Confessions From The Edge Chapter Eight

Confessions From The Edge Chapter Eight

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Same as chapter 1

Summary

Same as chapter 1

Chapter1 (v.1) - Confessions From The Edge Chapter Eight

Author Chapter Note

Same as chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

Reads: 351

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

A A A

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“Have you ever been in love, Doctor…in love with all your heart, all your being?”

Wistfully, Marcus nodded.

“Yes I have actually, some years ago.”

“Then you will know how I feel about Beverly. Doctor Key...Marcus, I love her with that kind of intensity and this enforced separation is killing me. Please…please, just give her the envelope. I will take full responsibility for whatever repercussions result. I’m begging you.”

Humbled by the heartfelt confession, Marcus relented.

“Very well, Captain, but I can’t guarantee she will read it.”

Jean-Luc smiled, his eyes suspiciously moist.

“I will live in hope.”

Marcus turned to leave, but hesitated and turned back.

“Where can she contact you?”

With a rueful smile, Jean-Luc said softly,

“I’m staying at her home.”

“No problem, Captain, I’ll see to it.”

Smiling his farewell, Jean-Luc turned to leave, but hesitated and turned back. He pointed to the envelope.

“You won’t forget?”

Marcus shook his head.
”No, Captain, I won’t forget, but I can’t guarantee she will read it.”

Giving a final nod, Jean-Luc sighed.

“I will just have to keep my hopes up then, won’t I.”

He left before Marcus could comment further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He arrived at the hotel after first going to Beverly’s home to pick up his possessions. As he suspected, there were no rooms available. He was about to leave when a familiar voice made him turn.

“Jean-Luc?”

T’Krel crossed the lobby and gently laid her hand on his forearm.

“What are you doing here?”

He offered a wry smile.

“Trying to get a room. Beverly is being discharged tomorrow and it was decided it would be better if I wasn’t there in her home when she arrived.”

T’Krel frowned.

“I do not understand. Why wouldn’t she wish to see you? I would have thought she would have been overjoyed.”

Grimacing, Jean-Luc took T’Krel’s hand and led her into a quieter area of the lobby.

“I haven’t seen her for five days.”

The Vulcan was obviously confused.

“Why?”

Anger glittered in his eyes as he explained.

“Helen Parker was with Beverly not long after she regained consciousness and she took it upon herself to tell Beverly that not only was I here on Gault…staying in her home, but that you were there with me and that we seemed to be very…comfortable with each other.”

The Vulcan showed no emotion, but her voice betrayed her.

“That is very…unfortunate.”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes, it is.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

With a sigh, Jean-Luc ran a hand over his bald head. He looked into T’Krel’s eyes, trying to impress upon her his remorse.

“T’Krel, this really doesn’t concern you. I think it would be best if we didn’t discuss it any further.”

Anger flashed briefly in her eyes.

“Doesn’t concern me? You are my fiancé, Jean-Luc yet you are here on Gault with the express intention to win back the love of a woman you have been in love with for over thirty years! I think I have every right to discuss it!”

Immediately seeing his mistake, Jean-Luc bowed his head.

“I’m sorry, T’Krel, that was very insensitive of me.”

Taking a calming breath, the Vulcan schooled her features to their usual stoic visage.

“Did you manage to secure a room?”

He shook his head.

“No, they’re booked out.”

Coming to a quick decision, T’Krel said quietly,

“Then you must stay with me, I have a suite.”

Jean-Luc smiled, but shook his head.

“Thank you, but I think it would be best if I stayed on the yacht.”

“Nonsense, you would kilometres away. What if you were urgently needed?”

He shrugged.

“I have the use of Doctor Key’s flitter.”

T’Krel stared into Jean-Luc’s eyes.

“Are you frightened of staying with me, Jean-Luc?”

Bridling, the Captain couldn’t hide his glare.

“Certainly not! I just don’t think it’s appropriate.”

T’Krel’s gaze became piercing.

“Perhaps not, but I feel you are going to need to talk to me eventually.”

