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Meeting the Parents

Posted on Fri Jun 12th, 2020 @ 12:27am by Captain Kelly O'Connor

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Ayame residence
Timeline: 2296/02/21 - 1200

Dom took Iona's hand and after Sanduval and the Commander left, smiled warmly at her. "I must thank you again for your assistance in the surgery, Doctor. However, you still have not told me your name. I feel that it is important to know what to call you."

Iona looked down at his hand, now holding her own. "Iona Vrell. Doctor Iona Vrell," she said still quite confused.

Looking over Iona more carefully, he asked her, "I notice that you are covered in spots." He asked worriedly, "You are not suffering from some affliction, are you?"

"No, these spots are natural. All Trill have them, just with differing patterns," she said looking back up at him. "I'm sorry, I believe there has been a misunderstanding here."

"And what is that Iona Vrell? Is that a full name or is it your complete first name? Iona is definitely an interesting first name but Iona Vrell is a mouthful. I do not wish to offend you, especially so soon after meeting." He paused and then asked, "And what misunderstanding do you believe there has been?"

She looked at him like he had two heads. For someone wanting to perform surgery and be a doctor, this man was an idiot. "That's... that's my full name," she said after a moment. "And as for the misunderstanding, this whole situation is a misunderstanding. Why, dare I ask, are you telling me I must meet your parents?"

"Ah, well then, Iona.... I apologize for that misunderstanding. I do not know all of the customs of your land. But seeing as you saved my life, I think that it is prudent that I introduce you to them, no? So that they can thank you appropriately?" He gave Iona a warm and generous smile.

"Ah, ok," she tilted her head slightly. "The customs of my land are quite different, but I can understand why one would want to introduce someone who's saved their life to their family." She frowned. "However, I am not sure that I will have the time to meet your family. I must check in with my Captain first."

"You have a couple of hours. I believe that is what your commander said. I am certain that we would not be away that long." His smile was contagious. His eyes widened, as did his smile. "It really is a duty of mine, at this point. I understand that you have yours but could you not assist me with mine, especially given that you have a couple of hours?"

Sighing, and realizing that this man would not take no for an answer. "Oh, alright, but, while I do have a couple of hours, I would like to see more of the university," she said almost sternly, like she was talking to a resistant patient.

"Anything that you wish, Iona." He smiled at her graciously. "Shall we tour for a bit or head straight for the transporter PADD to go to my parents?" He offered Iona his outstretched hand.

Iona looked at the hand, but didn't take it. "Either way works, I guess..." she said and then shrugged.

Dom looked at his empty hand and asked quietly, "Have I done something to offend you?"

"No... I.... sorry, I'm just not a touchy person unless I know the person well," she said. "Look, I'm sorry if I've offended you. I don't quite understand what all is going on here. Your culture and my own are very different. But, please, let's go meet your parents and then you can give me a tour of the university."

"Ah...." Dom continued to muse the situation as he looked deeply into Iona's eyes. "Why don't you tell me about your culture? How do you think that our cultures are so very different?"

"Well, first off, Doctor's are to save patients at any cost. We don't allow our medical students to kill a patient via simple mistakes. We teach them how to recognize their error and fix it quickly." She sounded quite indignant that his culture did not do this. "But, it would take much more time than we have here to explain all of our cultural differences. As I said, my time on the planet is limited."

"Hmmmm," Dom mused. "I think I might be able to get to like your culture. You can tell me more about it as we walk. As I'm sure that you recall, the transporter PADD is some ways away." He gazed deeply into the Doctor's eyes, searching for something in them but saying nothing more. "Perhaps you could tell me about your parents and your ship?"

"I... uhm... don't actually know a whole lot about the ship in terms of all the technical stuff, and I can't tell you about my job as I would breach doctor-patient confidentiality. As for my parents, there isn't much to tell. As is the way with Trill culture, they wanted me to focus on my studies and get a good career, so we were ever at odds when I wanted to go explore nature. They're proud of me now, however, once they got over the shock of me joining Starfleet," Iona said as they began walking toward the transporter.

"I have also finally fell more into education, as I do distance education while serving aboard my ship. It is a life-long thing for me. How long do you study for here?"

"Eight years at least. I was just about to finish up but you saw the result of that." He sighed forlornly. "But, I now, may have a rare second chance, thanks to you." He beamed at Iona. "So, you are Trill but who was the person with you? He was not Trill. And yet, you serve on the same vessel? I've heard that the Federation is a conglomeration of species but obviously, I had never seen it. I wonder if everyone's innards are the same as ours. For that matter, are yours the same as ours?"

"Lieutenant Commander Grey is Human. Most of the crew is Human. But we also have a Vulcan; a half Human, half Vulcan; and an Andorian, on board as well. For the most part our internal organs are all the same. Some have more, some have less. It varies from species to species," Iona said, sounding very teacher-like. "And yes, Starfleet is a conglomeration of species, and hopefully we will continue to add more."

