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[Backpost] Out of time

Posted on Thu Oct 24th, 2019 @ 10:03am by Lieutenant Nealas Yvex M.D. & Lieutenant Ollie Dreax

Mission: Shore Leave: Federation Day
Location: Starfleet Medical, Earth
Timeline: Some days before the President's speech

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Leaves and flowers sparkled with fresh dew from the sprinklers in the late-morning sunlight that began to pour over the walls into the gardens. It was a peaceful, idyllic scene, one that Ollie supposed had been designed with multi-species aesthetics in mind. He sneezed into the cuff of his shirt and muttered under his breath. Ollie was dressed in Starfleet blue today, complete with one of those snazzy doctor's white jackets, a "medical" tricorder weighing down a pocket, and he'd cackled a bit as he replicated a few lollipops just to round out the disguise. Perhaps he'd had too much fun putting together this little clandestine mission of his, calling in favours, engaging in in-fleet espionage, as he'd forgotten to take an allergen-hypo.

Even after having lived six years on Earth the planet still impressed him - and irritated his sinuses. The security at Starfleet Medical had been no joke to crack, and arranging this opportunity today had cost Ollie more favours than he liked. It had all started with a stroke of luck too, as one of Ollie's old colleagues from Counterintelligence had forwarded him what had only been a rumour. Ollie hoped it would be worth it: an actual time-traveler, hidden away from the public and from most of the Fleet. He and his friends in Intelligence were more than desperate to learn more, so here he was, dressed up as a doctor, all for a chance just to talk to this woman.

The sunshine was always nice to feel on her skin, and there was no place that she could remember from her many lifetimes that the sunshine quite felt like it did on Earth. It was almost too perfect. Nealas sat on the bench, eyes closed for a moment as she tried to figure out, on a daily basis, how she should move on from her current situation. She had lost everything, all the people back in her own time thought she was dead. She had read the obituary. Lovely words. But she wasn't dead, there was just no way for her to go back. Ever. To her it wasn't she that was dead, it was everyone she'd ever known. That was a tough pill to swallow.

So instead of swallowing those pills, she decided to focus on the better things in life. Like the garden here, and the warm rays from Sol, the star at the centre of the Federation.

When he finally found the woman that was his target Ollie paused his trek through the garden a moment to look at Nealas Yvex. She was a small woman, dark hair, bold eyebrows that seemed to accentuate the glimpse of spots he could see. Nothing about her stood out right away, nothing to hint that she didn't belong in this time. Ollie supposed he shouldn't be surprised, but he'd half expected to see something that made her look out of place. As he resumed walking he reached out his mind to the low-level impressions she might give off, not actively reading her mind and violating her privacy, but certainly doing a far better read than merely looking at body language.

"Doctor Yvex," Ollie said in a rather posh-sounding Londoner, pleasant and friendly. He'd decided to pass for human too, just another one with exceptionally but not unusual dark eyes. It was easy enough, he'd lived among their kind long enough now, and he rather enjoyed the sound of the accent too as the Terran language rolled off his tongue. "I'm Doctor Jones. How are you feeling this morning?"

It had been some time since someone referred to her as doctor, the title seemed like it didn't belong anymore. From all the advancements in medicine that she had gleaned she felt very out of place in this time, "Just Nealas will be fine, Doctor Jones." She turned to look at the physician, she didn't immediately recognise him, but there were many people in the facility and there had been quite a few that had made the effort to come reach out to her in light of her extraordinary circumstances, "I'm feeling well," She accentuated that with a nod, "coming to grips with this new time. Hopefully can grow to become a contributing member of society again soon."

"I'm glad to hear that," Ollie demured as he stopped in front of her. With what he hoped approached a reasonable level of clinical detachment he looked her over again once more. Still nothing out of the ordinary. People from the past should look different! "And I'm sure you have plenty to contribute. In fact, that's rather the purpose of my visit. May I join you?"

With a small frown Nealas looked over the medical professional, "Of course," She said hesitantly, "what can I help you with?"

The man made himself comfortable on a seat nearby, but giving her plenty of room, before he responded, "I was wondering if you might be interested in helping other people in your situation." Now was the time to offer his biggest lie yet. Ollie put aside his nervousness and paranoid worries about her, focused. "While we do not have very many time-displaced citizens in the Federation of course, the ones we do have - you'll pardon me for any unintended implication I hope - don't often adjust nearly as well as you have been." He poured emotion into his voice as he told the doctor a story; it was easy to summon a haunted look to his eyes, as if he'd seen too much pain, "Many of them are suffering emotionally and traditional therapies aren't sufficient to deal with what they are going through, and relying on medication alone isn't feasible for long-term recovery chances. " As any good lie contained a good deal of truth, Ollie finished off with, "My colleagues and I are wondering you might be willing to share some of your own story, your insights, what you have gone through and how you feel today. It could be a big help to those in need."

