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Something Else Goes Wrong

Posted on Sun Dec 14th, 2014 @ 5:46am by Commander Jey Cleh & Ensign Arianna D'Tal & Commander Andrew Matheson & Lieutenant Commander Rosaleen O'Donnell

Mission: Bloodpath
Location: USS Bettina
Timeline: Immediately after "Meeting of the Minds"

OLD: Andrew was waiting outside the morgue when Lizzy and Arianna. He saluted the captain as she approached. "Captain, if you have a minute, we need to talk privately."

Lizzy looked at Andrew for a moment, before turning to Arianna. "Go give the others a hand." She ordered. "I'll come find you, if I need you."

"Yes Ma'am." Arianna said. She turned to leave, but stopped as Andrew addressed her.

"The subject indirectly involves Miss D'Tal as well, now that I think about it, ma'am. Is there a conference room or some such nearby?" He hadn't gotten the chance to memorize the layout of the ship, but he didn't want to lose control here in the hallway.

"Why don't we use the medical prep room." Arianna suggested. "We can always lock the door if we need to."

"Why not?" Lizzy sighed, and the trio made their way into the same medical prep room where Arianna had broken down earlier. Lizzy took a seat on the only bench in the room, crossing her legs as she looked at Andrew. "I think this should be private enough."

Andrew stepped in and waited for the door to close. "Captain, this is with regards to what happened with Ms. O'Donnell. It's my understanding that you are the highest ranking Starfleet medical officer on station. It's also my understanding that Miss D'Tal, while clearly having medical training, isn't considered to be part of the medical staff on station. If I have those two points right, I request permission to speak freely; if not, I request clarification on anything I may be misunderstanding."

~Oh... this isn't gonna be good at all...~ Lizzy thought to herself. Arianna had already questioned her twice about her choices tonight, and now this... "Be my guest, Mr. Matheson." She relented.

Andrew took a deep breath. "With all due respect, Captain, where in the hell do you get off asking us if we're capable of doing our duty after you so thoroughly failed to do yours? You refused to take responsibility for Ms. O'Donnell at the scene, and you refused to assist once she was back in sickbay."

He looked at Arianna, trying to keep his voice under control as the volume started edging upward. "I mean absolutely no disrespect to the efforts of Miss D'Tal, who followed your orders and who I believe did everything she could to save Rosaleen. But now we have people questioning if everything possible was done to save her."

He looked back at Lizzy. "It's not fair to her to be in the spot of having to answer those questions. It's not fair to anyone to have to answer them, but that's one of the personal hells attached to wearing more pips. What am I missing here?"

The room sounded strangely quiet to Andrew when he finished talking. After a moment's reflection, he found that was because yelling was a far better description of what he had just been doing. He tried to pull his mental shields back together, but grief and anger were rolling off him in waves.

"Ok, so I panicked. It happens." Lizzy replied matter of factly. "No one is perfect, least of all me." She looked between the two of them, trying to find a way out of this problem. "We're all under stress, and just like you, I'm doing the best that I can."

"You know those pips you have on your collar, Captain?" Arianna asked off handedly. "Those pips mean that you're trained for this kind of thing, and yet I'm the one who did your job."

"And you probably did it better than I could." Lizzy blurted it out, before she could prevent it, inwardly kicking herself the moment she did. "Is that what you wanted to hear?"

"Ugh!" Arianna was getting frustrated. "What is wrong with you!?"

"What do you want me to say?" She looked between the two of them, waiting for one of them to speak up, and get this over with.

"An apology won't bring Rosaleen back, and it's probably wrong to ask for one because I can't prove you would have been able to save her where Miss D'Tal couldn't." He took a deep breath. "What I very much want you to say, ma'am, is something that will allow me to get through my inevitable debriefing with the commodore without having to press an accusation of either negligence or dereliction of duty in this matter."

He couldn't help himself or where his thoughts were leading. Dammit, this is so unfair. I should be the one in the morgue, not her. Why, Rosaleen? Why?

"With all due respect, Arianna was quite insistent that she be the one to work on Miss O'Donnell." Lizzy replied after a quiet moment. "Having read her service jacket, I felt she had the skills to do what needed to be done."

"My medical skills are kinda limited." Arianna replied. "Mostly minor injuries, and triage... but not something like that."

Lizzy all but ignored Arianna's reply as she continued. "With the emotional upset that this caused everyone, I wanted to be sure that it wouldn't interfere with our job here." She explained. "This upset me too, but I wasn't attached to Rosaleen like the rest of you. Can you blame me for wanting to try to keep this mission in perspective?"