Still angry, Jean-Luc muttered sullenly,

“Professionally, or to simply satisfy your morbid curiosity?”

Her expression didn’t falter, but her voice showed her hurt.

“That was unnecessary.”

He swallowed, briefly closed his eyes and tried to quell his anger.

“Again, I apologise.”

With a sigh, he took her hands and said gently,

“I think it would be best if we stayed apart, at least until I’ve had a chance to talk to Beverly.”

Unconvinced, but knowing he wouldn’t change his mind, T’Krel gave a curt nod.

“Very well, Jean-Luc, but I must tell you I feel this matter between us will only fester until we can resolve our differences and the longer that takes, the harder it will be.”

He sighed, his face and voice showing his sorrow.

“I do understand what you are saying; T’Krel, but I must follow my heart. You know that.”

She nodded slowly,

“Yes, I do, but I never considered I would be caught in a war of attrition with you, Jean-Luc.”

Desperate to end the conversation and escape to the safety of the yacht, Jean-Luc said softly,

“I’m sorry.”

And left. T’Krel watched him go, her anger and hurt just under the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Marcus came into Beverly’s room, he was delighted to see her sitting in a chair beside her bed. She looked up from the PADD she had in her hands and grinned.

“Hello there, Marcus.”

The young Doctor chuckled.

“Hello to you too, Beverly.”

He hitched his backside onto the edge of the bed and looked down at his patient.

“Well, look at you! I know the catheter was removed this morning, how’s the pain?”

Beverly grimaced.

“It’s a bit uncomfortable, but I know it will improve.”

“Do you need analgesics?”

She shook her head.

“No, I’d rather see if I can cope.”

He nodded.

“Fair enough. So, I take it you know I’m going to discharge you tomorrow morning.”

Her cerulean eyes sparkled.

“Yep.”

Growing serious, Marcus said gently,

“Do you think you’ll be okay on your own, or would you like me to assign a nurse?”

Giving the offer some thought, Beverly eventually shook her head.

“No, I think I’ll be all right on my own. Besides, I will still have to come in twice daily for regen treatments.”

Marcus nodded.

“Yes, but you’re going to find you will tire easily for a while yet and there is the pain to consider.”

With a sigh, Beverly pulled her hair back off her shoulders. She knew he was only trying to help, but her strong independent streak made it difficult to admit to needing help. Marcus knew this, but he also knew Beverly was smart enough to decide by being dispassionate. She looked up and smiled.

“Okay, how about this. I give it a go on my own, but if I can’t cope, I’ll call you.”

He looked intently into her eyes.

“Promise?”

She chuckled and put her right hand over her heart.

“You have my word.”

With a happy grin, Marcus stood and was about to leave, when he suddenly snapped his fingers.

“Oh, I nearly forgot.”

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the envelope. He handed it to a curious Beverly.

“I promised to give that to you.”

He bent low and whispered in her ear,

“Give him a chance, Beverly…he loves you.”

Beverly watched him leave before she looked at the envelope. She immediately recognised Jean-Luc’s handwriting. Anger and anguish marred her face as she threw it unopened onto the bed, muttering,

“Damn you, Jean-Luc!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly was still very tender in places as she entered her home. She stood just inside the door as a nurse took her bag and placed it in her bedroom. The young man came back to Beverly, smiling as he said,

“You have some lovely flowers waiting for you.”

Coming into the living area, Beverly was delighted to see two bouquets lying on the table. She went to the closest and grinned as she read,

“Welcome home, Beverly, I’ll be around later with some boiled fruit cake…without cherries! Love, Helen.”

While Beverly was preparing to read the card on the second bouquet, the nurse said softly,

“I’ll put them in a vase for you.”

Absently nodding her thanks, Beverly undid the small envelope and frowned as she read,

“Dearest Beverly, I am so very happy you are recovering well. Please, let me visit you, I can be contacted on my yacht at the local airport. All my love, always, Jean-Luc.”

