Running into the Skipper
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Estelle was on her way to meet with Captain Lalor when she saw someone approaching her at high speed. She was wondering what prompted this, as there was no emergency claxon blaring in the background, when her mind processed that the woman was wearing workout gear, something Estelle hadn't had to bother with since her time at Starfleet Academy, thankfully. "Good morning", she greeted. "Shall I replicate a bicycle for you?"
Phoenix paused and looked at the woman. "Sorry, did I almost run into you?" she asked. Her Federation standard was slightly accented as it was not her native tongue.
"Fortunately, I'm well-padded", Estelle grinned. She looked up at the taller woman and remarked, "I understand I'm easily overlooked sometimes. I'm Estelle Hertz, the new surgeon. I was actually looking for you, to say hello and all that." She waved a PADD. "This is where all that official nonsense is, fortunately it's waterproof."
Phoenix took the padd, even as she searched her memory. "Ah that's right. I remember that notification just before all the chaos. Welcome to the Elysium.. such as she is lieutenant," Phoenix looked down at the PADD. "Our Chief doctor will be pleased to have competent hands in his medical bay."
"My hands should be able to get into where his claws can't reach", Estelle joked. Truth be told, she was amazed at how delicate the manipulations were which the huge Gorn was able to pull off. "I'm very impressed with the Elysium's medical facilities. Now all I'll have to do is find people willing to go under the knife. I've already had two people ask for elective surgery, so that's nice."
Phoenix smiled at that. "The Elysium is top of the range. Even with her recent mishaps. I am sure the crew will come to you sooner than later."
"I'll have to advertise beta shift", Estelle grinned. "That's when I'll be in charge." She cracked her knuckles for emphasis. "How did those miscreants get their hands on this ship, anyway? Or rather, why?"
"Believe me, not my choice or my idea." Phoenix said "Came from up top to let it happen. But we got her back and now we can deal with the people who organised it."
"They've been complaining about a terrible headache", Estelle said. "Apparently, they're taking issue that someone shot them after surrendering. I was out of medication at that point, though. Somehow, my hypospray got misplaced." Estelle winked.
Phoenix grinned at that. "I am sure when we get to our destination, the man we are looking for will want to deal with them for bringing us to him. He seems like one who does not forgive easily."
"Once we'll have him in custody, we can probably treat that desire for revenge", Estelle said. "There's a drug that was developed about a century ago, to help stabilise the criminally insane. I'm sure Tate knows more about it than I do."
Phoenix smiled faintly. "Ah I see the scuttlebutt has not reached the lower decks. We are not taking the man into custody."
"What exactly are we here for, then?" Estelle asked. "If you don't mind telling mere minions."
"We are to initiate contact with the Smuggler chief, and give him communication from Starfleet command." Phoenix said. "And deliver those who tried to take our ship to him."
"He's working for us, as a spy?" Estelle asked, incredulous. "Come on, I'm the one who's supposed to prank everyone else."
"No not a spy. He is very independent. Fleet Command wants him to work with them. As an information broker is my guess." Phoenix shrugged. "He is one of those rare smugglers with honor."
"Then why are we turning attempted murderers over to him?" Estelle asked. "Stealing a ship is one thing, but they tried to kill us."
"Yes they did. They also wanted to show the Man we are heading for, that they would be an asset to his organisation. He has rules, they broke them, I have been told."
"You're saying they'll be getting into more trouble with him than they'd be in with us?" Estelle asked. This kind of underhanded dealing was new to her. She had only ever employed sneaky tactics and dishonesty for purposes of getting a laugh.
"Yes. Rumor is, handing them over to him,... well they won't be alive by the end." Phoenix said calmly.
Estelle frowned. "That's not good. They can't learn from their mistakes and improve upon their disposition if they'll be dead for the rest of their lives."
"The laws of the underworld are not our laws Lieutenant. I have no say over what happens to them once we hand them over." Phoenix said. "And part of me does not want to have a say."
"I don't like it", Estelle said. "I don't like it at all." But she understood some things were necessary, even if they did not fall within the Federation's stated agenda. "As a doctor, it feels wrong. These people are not beyond saving, if they receive proper treatment." Knowing something had to be done didn't make it easier.
Phoenix nodded. "I understand your feelings Lieutenant. However it was not my call."
"I understand that", Estelle said. "But, if you check out Starfleet regulations article forty-two, subsection thirteen, I'd be remiss in my duties as physician aboard a starship if I didn't complain about external circumstances forcing us to do something we'd rather not be doing, thus voicing the moral concern that's deep within all our hearts and allowing everybody to reflect on it. It's a rule put in there when Dr. Leonard McCoy was head of Starfleet Medical."
Phoenix considered it. "I will take it under advisement, Lieutenant."
"Fortunately, I don't mind using the transporter", Estelle winked. She hoped that little joke would be understood even outside the medical field these days.
"Always good to remember." Phoenix smiled. Human humour sometimes escaped the Erisian.