Medical Log, July thirtieth, 2158. Chief Medical Officer Phlox reporting. Most of Sick Bay has been cleared of patients, and I am left with treating Crewman Haddon, Crewman Delacroix, Crewman Hodgkins and Crewman Madden.
Crewman Gary Hodgkins has suffered permanent blindness in his left eye, due to an accumulation of enanthem within the sclera. I am forced to recommend that he be removed from his current position in the MACOs and that this twenty-six-year old crew member be reassigned to an area where his infirmity will be less of an issue.
The other three crew members should eventually be able to return to their regular duties. Crewman Deborah Haddon will be monitored for any lasting physical effects before returning to Security detail. Crewman Brian Delacroix will receive significant reconstructive facial surgery before returning to Food Service. Crewman Melissa Madden will need the most reconstructive surgery before returning to her duties as the night shift pilot. The Ti’Mur will be here tomorrow and will take all four of these crewmen for extensive rehabilitation, which is expected to take several months. All other crew members will undergo surgeries as needed while the Enterprise is docked with the Ti’Mur. I will be performing or assisting with most of those surgeries.
On another note, the Nereid Medical students will immediately return to Nereid on the Yahrala, which is approaching at high warp. They will be operated on later, as that ship's medical staff's time permits. I still do not have information on the cheater or cheaters.
He turned off his PADD and shook his head. T'Pol came in, “Just when I think I am understanding humans, they change again."
"They are, they are a rather confessional species."
"Yes, I noticed that myself,” Phlox said, “I suspect it's the near-death experience that has them so spooked. There may be confessions of love lurking out there, about to be revealed. What did you hear?"
"Chef told me the secret ingredient in the tomato sauce,” T'Pol said, “It's burgundy wine."
"Ah. Well, a crew member has even come out to me,” Phlox said, shaking his head, “I can't say as I blame them. There must have been a great deal of fear."
"Perhaps the fear was logical at the time,” T'Pol allowed, “But these confessions now are ...." she just walked away.
Malcolm got back from shift and found Pamela up and wearing a towel, drying her hair with another one.
"Oh, you're better!" he said.
"Yes, I feel stronger,” she said.
"That's wonderful, Darling."
"Reed, we have to talk. Really
"I, I know. You're leaving tomorrow,” he said.
"About that, yes. And about everything else."
"Can't we, uh, can't we talk tomorrow?" he asked.
Will came into Sick Bay, “Doctor Phlox, can I speak with you? In private?"
"By all means. What can I do for you, Doctor Owen?"
"I, are the patients asleep?"
"Yes, they should be,” Phlox said, “Here, let's go over by the lab. None of them should hear us. Now, what can I do for you?"
"I know who the cheater is."
"Tomorrow?" Pamela asked. She sat down on the bed.
"Yes,” Malcolm said, coming close and standing over her, “Let's, let's lose this,” he tugged at the towel around her torso.
"I, Reed, I am really disfigured. I looked at myself in the mirror even though Phlox had said not to."
"It's not bad."
"I'm all right with it all."
"Now you're pitying me."
"No,” he said, “See what you still do to me?" He leaned over and kissed her.
"I don't have a lot of strength. I'm not at 100%."
"That's all right."
"But nothing,” he said, insistent, “You will be gone tomorrow. Let's, let's have tonight together. No matter how fast or slow it all goes. No matter how good it even is. But let's at least have it."
"Oh?" Phlox asked, “I am listening."
"It's, it's me,” Will said.
"Have you been acting alone?"
"And Doctor Claymore; is she involved in any way, or did she know about it?"
"No and no. She – I did this because I've been failing. I didn't want to, didn't want to be forced to leave her. Do you, do you understand that?"
"I cannot say that I am fully confused by your motivations. But I will still recommend – in fact, insist – that you be expelled."
"I, I know. You won't, uh, you won't tell her, right?"
"Dr. Owen, she is bound to find out. No, I will not inform her myself. But you should."
They didn't hear the door open.
"I can't tell Blair this,” Will said.
"Tell me what?" she asked, standing in the doorway to Sick Bay.
"I feel so hideous,” Pamela complained.
"You are as lovely as you always have been,” Malcolm said, “Did you think that your beauty was only confined to your skin?"
"I, you're not serious."
"I am,” he said, more forcefully grabbing at the towel until it was off her. She had redness on her chest and belly. There were bumps on her legs, including over her scar. Her feet were riddled with them. Her hands were pebbly. Her face had some, mostly on her forehead but a few by her temples as well.
"This is a lot for you to tolerate. Are you sorry you did that?"
"No,” he said, “I still want you. I cannot, cannot stop wanting you. All of this is temp'rary anyway. This is just a bump –" he smiled " – in the road."
"We have to talk."
He got into bed next to her and kissed her neck, then moved his mouth down, his lips tracing down over her stomach. He looked up at her for a second, “Tell me if, if anything hurts."
She laughed at that, louder than he'd ever heard her laugh before. When she'd composed herself, she said, "Thank you for, for this. For not being spooked by it."
"Well, you know what they say. You're supposed to get right back on the horse."
"Good metaphor,” she said.
"Well? I am waiting,” Blair said.
"You can, um, there is the Decontamination Chamber if you wish to speak truly privately,” Phlox offered.
"Uh, no. Whatever this is, let's keep it out in the open,” Blair said sharply.
"Don't you Blair
me, Will Owen. We aren't supposed to be keeping secrets. So what's the big secret?"
Will sighed, “I, I did it. I'm the, the cheater,” he said slowly, then his voice sped up considerably, "But I only did it to be with you. If I'd failed, we'd be separated! I love you!"
"So we all almost died – not to mention the captain and the entire human crew?!" she yelled.
"Please, there are patients resting,” Phlox said.
"My apologies to them,” Blair spat out, “Did you know that crewman over there was blinded?"
"Yes, I do know that,” Will admitted.
"And that's your fault!" she exclaimed.
"My fault? I wiped a quiz and then the unit, uh, twice. Plus a bit of, of Orthopedics. But that's it. The rest of it wasn't me."
"I don't believe you!" she yelled, then saw Phlox and brought her voice back down again, “And I don't care anyway. Even if, even if the rest of this isn't you – no one told you to jeopardize all of our careers now, did they?"
"So who cares what else happened. You were gonna just let everyone else take the fall for you. And you'd've killed Stoney's career, and An's, and Pamela's, and mine rather than own up to it?"
"Don't worry about Pamela. She could always turn tricks."
Blair slapped him, “It's a good thing we're leaving, and you'll be expelled. Right, he'll be expelled?" she asked Phlox.
"Yes. I will be recommending that the Nereid Medical Academy take that course of action."
"Good,” she spat, “Then this will be easier."
"I never have to see you again, and I never have to talk to you."
"But, Blair! We love each other! I would marry you tomorrow."
"It'll be an awfully funny wedding, you exchanging vows with yourself. I'm gone. Doctor Phlox, a pleasure."
She stormed out.
Malcolm mainly just held her. Pamela didn't have her usual stamina, not even close, but it was close enough. He kissed her repeatedly, until it was obvious that she was just too tired to do even that. He held her close as she slept, arms around her, never leaving her.