She tossed the card onto the tabletop, picked up the bouquet and went into the kitchen, dumping the flowers into the recycler. The nurse frowned in confusion.

“You didn’t want those?”

Trying to keep her anger out of her voice and failing, Beverly barked,

“No, I didn’t!”

Not knowing quite what to do, the nurse said softly,

“Would you like me to unpack your bag?”

Taking a deep, calming breath, Beverly summoned a smile.

“No, that won’t be necessary, thank you. In fact, I think you can go, I’ll be fine.”

The young man looked dubious, but was somewhat intimidated by the formidable Doctor. He sighed and nodded.

“Very well, Doctor Crusher. I’ll be back later this afternoon to collect you for your regen treatment”

Wishing the young man gone, Beverly smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes.

“Thank you, good bye.”

Now alone, Beverly wandered into her bedroom and took her time unpacking her bag. Jean-Luc’s letter fluttered to the floor and she stood, staring at it for a full minute before she finally picked it up and put it on the nightstand.

Having succeeded in her task, she went into the kitchen and put the kettle on. There was a replicator, but Jean-Luc had long ago introduced her to the delight of real brewed tea. It was without thought that she rinsed the teapot and took down the caddy from the shelf.

She had just put three spoonfuls of tea in the pot when the front door chimed.

Somewhat annoyed at being disturbed, Beverly went to the door, fully intending to send away her unwanted guest, but she was greeted by the grinning face of Helen Parker, a covered cake tin in her hands.

“May I come in?”

Pushing aside her irritation, Beverly returned the grin and gestured her friend inside. As they made their way into the kitchen, Helen said warily,

“I hope I’m not intruding…I know how it can feel when you’re finally set free from hospital.”

There was truth in those words, but what Beverly really wanted was time alone to think about Jean-Luc. However, she set aside those thoughts and shook here head.

“No, it’s okay. Besides…is that boiled fruit cake?”

Helen put the tin on the kitchen table and prised off the lid. The aroma hit Beverly immediately.

“My God…that smells still warm.”

Helen grinned.

“It is. It only came out of the oven an hour ago. I thought you could use some comfort food.”

As Beverly retrieved some plates and a knife, the kettle came to the boil. Helen chuckled.

“Impeccable timing?”

Beverly laughed, then winced and put a hand to her side. Immediately concerned, Helen went to her.

“Are you all right?”

With a nod, Beverly waved her off.

“Yeah, just a bit of residual soreness.”

Helen ushered Beverly to a chair, annoying the red head, but she hid it well.

“You just sit; I’ll take care of everything.”

Deciding it was easier to acquiesce than argue, Beverly did as she was told and soon both women were eating cake and sipping hot, freshly brewed tea.

They chatted about inconsequentialities, but Beverly knew Helen wanted to say more than she was letting on. Not one to evade anything, even unpleasantness, Beverly chose to bite the bullet.

Idly running her fingers around the rim of her cup, Beverly tried to sound nonchalant, but Helen detected the undertone of hurt.

“So…tell me about Captain Picard and the Vulcan woman. You said they were staying here?”

Helen shrugged, trying to quell her delight in answering the seemingly innocuous question.

“Well they were both here the morning I dropped by…and it was pretty early. The Vulcan answered the door and, when I asked to speak with the Captain, she told me he was in the shower. She then left me to go into the bedroom to tell him I was here.”

Beverly nodded pensively, trying to keep the colour of anger from her face.

“So what did he have to say for himself?”

Again, Helen shrugged.

“I don’t know, I left before he came out of the bedroom. I felt really uncomfortable…like I was interrupting something.”

With a snort, Beverly tossed back the remainder of her now cold tea. She placed the cup forcibly on the tabletop.

“You probably were.”

Helen leaned forward and took Beverly’s hand. Her look of sympathy made Beverly want to punch her.

“What are you going to do? He’s obviously two-timing you. My God, he had the temerity to have his lover stay here with him in your home while you were lying dangerously ill in hospital.”

Suddenly tiring of the conversation, Beverly stood and tried to smile with some warmth.

