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Part of USS Issedon: Whisky Tango Foxtrot and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Metaphysical Milkshakes

Various Shipside Locales
~late oct 2400
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Roger smiled at Lucy as she took a seat next to him. What are you doing? 

“Looking for some information about how to take care of the telepaths. Where’s Minnie?” 

A quick glance at his clock said that she was likely asleep. Lt. Merrick’s daughter, that engineer? She’s sitting with her for a bit. I needed to get out. I know we’re not supposed to but I came directly here and I’ll go directly back. He laughed. “It’s OK. Jamie won’t care; he knows you can handle yourself. After this is all over, maybe we head home for some R&R? Just the three of us?” He was still paging through the EMH as he spoke to his wife. He noticed her watching the machine, too, and then she stopped him. 

Stop. 

Actually, she was correct. But of course she was. He had learned YEARS ago to trust his wife’s gut instincts-it had hardly let her astray (or THEM, really) before. 

“Transporter psychosis?” He stopped reading the EMH and looked at Lucy. She shrugged. I mean, it’s similar symptoms, right? From what I am reading here? 

He nodded. “In some ways, yes. But Transporter psychosis is ALWAYS fatal. And these patients aren’t suffering from energy displacement.” Lucy shrugged back. 

I mean. They kind of are, aren’t they?  She sipped the coffee in her hands, then looked innocently at him.

Roger was silent a moment. She did have a point. “I hate when you do this, you know. But you’re correct. I’ll look into it some more. Thank you.” He leaned over to kiss her head. 

I know you do. I’m sorry. Next time, I’ll try to be wrong. 

Lucy’s own educational background was in the law, but she was miles more intelligent than he was, and he knew she was likely right. She approached things from a different viewpoint than he did-he was by the book, rigid, exact. Lucy saw grey areas in things. It was one of the reasons they worked so well together. 

“No need. Thank you. Want me to walk you back?” She nodded, and he stood, excusing himself to the nurses and other doctors. After dropping his wife back at their suite, he returned to the Sickbay, feeling buoyed. After he did his hourly rounds, he went back to his office to start some more research. It seemed his best course of action might be to try to treat the psychoses as one might attempt to treat a biological telepathic threat. ANYTHING was worth a try, after all. He radioed to Jamie. ————————————————-

*Deep in the Gamma quadrant, in the no-man’s land of the far-flung stretches of Betazed Colony, the Acadamie’s ship, the Michael the Archangel, was running supplies, bootleg alcohol, and people back and forth. He was hot and heavy with a fellow crewmate, Alex, a Cardassian who defected because she was running from the law. 

A pale hand over his blue eyes and a soft voice brought him back to the plate in front of him. 

Two quarks for your thoughts, Jamie. 

