[Classified] || [Redacted]

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 @ 12:21pm by Lieutenant JG Xero Bren

=.\= Symbiosis Comission Headquarters =.\=
=.\= Two months ago =.\=

"You'll die. It'll die. I can't guarantee either of you will survive The Joining."

"That's what I heard," the patient replied.

"Then why? How can you look someone in the eye and say I volunteered for what will most likely be a long, painful death?"

The patient looked the doctor directly in the eyes—the windows of their soul!--when the words that he said next were said....

=.\= "Personal Log, Stardate 242012.20...=.\=
=.\= Today =.\=

<i>"I didn't realize just how different of a person I would become when I was selected to become the host of... me.

"When I applied to become a host through the Symbiosis Commission I was drummed out of the program by Vod--my rival. His host was Jayvin when we met. I don't know who or where he is now. I don't mean to speak ill of the dead, but Jayvin was... unpleasant to know. I'm hoping that the next time I meet him his new host won't be such and asshole.

"I was deemed compatible for The Joining, so even though I did not get to continue the program and meet or be evaluated by a previous host, I volunteered to accept a symbiont in the rare occasion that it's life was in danger and could only survive by being joined with a host.

"My history--Bren's history--has been involved in a number of temporal and interdenominational events. My last host--Trael--was the director of Starfleet's Temporal Investigations Department. The cocky bastard took that to mean that our job was bouncing around through space and time. Sometimes--and this is privileged information--he would 'investigate' a crime that hadn't even happened yet. How he got away with that kind of behavior is easily answered: he was a charismatic Admiral, and there was no imaginable way anyone could prove that his actions in the past contaminated the present. It was a nice little loophole at the time.

"Even when I lost the ability to use transporters, I--he--requisitioned a runabout for personal use. Two days later, I took a transporter to the shipyard to pick up the </i>Velocity<i> and my security escorts had to carry my ass to the runabout, fly it to back to the ship, and summon a medical team upon arrival.

"Most people don't know what it's like when using the transporter isn't advisable and is also the only option. It's a lot like if a human got alcohol poisoning: hot and cold flashes, vomiting, diarrhea, constant sweating, and general lethargy. So far, with this new host, the symptoms last for about 12 - 18 hours. Once I get through it I feel a lot better, but losing half a day is a heavy price to pay.

"I think one of the weirder parts of this transition is the fact that I was already a doctor serving in Starfleet when an Admiral died and my name was next on the list of emergency hosts. Why? Because I used to have one of the highest security clearances possible, and now I can't talk about the greater portion of my previous life because it's all classified, and might compromise existing officers, operations, installations, and planets. I know more than most of my superior officers, all of whom were in high school thinking about becoming a cadet; meanwhile, I was accepting my first command as CO of the </i>Crazy Horse<i> (and damn if we didn't live up to the first half of that name!)

"Maybe that's part of the reason I was chosen: the Chief Medical Officer is rarely a member of a ship or station's Command Team. Yes, I have the ability to relieve just about anyone of duty with justifiable proof of a medical or psychological issue, but I am also not obligated to hang out on the Bridge or anything like that. Then there's the fact that because I'm the Chief Medical Officer no one would expect that I have 40 years of Command and Tactial experience under my belt. This job title affords me a decent security clearance, and because doctor-patient confidentiality is a thing anyone can tell me anything and it's basically illegal for me to repeat it.

"In other news: joining with Xero was one of the easiest I've had in 8 lifetimes. He took really good care of his body, and made great choices when it came to his hair. I haven't had shoulder-length hair since Kejana--the last time I was a female. Of all my hosts, she and Trael were my favorites. I know... it's rude to rank your previous hosts, but at the same time it's unlikely I'll survive another host after this one. 

That said: protocol and all that stuff just seems... wasteful. After 700 years it's just.... I don't know.... Boring? No, not boring: masturbatory. For instance: 'permission to speak freely.' That's just a waste of time. No matter how I phrase what I'm gonna say, whether or not they want to hear it, or who's technically in charge at the time: my job is to tell the truth. We can dance around formality, but lets be honest: some of the greatest and most notable events in the history of the Federation began with a few officers sitting down for an honest, informal drink.

"I'm not denying that the rest of those events were formal: I'm just saying that the first option is a lot easier, more honest, and if the opportunity presents itself... well, lets just say I love a good game of Spanish 21.

"I used to suggest poker when I was sitting around with my officers, or amenable dignitaries. That game is basically a lying contest, and once you see a pattern in their behavior you'll know what to look for tomorrow morning when we all go back to work. Add to that the fact that you've got a captive audience—the hyper-competitve won't give up until they run out of chips. Everyone else usually accepts another round or three. A simple 'Oh come on, just one more hand' and the potential opinions of their peers generally contributes to the likelihood that they'll captitulate.

“All of that said: computer, end log.”</i>

=.\= CMO's Quarters, USS Mark Miller =.\=
=.\= Today =.\=

Xero survived, and returned to duty shortly afterword.

<b>=.\=  Doctor Xero Bren
     Chief Medical Officer, USS Mark Miller</b>