“Helen I’m feeling a little tired. Would you mind if I asked you to leave? I could do with some rest.”

Disappointed, Helen stood and Beverly didn’t miss the flash of irritation and sly calculation that passed across her face. But the smile that emerged seemed genuine.

“No problem, Beverly, I understand. Maybe I call later this afternoon, you know…see how you are.”

As Beverly escorted Helen to the door she nodded.

“That’s probably a good idea. I have a regen treatment later.”

At the door, Helen took Beverly’s hand and looked into her eyes.

“Forget him, Beverly; he’s not worth the effort.”

It took all her strength to maintain the smile until the door closed. She leaned against the door and closed her eyes, thinking to herself,

“But you don’t know him like I do, Helen. Something’s not right here. One thing he would never do is deliberately hurt me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was just after midnight and Jean-Luc had waited in the vain hope that Beverly would contact him. He was tired and very dispirited. Giving up for the night, he showered, dressed in a pair of satin sleep shorts and went to bed, but sleep was a long time coming.

In the early hours of the morning, the hatch silently opened and a figure entered the Calypso. Moving with liquid grace, the intruder went unerringly into the bedroom and silently disrobed, slipping with great care into the bed beside the sleeping man.

A hand gently insinuated itself under the waistband of his shorts to take his flaccid penis and very gently squeeze it. He slowly began to harden, but he didn’t waken. He sighed in his sleep and turned over. The ethereal touch became bolder and he moaned softly as his erection grew. It was when the intruder kissed him that he began to respond. Rising to consciousness, his tongue pushed inside the mouth of his phantom lover, but the instant it did he immediately woke. He recoiled in the bed, but the intruder kept a firm grip on his now aching penis. In a roughened voice he barked,

“Lights!”

T’Krel, her eyes darkened with desire, moved closer, trying to nuzzle his neck, but he grabbed her shoulders and shoved her away, breaking her grip of his penis.

“Get out!”

Licking her lips, T’Krel breathed deeply through her flared nostrils.

“You don’t want me to leave, Jean-Luc, I can smell how much need me.”

Outraged, Jean-Luc sat up, moving further away.

“What you are attempting is tantamount to rape!”

Her smile was predatory.

“Rape? I am your fiancé, Jean-Luc…and don’t tell me you didn’t want what I offered.”

Jean-Luc gaped.

“I was asleep! I thought you were…”

“Beverly?”

Flushing, Jean-Luc whispered very quietly,

“Yes.”

Completely unfazed by her nakedness, T’Krel left the bed and looked down at the rattled man.

“I am a patient woman, Jean-Luc, but if this situation is not resolved soon, I will take matters into my own hands…and you might not like the consequences.”

She dressed in an oppressive silence and left, leaving Jean-Luc to wonder exactly what she had meant.

 

 

Beverly also had a restless night. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get Jean-Luc out of her mind. What was his fiancé doing here? What did it mean, both for their relationship and their future? She spent a night of fitful sleep, filled with dark and disturbing dreams, eventually waking far too early and lying in bed, still mulling over her unsettling thoughts.

In the pinking light of dawn she looked over at the letter, lying so innocuously on the nightstand. With a sigh of exasperation and capitulation, she snatched it up and tore the envelope open. As she read, tears formed in her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Parker was a very astute woman and she was well aware that Beverly had not been swayed by what she had said about the redoubtable Captain Picard. As dawn broke she was in her flitter, making her way to the airport. If Beverly was too weak to sever her ties with this man, then Helen would do it for her…permanently if need be.

The flitter carrying T’Krel passed Helen in the growing light of day, but neither woman was aware of the other, each having their own agenda. T’Krel reached Beverly’s home before Helen had even taken the turn off to the airport.

Beverly was still in bed, clutching the letter to her breast when the door chimed. Thinking it may be Jean-Luc; she bolted out of her bed and ran to the door, her heart swelling with suppressed joy. She flung the door open and her joy died on her face. Cold anger took its place.

