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A Doctor For Steadfast

Posted on Sun May 5th, 2013 @ 10:01am by Lieutenant Commander David Burkeson

Mission: Part of the Team


The Doctor had received the message from Steadfast's CO nearly as soon as he and reported on board and had arranged to meet the Doctor in one of the stations many briefing and meeting rooms. As the Doctor walked towards the the meeting room off of the habitat ring of the station he was wondering about what the sickbay on a defiant class starship will be like. There wouldn't be half of the resources he had aboard the Katana. It would require some thought on the way to approach triage on such a small ship where space would be at a Premium. But the Doctor was secretly looking forward to the challenge.

The Doctor arrived at the designated meeting room to find it empty. He check the clock on the computer interface and saw that he was a bit early so he sat at the table and took out the padd he always took to meetings.

The Doctor heard the door open and immediately stood up, as though he was a junior officer fresh out of the academy.

"Good morning Sir" said the Doctor.

"Dr. Molington?" Burkeson asked, as he approached the Medical officer, "Hi! I'm Dave Burkeson, CO of the Steadfast. I understand Starfleet sent you to be our new doctor?"

"That's correct Sir," replied the Doctor. "I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not familiar with the Defiant Class ships."

"Well, Steadfast is not that big, so she's easy to get to know." Burkeson said, "I'll take you on a tour as soon as we get settled in. Defiants are like chess...easy to learn, difficult to master."

"How would you define my duties, Sir?" asked the Doctor.

"Pretty much the same as any ship's doctor." Burkeson said, "Except both easier and harder. Easier because you have a smaller crew and shorter missions than most ships, so we have fewer major health problems we have to handle on our own. Harder because the nature of the ship leads to a much higher stress enviornment overall and we have very limited facilities. The ship has only one lab which serves both Science and Medical and only a three bed sickbay. You'll be relying a lot more on tricorders and PADDs than you're probably used to."

"I'll pack light then!" said the Doctor.

"I'd like to look over the sickbay as soon aside continent sir!" asked the Doctor.

The Doctor got the feeling that he was going to like the CO and would work well aboard the Steadfast,but what was he supposed to do the rest of the time.

"Sir, what are my duties aboard the station?" asked the Doctor.

"Well, you're not assigned to the station, but to my ship." Burkeson replied, "That's an important distinction. I'm sure you'll be doing a lot of interfacing with Commander Delrisa but, in the current climate, Steadfast will likely be out on missions a great deal of the time. And trust me, even a fifty person crew is a lot for one Doc to handle. I'm going to see what I can do about getting us a psychiatric-qualified counselor who can back you up in sickbay at need, but that's not something I'd hold my breath waiting for."

"Our immediate priority is going to be getting the ship fully crewed and operational. We came in with a ferry crew and got thrown out into the mix without ever getting up to full strength. It worked out, but we got lucky. Defiants are downright dangerous with a short crew. They are hard enough to handle with a full one!"

The Doctor listened and immediately understood that this would be a completely different type of medicine to what he was used too.

"Well Commander, I'm glad that I was able to fill a gap in your crew," replied the Doctor "As for finding a Counsellor, I guess ill brush up on psychiatry until you have found one"

"The Defiant Class was conceived as a crash program to create rapidly producible, highly combat capable vessels to fight the Borg." Burkeson said, "Instead of the long, slow development process of most classes, it was built around the most powerful engines, shields and guns available at the time for a vessel that small and adjusted to fit. The prototype had all kinds of problems. I should know; I was on her test crew and a member of the ferry crew that took her to DS9 and introduced her systems to the personnel there. I've served on three others since, including Steadfast. The class is what used to be termed a 'hot rod' on Terra. It's overpowered for it's control systems and crew capacity, requiring constant tuning and monitoring and a highly skilled crew to maintain in peak condition."

"And then, of course, there is you Doctor." Burkeson added with a wink, "Who, with one nurse and a few enlisted medics, are charged with keeping the crew in peak condition."

"I can see I'm going to have more than enough on my hands aboard Steadfast." replied the Doctor.

"I'm looking forward to getting started. When do we ship out again Commander?"

"That's unclear at the moment." Burkeson replied, "My ferry crew needs some downtime, which is not all that avalible on the station amid the current crisis, nor are spare personnel to orient to the ship and her special needs. The best answer I can offer is the one I always give when in soon as possible."

He smiled broadly.

"I'm a starship CO." he added with a wink, "And I wan to be out there on my ship as much as possible."

The Doctor smiled back at his Co "I understand Commander, I'll be ready whenever the word is given sir!" replied the Doctor with a broad grin.

"For now, I'd say you should just settle in, get your quarters organized and check in with base Medical. They can use all the help they can get right now." Burkeson said, extending a datachip toward the Doctor, "This is a briefing pack on Steadfast, with all the basic information I think you'll need. Any questions, let me know and I'll help out as best I can. Once you've got an idea of your schedule, we'll arrange that tour. Meanwhile, you are fully set up as a member of the crew, with all appropriate clearance and access privilages, so feel free to look around on your own."

"Thank you Sir, I'll do that." replied the Doctor.

As the Commander left the briefing room, the Doctor loaded the data chip into his PADD and started reading. It appeared that this was going to be an interesting assignment and secretly the Doctor couldn't wait to get started.

He quickly called his wife over the comm and arranged to meet in their quarters in half an hour. Apparently she had found somewhere for them to have dinner and had some interesting ideas to discuss with him. At the mention if this the Doctor wondered if she was going to object to this posting after all.

He put those thoughts out of his mind and decided to head to the base infirmary and check in with the CMO there. He left the briefing room and using the map he had downloaded to the PADD navigated his way to the infirmary.



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