Part of USS Century: 1.5. The Long Haul

Heal and Farewell

USS Century
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As the duty day aboard the USS Century drew to a close, a throng of people gathered in one of the smaller mess facilities on deck 20 of the ship. Some of the personnel in attendance were still wearing their uniforms, while others had already changed into more casual attire prior to their arrival. The one thing each person standing in the mess had in common was that they were all medical professionals aboard the ship, and they were all there for one purpose; to give several of their fellows a warm send off. Spearheading the efforts was the ship’s Chief Medical officer, who was standing near the rear of the room holding a small glass of synthetic champagne. Using a small spoon from a nearby table, Reli tapped the glass just hard enough to send out a sharp chiming sound to curb the boisterous conversations being had around the room.

“Thank you for coming, everyone,” Dr. Odaim said with a smile as she set the spoon down, “I know this was very short notice for some of you, while others have been in on this for about a month or so. As I’m sure you’ve heard from our patients, we’re getting ready to depart for deep space. That means, among other things, that we will be saying goodbye to some of our colleagues who have requested a transfer in the coming days.” Reli beckoned to a gathering of four people, who made their way from a small table near the door to where the Betazoid was standing. “Doctor Hollister, along with Nurses Jo, Rammal, and Falsi will be departing in the next few days to continue their journey in the medical field in positions of greater responsibility throughout the Fleet.”

Reli lifted her glass, “Please join me in wishing them the best as they depart our staff.”

“Here here!” several members of the party called out as the room raised their glasses in response.

“Now, before I let you all enjoy the party, I wanted to do a quick presentation. As I’m sure everyone has heard at least once since coming aboard,” Dr. Odaim said with a chuckle, “Doctor Hollister hails from a long, proud family of physicians and explorers, some of them doing both of those things at the same time.”

The room joined in the Betazoid’s laughter at that comment, each and every person having heard at least once from the man himself about his family history. While his pride in his family was not unfounded, he did take his storytelling tendencies to the extreme at times as he regaled people in his section with countless iterations of his linage and family triumphs.

“Poking fun at him aside,” Reli continued, “I did do a little research into some of the customs from the era he loves to recount the most. And in those bygone times…” Again the room laughed as the woman paused for dramatic effect before retrieving a large object from behind the small service bar, “It was customary to present the departing crew with plaques representing the vessel they served on, signed by the people who worked with them. So… unbeknownst to you, Randell, I went around to everyone and had them sign this commemorative plaque for you so you can hang it up in your office when you take over as Chief Medical Officer of your next ship.”

Dr. Odaim handed the large plaque over to the man, who began to tear up as he looked over all the signatures and little messages of well-wishing that covered the dark blue areas around an artistic rendition of the Century, as well as a small plaque listing his name and the stardates that he served aboard. 

“Thank you, doctor,” the man said, struggling to hold back the flood of emotions.

“It wasn’t easy, let me tell you,” Reli said, clapping the man affectionately on the shoulder, “Not only did I have to take a crash course in Earth history I was not ready for, I also had to get Nurse Tansie to paint that portrait without letting it leak out. You know how she love to show off her work.”

Dr. Hollister looked over at the nurse in question and thanked her silently, his voice having dried up in the midst of all the emotion he was dealing with. 

“And so as not to leave anyone out, I had similar plaques,” Reli said, grabbing three more smaller plaques to hand over to the nurses who were standing with her. Each of them took the plaque with their name emblazoned on it and thanked everyone for their gift.

“Alright everyone, that’s enough business. Enjoy the party, and I’ll see those of you still on the rotation bright and early tomorrow,” Dr. Odaim said, earning a round of applause before the gathered medical professionals began to celebrate in earnest amongst themselves.