Dr Crawford's Casebook - The Next Generation
Episode 2 - The Little Children
'A blonde Vulcan?!!'
B'lana twirled the fork in her hand in surprise, almost depositing its exquisite contents into her lap. She and Tom had always loved cooking for each other though they sometimes had to remember to finish their concoctions before moving on the really interesting bit of the evening. Marriage hadn't dimmed their passion for each other and Tom grinned as he watched the expressions flit across her face while she digested this latest piece of news.
'I kid you not',
tearing himself away from another bite for a moment,
'and he's Montgomery Scott's great-grandson'.
If her interest had needed any further piquing then this was would have supplied it in spades. When she'd taken over from Geordie Laforge as the Enterprise Chief Engineer there had been plenty of time during the changeover to get to know him, and he'd recounted the astonishing story of meeting the engineer of the original 1701.
'So where's the Vulcan blood come from?'
Her thoughts inevitably turned to Tuvak, who she'd had a constant love-hate relationship with throughout the Voyager years, but who had done so much to calm her inner turmoil with his meditation techniques.
'Hmm, maybe I shouldn't tell you, you seem far too interested'
Tom wondered fleetingly if he'd have dared tease her like this in their early days, and concluded that, yes, he probably had been that stupid.
'I might take a walk down to sickbay right now if you don't'
The pout couldn't quite hide the wicked smile.
'Ok, but you won't believe me'
He sipped at his wine to draw it out a little further.
This time the fork dropped back to the plate with a clatter.
'Finished already? Maybe we should move next door while I have the advantage of surprise'
She grinned and allowed him to guide her to their sleeping quarters, wondering briefly about playing the new Klingon opera recording but quickly deciding against it.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Captain Data walked with his usual efficient but unhurried pace towards the door to sickbay, and was a little surprised to find a number of female crew members just coming out of it. Illness was extremely rare on board ship and most of the medical work was centred around checking the children - many of them of unlikely genetic heritage - and tending to wounds in the few battle encounters they ran into. The women giggled nervously and hurried away.
'Fascinating' he thought to himself.
'Good morning doctor, I see you're being kept busy already. Have we an epidemic on board?'
the indulgent smile Khaireddin Crawford had been wearing a moment ago was swiftly replaced with a more professional demeanour.
'So good of you to visit'
The long delicate fingers were held out for the formal handshake and felt the curious almost-but-not-quite-perfect texture of the android's skin.
'No, just a bad case of feminine inquisitiveness - I'm sure it will pass in a couple of days.'
The developments in his emotion chip had allowed Data rather more understanding of feminine interests than had been the case earlier - a process that Deanna Troy had taken great delight in assisting him with.
'Your grandfather once told me he had similar problems.' he continued.
'You knew him? I had no idea'
'We met on Romulus, the conversations were most..... stimulating.'
He had to focus his neural net back to the situation in hand as his thoughts momentarily rested on the Romulan commander who had unaccountably resembled Tasha Yar, whose miniature hologram he still kept. Sometimes the emotion chip could be a nuisance.
'Doctor, could you take a look at my daughter's leg? - she fell and cut it'
Even before swinging his gaze to the newcomers at the door Data noticed that Crawford's expression had changed again - the stoic Vulcan mask replaced by a generous and welcoming smile which was already directed at the little girl who clung tight to her mother's hand.
'Why of course! Come over to the table and let's have a look at you.' he said softly, lifting her gently onto the treatment station.
'What's your name?'
'short for Allessandra, but she can't pronounce it right yet.' Her mother interjected.
'and how did this happen?' his words were directed at the child as his fingers adroitly retrieved her medical data from the console.
'I was running too fast I guess. Mommy's always telling me not to'
'With a lovely name like that you should be gliding serenely through the canals of Venice in a beautiful painted boat.'
As he spoke he was gently checking the angry crimson gash, removing some stray fibres, then picking up one of a selection of tools he began to sterilise and close the wound.
'Now we just say the magic words; hurble purple, hurble purple, hurble purple. There! No more purple!'
The youngster's wide eyes looked from her now perfectly healed leg to the doctor and back again.
'Might be a bit stiff for a couple of days but that will pass. And I further prescribe a trip to the holodeck and 15th century Venice - to slow you down a bit'.
Her mother was just about to remark on what an splendid idea that would be and ask how he'd known her ancestors were from that area when Allessandra did it for her, reaching forward and planting a kiss on the doctor's cheek. Caught unawares the doctor's right eyebrow rose in a gesture that the watching Captain immediately recognized, and which delighted the child even more.
Leaving the sickbay shortly after with the enchanted mother and daughter, Data was more than content in the knowledge that Beverley had been absolutely right in her recommendation; the children of the Enterprise were in very good hands indeed. As for the unattached female crew, they would have to look after themselves!
As he turned towards the turbolift he heard a small voice down the hall repeat the “magic words” and smiled an android smile.
For Khaireddin Crawford, whose sensitive Vulcan ears had also picked up the words, the only, very minor, concern was the huge grin that the little girl's gesture had brought to his face and which resolutely refused to respond to Vulcan discipline. Spock might not have approved, but his mother almost certainly would!