Confessions From The Edge Chapter10

Confessions From The Edge Chapter10

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 Chapter10

Author Chapter Note

Same as chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

Reads: 304

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

A A A

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As Beverly neared Jean-Luc’s bed, Marcus was barking orders to the support staff.

“His blood pressure is dropping too low…we have to find a way to raise it without stressing the other organs.”

 One of the staff, a young man said tentatively,

“Hydro plasma?”

Beverly reached the bed, saying tersely,

“No! Whole blood.”

Marcus looked up, giving a nod of agreement. He looked down at Jean-Luc’s body and shook his head.

“He’s bleeding internally.”

Beverly sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“And he’s too weak for surgery. Is he still making red blood cells?”

Marcus shook his head.

“No, his haemoglobin levels have almost bottomed out.”

“Then he needs a whole blood transfusion and we need to find a way to reactivate his bone marrow into making red blood cells.”

Marcus grimaced.

“Without the accompanying stress to the other organs.”

Beverly looked up, then cast her eyes over the machine that was acting as his heart. It was years out of date and barely doing its job; such was the damage it was trying to compensate for. The phaser blast hadn’t merely damaged Jean-Luc’s heart; it had also injured his lungs. Getting enough oxygen into what little blood he had was also causing problems. Beverly sighed and looked into Marcus’s troubled gaze.

”I’ve just been told that the Enterprise can’t make it in time. They’re sending a modified runabout, but it won’t be here for just on eight hours.”

A new voice interrupted their conversation.

“The Captain’s yacht is capable of warp nine point five.”

Beverly’s head snapped around to see T’Krel standing near the bed. The red head struggled to keep her tone calm.

“Can you pilot it?”

T’Krel nodded.

“I can.”

Urgency crept into Beverly’s voice.

“Then get moving! I’ll contact the Enterprise and get them to send the runabout’s flight plan to you. You can meet it, transfer the heart, then high tail it back here!”

T’Krel nodded once.

“I will leave immediately.”

Beverly turned back to Marcus.

“Are you all right here for a few minutes?”

Nodding, but not looking all that confident, Marcus lifted his chin and tried to put some force into his voice. He was only partially successful.

“Yes, we’ll cope…but don’t be too long.”

Smiling her encouragement, Beverly left to go to the communication centre. Within minutes she was talking to Will again.

“….so you can see, we need you to send the flight plan to the Calypso.”

Will nodded.

“The Monash is already on its way. I’ll contact Data. Wait.”

Beverly was chewing her nails by the time Will got back to her.

“Beverly? Data can’t transmit, but he received our message. Communications are one of the systems he disabled. We’ll transmit the flight plan, but the Calypso is going to have to look for him. The warp signature has been altered and he’s not emitting any subspace signals.”

Beverly nodded, about to say something, but Will interrupted her.

“One more thing…the Monash’s transporter has been disabled as well. To make the transfer, they’re going to have to make a manual docking.”

Beverly paled.

“Can that be done at warp?”

Will’s expression was grim.

“It’s not recommended, but if anyone can do it, Data can. Who is piloting the Calypso?”

“T’Krel.”

Will’s muttered,

“Shit!”

Made Beverly realise just how difficult this was going to be.

“The alternative is for both ships to come out of warp to make the transfer, but we don’t have the time.”

Will nodded.

“I know. I’ll contact Data and warn him. He may be able to rig something that will do the job.”

Beverly’s voice showed her anguish.

“And if he can’t?”

Will shook his head, making a cutting motion with his hand.

“No! I won’t contemplate that! We’ll get this done, Beverly, have faith.”

Beverly looked over at the intensive care ward and sighed.

“I have to go, Will. Good luck.”

The big bearded man smiled.

“You too.”

Beverly had been back at Jean-Luc’s side when Marcus said quietly,

“Beverly…if we get the heart in time, who is going to assist you? I’ve never done anything like a heart transplant and we don’t have the equipment you need.”

Not looking up from what she was doing, Beverly muttered,

“If we get the heart in time…you don’t think I’m going to let a few little hiccups like that stop me, do you?”

