USS Pacifica NCC-72545

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Posted on Sun Jul 28th, 2013 @ 5:51am by Commander Connie Butterworth & Lieutenant Sarah Patterson & Lieutenant JG George Panton

Mission: Nothing Stays the Same
Location: Deck 10, USS Pacifica
Timeline: 22nd of December 2382, 11:17


~~Deck 10, USS Pacifica~~

Connie had left Sickbay in the company of the Pacifica's Assistant Chief Medical Officer Sarah Patterson. She was making her way down to Med Lab 02 with Lieutenant Patterson in tow to look in on a little project that they had been working on together with Doctor Panton. The three Doctor's were trying to grow several specimens of the Retla Plant a orange flowered planet that had been discovered on the Federation Colonial World of Garis Kinard III. The plant had been identified as being a possible cure of the deadly Anchilles Fever by an old mentor of Connie's Doctor Edward Andrews, a retired Starfleet Doctor who now served as the Colony's Chief Physician. Doctor Andrews had shared his findings with her during the Pacifica's short stop over at the Colony in July 2381. She had been amazed by her old mentor's discovery and had recommended his work to Starfleet Medical for additional work and study. She had also managed to secure for herself several plants and seedlings from Andrews that she could play around with and investigate on during her downtime.

Since then Connie along with Patterson and eventually Panton who had joined the project had been working with the Retla Plant on and off for most of the last year without much luck. The plant had proved to be a lot more temperamental then the three of them had expected and they ended up killing all of the specimens due to a variety of different problems, ranging from the wrong temperature and light through to malfunctions in the hydroponic pods. It had been a frustrating experience for everyone involved and it hadn't been helped by the fact that it had taken months for a second shipment of seedlings to reach them from Garis Kinard III.

"You can at least tell me if we have killed the plants again," Connie pried, as the two Doctor's passed by two department corps-men who were heading in the opposite direction.

"Just wait," Sarah responded with the faintest hint of a smile.

"You've got a bad poker face, did you know that?"Connie exchanged a grumpy look at her Assistant as they followed the corridor as it branched off to the right.

"That's why I don't play poker," the Pacifica's Assistant Chief Medical Officer replied. Judging by the look and enthusiasm on Sarah's face Connie had a feeling that something good had happened down in the lab but she wasn't about to get ahead of herself. Their track record with the Retla seedlings wasn't good and there were once again down to their final handful of seeds. Connie knew that this was most likely their last attempt to grow the plant as it was impossible for them to get their hands on any more seeds before the Pacifica left for the Isis Arm. "Oh by the way, are you any closer to finding a replacement for Lindi?"

Connie nodded her head, "Starfleet Medical finally sent me the list. I was looking it over when you came in and got me."

"Well that's something at least, I've done enough double shifts over the last couple of months to last me a lifetime."

Connie shared Sarah's concerns as the Pacifica's Medical Staffing problem had gotten a lot worse since the ship had arrived at Starbase 456. The department had been horribly short staffed for months, ever since the Pacifica had left Earth without Ensign Andre Belanger who had remained behind on Earth for family reasons. The loss of Belanger had forced Connie to stretch out her staff to cover the missing Ensign's shifts until a replacement could be dispatched, a replacement which they were still waiting on. Now the situation was even more dire as they lost both Doctor Kafton and the ship's Head Nurse who had also been one of the Medical Department's most experienced and capable officers. With the Pacifica currently docked the situation wasn't too bad at the moment but Connie knew that would change the moment the Pacifica left dock.

"I've been thinking about having Panton take over from Kafton in the RRMU," Connie explained to Sarah. The RRMU or Rapid Response Medical Unit was a small medical team on the Pacifica that responded to emergency situations across the Pacifica. The team was in effect the Pacifica's first responders to on board medical crises and consisted of a Doctor, a nurse and two paramedics. Doctor Kafton had been the team's lead officer since joining the ship back in 2379 and had a terrific job in what was a demanding role. Connie was keen to gage Sarah's opinion on the matter as she wanted the best possible candidate to take over the role. In her opinion that person was Doctor Panton. "What do you think?