Andrew's eyes flashed like cold obsidian as he lost control of his temper. His voice was laced with pure sarcasm. "That's a wonderful ex post facto justification, Captain. Arianna was so insistent on taking charge of Rosaleen's treatment that her first act upon arriving at the scene was to try to hand you the medical kit, her second act was to ask why you weren't willing to help Rosaleen, and her third act was to assume control of the situation once it was clear you were either unwilling or incapable, by your own admission, of doing so." He snorted. "Or was that some other voice saying "I can't! I just can't!" By the time she started in on that medic, who else was in a position to work on her? It's not fair to blame Arianna for staying on the boat once the boat's left the pier and sailed into shark-infested waters."

"You're right to want to keep the mission in perspective, Captain. But if anything absolutely mission-critical was going on when the call came in, you would have never been pulled away from it in the first place to go down to the dock. So I'll ask again, what am I missing here?"

Lizzy was getting frustrated. Maybe it was the situation, maybe it was Andrew's sudden loss of temper. All she knew was that she was ready to explode. She opened her mouth to say something, but it was Arianna who spoke up first.

"Wait..." It was one quiet word, but it was enough to make them both look at her, as she turned to Andrew. "Don't do this. Please just let it go, Commander." Tears threatened her cool exterior, but she didn't waiver. "I wasn't qualified to do what I did, but I did it anyway. In the end, it was my choice to operate on Rosaleen."

"Arianna-" Lizzy started, but Arianna turned to look at her.

"No." She said. "The only person to openly object wasn't skilled enough to do it. You had faith in me, and whether you see it or not, that means something to me... So I'm asking you both to please just let this go."

Andrew took a deep breath. There wasn't a way out of this that was going to make him feel warm and fuzzy at the end of the day. Since he wasn't medically trained himself, any inquest that came of this would have Lizzy's professional opinion of Arianna and Arianna's expressed willingness to take the task against his observations - and any good advocate would have no trouble pointing out that his mental and emotional state at the time would almost certainly be coloring his opinion. He rubbed his temples before looking at them again.

"We're in a war zone. I'm willing to accept that shit happens to the best of us, and sometimes we all have first reactions to things that we look back on later and wonder why we did what we did. What happened to Rosaleen was shocking, unexpected, and traumatic." He took another breath. "I'll keep my editorials out of the debriefing or the report I submit to the commodore. I won't put myself in a position where I'm perjuring myself if she asks a direct question, but I won't go throwing anything around that doesn't explicitly need to be."

He looked at Lizzy. "I apologize for my tone and volume, Captain. I still haven't properly had a chance to assimilate what happened, and it's triggering some bad memories from the Cardassian war. It's not the first time I'm been unexpectedly shot at on an outpost, and it's not the first time I've watched a friend die because of it. It's also not an excuse for the level to which I abused the privilege of speaking freely just now."

"We're all dealing with this the best way we can." Lizzy replied with a sigh of her own. "I'm not asking you to trust me, or even have faith in me. All I really want is for you to work with me, and help me to help those people out there." She pointed at a random place on the wall. "We're in a war zone, and the best thing we can do right now is worry about them, instead of fighting among ourselves."

Andrew nodded. "I can handle that, ma'am. Just don't forget that if we don't worry about ourselves too, there might not be any of us to worry about them. That said, I'll admit that the infighting isn't overly productive."

"Your light is so bright, but your soul so dark. What could have brought this much despair to one so full of life..."

Andrew turned around suddenly at the message, completely forgetting he was in public. What indeed... It's not like I haven't been dying a little every day for thirty years now. I guess it was seeing someone who still had so much vitality have it taken away that sent me off the cliff... He then froze. SHIT.

Slowly turning back around, he looked at Lizzy and Arianna like everything was normal. "Sorry, I thought I heard something clang in the wall."

Lizzy looked between the two of them, feeling like maybe something had been achieved. "Are we good for now?"

"I'm fine." Arianna replied. "I just want to get back to work."

"I'm fine for now." Andrew nodded. "Though I clearly need to meditate before I trust myself around any other people."

"Then let's get back to work." Lizzy said as she stood up. "There's a lot to do."

The trio made their way out of the room, and Lizzy excused herself. She wanted to make a quiet stop, before leaving the Bettina.

Joint Post by

Captain Jey Cleh
Executive Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 80

PO1 Arianna D'Tal
Executive Officer's Yeoman
Academy Cadet
Starbase 80

Lt Commander Andrew Matheson
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Starbase 80


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