A look of empathy and sorrow washed over Nealas, she felt for these displaced people. For the first few weeks she wanted nothing more than to get back where she came from. She knew the feeling of losing literally everything and everyone she ever knew, "I think it helps that I have a lot of experience in the past, the Yvex symbiont has been through huge changes over its lifetime. I guess it helps in coping with the huge changes of being in this future." she rubbed her hands over her legs as she tried to remember just how she coped with the culture shock, "I think the programme Starfleet Medical has in place is very effective as well." She gave a shrug, "I'm more than happy to come in and sit in on the group sessions, it's not like I have anything else I'm doing."

There was a good human expression that came to mind: hook, line, and sinker. Ollie didn't need to hide a smile at Nealas' response. "Exactly. Your Joined status would give you some special insight others lack, I believe. However, given the nature of privacy surrounding the treatment and integration individuals such as yourself, people not from this time, I'm afraid I can't arrange for an actual face to face meeting. Security and classification demands." He waved a had to the side as if annoyed with the bureaucracy of it all. "Would you be willing to speak on a recording to be shared though? We will, of course, ensure your own privacy is respected as well, no one need know your name or even see your face should you wish."

Nealas frowned, she had been far from the only one in the medical facility and she had participated in some group activities in other to acclimate better to the current social standards. Sure, she never explicitly mentioned the full nature of her trauma, but it still seemed odd to her that she, as a 'victim' herself wouldn't be allowed to meet with others that went through the same ordeal as her, "I feel that a personal approach to these matters is more beneficial to those that are going through this." She wondered if the person the doctor was referring to might perhaps be a very high profile person.

"I'm sure that it is, in some cases," Ollie nodded, tried to sound agreeable. He had expected a more easy agreement to the offer, and thought fast about something to use to recover. "But...there are some who I'm not at liberty to discuss with more detail." Play the confidentiality of it? Might as well, and throw in a touch of mystery. "And they aren't free to say, mingle with the general public. You could say not all time-displaced peoples are from the past; while we can't have them altering events they shouldn't their emotional well-being is still of importance. Wouldn't you say? Pardon me for asking, but if I'm familiar with your case you didn't have much of a choice in the matter yourself, did you?" The last was definitely fishing.

"If it where, I'd have built in a way to get back." Nealas remarked, perhaps a bit too quickly and a bit too harshly. It was clear that she wasn't fully where she wanted to be when it came to the acceptance of the situation, "Look I'm a medical professional, and I'd love to help. Don't you think to be viewed as a full and functioning member of society I'd have to be able to practice my profession?" She wanted to help, and in the end she'd probably agree to a recording, but she wouldn't be Yvex if she didn't at least try to do this on her own terms, "I can sign an NDA, or some other clause, I just feel would be really beneficial to have a face to face interaction."

He didn't let his frustration show on his own face, but his fingers dug into the palms of his hands hard to the point of pain. "You make a compelling argument, Doctor," Ollie smiled back and had to agree with her. It was what the role required, even if that meant he couldn't get what he came for. There would be other ways he could find out more on what DTI was up to. "If you don't mind I'll confer with your primary care here at Medical, and with my superiors as well, see if we can't arrange for something like this soon." A total fabrication, but he needed to extract himself now and quickly, "I can't tell you how pleased it makes me to see such drive to re-integrate. You give me hope that something can be done to help our other patients."

Nealas was pleased, it felt good to be able to help people in the same position as her, it would feel even better if she could see the fruits of her labour herself. It gave her a bit of purpose, "Well, if it comes through, you'll know where to find me, doctor" She gave a warm and friendly smile.

Ollie showed his teeth in what he hoped was taken for a smile. His hand had reached into his pocket and squeezed the tricorder there so hard it was a wonder the casing didn't dent. There would be no first-person accounting of her experience to deliver to his compatriots at Intelligence, not today at least. Perhaps they would have better luck hacking DTI for whatever records there were of Yvex's debrief. Ha! He could feel a headache coming on.

"Thank you for your time, Doctor Yvex," Ollie bowed his head slightly. "And I wish you a swift and recovery yourself." With that he stood and walked away, perhaps a touch too fast. Later she might wonder what had happened to 'Doctor Jones' and his offer to have her work with others like her. Perhaps she would even raise an alarm. He'd deal with that if and when the time came, but for now he'd need to move on to the next person on his list. Belatedly, he did spare a thought for her, some actual compassion for her situation, but pushed that aside as he left Starfleet Medical behind.

 

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