"So Many Questions"
[Previous post: "Dimensional Jump Engines", written by the unique Jessica]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, CMO's Office
Stardate: 63072.1845

Lea had returned to her office after the senior staff meeting to prepare for what was to come. The CMO had wanted to check the most recent medical reports on the LANCELOT's survivors before they were beamed off the ship. Later tonight, when the ANUBIS would join up with the AMON-RA, those people would be transferred onto a Marine transport without their knowledge. Marines not having been known for their stellar medical practices, Doctor Summers thought best that any medical needs be met before then. The review of the files had also given her the opportunity to fine-tune the sedative concentration required to insure they would all be sound asleep for their transfer.

Once the CMO had reviewed all of the files and instructed her staff to proceed accordingly, Lea lifted her head to see Captain Morningstar. The former CO of the LANCELOT had returned to Sickbay to speak to his senior officers. The expression on the faces of the Ensigns reflected emotions ranging from confusion to uncertainty and maybe a little fear. That they had survived the ordeal they had just experienced should have been reason enough to celebrate, but instead they had been faced with a difficult decision.

Lea did not at all envy Captain Morningstar's situation, but the CMO still admired the Native American man for his dedication to his crew. It was easy to see that the man cared deeply for his officers, whom he wanted to make an educated decision as to their future. The ANUBIS as an Intel ship had a great deal to offer but also asked a great deal in return from those who served onboard. Personal sacrifices, such as the inability to contact family and friends had been the norm, and for some this had been a very difficult demand to handle.

The CMO could already see the questions mounting in the minds of the Ensigns, questions that the Doctor had likely been ill prepared to answer. Ensign Mitshiba having been onboard the ANUBIS before had possibly been the best to answer any queries. Aki knew the ship, its crew as well as the background and character of those who would be making these queries. Hoping that the Asian woman would return soon, the CMO sent her thoughts back onto her work and preparations which could very well include one or more synaptic erasures.

"Doctor Summers," a gentle voice, joined by a soft knocking at the Doctor's office window pulled Lea from her thoughts. "May I have a word with you?"

Lea welcomed Ensign Lopez and invited her to take a seat. "Of course, how are you feeling?"

"I'm doing much better," Adriana answered smiling. "Your staff is very efficient and knowledgeable."

"Our missions keep us on our toes," Lea said, her lips having echoed the Ensign's smile.

"That is partially what I wanted to talk to you about," Lopez admitted. Instantly the smile vanished from the CMO's lips. That she liked it or not she had been cornered to answer the Ensign's questions about their mission profile.

Adriana went on to explain her personal situation starting from the very beginning.  The Ensign described how she had been abandoned as an infant by her biological parents for an unknown reason.  She moved on to explain the link between her and her sister Amanda and how close they had been.  This led to how much the Ensign had felt her sister's absence and the hopes of finding out where she had vanished to.

"So you joined Starfleet having figured that it would make it easier for you to look for your sister," Lea nodded. "You might have even thought that in time you might join the ranks of SFI and increase your chances," the CMO added. "Now you are here presented with a golden opportunity."

"Captain Morningstar was a vague about many details, but he did make one thing clear," Adriana continued. "The ANUBIS is part of something larger, better than SFI."

"That is not true," Lea quickly corrected. "There is nothing *larger* or *better* about what we do here. In fact we would be considered rogues, maybe even outlaws, if the Federation knew of our existence. We do have a greater freedom to act, but we also deal with a darkness of the soul that is beyond what you can imagine. There is a comfort in the lack of knowledge that we never fully realize until it is too late. You feel no sorrow for the pain and atrocities suffered by others when you know nothing of them. We, that is to say those attached to this group, have paid a hefty price for our knowledge. Some more than others," the CMO ended with as her thoughts went onto the ship's ILO.

The Ensign just sat there for several moments as the CMO's words sunk in. Likewise Lea felt an odd tightening of her soul as she watched Adriana consider abandoning her innocence for the sake of her sister. There had been no guarantees that the search for her sister would be a successful one. Accepting to join the ANUBIS though would bring along one certainty; a darker understanding of the universe.

Tiffany Rose {lady.tiffany.rose@gmail.com}

Lt. Lea Summers
Chief Medical Officer