Loved this. ❤️
((Holodeck Recovery Room - Neurology Center, Denobula))
The surgery had been successful. At least for German's issue with his pituitary gland causing him to age rapidly. When he fainted in his family's memorial garden he was in his sixties. Now that two and a half months went by, he was now in his mid one hundred and thirties. Some wear and tear on his face and hair could be seen, but Denobulans lived up to be around three hundred and fifty years old.
German wasn't even almost middle aged since that'd be in about forty years. It didn't really bother him much since there were hints of gray hairs which he found to be quite distinguishable. In part, that wasn't because he was getting older, but being under the severe amount of stress and anxiety was a primary factor.
When he fell over, a few cuts and bruises formed on his forehead. He didn't know that though since his medical team of nurses, general physicians, and a neurologist determined that it was best for him to be placed under a medically induced coma. That wasn't the first time for German, but in this case it was different.
He was suffering from short term memory loss and had to be told by his son where he was and how he got there. Even when he finally woke up, German didn't know how he got those cuts and bruises on his forehead when he looked in the mirror.
Due to his cognitive disabilities, the Denobulan neurologist was more than proficient in helping to restore most of his senses, but how was the question. Luckily for German, he still knew how to walk around as he followed the neurologist to the holodeck.
German thought he knew a lot about neurology after studying the subject in the academy, but was quickly brought back down to his mediocre level of knowledge when the older doctor explained the ins and outs of what was to be expected during his recovery.
German had realized that he shouldn't have been so careless about the nanotechnology he inserted into his brain when he was younger, working as an intern at his mother's science facility back on Earth.
Phax: As I said before. The damage to your neocortex was fairly extensive. You need to take your recovery period *seriously* if you intend to return to full functionality. ::pausing:: You’ll want to stimulate the brain with an active environment. Interacting with people you know may also help restore your ability to store memory.
Galven: So you're saying that part of my recovery is to interact with people who I know? I don't know many people here.
Phax: ::nodding sagely:: You need to *exercise* those parts of your brain like you would any muscle.
Galven: Well, I could contact one of the Starfleet officers I worked with on StarBase 118?
Phax: Starbase 118? ::a dark purple tinged eyebrow rose slightly… that was where his son, Ashley Yael, was stationed.:: And who would that be?=/\=
Galven: Her name is Lieutenant Commander Alora DeVeau. She's the Chief Scientist on board the base. At least she was the last time I spoke to her.
Phax: She sounds distinguished and intelligent. A perfect beginning to your neuro-exercise period.
Galven: Are you going to be here as we talk to one another?
Phax: I would like to observe a few of your interactions.
In order to look for tics, issues, to listen to him speak. If he had any trouble falling over words, or the muscles in his face changed, if he couldn’t recall faces correctly. Deneve Phax wasn’t concerned about the issue of privacy.
Galven: ::nods:: If that's what you think is best. ::turns to the video monitor:: Hopefully she's not too busy today.
Phax: ::a bit gruff:: Go ahead.
A moment passed as the computer sent out the request. Another moment passed as Alora, who had been finishing up with a lieutenant on a report recently made, could return to her desk. As she did so, she ordered the computer to patch it through, and when German’s face appeared on the screen, her own lit up with her characteristic smile.
Then, she seemed to notice something. Canting her head to one side, then to the other, she took a closer study of his face. German knew what she was doing and it slightly bothered him. However it was something he would have to get used to because he had a feeling that the other crew would do the same whenever he got back.
DeVeau: =/\=Are you all right?=/\=
Galven: =/\=::deadpan expression:: Good to see you too. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=You look...different.=/\=
Which was a more polite way of saying he looked much older than previously.
Different was an understatement. German glanced down, rubbing his hand through his hair. After a moment trying to figure out how to get the right words out, he looked back at Alora with a frown.