“What are you doing here?”

Brazenly brushing past the Doctor, T’Krel entered Beverly’s home and casually looked around. In a very glib, conversational tone she said,

“I take it you are alone?”

Her anger growing, Beverly hissed,

“You are not welcome here. Leave. Now.”

T’Krel completely ignored Beverly, saying instead,

“You are close friends with Counsellor Troi, are you not?”

The non sequitur caught Beverly off guard. Warily she said softly,

“Yes.”

The Vulcan nodded thoughtfully.

“A remarkable woman, Counsellor Troi. On the outside meek and compliant, but in reality, hard and uncompromising…and very good at her job, especially in ferreting out the truth.”

Intrigued, but still very wary, Beverly shook her head.

“What are you talking about?”

T’Krel smiled, but it was a cold and calculating expression.

“Long ago I was bonded with a Vulcan male. It was a very satisfactory relationship and grew, over the decades, to be most profound. Then he died in a totally avoidable accident. Now, as a Vulcan, I accept death as the logical conclusion to life, after all, none of us will live forever, but I was completely unprepared for the effect his death would have on me. I thought I coped, coped well. I went about my work; I continued my research and in general carried on as if nothing of import had happened. Many years passed and I believed I had put the entire episode behind me.”

She smiled again and it sent a chill down Beverly’s spine.

“Then I met Jean-Luc. Did you know I was his therapist when he suffered his breakdown?”

Beverly shook her head, by now fascinated.

“No? Well I was. But what I didn’t know was as I treated him, he became attracted to me.”

A look of incomprehension flashed across the Vulcan’s face.

“I should have noticed, of course, but he was such an interesting patient…so intense, yet so controlled.”

She sighed.

“In any case, it became moot once he was deemed successfully treated and left the facility and my care. He regained his captaincy and returned to the Enterprise. Imagine my surprise when he requested I join his crew. I accepted of course, it was a wise career move.”

Beverly went into the living room and sat, part of her wanting to hear the rest of the story, but another part dreading it. T’Krel followed her and sat opposite.

“Of course, once he was back aboard his ship, Counsellor Troi resumed her position as his counsellor. I was placed under her command as part of her staff.”

The smile returned and Beverly had to quell a shudder.

“Our relationship began slowly, I was, of course, cautious, but it soon became obvious that Jean-Luc harboured romantic feelings for me and, as I analysed the situation, I found him to be a suitable mate.”

This time the smile was malicious.

“I was pleasantly surprised to find he was so proficient in sexual matters…so many human men are…inept.

“There were, of course, inequities in our relationship. I could not, for instance, provide the…human comfort he required, the emotional and physical closeness he craved, but he assured me he was satisfied with our relationship as it was and I accepted his word.”

She sat forward, her green eyes piercing.

“But you know what that is like, don’t you, Beverly? Do you have any idea how badly you hurt him…damaged him? He spent many painful months trying to get over you and never really succeeded. And do you want to know something, Beverly? I believe his attraction towards me was because of how you treated him. I am a Vulcan, trained from birth to suppress my emotions, to be what humans would call…cold. Sound familiar?”

Tears welled in Beverly’s eyes as she bowed her head. T’Krel took no notice.

“Now Counsellor Troi watched all this unfold and bided her time. Initially she expressed her opposition to our relationship, but I think it was her overriding feelings of compassion for Jean-Luc that stopped her from doing more than she did to stop it. But she had no intention of sparing me. I won’t go into the details, suffice it to say she made me see a truth I had hidden for far too long. But I will tell you this, Beverly. Jean-Luc Picard is my fiancé. Yes, he left me on our wedding day to find you, but I have invested far too much of myself in him to allow the pain of losing him, as I lost my bond mate.”

She stood and glared down at the distressed human.

“Give him up, Beverly. He is mine.”

Looking up, and with tears streaming down her face, Beverly whispered,

“I can’t…I love him.”

T’Krel tilted her head and smiled that cold smile again.

“Then you should know we had sex last night. I think he is finally over you.”

