Authors note: sorry this has taken so long, moving was a regular pain in the butt. Literally! Back to our story...
"Good!" Doctor Alexander rubbed his hands together briskly. "Now that all the introductions are out of the way, let's get to work! Gold, you'll come with me to the lab and I'll brief you. Miri, you show Nurse Bennett around. I want her to take your place so that you can assist Doctor Gold."
"Excuse me? I was under the impression that I would be assisting Doctor Gold," Lily spoke up with a firm voice. By no means was she going to allow herself to be displaced by an unschooled colony girl who had gained the favoritism of the head doctor!
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence.
"Marc, if she'd rather work with the doctor, I don't mind," said the younger woman softly.
"But I do." Doctor Alexander replied, his face as firm as Lily's tone had been. "Nurse Bennett..." He paused to look at the rank pips on the woman's uniform collar, even though her rank had already been given. It was a decidedly polite, if stern, silent reminder for the nurse to remember her place. "Lieutenant, I don't know what you were expecting, but I am the senior ranking medical officer assigned to this delightful rock. I am here in the midst of this situation and have been since the start...given that, ConFleet fully recognizes that I might be a little better equipped to make command decisions than some desk jockey in the high rises on Earth. Grand Admiral Kensington herself said that I would be free to reassign as I saw fit."
Lily nodded, recognizing authority and submitting to it. Not that the doctor left any room for argument. "My apologies, Doctor. I misunderstood my orders."
"Feel free to come to me when you have questions, Nurse Bennett, then we can avoid these embarrassing moments." Alexander turned to the taciturn Freeman...who looked as uncomfortable as a cat in a dog kennel. "Jonathan, thank you for your services. Tell Archie we're hard at work."
"I'll do that. Good day." Freeman turned and left. Quickly.
Silence once again descended.
"You were going to show me the lab?" Byrin prompted the other doctor.
"Yes, so I was. Miri, when you're done with Nurse Bennett, come find us. This way Gold." He gave one last quizzical look at Lily, then turned and walked away.