Marcus smiled, but his confidence was low.

“I suppose not, but really…what are you going to do? Without the Enterprise…we’re buggered.”

Beverly looked up briefly and smiled, although it didn’t reach her eyes.

“Are you a quick learner, Marcus?”

Somewhat nervously, he nodded.

“I guess so.”

“Then you are going to learn a lot in a very short time. As for the equipment, they’ve been doing heart transplants since the 1960’s and with equipment we would consider primitive by today’s standards. We’ll cope, Marcus…if we get the heart in time.”

The young Doctor looked down at Jean-Luc and felt the first stirrings of confidence.

“I suppose we will.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once T’Krel had cleared Gault’s atmosphere, she opened a channel to the Enterprise. Will answered and dispensed with any amenities.

“I have contacted Commander Data to let him know what’s going on. He can’t transmit, so I can only hope he can work something out to get this transfer completed in as little time as possible. Just what is your pilot rating, Doctor?”

T’Krel’s face showed absolutely no emotion as she replied,

“I have completed the basic course, no more than that.”

Will ran an exasperated hand through his hair.

“Then how do you know how to pilot the yacht? Its systems are much more sophisticated that a standard shuttle.”

The Vulcan remained calm.

“Captain Picard once took me through a holo deck simulation of the yacht. We ran through the systems. I got the impression he was going to allow me to one day pilot the actual vessel, albeit under his tutelage.”

Will grunted.

“Well thank God he did. Now…do you have the runabout on long range sensors? Remember, the computer won’t recognise it, you will have to scan for an unidentified craft.”

There were several tense seconds before T’Krel said dispassionately,

“I have it, Commander.”

“ETA?”

“Three point seven hours.”

Will smiled wanly.

“Right. I take it you are at maximum velocity.”

“Yes.”

“Then you must remember to reduce your speed to match the runabout’s before you meet it. Do you know how to input that instruction into the computer?”

T’Krel hesitated momentarily, then nodded.

“I believe I can.”

“Good, do it now.”

Another few tense seconds passed before T’Krel said,

“Input successful.”

Will sighed and took his seat in the Command chair.

“Okay, you’ve done all you can for now. All we can do now…is wait.”

The Vulcan tilted her head.

“Indeed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first two hours of Data’s journey, he coped well with the failing systems, as one at a time the jury rigged ship began to falter under the stress of maintaining a speed it was never designed to do. However, it soon became obvious that the warp core was going to breach. For ten tense minutes, Data did everything he could to prevent the catastrophic annihilation of the propulsion system to no avail. With a sharp jerk of his head, he deactivated his emotion chip, finding the fear and frustration too distracting to cope with.

With little time to spare, he donned an evac suit and picked up the sturdy container that housed the heart. He then brought the crippled ship out of warp and blew out the aft hatch. Utilising the thrusters on his suit, he manoeuvred himself through space to the front of the vessel and brought up his flight plan on the internal screen of his visor. Setting his course, he inputted the command for maximum propulsion and began an internal countdown.

He got to four minutes and twenty-six seconds before the runabout exploded. The debris pummelled him, reducing his suit and his outer body to tatters, but he protected the container with his body, ensuring its integrity. He waited a scant few seconds more before the blast radius hit it with a hammer-like blow, pushing him forward at an astonishing speed and fortunately more or less still on course.

The Lieutenant at Tactical who had been tracking the runabout’s progress suddenly called out,

“Commander! We’re registering an explosion. It’s the runabout, Sir…it’s…gone.”

Immediately on his feet, Will swung around, his blue eyes registering his shock and dismay.

“Are you sure?”

The young man nodded, his eyes glued to his console’s screen.

“Yes, Sir. It was a warp core breach.”

“Can we scan for survivors?”

The Lieutenant nodded.

“I think so Sir, but it will be at the very edge of our ability.”

There were a few dreadful seconds before the report came in.

“I have something, Commander, but no life-signs.”

A frustrated First Officer had to quell the urge to shout.

“Explain.”

