"Common Ground"
[Previous post: "A Different Perspective"]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 63073.1545

Sickbay had returned to a state of general peace and quiet that the aCMO had grown used to, and appreciative of.  The earlier fight between the two Klingons, if one could have called the unilateral beating a fight, and the impressive intervention by the Kzinti woman had left everyone in the medical department a little frazzled.

Starships were said to be filled with surprises, and apparently Intel vessels were even more so prone to sneaking something unexpected onto their crew.  Maybe this had been the universe's way of insuring that they were ready to deal with the chaos that could be found beyond the hull of the USS ANUBIS.

With everything back to normal and the FCO sent to his quarters under security escort, Doctor Summers had felt comfortable enough to return to her office along with Ensign Dalziel, and leave the aCMO in charge. Adriana had not minded this, certain that the pacifist Klingon and resting Kzinti would not be an issue.

From afar Adriana kept an eye on hex's medical read-outs, easily having noted that the Sec/Tac officer had been resting but far from asleep.  The brainwaves clearly indicated that the Kzinti had been thinking of something although she outwardly appeared to be in blissful slumber.  Once the aCMO's immediate duties had been accomplished, Ensign Lopez approached the resting furry humanoid with a certain amount of caution, not having wanted to startle Hex.

"No need to tippy-toe," the Kzinti said, her eyes still firmly closed while her ears turned to follow the aCMO like radars.  "I am not sleeping."

"I knew that," Adriana said as she continued to cautiously draw closer to the biobed.  "I just didn't want to startle you.  I saw how quickly you jumped on Drell to take him down and I was just trying to avoid being on the receiving end of a similar reaction."

"No need to worry," Hex stated with a gentle grin as she opened her eyes and propped herself onto her elbows.  "That was a combat reflex, I would never jump that way on someone if they actually managed to sneak up on me."

"I'm guessing that it is rather difficult to sneak up on a Kzinti," the aCMO half chuckled, easily imagining that the race acted and reacted very much like any creature that belonged to the feline category.

"Let's just say that my people have reasons for being a little jumpy from time to time," Hex continued as she lowered herself back down onto the comfort of the biobed and closed her eyes once more.

Adriana watched Hex for a little while as she debated as to whether or not to talk to the Kzinti.  The brainwaves still displayed signs that the Sec/Tac officer had been troubled by something and this had led the aCMO to believe that maybe the two of them had something in common that neither one had truly wanted to admit.

"Hex?" Adriana finally asked, the silence in Sickbay having become almost unbearable.  "Can we talk?"

The Kzinti sighed.  "With all due respect, I am not in the mood to have you test your counselling skills on me."

"That's not what I meant," the aCMO quickly added.  "I just wanted for you to talk; as friends."

Intrigued Hex propped herself back on her elbows once more and gazed as Adriana in a way that almost made the aCMO feel uncomfortable. "I'm listening," Hex said rather coldly.

Adriana hesitated but eventually decided that since she had gone this far it had been too late to chicken out.  "I noted on your medical scans that your mind was very active, as if something was troubling you.  Almost everyone on this crew has something on their mind, something that they think about on a regular basis, but your brainwaves indicated that whatever this is, it is something that is exceptionally stressful.  I am not asking of you to share, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone," the aCMO said before she allowed herself to admit something private about herself.  "I too am plagued by thoughts and visions that make it difficult at times to perform my duties."

Hex gazed at the aCMO with uncertainty.  There had been no way for Adriana to know what haunted the Kzinti but the expression on Ensign Lopez's face hinted to a trouble that mimicked that of the Sec/Tac officer.

"I'm listening," Hex repeated, but this time in a tone that seemed far friendlier and inviting.

Marissa Montonera-Lombardi (mmlm24@gmail.com)

Ensign Adriana Lopez
Assistant Chief Medical Officer