She left without another word, leaving Beverly sobbing in her chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He had no appetite, but Jean-Luc was trying to eat some toast and tea. When the hatch alert sounded his mechanical heart skipped a beat. Was it Beverly?

Rushing from the table, he upset his cup, spilling the tea. He pressed the release, a look of joyous anticipation on his face. He was met with the business end of a phaser. Helen Parker smiled with malicious glee and stepped inside, causing Jean-Luc to slowly retreat. He kept calm, trying to defuse the situation.

“What is this all about?”

In a very matter-of-fact way, Helen explained,

“Beverly Crusher saved my life and now you are trying to destroy her. I can’t…in fact I won’t allow that to happen.”

Anger rose in Jean-Luc, but he knew to stay calm.

“Now look, Helen…”

He got no further. She fired the phaser at point blank range, hitting Jean-Luc square in the chest.

The force of the blast threw him across the living area to slam into the forehead bulkhead. His body collapsed in a crumpled heap on the deck. Helen slowly walked over to him and toed him with her foot. With a grim smile she uttered,

“With you gone, Beverly can move on. She deserves much better than you.”

The woman left the yacht, careful to close the hatch as she went.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly attended the hospital that afternoon but her mind was barely functioning. Once again home, she sat in the sunlight, streaming into her lounge, trying to make some sense of what T’Krel had told her. Over and over again, one thought repeated itself.

“Why would he write that letter, professing his love for me if he was prepared to have sex with her last night?”

It just didn’t make any sense and then there was her certainty that he would never deliberately hurt her. No, something wasn’t right and she knew she had to get to the bottom of it. Being the forthright woman she was, the time of vacillation was over. She rose and strode purposefully to the computer and put in a call to the yacht.

When there was no reply, she was overcome with a terrible fear that he was with T’Krel at the hotel, but she had made up her mind to resolve this, so, without hesitating, she contacted the establishment.

Not wishing to risk talking to the Vulcan, Beverly confined herself to questioning the concierge

“This is Doctor Beverly Crusher, I wonder if I may speak with Captain Jean-Luc Picard? He may be visiting with one of your guests, a Vulcan named T’Krel.”

There was a momentary pause, then the man said with respect,

“I am sorry, Doctor Crusher, but to my knowledge, T’Krel has no visitors at the moment. I know she is in her room, she ordered a late lunch only an hour ago.”

Beverly thanked the concierge and closed the connection. She sat back and scratched her head, muttering,

“Where the hell could he be?”

With an angry slap of her hand on the tabletop, Beverly got up and hurried to the door, taking the chip for her flitter out of her pocket.

“If Mohammad won’t go to the mountain…”

Her arrival at the airport was met by a worker who directed her to the correct hangar. She smiled grimly when she saw the elegant yacht, remembering past journeys she had taken with Jean-Luc. Although, as Captain of the Enterprise he had exclusive use of the yacht for any purpose he chose, he rarely used it. An egalitarian man, he disliked the impression of superiority above and beyond the already generous privileges his rank afforded him that such usage implied. But…there had been the odd occasion when he had succumbed to the urge to treat Beverly to a little luxury and so, once or twice he had used the yacht to take them on simple missions, mostly seminars.

It was with those memories in her mind that she approached the closed hatch and inputted her entry code. It obediently opened and she stepped inside, fully expecting to find the craft empty, and, at first glance, that was exactly what she thought. About to settle into one of the comfy chairs to await Jean-Luc’s return, in the periphery of her vision she saw something she knew immediately was not right. She turned and gasped, calling out,

“Jean-Luc!”

She ran to his fallen body, her fingers going to his neck to check his carotid pulse. There was one, but very weak and erratic. Leaving him for just a moment, she ran to a locker to get a med kit, while calling,

“Computer, this is Doctor Beverly Crusher. Connect with Gault central transporter facility. Request two to beam directly to Gault hospital.”

The response was immediate.

