands on each child’s shoulder. Not only did it look like a happy family that way. But also stopped the twins from pulling faces at each other.
He sat back and took another sip of his coffee.
Kimberly looked at the MO's office. It seems Doctor H was making it his own. She liked the guy but couldn't help but feel a little bit jealous. Of course she wasn't a doctor but she was looking forward to be in charge for a while. Being responsible and show off her skills. That just now became a little bit harder. He showed her the ropes and that had hurt her ego a bit. It was all water under the bridge by now but the feeling still lingered and that despite his charming smile.
It seemed he was looking at the pictures on his desk. She suggested blinders for privacy reasons but he argued against that idea. So now she had to look at his back all day from her standing desk. Dealing with a superior was also something she had troubles with. She just hoped he wasn't a doctor like those douchebags at the starfleet hospital, where she did her internship. She almost failed to get a deployment because one of them had given her a bad review, that had nothing to do with her skills but her, one time, questioning his code of conduct, as he described the incident.
"Oh no ..." , she thought. He turned his chair and saw her looking. He smiled and began making arm and hand gestures. He must have seen the sign language book she was currently holding and reading absent minded. All she could make out was the verb to come and coffee so it was not clear what he wanted. Did he want a new cup of coffee or was she invited to join him? She stood up and went to his office to find out. She opened the door and asked politely: "Hey doc, how are you today? You want to see me?"
Hendon nodded and gestured for her to sit.
“ Yes I just wanted to say that I was extremely impressed with the way you have been handling sickbay. You did an excellent job and I would like you to continue as my second in command of the medical department. Your expert action at helping Blake saved his life and more. His making full recovery will be down to your quick thinking and actions. Have you considered becoming a full doctor? If so I would gladly help in your studies.” Hendon said
Kimberly sat there dumbstruck, taking a few moments to let is sink in. "Euuhm ... doctor Hendon, You've caught me off-gaurd here. Since you arrived here, You've shown me that I have still a lot to learn. If I'm honest, after the surgery of lieutenant Blake, I decided to put my dream of becoming Dr. Peeters ... on a shelf. It made me serious doubt myself and since then I study this ... sign language manual, without much succes", she added with a nervous grin. "I thought you were asking for a another cup of coffee", she laughed. It was better than tearing up, she kept to herself.
It was like that confession released a heavy weight of her back, like she could take a deep breath again. To prevent tears from falling down she quickly focussed back on the doc's proposition. "It would be ... my honour to serve as your second in command! I think there is a great deal I can learn from you!", she concluded. Kimberly noticed the photo frames and took it as an opportunity to talk family and switch subjects. "So doc ... , can I say 'doc'? I noticed you looking at those pictures. what a lovely family you have there ... ", she stated.
He nodded. Robert smiled to himself Peeters had just steered him away from the subject. She was going to make a good second in command.
“ Yes. That is my wife Alice , the twins Tom and Petra. I know their my children and I love them dearly. But now I know why some animals eat their young....” He said.
He saw her face and laughed.
“ Just joking....”
Kimberly tried to laugh at his bad joke but it felt forced, so she quickly went for the shy grin. She leaned closer and grabbed the family picture for a closer look after Hendon gave her a nod. His wife was a woman that would turn heads easily, the doctor stood as proud as he could and the kids were just adorable. It just seemed like the picture was forced, almost too perfect in a sense. Like most pictures in general.
"So doc, if these two cuties are the rascals you're talking about, what did you promise them to act like two well behaved children? It can't be that bad?", she asked him.
Having three older brothers, she had her fair share of brotherly "love". The usual teasing, loving punches and scaring off potential boyfriends. She detested them for it then but in hindsight they formed her character and she wouldn't have it any other way. She still loves them.
Robert knew to a stranger it would sound bad. But he had the feeling Peeters understood.
“ To leave them with my mother. You see my parents come from Russia. So her style of parenting is quite old fashioned. I often felt a belt across my buttocks if I shouted a rude word. At my older brothers or pulled one of my twin sisters hair. The pleasures of growing up in a large family. How about you?” He asked.
Kimberly tried to ignore the image and chuckled silently bringing the picture before her mouth, trying to hide her smile." I.... I have three older brothers doc, Anthony, Jules and Octavian. Somehow I became the adventurous one to join starfleet. Against the will of my parents, who wanted me to stay at earth. I'm always been a bit of a rebel I'm afraid. But we still talk, don't worry!", she said.
She had to think back at the moment they said goodbye. Her father John was proud but gave nothing more than an intense hug, in order to not upset his wife, Kim's mother Mary. It took more than two years and one intense conversation in a long disctance videocall to normalize their realtionship again. The distance definitely helped.
"Where did you meet your wife doc?", she asked.
" I met Alice at high school. But was to shy to say anything. It was not until we met again in college that things took off. My mother pulled out all the stops to try and stop us getting married. Even a fake heart attack and Stoke. She forgot I was training to be a doctor. My father stepped in when she put a razor to her wrist. The threat of divorce and the shame that goes with it. Soon changed her mind to be happy for us. The twins came along a few years later. So she ended up happy for me in marrying a non Russian girl." Hendon explained
Peeters felt a connection as far as the stubborness of certain mothers go. It seems they both had a difficult relationship." They often say happy wife, happy life but they often leave the mothers out of the equation, isn't it doc? " Peeters chuckled.
His mother was very set in her ways. Even in this day and aged. She still clung to the old beliefs and ways of Russia in the late 19th to early 20th century on Earth. Even though they lived in the university city of Cambridge England.
" Oh yes my mother is quite the family matriarch even though technically she is the youngest. You should hear the arguments that we heard growing up. We never had universal translators or any modern tech. So all the rows were in Russian. Plus coming from a very large family you can imagine how loud things often got. What about your family?" Hendon asked
"I don't have a bae, like they used to say, I crush on at the moment, if thats what you mean doc?", Peeters asked teasingly. "Starting a relationship on a starfleet vessel doesn't look wise either. I hope to find someone as nice as your wife eventually but ... I'm satisfied by being my own family at the moment. That doesn't mean I don't like having friends to treat as brothers and sisters, but making that connection is harder than I anticipated.
Peeters took a moment to consider what she was going to ask ...
"Hey Doc, can I consider you a friend, beyond the boundaries of this sickbay?", Peeters asked akwardly.
Hendon looked at her.
“ It cannot be romantically! I am happily married with two young children. But they say a ships crew should be like a family. So perhaps on a brotherly slash just a friend basis. Yes of course.” He replied
" I ... I didn't mean to imply anything indecent doc!", Peeters laughed akwardly. "I'm glad you said Yes! I don't expect you to treat me differently than any other member of the medical crew neither will I ask for any favors. I ... " BEEP ... BEEP ... BEEP
"Sorry doc, I need to check on a patient! But I would like to meet your family when the moment is right. See Ya later Doc!", Peeters said standing up and walking to the door.
Lieutenant Commander Dr Robert Hendon
Chief Medical Officer
USS Leto NCC-80916
Nurse Kimberly Peeters
USS Leto NCC-80916