Timeline: MD 14
Since arriving at Solaria, Nathan had rarely left the Sickbay; even taking to spending most nights in his office. This made the already gargantuan Solaria seem even larger as he made his way through the spacious walkways towards the CIC.
After being brought up to speed by Callahan, Nathan called ahead to inform the XO that they needed to meet immediately, hoping his senior officer wouldn't take offense at his urgency. All the way there he couldn't stop himself from thinking of the underage Sagittaron he had summarily granted medical asylum to without seeking Command approval. He should have waited for someone to allow it before he promoted treatment, whatever decision command made, the damage would have been done.
Outwardly stoic, his insides knotted as he made his way on the CIC, nodding to the marines a couple of them had been seen by him over the last fortnight for medicals. Making short work of the distance, he cleared the space between himself and the XO and made a sharp salute.
"XO, Dr O'Hare, I called ahead" he explained politely.
Amaris was reading through a hefty packet of reports from her place behind the command table. She registered the voice long before she responded, choosing to finish the paragraph she was on before allowing herself to be distracted. After several seconds, her brown eyes rose from the papers before her and settled on the man standing across from her.
"Doctor." she said matter-of-factly. "You wanted to speak with me." she said than, clearly a statement and not a question. "What can I do for you?"
"Would it be possible to attend to this more privately, it's regarding a patient, ma'am" the doctor requested calmly, the flurry of activity around him proved to be somewhat calming, it almost reminded him of the sickbay.
Amaris wondered what in the worlds the man could have to say to her that would require privacy. She nodded easily and turned her gaze to the tactical station. "Lieutenant Shaden, you have the CONN. I'll be in the Wardroom with the Doctor."
With that, she turned indicating with her head that the man should follow her, and exited the CIC. The distance between the CIC and the Wardroom was very small, so the walk only took a few seconds. The guard trailing her rushed ahead and spun the door open. Once she and the Doctor had stepped in, it was closed behind them. Amaris turned, her hands behind her back. "What is it?"
"Firstly, I'd like to apologise for making a critical decision without commands authorisation, but given the urgency of the situation I believe I had no choice", Nathan began, stopping a couple of feet before the XO, mirroring her gesture, "This morning Specialist Perth brought an under-aged Sagittaron refugee to Solaria who was seeking medical asylum.
"He has bacterial pneumonia, nothing we can't handle, but potentially fatal if left untreated. I've resisted calling for a guardian pending affirmation from Command to proceed. I have, at this point, authorised treatment though; I was wondering if you could advise with regards to how we should continue forwards"
"Hang on." Amaris said immediately, a subtle frustration marked on her features. "Are you telling me you're currently treating a minor in a controversial situation without consulting their parents?" she asked. "Why didn't you contact them before you authorized treatment?"
"Because his illness could have become life-threatening rapidly without prompt treatment," Nathan replied quickly, "my job is to save lives, I'm not a politician; nor am I a social worker. If I would have adhered to Sagittaron tradition, the Gemanon population would have been furious. There are too few of us to allow a child to die because of some ridiculously antiquated beliefs" he explained, "I appreciate the need to respect each one another cultures, but we are no longer 12 colonies, we are the remainder of humanity and the boy could potentially have spread an illness that could have created an epidemic beyond my departments scope of manageability".
He shifted his weight slightly to his right foot, "I understand that I may face serious ramifications for my decision, but I stand by it regardless of potential punishment".
"I don't buy the potential danger to the fleet, Doctor. You had him in your custody and you were in a position to prevent any hazardous situations from spreading." Amaris began, looking at him dryly. "You are a Doctor and I know what Doctor's do, but that argument doesn't stand up either. You are a Colonial Officer, a senior officer at that, who knew the rules and chose to ignore them because you think they're antiquated. You also did so without consulting your superiors, probably expecting that I would say no."
"So, what would you have me do? Lock him in a room and watch him die knowing it was well within my capabilities to preserve his life?" Nathan bit back, yet took steps to ensure his tone remained respectful, "The young man is 16 and in orchestrating his evac has demonstrated more than enough maturity that I'm happy to consider him Gillick Competent," he furthered his point, heels firm in the ground, "First and foremost, I am a Doctor. You strip me of my Commission and that won't change. I'm not a line officer, nor will I ever be; and no matter how much I progress I'll never gain any authority that extends outside of my expertise" he defended.
"So, if you wish to punish me, I accept whatever reprimand comes my way, I won't lose any sleep over putting the welfare of a 16-year-old over the religious belief's that his parents forced upon him at birth. I understand the need to adhere to one's faith, Dyonisus know's it, but there comes a point when the here and now must take precedence over our fear of the ramifications we may face when we meet our makers" Finally finished, he levied a look at the XO, aware that even though he was the medical expert, she held all the cards and could see to it that his career ended as quickly as this conversation could. Yet, he wouldn't feel sorry for taking the steps he had taken.
"YOU DON'T GET TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS ON THIS SHIP!" the XO, bellowed, her volume shooting up suddenly as she held her ground. "Any punishment that doesn't teach you the importance of the chain of command is pointless..."
The woman cleared her throat and walked over to her desk, leaning down to write something on a piece of paper. "I'm putting a formal reprimand in your record, Doctor O'Hare."
When she finished writing, she stood up straight again, walking toward him slowly, her eyes a steely gaze that conveyed a certain lack of moral boundaries. "If I'm honest, I don't give a frak about his parents. A bunch of religious nutjobs don't dictate policy on this ship or in this fleet. If you called me, I would have told you to do the surgery, but for some reason, you couldn't seem to find the phone or to send one of the many staff in the sickbay to contact command." She leaned in close, stepping into his personal space without apology, her eye-contact cold and unflinching; unblinking. She spoke slowly and deliberately in a low voice. "If you can't find the phone next time something like this comes up, we will find someone who can. Do I make myself clear?"
Nathan remained quite for a beat, eager to scoff at how ridiculous that idea of a formal reprimand sounded after the holocaust, yet his years of training didn't fail him and his expression remained stoic, ”crystal, ma’am” he accepted, relieved at the outcome.
"You understand that the Commander needs loyal officers who trust in his leadership, especially at the end of the world, where there no longer seems to be any up or down." Amaris said, relaxing a bit. "I have confidence you now understand your political situation."
She wished the circumstances of their meeting had been better. Contrary to popular believe, she didn't actually like being the resident scary bitch; she would have preferred a quiet and respectful meeting where the Doctor received assurances that she was actually on his side. Nevertheless, if she, as XO, couldn't keep order around here, she might as well just quit.
"Give me all the young man's information; I'll speak with his parents." she said finally, her demeanor now returned to normal.
“Yes, Ma’am, right away,” he responded respectfully, enjoying the solace that the patients parents would be the next people likely to fall under the Colonels targets for a tongue lashing, “may I return to Sickbay?”
"Dismissed." The XO responded.