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What went before...

Posted on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 @ 8:49pm by Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster & Lieutenant Commander Naois Mercy MD, PsyD

Mission: Diplomatic Incident
Location: USS Apollo, Gym
Timeline: a couple of days prior to arrival


Peter sat in his Office. What remained of it. Since returning from the trip to the Griffin, he'd been checking up on plans, and setting a few things in order. Mostly it had been apologies. Now, he had another to make.

Naois marched into the office, but he wasn't in unform. Instead he was wearing Starfleet Issue sweats. "When is the last time you entertained a work-out?" he demanded firmly.

"A couple of days ago." Peter replied "Tuesday afternoon, I think."

"Too long," the CMO retorted, "on your feet commander, and get changed into something suitable. You are meeting me in the gym in ten minutes. Do not be late." Giving the XO no chance to retort, Naois marched out of the office, heading straight for the gym.

"Great." Peter rolled his eyes "Medically mandated workout."


Peter walked into the gym, having swapped his uniform pants for a pair of black slacks and switched his tunic for a red tank top. He sighed as he saw Naois already stood there.

"Don't tell me." Peter said with a wry grin "I'm late."

Naois cast the man an almost devlish smile. "Almost," he answered cheekily, "so no you are not late. What kind of work-out do you usually entertain?"

"Weights, treadmill, rowing, kick boxing." Peter said, smirking "Or if you've got the right gear, fencing."

"I have never fenced before," Naois admitted, looking thoughtful at the possible challenge it might bring, "nor have I entertained kickboxing. The idea is for you to show me how fit you are, and whether I might have to put you on a regime or consider booting you off duty to rest up."

"You'd be off the duty roster before you could file the paper work." Peter quipped with a wry grin "So, what, treadmill to start? Or do I teach you how to kickbox? That could take some time..."

"You might be surprised," Naois answered curtly, both in reference to the paperwork a well as martial arts. "But yes you could start warming up unless you jogged here?"

“Okay, treadmill it is.” Peter said, gesturing to the machines “Shall we?”

Naois all but rolled his eyes. "Five minutes, medium run," he said, already stepping onto the device."

"I guess I can come down to that." Peter smirked as he began running on the machine "I really don't see the point in all this."

"You see no point in a proper warming up and keeping fit?" Naois turned his head as his treadmill gained speed.

"No, I get that bit, it's just..." Peter began, trying to find a somewhat diplomatic way of phrasing his response "Is this really the best time?"

"There is no better time commander," Naois pointed out, "crisis or no crisis, your physical fitness is paramount to possible survival. Your fitness level might be the difference between you surviving or perishing in a combat situation. So yes, this is the best time."

"I've worked in security, I get that part." Peter said "It's the angle of a check up at this time. I only called you to apologise for us not getting off to the best start. Figured I probably should if we might die."

"From what I have learned, you and a prior chief intelligence officer did not get along very well either. Going on further observations it has come to my understanding that you do not get along well with anyone. In fact, it is my observation that you do not even want to be here."

Peter pressed the control in front of him to slow the treadmill, standing still and stepping off the back when he reached it.

"You're right. Me and Lhaes never saw eye to eye. We'd work together, when told. Occasionally... Banter, if you could call it that, but we were far from friends. The only friend I really have on board is the Captain. Maybe I've decided I want to change that." Peter admitted "As for my not wanting to be here, I ended up in Starfleet on a probation order. That order ended three weeks ago. If I really didn't want to be here, I could've said sayonara when we went through that wormhole. I didn't. Do you know why?"

"Because you had no means to leave? A sense of loyalty?" Naois studied him. "You are a mystery commander. Why did you not leave?"

"I was 13 when the Breen attacked Starfleet Command in 74." Peter said "My father was killed by this uniform. No way I'm having any other child go through that if I can help it. I tried to send Brett on his merry way for that exact reason."

"Tried and failed. Why did you not order him? Or find a means to get him to go? I assume, his child is safe, she went with all the other children?"

"You think I didn't try?" Peter questioned "She went, sure, but he refused."

"Of course he did. He is the captain, and a Starfleet officer. Any officer abandoning post would be derelict on duty. Do you think I would still be here if I did not have a duty to attend to? I have three young children."

"Someone's child should come before the uniform." Peter said coldly "My Dad didn't understand that and look where it got him."

"I think he understood it more than you think," Naois answered calmly, "What would have happened, if your father had left his post? What calamity could have occurred, had he not been where he was when he was killed? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one."

"Not when the one was my Father!" Peter spat "He wasn't even meant to be there! He was on leave, but decided to take a file in personally rather than sending it by data stream..."

