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Bored to Busy

Posted on Fri Feb 5th, 2021 @ 12:28pm by Lieutenant Commander Daniel Smith & Ensign Mi'ko Timir

Mission: On the Verge
Location: Counseling Department conference room, Deck 7
Timeline: MD 01, 0900

Shortly after the senior staff briefing, Lieutenant Commander Smith tapped on the console in his office. "Attention all department officers and senior NCOs: Urgent meeting in department conference room at 0900; Only those NCOs specifically exempted may be absent. Prepare for briefing."

That was around 0820. At 0859, Smith strode through the doors to the conference room, doing a silent headcount to make sure everyone was there. "We got news and new orders this morning," he announced at 0900, after the doors had closed and locked per procedure, with anti-eavesdropping devices activated. "I'll be publishing a fuller briefing to the department later, but for now know that Sarkotis Colony, one of the new colonies settled by United Earth, has been attacked by the Tzenkethi as of twelve hours ago. Out of a population of five hundred thousand, 2500 are dead and we have no idea what the number of non-fatally injured is, or the number of ambulatory psychiatric casualties we're facing. I say this because the Solaria is being sent to respond; ETA is 48 to 72 hours."

Timir brushed down his uniform and straightened himself up in his seat. "Do we know why they have attacked, what their goals are? Surely this isn't just a mindless violent act, the Tzenkethi are aggressive but they aren't stupid." he asked.

"Not at present, but the reality is, Ensign? That's not our task right now - it's intel's task, and somewhat irrelevant to ours except as it gives us an answer to tell our patients. We have to focus and prepare for, pardon the expression, 'meatball medicine in counseling form'. We will make definitive resolutions on very few cases; more likely, we'll be laying the groundwork for further counseling by those therapists already in the colony and any who arrive from hospital ships over the coming weeks," Smith briefed. "We'll also be advising the command staff and colonial authorities on messaging and precisely how to calm people down."

The cadet gulped. "Meatball medicine Sir?" he asked, not sure where the expression was from, but he hadn't heard it. "So, we're evaluating the survivors mental states and such? Trying to help the most needy before the colony therapists can help them?" he asked, for the sake of clarity. "Sounds like an important job, Sir."

"Triage, Ensign. Psychological triage. 'Meatball medicine' comes from Earth's 20th century, from the period of the Second World War and after that; it's a slang description for combat medical care focused not on treating the patient in any final sense as to simply stabilizing them so they can be moved farther in the chain of care, including in our case to hospital ships. It is vitally important, yes, especially as by the time we get to Sarkotis the colony's own providers will have been working for days straight without real breaks." With that, Smith looked to all the other counselors. "Any of you who've been in the Fleet long enough to go through a few of the more comprehensive training exercises will know what that's like. For Ensign Timir and the rest of our newer officers, this is going to be one hell of a first assignment."

With that, the meeting moved quick; the counselors were divided into teams of 2 reporting to a shift commander. For Ensign Timir, his team lead was Lieutenant Lev Diamond, who'd be reporting to Lieutenant Commander Smith on Alpha Shift. Their job upon arrival would be to report in to the colony's chief physician, who was also in charge of directing counseling efforts. Until then, they were to review every last bit of Starfleet doctrine, training manuals, and holodeck simulations on both the broader mission of support to colonial authorities and, more specifically, how to provide psychological support after attacks by adversary forces. In addition, Timir and Diamond were directed to prepare the basics of a messaging campaign (in other words, the PR response) by the colonial authorities, working with doctrine and manuals and sims from Starfleet on that, too.

The end result? There were a ton of things to do, all urgent, and seemingly not enough time to do even half of them in. That, Diamond noted, was the life of Starfleet: Everything could go from routine to insane in a nanosecond.

Ensign Timir got right to work in reading up on those directives and getting himself prepared for the duty ahead of him. Working with Lieutenant Diamond was a pleasure but also hard work and being exposed to such work so soon was a little overwhelming. But as Diamond said, this was the Starfleet life and it was one the young Caitian needed to get used to and fast.


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