“Something is travelling at the leading edge of the blast radius…almost on the same flight path of the runabout. It’s not debris…in fact it has the mass of a humanoid, but like I said, no life signs.”

Almost whispering, Will muttered,

“It could be Data.”

He ran a hand through his beard.

“Open a channel to the Calypso.”

“Aye, Sir.”

Closer now, T’Krel’s image appeared on the viewscreen. Will immediately began his instructions.

“The runabout has been destroyed, but there’s a chance Mr.Data survived and is riding the leading edge of the shock wave. As far as we can tell, he’s still on course. Have your scanners look for an object with similar mass to a humanoid body. Keep in mind there will be no life signs.”

No bothering to waste time with any acknowledgement of her orders, T’Krel spent several frustrating minutes trying to do as she was asked. Eventually she looked up and nodded once, curtly.

“I believe I have it. I had to eliminate any debris that did not match Mr.Data’s component parts. He is travelling at sub warp speed, but I believe I will be within transporter range in under two hours.”

Will grunted.

“As soon as you have him aboard, contact me. We can only hope both he and the heart have survived so far.”

“Understood, Commander, Calypso out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly lifted her bloody, gloved hands from the gaping hole in Jean-Luc’s chest and took a step back. A nurse dabbed at the sweat on her brow and Marcus emitted a low whistle.

“I didn’t think that was possible.”

Offering a wry smile, Beverly directed her gaze to the monitor at the head of Jean-Luc’s bed.

“Technically it wasn’t, but I didn’t think we had much choice. It was either put a derma patch on the rupture, or he would have bled out. He’s still bleeding into his lungs, but as long as we can keep pumping whole blood into him, we should be able to keep ahead of it. We can also put back what we’re gathering from the pneumothorax intubation.”

 Marcus looked down at the Captain and sighed.

“He’s held on longer than I thought he would.”

Beverly’s smile grew wistful as her eyes gazed down at the man she loved.

“You don’t know him, Marcus…he’s a fighter, he won’t give up easily.”

The young Doctor nodded as Beverly stripped off her gloves. He checked the monitors and, seeing that his patient was once again relatively stable, he looked over to Beverly and said quietly,

“Can I speak to you in private?”

Curious, Beverly nodded and indicated they should go to the other side of the room. Once there, Marcus looked nervously over his shoulder before facing his colleague.

“Beverly…Helen Parker is dead.”

Shock registered on Beverly’s face and she gasped.

“What? How?”

With a sympathetic look, Marcus took Beverly’s hands.

“She committed suicide.”

Struggling to school her features, Beverly asked quietly,

“How? How did she do it?”

Marcus sighed and dropped his gaze.

“A phaser blast to the head. It must have been a high setting, her head was vaporised completely. But…”

He squeezed Beverly’s hands.

“It would have been quick and painless.”

Extricating her hands, Beverly turned away from Marcus, trying to stop her tears from falling. In a faltering whisper she asked pitifully,

“But why, Marcus? Why would she do something so…extreme?”

Again looking around to ensure their privacy, Marcus said softly,

“I don’t know, but there was a letter…addressed to you.”

Beverly spun around, her eyes wide in anger and shock.

“What? Where is it?”

With a sigh, Marcus shrugged.

“The police have it.”

He put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“Look, I wasn’t supposed to say anything about this to you, in fact I was ordered to keep quiet, but I thought you had a right to know.”

With her eyes flashing in anger, Beverly muttered darkly,

“What’s the name of that Sergeant?”

Marcus sighed, knowing he had unleashed a gathering storm.

“William Styles.”

Beverly’s gaze went to Jean-Luc, then settled back on Marcus.

“Well I think it’s time I had a little chat with Sergeant Styles…don’t you?”

Swallowing to wet his suddenly dry throat, Marcus looked earnestly into Beverly’s eyes.

“Just don’t let him know it was me who told you.”

Beverly’s wink held no humour.

“Don’t worry, Marcus, he won’t hear it from me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not wanting to leave the hospital, Beverly put her call through to the police station from the communication alcove near the intensive care ward. Constable McMahon answered and his first glimpse of Beverly’s angry face told him something was up. Before he could open his mouth, the Doctor said curtly,

“I want to speak to Sergeant Styles.”

