((EARTH – STARFLEET VETERANS HOSPITAL)) ((STARDATE 237911.06 – SIX YEARS AGO))
BARLAN: Doctor Shelley? The patients are arriving.
:: Doctor Fiona Shelley glanced up from her desk, where far too many reports sat waiting for her attention. The reports would have to wait even longer, given the message she’d received from Starfleet Command four days ago. It had taken them all by surprise, but they prepared quickly and the hospital was more than ready to care for the survivors, whether they needed short term or long term care. ::
SHELLEY: Thank you Nurse. I’ll be out in a minute.
:: Tapping her computer screen she brought up and quickly skimmed the original message and all the reports since. The Chief Medical Officer of the vessel that had transported the survivors to Earth had sent her updates twice daily and she skimmed through those as well – though it was more out of habit than anything else, given that Shelley had memorized all the pertinent data already. :: She quickly changed from her street clothes into her scrubs. This was going to be an interesting day. When the message had first come through that a ship had found the USS Ackerman, she wondered why they were telling her. Then she read further and found that – somehow – there had been survivors. Missing for over ninety years, but there were three survivors, and judging by the CMO’s reports… well, she’d need to examine the patients herself before she could fully believe it. She knew that taking a position in the Emergency Care department of a Starfleet hospital would bring some odd situations, but this… this was beyond anything she ever thought she’d encounter.
((SVH – EMERGECY CARE WARD))
:: Doctor Shelley arrived just as the three survivors of what many people were calling ‘The Ackerman Incident’ were brought in on anti-grav gurneys. None were conscious. The CMO who had been caring for the patients in the seven days since their discovery was there and he stepped up to Shelley with a curt nod. ::
MOHINDER: Doctor Shelley, I presume. Doctor Asad Mohinder, USS Robert Peel. You’re read my latest report?
:: Shelley smiled briefly. ::
SHELLEY: Doctor Mohinder, it’s good to meet you. Yes, your reports have been a great help. Impressively detailed. :: pause :: There were… just the three?
:: Mohinder looked at the floor. He was clearly saddened by the answer he had to give. ::
MOHINDER: Yes, just the three. All bodies have been identified. The entire crew has been accounted for.
:: Shelley nodded. It was a sad, but necessary part of a doctor’s job to deal with death. Soemtimes it was an expected death – an elderly person succumbing to the ravages of age – but all to frequently, it was what Mohinder had encountered. People struck down in the prime of their lives. She tapped her padd to bring up some information. ::
SHELLEY: Alton Vines, age fifty-eight. Tina Thoresson, age twenty-four. David Whale, age twenty-eight. Are any of them lucid?
MOHINDER: Mister Whale comes and goes. The other two have been sedated.
:: She nodded, then brought up Whale’s medical history, then waved over Nurse Barlan. ::
SHELLEY: I’d like to see Whale first.
:: The nurse nodded and led Shelley and Mohinder to one of the private rooms the hospital staff had prepared for the Ackerman’s survivors. It was a bit of a shock at first to see the man lying there, still wearing a uniform Starfleet hadn’t worn… well, certainly not in her lifetime. But the most surprising thing was that the man – Whale – whose Starfleet medical records said was twenty-eight, still LOOKED twenty-eight. ::
SHELLEY: Amazing. Born over a hundred years ago, but…
MOHINDER: But he hasn’t aged a day since the ship vanished.
:: The two doctors glanced at each other, then bent close to their patient as he began mumbling. ::
SHELLEY: I can’t make it out.
MOHINDER: Sounds like… jee ahn… Gianna? A name?
:: Frowning, Shelley placed a hand on the side of her patient’s face and leaned over him. His eyelids fluttered and it appeared that he was looking at her, but she couldn’t tell if his eyes were focusing. ::
SHELLEY: Mister Whale. David. Don’t worry, David, we’ll take care of you. ::pause:: Can you hear me?
:: But his eyes had closed again as he drifted back into unconsciousness. ::