Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

A Death Back to the Future, II

Infirmary 4
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Infirmary 4  – 0700

“Doctor, here’s the overnight report on T’shalaith.”  The overnight nurse yawned a little.

Longfellow skimmed the report, “Vitals stable, infection rate has…slowed?”  He looked up at the nurse, confusion on his face.

She shrugged, “It’s not unusual for a patient to rollercoaster a little when they move to a new place or find a comfortable space for hospice.  We can keep an eye on it.”  He nodded and dismissed her while reading over the reports.  She was still dying.  Nothing could stop that now.  He saved and submitted the shift report and walked until he sat beside her as the day began.

“Good morning, T’shalaith.”

She flitted her eyes open and turned softly, “Good morning, Doctor Longfellow.  Your night staff was very kind in helping me sleep and rest.  You have my thanks.” She let out a sigh, “I must warn you, you will probably have visitors today.”

He cocked his head to the side, “Visitors?”  

She smiled thinly, “There is an effort underway by a select group of members of Vulcan Command and the science community to ensure my Katra is…placed in an ark.  I have avoided them thus far in my travels by being in constant movement.  However, now that I have come to a stop, they will find me.  And you.”

“I’d heard there was a mechanism for Katra storage.  They want your…”

“They want my mind, Doctor Longfellow.  I was a scientist first, always.  The transport work was in some ways a clever cover to keep me moving around the galaxy to study what needed study and to gather results, information, and whatever else was needed to complete the work I was tasked with at the time.”  She sighed, “There is a strongly held belief that there is honor in this procedure.”  A shake of her head showed her feelings, “I am old.  I am tired.  I wish to go to what is next in this journey.  I do not wish to be around to be needled, asked, poked, or even prodded.”  Her blood pressure vitals were rising and she closed her eyes, realizing she had become worked up.

Longfellow adjusted the settings on her console as she worked on her breathing.  Between the two of them, the blood pressure readings returned to normal.  “I am not familiar with the law and the policies governing…Katras.”  He gestured to her, “Clearly you believe you have the choice of where your mind should go when you pass.”

A sly smile from T’shalaith, “Law and policies governing Katras is very…grey.  Not very logical, I admit.  As you humans are known to say, ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’, so I surmise I possess my mind therefore I control its future.”

Longfellow felt a smile on his face despite the circumstances, “Well, medically there’s plenty of bureaucracy and policy we can do on our patient’s behalf.  I’m not sure how well I’ll do in a debate with a Vulcan…”

T’shalaith rolled her eyes, “Your chances of success Doctor would be slim.  Stick to the hard and fast details – the provable and the verifiable.  I can work on some details if you’d like.”

He thought about her request for a moment, “You’ve got 160 years of learning on me.  I’ll take whatever you think is best.”

Another quiet smile as she accepted a PADD from him, “Together we’ll find a way to keep me out of a box, Doctor Longfellow.”  They spoke for a few more minutes as he updated her medication input and took another vitals reading.  He returned to his office.  Some Vulcans were coming to put another Vulcan in a box.

That was a new one.