“Doctor Crusher, this is the transporter facility. We are unable to transport from the airport, the molecular dissemination interferes with the flight controller’s instruments. An upgrade to remedy the problem isn’t due for six months.”

Gritting her teeth in frustration and anger as she began to scan Jean-Luc, Beverly almost yelled,

“Then I need an ambulance, STAT! Hangar four. I have a patient who has taken a phaser shot to the chest and he’s barely alive.”

“We are relaying your request, one moment please.”

Beverly very carefully turned Jean-Luc onto his back, wincing at the deep burn that marred the flesh of his chest. The overhead speakers came to life again.

“Doctor Crusher? ETA for the ambulance is eight minutes. The police will meet you at the hospital. Transporter one, out.”

With only a med kit to assist her, Beverly was severely limited in what she could do for her best friend, but she did what she was trained to do. She administered drugs to augment the function of Jean-Luc’s damaged artificial heart and supplied oxygen to help him breathe, but with all her efforts he began to further fade. Those eight minutes were the longest of her life as his life hung in the balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was with almost sheer force of will that Beverly kept Jean-Luc alive while waiting for the ambulance. The sound of the approaching siren was one of the best things she had ever heard. The three medics, two women and a man, went to work on the Captain immediately, doing what they could to further stabilise him. One of the women looked over at Beverly, saying quietly,

“Doctor Key is waiting for us.”

As Beverly watched the monitor show his slightly improved condition, she gave a curt nod of her head.

“Right, let’s get going!”

Once inside the ambulance, the vehicle rose to a level higher than that of the normal flitter traffic and zoomed off at a break-neck speed. Beverly barely noticed, however, her concentration was centred on Jean-Luc. It wasn’t until she felt the slight bump of landing that she realised they had reached the hospital.

The large back hatch swung upwards and two orderlies came forward to ease out the stretcher. Marcus took a PADD from one of the medics, scanning it quickly. He gasped, looking up at Beverly with panic in his eyes.

“His artificial heart is badly damaged…the bio regulator is all but fused.”

Grimly, Beverly followed the cluster of people into the intensive care facility.

“I know, Marcus, but it’s okay, I am qualified to give him a replacement.”

As Jean-Luc was being attached to a machine to augment the function of his heart, Marcus shook his head.

“No, Beverly, you don’t understand. We don’t have a replacement here on Gault.”

She paled and looked into Marcus’s eyes, all but pleading to him to say it was a mistake.

“What?”

Raising his hands in frustrated exasperation, Marcus shook his head.

“You’re out in the sticks here, Beverly. We don’t have access to that kind of technology.”

She cast a stricken look at the dying man and all but shouted,

“Then we have to get one!”

Trying to keep the panic out of his voice, Marcus’s tone was sympathetic.

“The next supply vessel isn’t due for two months.”

Beverly gaped.

“Are you trying to tell me that we can’t get a replacement heart for TWO MONTHS? What the hell do you do if you have a patient who needs one? Just sit around and watch them die while you wait for the next supply ship?”

Growing angry, but keeping in mind how distraught Beverly was, Marcus struggled to keep calm.

“Of course not! We request a medical transport and send them to a Star base.”

Beverly’s blue eyes were blazing.

“And how long does that take?”

Now flushing slightly, the embarrassed young Doctor mumbled,

“A week…maybe ten days.”

Slamming her fist down on the biobed, Beverly yelled,

“He doesn’t have that long! Even if we could stabilise him enough for transport, which I doubt we could do, he wouldn’t last the journey! We need a heart within a day or two at the very most.”

Exasperated, Marcus flung his hands in the air.

“Well what the hell do you expect me to do? My hands are tied!”

Beverly glowered, then tried to remind herself that this situation wasn’t Marcus’s fault. She took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, then let it out slowly.

“Does this hospital have a subspace relay?”

Marcus nodded.

“Yes, just off the main foyer.”

She looked down at Jean-Luc and came to a decision.

“I have a call to make. While I’m gone, see if you can stabilise him enough to put him in stasis…you can do that, can’t you?”

