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Book Worms

Posted on Wed Jul 12th, 2017 @ 6:35pm by Lieutenant Commander Jerryka Shiloh Ph.D & Lieutenant Gayathri Suresh
Edited on on Wed Jul 19th, 2017 @ 7:46pm

Mission: Dramatis Personae
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: 1400 Hours, MD 4

ON:

Commander Shiloh walked through the doors of the Solaria's Main Sickbay for the first time, hoping to meet the Chief Medical Officer. The room was relatively without action, so she expected it wouldn't take someone long to notice her. She knew that today was also the Doctor's first day on the job, so she didn't expect any certainty to greet her.

Suresh turned around, seeing the newcomer. "Hey." She said casually. "Jerryka Shiloh, right?"

Jerryka relaxed at the casualness of the greeting. She was very happy to meet someone who didn't insist on referring to her as "Commander" or "Ma'am" or "Sir".

"That's right," Jerryka responded. "And you must be Gayathri Suresh, right?"

"Absolutely. What brings you here?" Suresh asked.

"I wanted to introduce myself and get to know you just a bit." she said with a smile. "Could we step into your office for some privacy?"

"Sure." Gayathri set some of her tools aside, then stepped into her office, motioning for Jerryka to enter with a flourish. It was plain and undecorated, but Gayathri had a couple boxes in the corner that she hadn't unpacked yet. "You're the executive officer, right? I've read all the files, but I haven't met most of the crew. I intend to, though."

"I'm the XO, yes." she responded, lowering herself into one of the chairs opposite the CMO's desk. "In my experience of CMO's there will be some people you have to hunt down. Doctors make people nervous." she said with a smile.

Jerryka looked around the room and noticed the boxes in the corner. She thought back to the operations crew she made help her decorate her office and quarters and smiled. "I can get you some help with this if you'd like." she said with a grin.

"Thank you." Suresh said, smiling gratefully. She strode across the small office and opened one of the boxes, revealing a rather large stack of books. Picking up the twenty-or-so fantasy novels, she slightly staggered under the weight, and set them down heavily on her desk, grimacing at the loud clunk it made. "Maybe I shouldn't have brought so many books..." She mused.

Oh my God, she reads.. Jerryka thought to herself as she instinctively stood up and strode after the doctor to the pile of books. She knelt down on the ground and started going through them without any pretext saying the names of each before she piled them. "I've read almost all of these." she said, completely focused on what she was doing.

"What?!" Gayathri burst out before quickly composing herself. "I mean- I didn't know so many people here read these books. Fascinating!" She beamed at her precious pile of books, then added, "I suppose I read too much fantasy, but I can't find nearly as much enjoyment in a medical text, no matter how hard I try."

"I love fantasy and medical texts." Jerryka said, standing up. "I just love information." She turned to survey the books from a standing position. "You know, you could download all of this onto one PADD instead of lugging all of this around."

Gayathri shook her head with a wry smile. "I would, but it wouldn't be the same. There's really nothing like an old-fashioned, physical book that you can hold, pages to turn and mark, and margins to write notes in. You know, that stuff. It's all the experience, I guess."

"I understand." Jerryka said, with a nod. "I keep a full library at home in San Francisco." she sifted her thin body from one foot to the other. "I'll have ops transport these to your quarters for you."

"Oh, no, that won't be necessary." She said hastily. "I'd much prefer to keep these in my office. I already unpacked the majority of my books in my quarters." Pausing, she then added, "Thank you, though." So she's from America. California, more specifically. "I was raised in New Delhi, so San Francisco was my first time away from home. It was certainly thrilling- but I guess I realized then just how much I'd originally loved India. Funny how being away from home can do that to you..." Her voice trailed off, and she stared into space for a brief moment, as if lost in a memory.

"I didn't move to San Francisco until I was 26. I grew up in New York but, before I got to Starfleet Academy, I lived on Vulcan for 5 years and then in space for 3. By the time I got to California, it honestly felt like I was kind-of going home. It's where my husband lived, at least." Jerryka responded. "You've only been active duty for two years." she said, her photographic memory reviewing the woman's file. "I think I remember you taking my First year Introduction to Astrophysics course at the Academy."

Gayathri frowned, trying to remember. "Astrophysics... OH!" Oh my gosh, she was my teacher! And I didn't even remember her! "Yes, I did!" She exclaimed. "It's a wonder I didn't recognize you. Oh goodness, that class..." She smiled slightly. "Well, it's good to see a... Somewhat familiar... Face on the Solaria, then."

"It wasn't an easy one. One of the first things I told students was not to let the 'introduction' word fool them." Jerryka said with a smile. "I'm glad to see you too. I remember grading your papers. They were very funny." she finished with a chuckle.

Gayathri raised her eyebrows. "In what sense?" She asked, smiling.

"I could just tell I liked your sense of humor." Jerryka said. "Your personality really came through. That's all."

"Thank you." Gayathri replied, smiling warmly. "I must admit that astrophysics wasn't my favorite subject, by a long shot."

"It is a bit...dense. One of my doctorates is in astrophysics." Jerryka said with a pleasant expression. "I find it fascinating. However, it seems I'm beyond a career in science or a career in academia at this point."

Gayathri laughed. "At least I found medical texts readable. Although I would gladly exchange a medical text for Lord of the Rings any day." She smiled fondly at her old, worn-out copy that her father had given her as a child. "It was my first book I had as a girl in English instead of Hindi. I think reading probably taught me the language faster than any of the classes I took."

"Not many people know this, but Tolkien was an apologist of the Christian faith. The Lord of the Rings is a religious book series." Jerryka said. She paused for a moment and cleared her throat. "So, I'm going to be very frank here. I really need a friend and you seem like a good candidate. What do you say we get together later for holodeck time or something like that?"

"Sounds great." Gayathri replied. "I do know that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien were friends though, and C.S. Lewis converted Tolkien to Christianity. In turn, Tolkien convinced C.S. Lewis to publish The Chronicles of Narnia. It's all very fascinating."

Jerryka's smile widened. Her faith was one that many in Federation thought of as archaic and incorrect. She was pleased to hear someone speak of it without contempt or superiority in their voice. "I'll let you know when I'm free." she said, angling toward the door. "I've got a tight schedule to keep with my rounds. I'll see you later, Doctor."

"It was good seeing you." Gayathri said, smiling as she watched Jerryka go.

She turned to her stack of books. Looks like my time on the Solaria won't be too bad after all.

 

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