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Part of Starbase 72: New Horizons and Task Force 72: Headquarters

The One He Couldn’t Save…

Trauma Hospital, Betazoid Colonies
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Roger rushed down the hallway. He’d been requested in the sickbays. He was a civilian volunteer doctor. A do-gooder with a vision of saving the world (the universe). Some might say he was a sucker. Maybe he was. But all he knew was in that moment, he had lives to save. The Cardassians were losing their grip on the Betazed colonies-but the damage they’d done was already affecting him. So much loss. So many young people-not just males, but also females, with missing limbs, and missing lives, and missing souls. What hurt the worst though, were the children who’d have to face their mother or father never coming back. His soul was still (mostly) intact, though-his careful training at the best Human medical schools and hospitals had taught him to compartmentalize the horrors he saw. There were rumors that the Federation’s already-loose grasp on the Betas was fast slipping. There wasn’t time to ruminate, anyway.  

A tricorder in hand, he stepped towards a gurney. The nameless (he couldn’t remember the man’s name) medical officer nearby spoke to him. “He’s been burnt by, we believe, a plasma cannon.” Roger nodded. “Ok, thank you. I can take it from here, go help the others.”  He scanned the male alien being with his tricorder. Sure enough, it was SEVERAL deep burns that went deep into his body. Roger sighed, but spoke gently to the male Betazoid. “Are you able to tell me where it hurts?” The patient’s eyes were closed, but he nodded, and with struggle, he opened his eyes a tiny bit, and spoke. No, doc. And then he was unconscious again. Roger worked carefully, but quickly. As a human, his skills were more limited than the various beings who could employ more “mind healing” type tactics, but his first thought was to use the dermal regenerator. He called out for one, and it was passed with the quickness. After several moments, Roger could see superficial changes, but the tricorder still recorded damage deep within. He sighed. Bigger guns were going to be needed. Running for the supply closet, he rummaged around for a critical regenerator, cursing his own slowness and the clumsiness of his brain and human hands. After he located the correct device, he ran towards his patient, realizing quickly that time was of the essence and was swiftly running out. In it’s usual state, his brain ran on several tracts-he was decently intelligent, and could think on his feet. But right now? He could only focus on healing, so when the song entered his brain, he had to turn it off.  “All that you touch/And all that you see/All that you taste/All you feel…” It was a VERY old song from Earth, called “Eclipse” by British ProgRock band Pink Floyd. He’d found an artifact music device of it once and had played it. His father had HATED it so Roger kept it up through the entirety of his school career. Why it was bothering him now was anyone’s guess. He worked, hard, his face squinting in the overhead, bright, clinical lights. “Fight with me,” he pleaded the unknown soldier. “Just a bit longer.” Normally, he’d just cut the being open and do surgery, but…there wasn’t time or equipment or personnel or supplies, or ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO CARED to do that. The CMO had warned him that in this intense battle, there was no time for heroics. Just get them stable and let the enlisted do the rest. The regenerator beeped, and the tricorder was STILL picking up injuries. Damn. His eyes flew to the scanner that showed the being’s life signs. It wasn’t looking good. From somewhere, a voice-oh, the CMO-reminded him NO HEROICS. But he couldn’t just LET another one die. With a nod In the other man’s general direction, Roger spent just another minute trying his damndest. It took only a few seconds longer for his subconscious mind to register that his attempts were futile. HARRISON. WE NEED YOU. He had to stop, to move on, to save more. It took a few seconds more for his conscious brain to register what his deepest fears confirmed-it was futile. After a final beep, he placed the regenerator on a tray nearby. Gone. Another young man. The one he couldn’t save-not that day. Oh, sure, there were others, and there would be more to come, but for some reason…this one hit harder. Why? Roger had no idea. He didn’t know this Betazoid. He just knew that he felt a kindred. Maybe this man was also a father, a husband. Maybe he was a healer. Who knew?  


  • Very much enjoyed the first instalment of Roger Harrison's adventures. Interesting to see things from the perspective of a civilian volunteer! I'd be very keen to see what doctor is up to in 2400, and whether these experiences in the Dominion war have had a permanent impact on the kind of medical practitioner he is today. My absolute favourite part was the Pink Floyd reference though - gave me a mental soundtrack for the rest of the story! Can't wait to read more!

    July 4, 2022