Knowing there was no sarcasm, only desperation in the question, Marcus merely nodded,  part of him curious as to what she was going to do…or more succinctly, who was she going to call.

Beverly quickly left the room and soon found the subspace relay. She powered up the unit and made her call.

“This is Doctor Beverly Crusher, calling the USS Enterprise. I need urgent assistance. Please respond immediately.”

She sat before the unit, willing it to respond. It was ten minutes before she got her reply.

“Doctor Crusher, this is the Enterprise. How can we help?”

Recognising Will’s voice, Beverly almost sobbed with relief.

“Will, Captain Picard has been badly injured and needs a new heart. The specs are on file, but you will probably get a better one at SFM. I need it within two days…three will be too late.”

“Where are you?”

She gritted her teeth.

“On Gault.”

“Gault? Jesus, Beverly, that’s a stretch in two days.”

She sighed, rubbing her brow.

“I know, Will, but if you cut through the Stenson Nebula at warp nine-point-eight you could just do it.”

There was a momentary silence before Will’s voice showed a trace of his trade-mark amusement.

“Well, it’ll be one hell of a ride. We’ll leave within the hour.”

A very relieved doctor managed a smile. She couldn’t see Will, but she’d bet her life that he was grinning too.

“Thanks, Will, I owe you.”

His voice sobered.

“You just keep the Captain alive until we get there.”

Her smile disappeared.

“I’ll do my best.”

“Enterprise out.”

As Beverly left the communication alcove, she was met by two policemen. Both had PADDs in their hands. The older of the two stepped forward, his expression grim.

“You are Doctor Beverly Crusher?”

Standing to her full height, Beverly nodded, then pointed to the intensive care facility.

“Yes I am, and I am willing to answer all your questions, as long as it’s done in there.”

Seeing the look of resolute determination on her face, the man nodded.

“That’s fine, Doctor.”

Once Beverly had checked Jean-Luc’s readouts and conferred briefly with Marcus, she turned her attention to the police.

“How can I help you?”

The older man, a sergeant, glanced at his PADD.

“We’ve interviewed the medics and Doctor Key. I take it you found the victim?”

Beverly nodded.

“Yes, I did.”

“And you called for help.”

“Yes.”

“And while you waited, you gave medical assistance to the victim.”

“Uh huh.”

Again consulting his PADD, the man looked at Beverly and asked softly,

“How well do you know the victim?”

Beverly was prepared for the question, but it still made her heart skip a beat.

“Very well, actually. We have known each other for over thirty years and, until just over a year ago; he was my Commanding Officer on the Enterprise.”

The man nodded slowly.

“That’s right…he’s a Captain, isn’t he.”

The question was rhetorical so Beverly remained silent.

“So you’ve known each other a long time. Just how well do you know him?”

Beverly bridled but kept her cool.

“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

The man’s eyes hardened.

“Oh come now, Doctor. You’ve known the Captain for years, served with him for a very long time; in fact you were his CMO weren’t you? Are you telling me you didn’t get…close?”

Now clearly angry, but knowing that was what the man wanted, Beverly kept calm, but her voice was icy.

“If you are implying that we were lovers, then yes, you are correct, but that hasn’t been so for over a year now.”

The man nodded.

“So you’re telling me this wasn’t a lover’s quarrel? That you didn’t have an argument and shot him in anger?”

Taking a deep breath, Beverly shook her head.

“No, Sir, I did not.”

Pursing his lips, the man nodded again.

“Very well, do you have any idea who might have been responsible?”

Beverly shrugged, but her expression was calculating.

“There is a Vulcan woman staying at the hotel, her name is T’Krel. She is the Captain’s fiancée. Perhaps you should direct your enquiries to her.”

Snapping the PADD off, the man offered a small inclination of his head. He gestured to his younger companion and they turned to leave, but not before he said,

“We may have need to question you further, Doctor. I would advise you to stay on Gault.”

Beverly didn’t dignify that with a verbal reply; she merely nodded and returned her attention to Jean-Luc.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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