Galven: =/\=Well, due to my own ignorance about how Borg nanotechnology works when I first implanted it into my brain when I was younger, the side effects caused me to age rapidly growing in my pituitary gland when I was assimilated in the shuttle. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=Oh wow. But...they were able to fix it, right?=/\=
Galven: =/\=::nods:: Yes, but as you can see in the way I look, I'm not 33 years old anymore. Each day was a year before it was corrected. It's believed that I'm around 120 or 130 years old now. =/\=
Galven: =/\=Actually the neurologist who helped the issue is here right now and confirms it. =/\=
Phax only grunted positively at the science chief and nodded to the screen shortly. The woman was lovely, true, but she was *Human*, and he wasn’t a big fan. So mostly he kept his almost bored eyes on his patient. So far it seemed he had a working functionality, even if he still had ongoing issues.
Alora’s eyes slid over to fall upon the grunting Denobulan. They started to refocus on German, then suddenly switched back to the Doctor. She stared at him, intense gaze studying the face. He was familiar. Very familiar. Finally, she let them shift back over to German.
DeVeau: =/\=So that means you’re lifespan is shortened? =/\=
Galven: =/\=::clears his throat:: I'm not sure how to answer that, Alora. =/\=
Well, there wasn’t really any other answer for it. He’d lost almost a hundred years. Maybe to a Denobulan it didn’t seem that much, but it was much. Before, his life had hardly begun. Now it was about a third over. Alora knew what it was like to have a shorter life span dangling in front of her. In her case, there were no answers. No guarantees at all. They had no idea if the therapies would continue to work. No idea if they would eventually fizzle, and she’d regress until she no longer existed. She’d lost several years already, in only a few months. What did that mean about her future?
At least with German, they’d been able to stop it. At least he had that two thirds left. She had to focus on that. It could have been worse. It could have gone on until he was so far gone...at least they had been able to do something.
Galven: =/\=All I know is that what I did was extremely stupid and I got what I deserved. Now I just need to get the help needed. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=We all make mistakes. =/\=
Granted, he’d made a really big and stupid mistake, and he’d done a lot of harm, but it wasn’t as much harm as it could have been. And in the end, German had owned up to those mistakes. He was learning from them. How many people did that? Far fewer than should be.
DeVeau: =/\=It’s going to take a while to rebuild trust though. =/\=
German knew that much. He had all the time in the universe still to rebuild his sense of purpose towards the crew when he was able to finally come back. There were still quite a few tests to be done with Doctor Phax among the other Denobulan scientists and researchers.
Galven: =/\=::sighs:: I wouldn't trust myself either and understand why you and the others wouldn't either. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=But you’re coming back, right? And things will mostly be like they were before? At some point, people will realise that you’ve taken steps to change, to get better. That counts. It really does. =/\=
Galven: =/\=You're right. It'll take some time to get things back to normal. A new normal, that is. =/\=
A new normal. Alora was far too familiar with that. She had to learn what a new normal was several times over the course of her brief life. Most recently, that new normal involved a gigantic hole in her heart. And then...no, she couldn’t dwell on it. She was still confused and uncertain about the entire thing. She didn’t know which way to go, didn’t know what was real or just an idealistic view of things. If she dwelt on it, she only proceeded to confuse herself further.
DeVeau: =/\=So that means you’re coming back. =/\=
Alora left no room for argument in that statement.
DeVeau: =/\=Which will be when?=/\=
Normally Alora's upbeat personality was more encouraging for German and he favored it. However, now it felt more abrasive and uncomfortable for him since she didn't give the Denobulan much of a chance to get his words out as he glanced over at the neurologist.
Phax’s nose crinkled up slightly at the *generous* assumption of his patients return to duty. There was much to do before putting a timeline on the recovery period, even *if* they were hopeful with the current results.
Phax: =/\= ::to Galven:: I wouldn’t buy a shuttle ticket just yet. We are *hopeful* for your recovery, but it may be months before you can be discharged.=/\=
DeVeau: =/\=That’s not soon enough. =/\=
She managed a smile, though at that point, her gaze shifted back to Phax again. His voice. Yes, it was very similar. In addition, the colour and the shape of his face. He wasn’t quite as handsome, but...could it be?
DeVeau: =/\=I’m sorry, doctor, I didn’t catch your name? I owe you thanks for helping my friend. =/\=
The neurologist’s dark purple eyes slid onto the woman again, looking down at the screen. He was far more interested in his patient, but politely gave her a disinterested moment of his time in order to receive her praise properly.