Anthony was only twenty three but he wore his uniform well. He straightened and adopted a no-nonsense, professional attitude.

“Sergeant Styles is very busy. Perhaps I can help?”

Keeping her anger in check by sheer force of will, Beverly clenched her fists and her teeth and shook her head.

“No, you can’t. This has to do with the death of Helen Parker and I won’t speak to anyone else but Sergeant Styles. And I’m short on time, so make it snappy!”

Unnerved by her brutal attitude, Constable McMahon quickly decided this was one of those occasions where discretion was the better part of valour. He gave a short nod and said quietly,

“I’ll put you through.”

Beverly’s fingers tapped a devil’s dance as she waited. Obviously the Constable was explaining why he was interrupting the Sergeant. When his image appeared on the screen, he looked tired and irritated.

“Yes, Doctor Crusher, how can I help you?”

His condescending tone further angered Beverly. She brought her fisted hands up and rested them on the table so he could see them.

“You have a letter from Helen Parker addressed to me. I want it.”

His brown eyes darkened.

“And just how do you know that?”

Beverly smiled coldly.

“Are you denying it?”

Styles sat back in his chair, and moved it from side to side as he steepled his fingers under his chin. His unremitting stare was lost on Beverly. Her many years of service in Starfleet, both as a junior officer, then as a senior one, had inured her to every authoritarian strategy known to man. She smiled again, this time with genuine amusement.

“You really don’t think that’s going to work with me, do you?”

Realising she was right, Styles grunted and sat forward in his chair, folding his hands on the desktop.

“The letter is evidence. I can’t hand it over until our investigations are complete.”

With a sigh, Beverly pinched the bridge of her nose.

“Helen Parker committed suicide. She vaporised her own head. What more investigation is required, Sergeant?”

He sat back again and scratched his cheek.

“Oh I don’t know…how about…what was your relationship with her?”

Knowing he had heard Helen’s tirade at her home the night she killed herself, Beverly shrugged.

“She was a friend, nothing more, other than that of a Doctor and patient, we had no relationship.”

He nodded thoughtfully.

“Nothing more? You weren’t perhaps…romantically involved?”

Anger flashed through Beverly, but she kept control of herself.

“You know that’s absurd. You heard me that night, trying to tell Helen I wasn’t interested in her advances.”

Styles offered a cold smile.

“Yes, I find that very interesting…that you would conveniently open a channel for all to hear.”

Outrage surged through Beverly’s being.

“She was the one who tried to kill Captain Picard! I thought she might try the same thing with me!”

Styles sighed and briefly closed his eyes.

“But she didn’t, did she. She left your home, went to hers and phasered off her own head.”

Beverly lowered her head and took a deep, calming breath. She looked up and said quietly,

“I am going to break patient confidentiality here, Sergeant, I can only hope you will honour Helen and keep it to yourself.”

Intrigued, Styles sat forward, eager to hear what the Doctor had to say.

“Helen Parker had suffered from Grave’s disease. Not too long ago, that would have been a death sentence, but with medical breakthroughs, a cure was found. Her treatment was protracted, but ultimately successful. However, one of the more unpleasant manifestations in patients like her, is a risk of mental impairment, including confusion about sexual orientation. Now this is absolutely treatable, but the patient has to recognise their need for treatment. I believe Helen was in the latter stages of delusion and focused all her pent up sexual urges on me. After all, we had become friends after her treatments had ceased. I also believe it is why she attacked Captain Picard. She knew of my feelings for him and saw him as a rival for my affections.”

It was if a light had gone on inside Styles’s head. He picked a stylus, looked at in intently for a few seconds, then threw it down on the desk. When his eyes met Beverly’s there was anger present.

“Why the hell didn’t you tell me this before?”

With a sigh of exasperation, Beverly flapped her hand.

“Because of patient confidentiality!”

The Sergeant almost shouted,

“But she’s dead! What harm could there have possible been in letting me know all this?”

Holding up a placating hand, Beverly bowed her head.

