Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

A Death Back to the Future, VIII

Infirmary 4
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Infirmary 4  – 0700

Longfellow sat at his desk, his second cup of coffee half empty.  His head hurt, still.  The visage of Major Tulak was before him, hand behind his back.

“Doctor Longfellow, this is greatly concerning.”  The urn that held T’shalaith’s remains was in his hands, and his face showed what would qualify for a Vulcan as annoyance.  “You did not consult with us regarding her dying and you did not consult with us prior to…this.”  He picked up the urn from the ground with a further look of Vulcan frustration.  “T’shalaith is useless to us now.”

I take a great amount of pleasure in this, the voice is Longfellow’s passenger muttered in his mind.  He had become aware of her presence upon waking and she had been off and on talking to him as the morning had wore on.  It had been jarring at first, but he was getting used to it as best as he could.   Henry cleared his throat, “The documents detailing her wishes to be cremated immediately upon death are on file with both Starfleet Medical and Federation Diplomatic Services.  I was not aware of her actions until she presented them to me last night.  Things moved pretty quickly from there.”

The major frowned, “She did not transfer her Katra to an Ark?”

Not yet, spoke the voice in his head.  He responded, “It appears she desired her Katra to leave with her.  I suspect it may have had something to do with what purposes you had for it.”  He leaned forward, “I am sorry that you are unable to return to your superior with your mission complete.”

Tulak didn’t accept the dismissal outright.  The two operatives on each side of him had not moved.  There were ways and means to ensure this physician was telling the truth.  He wasn’t sure if he could employ them or risk exposure by using them.  He had no doubt that the two that flanked would have no qualms or resistance.  He was still the leader of the delegation.  “We could request a lie detector test via mind-meld.”

Longfellow sat back, playing at shock but knowing there was a chance they’d try to get him on his heels.  “I am aware of such techniques, Major.  There is the trouble of consent, the force of law, and a layer of policy and procedures at play within such a request.  I’m a doctor, not a lawyer, but I feel you’d get tied up in Starfleet and Federation courts for a few weeks at best.”  He shrugged, “You don’t strike me as someone who had that much time at his disposal.”

The major raised his eyebrows.  This human was unusually good at playing at the edges of the shadows.  “I will…speak with my superiors to determine a further cause of action.  You will have my response this afternoon.” He looked the doctor in the eye, “You have made an enemy of someone powerful today, Lieutenant Longfellow.  This is your only warning.”  Tulak turned on his heels and was out the door and down the hallway before Longfellow could respond.

I feel for him, T’shalaith muttered in his mind, he must be under impossible pressure.  

Longfellow chuckled, “He’s under impossible pressure?”  A feeling of mirth washed through his brain and he enjoyed the warmth of T’shalaith’s laughter.

You must prepare for my daughter, Doctor.  She is already onboard and awaits you in the holodeck.  Henry nodded but didn’t speak.  Communicating with the Katra of T’shalaith was tricky – she could speak to him in his mind, but he hadn’t quite figure out how to do it back to her without speaking out loud.  The chances of someone wondering if he was losing his mind were very real and he was trying to build a worthwhile reputation aboard.   He took a deep breath and pushed himself out of the chair.  The holodeck awaited.