Phax: =/\= Doctor Deneve Phax. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Lieutenant Commander. ::he paused:: Your friend is in the *best* of hands.=/\=
He meant his own hands, of course, and he graced the Human woman with a smile.
Galven: =/\=I can assure you that Doctor Phax has been extremely helpful in my recovery, Alora. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=Thank you, Doctor. We are grateful for your care of our friend.
We, as in the base, because Alora knew very well that other people shared the sentiment. Some might not, but more than one. Sal, for one. Her. Others too, she was sure.
German knew what Alora was doing. She was being overprotective of him being that she was lightyears away from Denobula.
Galven: =/\=::smirks:: You were always more of a protective big sister. I appreciate it. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=You just make sure you do what he says so you can heal faster and come home faster, all right?=/\=
Home. That word for German was almost foreign to him ever since he left the Veritas. Even though his stay was only three months before being transferred to the Montreal and later on the Astraeus, he learned a lot when he was an Ensign serving under Captain Rahman.
Even before he graduated, the place he stayed at more than any other area was his mother's science research facility back on Earth. Granted, he'd learn a great deal from Captain Mei'konda and Sal.
Sal. The Betazoid had entrusted German right from the beginning to be the Second Officer. Sal's Second Officer. Unfortunately for the Denobulan, he had taken it for granted. Not realizing until it was too late that anything he did and said carried weight. If he was to come back to the StarBase, out of everyone he wanted to gain back their trust from was Sal.
A moment passed by as he remembered the last time he was with Sheila in the holodeck. Apparently his memory was getting better as he glanced back at Alora in the viewscreen.
Galven: =/\=I'll do what I can, Alora. ::smiles:: Anyways, how's things going on the station?=/\=
DeVeau: =/\=Not bad, for the most part . Weird for some of it. =/\=
Galven: =/\=Yeah, my mother has been sending me updates. I heard that there was a festival of sorts and then something happened with the food? Is that correct?=/\=
DeVeau: =/\=The drinks, actually. Someone spiked the drinks with something that genetically altered the limbic and neurological systems to bring out certain emotions - though the concentration of those emotions tended to be toward the romantic side. It was...strange. A large portion of those who were attending the festival. =/\=
Galven: =/\=Boy, that sounds awfully hectic. Are you and everyone else okay?
That was a very loaded question. For the most part, the answer was yes. For Alora, the answer was far more complicated. But Galven didn’t know that, didn't need to know that.
DeVeau: =/\=Yeah, we’re okay. There were some minor injuries because people were getting into fights over guys or gals or both, but nothing major. =/\=
Galven: =/\=It helps me get an idea and a moment to momentarily imagine myself back there if that makes sense. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Oh I get it. Hopefully you won’t have to just imagine yourself, you’ll actually be here.=/\=
Phax: =/\= ::somewhat to himself, but aloud:: Perhaps it is best, in your condition, that you were *not* present to be drugged.=/\=
Galven: =/\=Would you mind doing me a big favor? If you could record what I'm about to say to the crew and especially Sal? =/\=
Record? He wanted her to record it? Well, that was a reasonable if unusual request, but she would comply, for she saw no harm in that.
DeVeau: =/\=Sure, just a sec.=/\=
Tapping on the console, Alora silently ordered the computer to take a recording of their conversation from there on out - at least, until she stopped it.
Doctor Phax stepped out of sight for the moment to let his patient record his message. Thus far he had noticed no major issues. The treatment seemed to have been a resounding success, and the therapy would continue to have good results if it was continued. He was happy with the results of his work in this serious case.
With the help of a cane he had next to him, German pushed himself up as he grasped the item. He walked backwards a bit until his whole body was in frame, then ditched the cane altogether. He wanted to show that he had some strength even though he wobbled a bit.
Galven: =/\=To the 118 crew and family. I miss you all very dearly. Whatever you have going on, I wish I could be there and experience it with the best crew I've ever had imaginable. ::looks directly into the lens:: I can't express how much you all mean to me and been a part of my life within Starfleet. I can only hope my trials and transgressions will turn into a bright glimmering light in the future. Please don't take advantage of anything like I did. You all deserve the best accolades in your endeavors. ::sniffs:: Take good care of one and other. I love you all. =/\=
Far too often, German would have many moments of clarity and wouldn't realize it until it became too late. After he finished speaking, the Denobulan scientist was feeling homesick. Which was true and he took the time for a moment of reflection, realizing the starbase was in fact his home.
