Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Dreamer and the Dreams that Were : Part I

Dr. Fenna’s glare could have melted neutronium. Instead its target was one Lieutenant Commander Sri.

“Give me one reason I should help you after you reassigned the Aenar to your team.” Her voice betrayed a bitterness so jagged Sri didn’t need her empathy. Sri had accepted the doctor’s pent-up rage as normal --just in this case her rage wasn’t nearly as pent up.

Sri was tired and not feeling diplomatic. “First of all, she’s not ‘The Aenar’. Her name is D’Shyv. Secondly --” Sri paused, realizing that telling Dr. Fenna that D’Shyv was tired of the hypos being arranged by color, which was of no use to an Aenar, would redirect Dr. Fenna’s fury at D’Shyv. “—secondly I’m third officer, and unless you get the captain or the first officer to disagree, she works in operations.”

Dr. Fenna sputtered, unused to her icy stare having any less than an immobilizing effect. “Now you listen here you black-eyed little freak --”

“Thirdly, the patient is an eight year old from an alternate universe.” She held out a PADD.

As the two great motivators of her life – outrage and compassion – vied for dominance,  a brief emotional resonance shuddered through Dr. Fenna’s mind. A more callous telepath would have savored the sensation that closely resembled panic coursing through the Bajoran doctor, but Sri only felt a slight satisfaction, and hoped, however unlikely, the internal struggle would create some sort of pivotal moment in her thinking. A less scrupulous telepath would have nudged Dr. Fenna toward compassion, but Sri firmly believed that some things had to occur naturally, for good or ill.

Dr. Fenna snatched the PADD away.

“You’ll see-“ Sri begain, but Dr. Fenna cut her off with a sound like an electrical short, and held up one hand, the index finger extended, while she continued to read. Sri waited patiently. 

After a moment, Dr. Fenna  said, “She suffers from re-occurring nightmares. She enters a normal sleep cycle and has a nightmare, which wakes her up. She’s suffering from mild sleep deprivation. The energy signatures around her put her from that same Targhole the Terran Empire is from. Was it just her? What about her parents?”

“She’s Lieutenant Samantha Hollings’ ward. Her mother is Hollings counterpart from that universe, and did not come across for some reason. I am not sure of her father, other than I know he’s not on this side.”

“So now they’re sending warships and children across? I’m not sure which is more destructive. Fools, the lot of them. What her emotional state? And don’t give me that goody-two shoes routine about not prying. I’ll bet eight year olds are just as loud mentally as they are verbally.”

Sri crossed her arms with a frown. “She’s frightened and unsure of her surroundings, which is perfectly normal for anyone crossing universes, let alone an eight year old.”

Dr Fenna returned her attention to the PADD. “I could have guessed that by her paracortex activity. I thought empathy was useful.”

“Only to the empathic.” Sri replied dryly.  “Is there a chance there is some phase disjunction?”

“You’d have to run a cross-chronal scan while she’s having one of those nightmares to determine that. I’ll put together the right matrix if --” she paused to make sure she had Sri’s attention. “If I get a copy of the results.”

“Sure.” Sri said. “I’ll need the cross-chronal matrix by the end of this watch.”

Dr. Fenna narrowed her eyes. “Did you forget we’re the same rank, princess? If you give me any more orders, I’m going to start calling you spoonhead.”

Sri tsked. “Some of our crew is Cardassian.”

“I can’t cure that.  Fine.  End of watch. And you’d better hope that I don’t tell Commander Syvok about your little side project. I don’t think your sob story about an eight year old would melt his vulcan heart.”

Sri said nothing as Dr. Fenna abruptly stormed away.