Dr Crawford's Casebook
'Deanna, it is good to have you on board again'
'Why thank you Data, it's a pleasure to be here, or
should I say Captain?'
'As you know, I do not have a first name, but if I had
I would certainly expect my old friends to use it - Data will be
more than acceptable'
Deanna Troy favoured the Enterprise Captain with a gracious
smile that he remembered well and clasping his arm gave him a kiss
on the cheek.
'The captaincy suits you well Data. Now, tell me about
this problem that Will asked me to help with.'
As they walked towards the turbolift Data started to
tell her about the medical case they had acquired a few days earlier
from a damaged civilian vessel. Apparently injured in a plasma conduit
explosion the female passenger had lapsed in and out of a coma ever
since but the ship's doctor had never been able to maintain the
conscious state. What worried Dr Crawford was that she seemed frightened
every time she neared consciousness and because she was pregnant
he hesitated to use the drugs that he would normally have prescribed
to lift the coma. Feeling that the fear was the key to the problem
he had asked the admiral for advice.
'As we were a good distance from any Starfleet medical
facility and not far from where you were working he decided to give
you a call.'
'What do we know about her?'
'Little more than her name, Rhea Baalie, and that she's
human. Starfleet records are notably bare.'
The turbolift doors hissed open and they crossed the
bridge that she knew so well, entering the admiral's ready room,
where Will Riker slipped easily from his chair to greet his one-time
lover. Data quickly made an excuse of ships business and left them
'When did Data learn to be so tactful?' Deanna asked
in amused surprise.
'Oh he's matured a lot since Jean-Luc suggested he be
made captain - developed into quite a charmer. ' Will could hardly
contain his smile at seeing her again and took her two hands in
'You haven't changed at all - as lovely as ever.'
'I can see where Data learned the charm' she laughed,
in a voice of soft honey, 'It's good to see you again Will'
'Actually I'm not the only one to teach him in that
respect - but you'll meet that gentleman shortly.'
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
An hour later they walked into Sickbay to see, at the
far end, Dr Khaireddin Crawford tending to his latest patient. It
was a sight that Deanna was hardly prepared for and she stopped
in her tracks tugging at Riker's arm and whispering.
'That's the doctor!? Why didn't you tell me he was ...'
'Vulcan, or blond?' responded Riker with a conspiratorial
grin, and received a dig in the ribs for his trouble.
'Admiral!' said the subject of their discussion, turning
to greet them and breaking into a warm blue-eyed smile that forced
the normally unflappable Deanna to consciously stop her jaw from
'And this must be Counselor Troi - delighted to meet
you' he continued, and she wouldn't have needed to be a Betazoid
to be convinced it was genuine.
It was with some effort that she forced herself to smoothly
complete the formalities and ask about the woman lying motionless
on the med-table.
'Her physical injuries have responded well and her condition
otherwise is 86.7% of optimum, however the coma persists. It is
my impression that some mental or psychological trauma is blocking
her normal recovery.' The voice, Deanna noticed, was now measured
and perfectly Vulcan in its manner.
'How far into the pregnancy is she?' Deanna asked.
'Just under 4 months, too early for the use of Tri-parazonal,
and there is insufficient response to anything else'.
'I'd like to spend some time alone with her if that's
alright doctor, to see what impressions I can pick up from her subconscious,
then we can take it from there.'
'Certainly'. I'll arrange monitoring from my office
'Fine, I'll get settled in and be back in an hour.'
As they walked back to their crew quarters Deanna was
'What did you think of our doctor?' Riker asked her,
receiving another playful poke in the ribs as she snapped back into
'I think you're a wicked tease Will Riker, you should
at least have warned me what to expect.' She paused, remembering,
and went on 'Beverly told me a couple of years ago that she had
a Vulcan student who was an outstanding prospect, but that couldn't
be him, he'd only be....'
'twenty-four years, six months and seventeen days' Riker
interrupted in a passable imitation of Vulcan precision. 'much too
young for you!'
Which was why, if there had been any passing crewmen,
they would have seen a starfleet rear-admiral being punched soundly
on the shoulder and then pulled unceremoniously into the temporary
quarters of the former ship's counselor. Which troubled the admiral
not a bit.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
An hour later Deanna returned to the sickbay to find
the composed figure of Dr Crawford ready for her. Starship chief
medical officer at 24, and not just any starship either - she still
couldn't take it in, but she could feel his confidence even through
the Vulcan repose.
'If you require anything I'll be observing, so just
state your request' and he left her alone with the unconscious woman.
Settling into a seat thoughtfully provided she cleared her own mind
to better sense the one that currently lay dormant beside her.
Slower than with conscious thought, the impressions
gradually began to form. He was right - fear was strongly present,
but of what it wasn't clear. Yet there seemed to be some element
of love too, but somehow mixed with reluctance. Though she tried
hard to clear her mind to full receptivity there was nothing else.
It was most puzzling. Emerging from her meditations she addressed
a request to the unseen ship's doctor.
'Dr Crawford, you said she didn't respond sufficiently
to other medication - but would it be enough to give me a better
impression of her conscious mind?'
'Possibly', came the reply over the intercom system,
'would you like it done now or do you require time to prepare?'
'Now will be fine.'
A small spray hypo rose from the side of the med-table
restraints and applied the drug requested as Deanna once again opened
her mind to her patient. As the effects began to appear she started
to feel the fear building again, stronger this time, more focused.
Words started to form, jumbled but gathering coherence, 'wrong',
'mustn't', 'not fault', 'sins of the fathers'. She found herself
being drawn into a whirlpool of emotions and had to concentrate
to remain objective. There was such conflict, deeply divided loyalties,
fear for others and for herself. Deanna became aware that the unconscious
woman had begun to stir and appeared to be trying to speak; she
leaned close over her and tried to grasp what was being said.
'Counselor, is anything wrong, do you require assistance?'
the Vulan voice was tinged with concern but Deanna didn't hear it
as she focused completely on the increasingly restless woman on
the table. As Crawford left his console and moved into the sickbay
he saw from the entrance his patient's eyes open wide and stare
into Troi's. They locked together, both seemed hypnotised, and suddenly,
before he could reach them, both women cried out and slumped down
on the table..
'Counselor, can you hear me?' Getting no response Crawford
lifted her gently from across the body of the patient and put her
back into the chair, his diagnostic probe already recording her
'Admiral Riker, please come to Sickbay immediately.'
In less than a minute Will Riker strode into the medical
quarters and saw Crawford tending to two patients on adjacent tables.
'There was some sort of interaction between them during
empathic investigations', Crawford said before Riker could finish
'Our mysterious visitor is now in a deeper coma than
before; Counselor Troi is unconscious but seems otherwise unharmed,
I'm just about to revive her.'
Riker watched with concern as Crawford pressed the hypo
to Deanna's neck and she started to come round.
'Deanna, are you ok, what happened?'
She looked up at him with a puzzled but strangely serene
'Deanna? why do you address me by that name?' The voice
was deeper, and with a natural command that was different from her
usual soft demeanor.
'What else would I call you' he replied, momentarily
'Mistress, as you would normally.'
'Should my colleague also address you as Mistress?'
Riker responded, playing for time, eyebrows raised and motioning
towards the doctor.
'Hardly', she replied. 'The Voevoeda Bolshoia will call
me Guzel, as he has always done.'
....... to be continued.