“All right, you have a point. I apologise. Now…can I see the letter?”

Grudgingly, Styles gave a curt nod.

“Yes, come to the station.”

Beverly looked over her shoulder to see Marcus standing at the door, his expression grim. She quickly turned back to the screen.

“I’m sorry, I can’t leave the hospital. Could you bring it over…please?”

Before Styles could reply, Beverly said abruptly,

“I have to go. Crusher out.”

Styles stared disbelievingly at the blank screen and swore softly under his breath.

“Fucking Doctors…who the hell do they think they are?”

Nevertheless, he opened his drawer and took out the letter before summoning Constable McMahon. The young man entered the office cautiously.

Styles held up the letter between thumb and forefinger.

“Take this to the hospital and give it to Doctor Crusher. No one else! Once she’s read it, bring it back to me.”

The young man gave a curt nod.

“Yes, Sergeant.”

As the Constable was leaving, Styles called out,

“And be quick about it! We’ve got better things to do than act as damn couriers for bloody Doctors!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The computer alerted T’Krel that they were in range for transport. It was the matter of mere seconds before the crumpled body of Commander Data appeared on the transporter pad. He was hunched over and, as he materialised, he fell to one side, revealing the stasis unit containing the heart. T’Krel knelt beside the android and took the unit, placing it carefully in an already prepared holder. She then went back to Data and gently touched his shoulder.

“Can you hear me, Sir?”

There was an odd electrical buzzing sound before Data managed to utter softly,

“Yes, I can hear you.”

“Can you move, Sir?”

Ice had formed on his naked body and it crackled as he slowly lifted one arm. Again there was the odd buzzing sound before he spoke.

“Perhaps…if you help me…”

Together, they managed to get Data to one of the lounge chairs. T’Krel said quietly,

“I will get you a blanket.”

When he spoke this time, it was without the buzzing sound, but his speech was hesitant.

“I do not require a blanket for warmth, however for modesty’s sake, I would appreciate being able to cover myself.”

T’Krel nodded.

“Of course. In that case, would you prefer a uniform?”

Knowing his back and legs had been shredded and he was leaking fluid, Data shook his head.

“No, I think a blanket would be sufficient.”

T’Krel retrieved the blanket and crouched in front of the android.

“I am not an engineer, Sir. I cannot repair you.”

Data jerked his head and reactivated his emotion chip. He offered a smile and slowly lifted a hand to touch T’Krel’s shoulder.

“I know, Doctor, it is all right. I can function until I can get back to the Enterprise, There, Commander LaForge will repair me.”

The Vulcan nodded.

“You feel no pain?”

Data’s smile grew.

“None.”

Then he frowned.

“But we must stop talking. You have to get the heart to Gault with all possible speed.”

T’Krel stood.

“Yes. I will set a course and engage at maximum warp immediately.”

Data could only nod, idly hoping his leaking fluids wouldn’t stain the chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will let out a long breath and ran a hand through his short, dark hair.

“Thank God! So let me get this straight. You have the heart and it’s undamaged, but Data is damaged?”

T’Krel nodded.

“Yes, Commander, that is correct.”

Will gave a curt nod.

“Right. Wait one moment; I want Commander LaForge in on this. Can you put Data on?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Will summoned Geordi and soon both men were looking at a very impaired android. To his credit, Data tried a brave smile.

“Hello, Geordi, Commander.”

It was the dark engineer who stepped closer to the viewscreen.

“How badly are you injured, Data?”

“Several of my sub processors are no longer functioning, my dorsal servos have been severed and my exodermal covering has been severely lacerated. I am leaking servo fluid and the back of my cranium has received detrimental damage, necessitating the reinitialising of my speech processor.”

Geordi’s face registered his dismay.

“We’re about sixteen hours away, Data. Can you hold on until we get there?”

With his smile still in place, Data nodded.

“If necessary I can ask Doctor T’Krel to shut me off, thereby essentially putting me in stasis. Do not worry, Geordi, I will be fine.”

Geordi gave a wan smile.

“Well, we’re coming, Data…you just hold on.”