"A half-Vulcan?" Dom's voice became more intrigued. "Are there are other half races? I mean, can most species reproduce with others in your Federation?"

"Yes, though some require medical assistance in order to do so," Iona nodded. "I'll talk to my Captain and see if I can get you some of our basic medical information. Though, I'm not sure if we can do that before your people become a member of the Federation."

"Medical assistance, you say? Such as?" he asked undeterred. By this point Iona could estimate that they were nearly half way to the transporter PADD that they arrived upon. "And what medical information could be so secret, I wonder...."

"Medications to make dna more compatible. Technically, some humans need medical assistance just to reproduce with other humans. Something in their blood seems to react badly," she shrugged, hoping they could hurry up the pace. "And it's not that it's secret, it's just that I don't know how much I am allowed to give according to protocol. I trained to save lives, not be diplomatic."

"Do I look like a diplomat? I think that I was merely part of the show for the politicians. Until today, I was probably one of the most advanced medical students. I suspect that my surgery was scheduled to show you how skilled that we are but none of that matters to me. I just want to help my fellow Aenerthans."

Iona made a sound of thought, but didn't say anything. If this guy was one of the most advanced students, she was looking at a very poor health system indeed. This would be one of the things that she added in her report to Starfleet about the planet. Part of her wondered if this man was set up to fail as well, to be part of the "show" for them. She looked up to him and nodded. "That is a good mindset for a Doctor to have," she said finally.

"Thank you," he replied, beaming a wide, warm smile at Iona. They walked for a while longer and reached the transporter padd. He stepped onto the padd and indicated that Iona should join him. He told the transporter operator, "Ayame residence, Capisha quarter, Fever street." The transporter operator repeated it back and after a confirmation from Dom, he nodded. The last words they heard were "Energizing."

They both appeared before a driveway with a gate. In the distance stood a brick mansion. Iona could try and count the rooms with the number of windows that were in the brick but did not have time to do so as Dom announced himself at a speaker. He gave a weak shrug and smile at Iona. "So, here we are. Try not to mind my mother too much, alright?"

This was the most grand house that Iona had ever seen. It dwarfed all that she'd lived in. While she was wondering if one could fit a ship within the house's outer walls, she heard Dom speaking. "Hmm.. oh, yeah, ok." She said with a nod.

They walked up the path and Dom walked in. Immediately, a blonde haired woman, maybe thirty years older than Dom, and at least a half foot shorter rushed up to him and hugged him. Striding slowly and yet confidently behind was a man with salt and pepper hair, a firm jawline and serious brown eyes. Dom's mother cried and said, "I was so worried about you! Clearly you passed! I'm so proud! My son, the doctor!"

Dom looked helplessly over at Iona and then back down at his mother, as he said, "Not exactly...."

"Not exactly?" she replied. And then, for the first time, she looked at Iona. Her face moved through shock, awe, and then suspicion. "What happened, Dom?"

"This is Doctor Iona Vrell, from the Federation. She saved my patient."

The father studied Iona and seemed to make a decision. "Well, you did well for yourself, my son. I shall start making arrangements for the joining. Welcome to the family, Iona. My name is Velid and my wife, here is Selia. I hope that in time that you will grow to love us as you do my son."

"Wait what?" Iona looked from Dom to his parents, then back to Dom. He had not mentioned anything about a joining to her. Now his father was welcoming her to the family. "What is going on here?" She was clearly shocked and confused.

"We're planning your joining. You will become part of our family and Dom a part of yours. I only hope that you will not take him away from us," his mother explained. "You must have a great love for our son. I can never thank you enough for what you have done. You have my undying love."

"I simply followed the oath I took when I became a Doctor," Iona said backing up a step. "You have to forgive me, I don't know anything about your culture, and Dom did not explain this joining thing at all," she glared at him. "I'm sorry, but I don't think I can do this joining..."

"You would insult our family?!" Selia asked incredulously. "Are you saying that my son is not good enough for you or your family?!" She strode up to Iona angrily. "Now, listen here. I don't know who you think you are, but what you are talking about is against all common decency. Do you intend to make us pariahs? My son will be joined with you and the party shall be wonderful. Hopefully you will both give us many strong grandchildren."

"You have to understand that I know nothing of your people, your ways, your planet. Mine... are not like this at all, so I mean you no insult," Iona said, staring the woman down. She was starting to get angry with this situation. "I simply mean I do not believe my duty in the Federation will allow me to marry your son and stay here just because you want grandchildren. Starfleet is a military system. They will not allow me to leave my position as Chief Medical Officer of the USS America without due cause and this will not qualify as due cause."

"So, you will be taking him with you, then? To wherever you go?" Selia responded, tears forming in her eyes.

At that point, Dom returned. "Mom, don't make a scene. After all, this would not be a horrible thing. From what I have seen of their medicine, they're truly advanced! Think of what I could do for people once I learned all of their techniques!"

Selia looked at her son and responded, "You could definitely be a rich doctor, if what you say is true. You would have a monopoly on the most difficult cases, things nobody else could cure...."

 

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