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When Needs Must

Posted on 11 Nov 2023 @ 1:57pm by Lieutenant Commander Cintia Sha'mer & Crewman Apprentice Unknown 'Weirdo'

929 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Miranda

Sha'mer sat in one of the observation lounges, PADDs spread out on the table in front of her. Normally she'd be fine with working in her office, but after spending days in quarters which seemed more cramped by the minute she wanted to sit in a spacious area where she could see the stars. Ironically she only had eyes now for the pile of PADDs and the headache they contained. It was all good that she had promised the doctor to free people to guard the morgue, but what people? Security had been hit hard. They had continued to make the rounds on the ship as people became sicker and sicker, often escorting ill crewmembers to sickbay, sometimes even carrying them as side-to-side transports had trouble finding space to safely teleport people into. Which, in turn, had accelerated their own infection rate. Add to that the prevalent mentality of security personnel to ignore personal discomforts when duty called for it, right until the moment they no longer could, and it was a recepe for disaster.

As near as she could tell, there were two whole members of the security team who weren't ill at all. Two others who were ill but not in sickbay – not yet, at least.

Digging further through the extensive files, Sha'mer came across another name. She raised an eyebrow and pulled the PADD closer, tapped on some links to get more information, and read on. Someone recently had taken an interest in the security branch of Starfleet Academy, it seemed, following as many of the remote courses as possible. And had blazed through them with impressive speed. From what she could see, he only lacked the practical experiences which would allow him to graduate.

Well, she could certainly oblige him there. Perhaps not exactly the way Starfleet Academy would prefer their cadets to follow their courses, but this was Starfleet, where people were nothing if not adaptable to situations.

So, once again, she tapped her comm badge and called him over.

The lanky man with the wild curls appeared not much later, dressed for once not in some kind of elaborate outfit but in simple, practical clothes. A few faint stains were visible on his shirt. He smiled when he saw she'd noticed, but the smile lacked the usual sparkle. "Apologies," he said. "I was helping out in sickbay when you called and didn't want to take the time to change. Bit pointless, really, when I go back… What can I do for you?" The sea-coloured eyes were taking in Sha'mer, automatically looking for signs of the illness.

She smiled back in response to his frank look, though it felt like a hollow one. "Not sick, don't worry. Seems we're the lucky ones… if you can call it that. Have a seat."

The man pulled out a chair and sagged down with a weary sigh. "Thanks. You know how you keep going and going and not notice how tired you're getting until you sit down? Yeah."

"Then enjoy it while it lasts," Sha'mer said. "I have need of your talents elsewhere." She quickly explained the situation.

"Let me get this straight. You want me to guard the morgue. Stand guard in an out of the way corner while people are running themselves ragged in sickbay?"

Sha'mer raised her eyebrow again and tapped on the PADD in front of her. "You don't have to physically stand there and guard the door, as you well know. Security measures are already in place." She shoved another PADD at him with a flick of her finger.

He stopped it and speed-read through it. "Hm-hmm… yes… that's according to the book, covered those sections just last week or so, yeah, hmm, hey, that's a nifty application, hadn't come across that one, interesting though…" He looked up. "Is that what you needed me for, an extra set of eyes to check all this?"

"Read the last paragraphs," Sha'mer said grimly.

He did, and looked up again. "Just two?"

"And two maybe's, depending on the situation. And there's me, but I'm hardly in a fighting condition myself. Certainly not when it comes down to physical altercations." She had never been an intimidating person to begin with, and one bandaged leg still and on crutches did little to improve appearances.

He nodded. "So, you foresee trouble?"

Sha'mer spread her hands. "Give me your assessment of the situation."

"Ah." He leaned back in his chair. "Right now I don't see any imminent threats. But as the situation keeps getting worse and even more people will get ill, especially with the effect it seems to have on some people's minds… yes, keeping an eye on the morgue is a good idea. Other places, too. Bridge, Engineering..."

"Those are already covered."

"Good, good. So, uh…"

Sha'mer gave a weary smile. "Consider yourself drafted into the security department, for the duration of this situation. I suppose the CO or XO will have to sign off on it, but I hardly doubt they'll have much of an objection. Get yourself a uniform and be ready to respond if there's an alert."

He jumped up, gave her a 'by the book' salute of such sharpness that it made Sha'mer's mouth twitch, and said: "Aye, Commander," with a grin.
"Dismissed," Sha'mer said with an answering smirk. As the man strode out, with more of a spring in his step than when he entered, she pulled another PADD towards her. Time to see if she could cannibalise more of her own department to help out in Security, or in other places.


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