Before the android could say anything further, Will said to T’Krel,

“ETA at Gault?”

“Three point four hours, Commander.”

Will nodded once, then asked tersely,

“Have you contacted Doctor Crusher?”

The Vulcan shook her head.

“No, Sir.”

Keeping his voice moderate only with a concerted effort, Will said quietly,

“Well do so immediately, Doctor. She needs to know your ETA.”

T’Krel nodded.

“Understood, Commander. I will do so now.”

Will waited impatiently while he listened to T’Krel contacting the Gault hospital. She was unable to speak to Beverly, but was assured her message would be passed on immediately. The Vulcan reappeared on the screen, her face impassive.

“Message sent, Commander.”

Will sighed with relief.

“Now you know you might have to shut Mr.Data down?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Geordi spoke up.

“If you do, make sure he is lying face down and put super absorbent gel packs over the worst of his wounds. I want to try and limit his fluid loss. It will make his repair that much less complicated.”

T’Krel nodded.

“I understand.”

Will stepped closer.

“One last thing, Doctor. Mr.Data’s “off” switch is something he likes to keep confidential. Once he tells you, I expect you to keep it to yourself.”

Inclining her head, T’Krel said softly,

“Of course, Commander, I will treat him as I would any other patient. His confidentiality will be assured.”

With a decisive nod, Will retreated to the Command chair. Once seated he looked at T’Krel and gave her and encouraging smile.

“Let us know when you arrive on Gault, Doctor…Godspeed.”

Ignoring the illogic of the emotional epithet, T’Krel merely nodded.

“Calypso out.”

Will closed his eyes and let out a long breath.

To no one in particular he muttered,

“Well, it’s in the lap of the Gods now.”

Geordi chuckled and shook his head.

“Actually, Commander, it’s in the hands of a Vulcan.”

Will’s glare lacked any real venom. A smile lurked under his stern visage.

“Don’t you have something you need to do in Engineering?”

As Geordi left the Bridge, he said over his shoulder,

“Enough to keep me busy for about a month…Sir.”

With a snort, Will idly asked the officer at the Con,

“I don’t suppose we can go any faster yet?”

The young woman turned and smiled.

“No, Commander, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to for a very long time.”

Sighing, Will scratched his beard.

“No harm in asking.”

The Ensign grinned.

“No, Sir, no harm at all.”

The urge to kick the antiquated machine that was acting for Jean-Luc’s heart was almost overwhelming. Beverly clenched both her fists and her teeth as she yet again performed a medical miracle to keep the love of her life alive. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Marcus talking to a nurse and when he approached she paused in her work and stepped back, trying to keep her emotions under control. She had been a Doctor for a very long time. She had seen more than most and had experienced more than her fair share of dicey situations where the life of her patient hung in the balance while her skill as a physician was tested to its limits, but no one had ever evoked a response in her like the man lying before her on the table.

Every glance at the monitors, every time she touched him, her heart squeezed in her body and her mind cried out for help, both for him and her.

And if he survived…if she somehow defeated the odds and won this battle…what then?

He was engaged to another woman, a woman he deserted on their wedding day and who had followed him on his quest to find her. What was she to do? Embrace him with open arms? Shun him? And if she did try to excise him from her life…could she? Could she live without him, knowing that he still loved her and she him?

Tears welled in Beverly’s eyes as she stared down at Jean-Luc’s body; the torment was gradually tearing her apart. Just before she gave into her turmoil, Marcus went to her and gently gripped her elbow. The door to her emotions slammed shut as her professionalism came to the fore. Turning to her colleague, she blinked away the moisture in her eyes and quietly said,

“Yes?”

Marcus summoned a warm smile.

“I’ve just been told the heart will be here in about three hours.”

Relief flooded through Beverly, but she knew the battle was far from over.

“That’s wonderful, Marcus. Now, have you been studying the simulations I gave you?”

The young man nodded, but she could see the hesitancy in his eyes.

“Yes, but…Beverly, this is so far beyond anything I’ve ever attempted. And then there’s our lack of the necessary equipment. I still don’t see how you’re going to do it.”