Not Denobula, Earth, the Veritas, Montreal, and Astraeus. StarBase 118 Operations was where he belonged. Granted, he essentially was a traveling gypsy who finally started to believe that his feet settled in place.
The station is where his family was. Not just his parents, but the crew at large. Hell, right before he left, he found out he had a son. Who was showing interest in joining Starfleet and it was the perfect place for Naylin to get started with classes, then off to the Academy.
Smiling, Alora waited just a moment to be sure he was done, then ended the recording. She was silent a moment as her fingers continued to tap over the console so she could be sure that it was saved.
DeVeau: =/\=Do you want me to send that for you? =/\=
Galven: =/\=::nods:: Yes, please. If it's not too much to ask? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=I certainly can. Not a problem. =/\=
Galven: =/\=I appreciate it, Alora. Do you think they'll like what I said?=/\=
DeVeau: =/\=I’m sure people will forgive in time - after all, it heals wounds, right?=/\=
Galven: =/\=::smirks:: I should know. Just look at what time has done to me. ::sighs:: At least I still have my sense of humor. =/\=
There was a soft chuckle at that.
DeVeau: =/\=That’s a good thing.=/\=
Indeed it was. Humour sometimes helped when going through trials and dealing with things. She was glad he was in good spirits, and Alora hoped they remained that way.
In the background of the video call, Doctor Phax had stepped aside and to his desk, sitting quietly and adding a few notes to his file, turning his profile to the viewer as he worked. Alora’s gaze flicked over to him briefly. They shared similar colouring, similar features, and a name. There was no way that was simply coincidental.
Galven: =/\=How's Sal doing? Last time we spoke with each other was when I was in Sickbay strapped down on a biobed. I kind of felt like the Elephant Man from that one classic Terran story. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=He’s doing well. =/\=
Alora’s focus returned to her friend. She needed to ignore the doctor, and she’d chat with Ashley later. At that particular moment, it was German’s time.
DeVeau: =/\=In fact, he was just promoted to Commodore.=/\=
Galven: =/\=::gasps:: Are you serious?! I wish I could be there and congratulate Sal on his promotion. If there was anyone who deserved it more, would be that man. ::turns to Phax:: Would it be possible if you'd be able to grant a request to go now? You can even come with me?=/\=
Phax: =/\= ::chuffing, barely turning to look at the viewer:: I would think *not*. We need to continue your physical therapy regime. A trip like that is a large investment, and we can’t have you getting too excited just yet.=/\=
Disappointment coloured Alora’s features, but she understood. The last thing German needed was to regress, especially after a surgery like that. Still, there had been a brief moment of hope.
Galven: =/\=::frowns, nodding along:: You tell Sal how incredibly proud I am of this momentous occasion. I'll definitely try to get him some kind of gift. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=I sure will. ::Alora promised.:: And you work hard and get better so you can come back to us.=/\=
Doctor Phax gave German a *look*, one that translated to “I have all I need, wrap it up.”
Galven: =/\=::to Phax:: I mean, it's a good kind of excitement though, but you're right. ::turns to Alora:: Looks like the good Doctor Phax is telling me to finish this up. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to talk with me. I'll try to make it home soon. =/\=
Already? It seemed like they’d just begun talking and now he had to go? With a sigh, Alora nodded.
DeVeau: =/\=Doctor knows best. =/\=
Leaning forward, Alora set a stony gaze upon the man, though there was just the barest hint of a smile.
DeVeau: =/\=You’d better get better at supersonic speed. I still have to slap you upside the head a few times. =/\=
Galven: =/\=::dons his signature wide Denobulan grin:: Love you too, Alora. You take care of yourself as well, sister. See you soon. =/\=
A softness crept over her features and her smile a little more nostalgic.
DeVeau: =/\=Love you too. And don’t you forget it. I’ll call next week, all right?=/\=
Galven: =/\= I look forward to it. =/\=
If she could have, Alora would have reached through and given him a hug right then and there. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible and she had to make do with a wave before the screen went black and she was left staring at her reflection.