He hadn’t realized he was distant. HIs mind was back on Earth, which was dangerous. GET SHUT OF IT, TAYLOR, he reminded himself. Up here, with what they did? Distraction was deadly. “Just thinking of you.” His face remained blank-a poker face was something he had perfected YEARS ago-a rough life and growing up as he had taught him that the less that people learned that you could actually FEEL things meant that they left you alone to roam the mean streets. It was both an asset-in this line of work-and a detriment to the woman who now stood next to him, half-dressed, tantalizing but unattainable. She was actually perfect-gorgeous, intelligent, headstrong. Much like the women he’d dated in the past. But she wanted things he couldn’t (or really-WOULDN’T) give-a family. He wasn’t that man. He wasn’t *interested*. Or so he told himself. He would have. Once, with one person. But she’d left him behind on his sorry six, and married herself someone stable who WOULD give her the family she wanted, and the stability she craved. And it was what it was. “Dinner is great, thanks.” He quickly shoveled a couple more bites in his mouth. At any rate, he needed to keep himself alive. Noise on the overhead comms system caused him to stand. “All hands to the deck.” It was Mac, the leader of their rag-tag crew of criminals and the discarded. He watched as Alex pulled her uniform shirt over her head-they wore black, because of course they did- and then pull her brown hair back into a ponytail. He led her out of his quarters-THIERS, he supposed, though he hated putting labels on things- and headed for thedeck. Mac, as he was known-and ONLY by “Mac”, a pseudonym if Jamie had ever heard one- was standing, weapon drawn, at a fellow they’d picked up that day. A random alien of a species he’d never heard of-Helivan. The man *claimed* to be friendly. What had changed in the past two hours, Jamie didn’t know, but he was head of security, mostly due to his imposing stature and the fact that he could channel his anger faster and more effectively than any being this side of the Gamma Quadrant, so he spoke first. “Mac? What’s going on?” The other man, with hair the color of fire and a face that had the appearance of burnt leather, turned his blue eyes to Jamie. “Our friend here is…pressing buttons.” Mac’s accent was loud, and reverberated off the walls. He was El Aurian, but had spent years on Earth, in London, running a bootleg operation, with Jamie’s real father. Jamie fought an urge to snicker; Mac had a strange lover’s relationship with this damn sky-submarine, and it was his baby. Alex didn’t have the self-control he did. They’re just buttons, Mac. Maybe you should replicate yourself some coffee and let Jamie handle our friend here. He looked gratefully at Alex; she was many things-some good, some bad, but in this moment? She was his personal hero. Jamie nodded. “I got this, Cap’n.” He stepped forward, and motioned to the Devoran. “Sir, let’s go down to the mess hall. You’ll be out of the way down there, and we can sort out some accommodations for you. Where is Bagley?” Alex shrugged as she hauled Mac out of the room. 

Does anyone EVER know what Bagley does with himself? 

Jamie let out a laugh. No, they didn’t. Bagley was akin to their chief of Staff and would get a room ready for the Devoran (or rather, ask his wife to). In the meantime, Jamie led the way to the hallway. Mess was close. After a moment, he fell to his knees, feeling sick to his stomach. What had Alex even MADE?! He realized that the Devoran he was dreamingabout…changed. To the CURRENT Devoran. What was happening? Was he dreaming? He HAD to be dreaming. Or he was losing his mind. The former was FAR more appealing than the latter but he WAS getting older.  “Alex…” He called out weakly. The Devoran cum Devoran simply smiled, and drove a knife into his chest. What the HELL? He was DEFINITELY dreaming because in real life, he’d have seen THAT coming. “What are you doing?” Let me go. I am fine taking care of myself….Jamie was ready to rally himself, at least to his feet and long enough to find Doc but a ringing in his ears stopped him* 

His blue eyes fluttered open. “Captain? It’s Harrison. Come on down to the Ready Room, I have an idea.” As he sat up, he hyperventilated. Definitely dreaming, but it made things a little more clear. Calming himself, he stood, and slipped his shirt over his head. He knew what the next steps would be, for him, and hopefully, Roger did, too. 

After a moment, he was in the ready room as Roger and a nurse were talking about a treatment for the telepaths. “Quasi-energy treatment?” His brain processed for a few minutes. “But…this isn’t a virus, I thought you said?” 

Roger nodded. Right. Still, it’s my best-and ONLY-idea.  He took in his friend’s demeanor. The man was slumped into the chair, and a hint of desperation tinged his statements. If someone as steady and even-keeled as Harrison was losing it, he had no better choice.  

“Work with Engineering to make it happen. Spare no equipment or expense. I’ll figure it out. Later.” Roger nodded solemnly.  “Ok.” With that, the man and nurse left, and Jamie sighed. Another nap would have to wait. He radioed down to the temporary holding cell. “Let the Devoran out. Assign a guard but let him go.

Ohhh…kay 

came the incredulous response. Jamie fought an urge to radio back that he WAS the Captain, and chalked up the wave of anger to exhaustion. He stood, though, and made his way back to the bridge. 

 

Comments

  • I love reading about characters solving problems. It's such a hard thing to write, but it can be so useful at revealing new traits of a character. It also scratches a certain itch when the disparate puzzle pieces fall into place. For this reason, I enjoyed following Roger and Lucy puzzling out the state of the crew's telepaths: transporter psychosis is such a reasonable first guess! And, whooooo, that dream of Jamie's was certainly a TRIP!

    December 11, 2022