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Tellar System: Federation Space

"Annabeth," Tigranian said as he plated several boiled Betazoid oscoid shrimp on top of a bed of linguine. "Can you get the door?"

The first officer put down her wine and went to the front of the captain's quarters. As she passed through the living room, she laughed at the captain's tiny Christmas tree on the living room coffee table. When the doors parted, Doctor Katan stood there dressed in a knit sweater and slacks. He carried a bottle of Betazoid Pinot Gris in his hand.

"Kinzo, welcome," she said as she beckoned for him to come inside.

"I brought some wine," he said walking over to Tigranian working over his portable stove near the dining table.

"Wow that is perfect!" Tigranian said fishing a corkscrew out of a drawer. He suddenly paused. "It's like you knew what I was making…"

"Well," Katan said tapping his temple with a finger. "I had a bit of a hint. I hope you don't mind."

"Baktag," Tigranian said shaking his head. "Normally, I would be upset, but a meal this good warrants a wine that good. Sit down."

"Thank you," Katan said taking a seat. Annabeth joined him while Tigranian served. He then poured the doctor's offering into their glasses.

"I hope you don't mind that I invited Captain Geist," Tigranian said taking his place at the head of the table. "Sadley, I think it will be awhile before she gets another home-cooked meal."

"I would starve to death without a replicator," she reluctantly admitted before taking a taste of Tigranian's seafood pasta with cream sauce. "Oh God," she said. "This is amazing, Dan."

"Sir," Katan added. "I haven't had oscoids this good since I last visited home…"

"The conversations in my ready room are formalities," Tigranian explained. "You don't really get to know someone until they try a dinner you make for them."

"When Alex first told me about you, I didn't figure you'd be a chef as well," Katan added.

"Being a healthy warrior begins with having a healthy body. Having a healthy body starts with having good food. They are not mutually exclusive."

The small talk continued until the meal was gone. As Tigranian poured raktajino to go with dessert, Katan took a deep breath.

"I can tell I'm going to enjoy serving on this ship. The sick bay is top of the line, the crew is welcoming, and I haven't met a CO and XO in a long time that went through this much trouble to get to know me."

"It's our job," Annabeth said taking a bite of Tigranian's kava cake. "You better thank Lanassa again for this recipe, Dan."

"My mother-in-law," Tigranian clarified for Kazan.

"Ah," the doctor said looking down at his plate. Then he stopped beating around the bush. "You're both wondering how a man as quiet as me got in so much trouble on the Glasgow…and you're also wondering if you can trust me as a result."

Tigranian and Annabeth exchanged worried glances. They both knew they would have to watch their thoughts more closely around this man.

"It's alright." he said. "You need to have faith in your CMO. Captain, you said I should tell you my side when I was ready. Now's as good a time as any."

"Alright," Tigranian said taking a sip of coffee. "Go ahead."

"I had been on board the Glasgow only two months. It was a small ship, so I made CMO as a Lieutenant. Narcotics in a starship's dispensary are very closely monitored. Normally, it's the job of the senior nurse to make sure they're accounted for every day between shifts, but I knew that nothing could get a new doctor in trouble quicker than a pharmaceutical violation. So, I kept an eye on things behind the scenes.

One day, I noticed a discrepancy in the logs. We were supposed to have four doses of Bicoradone in the locker, and we only had three. This happens sometimes. Normally, someone issues a dose and doesn't log it properly. However, I was the only person on the ship authorized to administer Bicor. I confronted my nurse about it, but he said not to worry. That I would 'learn how things worked on this ship' soon enough. I did some more digging by checking the security recorders.

Our Chief of Security would come into the sick bay at night, sneak a dose of Bicor, and then leave. Apparently, it had been happening for almost a year. He had developed a problem after surgery and never admitted he needed help.

I took the whole mess to our first officer, a Commander with 15 years of deep-space time, and received the second worst dressing down of my life. He told me that Lieutenant Commander Grayson was the best security chief in Starfleet, and he wasn't going to have a 'piss-ass' green shirt like me ruin his career by citing him for substance abuse.

So, the next day I went straight to the captain. I knew I was doing the right thing. But, Captain Rajad only asked me if I had entered it into my medical logs. I said 'no' because I wanted to start an investigation first. He then proceeded to give me the WORST dressing down of my life. He told me that this crew was his family and that I was the outsider. Not only that, he then accused me of going over Commander Gruk's head. He never even let me go back to sick bay. He relieved me on the spot, dropped a reprimand for insubordination in my file, and kicked me off at the next star base."

Annabeth looked back in shock.

"And you never told anyone at Starfleet Medical this?"

"It takes serious influence to alter narcotic control logs. I didn't know who else in Starfleet Medical was on their side, so I kept quiet. I wanted to get back to the fleet one day. As a result, I've developed some trust issues with the chain of command."

Tigranian dropped back in his chair and rubbed the side of his head.

"The Pershing is a family," Tigranian began. He could see Kazan's gaze drop, but Tigranian continued. "But we are a real family. That group on the Glasgow just sounds like a gang. We protect our own, but never do things for the wrong reasons." He leaned forward and looked Kazan in the eyes. "That piece of shit, Rajad, was covering up a crime to save his own ass instead of taking responsibility for his crew like a grown-ass man.

I don't care if you read my mind right now. It'll let you know I'm being serious. I swear to you, on my honor as a Klingon warrior, you will never be punished on my ship for doing the right thing. I always expect you to do your duty, or I'll kick your ass myself. Tracking?"

Kazan smiled.

"Yes Sir," he said gratefully.

"Good. That's settled," Tigranian said. "Would you like some more cake?"

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