INTERVENTION

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Authors: DENNIS MILLER
to question the woman further and was about to request MAC to locate her when the doorcom sounded “Entry is requested.”
       Rachmel frowned her irritation at being disturbed, “Who is it this time?” 
       “Leading Medical Officer Coles.” 
       The commander took a deep breath and let out a sigh; more to compose herself than of annoyance. “Permission granted.” She turned in her seat to see the medical Officer enter.
      “Please, take a seat,” she said, indicating the place opposite. “Now; what can I do for you?” 
       “Commander, you know Engineering Officer Miles pretty well; you’ve served together on several occasions, yes?”
       Rachmel leaned back in her seat and wondered where this was going. “Yes, I have known him for a number of years, why do you ask?” 
       “Would you say that of late he has been acting slightly off-centre in any way? What I mean is, does he seem to be a little reclusive on this mission? Is he behaving in any way that you might consider out of character?” 
       Rachmel considered for a moment before replying “I can’t really say I’ve noticed any change in him: as for being reclusive, he frequently spends his time in the main drive observation sections; when there are engines around he has little time for people; why do you ask?” 
       “It was reported that he appeared to be acting a little strange of late, so I asked him to come into the med centre, just for an informal chat, to see if there was anything worrying him. His response was strange; he asked if there was anything I wanted to tell him. Now, I don’t know him as well as you do but I feel it necessary to report to you that this Officer may have a problem; perhaps if you were to approach him we might find out what is on his mind and eradicate it before it becomes a problem to us all.” 
       “Who instigated the initial report?” 
       “Agent Andretta came in to see me earlier today.” 
       Rachmel gave a thin smile. “Andretta: What do you know about our Agent Andretta, doctor?” 
       Coles shook her head, “Nothing more than we were told at the briefing; why do you ask?”
       “Nothing really; just a feeling. Do you have her medical records?” 
       Coles nodded her assent, “Yes, I have everyone’s full records from the moment they enlisted, or in her case from the moment she joined the Agency; it’s a legal requirement of all personnel on board whether they are military or civilian.”
       Rachmel knew this, of course, but just wanted to be sure. She thought for a moment and then said “I would like you to go through Andretta’s medical records with a fine-toothed comb and to keep an eye her; nothing secretive, just a professional interest as the medical Officer: in particular, I need to know who she is talking to, but mostly who she is watching...if anybody.”
       “Do you suspect she is here to watch someone in particular?”
       “I don’t know, perhaps it’s just a natural reaction to anyone who wears a black insignia and who only seems to appear when there is trouble afoot.”
       “Very well. But what about the Leading engineer?” 
       “I’ll get him in here for a chat and if I suspect anything I’ll let you know immediately: but don’t put any of this into your report just yet; let’s find out what’s going on first.”
       Coles was confused. “But, Commander, it’s a Mission requirement to log anything and everything that may have potential to become serious.” 
       “Yes, I know, but we have an unnatural situation here with this Agent on board, even though she is not on Agency business and as you so rightly pointed out I have known the Leading Engineer for quite some time, so perhaps it would be prudent to suspend the report for a little longer while I try to find out what’s on his mind; he is a good officer and I wouldn’t wish to have any kind of instability placed needlessly onto his record.” 
      

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