“I am late.” Lieutenant Commander Juliette Sri conceded. “I was busy trying to make sure your supplies made it to your sickbay instead of the USS Victor.”
“A notable goal. Were you successful?”
“That depends. Did you complete the cross-chronal matrix?”
Dr. Fenna stared intently at Sri. Sri glared. “What?”
“Your eyes are too close together.” Dr Fenna observed in a clinical tone.
“You didn’t complete it.” Sri accused, exasperated.
“I completed it this afternoon. I thought you were psychic.”
“Telepathic. Psychic makes it sound like hocus pocus. I don’t read your mind.”
“Shame you might learn something.” Dr. Fenna said, offering Sri a PADD.
Sri snatched the PADD away, studying it intently. “Like how to become a spiteful crone living on nothing but bitterness and resentment?”
Dr. Fenna scowled at Sri.
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” Sri said, not looking up. She studied a moment more. “Oh.”
“Oh.” She says. Fenna mocked.
“There’s no chronal dispersion. I suppose that matches what I suspected.”
“Oh that the girls nightmares are …”
“She has plenty of reason for them. She is a long way from home, away from her mother.”
“Stuck with a woman who looks a lot like her mother, but isn’t. As if she’s stepped into some parallel universe where people look like the people you know, but with subtle differences...”
“Don’t you have other patients?” Sri asked dryly
“No. why?” Dr. Fenna stared at Sri until she sighed.
Sri frowned. “It must worry her. She lost one mother on some wild adventure, and the closest thing she has to a mother has a very dangerous job in Starfleet.”
“What’s her mother do?”
“Some sort of fighter pilot.”
“Oh. Duranium pigeons.”
“You know.” Dr. Fenna said with a shrug, holding an imaginary rifle in her hands and tracing an imaginary target. “Target practice. I don’t see many of those type of pilots in sickbay because either they transport out, or there’s nothing left. I’ll tell you this, that kid better have Promised Parents, preferably with a safer job, like mine disposal.”
“Promised Parents?” Sri asked.
“Another set of parents, bound by a promise to the Prophets to be the parents of the child if the actual parents get killed. Spares.”
“I was raised by my Promised Parents.” Dr. Fenna said quietly.
“A star base in a time of war is no place for a child.”
“My real parents died a horrible death.”
“Especially a child from that place. How can they possibly heal from the horrors of that universe being so close to the strife in this universe?”
“Tynearian Flu. Nasty stuff. Blood out of your eyes. You die screaming.”
“She needs a place to rest and establish her own connections. Learn conflict isn’t the only way.”
“You rise from the grave in four standard days, craving the organs of the living.”
“Will you Shut. Up?” Sri asked, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“How can you be so heartless?” Dr. Fenna asked in horror.
“Because everything that has come out of your mouth after being raised by your Promised Parents was a lie.” Sri said with exasperation. “This girl,” Sri said with a stab of her gloved finger at the PADD. “Has real problems.”
Dr. Fenna waved her hand dismissively. “Oh bah. She’ll adjust. Children are tough. They survive bad things all the time. Look at me.”
Sri slowly looked to Dr. Fenna, her calm features suddenly etched in worry. “Gods Unfortunate.” Sri muttered worriedly. “This may be worse than I thought. I really do need to talk to Samantha.”
“Get me my supplies!” Dr. Fenna shouted down the hall to Sri as she left.