With a smile of encouragement, Beverly cast her eyes down over her patient.

“The procedure itself isn’t all that complicated, it’s just that there is peripheral damage that’s going to make our job that much more…interesting.”

Her smile turned into one of warmth.

“I’m sure, with your help, we’ll manage.”

Marcus’s eyes went to Jean-Luc and he winced.

“Interesting? My God, Beverly, you have a talent for understatement!”

With a soft chuckle, Beverly tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear.

“Have you instigated the cloning of the tissue I requested?”

The young Doctor nodded.

“Yes, the specimens are well on their way to completion.”

Beverly nodded with satisfaction.

“Good. We’re going to need that connective tissue if we’re going to successfully integrate the new replacement into his chest cavity.”

She then asked,

“And the lung tissue?”

Marcus frowned.

“That’s still causing us some problems. Our systems aren’t calibrated for cloning such fine samples. It’s the alveoli…I think we can do it, but it’s going to take time.”

Scratching her head, Beverly sighed, her frustration just under the surface.

“Well if we get the heart implanted successfully, we can buy some time…as long as we can keep the blood loss in the lungs to a minimum and ventilate him adequately. Once the alveoli are replaced, I think the rest of his lung tissue should respond well to intensive regen treatments.”

Marcus sighed.

“It’s a pity the alveoli are too delicate for regeneration treatment. It would’ve made everything so much simpler.”

With a wry chuckle, Beverly rubbed her eyes.

“If you wanted simple, you shouldn’t have chosen medicine.”

Marcus laughed but it sounded a little forced. He ran a hand over his face and sighed.

“We’re in for one hell of a time, aren’t we.”

Beverly sighed and nodded.

“Yes, we are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the message came to tell her Constable McMahon was waiting for her in reception, Beverly was fortunate to be able to leave Jean-Luc’s side for a little while. When she got to the young man, she could see he was nervous. With a smile of greeting, Beverly graciously said,

“Hello there, Constable. What can I do for you?”

He proffered a clear plastic envelope within which was a sheet of paper, obviously at one time severely crumpled, but now quite flat.

“This is the letter you requested, Doctor. I am to return it as soon as you’ve read it.”

Taking the envelope, Beverly’s smile became a tad forced as irritation with the Constable’s boss rose. Gesturing to a nearby seat, she said softly,

“If you will just give me a moment? I won’t be long.”

Taking his seat, the young man offered a small smile, then said softly,

“Sergeant Styles isn’t so bad, Doctor, it’s just that he’s been really busy lately and there’s just then two of us and I’m not long out of training.”

With a sigh and a nod, Beverly’s smile produced some warmth.

“I think I understand, Constable. I’ll be right back, okay?”

He nodded and Beverly went to the Doctor’s lounge. Making sure she had some privacy, she took the letter out of the envelope and began to read.

“Dearest Beverly,

I know my death must have come as a shock to you and for that I apologise, but after our last words together it became clear to me that you would never be the person I wanted…no…needed you to be.

I knew I had fallen in love with you some time ago, but I thought I had the luxury of time…time to introduce you to my love, time to allow us to share and grow in our love…but the arrival of Captain Picard ruined all that.

When I realised just how strong your feelings were for him I was devastated. How could I compete with that? I knew you had loved him for a very long time, even though the bastard was engaged to another woman you still loved him. That was the kind of love I had hoped we could share.

Your revelation about the after effects of my disease shook me to my core and made me, for perhaps the first time in my life, question myself. But on reflection, I knew what was in my heart was pure. I loved you, and it wasn’t the effect of some damned disease, despite what you may think.

I know what I did to Captain Picard was wrong, but I cannot find it within myself to be sorry. He took you from me and for that I can’t forgive him. He deserved what he got.

Before I end this, my last words of my life, I must also tell you I think the disease is returning. I have had the same sporadic loss of sensation in my hands and feet and the excruciating pains in my head.

I can’t go through the treatment again, my love, especially with you as my Doctor…and I wouldn’t have anyone else but you treat me.