"So he was meant to be there as clearly he desired to make sure something of importance was delivered by hand, making sure the file arrived where it needed to be. Your father did what he had to do."

"No he didn't. If he did what he had to, he would have made the family fishing trip that weekend." Peter said "Instead, his thirteen year old son got told his Dad deemed a file more important than him."

"Do you know what was on the file?" the counselor doctor challenged, "do you know if perhaps he was delayed and was actually fully intent on making that trip?"

"Classified. Commanding Officers and higher." Peter growled "Meaning I can't see what was so important it killed him."

"And you have not thought to ask your commanding officer who, as you just said, is considered to be your friend?" Naois arched a single eyebrow at him as he stopped running. "Or...get the information in another form or fashion?"

"Both." Peter replied, pausing "Anything I tell you is protected under doctor patient confidentiality, right?"

"Yes. Unless it endangers yourself, this crew or this vessel."

"I've been offered Command of the Nova for a three week survey mission. Before we left." Peter said "If it's still there, I take it, and then... Well, you're a smart guy. You can connect the dots."

"Yes I can," Naois confirmed, "and if it is not there?"

"Let me worry about that." Peter said with a smirk, pausing "This has been pretty helpful. Thanks for the talk, Doc."

"All part of the job," Naois returned, "Now what about that work-out?"

"Okay, but let's make it a little more interesting." Peter said "Sparring match. Three rounds. You game?"

"Provided you fight fair." The Vulcan stepped away from the treadmill. "What do you have in mind?" The pacifist in him resisted the idea of fighting but he understood all too well the need to stay in shape and being able to defend himself.

"Boxing." Peter replied "Strictly upper body shots only."

"I will require instruction," the doctor pointed out, "I have never done this before. Unless we just...punch?"

"Pretty much." Peter replied "Keep your hands up, protect your face, try to keep moving."

Keep moving. That was easy enough, as was keeping his hands up. Beyond that, Naois' fighting skills were less than useful. Above all he was a medical man, not a fighter and he had neglected his practice in self defence for a while now. He was in good physical shape, but that was the end of it. He watched the XO like a hawk, trying to keep out of his reach. "Do we not need to mark off a fighting space?" he queried as he made a half-hearted swing at the man's face.

"Just keep in close. We don't need a ring." Peter said as he parried the swing "You'll never hit me like that."

Peter took a swing of his own, going for a right cross as he prepped to follow up with a gut strike.

Keeping close was easier said than done, however Naois also reasoned that the closer he kept the less likely he was about to be struck. Still, he moved just in time for the swing to miss him, but the lower strike caught him and he coughed. Straightening he brought up his fists again, stepping in closer. "Then how will i hit you," he asked, taking another left swing, this time aimed at his jaw.

"Bob and weave. Fake and deceive when you need to." Peter said as he parried the strike before countering "You need to try harder, Doc. I don't want someone who can't take care of themselves watching my back."

Blue eyes flashed in anger. "I can defend myself," he shot back, taking an angry swing at the XO. Anger, he had discovered, was a very good motivator, as was fear.

"That's more like it." Peter said as he spat out blood "Hell of a left hook."

"Of course it is," the doctor spat back, "I told you I can defend myself. And I am left-handed so it would make sense would it not?" Not waiting for the man to recover, Naois took another swing at him, first a left punch followed by a right jab towards the stomach.

Peter staggered back, wiping his mouth. He paused for a second before tackling Naois to the ground, straddling the other man and punching him in the face, right, then left, then right again.

"You give up?" Peter asked, smirking "Pretty sure that last move was illegal, so if you don't you've technically won."

Not liking being pinned at all, Naois brought up his arms to protect his face, even though several of the punches landed. He gave the most evil look he could muster when Peter spoke of illegal moves. "Never," he snapped, twisting enough to be able to punch with his right -bionic- hand right where it mattered to male anatomy. "I might be Vulcan, but as I said I know how to defend myself, and in life or death combat, a fair fight is not the way to win. The enemy will not fight fair, they fight to win, and so must we."

Peter didn't reply, instead groaning as he rolled over onto the floor. He glared at Naois, anger in his eyes. After a moment, he started to laugh.

"Glad one person gets my rationality." Peter laughed "Now, get out of here before I decide to get even and hit you where it hurts..."

"You would not dare," the CMO challenged, " I will be in sickbay, what is left of it anyway."


Lieutenant Commander Naois Mercy
Former CMO USS Apollo
Current CMO USS Imperator

Commander Peter McCullough
XO USS Apollo
aka RAdm Lancaster


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