Sarah took a couple of moments to consider her answer before voicing her reply. "He'd be my choice as well. He has done all of the training and has filled in for Lindi in the past."

"Do you think that he is ready for the extra responsibility?"

"More then ready, I think that he'll thrive on it actually," Sarah smiled. "He was trained by us after all."

Satisfied with Sarah's reply Connie nodded her head in full agreement. Panton had come a long way since joining the Pacifica as a wet-eared intern who had once been peed on by the Douglas' son during a routine check up. He was now one of her most capable Doctors and his knowledge and skill base was still growing each and every day. "Good. I'll have a chat with him then." Sarah nodded her head and they continued on quietly down the corridor.

The Pacifica like all Sovereign Class starships had four medlabs in total. Labs One was attached to Main Sickbay and was the ship's most used lab, it shared Deck 10 with labs Two and Three. The Fourth lab was attached to the Pacifica's secondary Sickbay down in the bowels of the ship on Deck 16. Out of labs on Deck 10 Medlab Two was the furtherest from Sickbay and was nestled in between the Pacifica's Morgue and the not often used Rehabilitation Centre. The lab itself was rarely used, making it the perfect location for a long term project which the work with the Retla Plant was turning out to be.

Connie and Sarah entered the lab to find the man that they had just been talking about hunched over the large glass hydroponic chamber that occupied the centre of the circular room. George Panton stood up straight at the sound of the doors to the lab opening and turned around to face his colleagues with a sheepish smile. His blond hair was a mess, sticking out in places and the sleeves of his uniform were rolled up to his elbows. "Mornin' Ma'am."

"Good Morning George, shouldn't you be in bed?" Connie asked the scruffily dressed Lieutenant. She was a slightly surprised to see him, as Panton had been working the Gamma Shift following Kafton's departure from the ship and had also been on call during last night's Delta Shift.

"I wanted to check in on the plants first, and see if the new soil is working," he replied with a shrug.

"And has it?" Connie asked with a hint of frustration in her voice. She wanted a straight answer from someone as she was getting annoyed with all of the cryptic and vague answers that she had so far received.

"Take a look," Panton smiled and stepped to the side to reveal the glass hydroponics pod that was humming away softly.

From where she was Connie couldn't make out anything other then the large amount of dark fertile soil that filled the bottom forth of the container. She stepped closer to the pod to take a closer look to see if she could identify what had gotten everyone so excited. She placed her hands on her knees and leaned forward as she peered through the glass. She examined the soil softly to find the several small dull brown stems poking out of the dirt. "Oh. Hello!" she said in surprise and delight at the discovery.

"It was definitely the soil that was the problem," Panton explained with no small amount of pride. It had been his idea to bring in outside help from the Pacifica's Botany Department following their last dismal failure. It had been a great idea as Ensign MacKay, one of the ship's botanists had discovered that a key mineral was missing from the soil that they had been using. The mineral was apparently abundant in Garis Kinard III's Mountain Ranges and it made all of the difference. The dull brown coloured stems were only a couple of millimetres long but it was the most progress that they had made in almost a year and a half.

"Good work George," Connie smiled as she turned back around to face her fellow Doctors. "If this works out we should finally be able to grow our own seeds.

"Thank you Ma'am." he replied bashfully.

Sarah who had been standing over to the side stepped forward to Connie's side. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and gazed into the large pod. "Do we know how long it takes to grow?"

"According to the notes that Doctor Andrews sent us it should take anywhere between five to six weeks for the plant to fully mature and flower." Panton replied quickly as she ran his left hand through his messy hair.

"Should we try and accelerate the process?" Sarah inquired as she glanced up at Connie.

"I don't think we should risk it," Connie replied. She saw little need to rush nature's progress, the last thing she wanted was to risk losing the last of their seeds due to their own impatience. "Let nature take it's own course."


Connie Butterworth


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