So I will end my life. I will end my misery, my heartache. My only regret is that my death may have caused you some sadness. I wish I could have been able to alleviate that.

I loved you Beverly and I can only hope that that love extends into the eternity that awaits me.

Helen.”

With tears slowly tracking down her face, Beverly carefully put the letter back in its envelope. She took a few minutes to compose herself before she took the letter back to the waiting Constable. Upon her arrival he stood, his face showing his concern as he said gently,

“Are you all right, Doctor?”

Beverly nodded then muttered distractedly,

“I must be getting back to my patient. Thank you, Constable McMahon…and thank Sergeant Styles for me too please.”

She turned and left before he could respond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Calypso on auto pilot, T’Krel had indeed needed to shut Data down. As instructed, he was placed face down and the super absorbent gel packs were covering the worst of his many wounds. The rate of fluid loss had slowed, but even the emotionless Vulcan, (who had discovered recent events had evoked more emotion in her than she ever thought possible), was somewhat disconcerted at being able to see so much of Data’s inner workings. She wondered with some scepticism just how Commander LaForge thought he was going to be able to repair such extensive damage. However she readily recognised that was out of her expertise and turned her attention to the parthenogenetic heart that sat, suspended in a bio sustainable fluid within the stasis unit.

She studied it dispassionately, but even so, she felt the stirrings of hope that this marvel of medical technology could restore her fiancé to his former state of robust health. At least his physical health. His mental health was another thing entirely. With the time she had had on her hands, after careful consideration, T’Krel had come to believe the Captain was on the verge of another psychological breakdown. His actions, his behaviour, had caused her to surmise they all pointed to a manifestation of mental impairment…and she felt she was the one to see him through it…again. The one thing that gave her cause to consider her choice of action was the little complication of one Beverly Crusher. As long as that woman stayed in Jean-Luc’s mind, she felt he would never make a complete recovery. But…there were treatments that could remedy that. All she had to do was get him away from Gault and that woman…back to a mental health facility where his memory could be…altered.

“Yes.”, she nodded with absolute conviction. “I can and I will help him. I could do no less for the man who loves me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the airport that alerted the hospital that the Calypso was entering a landing pattern. Beverly had assembled a team, but none of its members had ever taken part in a heart transplant. While she had been devoting her time exclusively to Jean-Luc’s care, Marcus had been taking the chosen staff through the simulations Beverly had given him. It was only sheer luck that the programs had been in the hospital’s data banks.

They were as ready as they could be…all they needed was the heart.

A quick call to the police station had an interested Sergeant Styles agree to pick up the heart and transport it with all possible speed to the hospital. He was a little annoyed when T’Krel insisted on accompanying it, but with no time to argue, he grudgingly allowed her into the flitter. With lights and sirens activated, they exceeded all flight speed laws and had the heart at the hospital in under eight minutes.

Beverly had prepared Jean-Luc as best she could, taking into account the limitations of the available equipment. When she heard Marcus say tightly,

“Thank God you made it!”

She looked up, her eyes darkening as she saw T’Krel standing with Sergeant Styles, the stasis unit in her hands.

The red head held out her hands, willing them to remain steady.

“Give it to me, please.”

As T’Krel handed over the heart she said quietly,

“Save him, Doctor…for both of us.”

Beverly took the unit and offered a tight smile. Keeping her voice low and even, she replied,

“I’ll do my best.”

Seeing that the team were assembling, T’Krel turned to leave, but she hesitated and said over her shoulder,

“Well we will have to hope that will suffice…won’t we.”

With so much on her mind and the intricacies of what she faced, Beverly dismissed the Vulcan within seconds, but deep in the depths of her mind, T’Krel’s words festered.

“Will my best be good enough?”

Silencing her doubts with a concerted effort, Beverly looked up to see many faces, all trained on her. And every one of them showed uncertainty.

Summoning an encouraging smile, Beverly activated the sterile field and donned her surgical attire, as the staff did the same. Once all was in readiness she said with forced lightness,

“Well, you have all studied the simulations and I have done this procedure before…so let’s get to it.”

They began the operation at oh eight fifteen hours.

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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